Magnificent seven at championships

Seven Fairlands Valley Spartans ran the South of England Masters Cross-Country Championships in Mad Bess Wood, Ruislip, on Saturday. The veteran Spartans qualified in the team competition in the 10k race for men aged 50 plus. They were 16th. Jim Brown was

Seven Fairlands Valley Spartans ran the South of England Masters Cross-Country Championships in Mad Bess Wood, Ruislip, on Saturday.

The veteran Spartans qualified in the team competition in the 10k race for men aged 50 plus. They were 16th.

Jim Brown was 70th in 42:25, Rob Shaw 129th in 48:24 and Mark Freeman 152nd in 53:56. There were 165 finishers.

Four others took part in the 6k race for women. Chris King was 37th in the race, and 11th in her category, in 26:37.


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Peta Wilson was 81st in 29:20, Sharon Crowley 92nd in 30:30 and Chris Feeley 98th in 31:37. There were 113 finishers.

Fifteen members of North Herts Road Runners were represented at the Watford Half Marathon on Sunday.

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Although starting near the centre of Watford, most of the 13-mile route was in parkland or on peaceful country lanes, made all the more attractive by the bright frosty morning.

In a high quality field - the men's and ladies' races were won by international athletes Tomas Abyu and Liz Yelling - Gary Cook was first home for the club.

Cook surprised everyone, including himself, by taking three and a half minutes off his previous best time to finish in 1-17:46. Other personal best times were recorded by Neil Ward (1-37:10), Jo Summers (1-39:05) and David Duggan (1-41:15).

Most members of the club were happy just to complete the hilly course without injury, especially since half the club had been out ten pin bowling the night before!

Other times: Duncan Hooker 1-30:39, Paula Adams 1-30:56, Peter Sibbett 1-31:52, Johnny Spinks 1-36:29, Claire Messenger 1-37:58, Dave Ross 1-44:03, Caroline Mercer 1-44:14, Lysa Ralph 1-46:00, Roger Bamberough 1-50:47, Colin Calcutt 1-59:33, Lindsay Cook 2-16:22.

Sixteen Fairlands Valley Spartans tackled the hilly Watford Half Marathon on Sunday.

First to finish was Simon Jackson, 81st out of 1,947 finishers in 1-23:12.

And first for the women, and sixth for the club, was Kath Hardcastle, 391st in 1-36:03.

Times: Simon Jackson 1-23:12, Andrew Garrett 1-25:59, Graham Blackburn 1-26:32, Andrew Patterson 1-27:47, Jim Brown 1-27:58, Kath Hardcastle 1-36:03, Roger Biggs 1-38:03, Kevin Smyth 1-39:27, Amanda Brook 1-42:46, Andrew Hull 1-44:26, Frances Ridgway 1-47:51, Paul Holgate 1-52:30, Carol Paul 1-57:06, David Paul 1-59:13, Alison Suckling 2-03:24, Craig Snowden 2-12:34.

Seventeen triathletes from Hitchin-based triathlon club FVS TRI took on the best runners in the region at the Watford Half Marathon.

Top veteran runner Brian White, lead run coach at the multi-sport club, continued to shine by winning the MV50 category in a time of 1-19:10.

White was first home for the club in 41st, with the first lady honours going to newest member Kerri Renshaw in a time of 1-29:18.

She was in a close race with two ironmen who were stretching their legs over the shorter distance.

Rob Wilson led the group home in 1-29:10, eight seconds ahead of Kerri with Mike Utton a further three seconds behind in 1-29:21.

Times: Brian White 1-19:10, Mike Russell 1-27:49, Rob Wilson 1-29:10, Kerri Renshaw 1-29:18, Mike Utton 1-29:21, Mark Robertson 1-29:56, Chris Suckling 1-34:35, Kevin Ash 1-35:29, Dave Hard 1-35:31, Chris Yuill 1-36:26, Lesley Dutton 1-39:50, Tony Shortland 1-42:10, John Humphris 1-42:42, Drew Lowrie 1-46:15, Dave Farthing 1-48:20, Ellie Burton 1-49:25, Paul Dutton 1-57:27.

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