We Can Be Heroes.

Charly Marshall
Pride of place this week goes to super talented and hard working Charly Marshall, who competed in the National School Games Final at the weekend, finishing in a hugely impressive 9th place.

As our report states, next for Charly are the Super Series Grand Finale next weekend, then later in the month she’s off to Jersey for the Triathlon Super League, where she has been selected as part of the Great Britain Youth team..

There’s my somewhat lengthy report on our vets T&F team’s wonderful performance at last Sunday’s Cup Final. You really had to be there. I know I’m 100% biased but hey, I’m editing the newsletter so you’re just going to have to but up with my eulogising.

There’s a detailed reminder of what’s happening and what you must do at this Sunday’s Club Championships. This is the biggest club event in the club calendar, so even if you aren’t competing, come along and soak up the atmosphere. A splendid time will be guaranteed for all.

We have the latest of Stuart’s superlative road race reports. If my T&F report is lengthy, Stuart’s is positively War and Peace in length. Talking of superlative reports, we have Simon Taylor’s take on all things Triathlon. I get the impression Simon might be Welsh.

I can’t thank Stuart and Simon enough for their regular reports. It makes my life so much easier.

Enjoy the rest of the week. Enjoy the club championships, enjoy the Kenilworth half, enjoy Great North Run and good luck if you are competing anywhere.

Take care

Best Wishes

David Jones
The West Midlands’ mixed relay team.

National School Games Final

Report – Tim Marshall

Charly Marshall of Stratford AC has taken another huge step in her development as an elite triathlete, finishing an impressive 9th in the National School Games Final in Loughborough last weekend.

Charly qualified for this prestigious event with 12th position in the Hetton Super Series competition and went 3 better at the weekend against the UK’s finest.

Later she raced in the third leg of the mixed team relay representing the region, gaining a position and eventually helping West Midlands to finish just outside the medals in 4th of the 13 English, Scottish and Welsh regions represented.


The 2021 School Games National Final is a major multi-sport event for talented young athletes across the UK and is now in its 14th year.

The individual triathlon competition comprised 4 events over 2 days: On Thursday there were the Aquathlon heats and finals, each with a 320m swim followed by a 2.3km run; Charly finished an impressive 2nd in her heat progressing to the “A” final thus gaining a time and positional advantage.

Friday was the bike skills test with 10 laps of a 50m “figure of 8” circuit followed by the pursuit race with a 100m barefoot run into transition, followed by a 10km cycle race and a final transition into a 100m sprint to the finish. Charly showed exceptional race-craft by maximising drafting in both the swim and bike components and having faultless transitions.


Next for Charly are the Super Series Grand Finale next weekend, then later this month off to Jersey for the Triathlon Super League where she has been selected as part of the Great Britain Youth team.

View this email in your browser
The Club’s Vets T&F team, following last Sunday’s Cup Final at The Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton.
Cindy being careful not to step out of the front of the circle.
A couple of quality relay teams. Hannah, Kim, Emma, Elaine and John, Alastair, Joe and Dave. Alastair and Dave did engage in some quality baton juggling at their changeover.
Paula, Andy, Elaine and Dave waiting for their post Cup Final McDonalds. Much deserved I might add.
Midland Vets T&F League Cup Final.

The Pingles Stadium – Sunday 5th September.

We can be heroes just for one day.

As joint team manager along with Andy List, to say I am proud of what the team achieved last Sunday doesn’t come close to the feelings I had at the end of the day and continue to have.

We finished 3rd on the day, out of 15 teams competing but that only tells part of the story.

When I look at some of the club’s we finished above I glow with pride – Birchfield Harriers, Royal Sutton Coldfield, Nuneaton, Telford, Charnwood, Notts, Leamington.

Okay, we finished 3rd last time but to finish in this position again, albeit further behind the top two, despite a fixture clash with the Stratford Big 10k and despite holidays and illness, I think this must rank as one of, if not the best performance we have achieved as a team.

Once again the camaraderie was off the scale. The support shown to each other. Incredible. It real was a case of all for one, one for all.

As Paul Bearman often says, in these type of championships it’s not only the winners on the day who help you to achieve success, it’s those finishing in the lower positions who, by picking up valuable points, contribute greatly to any success you have as a team.

We were just 9.5 points ahead of Leamington Spa – 308.5 to 299. This illustrates perfectly how every point counts

Success is due not only to winning events but to competing in as many events as possible and we managed to fill 31 of the 36 events taking place.

To say we had team members competing in events way outside of their comfort zone would be a massive understatement. Okay, there may have been a bit of cajoling involved but really not that much, without exception team members responded to the call..

A huge thank you is due to our officials on the day – Sandy Green, Tony Jackson and Emma Sparrow as well as Andy.

I am going to single out Sandy. The man really is both a legend and an unsung hero of the club. He not only made himself available in the week’s leading up to the event, to coach some of those who were due to compete in what you might call “less familiar events”. This included coaching a couple of septuagenarians the art of shot putting. He was also one of the first to arrive on Sunday and last to leave due to his officiating duties. Many many thanks Sandy.

A look at the individual results shows just how much of a team effort it was. However there were many exceptional individual performances.

Our very own golden trio of Paula Williams, Elaine Ledden and Dave Wilson were responsible for all 10 of our outright victories and contributed 30% of our points total, as well as earning points in the relays.

We are may sometimes be guilty of taking Paula for granted. We should not. Her victories were W35 200m hurdles (31.9), W40 100m (13.91), W40 LJ (4.50), W40 HJ (1.35) and W40 shot (10.30).

Elaine was victorious in W60 400m (76.70) and W60 TJ (7.03). Her victory in the 400m was arguably our performance of the day. She simply destroyed the field, winning by over 12 seconds. Over 12 seconds in a 400m race and she was speeding up going down the home straight. Go figure.

Dave’s trio of victories were M50 100m (13.31), M50 400m (62.79) where like Elaine he left the other competitors in his wake, winning by over 3 seconds. He also won M50 TJ (9.26).

John Boxall was another of our team members who had an extremely busy day competing in the opening track event, the M50 200m hurdles, finishing 2nd with a time of 33.8. John also finished 4th in M50 HJ (1.30), 6th in M35 shot (7.15), 8th in M40 javelin (21,15) and 3rd in M50 discus (22.12).

Despite a lengthy period of injury and with him still not being fully recovered, Mark Illingworth certainly rose to the occasion, earning a magnificent 22 points by competing in M60 100m (15.94), M60 200m (33.70), M40 hammer (9.49), M35 discus (18.13) and M60 javelin (21.25).

Relative newcomer, the talented Alastair Webb, did us proud by competing way out of his comfort zone in the M35 800m (2:34.5), he also competed in M35 200m (28.00) and M35 LJ (4.77) as well as running in both relays.

Making a welcome return to the T&F arena after a few years away was Martin Foster, coming 4th in M60 800m (2:52.) and 5th in M60 1500m (6:00.61).

Dave Battersby has been suffering from a sore achilles for sometime and the meeting also clashed with his daughter’s 16th birthday. Despite this, he said he would make the journey to Nuneaton just to compete in M40 100m (13.56). It seemed a long way to come for a 13 second race, so when he discovered didn’t have a competitor in the M40 3000m and after a frantic phone call to his wife to explain he would be late, he ran the 3000m in 11:24.04.

We had that vacancy in the M40 3000m due to an unfortunate injury sustained by Pete Sugden in the M35 pole vault. Peter had answered the call to compete in this technically challenging event, twisting his ankle in the process. He still managed a clearance of 1.80 metres. Peter was somewhat more fortunate than the Worcester athlete who broke his leg competing in the pole vault. He had only decided to compete on the day.

I have to admit to being totally wiped out and exhausted at the end of the day, having competed in 5 events. M70 100 & 200m (17.32 & 35.65). M70 shot (5.50) – thank you Sandy, M60 LJ (2.96) and M70 TJ (6.32). I was beyond chuffed at coming 2nd in TJ. Okay, there were only 3 of us competing!

