It’s The Big One.

Charly Marshall
This week’s Newsletter has a triathlon feel to it with U20 Charley Marshall and V50 Rachel Pearce in action on the international stage in the European Junior Cup in Tabor, Czechia and the World Age group Sprint Triathlon in Hamburg respectively. There is also a report on Paul Faithfull competing in the Croyde Ocean triathlon on the Devon Coast.

We also have a date for “The Big One”. The Club Championships will be held on Sunday 10th September at the Stratford Track. A definite date for your diary.

I know it was a couple of week’s ago but we have some reports on the Compton Verney 10k and half marathon, where we enjoyed a double victory with Matt Burdus-Cook winning the half and Ade Mason finishing on top of the podium in the 10k. We also had the 2nd placed finisher in the 10k following a superb race by junior James Day.

There is mention of a couple John Butler’s latest exploits and  finally a photo of me at the Vienna parkrun. It was a lot of fun but I would have preferred it if the temperature had been lower than 32 at 9am.

Take care.

Best wishes.

David Jones.
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Elite U20s European Junior Triathlon Cup 

Tabor, Czechia.

Report – Kate Marshall

Stratford’s Charly Marshall (18) has been in international triathlon action this, representing Great Britain at the European Junior Cup in Tabor, Czechia in the Elite Under 20s (Junior) female category.

Achieving her highest international placing to date she finished in 14th in a strong field of 44 of the best female athletes from around the world including World Aquathlon two times champion, Margareta Vrablova of Slovenia.

Considered the most challenging race on the European Cup circuit, this “sprint” distance of 750m lake swim, 20km bike and 5km run in stifling 32deg heat, had a total 800m ascent over the bike and run and dead turns at the end of technical descents.

She was delighted with P14 after the gruelling race which many athletes were unable to finish. 

Marshall finished 2nd of the 4 British athletes present behind friend and teammate Antonia Jubb’s impressive Silver placing.

Her success improves on her international debut in Caorle, Italy in May and consolidates her hard work rehabilitating and training following ankle and hip injury sustained in a bike crash at the World Champs qualifiers in Mallory Park last month. Not to mention completing A-levels over the same period!

Up next for Charly is the ¾-Olympic distance British Super Series triathlon at Roker Beach as part of the AJ Bell World Triathlon Championship Weekend, with the winner being offered a place in the Elite WTCS relay team. 

That is likely a step too far this year but she will aim to achieve a second Super Series podium of the season and build on her form for the final two events and qualify for the last European Cup opportunity of the year in Bled, Slovenia. 

Rachel Pearce

World Age Group Sprint Triathlon Championships and Mixed Team Relays


Report – Rachel Pearce

I took part in the World Age Group Sprint Triathlon Championships and Mixed Team Relays at the in Hamburg.

This was the venue for my first World Championships in 2007 where a young athlete called Alistair Brownlee was competing in the junior race. It was the first I’d heard of him.

The day before the race was the Parade of Nations. The streets of Hamburg where lined with supporters. The atmosphere was amazing and the realisation how big this event was starting to sink in.

Helen Jenkins, two-time Triathlon World Champion, came to our team meeting to wish us luck and offer some words of wisdom.

Although continuing to improve I’m still harbouring a back injury which has limited my running training for more than a year and seeing the start list of 74, including Olympians and former World and European Champions, I knew this was not going to be easy.
The 750m swim started very fast up to the 180 degree turn and headed back through a dark tunnel. Fortunately, the water temperature was just below the threshold where wetsuits are banned.

After a rough swim I emerged in 17th place. Then came the long run to transition and out onto the 2 lap flat, fast 20km bike course involving another dark tunnel.

The cycle was draft-legal and I managed to work with a good group before heading back to another long transition and out on to the 5km run. The run took us along the banks of the Alster, along some sandy footpaths which wasn’t the easiest of surfaces to run on and back towards the iconic blue carpeted finishing chute in front of the City Hall.

After making up a few places on the run I managed to finish in 13th place.
After a rest day and getting a chance to watch some of the Elite races, was the mixed team relay.

Based on my performance in the individual race I was put in the 2nd team out of 7 for Great Britain. This consists of a team of 2 men and 2 women each completing all 3 disciplines before handing over to the next competitor.

The distances are very short (300m/5km/1.5km.) and I was nervous about letting the team down but excited to be part of this event for the first time and the support again was amazing.

The water temperature had crept just to over 22 degrees so wetsuits were banned. I found the temperature a shock to the system and struggled to get my breathing under control for about the first 100m. The short swim involved swimming through the tunnel again before emerging briefly for a U turn and then back to swimming in darkness heading back towards the swim exit steps.

