Club News Race Results


Fairlands Valley Spartans had a great club outing to Cambridge with seventeen running the half marathon and three of the fastest from Fairlands finishing within two seconds of each other.     

Three personal bests came from the three who raced the event together.  NICK GILL 1,011th in 1:27:16; MATTHEW NEWTON 1,013th in 1:27:27 and MIKE JEFFS 1,014th in 1:27:18.  Nick improved by 3 minutes 49 seconds; Mike by 3:54 and Matthew by an enormous 38:37.  All in the top ten per cent of the race. 

The fourth PB was from SAM SIMMONS with 1:32:59. 

STEVEN DOBNER improved his best half marathon time by 4 minutes 37 seconds when he finished in 1 hour 37 minutes 3 seconds (1:37:03).  CHRIS WATLING came in at 1:51:38, an improvement of 1:46.  MO WARRILOW ran a new pb of 1:53:26!  She was so pleased as for a long time she didn’t think she could go sub 2 hours!  CAROLYN LINSELL ran a new PB of 2:16:34. 

SIMON JACKSON finished second in his age group and 83rd overall with 1:13:42.  He said, “Unfortunately I never really found a group to run with but I was happy with my second fastest half marathon ever after some very average training and some niggles.  He was the fastest from the club and in the top 1% in the race. 

YUKO GORDON won her age category F70 in 1:37:22, over 9 minutes ahead of F65 winner.  She said, “I pushed harder than usual to shake off my habit of running within my comfort zone but there was a little drop in pace here and there by losing concentration.” 

CAROLE SHELDRICK ran her first half marathon in three years.  Carole said, “The Cambridge Half has always been one of my favourites.  My plan was to make it round and enjoy it, so I was very happy to come in under two hours (Official time 1 hour 59 minutes 47 seconds).  Brilliant event, great support along the route and as always a fantastic medal. 

Tokyo Marathon – Abbott world marathon 6 star finishers 

Four Spartans endured the 14 hour flight to Japan to run the 2023 Tokyo marathon. 
STUART HAYCROFT, JACKIE DOWNES and TODD GRAY were originally scheduled to run in 2020, but five days before they were due to board flights and after 16 weeks of intense training, the marathon was cancelled due to Covid. After several deferrals and foreign embargoes, they finally toed the start line this year for the original 2020 entry. 
This race was the culmination of a several year journey to achieve the coveted Abbott world major six star finishers medal for Jackie Downes and Stuart Haycroft.  This medal is only being awarded to people who have completed all the majors, comprising Boston, New York, Chicago, Berlin, Tokyo and London.  The group of people in the world who have completed remains small as it’s incredibly difficult to gain entry to these races, and the logistics of running them is very problematic and difficult. 
Stuart said, “Wow, what a city, what lovely people and such a great race. To finally receive my six star medal is one of my proudest moments of my life, the effort, resources, patience and money it has taken to here has been massive.  It’s been such a long journey, but absolutely worth it. It was great to share this experience with three other Spartans” 
ROSS GALLAGHER was the fastest Spartan on the day, breaking three hours for the first time in 02:59:26 (PB) with an amazing run through this amazing city. 
Ross said of his run, “After what was tough training block it was fantastic to go under 3 hours for the first time and grab a 9 minute PB.  Thanks to Stuart Haycroft for some consistent pacing and words of encouragement when I had to dig deep for the last three miles for what felt like the world’s longest ‘park run’.” 
The other Spartans completing this race were: Stuart Haycroft: 02:59:27 (SB); Todd Gray: 3:24:21 and Jackie Downes: 04:42:14. 

All four have commented on what an amazing place Tokyo is and should definitely be on the bucket list of anybody who enjoys running foreign races. 

Ross and Stuart with his six star finishers medal

Berkhampstead Half Marathon 

Four Spartans stayed in the county and were in Berkhamsted to help celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Berko Runs.   

FIONA CLARKE had a brilliant run to finish in 1 hour 55 minutes 54 seconds.  Fiona said, “It was a surprise sub-2 for me, as I simply haven’t been running well or with enough results to point to this result so I’m very happy.  I really enjoyed the race, the organisation and support were amazing.  I even enjoyed the undulating course, the long downhills were very rewarding.” 

