Fairlands Valley Spartans’ CAROLINE BARTER is a county medallist.  She won BRONZE in the Hertfordshire County Marathon Championships with her time of 4 hours 40 minutes 49 seconds.  The championships were incorporated in the undulating Halstead Marathon.


Track and Field

Wednesday evening proved to be a really cold, wet and windy evening at Bedford for the second meeting of the Eastern Masters Athletics Club track and field league. The weather was so bad, part of a tree on the back straight of the track broke off and fell to the ground!

The Spartan women continued their good form by finishing second to Marshall Milton Keynes by 4 points.  Their team consisted of Monica Brown, Hazel Clark, Kathy Craig, Sharon Crowley, Yuko Gordon, Iris Hornsey, Christine Lathwell, Tessa Stephenson, Andrea Westcott and Peta Wilson, The men’s team of Anton McCalla, Mark Freeman, Mark Glading, Craig Halsey, James Kilroy, Steve Mayfield, Barry Osborne and Dave Stephenson were third behind Bedford and County Athletics Club and Milton Keynes Athletics Club.

Highlights were wins for men’s team Captain Mark Freeman who commenced his new age group competition as a 60 year old by winning the B string 1500 metre walk. Dave Stephenson won the mens 50 to 59 age group high jump in 1 metre 35cm.

Monica Brown was in great form winning several events  (80 Metre Hurdles, 200 metres, High Jump and Triple Jump), Iris Hornsey (200 Metres 60+) Cathy Craig (women’s 60+ High Jump), Yuko Gordon (Women 60+ 1500 Metres). The women’s 50+years team (Tessa Stephenson, Sharon Crowley, Yuko Gordon and Monica Brown) then finished off the evening by winning their age group relay in a League record of 2 minutes 23.8 seconds.

The women’s team are looking strong to qualify as one of the two teams for the final in September.


Viking Carol

CAROL PAUL ran her best marathon in over 10 years on Sunday.  She took part in the Viking Coastal marathon at Birchington in Kent.  On a four lap flat course along the coast which started at 7am Carol completed the 26.2 miles in 4:08:09.


Faster in Hertford

Recently ANDREW MARTIN ran the Hertford 5K in a new personal best (PB) of 24 minutes 10 seconds.


Parkrun Reports

At least 30 Spartans* turned out for the second Stevenage parkrun at the weekend, making up over 10% of the healthy field of 272.

It was a Spartans first place double as CRAIG HALSEY made it six parkrun first places on the trot (previously three at St Albans and two at Luton in February through to April) with his time of 17 minutes 16 seconds and NATALIE LAWRENCE followed up last week’s first place with more of the same, officially two seconds outside last week’s time at 18:49.

For the men, JOHN NELMS was second Spartan home, breaking 20 minutes for the first time, while KEIRAN FEETHAM and DAVE SMITH also notched new course PBs in being third and fourth male Spartans across the line.

For the women, CLAIRE COX was second Spartan finisher in a new course PB (personal best), fourth woman overall, and CAROLE SHELDRICK and LESLIE AITKINS were third and fourth Spartan women.

There were additional course PBs for PAUL BATTERBEE, DARREN EMMERSON, and ANDY PRIOR.

The published list of Spartan finishers was as follows:

Pos Gender Pos Name Time Note
1 1 Craig HALSEY 17:16 First Timer!
4 1 Natalie LAWRENCE 18:49 PB stays at 00:18:47
14 13 John NELMS 19:58 New PB!
17 16 Kieran FEETHAM 20:20 New PB!
25 24 Dave SMITH 21:05 New PB!
28 27 Liam ERRINGTON 21:18 PB stays at 00:21:17
31 29 Paul BATTERBEE 21:37 New PB!
54 51 Mark BEASLEY 22:58 PB stays at 00:21:56
56 53 Darren EMMERSON 23:19 New PB!
57 54 Adam RANDS 23:20 First Timer!
58 55 Martin DUDLEY 23:21 First Timer!
61 4 Claire COX 23:33 New PB!
73 67 Andy PRIOR 24:05 New PB!
77 71 Callum BEASLEY 24:20 PB stays at 00:23:53
127 113 John MCCALL 27:20 First Timer!
130 16 Carole SHELDRICK 27:26 First Timer!
138 18 Lesley AITKINS 28:17 First Timer!
143 20 Caroline CROFT 28:45 First Timer!
144 21 Theresa KEAST 28:45 First Timer!
154 23 Beverley HARLOW 29:24 First Timer!
173 34 Chloe EMMERSON 31:10 PB stays at 00:30:38
179 37 Hazel SMITH 31:43 First Timer!
184* 39* Liz MORGAN 32:00 Missed by scanner
198 156 Ian ALEXANDER 32:50 PB stays at 00:32:06
202 44 Hilary DAVIES 33:03 First Timer!
237 55 Emma POULTER 37:07 First Timer!
250 64 Caren THAIN 38:53 PB stays at 00:38:04
251 65 Claire ENNEVER-DORMER 38:53 First Timer!
265 70 Hayley PEACH 41:36 PB stays at 00:39:46
272 76 Verity FISHER 55:30 Tail-runner


