Club News


Fast 5K bests set at Ferry Meadows, a big throw from one of the club’s Veteran track and field stars, plus news from Aquaman Aquathon, Northumberland Coast Trail Marathon and Isle of Wight Half Marathon!


Plus It’s Never Too Late

Fast at Ferry Meadows

Fairlands Valley Spartans’ RICHARD BATE and LIAM HERBERT ran superb 5K times on Wednesday evening.  The Barney Memorial 5K provided the perfect scenic background for some fast times.  Based at Ferry Meadows in Peterborough, and taking in a relatively flat circuit of a lake and the surrounding countryside, conditions were overcast but otherwise cool and great for racing.

In a strong field, due to this race also being a Cambridgeshire County Champs race, RICHARD BATE finished 11th out of 223 finishers in a new season’s best (SB) time of 16 minutes 53 seconds. LIAM HERBERT ran a new personal best (PB) time of 18 minutes 20 seconds, finishing in 34th place.

It’s Never Too Late

76 year old JOHN TYRRELL joined Fairlands Valley Spartans at the beginning of the track and field season in April.  He become a member of the club’s Eastern Vets team and progressed steadily over the season.

On Thursday 16th August, John ventured up to Sandy, Bedfordshire to enter the Biggleswade Throws Fest along with throwers from all over Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

He had good competition in the Discus throwing a personal best of 19.30 metres and the Shot in 6.76  metres.  Both throws were a metre improvement on his previous best.

He will be 77 in October.  John has proved it’s never too late to take up athletics.

Aquaman Aquathlon

DARREN WILBY and NIKKI ANDREWS did the Aquaman aquathlon in Banbury in scorching sunshine (nice for the swim, not for the run!).  It was a 1500 metres pool swim followed by a 10km run, 5km of which was off road and very hilly.  Nikki just about beat Darren on the swim but in the end they finished not too far apart considering the staggered start.   Darren’s total was 1 hour 23 minutes 42 seconds for 15th place in a strong field.  Nikki’s total was 1 hour 24 minutes 25 seconds for 16th.  Detailed times below:

Darren Wilby M Senior 00:30:48

Nikki Andrews F Senior 00:30:23

The run times include transition.

Northumberland Trail

ROGER BIGGS took a train ride north to the coastal village of Alnmouth for the Northumberland Coast Trail Marathon.  This hugged the coast to the north and back again.  With a warm start, but raining by the end, he finished in 5 hours 5 minutes 56 seconds.

Wilting On Wight

STEVE BLOCK ran/walked the Isle of Wight Half Marathon on Sunday.  On a hilly course and very hot day he was glad just to finish!  His time was 2 hours 27 minutes 23 seconds.

Enter Now!

The club host the County Championship 5K road race on Sunday 9th September, Paul Maguire Memorial Five on 23rd September which includes the County Championship Five and Championship Half Marathon on Sunday 4th November.  All are in Stevenage and all are for seniors and veterans.  The championships are within open races — everyone can have a go.  Enter now.  There are details on

Coming Events

 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 24th August (note unusual date).
  • County 5K Championships and Open 5K in Stevenage on Sunday 9th September.
  • Paul Maguire Memorial and County 5 Miles Championship in Stevenage on Sunday 23rd September.
  • Standalone 10K in Letchworth on Sunday 7th October.
  • 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 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 (01438 354505 or 0793 968 7509), Stephanie Mayfield 01438 815859 or visit their website

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