Richard Dobedoe rose from his sick bed to fill the M50 3000m slot (11:11.60). Brian Gravelsons managed a throw of 5.68 in the shot put. Unfortunately Malcolm Bowyer was DQd in the M50 2k racewalk by throwing caution to the wind on the home straight, in an attempt to pass another racewalker. Been there, done that.

The Lee family rushed over from the Big 10k, wonderful children in tow. Joe, making his T&F debut completed his M35 1500m in 5:11.17. He did admit to a new found respect for track runners after his efforts. Kim, something of an old hand at this T&F lark now, completed her M35 3000m in 14:54.66. It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows this remarkable couple that, noticing there was a cycle track close to the venue, they bought along a rather expensive looking bike to give them something to do while they weren’t racing. Some folks!

I guess if you’d have told Susan Hunt a few weeks ago that she would be throwing the discus and shot put in a T&F Cup Final she would have laughed in your face. However that is what she did. A single email from me elicited a positive response and thanks to coaching lessons from Sandy and Imogen she was able to throw 8.66m in W50 discus and 4.12 in W50 shot put. Susan also competed in W50 800m (3:22.1) and W50 1500m (6:40.07).

Emma Bexson and Hannah Osborne are old hands at T&F, always ready to answer the call, always prepared to try something new and always competitive on the day. Hannah, fresh from helping her family relay team defeat Paula Radcliffe on Saturday, did what she does. Compete. In the W35 400m she ran a time of 76.47, followed by a 3rd place finish in W35 200m (34.52) and an M35 TJ of 6.14. Hannah also competed in both relays. Emma was 2nd in W40 800m (2:55.7) over 16 seconds ahead of the 3rd placed runner and 3rd in W40 1500m (5:48.64). She also ran a leg of the 4 x 400 relay

Another extremely busy athlete on the day was Liz Manzella, competing in W50 100m (19.26), W50 200m (41.53) and W50 high jump (1.10).

Racewalkers Gemma Smith and Kate Sergent both finished 4th in their respective W35 and W50 races. Gemma in a time of 15:13.48 and Kate in 15:03.63. They contributed an invaluable 10 points to our total.

If anyone epitomises the spirit in this team it is Cindy Brittan. Giving up her place in the Stratford Big 10k she embarked on coaching lessons for her W70 LJ, finishing 3rd with a jump of 1.53 metres. She also finished 4th in the shot put after some expert tutelage from Sandy with a throw of 3.67 and she didn’t step out of the front of her circle once. To top it all, she came 4th in W70 100m in a time of 27.70, contributing 16 points in all. KJT beware.

I was heartened by the fact that the couple of septuagenarians in the team, Cindy and myself, contributed 13% of our points total.

All in all a totally magical but exhausting day.

Finally, despite being on holiday in Portugal, Peter Coote has noted that the following Senior T&F club records were broken on Sunday. I can’y imagine why I thought these were worth including in the report !!

David Jones M70 Triple Jump 6.32m
David Jones M70 Long Jump 2.96m
John Boxall M55 Discus 22.12m
Paula Williams W45 200mH 31.9
Cindy Brittan W70 Shot 3.67m



on Sunday 12th September 2021

Registration starts 9.15am : First Events at 10.00am

The Championships will be run under the prevailing England Athletics COVID-19 guidelines.



We’ve had a very good response for entries to the Club Champs with over 160 entries. A massive thankyou again, to Carolyne Johnston for sorting out the entries and to all our volunteer officials and coaches who are giving up their time to officiate at the event ….it couldn’t be run without you.

Organising the event is a big logistical effort and our priority is to run the event in a safe way, but this can only happen if everyone abides by our procedures (which follow England Athletics Covid guidelines) and show some flexibility on the day. Please thoroughly read and digest all the information below.





  1. Do not attend the meeting if you have experienced any Covid related symptoms in the last 14 days. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/
  2. Do not attend the meeting if anyone in your household has experienced any Covid related symptoms in the last 14 days
  3. Please remain 2m from the next person where possible and be aware of the importance of proper hand washing and sanitation.
  4. This event is not a social event but we are as usual extremely keen for the athletes to enjoy being involved and taking part, however, please avoid unnecessary contact with other families/athletes.


