5 top 10 teams & 2 top 10 individuals.

Our bronze medal winning U17 W team.
L to R: Maisie-Joy Spriggs, Abbi Cooper, Tilly Campbell and Bo Algate.
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Our two top 10 finishers on the day. Sam Lambert (6th U15 B) and Georgie Campbell (5th senior women)
There is just the one race meeting to report on this week, the Midlands XC Championship held at Newbold Comyn, Leamington last Saturday.

In a nice piece of symmetry we had 22 juniors and 22 seniors competing for us across a wide age range, from U11 Georgia Sharpe to M60 Paul Baird.

There were some excellent individual performance, including a couple of top 10 finishers in Georgie Campbell and Sam Lambert and 5 of our age group teams finished in the top 10 – U15G, U15B,U17W, U20W & Senior women, in the latter case competing against representatives from 40 different clubs across the Midland region.

Pride of place in the age group teams went to our U17W who took the bronze medal, with some 22 teams competing in that age group.

Many thanks to Sam Wilks, our 1st senior man to finish, for his superb report.

Despite the achievement of those of who were competing team manager Paul Hawkins commented “Overall they were disappointing results compared to last year when we were really on it.”

Good luck to those of you who are competing in the Warwick Half Marathon this Sunday. Be sure to send in your reports.

Take care.

David Jones
Sam Wilks led our senior men’s team home
Kieran Tursner and Stuart George
Steven Batsford and James Lake

Midlands Cross Country Championships 2024

Senior Men


Report – Sam Wilks

After some tricky climatic conditions recently, gratefully the weather proved to be kind. Not much wind, not too cold, no rain, a little sun on occasion…pretty much ideal running conditions!


Personally the winter is always hard going, especially at this mid-point. Muscles start to not loosen off between runs and even recovery runs start to seem like work when they shouldn’t bw. It did make me think twice about whether I should even run this race, given the last Birmingham XC League race is only around the corner…Of course I did run and I am glad I did.


The course runs best part of 3km longer than most of the league races at 12km, but the course in comparison to the very heavy conditions of the last league race in Redditch actually made this one enjoyable!


It’s a good cross country course with ditches, boggy stuff, wet stuff, hilly stuff and flat stuff…so yeh, you get stuffed!


As ever I decided to start fast and just hold on…it’s been a recurring theme for me since September last year. The new approach manifested itself because it was pointed out by someone who knows me well, “you can hold a pace, but you will never catch anyone fast” …hmm, thanks I think?


So the measured paced approach to a large degree has gone and in its place a go for broke mentality is in play. The downside of this approach is that your first lap tends to make you feel like you should stop, vomit and give up.


Being what we are (runners), we carry on and by lap 2 you find your breath, rhythm has arrived and you just hold on! By lap 3 the rhythm is starting quicken and change and the first thoughts of the end are starting to kick in.


For once I knew where the finish was in relation to my approach, (normally an issue which has lead me to kicking for home with half a lap still to go)…not ideal. I am now in the pleasure/pain phase of the race…you know the bit where everything feels a bit too much!…but you know with every stride you are closer to that finish line.


Thinking I was just racing to the line on my own, I proceeded down the home straight at a decent pace, but not a sprint. Then, another runner comes past me with 50m left to run and immediately the competitive brain kicks back into gear. Pleasingly I found another gear and managed to reel him back in and take him with a bit to spare. Job done.


The same chap came and found me after the race and asked if I was over 40…to which I replied “yes”…he said he knew that to be the case “because of my grey hair” …he had decided “to use me as a marker the whole way round”…not sure how I felt about it, but us over 40’s have to stick together so I congratulated him on a good race and walked away glad I had beaten him as he was 2yrs older than me!


I got round in 47.04 (almost looks like I paced the race that time, but I didn’t!) …84th the result, which doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, but I consoled myself there were some very good runners ahead of me and most a lot younger!


Big shout out to the Senior Men’s Team on the day…Kieran Tursner, (51.59 – 146th) Stuart Lawrence-George, (53.34 – 160th) Steven Batsford (54.43 – 169th), James Lake, (56.13 – 181st) Damian Wheeler (56.59 – 188th), David Battersby, who is more at home running 400m on the track! (57.26 – 196th) and Paul Baird61.34 – 277th) …all of which had great runs and helped our senior men’s team finish a highly credible 15th out of 64 teams clubs represented.


Many thanks to Paul Hawkins & the wider team that help organise our participation in these events. I felt particularly sorry for Paul when I waved him cheerio at gone 4pm having only been there less than a couple of hours and he had been there since 9am!


Thanks also to the supporters dotted around the course… always welcome to hear ‘Go on Stratford!’ as you haul yourself forwards!


