Easter holidays did not prevent 26 Spartans turning out for Thursday night’s Handicap 5K race in Stevenage.
The winner on the night was newcomer PAUL MAGUIRE in 23 minutes 23 seconds. He beat his handicap by 2 minutes 37 seconds. Paul was closely followed by another first timer, Andy Fenwick, 2:17 ahead of handicap, in 32:43. Mark Beasley was third, just four days after his London marathon run, in a new year best time of 20:51.
SUE HAMER led the ladies home, in fourth position overall, to beat her personal best (PB) by 50 seconds, with 26:39. MADDIE PRITCHARD improved her PB by a whole minute to an impressive 21:09. She was second woman across the line. Hayley Peach was third female, also in a PB, 1:18 quicker with 33:52.
The fastest runner on the evening was Liam Herbert in a new year best time of 18:32. DANIEL BATES was second quickest, breaking 20 minutes for the first time, in a new personal best (PB) of 19:55. Graham Blackburn was third quickest with a new year best time of 20:22.
Maddie was quickest female (21:09), with Beverley Harlow second fastest, improving her year best time by 1 minute to 26:21, and Sue 3rd quickest (26:39).
Every finisher recorded a personal best, season best or year time, including Jon Sypula, 20 seconds quicker with 22:49 despite running the whole 5k on his own, and Matt Gill, back from injury with a new PB of 21:02, 5 seconds better than before his injury.
Iris Hornsey’s 29:54 was her fastest 5k for more than 2 years and Callum Beasley & Paul Holgate both improved their fastest 5k of 2014 by more than 40 seconds, while Mark Goodwin, Nick Emmett, Alex Pritchard, Jamie Tippett, Maria Thorne and Earl Brown each recorded their first Spartan 5k of the year.
Five helpers ensured the event ran smoothly – Bernie Barnaby, Lisa Jerrom, Jim Brown, Sharon Crowley & Vishal Shah.
There will now be a short break so that Spartans can concentrate on the Midweek League which starts with the first race in Stevenage on Tuesday 13th May. The Handicap 5K will return in August.
N.B. In handicap races the slower runners start first working through to the fastest who start last. Start times are calculated from recent performances. If everyone runs to form everyone finishes together. The best improver wins.
Pritchard’s Park Run
Just two days later MADDIE PRITCHARD took another chunk off her 5K personal best. She was first woman and 39th overall out of the 285 finishers in the St Albans parkrun with her time of 21 minutes 1 second. That’s eight seconds faster than Thursday night.
Many Spartans will be enjoying a busy programme of races, social and training events over the next few weeks including the:
• Spartans Kit Sale at Marriotts Sports Centre at 6.15p.m. on Thursday 24th April
• Last Friday of the Month 5K in Hyde Park on Friday 25th April
• Herts 1500 and Veterans Track and Field Championships on Monday 5th May
• Herts County Five Miles Championships at Pednor on Monday 5th May
• First Mid Week Road Race League (10K) race in Stevenage on Tuesday 13th May
• Second Road Race League (5 miles) race in Chingford on Wednesday 4th June
• Third Road Race League (9K) race in Trent Park on Thursday 12th June
• Fourth Road Race League (10K) in St Albans on Tuesday 1st July
• Mid Week Mob Match (10K) in Welwyn Garden City on Thursday 17th July
• Off Road Challenge in Stevenage on Sunday 20th July
• Relays in the Park in Stevenage on Thursday 31st July
• Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 14th August.
• Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 18th September.
• County 5K Veteran Championship in Hatfield on Wednesday 24th September
• County 5K Senior Championship in Hatfield on Wednesday 8th October
• Stevenage Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday 2nd November
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 9.30a.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 done very much running yet might prefer to start with a Thursday, Saturday or Monday session.
Try a few sessions before joining. Membership is only £35 per year, £25 without UKA membership. Concessions are available. Membership forms are available on the Spartans website www.fvspartans.org.uk Please ask if you would like a paper copy.
If you want to know more about the Spartans please contact Jim Brown (0793 968 7509), Vivienne Honey 07702 846304 or visit their website www.fvspartans.org.uk
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More from Jim Brown (Press Officer) 0793 968 7509 or Vivienne Honey (Secretary) 07702 846304