Fairlands Valley Spartans’ Relays in the Park are becoming hugely popular and on Thursday evening 66 women’s and 62 men’s teams took part. That’s more than 500 runners each racing three kilometres round Fairlands Valley Park on a beautiful summer’s evening.
The fastest woman on the night was Rosie Keane from Luton who stormed round in a sub ten 9 minutes 51 seconds, even faster than her 9:55 in 2016. She set up her club to win in a total of 32 minutes 29 seconds. Luton also had the fastest man. Ian Kimpton went round the undulating course in 8 minutes 29 seconds but Bedford and County won the men’s race in 45 minutes 35 seconds. There were three runners in women’s teams and five in men’s.
Fairlands Valley Spartans won double BRONZE in the Hertfordshire County Championships which were incorporated in the event. GRANT RAMSAY (9:39); RICHARD SPRINGALL (10:27); STEFFAN FORD (10:24); SIMON JACKSON (9:50); and ANDREW PATTERSON (9:47) had a total time of 50 minutes 7 seconds in the seniors (18 to 39) race while BRIAN WHITE (11:03); RICHARD BRUCE (10:28); TIM SABAN (11:41); DAVID RIDDELL (11:14) and DANNY HUKIN (11:00) won their medals in the veteran category with a total of 55 minutes 26 seconds.
The Spartan women were JO BOWDERY (13:05); NICOLA KENNEDY (13:07); JULIET FULLWOOD (13:40); KAREN ELLIS (13:50); ALICE BURLEIGH (13:56); SARAH PIKE (14:36); KELLY McHALE (14:46); VICTORIA BRETT (14:55); JULIE SHADBOLT (15:06); SUE HARMER (15:07); PENNY SCHENKEL (15:20); ALEX WHITEHOUSE (16:15) and EMMA MARTIN (21:42).
The club led by race director ANDY JAY provided dozens of marshals and other volunteer helpers for the event.
3K Relay Times for the 45 Spartans:
|31||SIMON JACKSON||M||A||9:50||8 sec imp. on 2016|
|116||TODD GRAY||M||B||10:57||30 sec 2016|
|248||MARK GOODWIN||M||C||12:40||8 sec 2016|
|286||MARTIN DUDLEY||M||E||13:14||2 sec 2016|
|453||PAUL HOLGATE||M||F||15:42||37 sec 2016|
The course, in the top half of the park was ideal for spectators and the event start at 7.30p.m. meant plenty were able to go along.
Eastern Masters Track & Field League – Match 4 – Weds 26th August 2017
A superb last league match of the season in Stevenage returned plenty of team and individual successes for Spartans’ Masters Track and Field teams. With home advantage, the ladies won their match by three points to secure the Central Division league title and confirm a place in September’s final. The men’s team enjoyed their best match this season with a fourth place finish lifting them to fourth overall in the division.
The club excelled in the mile event, winning all five of the races they contested. YUKO GORDON won the W60 in 6:37.2, setting a new league record and with a 94.2% age grading was awarded the ladies “Athlete of the Match”. In the W50 race, ALISON WOOD maintained her superb form over middle distance events, setting a new ladies club record in a time of 5:50.6. The men’s club record also fell, with an outstanding run from newcomer RICHARD BRUCE, who was the fastest athlete on the night, winning the M35 category in 4:53.1. JOHN HARRIS set a new M55 club age best of 5:49.3 with his M50 win and CHRISTINE LATHWELL held on to secure maximum points in a close W35 race in 6:10.9. Running as a non-scorer, BRIAN BRACKSTONE clocked 5:03.2.
MONICA BROWN top scored for the ladies team, earning 31 points from her four individual events including wins in the W50 100m, W50 Triple Jump and W50 High Jump. Her clearance of 1.27cm was the highest age graded performance in the ladies field events. There were also wins for ladies captain TESSA STEPHENSON in the W50 400m, JULIE SIMMONS in the W60 400m and IRIS HORNSEY in the W60 Triple Jump. SHARON CROWLEY set a new PB of 13:26.8 for the 2km walk and ANDREA WESTCOTT improved her PBs in the W35 Javelin and High Jump. CATHY CRAIG, STEPH MAYFIELD and debutant SUZY HAWKINS completed the team.
With the men’s team just six strong, it meant a busy night for most of the athletes as they attempted to cover as many events as possible to maximise their points tally. STEVE MAYFIELD secured 2nd places in the M50 100m and 400m sprints and set M50 club age bests in both the Javelin and Discus, the latter with a PB of 28.15. DAVE STEPHENSON also took on four events and team captain MARK FREEMAN three, contributing 32 valuable points between them. Continuing his improvement as a track and field athlete, ANTON McCALLA set new PBs in the M35 100m (13.9) and Triple Jump (9.09m).
The evening ended with the 400m/200m/200m/400m medley relays. The W50 ladies foursome of Alison Wood, Sharon Crowley, Monica Brown and Tessa Stephenson won comfortably in 3:45.2, setting their third league record this season. The W35 team earned second place in their race with 4:04.9. Unable to muster two teams, the men fielded a mixed age group quartet and though a brilliant anchor leg from Richard Bruce couldn’t quite snatch an unlikely victory, their time of 3:01.8 was fast enough to break the club M40 record.
A thoroughly successful evening hosted by FVS but facilitated through considerable support from Stevenage and North Herts AC aided by volunteers from FVS and NHRR.
Great Run in Great Grimsby
EMMA POULTER did the Great Grimsby 10K in 1 hour 10 minutes 50 seconds. A personal best of almost four minutes.
