We Never Fail To Deliver.

I think the 3 photos above, taken over just a 5 day period, show perfectly what we as a club are about across all age ranges.

Top:  A group of our juniors who volunteered to help out at the English School National T&F Championships at Alexander Stadium at the weekend.

Clearly enjoying themselves.

Middle: A few of the many participants in the first of what promises to be an annual fixture. The Canals and Carriages event expertly organised by Robin Langhorn.

Clearly enjoying themselves.

Bottom: Most of our Vets T&F team and volunteer officials at Redditch on Wednesday.

They clearly enjoyed themselves.

Spot the common denominator – they all enjoyed themselves.


Below are a few very special messages about our athletes, officials and volunteers at last weekend’s English Schools National T&F Championships from Gwil Price the Warwickshire Schools Athletics supremo and sent to Paul Bearman and Carolyne Johnstone.

I was extremely proud and quite emotional just reading them.

“The best group EVER … athletes, coaches, parents!!
They all worked brilliantly from start to finish showing remarkable energy and enthusiasm …. No tired faces or a moan from anyone! 

I was staggered on the relays for example as they literally raced back to the call room on every journey to collect more athletes … your endurance programme must be excellent!!
There were many great comments received about their smiles and willingness to work hard without having to be told twice what to do and this seemed to emanate from everyone who saw them in action.

Even Chris Cohen, who runs the whole event, said they were excellent!”

Thank you Carolyne so much for organising the group … a job well done for the most lovely kids on this planet!!! Parents/ coaches too! 

You are wonderful… so many many thanks.

There’s more.

This sent to Carolyne Johnston:

Thank you again for all your work in setting this up…. SUAAC NEVER FAILS TO DELIVER!!

Huge compliments received from Stuart Paul and his Call Room Team, all trackside officials and Championship Management.

And finally:

The middle school from Droitwich also worked brilliantly!

The only other people to come from a Club was a family of 4 from Royal Sutton so walk tall as a club!! 

You can guess that I have highlighted the above about yourselves and other volunteers in all the reports I have made … to ESAA, WSAA, England Athletics and to Event Management at Birmingham City Council. 

Please pass to your magnificent leader Paul B and fellow coaches.

And so says Gwil Price, Warwickshire Schools Athletics supremo about our volunteer support at the English Schools National T&F Championships last weekend, the 4th biggest athletics competition in the world

Maybe we should have a plaque made for the pavilion.

What a truly magical 5 days for our club, across all age groups.

We delivered at Alexander Stadium. We delivered on the first of what seems destined to become an annual fixture – The Carriages and Canal event, expertly organised by Robin Langhorn (I think you may well have a job for life there Robin).

Our Vets T&F team delivered at Redditch on Wednesday night.

Not only did we deliver collectively but also individually. Emma Bexson won her age group by just over an hour (!) in arguably Europe’s toughest Ironman ( Ironwoman ?) and Annie Silvers, Poppy Fox-Rowe and Joel Masters delivered PBs at ESAA.

The past week has also seen incredible feats of endurance from Adam Linforth as well as Seth Turner, accompanied by his speedy spouse, irrepressible mother and proud sister – his words not mine.

It bears repeating


Good luck to our Midland T&F who are competing in Wales on Sunday and, as ever, good luck to any of you competing anywhere, or even if you’re just training, going out for a run on your own or going out for a run with mates/fellow club members.


Take care

Best Wishes

David Jones

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Emma Bexson on top of the podium.
Emma in full flight



Report – David Jones

IRONMAN UK has taken place from 2012 to 2023 and during that time Bolton has been the home of England’s only full-distance triathlon and arguably Europe’s toughest.

 However,it has been announced that this year’s was the last in its current format and that IRONMAN UK will no longer continue, with the race being shortened and rebranded as IRONMAN 70.3 Bolton.

70.3 is the total distance covered in miles during the event. It is comprised of a 1.2 mile (1.9km) swim, 56 mile (90km) bike and 13.1 mile (21.1km) run. Exactly half the length of an Ironman.