Fiona running strong

JIM BROWN improved by ten minutes on his most recent attempt at a half marathon and finished in 2:03:15 which gave him third in his age group.  Coming back from injury WENDY THARANI wanted a trouble free long run which she did with 2:16:55. 

In the five mile Berko race PENNY SCHENKEL went round in 48 minutes 22 seconds.  She was 250th out of the 447 finishers. 

Essex 20 

ROB WRIGHT added to the variety with a former airfield based 20 mile race near Saffron Walden.  He completed the race in 2 hours 36 minutes 36 seconds.  That’s a personal best (PB) by 39 minutes 44 seconds. 

Rob with his medal

Chiltern Kanter 

Mike and Sharon Crowley completed the 26 mile Chiltern Kanter in 8 hours 49 minutes.  The route included over 4700 feet of climbing.  The challenge was to answer questions at 32 map references, self navigating round the route, not following written instructions. 

TIM ROBINSON did an 18 mile version of the same event in 3 hours 36 minutes exactly. 

Mike and Sharon on their Kanter


CRAIG BACON ran the Wokingham Half Marathon recently. He finished in 1:43:22. 

The route took a two mile loop around the historic town centre, before heading out into the country roads of Royal Berkshire. The route was pretty flat, which was advertised as an opportunity for a PB, although with disruption to training due to minor ailments this was not very likely. 
I was encouraged along for the first few miles by running with an old friend from Reigate Priory Athletics Club, before letting him push on and taking the sensible decision to stick with my own maintainable pace. 
I was very pleased to come in with a chip time of 1:43:22 to finish 1135 of 2500 finishers and 143 of 330 Male Vet 50. 

Parkrun Highlights 

Saturday 4th March 2023  

CHLOE CHAPMAN enjoyed her 100th parkrun with 30:14.   

New PB for Michael O’Keefe of 26:15 at Henlow Bridge Lakes 

For the weeks full results please click – Consolidated Results


Spartans at the Cambridge Half Marathon: 

Position Name Chip Time Gender Gender Pos Age Group Cat Pos Comments 
82 Simon Jackson 1:13:42 Male 82 45-49 2nd2nd best 
1011 Nick Gill 1:27:16 Male 910 30-34 162 PB (3:49) 
1013 Matthew Newton 1:27:17 Male 912 40-44 150 PB (38:37) 
1014 Mike Jeffs 1:27:18 Male 913 35-39 143 PB (3:54) 
1411 William Morley 1:29:25 Male 1251 17-19 18 First Half 
1690 Yuko Gordon 1:37:22 Female 212 70-74 1stSB 
1983 Sam Simmons 1:32:59 Male 1720 30-34 282 PB (5:43) 
2335 Steven Dobner 1:37:03 Male 1994 45-49 268 PB (4:37) 
2735 Thomas Sauka 1:45:18 Male 2296 45-49 308 SB 
3881 Chris Watling 1:51:38 Male 3130 35-39 470 PB (1:46) 
5486 Mo Warrillow 1:53:25 Female 1296 50-54 75 PB (8:08) 
5589 James McSweeney 2:01:44 Male 4252 35-39 618 SB 
5809 Carole Sheldrick 1:59:46 Female 1421 45-49 163 SB 
7588 Steve Tinsley 1:59:08 Male 5309 35-39 749 First Half 
8994 Nicola Andersson 2:16:33 Female 3093 50-54 239 SB 
8995 Carolyn Linsell 2:16:34 Female 3094 65-69 20 PB (9:38) 
9464 Ellie Mcdermott 2:25:38 Female 3370 25-29 658  
Club News Race Results


There were some fantastic performances from many of the thirteen Fairlands Valley Spartans racing the Cambridge Half Marathon on Sunday morning. 

The fastest from Fairlands, and wow it was fast – he set a phenomenal new personal best, was SIMON JACKSON with 1 hour 12 minutes 30 seconds.  90 seconds is a lot at that standard.  He was 48th out of about 10,000 finishers in the whole race AND third in his age category.  The fastest female from the club was MICHELLE REEVES in 1:30:24. 

VICKY ARCHER took about ten minutes off her Half Marathon personal best (PB) which was set at Hampton Court two years ago.  On Sunday she was well under two hours with 1 hour 56 minutes 18 seconds.  She said she trained so hard and is feeling quite proud of herself. 

