World Championships update.

Stratford’s Got Talent
A group of our vets and officials after a hard day’s night of T&F at  Worcester on Wednesday. 
Many thanks to Toby Spriggs, our number 1 fan, for the photo.
A question

What event could possibly follow a coronation ?

What event would be the perfect curtain raiser for The Eurovision Song Contest ?

No brainer.

The opening fixture of the Vet’s T&F League of course.

Okay, maybe I’m a little but biased.

Wednesday night saw our Vet’s team in action at Worcester, under the expert guidance of team captain and team manager Hannah Osborne. No results at the time of writing but I think we did pretty well and it was huge fun, which of course is the main thing.

More Ibiza stuff to report on this week. It seems as though half of our Tri section have decamped there this past fortnight and blimey haven’t they done us proud. There’s also a report on a couple of our junior triathletes, both of who earned podium finishes in the Midland Junior Triathlon Series. I think we can look forward to them competing on the world stage at sometime in the future.

Our road runners were out in force in Birmingham at the weekend, gracing the streets of my home town with their athletic prowess.

Talking of athletic prowess, were were really well represented at the Walton Hall 10k. A dozen runners and a dog.

I’m sure there may have been more members competing in the Stratford Triathlon last weekend but I’ve had just the one report, from Jill Wilson, who certainly seemed to enjoy the experience.

Sarah Boundy was back competing after the birth of her and Adam’s second son Riley. Welcome back Sarah.

There are a few reminders of upcoming T&F competitions to put in your diary if they aren’t already there. Of particular relevance is the Midlands T&F League. Please let Mike Sheppard know if you are available for selection. Believe me, you will not regret it.

We continue to get excellent coverage in the local press and we have examples of this week’s coverage.

Finally. I’m sure lots of you will be out competing this weekend but special mention to the many of you taking part in the  Warwickshire Track and Field County Championships at Nuneaton and also to our talented junior triathlete Charly Marshall who will be competing for Great Britain in the Europe Junior Triathlon Cup in Italy on Friday 12th and over the weekend.

Take care

Best wishes

David Jones
Kim Lee – Goodness me that’s a good feeling
Mommy when we grow up do you think we will do sensible stuff –  not like the crazy things you and daddy do ?
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Paul Faithfull

Kim’s Story

Report – Kim Lee

It was an absolute privilege to represent Great Britain in Age Group Triathlon.

After a successful first iron-distance triathlon at the Lakesman last year, I had several months of feeling a little lost with no target event for 2023.

Inspired by fellow club members, I started researching how to qualify to represent Great Britain in Age Group triathlons. My expectation was that it would take about 20 years, based on the assumption that the odds of qualifying might increase as I progressed through the age groups, as long as I stuck with the training.  

It’s important to set long term goals, right?!

It is fairly intimidating trying to understand the British Triathlon qualifying requirements – qualifying races for sprint and standard distances, % of age group winners times for longer distances, minimum number of competitors in qualifying races, plus different requirements depending on the event.  

I persisted and realised that winning my age group at the Lakesman, plus a small birthday in February bumping me up to the next Age Group, gave me an excellent chance of selection as one of the 20 ladies in the 40-44 age group.

In December, I received the email to say I’d made the team.  Time to fit the expected 20 years of training into 20 weeks!

With a clear ‘A’ race in the 2023 event diary, I started to ramp up the training.  With plenty of swim, cycle and run coaches and training buddies within the club, all went well. My only concern was the sea swim – landlocked Stratford Upon Avon is not the ideal location to gain experience and I’d always vowed never to enter an event involving a sea swim.  

By a bizarre coincidence of events, I then got offered a work secondment to Sydney, Australia, involving 3 weeks of travel in the last training phase before taper. Packing more Lycra than work clothes and definitely more trainers than work shoes, plus the bike, I set off for a 3wk training camp* (*work trip, for any of my work colleagues). Tough swims at Coogee Bay and Manly Beach were perfect prep – if I could survive those, I’d definitely manage 3k in the Mediterranean Sea.

