Club News

News Release: 1st April 2012, Olympic Five


PBs at Twenty and 10K

Four Spartans were among the first ever to finish a race inside the new London Olympic Stadium.  They were taking part in the National Lottery Five Mile Race on Saturday.

ANDY NEATHAM was 70th in 29 minutes 41 seconds (10th MV45); NICKY GILMORE 1,965th in 41:28; BEV HARLOW was 2,476th in 43:21; and JAN FRY 4,377th on 51 minutes exactly.

Bev, the Spartans Vice-Chair, said it was a real privilege to take part in the Olympic Park run.  It was well organised with the 5,000 runners going off in four waves.  The course meandered around the Olympic Park before entering the stadium through the athlete’s tunnel with the final 300metres on the athletics track.  It was very exciting to enter the stadium to the music from Chariots of Fire.

Still on an Olympic theme could we be seeing DAVID BOWKER on TV this summer?

At last the rating and paperwork is complete and he can officially try to qualify for the Paralympic Marathon by running a target time in the London Marathon.

Starting with the elite runners he’ll be aiming for the “A” standard of 2 hours 55 minutes or better.  Three “A” standard places are available.  The “B” standard is no slower than 3 hours 15 minutes but only one “B” place is available and only the fastest will get it.

Oakley 20

KERRY JAMES completed Sunday’s Oakley 20 mile road race today in a time of 2hrs 32 mins 36 seconds!  That’s a personal best (PB) by almost four minutes from the same course two years ago.  She was fifth female veteran (40 plus).

BARRY KING also enjoyed the perfect running conditions and took 6 minutes 47 seconds off his old PB when he finished in 3 hours 11 minutes 13 seconds.

PAULETTE ELDRIDGE ran her first twenty mile race in 2 hours 55 minutes.

PB Machine Runs Again

LIAM HERBERT recorded another personal best (PB) Sunday morning at the Regents Park 10K.  He was kept alert by having to hurdle over a dog chasing over a squirrel on the first lap

Liam’s 38 minutes 38 seconds made him 15th out of the 430 finishers.  His previous best was 39:39 at last year’s Standalone 10K.

PETE SMITH was 62nd in 43 minutes exactly.

Last Friday

SIMON JACKSON enjoyed the hot and sunny weather on Friday lunchtime when he ran the Serpentine Last Friday of the Month 5K.  He was very happy with his time of 17 minutes 3 seconds and 11th overall.

Yakima River Canyon Marathon — Saturday, 31st March 2012

While the UK was warm & Sunny, ROGER BIGGS started the scenic YAKIMA RIVER CANYON MARATHON in light snow.  The course followed the River Canyon south to Yakima, and while it was mostly downhill, the course got its vengeance with two long and tough hills.

Roger struggled to find his recent form, but dragged his time down nearer to 4 hours with a fast three mile downhill section, finishing in 4:05:15.


Dozens of other Spartans enjoyed the club twenty mile training run as they prepared for the London Marathon which will be on Sunday 22nd April.

Coming Events

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

  • Spartans Track and Field Championships on Sunday 15th April.
  • Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday evening 19th April.
  • London Marathon on Sunday 22nd April.
  • EVAC track and field in Stevenage on Wednesday 25th April.
  • Mid Week Road Race League 10K in Stevenage on Tuesday 15th May.
  • Fairlands Valley Challenge (Off Road) on Sunday 15th July.
  • Relays in the Park on Thursday evening 19th July.
  • County 5K Championships in Stevenage on Sunday 9th September.
  • County 5 Miles Championship in Stevenage on Sunday 23rd September.
  • Stevenage Half Marathon on Sunday 4th November.


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 over 430 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.  Now the clocks have changed they will be even more popular.  Go along to drama studio next to the gymnastics centre at Marriotts School — a Sports College, Telford Avenue, Stevenage (SG2 0AN) 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 9.30a.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 £27 per year.  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 (01438 354505 or 0793 968 7509), Stephanie Mayfield 01438 815859 or visit their website




More from Jim Brown (Press Officer) 01438 354505 / 0793 968 7509 or Stephanie Mayfield (Secretary) 01438 815859

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