That definitely felt real. Eight Spartans headed north for Peterborough Marathon on Sunday morning.
This was essentially a flat race but with some awkward turns and muddy sections. A bit of a nagging head wind in places but all the Spartans finished in the dry before the day’s deluge began.
CHARLOTTE SMITH beat four hours in only her second marathon and now has a new personal best of 3 hours 55 minutes 43 seconds. GRANT RAMSAY kept up his amazing record of sub three marathons with 2:54:56. He was 38th out of the 561 finishers. Grant had hoped to beat 2:50 but the course was not to his liking. 47 of Grant’s 51 marathons have been under three hours.
MATT CLARKE kept up a consistent pace for 3:49:43. If it wasn’t for a tricky last four miles JOHN HARRIS may well have beaten four but came in with 4:01:06.
JIM BROWN freely admitted that he hadn’t had the time to prepare for a full marathon but grabbed the opportunity to get one done after so long. He was pleased and surprised to keep a nine minute mile pace going to the 20 mile marker which he reached in exactly three hours. Then it became grit and determination and a liquid mud section within the last 5K wasn’t great if you were tired. Still he got round in 4 hours 6 minutes 13 seconds so achieved a target of running a marathon while he was Mayor of Stevenage.
JOHN NELMS cruised in with 4:10:45 followed by ED HARE at 4:25:20 and FIONA CLARKE setting out on a series of marathons with 4:29:47. This was Fiona’s first proper” marathon and the first of three raising money for the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals Charity.
The Spartans team (team of three) were 17th in the race.
Classic Quarter for Spartan Three
Spartan ADRIAN BUSOLINI was one of three Spartans that tackled the Classic Quarter on Saturday. It’s at 44 mile trail run from the southernmost point of England to the most westerly. He said it was a cold, dreary, rainy start (following a 5am coach trip to Lizard Point); but it soon warmed up, and the sun broke through for what was a glorious day on the coastal trail. It wound its way through hidden coves and beaches, up and down hills, and of course into the headwind (mild, thankfully). However, it proved difficult to maintain pace as the technical difficulty of the route escalated after Mousehole, with rocky terrain to navigate that sometimes bordered on scrambling, just at the point the legs and mind were tiring. A confusing factor was seeing participants occasionally shooting past, sprinting up the tricky hills like they’d only just started; these turned out to be relay runners, who had quite literally just started! There was a fabulous welcome back at the finish line at Land’s End. It’s one of those routes that feels incredibly rewarding to complete.
Adrian finished the 44 miles in 8 hours 54 minutes 26 seconds and was 20th in the event.
Anthony Hewitson and Jason Hawthorne, both newbies with FVS, also completed the Endurance Ultra Classic Quarter.
What started as a really wet and windy day quickly turned into glorious blue skies on this race from Lizard Point (the most Southerly part of the UK) to Lands End (the most Westerly point). In Jason’s first Ultra (Anthony is a vet with races like MDS Marathon des Sables under his wings) they ran together and completed the 44 miles in 11 hours 42 minutes, which saw them placed 136 and 137 out of the field of 184 that ran the solo race. The total number of runners on the day was 551 with many relay teams either sharing a half or a quarter the distance.
They said it was a great event, really well organised and now comes highly recommended.
Racing Round England
In the Spartans run, cycle, walk around the coasts and borders PENNY SCHENKEL is only 13 kilometres from the finish line back in Bristol. That’s 99.57% done. She hopes to include the Spartans 10K wave running race on Tuesday to get her over the line.
Including some help from Sunday’s marathon JIM BROWN has crossed the Mersey and is in Frodsham, Cheshire.
In bronze medal position BRIAN WHITE is right by Hadrian’s Wall at Greenhead. He’s on 2120 kilometres.
SHARON CROWLEY, fourth, is through Middlesbrough heading for Haverton Hill with 1949 kilometres done.
KEN JUDE 1611 is at Kirton near Boston in Lincolnshire. CATHY CRAIG 1503 is in the Norfolk Coast area of outstanding natural beauty. While HAZEL SMITH 1483, seventh is in West Runton heading for Sheringham.
The virtual event started in Bristol and is following the coasts and borders of England in an anti-clockwise direction. Many other clubs are participating in the Virtual Coast Challenge. The team total for all fourteen Spartans is 21,731 kilometres.
|Bib no.||Now||Last Week||Participant||Location|
|120||2957.3||2834.6||Penny Schenkel||Outskirts of Bristol|
|118||2521.0||2424.07||Jim Brown||Frodsham, Cheshire|
|115||2119.6||2077.8||Brian White||Right by Hadrians Wall at Greenhead|
|99||1949.1||1899.1||Sharon Crowley||Through Middlesbrough, Haverton Hill|
|108||1610.7||1537.9||Ken Jude||Kirton near Boston, Lincolnshire|
|110||1503.1||1439.1||Cathy Craig||Morston, Norfolk Coast AONB|
|128||1483.1||1414.9||Hazel Smith||West Runton, heading for Sheringham|
|98||1447.2||1332.2||Jon Sypula||Horsey, Norfolk|
|100||1301.6||1190.6||Liz Crowley||Martello Beach in Essex|
|102||1299.2||1248.5||Paul Holgate||St. Osyth in Essex|
|113||968.1||951.2||Liz Carvell||Rottingdean, Essex|
|109||939.1||909.2||Tracy Pez||Kingston Course, east of Littlehampton|
|136||911.8.||863.5||Wendy Tharani||Approaching Bognor Regis|
|114||720.4||690.2||Lee Pickersgill||West Dorset Heritage Coast at Langton Herring.|
Fly 5K Number 53
Four Spartans raced in Saturday morning’s Fly 5K, the 53rd running of the virtual event.
This time NICOLA ANDERSSON was the fastest from Fairlands with 27 minutes 43 seconds. This was her 30th Fly 5K.
Feeling nostalgic JIM BROWN and PENNY SCHENKEL followed the paused Stevenage parkrun course. In an otherwise quiet Fairlands Valley Park Jim was second in his age group with 28 minutes 46 seconds and Penny scored 28:48. They were 123rd and 124th out the 210 finishers. Jim and Penny are the outgoing Mayor and Mayoress of Stevenage and this was a small compensation for there being no parkruns for their whole time in office.
PAUL HOLGATE came in 186th with 34:40.
The Saturday morning virtual Fly races started during the first lock down to help keep people active.
In addition to those using the same effort to record Fly 5K times on Friday NICK KLEANTHOUS ran a (not) Parkrun on Monday in 27:39 and JIM BROWN ran a (not) parkrun 26:21 on Thursday.
(Not) Parkruns can be run on any day of the week.