A World Record no less.

Rachel Pearce in Montreal
It’s been another action packed week.

First we have an announcement on Angela McLean’s very welcome decision to become the club’s press officer. Angela brings a wealth of experience to this important role.

There is news of Lewis Byng lifting 411kgs, yes 411, to break the U23 Deadlift World record.

We have a report from Rachel Pearce on her superb performance in the recent World Sprint Triathlon Championships in Canada followed by a report on rising triathlon star Charly Marshall competing in the aquathlon at the British Triathlon Super Sprint Series.

There was a much deserved first appearance in an England vest for club runners Ben Kruze and Matt Burdus-Cook in Tenby at the weekend. Seth Turner did what he does, another gruelling ultra. This time it was the 50k Salomen Serpent Trail event.

Adam and Jane Linforth were competing at the Long Course Weekend in Tenby, the same venue as Ben and Matt’s race.

It was the Bourton Mile last Friday with Alex Adams, finishing in 4th place, and John Butler both taking on this challenge.

There are the provisional results from Wednesday’s Shakespeare Race.

Finally I right a wrong from last week’s Night of 200m PB’s report where I omitted to mention father and son competitors Dave and Oliver Battersby. Sorry guys.

Take care

Best Wishes

David Jones
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Press Officer

I am delighted to announce that Angela McLean has taken on the vital role of Press Officer for the club.

Angela will be liaising with local media to ensure that we have coverage in these outlets.

She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously edited The Solihull Times before going on to be head of communication for Coventry City Council, spending her whole working life in press, PR and communication.

Welcome aboard Angela.

If you have any reports to submit to either Angela or myself please please send them to:


This means that with the very notable exception of a regular Road Race reporter (volunteers please apply!) we now have have a full compliment of volunteer press correspondents, as well as a complete volunteer Comms team.

Full details of the Press and Comms team will follow in the not too distant future.
Lewis lifting 411kgs. That’s over 22 stones in old money!

World Record for Lewis.

Report – David Jones

GB international Lewis Byng is our very own shot put champion.

He is currently the top ranked U23 in the country and sits at number 3 across all age groups. He is the U20 No.1 all-time best thrower and is the only male athlete to have won both U23  & U20 UK championships in the same weekend.

His other discipline is Strongman weightlifting and in this he has posted some massive deadlifts in lifting, gradually gaining recognition as a potential record holder. 

At the BTC Strongman Push-Pull contest in Warwick last weekend he justified the hype as he scored a 411-kilogram (906.1-pound) U23 Deadlift World Record.

Kevin Nee held the previous record of 410 kilograms (903.9 pounds) which he set at the Viking Power Super Series 2008. It is important to note that Kevin was almost 23 years old at that time, while Lewis is currently only 20.

Rachel Pearce

World Sprint Triathlon Championships

Report – Rachel Pearce

I took part in the World Sprint Triathlon Championships in Montreal between 22nd and 26th June.

I was feeling quite confident leading up to the race having had a win at Eton Dorney triathlon in May and my training had been going well but I then suffered a back injury which affected my running.

I was advised not to run until race day so I went into the race feeling very under prepared and not even sure if I would be able to run at all.

Due to some very heavy rain the previous day, there were some concerns over the water quality in the St. Lawrence River and it looked like the race might be run just as a duathlon. This was not good news but fortunately it was given the all clear and I was back to plan A which was to swim, bike and then hope that I could run.

I had a solid start and came out of the swim in 5th place in 11:59. After a long transition up 40 steps, through a long carpark and down a steep slope I was onto my bike.

The course was more technical than I am used to with lots of tight turns and speed bumps to negotiate. I completed the cycle in 33:59. Then it was another long transition to rack my bike and start the 5k run.

I was still in a good position and despite the pain I dug deep and managed to limp round in 23:35. My overall time with transitions was 1:17:33 in 9th place.

I was disappointed not to be at my best but happy to finish in the top 10 and top 3 for Great Britain. This result gives me pre-qualification for next year’s World Championships in Hamburg.

