Club Champs, Big 10k, Ironman and more


Competitors at the recent truly memorable Club Championships
Well that will teach me to go on holiday for a couple of weeks.

My have you all been busy. Lots and lots to report on this week.

Firstly, there’s a reminder from Paul Bearman on what a truly memorable day the recent club championships were, this is supported by some fabulous photos courtesy of Dave Parkin.

We have a report on the performance of 8 of our talented juniors competing for Warwickshire in the U13/U15 Inter-Counties T&F Championships in Hull, where they helped Warwickshire secure victory against 7 other counties, together with a report on the end of a long and extremely successful season for Freddie Clemons at the England Schools Combined Events Championships.

There’s lots of Ironman action, with Emma Bexson finishing on top of the podium in Ironman Tenby and in doing so securing her place at the 2020 World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

Cadie Hbberd raced in her first Ironman event at Woburn and 5 members completed the Ironman 70.3 at Weymouth.

There’s the international performances of Phil Brennan and Andy Reeves to report on, as they represented Team GB at the European Masters Athletics Championships in Jesolo, Italy.

I know it seems ages ago but we have a report on the successful Stratford Big 10k with almost 60 members competing.

Lesley Kirk and Louise Stewart ran the 17 mile option of the Forest Marathon.

Andy Cox completed the Great North Run while Graham Hill ran the Rutland Half Marathon.

Finally, I managed a bronze medal in the British Masters 10,000m Championships in Jarrow.

Phil Brennan has asked me to say that due to the slowness of the official results being published, his report on the Balsall Common 5 and 10k races will appear next week.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Best Wishes

David Jones
An Urgent Appeal

Press Officer

As a club we currently enjoy excellent coverage in the local press.

This does not happen by accident.

It is thanks to a great team of volunteers who write these reports .

These volunteers, who are listed below, then send their reports to our press officer, who edits and collates them before sending them on to The Herald and Observer.

This is a vital role, without which we would not feature as prominently as we do in both the paper and online editions of these two newspapers

For the last 18 months or so Jon Mulkeen has filled this vital role superbly but for personal and work reasons he has now decided to step down.

If anyone would be interested in helping with this vital role, please contact Paul Hawkins and he can talk to you about it and give you a bit more detail.

The other press reporters in the team are:
Senior Cross Country – Tony Jackson
Junior Cross Country – David Parkin
Senior Track & Field – Paul Hawkins
Junior Track & Field – Paul Bearman
Masters Track & Field – Andrew Reeves

You will notice that we don’t have anyone doing either junior or senior triathlon, although we do get occasional reports from various people. If anyone would like to fill this role then, again, have a word with Paul.
It is said that pictures paint a thousand words, something that I think the above three photos from our recent club championships confirm. Everything that is good about our club was on display that day.

A Perfect Day….SUAAC Club Champs 2019

Report – Paul Bearman

As the song goes ………

Just a perfect day
Problems all left alone
Weekenders on our own
It’s such fun

Organising the Club Champs is a long and sometime tedious task but when it all comes together so brilliantly on a glorious late summer’s day, supported by a small army of over 40 club officials/ coaches and over 60 volunteers, every second of the pre work is worth it.

Over 150 athletes from age 7 to 70 took part, with every event on the timetable fully contested.

Friendly rivalry is the essence of the day but seeing the earnest and determined looks on the athletes during the events turn to hugs, smiles and laughter afterwards is what makes the SUAAC Champs such a special occasion.

The final Novelty events are called the fun events but the determination, matched by roars of laughter rounded the “Perfect Day” off very nicely.

Thank you to everyone who supported the champs and the medals and trophies for the various age groups will be presented at the SUAAC Club Awards on 19th October…..places are going fast so please see below.

Results can be seen on




ON SATURDAY 19th OCTOBER 2019 AT 6pm prompt

2019 celebrates the 40th anniversary of the when SUAAC was formed and our annual Awards Presentation Evening is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the whole club and in particular our athletes and is always very popular. A lot of preparation goes into making our awards a special evening for our young athletes and we hope all our members and their families will come along and enjoy the celebrations, so please be prompt in letting us know you will be coming.

Apart from the major awards, medals will be presented for the Club Championships and our successes in the various Sportshall, Cross Country, Road, Triathlon and Track & Field competitions we have been involved with.

The evening will be FREE and there will be goody bags for the young athletes. There won’t be a licensed bar and so you will need to take your own refreshments and snacks. Space is limited and because we have so many members now we may have to limit numbers of tickets per family and it will be first come first served so please reply early i.e. no later than 14th October .


