A Golden Weekend.

Gold medal winner John Peacock
We start this week by recognising the superb achievement of John Peacock who won gold medal at the 2023 European Triathlon and Duathlon Championships near Venice. This was despite him having spent long periods of last year with a serious and debilitating bout of long Covid. At the same event Fern Hordern finished in 6th place in her age category. Many congratulations to both of you.

While we’re talking about gold medals, our juniors’ were doing what they do, with no fewer than 30 of them having been selected to represent Warwickshire at the  West Midlands Sportshall Finals in North Solihull.

Our U11’s helped Warwickshire secure 1st place in both girls and boys categories with our U13 and U15 girls helping the county finish in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

Our U13 and U15 boys helped the county come 1st in both age categories and they now move on to the National Championships in Stoke on 1st April.

There were also lots of individual gold medals. All in all a hugely successful day and just reward for all the hard work these athletes and their coaches have put in over the winter months.

We also have reports on the Banbury 15, Tempo Spring Duathlon, Nuneaton Open and Twin Lakes 20.

There is also  reminder about this week’s Stratford parkrun which will be in memory of Christine Cooper. Please try and get along to it and wear something yellow if possible, as it was Chris’s favourite colour.

Finally there is a notice regarding the Warwickshire County T&F Championships to be held at The Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton on 13th and 14th May. As a club we have won the Warwick Vase for the last 6 years that they have been run and it would be lovely to make it 7 in a row. To achieve that we need as many of you as possible to enter. It’s my next job !

Good luck to the Three P’s – Paula Williams, Phil Brennan and Paul Hawkins who will be shortly setting off to compete for their country at the World Masters Indoor Championships in Toruń in Poland.

Take care

Best wishes

David Jones
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Fern Hordern flying the flag
John Peacock

The 2023 European Triathlon and Duathlon Championships.

 John’s Story

These championships were held in the beautiful coastal town of Caorle, Italy, from March 17th to 19th.

Competing at this event were two of our members.

John Peacock, who lives at Margaret Court, a retirement housing complex in Tiddington, took full advantage of being in his first year as an M70 athlete by winning the gold medal. This despite having suffered with long Covid for long periods of last year.

A superb achievement.

John competed in the Sprint Distance Triathlon and was first in the opening 5k run with a time of 19:59.

In the 20k bike ride his time of 39:54 was almost 2 minutes quicker than the 2nd placed rider. He said he tucked in behind a group of 50/60 age group riders, who when they realised he was in the 70”s age category were quite happy for him not to have a turn on the front. This group rotated the lead every 30-40 secs but John didn’t have to lead out at all. This enabled him to open a big gap on cyclists who were on their own or in a small group. The group did 8 miles at an average of 22.3 mph and it gave him a good cushion over the others in his age group. They split for the last few miles but he still managed over 21.5mph. 

It was unusual for the bike run to be his strongest discipline but he has recently purchased a new bike and this seems to have been a wise investment. 

The bike ride took its toll, so his second run, over a 5k distance, was the slowest of the first 5 in his age group but despite a time of 13:51 he had built up a strong enough cushion to end up as overall winner in his age group with a time of 1:17.29, an almost 2 minute margin over the 2nd placed finisher.


Fern’s Story

 I went to Venice Caorle to do the standard distance duathlon (10k run, 40k bike, 5k run).

The venue was a district north of Venice – essentially a beach resort but the weather wasn’t yet warm enough for sitting on the beach and the town seemed quite sleepy and out of season. 
I started the race feeling in reasonable form – the main hinderance to my training over the winter has been the addition of a puppy to the household, which meant that I hadn’t done many long rides on the bike because I can’t leave the puppy for hours on end.
My age group was 50-54yrs and turned out to be one of the most competitive sections (sadly!).

My time for the first run was 43.02 minutes which I was really pleased with.  The bike section was fast and flat which I enjoyed but perhaps I was a little short on stamina here (blame the puppy for that one). My time was 1:18.02.  The second run (25.28) is never fun, more a case of mind over legs – the route wound through the old town and past some old churches (monasteries?).

 I finished 6th in my age group ( 2hrs and 29 minutes) and, although I was a little disappointed not to get higher up the list, I did finish ahead of some previous medal winners.  So that is a positive!

Our U13’s and U15’s flanked by coaches Lucy Edwards and Carolyne Johnson.
Back row, sandwiched between coaches Lucy Edwards and Carolyne Johnson are Emily White, Maggie Silvers, Martha Edwards, Eve Mulliner, Isabella Marriott, Jasmine Mothershaw.
Front row: Billy Sheppard, Toby Ledgard and Charlie Castles. 
Joel Ledgard (93), Will Hovell (88), Elfic McKenzie (90), Sam Plumb, Aran Cooper (89) and Arthur Mansbridge (91)
West Midlands Sportshall Finals

Report   – Lucy Edwards

Gold was the theme of the day for Mother’s Day at the West Midlands Sportshall Finals in North Solihull. 

After an absence of 3 years due to Covid, the Warwickshire Sportshall league was reinvented in a new open format in November 2022 and after 3 competitions, age group teams were selected to represent Warwickshire in the West Midlands regional final against Birmingham, Shropshire and Hereford and Worcester.

