Lewis Byng – History Maker.

History maker Lewis Byng.
Pride of place this week goes to the 6 members who competed against the country’s very best athletes in their age groups at the England Athletics Under 20 and 23 Championships.

At these championships Lewis Byng went beyond anything that any other British man has ever managed to do in the 20-year history of the event, by coming away with gold medals in both the U23 and U20 shot put.

There’s a smashing report from Lesley Kirk on The Salomon Trail Marathon Wales plus there’s Sheila Lammas in the Blakedown Bolt.

We also had 5 of our members competing in the Bredon Bash last Thursday but at the time of writing the results haven’t yet been posted.

There are 3 photos I thought you might like seeing and finally there’s a plug for the next Vet’s T&F fixture, which next Wednesday evening at the High School track.
Be there or be square.

Enjoy the rest of your week

Best Wishes

Above – Jack Sumners.
Below L to R – Imy and Jess Sheppard.
The England Athletics Under 20 and 23 Championships.

Report – Paul Bearman.

Lewis Byng made history at the England U23 and U20 Championships in Bedford last weekend, becoming the first man ever to win titles in both age groups at the same championships.

The event has been an important stepping stone for many of the country’s top athletes, with the likes of Jessica Ennis-Hill, Mo Farah, Greg Rutherford and Katarina Johnson-Thompson having won medals during their younger years at past editions.

Byng, however, went beyond anything that any other British man had managed to do in the 20-year history of the event and came away with gold medals from both the U23 and U20 shot put.

Even in his own age group, the U20 category, most of the athletes in the field were older than Byng, but he produced the second-best throw of his life to win comfortably with 18.94m, retaining his title from last year. It also secured his place on the British team for the European U20 Championships in Boras, Sweden, next month.

Twenty-four hours later, he was back in the shot put circle, this time competing in the older age group against athletes four years his senior and with the heavier weight implement. He smashed his PB – and the senior Stratford club record – with 17.16m. Only one other British athlete – national record-holder Carl Myerscough – has ever thrown farther at the age of 17.

Byng dominated the competition as all five of his measured throws were farther than the second-placed athlete’s best effort.

“I was confident of doing well in both age groups but I’m proud to be a double gold medallist, especially as the other main competitors were three or four years older than me,” said Byng. “I’m really looking forward to throwing in Sweden in the Euros now.”

Six other Stratford AC athletes were in action in Bedford.

The U20 men’s 110m hurdles final, one of the most hotly contested events, was again chosen as the closing race of the championships.

Stratford duo Jack Sumners and Ollie Cresswell had contrasting fortunes in the heats. Sumners booked his place in the final with his run of 14.11, while Cresswell didn’t get out of the blocks well and clattered a couple of hurdles, finishing seventh in his heat.

With one eye on the European U20 Championships qualifying time of 13.75, Sumners got off to a strong start in the final. Pre-race favourite Josh Zeller pulled away over the final few barriers but Sumners held on to take the silver medal in a PB of 13.90.

One day prior, Sumners came close to claiming a medal in the long jump. He had been in third place for most of the final but was overtaken in the final round. Nevertheless, he was rewarded with another lifetime best and outright club record of 7.29m.

Sisters Jess and Imogen Sheppard lined up in separate heats of the U20 women’s 400m. Jess finishing fifth in her heat in 59.17, while Imogen placed sixth in a PB and club record of 57.66.

Kaili Woodward had two marginal fouls in the U20 women’s long jump but pulled out a valid leap of 5.15m in the third round to finish 15th.

Rory Dwyer unfortunately had a recurrence of an old ankle injury and was unable to register a height in the U23 men’s high jump.

Lisa Dallisson and Lesley Kirk.
The Salomon Trail Marathon Wales.

Report – Lesley Kirk.

Coed y Brenin National Forest Park in Wales is the UK’s first and largest dedicated mountain biking & trail running centre. Covering some 9,000 acres of woodland, the many trails within afford stunning mountain views, waterfalls, hills and technical descents.

The forest park is host to many running events, one of the most popular of which is the Salomon Trail Marathon Wales. Both full & Half marathons take place on the same day, attracting runners from more than 20 countries, with many international athletes competing.

Needing no further persuasion, club members Lesley Kirk & Lisa Dallisson arrived at the award-winning Visitor Centre on a Saturday morning to take part in the Half Marathon.

Starting at 10am, an hour after the Full Marathon start, 1,200 runners set off to much fanfare, making their way up through steep woodland.

The route follows undulating gravel tracks and narrow forest paths, which every now and then open up giving stunning views of nearby mountains.

The descents through the forest are very technical due to tree roots, low branches & mud! Thankfully the recent heavy rain had stopped in time for race day and much of the lying water had drained away.

Lesley Kirk had a great run, despite feeling exhausted at the end. She finished back at the Visitor Centre in a time of 2.21.42 (38th female) in 179th place. Unbeknown to her at the time, she had also scooped 1st F60, so was over the moon.

Lisa Dallisson also had a great run but tiredness set in during the last couple of miles. She crossed the line in 2.25.45 (47th female) in 199th place.

For anyone who loves trail running, this is an amazing event, with a great atmosphere and camaraderie.

The Blakedown Bolt 10k.

Report – David Jones.

Competitors in this race are warned that they probably won’t be setting any personal bests.

It’s a tough course, with hills, stiles and pinch points as well as fabulous views, a water crossing plus a wide variety of fields, woods and paths.

Indeed all the quirky things that make this one of the best-loved and most memorable 10km events in the West Midlands.

There was also a BBQ and bar at the end?

Club member Sheila Lammas however was not to be put off by the difficult nature of the course and her endeavour was well rewarded with a time of 50.12 and an 88th place finish. She was also 2nd in her age category.

The race was won by Ian Williams in a time of 35.12 and the first female finisher was Simone Jones in 29th place with a time of 44.01. 298 runners completed the course.

One of Great Britain’s greatest ever sportsmen couldn’t pass up the chance of a selfie with a couple of our very own rising stars. Ellie and Jake Deaner at Queens
Talking of rising stars, this is a lovely photo of our very own Sarah Bland, Lisa Dallisson and Lesley Kirk at the recent Broadway Towers Run. Courtesy of Barry Cornelius
Tom Weaver strutting his stuff at the recent Heart of England Championships. Tom is currently ranked 56th in the shot put, 48th in the discus and 19th in the javelin. Last year he was 467th, 199th and 48th respectively.
And Finally

Next Wednesday 3rd July sees the next Vet’s T&F fixture and we will be hosting it at the Stratford High School track.

It’s the first time we have hosted such a fixture and it promises to be a special night.

It starts at 7 pm and the last races, the relays, start at 9.05.

There will be over 40 members, either competing or officiating and refreshments will be provided by Emily.

If you’re at a loose end please come along and support the team, it will be very much appreciated.