  1. Please do not to enter the track area more than 30 minutes before the start of registration 9.15am : First Events at 10.00am.
  2. Athletes must wear a club vest/crop top. These can be ordered via the club website shop http://archive.stratfordac.co.uk/shop/.Otherwise wear a SUAAC T shirt or a plain white T shirt….no football tops or similar.
  3. On arrival athletes only (no parents) go to the tables under thPavilion canopy to collect their numbers.
  4. Some numbers will be self-adhesive but others won’t so bring your own pins (8) although there will be some available.
  5. The warm up area is on the field adjacent to the track.
  6. Times and results will be announced and posted under the Pavilion canopy but please don’t gather in large groups. The results will be posted via email as soon as possible, on Power of 10 and on the SUAAC website
  7. There are no covered areas and the Pavilion is not available.
  8. There are no changing facilities – please come changed and prepared for the prevailing weather.
  9. Toilets are available in the school buildings.
  10. The timetable is simple.

10.00-12.15 male track, female field

12.45-3.00 female track, male field


  1. All events are manually timed and HE AREA AROUND THE TIMEKEEPING STAND MUST BE KEPT CLEAR at all times. Please do not stand around the finish line to take your own times or pictures.
  2. All athletes and parents must stay behind the rope fence around the track. Under no circumstances should anyone other than the athletes when they are competing or officials encroach onto the track or the infield.
  3. The track is on school property – HENCE NO DOGS ON THE FACILITY
  4. All equipment will be regularly sanitised during the event.
  5. Starting blocks will be available and will be sanitised regularly, however, athletes can use their own blocks.
  6. Athletes may bring their own throwing implements and should not be shared with others.
  7. Sprint races are normally a maximum of 6 in each race and may be mixed ages. Longer races will have larger fields
  8. Refreshments will not be available so bring your own supplies.
  9. Use specified entry and exit gates and parking areas and use hand sanitiser each time you enter/exit the facility or use the toilet. See below.
  10. Don’t forget to stay for the Novelty events at the end…its good fun.
  11. On completion of the event please make sure you remove all litter.



As a part of our safeguarding all photographers must sign in under the canopy.



In a race between Hannah and The Kids and Paula Radcliffe and her kids there was really only ever going to be one winner. Take a bow Hannah, Caleb, Maisie-Joy and Toby – aka Eat, Sleep, Run, Repeat. Shoulda joined a decent club Paula!
The victorious team with another hanger on Steve Cram. MJ apparently thought he was just “some bloke”. Kids of today eh.
Road race man of the moment Adrian Mason.
Louise Stewart doing what she does. Hard, long, hilly races.
A hirsute Chris Bloomfield on his way to PB in the Stratford Big 10k
Road Race Round Up

Stuart George

It’s easy to forget that a short while ago no races were possible at all so let’s remember that dark time when we cast our eyes over the plethora of opportunities we now have.

So lace up your Nike/Saucony/Asics (delete where appropriate) and try your hardest to nail that PB ( or 3 in two weeks if your Ade Mason #legend).


Obviously the Summer Six and Stratford Big 10k attracted vast amounts of you; I was gutted to miss them due to the new job but you all absolutely dominated them and that fills my heart with joy.

What a club we have!!

There are some other great reports this week from equally brilliant races. You are all so generous to share them with me and the club so thanks a million.


Happy running and I can’t wait to hear what you do this weekend. Kenilworth Half/ Great North Run anyone?????

Rather excitedly here is a cracking report from Hannah Osborne which includes her children taking part. I say excitedly as there are so many amazing road running chances for our junior members yet we don’t hear from them as much as we would like. So a huge thanks to Hannah and please juniors this section of the newsletter is for you too!!


Families on track Saturday 4th September

Hannah Osborne

The Spriggs kids & Mom entered the ‘Families on Track’ event as part of the Worcester City Run at the weekend. They boldly christened their team : Eat, Sleep, Run Repeat! Which I think sums them up quite well!!

The event was initially set up by Paula Radcliffe, who is a vocal advocate for family health and fitness and her concept of “Families on Track” encompasses everything she believes in as a runner… but more importantly as a Mom! Something I can relate to as a Mom of 3 very individual, high energy children. ( That’s why I stopped at 2 Ed!!!)

