Send us victorious, happy and glorious.

Lewis breaks British record and moves up to 2nd in

UK U20 all-time list.

In his quest to throw the European U20 Championships qualifying distance of 18.85m in the shot put, Stratford AC’s Lewis Byng finally broke that barrier three times in one competition at the University of Birmingham Open.
His best mark of the series,19.14m, added 55 centimetres to the British age-17 best. It also moves him to second on the UK U20 all-time list, 14 cms behind the current record that has stood for 10 years.
Lewis will next compete at the England U20 Championships on 22 June, when he will aim to secure his place on the British team for the European U20 Championships in Boras, Sweden, in July.
Apologies for the slight delay in sending this week’s newsletter out due to a holiday break in Sussex.

Above you will read details of Lewis Byng’s latest fabulous performance in throwing the qualifying distance in the shot put for the forthcoming European U20 Championships and in so doing he moved up to 2nd place on the UK all-time list, just 14cms behind the furthest ever throw.

It’s Track and Field to the fore as 10 of our Masters athletes returned with a magnificent haul of 22 medals from the recent Midlands Masters Championships in Nuneaton.

There’s a report on the this season’s first Heart of England Division 1 fixture at Abingdon, where our juniors completed a 70 point victory over the second placed club, this despite gaps in our team.

We have Andy Reeves’s report on a fabulous night in Redditch, where our men’s team recorded their first ever victory, by just 1 point, at the 2nd Vet’s T&F fixture of the year. This, together with another superb performance from our women, meant the club finished in 2nd place to Worcester but narrowed the gap from 47 points in the first fixture, to just 13.5 points.

There’s also Jon Mulkeen’s report on 32 of our members competing in the ever popular Two Castles Run.

Finally, there’s a couple of lovely reports from Lesley Kirk on her never-ending quest to find ever hillier races.

Best Wishes

David Jones

Photo: Above – (backrow) David Wilson, Elaine Ledden, Paul Hawkins, Brian Gravelsons, Christine Coote, Peter Coote; (front row) David Jones, Phil Brennan, Paula Williams.
Missing from the photo is Andy Reeves.
Below – Phil Brennan, far left and David Jones, 4th from left, at the start of the 1500m race.
Midland Masters Championships.

Report: Brian Gravelsons.

Stratford Masters take Midland Championships by storm.

Club athletes came away from the recent Midland Masters Championships with a magnificent haul of 22 medals, 12 of them gold.

Paula Williams single-handedly earned a third of the club’s gold medals.

Competing in the W45 category, she won the 80m hurdles in an equal-PB of 12.7 and then went on to win the 100m (13.31), long jump (4.69m) and javelin (35.12m). She also took the silver medal in the shot put with 10.57m, just 11 centimetres shy of first place.

Elaine Ledden, making her first appearance at this level, earned gold in the W55 100m (15.53) and the 400m (76.77), breaking the age group club record in the longer event. She also earned bronze in the long jump with 3.26m, another club record for the age group.

Phil Brennan picked up a middle-distance double in the M75 category. He won the 800m in 3:08.3 and then took the 1500m in a meeting record of 6:23.

Club-mate David Jones was almost as successful in the M65 category, winning the 1500m in 5:51.55 and taking silver in the 800m in 2:52.43.

David Wilson and Brian Gravelsons, both returning from recent injuries, secured a quintet of medals in the M50 category. Wilson won gold in the 200m in a PB of 26.8 with Gravelsons taking silver (28.9). Wilson also earned silver in the 100m in 13.24, another PB, just ahead of bronze medallist Gravelsons (13.89).

Earlier in the day, Wilson had finished second in the long jump with 4.42m, an age group club record. Gravelsons ended his day with a PB of 20.42m in the discus.

Paul Hawkins won gold in the M60 5000m race walk, clocking 31:27.77 – 51 seconds quicker than his time last year. He was on PB pace in the first half of the race but eased back in the second half given the warmth and wind.

Christine Coote bagged four medals in the W60 age group, taking silver in the 200m (36.18) and bronze in the 100m (16.88), shot put (6.36m) and long jump (3.06m, a club record).
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Above – Cole Williams and Georgie Campbell.
Below – Freddie Clemons.
Heart of England Division 1.

Report – Paul Bearman.

Over 60 Stratford AC junior athletes made the trip to Abingdon in the first Heart of England Division 1 match to try and emulate last year’s championship winning success.

The top division is very competitive but despite gaps in the Stratford team sheets, causing a drop in valuable points, a superb combined effort right throughout the various age groups gave the team a surprise win with a 70 point advantage over second placed Coventry Godiva.

