3rd Best in the World !

Fern Hordern. World Duathlon Bronze medallist. How good is that ?
Goodness me, what a busy week.

First off we have our very own World Duathlon bronze medallist. Massive well done to Fern Hordern on her achievement in Romania.

It was another medal haul for Paula Williams at the weekend. This week it was 5 golds and a silver at the British Masters T&F Championships in Derby.

There are race reports from the Tysoe Windmill race, Sphinx Summer 5, Two Castles and Offa’s Dyke 15. Many thanks to Max Ross and Ade Mason for providing them.

There are triathlon reports from Ben Phyall at the British Championships in Leeds and Sarah Odell in Wales and an Ultra report from Seth Turner.

Last but by no means least is a report from Kate Sergent on her St. Albans half marathon accompanied by an oh so cute photo of her with darling granddaughter Ivy.

If you’re competing at the weekend it’s going to be hot, so be sure to hydrate.

Take care

Best Wishes

David Jones
Wednesday night was vets T&F night at Redditch. This time in glorious weather unlike the cold and wet conditions of last month. Hopefully we’ll have a full report next week.
Fern on the podium flag in hand.
Standard Distance Duathlon World Championships, Transylvania, Romania
Report – Fern Hordern
I travelled out to the Multisport World Championships on Wednesday 8th June.  The event was being held in Targu Mures, Romania.  Thursday was busy with bike builds, race registration and bike check-in.  The race was sited on a motor circuit outside the town with buses shuttling back and forth – traffic was consistently horrendous…
The race started early on Friday morning.  The weather seemed ideal but the humidity was steadily building like a Mexican wave! 

The first run (10km) was nerve wracking and I settled myself mid-field.  I knew that there were some fast runners in my age group (50-54yrs), and I confess that I started the bike section with no idea how well (or badly?) I was placed. 

The bike laps (38km total ) were fast and furious with a sneaky leg-burning hill which you had to do 5 times.  I didn’t really see any one from my age group until the end where I overtook a couple of women whom I had thought were way ahead of me.

Fired on by the feeling I might be near the front of my race, I ran the final run (5km) as best I could in the heat (golly it felt so hot on that tarmac) finishing it in 23.02,  the second fasted time in my age group. I crossed the line in third place – a totally unexpected bronze medal and my first ever medal at international level. 

The race was won by fellow GB competitor Karen Murphy with a total time of 2:12.57. In 2nd place was Erica Rudge USA (2:17.36) just under a couple of minutes ahead of my time of 2:19.24.

Another week, another medal haul. Following on from her 7 golds last week, Paula Williams had to settle for just the 5 golds and 1 silver this week at the British masters T&F Championships in Derby

British Masters T&F Championships.

Report – Paula Williams


We had two athletes competing at the British Masters Athletics Championships at Moorways Athletics track in Derby at the weekend. 

First up was Dave Wilson in the 400m. He ran 60.04s just outside the minute mark, smashing his pb of 60.98s that he had set just this week at Nuneaton. 

In doing so Dave managed to set a new M50 club record. He said he felt strong on the finishing straight and we can look forward to that sub 60seconds any time now. 

Next was the 200m and with a strong field and running into the wind on the finishing straight, he had his work cut out. He ran hard and achieved his 3rd fastest time this year. 

I started the day with the first event out on the track. Running into a -3.7 wind I managed the first of 5 gold medals on the day in the 80m hurdles, winning in a time of 13.98. 

Others golds were in long jump (4.55m), shot put (11.93m), triple jump (9.10m) and javelin (33.94) some 9 metres ahead of the 2nd places thrower. 

A season’s best In the 100m (13.62) earned me the silver and my 13th medal in 8 days following on from 7 gold medals last weekend at the Midland Masters T&F Championships in Nuneaton.

Team Tysoe

Tysoe Windmill 10k Race. 
Sat 4th June

Report – Max Ross

Following on from last week’s report on the 5k, the 10k variant took the same course through the village and meandering fields, with a relatively flat start leading to a hard push up to the Windmill.

A brief moment to enjoy the view was followed by a rapid descent down steps, over fields, up grassy embankments plus a faster road section, back to the Windmill to retrace our steps into Tysoe.

