And The Winners Are.

Elaine Ledden winner of the Female Athlete of the Year Award with her trophies. You’re going to need a new trophy cabinet Elaine.
Ben Kruze won Male Athlete of the Year but couldn’t make the Awards, I’m guessing he had his hands full with his new baby daughter. Congratulations on both Ben.
Rosie Slocombe with Most Improved Female Athlete of the Year Award. Well done Rosie, you deserve it.
Wednesday night saw the much delayed Senior Awards (with a couple of juniors sneaking in!), held in Bidford after the latest Shakespeare Race. Many congratulation to all of the nominees and winners.

We have a report on last week’s Vets T&F fixture at a freezing cold Abbey Stadium in Redditch. The season got off to a flying start under the new team management of Hannah Osborne and Dave Wilson with multiple club records being broken.

Following this fixture, Kate Sergent flew out to Belfast the following day to take part in the Belfast City Marathon, winning her age group by over an hour !

Maddie Linfoot ran a PB time in the iconic Vitality Westminster Mile on May Day.

Pip Bell achieved her ambition of a sub 2 hour half marathon in Birmingham where father and son Adam and Callum Linforth competed in the 10k and Junior Run respectively.

There’s report on  BUCS (British Universities and College Sports)  Outdoor Championships in Chelmsford at the weekend.

There are also details of a running spikes Swap Shop and last but by no means least, the Saturday Trail Run Sessions are back. If you want to join in please register your interest at:

We should have a report on last weekend’s Heart of England fixture in the next newsletter.

I’m away next week so there won’t be newsletter but hopefully we’ll be back to normal the following week.

Take care

Best Wishes

David Jones

The Awards
On Wednesday night following the May Shakespeare Race, the somewhat delayed Annual Awards were presented, the juniors having held an Awards ceremony at the track last year

The Nominees and Winners were as follows

Shakespeare Shield


1st –  Kate Wright

2nd –  Emma Bexson

3rd –  Vicky Sharpe

Female Age Group Winners

Female Junior – Maisie-Joy Spriggs

U35 – Suzanne Ross

U40 – Phillipa Paddock

U45 – Emma Parkin

U50 – Rebecca Pridham

U55 – Emma Vickers

U60 – Susan Hunt

U65 – Bev Bridgen

U70 – Kate Sergent

70+ – Jan Turner


1st – Matt Burdus-Cook

2nd –  Richard Liggatt

3rd –  Adrian Mason

Male Age Group Winners

Male Junior – Alex Adams

U35 – Ryan Bakewell

U40 – Max Ross

U45 – Dave Parkin

U50 – Andrew Cox

U55 – Tim Hutchinson

U60 – Richard Dobedoe

U65 – Ian Hill

U70 – John Peacock

70+ – John Butler

Most Improved Athlete of the Year

Female Nominees

Emily Orton

Rosie Slocombe

Kim Lee


Rosie Slocombe

Male Nominees

John Bettles

Dave Parkin

Max Ross


Max Ross

Endurance Athlete of the Year

Female Nominees

Kate Wright

Emma Bexson

Emily Orton


Kate Wright

Male Nominees

Rich Shepherd
Matt Burdus-Cook
Richard Liggatt
Drew Sambridge
Ben Kruze


Ben Kruze

Most improved Triathlete of the Year

Female Nominees

Hannah Osborne

Vicky Sharpe


Vicky Sharpe

Male Nominees

Sam Wignell

Chris Wilkinson


Sam Wignell

Triathlete of the Year

Female Nominees

Emma Bexson

Rachel Pearce

Kate Wright


Rachel Pearce

Male Nominees

Joe Lee

Neil Gardiner


Joe Lee

Female T&F Athlete of the Year – Elaine Ledden

Male T&F Athlete of the Year – Adam Farrow

Female Athlete of the Year


Kate Wright

Elaine Ledden

Rachel Pearce


Elaine Ledden

Male Athlete of the Year


Adam Farrow

Joe Lee

Ben Kruze


Ben Kruze

May Shakespeare Race

Before The Awards, it was the May Shakespeare Race, run over the popular Bidford course and expertly organised by Hannah Osbourne.

Many thanks to all of the marshals and officials who helped make it such a successful race.

It was another victory for Alex Adams and first female finisher, in 13th place, was Kate Wright 

For the full set of results please follow the link below
Some of our Vets T&F team and officials at last week’s opening fixture of the Midland Vets T&F League season.
Dave Wilson, far right, on his way to victory in the M50 100m at Redditch last week.
Clare Goodwin on her way to smashing the club’s W50 mile record. It’s not the best of photos but she was moving very fast.
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Midland Vets Track and Field League

Redditch –  Wednesday 26th April

Report – Paula Williams

It was a bitterly cold night at The Abbey Stadium in Redditch but the atmosphere was fizzing as the club’s Vets Track and Field team got the new season underway.

This was the first fixture under the new management team of Hannah Osborne and David Wilson. 