Please copy and paste the information below and e mail the following information to


FAMILY NAME : AGE GROUP : U11/13/15/17plus/Senior/Triathlon



As with previous years we will be running a raffle of hampers made up from the generous donations of goodies from everyone, so please bring something along on the night. Thanks

Emma Bexson on top of the podium.
Ironman Tenby.

Report – Paul Hawkins.

Emma Bexson competed in Ironman Tenby over the full distance of 2.4 miles swim, 112 miles bike finished off with a full marathon of 26.2 miles.

The race started with a beautiful morning and an inviting sea and amazing atmosphere. Emma had a solid first lap on the swim feeling strong, the second lap was a little more choppy though still feeling good.

The long climb up off the beach took its toll on her legs but she was soon out on the bike course, feeling right at home on the undulating and very technical course, until at 50 miles in she had a problem her Di2, which is a computer with changes gears on the bike. This limited her to the small chain ring on the front and reducing the number of gears she had.

However, Emma kept cool and resourceful until the final 12 miles when she had to cope with no gear changing and two big climbs to go. She focused hard to dig deep to bring the bike home and was soon out on to the brutal and energy zapping run course.

The crowds where out in force and noise was something else along with amazing support and constant feed back from Emily Adams and the supporting crew which kept her strong to the end, finishing in a superb time of 11 hours 31 minutes 59 seconds to win her age group by a full 15 minutes and qualify for the world championships in 2020 in Kona, Hawaii.

Emma said “I’m thrilled to achieve my goal, a 1st place and a place in Kona. which has been my target all year. This truly amazing race should be on every triathletes bucket list.”
Freddie Clemons who has had a long and extremely successful season.
Alex Adams floating over the track.
Inter-Counties Championships
England Schools Combined Events

Report – Jon Mulkeen, David Jones and Paul Bearman.

Eight of our club’s talented juniors athletes represented Warwickshire at the U13/U15 Inter-counties Track & Field Championships in Hull.

They were part of the Warwickshire team that were victorious on the day, finishing top out of the 7 counties competing and beating their nearest rivals Leicester and Rutland by a comfortable 38 point margin – 552 against 514.

Freddie Clemons, the countries number one ranked U15 80 metre hurdler and 7th on the all time list was in action in this event, finishing 1st in a time of 11.82. Freddie also competed in the U15 B long jump, again finishing 1st with a jump of 5.27m.

Josh Roberts had a busy day in the throws competition, winning the U15 javelin with a throw of 49.48m, an event in which he currently has a UK ranking of 8th. In the discus he threw a PB of 27.69m, to secure 4th place and in the shot put he threw another PB of 9.03m to finish 6th.

Tom Manning is another of the club’s current batch of talented throwers and he was in action in the B events in both javelin and discus, achieving PBs in both. In the javelin, his throw of 36.90m was good enough to win the event and his shot put throw of 8.61m secured him a 4th place finish.

In the shot put, Tom Weaver’s throw of 7.92m in the U13 B match was good enough to secure 2nd place and Lucy Lane’s PB throw of 8.39m in the U15 B match ensured she finished in 1st place. Lucy was also in action in the U15 high jump, securing another PB with a jump of 1.55m and finishing in 2nd place.

In the U13 75m hurdles, Linden Williams was 5th with a time of 16.23 and Poppy Fox-Rowe ran a PB time of 2:19.49 to finish 2nd in the U15 hurdles.

Alex Adams smashed his PB by 10 seconds to finish 1st in the U15 1500m race

His outstanding 2019 season so far had included county titles at 3000m and cross country, as well as a bronze medal at the prestigious English Schools’ Cross Country Championships.

In what was likely his final track race of the year, the 13-year-old ended his 2019 track campaign on a high.

Alex settled in the middle of the pack during the early stages of the race and one by one he picked off the athletes in front of him and strode to victory in 4:20.87.

Although slightly disappointed to miss out on breaking 4:20, he was overall delighted to win with such a big PB and to take 9 seconds off the club record.

Freddie Clemons finally bought his long and incredibly successful season as the UKs U15 indoor and outdoor champion to an end in the England Schools Combined Events championships, representing Warwickshire.

In fairness, after training for a year and competing for the last 9 months mainly over the hurdles to win the championships, it has been Freddie’s natural all round ability that has enabled him to excel at the combined events but this was probably one competition too many for a tired Freddie.

Freddie had disappointments in his main events, the hurdles, long and high jump but had 2 surprises with PBs in the Shot (11.11m) and his least favoured 800m (2:21.51) giving him a total of 2609 points and a final position of 11th.

Time for a rest and no more combined events for Freddie as he concentrates on moving up to the U17 hurdles
On international duty :
Top – Phil Brennan.
Below, 3rd from left – Andy Reeves
European Masters Athletics Championships.