The route has something for everyone, as long as everyone is OK with a little hill effort or two!

The winner, Simon Wurr of Thames Hare & Hounds, beat his previous effort by 2 minutes completing in 37:59 and first lady Nicky Baker of Balsall Common Run Club finished in 50:35 having taken 5 minutes off her previous time!

Taking 4th place, Huw Crosweller was the first SAC finisher in 43:18 with a 2 ½ minute improvement on this course, followed by Robin Langhorne in 15th at 48:48. Next over the line was SAC’s first lady, Suzanne & Max Ross at 51:15. Also coming in under the hour was Lesley Kirk in 57:20 followed by Suzi Graham in 59:55. Kate Sergent crossed the line at 1:06:41 and Lindsey Anderson in 1:17:54

The turnout for this event was sadly down nearly 50% on previous years but it is such a nice location, with fantastic cake afterwards and handmade finisher medals and prizes – if you have not done it before, get it in the calendar for next year!


Out in force at the Sphinx Summer 5.

Sphinx Summer 5 

th June, Coventry

Report – Max Ross

Hosted in the Coventry War Memorial Park by Sphinx AC, this was the 3rd fixture in the 2022 Warwickshire Road Race League, with a fantastic turnout of runners including a 25 strong, yellow and black vested SAC presence.

Whatever the two-lap course lacked in elevation was certainly made up by an abundance of cornering, but a good crowd of cheering spectators enjoying the warm summer evening certainly helped the runners weave their way around the footpaths of the park.

The top of the leader board was dominated by Stratford AC, with Ben Kruze taking the winning spot in 25:27. Kruze thoroughly smashed the course record by carving nearly a whole minute from the 2019 record.

Taking 4th place was Matt Burdus-Cook in 27:22 and he remarked that “It was great to see so many SAC vests at the start line, and it was really nice to see us placing so well as a team. My own race went well and I was pleased with my time, but even more pleased by the amount of free cake available for finishers. I had 3 slices!” Well earned, we feel.

Richard Liggatt took the 7thspot in 27:52, running at lighting speed even though he had eaten dinner beforehand and given himself a stitch! Jamie Hall also made it into the top ten with 28:17, accidentally nabbing himself a 5k PB en route.

Adam Evans came 16th with 29:20 followed closely by Adrian Mason 25th in 30:02 to secure a team win for SAC.

Mason commented on how great a midweek race this was; “The Sphinx crew put on a great event with a bounty full of goodies at the end! My target was sub 30, so to be 2 seconds over in my current return to form and the 6th points scoring SAC vest, I was very happy. The evening was topped off with the prize giving, announcing Stratford men as the Team Winners! Whoop! Next stop, the Two Castles!”

Next up, Tim Hutchinson placed 28th by matching his 2016 effort of 30:19, a nice pre-birthday reminder that age is nothing but a number! Adam Linforth followed as 31st with 30:39 and Richard Dobedoe in 35that 31:00.

Next in quick succession came Max Ross 37th 31:18 followed by Joe Lee 42nd with 31:38 and Drew Sambridge 44th with 31:51. Nabbing a top 50 spot was Huw Crosweller, 49th with 32:13 followed by Fin Hutchinson at 53 with 32:34.

Also securing valuable points for the club were 125th Stuart Griffiths in 35:36, 128th Graham Hill 35:48, Clare Goodwin 191st 38:34, 196th Pete Wharton 38:47, 205th Susan Hunt 39:16, 218th Stuart Evans 39:49, 234th Sarah Odell 40:39, 273 David Maundrell 43:36, 305th Jan McLure 45:30, 313th Kate Sergent 46:38 and the ever present and reliable John Butler securing 355th in 54:53.

This really was a great turnout for the club, and a fantastic effort by all involved, including our supporters on the side-lines.

Certainly a date for next year’s calendar, and did anyone mention free cake?

Full results are shown below:


Some of our contingent at the Two Castles.
Two Castles

12th June
Report – Ade Mason.
Well, what a waiting game!  Some of us have been on the deferral list for two years now but it’s great to have races like this back on the calendar, post pandemic and with some glorious weather to boot (almost too warm!). 