Mike Sheppard, the under 15 team manager commented “it was disappointing that that there were athletes unavailable but the upside is that it opens up opportunities for others and we saw some excellent individual performances with loads of PB’s set. Particularly pleasing was seeing new faces performing so strongly on their league debut and combining with established performers all doing their bit to secure a surprising win”.

He added “this is a tough division against some big and very well organised clubs but we picked up good points across the team and it also shows the terrific team spirit we have in the club. It’s a really good start but we need to keep it going for the remaining matches if we are to be in with a chance of winning the championship again. With every point counting we are grateful for our officials also doing their bit to add points to the team score”.

In the U13 Boys a spirited team performance by Alex McMillan, Barnaby Richards, Flynn Dathan, Fred Williams, Henry Wheeler, James Verralls and Ollie Hemming meant the boys won their age group by just 5 points from the home team Radley.

The team also included Linden Williams who won the 75m Hurdles (13.50s) and Tom Weaver (7.52m) and Seb Hillard (6.29m) winning the A & B Shot.

Despite the blustery conditions many of the middle distance athletes had a good day and the ongoing nip and tuck races between U13 team mates Niamh Hillard and Maddie Linfoot in the 1500 are becoming an entertaining feature of the season so far. With Maddie taking the initiative to run from the front, the two Stratford youngsters gradually burnt off the other competitors and it turned into another exciting last lap with Niamh moving away on to win in 5.26.9 and Maddie finishing second in 5.31.3.

The other team members Anna Blokhuizen, Antonia Leece, Caitlin Boyle, Martha Peters, Maisie-Joy Spriggs and Ruby Edwards made significant contributions to the team’s score, finishing in 4th place just one point behind Solihull.

The under 15 boys team was hit considerably by the unavailability of several athletes but two athletes in particular, Adam Taylor and Alex Adams epitomised the spirit within the club. Both of them are specialist middle distance runners but they turned out to compete in the 300m and Discus as well as the 1500m and their points, along with Caleb Spriggs, Oscar Albanese, Freddie Clemons and Zach MacKenzie enabled the team to finish a surprising second in their age group.

Clemons and McKenzie won the A & B 80m Hurdles and Clemons superb time of 11.20s moved him to the top of the UK rankings.

The U15 girls team of Annabelle Wolverson, Caitlin Buckley, Charly Marshall, Ellie Deaner, Esmay Baughan, Holly Newton, Issy Newton, Kate Richardson and Lucy Lane was primarily made up by many who had either just moved up to the U15s or were debutants but again the points kept coming in right across the team and the girls won their age group by a 12 point margin from Coventry Godiva.

The stand out performance in the U15 girls came from Poppy Fox-Rowe in the 800m, where she dominated the race and winning in 2.27.8 and she was followed by Olivia Robinson who finished second in the B race in 2.39.2.

The U17 girls team of Catherine Reynolds, Charlotte Gravelsons, Faith Tooze, Faye Gourlay, Jasmine Williams, Maddie Clark and Millie Leighton finished 3rd in the age group with just 4 points covering the top three, which again showed the value of every point counting.

Georgie Campbell continues to perform well on the track after an excellent winter season and her battle with the Solihull athlete for the best part of the race was ended when Campbell’s strength showed and she ran away on the last lap finishing in a time of 4.55.9.

The U17 boys were a very good mixture of established athletes and debutants in this age group and Adam Farrow, Cameron Black, Harry Gravelsons, George Fox Rowe, James Mucklow, Joel Watson all made their mark and helped the team to a comprehensive win by 29 points over Coventry Godiva in second place.

Nick Butler (5.99m) and Alex Powell (5.90m) both just fell short of the magic 6 metre barrier in the Long Jump but gave the team a 1 : 2 in the A & B event as did Cole Williams (13.30s) and Harry Sugden (14.70s) in the 100m Hurdles.

The U11 athletes Ella Smith, Libby Walton, Martha Silvers, Alex Wood, Elfric McKenzie, Omarian Gordon and Willoughby Tovey Gullachsen compete in a non-scoring event with almost all of them making their debut in this level of competition.

Annie Silvers couldn’t contain herself at the start of the 600m and she literally ran away from the other competitors from gun to tape winning in 1.53.7.

Freddie Clemons and Cole Williams were also awarded the Athletes of the Match in their respective age groups

Full results are on :
The club’s relay teams : Left O50’s – Elaine Ledden, Malcolm Bowyer, Christine Coote and Pete Sugden.

