This Sunday (4th) is the big day for running in Stevenage as it’s the town’s half marathon which is organised by Fairlands Valley Spartans. More than 570 have already entered and you’ll be very welcome to come out and encourage the runners as they make their way around the 13.1 mile race which starts from Ridlins Athletics Track at 10a.m.
The event is mostly based on Stevenage’s famous cycleways and is on a two lap course which will come up Gresley Way and Six Hills Way into Fairlands Valley Way, loop around the park and return via Broadhall Way.
The race includes the senior Hertfordshire Half Marathon Championships and is an accurately measured and licensed event. All the surplus from this volunteer, it takes about 75 people, organised event will go to the club charity which in 2018 is Kawasaki Kid and to the outside groups that volunteer at the event.
Callum Second in Cross Country
A cold start but it was a lovely morning as 18 Spartan women and 29 men tackled the first cross country league race of the season which was at Cheshunt. Nine of the FVS team were first timers who benefitted from good conditions with the three lap course firm underfoot.
CALLUM STEWART was second out of the 540 plus runners in just 26 minutes 4 seconds. SIMON JACKSON was next in for the Spartans 24th with 28:36 while CHRIS WESTCOTT 28th in 28:52; PAUL HEWETT 49th in 30:05; STEFFAN FORD 58th in 30:18; DAN HUKIN 62nd in 30:24; MARTIN BLACKBURN 67th in 30:42; ALEX DUNNETT 74th in 30:53 and STUART HAYCROFT 75th also in 30:53 all beat 31 minutes.
SUZY HAWKINS was first in for the women, 175th overall, in 34 minutes 26 seconds with MICHELLE REEVES not far behind at 190th in 35:05. JO BOWDERY was 379th in 40:50; KAREN ELLIS 410th in 41:05 and WENDY THARANI 418th in 42:05 to complete the Spartans “A” team.
(Tables of results can be found at the very end of this release)
Sharon Maintains Her Record in Snowdonia
The coldest day of the month so far could only mean one thing – time for the Snowdonia marathon. The race lived up to its reputation as one of the toughest marathons in the UK as the five Spartans taking part this year experienced all four seasons in one day with snow, sun, wind and rain as they climbed 838 metres in the course of the race which has a flat equivalent distance of 29.32 miles.
In his thirtieth consecutive participation in the race Paul Holgate was first to finish in 5 hours 31 minutes 17 seconds, with Tricia Hopper, Barry King & Karen Liddle very close behind in 5:32:20. Sharon Crowley continued her record as the female with the most finishes, crossing the finish line in 6:03:36 in her 27th Snowdon marathon, despite her severe lack of training following being bitten by a dog on the Pennine Way in August.
Beachy Head Trail Marathon
On Saturday 27th October Tim Robinson ran the Beachy Head marathon. The race is a trail race across the South Downs with several checkpoints stocked with biscuits, chocolate, fruit, cakes and jelly babies. The route involves over 3,600ft of ascent. There was a cold northerly wind blowing most of the day dropping temperatures to just above freezing on the tops of the South Downs but a clear day meant some great views. Using a walk run strategy (walking up hill and running anything flat and downhill) from the start meant the final five miles over the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head were not quite as painful or slow as last year resulting in a very slightly quicker time of 5:46:12
The UK’s biggest Trail Marathon with over 2000 finishers. Starts and finishes on the edge of Eastbourne, using firstly the North leg of the South Downs Way, returning by the South leg of the South Downs Way. Featuring 5000ft of incline, making this one of the toughest.
For ROGER BIGGS, it was a race too hard and probably a race too soon following his heart problem earlier in the year. Roger had two fellow lady runners who supported him for the last seven miles of the event and allowed him to finish. He came in at 6 hours 8 minutes 49 seconds.
PETER CARPENTER completed the Beachy Head 10K on Saturday.
His time of 1 hour 10 minutes 47 seconds was just two minutes slower than 2106 – which is slightly surprising as he felt going round that he was going rather poorly and walking more of the hills than intended – also he said, “If I’m honest I should really still be in recovery mode after the other events I’ve completed recently. It was very cold but fortunately I’d managed to wear the right level of clothing, so that wasn’t a problem.”
DAVE BOWKER ran the Fenland 10. His time of 71 minutes 10 seconds made him 68th out of more than 700 runners and sixth man aged 60 plus. He was fourth in the EMAC championship section.
A Little Bit of Running for John
Spartan JOHN NELMS completed two marathons and an ultra marathon this week – On Tuesday it was eight laps of Willen Lake and Wednesday 17 laps of Furzton Lake , both in Milton Keynes as part of the Enigma running three lakes challenge. He was then joined on Saturday by REECE McCULLAGH to complete the Thames Trot Ultra Marathon – starting in Oxford and following the river to finish 50 miles downstream in Henley. John and Reece both finished together in 9 hours 30, smiling and sprinting the last 500 yards live on Facebook.
John said “we now have a growing group of Spartans who have completed or who are planning to complete an ultra marathon. Any other members who would like to know more about running stupid distances please come and speak to me at training. It’s not as daunting as you might think and you get to eat cake and jelly babies during the run “
Tim Goes Ultra
TIM SABAN ran his first Ultra at the Stort 30. The race follows the river Stort till it meets the river Lea. At that point it continued to follow the river towards Rye House where they turned around and retraced the route back. Tim says it was a tough course in parts with very narrow ruts that were barely wide enough to place your foot. He said he didn’t quite get his nutrition right, ate too late into the race and paid heavily for it. But he really enjoyed the experience and finished in 4 hours 43 minutes. An ultra is a race over the marathon distance of 26.2 miles.
ED HARE ran his first race for the Spartans on Sunday. In the Ricky Road Run ten mile event he finished in 1 hour 27 minutes 43 seconds. That a new personal best for ten miles and he was 182nd out of the 326 participants.
STEFFAN FORD ran the Serpentine Last Friday of the Month 5K in 17 minutes 53 seconds. He was 33rd overall out of 268 and ninth in his age group.
On a cool, breezy and dry day JIM BROWN enjoyed a recovery run in Hyde Park after the recent Chelmsford Marathon and finished the same event in 28:34.
Parkrun Highlights Saturday 27th October
First Saturday of the month saw 19 Spartans don their stripes at Stevenage and six at other venues. There were two new PBs for Spartans at Stevenage. Steve DOBNER was 50th finisher with 23:52 and Nichola DURENT ran a new personal best of 40:04.
Jonathan PARR was second finisher at Stevenage in 18:13, followed by Todd GRAY, 7th place in 19:12 and Danny SCANLON 9th place in 19:36. Verity FISHER was sixth female in 24:01 and Kerstin WEINER was 8th in 24:41. At Letchworth, Ros INGRAM was fifth female in 26:01.
(See the end of this release for all Saturday’s Spartan Parkrun results).
Women at Cheshunt Cross Country
|175||SUZY HAWKINS||34:26||A Team|
|190||MICHELLE REEVES||35:05||A Team|
|379||JO BOWDERY||40:50||A Team|
|410||KAREN ELLIS||41:05||A Team|
|418||WENDY THARANI||42:05||A Team|
|460||KAREN PALMER||44:10||B Team|
|467||SHERYL HANN||44:30||B Team|
|474||ALISON SHELLEY||45:51||B Team|
|494||CAROLINE CROFT||47:22||B Team|
|507||MONICA SMITHSON||48:05||B Team|
Parkruns, Saturday 27th October