There was definitely a racing theme this weekend as St Albans Striders spread themselves out across various half marathon events.

For many this was preparation for next month's London marathon and clearly training plans are being followed meticulously as personal bests were plentiful.

As a nominated club championship race, the Berkhamsted Half proved the more popular with 46 Striders opting for the hilly but scenic route through the sunny Chilterns countryside.

A further 37 Striders selected the fast and flatter route through the attractive streets of Cambridge and the grounds of four famous colleges and a smaller group choose to travel to stylish Paris to participate in the famous race which passed through many of the most beautiful spots in the capital.

At Berkhamsted, Heather Hann ran a superb race finishing first out of 300 other female runners in a time of one hour 24 minutes five seconds.

The Striders female team consisting of Flo Thwaites-Miles (sixth female, 1:31:53), Kate Dixon (15th, 1:35:33) and Helen Cartlidge (16th, 1:35:48) also claimed first place in the team event.

The men were also strongly represented with Ross May leading the team home in a time of 1:17:53, good enough for 12th place.

He was followed by Chris Dennell (16th, 1:19:23), Jonathan Scott (17th 1:19:33) and Rob Smith (34th 1:24:06).

Gavin Murrison also achieved a top 50 place out of around 1,000 runners in 1:26:40 and Max Campbell was second in his age category in 1:29:23.

Those Striders who succeeded in knocking more than a few minutes off their personal best times included Peter Blackaller, Ann Coleman and Adam Williams.

Three younger athletes from sister club St Albans Athletics Club opted for the five mile event.

Adam Healey was ninth overall out of 500 runners in an incredible time of 30:15 and Eliza Nightingale and Eva Dixon were 10th and 11th females respectively, crossing the line together in a highly respectable 37:52.

At the popular Cambridge Half, which had slight more than 13,000 finishers, Phillip Evans led the Striders men home in 1:13:32), followed by Patrick Hawker (1:14:00), Jon Hall (1:16:35), Barnaby Walker (1:16:44) Jonathon Yeates (1:17:18) and James Chasen (1:18:50).

Fantastic performances were also recorded by the females with Mehan Walker (1:19:29), Lucy Waterlow (1:22:41), Alexandra Kett (1:33:48), Emily Hickey-Baird (1:34:30), Nathalie Richards (1:34:55) and Carla Moseley (1:36:27).

Evans, Megan Walker and Waterlow also achieved top 10 positions in their age categories while Ivan Ghouse was delighted to take four minutes off his PB to finish in 1:31:43.

There was a PB in Paris too, Rachel Dixon finishing in 1:32:30, crossing the line with Stacey Harris a second behind.

The latter though was a very impressive third in her age category.

Completing the quartet was Jennifer Finlay (1:46:49) and Judy Willits (1:48:41).

Jim King proved to be the exception to all of the above, completing twice the distance than that of his team mates as he finished the Tokyo marathon in a terrific time of 2:57:10.