As a team you must complete a 10k continuous relay by running loops of various distances (250m, 500m or 1km). Each leg is completed by an individual who then hands over to another team member, any order and keep going till you complete 10km, then all runners join for the Glory Leg and run through the finish line as a team.

With 24 hours to go before the event, a huge amount of discussion and planning was had regarding the order of runners and distances they were all to complete, triple checking it came to the required 10km.

Arriving at Worcester Racecourse the Spriggs registered, pinned their numbers, excitingly grabbed their goody bags which to the joy of Mom included a large pack of skittles each; hence very happy kids.

Pre-race nerves led to a toilet toilet trip with MJ but on return who do they spot…. the legend Steve Cram!

Hannah start talking to him and telling MJ she’s meeting a famous running legend, who then tells him “there’s no way he’s famous or a runner”, I ask him his mile PB….3:46:32, photo taken and on he goes. Wikipedia searches for MJ and she discovers he is in fact a legend, rest of the day she tries to apologise to him!

Once at their ‘Pen’ for the race, lots of music, info and usual race faff. Then they met their next legend….Paula Radcliffe!

Not only did she set up these runs but she is here, meeting people, taking photos and running in a team with her son and daughter and encouraging and running with others, just wow.

The race itself was quick, noisy, competitive and fun. The Spriggs’ racing ‘programme’ went out the window after MJ felt ill after 1.5km so we got first aid, she rested and the team had less rest and ran a bit more.

Toby sped round the 500m loops…too quick for Hannah to get her breath back in between 2 1km efforts, Caleb getting into race mode and smashing out all the distances. Hannah commented “ Running a loop with Paula beside you was very surreal but motivating”.

It was all chipped timed so you could see where teams were but this would change all the time with runners doing different distances. Then Caleb came through the last 500m and we joined as a team to run the final straight together.

An incredible win was registered in a team time of 37:56 (Paula’s team was 2nd!). The kids were presented with sports watches each and photos with the Mayor of Worcester.

A day to remember, supporting everyone from 1st finisher to last one. Being inspired by athletic legends.

Being active as a family. Laughing, making memories and running our best. The Spriggs beating the Radcliffe’s what a result!!

Wilne 10K 4th September 2021

Amongst all the other events this weekend Cadie Hibberd ran in the Wilne 10k.

Some real quality competitors took part (results below) our very own Cadie Hibberd finished as 11thwoman out of almost 300 participants. What a result after suffering with Covid very recently.

As seems to be the fashion this month she did it in a cracking new PB of 39:46 almost 20 seconds off her previous.

The race was declared to be part of the Midland County Championship, meaning Caddie gained a sliver medal out of the declared runners

Well done Caddie




In these reports we aim to shout out as many of our runners as possible , but naturally with the Summer 6 and the Stratford Big 10K this would be quite the task.

So a massive well done to each and every one of you the results are attached so I implore you to look at all the SAC runners and the various times they pushed, strove and worked for. Finish lines not finish times peeps.


Here is a report on the race on the Big 10k, expertly compiled by Christine Cooper following a request and tight deadline from the Stratford Herald

Stratford’s Big 10K has been going for 12years. It started life at the racecourse but now starts from and finishes on Stratford Recreation Ground. It is a race that is loved by many and has many returning loyal followers.

After an up and down period of time for everyone, it went ahead at 9.30 on Sunday 5th September.

The route was the same as the last few years and it shows everything that Shakespeare’s Stratford-Upon-Avon has to offer, with a finish coming past the Bard’s RSC Theatre.

Previous results show that this event is ideal for gaining personal best times which is useful for both experienced runners and those new to the distance.

820 runners completed the race, 44 of who were members of Stratford upon Avon Athletics Club.

Our top finisher, Ben Kruze came 2nd in 32.37. Of the first 10 runners, 5 were from Stratford AC. 15 year old Alex Adams was the youngest, with a time of 36.05 and Phil Brennan, from Stratford AC won the ale 75 category in 51.50. Matt Burdus-Cook, in 4th place, won male 45 category in 34.23

The 1st Stratford AC female athlete home was Sophie Dobedoe, who was 6th lady finisher in a time of 46.07.

