Wednesday 12th April saw the return of the evening Resolution 5K on Ridlins track, Fairlands Valley Spartans won it and recorded no less than eight new personal bests (PBs).
The Spartans won with Simon Fraser 3rd in 16:27, Jonathan Parr 4th in 16:45, Kelvin Beyioku 6th in 17:54 and Ashley Johnson first woman and 27th overall in 20:19. Teams consisted of the first three men and first woman finishing from each club. Simon improved his PB by 21 seconds and Ashley hers by 46 seconds.
Spartan PAULA DUNNE was the third woman overall in 21:39, a new personal best by 1 minute 14 seconds.
NICK GILL was seventh in the race in 17:59, a new 5K personal best by 1 minute 8 seconds. He said the support in the stands and on the track made a real difference and helped him get over the line in just under 18 minutes with the help of a sprint finish. MIKE JEFFS came in next in 19:11 and DANNY SCANLON in 19:25.
There was another PB by NICK KLEANTHOUS with 24:04. He said it was a well organised event and a very big turnout for FVS. Lots of runners stayed until the end to support later runners. Lovely to see this and the support from non runners alike.
JANE WADEY equalled her 5K personal best with 31:31 which was set in May 2022. HAZEL SMITH was very pleased with her 24:22.
That was cold said JIM BROWN who went round the 12.5 laps in a steady 27 minutes 57 seconds.
FVS also achieved the highest number of finishers. The top three clubs were FVS 24; North Herts Road Runners 14 and Stevenage Phoenix 11.
Spartan SIMON JACKSON ran a new personal best at the Manchester Marathon. His 2:44:12 beat the very significant 2 hours 45 minutes target.
Simon said “A new PB which I’ll take at 47 and after a lot of years of running.”
Spartans LINDA GEORGE and MARTIN JACOB did their first full marathon at Manchester on Sunday.
Martin said the last six miles were a real struggle. The training sessions and the long Sunday runs with Fairlands Valley Spartans really helped me to push the boundaries and achieve a sub 4 hour timing.
Martin Jacob finished in 3:59:57 and Linda George in 5:00:23
VICKY ARCHER ran her first road marathon in Manchester finishing in 4.19.09.
She smashed her 4:30 goal and it was also a personal best from her last one on file which was 5:40 (although that was a trail marathon when doing the challenge a couple of years ago).
Spartan YUKO GORDON showed the way at the Flitwick 10K. She won the women 65 plus category in 46 minutes 33 seconds, was 85th overall out of 424 finishers and received a lovely gold medal.
HAZEL SMITH did 52:47 for 178th.
JIM BROWN was very pleased with his efforts at Flitwick. He finished in 55 minutes 38 seconds, 1 minute 13 seconds faster than on the flatter St. Albans 10K two weeks earlier. He said the first kilometre winding up through a housing scheme felt hard but he ran a negative split, second half faster than the first by 34 seconds, came second in his category and just in the first half of the race.
Mike and Sharon Crowley took part in the Calderdale Hike on Saturday, based at Sowerby. They completed the 26 miles, with some 3600 feet of climb, in 8 hours 26 minutes. The weather was unexpectedly lovely, with lots of sunshine and minimal breeze.
Parkrun Highlights Saturday 15th April 2023
Congratulations to Spartan TRACY HAYGARTH who was at Stevenage to run her 100th parkrun. She finished her celebration run around Fairlands Valley Park in 34:07.
Spartan STUART ARCHER ran the Manchester Marathon in 3 hours 4 minutes 59 seconds. He was 1,538th out of the 14,168 runners in the super flat but chilly race.
Stuart says his preparation for this one wasn’t great. It included a rolled ankle in January, Achilles issues in February and Covid in March. Not the best prep for a marathon but these things don’t stop us 😉
So, he said, “not really knowing what I could do I chose a different game plan. Went at a faster pace and tried to hang on for the last 10K. Hoping to sneak under 3 hours…
Finished in 3:04:59. Not sub 3 But still six minutes off my previous best in Liverpool two years earlier.”
Next in was MATT CLARKE, 5,062nd in 3:45:09. That was a 4 minutes 35 seconds improvement. Matt and FIONA CLARKE had both run Manchester in October. One of the impacts of the race calendar being affected by the pandemic.
