2001, 2008, 2020 – The Story Continues.

Theo Skirvin completing a PE challenge in his back garden
This week we saw some truly impressive 800m & 1500m times by some of our young endurance runners at the Leamington track on Wednesday where they were recording times for a Virtual English Schools Competition.

Sunday saw 60 of our young endurance runners training on the Welcombe Hills in socially distanced groups of 5, each group with a coach. Tuesday evening saw 35 of them training on the sports field at the sports club, again in groups of 5.

Also this week, Paul Bearman has taken groups of track and field athletes to train at the Leamington track, where a small group of our Vet’s T&F athletes also trained on Monday evening.

Excitement is at fever pitch as the July vShakespeare Race, 10 mile bike TT and Magic Mile draws to an end. There’s also the vWRRL mile race continuing

Boy, are we going to be quick out of the blocks when proper racing resumes.

We’ve got a write up from new boy Ben Kruze, reports on training under lockdown from Theo Skirvin and The Pridhams, with a couple of great quotes, continuing the theme of previous correspondents

“it has been BRILLIANT to start training again with the athletics club at the Welcombe Hills”

“Truly we are grateful to have such a fantastic and supportive club.”

There’s more archive material, where we learn of an aspiring youngster by the name of Andrew Pozzi from 2008. We learn some dark secrets of members from as far back as 2001, as well as reports on the activities of our juniors, also from 2001and finally, more memories from the Barbie Scrapbook of Emily Adams…don’t ask.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Best Wishes

David Jones

English Schools Virtual Competition.
Leamington Track – Wednesday 8th July

800m & 1500m

Despite awful weather conditions, a few of our endurance group members took part in 800m and 1500m runs on Wednesday night to record times for an English Schools Virtual Competition.

Coach Paul Hawkins commented “the weather was pretty awful but I thought everyone ran incredibly well in the two virtual races, particularly as for some of them it was only their first or second time back on a track since March.”

The times were:


Owain Jones 2.15.7

Daisy Musk 2.27.3


Alex Adams 4.15.1 (PB)

Taylor Stubbins 4.35.7 (PB)

Caleb Spriggs 4.38.4 (PB)

Georgie Campbell 4.42.0 (PB)

Ned Campbell 5.16.5 (PB)

Adam Taylor 5.24.9

Abbie Wootton 5.29.9

Ellen Taylor 5.32.1

These are unofficial times so won’t count for records or Power of 10 but they are a great marker to show just where the athletes are, for when we get back to proper competition.

Had these been official times, Alex’s time would place him 2nd on the UK rankings for his age group this year, with Taylor and Caleb 11th and 17th respectively. Although there hasn’t been much racing this year, Alex’s time would have placed him 14th in 2019. Georgie’s time places her 10th this year.

Ben Kruze at the Warwick Half Marathon on 1st March, where he finished in 3rd place with a time of 73.02, just 12 seconds behind our own Rich Shephard in 2nd place in 72.50. I erroneously said last week that this would have been a club record had he been a member. Of course it couldn’t have been, because Rich seems to have beaten his own club record in this race. Ben also won the NTR1X by 2 minutes.
Ben Kruze

In his own words.

Having noticed Ben’s impressive debut for the club in last month’s vWRRL race, I asked him if he would write a few words on his decision to join us and his initial impression of the club.

“The start to this is an easy one, a big thank you to all the Stratford AC members who have made joining the club a very welcoming experience. The whole process has been smooth and everyone has been incredibly friendly and helpful.

My main background in sport has always been at a slower pace, on the golf course. Many years were spent practicing from dawn till dusk, which allowed me to be fortunate enough to travel around many parts of the U.K. and Europe. Throughout all these times, the best way I found to explore local areas was going for a run. There was no better way to familiarise yourself with a new place.

During those times I was also a keen hockey player, the unskillful guy that was on the wing and told to run, which I was more than happy to do.

These past couple of years my attentions have turned to running. This has been both to fill a competitive void and to enjoy the simple freedoms running gives. During this time , I have met many runners and I have to say, Stratford AC runners have always stood out as the most friendly.

The lack of competition in recent months lead to getting into Strava and its challenges. Through this, I got chatting to another Snitterfield resident Matt Burdus-Cook and the rest is history as they say.

