14 Spartans enjoyed the 13.1 miles of the Greenway Challenge which is a largely trail event around Letchworth on Sunday.
Several members have recently ran marathons and so took the opportunity to relax a bit and enjoy this unique event.
There were some good performances including Nick Gill 12th overall in 1:52:47; John Harris 13th overall and first man over 60 also in 1:52:47 and Kim Tyler beating two hours with 1:59:35. She was fourth woman 35 plus.
Steve Dobner and Mo Warrilow came in together at 2:05:34.
Jim Brown finished in 2:10:35. He was third man over 60. Michael O’Keefe came in with 2:12:26.
Tim Robinson, Vicky Archer, Claire Emmerson, Linda George and Martin Jacob all had a wonderful time at the Greenway Challenge. They ran, walked and skipped their way around the half marathon course enjoying chatting with each other and seeing the scenery.
They have all either ran marathons and/or trained hard in the past few weeks and so they enjoyed running for fun and even more, they enjoyed the cakes at the end!
Milton Keynes Marathon
Adrian Busolini paced the sub three hour group at the Milton Keynes Marathon. A job well done as they crossed the line in 2 hours 59 minutes 42 seconds (2:59:42).
Adrian Busolini said:
“I was peppered with questions about my race strategy in the starting pen, which was a slightly daunting experience for a first-time pacer. I explained we’d be running mostly even splits, while aiming for consistent effort on the ascents and descents; and given the race started atop a hill, this meant we’d be subject to a slightly faster start. Questions continued into the first few kilometres of the race, most concerningly from a couple of runners who expressed some anxiety over the starting pace. If they couldn’t briefly handle some 10 seconds/km under target over a descent, I thought, then I seriously feared for their chances at sub-3. I quietly wondered how many would still be with me at the end of the race.
Down on the flat, to avoid any more unnecessary congestion at bottlenecks, I eased forward to put a little distance between us and the half marathon 1h 30m pacer. Now I could more clearly see that quite a sizable group had gathered around me. We comfortably settled into the 4:15 target pace, and I began my Milton Keynes running tour commentary. Kudos to everyone who tolerated that with good humour.
My group remained fairly consistent until the second lap of the course, when despite warnings about maintaining fluid/electrolyte balance in the warmer conditions, numbers rapidly started to dwindle. I tried my best to keep various people going, even slightly losing track of pace on a couple of occasions as I tried to coax individuals along. Once a small pack broke away in the last 7km to push on for PBs, and the last few runners I’d been desperately trying to encourage dropped off, I found myself entirely alone for a kilometre or two, briefly pondering why I was here today, casually trotting past Woughton on the Green with a blue flag flying from my back.
Near the finish, I picked up a few more struggling souls, until we hit that final hilly kilometre, where I found myself maniacally screaming at tiring runners on the ascent, demanding more and more effort from them, to assure their sub 3 finish. Being right there when they achieved their goals was a fantastic experience, one that’ll stick long in my memory. No doubt partially aided by the sight of a runner in the background dressed in a cow suit, who was going by the name of ‘Moosain Bolt’.
Thirteen Spartans STEPHANIE BIGGAR, MONICA BROWN, CALLIE CHAPMAN, SHARON CROWLEY, KAREN DODSWORTH, YUKO GORDON, CHRISTINE LATHWELL, CAROLYN LINSELL, JOYLYN SAUNDERS-MULLINS, TESSA STEPHENSON,WENDY THARANI, ANDREA WESTCOTT and NIKKI WILBY started the track and field season by WINNING at the first league event on Wednesday.
The FVS Ladies track and field team kicked off their defence of the EMAC (East of England) title in style on Wednesday night. Thirteen team members travelled to Milton Keynes and won the competition, beating rivals Marshall Milton Keynes by an amazing 13 points. Other teams in the division struggled to field full teams on the night, but that does not detract from the brilliant performances of FVS. The team welcomed newcomers Wendy Tharani (second place W50 3k) and Carolyn Linsell (third place W60 3k). Wins on the night came from Tessa Stephenson (W60 100m and 400m), Christine Lathwell (W35 3k, also 3rd place W35 400m), Sharon Crowley (W60 Hammer Throw, also second place 1 mile walk A string), Monica Brown (W50 Shot Put and W50 High Jump), Joylyn Saunders-Mullins (W60 Shot Put), Andrea Westcott (W50 Triple Jump, also 2nd place W50 100m and 2nd place W50 Hammer Throw), Karen Dodsworth (W60 Triple Jump, also 2nd place W50 400m), Nikki Wilby (W35 High Jump, also 3rd place W35 Triple Jump). Valuable points were also picked up by Callie Chapman (4th placed W35 100m), Yuko Gordon (1st place 1m walk B string), Stephanie Biggar (3rd place in both W35 Hammer Throw and W35 Shot Put).
An exciting 4x100m relay event rounded off the evening with Carolyn, Sharon, Karen and an excellent last leg by Monica just pipping Milton Keynes to the finish line by 0.2 seconds in the W50+ race. The W35 team of Nikki, Tessa, Callie, and Christine finished second in the W35 event.