Report – David Jones.

Two of the club’s successful Vets Track and Field team represented their country at the European Masters Athletics Championships in Jesolo, close to Venice.

Andy Reeves and Phil Brennan were part of the Great Britain team that secured 3rd place at these championships, finishing behind the Italian hosts and the successful German team.

Andy was competing in the high jump, finishing in 6th place, with a jump of 1.59. The competition was won by Napolean Papp with a jump of 1.89.

Andy commented “Despite the thunder showers and the stinking cold that I came home with, I thoroughly enjoyed my first European championships. Yes I would have liked a better performance and feel that I could have got 4th given how I felt on the day and if I hadn’t of been injured. But that is athletics for you”

Our experienced international Phil Brennan competed in both the 5000m and half marathon. Event clashes prevented him competing in the 800m and 10k Road race as well.

In the 5000m his time of 23:07.20 left him just outside the medals, in 4th place. Amazingly, this was his best 5000m time since 2008!
The race was won by his international team mate Victor Shirley with a time of 21:45.65.

It was a similar story in the half marathon, with Phil once again finishing just outside the medals in 4th place with a time of 2:00.11.

He was comfortably shadowing the 3rd placed runner until the intense heat eventually got to him. Despite this he was the first Team GB member to finish the race, which was won by the Italian Fernando Gatti in a time of 1:43.34.

Phil was first reserve for both 4×100 and 4x400m relays but wasn’t required to run in either, so returned empty handed medal wise but can be justly proud of two 4th place finishes in highly competitive races. featuring the very best of European Masters athletes.
This was barely half of the club members who competed in the recent highly successful Stratford Big 10k.
Stratford’s Big 10k.

Report – Phil Brennan.

This 11th edition of the race reached its maximum 2000 entries quickly, a sign of its popularity. From the runners’ point of view, it combines being a model of good organisation with a varied and scenic course and has a well-deserved part in Stratford’s programme of festivities.

This year in particular, the exceptionally fine autumn weather and the nearly sixty strong Stratford AC contingent generated a feel-good factor which resulted in many exceptional performances, too many to give full credit to here.

No less than 19 PBs and 7 season’s bests were recorded and whatever they achieved, every Stratford runner seemed to manage a smile as they crossed the line. One Stratford runner described it as “amazing and inspirational “ to see so many in black and yellow.

For the first time, also, the race was nominated as a selection race for this winter’s England Masters cross country team. This meant that many of the age categories were more fiercely contested than usual.

The course starts on the Recreation Ground, follows public roads out to Milcote, and returns to Stratford via the Greenway, winding through the Old Town past the church and theatres to finish by the bandstand on the Rec. SUAAC supporters made their presence felt all the way round.

The club were well represented at the sharp end, with Josh Newman, 16th – 34:30, leading the way with the next eleven SUAAC runners finishing in under 40 minutes.

Matt Burdus-Cook, 20th, 35:21, stayed clear of the bunch behind, with Darren Nash, Ryan Bakewell, Chris Cond, John Raby, James Cusack, Seth Turner, Dan Lynch, Owen Goschen, James Coy and Malcolm Bowyer all finishing within two minutes of each other.

Josh was 4th in the senior men category, while veteran Malcolm was 6th MV55.

Mark Hateley, 96th, 40:37, just missed the 40 minute cut, while behind him, the next fifteen for SUAAC were under the 50 minute mark. Among these were Under 17 Thomas Mayes, outstanding in 146th, 42:32. Cara Reynolds, 221, 45:26, was first Stratford lady, followed by Liuba Pasa, 233, 45:38, who was also 2nd FV55.

Just outside 50 minutes were David Maundrell, 439, 50:44, Beverley Brigden, 446, 50:55, and Louise Stewart, 459, 51:18, although the latter two were too pleased about PBs to worry about it.

They were followed by another excellent U17, James Bexson, 468, 51:34. Behind him, a further seventeen runners broke one hour, with no less than eight of them recording PBs.

Another U17, Hope Lawton, ran 53:17, just in front of father and daughter team Tim and Edie Hutchinson. Tim ran 53:47, with Edie finishing just in front, although he might have been able to beat her if he tried harder.

Stalwarts Kate Sergent and Ruth Calderbank were 4th and 5th in the FV65 category, while Jean Hill enjoyed a well deserved PB in 59:19. Jane Fradgeley and Sue Mothershaw were just outside the hour on gun time, but inside on chip time.