This final one. like the previous IRONMAN UK’s, consisted of a 2.4 mile open water swim, a 122 mile bike ride and finishing off with a marathon.

Taking part in this year’s event was our very own Emma Bexson.

Competing in her F45 age category she simply blew the opposition away. 

Emma completed the swim in 1:07.46 –  17th female, the 112 mile bike ride took her 6:51.23 – she was 5th female and she rounded it all off with a 3:46.58 marathon and was 3rd female. In all 3 disciplines she was 1st in her age category. 

Her overall time of 11:57.26 was just over an hour quicker than the 2nd placed finisher in her age category. I’d call that a pretty decisive margin of victory. She was also 5th female overall.

Emma commented ” I learnt on Tuesday that Sunday was the last ever Ironman UK (Bolton). I think the reality is that the course is just too tough. With a DNF rate 27.4 percent on Sunday it suggests the course is not all inclusive. 

The gruelling weather conditions just compounded the challenging course with winds up to 33 mph and everything from intense sun shine to hail stones. 

This race was everything I love about triathlon, it is a true test of mental strength and pure resilience.

I would like to say I loved every minute of it but I would be bending the truth. 

It was really amazing to have Emily’s unbelievable support once again. 

I am glad I had the opportunity to race this course and say I have completed the toughest ironman in Europe”.

Despite having competed successfully in the toughest Triathlon  in Europe over the weekend, a few days later Emma competed for our Vets T&F team in Redditch and on Sunday she is due to take part in the Midland League T&F fixture in Newport, competing in the hammer, 400m hurdles and 3000m steeplechase. It wouldn’t surprise me if she didn’t cycle there!

True commitment.
Our club’s volunteers at Alexander Stadium
Back L to R Middle L to R Front L to R
Ewan Sparrow  Richard Harrison Jasmine Mothershaw
Isabella Marriott Nicola Ford Niamh Willams
Portia Nabney Lois Ford Ben Harrison
Scarlett Ford Ava Sheppard Carter McKenzie
Kipp Stevens Niamh Hillard Sam Plumb
Morgan Nabney Seb Hillard Emily White
Will Hovell Tilly Cambell  
Billy Sheppard Sam McKenzie  
  Eleanor Nabney  
  Rachel Stevens
Carter McKenzie with some well deserved goodies – well he was up at 6am.
Joel Masters
Annie Silvers

English Schools National Track and Field Athletics Championships 


Report – Paul Bearman

Three athletes from Stratford upon Avon AC were selected to compete with over 1800 of England’s top young athletes from 50 counties over two days at the English Schools National Track and Field Athletics Championships, at the Alexander (Commonwealth) Stadium in Birmingham, which is the 4th biggest athletics competition in the world. 

Qualifying for the championships is a tough enough ask but to step up to this national level is very hard, but once again Stratford athletes proved worthy and capable of competing against the very best athletes in England.

Competing on such a big stage can affect an individual performance and the Stratford contingent all went away with Personal Bests and varying degrees of satisfaction with their performances but all of them will have gained invaluable experience for the future.

The ESAA programme runs like clockwork with heats and finals on the track and field all over the stadium from early morning to early evening and first to compete for Warwickshire was Annie Silvers (Kings) in the junior (U15) girls 1500m. 

This was the first time Annie had competed at national level and in her heat, which was run at a very fast pace, Annie stuck with her race plan to run within herself and stick in the middle of the field and she finished strongly in 10th in a new PB of 4:52.59.

It was only afterwards that we realised that the race was run at such a competitive and fast pace that the eventual winner of the final and 2 more from her heat were in the top 6 in the final.

In total contrast to the Alexander Stadium stage, afterwards the multi-talented Annie went off to appear as the tearful Mock Turtle in her school production of Alice in Wonderland and the only difference was, she was all smiles at the track after her terrific run.

