Tom’s Story and Shakespeare Race results.

Tomos Horbury.
I hadn’t really planned on a newsletter this week as there didn’t seem to be a whole lot to report on. However, the best laid plans……

I then received a couple of truly inspirational articles, one each from a junior and senior club member, followed by the details and results from this month’s Virtual Shakespeare Race hot off the press.

A big thank you again to Sarah and Matt for organising this race with once again over 100 members taking part and extra special thanks to them both for writing a report in double quick time.

The article from Tom Horbury is one of the most powerful piece of writing I have been sent since I started doing the newsletter. I must admit to a moistening of the eyes as I finished reading it.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us all Tom.

The article from talented 10 year old Joel Ledgard is also inspirational. It’s about his determination to continue with his exercise in these unprecedented times but it’s more than that, it’s also about his desire to give something back, with him and his family raising money for both his school and the NHS while running a marathon spread over a couple of weeks

Thank you very much Joel. You are also an inspiration to us all.

Phil Brennan has been competing in external virtual races and it occurred to him that he won’t be the only club member doing so.

He has asked that if you have competed in an external virtual competition and can let him have details, together with any relevant photos, he can then package the reports up and produce an article for the newsletter and local press, if it still exists !

Phil’s email address is :

Finally we have a few more pages from yesteryear, with many familiar names featured.

Phew and here was me thinking I’d have a week off this week

Take care and stay well.

Best Wishes

David Jones

Why We Run.
Why I run.

Tomos Horbury.

So, why do we run? Well many people run for many different reasons, fitness being the main one, but some people run for an escape, they run for the glory (not me!) they run for friendship but what connects us all is the camaraderie.

We are not all Matts or Robs or Emilys or Karls, we are each individual but connected by one amazing thing, we are all members of Stratford AC.

Two years ago I started running, well I say running, more of a wobble, but still I went out and put one foot in front of the other until I could muster 5km in under an hour!! Strange to think that I have just done a 5k tonight in 26min!!

I run for many reasons, the main thing being is I don’t want to be on medication…

Four years ago I was diagnosed with the male equivalent of post natal depression, its horrible, I can’t remember the first two years of my little boy’s life. I was exceptionally low, very anxious about everything and as such I was put onto some seriously strong anti depressants.

Because I wasn’t looking after myself, I managed to gain weight and as of January 1st 2018 I weighed in at a massive 134kg.

It was this point I decided to do something about it, but what?

I started to run (wobble), I bought myself some sleek running shoes and an amazing sports bra and I set off on my journey.

At first my journey was slow and boring, I could manage a 5km run in about 55min but I kept going.

Every Wednesday when I was out plodding the streets and causing a mini earthquake with every step, I would see a group of runners, dressed in yellow and looking like they were off the set off Baywatch (yes Rob, that’s you!) They would always say hi as they went past me at a million miles an hour but it just spurred me on…

In the summer, by chance, I met Emily Adams who persuaded me to come along to join in with this merry band of yellow vested wasps.

I was very nervous (anxiety) but I was felt so welcomed into the club. I ran with some people and met loads of lovely lovely guys and gals. I instantly joined (well that and I got £2 off race entires and who don’t like a bit of discounted bling??).

Fast forward to now, May 2020, we are in the grips of a global pandemic, we can’t run together, we can’t meet up and there are no races, but…and this is a Jenifer Lopez bit… the club is stronger, we are supporting each other in ways we would never have dreamt of, from facebook posts, where you can post the slowest of times but get a ton of encouragement, to people donating £2 for every virtual race entire to charity. To Sarah and Matt running our virtual Shakespeare race. Our little club is massive and I am so proud to be apart of it.

One run can change your day, being part of Stratford AC will change your life.

Brian Weetman’s effort’s – Well the sponsor is always going to be given priority isn’t he !

May’s Virtual Shakespeare Race.

Report – Sarah Bland.

May saw the Shakespeare race distance come down to 5 miles and this month we added in a 10 mile bike ride, (to cater for those of us laid off primarily!) but it has proved very popular and what a sound bunch of cyclists we have in our club!

Its something that will continue in future months, watch this space….

