Spartans win medals in Hatfield and brave the rain in Ware and Peterborough, also with news from a wet Leicester, Canada and a winner at the Lea Valley Aquathlon

JULIE SIMMONS won GOLD and CLAIRE BAKER BRONZE medals in the Hertfordshire County 5K Championships for veterans (35 and over) which were held within the second race in the Hatfield series.

On Tuesday evening there were 15 Spartans among the 132 runners and more excellent times.

Once again SIMON JACKSON was the first Spartan to finish and was second overall. He was just four seconds behind the race winner, one second quicker than two weeks before, in a new Season Best time of 16 minutes 51 seconds, now just 2 seconds shy of his personal best (PB) run in 2010. CHRISTOPHER WESTCOTT improved his previous time by 52 seconds to 18:17, and was second Spartan to finish in 23rd place overall. DAVID BOWKER was just 8 seconds further back and 27th in 18:25. BERNIE BARNABY improved his time by 10 seconds to 19:19, with JOHN HARRIS 19:41 and KIERAN FEETHAM in a new personal best of 20:37.

JULIE SIMMONS collected the female (55 plus) Gold medal in a time of 22:29, followed by MICHELLE REEVES improving her PB by a further 28 seconds to 22:56. CLAIRE BAKER improved by 1 minutes 4 seconds to 23:08 and won the county bronze medal for women aged 35 plus.

ROGER BIGGS finished in 24:15, BEVERLEY HARLOW 25:31, SHARON CROWLEY 26:08 and PAUL HOLGATE 26:55. ANDREA WESTCOTT cut her PB by 37 seconds to 27 minutes exactly. She was 1:20 quicker than a fortnight earlier.

Serpentine Spartan, CARLOS VASQUEZ GARCIA, was again fourth overall, two seconds quicker than before, in a time of 16:59.

The final race in the series is on Tuesday 22nd October.

Great Eastern Run (Peterborough Half Marathon)

The 2013 Great Eastern Run was hailed a success despite the wet weather making conditions difficult for the 3,842 finishers who took part.

The start quickly became a mud bath with the rain continuing to pour down.

And for two of the Spartans taking part the challenge was made all the harder when they missed the start by 20 minutes when the A1 was closed due to a collision between a Tesco articulated lorry and a coach carrying 47 passengers, 11 requiring hospital treatment.

Sharon and Paul caught up the tail end of the race and then weaved their way through the runners as Sharon overtook 550 runners to finish in 3292nd position, while Paul made his way past 1,270 runners to 2572nd position.

Jo Cahill ran a new half marathon personal best of 2 hours 25 minutes 11 seconds.

The Spartan finishers were Dyfed Thompson-Smith 1,697th in 1:52:09; Paul Holgate 2,572nd in 2:03:50; Tracy Stiles 2,978th in 2:11:38; Sharon Crowley 3,292nd in 2:21:08; Jo Cahill 3,389th in a new personal best of 2:25:11; Charlotte Cockerill 3,534th in 2:31:25; Melissa Tyler 3,612th in 2:36:16 and Jayne Pinner 3,749th in 2:46:20.

Ware 10

Sunday’s Ware 10 was very wet and windy, feeling more like a duck ‘n’ dash than a running event at times due to the size of the unavoidable puddles but Spartan JOANNE BOWDERY finished her first ever 10 mile run in 1 hour 25 minutes 6 seconds.

DEAN CARPENTER was the fastest Spartan. He was 35th overall in 1:11:47. Although that wasn’t a personal best he did comment that he lapped a cow at about eight miles.

Several other Spartans took part including VISH SHAH (1:12:27); MARK GOODWIN (1:17:32); TRACY PEZ (1:18:40); MARIE COLUCCI (1:22:06); ROY BOWDERY (1:30:33); DAWN EASBY (1:35:00) and NICK WITCOMBE (1:36:32).

Leicester Marathon

It rained and it was windy for Sunday’s Leicester Marathon, but the predicted storms stayed away. Over a pleasant and undulating course, ROGER BIGGS had to nurse home an injured ankle to finish in 4 hours 27 minutes 6 seconds.

Carol in Canada

After a six week lay off with a back injury CAROL PAUL was back in action this weekend in Canada. On Sunday she ran the Kennebecassis marathon in New Brunswick, Canada. The race was a very undulating (hilly) point to point course which started in Bloomfield Ridge and finished in Rothesay near Saint John. At the race start the temperature was zero degrees C and sunny but it soon crept up to 14 deg C. The course was lined with the changing colour of the Fall trees, such a beautiful scenery for a marathon. Carol completed the race in 5:02:05

Danny’s A Winner – Lea Valley Aquathlon

Tuesday night saw the last of the six race Aquathlon series at Lea Valley. Feeling nervous about his lack of swimming ability DANNY HUKIN entered the short distance which was a 250 metre swim and a 4K run. Getting out the water well down the pecking order he found his running legs to win the race – first overall!

Coming Events

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

• Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 17th October
• County 10 Mile Championships for veterans on Sunday 27th October
• Stevenage Half Marathon on Sunday 3rd November
• Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 21st November
• Spartans AGM on Friday 22nd November
• Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 19th December
• County Ten Miles Championship in Buntingford on 30th December 2013
• Presentation Evening on Friday 28th February 2014

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, Brittain Way, 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 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 £35 per year, £25 without UKA membership. 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 (0793 968 7509 or 01438 354505), Vivienne Honey 07702 846304 or visit their website


More from Jim Brown (Press Officer) 0793 968 7509 / 01438 354505 or Vivienne Honey (Secretary) 07702 846304

Leave a Reply