Another debutant at national level was Poppy Fox-Rowe who competed in the senior girls (U20) 200m.

Poppy’s heat was by far the fastest with 4 athletes qualifying from her heat into the final which was won by the winner of her heat.

Poppy finished 5th in her heat and her time was 25.68s, a new PB, and was agonisingly just 2 tenths away from qualifying for the final.

Poppy also ran the first leg of the 2nd heat of the senior mixed 4 x 100m relay and Warwickshire stormed home only to find that the first heat contained 3 teams who ran marginally faster, pushing Warwickshire into 4th place and just .4s out of the medals.

Alex Adams (Stratford College) wore the Warwickshire vest for the first time…. Gloucestershire in previous years…. and competed in the senior boys (U20) 1500m. Like Annie he stuck to his game plan and with the expectation of a PB he duly delivered, finishing in 8th his heat in a new PB of 4:00.92 only just missing the sub 4 minutes he was hoping for.

Joel Masters (Chipping Campden) competed for Gloucestershire in the inter boys (U17) 200m and he went into the championships as the 6th ranked English athlete in the UK but also the only year one athlete in the top 20 UK rankings and so a podium position was the hoped for outcome. 

In his heat Joel blasted out of his blocks and stayed in control of the race through to the line and finished in 21.97s breaking 22s for the first time.

The final was always going to be highly competitive and from the start around the bend and into the straight Joel really pushed himself against the older athletes but retained his composure from gun to tape and ran another new PB of 21.87s and a superb place on the podium in the bronze medal position. The winner was Ebuka Nwokeji who broke the championship record with 21.36s that’s stood since 2003.

Afterwards Joel said, “I’m a bit disappointed not to get 2nd and qualify for the England Schools team for the home international but I’m going to work harder and I’m coming back next year and going for the gold medal and an England vest”.

As well as having  athletes competing on the track, on the second day the club had 20 young athletes organised by Carolyne Johnston in the background as kit carriers who were superbly marshalled by coaches, Nicola Ford, Rachel Stevens, Eleanor Nabney and Richard Harrison.

They walked up and down the track tirelessly all day, sometimes humping kit in bags nearly as big as themselves but with smiles and they always looked to be enjoying the experience of being a part of such a big occasion. 

Some quotes….

Katherine White Emily: Thanks Carolyne, Emily (and Dave her dad) had a great day.

Emma Sparrow: Thanks Carolyne, Ewan had a great time.

Richard Harrison: Ben and I had a great day, thanks Carolyne. All the volunteers were great today well done all. 

Rachel Stevens: Kipp and I had a great time. Thanks for inviting us to be part of it.

Ellie McKenzie: The boys loved it. Thank you so much. Sam is inspired to work hard to get there next year.

Tilly Campbell: I had a great time thank you 🙂 

Helen Williams : Niamh had a wonderful time today, thank you so much for inviting her.

Nicola Ford: Lois & Scarlett had a great time: It was an inspirational experience for our Juniors and they certainly earned their Twix break too… nice work guys!! ?‍♀️ ?‍♂️ ?

Eleanor Nabney: Thanks Carolyne. What an experience for the kids to see it all up close and personal!

Thankyou to Carolyne for organising the volunteers; it was a lot of work behind the scenes.

In addition to the kit carriers Graham Thompson and Emma Sparrow were a part of the Track Officials team.

My first English Schools was in 1998 in Exeter when Ryan James was the first Stratford athlete to be selected by Warwickshire but sometimes we do extraordinary things away from the track, competitions etc that make me so proud of the people; athletes, coaches and volunteers who are a part of our club and this weekend was most definitely one of those times. 

Amazing people who help make the wonderful club we are, and of all the ESAA champs I’ve been involved with and apart from the superb exploits of our athletes on the track this weekend and in the past, seeing the coaches the kit carriers dancing along and waving to the crowd in the parade and getting the biggest cheers and applause from the packed stands will be one of my abiding memories from the whole fabulous weekend.

