JOGLE anyone ?

Team Stratford at Alcester
Most weeks I am in awe of what lots of you get up to but never more so than this week.

As well as lots of success at the local Alcester 10k we had Kim and Joe Lee cycling from John o’Groats to Lands End and Graham Black and Wayne Vickers competing in the Cape Wrath Ultra, with both events kicking off in less than ideal weather on 20th May!

Even if cycling and ultra running doesn’t rock your boat, I implore you to read the fascinating reports on these two events. You won’t regret it.

There’s an item on Alex Adams’ race in Salisbury on Wednesday night having been invited to take part by College Scholarships USA. They approached him with a view to him following in Jack Sumners footsteps and decamping to the USA in summer 2024.

Exciting times. Onwards and upwards.

Also on Wednesday was the latest Shakespeare Race and we have a link to the results.

There are a couple of photos from the Danny Tolhurst Press Archives circa 2011 – by the way we still haven’t had a volunteer to take over the press role. With 550+ members that’s a shame.

Finally there’s a lovely photo of Ade Mason together with Tim and Fin Hutchinson proudly wearing the yellow and black. They competed in last Saturday’s Plymouth parkrun, finishing in 2nd, 4th and 9th place respectively. Well done gentlemen.

Good luck to those of you competing in the Midland Masters T&F Championships in Nuneaton and the Midland League T&F fixture in Wolverhampton at the weekend.  As usual, good luck to any of you competing anywhere. Please send me your reports.

Take care

Best Wishes

David Jones

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Maisie-Joy Spriggs and Kate Wright. 1st female junior (by 10 minutes!) and 2nd female respectively.

Alcester 10k

Report – David Jones

This well established local race was first run in 2014. It starts and finishes in the beautiful town of Alcester and takes in the surrounding countryside and follows a rolling route.

It is a real community event with spectators cheering runners along the way. This is a race with an atmosphere that is hard to beat!


It is also a race that is usually well attended by club members and last weekend some 17 of you competed.


Stratford’s 1st finisher and in 2nd place overall was Ben Kruze with a time of 31.31, a mere 2 seconds behind the overall winner Simon Birch from Hinckley.


Next to finish in 5th place and first junior finisher was 16 year old Alex Adams with a time of 33.23. He was followed by  Alex Pester in 14th place with a time of 35.38. Alex was the 2nd junior to finish, some 4 minutes ahead of the next placed junior


Andy Cox followed in 32nd place with a time of 38.15 and just 11 seconds later was Kate Wright  (38.26)in 33rd place and 2nd female, First female to finish was Kelly Edwards (36.29)


1st female junior finisher and 47th overall was the ever improving Maisie-Joy Spriggs in 39.32. M-J was a massive 10 minutes ahead of the 2nd placed junior female finisher, she was followed by John Bettles (44.07)


Claire Goodwin (48.35) finished 2nd in her age category and she was followed by more of our ladies, Lisa Stevens (55.49), Clare Eynon (56.23).


It was a good day for Dave Maundrell who had a fine run (56.43) and later in the day his beloved Nottingham Forest gained promotion to the Premier League.


Three more ladies followed Dave – Jane Fradgley (58.34), Kate Sergent (1:00.15) and finally Rosie Slocombe (1:13.11). Rosie was recently awarded the club’s Most Improved Athlete award for 2021. Her time was a full 9 minutes quicker than her time in the Stratford Big 10k last September.


The final runner to finish for the club was John Butler in a time of 1:14.38


564 runners completed the race.

Kim Lee at Lands End. Job done!
Kim Lee and Vicky Sharpe
Team Magnificent Seven and their 7 seater conference bike, which I must admit I’d never heard of.

Team Lee John O’Groats to Land’s End (JOGLE) 2022


20th to 27th May 2022

Report – Kim Lee

7.1 days

1,406km (874 miles)

12,800m (42,000ft) elevation gain

Sometimes the stars align and you just have to jump at the opportunity that appears in front of you. 

Joe was asked to be support driver for a World Record Attempt for a 7-seater conference bike from John O’Groats to Land’s End (Team Magnificent Seven). All to raise money for Cyclists Fighting Cancer.  

Most people have not heard of such a contraption, so for more information check out the CFC website:

Joe cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats back in 2018, with our eldest son and I as support crew. I was heavily pregnant with our middle son at the time. Despite this cycle challenge being on my bucket list for many years, I remember thinking “wow, this challenge is relentless, there is just no way I could ever do this!”.

So fast-forward to 2022 and I realise this was my opportunity to give this ridiculous challenge a crack for myself.  I could grab a lift to the start at John O’Groats. Then set off a day ahead of them, cycling solo and unsupported to Land’s End.  Worst case scenario was that if I had any issues, I just had to stay put for 24hrs until they reach me.  Plus I’d be heading South, so it’s downhill, right?!

