Richard leads the way as Heath runners shine

PUBLISHED: 10:15 22 February 2007 | UPDATED: 15:01 12 May 2010

Runners start the Herts Cross Country race on The Heath - Pics: Dan Wilson

Runners start the Herts Cross Country race on The Heath - Pics: Dan Wilson

ROYSTON Runners had their best result of the season as they staged the latest leg of the Herts Cross Country League on Sunday. The home club finished second in the men s section and third in the ladies to leave the club in striking distance of fourth spot

Runners start the Herts Cross Country race on The Heath - Pics: Dan Wilson

ROYSTON Runners had their best result of the season as they staged the latest leg of the Herts Cross Country League on Sunday.

The home club finished second in the men's section and third in the ladies to leave the club in striking distance of fourth spot when the competition finished with the Watford race this week.

Richard Lowden led Royston home, with a fine performance seeing him finish 10th.

Several key absentees from the previous races were fortunately replaced by returning athletes, each producing strong performances, notably for the ladies Nikki Tyrell (8th) and Michelle Maxwell (11th) and for the men Simon Brown (12th) , back after a year travelling overseas.

This was matched by their veteran counterparts helped by another returning athlete Richard Turner (21st) with Godfrey Tofts (22nd) but achieving fourth and fifth in the vets on the day.

As in previous years The Heath's numerous hills were to be tackled by many of the county's local running clubs and with the unforgiving terrain it was imperative that initial pace was correct.

For those starting too fast due to foolish boldness, or being unaware of the many leg sapping climbs tended to fade in the latter part of the race.

Therefore the race should have favoured Royston's runners with their local knowledge of the course which it did with the clubs strongest finishing result of the season.

Other Royston results: Ladies - Leesa Duff 16th, Janet Tofts 26th, Natalie Lowden 27th, Libby Mitchell 29th, Mel Hill 49th, Jo Minion 55th, Maureen Miller 59th. Men's - Vince Long 28th, Paul Martin 33rd, Ryan Johnson 43rd, Paul Green 44th, Andy Pope 68th, Brian Bell 75th, Sean Allen 77th, Dave Jordan 92nd, Glenn Miller 94th, Bern O'Sullivan 130th.

- On a very cold and frosty morning eight Royston Runners took to the road to complete the Watford half marathon.

The course was gently undulating and once out of the built up areas of the town there was plenty of scenery to admire on the way round.

However, this did not distract the eight runners from all achieving personal bests: Richard Lowden (1:21:01) the first Royston runner in and finishing 56th.

Leesa Duff (1:38:50) was the first Royston lady to pass the line, Paul Hayne 1:54:17, Karl Howard 1:44:05, Natalie Lowden 1:48:09, Isabel Marriage 1:52:36, Debbie Watson 2:15:03 and Tina Hooper taking six minutes of her previous PB to achieve 2:13:46.

- The final cross country at Wing this year resulted in notable performances among the Royston Crows Athletics club.

Peter Allen improved his position in the under 15s race to place 13th. Similarly Toby Hone finished 7th in the under 17 boys race. Similarly, Sophie Jones 9th and Rebecca O Sullivan (17th) had great races in the under 11's girls race.

With four races to score, four Crows managed to achieve final positions as follows: Toby Hone sixth, Sophie Jones fifth, Peter Allen, 11th and Connor Paterson 12th.

The Crows are now looking forward to testing themselves out in less muddy events over the summer, including the Royston Fun run on March 25.

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