Fixtures and records update.

Susan Hunt
This week we have a report on Susan Hunt’s inaugural external race wearing the club’s yellow and black vest, competing in the Worcester Ring Run. John Peacock has recorded yet another age category victory, this time in the Formula 5 Duathlon and young Harrison Geden triumphed in last week’s junior parkrun. Well done and congratulations to all three.

Paul Bearman has provided a timetable of upcoming club fixtures and Mike Sheppard has sent me a couple of club records that were recorded in April. Thanks both.

Next week we should hopefully have a report on the latest virtual Shakespeare race.

Finally, good luck to the 16 or so members who are competing at The Pingles Stadium this weekend and to any other members who are competing.

Take care.

Best Wishes

David Jones
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Worcester Ring Run.

Report – Susan Hunt

Having joined Stratford Athletics Club at the height of the pandemic, opportunities to show off in black and yellow have been somewhat limited. I finally got my chance last weekend at The Worcester Ring Run.

This was the 3rd edition of the trail event (organised by Pulse Events) and I’d managed to miss the first two. The inaugural event was held in February 2020; which I deferred having been put off by the biblical storm that was forecast (and landed).

When the 2nd edition (November 2020) took place, I had moved to Warwickshire just in time for it to be declared Tier 3, making travel to Tier 2 Worcestershire illegal. It seemed as if I was destined never to run this race.

So I was determined that it would be 3rd time lucky for the April 21 edition.

The Worcester Ring Run is described as “a 22 mile tour around Worcester and Droitwich” following canal and river paths.

Being shorter than a marathon, I thought it sounded quite easy and fun.

I was mindful, however, having studied the course description and gps file provided, that the distance could be anything between 22 and 23.5 miles.

There is the opportunity to participate as a relay pair (an opportunity that I regretted not taking when I reached the halfway point). It is partially hard paths/tarmac but the majority is trail – notoriously muddy when conditions allow.

On Sunday, the trail was dry as a bone, baked hard like rutted concrete. It was, however, an absolutely stunning sunny Spring day. It might be an age thing; but I noticed and enjoyed the blossom, teeny tiny ducklings and the beauty and tranquility of the route. It was bit too cold for there to be droves of pedestrians to negotiate and the (many) fishermen thankfully pulled their enormous rods out of the way in time for me not to have to hurdle them.

That said, it was 23 miles of mostly uneven terrain and it’s fair to say that I had underestimated the difficulty of maintaining a happy and relaxed demeaner for the entirety of the route.

I appeared to be the only solo runner without a hydration vest: a decision I made with full knowledge that the 3 feed stations offered just chocolate, sweets and water. Since chocolate is a migraine trigger for me and I struggle to remove the wrapper from a Maoam sweetie under normal circumstances, never mind in a race scenario –my run ended up being fuelled by what I had in my pocket – half a banana and 2 fruit pastilles (the rest scattered onto the towpath when I accidentally ripped open the entire tube).

I thought I had started at a conservative and sensible pace, completing the first half of the run with joy and appreciation of my surroundings. But things then quickly became tough. The main positive I took from the second half was that its brutality added to the joy and relief of eventually crossing the finish line.

As my first race performance as a SAC athlete, it was not quite what I’d hoped for (though I could claim that it was “consistently progressive”– with each 5K slower than the one before). But I was proud to pose with my finishers’ bottle of beer, especially when I noticed that my new vest coordinated perfectly with the race number and finishing flag and even more so when I realised that I was the 5th female solo runner to finish (3:51).

Editor’s note : When looking at the results I noticed that a Rich Shephard was first solo finisher in a time of 2:36:16.6 and I sort of think this might be our Rich. If so, well done.

John Peacock

Formula 5 Duathlon

5K Run/20K Bike/5K Run/20K Bike/5K Run

The Formula 5 Duathlon took place this year on Sunday 25th April 2021.

This event takes its name from the number of legs in the race … 5!

This means competitors run, bike, run, bike and then run again over short distances, keeping the pace and heart rate high!

The run course was around Emberton Country Park, while the cycle sections encompassed 20km of rolling hills around the Newport Pagnell area.

Club member John Peacock competed, finding it quite hard work as he had to race a bit harder, due to the shorter legs even though the total distance is the same.

John finished first in his age category and 46th out of 85 overall.

He was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t more competition in his age group but felt that the run went well but feels he needs some work on the bike.

His overall time was 2:35.53, 90 seconds ahead of his closest rival in his age group.

His splits were :


Junior member Harrison Geden came first in last Sunday’s junior parkrun, completing the 2k course in PB time 8.21. Well done Harrison, you are forgiven for not making the Welcombe Hills on the same day!
Below is a timetable, provided by Paul Bearman, of forthcoming club fixtures
An update of April’s new club records. Well done Jack and Taylor.
And Finally

A few photos of club members, young and not so young, doing what they love doing.
Marijke Tear-Verweij and Kate Pridham enjoying their Sunday morning training session on the Welcombe Hills
Becks Pridham and Matt Burdus-Cook in number 3 of the Winter Series races.
Photos by Barry Cornelius