Club News


TWO SPARTANS SUB THREE AT LONDON, Massive 38 Spartans finish London Marathon, Lyndsey and James win 5K


Massive 38 Spartans finish London Marathon

Lyndsey and James win 5K

 Spartans GRANT RAMSAY and SIMON JACKSON both beat the three hour barrier in Sunday’s London Marathon.  Grant was in the top 1% of the 37,000 plus runners.  He was 314th overall in a magnificent championship qualifying time of 2 hours 43 minutes 57 seconds – his best time for three years.  Simon was 687th in 2 hours 53 minutes 38 seconds.

They were among a massive thirty eight Fairlands Valley Spartans who completed the 26.2 miles.  Sixteen were running their first marathon and eight others ran new personal bests by big margins — a real demonstration of how well the club helps runners prepare for the marathon.

STEPHEN BIGGS was running his first marathon and beat his dad, ROGER by 43 seconds.  Stephen was 9,851st in 3:56:08 and Roger 10,068th in 3:56:51.  That 217 runners crossed the line in those 43 seconds shows how busy the finish is at that time.

The other first timers in the Virgin London Marathon were DICLUM LOY (2,783rd in 3:02:11); PAUL WADESON (11,082nd in 4:00:05); GARY CRETTON (18,823rd in 4:30:49); KAREN PALMER (19,207th in 4:32:24); ANNE-MARIE NEATHAM (21,724th in 4:42:11); SALLY BEASLEY (22,302nd in 4:44:37); LEE POTTER (22,665th in 4:46:04); RODGER McPHERSON (24,069th in 4:51:44); ANDY INGRAM-TEDD (25,748th in 4:58:56); MARIA RUSHTON (26,589th in 5:03:26); LARYA BARTON (27,638th in 5:08:31); ELEANOR GLADING (28,819th in 5:10:42); JO CAHILL (31,921st in 5:39:13): HILARY DAVIES (32,601st in 5:45:23); and DAWN TAYLOR (36,631st in 8:001:11).

Two Spartan women improved their personal bests by more than eleven minutes to beat 3 hours 30 minutes for the first time.  They were KERRY JAMES (4,296th in 3 hours 28 minutes 32 seconds, an improvement of 11 minutes 13) and SAM PRETTY (4,316th in 3:28:38, an improvement of 11:01).

The other Spartan personal bests (PBs) were by MICHAEL GREEN (2,864th in 3:17:17, an improvement of 4:13); ROB EVANS (7,075th in 3:44:14, an improvement of 10:46); HELENE MILLER (8,524th in 3:51:02, an improvement of 10:43); JON SYPULA (11,890th in 4:03:34, an improvement of 26:57); STEVE KEMP who improved by more than an hour to 4 hours 15 minutes 34 seconds (14,781st); and KAREN LIDDLE (24,124th in 4:52:02, an improvement of 22:44).

SHARON CROWLEY (20,837th in 4:38:42) was running her 14th London Marathon.

Results for all the Spartans in the London Marathon:





314 GRANT RAMSAY 2:43:57 Champ time.  Top 1%.
687 SIMON JACKSON 2:53:38  
1379 SIMON BELL 3:02:11  
2783 DICLUM LOY 3:16:33 First marathon
2864 MICHAEL GREEN 3:17:17 PB (4:13)
3334 GRAHAM BLACKBURN 3:21:33  
4296 KERRY JAMES (F) 3:28:32 PB (11:13)
4316 SAM PRETTY (F) 3:28:38 PB (11:01)
7075 ROB EVANS 3:44:14 PB (10:46)
8236 RICHARD HAZLEDENE 3:49:47  
8524 HELENE MILLER (F) 3:51:02 PB (10:43)
9851 STEPHEN BIGGS 3:56:08 Son beats father in 1st marathon
10068 ROGER BIGGS 3:56:51  
11082 PAUL WADESON 4:00:05 First marathon
11840 AMANDA BROOK (F) 4:03:22  
11890 JON SYPULA 4:03:34 PB (26:57)
14070 KEVIN SMYTH 4:12:44  
14395 BEV HARLOW (F) 4:13:59  
14781 STEVE KEMP 4:15:34 PB (over an hour)
16006 MARK GLADING 4:20:05  
18592 TRICIA HOPPER (F) 4:29:46  
18823 GARY CRETTON 4:30:39 First marathon
19207 KAREN PALMER (F) 4:32:24 First marathon
19238 RICHARD MOORE 4:32:29  
20837 SHARON CROWLEY (F) 4:38:42  
21724 ANNE-MARIE NEATHAM (F) 4:42:11 First marathon
22302 SALLY BEASLEY (F) 4:44:37 First marathon
22665 LEE POTTER 4:46:04 First marathon
24069 RODGER McPHERSON 4:51:44 First marathon
24124 KAREN LIDDLE (F) 4:52:02 PB (22:44)
24748 CRAIG SNOWDEN 4:54:45  
25748 ANDY INGRAM-TEDD 4:58:56 First marathon
26589 MARIA RUSHTON (F) 5:03:26 First marathon
27638 LARYA BARTON (F) 5:08:31 First marathon
27819 ELEANOR GLADING (F) 5:10:42 First marathon
31921 JO CAHILL (F) 5:39:13 First marathon
32601 HILARY DAVIES (F) 5:45:23 First marathon
36631 DAWN TAYLOR (F) 8:00:11 First marathon

