Rosie’s Story

Rosie Slocombe competing in the Alcester parkrun. Remember parkruns ?
This week we start with a heartwarming article from Kate Sergent about her inspirational daughter Rosie. It is a story of the importance of our club in Rosie’s life, it is a story about the huge benefits to both her physical and mental wellbeing that running gives her and it is a story about the lift given to her by Sarah Bland’s Monday evening track sessions. I think it is truly uplifting but maybe I’m biased as they are both mates.

There is also Team Manager John Raby’s report on the superb performance of the club in finishing 25th out of 128 clubs who competed in the first round of the England Athletics Virtual 5 mile national really competition. The club now progresses to the next round.

A huge thank you to both Kate and John. Without reports like theirs the newsletter would struggle to continue as it relies hugely on articles from you, the subscribers.

Finally, after last week’s unprecedented almost 3 pages of coverage on our club in The Stratford Herald, they contacted to ask if we could supply a fitness plan for their readers to follow. Rob Minton was able to provided them with such a plan, which is printed in full in this week’s Herald and is reproduced below.

Next week we should have a comprehensive report on last Friday’s successful Zoom Annual Awards for Senior Members

Take Care

Best Wishes

David Jones.
Rosie with Martyn and Kate Sergent at the Great North Run.
My Rosie

By Kate Sergent
After reading the brilliant article in our club newsletter regarding the mental health of our club members it has prompted me to write a little something about my daughter Rosie Slocombe.

Rosie joined the club last year having moved back to her home area after living in supported living in Somerset for 15 years. She was living with us waiting for a house to become available and she used to come to the track sessions with me.

Rosie has learning difficulties and Epilepsy, luckily controlled with medication.

She has always loved the outdoors, working with horses and other animals and she loves exercising, so lockdown has been a huge challenge.

Rosie has run the Stratford half marathon at leat 8 times, always with one of my wonderful running club friends who offer to go with her.

Two years ago she completed the Great North Run with Martyn and myself raising over £1000 for Epilepsy research.

The sense of achievement she feels when running is amazing.

She loves going to the track on a Monday evening and joining in Sarah Bland’s session, so when it had to stop, along with her voluntary work, she became really low.

I managed to find a friend ( someone who taught me to run years ago and introduced me to SAC ) who was willing to take her out weekly and work towards her doing the virtual Alcester 10k.

Her mental and physical health are improving rapidly. She has now found the confidence to go out running on her own and she also runs with Martyn and myself when she comes home, as she is in our bubble.

For anyone who knows us well they will know she doesn’t like to run with Mum!!

I am a huge believer in running to improve your mental health and in her case it’s been such a lifesaver.

Thank you to our wonderful all inclusive club for giving her so much encouragement, especially to Sarah Bland on Mondays and to all my wonderful SAC friends.

We are very proud!!
Kate Wright, who had the overall highest age grade % score out of every one who ran in England.
Ben Kruze who finished 36th in the England Athletics Virtual 5 mile relay. 2455 runners competed, so he finished well inside the top 2%. Mightily impressive.
England Athletics Virtual 5 Mile Relay

Report – John Raby

At a time when traditional road relays aren’t possible due to Covid-19, England Athletics is hosting an exciting free-to-enter virtual road relay running competition to give runners and clubs from across the country the chance to compete against each other… with the finalists getting an opportunity to represent England in a battle for the title against teams from the other Home Countries!

The Virtual Road Relay Competition 2020/21 will take place in three rounds across the following dates:

I am thrilled to say that we have qualified for Round 2, the National round.

The racing cobwebs were blown away and the Christmas turkey was a distant memory as the racing trainers were once again pulled out of the cupboard and dusted off.

Out of 128 clubs that entered, we finished a mightily impressive 25th, comfortably finishing ahead of other local clubs such as Nuneaton Harriers (56th), Royal Sutton Coldfield (57th), Knowle & Dorridge (61st), Kenilworth (93rd) and Centurion (113th) all of who failed to qualify for the next round

2455 runners submitted their times with SAC entering 58 in total. We saw a huge range of age category runners from both the juniors and the seniors, which was great to see.

