A week of two halves !

Louise Stewart
It’s been a relatively quiet week this week.

We had a couple of runners in each of two half marathons taking place in Oxfordshire – The Maverick Inov8 Oxfordshire Half Marathon and the Oxford Half Marathon.

There was a sextet of members competing in the Green Leek Run and a quartet of lady members competed in the latest Draycote Water 10k, mainly graduates of the club’s Couch to 5k initiative.

Finally, the club’s international race walker Paul Hawkins, took advantage of the cancelled first fixture of this season’s junior XC league, to take part in and win the first of this season’s Midland Winter Racewalk League fixtures.

I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at the Club Awards on Saturday – please see below.

Be there or be square !

Best Wishes

David Jones.


19 October 2019
At Stratford School (in the main school hall)

As a reminder, the Awards start at 6.00pm. As we have a lot to get through we need to make a prompt start. Therefore, we are asking people to arrive from 5.45pm…..not before please.

We are getting on for a full house with upwards of 250 people attending and to make things move along more smoothly, as normal, we will seat the juniors together at the front with their friends, so they don’t have to “pinball” their way through the tables to the stage.

The evening is free and there will be goody bags for the youngsters at the interval and some snacks on the tables.

However, there isn’t a bar and so we are encouraging you to take your own refreshments. We are providing glasses i.e. wine, pints and half pints and plates if you take your own snacks.

As with previous years we will be running a raffle that will be drawn in the interval. We make up hampers from the generous donations of goodies from everyone so please bring something suitable along on the night.

We hope you have a very enjoyable evening.


Paul Bearman

Matt Sims.

Maverick Inov8 Oxfordshire Half Marathon.

Report – Phil Brennan.


Matt Sims, having completed the Marathon des Sables earlier in the year, was using this race as part of his preparation for his next major challenge, the Javelina 100k race in Arizona, later in the month.

He finished in 65th place with a time of 2:01.43, something he should be well pleased with considering the wet and muddy conditions

Louise Stewart has built her strength and fitness this season to become one of the club’s hardiest trail runners. This week was her greatest challenge to date, a half marathon through the depths of the Chilterns woods and hills, with deep and sticky mud slides being a memorable feature to match the spectacular views.

Despite feeling the effects of a virus, she finished in a very creditable 2:33:38, but will never feel the same about mud again.

The race was won by James Philips in a time of 1:34.17 and the first female finisher was Laura Rothwell in 18th place with a time of 1:49.33. There were 262 finishers

Tom Horbury.
Adrian Mason.

Oxford Half Marathon.

Adrian Mason in his own words.

I finished just 3 seconds off my time last year, with an official time of 1:29:37 and i was just 12 seconds off my half marathon PB.

Considering the year I’ve had, coming back from Injury and the torrential rain we had on the day, this was a surprising result which I was delighted with.

Flippers may have been more apt than trainers but having battled through the rain, I was more than happy to secure another sub 90 finish.

Mental strength played a big part and I was certain the 1:30 pacer was not going to pass me. As always, it was a very well organised event by Virgin and the crowds and support music/bands were just superb.

Tom Horbury in his own words.

Oxford is a town normally full of students and cyclists but on the 13th October it was over run with 7000 runners who arrived to run the Oxford Half Marathon!

It’s 9.30 and the claxon sounds for the start of the half marathon, after 10minutes I eventually crossed the start (I was at the back with me old friends tinky winky, la la and po, yes the Teletubbies are back!) heading towards Summerton and past some of the world famous university establishments. We spent most of the time avoiding the standing water, tourists but strangely no cyclists!

As we headed out of Oxford the rain starts to pick up tempo…ok, this rain is getting silly, a snorkel and flippers would be more appropriate but the plus side is, it’s keeping us cool!

We headed towards Marston village where we encounter a hill, well it’s more of slight incline around the village, we then head back towards Oxford! The rain has let up slightly but a drowned rat would be drier than me at this point and to be fair I just don’t care!

We come back into Oxford, past the slightly over energetic water station and into the park.

It’s a bit muddy and a lot of puddles but the thing that got me is this : we are soaking wet, there is not a single part of us that is wet but people insist on jumping over the puddles or running around them, why? You can’t get any wetter!!

Anyway, the finish line is a welcome site, even if it’s just to get dry! OK, the medal was cool!! I crossed the line in 2:9.09 sec! That’s nearly 8 min quicker than my pervious PB.
Richard Liggatt, Seth Turner and Drew Sambridge
The Green Leek Run.

Report – Drew Sambridge.

On a very wet Sunday, October 13th, six club members took part in the Green Leek [circa] 10.5km Run.

The race is a point to point run to celebrate the link between two schools in the Green Leek federation; Burton Green & Leek Wootton.

It is very much a race of of two halves, the first half between Burton Green & Kenilworth being mainly road or pathed surfaces and the second being across very muddy and water saturated fields, with a fast down-hill finish through a golf course. This meant it was good for practising two very different techniques during just the one race

1st to finish for Stratford was Drew Sambridge, putting into good use what he’d learnt during the track and field season with a sprint home to nab eighth place in a net time of 41:23, taking 1st place in the M35 category and enjoying the cross country running practice.

Shortly behind Drew was Richard Liggatt with an excellent time of 41:54 to finish 11th overall in a strong field.

After battling and exchanging places with a Kenilworth runner for most of the race, Seth Turner was unfortunate to miss out on a top 15th finish by mere seconds but he still ran a great race and finished in 42:52. He was impressively 3rd in his age category.

Luke Watkins was next to finish in 91st place (50:29) followed by Chris Bloomfield (58.49) with Natasha Watkins (1:11.37) rounding off a great outing for the club.

Overall it was a fun and well organised event with excellent marshalling and free, post run cakes!

The race was won by Callum Hanlon in an amazing 35:47, finishing more than 2 minutes ahead of the 2nd place finisher! The first female to finish was Marie Matthews in 12th place with a time of 42.02. 504 runners completed the race
Jan Turner.
Draycote Water 10k.

Report – Jan Turner.

Four ladies represented the club at Draycote Water 10k on Sunday 13th October: Jan Turner (1:05.42 – age category winner) Sandie Owens ( 1:05.46 ), Annie Threadgill (1:06.09) and Angela Mclean (1:09.25 – 4th in her age category)

All are relatively new runners, mainly graduates from CT5K a year ago.

Our new running addiction was not diminished by the very wet weather and we all completed the course in times comparable to our previous best attempts, despite the conditions.

The route is to be recommended, being circular around the reservoir, on tarmac paths with a few short inclines. It is part of a series of 6 over the winter.

We will be going again and trying to improve !

The race was won by Mathias Nicolas in a time of 34.43 and the first female to finish was Becky Beasley in 23rd place with a time of 42.26. 319 runners finished the race.
Paul Hawkins.

Midland Winter Racewalk League.

Report – Paul Hawkins.

The first race in the league was on Sunday and I took advantage of the cancelled junior cross country league fixture to take part in the 10k race held on the cycle track at Stourport over an 8 lap course.

This is quite a hilly course for a racewalk, so the times are usually fairly slow.

We started at a steady pace and I found myself in fifth place in the men’s race which was combined with the women’s race.. I held a steady 10 minute mile pace and gradually worked my way through the field and took the lead just before the 7k point.

There were some strong women walkers around me so they helped me to maintain the pace and I pulled away from the other men in the last couple of laps to finish in 63:10.

It was my first win in an open road race, I’ve won age groups before, so I was made up.

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