At Domin8 we believe that fitness should be an integrated, enjoyable part of your life and affordable to all.
Contact the committeeThe committee are always looking for information, feedback and consultation from club members. Â To get in touch email:Â firstname.lastname@example.org
Bev Harlow – Chairman & Coach
Beverley Harlow first joined Fairlands Valley Spartans in 1991 after successfully applying for a place in the London Marathon. She had not previously been a runner and had intended walking the marathon, however, in following the training schedule, she discovered a love of running (slowly). In 2011 she marked 20 years of running by achieving a PB at the Chester marathon. She recognises that she will never break records but now has a plan to keep running for as many years as possible so that there are very few people still running in her age category. Then she may start to win some medals. As she will be retiring from her job as the Deputy Headteacher of a secondary school in the summer she decided that she would have the time to give something back to the club in return for all the support and encouragement she has received over the last two decades. She started by completing the LiRF course and hopes this year to start the CiRF. She also joined the committee and was elected Vice-Chair. Apart from running her passion is music and she is the organist and director of music for the church of St Mary the Virgin in Walkern. This means that she is generally not able to race on many Sundays during the year. She also enjoys cycling and walking with husband John and bordercollie/lab cross Meg.
Vivienne Honey – General Secretary
Vivienne joined FVS in the glorious summer of 2010.Â She had just moved into the area and sadly left behind a running club in a village that her & her partner had started (which continues to do well). Her love of running began in 1998 when she participated in the Sheffield half marathon and after a break reignited the drive when she secured a place in the Great North Run in 2007.Â One of her favourite memories is turning onto the front at South Shields as the Red Arrows flew over in the final mile. She was very lucky to gain a ballot place in the 2009 Flora London Marathon and followed this up participating in the inaugural Brighton Marathon in 2010.Â These experiences were enough for her at this distance meaning she now concentrates on half marathons or 10kâ€™s. As she met her husband through running they frequently holiday and participate in races at the same time.Â This includes her honeymoon in Palma, Mallorca and also in January 2013 they are running the Disney marathon in Florida.
Mark Cheadle – Treasurer
Mark joined the Spartans in August 2009, a year after taking those tough first steps into running and in December 2011 joined the committee. Mark most enjoys getting down the track on a Saturday morning over the summer months and still wishes he had the pace as a teenager playing on the wing at Rugby. Sadly after a 14 year break from exercise, those days are behind him, but still aims to at least get a sub 6 minute 1500m. Also keen on swimming and cycling, Mark plans to take part in a triathlon one day. Outside of running Mark works as a demand planner for a grocery retailer. Main hobby is writing and performing music and will be spending plenty of time in the studio in 2012 recording an album.
Tracy Pez – Ladies Team Captain and Committee Member
E-mail:Â email@example.com Tracy joined the Spartans back in 2000 after returning from her travels around the globe where she had joined a club in Cape Town and discovered how much more fun it was running with others ratherÂ than by herself! Since joining the Spartans she has competed in races of various distances including a few marathons along the way! Â She has also managed to gain a huge assortment of fancy dress items! (but has so far avoided the stripy shorts!) She keeps herself busy studying, working, looking after her two young girls, attending CBFs, SSRs, CCCs and of course running! Tracy took over as Ladies Captain in June 2011. If you want to find her just look about 50 metres in front of Andy Jay - she'll be there!!!
Nick Witcombe – Men’s Team Captain, Coach & Committee MemberEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org Nick joined the Spartanâ€™s in October 2009, two weeks after he completed his first 10k and shortly before his 40th birthday Â - Â â€œa different kind of midlife crisisâ€. Â His aims to start with were just to get fit and improve his health, but since joining the Spartans he has run in the London marathon, numerous half marathons including Peterborough and Edinburgh and Nick even make his international running debut in the Texas half in 2012 (but he doesn't like to talk about it much!) Nick introduced the Spartans to the now infamous tradition of the CBF, has joined the coaching team, gained himself a new nickname of â€˜Gadgetâ€™, mastered the art of wearing his pants OVER his trousers - and of course made numerous good friends along the way. Â Nick was appointed Men's Captain in November 2012. Nick's greatest enjoyment is helping fellow Spartans reach their goals whatever they are. He currently works as a Business Analyst for easyJet (speak to him for an upgrade if flying). Â Nick is married with 2 daughters and when he is not running or gadget shopping he enjoys football (although being an Arsenal supporter that is diffcult!) and darts.
Graham Blackburn – Committee Member & Club Coach
Email:Â email@example.com Graham joined the Spartans in January 2003 after gaining a place in the London Marathon which he finished in 3 hours 15 minutes amassing over 400 miles in the process and loving every minute of it. Since then his times for every distance have improved due to the excellent training schedule offered by the club. Graham tries to stay at the sharp end of the club but due to his age, wine and curry consumption this is proving a little difficult; although there is always next weeks training sessions. Graham has served on the committee for many years, was Chairman for a time (2011/12) and is also the race director for the very successful 5K races held each summer. Before joining Fairlands Valley Spartans Graham was a very keen club squash player, playing for clubs in Hertfordshire, Middlesex and Surrey. Outside running Graham spends his time with his family, Â walking hisÂ Labrador, and has a passion for very loud music, coffee and cake and girly baths!