Charly Marshall

British Triathlon Super Series –  Southern Aquathlon

Report – Kate Marshall

The Southern Aquathlon of the British Triathlon Super Series took place at Bowood House. Charly Marshall of Stratford Athletics Club and Do3 was hoping to gain a good haul of points to boost her overall position in the series. 

The weather was changeable with some blustery winds but the water temperature remained above 20 degrees. This meant that wetsuits were banned for for the first two races.

This event tests endurance and resilience and gives the option to reflect and modify race tactics through the course of the day.

Athletes had to complete three aquathlons with just over an hour recovery in between, as the swims got shorter the runs got longer. ( Race 1: 800m swim, 1k run; Race 2 500m swim, 2k run; Race 3 300m swim, 3k run)

Charly had a great 1st swim but the gruelling hill from the water to transition exacerbated the ‘jelly legs’. With a spinning head in transition she headed out into the first run. She completed in 18:32 in 7th position. During the race she had felt disappointed but only after reflection did she see the positives and realised that things weren’t quite as bad as she had thought. She moved on to the second race determined not to let negative race psychology get the better of her. 

The second race felt much better. Again after a strong swim she bounded up the hill and around the 4 laps. Finishing in 7th place with a time of 15:59, but feeling more positive. 

Going into the third race the water temperature had dropped but as it was a short swim she chose not to wear a wetsuit, as she felt whatever benefit she would lose in the swim she would gain in transition. This last run was very tough on tired legs and many did not finish. With every last ounce of energy Charly finished  17:07 in 8th place. 

The results and overall points are determined by the best two out of the three races. Charly came 8th overall and has moved into 13th position in the overall series.

She was very pleased with the improvements in her swim and commented that “it was a really great day but more hard work to come to close the gap on those ahead of me.”

Ben Kruze
Matt Burdus-Cook in his England vest.
The Engalnd vs. Wales International Road Running Masters Competition
Report – Matt Burdus-Cook
This competition was set up as a result of work done by the British Masters Athletics Federation, Wales Athletics and England Athletics and it used the Long Course Multi Event Weekend in Tenby, Pembrokeshire as an opportunity to offer a competition across 3 road running disciplines on a single day.

Athletes were selected based on recent road racing performances with 8 runners selected in each masters age category.

Ben Kruze and myself were selected to run in the 10k Road Race held as part of the wider open entry “The Wales 10k” Event in the MV35 and MV45 categories respectively.

We were both delighted to run in our England vests for the first time. The International tie scores the top 4 finishing athletes for each Nation in their age group to determine the overall winning Nation in an England vs. Wales head to head competition.
The course was challenging and undulating starting in the small Pembrokeshire village of Manorbier before finshing in the centre of Tenby.

There was a very competitive and physical initial dash from the starting hooter with a few trips, nudges and elbows being unintentionally exchanged, these were accompanied by breathless apologies setting the highly competitive but equally friendly tone for the race. 
Ben Kruze won the overall race in a time of 31:59 taking an important age category win for the international tie.
I completed the course in 34:30, finishing 3rd in my age category.
The England team won the tie.
It was an absolute honour to qualify and run for England Masters, and even more so to be running with Ben and seeing him win the overall race, meaning that Stratford AC were well represented in the England line up and with 2 scoring athletes in the tie.

It was also really great to see fellow club member Adam Linforth do so well in the main Long Course event, finishing in the Top 10 for the “Half Distance” weekend event series.

I was pleased with how my race played out following a long period of increased training to improve my overall fitness, which seemed to pay me back on the tough course.

Ben and I have also been fortunate enough to qualify with clubmate Kate Wright for the next England Masters 10k event in Bristol in September, so my training focus will now shift towards that and some later races to try and  qualify for next years England Masters events.
Ben’s Story

Ben Kruze
Matt and myself were delighted to be selected to represent England in the age group international fixture versus wales. The Wales 10k in Tenby hosted the competition during a packed weekend of endurance events.