Unfortunately I did not arrive early enough to see the many brilliant performances of the ‘younger’ athletes, but looking at the results there are clearly some very talented cross country runners coming through the club and long may it continue!


Results can be found on the following link for those that wish to see the standings for the different age groups.



U15G L to R: Annie Silvers, Lois Ford, Ava Sheppard, Bayleigh Stubbins and Brooke Rossney. 
Amelia Peeke and Marijke Tear Verweij missing.
U15 boys.
L to R: Sam Lambert, Joel Ledgard, Josh Davies and Tom Fisher
Marijke Tear Verweij and Annie Silvers
Kipp Stevens closely followed by Reece Yarnold
U11, U13, U15 and U17 races.

Report – David Jones

22 of our junior members represented the club at the Midland XC Championships at Newbold Comyn, Leamington last Saturday.

 U11 Georgia Sharpe led the charge and finished in 62nd place with a time of 15.08.

In the U13 boys race, despite having only just recovered from a period of illness, Kipp Stevens led our boys home finishing in 30th place with a time of 12.08. Kipp was just 6 seconds ahead of Reece Yarnold who finished in 34th place with a time of 12.14. Completing our team on the day was Eli Ford (13.30 – 61st)

There was a strong turnout of 6 of our members in the U15 girls race and they were led home by the talented Marijke Tear-Verwiej in 27th place with a time of 17.17. Just 20 seconds behind Marijke, in 33rd place, was Annie Silvers (17.37). Annie was followed by Lois Ford (18.49 – 50th), Ava Sheppard (20.05 – 64th) who was just a second ahead of Brooke Rossney in 65th place. Brooke did well again keeping ahead of Amelia Peeke and close to Ava. Amelia Peeke was next (20.19 – 70th) and Bayleigh Stubbins (21.23 – 73rd). They enabled our U15 girls to finish in a superb 5th place out of 26 clubs.

Our U15 boys finished in 6th place out of 32 clubs with Sam Lambert leading them home in 6th place with a time of 14.04. Sam was really happy with his race and is really ambitious for his future in running. Next was Tom Fisher (15.25 – 35th) followed by Joel Ledgard (15.33 – 43rd) and Josh Davies (16.08 – 56th).

First home for our U17 women team was Maisie-Joy Spriggs who finished in 15th place with a time of 22.22. Next to finish was Abbi Cooper (24.06 – 28th) who was quickly followed by Bo Algate in 29th place (24.18). Bo was followed by Tilly Campbell (30.11 – 39th).  Our U17 women finished the race in a much deserved bronze medal position despite the absence of the much missed and in form Niamh Hillard. An excellent performance.

In the U17 mens race Zak Lambert was 14th in 21.48 followed by brothers Will (22.34 – 27th) and James Mayes (24.35 – 54th).

All of the above runners did the club and themselves proud.
Alex Pester and Ned Campbell
Charly Marshall with Olivia Robinson not far behind.
Olivia Robinson and Onna Dowling
Emma Bexson and Suzie Ross
Emma Vickers and Sarah Gillard
U20 women, U20 men and Senior women.

Report – David Jones

In the U20 ladies race GB triathlete Charly Marshall was first runner home for the club, finishing in 14th place with a time of 26.02. Charly was, however, disappointed, saying her running form is a bit off at the moment although her biking is improving. Charly was followed by Olivia Robinson in 17th place (26.28) and Onna Dowling in 34th place (32.05). They enabled the team to finish in 7th place overall out of 21 teams represented.

In the U20 men’s race Alex Pester had an excellent race finishing in 15th place (29.01) just ahead of Ned Campbell who was once again struggling with a recurring back problem. Ned finished in 19th place with a time of  29.32.

Our senior ladies were led home by Birmingham Uni student Georgie Campbell who finished in a superb 5th place out of 178 runners with a time of 30.24. Georgie is really hitting form, claiming some good scalps in this race. She was one of the 3 remarkable Campbell family competing for us on the day.

Next to finish for our ladies was Emma Bexson (35.46 – 46th) followed by Suzi Ross (39.10 – 82nd), Emma Vickers (40.43 – 94th), Sarah Gillard (41.25 – 105th), Alison Bagnall (42.47 – 115th), Suzi Graham (43.24 – 119th), Rebecca Pridham (48.33 – 153rd) and Kath Pester (50.14 – 162nd). Our ladies team finished in 10th place out of 40 teams represented. An excellent performance.

Eli Ford and Zak Lambert
Will and James May
Becks Pridham and Kath Pester.
Suzi Graham and Alison Bagnell
Damian Wheeler and Dave Battersby
Youngest and Oldest

We had both ends of the age spectrum competing for us on the day, from U11 Georgia Sharpe to M60 Paul Baird