News Release

This weeks news includes the Eastern Veterans (EVAC) track and field getting off to a good start, The Milton Keynes, Salzburg and Hanover marathons and the Greenway Challenge.

Hot MK Marathon * Father and Daughter at Letchworth

Spartans ladies and men’s teams both got their Eastern Veterans (EVAC) track and field campaign off to a good start at the first league fixture which was at Sandy on Wednesday evening. The ladies continued where they left off last year, narrowly beat Milton Keynes by 76 points to 71, with Kettering third on the night with 44 points and Biggleswade fourth on 16 points. In the men’s match Milton Keynes were clear winners on 95 points, with Spartans comfortably second on 75 points, Biggleswade third with 38 ppoints and Kettering fourth on 27 points.

There were positive signs for both Spartan teams, boosted by new Spartan members and a change in rules to allow 35-39 year old men to compete. Nine athletes represented the club in EVAC for the first time; BERNIE BARNABY, MARK CHEADLE, SIMON JACKSON, CHRISTINE LATHWELL, LOUISE OLIVER, GRANT RAMSAY, TIM SAUNDERS-MULLINS, ANDREA WESTCOTT & CHRIS WESTCOTT.

Amongst a string of fine performances in the ladies match, there were wins for MONICA BROWN clearing 1.30m in the F45 High Jump and running 14.0 seconds in the 100 metres. ROSIE CANHAM won the F35 400 metres in 67.1 and just missed a sprint double, beaten by 0.1s in the 100m with 14.7s. CHRIS FEELY’s 72.0s for 2nd in the F45 was a club F50 age best and an outdoor personal best (PB). CHRISTINE LATHWELL was a comfortable winner in the 1500m for the F35 in 5:20.7 as was JULIE SIMMONS for the F55 in 6:05.8. Julie also won the F55 Long Jump with 2.63m. There were further wins in the field events for TESSA STEPHENSON in the F35 High Jump (1.35m) STEPHANIE MAYFIELD in the F35 Hammer (16.75m) and a club record of 9.82m for LOUISE OLIVER in winning the F35 Shot.

The men also produced some excellent individual performances and broke 10 club age bests. The highlight was Spartans dominance in the 1500m, with GRANT RAMSAY winning for the M40s in 4:32.0, followed home by SIMON JACKSON, first M35 in 4:35.6 and CHRIS WESTCOTT (non scoring) in PB of 4:38.9. All three, plus the fourth placed Milton Keynes athlete, had recently completed the London Marathon. JOHN HARRIS also ran a 1500m PB in 5:06.4, taking second place for the M50s. ANDY NEATHAM held on to win a very close M40 400m in 60.6s and DAVE BOWKER won the 2km walk outright in 11:31.3. A lap behind him there was an almighty battle between three other Spartans, with just 0.3 seconds separating PAUL PICKARD, PAUL HOLGATE and STEPH MAYFIELD!

In the men’s field events there were two Spartan victories in the Long Jump with SIMON PROCTOR winning for the M35s with 4.61m and MICK SHORTLAND for the M60s in 3.08m. Mick also won the M60 Shot in a club age best of 9.58m and by doing the M50 Hammer (2nd) and M60 100m (2nd) was the busiest Spartan on the night. TIM SAUNDERS-MULLINS threw a club age best of 27.78m in winning the M40 hammer and his 7.47m in the Shot was a club best by an M50 using the 7.26kg weight.

The evening ended with the medley relays (200m, 200m, 400m, 800m) and with strong teams available it was inevitable club records would tumble. The F35s set the ball rolling with TESSA STEPHENSON, ROSIE CANHAM, LOUISE OLIVER and CHRISTINE LATHWELL taking over 10 seconds off the previous club best, winning with 5:00.4. Despite a terrible mix up in changeover at the end of the 2nd leg, SHARON CROWLEY, MONICA BROWN, CHRIS FEELY and JULIE SIMMONS still shaved 2 seconds off the F45 record posting 5:37.1 for 2nd place. A strong M40 team of STEVE MAYFIELD, SIMON PROCTOR, CHRIS WESTCOTT and GRANT RAMSAY came off second best in a very tight race with Milton Keynes, but their 4:10.7 smashed the club record by 25 seconds. Immediately afterwards the M50 team contested another exciting race, not only against Milton Keynes, but a non scoring team of rival M35-49 Spartans. DAVE STEPHENSON, BERNIE BARNABY and JOHN HARRIS built up a good lead for the M50s over MARK CHEADLE, PAUL PICKARD and SIMON JACKSON, but despite a determined 800m from M50 DAVE BOWKER, he was chased down by ANDY NEATHAM who brought the non scorers home in 4:28.6. The M50s finished in 4:35.7 breaking the previous M50 club best by 29 seconds.