What could be better ? A medal and a beer.
I’m pretty sure the canal is here somewhere !
Job done – back at base camp.

Carriages and Canals 2023

Ultra Distance

Report – Robin Langhorn

After the earliest alarm ever for a running event of 5:45am, packing the kit laid out from the night before and a quick bit of breakfast, it was time to head to the train station and meet the other members who thought running 50km on a Saturday morning was a good idea!

Catching the first train of the day at 6:43am travelling towards Birmingham, we passed the time by catching up and reassuring each other that this really was a sensible idea.

Just over an hour after setting off, we stepped off at Birmingham Moor Street to some quizzical looks from the public and headed out towards the canal.

After passing under the Bull Ring and walking through the MailBox, we dropped onto the canal and quickly arrived at the University of Birmingham.

It was at this point, I realised we were on the wrong bit of canal! After a quick map check and some reminiscing of my University days, we headed across the city via Edgbaston stadium, taking in some of Birmingham’s more industrial regions and finally picked up the Grand Union Canal at Small Heath to head south.

Serves me right for saying the navigation was easy!

The first 25km ticked by nicely, being able to enjoy watching the scenery change from derelict industrial heartland to rolling countryside, from dirty stagnant water to flowing canals with families of ducks. However, from this point onwards, my left knee was starting to give me signs that I was clearly undertrained. As the pain got worse and I started to limp and feel my form suffer it was clearly a sign that trying to complete the full distance was going to do me more damage than good. As the half marathon start point of Lapworth approached, the decision was obvious that this was the point to make a plan to get back to Stratford. 

Thankfully, Rob Gisbourne was still there after seeing off the half marathon group and supporting the front running Ultra runners of Kate Wright, Huw Crossweller and Ian Stevens. He very kindly stepped in to play the knight in shining armour and offered to give me a lift back to the club. So after waving off Pip Bell and Max Ross to finish the last 21km, we hopped into the car and headed off.

Whilst I’m disappointed (if not entirely surprised) that I didn’t finish the 50km, it was great to be rescued by Rob, leapfrog all the runners and be able to welcome everyone back to club as they finished.

Seeing everyone cruising into the club with big smiles was a fantastic sight. And if Strava is to be believed, there were even some PBs set out there! If anyone had to leave early and didn’t get a medal, please let me know and I’ll figure out a way to get you one.

Looking back over the last few months, it’s been brilliant talking to more members of the club as part of the planning and on the day than perhaps I would have done usually. I also hope it’s helped others find new friends and running buddies. 

So, what started as an idea to make my marathon training less monotonous (there’s only so many times I could run around Stratford) and take advantage of my fitness after London (oh the irony!) morphed into over 70 responses and almost 50 people participating on the day.

For those who couldn’t make it, don’t worry there has been a fairly strong request to make it an annual club event, so watch this space for 2024!

If you have any feedback, positive or negative, please do let me know, as it will help improve next time around on the email address below.


If anyone has any ideas for a running event up their sleeve, I’d strongly recommend trying to organise one. As ever, Sarah Bland was invaluable in helping make it happen from behind the scenes, by allowing me to bounce ideas off her and helping me plan and think about things I perhaps hadn’t considered. I’d be more than happy to share my experiences and help anyone who has an idea.

Finally, all I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone for their enthusiasm, getting involved and getting behind my slightly mad idea. Events like this really don’t happen without you and you make the club!

Robin and Kate
Kate’s C&C Ultra

Report – Kate Wright

What a great idea Robin had organising this.

I decided the day before the event to do the ultra starting from Birmingham and finishing in Stratford – 50k. Why not! No taper no prep and no carb loading. It was going to be a nice easy run. My biggest fear was, can I run slow enough? If I don’t, then I may not last the distance.

After getting a bit lost in Brum we finally found the canal. Huw and I seemed to be similarly paced so ended up running most of it together while the others were behind somewhere! 

