This week we have two very proud senior members in the shape of Adam Evans and Sarah Boundy who witnessed their son Bryce compete in his first race and took to it like a duck to water apparently. The first of many I have no doubt.
Apparently Bryce has something called true Aussie grit!. I’m not sure what that is. Only joking. Sort of.
There is a note from Richard Harrison about the upcoming Junior Road Relays. Richard is team manager and his note gives all the relevant details of this event.
Apparently we won’t be entering any senior teams this year because nobody has stepped forward to organise it. What a shame as we have such a long history in this event.
There is a report on our Vet’s team’s final league fixture of the season plus reports on notable achievements by juniors Bo Algate and Zak and Sam Lambert in Nuneaton and Vets Mark Illingworth’s and Paula Williams at Bristol.
Kevin Zwolinski has written a real page turner of a report on the Illmington Shakespeare Race. I raced through it to see who was the victor in his battle with Pip Bell. No spoilers from me, you’ll just have to read his report.
Finally a report from one of the busiest of our senior members with James Morrison reporting on his Solihull 10k.
Good luck to our Midlands League T&F team who will be journeying up the M6 to Stoke on Saturday for their latest league fixture.
A chip off the old block
I hope you’ve got his name down on the junior’s waiting list Adam and Sarah.
Solihull Junior and 10k Race
Report – Adam Evans
Last weekend mine and Sarah’s son Bryce and I ran the Solihull Junior and 10k races.
This was the Bryce’s first official race (Sarah jokes he needs a power of 10 ranking now).
It was littered with kids of all ages who took on the 800m distance.
He experienced the full range of emotions one would go through during a marathon.
The highs at the start, the self-doubt and inner (& outer) tantrum at the middle and finally blasting it towards the finish line.
I was very proud that he managed to finish this race. He showed true Aussie grit. Bryce couldn’t stop smiling once he got his first medal.
He’s one proud boy.
My 10k race went pretty well. The course was a little strange with lots of turns and rolling hills. My official finishing time was 37 flat and I’m pretty happy with that.
Next race for Bryce and myself is The Big Mile and The Big Half in September!
Midlands Junior Road Relay Championships, 23rd September 2023 – U13, U15 and U17s
The Club will be entering the Midlands Junior Road Relay Championships again this year and I have been asked to manage the team.
After a great event and some good results last year we would like to field as many teams as we can this year.
The event takes place at Sutton Park on 23rd September and is open to U13s/U15s and U17s. It is a 3 leg road race around the park on closed roads and feedback from last year from those who competed was very good. More details can be found on the link below.
As the event requires teams of 3, I cannot guarantee that all athletes wanting to compete will be able too but I will do my best to ensure as many as possible are selected.
As mentioned, I will be looking to confirm teams in early September and athletes will be notified asap after that to confirm they can race, with any we are not able to accommodate placed on a reserve list.
Please can any athlete or parents of athletes interested in competing let me know either in person or by email by 31st August at the latest, so I can put the teams together prior to submitting them in early September.
Team Stratford alongside our volunteer officials at Redditch last week.
Our successful mens 4x100m relay team.
L to R : Drew Sambridge, Simon Curran, Alistair Webb and Max Ross.
The final standings for this season’s Vets T&F league.
Midland Vets T&F League
Report – David Jones
In a nail biting finish to the final league fixture of this season’s Vets T&F league, we same so so close to defeating the all conquering Worcester team.
Our men’s team were just 4 points behind Worcester with 108 points to their 112 and our ladies were just 3 points off, with a points tally of 121 against Worcester’s 124.
For the season as a whole our ladies won 29 match points against Worcester’s 31 to finish 2nd, while our men scored 26, the same as a resurgent Bromsgrove and Redditch with Worcester finishing on 32.
With our men and B&R’s men both having 26 league points, unfortunately we lost out to them for 2nd place on match points – 467 v 457. the nearest analogy I can make is losing out on goal difference.
Our combined score for the season saw us finish 58.5 match points behind Worcester with 986.5 versus their 1045 but we were comfortably 218.5 points ahead of B&R. This means we finished 2nd overall and as such qualify for the A Cup final on 16th September.
A superb performance
It was another wonderful season with the team once again being superbly managed by Hannah Osborne.
The final fixture got off to a flying start with Mark Illingworth breaking the M60 100m club record in the opening race of the evening, this despite being in the final year of his current age category.
