Santa runs 5k race in 18 minutes

MORE than 230 runners ran at least two of the evening 5K series organised by Fairlands Valley Spartans. As well as organizing the event and providing dozens of marshals, the Spartan open men s team were second in the series with 56 points – just two behi

MORE than 230 runners ran at least two of the evening 5K series organised by Fairlands Valley Spartans.

As well as organizing the event and providing dozens of marshals, the Spartan open men's team were second in the series with 56 points - just two behind the winners Garden City Runners (58) and three in front of Ampthill and Flitwick Flyers (53).

The Spartan veteran men were also second. This time with 53 points, just two behind North Herts Road Runners (55) and two in front of Garden City Runners (51).

Both Spartan women's teams were fifth.


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Spartan Dave Bowker won the Vet 50 category with two races just a shade over 17 minutes. He ran Wednesday's race in 18 minutes 5 seconds despite wearing a full Santa Claus outfit!

Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire Slopes: These days the Bedford Half Marathon is based on Wootton. The usual race technique seems to be to minimise your losses to Cranfield, nine miles into the race, then there is a wonderful fast descent most of the way to the finish.

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Ten Spartans were there to enjoy near perfect race conditions - and a very muddy car park.

Don Papworth, who finished 150th in 1:29:09, and Alison Hopwood, 580th in 1:46:18 were rewarded with new personal bests and Barbara Wilson, 779th in 1:52:54, and Alison Sucking, 1,037th in 2:03:21, recorded season's best times.

There were 1,323 finishers.

Hastings organized a one off marathon to celebrate 100 years since a 26.2 mile race was run there with 51 competitors, in 1908.

Roger Biggs was one of 1,000 and finished in 3 hours 57 minutes 41 seconds. Conditions were quite cold, overcast and misty.

Eleven Spartans raced over 4.68 miles in Sunday's cross country league fixture at Grovelands, north London.

They were Richard Bate, Duncan Choosey, Steve Smithson, David Bowker, Mark Glading, Nick Stewart, Mark Freeman, Sharon Crowley, Sarah O'Bryan, Sue Leigh and Tricia Hopper.

The results from the race have not yet been published.

The Spartans are looking for new members. The club has well over 100 members and encourages participation by all.

If you want to know more about the Spartans please contact Jim Brown (01438 354505 or 07939 687 509), Chris King (07779 880 522) or visit www.fvspartans.org.uk

FVS Tri's Steve Harrison was second in the final Stevenage 5k of the three race series in a time of 15:27 but his combined best two finishing times sadly meant a fourth overall.

Jackie Perry was second V45 overall despite missing the last race and also helped the ladies' vet team to a silver medal overall.

Brian White produced a consistent series of times to finish the third Vet 50 overall and new member Rob Davies improved in every race to finish with a PB of 20:01.

Steffan Ford also finished with a PB of 18:37 to improve by over 30 seconds in the three race series and Richard Allen consolidated his improvement with 3 finishes under 19:20.

The main action at the weekend was in the Sunday Cross Country League with the third match at Southgate.

Steve Harrison maintained his winning form and FVS TRI produced the biggest club turnout with three men's teams and three ladies teams in traditionally the weakest supported fixture before Christmas.

Results were not available from the race at time of going to press.

Chris Suckling and Darren Greene completed the Bedford Half Marathon 1:33:33 and 1:38:47 respectively.

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