Fairlands Valley Spartans won SILVER medals in the team competition at the Hertfordshire County 5K championships for senior men on Wednesday 30th August.
The medal winning team was ANDREW PATTERSON (15:59); JONATHAN PARR (16:18); KIRK NDUGU (16:31) and NICK GILL (17:46). With 52 they were only four points behind the gold medal winners.
It was a season’s best (SB) for Andrew and Kirk, a year’s best (YB) for Jonathan and a personal best for Nick.
The championships were included in the Hatfield 5K which was completed by 14 Spartans.
MIKE JEFFS came in with a new PB of 18:02; MATT TUTTON with a new PB of 24:37; ANDY JAY with a season’s best 24:49 and SHARON CROWLEY with a season’s best of 28:59.
Team silver SB
Team silver YB
Team silver SB
Team silver PB
Results for all Spartan finishers at the Hatfield 5k
Bedford Running Festival
In the half marathon JIM BROWN was 307th out of the 684 finishers with 2 hours 1 minute 34 seconds. He was second in his category just 27 seconds behind the winner.
In the Bedford 20 DAVID HARRIS-CHERGUIT was ninth overall and seventh in the 40-49 category in 2 hours 8 minutes 13 seconds.
He said the weather was hot! Great support on route and it was good to see Stevenage being represented by Spartans, Striders and Phoenix running clubs.
Baldock Rat Run
Tim Robinson took part in the fifth Baldock 5k Rat Run, an off road fun run raising fund for Garden House Hospice. He finished 64th out of 88 finishers in a time of 29:21. He has run in all 5 events now and is a regular but difficult to spot.
UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc)
ADRIAN BUSOLINI said “My journey to UTMB started in 2019 with my running a section of the UTMB course, and falling in love with the Chamonix Valley. In 2021, I ran the UTMB CCC, which is more or less the second half of the UTMB course. I finally obtained my UTMB spot in 2022 based on my category placing in Val d’Aran.
For us based in Hertfordshire, training for something like UTMB is not easy, as we have no comparable terrain nearby. My lack of specific training is probably what held me back in this race.
Regardless of my result, the experience of participating in a race as famous and competitive as UTMB is extraordinary. Between bumping into many friends and acquaintances in Chamonix, experiencing the otherworldly level of support in St Gervais les Bains and Les Contamines, or just soaking up the sight of Mont Blanc from every angle. The UTMB is a tough, technical race, but one to savour.” Adrian took 30 hours 21 minutes 21 seconds for the 160 kilometres.
Duck and Dash
NICK KLEANTHOUS said it was a great weather for Sunday’s Duck n Dash involving 400 metres of Letchworth outdoor pool followed by a 5K hilly trail run around Norton Common. Tracy Haygarth found me before the start and we talked while waiting for our swim as swimmers went off at 15 second intervals. It was Tracy’s first event and without her Garmin on did amazing. It was very well organised and the support was fantastic. Hope to be back next year!
Summer Nuts Challenge
STEVE PLATT tackled the two muddy, wet and obstacle filled laps of the Summer Nuts Challenge on Saturday 2nd September. The 15.69 kilometres OCR (British Obstacle Sports) event took 3 hours 39 minutes 21 seconds.
Several Spartans ran the Big Half Marathon in London on Sunday.
Among them were TONY RANDFIELD and ROB WRIGHT who ran together. Tony finished in 1:52:13 and Rob in 1:52:19. They said it was a good race, fairly flat and it’s always great running across Tower Bridge.
There were nearly 12,400 finishers.
The Fairlands Valley Spartans women’s team won BRONZE in the East of England final for track and field athletes aged over 35 (EMAC). The team included CAROLYN LINSELL, NICKY WILBY, CALLIE CHAPMAN, MARIAN MORLEY, CHRISTINE LATHWELL, FIONA CLARKE, KAREN DODSWORTH, JOYLYN SAUNDERS-MULLINS, YUKO GORDON, ANDREA WESTCOTT and SHARON CROWLEY.
Andrea Westcott said, “The FVS Women were in the medals at the Eastern Masters final in Bedford on Sunday, finishing third behind Peterborough and Chelmsford in a hotly contested match. The medal positions changed frequently throughout the day, but the Spartans fought bravely and finished strong.”
