Massive turnout helps midweek cause of the Spartans

PUBLISHED: 16:17 01 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:14 06 May 2010

A fantastic 70 runners - 43 men and 27 women - raced for Fairlands Valley Spartans in last Thursday s Midweek Road Race League match in Stevenage. They had easily the biggest contingent of the seven clubs contesting the fixture. And their bid for promotio

A fantastic 70 runners - 43 men and 27 women - raced for Fairlands Valley Spartans in last Thursday's Midweek Road Race League match in Stevenage.

They had easily the biggest contingent of the seven clubs contesting the fixture.

And their bid for promotion to the top division (Division One) is off to an excellent start as the Spartans were second in the race. The top two teams will be promoted at the end of the series.

Best scorer was Kath Hardcastle who was fourth woman in the race in a new personal best time of 41:08. Claire Haddleton and Chris King were ninth and tenth in 44:17 and 44:53.

For the men, Declan Clynes was 12th in 37:02 and Simon Jackson 14th in a new personal best of 37:18.

The women's team were second only two points (84-82), or eight seconds, behind Bishop's Stortford and well clear of third placed Royston. The men were third behind Royston and Herts Phoenix.

Overall, Spartans were second in this first league race and that was largely due to the tremendous number of members who took part.

There were 19 Spartans personal bests and 13 season's best times.

Combined points scores: Royston 431, Fairlands Valley Spartans 644, Bishop's Stortford 700, Herts Phoenix 679, Broxbourne 865, Harlow 1041, Shaftesbury Barnet 1144.

Spartans will be keen to advance their promotion prospects with a good turnout at the second match in Bishop's Stortford on Wednesday, June 14.

Women's times: Kath Hardcastle 41:08 pb, Claire Haddleton 44:17, Chris King 44:53, Claire Phipps 46:10, Tessa Stephenson 46:36, Frances Ridgway 46:56, Sharon Crowley 48:11, Alison Hopwood 48:58 pb, Tracy Pez 49:15, Gillian McFarlane 49:49, Carmel Thornton 49:56, Barbara Wilson 49:59, Pippa Sutcliffe50:01 pb, Chris Feely 51:15, Veronica Maguire 51:57 pb, Yvonne Jones 52:45, Sara O'Callaghan 52:50 pb, Julie Goodwin 55:17, Tricia Hopper 55:20, Michaela Norton-Lay 55:39, Maggie Brennan 56:35, Bev Harlow 56:42, Ann Tryssesoone 57:25, Sue Leigh 58:02 pb, Elisa Dunbar 59:44, Jeanette Collins 1-00:48, Liz Morgan 1-09:02 pb.

Men's times: Declan Clynes 37:02, Simon Jackson 37:18 pb, Graham Blackburn 39:19, Todd Gray 39:29, Jim Brown 40:27, Jamie Laird 41:04, Phil Eaton 41:18, Graham Preston 41:27 pb, Paul Maguire 41:37, Steve Smithson 42:20, Kevin Smyth 43:03, Tony Bradford 43:14 pb, Gary Mulhern 43:43 pb, Mark Beasley 44:10, Mike King 44:43, Andy Sheridan 44:44 pb, Andrew Hull 44:53 pb, Andy Bramall 45:07, Colin Edmondson 45:25, Mark Goodwin 45:43, Paul Schlote 45:53 pb, Tony Osborne 45:59, Rob Shaw 46:35, Richard Sidlin 46:50 pb, David Clarke 47:19 pb, Mark Glading 47:21, Paul Holgate 47:31, Nick Stewart 47:52, Ian Chappell 48:07 pb, Gerry McCabe 48:28 pb, Mick Connell 48:42, Mark Freeman 49:21, Pete Macey 49:49, Selvan Naicker 52:04, Tony Willson 52:22, Dave Huffington 52:40, Mark Collins 53:35, Geoff Bysouth 53:42, David Smith 53:44, Andy Jay 54:45 pb, Doug Hall 55:18, Mark Sanders 56:14, Opalan Naidoo 1-01:02.

Four days later, a dozen Spartans were at the Hatfield Broad Oak 10k.

Two came back with new personal best times and seven with season's bests.

First Spartan finisher Jim Brown was delighted to dip under 40 minutes for the first time in ages with a new season's best time of 39:44.

Steve Smithson ran his fastest 10k for five years and finished in 40:16.

Richard Sidlin cut his 10k personal best by more than two minutes to 44:05 and Liz Morgan set a new best of 66:02.

Times: Jim Brown 39:44, Steve Smithson 40:16, Richard Sidlin 44:05 pb, Mick Connell 44:59, Paul Holgate 45:47, Chris Leigh 46:25, Sharon Crowley 46:28, Bev Harlow 55:04, Sue Connell 56:16, Elisa Dunbar 57:08, Ian Collier 57:55, Liz Morgan 66:02 pb.

Despite a fall, five-year-old Zander Brown completed the one-mile fun run in 11:25.

Roger Biggs ran the Vermont City Marathon in America on Sunday and finished in 3-51:26 in 80 degree heat.

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