Almost but not quite.

Little did Alex Yee realise when winning silver and gold medals in Tokyo that this meant he would get to meet Triathlon royalty like our very own Charly Marshall.
This wonderful photo was taken at the BTF Super Series competition at Mallory Park earlier in the week
Isn’t that a wonderful photo of Charly Marshall with Alex Yee ?

I had hoped that in this, my 200th newsletter, I would have been able to report on a victory in our vets final league fixture of the year but despite our ladies beating the all conquering Worcester ladies, the overall points tally on the night was Worcester 247 points against our own 245. Over the 3 fixtures this season we have reduced the deficit from an initial 33 points, to 11 and finally just 2.

Almost but not quite.

Oh well, maybe next year.

Still it has been a truly wonderful season with the extra special camaraderie that we have come to expect from any SAC team event.

Peter Coote has already composed a smashing report on the fixture. Many thanks Peter.

This week we have the great news that we have finally found a road race reporter. Welcome aboard Stuart.

We have another of Simon Taylor’s fabulous triathlon reports. How did we ever manage without them ? Vicky Sharpe also gives her own account of her performance in the Bedford standard distance triathlon at the weekend.

We report on last weekend’s local parkrun, where there were lots of impressive performances from club members right across the age spectrum.

Half a dozen of our younger members’ competed at Wednesday night’s 1500m event at Nuneaton with a couple of them achieving PBs.

Jon Mulkeen has sent us a wonderful photo he took of Andrew Pozzi in the 110, hurdle finals in Tokyo, Mike Sheppard has provided his regular club record update and finally a photo of our M50 sprinter Dave Wilson sporting the medal he won at Wednesday’s Police and Civil Service Championships in Coventry.

Good luck to our team in the final Midland League T&F fixture at the weekend, indeed good luck to any of you competing anywhere.

I’m looking forward to the final Super 2 event at the track tonight, with us oldies being allowed to enter.

Take care.

Best Wishes

David Jones

Road Race Reporter

For some time now the club has been without a road race reporter.

I’m delighted to say that Stuart George has volunteered to fulfil this role.

Anyone who has read his reports on his own races will know what a talented writer Stuart is.

These reports will be reproduced in the newsletter and also submitted to the local press via Christine Cooper, the clubs press co-ordinator.

Stuart will absolutely depend on members notifying him of races they will be competing in and how they got on, so please send details to him. Photos are also welcome.

Many thanks Stuart

Stuart’s email address is
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers and sisters.
Vets team members at the end of the fixture at Redditch on Wednesday night.
Photo courtesy of Josh Dobedoe.
Our W35+ mixed really team of Alastair Webb, Paula Williams, Ben Kruze and Hannah Osborne.

Midland Vets League Track and Field

Paula and Ben lead the way.

Report – Peter Coote

Stratford Athletics Club had another very successful Midlands Vets league match at Redditch last Wednesday, with Paula Williams and Ben Kruze leading the way. Tuning up for the British Masters Championships later this month, Paula won her 200m, long jump, triple jump and javelin. Ben continued his assault on club records, comfortably winning both the 800m and 3000m in new club record times. They then joined with Hannah Osborne and Alistair Webb in a close fought under 50 4x100m relay.

With a blustery head wind making sprinting hard work, Stratford’s sprinters started the evening well with a stand-out performance from Elaine Ledden comfortably winning her 200m in a new club record time of 31.8. Dave Wilson, who earlier in the day had won a bronze medal competing for the Police Force in the Civil Service and Police Championships in Coventry, finished in 2nd place in the 200m.


The middle distance runners then confirmed both their dominance and depth in the 800m and 3000m. New member Susan Hunt debuted in the 3000m while Richard Dobedoe returned to the track after an absence of 5 years to set a new M55 club record in the 3000m. Returning from injury, sprinter Christine Coote tried running the 800m for the first time, coming second in a new club record time. Team manager David Jones rolled back the years to take second place in his 800m against runners 10 years his junior.


Endurance runner Matt Burdus-Cook had a busy night, proving his worth in 200m, 800m and 3000m, with two 2nd place finishes and a 3rd place.


Triathletes Kim Lee and Emma Bexson once again proved their versatility with Kim knocking 33 seconds off her 3000m time at Redditch in June and Emma finishing in 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the 3000m and 800m. Liz Manzella returned from isolation just a few days before the fixture to finish 4th in the 200m. W70 team member Jan Turner finished 2nd in both her 200m and long jump events.