Right : O35’s – Suzi Graham, Drew Sambridge, Dave Battersby and Hannah Osborne.
Midland Vet’s League South- Match 2.

Report – Andy Reeves.

Wednesday 5th June 2019 will go down in the history books as one of Stratford AC Masters best performances. Not only were there another 7 age group club records, the women’s team put in another outstanding team performance, to finish second behind Worcester. The Men’s team went one better, inflicting the first league defeat on Worcester in what has been reported as some 5 years. The 1 point victory -137 v 136 – shows that every point really makes a difference to the overall result.

With both men and women’s teams performing strongly this resulted in Stratford finishing just 13.5 points behind Worcester – 269.5 v 256 – closing the gap from 47 points in the previous round.

For the women’s team there were victories for Paula Williams (W45) triple jump 9.72m. Paula would back up her triple jump performance by winning the W45 shot put in a new club record of 11.15m. She would cap off a busy night by taking second in the high jump and third in the discus 20.91m.

Elaine Ledden (W50) took victory in the 400m in 78.3. Elaine would then take third in the long jump in a new club record of 3.19m.

Christine Coote (W60) took second place in the javelin in a new club record of 11.65m. This was backed up by a third place in the 200m in 35.9.

Jan Turner (W70) would take third place in the 200m in a new club record of 45.5.

Debutant Maggie Macleod (W50) would take third in the 200m in 37.2 and this was backed up by the 400 in 85.0.

There were solid performance form Suzi Graham (W40) in the 200m 40.4 and 3000m 13:46.7. Hannah Osborne (W35) would compete in the 200m 37.1 and the 400m 80.2. Kate Sergent (W60) 2000m walk 14:14.4 and 3000m 16:40.2.

Gemma Smith (W35) would complete the ladies team in the 2000m walk 16:27.4

In the Men’s team there were victories Andrew Reeves (M35) in the high jump 1.65m Peter Coote (M60) would take victory in the javelin 27.03m before taking second place in the triple jump 5.75m and the 200m 33.6.

Paul Hawkins (M60) would take victory in the 2000m walk in 11:59.7 for a new club record..

Drew Sambridge (M35) would take a brace of second places in the 200m in 27.2 and the 400m 60.9. Rob Minton (M40) would also take a brace of second places in the 200m 27.4 and the 3000m 10:33.7.

David Wilson (M50) would take second place in the long jump in a new club record of 4.40m and third in the 200m 27.0. Matt Burdus-Cook (M40) would compete in the 3000m and came home in a new club record of 10:01.3.

Philip Brennan (M70) would compete in 200m 38.1 and 3000m 13:43.6. Malcolm Bowyer would compete in the 2000m walk 13:32.3. David Battersby (M40) would compete in the 400m in 58.5.

David Jones (M60) would compete in the 400m whilst juggling team manager duties in 78.5.

In the field there were strong performances from Brian Gravelsons (M50) in the javelin 21.49m and the discus 19.80m, and John Butler (M70) in the shot 4.65m.

However the highlight of the night for many came in the final event. This was mixed over 50’s 4x400m and required teams of 2 men and 2 women to compete in the same race, so tactics were going to be key. Stratford team would take a convincing victory by some 5 seconds from Worcester.

Once again, many thanks are due to our officials, John and Andy Turner, Daf Hawkins and Tony Jackson.

The third match will take place at Stratford on Wednesday 3rd July, so please come down and support the club in this match.
Lynne Hinson and Matt Burdus-Cook.
The Two Castles Run.

Report – Jon Mulkeen.

Matt Burdus-Cook and Lynne Hinson were the top Stratford AC finishers at the Two Castles Run.

One of the most popular road events in Warwickshire, the 10k race takes runners from Warwick Castle to Kenilworth Castle, passing through Guys Cliffe, Hill Wootton and Leek Wotton along the way.

The hilly nature of the route means it’s not usually conducive to fast times, but several of the 32 club members came away with PBs.

Matt, who was a last-minute entry to the race, finished 20th overall and ninth in the M35 category. He was delighted to clock a lifetime best of 36:24.

Lynne was the first Stratford woman to finish and the 51st woman overall. Her time of 46:06 was 11 seconds quicker than her performance at this race last year and placed her fifth in the W45 age group.

Tim Hutchinson, who is currently recovering from an ankle injury, was the second Stratford athlete past the finish line in 141st place, although club-mate James Cusack – who finished five places behind – had the faster chip time. Hutchinson was credited with 41:20, while Cusack clocked 41:06.

