The Fairlands Valley Spartans (FVS) Track Teams are back in Action. Despite the unpredictable weather, it was great to get back to competing in the EMAC (Eastern Veterans Track and Field) league in Sandy on Wednesday evening. The FVS ladies team won the fixture, finishing 10 points ahead of their major rivals, Marshall Milton Keynes AC.
Four women made their debut for FVS – Marian Morley (2nd place discus throw (DT)), Stephanie Biggar (3rd place in both shot (SP) and DT), Karen Dodsworth (2nd place long jump (LJ), and winner in both triple jump (TJ) and DT), and Joylyn Saunders-Mullins (winning both 100 metres and 400 metres in a younger age group!) while others tried events for the first time – Callie Chapman (3rd place 100m) and Sheryl Hann (2nd place 800m). Other winners on the night were Suzy Hawkins (800m and 2nd place 400m), Tessa Stephenson (100m and 400m and 2nd place SP), and Monica Brown (LJ and 4th place SP). The remaining points were won by Andrea Westcott (2nd place 800m, 3rd place LJ, and 2nd place TJ), Yuko Gordon (2nd place 1 mile walk) and Sharon Crowley (4th place 1 mile walk)
The men’s team had six competing, including debutante Steve Gough who did the walk to get his bearings!
Dave Stephenson finished first (400m), 2nd place (100m), and 3rd place (SP). Steve Mayfield contributing to our points tally with his usual four events finishing 3rd (LJ) and 4th (TJ, SP, 100m), Andy Patterson finished 3rd on his debut in triple jump and 4th in 800m. Ron ‘Pops’ Westcott placed 4th (SP) and 5th (DT), the winner was 15 years his junior! Mark Freeman placed 3rd (1 mile walk) and 5th (100m), Chris Westcott nursing his hamstring to a very respectable 4th place in 400m and Steve Gough finished in 4th place on his debut in the walk.
The competition is fierce as Andy Patterson ran 2.09.07 which is close to the club record to finish fourth!!! EMAC is great fun and a huge learning curve for all involved!!!
Due to COVID restrictions, there were no relays to round off the evening, but everyone enjoyed the tasty homemade triple chocolate brownies. The next fixture is in Cambridge on 30th June, where Captain’s Cake of the Day will be lemon drizzle……….
Hertfordshire Half and 10K
The Hertfordshire Half and 10K, based on Knebworth House, are – politely – undulating. This time the challenge was slightly greater with the switch from a cool end of year to summer. Indeed this was the postponed by pandemic 2020 event.
Three Spartans took on the full 13.1 miles. Looking at the course and conditions beforehand JIM BROWN thought he’d struggle to get under two hours but he maintained a steady pace throughout to finish in 1 hour 53 minutes 30 seconds. That gave him third in his category and 394th out of the 1,096 finishers. Next at 479th came CHARLOTTE SMITH in 1:56:48 with club secretary WENDY THARANI coming in with 2:09:29 (728th).
There was a socially distanced wave start for both races.
In the 10K JAMES McSWEENEY came in with 51 minutes 34 seconds; JONATHAN JONES with 1:02:03 and DZENANA with 1:06:06. There were 319 finishers.
The even more local Stevenage Half Marathon, organised by Fairlands Valley Spartans, is on Sunday 21st November and entries are open.
Yuko at Boston (UK)
On the public holiday Monday Fairlands Valley’s YUKO GORDON ran the Boston (UK) Marathon in 3 hours 26 minutes 29 seconds. She was first woman 70 plus and 265th out of the 693 finishers.
Jonathan WINS Fly 5K Anniversary Run
JONATHAN PARR took Spartan participation in Fly 5K to a new level when he won Saturday’s Fly 5K anniversary race with 16 minutes 49 seconds in his first Fly race.
This was Fly 5K’s first birthday and the 55th event. There were 220 runners from 48 clubs. Also on Saturday morning NICOLA ANDERSSON was 101st in 27:32; PENNY SCHENKEL and JIM BROWN were 119th equal with 29 minutes exactly and PAUL HOLGATE was 181st in 33:32.
The first Fly 5K virtual race was on 6th June 2020 and the Saturday morning events, including the window when parkrun would have been, has helped keep many runners motivated and involved during the long months of lockdown.
Racing Round England
The Spartans have a winner in their Bristol to Bristol virtual run, cycle and walk challenge around the coasts and borders of England. PENNY SCHENKEL crossed the finish line during the Spartans Wave 10K run on Tuesday 25th May with all 2,970 kilometres done.
She was 434 kilometres ahead of JIM BROWN (2536) and 789 ahead of BRIAN WHITE (2181).
On Sunday 6th June JIM BROWN had reached Woodcroft in the Wye Forest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Soon he will briefly cross into Wales as he heads to Chepstow Castle / Cas – gwent. Jim is on 2,738 kilometres (92%).
This virtual event was another great distraction and motivation during the months of restrictions on racing and training together. It started in Bristol and followed the coasts and borders of England in an anti-clockwise direction. The other twelve Spartans are still clicking up the kilometres. Many other clubs are participating in the Virtual Coast Challenge.
In addition to those using the same effort to record Fly 5K times on Saturday some other Spartans ran (not) parkruns on other days. For example JIM BROWN ran a 5K in 26 minutes 51 seconds, two minutes 9 seconds faster than his Saturday effort during Sunday’s Hertfordshire Half Marathon and on Tuesday ALISON SHELLEY registered qa (not) parkrun in 30:29.
(Not) Parkruns can be run on any day of the week.