Cross Country

Stevenage Half 6th November


Forty seven from Fairlands Valley Spartans, 18 women and 29 men, raced round the first cross country league race of the season which was in Cheshunt on Sunday.

Two were in the top ten of the 500 runners in this inter club event.  GRANT RAMSAY was second in 26 minutes 58 seconds and ANDREW PATTERSON fourth in 27:45.  SIMON JACKSON also beat the half hour and was 12th in 28:37.

The Spartan women’s “A” team did amazingly well – SAM PRETTY was 97th overall (including all the men) in 32 minutes 20 seconds; NATALIE LAWRENCE 122nd in 33:12; JULIET FULLWOOD 242nd in 37:35; NICOLA KENNEDY 277th in 38:20 and CLAIRE COX 284th in 38:58.

The next fixture will be on Sunday 13th November.


Women (5 to score in “A” team)

Position Name Time Comments
97 SAM PRETTY 32:20
284 CLAIRE COX 38:58
287 ISABEL GREEN 39:02
327 HAZEL CLARK 40:25 W35
329 KELLY McHALE 40:26 W35
339 SOPHIE COWAN 40:38 W35
378 OLWEN BATTY 42:36
409 JO BOWDERY 44:00
434 PETA WILSON 45:02
479 EMMA POULTER 46:30


Men (8 to score in “A” team)

Position Name Time Comments
2 GRANT RAMSAY 26:58 V40
12 SIMON JACKSON 28:37 V40
36 STEFAN FORD 30:00
67 DAN HUKIN 31:00 V40
99 STEVE GREEN 32:29 V40
111 BRIAN WHITE 32:53 V60
124 TODD GRAY 33:18
156 TOM SAUKA 34:28 V40
172 TIM SABAN 35:08 V40
173 DAVE SMITH 35:12
188 PETE SMITH 35:39 V50
201 STEVE MAYFIELD 36:30 V50
224 MARK GOODWIN 37:11 V50
245 STEVE SMITHSON 37:43 V40
246 DAVE BOWKER 37:44 V50
294 ANDREW SMITH 39:23
304 TIM ROBINSON 39:27 V40
306 ANDY JAY 39:34 V50
341 MARK CHEADLE 40:42 V40
368 KEN JUDE 42:03 V50
375 ROB SHAW 42:23 V60
382 JON SYPULA 42:43 V40
388 JAMES KILROY 42:50


Faster in Abingdon

KAREN LIDDLE ran the Abingdon Marathon in a massive PB of 4 18 54.  That’s a personal best by eight minutes.


Great Double in Portsmouth

LIAM HERBERT did the double in Portsmouth this weekend.

In the Great South 5K Run on Saturday he finished 27th in 19:22.  He took part in a special challenge which was to finish ahead of Tom Bosworth, an Olympic race walker, who race-walked the course in an impressive time of 20:10.  My faster time has won me a free entry into the same 5K race next year.

Liam finished within the top 500, 479th, in the Great South Run ten miles race on Sunday with a time of 1:08:25.  JENNY GARRET ran the same race in 1:32:25.


Leg for Literacy Marathon – Sunday, 23rd October 2016

Roger Biggs completed his seventh Canadian Marathon in 2016, with this, the Leg for Literacy Marathon held in and around the City of Moncton, New Brunswick.  A good deal of the marathon course was on the Bicycle Trail system, which in turn often followed the Peticodiac River. The river is well known for the biggest and most regular (at twice a day) TIDAL BORE in the world!

The weather man promised rain and wind, but as the case with most of Roger’s recent marathons, the weather was much more conducive to marathon running, although the wind did pick up later in the race. Roger would admit that this was not one of his better days, and finishing in 5:16:29.

On Saturday CAROL PAUL ran the Betteshanger Marathon at Betteshanger Country Park near Deal in Kent.  The marathon was 12.96 laps of the cyclo park.  After a tough marathon in Maidstone six days before Carol was pleased to finish in 4 hours 17 minutes exactly.


Only a Week to the Stevenage Half Marathon

The Stevenage Half Marathon will be on Sunday 6th November and YOU can tackle the 13.1 miles.  Go to to enter.

This will be the 30th Stevenage Half and it’s a 70th Anniversary event for Stevenage New Town.

The race starts from Ridlins Athletics Track promptly at 11a.m. and will follow a two lap course up Gresley Way and Six Hills Way into Fairlands Valley Park passing the lakes then down the length of the park past the showground then along Broadhall Way and back onto Gresley Way.  The first lap is slightly shorter than the second which has an extra loop at the north end of the park.  Almost all the race will be on cycleways and footpaths.

The race is open to all aged 17 or over but it also includes the Hertfordshire County Championships for seniors (18 plus).  Entries are £24, less for Spartans and members of other UK Athletics affiliated clubs.  There are already about 600 entries.  Don’t delay if you want a space.

Running a successful event like this takes dozens of helpers.  If you want to be a volunteer marshal or to help in any other way please contact


Parkrun Report

Fairlands Valley Spartans filled two of the first three finishing positions at Stevenage parkrun in Fairlands Valley Park.  First Spartan home was STEFFAN FORD who put in a strong performance only five seconds behind his course best in finishing second in 18:25. MIKE GREEN finished third in 18:33, his first attempt on the course, and BRIAN WHITE was twelfth in 20:08 in his first ever parkrun.  DAVID RIDDELL was 16th in 20:30.

For the ladies VERITY FISHER was first Spartan, finishing fifth in 25:07. CLAIRE COX was sixth in 25:08, HAZEL SMITH notched up a new course PB (personal best) to finish seventh in 25:09 and CALLIE CHAPMAN also achieved a new course best finishing eighth woman in 25:25.

There were also course PBs for CHRIS HOLLAND (22:28) and SIMON JACKSON (39:24 pushing a buggy and accompanying his young son). The other Spartans running at Stevenage were ADRIAN BUSOLINI (21:22), MARTIN DUDLEY (22:10), DANIELSUTTON (23:08), DARREN EMMERSON (25:04), DAVE SMITH (25:09) and KAREN BROOM who was volunteer tail-runner (57:13), with a number of other Spartans also supporting on volunteering duties as usual.

At other local venues, TIM ROBINSON ran at Gunpowder parkrun, finishing 36th in 23:21, while ANDY JAY (23:55) and JEANETTE COLLINS (28:25) both ran at

Panshanger. JOHN ROXBOROUGH took on the challenging layout at Tring, finishing 16 th in 22:58 while MARIE HUTCHINGS went to Ellenbrook Fields in Hatfield and finished in 35:40, a new course PB.

Finally DARRYL STEVENS ran at Netley Abbey, finishing in 38:10.


Coming Events

Many Spartans will be enjoying a busy programme of races, social and training events over the next few weeks including the Hertfordshire 10K championships.  The opportunities include:

  • Stevenage Half Marathon, a Stevenage 70 event, on Sunday 6th November.
  • Second Cross Country League Race on Sunday 13th November (new date).
  • St Neots Half Marathon on Sunday 20th November.
  • County Five Miles Open Championship in Hatfield on 27th November.
  • Spartans Christmas Social on Saturday 10th December.
  • Third Cross Country League Race on Sunday 18th December.
  • Boxing Day Five in Witham on Monday 26th December.
  • Serpentine New Year 10K in Hyde Park on 1st January.


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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