STEFFAN FORD AND SIMON JACKSON were racing the Standard Chartered Great City 5k Race around the twisty, turny and very busy streets of London on Monday night.
In a race with 6000 entrants both finished in the top 100, with SIMON the first Spartan home in 25th position in a new PB of 16:40, despite him being in the middle of an intense Ironman training program and no rest or tapering pre race. Whilst STEFFAN after only doing Ironman UK a week before finished in a very credible 17:46 in his first run since the Ironman.
Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire was the scene for the Grim Reaper ultra marathon at the weekend. It consisted of 10 mile loops of the stunning grounds of the estate, past lakes, through forests and along stately tree lined drives.
Starting at 9.30am the event runs through for 26 hours with participants able to chose 40,70 or 100 miles as their target distance.
John Nelms completed 40 miles (4 laps) in 7 hours 25. Then he had to get home to work a night shift!
Tricia Hopper, Barry King and Karen Liddle ran 40 miles in 10 hours 36 minutes.
Conditions were generally good with rain setting in for their final lap.
IAN ALEXANDER completed the Twilight Marathon in Ilford yesterday in a time of 6:32:22. The galling thing for him was that he was one second outside his PB from the London Marathon.
The route started off going downhill and was flat until the last half mile when we encountered a hill, the first half was as bad as the Chingford hill and the rest was a slight incline.
They had all sorts of refreshments there and whilst you were running, if you needed anything, you asked and it was given to you at the start of the next lap.
Ian said it was well organised and the only thing wrong was by the time you had been round 4 times you were bored with the course. It was 21 laps.
GRANT RAMSAY made it back-to-back first place finishes at Stevenage parkrun when finishing in 17 mins 30 to increase his margin over the same second-placed finisher as last week. BRIAN WHITE was 8th in 19:33, recording a new course PB, and NICK GILL also notched a new course PB as he broke the 21 minute barrier for the first time, finishing 17th in 20:33. MARTIN DUDLEY (22:31) and MARK BEASLEY (22:37) also made the top 50.
There were also course PBs for CLIVE CANNON (23:31, MICHAEL ANDREWS (24:46), STEVE ELDER (27:15) and PAUL HOLGATE (27:27). The other Spartan men in action were DARREN EMMERSON (24:08), NEIL ROBINSON (24:20), LEE PICKERSGILL (25:02), KARTIK SHARMA (26:08), JAMES SOUTH (29:29) and SELVAN NAICKER (40:00).
TRACY PEZ was the first Spartan woman to finish, in 12th place in 25:22. CAROL PAUL (26:56) was 18th and KAREN PALMER (28:26) was 31st. SHARON CROWLEY ran a new course PB and also made the top 50 in 28:51. ALEXANDRA WHITEHOUSE finished in 30:53, EMMA MARTIN in 38:42 and CLAIRE EMMERSON completed as a visual impaired guide in 40:35.
In other local parkruns DANIEL SUTTON (24:21), CHRIS HOLLAND (25:15, new course PB) and TIM ROBINSON (27:51) all made the top 50 at Westmill. VERITY FISHER was the sole Spartan woman running there and was eighth in 26:04. At St Albans, BARRY OSBORNE was 17th male in 19:43 while MADELEINE PRITCHARD was sixth woman in 22:18. PAUL MAGUIRE was the only Spartan to venture to Ellenbrook Fields, finishing 14th in 21:14 on his first visit. TRACY STILES took on the inaugural running of the new parkrun at Heartwood Forest near St Albans and finished 39th in 33:25.
Elsewhere, ANDY JAY was in the west country and ran 23:53 at Exeter Riverside, a new course PB. DARRYL STEVENS was at Salisbury and completed in 39:30.
JIM BROWN was sweep runner in the Serpentine 5K and finished in 35:13.
Roger Biggs was in the States, to run in four marathons over two weekends in Montana and Alaska. However, things don’t always work out.
Marathon 1 – Madison Marathon in Montana: This was in the Gravelly Mountains of Montana. It was unusually warm for a marathon where the elevation didn’t slip below 8500ft. At 25 miles disaster struck as Roger took a tumble, that took him to hospital for forehead stitches, a broken finger and no finishers medal. Marathon 2: – Big Sky Marathon finishing in Ennis, Montana: Unable to run following marathon 1 problems. Marathon 3 – Juneau Marathon in the Alaska Capital: Unable to run as couldn’t meet time limit. Marathon 4 – Bearfest Marathon: Roger had to win 1 out of 4. This was on an out and back course along the coastline of Wrangell Island in Alaska. It was hard work for him, but Roger kept going to finish in 6:40:47
Many Spartans will be enjoying a busy programme of races, social and training events over the next few weeks including:
- Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 3rd August.
- Herts Senior 5K Championships at Hatfield on Wednesday 30th August.
- Herts Veteran 5K Championships at Hatfield on Wednesday 13th September.
- Herts 10K Track Championships at Sandy on Saturday 23rd September.
- Herts Senior 10K Championships at Standalone on Sunday 1st October.
- Peterborough Half Marathon on Sunday 8th October.
- Stevenage Half Marathon on Sunday 22nd October.
- Cross Country at Trent Park on Sunday 12th November.
- St Neots Half Marathon on Sunday 19th November. Enter fast.
- Hertfordshire Five Mile Championship for Veterans at Hatfield on Sunday 26th Nov.
- Bass Belle 10 near Royston on Sunday 26th November.