I did find after about 10 miles that 8.30min/mls actually feels quite nice. I could eat biscuits and sweets and drink while still running and not throw up or need  a toilet.
Having never run more than 28 miles before  the time when Wayne and I got lost on the canal marathon) I was very nervous. 

It turns out I’m quite good at slow. Huw and I only stopped once to fill up water bottles half way and that was it. We just kept ticking off the miles. All 32 of them.
Im so surprised that I managed it so comfortably in a time of 4hrs 40 mins. I loved it and hopefully will be able to do it again next year.
Karen Gisborne and Emma Lee

Karen’s C&C Half Marathon

Report – Karen Gisborne

My year started on a high soon to come crashing down with an injury that stopped me running for months and put paid to my first official half marathon.

The only one I had completed before was during lockdown with Bert coaching me round. No medal at the end but after two or three short runs and two aborted ParkRuns I thought I would still attempt the distance I had booked in a moment of madness.

Me and my running buddy Emma Lee got a lift to Lapworth a bit earlier than the rest of the HM runners, so we didn’t slow them down and we set off full of beans.

The ground was rough and hard and very overgrown in places, but we had a great time listening to music and with Emma trying to get a lift back to Stratford on various barges on the way, much to the amusement of the bargees.

We were hoping that some of the other runners would catch us up and distract us from the pain of the last 5 miles as we started to struggle but we got the timings all wrong and didn’t see a soul.

It was great to get back to the club and we were very pleased that we had managed to do the whole distance.

We then started to cheer the other runners back in, the highlight being seeing Max Ross bounce up the steps and straight to the bar for a pint of that golden hydration fluid he so deserved.

It was a great idea and a great way of bringing runners together to attempt a distance they have not tried before. 

I never thought I would want to run 13.5 miles just for the fun of it!!  Thank you Emma Lee, couldn’t have done it without you.

Huge thanks to Robin for the impeccable organisation and the bling, see you next year for C&C 2024.

Some of the half marathon runners with Bev second right
Bev’s C&C Half Marathon

Report – Bev Brigden

Wow, what a wonderful day Robin engineered for us all, complete with perfect weather and a special (sustainable medal).

It was a lovely, relaxed social run which had something for everyone. Best bit, ,as always, was the wonderful company of club members.

The 13+ miles melted away and we seemed to be at Bishopston in no time with Kate and Huw whizzing past on their way from Birmingham.

Next time we will have to try harder to catch the 10k group.

Big thanks to Robin for pulling it all together and really hope he will agree to do it again next year.  
Emily Carr, Pip Bell, Robin Langhorn and Max Ross

Max’s C&C Ultra

Report – Max Ross

It was the perfect excuse for me to dabble at a bit of distance – my theory was, not many runs that have a regular train-station-get-out-clause if it gets a bit too much!

Not having run much further than a Half up to this point, for me it was all about taking it at a nice leisurely pace and making sure to complete the miles!

We had a nice chatty train ride to Brum and after a small city detour as we got our bearings, we started churning through the miles as we headed back to Stratford.

As we made it to the halfway mark, a few of the Ultra crew had dropped off due to niggles while the others had spread out as they settled into their own pace, leaving myself and Pip to bring up the rear, refreshed by Rob on support crew duties.

The second half, though less forgiving underfoot, was certainly the most beautiful part of the canal – a reminder of how lucky we are to live and run around our beautiful home turf. 

With little more than 5k to go and the temperature warming up, I picked up the pace a little and left my running buddy behind, selfishly motivated by the alluring thought of a nice cold pint that was awaiting my return at sports club. 

Pip Bell

Pip’s C&C Ultra

Report – Pip Bell

At 6.43am last Saturday I boarded the train from Stratford to Birmingham with 7 other runners to run back along the canal and back to the club in Stratford .

It was to be my first, and probably my last Ultra run. 

Whilst chatting with the other runners, I soon realised that this was a first very long run for most of us. Typically I am happier running Parkruns or 10Km runs so I knew this was going to be a big physical and mental challenge for me.

