Our coaches.

Keiran Feetham – Head Coach

Keiran Feetham
I’m the Head Coach of Fairlands Valley Spartan. When I joined the Spartans I wasn’t fit. I could barely run 100 metres without wanting to give up and die. I took the big scary decision and tried out a Spartan session. I was very nervous but I joined a track session. I was made to feel welcome, I did what I could and was supported as I ran. I then tried the Starters group and met other people like myself, new runners.

With the support of Tessa and Dave I moved through the group and then joined in all the other sessions. 9 years later I have the honour to being the Head Coach.

My goals is make running fun and help everyone. I was a starter so I know what it feels like to be new and I’ll help you as the club helped me. If I can help you reach your PB regardless of your speed or abilities I’ll be happy to help each and everyone of you.

Running since 2008

Favourite Distance: I like to run any distance.

Coaching qualification: CiRF

Reason for Running: I run to have fun with people, clear my head and get out and see the world.

Nickki Wilby

Nickki Wilby

Assistant Head Coach

Been in athletics since before 1998, and running with Spartans since 2008.

Favourite Distance: Half marathons and marathons.

Coaching Qualification: Level 2 (old money!!) jumps coach.

Reason for Running: As I’m not competitive anymore I just enjoy the social aspects of training and representing the club when I can.

What got you started running? I was a county level high jumper and pole vaulter until I snapped my Achilles’ tendon. Once I had recovered, I was offered a place in the London marathon – I was converted to endurance running and never looked back!

Pete Smith

Pete Smith

Assistant Head Coach

Running since 2008

Favourite distance: Probably HM, but keep going back for more marathons (every time I think “Never again!”)

Coaching Qualifications: CiRF and Athlefit add-on.

Reason for Running: I run to keep fit and for social reasons, but am always striving to get better.

What got you started? Prior to joining the club I used to run to keep fit for work. I joined the club when they moved to Marriotts as a base. I noticed the club runners meet, go out and then return while I sat watching my daughter at Gymnastics, so I thought I could make better use of my time.

Barry King

Barry King


Running since 2010
Favourite distance: Marathon, 45th marathon end of October at Snowdonia

Coach qualification: LiRF

Reasons for running: Enjoyment, de-stress , Challenge myself.

What got you started? I finished playing/ Managing football at forty, stopped smoking and getting fat. I wanted to get fit and lose weight. I ran my third half marathon at Stevenage 2010 and met Spartans who suggested I join the club. I wanted to break two hours for half marathon which I did within six months joining the Spartans.

Andy Jay

Andy Jay


Running since 2002

Favourite Distance: 5km and 10km (10000m County gold medallist 2017, although I rarely mention it!)

Coaching Qualification: LRiF

Reason for Running: To Keep fit.

What got you started running? I stopped playing competitive cricket and wanted to find a way of staying fit. I ran the New York Marathon in 2003 solo, with my own training plan and post race decided I needed to join a running club to better structure my training and improve. I turned up at a track session, met the lovely Tessa and the rest is history!

Michelle Reeves

Michelle Reeves


Running since 2012.

Favourite Distance: 10km (I think!) Cross Country is my favourite so non-round distances!

Coaching Qualification: LiRF

Reason for Running: To enjoy the great outdoors and the sense of challenge.

What got you started running? I wanted to keep fit and I’d enjoyed running when I was younger. Now I love being part of a great club and finding new and exciting events such as triathlon to challenge myself.

Steven Dobner

Steve Dobner


Running since 2011.

Favourite distance: 10k

Coaching Qualification: LiRF

Reason for running: To get out and about into the fresh air, improving my fitness and socialising with friends.
What got you started? I saw an advert for the Spartans Starter Group and thought it looked like the ideal way to regain some of my long lost fitness.

Karen Smith

Karen Smith


Running since 2010

Favourite Distance: Half marathon

Coaching Qualifiaction: LiRF

Reason for running: For fun and company

What got you started? I followed my husband, but mainly want to keep fit

Ada Urbonaite

Ada Urbonaite


Running since 2010

Favourite Distance: Depends on the mood but enjoy 10 mile runs.