I shared my plans with Joe and he gave me that look of “you’re an absolute nutter”, but never actually said that.  Instead, he helped me to make sure I gave this opportunity my best shot.  

His look stuck with me as the reality check I needed, plus a motivational tool. After all, anything he can do, I’m pretty sure I can do better.  I checked how long it took him in 2018 – 9 days- and started working on my plan to finish in 8!

When checking if I could get time off from work, it turned out that I’d accidentally booked time off for that week already. It was meant to be!

With childcare logistics sorted, thanks to Joe’s parents stepping in to look after our 3 boys, it was time to set the wheels in motion.

I mentioned it to very few people until closer to departure, mainly due to fear of failure.

I’ve done back-to-back days of cycle training in the lead up but could not predict how this adventure would pan out.  I needed to average in excess of 110 miles a day to pull this off. I hadn’t even cycled that far in one go before.

Vicky Sharpe immediately leapt at the opportunity for a cycling adventure in Scotland, joining me from John O’Groats to Edinburgh. The one and only time we have cycled together before this was completing the CFC Bakers Dozen, a 13-hill cycle challenge, so I knew she could handle the hills and the distance.

We set off together for 2 hours of riding from John O’Groats on Friday 20th May. Overcast, cold, drizzly and windy. Turns out that was pretty much the weather for the whole time, with a slight variation of being windier and wetter from time to time.

The first evening involved a sheep rescue, after I spotted a cast sheep in the field, stuck on her side with two young lambs.  The rest of the time we were admiring the highland cattle and stunning Scottish scenery.

After about 40k of cycling, Joe and his friend and co-driver, James Pecksen, delivered us our fish and chip dinner as they picked us up in the van and we headed to our first night’s accommodation. So far so good.

The next morning we were up and out early, with Joe and James dropping us back to the same point.  They then headed off to the meet the guys they would be supporting for the 7-seater World Record attempt. 

All laden up with our bags, we set off for 2 back-to-back 120-mile cycling days.  The next time I would see Joe would be at the far end of Cornwall.

Vicky and I had an absolute blast. Mostly laughing at the ridiculous situations we found ourselves in:

  • finding it harder to cycle downhill than uphill due to the headwind,
  • Arriving at hostel accommodation in Aviemore to find no electric sockets working,
  • Sneaking our bikes into said accommodation, only to realise they needed to be carried up the stairs to the second floor,
  • Arriving at the pub next door to be told they wouldn’t serve us food because they were fully booked, even though we had found a free table,
  • Cycling along the Cairngorms cycle path in breathtaking headwind and heavy rain, freezing cold, but still loving every minute
  • Ending up in very swanky lunch and dinner stops, despite aiming for a cheap weekend. We ended up eating and drinking very well, but looked completely out of place in our sweaty cycle gear and with our windswept look.
  • Sneaking our bikes into the Holiday Inn in Edinburgh, only to discover the lift was designed for 6 people max, so the logistics for getting 2 bikes in was like the Krypton Factor but we managed it,
  • Debating who was buying the round of drinks at the Holiday Inn (we both wanted to treat each other as a thank you) only to be told we could have them for free . . . They didn’t know how to put 2 glasses of milk through the till.

As Vicky headed back home on the train from Edinburgh on Monday morning, I set off across Scotland towards England.  I discovered that the wind farms either side of the route were perfectly positioned. That headwind was relentless and stuck with me throughout my adventure.

It’s fascinating how your body gets into a rhythm and the hours and miles soon tick by.  After covering c120 miles each day with Vicky, I figured I’d try to maintain that for the rest of the time.

Vicky would stay in touch and messaged each morning with “what’s the target for today?”.  I definitely appreciated that focus, and stayed committed to my response.  By early afternoon each day, I’d do a little research and book my accommodation for that night.

I stayed in Penrith, Whitchurch, Gloucester and Okehampton, mostly through or AirBnB. I realised that remote places were much better for a great night sleep.

I’d done a lot of the route planning beforehand, but each evening I spent about an hour checking and tweaking the following days route. Such as working out where I could get to, checking the roads. Some roads were too remote, some were too busy, so it was about finding the right balance for speed and safety.

Any lows were always linked to fuelling. I tried to support local cafes and shops, but frequently ended up in a Costa or chain store due to the opening times or convenience.  If I left it too long between snacks or proper meals, then it definitely took its toll.

I also got to repair my first puncture.  Previously, when I’ve had a puncture I would just give Joe a call and ask him to bring a spare wheel for a quick change.  This time there was no such easy option. I’d turned down Joe’s offer of puncture-repair training before the trip – how hard could it be?!  I surprised myself with my decent repair in a fairly quick time. However, then headed straight to the nearest bike shop, Evans Cycles in Preston, so they could check my handiwork and give my bike a good clean after the bad weather through Scotland.  Like everyone I had encountered so far, they were incredibly helpful and went above and beyond to get me on my way again as quickly as possible.

