Runners mourn the loss of Paul

PUBLISHED: 10:57 16 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:37 06 May 2010

North Herts Road Runners

North Herts Road Runners

It was an emotional morning in Lincolnshire as North Herts Road Runners competed at the Stamford Valentine s 30k on Sunday. Partially sighted Paralympian Paul Pearce, killed in an accident on Thursday, was due to run in the race as part of his preparation

It was an emotional morning in Lincolnshire as North Herts Road Runners competed at the Stamford Valentine's 30k on Sunday.

Partially sighted Paralympian Paul Pearce, killed in an accident on Thursday, was due to run in the race as part of his preparations for the Para-World Championships in Japan in April.

As a tribute, the organisers from Stamford Striders dedicated the race to Paul and there was an impeccably observed one minute's silence before the race.

Condolences were paid to the members of North Herts Road Runners from many runners of other clubs as Paul was a well-known and popular figure on the road racing circuit.

Club press officer Dave Ross said: "It was a difficult day but we all ran knowing it would have been what Paul would have wanted us to do."

The race itself was beset with rain from start to finish as more than 500 runners tackled nearly 19 miles of hills on a tough, rural course through Lincolnshire and Leicestershire.

With forthcoming marathons at Rome, Paris and London, the Squirrels ran well in a race designed to fit in with the build up to 26.2 miles in the spring.

Gary Cook ran beyond his expectations to complete the run in 2-02:07 as he led the team home.

Melissa Winters was the club's leading lady, finishing in 2-11:18.

Other finishers in the seldom run distance were Mark Young (2-11:00), Duncan Hooker, Steve Taplin, Clive Adams (all 2-14:28), Martyn Annetts (2-17:27), Suzy Crowe (2-19:54), Jo Summers (2-30:32), Dave Ross (2-31:39), Claire Messenger, Lysa Ralph (both 2-32:00), Paul Bowal (2-59:59) and Lindsay Cook (3-18:43).

The Fairlands Valley Spartans pair of Mel and Cameron Boyd showed the way round a damp and gruelling Stamford Valentine's 30k race. Mel was an excellent first of nine Spartans in 2-09:47 and 102nd place overall.

The women's trio of Boyd, Chris King (2-16:41) and Peta Wilson (2-34:04) chalked up an impressive total of just 32 seconds over seven hours.

Sharon Crowley scored a new personal best - four minutes faster than last year when she finished in 2-40:04.

Times: Mel Boyd 2-09:47, Cameron Boyd 2-12:32, Jim Brown 2-14:59, Chris King 2-16:41, Mike King 2-22:34, Mark Beasley 2-23:40, Peta Wilson 2-34:04, Sharon Crowley 2-40:04 pb, Mark Freeman 2-42:30.

Roger Biggs raced round the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in the Brands Hatch Half Marathon on Saturday. He ran his fastest half-marathon since 1999; he finished in 1-39:17.

Carol Paul ran the same race in 1-57:27.

Roger was out again on Sunday, this time with two others, for the Punchbowl 30-mile race.

The off-road event over the hills of Surrey near Godalming.

Mike Newbitt was first Spartan in this marathon plus with a time of 6-39:30. He was followed by Robert Hardy in 6-54:25 and Biggs in 8-13:44.

Gavin May and John Burgess represented FVS TRI at the Stamford 30k.

May was in superb form to record a new personal best of 1-56:35 and 16th overall position.

Burgess was using the race as part of his build-up for the London Marathon, having won a place in the FVS TRI club ballot, and finished in an excellent 2-14:06 to give a top 75 finish in his first 30k event.

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