Kings and Queens of The Castles.

Kings and Queens of The Castle
Team members and some of our officials at Wednesday night’s Midland Vets T&F League fixture at the Stratford track where there were some remarkable performances.
Midland Vets T&F League

The provisional results and I emphasise the word provisional, show Worcester in 1st place with 255 points, us in 2nd with 248 and Bromsgrove and Redditch in 3rd with 189. At the moment it looks like our ladies finished 1st, beating Worcester by 137 v 131 points and our men finished 2nd to Worcester 124 v 111 with B&R just a point behind on 110 but these will change.

Watch this space.

Official results and a report will hopefully follow next week.

Needless to say it was a truly wonderful event in superb conditions. The camaraderie and support were off the scale.

Huge thanks to team manager Hannah Osborne for making it run so smoothly, Brian Gravelsons for organising the officials and Sarah Bland for inputting the results, none which are easy tasks.

Indeed many thanks to all of those who officiated, helped on the night or helped behind the scenes in the lead up to the fixture.

It’s not only me who thought it went well, I had a compliment paid from a member of the Worcester team management and that’s praise indeed


The first draft of the results show our ladies narrowly pushing Worcester ladies in to 2nd place with 137 points to Worcester’s 131. Our men’s team are shown as being in 2nd place behind Worcester 111 v 124, with Bromsgrove & Redditch just a point behind us.

The overall tally shows Worcester on 255, SAC 248 and B&R 189.

I do emphasis that these are provisions and there will be changes.

Currently there are no racewalking or M70 shot results shown. From a personal perspective I know I finished ahead of the Sparkhill Harriers M60 runner in the 3000m but he is shown as being ahead of me.

I’m sure that when the final results are available though, it will be extremely tight.
Another busy week.

I’m still buzzing from Wednesday night’s Midland Vets T&F League fixture at the Stratford track.

It was a truly wonderful night

The last 7 days saw a large contingent of our members competing in both the Sphinx 5 and Two Castles with considerable success.

Last Sunday saw a handful of our Vets finish the day with a haul of 10 medals at the Midland Masters T&F Championships in Nuneaton.

I love Karen’s report on the Man v Horse Challenge in Wales. The things some of you members get up to.

Kate Sergent was doing what she does. Successfully competing in the St Albans Half, just managing to win her age group by……an  hour.

There’s a reminder, together with Zoom link, of what sounds to be an extremely interesting and important webinar on nutrition.

We also have news of Ruby Edwards and Joel Masters competing in Gloucester and Georgie Campbell continuing her successful season at Loughborough.

Quite a few of our juniors have been have been named to compete for Warwickshire and Gloucestershire Schools in an impressive range of events at their respective inter-county competitions this coming Saturday. 

There is some excellent news regarding the throws cage at the track, with a refurbished cage and a new net having been installed this week, which means the track is now fully compliant with EAs TrackMark accreditation.

Great news. 

Finally we have a miscellany of photos from the past 7 days.

Good luck to any of you competing in the Heart of England, Midland League, Arden 9 and Offa’s Dyke 15 and, as usual, good luck to any of you competing anywhere.

Take care

Best Wishes

David Jones.
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Brothers in Arms.
Jamie Hall and Matt Burdus-Cook about to cross the finishing line in the Two Castles together.
The 32 runners who are listed in the Two Castles as our club members. I suspect there were a few more. I know Anthony Brain, who is not listed, was frustrated not to have broken the 1 hour barrier, finishing in 1:00.03. Ouch. Maybe next year Anthony.

As you can see we had 3 top 10 finishers with Ben (4th – 33.13), Matt (7th – 35.14) and Jamie (8th – 35.15). There was also a superb run by 15 year old James Day who finished 1st M15-19, in 44th place overall with a time of 38.58.

Full results are shown here:
James Morrison with his guides Matthew Cooke and Hannah Stockil.
The Two Castles
Report – James Morrison

 The lead up to this race was no fun for me. 

I was doing great until the Wednesday night social where I had an equipment malfunction, with my running bag giving me a nasty friction burn on my neck. This meant I was in pain for the rest of that week but fortunately Heather, who was part of my team is a  community nurse so she came around on the Friday with plasters and checked it over. 

My team consisted of Hannah who ran with me in the Regency 10k and was my main driver for the day, getting me to and from the race. Her mother Heather was ready with my bag of supplies and was on hand to look after the team when we crossed the finish line. Her husband Matthew was my guide on the day.

