A Mixed Bag.

Ben Kruze
Photo courtesy yourraceday.co.uk
It’s been a busy and varied week.

We have a report on the Regency 10k with Ben Kruze finishing in 2nd place despite his recent bout of Covid.

There’s a note about Dan Southam’s forthcoming attempt to run 4 marathons in 4 days all under 4 hours on the treadmill to raise money for NHS Charities Together. The things some people do!

Kate Wright and Rachel Pearce both ran the White Horse half and Sandie Evans completed the Brighton full marathon.

Gemma Smith recorded a much deserved PB in her recent 5k racewalk.

It was the culmination of 9 weeks of training for the recent batch of C25K recruits and some of them celebrated by graduating at last Saturday’s parkrun, an event that saw Alex Adams lower his parkrun PB to just 15.48, putting him just 1 second outside the top 10 park runners in the UK in his age group.

Finally, as the T&F season gets in to full swing, there are a couple of reports from last weekend’s events at Rugby and Nuneaton.

Enjoy Easter.

Take care

Best Wishes

David Jones
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Max Ross
Photo courtesy yourraceday.co.uk.

Wright Hassall Regency 10k

Report – Max Ross

The early morning sunshine in Leamington Spa was eagerly received by Stratford AC’s 10 runners on the start line, with no wind or cloud in sight!

Ahead of the 1300 runners was a trail around Newbold Comyn over a somewhat uphill but dry bridleway surface. The route came back into town by means of a steep descent, reaching better surfaces and cheering crowds of spectators for the fastest section along Newbold Terrace.

The remainder of the course meanders around the parks with a series of tight twisting turns, bridges and tunnels doing their utmost to break the runners flow!

Ben Kruze completed the course in a blistering time of 32 minutes and 5 seconds to claim 2nd place, an astounding performance that he described as a great ‘marker’ to gauge his recovery from Covid!?

Never far behind, Matt Burdus-Cook achieved 5th place with a time of 34 minutes and 27 seconds. Matt stated, “I’ve always seen the Regency as the first race of the spring, so it was nice to see it return to it’s usual slot in the calendar. Having not run it for a few years I’d forgotten how the undulating first half and mixed terrain can drag your pace, so I was pleased overall with my run, and really enjoyed the usual busy atmosphere around the park sections of the course.”

I took the third Stratford vest across the finish line in 29th place, with a time of 39 minutes. It was a new personal best, carving a good 5 minutes off my 2019 effort on this course and claiming my first sub 40 10k!

Next through was my wife, Suzanne Ross, putting in an extra sprint effort across the finishing line (no doubt in a hurry to congratulate me) catching 200th place with a time of 46:38 and claiming 10k PB too!

Next was Philip Brennan in 53:24 making a welcome return to external competitive running after a long lay-off, followed closely by Lisa Stevens in 54:38. Regency 10k regular Dave Maundrell finished with a time of 58:30 closely followed by Jan McLure in 58:38 both completing in under an hour.

Jill Wilson completed in 01:14 and over 10 years after his first attempt on the course, John Butler came in with 01:17:33!

Phil Brennan’s Regency

The welcome return of Phil Brennan to competitive running after a lengthy delay due to a long term injury, means we also get the benefit of his erudite race reports! Welcome back Mr B

Back in the Game

Report – Phil Brennan

After Wednesday’s Shakespeare race I felt no ill-effects, so I decided to take up my place in the Regency 10k.

The first scary thing was the sheer number of people. I hadn’t been in such a crowd for two years.

At the start I met Lisa Stevens, whom I hadn’t met before but we worked out that we were within a half minute of each other on Wednesday. In the event we didn’t really race but she was pretty close to me at the finish.

There weren’t that many Stratford folk in the race unlike in previous years, it seems to have fallen out of fashion since the old days.

Speaking of falling out, I then chose a robust way of checking whether my long-term groin injury was recovering by tripping over a speed bump after half a mile.

