Club News


A jam-packed news release visits fantastic runs and achievements from our Spartans in St Neots, Luton, Ashwell, Milton Keynes and Leeds! Catch it here!


Success At County Marathon

The St. Neots Half Marathon was a beautiful run on a lovely course in perfect conditions and produced fourteen new personal bests for Fairlands Valley Spartans.

STEVE MAYFIELD improved by 49 seconds to 1:33:01; DAVIE STAFFORD by 2:53 to 1:35:30; NIKKI ANDREWS by 3:32 to 1:39:17; MARK GOODWIN by 1:31 to 1:40:25; JON SYPULA by 1:33 to 1:41:53; CLAIRE COKER by 1:13 to 1:46:45; VISHAL SHAH by a massive 7 minutes 34 seconds to 1:47:05; MADELEINE PRITCHARD by 3:37 to 1:48:05; ANDY PRIOR had the biggest improvement, 8 minutes 40 seconds, to 1:49:32; KAREN ELLIS 1:11 to 1:53:51; RACHEL PAYNE by 3:36 to 1:53:53; NICK WITCOMBE by 3:26 to 2:02:45; VIVIENNE HONEY by 0:38 to 2:14:52 and JO CAHILL by 1:29 to 2:30:31.

CHRIS WESTCOTT was the fastest Spartan.  He was 48th out of the 921 finishers in 1 hour 23 minutes 59 seconds.

Here are the times for all 25 Spartans (the first number is the position in the club; the second is the position in the race which is followed by the chip time):

1 Chris Westcott 48 1.23.59; 2 Graham Blackburn 112 1.29.40; 3 Steve Mayfield 162 1.33.01 PB 0.49; 4 Davie Stafford 196 1.35.30 PB 2.53; 5 Phil Gale 221 1.37.21; 6 Nikki Andrews 260 1.39.17 PB 3.32; 7 Mark Goodwin 279 1.40.25 PB 1.31; 8 Jon Sypula 307 1.41.53 PB 1.33; 9 Tracy Pez 386 1.46.04 YB 10.23; 10 Claire Coker 400 1.46.45 PB 1.13; 11 Vishal Shah 404 1.47.05 PB 7.34; 12 Madeline Pritchard 424 1.48.05 PB 3.37; 13 Andy Prior 458 1.49.32 PB 8.40; 14 Paul Marshall 510 1.51.58; 15 Karen Ellis 531 1.53.51PB 1.11; 16 Andy Jay 532 1.53.59; 17 Rachel Payne 533 1.53.53 PB 3.36; 18 Paul Holgate 589 1.56.52; 19 Beverly Harlow 592 1.56.27; 20 Karen Palmer 674 2.00.19; 21 Phil Rushton 686 2.01.28; 22 Nick Witcombe 706 2.02.45 PB 3.26; 23 Vivienne Honey 829 2.14.52 PB 0.38; 24 Maria Rushton 881 2.27.56; 25 Jo Cahill 894 2.30.31 PB 1.29


Position Name Time Comments
162 STEVE MAYFIELD 1:33:01 PB (0:49)
196 DAVIE STAFFORD 1:35:30 PB (2:53)
221 PHIL GALE 1:37:21
260 NIKKI ANDREWS (F) 1:39:17 PB (3:32)
279 MARK GOODWIN 1:40:25 PB (1:31)
307 JON SYPULA 1:41:53 PB (1:33)
386 TRACY PEZ (F) 1:46:04 Year’s  Best
400 CLAIRE COKER (F) 1:46:45 PB (1:13)
404 VISHAL SHAH 1:47:05 PB (7:34)
424 MADELEINE PRITCHARD (F) 1:48:05 PB (3:37)
458 ANDY PRIOR 1:49:32 PB (8:40)
510 PAUL MARSHALL 1:51:58
531 KAREN ELLIS (F) 1:53:51 PB (1:11)
532 ANDY JAY 1:53:59
533 RACHEL PAYNE (F) 1:53:53 PB (3:36)
589 PAUL HOLGATE 1:56:52
592 BEVERLEY HARLOW (F) 1:56:27
674 KAREN ELLIS (F) 2:00:19
686 PHIL RUSHTON 2:01:28
706 NICK WITCOMBE 2:02:45 PB (3:26)
829 VIVIENNE HONEY (F) 2:14:52 PB (0.38)
881 MARIA RUSHTON (F) 2:27:56
894 JO CAHILL (F) 2:30:31 PB (1:29)

There were 921 finishers.


Luton Marathon (including Hertfordshire Championships)

On a slightly cold, but a glorious sunny November day, with barely a breeze blowing, Spartan GRANT RAMSAY won the Hertfordshire Marathon Championship with his time of 2 hours 45 minutes 37 seconds.  He was fifth overall and first male (40 plus) in the Luton Marathon which incorporated the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Championships.

The event was on an undulating three lap course from the Lea Manor Recreation Centre to the North of Luton, out towards Streetley.

ROGER BIGGS took GOLD in the Vet 60 plus category for the second year running with his time of 3:57:55; ROB SHAW was 444th in 4:42:30 and SHARON CROWLEY 466th in 4:53:42.


Spartan Simmonds First Woman In Ashwell Multi-Terrain Half Marathon

Spartan TASHA SIMMONDS was first woman in Sunday’s Ashwell Multi-Terrain Half Marathon.  On the hard course JOHN HARRIS was fifth overall and first male (50 plus) in 1 hour 31 minutes 51 seconds; SARAH PRICE shaved 30 seconds off her personal best with her time of 1:50:15 winning a trophy for second in her age group.  LISA LIVERSIDGE finished in 2:03:28 and LORRAINE WYATT in 2:13:52.


Milton Keynes MoRun 10K

RUSS ANDREWS took part in his first ever competitive race on Sunday.  It was the Milton Keynes MoRun 10K which he finished in 54 minutes exactly.


Leeds Abbey Dash 10K

On a relatively flat course and in the sunshine MATTHEW KIRK had a good run from Leeds city centre up to Kirkstall Abbey and back in the Abbey Dash 10k along with 9000 others. Very pleased (and surprised) to beat my PB by 29 secs in doing 45:48. Cheers.


Baggage for VLM.

The London Marathon is not until Sunday 21st April but Fairlands Valley Spartans are already signing up volunteers for help in Pall Mall.  The club have helped make the event a success for many years.  Places for the baggage will be allocated after the draw for running place at the Spartans Christmas Party which is on Friday, 14th December 2012.


Coming Events

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

  • Handicap 5K on Thursday evening 22nd November.
  • Wolverton Five on Saturday 24th November.
  • Cross Country League on Sunday 25th November.
  • Cross Country League on Sunday 9th December.
  • Spartans Christmas Party on Friday 14th December.
  • Buntingford Ten on Sunday 30th December.
  • Virgin London Marathon on 21st April 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 over 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 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 (0793 968 7509 or 01438 354505), Stephanie Mayfield 01438 815859 or visit their website

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