All events were populated with the yellow and black vest of the club on a night when numerous club record were broken.

The club  got off to a flying start in the 100m sprints and we were extremely strong in all age groups, garnering over 25% of our points on the night from this distance. Dave Battersby equalled his own club record with a time of 13.2 seconds and Dave Wilson stormed to victory in his M50 age category. 

There was a notable victory for Paul Hawkins in the 2k racewalk, beating the second placed finisher by just 4/10ths of a second. David Jones achieved a new club record in the high jump. 

The ladies were not to be outdone: nine club records fell. On the track Elaine Ledden and Paula Williams sprinted, Gemma Smith and Kate Sergeant racewalked and Clare Goodwin ran a mile, all to new track records.  In the field Christine Coote set a new age group hammer record and Williams: high jump, javelin and shot put records.

 In the ladies sprints Paula Williams achieved a 1st place finish despite racing in a younger age group. Elaine Ledden stormed to victory in the 400m, winning by the comfortable margin of 4 seconds. Notably Clare Goodwin on her first track and field appearance, hacked almost 1 min 30 seconds off the club’s W50 mile record.  

The ladies team finished In second place – 13 points behind Worcester and the men’s team, with just one point fewer than the ladies, finished 3rd behind Worcester and Bromsgrove & Redditch. 

The final standings meant that the club finished a strong second on the night behind Worcester and they’re looking forward to the next meet in June, hopefully it will be warmer.

A massive thank you to our officials on the night.

As usual if you are interested in joining our vets T&F team or would like to know more about it, please come along to the track on Monday or Thursday evening

Maddie Linfoot
Vitality Westminster Mile
On Sunday May 1st Maddie Linfoot completed the iconic Vitality Westminster Mile in a personal best time of 5mins 32 secs. She ran the fastest time of all women taking part in the family waves.

The course starts in the Mall and takes runners around St James Park to finish in front of Buckingham Palace.

Maddie took the tape out in front of all those running in wave 7.

Maddie said that she enjoyed the race, adding that it was really nice running around London.
Kate Sergent after her Belfast Marathon where she comfortably won her age group.

The Belfast City Marathon.

Report – David Jones

Over 3000 runners completed the Belfast City Marathon at the weekend when it returned to its traditional date of the May Day bank holiday weekend for the first time in three years.The event having been put on hold due to the pandemic.

Irish Olympic athlete Paul Pollock won the men’s race in 2:16.13 and North Belfast’s Gladys Ganiel the women’s race in 2:43.47.

The route took in the 4 areas of Belfast; North, South, East and West, starting at Stormont Estate and finishing in Ormeau Park. 

One of those competing was our very own international marathon runner Kate Sergent.

Kate was a member of the club’s vets Track and Field team on Wednesday night in Redidtch, where she competed in the 100m, 2k walk and shot put, before flying to Belfast on Thursday to take part in the marathon. 

Her time of 4:54.21 puts her at number 5 in the current UK rankings in her age group subject to all of the weekend’s results being listed. She comfortably won her age category, being over an hour ahead of the next placed runner in her age group.

Kate commented “ When my husband Martyn bought me a City break in Belfast for my birthday he threw in a Marathon entry saying there was no pressure if I didn’t feel up to doing it.

I found it hard to resist as I like a bit of a marathon and thought it an excellent way of seeing this amazing city. I

hadn’t followed a marathon plan but knew I had the miles in my legs from The Grizzly in Devon six weeks ago, when I ran 20 miles of my toughest ever off-road challenge. 

Martyn saw me at mile 9 at City Hall and again at mile 22, he then made a short cut to Ormeau Park, where we had both done Parkrun the day before, to see me finish! 

A marathon is never easy and I was very emotional at the end but really pleased with my time of 4.54.21.

I have to say there times during the run when I wondered if Martyn was just trying to cash in on the Life Insurance !”

Pip Bell at Birmingham
Birmingham Half Marathon

Report – Pip Bell

Back in January I thought it was a good idea to run the Great Birmingham Run. I figured I had 4 months to train and then I could perhaps break the 2-hour half marathon barrier.

Birmingham was only my sixth half marathon in a 10-year period, so I’m not too experienced. Nevertheless I have always dreamed of running a sub-two-hour half marathon but I’ve never managed it.

My training had been going well but then at the end of February I had a chest infection, closely followed by Covid in mid-March. Six weeks ago I had difficulty walking up the stairs. Despite this my run went better than I could have ever imagined.  

I arrived in Birmingham at a huge event of over 13,000 runners. I have never participated in such a large event before. It was very daunting, yet very exciting all at the same time.

The race was organise brilliantly, with clear instructions prior and during the event.  The conditions were, calm, cool, and dry(-ish). 

I set off in the second wave and settled into a comfortable pace. At the halfway mark, I realised I could do it! I could break the sub-two-hour barrier!

I had to keep telling myself to just keep going. The course was relatively flat, with a few hills to mix things up.

