It was a double win in Hitchin for Fairlands Valley Spartans as ANDREW PATTERSON and ASHLEY JOHNSON won first man and first woman in the Hitchin 5K.
Andrew won the race in 16 minutes 23 seconds. Which was 50 seconds ahead of his nearest rival. And Ashley won the woman’s race in 20:17, again a victory by 50 seconds.
MONICA SMITHSON ran the Hitchin 5K in 32 minutes 17 seconds.
JIM BROWN ran the Bedford Autodrome 20 miles and improved his “year best” by 15 minutes 29 seconds when he finished in 3 hours 13 minutes 51 seconds.
This was a bit of a leap up after some indifferent half marathons so his plan was to run six “parkruns” in an average of 30 minutes or just under. That he did going through 30K in maybe a second under 3 hours.
Then the last 2.2 kilometres largely into a howling headwind took 13 minutes 51 seconds. He was second in his age group.
Spartan CAROLE SHELDRICK won her category in the Autodrome 10K with 56:38.
WENDY THARANI was at the Windsor Half Marathon. She said it was a busy event, well organised and well attended. Beautiful scenery through Windsor Great Park, however it is very undulating and felt like more up than down! Big hill at mile 11!
She finished in 2:14:15 (chip time).
Spartan Andy Jay travelled to Ottawa, Canada for a memorial and charity event, raising funds for injured and veteran members of the Canadian armed forces.
With the start and finish in Downtown Ottawa, the race went past famous Landmarks such as Parliament buildings and the famous Chateau Laurier Hotel. The race headed east alongside the Ottawa River before returning for a tough finish up on Parliament Hill.
Andy ran the 10k distance, finishing in 55.17.
Vitality Westminster Mile
JONATHAN PARR was fifth in the Vitality Westminster Mile with 4 minutes 42 seconds.
Parkrun Saturday 23rd September
Michael O’Keefe ran a new course PB at Letchworth with 29:05
At Stevenage there was a new parkrun PB for William Morley 19:52; Claire Pullen ran her 50th parkrun in 24:41; and Grant Ramsay was sixth at Stevenage on his 100thparkrun with 19:26
Three Spartans were on the podium at the Lee Valley Half Marathon.
ABBIE PEZ won the under 20 category with 1 hour 44 minutes 11 seconds; MARK GOODWIN was second, only missing first by seven seconds, in his with 1:43:45 and CLAIRE PULLEN second in hers with 1:44:29.
TRACY PEZ finished in an excellent time of 1:45:46.
All on a two lap flat course from the Lee Valley white water centre, Waltham Cross.
In the Lee Valley 10K NICHOLA DURRENT teamed up with her running partner in crime STEPH BIGGAR to finish in 1 hour 23 minutes 35 seconds. JONATHAN JONES came in at 68 minutes 59 seconds and DZENANA TOPIC at 69 minutes 17 seconds. They said it was a lovely course.
TIM ROBINSON was at a similarly named Olympic venue but this was the Lee Valley Velopark in the Olympic Park. He was there on Saturday for the Velopark Ten.
He said poor pacing for the first three 1 mile laps meant the last five miles were too hard, especially as the sun came out on the hottest day of the year so far. Tim finished the ten miles in 1:38:14 for 15th place and first MV50 (men 50 plus).
Herts Veteran Cross Country Championships
ROGER HARDMAN was nearest to the medals in the Hertfordshire Veteran Cross Country Championships. He was fourth in the men over 70 race with 40 minutes 1 second for the 6.4 kilometres course.
This was the last cross country race of the season and run at Trent Park the reverse way to the Sunday League event. Women and men aged 60 and above ran 6.4 kilometre (four miles). Younger veteran men ran 9.6 kilometres (6 miles). The Spartan results were:
MARTIN WOOD was 15th in the men 50 plus race with 47 minutes 55 seconds for 9.6 kilometres. LINDA NOLAN sixth female 60 plus in 39:26 and SHARON CROWLEY 14th female 60 plus in 43:57 both over 6.4 kilometres.