Runners were glad to be back, taking part in “a normal race again”. The sun shone and although many struggled with the heat, it was generally agreed that the sunshine added to the happy atmosphere.

Some commented it “was so good to be running in such a well organised race again.” They praised the route and “the support given all the way round”.

There was a kids race in partnership with Marathon Kids UK at 11.00am, which started at the pavilion and finished under the main finish arch.

Tempo Events and Stratford should be very proud of the event. It went off very smoothly and everyone had a very good experience.

A personal recollection of last Sunday from Chris Bloomfield

I joined SAC in 2018 soon after graduating from the C25K programme and before the Big 10k in September 2019. I just couldn’t seem to finish in under an hour, so I was very pleased on the day when I finished in a new PB at the time of about 55 minutes. I was looking forward to the 2020 event and hoping to push for a sub 50 minutes even though it had taken until March 2020 to go under 25 minutes for 5k!

Obviously that didn’t happen but thanks to the club and the virtual races I was ‘training’ harder than ever.

Will the Monthly Magic Mile competition be making a return? It definitely helped me speed up!

With the delay of the 2020 event I set my sights on a sub 45 minutes as my parkrun times have been going well.

After being at the back in my first Big 10k it felt very odd being in the front pen last weekend!

Conditions were quite tough but it was a great feeling to see the clock at the finish line showing 00:44:21 (thumbs up Ed)

Thanks to the organisers for the event, the club for the training and my wife and family for letting me nip out for a short run every now and again.

Would sub 40 minutes be a step too far for next year?

Thanks for reading and happy running, jumping and throwing!

Tim and Fin Hutchinson’s recollections on the Summer Six

It was great to be back out there in a race and even better that it was one of our own races.

We decided we would like to run the race together at a sensible pace, having both not done much running over the summer holidays.

It would also be great to do this together before Fin heads off to his 1st year at university.

The number of runners was much smaller this year however the atmosphere was brilliant. The marshals were great with words of encouragement as we passed them.

We were joined by Josh Dobedoe all the way round and thoroughly enjoyed our race. We were happy with the pace and our finishing times.

To sum it up

“I loved it, running with Fin and Josh was a great way to spend the evening!”

“ Really enjoyable race with Dad and Josh, perfect weather, great evening”

Wye Valley Race

Louise Stewart

I took part (I won’t say competed!!) in a beautiful trail race based around Chepstow and the Wye Valley last Saturday.

This was a 14 mile route in beautiful weather and a spectacular route which had some decent ups, not enough downs and lots of amazing scenery.

The final kilometre was disheartening as you came from a beautiful route through a wood to turn onto a tarmac road heading to an uphill finish, where the race photographer was waiting, camera in hand.

Following a bit of a set back earlier in the summer, resulting in a serious loss of running mojo, I was determined just to get round and enjoy the route. It was still quite gratifying though to overtake a few people!

This was the first time the race has been run, and the date for next year is 3rd September.

Stratford’s Summer Road Race Superstar

Lastly I want to focus on the amazing rich vein of form that Ade Mason has tapped into. Hopefully you will remember his 10k run from two weeks ago that resulted in a PB of 37:16

Most of us would have been chuffed with that break through but the Summer Six and the Stratford Big 10K have brought further success.

I will let Adrian speak for himself on his Summer Six race here

“To say I was elated with 2nd place is an understatement, although I was never going to catch 1st place (what a great result for David, new to the area and may he join SAC one day).

With an official time of 36mins dead, I took 38secs off my Hooky 6 time a few weeks ago (which is a similar event) and over 5mins off my previous Stratford Summer Six time from 2017!! (pre club member).

Ollie Senior also ran a great 3rd place, incorporating the race into a much longer 18mi training run that evening!
Running back home from the race with a 2nd place prize bottle of red in hand also made for an interesting run :).

A great event as always put on by the club.”


Summer Six results




What I love here and what I think sums up not only Adrian and the club is that he praises others when his own achievement was unbelievable.