To qualify for the next round it was the Top 50 clubs in England who progressed by taking a combined time from the four quickest male and four quickest ladies in each club. For SAC the leading runners in the categories were:

Ladies – 1) Georgie Campbell – 30:39, 2) Kate Wright – 31:38, 3) Cadie Hibberd – 33:16 4) Victoria Sharpe 34.26

Mens – 2) Ben Kruze 25:31, 2) Rich Shepard 26:55, 3) Matt Burdas-Cook 27:19, 4) Alex Adams 27:57

This gave a combined time of 3:57:41. Please do click the link below to look at the full results as you’ll see that we beat very strong established clubs.

There’s an absolute array of names I could be rolling off with special mentions. However the one stand out result was Kate Wright, who had the overall highest age grade % score out of every one who ran in England.

For round 2 this is again another 5 mile race. It starts on Wednesday 10th February until Monday 15th February.

This time it can be point to point, so it should easier to plan.

The net downhill can be no more than 32ft. If you exceed this you will be disqualified.

Plenty of updates will come out prior to this but in the meantime please do plan it in to give it a go.

It is fantastic to see an ocean of Stratford runners submit their times.

It really encourages even more people in the club to head out.

Even if not in the Top 4 you do get the chance to see where you rank against other clubs nationally for age grades.

Well done to everyone as it was a great club result.

So if you will run it in 24 minutes or 1 hour 24 minutes, please give it a go and enter.

You’ll be guaranteed encouragement and a well done here.

Full results can be found by clicking the following link –
Rob Minton’s Fitness Plan

Following on from the unprecedented almost 3 pages of coverage given to our club in last week’s Stratford Herald, the paper contacted us to ask if we could supply an easy fitness plan for their readers to follow.

Rob Minton supplied this to them and as a result they have printed a full length column in this week’s edition.

More local positive publicity for our club.

Printed below is the plan.

I’ve based it on the fact that most reader might have a two meter square space in one of the rooms of their house.

No equipment is needed. Just comfortable loose clothing, trainers are optional. Only compete as much of the workout as you can. Have a glass or bottle of water nearby to sip throughout.

Warm Up

Jogging on the spot for 1 minute followed by sprinting on the spot for 10 seconds with knees nice and high. Repeat every 30 seconds 5 times

Pulse Raisers

30 jumping jacks (jump and take feet out to the side and lift arms up away from sides and then back again)

1 minute rest

30 Spotty dogs (jump and take one foot forwards and one foot back, one arm swinging back, one arm swinging forwards opposite to legs)

1 minute rest

10 lunge jumps (jump and take one leg as far forward as you can while keeping your balance, the other leg comes back behind you, then swap legs)

1 minute rest

10 standing jumps (simply jump up as high as you can using your arms to swing you up – watch your head if you have low ceilings or light fittings)

1 minute rest

Leg Strengthening

25 Squats – (feet shoulder width apart with feet and knees facing forwards, lower your hips and bum back behind you while hovering over the sofa but don’t sit down, lift back up to standing)

2 minutes rest

10 lunges (feet as per squats, take a big step forwards, bend your knee towards the floor, lift your torso back up so your legs are nearly straight, then lower down again but don’t touch your knee on the floor, once up to 10 are done swap your legs the other way around)

15 Calf Lifts (stand with both feet hip width apart, gently lift onto tip toes and then lower back down. If this is fairly easy for you do on one leg only by hold onto the wall for balance)

Up Body Strengthening

25 Press Ups (on your front have your hands just wider than your shoulders. To begin with keep your knees on the floor. Keep your torso flat and push your upper body off the floor by straightening your arms. Complete up to 25 times or to the point where you can’t do another one. If you can do 25 then progress to taking one or both knees off the ground when you lift up)

Core Strength / Abdominals

Sit-ups – (lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Hands across your chest or to make it a bit harder hands to your temples. Pull in your tummy muscles and lift your head and upper back off the floor but not your lower back. Lower back down. Do as many as you can until your can’t do any more. Increase the number each day if you can.)

Plank (lie on your front with your elbows underneath your shoulders and your forearms on the floor in front of you. Lift your torso up onto your knees so your knees and elbows are propping you up. Keep your back straight. Hold for as long as you can, ideally timing yourself. If you can do more than one minute, progress to holding yourself up on your feet and elbows so your knees are off the ground. Try and beat your time each time)


Sit on the floor with your legs out in front, keep your legs straight. Try and gently reach forwards down your legs. If you can reach your feet then great but don’t strain. Stop if there is lots up pain but it should feel a little uncomfortable.

Lie on the floor with your arms outstretched on the floor above your head. Try and reach as far as you can and hold for 20 – 30 seconds.