Radio Ga Ga, We Are the Champions and more.

Congratulations to our U11, U13 and U15 athletes, coaches and officials, on another season of triumph in the Warwickshire Sportshall League
A great photo of Paul Hawkins on the shoulder of Erika Kelly at the England Athletics 10km Race Walking Championships last weekend. Kelly was the winner of the ladies event.

This week we’ve got a lovely item from Paul Bearman on an upcoming local radio programme that will feature 8 of our athletes

There are reports on Simon Bolton in the Tokyo Marathon, Paul Hawkins and Malcolm Bowyer competing at the England Athletics 10km Race Walking Championships. We also had several members taking part in the Warwick Half Marathon.

There is also a short report on the Belvoir Challenge.This was quite time consuming to put together, due to the fact that the results didn’t have a filter to allow sorting by club, so it was a case of scrolling through 1100 names in the hope that I could recognise the club members taking part.

Please remember this is your newsletter and I totally rely on you telling me who is competing and in what event.

The feedback I get is that members do like to know what other members are up to.

So if you are competing, I would really appreciate your comments on the event. In fact I rely on them, to enable me to produce the newsletter.

Photos are also nice to have.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Best Wishes

David Jones.

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Budding radio starts as well as top quality athletes.
Millie Leighton, Archie Musk, Cole Williams, Ollie Cresswell, Jack Sumners, Jasmine Williams and proud coach Paul Bearman.
Front : Daisy Musk and Maddie Clark

SUAAC Juniors interviews with Welcombe Radio

Paul Bearman.

Every now and again things happen that reaffirm to me why this club is so special and that what we do has such a positive impact on so many young people.

3 weeks ago, four of our Uni athletes competed in the BUCS national championships; 2 weeks ago eight competed in the EA champs, last Friday 64 competed in the Warwickshire Sportshall League and completed another triumphant season (more next week) and today I had the privilege to sit alongside eight of our athletes being interviewed by Welcombe Radio….no I didn’t know it existed either but it’s a local radio station and “is a nurturing and instructive digital platform from which individuals and groups from Stratford-upon-Avon can disseminate, inform, support, educate and entertain the local community”.

I just sat back with a huge amount of pride, as Maddie Clark, Millie Leighton, Daisy Musk, Jasmine Williams, Archie Musk, Cole Williams, Ollie Cresswell and Jack Sumners showed their maturity and eloquence during the interview.

You can hear the broadcast on Friday between 5 and 6pm

Paul Bearman….. VPC (Very Proud Coach)

Based at Foundation House, 144 Masons Road, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 9NF

Simon Bolton after completing the Tokyo Marathon last weekend.

Tokyo Marathon.

Report – David Jones.

Low temperatures and persistent rain put a slight damper on the celebratory aspect of the 13th Tokyo Marathon but at it didn’t harm the runners’ overall performances.

The winner — Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese — clocked the event’s second-best time ever (2:04.46) and a record number of runners — 38,000 — participated.

For club member Simon Bolton, it was a case of 4 down 2 to go, as he attempts to complete all 6 marathons in the World Marathon Majors.

With Tokyo, Chicago, London and New York all completed in just two years, he just needs Boston and Berlin to complete the set.

His time of 3:40.33 was a mere 4 seconds shy of his New York marathon time in March 2017. He finished just outside the top 20% of finishers and he was 138th out of 451 finishers from Great Britain and NI.

Simon was delighted to finish the race in one piece. He’s had only 4 weeks to train due to a stress fracture in his foot and not wanting to ramp up the mileage too quickly, he felt had dramatically undertrained.

For Simon, the start was the usual combination of pre marathon excitement and nerves, but this time, added to the equation, was the pouring rain.

He managed a nice even pace for the first 20 miles, indeed his 3 x 5k splits from 5k to 15k were all within just 3 seconds of each other.

He then deciding to tactically back off for the remainder of the race, to prevent a complete breakdown!

He commented:

“The rain didn’t stop, although like my pace, it eased towards the end. Given the weather, the support from the spectators was brilliant, with decent crowds along the whole course. I arrived at the finish line wet and cold but delighted at coming in at a respectable 3:40:33. It was not my fastest marathon by a long way but perhaps my proudest, given the shear determination I needed to get round it!”

Malcolm Bowyer competing at the England Athletics 10km Race Walking Championships. It was his first racewalking appearance at a major championship.

England Athletics 10km Race Walking Championships.

Report – David Jones.

The club’s international racewalker Paul Hawkins competed in by far the most illustrious field he has ever competed in when he raced at the England Athletics 10km Race Walking Championships, at Warwick University at the weekend.

He was joined by fellow club member Malcolm Bowyer, who was competing in his first championship.

The fields were a veritable who’s who of English racewalking and were headed by Commonwealth silver medallist Tom Bosworth, who set the current British Record on this course of 39:36, when winning this competition in 2015. Bosworth was challenged by former World Junior Champion Callum Wilkinson, plus Cameron Corbishley, who took the England Indoor title over 3000 metres in Sheffield in January and Indoor Junior Chris Snook together with Tom Partington, who took the bronze medal in the England Indoor Championships in Sheffield.

