It’s Red Carpet time

Paula Williams with her haul of European Masters Championship medals – Gold, silver and a couple of bronze
Last week we reported on Paula Williams’ magnificent performances in the European Masters Championships in Italy. Since then she has gone on to win yet another medal, silver, in the 80m hurdles. Following this a new report was produced and submitted by Sam Swanepoel to the local press. This included quotes from Paula herself, alongside those of Paul Bearman and Paul Hawkins.

The report as submitted is shown below

You will see form the image below that The Herald have quite rightly given back page prominence to this remarkable achievement.

We have a save the date notice about the upcoming Annual Club Awards Night.

Lisa Lambourn, Lindsey Anderson and James Cottriall completed the Cardiff Half Marathon. Well done to all 3 of you.

Wednesday night saw the End of Season Shakespeare Race take place at the Stratford Track with 61 members competing in the Track Hour.

Finally Ade Mason reports on the JLR 5&10k fun run.

Good luck to those of you competing in the Alcester 10k at the weekend and also to our juniors who will be competing in the English Road Running Association’s Young Athletes Road Relay Championships at Sutton Park.

Take care

David Jones
View this email in your browser
The Stratford Herald celebrates Paula’s magnificent achievement


Pescara – Italy

Report – David Jones

The XXII European Master Stadia Athletic Championships were held in the Adriatico Stadium in Pescara Italy. Approximately 4,700 athletes representing 39 nations participated. 

Stratford upon Avon Athletic Club’s Paula Williams was one of 437 athletes representing Great Britain and she had an outstanding Championships

With a grumbling right Achilles tendon and raring to go she arrived in Pescara, collected her numbers and prepared for her first event.

She wanted to medal in the javelin and duly won the bronze medal with a throw of 35.97, with the gold medal going to Hungary with a throw of 41.27.

Day 2 was the shot put. She went into the competition feeling confident and wanting a distance of over 12.8m to be in medal contention.

Starting off with a throw of 12.31, it was her 2nd throw that sealed the gold medal. She finished 79 cms ahead of the 2nd placed thrower, Sonja Roemmert of West Germany.

She achieved the gold by improving on her own British record with a best  throw of 13.30.

She was understandably chuffed with that. 

Paula then ran the anchor leg of the 4 x 100m relay, helping GB secure the bronze medal with an overall time of 55.31. The Italian team claimed the gold medal in 50.83.

Her final event was the 80m hurdles. She’d had a couple of hurdles training sessions during the week and felt she was as prepared as she could be for her race. Paula needed to run close to her personal best to be in with a chance of silver and with her Achilles tendon hurting she managed 13.11s to claim second place and the silver medal. The winner was Tatjana Schilling from Germany with a time of 12.72.

She limped her way to the podium for the 4th time to collect her medal. 

Paula left the championships with gold, silver and two bronze medals and her efforts helped GB finish 2nd in the medal table.

Paula commented  “I’m so lucky to have competed at these championships never mind medal. I’m proud of my achievements and I am grateful to Stratford AC coaches: Paul Bearman, Sandy Green and Elaine Ledden and Everyone Active Stratford Leisure Centre for all their hard work in getting me there.

These results were no fluke. To give a measure of her abilities, Paula’s standing in the current World Rankings for her age category are : 100m – 5th, Triple Jump – 10th, Shot Put – 4th, Javelin – 3rd and in the 80m hurdles she tops the world rankings.

Coach Paul Bearman commented ” The lead up to the championships meant Paula had some decisions to make about the events she was going to compete in but ultimately as always with a championship it was all about the medals and the decisions made proved to be the right ones with the medal haul she’s bringing home with the extra bonus medal in the 4x100m relay.

Long distance coaching texts kept us in touch, but Paula knows what she needs to do to make sure she’s ready to perform.

After her successes in the Shot and Javelin where the coaching with Sandy Green obviously paid dividends and running the “glory leg” in the relay, the big test would come in the highly competitive hurdles. 

Training had shown the start needed some fine tuning and in the lead up to the race that paid dividends too. The plan was to go hard on the B of the Bang and when Paula burst out of her blocks at the start, she then turned on the after burners to storm though to take the silver medal cheered on by a very loud and enthusiastic husband Andrew. The perfect end to a very successful week. 

We’re very proud of Paula’s achievements not just in Italy but throughout the year and as her son Cole said she’s an “inspiration”.

It’s now a 4 week rest for Paula to recharge her batteries and then it’s back to work to prepare for 2024″.

Finally Club Chairman Paul Hawkins added “I’m absolutely delighted by Paula’s success at the European Masters Championships. I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more and it is a result of her hard work and dedication, as well of course, her natural talent. She never misses the opportunity to be smart in her training and preparation and looking at a holistic approach to achieving success. 