Fast forward to race day. A 3k swim, 120k bike and 30k run lay ahead. Target sub-10hrs.

A civilised 8.35am start from Figueretes beach was very welcome, as were the calm waters. I bumped into fellow club member Ben Phyall before the start who was competing in Aquabike – in hindsight Swim, Bike, (and Beer) would have been a better option! As an experienced athlete and great swimmer, Ben started talking race tactics and positioning. Meanwhile, I was thinking I just need to meet the swim cut-off of 1hr 40 minutes!

The swim was tough, with my limited sea swimming experience and difficulty sighting in the choppy conditions further from shore, my only race tactic was to keep going.  I was very pleased to get back to transition in 1hr 13 mins.

The 120km bike was a pure delight. Although hilly, it was closed roads with some thrilling downhill straights. Two laps meant an opportunity to really enjoy the experience on the second lap, especially the fast downhill dual-carriageway section back into town. My target was sub 5 hours. I was delighted to roll into transition in 4hr 16 mins. Plus I picked off 37 places out of the overall women.

Onto the run, targeting sub 3hrs for a 30km run in hot conditions.  Straight away I saw Ben sat in the restaurant to the left side of transition – beer in hand!  Ben finished 5th in his age group, 2nd GB athlete. 

The run was a challenging course involving short steep inclines and declines through the old town with cobbles and an off-road section. 3.5 laps felt brutal, but seeing the family and other supporters regularly was just what I needed. On the last lap, I was cheered on by Paul Faithfull, who finished the triathlon in 6hr 51min.  He was 11th in his age group, 3rd GB athlete. I also passed several ladies in my age group, which was the ideal incentive to keep pushing to the finish and make sure they stayed behind me. 2hr 57 mins and I was done.

8hr 34mins overall, 88th lady and 19th in my age group, 9th GB athlete. Absolutely delighted.

Eternally grateful to everyone that has inspired me and supported me on this journey.  Thank you!

Ben’s Story

 Long Distance Aquabike World Championships

Report – Ben Phyall

Going to the “White Isle”, the “party island”, staying sober and eschewing all the nightlife seemed an alien concept to many but that was exactly what 300 Aquabike athletes were doing last week

The previous day was spent watching the pro’s racing in the PTO World Series and their inspiring performances would linger on in the age grouper memories for the next day.

The morning of race day was started by staring out to the black sea to see signs of the choppy water which had made the previous days swim practice so uncomfortable.

Then the sun rose over the historic castle, the sea was calm(ish) and we were off in a blur of white water, arms and legs.

The 3000m sea swim was around a tiny island and back in towards the final white bouys which were well camouflaged, to say the least.
On to the bike for 114km into the sun baked hills, finishing with an absolute blast along the smooth and fast duel carriage way and through a dark tunnel to drop back into Ibiza town and the aquabike finish.

None of this would have been possible without the wonderful travelling support crew, who took a lot of persuading and the little ones back home.

Although the bike was slower than I had hoped, underestimating the hills, I still clocked a total time of 4hr 22 minutes, achieving a fantastic 5th in AG place and 2nd Brit in AG too, as well as a well deserved beer or two at the after party!

Paul’s Story

World Triathlon Championships 2923, Ibiza

Report – Paul Faithfull

My first outing for GB Age Group is a Long Distance race, the longest triathlon I have attempted and the first time I have run over 25km.  

The fun started on the flight, a mix of triathletes and stag/hen parties. I’ll leave it to you to guess which was chugging beers at 7am!

Race day promised to be hot but the Ibiza gods looked kindly on us Brits (we were out in force after all) and patchy cloud cover took some of the sting out of the Mediterranean sun.   

The race started well and after a kick in the face from a fellow competitor I settled into a rhythm in choppy seas and landed back in 9th place.

A laconic transition (note to self, there are easier ways to make places than running faster) dropped me down the field and I set off on the bike at pace, feeling good.  A hilly course, high humidity and heat took their toll, along with insufficient gut training meant I slowed steadily as the 116km wore on and failed to consume all my Haribo rations but was happy to be on target time wise when I got back to transition.  

