Club Champs – All Systems Go.

A great photo by Mike Sheppard of daughter Imy competing at The Night of 800.
We start this week’s newsletter with some truly wonderful news. The Club Championships will take place on 13th September. Please read Paul Bearman’s article below.

It’s another mixed bag this week. Four of our senior members were delighted to be back competing in a 10K trail event at the weekend with Ben Kruze winning by a considerable margin.

There were PBs aplenty at the Midlands Open Competition at The Pingles Stadium on Sunday. 48 hours earlier we had 5 members competing in a night of 800m races, again at The Pingles.

There’s a fabulous report from Louise Stewart on her virtual race across Tennessee and an item from Phil Brennan on his success in the European Virtual Half Marathon.

The August Magic Mile results are up and they show a considerable level of success from many of our junior endurance group runners and finally, details of August’s WRRL results, which are subject to final confirmation.

Take care

Best Wishes

David Jones


Sunday 13th September 2020

Registration starts 9.15am : First Events at 10.00am

From Paul Bearman.

In this weird world that we’re living in, now that we are back training we don’t have many competition opportunities and so the Age Group Leaders have agreed to host a scaled down version of the Club Champs on the original scheduled date 13th September.

We had to wait for Stratford School pupils to return this week before they were able to confirm that we can run the event and I’m very pleased they have agreed.

The safety and wellbeing of all athletes, coaches and the wider community is at the heart of any guidance that England Athletics is distributing for competition and we want to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved is considered the priority.

Agreement to run the champs is based on us running the event within the strict protocols we use for training together with England Athletics guidance for competitions.

An example of risk mitigation is maintaining 2m social distancing.

Details of the timings, events and the application form will be sent out by the respective Age Group Leaders shortly and so the information below is just for guidance at the moment and is subject to potential change.

I’m also trying to get the event licensed ….. what a task that’s turning out to be ….this means if we have our qualified officials and experienced coaches officiating the athletes can have something to show on the Power of 10 for their efforts.

It is going to take a monumental effort to organise the Champs (it usually takes about 5 weeks) and I’m very pleased with the overwhelming support we have already received from our volunteer officials and coaches.

However, we will need a fast turnaround from our athletes, both junior and senior, on receipt of the entry form. For the juniors a parent will be required to accompany their child and be responsible for them during the competition and to get them to their respective events.

Below is the provisional schedule.


10.00-12.15 male track, female field;

12.45-3.00 female track, male field.


For the Championship and depending on the respective age group all athletes choose:

One track (i.e. 80,150,100/200/300/400/600/800/1500/sprint & long hurdles)

One field (LJ/TJ/SP/JT)

  • No other events are included
  • Other events for Personal Bests can be added.


  • All the races & pools will be graded and sorted in advance to keep athletes spaced out.
  • The field events would run concurrently and be open for at least an hour so that athletes can focus on the track but then go to their field event e.g.


10.00 to 11.00 LJ & SP

11.15 to 12.15 TJ & JT


12.45 to 1.45 LJ & SP

2.00 to 3.00 TJ & JT


We look forward to returning to training at the track next week and athletes and their parents (obviously not applicable for the seniors) to get involved and support the club with the Championships.


Paul Bearman

Kate Wright – 1st lady finisher.
Ben Kruze on his way to a massive 6 1/2 minute winning margin.
Becks Pridham.
Ade Mason.
Photos by Raceways CIC
Oversley Woods Trail 10k
Report – Becks Pridham.

Originally billed as a run through Oversley Woods, this trail run made a welcome return to racing for a small number of Stratford AC runners.

Due to last minute permit changes, the route was diverted through the picturesque villages of Oversley Green and Exhall, with the run retaining its undulating nature.

We were placed in “pens” of runners, starting each group in turn. Four runners would line up to start the race together. This time trial method seemed to work well, with the runners going off at 20 second intervals and once the race was underway, you were generally running on your own, except when you were overtaken.

First home for Stratford was Ben Kruze, leading the small field of runners to finish first in a lightening quick time of 32.46. Ben just nicked it, being a mere 6 1/2 minutes in front of the next placed runner !! Go figure. An incredible run by any standards, the mighty hills throughout the course failing to slow him down at all.

Next for Stratford (and first lady) was Kate Wright finishing in 42.46. Although admitting to an early “shoe crisis”, she opted for the trail shoes and flew up the hills, another athlete who makes short work of the challenging gradient and surfaces of the course.

Ade Mason was close behind, finishing in 43.25. He was coming back from injury and afterwards admitted that attempting the twisty, hilly run may not have been his first choice for a race but he was still very satisfied with his time and his performance.

I brought home the Stratford contingent, finishing in 54.46, a time I am very pleased with (and comparable to my faster Winter Series times, so more than delighted with that effort).

The course was amazing, you certainly couldn’t get bored by it, it had hills and flats, trail, hard surface and fields, and plenty of supportive marshals.

Hopefully this race will return next year, as it was great fun and a friendly reintroduction to racing.
Caleb Spriggs crosses the line in 1st place after smashing his 800m PB.
Midland Open T&F Competition

The Pingles Stadium

30th August

Report – David Jones

As things gradually get back to normal, certainly in T&F, we are very fortunate to live in relative proximity to The Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton, which is currently at the forefront of organising T&F events in the UK

At this Midlands Open event we had 13 members competing, many of who claimed PBs and who saw their performances rewarded with high placings in the current UK rankings

In the 100m our U15 runner Charlie Whorrod won his heat in a PB time of 12.22 which places him just outside the top 50 in the current UK rankings for his age group. At the other end of the age spectrum, M60 Mark Illingworth ran a time of 14.60. Mark is currently ranked 6th in the UK for his age.

