News Race Results


Year End Buntingford * Ely * Pirton Winner


YUKO GORDON won her category by a mile in the Buntingford Year End 10 on New Year’s Eve.  In fact it was by a lot more than a mile as she was 14 minutes ahead of her nearest competitor.  She was first female veteran, 65 plus with an amazing 1 hour 14 minutes 1 second.

Fifteen from Fairlands Valley Spartans tackled the undulating course.  No ice this year and no rain but a strong headwind in places and the roads were very wet and pavements slippery with damp leaves after recent downpours.

MARK COLLINS was first in for FVS with 1:09:56 and THOMAS SAUKA ran a new personal best of 1 hour 11 minutes 17 seconds.  The second female from Fairlands was MADDIE PRITCHARD in 1:19:11.  JIM BROWN ran a season’s best 1:22:35 and was fourth veteran, 65 plus.

CALLIE CHAPMAN completed her first ever 10 mile race in 1:43:03.  The other Spartans were JOHN HARRIS 1:12:54; ANN TRYSSESOONE 1:26:21, JO BOWDERY 1:28:44; DAVID SCOTT 1:29:40; NEIL ROBINSON 1:30:11; SCOTT ROUSE 1:32:49; KAREN LIDDLE 1:38:47; JENNY GARRETT 1:41:35 and CLAIRE EMMERSON 1:43:03.  There were 492 finishers


Eve in Ely


The Ely New Year’s Eve 10k is on a predominantly flat route across the fens starting in the village of Little Downham.  The wind caught runners from all angles of the course.  Post race souvenirs were a packet of Corkers crisps (made in Little Downham) and a bottle of beer.

Spartan times were as follows:  Craig Halsey 35 minutes 17 seconds; Tim Saban 41:32; Chris Holland 48:46; Maria Swift 54:09; Karen Palmer 54:57; Caroline Croft 1:00:05 and Karen Broom 1:03:44.


Boxing Day Winner

Spartan GRANT RAMSAY WON the Pirton Boxing Day Race in 18 minutes 29 seconds.  This was a 3.2 miles off road event near Hitchin.  Another Spartan ANDREW PATTERSON was second in 18:50.


An Early Start to the New Year

Despite an energetic Hogmanay Spartans PENNY SCHENKEL and JIM BROWN got to Hyde Park in time for the New Year’s Day 10K.  They both finished in 1 hour and 49 seconds (1:00:49).  Jim was 399th and Penny 400th.


Velopark 10

TIM ROBINSON was third in his age category with 1:27:37 at the Olympic VeloPark.  This was a Grand Prix style circuit of 10 one mile laps.


Coach to London

Got a place in the London Marathon?  You can train with Fairlands Valley Spartans and then you can coach to the big event as the club have booked a bus.  Cost £10.  Bookings to Roger Biggs by emailing


Witham Five Flyers

Taking the last opportunity to run a five mile race for the 2017 Fairlands Valley Spartans club championships TIM SABAN raced to a new personal best (PB) of 33 minutes 17 seconds; in his first event since a mishap at the St Neots Half Marathon JIM BROWN maintained fairly consistent eight minute miles (keeping a reindeer in sight) to finish in 39 minutes 38 seconds; MONICA SMITHSON ran an excellent 45:19 and PENNY SCHENKEL continued her recovery with a steady 46 minutes 29 seconds.  On a bright but chilly day with a headwind to battle for a couple of miles there were 388 finishers.


Spartan Vets Have Nose Ahead In Cross Country Team Results

At the third cross country league race in Willian the Spartan men were sixth out of twenty and the club’s women ninth.  Overall the women are tenth and the men sixth but the FVS male veterans (40 plus) narrowly lead the masters’ contest by just two race points (102 to 104) ahead of Trent Park.   The next league race is in Watford on 14th January.


New Year Parkrun Highlights

New Year’s Day is the only day of the year when runners can officially log two parkrun results, and ten Spartans set off to Panshanger to run the first leg of their double, accompanied by an eleventh who presumably had breakfast in mind rather than a second parkrun helping!

GRANT RAMSEY finished second male (third overall) in 18:02, happy with his effort but not totally satisfied with the time in testing conditions following the recent rain.  TIM SABAN, was 25th in 21:23, and ANDY JAY 77th in 25:08.  JACKIE DOWNES was 39th woman in 28:32 with VERITY FISHER 43rd in 29:00 and RUTH REILLY accompanied her son in 32:55.  ANDREW SMITH, DAVE SMITH, TOM SAUKA, TIM ROBINSON and JAMES SOUTH also ran and all bar ANDY KAY headed off to a second run.

