Short and sweet.

Matt Burdus-Cook battling it out in 2nd place with Richard Liggatt in close pursuit.
Short and sweet this week with a report from Phil Brennan on the latest Winter Series race.

There is also a note from Paul Hawkins about this year’s Midlands League T&F fixtures.

I had hoped to include dates for this year’s vets T&F fixtures but at the time of writing dates and venues for a couple of the fixtures are yet to be confirmed.

Happy New Year.

Best Wishes

David Jones.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers ( and sisters! ).
A group of our club members ready for another Battle of Larkstoke.

Tempo Winter Series Race 3.

Report – Phil Brennan.

Christmas was a distant memory at the last race of 2019, as over 300 runners took to the streets and hills around Ilmington in the third of these winter 10k races.

This challenging race, always a sellout, rewards effort in several unique ways, with every finisher receiving a pack of butcher’s sausages and a mystery prize awaits those who complete all five races in the series – possibly a hoodie but only time will tell.

Over thirty Stratford AC runners returned for the challenge, led home by Matt Burdus-Cook in 2nd place overall and 1st M35, his time of 37:38 leaving him well positioned to take the overall series prize.

Richard Liggatt, 7th, was frustratingly close to the 40 minute barrier in 40:01. In close pursuit, the next eight SAC runners were all inside the top fifty finishers: John Raby, 12, 40:55, Seth Turner, 15, 41:40, (2nd M45), Max Ross, 20, 42:49, Ade Mason, 24, 42:59, Malcolm Bowyer, 26, 43:18. Malcolm was 2nd M55, just 14 seconds off first place in his age category, Owen Goschen, 30, 43:48, David Smyth, 34, 44:36, and Joe Lee, 43, 45:51.

Mark Hateley, 53, 46:50, John Bettles, 63, 47:44, Clive Swain, 66, 48:10, Luke Watkins, 72, 48:31, James Coy, 76, 48:51, and Damian Wheeler, 77, 48:53, were all comfortably inside the fifty minute barrier. Agonisingly close was Pete Wharton in 50.06.

Emma Parkin and Clare Weatherhead battled it out to decide first female finisher for the club, finishing in 89th and 91st places respectively, with times of 50:21 and 50:24. They were 14th and 15th overall females. Liuba Pasa’s 52:11 gave her 2nd in her category.

Tony Tomecek, 53:28, Kimberley Lee, 54:07, Daniel Hodgkin, 54:25, Carl James, 55:50, Rebecca Pridham, 55:56, Simon Curran, 56:13, Phil Brennan, 56:57 (1st – MV75), Stuart McLeod and Richard Hartwell (both 59:00) all comfortably beat the hour. Neil Robertson, 1:00:08, was agonisingly close.

No SAC team would be complete without those who may not be as quick as some of those above but try as hard as any and Clare Eynon, 1:07:07, Alice Baxendale, 1:09:22, Paul Nash, 1:16:54, Gemma Smith, 1:17:38, and John Butler, 1:22:27 ( 2nd – MV75), deserve credit for completing this difficult challenge.

The race was won by Patrick Roddy in a time of 33.48 and the first female finisher, in 18th place with a time of 42.16, was Natasha White. 314 runners complete the course.

Track and Field – Midland League Season 2020.

Paul Hawkins – Team Manager

Although it’s the middle of winter we’ve just had the AGM of the Midland Track & Field League.

If you don’t know, this is the league for all senior age groups from under 17 upwards. There are six divisions and Stratford AC are in Division 3 where we came third in 2019, just missing out on promotion.

There are four one day fixtures in the season and each one covers a full programme of jumps, throws and track races for both genders where each club has an A and B athlete.

For the 2020 season the lower divisions have been regionalised to West, North West and South East areas to cut back on travelling. The bottom three teams from Division 3 will go into the Area Divisions and the top teams from each Area Division will be promoted to Division 3.

For Stratford the Division 3 Fixtures are all on Sundays and are

  • 17 May hosted by Sutton in Ashfield probably at Newark
  • 7 June joint hosted by Stratford AC & Worcester probably at Worcester
  • 12 July hosted by Bromsgrove & Redditch probably at Solihull
  • 9 August at Cheltenham

So, get those dates in your diary!

There’s also been one or two changes to the match rules, the most significant are:

  • The Steeplechase for women has previously been a non-scoring event but will become a scoring event and will have two 2k and two 3k races over the season. If anyone would like to try this out then let me know!
  • There are currently four relays at each meeting – male & female 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m. A mixed relay (2 men, 2 women) will replace both the men’s and women’s 4 x 400 relays for the 2020 season as a trial in the second match of the season
  • The women’s distance races have previously been 3000m but they will become 3000m and 5000m in keeping with the men’s races so there will be two of each during the season.

I’ll be recruiting for the team in the spring but if anyone wants to know more then let me know and I’ll be happy to answer any questions.