Silver at Finchley 20 * Gold at Track and Field Championships


Fairlands Valley Spartans won medals indoors and out, from 60 metres to 20 miles, over the weekend.

There were SILVER and BRONZE medals for Fairlands Valley Spartans at the Hertfordshire 20 Mile County Championships.  The championships were incorporated in the world’s longest running 20 mile race, the Finchley 20.

Damp throughout but cheered up by a supply of jelly beans at miles 13 and 18 JIM BROWN took SILVER in the county championships for veterans (60 plus).  With a negative split, faster second than first half, he finished in 2 hours 53 minutes 32 seconds which was a 12 minutes 2 seconds improvement on last year.

The Spartans county team consisting of STEFFAN FORD, JASON ANDERSON, NICK GILL and Jim won BRONZE.

Steffan was first in for the club with 2:13:32 and 50th out of the 380 finishers and Jason 69th in 2:17:06.  Running the distance for the first time Nick ran a very well paced race to finish in 2:53:56.

Ineligible for the County championship PAUL HEWETT was 78th with 2:19;32.

CAROLE SHELDRICK and CAROLINE CROFT tackled the undulating course and gloomy conditions well to finish in 3:33:38 and3:33:40.


Position Name Chip Time Comments
50 STEFFAN FORD 2:13:32 4MV40 in County
69 JASON ANDERSON 2:17:06 5th Senior in County
78 PAUL HEWETT 2:19:32 Personal Best
246 NICK GILL 2:53:56
247 JIM BROWN 2:53:32 County SILVER MV60 & SB (12:02)
359 CAROLE SHELDRICK 3:33:38 42WV35
360 CAROLINE CROFT 3:33:40 34WV45


There were 380 finishers.


National Track and Field Medals for Spartans as they go Indoors

Returning to the Lee Valley Indoor Track, Monica Brown, Tessa Stephenson and Grant Ramsay finished off the indoor season at the National Championships of the British Masters Athletics Federation.  The events were divided between Saturday and Sunday and all three returned with medals.

Grant had another successful championships, running the 15 laps of the 200 metre track in 9 minutes 34 seconds to win the Gold Medal in the 3000 metres race for Men aged 40 to 44.

Monica continued her success after last month’s National Pentathlon championships by taking the Silver Medal in the 60 metres dash for women aged 50 to 55. Her run of 8.67 seconds places her second in the British Rankings for 2017.  She then won Bronze in the Long Jump with a leap of 4 metres 40 just one centimetre behind Silver!

Tessa ran the 200 Metres, competing in the 55 to 59 age group. This is one complete lap in lanes. This can be tricky as the track is banked and coming off the last bend Tessa stumbled badly losing time, but managing to hold onto the Silver Medal in a time of 33.40 seconds. She had already taken Bronze in the 400m in a time of 79.88 seconds and finished 6th in the Shot Putt with a distance of 8.02 metres, her season’s best of 8.58m placing her 3rd on the season’s National rankings.

These and other Spartans are now preparing themselves for the Eastern Masters Athletics leagues which start in May.


North London Half Marathon

CRAIG BACON ran the North London Half Marathon this morning.  The course started along Wembley Way and undulated it way along the closed streets of North London to the Allianz Park, home of Saracens rugby club. After a quick lap around the stadium it was back along the same course with the finish being inside Wembley Stadium being cheered on by a crowd of well wishers.  The rain held off until the latter stages so it was ideal running weather.  Craig finished 832nd out of the 5,782 finishers in 1 hour 42 minutes and 41 seconds.

Thanking Fairlands Valley Spartans for being her motivation to go out running every week HANNAH NEALE made the North London event her first half and finished in the impressive time of 1:49:22 for 1564th.  Now she’s looking forward to pushing herself further and faster.

ROBERT WRIGHT finished in 2:56:25 for 5,646th and IAN ALEXANDER in 2:56:26 for 5,647th.


Silverstone Half

Others preparing for a Spring marathon were at the Silverstone Half Marathon.  GRAHAM BLACKBURN came in with 1:39:50; HAZEL SMITH and CALLIE CHAPMAN with 2:04:42 and CATHY CRAIG with 2:16:23.