The support from the crowds was incredible. There was support during every step of the race, including live bands, a ‘carnival zone’, and many open top buses packed with cheering supporters. Having my name on my race number was an added bonus and hearing people shouting my name definitely gave me an added boost. 

When I crossed the line in a time of 1:58:17, I was presented with a beautiful medal and a finishers t-shirt in a goody bag.

I would thoroughly recommend this event to any runner, seasoned or not.  I am definitely looking forward to my next half marathon!

Callum and Adam Linforth
Birmingham 10k and Junior Run

Report – Adam Linforth

On Sunday 1st May father and son team headed out to tackle the 10k and the Junior Run held as part of the Birmingham Great Run series of events.

The events marked the first time in 2 years that the streets of Birmingham had welcomed athletes and the first time that the Half Marathon and 10k events had started at the same time. 

First up was Dad excited to be running the 10k in his home city and aiming for a sub 40 minute time, to better his pb.

The weather conditions were perfect, cool and a little damp and the music at the start got everyone in the right mood for what was set to be a quick run on a relatively flat course out to Edgbaston Cricket ground and back.

All was going well until around a mile out from the finish where a lack of marshalls and a very poorly marked course saw Adam and a dozen others finding themselves significantly off route. Deeply frustrated, but navigating themselves back to the course having completed nearly half a mile extra they ascended the gradual incline from Moor Street station and the Bull Ring to cross the finish line. My chip time showed 39.34 and a position of 49th place and an age group place of 7th, however the 10k distance was completed in 37.05, establishing a new pb by around 4 minutes. 

Next was Callum appearing in his first street race and following his performances the day before at the Heart of England Track and Field meet . He ran a fabulous 1.5 mile run.

Obviously spurred on by the support lining the streets he completed the course accompanied by Dad (who was having to work to keep up following the 10k) in a fantastic 11.21 and coming home in fabulous 9th place.

Dad had to check his watch twice as Callum’s pace was 7.29 per mile, not bad for a 9 year old.

Clearly the Sunday mornings coaching at the Welcombe Hills is paying dividends. Dad needs to watch out…
The shy and retiring Imogen Sheppard celebrates with her Gold Medal
Charlotte Gravelsons
BUCS Outdoor Championships
Report – Brian Gravelsons

Charlotte Gravelsons made the long trip from Durham and thoroughly enjoyed her first BUCS ( British Universities and College Sports) competition. She competed in the 400mH and managed a season’s best of 70.47s finishing 5th in her heat just 0.21s behind 4th place. This was to prove decisive as Charlotte ended up, across all heats, in 17th place missing out on the semi-finals by the exact same margin of 0.21s, she though did have another event, helping Durham to finish 10th in the 4x400m relay.

Several other of our members also competed. Emily Madden Forman made qualification look easy in the high jump with a serene 1.69m and then followed this clearing by 1.74m on her final attempt, just 2cm off her pb and 3cm off from a bronze medal, finishing in an agonising 4th place in the final

Nick Butler put in a consistent triple jump series with a best of 12.88m just short of his pb of 13.25m and just short of qualifying for the final, finishing in 17th place.

Nick also competed in the long jump. He jumped 5.80m to finish 22nd overall in qualification. Alex Powell jumped 5.55m finishing in 25th place in the qualification round. The top 12 went through to the final

In the high jump Rory Dwyer qualified easily with a jump of 1.90m and then jumped 2.06m in the final to claim the bronze medal on count back. 

Emily Field finished 7th in the 3rd heat of the women’s 1500m In a time of 4:55.40s, qualifying for the semi- finals as a fastest loser, she then went on to run 4.55.06 in the semi- final to finish 21st overall.

Imogen Sheppard ran the first leg of the 4 x 400m relay for Birmingham in the qualifiers, setting up the Birmingham team to qualify easily with a time of 3:55.29.  She then gave way to others in the Birmingham team who went to win the final in a time of 3:40.93, earning her a gold medal for being part of the team. Her father and coach Mike Sheppard commented “Birmingham qualified fastest from the heats, 2 seconds quicker than Loughborough, after Imy put them on the front with a decent first leg. They knew Loughborough would roll out the big guns for the final so Birmingham did the same so Imy was a bit unlucky to miss out but she was delighted that the girls brought home the win after a shoulder to shoulder battle, with third place not even in the finishing straight at the end.

Swap Shop

Spike amnesty!

Do you have any spikes that are outgrown?

No longer needed?

Wrong colour?

Wrong type?

Please drop them off at the club with one of our coaches and we will clean and label them and pass them onto a new loving home.

Maybe you need a new pair? Try us first! With the cost of living increasing hopefully we can help each other out.
Saturday Trail Runs

The weekend trail run sessions have started again!

Last Saturday a couple of groups went out across the Welcombe Hills with paces/distances to suit all preferences.
We have set up a WhatsApp group for Club members to keep in touch, if you’re interested in joining this, please contact

Each week a different person will organise the route/date/start time, so we are all looking forward to exploring a variety of new and familiar trails together again.