Andrea Westcott – Committee Member


David Cadogan – Committee Member

David joined FVS in 2012. Having spent the majority of his life as an over-weight couch-potato, in 2011 he was on the cusp of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes so made an attempt to dodge the diabetes bullet and have a healthier life-style.

Over the course of a year, David managed his diet (otherwise known as ‘starvation’!!!) and increased activity, focussing on running and cycling as his main exercises. He completed his first half-marathon (Reading) in April 2012, his first marathon (Kent RR) in June 2012, and joined FVS in late 2012 to vary his running by taking part in cross-country events.

David has completed the Great North Run, the London 10k and (after 3 attempts) got through the ballot for the London Marathon 2014.

An experienced teacher and HE / FE lecturer in Computing, David has an interest anything gadget / IT-related however he has recently moved to more strategic role within Education, developing the FE workforce and new Professional Standards in FE teaching and assessment – a job much more in keeping with his Blofeld / ‘World Domination Inc.’ tendencies!!!


Jo Cahill – Committee Member

Jo joined the club as a complete novice in June 2011 and has never looked back! She had been going to the gym to lose some weight and on arriving home one evening she said her husband “I have just run my first ever 5 km she had NEVER run in my life before this! She proceeded to tell him how she’d love one day to do a marathon. Her husband turned blue and said very nicely Jo you are not really built for running- well that was it – within a month she had applied and secured a place in VLM for 2012! Hubby nearly had a coronary and she joined Spartans! As a result of the professional advice from the coaches and the camaraderie she experienced during training she completed London in 5 hrs 39 mins and now also has some fabulous friends.   Jo runs every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, with her Group C run on a Sunday being her favourite.

Jo has an 8 year old son called Jack – who demands that she is fit! She enjoys doing 10kms and half marathons and hopes one day to do the London Marathon again.

Jo works in higher education, but prior to that she worked for 12 years as a ward sister in a cardiothoracic intensive care unit.  On the 23 November 2012 Jo achieved her PhD which involved doing a research study looking at patient participation in surgical nursing care and which after the London Marathon was one of the biggest challenges of her life. If you put your mind to it you can succeed at anything! Jo’s motto is ‘It helps to be a Spartan’!!!!!


James Day – Webmaster

Club News

New Committee Elected for 2013

FVS Committee 2013

During the AGM on Wednesday 21st November, a new committee was voted in.

Beverley Harlow
General Secretary
Vivienne Honey
Mark Cheadle
Head Coach
Chris Leigh
Mens Team Captain
Nick Witcombe
Ladies Team Captain
Tracy Pez
Graham Blackburn

Jim Brown

James Day

John Harlow

Simon Harris

Paul Holgate

Lisa Jerrom

Maria Rushton

Phil Rushton

Tessa Stephenson

Barry King

Christine Sharman

Jayne Pinner

Jo Cahill

Contact the committee to give your thoughts and feedback using email address:

Midweek League News

MWL Division 1 Race – Official Results Race 4 – St. Albans 7 Miles – Thursday 29th June 2012

Club News


IT’S HOT AGAIN!  Edinburgh, Whipsnade, Hyde Park

For the third year running it was hot, hot, hot for the Edinburgh Marathon and Half Marathon.

In the half marathon with fantastic support from Katrina Doyle, Debbie Blackburn and Jayne Pinner GRAHAM BLACKBURN finished just before the sun burst through with a great time of 1 hour 29 minutes 33 seconds.

Also in the Half Marathon ANDY JAY finished in 1 hour 54 minutes 41 seconds and PHIL RUSHTON in 2:01:30.  NICK WITCOMBE ran a new personal best for the second week running with his time of 2 hours 6 minutes 12 seconds.  TRACY STILES ran her fastest half this year with 2:08:06.  KAREN SMITH ran her first half marathon in 2 hours 12 minutes 4 seconds

MARIA RUSHTON took 2:16:30.  JACKIE MORRISON and LES BUTLER both ran their best half marathons this year with the same time – 2:26:30; and KERRY SETTERFIELD completed the race in 2:30:30.

The Marathon runners started just as the faster half marathon runners were finishers and had 26.2 miles of hot roads to contend with though they were near the banks of the Forth for much of the race and almost on the beach at Portobello.