Brian Weetman had pledged £2 from his company Risk Hub Insurance to the NHS for every runner and cyclist, as well as some prizes in the combined event, an added incentive to dust off our bikes.

In the running event, we had 40 women and youngster Georgie Campbell took the win in 30.39, with slightly older Kate Wright coming back to some good form in second (32.10) and Sheila Lammas in a welcome return to SAC racing posting 33.31.

In the men’s race it went to the wire, 20 second separating the top three.

Richard Leggatt posted his time on the final evening and knocked Matt Burdus-Cook of the top of the virtual podium in a time of 28.37 and even later, Alex Adams came in with a time of 28.57 to take third place behind the old boys. It won’t be long before he gets the top spot.

Some outstanding running with the top 11 men all posting sub 31 minute times and perhaps Ade Mason deserves a mention for his sub 30 time to be in 4th place, set early on and firing everyone else up.

Once again it was great to see some juniors running too with some great performances from Adam Taylor, Caleb Spriggs, Ned Campbell and Taylor Stubbins.

In the cycling race there were no rules for the course you chose but as usual the best cyclists don’t really need downhills to up their average speed.

We all though we were doing quite well until yesterday when Richard Shephard hopped onto his bike and took nearly 2 minutes off the lead at an average speed of over 27and a half mph. But that shouldn’t prevent anyone from being impressed with over half of the boys posting a sub 30 minute time and thus over 20mph. Surprise speedy pedallers included Seth Turner and Nick Campbell both clocking times under 26 minutes.

In the ladies race predictably the pocket rocket Emma Bexson won in 25 minutes and over 23mph. In 2nd, but in a blatant cheating manner Sarah Bland started at the top of Saintbury Hill and in spite of clocking a maximum speed of 42mph her lack of pedalling ability and the pain of getting to the top caught up in the second half.

In 3rd place Kim Lee showed that the family Lee are awesome athletes, taking unborn Lee for his or her first TT to demonstrate what will be expected later in life.

So onto the combined event – ladies Kate Wright, Georgie Campbell and Maria Haslam took the podium places, if Georgie can swim we might have another top triathlete! Kate shows her incredible ability in both disciplines as does experienced duathlete Maria.

In the men’s race Joe Lee stamped his authority early on and no-one could touch him this month, though Seth Turner banged out a wicked cycle TT and pushed Matt B-C, who turns out to be far from a shabby cyclist into 3rd.

Nick Cambell deserves a mention for winning the over 50 prize, apparently Brian Weetman doesn’t mind being beaten at all Nick…

Brian is giving prizes to three age groups – under 35, 35 – 50 and over 50, as well as some spot prizes which he is going to announce. We are really grateful to him for the fun we have had.

Next month’s races will be announced shortly – thank you for all the appreciative emails its been great to see and share your races with you, keep it up!


Combined results link:!AmfaE_PIsIcvnAfABvQWo9rRCqBG?e=coUwBY

Race results link:

Joel and his brother Toby after he had finished the last leg of his marathon.

Joel’s Run.

Report – Joel Ledgard.

My name is Joel, I am 10 and I go to the Thursday night junior endurance training.

Recently I have not been able to carry on doing my sporting hobbies like swimming, football and running as I normally would, so Dad and I have been more inventive with how we exercise.

Two and a half weeks ago, we had the idea to set ourselves a challenge and raise money for my school and the NHS at the same time.

After a lengthy conversation and a bit of maths, we decided on running a marathon spread out over two weeks; making sure we never ran for more than 30 minutes a day to fit in with the Prime Minister’s instructions. We planned 8 runs mostly of 5k each.

Our first run (on the 26th April 2020) was slightly longer than the rest so we could make it to a marathon in the time we gave ourselves.

The 2nd, 3rd and 4th runs were not too difficult as they had a day’s gap between each one.

However, on the 3rd May we had to run our 2nd in as many days. This proved a challenge!

It was tough recovering in the 6th and 7th runs which were 2 of the slowest we ran throughout the challenge (averaging only about 4mins 34secs per km).

At the start of the 8th and final run on Saturday 9th May, I could feel in my legs the amount I had run recently and didn’t think I could deal with a run in which the first half was almost completely uphill.

