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Club News Race Results

SPARTANS CELEBRATE THEIR 2023 WINNERS!!

Lots of Spartans enjoyed the club’s dinner and presentation evening at the Cromwell Hotel in Stevenage on Friday evening. 

Photo credit Keith Fenwick

YUKO GORDON is the new overall club champion with amazing scores of 100.2% for the short distance and 102.8% for the long distance series. 

ANDREW PATTERSON won the men’s open short distance with 79.0%, including winning the Hitchin 5K by 50 seconds, and the open long with 78.6%. 

ASHLEY JOHNSON won the women’s race at Hitchin by a similar margin and won the club’s open short distance championship for women with 73.9%. 

The age graded short championship for men went to SIMON JACKSON with 85.3%. 

FIONA CLARKE won the club’s open long distance championship for women with 54.7% just ahead of HARRIET SMITH on 54.0%. 

NICK GILL and VICKY ARCHER were the most improved Spartans. 

The Starter of the Year was JUDY KING.  The volunteer awards were Chair’s award MICHAEL O’KEEFE; Head Coach’s award JOHN HARRIS; President’s Award BRIAN WHITE; Cathy Craig Spartan of the Year CALLIE CHAPMAN. 

Some of our amazing winners! Photo Credit Keith Fenwick

The full list of amazing winners are noted as follows: 

Female Open Short  

1st        Ashley Johnson           

2nd       Vicky Archer                 

3rd        Kerstin Prior                 

Female Age Graded Short  

1st        Yuko Gordon              

2nd       Sharon Crowley           

3rd        Nicola Andersson        

Female Open Long  

1st        Fiona Clarke                 

2nd       Harriet Smith               

3rd        Sam Maidens               

Female Age Graded Long  

1st        Yuko Gordon             

2nd       Sharon Crowley          

3rd        Wendy Tharani           

Male Open Short  

1st        Andrew Patterson      

2nd       Nick Gill                        

3rd        Mike Jeffs                     

Male Age Graded Short 

1st        Simon Jackson             

2nd       Grant Ramsay              

3rd        John Harris                    

Male Open Long  

1st        Andrew Patterson       

2nd       Simon Fraser                

3rd        Grant Ramsay              

Male Age Graded Long 

1st        Simon Jackson              

2nd       David Harris-Cherguit  

3rd        Pete Smith                      

Overall Champion – Male – Andrew Patterson 

Overall Champion – Female – Yuko Gordon 

Overall Club Champion – Yuko Gordon 

Most Improved Spartan – Male – Nick Gill           

Most Improved Spartan – Female – Vicky Archer  

The Lisa Potter Starter of the Year Award – Judy King 

Chairs Award – Michael O’Keefe 

Head Coaches Award – John Harris 

Captains Awards – Liz Crowley and Michael O’Keefe 

Presidents Award – Brian White 

The Cathy Craig Spartan of the Year Award – Callie Chapman 

Photo credit Keith Fenwick

Essex 20 

NICK GILL ran 2:17:10 at Sunday’s Essex 20.  He decided to race it, aiming for sub 3-hour marathon pace (6:50 per mile/4:15 per km).  Managed to do exactly that and even split all the laps, and really enjoyed running with two guys – Matt and Callum – pretty much the whole way.  His last 20-mile race was back in 2019 at the Hillingdon 20 when he did 2:46:03 – so a big improvement on that.  

Needing to up his miles from a half marathon in preparation for the London Marathon JIM BROWN thought the Essex 20 would be the ideal opportunity.  He decided to chunk it up into 5Ks and see how long he could keep them under 30 minutes.  It went a lot better than expected and he finished in 3 hours 6 minutes 31 seconds, a 7 minute 20 second improvement on the fastest 20 he raced last year. 

Essex 20

Blickling Multi Terrain Half Marathon 

The Blickling multi-terrain half marathon near Aylsham in Norfolk saw CAROL PAUL come third in her age group (60 – 64) with 2:08:36.  She said the weather was ideal for running but underfoot it was a bit mucky. 

Carol with her medal after her amazing run!

Milton Keyenes Festival

SOPHIE PARSONS ran in the 10k event at the Milton Keynes Festival. It was hillier than she expected but she managed to complete the course in a brilliant time of 57:43!

Sophie reunited with Chester after her run.

Parkrun 

Total turnout at Stevenage parkrun went past 500 again on Saturday.  This time to 518 and no doubt helped by the large number of Spartans who turned out to support Jane WADEY, Kerstin WEINER and Nicola HATHERLY for their fiftieth parkruns. 

For the Consolidated Results please click the link 

Spartans at Parkrun!
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Club News Race Results

PB’s GALORE AT CAMBRIDGE!

Spartan LINDA GEORGE was very pleased to beat the two hour barrier when she finished the Cambridge Half Marathon in 1 hour 59 minutes 34 seconds. 

CRAIG BACON finished in 1:39:11.  He said it was a bright crisp morning for the Cambridge Half Marathon.  It was a picturesque and very flat course through the colleges, city centre and out to the villages of Grantchester and Trumpington before heading back into the city for the finish.  Craig said mile 9 was tough, but even with a pit stop he was very pleased to finish with a 12 second PB (personal best). 

Spartan VICKY ARCHER took more than four minutes off her PB with 1:51:58 and STUART ARCHER improved to 1:23:18. 

NICK GILL said 1:23:21 at the Cambridge Half Marathon – a new PB and almost 4 minutes quicker than one year ago [1:27:16].  He ran with Mike Jeffs from start to finish and it went perfectly!  They just couldn’t quite catch Stuart Archer.  MIKE JEFFS 1:23:21 was also a PB. 

CAROLE SHELDRICK and CAROLINE CROFT ran the Cambridge Half Marathon together.  Carole said it has always been one of her favourite half marathons to run.  They had to negotiate a lot of mud to get to the start line, but it was definitely worth it. 

Carole continued “as always it was very well organised and the support throughout the route was amazing.” 

Their official times: Carole Sheldrick 2hrs 31mins 23sec and Caroline Croft 2hrs 31mins 21sec (The seconds matter and Caroline was very pleased to beat Carole across the finish line).   

ANDREW PATTERSON was very happy and in some shock at knocking 1 minute 26 seconds off his PB, he thought he could PB but wasn’t expecting a time of 1.11.03. He said conditions were ideal for me out there today.  No wind or rain and a flat, fast course.  His first time at doing Cambridge and he loved it.   

Also MATTHEW NEWTON finished in 1:27:43; JOHN HARRIS in 1:32:59; MARTIN JACOB in 1:50:22 and DANIELA PETRIANNA in 2:10:55. 

Well done all the Spartans some great times clocked by all! 

Position Bib Name Chip Cat Cat Pos Pace Comments 
57 12258 Andrew Patterson 1:11:03 M40-44 3:22 min/km PB 
344 11769 Kirk Ndugu 1:19:31 M35-39 60 3:46 min/km  
565 5286 Stuart Archer 1:23:18 M40-44 78 3:56 min/km PB 
571 8584 Nick Gill 1:23:21 M35-39 99 3:57 min/km PB 
572 9862 Mike Jeffs 1:23:21 M40-44 80 3:57 min/km PB 
938 11829 Matthew Newton 1:27:43 M40-44 137 4:09 min/km  
1038 9910 Ashley Johnson 1:28:40 F40-44 17 4:12 min/km PB 
1129 8422 Ross Gallagher 1:29:20 M40-44 170 4:14 min/km  
1143 4512 Stuart Haycroft 1:29:26 M45-49 105 4:14 min/km  
1296 15667 Mark Collins 1:30:57 M45-49 124 4:18 min/km  
1515 9135 John Harris 1:32:59 M60-64 12 4:24 min/km  
2474 5418 Craig Bacon 1:39:11 M50-54 175 4:42 min/km PB 
2670 10848 Gail Mackie 1:40:17 F30-34 73 4:45 min/km  
4409 3021 Robert Wright 1:48:49 M40-44 515 5:09 min/km  
4755 9798 Martin Jacob 1:50:22 M40-44 546 5:13 min/km  
5079 4812 Vicky Archer 1:51:58 F40-44 145 5:18 min/km PB 
7032 8514 Linda George 1:59:34 F35-39 217 5:40 min/km PB 
9201 3459 Daniela Petrianni 2:10:55 F40-44 405 6:12 min/km  
11710 7222 Caroline Croft 2:31:21 F50-54 384 7:10 min/km  
11712 13482 Carole Sheldrick 2:31:23 F50-54 385 7:10 min/km PB 
12771 4752 Samantha Sutton 2:58:25 F45-49 603 8:27 min/km  

Berkhampstead Half 

The Berkhamsted Half Marathon was very different to Cambridge.  Hilly rather than flat, rural rather than town and just over 900 runners rather than about 14,000.  Spartan WENDY THARANI finished in 2 hours 12 minutes 47 seconds. 

Parkrun Results 

For the Consolidated Results please click the link 

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BEATING THE BEAST AT BALDOCK

Eight Spartans tamed the Beast.  ADRIAN BUSOLINI got a podium position with third place and a fantastic time of 1 hour 20 minutes 20 seconds on the tough course. 

Adrian on the podium

The Baldock Beast is an undulating multi-terrain half marathon.  THOMAS SAUKA 1:51:12 and JOHN NELMS 1:56:21 also beat two hours. 

Spartan PENNY SCHENKEL ran her first half marathon in 22 years.  She finished in 2:24:20.  

Spartans having fun at the Baldock Beast! – Photo credit Tony Randfield
Position Name Chip Time Comments 
ADRIAN BUSOLINI 1:20:20 Podium 
93 THOMAS SAUKA 1:51:12  
120 JOHN NELMS 1:56:21  
162 TIM ROBINSON 2:03:43  
183 CHLOE CHAPMAN 2:07:12  
225 MICHAEL O’KEEFE 2:21:41  
232 JIM BROWN 2:21:24 Final starter 
233 PENNY SCHENKEL 2:24:20  

London Winter 10K 

YUKO GORDON ran the London Winter 10K and was first woman 70 plus with 46 minutes 16 seconds.  Yuko said there were nearly 20,000 participants but it was very well organised, even down to avoiding the chaos of long toilet queues.  The course was interesting passing many London landmarks and easy to run with no traffic.  The 5 degrees start was cold and it took her a couple of kilometres until she felt slightly less frozen. 

In the same race MATTHEW NEWTON finished in 43:53; KEITH HOOKER in 44:42 which was a new PB for him, DANIELLA PETRIANNI in 56:44; PAUL SHELLEY in 57:49 and ALISON SHELLEY in 57:50. 

Yuko, The Shelley’s and Matthew

Brighton Half Marathon 

Despite a brutal headwind in the last 5 kilometres ANN TRYSSESOONE finished the Brighton Half Marathon in 2 hours 2 minutes 33 seconds. 

Ann on Ann Street after finishing the half!

Serpentine 5K 

Sunny but chilly with a medium breeze at Friday’s Serpentine 5K in Hyde Park.  Spartan JIM BROWN was 197th in 27:20.  The next Serpie 5K will be on Friday 22nd March, a week earlier than might be expected to avoid Good Friday. 

Parkrun 24th February 

For the Consolidate Results please click the link 

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SILVER FOR ANDREW 

ANDREW PATTERSON was at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre where he won 1500 metres SILVER in the British Masters Indoor Championships. 

He said he was happy to medal in a field of strong runners and said his time 4:17 (four minutes 17 seconds) was good for the first track race of the year. 

National Masters Indoor Championships

JOYLYN SAUNDERS MULLINS and IRIS HORNSEY both took part in the National Masters Indoor Championships.

Iris ran the 1500m in 9:22:38 and won her age category! Joylyn ran 60m in 9:34 and picked up the bronze award! They both said that they enjoyed their races!

Success all round!

Spartan Parkrun Highlights 17th February 

22 Spartans ran at Stevenage where there were 521 runners.  GRANT RAMSAY was top five in 18 minutes 34 seconds (18:34).  CHARLES COOK was eighth with a new parkrun personal best (PPB) of 19:20 and DAVID HODBOD also ran a new PPB, this time 23:26. 

As part of a twelve mile training run for the London Marathon PENNY SCHENKEL ran her 80th parkrun in 36:45. 

Away Spartans included JANE McFARLANE 8th woman at Loch Leven, Kinross, Scotland in 28:45; CHLOE CHAPMAN 27:49 and MATT CLARKE 30:01 at Luton Wardown; STEVE PLATT 27:58 at Torbay Velopark; ANDY JAY 29:06 at Westmill and ANNABELLE WHITE 29:49 at Haldon Forest, near Exeter. 

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BEDFORD TEN 

There was a win for Jim at the Bedford ten mile race on Sunday morning.  Chilly and just a bit slippery in places but sunny, calm and JIM BROWN won the male veteran 70 plus race in 1:31:32 finishing 1 minute 6 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.   

The fastest Spartan was ANDY PRIOR with 1:19:08.  SOPHIE PARSONS was fastest female from Fairlands with 1:31:20.  DAVID ACKERY came in with 1:36:09 and CHLOE CHAPMAN with 1:36:34. 

Hyde Park 5k 

Runners enjoyed a wonderful tail breeze on the back straight of the two lap course at the Last Friday of the Month 5K in Hyde Park.  These are great friendly lunch-time events with a cafe nearby but the front end can be very sharp.  This month 16 finishers beat 17 minutes and the range of times was from  15:37 to 41:18. 

Sunny, mild and a light breeze in January.  Spartan JIM BROWN improved by 1 minute 20 seconds to finish in 27:20. 

Run The Sun 

MICHAEL O’KEEFE “Ran the Sun” race based at Weston near Hitchin on Sunday 21st January.  He covered a distance of 33 miles over 8 hours, on a very muddy and hilly course. 

Parkrun 27th January 

For the Consolidated Results please click the link 

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AMAZING ADRIAN 

Amazing ADRIAN BUSOLINI from Fairlands Valley Spartans has completed one of the toughest running events anywhere.  He ran 268 miles of the Pennine Way in 120 hours 45 minutes 46 seconds in the Montane Spine Winter Race.  This was a non-stop expedition style race from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders.  The time limit was 168 hours. 

Gold, Silver and Bronze for Spartans in the 30th Aniversary Fred Hughes 10 

There were gold, silver and bronze medals for Fairlands Valley Spartans at the 30th Anniversary Fred Hughes 10 (miles) race from St. Albans on Sunday.  The race included the county championships for veterans. 

SIMON JACKSON said it was very windy and hilly.  He took SILVER in the men 40 plus category in 57 minutes 48 seconds (57:48) which was also a 40 second personal best from 13 years ago! 

JOHN HARRIS is the new county champion for men 60 plus.  He won with 1 hour 12 minutes 5 seconds (1:12:05). 

Photo Credit – Keith Fenwick

Successfully defending a BRONZE medal he won only three weeks ago at the very end of 2023 JIM BROWN finished in 1:30:57 for third in the county championship for men 70 plus.  That was 57 seconds quicker than on the same course twelve months ago and 46 seconds quicker than the last county championship. 

In the open race GABBIE O’BRIEN finished in 1:17:14 and MARIE COLUCCI in 1:22:36.  It was great to see 15 Spartans in the open race which had 1,003 finishers. 

Pos Name Time Category Cat Gender Gender Grade Pace Comments 
16 Simon JACKSON 00:57:47 Ages 40 – 49 2 Male 16 78.23 5:46 min/m County Silver 
138 Mike JEFFS 01:09:23 Ages 20 – 39 60 Male 127 64.30 6:59 min/m  
187 John HARRIS 01:12:05 Ages 60 – 69 2 Male 160 74.93 7:14 min/m County Gold 
207 Matt GIFFORD 01:12:45 Ages 50 – 59 29 Male 175 68.64 7:20 min/m  
208 Matthew NEWTON 01:12:37 Ages 40 – 49 74 Male 176 62.52 7:20 min/m  
294 Gabrielle OÆBRIEN 01:17:14 Ages 20 – 34 18 Female 53 62.56 7:49 min/m  
412 Marie COLUCCI 01:22:36 Ages 45 – 54 38 Female 102 63.50 8:22 min/m  
596 Jim BROWN 01:30:57 Ages 70 – 99 4 Male 402 64.61 9:17 min/m County Bronze 
809 Wendy THARANI 01:41:11 Ages 45 – 54 116 Female 316 54.09 10:22 min/m  
816 Alison SHELLEY 01:41:08 Ages 45 – 54 119 Female 321 55.73 10:26 min/m  
824 Nick KLEANTHOUS 01:42:31 Ages 60 – 69 47 Male 498 51.25 10:29 min/m  
833 Nicola PATTMAN 01:42:13 Ages 45-54 122 Female 332 55.17 10:32 min/m  
862 Sue HAMER 01:44:53 Ages 45 – 54 131 Female 356 53.18 10:48 min/m  
891 Sharon CROWLEY 01:46:47 Ages 65 – 99 7 Female 377 60.52 11:05 min/m  
962 Rebecca RAYNER 01:59:59 Ages 35 – 44 111 Female 432 41.40 12:25 min/m   

Yuko Wins At Farnborough 

YUKO GORDON was the fastest woman aged 70 plus in the Farnborough Half Marathon.  She finished in 1:44:34 and was 86th out of 732 women. 

Parkrun 20th January 

For the Consolidated Results please click the link 

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SPARTANS TAKEOVER STEVENAGE PARKRUN!

JANE WADEY not only co-ordinated the Fairlands Valley take-over of Saturday’s Stevenage parkrun but the all-time participation record was smashed.  643 completed the 5K run, more than fifty more than the previous record of 586 set four years ago before Covid. 

Fairlands Valley Spartans provided about 50 volunteers and 57 club members completed the event.  There were marshals, barcode scanners, timekeepers, pacers, tailwalkers, token sorters, all sorts of jobs being done and rewarded by a bumper attendance. 

Photo credit – Keith Fenwick

In the race there were 643 participants including 266 women; 92 first timers; 78 parkrun personal bests and the halfway through the field time was 29 minutes 48 seconds. 

Photo credit – Keith Fenwick

Spartan SIMON JACKSON was second overall in 17 minutes 15 seconds and ABI PEZ second woman in 21:08.  GRANT RAMSAY beat 20 minutes with 19:56, spot on task as he was the 20 minute pacer, and GABBIE O’BRIEN was a top ten woman at eighth with 23:44. 

MATT GIFFORD scored a new parkrun personal best of 20:30 and TAMSIN BROOKS of 46:37. 

Photo credit – Keith Fenwick

Tromso Polar Night Marathon 

On Saturday 6th January MIKE JEFFS took on the Tromso Polar night marathon in Norway. 

The route was 26.2 miles of gruelling weather and terrain all in the dark.  The temperature was -4 but with the wind it was around -9 degrees.  Coming into Tromso itself a blizzard struck with 33mph head winds making the last six miles a real slog. 

He was 21st in 3 hours 41 minutes 52 seconds. 

Mike said it was an amazing experience and definitely the toughest challenge of his life. 

Mike still smiling after 26.2 miles of snow, wind and freezing temperatures!

Ultra John Goes Country to Capital 

John NELMS ran the country to capital 43 mile ultra marathon on Saturday.  Starting in Wendover with 23 miles of muddy trails before hitting the grand union canal in Denham for 20 miles of towpath to the finish near Paddington station in central London.  This was John’s sixth time in this event and he finished in 9 hours 31 minutes. 

Welwyn Half Marathon 

Wendy Tharani ran the Welwyn Half Marathon in 2:08:22.  It was a fairly low key and friendly event, very well marshalled.  Out and back from the stadium at Gosling.  Sunny but quite cold!   

County Cross Country 

In the County Cross Country at St Albans LIZ CROWLEY was 80th in 56:14 and SHARON CROWLEY 86th in 1 hour and 19 seconds (1:00:19). 

Liz, Sharon and Annabelle who was running for her first claim club

Walt Disney World Marathon 

PAUL HOLGATE said the Walt Disney World Marathon was the perfect way to spend his Birthday.  It’s the fourth time his birthday and the marathon have been on the same day since 1/1/2000 and he was very pleased that his 6 hours 50 minutes 9 seconds (6:50:09) was seven minutes quicker than the last time (2018) and 1.5 hours quicker than my latest previous marathons in October (Snowdon/Eryri) and November (Steppingley). 

He was 10,250th out of the 12,694 finishers. 

Pauls wonderful medal!
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BUNTINGFORD 10 MILES, PB’s and A GOLD MEDAL!

Spartan YUKO GORDON is a British Champion! 

Four Spartans entered the British Masters Athletic Federation ten mile championships which were held in Hertfordshire on 30th December as part of the Buntingford end of the year race.  Yuko won GOLD in the women 70 plus race with 1 hour 18 minutes exactly. 

Yuko at Buntingford 10 – Photo Credit Keith Fenwick

DAVID HARRIS-CHERGUIT was the first of 18 Spartans.  He beat one hour finishing in 59 minutes 38 seconds to be 34th out of the 487 finishers.  He said it was great to see so many Spartans. He was followed by our first Spartan championship runner JOHN HARRIS with 1:12:02. 

A great race but shouldn’t have worn white trainers said STUART ARCHER who finished with a new personal best (PB) of 1:05:08. 

JIM BROWN ran a satisfying negative split with his second five miles almost two minutes quicker than the first.  He came in with 1 hour 31 minutes 43 seconds.  Jim said it was a fantastic club organised event. 

WENDY THARANI said it was a great race.  Her time was 1:31:58. 

Photo Credit – Keith Fenwick

In the women’s veteran 65 category SHARON CROWLEY finished in 1:46:30. 

NICHOLA DURENT was delighted to beat the cut off by nearly eight minutes with her 2 hours 22 minutes 19 seconds. 

Position. Bib Name 10YR Rank 10YR Category Net Time 
34 1283 David Harris-Cherguit 16/86 MV40 59:38 
58 1236 Nick Gill 20/75 MSEN 1:03:59 
69 1015 Stuart Archer 28/86 MV40 1:05:08 
125 1496 Abbie Pez 7/50 FSEN 1:11:45 
126 1231 Ross Gallagher 36/86 MV40 1:11:45 
132 1281 John Harris 11/28 MV60 1:12:02 
191 1246 Yuko Gordon 1/7 FV70 1:18:00 
213 1562 Danny Scanlon 52/86 MV40 1:19:38 
214 1338 Mike Jeffs 43/75 MSEN 1:19:38 
256 1497 Tracy Pez 19/72 FV50 1:23:26 
337 1087 Jim Brown 7/12 MV70 1:31:43 
341 1620 Wendy Tharani 30/72 FV50 1:31:58 
346 1642 Ann Tryssesoone 31/72 FV50 1:32:41 
369 1110 Chloe Chapman 35/50 FSEN 1:35:40 
398 1337 Andrew Jay 64/70 MV50 1:39:13 
400 1384 Karen Liddle 22/30 FV60 1:39:50 
432 1154 Sharon Crowley 26/30 FV60 1:46:30 
487 1190 Nichola Durent 59/59 FV40 2:22:19 
Buntingford 10 mile finishers

St Albans 10K 

Getting back into racing after injury ALISON SHELLEY ran the New Year’s Eve 10K at St Albans in one hour and 58 seconds (1:00:58).  There were 535 finishers. 

