Number 1 in The World. Almost.

The traditional end of Club Championships photo.
It was huge fun.
  Midlands League T&F


Shown above are some members of our team together with officials at last Saturday’s final Midland League T&F fixture of the season at Abingdon.

No results as of yet as the organisers appear to have mislaid some of the results. 

Watch this space.

Needless to say it was another superb day albeit intensely hot.

Although we won’t have report and maybe a season’s round up until the final results are announced we do have these comments from Brian Gravelsons on the incredible commitment shown by our officials, despite the searing heat.
Special mention for Pole Vault Officials

A very special mention must be made for the five field officials who deftly dealt with officiating the pole vault in what only can be described as furnace conditions.

Led by Sandy Green, Vicky Sharpe, Kelly Milner Nick Hillard and Nick Campbell all arrived early to ensure the pole vault warm up started exactly an hour before the start time of the event.

This was fully appreciated by the competitors, and commented as such. 

However, an early start did not mean an early finish and the pole vault competition lasted over three hours from 10:45 to nearly 14:00, with no time for lunch but thankfully the event organisers ensured plenty of water to try and quench the 33 degree heat that felt like 40+ in the blazing sunshine. 

At least there was a small amount of time for a reprieve from the sun, and to enjoy their free lunch before it was back out into the furnace to ensure the shot put ran smoothly.    
What a weekend.

Saturday saw our Midlands League T&F team make the journey down to Abingdon for their final league fixture of the season. The results are eagerly awaited. They’ve been delayed due to the organisers mislaying some of the result sheets apparently!

Then on Sunday, while a dozen of our senior members were competing in Kenilworth, a couple of hundred members, young and not so young, were competing in the extravaganza that is the Club Championships.

It was another superbly organised event that seemed to run like clockwork. Huge thanks are due to those that made it happen.

There is an uplifting report from Kathryn Woodcock who achieved her ambition of running a marathon before her 50th birthday, something she duly achieved with just a few days to spare. This despite her having to overcome several setbacks leading up to her 26.2 miles. Congratulations Kathryn and Happy Birthday. I note from your report that you might now try racewalking. I’m sure you will find Mr Hawkins most receptive to that idea.

Finally there are a couple of reports from Tim and Fin Hutchinson on their Kenilworth Half. Thank you guys.

This Saturday sees the Vets T&F Cup Final at The Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton. Team manager Hannah Osborne has put together a mightily impressive team to carry the flag for us on the day. Fingers crossed.

Take care

David Jones
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Club Championships

Hopefully we will have more on this magnificent meeting at a later date but below are a few photos that hopefully give you a feel for what was another superbly well organised, life affirming and uplifting day it was.

It was a day that once again personified so much that is good about our club, with a wide range of talent, expertise and commitment on show, together with hundreds of smiling faces and an age range of 8-80+ !  Not many clubs can boast that.

A quick mention for Jim McMorran, who having run the 800m in the Club Champs, popped over to The Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton to run another 800m race in their End of Season meet. He ran 5 seconds quicker and was just outside the club record. Well done Jim. I hope you’ve saved something for the Vets T&F Cup Final on Saturday.

A massive vote of thanks is due to the organisers and officials that made this wonderful event happen.

On the matter of officials, Brian Gravelsons has  the following to say about Anthony Carus, starter extraordinaire.

Special mention for Anthony Carus 

A huge thank you goes out to Anthony Carus.  Many of the readers of this newsletter may not realise that Anthony has been helping the club as a starter for circa 15 years.

Anthony put down his starting pistols for the final time by officiating as a starter at last year’s Club Champs, but he has spent this year mentoring and guiding Alison Gravelsons who is now well placed to pick up the metaphorical baton and ensure that the club continues to have its own in-house qualified starter.

Many of you will have seen the double act in action.

Thank you Anthony, you have a very distinguished place in Stratford AC’s Officials’ Hall of Fame.  
I did tell you there would be smiles.
The previous 6 hours were just a precursor to the main events of the day obviously.
Sam Plumb just edges ahead of Joel Ledgard (I think)
Those two aren’t really competitive. Nooo.
Alex McMillan, Noah Balchin and Otis Tustin.
Maggie Silvers leads Elsie Pipatone (5) and Emily Lambert (6)
The start of the 5000m. Fingers on the watches.
Despite the temperature having dropped in the afternoon and even the welcome appearance of a few spots of rain (welcome if you’re an endurance runner that is) Sod’s Law dictated that by the time of the race the temperature had shot up, accompanied by uncomfortable humidity.
C’est la vie.
Phil Brennan just fell short of his attempt to gain the number 1 slot IN THE WORLD for his age category in the 5000m due largely to the heat and humidity.
I guess you’ll just have to settle for being number 2 or thereabouts Phil. Life’s a bitch.
Elsie Pipatone leads Emily Lambert.
Kathryn and Steve Woodcock
The Medal
‘Its the easiest thing in the world to give up, the hardest to keep going’

Chasing Numbers Lucky Dip Marathon

Report Kathryn Woodcock

Last week Steve and I sneaked off to try to tick off my desire to run a marathon before hitting 50 and with only 7 days left to go.

