Three Spartans completed the Milton Keynes Winter Half on Sunday and despite difficult conditions one was fast enough to qualify for a London Marathon championship place. The course included some tight turns and was slippery from Saturday’s heavy rain. One underpass was mid calf high in water. But the course was also very flat and one for Spartans to target for a personal best in future years.
KELLY McHALE did 1 hour 56 minutes 39 seconds with an amazingly consistent pace all the way round and RICHARD HAZLEDENE ran a very solid 1:41:32 but ANDY PATTERSON knocked over three minutes off his personal best for tenth place and 1:14:49, in doing so he secured a London Marathon championship spot.
On Saturday ROGER BIGGS completed the Lanzarote Marathon in 4 hours 52 minutes 51 seconds. The out & back marathon course followed the coast from Costa Teguise to Puerto Del Carmen, and back again. The out leg was humid, the return was hot, so to finish was a victory.
Spartans Host Cross Country
Fairlands Valley Spartans host this Sunday’s cross country league race. It will be on the Willian course starting at 10a.m. About 350 people are expected to run.
At Stevenage parkrun DARREN EMMERSON was first Spartan finisher in 15th position in 21mins 53secs. MARTIN DUDLEY was 21st in 22:18 with MARK BEASLEY 24th in 22:42. For the women, VERITY FISHER was third in 24:34, CLAIRE COX fourth in 25:38 and HAZEL SMITH fifth in 25:39.
The other Spartans in action at Stevenage were DAVE SMITH (22:56), CHRIS HOLLAND (23:17), THOMAS SAUKA (24:26), DANIEL SUTTON (24:34), PAUL HOLGATE (28:42 on his parkrun debut) and CALLUM BEASLEY (31:13).
Finally, ANDY JAY was 44th at PANSHANGER in 24:12 and remains on course to earn a 50 tee shirt on New Year’s Day if doing the double.
Many Spartans will be enjoying a busy programme of races, social and training events over the next few weeks including cross country league. The opportunities include:
- Third Cross Country League Race at Willian on Sunday 18th December.
- Boxing Day Five in Witham on Monday 26th December.
- Serpentine New Year 10K in Hyde Park on 1st January 2017.
- Herts Cross Country Championships at Haileybury on Sunday 8th January.
- Fourth Cross Country League Race at Watford on Sunday 15th January.
- Fred Hughes 10 at St Albans on Sunday 22nd January.
- Southern Seniors Cross Country at Parliament Hill Fields on Saturday 28th January.
- Watford Half Marathon inc. County Senior Champs on Sunday 5th February.
- Fifth and Final Cross Country League Race at Royston on Sunday 12th February.
- Veterans County Cross Country Championships on Sunday 19th February.
- Finchley 20 on Sunday 11th March.
- County 1500 Championships in Stevenage on Monday 1st May (TBA).
- Stirling Marathon on Sunday 21st May.
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 www.fvspartans.org.uk 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 www.fvspartans.org.uk