News Race Results

Track Triumphs for Spartans

Harlow Ten Trio, Spitfire and a Stampede

It was medals all round for the Spartans at the Eastern Masters Athletics Track and Field Championships at Sandy on Saturday.  The weather started out grey with a strong, gusty wind and then deteriorated during the day to include heavy rain.  Performances were affected by the conditions but the four Fairlands Valley Spartans who competed all ended up winning medals.

Sharon Crowley managed a season’s best time of 14 minutes 33.76 seconds in the 2000 metre Walk, to finish as Gold Medallist in the Over 55 age group.  Barry Osborne also claimed the Gold Medal in the 3000 metres for Men over 65 with a time of 12:05.70

Dave and Tessa Stephenson both competed in the 100 metre and Shot Putt events.  In the Over 50 age group, Dave took Silver in the Shot Putt with a new personal best of 8.35 metres and Bronze in the 100m in 14.43 seconds.  Tessa won Bronze in both events in the over 55 age group with 8.03 metres and 16.74 seconds.

Tessa, Sharon and the rest of the Spartans womens team now move on the the Eastern Masters League final next week in Bedford next Sunday.


Harlow Ten Trio

Three Spartans raced the Harlow Ten on Sunday.  CRAIG HALSEY was 20th out of the 294 finishers in 1 hour 5 minutes 16 seconds.

Using the race to complete an 18 mile training run TIM SABAN finished in 1:21:23 for 130th and despite stumbling at about the halfway mark JIM BROWN managed 152nd in 1:23:56 to improve his year’s best time by 2 minutes 14 seconds.

This was on an undulating course with some lengthy off road sections and a two mile up hill stretch in the last half.  The last mile seemed very tough after that with some high kerbs to climb up!



MARK CHEADLE ran the Northampton Half Marathon in what was almost perfect running conditions with not a cloud in sight and much cooler temperatures than the last month or so.

He finished 253rd out of 651 (42nd in his age group category 35-39 men) in a time of 1hr 51 mins 18 seconds, which is his second quickest Half of all time, definitely a season/year best!

Mark fully recommends this race, the race HQ is a pub in town meaning you can sit down and relax inside before a city centre start. Was well organised and I will do it again very soon


Stampede from Sandridge

On Saturday CAROL PAUL took part in the St Albans 12 hour stampede from Sandridge. The course consisted of a four mile off road undulating lap and the aim of the challenge was to do one or more laps within twelve hours and you could stop at any time.  The day started off really sunny and ended up with heavy rain. Carol completed 40 miles in 7:39:36 just before the heavens opened and drenched the runners.


The First River Marathon

RICHARD HAZLEDENE completed the first Ouse Valley River Marathon on Sunday.  He said it was on a beautiful scenic route & best of all flat.  It stretches from Earith & ends up in Eynesbury.

A well organised race, well marshalled, a bit like the Henlow 10 in that you park at the finish and get transported to the start.


Spitfire Comeback

KAREN BROOM ran the Spitfire 10k run at RAF Hendon Saturday morning in 1.14.45.  She was really pleased with her time as it was really hot and it was her first official run since her recovery from a health problem.


Parkrun Report


There were 22 Spartans in action at the Stevenage Parkrun and more helping out behind the scenes. The first male Spartan was KEITH COUGHLIN, third in a new course PB (personal best) of 18:05.  STEFFAN FORD also set a new course best time here finishing fourth in 18:20.  MICHAEL BIRONNEAU was seventh in 19:23 and JOHN NELMS eighth in 20:16.

The first Spartan woman to finish was VERITY FISHER who set a new course PB of 24:58 in finishing sixth.  HAYLEY FAULKNER was 40th in 30:13, TRACY PEZ 46th in 31:26 and HANNAH SYPULA 47th in 31:32.

There were additional course PBs for DARREN EMMERSON (21:51), CRAIG BACON (22:04), DANIEL SUTTON (23:49) and ANTHONY OSBORNE (34:50). The other Spartans running at Stevenage were DAVE SMITH (21:39), THOMAS SAUKA (22:14), JOM SYPULA (25:58), ANDY PRIOR (25:59), TIM ROBINSON (27:01), JOHN MCCALL (28:45), JOHN WALSH (30:27), GRAHAM HILL (32:32), STEVE WATKINS (32:55) and CAREN THAIN (42:54).

Elsewhere, ANDY JAY blazed a lone Spartan trail at Panshanger, finishing 87th in 25:50, while SIMON JACKSON was the only Spartan in parkrun action outside the local area.  He finished second at Weymouth in a time of 17:41.


Coming Events

Many Spartans will be enjoying a busy programme of races, social and training events over the next few weeks including the Hertfordshire 5K championships.  The opportunities include:


  • Herts 5K senior championships in Hatfield on Wednesday 7th September.
  • Herts 5K veteran championships in Hatfield on Wednesday 21st September.
  • FVS Handicap 5 / 10 in Stevenage on Sunday 25th September.
  • Standalone 10K including County Vets Championships on Sunday 2nd October.
  • Henlow Ten on Wednesday 5th October (daytime).
  • Open 5K race in Hatfield on Wednesday 5th October.
  • Peterborough Half Marathon on Sunday 9th October.
  • Abingdon Marathon on Sunday 23rd October.
  • First Cross Country League Race in Cheshunt on Sunday 23rd October.
  • Stevenage Half Marathon, a Stevenage 70 event, on Sunday 6th November.
  • Second Cross Country League Race on Sunday 13th November (new date).
  • St Neots Half Marathon on Sunday 20th November.
  • County Five Miles Open Championship in Hatfield on 27th November.
  • Spartans Christmas Social on Saturday 10th December.
  • Third Cross Country League Race on Sunday 18th December.
  • Boxing Day Five in Witham on Monday 26th December.


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 hundreds of 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, Telford Avenue, 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 9a.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 yet done very much running might prefer to start with a Thursday, Saturday or Monday session.

Try a few sessions before joining.  Membership is only £37 per year, £25 without UKA affiliation.  Concessions are available.  Membership forms are available on the Spartans website  Please ask if you would like a paper copy.  You can also join online.

If you want to know more about the Spartans please contact Jim Brown (0793 968 7509), Andy Neatham 0777 197 5499 and 01438 816889; or Karen Palmer (07734678566) or visit their website

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