A true inspiration to us all.

A Stairway to Heaven ?
I’d need a Zeppelin to get me to the top.
Just looking at it gives me vertigo.
One of Lesley Kirk’s wonderful photos from her lates Cornish adventure.
Another varied week.

It seems as though I start most weeks off by stating that.

We start with Rosie Slocombe being deservedly presented with the Lizzie Tovey Inspiration Award after being voted the most inspirational runner in last weekend’s Alcester 10k. The race  saw club members enjoying great success, occupying 3 of the top 10 places and with Maisie-Joy Spriggs finishing 2nd overall female and 1st U18.

There’s a reminder of the upcoming Awards Night. There’s not long to go.

It was another excellent day at Sutton Park for our 5 teams of juniors competing in the English Road Running Relay Championships. As I write we’re only 10 days away from the first junior XC fixture of the season and we’re looking good to go.

I love Lesley Kirk’s reports of her long, hilly and often muddy challenges and I particularly love the photos she sends with the reports. She’s been in Cornwall doing what she does but this time taking part in memory of her late parents, with her forgoing the 3rd marathon in 3 days to allow her to scatter her parents ashes along the coastline which was her mother’s wish. Well done lesley

Ade Mason reports on the Rugby 10 and the end of a successful season for the club in the Warwickshire Road Race League.

Lisa Stevens reports on Ian Stevens’ Lisbon Marathon. Lisa apparently wanted a sunny holiday, Ian wanted an October Marathon. Lisbon ticked both boxes. Well done Ian.

Finally we report on John Butler’s latest running adventures.

Take care.

David Jones.
Our very own Rosie Slocombe being presented with the The Lizzie Tovey Inspiration Award by Alcester Mayor Vaughan Blake at last Sunday’s Alcester 10k.
Rosie’s mom Kate Sergent commented “Lizzie Tovey was a much loved member of Run Alcester who sadly passed away in 2020, and who many knew as an incredibly inspirational and amazing lady. Having lost her sight she turned to running and raised thousands of pounds for other visually impaired runners and guide dogs for the blind. 

Lizzie lost her battle with Cancer and in her memory, Run Alcester sponsor a special trophy to a runner at the Alcester 10K who fellow runners feel has the most inspirational story for running this years’ race.

They could be triumphing in the face of adversity, a local legend and all round trailblazer, or a hero charity fundraiser.

The award is open for anyone to nominate and anyone to win. It’s the runners running award. 

So Rosie was absolutely chuffed as you will see from the photo”.

Rosie and Kate. Kate in her away kit!
Alcester 10k

Report – Kate Sergent

Last Sunday Rosie and I ran the Alcester 10 k.

Rosie lives in Alcester and I encouraged her to join Run Alcester a year ago as her second claim club as they have a session on a Thursday night for slower runners, graduates of their C25K and people returning to running.

They are almost as friendly as our wonderful club and have really helped her with her confidence and running journey. I decided to wear a Run Alcester club vest and after proudly always wearing my yellow SAC vest it felt very wierd!! Luckily my club mates still spoke to me!! 

We had a great run on a beautiful morning.
Run Alcester cheered me in and waited for Rosie to finish.

She was a bit hot and bothered at the finish but soon recovered and was thrilled to be presented  by the Mayor and Run Alcester with the Lizzie Tovey Award shield.

View this email in your browser
Not long now.

Save the Date
Maisie-Joy Spriggs
It was a busy few days for U17 Maisie-Joy Spriggs.

She competed for the club in the England Road Running Relay Championships in Sutton Park last Saturday, finishing 9th out of 55 runners from throughout England and helping our U17 ladies finish in 11th place overall.

On Sunday it was the Alcester 10k where she finished with a 1 minute PB time of 38.05 in coming 2nd overall female and 1st U18 of either sex, finishing just 3 seconds ahead of the next placed U18, a male runner and just over 3 minutes ahead of the 2nd placed U18 female.

Her time will move her in to 8th pace in this year’s UK rankings for her age-category.

On Monday she even managed to win her school’s XC race. Impressive or what ?

It was another great day for our runners at the Alcester 10k with 3 finishers in the top 10.

Ben Kruze was overall winner in a season’s best time of 31.56, 3 seconds quicker than his time in the Great Bristol Run in May. In 3rd place overall was Andy Lawrence with a time of 32.41 just 8 seconds off his PB time in this year’s Stratford Big 10k. Our 3rd finisher in the top 10 was Matt Burdus-Cook in 9th place with a time of 35.12.