So just a 30km run left, with 500m of ascent. I set off feeling good but way too fast, knowing that fellow Brit and friend Alastair Williams was hunting me down.

The 3 lap run course wound through old Ibiza town, around the harbour and headed up slippery cobbled streets to the citadel.  With heat rising, tired legs and struggling to take on gels and water it became a proper test of will power and I could see in the faces of fellow competitors there was little fun being had at this stage getting round the tricky course.  

Great support spurred me on and whilst the will waned when Mr Williams breezed past me at the top of the climb, I only had one more 8km lap and had to put on a good show for GB.  

I finished in 6 hours and 50 mins, a long day out, 11th in age group and 3rd for GB, my 3rd fastest half marathon time in there somewhere to boot and pre qualified for the next one!

Toughest race I’ve done but very satisfied to have finished and with the result on what proved, for everyone, to be a tough day.

Great to have so many fellow athletes from our club competing!

West Midlands Junior Triathlon Series 

Double Podium for Junior Tri-Club Athletes


Report – Richards Harrison

Saturday 6th May was not only significant for the coronation of His majesty King Charles the 3rd, it also saw the west Midlands Junior Triathlon Series arrive in Much Wenlock in Shropshire.

Much Wenlock, home to the Wenlock Olympiad since 1850, predating the modern games and namesake of the 2012 Olympic mascot, was wet and generally overcast and presented a challenging course but Junior triathletes had turned out from across the region.

Stratford upon Avon Junior Triathlon was represented by Olivia Bull and Josh Harrison. The course consisted of a 300m pool swim then a multi terrain 2.6k run for the two TS3 Category (13- and 14-year-olds) athletes. 


Olivia, competing in the TS3 Female event, led the field out of the swim with an impressive time of 04:28. After a good run of 10:26 over a testing course she crossed the line in 2nd place just behind the winner from Halesowen Tri Club. 


With his teammate setting the standard Josh was next to race in the TS3 Male category. A strong swim of 04:56 put Josh in 7th position and 46 seconds behind the lead athlete as they left transition. With an intense but controlled run Josh worked his way through the athletes ahead of him and in a sprint finish took one last place 20 meters from the line to finish second, in a run of 09:57 and taking the second podium of the day for Stratford upon Avon Triathlon Club. 


An impressive performance from both Stratford athletes who had both raced the previous Monday in another series event in Shrewsbury. 

Golden Girls
Ginny Davis, Pip Bell and Emma Lee
A screen grab of our Half marathon finishers, their times and positions. Ginny obviously didn’t enter as Stratford member. Tut tut!

Birmingham Half Marathon

Report – Ginny Davis

It rained the day before the Birmingham Half Marathon and the day after but on 7th May the weather was sunny and warm so thankfully there was no shivering in the starting pens or wearing warm clothes that I’d have to donate to charity on the start line.

The welcome from Birmingham was wonderful – runners get nervous and if there’s one thing I want above all before a run it’s a nice loo. So far as I could tell every hospitality venue close to the start welcomed us all in in. What a change from Manchester!

I spotted a couple of black and yellows in my pen and our chat was a great distraction from the pre-run nerves – then I wandered away, having explained that I can’t cope with the etiquette of running with friends. Is it rude to trot off ahead or OK, and what if I then slow down. It’s all too much for me.

The first few hundred yards were a welcome downhill followed by a diverse and interesting route to the Jewellery Quarter, round it and back to the City Centre, past Grand Central, down into the bowels of Peaky Blinder land and out onto the Pershore Road.

Temptation beckoned me towards the 10k U turn back home but I’d started the Half so I’d finish. 

 Somewhere near Pebble Mill Road I decided it was time for a gel. Catastrophe! It had slipped of my belt. All I had now was four jelly babies and a couple of gel blocks gaffer taped to my arm.

By now I was well down memory lane – the route passed many landmarks in my life since South Birmingham is where I and all my family grew up.