Paula is an inspiration to her fellow club members, showing what can be achieved despite suffering from the inevitable injuries.” 


It’s that time of the year again.

Time to roll out the red carpet.

Time for the not to be missed annual Club Awards night when we can celebrate the last 12 months in the life of our club.

You’d be silly to miss it.
Lisa Lambourn
Lisa with Lindsey Anderson
Cardiff Half Marathon

Sunday 1st October

Report – Lisa Lambourn

Myself and Lindsey Anderson travelled down to Cardiff at the weekend with a group of friends for the Cardiff half marathon.

The forecast was for typical Welsh weather, so discussions were mostly about keeping dry and warm at the start. As it turned out, warnings of unexpected warm and very humid weather were published on Saturday night and it already felt warm and humid at 8.30am as we set off to the bag drop.
The race start and finish are only 5 minutes walk apart, starting right in the city centre by Cardiff Castle and finishing by the Civic Centre just across the road.  This made the morning bag drop (of unnecessary warm clothes for after the race) really simple. It was all well laid out with loads of signage, plenty of toilets and a huge and well organised bag drop.

As we headed to our start pens, we bumped into Stu George from the club who was one of the many fantastic marshalls on the day.
After an emotional and rousing rendition of the Welsh National Anthem, the elite runners were off – just around the corner out of sight – and within a short time, so was I.

The course is described as flat and good for PB’s but from pre-race chats with local runners I had ascertained there were in fact a few hills. 

The course heads out to Penarth (first hill), then down to Cardiff Bay.  A highlight for me was running across the Cardiff Bay barrage  which I have only ever admired from afar. 

The crowds were really supportive and there were bands, choirs, singers, stages and cheer stations at intervals along the route  which were a great distraction from the heat and humidity.  The regular water stations were much appreciated in the humid conditions.

After Cardiff Bay, we headed north towards my old student stomping grounds.  I distracted myself from thinking about how hot I was by trying to spot which of my old student haunts were still in business. 

The route then headed up and around the outside of the picturesque Roath Park & Lake where the support was fantastic. 
Heading towards mile 12 I was tired and totally dismayed to run around the corner to an unexpected and fairly steep hill. Once I had dragged myself up, it was not long before we were running downhill with the finish within grasp. 

The crowd support was incredible for the last mile or so and as we headed down the final road, before turning towards the finish line, the crowds were deafening, reminding me of London marathon crowds.
I knew I had gone out too fast, the humidity was draining and that I wasn’t in top form so I had already shelved that aim of getting under 2 hours until 2024.  Always good to have something to aim for.  I wanted to get as close to 2 hours as I could, so I was delighted with my finish time of 2:02:55 – almost exactly 5 minutes faster than my previous PB. 
Lindsey had a great run despite the humid conditions.  She did say after that she was considering calling it a day on half marathons and specialising in 10K races in the future, but I am sure she will be open to persuasion! 

I would recommend the Cardiff marathon to anyone – unless you prefer a quiet country run!   It’s a really friendly, well organised half marathon that feels big, but not too big.
James Cottriall also competed in the Cardiff Half. I’m reliably informed that HMP may well mean Half Marathon Pace. I googled it and could only come up with His Majesty’s Prison !

Well done James
October Shakespeare Race

The Track Hour

61 members competed in Wednesday night’s end of season Shakespeare Race, the traditional Track Hour.

The winner, with a hugely impressive 40 laps completed was the returning Alex Hill. Well done Alex, you must be delighted. In 2nd and 3rd place respectively were Matt Burdus-Cook and Robin Hughes.

First lady finisher was Jess Sheppard in 13th place overall, followed by Kate Wright (16th) and 3rd lady finisher was new member Emma Hawkins in 24th place overall.

Please follow the link below for the full set of provisional results
Ade Mason (147) alongside the race winner
JLR Fun Run  

5k and 10k
Report – Adrian Mason

Anyone who works for JLR (I know, there’s loads of us!) will know of this event.  It’s a 5k and 10k run/race around our Fen End proving ground.  This year, we had proper timing courtesy of Sphinx AC, so everyone will receive a time when the official results get published.

I returned this year trying to defend my 2021 5k title (16:49).  It was a very windy day and there is clearly nowhere to hide on a race track / airfield, so headwinds were tough.  However, i’m very happy with my current return to form and managed a respectable 2nd place in a time of 17:43, beaten by ~20secs, by a Badgers Running Club (North Warwickshire) runner, but still hanging on to the course record for another year.

Two other JLR club members took part in the 10k race, Sam Mercer and Adam Linforth, finishing in 2nd and 3rd respectively, with Sam bagging himself a 10K PB.