The End of an Era.

Top of the table U13 boys:
L to R: Morgan Nabney, Kipp Stevens, Arthur Williams, Will Hovell, Joel Ledgard, Sam Plumb and Aran Cooper.

Our junior endurance runners seem to dominate this week’s newsletter with an authoritative report on the last Warwickshire Young Athletes XC League fixture by Rachel Stevens and a report on last weekend’s Warwickshire Schools XC Championships.

In the absence of a full report there are a few words on the latest Winter Series race and, talking of reports,, there is an appeal by me for a report or reports on the weekends final NTRIX. Good luck to those of you who are running in the race and good luck also to those of you running in the Midlands Cross country Championships on Saturday.

Take care

Best Wishes

David Jones
View this email in your browser
Not the Roman Nine

The End of an Era.

An appeal

Many of you will have read Sarah Bland’s email about this iconic race:

“This will be the last NTRIX on the current course. Over 30 years after it began – not on this course – it has been a mainstay of external Club activities, a really successful race and we owe a lot to it, both in terms of financial gain and kudos within the running community.

However in recent years we have managed many increasing issues with traffic safety, the loss of the NFU car parking and venue, Football Club ingress and egress on the course and this year the police have insisted that we need to have a full closure of the Banbury Road, which we are doing, but it is not something that can continue.

So let us celebrate the final one and make it really good for all of us and the also runners!

Then to the drawing board for a replacement…

We have a fairly healthy 250 runners now which is good in the current climate”

I’m not sure if the replacement will be known as Not The Not The Roman Nine but it would be wonderful if we could have a report or reports on this final race.

If you are one of those lucky enough to be running and fancy writing a report for the newsletter and for possible inclusion in the local press could you please let me know asap.

 I think It would be a real shame if this event were allowed to pass without a full report.

U11 girls:

L to R: Evangeline Harris, Amelie Marshall, Martha Edwards, Emily Lambert, Rachel Sparrow and Maggie Silvers.

U17 Men L to R: Henry Wheeler, Milo Cullimore, Jaicob Ford and Alex Adams

West Midlands Young Athletes Cross Country League.

The Pingles, Nuneaton


Report –  Rachel Stevens

Firstly, apologies for the lateness of this report: My lap-top succumbed to the ‘White Screen of Death’.

However, there was nothing blue about our young athletes despite the slippery and chilly conditions as they faced the penultimate league match at Pingles Stadium on a course that was best described by our youngsters as ‘Meh…’. 

The U17 Women commenced the day and having returned to full health, a commanding Niamh Hillard (9th/17:06) was first of our ladies to finish. In her highest overall league position this season and with a tremendous finishing kick was Olivia Robinson (12th/16:51). Then it was MJ Spriggs (13th/17:06) and Abbie Cooper (18th/17:25) with Lucy Thomas (32nd/19:14) and Emily Cottam (38th/19:49) all following with reliable and steadfast runs. A focussed Tilly Campbell was next over the line (37th/24:33) and off the back of a week of illness was the valiant performance of Alice Cottam (46th/21:07).

After four matches, our U17 ladies maintain their third position in the league.

Up next were our U11 boys. After a particularly frenzied first 50m, the pack settled and began its one long lap around the stadium. Having paced himself well, Eli Ford (23rd/08:08) powered home with a cracking final kick from the final bend to finish first Stratford boy, up ten places higher on his best this season. Next after a particularly enthusiastic start was Toby Ledgard (32nd/08:18) and also improving his overall position by four places was Tom Yates (33rd/08:20). Fourth yellow vest home belonged to Callum Linforth (101st/09:34), fifth in was Arthur Chadburn (98th/9.31) who was followed by Tyler Li (107th/10:17).

Thanks to all these performances, the boys improve their league standing by one place to overall eighth. 

In the Men’s U17 race and off the back of his magnificent second place at the British Cross Challenge in Perth, Scotland the previous day was the ever-awesome Alex Adams.  Belying his heavy legs and in what looked like a display of exhibition running, a delighted Alex glided across the finishing line in a time of 16:09 securing yet another perfect score of 200 points. However, the good news did not stop there: in their highest league places this season and also with great runs were Milo Cullimore (22nd/19:02) and Jaicob Ford (23rd/19:08) improving by two and three places, respectively. Rounding off the Men’s team was another solid performance from Henry Wheeler (32nd/19:46) meaning the Men accrued their highest team points this season and they are in 5th place in the league, just 10 points off 3rd place. 

