News: Pathfinder Spartans

News from a wet bank holiday weekend!

On a very wet Bank Holiday Monday four Fairlands Valley Spartans completed the Pathfinder Off Road Marathon from Conington.

CAROL PAUL and MIKE NEWBITT completed the 42 kilometres in 6 hours 6 minutes and 1 second and SHARON CROWLEY took 7 hours 19. MIKE CROWLEY walked the 20 miles option in 5 hours 54 minutes.

Thames Meander Marathon

DANIEL BATES and ROGER BIGGS enjoyed the Thames Meander Marathon. Daniel was 109th in 3 hours 54 minutes 21 seconds. Roger was 311th out of the 324 runners with a time of 05:27:29

Paul Marshal, Barry King, Tricia Hopper and Karen Liddle all took part in the Leila’s run charity event recently. Leila was a lovely person, who loved life and had many interests and friends. She especially loved running socially and as an active member of Garden City Runners and 100 Marathon Club. Leila completed over 200 marathons in the UK, Europe and around the world including New York, Perth and Honolulu. Never short of things to talk about, you could be sure that miles would just fly by when running in her company, and even the dullest run would become a joy! She was always interested in and praised the achievements of her running friends. Leila’s last marathon was at Abingdon when shortly afterwards she was diagnosed with cancer, her last run was at the Pathfinder in 2012. Soon after that, her condition deteriorated again. She would never run again,and she passed away in February 2013. Last year Paul, Barry, Tricia and Karen sent £250 to the Michael Sobell Hospice. They would have liked to raise more.

Paul Marshal finished in 5 hours 5 minutes exactly; Barry King and Tricia Hopper came in together in 5:09:33. Karen Liddle completed the 20 miles option in 4 hours 11 minutes 57 seconds.

They say it was a lovely course of four laps with 60% off­road, friendly organisers and marshals, that they were lucky with the weather and that it was such a wonderful experience to be part of this event with all monies going to Leila’s charity.

ANDY NEATHAM has recently broken the Fairlands Valley Spartans club records for 800 and 3,000 metres run by veterans (45 plus).

On Wednesday evening at the Watford Harriers Open Meeting, finishing in 2.14.65, breaking M45 Club Record for the third time this year.

Then on Tuesday evening Andy ran in the 3000m and he finished second in the ‘A’ race, in a new Club Veterans Record of 9 minutes 34.04 seconds. This eclipsed Simon Bell’s seven year old mark in the M35 & M40 categories by 0.2 of a second, and his own M45 mark by 18 seconds.

DAVE BOWKER was fifth in the South of England senior men’s walking track championship. In the 5K event at Crystal Palace he finished with a new personal best of 31 minutes 9 seconds.

Carol Paul completed the Herts Stroller which was 54 miles off road from Hitchin rugby club taking in Hertfordshire country side. It was a lovely day for running but darkness fell and Carol completed the last 12 in the dark. Carol completed the event in 15 hours 13 minutes 5 seconds.

Newcomer CHARLOTTE SMITH won the latest evening Handicap 5K event organised by Fairlands Valley Spartans. In her first run with the club she improved on her previous best 5K time by a massive seven minutes to beat her handicap by 6:47 in a very impressive time of 27

Next to finish, just missing out on his personal best (PB) by 1 second, was Steve Gough in 26:20, pipping another newcomer, Naomi Clark (31:19) on the line, with both runners 3:10 ahead of handicap.

Nicola Haberland finished third woman, in a new PB time of 23:00, 1:17 quicker than her previous handicap 5k winning time, with Sue Hamer fourth female, two minutes ahead of handicap, in 26:46. Daniel Bates finished second man (6 David Bowker was third man in a year best time of 19:34, just ahead of the third newcomer for the evening, Sarah Hollands in 29 minutes 36 seconds.

Grant Ramsay was the quickest runner on the evening, as he fine­tuned his preparations to represent Great Britain over the marathon distance, in the world veteran championships in Turkey on the 31 in a year best time of 16:52 , with Andy Neatham second quickest in a year best of his own, 17:39, and Davie Stafford third quickest, with yet another 2014 PB, 19:19, 23 seconds quicker than his previous best.

Clare Moore was quickest female in a year best time of 22:50, just 6 seconds outside her PB run on a much quicker course, with Tracy Pez supporting her and coming in second quickest with 22:51, and Nicola third fastest with her 23:00 PB.

There were also PBs for Richard Kennedy, improving his best time by 42 seconds to 21:21, and Anne Spiller (24:55) & Felicity Evans (27:37) in their first 5k with the club. Season best times were achieved by Mark Goodwin, 21:53 and Peter Carpenter, 30:50 while Lisa Liversidge, Claire Drake & Dean Carpenter all ran new best times for the year.

The next handicap 5K will be on Thursday 18 September, fitting perfectly between the first two 5K races in the Hatfield Series.

Position Name Time Time Position Comments


2 STEVE GOUGH 26:20 18 YB.

3 NAOMI CLARK 31:19 28 1


5 SUE HAMER 26:46 19

6 DANIEL BATES 20:46 5

7 DAVID BOWKER 19:34 4 4

8 SARAH HOLLANDS 29:36 26 11. 1

9 GRANT RAMSAY 16:52 1 Fastest runner. YB.

st 5K.


fastest female. PB.


fastest. YB.

st 5K.

10 ANDY NEATHAM 17:39 2 2

11 DAVIE STAFFORD 19:19 3 3


13 ANNE SPILLER 24:55 14 1


15 CLARE MOORE 22:50 10 Fastest female. YB.

16 TRACY PEZ 22:51 11 2

17 MARK GOODWIN 21:53 8 SB.

18 FELICITY EVANS 27:37 22 1

19 NICK EMMETT 25:13 16

20 CLAIRE DRAKE 28:00 25 YB.

21 VISHAL SHAH 23:26 13

22 ROBERT SHAW 27:45 24


24 MARK BEASLEY 22:07 9



27 MARTIN DUDLEY 27:19 21

28 CALLUM BEASLEY 25:12 15

Stevenage Marathon and Half Marathon

Put the 2nd November in your diary. The Stevenage Marathon is only
organised every ten years and it takes place this Autumn. The annual half marathon will be on the same day. Visit for more information,

Many Spartans will be enjoying a busy programme of races, social and training events over the next few weeks including the:
Serpentine 5K on Friday lunch time 29th August
Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 18th Sept
County 5K Veteran Championship in Hatfield on Wednesday 24th Sept.
Spartans Fall Ball (Autumn Social) in Stevenage on Friday 26th
Henlow 10 on Wednesday 8th Oct
County 5K Senior Championship in Hatfield on Wednesday 8th October
Stevenage Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday 2nd November

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.

Try a few sessions before joining.

If you want to know more about the Spartans please contact Jim Brown (0793 968 7509), Vivienne Honey 07702 846304 or visit their website


More from Jim Brown (Press Officer) 0793 968 7509 or Vivienne Honey
(Secretary) 07702 846304

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