Spartans are going up

Fairlands Valley Spartans are guaranteed promotion to the midweek league s top division even before the last race has been run. A huge turnout of 70 Spartans and sparkling performances by some of the club s faster runners saw them triumph in the third of

Fairlands Valley Spartans are guaranteed promotion to the midweek league's top division even before the last race has been run.

A huge turnout of 70 Spartans and sparkling performances by some of the club's faster runners saw them triumph in the third of four races last Wednesday.

Race three saw the Spartans beat neighbours North Herts Road Runners on actual points as well as race positions.

They now top the table by two points ahead of North Herts and are already guaranteed promotion with one more scoring event still to go.

Once again the men finished second behind Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers but this time the ladies beat North Herts to give Spartans a total score of 13 points on the night compared to 11 for North Herts and nine for Shaftesbury BH.

The ladies' vets also beat North Herts vets for the first time and the men's vets finished first equal with a strong Herts Phoenix vets team out on their home course.

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There were some excellent individual performances as well. First home for Spartans was Richard Bate in 11th position overall, closely followed by Simon Bell 12th position and third vet 40, Simon Jackson 15th, Duncan Choosey 21st and David Bowker 22nd and fifth vet 40. Ron Cohen was second vet 70.

Men's positions and times: 11 Richard Bate 27:52 pb, 12 Simon Bell 27:56, 15 Simon Jackson 28:27 pb, 21 Duncan Choosey 29:08 pb, 22 David Bowker 29:09 pb, 31 Andrew Patterson 30:27, 32 Todd Gray 30:29 pb, 44 Graham Blackburn 31:26, 48 Matthew Jamieson 31:37 pb, 49 Ben Harris 31:40 pb, 51 Phil Gale 31:41, 54 Alan Donald 31:46 pb, 56 Richard Sidlin 31:48 pb, 58 Jamie Laird 31:51 pb, 63 Michael Green 32:12 pb, 79 Andy Bramall 33:18, 84 Les Betts 33:28 pb, 90 Tom Glading 33:44 pb, 91 Jim Brown 33:45, 93 Steve Smithson 33:49, 98 Roger Biggs 34:16, 101 Gerry Corrance 34:36, 106 Mark Collins 34:56, 108 Alan Goodman 35:04 pb, 109 Simon Owens 35:05, 111 Mark Davis 35:09 pb, 114 Mick Connell 35:06, 115 Mark Beasley 35:14, 124 Chris Smyth 35:47 pb, 125 Iain Boyd 35:49 pb, 130 David Clarke 36:06 pb, 131 Mark Glading 36:07 pb, 134 Rob Shaw 36:34, 136 Mark Goodwin 37:18, 141 Rob Evans 37:43 pb, 142 Ian King 38:12 pb, 145 Andrew Hull 38:22, 149 Paul Holgate 39:21, 152 Selvan Naicker 39:53, 155 Tony Willson 40:36, 156 Roy Bowdery 40:45, 157 Peter O'Reilly 41:07 pb, 158 Mark Drummond 41:47 pb, 161 Doug Hall 43:37 pb, 162 Ian Chappell 44:17 pb, 163 Tony Osborne 44:47, 164 Alan Ridgway 45:00, 165 Ron Cohen 45:14 pb, 171 Simon Harris 57:43.

Annette Bell was the first Spartan in the ladies' race, fourth overall and second vet 35, with Amanda Brook sixth, Chris King seventh and first vet 45, Sara O'Callaghan ninth and fourth vet 35, Christine Feely third vet 45.

Ladies' positions and times: 4 Annette Bell 33:35, 6 Amanda Brook 34:20 pb, 7 Christine King 34:25pb, 9 Sara O'Callaghan 34:56 pb, 16 Christine Feely 36:21 pb, 25 Claire Haddleton 37:46, 30 Barbara Wilson 39:33, 31 Gillian McFarlane 39:46, 33 Monica Brown 39:56 pb, 39 Laura Law 40:20 pb, 43 Sharon Crowley 40:44, 48 Anna Bourne 42:27 pb, 51 Sue Leigh 42:42 pb, 52 Bev Aitken 42:45 pb, 53 Tricia Hooper 42:59 pb, 54 Nikki Nation 43:02, 57 Julie Goodwin 44:07, 59 Jeanette Collins 45:31, 65 Katrina Doyle 46:45 pb, 66 Lorraine Thomas 47:01, 68 Maria Thorne 47:45 pb.