Note: there may be missing Spartans as there was a scanner fault on the day.

In other Hertfordshire events, TRACY STILES ran at Panshanger and achieved a new course PB of 30:03 knocking an impressive 79 seconds off her previous attempt there.  In his first visit to Cassiobury Park in Watford JOHN ROXBOROUGH was 38th finisher in 21:52 while TIM ROBINSON accompanied his son round Ellenbrook Fields in 39:29.

Finally DARRYL STEVENS was 227th finisher at Lloyd parkrun in Croydon in a time of 55:24 on his first visit there.


League Campaign

Fairlands Valley Spartans are hoping for a big turnout of club members at the next midweek league race which will be in Trent Park this Thursday evening, 9th June.


Coming Events

Many Spartans will be enjoying a busy programme of races, social and training events over the next few weeks including the:


  • Third event, Midweek League in Trent Park on Thursday 9th June.
  • Fourth event, Midweek League in Stevenage (FVS) on Tuesday 21st June.
  • Milton Keynes 10K on Tuesday 28th June.
  • EMAC (Veterans Track & Field) event in Milton Keynes on Wednesday 6th July.
  • County Track 10K on Sandy on Thursday 7th July.
  • Bedford 5K on Wednesday 27th July.
  • Relays in the Park, our 3K Relays in Fairlands Valley on Thursday 28th July.
  • EMAC (Veterans Track & Field) event in Stevenage on Wednesday 3rd August.
  • FVS Handicap 5 / 10 in Stevenage on Sunday 25th September.
  • Standalone 10K including County Vets Championships on Sunday 2nd October.
  • Peterborough Half Marathon on Sunday 9th October.
  • Abingdon Marathon on Sunday 23rd October.
  • Stevenage Half Marathon, a Stevenage 70 event, on Sunday 6th November.
  • St Neots Half Marathon on Sunday 20th November.
  • County Five Miles Open Championship in Hatfield on 27th November.
  • Spartans Christmas Social on Saturday 10th December.


Join The Spartans

Live in or near Stevenage?  Like running?  Fairlands Valley Spartans is your local running club and is on the up!  The club was voted the UK’s Best Running Club in 2010.  It now has hundreds of members and encourages participation by all.  The Spartans have a varied training programme to suit those who want to run 5 kilometres through to full marathons.

The Spartans weekday training sessions are on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  Go along to the new sports centre at Marriotts School – a Sports College, Telford Avenue, Stevenage (SG2 8UT) at 7p.m.  Up to five running groups go out on training nights – there will be one to suit you!

The Spartan Starter group starts from Marriotts at 7.30p.m. every Monday (except public holidays) and 7p.m. every Thursday.

Most long Sunday morning training sessions start 9a.m. sharp.  Spartan track training sessions are held at Ridlins Athletics Track, Woodcock Road, Stevenage most Saturdays from 9.15a.m.  There are events to enter every Sunday.  Newcomers are very welcome – those who have not yet done very much running might prefer to start with a Thursday, Saturday or Monday session.

Try a few sessions before joining.  Membership is only £37 per year, £25 without UKA affiliation.  Concessions are available.  Membership forms are available on the Spartans website  Please ask if you would like a paper copy.  You can also join online.

If you want to know more about the Spartans please contact Jim Brown (0793 968 7509), Andy Neatham 0777 197 5499 and 01438 816889; or Karen Palmer (07734678566) or visit their website


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