The individual results are out for the cross country league and Spartan CHRISTINE LATHWELL won the women 45 plus (45 to 54) category with just five points. She won all but one of the races she ran, in the other one she was second. TRACEY JACKSON was eighth with 51 points.
In the senior race (up to 39) JONATHAN PARR was fifth with 26 points and ADRIAN BUSOLINI eighth with 56.
(In these league events those with the lowest scores are the winners as your positions in your four best counting events are added up).
In Memory Of Lisa
Fairlands Valley Spartans past and present walked ten kilometres on Sunday in memory of Lisa Potter.
Lisa Potter was a very kind hearted Spartans who sadly lost her battle with cancer last year.
The starters award which will be given out at Friday’s presentation evening has been renamed The Lisa Potter Starters Award in her memory. Lisa attended the very first Spartan starters session and was a keen to be there every week. She was always friendly and very welcoming with new members.
Parkrun Highlights 19th February
The aftermath of Storm Eunice cancelled the Stevenage parkrun as there just wasn’t time to clear and check the course.
So this week’s roundup of Spartans on the Parkrun circuit consists of a few stripes on tour. The biggest result comes from South Africa as STUART HAYCROFT took on the Grey Goose course at the Grey Goose Game Lodge in the North-East of the country. Stuart completed the 5km course in 20-33 finishing first out of 126 runners.
Other away day results:
St Albans (Hertfordshire): DAVID PATTMAN 25-06 (52nd out of 207 runners), MO WARRILLOW 33-33 (170th) and STEVEN DOBNER 33-34 (171st).
Letchworth (Hertfordshire); GEORGIE HOOPER 30-38 (65th out of 108 runners), NICK GILL 30-39 (66th).
Panshanger (Hertford, Hertfordshire): TONY RANDFIELD 42-13 (184th out of 193 runners).
Westmill (Ware, Hertfordshire): ANDY JAY 26-13 (14th out of 76 runners).
Ifield Mill Pond (Crawley, East Sussex): DARRYL STEVENS 383-9 (108th out of 117 runners).
Fairlands Valley Spartans sent men’s and women’s teams to the county road 10 mile championships for veterans in St Albans on Sunday. Veterans start at age 35 for women and 40 for men with age category breaks every ten years. The championships were incorporated into the open Fred Hughes 10 race.
There were 415 women and 410 men in the race.
Clearly ABIGAIL PEZ could not count towards a veterans’ team but she did WIN the race for women under 20 with a new personal best (PB) of 1 hours 18 minutes 53 seconds. That’s seven and a half minutes faster than her previous ten miles PB!
The fastest Spartan was ADRIAN DONNELLY in the first 100 of the 825 finishers with 67 minutes 16 seconds. At 99th he led in the Spartan men’s team with JOHN HARRIS 135th in 1:09:49; PETE SMITH 193rd in 1:13:01; and MARK GOODWIN 293rd in 1:18:32.
It was teams of three in the women’s race and YUKO GORDON and ASHLEY JOHNSON were well up there at 54th and 62nd out of 415 women. Yuko, running against people several years younger than her, was second in the 65 plus category in 1 hour 15 minutes 35 seconds and took SILVER in the County Championships. She had a higher age related score which was 95.00%! MARIE COLUCCI impressed at 83rd woman and was the Spartans third counter with 1:18:45.
Ten women were running for the Spartans. The others were TRACY PEZ, 90th woman in 1:19:26; WENDY THARANI 1:31:37; CAROL PAUL 1:35:45; SUE HAMER and ERICA GRAYSON both in 1:42:37 and SHARON CROWLEY 1:51:10.
The other three men were ANDY JAY 1:31:40; JIM BROWN happy to get round “steady state” in 1:33:48 and recovering after recent mishaps and PAUL HOLGATE 1:49:26.
In addition ANN TRYSSESOONE was not eligible for the Spartan teams but finished in 1 hour 26 minutes 40 seconds.
All this on the undulating roads and lanes to the south west of St. Albans including Potters Crouch, Chiswell Green and a favourite climb up past mile six to the edge of Bedmond. So good to see this classic club organised race back.
These were the mildest conditions many veterans of the Fred Hughes Ten could remember. It’s usually notorious for icy patches, snowing during the event, freezing winds or just chucking down large amounts of very cold rain.
The next county road championships will be at the Watford Half Marathon on Sunday 6th February.
(The Spartans results table can be found near the end of this release).
Spartan Women Jump In Cross Country
Much greater participation helped boost the Fairlands Valley Spartans women’s team to fourth out of nineteen clubs in the latest cross country league race which was at Watford. They won the veteran women’s team race.
This time there were five Spartan women in the top fifty and eighteen running. They were twelfth, eleventh and eleventh in the first three races so this is a tremendous improvement. The women’s “A” team were CHRIS LATHWELL, SUZY HAWKINS, TRACEY JACKSON, YUKO GORDON and HAZEL SMITH.
The Spartan men were seventh at Watford with JONATHAN PARR in the top ten out of 405 finishers. In the combined scores over the series so far the Spartans are seventh. The final event will be on Therfield Heath, Royston on Sunday 13th February.
A WIN for Jonathan – RunThrough Olympic Park 5k
On Saturday morning Spartan JONATHAN PARR WON the Olympic Park 5K with a time of 16 minutes 9 seconds.
Ciaran At Peddars
CIARAN MCANENY got fifth place overall at the 48 mile Peddars Way Ultra in a time of 6 hours 52 minutes.
The race follows the Peddars Way Trail from Knettishall Heath, just north of Bury St Edmunds, to Holme-next-the-Sea on the North Norfolk coast; on a mix of forest path, bridleways and road.