There were a phenomenal 38 Spartans personal bests including Maria Thorne, Sara O'Callaghan, Laura Law, Jamie Laird, Richard Sidlin, Amanda Brook, Mark Drummond, Katrina Doyle, Chris Feely, Susan Leigh, Doug Hall, Iain Boyd, Bev Aitken, Monica Brown, Tricia Hopper, Chris King, David Bowker, Simon Jackson, Mark Glading, Alan Donald, Todd Gray and David Clarke.

Six clubs took part and 70 out of the 242 finishers were Spartans.

The final scoring race is back in Stevenage, this time from Ridlins, next Wednesday (June 25).

North Herts Road Runners cemented their second place in the midweek league in the penultimate race of the series. There were 59 of their runners to tackle the five-mile course.

The ladies remain in first place overall despite finishing second to the Spartans in Welwyn GC.

Paula Adams finished second in the ladies' race in a time of 32:08 with Natasha Pitman in third place in 32:13. Suzy Trott was next to complete the two-lap course, coming in 10th place in 36:05. Jo Harbon (17th, 36:32), Emma Bradley (19th, 36:53) and Jo Summers (22nd, 37:30) were the next ladies over the line.

Other results: Lucy Sparkes 37:32 23rd, Anna Priestley 39:24 29th, Vicky Brannan 40:20 35th, Linda Aird 40:33 38th, Rachel Annetts 40:47 41st, Anne Callis 41:22 44th, Karen Dodsworth 41:38 45th Lindsay Cook 42:41 49th, Vanessa Rolfe 43:46 55th, Lorraine Hewitt 45:48 60th, Christine Sharp 46:04 63rd, Karen Otway 52:14 70th, Paula Eddy 57:01 71st.

The men finished third in Welwyn GC with Steve McKeown coming home eighth in a time of 27:16.

Gary Cook was the next to complete the course in 19th place and a time of 28:49. James Atkins was 20th in 28:51 with Keiron McGill the next to cross the line in 29th place and 30:01.

Tim Street returned from university in Southampton and put in an excellent performance. His time of 30:38 secured him 34th and valuable points for the team.

Peter Scrowther and Mark Young put in impressive performances in the Vet 40 category, finishing in 37th and 40th place respectively. Scrowther completed the race in 31:15 and Oliver Saville made a promising return from injury finishing in 31:25 with his trademark strong sprint finish. Richard Thackery (31:35) and Stewart Bryant (31:45) were next home.

Other results: John Russell 32:04 59th, Adrian Sherwood 32:06 61st, Richard Harbon 32:11 62st, John Franklin 32:36 69th, Peter Turner 32:50 70th, Johnny Spinks 33:02 74th, Mike Moralee 33:04 75th, Martyn Annetts 33:10 76th, James Walsh 33:16 78th, Stewart Smither 33:27 83rd MV60, Alan Jones 33:32 85th, Mike Mello 33:37 86th, Chris Priestley 33:58 94th, Mike Bryant 34:03 96th, Kevin Kirk 34:12 97th, Derek Myall 35:32 120th, Tom Young 35:40 121rd, Simon Tucker 35:59 127th, Duncan Hooker 36:08 128rd, Finlay Simpson 37:21 137th, Roger Bamberough 38:24 144th, Donald Powell 38:37 147th, Paul Bowal 39:15 148th, Matthew Rix 39:31 150th, David Ross 40:17 153rd, Colin Hewitt 40:21 154th, Kodi Nagananda 42:36 159th, Bill Crone 42:52 160th, Geoff Pettengell 49:18 169th.