Spartans will be hosting the next match at Ridlins End, Stevenage, 7pm on Wednesday 5th June.

Full Spartan results below.


100 Metres
M35 3 Simon Proctor 13.6
M40 3 Steve Mayfield 13.7
M50 2 Dave Stephenson 13.1 M50 Club Record
M60 2 Mick Shortland 16.1

400 Metres
M40 1 Andy Neatham 60.6 M45 Club Record
M50 3 Bernie Barnaby 67.7

1500 Metres
M35 1 Simon Jackson 4.35.6
M40 1 Grant Ramsay 4.32.0 PB
M50 2 John Harris 5.06.4 PB
M40 Non Scoring X Chris Westcott 4.38.9 PB

2K Walk
A String 1 Dave Bowker 11.31.3
B String 3 Paul Pickard 14.37.1
M50 Non Scoring X Paul Holgate 14.37.2

Long Jump
M35 1 Simon Proctor 4.61
M40 2 Steve Mayfield 4.21
M50 2 Dave Stephenson 4.14 M50 Club Best
M60 1 Mick Shortland 3.08 M60 Club Best

High Jump
M40 4 Paul Pickard 1.15
M50 2 John Harris 1.25

M35 3 Mark Cheadle 5.50
M40 3 Tim Saunders-Mullins 7.47 M50 7.26kg Club Best
M50 2 Mark Glading 8.04
M60 1 Mick Shortland 9.58 M60 Club Best

M40 1 Tim Saunders-Mullins 25.78 Senior 7.26kg Club Record
M50 2 Mick Shortland 27.76 M50 Club Best

Medley Relay (200m, 200m, 400m, 800m)
M40 2 S Mayfield, S Proctor, C Westcott, G Ramsay 4.10.7 Senior Club Record
M50 2 D Stephenson, B Barnaby, J Harris, D Bowker 4.35.7 M50 Club Best
M35 Non Scoring X M Cheadle, P Pickard, S Jackson, A Neatham 4.28.6


100 Metres
W35 2 Rosie Canham 14.7
W45 1 Monica Brown 14.0
W55 2 Carolyn Shortland 21.1

400 Metres
W35 1 Rosie Canham 67.1
W45 2 Chris Feely 72.0 PB & W50 Outdoor Best
W35 Non Scoring Peta Wilson 89.8

1500 Metres
W35 1 Christine Lathwell 5.20.7
W45 3 Monica Brown 7.36.6
W55 1 Julie Simmons 6.05.8 W55 Club Best

2K Walk
W35 A 2 Sharon Crowley 14.01.8
W35 B 2 Stephanie Mayfield 14.37.4

Long Jump
W35 2 Tessa Stephenson 3.29
W45 2 Chris Feely 3.30
W55 1 Julie Simmons 2.63

High Jump
W35 1 Tessa Stephenson 1.10
W45 1 Monica Brown 1.30

W35 1 Louise Oliver 9.82 Senior Club Best
W45 2 Chris Feely 5.30
W55 3 Carolyn Shortland 5.31 W55 Club Best
W35 Non Scoring X Andrea Westcott 4.22

W35 1 Stephanie Mayfield 16.75
W45 3 Sharon Crowley 13.18
W55 2 Carolyn Shortland
hortland 18.34
W35 Non Scoring X Andrea Westcott 11.21

Medley Relay (200m, 200m, 400m, 800m)
W35 1 T Stephenson, R Canham, L Oliver, C Lathwell 5.00.4 W35 Club Best
W45 2 S Crowley, M Brown, C Feely, J Simmons 5.37.1 W45 Club Best

Bowker Bronze in County Five

DAVE BOWKER had to go all the way to Pednor, near Chesham for Monday evening’s County Five Mile Championships. He won bronze in the veteran (50 plus) category in 32 minutes 23 seconds.

This was the day after he came 91st out of 1557 runners in the Gear 10K race at Kings Lynn with a sub 40 time. 39 minutes 53 seconds was good enough for sixth in the competitive male veteran (50 plus) category.

Runners Wilt At Milton Keynes Marathon

Hundreds of runners wilted in the heat at the Milton Keynes Marathon. More than 800 starters failed to finish. 2,850 started but only 2,041 finished.