We passed the former Tally Ho! tennis club where I used to pay as a junior. Cannon Hill Park brought back memories of the annual Tulip Festival held in the 1960s where Dutch girls in national costume sold miniature clogs. Crossing the river to the cricket ground reminded me that that was the former border between Warwickshire and Worcestershire. It was exciting to run round the ground.  

Then there was a slog back along the Pershore Road.  I should have gone a bit faster at this point.  I’d have loved to have made the sub 2 hour mark and this flat stretch was the opportunity to pick up my pace … but I was doing my flagging best.
Towards the finish line I told myself several things:
1. I’m never ever doing another marathon again. This is only half the distance and it’s really hard.
2. I’m never actually doing another race again.
3. I may never even run again.
4. I’m going to stop. 

But I couldn’t stop because I was nearly there and this time the finish line came sooner than I expected. Oh the joy!  

Chip time 2 hours (great) and 53 seconds (blast!).  Garmin and Strava both had different stories to tell but I’ve decided it’s silly to argue with the chip time. And anyway now I have an achievable goal in sub 2 hours. So when’s the next one?

Emma and Pip’s Race

Report – Emma Lee

This was my 3rd 1/2 but my first at such a big organised event. 

All week I was weather watching as I guess all runners do before a race; it went from cool with a bit of drizzle, pretty good, to bleeding hot, not good as I struggle running when it’s warm. 

Pip & I started a bit quicker than planned but the lure of the pacers music was too much; I love a good sing song when running, voice of an angel my friends will tell you….

The first 8 miles were fab, I said to Pip that I’d never run with a smile on my face for so long before. I hadn’t realised how much seeing friends and family along the way and strangers shouting your name in encouragement meant. As well as the general public the streets were lined with local bands, choirs and music stations too, such a great atmosphere.

After the 8th mile the heat was just too much, we had slow it down a little.

I can’t remember much between 9 and 12 apart from a small hill which felt like Illmington.

Then we saw the FINISH line sign ahead and I could’ve cried as it was so close but it wasn’t meant to be, they sent us around some side streets to make up the mileage. I may have said a few bad words at this point!! 

Despite the heat and having to take a 10 second breather we did it and achieved the goal of getting me a new PB.

Our time was 2 hours 7 minutes and 22 seconds, taking 7 minutes and 10 seconds off my previous 1/2. 

Chuffed to bits and so grateful to Pip for all her support. 

We caught up with Ginny at the end and she’d finished in an incredible 2 hours and 43 seconds. Fantastic!


Rich’s Race

Report – Richard Liggatt

After the cancellation of Stratford Half I wanted to find a relatively local and relatively flat spring half to see if I could squeeze a few seconds off my pb.

Birmingham seemed a good option as it finishes lower than it starts, so I was hoping for a nice steady downhill run from start to finish.  

After a miserable bank holiday weekend forecast, I was surprised to find myself on the start line in glorious sunshine. It was worryingly hot, but at least it made for a decent atmosphere as the crowds came out.

I wasn’t feeling too confident since aside from the weather, I had an achy back from laying a bunch of paving slabs the day before. Definitely not the optimum preparation but then there is always something. 

The race started at the central library alongside the 10k runners and meandered it’s way up and down slip roads through the (limited) sites of the city centre.

This was not the steady downhill course I had expected – I’m not sure all of the undulations of slip roads are picked up by Strava when I was checking out the route.

5km in, I had absolutely no idea of my pace due to the GPS failing around the tall buildings. I then spent most of the time trying to work out how I was doing as each milestone ticked by.

The 10k runners broke off at 8km leaving what seemed like very few of us continuing the along the avenue out of the city, it became a race against myself which I wasn’t really expecting in a big city race.

The 10km marker passed and by my arithmetic had me over a minute ahead of target, so I decided to back off slightly hoping to save some energy for the finish.

As we turned to head back towards the city, it was nice to see some SAC vests shouting their support but I was too busy trying to calculate my projected time to shout back! 

