Mid Week League
Fairlands Valley Spartans were runners up in the 2021 series of Mid Week Road Race League 10K races. They were comfortably in second place in the top division with 27 points and a score of 1,624 positions. Trent Park won with 31 points and a score of 1,158 while North Herts were third with 25 points and a score of 1,850. (A low score is a good score as, for example, first place scores only one point). The Spartan men WON while the club’s women were second.
The result was confirmed in the fourth race when the Spartans men and women were both third but overall the club came second. FVS kept up their participation rates compared with other clubs. There are six clubs in division one. In race four 21 of the 76 women were Spartans and 36 of the 94 men were from the Stevenage based club.
Spartan highlights from race four included SIMON JACKSON second overall in 34 minutes 51 seconds; ANDREW PATTERSON third overall in 35:13 and ADRIAN BUSOLINI sixth overall in 36:16.
BRIAN WHITE was first man over 60 with 44:26; BARRY OSBORNE first man over 70 with 44:36 and WILLIAM MORLEY first male under 20 with 55:12. SIMON JACKSON was also second man over 40.
In the women’s race YUKO GORDON was in the top ten and first over 65 with 46 minutes 19 seconds and CAROLYN LINSELL second over 65 with 57:25.
JO BOWDERY was eleventh in 46:58 and TRACY PEZ fifteenth in 48:40. ZOE JACKSON just missed the top twenty at 21st in 51:46.
As the league has not had any massed start races this year all these times were recorded virtually; in the Spartans specially organised wave 10K event or in open and accurately measured 10K races.
24 Spartans ran all four midweek 10K races.
(Look near the end of this release for tables giving results for all 57 Spartans).
In the Vitality Big Half Marathon YUKO GORDON was first in her age category, 70 plus, with 1 hour 38 minutes 35 seconds.
Spartan ASHLEY JOHNSON ran an excellent 1 hour 42 minutes 21 seconds in the event which attracted nearly 10,000 runners.
MARIAN MORLEY was running her first race in London and her first half other than the New Forest Virtual Half Marathon in 2020.
She said it was really enjoyable and finished in 2 hours 7 minutes 36 seconds which is a half marathon personal best (PB) and added there was good entertainment on the route and quite a few spectators.
SUE HAMER and ERICA GRAYSON finished together in 2:15:55.
Entries Open for the Stevenage Half Marathon
Entries for the Stevenage Half Marathon are open. 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. This year the race will be on Sunday 21st November (a couple of weeks later than usual).
To enter have a look at https://stevenagehalfmarathon.org.uk/
Tessa Takes Gold at National Championships
In a very close race, TESSA STEPHENSON became National 200 metres Gold Medallist in the race for Women aged 60 to 64 at the British Masters Championships, held in Derby at the weekend. After trailing the leader all the way, Tessa raised herself to take the lead in the last few metres in a time of 32.58 seconds. Earlier in the day, she had finished in sixth place in the 100m in a time of 15.86 seconds, using this as a warm up for her preferred event. In the category for men aged 55 to 59, her husband DAVE competed in the 400 metres finishing in second for the Silver Medal in a time of 65.45 seconds.
At the same championships GRANT RAMSAY was third man 45 plus in the 3,000 metres steeplechase with 12 minutes 10.84 seconds.
Parkrun Highlights 21st August 2021 – fifth week back
Stevenage Parkrun hit a new post lockdown record with 341 finishers in the fifth week back. 24 of them were Spartans.
Parkrun report by Danik Bates
Steve Wells was the only Spartan to manage a sub-20-minute 5km on Saturday morning at the course in Stevenage whilst Suzy Hawkins was spot on twenty minutes. 341 runners took part in this week’s event.
Results: STEVE WELLS 19-52 (10th), SUZY HAWKINS 20-00 (13th), BARRY OSBORNE 21-26 (32nd), JAMES MCSWEENY 23-53 (71st), MARTIN DUDLEY 24-07 (79th), CLIVE CANNON 24-29 (92nd), DARREN EMMERSON 24-40 (102nd), KAREN ELLIS 25-29 (118th), SAM SIMMONS 25-55 (132nd), NICK KLEANTHOUS 26-14 (139th), JIM BROWN 26-34 (144th), DANIK BATES 26-38 (147th and with a stroller), NICOLA ANDERSSON 27-26 (164th), STEVEN DOBNER 27-46 (172nd), DAVID PATTMAN 27-47 (173rd), TOBY ECCLESHALL 28-04 (180th), PAUL HOLGATE 29-47 (200th), FIONA CLARKE 32-11 (241st), MATT CLARKE 32-12 (242nd), CHLOE CHAPMAN 32-28 (244th), TRACEY STILES 32-56 (247th), HILARY DAVIES 33-01 (248th), BETH FOLEY 34-30 (267th) and SHELBE MOONBEAM 41-27 (312th).
Upton House (near Poole, Dorset): JOHN ROXBOROUGH 26-29 (128th), KEN JUDE 26-47 (138th). There were 337 runners.
Wimpole Estate (Cambs): BARRY KING 28-38 (144th), NICK WITCOMBE 35-47 (242nd). There were 295 runners.
Rutland Water (Rutland): DANIEL SUTTON 25-56 (90th), VERITY FISHER 32-18 (197th). There were 265 runners.
Millennium County – Forest of Marston (Beds): MICHAEL O’KEEFE 29-02 (68th). There were 129 runners.
Littlehampton Promenade (West Sussex): DARRYL STEVENS 36-53 (162nd). There were 179 runners.
CAROLYN LINSELL enjoyed her first run in her Spartans stripes! She ran the Hunstanton Promenade parkrun was first in her age group and took two seconds of her parkrun PB with 25:57.
A total of 33 Spartans.
Flying On Number 66 and 67
In anticipation of Sunday’s celebration numbers were down a bit for Saturday’s 66th virtual Fly 5K. However there were 151 runners including three Spartans. JIM BROWN was 68th and second in category with 26 minutes 34 seconds; NICOLA ANDERSSON 78th in 27:24 and PAUL HOLGATE second in his category and 99th with 29:46.
Fly 67 was the live celebration on Sunday. It was at Drift Limits, Bovingdon near Berkhamsted on Sunday 22nd August to bring people together who had not seen each other through months of virtual racing. The same three Spartans took part. NICOLA ANDERSSON in a new Fly 5K personal best of 25:43; JIM BROWN in 26:04 and PAUL HOLGATE in 29:36.
Fly 5K was one of the stars of lockdown keeping runners moving and in touch during the restrictions.
Sharon Sprints for Bronze in the Virtual Coast Challenge
After nearly 3,000 kilometres SHARON CROWLEY “sprinted” for club bronze in the Virtual Coast Challenge. She “crossed the line” in Bristol on Tuesday evening having followed an anticlockwise route starting from Bristol and following the coasts and borders of England. As she completed the 2,970 kilometres fourth placed BRIAN WHITE was on 2,921.7 kilometres, less than 50 behind.
The other Spartans through the 2,000 kilometre mark by Tuesday evening were JON SYPULA 2,327.2; KEN JUDE 2,255.6; CATHY CRAIG 2,191.9; HAZEL SMITH 2,174.8, LIZ CROWLEY 2,083.4 and PAUL HOLGATE on 2011.3. They and four other Spartans have until the end of the year to finish the event but the “podium” is complete.