Our record breaking 4x400m relay team.
L to R: Dave Battersby, Dave Wilson, Ben Kruze and Simon Curran.
Our ladies 4x400m relay team of Emma Bexson, Hannah Osborne, Elaine Ledden and Clare Goodwin.
This week there is an initial notification of the Club Championships to be held at the Stratford track on 11th September. This year will see the reintroduction of a 5000m race and it will be part of the Shakespeare League.
Congratulations are due to Andrew Pozzi who has been selected to be part of the England Commonwealth Games Team at this year’s Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham.
We have a report on last week’s superb Midland Vets T&F League fixture at Redditch, once again the performances and camaraderie were wonderful with the team being expertly led by team manager Hannah Osborne.
There is a report on last weekend’s Arden 9 with 8 club members competing.
Another week another Lee Family Special. This time it’s Kim’s turn having completed the Lakesman Triathlon in the scaringly quick time of 12 hrs 37 minutes. In her report Kim says there’s nothing special about her. Hers and my definition of this statement differ somewhat!
It’s The Big One
News of this year’s Club Championships
Be there or be square!
The Club Championships is the single most important competitive event in the Track & Field calendar for SUAAC because it is open to everyone in the whole club.
There is a huge amount of effort that goes into organising and running the Championships by our volunteers and our hope and expectation is that all our athletes will prioritise the event over other activities and enter and support the club.
Whilst the event is competitive, in some cases this is the first opportunity for an athlete, particularly the youngsters, to enjoy the thrill of competition and to pit themselves against their peers but it is more important to compete against the clock and the tape measure and to try to either set a personal best or improve an existing one.
This year to we are reintroducing a 5000m that will be a part of the Shakespeare series of races.
More details for the championships will follow in the next few weeks.
Huge congratulations to Andrew Pozzi who has been selected for the England Commonwealth Team at this year’s Commonwealth Games.
Andrew will line up with Jack Sumners and Ollie Creswell at the UK Champs on Saturday, all having learnt the art of hurdling at the club. A proud moment for the club.
Congratulations are also due to
George Fox Rowe
on being selected to compete at the English Schools.
This is at the elite end of junior athletics in this country and so they can be proud of their achievement as we in the club are .
The Deadly Duo of Malcolm Bowyer and Paul Hawkins.
Yours truly in my new guise as a sprinter – sort of.
Midland Vets T&F League.
Report – David Jones
Unlike the previous fixture at the same venue in May, this fixture took place in glorious weather and once again several club records were broken.
The evening got off to a flying start with Stratford earning 35 points out of a maximum 40 in the first five 200m sprint events we competed in.
In the first race of the evening Andy List broke the club record for the M60 age category, recording a time of 29.4, knocking almost 2 seconds off the previous record. Elaine Ledden followed this with a victory in the W60 race in 31.9. David Jones was 2nd in his M70 race with a time of 35.6 seconds, just 0.27 off his own club record. Dave Wilson was delighted with his PB of 26.6, despite the fact that he thought he lost form in the finishing straight. Paula Williams then broke the club record in the W50 age category by running a PB time of 29.8.
Ben Kruze won his 800m race by a comfortable 7.6 second margin in a time of 2:04.5. Despite dropping down an age category Peter Sugden picked up valuable points in the M40 800m and making his debut ,Jim McMorran was rightly pleased with his 2:31.5 in M50 800m.
Ben followed his victory in 800m with another 1st place finish in 3000m. His time of 9:01 being over 40 seconds ahead of the 2nd placed finisher. Matt Burdus-Cook also won his M40 3000m in 9:48 and John Peacock, returning to the team after a nasty bout of long Covid, finished 3rd in the M60 3000m.
It was wonderful to see the return of stalwart Malcolm Bowyer in the 2000k racewalk with him coming 3rd. Racewalking proved to be another excellent source of points, with the club earning 27 out of a maximum 32. Paul Hawkins (13:54.7) won his race by just 2 seconds and in the ladies races there were club records for both Hannah Osbourne (14:06.4) and Gemma Smith (14:06.3) knocking a minute off her own club record.
Also making welcome returns to the team were Sarah Wheeler and Bev Bridgen both performing well despite the warm conditions during their 3000m races. After a long absence Sarah should be pleased with her time of 12:42.5 and Bev’s time of 15:40.3 set a new club record.
