Squirrels are just nuts about reaching national finals

North Herts Road Runners are in the national finals of their cross-country league. The Squirrels travelled to Northants on Sunday to take part in the fifth and final race of the Three Counties cross-country league. Despite the distance to the race, 31 Squ

North Herts Road Runners are in the national finals of their cross-country league.

The Squirrels travelled to Northants on Sunday to take part in the fifth and final race of the Three Counties cross-country league.

Despite the distance to the race, 31 Squirrels were able to take part on a fantastic day for running.

This ensured that the club maintained its solid fourth overall position in the league and qualified to take part in the national finals later this spring.


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On the day, Neil Miller once again led the club in winning style finishing first and clinching overall first place in the men's championship.

The men's scoring team made up of Neil Miller (winner), Steve McKeown (ninth), Gary Cook (13th), Pete Sibbett (22nd), John Russell (31st), Keiron McGill (34th) and Stewart Bryant (47th) finished fourth overall on the day and in the men's league.

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Derek Myall also finished as the first V60 male.

Natasha Pitman was the first to finish in fifth place in the ladies' race, closely followed by Paula Adams (ninth) and Anne Callis (21st) making up the scoring team.

The ladies finished in an excellent third place on the day and second in the league overall.

All finishers were: Neil Miller, Steve McKeown, Gary Cook, Pete Sibbett, John Russell, Keiron McGill, Stewart Bryant, Peter Northover, Natasha Pitman, David Frampton, John Spinks, Paula Adams, Duncan Hooker, Clive Adams, Derek Myall, Michael Moralee, Anne Callis, Finlay Simpson, Donald Powell, Karen Dodsworth, Brian Bailey, Russell Smyth, Ian Sutcliffe, John Atkinson, Jo Summers, Lindsay Cook, Christine Sharp, Ronald Jennings, Geoff Pettengell, Marion Yeeles, and Joy Stroud.

The club's marathon runners were also out in force at the Stamford 30k.

Adrian Sherwood was the first North Herts Road Runner back in 2-10:49.

Mark Young was next in 2-13:46 followed by Melissa Winters finishing as 12th lady in 2-13:58.

Richard Sidlin from Fairlands Valley Spartans had a weekend to remember.

He chopped an enormous 41 minutes off his 30k personal best when he finished the Stamford 30k race 151st in 2-17:46.

Conditions were almost perfect for the event but this is nationally recognised as a tough race and the course includes part of Rutland. Last year he was 448th in 2-59:02.

First Spartan to finish was Jim Brown who was 119th out of the 608 finishers in 2-14:10.

Times: Jim Brown 2-14:10, Richard Sidlin 2-17:46 pb, Steve Mills 2-31:12, Mark Glading 2-41:11 pb, Mark Goodwin 2-43:57, Julie Goodwin 3-12:32.

Beverley Harlow ran the Brands Hatch half marathon on Saturday in a time of 2-11:02.

It was very hilly, partly on the race track and partly off-road.

Sharon Crowley went back to her roots and ran the Dover Half Marathon on Sunday, finishing in 2-01:18.

Three Spartans tackled the Punchbowl 30, a 30 miles off-road event from Witley, near Godalming in Surrey.

It was run in ideal sunny conditions but with a variety of underfoot conditions from near perfect to almost impassable with a total of 860m of climbing.

Times: Roger Biggs 6-10:19, Mike Newbitt 6-22:57, Robert Hardy 7-15:45.

New member David Bowker was successful in one of the first 1500m races of the year when he won his category at the EVAC (Eastern Vets) indoor event at Lea Valley in a time of 4:37.5.

FVS TRI's Simon Hall and Sam Tophill were second couple in the St Valentine's 30k at Stamford in a combined time of 4-14:35, just under two minutes behind the winners.

Simon was 14th overall and third MV40 in 1-56:13, and Sam was 153rd, 15th female, and seventh LV40 in 2-18:18.

Steve Musset used the event as part of his build-up to the London Marathon and achieved his target of sub three hours with 2-59:33.

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