As everyone is, I am certainly chomping at the bit to get back to more competitive action with the aim of taking part in as many bigger events as possible. Strength always comes in numbers and from gaining more knowledge, I am hoping to be able to contribute to Stafford AC teams and activities and hopefully be of some use in many age group activities for many years to come.”
Training in Lockdown
Theo Skirvin running in fields close to his home
Theo Skirvin

Lockdown may have seemed like a problem with little good about it but it has benefited me greatly in many ways.

I have been able to cycle much more often than usual and that has seen the distance and speed of my rides increase.

At the start of lockdown, the roads were so much quieter and it was wonderful to try many new routes without having to worry about the traffic.

I have continued to run frequently, usually 5km at least once a week through the fields near to my house. I have been set weekly tasks for PE that have included a wide range of sports, fitness activities and challenges.

Through the swimming club, I have enjoyed doing some yoga and flexibility sessions for swimmers. This has definitely helped to improve my flexibility.

Additionally, my West Midlands Triathlon coach has been sending me skills videos to complete, including shoulder flexibility, stretches and balances.

Finally, for the last two weeks, it has been BRILLIANT to start training again with the athletics club at the Welcombe Hills. Thank you very much to everybody who has enabled these sessions to take place!

Becks and Georgia open water swimming at Lenches Lakes
Georgia and Becks heading out for a ride.
Hannah and Becks taking a quick pre June race (in reverse) photo before the 5 mile WRRL race. This was our start point!
The Pridhams.

As we live further out in the countryside, lockdown saw a sharp decrease in the amount of miles spent in the car, driving the girls, Georgia and Kate to their activities. However, we did adapt quickly with a flurry of Joe Wicks workouts and endless dog walks!

Kate has done some short runs but has really missed the social aspects of her weekly endurance group running. We shouldn’t forget the impact of sport as a social necessity for so many of us, as well as keeping us fit and healthy in body.

Georgia mourned the loss of her swimming since she has swam almost every week since she was 3. I think she was getting chlorine withdrawal symptoms. She has joined me on several bike rides and a few shorter runs and this has been wonderful to have this time with her.

Since Lenches Lakes, near Evesham opened, we have managed to grab a few slots so we can both swim together. By “together”, I actually mean we start at the same point and time and then she whizzes away, leaving me in her wake!

I threw myself back into my running, mainly trail running and finding new footpaths and routes around where I live. I have thoroughly enjoyed the almost meditative padding through the fields, with the sunshine, wind and, occasionally, rain, hitting me as I keep plodding onwards.

I have stayed very local out here near Pebworth for my virtual race routes and can be found spending time pouring over ordinance survey maps studying footpaths, bridleways and hills!

June’s WRRL race was local to Pebworth but I had hit a dip in racing Mojo. Hannah suggested we run it, in reverse, to support the other groups but at our own pace. This was a brilliant, yet confusing idea for the other runners. Rather than a race it was a mutually supportive run, made easier by cheering on two other groups and celebrating at mile markers on the ground.

Mentally, it’s a been a tough few weeks and once again I am finding that the athletics club family has supported me and so many others in a variety of ways: the online virtual races, the zoom quizzes, the video calls with friends.

Truly we are grateful to have such a fantastic and supportive club.

Another Trip Down Memory Lane
From May 2008. Would you really want to eat coleslaw packed by Graham Black ? Sarah – Morris Dancing. hmmm.
Andrew Pozzi – The Early Years. Now, whatever did happen to him ?
From July 2001. Messrs Turner and Bowyer leading the field. A dynamic duo if ever there was one
Also from July 2001. News on our juniors.
And Finally

The Emily Adams Scrapbook Part 2

Emily wanted the whole newsletter to herself but as much as I’m sure you would have all been enthralled by it, we just couldn’t afford the fee.
I see her teacher said we’d be hearing more of her over the years to come. Well he got that right !
Just being pipped by a certain Paula Radcliffe, who herself only finished in 2nd place
Second fastest in Europe. Now that is impressive.
It’s not life and death. Have you ever heard her cheering Alex on the finishing straight in XC races ?