You do like to be beside the seaside

Lynne Hinson and Nic Reynolds enjoying the Brighton sunshine.
This week there are some fabulous performances in Brighton to report on.

We’ve got Drew Sambridge competing in a couple of tough events over the weekend. He was joined in the second one, at Chedworth, by Becks Pridham.

Chairman Paul Hawkins racewalks himself to just outside the top 20 in the UK all-time list, while Daisy Musk runs a superb 600m at Stourport.

Also, Neil Wicks ran a 2:50 marathon in Wales while Emma Parkin competed in a 10k trail run in the Lake District.

There’s details of how you can enter the Warwickshire T&F Championships and finally there’s a recap and final report on Matt Sims competing in the Marathon des Sables.

I’m also aware that a few of you ran in the Walton Hall 10k at the weekend but at the time of writing the official results don’t seem to have been posted, at least I can’t find them. Apologies and if they’re available, I can report on the race next week.

Enjoy the Easter holiday.

Best Wishes

David Jones
From the top : Lynne Hinson and Karl Harris pounding the streets of Brighton. Sarah Boundy and Adam Evans proudly showing off their medals and finally, Nic Reynolds and Kate Sergent.
Brighton Marathon and 10k.

Report – David Jones.

The Brighton Marathon celebrated its tenth anniversary this weekend with another fantastic event the city can be proud of.

More than 17,500 runners took part in various races over the two days, with more than 150,000 spectators cheering them on.

Seven club members competed in this year’s race.

The first of these to finish was Adam Evans in a magnificent PB time of 3:23.16. This was a 13 minute improvement on his previous best time.

Adam commented :

“This was a new PB for me. My previous best was 3:36 (which was Dublin in 2017) so I’m pleased to beat that time .

The course itself was a really good one. It had plenty of spectators everywhere which helps a lot, especially when you are running into a strong headwind at the back of the course.

Hopefully I can run an even better race at Edinburgh in 6 weeks time”

Adam was followed by Karl Harris, who’s time of 3:48.49 was another PB, almost 12 minutes quicker than his time in this race last year. Just over a minute behind Karl was Lynne Hinson, who was competing in her first marathon. Her many weeks of training paid off as she finished in 3:49.57, to finish 15th in her age group of 315.

Commenting on the race, Lynne said “ It was an amazing experience running my first marathon and the support from the public was incredible. I felt good for the first 16 miles then I started to get a shooting pain every now and again above my left knee. At 22 miles it was really niggling but nothing was going to stop me getting to that finish line.

I powered on and I can honestly say the last 4 miles felt more like 10, plus I was running against a head wind along the seafront.

Karl Harris who ran with me pretty much all the way, kept me going and the crowd were amazing.

To cross that finish line was so overwhelming and I was so pleased with my time of 3:49:47 and
15th in my age group “

Next to finish for the club was Pete Wharton, who was going well until he became ill after about 18 miles, however he did manage to finish the race in 3:54.15.

In his first marathon and after an initial mix up with his time, Adrian Mason completed the course in 3:57.18. He was initially given a gun time lower than his chip time due to an extraordinary mix up with the starting mat that affected some 40/50 runners.

Adrian commented “I started in the red corral for a target time of between 03:15 – 03:30. Maybe a bit ambitious for my first Marathon but I felt really good up until mile 15 and was on for a predicted 03:30 finish at 13miles but my previous hip-injury unfortunately flared up at ~16mi, hence the last 10miles were agonisingly painful. Nevertheless, I was determined to get under 4hrs through sheer grit and determination and somehow managed the pain, with a few periods of walking.

All things considering, I have to be happy to even finish and I certainly can’t grumble at sub 4hrs for my very first marathon”

The club’s international marathon runner Kate Sergent was next to finish in 4:55.59. She finished 5th in her age category, a full 44 minutes ahead of the 6th placed finisher. Kate also commented on the strong head wind as competitors ran along the promenade. She also suffered from hypothermia at the end of the race and thought the organisation at the end of the race could have been better.

Finally, Nic Reynolds completed the race in 5:47.37.

The race was won by Peter le Grice in 2:16.23 and the first lady finisher was Helen Davies, in 15th place with a time of 2:34.08.

In the Brighton 10k the club were represented by Sarah Boundy, who completed the race in 53.05.