The day before the race I did a parkrun. On race day when I heard the rain I was so hoping for a good downpour before the race but this didn’t happen so I knew it was going to be a hot race. This concerned me as I’m prone to heat stoke when is gets anything above 21c.

On race dayI got up at 6am as usual to double and triple check my equipment, had my usual breakfast of cornflakes and fruit, checked the weather forecast to see whether I was racing in shorts or long trousers, praying it would be long trousers.

My first problem of the day was that my race number hadn’t  turned up. Fortunately the organisers sorted this  out for me.

So arriving at the race Hannah and Matthew picked me up at 7:15am and we arrived for 7:55am and headed straight to the registration table to get my number sorted. Fortunately this only took a few minutes, so we had plenty of time before the start of the race to discuss what pace we wanted to do.

I got talking to some of our members before walking to the start line.

By the 5Km mark I nearly lost my guide as the heat was getting to him so we walked for a little bit. I got him some water and we were off again. We had lost Hannah my other guide as she had fallen behind.  At 6km my guide tried to get water from his bum bag and ended up dropping the water and forgetting he was attached to me turned back to get the bottle, I wondered what was going when I felt the brakes suddenly getting applied as I was pulled backwards

By the 8km mark we heard that someone had collapsed and shortly after hearing this we were over taken by a couple of dinosaurs and a police officer ! I’ve seen the photos and realise I wasn’t hallucinating

as we approached the finish line it was announced that I was the only visually impaired runner on the day.

I got across the finish line and was handed my bag of goodies, a cereal bar and even more water. I then went and got ice cream to cool me down.

Over all it was a fantastic experience and one I’d love to do again in the future. I don’t normally think this because once I’ve done a race I look for something else to challenge me but with a cooler day I could easily smash out a PB on that course of around 40-45 minutes.

The public were also amazing with water sprinklers, jelly babies and homemade cakes, which I’m sure many of the runners enjoyed on the course. It was very well supported by the community.

Now it’s back to training for the next race,  which is the Leamington Half Marathon at the end of the month. 
Ade’s Two Castles

Report – Ade Mason

Two Castles is one of my favourite 10k’s on the calendar and the crowd support en-route is amazing with plenty of high-fives and water hoses out in force!. 

On what was a stonking hot day and my fourth Two Castles since 2017, I had two goals: –  One to get around in under 40 minutes, without collapsing in the heat and a secret challenge to try and beat my course PB from last year.

With a great turnout and support from SAC, I’m happy to say I managed to finish in 38:01, 20secs quicker than last year, 32nd overall out of 2893 finishers and the fourth Stratford Vest to cross the line. 

If only I could have found a bit more traction on the gravel sprint finish to creep under 38mins!….. One Second!!.  There’s always next year 🙂

Golden Girls – Elaine Ledden and Paul Williams
Racewalkers extraordinaire. Gemma Smith and Paul Hawkins
Yours truly looking pretty pleased with myself
Midlands Masters T&F Championships.

The Pingles Stadium

11th June
Report – David Jones

It was a very successful day for 5 of our Vets in the scorching heat at The Pingles Stadium last Sunday.

With over 250 athletes competing on the day, club members Gemma Smith, Paul Hawkins, Elaine Ledden, Paula Williams and myself came away with a haul of 3 silver and 7 gold medals between us.

Racewalkers Gemma and Paul got the day off to a flying start in the 2000m walk with a gold for Gemma in the W50 category (14:43.62) and silver for Paul in the M65 age category (14:22.35).

In her W60 age category, Elaine Ledden picked up a silver in the 200m with a season’s best time of 31.75 and a gold in the 400m (1:17.78). In the Triple Jump she jumped a PB distance of 7.75.

In the W50 age category, Paula Williams picked up 4 golds from her 4 events. In the shot she threw 12.71m, some 4 metres ahead of the 2nd placed thrower. In the javelin her throw of 27.09 was a full 9 metres ahead of the silver medal winner. She also picked up golds in the 80m hurdles (12.89) and 100m (13.52).

In my M70 age category I managed 3 season’s best times in my 3 races. I was 4th in the 200m (36.03) and won silver in the 800m in a time of 2:57.92, which meant I managed to shave 5 seconds off my time at Pingles last month. In the 1500m, the last race of the day and run in 30 degrees heat, I got a gold medal in a season’s best time of 6:17.68, a full 16 seconds quicker than my only other, albeit slow, 1500m race this year.
The Yellow and Gold army at the Sphinx 5
Richard Liggatt, Matt Burdus-Cook and Jamie Hall in the Sphinx 5. We had just over 10% of the 422 finishers on what was an extremely successful night for the club.
Ben Kruze (25.44) finished in 2nd place overall, with Jamie Hall (7th – 27.34), Richard Liggatt (9th – 27.34) and Matt Burdus-Cook (10th – 27.35) also finishing in the top 10. Ned Campbell (20th – 28.57) was 1st MU 20 to finish.

