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Fairlands Valley Spartans hosted another successful event on Thursday evening – the 3K Relay event- when nearly 400 runners completed the relay course. There were 47 women’s teams comprised of 3 runners and 50 men’s teams comprised of 5 runners.  Provisional results can be found on the Spartans website at but in the individual results the first man was James McMurray of St Albans Striders and the first woman was Lizzie Bird of Garden City Runners.


Krakow Park Run 5k, Poland.


Andy Neatham came  2nd in this race in a time of 17.57. which is a Vet PB by 1second and broke the Age group course record by over 30 seconds.


Thunder Run 24 hour Race


Spartans enjoyed a challenging weekend on Derbyshire for a 24 hour race on a very hilly course. The torrential rain and thunder storms were very apt for the Thunder Run race name and the dark, very muddy and slippery course resulted in some long, soul searching runs through the night. The format of the race was that in teams you each ran a 10k before passing the baton on to your next team member.


Three Spartans were in a team of five who came second, these were Todd Gray, Andrew Patterson and the stand out performance by Simon Jackson who accounted for 8 of the teams 31 laps.


Other Spartans enjoying the race included Kerry, Nikki Andrews and Darren Wilby.
The race was a fantastic event and thoroughly recommended


Spartan triple take on Northampton marathon double.


Three Spartans made the short trip to Brackmill Reservoir, just to the South of Northampton.


The trail marathon venue was at the Holiday Inn, and featured six laps each day around the reservoir on a mixture of surfaces.  The big killer for running marathons is the heat, and yet again the country was blessed with warm, sunny & muggy weather. The times reflected the conditions, as the Spartan trio took on the weather to complete 26.2 miles each day.

Day 1 (Saturday 27th)

Roger Biggs 4:28:10, Carol Paul 4:53:53 & Mike Newbitt 5:41:13

Day 2 (Sunday 28th)

Roger Biggs 4:44:25, Carol Paul 5:09:22 & Mike Newbitt 5:15:16




DAVE BOWKER was selected to represent Hertfordshire in the Senior Inter County Match in Abingdon recently.  He achieved a new personal best of 17 minutes 27 seconds (compared with 18:49!) and third place in the 3,000 metres walk.  The men’s team placed second overall.


A few days later he won the EVAC (Eastern Veterans) Five Mile Championship for men aged 50 plus with a time of 32 minutes 13 seconds.


Monica’s Gold


After a few weeks of enforced rest due to injuries an apprehensive Monica Brown turned up at Oxford for the British Master’s W45 Heptathlon. The decision to race over the 80m hurdles in trainers, to lessen the impact on a tender Achilles, was a good one as Monica was rewarded with a pb of 16.34 seconds. This was followed by a high jump of 1.33, 6.82 for shot and 29.08 (sb) for 200m which meant she finished day one in the lead by almost 500 points.


On day two Monica knew she had to try to keep her lead going into the long jump and javelin as she would lose considerable points over the 800m, her weakest event. A long jump of 4.20 and a javelin pb of 17.71 meant she was still in the lead with just the 800m to go. Despite finishing 37 seconds behind her rival, Monica’s time of 3.17.15 for the 800m was enough to win the gold with a new heptathlon pb score of 3603.


Second claim Spartan Louise Oliver also competed in the younger W40 age group. In a very tight competition Louise did 80m hurdles in 15.40, high jump 1.39, shot 10.14, 200m 28.26, long jump 4.60, javelin 29.32 and 800m 2.57.35 for the silver medal.




DANIEL BATES did the Wimpole Estate Parkrun near Royston recently.  He was 12th of 124 with a time of 20 minutes 46 seconds.


Then he did the Highbury Fields parkrun in Islington, London on Saturday 27 July and finished 21st out of 94 with a time of 20:41.


On Sunday Daniel competed in the 10 mile race organised by Harlow Runners Club at Harlow.  He had a great start, was a bit slow between mile 3 and mile 6 but managed to do 5km pace after that to recoup loss of time, and finished 57th out 249 runners with a time of 01.12.47.


Coming Events


Many Spartans will be enjoying a busy programme of races, social and training events over the next few weeks including the:


  • Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 5th September
  • Club Five Mile Team Champs on Tuesday 10th September
  • Herts Senior 5K Championships in WGC on Tuesday 24th September
  • County 10K Championships in Letchworth on Sunday 6th October
  • Herts Veterans 5K Championships in WGC on Tuesday 8th October
  • County 10 Mile Championships for veterans on Sunday 27th October
  • Stevenage Half Marathon on Sunday 3rd November
  • County Ten Miles Championship in Buntingford on 30th December 2013


Join The Spartans


Live in or near Stevenage?  Like running?  Fairlands Valley Spartans is your local running club and is on the up!  The club was voted the UK’s Best Running Club in 2010.  It now has about 400 members and encourages participation by all.  The Spartans have a varied training programme to suit those who want to run 5 kilometres through to full marathons. 


The Spartans weekday training sessions are on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  Go along to the new sports centre at Marriotts School – a Sports College, Brittain Way, Stevenage (SG2 8UT) at 7p.m.  Up to five running groups go out on training nights – there will be one to suit you!


The Spartan Starter group starts from Marriotts at 7.30p.m. every Monday (except public holidays) and 7p.m. every Thursday.


Most long Sunday morning training sessions start 9.30a.m. sharp.  Spartan track training sessions are held at Ridlins Athletics Track, Woodcock Road, Stevenage most Saturdays from 9.15a.m.  There are events to enter every Sunday.  Newcomers are very welcome – those who have not done very much running yet might prefer to start with a Thursday, Saturday or Monday session. 


Try a few sessions before joining.  Membership is only £35 per year, £25 without UKA membership.  Concessions are available.  Membership forms are available on the Spartans website  Please ask if you would like a paper copy. 


If you want to know more about the Spartans please contact Jim Brown (0793 968 7509 or 01438 354505), Vivienne Honey 07702 846304 or visit their website




More from Jim Brown (Press Officer) 0793 968 7509 / 01438 354505 or Vivienne Honey (Secretary) 07702 846304

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