The Warwickshire team was dominated by Stratford and Rugby & Northampton AC athletes.

Nine U11 Stratford athletes joined a strong Warwickshire team to compete in the final and there were two requirements for the morning ; to have fun and to be supportive of each other. Those aims were certainly met as the sports hall was filled with a sense of excitement and team work.

Isabella Marriott had a very busy day as she’d been chosen to compete for the U11s in the morning and the U13s in the afternoon. Her javelin throw was so powerful it reached 14m and landed on the track judges!

Warwickshire dominated the over/under relays with the girls, boys and mixed non-scoring team all coming first and this was met by big cheers from the crowd.

Billy Sheppard commented that we “must be good at tunnelling”.

Billy was certainly good at jumping, he won the standing triple jump with 5.82m. Warwickshire also won the speed bounce, standing long jump and target throw! They finished the competition on a high with wins in the girls and boys 4 x 1 lap relay races.

When the results were about to be announced there was an air of anticipation in the hall. Warwickshire had done well on the track but Birmingham had also had a lot of success. In the end the hard work of Warwickshire in the field events had given the team’s score a huge boost. Gold for both teams! The girls team won with a score of 481 and the boys team were victorious with a score of 495.

A super quick break for team managers Carolyne Johnston and Lucy Edwards and then straight on to the U13 and U15 afternoon competitions.

21 Stratford athletes joined the Warwickshire squad with their team mates from Rugby & Northampton AC.

The U13 boys were first to secure a win in the obstacle relay and set the precedent for fabulous track results for both the Warwickshire girls and boys teams.

The floor was incredibly slippery so there was a bit of trainer swapping to find the best shoe with the best grip!

Lois Ford (U13) won gold for the 6 lap race and Annie Silvers (U15) won gold for speed bounce with Ella Peeke only one point behind her claiming silver. Annie also won gold in the 4 lap and she then went on to win silver in the overall individual all rounder.

Scarlett Dawson (U13) won gold in speed bounce and gold also for Nikola Wodzisz in U15s shot. She threw an amazing 9.11m with Ruby Edwards taking silver with 8.08m.

The golds kept coming with Aran Cooper (U13) jumping 6.27m in standing triple jump and Arthur Mansbridge (U13) in speed bounce. The U15 boys also had individual successes. Jake Richardson (gold) and Seb Hillard (silver) in standing triple jump with Sam McKenzie winning gold in the 4 lap race.

With the races and field events over it was time to announce the overall team results. Warwickshire U13 girls and U15 girls came 2nd and 3rd respectively and all showed determination and strength working together.

There was a lot of excitement and anticipation as the boys results were announced and Warwickshire were declared the winners in both U13s and U15s. There was only 2 points between Warwickshire and Birmingham in the U15s!!

They now go on to the UK finals in Stoke on Trent on the 1st of April. Good luck boys.

There were many very proud Mums on Mothers Day!
Sisters In Arms.
Sarah Odell, Kate Sergent and Susan Hunt
The shy and retiring Kate Sergent
Kate Wright in the Winter Series earlier in the year
Tempo Spring Duathlon
Report – Suzie Ross

Sunday morning saw 57 multi-sport athletes on the start line at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon awaiting starters orders for the 2023 Tempo Spring Duathlon.

The run comprised of three laps of a 1.8 mile flattish loop around the internal roads of the museum grounds. A quick transit to pick up your bike before heading out on a 17.5 mile ride through some lovely Warwickshire countryside passing through Gaydon, Wellesbourne, Compton Verney and Kineton. The last run was then 2 more laps of the same fairly flat loop which inexplicably seemed both longer and steeper on second visit…..  

The race was won by Ben Hawkins of Total Tri Training in an impressive overall time of 1.41.39 followed in by SACs own pocket rocket Jamie Hall, completing his second ever Duathlon in a time of 1.46.58 for 2ndoverall.

Joe Lee was the next SAC finisher, putting in the fastest cycle time of the day to finish 4th overall (1.51.02) and final SAC male was Max Ross finishing 8th (1.54.45). 

First lady across the line, with her usual class & poise, was Kate Wright in 1.57.32 to finish 13th overall. Suzie Ross was the next SAC finisher (2.15.30), followed by an ever-smiley Beth Swain (2.22.50). Emma Vickers (2.36.05) and a gritty Suzi Graham (2.40.41) both put in a fantastic effort in their first multi-sport in recent memory. 

This event was no exception to the usual quality of organization & friendly atmosphere you come to expect from all Tempo races and I personally loved the Meat (or vegetarian, or Vegan) pie as a moment. More event organisers should do this instead of wasting money on merchandise that nobody really wants!

Kate’s Race

For the second year this event was held  at The Motor Museum Gaydon.

It consisted of a 4.5 mile run round the museum grounds ( It turned out to be 5.4!), a 17 mile bike ride and then a 3mile ( 3.5!) run.

It was only 6 deg so I layered up in anticipation of freezing on the ride.

Within 5 mins of running I was melting. The run was definitely not flat but I huffed and puffed my way round in a better time than it felt.