The atmosphere was fantastic and the course, a hilly point to point run, finished in front of many spectators on an impressive red carpet in the centre of Tenby. 

After the competitors were transported by coach to the start, the England and Welsh teams gathered amongst many other club runners and local competitors.

As race got underway, it quickly became apparent that there was plenty of friendly rivalry and jostling for position. Both Matt and I were competing at the front of the race for the first couple of kilometres before the field started to spread out, when reaching the main steep decent. 

Along with a fellow England teammate I took on the leading hope from Wales, at the front of the field as the race progressed.

A continuous nip and tuck battle ensued throughout the entire length of the course before I managed to pull away on the final hill to take the overall race win.

Matt came in close behind, taking an impressive overall top 10 placing, alongside finishing top 3 in his age group.

Roll on September and Bristol where both have again been selected to represent England in the 10k race. 
Seth Turner alongside ex club member Matt Sims.
Serpent Trail 50k
 Report – Seth Turner

Organised by Freedom Racing, The Salomon Serpent trail event consists of 4 races, with 10k, 20k, 50k and 100k options to suit all runners.

The 50k race is one of the 4 races in the National Salomon ‘Golden Trail Series’ and therefore attracts a high calibre field with runners coming from all parts of the UK and even abroad to test themselves over the distance.

The Serpent Trail itself (named after the many snakes that apparently populate the area), meanders through some of the most beautiful parts of the South Downs National Park with forest tracks, heathland and greensand hills providing some stunning views and some superb single track to run along.

Starting at the event village at Petersfield Rugby Club we boarded a bus to take us to the startline where I was pleasantly surprised to unexpectedly meet ex SAC runner and ultra veteran Matt Sims who was also competing in the 50k.

With the sun coming out and a gentle breeze making for what promised to be superb running conditions we were off. The first fast 5k through the woods, leaping over logs and ducking branches was exhilarating but I quickly realised that, though great fun, the pace would be unsustainable so I throttled back a bit thinking of the miles ahead. Easing off a little I was able to appreciate the beauty of the unspoilt surrounding and settle into a decent rhythm as the miles started to tick past.

I tried to limit my time at checkpoints and kept to my fuelling and hydration plan with the aim of sustaining my pace to the end.

Going through half way in 35th place and with other competitors slowing around me I managed to make up 12 places over the second half of the course and finished strong in 23rd place out of 459 runners in just under 4 and a half hours.

After the race I was pleased to be able to share a well-earned beer with Matt who even after suffering an ankle injury early in the race still finished in only a little over 5 hours in a very solid 87th place.

The men’s race was won in a quite unfathomable 3 hrs 13 minutes by Innov8 athlete Chris Holdsworth who just edged out UK mountain running team member and previous course record holder Tom Adams by a mere 90 seconds.

The women’s champion was Chelsea Creak in 4.11 a full 10 minutes ahead of the next competitor.

As we reflected on what a well-run competitive event it was, with a great atmosphere and a truly stunning the route, I really felt this was a race I would happily do again. With on-site camping and distances to suit everyone it would make a great club away-day even. Let me know if you want to join me next year…….just as long as you aren’t afraid of snakes!
Adam Linforth’s medals.
The Long Course Weekend.

Tenby Pembrokeshire
Report – Adam Linforth
On Friday the 1st July, along with my wife Jane, I travelled to Tenby in Pembrokeshire, Wales to take part In the Long Course Weekend.

The event comprises a series of differing distances with Swimming on Friday, Cycling on Saturday and Running on Sunday and takes place on many of the routes of Ironman Wales which is in September.


Having competed in the cycling and running previously, I challenged myself to take part in the half long course category (1.2m swim, 70 mile cycle and a half marathon to finish).

Not liking swimming, especially in the sea and up until this point last year not having done any swimming since leaving school, the first event was going to be a challenge but held with the beautiful backdrop of Tenby Harbour there were far worse places in the world to be swimming.