I previously ran this race in 2017 and 2018 and it was everything I remembered it to be (apart from the hills), with great local support along the course in Warwick, Leek Wootton and Kenilworth. 

The route is typical Warwickshire – undulating with a few steady climbs (especially around miles 3 & 4) and a final “sprint” climb at the end – of course, Castles were built in hills! 

This year, the Two Castles Run pulled a healthy crowd, with 2833 finishers, and whilst there were various other races going on across the weekend, Stratford managed to enter 16 runners to light the streets up in yellow.

1st to cross the line in 17th place! for Stratford AC was Richard Liggatt in a superb time of 35:11, quite remarkable on that course.  Next was me (Ade Mason) finishing in 54th place, with a pleasing course PB time of 38:20, which saw me gain 3min 23s on my last attempt in 2018, before joining the club!

Maddie Linfoot ran a great race, finishing 123rd in a time of 42:11 and 1st in her age category!  Maddie was 3 minutes and over 200 places ahead of the next finisher in her age category. Maddie commented ” “It was quite a tough, hilly course but I really enjoyed it and will definitely being doing it again.” 

John Bettles also achieved a PB, with a time of 45:48.

Other Stratford runners competing were: – 
David Teasdale 39:39; Huw Crosweller 40:39; John Raby 41:43; Stuart Griffiths 46:37; Graham Hill 46:53; Susan Hunt 52:04; Suzi Graham 53:01,Chris Bloomfield 53:54; David Maundrell 55:40; Jan Mclure 59:23; Lisa Stevens 1:01:02; Kevin Zwolinski 57:57; Jane Fradgley 1:01:49 and Miranda Maloney 1:10.21.

The race was won by Callum Hanlon from Leamington C&C in a time of 32.00 and first female finisher was Julie Emmerson from Coventry Godiva in 46.18.

Full results below:

Team Stratford at Offa’s Dyke
Podium finisher Matt-Burdus Cook crosses the finish line aided and abetted by son and junior club member Noah. I’m not sure pacer’s are allowed Matt.

Offa’s Dyke 15

 11th June, Hay-on-Wye

Report – Max Ross.

The Stratford AC ‘Away Team’ was on good form last weekend, putting in a strong performance on the borders of Wales at the historic Offa’s Dyke 15. 

The course, dating back to the late 70’s, boasts stunning countryside scenery along undulating trails, leading to spectacular views that you truly have to earn before you can appreciate. The course is certainly a taxing run over the rolling hills of the Powys, ending with over a mile of intense downhill – a challenge that after 14 miles, not every runner can reap the full rewards of.

The 1st prize on the day was taken by Ludlow Running Club member Jamie Shingler in 1:46:55 and 1stLady was BRAT runner Molly Browne in 1:56:36.

For Stratford AC, Matt Burdus-Cook, led the way home to take podium 3rd place in 1:49:44 and beating his 2019 effort by 3 ½ minutes. Burdus-Cook comments, “I really enjoy the challenge of Offa’s Dyke 15, and it is a race that I have ‘got wrong’ on my previous 2 attempts (albeit last year was a shortened COVID dictated reroute as we were not permitted to run over the Welsh border). This year I ensured that I adopted a more relaxed pace and mindset to the race which ultimately paid me back. I ran in about 7th or 8th place for the first half of the race, before the unrelenting hills started to get the better of some of the runners further forward and I was able to gain a few places. My main objective was to not walk any of the course which I was pleased to achieve. There was a fantastic turnout from a large number of travelling SAC athletes and once again it felt brilliant to be stood in numbers at the start line, and to see so many of us complete the course to our own objectives. The post race cakes were excellent, even if not free as per the Sphinx 5 race 3 days earlier. I had a slice of Victoria sponge cake and a large piece of millionaires shortbread. Some of the SAC team day-tripped to the event while others opted to camp overnight with the Tempo Events team, adding a few sore heads to the sore legs on Sunday morning. It was a brilliant race and weekend.”

