Your Club Needs You.

Ben Kruze collects his winners medal.
This week it is mainly about the continuing success of Ben Kruze and Matt Burdus-Cook. What a year they’ve both had. Last weekend they were competing on the national stage at the BMAF 10k Championships in Gravesend. Ben won the race with a 30 second cushion over the 2nd placed runner and Matt finished in 9th place overall and 4th in his age category.

There is also an urgent appeal for volunteers for the XC fixture that we as a club are hosting on the Welcombe Hills on 4th December. Please reply to Sally Bliss if you are able to help out.

We also have a link to the results of the latest Winter Series Race and there’s another reminder of the club’s worthwhile 100 Club.

Take care.

Best Wishes.

David Jones.
An Urgent Appeal For Volunteers.

The Midland Women’s Cross Country League and the Men’s Birmingham Cross Country League

Welcombe Hills

4th December

This can’t happen without your support!!

Unfortunately we have had very little response to my request for marshals for this fixture, a fixture that will include many clubs from all over The Midlands.

We, as a club, are hosting this XC fixture and we desperately need more volunteers for both Friday afternoon for a couple of hours and Saturday from about 12:30pm.

Without this help there is a chance the fixture won’t be able to go ahead which would reflect very badly on our club.

Put your Christmas shopping on hold and come to the Welcombe Hills for a great afternoon of cheering, laughing, supporting and doing your bit……

Please reply to this newsletter or to the email address below as soon as you read this to say you will be there to

You can do this – please help

Sally Bliss

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A library photo of Matt Burdus-Cook
The Ben and Matt Show.

Sunday’s performance in the British Masters Athletic Federation 10k Championship Race was the latest episode in what has been a superbly successful year for club members Ben Kruze and Matt Burdus-Cook.

This dynamic duo (sorry guys) currently rank in the UK top 50 in their respective hugely competitive M35 and M45 age groups over the following distances.

Ben features in the top 50 in 400, 800, 1500, 3000 and 5000m distances as well as 1 mile, 5 mile, 10k, half marathon and park run. Matt has top 50 rankings in all of those with the exception of 5 mile and half marathon.

Ben has top 20 rankings in 400, 800 and 1500m along with park run and 5mile.

Matt has top 20 rankings in the mile and 3000m

The Run Britain UK rankings show Ben at an overall position of 62nd in his M35 age category and Matt at 91st in his M45 category.

Pretty impressive.

Well done guys.

British Masters 10k Road Championships

Report – Matt Burdus-Cook

If you are 35 or over, then Masters Events are a great way of seeking out competition with similarly aged and aging individuals.

Club Members Ben Kruze and Matt Burdus-Cook headed to the British Masters 10k Road Championships, held on Sunday 21st November in Gravesend, Kent, at “Cyclopark”.

As the facilities name would suggest, the park is geared around cycling but offers a traffic free, slightly undulating tarmac loop of 2.5kms which also makes for an ideal running circuit.

The course also lends itself to a parkrun which boasts a slower average finish time of 30:13 vs. Stratford’s 28:11 average finisher time, suggesting perhaps that the course undulations were maybe less slight than described.

The potentially slow course was not the first challenge faced by Kruze and Burdus-Cook.

A difficult decision was needed to either run for Stratford AC under a new entry option enabling athletes to participate as non-masters affiliated “open” entrants, or under the athletes second claim club of Midland Masters for a £4 entry fee concession.

Although to some this would be a quandary, Kruze and Burdus-Cook independently reached the same decision. Four pounds is four pounds, so as Midlands Masters runners we set out on our latest road running adventure.

In all seriousness, the online race entry system defaulted us to our masters affiliated club with no option to override, so we both opted to not fight the computer system but did run in our Stratford Club Colours by way of mild protest and thrift (Midlands Masters Vests are £16 a go).

A warm up lap of the circuit confirmed that the course was indeed undulating but to an extent that favoured both runners preferred racing terrain, so was a good early sign of potentially quick times.

