Another remarkable weekend

It was that sort of a weekend. 1-2-3.

In the 75H U13 Boys, Linden Williams (14.21) won Gold, James Verralls (15.60) Silver and Freddie Williams (15.72) Bronze.
Back at base camp after the Hilly 100.
It was another remarkable weekend in the life of our wonderful club.

With the Warwickshire County Track and Field Championships coinciding with our very own Hilly 100, there were well over 150 of you competing, marshalling, officiating or coaching at these two superb events and that’s not counting the number of parents and supporters.

Please read Paul Bearman’s extensive and exhaustive report on the Warwickshire County Championships.

With club members winning a record haul of 83, yes 83 medals and with the club securing a staggering winning margin of well over 300 points, those of you who spent the weekend at Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton were well and truly rewarded.

The ever popular and unique Hilly 100 proved to be a huge success once again and that is no mean achievement. The organisation of this event is a feat in itself.

Phil Brennan’s report gives you all the details and there were several of you who shared your thoughts of the day with him and these have also been included.

There’s also Fern Hordern’s own report on her latest Duathlon success, this time in Denmark.

I’m aware that at this time of the year there are lots of Triathlons and Duathlons happening and I would rally welcome reports on these. Reporting on these technical events is way above my pay grade.

After the weekend’s activities, Monday evening at the High School track saw the latest recruits to our well established Couch to 5k programme start their journey towards completing a parkrun in 9 weeks time. What a wonderful and enthusiastic bunch they are.

It was great to see that this latest group of some 25 were being supported by a couple of graduates from previous C25K groups, with Chris Bloomfield and Karen Harris keen to share their experiences.Alongside them were qualified coaches Sally Bliss and Martyn Sergent.

Enjoy the rest of the warm weather and do remember to hydrate.

Kind Regards

David Jones.
Jack Sumners and Lewis Byng, who along with Thomas Weaver set new County records.

The Warwickshire County Championships.

Report – Paul Bearman.

The Warwickshire County Championships are very early into the Track & Field season but nearly 100 Stratford upon Avon AC athletes, mostly juniors, descended on the Pingles track in Nuneaton to again be crowned best overall club within the old Warwickshire county boundary, including Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry.

The meeting organiser Ray Morgan of WCAA said after another very successful championships, “the Warwick Vase is awarded to the WCAA Club which scores the most points over the two days of the County Champs.

Stratford upon Avon AC won it for the first time in 2016 and have retained it since then. The Club has retained it again with a terrific points total of 875.5 to win with 300 points more than their nearest rivals, Birchfield Harriers. Coventry Godiva Harriers finished third. Well done to all of the Stratford athletes and their coaches”.

Points are allocated to performances in finals, 8 for a win, 7 for second etc. to find the best overall club which then receives the Warwick Vase.

In addition to the record medal haul of 83 ( 32 Gold, 27 Silver and 24 Bronze), it was the 4th to 8thpositions for athletes reaching the finals that massively helped the club to what in the end was a very comprehensive win.

John Turner, one of SUAAC’s Officials spent the 2 days timekeeping and observed “from my position at the top of the timekeepers’ stand wherever I looked there were bodies in yellow Stratford vests competing. Alongside our stand was the presentation podium and on both days, all day long I was hearing the announcer saying ‘’ and from Stratford ……. ‘’. One of the other timekeepers asked me if we were cloning our athletes!”

All the Stratford medallists and finalists were spread right across the age groups and were involved in every event apart from Pole Vault and Steeplechase, which meant that there was a constant stream of athletes competing in all parts of the track virtually non-stop over the 2 days. This meant some of their coaches getting a lot of exercise popping back and forth to support them.

Hurdling has for a few years been a strong event for the club and the males completely dominated their events. In the 75H U13 Boys, Linden Williams (14.21) won Gold, James Verralls (15.60) Silver and Freddie Williams (15.72) Bronze.

In the 80H U15 Freddie Clemons (11.47) was a clear winner and in his first competitive hurdles race Joshua Roberts (12.96) won Bronze.

A very dominant run in the 100H U17 by Cole Williams (13.32) won him the Gold and another running competitively outdoor for the first time was Harry Sugden (14.74) who took the Bronze.

In the110H Senior Men Nacho Fernandez (22.84) took Gold and winning his 7th consecutive county hurdles title in the 110H U20 was Jack Sumners (14.29) in a new county record.

After winning the county schools inter girls combined events over 2 days midweek, Millie Leighton stepped up to the 300Hurdles for U17 Women for the first time and in a perfectly judged race she won gold in 49.45 from team mate Charlotte Gravelsons (50.62) who won silver.