We had started proper marathon training at the end of the spring but my post-hysterectomy belly seriously objected to long runs and got worse rather than better the more we did and the more worried I was about it. Then being away helping care for my Dad through his heart surgery meant that we fell back into standard 25-30 km per week training only.

I still really wanted to do the distance, so I went online and found Saturn Running’s Chasing Numbers Lucky Dip timed challenge event.

It’s a flexible Thursday event that you can do any distance from 5km right up to an Ultra and you can start at whatever time you want, running along the Thames and Runnymede Pleasure Grounds.

I had imagined a pleasant 18C and some light drizzle but then the forecast was for a scorcher.

The earliest start time was moved back to 7am and we knew we would have to get down there as early as possible to try to get it done, so we set off at 5:30am.

We started at 7:45 am and all was good for the first 10km then stomach issues set in.

Thank goodness the race desk and loos were in the middle of the 7km loop so you passed them every 3.5km as I needed that. 3 more visits and by 21km I couldn’t run any more but I was determined to keep on going, striding out as fast as I could. 

The 2 sides of the race were very different first through the pleasure grounds along the river up to the Magna Carta tea rooms – I much preferred this side as it is beautiful countryside but it was very open and Steve started calling it Death Valley because of the scorching heat.

The other side was more shady passing the massive Bull Weir Lock down under the motorway and through some woods so Steve preferred it but I didn’t like it as it was more confined and industrial.

The race was run well by the very friendly Saturn Running ladies and there was squash and all manner of drinks and sweets aplenty but nothing with electrolytes in so towards the end our hands were swollen up like bunches of sausages.

We went slightly off route to go to the tearooms in the hope of finding sports drinks but alas no, so we bought water and I raided the condiment shelf for tiny sachets of salt. I think we looked a state as the man behind the till encouraged us to take more saying that we looked like we needed it.

In 30C plus heat we finished the distance and chose the medal with the ‘Its the easiest thing in the world to give up, the hardest to keep going’ ribbon, and got a Full Marathon distance pin.

As race HQ was at the Skyff Club we were extremely grateful to use the showers before the 2 hours back up the motorway again.

So even though it was not how I wanted it to be I was very pleased to cover the distance. I really don’t think I will ever be able to train my intestines; maybe I should try racewalking instead…

Tim and Fin Hutchinson
The Kenilworth Half marathon

We had 11 runners listed as competing in last Sunday’s Kenilworth half and below are a couple of reports from the race.

Our own Andy Lawrence finished in 2nd place overall with a time of 1:13.06. The winner was Patrick Roddy from Kenilworth in 1:10.40
As well as Andy we had a further 3 runners in the top 20. Jamie Hall was 6th in 1:16.40, Matt Burdus Cook 12th in 1:19.15 and Richard Liggatt 20th in 1:24.16.
Our only female in the race was Charlotte Crouch who finished in a time of 2:02.58.
701 runners completed the course.
In the 5k our sole entry was John Butler who was 66th out of 84 finishers with a time of 36.39

For the full results please follow the link below.

Tim and Fin’s Excellent Adventure
Tim Hutchinson’s Race

My big plan this year was to sort out the 79 seconds that I needed to get sub 3 at Marathon Eryri in October. 

Part of that plan meant that to be within a hope of achieving that time I’d need to be in sub 80 minutes shape for Kenilworth hm.  

However with some fairly big personal changes over the summer I missed a huge block of training, so my plans changed somewhat.

To be honest running 13.1 miles was almost questionable in my mind, so expectations were changed somewhat.

A new plan was formed that Richard Dobedoe and I would pace Pete Sugden to close to a new pb. 

This was going to be a challenge as I had not run double figure distance since before the summer but even more so as the British summer seemed to arrive during the last week or so.

As it turned out it was not quite as hot as suggested in the forecast as luckily the sun didn’t come out as such but it was still mid 20s and very humid and airless.

We set off and after the first kilometre or two we settled in at the (hoped for planned pace). The KHM route is a pleasantly undulating lollipop course mostly in the country lanes surrounding Kenilworth. 

Drink stations were stocked with cups not bottles so for me to actually get more than a sip of water I took the same approach as the Arden 9 and slowed to a walk to actually drink properly. 

There were quite a few welcome hose pipes and sprinklers on the course too.

I managed to keep the planned pace almost on the button throughout and even pulled off a bit of a sprint for the line which under the conditions and current fitness level I was pleased with. 

Although I did get pipped with about 5 metres to go by a runner from Northbrook who thanked me for pacing him for the whole race. At least he did thank me! Luckily I’m not bitter….

Next up is Marathon Eryri, I have a feeling that might be a personal worst but I’ll enjoy the scenery more I think.

Fin Hutchinson’s Race

My third half marathon of the year was going to again be different to the others. From picking up a light calf injury after being too eager from getting my arm plaster and wrist cast removed, I knew this was going to be no P.b.

I had only two weeks after six weeks off to build back up to being able to run the half distance, safe to say I was able to do it without coming away with another injury – success.

My aim was to run around but just under 1.40, but after an enjoyable run I managed to clock low a 1.35.

With rather warm weather it was nice to enjoy stopping at all water stations to hydrate and cool off. On the last one I even got the marshals to chuck the water over me at the water station.

It was good to get another half marathon on the list and a good run without the usual stress of getting a P.b or trying to get a certain rank.