Club News


Spartan women win at EVAC, Mid Week League awards, the Mob Match and more.


County Gold and Silver for Dave and Jim

Fairlands Valley Spartans’ women have won the Central Division Track and Field League.  They will now go forward to the East of England Veterans Final on Sunday 23rd September.

The club’s team of MONICA BROWN, SHARON CROWLEY, CHRIS FEELY, JAN FRY, IRIS HORNSEY, STEPH MAYFIELD, CAROLYN SHORTLAND, JULIE SIMMONS and TESSA STEPHENSON only needed to finish within 22 points of past winners and hosts of the last fixture Marshall Milton Keynes to win.  In fact they kept within two points, MMK 135 to Spartans 133, and were well ahead of Corby (96); Bedford and County (89); Kettering (86); Wellingborough (56) and Biggleswade (4).

The men – DAVE BOWKER, JIM BROWN, MARK GLADING, BARRY KING, STEVE MAYFIELD, ANDY NEATHAM, SIMON PROCTOR, MICK SHORTLAND, DAVE STEPHENSON, JOHN TYRRELL – finished a strong third with 120 points compared with 151 for Bedford and County and 140 for Marshall Milton Keynes with Kettering a distant fourth with 83 followed by Wellingborough (81); Corby (31) and Biggleswade (24).

This was achieved with the help of many club and age bests including 200 metres MICK SHORTLAND men 60 plus 35.9 seconds (also beating the M55 record); 400 metres hurdles MARK GLADING men 50 plus 115.7 seconds; Mile Walk male 50 plus DAVE BOWKER set a new club record for all ages of 9 minutes 22.7 seconds; Triple jump male 40 plus new Spartan SIMON PROCTOR set a new club record for all ages of 10.11 metres; Discus male 45 plus STEVE MAYFIELD set a new club record of 21.94 metres and beat the all ages javelin record with 27.40 metres; also in the discus male 75 plus JOHN TYRRELL threw 17.15 metres (also breaking the M70 and M65 records); and the 1 x 400 metres, 2 x 200 metres and 1 x 400 metres male 40 plus relay team of STEVE MAYFIELD, DAVE STEPHENSON, SIMON PROCTOR and ANDY NEATHAM set a new club record of 3 minutes 4.9 seconds.

The winning women team were already high achievers but IRIS HORNSEY beat the female 70 plus record for 200 metres with 42.0 seconds and for the triple jump with 5.14 metres;  JULIE SIMMONS beat the female 55 plus 800 metres record with 3 minutes 2.6 seconds (also beating the W50 record) and the 3,000 metres record with 12 minutes 57.4 seconds (also beating the W45 and W50 records); SHARON CROWLEY beat the all ages mile walk for women with 10 minutes 55.5 seconds; STEPH MAYFIELD beat the all ages pole vault record with 1.90 metres while MONICA BROWN pushed the 45 plus pole vault record up to 1.30 metres; in the discus TESSA STEPHENSON beat the women 50 plus record for the discus with 16.54 metres and CAROLYN SHORTLAND beat the women 55 plus record with 13.42 metres.

The ladies won four of their 26 events, with KERRY JAMES claiming a double in the F35 800m and 3000m.  JULIE SIMMONS, having recently moved up to F55, won a close 3000m to go with her 2nd place in the 800m.  MONICA BROWN won the F45 200m, added second places in the Triple Jump, Javelin and Pole Vault making her top scorer for the ladies team with 25 individual points.  Second place finishes were also earned by CHRIS FEELY in the F45 800m, STEPH MAYFIELD in the F35 Pole Vault, IRIS HORNSEY in the F55 Triple Jump, TESSA STEPHENSON F35 Discus and CAROLYN SHORTLAND F55 Discus.  SHARON CROWLEY broke the ladies club record coming 2nd in the 1 mile walk, whilst JAN FRY scored a 3rd place in the same event for the F55s.

The men’s team had two 1st places to celebrate, both going to DAVE BOWKER as he continues his return to fitness.  His 1 mile walk was a new club record and his 3000m made it a treble for the club over the longest distance.  ANDY NEATHAM also ran a fine 3000m but lost out to a rival Milton Keynes runner and they ended their head to head battle over the season at 2-2.  New club member SIMON PROCTOR set a new club record coming 3rd in the M40 triple jump.  STEVE MAYFIELD earned second places in the M40, Pole Vault, Discus and Javelin (all PBs) and with a 3rd in the 800m top scored for the men with 23 points.  However MARK GLADING was the busiest and bravest Spartan, successfully negotiating the 400m hurdles for the first time by club make 50 plus (M50), before taking on a further four events and a relay leg.   MICK SHORTLAND achieved 2nd places in both the M60 throws, and came 3rd in the 200m whilst JIM BROWN took on the remaining M60 events, coming second in the one mile walk, third in the 3,000 metres and fourth in the 800 metres.  Between them they collected 32 valuable points.  Then they both took up the baton in the M50 relay.  DAVE STEPHENSON, BARRY KING and JOHN TYRELL completed the men’s team.