George Fox-Rowe was the silver medal winner in the combined events in midweek and as another who chose to attempt the 400Hurdles for U17 men for the first time he won silver in 63.38s.

The middle and longer distance races proved to be another rich vein of success and several of them started the T&F season where they left off in the winter.

Georgie Campbell controlled the U17W 1500m from gun to tape finishing in a time of 4.53.46

Alex Adams ran 2 very impressive races winning silver in the U15 boys 1500m (4:30.13) but in his stronger event the 3000m he dominated the race winning in a time of 9:53.91 with Adam Taylor winning bronze in 10:53.82.

In the 1500 U13 girls final a superbly judged run by Niamh Hillard (5:14.50) saw her literally run away from the field on the last lap to win gold.

Poppy Fox-Rowe (2:27.45) won bronze with a gutsy run in the 800 U15 girls final and Imogen Sheppard won gold in the U20 800m in 2:20.36 followed home by Daisy Musk (2:25.47) winning the bronze.

In a very good weekend for the endurance group their coach Paul Hawkins weighed in with a silver medal in the Vets 3000m Walk.

The short sprints are traditionally dominated by Birchfield and Coventry Godiva but again the Stratford sprinters produced some good medal winning performances.

Cole Williams (11.67) won silver in the U17 100m and Oscar Albanese (12.67) and Mathew Millward-Brookes (11.64) won bronze in the U15 and U20 100m respectively.

Jess Sheppard got some speed work in by winning bronze in the U20W 100m (12.86) and followed that up with a silver in the 200m in a time of 26.11. Maisie-Joy Spriggs was a bronze medallist in the U13 200m in a time of 30.8s.

The longer 400m sprint is a gruelling race and in the U20 Womens race Imogen Sheppard won gold in 59.10 and Daisy Musk the silver in 63.58s.

Adam Bayliss won bronze in the U20 400 in a time of 55.18 and Dave Battersby (57.50) won silver in the senior mens.

Over the last few years field events have become a rich source of success for Stratford and this was epitomised by the medal haul across every event.

The Hammer isn’t traditionally a strong event for Stratford but 2 intrepid Under13 girls Martha Peters (5.96m) and Olivia Hawkyard (4.75m) entered. The problem was they thought they had entered the lightweight Howler throw and so some quick tuition and coaching was necessary and meant they were able to compete and won gold and silver respectively.

In the U13s Discus Thomas Weaver (17.81) and Emilie Ross (13.48) won Silver and then U17 Ollie Wear (34.93) won gold.

The Javelin is a popular event with Stratford athletes under coach Sandy Green’s tutelage and in the U13 boys Stratford had a 1,2,3 with Thomas Weaver winning with 32.10m followed by Freddie Williams (23.15) and Jake Richardson (18.68) with silver and bronze.

U15B Joshua Roberts (40.90), Nacho Fernandez (29.32) in the Senior men won gold and in another 1,2,3 U17 Ollie Wear (50.37) won gold followed by Adam Farrow (41.55), Acelin Smith (36.77) who won silver and bronze.

In the U13 girls Maddie Linfoot (20.05) won silver and Nikola Wodzisz (15.54) the bronze.

U13 Thomas Weaver ( 7.01) made it a hat trick of medals winning gold in the U13B Shot Put in a new County record (3 Kg) and Lewis Byng(17.07) also set a new County record in the U20s.

There were also bronze medals for U17s Adam Farrow (9.49) and Maddie Clark (8.42) and U13 Antonia Leece (5.10).

The jump events have also become strong events for Stratford and they dominated the medals in the Long Jump.

In a rare 1,2,3 U15s Freddie Clemons (5.94), Oscar Albanese (5.13) and Zach Mckenzie (5.01) all jumped personal bests to take the top 3 podium places.

Alex Powell (5.84) won the U17M closely followed by George Fox-Rowe (5.53) in the silver medal position and James Verralls (4.05) won silver and Eric Spencer (3.98) the bronze in the u13 boys.

U20s Jack Sumners (6.91) and Mathew Millward-Brookes (5.96) won gold and bronze respectively and Nacho Fernandez (4.13) silver in the senior men.

Not to be outdone, the girls weighed in with 2 gold medals with Kaili Woodward (5.24) winning the U20s and Lucy Lane (4.68) the U15s.

In the Triple Jump U15s Sofia Wood (8.70) won gold and Zach Mckenzie (10.17) and Callum West (8.55) silver and bronze in the boys.