Jim Brown – Press Officer, Committee Member & Club Coach
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Jim Brown joined the Spartans shortly after moving to Stevenage from Scotland late in 1992.Â He arrived with a pretty good record as a racing cyclist having achieved targets like â€œunder the hourâ€ for a 25 (miles), over 20 mph for a â€œtwelveâ€ (hours) and getting into the national rankings.Â Gradually his number shifted from his backside to his chest for competitive sport but he is on the national council of the largest cyclistsâ€™ organisation in the country and still organises a number of successful cycling events including "Emitremmmus Desrever" which attracted 419 riders in October 2011. Jim returned to the committee in 2009 but has been Spartan press officer for many years having first been elected to that post in 1996.Â He was delighted to receive a special award at the Silver Jubilee Gala Ball. Jim is a great believer in encouraging more people to get into active recreation â€“ loads of health and social benefits â€“ something Fairlands Valley Spartans have been doing really well.Â His personal targets have been to try to achieve a 75% score in all eight club championship distances â€“ particularly using the older, harder standards.Â Heâ€™s come close a few times but lacks the oompf for the short stuff. Recently heâ€™s been advised to become a fun runner, weâ€™ll see about that, but he reckons now is a good time to put a little bit more into the club which has given him so much pleasure and motivated him to attempt to get fit. Jim qualified as an assistant coach in 2010, a Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF) in 2011 and is now a UKA Level 2a Endurance Official.
Paul Holgate – Committee & Club Coach
Now in his 50's Paul joined the Spartans in 1985 at 28 shortly after the club was formed following regular Sunday morning training runs that led up to the first Stevenage marathon in 1983. Addicted to running as often as possible and the camaraderie of the club, Paul is a regular at most Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday training sessions. A level 2 UKA qualified coach, Paul is also the Midweek League results secretary and club statistician for club championships and personal best records, as well as issuing monthly individual training plans for all 400+ members that he holds any data on which to base targets for. Paul loves to race at all distances from 100 metres up to marathon and completed both his 1,000th race and 200th marathon in 2011. A qualified accountant with BT, Paul is married with 3 teenage children andÂ the youngest, Matthew, also trains and races with the club. Outside of running Paul enjoys tackling tough logic problems, playing board games and the occasional game of duplicate bridge.
Tessa Stephenson – Committee Member & Club Coach
Tessa joined the Spartans in 1994 after moving from Hampshire to Stevenage to be with her boyfriend (now husband Dave). She belonged (and still does) to City of Portsmouth Athletic Club where she was Hampshire County champion for 800m for 4 years consecutively. Tessa wanted to carry on her running and, having run 10Kâ€™s ,10 miles and Half Marathons, completed marathons in November 1994, running the Stevenage Marathon, and then the London Marathon in 2000 when she was forty and had been in the sport for 26 years. She has been a regular County Medal winner in Hertfordshire and competes on both track and road. Having loved the atmosphere at the Spartans, Tessa decided to become a coach in 2000 to help her fellow members. She introduced different types of training including track sessions and the odd track race including relays! She also encouraged members to have a go at doing more cross country races and got menâ€™s and ladies teams out in both the Southern Counties and National Cross Country championships for the first time. Tessa along with Katrina Doyle has started the Clubâ€™s first â€˜Starter Groupâ€™ encouraging complete novices to have a go to walk/run on Monday nights. Away from running, Tessa works for a firm who deal with the maintenance of the roads in Hertfordshire. Tessa likes to knit, do cross-stitch, read, make cakes and more importantly bread pudding!
Simon Harris – Committee Member
Simon has been a member of the Spartans for three years and has brought a huge amount of energy and enthusiasm to training and has over come his physical disabilities to compete in races, achieving great success on the track at National, Regional and County level. In 2008 Simon reached the finals of the National Disabled Athletics Championships and won multiple Gold Medals at the Eastern Region Championships. 2009 was a fantastic year for Simon. At the start of the year Simon won the Paul Pearce Disability Award at the Comet Sports Award. Then during the year Simon also won 2 Silvers and a Bronze (200M, 4 x 100M, and 4 x 400M respectively) in the National Championships for Disabled Athletes and Gold, 2 Silvers and a Bronze (400M, 100M, Long Jump and 200M respectively) at the Eastern Region Disabled Athletics Championships. At County level Simon won Gold in the 100M at the Hertfordshire Disabled Track Championships. Simon participates in a variety of club events, often bursting past other runners in the Club at the track training sessions. He has also offered his support in helping out with the Club Kit this year. Simon also enjoys working out in the gym at Marriotts.