It was then onto the bike. Having only sat on my turbo trainer for the last few weeks it was lovely to be out on a real ride. Running well put me out in the front for a while, however it wasn’t long until the speedy men started flying past me, including Joe Lee who promptly disappeared into the distance making me feel like I was standing still.

The first part of the ride was predominantly down hill meaning the second half was up. I think I enjoyed it more than the run. The second run is always a bit like a shuffle for me. I did however manage to retake three of the men who flew past me on the bike ride which was very satisfying.

I think I love duathlon now so goodbye triathlon.

I was First Lady today in a time of 1.57
Bo Algate competing at XC earlier this year.
Nuneaton Open

Report – David Jones

Three of our female members competed in this event at The Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton.

We had a couple competing in the 1500m, with Martha Peters knocking 17 seconds off her PB in recording a time of 5:30.11. 
She was very pleased with herself as she hadn’t run that distance for a while as she prefers 800m. A good start to the season.

Bo Algate has had a long hard cross country season so she was probably relieved to be running on a nice flat surface. Her time of 5:37.15, barely half a second off her Pb, which augers well for the outdoor T&F season.

Correct me if I’m wrong but the previous weekend Paula Williams didn’t compete but last weekend it was business as usual. She won her shot put event with a throw of 12.84, with the 2nd placed thrower being in the U20 age category, somewhat younger than Paula. In the Javelin she threw 35.46, exactly the same distance as she threw at the BMAF Winter Throws Championships earlier in the month.
Hannah Percy and Adrian Mason
Twin Lakes 20

Report – Adrian Mason

The alarm went off at 6am on Mothers’ Day, not to treat any of the ladies in my life but to get in a car for over an hour and travel to Milton Keynes for a pre-spring marathon prep race!   

I booked the race (after double booking myself for Ashby!) to get a pre London race in the bag and ensure all the training, fuelling, footwear and body was in order. 

Big tick for training, fuelling and footwear but the body was questionable with an ageing injury, although just about manageable with the great work of Tudor physio.

Both Hannah Percy and I represented the club, with many of the other athletes also using the race for the same purpose, running one of the various spring marathons.

Despite two 10mi laps of the lakes and the 470 runners, my race felt quite lonely, with very few runners (or supporters) around me.  However, weather conditions were great and I managed to hold my target marathon pace for much of the race, despite the unexpected muddy, slippery canal towpath sections amounting to about 1.5 miles of each lap.   

The final few miles were tough and my hamstring started to flare up but I was very happy to finish in 23rd place with a time of 02:18:32. 

Hannah also ran a great race, with a big confidence boost for London, finishing in 122nd place, with a time of 02:53:15. 

In Hannah’s words, “20 miles is a long way! A good test for London, first 15 miles felt good, last 5 were hard. Overall very pleased with the result & the 3hrs of peace it afforded me on Mother’s Day!”

Overall, a great morning out for both of us, with the long training hours paying off.  5 weeks to London and counting!
Christine Cooper Memorial Parkrun
Just a reminder that this Saturday’s Stratford parkrun will be in memory of Christine Cooper.

Chris was a big advocate of parkrun, running 54 of them and volunteering at 43 even when undergoing her treatment.

 She was our press office right up until 10 days before she lost her battle to the disease.

 Her husband and fellow club member Steve Cooper, together with their son Sam and partner Molly will be present.

 Please come and support if possible, by running, walking, volunteering or cheering!

It would be lovely to have a show of yellow, a colour she loved, either club kit, a flower or anything you can think of.

Beverley Brigden is race coordinator on the day.

13th & 14th May

Pingles Athletics Stadium, Avenue Road,  
Nuneaton, CV11 4LX  
Entries Close Saturday 22nd April 2023 10.59am 
strictly no late entries or
entries on the day of competition
See below how to enter.  
The County Champs is the main event (apart from the club champs) where the entire club from under 11 upwards is encouraged to compete and support the club, plus it is a great opportunity for all our athletes to enjoy a good competition as a Stratford team.  
For the last 6 years that Championships have been run (nothing during covid) we have won the Warwick Vase which is awarded to the top scoring club at the champs and it would be great to retain the trophy but we need as many of our athletes competing to give us a chance of that happening.  
Entries are now open https://entry4sports.co.uk/#/show-entry/417
For all other Championships information such as the DRAFT programme go to
Please check carefully which day your event is on. A final, more detailed, version will be mailed to entrants a week before the event. The time of your event may alter but the day will not.
Although May might seem a long way away the closing date is 22nd April and that’s only 4 weeks away and so allow yourself extra time in case you have queries or problems that have to be resolved before the closing date.  
Please don’t leave it until the last minute so I suggest enter ASAP so there is no disappointment for the athletes or the club because they won’t accept late entries under any circumstances.  
If you have any queries e.g. “what events shall I do” please ask your respective Age Group Leader or coach and we look forward to seeing you at training and at the Championships.  
Contacts :
Carolyne Johnston U11s : Paivi McMillan U13s : Mike Sheppard U15s: Paul Bearman U17+ : Paul Hawkins Endurance