Cross Country Season Starts. There was a fantastic turnout of 32 Fairlands Valley Spartans for Race One of the new cross country season. The race in Cheshunt produced some outstanding Spartan performances in blustery conditions.

News Release 27th October 2013

Cross Country Season Starts

Come and encourage hundreds of runners as they race over 13.1 miles in this Sunday’s Stevenage Half Marathon. The race starts from Ridlins Athletics Track, Woodcock Road at 10.30a.m. and will follow a two lap course on cycleways and footpaths along Gresley Way, Barham Road, Six Hills Way, into Fairlands Valley Park passing the lakes, through the southern park of the park, Broadhall Way, Gresley Way before turning into Woodcock Road after the second lap to finish on the track.

All aged 17 and over can have a go but the race also includes the Hertfordshire Senior and Veteran County Championships and the Eastern Veterans Athletics Club (EVAC) competition. More information on

Unfortunately entries are now closed for this event.

Cross Country Season Starts

There was a fantastic turnout of 32 Fairlands Valley Spartans for Race One of the new cross country season. The race in Cheshunt produced some outstanding Spartan performances in blustery conditions.

LEE REYNOLDS led in the Spartan men, seventh overall while CHRISTINE LATHWELL was an impressive third in the women’s race.

The men were fifth and the Spartan women’s team sixth. Overall the club were sixth out of the eighteen teams.

Men’s Results:

Position Name Age Group Time
7 Lee Reynolds SM 30:03
13 Simon Jackson SM 30:32
17 Ian Yenney SM 31:03
88 Martin Wood M40 35:05
90 David Stafford SM 35:23
93 John Harris M50 35:29
95 Bernie Barnaby M50 35:38
108 Adrian Donnelly SM 36:32
133 Tom Sauka SM 37:54
138 Pete Smith M50 38:20
148 Steve Mayfield M40 38:45
183 Andy Jay M40 40:52
192 Mark Cheadle SM 41:33
205 Andy Prior M40 42:57
209 James Seals SM 43:18
224 Anton McCalla SM 45:35
226 David Cadogan M50 45:47
234 Mark Freeman M50 47:51
241 Nick Stewart M50 52:36
242 Daniel Bates SM 52:41

There were 250 male finishers.

Women’s Results

Position Name Age Group Time
3 Christine Lathwell W35 33:58
31 Lisa Burgess SW 40:14
34 Rhiannon Griffin SW 40:36
41 Michelle Reeves SW 41:05
42 Nikki Wilby SW 41:13
78 Claire Baker W35 45:04
80 Peta Wilson W35 45:11
89 Trica Hopper W45 45:46
94 Lisa Liversidge W45 46:22
95 Karen Liddle W55 46:27
115 Steph Mayfield W35 49:59
121 Lorraine Wyatt W45 51:27

There were 134 female finishers.

Hatfield 5K

14 Spartans took part in the final race in the Hatfield 5k Series on Tuesday evening. Conditions were a bit windy and the paths more slippery than previously, so most times were slower than two weeks before, but the heavy rain stayed away until the journey home after the race and there were still same good improvements and further personal bests (PBs) from the ladies and Carlos Vasquez-Garcia continued to improve his time also.

GRANT RAMSAY led for the 1st 4k of the race before tired legs from a 20-mile run at the weekend saw him slip to 3rd position overall and 2nd MV40, in 16:48. SIMON JACKSON was 2nd Spartan on the evening, in 7th position overall, with a time of 17:03, and CHRISTOPHER WESTCOTT finished 3rd Spartan, 15th overall in 18:27, with BERNIE BARNABY in 30th position in 19:33. Other Spartans taking part were: ANDREW BENNETT, 40th 20:42 in his 1st 5k with the club, KIERAN FEETHAM, 42nd 20:48, JENNIFER ROBERTSON, 50th, 21:29 (PB +1:10), MICHELLE REEVES, 62nd, 22:27 (PB +0:29), JULIE SIMMONS, 63rd and 1st V55, 22:32, CLAIRE BAKER, 69th, 23:36, TRICIA HOPPER, 79th, 24:42 (PB +0:17), KAREN PALMER 84th, 25:01 (2nd PB in a week +0:20), BEVERLEY HARLOW, 86th and 3rd V55, 25:17, (YB, 20 seconds quicker than in race 2), and ANDREA WESTCOTT, 91st, 28:08, while Stevenage based CARLOS VASQUEZ-GARCIA finished 4th overall in 16:54 (5 seconds quicker than race 2) for his 1st claim club Serpentine Running Club. There were 102 finishers.