As we approached Birmingham Moor Street the nerves started to kick in!!

Just before 8am we all started running, slowly and steadily and all 8 of us stuck together for a few miles. It took us a while to find the canal (I was just following and had no idea that we were a little off course) but once we did we all settled into a steady pace.

After a few miles the group started to stretch out and little “packs” naturally formed.

It was a lovely cool start to the day and the miles ticked by. We encouraged each other, took photos, Max did his video stuff and we played word games to keep our minds off the fact that we were running over 50K!!!

At 19 miles I found myself running with Max as others had either gone ahead or had retired from the run.

The next 14 miles became a bit of a blur to me and Max and I encouraged each other as neither of us had ever run that far before! It definitely became a case of mind over matter for me. 

Eventually, I made it to the club. It had taken me 6 hours to complete and a massive amount of stubbornness to get me there.

Getting a medal at the end and cold beer was a great way to finish this run.

I had  questioned my sanity many times that day, my legs and hips were sore but I was so happy to have completed it. Will I do it again? Probably not. Would I encourage others to try this next year? Definitely!  

A massive thank you to Robin for dreaming this event up. I have heard how much the 10KM runners and Half Marathon runners also enjoyed their runs. Next year I might do one of those distances instead. 

Nick Cooper and Adam Linforth.

Despite his exertions at the weekend, Adam was on duty for our Vets T&F team at Redditch on Wednesday.
All 4 medals – Adam’s haul
Adam and Nick
Long Course Weekend Pembrokeshire Wales 

30th June – 2nd July
Report – Adam Linforth

Taking place in Tenby and running for the 12th time, this festival of sport is attended by circa 20,000 athletes over the course of the weekend.

The format is simple: swimming events on the Friday evening, cycling on the Saturday and running on the Sunday with a kids event too.

You can choose to take part in as few or as many disciplines as you want and there’s a variety of distances to choose from up to the Full Long Course (2.4 mile Swim, 113 mile bike ride and marathon). 

I was attending my 4th LCW having started off with just the half marathon in my first year, the half LCW last year and then I elected to compete in the full distance this year. I had also encouraged Nick Cooper to join me for the weekends events, which at various points throughout the weekend I’m pretty certain he was cursing me for..

Friday started with the music pumping on the beach and circa 2000 people queued up in the pen to kick off the weekend as the weather did its best to get us wet before we got in the sea, but it didn’t dampen people’s spirits.

Once we set off the swim was a lot less frenetic than last year and the sea was calmer with non of the swell experienced 12 months ago.

I completed the 2 lap course in 1 hour 13 minutes in 65th place from the Long Course athletes.

After a nights recovery it was on to the bike to complete the somewhat hilly (8,500ft of elevation) course, definitely my least favourite discipline and so it lived up to expectations.

It’s fair to say at the turning point for the second lap at 70 miles, it wasn’t just my bike that was reluctant to carry on rather than head for the finish line.

Whilst travelling up the infamous St Brides Hill in Saundersfoot accompanied by the excellent local Samba band, I was overtaken by the lead cyclist who went past me as though I was stationary. He went on to complete the 113 miles in 4 hours and 52 minutes, leaving me to trudge round in 7 hours and 31 minutes and dropping me to 102nd position with 2 events completed.

On to Sunday and the marathon starting in Tenby. At last my favourite discipline but only my second time of completing a marathon.

The weather conditions were perfect with it being overcast except for a bit of a breeze in places.

Consistent with the bike the marathon course was hilly at 1800 feet of elevation, most of this was in the second half after we headed back from Pembroke and its beautiful castle, the birth place of Henry VII.

I had settled in to a comfortable pace with a group of about 8 runners of similar abilities and tiredness from the prior few days events.

Expecting my pace to drop off I was pleasantly surprised that it only did so on the last few hills 3 to 4 miles from home.

