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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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||2nd!||2nd 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|
|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)|
|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)|
|7588||Steve Tinsley||1:59:08||Male||5309||35-39||749||First Half|
|8995||Carolyn Linsell||2:16:34||Female||3094||65-69||20||PB (9:38)|