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Hatfield 5 Wins

Fairlands Valley Spartans came home with GOLD, SILVER and BRONZE from the Hertfordshire County Five Mile Championships for veterans which were incorporated in the Hatfield Five on Sunday morning.

GEORGIE HOOPER (35:32 – a personal best PB by 11 minutes 39 seconds!); MARIE COLUCCI (37:18 – a season’s best SB by 3:01) and YUKO GORDON (37:42) won BRONZE in the women’s team competition.

Yuko took individual SILVER in the championship for women aged 65 plus.

The GOLD medal went to JIM BROWN who won the county championship for men aged 70 plus with exactly two minutes to spare in a year’s best (YB) time of 42 minutes 39 seconds.

Good fast five-mile races are pretty rare, and 22 Spartans took the opportunity.  There were some outstanding performances in the open race as well as the county event.  Every single Spartan that ran achieved a milestone.  NICK GILL was fastest from Fairlands, 53rd out of the 655 finishers in 30 minutes 50 seconds – an outstanding personal best by 16 minutes 21 seconds.

SAM SIMMONS improved his PB by 4:13 to 33:40. PETE SMITH took 3:05 off his SB to 35:12.  SUSAN McANENY reduced her PB by five seconds to 39:27 and NICK KLEANTHOUS by 58 seconds to 42:19.  NICOLA ANDERSSON sliced 1:17 off her life-time best with 43:38 and PENNY SCHENKEL improved her SB by 1:42 to 45:14.

MATT TUTTON took 37 seconds off his PB with 46:46 and JANE WADEY ran the PB bell with her new personal best of 52 minutes 26 seconds.  An improvement of 1:48.

SHARON CROWLEY took her season’s best down by 52 seconds to 55:03 and BRIAN WHITE, JONATHAN JONES and DZENANA TOPIC ran their best five-mile times this year with 36:51; 56:55 and 57:40.

Three Spartans were running their first ever five-mile races – MIKE JEFFS in 35:32; MARCUS RIDLEY in 37:34 and HARRIET SMITH 38:59.

MARK GOODWIN equalled his five-mile time with 37:34 and DANNY SCANLON was in the top 100 with a year’s best time of 32:49.

Bests At Bass Belle Ten

Another ten Spartans were at the Bass Belle Ten, a partly off-road event based in Bassingbourn.

STEVEN DOBNER said “Rain greeted us but luckily had passed through before the start.  After setting an unofficial PB in last week’s half marathon in Gosport I had a time to aim at and felt comfortable throughout.  Starting quickly to find some space and to try to get the best of the tricky 1.5miles muddy and slippery off-road section in road shoes, we settled into our rhythm ticking off the kilometers and judging the effort.  The little hill proved less of an obstacle this year and I was very happy to come home in a time of 1:15:05, knocking 5 minutes 31 off my previous best 10-mile race.”  

DAVE PATTMAN also came home with a new personal best of 1:15:41 shaving 2 minutes off his PB.  MO WARRILOW said she enjoyed the run, finished with a smile on her face and beat 90 minutes by 22 seconds.”

PAUL and ALISON SHELLEY ran Bass Belle again and said as always it was well organised and well supported.  The 1:5 mile off road section was a bit tricky but otherwise a nice route.  It was great to see so many Spartans.

Paul was 27th 1:11:35 – 27th overall.  Alison finished in 1:27:41.

The other Spartans were MATT CLARKE 1:25:11; MICHAEL O’KEEFE 1:35:00 in his first ten-mile race; FIONA CLARKE 1:37:39; CHLOE CHAPMAN 1:37:53 and MONICA SMITHSON 1:51:24.


Runners were so lucky with the conditions again for the Serpentine Last Friday of the Month 5K in Hyde Park, London.  It was sunny, mild and with a light breeze for the lunch-time event.  JIM BROWN ran his best 5K of the year with 26 minutes 8 seconds and second in his age category.


TRACY PEZ (and her dog) enjoyed a Canicross event at Grafham Water which they completed in 1 hour 21 minutes 7 seconds.

Parkrun Highlights 26th November 2022 – Penny in the Cape

Numbers were back over 300 for the 266th Stevenage with 314 completing the 5K Saturday morning run in Fairlands Valley Park.  24 were Spartans.

In Stevenage PENNY SCHENKEL ran her 50th parkrun in the red celebration cape with a time of 30 minutes 49 seconds.  MATTHEW NEWTON ran new PB of 20:14. ADRIAN BUSOLINI was 3rd overall in 18:15 and GRANT RAMSAY 4th in 18:58.

