News Release                                                                                                 24th February 2013



Gold For Monica


BARRY KING was first out of the twenty competitors who braved the bitterly cold temperatures for Fairlands Valley Spartans Handicap 5K race on Thursday evening.

He ran a new personal best of 21 minutes 46 seconds, 1:22 quicker than he has ever run before.

NICK WITCOMBE was close behind in a new PB of his own of 25:06.  GRANT RAMSAY overtook 17 runners to finish third in an excellent 17 minutes 11 seconds.

Grant was also the fastest runner on the night, with DEAN CARPENTER second quickest in 20:01 and GRAHAM BLACKBURN third fastest in 20:23.

The winning and fastest female was RHIANNON GRIFFIN in 21:30, who was the only woman racing – it was the fourth consecutive handicap 5k in which Rhiannon has run the fastest female time.

There were also personal bests (PBs) for DAVE SMITH +0:43 to 21:47, in fourth position overall, VISHAL SHAH +0:22 to 22:11 (6th), MATTHEW PALACIO +0:14 to 22:46 (7th).  MATT GILL ran a season’s best 21:18.  JAMES KILROY ran his first 5K in 25 minutes 39 seconds.

Helpers included Karen Liddle, Bev Harlow, Sara O’Callaghan, Suzy Hawkins, Liam Herbert, Simon Harris, Todd Gray and Paul Holgate.

Event Position Name Time Time Position Comments
1 BARRY KING 21:46 8 PB (1:22)
2 NICK WITCOMBE 25:06 14 PB (0:07)
3 GRANT RAMSAY 17:11 1  
4 DAVE SMITH 21:47 9 PB (0:43
5 MATT GILL 21:18 6 SB
6 VISHAL SHAH 22:11 11 PB (0:22)
7 MATTHEW PALACIO 22:46 12 PB (0:14)
8 BERNIE BARNABY 20:50 5  
9 MARK GOODWIN 21:59 10  
10 PAUL PICKARD 23:45 13  
11 DEAN CARPENTER 20:01 2  
13 BARRY OSBORNE 20:42 4  
14 JAMES KILROY 25:39 15 1st 5K
15 RHIANNON GRIFFIN 21:30 7 1st Woman 
16 MATTHEW HOLGATE 36:33 20  
17 ANTON McCALLA 28:00 16  
18 PAUL HOLGATE 28:02 17  
19 EARL BROWN 30:32 18  
20 RUSS ANDREWS 31:01 19  

The next Handicap 5k will be on Thursday 28th March – will hopefully it will be warmer then.

Gold for Monica and Iris

In the same week as the women’s EVAC team collected the Comet award for team of the year, four Spartans took part in the EVAC Indoor Championships held within the wider South of England Champs.

Spartan MONICA BROWN took GOLD in the East of England Veterans (EVAC) Indoor Championships at Lee Valley.

She won the 60 metres sprint for women (45 plus) in 8.67 seconds.

IRIS HORNSEY took two GOLDS in the 70 plus category.  She was first in the 400 metres with her time of 94.20 seconds and first in the 800 metres with 3 minutes 32.67 seconds.  JOHN TYRRELL took SILVER in the 75 plus shot put with a new personal best of 7.91 metres.

STEVE MAYFIELD won BRONZE in a very close finish in the men’s (45 plus) 200m, missing silver by just 4/100ths with 28.41 seconds.   He went one better with SILVER in the M45 long jump.

In the British Masters (BMAF) Pentathlon Monica won SILVER with the following performances:- 60 metres hurdles 12.27 seconds; high jump 1.36 metres (PB); shot 6.39 metres; long jump 4.34 metres; and 800 metres 3.15.54 giving a total points score of 2580.  

Baldock Beast

Eight Spartans tackled the Baldock Beast on Sunday morning.  The half marathon route showcased Hertfordshire’s fine countryside, albeit hilly and cold countryside.  The run went through Wallington, Sandon, Roe Green and Redhill and it was enthusiastically supported by spectators in the villages.  The course was multi terrain and definitely not one for a personal best but it did give runners a great chance of a negative split.  ANDY PATTERSON was eighth in 1 hour 20 minutes 46 seconds; SIMON JACKSON ninth in 1:20:47 and CRAIG HALSEY 12th in 1:23:36 – solid times for a tough course and making them to first set of three club runners to finish.

MICHAEL GREEN was 34th in 1:30:55; TOM  AYRES 250th in 1:54:44; MATTHEW BURGESS 258th in 1:56:05; MADDIE PRITCHARD 297th in 1:59:58 and LORRAINE WYATT 385th in 2:12:08. 


Position Name Time Comments
8 ANDY PATTERSON 1:20:46 First team
9 SIMON JACKSON 1:20:47 First team
12 CRAIG HALSEY 1:23:36 First team
34 MICHAEL GREEN 1:30:55  
250 TOM AYRES 1:54:44  
258 MATTHEW BURGESS 1:56:05  
297* MADDIE PRITCHARD (F) 1:59:58  
385 LORRAINE   WYATT (F) 2:12:08  


There were 427 finishers

Not So Disgusted With Tunbridge Wells

It was bitterly cold for the Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon, but over 1800 runners braved the weather to run in this Tunbridge Wells Harriers 30th Anniversary event.  It was the first time MARK CHEADLE had made it to 13 miles since last March and he was pleased to finish in a new PB of 1:55:52.  The race was highly organised and very picturesque.  Mark says it is a must do event.


ELLA CERAULO continued her comeback by running the British Heart Foundation Knebworth Park Jog on Sunday.  She took 48 minutes 34 seconds for the 5.87 miles.  CLARE MOORE finished in 51 minutes. 

PB on Test Track 10

LIAM HERBERT’s first competitive race in stripes this year resulted in a new personal best (PB) for 10 miles.

He took part in the Test Track 10 mile for a second consecutive year and recorded a new personal best time of 1:01:30, taking over one minute off his previous best set on the same course in 2012.  Liam finished 15th out of 331 finishers.

The race is a hidden gem: based at the Ford Motor Company Technical Test Centre in Dunton, Essex.  The course consists of a relatively flat two lap circuit of the centre and incorporates two full flying laps around the otherwise off-bounds test track.  The perfect race for speedy long distance racers and one Liam would highly recommend.

Kiwi Coastal Challenge

Globe trotting Spartan ROGER BIGGS is in New Zealand.  He described Saturday’s Coastal Challenge as the “Race From Hell.”

It took Roger 3 hours 41 minutes 15 seconds to complete 22 kilometres along the coast, in and out of the sea, scrambling over rocks, and even a bit of running on soft sand.  The race was from Long Bay to Devenport in Northern Auckland. 

Long Run For Laing

JO LAING ran the recent Bramley 20 road race in 2 hours 27 minutes 11 seconds.


  • County Veterans Cross Country Championships at Willian, Letchworth on Sunday 17th March 2013.
  • Handicap 5K in Stevenage on Thursday 28th March.
  • Virgin London Marathon on Sunday 21st April.
  • Fairlands Valley Challenge on Sunday 21st July.
  • Relays in the Park on Thursday 25th July.
  • Stevenage Half Marathon on Sunday 3rd November.







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