Spartans bring in the New Year with runs in Latvia, Ely, St Albans and Milton Keynes

PUBLISHED: 09:56 05 January 2016 | UPDATED: 14:43 06 January 2016

Daniel Bates running in Riga. Photo: Olga Bates

Daniel Bates running in Riga. Photo: Olga Bates


Fairlands Valley Spartans had plenty of runners in race action over the New Year, but none as far afield as Daniel Bates.

The club’s male captain ran a scenic 5k race in Riga, Latvia, in snow and temperatures of -15 degrees.

He was second overall in 21 minutes 32 seconds, despite saying afterwards that his muscles never did warm up.

The weather was milder at the Ely New Year’s Eve race where Samantha Pretty set a personal best (PB) of 40:39 and was 49th out of the 566 finishers for fourth woman.

Mark Cheadle set a season’s best of 50:05 for 225th while Roger Biggs finished in 55:50 and Paul Holgate in 1:02:31.

Everyone enjoyed a 10k route in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens which started by Winter Wonderland and finished by the Serpentine, and Jim Brown ran a sub-50 minute time in 49:21 for 219th out of the 518 finishers.

Tessa and Dave Stephenson started their year at the New Year’s Day Open Meeting at Lee Valley Athletics Centre. In the same heat of the 300m Dave was third in 46.61s and Tessa sixth in 54.69s.

In the shot putt Tessa threw 8.23m and Dave 7.23m.

Some Spartans celebrated the New Year by taking on parkruns, with many taking the once-a-year opportunity to do the double.

At Panshanger, the Spartans were: Steve Green, 12th 19:46 (course PB); Todd Gray, 27th 21:10; Tim Saban, 36th 22:06; Tom Sauka, 39th 22:11; James Kilroy, 59th 23:52; Ken Jude, 75th 24:47 (50th parkrun); Tim Robinson, 105th, 27:36; Olwen Batty, 113th 28:46; Karen Palmer, 122nd 30:09 (course PB); Ann Tryssesoone, 123rd 30:09 (parkrun debut); Vikki Meredith, 158th 33:49 (parkrun debut); Isabel Green, 179th 39:37.

Georgina Green, who was 175th in 37:14, and Daniel Green, 178th in 38:54, both made their parkrun debuts in the junior (JW10 and JM10 respectively) categories while three new Spartans also took part: Lesley Jeive, 134th 30:57; Caroline Croft, 136th 31:13; and Heather Moloney, 14th 32:42.

The majority then headed to St Albans for the double where they were joined by first Spartan finisher Michael Bironneau, who was fifth in 18:21, and Hayley Faulkner, 153rd 25:03.

Those completing the double were: Tom Sauka, 59th 21:54; Tim Saban, 64th 22:03; James Kilroy, 97th 23:20; Tim Robinson, 114th 23:51 (course PB); Ken Jude, 159th 25:18; Olwen Batty, 207th 27:28; Ann Tryssesoone, 214th 28:02; Lesley Jeive, 241st 29:56; Karen Palmer, 245th 30:03; Caroline Croft, 246th 30:05; and Heather Moloney, 291st 31:36.

Andrew Patterson was second at Luton Wardown in 17:44 while John Nelm ran the double at Dewsbury, 22:09, and Nostell Priory, 22:04.

The Enigma Winter Trail Marathon on the outskirts of Milton Keynes attracted Roger Biggs and he finished in 5:08:52.

Grant Ramsay was second in 17:32 at his first visit to Luton Wardown parkrun.

At Panshanger, Andy Jay was the first Spartan finisher, 94th in 27:50. Jenny Garrett made her parkrun debut coming 160th in 33:08 while Nick Witcombe was 161st in 33:10.

Emma Poulter ran at Cleethorpes in her first ever parkrun, finishing 106th in 36:11. Richard Kennedy (22nd 22:49) and Nicola Haberland (39th 24:17) were in action at the Holkham Parkrun.

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