With the help of the great SAC Triathlon coaching on Saturday’s by Simon, Carl and Joe and after attending sessions with Dave Knight at Do3 over the past year I felt I had certainly put the work in.

With about 2,000 people on the swim it was going to be a baptism of fire having never swam in a competition or in the sea. It could only be compared to swimming in a washing machine. I kept clear of the melee and appear to have swum pretty straight according to my Garmin.

Once the first buoy was reached the sea was swelling a lot with people saying it was the worst they had known it for this event. This really puts you off your stroke.

It was then a matter of gaining my composure, clinging on and heading for home. The final section was the run up the beach to the loud music, flames and crowds lining the cliff paths and cheering you on. I completed the swim in 37 minutes in 10th position, 6th male from the half Long Course competitors and 29th overall and 7th 40+ Vet.

For Jane it was also her maiden appearance in a swimming event and she benefitted, like me, from the SAC Triathlon coaching and Do3 sessions. Nervous at the start and electing to steer clear of trouble and swim in the latter third of the field, she too found the experience an eye opener but navigated her way round the 1.2 miles in a really impressive 49 minutes, finishing as 63rd female. She’s looking forward to doing it again next year. That ended Jane’s participation in the weekend, leaving the cycling and running to me.


After a good nights sleep it was off to the start on the bike. The ride takes in some spectacular scenery and views of the sea and rolling Pembrokeshire countryside and is definitely to be recommended. Having cycled this in the year before covid I knew what to expect and was pleasantly surprised to have completed the 70 mile course with its 5,000 foot of climbing in 4 hours and 16 minutes, 30 minutes quicker than my prior effort.


On to my favourite discipline… with weary legs and with unfinished business on this course having last run at this event in 2018 when I was certainly nowhere near as fit as I am now.

The event started with the backdrop of Pembroke Castle and meandered its way back to Tenby taking in the beautiful Manorbier (and its awful hill) where Matt and Ben were starting their 10k representing England.

The route incorporated every coastal hill the organisers could find and amounted to 1,000 foot of climbing over the 13.1 miles. It was tough going in the Pembrokeshire sun but I completed the course in 1 hour 31 minutes and 49 seconds a new pb and 50 minutes quicker than my last effort here in 2018. The finish line being in the beautiful town of Tenby with the streets lined with cheering supporters and coming home on the red carpet. 

We will both be back next year and I’m looking forward to taking part in the full Long Course Weekend.

Definitely a weekend and event to be recommended to all in the club and you can just take part in a running event if you choose.

Check out the website at www.lcwwales.com 

The medals are also pretty good (see the picture), nearly as good as the Tempo Events ones!
Alex Adams
John Butler

Bourton 1 mile race.

Report – David Jones

This is a 1 mile fast flat road race. The course is point to point, finishing in the centre of picturesque Bourton-on-the-Water.

We had 2 club members competing in this race, at either end of the age spectrum.

Alex Adams, the club’s 16 year old England international finished the race in 4th place with a time of 4:33.

This places him at 12th in the current UK U17 rankings. Alex found himself running in isolation for much of the race with a 16 second gap between him and the 3rd placed finisher and he was 12 seconds ahead of the 5th placed runner. Had there been other runners with him he felt sure he could have been quicker.

At the other end of the age spectrum 77 year old John Butler finished in 107th place with a time of 9:14 which puts him at 4th in the UK rankings for his age. Fellow club runner Phil Brennan is currently in 2nd place.

July Shakespeare Race

 86 members competed in Wednesday night’s Shakespeare race. It was another victory for Alex Adams in a time of 33.19 and first lady finisher was Kate Wright in 13th place with a time of 38.14.

For the provisional results please click on the link below:



Night of 200m PBs

In my report on this event last week I made a couple of serious omissions.

Also competing were father and son duo Dave and Oliver Battersby, with U15 Oliver winning the family bragging rights on the night. His PB for this distance was 29.2 and he managed to register a time of 26.21, albeit wind assisted. His father Dave ran just seven tenths of a second slower, recording a wind assisted time of 26.92.