In the U11 girls, Amelie Marshall (21st/08:31) took top Stratford slot for a fourth consecutive race with Maggie Silvers (25th/08:37) crossing the line in fine form, just six seconds later, followed by a strong run from Jasmine Mothershaw (32nd/08:50). Equalling her highest position this season and ,managing to stay on her feet ,despite a slip on a rhythm-disrupting section of ascending and descending chicanes at the back of the stadium was Emily Lambert (40th/08:58). Then it was Martha Edwards (49th/09:10) who ran particularly strongly in the race’s earlier stages. Following on were the ever-dependable Evangeline Harris (89th/09:50) and Layla Sparrow (121st/12:15) who completed our youngest ladies’ team.

Pleasingly, our U11 girls also progress up a place in the league and now sit in sixth position. 

In the U15 boys, it was the incredible run of Sam Lambert (11th/12:14) that saw him not only improve his overall finishing position by two places but secure pole position in the league team for the first time this season! Then there were really gritty and determined runs from brother Zak (12th/12:19), William Mayes (18th/12:30), Tom Fisher (22nd/12:48) and James Day (25th/12:52). James Mayes (45th/13:43) also performed reliably well again. Next up and with another impressive kick in the final stretch was Josh Harrison (62nd/14:29). There were then great efforts from Seb Hillard (67th/14:53), Alex McMillan (80th/16.25) and Ewan Sparrow (81st/16:38).

Such collective impressive and dependable performances see our U15 boys maintain their second position in the league.

In the U13 girls, Marijke Tear-Verweij (3rd/10:06) had another superb run, placing her one match away from medalling! Lois Ford (13th/10:50) was yet again second Stratford girl home with another super-strong performance. Following on was Portia Nabney (19th/11:06) with her performance of the season, improving by five places. Not to be outdone, Stella Slant (24th/11:25) also improved her overall finishing position by a whopping eighteen places! Then there were the solid performances of Ava Sheppard (31st/11:35) and Amelia Peeke (36th/11:39). Also showing great improvement and finishing in her highest position by nine places was Georgia Sharpe (64th/12:34) with the ever-smiley Rachel Sparrow (66th/12:35) close on her heels to finish but one second later!

Equalling their season’s highest points accrual, the U13 girls maintain their third position in the league. 

In the U13 boys, despite Wolverhampton and Bilston runners occupying the 1st 3 places, our strength in depth meant league dominance for a fourth consecutive match. 

Arthur Williamson (4th/9:20) pushed hard all the way to take top Stratford slot for a second consecutive time in the league. However, there was a change in the overall pecking order as a delighted Joel Ledgard (5th/9:26) showed improvement in his pacing to finish in his highest team placing this season as second Stratford lad home. Aran Cooper (7th/9:36) gave another incredibly reliable performance, not wavering once this season outside the top three for Stratford. A wonderfully positive and resilient run by Sam Plumb (11th/09:55) meant a return to contributing to team points and resulted in a deservedly chuffed boy. After starting way down the pack, an unruffled Kipp Stevens (16th/10:06) patiently picked-off some twenty-odd runners to finish with a fine kick home, meaning all five team contributions fell within the top sixteen places. Moreover, not to be outdone by his twin sister, Morgan Nabney (22nd/10:21) also gave the performance of his season, finishing up eleven places on his previous best!

Unfortunately, having made it round the majority of the course in fine form, Will Hovell (63rd/12:02) fell foul to the deteriorating conditions underfoot and was injured on a slippery descent. However, he bravely completed the course and is now, thankfully, fully recovered. But this is an important lesson that there are no guarantees in sport and despite team gold being but a mere moment away there is no room for complacency from anyone.

The U13 boys remain in first position in the league.

Our U15 girls were the final team to face the slippery chicanes, bumps and whipping wind down the back of the stadium. For a third consecutive match, Annie Silvers (10th/ 14:01) took top Stratford slot but more notably climbed an incredible ten places to give her league performance of the season. Inching up the team rankings and giving noticeably determined runs were Bo Algate (35th/15:18) in second and Hannah Wilkinson (51st/16:48) in third. Next in and having worked hard were Charlotte Skinner (61st/17:14), Harriet Black (63rd/17:19) with Bayleigh Stubbins (64th/17:29) immediately after. Completing the day’s performances with a steadfast run was Brooke Rossney (75th/20:01). The U15 girls maintain their fifth position in the league. 

Overall, it was a good day’s work at the Pingles and we remain third in the league, an improvement on last season’s 4th place finish, with 24832 points, some 2151 points ahead of fourth placed BRAT.

We now move on to the final league match on the 12th of February at Aldersley Stadium but before then and in this dreary and interminably long month, which of our young athletes has the resilience to keep chipping away at their progress regardless of their current position; who has the focus to give their best attention throughout a training session; and who has the heart to encourage their team-mates along the way? 

We will surely find out on 12th February.

L to R: William and James Mayes, James Day and Zak Lambert.

Warwickshire Schools’ XC Championships.

Princethorpe College

Saturday 21st January


Report – David Jones

Over 30 members of our junior endurance group carried their impressive league form into Warwickshire Schools’ XC Championships last Saturday.

Alex Adams continued his run of hugely impressive results with victory in the senior 4.8k race. His winning time of 15:53 was over a minute quicker than the 2nd placed runner. Tom Francioni was 7th in a time of 19.22.

In the intermediate boy’s race, over the same distance, Zak Lambert finished in 3rd place with a time of 18.00, followed by Wiliam Mayes (5th/18:19), James Day (7th/18.41), Henry Wheeler (10th/18:47), Jaicob Ford (11th/19.03) and James Mayes (13th/19.47). 6 of the top 13 runners were from our club.

The junior boys race over 3.4k saw Sam Lambert finish 2nd in 12.17, with Tom Fisher (5th/12.54) the next club member to finish. Tom was followed by Arthur Williams (6th/13.07), Joel Ledgard (8th/13.21), Aran Cooper (9th/13.28). In equal 10th place were  Will Hovell, recovered from his recent injury and Josh Davies, both recording a time with of 13.30. No fewer than 6 of the first 11 finishers were our club members. In the same race Sam Plumb was 15th in a time of 14:05 followed by Charlie Clayton (17th/14.19).

In the 3.4k senior female’s race, Charly Marshall was victorious with a time of 13.27 followed by the in-form Niamh Hillard in 3rd place (13.47). Maisey-Joy Spriggs, conscious of the fact she was racing at Ilmington the following day was 8th (14:34). Next it was Abbi Cooper (9th/14.44), Lucy Thomas (18th/16:05), Bo Algate (19th/16.19), Hannnah Wilkinson (21st/17:02),  Neve Nicholds-Trainor (22nd/17:06) and Tilly Campbell (24th/17.30).

The junior girls race was run over 2.9k and Marijke Tear-Verweij was another club member who continued her scintillating recent form, finishing in 3rd place with a time of 11.10. Annie Silvers was 7th in 12:02, followed by Lois Ford (10th/12:43), Ava Sheppard (13th/13:08), Amelia Peeke (16th/13.25) and Scarlett Ford (20th/13.53).

The girls’ U13 race, run over 2k, saw our runners occupy the top two positions, with Stella Sant in 1st place with a time of 8:36 and just 3 seconds behind her, Portia Nabney (2nd/8:39). Georgia Sharpe finished 12th in a time of 9:48.

For the full set of results please follow this link:



The Winter Series – Fixture 4

There is unfortunately no report on the latest of the Winter Series that took place over a revised route last Sunday due to the extremely treacherous conditions on the day.

A quick look at the results tells me that it was another excellent race for our club members with 7 of the top 20 places.

The first of our club members home was David Teasdale (8th/38.41) who was also first in his age category. Drew Sambridge and Max Ross were 10th and 11th respectively with times of 39.10 and 39.58. They were followed by the first lady finisher Kate Wright (13th/40.28).

It was then the turn of Sam Wilks (16th/40.40) and Adrian Mason (18th/41.33) who was also 1st in his age category. U17 Noah Balchin was next in 19th place with a time of 42.04.

Just outside the top 20 was Maisey-Joy Spriggs (22nd/42.16) who was both 2nd female and 1st in her age category despite having raced at the Warwickshire Schools Championships just 24 hours earlier.

Other age category winners amongst the almost 40 club members who competed were Fern Hordern (72nd/49.21) and Phil Brennan (127th/55.26).

The final fixture will be on 19th February and it would be wonderful if we could have a full report on that, together with an overview of the full series.

For the full results please follow the link below:

More photos from the recent Warwickshire Young Athletes Cross Country League fixture at The Pingles in Nuneaton
U15 Boys  Lto R: Ewan Sparrow, James Mayes, James Day, Tom Fisher, Josh Harrison, William Mayes, Alex McMillan, Seb Hillard, Sam and Zak Lambert.
In front of coach Adam “why did I ever come back from Australia” Linforth are the U11 boys of Eli Ford, Tyler Li, Callum Linforth, Arthur Chadburn, Tom Yates and Toby Ledgard.
Lucy Thomas and Amelia Peeke.
Jasmine Mothershaw
Georgia Sharpe and Portia Nabney
Ava Sheppard and Stella Sant
Rachel Sparrow and Lois Ford
Maijke Tear-Verweij and Bayleigh Stubbins being followed by Charlotte Skinner
L to R : Abbi Cooper, Maisey-Joy Spriggs, Emily and Alice Cottam, Olivia Robinson, Tilly Campbell and Niamh Hillard.
Brooke Rossney and Bo Algate
Annie Silvers and Harriet Black
Hannah Wilkinson
And Finally

Somewhat belatedly, a photo of  Paul Hawkins and our ladies’ XC team at their recent race a couple of weeks ago.