40 Years and Counting.

Elaine Ledden and Dave Wilson at Sheffield’s EIS Indoor Arena last weekend.
Pride of place this week goes to Allan Coldicott who has now been a member of the club for 40 years. Truly remarkable.

The indoor T&F season is now underway and there are short reports from Sheffield and Loughborough.

There is a wonderful report from Pete Sugden on NTRIX.

Alex Adams continued his winning streak by being victorious in the South West Schools XC Championship at the weekend. Olivia Robinson and Taylor Stubbins were also competing. Alex followed his victory up with another win in Wednesday’s Shakespeare Race, a race that saw 15 year old Maisie-Joy Spriggs make her debut, finishing in 12th place and first female.

There’s news of Georgie Campbell and Emily Field competing in the BUCS XC Championship and also of George Handy’s selection for Friday’s U20 rugby international against Italy.

Take care

Best wishes

David Jones

Allan Coldicott

Allan Coldicott has just completed a remarkable 40 years as a club member and he’s still wearing his original club vest ! Waste not want not Allan.
He is seen here carrying the Olympic torch as it passed through Stratford in 2012.
Allan celebrated by awarding prizes at this week’s Shakespeare Race.
A magnificent achievement
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Lucy Lane at Loughborough last weekend.
Indoor Track and Field
Report – David Jones

The indoor T&F season is well under way with members competing at both Sheffield and Loughborough last weekend.

At Sheffield our Masters athlete Elaine Ledden ran the 200m in 32.83. Although disappointed with her performance it is a time that places 2nd in this year’s UK rankings for her age group. Dave Wilson ran a PB time of 8.23 in the 60m, a time that places him 10th in the rankings and he ran 26.72 in his 200m race, just .02 of a second off his PB.

U20 Catherine Reynolds recorded a time of 26.86 in the 200m and U23 Nic Butler ran his 60m in 7.70. Although disappointed with his time it was Nic’s first time competing for 6 months. He is currently training in Sheffield while at university as he prepares for the BUCS Championships.

Lucy Lane had a busy time at Loughborough, competing in 60m, 60m hurdles and high jump. She recorded PB times of 8.29 and 9.48 in the 60m and 60m hurdles respectively and cleared 1.55m in the high jump. At the same meeting Cole Williams ran his 60m hurdles in 8.35.
Ben Kruze with Rich Shephard on his shoulder during the Not the Roman 9 race.
Not the Roman IX

Report – Pete Sugden.

Perfect Running Conditions – minimal wind, the sun shone, and it wasn’t hot. What more could the 304 finishers of the Not The Roman IX ask for?

The enigmatically named Not The Roman IX (NTRIX) road race took place on the last Sunday of January under blue skies

This 12 km road race is a favourite and often first of the local racing calendar, providing runners from near and far the motivation to resist that extra Christmas chocolate and to keep training during the festive period. This year’s NTRIX didn’t disappoint, attracting over 300 runners to brave the potentially arctic conditions of a January race.

The route started on Boundary Lane to the South of Tiddington. One mile takes the runners to Banbury Road, then it’s a steady climb to the left turn into Blue Lane, then a steep climb to the top of Long Hill, with views across Stratford and beyond.

Runners then have a chance to get their breath back, with a descent into Loxley, passing the halfway mark on Goldicote Road. Loxley villagers came out in force to support the runners, with a water station, outside The Fox. Then a descent to Stratford Road, where finding a rhythm helps eat up the next few miles before the final undulation past the Croft School, then right into Knights lane to stride out for half a mile to the finish at Alveston School.

First back in a blistering time of 38:38 was Stratford’s Ben Kruze. This was nearly three minutes quicker than the last time Ben posted a time for this race in January 2020, before the world changed.

Hot on Ben’s heels was Alistair McDonnell of Rugby and Northampton AC in time of 38:53, and in third place was Steven Hanly in 40:01.

The first female finisher was Kelly Butler of City of Stoke in a time of 46:02, followed by the phenomenal Kate Wright in a time of 47:01, 26th overall, and third lady was Natasha White of Northbrook AC in a time of 47:47.

Second Stratford runner was Richard Shephard in 6th place in a time of 41:25, followed Matt Burdus-Cook in 8th place in a time of 42:02. Both these times might have won the race in previous years.

Next in was the ever improving Alex Pester in 18th place in a time of 45:40. The superb running of Ben, Richard, Matt and Alex ensured the Men’s first team prize went to Stratford upon Avon AC.

Next in for Stratford, following our leading lady and Female FV55 age group winner Kate Wright, was Max Ross in 53rd place, in the very respectable time of 51:02. Max’s time was all the more remarkable as he had competed in the Midlands Cross Country Championships less than 24 hours earlier, as reported last week.

