News Race Results


Great Eastern Run * Yuko Qualifies


Wet and cold was the theme for all those running in UK races at the weekend.

A far from re-acclimatised JIM BROWN said the tail end of Storm Callum meant it was wet, very wet throughout, for Sunday’s Great Eastern Run Half Marathon at Peterborough.  Despite that many of the fifteen Spartans recorded amazing times including four new personal bests.

Spartan STUART HAYCROFT was way under one and a half hours with a new personal best (PB) of 1 hour 24 minutes 36 seconds.  He was in the top 5% at 170th out of the 3,451 finishers.  Next came MARIE COLUCCI running amazingly all this year with a new PB of 1:40:36 and a high scoring 678th.  Marie said she almost didn’t get out of the car to start it was so horrible but look at that time!

He said he did not know whether it was jet lag, season shock having just returned from New Zealand or just wanting to get out of the rain but JIM BROWN was third for FVS way faster than his predicted time with 1:44:39, making the top 1,000 with 978th.  Jim commented it was a rare but great feeling just seeming to go faster and faster in the second half.  Getting under 1:45 in his age group opens up opportunities for other events.  Goodness it was slippery just after the finish line.

CAROLE SHELDRICK beat two hours with a new PB of 1 hour 58 minutes 27 seconds and CAROLINE CROFT achieved a new PB of 2 hours 9 minutes 4 seconds.  Carole said she was due to run last year but deferred due to coming back from an injury, little upset as Peterborough is close to her heart with lots of family and friends there.  So this year nothing was stopping me……not even the constant rain.  And it sure was constant from start to finish.

The race gave Carole all she wanted – fast and flat which resulted in her getting her sub two hours in a place that felt like home.  This was Caroline Croft’s second time running Peterborough and happily improved her time from last year.  Unfortunately it was too cold to celebrate with her usual Mr Whippy ice-cream.

Four Spartans were running their first half marathons; DEBBIE BLANTERN 2.09.47; LINDA NOLAN 2:22:26; TRACY HOUSE and MICHELLE HOLTON both with 3:11:48.

KEN JUDE 1:54:42 and PAUL HOLGATE 2:22:33 ran season’s best times while JO BOWDERY 1:54:44 and ROGER BIGGS 2:29:31 ran their fastest this year.  Ken was very pleased with his performance even though he slowed a bit as he’s not been able to get in the long training miles to prepare.

ISABEL GREEN came in with an excellent 1:44:40 and SHARON CROWLEY in 2:56:37.


Yuko Wins At Lisbon Marathon – Quite Happy

Quite happy!  YUKO GORDON won her age category at the Lisbon Marathon with 3 hours 24 minutes 41 seconds.  She’s a woman 65 plus and said she was “quite happy” with 28th  overall female (all ages) out of 688 including five African elites.  It was warmer than ideal but at least it was not affected by the hurricane caused so much havoc in the north of Lisbon the night before though the start time was delayed by an hour.

Another thing, Yuko has been selected for England team for Irish and British International Masters Cross Country in November!


Royal Parks

KAREN BROOM ran the Royal Parks Half Marathon on Sunday.  She said it started and finished in Hyde Park.  A very wet and cold run she was happy to finish in a year’s best 2.16.24.  In the same event ROWENA RUTLEDGE ran a new personal best (PB) of 2:08:39 and SARAH SAPSTEAD a new PB of 2:28:26.


Lakenheath 10K

The Race for Wildlife Lakenheath Fen 10K was on a bleak and beautiful single lap course around the Lakenheath RSPB.  Although it was mainly flat JAMES McSWEENEY said the varied terrain and wet conditions made it challenging.  He was quite pleased with his time of 50:58 considering.


Hatfield 10K.

Craig Bacon reports that on Sunday 14th a group of brave, or mad, runners gathered in the rain for the first Hatfield House Half Marathon. This event, that featured a 10 Km race too, was held through the undulating parkland of the historic house. The course was mainly on tarmac paths, but also went through woodlands and along the grassy lakeside as well as up a track of a half mile hill about three miles from the end of the lap, which the half marathon runners got to enjoy on their second lap too.

Although the race started in heavy rain, thankfully it eased later in the morning, allowing the runners to enjoy the two lap course in slightly better conditions, although the rain returned for those finishing later.  In a field of 186 runners, Adrian Busolini was first Spartan home 13th overall, tenth male in a time of 1:35:10.  Craig Bacon finished 46th overall, tenth M40 and 42nd Male in 1:42:48.  Nigel Strongitharm finished 92nd in a time of 1:55:21 and 14th M50, 80th Male.  Michael O’Keefe was 114th, 18th M50 and 97th male in 2:00:11.  Robert Wright 124th, 102nd Male in 2:02:10 and Jenny Paul was 171st in 2:23:36..

The Hatfield House 10K was rather wet and boggy to put it mildly.

DAVID HARRIS-CHERGUIT ran a new personal best (PB) of 39 minutes 11 seconds, 4th overall and 1st in category (men 40 plus).

He was really pleased with the new PB as it was my first race back from injury and his first race for the Spartans.