Ely 10k 

PAUL HOLGATE and ROGER BIGGS ran the Ely 10k which they said was a flat course with one climb between 8-9k but they had their heads down between 5 and 9k with the usual courses headwind! Paul finished in 1:13:21 and Roger in 1:32:10 

Hyde Park 10k 

JIM BROWN was up early enough on New Year’s Day to catch the train to London and run the Hyde Park 10K event. 

He finished in 55 minutes 20 seconds (55:20) which considering he hasn’t managed to finish a 5K recently in under 28 minutes 40 seconds was pretty satisfying. 

Parkrun Saturday 23rd December 

SHARON CROWLEY ran her 50th parkrun.  Running and celebrating with a group of friends. 

For the Consolidated Results please click the link

Sharon in her 50th Parkrun cape! – Photo Credit – Karl Shreeve

Parkrun Christmas Day, Monday 25th December 

ADRIAN BUSOLINI won with a new parkrun personal best of 16 minutes 55 seconds.  WILLIAM MORLEY was 15th out of the 499 on Christmas Day with a new parkrun PB of 19 minutes 44 seconds and in the same race PAUL JENNINGS ran a new parkrun PB of 26 minutes 42 seconds. 

Christmas Day Spartans! – Photo Credit Nikki Nation

Parkrun Saturday 30th December 

ASHLEY JOHNSON was first woman at Green Denham in a new parkrun personal best (PPB) of 19 minutes 18 seconds. 

For the Consolidated Results please click the link 

Parkrun New Year’s Day Monday 1st January 

LINDA GEORGE ran a new parkrun personal best of 28:23. 

 

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STEVENAGE CROSS COUNTRY!

More than fifty from Fairlands Valley Spartans were in Fairlands Valley Park for the cross country league race on Sunday.   

33 men and 14 women ran in the race and dozens of volunteers from the club and our lovely friends at the Stevenage Striders helped make the event a success by being marshals, race director, chief marshal and taking on other tasks.  

Photo Credit – Keith Fenwick (including main photo)

Spartan ANDREW PATTERSON had another good run and was sixth overall out of 433 runners with 28 minutes 31 seconds (28:31) for the nine kilometres, three lap run.  ASHLEY JOHNSON was first woman in for FVS in 35:02. 

The increase in numbers from 24 runners in the last league race to 47 had a really positive effect on the team results. 

Photo Credit – Keith Fenwick

The fifth and final cross country league race this season will be on Therfield Heath (Royston) on Sunday 18th February. 

Provisional Spartan Result: 

Overall Position Name Time Gender Comments 
ANDREW PATTERSON 28:33 Men’s “A” 
11 ADRIAN BUSOLINI 29:48 Men’s “A” 
47 CHARLIE WHITE 32:15 Men’s “A” 
87 MIKE JEFFS 34:24 Men’s “A” 
99 ASHLEY JOHNSON 35:05 Women “A” 
118 ROSS GALLAGHER 36:21 Men’s “A” 
126 MATT GIFFORD 36:33 Men’s “A” 
128 GRANT RAMSAY 36:37 Men’s “A” 
133 ALEX ZHERDEV 36:46 Men’s “A” 
142 NICK GILL 37:05  
148 JOHN HARRIS 37:17  
163 MARK COLLINS 37:56  
170 GABRIELLE O’BRIEN 38:20 Women “A” 
179 CRAIG BACON 38:40  
183 DANNY SCANLON 38:51  
187 BRIAN WHITE 39:02  
212 YUKO GORDON 40:03 Women “A” 
224 THOMAS SAUKA 40:39  
248 SIMON HAIGH 41:38  
254 JAMES CLARK 41:59  
265 STEVE HARRIS 42:26  
281 MARTIN JACOB 42:54  
293 HAZEL SMITH 43:20 Women “A” 
295 DARREN EMMERSON 43:20  
296 PAULA DUNNE 43:21 Women “A” 
312 STUART ARCHER 44:14  
318 TONY VICKERS 44:32  
332 DAVID ACKERY 45:24  
340 NICK KLEANTHOUS 45:47  
349 SIMON SYPULA 46:20  
353 JON SYPULA 46:42  
354 SOPHIE PARSONS 46:44  
360 ANNABELLE WHITE 47:00  
371 STEVE PLATT 47:56  
373 ROS INGRAM 48:11  
375 MICHAEL O’KEEFE 48:17  
379 STEVE TINSLEY 48:47  
384 ANDREA WESTCOTT 49:18  
387 LINDA GEORGE 49:44  
402 ROGER HARDMAN 51:31  
404 ANDY JAY 52:34  
407 SHARON CROWLEY 53:52  
416 MARK FREEMAN 56:12  
418 PAUL HOLGATE 57:52  
422 DZENANA TOPIC 61:55  
423 JONATHAN JONES 61:56  
430 CALLIE CHAPMAN 74:41  
431 MICHELLE HOLTON 74:41  
Photo Credit – Keith Fenwick

Parkrun Saturday 16th December 

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Club News Race Results

FAIRLANDS AT FESTIVE FIVE 

Three Spartans raced for their finishers chocolate Santa at the Festive Five in Welwyn Garden City on Sunday.  NICK KLEANTHOUS was 96th in 45 minutes 22 seconds. 

Nothing like “race fit” at the moment PENNY SCHENKEL and JIM BROWN enjoyed cruising round to beat 50 minutes with Jim coming in 126th with 49:44 and Penny 127th with 49:53.  Jim was second in his age group. 

Malaga Marathon 

There was a new personal best (PB) for Spartan MATTHEW NEWTON at the Malaga Marathon in Spain.  He finished in 3 hours 13 minutes 11 seconds (3:13:11) which got him 591st place out of 5,914. 

Matthew after landing himself a new PB!!

Twas The Run Before Christmas Ultra 

MICHAEL O’KEEFE ran the “Twas the Run before Christmas” ultra event completing nine laps, or 29 miles, in Brandon Country Park, near Bury St Edmunds, in 5 hours 54 minutes 14 seconds (5:54:14).  He said it was quite a hilly course and all off road. 

Michael’s awesome Ultra medal!

Parkrun Saturday 9th December 

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FAIRLANDS FLYING FIVES 

Spartan VICKY ARCHER ran a fantastic new five mile personal best (PB) at the Hatfield Five on Sunday morning.  A five minute improvement on a five mile run with 40 minutes 32 seconds.  Her previous best was 45:46. 

In the same event GRANT RAMSAY ran 30:50 and won SILVER in the County Championship for men 50 plus.  He’s now aiming for a sub three marathon in 2024.  YUKO GORDON went one better winning GOLD in the women 70 plus championship with 36:44.  A winning margin of 29 seconds. 

JUDY KING ran a PB in 52:51 which was 1 minute 25 seconds faster than her 5 mile race only the week before where she won the club’s 5 mile handicap race!

There was also a new PB for NICHOLA DURENT who finished with SHARON CROWLEY in 69:35. 

Photo Credit – Keith Fenwick

Bass Belle Ten 

Spartan JOHN HARRIS ran the Bass Belle 10 mile race in 1 hour 11 minutes 54 seconds, a new season’s best (SB). 

Parkrun Saturday 25th November 

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KEITH & JUDY WIN THE 10 AND 5 MILE HANDICAP RACES! 

Fairlands Valley Spartans raised even more money for charity with their Paul Maguire Five mile and Bryan Moore Ten mile handicap races on Sunday.   

Handicap running events are races with phased starts, slower runners first.  Runners exact start times are determined by their recent performances.  In theory everyone will finish together.  In practice the best improver wins.  Good for participation and great as runners come together towards the finish. 

Our wonderful handicap runners! – Photo Credit Keith Fenwick

The big winners were JUDY KING, JOHN HARRIS, KEITH HOOKER, VICKY ARCHER and WENDY THARANI. 

Winner of the Paul Maguire 5 mile was JUDY KING in a new personal best (PB) time of 54 minutes 16 seconds (54:16), 6:14 ahead of handicap with ALISON SHELLEY 2nd in a year’s best (YB) time 49:29 and SOPHIE PARSONS third female in her first 5 mile with the club in 45:57.  JOHN HARRIS was first man, 3rd overall, in a (season’s best) SB 35:38, with BRIAN WHITE second man in 38:10 and PAUL JENNINGS third man in 44:17. 

Happy 5 milers! – Photo Credit Keith Fenwick

JOHN HARRIS was the quickest runner of the day in the five with his 35:38, BRIAN WHITE, 38:10, second quickest and ANDY PRIOR, 39:06, third fastest.  JACKIE PERRY, 41:54 was quickest lady, KERSTIN PRIOR, 43:33, second fastest and SOPHIE PARSONS, 45:57, third fastest. 

Stripey 5 milers – Photo Credit Keith Fenwick

KEITH HOOKER won the Brian Moore Handicap 10 mile race just pipping last year’s defending champion by 4 seconds to finish in 1:24:04 in his first 10 miles with the club.  

Last year’s winner ANDREW PATTERSON was second in 56:27 returning from injury, and SIMON JACKSON third in a new SB time of 58:51.  VICKY ARCHER was first lady in a new PB of 1:37:36 together with WENDY THARANI as they ran together, and LINDA GEORGE was third lady in 1:33:44. 

The 10 milers were all happy to see the camera! – Photo Credit Keith Fenwick

ANDREW PATTERSON was quickest runner in the ten, SIMON JACKSON second fastest, 58:51 and NICK GILL third fastest.  GABRIELLE O’BRIEN was fastest lady in 1:20:41, with CLAIRE PULLEN second quickest, 1:28:40, and LINDA GEORGE third fastest.  

Many finishers recorded fastest times as it was their first 5 miles or 10 miles race for some time, or ever, standing them in a very good position when the club championship statistics are updated at the end of this month. 

Speedy 10 milers, still not too quick for the camera! – Photo Credit Keith Fenwick

Wolverton Five 

CRAIG BACON ran the Wolverton 5 race on Saturday morning at Willen Lakes in Milton Keynes.  The predominantly flat course followed the footpath around the two lakes and a field of 133 runners completed the course. 

Having not run in a road 5 mile race previously he was guaranteed a personal best (PB) and was pleased with a finish time of 36:38 and a chip time of 36:33. 

It was a last minute race for SIMON JACKSON who took part with just 75 minutes notice after his daughter’s football was called off.   

He completed the race in 28:05 which was fourth man over 40 (MV40) in a highly competitive race at the front end. 

Craig at Willen Lakes following his PB!

Steppingley Off Road Marathon 

PAUL HOLGATE reports it was very muddy for Sunday’s Steppingley off road marathon.  Paul and MIKE NEWBITT finished in 8 hours 22 minutes with SHARON and MIKE CROWLEY coming in at 9 hours 47. 

Parkrun Saturday 18th November 

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STEVENAGE HALF RAISES OVER £6,000!

Stevenage Half Marathon is an annual road race hosted by Fairlands Valley Spartans which was first held in 1984. All proceeds are donated to charities that support the Stevenage community. 

On a sunny 22nd October, 325 people had entered and arrived to run the annual Stevenage Half marathon. 

A two lap course, fully on cycle ways and paved footpaths, took in local areas of the town including the town centre and Fairlands Valley Park. 

Race Director Andy Prior said “2023 has been a great year for the event and we have been able to present a cheque to the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance for £5,297, Chells Scout group and 5th Stevenage Scouts each receiving £300 and by hiring Hampson Park Community centre as Race HQ our runners increased takings in their coffee shop as most runners love cake.” 

The cheque presentation took place recently. 

Andy said “2024 sees Stevenage Half returning on the 20th October when we will also host a full marathon which is a once in a decade event and coincides with the 40th Anniversary of Fairlands Valley Spartans running club, so we are aiming to make this an even bigger event than normal.” 

For more information about the 2024 event please visit www.stevenagehalfmarathon.org.uk or our social media channels. 

Remembrance Runs – Half Marathon and 10K 

It took ten attempts but JIM BROWN beat two hours for a half marathon for the first time this year at the Remembrance Runs on Saturday morning.  He improved by 12 minutes 8 seconds compared with a run last Sunday and his 1 hour 57 minutes 36 seconds was good enough to win the men 70 plus category by 26 minutes 7 seconds. 

ROBERT WRIGHT ran the same race in 1:56:15 while PAUL SHELLEY ran the Remembrance 10K in 44:51.  The races were at Debden Airfield, Carver Barracks, near Saffron Walden. 

Asked what was the secret, Jim said “No idea but what actually happened was even though last Sunday’s half was disappointing it was still a 13.1 miles run; then no training Monday and Tuesday; a vigorous for me daylight run on Wednesday morning; leading a lovely three mile Spartan training run on Thursday evening; and short cycle ride to Rableyheath.  On the day the aim was to run at a pace equivalent to 28 minutes for every 5K (roughly nine minute miles) all the way round.” 

Rob was 48th in the half marathon and Jim 54th

Parkrun – Saturday 11th November 

New Spartan SOPHIE PARSONS ran a new parkrun personal best of 27 minutes 2 seconds (27:02). 

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TRENT PARK CROSS COUNTRY 

Sunday saw the third Cross Country event at Trent Park which was a five mile race. JONATHAN PARR came in in eighth place in a time of 27:53 and ADRIAN BUSOLINI was 25th in 29:38. They were the first two finishers from Fairlands Valley Spartans while TRACEY JACKSON 273rd overall in 41 minutes exactly; GEORGIE HOOPER 308th in 42:31 and ZOE JACKSON 359th in 45:07 were the club’s first three women. 

From left to right – Jonathan, Adrian, Tracey, Georgie and Zoe – Photo Credit, Keith Fenwick and Richard Underwood

Altogether there were 24 Spartans.  17 men and 7 women and a total of 467 finishers in the race.  Male “A” teams consist of eight runners.  Female “A” teams have five runners.   

Photo Credits – Keith Fenwick and Richard Underwood
Position Name Time Official Comments 
8 JONATHAN PARR 27:54 27:53 SM.  Team “A” 
25 ADRIAN BUSOLINI 29:39 29:38 SM.  Team “A” 
50 NICK GILL 31:12 31:13 SM.  Team “A” 
114 STUART ARCHER 34:39 34:42 SM.  Team “A” 
132 ALEX ZHERDEV 36:02 35:26 M40.  Team “A” 
147 ROSS GALLAGHER 36:08 36:12 M40.  Team “A” 
171 MATT GIFFORD 36:59 37:01 M50.  Team “A” 
177 FRANCOIS SWANEPOEL 37:00 37:10 M50.  Team “A” 
190 BRIAN WHITE 37:43 37:45 M60 
273 TRACEY JACKSON 40:40 41:00 W45.  Women Team 
304 MIKE JEFFS 42:23 42:31 SM 
308 GEORGIE HOOPER 42:22 42:31 W35.  Women Team 
359 ZOE JACKSON 45:00 45:07 W35.  Women Team 
367 NICK KLEANTHOUS 45:27 45:31 M60 
379 ANNABELLE WHITE 46:16 46:24 SW.  Women Team 
380 TIM ROBINSON 46:23 46:25 M50 
381 DAVID ACKERY 46:24 46:33 SM 
395 MARK MacDONALD 47:11 47:47 M50 
400 MICHAEL O’KEEFE 47:53 48:00 M50 
402 MARK FREEMAN 48:10 48:11 M60 
422 ANDY JAY 49:36 49:55 M50 
432 LIZ CROWLEY 51:13 51:14 W35. Women Team 
449 SHARON CROWLEY 57:10 57:26 W65 
457 CALLIE CHAPMAN 60:05 60:20 W35 
Photo Credits – Keith Fenwick and Richard Underwood

Hertfordshire Half and 10K 

Happy Spartan LINDA GEORGE ran a new personal best (PB) at Sunday’s Hertfordshire Half Marathon based at Knebworth House.  She finished in 2 hours 2 minutes 45 seconds (2:02:45) an improvement of 3 minutes 48 seconds on her previous best which she ran on 22nd October. MARTIN JACOB paced her finishing 780th out of the 1400 finishers in 2:02:46.  They said they had a wonderful run.  Linda was jumping for joy at the finish. 

Linda was super happy with her new PB!

JIM BROWN was third man 70 plus in 2:09:54. 

In the 10K, new Spartan SOPHIE PARSONS ran her race in 1:00:10 which was a new personal best beating her previous time of 1:04 set in September. She was joined and supported by PENNY SCHENKEL who finished in 1:00:18 and CLAIRE EMMERSON in 1:00:24. 

Sophie and Claire with their wonderful medals!

Parkrun Saturday 4th November 

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ANDREW WINS CROSS COUNTRY

It just started to drip at the start then the rain got harder and harder throughout Sunday’s cross country league race at Watford’s Cassiobury Park but 27 from Fairlands Valley Spartans completed the testing six mile event with ANDREW PATTERSON winning in just 34 minutes 50 seconds. 

GABRIELLE O’BRIEN was the fastest female from Fairlands with 49 minutes 32 seconds. 

JONATHAN PARR and ADRIAN BUSOLINI were both top twenty overall with Jonathan seventh with 36:49 and Adrian 13th with 37:30. 

Andrew, Jonathan, Adrian and Gabrielle – Photo Credit Keith Fenwick

A good turnout of some of their faster men meant the Spartan men’s “A” team moved up to fourth out of 21 clubs compared with seventh at the first race on 15th October.  The club’s women were seventh.  The men’s “B” team were second out of eight. 

There were 18 FVS men and 9 women. 

Photo Credit – Keith Fenwick
Position M/F Name Official Time Comments 
1 1 ANDREW PATTERSON 34:50 V40.  “A” team 
7 7 JONATHAN PARR 36:49 SM.  “A” team 
13 13 ADRIAN BUSOLINI 37:30 SM.  “A” team 
49 47 NICK GILL 41:09 SM.  “A” team 
51 48 GRANT RAMSAY 41:19 V50.  “A” team. 
111 97 MATT NEWTON 46:12 V40.  “A” team. 
112 98 STUART ARCHER 46:14 SM.  “A” team. 
116 102 MIKE JEFFS 46:25 SM.  “A” team. 
154 133 MATT GIFFORD 48:39 V50 
163 139 DANNY SCANLON 49:04 V40 
169 27F GABRIELLE O’BRIEN 49:32 SL 
178 147 BRIAN WHITE 50:14 V60 
240 184 TOBY ECCLESHALL 54:02 SM 
241 57F YUKO GORDON 54:05 FV65 
251 191 DARREN EMMERSON 54:26 V50 
252 61F TRACEY JACKSON 54:27 FV45 
260 65F SALLY REEVES 54:39 FV45 
322 226 TIM ROBINSON 59:28 V50 
323 97F WENDY THARANI 59:34 FV45 
336 229 DAVID ACKERY 60:52 SM 
345 113F CLAIRE EMMERSON 62:07 FV45 
348 115F ANNABELLE WHITE 62:08 SL 
356 235 MARK FREEMAN 63:57 V60 
366 239 ANDY JAY 64:49 V50 
379 243 JIM BROWN 68:20 V70 
392 147F CALLIE CHAPMAN 81:32 FV35 
393 148F MICHELLE HOLTON 81:32 FV45 
Photo Credit – Keith Fenwick

Marathon Eryri – Snowdon Marathon 

This years Snowdon Marathon, now known as the Marathon Eryri took place on Saturday.  SHARON CROWLEY completed her 30th consecutive Snowdon marathon in 6:18:29 and continues to have run more Snowdon marathons than any other female. But none of this year’s finishers have run more Snowdons than PAUL HOLGATE who despite having his preparations hampered by a hamstring injury still managed to complete his 33rdconsecutive Snowdon marathon in 8:20:55.  Both regulars were this year joined by a third Spartan, THOMAS SAUKA, whose comments at the end were “What an event, I can see why people love the Marathon Eryri so much, I thought I could sneak under 5 hours but it wasn’t possible in the end, now let the beer flow” as he finished in 5 hours 7 minutes 50 seconds. 

Paul, Thomas and Sharon pre race.

Great South Run (10 miles) 

Recently four from the Spartans Introduction to Running Group enjoyed the Great South Run race in Portsmouth. And each one achieved a Personal Best!!  

The Great South Run is a flat course around Portsmouth and the docks with bag pipes, drums and a choir along the route – a really fun run! 

SALLY PICKLES went round in 1:56:23; JUDY KING in 2:02:17; RACHAEL MILLER in 2:04:25 and NICOLA HATHERLY in 2:04:27. 

Nicola and Judy had a sea swim later, to refresh tired legs – it was warmer in than out! 

Our Introduction to Running ladies elated with their pb’s!

Serpentine Series 

It was sunny, mild, with a light breeze in Hyde Park for the 31st anniversary Last Friday of the Month 5K.  JIM BROWN was 170th in 27 minutes 20 seconds (27:20).  Second man over 70 by 3 seconds – closing down towards the end but not quite fast enough. 

That’s ten of the Serpentine runs done this year.  More than enough for a series. 

Parkrun Highlights for Saturday 28th October 

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HALF MARATHON JOY

It was a lovely sunny morning in Stevenage on Sunday and Fairlands Valley Spartans welcomed hundreds of runners to the Stevenage Half Marathon on their new route from Hampson Park. 

Photo Credit – Keith Fenwick and Annabelle White

Spartan ANDREW PATTERSON won the race by 51 seconds with 1 hour 12 minutes 45 seconds and took GOLD in the Hertfordshire County Championship.  ADRIAN BUSOLINI was third and won BRONZE in the county event with a new personal best of 1:15:46, an improvement by 10 minutes 40 seconds. 

Photo Credit – Keith Fenwick and Annabelle White

In the women’s competition ASHLEY JOHNSON took BRONZE with 1 hour 32 minutes 49 seconds and was second in her category.  That was a new personal best (PB) for Ashley by 4 minutes 43 seconds. 

The females from Fairlands excelled in the County team competition.  Ashley, GABRIELLE O’BRIEN (1:44:32) and PAULA McMAHON (1:53:09) won GOLD with 17 points which was five ahead of Garden City Runners who were on 22.  Three runners for women’s teams. Paula improved her half marathon time by 4 minutes 49 seconds. 

Photo Credit – Keith Fenwick

It was SILVER for the Spartan men with GRANT RAMSAY (1:28:57) and NICK GILL (1:29:17) joining Andrew and Adrian to score 25 points, just four behind the winners.  Four runners for men’s teams. 

Photo Credit – Keith Fenwick

MARTIN JACOB and LINDA GEORGE both ran new half marathon personal bests.  Martin with 1:46:33 and Linda with 2:06:33. Martin said it was a wonderful day for a run.  Well marshalled route!!!  Six Hills Way was tough, but I managed to compensate for that in the down hills. 

Martin was five minutes faster than his Cambridge half in 2020.  Linda improved her time by two minutes. 

An amazing finish for both Martin and Linda!

JIM BROWN was second male 70 plus with 2:03:26. 

Photo Credit – Mike Jeffs and Annabelle White

21 Spartans were running and, as the event was organised by the club. Andy Prior was the Race Director and dozens more volunteered to make sure the race was a success – marshals, lead bike, water station, baggage, etc. 

The event raised money for the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance. 

Our amazing marshals and Paramedic Perry from Essex and Herts Air Ambulance
You can always rely on our marshals for smiles, encouragement and a fab playlist!
Pos Cat M/F Name Cat Time Halfway Comments 
Andrew PATTERSON MV40 1:12:45 36:01 Winner 
Adrian BUSOLINI MS 1:15:46 37:24 PB (10:40) 
18 17 Grant RAMSAY MV50 1:28:57 43:45 SB 
20 10 19 Nick GILL MS 1:29:15 45:07   
31 Ashley JOHNSON FV35 1:32:49 46:10 Third woman.  PB (4:43) 
37 17 34 Stuart ARCHER MS 1:35:01 47:47 SB 
49 10 46 Craig BACON MV50 1:39:50 49:14   
73 Gabrielle OBRIEN FS 1:44:21 52:00   
85 25 75 Martin JACOB MV40 1:46:43 53:41 PB (4:57) 
106 34 92 Liam HERBERT MS 1:50:53 54:00   
125 21 Paula McMAHON FV35 1:52:30 56:27 PB (4:49) 
162 131 Stephen HARRIS MV60 1:59:14 58:05   
182 11 147 Martin DUDLEY MV60 2:02:56 56:33   
185 148 Jim BROWN MV70+ 2:03:26 1:01:28 2nd MV70 
189 50 152 Chris HOLLAND MV40 2:04:30 59:02 SB 
197 55 159 Jon SYPULA MV40 2:06:19 1:00:53 SB 
198 12 39 Linda GEORGE FV35 2:06:33 1:02:33 PB (1:54) 
225 12 175 Nick KLEANTHOUS MV60 2:10:17 1:04:25   
233 59 181 Dave ACKERY MS 2:14:25 1:03:18   
244 17 57 Wendy THARANI FV45 2:20:25 1:05:58   
268 51 201 Tim ROBINSON MV50 2:40:15 1:17:10   

Resolution 5K 

Eight Spartans ran the Resolution Track 5K on a very wet Wednesday evening at Ridlins Track, Stevenage.   

After the 12.5 laps SIMON JACKSON was second in 16 minutes 58 seconds and GEORGIE HOOPER first woman and 17th overall with 21 minutes 18 seconds, a new personal best (PB) by a massive 1 minute 55 seconds. 

ALEX ZHERDEV improved his PB by 21 seconds to 21:20. 

The other Spartan times were MATT TUTTON 25:03; SHARON CROWLEY 28:19; KARL REEVE 31:24; ROGER BIGGS 38:35 and PAUL HOLGATE 40:23. Simon got the highest age score with 84.0% followed by Georgie on 70% exactly and Sharon on 69.5%. 

Still smiling despite the lovely weather!

Parkrun Saturday 21st October 

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CHESHUNT CROSS COUNTRY – THE FIRST OF THE SEASON!

The first cross country league race of the season was at Cheshunt on Sunday.  27 Fairlands Valley Spartans were there – 18 men and 9 women. 

Photo Credit – Mike Jeffs

Andrew Patterson WON the race in just 26 minutes 36 seconds.  JONATHAN PARR and ADRIAN BUSOLINI were also in the top ten.  Jonathan sixth with 27:20 and Adrian ninth with 28:12. 

Andrew, Jonathon and Adrian – Photo Credit Mike Jeffs

GEORGIE HOOPER was the fastest female from Fairlands at 135th overall (women and men) and 18th woman of 133 with 37 minutes 7 seconds.  Next came TRACEY JACKSON 207th (and 43rd woman) in 39:47.  There were 359 finishers. 

Georgie and Tracey (photobombed by Darren) – Photo Credit Mike Jeffs

Counting teams consisted of five women and eight men.  The Spartan women and men were both seventh out of the 21 clubs participating. 

Photo Credit – Mike Jeffs
Overall Position Name Time Category 
1 ANDREW PATTERSON 26:38 M40 
6 JONATHAN PARR 27:27 SM 
9 ADRIAN BUSOLINI 28:13 SM 
31 GRANT RAMSAY 30:36 M50 
45 NICK GILL 31:30 SM 
85 ALEX ZHERDEV 34:00 M40 
97 STUART ARCHER 34:32 SM 
126 FRANCOIS SWANEPOEL 36:28 M50 
133 DANNY SCANLON 36:58 M40 
177 BRIAN WHITE 38:57 M60 
178 THOMAS SAUKA 38:57 M40 
203 DARREN EMMERSON 39:57 M50 
285 DAVID ACKERY 45:06 SM 
293 JON SYPULA 45:56 M40 
299 MALC MacDONALD 46:14 M50 
302 MARK FREEMAN 46:29 M60 
321 ANDY JAY 48:05 M50 
325 TIM ROBINSON 48:44 M50 
Mens Results

Overall Position Women Position Name Time Category 
135 18 GEORGIE HOOPER 37:18 W35 
207 43 TRACEY JACKSON 40:01 W45 
279 79 WENDY THARANI 44:29 W45 
291 85 ANNA SWANEPOEL 45:47 W35 
313 98 CLAIRE EMMERSON 47:28 W45 
338 115 LIZ CROWLEY 50:11 SW 
341 118 SHARON CROWLEY 51:47 W65 
349 125 NIKKI NATION 54:01 W55 
353 128 CALLIE CHAPMAN 58:10 W35 
Ladies Results

Chester Marathon 

Coach John Harris was selected to represent England V’s Wales in an International match at the Chester Marathon. Following a recent injury John only decided 10 days before the race to take up his place. 

Here is his story: 

I am pleased to say that I finished and left everything out on the course.  

Standing on the start line, I literally had no idea how the Chester marathon would pan out for me and decided to get to half way and worry about it then.  

I ran how I felt and got to 13.1 in 1.57, and felt surprisingly ok . I then focused on each mile and got to 20 miles in 3.01 and rewarded myself with a 30 second walk.  

Unfortunately, through lack of training following my injury (my training consisted of 3 weeks after a 3 month break and a long run of only 10 miles) my legs didn’t want to start again and so the last 10k took 81 mins.  

I am delighted with my finish time of 4.22.13 given that 4 weeks ago I couldn’t run.  

Not an ideal training plan but I wanted to start and see what happened. So glad that I did! 

A happy John in his England vest!

Yuko Gets A Call Up 

There were perfect weather conditions for the Bath Half Marathon but Spartan YUKO GORDON said she still felt weak from her recent Covid infection and lacked her usual second half strength.  Yuko was fine when she passed 10K in 46:30 but was disappointed with her finishing time of 1 hour 40 minutes 35 seconds.  However that was good enough to win her age category.  She’s going to have a good rest for a while. 

Yuko has received news from British Masters that she has been selected for the England cross country team for the British and Irish international cross country championship to be held in Glasgow next month. 

Parkrun Saturday 14th October 

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SPARTANS RUN AT THE STANDALONE 10K

Fairlands Valley Spartans women’s team, GEORGIE HOOPER 45:08; SUZY HAWKINS 46:43 and CLAIRE PULLEN 47:17 were second, SILVER medals, in the county championships at the Standalone 10K on Sunday morning. 

In the open race they were third with MARIE COLUCCI 48:08 joining them to make up the team of four in that event.  Claire was also first woman 55 plus in the race. 

Photo Credits – Keith Fenwick, Charlie Arnold, Jon Sypula and Jane Wadey

23 Spartans ran.  The fastest was SIMON FRASER who finished ninth out of more than 1100 finishers.  Next came NICK GILL 36th in 38:38; MIKE JEFFS 48th in 39:36 and GRANT RAMSAY 51st in 39:47. 

PENNY SCHENKEL wanted to beat one hour which she did by four seconds (59:56).  An excellently paced run. 

Photo Credits – Keith Fenwick, Charlie Arnold, Jon Sypula and Jane Wadey

The other Spartans enjoying the 6.2 miles road event in Letchworth; Stotfold and Fairfield Park were MARTIN DUDLEY 51:24; MATT TUTTON 54:23: WENDY THARANI 55:17; ANDY JAY 56:55; NICK KLEANTHOUS 57:49; JO COOKSLEY 58:26; TRICIA HOPPER 59:01; CLAIRE EMMERSON 59:02; JIM BROWN 59:37; KAREN LIDDLE 1:00:04; SHARON CROWLEY 1:02:58; MONICA SMITHSON 1:07:11; SAMANTHA SUTTON 1:18:26 and ROGER BIGGS 1:32:58. 

Pos Cat Gen Name Cat 5K Split Gun Chip Age Gd Com 
9 Simon FRASER MS 17:50 35:27 35:27 76.7%  
36 22 35 Nick GILL MS 18:58 38:40 38:38 69.7%  
48 26 47 Mike JEFFS MS 18:58 39:36 39:33 69.5%  
51 50 Grant RAMSAY MV50 19:25 39:47 39:46 76.1%  
130 11 Georgie HOOPER FV35 22:02 45:18 45:08 67.9% ST 
179 20 Suzy HAWKINS FV45 23:15 47:00 46:43 70.4% ST 
199 27 Claire PULLEN FV55 23:53 47:32 47:17 78.6% ST 
239 10 32 Marie COLUCCI FV45 23:21 48:23 48:08 67.7% OT 
363 20 299 Martin DUDLEY MV60 26:02 51:55 51:24 63.1%  
497 144 384 Matt TUTTON MS 27:29 55:12 54:23 49.8%  
548 35 138 Wendy THARANI FV45 28:47 56:05 55:17 61.8%  
598 81 432 Andy JAY MV50 27:56 57:22 56:55 56.6%  
646 47 462 Nick KLEANTHOUS MV60 29:34 58:35 57:49 56.5%  
675 71 205 Jo COOKSLEY FV35 31:36 59:22 58:26 51.8%  
695 30 219 Tricia HOPPER FV55 29:40 59:43 59:01 61.7%  
701 61 225 Claire EMMERSON FV45 30:17 59:50 59:02 58.6%  
726 486 Jim BROWN MV70+ 30:17 1:00:44 59:37 60.2%  
727 65 241 Penny SCHENKEL FV45 30:17 1:00:44 59:56 58.5%  
730 243 Karen LIDDLE FV65+ 29:58 1:00:52 1:00:04 68.5&  
822 11 308 Sharon CROWLEY FV65+ 33:00 1:04:14 1:02:58 64.9%  
920 50 376 Monica SMITHSON FV55 31:31 1:07:59 1:07:11 55.7%  
1071 135 493 Samantha SUTTON FV45 39:25 1:19:43 1:18:26 42.0%  
1099 17 585 Roger BIGGS MV70+ 45:43 1:34:29 1:32:58 41.0%  

Serpentine 5K 

JIM BROWN enjoyed wonderful sun and a tailwind on the back straight for Friday’s Serpentine 5K in Hyde Park.  He finished in 28:45. 

Parkrun – Saturday 30th September 

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DOUBLE WIN AT THE HITCHIN 5K!

It was a double win in Hitchin for Fairlands Valley Spartans as ANDREW PATTERSON and ASHLEY JOHNSON won first man and first woman in the Hitchin 5K. 

Andrew won the race in 16 minutes 23 seconds.  Which was 50 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.  And Ashley won the woman’s race in 20:17, again a victory by 50 seconds. 

MONICA SMITHSON ran the Hitchin 5K in 32 minutes 17 seconds. 

Bedford Autodrome 

JIM BROWN ran the Bedford Autodrome 20 miles and improved his “year best” by 15 minutes 29 seconds when he finished in 3 hours 13 minutes 51 seconds. 

This was a bit of a leap up after some indifferent half marathons so his plan was to run six “parkruns” in an average of 30 minutes or just under.  That he did going through 30K in maybe a second under 3 hours. 

Then the last 2.2 kilometres largely into a howling headwind took 13 minutes 51 seconds.  He was second in his age group. 

Spartan CAROLE SHELDRICK won her category in the Autodrome 10K with 56:38. 

Windsor Half 

WENDY THARANI was at the Windsor Half Marathon.  She said it was a busy event, well organised and well attended.  Beautiful scenery through Windsor Great Park, however it is very undulating and felt like more up than down!  Big hill at mile 11! 

She finished in 2:14:15 (chip time). 

Ottawa 10K 

Spartan Andy Jay travelled to Ottawa, Canada for a memorial and charity event, raising funds for injured and veteran members of the Canadian armed forces. 

With the start and finish in Downtown Ottawa, the race went past famous Landmarks such as Parliament buildings and the famous Chateau Laurier Hotel.  The race headed east alongside the Ottawa River before returning for a tough finish up on Parliament Hill. 

Andy ran the 10k distance, finishing in 55.17. 

Vitality Westminster Mile 

JONATHAN PARR was fifth in the Vitality Westminster Mile with 4 minutes 42 seconds. 

Parkrun Saturday 23rd September 

Michael O’Keefe ran a new course PB at Letchworth with 29:05 

At Stevenage there was a new parkrun PB for William Morley 19:52; Claire Pullen ran her 50th parkrun in 24:41; and Grant Ramsay was sixth at Stevenage on his 100thparkrun with 19:26 

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JONATHAN WINS HATFIELD SERIES 

JONATHAN PARR WON the Hatfield 5K series of Wednesday evening races with an average of 16 minutes 20 seconds, that’s ten seconds quicker than his nearest rival.  There were three races on consecutive weeks. 

Jonathan with his trophy! – Photo Credit Sharon Crowly

NICK GILL ran another fantastic personal best (PB).  This time it was 17 minutes 25 seconds which got him in the top twenty in Wednesday’s race.  ALISON WOOD was first woman 55 plus with 21 minutes 3 seconds. 

Ten Spartans finished the race.  The others in the club’s first four were SIMON JACKSON 12th in 16:39 and MIKE JEFFS 25th in 17:37. 

SHARON CROWLEY was fourth in the series for her category and ran the final race in 28 minutes 53 seconds. 

Photo Credit – Keith Fenwick

The other Spartans were NICK KLEANTHOUS 25:04; JIM BROWN 26:37; MICHAEL O’KEEFE 26:56 and ROGER BIGGS 46:50. 

Pos Bib Name Time Cat M/F Cat Pos Age Gd Comments 
5692 Jonathan PARR 16:21 MS 82.1 % Series winner 
12 5959 Simon JACKSON 16:39 MV40 12 85.6 %  
19 5353 Nick GILL 17:25 MS 19 14 74.8 % PB 
25 5542 Mike JEFFS 17:37 MS 25 18 76.0 %  
106 2944 Alison WOOD 21:03 FV55 17 84.3 % 1st FV55 
173 5636 Nick KLEANTHOUS 25:04 MV60 127 17 63.2 %  
187 2909 Jim BROWN 26:37 MV70 135 65.7 %  
192 5504 Michael O’KEEFE 26:56 MV50 136 35 57.9 %  
198 3015 Sharon CROWLEY 28:53 FV65 58 67.4 %  
215 1844 Roger BIGGS 46:50 MV70 148 39.6 %  

Stevenage 10k 

In the Stevenage 10K Spartan SIMON JACKSON was second overall and first man 40 plus with 35 minutes 33 seconds.  KIM JURY was seventh in her category with 54:36 and JIM BROWN third in his with 56:44. 

DAVE ACKERY said “I really pushed hard for a sub 60 but the hills were proving a bit of a hard slog in the heat especially the final big push!”  He finished with 60:57. 

Seven Spartans ran and there were 273 finishers.  The other Spartans were GRANT RAMSAY 40:35; ROBERT WRIGHT 53:53 and ROGER BIGGS 1:38:52.   

Pos MF Cat Pos Bib Name Cat 5K Gun Chip Age Gd 
2. 7031 Simon JACKSON MV40 17:03 35:34 35:33 81.4 % 
15 15 7040 Grant RAMSAY MV50 19:21 40:37 40:35 73.7% 
104. 91 28 7183 Robert WRIGHT MV40 26:58 54:01 53:53 51.1 % 
110. 15 7002 Kim JURY FV35 26:08 54:47 54:36 55.5 % 
146. 120 6914 Jim BROWN MV70+ 28:44 57:44 56:54 62.5 % 
172. 136 57 7166 David ACKERY MS 28:32 1:01:06 1:00:57 43.2 % 
273. 176 6971 Roger BIGGS MV70+   1:39:24 1:38:52 38.3 % 

Parkrun Saturday 16th September 2023 

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HATFIELD 5K SERIES RACE TWO 

Spartan ANDREW PATTERSON won Wednesday’s Hatfield 5K race in a new personal best (PB) of just 15 minutes 55 seconds AND took GOLD in the County Championships. 

Samantha and Andrew with their County medals!

SAMANTHA PRETTY-CONNORS won BRONZE with 19 minutes 25 seconds, a PB by 5 seconds, and YUKO GORDON won GOLD in the women 65 plus race with 22 minutes 25 seconds (22:25). 

JONATHAN PARR was third senior in 16:35. 

Photo Credit – Keith Fenwick

There was a year’s best time for SIMON JACKSON improving by 30 seconds to 16:50. 

MATT TUTTON ran another PB this week this time trimming another five seconds off to 24:32 and JIM BROWN improved his time for the year by one second to 26:34. 

Photo Credit – Keith Fenwick
Position First Name Last Name Time PB Imp Race 1 Comp 
Andrew Patterson 15:55 PB 0:03 15:59 0:04 
Jonathan Parr 16:35  16:18 (0:17) 
10 Simon Jackson 16:50 YB 0:30     
33 Mike Jeffs 18:09  18:02 (0:07) 
65 Samantha Pretty-Connors 19:25 PB 0:05     
71 Grant Ramsay 19:40  19:34 0:09 
105 Peter Orton 21:07 23      
127 Yuko Gordon 22:25      
166 Matt Tutton 24:32 PB 0:05 24:37 0:05 
189 Andy Jay 25:41  24:49 (0:52) 
193 Nick Kleanthous 25:52  24:49 (1:03) 
202 Jim Brown 26:34 YB 0:01 27:09 0:35 
203 Michael O’Keefe 26:38  26:35 (0:03) 
216 Sharon Crowley 30:00  28:59 (1:01) 
235 Paul Holgate 36:29  39:29 3:00 
238 Roger Biggs 42:44  42:37 (0:07) 

Parkrun Saturday 9th September 2023 

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HATFIELD 5K SERIES, RUNNING RATS AND DASHING DUCKS!

Fairlands Valley Spartans won SILVER medals in the team competition at the Hertfordshire County 5K championships for senior men on Wednesday 30th August. 

The medal winning team was ANDREW PATTERSON (15:59); JONATHAN PARR (16:18); KIRK NDUGU (16:31) and NICK GILL (17:46).  With 52 they were only four points behind the gold medal winners. 

Photo Credit – Keith Fenwick

It was a season’s best (SB) for Andrew and Kirk, a year’s best (YB) for Jonathan and a personal best for Nick. 

The championships were included in the Hatfield 5K which was completed by 14 Spartans. 

Photo Credit – Keith Fenwick

MIKE JEFFS came in with a new PB of 18:02; MATT TUTTON with a new PB of 24:37; ANDY JAY with a season’s best 24:49 and SHARON CROWLEY with a season’s best of 28:59. 

Jonathon and Nick receiving their County medals! – Photo credit Sharon Crowley
Place Name M/F Cat Pos Cat Time Age Grade Comments 
5. Andrew PATTERSON MV40 15:59 85.2 % Team silver SB 
8. Jonathan PARR MS 16:18 82.3 % Team silver YB 
11. Kirk NDUGU 11 10 MS 16:31 80.0 % Team silver SB 
35. Nick GILL 33 25 MS 17:46 73.3 % Team silver PB 
43. Mike JEFFS 40 29 MS 18:02 74.2 % PB 
79. Grant RAMSAY 69 12 MV50 19:34 75.1 %  
174. Matt TUTTON 130 51 MS 24:37 54.0 % PB 
177. Andy JAY 131 34 MV50 24:49 62.7 % SB 
178. Nick KLEANTHOUS 132 14 MV60 24:49 63.8 %  
199. Michael O’KEEFE 141 37 MV50 26:35 58.6 %  
209. Jim BROWN 145 MV70 27:09 64.4 %  
226. Sharon CROWLEY 78 FV65 28:59 67.0 % SB 
243. Paul HOLGATE 155 22 MV60 39:29 42.1 %  
244. Roger BIGGS 156 10 MV70 42:37 43.4 %  
Results for all Spartan finishers at the Hatfield 5k

Bedford Running Festival 

In the half marathon JIM BROWN was 307th out of the 684 finishers with 2 hours 1 minute 34 seconds.  He was second in his category just 27 seconds behind the winner. 

In the Bedford 20 DAVID HARRIS-CHERGUIT was ninth overall and seventh in the 40-49 category in 2 hours 8 minutes 13 seconds. 

He said the weather was hot! Great support on route and it was good to see Stevenage being represented by Spartans, Striders and Phoenix running clubs. 

David and Jim after their run.

Baldock Rat Run 

Tim Robinson took part in the fifth Baldock 5k Rat Run, an off road fun run raising fund for Garden House Hospice.  He finished 64th out of 88 finishers in a time of 29:21.  He has run in all 5 events now and is a regular but difficult to spot. 

The Baldock rat!

UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc) 

ADRIAN BUSOLINI said “My journey to UTMB started in 2019 with my running a section of the UTMB course, and falling in love with the Chamonix Valley.  In 2021, I ran the UTMB CCC, which is more or less the second half of the UTMB course.  I finally obtained my UTMB spot in 2022 based on my category placing in Val d’Aran.  

For us based in Hertfordshire, training for something like UTMB is not easy, as we have no comparable terrain nearby.  My lack of specific training is probably what held me back in this race. 

Regardless of my result, the experience of participating in a race as famous and competitive as UTMB is extraordinary.  Between bumping into many friends and acquaintances in Chamonix, experiencing the otherworldly level of support in St Gervais les Bains and Les Contamines, or just soaking up the sight of Mont Blanc from every angle.  The UTMB is a tough, technical race, but one to savour.” Adrian took 30 hours 21 minutes 21 seconds for the 160 kilometres. 

Duck and Dash 

NICK KLEANTHOUS said it was a great weather for Sunday’s Duck n Dash involving 400 metres of Letchworth outdoor pool followed by a 5K hilly trail run around Norton Common.  Tracy Haygarth found me before the start and we talked while waiting for our swim as swimmers went off at 15 second intervals.  It was Tracy’s first event and without her Garmin on did amazing.  It was very well organised and the support was fantastic. Hope to be back next year! 

Nick and Tracey with their medals!

Summer Nuts Challenge 

STEVE PLATT tackled the two muddy, wet and obstacle filled laps of the Summer Nuts Challenge on Saturday 2nd September.  The 15.69 kilometres OCR (British Obstacle Sports) event took 3 hours 39 minutes 21 seconds. 

Steve looking as though he’s just completed a walk in the park and not muddy obstacles!

Parkrun Saturday 2nd September 2023 

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RESOLUTION 5K, ENGLAND MASTERS, 10K’s, 10 MILES and MORE!

A sunny summer’s evening brought perfect conditions for the Resolution 5K event at Ridlins track in Stevenage and nine Spartans were there to enjoy it. 

For those keen to judge their pace there was a timing mat and clock after two hundred metres and then every 400 metres for the 12 full laps. 

NICK GILL was first in for the club at third overall and first male senior with 18 minutes 3 seconds (18:03).  MIKE JEFFS was second male senior with 18:26. 

Nick and Mike in action! – Photo Credit Keith Fenwick

ASHLEY JOHNSON was first woman in the race with 19:31.  Not only did YUKO GORDON win her category but she did it in 22 minutes 22 seconds achieving an amazing age graded score of 96.8%. 

