Third spot in sight

Fairlands Valley Spartans were still third in the Midweek Road Race League with just one event to go. Despite missing seven of their scoring runners from the previous week s event, 43 Spartans finished last Thursday s measured 10k race at Therfield near R

Fairlands Valley Spartans were still third in the Midweek Road Race League with just one event to go.

Despite missing seven of their scoring runners from the previous week's event, 43 Spartans finished last Thursday's measured 10k race at Therfield near Royston.

Annette Bell, fourth woman in 42:31, and Chris King, eighth in 44:40, were top scorers for the club this time.

Women's times: Annette Bell 42:31 pb, Chris King 44:40, Tessa Stephenson 46:25, Amanda Brook 46:33 pb, Sharon Crowley 48:15, Ruth Bradford 49:20, Sara O'Callaghan 50:31 pb, Veronica Maguire 53:32, Bev Harlow 54:00, Elisa Dunbar 55:47, Maggie Brennan 56:43, Tricia Hopper 57:03, Lorraine Thomas 57:13, Sue Leigh 59:14.

Todd Gray led home the men in 38:44 (32nd) closely followed by Graham Blackburn in 38:56 (34th).

Men's times: Todd Gray 38:44, Graham Blackburn 38:56, Paul Maguire 40:21 pb, Andrew Patterson 40:54, Phil Eaton 41:07, Graham Preston 41:12 pb, Kevin Smyth 41:30, Steve Smithson 41:55, Mark Beasley 41:54, Steve Dear 42:40, Mark Collins 43:08, Gary Mulhern 43:31 pb, Richard Sidlin 43:50 pb, Andy Bramall 44:44, Ron Church 45:07 pb, Mick Connell 45:11, Mark Goodwin 45:12 pb, David Clarke 45:53 pb, Andrew Hull 45:52, Gerry McCabe 46:11 pb, Tony Osborne 46:13, Rob Shaw 46:46, Chris Leigh 49:15, Mike King 49:21, Mark Freeman 49:27, Paul Holgate 50:31, Tony Willson 52:12, David Smith 53:40, Terry Woolley 58:51.

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The fourth and last counting match was in Welwyn Garden City last (Wednesday) night.

With daylight until the early hours, Spartans were guaranteed a sunny finish in the White Nights marathon in St Petersburg.

The race began at 5pm on a scenic course with contrasting Russian sights. Frances Ridgway was the first Spartan to finish with a time of 4-03:43 and she was third in her category (ladies' Vet 40).

Times: Frances Ridgway 4-03:43, Roger Biggs 4-12:02, Michaela Norton-Lay 4-41:42, Carol and Dave Paul 4-47:04, Mark Sanders 5-02:57, Barbara Wilson (10k race) 49:15.

Only a week after celebrating his 60th birthday in a unique fashion, Mike Newbitt was back in action at the Hertfordshire Hobble off-road marathon.

Mike had travelled to Tourhout in Belgium to complete his 500th marathon on the actual day of his 60th birthday (June 16), crossing the finish line at 1am.

He kicked off his 501st marathon in the picturesque villages of Wydial, Barclay, Barley, Reed, Buckland and Buntingford.

On a warm day, Mike finished just inside five hours (4-58:54).

Paul Holgate decided the 26.4 miles official distance was not long enough and put in another six miles of his own to finish in 6-40:02!

Dave Carter - also adding some detours of his own - completed the course in 7-42:00, and Pauline Hardy completed the 16-mile option in 4-42:34.

Chris Newbitt ran the Chiquita Banana Man Chase 10k in London in support of Leukaemia Research and finished in a new best time of 43:14.

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