Full results are shown here:

Sphinx 5. 

Report – Ginny Davis

Not as flat as advertised. Rapidly I’m discovering that there’s no such thing as a flat road race but  I’m going to focus on the positives

Mad fun with two Spa Striders sneaking past the gatekeeper of the staff loo to avoid the queue for the authorised one – finding gardening clothes and tools to disguise ourselves in for our exit.

  1. The start. Fastest 400 yards I’ve ever run.
  2. Locating the car park during the first lap. Bit late but one in the eye for my Waze app, which had failed in that respect, so I had dumped the car somewhere random and instantly forgot where that was.
  3. Needing to stop to retie a shoelace on a hill. Thankful for the breather.
  4. The 2 mile race at the end with SAC runner who shall remain nameless. Thought I’d got it in the bag till he sprinted past me in the final 100 yds. Lesson learned.
  5. Miranda smiling and cheering with her camera.
  6. Finishing. Torture over. 
  7. Finding that my bag was where I’d left it, complete with phone and car keys.
  8. Finding the car.
  9. Guilt free chocolate back home.
Man (and woman) v Horse
Rob and Karen Gisbourne
Rob and Karen with Ian and Lisa Stevens

Man v Horse

Report – Karen Gisbourne.

Once a year the smallest town in the UK, Llanwrtyd Wells,hosts a race where individual runners and relay teams compete to beat the first horse and rider home over a 22ish mile mix of road, trail and mountainous (very hilly) terrain.

No contest you would think!

The details are kept top secret, no map, no elevation chart just instructions where to be and when to be there.

We did get a short description of the length of the whole route and what length each of the 3 legs of the relay is and a rough elevation shortly beforehand.

Last year my husband Bert  (Rob to you guys) entered as part of a relay team and got the bug and whilst frantically trying to get him an individual entry I accidentally (little white lie) booked a relay team place.

Whoops !!! All I needed to do was to find fellow runners to run it with me.

Thank you Lisa Stevens, not only for running it but for finding a 3rd runner when none of our “friends” would help us out. Excuses of it’s my anniversary or I don’t  like horses !!!

The weather forecast for the day was scorching sunshine with a very large chance of a thunder/hailstorm (condensed dragon’s breath according to the FB page) right at the start of my leg.

I waited on top of a very large hill for what seemed like forever and then saw Lisa, arms outstretched in the distance, I thought she wanted to hug me but she just wanted to get rid of the relay wrist band .

Off I went downhill only to be stopped in my tracks by a very long steep climb. I got to the top questioning my sanity but once into the cool shade of the woods I started to enjoy it until……yes you guessed another long climb.. 

It is a tough race and the relay was enough for us ladies and we really felt for Ian Stevens and Bert who were having to run it all but despite the total elevation gain of 3623ft over the 22 miles we all competed in the alloted time.

The Moody Mares Relay team in 4hrs 38 mins

Ian Stevens in an amazing time of 3hrs 48 mins 

Closely followed by Rob Gisbourne in 4hrs 10mins.

It was hot, tough but the views, atmosphere and camaraderie was amazing.

Would I do it again……YES!!!!! can’t wait.Highly recommend if you fancy something a little different.

It’s been on my bucket list for years but I thought it would be on a horse !! 

P.S  Man beat horse !!

Kate Sergent with son Billy and gorgeous granddaughter Ivy. Not to say Kate isn’t also gorgeous also of course.

St Albans Half Marathon

Report – Kate Sergent

I entered the St Albans Half Marathon for the second year running as my son and his family live in St Albans and last year we ran it together.

I ran Compton Verney Half in 30 degree heat and swore I wouldn’t run in that heat again but hey ho there I was with my boy, sweltering on the start line and questioning how I could be so daft!! 

After 3 miles I started my strategy of walk running and it worked out just fine!

My son was quite a bit ahead of me then went off into the distance, which was fine until at least 5 ambulances past me and I was worrying he would be in one of them!

He is 41 but a mother never stops worrying!! 

It is a beautiful course that winds around St Albans, starting and finishing in the stunning Verulamium Park then going out into the country lanes.