Similarly, Peter Sugden finished ahead of Adam Evans, but the latter had the faster chip time. They recorded respective times of 42:49 and 41:25. Damian Wheeler (45:48) and Graham Hill (45:54) also finished inside 46 minutes.

Twenty-year-old Annie Cox was the second Stratford woman to cross the line, finishing in 46:45. Luke Watkins (47:47) also finished well inside 50 minutes, as did Clare Weatherhead (49:46) who placed 23rd in the W45 category.
Ian Greaves andAndrew Madden completed the race in 50.08 and 50:17, while Cara Reynolds finished in 50:42. Emily Adams (50:51) and Karl Harris (50:52) ran together, finishing just ahead of Mike Barrie (51:07). Rebecca Pridham (51:57) and Suzi Graham (52:27) followed shortly after.

Bev Brigden was eighth in the W55 age group, clocking a PB of 52:49. Dave Maundrell (52:57), Ian Hill (52:29), Maggie Macleod (53:18), Louise Stewart (54:11), Ruth Calderbank (57:02) and Stuart Macleod (58:34) were the other Stratford athletes to finish within an hour.

The race, which had more than 4000 participants, was won by Leamington’s Callum O’Hanlon in 32:55. His club-mate Kelly Edwards was the first woman, clocking 37:20.
Lisa Dallisson, Allan Coldicott and Lesley Kirk.
Broadway Hill Charity Run.

Report – Lesley Kirk.

Rather than head to the Sports club for the regular Wednesday evening club run, four club members decided to do something different by taking part in the Broadway Hill Charity Run.

The charity event, of which all proceeds go the Worcestershire Breast Unit Haven, starts and finishes in a quiet country lane but the fun bit is in between, when the route diverts into fields after half a mile, then it’s uphill all the way up to Broadway Tower.

Once there, the runners skirt around the back of the tower, heading across towards the visitor café, before then thankfully, descending back down the other side and on towards the finish.

The distance of 5 miles was plenty long enough on a warm and muggy evening but this did not seem to hinder Lisa Dallisson, who was first back for the club, in a time of 44.27 (77th place).

She also scooped 1st V45, gaining a trophy in the process, proving that her secret hill training in Wales is gradually paying off.

Next back was Sarah Bland in 45.52 (98th place) who, after finding the uphill section tough going, then got into her stride, passing Lesley Kirk in the last downhill mile.

Lesley finished just behind Sarah in 45.58 (99th place). The last to cross the line for the club was token male, Allan Coldicott in a time of 53.33 (168th place).

The first male to finish was Marcus Mumford of Evesham Vale Running Club, in a time of 32.55. The first female was Shona Crombie-Hicks of Tewkesbury Running Club, in a time of 36.01. There were a total of 252 finishers.
Lesley and Steve Kirk.
Coleton Footacher.

Report – Lesley Kirk.

If you’re a keen runner, it’s always an added bonus when on holiday that you discover a running event is right on your doorstep.

This happened to club member, Lesley Kirk, whilst she and hubby, Steve were staying in a National Trust Cottage just a few yards from NT Coleton Fishacre House & gardens, in Devon.

Organised by South Devon Athletic club, the Coleton Foot-acher was founded in 2016, and takes place along the coast path, starting & finishing in the NT grounds.

The 6.3 mile course starts at 7.30pm on a Saturday evening, taking runners uphill from the driveway before changing onto trails to drop towards the coast path. Once on the coast path you are rewarded with stunning sea and coastal views, which you have plenty of time to take in due to the steep climbs and drops.

Once back to the top, after what seems like endless steps, there’s a further drop down through fields to the coastal path, before a final climb up through the woods & gardens of one of the top five National Trust gardens in the UK.

Conditions on the day were perfect, as the previous day’s wind and rain had miraculously disappeared to be replaced with clear skies and glorious evening sunshine.

Lesley found the course very tough going, not only due to the 1,00ft of ascent, but also due to having competed in the Broadway Tower run just three days previously.

However, she decided the views were well worth the pain involved. Lesley finished in 30th place out of the 72 finishers, in a time of 1.05.26, to claim 1st FV60.

Amazingly, husband, Steve, had agreed to enter too, despite rarely running due to a dodgy knee, plus his dislike of anything off-road. This was also before he fully realised what he was letting himself in for!

Despite his lack of running fitness, he surprised his wife and himself by not only completing the distance in 1.11.51, but finishing in 33rd place, well inside the top half of competitors.

The first Male to finish was Sam Yearling of Plymouth Harriers in a time of 48.23. The first Female was Wendy Urban of Torbay Tri Club in 59.13.