News from the track and field championships, the Trail of Herts event, the Kilkenny Marathona nd the Pleshey and Essex half.

46 miles for Karen and Tricia

RHIANNON GRIFFIN took GOLD in Fairlands Valley Spartans’ recent track and field championship with an average score of 55.5%; SHARON CROWLEY won SILVER with 50.2% and MADDIE PRITCHARD BRONZE with 44.8%. Competitors had to take part in one sprint, one middle distance race, one jump and one throw.

The men’s championship was won by STEVE MAYFIELD with 61.5%, BERNIE BARNABY was second with 58.2% and IAN VENNEY third with 52.1%.

Three Spartans raced together in heat 2 of the 800 metres at the final midweek Watford Open Graded track meeting of the summer. In cool conditions with little wind they found it easier going than three days earlier at the club Track & Field Championships, each of them posting times more than three seconds faster. STEVE MAYFIELD was second in a season’s best time of 2 minutes 26.07 seconds, BERNIE BARNABY was 10th in 2:34.48 with RHIANNON GRIFFIN a place behind in 2:37.61.

Trail of Herts – Saturday 21st September 2013

Having completed 12 marathons in 12 months in 2011 and the Hadrian’s Wall Run in 2012, KAREN LIDDLE and TRICIA HOPPER were looking for a new challenge for 2013.

On Saturday they took part in the 55 miles Trail of Herts event!

This is a 55 mile trail race with a 13 hour time limit. The run started in the beautiful market town of Berkhamsted set deep in the heart of the Chiltern Hills in Hertfordshire, heading East and South East along trails using parts of The Chilterns Way, Hertfordshire Way, Chain Walk, disused railways and canal and riverside paths, and finishing in the centre of London. The first half of the race was undulating, passing through the Chiltern Hills, taking in stunning views, very old and historic churches, amazing disused railway lines, and great places of interest. The second half of the race flattened out, running alongside the manmade but beautiful New River, built to provide drinking water from Hertfordshire to the growing Victorian London. It then moved onto The Lea Valley canal towards the Olympic stadium and much revived East End.

As if the challenge was not tough enough already some delightful children decided to pull down some of the direction tape essential to enabling the runners to remain on course, resulting in Karen & Tricia becoming completely lost. Never ones to give up they navigated themselves back onto the course some 1½ hours later and with completion inside the 13 hour time limit now impossible, admirably continued to get as far as possible, completing more than 45 miles to reach Cuffley before running out of time.

Don Gregory turned out to support Karen & Tricia at checkpoint 3 at St Peter’s church in Tewin which was a real boost to them both at 24 miles.

Carlow – Kilkenny Marathon

The Carlow – Kilkenny Marathon drew ROGER BIGGS to Ireland at the weekend.

This was a point to point Marathon, starting in Carlow, finishing by Kilkenny Castle, County Kilkenny. Warm weather, an undulating course, and an over distance course at 26.8 miles, meant he was really pleased to dip under four hours in 3:59:26.

Roger has now run a marathon in 82 counties of the possible 109 in the UK & Ireland.

Dean’s Half

DEAN CARPENTER was 79th in the Pleshey & Essex half marathon with a time of 1 hour 32 minutes 54 seconds.

Coming Events

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

• County 10K Championships in Letchworth on Sunday 6th October
• Herts Veterans 5K Championships in WGC on Tuesday 8th October
• Great Eastern Half Marathon in Peterborough on Sunday 13th October
• Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 17th October
• County 10 Mile Championships for veterans on Sunday 27th October
• Stevenage Half Marathon on Sunday 3rd November
• County Ten Miles Championship in Buntingford on 30th December 2013

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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