The best of all time !

The UK all time rankings showing Lewis Byng comfortably leading by almost a metre. The previous incumbent having held on to the top slot for over 11 years. The eagle eyed of you will spot that his club is shown as Harrow. Paul Bearman’s article below will explain that in some detail.
I hadn’t originally planned on producing a newsletter this week but then I received Matt Sims’ excellent report on his Race the Tide event but I also thought that the latest of Lewis Byng’s record breaking weekends deserved a newsletter all to itself.

When you study his achievements they really are remarkable. To be 2 metres ahead in this year’s UK rankings, to break 20 metres, to be placed 6th in the world and to be number one on the all time list really does beggar belief. The previous holder of the number one all time throw, with a throw of 19.30 metres, had held that position for over 11 years. In the past fortnight, Lewis’s throws have been :

12th September – 19.71
16th – 19.59
19th – 19.73
26th – 20.26

Lewis was 19 on 29th – Happy Birthday !

Just to think that in 2015, about the time he joined the club, he was ranked 262nd in the UK as an U15.

Words fail me. Well done Lewis. We are all incredibly proud of you.

There is also an update on last month’s vWRRL league race.

Good luck to all of you who will compete in the virtual London Marathon and Alcester 10k races at the weekend and also to those of you who are competing at The Pingles in the end of season T&F competition and not forgetting those who are competing in an actual marathon on the Isle of Wight. I hope you all enjoy running in the rain.

Don’t forget any race reports will be greatly appreciated.

Take care.

Best Wishes.

David Jones.

The current World Rankings showing Lewis in 6th place. Unfortunately this list doesn’t show the distances thrown but I can tell you that he is just 3 cms off 5th place and 21 cms off 2nd place. The leader has a half metre lead over the 2nd placed thrower.
This year’s UK rankings showing Lewis just over 2 metres ahead of the 2nd placed thrower.
Lewis Byng.
Paul Bearman.

Following his record breaking throw on Saturday, Lewis popped down to the track on Tuesday to have a cool down throw.

He had texted me and called Sandy on Sunday to tell us he “finally broke the 20m barrier”. Naturally we were very proud of him.

We nurtured Lewis initially from when he came back to SUAAC 4 years ago, when we got him fit and helped develop his all round throwing ability based on his natural speed and strength. However, it’s his absolute dedication and focus that, in my opinion, sets him apart from other athletes and makes him a potential Olympian of the future.

His progress has been incredible and he has established himself as the UK’s best Shot prospect for many years.

Prospects come and go but Lewis knows where he wants to go and it’s to the very top and competing on the world stage.

He is coached by England Athletics coach Stuart Carlaw mainly in Northampton and Loughborough. He linked up with him by good fortune when we teamed up with Rugby and Northampton AC in the national U20 league. Serendipity.

His dedicated parents Maria and Michael are a massive support, not just ferrying him all over the country but also feeding him….at 6’5″ and around 22 stone Lewis takes some feeding!

Lewis is a an U23 next season and recently he had to make a decision to become a first claim member of a national league club to be able to compete against the UK’s top shot putters.

After being courted by many clubs he chose Harrow.

Under the higher claim system it is possible for athletes to stay with their home club but the bigger clubs usually persuade young athletes to move, although they rarely have anything to do with them other than competing for them.

Lewis is very proud of being a part of our club and will be a 2nd claim member of SUAAC and as he says he “he will always be a Stratfordian” and will still compete for us and he is also planning to help Sandy with our upcoming throwing talent when he can.

Onwards and upwards
Matt Sims

Race the Tide

Matt Sims

2020 has been a strange year for everyone that is used to taking part in races but for now, at least, races are starting to take place again and my first ‘non virtual’ event took place on Saturday 19th September.

I had never run Race the Tide before, but given that it is hosted very close to my South Devon home in Mothecombe, I knew to expect some brutal climbing, some stunning scenery and a lot of like minded lunatics feverishly wanting to feel the pain and exhilaration of trail ultra-running once more.

Given current restrictions we all arrived at the start 2 metres apart and we started running in order of our expected finish time.

