Fairlands Valley Spartans were at eleven different races in the last few days.

News from park runs, Wolverhampton, Maidenhead, Harlow and Kent, not forgetting the open 5K county championships


Three ran in the open 5K county championships on Wednesday. BARRY OSBORNE, a veteran (60 plus), was 45th out of the 140 finishers in a superb sub 20 time of 19 minutes 51 seconds. ROGER BIGGS was 109th in 26:17 and PAUL HOLGATE 116th in 27:13.

The veterans’ 5K county championship will be in Hatfield on Wednesday 16th September. It will incorporated in open race so seniors can also join in.

Harlow Ten

Three Spartans enjoyed a warm day in Harlow for the Harlow Ten. VISH SHAH finished in 1 hour 20 minutes 11 seconds (106th); ANDY JAY in 1:22:35 (125th) and club secretary KAREN PALMER in 1:33:25 (171st). There were 208 finishers.

Maidenhead Half Marathon.

ROB EVANS chose the scenic Maidenhead event for the third race of his “Half-a-Dozen Half Marathons” Challenge. Although it was sunny and warm, Rob managed to complete the course in 1:46:08.

Spitfire 10K

STEVE GREEN had a blast at Sunday’s inaugural Spitfire 10k. The race at the RAF Hendon museum was organised to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the battle of Britain. The flat
but twisty course started by a Lancaster bomber and finished next to a Spitfire. In lovely sunshine it took him 41 minutes 6 seconds. He was ninth and won an Airfix kit!. BARBARA WILSON was first female veteran (60 plus) and 127th overall in 52 minutes 22 seconds.

Kent Coastal Marathon

On a lovely sunny & warm day, ROGER BIGGS travelled to Cliftonville on the Kent Coast, for the popular Kent Coastal Marathon. From Cliftonville the course went east then south along the undulating Coast to Broadstairs and on to Ramsgate, before returning along the same roads back to Cliftonville. Ignoring those finishing the half marathon, the course continued West through Margate, then mainly along the seawall, before returning to the finish along the front at Cliftonvile.

Roger found the combination of undulating roads and intensity of the sun a bit tough, and finished in 5:27:11

Wolverhampton Marathon

On Sunday CAROL PAUL ran the Wolverhampton marathon. The course was a two lap undulating course with a couple of hills through the streets of Wolverhampton in very sunny conditions. Carol completed the marathon in 4:40:45

First Saturday

TRACY PEZ ran the Month race on Norton Common. She was second woman in 23 minutes 8 seconds and 14th overall out of the 58 finishers.

Parkrun Reports

DANIEL BATES took on the Barclay Parkrun, one of the newest to pop up on the parkrun circuit in the local area. In Hoddesdon the course consists of three laps, mostly uphill, some grassy sections and a narrow concrete path. Despite the heavy rain this wasn’t going to stop Bates finishing second out of 55 runners in a time of 21-37, finishing one minute and thirty-six
seconds behind the winner and one minute ahead of third place. Daniel led from the start for the first 200 metres but stayed in second for the remainder of the run.

The usual culprits were out at Spartan’s favourite local course, Panshanger down in Hertford. John Roxborough finished 31st out of 215 runners in 22-43, missing out on a Parkrun PB by four seconds. Tim Robinson finished 47th in 23-44 giving him a new Parkrun PB and there were wild celebrations afterwards at the finish line when greeted by the fans! Andy Jay came in 72nd with a time of 25-21. Afterwards he said on social media ‘I wasn’t pushing it today, saving myself for the Harlow 10 tomorrow’. Isabel Green came in 114th with a 27-47 whilst vice-chair Nick Witcombe continued his good form recently with another parkrun PB coming in 137th with a 28-49.

St Alban’s parkrun saw the return to form of VERITY FISHER back from injury with a new Parkrun personal best (PB), completing the three lap course in 24-26, finishing 114th out of 315 runners. Daniel Sutton, her pacer finished 115th in 24-26, missing out on a PB by seven seconds.

CRAIG BACON completed his first ever parkrun at Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire, finishing 34th out of 267 runners in a time of 22-44. First timer at 75 plus TONY OSBORNE was 245th in 35 minutes 33 seconds.

Ian’s Fundraising

IAN ALEXANDER’s fund raising activities continue. Apart from his running he recently sold eight paintings and raised £1,000 for charity. So far he has raised £8,637 this year not including his recent marathon. He is raising money for the special needs school.

Get Training for the Stevenage Half

Looking ahead entries have opened for the Stevenage Half Marathon which will be on Sunday 1
st November. This event is open to all aged 17 and over but will include the county championships for veterans. Visit for more details; an online entry system and how you can train with the Spartans.

Coming Events

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

EVAC Track and Field Final on Sunday 13th September.
County 5K Veterans Championship and Open 5K Race in Hatfield on Wednesday evening 16th September.
Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday evening 17th September.
Club Handicap 10 mile race on Sunday 20th September.
Serpentine 5K in Hyde Park on Friday 25th September.
Standalone 10K (inc. county senior champs) in Letchworth on Sunday 4th October.
Great Eastern Run in Peterborough on Sunday 11th October.
First cross country league race at Cheshunt on Sunday 18th October.
Abingdon Marathon on Sunday 18th October.
Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday evening 22nd October.
Serpentine 5K in Hyde Park at Friday lunchtime 30th October.
Stevenage Half Marathon (includes County Veterans) on Sunday 1st November.
St. Neots Half Marathon on Sunday 15th November.
Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday evening 19th November.
Second cross country league race in Trent Park on Sunday 22nd November.
Serpentine 5K in Hyde Park at Friday lunchtime 27th November.
Spartans Christmas Party on Friday 4th December.
Third cross country league race at Willian on Sunday 6th December.
Handicap5K in Stevenage on Thursday evening 17th December.
County 10 miles Veterans Championship at Buntingford on Monday 28th December.
Fourth cross country league race in Watford on Sunday 17th January.
Fifth and final cross country league race on Therfield Heath on Sunday 14th February.

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), Andy Neatham 0777 197 5499 and 01438 816889; or Karen Palmer (07734678566) or visit their website


More from Jim Brown (Press Officer) 0793 968 7509; Andy Neatham 0777 197 5499 and 01438 816889 or Karen Palmer (Secretary) 0773 467 8566

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