Georgie – Onwards and Upwards

It was a particularly successful Bank Holiday weekend for our U23 member Georgie Campbell, seen here in her Birmingham University vest.

On Saturday at the British Miler’s Club (BMC) Grand Prix World Athletics Challenge in Manchester she broke her 1500m PB  by almost 4 seconds, running a time of 4:33.61.

Then on Tuesday, at the Trafford Grand Prix, also in Manchester, she lowered her 800m PB by a couple of seconds to 2:15.68.

These times move her up to 34th and 41st respectively in this year’s hugely competitive U23 UK rankings.

Well done Georgie.
A considerably quieter week this week.

The Bank Holiday weekend proved hugely satisfying for U23 Georgie Campbell. Her PBs in both the 800 and 1500m races in Manchester places her in the top echelon of runners in this year’s UK rankings in her hugely competitive U23 age group.

Georgie….U23….surely some mistake!

We have an appeal from Brian Gravelsons for more people to step forward to become officials.

As has been said on numerous occasions, the events so many of us enjoy would not be able to go ahead without volunteer officials and indeed, particularly in Midlands League T&F, a full compliment of officials actually earns us points, equally were we not able to provide the requisite number of officials we would be deducted points.

Our volunteer officials aren’t just generous people with a tape measure or a watch, they are, I think, team members.

Week in week out we see examples of how we consistently punch way above our weight. In my opinion this is not just because we have a huge number of talented athletes, which we do, it is because we have people prepared to give up their time, to give something back, by being a coach, an official or part of a support crew.

That’s part and parcel of why we have won the Warwick Vase for an unprecedented 7th year in a row, why we lifted the Hilly 100 trophy for the first time in 37 years, why our Midland League T&F, Vets T&F, Junior XC teams punch above their weight. I could go on.

We are blessed to have so many volunteers but there is always room for and a need of more, otherwise too much responsibility and too great a workload can fall on the shoulders of too few.

Here endeth the sermon.

Please think about stepping forward. You won’t regret it.

Many of you will be aware that we have recently had 3 visually impaired runners join the club who despite the extreme hardships they have had to overcome are proving to be valuable members of our club. There is a WhatsApp group – yes I know another one – of these members plus members who have stepped forward to act as guides. This group has been organised by Kathryn Woodcock and I’m sure she would welcome additional members to act as guides. If you are interested please let me know and I will pass your details on to to her.

One of these Visually Impaired (VI) runners, James Morrison, tells us his story below and truly inspiring it is. It certainly puts my dodgy knee into perspective.

We have the results of the latest 100 Club draw and finally it wouldn’t be the same without a photo of some of our junior endurance group on the Welcombe Hills last Sunday.

Take care

Best Wishes

David Jones
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The eagle-eyed Brian Gravelsons on duty

Your help is still needed – you can make a huge difference!

An appeal by Brian Gravelsons.

You will have seen the reports of the first few athletics matches of the season. In particular, the successful second place for our Senior League team in Division 3. That means we are on track for promotion to Division 2!  One of the reasons we achieved second place was because we had a full team of officials that earned maximum points for the club. 

Can you help make sure we never drop “officials” points again?

The number of field judge officials has grown this year and that is making a difference. However, we really do need more. If more people can help a little bit, then we can be absolutely sure we will always have a full team of officials.

We also need more time keepers.  All the fixtures this year are being covered by just five people and we already have a few gaps appearing for fixtures later in the year.  This could mean we drop points and a vital place and therefore potentially, narrowly miss out on promotion, which is exactly what happened last year.

Please help the club by volunteering to train as an official. You could make all the difference.

Contact Brian Gravelsons –

James Morrison before and after. At 18 stone and as he is now.
James’s Story
Report – James Morrison

This is my story. I was not always blind it only started 5 years ago 

When I first got told I had eye sight problems I was at Specsavers in August 2018, they had just had a new machine and it cost me £10 for the scan. For a few months up to this I knew while painting model figures/Warhammer that I was struggling with seeing shades of colours but thought nothing of it, so off I went to get new glasses and that’s when it was decided, after the scan, that I’d be sent to hospital for further investigation because there was fluid present in the scan.

It took about 3 months between the eye appointment at Specsavers and going to the hospital. 

Once I was at the hospital it was discovered that I had pressure in the back of my eyes and that they would need to drain (CSF fluid), so in the November I went for my first lumber puncture (LP).

A month later I was taken back and the LP was done under x-ray. At that stage they thought it was cranial hypertension (IIH) as the CSF fluid was at 45 where it should be 15.

Shortly after that I lost some sight. 

On New Year’s night (2018/2019) my back went into spasm and I was taken into hospital and had a needle in my back to relax the muscle. 

The doctor’s thought nothing of it because I was 18.2 stone and struggling to walk long distances. Anymore than 30 minutes at a time and I would be in severe pain and have to sit down before continuing. 

You would have thought that I’d try and lose weight at this stage but no not me, I was to busy with what I was doing in my day to day life. 

In the January (2019) I was taken back into hospital for two weeks and further lumber punctures. Two attempts failed but the x-ray again found the area and the fluid was drained down to 15. It was suggested that it might be Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) but that would not have caused the sight loss.

February I was back in again, as they finally saw the calcium in the back of my eyes, so they needed to see what was going on there.

March saw me back in again, this time it was because of the stroke/dizziness that I woke up with during the night. I went back to sleep thinking I’d done too much, because I’m also a carer for my wife and she had appointments all that day. That’s when I had lost all sight as I woke up the next morning unable to walk because my left side had stopped working.  

