Hitting the heights.

Emily Madden Forman, left, after securing silver medal in the high jump.
Pride of place this week goes to Emily Madden Forman on her stunning silver medal in the high jump at the British Championships at the Manchester Regional Arena last weekend. Above is a lovely photo of Emily signing autographs after the event, something she is probably going to have to get used to.

At the same championships we also had Jack Summers competing in the hurdles. Jack is based at Uni in Iowa and after a hugely successful indoor and outdoor season there he has returned home for the summer. With limited preparation Jack lined up in heat 1 and finished 3rd behind the eventual champion Tade Ojora and GB international Miguel Perrera.

It was another week that saw Stratford teams out in force.

Following on from last Wednesday’s Vet’s T&F fixture in Redditch, there was a big contingent of some 25 members competing in the Northbrook 10k at the weekend and on Sunday, in far way Newport, our Midlands League team ( Midlands League  – Newport Wales – Not sure how that works) secured 3rd place with, as Paul Hawkins mentions in his report, quite a few of our younger members graduating from the junior to senior team. What I found particularly impressive was the will to win, the sheer desire and determination of many of those juniors over the last 50-60 metres of their races.

Wednesday night saw this month’s Shakespeare race take place in Bidford with 59 finishers.

We also have a report on a magnificent feat of endurance from Emily Carr in the 50k Race to the Stones plus we had 4 members compete in the Evesham 10k.

There are a couple of notices from Paul Hawkins. One reminding members who have received the dreaded rejection slips for London marathon 2024 that the cub will have places allocated to them and there will be a raffle for those places for members who have been unsuccessful. Paul is also making those of you who are not aware of it of the Power of 10 website. As a Po10 junkie, I can thoroughly recommend it.

I’m away for the next couple weeks so I wont be producing the newsletter during that time but please keep sending your reports to Karen or me.

Good luck to any of you competing in the Compton Verney half marathon or 10k at the weekend and the Heart of England in Kettering, indeed to any of you competing anywhere.

Take care

Best wishes

David Jones
Team Stratford

Team photos of Stratford runners at Northbrook 10k, Midlands T&F and Vets T&F fixtures.
Club members who completed at the Northbrook 10k. One of who, Dave Maundrell (back row – far left in sunglasses), first ran the race in 2007, some 16 years ago and has competed in it 8 times. Well done Dave.
Our Midlands League T&F team members in Newport last Sunday. 
A group of our Vets T&F team members and officials at last Wednesday’s T&F fixture in Redditch. I know I used this last week but I think it sits nicely with the other team photos taken over a 5 day period.
Emily signing autographs. Something she’s probably going yo have to get used to.
Jack Sumners about to clear the first hurdle.
The British Championships.

Report – Paul Bearman

The British Champs held at the Manchester Regional Arena, attracts over 800 of the very best UK senior athletes going head to head for national titles and places on the GB & NI team for this year’s World Athletics Championships in Budapest all up for grabs.
With Andrew Pozzi injured, 2 athletes form Stratford were in action and first up was Jack Sumners in the 110m hurdles. 
This years competition was loaded with probably the finest young UK hurdling cohort I’ve seen with the top 4 in the final all under 24. Jack was actually the youngest in the whole competition.
Jack is based at Uni in Iowa and after a hugely successful indoor and outdoor season there he returned home for the summer, to be fair on the tail end of his competitive season. 
With limited preparation Jack lined up in heat 1 and finished 3rd behind the eventual champion Tade Ojora and GB international Miguel Perrera and after a good clean run he finished in a respectable time of 14.15s but outside qualifying for the final.
Afterwards Jack reflected “it’s a very strong competitive group at the moment and I’m happy with the time. I pushed a bit hard as I haven’t run in a while, but not bad and I’ll be back next year”.
High jumper Emily Madden Forman is wearing the Trafford AC vest while she’s studying in Manchester and this season she has consolidated her status as one of the top female high jumpers in the UK.

