Les Miserables take the honours in Stamford Striders’ Winter League five-mile competition
A steady and consistent showing throughout the four rounds of Stamford Striders’ Winter League five-mile competition saw Les Miserables crowned as the overall winners.
The team of captain Neil Martin, Ed Fancourt, James McCloskey, Steve Knight, Fran Carlin, Calli Robinson, Abbie Alderson, Doreen Spikings, Anna Woodall and Sarah Sharp took over pole position after the second round of the four stages.
And they then held off closest challengers Mud, Sweat and Tiers over the next two events to take the title by 153 points.
Six of their runners finished in the top 35 of the final round entry of 110 competitors who each individually ran five miles between the first and seventh of each month.
McCloskey led the league winners home in 12th place after posting his fastest time of the series in 32.59.
Fancourt was a couple of places back in 15th spot after recording 33.40 while Martin and Knight were 21st and 22nd respectively in 34.24 and 34.42.
Carlin and Sharp then added to the excellent all-round effort by finishing in 34th and 35th place respectively with the latter’s time of 36.51 being her fastest of the series after improving in each round.
A Mark Popple-inspired Mud, Sweat and Tiers took second spot ahead of a rejuvenated 4midable who finished with a flourish to take third place.
Starting the final round in sixth spot, five of the 4midable team finished in the top 40 with three being among the chase for honours.
Sam Barrett was sixth in 30.40 with Stuart Hodgkinson just a place behind in 31.30 while skipper Graham Edwards was 10th in 32.24 which was his fastest time of the series by nearly two minutes.
Tony Sharp secured 14th spot with 33.19 while Suzanne Moon was 36th in 36.56 to ensure they leapfrogged Every Second Counts, Sweet Six Team and Scrambled Legs.
Popple was denied a clean sweep of overall victories after Luke Harrison grabbed individual glory in the final round.
Harrison set a time of 27.15 which was the fastest of the overall series as Popple secured second spot in 27.39.
There were a number of overall improvers on their times between the December to February runs and the final round in March.
Jen Richardson’s December opener was 43.09 which had improved to 40.01 by March while Anna Woodall went from 47.34 to 45.51 by the final round.
Other consistent female improvers of their times were Cheryl Allibone, Morag Roberts, Emma Regis, Claire Jaggard, Helen Gregory, Claire Willis, Zoe Gill and Angela Godwin.
The biggest male improvers were Stuart Hill, Dan Hook, James McCloskey and final round winner Harrison.
Final standings: 1 Legs Miserables 2557, 2 Mud, Sweat and Tiers 2404, 3 4midable 2276, 4 Every Second Counts 2274, 5 Sweet Six Team 2236, 6 Better 8 Than Never 2160, 7= Chafing the Dream 2123, 7= Scrambled Legs 2123, 9 Legs Eleven 2086, 10 Pun In Ten Did 2053, 11 Jimmy (without his) Pacemakers 2034.