From then on it was a roller coaster night with a victory for Paula Williams in W50 200m. Paula also finished 2nd in both W35 long jump and discus. Donna Allen ran a wonderfully mature race to win her W35 800m, she also scored a 2nd place finish in W35 3000m. Liz Crabtree was victorious in the W50 discus to go along with her 3rd place finish in the W35 1 mile racewallk.
For the men there were totally convincing victories in both M40 800m and 3000m for Ben Kruze, winning the 3000m by 40 seconds.
Making his season debut, Jim McMorran scored a notable victory in M60 800m, winning by almost 9 seconds. Alistair Webb won the M35 triple jump by 40cms, having run a storming M40 100m to finish in 2nd place. Alistair was also a member of our successful 4x100m relay team, along with Drew Sambridge, Simon Curran and Max Ross in a race that will live long in the memory.
Once again Hannah managed to fill every slot on the night and, as can bee seen by the closeness of the scores, every point really does count.
A massive vote of thanks to our many volunteer officials on the night and throughout the whole season.
We now move on to the Cup Final on 16th September.
Bring it on!
Zak and Sam Lambert
Night of Endurance
Report – David Jones.
Last Wednesday saw 3 of our talented older juniors compete in the Nuneaton Night of Endurance.
U17 Bo Algate lowered her previous best time for the 1500m by a huge 12 seconds in recording a time of 5:24.50 to finish 2nd in her race.
For brothers Zak and Sam Lambert they were entering in to the unknown by racing the 3000m.
U17 Zak won his race with a time of 9:27.53 to finish 2nd fastest U17 on the night. U15 Sam was also 2nd fastest in his age group, running a time of 9:42.72, a time that places him in the top 50 in his age group in this year’s UK rankings.
Pretty impressive running from both of them for a first time outing at this distance.
Mark Illingworth and Paula Williams
Avon/Yate AC Masters Open
Report – David Jones
Last weekend was a successful one for two of our Vets at Bristol where they competed in the Avon/Yate AC Masters Open.
Mark Illingworth, who broke the M60 club record for the 200m at the Vets T&F fixture the previous Wednesday with a time of 31.1 and on Sunday he recorded a time of 31.13. Mark also ran a season’s best of 14.54 in the 100m, threw a season’s best of 25.41 in the javelin and managed a throw of 20.45 in the discus.
Paula ran 13.03 in the 80m hurdles, 13.11 in her 100m race and threw 33.27 in the javelin and 12.45 in the shot, winning all of her events.
Shakespeare Race 8 – Ilmington
“Pipped by the Bell…” – A story of Hills, handicaps, and mind games.
Report – Kevin Zwolinski
This is the race that everybody likes to talk about, Ilmington.
Somewhat nervously before any sporting challenge there, whether runner or cyclist, that hill has stories to tell and here’s my version of how it went for me.
On the drive over we (thank you for the lift Anne G) encountered biblical rain bouncing off the road, both of us hoping that it may move on for the race. Indeed it did, and apart from a sprinkling at the start, the race was clear of rain.
I love the way the Shakespeare races are varied in location and format and the ‘special feature’ of this one, apart from the hill, was the handicap.
Setting off at 30 second intervals could maybe give you a nasty crick in the neck? Nope, not moi. I never look back. If you are in front, you are the hunted with the hunter behind, effectively you have a target on your back.
The handicap can certainly stir things up a bit then… Pip Bell was behind me and plenty of friendly banter warmed us up for the off.
A good start (for me) down to the bottom of Larkstoke and I then needed to “dig in” up the hill to create a gap between me and my hunter.
I managed to convince myself that I would not walk, even on the steep bits. It seemed I wasn’t the only one. All going to plan until about ¾ up, then the hunter caught and passed me and was to became the hunted, but not just yet.
Not only did Pip go past me up the hill, she created a huge gap just as I had wanted to do but Pip also had the advantage of 30s over me. Getting that back is going to hurt, but what the hell, I’ll give it a go.
Towards the top Yumi Turner came alongside and probably without realising it, dragged me along at a much better pace (thank you Yumi) than I would have managed on my own. I had no idea where Yumi had started but I really appreciated the pull.
Once we got going downhill, I found some pace from somewhere and tried to make out just how far ahead Pip was. All I knew was that I needed to get a move on to find out. Finally, the target was visible, but not sure she is within range.
I eventually did catch up as we returned to the village to within about 5s behind, having hunted Pip down but that still meant 35s behind on the clock, so a lot more work to do.
