The Spartan men’s team of SIMON FRASER, TONY RANDFIELD, JOHN HARRIS and MARCUS RIDLEY won the team competition by 175 points to 188 ahead of North Herts Road Runners.
Simon was fourth overall in 1 hour 21 minutes 31 seconds (1:21:31); Tony 40th in 1:38:09; John 47th in 1:39:10 and Marcus 84th in 1:47:50. Tony was first in the men 60 plus category and John Second.
SAM MAIDENS was the fastest female from Spartans beating two hours with 1:59:18. An excellent time as she continues her marathon preparation. LINDA GEORGE was next woman in for the Spartans with 2:21:25.
CHRIS WATLING 1:59:10 also beat two hours. Then came TIM ROBINSON 2:04:14 who felt strong at the start and up to about 5miles. Then he said his legs started protesting but his last three miles were very fast. He was happy to be not too much over two hours
Within the next minute MARTIN JACOB 2:04:32 and MICHAEL O’KEEFE 2:04:55. Followed by JIM BROWN in with 2 hours 13 minutes 50 seconds.
MATTHEW NEWTON was not far behind in 2:14:53 then SHARON CROWLEY completed the Spartan thirteen with 2:33:13.
Fairlands Valley Spartans enjoyed themselves at the Cromwell Hotel, Stevenage with their annual presentation evening on Friday evening.
ANDREW PATTERSON was overall male and club champion for 2022 and YUKO GORDON was overall female champion.
CATHY CRAIG was voted Spartan of the Year.
SUZY HAWKINS won the women’s open short contest with a margin of 7% while YUKO GORDON won the age graded competition with 97.4%! The short contest was determined by the best of three out of 1500 metres, 5K, 5 miles and 10K.
The women’s open long was won by HAZEL SMITH 4.2% ahead of WENDY THARANI who was just 0.2% in front of FIONA CLARKE.
Meanwhile the women’s age graded long competition was won by YUKO GORDON with an amazing 99.5. TRICIA HOPPER was second and SHARON CROWLEY third. The long contest was best of three out of 10 miles, half marathon, 20 miles and full marathon (26.2 miles / 42.2 kilometres).
ANDREW PATTERSON won the men’s open short and long open competitions with 79.4% and 79.2%. GRANT RAMSAY was second in the short with 69.8% and STUART ARCHER third with 68.5%. ROSS GALLAGHER was second in the long with 66.6% and STUART ARCHER third with 65.4%.
SIMON JACKSON won both men’s age graded competitions with 84.5% and 84.2%. GEORGIE HOOPER and DEREK CORNELIUS was the most improved Spartans in 2022.
David Scott, Chair of FVS in 2022 presented the Chair’s Award to VICKY ARCHER while the captains’ awards went to NICK KLEANTHOUS and JANE WADEY for their participation in league events.
The President’s Award went to ROGER BIGGS who has co-ordinated the Spartans involvement – runners and volunteers – in the London Marathon for 25 years.
The Seville Marathon went well for YUKO GORDON. She finished in 3 hours 27 minutes 18 seconds to win first women 70 plus beating the men’s 70 plus winner by two minutes. Her average pace was better than 5 minutes per kilometre. She said the course was similar to London with a couple of under paths down and up, there was a long flat cobbled path from 38k to 39k which was pain for her to keep her balance but no problem for bigger feet.
Parkrun Saturday 25th February 2023
There was a parkrun PB (personal best) for Nick Gill who finished 5th in 19-07, smashing his previous time by thirty-five seconds.
There was clapping, eating and dancing on Friday evening as 88 Spartans enjoyed their presentation evening the first that’s been possible for two years.
This was a fantastic celebration of two years of achievements and an opportunity to enjoy each others’ company after so long.
YUKO GORDON’s achievements at national and international level are well known and she is the club’s overall champion for 2021. She scored 96.7% in the short distance championship and 98.9% in the long. She was also voted Spartan of the Year.
SIMON JACKSON won the men’s championship.
As well as 27 awards based on the long and short distance championships the evening recognised the most improved Spartans – SAM SIMMONS and FIONA CLARKE; the Lisa Potter Starter of the Year SUSAN MURPHY and many of the club members whose voluntary efforts have made the club possible over a difficult period. They included WENDY THARANI (Chair’s Award); MARK FREEMAN (President’s Award; PETE SMITH (Head Coach’s Award) and SHARON and MIKE CROWLEY (Captains’ Awards).
A great night at the Cromwell Hotel, Old Stevenage which finished with some very energetic dancing.
(All the presentation evening winners can be found near the end of this release).
The Welwyn Half Marathon is a bit of a hybrid with 1.5 miles of trail including some quite slippery sections and narrow footpath and pavement which caused some delays in the busy middle third of the field. However the cold start turned into a pleasant sunny morning with a tailwind finish and there were some massive efforts from the thirteen Spartans.