GRANT RAMSAY chose to go to Barclay parkrun, retracing his steps from New Years Day 2017. There he again finished second male in 19:15 to round off a good morning’s work.

The other doublers headed to Stevenage, where JACKIE DOWNES topped off her morning’s work by achieving a new Course PB of 26:40. TIM SABAN. DAVE SMITH and TOM SAUKA showed that running an earlier parkrun was no barrier to running a decent second one and were the first three Spartans home with top 30 finishes in 21:13, 21:43 and 22:22 respectively. MADDIE PRITCHARD was first woman to finish for the Spartans in 3rd place in 22:23, with YUKO GORDON next in 4th in 23:07 and JULIE SIMMONS 8th woman in 24:28.

In all, 36 Spartans ran at Stevenage and Fairlands Valley Park was awash with stripes as most ran in club vests to celebrate the start of a new year of running with the club.

Finally, MICHAEL O’KEEFE opted to do a New Year’s Day double with a different starting point. He began at Luton Wardown where he finished 71st in a new course PB of 28:44, before then heading to Stevenage to complete the double there.


Pre- Christmas Parkrun Highlights for Fairlands Valley Spartans

On Saturday 23rd at Stevenage it was a Spartan first across the line as GRANT RAMSAY ran his first parkrun in a while to finish in 17 mins 17 secs.  THOMAS SAUKA rushed round in 21:12 in 25th place and DAVE SMITH was just outside the top 30 men in 22:05. Three Spartan women finished in the top 30.  YUKO GORDON was second in 22:45. MADELEINE PRITCHARD was 7th in 23:23 and JO BOWDERY continues to run well, finishing 9th in 23:51.

For a day when you want to run fast you really need to line up near the front rank at Panshanger due to congestion through the gate and the early part of the course in the woods.  RUTH REILLY didn’t do that on this occasion but still notched a new course PB of 22:45 for sixth place woman as she continues to run really well.  TRACY STILES was the other Spartan to achieve a new course PB this weekend, finishing 13th woman at Westmill parkrun,

Finally BARRY OSBORNE secured a top 20 finish at Ellenbrook Fields, crossing the line in 21:23 for 15th place.


Christmas Day Parkrun Highlights

The recent Spartan favourite of a Christmas Day parkrun at Panshanger was challenged this year as Stevenage held a festive run for the first time, and nineteen Spartans duly lined up in Fairlands Valley.  ERICA GRAYSON has been improving well recently and celebrated the festive season with a new course PB (personal best) of 26 minutes 50 secondss.   She was two places behind the first Spartan woman, TRACY PEZ, who finished 9th in 26:24.  CLAIRE EMMERSON, KERSTIN WEINER and JENNY GARRETT were the other Spartans in the Top 30 women finishers.

TOM SAUKA finished 9th in 20:49 to be the best placed male Spartan.  BARRY OSBORNE and DAVE SMITH also finished in the top 30.

Spartans were in festive action up and down the country with Top 30 finishes also achieved by STEVE and ISABEL GREEN in Newcastle, VERITY FISHER at Peterborough, KAREN PALMER at Clair and TIM SABAN at Canons Park.


Clair for Karen at Christmas

KAREN PALMER ran the Christmas Day park run in Haywards Heath.  The course was 4 and a half laps and a hilly one.  Supposedly more downhill than up!  Pre race briefing for newbies said to expect a time at least a minute and a half longer.  She was pleased to finish in 28:48.


Coming Events

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


  • County Cross Country Championships at Cassiobury Park, Watford on Sunday 7th January.
  • Training session led by England Athletics at FVS Marriotts on Tuesday 9th January.
  • Cross Country League at Watford on Sunday 14th January.
  • Fred Hughes 10 miles including senior county championships at St. Albans on Sunday 21st January.
  • Southern Cross Country Championships on Saturday 27th January.
  • Watford Half Marathon inc. veteran county championships on Sunday 4th February.
  • Bramley 20/10 (20 miles or 10 miles) on Sunday 11th February.
  • St Valentine’s 30K at Stamford on Sunday 11th February.
  • Cross Country League at Royston on Sunday 18th February.
  • Fairlands Valley Spartans Champions Night on Friday 23rd February.
  • Baldock Beast on Sunday 25th February.
  • Welwyn Half Marathon on Sunday 4th March.
  • Finchley 20 miles (including Herts County) on Sunday 18th March.
  • Oakley 20 miles on Sunday 18th March.
  • Orion 15 at Chingford (Epping Forest) on Saturday 24th March.
  • London Marathon on Sunday 22nd April.
  • Stirling Marathon on Sunday 29th April.
  • Welwyn 10K including senior county championships on Sunday 24th June.



