The first round of a summer staple burst onto the athletics scene to the delight of running clubs.

The Midweek Road Race League kicked off in all three divisions and will run to July.

The Comet: Lindsay Cook, Jane Clarke and David Weston of North Herts Road Runners. Picture: NHRRLindsay Cook, Jane Clarke and David Weston of North Herts Road Runners. Picture: NHRR (Image: North Herts Road Runners)

It features a series of 10k road races and North Herts Road Runners had a successful start in Division One, as they claimed a double victory at Chingford.

They took a team of 44 to event round Epping Forest and had the fastest individuals in both the men's and women's race, Ben Hadman and Katie Harbon.

The results helped the women to second in the team competition with the men disappointed with fifth.

Overall, NHRR are third behind leaders Orion Harriers and St Albans Striders.

The Comet: Ben Hadman of NHRR lies second. Picture: NHRRBen Hadman of NHRR lies second. Picture: NHRR (Image: North Herts Road Runners)

Division Two and Division Three both had their opening round at Stevenage where the Ridlins athletic track was the base of operations.

Fairlands Valley Spartans had a fine start on the home runs, finishing second in both the male and female race, meaning they ended second overall in Division Two behind Watford Joggers.

Individually Simon Fraser (sixth) and Andrew Patterson (eighth) placed in the top 10 for the men while Samantha Pretty-Connors (third), Christine Lathwell (fourth) and Ashley Johnson (sixth) did the same for the women.

Division Three saw three north Herts clubs involved and it was Hitchin who enjoyed the best of it by finishing second in the men's race and third in the women's.

Stevenage Striders were third in the men's and seventh in the women's while Stevenage & North Herts were sixth and eighth.

Overall, Hitchin are third, Striders fourth and SNHAC in seventh.

The individual women's race had Anna Bruce of Hitchin in sixth with Amelie Hobbs of SNH in seventh.

Over in the male category, SNH pair Isaac Whitten and Christopher Westcott were fifth and eighth while Hitchin's Isaac Charlton and Stuart Hansell were ninth and 10th.

Striders best finishers were Joe Bateman and Lucy Crocker, in 13th and 17th.

Round two in Division One and Division Two takes place on May 31, at St Albans and Watford respectively.

Division Three is up next on June 6 at Harpenden.

The Comet: Five Fairlands Valley Spartans at the Stort5. Picture: FVSFive Fairlands Valley Spartans at the Stort5. Picture: FVS (Image: Fairlands Valley Spartans)

The other big event of note was at Bishop's Stortford for the Stort5 where there were both a five and 10 mile option for the maximum 500 runners who entered.

Dave Pattman was the first Fairlands Valley Spartan to finish the five-mile option, coming fourth in 31 minutes 53 seconds.

Steve Dobner was eighth in 33:53 followed by Suzy Hawkins (35:11), Mo Warrillow (39:24), Nicola Anderson (42:21) and Sue Harmer in (45:53).

The Comet:

Stevenage Phoenix had a trio at the 10-mile run with Ian Harvey and Jodie Kantas finishing together in 1:23:56 while Lisa Liversidge was using the event as part of her ultra marathon training, finishing just over an over and a half.

Parkruns were popular for Phoenix with the latest foundation group graduating from their eight-week, couch to 5k training.

Louise Chancellor was also running her 100th parkrun at Stevenage while there were PBs for Greg Bradbury, Ian Young, Ashley Bates and Simon Burton.