Hundreds run the Stevenage Half Marathon

Hundreds of runners raced round Stevenage in the Half Marathon and there were some great Spartan performances including a 4th position finish from Grant Ramsey with Simon Jackson just behind in 5th. A county gold was won by the mens A team with the B team taking home the bronze. Another gold was won by Jo Laing. Andrea Westcott PB’d and won silver, and Lisa Gavigan and Nicola Gilmour both won a bronze medal.

Hundreds of runners raced round Stevenage in the Half Marathon organised by Fairlands Valley Spartans.

The fastest from Fairlands was GRANT RAMSAY, a magnificent fourth overall out of the 583 finishers in 1 hour 17 minutes 1 second. Grant was second in the veterans (40 plus) category took SILVER in the Hertfordshire County Championships and in the Eastern Veterans Championship.

SIMON JACKSON was less than a minute behind, fifth in 1:17:48. He was first in the East of England veterans (35 plus) category.

The Spartan men’s team consisting of Grant Ramsay, Simon Jackson, CHRISTOPHER WESTCOTT (28th in 1:24:30) and LIAM HERBERT (39th in 1:26:44) was second in the open race but Grant, Chris, MARK BEASLEY (103rd in 1:34:58) and PETE SMITH (116th in 1:37:11) won GOLD in the County Team Championship.

And the club’s “B” team won the county BRONZE medals. It consisted of ROBERT EVANS (1:41:52); ANDY JAY (1:49:24); ROGER HARDMAN (2:02:43); and PAUL HOLGATE (2:04:37). Paul was also third in the Eastern Veterans race for men (50 plus).

JO LAING won County GOLD in the female veteran (45 plus) category in 1:33:42. She led the women’s team to victory in the County team championship with NICOLA GILMOUR 395th in and ANDREA WESTCOTT who cut her personal best by a massive 7 minutes 47 seconds to come 462nd in 2 hours 5 minutes 45 seconds. Andrea also won SILVER in the County and Eastern Veterans race for women (35 plus). LISA GAVIGAN cut her personal best by 3 minutes 5 seconds to win the BRONZE medals in 2 hours 6 minutes 26 seconds. Nicola took BRONZE in the County Championship for women (45 plus).

NICK EMMETT (2:07:58) and NICOLA BUTTON (2:10:21) were running their first half marathon.

Other Spartan finishers included DEAN CARPENTER (1:32:42); DANIEL BATES (1:41:26) and STUART HAYCROFT (2:04:17).

The race winners were SIMON COOMBES from Leighton Buzzard Athletic Club in 1 hour 14 minutes 17 seconds and SARAH SWINHOE from London Heathside in 1:23:15.

The 13.1 mile race started from Ridlins Athletics Track, Woodcock Road at 10.30a.m. and followed a two lap course on cycleways and footpaths along Gresley Way, Barham Road, Six Hills Way, into Fairlands Valley Park passing the lakes, through the southern park of the park, Broadhall Way, Gresley Way before turning into Woodcock Road after the second lap to finish on the track. It raised a large amount of money for local charities including the Magic of Play Appeal at Lister hospital and the voluntary organisations which helped ensure the success of the event. These were the Stevenage Rotary Club, the Grange Rotary club, two local scout groups, sea cadets and the Stevenage Ladies Choir.

Posn First Name Last Name Time Comments
4 Grant Ramsay 1:17:01 2nd County and EVAC M40
5 Simon Jackson 1:17:47 1st EVAC M35 YB (2:40)
28 Christopher Westcott 1:24:30 YB (1:10)
39 Liam Herbert 1:26:44 YB (1:27)
78 Dean Carpenter 1:32:42
88 Jo Laing (F) 1:33:21 1st County and EVAC FV45
103 Mark Beasley 1:34:58 SB (New)
116 Peter Smith 1:37:11
168 Daniel Bates 1:41:26
175 Robert Evans 1:41:52 SB (4:51)
265 Andy Jay 1:49:24 SB (1:36)
395 Nicola Gilmour (F) 1:59:50 3rd County FV45
436 Roger Hardman 2:02:43
450 Stuart Haycroft 2:04:17 SB (New)
460 Paul Holgate 2:04:37 3rd EVAC M50
462 Andrea Westcott (F) 2:05:45 2nd County and EVAC FV35 PB (7:47)
470 Lisa Gavigan (F) 2:06:26 3rd County FV35 PB (3:05)
479 Nick Emmett 2:07:58 New
508 Nicola Button (F) 2:10:21 New

Steppingley Step

Karen Liddle & Tricia Hopper enjoyed a beautiful Autumn day in the Bedfordshire countryside on a beautiful course at the Steppingley Step off-road marathon from Barton-le-Clay. They both finished in 5 hours 57 minutes.

Coming Events

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

• Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 21st November
• Spartans AGM on Friday 22nd November
• Cross country race two at Grovelands on Sunday 24th November
• Cross country race three at Trent Park on Sunday 8th December
• Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 19th December
• County Ten Miles Championship in Buntingford on 30th December 2013
• Cross country race four on Therfield Heath on Sunday 12th January
• Cross country race five at Watford on Sunday 16th February
• Presentation Evening on Friday 28th February 2014

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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