Return of Stevenage Half Marathon a delight for Fairlands Valley Spartans
- Credit: ADRIAN BUSOLINI
The return of the Stevenage Half Marathon proved a huge success - both for organisers Fairlands Valley Spartans and others.
The host club took both the individual and team win for the men while the women had a team gold to savour.
Andrew Patterson was the overall winner, completing the looped course that started and finished at the Ridlins Athletics Track in a time of one hour 12 minutes 53 seconds.
He finished almost three minutes ahead of Simon Jackson with their finishing positions added to that of David Harris Cherguit and Stuart Archer, both of whom clocked personal bests, to take the team prize.
There was also a bronze for the club thanks to the efforts of Grant Ramsey, Danny Scanlon, Tony Randfield and Paul Shelley.
Three scorers were needed for the women and Liz Smith's rapid acceleration in the last five miles, combined with Alison Shelley, who ran a PB, and Wendy Tharani took them to the top step of the podium.
FVS also picked up the bonze in the team event thanks to Ann Tryssesoone, Chloe Chapman, improving her PB by more than nine minutes, and Kerstin Weiner.
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Other PBs from the club came from Lee Pickergill (1:47:45), Nigel Strongitharm (1:48:08) and Nichola Andersson (2:04:48).
For Steph Biggar it was a chance to experience her first real race, everything prior being a virtual run, and she finished in 3:16:32.
In total Spartans supplied 38 of the total runners while dozens more helped as marshals, manning water stations and supervising shuttle buses among other roles.
The overall win in the women's race went to Elizabeth Parry of Garden City Runners in a time of 1:22:45, beating Kerrie Hamlin of Ampthill and Flitwick Flyers and Justine Lynch of Belgrave Harriers into second and third.
The event also helped FVS support their chosen charity for 2021 - Feed Up Warm Up.
Stevenage Striders were also out in numbers with Abdullah Athar impressing in his first official race of any distance, completing the course in 1:31:39.
There was also a PB for Jim Callaghan, whose 1:39:35 knocked six minutes from his last half marathon time, and Dave Ellis in 1:33:54.
Glenn Cuzner edged Dave Skidmore to be the first Strider male to finish while Andrea Skidmore was the first of the club's females.