NICK KLEANTHOUS was 16th male 60 in 36 minutes 15.
There was Sibling fun at the Bedford Autodrome Marathon. Ashley Pearson, GRANT RAMSAY’s sister, smashed it to win the ladies race. Her 3 hours 12 minutes 35 seconds (3:12:35) was a 12 minutes personal best and qualifies her for the London Marathon Championship race for the first time.
GRANT RAMSAY says he was well out of sorts and not race fit over 26 miles. Although he was averaging 45 to 50 miles a week in training, the lack of races over 5K and no speed work, (sciatic nerve issues) did show up. He did test positive for Covid 13 days ago, but can’t use that as an excuse, as the effects on him were minimal.
Only a week after the Great Yarmouth cycle sportive YUKO GORDON was also at Bedford Autdrome but for the half marathon.
She says she didn’t quite get the result she hoped for though she won her age group and was ninth out of all the women in race. Yuko says the temperature was cool and perfect but it was windier than last year. The smooth tarmac was wonderful but making pace and keeping concentration were the difficult part in this kind of venue and event. It was like a personal time trial, each runner was aiming for a different distance and knowing nobody to hang on, so the only way to go was to listen her breathing. Yuko said she felt better after half way when she caught up with another woman and changed her strides to match her rhythm. The other runner kept pushing against the head wind and left Yuko along the windy side of course. She might have paid the price for that as Yuko passed her at three miles to go. Yuko was two minutes slower than last year in 1:39:58 and was first woman 70 plus.
Spartan JOHN HARRIS completed the classic Orion 15 cross country race in 2 hours 12 minutes 22 seconds (2:12:22) finishing 52nd out of 148 .
It was a tough challenging 15 miles course through Epping forest with many hills (1500 feet of elevation), knee high mud pools, stiles and lots of twists and turns. John highly recommends the event.
Parkrun Highlights 26th March
In this week’s roundup of Spartans on the Parkrun circuit we have a first female finisher at Stevenage, a fourth place finish at Cassiobury and some members running in university and castle grounds.
5th female and a new personal course pb of 24:09 for SUSAN McANENY at Stevenage parkrun this weekend.
Stevenage: Ashley Schoenwetter was first female runner home on Saturday with a time of 21-44, finishing 12th out of 251 runners. Other finishers: Tony Randfield 22-40 (28th), Susan McAneny 24-09 (51st – Parkrun PB), Steven Dobner 24-11 (52nd), Alison Shelley 25-03 (64th – Parkrun PB), Andy Jay 25-05 (65th), Jim Brown 27-00 (92nd), Nicola Andersson 28-12 (114th), Chloe Chapman 28-15 (116th), Vicky Archer 28-16 (117th), David Pattman 28-34 (124th), Mo Warrillow 28-34 (125th), Debbie Blantern 28-56 (130th), Toby Eccleshall 29-25 (140th), Luke Silver 31-06 (161st), Helen Harris 36-20 (209th), Samantha Sutton 36-44 (215th), Angie Waters 39-35 (230th), Roger Biggs 48-41 (240th).
Other away day results:
Cassiobury (Watford, Herts): Jonathan Parr finished fourth out of 405 runners on the two and half flat lap course. Jonathan finished with a time of 16-26, gaining a Parkrun PB in the process. Jonathan also finished thirteen seconds behind the first finisher, six seconds behind second and five seconds behind third. Very tight at the business end of the field.
Daventry (Northamptonshire): Darryl Stevens 39-05 (178 out of 192 runners).Fareham (Hampshire): Mike Reynolds 31-39 (146 out of 223 runners).
Millfield (North Yorkshire): Caroline Croft 32-08 (66 out of 107 runners).
Panshanger (Hertford): Jane Whitrow 52-51 (222nd out of 222 runners).
Cross Country is back and despite many other races elsewhere 27 Spartans, 15 men and 12 women, ran the first Sunday League fixture of 2021 at Cheshunt on Sunday morning. A little bit of rain loosened up what is usually a very dry event at the start of the season.