Whilst this seems pretty straightforward it still caught a lot of people out as they started too quickly and realised that they were going to struggle to finish in the wave 2 category of 4-5.5 hours for the marathon distance.

As the race name indicates there was no escaping getting wet and this came from crossing the River Erme right at the start of the race.

For me the water was half way up my quads, for others it was waste high as we waded across at least 250 metres of rapidly moving tidal water (the race is deliberately run during the highest tides of the year).

Some people decided to take their shoes and socks off in the water, but the majority simply jumped straight in realising there was no escaping impending discomfort, wet feet or not.

The first part of the run took us along the coast path back towards my home in Hope Cove and the climbing quickly started. In the first 4km we had already climbed nearly 200m and these are not gradual climbs, they are steep technical ups with the same level of technicality coming down. It calls for continued concentration as well as trying to judge how quickly you want to travel knowing that you have only just started. Even at this early stage I was asked by a fellow runner ‘if this was the worst of the climbing’. I am not sure my reply of ‘you’re kidding, you’ve got 40km left of this’ was that helpful. I didn’t see him again but I hope he finished.

Before coming back inland we headed across a long beach section (memories of last years MDS came flooding back) and we ran around Burgh Island. Burgh Island is famous for having a pub dating back to the 1300s (the Pilchard) and hosting Agatha Christie as she was writing a number of her books. As we approached the island we were welcomed by the many people visiting the island on what was a beautifully sunny day. The cheering and clapping helped as we climbed to the highest point of the island, around the WW2 fortification and back down again.

Next up, after another long sandy section we started to move back inland and in to woodland and fields. The scenery was stunning and the weather almost perfect for running.

One thing I love about running is the camaraderie of people you meet and at around 20km I started to run with someone that I know consider a running friend. We exchanged life and running stories over the next 10km as we quickly moved through the distance. As is always the case one of you invariably feels better than the other and you part ways and wish each other luck on the rest of the day. Today it was my turn to keep my own pace whilst my new friend ran off and ultimately finished around 7 mins ahead of me.

At around 35km in I started to get some sickness because I hadn’t got my nutrition right. It’s something that happens and you have to just get on with things and deal with the issue as best you can. You tell yourself ‘running is only one foot in front of the other and finishing is the only important thing…’

Without the ability to take on any more food I started to feel weak towards the end but as we headed back to the coastal path I could see the sea again and it was a very welcome sight knowing that the end was close.

However, before I got to experience the jubilation of crossing the finishing line and collecting my medal the race organisers decided some final brutal climbs in the last 3km were needed. To put it in to context, these are not running up a gradual ascent on grass these are 13% climbs up coastal paths whilst navigating steps. Steps that feel like you are doing 1 leg squats…believe me it hurts.

After what felt like a final 3km of climbing I crossed the finish line with a time of 5hrs and 51 secs for the marathon distance, having covered a marathon distance and 1,350 metres of climbing. Not that the time matters (I haven’t even looked at the event website for placing), for me it’s just about the personal accomplishment.

Next up is Race to Meriden with Tim Hutchinson….24 hours where we are hoping to run from Meriden to Stonehenge in early Nov…that’s 100 miles for you stat curious…


The WRRL website today, purportedly showing the current top 10 places in last month’s virtual race. I think we can assume that the W60 shown in 1st place didn’t actually complete the race in 9:09.00 ! Her best parkrun time for this year is 29:20. That being the case we have 4 members in the top 9 places.
Warwickshire Road Race League.
Report – David Jones.

As the screenshots above and below show that we once again enjoyed considerable success in last month’s vWRRL race, with 42 of our members competing, a figure that represented exactly 25% of the total competitors taking part.

For the latest results please click on the link below.
Current team placings for last month’s vWRRL race.

From top to bottom: The men’s league showing our A, B and C teams occupying 3 0f the top 6 places out of 23 teams competing.

Our A, B and C Male Masters teams’ occupying 3 of the top 4 places out of 21 teams competing.

The women’s league table shows our A team in a tie for 1st place with our B team in 6th place. 16 teams competed.

The Women’s Masters table shows our A and B teams’ in 3rd and 6th place respectively. 15 teams competed.