Catherine is in 7th heaven.

Catherine Reynolds was in sparkling 400m action in Sheffield last weekend. In a blistering run she ran a new PB of 56.59s which sets her up for an attack on the 400m at the upcoming British Universities championships. But prior to BUCS, she was “crying with happiness” after finding out she’s been invited to compete in the UK Championships in Birmingham on 17 February.
In another varied week, Catherine Reynolds ran a blistering 400m PB at Sheffield. She was in 7th heaven after finding out that she has been invited to compete in the UK Championships in Birmingham on 17 February.

We had 16 members competing in the Warwick Half Marathon where there were some PB’s, a smattering of first timers and a superb 5th place finish from Andy Lawrence.

There were some superb performances from our junior T&Fers (plus one not too junior!) at Loughborough.

Georgie Campbell and Alex Pester ran excellent races at the BUCS XC Championships in Leeds.

Wednesday night’s Shakespeare race saw 80 members competing, doubtless giving the residents of Maidenhead Road something of a fright as they saw some 80 Yellow and Black vests swarming along their affluent road.

Huw Crosweller reports on his Severn Valley parkrun and there’s a photo of last Saturday’s local parkrun leaderboard showing our talented junior endurance runners occupying 3 of the top 4 places.

Good luck to our various XC runners this weekend as they embark on their final league race of the season.

Take care

David Jones
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Andy Lawrence our first runner to finish in the Warwick Half. Andy was 5th out of over 2000 finishers. A superb achievement.

Pip Bell, Stuart McLean, Susan Hunt, Sandie Owens and Annie Walton

Warwick Half Marathon


Report – Sam Swanepoel and David Jones

Last weekend saw 16 club members take on the Warwick Half Marathon. In fairly favourable conditions for a February race, a few club members were happy to achieve both course and personal best times. 

The first person to finish in the yellow and black vest was Andy Lawrence who was 5thth in a PB time of 1:10:45. Joe Lee (1:26.43), Pip Bell (1:57.03) and Sandie Owens (2:17.22) also ran PBs. Not only did Pip run a PB but her time was over 9 minutes quicker than when she last ran this race prior to her joining the club. 

Stuart Mclean won his V75 male category in 2:16:28 and Steve Batsford (1:30.18) was 2nd out of 68 runners in his M55 age category, just 42 seconds behind the 1st placed athlete.

Other club members competing were James Cottriall (1:21.18), Andy Cox (1:24.10), Adam Evans (1:26.34), Max Ross (1:27.11), John Devine (1:41.20), Kim Lee (1:47.48), Paul Baird (1:59.05), Selby Dickinson (2:03.45), Megan Easley (2:29.44) and Annie Wilton (2:57.43).

Susan Hunt donned the backpack and flag to pace other runners to a sub 2:30 time.

2067 runners completed the course. The overall winner was Douglas Musson from Notts AC and 1st lady finisher was Isabel Davis (Purbeck Runners) in 57th place with a time of 1:22.39.

Full results below:

John Devine ran the race at short notice, having taken the place of an injured friend. He looks pretty happy with his time of 1:41.20.
Stuart McLean
Selby Dickinson who seems to be enjoying himself.
Selby’s Race

Report – Selby Dickinson

18 months ago the wonderful Kate Sergent persuaded me to join the club as I had mentioned in conversation my potential interest in taking up running.

Not in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be participating in this event so soon. However, with lots of encouragement from fellow club members and a relatively short training programme, I ventured into the ‘unknown’. 

The advice I received proved invaluable. I started off well within my set pace and didn’t weave in-between runners. Due to the large numbers of runners, I felt the first 5kms went very quickly and the support out on the course was fantastic.

It was great to hear “come on Stratford” throughout the race although it did make me smile to hear someone shout out “you’re nearly there” at the 10km point!

I would describe the course as challenging due to the number of hills but definitely a very attractive route through the nearby villages.

As this was my first ‘longish’ race, I was very cautious with my pace and in hindsight, perhaps a little too cautious as I never felt that I was really pushing it but I was always in fear of what was around the corner.

However, I was aware that the last 2 kms were downhill and finally I felt able to step up the pace and really enjoy the great atmosphere. 

I was relatively pleased with my time of 2hrs 3mins but more importantly, I was chuffed with myself for having completed it and still feeling good at the end.

Although I have nothing to compare it with, I would definitely recommend it for 2025.

The past 18months have shot by and with inspirational members like David Jones and Co, I really do believe that Kate was right when she said that Stratford Upon Avon athletics club is such a welcoming and friendly club.

Sandie Owens and Stuart McLean – job done!
Sandie’s Race

Report – Sandie Owens

This is a really lovely half marathon. Well organised, friendly marshals, great support and a brilliant atmosphere when you finally cross the finish line.

Yes, there are a few cheeky hills but the route is beautiful. Once you leave the racecourse, you run through pretty villages and countryside on closed roads and even pass a field with a few snooty llamas looking on.

The weather was dry on Sunday, if a bit blustery,but great conditions to run in.

I started the race with club members Stuart McLean and Annie Walton and managed a PB of 2.17, Stuart came in ahead of me in 2.16 and Annie finished in 2.58.

