News Race Results


Third in League * Sport Relief Coming

Once again Fairlands Valley Spartans turned out more than forty runners for a cross country league race AND the Stevenage based club had five men in the top twenty. Despite snow, ice, lots of mud and hills ANDREW PATTERSON beat 35 minutes for about 10 tough kilometres and was third overall in 34 minutes 59 seconds. Just two behind CRAIG HALSEY was fifth in 35:30. Then GRANT RAMSAY was 12th in 36:33; BRIAN BRACKSTONE 14th in 37:03 and CHRIS WESTCOTT 16th in 37:11. The “A” team was completed by JASON ANDERSON, 24th in 37:58; PAUL HEWETT, 40th in 39:02 and KEITH COUGHLIN, 52nd in 39:53.

This means the Spartan men were second in the race and are now third in the league out of twenty clubs.

Running her first cross country for the Spartans CLAIRE WHITCHURCH was first woman for the club finishing 28th female in 49:07. The others in the FVS women’s “A” team were CLAIRE COX, 48th in 51:17; HAZEL CLARK, 52nd in 51:38; ISOBEL GREEN, 55th in 52:28 and SOPHIE COWAN, 58th in 52:43.

There were about 345 runners so the 44 from Fairlands Valley Spartans were very visible in all parts of the race.

The other 23 male Spartan runners made up “B” and “C” teams with some to spare. It was eight to count for the men’s teams. They were DAVID RIDDELL, 63rd in 40 minutes 44 seconds; STEVE GREEN, 67th in 40:58; PAUL WHYTE, 68th in 41:00; TODD GRAY, 103rd in 42:54; JOHN NELMS, 113th in 43:43; KARL CLARKE, 118th in 44:06; TIM SABAN, 119th in 44:09 and THOMAS SAUKA, 133rd in 45:38 for the “B” team, then NICK CROWLEY, 143rd in 46 minutes 14 seconds; JAMES KILROY, 163rd in 47:18; STEVE SMITHSON, 169th in 47:29; PETE SMITH, 170th in 47:43; MARK GOODWIN, 171st in 47:59; TIM ROBINSON, 225th in 50:49; KEN JUDE, 241st in 52:17 and MARK CHEADLE, 246th in 52:46 made up the FVS “C” team.

The women’s “B” team (five to count) were SARAH PIKE, 69th in 54:06; PETA WILSON, 73rd in 54:41; LAUREN ING, 87th in 56:44 and SUE HAMER, 89th in 56:52 and newcomer JENNY GARRETT 99th in 60:08.

In addition OLWEN BATTY was 100th in 60:44, SHARON CROWLEY 101st in 61:26 and NICOLA TOUT 111th in 64:41, and for the men ANDY JAY 268th overall in 54:41; STEVE PIKE 270th in 54:26; MARK FREEMAN team organiser 300th in 57:54; NICK WITCOMBE 316th in 62:19; PAUL HOLGATE 321st in 62:38; STEVE GOUGH 331st in 66:00and IAN ALEXANDER 345th in 73:01 all ran well for the club.

Men’s Results

Position Name Category Time
12 GRANT RAMSAY V40 36:33
63 DAVID RIDDELL V50 40:44
67 STEVE GREEN V40 40:58
68 PAUL WHYTE SM 41:00
103 TODD GRAY SM 42:54
113 JOHN NELMS V40 43:43
118 KARL CLARKE SM 44:06
119 TIM SABAN V40 44:09
133 THOMAS SAUKA V40 45:38
169 STEVE SMITHSON V40 47:29
170 PETE SMITH V50 47:43
171 MARK GOODWIN V50 47:59
225 TIM ROBINSON V40 50:49
241 KEN JUDE V50 52:17
268 ANDY JAY V50 54:14
270 STEVE PIKE V50 54:26
300 MARK FREEMAN V50 57:54
316 NICK WITCOMBE V40 62:19
321 PAUL HOLGATE V50 62:38
331 STEVE GOUGH V40 66:00
340 IAN ALEXANDER V50 73:01


Women’s Results


Position Name Category Time
48 CLAIRE COX V35 51.17
52 HAZEL CLARK V35 51.38
55 ISOBEL GREEN V35 52.28
58 SOPHIE COWAN V35 52.43
69 SARAH PIKE SW 54.06
73 PETA WILSON V45 54:41
87 LAUREN ING SW 56.44
89 SUE HAMER V45 56:52
99 JENNY GARRETT V45 60:08
100 OLWEN BATTY SW 60:44
101 SHARON CROWLEY V55 61.26
111 NICOLA TOUT V35 64:41


31 men. 13 women.


Hong Kong Marathon

Battling it out in monsoon conditions, poor air quality and high heat at the same time DANIEL BATES ran the Hong Kong Marathon. Very unusual conditions to race in but he had a plan for the race. Returning to fitness, he decided to race the first ten miles then steady pacing for the rest of the course which lead to him finishing 1119th out of 5637 runners in 3:44:37 and also the eighth runner home from United Kingdom.

Daniel says he couldn’t believe the length of the inclines on the bridges and tunnels and 90% of the route was on motorways so the atmosphere was very very boring! Never been so wet in his life!

Now it’s time for him to head back to Sweden and Latvia this week before returning back to Stevenage.


Phoenix Rock’n’Roll Marathon – Sunday, 17th January

The Phoenix Rock ’n’ Roll is part of a worldwide marathon series featuring live bands on the course. The race started in downtown Phoenix, and finished by the Salt River in Tempe.

