Club News


News from EVAC, Monica wins a national bronze, plus Marston Forest, Holly Trail and Dunmanway


National Championship Bronze for Monica

Fairlands Valley Spartans enjoyed a day at the races on Wednesday.  The club hired a mini bus to take their team to Kettering for the third fixture of the EVAC (Eastern Veterans Athletic Club) central division track and field league.

Travelling the furthest distance out of the four meetings did not deter the women’s team winning the match with a score of 142.5 with Milton Keynes in second place with 119.5 followed by Bedford, Kettering and Corby.  The men’s team were definitely stronger than before and finished a close third place in 100.5 to Bedford 105.5 and Milton Keynes winning the match with 141 points.

Good performances were produced by Rosie Canham, Monica Brown, with wins in the 100 metres in their age groups.  Carolyn Shortland won the shot putt in the older age group (over 55 years) then completed in the hammer in the youngest age (35 plus) and came second.

In the men’s team Steve Mayfield continued to progress by winning the men’s over 40 years age group long jump along with Andy Neatham who won the over 40 1500 metres comfortably and Mick Shortland who won the over 60 Shot Putt.

Dave Bowker returned from injury to win the over 50 walk.  Dave Stephenson produced a great run in the men’s 4×100 metres to put the team into first place, along with Steve Mayfield, Paul Pickard and Andy Neatham they set a new club record of 55.0 seconds.

Overall, after three of the four matches, the Spartan women lead the Central Division with the men in third place.  If they keep this up in the fourth match on 11th July both could be at the regional final.

A few statistical highlights from Wednesday night’s EVAC match at Kettering:

There are two new club records and one equalled, and a number of age group bests.

Outright Club Records

Mens 4x100m 55.0 by the M40 team in 1st place.  The club’s first ever men’s relay win at EVAC.

Mens 2000m Walk 11.17.7 – Dave Bowker in 1st place M50.

Womens High Jump 1.33 metres – Monica Brown in 1st place W45 (equals her own Club Record)

1500 metres 4.34.8 – Andy Neatham in 1st place M40

M50 (plus) team – 4×100 metres relay in 64.3 seconds.

400m 65.8 – John Harris -who turned 50 within the last month.

Long Jump 3.95 – John Harris

High Jump 1.30 – John Harris

Shot Putt 9.03 – Mick Shortland M60.

Hammer 31.75 – Mick Shortland M60.

2000 metres walk 14.55.4 – Jan Fry (W60)

400 metres 97.6 seconds – Iris Hornsey (W70)

Long Jump 2.67 metres – Iris Hornsey (W70)

Monica and Mayfield at Masters Championships

Spartans multi eventers were in action at the British Masters Athletics Federation Outdoor Pentathlon in Oxford.  In the W45 (Women 45 plus) category MONICA BROWN won Bronze with a points total of 2577 and in the very competitive M45 (Men 45 plus) category STEVE MAYFIELD was fifth with a points total of 2243.

Monica’s results were hurdles 16.44 (PB — personal best), high jump 1.36 (PB equalled), shot 6.48 metres, long jump 4.39 metres and 800 metres 3 minutes 13 seconds.

Steve’s results were long jump 4.58 metres, javelin 24.32 metres (SB — season’s best), 200 metres 28.19 seconds (SB), discus 20.29 metres (SB), 1500 metres 5.10.14.  Steve improved on last year’s performance in four of the five events.

Marston Forest 5K

In the Marston Forest 5K on Friday evening Spartan Richard Bate finished a fantastic fifth out of 339 in a time of 17 minutes 4 seconds.  Liam Herbert ran a new personal best (PB) time of 18:34, his fifth PB this year, to finish in the top thirty in 26th.

Paul Holgate completed the course in 25:27, in 159th place.

Lee Morris closely followed Paul in with a time of 25:46 (166th) and Helen Morris finished in 32:16, in 304th place overall.

Conditions were surprisingly humid and windy around a deceptively punishing course, which was run on relatively flat country footpaths circling the Marston Forest Centre.  Good times but all in all it felt like hard work!

Done 10K

ANDY NEATHAM ran in the Dunmanway 10k in West Cork, Ireland on Sunday morning.  It was a well organised and chip timed event, with an undulating course through the Cork countryside.  The event started in bright sunshine, but the runners all finished sodden in an absolute deluge!  Andy finished 10th out of 428 finishers, was 3rd Vet (2nd V45) in 36 minutes 38 seconds, a new VPB (veterans PB).

Roger’s Holly Trail

Roger Biggs ran the Holly Trail Challenge Trail Marathon on Saturday.  Based on Lightmoor near Telford it consisted of 31 laps on muddy tracks.  It was raining most of the time.  Roger says it was very undulating and really tough but he kept going to finish in 4 hours 32 minutes 43 seconds

Tracy’s First Half

New member TRACY BULLOT ran her first half marathon in the recent St Albans Half Marathon.  She finished in an excellent 1 hour 56.44 seconds

The club are preparing for the third Mid Week Road Race League Division One fixture which will be in Harlow this Wednesday 20th June.

Coming Events

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

  • Mid Week Road Race League 10K in Harlow on Wednesday 20th June.
  • Spartans v NHRR “Olympic” Fun Event on Sunday 24th June.
  • Mid Week Road Race League Seven Miles in St. Albans on Thursday 28th June.
  • Mob Match at Trent Park on Wednesday 11th July.
  • EVAC Track and Field event in Milton Keynes on Wednesday 11th July.
  • 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

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