A delighted U17 Nick Butler broke 13 metres for the first time with (13.10) to win gold and Ollie Wear won silver with a PB jump of 11.63 and Millie Leighton (10.18) won silver in the girls event.

The High Jump was one success after the other with Stratford again dominating the age groups.

U13s Freddie Williams (1.20), Oliver Battersby (1.15) and Alex McMillan (1.15) were all on the podium along with Emily Grant who won silver with 1.05.

U15 Freddie Clemons (1.67) won gold and with a new PB Zach Mckenzie (1.58) won bronze and after a shaky start Lucy Lane went on to equal her PB to win with 1.51.

Emily Madden Forman is still carrying an ankle injury but one jump of 1.55 in the senior women was good enough for gold and in the senior men Nacho Fernandez won with 1.40.

A steady series of jumps meant U17 Faye Gourlay won with 1.50 in the U17W and in the men’s event George Fox-Rowe (1.65) won silver and Harry Gravelsons took bronze with 1.35.

In the final event U20 Kaili Woodward (1.55) won gold and on her return to competition Jodie Watson (1.50) won Silver.

Paul Bearman said “we are thrilled to win the Warwick Vase again for the fourth year running. The coaching team are incredibly proud of the club’s athletes in the championship who have all contributed to the club’s success but it’s a team effort and without the unstinting support from the volunteer coaches and officials this sort of success simply wouldn’t happen”.

Full results can be found on

The final team positions are as follows:

Stratford Upon Avon AC 875.5
Birchfield Harriers 552
Coventry Godiva Harriers 387
Rugby & Northampton AC 361
Leamington C and AC 291
Royal Sutton Coldfield AC 263
Solihull & Small Heath AC 160
BRAT Club 117.5
Nuneaton Harriers 51
Sparkhill Harriers 26
Kings Heath RC – The Lions 17
Northbrook AC 6

The Hilly 100.

Report – Phil Brennan.

The Cotswold Hilly 100 is a hundred mile relay contested by teams of ten, each running a ten mile leg.

It is organised by the club for charity and has been contested for over 25 years.

Its unique nature attracts a strong entry every year – 40 teams this year competing for the team awards.

This year SAC entered four teams, a tribute to the organisers (and competitors) Rob Minton and Hannah Osborne, given the busy athletics programme elsewhere at the weekend.

The race starts and finishes in Stratford and extends as far south as Chedworth. The earliest runners leave Stratford around 5:00am and the latest arrive back around six in the evening.

This places a heavy emphasis on teamwork and self-reliance to ensure that everyone of the team members is in place at the right time and stays safe, healthy (and heading in the right direction!) throughout the day.

This year, Rob Minton and Hannah Osborne, Gavin and Tara Lambert and Adam Evans and Sarah Boundy did a massive job in support.

One of the earliest starters, Emily Adams, said “up at 4.30 running at 5 a.m.! It was cold but it was good fun and yes it was hilly but such a beautiful morning”.

As the day wore on the sun stayed out and the temperature rose but remained bearable given the support teams’ efforts.

Suzi Graham was one who found the going tough but managed to notice that it was “stunningly scenic”.

It’s hard to single out individual performances from the team effort, particularly as the distances and climbs on each leg are markedly different but Josh Newman’s 6 minutes 20 seconds per mile on the hilly leg 7 was outstanding.

Matt Burdus Cook was even faster, but on the flatter leg 1.

Lynne Hinson ran a heroic 78 minutes for the ladies, again on leg 7.

The Stratford teams didn’t make the podium but without exception everyone came away with a real sense of achievement and reinforcement of SAC’s indomitable team spirit.

For the record, the results were:

1st Leamington C&AC 11hrs 33 mins 23 secs (a brilliant and massive course record by 22 minutes)
2nd Kenilworth 12:11:31
3rd Spa Striders 12:30:27

1st Leamington C&AC 10:16:43
2nd Kenilworth 10:20:35
3rd Spa Striders 10:40:29

Mens ‘B’ Trophy
1st Kenilworth 11:10:57

1st . Northbrook AC 11:25:54 (another course record)
2nd Leamington C&AC 11:58:13
3rd Spa Striders 12:16:26

The performances of our club teams were as follows :
Official Times and Finishing positions
Men A: 10:54:18 . 4th
Men B: 11:58:44 . 2nd ( only 3 clubs fielded a B team)
Women: 14:25:00 . 6th
Mixed: 14:09:40 . 9th

