Boiling in Brighton

Spartans on Track * Paris News * Calderdale


While others wilted in the heat PAUL HEWETT smashed his personal best (PB) by 43 minutes in Sunday’s Brighton Marathon with 3 hours 6 minutes 14 seconds.  Paul was the fastest of fourteen from Fairlands Valley Spartans.

STEVE GREEN trimmed his PB by 2:45, a tremendous achievement in those conditions, with 3:24:54.  RICHARD KENNEDY was not far behind in 3:26:51 and NICOLA KENNEDY was the fastest woman from the club with 3:46:46.

JIM BROWN lost at least 3.1 kilogrammes during the race but hung on well for a top 20% position, 3536th out of 20,604, and well up in his age category with 3:55:03.  However he says he does not recommend this as a weight loss programme!  That was a season’s best (SB) and his first marathon since a major operation.  He commented that the last three miles were a real grovel and he was pleased to get past the site of “Quadrophenia” and struggle to the finish line.

HELENE MILLER ran a well paced race to finish in 4 hours 20 minutes exactly.  Clearly it wasn’t hot enough for THOMAS SAUKA who ran the 26.2 miles in a onesie.  It took him 4 hours 21 minutes 39 seconds.  All Tom could say was it was hot, he went a little fast on the first half of the course and then felt it on the second half, crazy but he thought a sub 4 hour would be amazing, the support along the way was superb it really lifted my spirits and was great to hear so many people calling my name.  If you would like to sponsor Tom for the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital that would be great.  Thanks to the people that already have.

Four Spartans were running their first marathons – KEN JUDE 4:49:26; JULIE SHADBOLT 5:01:26; CAROLE SHELDRICK in 5:04:41; and CAROLINE CROFT in 5:04:45.  Ken said he was comfortable and enjoying at halfway but aware that he was going too fast so tried to pull it back with a run/walk strategy from 14 miles.

At 20 or so miles he had a bit of dizziness/light-headedness and again when he tried to start running again at 23 miles.  So ended up walking 21-25 miles and then was able to run the last 1.2 without any trouble.  A bit disappointed not to get under 4:30 but Ken was happy to have notched up a first marathon.  Carole and Caroline celebrated with a Mr Whippy.

ROBERT WRIGHT came in with 5:11:30 and KAREN ELLIS finished in 5:19:12.  After a long time in the heat IAN ALEXANDER completed the event in 6:00:39 and 7:45:25.



TIM ROBINSON ran 4:55:13 at the Paris Marathon where heatwave conditions saw temperatures rise above 25 degrees C.


Spartans on Track

Eleven Spartans took part in a track session at Ridlins on Saturday.  Over 1500 metres their times were BRIAN WHITE 5:20.76; SUZY HAWKINS 5:45.69; MARK GOODWIN 5:54.52; STEVE SMITHSON 5:57.32; KARL SHREEVE 6:13.83; KARTIK SHARMA 6:22.96; STEVE GOUGH 7:12.94; SHARON CROWLEY 7:19.70; MONICA SMITHSON 7:19.79; PAUL HOLGATE 7:32.10 and LIZ CARVELL 8:01.07.


Parkrun Reports

As a “warm up” for the Brighton Marathon the following day TOM SAUKA ran Worthing Parkrun in 20 minutes 32 seconds.  ANDY JAY ran the Parkrun in Exeter, whilst on Easter holiday.  On a lovely one lap course along the Riverside,  Andy finished in 24.20.


London Calling

Fairlands Valley Spartans are organising a coach to the start of the London Marathon on Sunday 23rd April.  The club have spaces left on the coach for anyone who would like a lift to the start area at Greenwich Park & Blackheath.  The cost is £10 per person, leaving the Old Town at 06:30hrs.  Have a look at


Calderdale Hike

SHARON and MIKE CROWLEY completed the Calderdale Hike recently.  The 27 mile walk started from Sowerby Bridge.  The circular route included 4,000 feet of climbing in the Pennines.  They encountered poor visibility and pouring rain that made navigation difficult.  Sharon and Mike finished together in 8 hours 19 minutes, 25 minutes faster than last year.  They were 14th and 15th in the walking section, with Sharon getting a prize for being first lady veteran!


Coming Events

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

  • Maidenhead Easter Ten on Friday 14th April.
  • London Marathon on Sunday 23rd April.
  • Serpentine 5K in Hyde Park on Friday 28th April.
  • County 1500 Championships in Stevenage on Monday 1st May.
  • Herts County Five Mile Championships for Seniors at Pednor on 1st May.
  • EMAC Track and Field at Bedford on Wednesday 3rd May.
  • Dereham 10 (ten miles) on Sunday 7th May.
  • First Mid Week Road Race League match on Wednesday 10th May.
  • Ross Peers Half Marathon on Sunday 14th May.
  • Summer Solstice 10K at St Albans on Tuesday 16th May.
  • Stirling Marathon on Sunday 21st May.
  • Mid Week Road Race League in Stevenage on Wednesday 24th May.
  • EMAC Track and Field at Cambridge on Wednesday 7th June.
  • Mid Week Road Race League in Hitchin on Wednesday 14th June.
  • Herts Veteran 10K Championships at Welwyn on Sunday 25th June.
  • Mid Week Road Race League from Ridlins on Wednesday 28th June.
  • EMAC Track and Field at Milton Keynes on Wednesday 5th July.
  • Mob Match at Welwyn Garden City on Thursday 13th July.
  • Fairlands Valley Challenge from Stevenage on 15th and 16th July
  • EMAC Track and Field at Stevenage on Wednesday 26th July.
  • Fairlands Valley Relays in Stevenage on Thursday 27th July.
  • Herts Senior 5K Championships at Hatfield on Wednesday 30th August.
  • Herts Veteran 5K Championships at Hatfield on Wednesday 13th September.
  • Herts Senior 10K Championships at Standalone on Sunday 1st October.
  • Peterborough Half Marathon on Sunday 8th October.
  • Stevenage Half Marathon on Sunday 22nd October.
  • St Neots Half Marathon on Sunday 19th November.  Enter fast.
  • Hertfordshire Five Mile Championship for Veterans at Hatfield on Sunday 26th Nov.
  • Bass Belle 10 near Royston on Sunday 26th November.

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