Maximum return for club

TWENTY-SEVEN started and 27 finished when Stevenage-based Fairlands Valley Spartans took on the London Marathon. First home was Graham Blackburn who came 1,514th in a time of 3:06:23. Dodging Masai warriors, chain gangs and oversized clowns, the second Sp

TWENTY-SEVEN started and 27 finished when Stevenage-based Fairlands Valley Spartans took on the London Marathon.

First home was Graham Blackburn who came 1,514th in a time of 3:06:23.

Dodging Masai warriors, chain gangs and oversized clowns, the second Spartan was Jim Brown (1,860th in 3:10:24) and third was Annette Bell who ran her first marathon in 3:22:30.

Altogether seven Spartans were running their first 26.2 miles. The other six were Andy Garrett (3:34:54), Sara O'Callaghan (3:58:23), Mark Goodwin (4:07:48), Tricia Hopper (4:32:57), Christine Feely (4:40:50) and Sam Smeeton (5:02:15).

Four Spartans ran new personal bests including Richard Sidlin who achieved a huge 72-minute improvement with his time of 3:29:02. The others were Chris Leigh (3:46:01), Alison Suckling (4:21:52) and Doug Hall (4:51:59).

New season's bests were run by Roger Biggs (3:29:37), Kevin Lawlor (4:23:02) and Andrew Hull (4:25:23).

Most Read

The oldest Spartan finisher was Vet 75 Ron Cohen in 5:01:22.

Some of the less fortunate included Tony Willson who twisted his ankle on a water bottle only three miles into the race - he walked most of the rest of the way but ended with one ankle looking three times the size of the other - and Ian Collier who pulled a calf muscle at 15 miles but decided to struggle on rather than pull out and still finished.

Other successful Spartans were Simon Owens (3:23:00), Todd Gray (3:46:22), Steve Mills (3:48:53), David Clarke (3:55:01), Nick Stewart (4:07:22), Kerry James (4:09:04), Carol Paul (4:24:26) and Julie Goodwin (4:40:49).

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter