A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away runners had to endure ice, snow, freezing rain or howling winds in the Buntingford Year End ten mile road race but on Monday fifteen Spartans enjoyed Spring like conditions in this year’s race.
The race was on a hilly course with some tricky turns within Buntingford but SIMON JACKSON beat the hour to come 11th out of the 482 finishers in just 59 minutes 8 seconds.
ANN TRYSSESOONE gave everything to take a massive 4 minutes 47 seconds off her personal best with 1 hour 17 minutes 2 seconds. She was an impressive fifth in her category and 149th overall.
There was a special award for ROGER BIGGS. He had run twenty Year End Tens before Monday’s race. This time he was 405th in 1:40:18.
The other “A” team Spartans were STEFFAN FORD, 18th in 1:01:52; CRAIG HALSEY, 55th in 1:07:34 and DAVID RIDDELL, 56th in 1:07:39.
MADDIE PRITCHARD was Fairlands fastest female at 140th with 1:16:20. SHARON CROWLEY came in with 1:49:47.
|140||MADDIE PRITCHARD (F)||1:16:20|
|149||ANN TRYSSESOONE (F)||1:17:02||PB (4:47)|
|405||ROGER BIGGS||1:40:18||Special Award|
|456||SHARON CROWLEY (F)||1:49:47|
There were 482 finishers.
Christmas Day Parkrunners
Christmas Day saw the Spartans out in force for the festive Parkrun at Panshanger Park in Hertford. There were sixteen seasonal Spartans in the blue stripe vests taking on the 5km cross country course and club captain Daniel Bates said ‘it was a great turnout by the club, we all went there with aim, to promote the club, to put in a great performance whilst being in the festive mood and we were rewarded with some great performances.
Craig Halsey put on a strong performance and finished 5th overall of the 270 runners with a time of 17 minutes 14 seconds, gaining a course personal best (PB) at the time. Daniel Bates was second Spartan home in his preparations for the Riga 5km and two running events in Hong Kong in the next fortnight and finished in 21:15 (29th). Tim Saban was third Spartan in 21:51. The other highlight was at the finish line where Andy Jay and Tracy Pez were fighting it out going neck and neck on ‘that’ final uphill but it was Andy who finished first in 24:31 (84th) and Tracy in 24:34 (85th). Other results as follow: Thomas Sauka 22:15 (40th); James Kilroy 23:32 (61st); Michelle Reeves 23:43 (65th); Ken Jude 24:58 (94th), Andy Prior 26:16 (115th); Hazel Clark 26:17; Jeanette Collins 28:09 (156th), Olwen Batty 28:26 (159th and also a new course PB), Debbie Raines 29:57 (172th), Nicola Tout 33:08 (231st); Nick Witcombe 33:08 (232th). There were 265 finishers.
Up the A1 at Peterborough, Verity Fisher put on a good performance by finishing 105th out of 424 runners in 23 minutes 39 seconds.
Even further up the A1 Isabel Green, Roger Hardman and Steve Green ran a Newcastle parkrun double. On Christmas day in near perfect condition and on a fast course Steve ran a personal best 19:33, Isabel 23:43 also a PB, and Roger won his category in 26:43.
Ran Their Box Off
TIM SABAN and JIM BROWN ran their Box Off at the Boxing Day Five in Witham on Saturday. Jim said it seemed incredibly hot and didn’t often sweat that much in July races.
On a lovely bright morning but with a stiff headwind between one and three miles Tim was 76th over the five miles in 35 minutes 28 seconds. Jim was delighted with a year’s best time, and squeaking under 40 minutes, to finish in 39 minutes 56 seconds.
Pirton Boxing Day 5km – Run Like A Turkey
It was a Spartan one two as GRANT RAMSAY won the Pirton Boxing Day 5K race in 18 minutes 32 seconds with ANDREW PATTERSON second in 18:51. STEFFAN FORD was seventh of the 171 finishers in 20:17.