Beautiful, crisp, sunny weather kept the trails firm and the late morning sun was just warm enough to make for comfortable running temperatures.
All went to plan in terms of pacing and nutrition with Ciaran finishing 24 minutes faster than his previous outing on the course.
Ciaran was very happy and, after missing most of last year’s racing due to niggling injuries, it was great to be back on such a nice course and in a really well run and friendly event
Fast Five for Feetham
Three laps 33:40 52nd out of 680.
KIERAN FEETHAM did the Romsey 5 mile race on Sunday. Although it’s classed as multi-terrain with a 700 metres non-tarmac section for each of the three laps it’s flat and fast.
The race was delayed by 15 minutes and Kieran had to warm up again as it was cold. He said he found a good group to stay with for the first three miles but then unfortunately got held up trying to pick his way through some back markers and lost that group. So he ended up on his own into a headwind. The last mile marker was in the wrong place so Kieran was slightly panicking why it was taking so long to complete it but he was happy to hold on for a new PB (personal best) of 33 minutes 40 seconds. An improvement of 1 minute 42 seconds. He was 52nd out of the 680 finishers.
Parkrun Highlights 22nd January 2022
Yet another record was set at Saturday’s Stevenage parkrun. This was the 27th since parkrun restarted for the 200th local run and this time there were 365 finishers. The highest number since lock down. Despite some holding back for a ten mile championship race on Sunday twenty five Spartans completed a Parkrun this week, on a cold, crisp, sunny morning.
GRACE COVENTRY ran a parkrun personal best (PB) of 24 minutes 22 seconds at Stevenage, also taking the title of fastest Spartan lady this week. GRANT RAMSAY was the fastest Spartan crossing the line at 19:24 at Stevenage.
DARRYL STEVENS ran at Great Salterns Parkrun, Portsmouth, for the first time finishing with a time of 40:00. Astonishingly, this was the 94th venue he has tried out!
ANTON McCALLA (27:46 at Market Harborough) and PETER CARPENTER (44:29, Squerryes Winery) completed their first parkruns of the year.
JIM BROWN (28:45) won his category and KARL SHREEVE (28:47) achieved a year best at Stevenage.
Although there were no official milestones achieved by members this week, three Spartans have reached 70 runs at Stevenage with LEE PICKERSGILL finishing at 24:23, TRACY HAYGARTH at 31:51 and HELEN HARRIS finishing at 52:44.
It’s stripy Saturday on Saturday, 5th February.
Spartans at the Fred Hughes 10 (including a county championship).
These are chip times, the time from when the runner crosses the start line to when they cross the finish line. Gun times are “bang” to finish line and it can take those at the back several minutes to start.
All twenty seven Fairlands Valley Spartans wanted for Christmas was to join in the festive Parkrun fun at six different locations around the country on Christmas Day.
Christmas number one goes to JONATHAN PARR finishing as first man with a time of 16:51. Spartans took one two at Stevenage with ADRIAN BUSOLINI (18:16) taking second place.
The fastest female Spartan this week was TRACEY JACKSON who finished with a time of 23:43 and was the fifth fastest lady also at Stevenage.
There were Santa, elves, Christmas crackers, little helpers, even grinches and most of the 22 Spartans at Stevenage stepped into Christmas Parkrun fun, dressed in festive clothing with a special shout out to CAROL SHELDRICK and CAROLINE CROFT dressed as elves.
Other Spartans were parkrun volunteers to help make it a special morning. There were 325 parkrunners in Stevenage.
Visiting relations GRANT RAMSAY enjoyed the Edinburgh parkrun which he finished in less than twenty minutes with 19:47 and 40th position out of 568.
There will be a New Year’s Day parkrun in Fairlands Valley Park, Stevenage at 9a.m. on Saturday. It’s free but you need to register with parkrun beforehand.
Andrew Wins On Boxing Day
There was a lower attendance than usual at the Pirton Boxing Day run and miserable weather but spirits were high. Spartan ANDREW PATTERSON won the very muddy 3.2 mile event in 17 minutes 48 seconds.
Cross Country Update
Fairlands Valley Spartans finished the cross country league fixture in Stevenage with more than three complete men’s and three complete women’s teams. In the participation table the club swept into second place with 45 with only Garden City Runners getting more round with 63. This time FVS overtook Royston Runners 42 and got well ahead of Trent Park 35; North Herts Road Runners 33; St Albans Striders 26; Team Trident 25 and Watford also 25. There are 19 clubs in the league.
This time in the race the Spartan men were again fifth out of nineteen but not far behind Garden City Runners. Their women were eleventh but only three points behind Ealing who were tenth. Now the Spartans are seventh out of nineteen in the combined team score following three races.
It was a murky and misty morning on 19th December but that didn’t stop more than 400 people enjoying five miles of cross country running around Fairlands Valley Park in the race which was organised by Fairlands Valley Spartans.
Let’s see what the club can do at the next league fixture which will be in Watford on Sunday 16th January.
The county cross country championships are in Welwyn Garden City on 9th January.
Paul Completes His Coasts and Borders
With more than four days of the year still to go PAUL HOLGATE completed his virtual coast of England challenge running the full 2,970 kilometres in a moving time of 383 hours, 53 minutes and 43 seconds.
Spartans at parkruns on Christmas Day:
Houghton Hall parkrun
Bartley Park parkrun
All 45 Spartan finishers at the Stevenage cross country (19th December):
16 women and 29 men. There were 421 finishers, 165 women and 256 men, altogether.
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).