I’ll be signing up for next year for sure…
Paula Williams at Loughborough alongside Matt Long who has  served as both an England Team Manager and England Team Coach.

Loughborough Indoor Open


Report – Paul Bearman

Remarkably West Midland athletes have no permanent indoor facility available for training let alone competing and so the Loughborough Open competitions are relatively local and provide good competition by attracting athletes from across the country and are a welcome break from the slog of winter training.

The competitions are a good indication of how well the winter is going and for some they are a necessity for building up to indoor championships and later on into the outdoor season.

As a coach I’m looking for progress and consistency and U17 Keenan Stratford is showing both. Competing in a swimming gala in the morning, he was suitably warmed up for his 60m and in his races he ran 7.67s in his first race and 7.66s in the second, so both were half a second quicker than his previous PB.

U17 Sam McKenzie is the epitome of consistency and 7.79 and 7.80s in his 60m races were just marginally outside his PB 0f 7.77s.

Tom Stanton has just moved up to the U17s and in his first ever 60m he ran 8.07s and 8.10s and gained some good experience from his first outings indoors.

Megan Thomas has moved into the U20 age group and was “very happy” with her 2 races with both beating her previous PB and her 8.14s in her first run was over 3 tenths faster than she ran 2 weeks previously.

U20 multi eventer Lucy Lane will unfortunately miss the England Athletics championships this coming weekend as she has an appointment on the French ski slopes and so she kept herself busy in Loughborough by competing in 3 events.

Her 8.20s in the 60m was a new PB and her hurdles times (9.59s and 9.96s) were just outside her PB as was her best Long Jump distance of 4.97m. Frustratingly she had 2 marginal no jumps that were clearly over 5m (“soooo annoying”) but consistent, nonetheless.

Our other leading multi eventer Paula Williams had a very good weekend emulating Lucy’s 3 events. Her 60m time of 8.43s is a seasons best but the icing in the cake was a new PB in the hurdles of 9.65s, over 3 tenths faster than her previous PB. Paula’s best shot put of 12.86m was down on her record-breaking performance 2 weeks previously but again excellent consistency.

Under 20 hurdler Freddie Clemons is showing some good form going into this weekend’s EA championships winning his heat in 8.61s.

U17 Ethan Winning had a winning start to his hurdles races running 9.29s in his heat and then 9.34s in his second race.

Training is one thing but stepping up and competing is another especially in such a technically demanding event like hurdling, and so a trepidatious Toby Thomas lined up for his first ever U17 hurdle race and surprised himself by finishing both races strongly (9.97s and 9.91s respectively) which has given him a massive confidence boost.

Georgie Campbell and Alex Pester were also in sparkling form at the BUCS XC Championships at Temple Newsam Park in Leeds last weekend.
Georgie finished in 28th place out of 553 competitors, completing the 6560m course in 28.08. Alex was 149th out of 679 runners in a time of 31.44 over the 7950m course.
February Shakespeare Race
Some of the runners and marshals replacing the calories they had expended in Wednesday’s Shakespeare Race


Report – David Jones

Some 80 club members took part in the 2nd Shakespeare Race of the year on Wednesday night in pretty much ideal conditions .

The course consisted of 2 laps, starting and finishing on Maidenhead Road. This meant running up Maidenhead Road a couple of times, something your editor was less than comfortable with!

Jamie Hall (29.57) repeated his victory in the January race with Matt Burdus-Cook (30.05) just 8 seconds behind him in 2nd place. Richard Liggatt (30.50) was 3rd followed by U20 runner Tom Cox (32.28)

First lady finisher was Kate Wright (34.50) in 11th place overall. 2nd placed lady, in 17th place, was U17 Maisie-Joy Spriggs (35.44). 3rd lady finisher, in 23rd place, was Emma Bexson (38.31).

For the full provisional results please follow the link below:


Huw Crosweller.

Severn Valley Parkrun


Report – Huw Crosweller

Whilst lots of people were having fun in Warwick I had a little trip away with the family.  I couldn’t help but sneak out to the nearest park and join in a plod around the local Parkrun course.

The start was at the top of the park with views across the valley and the River Severn.  The only way to go when the whistle went was down. A nice few hundred metres of downhill running along tarmac path until you reach the river.  I think I was chugging along in 4th place. From then on the course is mainly trail / compacted mud and stone paths.

There were a few muddy patches on the first loop bringing recent cross country races to mind, then it was over the river for two loops along the far bank. A nice cheeky little steep bank on each lap gave some nice interest to the route.

The final stretch was back across the river and a 200m uphill dash / slog to the finish. 

I managed 2nd place finish in a time of 20:28. Thoroughly enjoyable course and lovely friendly atmosphere. Definitely one I’d do again if I’m in the area. 

Stratford Parkrun
While on the subject of parkruns, I don’t often comment on our local one but I thought I would show the leader board from last Saturday’s run. This show’s our junior endurance runners occupying 3 of the top 4 places with Sam Lambert in 2nd place, brother Zak in 4th and Will Mayes sandwiched in-between them. Well done lads. Will’s brother James finished in 14th place just ahead of Kate Wright who had an incredible 99.14% age grade
Richard Liggatt was in 6th place and David Teasdale in 7th.