Half marathons, marathons and cross country news!

Runners were getting wet before the start but the clouds parted to give the Spartans a dry run and sunshine finish in the Bedford Harriers Half Marathon from Wootton on Sunday.

This was a rural race basically up hill and into the wind for seven miles then two miles pretty level followed by a downhill tailwind swoop most of the way to the finish.

RYAN DUNNING was the first Spartan to finish. He was 248th out of the 957 finishers in 1 hour 39 minutes 18 seconds. Running her first ever half marathon YLLKA ISTREFI was 319th in 1:43:22. JIM BROWN was running his first half marathon in three years and got round in 1:51:31. He was 509th.

Malaga Marathon

DANIEL BATES says that after what seems like long years hard grind of getting nowhere he got a personal best time in Sundays Malaga marathon. He finished in 3 hours 32 minutes 21 seconds beating his previous PB by 2 minutes and 26 seconds. He didn’t quite achieve his target of getting under 3 hours 30 minutes and said that and if he wasnt mentally strong, he would have given up at half way. Now he’s glad he didn’t.

ROGER BIGGS completed the same event in 5:01:40.

Dymchurch Marathon

On Saturday CAROL PAUL travelled in Dymchurch in Kent to run the Dymchurch marathon. The marathon consisted of five and a half up and back laps along the sea wall. It was a very

cold morning with the sun trying to break through. Carol completed the race in 4 hours 47 minutes 44 seconds.

Cross Country

There was another good turnout of 17 men and 10 women for Sunday’s Cross Country League fixture which was in Cassiobury Park, Watford. The team results are not yet available from the organiser. A full report will be included next week.

The next cross country league race will be in Trent Park on Sunday 11th January.

Running London?

Got a place in the London Marathon? Every year Fairlands Valley Spartans successful train thirty or more people, many of them first timers, to run the London Marathon. There are training groups from starters to fast fives to suit everyone. Why not have a look at or contact Jim Brown 0793 968 7509 or Karen Palmer 0773 467 8566? Newcomers very welcome.

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 evening 18th December

Serpentine 5K In Hyde Park on Friday 19th December (not 26th)

Spartans’ Christmas Drinks and Disco at the Shephall Centre, Stevenage, SG2 9XR from 7.30p.m. on Friday 19th December

Witham Boxing Day Five on Friday 26th December

Buntingford Year End Ten (County Vets Champs) on Sunday 28th December

Ely New Year’s Eve 10K on Wednesday 31st December

Serpentine New Year’s Day 10K in Hyde Park on Thursday 1st January

Herts County Cross Country Championships in St Albans on Sunday 4th January.

Cross Country League at Trent Park on Sunday 11th January.

Fred Hughes 10 (County Seniors) in St. Albans on Sunday 18th January.

Watford Half Marathon (County Seniors) on Sunday 1st February.

Cross Country League at Therfield Heath, Royston on Sunday 15th February.

Presentation Evening, Dinner and Dance on Friday 27th February.

County Veterans Five Mile Championship at Berkhamsted on Sunday 1st March.

Finchley 20 mile road race on Sunday 8th March.

County Cross Country Championships for Veterans in Trent Park on Sunday 22nd March.

London Marathon on Sunday 26th April.

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 9.00a.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), Karen Palmer (07734678566) or visit their website


More from Jim Brown (Press Officer) 0793 968 7509 or Karen Palmer (Secretary) 07734678566

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