PBs and Silverstone and Ranscombe Reverse

It was cold on Silverstone Gran Prix Circuit but nine Fairlands Valley Spartans had a great day and many achieved excellent results in the half marathon.  

ANDREW PATTERSON was 17th in a tremendous 1 hour 17 minutes 54 seconds.¬† That‚Äôs a new personal best by 16 second and in the top 0.3% of the 6,656 finishers. ¬†He says it was a good race, but the wind was tough going at the front of the pack with limited people to draft behind. ¬†Andy did not think Lewis Hamilton’s lap times were not threatened!!¬†

Running only his third ever race JASON ANDERSON improved his half marathon time by 7 minutes 40 seconds to 1 hour 22 minutes 50 seconds.  He was in the top 100 at 69th place.  DAVIE STAFFORD was 153rd in 1:26:48.

HELEN NUTTALL was the Spartans’ fastest female.  She was 400th and 17th woman in 1 hour 32 minutes 22 seconds; MICHELLE REEVES ran her first half marathon in 1:36:59 and MOLLIE SMITH finished in 1:43:22. 

PAUL HOLGATE improved on his run last week by 4.5 minutes to finish in 2:07:20 and PAUL CADOGAN completed the race in 2 hours 7 minutes 58 seconds.


Position Name Time Comments
69 JASON ANDERSON 1:22:50 PB (7:40). 3rd race.
153 DAVIE STAFFORD 1:26:48  
400 HELEN NUTTALL (F) 1:32:22 17th woman
677 MICHELLE REEVES (F) 1:36:59 First half marathon. 42nd woman
1257 MOLLIE SMITH (F) 1:43:22 101st woman
3252 CHRIS HOLLAND 1:59:11  
4079 PAUL HOLGATE 2:07:20  
4142 DAVID CADOGAN 2:07:58  


Ranscombe Reverse 

On Saturday 14th March CAROL PAUL took part in the Ranscombe Challenge at the Ranscombe Reverse near Rochester, Kent.  There was an eight hour time limit where you could run as many laps as you wanted in the 8 hours.  The lap was 3.8 miles off road with the first half of the lap being very hilly and the second half being nearly flat or down hill.  Carol completed 9 laps 34.2 miles in 7 hours 4 minutes 38 seconds.




At one of the most technical courses in the area, three Spartans made the journey to Harlow for the weekend‚Äôs parkrun. ¬†The parkrun nearly didn’t happen as there were no marshals but with five minutes before the start, volunteers came forward and the run was saved. ¬†¬†Daniel Bates came home 9th (out of 154 runners) with a time of 20-55, a course PB (personal best) by 42 seconds despite still recovering from last weekend’s half-marathon and a 17 mile training run just 48 hours earlier. ¬†Steve Elder competing in his first ever parkrun finished well in 13th with a time of 21-35 and Thomas Sauka was not far behind in 16th with a time of 21-47 (a new course PB by two minutes).¬†

In the Milton Keynes Parkrun at Willen Lake, super-newbie Spartans Verity Fisher and Danny Sutton put on a fine performance on their first run there.  Daniel finished in 26:09 (186th) and Verity in 26:11 (188th) and there were 624 runners.  

At Panshanger (the Spartans favourite local course), Brian Brackstone finished first (out of 223 runners) with a time of 17:09.  Andy Jay finished 54th in a time of 24-51, a new Parkrun PB which was a great way to prepare for the Stevenage Handicap 5km this coming Thursday evening as he defends his handicap title (he is going for three in a row!)


Late Result 

JASON ANDERSON also ran the Finchley 20.   

He was 98th out of the 485 finishers in the excellent time of 2 hours 19 minutes 29 seconds.


Running London? 

With just over five weeks to go so far 24 Fairlands Valley Spartans have declared that they are running this April’s London Marathon.  Some have qualified on time; some came out of the draw; many are running for charity. 


Please support them.  Over the next few weeks several stories on the Spartan entries will be released.  To get the ball rolling


Running London ‚Äď Jason Anderson¬†

Jason Anderson started running in October last year and his goal is to run the London Marathon 2015.  Running for MACs charity. 

Jason says, ‚ÄúThe London Marathon is something I always wanted to do as a kid. ¬†I have been going along every year for the past four years to watch my older brother run London and have said every year that I’ll do it, and my wife has said every year ‘you should definitely do it next year’! ¬†I had an operation on my hip in December 2012 and was told running was out of the question. ¬†Decided after not getting a ballot place that I would run for a children’s charity. MACs¬† is my chosen charity. My brother has inspired me and my family have supported me it what is proving to be one of the biggest challenges in my life!‚Ä̬†

MACs is the¬†Micro and Anophthalmic Children‚Äôs Society¬†‚Äď the UK‚Äôs national charity for children born without eyes or with¬†underdeveloped eyes. ¬†They support families of children born with¬†Microphthalmia (small eyes),¬†Anophthalmia (no eyes) and/or¬†Coloboma (cleft of the eye). ¬†Their services are accessed by around 500 families¬†around the UK and some who are further afield.


Got a place in the London Marathon?   

Got a Place in the London Marathon?  Every year Fairlands Valley Spartans successful train thirty or more people, many of them first timers, to run the London Marathon.  There are training groups from starters to fast fives to suit everyone.  Why not have a look at or contact Jim Brown 0793 968 7509 or Karen Palmer 0773 467 8566?  Newcomers very welcome.


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 evening 19th March.
  • County Cross Country Championships for Veterans in Trent Park on Sunday 22nd March.
  • Welwyn Half Marathon on Sunday 22nd March.
  • Serpentine 5K in Hyde Park on Friday 27th March.
  • Orion 15 classic cross country on Saturday 28th March.
  • Oakley 20 mile road race on Sunday 29th March.
  • Maidenhead Easter Ten on Friday 3rd April.
  • Sandy 10 mile road race on Sunday 12th April.
  • Flitwick 10K on Sunday 19th April.
  • London Marathon on Sunday 26th April.
  • County 1500 metres track championship in Stevenage on Monday 4th May.
  • County 5 miles senior championships at Pednor on Monday evening 4th May.
  • Midweek Road Race League race in Stevenage on Tuesday 12th May.
  • Midweek Road Race League race in Chingford on Wednesday 27th May.
  • Midweek Road Race League race in Harlow on Wednesday 17th June.
  • Midweek Road Race League race in Hitchin on Thursday 2nd July.
  • Bushey 10K including Herts Veterans road championships on Sunday 5th July.
  • County 10000 metres track championship in Biggleswade on Thursday 9th July.
  • Midweek Mob Match in Welwyn Garden City on Thursday 16th July.
  • Fairlands Valley Off Road Challenge on Sunday 19th July.
  • County and Open 3K Relay Championship in Stevenage on Thursday 30th July.
  • County 5K Senior Championships on 2nd September.
  • County 5K Veterans Championship on 16th September.
  • Standalone 10K (inc. country senior champs) in Letchworth on Sunday 4th October.
  • Great Eastern Run in Peterborough on 11th October.
  • Stevenage Half Marathon (includes County Veterans) on Sunday 1st November.
  • St. Neots Half Marathon on Sunday 15th November.
  • County 10 miles Veterans Championship at Buntingford on 27th 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 ‚Äď a Sports College, Telford Avenue, Stevenage (SG2 8UT) at 7p.m.¬† Up to five running groups go out on training nights ‚Äď 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 ‚Äď 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 £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), Karen Palmer (07734678566) or visit their website


More from Jim Brown (Press Officer) 0793 968 7509 or Karen Palmer (Secretary) 07734678566



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