The relays brought the evening to a close and provided their traditional excitement.  Several places over the evening were decided by very close finishes, but none closer than the fight for 2nd place in the F45 relay.  With Kettering leading comfortably and Milton Keynes equally comfortable in 2nd MONICA BROWN ran an incredible anchor leg for the team managing the seemingly impossible task of catching the Milton Keynes runner and passing her inches from the line.  The M40 team followed up with a club age record in the relay for the 3rd match running, taking over 11 seconds off the previous best for the 400m/200m/200m/400m.

Gold and Silver in County 10K

Conditions were really horrible for the Hertfordshire 10K County Championships on Thursday night.  There was continuous heavy rain and large puddles on many parts of Sandy Track but DAVE BOWKER won GOLD in the Vet 50 plus category in 41 minutes 37.2 seconds and JIM BROWN SILVER in the Vet 60 plus category with a season’s and age category time of 46 minutes 19.6 seconds.

Iris, Bev and Tracy Win Mid Week Medals

IRIS HORNSEY won the women’s 65 plus category in the Mid Week Road Race League series; TRACY PEZ was second woman 35 plus; BEV HARLOW tied on points with the winner in the 55 plus category but narrowly lost on the tie-breaker formula.

Mob Match

The “mob match” is the end of series combined race for both divisions after which the presentations were made for the 2012 Mid Week Road Race League.  Spartan numbers were down compared with the counting events due to EVAC Track and Field (see separate story) and other commitment but twenty club members enjoyed the nine kilometres essentially trail event in Trent Park, north London.

SIMON JACKSON ran a superb race in 33 minutes exactly to finish sixth out of more than 300 runners and ANDREW PATTERSON was 17th in 34:20.  TRACY BULLOT (188th in 45:52) and CLAIRE COKER (200th in 46:53) were the club’s fastest women.

The other Spartans were ROB WILLIS (23rd in 34:47); ANDREW HULL (143rd in 43:02); ROGER BIGGS (171st in 44:49); VISHAL SHAH (196th in 45:58); KAREN ELLIS (207th in 47:27); PAUL HOLGATE (233rd in 49:26); MARK CHEADLE (237th in 49:40); STEVEN DOBNER (261st in 52:34); MARIA THORNE (270th in 53:26); NICK WITCOMBE (274th in 53:46); JULIE TWOMEY (276th in 54:04); LORRAINE THOMAS (279th in 54:15); ISABEL GREEN (286th in 55:11); TRACY STILES (294th in 57:20); LISA JERROM (295th in 57:20) and SIMON HARRIS (305th in 1 hour 3 minutes 19 seconds).






Simon Jackson




Andrew Patterson




Rob Willis




Andrew Hull

V 40



Roger Biggs

V 60



Tracy Bullot (F)

V 35



Vishal Shah




Claire Coker (F)

V 35



Karen Ellis (F)

V 35



Paul Holgate

V 50



Mark Cheadle




Steven Dobner




Maria Thorne (F)

V 35



Nick Witcombe

V 40



Julie Twomey (F)

V 45



Lorraine Thomas (F)

V 45



Isabel Green (F)




Tracy Stiles (F)

V 35



Lisa Jerrom (F)

V 35



Simon Harris



Grant Ramsay

GRANT RAMSAY competed in the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge on Wednesday evening.  Over 5.6 kilometres in Battersea Park, London he was 27th out of 7,000 in 19 minutes 46 seconds.

Then he was third in the 3,000 metres steeplechase at a Southern League Track Meeting in Woking with a time of 11 minutes 8 seconds.

Tony Goes Bare Foot.

TONY ARGYROU ran barefoot for the City 5K on Thursday evening.  He was 913th  out of more than 6,000 with a time of 22 minutes 15 seconds.

Enter Now!

The Spartans host the Relays in the Park on Thursday evening 19th July.  The relays will be in Fairlands Valley Park with each runner racing over three kilometres.  Men’s teams consist of five runners, women’s teams three.  The club host the County Championship 5K road race on Sunday 9th September and Five Miles on 23rd September.  These are within open races — everyone can have a go.  Enter now.  There are details on

The 3K relays are great for spectators.  If you are not running why not come along to Fairlands Valley Park and support our local runners.  The race starts at 7.30p.m.

Fairlands Valley Challenge

Fairlands Valley Spartans organised a hugely successful Fairlands Valley Challenge off road event on Sunday.  Results will be available soon.

Coming Event

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

  • Relays in the Park (3K legs) on Thursday evening 19th July.
  • Serpentine 5K on Friday 20th (note different Friday and starting point due to Olympic preparations)
  • County 5K Championships 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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