Ashley and Yuko – Photo Credit Keith Fenwick

JIM BROWN won his category with 27 minutes 13 seconds (27:13).   

Spartan times at the Resolution 5K: 

Pos MF CatPos Bib Name Cat Time Age Gd 
3. 286 Nick GILL MS 18:03 72.3 % 
6. 1299 Mike JEFFS MS 18:26 72.9 % 
14. 1286 Ashley JOHNSON FV35 19:31 79.0 % 
33. 5559 Yuko GORDON FV65 22:22 96.8 % 
39. 32 5889 Nick KLEANTHOUS MV60 26:02 61.4 % 
43. 33 5780 Jim BROWN MV70+ 27:13 64.8 % 
49. 16 212 Sharon CROWLEY FV65 29:59 65.6 % 
50. 34 5943 Paul HOLGATE MV60 30:38 54.6 % 
52. 35 5742 Roger BIGGS MV70+ 41:23 45.2 % 

England Masters Inter Area Track & Field Challenge 

Spartan YUKO GORDON was in Nuneaton to run the 1500 metre at the England Masters Inter Area Track & Field Challenge.  Representing the East of England she won the women 70 plus race in 6 minutes 18.26 seconds (6:18.26). 

Summer 10K 

MATT TUTTON ran the London Summer 10k.  The three laps of the outer path of Regents Park. Running conditions were great and the course was flat.  Perfect for a PB which he achieved with a new personal best of 54 minutes 25 seconds (54:25). 

Stopsley 10 Miles 

Fairlands Valley Spartan DANNY SCANLON ran the Stopsley 10 Mile Trail race recently. 

He finished with a chip time of 1 hour 14 minutes 11 seconds for an 11th place finish.  The course was a tough two laps with a very steep hill in each lap!  

DAVE PATTMAN and MO WARRILOW ran the Stopsley 5 Mile Trail Run.  The chip times were 35:41 for Dave, and 47:00 for Mo. 

Burnham Beeches Half Marathon 

WENDY THARANI took on the Burnham Beeches Half Marathon and completed it in 2:13:15. She said that the course was rather undulating but lovely through the beechy woodland. There were lots of ridiculously expenses houses including Dorney Wood which is traditionally the Chancellor of the Exchequers country residence. The race was well organised with lots of friendly marshals. 

Wendy after finishing Burnham Beeches

Schierker Sommerlauf Trail Run 

JIM BROWN and PENNY SCHENKEL took part in the Schierker Sommerlauf trail run in the Harz area of Germany. 

They tackled the hauptlauf which consisted of two 4.2 kilometre laps so giving a total of just over five miles.  Each lap started with a 1.2 kilometre tough climb into the countryside, a real lung buster.  There were 350 metres of climbing in the race. 

Jim and Penny finished together in 56 minutes 36.4 seconds. 

Parkrun Saturday 19th August 2023 

KIRK NDUGU won Stevenage Parkrun in a new parkrun personal best of 17 minutes 20 seconds. 

For the Consolidate Results please click the link. 

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KARL AND JANE WIN THE HANDICAP 5K!

KARL SHREEVE and JANE WADEY won Thursday evening’s Fairlands Valley Spartans club handicap 5K race in Stevenage.  28 Spartans took part. 

The winner was Karl Shreeve showing a much improved return to form in 29 minutes 15 seconds (29:15), six minutes ahead of handicap with Jane Wadey second (1st female) in 34:06, four seconds ahead of Sally Pickles with a 2:22 Season Best (SB) time of 34:10.  New member Lee Burton was second man in 28:48 and Steve Platt third in a Year Best time of 26:17. 

Photo Credit Tony Randfield (Sharon Crowley for the headline photo)

The fastest runner on the night was Adrian Busolini with a SB 17:41 with Nick Gill second quickest in 20:01 and Matt Gifford third fastest in a new Personal Best (PB) time of 20:41.  

Ashley Johnson was quickest female in 20:45 with Jackie Perry second quickest in 26:10 and Nicola Andersson third fastest in 28:56.  19 of the 28 finishers finished within two minutes of their handicap time. 

Photo credit Tony Randfield

St Albans Summer 10k 

Spartan JIM BROWN ran the St Albans Summer 10K on Sunday in 54 minutes 49 seconds.  He was the first finisher over 70 years of age by more than ten minutes and won GOLD in the Hertfordshire 10K Championship for veteran runners.  The county championships were incorporated in the open race in which there were 294 finishers. 

Jim says he went through 5K seven seconds late and had doubts whether he could do it but a substantial negative split in the second half of the race meant he beat his target by a few seconds. 

ROBERT WRIGHT completed his 10K in 42 minutes 55 seconds and was well placed in the 40 plus category. 

Parkrun Saturday 5th August 2023 

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ANDREW BREAKS A CLUB RECORD!

ANDREW PATTERSON went to Watford on Wednesday night to race in the Open Graded Meeting, 1500 metres race.  The weather was horrendous.  The rain started heavy and was torrential by the time he got to race. 

He said, “In the pack on the track, I didn’t really notice the rain and found a good rhythm, getting round in a new personal best (PB) of 4:15.42.  I’m very happy with that effort in those conditions.”  He should be.  That’s a new Fairlands Valley Spartans club record for 1500 metres and only three months after beating 2 hours 40 minutes in the London Marathon. 

Chases The Sun 10K at Battersea 

DANNY SCANLON ran the ironically titled “Chase the Sun” 10k at Battersea Park in pouring rain on Wednesday. 

Four glorious laps in the rain, to finish with a chip time of 42 minutes exactly.  

Sundowner Half Marathon 

The Sundowner runs were a bit different.  They were on Saturday evening starting at 5.30p.m.  With a choice of 10K or Half Marathon Spartan JIM BROWN chose the half and ran his best 13.1 miles so far this year.  With an improvement of 2 minutes 26 seconds his 2 hours 49 seconds (2:00:49) won him his category and an age score of 65.81%.   

Parkrun Saturday 29th  July 2023 

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RELAYS IN THE PARK!

The 3k Relays in the Park, organised by Fairlands Valley Spartans in Fairlands Valley Park, were brilliant.  The 3K course was covered 473 times by runners enjoying a great summer’s evening on Thursday. 

As well as organising the event the local club enjoyed some success with their women taking BRONZE in the County Championships in 48 minutes 13 seconds and their veteran women also winning BRONZE with 54:32. 

All teams – men, women, mixed, senior or veteran – consisted of four runners so ran a total of 12 kilometres. 

The medal winners were ASHLEY JOHNSON (11:38); SAM PRETTY (11:50), GABRIELLE O’BRIEN (12:16) and GAIL MACKIE (12:29) in the senior county championships and SUZY HAWKINS (12:45); MARIE COLUCCI (13:07); TRACEY JACKSON (13:53) and YUKO GORDON (14:47) in the veterans race. 

Our winning ladies! – Photo Credit Callie Chapman

The FVS male team were fourth in the open and county races in 38:42 just eight seconds off bronze.  They were JON PARR (9:20); ANDREW PATTERSON (9:31); ADRIAN BUSOLINI (9:55) and KIRK NDUGU (9:56). 

The fastest Spartan was in the top ten individuals – JON PARR in 9 minutes 20 minutes (9:20).  ASHLEY JOHNSON was the fastest female from Fairlands with her 11 minutes 38 seconds, twelve seconds ahead of SAM PRETTY with 11:50. 

The first woman in the race finished in 9 minutes 28 seconds! 

There were 119 teams.  Luton AC won the open men’s race in 36:57 (for 12 kilometres) and the open mixed race with 41:03; St Albans Striders won the open women’s race in 43:46. 

Doug Anderson 5K – 20th Anniversary 

Last Wednesday MATT TUTTON ran at the Bedford Harriers organised Doug Anderson 5k at Bedford Park.  This was two and half laps of the park on a cool and dry evening. Matt finished in a personal best time of 24:54.  

This was the 20th anniversary of the event.  PAUL HOLGATE has now run 17 of the 20.  The only missing ones were two that fell on his wife’s birthday and one when he was in Mount Vernon Hospital.  He finished in 31 minutes 19 seconds. 

ROGER BIGGS came in with 38:38.   

Bedford Blues Half Marathon 

Spartan JIM BROWN ran the Bedford Blues Foundation Half Marathon on Sunday. 

He was 86th and second MV70 with 2:04:16 (64%).   

Jim said it was nice after recent form to properly run all the way.   

He added it was an almost perfect morning for running.  Only 132 on the half marathon but another 202 on the 10K.  The short out and back sections actually made it a better experience as runners smiled and encouraged each other as they passed. 

Jim with some of the lovely Stevenage Striders ladies – Photo Credit Stevenage Striders

Parkrun Highlights Saturday 22nd July 2023 

MATT TUTTON ran a new parkrun personal best of 24:20.  He was 84th out of the 394 finishers. 

For all the Consolidated Results please click the link.

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THE FAMOUS, FAIRLANDS VALLEY CHALLENGE!

Nearly 200 people ran, jogged or walked the Fairlands Valley Challenge, on Sunday 16th July. The challenge is a self navigating trail event that offers a choice of distances from 10 kilometres to half marathon, 18 miles, marathon or an ultra 50 kilometres.

This annual event is much loved by lots of runners far and wide and is organised by our very own chairman, Tim Robinson.

Tim (with the clipboard) and a few of his helpers and Spartan runners

Tim is supported by his army of Spartan volunteers which ensures the event is able to be just as fabulous year after year! Alongside the brilliant, friendly checkpoints the pull of the challenge is the beautiful countryside trails and not forgetting our famous Spartans bread pudding!

The famous bread pudding and beautiful trails – Photo Credit Dan Abel

With lots of lovely comments like, “Thanks for another great event Fairlands Valley Spartans”, and “Thanks for all the work behind such a great event!” to “Fantastico! Thanks to all the organisers and volunteers”, “This was a fantastic event and as far as half marathons go we loved it! Thank you to all that helped and supported!” we are sure that the Challenge will remain a firm favourite in all runners diaries for many years to come!

Just a handful of our many lovely runners – Photo Credit Keith Fenwick

Our very own marathon/ultra man ADRIAN BUSOLINI was the 2nd fastest but 3rd finisher as he started later in the 50K Ultra. ROSS GALLAGHER and MIKE JEFFS enjoyed the half distance coming in 2nd place and STEVE PLATT came in a tremendous 2nd place in the 10k!

Adrian, Mike & Ross and Steve – Photo Credit Keith Fenwick

Well done to all those that ran, took part and enjoyed the day. We hope to see you all again next year!

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RACE FOR LIFE, REMEMBERING CATHY

Lots of Spartans took part in Race for Life on Sunday as part of the Cancer Research fundraising event. 

It is usual to see a lot of Spartans at this event as those that don’t take part offer their marshalling skills to encourage and support others. 

This year saw a larger than normal amount of Spartans take part as they were honouring a beloved Spartan member who we sadly lost earlier this year. The family were out supporting the wonderful charity and so our members also took to the course to support and remember Cathy. 

Cathy Craig was a true inspiration to so many of us. From 5k up to Ultra’s and back down to EMAC, you name it Cathy did it. She was a renowned trophy winner at our annual Presentation Evening and we believe that she may of achieved the whole collection of awards available including the much sought after award of Spartan of the Year at this years ceremony. 

Cathy would always greet everybody with a warm, infectious smile and would always be supportive and encouraging offering lots of runners tips where she could. 

The Race for Life event would have been a day that Cathy loved! Dressing up in tutu’s, coloured wigs and head boppers, she would have been at the front of the queue! 

#bemorecathy 

Supporters and Cathy’s family

EMAC 

The FVS women’s team finished in third place in the EMAC league central division at Bedford on Wednesday.  EMAC run a track and field league for veteran athletes in the East of England.  Cambridge & Coleridge were out in force after their narrow defeat last month, winning on the night with 141 points with Marshall Milton Keynes placed second with 110 points and FVS with 106.  FVS remain top points scorers with 393 points, but it all comes down to the last match in Sandy next month. 

Spartan Women – SHARON CROWLEY, ASHLEY JOHNSON, CHRISTINE LATHWELL, PAULA McMAHON, MARIAN MORLEY, JOYLYN SAUNDERS-MULLINS and ANDREA WESTCOTT 

Wins on the night came from Sharon Crowley in the 2km A string walk and W60 hammer throw.  Sharon also placed 4th in the W50 100m and 5th in the W60 1500m.  Other points came from Christine Lathwell, who placed 5th in the W35 100m after sprinting to the start line having placed 4th in the 2km B string walk.  Christine also covered the W35 triple jump, finishing 4th. Joylyn Saunders-Mullins secured 2nd place in the W60+ 100m, 3rd in the W60+ 400m, and 2nd in the W60+ shot put.  Paula McMahon made a mad dash from her car straight to the start line for the W35 400m, changing in to her spikes while the other women were lining up!  Despite the lack of a warm up, Paula finished in a very respectable 3rd place.  Andrea Westcott placed 2nd in the W50 400m, 4th in the W35 hammer, and 6th in the W35 shot put.  Marian Morley started the evening with a new PB in the W50 shot put, finishing 3rd and also placed 3rd in the W50 hammer.  Ashley Johnson made a welcome return to the team, running a great W35 1500m and finishing 2nd

The W35 relay team of Paula McMahon, Christine Lathwell, Ashley Johnson, and Joylyn Saunders-Mullins finished 3rd in the 4 x 200m 

Our EMAC ladies

The men’s team conststing of CHARLIE ARNOLD, ANTON McCALLA, NICK KLEANTHOUS, STEVE MAYFIELD, MICHAEL O’KEEFE, ANDREW PATTERSON, TIM SAUNDERS-MULLINS and CHRIS WESTCOTT did themselves proud, finishing fourth on the night, just 8 points behind third placed Cambridge & Coleridge. 

Wins from Andy Patterson in the M35 1500m and Tim Saunders-Mullins in the M60+ hammer throw combined with points scored by Anton McCalla, Nick Kleanthous, Chris Westcott, Charlie Arnold, Steve Mayfield, and Michael O’Keefe so the Spartans team remain in fourth place overall. 

The EMAC men

Mid Week League Round Up 

Not only did Fairlands Valley Spartans get promoted to the top division in the Mid Week League (see last week’s release) but they had some great individual prize winners. 

SAM PRETTY was second woman in the open competition; ASHLEY JOHNSON second in the women 35 plus category; SIMON FRASER third man in the open competition; ANDREW PATERSON WON the men 40 plus category with RICHARD BATE third. 

AND Fairlands Valley Spartans were overall winners in the veterans contest. 

Trophy Winners!

Ultra 5k 

MIKE JEFFS took on the ultra 5k challenge at Box End Bedford.  This was a gruelling challenge running a 5k on the hour every hour for five hours.  He managed to keep his times consistent which helped him achieve a third place finish.  Mike’s first ever podium finish for a running event. 

Mike with his medal and trophy!

Wendover Woods 100 Miles 

Adrian Busolini WON the Centurion Wendover Woods 100 mile event in 20 hours 24 minutes 59 seconds. 

With 600m of climb and a mix of terrains, just one lap of this Wendover course is quite punchy. So 10 laps, in conditions only slightly cooler than SDW100, was always going to be a challenge for the 30 souls who toed the start line. 

13 of them made it to the end, and Adrian was glad to be the first – not just because that meant he got to take home an almost life-sized Centurion trophy, but because he could catch an hour of rest and a few pretty awesome crepes before the Wendover Weekender kicked off, with Allie talking crewing and The Green Runners demonstrating how to repair shoe uppers.  

It was the first time Centurion had run a camping, talks and general fun & games weekend like this, and they put on a really good show, with the volunteers standing out as usual being the ultra awesome folks they are. Good times, good conversations, and a weekend well spent. 

Adrian looking like he’s just taken a stroll in the park rather than running 100 miles…

Parkrun Highlights Saturday 8th July 2023 

For the full Consolidated Results please click the link 

Personal Best Achievements  

ASHLEY JOHNSON was first female at Stevenage in a new parkrun personal best of 20 minutes 21 seconds for her 10th parkrun.   

NICK GILL ran his 100th parkrun at Stevenage and did it with a new parkrun personal best of 18 minutes 40 seconds (18:40) which got him a top ten sixth place out of the 406 finishers. 

NICOLA ANNDERSSON ran a new parkrun PB of 26:22 in Ballina, Ireland  

Categories
Club News Race Results

SPARTANS PROMOTED! 

The Spartans are promoted!  In the final counting race of the Mid Week series Stevenage based Fairlands Valley Spartans squeezed past Royston Runners to grab second spot and thus promotion to the top division in the Mid Week League. 

In the end it couldn’t have been much closer with Watford first with 39 points, Spartans second with 38 and Royston missing out with third and 37. 

They did it by coming second in the men’s contest while Royston slipped to fourth.  While the Spartans were third in the women’s event, with home team Barnet winning Royston coming two places behind in the men’s race gave FVS the opportunity. 

The Trent Park race had a largely off road six miles course.  There were 449 runners overall for the combined divisions two and three event and 43 were Spartans. 

There were some brilliant Spartan performances including SAMANTHA-PRETTY CONNORS (41:30); ASHLEY JOHNSON (41:45) and CHRISTINE LATHWELL (42:02) all top ten at fourth, fifth and sixth in the women’s race.  Samantha won her category (FV35); Ashley was second and Christine was second in the FV45.  YUKO GORDON was first woman 65 plus with 49:36. 

And the FVS men had four in the top ten.  ANDREW PATTERSON (33:45); SIMON FRASER (33:54); ADRIAN BUSOLINI (34:17) and SIMON JACKSON (35:06) were fourth, fifth, sixth and ninth!  Andrew was the fastest man over 40 and Simon Jackson third. 

As a bonus the club won the veterans championship with 41 points ahead of Watford on 39 and Barnet on 27 – having beaten Watford by one race position on Thursday, just one race position by one runner – but what they are really celebrating is promotion to division one. 

Ware 10 miles 

Spartan MIKE JEFFS ran an amazing new personal best (PB) of 64 minutes 14 seconds in the challenging Ware ten mile race on Sunday morning.  He was fourth senior man, fifth overall. 

JIM BROWN defended his 70 plus “title” which he won last year.  This time he finished in exactly 100 minutes and exactly four minutes ahead of his nearest rival.   

MO WARRILLOW was fourth FV45 in 1:29:30 and ROBERT WRIGHT was another Spartan top ten in his category.  He was seventh MV40 in 1:14:07. 

DAVID PATTMAN and STEVEN DOBNER came in with 1:22:37 and 1:23:33.  There were 220 finishers. 

Photo Credit to Tony Randfield
Pos Cat Pos  Name Cat Gun Chip Comments 
5. 6087 Mike JEFFS MS 1:04:15 1:04:14 PB 
29. 6155 Robert WRIGHT MV40 1:14:07 1:14:03   
84. 25 6144 David PATTMAN MV40 1:22:37 1:22:30   
90. 26 6143 Steven DOBNER MV40 1:23:33 1:23:25   
122. 6168 Mo WARRILLOW FV45 1:29:38 1:29:30   
178. 6094 Jim BROWN MV70+ 1:40:10 1:40:00 1st MV70 

7 Peaks in Snowdonia 

Spartan JOHN NELMS took part in a national police competition on Saturday joining teams from 30 different forces racing on a 22 mile all off road route over 7 peaks in Snowdonia.  With almost 9000 feet of elevation and weather ranging from freezing rain to glorious sunshine, the team finished 21st out of 40 and 2nd in the super veterans’ category (all four team members had to be over 50 on race day). 

Parkrun Highlights Saturday 1st July 2023 

Congratulations to MATTHEW NEWTON running a parkrun PB of 18:50 at St Albans.

For the Consolidated Results please click the link.

Tables 

Women at Trent Park (Division 2 Race) – Thursday 29th June 

Tkt Race Name Surname Time Div Pos Cat Vet Cat M/F Team 
89 Samantha Pretty-Connors 41:30 V 35 
92 Ashley Johnson 41:45 V 35 
94 Christine Lathwell* 42:02 V 45 
27 174 Georgie Hooper 46:14 17 10 V 35 
30 177 Gabrielle O’Brien 46:21 19   
35 196 Marie Colucci 47:16 21 12 V 45 
56 239 Yuko Gordon 49:36 32 17 V 65 
93 326 Mo Warrillow 54:18 58 14 34 V 45 
102 341 Nicola Andersson 55:13 63 16 39 V 45  
108 349 Chloe Chapman 55:51 68    
119 365 Anna Swanepoel 57:07 74 16 47 V 35  
146 411 Sharon Crowley 1:03:08 89 15 58 V 55  
156 425 Monica Smithson 1:07:00 96 16 64 V 55  
170 445 Callie Chapman 1:17:22 101 19 69 V 35  
171 446 Hazel Smith 1:17:22 102 27 70 V 45  

Men at Trent Park (Division 2 Race) – Thursday 29th June 

Ticket Race Name Surname Time Div Pos Cat Vet Cat M/F Team 
Andrew Patterson 33:45 V 40 
Simon Fraser 33:54   
Adrian Busolini 34:17   
12 12 Simon Jackson 35:06 V 40 
17 17 Jonathan Parr 36:08 14   
24 24 Richard Bate 37:14 19 V 40 
39 39 Mike Jeffs 38:34 25   
41 41 Nick Gill 38:39 26   
79 84 Adrian Donnelly 41:09 51 20 26 V 40 
85 93 Ross Gallagher 41:58 55   
86 96 Danny Scanlon 42:03 56 23 30 V 40 
97 110 Stuart Archer 42:47 61   
106 123 Robert Wright 43:46 65 27 37 V 40 
111 130 Matt Gifford 44:08 68 11 40 V 50 
121 141 David Pattman 44:42 74 29 44 V 40 
125 146 Alexey Zherdev 44:54 75 30 45 V 40 
139 163 Francois Swanepoel 45:54 84 35 53 V 40 
148 178 Pete Smith 46:22 87 56 V 60 
157 191 Craig Bacon 46:58 90 15 59 V 50 
187 248 Charlie Arnold 50:02 109 10 75 V 60 
233 324 Nick Kleanthous 54:12 132 13 94 V 60 
240 343 Matt Tutton 55:31 138   
252 374 Tim Robinson 58:15 146 29 104 V 50 
253 376 John Harris 58:33 147 17 105 V 60 
254 377 Jim Brown 58:35 148 106 V 70  
264 404 Michael O’Keefe 1:01:21 152 31 109 V 50  
270 427 Paul Holgate 1:07:37 155 19 112 V 60  
273 437 Paul Jennings 1:12:40 157 55 114 V 40  
Categories
Club News Race Results

SPARTANS HANDICAP & YUKO WINNING GOLD!

DEBBIE BLANTERN won the club’s 5K handicap race on Thursday evening.  Debbie beat her handicap by 4 minutes 38 seconds with 30:22 and finished seven seconds ahead of MICHAEL O’KEEFE with a season’s best 25:14. 

MATT GIFFORD was third in his first handicap with 21:10, beating his handicap by 2:05. 

MARIE COLUCCI was second woman on handicap and on speed with 23:38 with ASHLEY JOHNSON was fastest female and third on handicap with 20:20. 

The fastest Spartan on the night was NICK GILL with 18:46. 

Some of the runners enjoying the rain and still smiling!

Summer Solstice 10K 

Seven Spartans went to St Albans for the Summer Solstice 10K or #BeatTheSunset race on Wednesday.  An 8p.m. start on a beautiful summer’s evening didn’t present problems for many people and all the Spartans were back in the sunshine with about half an hour to spare.  Sunset was at 9.24p.m. 

The fastest from Fairlands Valley Spartans was DAVID PATTMAN 83rd out of the 532 finishers with 44 minutes 19 seconds.  STEVEN DOBNER was next in with a fine 47:45 with HARRIET SMITH 33rd woman beating 50 minutes with 49:12 and MO WARRILOW coming in at 52 minutes 32 seconds. 

There was a tremendous personal best (PB) by CHLOE CHAPMAN who finished in 53 minutes 3 seconds, an improvement by 1 minute 47 seconds.  MATT TUTTON improved his PB by 56 seconds to 55:17. 

JIM BROWN ran his best 10K this year by seven seconds with 55:21 and was second in his category. 

Yuko Wins Brutal British Masters 

YUKO GORDON won Gold in the British Masters Multi-terrain 30K Championship on Sunday.  The championship was incorporated into the North Downs Run, in which she came first in W65 (women 65 plus) category in 3:24:06.  Overall Yuko was 180th out of 400 plus finishers.  

The race started and finished at the Cyclo Park in Gravesend, Kent.  The course is well known as tough, hilly and challenging on a normal day, but with the 31C heat added, it was absolutely brutal.  However, the race is very popular for the stunning beauty of Britain’s fine vineyards, red carpets of poppy field and breathtaking views. 

Yuko winning gold at the British Masters

Orwell Challenge 

Sunday saw MIKE JEFFS take on the Orwell Challenge in Felixstowe. There was some difficult terrain to deal with along with the local wildlife which included jelly fish! Mike said that it was a tough course but very beautiful.   

He completed the half marathon distance in 2:14:14 – 21st out of 100 finishers. 

Mike and his medal that matches his club vest!

Purbeck Plod 

THOMAS SAUKA did the Purbeck Plod on Sunday, it was meant to be 25 miles but he did a marathon in the end with a few errors.  Lucky Tom. 

It was very beautiful event but very brutal as well. The course followed the southwest coast path from Swanage to Kimmeridge Bay, which had some killer vertical climbs and descents and 5 miles of overgrown path, then it cut inland to Corfe Castle then back to Swanage going over the hills and the great ridge which is amazing but a very long climb. 

Tom finished in 7 hours 34 minutes with 42.26 kilometres done.  He said “A tough day that I will never forget.” 

Velo Park 

JIM BROWN was running at the Lee Valley Velo Park, an Olympic venue, on Saturday morning.  It was perhaps too hot to expect a good time but 1 hour 33 minutes 16 seconds for the ten miles WON his age group. 

Parkrun Saturday 24th June 2023 

STEVE DOBNER ran a new park PB of 24 minutes 47 seconds at Wimpole.

Please click the link for the Consolidated Spartan Park run Results.

 

Categories
Club News Race Results

SPARTANS WIN SUPER TIGHT RACE THREE

Every single race position counted in the third race in the Mid Week League on Thursday evening. 

Fairlands Valley Spartans improved to win the men’s and women’s races but in an amazingly tight result only by a single point, that’s one race position, in each.  The Spartans won the men’s race by 345 points to 346 and the women’s race by 152 to 153.  In each case just ahead of Royston.  So overall they won the fixture by 497 to 499. 

The Spartans won every category on the night.  Open men, open women, veteran men (by 11 points), veteran women (by 6 points).   

FVS were helped by having a fantastic 57 runners – 26 women and 31 men.  That was more than enough for three women’s teams of eight and two men’s teams of twelve. 

The club’s big improvement compared with race two was down to having a lot more runners, more depth, and some outstanding performances. 

The Spartans had four in the top twenty women and six in the top twenty men. 

The four women were SAMANTHA PRETTY-CONNORS, second and first in her category (FV35) with 41 minutes 9 seconds for the approximately 10K of mixed terrain near Sandon and Buckland (not far from Royston); ASHLEY JOHNSON, fourth and second in her category (FV35); CHRISTINE LATHWELL, ninth and second in her category (FV45) with 42:59 and GABRIELLE O’BRIEN 19th in 47:01. 

YUKO GORDON won the women aged 65 plus category with 48:29 and was 26th women in the race. 

The six men were ANDREW PATTERSON, fifth and first man 40 plus in 34:12; SIMON FRASER, sixth in 34:15; SIMON JACKSON eighth and third man 40 plus in 35:04; JONATHAN PARR, 12th in 36:13; RICHARD BATE 19th in 37:33 and DANNY HUKIN 20th in 38:10. 

The other “A” team women were SUZY HAWKINS 27th in 48:32; GEORGIE HOOPER 28th in 48:34 and MARIE COLUCCI 37th in 50:50.  HARRIET SMITH and KELLY McHALE led in the “B” team at 38th and 39th with 51 minutes 5 seconds. 

Altogether there were 472 runners in the race which included all the second and third division clubs, a total of 15 clubs.  The promotion race is very tight.  Two will get promoted and the Spartans are second on score with 29 compared with Watford’s 30 and tied with Royston but a little bit behind second on points (race positions) with 1,755 against 1,529.  There are six clubs in the second division.  It will all depend on the fourth and final race which will be in Trent Park on Thursday evening 29th June. 

Tables 

FVS Women (26) 

Pos Women Cat Vet Time First Name Last Name Cat Div Comments 
72 41:09 Samantha Pretty-Connors V 35 1st FV35.  Team A 
94 42:33 Ashley Johnson V 35 2nd FV35.  Team A 
105 42:59 Christine Lathwell* V 45 2nd FV45.  Team A 
174 19   47:01 Gabrielle O’Brien Team A. 
208 26 19 48:29 Yuko Gordon V 65 1st FV65.  Team A 
209 27 20 48:32 Suzy Hawkins V 45 Team A 
211 28 10 21 48:34 Georgie Hooper V 35 Team A 
251 37 26 50:50 Marie Colucci V 45 Team A 
253 38   51:05 Harriet Smith  
254 39 12 27 51:05 Kelly McHale V 35  
260 42 12 30 51:26 Tracey Jackson V 45  
279 48   52:10 Abbie Pez  
306 55 18 41 53:59 Tracy Pez V 45  
340 67 21 50 56:18 Wendy Tharani V 45  
349 71 22 52 56:57 Mo Warrillow V 45  
355 75 23 56 57:40 Fiona Clarke V 45  
362 77 24 58 58:03 Nicola Andersson V 45  
367 80 21 60 58:20 Anna Swanepoel V 35  
389 88 28 66 59:55 Claire Emmerson V 45  
390 89   59:56 Chloe Chapman  
392 90 23 67 1:00:13 Ada Janusiene V 35  
393 91 29 68 1:00:14 Hazel Smith V 45  
436 112 21 86 1:05:33 Sharon Crowley V 55  
445 117 23 91 1:06:55 Jane Wadey V 55  
447 118 24 92 1:07:36 Monica Smithson V 55  
461 124 41 97 1:13:46 Tracy Haygarth V 45  

FVS Men (31) 

Pos Men Cat Vet Time First Name Last Name Cat Div  
34:12 Andrew Patterson V 40 1st MV40.  Team A 
  34:15 Simon Fraser Team A 
10 35:04 Simon Jackson V 40 3rd MV40.  Team A 
15 12   36:13 Jonathan Parr Team A 
27 19 37:33 Richard Bate V 40 Team A 
32 20 38:10 Danny Hukin V 40 Team A 
50 31   39:26 Mike Jeffs Team A 
54 33   40:02 Nick Gill Team A 
76 47 22 41:36 David Riddell V 50 Team A 
83 51   42:05 Stuart Archer Team A 
87 54 18 27 42:16 Adrian Donnelly V 40 Team A 
92 59 21 31 42:29 Danny Scanlon V 40 Team A 
136 75 15 44 44:34 Paul Shelley V 50  
141 78 46 44:55 John Harris V 60 4th MV60 
144 79 27 47 45:23 David Pattman V 40  
145 80 28 48 45:24 Alexey Zherdev V 40  
153 82 17 50 45:44 Matt Gifford V 50  
154 83 30 51 45:45 Francois Swanepoel V 40  
170 91 56 46:53 Charlie Arnold V 60 5th MV60 
180 93 19 58 47:20 Craig Bacon V 50  
225 106 36 68 49:02 Robert Wright V 40  
248 112   50:34 Adrian Busolini  
252 113 27 73 51:01 John Nelms V 50  
278 120 32 80 52:10 Matt Clarke V 50  
351 140   57:04 Matt Tutton  
356 141 41 97 57:43 Andy Jay V 50  
382 148 43 102 59:37 Tim Robinson V 50  
403 152 43 105 1:01:04 Paul Jennings V 40  
405 153 44 106 1:01:30 Michael O’Keefe V 50  
446 158 17 110 1:07:08 Paul Holgate V 60  
452 159 45 111 1:08:45 Karl Shreeve V 50  

Parkrun Saturday 17th June 2023 

Congratulation to GAIL MACKIE who ran her 100th parkrun and did it in 27:21. 

For all the Consolidated Results please click the link.

Categories
Club News Race Results

EMAC SPARTANS CONTINUE TO SOAR!

The FVS women’s track and field team continued their winning streak in the EMAC (East of England Masters’ Athletics Club) league central division on Wednesday, narrowly beating hosts Cambridge & Coleridge AC by just 3 points!  The team were missing a few key people, so everyone stepped up and competed in more events than originally planned, some for the first time!   

FVS took maximum points in the sprint hurdles, with wins from Paula Dunne (W35 – women aged 35 plus) , Monica Brown (W50), and Sharon Crowley (W60+).  Paula also won the W35 200 metres, clinching the win in the last few metres, finished 4th W35 800m, and placed 3rdin the W35 discus.  Monica Brown won the W50 long jump and W50 high jump, finished 3rd in W50 javelin, and placed 3rd in the W50 discus.   

Sharon Crowley dropped down an age group to cover the W50 200m, finishing in 4th place.  Sharon also finished 2nd in the A string 1.5km walk.  Other points on the night were won by Joylyn Saunders-Mullins (2nd in the W60 200m, W60 javelin, and W60 discus), Yuko Gordon (2nd place B string 1.5km walk and 4th W60 800m), Andrea Westcott (4th placed W50 800m, 4th W35 javelin, 4th W35 long jump, and 2nd W35 high jump).  Sharon Crowley, Yuko Gordon, Paula Dunne, and Andrea Westcott finished the evening 4th in the W35 4x400m relay. 

The men saw an improved performance from last month, with more events covered, and finished in fourth place.  Andrew Patterson won the M35 800m and also finished 4th M35 javelin, managing to get a valid throw at his last attempt.  Anton McCalla returned to the squad, finishing second in M35 long jump, 5th in M35 200m, and 4th M35 discus.  Nick Kleanthous finished 5th M60+ 200m, 3rd B string 1.5km walk, and 5th M60+ discus.  Charlie Arnold finished 4th in the M60+ 800m and M60 javelin.  Michael O’Keefe finished 5th in the A string 1.5km walk, 6th M50 javelin, 4th M50 discus, and 5th M50 long jump.  The men’s relay team finished 5th

St Albans Half Marathon 

It was approaching 30 degrees as four from Fairlands Valley Spartans tackled the hot and hilly St Albans Half Marathon on Sunday morning. 

Jim Brown said, “It’s a good event but a challenging course in the best conditions.  This was not the day for running a new fast time.  I finished in 2 hours 8 minutes 14 seconds and top half with 810th out of the 1692 finishers which is not bad considering I was also third veteran aged over 70.  Almost 27 minutes quicker than 2022.” 

Nicola Andersson said, “The race was hot and hilly.”  Nicola came in with 2:28:37. 

Spartans LINDA GEORGE and MARTIN JACOB finished in 2:19:43 and 2:20:14. 

100 Miles On The South Downs Way 

ADRIAN BUSOLINI ran the South Downs Way 100 mile trail event at the weekend.  That’s the entire South Downs Way national trail from Winchester to Eastbourne.  He was fifth in 18 hours 12 minutes 41 seconds. 

Parkrun Saturday 10th June 2023 

Please click the link for the Consolidated Results for the 10th June 2023 for all Spartan runners

Categories
Club News Race Results

MID WEEK LEAGUE RACE 2 PLUS AN INTERNATIONAL SPARTAN!

Three Fairlands Valley Spartans were in the top ten of the second midweek league event.  Forty one Spartans made the trip to Watford where ANDREW PATTERSON was third in 34 minutes 53 seconds; ADRIAN BUSOLINI fifth in 35:08 and SIMON FRASER sixth in 35:13. 

CHRISTINE LATHWELL was third woman in 42:24 and SAMANTHA-PRETTY-CONNORS seventh in 43:14.  Three other Spartan women SUZY HAWKINS 48:41; GEORGIE HOOPER 49:26 and HARRIET SMITH 49:38 got under 50 minutes on the tough course. 

251 finished the 10K race which was a mixture of surfaced paths and cross country in Cassiobury Park, Whippendell Wood and on Jacotts Hill. 

Fairlands Valley Spartans came third in the race. 

Royal 10 5k in The Netherlands

ASHLEY JOHNSON ran the Royal 10 5k race in the Netherlands and was second lady home! She ran just under the 20 minute mark with her chip time being 19:52.

She said that she didn’t know what to expect from the course and so took it easy for the first 1k, she then realised that it was pretty flat and the course took her through some beautiful woods which were lovely and shaded, at this point she sped up and came in with her brilliant time!

Not only did she get 2nd place on the podium but she also received a running shoe trophy and flowers.

Ashley in her podium photo.

Parkrun Highlights Saturday 3rd June 2023 

Please click the link to see the Consolidated Results for Spartan Parkruns on the 3rd June 2023

PB Success for the weekend of the 3rd June:

MARTIN JACOB ran his 5k PB in Stevenage with 23:07.

LINDA GEORGE ran her first ever sub 30 parkrun in a personal best (PB) of 28:31. 

FRANCOIS SWANEPOEL ran a new PB of 21:40 at the Gunpowder parkrun. 

Stripy Spartans at Stevenage Parkrun
Categories
Club News Race Results

SUB THREE AT FIRST MARATHON FOR DAVID

Spartan DAVID HARRIS-CHERGUIT beat three hours in his first ever marathon.  He ran the Edinburgh Marathon in 2 hours 54 minutes 13 seconds and was seventh in the men 45 plus category.  David’s really pleased and proud of the result. 

Also at Edinburgh was ROB WRIGHT and he ran a new personal best (PB) of 3 hours 31 minutes 6 seconds. 

Round Up of Mid Week League Race 1 

Fairlands Valley Spartans gave their promotion hopes a tremendous boost in the first race in the 2023 Mid Week League series.  The Spartans had 67 finishers, more than any other club. 

FVS were second in the men’s “A” race just behind Watford and second in the women’s “A” race just behind Royston.  That meant that overall they scored ten match points – the same as current league leaders Watford. 

In the veterans competition the Spartans were second just behind Watford but WON the women’s event well clear of Bishop Stortford.  That means they lead the veterans contest. 

The Spartan women in the top ten were SAMANTHA PRETTY-CONNORS third, and first female 35 plus, in 40 minutes 4 seconds (40:04); CHRISTINE LATHWELL fourth, and second FV45, in 40:28 and ASHLEY JOHNSON sixth, and second 35 plus, in 40:59. 

The club’s leading men were SIMON FRASER sixth in 33:37; ANDREW PATTERSON eighth, and first man 40 plus, in 33:47; SIMON JACKSON tenth, and second man 40 plus, in 34:17 and, just out of the top ten but not far behind ADRIAN BUSOLINI eleventh in 34:27. 

Fairlands Valley Spartans had no less than three senior men’s teams, three senior women’s teams, five veteran men’s teams and six veteran women’s teams.  Senior men’s teams consisted of 12 runners.  Senior women teams had eight runners.  The 67 Spartans consisted of 38 men and 29 women. 

Hatfield Broad Oak 10k 

Jim Brown completed the course in 55:43 and Penny Schenkel in 59:05. 

Serpentine 5k 

Once through the first kilometre Spartan Jim Brown enjoyed himself and finished first MV70 in 27 minutes 24 seconds (63.7%). 

Parkrun Highlights Saturday 27th May

Please click the link for the Consolidated Results from last weeks Parkruns

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Club News Race Results

THE START OF MID WEEK LEAGUE!

Fairlands Valley Spartans gave their promotion hopes a tremendous boost in the first race of this year’s evening Mid Week League.  They were second overall with 67 finishers, 38 men and 29 women.   

Photo credit Keith Fenwick

FVS were second with 545 points, just 24 ahead of Royston.  Watford appear to have a strong lead of 59 points but they could easily be caught in the coming weeks.  The top two clubs will be promoted at the end of the season so the Spartans will be maximising their efforts to maintain that second place, or better. 

Photo credit Keith Fenwick

Altogether there were 538 runners from 15 clubs in the race.  The 67 from FVS compares with 65 from Royston; 53 from Barnet and 51 from Watford.  In addition to the 67 many other Spartans were volunteers helping to make the event a success. 

Photo Credit Keith Fenwick
On the finish line! – Photo credit Keith Fenwick

Stort Five 

Fairlands Valley Spartans WON the team prize at Sunday’s Stort Five trail race. 

Pre race photo call.

STEVE DOBNER reports: Sunny skies greeted us as we made the short hop over to the Stort5.  The event was a sell out with 500 runners entered into the 5 or 10 mile race with 209 runners finishing the 5 mile run.  Having run both the 5 & 10 race previously it is now a must in my race diary, it is a friendly and extremely well run event. 

A slight delay greeted us at the start line as a local bee keeper decided to open their hives 10 minutes before the scheduled start, a quick route change was arranged (unfortunately leaving the races short of 5 or 10 miles) and we were called back and set off. 

The route snakes round Cammas Farm before taking in some lovely trails with two short road sections. 

Dave Pattman was first Spartan home, fourth overall in 31:53, Steve Dobner came home in 8th in 33:53 followed by Suzy Hawkins 35:11, Mo Warrillow in 39:24, Nicola Anderson 42:21 and Sue Harmer in 45:53. 

With Dave finishing fourth, Steve in 8th and Suzy in 13th Fairlands Valley Spartans won the mixed team event and received their lovely wooden trophies as they watched the 10 mile runners come home. 

Spartan smiles with their trophies!

Parkrun  

Please click the link for the Consolidated Club Results for the 20th May 2023

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Club News Race Results

SPARTANS MASTER TRACK & FIELD 

The Spartans women’s team smashed it at the first EMAC fixture of the year which was at Milton Keynes on Wednesday evening.  They scored 143 points way ahead of the home club Milton Keynes with 88. 

The FVS team of six men came a very creditable fifth with several taking part for the first time. 

13 Spartans travelled to Milton Keynes on Wednesday evening to compete in the first EMAC league match of the season.  A minute silence was held before the competition began, and the team wore ribbons to remember Cathy Craig who was a much loved member of the team. 

In fitting tribute to Cathy, the women’s team romped to victory on the night, beating arch rivals Marshall Milton Keynes by nearly 60 points.  The team welcomed newbie Paula McMahon, who covered the women 35 plus 100 metres ( with 4th place) and WON the W35 400 metres!  Other wins on the night came from Joylyn Saunders-Mullins (WON W60 100m by a massive margin, and also took second place in W60 shot put), Christine Lathwell (WON W35 3k, also 2nd place W35 triple jump), Andrea Westcott (WON W50 400m, WON W50 high jump, and WON W50 triple jump, and was also 4th place W35 hammer, and 4th place W35 shot put), Yuko Gordon (WON W60 3k and B string 1m walk), Sharon Crowley (WON W60 hammer, and was also 3rd place W60 400m, 2nd place A string 1m walk, and 2nd place W60 triple jump), Marian Morley (WON W50 shot put – just missing out on a PB (personal best) by 4cm, also 2nd place W50 hammer). 

Following a tactical decision by the captain, Joylyn, Yuko, Sharon, and Andrea ran unopposed in the W50 4 x 100m relay to gain maximum points. 

The men finished in a respectable fifth position, with newbies Michael O’Keefe and Charlie Arnold covering multiple events, but points went begging due to a lack of throwers and jumpers this time.  Wins on the night came in the M60 hammer and the M35 3k, with other points scored in M50 100m, M60 100m, M35 400m, M60 400m, M60 3k, A string and B string 1m walk, M35 hammer, M50 shot put, and the 4 x 100m relay. 

Parkrun Results

Please click this link for the Consolidated Results for the 13th May 2023

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Club News Race Results

SPARTANS AT THE GREENWAY CHALLENGE 

14 Spartans enjoyed the 13.1 miles of the Greenway Challenge which is a largely trail event around Letchworth on Sunday. 

Several members have recently ran marathons and so took the opportunity to relax a bit and enjoy this unique event. 

There were some good performances including Nick Gill 12th overall in 1:52:47; John Harris 13th overall and first man over 60 also in 1:52:47 and Kim Tyler beating two hours with 1:59:35.  She was fourth woman 35 plus. 

Steve Dobner and Mo Warrilow came in together at 2:05:34. 

Jim Brown finished in 2:10:35. He was third man over 60.  Michael O’Keefe came in with 2:12:26. 

Tim Robinson, Vicky Archer, Claire Emmerson, Linda George and Martin Jacob all had a wonderful time at the Greenway Challenge. They ran, walked and skipped their way around the half marathon course enjoying chatting with each other and seeing the scenery.  

They have all either ran marathons and/or trained hard in the past few weeks and so they enjoyed running for fun and even more, they enjoyed the cakes at the end! 

Milton Keynes Marathon  

Adrian Busolini paced the sub three hour group at the Milton Keynes Marathon.  A job well done as they crossed the line in 2 hours 59 minutes 42 seconds (2:59:42). 

Adrian Busolini said: 

“I was peppered with questions about my race strategy in the starting pen, which was a slightly daunting experience for a first-time pacer.  I explained we’d be running mostly even splits, while aiming for consistent effort on the ascents and descents; and given the race started atop a hill, this meant we’d be subject to a slightly faster start.  Questions continued into the first few kilometres of the race, most concerningly from a couple of runners who expressed some anxiety over the starting pace.  If they couldn’t briefly handle some 10 seconds/km under target over a descent, I thought, then I seriously feared for their chances at sub-3.  I quietly wondered how many would still be with me at the end of the race. 

Down on the flat, to avoid any more unnecessary congestion at bottlenecks, I eased forward to put a little distance between us and the half marathon 1h 30m pacer.  Now I could more clearly see that quite a sizable group had gathered around me.  We comfortably settled into the 4:15 target pace, and I began my Milton Keynes running tour commentary.  Kudos to everyone who tolerated that with good humour. 

My group remained fairly consistent until the second lap of the course, when despite warnings about maintaining fluid/electrolyte balance in the warmer conditions, numbers rapidly started to dwindle.  I tried my best to keep various people going, even slightly losing track of pace on a couple of occasions as I tried to coax individuals along.  Once a small pack broke away in the last 7km to push on for PBs, and the last few runners I’d been desperately trying to encourage dropped off, I found myself entirely alone for a kilometre or two, briefly pondering why I was here today, casually trotting past Woughton on the Green with a blue flag flying from my back.  