London Calling

Fairlands Valley Spartans are organising a coach to the start of the London Marathon on 23rd April.  We have spaces left on the coach for anyone who would like a lift to the start area at Greenwich Park & Blackheath.  The cost is £10 per person, leaving the Old Town at 06:30hrs.  Have a look at


Weymouth Half

TRUDIE MOLLOY and BARRY KING completed Sunday’s Weymouth Half Marathon in 2.07.18.

After a flat first half of the race it then went very hilly for the second half so they were very happy with their times, both a season’s best and Barry’s first time as a 50 year old.


Douglas PBs

NICOLA and RICHARD KENNEDY both ran new personal bests (PBs) in Saturday’s 5K Prom Race at Douglas Isle of Man.  Despite dodging the horse trams and their “deposits” Nicola finished in 21:50 and Richard in 20:14.


Parkrun Reports

It was almost perfect running conditions in Fairlands Valley on Saturday, and RICHARD SPRINGALL took full advantage, running sub-19 minutes for the first time. He was 3rd finisher in 18 mins 51 secs, a stunning 48 seconds improvement on his previous best. Two toher Spartans made the top 30, DARREN EMMERSON finishing 21st in 21:58 and MARTIN DUDLEY finishing 27th in 22:33.

The other Spartan men were MARK BEASLEY (23:44), CHRIS HOLLAND: 23:49), DANIEL SUTTON (23:52), NICK GILL (23:56, pacing for target 24 mins), MARTYN DOWLING (24:33), ANDY JAY (26:49, pacing for 27 mins), ROGER BIGGS (27:38), LEE PICKERSGILL (28:45), STEVEN DOBNER (32:36), JAMES SOUTH (38:01, recuperating from a broken leg in which both cruciate ligaments were damaged) and TIM ROBINSON (39:49).

For the women, VERITY FISHER was pacing for a target 25 minutes and finished 12th in 25:05.  CAROL PAUL also achieved a top 30 position, finishing in17th in 26:14. The other Spartan women were MONICA SMITHSON (29:11), CLAIRE PULLEN (32:04), SALLY PHILLIPS (35:11) and CAREN THAIN (37:41).

Elsewhere, BEV HARLOW ran at Newcastle parkrun and finished in 31:03, an 11 second improvement on her previous visit for a new course PB.  GRAHAM HILL went to Milton Keynes and shaved one second off his previous run for a new course Personal Best of 33:04. Finally, MARIE HUTHINGS was at Harlow and ran 48:44 on her first visit there.


Coming Events

Many Spartans will be enjoying a busy programme of races, social and training events over the next few weeks including cross country league.  The opportunities include:

  • Welwyn Half Marathon on Sunday 19th March.
  • Sandy Ten and Wymondham 20 on Sunday 26th March.
  • Serpentine 5K in Hyde Park on Friday 31st March.
  • Lee Valley 10K and Half Marathon in Waltham Forest on Sunday 2nd April.
  • Brighton Marathon on Sunday 9th April.
  • Maidenhead Easter Ten on Friday 14th April.
  • London Marathon on Sunday 23rd April.
  • County 1500 Championships in Stevenage on Monday 1st May.
  • Dereham 10 (ten miles) on Sunday 7th May.
  • First Mid Week Road Race League match on Wednesday 10th May.
  • Summer Solstice 10K at St Albans on Tuesday 16th May.
  • Stirling Marathon on Sunday 21st May.
  • Mid Week Road Race League in Hitchin on Wednesday 14th June.
  • Herts Veteran 10K Championships at Welwyn on Sunday 25th June.
  • Mob Match on Thursday 13th July.
  • Fairlands Valley Relays in Stevenage on Thursday 27th July.
  • Herts Senior 5K Championships at Hatfield on Wednesday 30th August.
  • Herts Veteran 5K Championships at Hatfield on Wednesday 13th September.
  • Herts Senior 10K Championships at Standalone on Sunday 1st October.
  • Peterborough Half Marathon on Sunday 8th October.
  • Stevenage Half Marathon on Sunday 22nd October.
  • St Neots Half Marathon on Sunday 19th November (TBC).
  • Bass Belle 10 near Royston on Sunday 26th November.

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