Dozens of other Spartans helped at the finish.  Without the volunteers the London Marathon would be impossible to organise.

Lyndsey and James Win 5K

Thirty one runners braved the weather on Thursday night to take part in the 63rd running of the Fairlands Valley Spartans’ Handicap 5K.

 LYNDSEY CARLISLE was first to finish.  She claimed her second Handicap 5K victory by running a new personal best (PB) time of 31 minutes 51 seconds, 1:40 quicker than her previous PB and 4:39 ahead of handicap.  LOUISA BILL was second female, and third overall in her first race with a time of 28 minutes 46 seconds and VICTORIA SEALY was third woman, in a new PB of 27:33 – 53 seconds faster than before.

The winning man, in second position overall, was newcomer JAMES COOPER in 27:33, 3:26 faster than handicap.  Another first timer, CHRIS HILTON, set a handicap new course record time of 16 minutes 33 seconds to finish second male and fifth overall.  This was three seconds quicker than the previous record.

RICHARD BATE was third man in a new seasons best (SB) time of 16:57, five seconds quicker than previously.

Chris and Richard were also fastest and second fastest runners on the night, with ROB WILLIS third quickest in a new PB time of 18:31.  LIAM HERBERT (18:41 YB) and STEVE WILLIAMSON (19:11) were also inside 20 minutes.

TRACY PEZ was the fastest female equalling her year’s best (YB) time of 22:22, with MADDIE PRITCHARD second quickest in a new YB time 23:21, and SARAH PIKE third fastest in 26:03.

In addition to those already mentioned above, Sarah Sapstead also took 29 seconds off her PB time to 30:05 and Amanda Vickers 0:51 to 36:58, while there were SB times for Steve Pike (+0:05) and James Day (+0:07), and YB times for Selvan Naicker (+0:26), Matthew Holgate (+0:38) and Andy Jay (+0:16).

The start and finish was superbly organised by Graham Blackburn, Mike Crowley, Jim Brown and Jayne Pinner.  Barry King, Sharon Crowley, Kerry Setterfield and Lee Reynolds supported runners around the course, and the Spartan Starter Group provided lots of vocal encouragement.

Next up is the first midweek league race, in Stevenage, on Tuesday 15th May.  The Handicap 5Ks will return at the end of this year’s league races in the Summer.

Madrid Marathon

 For the first time in twenty years CAROL PAUL was not running the London Marathon.  But she was running 26.2 miles in Madrid.  On a hot day and on a hilly course Carol’s third marathon in two weeks was completed in 4 hours 28 minutes 50 seconds.  KEVIN LAWLOR finished in 5:18:43.  MIKE NEWBITT and DAVE PAUL came in together in 5:19:24.

Mayor of Hertford’s 10K

Eight Spartans competed in the recent Mayor of Hertford’s charity race which was over about 10 kilometres.  DUNCAN MARSHALL was third overall in 37 minutes 5 seconds.  The others were SIMON BELL (40:30); ANDY JAY (51:55); DYFED THOMPSON-SMITH (53:29); JEANETTE COLLINS (1:00:27); TRACY STILES (1:02:30); and KATIE and ANNETTE BELL finishing together in 1:03:40.  This was Katie’s first 10K.

They said it was a lovely run, along trails and road, well organised with some nice goodies at the finish.

Coming Events

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

  • EVAC track and field league match in Stevenage on Wednesday evening 25th April.
  • Serpentine Last Friday 5K on Friday 27th April.
  • Herts County Track and Field Championships on Saturday 12th May.
  • Mid Week Road Race League 10K in Stevenage on Tuesday 15th May.
  • Fairlands Valley Challenge (Off Road) on Sunday 15th July.
  • Relays in the Park (3K legs) on Thursday evening 19th July.
  • County 5K Championships in Stevenage on Sunday 9th September.
  • 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


Well done to everyone who ran the London Marathon especially to those who ran their first marathon (hopefully not your last) also a huge thanks to everyone who came to watch & cheer, all the baggage team, and everyone who helped us through the last 16 weeks of training. You are all awesome 🙂

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