Super Saturday.


Our gold medal winning U13 girls team – Tessa Parkin, Maddie Linfoot and Niamh Hillard.

Having just about dried out from last night’s Shakespeare Race, run in pouring rain – a big thank you to the marshals for standing out in such appalling conditions – it’s time to report on another superb weekend of Cross Country for the club. This time it was the Warwickshire County Cross Country Championships. The club finished the day in 2nd place overall, with 20 other clubs competing. A magnificent performance.

In the process we collected a 10 medal haul, with 3 individual golds, a team gold, an individual silver and bronze, plus 4 team bronze medals.

The final positions were as follows :

Birchfield Harriers 815

Stratford 623

Coventry Godiva 563

Royal Sutton Coldfield 533

Solihull & Small Heath 441

Paul Hawkins commenting on the performance of the juniors, said “On top of our successes in the WMYACCL this is wonderful news and is down to an excellent group of athletes and a coaching team able to develop them.”

Many apologies for not having any photos of our Senior ladies team at the weekend. You were obviously all running far too quickly to be captured on camera.

These results bode well for the coming weekend’s XC fixtures – Birmingham Men’s League Race 3 at Coombe Abbey Park, Coventry, the Midland Ladies XC fixture at Park Hall Country Park, Trentham and our table topping juniors are in action in the penultimate fixture of this season’s WMYACCL on Sunday at Nuneaton.

Finally this week have another of Lesley Kirk’s delightful reports, this time on the Wymondham New Year’s Day 10k.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Best Wishes

David Jones.


A trio of gold medallists. From the top – Georgie Campbell, Niamh Hillard and Alex Adams.

Warwickshire County Cross Country Championships.


Report – David Parkin, Tony Jackson & Paul Hawkins.

The Warwickshire County Cross-Country Championships are a longstanding event in the calendar. They give athletes the opportunity to race for individual and team medals on the day, as well as selection to represent Warwickshire at the national inter-counties fixture in March.

The event was held at Warley Woods this year, familiar to our junior athletes as one of the annual league fixtures. The races are a little longer than those in the league, giving an extra challenge to all involved. The club had our most successful outing ever with three individual golds, one silver and two bronze, and five team medals.

In addition, the Heeley Trophy is awarded to the best club overall, taking into account all age groups. For the last two years we have finished third but this year we moved up to second place, demonstrating our continued improvement. We finished behind Birchfield but beat last years winners Coventry Godiva.

The U13s race over 3km, with the girls starting immediately after the boys. In the U13 boys’ race, William Mayes (10th, 10:53), continued his fine league form and looked good as he finished strongly.

Close behind William were James Day (14th, 11:08) and Henry Wheeler (17th, 11:19) and, with the first three finishers constituting the team, this was sufficient to give the team an excellent third place overall. The squad also comprised Seb Hillard (18th, 11:22), Joe Lewis (24th, 11:35) and Ben Herbert (27th, 11:51).

The Stratford U13 girls fielded a large team of 11 athletes. Maddie Linfoot (3rd, 11:05) and Niamh Hillard (1st, 10:36) were part of a small group that made much of the early running on the first lap before Hillard made a stunning move on the hill at the start of the second lap to accelerate into the lead. She continued to extend her position in an imperious display of cross-country running, even overtaking a number of the U13 boys who were still on the course just before the finish.

Tessa Parkin (9th, 11:31), running two years under age, had a fine outing to make up the team which placed first overall.

The next three Stratford runners, Abbi Cooper (10th, 11:47), Caitlin Boyle (11th, 11:48) and Annie Silvers (12th, 11:49) worked well together round the course and illustrated the strength in depth of this squad.

Also competing were Martha Paters (21st, 12:34), Tilly Campbell (29th, 13:01), Harriet Black (33rd, 13:09), Ruby Edwards (38th, 14:33) and Kate Pridham (41st, 15:02).

In the U15 boys’ race, run over 4km, Alex Adams (1st, 12:53) last years under 13 winner, successfully won his new age group by leading from the front and looking in excellent form as he has all season. Adams eventually won by 20 seconds over his rival Finlay White from Birchfield Harriers.

Theo Skirvin (16th, 14:25) and Taylor Stubbins (26th, 15:37) both ran well to make up the team that secured third place followed by Joe Warner (32nd, 16:36).

The U15 girls’ race saw fine teamwork from Charly Marshall (2nd, 15:11) and Olivia Robinson (3rd, 15:18) who ran together throughout and should be delighted with their excellent showing. Placed 5th and 6th on the first lap, they confidently worked their way up through the field, as we have been accustomed to seeing from Marshall in particular in the league races this season. Poppy Fox-Rowe (23rd, 18:31) completed the point-scoring team which came third, closely followed by Molly Bullock (24th, 18:44), Martha Hodgson (26th, 18:52) and Georgia Pridham (32nd, 23:48) all battling hard on the long and challenging course.

The U17 and U20 races were run together over a 5k course. In the under 17 women’s race Georgie Campbell (1st, 16:49) successfully defended her title to win by over a minute from the second place athlete.