Fiona finished in 4:46:45 which is six minutes quicker than the last attempt and her second fastest marathon. Considering this was two weeks post Covid recovery, she was very happy with it.
CHLOE CHAPMAN ran Manchester marathon. She was chuffed with her time of 4:43:29. She said it didn’t quite go to plan but she cut her PB (personal best) by 39 minutes (previously 5:22:12). The course was a lot hillier than she expected. Chloe said the Spartan support was great.
WENDY THARANI said it was a very cold Manchester. She finished in 4:49:43.
Fast At Saffron Walden
The power of a flat course said LUKE GURNEY after finishing the Essex Half Marathon in a new personal best of 1 hour 44 minutes 25 seconds. He was proudly wearing his Spartan stripes as he beat his previous time by 12 minutes. His previous PB was 1:56:09. Over the moon with this as he had a target of reaching sub 1:50. Lovely sunny morning and flat course. Started to tire around the 10 mile mark but got there! Really happy with this!
RICKY PEARCE finished the full marathon in 3 hours 14 minutes 6 seconds. He was seventh senior man.
Regents Park 10K
Regents Park was lovely, beautiful sunshine and nice cafés afterwards for YUKO GORDON’s 10K. She won her category and was fourth out of all the women in the race with 46:27.
Zig Zag Cirque du Sore Leg
CIARAN McANENY won the Zig Zag 6 hour Track Race at Wodson Park in Ware on Sunday. Official results show that he completed 200 laps of the track (80km) which is a 25 lap personal best over six hours.
In fact he’s validating the result as he recorded 202 laps on his Garmin and in Strava which would bring his distance over 50 miles in 6:01:50 (6 hours plus the final lap).
ELLIE McDERMOTT did the Zig Zag six hour challenge at Ware Track on Sunday. She covered 25 miles in the Cirque du Sore Legs.
You’ll be pleased to know they changed direction after three hours!
In Letchworth JOHN HARRIS ran the NHRR First Saturday of the month 5K in 20 minutes 34 seconds. He was seventh overall.
Parkrun Highlights 2nd April
Stripey Saturday rolled around again on a chilly morning at Fairlands Valley, Stevenage. ROGER BIGGS celebrated his 100th parkrun donning the 100 parkrun cape. Well done Roger!
SUZY HAWKINS was first woman in 20:14. GRAHAM and MARTIN BLACKBURN clocked 24:26 and 21:25 ahead of their move to pastures new. Congratulations to DEBBIE BLANTERN on her new PB of 27:47 and also JANE WADEY 34:15 on her 25th parkrun.
KELLY MCHALE ran a new personal best (PB) of 24 minutes 29 seconds at Wimpole Estate.
There were a trio of Spartans at Gunpowder parkrun: StEVE DOBNER (24:03) plus MO WARRILLOW and DAVID PATTMAN both in 27:07.
Eight Spartans In Manchester! Entries are open for our own Stevenage Half Marathon!
Eight Spartans excelled themselves by finishing the Manchester Marathon on Sunday.
For PAUL and ALISON SHELLEY it was their second ever marathon. It was warmer than they’d expected it to be and they both gave it their all. Paul improved his personal best by 14 minutes and finished in 3 hours 13 minutes 36 seconds. He was 1,098 out of the 9,473 men and 61st out of 929 men aged 50 plus. Alison took 23 minutes off her personal best (PB) with 4 hours 13 minutes 16 seconds and was 84th out of the 415 women aged 50 plus.
MATT CLARKE was pleased to get under four hours, 3:58:01, despite disruptions to his preparation. For FIONA CLARKE it was an emotional run but she completed her target of three marathons this year with 4 hours 52 minutes 21 seconds. Fiona was raising money for the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust. She said that for her it was an ugly race, very scrappy, the hardest of the three but she did it!
WENDY THARANI ran the London Marathon only a week earlier but she still finished Manchester in 4 hours 38 minutes 55 seconds. DAVID PATTMAN came in with 4:01:07 and STEVEN DOBNER with 4:12:53.