The bike course was quite technical and the run was out and back a few times with 3 dead turns before heading back to the slightly chaotic handover area to tag the next competitor.

We managed 4th place, just 2 places behind our 1st team. 
Gotta love Larkstoke.
Maisie-Joy Spriggs looking pretty pleased with herself as well she might. She finished in 6th place and was 1st female.
August Shakespeare Race.
Report – David Jones

Wednesday night saw the latest of this year’s Shakespeare Races with almost 50 club members competing.

The race was the extremely challenging Larkstoke Hill Climb. The route started off with about 1km of flat and then runners headed up Larkstoke Hill – at the top a time was taken for the “King of the Mountain” accolade. Runners then headed down Campden Hill where it was a chance to get a one mile PB before heading back into the village and back to the finish. Total distance was about 4 miles.

This month’s winner was Richard Liggatt with a time of 27.49, some 50 seconds ahead of Sam Wolsoncroft the 2nd placed finisher. Ade Mason finished in 3rd place with a time of 28.57.

Ist female finisher, in a remarkable 6th place, was  U17 athlete Maisie-Joy Spriggs. MJ’s time was 30.34. 2nd placed female was Emma Bexson in 12th place with a time of 32.55. Emma Vickers was 3rd placed female in 20th place with a time of 36.31.

For the full provisional results please follow the link below:
Paul Faithfull
Croyde Ocean Triathlon
Report – Paul Faithfull.

This event on the Devon coast is set in beautiful scenery and has the tag line : ‘Stunning and Savage’. We shall see I thought! 

The race title itself turned out to be slightly misleading as rough sea conditions meant the swim section of the race was cancelled in favour of a 2km soft sand beach run. 

Whilst disappointing, it meant we had a bit of a leg stretch before the climb to transition, at which point my heart rate had already hit a record high for the past 2 years! 

The weather was actually pretty good and a quick transition was my aim after a lot of stick for dawdling around during my last event. 

The bike starts on hilly lanes (my coach commented that it was criminal to ride my bike on gravel based on the photo!), climbing up to a plateau where the TT bike choice made sense. 

A 40km there and back with me chasing a fellow GB age grouper, and being chased by 2 chaps who had convinced me to enter the race.  Coming back down the lanes was an experience, with a foot down point at the bottom of a hill to ensure race head didn’t get the better of us. 

Many thanks to the marshall who caught me as I skidded to a halt down the hill and who pointed out my chain had come off in the process!
Quickly fixed and back to transition for the run, a 12km trail run over the headland which was for me a part run, part fast(ish) walk up the stairs to the top of the headland and frankly stunning views. 

Time wasn’t really relevant here as nothing to compare to but a 5th place finish in age group (just ahead of last years age group winner), 11th overall out of 450 starters.  More importantly I stayed ahead of one of my fellow age groupers but behind the other one, the same finishing positions as Ibiza.  
The event is small but well respected and for good reason, being relaxed and challenging at the same time.  It definitely lived up to the tag line, and was a lot of fun, highly recommended.
And the winner’s are – Matt Burdus-Cook half marathon winner and Ade Mason 10k winner.
Ade Mason
U17 James Day who finished in a superb 2nd place in the Compton Verney 10k and who is now looking forward The Stratford Big 10k next month
Matt Burdus-Cook crossing the finish line in 1st place at the Compton Verney half marathon

Compton Verney 10k 


Report – Ade Mason

Well that was a very unexpected result!.

With a field of 163 entered into the inaugural Tempo Compton Verney 10k, the atmosphere was buzzing along with all the Half Marathon runners.

The half went off at 09:00, with the 10k runners leaving the grounds of Compton Verney at 09:15. The course followed some of the same route as the Half, with two hills out and back to Kineton, via farmland. 

Considering the dreadful weather on Saturday with high winds, the race conditions were perfect by comparison!

For me, the race was unusual and exciting. I led from the off and having never really been in that position for too long before, I’m not used to following a lead bike for the whole race.   

After battling up the two hills (the second of which was a toughy), I found myself turning back towards Compton Verney with a descent towards the finish line still carrying a decent lead. 

A quick look over my shoulder and there was nobody to be seen.  I crossed the line, elated with my first ever race win in a time of 38:01.  A good 90 secs off my PB but it was never going to be beaten on that course.

In second place was talented junior James Day (first year U17) and fellow club member. James was chasing me from the off, ultimately finishing 01:05 mins behind me and having a good battle with third place who finished only 9secs behind James.

Other Stratford runners that took part in the 10K were: – 

12th = Ted Burch 44:13

21st = James Cusack 46:45

26th = James Morrison 49:16

41st = Suzi Graham 53:23

67th = Anne Gardner 57:55

79th = Katy Lidell 59:40

83rd = Christine Habel 59:44

122nd = Emma Butchart 01:05:27

157th = John Butler 01:18:25

163 runners completed the race.