The race was won by Nick Goolab in 28.22 with the first lady to finish, in 58th place being international Steph Twell in a PB time of 31.38.
Drew Sambridge and Rebecca Pridham at Chedworth.
Chedworth Roman 10.

Report – Rebecca Pridham.

The name is deceptive as this is actually nearer to 10.5 miles but who’s counting when the village hall is loaded with tea and cake?

An off-road, mainly trail run, with a refreshing river crossing at around 5 miles, this is a friendly, well marshalled and scenic route that should be on every trail runner’s list.

Andy Smith, Drew Sambridge and Becks Pridham travelled to Chedworth to represent the club on a sunny and rather chilly Sunday morning, with the race starting at a civilised 10.30.

Drew was tackling the Chedworth race more as a Hilly 100 training run and to “enjoy the views”, given that he had completed the brutal Longtown Llanthorny Fell race only the day before.

He finished strongly with a superb 30th out of 197 competitors (1:14.54), coming 14th in the Senior Male age category. Afterwards, he said “My legs were definitely suffering from Saturday’s fast, steep descents and therefore lacked some power on this race’s up-hills but it was a good venue and one to consider again in the future.”

Andy Smith came home next for Stratford in 144th (63th in the all important age category results) in 1:33.38. Definitely a lot hillier and challenging than Andy’s half marathon at Coventry the previous month, but this was likely to be a lot more scenic!

Becks Pridham, getting ever stronger, was aiming for a sub 1:50 time, and smashed it in 1:42.22 (266th; 26th in age group).

“It was a race that had been on my list for a while, mainly due to the location and the stream crossing. My legs felt good, starting steady and aiming for a good pace and running style on the day, delighted with the result”

Overall, a great trail race with a friendly atmosphere, well organised and fabulous scenery. Recommended.
The race was won by Steve Millard in 1:02.28 from Gloucester, with first lady home, Sophie Chudley from Cirencester in 1:15.32
Drew Sambridge finding out that fell racing can be hard work.
Longtown Llantony Fell Race.

Report – Rebecca Pridham and Drew Sambridge.

This is a relatively new event on the running calendar, only starting in 2018 and it is a serious fell race, requiring competitors to carry full survival kit (including compass, extra clothing and a map).

It’s an 8.5 mile fell race, with competitors experiencing an initial 2,000 foot of ascent in the first 2-3 miles.

Drew Sambridge made the journey to deepest Herefordshire for the Saturday afternoon race.

The race as described in his words: ” the race started with a ‘pleasant’ 2,000ft ascent in the first 2-3 miles, then a further 700ft climb over the next 3 miles before a break-neck descent sprint to the finish line in the final two miles. Therefore, finishing 37th out of 117 amongst people far more used to running up, essentially, mountains, felt ok”

Drew finished in 1:20.12, being 33rd male home (21st in his age group).

“I had wondered why the event took place mid-day on a Saturday, until I saw it was part of the WFRA [Fell Running Association] Welsh Championships.”, commented Drew, after the race.

The race was won by Mark Hopkinson in 1:02.27 from Welsh A, with first lady Hannah Jarvis (1:13.39) also from Welsh A.
Paul Hawkins.

The Midland Race Walking Track Championships.

Report – David Jones.

The club’s international racewalker Paul Hawkins had a successful day at the Midland Race Walking Track Championships in Northampton at the weekend.

He was pleased with his race after his recent experience racing for GB at the World Masters Indoor Championships in Poland.

His time was 30.35.28, which was both a PB and club record. It also places him 22nd on the UK’s All-time list.

He commented “I kept a very even pace and held my form so no red cards and only one yellow warning at about half way. It wasn’t an age group race but I was second M60, Hardeep overtook me in the last couple of laps and I couldn’t go with him but to be fair, I just wanted to walk clean and get a good time, as I knew I wasn’t going to get a medal. I aimed to get as close to 31 minutes as I could, so to get 30.35.28 was unexpectedly good.”
At Stourport, Daisy Musk was coming off a good cross country season and started her track races with a 600m. After a fast first lap of 63 seconds, she went on to finish third with a three second PB of 1.42.0.
A couple more club members were out and about competing at the weekend. Neil Wicks ran the Great Welsh Marathon in a time of 2:50.18, to finish 4th out of 516 competitors. Emma Parkin ( photo above ) competed in the Lake District, in the Hawkshead 10k Trail run, finishing with a time of 1:19.08.