At 16km, running through the park near Edgbaston my leg started to severely ache. The paving work from yesterday was catching up with me and I had to slow down. I almost stopped to prevent injury, but somehow the pain went away a couple of kms later and I was able to push on to the finish.

Whether it was my miscalculations or the injury scare, but I crossed the line 10 seconds down on my PB. 18th place and 1:17:02 was still a time to be pleased with. It was a fun day out and a course I’d recommend, but be prepared to monitor your progress the old fashioned way if you’re targeting a particular time! 

Next home for Stratford was Jamie Howkins in 1:38:31 followed by Ginny Davis in2:00.53.  Pip Bell and Emma Lee crossed the line together in 2:07:26, and Lara and Ryan Bakewell also ran together in 2:10:00 followed by Stuart Evans in 2:13:03. 

And they’re off. Max crosses the start line.

Max and Suzanne Ross in the Great Birmingham Run 2023 10k

Report – Max Ross

Also out on the crowded start line, among the umpteen thousands of runners lining the hot and humid Birmingham streets, the two Ross’s completed the shorter 10k race – having found it a surprisingly undulating course with little time to get into a good flow among those winding twisty streets.

Max Ross finished 52nd in 38:14 and bagged a new 10k PB, while Suzanne Ross finished 248th in 46:33, having thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere of the hundreds of supporters lining the streets of the course.

Team Stratford.
Walton Hall 10k

Report – Sarah Odell

The Walton Hall 10k is organised by Shipston Nursing Care to raise funds for the locally run charity. They are a local charity founded in 1997 with the purpose of caring for patients with illness to be nursed at home. 

The options are  a 5k or 10k distance, starting and finishing in the grounds of Walton Hall over a mixture of trails and road.

The race was expertly timed by Tempo events finest Sarah and Paddy.

The discussion before the race was mainly about how indifferent a lot of us had felt since London marathon with headaches, cough, colds, etc. 

A merry band of 12 Stratford AC members and one collie had chosen to run in the 10 k distance. 

The race starts on the driveway in front of the hall, up a short hill and into the woods. After the previous day’s rain the woods were very muddy and slippery with lots of puddles.

At around 2k into the race the chap in front of me face planted into the mud, I somehow managed to stop myself landing on top of him just to ensure he wasn’t completely covered in fresh mud.

You then continuing through the woods until about 4k when you drop down onto the driveway where the 5k runners turn back to the finish and the 10k continue down to the road. 

At the end of the driveway you turned into another driveway around some fields, over a footbridge, through a couple of gates then back on to the road into Walton, then back to the hall to finish.  

It was lovely route and even better, there was a nice bacon roll at the finish and the sun shone as well. What more could you want before a street party for the new King. 

Some great results for Stratford AC
Seth Turner finished 8th 45.25
Graham Hill 47.18
John Bettles 49.29
Drew Sambrook and collie 53.38
Yumiko Turner 53.56
Sarah Odell 54.41
Chris Bloomfield 56.29
Lisa Lambourn 1.06.42
Kate Sergent 1.07.54
Sheryl Buckland 1.30.14
Rosie Slocombe 1.30.31
John Butler 1.40.17
Jill Wilson – Obviously enjoying herself

Stratford Triathlon

Report – Jill Wilson

My 27 year old son James was home at the weekend for the Stratford Sprint Triathlon. Having missed this 3 years ago when Covid hit, I decided I would join him. A first for us both.

With only two outings on the road bike in over a year and a handful of swims in order to get a sensible 400m swim time I was relying on my running fitness to get me through. 

My objective was to finish in under two hours and to enjoy it. Which I did! 

The swim went well with no pile-ups. Then I completed the bike ride at a much better pace than my single training ride, much to my delight.

The run – which I was expecting to be tough – I’ve never run after cycling before – was a big surprise – I did my best 5k time this year! Maybe warming up before parkrun would be a good idea in future….

What let me down was transition, as to be expected. I changed clothes twice and lost over 7 minutes. In fact I wasn’t hurrying at all. Which is a shame as if I’d knocked just two minutes off my time then I would have finished first in my age group category. 

