Spartans win Eastern Veterans Championship and other news

Spartans win Eastern Veterans Championship and news from the handicap 5k, the Highland Perthshire Marathon, the Run to the Beat half marathon in London, Poland and more!

Rob and Cathy Win 5K

More than 40 Fairlands Valley Spartans took part in Thursday’s Handicap 5K.

ROB SHAW was the first to finish, proving excellent progress in his recovery from injury as he completed the course almost 10 minutes quicker than expected in 30 minutes 25 seconds.

CATHY CRAIG was the winning woman taking just 27 minutes 43 seconds in her first 5k with the club. Kerstin Weiner was second woman in 27:12 for her first 5k. Sue Hamer was third female in anew personal best (PB) time of 27:29 – over 2 minutes quicker than her previous PB, with Amy Waring 4th lady in 28:51 for her first 5k.

2nd man was another debutee, newcomer Richard Bates, 6th overall in 30:40, with another newcomer, Shane Bingley 3rd man in a PB time of 23:46.

In 8th & 9th positions overall were Andy Jay excellently paced around the course by a very speedy, young Ella Pez on her scooter, while Hannah Davidson posted her first 5k time of the year in 26:54 in 10th position.

Fastest time on the night was 16:57 by Grant Ramsay, with debutee Carlos Vasquez 2nd quickest in 17:36 and another first timer, Ian Yenney 3rd fastest in 17:55. Todd Gray was 4th quickest, equalling his fastest time of the year with 18:27, while David Bowker improved his Year Best time by 25 seconds to 19:18, 5th fastest.

Newcomer Sara Brooks was quickest female in 23:15, with Clare Moore 2nd fastest in a new PB time of 23:27 – 43 seconds ahead of her previous best, and Lisa Gray 3rd quickest with 24:33 despite carrying an injury on the night.

Dave Smith also improved his PB time, by 29 seconds to 20:24, and there were also year best times for Anton McCalla, Graham Blackburn, Mark Goodwin and Andy Prior, while Callum Beasley, Sofia Carpenter, Nick Emmett, Alastair Baldwin, Claire Baker, Andrew Jordan & Jacqui Brown made it 15 debutees running their 1st 5k with the club overall, although for Andrew it was closer to 6.5k after a slight detour, still managing 25:54 despite the extra distance.

The next Handicap 5k will be on Thursday 17th October 2013.

Spartans Win Eastern Veterans Championship

Fairlands Valley Spartans won the ladies team event at Eastern Vets Athletics Club finals. The men were a creditable 6th. For both teams this is their best achievement in the five years the club has competed in the tournament; the ladies improving on their runners up spot from last year, and the men making their first appearance in the finals. The continued progress of the club in track and field is due to two things, first the hard work and dedication of a small group of members to improve themselves and learn new skills and second by recruiting a handful of talented athletes who want the opportunity to participate in this increasingly popular competition.

For both teams the day was a complex logistical exercise, working around timetable clashes to get the best possible athlete in each event and cover as many of the 89 events as possible. This also meant working around injuries, which lead to a heavy burden for some athletes.

Stand out performers for the ladies team were MONICA BROWN in the W45s and LOUISE OLIVER for the W35s, both scored heavily and won several of the thirteen individual events they managed between them. JULIE SIMMONS took on all the track events for the W55 team, plus the 1500m for the W45, and SHARON CROWLEY found herself equally busy with five individual events too. There were fine performances on the track for the W35s from CHRISTINE LATHWELL in the 1500m and 3000m and ROSIE CANHAM returning from injury in the 400m and 800m. PETA WILSON, STEPHANIE MAYFIELD, CHRIS FEELY, TESSA STEPHENSON and CAROLYN SHORTLAND were the other members of the winning ladies team.

The men found it tough going against very strong competition with wins few and far between. DAVE BOWKER and BARRY KING achieved a double first in the A string and B string 2km walk. GRANT RAMSAY delivered the strong performances in the 1500m and 3000m for the M40s and CHRIS WESTCOTT showed signs of a return to form after injury. STEVE MAYFIELD was the busiest Spartan of the day with eight individual events plus a relay, closely followed by team captain DAVE STEPHENSON with seven and MICK SHORTLAND six. The team was completed by SIMON JACKSON, MARK CHEADLE, BERNIE BARNABY and TIM SAUNDERS MULLINS.