Coaching Qualification: LiRF

Reason for Running: I like doing something for myself, getting out of the house to clear my head, running with the club, in whatever the weather – no excuse! Banter with Spartan buddies.

What got you started running? I always watched the runners running with club and wished I was one of them. When the girls were 18months old I decided to do something for myself and joined FVS Starter group. Never looked back!

Dean Carpenter

Dean Carpenter


Started running in 2002.

Favourite Distance: Half marathon

Coaching Qualification: LiRF

Reason for Running: Fitness to keep weight under control and enjoy social runs

What got you to start running? I wanted to set a good example to my daughter and encourage her to run the race for Life.

Sophie Cowan

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Started running in 2012

Favourite Distance: Half marathon – for years I said that I would never run more than 10k, but I love a good half marathon.

Coaching Qualification: LiRF since October 2015

Reason for Running: Intially it was to lose weight and get fit, now it is to remain sane and catch up with friends.

What got you to start running? My son had started school and was wanting to ride his bike everywhere and run everywhere and I couldn’t keep up. I did the couch to 5k programme on my own and then joined the Spartans in 2012.

Verity Fisher

Verity Fisher


Started running in 2007

Favourite Distance: 5km, Love a parkrun!

Coaching Qualificatio: LiRF

Reason for Running: Socialising with friends or husband, getting outside, pushing myself to improve.

What got you to start running? My housemate at uni – she asked me to jog around the park with her once to keep her company. I could only manage 10 mins. After that I never looked back! I ran alone for 2 years very slowly building up to 10km. Moving to Southampton was a breakthrough- finding a friend who also loved running- we used to plan routes all over the place- and then joining my local club. Thankfully when I met my husband 6 years ago he gave running a try and loved it – now we tour parkruns everywhere and run at FVS together!

Ken Jude

Ken Jude


Started running in 2013

Favourite Distance: Half Marathon.

Coaching Qualification: LiRF

Reason for Running: I really enjoy it, love the banter with my Spartans friends. Especially Tuesday nights which are the sessions which really moved my running on a notch after joining the club.

What got you to start running: I was a couple of years from the big five-oh, weighed 17 stones and decided if I didn’t do something about that before hitting 50 I probably never would. Downloaded a C25k app for the phone and went from there. After getting quicker at parkrun through 2014 just by chasing others and starting to beat people I hadn’t been able to beat a few weeks earlier, I worked out I was running for less time each week because I was getting faster. I worked up to 10k and met Andy Jay who invited me along to the Spartans.

James Kilroy

James Kilroy


Running since 2012

Favourite Distance:Half Marathon

Coaching qualification: LiRF

Reason for Running?
Cake, biscuits, chocolate.
What Got you to start running? Cake, biscuits and chocolate = belly.

Dave Stephenson

Dave Stephenson


Running since 1995.

Favourite Distance: The shorter the better! Preferably 200/400m (5k on the road)

Coaching Qualification: Coaching Assistant and LIRF

Reason for Running: It’s made me feel better because I’m fitter and I also enjoy the social side. I especially love to be able to be competitive on the track rather than be one of the crowd on the road

What got you to start running? I got fed up with waiting for Tessa at races and being used as a bag holder by loads of Spartans!

Tessa Stephenson

Tessa Stephenson


Running Since 1974

Favourite Distance: 400m on the track (PB 56.8 seconds), 10 miles on the road (PB 65:02)

Coaching Qualifications: Level 2 Performance, also a Level 2 Track Official

Reason for Running: I love it! Keeping fit helps my blood pressure stay low.

What got you to start running?: My High Jump coach could no longer commit time to training sessions for my friends and I, so when he stopped coaching us, I asked to join the middle distance group.

I got into athletics because I won my schools High Jump. The school put me forward to the City schools championships and I won that too. My parents thought I had talent so they took me to the local athletics club Portsmouth Atalanta Athletic Club (PAAC). Now City of Portsmouth A. C. I joined on the Thursday evening and competed on the following Saturday at Reading!

Brian WhiteBrian White


Running since 1988

Favourite Distance: Half Marathon

Coaching Qualification: Senior Endurance Coach Level 3

Reason for Running: Fitness and Competition

What got you to start running?: Injury meant I had to stop playing football so running took over.

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