A week of rich meals, oversize Stateside meals, and no training, not forgetting wall to wall sunshine, meant a tough day for Roger.

Surprisingly it took quite a while to warm up, around 8C at the start, but into the low 20s Celsius by the finish. J ust to make things worse, all the hills came in the last 4 miles.

Roger just managed to hold things together to creep under 5 hours. He finished in 4:58:45.


Saturday Parkrun Reports

At Panshanger Park NATALIE LAWRENCE was the first female finisher and eighth overall of the 254 runners in superb time of 18 minutes 47 seconds. VERITY FISHER was next Spartan finisher (67th in 24:22) followed by DANNY SUTTON (85th, 25:02).

Other Spartans running at Panshanger were ANDY JAY (86th, 25:17), TIM ROBINSON (99th, 25:51), JEANETTE COLLINS (123rd, 27:30), EMMA KINSEY (130th, 27:59), KAREN PALMER (137th in a new course PB of 28:32), CAROLINE CROFT (142nd, 28:51, new course PB), LESLEY JEIVE (143rd, 28:51, new course PB), HEATHER MOLONEY (179th, 30:39, new course PB) and TRACY STILES running her first parkrun (182nd, 31:22).

At Wimpole Estate JOHN HARRIS was 13th finisher of 248 in as time of 20:46, while at Brockenhurst DARRYL STEVENS was 126th in 46:23 in his first parkrun.

Finally, RICHARD KENNEDY and NICOLA HABERLAND were in action at Holkham parkrun, Richard finishing 13th in a new course PB time of 22:05 and Nicola finishing 25th in a time of 23:22, also a new course PB time.


People of Stevenage to walk and run themselves proud for Sport Relief

The Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile is back – and it’s coming to Stevenage. The town is set to host its second Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile on Sunday 20th March, and needs local people to come together and make themselves proud by entering now at

Local heroes from Stevenage will be walking and running themselves proud during the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile to raise life-changing money for Sport Relief 2016.

The colourful, cheerful and eager Milers will be doing their bit to make a difference to people living across the UK and the world’s poorest communities.

Setting off from Ridlins End Running Track the Stevenage Mile will be contained on the track, with the 3 and 6 mile events starting and finishing on the track having taken in the sights of the surrounding park. This is set to be an even bigger and better event than ever before.

Fairlands Valley Spartans Running Club will be hosting the Stevenage Mile and are pleased to confirm that one of their members, John Nelms, a Hertfordshire Police Officer and keen endurance runner, will be taking on the epic challenge of completing 100 miles within 24 hours all on the running track.   John will be starting his epic challenge at 10am on Saturday 19th March, during the clubs usual track training session, and by running through the night aims to have completed the mammoth 402 laps by the time the Sport Relief Mile starts at 10:15am on Sunday 20th March.   We encourage anybody that wants to support John during this huge challenge to come along to the track anytime between 9am and 10pm on Saturday and from 9am on Sunday.   Any runners wishing to join him for some laps are welcome to do so, but should sign up and pay for one of the Stevenage Mile sessions available, but then contact Race Director James Kilroy to confirm when you intend on joining John.

James Kilroy of Fairlands Valley Spartans Running Club said: “The Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile in Stevenage is here and it’s your time to walk or run yourself proud. From little ones with their mums and dads, to runners up against the clock there’s something for everyone to make themselves feel proud on this special day.   Additionally I am super pleased to accommodate John’s amazing 24 hour challenge and will be onsite throughout to support John, I encourage anyone wishing to help in some way to get in touch with me via our Facebook page or email below and wish John every success during his training over the next 4 weeks”.

Sport Relief is back from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March 2016 and there are more ways than ever for you to take part, change lives and feel proud. Whether you get sponsored to enter an event at the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games or fundraise with friends and family at home, work or school, you’ll help people living incredibly tough lives. In fact, half of all the money raised by the public is spent right here at home in the UK, with the other half used to make a difference in the world’s poorest communities.

Fairlands Valley Spartans Head Coach and qualified personal trainer, Andy Prior will be onsite to motivate and warm up all participants 15 minutes before their Sport Relief start times with some funky music and moves.

Club celebrity Andy J will have mic in hand to keep the crowd entertained whilst you wait for heroic friends and family to do us proud during their walk or run.

Various refreshments will be available for all participants and be available to buy for supporters.

Fairlands Valley personnel will be on hand throughout. If you are interested in finding out more about joining a friendly running club, whether you are looking to run socially in a safe and fun environment or wish to progress with particular goals in mind we have sessions to suit all.


Coming Events

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


  • Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 21st January.
  • Fred Hughes 10 including the County Ten Mile Championships for Veterans on Sunday 24th January.
  • Serpentine 5K in Hyde Park on Friday 29th January.
  • South of England Cross Country Championships in London on Saturday 30th January.
  • Watford Half Marathon including the County Championships for Veterans on Sunday 7th February.
  • Fifth and final cross country league race on Therfield Heath on Sunday 14th February.
  • County Veterans Cross Country Championships on Sunday 13th March (probably Watford).
  • Finchley 20 on Sunday 13th March.
  • Essex 20 including Intercounties on Sunday 20th March.
  • Sport Relief on Sunday 20th March.
  • Maidenhead Easter Ten on Friday 25th March.
  • County 20 Miles Championships at Oakley on Sunday 3rd April.
  • Halstead Marathon, including Hertfordshire County Championships for seniors and veterans, on Sunday 8th May.
  • Stevenage Half Marathon, a Stevenage 70 event, on Sunday 6th November.


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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