Wins In Scotland

It was a Highland Fling for ROGER BIGGS and BARBARA WILSON as they both won their age category in Saturday’s Highland Perthshire Marathon.

Roger and Barbara made the long journey to Aberfeldy, in the Perthshire Highlands of Scotland.

The two lap marathon course took a scenic route from Aberfeldy to the edge of Loch Tay at Kenmore passing through the grounds of Tay Castle near the halfway point of each lap. Despite a nasty hill going through the Tay Castle grounds, the course could be considered a fast course as both Roger and Barbara ran quick times.

Roger completed the marathon in 3:54:06, while Barbara ran the one lap half marathon in 1:58:22.

Chasing Steeples

GRANT RAMSAY represented Hertfordshire in the Intermcounties Match at Sandy. He was sixth in the 3,000 metres steeplechase with a season’s best time of 10 minutes 42 seconds.

Bedford 10K

BARRY OSBORNE raced round the Bedford Harriers 10K in 39 minutes 58 seconds.

Run To The Beat Half Marathon

LIAM HERBERT ran to the beat over 13.1 miles around Greenwich, London in the sixth annual Run To The Beat Half Marathon, organised by Nike. A fast, sweeping, downhill opening 6 miles was followed by a rather tough and hilly second half which was not conducive to a personal best time for Liam, but he still finished 134th out of 12,399 runners in 1:28:11, which placed Liam just outside the top 1% of all finishers on the day.

JO BOWDERY was running her first half marathon and finished in 2.00.46.

Watford Open

On a beautiful evening for running, Christopher Westcott triumphed in Heat 5 of the Watford Open in 2:21.24, his first 800m for over 20 years. Earlier on, Bernie Barnaby and Rhiannon Griffin secured a 1-2 in the 200m (29.80 and 30.25 respectively), as well as competing in the 800m in 2:32.05 and 2:37.68. Late into the night Richie Bate finished the 3000m in 7th in 9:20.06.

First Saturday

TRACY PEZ ran the first Saturday off road 5k around Norton Common. She was second woman in 22 minutes 28 seconds.

Grunty Fen

JAN FRY ran the Grunty Fen Half Marathon in a new personal best of 2 hours 18 minutes. She was third female in her age category.

Polish 10K

Andy & Anne Marie Neatham spent the weekend at the Festiwal Biegowy in Krynica-Zdroj, Poland. This event incorporated the World Mountain Running Championships. Andy and Anne Marie competed in the 10k Road Race on Saturday (7th) which included the Polish Veterans Championships. On a perfect day for running Andy finished 49th and 6th M40 in 34.35, his fastest time since becoming a veteran. Anne Marie finished in 1439th (and 73rd W40) out of 1821 finishers, in a PB of 58.43, her first time under the hour for this distance.

Chiltern Marathon

With just two weeks to go until they tackle the 55 miles Trail of Herts event, Tricia Hopper and Karen Liddle made some final preparations at the tough Chiltern marathon from Lane End, Buckinghamshire. On a very hilly course where up and down mean UP and DOWN, they were deservedly delighted to complete the 27 miles in 6:45, while Paul Holgate was equally pleased with his 21.5 miles in 5:49.

Coming Events

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

• Club Five Mile Team Champs on Tuesday 10th September
• Herts Senior 5K Championships in WGC on Tuesday 24th September
• County 10K Championships in Letchworth on Sunday 6th October
• Herts Veterans 5K Championships in WGC on Tuesday 8th October
• Great Eastern Half Marathon in Peterborough on Sunday 13th October
• Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 17th October
• County 10 Mile Championships for veterans on Sunday 27th October
• Stevenage Half Marathon on Sunday 3rd November
• County Ten Miles Championship in Buntingford on 30th December 2013

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, Brittain Way, 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 9.30a.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 done very much running yet might prefer to start with a Thursday, Saturday or Monday session.

Try a few sessions before joining. Membership is only £35 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.

If you want to know more about the Spartans please contact Jim Brown (0793 968 7509 or 01438 354505), Vivienne Honey 07702 846304 or visit their website


More from Jim Brown (Press Officer) 0793 968 7509 / 01438 354505 or Vivienne Honey (Secretary) 07702 846304

Leave a Reply