David gave a massive thanks to Fairlands Valley Spartans for getting him to sub 40 and the supporters on the course who turned out in really wet conditions.

JONATHAN JONES time was 52:52.  He said the course was extremely water logged within the picturesque closed ground of Hatfield House

CATHY CRAIG was enjoying herself on her birthday.  She was fourth woman 60 plus in 1:00:55.


Yorkshire Marathon – Wendy Would Not Be foiled

WENDY THARANI said she got really, really cold during Sunday’s Yorkshire Marathon. It rained from the start to end.  She got through the last seven miles with the help of a foil blanket, given to her by the kind ambulance folk.  Running through York was lovely.  York Minster had all their bells chiming which was great, but you are quickly out of York and running up endlessly long and straight and flooded country roads.  Her time was 5 hours 3 minutes 54 seconds.


The Downunder Spartans Return

JIM BROWN incorporated two half marathons, two parkruns and two cycle rides into a three week trip to Australia and New Zealand and PENNY SCHENKEL ran three 5K races and also enjoyed the cycling.

The Spartans stripes were first seen at the Capalapa Parkrun in the outskirts of Brisbane on Saturday 22nd September.  The parkrun formula is similar to the UK but there are differences including that the standard start time is 7a.m. not 9a.m; at Capalapa there are permanent direction arrows and kilometre markers; and free electric BBQs provided by the local Council.  To Jim and Penny it felt like running at 10p.m. and they ran together to finish midfield 83rd and 84th in 31 minutes 32 seconds.

That was only the start of the day for Jim because at 5p.m. he was off on the Twilight Bay Run Half Marathon at Wynnum, remember it now felt like 8a.m. in the morning.  The first 2K felt like it was a mistake which he largely put down to the heat and jetlag but then Jim found a rhythm until something else happened – darkness fell very quickly at about 6p.m.  Some parts of the last 10K got very dark so he no choice than slow down a bit in places.  However he was surprised and delighted to get under 1 hour 50 minutes with 1:49:29, and found that in the dark he had got past two other runners in his category to end up second and 185th out of the 628 finishers.

It was getting seriously hot as Jim jogged the two miles to the start of the following Saturday’s Capalaba Parkrun but he decided to give it a go and was pleased to be first 60 plus in 24:06.  Penny improved to 30:46.   Then they just had time to rehydrate and catch a flight to Melbourne.

JIM BROWN and PENNY SCHENKEL continued their exploits in the southern hemisphere on New Zealand’s South Island.

Here it was just four degrees as runners lined up for the Aoraki Mount Cook half marathon.  Basically the race went 10.55 kilometres down a hill and then back up to Mount Cook village.  There was a spectacular back drop of a snow topped Mount Cook for the finish line photos but that did make the last 100 metres a brutal climb.  Jim Brown the 60 plus category in 1 hour 48 minutes 27 seconds finishing 54th overall.  Penny celebrated her birthday by winning the Women’s 40 plus category in the 5K by a wide margin in 28:26.

The first bike ride was on some of the many miles of cycle routes in Melbourne.  They went from the Princes Bridge near Flinders Street station bridge alongside the Yarra River to near Abbotsford Convent and back; the second ride crossed the Naree Budjong Djara National Park which is Quandamooka Aboriginal land from Dunwich to Point Lookout on North Stradboke Island which is in Moreton Bay off the coast of Queensland.


Get 4th November In Your Diary

More than 485 people have already entered the Stevenage Half Marathon which will be on Sunday 4th November.  This superb local event is organised by Fairlands Valley Spartans and includes the senior county championships.  It’s on an accurately measured and licensed course starting from Ridlins and including Fairlands Valley Park.  All the surplus from this volunteer organised event will go to charity.  The 2018 Charity for the Stevenage Half Marathon Charity is Kawasaki Kid.  Don’t miss out.  Enter now.  Go to or via


Catch Ups

A fantastic sixty six (66) Spartans ran the Standalone 10K, which this year incorporated the county veteran’s championships.

Individual county prizes were won by JULIE SIMMONS (gold in the women’s 55 plus category) and YUKO GORDON (gold in VW65 in a season’s best time) and CLAIRE EMMERSON (bronze in VW45).

Three Spartan teams won county medals:

Men’s bronze: Grant Ramsay, Keith Coughlin, David Bowker, Dean Carpenter.

Women’s silver: Yuko Gordon , Marie Colucci, Claire Emmerson

Women’s bronze: Julie Simmons, Carole Sheldrick, Wendy Tharani

ANDREW PATTERSON successfully defended the Hitchin Town Centre title he won in 2017.  He completed this year’s race in 16:54, holding off NHRR’s Mark Vaughan by seven seconds.


