Club News


A bumper news release featuring Grant and Iris competing for GB in Europe, Steve M and Liam scoring PBs on the track, a 10K PB for our Vice Chair (and Steve again!) alongside other great times run in London, plus plenty of fantastic performances from all over the country!


Europe Medals for Iris * Enter Now For The County 5K

Fairlands Valley Spartans GRANT RAMSAY was the first runner home for Team GB in the European Veterans Marathon Championships which were held in Hradek, Czech Republic at the weekend.  He was fifth in the male veteran (40 plus) age group with an overall position of 21st out of the 500 runners with a time of 2 hours 51 minutes 40 seconds.

Euro Medals On The Track

Meanwhile IRIS HORNSEY was in Zittau in Germany for the weekend where she took part in the European Veterans Athletic Championships.

She ran in four events in the Women’s 70+ age group:

In the 1500 metres Iris came seventh in a time of 7 minutes 22.05 seconds.  She was a bit disappointed and realised she went off too fast.  The temperature was a sticky 35 degrees though and everyone’s time was down!

The 400 metres was a better race for Iris on a cooler day.  She came fifth in a time of 1:30.68.

Then in the 800 metres Iris came third in a time of 3:30.37 and won a BRONZE medal!  She was absolutely thrilled!

Then the next day there were the relays.  In the 4×100 metres W70 Team, she ran the second leg in the Great Britain Team which finished second in a time of 1:17.45 and won a SILVER medal!  (They were beaten by the Germans who had a really good team of sprinters but they were very pleased with themselves)


The Regent’s Park run was a pleasant early evening 10K for three Spartans after their days work in London.  It was organised by the BBC Running Club on a fast three lap course round Regents Park with a cooling temperature and a light wind making for near perfect running conditions.  STEVE MAYFIELD completed his sixth race in 10 days, finishing 24th in a new personal best (PB) of 42 minutes 43 seconds.  STEPH MAYFIELD came in 74th in 52:55 just ahead of PAUL HOLGATE in 54:40.

Mayfield On Track

With the track and field season recommencing after the Olympics, STEVE MAYFIELD made up for lost time by getting to three open graded meetings in just over a week.  Starting at Blackheath and Bromley, he was third in heat two of the 1500 metres in 5 minutes 10.5 seconds.

Two days later Steve was at Lea Valley for their sprints evening.  These are held monthly through the summer and often attract the odd international, on this occasion Montell Douglas (current GB women’s 100 metres record holder) was the star athlete.  Steve set a new personal best (PB) of 13.40 in heat two of the 100 metres then ran 27.08 to take fourth place in heat 3 of the 200m,

After squeezing in a 5 mile road race in Tewksbury, Steve was back on the track this week at Woodford Green.  In the midst of a short sharp rain shower he ran a season’s best of 2 minutes 26.36 in the 800 metres, before dashing off to do the long jump.


Although he says he struggled throughout battling a stitch, and the race followed a tough week of duathlon training in preparation for representing GB in the World Duathlon Championships in four weeks time, SIMON JACKSON, completed the Friday lunch-time Serpentine 5K in 17 minutes 9 seconds.  He was ninth out of the 151 finishers.

Spartans Club Chair BEV HARLOW ran a new personal best of 24 minutes 43 seconds, beating a PB set ten years ago, so she is quite pleased and will certainly do this race again.  Bev was 121st.

JIM BROWN ran an age related season’s best time of 21 minutes 51 seconds.  He was 77th.

The race was on the temporary Kensington Gardens course.  Once the Olympics and Paralympics are over the Serpentine 5Ks will revert to the usual course in Hyde Park and the usual date, the last Friday of the Month.

Liam’s Diamond PB

LIAM HERBERT used his Bank Holiday Monday to race on the track for the first time this year, by running 1500 metres in the Peterborough Diamond Games.  Running in the first of three open graded races, Liam maintained a consistent pace with his final lap being his fastest, and accelerated to a new personal best (PB) time of 4 minutes 49.8, taking an impressive 32.1 seconds off his previous best.

Newmarket Duathlon

Last Sunday, DANNY HUKIN competed in his first Duathlon race at Newmarket consisting of a 3 mile run; 14mile bike and 3mile run.  With a midday start in 30 degree heat as well pre race nerves to contend with, it was a tough duathlon debut.  Danny finished in 21st place and 9th in his age category in a strong field.

Thames Meander Trail Marathon trail Marathon

The Thames Meander Trail Marathon on Saturday was an event from Kingston-Upon-Thames, with a 1 mile road start and 2.5 miles in Richmond Park, before turning East along the south towpath to reach halfway at Putney Bridge, then returning back along the same route.  Apart from hilly sections with in the park, the course was basically flat, although roughish trail at times.

After a reasonable first half, Roger struggled in the later stages to finish in 4 hours 28 minutes 27 seconds and 102nd out of 181 finishers.

Pathfinder Event

Twelve Spartans travelled to Conington near Huntingdon on Monday for the Pathfinder event that visits the several World War Two RAF Airfields in the area.  The race was on a a combination of minor road, trails, paths & fields, that took part in lovely running conditions, over a pretty flat course.

Spartan times in the 42 kilometre event were MIKE NEWBITT (4:57:30); CAROL PAUL (5:08:30); ROGER BIGGS (5:21:57); SHARON CROWLEY, TRICIA HOPPER, KAREN LIDDLE and DAVID BOWKER (all 5:44:59) and DAVE CARTER (8:00:00).

DAVE PAUL and MIKE CROWLEY finished the 32 kilometres event in 4 hours 44 minutes 30 seconds and 5:18:20 respectively.

ROBERT and PAULINE HARDY both completed the 14 kilometres option in 4:03:55.

Smugglers Trod Off Road Marathon — Saturday, 25th August 2012

MIKE NEWBITT took part in the Smugglers Trod Off Road Marathon from Robin Hoods Bay, Yorkshire on Saturday.  He took exactly six hours.

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 Soon

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

  • Spartans Handicap 5K on Thursday evening 30th August.
  • 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.
  • Serpentine 5K on Friday 28th 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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