It was a murky and misty morning on Sunday but that didn’t stop more than 400 people enjoying five miles of cross country running around Fairlands Valley Park in a race organised by Fairlands Valley Spartans.
Increased participation by club members between races one and two in the Sunday cross country league lifted Fairlands Valley Spartans from tenth to seventh out of the 19 clubs taking part. Then on Sunday at the third race, in Stevenage, there was a season’s record of 45 Spartans finishing the race and dozens of others helping.
With well over 400 finishers it was easily the biggest turnout so far in this season’s league as well the biggest for the Spartans.
This time there were three Spartans in the top ten – ANDREW PATTERSON fourth in 27 minutes 32 seconds; SIMON JACKSON ninth in 28 minutes 29 seconds and JONATHAN PARR tenth in 28:36. Their eighth counter for the men’s “A” team was only just outside the top one hundred.
The Fairlands women put in a good performance with YUKO GORDON 210th overall (women and men) at 38 minutes 17 seconds; TRACEY JACKSON 218th at 38:21; ANNABELLE WHITE 249th at 39:35; TRACEY PEZ 284th at 41:12 and ZOE JACKSON completing the women’s “A” team of five in 300th at 42:26.
A good women’s “B” team is coming together as there was CAROLE SHELDRICK at 43:38; FIONA CLARKE at 45:00; NICOLA ANDERSSON at 45:40; and MARIAN MORLEY at 45:44. Others were helping with the event.
The other counters in the men’s “A” team were CHARLIE WHITE 46th at 30:54; KELVIN BEYOKU 57th at 31:40; STUART ARCHER 70th at 32:27; STEVE WELLS 99th at 33:23 and DANNY SCANLON 104th at 33:33.
Not everyone can be in the “A” team but the way the league works having a good turnout means many Spartan runners can push other clubs back by getting in front of their slower “A” runners.
With the start and finish near the showground the eight kilometre race consisted of three laps of the southern part of Fairlands Valley Park. Not the liquid mud of the previous week but by hugging the park boundary runners found some tough climbs to test them.
It was good to welcome some new members trying their first cross country. A great event organised by race director WENDY THARANI and a good team of volunteers.
(All the Spartan finishers can be found in a table near the end of this release).
It’s unfortunate there is a delay waiting for the team results to be published but at Trent Park the combined Spartans jumped from tenth to seventh and their women from twelfth to eleventh (though only two points off tenth) while the men leapt from tenth to fifth. Let’s see what Sunday’s results bring and what the club can do at the next league fixture which will be in Watford on Sunday 16th January.
The county cross country championships are in Welwyn Garden City on 9th January.
Parkrun Highlights for Saturday 18th December 2021
It was a relatively quiet week for Spartans at Saturday’s parkrun the day before the cross country league race and as we approach Christmas and the end of 2021.
DARRYL STEVENS was a first timer at Bath Skyline parkrun (with a challenging uphill flight of 37 steps to negotiate!) in his 177th parkrun which he finished in 39:05. PAUL MAGUIRE was another first timer, this time at Exmouth parkrun completing the course in 26:01.
ED HARE was at his “home” parkrun of Lee-on-the Solent finished in 23:07. Just one Spartan representing FVS at Panshanger: MIKE REYNOLDS clocking 26:28.
Stevenage parkrun (14 Spartans; 221 runners)
There were 14 Spartans at the Stevenage parkrun. GRANT RAMSAY won a top ten place at sixth, and fifth man, with 20 minutes 33 seconds.
The others were:
|Position||Gender Position||parkrunner||Run Time|
MIKE REYNOLDS ran the Panshanger parkrun in 26 minutes 28 seconds. He was 80th out of the 210 finishers.
There will be parkruns on Christmas Day including Stevenage. No doubt there will be a good turnout of Santas, elves, reindeers……
All 45 Spartan finishers at the Stevenage cross country (19th December):
16 women and 29 men.
All 37 Spartans at the Trent Park cross country (12th December):
Spartan men fifth out of 19.