For the full set of results please follow this link:

Proud coach. Paul Hawkins with our successful U17 ladies team of Maisie-Joy, Spriggs, Niamh Hillard and Maddie Linfoot
Our other U17 ladies team of Abbie Cooper, Martha Peters and Bo Algate
U15 girls: Marijke Tear-Verweij, Amelia Peake and Lois Ford.
Lovable rogues – our U15 boys squad:
L to R: Joel Ledgard, Arthur Williamson, Sam Plumb, Arran Cooper, Tom Fisher and Will Hovell

England Road Running Relay Championships 

Sutton Park – 7th October 


Report – Paul Hawkins

Following the success at the Midland Road Relay Championships two weeks earlier, we had five age group teams at the National Championships and all performed well on the national stage.

All the races three legs were over a 3.88k hilly course. 

First up were two teams in the Under 15 boys category where there were 84 teams starting the race. Leading off the teams were Tom Fisher (13.24) in 43rd and Aran Cooper (14.19, 63rd). Tom handed on to Will Hovell (13.54) who gained two places and then Arthur Williamson (14.06) to bring the team home in 37th place. Meanwhile, Aran handed over to Sam Plumb (15.06) and then Joel Ledgard (14.08) to finish in 55th place. Both teams ran well on a tough course against very good opposition.

The next race was the under 15 girls with a young Stratford team savouring the race. Led off by the reliable Lois Ford, who enjoyed the rough and tumble of the first leg mass start, they were well placed after a 16.26 opening leg. Second leg was Marijke Tear-Verweij who stormed round in 15.45, overtaking many teams and gaining 15 places on her leg. Completing the team and making her debut on the course was Amelia Peeke (19.09) with a good leg to bring the team home in 47th place out of 68 teams.

Finally for Stratford was the under 17 ladies, where again we had two teams racing having achieved a second place in the Midlands race. The A team was the same as then so it was good to see Maisie-Joy Spriggs lead the team out to a good start finishing 9th in 14.05, three seconds quicker that two weeks ago. Next was Niamh Hillard who ran a typically solid leg of 15.18 followed by Maddie Linfoot continuing her comeback in a time of 14.52, also an improvement on last time, a full 12 seconds better, to bring the team home in a superb 11th place, which was, once again, second in the Midlands which bodes well for next season in the senior age group. 

Stratford’s B team were equally impressive led out by Bo Algate (16.22), Martha Peters improving to 17.01 and Abbi Cooper (16.30) meaning a placing of 35th from a total of 65 teams beating the A teams from a number of leading clubs. 

Lesley Kirk
They say what goes up must come down.

VO2 Events Atlantic Coast Challenge


3 marathons in 3 days

Report – Lesley Kirk 

I first took part in this event in 2017 in memory of my dad. Having very happy memories of family holidays spent at a chalet camp at Hayle Towans, discovering the event Race HQ was just a bit further along the beach, it seemed the perfect way to remember him.

Fast-forward six years, and here I was again, this time running in memory of my mum, who sadly passed away in the summer this year.

The Challenge (it’s not a race) takes place over three days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, along the Coast Path from Trevose Head, near Padstow to Land’s End. I have completed the whole event on three occasions now, but this time decided to only enter Day’s 1 and 2. Not only did I feel I had nothing left to prove, but on the third day, I wanted to scatter my parents’ ashes along the coastline, as per my mum’s wishes.

The weather was unseasonably warm as we were ferried by a convoy of minibuses to the start on Day 1. Although I had suntan lotion and sunglasses, I realized I could have done with a baseball cap as well. The whole 26 miles seemed to be spent running into the sun, and with no shade. 

The Cornish coastline is stunning, and with such beautiful weather, it helped take my mind off how tough it was. My legs quickly felt drained, and I had to revert to the mantra of ‘walk the hills, jog the flats, run the downhills’. Although I ended up also walking the flats quite a lot! By the time I reached the finish point at Perranporth beach, five hours and 50 minutes later, the temperature was over 20 degrees.

On Day 2 we were ferried back to Perranporth beach to restart from where we left off. Another sunny, hot day, but at least I now had my baseball cap! 

A line of runners and walkers gradually snaked their way along the coast path. Along the way I overheard many comments about how stunning the scenery was, as well as ‘oh my god, not another hill!!’ 

With one marathon already in my legs, plus, the constant sun beating down, I quickly felt drained again, and needed to jog/walk most of the route. After about halfway, the steep steps gradually gave way to undulating cliff tops, then finally a three-mile stretch of beach. Cruelly, you must pass the finish location halfway along this beach and loop through part of the town to come in from a different direction. It was a huge and emotional relief to eventually cross the finish line back at race HQ. 