GRANT RAMSAY was one of the pacers and led the sub 3 hour group. The race was evenly run, with runners being led to half way in 1hr28:15. He finished 13th out of the survivors in 2 hours 58 minutes 35 seconds.

Despite the conditions JON SYPULA improved his personal best with 3:55:57. His previous best was over four hours. He said it was very hard work and far too hot! Great support though and lovely scenery.

PAUL MARSHALL completed the very hot event in 4:20:40

Daughter Wins Tussle In Letchworth Greenway Half

Father and daughter team ROGER HARDMAN and ISABEL GREEN ran the Letchworth Greenway Half Marathon. The course was off road and undulating, circling through the fields and woods just outside the town. Isabel Green beat her father for the first time ever, with a time of 2 hours 3 minutes. Roger came in four minutes later, at 2 hours 7 minutes.

DEAN CARPENTER “dragged” himself round in 1 hour 32 minutes 22 seconds, and finished in eighth position. He was more than happy with a top 10 finish.

Salzburg Marathon

On Sunday CAROL PAUL ran her fourth marathon in four weeks at Salzburg Austria. Running in a temperature of 23 degrees on a very beautiful course Carol completed the race in 4:27:67

Hanover Marathon

As Chairman of the UK 100 Marathon Club, ROGER BIGGS was invited to Central Germany, for the Hanover Marathon. This was to witness a German Runner Christian Hottas becoming the 1st person on the planet to finish 2000 marathons/Ultras. Christine, Roger plus another 80 runners from around the world, duly ran the marathon together to finish in a time of 5:30:31.

The course was virtually flat, but run on a warm almost cloudless day.

Southern Track and Field

DAVE and TESSA STEPHENSON had started their outdoor track & field season by travelling to Portsmouth on Monday (29th) to take part in the Southern Counties Veteran League. It was a cool and breezy evening with the track situated by the waters edge near the harbour. Dave started in the Over 50 category which he has just reached, and took part in his first high jump competition, finishing fifth with a height of 1.35m. Following on immediately, Dave then raced 100m, dropping down to the 35 to 49 year old age group coming fourth in 13.3 seconds, his best for several years. Tessa opened her competition in the 100m for over 50 women, coming third in a time of 16.6 seconds. She then came 2nd in her 400m in 80.5 seconds. Again racing in the younger age group, Dave then won the 2 kilometre race walk outright in a time of 11 minutes 58.8 seconds. Relays traditionally end the evening meetings and this time it was a 4 x 100m event. Tessa & Dave both took part with the women finishing second and the men sixth.

Oodles To Come

Fairlands Valley Spartans won oodles of gold, silver and bronze medals at the Hertfordshire County Track and Field Championships on Bank Holiday Monday. All the details will be in next week’s release.

Help The Spartans

Fairlands Valley Spartans host the first event in the 2012 Mid Week Road Race League series in Stevenage on Tuesday evening 14th May. Lots of volunteer helpers, including marshals, are needed to ensure the success and safety of the event. Can you help? Please contact BERNIE BARNABY []

Coming Events

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

• County Veterans 10K Championship at St. Albans on Sunday 12th May.
• Mid Week League 10K in Stevenage on Tuesday 14th May.
• Main County Track and Field Championships on 25th May.
• Mid Week League 10K in Chingford on Wednesday 29th May.
• EVAC at Stevenage on Wednesday 5th June.
• Garden House 5K in Fairlands Valley Park on Sunday 9th June.
• St. Albans Half Marathon on Sunday 9th June.
• Mid Week League 10K in Harlow on Wednesday 12th June.
• Mid Week League Five Miles in Welwyn GC on Wednesday 26th June.
• County 10K track championships at Sandy on Thursday 11th July.
• Mob Match 9K in Trent Park, North London on Wednesday 17th July.
• Fairlands Valley Challenge on Sunday 21st July.
• Relays in the Park in Stevenage on Thursday 25th July.
• Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 5th September
• Herts Senior 5K Championships in WGC on Tuesday 24th September.
• County 10K Championships in Letchworth on Sunday 6th October.
• Herts Veterans 5K Championships in WGC on Tuesday 8th October.
• County 10 Mile Championships for veterans on Sunday 27th October.
• Stevenage Half Marathon on Sunday 3rd November.
• County Ten Miles Championship in Buntingford on 30th December 2013.

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 about 400 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, Brittain Way, 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 9.30a.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 £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 or 01438 354505), Vivienne Honey 07702 846304 or visit their website


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