For LIZ SMITH it was an experiment to see if her prodigious cycling fitness could get her round a marathon. It did. She finished with a smile in 5 hours 10 minutes 34 seconds.
PB (13 minutes)
PB (23 minutes)
On Sunday, ADRIAN BUSOLINI participated in the inaugural running of Metropolis, a story-driven night time ultra experience through central London. Starting with some properly engaging & atmospheric immersive theatre, runners were given new identities and tasked with completing a range of mandatory and optional missions to help the RUN resistance network.
Guided by What 3 Words locations, they had to devise optimised route choices on the fly, accounting for factors such as time windows, deadlines, water supply, and the practicalities of navigating around London on a Saturday night; all the while evading ‘The Eyes’ who were trying to hunt us down with the help of GPS tracking. Ultimately we had to connect with a resistance leader to learn of our extraction location, and make it to the rendezvous point before ‘the last transport from Metropolis’. Billed as a 50 kilometres race, Adrian ended up exceeding 75 from targeting a number of the bonus missions.
The race directors Richard and Mark put a lot of effort into devising this experience, crafting the backstory, preparing the theatrical elements & actor roles, the technological live tracking for the missions, and practicalities of the Eyes hunting participants; down to the details such as the witty mission locations, origami birds, and the extraction location embedded in a fortune cookie. If you fancy a memorable, immersive experience that also happens to involve a fair amount of running, then keep an eye out for what Richand and Mark come up with next.
Results are yet to be finalised, but according to the current state of the leaderboard I finished in second, somehow…
Jonathan Second At Windsor
Spartan JONATHAN PARR was second at the Windsor Autumn 5K around Dorney Lake in 16 minutes 7 seconds.
Yuko Is World Champion
YUKO GORDON from Fairlands Valley Spartans is a marathon world champion. She won the World Age Group Championships which were incorporated in the London Marathon. Her time was 3 hours 25 minutes 30 seconds. She was 6 minutes 54 seconds ahead of her nearest rival Sharon Smith (3:32:24) and 13 minutes 8 seconds ahead of third placed Jeannie Rice from the USA 3:38:380.
Having cleaned up Yuko went straight back into London for the WANDA age group marathon party.
(Yuko’s victory was confirmed after last week’s release had been distributed. Twenty Spartans finished the race).
Royal Parks Half
GERRY ROSEN has had a really difficult year with Covid and other issues but he beat his half marathon personal best by seven minutes with 2 hours 35 minutes 30 seconds at the Royal Parks Half Marathon.
Run With Willow
Two Spartans CAROLYN LINSELL and JIM BROWN ran the Willow Foundation 10K at Hatfield House on Sunday. Jim said it was a really relaxed and friendly wind down after the previous week’s London Marathon though he was woken up by a cattle grid at about five kilometres. Carolyn finished in 55 minutes 26 seconds, her third fastest 10K, and Jim in 58:20. Carolyn was 39th and Jim 51st out of the 131 runners. This was a mixed terrain event with the start very close to Hatfield Station.
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 six 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).
Although many were enjoying an England Athletics track training session at Ridlins or preparing for races the next day a warm October morning saw twenty two Fairlands Valley Spartans attend Parkrun events.
In Stevenage, CHARLOTTE KEARNEY ran a personal best (PB) time of 29 minutes and 44 secondss, completing the course in the top 40 females. On her 75th Parkrun outing, GAIL MACKIE finished as the 8th female in 25 mins and 32 secs closely followed by ASHLEY SCHOENWETTER in 25 mins and 33 secs (9th female). TOBY ECCLESHALL was the first male Spartan to complete the course in 22 minutes and 13 seconds.
Elsewhere MICHAEL O’KEEFE and JAMES McSWEENY respectively ran the Henlow Bridge Lakes and Hillsborough Forest routes for the first time in 28 mins and 48 secs and 24 mins and 08 secs.
HELEN HARRIS and JIM BROWN were both running their 60th parkruns.
(All the Spartans running parkruns on Saturday are included near the end of this release).
Time To Get Muddy
The cross country season starts this Sunday 17th October with a Sunday League race at Cheshunt.
Full results for all Spartans when there are a lot at an event will be listed below.