As I lay in a daze, I thought I saw that someone had scratched “Paul Hawkins Woz ‘Ere” on it but I could have been mistaken( Paul once having come a cropper many years ago, requiring medical assistance if my memory serves me correctly ). I decided to jog forward rather than back to get first aid and then just kept going with a gravel rash but no permanent damage.
I saw Ben Kruze at the finish, who said he was reasonably happy with second, as he was recovering from illness. I didn’t see anyone else; the finish area isn’t really designed for meeting and greeting.

Dan Southam
Quadruple Marathon Man

Following his blistering run of 2:44.06 in the recent Manchester Marathon, Dan Southam is obviously not someone who rests on his laurels. He will doing a fundraising challenge for NHS Charities Together at the start of May by attempting to run 4 marathons, in 4 days, each under 4 hours. 

Go figure ! 

He’s calling it the 4x4x4 Challenge!

As if this isn’t hard enough, Dan will be doing it on a treadmill at his place of work. Apparently he really hates treadmills! 

His justgiving link below has a bit more information.

White Horse Marathon

Report – Kate Wright.

Rachel Pearce (pictured above) and I took on the this flattish event 6 years ago. I can’t say I enjoyed it then as I prefer a few ills. This year we rocked up with no expectations as I had sinusitis and Rachel was busy clicking her hip into place!!

Not a good omen.
My race went to plan although I slowed too much in the final 3 miles but did clinch 1st lady and a free massage. My time was 1.25.25 and course record for my age group.

Rachel stopped a few times to stretch and still managed a PB of 1.31.07. Without the stops she’d have easily gone sub 1.30.

All in all a good day out.
Gemma Smith
Midland Racewalk Championships
Report – Paul Hawkins

Gemma Smith competed in the Midland Racewalk Championships at Stourport Sports Club recently and came a fine fourth place in the 5k race with a new club age group record of 38.30, a massive 55 seconds improvement on her previous best.

The races included the Warwickshire County Championships where Gemma came in second place for silver. 

Afterwards she said “Yes I really enjoyed it and was pleased with the time, it was about a minute quicker than third winter series race that I did. I liked the course, the incline up to the finish line was fine. There was lots of encouragement from the faster racers which was really nice.”

It’s good to have another racewalk success and a good reward for all the work that Gemma has been putting in at training.  
Sandie Evans
Brighton Marathon
Report – Sandie Evans

After the euphoria of completing my first marathon at Manchester last year, I hastily entered Brighton. Apparently it’s another good one for novice runners as it’s fairly flat.

I found the training tougher this time as I did most of it alone without my trusty running companion, Jan Turner (she wisely decided that one marathon was enough).

I was anxious on the start line and looking around, I was convinced that everyone had done way more training than me. A recent and ill timed week in Cornwall with a high gin and pastie consumption was also on my mind.

Before I knew it, we were off. It was a beautiful, sunny morning and the route was incredible with large sections by the sea. There were a few cheeky hills in there but the crowds were unbelievable, the most amazing support, practically all the way.

I maintained my planned pace for the first 17 miles and then slowed down considerably for the remainder of the course.

Despite the support, I was spent! The heat didn’t help but the last stretch heading back along the seafront was something special.

My Garmin time was 4.58 which I was really happy with until I learnt that my official time was 5.00.46. A PB nonetheless, my Manchester time was 5.09. There’s always next year to make sure both times are definitely sub-5… 
Couch to 5K

Martyn Sergent pictured with some of our recent C25K group as they graduated at last Saturday’s parkrun.  

Martyn has supervised the C25K sessions 3 times a week for 9 weeks, having only missed a couple of sessions due to Covid.

He gave up the temptation of running with the group on Saturday so that he could see them all finish and award them their medals as they finished.

The group then went to Carluccios for breakfast. A few of the group couldn’t make it on the day but Martyn will ensure they receive their medals.

To quote Sarah Bland “a massive thank you to Martyn Sergent, Chris Bloomfield and the rest of the C25k volunteers for their enthusiasm and dedication during the 9 weeks. It is life changing stuff – and welcome to our world new runners!”
Track and Field
Group Georgia Sharpe, Carter McKenzie, Amelie Marshall and Martha Edwards.
Ruby Edwards leads the field
Rugby Easter Opener

Report – David Jones

A busy weekend of T&F kicked off on Saturday at Rugby with some 16 members competing, a couple of who went on to compete at Nuneaton 24 hours later.