For a flattish course SUZY HAWKINS was surprised how hard the Welwyn Half Marathon felt with off road sections and narrow bumpy pavements that seemed busy with non runners. She said she was disappointed with her time, but collecting third placed female was nice. Suzy finished in 1 hour 32 minutes 46 seconds (1:32:46).
DAVID HARRIS – CHERGUIT said it was great to see so many smiling Spartans out Sunday morning. He was sixth overall out of the 387 finishers in the race and third man 40 plus with 1 hour 21 minutes 35 seconds.
ANDREW VAUGHAN was second male 50 plus in 1:31:38. ASHLEY KING took a third place in the women 35 plus contest with 1:45:40.
There was a personal best (PB) of 1 hour 37 minutes 59 seconds for ROBERT WRIGHT. A great achievement on a tricky course.
JIM BROWN said it was a good quality Sunday 13 mile training run and although a little disappointed he improved his 2022 half marathon time by ten minutes to 2:02:51.
Thirteen Spartans ran. Others were MIKE JEFFS 1:34:39; JOHN NELMS 1:46:21; MARK GOODWIN 1:47:10; LUKE SILVER 1:54:45; NEIL ROBINSON 2:07:31; SIMON SYPULA 2:17:08 and ELLIE McDERMOTT 2:43:04
(Detailed results for all the Spartans can be found near the end of this release).
Six Spartans raced the Baldock Beast Multi-Terrain and Spartan JOHN HARRIS excelled by winning the male 50 plus category with 1 hour 34 minutes 53 seconds. He was 13th out of the 154 finishers.
John said six Spartans tamed the beast, which included 14 hills and 856 feet of ascent. It was definitely a run of two halves with negative splits, on a cold but sunny morning that warmed up during the race. He said he faded over the last mile and was passed by three quicker runners but very happy with a trophy at the end.
NICK GILL came in 25th with 1:40:38 and SUSAN McANENY comfortably beat the two hour barrier with 1:57:45. GEORGIE HOOPER and SUE HAMER came in with 2:04:49 and 2:11:47.
Despite running the National Cross Country the previous day TIM ROBINSON went round in 2 hours 11 minutes 47 seconds.
National Cross Country
Four Spartans went to Parliament Hill Fields, London for the National Cross Country Championships on Saturday. In the ladies race SHARON CROWLEY covered the eight kilometres (8K) in 59 minutes 18 seconds.
The men ran 12K with CIARAN McANENY taking 59 minutes 47 seconds; ANDY JAY 1:25:42 and TIM ROBINSON 1:28:05.
The usual generous helpings of liquid mud on that course.
Battersea Park Chase the Sun
JONATHAN PARR came third overall and first man 35 plus in the RunThrough Battersea Park Chase The Moon 5K event on Wednesday. His time was 16 minutes 26 seconds.
It was mild, dry and sunny for Friday lunch-time’s Serpentine 5K run in Hyde Park and thinking about Sunday Spartan JIM BROWN was happy going round the two lap course in about nine minutes per mile to finish in 27 minutes 17 seconds. The winner took 15:27!
Parkrun Highlights 26th February
Eunice cancelled last Saturday’s race but there were 320 runners at this week’s Stevenage parkrun. Spartan GRANT RAMSAY was sub 20 and in the Top Ten again with 19 minutes 18 seconds and 6th Place.
The Paignton parkrun was right next to where YUKO GORDON was staying for the weekend so she popped out to join. This was her first ever park run outside Hertfordshire. The course was supposed to be a mixture of velo park and the adjacent grass field which was boggy and swampy. So, Yuko was surprised to see many of the runners come in squeaky clean Nike alphafly. She was in Inova8 Mudcrow XC shoes. They changed the course just to three laps of the velo park and gravel path, no field. Yuko was first woman 70 plus, eighth woman and 61st overall out of 258 in 23 minutes 49 seconds.
