Runners take on testing Fairlands races while Hare Males stars in Bedford

PUBLISHED: 10:00 25 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:00 25 July 2019

Chris Leigh (front) and Sue Leigh during the Fairlands Valley Challenge. Picture: Stevenage Striders

Chris Leigh (front) and Sue Leigh during the Fairlands Valley Challenge. Picture: Stevenage Striders

Richard Underwood

Runners from Fairlands Valley Spartans, Stevenage Striders and Hitchin Hares took part in a number of races over the past week.

If a regular marathon isn't hard enough, the Fairlands Valley Challenge offered an off road marathon, an ultra 50k course, a half marathon and 18-mile course.

Nearly 300 runners - including Spartans and Striders - took part in the race, including Fairlands Valley member Sharon Crowley who has taken part in all 25 years of the challenge, finishing this year's in 7:54:38.

In the marathon distance, Strider Danik Bates overcame a reoccurring glute injury to grab fourth place in a time of 04:55:53.

Chris and Sue Leigh ran around together to finish in a time of 06:00:34, while in the 18-mile event, Fiona Davies completed the distance in 04:03:07, and Brendon Kelly and Peter Kelly finished the half marathon.

n Across the Atlantic, Striders Esperanza Castro and Phil Deaves took on Meadowvale Parkrun, located in to the west of Canadian city Toronto.

Three-laps on paved trail paths around Lake Aquitaine was the order of the day, and the pair took on the blazing heat to both finish in the top ten.

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Deaves finished fourth overall to come in at 24:01, while Castro came in eighth in 25:44.

n While Hitchin Hares don't have a Hare of the Month prize, if they did, Pete Males would have been the runaway winner.

After smashing his personal best times at 5k and 10k ealier in July, he did it again at Bedfordshire AAA 10k road race on Friday evening.

He finished 17th out of 217 runners in a time of 35:40, while Phil Beighton was placed comfortably in the top half of the field, coming in 79th place with a seasons best time of 43:35.

Four Spartans also took part in the race, with Susan McAneny running a new personal best of 50:13, an improvement of 57 seconds.

Chris Holland (122nd) crossed the line in 48:05, Paul Holgate (212th) finished in 1:14:40, and Roger Biggs (214th) recorded a time of 1:16:22.

n New Spartan Stephen Curry took on the Caterham Half on Sunday in the two lap race around Redhill Aerodrome in Surrey.

He crossed the line in a time of 1:37:25.

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