Next was John Peacock in 75th place in a time of 53:16, deservedly earning John first place in his MV65 age group. John was the first in a trio of Johns, with John Devine finishing in 79th place in a time of 53:46 and John Bettles finishing in 86th place in a time of 54:29, just pipping Paul Longford in 87th place in a time of 54:34, who in turn was only a few places ahead of Chris Spriggs, finishing 90th in a precise 55 minutes.

Steven Martin finished 179th in a time of 01:03:10. Mike Barrie finished 204th in a time of 01:06:14. Clare Enyon finished 240th in a time of 01:10:04. Graceful Kate Sergent finished 2nd in her FV65 age group, 249th overall in a time of 01:11:34.

Rosie Slocombe finished 283rd in a time of 01:23:24 and finishing the running order for Stratford, was the ever present John Butler, deserving his own age category, in 300th place in a time of 01:36:54

The comments, remarks and thanks of many of the 304 NTRIX finishers were truly humbling, and testament to the great work by members of our club.

People really enjoy braving the elements in January to run the NTRIX.

Thanks to Alveston School for accommodating our Race HQ and finish line, and Friends of Alveston for supplying copious amounts of tea and cake to marshals and finishers alike. Thanks to Avon Estates and Tiddington Bowls Club for permitting runners to park at Riverside Caravan Park and the bowling club.

Thanks to the community run The Fox at Loxley for providing a water station for runners and for all of Loxley who supplied raucous support. Thanks to the residents of Knights Lane for putting up with any disruption to your Sunday morning because of our race.

Indeed thanks to everyone who contributed to the smooth running of the event; marshals, car park attendants, signage erectors and dismantlers, leaflet distributers, everyone involved.

Extra special thanks to Sally and Gavin Bliss for marshalling the marshals and to Sarah Bland for making everything else happen.

Events such as NTRIX can’t take place without a small army of volunteers. Our next races are the Hilly One Hundred in May and Stratford Summer 6 on 20th August. Please look out for requests for help nearer the time, and step forward. It’s great fun!

Alex Adams on top of the podium.

South West Schools Cross Country Championships

Report – David Jones

Our very own rising star Alex Adams’ year continues to go from strength to strength.

Following on from his 22nd consecutive victory over a 5 year period in the Warwickshire Young Athletes Cross Country League in early January and last weekend’s comfortable victory in the Midlands Cross Country Championships, Alex made the journey to Chippenham last weekend to compete in the South West Schools Cross Country Championships.

Competing in the Intermediate boys race over 5.6 kilometres with 61 other runners, Alex was up against arch rival Will Rabjohns from Poole Athletic Club.

The windy conditions made the race hard work with the lead continually changing between Alex and Rabjohns.

Alex tucked in behind the Poole runner until he felt it time to attack and with less than 1000m to go and approaching the final ascent he kicked, breaking the spirit of the tiring Rabjohns and eventually winning the race by a 14 seconds margin with a time of 18.25.

After the race Alex said that he felt strong along the finishing straight. Overall he felt he had a really good race, feeling elated at the end. “This is the race I wanted” he added.

His thoughts now turn to the English Schools Cross Country Championships in Kent on 19th March.

Other club members at Chippenham were Taylor Stubbins who competed over 6.8k in the Senior Boys race, finishing in 30th place out of 59 runners with a time of 23.52.

Olivia Robinson ran in the Intermediate Girls race over 3.9k. finishing in 38th place out of 63 runners, with a time of 15.42.

February’s Shakespeare Race.

The latest Shakespeare race saw another victory for Alex Adams and the first female home, making her Shakespeare race debut having turned 15 just a few days ago, was Maisie-Joy Spriggs.

For the full results please follow the link below


The full results for the year to date are on the link below


Georgie Campbell (Birmingham University) competing in last weekends British Universities and College Sports (BUCS) XC Championships in Middlesex last weekend. Georgie finished 34th out of a field of over 400 another club member competing was Emily Field (Bristol University) who finished 41st out of 145 competitors in the longer 8k race. A couple of weeks previous Emily ran a 1500m PB of 4:39.83 in Cardiff. This time puts her in 7th place in the current UK rankings for her age group.

The eagled eyed among you may spot the shy and retiring Imy Sheppard on the far right of this group photo. My source tells me that she was there to not only support the team but to ensure there was a party to remember after the race. I’m sure that in true Number 10 style there was no such party just a meeting to discuss tactics !!
George Hendy starts at full back against Italy in Friday’s U20 rugby international. Congratulations George.