The fastest Spartan, eleventh of about 400 runners, was JONATHAN PARR who raced around the just under five miles event in 28 minutes 48 seconds. Four other Spartans were in the top one hundred overall. They were ADRIAN BUSOLINI (25th in 30:31); STEVE WELLS (81st in 32:53); DANNY SCANLON (88th in 33:18); and GRANT RAMSAY (98th in 33:41). The men’s “A” team of eight was completed by JOHN HARRIS (36:04); TOM SAUKA (37:03) and TOBY ECCLESHALL (37:50).
It was teams of five for the women’s race and the Spartans “A” team were CHRISTINE LATHWELL (32:30); TRACEY JACKSON (38:19); WENDY THARANI (43:44); NICOLA ANDERSSON (45:06) and PENNY SCHENKEL (47:47).
FVS men at cross country (teams of eight):
FVS women at cross country (teams of five):
The next cross country league race will be in Trent Park, North London on Sunday 12th December.
PETE SMITH said the Chelmsford Marathon was a well organised race, great marshals (like ours) a touch undulating and with a few tight turns, but generally a good course. Pete was well happy with his 3 hours 26 minutes 24 seconds. MARIE COLUCCI just wanted to get round but got a brilliant 4:03:10.
JOHN NELMS travelled to Paris to run his 102nd lifetime marathon and his 16th and probably last of 2021.
Hot, sunny and surprisingly humid conditions slowed the times and he finished in a comfortable 4 hours 19 minutes. A beautiful course passing most of the famous Parisian sights and a VIP tent at the finish line (thank you Tom Robinson )
STUART ARCHER ran Bedford Autodrome on Sunday. He did the half marathon distance in 1:29:15, under one and a half hours. He said that it was a breezy course but he enjoyed it and even got a picture with the Stig afterwards.
Spartan RICHARD COWLISHAW completed the Oxford Half on Sunday in 1 hour 33 minutes and 32 seconds. That’s his fastest ever competitive half marathon. He was 491st out of 12932 runners.
Richard said, “This is one of the best half marathons I have run. It was flat, perfect weather, great crowds and a good wide route, with a park run towards the end. I would recommend this event to anyone.”
CAROLYN LINSELL ran the Cambridge Half Marathon in 2 hours 26 minutes 12 seconds. Carolyn said, “On Sunday I ran my fourth Cambridge Half Marathon with my friend Hannah Morgan Gray (we ran the virtual VLM – Virtual London Marathon together two weeks ago). We were going well when Hannah felt a niggle in her ankle/foot & we had to slow right down & she had to walk several times. I kept running & zig zagging as I promised we would run this together & I would not leave her.”
Great South Run
JENNY GARRETT ran the Great South Run ten miles event in 1 hour 31 minutes 33 seconds.
She said there were perfect running conditions on Sunday with lots of support around the whole course and it was nice to be out showing off the Spartan stripes. ED HARE finished in 1 hour 26 minutes 17 seconds and JONATHAN JONES in 2:00:51.
Inspired by the London and Manchester Marathons? Here Comes The Stevenage Half!
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.
With only five weeks to go to the Stevenage Half Marathon it’s time to start getting ready and entered. This year the race will be on Sunday 21st November (a couple of weeks later than usual).
Entries for the Stevenage Half Marathon are open. Go to https://stevenagehalfmarathon.org.uk/ This club and community event has a history going back 37 years and is organised by Fairlands Valley Spartans. With a break due to Covid 19 in 2020 it’s back for 2021.
Parkrun report for Saturday 9th October 2021
In this week’s roundup of Spartans on the Parkrun circuit, SUZY HAWKINS just missed out on a sub-20 minute at Stevenage and was second female to finish (finishing eight seconds behind the first female runner).