The versatile Emma Bexson picked up valuable points in both 800m and 3000m as well as running a leg of the relay. Clare Goodwin followed up her stunning performance in the last fixture by finishing 2nd in the W50 800m. Kim Lee’s 3rd place finish in W35 800m was obviously a warm-up for her weekend Iron Man Triathlon!
The ladies 4x400m relay team of Elaine Ledden, Emma Bexson, Hannah Osborne and Clare Goodwin finished in 3rd place with a time of 5:11.6 and the men’s team of Dave’s Wilson and Battersby, Ben Kruze and Simon Curran comfortable beat the existing club record by almost 10 seconds in finishing 1st with a time of 4:02.8. Sub 4 next time gents? Simon Curran sprinted the home stretch at breakneck speed.
In the field events there were club records for John Peacock in M60 TJ with a jump of 6.66, Dave Battersby in M40 HJ with a jump of 1.45. Mark Illingworth’s throw of 22.18 in M60 javelin was over 5 metres further than the 2nd placed thrower. Dave Wilson was 2nd in the long jump (4.6m). John Boxall, David Jones and Brian Gravelsons finished 3rd, 6th and 4th respectively in M35 javelin, M70 shot and M50 discus.
Paula Williams picked up 23 out of a maximum 24 points by winning the W35 TJ (9.29m), W35 shot (10.74m) and finishing 2nd in W50 LJ (3.99m).
Elaine Ledden broke the W60 club record by almost 2 metres in throwing the javelin 13.74m and Liz Manzella rounded off the field events by picking up valuable points in both W40 HJ and discus.
The club finished in 2nd place overall on the night with 254 points, 31 behind Worcester and 29 ahead of 3rd placed Bromsgrove and Redditch.
After 2 fixtures we are in 2nd place overall with 27 league points against Worcester’s 32.
The next fixture is at the Stratford track on 20th July. If you’re not competing why not come along and support the club. You won’t regret it
Our 8 at the Arden 9.
L to R: Kevin Zwolinski, Dave Maundrell, John Butler, Jan McLure, Peter Sugden, Ben Kruze, Stuart Griffiths and Matt Burdus-Cook
Jan McLure and Dave Maundrell
Arden 9 photos courtesy Matt Horsfield
Hampton in Arden
Report – David Jones
This was the 15th running of this event, having first taken place in 2004. It was once again organised by Knowle & Dorridge Running Club and hosted by Hampton-in-Arden Tennis Club. As was the case in 2018, the race was part of the Warwickshire Road Race League (WRRL).
The race was returning after Covid induced break, having not been run since 2019.
The pleasant rural course is a 9 mile loop, starting from the Sports Club in Hampton, via Catherine de Barnes to Barston, then back through the centre of Hampton in Arden, finishing back at the Sports Club.
8 club members competed in this year’s race, a couple of who were old hands, with Dave Maundrell making his 8th appearance and John Butler his 12th. Both took part in the first race in 2004.
First to finish was Ben Kruze in 2nd place with a time of 46.35, having been pipped by the race winner Karl Welborn of BRAT by just 4 seconds. Next was Matt Burdus-Cook in 9th place with a time of 51:07, he was also 1st in his age category.
Pete Sugden (1:05.20) knocked a huge 13 minutes off his 2017 time, finishing in 77th place overall. Stuart Griffiths was another runner who improved on his previous appearance. His time of 1:06.09 being just over 6 minutes quicker than he was in 2016.
Dave Maundrell (1:21.20) is something of a regular in the Arden 9, having run it 8 times including the inaugural 2004 race. He’ll be delighted that he was just over a minute quicker than he was in 2004.
Our next 2 finishers were Kevin Zwolinski (1:23.32) and our only female runner, Jan McLure (1:25.04) over 3 minutes quicker than she was in both 2016 & 2017.
John Butler (1:47.47) has competed in this race 12 of the 15 times it has been run and was 3 minutes quicker than when it was last run in 2019.
247 runners completed the race and the first female finisher was Kelly Edwards from Leamington C&AC in a time of 54.20.
Kim Lee – Gotta love a doughnut!
And the winner is!
Report – Kim Lee
3.8km swim – 180km bike – 42.2km run
(2.4mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run)
After having my youngest son, Dexter, in September 2020, my focus has been to get iron-fit: fit enough to do an Ironman triathlon!
Based out of Keswick, the Lakesman is in a simply stunning location on the lakeside of Derwent Water.
