Spartans 2nd at Chingford, Essex Mountains, news from Edinburgh and Wombles

Fairlands Valley Spartans hold onto that key second place for promotion by just one point after race two in the Mid Week Road Race League series. They are just two points behind leaders Orion (on 32); one ahead of Harlow (on 29) and two ahead of Bishops Stortford (on 28) so the Spartans could still finish anywhere from winning to fourth out of the nine clubs. It all depends on the last two races which are in Harlow on 17th June and Hitchin on 2nd July.

45 Spartans made the difficult journey to the tough fixture just outside Chingford in the Epping Forest. The race over an unusual six miles rather than 10K was hosted by Orion Harriers on a partly trail course that included an “Essex mountain” that had to be climbed in both directions. A very strong turnout for their home fixture saw Orion win both the men’s and ladies races on Wednesday, but that did not stop a good performance from the Spartans to secure second place in the men’s race and six points in the ladies race to narrowly finish second overall on the evening, just ahead of rivals Bishop Stortford and Harlow on team score only as all three clubs finished with 14 points each.

In the separate men’s and women’s competitions Fairlands Valley Spartans continue to lead the men’s league and are third in the women’s league.

GRANT RAMSAY won the men’s race in 34 minutes 7 seconds with the rest of the men’s “A” team consisting of BRIAN BRACKSTONE (6th in 35:19); DANIEL THORBY (10th in 35:50); KEITH COUGHLIN (11th in 36:14); JASON ANDERSON (12th in 36:21); STEFFAN FORD (13th in 36:21); ANDREW PATTERSON (14th in 36:28), that’s seven in the top twenty then SIMON TANG (31st in 39:04); DAVID HODBOD (35th in 39:59); TIM SABAN (47th in 41:04); GRAHAM BLACKBURN (48th in 41:22) and DAVID BOWKER (52nd in 41:39). The first twelve counted.

The FVS “B” team was led in by STEVE ELDER (59th in 42:09) and beat “A” teams from Broxbourne and Herts Phoenix. BARRY OSBORNE (67th in 42:52); NICHOLAS CROWLEY (83rd in 44:23); PETE SMITH (92nd in 45:02); ANDREW JORDAN (96th in 45:12); MARK GOODWIN (101st in 45:44); THOMAS SAUKA (111th in 46:42); JIM BROWN (116th in 47:31); DANIEL SUTTON (121st in 48:17); JAMES KILROY (123rd in 48:25); TIM ROBINSON (133rd in 50:05) and MARK CHEADLE (135th in 50:41) made up the rest of the “B” team.

SAM PRETTY was third in the women’s race in 32 minutes 38 seconds. Once again JULIE SIMMONS won the veteran (55 plus) category, this time in 46:51. TRACY PEZ (19th woman in 46:55; LISA GRAY (28th in 48:49); PETA WILSON (51st in 53:11) and SUE HAMER (64th in 56:23) were the rest of the “A” team (six to count).

Only four of the nine clubs managed to field a women’s “B” team. The Spartans were CAREN BRIDGMAN (75th in 58:55); CLAIRE RENSHAW (78th in 1:00:30); MARIA THORNE (82nd in 1:01:20); LORRAINE THOMAS (86th in 1:01:43); ELIZABETH CROWLEY (88th in 1:07:19) and SHARON CROWLEY (89th also in 1:07:19).

The male veteran team finished third to hold onto second position overall, and the female vets scored six points to hold onto third position overall.

There was a total of 253 finishers.

Edinburgh Marathon

STEVE ELDER ran a new personal best (PB) of 3 hours 30 minutes 10 seconds at Edinburgh Marathon despite a headwind from mile 18 to near the finish. MOLLIE SMITH ran her first ever marathon in a brilliant 3:50.11 and was 2,024th.

Steve Elder Glasgow

A few days earlier STEVE ELDER ran the undulating Pollock Parkrun in Glasgow in 20 minutes 33 seconds. He was 43rd out of the 399 runners and fourth in his age category.

How Green Is My Valley / Mountain?

Greens in Wales. Whilst on holiday on the Llyn peninsula in Wales ISABEL GREEN ran the Abersoch 10k. This was a very scenic, hilly race with the last mile along the beach running through the sea and hurdling groynes. She clocked a very respectable 51 minutes 31 seconds.

STEVE GREEN ran the Snowdonia half marathon which was an incredibly hilly race starting in Llanwrst. Unfortunately the organisers had a couple of marshals missing resulting in lots of confusion! Steve finished in 2 hours 12 minutes after running an extra 3.5miles.

High Fives With A Womble

TIM SABAN and JIM BROWN tackled the Wimbledon Common Off Road Half Marathon on Sunday.

Overnight rain made some of the paths slippery and there was light rain / high humidity for much of the event but Tim was 60th out of the 616 finishers in 1:36:37. Running his fourth race in seven days Jim was 210th in 1:51:06. He was second Vet 60 and “high fived” a womble in the woods at seven miles.

Walled City Marathon

ROGER BIGGS was in Derry, Northern Ireland for the Walled City Marathon, held in and around Derry and the River Foyle.

In very changeable weather over an undulating course, Roger produced his best marathon of 2015, finishing in 4:53:12.

Parkrun Reports – Saturday 16th May

At Panshanger Park (Hertford), Mark Allen was first Spartan home in 47th position (out of 256 runners) in a time of 23:09. Nine places behind Mark, Danny Sutton finished 56th in a time of 23:40 and Tim Robinson finished 130th in 28:04.

John Roxborough went to South Oxhey and finished 18th of 49 in a time of 23:47 on his first visit to the venue, while Annette Bell finished 126th of 597 at Peterborough, crossing the line in 22:57.


Cool, wet and windy but despite it being his third race in five days JIM BROWN improved his 5K time by 32 seconds at Hyde Park on Friday. He finished in exactly 23 minutes (23:00).

Regent’s Park 10K

Paul Holgate enjoyed his third race in four days on Thursday evening in Regents Park and was delighted to keep his 10k time below 1 hour with 59:08 to finish 138th of 169 finishers.

Coming Events

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

EVAC Track & Field League at Bedford on Wednesday 3rd June.
St. Albans Half Marathon on Sunday 14th June.
Midweek Road Race League race in Harlow (10K) on Wednesday 17th June.
EVAC Track & Field League in Biggleswade on Wednesday 1st July.
Midweek Road Race League race in Hitchin (10K) 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 (10K) on Thursday 16th July.
Fairlands Valley Off Road Challenge on Sunday 19th July.
EVAC Track & Field League at venue TBA on Wednesday 29
th 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.
Club Handicap 10 mile race on Sunday 20th September.
Standalone 10K (inc. country senior champs) in Letchworth on Sunday 4th October.
Great Eastern Run in Peterborough on Sunday 11th October.
Kingston Marathon on Sunday 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 – a Sports College, Telford Avenue, 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 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 – 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 £37 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. You can also join online.

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

Leave a Reply