The prize for the busiest athlete of the weekend goes to U13 Arthur Mansbridge who competed in 3 events on Saturday and followed it up with yet another on Sunday. At Rugby he started off with a PB time of 11.11 in 75m, finishing 2nd in his heat. He then ran a PB of 22.35 to win his 150m heat and finally he jumped a PB distance of 3.44 in the long jump.

As well as Arthur, the 75m saw a further 4 club members compete, all of who recorded PBs. U11s Carter McKenzie, Martha Edwards and Amelie Marshall ran 13.38, 12.75 and 13.95 respectively with U13 Georgia Sharpe running 13.37.

In the 100m U15s Thomas Stanton, Cameron Burton and Ruby Edwards recorded times of 14.52, 16.09 and a PB of 13.91. Thomas also recorded a time of 30.16 in the 200m.  In the 150m U13s Dylan Scholefield and Carter McKenzie recorded times of 24.70 and 28.12.

As well as competing in the 75m, U11 Amelie Marshall and U13 Martha Edwards both ran the 600m both recording PBs with times of 2:18.18 and 2:25.93 respectively.

There were 6 members competing in the 800m. U13 Georgia Sharpe followed her PB in 75m with another PB over the longer distance of 3:16.67. In the same age group Dylan Scholefield followed his 150m with a time of 3:21.20. U15s Ed Satchwell and Martha Peters ran 2:45.89 and 2:35.44 respectively.  Martha was to improve on her time at Pingles 24 hours later. U17 Abbi Cooper ran 2:53.49 and U20 Charly Marshall, not to be outdone by her younger sister Amelie, ran a PB time of 2:30.41.

In-form endurance runner U13 Aran Cooper was delighted to win his first ever 1200m race in a superb time of 4:06.82. He was  equally delighted to tell me that he is now ranked 14th over this distance in the current UK rankings for his age group.

The field events saw siblings Martha and Ruby Edwards both competing in the long jump, with U13 Martha jumping a SB of 2.35 and older sister Ruby jumping a PB of 4.71 in her U15 age group. U15 Cameron Burton jumped a SB of 3.50.

Finally in the javelin U20 Acelin Smith and U15 Nikola Wodzisz both threw SBs, with throws of 50.87 and 24.06 respectively.

Well done one and all.
Dave Wilson and Paula Williams
Arthur Mansbridge
Nuneaton Season Opener
Report – David Jones

Following Saturday’s Rugby Easter Opener, Sunday saw another T&F event take place at The Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton with 13 club members from U11’s to V50’s competing.

Completing a busy weekend was U13 Arthur Mansbridge who won his 100m race in a PB time of 14.24. Over the same distance  U13 Alex Wood was also victorious in his heat in a PB time of 13.49, Elfric McKenzie (U13) finished 3rd in the same heat in 14.12, a season’s best. Alex followed his 100m  with a 200m time of 27.16, a PB which was also good enough to win his heat. Elfric also cleared 1.25 in the high jump, which was also a SB.

Also competing in 100m were V50 vets Dave Wilson and Paula Williams. Dave finished in 2nd place in his heat with a SB time of 13.22. He then completed the 200m in 27.59. Paula ran her 100m in a SB time 13.86, she also finished top in her shot put heat with a PB throw of 10.36, which places her 2nd in the current UK rankings in her age category.

In the 200m U20 Catherine Reynolds recorded a SB time of 26.29 to finish 2nd in her heat.

Martha Peters followed her 800m of 24 hours earlier with a season’s best time of 2:34.39, knocking a second off Saturday’s time.

The club had 3 representatives in the 1500m with U13 Joel Ledgard finishing in a PB time of 5:13.71, over 11 seconds quicker than his previous best time. U17 Olivia Robinson covered the distance in a SB time of 5:12.20 with U23 Emily Field finishing in 5:04.29.

In the 400m hurdles U20 Charlotte Gravelsons recorded a SB of time of 71.23 and finally U17 Zach McKenzie cleared 12.81 in the triple jump.