Bumper bank holiday fun for North Herts Road Runners and Fairlands Valley Spartans

Published: 10:33 AM May 4, 2022

The bank holiday weekend provided a bumper haul of races for both North Herts Road Runners and Fairlands Valley Spartans to enjoy.

Both clubs turned out in force at the Hitchin 10k, the event starting and finishing in the town centre and using a clockwise loop through the villages of Gosmore and Charlton.

New signing Ben Hadman took the win for NHRR in a time of 33 minutes 23 seconds while Karen Townsend (42:03), Rhia Botha (43:05) and Laura Fairbanks (47:30) all recorded PBs, Townsend coming third overall in the women’s race too.

Fairlands Valley Spartans at the Hitchin 10k

Fairlands Valley Spartans at the Hitchin 10k – Nick Gill, Andy Jay, Zoe Jackson, Jim Brown, Ashley Johnson, Georgie Hooper, Ross Gallagher. – Credit: FVS

Spartans had 25 out of the 518 finishers with Jonathan Parr second overall in 34:24 and Kelvin Beyioku fifth in 36:42.

Ashley Johnson was fourth in the women’s race, clocking 42:37, while Nick Gill improved his PB with 41:28.

Sharon Crowley ran her first 10k in some time and finished in 1:05:21.

The London Vitality 10k was another popular destination as was the Milton Keynes festival of running.

North Herts were the 14th male team with PBs for Tom Webb (31:54), Mike Roberts (33:30) and Stewart Overton (34:05).

Debbie Blantern of Fairlands Valley Spartans with friend Emma Wood at the Vitality London 10,000.

Debbie Blantern of Fairlands Valley Spartans with friend Emma Wood at the Vitality London 10,000. – Credit: FVS

For Spartans’ Debbie Blantern, the London event was her first race since December 2019. She finished in 58:41 while for friend Emma Wood this was her first actual race.

Samantha Sutton meanwhile ran at Hitchin (1:12:40) and London (1:11:55).

Lucy O'Connor, Richard Weber, Anna Gibson and Greg Bowie of North Herts Road Runners at MK

Lucy O’Connor, Richard Weber, Anna Gibson and Greg Bowie of North Herts Road Runners at Milton Keynes. – Credit: NHRR

In MK Lucy O’Connor of NHRR clocked a PB of 4:01:00 in the marathon while Hazel Smith of FVS took almost 24 minutes of her previous best with 3:59:40

Spartans’ Rob Wright also recorded a PB, finishing the half marathon in 1:35:31.

The Road Runners also used the bank holiday for a parkrun tour, taking 17 to Great Denham near Bedford, and it proved a great trip for Katie Harbon as she set a new club parkrun record of 18:10, finishing as first female overall too.

Nick Malpeli, who also finished second, and Adrian Sherwood also beat their previous parkrun bests with 17:58 and 18:54.