Record entry in the Valley Challenge

A record-breaking 440 starters (from 566 entries) took part in the Fairlands Valley Challenge on a cool and breezy day. They ran on footpaths through the surrounding Herts villages of Datchworth, Tewin, Stapleford, Chapmore End, Watton-at-Stone, Aston and

A record-breaking 440 starters (from 566 entries) took part in the Fairlands Valley Challenge on a cool and breezy day.

They ran on footpaths through the surrounding Herts villages of Datchworth, Tewin, Stapleford, Chapmore End, Watton-at-Stone, Aston and back to Stevenage.

Big Dave Carter clocked up his 700th marathon as 29 Spartans completed one of the three distances on offer.

Seventeen Spartans were among the 240 starters for the full 26.2 mile off-road marathon distance.

Times: Amanda Brook and Richard Sidlin four hours 43 minutes exactly; Mike Newbitt 4-44:11; Carol Paul 4-46:00; Rob Shaw 4-52:30; Chris Leigh and Gerry McCabe 4-55:17; Kevin Lawlor 4-59:00; Dave Paul 5-02:00; Paul Holgate 5-19:30; Chas Avis 5-41:00; Dave Carter 5-50:46; Roger Biggs 6-15:48; Mark Sanders and Sharon Crowley 6-24:06; David Clarke 6-29:29; Rob Hardy 6-43:00.

In the 18.5 mile distance, there were 112 starters including six Spartans.

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Times: Alison Suckling three hours 27 minutes exactly; Susan Leigh 3-43:00; Julie Goodwin 3-43:00; Tricia Hopper 3-43:00; Steve Dear 3-54:00; and Terry Woolley 5-42:00.

And finally in the 12-mile option, the 88 starters included five Spartans.

Times: Anthony White 1-48:00; Barbara Wilson 2-05:00; Claire Haddleton 2-05:00; Pauline Hardy and Rob Hardy 3-08:00.

There were 28 Spartans in the 'Mob Match' in Trent Park last Wednesday.

This is a multi-terrain 9k race that celebrates the end of the Midweek Road Race League season and leads into the presentation evening.

Simon Bell was first to finish, eighth overall and second vet 40 in 32:11.

He was followed by Graham Blackburn in 36:26 and Ben Harris in 38:22.

Sara O'Callaghan was first female finisher in 40:39, followed by Tracy Pez in 42:18 and Chris McCullough in 45:26.

Spartans finished eighth of the 13 teams in the men's race, eighth also in the female race and seventh overall. They were also sixth in the vet men and fifth in the vet ladies.

There were 101 Spartans who participated in the Midweek Road Race League events. The club won the Second Division and are promoted for next year along with North Herts Road Runners.

A whopping 65 Spartan men took part in at least one of the four races. Simon Bell was fifth overall and second Vet 40. David Bowker was third Vet 40 and Ron Cohen was second Vet 70.

The Spartans were second men's team and first male vets team.

And 36 Spartan women took part in at least one race. Chris King was third woman and first Vet 45. The Spartan women's open and veteran teams were both second.

Simon Jackson did the Standard Chartered Great City Race around the streets of the City of London on Thursday night. Simon was 45th in 17:40 as 4,500 people finished.

Jim Brown completed the second Milton Keynes Half Marathon of the year in 1-32:07. He was 77th out of the 1,117 finishers.

Second overall in the race was a woman - Liz Yelling in 1-11:33!

Andrew Hull ran the St Ives 10k race on Sunday in blustery conditions in 47:22.

North Herts Road Runners men's team finished sixth in the midweek league's Mob Match last Wednesday night from 15 teams.

The ladies were also sixth from 19 clubs, securing the Squirrels sixth overall, one place ahead of Fairlands Valley Spartans.

Natasha Pitman finished fifth in the ladies' race in 37:06. Jo Summers was next over the line in 26th place and a time of 41:50 with Suzy Trott following shortly after in 31st place and 42:24.

Claire Messenger returned to racing for the club and came home in a promising time of 44:43 and 43rd place. Rachel Annetts was 64th in 47:19 with Karen Ottway finishing just inside the top 100 in 56:11.

In the men's race, Gary Cook was first to finish for North Herts, rounding off an excellent midweek league campaign. He was 42nd in 35:55.

Paul Kelly and Stewart Bryant completed the course back-to-back in 71st and 72nd place respectively. Paul recorded a time of 37:45 with Stewart following in 37:48.

Alan Jones came home in 90th in 38:32, with Martin Annetts finishing in 93rd and 48:41, and Jonny Spinks in 95th place and 38:49.

Dave Ross took part in the St Ives 10k near Huntingdon which includes a windy kilometre on an old airfield. Dave recorded a time of 49:42.

A number of Squirrels travelled to Milton Keynes on Sunday for the surprisingly scenic Milton Keynes half marathon.

Peter Scrowther finished the 13.1 mile course in an impressive personal best time of 1-26:26. Michael Mello finished in 1-40:26 and Anna Priestley came home in 1-47:34.

Mark Young felt the reward for months of hard work by completing the Ironman Switzerland and entering the elite group of athletes who have achieved the ultimate test of physical fitness - a 2.4 mile swim, 112 miles on the bike, followed by a marathon. His open water swim (1-37) was followed by a bike ride (6-23) and finally the marathon (4-07) to complete the event in 1,317th place and a time of 12-24:50.

He intends to return to Europe next year to break the 12-hour barrier.

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