Watery Watford and Spartans Beat Baldock Beast

News from the last Cross Country of the season at Watford, the Baldock Beast Half, Lee Valley, Bramley, Barcelona and Belgium!

Here are the results from the final cross country race of the season. It was warm but very muddy for the final cross country race of the 2013 / 2014 season. Perfect cross country conditions. On a 6.1 miles course based on Cassiobury Park, Watford all ten Spartans put in some excellent performances.

In the men’s event LEE REYNOLDS was 14th in 39 minutes 46 seconds; ADRIAN DONNELLY 55th in 43:30; ANDY JAY 177th in 58:44; MARK FREEMAN 181st in 61:01 and NICK WITCOMBE 182nd in 67:57.

CHRISTINE LATHWELL was a superb second in the women’s race with a time of 42 minutes 29 seconds. JULIE SIMMONS was 28th in 49:43; PETA WILSON 58th in 55:55; LORRAINE THOMAS 86th in 66:38 and SHARON CROWLEY 89th in 69:40.

Baldock Beast Half Marathon

Four Spartans tamed the Baldock Beast. It was a challenging course but a lovely running day for this event. JO LAING was first woman and first veteran (45 plus) in 1 hour 32 minutes 28 seconds. She was 24th out of the 391 finishers.

ANDREW PATTERSON was third senior and fifth overall in 1:22:28. DANIEL BATES was 83rd in 1:42:36 and MARK BEASLEY 98th in 1:44:22.

Eastern Athletics

On Saturday 8th Feb, Christopher Westcott competed in the Eastern Athletics Indoor Championships at Lea Valley. Racing in the veteran men’s 1500 metres, Christopher was first in 4 hours 35 minutes 54 seconds. The 400 metres was scheduled just 35 minutes later, and he was only able to finish in third place in 58.17, a new best since joining the Veteran ranks.

South of England & EVAC Indoor Championships

DAVID BOWKER had his first race of the year at the weekend. The Eastern Vets 3K Championship Walking Race was held at Lee Valley. He won with a time of 18 minutes 53 seconds.

There was a high standard of completion in the Lee Valley indoor event which combined the South of England Masters with four regional championships. STEVE MAYFIELD’s best run of the day was in the 400 metres where he set a new indoor PB of 61.82 to win the South of England bronze and Eastern Vets (EVAC) silver medal in the M45 age group. Earlier he earned an EVAC silver in the 200 metres with 27.94 and bronze in the 60 metres.

JOHN HARRIS won silver in the 50 plus 800 metres with his time of 2 minutes 26.57 seconds.

Second claim member CHRIS FEELEY was second woman (50 plus) in an 800 metres race where the winner broke the F50 WORLD RECORD with a time of 2:21.4.

Bramley 20

Weather conditions were perfect on Sunday for the Bramley 20 race near Reading, great preparation for the London Marathon. ROB EVANS improved on his personal best (PB) by over seven minutes despite turning his ankle in a pothole at 6 miles. His finishing time was 2hrs 40mins 56secs.


BEV HARLOW completed the Barcelona half marathon on 1:55:33. It was a lovely, flat course with great atmosphere and perfect running weather.

Two Persons in Persoons

Carol Paul and Mike Newbitt took part in the Louis Persoons Marathon held in Genk, Belgium. The weather was bright & sunny which made a pleasant change from stormy Britain. Both had good runs, Carol finished in 4 hours 55 minutes and Mike in 4.57

Presentation Evening

Fairlands Valley Spartans Presentation Evening, Dinner and Disco will be at Chesfield Downs on Friday evening, 28th February. Tickets are £23. More details from

London Marathon

Fairlands Valley Spartans have a few spare places on the runners’ and spectators’ buses to the London Marathon on Sunday 13th April. If you would like a seat please visit

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 20th February
• Serpentine 5K in Hyde Park on Friday lunchtime 28th February
• Presentation Evening on Friday 28th February
• Veterans Cross Country Championships in Royston on 16th March
• Off Road Challenge in Stevenage on Sunday 20th July
• Relays in the Park in Stevenage on Thursday 31st July
• Stevenage Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday 2nd November

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 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), Vivienne Honey 07702 846304 or visit their website


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

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