Spartan results from Herts XC Seniors, plus marathon and parkrun updates


Spartans CRAIG HALSEY and GRANT RAMSAY were selected to run for Hertfordshire in the next Inter-Counties race following their top twenty placings in Sunday’s county championships.

In challenging conditions following recent rain on Hertford Heath at Haileybury College Craig was ninth out of the 132 finishers in the senior men’s championship covering the 11 kilometres in 39 minutes 22 seconds; Grant was fifteenth in 40 minutes 12 seconds.  ANDY PATTERSON was 18th in 40:32; RICHARD SPRINGALL 77th in 42:22; TODD GRAY 93rd in 49:28; and DAVID RIDDELL 96th in 49:54 were all in the top 100, under 50 minutes and completed the team.  TIM SABAN was 105th in 51:44; PETE SMITH 112th in 53:26 and TIM ROBINSON 130th in 62:02.

HAZEL CLARK was Fairlands’ fastest female running the 8 kilometre senior women’s race in 39 minutes 51 seconds.  She was 43rd.  PETA WILSON was 61st in 44:24; CLAIRE COX 65th in 45:22; SOPHIE COWAN 66th in 45:50; SHARON CROWLEY 70th in 47:44 and SUE HAMER 73rd in 48:51.

The Spartan men were an excellent ninth out of sixteen teams in a competitive race and the women twelfth.


First Light Marathon

ROGER BIGGS travelled to Mobile, a city in Alabama on the Coast on the Gulf of Mexico, to start his 2017 USA marathon campaign.

When the race started at 07:30hrs, the sun was just appearing over horizon, which is just as well, as even with the sun shining, the temperature at the start was around -3C, and only just getting above 0C by the finish.

The first 10 miles of the course were pretty flat, while the last 6 miles were down or flat, leaving 10 miles in the middle that were anything but flat.  Roger was pleased to finish with a time of 4:27:56, good enough to win a trophy for second in his age group.


parkrun Reports

In a relatively quiet week for Spartans at parkruns JOHN ROXBOROUGH finished 52nd at Wimpole Estate in a new course personal best (PB) of 23:11.

At a grey and damp Stevenage parkrun NIKKI WILBY was fourth women to finish, stopping the clock at 25:50.  CAROL PAUL was fifth, in 26:10 and VERITY FISHER ninth in 27:11. CLAIRE COX rounded out the Spartan top four, finishing 11th in 27:24.  JACKIE DOWNES (28:39) and KAREN PALMER (29:20) also finished top 30 in the women’s field.

For the men, DARREN EMMERSON crossed the line in 23rd in 22:26. MARK BEASLEY was next to finish in 22:38. CHRIS HOLLAND (22:43) and MARTIN DUDLEY (22:54) also notched top 30 finishes in the men’s field.

The other Spartans in action at Stevenage were CALLUM BEASLEY (26:25), SEAN MILLWOOD (29:26), HEATHER MALONEY (31:52), BERNADETTE MILLWOOD (32:54), ELLA GOWER (32:57), PAULINE FARNHAM (33:03), TRACY PEZ (34:20), NICK WITCOMBE (34:20), JAMES SOUTH (49:20 pushing a buggy) and KAREN BROOM (tail-running in 54:50).

Finally DARYL STEVENS ran 40:44 on his first visit to the Fareham parkrun.


Coming Events

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

  • Fourth Cross Country League Race at Watford on Sunday 15th January.
  • Fred Hughes 10 at St Albans on Sunday 22nd January.
  • Southern Seniors Cross Country at Parliament Hill Fields on Saturday 28th January.
  • Watford Half Marathon inc. County Senior Champs on Sunday 5th February.
  • Fifth and Final Cross Country League Race at Royston on Sunday 12th February.
  • Veterans County Cross Country Championships on Sunday 19th February.
  • Presentation Evening in Old Stevenage on Friday 24th February.
  • Finchley 20 on Sunday 11th March.
  • Brighton Marathon on Sunday 9th April.
  • London Marathon on Sunday 23rd April.
  • County 1500 Championships in Stevenage on Monday 1st May (TBC).
  • Stirling Marathon on Sunday 21st May.


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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