Fairlands Valley Spartans, who are known for their road racing, hosted the fourth and final Eastern Masters Athletic Club League match at Ridlins Athletics Track in Stevenage. Competing against 5 other clubs, most of which mainly concentrate on Track and Field, the women won the match by an impressive fifteen points, securing their position the top of the South West Division of the league. The men’s team lost out on third place on the night due to absent members, missing by only three points.
The Women’s team consisted of ANDREA WESTCOTT, PETA WILSON, STEPHANIE MAYFIELD, CHRISTINE LATHWELL, HAZEL CLARK and ROSIE CANHAM in the 35-49 age group; MONICA BROWN, TESSA STEPHENSON, JULIE SIMMONS and new member ALISON WOOD in the 50-59 age group, and IRIS HORNSEY, and CATHY CRAIG in the 60+ age group.
MONICA BROWN continued her fantastic winning form from last week’s British Masters National Heptathlon Championships in Birmingham, jumping a league record of 9.05m in the triple jump, and also coming first in the 100 metres and High Jump. She also anchored the older age group team in the 400, 200, 200, 400 metres relay. CHRISTINE LATHWELL, ALISON WOOD and CATHY CRAIG all had good runs and won their age group mile races.
The Men’s team consisted of CHRISTOPHER WESTCOTT, TIM SABAN and BARRY KING in the 35-49 age group, STEVE MAYFIELD, DAVE STEPHENSON, DAVID BOWKER and JOHN HARRIS in the 50-59 age group and BARRY OSBORNE was the sole 60+ member.
Eighteen Spartans headed to Fairlands Valley for a Saturday morning parkrun fix with several others helping behind the scenes. NATALIE LAWRENCE was first woman finisher in 19:38. OLWEN BATTY finished ninth in a new course PB of 25:07, CAROL PAUL was 12th in 25:29 and VERITY FISHER also notched a new course PB finishing 16th in 26:14
For the men, THOMAS SAUKA secured a new course PB of 20:07 in finishing 8th and is edging tantalisingly close to breaking 20 minutes. MARTIN WOOD was 16th in 20:54, DAVE SMITH was 21st in 21:22 and MARK BEASLEY ran a new course PB of 21:36 to finish 25th.
There were also new course PBs at Stevenage for CHRIS HOLLAND (25:03) and HILARY DAVIES (32:45). Other Spartans in action at Stevenage were JOHN NELMS (21:37), CRAIG BACON (22:53), PAUL MAGUIRE (23:11), CAROL PAUL (25:29), ANDREA WESTCOTT (27:04 in her first parkrun anywhere), DANIEL SUTTON (27:20), HEATHER MALONEY (29:05), THERESA KEAST (30:00) and KAREN PALMER (30:26).
CRAIG HALSEY paid a first visit to Ellenbrook Fields and finished second in a time of 16:44, as the first runner home broke the course record, while at Banstead Woods PETER CARPENTER finished his first parkrun in a time of 31:40.
At Swindon DARREN EMMERSON and CLAIRE COX both completed in 24:07. At Cleethorpes EMMA POULTER came home in a time of 42:40 while at Rutland Water TRACY STILES ran in a time of 28:41. GRAHAM HILL took on the challenge at Wimpole Estate for the first time and completed in 36:06.
Finally TIM ROBINSON became the latest Spartan to reach the 50 parkruns milestone when accompanying his son Oliver round Panshanger Park in 45:46.
Many Spartans will be enjoying a busy programme of races, social and training events over the next few weeks including the:
- Harlow 10 on Sunday 4th September.
- Herts 5K senior championships on Wednesday 7th September.
- Herts 5K veteran championships on Wednesday 21st September.
- FVS Handicap 5 / 10 in Stevenage on Sunday 25th September.
- Standalone 10K including County Vets Championships on Sunday 2nd October.
- Open 5K race in Hatfield on Wednesday 5th October.
- Peterborough Half Marathon on Sunday 9th October.
- Abingdon Marathon on Sunday 23rd October.
- Stevenage Half Marathon, a Stevenage 70 event, on Sunday 6th November.
- St Neots Half Marathon on Sunday 20th November.
- County Five Miles Open Championship in Hatfield on 27th November.
- Spartans Christmas Social on Saturday 10th December.
- Boxing Day Five in Witham on Monday 26th 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 affiliation. Concessions are available. Membership forms are available on the Spartans website www.fvspartans.org.uk 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 www.fvspartans.org.uk