Please note: there was an incorrect start time recorded for a runner in the 18 mile event on Sunday which meant an incorrect result was published initially on 19th July. This has been corrected in both the text below and the updated downloadable file on the link at the end of this report. Further corrections were made and uploaded on 1st August.
Another glorious weekend for the challenge, maybe a little too glorious as the heat certainly presented an extra element to the word…challenge, however we are happy to report that there were no issues as everyone from first timers to seasoned challenge veterans looked after themselves and remained well hydrated whilst self-navigating their way round the glorious Hertfordshire Countryside.
Saturday saw the return of the 6 mile challenge that was introduced last year with 35 runners and walkers taking part. Fairlands Valley Spartans own Liam Herbert took the honours in 47:12. Another Spartan Olwen Batty was the first female home in 59:03. It was also great to see Stuart Haycroft walk the course with his daughter in a shoulder carry harness in 1:50:58.
The sun was out again on Sunday as another 214 walkers and runners arrived to test themselves around the 12 mile, 18 mile, marathon and 50k routes.
First home on the 12 mile route was Stuart Haycroft in 1:45, this time without his daughter on his back. Daniel Hall from Eton Manor AC was in 2nd place overall and 1st V40 male with a time of 1:57:34. Sian Mitchell of Garden City Runners was first female home in 2:13:33. Deidre Heydecker wasn’t far behind in 2:14:08 as 2nd female and 1st V55 female. Anthony Brown and Helen Spokes of Harpenden Arrows crossed the line in 2:25:50 as 1st V50 male and 1st V45 female respectively. Jerry Gilbert of Garden City Runners finished in 2:51:41 to take the V60 male honours. Pauline Hardy of Fairlands Valley Spartans was 1st V65 female in 3:26:59, with another Spartan Darryl Stevens 1st V50 male in 3:35:35.
The 18 mile route saw Liam Herbert take his 2nd victory of the weekend in 3:02:17, great work from our Spartan. 1st place female was shared by another Spartan Isabel Green and Ware Joggers Jill Patel crossing the line in 3:08:40. Jill was also 1st V45 female and Isabel 1st V35 female. Johnathan Little from Ware Joggers was 3rd male finisher and 1st male V50 in 4:01:19. Two North Herts Road Runners, Ellie Scott and Linda Aird, crossed the line together in 4:02:12 with Linda taking 1st place V55 female. Luke Hart from St. Albans Striders took the V40 male honours in 4:23:28.
The marathon again proved the most popular distance with 108 participants. James Warner Smith crossed the line 1st in 3:58:48. Billericay Striders Christine Howard was 3rd overall and 1st female home in 4:23:08. Neil George was 4th overall and 1st V40 male in 4:29:34. Spartans own Carol Paul was 1st V45 female in 4:42:02. Richard Fullbrook of the 100 Marathon Club was 1st place V50 male in 4:57:06, crossing the line with 1st place V60 male Dennis Baudry from Garden City Runners. Jude Clark was 1st V35 female in 5:09:50 and Frances Cooke 1st V55 female in 5:26:24. Verne Baltrop did amazing as 1st V70 male in 5:56:27. Herts Phoenix Joe Avery took 1st place V60 male in 7:13:50. Hazel Kurz of the 100 Marathon Club was 1st V35 female in 7:15:07, Vanessa Bysouth 1st V45 female in 7:28:50, Andy Weston 1st V40 male in 7:28:50. Eleaner and Dennis Draper of Garden City Runners crossed the line together in 8:02:53 to claim 1st V75 female and 1st V80 male…..amazing guys. Raymond Hoyle from Watford Harriers took 1st V70 male in 8:47 and finally Julie Wing from Reading Road Runners took 1st V65 female in 8:50:26.
The 50k Ultra Marathon saw Mark Ford of Buggyrunning.co.uk take 1st place overall and 1st V40 male in 4:31:27. Sean Bowen of Garden City Runners was 1st V50 male in 4:40:03. North Herts Road Runners Jo Summers was overall 1st female and 1st V45 across the line in 5:12:09. Emily Hooper of Harpenden Arrows 1st V35 female in 6:03:24. Another North Herts Road Runner Susan Foot crossed the line in 8:34:20 to take 1st V55 female and finally David Moles of the 100 Marathon Club was 1st V60 male in 8:42:27.
We would like to thank all the Fairlands Valley Spartans and extended friends and families that helped put on this amazing event for the 23rd year in a row.
Official race photography was supplied by Pete Smith, Dave Stephenson, Ann Tryssesoone and Chris Holland and all proceeds from the sale of photos is going to a great charity the Gambia Project – please visit: www.psphotography.me.uk/Fairlands-Valley-Challenge to find and buy your pictures.
Full results are now available in MS Excel format at the link below this article.
Plans are already underway to further improve this event for next year, so please keep July 15th and 16th free as we hope to see you all again.