Straight from runway to running track.

Didn’t they do well ? Some team members, officials and helpers at Wednesday nights Vets League T&F fixture.
I’ll forgo the usual introduction but yes it has been varied.

Wednesday night saw the club host the latest Midland League Vets T&F fixture at the Stratford Track with the team expertly led by Team Manager Hannah Osbourne ably assisted by a small army of officials and helpers. Hannah even managed to send me a report after the fixture had finished. It arrived in my inbox after midnight. Above and beyond!

We had 5 newbies competing for us. A major scare among many on the night I suspect, saw Ben Kruze turning up to compete despite a delayed flight from Portugal earlier in the day threatening his appearance.

We have a few photos of our medallists at last weekend’s Midlands Senior and U20 Championships at Pingles Stadium including couple of Imy Sheppard ten years apart. Winning now, winning then.

Ash Habel completed the Grafman 70.3 triathlon and has sent in a smashing report. 

Karen and Rob Gisbourne, together with Lisa and Ian Stevens were doing what they do – something decidedly left field. This time it was Man ( and Women ! ) v Horse. I half expect them to appear in the next series of I’m a Celebrity.

The week wouldn’t seem complete without a Kate Sergent race. Last weekend it was the St Albans half marathon with her son Billy. Her simply too gorgeous granddaughter Ivy was waiting for her on the finish line.

Rachel Pearce finished her first Standard distance triathlon at Dorney Lake at the weekend.

It was superb weekend for U20 James Day. After running a new PB in the 800m on Saturday he was 1st U20 finisher in the Two Castles on Sunday, just a few seconds ahead of the next placed runner in his age category. Great running James. Back to your exams now!

In the Two Castles we had over 30 members taking part with Andy Lawrence finishing in 3rd place overall. Kendra Ingram has sent in her report of the race.

Another couple who like to try something new, something different are Jill and George Wilson. This week Jill sends us a report on their participation in the Sella Ronda Bikeday in Italy.

Finally we had just over 20 members compete in last week’s Sphinx 5.

We had lots of juniors competing at the Warwickshire Schools Championships last weekend and hopefully we might have something on that next week

Take care.

David Jones.
Ben Kruze. Straight from runway to running track !
Left: Dave Battersby and Alistair Webb in the outside lanes.
Right: Donna Allen and Emma Bexson.
Racewalkers rule – L to R: Paul Hawkins, Jan McLure, Gemma Smith and Pete Sugden
Midland Vets T&F  league

Fixture 2

Stratford Track

Report – Hannah Osborne

Wednesday saw Match 2 in the Midlands Vets T&F league and this month we were hosting.

Thank you to all the people who helped to pull the event together, volunteers who gave up their time to get field lines painted or sort the scoring cards as well as all officials on the night.

We had 5 first timers taking part for the team, which was exciting and everyone did their bit – PB’s, new events, supporting etc.

There are a few people I’d like to mention. Ben Kruze who until Wednesday morning was in Portugal on holiday. Wednesday morning I woke up to a message from him “Flight delayed predictably but should be back in time for later”.

You could say I was relieved when he did turn up at the track at 7pm.

With a less than ideal race prep that day he went out and ran the 800m, followed by a ‘lane 2’ run of the 3000m, which he ran side by side with a MM athlete who Ben sped off from in the last 100m.

He then stepped in to run a leg of the 4x400m relay after another runner had to pull out. Ben, thank you!

Kate Sergent, she keeps us on our toes and is one of very few 70 year old+ runners in the club. On Wednesday she did the 1st race, W70 100m and she would have been heading home but after no-one was able to fill the W60 3000m race, she stayed around to run this for the club and brought home 4 points for us.


Donna Allen – what a credit to Stratford AC!  Donna is still to find her niche on the track but is a valuable team player and an incredible athlete.

She steps in where needed and gives it her all!

After competing in the 800m, she filled a gap left by illness to compete the 3000m for the team, she ran so well and had an awesome kick in the last 150m to win the race (3 age categories in one), running a time of 11:30ish. She then finished off running a leg of the 4x400m relay.

Midland Senior and U20 Championships at The Pingles Stadium

Below are a few photos of our medallists from the above meeting at the Pingles Stadium last weekend. Courtesy of Mike Sheppard
Catherine Reynolds on her way to SW 400m gold medal at the Midland Senior and U20 Championships at The Pingles Stadium last weekend.
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This is now. That was then. The difference a decade makes. Not very much apparently – winning now – winning then.

Imy Sheppard:

Left:  Midland Champs June 2024: Senior Women 800m – 2:13.
Right: Warwickshire County Champs May 2014: U13G 800m – 2:33
Freddie Clemons U20M on his way to the silver medal in U20 110 mH. 
Top to bottom: Ash Habel

Grafman 70.3 Triathlon

Report – Ash Habel

After spending the Saturday getting everything ready for the race and double checking my bike and gears, is was an early night ready for the 3:30am alarm in the morning.

I arrived in good time and began getting set up for the mass start at 7:00am.

The water was a chilly 14 degrees so wet suit was mandatory but I was a bit concerned about how cold it was without a cap or gloves! 

