McKeowns go to the ball

Husband and wife duo Steve and Astrid McKeown were celebrating at the North Herts Road Runners annual ball and awards evening. The duo were delighted to win awards for their fantastic performances over 2008 on Saturday night at the Letchworth Hall Hotel.

Husband and wife duo Steve and Astrid McKeown were celebrating at the North Herts Road Runners' annual ball and awards evening.

The duo were delighted to win awards for their fantastic performances over 2008 on Saturday night at the Letchworth Hall Hotel.

Astrid was awarded the trophies for not only being the most improved female runner but also the best female club runner for 2008. She also won the ladies' short course championship, awarded to the runner with the best performance in 5k, five miles and 10k.

Steve won the male short course championship as well as being awarded the trophy for the best male club runner.


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Tash Pitman won the ladies' long course championship with Stewart Bryant winning the male long course championship for their performances over 10 mile, half marathon and marathon.

Chris Priestley was the most improved male runner after his strong performances coming back from injury.

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Gary Cook and Karen Dodsworth were the male and female club runners for 2008 awarded to members for participation in 15 club events as both managed an amazing 100 per cent turnout in 2008.

Pete Scrowther won the coaches award and was voted the club personality of the year being recognised for his efforts with the club's stats and Pete Sibbett was awarded the 101 per cent award recognising his contribution to the club over 2008 despite a serious injury.

The Squirrels were also in marathon action throughout Europe.

Linda Aird smashed her personal best by 35 minutes in the Abingdon marathon in Oxfordshire, completing the race in a time of 4-36:09.

Adrian Sherwood finished in 79th place in a time of 3-15:19 in the Leicester marathon.

Further afield, Alan Jones ran the fifth fastest North Herts Road Runners marathon time in 2008 finishing the Amsterdam marathon in 3-23:37. Neil Ward also took part, finishing in 3-44:45.

Mike Mello struggled with the humidity in Mallorca for the Palma marathon. The race took in the narrow hilly streets of the Mallorcan capital which sadly did not cater for fast times with Mike happy to finish in 3-49:30.

* Simon Bell from Fairlands Valley Spartans finished 134th of the 6,515 finishers in the Amsterdam Marathon with a time of 2-52:45.

On a glorious day with good crowd support, Mark Sanders finished in 4-33:48 and Michaela Sanders in 4-52:02.

Sunday's Abingdon Marathon was run on a great new course and with almost perfect running conditions.

Jim Brown was 149th out of 647 finishers in 3-15:55, while Amanda Brook was 330th in 3-44:22 and Rob Shaw 376th in 3-52:45.

Dennis Cannon, 72, was the winner of the V70 (male vets over-70) section of the Ampthill and Flitwick cross-country race on Sunday.

He completed the five-mile course in 47 minutes and was 110 in a field of 220, most of whom were half his age.

The course included the horrendous Heartbreak Hill which the runners had to climb three times!

Dennis now plans to run the Bedford six miles this Sunday along the much flatter riverside course.

Terry Woolley, another Spartan septuagenarian, ran the Lea Valley 10k in 1-04:02.

Chris King was 90th out of 465 finishers in the Leicester Marathon with a time of 3-18:40. Bev Aitken was 866th out of 1,331 in the half marathon in 2-02:22.

The Cabbage Patch 10 is a 10-mile race in Twickenham that starts from close to the Cabbage patch pub, hence the name! Chris Leigh finished in a new personal best of 74:46.

Michelle Dighton completed her goal of running non-stop for her first ever 10k, at Hatfield House on Sunday. She ran it in a time of 1-20.

Four Spartans tackled the Founders Challenge Off Road Marathon based on Peaslake in Surrey at the weekend.

It was a tough race with lots of steep climbs but beautiful countryside.

Michael Newbitt finished in 5-09, while Carol Paul, Dave Paul and Kevin Lawlor finished together in exactly six hours.

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