News Race Results


Hillingdon * Big Half * Barcelona


High winds battered Spartans at the Big Half, Classic 20 at Hillingdon, Cambridge Boundary Run and Harpenden but amazingly there were some excellent results including some new personal bests.


Big Half

There were twenty Spartans at the Big Half 13.1 miles race from central London.  The race went from near the Tower of Bridge to Canary Wharf then over Tower Bridge to the Cutty Sark.

ASHLEY SCHOENWETTER beat 90 minutes with 1:29:28.   She said that on one section the tailwind was so strong that her pony tail was in front of her.


ADRIAN BUSOLINI was the fastest Spartan.  He was in the top 1,000 with 1:26:31.


There were personal bests from PAUL SHELLEY, MEGAN TAYLOR and STEVE DOBNER.  Paul ran 1:32:08.  Megan improved by 2:42 to a sub two 1:59:41.  Steve said he had a fantastic run, especially windy but the rain stopped as the rain started, running over Tower Bridge was amazing.  He finished with KAREN PALMER in 2:04:59.

Considering the weather TIM SABAN said he faired quite well.  Not quite a PB but only a couple of minutes off.  Pleased with a consistent pace throughout instead of his normal “fly and die” tactic.

HAZEL SMITH said it was really windy out there.  She had a lovely run with CALLIE CHAPMAN and finished in 2:28:34.

ED HARE finished with a 1.55.08.  He said his legs didn’t feel anything like the previous Sunday at Cambridge but he battled through the tough conditions to enjoy a fantastic day out with fellow Spartans.

This was another event organised by the London Marathon, and covering much of the actual London Marathon course, said ROGER BIGGS.  Starting from Tower Bridge the route through Docklands included a nasty cobbles section, before returning and crossing Tower Bridge.  It was then a straight run down to finish adjacent to the famous Cutty Sark.  With rain to start and a nasty wind throughout, Roger was pleased to finish in 2:29:47.

DAVE PATTMAN and ALISON SHELLEY were both running their first half marathons.  Dave in 1:52:44 and Alison in 2:07:49.

(Chip times for all twenty Spartans can be found near the end of this release).


Yuko Wins At Windy Hillingdon 20

It was pretty wild, windy and hilly for the classic Hillingdon 20 race on Sunday.  This legacy event, formerly the Finchley 20, is the longest-running 20-mile race in the UK and was first organised in 1933.  Many see it as excellent preparation for the London marathon.

A new course was needed due to HS2 construction work.  It was basically four laps which meant four times into the headwind and four times up a couple of grinding hills but there were also some very fast sections making even pace judging interesting.  Up the last hill and along the last straight to the finish was straight into the strengthening wind.

There was a fantastic new PB (personal best) for Spartan JASON ANDERSON at the Hillingdon 20.  He was seventh senior and eleventh overall in 2 hours 8 minutes 55 seconds.

YUKO GORDON won the women’s 60 plus prize with 2:45:51.  NICK GILL beat his previous personal best by a significant 7 minutes 53 seconds to finish in 2 hours 46 minutes 3 seconds.  TODD GRAY came in with 2:39:01.

JIM BROWN was hit by a bush that looked like it was in a spin drier on lap three but was happy to improve on his previous “20” time by 4 minutes 1 seconds and edge closer to the 70% milestone.  He was fourth MV60 in 2 hours 50 minutes 59 seconds and said the showers were great.

Worried about beating the four hour cut off time SHARON CROWLEY had more than eight minutes to spare and was rewarded by finishing third woman 60 plus in 3:51:41.


Position Name Chip Time Comments
11 JASON ANDERSON 2:08:55 PB.  Seventh senior.
124 TODD GRAY 2:39:01
152 NICK GILL 2:46:03 PB (7:53)
154 YUKO GORDON 2:45:51 1st FV60
177 JIM BROWN 2:50:59 4th MV 60.  YB by 4:01
332 SHARON CROWLEY 3:51:41 3rd FV60



DUNCAN FLOUNDERS ran the Barcelona marathon on Sunday.  He said, “It’s a great event and really well organised with probably the best start I’ve been involved with – each wave went off to ticker tape and Freddie Mercury’s Barcelona blaring.

The first half went well but I struggled from 30K onwards, finishing in 4hrs 13mins.  The crows support was amazing all the way round.”


Harpenden Half

The Harpenden half is a tough mainly off road half starting and finishing in Rothamsted Park.  STEVE GREEN said, “Sunday’s wind, which blew everything over including the loos, and the wet underfoot condition made this a really challenging run.  I finished happily in 01:36:47 and 23rd position.”

ROB WRIGHT did the same event in 2 hours 20 minutes.


Cambridge Boundary Marathon

“Another day another marathon!” said BARRY KING.  That was two marathons in a week for the Fairlands Valley Spartans trio of Karen Liddle, Tricia Hopper and Barry King.  They completed the Cambridge Boundary Marathon run a week after the Belvoir Marathon last Saturday!