Surprisingly, this turned out to be our quickest run (though we did stop the watch at a lot at gates on the Welcombe Hills and had supporters to cheer us on near Clopton).

The total marathon time ended up at 3 hrs, 9 mins and 32 secs and I raised (with my brother who ran about 14km in the same 2 week period) about £150.

I will have to decide on a new challenge now (but perhaps not too soon!) and I look forward to when everyone can train together again.


From Joel

Track and Field update.

As might be expected, it’s not looking good on the Track and Field front. The Midlands T&F League sent the following update out yesterday 14th May.

Midlands Track and Field League.

After long consideration and deliberation the Midland Track and Field League Committee have decided that under the current climate we have no other alternative but to cancel the remaining 2 fixtures.

It hasn’t been an easy decision but it will at least give some clarity to clubs.

When clubs are able to start training again UKA have advised that athletes should train for at least a month before considering any competition. No doubt this will be longer according to the standard of the athlete.

If any opportunity arises for competition, the advice is to hold competitions for local clubs and their members in the same locality to reduce travelling.

Below is the information currently displayed on the MVTFL website regarding the vets league. Andy List has requested an update but I would guess the very best we can hope for is that the final might be held in September but I wouldn’t bet on it

Midlands Veterans’ Track and Field League


The first 2 matches have been cancelled.

  • At the start of June we will reassess whether the July and later matches are viable.
  • We may be limited to just the final.
  • We hope to be able to resume hostilities (competitions) if not this year by next year.
Junior section club records 2009 to June.

Another trip down memory lane with a newsletter article from June 2009 on junior club records

I’ve had a very busy season to date updating the junior section’s personal bests and club records. No sooner have I caught up with one competition’s successes than I receive the next and club records have been falling like nine pins.

However, before I start on this season, I must report on a record broken last year but not recognized at the time. Molly White (under 13) ran 1200m in 4.14.1 not once but twice in 2007. A belated congratulations to Molly on this achievement.

Andrew Pozzi (under 20) started the ball rolling this season with an under 20 record in the 110m hurdles in April when he ran 14.52s. He has been shaving further time off since with a run of 14.1s in early May and a magnificent 13.78s later that month.

At the other end of the junior’s age range Ben Taylor (under 11) met his sister Katie and the other ‘not so warm weather training’ athletes returning from their trip to Saunton Sands sporting two medals won at Tipton. Ben now shares the club record for 75m (11.4s) and is the under 11 record holder at 150m (23.00s) and is the fourth member of the Taylor clan in the junior section.

Conor Guest (under 15) has had a magnificent season and his name appears on the 2009 club records sheet no less than nine times. Conor excels in shot, hammer and discus and has broken the club record in shot twice this season (currently 13.49m); hammer three times (38.25m) and discus four times (37.8m). These distances are all above English Schools’ standards and puts Conor 5th, 21st and 12th respectively in the UK at present.

Mid April saw the start of the under 15’s Lucy McDermott’s onslaught on middle distance club records with a record of 5.05.3 in the 1500m. Since then Lucy has broken the 1500m record again and the 800m record three times and is currently not only the under 15 but also the senior record holder of the 800m with an English Schools’ qualifying time of 2.18.3.

(Juniors can hold senior records in running and jumping events but only in hurdles and throwing events where the height of the hurdles or weight of the implements is as used in the senior class).

Lucy’s running mate in these events is Zoe Chandler (under 15). Zoe currently holds five club records. Her one mile record was achieved last season and her 4 mile road race in Edinburgh on New Year’s Day in 25.27 put her 34th in all age groups in the UK. She followed this up with a magnificent time of 19.02.0 for the 3 mile run at the London mini-marathon. She competes with Lucy McDermott over 1500m and now holds that record at 5.03.5 and has the 3000m record at 11.01.72. The latter time is also a senior club record. Lucy and Zoe are certainly a pair to watch.

A younger girl excelling in the 1500m is club newcomer Cara Williams (under 13) who set a record of 5.28.6 in that event in June.

