There’s no break for local runners

The Fairlands Valley Spartans were out in force for the Buntingford End of Year 10-mile road race on Sunday morning. Twenty three Spartans tackled the tough course and stiff southerly breeze and some excellent times were recorded. Seven were faster than 7

The Fairlands Valley Spartans were out in force for the Buntingford End of Year 10-mile road race on Sunday morning.

Twenty three Spartans tackled the tough course and stiff southerly breeze and some excellent times were recorded.

Seven were faster than 70 minutes and two - Chris King and Jim Brown - were prize winners.

The first Spartan finisher was Martin Wood who was 19th in 62:02 and first Spartan woman was King, 108th in 72:39. She won the prize for third male veteran (45 plus) and Brown was third male veteran (50 plus).

Times: Martin Wood 62:02, Declan Clynes 63:25, Simon Jackson 64:28, Graham Blackburn 65:25, Andy Garrett 65:32, Jim Brown 66:39, Steve Dear 67:57, Mark Beasley 72:20, Chris King 72:39, Roger Biggs 75:15, Mark Glading 76:24, Rob Shaw 76:34, Richard Sidlin 76:41, Chris Newbitt 79:28, Frances Ridgway 81:38, Carol Paul 88:22, Sharon Crowley 88:23, Kevin Williams 91:09, Dave Paul 93:27, Alison Suckling 93:35, Lorraine Thomas 95:09, Alan Ridgway 97:17, Sharon Jenkins 109:18.

Two Spartans also enjoyed the Ely New Year's Eve 10k road race.

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Andrew Hull was 204th in 48:22 and despite the wind, Ann Tryssesoone ran a new personal best of 56:13. She was 367th and there were 539 finishers.

Jim Brown surprised himself with 19:51 in the last last Friday of the Month 5k for 2006.

That was enough to move him up to over 75 per cent for the series and to 20th out of the 1,086 participants in these popular lunchtime races in Hyde Park, London.

Six Spartans shook off the Christmas pudding and turned out for the Pirton Boxing Day run.

Annette Bell was first woman in the race with a time of 21:40 on the multi-terrain 3.2 mile (just over 5k) course.

Times: Simon Bell 18:30, Paul Maguire 21:09, Annette Bell 21:40, Andrew Hull 24:04, Peta Wilson 24:06, Ann Tryssesoone 29:04.

Jim Brown has achieved his target for the last three years by scoring 75 per cent or more in the all the club championship distances in a single season.

The club championship includes races at 1500m, 5k, five miles, 10k, 10 miles, half marathon, 20 miles and full marathon. Percentage scores are based on world validated tables and are age related.

In 2006, Jim held current county gold medals for 5k, 10k (track), 10 miles, half marathon and full marathon, plus silver for 1500m and bronze for 10k (road). He races in the 'super veteran' (50 plus) category.

North Herts Road Runners Steve and Astrid McKeown ended the year in style as they both produced personal bests over 10 miles at the Buntingford Year End 10 Mile Road Race on New Year's Eve.

Steve was ninth and finished under 60 minutes with a time of 59:13 while wife Astrid lowered her own club record, set earlier in the year, to 62:14 as she finished as the second female in a race of more than 500 competitors.

It was a fine performance by both runners over a challenging hilly course in windy conditions, and they were joined by a further 17 Squirrels.

Personal bests were also achieved by Dave Gifford (63:55), Claire Messenger (73:56), Neil Ward (74:14) and Graham Thompson (84:04).

Other finishers were John Franklin (65:09), Martyn Annetts (67:44), Norman Leslie (68:53), Jane Chappell (69:00), Mark Young (72:00), Derek Myall (73:58), Dave Frampton (77:35), Lysa Ralph (78:24), Anne Callis (79:12), Dave Ross (80:16), Jon Hunt (81:16), John Atkinson (83:43) and Kodi Nagananda (92:04).

Rain and wind were also the order of the day at December's Serpentine 5k at Hyde Park on Friday.

Four members completed the race with Martyn Annetts first home for the club in 19:24, followed by Dave Ross (23:24), Colin Calcutt (23:29) and Rachel Lancaster (24:36).

There were 20 club members in action on Boxing Day at the Pirton 3.2 mile run with Gary Cook finishing fourth with a time of 18:59 out of a field of more than 200 runners.

The FVS Tri pair of Sally and Dave Harkins made the trip to Edinburgh to celebrate Hogmanay and to compete in the New Year's Day triathlon.

Sadly the celebrations were cancelled due to adverse weather but typically the triathlon went ahead as planned!

The sprint event was over a 400m swim in the Commonwealth pool, an 11-mile cycle over three laps of Arthur's Seat on closed roads, and a 3.5-mile run over one lap of Arthur's Seat.

Dave completed the tough event in 1-33:01 and Sally 1-50:43 with the wind so strong in places that the bikes were almost stationary!

Top triathlete Steve Harrison ended 2006 on a high note in the high quality Ribble Valley 10k. Despite running a personal best of 32.00, this was only good enough for 11th in a race won by international steeplechaser Stuart Stokes in 30:13 heading a field of 953 finishers.

Chris Suckling led the men home at the Buntingford 10-mile road race in 1-10:04 followed by Chris Yuill who was first home for the women in 1-14.

Jackie Perry was rewarded with a third place finish in the FV45 veteran category in a time of 1-14:15.

Times: Chris Suckling 1-10:04, Christine Yuill 1-14:00, Jackie Perry 1-14:15, Andrew Procter 1-16:07, Lesley Dutton 1-17:01, Robbie Laughton 1-17:05, Tony Shortland 1-18:51, David Farthing 1-22:02, Richard Thomas 1-22:12, Drew Lowrie 1-22:12, Matthew Hickman 1-27:45, Paul Dutton 1-30:16.

Paul Gibb (fifth) led home the club's runners for the fourth annual Pirton Boxing Day run. He ran 19:03 for the 3.2 mile off road course with 249 runners.

Andrew Mussett (24th) recorded a new under-17 course record with 21:14 which also placed him third in the club.

Times: Paul Gibb 19:03, Mark Robertson 20:25, Andrew Mussett 21:14, Jeremy Prodger 21:47, Jeremy Lintott 21:50, Andrew Procter 22:12, Richard Easterbrook 22:17, Jackie Perry 23:19, Ed Manson 23:22, Keith Perry 23:34, Dave Farthing 23:49, Steve Mussett 26:18, Diane Perry 39:24.

Alex Turner finished his season with a cycle road race at the Hillingdon Race Circuit. Alex managed a fifth in the category four-race over 35 minutes plus five laps of the technical course which measures just under the mile. A three-man break stayed away and Alex managed second in the bunch sprint for fifth overall.

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