Club News Race Results


Lots of Spartans enjoyed the club’s dinner and presentation evening at the Cromwell Hotel in Stevenage on Friday evening. 

Photo credit Keith Fenwick

YUKO GORDON is the new overall club champion with amazing scores of 100.2% for the short distance and 102.8% for the long distance series. 

ANDREW PATTERSON won the men’s open short distance with 79.0%, including winning the Hitchin 5K by 50 seconds, and the open long with 78.6%. 

ASHLEY JOHNSON won the women’s race at Hitchin by a similar margin and won the club’s open short distance championship for women with 73.9%. 

The age graded short championship for men went to SIMON JACKSON with 85.3%. 

FIONA CLARKE won the club’s open long distance championship for women with 54.7% just ahead of HARRIET SMITH on 54.0%. 

NICK GILL and VICKY ARCHER were the most improved Spartans. 

The Starter of the Year was JUDY KING.  The volunteer awards were Chair’s award MICHAEL O’KEEFE; Head Coach’s award JOHN HARRIS; President’s Award BRIAN WHITE; Cathy Craig Spartan of the Year CALLIE CHAPMAN. 

Some of our amazing winners! Photo Credit Keith Fenwick

The full list of amazing winners are noted as follows: 

Female Open Short  

1st        Ashley Johnson           

2nd       Vicky Archer                 

3rd        Kerstin Prior                 

Female Age Graded Short  

1st        Yuko Gordon              

2nd       Sharon Crowley           

3rd        Nicola Andersson        

Female Open Long  

1st        Fiona Clarke                 

2nd       Harriet Smith               

3rd        Sam Maidens               

Female Age Graded Long  

1st        Yuko Gordon             

2nd       Sharon Crowley          

3rd        Wendy Tharani           

Male Open Short  

1st        Andrew Patterson      

2nd       Nick Gill                        

3rd        Mike Jeffs                     

Male Age Graded Short 

1st        Simon Jackson             

2nd       Grant Ramsay              

3rd        John Harris                    

Male Open Long  

1st        Andrew Patterson       

2nd       Simon Fraser                

3rd        Grant Ramsay              

Male Age Graded Long 

1st        Simon Jackson              

2nd       David Harris-Cherguit  

3rd        Pete Smith                      

Overall Champion – Male – Andrew Patterson 

Overall Champion – Female – Yuko Gordon 

Overall Club Champion – Yuko Gordon 

Most Improved Spartan – Male – Nick Gill           

Most Improved Spartan – Female – Vicky Archer  

The Lisa Potter Starter of the Year Award – Judy King 

Chairs Award – Michael O’Keefe 

Head Coaches Award – John Harris 

Captains Awards – Liz Crowley and Michael O’Keefe 

Presidents Award – Brian White 

The Cathy Craig Spartan of the Year Award – Callie Chapman 

Photo credit Keith Fenwick

Essex 20 

NICK GILL ran 2:17:10 at Sunday’s Essex 20.  He decided to race it, aiming for sub 3-hour marathon pace (6:50 per mile/4:15 per km).  Managed to do exactly that and even split all the laps, and really enjoyed running with two guys – Matt and Callum – pretty much the whole way.  His last 20-mile race was back in 2019 at the Hillingdon 20 when he did 2:46:03 – so a big improvement on that.  

Needing to up his miles from a half marathon in preparation for the London Marathon JIM BROWN thought the Essex 20 would be the ideal opportunity.  He decided to chunk it up into 5Ks and see how long he could keep them under 30 minutes.  It went a lot better than expected and he finished in 3 hours 6 minutes 31 seconds, a 7 minute 20 second improvement on the fastest 20 he raced last year. 

Essex 20

Blickling Multi Terrain Half Marathon 

The Blickling multi-terrain half marathon near Aylsham in Norfolk saw CAROL PAUL come third in her age group (60 – 64) with 2:08:36.  She said the weather was ideal for running but underfoot it was a bit mucky. 

Carol with her medal after her amazing run!

Milton Keyenes Festival

SOPHIE PARSONS ran in the 10k event at the Milton Keynes Festival. It was hillier than she expected but she managed to complete the course in a brilliant time of 57:43!

Sophie reunited with Chester after her run.


Total turnout at Stevenage parkrun went past 500 again on Saturday.  This time to 518 and no doubt helped by the large number of Spartans who turned out to support Jane WADEY, Kerstin WEINER and Nicola HATHERLY for their fiftieth parkruns. 

For the Consolidated Results please click the link 

Spartans at Parkrun!
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