It was my slowest time of running this event (6 hrs 37mins) but the timing wasn’t important to me. I was thinking about my mum and dad and the happy memories of our holidays in Cornwall.

Team Stratford: Joe Lee, Ade Mason,John Raby, Max Ross, Yumi Turner, Sam Woolsencroft-Dodds, Kim Lee, Seth Turner and David Smyth.
Ade Mason

Rugby 10 

Warwickshire Road Race League


Report – Ade Mason


With a busy race weekend drawing club runners to various events from Alcester to Lisbon!, we still managed to field a strong side for the final WRRL race (Rugby 10), in Barby, hosted by Rugby and Northampton AC. 

Expertly coerced and led by John Raby to ensure we didn’t slip up at the final hurdle and try to cement top spot in the league, we had seven Stratford vests competing for the men and two for the ladies.

The race itself was very pleasant with ideal racing conditions at the start.  However, it soon warmed up to about 22degC and the 1.5 mile slog up “CART HILL” at ~6miles that everyone was talking about prior to the race, certainly added an additional challenge.

I managed to finish in 10th, taking the M45 Age Cat win and prize and delighted with my 10 mile PB time of 1:01:43 on that “hilly” course, finishing 30secs behind Seb Wolsoncroft-Dodds, who ran a great race to finish in 9th and the lead vest for Stratford on the day.

The race event team prizes were based on the top four from each club (rather than six for the WRRL).  Rugby & Northampton just pipped us to 1st, by 2 points, mainly due to Andrew Siggers now racing for them and finishing 1st overall. 

Although we finished 2nd, we didn’t walk away with prizes on the day, as the organisers added the scores up incorrectly and awarded 2nd place to Kenilworth!  It’s been noted and corrected, but I’m sure Kenilworth have already drunk the wine!!

In terms of the main event and the WRRL rankings, we put in a sterling effort to take the male win again with our top six scoring places, leaving our closest league rivals, Kenilworth, in 2nd (17 points behind). 

A great result for Stratford and well done to everyone for digging deep.  We now have a good clear lead at the top of the league, awaiting final confirmation from the WRRL on final standings.  John Raby will be in touch with further confirmation.


SAC Results from Rugby 10 as follows: – 


Seb Wolsoncroft-Dodds – 1:01:13 (9th)

Ade Mason – 1:01:43 (10th)

Max Ross – 1:04:38 (21st)

Seth Turner – 1:06:14 (25th)

Joe Lee – 1:08:10 (38th)

David Smyth – 1:08:22 (39th)

John Raby – 1:12:55 (70th)

Kim Lee – 1:27:39 (136th)

Yumi Turner – 1:28:29 (139th)



Ian Stevens
Nice socks Ian
Ian Stevens’ Lisbon Marathon

8th October

Report – Lisa Stevens
On a friends’ recommendation Ian decided that an October marathon was a good idea…I’d decided a sunny holiday was a good idea so we were both happy.

The Lisbon Marathon starts in the beautiful up market town of Cascais and runs along the coast into central Lisbon.

It’s fairly small (5000+) with an international field of experienced marathon runners.

The expo was small and well organised so we picked up bib numbers on the Saturday morning and after this is when the fun began!

We were staying at a hotel 50m from the finish and on Saturday evening at 8pm the reception team said the start time had been moved from 8am to 7am due to the anticipated high temperatures. The organisers hadn’t let the runners know and had only updated their Instagram page!
This meant some last minute logistics to get Ian to the start and a 4.30am start…he made it in time but many didn’t. The organisers (having told runners to go steady in the heat) then shortened the cut off time from 6 hours to 5!

The race started in the dark and wound back by the sea with the sun coming up and temperatures rising to over 30 degrees. Lots of well stocked water, gels and fruit stations every couple of miles was welcome.

Ian came in 3.27 which he was delighted with (he also made it back for the last service for breakfast at the hotel which I was delighted with)

It was easy for me to support en route as there is a train which you can get on and off easily that follows the coast road.

Would he run it again? Hell yes.
John Butler.

John has been busy just for a change. On 1st October he ran the Rugby half marathon and on the hilly course he competed the race in 2:55.12. On the 8th it was the Bournemouth 10k, finishing along the prom and by the pier. His time for that was 1:15.48 and on the 22nd he’s off to Cambridgeshire for the 10k Duxford Dash.