Fairlands Valley Spartan JOHN NELMS ran 100 miles round the 400 metre athletics track at Ridlins End as his contribution to Sport Relief. He beat his 24 hour target by 2 hours 32 minutes and has raised £1,100 so far. Club members took it in turns to join him for a few laps throughout Saturday and into the early hours of Sunday morning. Two, KARL CLARK and DARREN WILBY, ran full marathons with John. John’s wife Sharon stayed awake throughout providing all the food and drink that John needed.
He set off on his 402 laps at 09.30 Saturday morning and finished his 100th lap Sundays morning at 06.58, taking over 4 hours off his 100 mile personal best. John is truly an inspiration and deserves all the accolades for this super human effort, but I just have to say how proud I was to be a Spartan this weekend.
Then on Sunday the Spartans organised the Stevenage Sport Relief event. More on that in a few days.
Rob and Victoria Win 5K
ROB DOE and VICTORIA BRETT won the Spartans Handicap 5K event in Stevenage on a chilly evening last Thursday. Fourteen took part.
Race winner Rob won in a new personal best (PB) time of 24 minutes 15 seconds. LEE PICKERSGILL was second to finish in a new PB time of his own of 25 minutes exactly. CRAIG HALSEY was third in an excellent 16:42, the fastest Handicap 5k time recorded in four years, just 9 seconds off Chris Hilton’s 2012 course record time.
The winning woman was new member VICTORIA BRETT in 29:50, 1:25 quicker than handicap, with Verity Fisher second in 24:05. BERNADETTE MILLWOOD was third in 30:45.
Fastest runner on the night was Craig, with JAMES KILROY second in 21:31 and MARK GOODWIN third in 22:23.
Verity was quickest lady, with Victoria second fastest and Bernadette third.
There was also a PB for Tim Robinson of 22:37 and year best times for Martin Dudley, 23:17 and Peter Carpenter 31:22.
The last Handicap 5k before this year’s Midweek League races will be on Thursday 21st April 2016 and it will be in daylight! In handicap events runners start according to recent performances, slower runners first. If everyone runs to form they will all finish together.
The event was organised by PAUL HOLGATE with IAN ALEXANDER and JIM BROWN acting as timekeepers and start / finish marshals.
NATALIE LAWRENCE was second fastest female and improved her personal best to 1 hour 25 minutes exactly at Sunday’s Welwyn Half Marathon. She was 17th overall out of the 461 finishers.
PAUL HEWETT was 25th in 1:26:34.
Robert Wright ran a new personal best of 1 hour 59 minutes. His last half marathon took 2:13. MARK GOODWIN was 115th in 1:42:03.
OLWEN BATTY improved by more than 32 minutes since last year with her time of 2 hours 3 minutes 55 seconds and RUTH REILLY finished in 2:07:06.
ANDREW JORDAN set a new personal best at the Hampton Court Half Marathon of 1:35:28 today
This beats my previous best of 1:36:20 set at Silverstone way back in March 2007.
I am unbelievably pleased as it more than makes up for my poor showing at Watford a few weeks ago.
DAVID BOWKER ran the Serpentine 5K in exactly the same time as last month, 19 minutes 38 seconds. In dry, overcast, chilly conditions he was 62nd out of the 212 finishers but second in his age category. He hopes to qualify in the age group competition by finishing at least six races this year.
North London Half
KAREN BROOM was so pleased to finish the North London half marathon in 2 hours 30 minutes as she nearly pulled out at mile 8 with a foot injury. This was her 11th half marathon in 12 months.
TRACY STILES enjoyed the Leighton 10K which she completed in 61 minutes 10 seconds.
Mission Control Marathon
Roger Biggs completed his two weekend trip to the States with a Trail Marathon in Seabrook, on the outskirts of Houston, Texas, and very close to the NASA installation.
The course was four laps of basically flat terrain on a mixture of surfaces, well marshalled, with a total of 19 aid stations including Portaloos at every one.
For Roger it was a mixed day, struggling to maintain a good pace as the sun warmed up the day, yet his finishing time of 5:03:39 was good enough to place 2nd in his age group (65 to 69). As Roger was the only non American runner in the events, he was refunded his $85 entry fee!
The Daffodil Dawdle is an off road marathon on a circular course starting from Stradbroke in Suffolk. It’s a scenic flat route along the Waveney Valley, involving sections of the Mid Suffolk Footpath and the Angles Way, and taking in the historic churches of Eye, Hoxne and Wingfield.
The weather was very kind. SHARON and MIKE CROWLEY with PAUL HOLGATE walked the 26.2 miles in 7 hours 15 minutes 46 seconds but CAROL PAUL completed the event in 5:57:33.
At Panshanger Park HEATHER MOLONEY was 134th finisher of 225 runners (40th woman finisher) in 29:53, while ANDREW MARTIN was 194th, crossing the line in a time of 36:09.
At Cambridge LUCY FIELD was 237th (and 46th woman finisher) in a field of 450, finishing in a time of 26:58. Finally, DARRYL STEVENS was 188th of 202 runners on his first visit to Chipping Sodbury, completing in 38:23.
TIM ROBINSON ran the 16mile Ashridge Boundary trail run on Saturday and came 153rd in 2 hours 41 minutes 38 seconds, MIKE GREEN was 18th in 2:03:03. Returning from injury LISA GRAY was 199th in 3:01:20.
Many Spartans will be enjoying a busy programme of races, social and training events over the next few weeks including the:
- Maidenhead Easter Ten on Friday 25th March.
- Club Training 20 on Sunday 27th March.
- County 20 Miles Championships at Oakley on Sunday 3rd April.
- Sandy 10 on Sunday 10th April.
- Flitwick 10K on Sunday 17th April.
- Handicap 5K on Thursday evening 21st April.
- London Marathon on Sunday 24th April.
- County 1500 metres open and veteran track and field championships in Stevenage on Monday 2nd May.
- Pednor Five (including County five miles championship for veterans) on Monday evening 2nd May.
- Halstead Marathon, including Hertfordshire County Championships for seniors and veterans, on Sunday 8th May.
- Relays in the Park, our 3K Relays in Fairlands Valley on Thursday 28th July.
- Handicap 5 / 10 on Sunday 25th September.
- Standalone 10K including County Vets Championships on Sunday 2nd October.
- Peterborough Half Marathon on Sunday 9th October.
- Abingdon Marathon on Sunday 23rd October.
- Stevenage Half Marathon, a Stevenage 70 event, on Sunday 6th November.
- St Neots Half Marathon on Sunday 20th November.
- County Five Miles Open Championship in Hatfield on 27th November.
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 affiliation. Concessions are available. Membership forms are available on the Spartans website www.fvspartans.org.uk 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), Andy Neatham 0777 197 5499 and 01438 816889; or Karen Palmer (07734678566) or visit their website www.fvspartans.org.uk