Beer, a windmill and marathons.

Team photo and club officials from last night’s wonderfully enjoyable Vet’s T&F league fixture at Redditch. Results and report to follow.
The next fixture is on 3rd July and we will be hosting it at our own High School track.
Somewhat exhausted from last night’s memorable Vet’s T&F fixture in Redditch, I’m happy to report that it has been yet another mixed bag of events this week.

The newsletter kicks off with reports on magnificent marathon performances by Dave Parkin in the Lake District and Tara Lambert in Ireland.

There were 11 members competing in the scenic Windmill Run at Tysoe and the week just wouldn’t be complete without a report of another gold medal for Phil Brennan.

There’s also a report on the wonderful Beer Relays. A splendid time was guaranteed for all.

Last night saw the latest of the Warwickshire AA Open Graded Meetings, where our 4 competitors all achieved personal bests

Finally, Cindy, Emma and Karl were strutting their stuff in Sutton Coldfield.

Good luck to those of you who are competing in the Two Castles at the weekend. Good luck to those of you competing in the Midland Masters T&F Championships at the weekend, indeed good luck to any of you competing anywhere at the weekend.

Best Wishes

David Jones.

Dave Parkin
Coniston Marathon.
Report – David Jones.

Starting and finishing at Coniston Hall Landing Point on the shores of Coniston Water, this marathon consists of a complete circuit of Coniston Water along well marked and marshalled footpaths and bridleways.

Taking in the idyllic beauty spot of Tarn Hows and the elevated Beacon Tarn the course gives panoramic views of Lake Coniston and the surrounding peaks of the Old Man, Swirl How, Wetherlam and Dow Crags.

Described by Runners’ World magazine as ‘the most scenic trail Marathon in Britain’

For Dave Parkin this was his 3rd running of the race as he attempted to break the 4 minute barrier for the first time in this extremely challenging race. He finished comfortably under his 4 hour target in a time of 3:56.44, placing him 23rd overall and 9th in his age category.

The race was won by Joel Jameson in a time of 3:03.20 and 210 runners finished the race.

In His Own Words.

Dave’s thoughts on his run are as follows.

This was my third attempt to break the 4hr mark on the Coniston Trail Marathon, having previously run 4:27 and 4:10.

I had been out with injury for a critical period of my training this year and so expectations weren’t high but having learnt much about hydration and pace on my previous two outings, things seemed to go well from the start.

As many marathon runners can attest, I had a great feeling of it being ‘in the bag’ at the 20 mile mark, only to completely blow up by 23 miles thinking I couldn’t even finish, let alone hit my target time.

This feeling is particularly exacerbated on this course as you celebrate reaching 20 miles with a cruel 600ft climb up a muddy, rocky hillside and then through a final bog which saps any energy you still have.

Thankfully, my excellent support crew of Parkin girls (x3) managed to find me at the final road crossing and give me a kick up the proverbial and I staggered home in 3:56, utterly delighted and swearing never to do anything so ridiculous again. I even managed to avoid the tree near the finish which still has a head shaped dent in it from my collision two years ago, so not only finishing, but staying upright as well made it a day to remember…!

For those looking for a marathon with a difference, this is definitely one to consider – reputed to be one of the most beautiful in the country, it is nearly all off-road, has around 3000ft of ascent and a lot of challenging, mixed terrain underfoot. But to compensate for the difficulties it has views to die for and is fabulously organised and supported.
Tara Lambert.
O’Neill’s Walled City Marathon.

Report – David Jones.

The Walled City Marathon sees athletes from Ireland, Britain and across the world arrive in Derry / Londonderry to compete over a stunning 26.2 mile course that takes in all the sights and sounds of the city.

The challenging route follows the dynamic neighbourhoods of the city, the old rural villages, the banks of the meandering River Foyle and the city’s famous bridges before returning to the Walled City for a finish in the historic Guildhall Square.

Having completed in the 107 mile Dublin2Belfast Ultra at the end of March,Tara Lambert thought it time to revisit the Emerald Isle for the relatively short 26.2 mile Walled City Marathon.

As a measure of the improvement this endurance runner has made over the last 12 months, her time this year of 3:53.39 was over 45 minutes quicker than her time last year.

Tara finished in 286th place overall, was the 32nd female finisher and 9th in her age category.

The winner was Eric Koech in a time of 2:34.19 and the first female finisher ,in 24th place with a time of 3:03.35 was Natalie Hall. 821 runners completed the course.

In Her Own Words.

Tara’s thoughts on her run are as follows.

“This was a race I run every year as I grew up in Derry. It’s very special to me as I remember Derry during the troubles and this race is a celebration of how much Derry has changed and what a fabulous place to be it is now.

The course weaves over and back crossing the River Foyle several times. There is some beautiful countryside but also some steep climbs to come out of the river valley.

