Spartans' pride after Stevenage Half Marathon success
PUBLISHED: 10:32 06 November 2018
"A proud day" is the way many involved in Sunday's Stevenage Half Marathon have described the event.
The 13.1-mile annual race – which starts and finishes at Ridlins athletics stadium, and goes through Fairlands Valley Park – saw 476 complete the two-lap course, with some travelling from as far as Gibraltar to compete.
All proceeds from the half marathon go to charity, with organisers Fairlands Valley Spartans running club nominating its charity of the year – Societi – to benefit alongside the Rotary Club of Stevenage, Grange Rotary Club, the Stevenage Scouts and the Stevenage Sea Cadets.
Societi – the UK Kawasaki Disease Foundation – was chosen as it is a cause dear to running club member Andrew Patterson.
His young son Stanley has the disease, a type of inflammation which is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children.
Reflecting on Sunday’s event, which organisers hope will top last year’s charity total of £4,500, Andrew from Hitchin said: “What a wonderful day. All the Spartans were incredible, putting on a slick race with loads of fantastic feedback.
“Race director Sophie Cowan and her team have done blimmin’ marvellously. It was another one of those days to be incredibly proud of being a Spartan and, to top it off, more people will be aware of Kawasaki disease.
“Thanks again to everyone involved for all your support.”
Race director Sophie added: “I would like to a huge thank you to all those who made the Stevenage Half Marathon possible – it was a proud day to be a Spartan.
“We had more than 80 volunteers on Sunday and others have helped in the planning and preparation. Thank you to all who played their part – our club is amazing and greater than the sum of its parts.
“A couple of people have asked me for my highlight of the day, and it was watching the last runner come in. Club member Jan Fry had ridden with her and encouraged her round and then all the Spartans left in the stadium formed a guard of honour for her to run through to cross the finish line.
“That’s what this club is about – achieving personal bests and conquering new distances and challenges as individual runners, but also supporting others in their achievements.”
• To find out more about Kawasaki disease, including symptons and how you can support the charity, visit www.societi.org.uk.