News Race Results


Shadbolt’s Sandy Sunshine

Spartan ANDY JAY enjoyed the Sandy sunshine and finished the ten mile race in 1 hour 26 minutes 22 seconds.  JULIE SHADBOLT was delighted to complete her longest race ever so far in 1:39:21 and thanked KAREN ELLIS, 1:39:23 and MARIA THORNE, also 1:39:23 who supported her all the way round.


Karen’s Fiftieth

Karen Liddle, Tricia Hopper, Barry King and Paul Holgate all took part and ran the Caythorpe off-road marathon on Saturday. This was amazingly KAREN LIDDLE’s 50th marathon. A fantastic achievement! She is a wonderful runner and Fairlands Valley Spartan.

The event was on a beautiful course with some hills, including one monster hill.

Karen, Tricia and Barry all finished in 5 hours 44 minutes 36 seconds and Paul came in at 6.11.23


Cambourne 10K

Two Spartans ran the off-road Cambourne 10k. This was run on a gently undulating, mainly off-road, route on parkland trails in almost perfect conditions bar the wind.

JORDAN QUICKE finished in 54 minutes 59 seconds and KEN JUDE in 55:40.


Calderdale Hike

SHARON and MIKE CROWLEY took part in the Calderdale Hike on Saturday.

The 26.2 miles included over 4000 feet of climbing – nearly the height of Ben Nevis!

This was no ordinary marathon, there were no marshals to show the way, no route description for participants, just map references for the checkpoints plus a Mountain Rescue team do a kit check before you can start.

The start and finish were in Sowerby Bridge near Halifax.  Sharon and Mike finished in 8 hours 48 minutes, that’s 54 minutes faster than last year despite it being very muddy underfoot.  They enjoyed a sunny day for the event but after they had finished it rained and then snowed.  Sharon was third woman to complete the testing course.


Ashford & District Marathon – Sunday, 10th April 2016

The Ashford and District Marathon is held on the edge of the Downs, starting from the Kent Village of Charing and is a two lap event.

A late enforced course change meant a very hilly opening four miles, but the rest of the course could be considered undulating, over generally quiet roads, including a section along the Pilgrims Way, which certainly tested the grip on the bottom of your shoes.

Although tiring over the last few miles, Roger Biggs completed the race in 4:54:32, his second best marathon of 2016, and good enough to win him the Veteran (65 plus) category.


Parkrun Reports

Two Spartans headed to the St Albans Parkrun.  CRAIG HALSEY showed again that he’s in fine form as the London Marathon approaches, finishing first in a field of 329 in a time of 16 minutes and 36 seconds, and looked extremely impressive as he led the second placed finisher by around a minute.  DAVE SMITH also ran well, finishing 44th in 20:53 for a second consecutive course PB, and an improvement of over a minute over the course of his three runs at the venue.

At Panshanger Park TIM ROBINSON finished 68th of 210 runners in 25:27, while VERITY FISHER was 48th overall, and 9th woman finisher, in a field of 244 at Huntingdon.  She crossed the line in 24:16, a new course PB.

EMMA POULTER is improving all the time.  She made her third visit to Cleethorpes this year and was 111th (35th woman). She finished in 34:51 which is a new course PB and means she has now improved by 1 minute 20 seconds since her first run in this race.


Coming Events

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


  • Flitwick 10K on Sunday 17th April.
  • Handicap 5K on Thursday evening 21st April.
  • London Marathon on Sunday 24th April.
  • County 1500 metres open and veteran track and field championships in Stevenage on Monday 2nd May.  Advance entries essential.
  • Pednor Five (including County five miles championship for veterans) on Monday evening 2nd 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.
  • 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  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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