In the first half we run almost to the border with Donegal and then turn back to run along the leafy cycle track by the river. The second half involves more undulation on the other side of the river and then a very steep climb at mile 25 from Free Derry Corner up Fahan Street into the old walled city.

The crowd lining the streets cheering and shouting your name won’t let you walk and the traditional Irish drums sound give you chills!

Then a steep descent and a final push to the Guildhall Square to finish in front of a cheering crowd.

Probably my favourite road marathon but with twice the ascent of Stratford marathon I was very happy with my time.”
Above l to r – John Raby, Lesley Kirk, Malcolm Bowyer, Ed Harrison, Graham Hill, Pete Sugden and Rob Minton.
Below : Rachel Pearce with her trophies.
Rachel Pearce with her trophies.
The Windmill Run.

Report – Jon Mulkeen & David Jones.
Club member and International triathlete Rachel Pearce was the first woman to finish at the recent Windmill Run in Tysoe.

Taking place in the Cotswold Hills surrounding the pretty village of Tysoe, the picturesque Windmill Run offers competitors the option of both 10km and 5km runs.

It is a largely off-road run that takes competitors up Tysoe’s Windmill Hill followed by a further climb through the Compton Wynyates Estate. The organisers say that if the hills don’t take your breath away, the picturesque scenery will.

Pearce, who clocked 46:07 to finish 19th overall and four minutes ahead of the second-placed woman, was one of 11 members of the club who took part in the 10km event at this popular local race.

Club coach Rob Minton was the first Stratford finisher, placing eighth overall and fourth in his age category in a time of 42:55.

Just 7 places and under a minute separated the next 6 club members to finish.

The first of these was John Raby (15th – 45.26) followed by an in-form Pete Sugden (15 – 45.36) who was also 4th in his age group.

Ed Harrison (17th – 45.52) was followed by Martin Foster (18th – 45.56 ) who finished 5th in his age group.

Next was Rachel Pearce followed by the evergreen Malcolm Bowyer (21st – 46.22) who was 3rd in his age group, followed by Graham Hill (41st – 52.25)

Then it was the turn of the final three female runners from the club – Lesley Kirk (64th – 55.41), Suzi Graham (89th – 58.52) and Louise Stewart (125th – 1:06.15)

The race was won by Simon Wurr in a time of 38.09.

The club had just one competitor in the 5k race, John Butler, who finished in 38.21. He was 35th overall and 2nd in his age group.
Dorking 10 Mile.

Report – David Jones.
The Dorking 10 Mile road race is one of the premier road races in the South of England, attracting over 500 entrants annually, many of whom have run the race previously.

The race consists of a small single circuit within a larger outer loop through the rolling Surrey countryside.

This year the race also incorporated the British Masters Athletic Federation 10 mile championship and it is this that attracted our very own International Masters athlete Phil Brennan. His time of 1:34.03 was sufficient to add yet another gold medal to his ever growing collection.

Commenting on the race Phil said “ The course was variously described as “flat “, “undulating” and “challenging “. The latter was correct as far as I was concerned. I was cruising to a reasonable time at five miles, then the hills, humidity and heat (25deg) and I began to seriously consider quitting. I finished in 1:34, five minutes longer than my overlong leg in the recent Hilly 100 but I did finish and got the gold medal”

The race was won by Tom Foster in a time of 53.35 and 514 runners completed the course
Above – The youngest and oldest teams combine: l to r – Ruth Calderbank, Cameron Black, David Jones, Fin Hutchinson, Phil Brennan, Josh Dobedoe, Kate Sergent and Georgie Campbell.
Below – Our successful junior team without the oldies.
L to r: Fin Hutchinson, Cameron Black, Josh Dobedoe and Georgie Campbell.
Tempo Run For Beer Relay.

Report – David Jones.

This was a relay race with teams of four each running individual legs of two miles. It started and finished on the recreation ground opposite the RSC theatre.

It really was a fun event and whilst there were a few running club teams battling it out at the front, there were prizes for the best fancy dress team, fastest pub team, veteran team, super vets team and several others and the most hotly contested prize of the night was undoubtably for the best fancy dress team

Every runner receives a bottle of beer on completing their 2-mile leg. There were non-alcoholic options also available for those competitors below 18 and tee totalers.

For those who like the sound of this event there are two similar upcoming races – the Run For Gin Relay held in Cheltenham on 21st June and the Run For Cider Relay, held in Worcester on 19th July.

Over 100 teams took part.

The winning team was Chariots of Fire, who completed the 8 miles in a time of 43.25, at an average of 5.25 per mile. Clearly they were taking it seriously. Ben Taylor of Judas AC ran the quickest leg at 10.06.

