News Race Results


Plus Virtual Marathons and 10Ks

Picture credit: Active Training World

For the first time in the 36 year history of Fairlands Valley Spartans a woman member beat the three hour barrier for a marathon on Sunday.

In difficult wet and windy conditions MICHELLE REEVES ran the Dorney Lake Marathon, near Eton, in 2 hours 58 minutes 3 seconds.

Michelle began in the Spartans’ starter group.  Now she’s a club record holder!

Nine Spartans were amongst 525 finishers at the “waves and ripples” event.

Teamwork by CRAIG WILSON; ANDREW PATTERSON and SIMON JACKSON saw them finish together in 2:53:42; 2:53:42 and 2:53:43 and 105th, 106th and 107th position.  Michelle was 147th with her 2:58:03.  She was fifth senior (under 40 woman).

Well within the important qualifying time of 3:15 came SUZY HAWKINS in 3:10:35.  That’s a personal best (PB) by eleven minutes.  She was 210th and fifth woman aged 40 plus.

STUART HAYCROFT and SAMANTHA PRETTY came in 224th and 225th in 3:13:49.  PETER SMITH finished in 3:37:46.  Running her first “proper” marathon CHARLOTTE SMITH said she “hit the wall” at 13 miles but held on to finish in 4 hours 14 minutes 22 seconds.


Virtual London and 10K

Many Spartans were also running virtual 10Ks and marathons.  Many on loops around Stevenage, some in extraordinary conditions with floods and trees blocking their routes.  4th October would have been the date for the popular Standalone 10K and while the elite runners were competing in west London for the masses it was also the day for the virtual London Marathon.

The stand out virtual performance was by ADRIAN BUSOLINI.  His marathon was a fantastic achievement running solo, getting wet feet, fighting the wind and rain, and without regular official water stations on a course in Stevenage yet finishing in 2 hours 55 minutes 17 seconds.  His first marathon under three hours and a personal best by ten minutes.

MIKE GREEN took 4:02:01 for the 26.2 miles.

MARTIN DUDLEY completed his virtual London Marathon in 4 hours, 34 minutes, 4 seconds. A very wet run with flooded roads between Stevenage and Weston on my his to the Garden House Hospice in Letchworth.  Dean Carpenter did not have a virtual place but ran the whole 26.32 miles to support him.

Well a different event said ERICA GRAYSON who ran to support Sue Hamer who had a 2020 ballot place.  They ran side by side around the cycle paths of Stevenage with one pit stop where they changed their soggy kit and refuelled.

Their official finish time was 5:04:16.  Erica said it was great to be out running an event albeit an iconic masters in virtual format.

A group of Spartans had chosen a route along the along the Alban Way but on the day they had to try to avoid floods and a fallen tree wherever they could.  Route comprised of road with a splash of trail and wading through water at points.  There’s an amazing picture of a fancy dress runner – a birthday cake – going downstream.  Hazel said a water station was provided by fellow Spartan Sharon Flaherty and her two amazing little helpers.  A real boost to morale every time we saw them.   That group’s finishing times were: Karen Ellis 4:52:29; Ed Hare 5:07:27; Hazel Smith 5:15:38; Robert Wright 5:15:53; Julie Shadbolt 5:25:27; Linda Nolan 5:28:35; Ada Janusiene 5:25:22; Jackie Downes 5:14:23 and Cathy Craig 5:39:11.  They weren’t alone in having some problems with the official app.

Despite floods and an enormous tree falling down on her route due to gales CATHY CRAIG said she had a great run and finished her virtual London Marathon in 5:39:11.

HAZEL SMITH says she has wrinkly feet from all the water in her shoes, had to rise to the challenge with the floods and fallen tree, but it was all worth it for cheese on toast and prosecco in the bath.

PAUL HOLGATE splashed his way around the virtual marathon in Stevenage on Sunday.  His time was 6:33:42, two hours quicker than his last road marathon which was in Snowdon last year.

BITSY KHAMBHAITA said, “What a day, I’m absolutely exhausted but so proud for getting out in the hideous weather, I was soaked by two miles, had to reroute twice and shimmied along a grass verge due to flooding!  But despite the blisters carried on and made it to finish the Virtual London Marathon in 7 hours 14 minutes 42 seconds.”  She thanked those who looked after her, cheered her on and following her around bringing snacks and drinks and said she could not have done it without them.

Altogether thirty seven Spartans ran an actual or virtual marathon on London Marathon day.  You can find all of them in the tables near the end of this release.