Unfortunately Malcolm was disqualified for not locking his knee after 8k. However, he enjoyed the experience and wants to do more.

Paul completed the race in a time of 65.14, finishing 13th overall and comfortably winning his age category by finishing 2 minutes ahead of his closest rival.

His official time was a minute longer than it took for him to complete the race, due to the fact that he picked up a 60 second penalty for a red card. This wasn’t reported until after the race finished, so he wasn’t pulled into the pit lane during the race. The race was “run” under IAAF rules, so there was a pit lane where competitors were brought into for penalties.

Paul’s comments on the race were:

“ It was not a day for PB’s because of the weather, which was disappointing as I thought I was on for a decent time. That will have to wait. I was quite happy with my walk and it was easily the best quality field I’ve competed in. I managed a very even pace, which I was pleased with.”

Adrian Mason and James Cusack at Warwick.

The Warwick Half Marathon.

Report – David Jones.

The Warwick Half Marathon followed its traditional route through the lovely Warwickshire countryside, providing athletes with an excellent opportunity to compete in an undulating, traffic free road race.

Seven of the 954 competitors who completed the race were representing our club.

First of these to finish was James Cusack, dipping under the 90 minute mark with a time of 1:29.03, to finish in 61st place.

James comments on the race were as follows :

“It was a rainy wet morning but an enjoyable event all the same. The Warwick half marathon is an undulating race from start to finish and I was very pleased to get 1:29:03. New club member Adrian Mason was close on my heels throughout but I managed to hold him off. Next up for me is Banbury 15 on March 17th. My build up continues to London Marathon in April, which I’m really looking forward to competing in, with many of my Stratford AC club mates.”

Adrian Mason also went under the 90 minute mark, with a time of 1:29.25, to finish just 5 places behind Cusack in 66th place.

Lynne Hinson (307th – 1:43.23) was the first of the four Stratford ladies to finish. Lynne was also 5th in her age category. Just over a minute after Lynne and 7 places further back was Annie Cox (1:44.40). Annie was almost 6 minutes quicker than her previous best time for this distance.

Annie was followed by Sarah Boundy (2:04.36) who was herself followed by the club’s international marathon runner Kate Sergent. Kate’s time of 2:13.54, won her the W65 age category.

Finally, Kate’s husband Martyn completed the Stratford contingent in a time of 2:28.02.

Kate and Martyn were both nervous about starting the half, as they had had to cancel a half marathon two weeks ago due to a mixture injury and illness.

Consequently, they started slowly, with Kate testing out her hamstring and Martyn his chest. They had both decided to try and keep a steady pace, with the Ashby 20 race just 3 weeks away.

Kate got stronger the further she went and she stretched her hamstring out by racewalking up the many hills. Martyn just battled on, having coughing fits along the way!!

They were both thrilled to complete the race.

Also competing, running for his triathlon club, was club member Neil Wicks.

Belvoir Challenge.

Report – David Jones.

The Belvoir Challenge is certainly an event with a difference!

It is a 15 or 26 mile event for runners and walkers around the Vale of Belvoir, Leicestershire.

Throughout the route there are checkpoints offering everything from home made cakes, flapjack, sandwiches, Mars bars, jelly babies and drinks.

The organisers say that it is arguably the only event of its nature where entrants can actually put weight on!

The 26 and 15 mile routes follow footpaths, byways, tracks and minor roads throughout the beautiful Vale of Belvoir and with the kind permission of the Duke of Rutland, goes through the Belvoir Estate.

Both routes start and finish at Harby Village Hall but each year they are varied in order to keep it fresh and interesting for entrants.

This year we had four club members competing. Two each opting for 15 and 26 mile option.

In the 15 mile event, Nic Reynolds and Jean Hill ran together, completing the race in 4:05.51 and 4:05.53 respectively.

The race was won by Rupert Jordan in a time of 1:43.18 and the first lady to finish, in 7th place, was Chrissie Dover. 778 competitors completed the course.

In the longer, 26 mile event, Tara Lambert finished in a time of 6:39.41, with Rebekah Loftus just 94 seconds behind her, in a time of 6:41.15. I’m not sure these two would get out of bed for anything less than 26 miles !

The marathon was won by John Orgill, in a time of 3:05.30 and the first lady to finish was Debbie Stevens in 11th place, with a time of 3:44.22. 315 competitors completed the event.

And Finally

Hot off the press.

Club members at yesterday’s Teddy Hall Relays in Oxford.

This is an event that starts and finishes at the iconic Iffley Road track, where Roger Bannister became the first person to break the 4 minute mile barrier.

Hopefully, there will be a report to follow next week

Back row : Phil Marshall, Kate Sergent, Richard Dobedoe
Middle row : Annie Threadgill, Cindy Brittan, Rachel Pearce, Nic Reynolds and Seth Turner
Front row : Emily Adams and Sarah Bland.