Fairlands keep it local

Fairlands Valley Spartans kept it local on Sunday as they were competing in the Hertfordshire cross-country championships – in Fairlands Valley Park. Nicholas Crowley swopped his dancing shoes for running shoes to come 20th in the race for under-17 boys.

Fairlands Valley Spartans kept it local on Sunday as they were competing in the Hertfordshire cross-country championships - in Fairlands Valley Park.

Nicholas Crowley swopped his dancing shoes for running shoes to come 20th in the race for under-17 boys. His time was 25:24 for the race which was over 5,700m.

The day before, he played to two houses at The Gordon Craig Theatre as a gorilla in Dick Whittington!

Spartans won the bronze medals in the senior women's race (over 7.5k). Peta Wilson was 26th in 38:05; Barbara Wilson 29th in 39:15; Sarah O'Callaghan 31st in 40:07; and Sharon Crowley 33rd in 43:46.


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Five of the seven Spartan men chased each other round the senior men's race with several changes of position during the event.

Over a heavy going 11k with the wind rising, the first Spartan finisher was Jim Brown, 60th in 49:18.

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The Spartan men got a complete qualifying team round the event.

Men's positions and times (11k): 60 Jim Brown 49:18, 64 Paul Maguire 49:40, 67 Graham Blackburn 50:06, 68 Todd Gray 50:15, 69 Steve Smithson 50:22, 89 Mark Glading 55:21, 93 Rob Shaw 59:35.

Switching from pantomime to cartoon capers, three Spartans were in Florida for the Walt Disney Marathon - and Paul Holgate was celebrating his 50th birthday during the race.

This marathon takes in all the main Disney Parks and started at 6am. Once it got light it was hot, sunny and humid with temperatures reaching the high 20s celsius.

Carol Paul finished in 4-17:46, Holgate in 4-42:43 and Dave Paul in 4-52:27.

P Several North Herts Road Runners were also in action at the Herts county championships.

In the ladies' race over a distance of 7,500m, Astrid McKeown finished highest placed Squirrel in eighth place with a time of 30:23.

She was followed by fellow club members Melissa Winters (14th), Jo Harbon (25th), Karen Dodsworth (28th), Christine Sharp (32nd) and Lindsay Cook (34th).

In what was a competitive race of a high standard, the North Herts ladies came away with the team silver medal.

In the men's race over a 11,000m course, Neil Miller was the first North Herts Road Runner home in sixth position in 39:44.

The men's team finished fourth overall with Nick Beresford (17th), Steve McKeown (20th), John Russell (54th), Stewart Bryant (55th), Duncan Hooker (65th), Johnny Spinks (73rd), Steve Taplin (81st) and Paul Bowal (94th).

In the Bedfordshire cross-country championships, veteran Derek Myall was second in his age category in extremely wet and slippery conditions around Ampthill Park.

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