On my last day, I’d set off from a remote dairy farm near Okehampton in glorious sunshine, which was a first.

My absolute highlight was reaching St Michael’s Mount at 7.30pm on Friday 27th May. Not only a stunning view out over to the end of Cornwall but also the realisation that I had time to get to Land’s End for sunset. I had no snacks left, very little water and about 5% phone battery, but I was determined to get there.

I powered up the last couple of hills – I’d already done 8 big climbs that day, what’s another couple!

I reached Land’s End at 8.34pm, perfectly timed for a sunset photoshoot . . . after I had composed myself of course. 

 I was very emotional cycling into Land’s End – proud of what I achieved, amazed that I had cycled that distance, and chuffed to bits that I had finally beaten Joe at something!

I’d averaged over 120 miles a day of cycling for 7 days.

At that point, I realised I’d been so focused on the finish line, I had not factored in the logistics afterwards. I jumped into the Land’s End Hotel to grab a hot drink and charge my phone, then discovered Joe was not due to reach Land’s End until the following morning.

Panic booking the nearest accommodation, I stumbled across a room available through AirBnB and met the loveliest couple. Let’s just say that I must have turned up looking quite a state (in the pitch black by that point) – they couldn’t do enough for me and even made me dinner.

I then got to do the emotional finish all over again with Joe and The Magnificent Seven the following morning.

Joe’s week had panned out just as challenging as mine, if not more so.  To break the World record for the 7-seater conference bike, there were two teams of seven that rotated on 8 hour shifts.  The idea was to keep the bike moving non-stop 24/7, subject to mechanical breakdowns (there were plenty), being stopped by the police (helpful encounters to make sure they were safe), team change-overs, and the odd leg stretch, comfort break, and in town centres for fundraising.  Joe and James were taking shifts driving the CFC van behind the bike to alert other road users. They gave directions to the team on the bike, risk-assessed different scenarios, organised repairs, helped keep the teams fed and hydrated, and did what they could to keep the team upbeat.  

An intense week, with very little sleep and challenging weather to compete with throughout.  Joe also jumped on the bike to pedal for the last hour or so of a shift, or whenever the teams look like the fatigue was setting in.  

On the morning of Saturday 28th May at sunrise, I cycled out to find Joe and the team.  I met the team for the first time and rode alongside them, chatting to them for the last 5k of their journey.  

As they flew down into Land’s End and over the finish, everyone was in tears. It was incredibly emotional to see what it meant to them and their supporters. 

With an unofficial time of 5 days, 21 hours and 11 minutes Team Magnificent Seven absolutely obliterated the current John O’Groats to Land’s End on a seven seat conference bike record!!

That’s 860 miles at an average of just over 6 miles per hour (for 24 hours a day) with a top speed just shy of 40mph.  

They raised over £20,000 for Cyclists Fighting Cancer, which all goes to providing adapted bikes and trikes for kids living with cancer. 

I also set up a fundraising page for CFC, so appreciate your support if you are able to donate:

Graham and Wayne.

Wayne commented “Sorry we don’t have any photos of the glorious scenery but we mostly didn’t see any and I didn’t actually take any photos…then my phone got broken, probably falling in a bog for the 100th time !!”

Cape Wrath Ultra


Report – Graham Black and Wayne Vickers

The Cape Wrath Ultra is a multi-day ultra-marathon event based on the Cape Wrath Trail, considered to be the toughest long distance backpacking trail in the UK.

On its way to the Cape Wrath Lighthouse it crosses rugged landscapes as it winds its way through genuine wilderness, spending significant time away from civilisation.

Hikers usually take at least 20 days to complete the trail.  However, the CWU is an ultra running expedition tailored for those stupid enough to attempt it in 8 days.  The circa 400km route offers a compelling ultra running challenge.


Having drunk too much beer on a night out and having completed a number of multi day ultra-marathons before, we both decided this could be a fun week away.  So in 2019 we signed up to enter the event.


The event was cancelled in 2020 and was held in August 2021 (which we deferred from on the basis that it would not have gone down well at home and we would have been eaten alive by midges!)  For a write up of how much of a midge fest the August 2021 Cape Wrath event was’ speak to Louise Stewart – who volunteered to crew that race!


On the build-up to the 2022 event, we both had a backpack full of excuses! In fact not even really confirming that we were going to do the event some 6 weeks prior!  So nicknamed by a few as ‘Couch to 400Km’ a plan was formed to assemble the needed essential kit and do a little bit of training…


The event came round quick enough and on Friday May 20th it was time to head up to Fort William for the start.  With all the event administration sorted on the Saturday, along with some last minute carb and pasty loading, we were ready on the Sunday to start the long journey North.


