Tough times at Bury 20

A dozen Fairlands Valley Spartans ran the tough Bury St Edmunds 20-mile road race on Sunday. The whole course was undulating and there were particularly challenging hills at nine and 18 miles. Simon Jackson ran a brilliant personal best of 2-11:59 and was

A dozen Fairlands Valley Spartans ran the tough Bury St Edmunds 20-mile road race on Sunday.

The whole course was undulating and there were particularly challenging hills at nine and 18 miles.

Simon Jackson ran a brilliant personal best of 2-11:59 and was 16th overall out of the 398 finishers.

Times: Simon Jackson 2-11:59 pb, Jim Brown 2-23:56, Richard Sidlin 2-31:13, Chris King 2-31:16, Sara O'Callaghan 2-50:12, Chris Leigh 2-55:39 pb, Rob Shaw 3-02:54, Paul Holgate 3-19:34, Sharon Crowley 3-27:10, Susan Leigh 3-34:48, Samantha Smeeton 3-34:48, Ron Cohen 3-38:12, Andy Garrett 1-03:42 (9.4 mile race), Karen Wells 1-28:48 (9.4 mile race).

Amanda Brook achieved a long term target when she smashed the four-hour marathon barrier on Sunday.

Three Spartans were in Southern Spain for the Seville Marathon with the race starting and finishing at the Stadio Olympico.

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Amanda finished in a new personal best of 3-51:07, while Roger Biggs came home in 3-34:17 and Gerry McCabe in 3-53:40.

Kerry James ran the Sussex Beacon Half Marathon in Brighton. The weather was almost perfect, dry, cool, bright blue skies and sunny with only a slight sea breeze.

She completed the race in a season's best time of 1-37:51 and was 63rd woman and 566th overall out of 3,714 finishers.

Annette and Simon Bell ran the Sleaford Half Marathon on Sunday. It was an undulating course which included five miles on dirt or grass tracks!

Simon was first veteran and fourth male overall in 1-18:23 and Annette was second woman veteran (40 plus) in 1-36:06.

Steven Mills ran the Malta marathon on Sunday in a time of 4-03:42.

New club member Les Betts won the Spartans handicap 5k race in Stevenage last Thursday with an excellent time of 21:51. He was ninth fastest in the race.

Fastest man on the evening was Ben Harris, 18th on handicap, in 19:19.

n Six members from North Herts Road Runners travelled to Suffolk on Sunday to join 398 other runners taking part in the Bury 20-mile run.

Melissa Winters was first home in a time of 2-23:42, followed closely by Natasha Pitman who was hot on her heels finishing with a time of 2-24:26.

Richard Thackeray was the first male runner home for the club in a time of 2-25:56.

The remaining Squirrels - Mike Mello 2-46:50, Anne Callis 2-59:17 and David Benson 3-36:43 - followed the tight finishing positions of the first three.

Two other Squirrels travelled further afield to take part on the national cross-country championships at Alton Towers, Staffs.

The course was challenging with a steep hill on every lap. Lindsay Cook finished the two-lap 8k ladies' race in 468th, while husband Gary finished in the top third of the 12k men's race in 409th.

n Samantha Cutler from Stotfold also competed at Alton Towers.

The race was combined and both under-17 and under-20 women competed together.

She put in a fantastic performance to finish 65th in a high-class field and ran the 5k hilly course in 17:13.

Sam is now looking forward to the English schools' final in Liverpool on March 8.

n Four members of FVS TRI travelled to Milton Keynes to compete in the second winter duathlon around the MK Bowl.

The multi-discipline event was held over a 4.5k run, 16k bike and a 4k run to finish.

Greg Evans was first home for the club in 1-07:06 with Gemma Sargent in second in 1-13:30.

Simon Douglas completed his duathlon debut in 1-17:51 having lost time in attempting to retrieve a dropped drinks bottle.

Meline Fletcher completed her second event this year with a 1-23:58.

Steve Musset ran the Bury 20 in 3-12 as part of his build-up for the London Marathon.

Brenda Bozwood Davies ran the Wellingborough Multi Terrain 5k in a slightly better time than the previous month, finishing in 28:19, 46th from 68 finishers.

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