Iris Blooms In Birmingham



Fairlands Valley Spartan Iris Hornsey claimed two Gold and One Silver Medal at the British Masters Athletics Championships held at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham over the weekend.  On Saturday, she completed the 1500 metres, in the over 70 age group, in a time of 8 minutes 5.20 seconds to take second place.  Later in the afternoon, she returned to improve to first place running the 400 metres in a time of 1 minute 39.34 seconds.  On Sunday, Iris again won her age category, recording 42.54 seconds for the 200 metres.

Also taking home a medal, Alison Wood came through to take Silver in the 800 metres for the over 50 age group in a time of 2 minutes and 31.49 seconds.

Tessa Stephenson competed in the 100 and 200 metre races recording a season’s best time of 16.06 seconds and 32.90 seconds to finish in sixth and fourth places respectively.

Chris Westcott only just missed out on a medal, finishing a very close fourth in the 800 metres for over 40 athletes in a time of 2 minutes and 6.28 seconds.

This meeting is the end of a long season of track and field athletics for the Spartans which started on the first of January. They will now concentrate on getting ready for the new season and aiming to produce even better results next year.


So, So Close For Spartan Women in Final Celebration

Position Club Points
1 Marshall Milton Keynes AC 226
2 Fairlands Valley Spartans 225.5
3 Ryston Runners AC 199
4 Loughton AC 182
5 Southend AC 161.5
6 Cambridge & Coleridge AC 148
7 Peterborough AC 136
8 Wellingborough & District AC 50


On a lovely autumnal day, the Fairlands Valley Spartans womens track and field team of Alison Wood, Hazel Clarke,  Rosie Canham, Christine Lathwell,  Peta Wilson, Sharon Crowley, Andrea Westcott,  Monica Brown, Iris Hornsey, Yuko Gordon, Cathy Craig and Julie Simmons travelled to Bedford International Athletics stadium to compete in the Eastern Masters Athletics League Final.  After winning the mid west region, the women had a chance of making the top three. Considering the club is predominantly a road running club, the women more than held their own to finish just half a point behind Marshall Milton Keynes in finishing second.

Yuko Gordon won the 3000 metre race, in the over 60 age group, finishing in a time of 12 minutes and 54.6 seconds.  This was rewarded with the award for performance of the day which equated to 93.9% of the age graded world record.  This was backed up with Christine Lathwell winning the over 35 age group and Julie Simmons, returning from injury, with an impressive second place.

In the 1500 metres, Christine Lathwell and Alison Wood both won their age group races with Alison’s time of 5 minutes and 4.6 seconds setting a new league record in the over 50 age group.

Monica Brown kept up her superb form of the season by winning  the 100 metres, 200 metres, long and high jumps and finished second in the javelin throw.  Tessa Stephenson and Cathy Craig backed up Monica by coming second in their age group 200 metres as well as Cathy coming second in the W60 high jump and Tessa second in the Womens 50, 400 metres .

Stephanie Mayfield was joint first in the pole vault where she could not be separated from the Southend AC competitor, so they shared the points for first and second places.

The rest of the team also put in good performances across all the events to miss out on the league title by the closest of margins and this bodes well for next season.


London Duathlon 18/09/16

Fairlands Valley’s BRIAN WHITE competed in the London Duathlon on Sunday.  This consisted of a 10K run; 44K cycle and 5K run.

He achieved a new personal best for the course with times of 42:24 for the 10K run; 1:23:37 for the 44K on the bike and 21:56 for the 5K run giving a total event time of 2:31:49.


The Tartan Twosome – Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Spartan ROGER BIGGS ran the Tartan Twosome on Friday, 16th and Saturday, 17th September 2016.  Both events starting a few miles South of Halifax at Fishermans Cove in Canada.

He had moved east on his quest to run in every Province/Territory of Canada.  The ‘Tartan Twosome’ was played out with a 5km race on Friday night at sunset, to return the next day to run a marathon at sunrise, plus a promise for a medal for each event, plus a third for finishing both events.

