Ten At Buntingford Ten * Tim Runs His Box Off


Fairlands Valley Spartans’ ANDREW PATTERSON won the Pirton Boxing Day run.  He got his best time ever on the course, beating his previous best by 55 seconds to win in 17 minutes 49 seconds, 30 seconds ahead of second place.  STEFFAN FORD was sixth beating his 2015 time with 19:39.  Andrew commented on the nice conditions and it was great to get some fresh air and make room for another day of feasting.



Ten Spartans enjoyed the chilly but sunny and still conditions at the Buntingford Ten.  STEFFAN FORD was 26th out of nearly 500 finishers with 1 hour 1 minute 19 seconds.  ROS INGRAM was the fastest female from Fairlands at 207th overall with 1:21:48.  JOHN HARRIS 66th in 1:07:22; PETER SMITH 82nd in 1:09:36; and JOHN NELMS 94th in 1:11:06 were all in the top 100.

ROGER BIGGS 281st in 1:28:02; KEN JUDE 354th in 1:35:53; SHARON CROWLEY 418th in 1:45:19; KELLY CHAPMAN 475th in 2:14:51 and PAUL HOLGATE 476th in 2:14:52 were in the second half of the race but were pleased with their performances.

Position Name Time Category Cat Pos
26 STEFFAN FORD 01:01:19 Male O40 8
66 JOHN HARRIS 01:07:22 Male O50 10
82 PETER SMITH 01:09:36 Male O50 11
94 JOHN NELMS 01:11:06 Male O40 26
207 ROS INGRAM 01:21:48 Female O35 13
281 ROGER BIGGS 01:28:02 Male O60 10
354 KEN JUDE 01:35:53 Male O50 58
418 SHARON. CROWLEY 01:45:19 Female O55 11
475 KELLY CHAPMAN 02:14:51 Female O35 75
476 PAUL HOLGATE 02:14:52 Male O50 73


Ramsay Beats The Hour

Grant Ramsay maintaned his good form by subbing the hour in the Ilford 10 Mile Cross Country race.  Despite the hills and mud, Ramsay paced the off road circuit well to finish third in 59 minutes 56 seconds.


Box Off

TIM SABAN ran the Boxing Day five mile race at Witham, Essex in a new personal best of 33 minutes 22 seconds.  He was 62nd out of the 406 finishers.


Parkrun Reports


Christmas Eve

PETER SMITH was first Spartan to finish at the Christmas Eve Stevenage parkrun, crossing the line ninth in 21:07.  DARREN EMMERSON and THOMAS SAUKA joined him in the top 20, finishing in 22:07 and 22:10 respectively.  MARTIN DUDLEY was next to finish in 23:32.  For the women, CLAIRE PULLEN was sixth in 23:33. CAROL PAUL was 16th in 26:37, CATHY CRAIG finished in 29:42 with CLAIRE COX also in 29:42.

In total 21 Spartans ran at Stevenage with the others being: ANDREW SMITH 23:54 (new course PB), CRAIG BACON 24:11, NEIL ROBINSON 26:03, ROGER BIGGS 27.17 (new course PB), HAZEL SMITH 29.43, TRACEY PEZ 31.52, ANDY JAY 31.52, HILARY DAVIES 32.10, JOHN WALSH       33:04, PAULINE FARNHAM 33:08, ROBERT HARDY 35.39 (new course PB), JACKIE DOWNES 36:10 and IAN ALEXANDER 44:45.

In other local parkruns, MARK GOODWIN ran his first ever parkrun at Panshanger Park and crossed the line in 23:59. TIM ROBINSON also ran and finished in 25:51.  At Ellenbrook Fields CRAIG HALSEY was the sole Spartan in attendance and finished first in 17:13, while three Spartans went north to Wimpole Estate.  JOHN HARRIS was 22nd in 21:19 and DANNY SUTTON finished in 30:46, while for the women VERITY FISHER was 15th in 25:22, a new course PB.

Further afield, CHRIS HOLLAND was in the Lake District to finish 38th at Keswick in a time of 24:16 while the Green family were on the East side of the country at Newcastle. STEVE was 17th in 19:33 while ISABEL was 12th woman in 23:39, a new course PB (personal best).

Finally, DARYL STEVENS was at Lymington Woodside and finished in 38:34, a new course PB.


Christmas Day

Sixteen Spartans headed to Panshanger on a mild morning, some a little the worse for wear, for the Christmas Day parkrun.  First Spartan to finish was THOMAS SAUKA who finished 25th in 21:11, a new course PB.  ANDY JAY finished in 24:36 and JAMES KILROY in 25:41.  ANDY PRIOR was fourth male Spartan in 25:54, also a new course PB.

MICHELLE REEVES was fifth woman in 21:17. VERITY FISHER was 23rd in 26:32, with NICOLA HABERLAND finishing in 27:09 and JENNY GARRETT finishing in 28:32 (new course PB).

The other Spartans were VISHAL SHAH 26:51, RICHARD KENNEDY 27:08, KEN JUDE 27:11, ROGER BIGGS 28:11, KAREN BROOM 30:05, TIM SABAN 30:05, TRACY STILES 34:29 and IAN ALEXANDER 40:32.

Elsewhere ISABEL and STEVE GREEN returned to Newcastle parkrun for the second day, running 33:53 and 33:54 respectively.


Coming Events

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:

  • 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  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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