The second SAC runner to cross the line was Adam Linforth in 2:04:35 to take 12th place, followed by Max Ross with a signature sprint finish to take 15th place in 2:06:01. Not far behind, and having thoroughly enjoyed his race, came Joe Lee for 23rd in 2:10:11. Peter Sugden took 31st place in 2:15:55 – a far cry from the ‘taking it easy run’ pedalled at the start line. A forced ‘rest week’ was the perfect taper to ensure Sugden beat his 2019 effort by more than 8 minutes. Spurred on and next across the line for 32nd in 2:16:01 was David Smyth, impressively taking nearly 10 minutes off his 2017 effort.

The next trio of SAC runners were Clare Weatherhead, Graham Hill and Suzanne Ross, crossing the line together in 2:50:55 for 125th to 127th place. Having supported each other throughout the race, Suzanne said “I was a little apprehensive on the start line, as it had been 10 years since my last half marathon distance. However, running with Offa’s Dyke veteran and Chief Photographer Graham, together with Clare’s determination, made it quite achievable – I thoroughly enjoyed each and every mile!”

Next was Stuart Evans 171st in 3:06:27 followed by Rebecca Pridham 174th together with Emma Parkin 175th in 3:10:43. This was Rebecca’s fourth time racing Offa’s Dyke 15! Next in, and admitting he had taken a bit of time to stop and enjoy the trees along the way, was Peter Wharton taking 182nd with a time of 3:13:35.

The finish line had a great atmosphere, and runners were rewarded with a flashy medal to toast their successes. Many runners come back time and again for this race and make a fantastic weekend of it by camping overnight. The support of the Tempo team and SAC club members at the side-lines make this a sure spot for next year’s diary!

Full results below:



Blimey I’m glad that’s over – Sarah Odell.
British Championships Leeds Triathlon
Report – Ben Phyall

After travelling up the M1 to Leeds with growing anticipation and sleeping as if a child on the night before Christmas, it was finally race day for the British Championship Olympic distance triathlon age groups.

My 4.30am alarm woke me before heading over to the race village in Roundhay Park to get registered and the bike racked.

Transition was big and sat in a natural amphitheatre which doubles up as a cricket pitch any other weekend. 

7am quickly came around and I hastily pulled on the wetsuit and jogged down to the swim briefing lakeside. After which we all climbed into the water and held onto the pontoon.

This was the famous blue numbered pontoon the elites could be seen diving in from to start the previous days’ World series races on the BBC. Hopefully today would go better for me than it did for poor Johnny Brownlee who broke his elbow in a bike crash and Alex Yee who was caught up in it as well.

All dreaming aside, we were nothing like the elites, mine was one of the largest age groups with 115 finishers so we were packed in the water like wetsuit clad sardines.

The klaxon went and the water turned to froth. It soon settled down and I found a rhythm but frustratingly, no feet to draft. After 1500m around the lake I emerged 24th, thanks partly to the Saturday club sessions at Shipston.

The 36km closed road bike section was fun except for battling gusty winds and the brave/lucky pedestrian who darted across the crossing as I was descending at a 60kph max speed. My bike is always my fastest of the three events so I was up to 15th place to start the dreaded run.

The run was a 3 lap loop of the scenic lake and hilly parkland and I paced it like a Stratford parkrun; hard/steady/hard, happily hitting my target pace and heart rate.

The finish line was downhill by the lake again so extra speed was carried along the blue carpet and across the line.

I had set myself an overall target time and I beat that by just 1 second to get 02:19:59 and 17th place in my age group, 138th out of 1174 British Championship finishers overall. Happy days!

Slateman Triathlon
Report – Sarah Odell
I entered this event back in December 2019 so it’s been a long time coming. It was postponed twice due to covid.

I have to say that if you wish to do a tough but beautiful event get your entry in for next year.  Having done Snowdonia Marathon a few times I knew if may be a little tougher than your average triathlon.

Before the start and listening to the race briefing, firstly he said the water was a warm 15 degrees, I don’t know who he thought he was kidding!!  Then he said on the bike “beware of the dense sheep, they are dense due to the fact they will happily jump over a wall from a field onto the road just for fun and they are very dense if you hit one and you come off worse than them”. 

