Fast at St Neots and Spartans’ Flying Scotsman

News from 35 Spartans at the St Neots half, Grant competing for Scotland, the Dirt Half Marathon Challenge and more

The fast St Neots Half Marathon always attracts a good entry and 35 Fairlands Valley Spartans were competing on Sunday with many achieving excellent results.

SIMON JACKSON was a brilliant ninth out of 917 finishers in 1 hour 15 minutes 50 seconds and MADDIE PRITCHARD took a huge 5 minutes 34 seconds off her personal best (PB) when she finished in 1:42:31. NICK WITCOMBE finally broke two hours with his 1:56:24 – an improvement of 4 minutes 4 seconds.

Other Spartan personal bests included VISHAL SHAH 1:32:04 – a PB by 4 minutes; JON SYPULA 1:38:25; TREVOR SETTERFIELD 1:38:28; ANDY JAY 1:45:44 – a PB by 1:17; ANDY PRIOR 1:48:50 – a PB by 1:02.

Club Chair BEV HARLOW was very pleased with her time of 1:56:16 and the fantastic Spartan support at the race.

All the Spartan times follow:

Position Name Time Category Comments
9 JACKSON, Simon 01:15:50 MS YB. Missed PB by 1 second.
36 REYNOLDS, Lee 01:21:34 MS
52 WESTCOTT, Christopher 01:22:57 MV40
87 NEATHAM, Andy 01:25:51 MV40
88 HERBERT, Liam 01:25:53 MS
142 BLACKBURN, Graham 01:29:41 MV40
174 SHAH, Vishal 01:32:04 MS PB (4:00)
177 BATES, Daniel 01:32:47 MS
254 MAYFIELD, Steve 01:36:37 MV40
273 DRACKFORD, Jamie 01:37:39 MS
287 SYPULA, Jon 01:38:25 MS PB
298 SETTERFIELD, Trevor 01:38:28 MV40 PB
329 GOODWIN, Mark 01:40:15 MV50
352 PEZ, Tracy 01:40:54 FV35
356 CANNON, Clive 01:41:22 MV50
378 PRITCHARD, Madeleine 01:42:31 FS PB (5:34)
452 JAY, Andy 01:45:44 MV40 PB (1:17)
487 COOPER, Hadrian 01:47:35 MV40
508 PRIOR, Andy 01:48:49 MV40 PB (1:02)
581 THOMPSON-SMITH, Dyfed 01:52:50 MV40
601 PALMER, Karen 01:53:39 FV45
637 HARLOW, Beverley 01:56:16 FV55
640 WITCOMBE, Nick 01:56:24 MV40 PB (4:04)
647 LORIMER, Nicola 01:56:53 FV45
652 REILLY, Ruth 01:57:04 FS
732 SYPULA, Hannah 02:00:19 FV35
754 WESTCOTT, Andrea 02:02:19 FV35
755 MARSHALL, Paul 02:02:19 MV50
758 HOLGATE, Paul 02:02:33 MV50
764 GAVIGAN, Lisa 02:03:59 FV35
826 MOLLOY, Trudie 02:10:11 FV35
828 KING, Barry 02:10:11 MV40
834 STILES, Tracy 02:11:27 FV45
872 FRY, Jan 02:16:25 FV55
891 CAHILL, Doctor Jo 02:22:28 FV45

Spartan for Scotland
GRANT RAMSAY ran for Scotland in the British & Irish Masters Home International Cross Country on Saturday He was 42nd out of 90 in the 35 to 49 age category and the fourth Scottish athlete out of 18. His time for the 8,000 metres (five miles) race in Cardiff was 26 minutes 1 second.

Then on the following day he successfully defended his title in the Watford Autumn Challenge. Beating 169 other runners in this five mile off road event his time was 28 minutes 45 seconds. This was his seventh win in eight years.

Dirty Half
Lisa Liversidge and Lorraine Wyatt ran in the Dirt Half Marathon Challenge in Leighton Buzzard on Saturday 16th November. Lisa finished on 2:01:00 and Lorraine finished in 2:14:46

Bell On The Move
SIMON BELL ran the Honington 10km in 37 minutes 21 seconds; the Henlow 10 in 64:20 and a Parkrun at Peterborough in 18:07

Marathon Marathon
Following the success of 11,000 Athens troops in defeating 100,000 Persian troops at the Greek Battle of Marathon in 490B.C. (thanks to the military genius of General Miltiades), an Athenian soldier named Feidippidis was sent to bring the good news to the city. He ran all the way from the field of battle to the market of Athens and managed to say just one word – Nenikikamen (we won) before collapsing and dying. From this historic event the Marathon race was established and is now run by hundreds of thousands of individuals every year. This year, just two weeks after the wind and rain of the Snowdonia marathon in North Wales, Fairlands Valley Spartan runner, Paul Holgate, competed in the 31st running of the modern Athens Marathon – and lived! The race is not for the faint hearted with most of the first 20 miles climbing gradually uphill before a 10 kilometre descent into the city of Athens and the Panathenaikin Stadium to finish. Despite temperatures into the high 20s Paul managed to complete the event in 5:21:12 with his only scars being a bit of sunburn!

Grand Union Half
The course of the Grand Union Half Marathon ran along the towpath of Grand union canal from Uxbridge to Watford. In places it was muddy and slippy but the sun shone brightly on Isabel Green who ran a new personal best of 1:55:54 finishing 416th out of 874.

In this her eleventh year as a member she has now set new personal bests (PBs) for 5K, 5 miles, 10 miles and half marathon.

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 November
• Spartans AGM in the Leisure Centre on Friday 22nd November
• Cross country race two at Grovelands on Sunday 24th November
• Cross country race three at Trent Park on Sunday 8th December
• Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 19th December
• County Ten Miles Championship in Buntingford on 30th December 2013
• Cross country race four on Therfield Heath on Sunday 12th January
• Cross country race five at Watford on Sunday 16th February
• Presentation Evening on Friday 28th February 2014
• Veterans Cross Country Championships in Royston on 16th March 2014.

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, 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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