All the winners at the FVS Presentation Evening:
Female Open Short – 1st, 2nd and 3rd 1st Suzy Hawkins 73.0% 2nd Tracy Pez 61.4% 3rd Hazel Smith 59.0%
Female Age Graded Short – 1st, 2nd and 3rd 1st Yuko Gordon 96.7% 2nd Cathy Craig 70.5% 3rd Alison Shelley 68.6%
Female Open Long – 1st, 2nd and 3rd 1st Suzy Hawkins 72.3% 2nd Marie Colucci 62.1% 3rd Fiona Clarke 56.0%
Female Age Graded Long – 1st, 2nd and 3rd 1st Yuko Gordon 98.9% 2nd Cathy Craig 65.1% 3rd Alison Shelley 63.8%
Male Open Short – 1st, 2nd and 3rd 1st Andrew Patterson 80.3% 2nd Adrian Busolini72.8% 3rd Grant Ramsay 71.6%
Male Age Graded Short – 1st, 2nd and 3rd 1st Simon Jackson 84.1% 2nd Brian White 82.2% 3rd Barry Osbourne 81.5%
Male Open Long – 1st, 2nd and 3rd 1st Andrew Patterson 79.4% 2nd Danny Scanlon 66.6% 3rd Paul Shelley 63.5%
Male Age Graded Long – 1st, 2nd and 3rd 1st Simon Jackson 82.2% 2nd Grant Ramsay 75.0% 3rd Pete Smith 72.2%
Overall Champion – Male Simon Jackson
Overall Champion – Female Yuko Gordon
Overall Club Champion Yuko Gordon
Most Improved Spartan – Male – Sam Simmons Most Improved Spartan – Female – Fiona Clarke Lisa Potter Starter of the Year Award- Susan Murphy Chairs Award – Wendy Tharani Presidents Award – Mark Freeman Head Coaches Award – Pete Smith Captains Awards – Sharon Crowley and Mike Crowley Spartan of the Year – Yuko Gordon
Spartans at the Welwyn Half Marathon (27th February):
It was brutal for the beast on Sunday. Fairlands Valley Spartans NEIL ROBINSON, KAREN ELLIS, TIM ROBINSON, MICHAEL O’KEEFE, TRISH HOPPER and KAREN LIDDLE ran the Baldock Beast half marathon.
Weather conditions were terrible with a yellow warning issue by the Met office, the organisers were considering cancelling the event but the forecast was for it to clear at around 11am and with five minutes to go, the runners were called to the start line.
The first mile and a half are up hill and the runners were exposed to horizontal rain and high winds, with ankle deep water, but once over the brow of the hill and into Wallington the conditions improved and running was easier.
Tim still had the Beachy Head Marathon in his legs and adopted a strategy of walking up the steep hills.
The last couple of miles the sun came out and the rain stopped but the wind still made running very difficult.
Tim said it was another superbly organised event by local runners.
Neil Robinson was first back for the Spartans with 1 hour 58 minutes 58 seconds. The first female from Fairlands was Karen Ellis in 2:05:23. Tim Robinson came in with 2:07:35 and Michael O’Keefe with 2:20:28. Tricia Hopper and Karen Liddle finished together in 2:31:47 and 2:31:48. Not a race for personal bests!
“Actually the hardest things I’ve ever done” said WENDY THARANI about Sunday’s Lulworth Cove Marathon. This was off road either going steeply uphill or steeply downhill for almost 30 miles. She said there was typical coastal changeable weather weather but some lovely sunshine and stunning scenery including Lulworth’s Cove and Durdle Door. Wendy completed the 29.41 miles in 8 hours 58 minutes 20 seconds.
There were two Spartans at the Serpentine Last Friday of the Month 5K in Hyde Park.
Spartan YUKO GORDON scored the highest age graded score in the race 94.2% with 22 minutes 25 seconds.
The fastest woman raced round in 18:28. She was an FV50 but that ONLY scored 93.5%.
The fastest man went round in 15:26 but that was only good enough for 85.5%.
The Last Friday 5K can be an amazing event at the top end but also a great way to spend a Friday lunch-time. Of course several went for coffee in the Serpentine Kitchen afterwards.
Conditions were described by the organisers as mild, dry but wet underfoot and windy.
Compared with recently JIM BROWN made a marginal gain of seven seconds to finish with 26 minutes 44 seconds. A bit disappointing but his quickest “real” 5K for a long time (real in the sense of an accurately measured and properly timed race with other people).
Best age graded
Seven second improvement
Two Weeks To Go! Here Comes The Stevenage Half! It’s on 21st November.
Inspired by the London and Manchester Marathons? Now you can be one of hundreds running in Stevenage on Sunday 21st November as entries for the town’s half marathon are open. This year the race is a couple of weeks later than usual.
Entries for the Stevenage Half Marathon are open but are going fast! To make sure that you secure your place visit the following link to enter the race! Go to https://stevenagehalfmarathon.org.uk/
Parkrun Highlights for Saturday 30th October 2021
Twenty two Spartans headed out to run at seven different Parkrun venues on Saturday.
Congratulations to JONATHAN PARR who came first at Stevenage with a time of 17 minutes 7 seconds. This was Jonathan’s 16th win. He is currently at third place for the most first place finishes at Stevenage.
There were four other top ten gender positions this week with GRANT RAMSAY third (19:20, Stevenage), KELLY EVANS 6th (26:34, Erddig, near Wrexham), DAVID PATTMAN 10th (19:58, Gunpowder, Waltham Abbey) and GAIL MACKIE 10th (26:30 , Stevenage).There were no official Parkrun milestones this week but MONICA SMITHSON and BETH FOLEY have both reached an unofficial milestone of 40 Parkruns at Stevenage.Well done and congratulations to all.(You can find all the Spartan parkrun times near the end of this release).