MOB MATCH & The Fairlands Valley Challenge

A huge 335 people tackled the Fairlands Valley Challenge off road events on Saturday and Sunday. Organised by Fairlands Valley Spartans 63 finished the six mile race on Saturday afternoon. The cross country marathon was the most popular option on Sunday with 112 finishers but 54 went further with a 50 kilometres Ultra option. In addition 51 completed 18.7 miles (30 kilometres) and 55 twelve miles.

The marathon option saw an ecstatic IAN ALEXANDER complete his first 26.2 miles event. What a tough event to choose for a first and what a tremendous achievement. Ian was grateful to the support and advice he had had from the Spartans coaching team.

Results are available via our homepage.

Mob Match Celebration

Fairlands Valley Spartans celebrated in style at the Mob Match in Welwyn Garden City on Thursday evening. This race brought together all the Division One and Division Two clubs before the presentation for the series.

Despite celebrating and enjoying themselves the Spartans were eighth out of the fifteen teams in the combined Divisions One and Two race. At the series presentations Fairlands Valley won the shield for first men’s team in Division Two; JULIE SIMMONS the award for first female veteran (55 plus) and YLLKA ISTREFI that for third woman (35 plus).

36 Spartans were racing.

Brian Brackstone was the first Spartan to finish. He was in 13th position overall and 4th veteran in 35 minutes 35 seconds. Steffan Ford (36:07), Keith Coughlin (36:09) and Richard Bate (36:30) were also in the top 21 finishers of 440 runners taking part.

Julie Simmons won the ladies Vet55 category on the night. There were personal bests (PBs) for Steffan Ford, Keith Coughlin, David Riddell, Dan Sims, Claire Cox and Karl Shreeve, Season Bests for Bernie Barnaby and Lorraine Thomas; Year Bests for Richard Bate, Pete Smith, Julie Simmons, Isabel Green, Anne Spiller, Nick Witcombe, Maria Thorne and Julie Shadbolt.

Spartan Women (8th out of 15)

Olympic Finish

Spartans enjoyed an Olympic finish on Sunday when they raced in the Great Newham 10K. TIM SABAN came 524th in a time of 43:52, and YLLLA ISTREFI 671st in 44:58. It was extremely hot touching 22 degrees in the Queen Elizabeth Country Park and everybody was feeling the heat towards the end as they headed towards the finish in the former Olympic Stadium.

DAVE STEPHENSON was 1,729th in 49:49 and TESSA STEPHENSON 4,416th in 57:53. There were over 10,000 finishers.

Lee Valley 10K

Recently TIM SABAN ran the Lee Valley Park 10K in 42 minutes 53 seconds a massive 5
minute improvement on last year’s time on the same course. At the same event CLAIRE COX ran a new personal best of 48 minutes 47 seconds. Tim was 32nd and Claire 93rd out of 262 finishers.

Women Win At Track and Field

In the very hot and humid conditions the Fairlands Valley Spartans men’s and women’s teams ignored the weather conditions recently to take part in the third out of four Eastern Veterans Athletics League competition at Biggleswade.

The women’s team won by four points beating Milton Keynes by 108 to 104 with the other four clubs a long way behind.

With key members Steve Mayfield and Jim Brown missing, the men’s team struggled in fifth place. They scored 56 compared with a 105 for the winners and are in third place overall after three meetings.

Chris Westcott covered for Steve Mayfield who has a broken leg in all the running events except for the hurdles. Monica Brown continued her winning streak from Sundays EVAC championships by wining the 100 metres and Long Jump. All round good performances and a full women’s team mean they have already qualified for the final at Bedford in September.

MK Half

CAROLINE BARTER ran the Milton Keynes Half Marathon in 1 hour 50 minutes 28 seconds.

Parkrun Reports

At the Panshanger parkrun (Hertford) Jason Anderson finished second out of 280 runners in a time of 17 minutes 45 seconds. This was his first ever run on the course.

Relays in the Park, Thursday 30th July

The Relays in the Park will be on Thursday evening 30th July. Join this fun team and enter your team now. Teams consist of three women or five men. Each runner races over a three kilometre stage in Fairlands Valley Park.
Great for running and the design of the course makes it great for spectating.
The event will also incorporate the Hertfordshire AAA Senior & Veteran Championships on Thursday 30th July at 7.30pm. It’s being held for the 23rd time.
For an entry form and further details please visit You must enter at least one team in advance.

Race headquarters will be in Marriotts Sports Centre, SG2 8UT but the games begin in the park at 7.30p.m. so allow plenty of time.

Coming Events

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

EVAC Track & Field League on Wednesday 29th July.
County and Open 3K Relay Championship in Stevenage on Thursday 30th July.
Handicap 5K on Thursday 13th August.
Spartans Family Day at Ridlins, Saturday 29th August.
County 5K Senior Championships on 2nd September.
County 5K Veterans Championship on 16th September.
Club Handicap 10 mile race on Sunday 20th September.
Standalone 10K (inc. country senior champs) in Letchworth on Sunday 4th October.
Great Eastern Run in Peterborough on Sunday 11th October.
Abingdon Marathon on Sunday 18th October.
Stevenage Half Marathon (includes County Veterans) on Sunday 1st November.
St. Neots Half Marathon on Sunday 15th November.
Spartans Christmas Party on Friday 4th December.
County 10 miles Veterans Championship at Buntingford on 27th 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 membership. 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


More from Jim Brown (Press Officer) 0793 968 7509; Andy Neatham 0777 197 5499 and 01438 816889 or Karen Palmer (Secretary) 0773 467 8566

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