Together with Paul Hawkins continuing his competitive return, Kate Sergent, Gemma Smith and Malcolm Bowyer had a successful evening in the 2000m walk, with Gemma setting a new club record and personal best. In the only throwing events of the evening, John Boxall took second place in the javelin alongside Paula’s win. Alistair Webb made an impressive debut in the triple jump, while Elaine Ledden and Peter Coote set new age group club records in the triple jump and long jump respectively.


Another successful evening finished with the over 50 mixed 4x100m relay and John Boxall, Christine Coote, Elaine Ledden and Dave Wilson combined to take second just behind Worcester.

Many thanks to our volunteers and officials who helped make it such a special night for the club.


Overall, Stratford’s women triumphed with 133 points v Worcester’s 127 and the men came second with 112 points v Worcester’s 120.


The final totals showed Stratford on 245 points and Worcester on 247 with Worcester winning by the narrowest of margins of just two points


The club easily qualified for the Gold Cup Final against the best teams in the Midlands on 5th September.

Vicky Sharpe
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Triathlon News

Report – Simon Taylor

The weekend saw a brand new local triathlon taking place at Compton Verney. Two races on the same day and a fantastic turn out of 18 SAC triathletes over the two races. The race was fantastically organised by Do3 and supported by brilliant and encouraging marshalls.

The races consisted of a swim around Compton Verney lake, a 56 mile ride taking in Edge Hill for the half iron distance and a 21k ride around Kineton and Gaydon for the sprint event. The run (13 miles for the half and 5k for the sprint) was a tough undulating run around the grounds of the house and surrounding countryside. The finish was in front of the house itself. A brilliant location for a race and sure to be one that becomes a fixture on the triathlon calendar. Many from this year’s race will no doubt be returning to challenge themselves again next year

Half Iron Distance Race – 8 SAC triathletes dipped their toes in the water from 7am. First SAC triathlete back across the finish line after 5 hours 17 mins 49 seconds was Ben Phyall. Ben is well known as having 2 speeds in any race he does. Flat out and stop. Certainly he displayed his qualities as a talented triathlete again. Sam Wignell came back especially from sunning himself on a remote Scottish beach with his kids the day before and was super happy to come home in under 6 hours in a time of 5.55.36. A measure of how hard the course is, shows that Sam was over 40 minutes outside his best time for the distance from earlier in the season. John Devine had another great performance to be second SAC athlete home in a time of 5.37.33. John is training hard and getting the results to prove what a good athlete he is.

In the race for supremacy between the Three Amigos of Mark Loosemore, Neil Stannard and Ricky Davies, Mark triumphed over his training and drinking buddies in a time of 5.45.46 and third SAC triathlete home. Neil will be happy with his race after training has been curtailed with a new job and injury. As for Ricky, despite numerous excuses that he always makes whenever beaten by his 2 Amigo mates (which happens quite a lot!), there was simply no excuse this time – he was well beaten in a time of 6.05.16. No doubt, with his excuses falling on deaf ears, Ricky will be drowning his sorrows and plotting how he can beat them next time – let down their tyres, stones in their run shoes, hide their goggles etc.

Final SAC athlete to finish was Becky Loftus in a time of 7.46.40. As usual Becky competed with a massive smile on her face and took the tough course in her stride. Well done Becky.

A special word for Cara Reynolds. Cara had a crash on her bike and ended up as DNF. Cara will be back racing soon no doubt. For those of you concerned, Cara’s bike is OK. Just needs some new handlebars and a bit of TLC to get back on the road!

Sprint Race – 10 SAC triathletes competed in the sprint distance race. I always think that sprint is a bit of a misnomer. When did a sprint last over an hour? First SAC athlete to finish was the ever reliable James Purdy. James had a great race to finish in 1.14.22, 8th male overall and should be proud of his performance. Hot on his heels was SAC’s own terminator Kate Wright. Kate never disappoints in her performances, came 4th female in 1.15.22 and – no one will be surprised to hear – won her age group ….again! Ellie Deaner came in 8th female and 4th in her age group, chasing Kate home in 1.19.16. A performance to be proud of.