Remarkably this was Georgie’s fifth consecutive title since she first won as an under 13. Ellen Taylor (5th, 19:02) who continues to improve in her comeback from a long term injury, started conservatively but worked her way through the field in the second half of the race.

The only Stratford runner in the U20 women’s race was Daisy Musk (20:05) who was also in fifth place and will be pleased with this run as she develops in this age group.

The U17 and 20’s men also ran together but over a three lap 6k course. The club’s U17 men’s team claimed the club’s fifth team medal of the day led by James Mucklow (12th, 21.31) followed by a fast finishing Josh Dobedoe (17th, 22:27) and Ned Campbell (19th, 22:35) in probably his best race yet as he comes back from injury.

There were two more Stratford athletes completing the strong team, Fin Hutchinson (26th, 24:33) and Cameron Black (27th, 24:41).

With only two Stratford runners in the U20’s men there was no team award but both runners should be happy with their races; Owain Jones (11th, 21:30) and Seb Hopper (14th, 22:12).

The day’s events concluded with the Senior Women’s and Men’s races which both incorporated a separate Masters race.

Stratford completed a team in both Ladies competitions with Sophie Dobedoe (22nd, 24:25) leading the Seniors team home with a terrific run and placing. Suzanne Ross (27th, 27:47) and Sarah Vernon (34th, 28:34) can both be pleased with their runs and their combined scores meant a very respectable 6th place finish in the team competition.

In the Masters race Emma Bexson 18th (25:19) continues to be a model of excellent consistency and Yvonne Ganjy 32nd (27:27) can also always be relied upon to provide a strong supporting role.

Liuba Pasa 47th (28:24) who is enjoying her first British cross country season, was the final team scorer and overall they placed 7th Team. Rebecca Pridham 59th (29:59) was her typical smiley and gutsy self as the final finisher from the club.

In the Senior Mens race Josh Newman 15th (31:49) was our only runner following several withdrawals due to injury but that only highlighted his excellent performance and he can be hugely satisfied with his run, especially as he was not fully recovered from illness over Christmas.

Matt Burdus-Cook 9th (32:41) continues in fine form and he led home the Masters team running very strongly. The measure of his improvement is that in the Masters race he moved from 32nd last year to 9Thand in the senior race from 106th to 45th.

Behind him was a hard-fought battle which ended with Tim Hutchinson 21st (34.15) just getting the better of Neil Wickes 23rd (34.29) after running close together for the whole race.

A solid run by John Raby 35th (35.29) completed an excellent team performance that saw the team finish just outside the medals in 4th position.

Behind them came the ever-dependable Malcolm Bowyer 50th (37.20) closely followed by David Smyth 52nd (37.37) Max Ross 53rd (37.39) who were always together spurring each other on. Mike Sheppard 93rd (41.42) and Phil Marshall 119th (46.27) both enjoyed their runs as they brought a very successful afternoon for the club to a close.

Our U13 boys XC team.
Our U13 girls team.
Our mens XC team.
Steve and Lesley Kirk with nephew Matthew.
Wymondham New Year’s Day 10k.

Report – Lesley Kirk.

Lesley & Steve Kirk headed to deepest, darkest Norfolk over the festive holidays to visit family and whilst there, made the most of the added bonus of a 10k run nearby.

Wymondham New Year’s Day 10k proves popular every year, and sells out well in advance of the closing date.

The route follows quiet country lanes in a single loop and is fairly flat, apart from one small uphill towards the end. In other words, a perfect antidote to the night before!

With the race starting at 10.30am, there was plenty of time to jog to race HQ, with it conveniently being less than a mile from home.

Once registered, there was a ten minute walk/jog through the town to the start in a quiet country lane.

Joining Lesley for the run, were Steve, who’s gradually getting back to running and his 16 year old nephew, Matthew, taking part in only his second 10k distance.

Matthew, not surprisingly, was on a mission to beat his aunt & uncle, and this he did convincingly, finishing in a time of 46.25 (142nd). Steve followed in a time of 49.59 (250th), which he was really pleased with, as was hoping to get under 50 mins. Lesley, who rarely runs on tarmac if she can help it, was third of the trio back, crossing the line in 52.24 (313rd) but later consoled herself with finding she’d come first in her age group, so winning a prize!

There were 668 finishers. First male back was Alex Tripp (unattached) in 31.46, while first female was Juliette Watkinson of Wymondham AC in 37.43.
And Finally

More photos from the weekend’s XC
Georgie Campbell collects her 5th successive shield.
Maddie Linfoot and Niamh Hillard collect their trophies.
Georgie Campbell, Ellen Taylor and Daisy Musk.
Josh Newman and Matt Burdus-Cook.
Tim Hutchinson and Mike Sheppard.
Abbi Cooper, Caitlin Boyle and Annie Silvers.
Seb Hillard and Joe Lewis.
Maddie Linfoot and Charley Marshall
Left – William Mayes.
Theo Skirvin and Adam Taylor.
Tessa Parkin and Harriet Black.
Alex Adams with plenty of daylight behind him.
Ben Herbert and Taylor Stubbins.
A pair of Pridhams – Georgia and Kate
Molly Bullock and Poppy Fox-Rowe
Martha Peters.