The Oakley 20 is often the last long run before a Spring marathon and several Spartans proved they are nearly ready for, say, the London Marathon which is on Sunday 24th April.
MIKE GREEN finished in an impressive 2 hours 19 minutes 23 seconds for the undulating twenty miles in Bedfordshire. He was 37th out of the 787 finishers.
Next in for the Spartans was STEVE GREEN, 104th in 2:32:10 closely followed by PETE SMITH, 107th in 2:32:53. ISABEL GREEN was 342nd in 2:55:16. MOLLIE SMITH completed a father daughter team when she finished 481st in 3:08:19. KAREN ELLIS completed the tough course in 3 hours 16 minutes 32 seconds; BARRY KING in 3 hours 21 minutes exactly and MARIA THORNE in 3:35:58.
|342||ISABEL GREEN (F)||2:55:16|
|481||MOLLIE SMITH (F)||3:08:19|
|533||KAREN ELLIS (F)||3:16:32|
|689||MARIA THORNE (F)||3:35:58|
Iris Blooms in Ancona
Over the last week Fairlands Valley Spartans members have been taking part in the European Masters Athletics Indoor Championships. This is for athletes over 35 years of age and over 2,500 travelled to Ancona, Italy from 41 countries
Iris Hornsey had a busy few days as she took part in three individual races and a relay and brought back 4 medals in the over 70 age group. Showing consistent strength against a very high standard of competition, she won Bronze medals won in the 800 metre, 1500 metre and 400 metre races which were followed by running the first leg of the 4×200 metre relay with the British team finishing behind the German team but ahead of the home nation to take Silver medals.
Monica Brown and Tessa Stephenson took part in the Indoor Pentathlon. This consists of a 60 metre Hurdles race, High Jump, Shot Putt, Long Jump and an 800 metre race which all take place on one day. The result in each of these is awarded points from scoring tables and they are then added together to decide the final position of the athletes.
Monica, competing in the over 50 age group, produced results which included the best long jump overall in the competition with a new personal best of 4.68 metres, a personal best in the Shot Putt of 7.88 metres and an overall second position in the High Jump with 1.39 metres. She finished 5th overall with a Personal Best score of 3502 points, an impressive improvement of 272 points.
In the over 55 age group, Tessa performed consistently better than she expected producing personal bests in the hurdles of 14.74 seconds and indoor Shot Putt of 8.73 metres finishing in 12th position overall with a score of 2543 points also a large improvement of 294 points.
Dave Stephenson, in the over 50 age group, also competed and took part in a Pentathlon for the first time. The men’s event also consists of 60 metre Hurdles, Long Jump, Shot Putt and High Jump but ends with a 1000m race. Technical problems in the Shot Putt led to the event being severely delayed which made competing difficult but he was happy to complete the event in 20th position overall with a score of 2169 points.
JOHN NELMS, “fresh” from his 100 mile efforts ran the Reading Half Marathon in a new personal best of 1 hour 35 minutes 40 seconds. HAYLEY FAULKNER was also rewarded with a new PB at the same event. She improved by 24 seconds to 1:58:33.
Florence half marathon Sunday 3rd April
BRIAN WHITE completed the Florence Half Marathon in 1:37:16. He enjoyed perfect running weather and a very nice two lap course all within the city centre. Twice round the Duomo and twice across the Ponte Vecchio bridge.
MEC North Vancouver
DANNY SUTTON and VERITY FISHER completed a 10 kilometre race in Vancouver, Canada at the weekend. The event was on a pretty hilly but beautiful course with tall fir trees lining a creek which they ran up. Their times were 52:34 for Verity and 51:18 for Danny.
Biggs In Bratislava
Roger Biggs spent the weekend in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, taking in the Marathon he missed two years ago. This marathon has a strict 5hr time limit, which Roger thought he could beat, until he realised it was gun time. The 5 mins he took to get over the start line meant he now had to finish inside 4:55, quicker than anything he had run this year.
There is nothing like time pressure to bring out all the stops, with Roger finishing in 4:46:32, over ten minutes quicker than his previous best of the year.
The marathon was two laps, flat other than a small hill that brought you into the Quant Old Town area, crammed with locals and tourists. The only snag being that is was mostly cobbles.
A beautiful spring morning saw six Spartans among a large field of 271 at local favourite Panshanger Park. First Spartan to finish was TIM ROBINSON, finishing 60th in a time of 23 minutes 54 seconds, not too far outside his course PB. ANDY JAY continued his London Marathon build up, finishing 89th in 25:55. LESLIE JIEVE was 111th (18th woman finisher) in 27:11, a new course PB. There were also course PBs for KAREN PALMER (120th, 22nd woman, in 27:34) and HEATHER MOLONEY (138th, 26th woman, in 28:42. CAROLINE CROFT crossed the line in 30:11 to finish 168th (39th woman).
In other local events, DAVE SMITH ran a new course PB at St Albans finishing 40th of 391 runners in 21:11 for a 49 second improvement over last week. At Oak Hill, TRACY STILES was 124th of 168 (34th woman) in 30:47 in her first appearance at this venue, while at the Wimpole Estate JOHN HARRIS finished 10th of 386 participants in 20:06.
Further afield, DARYL STEVENS was again in action at Brockenhurst, crossing the line in 40:40 for 142nd place (of 146) , and ROGER HARDMAN’S latest run at Newcastle saw him finish 229th of 479 in a time of 25:56, only 2 seconds outside his best at the venue.
Finally, MADELEINE PRITCHARD flew the Spartan flag overseas, finishing the parkrun du Bois de Boulogne in a time of 33:08 for 162nd place in a field of 176, swollen by British runners limbering up for the Paris Marathon.
Several other Spartans enjoyed the Stevenage Start of Summertime cycle rides.
Many Spartans will be enjoying a busy programme of races, social and training events over the next few weeks including the:
- Sandy 10 on Sunday 10th April.
- Flitwick 10K on Sunday 17th April.
- Handicap 5K on Thursday evening 21st April.
- London Marathon on Sunday 24th April.
- County 1500 metres open and veteran track and field championships in Stevenage on Monday 2nd May. Advance entries essential.
- Pednor Five (including County five miles championship for veterans) on Monday evening 2nd May.
- Halstead Marathon, including Hertfordshire County Championships for seniors and veterans, on Sunday 8th May.
- First event, Midweek League at St. Albans on Tuesday 17th May.
- Relays in the Park, our 3K Relays in Fairlands Valley on Thursday 28th July.
- Handicap 5 / 10 on Sunday 25th September.
- Standalone 10K including County Vets Championships on Sunday 2nd October.
- Peterborough Half Marathon on Sunday 9th October.
- Abingdon Marathon on Sunday 23rd October.
- Stevenage Half Marathon, a Stevenage 70 event, on Sunday 6th November.
- St Neots Half Marathon on Sunday 20th November.
- County Five Miles Open Championship in Hatfield on 27th November.
- Spartans Christmas Social on Saturday 10th December.
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 hundreds of 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 the new sports centre at Marriotts School – a Sports College, Telford Avenue, Stevenage (SG2 8UT) 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 9a.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 yet done very much running might prefer to start with a Thursday, Saturday or Monday session.
Try a few sessions before joining. Membership is only £37 per year, £25 without UKA affiliation. Concessions are available. Membership forms are available on the Spartans website www.fvspartans.org.uk Please ask if you would like a paper copy. You can also join online.
If you want to know more about the Spartans please contact Jim Brown (0793 968 7509), Andy Neatham 0777 197 5499 and 01438 816889; or Karen Palmer (07734678566) or visit their website www.fvspartans.org.uk