Caroline Gionis stormed through the finish line to complete her first triathlon in 2 years in a time of 1.27.31. Caroline, competitive as ever, finished 3rd in her age group and without doubt will get stronger the more she races. Becks Pridham came in next in 1.31.21 for 8th in her age group. Just like Becky in the Middle Distance race, Becks always has a smile on her face and races with an attitude that many of us could learn from – a smiling assassin!

Karl Harris – he of the shortest legs in triathlon – raced the triathlon alongside Emily Adams, who competed in her first ever triathlon. Chivalry was in short supply at the end as Karl sprinted (all in slow motion!) passed Emily at the end to beat her in 1.43.56 to 1.44.08. Hopefully Emily has now caught the triathlon bug and we’ll see her racing more. I look forward to seeing both Karl and Emily at our Saturday morning swim sessions soon!

Finally, the War of the Eden’s continued as Cherry was once again chased home by Richard. I expect that Richard will never give up chasing, but at the moment Cherry isn’t playing fair and didn’t allow Rich to get too close. Their finishing times were 1.43.03 and 1.54.37.

For those of you waiting for Taylor’s Triathlete of the Week, this week the winner is Vicky Sharpe. In her first Standard Distance triathlon at Bedford, she stormed to a 3rd place in her AG and 4th female overall. A brilliant start to her standard distance career, as she targets a GB team place next summer.
Bedford standard (Olympic) distance triathlon
Report – Vicky Sharpe

Sunday the 8th was a popular race day and included the popular Bedford standard (Olympic) distance triathlon which was also heavily attended by Ruby triathlon club (over 40 Rugby athletes!).

The river swim was set off in waves of 10 people every 10 seconds. As I’m not the strongest swimmer my wave was middle-ish of the pack so involved a lot of treading water while slowly moving up to the start line. Inside the first 100m, the ‘washing machine effect’, choppy conditions and another swimmer coming over the top of me caused a brief panic and meant I needed to stop and hold on to a marshal’s paddleboard. After regaining composure the competitive instinct kicked in as I caught up and overtook my wave plus the wave ahead before the halfway turnaround point.
Still annoyed with my bad swim start there was a lot to prove on the bike. The mostly flat course didn’t play to my love of hills but the high winds gave everyone something to battle. Feeling determined, I found myself picking my way through the field including overtaking some very expensive TT and deep rim wheeled bikes, with riders’ helmets straight from olympic velodrome. It turned out to be a great ride as I posted the fastest female bike time by over 1 minute!
With just 1 discipline and 3 laps to go, the spectators and marshals did a great job of providing support all the way round. Laps again played into my competitive instinct as I was able to focus on overtaking 1 runner at a time and keep decent pace.
I ended up finishing 4th female which felt like a massive achievement and lots of learnings to take away for next time. A brilliant race that I would recommend to all!
Stratford Parkrun

I don’t often mention our local parkrun but last weekend’s results show just how well our members are performing since the return of this event.

The first image shows Ned Campbell having come first with a 2 minute 52 second PB. Yes, 2.52. Sister Georgie once again finished as first female and, as the image shows, 6 of the first 7 finishers were club members.

The second image shows leading age group competitors, with Georgie finishing top and 7 of the top 10 being club members.

The final image shows our success was once again across all ages, with 11 year olds Alfie Musk and Joel Ledgard finishing in 2nd and 4th place respectively.

With the welcome return of Roger Wilson, this meant there was a 68 year gap between the youngest and oldest of these club members. Pretty impressive
Night of 1500m

The Pingles Stadium.

6 of our younger club members took part in this event on Wednesday evening.

Sam Plumb – 5:17.27 PB
James Day – 5:12.26 PB
Maisie Joy Spriggs – 5:04.68
Olivia Robinson – 5:08.90
Emily Field – 4:55.48
James Mucklow – 4:35.26
Andrew Pozzi wasn’t our only club member on duty at the Tokyo Olympics. Jon Mulkeen was there in his capacity as the IAAF’s web editor. He sent this superb photo he took of Andrew’s 110m hurdle final. Many thanks Jon.
Club Records Update
Dave Wilson showing off his medal from the Police and Civil Service Championships at Coventry on Wednesday, following which he jumped in his car to rush over to compete for our vets in their league fixture at Redditch.
Once again excellent coverage in the print edition of this week’s Stratford Herald.