I started the swim fast, a little to fast… After around 200m I was out of breath and had to switch to breast stroke to catch my breath. I think the adrenaline from the start of the race and the cold shock and wanted to warm up fast caused this but once I got my breath back after a minute I switch back to front crawl and soon got a good rhythm.

I finished the 1.9km swim in 39 minutes, a little slower than planned but I actually swam faster than I had anticipated overall, just not in a very straight line! ????

After a swift 1st transition it was onto the bike. All was going well until mile 30… I heard something hit the road behind me and a bit of commotion. I hoped it wasnt anything from my bike but as I reached back to feel for my water bottle I found that the bottle that contained all my bike leg nutrition in had gone… Dark thoughts started to settle in as I carried on that I wouldn’t be able to finish with out this bottle.

I was on an out and back leg so I was desperately trying to landmark where I was with the hope that the bottle would still be there when I return to this spot later. After about another 5 miles of doubt, a bike pulled up along side me. The guy riding it said “you dropped this” as I handed out my nutrition bottle! After awarding him legendary status and many thank yous, he overtook  me and pulled over ready to turn around and continue with his ride. He wasn’t even in the race but had seen what happened and followed me. A true hero!

With the race back on I continued with a new felt sense of “I can do this!” At mile 40 I had another moment where I felt something tickling my head. As it worked it’s way down my visor and onto my eyebrow I realised it was a large wasp inside my helmet. At this point it was brushing against my eyelid so I thought sod this and pulled over to swiftly remove the critter from my helmet before I got stung!

The rest of the bike leg went without a hitch and I managed to finish in my desired time of 2:54.

As soon as I jumped off the bike I felt all the blood rush to my legs from my stomach and didn’t feel very well and thought for sure I wasn’t going to be able to run very far without stopping for a toilet break, but luckily this feeling passed after 4 miles or so and I was able to continue taking on my energy cells and water.

The run started strong, and I had to ease off but this progressively got harder as the temperature climbed and so did my heart rate.

It was 25 degrees by the end of the race and I was really feeling the heat. As I was on the last mile of the last lap a shout from my wife in the crowd told me I was still on for a sub 5:30 time which was my goal. So I mustered up anything I had left and pushed to finish strong. I crossed the line with a HM time of 1:50 and a total finish time of 5:26:41 which I was really happy with!

I would definitely recommend this race to anyone else. The support was great throughout and it was well organised.

Time for a well earned break for a week now before the training starts again for my next one in September!

Shouldn’t it be Women v Horse ?
L to R: A friend from Wales alongside Karen Gisbourne and Lisa Stevens.
Lisa Stevens and Rob Gisbourne
Ian Stevens
Man v Horse
Report   – Karen Gisbourne

Man V Horse is a race over mountainous terrain starting in Llanwrtyd Wells, a tiny town in the middle of Wales with a population of around 600 people.

On the 2nd weekend of June an influx of hardy souls increases this number to around 1500 including runners, riders and support crews.

The runners and riders have one aim which is to beat each other to the finish line over the same shared course.
So being some of those hardy souls ( have been called other names) myself, Rob Gisbourne, Lisa Stevens and Ian Stevens descend on the aforesaid small town for our second attempt of beating at least one horse.

On arriving we sat in the local pub discussing the fact that the organisers had decided, in their wisdom, to add 3 miles to the race and another 1000ft of elevation….why? Because it’s meant to be tough! A fact that the instigator of the race told us gleefully when we picked up our numbers, although he did say he had taken onboard some of the comments about the increased distance and reduced it slightly….by 300 yards….seriously!

So race day dawned and was cool and slightly overcast, great conditions for both horses and runners .

After parking at the finish, we walked half a mile to the centre of town where all the runners congregated in front of the Neuadd Arms Hotel, where the idea was born.

The atmosphere is electric and it feels like the whole town has turned out to support the event.

It was my turn to do leg one this year and at 11.00 on the dot the hooter sounds for the start and the runners leave the town down an undulating road and then start a climb up a ridiculously long steep hill that felt like torture as you know the horses will be starting 15 mins behind you.

Once you reach the top there is a slippy woodland section that takes you onto a slate track and it was here that the first horse popped out of the woods closely followed by several others that looked like they meant business.

This is where it got interesting as you are now on the same route which is quite challenging and pretty narrow at times, a horse’s bottom is quite handy when you start to slip, lucky she didn’t object !
There is a 2 hour cut off for each leg of the relay so the pressure is on to pass the baton within your allocated time and not to eat into the next runner’s time allowance. I must admit as mine was the longest leg I was a bit concerned but I reached my hand over point in 1.50 and was absolutely buzzing that I had done it.

Our 2nd leg runner was a lovely lady from Wales who is a good friend of Mr and Mrs Stevens so knows all about running those hills and as she disappeared into the woods and I boarded the coach for the trip back to town. 

Everyone in this race is so supportive with riders passing saying they didn’t know how we were running over that terrain and the speed that some runners were going at was amazing (not me I might add ).