Congratulations also to Matt Burdus-Cook for his impressive Half Marathon win with a time of 1:17.30.

There half marathon results were:

Phil Reading 5th – 1:23.53

John Bettles 37th – 1:39.53

Gerard Thompson 47th – 1:43.43

Jamie Howkins 57th – 1:46.32

Mark Barker 75th – 1:49.06

185 runners completed the race.


Full results can be found here: –

James’s Compton Verney 10k 

Report – James Morrison

The week leading up to this we had the Shakespeare Race which was a nice lead up to this race. The run from the Cottage of Content was brilliant. I really needed a fast run after  the Leamington half as that took me a couple of weeks to recover from.

Since the half I have been back looking at my own nutrition as I was going up in weight, so I’ve dropped drinking diet cola, dropped processed meals, dropped calories from my diet and I’ve been training with my PT at Puregym. This, with all of the training and track work that I do have combined to make me stronger and fitter in myself and possibly faster. 

The day of the race I stuck to my usual diet of 2 porridge pots, this seems to be when I have the better races as there’s not so much swimming around in my stomach but it’s full.

When we arrived at Compton Verney and saw the hill we had to walk down to the start line and registration I was glad I was not doing the half marathon knowing I’d need to climb back up that hill. 

The rolling hills on this run were just perfect, they came at the right distance and time especially with the down hills. Just as I thought I was going to start struggling a nice down hill would arrive and give me the break enough to do the next hill.

The weather being a lot cooler  also helped. I’ve learned that I don’t like running in the heat especially anything above 26c,  the winter races suite me better as it means I’m not over heating and risking having an FND flair up during the race which also helps  

What I also liked about this route is that it had some trail on it but not too much, so a good mix of trail and road for anyone who is new to racing. It’s also wide enough if anyone is guiding, as there are only a few bits that you need to run behind one another but the majority is side by side. 

I’d say this run is suitable for all abilities and now I’m looking forward to the new Stratford Half in September if I don’t get out for another race beforehand, I’ll just need a guide if there’s any takers.

Overall another great event put on by Tempo Events and would we really expect anything more from such a fantastic company?  


As some of you will have run the club organised Not the Roman IX in January I’d say this run is a close second to it, so if you enjoy the NTRIX then you will love this one and as this was the first time the 10k has been run at Compton Verney I recommend you give it a try before taking on the half marathon, which I’m hoping to do next year if I can sort a guide as 10k’s are getting too easy.   

Not the Compton Verney Half Marathon !


Report – Ginny Davis

I dithered during the week leading up to the Compton Verney half marathon and by the time I’d found the courage to sign up I was too late. Race full. My fault.

Relief overwhelmed me and I stopped hydrating.  Then I decided to run half a marathon on the Sunday morning anyway and carb loaded to the point of no return.

My route – Wellesbourne – Alveston – Stratford – Banbury Rd – Loxley Hill – Wellesbourne.

I set off early, celebrating the absence of pre-race nerves and it was hunky dory to Stratford. So much so that I ran round the town for a bit just for the hell of it. But the hell of it was yet to come.  Stratford to Loxley is uphill all the way and that for me is not good after 10k. and I should have known better than to have set this as my route since I’d run that stretch before in Not the Roman IX and Loxley Hill in my leg of the Hilly 100.  

 But I had something to prove after bombing out of the Leamington Half marathon last month so I ploughed on.  I don’t know about anyone else but running does nothing for my brain power and I forgot how many km there are in a half marathon so I ran further than necessary and then went home and watched Wimbledon for five hours.  

No medal and I’ve spent too long comparing elevations and times to see how I’d have got on if I’d have run Compton Verney.

Next time I’ll just sign up in time.

The ubiquitous John Butler tells me he recently ran the Wrexham 10k in a time of 1:16.45. Jonny Mellor was the race winner in a pretty impressive 29.17. John then went on to compete in the Worcester Pitchcroft 10k, finishing in a time 1:07.56. John also tells me that Drew Sambridge finished in 16th place
Just to prove that the part of my holiday spent in Vienna didn’t just involve copious amounts of Viennese pastries, ice cream and beer, I did also manage to run in the local parkrun.

A surprisingly smaller event than the Stratford Parkrun. There were just 150 runners and that was a large field for them, the average number of runners being just 65.

It was 3 laps, just like our local one but on paths all the way round. It was enjoyable but I’d have preferred the temperature to have been lower than 32 degrees.

I did follow it with a pretty healthy breakfast at a cafe a short walk from the venue