MARIAN MORLEY was delighted to report a new half marathon PB of 1:58:35 – improving by over nine minutes.  Her previous best HM was 2:07:36 at the London Big Half in 2021.  She surprised herself by running without stopping with an even cadence throughout and splits that only varied by 30 seconds – perhaps helped by being a fairly flat course.  Her son William volunteered as a helper for the event and cheered all the runners on from the side. 

LINDA GEORGE had a great time.  On her way to a new half marathon PB of 2 hours 8 minutes 27 seconds she ran her best time ever for 5K, under 30 minutes, and her best time ever for 10K, under 60 minutes. 

Then ELLIE McDERMOTT improved by 24 minutes 27 seconds in a week.  She ran the Welwyn Half in 2:43:04 but Cambridge in 2:18:37. 

Want to improve?  Fairlands Valley Spartans offer training sessions on five days a week and now can arrange one to one coaching sessions.  All are free to members. 

Meanwhile JIM BROWN was content to continue his recovery, proving to himself that he can again run 13.1 minutes without stopping and trimmed his 2022 time by 26 seconds to 2:02:25. 

The other Spartans included STUART HAYCROFT in 1:28:55 and MARTIN JACOB in 1:54:14. 

Spartans at Cambridge.

Essex 20 

WENDY THARANI, CATHY CRAIG and HAZEL SMITH travelled to Debden Airfield, near Saffron Walden to compete in the Essex 20.  Hazel said it was a lovely course with five loops of four miles each.  Some sections were quite exposed with a chilly headwind but it was basically flat. 

Hazel had a fantastic run.  She cut her 20 mile time by 49 minutes and her personal best is now 2 hours 49 minutes 13 seconds. 

Wendy Tharani had an outstanding run finishing in 3:45:39 after being ill all week and completing a 20 mile training run the previous week.  Cathy Craig won her age category with 3:55:24. 

Three happy ladies after doing fantastically well in Essex!

Silver for Andrew 

It was silver for Spartan ANDREW PATTERSON in the British Masters Indoor Track and Field Championships on Sunday.  He was taking part in the 1500m.  It was Andrew’s first race back after a hamstring tear two weeks ago.  He’d worked really hard with the physio to get to the start line, albeit he said he was being held together by tape. 

He finished in 4:19.43, took the silver medal and said he was very happy to just get through the race and not to make the hamstring worse. 

Speedy Andrew never ceases to amaze us!

Second in Surrey 5K 

It was second in Surrey for JONATHAN PARR in the Surrey 5K at Woking on Saturday.  Morning.  He was second overall and first male 35 plus in 16 minutes 9 seconds. 

Parkrun Highlights 5th March 

Anticipation of some hard races on Sunday meant there were only Spartans at three parkrun venues on Saturday and 18 stripes at Stevenage.  This week there was a total of 259 finishers. 

NICK GILL got a new personal best PB) of 20:06 on the occasion of his 80th parkrun.  GRANT RAMSAY was in eighth position in another nineteen (19:29).  Another top ten and sub 20 at Stevenage. 

 SUZY HAWKINS was first female in 21:11 on her 18th parkrun. 

Nick, Grant and Suzy at Parkrun

Further afield PETER CARPENTER was at Squerryes Winery parkrun running a new PB of 42:57.  DARRYL STEVENS was in Minehead clocking at time of 37:11. 

Smiling Parkrunners at Stevenage.

53 Times Round a Lake 

A big shout out for Spartan ADRIAN BUSOLINI who, as this was being written on Monday, was setting out on his quest to run seven marathons in seven days.  That’s round and round Willen Lake in Milton Keynes. 


Spartans at the Cambridge Half Marathon: 

