The Stevenage Half Marathon, organised by Fairlands Valley Spartans, was a sell out. 83 Spartans helped organise the event, 43 Spartans ran the 13.1 miles and altogether 405 completed the race.
It was a brilliant morning, almost perfect for running the two lap course which started with 400 metres on Ridlins Athletics Track then took the cycleways to Fairlands Valley Park for a loop before heading for the southernmost part of the park, by the showground, to pick up Broadhall Way to complete lap one by crossing Woodcock Road. The finish was excellent for friends, supporters and families as runners were in full view for 400 metres after they came through the gate and made their way to the finish line round the track.
Despite the organising commitments there were many Spartan successes including ELLA-MAY HARDS who was second female senior in 1 hour 35 minutes 29 seconds; RHIANNON GRIFFIN running her first half marathon was third female senior in 1:45:10 and SIMON JACKSON tenth overall and third veteran in the county championships.
ELLA-MAY HARDS 1:35:29; RHIANNON GRIFFIN 1:45:10 and ASHLEY KING 1:45:05 won the all comers team award.
There was a fabulous Fairlands female one two in the county championships. RHIANNON GRIFFIN, ASHLEY KING and KELLY EVANS 1:51:51 took GOLD in the open County Team Championships for women (18 and above). Then GEORGIE HOOPER 1:56:39; FIONA CLARKE 1:57:47 and JENNIFER MALEKPOUR 1:58:07 won SILVER.
There were also two sets of medals for the men in the county open championships though theirs were SILVER and BRONZE. SIMON JACKSON 1:19:24; JASON ANDERSON 1:20:10; CIARAN McANENY 1:21:20; DAVID-HARRIS CHEGUIT in a new PB of 1:23:59 won SILVER while DEAN CARPENTER 1:25:36; RICKY PEARCE 1:25:45; ADRIAN BUSOLINI 1:26:26 and PAUL HEWETT 1:26:40 took BRONZE.
In the County Championships for veterans the Spartans won the team competitions for men and women. Simon Jackson, Ciaran McAneny, David Harris-Cherguit and Dean Carpenter won GOLD for the men and Fiona Clarke, ALISON SHELLEY 1:59:36 and MO WARRILOW 2:01:33 GOLD for the women.
The Spartan men also won BRONZE with DARREN EMMERSON in 1:41:16 cutting his personal best by more than four minutes; MATT CLARKE 1:42:46; JOHN FILBY 1:42:49 and GRAHAM HOARE 1:48:22.
(Men’s teams consisted of four runners while women’s teams had three runners).
DARREN EMMERSON and many others loved the new adjusted course.
JAMES McSWEENEY said, “Six months after my knee being really bad I was pleased to get just over two hours. Might have snuck under 2 hours if not for the almighty struggle that was the last two miles.
More than that though I just wanted to say how good the race was as an event. It was a really well organised race from start to finish and had a really lovely atmosphere. For a fairly small race (compared with some of the big city events) to basically have people (and lots I knew) all the way around was amazing and made those dam hills just a bit easier. My two brother-in-laws from the Ely Runners, who I’ve done a lot of races with, were similarly impressed.”
This was ROB EVANS’ 11th appearance at the Stevenage Half Marathon and he was very pleased with his Season’s Best time of 1:55:09.
DAVID HARRIS-CHERGUIT said, “Such a great race today on the new course. The sun always shines for the Stevenage Half!
Such great support out on the course. Thanks to all the marshals, supporters and volunteers who made this the best one yet.
So pleased with a huge new PB today of 1.23.59. 19th overall and 8th in the MV40 category. Thanks to the FVS coaches for the great training and support.”
ALISON SHELLEY took three minutes off her personal best to get under two hours for the first time with 1:59:36. It was her third half marathon event, first at Stevenage and she really enjoyed it. Alison said, “Fantastic organisation by Sophie (Sophie Cowan, Race Director) and all the team and amazing support from all the Spartans. A great day.”
ALICE POOLE really enjoyed her first stint as a marshal – lots of fun and lots of smiling runners. Two things she learnt: 1) cowbells are great and a good workout after a while! 2) The general public are mostly lovely, friendly and courteous. She said, Well done to all of the organisers! It was brill!”
The civic chain gang had a 100% attendance for this big event in the town which raised a lot of money for charity. The Deputy Mayoress PENNY SCHENKEL was lead bike; the Mayor Councillor SIMON SPELLER and Mayoress BRIDIE SPELLER were on the first water station and the Deputy Mayor Councillor JIM BROWN was having a bit of a struggle towards the end but finished the event in 1 hour 56 minutes 17 seconds. The Stevenage Half Marathon has been organised since 1984.
(Results for all 43 Spartans can be found near the end of this release).