Stevenage Parkrun Results where 327 runners took part. SUZY HAWKINS 20-05 (8th), ASHLEY SCHOENWETTER 22-14 (24th and 4th female), CRAIG BACON 23-38 (47th), MARTIN DUDLEY 23-48 (51st), HAZEL SMITH 24-22 (63rd), DANIK BATES 25-14 (83rd and with a buggy), MATT CLARKE 26-46 (126th), NICK KLEANTHOUS 27-34 (137th), JIM BROWN 28-01 (141st), PENNY SCHENKEL 28-11 (142nd), TOBY ECCLESHALL 28-35 (150th), CHLOE CHAPMAN 28-42 (155th), ERICA GRAYSON 29-13 (172nd), JO BOWDERY 29-18 (176th), STEVE SMITHSON 29-34 (184th), PAUL JENNINGS 30-16 (195th), TRACEY HAYGRATH 31-34 (231st), CAROLINE CROFT 31-41 (237th) and BETH FOLEY 33-53 (266th).
Parkrun Away days:
Gunpowder (Waltham Abbey): STEVEN DOBNER 23-34 (40th out of 152 runners), DAVID PATTMAN 23-34 (41st).
Letchworth (Hertfordshire): NICK GILL 21-48 (12th out of 94 runners), GEORGIE HOOPER 26-01 (38th).
Panshanger (Hertford): MIKE REYNOLDS 25-06 (62nd out of 207 runners).
Rushmere (Bedfordshire): MICHAEL O’KEEFE 29-31 (73rd out of 141 runners).
Rutland Water (Rutland): DARRYL STEVENS 41-39 (210th).
Twenty two Spartans raced around the Standalone 10K in Letchworth on Sunday and their women won prizes at opposite ends of the age spectrum. ABBIE PEZ was first junior lady (under 20) with 50 minutes 2 seconds and YUKO GORDON was first woman over 65 with 45 minutes 53 seconds. CLAIRE PULLEN was first woman over 55 with 47:12.
The Standalone 10K included the Hertfordshire County Championships for veteran runners and the Fairlands Valley Spartans first team of four consisted of DEAN CARPENTER 100th out of 747 overall (including seniors) in 44 minutes 10 seconds; JON FILBY 110th in 45:06; MARK GOODWIN 157th in 47:19 and ANDY JAY 227th in 50:21.
Yuko Gordon led in the Spartan women in 120th in 45:53 with Claire Pullen 153rd in 47:12; TRACY PEZ 171st in 47:47. It was teams of three for the women’s event. A second women’s team was brought in by KAREN ELLIS and NICOLA ANDERSSON 326th and 327th in 53 minutes 31 seconds and completed by CAROL PAUL 401st in 56:29.
(All the Fairlands Valley Spartan times can be found in a table towards the end of this release).
Spartan Women Win In The East
The ladies track and field team saw off competition from the best athletics clubs across the East of England to regain the masters (veterans) championship trophy they last won in 2017. The team dominated from start to finish, cruising to victory with 255 points. Second placed Peterborough/Nene Valley AC scored 235.5 points, and Marshal Milton Keynes AC placed third with 232.5 points.
The team were out in force, fourteen Spartan women, and really enjoyed the competition and great conditions.
Wins came from JOYLYN SAUNDERS-MULLINS (once again dropping down an age group) – W50 (women aged 50 plus) 100 metres and W50 javelin throw (also finishing a very close second in the W50 200m). TESSA STEPHENSON – W60 200 metres (also finished 2nd placed W60 100m and W60 shot put). ALISON WOOD – W50 800m (also 2nd placed W50 in the 1500m). CHRISTINE LATHWELL – winning both W35 1500m and W35 3k. NIKKI WILBY – W35 high jump (also 2nd W35 pole vault, 2nd W35 triple jump, and 2nd W35 400mH). ANDREA WESTCOTT – W50 triple jump (also 4th place W50 high jump and 6th place W50 long jump).
YUKO GORDON won an additional trophy having clocked an amazing age graded 99.5% in the W60 3km and also easily won the W60 800m.
The team’s strength in depth meant that all events were covered, earning vital points.
