Sunday’s Stevenage Half Marathon was a huge success and Fairlands Valley Spartans took first and second in the 13.1 miles races.
Spartan ANDREW PATTERSON won the event overall in a new personal best (PB) of 1 hour 12 minutes 53 seconds and also took GOLD in the Hertfordshire County Championships. SIMON JACKSON was second in 1 hour 15 minutes 48 seconds and took SILVER in the county champs. Together with DAVID HARRIS CHERGUIT (PB 1:19:25) and STUART ARCHER (PB 1:26:27) they won GOLD in the County team competition and won the team contest in the race.
The Spartans won GOLD in the county team competition with LIZ SMITH after a rapid acceleration in the last five miles finishing with 1 hour 53 minutes 59 seconds; ALISON SHELLEY (PB 1:57:22) and WENDY THARANI (1:57:50). Three to count in the women’s competition.
And Bronze for Women and Men
Then there were County team BRONZE medals for the women’s team of ANN TRYSSESOONE (2:01:14), CHLOE CHAPMAN (improving her PB by more than nine minutes to 2:01:39) and KERSTIN WEINER (2:04:07) and the men’s team of GRANT RAMSEY (1:27:32); DANNY SCANLON (1:28:56); TONY RANDFIELD (1:33:34) and PAUL SHELLEY (1:36:57).
David Harris Cherguit was first man aged 40 plus in the race and Tony Randfield, running his first half as a Spartan, was first man aged 60 plus.
The Spartans topped and tailed the event with a total of 38 runners. Dozens more Spartans and their friends marshaled, rode lead and sweep bikes, provided water stations, supervised the shuttle buses and did the other jobs that made it a success.
On a cold but mainly sunny morning the race started on Ridlins Athletics track then followed two equal laps on cycleway and footpaths via Gresley Way, Six Hills Way, Fairlands Valley Park north and south, football club, Broadhall Way to cross Woodcock Road and into the second lap before finishing on the track.
This time there was a welcome tailwind in the south part of Fairlands Valley Park. After a one year gap due to Covid it was back and it was great.
There were several half marathon first timers including MIKE JEFFS (1:31:22); NICK KLEANTHOUS (1:57:45); CHRIS SAUNDERS (2:12:32); NICHOLA DURENT (3:16:32) and JUDY KING (3:18:39). LEE PICKERGILL ran a new PB of 1:47:45; NIGEL STRONGITHARM ran a new PB of 1:48:08, and NICHOLA ANDERSSON a new PB of 2:04:48. STEPH BIGGAR ran her first ever real race, everything else has been virtual, and finished in 3:16:32.
TIM ROBINSON was aiming for sub 2 hours and managed to improve on his target and achieve 1:54:33 in his fastest half since 2017. The long incline at mile 8 was hard going, sapped a lot of energy and lost some time but was the only part of the course that presented any real difficulty.
JIM BROWN was apprehensive after two recent disaster half marathons including a DNF (did not finish) but improved his time from August (2:04:05) by 5 minutes 56 seconds to 1:58:09 to get under two hours by maintaining almost exactly nine minute miles all the way round.
The first woman in the race was ELIZABETH PARRY from Garden City Runners in 1 hour 22 minutes 45 seconds with KERRIE HAMLIN from Ampthill and Flitwick Flyers second in 1:26:38 and JUSTINE LYNCH from Belgrave Harriers third in 1:26:50.
The Last Fly
Fairlands Valley Spartans were represented in the last Fly 5K in the current series on Saturday. This virtual free run anywhere event on a Saturday morning helped to get a lot of people through lockdown when all in person events were cancelled. More than 15,000 Fly 5K runs have been recorded since the series was launched. This was race 80.
In the MARIAN MORLEY was 55th and first woman aged 55 plus in 26 minutes 41 seconds; NICOLA ANDERSSON was 71st in 29:02 and PENNY SCHENKEL and JIM BROWN went round together to finish 100th equal in 30:56. This was Jim’s 58th Fly 5K and he received a special not (virtual) T-shirt for running at least fifty.
There will be a Christmas edition and a real reunion in 2022.
CRAIG BACON said, “Sunday at the St Neots Half Marathon was my first mass event since February 2020. There have been months of solo running and virtual events since the last time I lined up at the start of a race with over 1000 people ready to complete the 13.1 miles.
There was a chill in the air as I made my way to the start and so I was glad that I had put my woolly hat and gloves in my kit bag. We gathered at the line and at 10 o’clock we were sent on our way out of St Neots and along the Huntingdonshire country roads. The route was a figure of eight course with a rise at about 3 miles, another before half way and then a final hill at 9 miles. The hills did mean there was an opportunity to go downhill too, so every cloud has a silver lining.
I finished in a time of 1 hour 41 minutes 16 seconds, which is 2 minutes 19 seconds faster than my pre-pandemic Half in 2020. It was also my fastest Half since May 2016. I finished 303rd overall, 233rd male and 54th male vet 50.”
Fellow Spartan John Harding finished in 2:11:10 to finish 823rd overall and 535th male.