The WARWICKSHIRE 2019 COUNTY TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS is a competition for everyone in the club and so please apply this weekend to avoid disappointment of missing the entry date which closes 21 April….see below for details


Paul Bearman
07767 343925


11th & 12th May 2019

Pingles Athletics Stadium, Avenue Road,

Nuneaton, CV11 4LX




The closing time is 17:00 on

Sunday 21st April 2019

The County Champs is the main event (apart from the club champs) where the entire junior section of the club i.e. under 11 upwards, is encouraged to compete as it’s a great opportunity for all of our athletes to enjoy a good competition.

For the last 3 years we have won the top scoring club trophy at the champs and it would be great to retain the trophy but we need as many of our athletes competing to give us a chance of that happening.

All of the information required is or will be on The County web site at under “Competitions”. The site includes everything you need to know

This link will take you directly to the entry system for Under 11 Quadkids

This link will take you directly to the entry system for U13s and older

Allow yourself even more extra time in case you have queries or problems that have to be resolved before the closing date.

Please don’t leave it until the last minute so I suggest enter ASAP so there is no disappointment for the athletes or the club because they won’t accept late entries under any circumstances.

If you have any queries e.g. “what events shall I” do please ask your respective Age Group Leader or coach and we look forward to seeing you at training and at the Championships.

Contacts : Paul Hawkins Endurance : Carolyne Johnston U11s : Elaine Ledden/Jenny Sheppard U13s : Mike Sheppard U15s : Paul Bearman U17+

And Finally

I know I reported on the Marathon des Sables last week while Matt Sims was still out there competing but I thought I would include the article below, which was submitted for inclusion in the local press. It reports on his final performance in this epic race.

He tells me it might be the Everest Trail Race next. Go figure !
I did it….Matt Sims crosses the finishing line.
Below – Putting his SAC buff to good use in the Sahara Desert.

The Marathon des Sables.

Report – David Jones

The Marathon des Sables is the stuff of legends. It is The Toughest Footrace on Earth (Discovery Channel).

It is a truly gruelling multi-stage adventure through a mythical landscape in one of the world’s most inhospitable environments – The Sahara Desert.

In just six days competitors run over 250km (156 miles) through endless dunes, over rocky mountains and across white-hot salt plains. The sun is their constant enemy with temperatures regularly reaching 50 centigrade. The sand is their constant companion, clouds of it under their feet, sheets of it stinging their eyes and lots of it chafing where it shouldn’t.

The long stage has become a legend in itself. Competitors run out of a Saharan morning, into the dusk and then the dark, many not finishing the 75+km (47 miles) until well into the next day. Their feet will swell, crack and bleed under the pressure and the heat.

Stratford upon Avon Athletic Club member Matt Sims competed in this year’s race. He was raising money for Best Beginnings, a charity who’s vision is to ensure that all children, regardless of income or background, have the best start in life.

Following a 17.5 hour journey, including an 8 hour bus journey, it was an early start for the first day of 32k. It was an emotional start for Matt considering the amount of preparation he had put in.

He decided to moderate his enthusiasm, opting for a steady start, completing the stage in 4:54.37, finishing 130th in his age category.

He likened the 2nd day to being put in an oven at 100 degrees, while running up a mountain and being sand blasted. The hardest part was carrying the 8,2kg pack on his back. His good foot management paid off with him experiencing no blisters.

The scenery was spectacular, as competitors ran through the highest range of dunes in Morocco.

Matt completed the 32.2k 2nd stage in 5:51.05 and was 94th in his age category.

The 37.1 k 3rd stage saw runners compete in a diverse terrain of rocky flats, dunes and dry river beds. Matt quickly learnt to read the sand and not to run where others had run, as this did make it easier.

He said that he never felt hungry but always felt that he could eat more and he was consuming 15 salt tablets daily, completing Stage 3 in 5:37.44 and moving up to 77th in his age category.

The 4th stage was the biggie at 76.3k. He completed this stage in a staggering 12:43.17, finishing 58th in his age category. Some competitors were still finishing the stage 27 hours after starting off.

The 5th stage was completed in 5:27.21, a performance that saw him finish 67th in his age category.

Matt completed this most gruelling of races in 34:34.04, finishing in the top 3rd of his age category, in 71st place out of 218 and overall finishing a magnificent 202nd out of the 752 finishers.

The race was won by Moroccan Rachid El Morabity in 18:31.34