Team members bolstering the tally were CALLIE ‘Cocktail’ CHAPMAN – third place W35 long jump, 5th placed W35 100m, and 6th place W35 200m. SUZY HAWKINS – 3rd place in both W35 400m and W35 800m. KAREN DODSWORTH – dropping down an age group to cover W50 400m and finishing 5th, also placed 5th in W60 discus throw and W60 long jump, and 4th place in W60 triple jump. SHERYL HANN – also dropped down to cover W50 3km and placed 7th. SHARON CROWLEY – first place B string 2km walk and 6th placed W60 hammer throw. CATHY CRAIG – fourth place in the A string 2km walk (also bravely covered the W50 300mH, finishing in 5th place). STEPHANIE BIGGAR – 2nd place W35 hammer throw, 3rd place W35 shot put, 4th place W35 javelin throw, and 5th place W35 discus throw. MARIAN MORLEY – 2nd place in both W50 shot put and discus throw, and 4th place W50 hammer throw.
A full day of events, which started at 10:30 am, finished with the (usually) all important relay races. In reality, victory had already been sealed! The W35 team (Suzy Hawkins, Cocktail Chapman, Nikki Wilby, and Christine Lathwell) still battled well and finished second. The W50 team (Joylyn Saunders-Mullins, Sharon Crowley, Karen Dodsworth, and Tessa Stephenson) finished third.
It was a truly excellent day, with great team spirit and support throughout. Mike Crowley and Chris Westcott should also get a mention for their help and support during a very long day.
Jonathan Second In Surrey
JONATHAN PARR finished 2nd in the Mercer Surrey 5k at Woking on Sunday morning with a time of 16 minutes 18 seconds.
Happy Spartan at Bedford Autodrome
CAROLE SHELDRICK was the solo Spartan at the Bedford Autodrome 10K on Sunday.
She said, “What an amazing event they put on. I have got to say, I wasn’t too sure how this run would go for me. I felt under trained, so was just hoping I’d manage to get round in one piece so I was very happy with my time of 56:28. One happy Spartan.”
Running Through The Glen
ZOE JACKSON was celebrating in the sun after completing the Robin Hood Half Marathon. Pacing someone with a target time of 125 minutes she finished, on target, in 2 hours 3 minutes 16 seconds. Zoe said it was a great course with fantastic support the whole way round the city, and we were very lucky with the weather!
Sunny, warm, light breeze, the odd parakeet and a cafe near the finish. “What’s not to like?” said JIM BROWN after finishing the second of the revived Last Friday of the Month 5Ks – the Serpentine 5K?
Jim achieved a marginal improvement on last month in this lunch-time race in Hyde Park.
His official time was 26:53 and 123rd. Last month was 26:58. Both on the two lap version of the Serpentine course.
Jim commented it was very enjoyable, more should try it, but I seem to be the wrong sort of consistent at the moment.
Parkrun Highlights 25th September 2021
Members of Fairlands Valley Spartans took part across 10 different UK parkruns this week. There were PBs for ANTON McCALLA on his second appearance at Market Harborough (26:30). It was PB o’clock for ED HARE at Lee-on-the-Solent (23:03) in his fourth run at that venue.
In Stevenage ADRIAN DONNELLY clocked a new PB of 20:26. Eighteen Spartans were running in Stevenage while several others were helping this week.
(The full list of Spartan parkrun times will be near the end).
The 72nd Fly 5K – Saturday 25th September.
Lots of “real” races going on including the London Marathon this Sunday (3rd) but the virtual Fly 5K races continue and two Spartans were in the action. NICOLA ANDERSSON was 65th in 28:34 and PAUL HOLGATE 78th in 30:27. He was third veteran man 60 plus and this was his 70th Fly 5K.
Fly 5K was one of the stars of lockdown keeping runners moving and in touch during the restrictions. The first of the free virtual races was in June 2020.
Entries Open for the Stevenage Half Marathon
With only eight weeks to go to the Stevenage Half Marathon it’s time to start getting ready and entered. This year the race will be on Sunday 21st November (a couple of weeks later than usual).