Near the finish, I picked up a few more struggling souls, until we hit that final hilly kilometre, where I found myself maniacally screaming at tiring runners on the ascent, demanding more and more effort from them, to assure their sub 3 finish.  Being right there when they achieved their goals was a fantastic experience, one that’ll stick long in my memory.  No doubt partially aided by the sight of a runner in the background dressed in a cow suit, who was going by the name of ‘Moosain Bolt’.  

Parkrun Highlights

Consolidated Results for FVS members on the 6th May 2023

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Club News Race Results

SPARTANS WIN AT HITCHIN 

Fairlands Valley Spartans WON the team prize at Sunday’s Hitchin 10K road race plus ANDREW PATTERSON was second man and ASHLEY JOHNSON second woman overall. 

Only a week after an outstanding run in the London Marathon Andrew was second in the race with 34 minutes 26 seconds, a new season’s best by 1 minute 22 seconds. 

Ashley was second woman overall, first in her age category and ran a new 10K personal best (PB) by 38 seconds with 41 minutes 59 seconds (41:59). 

The other Spartan team counters were DAN HUKIN 13th overall in 38:05, his best this year, and fourth in age category, and DANNY SCANLON 41st in 41:05, a season’s best by 2 seconds.  The FVS team won by 1 minute and 1 second. 

PENNY SCHENKEL expected she was going to take 70 minutes but took 1 minute 48 seconds off her season’s best time when she finished in 1:00:27. 

JIM BROWN said he was pleased to finish the Hitchin 10K only 28 seconds outside his best time of the year with 56:06. 

MICHAEL O’KEEFE was another Spartan who ran at London.  He maintained a sensible 10 minutes per mile pace and finished the 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) in 1:00:06. 

JANE WADEY said she was pleased with her results.  65:40 was just 38 seconds short of her PB despite running with a sore ankle. 

(Photo Credit, Main Photo – Marie Colucci)

County Track and Field Championships 

There were eight members of the club at the County Track and Field Championships for veterans at Ridlins on bank holiday Monday. 

In the 1500 metres MO WARILLOW won GOLD in the women 45 plus race with 6 minutes 57.56 seconds (6:57.56); SHARON CROWLEY won GOLD in the women 55 plus event with 8:06.10; PAUL HOLGATE won GOLD in the men’s 60 plus category with 8:23.88 and JIM BROWN won GOLD in the 70 plus race with 7:47.26. 

DAVID PATTMAN won 1500 metre SILVER in the MV40 category race with 5:37.81 and STEVEN DOBNER MV40 BRONZE with 5:43.94.  THOMAS SAUKA just missed out on the medals with 5:50.56. 

In the sprints DAVE STEPHENSON won the men 60 plus 100 metres in 14.2 seconds and the men 60 plus 200 metres in 29.45 seconds. 

SHARON CROWLEY took SILVER in the hammer with 16.32 metres. 

Photo Credit -Dave Stephenson

Serpentine 

Jim Brown ran Friday’s Serpentine 5K in 27 minutes 54 seconds (27:54).  He was second MV70. 

Parkrun Highlights Saturday 29th April 2023 

For the Consolidated Results from last Saturdays Parkrun please click the link.

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Club News Race Results

SMILES, MEDALS & ACHIEVEMENTS IN LONDON!

What a fantastic day for Fairlands Valley Spartans at the London Marathon.  Two Spartans under 2 hours 40 minutes – that’s championship level, a third close to a world record, 17 runners and 44 helpers. 

ANDREW PATTERSON and SIMON FRASER both swept under 2 hours 40 minutes with Andrew 505th out of about 50,000 finishers in 2 hours 38 minutes 37 seconds and Simon 545th in a tremendous new personal best (PB) by 7 minutes 15 seconds with 2:39:10. 

YUKO GORDON won her age group by more than 35 minutes and came close to a world record for a woman aged 70 plus with 3 hours 28 minutes 20 seconds (3:28:20). 

Andrew and Yuko looking relaxed after smashing 26.2 miles!

Spartan TANYA BRAZIER took exactly 29 minutes off her marathon personal best when she finished in 4 hours 10 minutes 1 second and FIONA CLARKE took 8:47 off hers with 4:21:00. 

Three were running their first marathons – CHARLOTTE BRAZIER with 4:30:26; SAM MAIDENS with 4:32:57; and MICHAEL O’KEEFE with 4:34:10. 

There were season’s bests by CHRIS HOLLAND 4:44:36; TRUDIE KING 5:15:17; BARRY KING 5:38:07 and MARIA THORNE 5:43:41. 

JIM BROWN could be running next year as he qualified Good For Age with 4 hours 50 minutes 5 seconds (4:50:05).   

MIKE JEFFS completed his second marathon at London with 3 hours 29 minutes 22 seconds.  He said it was tough work but the atmosphere and crowd got him over the line. 

An eighteenth Spartan ROBERT WRIGHT ran the London Marathon virtually in 4:24:52. 

A few of our amazing Spartans!

The Spartans organised a huge number of volunteers to provide helpers on three baggage lorries just after the finish on The Mall.  Something FVS have done very efficiently for many years and vital so that runners get their kit back after their 26.2 miles. 

Having fun on the baggage lorries!

Boston Marathon 

Spartan PETE SMITH ran the 127th Boston Marathon the 17th April in 3 hours 35 minutes 20 seconds (3:35:20).  He said it was a hilly course and now knows why it’s called Heartbreak Hill! It was a tad wet but he thoroughly enjoyed it! 

Coach Pete with his well earned medal!

Centurion Track 100 

On Saturday, Spartan CIARAN MCANENY competed in the Centurion Track 100 mile race at Bedford Athletics Stadium. 

This is an IAU Gold elite level event, designed for runners to compete under the fastest possible conditions and with a focus on record setting. The main focus is on the 100 mile distance, but official records are also taken at 50km, 50 mile, 100km, 6hr and 12hrs en-route. 
 

Ciaran was crewed by fellow Spartans Adrian Busolini and Susan McAneny, who gave amazing support for every lap and made sure he was sticking to his pacing and nutrition plan. 

The race saw multiple national records fall and a V50 100 mile World Record set. Amongst all of this, Ciaran set a PB completing 100 miles in 16:17:20 (including a 100km PB of 9:25:32 and a 12hr PB of 124.226km). 

Ciaran and his support crew! What an amazing run!

Endurance Pembrokeshire Half

Spartan NICK GILL ran the Pembrokeshire Half in Wales on the 22nd April. It is part of the Endurancelife coastal trail series.

The route goes along the stunning Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Nick said that he really wanted to enjoy it so wasn’t pushing too hard, but had a great second half and somehow ended up finishing 7th out of 180 finishers in 1:52:14! 

Amazing result for Nick!

Parkrun Highlights

For the consolidated results please click the link – Consolidated Parkrun Results 22nd April 2023

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Club News Race Results

RESOLUTION 5K, MANCHESTER & FLITWICK 10K

Wednesday 12th April saw the return of the evening Resolution 5K on Ridlins track, Fairlands Valley Spartans won it and recorded no less than eight new personal bests (PBs). 

The Spartans won with Simon Fraser 3rd in 16:27, Jonathan Parr 4th in 16:45, Kelvin Beyioku 6th in 17:54 and Ashley Johnson first woman and 27th overall in 20:19.  Teams consisted of the first three men and first woman finishing from each club.  Simon improved his PB by 21 seconds and Ashley hers by 46 seconds. 

Spartan PAULA DUNNE was the third woman overall in 21:39, a new personal best by 1 minute 14 seconds. 

NICK GILL was seventh in the race in 17:59, a new 5K personal best by 1 minute 8 seconds.  He said the support in the stands and on the track made a real difference and helped him get over the line in just under 18 minutes with the help of a sprint finish.  MIKE JEFFS came in next in 19:11 and DANNY SCANLON in 19:25. 

There was another PB by NICK KLEANTHOUS with 24:04.  He said it was a well organised event and a very big turnout for FVS.  Lots of runners stayed until the end to support later runners.  Lovely to see this and the support from non runners alike. 

Sharon, Liz & Jane followed by some of the Spartan supporters!

JANE WADEY equalled her 5K personal best with 31:31 which was set in May 2022.  HAZEL SMITH was very pleased with her 24:22. 

That was cold said JIM BROWN who went round the 12.5 laps in a steady 27 minutes 57 seconds. 

FVS also achieved the highest number of finishers.  The top three clubs were FVS 24; North Herts Road Runners 14 and Stevenage Phoenix 11. 

Manchester Marathon 

Spartan SIMON JACKSON ran a new personal best at the Manchester Marathon.  His 2:44:12 beat the very significant 2 hours 45 minutes target. 

Simon said “A new PB which I’ll take at 47 and after a lot of years of running.” 

Spartans LINDA GEORGE and MARTIN JACOB did their first full marathon at Manchester on Sunday. 

Martin said the last six miles were a real struggle.  The training sessions and the long Sunday runs with Fairlands Valley Spartans really helped me to push the boundaries and achieve a sub 4 hour timing. 

Martin Jacob finished in 3:59:57 and Linda George in 5:00:23 

VICKY ARCHER ran her first road marathon in Manchester finishing in 4.19.09. 

She smashed her 4:30 goal and it was also a personal best from her last one on file which was 5:40 (although that was a trail marathon when doing the challenge a couple of years ago). 

Martin, Vicky & Linda all enjoying the buzz of Manchester!!

Flitwick 10K 

Spartan YUKO GORDON showed the way at the Flitwick 10K.  She won the women 65 plus category in 46 minutes 33 seconds, was 85th overall out of 424 finishers and received a lovely gold medal. 

HAZEL SMITH did 52:47 for 178th

JIM BROWN was very pleased with his efforts at Flitwick.  He finished in 55 minutes 38 seconds, 1 minute 13 seconds faster than on the flatter St. Albans 10K two weeks earlier.  He said the first kilometre winding up through a housing scheme felt hard but he ran a negative split, second half faster than the first by 34 seconds, came second in his category and just in the first half of the race. 

Calderdale Hike 

Mike and Sharon Crowley took part in the Calderdale Hike on Saturday, based at Sowerby. They completed the 26 miles, with some 3600 feet of climb, in 8 hours 26 minutes.  The weather was unexpectedly lovely, with lots of sunshine and minimal breeze. 

Sharon and Mike on their hike.

Parkrun Highlights Saturday 15th April 2023 

Congratulations to Spartan TRACY HAYGARTH who was at Stevenage to run her 100th parkrun.  She finished her celebration run around Fairlands Valley Park in 34:07. 

Tracey in her 100 Parkrun cape!

For all the Spartan Parkrun results please click the link – Consolidated Parkrun Results 15th April 2023

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EASTER WEEKEND RACING!

Fantastic!  Fairlands Valley Spartan Yuko Gordon WON her age group, women 70 plus, and broke the British record by nearly half a minute in the Maidenhead 10 miles race on Good Friday. 

Her chip time of 74:08 easily won her category and her “gun time” (used officially) of 74:20 broke the 10 mile record which had been held by Angela Copson since 2017. 

The race was very well organised and marshals were friendly and efficient like Spartans. The car park was big enough to accommodate everyone and was just next to race HQ and the start/finish area.  All in one place. 

Yuko said, “The course was generally flat and fast but the inevitable nature of country lanes came with uneven surfaces (not ideal for my air pumped up Nike high heel shoes i.e. alpha fly… every chance of tripping) and water puddles in some part.  Even pacing didn’t work and my pace varied from 7 minutes to nearly 8 minutes each mile.  I hurtled down the slight down hill between miles 5 and 6; the hop and step side to side over the wet puddles on the pavement section was the slowest mile before coming back into the last mile, the fastest at 6:58.” 

St Albans Easter 10K 

NICK GILL excelled with a new personal best (PB) by nearly three minutes and his first time under 40 minutes with 38 minutes 10 seconds.  He was 34th overall.  Nick’s previous PB was 41:07 at the St Albans Mid Week League race in St Albans in May 2022.   

Nick ringing the PB bell!

JIM BROWN was a little slower than he’d like but 56:51 was good enough for second in his category.  LIZ CARVELL came back in 64:05.  This was her first race since 29th December 2019, before lockdown.  She said it was a flat course but slightly uphill near the end of the Alban Way.  She was happy with her time.   

There was a big cheer for NICHOLA DURENT when she finished in 83 minutes exactly.  Nichola said it was nice to have sun and not rain and mud like Lee Valley a couple of weeks ago. 

Nichola with the ultimate finishing prize – Ice cream!! (Photo Credit – Keith Fenwick)

Beaconsfield 5 Cross Country 

WENDY THARANI said the Beaconsfield 5 Cross Country was beautiful, very wet and very muddy.  It was really well organised by Burnham Joggers, with loads of friendly marshals standing about in the pouring rain.  An absolutely stunning route in the grounds of the Hall Barn Estate.  She really enjoyed it.  Wendy ran the five miles in 50 minutes 12 seconds. 

A happy Wendy with her medal!

Parkrun Highlights

For the Parkrun results please click the link – Consolidated Parkrun Results 8th April 2023

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Club News Race Results

1500m, BRIGHTON MARATHON AND LLHM!

Six Fairlands Valley Spartans accepted an invitation from Stevenage and North Herts Athletics Club to join them at their open track event. 

Spartan SIMON JACKSON won the men’s 1500 metres race at the SNHAC Track Open event at Ridlins on Saturday afternoon.  He finished in 4 minutes 38.61 seconds.  NICK GILL was next in for Fairlands Valley with 5 minutes 3 seconds exactly. 

PETER ORTON came in with 5:49.93; NICK KLEANTHOUS, running his first 1500, with 6:34.47 and JIM BROWN was first in his category with 8:08.62. 

In the women’s race JANE WADEY, also running her first 1500, was sixth with 9:12.89. 

Jane said that it was her first attempt at 1500m and although it was hard, she was pleased in the end as she managed my best pace yet. 

Brighton Marathon Weekend 

Spartans STEVE DOBNER and DAVE PATTMAN ran the Brighton Marathon on Sunday. 

Steve said it was pretty chilly on arrival but the sun came out to warm the day.  Lots of hairpin turns and hillier than they anticipated. 

He was really pleased to complete it in 3:47:33 for a 25 minute PB and achieving a sub 4 after struggling for the last 3 or 4 miles. 

Dave Pattman came home in 3:52 and said with his sub 4 he is retiring from marathons – well until he runs Beachy Head in October. 

Steve and Dave mid race!

Paris Marathon

MIKE JEFFS took part in the Paris marathon on Sunday. He said that the event was incredible, really well supported and organised.

He completed the course in 3:13:18 taking 11 mins off his PB. Leading up to the day he had struggled with his knee but on the day it played ball and he was able to take in the sites and keep a good pace. He now has 3 weeks to rest before doing it all again in London!

International Spartan Mike!

London Landmarks Half Marathon 

Spartan CHRIS WATLING finished the London Landmarks Half Marathon in (what he called) a respectable 1.55:02 

He said it’s a race he’s always wanted to do and he thoroughly enjoyed it! 

Chris looking fresh pre race.

Danny Scanlon finished the Landmarks in 1:30:21. 

Danny with his LLHM medal!

Sandy 10 

CLAIRE PULLEN finished in 1 hour 18 minutes 18 seconds for 84th place.  JIM BROWN and TRICIA HOPPER raced together over the last mile with Jim finishing 172 in 1:31:15 and Tricia 173rd in 1:31:17.  SHARON CROWLEY came in with 1:47:55 and PAUL HOLGATE with 1:49:50. 

Serpentine 5k 

Last Friday of the Month Serpentine 5K in Hyde Park, London.  Spartan JIM BROWN was first man 70 plus in 28 minutes 29 seconds (28:29). 

Parkrun Highlights

For all the Spartan Parkrun results from the weekend please click the link – Consolidated Parkrun Results 1st April 2023

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LEE VALLEY – 10K and 50K ULTRA!

In the ATW RunFest at Lee Valley there were two Spartans in the 10K, JANE WADEY came 208th with 68:17 and NICHOLA DURENT 251st in 86:04. 

Nichola Durent said, “On Sunday I completed the Lee Valley Run Fest 10K.  It’s a lovely route, although some bits pretty muddy and puddly from all the rain. I completed it in 1.26.04.  I overtook a few people and had my eye on one last person to overtake before I finished.  I only went and did it! 

Nichola was joined by her brother who is pictured with her and Jane. The photo credit goes to Keith Fenwick.

It was Jane Wadey’s first 10K.  She said it was very wet with lots of mud and surface water underfoot  but she completed it in 68 minutes 17 seconds. 

Adrian Busolini was third in the Camino Lea Valley 50km race with 3 hours 34 minutes 32 seconds (3:34:32).   

Parkrun Highlights Saturday 25th March 2023 

For all the Parkrun Results please click the link – Consolidated Parkrun Results for 25th March 2023

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TWIN LAKES 20 & ROB IN ROME

Five Spartans ran the Twin Lakes 20 race in Milton Keynes on Sunday.  PETE SMITH was in the top 100 at 87th and won the men 60 plus category with 2 hours 42 minutes 22 seconds (2:42:22).  Next came HARRIET SMITH and SAM MAIDENS two senior women Spartans whose marathon preparation seems to be going well.  Harriet was 205th in 3 hours 5 minutes exactly and Sam 248th in 3:13:09. 

MICHAEL O’KEEFE’s hard work over the last few months is paying off.  He was 253rd in 3:14:37.  WENDY THARANI continued her recovery from injury with 3:55:47. 

The TWIN LAKES 20 is a stunning 10-mile or 20-mile race that will have prepared many for a Spring half or full marathon experience without having to run on their own. 

MATTHEW NEWTON ran the ten mile TWIN LAKES option in 1 hour 54 minutes 42 seconds. 

Rome Marathon 

They say running “Run Rome the Marathon” is like running in an open-air museum and Spartan ROB WRIGHT ran it on Sunday.  He said it was brilliant but a tough course with lots of cobblestones.  Not a PB (personal best) this time but a sub 4 achievement with 3 hours 56 minutes 7 seconds (3:56:07).   

‘When in Rome!’ Rob’s finisher selfie with stunning backdrop.

Parkrun Results

Local parkrun events returned two, well deserved, first place Spartan finishes for NICK GILL and SIMON FRASER. 

NICK GILL’s run in Letchworth resulted in a PB time of 19 minutes and 58 seconds, while SIMON FRASER completed the Stevenage course to WIN in 17 minutes and 33 seconds (17:33). 

PB runs were also recorded for ASHLEY JOHNSON, who finished as the second female in a time of 20 minutes and 52 seconds in Stevenage, and DAVID PATTMAN who completed the Great Denham event in 20 mins and 50 secs. 

For the consolidated results from last weeks Parkruns please click the link – Consolidated Parkrun Results 18th March 2023

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CROSS COUNTRY AT ROYSTON

ANDREW PATTERSON won the last race in the cross country league series.   

On the tough course near Royston with several sloggy hills Andrew ran the nine kilometres event in just 34 minutes 37 seconds.  Next came SIMON JACKSON in 38:23 and ADRIAN BUSOLINI also in the top twenty at 19th with 40:13.  Eight were needed for a men’s “A” team and the others were NICK GILL, 27th in 41:44; ADRIAN DONNELLY 42nd in 44:14; DANNY SCANLON 63rd in 46:22; THOMAS SAUKA 142nd in 57:26 and MICHAEL O’KEEFE 160th in 59 minutes 5 seconds. 

KELLY McHALE had a brilliant run to lead in the women’s team at 112th overall and 19th woman with 53 minutes 1 second.  A team of five for the women was needed and the others were CLAIRE EMMERSON 174th in 61:17; PENNY SCHENKEL 185th in 63:17; SHARON CROWLEY 214th in 70:47 and JANE WADEY 216th in 72:47. 

The Spartans needed another five male finishers for a “B” men’s team and the next five across the line were NICK KLEANTHOUS 175th in 61:19; JON SYPULA 187th in 63:23; MARK FREEMAN 194th in 65:06; ANDY JAY 198th in 65:35 and JIM BROWN 199th in 66:20.   

Milton Keynes Festival of Running 

HARRIET SMITH ran the half marathon distance at the MK Festival of Running and beat 1:50 with a great 1:49:36. 

Parkrun Saturday 11th March 2023  

For the consolidated results please click the link – Consolidated Results

Tables 

Spartans at the Therfield Cross Country: 

Position Name Time Category Comments 
ANDREW PATTERSON 34:37 M40 Men “A” team 
10 SIMON PATTERSON 38:23 M40 Men “A” 
19 ADRIAN BUSOLINI 40:13 Senior Men “A” 
27 NICK GILL 41:44 Senior Men “A” 
42 ADRIAN DONNELLY 44:14 M40 Men “A” 
63 DANNY SCANLON 46:22 M40 Men “A” 
112 KELLY McHALE 53:01 W35 Women “A” team 
142 THOMAS SAUKA 57:26 M40 Men “A” 
160 MICHAEL O’KEEFE 59:05 M50 Men “A” 
174 CLAIRE EMMERSON 61:17 W45 Women “A” 
175 NICK KLEANTHOUS 61:19 M60 Men “B” team 
185 PENNY SCHENKEL 63:17 W45 Women “A” 
187 JON SYPULA 63:23 M40 Men “B” team 
194 MARK FREEMAN 65:06 M60 Men “B” team 
198 ANDY JAY 65:35 M50 Men “B” team 
199 JIM BROWN 66:20 M70 Men “B” team 
214 SHARON CROWLEY 70:45 W55 Women “A” 
216 JANE WADEY 72:47 W55 Women “A” 
217 PAUL HOLGATE 73:25 M60  
222 CALLIE CHAPMAN 81:16 W35  
224 TRACY HAYGARTH 81:33 W45  
Categories
Club News Race Results

CAMBRIDGE HALF and TOKYO!

Fairlands Valley Spartans had a great club outing to Cambridge with seventeen running the half marathon and three of the fastest from Fairlands finishing within two seconds of each other.     

Three personal bests came from the three who raced the event together.  NICK GILL 1,011th in 1:27:16; MATTHEW NEWTON 1,013th in 1:27:27 and MIKE JEFFS 1,014th in 1:27:18.  Nick improved by 3 minutes 49 seconds; Mike by 3:54 and Matthew by an enormous 38:37.  All in the top ten per cent of the race. 

The fourth PB was from SAM SIMMONS with 1:32:59. 

STEVEN DOBNER improved his best half marathon time by 4 minutes 37 seconds when he finished in 1 hour 37 minutes 3 seconds (1:37:03).  CHRIS WATLING came in at 1:51:38, an improvement of 1:46.  MO WARRILOW ran a new pb of 1:53:26!  She was so pleased as for a long time she didn’t think she could go sub 2 hours!  CAROLYN LINSELL ran a new PB of 2:16:34. 

SIMON JACKSON finished second in his age group and 83rd overall with 1:13:42.  He said, “Unfortunately I never really found a group to run with but I was happy with my second fastest half marathon ever after some very average training and some niggles.  He was the fastest from the club and in the top 1% in the race. 

YUKO GORDON won her age category F70 in 1:37:22, over 9 minutes ahead of F65 winner.  She said, “I pushed harder than usual to shake off my habit of running within my comfort zone but there was a little drop in pace here and there by losing concentration.” 

CAROLE SHELDRICK ran her first half marathon in three years.  Carole said, “The Cambridge Half has always been one of my favourites.  My plan was to make it round and enjoy it, so I was very happy to come in under two hours (Official time 1 hour 59 minutes 47 seconds).  Brilliant event, great support along the route and as always a fantastic medal. 

Tokyo Marathon – Abbott world marathon 6 star finishers 

Four Spartans endured the 14 hour flight to Japan to run the 2023 Tokyo marathon. 
 
STUART HAYCROFT, JACKIE DOWNES and TODD GRAY were originally scheduled to run in 2020, but five days before they were due to board flights and after 16 weeks of intense training, the marathon was cancelled due to Covid. After several deferrals and foreign embargoes, they finally toed the start line this year for the original 2020 entry. 
 
This race was the culmination of a several year journey to achieve the coveted Abbott world major six star finishers medal for Jackie Downes and Stuart Haycroft.  This medal is only being awarded to people who have completed all the majors, comprising Boston, New York, Chicago, Berlin, Tokyo and London.  The group of people in the world who have completed remains small as it’s incredibly difficult to gain entry to these races, and the logistics of running them is very problematic and difficult. 
 
Stuart said, “Wow, what a city, what lovely people and such a great race. To finally receive my six star medal is one of my proudest moments of my life, the effort, resources, patience and money it has taken to here has been massive.  It’s been such a long journey, but absolutely worth it. It was great to share this experience with three other Spartans” 
 
ROSS GALLAGHER was the fastest Spartan on the day, breaking three hours for the first time in 02:59:26 (PB) with an amazing run through this amazing city. 
 
Ross said of his run, “After what was tough training block it was fantastic to go under 3 hours for the first time and grab a 9 minute PB.  Thanks to Stuart Haycroft for some consistent pacing and words of encouragement when I had to dig deep for the last three miles for what felt like the world’s longest ‘park run’.” 
 
The other Spartans completing this race were: Stuart Haycroft: 02:59:27 (SB); Todd Gray: 3:24:21 and Jackie Downes: 04:42:14. 

All four have commented on what an amazing place Tokyo is and should definitely be on the bucket list of anybody who enjoys running foreign races. 

Ross and Stuart with his six star finishers medal

Berkhampstead Half Marathon 

Four Spartans stayed in the county and were in Berkhamsted to help celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Berko Runs.   

FIONA CLARKE had a brilliant run to finish in 1 hour 55 minutes 54 seconds.  Fiona said, “It was a surprise sub-2 for me, as I simply haven’t been running well or with enough results to point to this result so I’m very happy.  I really enjoyed the race, the organisation and support were amazing.  I even enjoyed the undulating course, the long downhills were very rewarding.” 

Fiona running strong

JIM BROWN improved by ten minutes on his most recent attempt at a half marathon and finished in 2:03:15 which gave him third in his age group.  Coming back from injury WENDY THARANI wanted a trouble free long run which she did with 2:16:55. 

In the five mile Berko race PENNY SCHENKEL went round in 48 minutes 22 seconds.  She was 250th out of the 447 finishers. 

Essex 20 

ROB WRIGHT added to the variety with a former airfield based 20 mile race near Saffron Walden.  He completed the race in 2 hours 36 minutes 36 seconds.  That’s a personal best (PB) by 39 minutes 44 seconds. 

Rob with his medal

Chiltern Kanter 

Mike and Sharon Crowley completed the 26 mile Chiltern Kanter in 8 hours 49 minutes.  The route included over 4700 feet of climbing.  The challenge was to answer questions at 32 map references, self navigating round the route, not following written instructions. 

TIM ROBINSON did an 18 mile version of the same event in 3 hours 36 minutes exactly. 

Mike and Sharon on their Kanter

Wokingham 

CRAIG BACON ran the Wokingham Half Marathon recently. He finished in 1:43:22. 

The route took a two mile loop around the historic town centre, before heading out into the country roads of Royal Berkshire. The route was pretty flat, which was advertised as an opportunity for a PB, although with disruption to training due to minor ailments this was not very likely. 
 
I was encouraged along for the first few miles by running with an old friend from Reigate Priory Athletics Club, before letting him push on and taking the sensible decision to stick with my own maintainable pace. 
 
I was very pleased to come in with a chip time of 1:43:22 to finish 1135 of 2500 finishers and 143 of 330 Male Vet 50. 

Parkrun Highlights 

Saturday 4th March 2023  

CHLOE CHAPMAN enjoyed her 100th parkrun with 30:14.   

New PB for Michael O’Keefe of 26:15 at Henlow Bridge Lakes 

For the weeks full results please click – Consolidated Results

Tables 

Spartans at the Cambridge Half Marathon: 

Position Name Chip Time Gender Gender Pos Age Group Cat Pos Comments 
82 Simon Jackson 1:13:42 Male 82 45-49 2nd2nd best 
1011 Nick Gill 1:27:16 Male 910 30-34 162 PB (3:49) 
1013 Matthew Newton 1:27:17 Male 912 40-44 150 PB (38:37) 
1014 Mike Jeffs 1:27:18 Male 913 35-39 143 PB (3:54) 
1411 William Morley 1:29:25 Male 1251 17-19 18 First Half 
1690 Yuko Gordon 1:37:22 Female 212 70-74 1stSB 
1983 Sam Simmons 1:32:59 Male 1720 30-34 282 PB (5:43) 
2335 Steven Dobner 1:37:03 Male 1994 45-49 268 PB (4:37) 
2735 Thomas Sauka 1:45:18 Male 2296 45-49 308 SB 
3881 Chris Watling 1:51:38 Male 3130 35-39 470 PB (1:46) 
5486 Mo Warrillow 1:53:25 Female 1296 50-54 75 PB (8:08) 
5589 James McSweeney 2:01:44 Male 4252 35-39 618 SB 
5809 Carole Sheldrick 1:59:46 Female 1421 45-49 163 SB 
7588 Steve Tinsley 1:59:08 Male 5309 35-39 749 First Half 
8994 Nicola Andersson 2:16:33 Female 3093 50-54 239 SB 
8995 Carolyn Linsell 2:16:34 Female 3094 65-69 20 PB (9:38) 
9464 Ellie Mcdermott 2:25:38 Female 3370 25-29 658  
Categories
Club News Race Results

SPARTANS WIN AT BALDOCK BEAST

The Spartan men’s team of SIMON FRASER, TONY RANDFIELD, JOHN HARRIS and MARCUS RIDLEY won the team competition by 175 points to 188 ahead of North Herts Road Runners. 

Simon was fourth overall in 1 hour 21 minutes 31 seconds (1:21:31); Tony 40th in 1:38:09; John 47th in 1:39:10 and Marcus 84th in 1:47:50.  Tony was first in the men 60 plus category and John Second. 

SAM MAIDENS was the fastest female from Spartans beating two hours with 1:59:18. An excellent time as she continues her marathon preparation.  LINDA GEORGE was next woman in for the Spartans with 2:21:25. 

CHRIS WATLING 1:59:10 also beat two hours.  Then came TIM ROBINSON 2:04:14 who felt strong at the start and up to about 5miles.  Then he said his legs started protesting but his last three miles were very fast.  He was happy to be not too much over two hours 

Within the next minute MARTIN JACOB 2:04:32 and MICHAEL O’KEEFE 2:04:55. Followed by JIM BROWN in with 2 hours 13 minutes 50 seconds.   

MATTHEW NEWTON was not far behind in 2:14:53 then SHARON CROWLEY completed the Spartan thirteen with 2:33:13.    

A few of our runners taming the Baldock Beast!

Presentation Evening 

Fairlands Valley Spartans enjoyed themselves at the Cromwell Hotel, Stevenage with their annual presentation evening on Friday evening. 

ANDREW PATTERSON was overall male and club champion for 2022 and YUKO GORDON was overall female champion. 

CATHY CRAIG was voted Spartan of the Year. 

SUZY HAWKINS won the women’s open short contest with a margin of 7% while YUKO GORDON won the age graded competition with 97.4%!  The short contest was determined by the best of three out of 1500 metres, 5K, 5 miles and 10K. 

The women’s open long was won by HAZEL SMITH 4.2% ahead of WENDY THARANI who was just 0.2% in front of FIONA CLARKE. 

Meanwhile the women’s age graded long competition was won by YUKO GORDON with an amazing 99.5.  TRICIA HOPPER was second and SHARON CROWLEY third.  The long contest was best of three out of 10 miles, half marathon, 20 miles and full marathon (26.2 miles / 42.2 kilometres). 

ANDREW PATTERSON won the men’s open short and long open competitions with 79.4% and 79.2%.  GRANT RAMSAY was second in the short with 69.8% and STUART ARCHER third with 68.5%.  ROSS GALLAGHER was second in the long with 66.6% and STUART ARCHER third with 65.4%. 

SIMON JACKSON won both men’s age graded competitions with 84.5% and 84.2%.  GEORGIE HOOPER and DEREK CORNELIUS was the most improved Spartans in 2022. 

David Scott, Chair of FVS in 2022 presented the Chair’s Award to VICKY ARCHER while the captains’ awards went to NICK KLEANTHOUS and JANE WADEY for their participation in league events. 

The President’s Award went to ROGER BIGGS who has co-ordinated the Spartans involvement – runners and volunteers – in the London Marathon for 25 years. 

A selection of our lovely winners!

Seville Marathon 

The Seville Marathon went well for YUKO GORDON.  She finished in 3 hours 27 minutes 18 seconds to win first women 70 plus beating the men’s 70 plus winner by two minutes.  Her average pace was better than 5 minutes per kilometre.  She said the course was similar to London with a couple of under paths down and up, there was a long flat cobbled path from 38k to 39k which was pain for her to keep her balance but no problem for bigger feet. 

Parkrun Saturday 25th February 2023 

There was a parkrun PB (personal best) for Nick Gill who finished 5th in 19-07, smashing his previous time by thirty-five seconds.

For all the Parkrun results please click the link – Consolidated Results for 25th February 2023

Categories
Club News Race Results

Watford Cross Country

 

Running just a shade under 10 kilometres off road Spartan ADRIAN BUSOLINI finished under 40 minutes with 38 minutes 48 seconds (38:48) and was 14th out of about 300 in the race. 

The Spartans needed eight for a men’s team and they were Adrian, GRANT RAMSAY 21st in 40:25; STUART ARCHER 54th in 43:32; NICK GILL 56th in 43:40; DANNY SCANLON 75th in 44:46; THOMAS SAUKA 129th in 49:18; STEVE MAYFIELD 133rd in 49:19; and ROBERT WRIGHT 239th in 59:28.  Grant won the 50 plus category. 

HARRIET SMITH says she started too fast but she was still fastest female from Fairlands with 51:35 and 155th overall.  Five were needed for a women’s team and the others were SHARON CROWLEY 288th in 72:23; JANE WADEY 289th in 72:30; HAZEL SMITH 297th in 83:11 and CALLIE CHAPMAN 298th also in 83:11. 

Six other men ran for the Spartans.  They were MICHAEL O’KEEFE 240th in 59 minutes 34 seconds; JIM BROWN 255th in 61:31; MARK FREEMAN 257th in 61:49; TIM ROBINSON 262nd in 62:49; GRANT MURPHY 287th in 72:13 and PAUL HOLGATE 290th in 73:01. 

All 19 Spartans at the finish line in Watford

Seville Marathon 

YUKO GORDON was in Spain for the Seville Marathon and won her category, women 70 plus, in a fantastic time of 3 hours 27 minutes 18 seconds.  That’s better than 5 minutes per kilometre.  She was 3,014th overall out of the 8,283 finishers. 

Nuclear Canicross Race 

JANE WHITROW and her dog Rufus did the Tailrunners (South Essex Canicross) first event at Nuclear Races.  This was a Canicross event including trail, woods and swamps Jane said it was great fun and well organised.  The course was 5K and they did it in 39 minutes 40 seconds….Jane said she wasted a lot of time sitting down in the swamp.   

Jane and Rufus on the right

Watford Half Marathon – 12th February

Fairlands Valley Spartans had a famous five at Sunday’s Watford Half Marathon.  Known for its hills at least this year there was sunshine.  ROBERT WRIGHT was first in with a time of 1 hour 39 minutes 6 seconds for 269th out of the 1,185 finishers. 

New Spartan MOLLY CRIMMIN continued her preparation for the London Marathon with her first ever half marathon.  She beat two hours with 1 hour 58 minutes 56 seconds for 786th

MICHAEL O’KEEFE in 2:03:17; SHARON CROWLEY in 2:33:16 and PAUL HOLGATE 2:36:02 completed the line up from Fairlands Valley Spartans. 

Five Spartans at Watford Half

Adrian’s Arc of Attrition 

ADRIAN BUSOLINI returned to the Arc of Attrition 100 for the second year running, this time seeking a sub 26 hour finish.  He had his brother crewing for him, and favourable ground conditions; but an awkward race with many complicating factors left him merely on par with his 2022 performance at the last checkpoint, with only 35km to go.  It took a determined effort to get himself in almost 90 minutes faster than the previous year’s performance, albeit some 45 minutes slower than target.  With a finish time of 26 hours 47 minutes 4 seconds he was 40th out of the 330 that started the 100 mile race in Cornwall.  Adrian said, “Arc – I will return, you bewitching botheration!” 

Adrian receiving his award

Winter Run – 12th February

There were also five Spartans at the London Winter Run 10K.  Out of 9,000 finishers PAUL SHELLEY was 790th in 44:11; STEVE DOBNER 792nd in 44:12; DAVID PATTMAN 997th in 45:14; MATT TUTTON 6,114th in 58:59 and CLAIRE HYDE 8,503 64:24. 

Essendon 10K 

DANNY SCANLON ran the Essendon 10K on Sunday 12th February at Essendon golf club. 

On an undulating, twisting and turning two lap route through the golf club he finished fourth out of 94 runners with a chip time of 41:07. 

Parkrun Highlights 

Saturday 4th February 2023 – There was a record breaking performance by Spartan YUKO GORDON at Saturday’s Stevenage parkrun.  She achieved an age grade of 98.98%, breaking the course record and was third woman overall with 22 minutes 52 seconds. 

For the full consolidate results please click the following links:

Saturday 4th February 2023

Saturday 11th February 2023

Saturday 18th February 2023

Categories
Club News Race Results

BEDFORD 10 MILES!

Spartan MIKE JEFFS had a superb run in the ten mile race at Bedford on Sunday.  He was 26th overall in 65 minutes 22 seconds. 

Mike posing mid run.

In dry conditions but a chilly head wind in places MATT CLARKE came in at 113th with 1 hour 22 minutes 49 seconds (1:22:49) and FIONA CLARKE at 1:28:25 for 163rd position.  Fiona enjoyed the flat course.   

JIM BROWN ran the course in 1:30:03 and missed first place in his age category by only nine seconds. 

Serpentine 5K 

It was the first last Friday of the Month 5K for 2023 in Hyde Park, London.  JIM BROWN finished in 27 minutes 16 seconds (27:14 net).  There were 214 finishers in the lunch-time race. 

Parkrun Highlights Saturday 28th January 2023 

For all the results please click the link – Consolidated results for 28th January 2023

Categories
Club News Race Results

SPARTAN 3 WEEK ROUNDUP

Watford Senior County Cross Country Championships – 8th January

Four Spartans were in a very wet and muddy Cassiobury Park and Whippendell Wood, Watford for Sunday’s Hertfordshire County Cross Country Championships. 

MOLLY CRIMMIN and SHARON CROWLEY ran in the women’s championship with Molly 50th in 39:42 and Sharon 80th in 51:42.  The ladies raced over 8,000 metres – about five miles. 

It was raining again for the men’s race that started at 1.30p.m.  ADRIAN BUSOLINI was 26th in 45:20 and NICK KLEANTHOUS 105th in 1:12:52.  The men raced over 11,250 metres – about seven miles.  They said the conditions, hills and distance made it hard work but the event was well organised and they were pleased to finish. 

Mid Month Mayhem 10K – 15th January 

GRANT RAMSAY had a good run on Sunday morning at the Mid Month Mayhem 10K event in Hitchingbrooke Country Park, Huntingdon.  Underfoot conditions were a bit of a challenge in the undulating trail event.  Grant was first over the line and took the course record with 40 minutes 48 seconds.  He said his skill set from the steeplechase competitions helped when tackling the mud and the puddles!  

Fred Hughes 10 Miles

Twelve Spartans were among 1015 runners who completed the Fred Hughes 10 mile race on Sunday morning.  The course is undulating and due to the chilly weather conditions there were a few slippery patches. 

Leading for the Spartans was MIKE JEFFS who came in at 108th in 66 minutes 2 seconds.  MO WARRILOW was the fastest female from with 1:25:49. 

The start was in waves which is based on estimated finish times, ROBERT WRIGHT was 304th over the finish line in 1:15:17 and SAM SIMMONS 314th in 1:15:14. 

STEVEN DOBNER and DAVID PATTMAN were 356th and 358th in 1:16:48 and 1:16:55. 

JIM BROWN finished nearly two minutes faster than he had last year in 1:31:54.

CHLOE CHAPMAN finished in 1:36:36 with NICK KLEANTHOUS just eight seconds behind.  Next came ANN TRYSSESOONE with 1:39:39; SUE HAMER with 1:47:57 and SHARON CROWLEY 1:48:21.  Sharon was nearly nine minutes faster than the Buntingford Ten at the very end of December so she was very happy with that. 

Parkrun Roundup

7th January – Annabelle White ran her 100th parkrun at Panshanger with 32 minutes 34 seconds (32:34). 

Consolidated results for 21st January – FVS Results

Consolidated results for 14th January – FVS Results

Consolidated results for 7th January – FVS Results

Categories
Club News Race Results

RUNNING INTO THE NEW YEAR

Buntingford Ten 

ROSS GALLAGHER was fastest of the seven from Fairlands with 63 minutes 58 seconds and 34th out of the 437 who finished.  Next came PAUL HEWETT 56th in 66:51; then MARCUS RIDLEY in 84:12. 

DANNY SCANLON ran the soggy but well organised Buntingford 10 on Friday.  He finished in a time of 1hour 11 minutes which was exactly 3 minutes faster than his last visit in 2018! 

Position BiB Name Category Category Position Time 
34 216 Ross Gallagher MV35 5/26 1:03:58 
56 272 Paul Hewett MV35 8/26 1:06:51 
77 490 Danny Scanlon MV40 13/43 1:11:00 
197 468 Marcus Ridley MSEN 37/47 1:24:12 
299 286 Tricia Hopper FV55 14/32 1:34:58 
418 154 Sharon Crowley FV60 9/9 1:57:07 
424 281 Paul Holgate MV65 10/11 2:01:45 

Witham Boxing Day Five 

It was a last minute decision to run but Fairlands Valley Spartans YUKO GORDON won her category at the Boxing Day Five in Witham, Essex.  Her time of 37 minutes 1 second placed her 100th out of the 321 finishers. 

Yuko said she just decided to run the race late on Christmas Day.  She had run the race once before and responded to a reminder from the organisers.  Without much running for a whole week she expected her fresh legs would do a good run.  It was a sunny morning and the course was a quiet and beautiful on a rural undulating road.  Yuko finished in 37:01 and 1st in 70-99 age category (they classified her as such, together with 99!)   

Yuko enjoying her Boxing Day run

Hyde Park 5k 

JIM BROWN enjoyed the last Friday 5K of the year in Hyde Park which he ran in 28 minutes 5 seconds. He was 161 out of the 192 finishers.   

Serpentine organise a 5K at the end of every month and Jim finished the event every month in 2022 – 12 out of 12.   

Ely 10k 

PAUL HOLGATE ran the last competitive race of 2022 on New Years Eve.  He finished in 69 minutes 46 seconds. 

Flitch Way Marathon 

TIM ROBINSON ran the Flitch Way Marathon on New Years Eve.  The marathon started in Felsted, Essex and followed the Flitch Way disused railway line. It first went east with a turn around at 4.5 miles and then west with a turn aroud at 16.6 miles.  As usual for a winter trail Marathon, there was wind, rain and mud, but the route was fairly sheltered.  Tim reached the 16.5 mile turnaround check point in around 3 hours and completed in 5:20:13, 46th overall and 6th in age.  

Tim at the 5 mile mark

Parkruns – Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day 

Christmas Eve 

There were milestone runs for Claire EMMERSON and Hazel SMITH.  Claire finished her 100th event in 38:10. Hazel her 50th time in 38 minutes and 10 seconds (38:10). 

For the full results please click the link – Christmas Eve Parkrun Results 

Claire and Hazel celebrating their milestones

On Christmas Day, Andrew PATTERSON won the race.  He was the first to finish the Stevenage course in a parkrun PB time of 17 minutes and 7 seconds.  Georgie HOOPER ran her 50th parkrun event in 28 minutes and 11 seconds.  

At Lee-on-Solent, Sharon FLAHERTY ran a parkrun PB time of 36 minutes and 2 seconds.   

For the full results please click the link – Christmas Day Round Up 

New Years Day 

PAUL HOLGATE was running his 50th parkrun which he finished in 34 minutes 51 seconds.   

For the full results please click the link – New Years Eve Parkrun Results 

For the full results please click the link – New Years Day Round Up 

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Club News Race Results

BEFORE THE SNOW HIT!

Spartan of the Month and Milton Keynes Half Marathon 

MICHAEL O’KEEFE was voted Spartan of the month for November.  He organised the Bryan Moore 10 and Paul Maguire 5 mile handicap events as well as putting a huge amount of effort into helping set up the Stevenage Half Marathon before running it! 

On Sunday Michael was at the Milton Keynes Winter Half Marathon which he finished in 2 hours 1 minute 41 seconds.  He said it was minus 3 degrees at start and minus one at the finish so a tad chilly.   

Goodwood Marathon 

GRANT RAMSAY ran the Goodwood Marathon in 3 hours 5 minutes 52 seconds which was a significant improvement on a couple of his previous marathons earlier in the year which he ran at Bedford in 3 hours 16 minutes and Milton Keynes in 3 hours 22 minutes.  

Welwyn Festive 5 miles  

Following on from the Festive 5 at Welwyn on the 11th December it has now been confirmed that ANDREW PATTERSON not only achieved a personal best but has also set a new course record of 26 minutes 34 seconds. Well done Andrew! 

Minsden Chapel Christmas Club Run 

The clubs pre-Christmas Minsden Chapel Run has been a favourite for Fairlands Valley Spartans for many years.  This year a group of Spartans ran the route braving chilly temperatures and freezing fog. 

This is a fantastic club run that brings all members and abilities together to enjoy a social Christmas run which always delivers on stunning views! Three different distances are covered with all runners ending up at the very pretty and recently renovated Minsden Chapel before they head back to Stevenage ‘dropping off’ different runners at the different meeting points.  

Parkrun     

Altogether there were four parkrun PB for Spartans.  STEVE DOBNER 20:39 and MO WARRILOW 24:31 at Great Denham; MICHAEL O’KEEFE at Henlow Bridge Lakes 27:10 and NIKKI NATION at Stevenage with 28:57.  

For the full results listing for all Spartans please following the link – Consolidated FVS Results 10th December 2022 

Categories
Club News Race Results

CHRISTMAS ARRIVED AT THE FESTIVE 5!

Festive maybe but for some it was fast.  ANDREW PATTERSON won the race in just 26 minutes 34 seconds.  And second was SIMON JACKSON in 28 minutes 26 seconds. 

HAZEL SMITH ran a new personal best of 40 minutes 53 seconds, an improvement by 1 minute 27 seconds, and NICK KLEANTHOUS a new PB by 6 seconds with 42:13.  Not bad considering both were dressed as Santa’s helpers. 

JIM BROWN and PENNY SCHENKEL ran together with Jim in 111th place winning the trophy for first man 70 plus with 47:06 and Penny 112th in the same time. 

Festive Spartans!
Pos Cat Pos MF Name Chip Time Cat AG% Comments 
Andrew PATTERSON 26:34 MV40 84.3% Winner 
Simon JACKSON 28:26 MV40 81.9% Second 
61 22 Hazel SMITH 40:53 FV45 65.8% PB (1:27) 
71 44 Nick KLEANTHOUS 42:13 MV60 62.0% PB (6 seconds) 
111 65 Jim BROWN 47:06 MV70+ 60.8% 1st MV70 
112 14 47 Penny SCHENKEL 47:06 FV45 59.6%  

Herts Santa Run 

In the Herts Santa Run over 10K MIKE JEFFS was third senior man and fourth overall with 44 minutes 37 seconds while JONATHAN JONES and DZENANA TOPIC were 29th and 30th in the 5K with 37:20 and 37:21.  Dzenana was third in her age category. 

Santa Canta 5K 

Spartan JOHN HARRIS was first reindeer in the North Herts Road Runners Santa Canta in Letchworth.  He was joined by TRACY PEZ and YUKO GORDON. 

John, Tracy and Yuko being very festive!

British Masters 5K Championships 

Spartan YUKO GORDON won Gold in the women aged 70 plus (W70) category at the British Masters 5K Championships in Battersea Park, London on Sunday.  Her time of 22 minutes 9 seconds was ahead of the W65 winner.  The field was very strong and the fastest was 15:01 by a man 40 plus (M40) and the oldest was 85+ years old. 

Goodwood Marathon 

GRANT RAMSAY ran the Goodwood Marathon in 3 hours 5 minutes 52 seconds a significant improvement on Bedford in 3 hours 16 minutes and Milton Keynes in 3 hours 22 minutes earlier this year.  He aims to run a sub 3 hours over 50 marathon next year. 

Parkrun – 3rd December 2022 

For the full consolidated results for Spartans at their stripey parkruns please click the following link – Consolidated Results for 3rd December 2022   

Categories
Club News Race Results

LOTS OF SMILES AT OUR HANDICAP RACES

42 Spartans took part in the two memorial handicap races in Stevenage on Sunday morning.  They were on an undulating course with the highest point being near the Oval Community Centre. 

BRYAN MOORE SHIELD HANDICAP 10 MILES 

The Bryan Moore Handicap ten mile event was brilliantly won by Andrew Patterson in a new personal best (PB) time of 55:21.  He crossed the finish line 42 seconds ahead of Nick Gill second who smashed his PB by more than 25 minutes to finish in 67:03 and Simon Jackson third man (4th overall) in 59:32.  Marie Colucci was the winning female and third overall, finishing in 79:15, 3:45 better than handicap, with Zoe Jackson second female in 1:27:00 (87:00) in her first ever 10 mile race and Harriet Smith third with 1:23:25 (83:25) also in her first ever 10 miles. 

The leading two women both ran negative splits.  Marie was 15 seconds in her second half (39:44 to 39:31) and Zoe a significant 1 minute 30 seconds (44:15 to 42:45).   

Andrew was also quickest runner of the day with Simon second quickest and Nick (Gill) third fastest.  Marie was also quickest lady with Harriet second (1:23:25) fastest and Zoe third (1:27:00) quickest. 

Wendy Tharani improved her season’s best by 1 minute 20 seconds and Jim Brown his year’s best by three seconds!  Vicky Archer took 2:44 off her ten mile handicap time. 

Bryan Moore was a founding member of Fairlands Valley Spartans in 1984. 

PAUL MAGUIRE MEMORIAL HANDICAP 5 MILES 

The winner of the Paul Maguire Memorial Five was Nicola Andersson in a new PB time of 44:55 with Steve Mayfield second (winning man) in a SB time of 37:39 and Tony Vickers third (second man) with 44:08 in his first 5 mile race. Alison Shelley was second lady in 42:54 and Carolyn Linsell third lady with 54:52. 

Twenty seven Spartans tackled the five mile event. 

Paul Shelley was quickest runner of the day in 34:17, with Steve (Mayfield) second quickest and Charlie White third quickest in 38:51.  Alison (Shelley) was fastest lady with Ann Tryssesoone second fastest in 43:34 and Nicola third quickest. 

There were also five mile PB improvements for Nick Kleanthous (43:17) and Jane Whitrow (57:53), while Jon Sypula (41:33), Simon Sypula (46:12) and Penny Schenkel (46:56) improved their Season Best times. 

Paul Maguire was an inspirational Spartan, a former Spartan of the Year, who passed away in 2008.  He lost a long battle with cancer, still running for several years following his diagnosis, at the age of 42. 

Overall no less than 24 other times were the first recorded at that distance this year. 

All handicap photo credits go to the amazing Chloe Emmerson!

Gosport Half Marathon 

There were two fantastic Spartan personal bests in the Gosport Half Marathon. 

Steve Dobner said, “It was another fabulous day for running down on the south coast as Dave Pattman and I ventured down to Gosport to run the half with our good friend and ex Spartan Ed Hare.  We were due to run it last year but Dave was out injured and I was unable to walk 100 metres due to covid.  This year was a different story. 

Setting off with a time in mind we built into the race with Dave overtaking me at around 4K and upping the pace. The course is two laps and a lovely tail wind helped me accelerate on the way back into town. 

Settling into a good pace the turn round into the wind for the second lap needed us to dig in. The race was extremely well supported and the encouragement from the spectators and our families was fabulous. 

In the final 3-4K I managed to close the 20-25 second gap to Dave and we entered into the home straight together giving each other plenty of encouragement. 
I managed to finish in 1:41:41 with Dave coming home in 1:41:44. Both of us setting new PBs and I somehow knocked over 5 minutes off my previous best with Dave improving his by 2 minutes.  Ed came home in 1:44:53 for his second best ever time.” 

SAM PRETTY finished in 1 hour 35 minutes 3 seconds.  She was 306th out of the 1216 finishers. 

Dave and Steve with Ed at the finish.

St Neots 

PETE SMITH enjoyed the St Neots Half Marathon where he was third man 60 plus in 1 hour 38 minutes 5 seconds. 

SAM SIMMONS and MARCUS RIDLEY also completed the course in 1.42.59 and 1.48.13 respectively. 

Sundon Saunter 

The sun shone for the Sundon Saunter on Sunday for Spartan Sharon Crowley, although after all the recent rain it was 27.8 miles and 9 hours of slip sliding around Bedfordshire! 

Sharon’s feet proving exactly how slippy the event was!

Parkrun Highlights 

Nick KLEANTHOUS achieved a new parkrun PB (personal best) of 24 minutes 45 seconds at the Preston Park event in Brighton.  Obviously good preparation for the Spartan five mile race the following day where he also achieved a new PB. Well done Nick! 

For all remaining results for Parkrun please click the link – Spartan Parkrun results 19th November 2022 

Tables 

FVS BRIAN MOORE HANDICAP 10 MILE          
Position NAME SURNAME Split 1 to 5m Split 2 to 10m Total Time Speed Pos Speed Fem PB Impr Comp  H’cap 
  ANDREW PATTERSON 27:37 27:44 55:21   PB 0:12 6:54 
  NICK GILL 33:28 33:35 1:07:03   PB 25:47 6:12 
MARIE COLUCCI 39:44 39:31 1:19:15     3:45 
  SIMON JACKSON 29:44 29:48 59:32   YB New 2:58 
  STUART ARCHER 30:51 37:58 1:08:49   SB New 1:26 
ZOE JACKSON 44:15 42:45 1:27:00 PB New 1:00 
  MARK GOODWIN 40:00 40:46 1:20:46       0:44 
  ROBERT WRIGHT 44:15 44:25 1:28:40       (0:40) 
  MATT CLARKE 44:15 44:25 1:28:40 10   YB New (0:40) 
10   JIM BROWN 44:15 44:38 1:28:53 11   YB 0:03 (0:53) 
11 HARRIET SMITH 40:27 42:58 1:23:25 PB New (1:25) 
12 WENDY THARANI 44:19 45:58 1:30:17 12 SB 1:20 (1:47) 
13 VICKY ARCHER 51:26 50:10 1:41:36 13 PB 2:44 (4:06) 
14 CLAIRE EMMERSON 51:26 50:12 1:41:38 14 YB New (4:08) 
15 FIONA CLARKE 51:26 50:34 1:42:00 15 YB New (4:30) 
FVS PAUL MAGUIRE 5 MILE         
Position NAME SURNAME Time Speed Pos Speed Fem PB Impr Comp H’cap 
NICOLA ANDERSSON 44:55 11 PB 2:13 7:05 
  STEVE MAYFIELD 37:39   SB 1:05 3:06 
  TONY VICKERS 44:08 10   PB New 2:37 
  PAUL SHELLEY 34:17   YB New 2:28 
  JON SYPULA 41:33   SB 4:54 2:27 
  NICK KLEANTHOUS 43:17   PB 0:30 1:28 
  CHARLIE WHITE 38:51       1:09 
  SIMON SYPULA 46:12 13   SB 1:06 1:03 
ALISON SHELLEY 42:54 YB New 0:51 
10 CAROLYN LINSELL 54:52 21 PB New 0:53 
11   DARREN EMMERSON 41:22       0:23 
12   CHRIS WATLING 39:47   PB New 0:13 
13 ANN TRYSSESOONE 43:34 SB 0:41 0:11 
14 PENNY SCHENKEL 46:56 14 SB 0:59 (0:11) 
15 JANE WHITROW 57:53 22 10 PB 0:13 (0:23) 
16 JUDY KING 58:04 23 11 PB New (0:34) 
17 JANE WADEY 54:04 20 PB New (0:34) 
18 MONICA SMITHSON 50:21 17 YB New (1:21) 
19   ANDY JAY 48:35 16   YB New (1:20) 
20   MATT TUTTON 47:23 15   PB New (1:23) 
21 10 NICOLA HATHERLY 59:38 24 12 SB New (2:08) 
22   VISHAL SHAH 45:19 12   YB New (3:04) 
23 11 CHLOE CHAPMAN 51:25 19 PB New (3:55) 
24 12 HAZEL SMITH 50:30 18 YB New (4:15) 
25 13 CALLIE CHAPMAN 1:02:35 25 13 YB New (10:35) 
26 14 HANNAH SYPULA 1:04:10 26 14 SB New (13:40) 
27   ROGER BIGGS 1:29:06 27   SB New (14:21) 
Categories
Club News Race Results

ANDREW SMASHES A NEW PERSONAL BEST!

Not content with running 1 hour 18 minutes 10 seconds in the Stevenage Half Marathon on 6th November just six days later ANDREW PATTERSON was running another half and this time he finished in just 1 hour 12 minutes 29 seconds to win the Remembrance Run Half Marathon race at Debden, near Saffron Walden on Saturday.  That’s a new personal best. 

At the same venue STEVEN DOBNER ran a new personal best of 43 minutes 58 seconds in the 10K and DAVID PATTMAN was not far behind in 44:45.  In the 5K MASON SIMMONS was second man aged 20-29 in the 5K with 19 minutes 28 seconds. 

Steven said, “It was a gorgeous morning over Saffron Walden for the Essex Remembrance 10k with a dry and pretty still day greeting us. 

Dave and I set off with a target of getting close to or breaking 45 minutes.  After the first lap and feeling good I left Dave and pushed on.  Andrew Patterson flying past shouting encouragement on his way to winning the half marathon was perfectly timed and led to my fastest kilometre as I was dragged along in his wake. 

A final push saw me dip under 44 minutes coming home in 43:58 for a new personal best, knocking three minutes off my previous best.  Dave came home in 44:45 for his season best.  A great event with a fantastic medal, hopefully more Spartans will make the relatively short trip over the county lines to support the event next year.” 

Steve and Dave with their lovely medals

33rd Masters Cross Country International Championships 

The 33rd Masters Cross Country International Championship was held at Santry Demesne Park, Dublin on Saturday 12 November.  There were teams from England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. 

Yuko Gordon led the England W70 (women 70 plus) Team to Silver medal.  Gold went to the home favourite Ireland. 

FVS’s Yuko Gordon was fifth in W70 race which was very competitive.  All the top five finished within 40 seconds of each other.  Yuko won the title in 2018 but concentrating more on marathons and road races in recent years, was unable to take the cross country surface as well as she hoped. 

Yuko with her team mates

Westport Sea 2 Summit (Mayo) 

Spartan PAULA DUNNE was back in Ireland for her third Westport Sea2summit race.  She managed to knock 15 minutes off her PB (personal best).  Finishing in 2 hours 34 minutes Paula placed 521 out of 1600 people, and 118th female out of 723.  The race consisted of a 4k run; an 11k cycle; climb up Croagh Patrick mountain then fell run back down; an 8k cycle and finally another 4k run.  

Paula enjoying what Ireland has to offer!

Parkrun – 12th November 2022 

Nick GILL ran the Stevenage Parkrun course finishing seventh overall with a new PB time of 19 minutes and 41 seconds. Well done Nick!

For all other Spartan results for Parkrun please click the link – Parkrun results 12th November 2022    

Categories
Club News Race Results

BRILLIANT STEVENAGE HALF MARATHON!

A fantastic half marathon organised by Fairlands Valley Spartans.  A wet morning but hundreds ran the 13.1 miles around Stevenage and 35 of them were Spartans.  The club provided dozens of voluntary helpers including marshals, lead bikes, water stations and refreshments.  Others helped out including the Rotary Club of Stevenage, Grange Rotary Club, Stevenage Scouts, Stevenage Air Cadets and the Garden House Hospice giving their time freely to make the event a huge success. 

This year the Stevenage Half Marathon raised funds for the Garden House Hospice, the Spartans Charity of the Year. 

A few of the amazing Spartan volunteers who smiled all day through the rain!

The event hosted the Hertfordshire County Half Marathon Championships for veteran runners. 

FVS had individual success in two categories.  YUKO GORDON won GOLD for women aged 65 plus in 1 hour 44 minutes 59 seconds and JIM BROWN won GOLD for men aged 70 plus with 1 hour 57 minutes 23 seconds.  

The Spartans women’s team took the GOLD team medals with GEORGIE HOOPER (1:41:17), YUKO GORDON (1:44:59) and PAULA DUNNE (1:57:19) (teams of three and runners aged 35 plus).  In the process Georgie ran a PB which was 7 minutes and 41 seconds quicker than her last half at Stafford earlier in the year and Paula reduced her PB (personal best) by 4 minutes 41 seconds. 

Georgie, Yuko and Paula

The FVS men won SILVER with DAVID HARRIS-CHERGUIT (1:17:57), ANDREW PATTERSON (1:18:10), GRANT RAMSAY (1:29:04) and PAUL SHELLEY (1:40:02) (teams of four and runners aged 40 plus). 

David, Andrew, Grant and Paul

GABRIELLE O’BRIEN and HARRIET SMITH were both running their first half marathons and both did brilliantly.  Gabbie was the fifth senior (i.e. young adult 18 – 34) woman in the race with 1:44:04 and was 89th overall.  Harriet came in with 1:51:27.   

NICK GILL and ROSS GALLAGHER ran together encouraging each other. They finished 30th and 31st in 1:31:05 a personal best (PB) improvement of 2:56 for Nick and 1:35 for Ross. 

Nick and Ross with their awesome medals!

ROB WRIGHT enjoyed a chicken run in fancy dress but still finished in 1:47:01 and was presented with a custom made chicken medal! He was even asked for selfies with other runners. Next year he plans on giving out autographs!  DEREK CORNELIUS was exactly 100th in his first half with 1:46:31. 

The Spartan chicken and his custom made medal! (He did get a normal one as well)

While WENDY THARANI had a brilliant run and managed a season’s best (SB) with 1:59:22 coming fourth in her county category, TIM ROBINSON said that he enjoyed the local support from the many volunteers. Unfortunately the Beachy Head Marathon from two weeks previously was still in his legs and together with the rain and long incline at 7miles faded badly through miles 8 and 9. At mile 10 he found some motivation and kicked on for three sub 9 minute miles to finish a touch over 2 hours which was a year best result. 

Relatively new Spartan JANE WADEY ran her first ever half marathon distance in (2:34:11) and had the following to say – I just wanted to say, it was my first time of running a half marathon and the support of the marshals and everyone on the route was amazing.  I was happy with my time as I had not even thought what time to aim for.  Thanks especially to Sharon and Tony as they escorted me on the last 2 miles, and the ladies at the finish who gave me water and then Pete and the ladies who gave me flapjacks and a brilliant cup of tea at the end!  

The biggest PB was by JUDY KING who took 23 minutes 48 seconds off her time with 2:52:44. Judy ran with JANE WHITROW who accomplished a SB in 2.52.27. 

Wendy, Judy and Jane who even had time to pose for their photo!

The overall winners were both from Ware Joggers.  Kevin Francis was first man in 1 hour 15 minutes 29 seconds and Katy Woodward first woman in 1:25:19. 

A selection of our happy Spartans!

New York Marathon 

JACKIE DOWNES finished the New York Marathon with a chip time of 5:02:02.  An amazing time for what was said to be the hottest New York Marathon ever! 

CHRIS HOLLAND had an incident with his heart rate after an insect bite at mile 5, but after help from the medical tent, he finished in a chip time of 4:56:38. 

International Spartan Jackie with a friend.

Tables 

All 35 Spartans in the Stevenage Half Marathon 

Pos Name Last Name Chip PB, etc Comments 
David HARRIS-CHERGUIT 1:17:57 4th county MV40 
Andrew PATTERSON 1:18:10 22 5th county MV40 
21 Grant RAMSAY 1:29:04 22 5th county MV50 
30 Nick GILL 1:31:05 PB (2:56)  
31 Ross GALLAGHER 1:31:05 PB (1:35)  
65 Paul SHELLEY 1:40:02 22  
77 Georgie HOOPER 1:41:17 4th county FV35 
82 Mike JEFFS 1:42:52  
89 Gabrielle O’BRIEN 1:44:04 First half 5th senior in race 
95 Yuko GORDON 1:44:59 County Gold 
100 Derek CORNELIUS 1:46:31 First half  
104 Robert WRIGHT 1:47:01 “chicken run” 
105 Steven DOBNER 1:47:08 SB (1:09)  
107 David PATTMAN 1:47:23 SB (1:46)  
128 Harriet SMITH 1:51:27 First half  
134 Chris WATLING 1:53:24 PB (9:31)  
157 Paula DUNNE 1:57:19 PB (4:41)  
158 Jim BROWN 1:57:23 County Gold 
159 Wendy THARANI 1:57:35 SB (0:15) 4th county FV45 
168 Alison SHELLEY 1:59:22 22  
169 Luke GURNEY 1:59:13  
170 Martin DUDLEY 1:59:19 SB  
177 Tim ROBINSON 2:00:49 YB (11:52)  
184 Nick KLEANTHOUS 2:02:51 22  
190 Lee PICKERSGILL 2:03:50 22  
194 Robert EVANS 2:03:53 22  
197 Nigel STRONGITHARM 2:04:28 22  
219 Martin JACOB 2:08:39  
220 Michael O’KEEFE 2:09:12 SB (11:16)  
237 Simon SYPULA 2:14:02 SB (3:06)  
273 Jane WADEY 2:34:11 First half  
281 Paul HOLGATE 2:46:09 YB (29:04)  
286 Jane WHITROW 2:52:27 SB (5:44)  
287 Judy KING 2:52:44 PB (23:48)  
289 Christine ZVEREV 2:58:51 YB (0:52)  

Parkrun

For the weekends parkrun results for the Spartans please follow this link – Parkrun Results 5th November 2022

Categories
Club News Race Results

SPARTANS RUN AT TRENT PARK

Trent Park Cross Country – Three Top Tens for Spartans and Women Move Up 

Despite trees being blown down by strong winds a few days ago the cross country league fixture in Trent Park, near Cockfosters went ahead.  This was the second race in this season’s series and Fairlands Valley Spartans increased their turnout compared with race one.  This time 34 Spartans, 19 men and 15 women, enjoyed the mud.  A total of 492 including 212 women from 21 clubs competed. 

Three Spartans achieved three top ten positions.  SIMON JACKSON 10th overall for the five miles in 28:23 – he was also second man 40 plus; CHRISTINE LATHWELL second woman in 30:34 – and first woman 45 plus and MICHELLE REEVES eighth in 32:16.  YUKO GORDON was first woman 65 plus and 48th woman in 38:16. 

A stronger turnout this time meant the Spartan women moved up from 11th to sixth place.  Their “A” team was completed by GEORGIE HOOPER 49th woman in 38:18 and TRACEY JACKSON 60th in 39:42.  The “B” team was led in by KELLY McHALE, 61st in 39:47 with HARRIET SMITH 82nd in 41:19 and PAULA DUNNE 85th in 41:25 not far behind. 

The men were 12th this time.  Next in after Simon were GRANT RAMSAY 66th overall in 31:49; DANNY SCANLON 115th in 33:53; PETE SMITH 167th in 36:11 and NICK GILL 168th in 36:15.

Full results can be downloaded here:  Trent Park XC results

Snowdon Marathon 

2022 was the 37th running of the popular Snowdon Marathon, considered to be one of the best marathons in the UK despite the difficulty of the course with three BIG climbs and a very technical off-road section between 22 – 25 miles that sees many runners lose their footing and cross the finish line covered in mud.  Heavy rain at the beginning and finish together with strong winds ensured this year’s race was as tricky as usual if not trickier but that did not prevent the two Spartans taking part continuing to add to their long runs of consecutive finishes in the years that the race has gone ahead.  SHARON CROWLEY who has run more Snowdon marathons than any other female finished her 29th Snowdon marathon in 6 hours 32 minutes 25 seconds (6:32:25) for 1520th position while PAUL HOLGATE finished 1591st with 7:17:44 in his 32nd Snowdon marathon.  (He’s run every year that the race has taken place since 1988). 

There were 1,601 finishers from the 2,500 runners that entered. 

Sharon with her 29th medal for Snowdon Marathon!

John Harris Selected for England 

On the strength of his performance in the recent York Marathon Spartan JOHN HARRIS has been selected for England. 

Next year he will be running in the England Masters Marathon Team based on his recent marathon qualifying time and top three placing.  He has trained all year for this and is so pleased to make the team.  The representative race will be at the Chester Marathon next October. 

Well done John!!

Serpentine Thirtieth Anniversary 5K 

There have been lunch-time 5Ks in Hyde Park, London since October 1992 and the thirtieth anniversary fell on Friday.  Spartan PENNY SCHENKEL was delighted to improve h