Spartans at Buntingford (most times at Buntingford are “gun” times):

69 Mark Collins Male Vet 40 22 01:09:56
77 Thomas Sauka Male Vet 40 26 01:11:17 PB
85 John Harris Male Vet 50 10 01:12:54
95 Yuko Gordon Female Vet 65 1 01:14:01 1st FV65
148 Madeleine Pritchard Senior Female 10 01:19:11
185 Jim Brown Male Vet 60 4 01:22:35 SB
243 Ann Tryssesoone Female Vet 45 30 01:26:21
269 Joanne Bowdery Senior Female 23 01:28:44
280 David Scott Senior Male 66 01:29:40
283 Neil Robinson Senior Male 67 01:30:11
307 Scott Rouse Senior Male 69 01:32:49
361 Karen Liddle Female Vet 55 10 01:38:47
382 Jenny Garrett Female Vet 45 63 01:41:35
393 Claire Emmerson Female Vet 45 66 01:43:03
394 Callie Chapman Senior Female 34 01:43:03 1st 10 mile race


Full Spartan results from the New Years Day parkruns are as below:

parkrun/date Pos Gen parkrunner Time Notes
1st January
Panshanger 3 2 Grant RAMSAY 00:18:02 NYD Double 1st leg
Panshanger 28 25 Tim SABAN 00:21:23 NYD Double 1st leg
Panshanger 87 77 Andy JAY 00:25:08
Panshanger 153 120 Andrew SMITH 00:28:14 NYD Double 1st leg
Panshanger 154 121 Dave SMITH 00:28:15 NYD Double 1st leg
Panshanger 165 39 Jackie DOWNES 00:28:32 NYD Double 1st leg
Panshanger 175 43 Verity FISHER 00:29:00 NYD Double 1st leg
Panshanger 176 133 Thomas SAUKA 00:29:02 NYD Double 1st leg
Panshanger 178 135 Tim ROBINSON 00:29:05 NYD Double 1st leg
Panshanger 232 164 James SOUTH 00:32:51 NYD Double 1st leg
Panshanger 235 70 Ruth REILLY 00:32:55 NYD Double 1st leg
Barclay 2 2 Grant RAMSAY 00:19:15 NYD Double 2nd leg
Stevenage 14 13 Tim SABAN 00:21:13 NYD Double 2nd leg
Stevenage 19 18 Dave SMITH 00:21:43 NYD Double 2nd leg
Stevenage 26 24 Thomas SAUKA 00:22:22 NYD Double 2nd leg
Stevenage 33 3 Madeleine PRITCHARD 00:22:33
Stevenage 40 4 Yuko GORDON 00:23:07
Stevenage 48 44 Barry OSBORNE 00:23:42
Stevenage 59 8 Julie SIMMONS 00:24:28
Stevenage 61 53 Mark BEASLEY 00:24:36
Stevenage 62 54 Andrew SMITH 00:24:40 NYD Double 2nd leg
Steveange 64 10 Rosie INGRAM 00:24:48
Stevenage 66 56 Lee PICKERSGILL 00:24:59
Stevenage 95 75 Ken JUDE 00:26:29
Stevenage 100 21 Jackie DOWNES 00:26:40 NYD Double 2nd leg, new course PB
Stevenage 101 22 Ruth REILLY 00:26:41 NYD Double 2nd leg
Stevenage 113 85 Tim ROBINSON 00:27:14 NYD Double 2nd leg
Stevenage 114 23 Hazel SMITH 00:27:14
Stevenage 115 87 Paul MAGUIRE 00:27:15
Stevenage 116 30 Jenny GARRETT 00:27:15
Stevenage 125 34 Verity FISHER 00:27:27 NYD Double 2nd leg
Stevenage 129 95 Darren EMMERSON 00:27:36
Stevenage 130 36 Nikki WILBY 00:27:37
Stevenage 143 39 Carole SHELDRICK 00:28:27
Stevenage 144 40 Victoria BRETT 00:28:28
Stevenage 155 112 Jon SYPULA 00:29:04
Stevenage 164 46 Hannah SYPULA 00:29:15
Stevenage 168 49 Karen PALMER 00:29:23
Stevenage 172 51 Catherine CRAIG 00:29:35
Stevenage 176 126 James SOUTH 00:29:47 NYD Double 2nd leg
Stevenage 192 59 Caroline CROFT 00:30:23
Stevenage 196 137 Michael O’KEEFE 00:30:29 NYD Double 2nd leg
Stevenage 212 67 Karen BROOM 00:31:33
Stevenage 247 92 Sarah SAPSTEAD 00:34:34
Stevenage 282 112 Emma POULTER 00:37:59
Stevenage 297 126 Caren THAIN 00:39:40
Stevenage 299 128 Lynsey CHALKLEY 00:41:12
Stevenage 315 183 Ian ALEXANDER 00:54:57 Tail walker
Luton Wardown 96 71 Michael O’KEEFE 00:28:44 NYD Double 1st leg,New course PB