I entered the final corner 800 meters from home and headed towards the red carpet to the loud music and DJ drawing you in to the finish line.

I crossed the line in just under 3 hours and 28 minutes narrowly slower than my London Marathon time in 2021 and in 25th place.

That gave me a combined finish time over the weekend of 12 hours and 13 minutes and a final position of 60th place.

Then the final activity for the day, the ceremony where all the finishers are awarded the coveted 4th medal by parading down the red carpet to the applause of all athletes and spectators.

Of the 600 athletes that started the Full Long Course only 283 finished, making that last medal particularly special.

So, will I be entering next year? You bet, now I just need to work on my performance on the bike…. 

Seth Turner on the right
L to R : Seth’s speedy spouse Yumi, irrepressible mum Jan and proud sister.
The beautiful South Downs National Park with a stunning long distance footpath incorporating undulating forest trails, hills and heathland.

Serpent Trail 50k.


Report – Seth Turner

This trail race, organised by Freedom Racing, takes place in the beautiful South Downs National Park along a stunning long distance footpath incorporating undulating forest trails, hills and heathland.

100k, 50k, 20k and 10k distance options are offered with the 50k being part of the prestigious Salomon Golden Trail Series and thus attracting a high calibre of ultra and trail runners and over 500 entrants.

 I did the race last year and enjoyed it so much I wanted to go back and try to beat my time,this time accompanied by my wife Yumi, my sister and my irrepressible mother Jan who were all entered in the 20k race.

Weather for the day was dry, a little overcast to start but warming and getting sunnier as the day went on, a cooling headwind helped manage temperatures whilst running.

Knowing the course from last year I made sure to not get over-excited in the first 5 miles which is the most hilly and technical section and kept a steady pace along the undulating single track through the woods, jumping the odd fallen tree and enjoying the lovely views.

I made it to checkpoint 1 in 30th place and then fell into stride with a couple of younger chaps from London, both fast road runners but taking their first step into ultra-trail racing. We kept pace for the next few miles chatting and exchanging running stories. It was during this section I unexpectedly passed two Stratford Ladies – Nic Reynolds and Annie Walton – who had started in an earlier start-wave looked to be having a great time on their ultra-debut, well done both!

At the next checkpoint at around the halfway mark, after a very fast re-fill of my water supplies, I left my two companions and pushed on ahead, now having moved up to 25th position.

I was able to maintain pace over the second half of the race, through woodland and riverside meadow-land trails and picked up a few more places as I ticked off the miles.

I was very pleased to finish in 4hrs 15mins in 16th place overall (3rd in MV40), just over 12 minutes faster than last year. 

My speedy spouse Yumi was already at the finish to greet me with a smile and a beer having completed her 20k race in a little over 1hr 53 mins, and coming 5th in her age group, bravo!

Sadly my mother had a rare DNF due to a bad migraine but my sister finished her race (her first ever organised running event) a little later in around 3hrs and rightly felt very proud of herself having never run more than 8k at once before!

The overall winners of the race were Chelsea Creak for the ladies in 3.57 and Luke Grenfell-Shaw for the men in a quite astounding 3.20!

I recommend this event to anyone. It’s got a great atmosphere, stunning scenery, superb organisation and distances to suit all.

It’s not difficult to see how it sells out every year and attracts so many returning runners from across the country.

If you want a good flavour of the event then Lloyd Purvis’s youTube channel – Run4Adventure – has several videos of the race from the last few years and is well worth a watch.

And Finally

More photos from the Canals and Carriages event and the English Schools National T&F Championships last weekend.
Letting the train take the strain.
Way better than a crystal chandelier.
A couple of photos taken by, I’m guessing, Max “Gadget Man” Ross’s 360 degree camera on an invisible selfie.
Following in the footsteps of giants
Lois and Nicola Ford with Ava Sheppard
A windswept Sam Plumb with a smiling Ben Harrison and Carter McKenzie
We happy few, we band of brothers and sisters!