Fairlands Valley Spartans beat personal bests with running challenges

Fairlands Valley Spartans took part in two 10k wave runs last week

Fairlands Valley Spartans took part in two 10k wave runs last week - Credit: Andy Prior

Dozens of Fairlands Valley Spartans have registered times for the second Mid Week Road Race Fixture for 2021.

On Tuesday, 50 runners ran in the club's 'Wave 10k' from Fairlands Valley Park, and many others submitted times which were achieved in other events or virtually - as pandemic restrictions have made it impractical for clubs to come together for real race fixtures.

Marie Colucci, Claire Pullen and Jo Bowdery in the second Fairlands Valley Spartans wave run

Marie Colucci, Claire Pullen and Jo Bowdery in the second Fairlands Valley Spartans wave run - Credit: Andy Prior

Thirteen men finished in less than 42 minutes, and nine women in less than 50 minutes. Altogether 89 times were submitted to the league - with 37 women and 52 men taking part.

Stand out performances included Andrew Patterson with 34 minutes exactly, Simon Jackson improving by three seconds on race one with 34:05 and Jonathan Parr with 34:53.

Fairlands Valley Spartans took part in two 10k wave runs last week

Fairlands Valley Spartans took part in two 10k wave runs last week - Credit: Andy Prior

Suzy Hawkins took one minute 11 seconds off her race one time with 40:39 and Heather Jones took three minutes 19 seconds off hers with 44:28. Michelle Reeves was also under 45 with 44:40.

Penny Schenkel at the Fairlands Valley Park wave run

Penny Schenkel at the Fairlands Valley Park wave run - Credit: Andy Prior

Conditions were appalling at Monday evening's Summer Solstice 10k event, with continuous rain, failing light and some dark off-road sections. Nonetheless Spartan Simon Jackson came third at 34:05.

At the Milton Keynes Running Festival, Yuko Gordon ran the Rocket 5k in 21 minutes 58 seconds, coming 113th overall in what would have been a world record for women over 70 in a ratified event.

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She said: "It was like a leisurely park run atmosphere but with much fewer people.

"The start area looked pretty empty. I started with only five other ladies but soon I was on my own along the traffic-free quiet highway. 

"It's lovely to have the big empty road all to myself but I found it difficult to sustain racing intensity."

James Utting broke the world record for the fastest half marathon dressed in Lederhosen

James Utting broke the world record for the fastest half marathon dressed in Lederhosen - Credit: Supplied

Meanwhile in Saturday's Milton Keynes half marathon James Utting was 34th out of the 1,073 finishers, at 1:26:45. Not only was this a personal best for James but also a world record for the fastest half marathon dressed in Lederhosen.

One of the Spartans, Judy King, celebrated her birthday by completing the Guernsey Parkrun in 33 minutes 51 seconds.

Judy King celebrated her birthday by completing the Guernsey Parkrun

Judy King celebrated her birthday by completing the Guernsey Parkrun - Credit: Supplied

The Spartans are now looking forward to the 200th Stevenage Parkrun, which will be the first local parkrun when events can properly restart and which is set for Saturday, July 24.

Heather Jones at the Fairlands Valley Spartans run

Heather Jones at the Fairlands Valley Spartans run - Credit: Andy Prior


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