Virtual 10Ks

YUKO GORDON ran her virtual Standalone 10K in 49 minutes 55 seconds; MARTIN JACOB his in 56:37 and LINDA GEORGE ran 1:06:42.

Sarah and Steve Pike did the “club” 10K virtual course this morning.  They said it was pretty horrible weather and they were never planning to go around very quick.  Their time was 69:30.

The Fab Four of Nicola Hatherly; Niki Plumb; Hayley Peach and Nichola Durent ran the Virtual Standalone 10K.  They said despite the constant rain it was an enjoyable run and vibe seeing lots of runners out doing their own runs and virtual races.  Their times were Nicola 1:17:20; Niki 1:21:22; Hayley 1:34:32 and Nichola 1:35.38.

PAM TAYLOR and STEPH BIGGAR did their 10Ks in 83:12 and 84:17.  SHARON CROWLEY covered the distance in 1 hour 32 minutes 56 seconds in the midst of doing the whole 42.2 kilometres just for the fun of it.  Others doing various virtual runs included JIM BROWN who bumbled around a half marathon on the way to 15 miles.


Other Virtuals

In the Fly 5k Event 16.  Nick Kleanthous 25:03 (YB 0:12) and Paul Holgate 33:17

In addition in the (not) Stevenage ParkRun 5k Event 14.  Lee Pickersgill 23:35 (YB 0:23); James McSweeney 26:50; Paul Jennings 27:29 (YB 0:53) and Nicola Andersson 28:51


More Than A Thousand Marathons In Virtual Relay

FVS have visited the four Twin Towns of Stevenage and continued to run in some of the world’s iconic marathons in their amazing virtual relay which finished on the same day as the Virtual London Marathon.

The 40th (virtual) London Marathon brought the Spartans home 126 days after leaving Stevenage.  On 4th October they recorded 801 miles with 64 members posting a distance.  That is the highest daily total of the whole virtual relay.  The final total mileage for the club was 33,045 miles.  Along the way there were 4,867 mileage posts and 33 countries were visted (some of them twice).  The Spartans competed in 40 running events.

(More on this next week).

BRIAN WHITE was named Spartan of the Month for efforts organising the virtual relay for many months.



Virtual London Marathon Results – 4th October 2020 (some at Dorney Lake)
Place Place Place Name Surname Time Comments
(Overall) (Gender) (Category
314 308 157 Andrew Patterson 2:53:42
332 325 88 Simon Jackson 2:53:43
385 374 188 Adrian Busolini 2:55:12 PB
520 19 10 Michelle Reeves 2:58:03 PB New club record
896 52 10 Suzy Hawkins 3:08:33 PB
1031 77 37 Samantha Pretty 3:13:49
5807 4438 1714 Mike Green 4:02:01
9308 2689 339 Karen Ellis 4:28:04
10196 3052 155 Martin Dudley 4:34:04
12863 8639 3196 Martin Blackburn 4:53:11
14085 4795 591 Sue Hamer 5:02:10
14344 4937 611 Erica Grayson 5:04:16
14733 9579 3515 Edward Hare 5:07:27
15656 5633 1240 Jackie Downes 5:14:23
15828 5719 1212 Hazel Smith 5:15:38
15849 10117 3701 Robert Wright 5:15:53
16157 10254 1996 John Davis 5:18:22
16900 6274 764 Julie Shadbolt 5:24:16
17040 6352 2245 Ada Janusiene 5:25:22
17478 6604 145 Linda Nolan 5:28:35
18603 7219 13 Jan Fry 5:37:45
18750 7293 67 Catherine Craig 5:39:11
25110 14122 1986 Karl Shreeve 6:49:00
27155 12234 2534 Kim Martin 7:21:13
27905 12695 4244 Jo Bowdery 7:34:36
32894 15939 3247 Emma Southerington 9:44:48
34059 16712 3378 Caroline Croft 10:43:03
34129 16759 3384 Carole Sheldrick 10:48:42
NB: Several noticed that the VLM app times were not reliable.
Other marathon results Sunday 4th October 2020
Craig Wilson 2:53:42
Stuart Haycroft 3:13:49
Pete Smith 3:37:46
4551 3571 415 Steve Green 3:52:35 2nd claim
4537 978 231 Isabel Green 3:52:30 2nd claim
Charlotte Smith 4:14:22
Dean Carpenter 4:34:04
Paul Holgate 6:33:42
Bitsy Khambhaita 7:14:42

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