Pos. Bibno. Chip time Participant  Category 4M  8.5M  11.8M  13.1M  Speed Pace 
48 5604 1:12:30 Simon Jackson (M) 45-49 21:17 24:11 18:36 8:26 17.46 km/h 3:26 min/km 
819 1057 1:28:55 Stuart Haycroft (M) 40-44 26:55 29:50 22:11 9:59 14.23 km/h 4:12 min/km 
949 8130 1:30:24 Michelle Reeves (F) 35-39 26:58 30:56 22:24 10:06 14.00 km/h 4:17 min/km 
3537 5928 1:48:40 David Kennedy (M) 35-39 31:21 36:07 28:06 13:06 11.65 km/h 5:09 min/km 
4607 5607 1:54:14 Martin Jacob (M) 35-39 34:28 38:22 28:32 12:52 11.08 km/h 5:24 min/km 
4615 8656 1:54:16 Vishal Shah (M) 35-39 32:13 38:30 30:45 12:48 11.08 km/h 5:25 min/km 
5006 8761 1:56:03 Luke Silver (M) 30-34 34:01 39:11 29:56 12:55 10.91 km/h 5:30 min/km 
5060 855 1:56:18 Vicky Archer (F) 40-44 33:57 39:25 29:38 13:18 10.88 km/h 5:30 min/km 
5560 7110 1:58:35 Marian Morley (F) 55-59 36:01 39:43 29:42 13:09 10.67 km/h 5:37 min/km 
6019 3048 2:01:11 Chloe Chapman (F) 30-34 34:29 41:39 31:54 13:09 10.44 km/h 5:44 min/km 
6182 911 2:02:25 Jim Brown (M) 65-69 35:18 41:18 31:45 14:04 10.34 km/h 5:48 min/km 
7041 4477 2:08:27 Linda George (F) 35-39 37:22 43:04 33:26 14:35 9.85 km/h 6:05 min/km 
8252 1156 2:18:37 Ellie McDermott (F) 25-29 37:10 46:28 36:57 18:02 9.13 km/h 6:34 min/km 

About 10,000 finishers. 

Full Spartan results from the Stevenage parkrun are shown below: 

A total of 259 runners took part. 

Position   Gender Position   parkrunner   Run Time   
Grant RAMSAY 00:19:29 
12 11 Nick GILL 00:20:06 
17 Suzy HAWKINS 00:21:11 
52 48 Toby ECCLESHALL 00:24:23 
56 52 Martin DUDLEY 00:24:32 
66 60 David PATTMAN 00:25:04 
70 Susan MCANENY 00:25:20 
75 67 Lee PICKERSGILL 00:25:30 
79 71 Matt CLARKE 00:25:42 
96 84 Nick KLEANTHOUS 00:26:46 
110 93 Luke SILVER 00:27:22 
118 15 Claire EMMERSON 00:27:41 
148 113 Steven DOBNER 00:29:21 
149 30 Mo WARRILLOW 00:29:21 
185 132 Stephen SMITHSON 00:32:07 
188 48 Sharon CROWLEY 00:32:16 
218 67 Jane WADEY 00:35:04 
254 152 Roger BIGGS 00:48:02 
Club News Race Results



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): 

Overall Position Name Time Comments 
11 JON PARR 28:48 A team 
25 ADRIAN BUSOLINI 30:31 A team 
81 STEVE WELLS 32:53 A team 
88 DANNY SCANLON 33:18 A team 
98 GRANT RAMSAY 33:41 A team 
145 JOHN HARRIS 36:04 A team 
164 TOM SAUKA 37:03 A team 
178 TOBY ECCLESHALL 37:50 A team 
213 DAVE PATTMAN 39:35  
214 STEVE DOBNER 39:36  
290 ANDY JAY 43:19  
336 JIM BROWN 47:36  
351 KEN JUDE 48:29  
368 SIMON SYPULA 51:30*  
Steve and Dave enjoying the mud!

FVS women at cross country (teams of five): 

Overall Position Name Time Comments 
195 TRACEY JACKSON 38:19 A team 
293 WENDY THARANI 43:44 A team 
309 NICHOLA ANDERSSON 45:06 A team 
341 PENNY SCHENKEL 47:47 A team 
371 CATHY CRAIG 53:19 B team 
375 SHARON CROWLEY 54:33 B team 
384 CALLIE CHAPMAN 57:11 B team 
385 KAREN ELLIS 57:11 B team 
386 HAZEL SMITH 57:11 B team 
387 BETH FOLEY 57:11  
390 JANE WHITROW 59:27  
Callie, Hazel & Karen are all smiles as usual!
  • The next cross country league race will be in Trent Park, North London on Sunday 12th December. 

Chelmsford Marathon 

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. 

Marie & Pete both ran a fabulous marathon!

Paris Marathon 

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 ) 

Bedford Autodrome 

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. 

Stuart was all smiles after meeting The Stig!

Oxford Half 

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.” 

Cambridge Half 

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  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).