Similarly the quality of the course was noteworthy. Neither athlete had ever seen tarmac quite like it! This wasn’t just any old tarmac, it was cycle-course grade, high traction, pot-hole free, and lacking any kerbs or drain covers with zero chance of traffic. Even the sharper turns were well cambered allowing minimal loss of speed and running efficiency.

The conditions were also as near to perfect as you can get in November, with the temperature ideal at around 6 degrees Celsius. Even without a handheld anemometer it was clear that the forecast northerly breeze of 15-16mph had failed to show up.

With no excuses for slow runs due to the course or conditions being available, both athletes started well and settled into their respective paces and race plans after an initial very fast first kilometre with Kruze settling into 2nd position and Burdus-Cook panicking mildly at being less far behind his super rapid team-mate than is usual, even at such an early stage in the race.

Both athletes went on to execute their onward race plans well, and completed very satisfying runs with Kruze winning both the overall race and MV35 category 30s ahead of the second placed runner in a superb 31:57, just 5 seconds slower than his PB and club record set earlier in the year. Burdus-Cook ran tormentingly close to the 34 minute barrier in 34:02, but was delighted to improve his 10K PB by 18 seconds, finishing 4th in the MV45 category as the 9th finisher in the race.

Both athletes were delighted with their results and enjoyed the atmosphere and competition offered by such a great event.

On his win, Ben said “This was a great way to finish a nice block of races and a fun, well organised event we look forward to next year.”

On his PB and MV45 4th Place, Matt said “I’m really happy with my execution and getting my race back in control to run a PB. I’m honestly not bothered that I missed out on a medal, they didn’t look that good anyway”.

Over 170 competitors from ages 35 to over 80 took part in what was a fantastic and inclusive competition. Attending this type of event really does reinforce that we partake in a sport that is both ageless and inspiring on many levels. If you are at, past, or nearing the masters age of 35, getting involved in competition whether track, field, road or triathlon really does offer a lifelong outlet for our shared interests, pursuits and passions.

On the podium again. Richard Liggatt who finished in 3rd place in the latest Winter Series race.
Photo courtesy of Barry Cornelius
Tempo Winter Series Race 2

Unfortunately I haven’t received a report on this race but a quick glance at the results shows Richard Liggatt as our first club member to finish for the second consecutive race. Richard finished 3rd overall for yet another podium place.

The club had 7 runners in the top 20 finishers and Kim Lee was our first lady finisher and 18th lady finisher overall.

For full results please follow the link below:


Hi. My name is Helen Roach and my daughter, Clea, joined the junior section for the SUAAC around 3 years ago. In those 3 years she’s made lots of new friends, learnt lots about running, jumping and throwing and most importantly had a lot of fun.

I’ve been very aware this has only been possible because of all those who volunteer their time and energy into the club. So when Paul and Carolyne recently approached me to see if I would help on the 100 fund raising club I was more than happy to get involved.

Do get in touch if you’d like to buy a share in the 100 club, all the money goes back into the club, helping to finance such things as the long term refurbishment of the track and the purchase of Track and Field equipment.

To get in touch either email me on

or grab me on Tuesday drop off/pick up (U13) where you’ll normally see me dressed ready for a run around Stratford (see image of me below too so you know what I look like). And if you’d be interested to understand how else you can get involved please please do catch me, Paul, Carolyne or any other volunteer. If everyone involved can support our grass root clubs in some way, no matter how small, it will really make a big difference.

There’s always something that you can help with and as a busy wife and full-time working mum, the 100 club works well for me, and given my own enjoyment of running and most recently some swimming (watch out the triathlon club I’m seriously thinking about joining!), it’s all about putting something in to get a lot more back…



The Stratford upon Avon AC 100 Club raises funds designated specifically for the long term refurbishment of the Track at Stratford School and the purchase of Track & Field equipment for the benefit of Stratford upon Avon AC members.


Monthly draws – 3 prizes per month!

1st prize – £100

2nd prize – £50

3rd prize – £25

Payment by easily set up standing order of only £4 per month per share*.

The draw takes place on the 2nd Tuesday or Wednesday of each month (either at the Junior training night or after the Seniors Wednesday training).


Please email Helen Roach if you would like full details and how to join the 100 Club at:

* Participates must be over 16 years of age