Just on the left turn back in Ilmington village I got past with almost a mile to go. I pressed the turbo button just to see what would happen and managed to up the pace, but I suspect a similar pattern was building behind me.
Don’t look back! The hunter role had changed yet again. This was fun but I had further work to get anywhere close to a 30s gap, which is a big ask. Well – I had to try, didn’t I?
I pushed hard up the slight incline to the turn into the field and tried as best I could to the nearby finish.
My only ‘data feed’ had been hearing the marshals cheering on the runner behind me, whomever that may have been… That was the only indication of the size of gap between us.
I was +6 seconds over the line which felt like a victory to me, but -24 seconds on the clock with the 30s handicap applied. Well played Pip, great run that.
It was a simply brilliant and thoroughly enjoyable experience and I loved it! Mind games aplenty, and in chatting afterwards, we were both on the same page and it was great fun. The handicapper wasn’t far off at all. What made it especially interesting was the switching of roles and transferring of the target from my back to Pip’s, then back again, which would not have happened without the handicap. It gives you so much energy that you didn’t think you had when you can see the target in front and chase it down.
So, in summary, I was “Pipped by The Bell”. I didn’t drop a clanger (yawn), we didn’t have a ding-dong (double yawn), but we did create some brilliant friendly rivalry!
The event organisation went like clockwork. Even managing to keep the weather gods at bay for the race time window. This of course is because it’s all so easy… Nope, it isn’t quite like that. Sarah had to put a shift in before, during, and after the event (results etc) and I hope we don’t take that effort for granted. Kudos well deserved and
Thank You Sarah!
On that topic, you are reading this in David Jones’ weekly script.
He covers everything that’s going on in the club and I always read it. In fact, I wrote this piece because I thought there should be a report on that race, it was a cracker and I wanted to share my view of it.
Again, it’s not an automatic process, David needs our input, so if you haven’t donated a race report or just some words about this and that, then could I please encourage you to do so. David will be a happy bunny.
More Kudos and Thank You David!
James Morrison (left) with guide Matthew.
Report – James Morrison
On Saturday I did my usual parkrun with Matthew, one of my regular guides and I knew that he was in top form although we lost 40 seconds on our first lap we did it in 24:40.
Knowing this I knew I needed to push him on the Solihull 10km on Sunday,
On the day of the race I got up and at 6:30am, had breakfast and got my gear on and was race ready. My guide picked me at 7:30am.
I needed to sort my number out and we had ages to go before the race so I went and spoke to the people at Acorn who gave me some loveheart sweets so that I had a bit of sugar in me before the race.
The half marathon runners did their warm up and then went to their time pens with their pacers and we were able to see them going off before going and doing our own warm up and going to our pen.
My guide said he would do it in the sub 1 hour but I knew he could do better so tried to get him to go for the sub 55 but he was not having it so we started on the sub 1 hour.
By the 2km mark we had pushed past the crowd but were blocked by one competitor who was running shoulder to shoulder with the guide.
Once past him I knew to keep the speed and pressure on my guide and try my best to head for the next pacer. The people in this group were more friendly and let us through no problem. I knew we had to work from the back of this pack, so I knew we had our work cut out.
By 5km many of the runners were walking and we were in the middle of the pack.
I learned that grabbing a bottle of water from a table is so much easier that grabbing it from a person.
My finishing time was 51.20.
After the race my guide asked me how I was able to keep us at the right speed all around the course on both the flat and the hills as the hills did not affect me To me it is because of several things:
1) I do resistance training on the cross trainer and step master.
2) I do weight training and resistance training like kettlebell squats and lots of other workouts like this on my legs.
3) The runs especially the hill and trail running that I have been doing with the help of Kathryn, Matt, Beth, Sue and Stu Lawrence which has made me a much better runner. Thank you all.
4) The track sessions I have been doing.
5) My P.T sessions at Puregym.
6) Losing more weight. This past week has seen a 7lb loss. Please don’t ask how this happened as I’ve no clue.
Overall I really enjoyed this course, I’d recommend it for other visually impaired runners as it was that clean and had no cars to worry about.
The weather conditions were perfect despite it threatening to rain. The race was well supported and the crowds were in the right area.
Next year I have my sights set on the half if I can find a guide as I now see half’s as my challenge as most 10km’s are becoming too easy for me.
Also next year I’m looking for a flattish half if anyone knows of any to get me started on that level before taking on full marathons around the country.
Vets T&F League fixture
Photos courtesy of Max Ross
3000m runners Ben Kruze, Richard Liggatt and Adam Linforth.
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