It was medals galore for Fairlands Valley Spartans at the Hertfordshire County Track and Field Championships for veteran athletes on Monday. The golden Spartans at Ridlins were GRAHAM BLACKBURN, JIM BROWN, MONICA BROWN, HAZEL CLARK, SHARON CROWLEY, THOMAS SAUKA, DAVE STEPHENSON, TESSA STEPHENSON and ANN TRYSSESOONE
Sharon Crowley came away with three 50 medals medals – GOLD in the Hammer, GOLD in the 3K walk and SILVER for the 1500 metres.
Jim Brown won two GOLDS, at 1115 in the morning in the veteran men (60 plus) 1500 metres and then twelve and a half times round the track for the 5000 at 1555. His 24 minutes 23.97 seconds was his fastest this year.
Graham Blackburn won the 1500 metres for men (50 plus) in 5:31.6; Hazel Clark the 1500 for women (35 plus) in 6:14.13 and Ann Tryssesoone the 1500 for women (50 plus) in an excellent first time 6:07.33.
There were two other Spartans in the 5000 metres. Thomas Sauka won GOLD in the 40 plus category with 20 minutes 44 seconds and GRANT RAMSAY running as an open entry finished with 17:50.
In the high jump Dave Stephenson won the 50 plus category with 1.40 metres, a personal best. He was fourth in the long jump with 4.34 metres.
TESSA STEPHENSON threw 8.03 metres for 50 plus GOLD in the shot with MONICA BROWN taking SILVER with 7.99 metres, then 16.20 metres to take GOLD in the DISCUS. Monica got her GOLD in the long jump with a personal best of 4.82 metres.
At the Greenway Challenge LIAM HERBERT celebrated his return to Fairlands Valley Spartans by finishing 15th and first from the club in a time of 1 hour 33 minutes 28 seconds.
BRIAN WHITE enjoyed a good quality training run in pleasant countryside with perfect sunny conditions. He was 19th in 1.35.06.
ISABEL GREEN was 72nd in 1:50:04; TIM ROBINSON 112th in 1:54:48 and MARTIN NICHOLAS 122nd in 1:56:23.
Milton Keynes Festival of Running – Rocket Race (Saturday)
DANNY HUKIN went hard from the start in Saturday’s 5K Rocket Race to finish eighth out of 1,243 finishers in 17 minutes 35 seconds. That’s a 31 second personal best in his first proper race for years.
CHLOE EMMERSON and VICTORUA BRETT both ran their first 5K races for Fairlands Valley Spartans and both got great times, Victoria’s time was 26:38 and Chloe got 29:54. CAROLE SHELDRICK finished in 26:35; CAROLINE CROFT in 27:54 and HEATHER MOLONEY in 32:05.
Marathon and Half Marathon (Sunday)
The Milton Keynes marathon & half marathon are very well organised races finishing inside stadium MK, home of the MK Dons.
This year saw new and much improved courses for both distances and to add to that the weather and course support was wonderful.
Three Spartans tackled the full marathon: STEVE GREEN finished in 3 hours 36 minutes 7 seconds, ROB SHAW in 4:47:17 and ANDREW MARTIN in 5:49:08.
And nine ran the half. They were Craig Bacon 1:40:54; Dave Smith 1:42:41; James Kilroy 1:46:20; Chris Holland 1:50:26; Stephen Pike 2:00:36; Sarah Pike 2:06:36; Caroline Croft 2:18:39; Carole Sheldrick 2:20:20 and Heather Moloney 2:24:58
As Carole, Caroline, & Heather competed on both days they earned an additional medal.
Danny Sutton and Verity Fisher ran Langtoft 10km in Lincolnshire. Verity ran a new personal best of 49 minutes 54 seconds and Danny ran 49:59..
OLWEN BATTY ran the G.E.A.R (Grand East Anglian Run) 10K in Kings Lynn and got a PB of 53.33 which was a 2 mins 30 seconds improvement.
She says it was an amazing course that runs through the town centre, nice and flat and the weather was perfect, lovely sunshine with a gorgeous breeze along the Quay Road.
CAROL PAUL ran the beautiful Vancouver marathon in Canada. She was really pleased with her time of 4:24:32 on a hot day. This now bring Carol up to having ran a marathon in four provinces in Canada but the real reason Carol was at the Vancouver marathon was because her friend Carla Hayes became the first Brit to run a marathon in all 13 provinces and territories in Canada. ROGER BIGGS finished in 4:54:21. He added that half the course was run right beside the bays that lead to the Pacific Ocean, on ‘First Narrows’ and ‘Burrard Inlet.’
It may have been chilly but sunny for the start of Friday’s 5K race round the Serpentine in Hyde Park but before the half way point the wind was getting up, by the Peter Pan statue the sky was turning very dark, by the Lido large drops of cold rain were coming down and at the finish line it was sleet. Spartan SIMON JACKSON was 12th out of the 286 finishers in 17 minutes 32 seconds and JIM BROWN 215th in 25:18, an 18 second improvement on his last attempt at the same race. It set him up nicely for his gold medal performance in the county veteran championship on Monday.
Pony Express Ultra
Karen Liddle and Tricia Hopper travelled to Brockenhurst in the New Forest for the Pony Express 60 mile ultra over 2 days! On a tough hilly course they managed a negative split finishing day one in seven hours 39 minutes and day two in 7.17.
MIKE GREEN was in sparking form at Panshanger Park, taking over a minute off his previous visit to record a new course PB of 19 minutes and 15 seconds and finish in 8th place. TIM ROBINSON finished 95 of the 295 runners in 25:38
At St Albans DAVE SMITH maintained his excellent form to finish 42nd of 448 runners in 20:32, just 7 seconds outside the course PB he set last week, while at the Wimpole Estate CRAIG BACON was 292nd of 365 in a time of 32:45 while pacing young Mary Bacon in her first parkrun.
Finally, LUCY FIELD ran at Cambridge, finishing 322nd of 532 (78th woman) in 29:14.
Many Spartans will be enjoying a busy programme of races, social and training events over the next few weeks including the:
- Veterans Track League at Sandy on Wednesday 4th May.
- Halstead Marathon, including Hertfordshire County Championships for seniors and veterans, on Sunday 8th May.
- First event, Midweek League at St. Albans on Tuesday 17th May.
- Second event, Midweek League at Chingford (Orion) on Thursday 26th May.
- Hatfield Broad Oak 10K on Monday 30th May.
- Third event, Midweek League in Trent Park on Thursday 9th June.
- Fourth event, Midweek League in Stevenage (FVS) on Tuesday 21st June.
- Milton Keynes 10K on Tuesday 28th June.
- County Track 10K on Sandy on Thursday 7th July.
- Bedford 5K on Wednesday 27th July.
- Relays in the Park, our 3K Relays in Fairlands Valley on Thursday 28th July.
- Handicap 5 / 10 on Sunday 25th September.
- Standalone 10K including County Vets Championships on Sunday 2nd 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.
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