Neil’s top man

NEIL Miller won the battle but North Herts Road Runners lost the war in the final Three Counties League cross-country fixture at Dunstable. Miller was one of 48 North Herts runners who endured five miles of ploughing through inches of sticky, heavy clay o

NEIL Miller won the battle but North Herts Road Runners lost the war in the final Three Counties League cross-country fixture at Dunstable.

Miller was one of 48 North Herts runners who endured five miles of ploughing through inches of sticky, heavy clay on Sunday.

The former guide runner of Paralympian Paul Pearce, Miller won the race to secure the individual league title with five victories out of five.

Astrid McKeown was also on great form and won the ladies' race on the day to finish second overall in the league.


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With Paula Adams winning the vet category, John Russell runner-up in the vet 40s and Deryk Myall winning the vet 60, there was plenty for North Herts to cheer about.

The ladies' team of McKeown, Melissa Winters (fourth) and Paula Adams (seventh) won the race and were crowned league champions ahead of Bedford Harriers.

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Their men's team of Miller, Nick Beresford (seventh), Steve McKeown (11th), Gary Cook (14th), John Russell (18th), Pete Northover (22nd) and Peter Sibbett (23rd) finished second and just 15 points behind the winners, Wootton Road Runners from Northants.

North Herts finished runners-up out of the 10 competing teams after combining the ladies' and men's scores. Wootton scored 106 and pipped North Herts by just two points on 108.

Club chairman Karen Dodsworth said: "We are delighted with the result as last season the club finished fourth.

"All our runners look forward to challenging even more strongly for the title next season."

The league is a great team event and although not scoring for North Herts, their remaining runners did finish in front of runners from other teams and in so doing increased their score.

The other runners in the men's team were: Mark Young 33rd, Adrian Sherwood 38th, Stewart Bryant 46th, Dave Frampton 49th, Phil Davies 53rd, Johnny Spinks 59th, Richard Thackeray 63rd, Duncan Hooker 70th, Steve Taplin 86th, Norman Leslie 88th, John Franklin 90th, Neil Ward 100th, Martyn Annetts 106th, Gerald Rolfe 110th, Russell Smyth 129th, Finlay Simpson 130th, Paul Bowal 135th, Don Powell 141st, Brian Bailey 150th, Colin Hewitt 151st, Bob Boss 159th, Graham Thompson 160th, Colin Calcutt 162nd and Geoff Pettengell 172nd.

The ladies' team included: Jo Summers 17th, Jo Harbon 18th, Lysa Ralph 25th, Claire Messenger 27th, Anne Callis 33rd, Allison Cook 35th, Christine Sharp 36th, Rachel Lancaster 44th, Lorraine Hewitt 45th, Lindsay Cook 51st, Marie Shonk 52nd, Bev Evison 53rd, Catherine Marsden-Jones 54th and Sally Harkins 59th.

North Herts are currently training for spring marathons including Rome, Paris and London or for 5k and 10k success in the summer.

Runners of all abilities over the age of 16 are welcome to come along on training nights.

They take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7.15pm at Whitethorn Lane, Letchworth Garden City.

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