It took a couple of days for it to even move slightly. After a few days I got onto crutches and would walk down the hospital corridors falling against the walls every few steps but I had to keep pushing myself and I had to learn to walk again. 

I was wheeled out of the hospital in a wheelchair by a friend after 2 weeks. While I was in the hospital I had to learn how to walk again. When I got home I was there for less than 5 minutes and down I went again. I was then taken back into hospital and again had to push myself to walk again.  I was determined that this was not going to be my life. I was kept in for another 2 weeks and came out a bit stronger. It took me 3 months before I’d be able to walk properly again. I was living on microwave and apetito meals during that time.

Once I could walk, the furthest I could walk was 10 minutes on the flat, any inclines and I’d be crawling along the road or grabbing onto a fence and pulling myself along or crawling like a baby up the stairs, 

I had to plan my shopping routes so that I could have places to sit. I would take the long way home, because there were places for me to sit and also when an incline came I could hold onto the wall or push myself between lamp posts.

So 3 months (July) went past and I was again in hospital and that’s when they started to do more lumber punchers. They did other tests to see why I was not seeing properly. They diagnosed me with functional neurological disorder (FND) 

In May I was sent to another hospital for further investigation. I saw the specialist a few times and I was getting stronger. It was at this point they saw the calcium had got worse and that I had optical nerve damage in my left eye. I had to be seen by them every month so that they could keep an eye on the optic nerve damage.

Two weeks before lockdown I was told this might be the start of diabetes. At 18.2st I was not surprised.  I heading into lockdown knowing I could not leave the house because my wife was high risk due to her own illness.  I knew I was left with a choice of either sit and do nothing or start to play the wii fit and cut down what I was eating so that’s what I did for an hour in the morning and an hour at night. I slowly built that up over three months to 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours at night. 

I came out of lockdown 3 stone lighter and started to walk further and further. I then lost my grandmother and I couldn’t go to the funeral due to the country still battling Covid.  I then put on weight due to depression but in the March 2021 I started walking again and started to lose the weight I had put on in that few months break. I had got down to about 13st but went back up to 15st 

I continued to lose weight but found the walking was no longer doing it for me, so I decided to join a gym in September 2021.

I was at the gym 3 days on 1 day off, losing weight but not eating enough.

That October my wife took an overdose and I had to stop training again until I got her stable. I returned to the gym in January 2022.

Things at the gym were not great as they could not seem to accept my disability so I moved gym in April 2022 and I really started to take my training seriously, 

In the May 2022 I did a few boxing classes and decided to do my first ever parkrun. I thought I would need to walk most of it but I ran it in sub 28. Not bad for my first try.

I’ve started to run 10k races since last September and trained all over the country, Motherwell, Glasgow, Cambridge and different parts of Warwickshire

My times improved, I got faster and stronger on each run and I’m still improving. Last October I started the Illmington Winter Series. I was stronger now and I trained in Scotland with bigger hills and I was the strongest I’ve ever been. So off I went to the race looking forward to it, as I knew that I could handle hills now or so I thought. 

5 races over 5 months and get a hoody. I would get sausages at the end of each race instead of a medal. I wanted the hoody! 

So the first race I’m happily going along, the first incline comes up, fine nothing to worry about, I can do this all day long if it’s like this all the way through for the 10km. I then turn the corner and boom, right in front of me is a wall, or that’s what I was seeing due to my eyesight. This thing was a mountain. I thought stuff the hoody I’ll never do this but my guide kept me going and I got over that mountain, ran along the ridge and back down the other side around the village and back to the start/finish line sub 56, I had done it, only 4 more of these to go and I get my hoody. My guide looked up the incline and it’s a 20% incline which runs for 3km. 

Another goal ticked off since not being able to walk just a few years ago 

The next two months came and went with no problem, I did the Myton Santa Dash 5km the week before my 3rd mountain run and it was in the snow.  I’d never run in the snow before so it was another experience I and did that in sub 25. By this time I’d signed up to run Brighton half.

On New Year’s day I got an award for being the most inspiring runner in my club (Run Alcester)

January, a week before my fourth Winter Series Race, I did a 12km race and came third in my club. I took off at 4:25 per km, at 11km I needed to stop for fluid as I can’t run and drink at the same time but I’ve discovered gels since then. 

I finished that race in 58 minutes. I didn’t know anything about my speed or where I was until I got back to the start/finish and was told by the club’s fastest runner that he thought I was trying to kill my guide and he’d been outrun by a blind guy, which to him was amazing as he remembers my first ever run just a few months ago.

I finally completed the Winter Series and collected my hoodie.

The day before my first half marathon I was little scared, as I’d never run 13.1 miles before. I was really surprised that I completed it let alone in 1:40:00.

This is the story and why I started running and what he ethos of why I run is all about and why as a team we all need to be connected, to let others see the fun we have and how we all enjoy the process. Who knows we might end up with more V.I. or disabled runners and that’s what we want.

Old spikes wanted

If anyone has any spikes that they no longer need or have grown out of then Stratford AC would really appreciate them please!

We have a number of juniors who are just beginning their athletic journey and any help is welcome.

Please hand spikes to the Coaches at the track for us to size, clean and allocate.

Many thanks

Lucy Edwards

Huge congratulations to the winners of the SUAAC 100 club this month:

Sam Clifford

Martyn Crowfoot 

Hazel Farrow.  

For those who have not yet joined, it’s a great way to support the club for just £4 a month with a chance to win £100, £50 or £25.

Please email Helen on for details and joining instructions.

Kind regards,

Helen Roach

Half term affected the numbers at last Sunday’s Welcombe Hills endurance group training session. However this small but perfectly formed group did make it along with a few older juniors.