Full parkrun results for 23rd December below:


parkrun/date Pos Gen parkrunner Time Notes
23rd December
Westmill 41 13 Tracy STILES 00:33:06 13th woman, new course PB
Medina IOW 303 197 Paul WHYTE 00:34:47
Stevenage 1 1 Grant RAMSAY 00:17:17 1st finisher
Stevenage 26 25 Thomas SAUKA 00:21:12
Stevenage 35 34 Dave SMITH 00:22:05
Stevenage 38 37 Martin DUDLEY 00:22:22
Stevenage 39 38 David RIDDELL 00:22:37
Stevenage 41 40 Chris HOLLAND 00:22:42
Stevenage 43 2 Yuko GORDON 00:22:45
Stevenage 55 7 Madeleine PRITCHARD 00:23:23
Stevenage 64 9 Jo BOWDERY 00:23:51
Stevenage 71 60 Daniel SUTTON 00:24:20
Stevenage 77 65 Lee PICKERSGILL 00:24:58
Stevenage 86 72 Neil ROBINSON 00:26:01
Stevenage 149 113 James SOUTH 00:30:19
Stevenage 185 128 Michael ANDREWS 00:33:33
Stevenage 224 81 Verity FISHER 00:42:53
Panshanger 48 6 Ruth REILLY 00:22:45 New couse PB
Panshanger 130 102 Ken JUDE 00:27:43
Panshanger 132 104 Andy JAY 00:27:47
Lullingstone 40 30 Michael O’KEEFE 00:32:26
Wyre Forest 205 140 Peter CARPENTER 00:34:10
Ellenbrook Fields 15 15 Barry OSBORNE 00:21:23


Full Spartan parkrun results for 25th December below:

parkrun/date Pos Gen parkrunner Time Notes
25th  December
Newcastle 16 15 Steve GREEN 00:20:00
Newcastle 112 21 Isabel GREEN 00:24:27
Newcastle 213 159 Roger HARDMAN 00:28:21
Lymington Woodside 156 99 Darryl STEVENS 00:41:41
Peterborough 94 87 Daniel SUTTON 00:23:46
Peterborough 139 16 Verity FISHER 00:25:26
Stevenage 9 9 Thomas SAUKA 00:20:49
Stevenage 21 19 Barry OSBORNE 00:22:15
Stevenage 30 28 Dave SMITH 00:23:13
Stevenage 50 43 Neil ROBINSON 00:25:41
Stevenage 55 47 Nick GILL 00:26:20
Stevenage 57 9 Tracy PEZ 00:26:24
Stevenage 65 11 Erica GRAYSON 00:26:50 New course PB
Stevenage 87 70 Mark BEASLEY 00:28:01
Stevenage 107 27 Claire EMMERSON 00:30:04
Stevenage 109 82 Darren EMMERSON 00:30:09
Stevenage 111 29 Kerstin WEINER 00:30:11
Stevenage 115 30 Jenny GARRETT 00:30:30
Stevenage 124 91 David SCOTT 00:31:37
Stevenage 125 34 Karen BROOM 00:31:38
Stevenage 126 35 Carole SHELDRICK 00:31:46
Stevenage 127 36 Caroline CROFT 00:31:46
Stevenage 138 41 Tracy STILES 00:33:05
Stevenage 166 57 Caren THAIN 00:40:44
Stevenage 169 59 Emma MARTIN 00:41:49
Clair 77 20 Karen PALMER 00:28:48
Canons Park 13 10 Tim SABAN 00:20:59
Panshanger 86 75 Chris HOLLAND 00:24:44
Panshanger 108 94 Andy JAY 00:25:51
Panshanger 132 112 Ken JUDE 00:26:43


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