London called and nineteen Spartans took up the challenge and won. Yes nineteen members of Stevenage based Fairlands Valley Spartans completed Sunday’s London Marathon. First to finish was CRAIG HALSEY in an amazing sub three time of 2 hours 45 minutes 2 second, well inside the first one thousand of about forty thousand finishers.
ANDREW PATTERSON also beat the three hour barrier with 2 hours 54 minutes 27 seconds and MIKE GREEN was faster than the critical 3:15 with 3 hours 14 minutes exactly. PETE SMITH celebrated his birthday with 3 hours 16 minutes 50 seconds which will give him a huge age related score.
The fastest Fairlands Female was NICOLA HABERLAND with 3 hours 32 minutes 9 seconds.
Three Spartans were delighted to complete their first ever full marathons. They were KAREN ELLIS, 4:29:59; MARIA THORNE, 4:58:45 and phenomenal fund raiser IAN ALEXANDER in 6:32:21.
Meanwhile JASON ANDERSON finished in 3:21:11; ROBERT EVANS in 3:46:01; JON SYPULA in 3:56:08; TIM SABAN in 4:04:32; ANDY JAY in 4:16:39; NIGEL STRONGITHARM in 4:17:16 and CHRISTINE SHARMAN in 4:24:47.
Perpetual marathon runner ROGER BIGGS came home in 4:40:05 with ROB WRIGHT in 5:05:11; LISA GRAY in 5:05:18 and JAN FRY in 5:24:53.
|21978||Karen Ellis||16812||4:29:59||1st marathon|
|28872||Maria Thorne||21304||4:58:45||1st marathon|
|37877||Ian Alexander||37069||6:32:21||1st marathon|
Flying 5Ks – Quicke is Fast, Angie Accelerates
New Spartan JORDAN QUICKE won Thursday evening’s Handicap 5K race in Stevenage. He beat his handicap by 4 minutes 9 seconds to cross the line first with an actual time of 23 minutes 51 seconds.
IAIN McKAIN was second with an actual of 18:43.
The winning woman was SARAH SAPSTEAD who improved her personal best (PB) by two minutes to 27 minutes 34 seconds.
LEE PICKERSGILL was third man, and fourth overall in a PB of his own, 24 minutes 53 seconds. New member LEANNE ROYALE was second female in 23:42, and NIKKI TOUT third improving her PB to 26:48.
The fastest runner on the night was ANDY NEATHAM in a SB 18:07, with DANNY HUKIN second with 18:26, and Iain’s 18:43 made him third quickest. LIAM HERBERT also recorded a sub-20 minute time of 19:51.
Quickest female was Angela Armitage, improving her PB by a significant 1:55 to 23 minutes 7 seconds. LEANNE ROYALE’s 23:42 made her second quickest and SOFIA CARPENTER was third fastest in 24:43.
There were also PBs for Paul Harris, Liam Errington, Olwen Batty, Darren Emmerson, Karl Shreeve, Brian Bailey, Jane McFarlane, Dave Quicke and Claire Hyde.
There will be a break for the midweek league events from May to July. The Handicap 5k will return in August.
It was a beautiful Spring day in Stratford upon Avon for the Shakespeare marathon which coincided with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death on the 24th April 1616. PAUL HOLGATE’s time was 5:42:22.
Way down south JAMES KILROY was 898th in the Southampton Half Marathon with a time of 1 hour 44 minutes 38 seconds.
At Panshanger Park, CAROLINE CROFT was first Spartan officially over the line, clocking a time of 29mins 14secs to finish 166th overall (34th woman). HEATHER MALONEY finished 174th (41st woman) in 29:36 and TIM ROBINSON was 196th finisher in 31:05 having given the field of 291 runners a 5 minute head start.
DANIEL SUTTON and VERITY FISHER are regular parkrun tourists. This week they were in local action at LUTON WARDOWN. Fisher was 48th (5th woman) of 236 runners in 24:05, a new course PB, and Sutton was 64th in 25:32.
Finally, there was another course PB for DAVE SMITH, the sole Spartan running at St Albans, who clocked 20:25 to finish 40th of 402 runners.
Many Spartans will be enjoying a busy programme of races, social and training events over the next few weeks including the:
- County 1500 metres open and veteran track and field championships in Stevenage on Monday 2nd May. Advance entries essential. Supporters welcome.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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