Stevenage Half This Sunday


Fairlands Valley Spartans’ GRANT RAMSAY led from the start and won the Enigma Three Lakes Challenge Marathon by a massive margin of 25 minutes.  On the back of a good second place in the Sunday League Cross Country 3 days earlier he ran a year’s best time of 2 hours 43 minutes 59 seconds.  This was the second stage in the series and was based at Furzton Lake in Milton Keynes


Snowdonia Times 25

SHARON CROWLEY ran her 25th Snowdonia marathon in 5 hours 30 minutes 6 seconds.  That was her best time for three years.


Beachy Head 10K

PETER CARPENTER tackled the tough Beachy Head 10K.  It was a tough event with three main hills totalling around 250 metres, he was disappointed that he couldn’t keep running up these three and needed to walk a good amount of each.  The running back down helped make the overall time not too bad!  The organizers did say expect to take 10 to 20 minutes longer than a normal 10K. The actual distance was closer to 9.5k.  Peter’s time was 1 hour 8 minutes 27 seconds and he was 322nd out of 438.


Only a Week to the Stevenage Half Marathon

The Stevenage Half Marathon will be this Sunday 6th November and YOU can tackle the 13.1 miles.  Go to to enter.

This will be the 30th Stevenage Half and it’s a 70th Anniversary event for Stevenage New Town.

The race starts from Ridlins Athletics Track promptly at 11a.m. and will follow a two lap course up Gresley Way and Six Hills Way into Fairlands Valley Park passing the lakes then down the length of the park past the showground then along Broadhall Way and back onto Gresley Way.  The first lap is slightly shorter than the second which has an extra loop at the north end of the park.  Almost all the race will be on cycleways and footpaths.

The race is open to all aged 17 or over but it also includes the Hertfordshire County Championships for seniors (18 plus).  Entries are £24, less for Spartans and members of other UK Athletics affiliated clubs.  There are already about 600 entries.  Don’t delay if you want a space.

Running a successful event like this takes dozens of helpers.  If you want to be a volunteer marshal or to help in any other way please contact


Round The Lake Again

Two Spartans ran the popular Serpentine 5K in Hyde Park on Friday.   DAVE BOWKER was 73rd in 20 minutes 3 seconds and JIM BROWN 177th in 23:50.  Conditions were mild and dry with a medium breeze.


Parkrun Report

At Stevenage BRIAN WHITE was first Spartan over the line, finishing in a new course personal best (PB) of 19:50 in 11th place. ADRIAN BUSOLINI (16th ) and DAVE SMITH (17th) also notched new course bests, finishing in 20:39 and 20:41 respectively. PETE SMITH (18th ) was fourth Spartan finisher on his parkrun debut in 21:01.

SUZY HAWKINS was second woman to finish in 21:49. VERITY FISHER was 8th in 23:33, ZOE JACKSON was 11th in 25:07, CAROL PAUL 13th in 25:25 and HAZEL SMITH 14th in 26:31.

There were also new course PBs this week for DARREN EMMERSON, who continues to get quicker by the week and finished 25th in 21:42, MARTIN DUDLEY (31st in 21:54), STEVE SMITHSON (41st in 23:05) SIMON JACKSON (36:18 accompanying his young son), and ROBERT EVANS (41:37 accompanying his two sons). The other Spartans at Stevenage were CHRIS HOLLAND (23:15), DANIEL SUTTON (23:30), PAUL MAGUIRE (23:41), NIKKI WILBY (26:03), LAUREN HARNETT (29:20), HEATHER MALONEY (31:03) and KAREN PALMER (58:06 on tail-running duties).

In other local events, three Spartans ran at Panshanger. THOMAS SAUKA was 28th in 21:59, ANDY JAY smashed his course PB finishing 48th in 23:15 and TIM ROBINSON finished 50th in 23:26. At Ellenbrook Fields MARIE HUTCHINGS finished 39th in 35:58, while at South Oxhey JOHN ROXBOROUGH was 2nd in 21:40, a new course PB.

Finally, CHLOE EMMERSON (32:46) and CLAIRE COX (32:59) were 32nd and 33rd women at Bicester parkrun, and furthest traveller of the week was TRACY STILES who was 51st woman to finish at Harrogate in 29:52.


Coming Events

Many Spartans will be enjoying a busy programme of races, social and training events over the next few weeks including the Hertfordshire 10K championships.  The opportunities include:

  • Stevenage Half Marathon, a Stevenage 70 event, on Sunday 6th November.
  • Second Cross Country League Race on Sunday 13th November (new date).
  • 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.
  • Third Cross Country League Race on Sunday 18th December.
  • Boxing Day Five in Witham on Monday 26th December.
  • Serpentine New Year 10K in Hyde Park on 1st January.
  • Watford Half Marathon on Sunday 5th February.
  • Finchley 20 on Sunday 11th March.


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  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

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