There was perfect weather for the 5km, which was run on a flat out and back course adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean.  Ignoring the marathon on the next day, Roger ran a strong race, to finish in 27:04, for 398th place of 2163 finishers.

The next morning had even more runners, with 2452 finishers spread across four distances including a marathon.

As the sun appeared across the horizon, all runners started off in the same direction, but were gradually filtered out leaving just 89 runners to cross the marathon finish line.  With plenty of hills and not a cloud in the sky, Roger found things a lot tougher, and finished in 70th place with a time of 5:19:57.


Kent Coyote

DAVE BOWKER took part in the Kent Coyote Marathon on Sunday.

He walked this one and finished in 5 hours 26 minutes.  The race took place on Gravesend’s Cyclopark.  There were 21 laps each with a half mile incline so it was quite a tough event and Dave claims he has a sunburnt bald head to prove the sun was shining.  He says it was well organised and has a sister event in the Spring.  Recommended if you don’t mind the laps.


Parkrun Report

Twenty-nine Spartans took part in parkruns locally and further afield at the weekend.

At the home parkrun in Stevenage, LIAM HERBERT was first Spartan, finishing 6th in 19:58, setting a new course PB (personal best). JOHN NELMS was 13th in 20:45, THOMAS SAUKA 14th in 20:46 and MARK BEASLEY 20th in 21:41.

CAROL PAUL was the first Spartan lady finisher, 11th in 25:21. NIKKI WILBY was 12th in 26:05, KERSTIN WEINER 17th in 27:06 and LAUREN HARNETT set a new course PB to finish 28th in 28:30.

There were also new course PBs for DARREN EMMERSON (21:46), DANIEL SUTTON (22:58), CLIVE CANNON (24:15) and KELLY CHAPMAN (38:15).  Other Spartans running at Stevenage were MARTIN DUDLEY (22:38), CHRIS HOLLAND (24:23), STEFFAN FORD (27:59), VERITY FISHER (29:12), TRACY PEZ (29:41), CHLOE EMMERSON (29:45), John WALSH (30:11), HEATHER MALONEY (30:17), CLAIRE PULLEN (30:53), CLAIRE COX (30:58), MARIE HUTCHINGS (36:34), and SIMON JACKSON (40:12)

ANDY JAY again continued his run of improving times at Panshanger, this week finishing 37th in 24:28.  He was joined at the picturesque venue by KEN JUDE who finished 65th in 26:16.  Also running locally was TIM ROBINSON who ran a year’s best time of 23:22 to achieve a new course PB at Ellenbrook Fields.

Finally, JOHN ROXBOROUGH finished 22nd in 21:11 at Rother Valley while on the south coast DARRYL STEVENS ran for the first time at Southampton, finishing in a time of 37:07.


Coming Events

Many Spartans will be enjoying a busy programme of races, social and training events over the next few weeks including the Hertfordshire 5K and 10K championships.  The opportunities include:

  • Herts 5K veteran championships in Hatfield on Wednesday 21st September.
  • FVS Handicap 5 / 10 in Stevenage on Sunday 25th September.
  • Standalone 10K including County Vets Championships on Sunday 2nd October.
  • Henlow Ten on Wednesday 5th October (daytime).
  • Open 5K race in Hatfield on Wednesday 5th October.
  • Peterborough Half Marathon on Sunday 9th October.
  • Abingdon Marathon on Sunday 23rd October.
  • First Cross Country League Race in Cheshunt on Sunday 23rd October.
  • Stevenage Half Marathon, a Stevenage 70 event, on Sunday 6th November.
  • Second Cross Country League Race on Sunday 13th November (new date).
  • 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.
  • Third Cross Country League Race on Sunday 18th December.
  • Boxing Day Five in Witham on Monday 26th 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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