Of the remaining ten to finish, not last and not least was International Master Paul Hawkins, who race-walked his way to an unofficial second best time ever for the distance. The PBs continued to arrive via Angela McLean and Linda Mazey, while John Butler and Gemma Smith, although bringing up the rear, enjoyed their day in the sun.
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Cadie Hibberd.
Woburn Half Ironman.

Report – Paul Hawkins.

Cadie Hibberd raced in her first half Ironman in Woburn which has a lovely undulating course.

For Cadie, not surprisingly, her favourite bit was the run. The swim was very clear and nice, the bike was through the deer park and out into undulating countryside and then the run was out and back through the duke’s private grounds. Cadie surprised herself in coming 10th female and 2nd in her category, which she wasn’t anticipating at all!

Her finish time was 6 hours 5 minutes 16 seconds made up of 37.45 for the 1.9k swim, 3.44.22 for the 90k bike and 1.38.25 for the half marathon run, amazingly only just outside her half marathon personal best.
Karl Harris beside the seaside at Weymouth.
Ironman 70.3 – Weymouth.

Report – Paul Hawkins.

For this event, due to the warm but windy weather conditions the sea swim was reduced to 950m. Five of out triathletes were in the field and while three were experienced, one was debuting at the distance and for one, Karl Harris, it was their first triathlon!

Despite his inexperience Karl was first of the Stratford contingent in a total time of made up of 6:26:05, making him 1509th overall.

He commented after “My first Ironman 70.3, tough conditions with the weather but weirdly enjoyable. Lots of encouragement from friends and family on route to help dig deep when I needed to. It’s amazing what you can achieve on a diet of chips! Here’s to the next one.”

For Brian Weetman it was a return to the race after last years’ freezing wet and windy foray.

As swimming is his strongest discipline he was disappointing to see the shortened swim, which he dispatched pretty quickly and without incident. The undulating cycle course went well until a puncture but Brian still showed a 25 minute improvement on last year.

The run was hard from the first kilometre to the last, with a strong wind leading to a comparatively slow time.He finished in a total time of 6:50:47 for 1718th position and 63rd in his category.

Brian commented “The event though was marvellous with such a great spirit among the other Stratford athletes and supporters. A complete joy and remembered for the great companionship as much as the race.”

Rebecca Pridham was racing this distance for the first time and told us that she had significant nerves going into her first Ironman event but once the bike was racked and the race briefing attended, it was calm all the way.

The swim was a tough one for her but once the panic of the cold had calmed down and her rhythm in place, she finished the swim in 25 mins, a little slower than hoped.

The bike, albeit with rain and wind, was an absolute joy for her though, finishing in 3:48 which was faster than she had expected.

Doing a half marathon after all that was a tough call but she ran 2.33 and finished in 7:05:14 in 1823rd and 28th in category.

Rebecca said after “that it was an achievement I am very proud of. My aim for the weekend was to complete an Ironman 70.3 and I was delighted to have finished and well within the cut offs too.

My support crew of Emily Adams and my youngest daughter Kate, were loud and highly visible with their union flag gilets on (even making the Ironman website!). Having them, and so many other Stratford triathletes there made for a superb experience.”

Next for Stratford was Rebecca Loftus in a time of 7:23:53 in 1954th but 342 in category. After a very difficult build up to the race Rebecca was delighted to finish, especially as she too suffered with punctures on the bike leg.

The final STC athlete to achieve a finish was Paul Nash in 8:24:01 and 2022nd place. This was quite a remarkable performance as Paul had four punctures, the worst of which was puncture number 3, which saw him running the 1 to 2 km back to the feed station to plead for a spare tube and then with just 5km to go, puncture number 4.

So a combination of running with the bike up hills, pumping up a punctured tyre, to roll down the hills, got him into Transition with very sore feet and legs and with about 6 minutes to spare before cut-off. The run was then going to be a challenge but seeing the Stratford supporters and other Stratford Triathletes kept him going, despite the wind, rain and cramp, and to reach the last 1 km, where he was greeted by Emily Adams, shouting encouragement and running/wiggling with him to the finishing mat.

As Paul said “a challenging day, but loved the support and camaraderie of the Stratford AC club mates.”
The eyes have it – Louise Stewart
The Forest Marathon.
Incorporating 10k, half marathon and 17 mile options

Reports – Louise Stewart and Lesley Kirk

Louise’s run in her own words.

I recently did the 17 mile option of the Forest Marathon in Henley in Arden, along with Lesley Kirk.

I’d never heard of this before but it popped up on my Facebook feed and I thought it looked interesting. Many club members know about this from previous years and as a relative newbie it was useful to hear their thoughts about it beforehand; these focused on food, views and maps!

