August 7th, being the first Saturday of the month, saw a number of Fairlands Valley Spartans attending the recently returned Stevenage parkrun in their club vests – the Spartan stripes, and the presentation of a defibrillator which was part funded by a donation made by the club. Richard Glaister, Event Director, said “We really appreciate the £500 donation we have received from Fairlands Valley Spartans. We used to be able to access the defibrillator in the park’s office, but having our own one means we can respond quickly to any incidents.”
David Scott, Chair of Fairlands Valley Spartans added “there has always been a close link between FVS and Stevenage parkrun, with many of our committee members and runners being run directors, volunteers or participants. We are really pleased to be able to help support this event which has, and will continue to have, such a positive impact on the local running community.”
32 Spartans ran Saturday’s event and many others were helping as volunteers. This week there was a total of 327 parkrunners in Stevenage which compares with 256 on restart day (24th July) and 296 last week
Stevenage parkrun takes place from Fairlands Valley lakes at 9am every Saturday morning. Fairlands Valley Spartans have sessions available for runners of all abilities five days a week.
Parkrun Highlights 7th August 2021
Forty four Spartans headed out on the third week of UK Parkrun’s return, to run at 11 different Parkrun venues.
DAN BATES was the furthest travelled Spartan, completing the Dąbrówka Parkrun in Poland with a time of 23:26.
Congratulations to MARION MORLEY got a new PB (personal best) at Stevenage on her 40th parkrun with a time of 26:30. The Fastest Spartan was STEVE WELLS (Stevenage, 20:04) and fastest Spartan lady was EVA RAMSEY (Stevenage, 23:07).
There were no official Parkrun milestones this week but several Spartans reached unofficial milestones including Marion MORLEY (40th), Matt CLARKE (60th), Michael O’Keefe (110th) and Tim ROBINSON (160th). This was FIONA CLARKE’s 100th parkrun in Stevenage. Well done and congratulations to all.
(All the times for all 44 Spartans can be found near the end of this release).
Four Spartans tackled the St Albans Summer 10K on Sunday. Not so much summer as there was rain for parts of the race and some parts of the course were slippery but perhaps a welcome change for some from the extremely hot conditions at Drift Limits on 18th July.
In the “A” race ANDREW VAUGHAN was 30th in 40 minutes 43 seconds a 1:37 improvement on three weeks earlier.
BARRY OSBORNE won the men 70 plus race with 44:36. He was 73rd.
After a very slow start JIM BROWN “bullied” himself round the “B” race. He was 195th overall in 54 minutes 56 seconds and CATHY CRAIG came in 288th in 63:44. There were 342 finishers.
MK10K and loadsa 10Ks
With Milton Keynes Open University not yet available for sporting events, this year’s Milton Keynes East Midlands Grand Prix (EMGP) 10K moved to a new venue around Willen Lake on Tuesday evening. In almost perfect weather conditions PAUL HOLGATE finished in 200th position of the 219 finishers in a Season’s Best time of 59:43, his fastest 10 kilometre race since the 31st December 2018.
Also on Tuesday 3rd August JAN FRY ran 10K in 61 minutes 31 seconds.
These 10K times matter as the Spartans are now into the “window” for recording times for the fourth Mid-Week Road Race League fixture.
Fairlands Valley Spartans are in second place in Division One (the top division) of the Mid Week Road Race League.
Like the other league fixtures there will not be a single massed start event. Runners race their own accurate 10K and then submit times. The window for race four is between Monday 2nd August and Sunday 15th August (inclusive). There will be a “wave” opportunity for Spartans to record a time on Tuesday 10th August but members can record a time for an accurate 10K on any day and submit it up to 15th August.
Flying On Number 64
Three Spartans took part in the 64th Fly 5K. JIM BROWN was third in his category with 25:59; NICOLA ANDERSSON 28:58 and PAUL HOLGATE second in his category with 29:17.
Fly 5K was one of the stars of lockdown keeping runners moving and in touch during the restrictions. There will be a celebration live Fly 5K at Drift Limits, Bovingdon on Sunday 22nd August.
Entries Open for the Stevenage Half Marathon
Entries for the Stevenage Half Marathon are open. This club and community event has a history going back 37 years and is organised by Fairlands Valley Spartans. With a break due to Covid 19 in 2020 it’s back for 2021. This year the race will be on Sunday 21st November (a couple of weeks later than usual).
To enter have a look at https://stevenagehalfmarathon.org.uk/
Battle for Bronze in the Virtual Coast Challenge
With only about 100 of the 2,970 kilometres to go SHARON CROWLEY has edged ahead of BRIAN WHITE and is now in bronze medal position amongst the Spartans in the club’s virtual race around the coasts and borders of England. Sharon is now on 2,844.1 kilometres and Brian on 2826.5.
Other Spartans through the 2,000 kilometre mark are JON SYPULA 2274.0; KEN JUDE 2256.6; CATHY CRAIG 2,100.5 and HAZEL SMITH 2049.9.