Spartans go top of the midweek league

Fairlands Valley Spartans have edged ahead in the Midweek Road Race League helped by a spectacular turnout of 66 runners. In addition, it was the club s turn to host a race so many more Spartans were helping as 226 runners from six clubs raced round a wet

Fairlands Valley Spartans have edged ahead in the Midweek Road Race League helped by a spectacular turnout of 66 runners.

In addition, it was the club's turn to host a race so many more Spartans were helping as 226 runners from six clubs raced round a wet Stevenage last Thursday evening. A whopping 22 of the 68 women finishers were Spartans.

As in the first race, Fairlands Valley finished second behind Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers in the men's race and second behind North Herts Road Runners in the women's race.

They finished equal overall with North Herts on 12 league points, but beat their race positions by 95 points to win overall on the night.

The club's veteran men's team finished first and the vet women second.

Despite racing the previous day, Simon Bell was first home for the club in 11th place overall and second Vet 40 in 35:37. Simon Jackson (35:55) was 12th only four days after his Edinburgh Marathon personal best and David Bowker (37:05) was third Vet 40.

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In the women's race, Kath Hardcastle (40:47) was fourth overall.

Chris King (43:20, and another Spartan racing only four days after an Edinburgh marathon personal best) was sixth and first vet 45.

The race inspired 16 Spartans to record new personal bests despite the conditions and the undulating nature of the course.

Spartans have nudged ahead in the overall league table and next up is a five-mile race in Welwyn Garden City this Wednesday (June 11).

Women's positions and times: 4 Kath Hardcastle 40:47, 6 Christine King 43:20 pb equal, 8 Leanne Hyams 44:42 pb, 9 Sara O'Callaghan 45:03 pb, 13 Tracy Pez 45:44, 20 Christine Feely 46:37, 29 Gillian McFarlane 49:43, 31 Ruth Bradford 49:55, 33 Barbara Wilson 51:05, 36 Laura Law 51:48, 37 Monica Brown 51:50, 41 Sharon Crowley 52:34, 46 Bev Aitken 53:54, 50 Sue Leigh 54:29 pb, 51 Nikki Nation 54:48, 53 Sam Smeeton 55:12, 54 Trisha Hopper 55:18, 61 Penny Armstrong 57:55 pb, 62 Katrina Doyle 57:58 pb, 63 Jeanette Collins 59:20, 64 Balwinder Kandola 59:41, 66 Maria Thorne 1-02:42 pb.

Men's positions and times: 11 Simon Bell 35:37, 12 Simon Jackson 35:55, 19 David Bowker 37:05, 25 Duncan Choosey 37:45 pb, 27 Richard Bate 38:16, 29 Todd Gray 38:36, 31 Andrew Patterson 38:54, 36 Graham Blackburn 39:26, 40 Ben Harris 39:52, 45 Matthew Jamieson 40:16 pb, 48 Alan Donald 40:29, 50 Michael Green 40:37, 53 Stuart Hyams 40:57 pb, 57 Richard Sidlin 41:25, 70 Jim Brown 42:15, 71 Andrew Garrett 42:25, 79 Tom Glading 42:41 pb, 80 Steve Smithson 42:52, 81 Andy Bramall 42:52, 82 Roger Biggs 42:52, 91 Les Betts 43:20, 93 Mark Beasley 43:53, 97 Gerry Corrance 44:06, 98 Nick Stewart 44:14, 101 Mark Davis 44:24 pb, 104 Alan Goodman 44:37, 105 Mark Collins 44:46, 114 Mick Connell 45:35, 117 Iain Boyd 45:46, 124 David Clarke 46:16, 125 Mark Glading 6:17, 126 Rob Shaw 46:21, 127 Andrew Hull 46:23, 129 Mark Goodwin 46:41, 132 Andy Jay 48:14, 133 Chris Smyth 48:16 pb, 136 Paul Holgate 49:00, 138 Mike King 49:56, 146 Roy Bowdery 52:40, 147 Barry Beddall 53:31 pb, 149 Doug Hall 55:30, 153 Ron Cohen 59:38, 155 Steve Gough 1-00:44 pb, 158 Simon Harris 1-02:42 pb.

North Herts Road Runners - 16 ladies and 41 men - also ran the second race in Division Two of the Midweek Road Race League.

The ladies' team again finished in first place with four in the top five places.

Astrid McKeown won with Paula Adams in second, Natasha Pittman in third, Melissa Winters in fifth, Jo Summers in 15th and Jo Harbon in 18th making up the winning team. The North Herts ladies' veterans' team also finished in first place.

The men's team also repeated their first race performance by finishing in third place with Steve McKeown leading the team in seventh.

Gary Cook was 15th, James Atkins 25th, Pete Scrowther 34th, Richard Harbon 35th, Pete Northover 26th, Stewart Bryant 49th, Adrian Sherwood 54th, John Franklin 59th, Johnny Spinks 65th, Martyn Annetts 66th and Mike Moralee 68th.

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