In the 400m Dave Battersby ran a season’e best time of 58.05 which ranks him 15th in the UK for his age. In the M50 age category Dave Wilson ran a PB time of 63.95 placing him 16th in the current UK rankings. Finally, Imy Sheppard, arguably our hardest working track athlete at the present time, ran a time of 58.62. Imy is just outside the top 20 in the UK rankings.

The 800m saw a sensational run from U17 Caleb Spriggs who recorded a huge 11 second PB in finishing with a time of 2:06.55. Not to be outdone by big brother, his sister Maisie Joy also ran a PB with a time of 2:38.17. Emily Field completed our trio of 800m runners and she recorded a season’s best time of 2:19.03.

We had 4 members competing in the 1500m. Alex Adams won his heat by some 11 seconds to record a time of 4:23.61 which places him 6th in this year’s UK rankings for his age. Niamh Hillard’s time of 5:14.69 was a 7 seconds improvement on just a week earlier and it is a time that places her just outside the top 50 in the UK for her age. Taylor Stubbins continues to go from strength to strength, running an almost 8 second PB with a time of 4:27.49. This time sees him enter the current top 100 in the UK in the hugely competitive U17 age category. Another of our runners to achieve a PB was Charlotte Marshall who recorded a time of 5:16.24.

Finally, Paula Williams competed in a couple of field events. In the shot put her throw of 11.20 metres was just 13cms shy of her PB. She is currently ranked 2nd for her age in the UK. In the javelin, where Paula his currently ranked number 1 and also ranked 1st on the all time list in her age category, she threw 31.78 metres.

Meanwhile in an open event at Charnwood Olivia Robinson ran a PB time of 2:29.56 in the 800m.
Theo Skirvin who ran an 800m PB.
Night of 800 metres.

The Pingles Stadium

28th August

Report – David Jones

Billed as a Night of 800m PB’s, the wet and windy conditions conspired to prevent many athletes achieving a personal best time. However, two of our 5 members competing did achieve this accolade.

Alex Adams’ ran a PB time of 2.10.3, an 11 second improvement on his previous best. He comfortably won his heat by some 3 seconds. Theo Skrvin also ran a PB. His time of 2:35.77 was almost 10 seconds quicker than his previous best.

James Mucklow completed his race in 2:17.46 and Imy Sheppard, competing in a British Milers Club race, ran 2:17.49 just 39/100ths off her PB. Imy is currently ranked 24th in the UK in her age category.

I ran a time of 2:50.74 which was disappointing.
Louise’s well earned memorabilia.
Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee.
1000 miles

Report – Louise Stewart.

With pretty much all my races being cancelled this year including Race to the Tower which was going to be my first real ‘big’ one, I needed to find a reason to log some miles, farther than just using my evening run as a way to mark the Covid-enforced separation between working from home and not working.

Somehow I came across this race from the crazy genius that is Gary Cantrell, aka Lazarus Lake.

Having developed a bit of an obsession with the Barkley Marathons and also meeting him in January, this seemed like too good an opportunity to miss; run across Tennessee (637 miles) from 1/5-31/8/2020. Well why not?

So started my summer of obsession, on the back of a 6 week continuous run streak from the start of lockdown.
I completed this in 86 days and then decided to make my journey back across the state, thinking an average of 10 miles a day for a month would be perfectly achievable….

I finally completed it in 122 days, logging no zero days and with a range of between 1-35 miles.

I was female #1276, placing #2508 out of a starting field of 19000, seeing 13600 finishers in total.

Participants were from all across the world; the camaraderie and support as well as the stories shared were moving and inspiring by equal measure.

I’ve learnt a lot about what is possible. I never believed I could run on consecutive days, let alone do 2 runs a day.

On my unsupported 35 mile run day, I can report that full fat Coke and chocolate milk definitely do not mix. I lost and rediscovered my mojo several times and was surprised at how easy it felt to have a rest day (on 31st August).

As for what lies next? Just a wee jaunt round the world; 30,000 miles as part of a team of 10, which started 1/9/2020.

As they say, no rest for the wicked!
European Virtual Half Marathon
Report – Phil Brennan.

A belated thanks to everyone who offered to help when I said I was looking to do this.

In the end, I was heading for a walkover in my age group, so a flat fast course didn’t matter. I didn’t think I was going to make it anyway, because as usual by the end of the month I had too much to run, too little time. I did the WRRL 10k last Friday and decided that was it.

Then more or less on a whim, as Sunday morning was so fine, I went out early, turned round and came back again.

I was hoping to cruise round in under two hours, which I did comfortably and I am now the undisputed champion of nothing in particular.

I should have remembered one of the disadvantages of doing an out/return very early in the morning: all the dogs and chickens were waiting for me on the way back.
August Magic Mile

Below are the results of August’s Magic Mile, a month when our juniors dominated the competition.

U17 Taylor Stubbins finished in 1st place just 3 seconds ahead of Matt Burdus-Cook. Juniors occupied 7 of the top 10 places and 15 of the top 20 with 21 of the 58 runners being from the junior section.
Warwickshire Road Race League.

The official results have yet to be published for August’s vWRRL competition but these screenshots show the current final positions of the 25 of our members who took part.
Subject to final confirmation, the first screenshot shows our men’s team winning by 58 points to 71 with our B team in 4th place. The second screenshot shows our men’s Masters team placed 1st and 3rd. Our women’s A team was in 7th place and our women’s Masters team in 6th place