The swim was in Llyn Padarn which is a lovely clean lake but it was freezing, so lots of calm breathing and telling myself it was tropically warm, but my feet were not listening. 

Out of the water trying to find my frozen feet, fight with my wetsuit in transition, due to it only being 14 degrees I decided to put a gillet on for bike section. 

Due to road works on the bike route, the first 2 miles were a neutral zone, no overtaking, no more than 15mph, so the bike timing started after the end of the zone, off we go.  Much of the bike route was Snowdonia marathon route reversed.  Extremely stunning views, which you could admire as you climbed up the hills. 

The biggest climb was between 22-26 miles going back up to Llanberis up the Pen Y Pass, then a fab but scary downhill, into Llanberis and back into transition.
The run was up a quarry above the lake. About 1 mile in I had an annoying stone in my shoe. I  stopped and sat on a wall,  shoe off, stone removed and off we go.

The run was 95% off road in a slate quarry. Under foot it was loose slate, huge boulders, tree roots, steps, stones and about 1119 ft of climbing with the most stunning views, I wish I’d had my phone on to take pictures. 

About 5.5 miles in I was going very light headed, climbing up some steps, gritting my teeth, I have never been so pleased to see a steam train, knowing that I had nearly finished. I ran back down to the lake and the finish.
Everyone knows I like a challenge and this was certainly one, overall I was pleased with my time.  37th female and 5th in my age group.

Overall time 3.47.45
Seth Turner – Job done!
The full set.
Race to the King Ultra.

Report – Seth Turner 
Having completed 3 of the 4 Threshold Events Trail Ultras I felt it only right to enter the ‘Race to the King’ this year on the South Downs to complete the set.

The full route is just over 100km, first down and around Chichester Harbour AONB and then up and over the South Downs Way, starting and finishing at Goodwood Race course.

Training went well, coming off the back of a Marathon in April I tried to just get as many hills and trail miles in as possible and focused on back-to-back long runs to improve my endurance.

Having studied the route and seeing that the first 30k or so was pretty flat I aimed to go out at a decent pace, bank some time in the early stages and then hopefully have the strength to hold on over the much hillier second half when the fatigue would inevitably kick in.

Starting in staggered waves the first couple of hours was spent in company with many other runners as I tried to keep a good pace and overtook quite a few people.

The course was stunning and varied and the weather glorious, albeit a little warmer than ideal at times.

At 40k I was on track at just over 3.5 hours and was very pleased to hit the halfway point in 3rd place, which became 2nd as I leapfrogged the guy in front while he was stretching out his hamstrings at the midway checkpoint.

Moving into the hills now the views were stunning and the ground although quite lumpy was mostly dry and the going good. The route passed over wooded hillsides and down through the pretty town or Arundel to follow the Arun River for about 5 miles before climbing back up the biggest climb on the course at around 80k.

By this stage I was power hiking the climbs but trying to run the flats and downhills and focusing on maintaining my position and keeping my average pace as high as possible.

The last 2k climb back up to the racecourse finish certainly had me digging deep but I was both pleased and relieved to come over the line in a little over 11 ¼ hours and claim the second fastest time of the day.

I now have a month until a shorter and slightly flatter 50k ultra in the same area and I will be focusing on speedwork with the aim of finishing in as close to 4 hours as possible.
Kate Sergent with granddaughter Ivy. I hope you’ve got her name down on the waiting list to join the club Kate.
St. Albans Half Marathon

Report – Kate Sergent

I decided to enter St Albans half marathon after committing to  babysitting my grandaughter!

I persuaded my son to enter too! I had a good idea it would be a hot one and I already knew from him that the course was hilly.

Hot…. Hilly… not my strengths but I knew I would enjoy the experience.
The inaugral St Albans half marathon in 1982 was the brainchild of a local businessman who wanted to raise money for a scanner for St Albans hospital after his mother had died of breast cancer. 40 years on it is a huge event which includes a walking half marathon and a 5 k. 

It starts in the beautiful Verilamium Park and leaves the city for country lanes and hill after hill!
It was lovely to finish having my son, his wife and granddaughter cheering me in! 

I did 2.20.54 1st In my age group . Happy Days!