When i got back I was lucky to see the first runner come in and then it is a tense waiting game as the clock counts down as you scan the horizon for the first horse, they have 15 minutes to cross the line after the first human and unfortunately the poor man who had run his heart out had to watch a horse cross the line with 12 mins left to go.
The first runner

back for Stratford AC was Ian Stevens in a fantastic time of 3:52 and a new Man V Horse PB for Rob Gisbourne in 3:53, which was17 minutes quicker than 2023 over a longer higher course, and both achieved top 10% finishes.

It was great to be able to cheer Lisa Stevens in who brought it home for The Moody Mares who completed the course in 5.03 at a faster overall pace than last year.

My absolute favourite event and can’t wait to go back next year………oh and yes we all beat horses home. 
Kate Sergent with her son Billy and darling granddaughter Ivy.

St Albans Half Marathon


Report – Kate Sergent.

Last Sunday I ran St Albans Half Marathon for the 3rd year running.

My son and I have done it together the past 2 years but last year it was almost 30 degrees so we waited until the last minute to enter watching the weather forecast to see if it was going to be cooler. The organisers had also decided a 9 am start instead of ten so we entered! 

It’s a great event, so well organised starting in Velurium Park with around 2000 runners taking part.

It is a challenging hilly route taking in Hertfordshire countryside.

My son hadn’t trained for the distance this year so he kindly ran with me and we were not happy when the 2.20 pacer passed us with a ghetto blaster blasting out the usual music people think you like running to!

I wasn’t having any of it so tried going a bit faster and we managed to pass him at mile 10 and it was great not to hear him again!!

We entered the park to hear my grandaughter shouting for Daddy and Granny cake and crossed the line holding hands a first for me as he is usually showered and changed when i finish.

My time 2.18 gave me 2nd age group finish. 

A great half highly recommended!

Rachel Pearce.

Dorney Lake Triathlon


Report – Rachel Pearce.

I competed in my first standard distance triathlon (1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run) at Dorney lake on Saturday.

After 24 minutes in the water I emerged as 4th placed female.

I was then onto the bike for an 8 lap ride of the lake. The bike course was busy and the cross winds seemed to get stronger each lap. I completed the cycle in 1 hour 9 minutes.

To finish came the 10km run which I completed in 44:09. This gave me a total time of 2:20:30 which placed me 3rd female and 1st in my age group. Not too bad for my first attempt at this distance.

Our very own James Day was 1st U20 finisher in last weekend’s Two Castles race, finishing just a few seconds ahead of the 2nd placed runner in his age category. Here he is being presented with his trophy. 

He did run in his club vest but the presentation wasn’t for some time after the finish so he was wearing the t-shirt for warmth!!

His time was 37:28.4

His father puts his success partly down to his cooking the night before – when he triple carb loaded him with lasagne, chips and focaccia!!

I think James’ talent and hard work in training had something to do with it as well.

James had a busy weekend. The day before, at the Warwickshire Schools County Championships, he ran a PB time of 2:09.2 in the 800m.

Well done James

Kendra Ingram

The Two Castles.

We had over 30 members competing in this race last Sunday and below is a report from Kendra Ingram. Andy Lawrence finished in 3rd place overall with a time of 32:18.8.

The full results are listed here:

Report – Kendra Ingram


It was pretty much perfect running weather for the race on Sunday, sunny but not too warm.

It was great to see so many people taking part this year, the only issue is the usual toilet issues – it seems to be the standard there are never enough toilets and this causes  long queues!

I was aiming for sub 1 hour to beat my last time.

All was OK for first 4km but with hills at 5 and 7km I was worried.

The the last 2.5km through the houses was amazing. The support from residents was fantastic and I’ve never had so many offers of jelly babies!

I finished under an hour my target (only just but it’s still counts!).

George and Jill Wilson
Sella Ronda Bikeday 8 June 2024

Report – Jill Wilson

If you think e-biking is cheating, stop reading now….

Last Saturday while on holiday in Italy Graham and I participated in the SellaRonda BikeDay – when the roads around the 35 mile circuit encompassing four mountain passes in the Dolomites are closed to traffic and open to just bikes – of all varieties and cyclists of all shapes and sizes.

A truly inclusive event. It was wonderful! One of the best things I’ve done in my life. 

A long steady climb to the Gardena pass then a coffee stop at the Sella pass, picnic lunch at the Pordoi pass, outstandingly beautiful run down switchback bends through wildflower meadows into Arabba for the obligatory bratwurst. Then it was back to camp at Colfosco over the Campolongo pass.

Nearly seven hours in the saddle and 1750m of elevation, still hard work even on our trusty e-bikes.

Could we have done it without electric assistance?


This is an event open to all and we saw anyone and everyone – elite cyclists, Sunday afternoon cyclists, families with kids in trailers, e-bikes a-plenty, even Victor the dog in a box on the back of a bike.

A truly grand day out. 

Sphinx 5

We had over 20 members competing in last week’s Sphinx 5, where Jamie Hall was our first finisher in 33rd place with a time of 29:58. Kate Wright was our first lady finisher and 3rd female overall in 51st place with a time of 30:50.

Full results below: