News Race Results


Natalie Wins The Beast * Brian Wins In Cambridge

GRANT RAMSAY and YLLKA ISTREFI are the new Fairlands Valley Spartans club champions. Scores of Spartans enjoyed the club’s presentation evening which was at Chesfield Downs on Friday evening.

BEV HARLOW, club chair in 2015, presented the awards. Before she did Bev mentioned some of the club’s achievements last year. They included promotion to the top division in the Mid Week League; a fantastic result in the cross country league with 53 Spartans racing in the last event; some great performances by Spartans in the East of England track and field league; GRANT RAMSAY winning GOLD in the British Masters Marathon Championship for runners 40 plus; MONICA BROWN who is leading the Power of 10 UK 100 metre rankings for 50 plus women; CHRIS WESTCOTT broke the club record for 800 metres and JOHN HARRIS who broke the Spartans 200 metre record.

There were presentations for performance, and for supporting the club. The captains’ awards for those running the most events in the midweek and cross country leagues went to PAUL HOLGATE (10 out of 10) and PETA WILSON (9).

The short distance age related championship for women was won by JULIE SIMMONS with IRIS HORNSEY second and TESSA STEPHENSON third. This was over 1500 metres, five kilometres, five miles and 10 kilometres. In the same event for men BARRY OSBORNE took the top spot with BERNIE BARNABY second and JOHN HARRIS third.

Moving up SUZY HAWKINS was first woman in the long distance age based championship. This was over 10 miles, half marathon (13.1); 20 miles and full marathon (26.2). JAN FRY was second and MOLLIE SMITH third. The men’s version was won by STEFFAN FORD with FVS press officer JIM BROWN second and JOHN NELMS third.

LIZ CARVELL and STEVE GREEN were the most improved female and male runners over the year, while KAREN BROOM was “Starter of the Year.”

Next came the fastest runners in the club, the medal winners in the open championships. SAM PRETTY won the women’s short distance championship with YLLKA ISTREFI second and TRACY PEZ third. However Yllka WON the long distance trophy with MADDIE PRITCHARD second and NICOLA HABERLAND third so with a first and second place Yllka won the overall club championship for women.

GRANT RAMSAY was first in the men’s short distance championship with JASON ANDERSON second and CRAIG HALSEY third. Grant and Jason were also first and second in the long distance event but STEVE GREEN was third. Thus with two first places Grant was the men’s champion and the overall club champion for 2015.

HANNAH and JON SYPULA won the Chair’s Award for their efforts with the club kit and MARK FREEMAN was a very popular Spartan of the Year. His was an inspired and successful effort to get people running the cross country races.


Brian Wins In Cambridge

Sunday’s Cambridge Half Marathon was on a good flat course in great conditions though it was a bit congested in the first couple of miles. Fairlands Valley Spartans’ BRIAN WHITE notched up another category win for the distance. He was first veteran (60 plus) in 1 hour 27 minutes 58 seconds and 263rd out of the 5,308 finishers.

STEFFAN FORD was fastest from Fairlands finishing 67th in 1:19:35. STEVE and ISABEL GREEN but achieved a new personal bests (PB). Steve went sub 90 with 1:29:37 and Isabel under an hour and three quarters with 1:44:36.

TIM SABAN came in with 1:32:28 and THOMAS SAUKA with 1:37:27. SCOTT ROUSE and SIMON JACKSON finished together with 1:47:15 and KEN JUDE was delighted to finish his first half marathon in 1 hour 52 minutes 38 seconds. Soon afterwards ANDREA WESTCOTT finished in 2:07:51; JEANETTE COLLINS in 2:13;35; MARK CHEADLE in 2:18:02 and a delighted “Spartan Starter of the Year” KAREN BROOM in 2:32:10.

Pos. Name Time Comments
67 STEFFAN FORD 01:19:35
263 BRIAN WHITE 01:27:58 Winner (1st MV60)
385 STEVE GREEN 01:29:37 PB.
481 TIM SABAN 01:32:28
804 THOMAS SAUKA 01:37:27
1539 ISABEL GREEN 01:44:36 PB.
1656 SCOTT ROUSE 01:47:15
1659 SIMON JACKSON 01:47:15
2626 KEN JUDE 01:52:38 First Half Marathon
3782 ANDREA WESTCOTT 02:07:51
4428 MARK CHEADLE 02:18:02
5006 KAREN BROOM 02:32:10


Winning The Baldock Beast

In the Baldock Beast Half Marathon NATALIE LAWRENCE was the winning woman overall, and the first of the seven Spartans home in a new personal best of 1:25:21. She was sixth out of everyone completing the race.

There were perfect weather conditions for the multi-terrain 13.1 miles. The course was very hilly and the running surfaces variable.

