And the winners are…

Sam Plumb and Phil Brennan, the youngest and oldest competitors in the virtual Mayor’s Magic Mile with a scarcely believable 66 years separating them. Coincidentally their times were just 66 seconds apart.
You couldn’t make it up.
Never mind Operation Restart and the Premier League, most of us know that the big sporting story of the last week has been the culmination of the virtual Shakespeare Summer Solstice races, with 124 competing in the 4 mile race, 117 in the Mayor’s Magic Mile and 63 in the 5 mile TT.

Fabulous numbers.

A massive vote of thanks is due to both Sarah and Matt for organising these races. It can’t have been easy and must have been extremely time consuming. Thanks are also due to David Smyth for his regular updates. I offered him an internship on The Newsletter but he turned me down and finally, thanks are also due to Ryan for his charts. How does he do those ?

David’s final report is printed below together with a link to the final results of all 3 races.

We also see what Emily and Alex Adams have been up to, training wise, during lockdown. Also, a pandemic was never going to stop our international marathon runner Kate Sergent from adding another medal to her collection.

I’ve been digging through the archives again and have come up with a few articles on the lengthy gestation period of our track, plus a few ” Pen Pictures ” from back in the day of Tony Jackson, Lesley Kirk and Sarah Odell. Part of the fun in trawling through the archives is occasionally finding something to embarrass long standing members.

There’s an item on Paul Hawkins picking up a UK award 16 years ago, in recognition of “his dedication to establishing the club as a prominent athletic club in the Midlands.”

Somethings never change

Finally there’s an article on Ryan James, the club’s first ever AAA champion.

Best Wishes

David Jones
Bev Brigden’s Magic Mile
Josh Newman’s 4 mile run and Cara Reynolds’ 5 Mile TT
And the Winners Are.

Summer Solstice Shakespeare Races

Report – David Smyth.

Well this is the moment you have all been waiting for! It’s Summer Solstice Race Results time – YAY!!?????

A great stat calculated by Sarah Bland was that we completed a total distance of 928 miles in these events, which is further than the distance between Lands End and John O’Groats! So a huge well done to everyone that took part!
However, we need to start with the podium positions for each event.

The Shakespeare 4m race

124 entrants

Once again the virtual race has appealed to the wider club with a significant increase on the numbers who usually take part in the ‘normal’ Shakespeare race!

1st – Georgie Campbell 22:38
2nd – Kate Wright 25:04
3rd – Vicky Sharpe 26:33

1st – Joshua Newman 22:06
2nd – Matt Burdus-Cook 22:18
3rd – Richard Liggatt 22:20
Well done to the above on some great times and paces!

Team Results!

Here are the team results for the Shakespeare Race together with a couple of really cool animated graphs that Ryan Bakewell has kindly put together based on the information supplied by Sarah Bland and Matt Burdus-Cook.

Well done to the top 3 teams!

1st – Team 11
Nick Campbell, Andy Smith, Graham Black, Fin Hutchinson, Chris Bloomfield, Sarah Odell

2nd – Team 7
Georgie Campbell, John Butler, Maria Haslam, Emma Bexson, Ben Twyman, Simon Bolton

3rd – Team 5
Alex Adams, Sheryl Buckland, Robert Handy, Damian Wheeler, David Jones, John Jon Mulkeen

Graphics available here to see how the team positions changed over the last 2 weeks:

The Mayor’s Magic Mile

117 entrants

There is no doubt that this event managed to bring out a true competitive spirit across the whole club. I think it surprised many members about how fast they could actually run a mile as it’s not a distance many of us do! ? It also made many of us realise how far a mile is when you are sprinting!!?

Needless to say, there were some great times with the Ladies race dominated by the Junior members of the club!
1st – Georgie Campbell 05:13
2nd – Imogen Sheppard 05:22
3rd – Olivia Robinson 05:33
1st – Joshua Newman 04:50
2nd – Rob Minton 04:58
3rd – Matt Burdus-Cook 05:02

5m Bike TT
63 entrants

This element of the monthly races is starting to attract a slightly wider audience as the months go by – including me! It is also interesting that it highlights the number of potential duathletes that we have in the club!
1st – Emma Bexson 11:05
2nd – Caroline Gionis 11:49
3rd – Cara Reynolds 12:28
1st – Matt Lyness 10:29
2nd – Joe Lee 10:55
3rd – Seth Turner 11:41
The full set of results can be found here:

Thanks to Matt Burdus-Cook and Sarah Bland for their talents and tenacity in getting these results together!

Well done everyone and good luck with the next racing instalment that will be heading your way soon in the form of the WRRL!!
Above is a chart showing the positions of the super talented 51 members who completed all 3 races.
Alex and Emily Adams
Training Under Lockdown

The Adams Family

From Alex

I have strangely enjoyed lockdown.

I feel I have done more training and worked harder throughout it and enjoyed doing virtual races.

It has helped with Paul Hawkins still setting me sessions to do, harder than usual?, but it still keeps me going.

I’ve been doing more core work and circuits and have seen improvement myself, from barley being able to hold 1 minute to holding 1.30 minutes fairly easy. I’m doing sit ups, press ups etc. along with the odd session with Rob on zoom.

I’ve also been doing some core over FaceTime with Fin Hutchinson and lots of cycling

I feel I will be ready to go back to normal and work harder ready for the new season.

From Emily

I have really enjoyed the lockdown period as far as my exercise goes! I have Thoroughly enjoyed the zoom sessions Rob has been doing, albeit I’ve not managed the last few weeks.

Moving to Stratford before lockdown has also encouraged me to get out on my bike!!

I’ve done a fair few cycle rides and even started to use cleats, yes a few accidents but I’ve got there and was so thrilled to of achieved and survived my first race which was Stratford’s virtual 10Miler! How chuffed was I.

I also decided to run a virtual marathon in aid of DKMS and the Leukaemia ward that treated my dad. It was a year since his bone marrow transplant, In doing this I raised nearly £600.

The virtual races have been amazing. Absolutely love the banter between club mates and the fact everyone can join in. Just brilliant.

We are a great club.

Kate Sergent with her medal.
Race Your Pace Challenge

Kate Sergent

In May I competed a Race Your Pace Challenge. Once you’re registered you have the entire month to cover your chosen distance in however many runs, walks, swims or cycles you like, wherever you like, whenever you like!

If you’re successful you get a prestigious engraved medal as a reward for all your hard work.

For my May challenge I pledged 100 miles and as I was also doing an RED – Race Every Day Challenge, I managed 160 miles.

I am now doing a bike challenge for June, pledging 200 miles.

Well you have to do something when you can’t get to the hairdressers!
More Trips Down Memory Lane.

The Running Track.

The running track at The High School is something we all take for granted but, reading through the archives, it was a long, arduous and expensive job to get it completed
July 2001
January 2003
February 2004
The Official Opening

The Club Championships

August 2005
Up and Running
Pen Pictures


More interesting items from historical newsletters.
Who’d have thought that callow youth ( !!!!! ) would have ended up as Mayor of Stratford.

I see Tony was previously a member of Leamington AC before transferring to us. Was there a fee involved I wonder ?
Paul Hawkins – West Midlands Club Volunteer of the Year.

“His dedication to establishing the club as a prominent athletic club in the Midlands is boundless.”

Somethings never change
Stratford’s first AAA champion.

January 2003
Junior’s Corner.

Press Release January 2003
And Finally

More Shakespeare Summer Solstice Stuff