News Race Results


Amazing Spartan performances in the Finchley 20 * PBs in Sunny Silverstone * Course record for Craig

There were amazing runs from Spartans ANDREW PATTERSON and SAM PRETTY in Sunday’s Finchley 20. This is the oldest 20 mile event in the race calendar and always attracts a good entry.

Andrew beat two hours and was top ten in the four lap race. He finished ninth in 1 hour 59 minutes 30 seconds. Sam was third woman and 90th overall out of the 428 finishers in 2:19:38.

JASON ANDERSON was beating out 6 minute 33 second miles, faster than needed for a quicker than three hours marathon and was 39th in 2:11:03, an improvement of 8 and a half minutes from last year. STEFFAN FORD was also in the top 100. He was 79th in 2:17:44. STEVE GREEN was 147th in a new personal best of 2:29:03 and TIM SABAN 164th in 2:34:30.

JIM BROWN was on a mission to finish. He picked up a faller at eight miles and went on to enjoy what became a really lovely day for running. Jim was 319th in 3 hours 5 minutes 34 seconds and fourth in his category.


County Cross Country

Fairlands Valley Spartans had seven members running the County Cross Country Championships for Veterans including TONY OSBORNE who was celebrating his 60th year of competitive running. Over 4.4 miles he was 22nd in the 60 plus category, he is actually over 70, in 1 hour 1 minute and 9 seconds.

Also racing over 4.4 miles CLAIRE PULLEN was 10th in the women’s championship with 32 minutes 47 seconds. SOPHIE COWAN was 30th in 36:30; PETA WILSON 34th in 37:41; JULIE SHADBOLT 50th in 42:46 and SHARON CROWLEY 56th in 50:11.

CRAIG BACON ran 5.9 miles in the men’s 40 plus championship. He was 43rd in 46:45 on a lovely morning.


Sunny Silverstone Half Marathon

CLAIRE COX and DARREN EMMERSON both improved their personal bests by about four minutes at the sunny Silverstone Half Marathon. Claire finished in 1 hour 46 minutes 2 seconds and Darren in 1:46:57.

JAMES KILROY was the fastest Spartan with 1:45:50. EMMA MARTIN was very pleased with her first half marathon which she finished in 2 hours 48 minutes 16 seconds.

IAN ALEXANDER had three targets (1) to get a time of under 3 hours; (2) to remain injury free for the London Marathon, and (3) to feel good at the finish. He achieved all three and had a time of 2 hours 59 minutes 40 seconds.

MOLLIE SMITH finished in 1:49:06; ANDY JAY in 1:59:00; JAN FRY in 2:23:12 and PAUL HOLGATE in 2:32:50.

Position Name Time Comments
1381 JAMES KILROY 1:45:50
1404 CLAIRE COX (F) 1:46:02 PB (4 minutes)
1493 DARREN EMMERSON 1:46:57 PB (4 minutes)
1749 MOLLIE SMITH (F) 1:49:06
2950 ANDY JAY 1:59:00
5320 JAN FRY (F) 2:23:12
5854 PAUL HOLGATE 2:32:50
6285 EMMA MARTIN (F) 2:48:16 First Half
6488 IAN ALEXANDER 2:59:37


Lydd 20

The Lydd 20 is on a flat course over the UK’s only desert. DANIEL BATES was 204th out of 498 runners in 2 hours 55 minutes 23 seconds. Unfortunately he got injured after 12 miles with calf and ankle problems. It was very slow going on the last eight miles especially with a strong headwind.


Colchester Half

SUE HAMER ran the Colchester half marathon in 2 hours 5 minutes and 34 seconds.


Lee Valley

The British Masters Athletics Federation Indoor Track and Field Championships were held at The Lee Valley Indoor Athletics Centre last Weekend. Competitors ranged in age from 35 to 96 and are grouped into five year age groups. Four Spartans took part over the two days.

On Saturday, Iris Hornsey finished in Silver Medal position in the 1500 metre race for Women over 70 in a time of 7 minutes 33.52 seconds which is over 20 seconds quicker than she ran last year. She followed this on Sunday, with the 800m. After having a fall 20 minutes before the race, she still managed to finish in Silver Medal Position, recording a time of 3 minutes 42.44 seconds, losing out in a photo finish.

Dave Bowker was agonisingly close to finishing in Bronze Medal position in the 1500 metres for over 55 men, having led a group of three athletes for most of the race but being passed right on the line to finish fourth in a time of 5 minutes 5.08 seconds.

Tessa Stephenson, whilst recovering from injury, still managed to take a creditable fourth place in the over 55 women’s Shot Putt with a best of 8.34 metres and also completed the Long Jump with 3.36 metres.

Dave Stephenson, competing in the over 50 age group, managed times of 8.70 seconds and 65.40 second in the 60 and 400 metres respectively.

For Iris, Tessa and Dave Stephenson this was the last competition before shortly flying to Ancona in Italy, with fellow Spartan Monica Brown, to take part in the European Masters Indoor Championships.



ROGER BIGGS travelled to Lafayette in Louisiana for their marathon which was run in very warm conditions. It was already 60F (15C) at 7am when the race started, and rose to a humid 80F (27C) quite early in the race.

The amount of concrete paved roads certainly did not help, and further drained Roger, who crossed the finishing line in 5:08:35. This was Roger’s 95th marathon completed in the USA!


Parkrun Reports

CRAIG HALSEY delivered on his promise three weeks ago to return to Luton Wardown parkrun for another go at breaking the course record, and this time he achieved it. He finished 1st of 180 runners and knocked 22 seconds off his previous effort to set a new course record of 16:35 (the previous record was 16:50 which had stood since Luton’s 10th event last June).

At Panshanger Park, MARK BEASLEY finished 35th of 203 runners to be first Spartan finisher in 22:53. CALLUM BEASLEY was next Spartan home, 42nd in a time of 23:32. ANDY JAY warmed up for the Silverstone Half Marathon with a run-round at marathon pace, finishing 95th in 27:17. LESELY JEIVE was 99th overall (18th woman finisher) in 27:34 (a new course PB) and HEATHER MOLONEY was 142nd (38th woman) in 30:42.

Two Spartans headed south to run. NATALIE LAWRENCE ran the Brockenhurst parkrun in the New Forest, finishing as second woman, 27th overall from 131 runners, in a time of 23:29. Meanwhile, DARRYL STEVENS ran along the promenade at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun, finishing 325th of 334 in 39:40.

Finally, in the north ROGER HARDMAN ran at Newcastle parkrun, finishing 387th of a massive field of 677 in a time of 27:06.


Sport Relief

Don’t forget Sport Relief is this Sunday 20th March. The Stevenage event is organised by Fairlands Valley Spartans. See you at Ridlins Athletics Track. More details can be found at


Coming Events

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

• Handicap 5K on Thursday 17th March.
• Serpentine 5K in Hyde Park on Friday 18th March.
• Essex 20 including Intercounties on Sunday 20th March.
• Sport Relief on Sunday 20th March.
• 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.
• 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 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

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