Club News


A sterling SILVER performance from our Spartan Ladies EVAC team, plus race reports from Honington, Biggleswade, London, Bristol, Ireland and more! Read the latest news release here


After winning the central division of the Eastern Veterans Athletics Club track and field league during the season, Fairlands Valley Spartans women travelled to Milton Keynes to contest the league final against seven other clubs.

The women were looking to improve on their fifth place from last year but, up against strong competition from the likes of Chelmsford AC and Loughton AC, it was going to be tough. However, the Spartans showed their continuing improvement by coming second to take home Silver Medals.

The weather deteriorated during the day and became so bad that the Sprint Hurdles and High Jump competitions had to be cancelled. The Spartan ladies were not deterred and maintained their second position throughout the day.

Monica Brown was a super Spartan, winning six events out of seven. She was awarded Woman of the Match by the organisers for her great performances.

Rosie Canham stepped in for the injured Kerry James who was going to do the women’s 35 and over age group 1500 and 3000 metres.  Rosie covered all distances from 100 metres to 3000 metres plus a 400 metre leg of the relay, great team work.

Tessa Stephenson has been concentrating on the Shot Putt and Discus throws after an injury earlier in the season.  That was beneficial as she won the shot in a new personal best and club record of 8 metres 30.  She also did a personal best to win the discus; both events were for the younger age group for women over 35.

After completing her 2 km walk in a huge personal best time, Jan Fry then turned to helping with officiating the competition and was rewarded with a bump on the head from a discus in a bizarre accident.

In an event she took up to gain vital points that had previously been missed, Stephanie Mayfield battled through the elements to come a good third place in the pole vault.  She also gained points in the 400 metre hurdles, along with Sharon Crowley in the older age group in one of the few events which took place before the wet weather descended.

Carolyn Shortland competing in her first final with the Spartans, gained vital points in both the over fifty five and over thirty five age groups in the Shot and hammer throws.

Chris Feely and Sharon Crowley covered the middle to long distances in the over forty five age group as did Julie Simmons in the over 55 year age group, another Spartan in her first final for the Spartans.

Iris Hornsey followed up her success in the 70 plus year age group in the  European Veteran Championships in Germany by covering the over 55 years Long Jump, 100 metres and relay.

Tessa Stephenson, Iris Hornsey, Stephanie Mayfield and Rosie Canham competed in the over thirty five relay of 400 metres, 200 metres x2 and finishing with another 400 metres.

In the same relay distance but for the over forty fives, Chris Feely, Julie Simmons, Sharon Crowley and Monica Brown ended the meeting coming second in a very exciting race as Monica was able two gain two places to end in second place.


Honington 10K

SIMON BELL ran the Honington 10km on Wednesday in 36 minutes 20 seconds, finishing 24th Overall and 3rd Veteran.
Biggleswade Open

David Bowker and Mark Cheadle took part in the 1500 metres at the Biggleswade Open Track Event on Saturday. Some brilliant sunshine made it perfect running conditions, although some strong headwinds down the back straight made it much tougher than expected, but well organised and great fun all the same.

David Bowker put in a fantastic performance, winning his heat among some great competitors.  His season’s best 4 minutes 55 seconds was quicker than his target time.  Mark ran a season’s best 6.18.


Serpie 5K

Conditions were mild, dry, overcast and breezy for Friday lunch time’s 5K race in Hyde Park, London.

Spartan JIM BROWN improved to the top half of the field, 96th out of 201 finishers in 21 minutes 44 seconds.  That’s ten seconds quicker than a month earlier on the faster Kensington Gardens course.  He was third in his age category.


Mooathon — Sunday, 30th September 2012

Roger travelled to County Donegal in Ireland for a marathon where entrants are encouraged to dress up as cows, and/or in black & white.

After a few days of very mixed weather, suddenly marathon day was greeted with some sunshine and ideal temperatures.  However this was a tough course with steep climbs over the 1st 4 miles, as the course left Kilmacrenan Town, just north of Letterkenny to head north to Downings where the half marathon finished next to a glorious beach. For marathon runners there was a loop round the coast with steep ups and downs from 14 miles through 20 miles, before finally the course was kind as runners found their way back to Downings.

Over such a tough course, Roger was happy to finish in 4:12:31, on Ireland’s most Northerly Marathon.


Eastern Combined Events

At the Eastern Athletic Association combined events, STEVE MAYFIELD competed in the senior pentathlon and was by some 20 years the oldest competitor in the field. Blustery conditions made all the events difficult, leading to below par performances by many athletes.  Steve opened with 4.02m in the Long Jump, well down on his best this year.  He followed up with a satisfying 27.51m in the Javelin and 27.8 in the 200m run into a headwind on the bend. His discus of 21.71 was just short of a PB but the final event, the 1500m, was a struggle and run in 5:23.3.  Steve’s overall score was 1584pts (Senior) which converts to an age graded 2156 (V45).  He did well in this regional standard event!


Jay Goes West

Andy Jay made the trip west, for the very popular Bristol Half marathon which was over a flat out and back course along the A4 under the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Andy finished in a year’s best time of 1 hour 51 minutes.


Enter Now!

The club host the County Championship Half Marathon on Sunday 4th November.  The race is in Stevenage and is for seniors and veterans.  The championships are within an open race — 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:


  • Standalone 10K in Letchworth on Sunday 7th October.
  • Great Eastern (Peterborough) Half Marathon on Sunday 14th October.
  • Handicap 5K on Thursday evening 25th 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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