This was my first full distance triathlon and I had no idea what to expect, so my aim was simply to make cut-off and finish within the 16hrs 45 mins allowed. My husband Joe calculated I’d make 14 hrs. Knowing who is usually ‘right’, I expected a very, very long day!
With a 6.20am start, the swim involved two laps around Derwent Island. My last triathlon was in 2019 and as a slow swimmer, it was a pretty lonely experience, as I was virtually last out of the lake. This time I was delighted to be right in the mix. However, it was like swimming in a washing machine for the first lap and I got pretty beaten up. My time was much better than I expected though, so I stuck with it and held my ground.
Out of the swim in 1hr 22mins, well ahead of the 2hr 20 mins cut-off, things were going great.
Onto the bike and it turned out to be a smooth, speedy route. The cycle course is described as ‘not as hilly as it could be’, it still packed a few tasty hills with elevation gain of over 1,300m (4,295ft). The wind was in the opposite direction to usual, so there was headwind all the way out and along the coast. Fortunately, headwind has become the ‘norm’ for me after over 800 miles of headwind during my cycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End just 3 weeks earlier.
The cycle feed stations were every 17 miles and were something I hadn’t experienced before. Riders keep cycling through the feed stations, whilst the volunteers held out the bottles of drink, energy bars and bananas.
The best feed station was the Team Lee DeliverLee service at about half way. Parked on the side of the road with a selection of goodies: a pasty, 8 ring doughnuts, coke, baguette, crisps. I only managed half a baguette, but was very grateful to see the family. Plenty of leftovers for them!
I reached the half way point at just over 3 hours, which is quick for me. I was told by one of the Marshalls that I was 20th lady, which I definitely didn’t expect.
The second half involved a few hills back up to Keswick, but I finally found tailwind. The Team Lee DeliverLee service drove past at about 100 miles and my eldest son, Josh, passed me a doughnut out of the van window – perfect pre-run-race fuelling. I wanted to hold my top 20 position after all!
I got back to transition in 6hr 42mins. Feeling surprisingly good.
Onto the run: 5 laps of zig-zagging through Keswick. This was definitely hard-going, especially trying to pick past the runners that had been reduced to walking. Plenty of support along each lap made the 8km loops feel manageable, give or take the section of stairs to climb. It was half on gravel paths, half on road, and mostly quite a narrow route. The positives were that it was flat and plenty of opportunity to see my Team Lee support crew.
The laps ticked by pretty quick, even though my running felt super slow. A marathon on fresh legs is hard enough.
My highlight was Joe finding me at the half-way mark and passing me a carton of milk. It was perfect for settling my stomach after all the sugary energy snacks and drinks. Spot the dairy-farmer’s daughter!
Onto the final lap, I kept pushing on and thanked every marshal, telling them I was heading for the finish. I got even more cheers and well-wishes on that lap, which boosted me through to the finish.
Part way though that final lap, I checked my watch and it said 6.20pm. I was gobsmacked – exactly 12hrs after starting. I hadn’t paid too much attention to times or pace on the way around, but the penny slowly started to drop . . . I was on track for a sub-13hr Ironman. Absolutely incredible. I never imagined I would finish with a 4hr 20 min marathon.
I finished in 12hrs 37 mins overall. 14th lady. Age Group winner. And best of all I got to run through the finish with my three boys.
Special mention needs to go to my husband Joe, head of the Team Lee Support Crew, bike mechanic and my triathlon coach. Seriously amazing achievement for him to coach me, not only to the finish of an Ironman, but to an age group win. Plus he got to hang out with our boys all day – what a way to spend Father’s Day!
I truly believe you should never compare yourself to others, just focus on being the best you can be right now. However, I couldn’t help but take a quick glance at Joe’s swim, bike and run times from his first Ironman in Switzerland in 2018. Turns out my swim and run times were quicker than his. I’ll never match his strength and power on a bike, but 2 out of 3 disciplines ain’t bad!
From couch to Ironman in 18 months has been an amazing journey and I’m grateful to all those that have joined me and inspired me along the way. There is nothing particularly special about me. I was not a particularly sporty kid. I am not a particularly fast swimmer, cyclist or runner. Plus I’m a busy full-time working mum of three. Just goes to show that if you really want something, then dig deep, surround yourself with inspirational people, ditch the excuses, work hard, and make it happen! Anything is possible.
I am so incredibly grateful to all the support that the club, it’s coaches and its members have given me. 18 months of hard training has paid off and SAC has played a big part in that. Thank you!
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