After a nip and tuck competition with 2 other competitors battling for 2ndplace, Emily finished the championships with a best height of 1.81 and the silver medal behind 13 time UK champion Morgan Lake.
Afterwards my text conversation with Emily included…..
  • Paul : Woo hoo….fabulous result. Very proud of you ?
  • Emily M-F: Thank youuu ?? didn’t expect that AT ALL ! ?
  • Paul : You looked very smooth and accomplished ?. I thought you had a good chance of a podium place so I’m thrilled for you that you got onto the 2nd spot
  • Emily M-F: Technique is feeling a lot better (except for the .85s where my head went! ). Got a little bit of a niggle with my back that I’ve been dealing with for the last couple months so very nearly pulled out ! Thank god I didn’t !  ?
  • Paul : Now you’ve broken your outdoor PB the .85s is all in your head so very very doable.
  • Emily M-F: Hopefully, I was very close on my last attempt !
  • Paul : I hear you were even signing autographs ?
  • Emily M-F: Haha I felt really awkward doing it ?
  • Paul : Have you practiced your signature…..Pozzi used to.
  • Emily M-F: Haha nope, it changed every single time ??
Ready for the off. The later group await the start of Wednesday’s Shakespeare race.
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Shakespeare race debutant Selby Dickinson having been shown the ropes by Kate Sergent
Visually impaired runner James Morrison with guide runner Matt Burdus-Cook. If I’m not mistaken Matt looks the more tired of the two!
Sarah Bland with Mabel looking on.
Job done. Where’s the pub ?
July Shakespeare Race


12th July

Report – David Jones

In pretty much idea running conditions, with the merest hint of rain, this month’s Shakespeare race took place in Bidford over a slightly longer course than is the norm but none the less enjoyable for that. The course had rather more inclines than I remember though.

Jamie Hall was overall winner in a time of 39.36, with Richard Liggatt finishing in 2nd place on 40.49 and Seb Wolsoncroft 3rd on 43.24.

Kate Wright was 1st lady and 8th overall with a time of 44.34. 2nd lady and 1st female junior was Maisie-Joy Spriggs (50.02). M-J was 20th overall. First placed male junior, in 12th place overall was Fin Hutchinson in a time of 46.24.

There were 59 finishers.

Huge thanks to race organiser Hannah Osborne for making it all run so smoothly and to Sarah Bland for timekeeping and I suspect much more. Also thanks are due to all of the marshals who ensured we didn’t get lost en-route.

For the full set of provisional results please follow the link below:


London Marathon 2024

Usually Stratford AC has three entries for the London Marathon and we raffle them amongst club members who have been rejected in the usual entry system.

There’s no guarantees of getting three but we’ll run our ballot shortly so everyone will get to know if they are in or not.

If you applied but were rejected send a screenshot of your rejection email to Paul Hawkins at paul.hawkins66@btinternet.com 

There’s been a Facebook post from Adam on the clubs Facebook group page so if you’ve posted on their no need to repeat by email.

I know there are still Good For Age places to be allocated so if you get one of those please return any club place you may have to be reallocated. 


Paul Hawkins 


Power of 10 Website

If you’re new to our club or to athletics or running generally then Power of 10 may be something you’ve heard of but not really been sure about.

Don’t worry it’s nothing complicated but really quite useful for each of us.

Basically it’s a website which includes a database of results for all sorts of athletic and running events.

Have a look on their homepage of https://thepowerof10.info/ where you can look at races, clubs or individual athletes and coaches.

If you’ve ever done a race or event the result should be there and you’ll have your own profile page which will show all your results plus rankings and some personal details including your coach.

If anything is wrong or you want to add details then login or register if it’s your first time on the site.

Paul Hawkins 

Kate Wright – 2nd lady.
Matt Burdus-Cook, Jamie Hall and Rich Shephard
Northbrook 10K
Report – Matt Burdus-Cook

Race route and organisation – 9/10 – a very well managed event.

Toilets – 3/10 – There are very few occasions when I opt to hold it in, but this was one of them.

Club turnout – 8/10 – Excellent, but there is always room for more.
With the busy period of club and league races through May and June complete, I had welcomed the last couple of weeks without racing commitments to focus on some cross and strength training, as well as some higher intensity work at the track.  I had questioned whether this interlude had added value or detriment after a very lackluster midweek 1500m race.

I managed to dust myself off both physically and mentally for the Northbrook 10k knowing that undulating course had suited me last year.

Travelling to the race with Jamie Hall, we soon realised we were planning to approach the race in similar fashion … respecting the undulating profile and using any energy left in reserve over the final mile or so which is predominantly downhill.