They were running a windy boundary run around the Cambridge countryside and all were delighted to finish almost an hour quicker than last week in 5.44.57.

STUART ARCHER, 3 hours 36 minutes and THOMAS SAUKA, 4:36 were at the same event.

JAMES McSWEENEY did the Cambridge Boundary Half Marathon in 1:44:32.  He commented it was on varied terrain going round the boundary of Cambridge east to west. He was really pleased to keep a steady time throughout for a PB (personal best) even with the mud and wind in places.


Draycote Water Half Marathon

RICHARD COWLISHAW ran his first half marathon of the year at Draycote Water and finished with a personal best (PB) record time of 1 hour 36 minutes 43 seconds.  It was cold and blustery.  He thanks everyone at Fairlands Valley Spartans for his midweek training.


Parkrun Highlights Saturday 9 March

23 Spartans ran Parkrun on Saturday, across six locations including Stevenage.  John NELMS achieved a PB and was 22nd at Bedford with 20:32.  Seven others achieved season best times; Ryan DUNNING (23:27), Craig BACON (23:53), Lee PICKERSGILL (23:59), Thomas SAUKA (24:20), John ROXBOROUGH (24:22), Chris HOLLAND (25:06), Andy JAY (25:58) and Michael ANDREWS (29:18).

Stuart ARCHER was first Spartan at Stevenage in seventh place overall with 19:51, only seconds off his season’s best.  Danny SCANLON was in 14th place with 20:40 and Dean CARPENTER in 24th place with 21:46.  The first Spartan lady was Karen BROOM with 31:53.

All the Spartan parkrun results can be found at the end of this release).


Spring Marathon?

airlands Valley Spartans are into week ten of their marathon training plan.  Are you running a Spring marathon?  Whether you want to get round and enjoy; are a first timer; want a personal best or expect to go “Sub Three” the Spartans are the local club for you, there are group training opportunities five days a week.  Have a look at or the club’s Facebook page.




Spartans at the Big Half


Position Name Chip Time Comments
1367 PAUL SHELLEY 1:32:08 PB
1379 TIM SABAN 1:32:12
3060 JOHN HOLMES 1:43:27
5012 DAVE PATTMAN 1:52:44 First Half
5541 ED HARE 1:55:08
6619 MEGAN TAYLOR 1:59:41 PB (2:41)
6710 ERICA GRAYSON 2:00:06
6932 SAM SIMMONS 2:01:02
7721 STEVEN DOBNER 2:04:59 PB
7722 KAREN PALMER 2:04:59
8285 ALISON SHELLEY 2:07:49 First Half
9831 SUE HAMER 2:16:56
11296 HAZEL SMITH 2:28:34
11298 CALLIE CHAPMAN 2:28:34
11410 ROGER BIGGS 2:29:47
11905 SARAH SAPSTEAD 2:36:12
12535 ELLA GOWER 2:47:57
13270 EMMA MARTIN 3:29:19


Parkrun Results


Parkrun Pos Gen Park Runner Time Notes
Stevenage 7 6 Stuart ARCHER 19:51 8 seconds off season best
Bedford 22 22 John NELMS 20:32 PB. 14th Run at Bedford
Stevenage 14 13 Danny SCANLON 20:40 Only 14 seconds off SB
Stevenage 24 23 Dean CARPENTER 21:46 Only 1 second off best 2019 time
Ellenbrook Fields 32 30 Barry OSBORNE 22:22
Stevenage 42 39 Martin DUDLEY 23:03 90th Stevenage Parkrun
Stevenage 47 44 Ryan DUNNING 23:27 Best time of 2019
Stevenage 57 52 Craig BACON 23:53 Best time of 2019
Stevenage 60 55 Lee PICKERSGILL 23:59 Best time of 2019
Stevenage 66 61 Thomas SAUKA 24:20 Best time of 2019
Dunstable Downs 22 22 John ROXBOROUGH 24:22 Best time of 2019. 1st time at Dunstable
Stevenage 88 81 Chris HOLLAND 25:06 Best time of 2019
Stevenage 94 87 Jonathan JONES 25:15
Westmill 15 13 Andy JAY 25:58 Best time of 2019
Littleport 64 50 James MCSWEENEY 27:55
Stevenage 153 130 David ACKERY 28:14
Stevenage 178 147 Michael ANDREWS 29:18 Best time of 2019
Stevenage 186 150 Paul JENNINGS 29:39
Stevenage 207 161 Stephen SMITHSON 30:46
Stevenage 226 174 Richard SPRINGALL 31:46
Stevenage 229 54 Karen BROOM 31:53
Stevenage 281 196 Steven DOBNER 35:02
Mountbatten School 133 83 Darryl STEVENS 36:57 1st time at Mountbatten School

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