This week 30 Spartans participated across 8 different parkrun venues.
A couple of first timer mentions: KIERAN FEETHAM at Plymvalley in 23:18 and EVA RAMSEY at Cassiobury in 23:21.
PETER CARPENTER was at Squerryes Winery parkrun at Westerham running a new PB of 44:19. GRAHAM HOARE also got himself a new PB 23:29 at Southsea parkrun and YUKO GORDON was second female at Letchworth in 23:50.
GRANT RAMSAY was first Spartan home out of the 21 Spartans at Stevenage in 19:06. KEN JUDE was running his 99th parkrun at Stevenage. MARK GOODWIN was the sole Spartan at Panshanger this week clocking 23:43.
Full results for all Spartans when there are a lot at an event will be listed below.
Spartan Gun Times At The Stevenage Half Marathon
|Pos||Race No||Name||GunTime||Category||Cat Pos||Gender||Gen Pos|
|8||179||David HARRIS-CHERGUIT||01:19:30||Ages 40 – 49||1||Male||8||PB|
|26||13||Stuart ARCHER||01:26:33||Ages 20 – 39||12||Male||25||PB|
|29||346||Grant RAMSAY||01:27:35||Ages 40 – 49||8||Male||26|
|31||369||Danny SCANLON||01:29:00||Ages 40 – 49||10||Male||28|
|37||224||Mike JEFFS||01:31:22||Ages 20 – 39||15||Male||33||New|
|46||347||Tony RANDFIELD||01:33:39||Ages 60 – 69||1||Male||42||New|
|79||375||Paul SHELLEY||01:37:02||Ages 50 – 59||17||Male||69||YB|
|82||384||Peter SMITH||01:37:07||Ages 50 – 59||18||Male||71||SB|
|87||178||John HARRIS||01:37:29||Ages 50 – 59||20||Male||75||SB|
|100||277||Reece McCULLAGH||01:40:42||Ages 20 – 39||32||Male||65||SB|
|121||140||Nick GILL||01:44:47||Ages 20 – 39||33||Male||102||SB|
|135||110||Toby ECCLESHALL||01:48:06||Ages 20 – 39||36||Male||112||YB|
|136||399||Nigel STRONGITHARM||01:48:08||Ages 50 – 59||31||Male||113||PB|
|137||329||Lee PICKERSGILL||01:48:08||Ages 20 – 39||37||Male||114||PB|
|184||387||Liz SMITH||01:54:30||Ages 40 – 49||16||Female||38||YB|
|189||357||Tim ROBINSON||01:54:56||Ages 50 – 59||38||Male||150||SB|
|206||376||Alison SHELLEY||01:57:42||Ages 50 – 59||7||Female||47||PB|
|211||241||Nick KLEANTHOUS||01:58:10||Ages 50 – 59||41||Male||163||New|
|218||411||Wendy THARANI||01:58:26||Ages 40 – 49||20||Female||50||SB|
|219||50||Jim BROWN||01:58:27||Ages 60 – 69||9||Male||169|
|222||118||Robert EVANS||01:58:37||Ages 40 – 49||59||Male||170||SB|
|243||419||Ann TRYSSESOONE||02:01:30||Ages 50 – 59||8||Female||59||YB|
|244||62||Chloe CHAPMAN||02:02:15||Ages 20 – 39||20||Female||60||PB|
|254||437||Kerstin WEINER||02:04:30||Ages 50 – 59||9||Female||67||SB|
|257||406||Jon SYPULA||02:05:10||Ages 40 – 49||66||Male||189||SB|
|259||12||Nicola ANDERSSON||02:05:23||Ages 50 – 59||11||Female||70||PB|
|270||323||Carol PAUL||02:07:41||Ages 50 – 59||13||Female||75||SB|
|288||367||Chris SAUNDERS||02:13:02||Ages 20 – 39||59||Male||207||New|
|309||202||Paul HOLGATE||02:23:16||Ages 60 – 69||15||Male||216||SB|
|312||362||Gerry ROSEN||02:27:19||Ages 50 – 59||60||Male||218||SB|
|313||458||Robert WRIGHT||02:27:19||Ages 20 – 39||62||Male||219|
|320||378||Karl SHREEVE||02:32:46||Ages 50 – 59||62||Male||223||SB|
|334||444||Jane WHITROW||03:17:05||Ages 50 – 59||22||Female||109||SB|
|335||36||Steph BIGGAR||03:17:09||Ages 40 – 49||49||Female||110|
|336||107||Nichola DURENT||03:17:10||Ages 40 – 49||50||Female||111||New|
|337||236||Judy KING||03:18:39||Ages 50 – 59||23||Female||112||New|
Chip times were not available at the time of writing.
Spartans at parkrun
A total of 291 runners took part including 21 Spartans.
|Position||Gender Position||parkrunner||Run Time|
A total of 110 runners took part.
A total of 357 runners took part.
A total of 138 runners took part.
A total of 247 runners took part.
A total of 407 runners took part.
A total of 97 runners took part.
Squerryes Winery parkrun (Westerham)
A total of 86 runners took part.