The Power of the Press.

Some of the Stratford contingent at the Redditch Kingfisher 10k
This week there a couple of reports on both the Redditch Kingfisher 10k and the somewhat longer Snowdonia Marathon. Huge thanks to Max, Rosie, Emma and Tim for sending in their interesting and informative reports.

There is a reminder of the forthcoming Awards Presentation Evening. If you plan on going make sure you let Carolyne Johnston know and don’t forget to bring along some donations for the raffle prizes!

Finally there is a job description for the important volunteer post of Club Press and Media Correspondent.

Take care

Best wishes

David Jones
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Press & Media Correspondent

There is a vacancy for the Club’s Press and Media Correspondent. 

The full job description is shown below.

This is an important role within the Club. It is important because it  harnesses the power of the local press to raise the Club’s profile within the local community, it helps attract new members and, let’s face it, we all like to see our name or photos in the local press be it physical or online.

Examples of the support we enjoy from the local press are shown at the foot of the job description.

At the moment this job is being done by a temporary press officer which is far from ideal.

If you are interested in filling this important role, please contact the Club’s Head of Communications – Louise Stewart at:

or phone

07976 910411

Press & Media Correspondent


Main Purpose of Job 


To collate press reports from different areas of the club, liaise with local press and deliver the best possible press coverage in local papers. 


Directly responsible to:


The Executive of the club and specifically the Senior Membership & Communications Officer


Key responsibilities:


  • To collect suitable and balanced reports and photographs from any club member and submit them to the press in line with their deadlines. If photos are taken by professional or official photographers, approval is needed if they are to be forwarded to the press Note: Reports need to be concise and outward focused towards the reader, therefore, some minor editing may be necessary.


  • To liaise with local Sports Editors


  • To liaise with the Club Executive members


  • To liaise with the Newsletter Editor to ensure the efficient use of resources


  • To constantly review the overall procedures of the role and change and adapt best practice as necessary. 


  • Awareness of the various parts of the club to ensure a balanced level of reporting in the press


Manpower resources:


  • Support from Executive Members


  • Reports from any Club Member who can contribute to press coverage


Special relationships


  • Sports Editors of local press


Skills and Qualities Required  


  • To be approachable and a good, clear and concise communicator.    


  • To be a good listener with an empathy for all members across the club


  • Good writing skills to edit and correct reports


  • To respect confidentiality, be tactful and discreet  


Performance Measurement


  • Continued regular coverage in the local press both in the Sports sections but also in News areas




Liaise with the Newsletter Editor to ensure the hierarchy of importance and newsworthiness of various activities that the club are involved with are highlighted to the Sports Editors rather than them make a decision.                                                                     

Below is some of the extensive coverage we have enjoyed in The Stratford Herald recently.
Susan Hunt, Kate Sergent, Rosie Slocombe and Sarah Odell at Redditch.

No, they’re not standing in the middle of a bluebell wood. Apparently it’s one of several backdrops in the Kingfisher Centre.

Girls will be girls!

Redditch Kingfisher 10K
Report – Max Ross

This is brand new to the race calendar and it boasted a fantastic turnout of over 550 runners, all blessed with unnaturally mild weather, clear skies and feeling fresh after an extra hour in bed courtesy of the clocks changing!

The Kingfisher 10k had a fast start with the first two kilometres running downhill, followed by a relatively flat route making its way through Arrow Valley Park.

The last two kilometres of uphill seemed to sap every last bit of energy available and for a handful of unlucky front runners who took a wrong turn, they had to dig extra deep after adding 400m on! 
The race winner was Karl Welborn in 32:34 and winning lady was Laura Porter in 38:40.

The first Stratford vest across the line was Max Ross in 18th place with 39:17, followed closely by Rob Gisbourne, 29th in 40:39 and James Coy taking 33rd place with 41:08.
In 107th place with 47:28 was Suzanne Ross followed by Sarah Odell 195th with 51:31 and Susan Hunt 226th place in 52:31. David Maundrell also completed under the hour and came 246th in 54:59. 

Next was Karen Gisbourne in 1:01:02 and 363rd together with 364th place Emma Lee also in 1:01:02, then Kate Sergent powered across the line in 416th place with 1:04:40 followed by her daughter Rosie Slocombe 528th in 1:14:23.

Last across the line for Stratford, so keen he entered the race twice, was the ever-reliable John Butler completing in 1:18:03 and taking 544th place. 

It was a nice fast course with cookies, a medal and T Shirt on the finish line – it’s one to remember for next year too!
Rosie Slocombe
Rosie’s Report

I was worried about the 10k in Redditch as I’m not good with new experiences.
We had a good laugh in the car going over there with Susan Hunt Sarah Odell and Mum ( Kate Sergent ) which made me feel a bit less nervous but in the car park they were playing really loud music and I thought I was going to end up with a migraine before we had even started.  

We took lots of photos against funny backdrops in the Kingfisher Centre.

I worried about the route but the runners around me were really friendly and supportive. We went up and down lots of hills and through Arrow Valley which I knew from parkrun.

There were loads of people out supporting along the way and the atmosphere was fabulous.  I had a much better run than in Alcester when I had just done  track hour. My time was 1.14..23. 
Tim Hutchinson, Emma Parkin, Stuart Griffiths and David Parkin
Emma and David Parkin. That wasn’t too bad, should we do it again ?
The Snowdonia Marathon
Report – Emma Parkin

The Snowdonia marathon had loomed large for me for over three years – injury forced a late withdrawal in 2019 but as we had accommodation booked, we spent the weekend in Snowdonia anyway and cheered on a few runners.

Having seen the brutal final hill up close and personal, I realised what a lucky escape I’d had and vowed to never enter such a ridiculous race!

Fast forward a few months and Tim Hutchinson kindly offered me a place and somehow I jumped at the opportunity.

Obviously Covid put paid to 2020 and 2021 but after some pleasingly consistent training, I found myself on the start line for the 2022 event. Alongside me was husband Dave, who had managed to get a late entry into the race (thanks Kate Sergent!), Stuart Griffiths and veteran of innumerable Snowdonia Marathons, Tim Hutchinson himself.

Driving rain, howling gales and low cloud are all part of the tradition, and, true to form, we had all of these on the morning of the race but we also had a semi-tropical 17C forecast, which made choice of clothing a bit of a challenge.

After much deliberation I went for Stratford AC vest top, waterproof jacket and a race number on my shorts. It was a good choice, as, within a couple of miles of starting the rain bucketed down and the gradient steepened inexorably up to Pen-y-Pass.

Feeling strong, I ran every step of the climb, much of it alongside the ever-smiling Stuart and was soon heading down the far side and off the road for the quick descent on a gravel track.

No problem with this hilly marathon business! 

We were then back down in the valley, heading to the halfway point at Beddgelert amidst beautiful Welsh scenery; stunning lakes, hills appearing through the clouds and autumn colours. We were back alongside Stuart as we started the next climb up to Rhyd Ddu and, despite a couple of short walks, we were soon back to a long downhill section.

Despite being some of the gentlest terrain of the day, the 17-20 mile section is where doubt and fatigue set in. We dropped off the pace a little but stuck at it, counting off the miles until we hit the final killer blow of the Snowdonia marathon.

At mile 22 the route turns off the main road and up and over a 230m climb to get back to the finish. This is beyond brutal but at least the clouds had cleared a bit, the local support was amazing, and, given everyone else was walking at this point, we didn’t feel too bad joining in.

A couple of slow miles was in the race plan at this point, so we ended up not losing any time. Waiting for us at the top of the last climb was our daughter Tessa, ready to run the last mile back down into Llanberis with us.

That final mile really is the race having the last laugh. Ridiculously steep, grassy, muddy and wet, in road shoes with 25 miles in the legs but down we went, somewhat gingerly, but managing to stay on our feet – the final run into the finish was amazing with great support from all around and particularly our older daughter, Amelia.

We finished in 4:26, nearly half an hour quicker than my only previous marathon and faster than even my most optimistic predictions.

It is an awesome race. If you want to find out more about it, watch the delightful 45 minute highlights show on S4C in Welsh (in which Tim stars throughout!), which you can find on iPlayer.

The men’s race was won in 2:39 by Daniel Kashi and the women’s race was won by Caroline Brock in 3:13.
Tim, Emma and David
Tim’s Snowdonia Marathon

Marathon Eryri 2022

Report – Tim Hutchinson

It appears that this is my favourite marathon as this was my 6th time of running it. After a three year break due to covid restrictions it was especially great to be back as it was the 40th anniversary of the race but was race number 38.

Once parked up for the night in my usual spot next to the event village it certainly didn’t seem like it had been 3 years. After picking up my number, race tee shirt, a little bit of shopping at Pete Bland sports stall,  followed by my traditional pre marathon tea of chicken korma, it was great to catch up with Emma and Dave Parkin.

The forecast for Saturday was pretty bad with wind and rain. No surprises there then!

On waking the next morning the forecast was bang on, definitely windy and definitely raining.

Following several breakfasts and my final preparations, including the application of some circular sticky discs because I didn’t want a repeat of a few years ago. It was also a good way to get a shout out on the TV coverage!

After a quick catch up with Stuart it was time to head to the start just over half a mile away.

At the start of my training plan I finally managed to catch covid which scuppered my early training and that threw things a little. Having not managed to get any long runs in or decent hill training I knew my original target time of sub three hours was out, way out…. So my revised target was sub 3:30 and hopefully a top 100 place.

As expected the head wind up to and over the first climb of 2.3 miles to Pen y Pass was pretty harsh but once down to the PYG hotel we turn a sharp right and head down hill on a rough gravel track, this was going to be the first real test of my footwear choice. It might surprise some but I’d decided to go carbon (if you can’t beat em, join em!). The super grippy rubber on the mostly stone track was brilliant and super comfortable, a good choice so far.

Soon enough we were back on tarmac and a steadily downhill 6 miles to Beddgelert. Along this stretch I caught up with the 2nd lady, this is always good as it’s a great way to get on TV!  

Beddgelert marks the halfway point of the route and also the start of the second but definitely easier climb. I’d ended up ahead of the 2nd lady due to cars blocking the route –  so no more tv coverage for me ?.

The headwind had now been replaced by a tailwind making it very warm and humid. That was a first on this race!

Something else I’d not got into my training for 3 years was fuelling using gels. As a result I was struggling to get them down and was suffering with nausea and I could feel my energy draining away.

This section ends at the village of Waunfawr and although mildly downhill when your legs are already tiring, it is hard to keep the pace up. 

Here at mile 22 begins the last and undoubtedly hardest climb of the route at two miles in length,

I’d only previously run the whole hill on one occasion, others a combination of jog, walk, jog, walk. This time I’d decided that at mile 22 I was walking did so all the way to the last drink station at mile 24. This is always the best drinks station, they always pull out all the stops including this year cups of tea in proper cups!

After this it’s all downhill, literally and for the next mile and a half off it is off-road again. I knew this was going to be a real challenge for my shoe choice as the initial rocky section is replaced by short grass and mud. There’s a real mix of approach by the decent of runners who just seem to fly down like they’re on wheels, as opposed to me in slick carbon shoes going down very gingerly. However I stayed upright which was a bonus.

It’s now so close to the finish less than a mile away that you can hear the crowds on Llanberis high street.

Back on tarmac for the very steep last bit of the descent, it is quite hard to just let go and it always induces cramp in nearly every athlete’s calf muscles. This year I had to pull up to stretch them out, this did mean however that I was able to run the final 400 metres to the finish instead of hobbling.  

Thanks to Amelia and Tessa Parkin for their support at the start and near the finish. It’s always nice to get cheers from familiar faces!  

I usually follow up with a bit of cold water therapy in Llyn Padarn, however the water wasn’t that cold this year so instead, I managed to get a massage back at the event village, before returning to the finish area to see the rest of the SAC contingent, Emma, Dave and Stuart finish. Another slate coaster to add to the collection. They make a nice change to a medal.

It really is the best marathon going. It’s not easy but but the scenery, support on course and the organisation make it unmissable.

The ballot opens on the first of December if I’ve managed to convince anyone that it should be on their must do race list!