A combined events competition at Nuneaton at the end of April saw a host of club records smashed with under 13s Jeniva Chambers gaining two records, 80m in 11.1s and total quadrathon points of 1832; Chloe Connor running 600m in a new record time of 2.00.9 and Jo Noble setting the boys’ 80m record at 11.6 and quadrathon record of 1340.

Another under 13 achieving a club record in June is Rory Dwyer who ran the 75m hurdles in 14.0s. equalling the record set by Conor Lawson Evans last year. Rory is not far off the u.13 club record of 1.45m for the high jump, only two more centimeters to equal that one.

The same competition saw Eleanor Johnston (under 15) break three club records in the pentathlon, running 12.1s in the 75m hurdles, jumping not only an under 15 but senior club record 5.03m in the long jump and achieving a total score of 2531 in the five events. In addition to these records Eleanor has achieved English Schools’ standards in 100m (12.77s) and 200m (26.26s) although under 15 club records in these events currently stay with Emma Seccombe’s times of 12.7 and 25.9 achieved in 2003.

The final under 15 record goes to Jackson Goodrum who, in his first year in this age group, threw the javelin 37.01m. Jackson set an under 13 record in this event last year and obviously means to continue this trend.

The under 17 high jump record is held jointly by Georgie Evans and Imogen Green who have both jumped 1.55m this year and are not far off the senior club record of 1.57m. Imogen continues to chase the under 17 javelin record of 33.56m set by Lindsey Gittus in 2001. She is creeping ever closer with a throw of 31.08m in mid June.

Another athlete chasing club records in the under 15 age group is Adriano Ritchie. His PBs for the 100m, 200m and 400m stand at 11.81s, 24.6s and 54.06s. The latter time reaches the English Schools’ standard and the others are not far off but club records for the age group are 11.57s, 23.9s and 52.79s. We’re sure you’ll achieve at least one of these by the end of the season Adriano.

Both Amanda Evans and Emma Titcomb (under 20s) have continued to set new records in that age group. Amanda has broken the triple jump record three times, most recently with a wind-assisted but superb jump of 11.01m (previous record 10.89m) and holds the 100m record for this age group with a run of 13.3s in June. Emma holds under 20 and senior records in 100m hurdles at 16.0s and 400m hurdles (68.3s), in which she has broken her own record twice this season.

Finally four juniors were members of the 4 x 400m senior relay teams who have set senior club records this year. At the April meeting of the Men’s and Women’s league Katie Taylor (under 17), Nienke Verwer (under 17), Emma Titcomb (under 20) joined Emma Bexson (senior) to run a new club record time of 4.30.5. This record was broken a month later at the May meeting of the same league with Katie and Emma being joined by Shaunie Warner (under 17) and Sarah Bland (senior) to run the relay in 4.28.8.

Many congratulations to all athletes for achieving personal bests too numerous to mention and these superb club records.

Lucy Titcomb, personal best and club record recorder

The age group leaders would all like to thank Lucy for the absolutely fantastic job she does in keeping all the personal bests and club records up to date…it’s a very busy job.

Paul Bearman

Go to to see your PBs.

Club Awards Winners

2003 & 2009

Some familiar names in both years, with current members John Turner, Richard Dobedoe, Lesley Kirk, Yvonne Caswell, Tony Jackson, Sarah Odell, Kate Wright and Michael Oliver featuring in the senior’s awards section in 2003 and the winner of the junior Star of Tomorrow being a certain Andrew Pozzi. Well they got that one right.

2009’s awards winners sees many many current members who are still performing to a high standard today featured
Junior Newsletter – June 2009.

This reports on the unprecedented success, at the time, of several of our junior athletes at the Warwickshire Schools Championships and at an Inter Counties match. A few familiar surnames amongst them.

And Finally.

Tony Jackson is the new Mayor.

News that our very own club secretary is the new Mayor of Stratford !!

Stratford Town Council is gearing up for its first ever virtual mayor making this afternoon.

The mayor making, which takes place during the town council’s annual meeting, will see Cllr Tony Jackson take over as mayor from Cllr Kate Rolfe, while Cllr Kevin Taylor is expected to come in as the new deputy mayor.

And Finally Finally.

More screenshots from this month’s Virtual Shakespeare Race.
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