Hark The Herald

Paul Hawkins in Malaga
It’s been a quietish week this week. Chairman Paul Hawkins made his annual pilgrimage to Malaga where he racewalked the local half marathon.

A trio of our hardy seniors competed in the Westonbirt House Christmas 10k, while Jill Wilson thought she’d struck lucky by getting a place in the Steel City Striders 30th anniversary Percy Pud 10k due to a postponement the previous week only to see it postponed again due to the weather conditions, meaning she didn’t get to run it. Better luck next year Jill. She did get to hear some good music while she was there so all was not lost.

Paula Williams’ has been made President Elect of Midland Masters, a richly deserved honour, We have a couple of updates on the last junior XC fixture at Warley Woods. Catherine Reynolds ran a 60m PB in Sheffield and there’s an update on John Butler’s recent activities.

Finally a couple images showing reports in the Stratford Herald on our recent XC fixtures.

Take care.

David Jones
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Paul with “coach” Daf Hawkins
Malaga Half Marathon

Report – Paul Hawkins

Paul Hawkins continued his love affair with the Malaga event when racewalking the half marathon.

Paul had completed the full marathon course several times as a runner since the first race in 2009 but following a knee injury and surgery he was unable to run and took up race walking and amongst other races he has raced a half marathon at Stratford but then had ill health which stopped him racing for sometime in 2021 and 2022.

Although not yet back to his best he has returned to racing and was keen to try the half marathon distance at Malaga.

He enjoyed being back in a big field with over 10,000 runners starting the combined full and half marathon course running together until near the end of the 21k half course.

After maintaining a consistent pace over the mostly flat course in warm conditions, unlike at home, he finished in 2.41.51.

He was pleased with the first post cancer half, a good basis to progress.
Sandy Owens, Jan Turner and Miranda Maloney
Westonbirt House Christmas 10k

Report – Sandy Owens

As we battled the torrential rain on the M5, the temptation to abandon our plans in favour of Christmas shopping and breakfast in Cheltenham was strong but… we continued our journey to Westonbirt.

As we parked in a muddy field and headed to the start, the rain thankfully stopped.

This was a well organised, two-lap 10k around the grounds of Westonbirt House (posh school) in Gloucestershire. Fantastic atmosphere with many runners donning festive fancy dress. Great support too from fabulous marshals and spectators.

I ran with Jan Turner and Miranda Maloney. Not our fastest 10k, the route is pretty congested at times, but certainly a fun, festive day out.
Jill Wilson

Not the Steel City Striders 30th anniversary Percy Pud 10k

Report – Jill Wilson

The intentions were good but there’s not much running in this report….

Last weekend I was in Sheffield for something else (Sheffield Beatles Project gig if you’re interested – they played the Sergeant Pepper album) and to hear son James playing in a couple of Christmas gigs. 

He coincidentally was running the Steel City Striders 30th anniversary Percy Pud 10k on Sunday.

An out and back ‘undulating’ course from Loxley village (just north of Sheffield) down to and over the Damflask reservoir wall and up the west side of the reservoir to Lower Bradfield (the location of the breached dam back in 1864 which flooded Sheffield and drowned hundreds). Very picturesque.

It should have happened the weekend before but was snowed off! Loads of people couldn’t make Sunday’s replacement date so I was thrilled to bag a place.

But pity the poor organisers….storm Elin rolled in on Saturday afternoon and wrought havoc until 3am – 60mph winds plus rainfall of biblical proportions. Both marquees were totally wrecked, trees were down, roads flooded and littered with debris, and so just before midnight they cancelled ☹️. 

The souvenir hat and Christmas pudding is as close as I got to racing. Bit of a cheat really! Oh, and we drove the route on Sunday morning (after picking up said hat and pudding) – and there’s no doubt I would’ve found it brutal. I’ll try for a place next year – got to earn that hat haven’t I? And my target will be NOT to be last.

If anyone’s interested – it’s always the first Sunday in December – and sells out within 24 hours.

Happy Christmas everyone. 

PS. The music was great ????

President Paula

Midland Masters’ have announced that our very own Paula Williams has been named as their President Elect. Paula will take over the President’s chain at next year’s T&F Championships.
A richly deserved honour.
Congratulations Paula

Paula with the Mayor at our recent Awards night.
Graham Lamb, Midland Masters Chairman announces Paula as  President Elect
Sorry Maisie-Joy

Last week’s report on the junior XC fixture at Warley Woods stated that Maisie-Joy Spriggs had come 9th in her race. She actually finished in 4th place, just behind Niamh Hillard who’s was 3rd and our first runner home.

Sorry M-J
Maisie-Joy Spriggs at Warley Woods.
It just gets better

Talking of Warley Woods, the provisional results last week showed us in 4th place on the day. When the final results were published later in the week they showed that we had actually finished in 2nd place out of the 22 teams competing. A truly magnificent result especially as we had a few key runners missing.

We were only beaten by Rugby and Northampton but finished ahead of such clubs as Royal Sutton Coldfield, Wolverhampton & Bilston and Birchfield Harriers.

A fabulous result
Members of our U11 Girls team at Warley Woods
Catherine Reynolds.
Catherine was competing at the Northern Athletics December Open in Sheffield last Saturday where she was delighted to run a PB time of 8.10 seconds in the 60m.
I had a somewhat less successful time at the same meet. Running in the 3000m, I went through the 8th of the 15 laps in exactly my target time, to the second and then fell flat on my face. It was along way to go for a DNF!
John Butler Update.
John informs me that he recently ran the Windsor 10k Trail Race. It was a 2 lap fairly flat race but slippery underfoot. He completed it in a time of 1:19.45. The following week he took part in the Eynsham 10k. This time it was 2 and a bit laps but again fairly flat. He completed it in 1:17.07. The race was part of the Oxfordshire Championship so there were lots of fast runners. The winner completed the course in 32.36. 
Hark The Herald

The efforts of our XC runners in their recent fixtures have been acknowledged by coverage in The Stratford Herald, reports having been submitted to them by our press correspondent Sam Swanepoel.