Men’s A team.
Leg no. Name Estimated Start time Estimated time to run leg Actual Time Distance Ran Pace Elevation Gain
1 Matt Burdus-Cook 7:00 62m 0s 59.15 9.80 6.03/mi 292 ft
2 Chris Cond 8:02 66m 0s 68:07 9.84 6.55 1040 ft
3 Ivan Sarti 9:08 68m 0s 70:48 10.59 6.41 984 ft
4 Alex Hill 10:16 64m 0s 66:38 9.75 6.50 1027 ft
5 Drew Sambridge 11:20 67m 0s 63:44 9.62 6.37 643 ft
6 Ben Rothery 12:27 54m 0s 58.29 10.10 5.47 857 ft
7 Josh Newman 13:21 63m 0s 65:14 10.30 6.20 662 ft
8 Jamie Chorley 14:24 66m 0s 67.06 9.52 7.03 682 ft
9 John Roby 15:30 68m 0s 69:12 9.70 7.00 669 ft
10 Rob Minton 16:38 68m 0s 64:59 10.09 6.26 535 ft

Men’s B team.
Leg no. Name Estimated Start time Estimated time to run leg Actual Time Distance Pace Elevation Gain
1 Mark Hateley 6.00 78m 0s 69:27 9.80 7.07 292 ft
2 Malcolm Bowyer 7:18 70m 0s 74:00 9.84 7.31 1040 ft
3 Seth Turner 8:28 70m 0s 75:15 10.59 7:04 984 ft
4 Joe Lee 9:38 72m 0s 72:17 9.75 7.25 1027 ft
5 Adam Evans 10:50 66m 0s 66:51 9.62 6.57 577 ft
6 Darren Nash 11:56 70m 0s 69:12 10.10 6.50 857 ft
7 James Coy 13:06 72m 0s 71:39 10.38 6.54 665 ft
8 Ryan Bakewell 14:18 74m 0s 72.38 9.52 7.36 682 ft
9 David Smyth 15:32 71m 0s 72.05 9.70 7.25 669 ft
10 Peter Sugden 16:43 75m 0s 74:00 10.06 7.21 535 ft

Women’s team.
Leg no. Name Estimated Start time Estimated time to run leg Actual Time Distance Pace Elevation Gain
1 Emily Adams 5.00 75m 0s 83:30 9.80 8.31 292 ft
2 Luiba Pasa 6:15 85m 0s 83:00 9.84 8.26 1040 ft
3 Rebecca Pridham 7:40 94m 0s 97:05 10.59 9.08 984 ft
4 Suzi Graham 9:14 94m 0s 94:00 9.75 9:38 1027 ft
5 Abi Schofield 10:48 85m 0s 81.39 9.62 8.29 577 ft
6 Frances Doran 12:13 90m 0s 88:15 10.10 8:41 857 ft
7 Lynne Hinson 13:43 80m 0s 78:32 10.38 7.31 665 ft
8 Yvonne Gajny 15:03 85m 0s 90:00 9.52 9:27 682 ft
9 Emma Bexson 16:28 70m 0s 77:38 9.70 8.00 669 ft
10 Maggie Macleod 17:38 80m 0s 87:17 10.33 8.27 535 ft

Mixed team.
Leg no. Name Estimated Start time Estimated time to run leg Actual Time Distance Pace Elevation Gain
1 Carl Matthews 5.00 75m 0s 70:16 9.83 7.08 292 ft
2 Gavin Lambert 6:15 85m 0s 88:00 9.84 8.56 1040 ft
3 Ben Twyman 7:40 80m 0s 90:00 10.59 8:29 984 ft
4 Phil Marshall 9:10 90m 0s 86:00 9.75 8.49 1027 ft
5 Tara Lambert 10:35 85m 0s 83.00 9.62 8.32 577 ft
6 Stuart Griffiths 12:00 85m 0s 77.14 10.10 7.40 857 ft
7 Phil Brennan 13:28 88m 0s 89:00 10:38 8.34 665 ft
8 Sam Wignell 13:00(mass) 90m 0s 77:00 9.52 8.05 682 ft
9 Louise Stewart 14:30 105m 0s 94:00 9.70 9:19 669 ft
10 Mike Barry 16:15 95m 0s 91:00 10.06 9.02 535 ft

Listed below are some of your own individual comments on the Hilly 100

Ryan Bakewell’s Comments

What a wonderful day it was – this really is one of the best running days of the year for me.

The team spirit and novelty of getting a bit of pipe 100 miles around the Cotswolds as fast as we can is fantastic – add in to the mix the sunny weather, great scenery, a few hills to test the mettle and some friendly inter-club rivalries and you have a great day out.