DANIEL BATES was 58th in 1:40:40; BERT BUTLER 64th in 1:41:21; TIM ROBINSON 111th in 1:46:56; ROBERT EVANS 113th in 1:47:11; STUART HAYCROFT 181st in 1:55:51 and TRACY STILES 290th in 2:26:38.


Champion PB

Spartan women’s club champion YLLKA ISTREFI set a new half marathon personal best at Kingston on Sunday. She finished in 1 hour 35 minutes 51 seconds, third in her category and 182nd out of all the 1,145 finishers.


A Swift South Coast Half

MADDIE PRITCHARD ran the Brighton Half Marathon in 1 hour 42 minutes 24 seconds.



It was chilly, breezy but sunny for the Last Friday of the Month 5K race round the Serpentine. DAVID BOWKER beat the twenty minute barrier to come 61st out of the 264 in 19 minutes 38 seconds.

Still very heavy legged after the Tour of East Lothian cycling event JIM BROWN was happy to get round in 25 minutes 32 seconds. He was 221st.



David Bowker was also in action on Sunday but this time he was inside. He competed for EVAC (the Eastern Veterans) in BMAF Indoor Inter Area Match and was second in the male 50 plus 2K walk in 11 minutes 18 seconds.


Parkrun Reports

With so much going on it was a relatively quiet Saturday for Spartans on the parkrun scene.

At Panshanger Park ALISON WOOD led home the four Spartans taking part, finishing in 14th overall out of 246 and 4th woman finisher in a time of 20:41. LESLEY JEIVE was 107th in 27:38, knocking 37 seconds off her course PB. HEATHER MALONEY was 125th in 28:45, also a new course PB by 78 seconds. TIM ROBINSON paced his son round the course in 42:12 as a limber up ahead of the Baldock Beast the next day.

In a biting wind at St Albans DANNY SUTTON was 73rd finisher out of 392 in a new course PB time of 22:20, while VERITY FISHER was 101st in 23:19.

Finally, DARRYL STEVENS was 184th out of 191 at Northala Fields parkrun, finishing in 46:48 on his first visit to that venue.


Twenty’s Plenty

Recently ROBERT EVANS completed the Bramley 20 in a time of 2 hours 48 minutes 43 seconds.


Coming Events

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


  • County Veterans Cross Country Championships on Sunday 13th March.
  • Finchley 20 on Sunday 13th March.
  • Handicap 5K on Thursday 17th March.
  • Serpentine 5K in Hyde Park on Friday 18th March.
  • Essex 20 including Intercounties on Sunday 20th March.
  • Sport Relief on Sunday 20th March.
  • Maidenhead Easter Ten on Friday 25th March.
  • County 20 Miles Championships at Oakley on Sunday 3rd April.
  • Flitwick 10K on Sunday 17th April.
  • London Marathon on Sunday 24th April.
  • County 1500 metres open and veteran track and field championships in Stevenage on Monday 2nd May.
  • Pednor Five (including County five miles championship for veterans) on Monday evening 2nd May.
  • Halstead Marathon, including Hertfordshire County Championships for seniors and veterans, on Sunday 8th May.
  • Relays in the Park, our 3K Relays in Fairlands Valley on Thursday 28th July.
  • Standalone 10K including County Vets Championships on Sunday 2nd October.
  • Peterborough Half Marathon on Sunday 9th October.
  • Abingdon Marathon on Sunday 23rd October.
  • Stevenage Half Marathon, a Stevenage 70 event, on Sunday 6th November.
  • St Neots Half Marathon on Sunday 20th November.
  • County Five Miles Open Championship in Hatfield on 27th November.


Join The Spartans

Live in or near Stevenage? Like running? Fairlands Valley Spartans is your local running club and is on the up! The club was voted the UK’s Best Running Club in 2010. It now has hundreds of members and encourages participation by all. The Spartans have a varied training programme to suit those who want to run 5 kilometres through to full marathons.

The Spartans weekday training sessions are on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Go along to the new sports centre at Marriotts School – a Sports College, Telford Avenue, Stevenage (SG2 8UT) at 7p.m. Up to five running groups go out on training nights – there will be one to suit you!

The Spartan Starter group starts from Marriotts at 7.30p.m. every Monday (except public holidays) and 7p.m. every Thursday.

Most long Sunday morning training sessions start 9a.m. sharp. Spartan track training sessions are held at Ridlins Athletics Track, Woodcock Road, Stevenage most Saturdays from 9.15a.m. There are events to enter every Sunday. Newcomers are very welcome – those who have not yet done very much running might prefer to start with a Thursday, Saturday or Monday session.

Try a few sessions before joining. Membership is only £37 per year, £25 without UKA affiliation. Concessions are available. Membership forms are available on the Spartans website Please ask if you would like a paper copy. You can also join online.

If you want to know more about the Spartans please contact Jim Brown (0793 968 7509), Andy Neatham 0777 197 5499 and 01438 816889; or Karen Palmer (07734678566) or visit their website

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