News from the Flitwick 10k, Bungay Marathon, Park runs and the Calderdale Hike

Fairlands were faster at Flitwick as TIM SABAN, YLLKA ISTREFI and KEN JUDE all achieved new personal bests in the 10K race.

Tim Saban trimmed five seconds off his PB to finish 77th out of the 705 finishers with a time of 42 minutes 32 seconds. Yllka was second in her category, ninth woman and 113th overall in her new personal best of 44 minutes 5 seconds, an improvement of 29 seconds.

49 minutes 5 seconds was a new PB for Ken Jude by 1 min 54 secs over his previous attempt of the distance and his first run in a Spartans vest. He says the Power of the Stripes and the Spartans training sessions are really improving his running.

JOHN NELMS was 112th in 44:05. Running steadily ahead of next week’s London Marathon, JIM BROWN was 262nd in 49 minutes 44 seconds. ANDY JAY was 308th in 50:54 and NICK WITCOMBE 583 rd in 1:01:01.

Position Name Time Comments
77 TIM SABAN 42:32 PB (5 seconds)
112 JOHN NELMS 44:05
113 YLLKA ISTREFI 44:05 PB (0:29) & 2nd FV35.
246 KEN JUDE 49:05 PB (1:54)
262 JIM BROWN 49:44
308 ANDY JAY 50:54
583 NICK WITCOMBE 1:01:01

There were 705 finishers.

Two Out Of Four So Far

NICOLA HABERLAND and RICHARD KENNEDY completed the third out of their four marathons this month at Bungay on Sunday. They both finished in 3 hours 42 minutes 46 seconds. Nicola was third in her category and seventh woman overall. Not quite as fast as last week, but they were both still very happy to have managed a sub 3:45 marathon each again.

Parkrun Reports

DANIEL BATES completed his 50th parkrun at the Panshanger course in Hertford in hot conditions for this time of year. Going into the run recovering from the Paris Marathon and preparing for the St George’s Day marathon in Deal & Walmer (Kent) this Thursday, this was a good test to see how the legs are coping. The pacing was good, ground was hard, lots of flies which he had to avoid swallowing and he finished 22nd out of 205 runners in a time of 22 minutes 35 seconds, a new course PB for him. JEANETTE COLLINS got a parkrun PB by finishing the course 97th in 27-06.

Verity Fisher and Danny Sutton took part in the very first parkrun to be held at Luton’s Wardown Park. Danny put in a good effort by finishing 26th in a time of 21-47. Verity came in at 25-17 in 70th position.

Tim Saban completed the Finsbury park for the first time and finished the two lap course in 21-11 (41st out of 243 runners). Yllka Istrefi was third female home in a time of 22-24, a new parkrun PB beating her previous best time by 11 seconds. She finished in 68th place.

Lucy Field came in 206th out of 454 runners at the Cambridge parkrun finishing in 26-04.

Get The Bus To The London Marathon

Want an easy way to get to the start of the London Marathon? Fairlands Valley Spartans are organising a runners’ coach from Old Stevenage to Blackheath and there are still some places left. You do not have to be an FVS member to travel. The bus will leave Primett
Road at 6.30a.m. promptly and you must book in advance. It costs £10. To book please contact Roger Biggs (07748 326301; as quickly as possible.

Crowleys In Calderdale

On Saturday 11th April, Sharon and Mike Crowley took part in the Calderdale Hike organised by the 24th (St. Paul’s) Pennine Calder Scout Group. They took 9 hours 42 minutes to complete the 26 mile route along parts of the Pennine Way, which included nearly 2000 metres of climb. And this was the ‘short route’! There were no written instructions for this event – it was a map reading exercise, which proved interesting up on the moors with no paths to follow.

They started from Sowerby Bridge in the rain, but this did ease, and the sun came out momentarily. But the rain returned, and this turned into hail. At various parts along the route, the hail could later be seen in sheltered areas at the bottom of the stone walls. This eased, only to return around lunchtime, but not quite so severe. But atop the moors, it was still not pleasant! The weather then eased, and the sun came out for a couple of hours in the afternoon. A couple of the check points were serving hot tea and cheese sandwiches – very welcome indeed.

Running London?

Twenty four Fairlands Valley Spartans have declared that they are running this Sunday’s London Marathon. Some have qualified on time; some came out of the draw; many are running for charity.


Dozens of other Spartans have volunteered to help at the finish. The event relies on voluntary help from running clubs.

Coming Events

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

London Marathon on Sunday 26th April.
Handicap 5K on Thursday 30th April.
County 1500 metres track championship in Stevenage on Monday 4th May.
County 5 miles senior championships at Pednor on Monday evening 4th May.
EVAC Track & Field League at Milton Keynes on Wednesday 6th May.
Midweek Road Race League race in Stevenage on Tuesday 12th May.
Midweek Road Race League race in Chingford on Wednesday 27th May.
EVAC Track & Field League at Bedford on Wednesday 3rd June.
Midweek Road Race League race in Harlow on Wednesday 17th June.
EVAC Track & Field League in Biggleswade on Wednesday 1st July.
Midweek Road Race League race in Hitchin on Thursday 2nd July.
Bushey 10K including Herts Veterans road championships on Sunday 5th July.
County 10000 metres track championship in Biggleswade on Thursday 9th July.
Midweek Mob Match in Welwyn Garden City on Thursday 16th July.
Fairlands Valley Off Road Challenge on Sunday 19th July.
EVAC Track & Field League at venue TBA on Wednesday 29th July.
County and Open 3K Relay Championship in Stevenage on Thursday 30th July.
County 5K Senior Championships on 2nd September.
County 5K Veterans Championship on 16th September.
Standalone 10K (inc. country senior champs) in Letchworth on Sunday 4th October.
Great Eastern Run in Peterborough on 11th October.
Stevenage Half Marathon (includes County Veterans) on Sunday 1st November.
St. Neots Half Marathon on Sunday 15
th November.
County 10 miles Veterans Championship at Buntingford on 27th December.

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 membership. 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), Karen Palmer (07734678566) or visit their website


More from Jim Brown (Press Officer) 0793 968 7509 or Karen Palmer (Secretary)

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