Tash claims third in Basle

Natasha Pitman of the North Herts Road Runners raced to international success on Sunday by finishing third in the Basle marathon. She recorded a new personal best time of 3-04:54 to take a place on the podium in a competitive field, with second place runn

Natasha Pitman of the North Herts Road Runners raced to international success on Sunday by finishing third in the Basle marathon.

She recorded a new personal best time of 3-04:54 to take a place on the podium in a competitive field, with second place runner Ragusa Tatjana of Germany finishing only 20 seconds in front of her over the scenic four-lap course.

The North Herts athlete has taken part in a number of marathons but her success in Basle represents her best performance over the distance to date and builds on a number of impressive performances in British events.

North Herts Road Runners were in action in the first Three Counties cross-country league race of the season and 41 Squirrels tackled the muddy, hilly Dunstable course in wet weather.

The results from the first race were excellent with the men finishing in second place and the ladies in joint third.

The men were led home by Neilson Hall and Neil Miller who posted a dominating one-two, finishing first and second respectively and setting down the standard for the rest of the season.

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New club member Luke Humphreys came home in seventh place in his first ever race in a North Herts vest and looks set to be a valuable addition to the men's team.

Steve McKeown was in his usual strong form crossing the line in ninth and Gary Cook, who has been concentrating on longer distances over recent months, finished in an excellent 20th place over the four and a half mile course.

The other scoring members of the men's team, packing the middle order, were Oliver Saville (29th), who has returned from injury, Peter Scrowther (32nd) and Peter Northover (33rd).

Paula Adams was first home for the Squirrels in the ladies' race and finished in eighth place.

Claire Messenger finished in 13th and Suzie Trott crossed the line in 15th. Those three completed the ladies' scorers but all of the female North Herts competitors put in valuable runs for the team.

Jo Summers was the next to finish in 17th place with Karen Dodsworth behind in 22nd.

Other finishers: Anna Priestley 31st, Lindsay Cook 51st, Anne Callis 61st, Christine Sharp 74th, Shirley Calcutt 85th, Lorraine Hewitt 92nd, Joy Stroud 117th.

North Herts are in second position after the first race and will look to build on their success in the next league event at Leighton Buzzard on November 23.

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