From a club point of view, the highlight was surely Three Men and a Girl, a team of 4 of the club’s best juniors, consisting of Georgie Campbell, Cameron Black, Josh Dobedoe and Fin Hutchinson, with a total combined age of just 60 years They completed the race in 48.52, at a fraction over 6 minute mile pace and won the Junior Team award and they were placed also 10th overall.

Two and a half minutes behind them, in 15th place and a time of 51.15, were The Smokey Sausages consisting of club members Matt Simms, Pete Sugden, Emily Adams and Seth Turner.

Also worthy of mention was a team consisting of 8 year old Toby Spriggs – running with his mother Hannah, together with brother and sister Caleb and Maisie Joy. They finished in 40th place with a time of 56.52.

At the other end of the age spectrum to Three Men and a Girl were club members Kate Sergent, Ruth Calderbank, Phil Brennan and David Jones with a combined age of 280 years ! They finished the race in a pretty respectable time of 63.09 at just under 8 minute mile pace.
Cindy Brittan, Karl Harris and Emily Adams. Well at least Emily looks as though she enjoyed it !
The Great Midlands Fun Run Sutton Coldfield.

Report – David Jones.

This Fun Run is staged over an 8.5 mile all-tarmac route. The start is in Royal Sutton Coldfield town centre from where runners’ enter Sutton Park, Europe’s largest urban park, at the Boldmere Gate after 2.25 miles,. They then negotiate approximately 4.5 miles in the park, including ‘Cardiac Hill’ and then exit at Four Oaks Gate after 6.75 miles before returning to the finish in the town centre.

Three club members competed in the event, with Emily Adams and Karl Harris deciding to run the course together, both finishing in a time of 1.09. Emily’s mother Cindy Brittan also took part.

Emily commented “ It was an undulating lovely route through Sutton Park, including the horrible Cardiac Hill ! It was warm and a couple of short showers were welcome. I was pleased with my run as I’m not race fit at the moment so a 1.09 time was welcoming. Karl ran with me to keep me going. My mum, as always, was real a trooper and managed to get round. I didn’t find it as easy as in previous years but it’s always nice to run in your home town.”
Warwickshire County AA Open Graded Meeting.

Coventry Godiva Harrier’s track – 5th June 2019.

Report – David Jones

Four club members’ competed in the latest Warwickshire County AA Open Graded Meeting, with all of them achieving PBs

The industrious Nacho Fernandez had another busy night competing in 3 events and achieving PBs in 2 of them. His 400m time of 61.57 was a 2 second improvement on his previous best and his 8.88m in the shot put was a 0.14m improvement on his previous best. In the Javelin he threw 24.26.

Emily Field’s 2.25.82 ensured she comfortably won her heat and was almost 2 seconds quick than her previous PB.

The final 2 club members were competing in the Javelin and both far exceeded their previous PBs.

Acelin Smith improved his previous best by 6 metres in throwing 42.73 and 11 year old Alex McMillan massively improved on his previous best, throwing 22.60 as opposed to 17.15.

The next meeting is on 3rd July.
Hooky 6
A message from the race organisers

It’s now nearly two months until the Hooky 6 road race, presented by Hook Norton Harriers.

Entries are again selling quickly and we wanted to let everyone know that there’s a very good chance that we may sell out before race day! Therefore, I urge anyone who’d like to join us this year to sign up as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

If you’ve not heard of the Hooky 6, it is an undulating road race in and around the beautiful Cotswold village of Hook Norton.

This year it is being held on Sunday August 4th, kicking off at 10:30am.

This year’s race starts on the sports field along with the finish line to allow us to use chip timing again (it’s still a measured 6 miles course)!

All Hooky 6 finishers will receive a finishers t-shirt and a brilliant reusable drawstring goody bag containing some post-run snacks – the perfect size for all your bits and bobs at future races!

The race is part of the Oxfordshire Grand Prix, and we offer prizes, kindly provided by Hook Norton Brewery, in all age categories.

There is also a 1 mile fun run for the kids around the fields of the Hook Norton Sports & Social Club (Race HQ) starting at 10.40am.

Entry is only £12 (affiliated – £14 unaffiliated) before race day through Run Britain. To sign up please visit

To keep up to date with the latest news and information about the race please visit our dedicated Facebook page

Or search for Hook Norton Harriers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for ongoing news from our club!
And Finally.

The estimable John Turner was quite rightly miffed ( actually that wasn’t exactly the expression he used but this is a family newsletter after all ) at being left off the team photo from last night’s T&F fixture at Redditch.

So he’s got his very own individual photo in honour of the magnificent work he does in representing our club by officiating at so many events.

I’ve said it before but I think there are JT clones out there, as he officiates at so many events. Indeed I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that there was another JT officiating at the Warwickshire AA Open Graded meeting last night as well.

Thank you John.
Blimey, he’s smiling as well !
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Stratford upon Avon Athletic Club
Stratford Sports Club
Swans Nest Lane
Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire CV37 7LS
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