Club News


News from the FVS Presentation night, Windy Fens, Regents Park and Silverstone

Fairlands Valley Spartans enjoyed their Presentation Evening, Dinner and Disco at Chesfield Downs on Friday evening. They celebrated another successful year including promotion to the top division in the Mid Week Road Race League and their women’s team victory in the East of England track and field league. The competition for many club awards was intense as can be seen in the results.

RHIANNON GRFFIN won the female open short distance championship by just 0.2%. She scored 71.0% to just beat the 70.8% by LISA BURGESS. JENNIFER ROBERTSON got the third medal position with 67.0% not far ahead of MADDIE PRITCHARD on 65.4%.

The short distance championship consisted of the best three out of 1500 metres, 5 kilometres, 5 miles and 10 kilometres.

In the female age-graded short distance championship JULIE SIMMONS scored an impressive 80% plus. She wonm with 80.7%. TRACY PEZ was second with 69.6% and BEVERLEY HARLOW third with 68.3%. LISA GRAY came close to a top three placing with 65.8%.

RICHARD BATE won the male open short distance championship with 78.6%; GRANT RAMSAY was second on 77.4% and SIMON JACKSON third, just 0.4% behind, on 77.0%. Andrew Patterson was fourth with 72%.

In the male age graded short distance championship ANDY NEATHAM won with a fantastic 86.1%; BARRY OSBORNE was second on 82.5% and DAVID BOWKER third on 80.4%. All three over 80% and SIMON BELL was fourth on 79.6%, a score that would have been good enough to win on some occasions.

JO LAING won the female open long distance championship with 70.7%; LISA LIVERSIDGE was second with 53.5% and LORRAINE WYATT third on 47.9%.

All long distance championships count the best three out of 10 miles, half marathon, 20 miles and full marathon.

In the female Age-Graded Long distance championship JAN FRY won wuith 63.4%; SHARON CROWLEY second with 55.9% and TRACY STILES third with 49.3%.

GRANT RAMSAY won the male Open Long distance championship with 78.6%; SIMON JACKSON was second with 75.2% and CHRISTOPHER WESTCOTT third with 72.5%. DANIEL BATES was fourth on 61.1%. In the men’s age graded long distance championship GRAHAM BLACKBURN was first with 71.5%; PETE SMITH second with 70.9% and TODD GRAY third on 68.4%. This was another highly competitive category. MARK GOODWIN only missed third place by 0.4%.

The evening also celebrated the achievements of some outstanding champions.

David Bowker represented Hertfordshire in the 3000 metres walk and won the EVAC 5 mile championship for male veterans (50 plus).

Iris Hornsey won gold in the 1500 and 800 metres at the British Masters Athletics Championships

Monica Brown won gold at the British Masters heptathlon plus silver in the long jump and high jump.

Grant Ramsay represented Hertfordshire and Scotland in another outstanding year of running

Steve Mayfield won bronze in the British Masters Outdoor Pentathlon for male veterans (45 plus).

A special award was made to the winning women’s team in the East of England veterans’ track and field league. They were Chris Feely, Monica Brown, Rosie Canham, Sharon Crowley, Christine Latham, Stephanie Mayfield, Julie Simmons, Carolyn Shortland, Tessa Stephenson, Peta Wilson and Louise Oliver

RHIANNON GRIFFIN and STEVE MAYFIELD won the club’s own track and field championship.

The captain’s awards went to ANDY JAY and RHIANNON GRIFFIN. TRACY PEZ won the chair’s award for service to the club.

As the presentations reached their peak NICK WITCOMBE was declared Spartan of the Year; SHARON CROWLEY was confirmed as the overall female champion and GRANT RAMSAY overall male champion and champion of champions.

(More than 100 images are available).

Windy Silverstone

There were very windy conditions, never good on the exposed course, including a strong headwind for most of the final three miles for the Silverstone Half Marathon but MARTIN PRICE improved his half marathon time by 7 minutes 23 seconds to record a new personal best of 1 hour 42 minutes 57 seconds.

Clare Moore ran a controlled race at 9 minute per mile pace as part of her marathon training. She finished in 1:55:05 and said ‘It was really nice to run a relaxed race with no pressure. I ended up enjoying the atmosphere and high fiving spectators along the way. The best moment was seeing the mighty Weirwolf come flying past me on his way to winning the wheelchair race.’

PETE SMITH finished in 1:32:29 and STEVE ELDER in 1:38:53.

Paul Holgate improved his 2014 half marathon time by 10 minutes to finish in 2:09:29 and JO CAHILL improved her personal best to 2:24:30.

PB for Maddie
It was a bit windy in Regents Park but MADDIE PRITCHARD improved her 10K personal best by about a minute to 44:31.

Swavesey – Off Road Half Marathon
GRANT RAMSAY was second overall and first veteran in the Swavesey Off Road Half Marathon. Despite windy conditions which proved a challenge to all runners over the Cambridgeshire Fens he finished in 1 hour 17 minutes 28 seconds. SIMON BELL was eighth in 1:26:13.

Spartans First and Second in First Saturday RaceFairlands Valley Spartans were first and second in a very wet and muddy First Saturday of the Month 5K in Letchworth at the weekend.

ANDREW PATTERSON was first in 17 minutes 59 seconds with SIMON JACKSON second in 18:17. JOHN HARRIS was fifth in 21:08 and CRAIG BACON 27th in 24:47. Despite being stopped by a dog LISA GRAY was 30th in 26:13. LISA KASPERPOWICZ was 38th in 27:23. There were 70 finishers.

Sunny For Serpentine
Friday’s Last Friday of the Month 5K started grey with a cold breeze but finished in sunshine. Fairlands Valley Spartans’ JIM BROWN improved his season’s best by eight seconds to finish the race round Hyde Park in 22 minutes 44 seconds. He was 134th out of the 215 finishers with a score of 71.18%%. The winning time was 15:59 with the last runner back in 35:06.

Cambridge Boundary Run

On Sunday Carol Paul ran the Cambridge boundary marathon. Starting from the Holiday Inn this was 26.2 miles around the boundary of Cambridge in a clockwise direction on footpaths and off road paths across fields. At times it was very cold and windy. She completed the course in 5:19:02

And A PB For Davie At Reading
DAVIE STAFFORD ran the Reading Half Marathon in a new personal best of 1 hour 31 minutes exactly, and he raised £250 for the NSPCC. DANIEL BATES enjoyed a great result of 1:33:07 and said it was a great course. FIONA KEELEY completed her first half marathon in 2:38:20.

Treviso Marathon – Sunday, 2nd March 2014Roger Biggs was in Northern Italy for a popular marathon finishing within the walled city of Treviso. This was Roger’s first marathon since Mid October, struggling with unfit legs and a far from 100% Achilles, he finished in 5 hours 31 minutes 33 seconds.

London Marathon
Fairlands Valley Spartans will be organising a coach to the London Marathon on Sunday, 13 April for those running . Spaces are available at £10, departing from Stevenage Old Town at 6.30a.m. Further details given on booking. If you are interested please contact Roger Biggs on or 07748 326301.

Coming Events

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

• Veterans Cross Country Championships in Royston on 16th March
• Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 20th March
• Last Friday 5K in Hyde Park on Friday 28th March
• Herts 1500 and Veterans Track and Field Championships on 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
• 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 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


More from Jim Brown (Press Officer) 0793 968 7509 or Vivienne Honey (Secretary) 07702 846304

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