Silver medals for Fairlands Valley Spartans at Summer Solstice run

PUBLISHED: 11:36 24 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:36 24 June 2020

New Fairlands Valley Spartans member Charlotte Smith.

New Fairlands Valley Spartans member Charlotte Smith.


Fairlands Valley Spartans picked up two second-places at the St Albans Striders Summer Solstice 10K – virtually anyway.

Usual one of the more popular events of the summer calendar, this was cancelled like many other events.

However, that didn’t stop the host club running a virtual event and the Spartans who turned out certainly enjoyed themselves.

Runners were tasked with completing their own 10K run, while observing social distancing guidelines, and post the results.

And the final placings had two standing on the podium.

New signing Charlotte Smith places second in the women’s U35 category with a time of 45 minutes 38 seconds and Jim Brown secured a similar result in the men’s over 60 race with 53:16.

Smith’s run put her 59th out of the 401 finishers with Brown 143rd.

In the same event Paul Holgate was 297th in 1:06:01, closing in on a time that was two minutes 39 seconds quicker than his fastest real 10K in 2019.

Elsewhere 19 Spartans ran in the virtual national 5K with Jonathan Parr coming an impressive 31st out of 3,283 with a time of 15:27.

Simon Jackson was 316th and Andrew Patterson 384th while Paul Shelley was also in the top 1,000.

Samantha Pretty was the club’s fastest woman with 19:23 and Brian White was the 10th veteran aged 65 or over with his time 19:44.

In the team result John Harris, Dave Stephenson and Graham Blackburn brought the club home in 50th place in the 55 to 64 category.

Fairlands’ attempt to run virtually to all four of Stevenage’s twin towns has just one of the four remaining after the members made it to Shyment in Kazakhstan.

They are now on their way to their final destination, Kadoma in Zimbabwe, after the weekend’s efforts saw another 970 miles added.

It means they would have reached the Iranian capital, Tehran.

They have covered 5,753 miles in 21 days and and have already been from Stevenage to Autun (498 miles), Autun to Ingelheim (349 miles) and Ingelheim to Shymkent (3,436 miles).

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Comet. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

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.

Latest from the The Comet