T&F season is well and truly here.


L to R Dan Boyd; Dan Hague; Emily Madden Forman; Rory Dwyer.
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A somewhat shorter newsletter than last week’s but there’s still quite a bit to report on.

As the T&F season get’s in to full swing, there were 6 of our athletes competing at the The British University & College Sports (BUCS) Outdoor Championships in Bedford.

A further 10 competed as 2nd claim members in the UK Youth Development League at Stourport.

At the Brewer Memorial Games in Cheltenham on Bank Holiday Monday there were 9 of us.

There’s a couple of half marathons by Lisa Dallisson and Sarah Wheeler to report on and what seems like a weekly report on an ultra-marathon by Tara Lambert. Both Sarah and Tara finished as first female in their races.

There’s also Rachel Pearce finishing as 2nd lady in the Hagbourne Fun Run.

There’s another massive weekend coming up for the club, with something like 120 members competing in the Warwickshire AA T&F Championships in Nuneaton on Saturday and Sunday and then our very own iconic and unique Hilly 100 on Sunday.

Good luck to anyone competing in either of these events, indeed good luck to any of you competing anywhere.

Many thanks to those of you who made positive comments about last week’s newsletter. They were very much appreciated.

Finally, somewhat unforgivably, I omitted to mention last week that the club won both the male and female team awards in last week’s Shakespeare Half marathon. Mightily impressive.

Best Wishes

David Jones.
Jess Sheppard.
British University & College Sports Championships.

Report – Paul Bearman.

The British University & College Sports (BUCS) Outdoor Championships held over 3 days in Bedford, in very challenging cold, windy and showery weather conditions included 6 Stratford AC athletes, with 5 of them competing in these championships for the first time.

BUCS is a competition that attracts many young British track and field stars, which means the Stratford youngsters really had to step up their game.

GB junior international Rory Dwyer, competing for Loughborough Students, is getting back to his best and he sailed over 1.89m in appalling conditions to qualify for the final.

Jumping in better conditions the following day, Dwyer finished with a silver medal after jumping his best ever season opening jump of 2.12m, finishing just behind his long term rival Will Grimsey his Loughborough team mate.

BUCS first timer Jess Sheppard was competing for Nottingham Uni in the 400m. In her heat she finished with a time of 60.55s which was good enough to qualify for the semi-finals and in a very fast run heat Jess finished in 60.10s.

Dan Boyd is studying at Gloucestershire Uni and this was his first outdoor BUCS appearance. He competed in a very talented and fast heat of the 100m and was pulled along to finish in his fastest time for 3 years of 11.33s. Boyd’s Long Jump was another good event for him and he finished with an outdoor PB of 6.32m.

Emily Madden Forman competing for Liverpool John Moores Uni was also a BUCS debutant and she didn’t’ have a happy time in her High Jump qualifying. Struggling with a nagging ankle injury, she only managed a modest 1.56m, which wasn’t enough to get through to the final.

Dan Hague is studying at Birmingham University and he doubled up in the Discus and Javelin despite a shoulder problem.

The Discus was held in a hail storm and he finished with a best throw of 19.07m but in his more favoured javelin event he threw a seasons best of 40.30m. To demonstrate the high level of the competition, it was won by the UK’s leading javelin thrower Harry Hughes with a massive 78.63m.

Fergus Allison is at Brunel and he made his return to racing in the 800m after long term injury and whilst his time of 2:05.77 was not surprisingly down on where he would like to be, just getting back on the track and running within himself was a good first step to full fitness.

UK Youth Development League.

Report – Paul Bearman

The UK Youth Development League is not a competition Stratford choose to compete in but for some Under17/20 athletes it is a good opportunity to compete for other clubs as 2nd claim members and help with their competitive development.

SUAAC are closely aligned with Rugby & Northampton AC who compete in the high level Upper Midland Premier Division and the Stratford athletes made a very good impact on the match with R&NAC finishing second behind Birchfield.

Under 17 Georgie Campbell smashed the club record winning the 1500m with 4.42.53 and U20 Imogen Sheppard did the same in the 400m winning with 58.43s.

Multi eventer Millie Leighton is in her first year as an under 17 but strangely competed in the U20 Triple Jump, finishing with 10.28m and she then reverted back to the U17 competition to finish 4th in the Shot with 8.42m.

U17 Jasmine Williams finished 2nd in her heat of the 100m in 13.38s and her twin brother Cole, competing for Birchfield, had a superb win in the 100m Hurdles clocking 13.25s in the 2nd fastest time of the season so far in the UK and breaking a hurdle on the way.

His performance showed how Williams’ has improved over the winter through a lot of hard graft and putting things in perspective, that’s a full second off his PB from last season.

Ollie Wear had a busy day in the U17 throws, finishing first in the Javelin with 47.01m and 2nd in both the Discus (33.30m) and Shot (9.39m).

Nick Butler had a nervous debut in the U17 High Jump, finishing 4th with 1.50m but in his favoured Triple Jump he smashed his PB with a winning jump of 12.73m.

U20 Jack Sumners won the Long Jump with a best ever season opening jump of 7.09m but in the 110m he uncharacteristically hit 3 hurdles and finished 3rd in 14.27s.

