Club News


News from Fairlands Valley Challenge, our 3K relays in the park, a Spartan national champion (three times over) and much more!


326 Relay in the Park plus 487 in Fairlands Off Road Challenge

326 runners plus spectators and dozens of helpers enjoyed a great sunny evening in Fairlands Valley Park on Thursday for Fairlands Valley Spartans’ annual relays which included the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire road relay championships.  Each runner ran three kilometres.

The 218 men and 108 women were organised into 35 women’s and 45 men’s or mixed teams.

The men’s race, five stages totalling 15 kilometres, was won by St. Albans Striders in 47 minutes 17 seconds and the women’s race, three stages totalling nine kilometres, was won by Garden City Runners in 33 minutes 59 seconds.  The fastest woman was Louise Peters of Stopsley Striders in 10 minutes 37 seconds, the fastest man Edward Shepherd of Herts Phoenix in 8 minutes 53 seconds.

Fairlands Valley Spartans had four men’s teams and two women’s teams.  Two others ran as individuals.  Two Spartans beat ten minutes for the undulating three kilometres — GRANT RAMSAY, 20th in 9 minutes 45 seconds, and SIMON JACKSON, 27th in 9:52.

ALISON WOOD beat twelve minutes to finish in 11:27 with RHIANNON GRIFFIN second fastest Spartan woman in 12:19.

LIAM HERBERT improved by 32 seconds to 10:21 (49th); VISHAL SHAH by 29 seconds to 13:30 (242nd); MARK CHEADLE by 38 seconds to 14:12 (262nd).  Many other Spartans were running in the relays for the first time.

Pos Name   Team Time Comments
20 Grant Ramsay M FVS ‘A’ 9:45  
27 Simon Jackson M FVS ‘A’ 9:52  
35 Andrew Patterson M FVS ‘A’ 10:05  
38 Shaw Pye M FVS ‘A’ 10:08  
49 Liam Herbert M FVS ‘B’ 10:21 32 seconds improvement on 2011
51 Rob Willis M FVS ‘B’ 10:23  
62 Chris Westcott M FVS ‘A’ 10:29  
72 Brian Brackstone M FVS ‘B’ 10:37  
96 Todd Gray M FVS ‘B’ 10:58  
97 David Bowker M FVS ‘B’ 10:59  
127 Alison Wood F FVS women’s ‘A’ 11:27 11th woman
134 Martin Wood M FVS ‘C’ 11:35  
144 Steve Mayfield M FVS ‘C’ 11:45  
148 Tony Bradford M FVS ‘C’ 11:46  
152 Adrian Donnelly M FVS Individual 11:53  
186 Rhiannon Griffin F FVS women’s ‘A’ 12:19  
214 Ryan Dunning M FVS ‘C’ 12:57  
236 Julie Simmons F FVS individual 13:23  
242 Vishal Shah M FVS ‘C’ 13:30 29 seconds improvement on 2011
244 Jim Brown M FVS ‘D’ 13:32  
256 Ian Runner M FVS ‘D’ 13:59  
258 Claire Coker F FVS women’s ‘B’ 14:05  
262 Mark Cheadle M FVS ‘D’ 14:12 38 seconds improvement on 2011
263 Trudie Molloy F FVS women’s ‘A’ 14:13  
268 Karen Ellis F FVS women’s ‘B’ 14:19  
288 Paul Holgate M FVS ‘D’ 15:16  
292 Katie Bradford F FVS women’s ‘B’ 15:35  
324 Matthew Holgate M FVS ‘D’ 22:04  

Fairlands Valley Challenge

487 runners and walkers took part in Fairlands Valley Spartans’ hugely successful Fairlands Valley Challenge off road event.  They included 35 Spartans, seven in the 50 kilometres “Ultra;” ten in the 26.4 miles marathon; five in the 18 miles event; twelve in the 12 miles event and one in the 10 miles.

In the “Ultra” they were MATT GILL (6 hours 17 minutes); CHRIS LEIGH (6:27); JAMIE KELLETT (6:46); TRICIA HOPPER (7:48); KAREN LIDDLE (6:48); JENNIFER ROBERTSON (7:49); and SHARON CROWLEY (7:49).

Over 26.4 miles there were CAROL PAUL (5 hours 16 minutes); MIKE NEWBITT (5:16); ROGER BIGGS (5:17); ROB SHAW (5:22); CLAIRE WHITTLE (5:44); ROB HARDY (5:58); PAUL HOLGATE (6:05); DAVID PAUL (6:19); MICHAELA SANDERS (8:20) and BIG DAVE CARTER (9:03).

The five in the 18 miles event were STEVE GREEN (2 hours 49 minutes); SAM HARTE and RHIANNON GRIFFIN (both 3:14); LISA LIVERSIDGE (3:54) and LORRAINE WYATT (3:55).

Then the dozen in the twelve were YVONNE JONES (2 hours 7 minutes); TRACY BULLOT, VISHAL SHAH and LEE POTTER (all in 2:17); JEANETTE COLLINS (2:25); TRACY STILES and LISA JERROM (both 2:52); DARRYL STEVENS (2:56); PAULINE HARDY (3:18); KATRINA DOYLE, LISA POTTER and KERRY SETTERFIELD (all in 3:51).

SIMON HARRIS completed ten miles in 3 hours 10 minutes.

Iris Is A Treble Champion

Spartan IRIS HORNSEY competed in the BMAF (British Masters Athletics Federation) Track and Field Championships at Derby and came home with THREE GOLD medals.  She’s a three times national champion!

On Saturday Iris ran in the 1500 metres in the morning and finished first in the W70+ age group (women aged 70 plus) in a time of 7 minutes 19.27 seconds.  Then in the afternoon she competed in the 400 metres and finished first again in her age group in a time of 91.18 seconds.

The next day Iris ran in the 800 metres race and was first W70 again in a time of 3 minutes 30.05 seconds.

Roger’s Romantik Marathon

ROGER BIGGS was in Fuessen, Bavaria, Germany on the edge of the Alps for the Konigsschlosser Romantik Marathon.  A stunning course 50% alongside water, 50% tarmac, 50% track / trail.  Rain at the start yet still scenic, with the famous King’s Castle always in view.  With some chest problems Roger was delighted to run all the 42.195 kilometres in 4 hours 18 minutes 3 seconds.

Friday 5K

Friday lunchtime’s 5K race was not on the Last Friday of The Month and was not round the Serpentine due to preparations for the Olympics.

Dry, mild, overcast with a moderate breeze for the popular event.

If anything the temporary course in Kensington Gardens was faster than the usual one. Practically dead flat and really wide for the first few hundred metres until the first turn.

JIM BROWN was third in his age category with a time of 23 minutes 9 seconds.

If you want to have a go at this course it will be used again at 12.30p.m. on Friday 24th August.

Trent Park Aquathlon Saturday

NIKKI ANDREWS swam / ran the Trent Park Aquathlon on Saturday. It was the first time the organisers had invited other clubs to join in and it was a really fun race: 400 metres pool swim then a 4.7km (ish) cross country (but flat) run. It was very muddy! Nikki finished the swim in 7 minutes 52 seconds then the run (including transition which took ages as competitors had to walk through the pool area!) was 23 minutes 2 seconds, giving a total of 30 minutes 54 seconds. That gave her 12th position overall and 4th lady.

Enter Now!

The club host the County Championship 5K road race on Sunday 9th September, Championship Five Miles on 23rd September 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 different Friday and starting point due to the Olympics and Paralympics)
  • 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.
  • 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


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


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