Parkrun Round Up Saturday 13th October

A blustery autumn Saturday saw thirty-two Fairlands Valley Spartan’s head out to run in five of the weekly Parkrun events. Finishing in a downpour JENNY GARRETT finished as the 7th woman, in a PB time of 25 mins and 52 secs, at her 10th event in Stevenage, alongside CLAIRE EMMERSON and KERSTIN WEINER who were the 8th and 10th women in 25 mins and 52 secs and 25 mins and 59 secs, respectively. Also finishing as a top 10 lady, SHERYL HANN was the 7th woman in a time of 27 mins and 10 secs on her first visit to the Panshanger run. Top 20 runs were recorded for VERITY FISHER, who was the 14th woman to finish in Stevenage in a time of 27 mins and 29 secs, and ALISON SHELLEY who was the 15th female finisher in 27 mins and 34 secs.

MICHAEL O’KEEFE ran the event for the 90th time in Stevenage in 26 mins and 11 secs, alongside DAVID ACKERY who ran this course for the first time in 29 mins and 29 secs. Times were also recorded at new courses for KELLY MCHALE in Cambridge of 28 mins and 52 secs, HANNAH NEALE of 34 mins and 35 secs at Braunstone Park, and NIKI PLUMB of 38 mins and 35 secs while running at Panshanger. JAMES MCSWEENY finished the Littleport event in 24 mins and 23 secs and ANDY JAY the Panshanger one in 24 mins and 54 secs.

In Stevenage, MARTIN DUDLEY, DANIEL SUTTON, CHRIS HOLLAND, DARREN EMMERSON, JIM BROWN, DAVID PATTMAN, MATTHEW PATTMAN, DAVID SCOTT, NIGEL STRONGITHARM, MARK BEASLEY and SIMON SYPULA finished in the top 100 men with times of 23 mins and 03 secs, 23 mins and 52 secs, 24 mins and 08 secs, 24 mins and 20 secs, 24 mins and 40 secs, 25 mins and 02 secs, 25 mins and 03 secs, 25 mins and 09 secs, 26 mins and 50 secs, 26 mins and 57 secs, and 27 mins and 29 secs, respectively. While SALLY PHILLIPS in a time of 30 mins and 35 secs, VICTORIA BRETT in a time of 30 mins and 58 secs, and HAZEL JONES in a time of 36 mins and 27 secs were in the top 100 ladies. Also running this event were PAUL JENNNGS with a time of 29 mins and 13 secs, ROGER BIGGS in 33 mins and 16 secs, TIM ROBINSON in 33 mins and 50 secs, STEVEN DOBNER in 24 mins and 52 secs, and TREVORE BROOM in 51 mins and 21 secs.

(See the end of this release for all Saturday’s Spartan Parkrun results).



Great Eastern Run (Half Marathon)

Stuart Haycroft (170) 600 M40 1:24:36 PB
Marie Colucci (678) 3624 F40 1:40:36 PB
Jim Brown (978) 335 M65 1:44:39 YB
Isabel Green 3898 F40 1:44:40
Ken Jude 3893 M50 1:54:42 SB
Joanne Bowdery 3045 FSEN 1:54:44 YB
Carole Sheldrick 323 F40 1:58:27 PB
Caroline Croft 4773 F45 2:09:04 PB
Debbie Blantern (2392) 1808 F45 2.09.47 1st Half
Linda Nolan 562 F55 2:22:26 1st Half
Paul Holgate 3664 M60 2:22:33 SB
Roger Biggs 3684 M70 2:29:31 YB
Sharon Crowley 557 F60 2:56:37
Tracy House 637 F45 3:11:48 1st Half
Michelle Holton 638 F40 3:11:48 1st Half

There were 3,451 finishers.


Parkruns Saturday 13th October

Parkrun Pos Gen Parkrunner Time Notes
Braunstone Park 313 106 Hannah NEALE 0:34:35
Cambridge 250 47 Kelly MCHALE 0:28:52
Stevenage 33 32 Martin DUDLEY 0:23:03
47 45 Daniel SUTTON 0:23:52
50 48 Chris HOLLAND 0:24:08
52 50 Darren EMMERSON 0:24:20
57 54 Jim BROWN 0:24:40
63 59 David PATTMAN 0:25:02
64 60 Matthew PATTMAN 0:25:03
67 62 David SCOTT 0:25:09
78 7 Jenny GARRETT 0:25:52 PB – 10th parkrun
79 8 Claire EMMERSON 0:25:52
83 10 Kerstin WEINER 0:25:59
89 79 Michael O’KEEFE 0:26:11 90th parkrun
97 85 Nigel STRONGITHARM 0:26:50
99 87 Mark BEASLEY 0:26:57
105 14 Verity FISHER 0:27:29
106 92 Simon SYPULA 0:27:29
109 15 Alison SHELLEY 0:27:34
135 111 Paul JENNINGS 0:29:13
144 117 David ACKERY 0:29:29
165 40 Sally PHILLIPS 0:30:35
178 46 Victoria BRETT 0:30:58
213 146 Roger BIGGS 0:33:16
217 148 Tim ROBINSON 0:33:50
231 155 Steven DOBNER 0:34:52
242 85 Hazel JONES 0:36:27
282 167 Trevor BROOM 0:51:21
Panshanger 85 83 Andy JAY 0:24:54
137 7 Sheryl HANN 0:27:10
333 104 Niki PLUMB 0:38:35
Littleport 29 26 James MCSWEENEY 0:24:23

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