Well travelled Spartans in Edinburgh, Krakow, Leiden, Koblenz and Kent!

Fairlands Valley Spartans enjoyed some great weather for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival.

In the full marathon RICHARD HAZELDENE ran a new personal best (PB) of 3 hours 29 minutes 18 seconds. He was 873rd out of many thousand runners.

In the half marathon MARK GOODWIN has joined the sub 100 minute club with a new personal best of 1 hour 39 minutes 28 seconds (614th). PETE SMITH was the fastest Spartan in 1:32:28 (266th out of 5,000 plus runners).

TRACY PEZ ran a new year’s best (YB) 1:42:55 (864th); ANDY PRIOR a new PB of 1:49:16 (1472nd); ANDY JAY a new YB of 1:52:34 (1887th); ROGER HARDMAN finished in 1 hour 56 minutes 21 seconds on his 65th birthday (2,362nd); ISABEL GREEN improved her personal best by six minutes, she took 1:56:49 (2,416th); NICK WITCOMBE edged closer to two hours with a new personal best of 2 hours and 29 seconds (2:00:29; 2,957th); Club Chair BEV HARLOW was 3,230th in 2:02:38; CHRIS HARDMAN was chuffed with her time of 2:02:42 (3,240th); KAREN SMITH ran a new PB of 2:03:53 (3,382nd) and TRACY STILES a new YB of 2:18:26.

Position Name Time Comments
266 PETE SMITH 1:32:28
614 MARK GOODWIN 1:39:27 PB
864 TRACY PEZ (F) 1:42:55 YB
1472 ANDY PRIOR 1:49:16 PB
1887 ANDY JAY 1:52:34 YB
2362 ROGER HARDMAN 1:56:21 65th Birthday
2416 ISABEL GREEN (F) 1:56:49 PB by 6 minutes.
2957 NICK WITCOMBE 2:00:29 PB
3230 BEV HARLOW (F) 2:02:38 The Chair
3240 CHRIS HARDMAN (F) 2:02:42 Chuffed
3382 KAREN SMITH (F) 2:03:53 PB
4965 TRACY STILES (F) 2:18:26 YB

The great support from Jayne Pinner and Amanda Prior was very appreciated by all runners

On Saturday DANNY HUKIN finished 14th in the 10K with a time of 39 minutes 46 seconds and SARAH HUKIN (plus bump) ran in the 5K. She was 353rd in 35:36.

Challenge Hub 24 Hours

DAVE BOWKER ran a 24 hour race at the weekend. A bit of a scorcher but he survived! It was the Challenge Hub Multiterrain 24 Hour Race near Herne Bay, Kent. It started at 1p.m. Saturday and finished at 1p.m. Sunday.

On laps of 6.55 miles (i.e. a quarter of a marathon) the course was flat but hard on varying surfaces. Recent rain left large puddles to negotiate. There were several miles of broken concrete farm tracks but the worst stretch was probably a stretch of grass track with tractor ruts running its length – all good fun once it got dark.

There were 26 starters. The winner ran 101 miles and Dave was sixth with 78.6 (three marathons).

Cracovia Interrun

Anne Marie and Andy Neatham competed in the Cracovia Interrun in Krakow, Poland at the weekend. Anne Marie ran the 5k event and finished in 504th place in a time of 29 minutes 57 seconds. Andy ran the 10k event finishing 15th overall and 2nd Over 40 in a time of 36.53, going through 5k with a chip time of 17.26. Both runners were slowed significantly in the second half of the race when the 5k and 10k events merged causing heavy traffic. There were over 3000 runners in both events, with a good prize list and a great atmosphere, an event to be recommended.

Leiden Marathon

ROGER BIGGS travelled to Leiden in the Netherlands, for a marathon in and around Leiden. There are canals, and bridges over them, everywhere meaning that the course was usually alongside or passing over canals. Other than the bridges and four underpasses, the course was snooker table flat. However the wind seemed to be coming from all directions, making it hard work at times. Roger kept going throughout the event, and was pleased to run his second best marathon of 2013, finishing in 3:55:31.

Mittelrhein Marathon

On Sunday CAROL PAUL ran the Mittelrhein Marathon in Koblenz, Germany. There4 was very heavy rain. She finished in 4:26:22.

Coming Events

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

• Mid Week League 10K in Chingford on Wednesday 29th May.
• EVAC at Stevenage on Wednesday 5th June.
• Garden House 5K in Fairlands Valley Park on Sunday 9th June.
• St. Albans Half Marathon on Sunday 9th June.
• Mid Week League 10K in Harlow on Wednesday 12th June.
• Mid Week League Five Miles in Welwyn GC on Wednesday 26th June.
• County 10K track championships at Sandy on Thursday 11th July.
• Mob Match 9K in Trent Park, North London on Wednesday 17th July.
• Fairlands Valley Challenge on Sunday 21st July.
• Relays in the Park in Stevenage on Thursday 25th July.
• Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 5th September
• Herts Senior 5K Championships in WGC on Tuesday 24th September.
• County 10K Championships in Letchworth on Sunday 6th October.
• Herts Veterans 5K Championships in WGC on Tuesday 8th October.
• County 10 Mile Championships for veterans on Sunday 27th October.
• Stevenage Half Marathon on Sunday 3rd November.
• County Ten Miles Championship in Buntingford on 30th December 2013.

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 about 400 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, Brittain Way, 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 9.30a.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 done very much running yet might prefer to start with a Thursday, Saturday or Monday session.

Try a few sessions before joining. Membership is only £35 per year, £25 without UKA membership. Concessions are available. Membership forms are available on the Spartans website Please ask if you would like a paper copy.

If you want to know more about the Spartans please contact Jim Brown (0793 968 7509 or 01438 354505), Vivienne Honey 07702 846304 or visit their website

More from Jim Brown (Press Officer) 0793 968 7509 / 01438 354505 or Vivienne Honey (Secretary) 07702 846304

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