Elsewhere DARRYL STEVENS continues his tour of many different parkruns.  He was a first timer at Eastville, Bristol and finished in 39:30.  MATT and FIONA CLARKE were first timers at Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire with 31:07 and 31:11.

JULIET FULLWOOD was a first timer at Alexandra, Moss Side in Manchester on her first parkrun.  She was fourth women in 21:59.

22 Spartans at the Hatfield Five:

PositionNameNet TimeOpen CategoryCat PosGenderGen PosComments
53Nick GILL30:50Senior24Male49PB (16:21)
86Danny SCANLON32:49M4030Male75YB (year best)
106Sam SIMMONS33:40Senior37Male92PB (4:13)
138Peter SMITH35:12M608Male120SB (3:05)
152Mike JEFFS35:32Senior50Male133First 5 miles
153Georgie HOOPER35:32Senior4Female19Team Bronze.  PB (11:39)
181Brian WHITE36:51M6014Male151YB
205Marie COLUCCI37:18W4010Female33Team Bronze.  SB (3:01)
210Yuko GORDON37:42W701Female35County Silver.  Team Bronze.  YB.
211Marcus RIDLEY37:34Senior61Male175First five miles
213Mark GOODWIN37:34M6017Male177SB (equal)
242Harriet SMITH38:59Senior12Female41First five miles
266Susan MCANENY39:27W4017Female54PB (0:05)
317Nick KLEANTHOUS42:19M6024Male230PB (0:58)
334Jim BROWN42:39M703Male239County Gold.  YB
354Nicola ANDERSSON43:38W5027Female105PB (1:17)
414Penny SCHENKEL45:14W5036Female137SB (1:42)
448Matt TUTTON46:46Senior80Male287PB (0:37)
551Jane WADEY52:26W5065Female227PB (1:48)
587Sharon CROWLEY55:03W6031Female257SB (0:52)
596Jonathan Clive JONES56:55M5095Male331YB
604Dzenana TOPIC57:40W5084Female271YB

PB = personal best (lifetime); SB = season’s best; YB = year’s best.  655 finishers.

10 Spartans at the Bass Belle:

27PAUL SHELLEY1:11:35“SB” (2:50)61
52STEVEN DOBNER1:15:04“PB” (5:30)19
56DAVE PATTMAN1:15:41“PB” (1:50)20
126MATT CLARKE1:25:11“YB”448
140ALISON SHELLEY1:27:41“SB”62
164MO WARRILOW1:29:38“SB” (6:15)84
206MICHAEL O’KEEFE1:35:00First 10 miles418
235FIONA CLARKE1:37:39“YB”447
236CHLOE CHAPMAN1:37:53“PB” (6:19)49
313MONICA SMITHSON1:51:24“SB”172

356 finishers

24 Spartans at the Stevenage parkruns on Saturday 26th November:

Position  Gender Position  parkrunner  Run Time   
33Adrian BUSOLINI00:18:15Top ten
44Grant RAMSAY00:18:58Top ten
1110Matthew NEWTON00:20:14 
3229Paul SHELLEY00:22:08 
5447Martin DUDLEY00:23:58 
8912Gail MACKIE00:25:43 
9075Toby ECCLESHALL00:25:44 
9578Neal MUGGLETON00:26:08 
9981Michael O’KEEFE00:26:15 
10082Steven DOBNER00:26:16 
10817Mo WARRILLOW00:26:41 
10987David PATTMAN00:26:42 
134107Thomas SAUKA00:27:47 
161121Nick KLEANTHOUS00:29:03 
16233Alison SHELLEY00:29:05 
16939Chloe CHAPMAN00:29:12 
170123Sam SIMMONS00:29:13 
17943Nicola ANDERSSON00:29:41 
194139Jim BROWN00:30:48 
19547Penny SCHENKEL00:30:4950th parkrun in the cape
20353Nikki Katherine NATION00:31:08 
23471Sheryl HANN00:33:42 
257163Stephen SMITHSON00:34:55 
26484Samantha SUTTON00:35:56 

314 finishers.

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Fairlands Valley Spartans hosted another successful event on Thursday evening – the 3K Relay event- when nearly 400 runners completed the relay course. There were 47 women’s teams comprised of 3 runners and 50 men’s teams comprised of 5 runners.  Provisional results can be found on the Spartans website at but in the individual results the first man was James McMurray of St Albans Striders and the first woman was Lizzie Bird of Garden City Runners.