The race had an interesting flow. From the starting honker (which may have been a hooter) a “home” Northbrook runner sprinted the starting uphill section to around 50m ahead of the lead pack which a number of Yellow and Black vests found ourselves part of.

At around 2 miles, the Northbrook race leader increased their frequency of looking behind and it was clear that the impressively bold tactics may not have been paying off.

Jamie and I both seemed to be running well, and we reeled in the leader, moving to the front of the race in a now smaller pack of 4 or 5 runners.

The race tactics had seemed to work well, and as we entered the rapid final mile  I was starting to tire, but this was balanced with feeling very happy with how I had been able to stick to my planned mile split times and I had felt good throughout the race. At this point I had accepted the now regular inevitability of Jamie moving away from me in the final stages and my concerns shifted to holding onto my place with on form friendly adversary Chris McKeown of Spa Striders only 5-10m behind me.

It would however be the runner lurking in 4thplace, and eventual race winner, Jamie Hnatushka of Coventry Godiver Harriers I should have been worrying about as he mounted a strong attack with 800m to go.

My lack of finishing form goose was well and truly cooked as we approached the “400m to go” sign.  I had no answer as I was passed and slipped to 3rd, with Jamie holding on for longer but moving to a still very impressive 2nd and a PB.

Whilst a 1st and 2nd would have been nice, we were both happy with our respective races.  There was little either of us felt we could have done to sufficiently distance or match the finishing speed of the winning runner on the day.

The flurry of SAC finishers immediately behind us soon dissipated any dalliance with disappointment. It became clear that we had won the team event and there were PBs, excellent age group and gritty personal performances in abundance. 

Deserved race awards went to Kate Wright who was 2ndoverall lady in behind winner Kelly Edwards, Ned Campbell who won the U20 age group, Donna Allen who was 5th lady and won her MV35 age group, and Richard Liggatt who won the MV35s.

An impressive turnout of 25 SAC athletes contributed to the shared success of the day.

For the full results please follow this link


Lucas De Freitas Pires making it look easy
Emma Bexson at the end of a week that included Europe’s toughest Ironman, together with competing for our Vets T&F team at Redditch and Midland T&F team in Newport.
Joel Masters (7) in the 100m

Midland League Division 3


9 July


Report – Paul Hawkins

The second league match of the season involved a long trip to Newport where recently promoted Newport Harriers were the host club.

The distance involved combined with holidays and fixture clashes with local road races meant that it was a small squad from Stratford that made the journey.

This match had a full programme of events as opposed to the recent Technical event held at Nuneaton 

Nevertheless the Stratford AC squad did the club proud to finish in a fine third place, clear of some big names.

The team scores were:

Newport Harriers        557

Leamington            543

Stratford Upon Avon    470

Leicester Coritanian    374

Abingdon                367

Bromsgrove & Redditch    265

City of Stoke            255    

So after two normal league matches plus one Technical match,  Stratford will now be in third position overall with 13 points, behind the host clubs for the first two matches who have taken full advantage of being at home – Leamington on 16 and Newport on 14.5.  Leicester are 4th on 9 points and the other 3 teams look odds-on for relegation.

The top two teams get promoted so Stratford are well placed if we can get a strong team out for the remaining two fixtures on 19 August and 9 September at Stoke and Abingdon respectively. 

One of the highlights for Stratford were the number of young guns emerging from the juniors into the senior team, which bodes well for the future as they complement the older team members.

Matt Burdus-Cook, Richard Gubby and Adam Linforth.
I’m not sure what the collective noun for a group of racewalkers is but here we see (clockwise from top left) Chris Spriggs, Gemma Smith, Paul Hawkins and Kate Sergent.

Vets T&F League – Fixture 3


5th July.


Report – David Jones

In the 3rd of this season’t Vets T&F league fixture team manager Hannah Osborne again managed to fill every slot, meaning we were the only team on the night to do that.

This meant we had an excellent spread of points across all disciplines, highlights being our lady track runners were just 2 points off the all conquering Worcester ladies, our lady racewalkers were just one point behind Worcester ladies and our ladies field team were also just a point behind Worcester. 

