Road, off-road, T&F and Triathlon.

Daisy Musk.

Another varied week. Aren’t they all ?

There’s a report from Paul on the progress being made by our senior T&F team, having moved up to the more competitive Division 3. This is accompanied by the usual high quality photos from Mike Sheppard.

We have a report on a dozen of our members competing in the challenging but scenic Offa’s Dyke 15.

Three of our junior triathletes performed well in Leeds.

There’s the details of the Arden 9 with, appropriately, 9 members taking part.

9 members also competed in the Sphinx Summer 5.

The newsletter just wouldn’t seem complete without a report on a Phil Brennan medal warning performance. Just a silver this week Phil ? Pull your socks up !

There’s an important notice from Peter Coote on training possibilities for existing or aspiring Vet’s T&F athletes

Finally, a couple of photos that really do capture the atmosphere of last night’s Shakespeare Race.

Best Regards

David Jones

Fergus Allison
Dan Boyd and Imy Sheppard.

Midland Track & Field League, Match 2 at Tipton.

Report – Paul Hawkins.

Stratford AC went into the second match of the season in Division 3 of the Midland League looking to improve on their opening match where they had finished in fourth place and were able to strengthen the team despite several injuries.

Amongst the highlights was a Harry Allwood coming second in strong 400m and recording a personal best by a full second.

In the middle distance events Stratford had a father and son act with Fin Hutchinson returning from injury in the 1500m while dad Tim ran the 3000m, a much shorter race than normal.

Dan Boyd ,in his first league match for a year, equalled his best in the long jump to come second before having a good run in the 200m and then came third in the 100m despite almost pulling up with a hamstring injury in the last 10m.

Meanwhile, decathlete Nacho Fernandez had his usual busy day accumulating a hat full of points for the team in the 200m, both hurdle races, discus, javelin and shot. In the shot put both Stratford athletes achieved personal bests with Nacho joined by newcomer to the club Roger Milbourn.

In the women’s sprints, sisters Imogen and Jess Sheppard were the mainstay of the team. Imogen was 3rd in the 100m while Jess was 2nd in the 200m. However, in their main event, the 400m, they were dominant, both winning their races by big margins.

The 800m was another strong event where Daisy Musk won the A race and Emily Field won the B in a PB time. Emily, who has recently moved clubs to Stratford, had only set a PB the day before in a school’s race at Exeter so will be very pleased with the weekend.

Both Daisy and Emily then moved onto the 1500m and both finished second in their races. In the 3000m Cadie Hibberd ran well to come 4th with a remarkable 15 second personal best.

In the B 3000m Emma Bexson claimed an amazing second place. Amazing because in the morning Emma had competed successfully in a 100 mile bike time trial in Monmouth, driven straight up to Tipton and arrived just 15 minutes before her race.

Remarkably, after a demanding day Jess, Imogen, Daisy and Emily combined in the 4 x 400m relay to win by a full 20 seconds and equal the club record which had been set a month ago in the previous match.

The women’s field events were a strong area for the club. In the first event of the day Kaili Woodward had won the A event despite having an ankle niggle.

Emily Madden Forman won the B long jump before going onto win the A high jump and triple jump. Emily also won the sprint hurdles to demonstrate her quality across all the events.

Anna Gionis, who ran well to come third in her main event the 400m hurdles, showed her versatility by winning the B triple jump as well as coming second in the B 100m.

The women’s 4 x 100m team of Emily Madden Forman, Anna and the Sheppard sisters matched the longer relay result by winning their race by nearly two seconds.

Special mention should go to Paula Williams who was in all four throws and won the Shot, was second in the javelin, and 5th in the hammer and discus. As that wasn’t enough for Paula, she was also second in the B high jump and won the B sprint hurdles.

The final scores on Sunday were


City of Stoke AC



Telford AC



Stratford on Avon AC



Worcester AC



Halesowen A & CC



Royal Sutton Coldfield


This means that the league table after two matches is:

1 City of Stoke AC 12

2 Telford 9

3 Worcester AC 8

4 Stratford on Avon AC 7

5 Halesowen A & CC 3

6 Royal Sutton Coldfield 3



At the end of the match Team Manager Paul Hawkins said “After two consecutive promotions we are more than holding our own in Division 3 and we are still in with a shout of getting into the top two. With the amazing team spirit we have and the quality in the squad we can still do very well this season.”

Raring to go at Offa’s Dyke

Offa Dyke 15.

Report – David Jones.

This was the 5th year of this race since it’s rebirth in 2015 and the 29th running in total of this classic race that was held every year from 1977 – 2001.

For those 25 years it was THE off-road race to do, with runners coming from all over the country and abroad to complete this beautiful but challenging race.

Foot and mouth caused its cancellation in 2002 and following this, the race organisers were unable to get the momentum back to re-start it.

In 2015, Tempo Events, with the invaluable help of David Joyce the original race director, re-launched it.

Whilst it broadly follows the Offa’s Dyke Path, one of the quirks of this unique race is that to reduce the number of stiles runners must navigate, David once again gained the permission of every farmer and land owner to have the race go through their land and open their gates.

This year 12 club members completed the race.

Following his success as the club’s first finisher in last week’s Two Castles Run and competing in his first off-road race, Matt Burdus-Cook replicated that performance by once again being the first club member finisher.

He was the 9th overall in a time of 1:53.28 and 3rd in his age category. Drew Sambridge (15th – 1:59.31) was next to finish followed by Ivan Sarti (31st – 2:08.01). Ivan was 2nd in his age category, less than a minute behind the category winner.

Kieran Tursner (41st – 2:11.36 ) was making a welcome return after a lengthy period of injury and should be well pleased with his performance.

David Smyth (52nd – 2:17.25 ) was a couple of minutes ahead of Mark Hatelely (56th – 2:19.23) who was followed by 3 runners who had completed in last week’s Two Castles Run. The first of these was Pete Sugden (70th – 2:24.00) followed by Adam Evans (84th – 2:27.55) and Karl Harris (92nd – 2:28.53).

Liuba Pasa was the first of the 3 of our women to finish in a time of 2:43.54, she was also 5th in her age category. Liuba was followed by an in-form Rebecca Pridham, who’s time of 2:52.41 was some 8 minutes quicker than her time last year.

Finally, Louise Stewart, acting as the race sweep, completed the course in 3:24.28.

The race was won by Connor Carson in a time of 1:44.15 and the first female finisher was Ann Nixon, in 17th place with a time of 1:59.48. 228 runners completed the course.

Above L to R : Charly and Juliette Marshall.
Below : With their medals.
AJ Bell Triathlon Leeds 2019.

With thanks to Becks Pridham.

Three of our junior triathletes competed recently at the AJ Bell Triathlon Leeds 2019.

Charly (TS3 age group) and Juliette Marshall (TS2 age group) together with Ellie Deaner (Youth category)

Juliette was 50th out of 93

Charly 37th out of 79. She has been having a fantastic season so it’s wonderful to see her doing so well on the national stage.

Ellie (Youth category) finished in 57th place out of 127, another strong performance.
Ollie Senior

The Arden 9.

Report – David Jones

The Knowle and Dorridge Arden 9 follows a pleasant rural course that is a 9 mile loop starting from the Tennis Club in Hampton, via Catherine de Barnes to Barston, then back through the centre of Hampton in Arden and finishing back at the tennis club.

The race welcomes runners of all standards from serious club runners participating in the Warwickshire Road Race League, to social runners looking to enjoy the unusual challenge of the 9 mile distance.

Nine club members competed in the race, with Ollie Senior being first to finish in 24th place and a time of 54.26. Ollie was followed by Luke Watkins (1:09.29) who was just 20 seconds slower than when he last competed in this race 6 years ago.

Luke was followed by a couple of our female runners who were just 38 seconds apart. First of these was Annie Cox (1:10.20) followed by Emma Donnelly (1:10.58) who was a couple of minutes quicker than last year.

Next was Arden 9 regular, Dave Maundrell (1:18.32) just 49 seconds slower than last year but quicker than he was in 2017. Just 18 seconds behind Maundrell was Maggie Macleod (1:18.50) followed by husband Stuart Macleod (1:29.04). 7 seconds ahead of Stuart was Pippa Abrams (1:29.04). Finally, the ubiquitous John Butler finished in a time of 1:50.46.


The race was won by Toby Spencer in 49.13 and the first female finisher was Polly Keen in 27th place with a time of 54.42. 380 runners completed the course,

Dave Maundrell.
The Sphinx Summer 5.

Report – David Jones.

This is an annual 5-mile race organised and promoted by Sphinx AC which is hosted in and around Coventry’s War Memorial Park.

It has earned its deserved reputation by offering a value-for-money event that boasts free parking, excellent organisation around a stretching – largely traffic free – course.

Finishing in the shade of a tree-lined downhill path, a banana, a memento, drink and free cakes await all finishers.

The event is well-supported by club athletes from all over Coventry, Warwickshire and the greater Midlands running community. Unattached runners and beginners are also assured of a warm welcome at Sphinx AC events.

For our 9 club runners competing, not only was this race part of the Warwickshire Road Race League but also our own Grand Prix competition.

The first of these members to finish was Ollie Senior in 9th place and a time of 28.22, followed by James Cusack in 32.43 and 77th place.

Next to finish was Pete Sugden, who’s time of 33.15 was 4 seconds quicker than last year. Pete was followed by Luke Watkins (36.58) who was almost 5 minutes quicker than last year.

Dave Maundrell (40.07) finished just over a minute ahead of Simon Curran (41.12) who was just under a minute ahead of our first female finisher Bev Brigden (42.07)

Next to finish was Ruth Calderbank (44.34) followed by another of our members who improved on last year’s time, Pippa Abrams (46.15),75 seconds quicker than last year.

The race was won by Ben Taylor in a time of 26.25 and the first female finisher, in 27th place was Rachel Gifford with a time of 30.04.

404 runners completed the course.

The Horwich Festival of Racing,

Report – David Jones.

Every year the town of Horwich in Lancashire holds a two day Festival of Racing with a traffic-free, heavily marshalled circuit in the town centre being host to a series of cycling, walking and running races for all ages.


On Sunday it was the turn of the British Masters 5k road championships. Phil Brennan was the sole club member competing in this event. The three and a bit lap course is officially described as “challenging “ with a character-building climb and descent on each lap.


Phil was second in his age group, securing the silver medal. This was certainly no disgrace as the category winner was the legendary Martin Ford on his way back from long term injury.

Phil was pleased to finish ahead of John Horton, another good track and road runner.

The race results are also used as part of the selection process for the autumn international cross country teams, so he didn’t do his chances of selection any harm with this performance.

His time of 23:13 was exactly the same as when he last ran this race 2 years ago.

The only negative as far as Phil was concerned was the 300 mile round trip, mostly in driving rain on the way back.

Vets Sprint Group


Following the recent success of our Vet’s T&F team, Peter Coote and the Vet’s sprint group want to ensure that any eligible members are aware of the training sessions available.

Peter has very kindly produced the following guide.

Vets Sprint Group

The purpose of the Vets Sprint Group is to:

  • Provide introductions and development pathways for vets of all ages and abilities who wish to sprint competitively.
  • For those vet sprinters who also wish to jump (high, long, triple) competitively, it will also provide introductions and development pathways.

Sprint training sessions are on Monday and Thursday evenings between 6:30pm and 7:30pm at the track, in a coned-off area of lanes 4, 5, and 6 of the back straight and, when required, part of the preceding anti-clockwise bend.

The jump training sessions will be on Monday evenings between 7:30pm and 8pm on either the high jump or long jump areas, by prior notification.

Training sessions will be pre-planned and advised, will suit a mixed ability group, and will evolve during the year, depending on the stage of the season.

Coaching will be provided by a group of coaches, with coordination provided by Peter. We will aim to have two coaches for each main session. This will enable mixed ability coaching, provide the opportunity for the coaches to participate in the sessions as coachees, and enable vacation/absence cover.

This will require us to establish and expand a group of active and qualified coaches for the group. Currently we have Elaine Ledden, John Boxall, and Tony Humphries (if he wishes to continue).

To this we will add some new coaches who are willing to get qualified. Peter and Christine Coote, Andrew Reeves, Andy List, David Wilson, and Paula Williams have expressed interest in doing this.

Vets who wish to participate in the group will be expected to make the coach(es) aware in advance of when they will be attending, to allow for effective session planning.

More photos from the Midland T&F league fixture at Tipton.
Courtesy Mike Sheppard
Clockwise from top left : Kaili Woodward, Josh Newman and James Gionis, Nacho Fernandez and Tim Hutchinson, Jess Sheppard, James Gionis, Emily Field, Tim Hutchinson, Matt Burdus-Cook, Nacho Fernandez and Anna Gionis.
And Finally.

Wednesday evening saw the latest of this year’s monthly Shakespeare Races take place.

It was very generously hosted by the Dobedoe’s at their farm.

The idyllic surroundings made for a spectacularly scenic course, although this particular runner found it somewhat challenging !

There was a BBQ and The Henley Ices retro ice-cream van was not only dispensing scrumptious ice cream but also liquids of a somewhat stronger nature.

Sincere thanks to Richard, Anne and family for their generosity.

Below are a couple of photos, courtesy of John Pridham,
that give you the feel of how wonderful the evening was.

Pippa Abrams heads for the finishing line – up a hill. Thanks a lot Richard and Becks !!