Six of the best for Spartans’ marathon runners

Six Fairlands Valley Spartans started their 2008 marathon season in Stevenage at the tough 100 Marathon Club AGM Handicap Marathon on Saturday. Taking in 14 laps of Fairlands Valley Park, the 42 hills took their toll on all 55 runners in the event, making

Six Fairlands Valley Spartans started their 2008 marathon season in Stevenage at the tough 100 Marathon Club AGM Handicap Marathon on Saturday.

Taking in 14 laps of Fairlands Valley Park, the 42 hills took their toll on all 55 runners in the event, making achieving handicap an achievement in itself.

Paul Holgate and Roger Biggs both managed to just finish ahead of their handicap times (based upon marathon times achieved in 2007).

Michaela Sanders and Rob Hardy both just missed their times by a few minutes.


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Mark Sanders and Dave Farthing completed all 14 laps despite being outside of their handicap times.

Times: Roger Biggs 3-42:07; Paul Holgate 4-27:30; Rob Hardy 4-28:29; Dave Farthing 5-02:19; Michaela Sanders 5-07:16 and Mark Sanders 5-19:15.

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A strong contingent from North Herts Road Runners were at the Buntingford Year End 10.

There were a number of significant results recorded.

Astrid McKeown ended the year on a high, as gold medal winning Vet 35 plus and second woman overall in a new North Herts club record of 1-01:33.

Dave Frampton was silver medal winner in the Vet 50 plus category in 1-05:08.

Melissa Winters won silver medal in the senior women's category in 1-07:15.

Fastest runner overall on the day for the club, while also setting a Vet 35 plus club record, was Steve McKeown in a time of 58:10. He was sixth overall in the race.

Ron Cohen is still breaking records for the club in the Vet 75 plus category - in a good time of 1-35:28.

Women: Natasha Pitman 1-08:26, Claire Messenger 1-14:43, Jo Summers 1-18:30, Anne Callis 1-21:29, Anna Priestley 1-25:32, Karen Dodsworth 1-27:50, Rachel Annetts 1-27:54, Linda Aird 1-29:31, Angela Piumi 1-29:44, Vanessa Rolfe 1-35:32, Sally Harkins 1-37:33, Lindsay Cook 1-39:50.

Men: Gary Cook 1-01:07, John Russell 1-05:50, Peter Scrowther 1-06:46, Norman Leslie 1-07:13, Marcello Conetta 1-09:13, Mark Young 1-10:07, Chris Dowsett 1-11:28, Michael Mello 1-12:08, Johnny Spinks 1-12:25, Chris Priestley 1-13:29, Jon Hunt 1-20:10, Colin Calcutt 1-20:19, Finlay Simpson 1-20:58, Brian Bailey 1-22:08, Gerald Rolfe 1-22:48, Martyn Annetts 1-27:54, Graham Thompson 1-28:57, Steve Taplin 1-29:19, David Benson 1-30:50, Jean-Marc Beloulou 1-35:16, Mark Yelland 1-52:05.

John Russell made two visits to Hyde Park and was the sole representative from the club in both races.

The first visit was to take part in the December Serpentine Last Friday of the Month 5k.

John was third Vet 45 plus with a time of 18:31 - not bad given the windy and cold conditions.

He was back four days later to take part in the Serpentine New Year's 10k.

John was clocked at 39 minutes exactly, was 32nd overall and fourth Vet 45 plus.

The Stevenage and North Herts AC member Anne Rees competed in the Southern Counties Combined Events Championships in the Lee Valley indoor stadium at Edmonton.

She was fifth in the under-17 age group with 2,703 points. Her individual event performances were 10.00 secs (60m hurdles), 1.54m (high jump), 8.27m (shot), 4.52m (long jump) and 2:48.90 (800m).

Anne ran in another meet at Lee Valley the previous weekend, clocking 9.8 (hand time) and 9.95 secs for her two races over the 60m hurdles.

Cameron Webb, now in the under-20 age group, ran two 60m races clocking 7.39 secs and 7.37 secs.

Sam Pollard (under-17 man) clocked 7.88 secs and 7.7(hand) for his two 60m races.

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