Return of races delights Fairlands Valley Spartans and Stevenage & North Herts Athletics Club

Matt Clarke and Fiona Clarke of Fairlands Valley Spartans

Matt and Fiona Clarke of Fairlands Valley Spartans both set personal bests at the St Albans 10k. - Credit: FIONA CLARKE

There was double cause for celebrations for Fairlands Valley Spartans as not only did they hold their annual awards ceremony but they had actual races to compete in too. 

Nine Spartans grabbed the opportunity of the first real race of the year in the St Albans 10k. 

It utilised a socially-distanced wave start but it was still a race and it saw a number claim personal bests. 

Simon Jackson beat his by over a minute as he finished ninth in 33 minutes 39 seconds while Andrew Patterson's improvement was by 49 seconds, his time of 34:13 good enough for 19th place. 

Matt and Fiona Clarke both cut their PBs by two minutes. Matt to 46:51 and Fiona to 49:15, her first 10k run under the 50-minute mark, while Robert Wright's best is now 47:08. 

Wills Jennings, Neil Robinson, Jim Brown and Ann Tryssesoone were the other Spartans to take part. 

The personal bests continued at the Dorney Lake Marathon, Adrian Busolini clocking 2:50: 09 to finish 98th of 444 finishers while Sam Simmonds managed 3:26:31. 

Yuko Gordon of Fairlands Valley Spartans

Yuko Gordon of Fairlands Valley Spartans at the Dorney Lake Marathon. - Credit: FVS

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Yuko Gordon was also first in the FV70 category while over at Kempton Park Grant Ramsay clocked up his 50th marathon, 46 of which have been under three hours. He was sixth overall. 

Spartans' annual awards went online this year but there was still plenty of achievements to acknowledge. 

Steph Biggar (left) of Fairlands Valley Spartans with Tessa Stephenson

Steph Biggar receives her Fairlands Valley Spartans starter of the year award from Tessa Stephenson. - Credit: FVS

Steph Biggar was named starter of the year after only starting running in the first lockdown, completing the couch to 5k in her garden. 

Jim Brown of Fairlands Valley Spartans

Jim Brown won the chair's award at the Fairlands Valley Spartans presentation night. - Credit: PENNY SCHENKEL

Jim Brown took the chair’s award for his tireless commitment to the club while the head coach's prize went to Tim Robinson for all his work on the coaching groups behind the scenes. 

Tim Robinson (right) of Fairlands Valley Spartans with Brian White

Tim Robinson won the head coach's award at the Fairlands Valley Spartans awards. - Credit: FVS

Spartan of the year went to Brian White "for all the planning involved in getting the pod sessions back up and running and for posting daily challenges and keeping everyone motivated". 

Brian White of Fairlands Valley Spartans

Brian White won the head coach's award at the Fairlands Valley Spartans awards. - Credit: FVS

Stevenage & North Herts Athletics Club have also returned with track sessions, with a focus on fitness and technical events, at their Ridlins home as they look ahead to the possible return of competition in May. 

Madeleine Waite of Stevenage & North Herts Athletics Club

Madeleine Waite of Stevenage & North Herts Athletics Club back training on the track. - Credit: SNHAC

Christopher Westcott meanwhile was also at St Albans and his lockdown training has obviously helped as he ran a PB of 34:50 to finish 26th. 

Christopher Westcott of Stevenage & North Herts Athletics Club

Christopher Westcott of Stevenage & North Herts Athletics Club at the St Albans 10k. - Credit: SNHAC


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