Wayne(who gets very seasick) seemed more concerned that to get to the start line a ferry trip was required, as opposed to the running distance that lay ahead!


As was to become a fixture of the 2022 race, it started to rain on the Sunday morning an hour before the first ferry departed.  This was to become the rain shower that lasted for the entire event!


Day 1 (23miles, 432m climb) Fort William to Glenfinnan – After standing around in the rain for 3 hrs, we were finally off and things went entirely to plan with both easing into it nice and gently.  


Day 2 (35 miles, 1559m climb) Glenfinnan to Kinloch Hourne – was an entirely different story…following a night of heavy rain, a now soaking tent inside and out, not a single item of dry kit remaining for the rest of the week…we set off on the 35 mile run.  Following the first climb of the day of some 1200m we found ourselves descending through a peat bog that went on forever.

as some of you are aware, we are of slightly different heights, but found ourselves regularly up to at least our knees and on occasions our waists in thick black bog…to walk let alone run proved challenging. 

Crossing the many rivers proved a challenge for lots of the participants, with us often having to help others get across the multiple deep streams and rivers.  Nevertheless, we made it back to camp in plenty of time to change into some wet clothes and eat a wholesome meal in the event marque – The race volunteers were fantastic and trying to do everything they could to help.


Day 3 (42 miles, 2323m climb) Kinlock Hourne to Achnashellach – With the rain persisting, it was time to conquer what is often described as the toughest day of the course (its not the longest, but the climbs are brutal) This proved to be the case for Graham, as he failed to achieve the mandatory cut off time at check point 2 along the way.  Wayne having climbed much more swiftly and considerably ahead of Graham made the cut off and proceeded to complete the day.


Day 4 (22 miles, 1298m climb) Achinashellach to Kinlochewe – This was to prove the worst weather experienced yet.  The event challenges even achieved a mention on the BBC news! 

When going the high mountain pass of Beinn Liath Mhor, it was challenging enough to stay on your feet, let alone move progressively forward, given the driving wind and rain.   Due to now being non-competitive Graham decided to only complete a shorter course with other non-competitive runners. As he remained in the event rankings Wayne continued to complete the entire day’s distance.  This unfortunately and frustratingly caused injury to his ankle on the challenging pathless decent around Beinn Eighe.


Day 5 (27miles, 1070m climb) Kinlochewe to Inverbroom – This proved to be the most enjoyable day of the event so far us both, as there was a short break in the weather for about an hour or so, where a limited view of the scenery became available.  There was runnable track and improved conditions for the river crossings.

The rain and winds however quickly returned and converted into sleet and driving hail with the temperature dropping swiftly. 

We both completed the full day, but in the evening took stock of the entire experience and worsening situation of weather.  As a result, deciding that the combination of the running experience and the conditions in camp were not worth the balance of effort.

The following morning after a final nights sleep in the tent, which was held down by being attached to the event vehicles to stop it blowing away, we decided to retire and start the journey home from the event.


Having got home and started to dry out, injuries being treated, and an evening drinking scotch whiskey we can look back on the experience with slightly more positive memories.  It was nevertheless a considerable challenge.  Those who made the whole journey to the lighthouse and got the medal in 2022 well and truly deserve it.


Neither of us have any desire to return and complete the event, however no doubt once the dust settles we are likely to sign up to something else again in the future…


That was very very tough!
All smiles when Alex realised it was a 47 second PB.
The results.
Alex Adams

On Wednesday night I was privileged to be able to watch Alex compete in a time trial in Salisbury organised by CSUSA – College Scholarships USA. He has been approached by CSUSA to apply for a scholarship in America to commence in Summer 2024.
In doing so he would be following in the footsteps of our own Jack Summers.

Despite being troubled by breathing problems, Alex smashed his 5000m PB by 47 seconds.

In a fast race, helped by a pace setter provided by CUSA, Alex, an U17 was only beaten by two U20 athletes, George Couttie from Harrogate and Samuel Lea from Worcester, both of who comfortable beat their previous bests by 16 and 38 seconds respectively.
June Shakespeare Race

64 members competed in Wednesday night’s Shakespeare race which was won by Richard Liggatt in a time of 30.14. First female finisher, in 8th place, was Kate Wright (33.28). 1st junior finisher was Maisie-Joy Spriggs in 13th place with a time of 34.51 and just 10 seconds behind M-J was 1st male junior Fin Hutchinson in 15th place with a time of 35.01.

For the full results follow this link
And Finally

A couple of photos from the Danny Tolhurst Press Archives circa 2011.

Rory Dwyer pre-beard and a few familiar faces from days of yore in the group photo.
Ade Mason together with Fin and Tim Hutchinson at last Saturday’s Plymouth parkrun.