Yuko Gordon won Woman of the Meeting 2022!
There were two Spartans running 20 mile races on Sunday. JOHN HARRIS was second man 60 plus at the Oakley 20 with 2 hours 30 minutes 39 seconds and 36th overall.
JIM BROWN took advantage of a late transfer to run the Bedford Festival 20. He was third man over 70 and 208th out of the 393 finishers in 3 hours 22 minutes 46 seconds.
ROSS GALLAGHER ran the Half Marathon at the Bedford Festival. He ran it in 1:32:50. It was a good race on mixed terrain which he used for some marathon pace training ahead of his run in Chicago on 9th October.
THOMAS SAUKA ran the Bedford Festival 5K in 21 minutes 49 seconds and was 19th out of 319. CHRIS WATLING was 49th in 24:24.
Meanwhile FIONA and MATT CLARKE ran the Festival 10K. Fiona was 184th in 56 minutes 1 second and Matt 95th in 48:44. There were 655 finishers. Fiona said she was very keen to get one of the pink finisher T shirts.
Baldock Rat Run
The Baldock 5 kilometre Rat Run is a multi terrain run around Baldock, including steps, a low tree to climb under and a dark tunnel to navigate. It is held in aid of the Garden House Hospice and is a regular event for Spartan Tim Robinson. The Rat Run is a very friendly, family orientated fun race with many children taking part and loads of activities for the younger children to do while waiting for the runners to finish.
MATT TUTTON was 68th with a gun time of 31 minutes 6 seconds and TIM ROBINSON 71st with 31:10. Their chip times were 30:57 and 30:56.
FVS Club 5K Handicap
Hazel (Smith), Abbie (Pez), Mark (Freeman) and Charlie (White) were winners in Thursday’s club 5K at twilight.
There were 39 finishers in Thursday evening’s Handicap 5k and thank you to Mike Crowley and Jim Brown for their assistance with the start and finish. The winner on the night was Hazel Smith recovering superbly from her recent injury with an impressive 26:12. Caroline Zverev finished 2nd lady (3rd overall), 2:32 better than handicap in 37:28 and Penny Schenkel was 3rd lady, 2:28 quicker than her July Handicap 5K time in 31:52.
Mark Freeman was first man (2nd overall), 2:14 quicker than July in 25:30, with Chris Watling second man in a new PB time of 23:12, 42 seconds quicker than July, and Steve Tinsley third man in a new PB time 25:48. Charlie White was quickest runner on the night in 20:03, with Paul Shelley 2nd quickest in a year best time of 20:41, and David Pattman third quickest with 21:34.
There were only six seconds between the three fastest females. Abbie Pez was quickest female in 24:05, with Marie Colucci 2nd quickest just 1 second behind in 24:06 and Paula Dunne 3rd quickest with 24:11.
There were also new PBs for Grant Murphy (28:21), Luke Gurney (23:02) and Derek Cornelius (23:38), while Simon Sypula improved his season best time by 2:45 to 28:18, and Karen Ellis, Tracy Pez, Craig Bacon, Jane Wadey & Martin Dudley were all others to improve on their July 5k times. Total time difference between 4th – 32nd position was just 2:14 and 32 finishers were within 2 minutes of their calculated handicap time. Full results are attached. The next Handicap 5k will be on the 22nd September.
Parkrun Highlights Saturday 3rd September
First Saturday of the month is Stripey Saturday, and twenty four Fairlands Valley Spartan members travelled to 6 different Parkrun venues across the country wearing the Club Stripey vest with pride.
Congratulations and well done to Grant RAMSAY who claimed top spot at Stevenage with a time of 18:46, 12 years and 8 months since his first ever Parkrun win at Finsbury Park. Top spots were achieved through his 30s, 40s and now 50s!
The fastest female Spartan was Gail MACKIE with a time of 22:34, third female at Stevenage. Adrian DONNELLY achieved a personal best (PB) at Letchworth (3rd, 19:51) completing the Spartans line-up of top ten finishers this week.
Luke GURNEY also achieved a PB, finishing with a time of 23:00 at Stevenage.