John Harlow – Committee Member
John has been a Spartans groupie for 18 years and has spent many hours standing in the sun and rain marshalling and supporting his wife Beverley. After 35 years working mostly as a Community Psychiatric Nurse he took early retirement and now works part time at Heathcote School as a Mentor and Pastoral Assistant. His interests are walking, cycling, bridge and always remembering to say â€œgood runâ€. Being obsessed with â€˜negative splitsâ€™ and â€˜mile timesâ€™ he leaves to other as he is unable to run due to a long standing knee injury.
Jayne Pinner – Committee Member & Club Coach
Jayne joined the Spartans in January 2010. Â She had tried running on her own, but found it really difficult, then she saw one of her old school friends who ran with the Spartans and was persuaded to join the Starter Group and she loved it. Â The camaraderie, supportÂ and encouragement from the Starter Group coaches Katrina and Tessa, gave me Jayne the drive and determination to continue, until eventually she ran the full 5K course without stopping.. what an amazing feeling that was! It wasn't long before Jayne was asked to join the coaching team. Â She was honoured and the fact she might make a difference to someone like herself, makes her smile with pride! Â Jayne loves toÂ turnÂ 'I can't' runnersÂ into 'I can' runners... and have fun along the way! Jayne is looking forward to her first half marathon in EdinburghÂ at the end ofÂ May 2013 and hopes to run the full 13.1 miles without stopping. SensibleÂ by day... andÂ fun loving by night, Jayne works as a School Business Manager at a local primary school. Â she is married with two grown up children, loves musicals, dancing and music. Â She used to go ballroom dancing as a child, started tap dancing in her late 20's and running in her 40's... proving you're never too old toÂ try something new!
Chrissie Sharman – Committee Member & Club Coach
Christine joined FVS in 2009 after spending many hoursÂ running on her own around the park with her daughter in a running buggy (you think chatting is hard while running, you should try singing nursery rhymes!). Â It didn't take long for the lure of the nice shiny coaches whistles to overcome Christine and she soon joined the coaching team (but really doesn't enjoy blowing that whistle in underpasses, right near unsuspecting runners...honest!!) Christine's aims for 2013 are to enjoy her running and toÂ get around the MK Marathon without too much pain (and to get her toilet breaks down to 30 seconds max!) Â Her coaching goals are to Â discover some new and exciting dynamic stretches for the sessions, and then to deviseÂ a Thursday training session that has Paul Holgate begging for mercy - for once! Christine first started running regularly when she lived in the Caribbean - she would would run with her dog in the mangrove! She also loves cricket!
Barry King – Committee Member & Club Coach
BarryÂ joined the Spartans just over back in December 2010. Â He had been running solo forÂ 6 months and had ran 3 half marathons in that time, all over 2 hours. Â He wanted to beat that barrier. After running the Stevenage half where Barry says he spoke to Tracy Pez who recommended he join, he did!! Barry describes himself as a people person and had previous experience of managing a menâ€™s football teams and had enjoyed helping players develop their skills, so it seemed the next natural step forward to join the coaching team and to help people and pass on what he has learnt. Barry's running goals are to P.B at his longer distances - marathon, 20 mile, half marathon and 10 mile events so we'll be seeing him at training Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays! Barry recently took on the role of Kit Man, so if you need any FVS gear, you know who to contact!
Lisa joined the club in 2009 She joined for the usual reasons, getting older and putting on weight, oh and Maria Rushton made her!Â She raved about the club and insisted Lisa gave it a go! It wasn't long before Lisa realised how encouraging and motivating the coaching team are and soon Lisa found herself joining the coaching team, and then committee! Â Lisa is thrilled to be able to help others andÂ give something back to theÂ club.
Jo Cahill – Committee Member
Jo joined the club as a complete novice in June 2011 and has never looked back! Â SheÂ had been going to the gym to lose some weight and on arriving home one evening she said her husband "I have just run my first ever 5 km "â€“ she had NEVER run in my life before this! Â She proceeded to tell him how she'd love one day to do a marathon. Her husband turned blue and said very nicely â€œJo you are not really built for runningâ€- well that was it - within a month she had applied and secured a place in VLM for 2012! Hubby nearly had a coronary and she joined Spartans!Â As a result of the professional advice from the coaches and the camaraderie she experienced during training she completed London in 5 hrs 39 mins and now also has some fabulous friends. Â Jo runs every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, with her Group C run on a Sunday being her favourite. Jo has an 8 year old son called Jack - who demands that she is fit! She enjoys doing Â 10kms and half marathons and hopes one day to do the London Marathon again. Jo works in higher education, but prior to that she worked for 12 years as a ward sister in a cardiothoracic intensive care unit.Â On the 23 November 2012 Jo achieved her PhD which involved doing a research study looking at patient participation in surgical nursing care and which after the London Marathon was one of the biggest challenges of her life. If you put your mind to it you can succeed at anything! Â Jo's motto is 'It helps to be a Spartan'!!!!!