What a man.

I will leave with praise for his 10k last Sunday, another PB taking 19 seconds from his Leicester time finishing in 36:57

So take a bow Adrian and thanks for embodying all that makes our club great.

Thanks for reading and thanks for all the reports.

Kenilworth half or Great North Run this weekend, drop me a note if you’re running and let me know about any other events you get to represent SAC in.

Paul Nash post race. Job done!
More Triathlon News

Simon Taylor

So how often do you get to compete against a sporting Titan, a god of his sport, an absolute sporting legend and a thoroughly top person? Despite what you maybe thinking, I’m not talking about myself, the Lee family or Kate Wright.

But, James Purdy can say exactly that after the Cotswold Sprint Triathlon last Sunday. In finishing a brilliant 18th overall and 3rd in his age group in a stacked field, James also beat Shane Williams (for less well-educated, Welsh rugby legend, British Lions legend, World Player of the Year, 2 x Grand Slam winner – did I mention WELSH rugby legend??). Shane (all Welsh rugby legends are known by their first names – Gareth, Barry, Merv, Gerald etc) posted on Twitter on the Saturday before the race that he was competing (I missed the bit where he said he was taking on James) and sleeping in his van at the venue on the Saturday night – no five star treatment for this WELSH superstar!). Shane is no mean triathlete, winning his age group, coming 20th overall and aiming to compete in the Kona World Ironman champs.

In an exciting race, James led out of the water, was passed on the bike, but stormed to the finish line to take a huge scalp. James is in great form at the moment, showed again what an excellent triathlete he is and is always competing at the sharp end of races.

Also competing at the weekend, and proving that the Saturday morning swim sessions do work, was Ben Phyall. Ben warmed up for the Brighton Marathon on 12th September by competing in the Box End Triathlon near Bedford – which was also a European age group qualifying race. Not many people will warm up the week before a marathon by going flat out for 2 and a half hours – but Ben is an exception!

As a result of being an GB age group qualifying race, the standard was super high and as usual, Ben acquitted himself exceptionally well. He achieved a huge pb for the 1500m swim in a time of 25.38. He rode the 40k in 1.13.56 and then ran the final 10k in 50.36. Overall Ben came 15th out of 27 in a notoriously tough age group and 72nd out of over 200 finishers and expressed satisfaction at his performance.

Reports from the SAC Foreign Correspondent have reached me about globe-trotting SAC Triathlete Paul ‘Nashie’ Nash competing in the Challenge Samorin triathlon in Slovakia. For those of you unsure, Challenge is a triathlon brand like Ironman and puts on races in some brilliant venues. Challenge Samorin took place in the stunning sports resort of the X-Bionic Olympic complex – definitely worth considering if you want some warm weather training. Nahie took inspiration from his surroundings and channelled his inner Steve Austin (bionic….get it??) to put on a stunning performance. All those decades of splashing around pretending to swim train were put to good use as Paul exited the 1.9km swim in first place in his age group. Windy conditions the bike made for super quick riding with the wind behind (speeds in excess of 50kph), but a struggle when turning into the wind. However, Paul was able to show his bike strength to come into second transition in second place and close to challenge for overall age group victory. Smashing the 21km run, Paul stormed through the finish line to take a fantastic age group victory, and after signing autographs – Nashie is never one to turn down a request – he proudly stood atop of the poduim. A brilliant performance and well done Paul.

Whilst sunning himself on the Devon coast, Mark Loosemore, of Three Amigos fame, continued his preparation for resumption of hostilities with the other Two Amigos (Neil Stannard and Ricky ‘the excuse’ Davies) by running the Dartmouth Royal Regatta Road Race. Mark came 4th in his age group in a time of 40.37 for the 5.1 mile race.

Mark is one of several SAC triathletes competing in the Blenheim Triathlon this coming weekend. We wish them all the best and a fun weekend, taking part in once of the best and most picturesque triathlons.
More Cup Final Photos
Andy List, Dave Wilson and John Boxall
Waiting for the results
A hard day at the track.
Every picture tells a story. Yours truly. It was a long day. I owe you one Hannah.