As ever it was a last ditch decision for NATALIE LAWRENCE to enter. Having been invited to run like a turkey by the organisers and despite enjoying a good Christmas Day she finished first woman and in the top ten (ninth) overall with a time of 20 minutes 48 seconds.
Boxing Day Parkruns
Less than 24 hours after doing a Christmas Day parkrun, a few Spartans were back on the road for another 5km event. The big shock came at Barclay Parkrun at Hoddesdon where Thomas Sauka, not known for his speedy parkruns, ran a very steady 5km and held on to finish in 2nd place, one second ahead of third place. Thomas ramped up the style on the final lap of the three lap course and held on to his life for his first ever top three finish in any sort of running event, finishing in 22-55 (3 minutes and 12 seconds behind 1st place). Fellow Spartan Daniel Bates finished 5th after slipping from 2nd in the final lap and came in at 23-35. Both Daniel and Thomas also ran a Parkrun the day before this event.
Back at Panshanger for the second time in 24 hours, Andy Jay managed to equal the Christmas Day positioning of 84th by finishing in the same place again with a time of 27-43, finishing 11 seconds slower than yesterday’s time. Tim Robinson finished in 26-31 (63rd) and Robert Shaw in 27-52 (86th). There were 197 runners turning out.
St Albans, also glutton for punishment by doing two parkruns in the space of 24 hours was Olwen Batty, finishing 168th out of 290 runners in 27-13, gaining a new course PB. Liz Carvel wasn’t too far behind finishing 175th in 27-33, 4 seconds off her course pb. Ken Jude was at St Albans helping out with the timekeeping duties.
Wimpole Hall Estate saw John Harris finishing in 21st out of 322 runners with a time of 21-58.
Further afield, Verity Fisher was out again for her second run in 24 hours at Belton House in scenic Leicestershire. Finishing in 32-35 and coming in 157th out of 197 runners. At Ashton Court, Bristol, John Nelms finished 29th out of 228 runners in a time of 22-04, a new course PB.
Remember, there are Parkruns on News Years Day (check the official Parkrun website for start times, there is even a chance you can do TWO that morning if you time it right) and normal service resumes on Saturday 2nd January.
Still in Newcastle for a rainy Boxing Day (with turkey on board) the results for Steve Green, Isabel Green and Roger Hardman were a little slower than the previous day! Steve 19:49, Isabel 24:54 and Roger 27:12
Club Champion GRANT RAMSAY completed the 10 mile Ilford cross country in 64:57. He was fourth overall out of more than 200 runners. Grant used the race as a glorified training session following 20 miles put in the previous day.
It was the Stansted Stagger for Tricia HOPPER and KAREN LIDDLE on Monday. Very muddy, as expected, but a nice varied course and some bits where you could actually shake the mud off your shoes and stop looking like Bambi on ice. They both came home in 5 hours 51 which was 9 minutes quicker than they expected so they are happy with that.
Many Spartans will be enjoying a busy programme of races, social and training events over the next few weeks including the:
- New Year’s Day 10K in Hyde Park on Friday 1st January 2016.
- County Cross Country Championships in Stevenage on Sunday 10th January 2016.
- Fourth cross country league race in Watford on Sunday 17th January.
- Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 21st January.
- Fred Hughes 10 including the County Ten Mile Championships for Veterans on Sunday 24th January.
- Serpentine 5K in Hyde Park on Friday 29th January.
- South of England Cross Country Championships in London on Saturday 30th January.
- Watford Half Marathon including the County Championships for Veterans on Sunday 7th February.
- Fifth and final cross country league race on Therfield Heath on Sunday 14th February.
- County Veterans Cross Country Championships on Sunday 13th March (probably Watford).
- Finchley 20 on Sunday 13th March.
- Maidenhead Easter Ten on Friday 25th March.
- County 20 Miles Championships at Oakley on Sunday 3rd April.
- Halstead Marathon, including Hertfordshire County Championships for seniors and veterans, on Sunday 8th May.
- Stevenage Half Marathon, a Stevenage 70 event, on Sunday 6th 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 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