Unfortunately there were a lot of casualties suffering from heat exhaustion and falls and a lot of people turning back but I’m not for giving in and I stuck it out, taking on water at every stop and taking gels. 

We finished only 3 minutes apart but 20 minutes slower than last year!!

2.39.29 and first in my age group by an hour!

I’ll take that!! 

It was lovely to have  my granddaughter waving us in and I will more than likely be signing up again! 


Make sure to mark your calendars for Wednesday, June 21st, from 18:30 to 19:30, as we are shown the impact good nutrition has on our daily lives and how to apply high-performance nutrition principles to our own athletic exploits and maintain optimal health

I realise this date clashes with the next Shakespeare Race but, as noted below, this webinar is being recorded so you should can watch it at a later date.

Please find below the Zoom details for the upcoming webinar 

CLAIRE FUDGE is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: REDs by 4thDiscipline 

Time: Jun 21, 2023 06:30 PM London


Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 874 9348 9557

Passcode: 579083 


The webinar is being recorded.
We look forward to your participation in this webinar and if you have any questions, please contact me. 

Quite simply Nutrition is the study of food and how it works in our body’s and includes all the stuff that’s in our food, such as vitamins, protein, fat, and more. We know it’s important to eat a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and grains so we have what we need to grow and be healthy and to perform to our best when we are training and competing.

As a part of our duty of care to our athletes we are aware that we need to encourage good Nutrition to ensure the fuel we put into put our bodies is sufficient to promote a healthy body to sustain our training and competition regimes.

As the club’s Welfare Officer, we are looking at ways to help our athletes physical and mental wellbeing. A while ago we ran a survey for 8 of our junior female athletes managed by a Nutritional Biochemist and the main finding was that in most cases there was no balance in their diet which was having short term issues and without some adjustment could lead to longer term issues. The parents ensured there was turnaround in most of the girls’ diet which had a positive effect on their health, performance and wellbeing.

We have tied up with some Nutritional experts who will be running this Zoom webinar on 21st June at 6.30 to 7.30 and it will included time for a Q & A. 

The webinar is aimed at everyone involved in the club and especially for our juniors and their parents.

Alison Gravelsons

SUAAC Welfare Officer

Ruby Edwards.
Track and Field Extra

Whilst a lot of Stratford athletes were in Nuneaton on Saturday at the Warwickshire County Schools Championships, there was a small contingent that headed to Gloucester for the Gloucestershire Schools County Championships. 

Joel Masters won both of his races (100m and 200m) and Ruby Edwards came first in Long Jump. She also won the U17 Triple Jump with a massive P.B of 10.62m to become Gloucestershire U17 Champion.

Well done Ruby and Joel.

Meanwhile Georgie Campbell continued her successful season at the BMC Grand Prix – World Athletics Challenger in Loughborough. In the 800m she ran a PB of 2:14.98.

Well done Georgie also
Warwickshire and Gloucestershire Schools

Some more of our athletes (see the list below) have been named to compete for Warwickshire and Gloucestershire schools in their respective inter-county competitions this coming Saturday. 

What’s particularly impressive is the range of events these athletes are competing in….run (short and long), hurdles, throws and jumps.

Many congratulations and good luck to them all.
The Cage

After months of toing and froing and nagging and after a year without a usable throws cage the refurbished cage with a new net was installed this week. 

A combination of funding via the club, Stratford School, England Athletics and Lynne Sumners raising funding via her employer Barclays Bank made it possible and it is the last part of the jigsaw to make the track compliant with EAs TrackMark accreditation.

Great news. 
And Finally
Yours truly receiving medical assistance after rather incongruously falling flat on my face with 450 metres of my 3000m race remaining.
I did get a heck of a lot of attention and sympathy afterwards so it was maybe worth taking a tumble.
And Finally Finally
Some more photos from the last 7 days or so.
Birthday boy Tim Hutchinson alongside his son Fin at the Two Castles.
Paula Williams and Elaine Ledden at the Midland Masters T&F Championships
Paula with Phil Brennan who wisely pulled out of the 5000m after a few laps due to exhaustion and the intense heat.
Me with Paula. I know that’s 3 photos of me this week. It’s all about me me me but hey, when you’re the editor you can do that sort of thing.
Paula with Elaine and Dave Wilson, who despite his injury came along to support.
She does like a selfie does our Paula
Jan Turner in the Sphinx 5
Kim Lee – When do I start the swim ?
Pete Sugden
Kate Sergent leads Emily Adams and Emma Lee