Our men’s sprinters were 2 points behind Worcester and just 1 behind the ever improving Bromsgrove and Redditch.

Our W50 field athletes were equal first with Worcester and our V70 field athletes were equal first with B&R.

Once again we were truly grateful to our officials who performed so valiantly on the night.

It was pretty much a perfect night for athletics, the only caveat being that, at times, there was an uncomfortable headwind on the final bend and on the finishing straight.

The final results on the night saw our ladies finish just 5 points behind Worcester ladies (116.5 v 121.5) with our men finishing in 3rd place with 105.5 points against B&R on 114 and Worcester on 135.5.

We finished 2nd overall on the night with 222 points against Worcester’s 257 and 36 points clear of 3rd place B&R on 186.

We go in to the final league fixture of the season on 9th August, again at Redditch, in 2nd place overall, some way behind Worcester but 175 points clear of B&R and with our ladies just 10 points behind Worcester (390.5 v 400.5)

Total league points, which decide final positions unless there is a tie ,sees our men on 19 points and ladies 22 for a total of 41, Worcester are on 24 and 23, a total of 47 and B&R on 20 and 17 giving 37.

Our ladies, in 2nd place, are just 1 point off Worcester ladies and our men, in 3rd place, are just one point behind B&R in 2nd.

So all to play for on 9th August

Emma Lee looking pretty happy with herself, as well she might.
Race to the Stones
Report  – Emily Carr

Last weekend I completed the Race To The Stones 50km ultra!

I had originally planned on doing the 100km but I’ve been riddled with injury lately. But hey, 50km is still an incredible distance (if I do say so myself)!

It was a stunning morning at first, if a bit worryingly hot. I set off in the 7:10 start wave into the beautiful countryside. Imagine rolling golden fields, beautiful woodland, and really posh little villages. However, thunderstorms and torrential rains brought me down off my running high.

My waterproof jacket is no longer waterproof and my injury areas were starting to flare.

I stopped at the second pit stop (which were just a runners dream) for a coffee and some pretzels (if you’re thinking they wouldn’t sit well, you’re right), but I’m northern and can’t say no to free food/drinks.

I was over the moon to make a friend on the trail, who was also going at my injured pace. She was lovely, and naturally we’re now friends on Strava. She really got me through when I needed, and I motivated her when she needed.

I love that about the running community.

We made it over the 50km finish line, where I’d decided to call it a day. My injuries were too sore to do it all over again.

I celebrated with a strawberry milkshake and a nap in the car as my partner kindly picked me up and drove me home.

I already can’t wait to do something like that again!
John Butler, Andy Lawrence and Sue Mothershaw.

The Sheldon Bosley Knight Evesham Town 10K

9th July 

This year’s race was the 16 year of Evesham Vale Running Club’s Evesham Town 10K. 

The route  took runners around the streets, parks and riverside paths of historic and beautiful Evesham.

Four of our club members completed the race with in-form Andy Lawrence finishing in 3rd place overall with a time of 33.36, 28 seconds behind the race winner Tom Evetts from Western Tempo.

Next to finish for the club was Richard Hartwell (142nd – 53.57) followed by Jane Fradgley (228th – 1:01.48), Sue Mothershaw (283rd  – 1:10.34) and John Butler (305th – 1:14.07).

332 runners completed the race.

For the full results please follow this link


Big Oak Trees from Little Acorns Grow

Fin Hutchinson at Northbrook Fun Run in 2015 and at last week’s Northbrook 10k.
He may never speak to me again.
And Finally

More photos from Northbrook 10k, Midlands T&F and Vets T&F
Richard Liggatt
Donna Allen
Catherine Reynolds
Noah Balchin
James Day (77) and Jaicob Ford (777)
Imogen Sheppard
Georgie Campbell
Mark Illingworth and Paul Hawkins clearly enjoying themselves in Newport.
Matt Burdus-Cook, Richard Gubby and Adam Linforth.
I’m not sure what the collective noun for a group of racewalkers is but here we see (clockwise from top left) Chris Spriggs, Gemma Smith, Paul Hawkins and Kate Sergent.
Alistair Webb in full flight
Suzie Graham
Donna Allen
Drew Sambridge
Paula Williams showing how to do it correctly.
Me, possibly showing how not to do it correctly.