Great North Run, Bristol Half, Chilterns Marathon and much more

A lot of Spartans out racing this weekend with distances from 1500m to marathons, and our ladies did fantastically well in the EVAC final on Sunday, but we are still awaiting official results.


Three Spartans were among the tens of thousands at the Great North Run. It was hot in the north-east and club secretary KAREN PALMER finished in 2 hours 15 minutes 45 seconds; KAREN ELLIS in 2:18:34 and MARIA THORNE in 2:21:05.

Bristol Half Marathon

ANDY JAY ran the Bristol Half Marathon in near perfect conditions with gentle autumn sunshine on a still calm day in 1 hour 52 minutes 59 seconds, in a field of around 7000 runners. This was the 27th running of the Bristol Half Marathon, a very well organised and recommended event for Spartans to try in the future. The route goes out along the River Portway under the Clifton Suspension bridge, before returning to the city centre to finish.

Chilterns Marathon

MIKE NEWBITT and PAUL HOLGATE took on no less than 23 hills at this year’s tough off road Chilterns Marathon, taking in the picturesque villages of Wheeler End, Northend, Turville, Southend, Hambleden, Mill End, Medmenham, Moor Common and Lane End, also including two country estates at Stonor Park and Hambleden Estate.

Mike completed the event in 6 hours 15 and Paul 6 hours 38.

SNHAC 1500

A trio of Spartans ran the 1500 metres at the S.N.H.A.C Anniversary Event at Ridlins on Saturday. JASON ANDERSON ran an excellent 4 minutes 35 seconds; TIM SABAN a new
personal best of 5 minutes 25 seconds and YLLKA ISREFI 6 minutes exactly.

Thames Path Challenge

TRUDIE MOLLOY completed the Thames Path Challenge on Saturday 12th September in a time of 3 hours 10 minutes. Trudie was running and raising money for Calm a men’s charity for raising awareness and prevention of suicide in men. The route took in beautiful scenery running along the Thames river starting from Runnymede and finishing in Cookham. The route was mostly off road paths.

New Forest Marathon

Spartans JOHN NELM ran the New Forest Marathon in a new personal best (PB) of 3 hours 52 minutes 50 seconds. That’s an improvement by just over a minute on his previous best. He was 124th out of the 380th finishers.

DARRYL STEVENS completed the New Forest Half Marathon in 2:58:57.

Parkrun Reports

At the Barclay parkrun in Hoddesdon, Daniel Bates finished third out of 40 runners in a time of 21-42, setting a course personal best (PB) by five seconds. This was done with an injured left leg and was a good workout ahead of the Berlin Marathon in two weeks time.

Wimpole Estate parkrun turned up some interesting results. Richard Bate and Dave Riddell took on the off-road course in Cambridgeshire for the first time and both finished in the top ten. The course is one of the hardest in the area and is a good workout especially ahead of the cross-country season. Out of the 245 runners, Richard finished fourth in a time of 19-41 and David in 6th just missing out a sub-20 time by two seconds in 20-01.

At Panshanger parkrun in Hertford, the Spartans were out in force. Another big turn out from the parkrun community saw 248 runners took part. First home for the Spartans was Mark Beasley in 22-12 finishing 40
th; John Roxborough got a new parkrun pb finishing 22-27 in 44th; Daniel Sutton sneaked into the top 50 finishing 49th in 23-27; marathon legend Roger Biggs took on the course for the first time and finished 103rd in 27-20 whilst Verity Fisher was a few seconds behind in 27-29 finishing 105th and Tim Robinson finished in 38-07 in 233rd.

On The Way

Some great news from the Spartans EVAC women’s team. Details next week.

Get Training for the Stevenage Half

Looking ahead entries have opened for the Stevenage Half Marathon which will be on Sunday 1st November. This event is open to all aged 17 and over but will include the county championships for veterans. Visit for more details; an online entry system and how you can train with the Spartans.

Coming Events

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

County 5K Veterans Championship and Open 5K Race in Hatfield on Wednesday evening 16th September.
Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday evening 17th September.
Club Handicap 10 mile and 5 mile races in Stevenage this Sunday 20th September.
Serpentine 5K in Hyde Park on Friday 25th September.
Standalone 10K (inc. county senior champs) in Letchworth on Sunday 4th October.
Great Eastern Run in Peterborough on Sunday 11th October.
First cross country league race at Cheshunt on Sunday 18th October.
Abingdon Marathon on Sunday 18th October.
Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday evening 22nd October.
Serpentine 5K in Hyde Park at Friday lunchtime 30th October.
Stevenage Half Marathon (includes County Veterans) on Sunday 1
st November.
St. Neots Half Marathon on Sunday 15th November.
Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday evening 19th November.
Second cross country league race in Trent Park on Sunday 22nd November.
Serpentine 5K in Hyde Park at Friday lunchtime 27th November.
Spartans Christmas Party on Friday 4th December.
Third cross country league race at Willian on Sunday 6th December.
Handicap5K in Stevenage on Thursday evening 17th December.
County 10 miles Veterans Championship at Buntingford on Monday 28th December.
Fourth cross country league race in Watford on Sunday 17th January.
Fred Hughes 10 including the County Ten Mile Championships for Veterans on Sunday 24th January.
Watford Half Marathon including the County Championships for Veterans on Sunday 7th February.
Fifth and final cross country league race on Therfield Heath on Sunday 14th February.

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 membership. 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


More from Jim Brown (Press Officer) 0793 968 7509; Andy Neatham 0777 197 5499 and 01438 816889 or Karen Palmer (Secretary) 0773 467 8566

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