I was down to do leg 8 for the B team which was expertly captained by Sarah Boundy and Adam Evans.

Having woken up on Sunday with an awful headache, a slight temperature and every muscle in my body aching, the thought of pulling out was competing strongly with my desire to take part and not let the team down.

I spent most of the morning monitoring other people’s runs on Strava and taking ibuprofen to numb the pain.

Driving in to Moreton-in-Marsh and joining the other runners waiting to start, I was glad to be there.

Not knowing if I was going to run well, I needn’t have worried as when I got going I felt great.

Leg 8 started with few miles of uphill which got steeper as the distance progressed.

The highlight of the run for me was some children having a water fight in Aston Magna.. one of them aimed his super-soaker at me as a parent shouted ‘Nooooo don’t shoot him’. I replied with ‘Please do’ and clearly caused a family rift. The gunslinger decided to shoot but he missed me and my opportunity for a mid-run cool down was lost! The drama gave me something else to think about for a few mins which was a nice reset half way through the run.

I think the B team came in just shy of 12 hours which in my book was a very good performance; an average of 7:12min/mi over 100 hilly miles. It’s worth nothing that by the time Peter came in to the sports club the team were within a minute of their estimated overall finish time! Not bad over 100 miles…

Many thanks to Hannah and Rob for organising this great event. And thanks to all the team captains and supporters who gave up their Sunday.

Suzi Graham’s Comments

Amazing day, extremely well supported by Team Captain Hannah and daughter Maisie.
I didn’t anticipate how tough the last hill would be! Leg 4 is stunning scenically!
Friendly, fun and extremely well supported by all.

Pete Sugden’s Comments

A fantastic day. Great support. This is the first time I’ve run leg 10. The support and encouragement as I approached the finish line was terrific.

Glad to bring Team 2 home just inside a collective 12 hours.

Louise Stewart’s Comments.
I’m a HH first timer and ran leg 9 for SAC team 4.

I really enjoyed it, even the hilly bits.

Doing the Winter Series last year was great prep for ‘undulations’, especially as the infamous Larkstoke Hill is part of this section.

Having recced the route with Tara on Bank Holiday Monday was great prep, meaning I knew my way but was also able to remember various quirks such as the man running in a tri suit and the lost dog that finished with us.

The only downside was having a mid afternoon start, which meant running when it was quite warm.

However the support from Tara & Gavin was brilliant, with water and jelly babies keeping me going.

There was lots of encouragement from other crews, cyclists and walkers en route too, with cries of ‘come on Stratford’ really motivating me to keep on running.

Being part of this was awesome, I feel really proud every time I run in the club vest.

Thanks to the organisers, supporters and of course Tara and Gavin.

Carl Matthews’ Comments
I was running the event for the first time.
Short straw – 0500hrs start
Long straw – not very hilly!!
Pleased with my time of 1 hours 10 minutes. A great day for running, perfect conditions and a great route through Luddington and Welford.

Fern Hordern bottom right.
ETU Powerman Middle Distance Championships – Viborg, Denmark .

Report – Fern Hordern.

It took me 15 hours to get there – 2 flights and one missed connection – 5 hours sitting in Amsterdam waiting for the next flight to Billund!!!

I hired a car and managed to cram the bike box into it and arrived in Viborg at 8pm in the drizzle and cold – thank goodness I decided to take a woolly hat at the last minute – I wore it everyday!

The race format was 10k run, 60k bike, then 10k run.

The run course was twisty around the town, involving one long hill and one short steep cobbled hill which was ok except that it was then repeated 3 more times.

The bike course was varied, partly in the town (more dratted cobbles) but mostly in the countryside battling against a head wind and cross wind in different sections.

Then the run had to be repeated again – I do like hills but I have to say the second run was utter hell… I did see some people walking up that short cobbled hill but I refused to give in and join them, although I was very tempted.

I finished in 3 hours 46 minutes – which was respectable but some way behind the seriously good leading pack.

My age group (45-49) was very competitive but I knew that it would be, so I just got on with my race and was pleased with what I achieved, especially as it was the first time I had done that distance.

My result was good enough to have qualified for next year’s championships – but I haven’t decided whether I will enter of not!!
Picture Gallery

Below are lots of superb photos from the Warwickshire County Championships, courtesy of Mike Sheppard and a few more from the Hilly 100.
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The Hilly 100.
Ready for the off and yes, the clock does say 5 a.m.