On Saturday, the day before taking up marshalling duties at the Stevenage Half Marathon, DANNY SUTTON – FISHER improved his marathon personal best by almost ten minutes at the Enigma Fireworks Marathon. In stormy conditions he ran 3 hours 43 minutes 22 seconds for the 7.2 laps around Caldecotte Lake in Milton Keynes.
New York Marathon
Four Spartans were at the New York Marathon. Tim Saban finished in 3:31:10; Hazel Smith in 4:40:49; Erica Grayson in 5:01:20 and Cathy Craig in 5:31:50.
Unusually it was rain, rain and more rain in Porto, the second biggest city in Portugal. ROGER BIGGS and PAUL HOLGATE were in Porto to run the back up event to the Porto Marathon, the “Family15km.” Roger completed in 1:50:09 and Paul followed in 2:05:59.
5K for Lunch
JIM BROWN ran the Serpentine 5K in 25 minutes 20 seconds. He was third in his age category.
Parkrun Highlights 2nd November 2019
This week was Stripy Saturday at Stevenage Parkrun. Congratulations to Suzy HAWKINS [21:02] highest placed Spartan. Toby ECCLESHALL [21:09] was fastest male. Gail MACKIE [21:10] was second fastest female Spartan, just 1 second behind Toby.
Across four locations, 27 Spartans ran. 1 Personal Best (PB) was achieved by Abi PEZ (22:49) at Stevenage.
Congratulations to Nick WITCOMBE [35:47] running his 50th Parkrun and Danny SCANLON [21:46] on his 130th Stevenage parkrun.
(You can find all the Spartan parkrun results near the end of this release).
Many Spartans will be enjoying a busy programme of races, social and training events over the next few weeks:
- Saffron Walden Half and 10K on Saturday 9th November.
- Paul Maguire Five handicap race in Stevenage on Sunday 10th November.
- St. Neots Half Marathon on Sunday 17th November.
- Hatfield Five including County Veterans Championship on Sunday 24th November.
- Bass Belle 10 miles in Bassingbourn on Sunday 24th November.
- Bedford Harriers Half Marathon on Sunday 1st December.
- Cross Country League Race Two in Trent Park on Sunday 1st December.
- FVS AGM and London Marathon draw on Tuesday evening 3rd December.
- Finsbury Park 10K on Sunday 15th December.
- Cross Country League Race Three in Stevenage (FVS) on Sunday 22nd December.
- Witham Boxing Day Five on Thursday 26th December.
- Buntingford Year End ten miles on Sunday 29th December.
- New Year 10K in Hyde Park on Monday 1st January 2020.
- County Cross Country Championships in Stevenage on Sunday 5th January.
- Cross Country League Race Four in Watford on Sunday 12th January.
- Fred Hughes Ten (10 mile race) on Sunday 19th January.
- Watford Half Marathon on Sunday 2nd February.
- Cross Country League Race Five in Royston on Sunday 9th February.
- Bramley 20 miles on Sunday 16th February (entries are open).
- Baldock Beast on Sunday 23rd February.
- Hillingdon 20 including Hertfordshire county championships on Sunday 8th March (entries are open).
- Oakley 20 on Sunday 29th March.
- Peterborough Marathon on Sunday 5th April.
- Maidenhead Easter Ten on Friday 10th April.
- The 2020 London Marathon is on Sunday 26th April.
All 43 Spartans at the Stevenage Half Marathon
|Pos||Bib||Name||Time||Category||Cat Pos||Gender||Gender Pos||Comments|
|10||225||SIMON JACKSON||01:19:24||M40||4||Male||9||4th M40|
|54||183||ELLA-MAY HARDS||01:35:29||Lady||2||Female||4||2nd senior|
|93||136||DARREN EMMERSON||01:41:16||M50||17||Male||85||PB (4:30)|
|114||171||RHIANNON GRIFFIN||01:45:10||Lady||3||Female||11||3rd senior|
|115||249||ASHLEY KING||01:45:05||Lady||4||Female||12||4th senior|
|224||56||JIM BROWN||01:56:17||M60||8||Male||184||4th in county|
|232||87||FIONA CLARKE||01:57:47||W40||13||Female||41||Gold Team|
|240||418||ALISON SHELLEY||01:59:36||W50||9||Female||47||PB (3 minutes).|
Parkrun Results Saturday 2nd November
|Stevenage||12||10||Danny SCANLON||21:46||130th Stevenage PR|
|Milton Keynes||201||69||Verity FISHER||31:16|
|Stevenage||182||109||Nick WITCOMBE||35:47||50th Parkrun|
|Stevenage||184||75||Tessa STEPHENSON||35:48||1st Parkrun|
|Ellenbrook Fields||193||81||Grace BROWN||58:35|