GRANT RAMSAY 3rd 16:48 2nd MV40
ANDREW BENNETT 40th 20:42 New 5k time
JENNIFER ROBERTSON 50th 21:29 PB (1:10)
MICHELLE REEVES 62nd 22:27 PB (0:29)
JULIE SIMMONS 63rd 22:32 1st V55
CLAIRE BAKER 69th 23:36
TRICIA HOPPER 79th 24:36 PB (0:17)
KAREN PALMER 84th 24:52 PB (0:20)
BEVERLEY HARLOW 86th 25:11 3rd V55 YB (0:20)
CARLOS VASQUEZ-GARCIA 4th 16:54 (+0:05)

There were 102 finishers.

In the Series overall, SIMON JACKSON finished second with a cumulative time of 33 minutes 43 seconds. CARLOS VASQUEZ-GARCIA was third senior with 33:53. DAVID BOWKER was fourth male veteran (50 plus). JULIE SIMMONS won the FV55 category and BEVERLEY HARLOW was fourth.

Pops Race1 Race2 Race3 Series
SIMON JACKSON 2nd 16:52 16:51 17:03 33:43 2nd
CHRISTOPHER WESTCOTT 19th 19:09 18:17 18:27 36:44
DAVID BOWKER 21st 18:20 18:25 36:45 4th MV50
BERNIE BARNABY 37th 19:29 19:19 19:33 38:48
KIERAN FEETHAM 50th 20:37 20:48 41:25
JULIE SIMMONS 67th 22:29 22:32 45:01 1st FV55
MICHELLE REEVES 69th 23:24 22:56 22:27 45:23
CLAIRE BAKER 74th 24:12 23:08 23:36 46:44
BEVERLEY HARLOW 88th 25:31 25:17 50:48 4th FV55
PAUL HOLGATE 92nd 26:34 26:55 53:29
ANDREA WESTCOTT 94th 28:20 27:00 28:08 55:08
CARLOS VASQUEZ-GARCIA 4th 17:02 16:59 16:54 33:53 3rd MS

Best two races count.

Snowdonia Marathon

Despite being regarded as one of the toughest marathons on the international circuit, the Snowdonia Marathon, first run in 1982, is now a very popular event that is always oversubscribed, attracting 2,200 runners. Three Spartans took part in this year’s race including race regulars Sharon Crowley competing in her 22nd Snowdonia marathon (more than any other female) and Paul Holgate in his 25th Snowdonia marathon. Matt Gill competed for the first time in 2012 and already has the race entered into his own diary to return every year that he can. The course follows the roads around the Snowdon mountain in this rugged and beautiful part of North Wales and boasts the most stunning scenery in this unique and spectacular race. The rain, winds and hills are all par for the course for this event, which would not be the same without them.

Matt Gill ran an excellent new personal best (PB) of 4:04:03 in tough conditions, while Paul Holgate was delighted to finish in 5:16:29 after all the injuries of the last 10 months, and Sharon was equally delighted to be able to nurse her knee round in around 5:26. Paul was still 3 minutes inside 5 hours target at 23 miles but his lack of training told in the last 3.2 miles. He says onwards and upwards for the Athens marathon in two weeks time.

Coming Events

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

• Stevenage Half Marathon on Sunday 3rd November
• Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 21st November
• Spartans AGM on Friday 22nd November
• Cross country race two at Grovelands on Sunday 24th November
• Cross country race three at Trent Park on Sunday 8th December
• Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 19th December
• County Ten Miles Championship in Buntingford on 30th December 2013
• Cross country race four on Therfield Heath on Sunday 12th January
• Cross country race five at Watford on Sunday 16th February
• Presentation Evening on Friday 28th February 2014

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

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