Krakow Park Run 5k, Poland.


Andy Neatham came  2nd in this race in a time of 17.57. which is a Vet PB by 1second and broke the Age group course record by over 30 seconds.


Thunder Run 24 hour Race


Spartans enjoyed a challenging weekend on Derbyshire for a 24 hour race on a very hilly course. The torrential rain and thunder storms were very apt for the Thunder Run race name and the dark, very muddy and slippery course resulted in some long, soul searching runs through the night. The format of the race was that in teams you each ran a 10k before passing the baton on to your next team member.


Three Spartans were in a team of five who came second, these were Todd Gray, Andrew Patterson and the stand out performance by Simon Jackson who accounted for 8 of the teams 31 laps.


Other Spartans enjoying the race included Kerry, Nikki Andrews and Darren Wilby.
The race was a fantastic event and thoroughly recommended


Spartan triple take on Northampton marathon double.


Three Spartans made the short trip to Brackmill Reservoir, just to the South of Northampton.


The trail marathon venue was at the Holiday Inn, and featured six laps each day around the reservoir on a mixture of surfaces.  The big killer for running marathons is the heat, and yet again the country was blessed with warm, sunny & muggy weather. The times reflected the conditions, as the Spartan trio took on the weather to complete 26.2 miles each day.

Day 1 (Saturday 27th)

Roger Biggs 4:28:10, Carol Paul 4:53:53 & Mike Newbitt 5:41:13

Day 2 (Sunday 28th)

Roger Biggs 4:44:25, Carol Paul 5:09:22 & Mike Newbitt 5:15:16




DAVE BOWKER was selected to represent Hertfordshire in the Senior Inter County Match in Abingdon recently.  He achieved a new personal best of 17 minutes 27 seconds (compared with 18:49!) and third place in the 3,000 metres walk.  The men’s team placed second overall.


A few days later he won the EVAC (Eastern Veterans) Five Mile Championship for men aged 50 plus with a time of 32 minutes 13 seconds.


Monica’s Gold


After a few weeks of enforced rest due to injuries an apprehensive Monica Brown turned up at Oxford for the British Master’s W45 Heptathlon. The decision to race over the 80m hurdles in trainers, to lessen the impact on a tender Achilles, was a good one as Monica was rewarded with a pb of 16.34 seconds. This was followed by a high jump of 1.33, 6.82 for shot and 29.08 (sb) for 200m which meant she finished day one in the lead by almost 500 points.


On day two Monica knew she had to try to keep her lead going into the long jump and javelin as she would lose considerable points over the 800m, her weakest event. A long jump of 4.20 and a javelin pb of 17.71 meant she was still in the lead with just the 800m to go. Despite finishing 37 seconds behind her rival, Monica’s time of 3.17.15 for the 800m was enough to win the gold with a new heptathlon pb score of 3603.


Second claim Spartan Louise Oliver also competed in the younger W40 age group. In a very tight competition Louise did 80m hurdles in 15.40, high jump 1.39, shot 10.14, 200m 28.26, long jump 4.60, javelin 29.32 and 800m 2.57.35 for the silver medal.




DANIEL BATES did the Wimpole Estate Parkrun near Royston recently.  He was 12th of 124 with a time of 20 minutes 46 seconds.


Then he did the Highbury Fields parkrun in Islington, London on Saturday 27 July and finished 21st out of 94 with a time of 20:41.


On Sunday Daniel competed in the 10 mile race organised by Harlow Runners Club at Harlow.  He had a great start, was a bit slow between mile 3 and mile 6 but managed to do 5km pace after that to recoup loss of time, and finished 57th out 249 runners with a time of 01.12.47.


Coming Events


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


  • Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 5th September
  • Club Five Mile Team Champs on Tuesday 10th September
  • Herts Senior 5K Championships in WGC on Tuesday 24th September
  • County 10K Championships in Letchworth on Sunday 6th October
  • Herts Veterans 5K Championships in WGC on Tuesday 8th October
  • County 10 Mile Championships for veterans on Sunday 27th October
  • Stevenage Half Marathon on Sunday 3rd November
  • County Ten Miles Championship in Buntingford on 30th December 2013


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 about 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 the new sports centre at Marriotts School – a Sports College, Brittain Way, 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 or 01438 354505), Vivienne Honey 07702 846304 or visit their website




More from Jim Brown (Press Officer) 0793 968 7509 / 01438 354505 or Vivienne Honey (Secretary) 07702 846304

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