JO LAING ran an excellent London Marathon qualifying time and new personal best (PB) of 3 hours 5 minutes 20 seconds.  She was 195th out of thousands of runners; PETE SMITH’s new PB of 3 hours 14 minutes 9 seconds gives him a “Good For Age” entry for London; TODD GRAY finished in 3 hours 34 minutes 52 seconds; ROGER BIGGS in a year’s best time of 3 hours 51 minutes 17 seconds; CLIVE CANNON finished in 4:09:30; SARAH O’BRYAN in 4:27:30; and KAREN LIDDLE in a new PB of 4:33:30.

Wilting At Whipsnade

Sunday’s Whipsnade 10K was VERY warm but over an enjoyable three lap course past the zebras, flamingos and rhinos inside Whipsnade Zoo. There were Spartan starters although CHRIS WESTCOTT collapsed from exhaustion less than 1k from the finish not too long after lapping wife Andrea, who not surprisingly then retired from the race to ensure Chris was okay, so just the 11 finish times.

ANDY NEATHAM was first to finish with an impressive eighth position overall out of 562 finishers in 37 minutes 59 seconds.  MADDIE PRITCHARD was the next Spartan finisher completing her first ever 10K in 49:11.  She was 19th woman out of the 270 female finishers.  Those were both very good times in such warm conditions.

Spartan times: Andy Neatham, 8th in 37:59; Maddie Pritchard 108th in 49:11 (PB); Dan Sims 113th in 49:31; Paul Holgate 203rd in 54:39; Stephen Block 260th in 57:09; Sarah Hukin 321st in 60:14; Danny Hukin 322nd in 60:15; Lisa Jerrom 417th in 65:46; Gemma Nash 472nd in 68:34; Jan Fry 485th in 69:45; Anne-Marie Neatham 507th in 72:32.

Excellent preparation for Thursday’s 10K league race!

Sweltering Serpentine

The Serpentine was looking very tempting during the Last Friday of the Month 5K race which started at 12.30p.m.  It was hot in Hyde Park with conditions described by the organizers as sunny, hot, windy with lots of pollen.  Spartan JIM BROWN finished with salt stinging his eyes in a fairly controlled time of 23 minutes 14 seconds.  He was 115th out of the 194 finishers and eighth in his category.

Blistering BUPA

RUTH MURTAGH completed the BUPA London 10K in 59 minutes 38 minutes.  She was it was too blooming hot and had to walk for 1.3 miles.  Ruth hopes to do much better in the Mid Week League race on Thursday evening.

Go For It At Welwyn Garden City

After a fantastic turnout and good result in the first Mid Week Road Race League event of the season Fairlands Valley Spartans are going all out for more than one hundred runners at the next fixture which is a 10K race in Welwyn Garden City this Thursday evening, 31st May.  Everyone can contribute to the club’s success provided they have joined and wear the stripy vest.

Coming Events

Many Spartans will be enjoying a busy programme of races, social and training events over the next few weeks including the:

  • Mid Week Road Race League 10K fixture in Welwyn Garden City at 7.45p.m. on Thursday 31st May.
  • EVAC Track and Field event in Kettering on Wednesday 13th June.
  • Mid Week Road Race League 10K in Harlow on Wednesday 20th June.
  • Spartans v NHRR “Olympic” Fun Event on Sunday 24th June.
  • Mid Week Road Race League Seven Miles in St. Albans on Thursday 28th June.
  • Mob Match at Trent Park on Wednesday 11th July.
  • EVAC Track and Field event in Milton Keynes on Wednesday 11th July.
  • Fairlands Valley Challenge (Off Road) on Sunday 15th July.
  • Relays in the Park (3K legs) on Thursday evening 19th July.
  • County 5K Championships in Stevenage on Sunday 9th September.
  • County 5 Miles Championship in Stevenage on Sunday 23rd September.
  • Stevenage Half Marathon on Sunday 4th 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 over 400 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 drama studio next to the gymnastics centre at Marriotts School — a Sports College, Telford Avenue, Stevenage (SG2 0AN) 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 £27 per year.  Concessions are available.  Membership forms are available on the Spartans website  Please ask if you would like a paper copy.

If you want to know more about the Spartans please contact Jim Brown (01438 354505 or 0793 968 7509), Stephanie Mayfield 01438 815859 or visit their website


More from Jim Brown (Press Officer) 01438 354505 / 0793 968 7509 or Stephanie Mayfield (Secretary) 01438 815859

Midweek League News

MWL Division 1 Race – Official Results Race 1 – Stevenage 10k – Tuesday 15th May 2012