The FVS Men’s team were bolstered by newcomers and returners, finishing in a very respectable fourth place on the night. Wins from Tim Saunders-Mullins (M60 Hammer Throw) and Anton McCalla (M35 Triple Jump, also 4th place M35 100m, 5th place M35 Shot Put). Points were also scored by newbie Nick Kleanthous (5th place M60 100m and 400m, 3rd place 1mile B string walk, 4th M60 Shot Put), Chris Westcott (2nd place M35 400m and M35 3k), Pete Smith (2nd place M60 3k and M60 Triple Jump, 3rd place M60 High Jump), John Harris (3rd place 1m A string walk, 4th place M35 High Jump), Steve Mayfield (3rd place M50 Hammer Throw, 4th place M50 Shot Put, and 4th place M50 Triple Jump). The men’s relay team finished 4th.
Spartan DAVID HARRIS-CHERGUIT WON the Run Bedford Super Fast 10 kilometre race in 35 minutes 7 seconds, a new 10K PB (personal best)and a first place result for Spartans.
He says his training is clearly paying off and looking good for the Edinburgh Half Marathon at the end of the month and that it was great to see fellow Spartan KELVIN BEYIOKU, who had another great run after the Hitchin 10km last week. Kelvin was third in 37:04.
Fifteen Spartans ran the Greenway Challenge Half Marathon from Standalone Farm, Letchworth on Sunday. Nearly all the 13.1 miles were off road.
Their fastest was ADRIAN DONNELLY fourth overall in 1 hour 28 minutes 29 seconds.
Next in was JOHN HARRIS, second male 50 plus in 1 hour 33 minutes 16 seconds for 11th place. NICK GILL came in with 1:42:27 then TONY RANDFIELD who was first man 60 plus with 1:48:01.
TRICIA HOPPER and CLAIRE PULLEN were Fairlands first females in 2:17:00.
SAM SIMMONS and MARCUS RIDLEY came in 87th and 88th with 1:56:51 and 1:56:53.
Attempting his first long run after an encounter with Omnicron at the start of April JIM BROWN carefully paced himself round in 2 hours 9 minutes 17 seconds. CLAIRE EMMERSON, WENDY THARANI, TIM ROBINSON, SIMON SYPULA and VICKY ARCHER all ‘skipped’ around the greenway in about 2 hours 20 minutes.
Vicky said, “We never set out to ‘race’ today. The aim of the game was to be chatty and have some fun which we achieved beautifully! The sun shone and we had a lovely morning out with cake at the end.”
SAMANTHA SUTTON enjoyed a lovely morning with 2:53:15.
DARREN and CLAIRE EMMERSON took part in the Pednor Five road race on Holiday Monday. In the Chilterns and not flat Darren was 109th in 39 minutes 59 seconds and Claire 151st in 43:27. There were 197 finishers.
DAVE PATTMAN and STEVE DOBNER ran the Stort5 on Sunday. Dave finished sixth overall and second in his age category in 39:39 and Steve was ninth and fourth in his age category in 41:36. The course is almost completely off-road and luckily the farmer had kindly rolled a section after the rain this week to take away the worst of the ruts. Beautiful morning but you cannot really takes your eyes off the ground as it was so uneven so Steve said he had I no idea what the countryside looked like. A brilliant relatively local event.
After a delay of six months NICOLA ANDERSSON, CAROLYN LINSELL and KAREN ELLIS ran their 11K for the Blesma charity on Saturday morning. Their total time, they ran together, was 1 hour 8mins and 56 seconds for the 6.81 miles.
Saturday morning’s stripey running at Stevenage parkrun concluded the Blesma 11k with Nicola, Carolyn, and Karen incorporating parkrun (no.95 for Nicola) with medal presentation at the finish. lt’s a first having medals at parkrun…
The charity run was last November for Remembrance Sunday but Carolyn unfortunately broke her foot a few days beforehand. Karen then kindly stepped up to run this with Nicola instead. When Blesma heard about Carolyn’s accident etc. they kindly sent a third medal for Karen back in December.
Several months on with Carolyn fully recovered and still improving on her stamina and strength they chose Saturday… They raised a total of £151 for Blesma The Limbless Veteran’s and want to thank those again who donated. After all this time it was lovely to give Karen her medal for running the 11K a second time with us, a total of two and a bit parkruns runn in one.
John runs another 100
JOHN NELMS finished his fifth 100 mile event Sunday on the Centurion running Thames Path 100. Starting in Richmond, London at 0930 Saturday morning, John ran / walked through the day and night to finish in Oxford at 1100 Sunday morning.
Parkrun Highlights 7th May
Fairlands Valley Spartan members were out in force wearing their club vests on the first Parkrun of the month, aka Stripey Saturday. Thirty two members took part at six different venues across the country.
JANE WADEY ran a personal best (PB) of 32:28 at Stevenage after joining FVS in January this year. She has improved her 5K time by 8 minutes since her first Parkrun in August 2021, crediting track training and Monday starters sessions which helped her achieve this amazing improvement.
There were a few Year Best achieved this weekend, including MARTIN DUDLEY (23:49), SALLY PHILLIPS (34:01), SAMANTHA SUTTON (34:27), JAMES MCSWEENEY(24:04) and MICHAEL O’KEEFE (32:19) having ran their best times for this year.
The title of fastest Spartan in Stevenage went to GRANT RAMSAY, crossing the line at 18:59 at Stevenage and fastest female Spartan of the week was ALISON SHELLEY (26:54) both at Stevenage. The fastest Spartan anywhere was CHRIS WESTCOTT running in Bangor, Northern Ireland with 18:26. Also running in Bangor ANDREA WESTCOTT finished in 28:35.
Although there were no official milestones achieved by members this week, MATT CLARKE has completed his 90th and TIM ROBINSON his 170th Parkrun at Stevenage.