Hurdling is all about speed, rhythm and timing and Ollie Cresswell also hit hurdles which isn’t uncommon in the first race of a season and he finished 4th with 14.55s.

Mat Milward Brookes had a promising start to the season running a PB in the U17200m of 23.16s and jumped 6.18m. in the long jump.
I wouldn’t normally include a photo of me but it was the only one I had from The Brewer Memorial Games, courtesy of Lucy Edwards.
Brewer Memorial Games.

Report – David Jones.

Nine club members competed at this popular bank holiday T&F Open Graded meeting in Cheltenham.

It was for athletes from age 9 to Masters and the age range of our members competing was some 58 years.

At times there was a stiff breeze but that didn’t stop our competitors enjoying a successful early season outing

In her first official 300m hurdles Charlotte Gravelsons had a storming race. She was first in a time of 50.2, which places her 64th in the UK rankings. For a first time race that was a fabulous performance.

It was something of a Gravelsons family affair, with dad Brian and brother Harry also competing.

Leading up to the meeting, Brian had a torrid couple of weeks health wise, indeed the day before was the first time for a couple of weeks that he had felt well. He had hoped to run 14 seconds something and this he did comfortably, finishing in 14.1, which places him in the top 30 UK rankings for his age group.

Harry Gravelsons’ was competing in both the Javelin and 1500m. He threw 19.71 in the javelin in what was his first appearance in the JT700 category. He then ran the 1500m in 5.39.8, a huge 38 seconds PB.

Paula Williams arrived half way through her javelin competition as she had been referring to a provisional timetable. No comment. She threw 33.08 and in the shot her throw of 10.47 was the furthest she has thrown outdoors this year and a 38 centimetres improvement on her throw the previous Wednesday in Coventry.

I managed 12.46.5 in the 3000m, just under a second slower than last Wednesday. At least I’m consistent.

Evie Lowe’s 1.40 in the high jump was just 5 cms shy of her season’s best. Emily Field ran a superb 4 second PB in the 800m with a time of 2.28.3, finishing 2nd in her race.

Kaili Woodward recorded a long jump of 4.97 despite both the windy conditions and having competed the day before in Stourport. She currently has a top 50 UK ranking in her age group.

Finally, Ruby Grace Edwards had a fabulous day competing in the QuadKids, recording times of 15.9 and 3.01.00 in the 100m and 800m respectively. Her howler throw of 14.9 was just 10 cms off a PB and her long jump of 3.52 was a PB.
Sarah Wheeler.
The Winchcombe Cross.

Report – David Jones.

The Winchcombe Cross offers four options to enjoy the magnificent hills and trails in the Winchcombe area.

The ultra-marathons comprise of three or four out-and-back legs of between 5 and 7 miles each way, to give approximately 36.5ish or 50 miles. The four sections each offer some testing hills, beautiful views, and enjoyable trails.

The marathon follows the first leg of the ultra route and then joins together legs 2 and 4 as a loop, giving a handy 26.5 mile route (approximately).

The half marathon turns legs 2 and 4 into a loop for a tough 14.5 mile challenge. It’s hilly !!

It will come as no surprise to anyone that Tara Lambert opted for an ultra-marathon, albeit the shorter of the two. Having run the Stratford Marathon last week and the Dublin2Belfast 107 miler at the end of March, she obviously just fancied a gentle 36.5 mile race this week.

She completed the event in 7:13.06, finishing in 2nd place overall, 1st Female and 1st in her age category. Pretty impressive.

The race was won by Mark Sanders in 6:36.04.

Sarah Wheeler opted for the gruelling half marathon and finished in 7th place overall, 1st female and 1st in her age category with a time of 2:13.38. Also, pretty impressive.

The race was won by Luke Gray in 1:47.23.
Lisa Dallisson.
Keswick Half Marathon.

Report – David Jones.

The Keswick Half Marathon is said to be one of the most scenic half marathons in the country.

The challenging course takes runners around Derwent Water with an extra loop into the Newlands valley.

Club member Lisa Dallisson took part, completing the race in 1:55.07 to finish in 355th place. Showing remarkable consistency, this time was just 23 seconds slower than when she last ran the race two years ago.

The race was won by Joe Beech in a time of 1:11.07 and the first female to finish, in 52nd place with a time of 1:31.15 was Emily Robinson. 812 competitors completed the course.
Rachel Pearce.
Hagbourne Fun Run.

Report – David Jones.

The annual Hagbourne Fun Run and Walk is a family friendly event starting in East Hagbourne.

The course is just under 4.5 miles over country footpaths via West Hagbourne, Upton and Blewbury – followed by hot food & drinks, delicious cakes & prize giving in Hagbourne Village Hall.

Club member Rachel Pearce competed in the event. She was 2nd female finisher, behind the winner Vicky Cronin and first in her age category with a time of 30.22. The race was won by Josh Beech in a time of 25.33. 332 competitors completed the course.
And Finally

A lovely photo of group of club members who took part in last Saturday morning’s club run through the bluebell wood at Wootton Wawen.