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Sparticans Final Frontier Family Challenge for @FOCancer

15th March 2021

By Simon Fitch

The Sparticans came together on the fields of Surrey over the weekend of 13th and 14th March for their fifth and final lockdown challenge.

The weekend's efforts were in support of the Foxtrot Oscar Cancer initiative, started originally by a Guildford HC player and escalating quickly across Surrey and beyond.

Most teams follow the script – pick 13 players, all run 2.4 miles and the top 11 count as the marathon time for your team.  Whilst we did complete this task (time 3 hrs 49 min 29 sec), us being us we saw an opportunity to aim for the hitherto unannounced mass participation category and comfortably carried this home with a fantastic family challenge, with 70 years between our oldest and youngest participants. All in all 20 Sparticans, one Special Guest, eight wives, four kids and one dog rose to the challenge. A very special thank you goes to Brett Garrard, who moonlighted from the Ladies 1s and coached us (and ran) to overcome our final frontier in style, and became the latest Surbiton star to play their part in our lockdown challenges.

A series of special performances were noted during the weekend, and congratulations to all our award winners – when we finally reconvene, the Lynx is coming your way!

  • The Happy Couples: The Bells, The Grants x 2, The Welches, The Andersons, The Wards – top involvement of the lovely wives, truly beautiful to see
  • Furthest walk/run: the exceptional Creasers with their 3 hour yomp through outer Surrey, more mud than paths
  • Far away entry: one time Spartican Myles Taylor walking around the lanes of Norfolk and Suffolk and dodging the tractors and farmers along the way 
  • Youth runner award: Oliver Fitch, using lockdown training to full effect in a great leg 
  • Future Sparticans award: the Langfords and Streets showing the way from the youngest of ages – we blame the parents 
  • Help the Aged award: Grandfather of the Sparticans, Paul Ronnie Whelan mastering strava and walking to victory 
  • Team shock of the weekend: the live video of Steve Iffland getting dressed for his run. Sadly unavailable to our family audience… 
  • The ‘Je Suis Apples’ Game Face Competition: joint winners Eugene, Matt and the man himself, James Robert Andrew, who ventured inexplicably to the wrong hockey club for his customary photo 
  • Most fastidious following of social distancing rules: Richard The Gaffer Curtis, playing it safe and ensuring at least a 2 metre gap from Jenny for the last 10 weeks apparently… 
  • Most desperate to get back into SHC: Fitchy, most of whose run consisted of laps of our car park and checking all was well 
  • And finally, Spartican of The Day: Jimmer, who brought us together for one last dance to support this great cause

So the challenge is out there – can any of our many, many teams beat this effort? We’d be surprised if just about every team couldn’t have a crack at our time, but participation – well, we will see…

Thanks to everyone for their support of our various challenges, and for our readers’ positive feedback. We can’t wait to see you all in person very soon!