But….the whole event was great – perfect weather and a lovely atmosphere with lots of support.

I finished in 1:37:55, and as the third oldest female competitor was pleased with position 119 out of 145.

So in summary – I did enjoy it – I’ll be doing it again – and in a tri-suit next time!

Sarah Boundy
Sarah Boundy, dog and Bryce.
The Maverick Exmoor Trail Series

Report – Sarah Boundy

This Series takes place just outside Lynton within the Exmoor National Park.  

I took part in their middle distance (just shy of a half marathon) trail race.

It was a mix of fields, narrow switch back paths, stunning views along the coast, technical downhills and leg burning uphills.

As my first race post-partum it was good fun to hit the trails in a beautiful part of the country and make the most of the childfree time! 

Forthcoming Events

Reminders of upcoming T&F competitions

It’s time to think about this year’s Midlands Track & Field League!


This is the main league competition that Stratford AC contests for the Senior age group. Everyone from U17s upwards is eligible to take part, with 2-3 athletes competing for points across the full range of track and field disciplines for both men and women.

These matches are conducted in great spirit and are always a fun day out with fellow athletes, officials & coaches from all parts of the club. Last year our team members were aged between 15 and 73, so this really is a league for all ages. 


For every match we have 86 scoring slots to fill and we also have to provide at least 6 officials. We therefore need a big squad and with matches invariably decided by a handful of points, every performance counts.


The 2022 season was incredibly close, but in the end we missed promotion by the narrowest of margins. This means we remain in Division 3 this year, where our rivals will be Abingdon & Witney; Bromsgrove & Redditch; City of Stoke; Leamington; Leicester Coritanian, and Newport Harriers.

There are five matches this year, dates as below.

Please note some are on Saturdays and some are on Sundays: 


20 May (Saturday) – Leamington

18 June (Sunday) –  Nuneaton (Technical Events only)

9 July (Sunday) – Newport

19 August (Saturday) – Stoke

9 Sept (Saturday) – Abingdon

Four of the dates are regular divisional fixtures where all events will be contested, but 18 June will be a pan-divisional “technical events” day featuring 8 disciplines only (Hammer, High Jump, Triple Jump, Pole Vault, 400m; 100/110m Hurdles; 400m Hurdles & 3000m steeplechase). 

All five matches will contribute points to the overall league competition.

At this stage, I want to establish whether you are likely to be fit, available and keen to compete for the club on some/all of these 5 dates.  Some of the dates are still a way off of course but please let me have your best view of availability at this stage, particularly for 20 May. Please also let me know if there are particular events you would prefer to contest.

Example response:

20 May Yes – LJ, TJ, Relay

18 June Yes  – TJ. HJ

9 July No

19 Aug Yes

9 Sep Yes

Mobile: 01234 567890

More information and detailed timetables for all of the matches can be found on the league website at

I look forward to hearing from you.  


Mike Sheppard

07973 781340

Entries are open for the tenth edition of the Iffley Festival of Miles, a series of graded mile races held on the legendary track on which Roger Bannister set the first sub-4 minute mile, running 3:59.4 in 1954.

The event will involve paced, seeded races, with an Elite invitational race in which the field will be expected to run under 4:00 for men and 4:36 for women. Aside from the A-races, the Iffley Festival of Miles will be a great place for many to set PBs in the rarely contested mile distance under the control of experienced pacers.

Race Details

3rd June 2023, approx. 3pm till 7:30pm.

Sir Roger Bannister Track, Oxford, OX4 1EQ.


The meeting will be run under a Level 2 UKA licence and have electronic timing and photo finish.


Enter Here

Midland Counties Athletic Association


on Sunday 21st May at 23:59

Please find below links to enter:

Track & Field

Combined Events

Local Press Coverage.

As a club we continue to get excellent coverage in the local press thanks to the efforts of Sam Swanepoel our Press Correspondent.
This week’s photo of our junior endurance group and coaches on the Welcombe Hills last Sunday