I’m happy to report that this was great prep for a warm tough run. Beautiful scenery, sparse and very subtle signage and the bacon sandwich at CP2 went down better than expected (ie it stayed down!).

My navigational skills were well tested and I was pleased not to get lost as well as also being able to direct others. I had a feeling of real satisfaction having done this and will look out for more similar events in the future as I start to build up my miles.

Lesley’s run in her own words.

The Heart of England Forest is a charity originally set up by the late Felix Dennis and it hopes to eventually plant 30,000 acres of native broadleaf trees, to create a new forest across Warwickshire.

The Forest Marathon, incorporating a 10k, half marathon and 17 mile option, has been set up to help with this process, and every entry covers the planting of two new trees (one for 10k entrants).

I had originally entered the full marathon, but due to a nasty cold virus, I was unable to get the distance training in, so decided on the day that the 17 miler was probably the more sensible option.

Given the warm conditions, it proved a blessing, as the temperature rose rapidly throughout the morning. I ran with several marathon runners for the first ten miles, but once I turned off to go the seventeen mile route, I was virtually on my own. This meant I then had to look at the written instructions every minute or two, as the route markers were difficult to spot! I only went wrong once however, but managed to find the only muddy part of Warwickshire in the process!

I was relieved to finish, but it was a bit underwhelming, in that you ran in through the front door of a school hall and walked up to the registration desk to hand a number tag in but it was still a welcome sight, as was the school kitchens, where they were serving hearty post-run food!

The results were :

Lesley – 18th overall, 6th female in a time of 3.11

Louise – 36th overall, 16th female, in a time of 3.46

There were 101 runners and walkers who completed the distance.
Andy Cox.
The Great North Run.

Report – Phil Brennan.

Andy Cox, a long distance specialist, headed north in search of a fast half marathon time. His choice was the Great North Run, the biggest half marathon in the world, with over 50,000 participants running in Newcastle.

The good weather followed him and helped him to a massive 3:13 minute improvement on his previous best, finishing in 400th place in an impressive 1:24:20.

This bodes well for his attempt on the Berlin Marathon later this autumn.
Graham Hill
Rutland Half Marathon.

Report – Graham Hill.

The Rutland Half Marathon is a family run event at one of the most beautiful venues in the country. The race takes place around the shores of one of Europe’s biggest man-made reservoirs.

The event includes different distances and formats including a Full Marathon, Half Marathon and a Team Marathon with the route a combination of tarmac, gravel and dirt tracks and includes the whole circumference of the lake including the peninsula depending on the run distance.

The race format is based on peoples predicted running time (seeded) in a time trial format, with runners starting in waves between 09:30 – 10:20.

On arrival at the Rutland Water tourist information centre on the North shore, there was time for registration, a quick warm up, safety briefing before being let loose in the first wave for the Half Marathon at 09:50.

The Half Marathon course followed the same route as the Full Marathon for around 11 miles, taking a route across the dam towards the south shore of Rutland Water and passing the iconic Normanton church, continuing towards Manton golf course before turning back to head back over to the north shore to run along the cycle paths around Whitwell creek and Barnsdale woods before making another turn to head back to the finish line back at the tourist information centre.

Despite the wet conditions, a good pace set for the first 9 miles, but the last few miles were not as flat as expected so the PB was safe on this occasion but a respectable time of 1:40:53 was achieved finishing 45th out of 525 runners and 4th in my category.

The event was well organised and supported. After picking up the finishing medal and running vest, it was time to head of to the refreshment tents that were well stocked with sugary treats and cakes.

Running around Rutland water is well worth it so add this event to your running calendar.
Me on the podium.
British Masters 10000m Track Championships.

Report – Phil Brennan.

David Jones, the driving force behind the club’s successful Veterans Track and Field team, headed to Jarrow to compete at national level.

It was a rare opportunity to contest the 10000m distance, as it is becoming increasingly unpopular with Masters meeting organisers.

The Jarrow event was well attended, with 79 competitors and taking part in a friendly atmosphere.

Despite lack of recent racing experience at the distance, unlike some of the other competitors and In unseasonal heat, David secured a Bronze in the highly competitive M65 category.

He confessed to being disappointed with the time, 50:16.28, but has made a great comeback from major injuries and can look forward to a competitive season next year.

He has established himself as one of the increasing number of Stratford Masters who are competitive at this level.
And Finally

I know they were a few weeks ago but due to my holiday I haven’t had the chance to feature these superb photos from the Club Championships, mostly courtesy of Dave Parkin



And Finally Finally.

Kate Sergent, the club’s international marathon runner, takes delivery of her new England Team vest in readiness for the York Marathon on October 20th
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