Thoroughbred’s excel at Cheltenham Race Course.

That’s what we like to see  – Olisa Odiamma McKenzie on top of the podium. 
Welcome to the 400th edition of the club newsletter.

Time flies.

We kick off with a catch up report on some important junior T&F events together with confirmation that having won The Warwick Vase 7 years on the trot, we finished in 2nd place this year to the formidable Rugby and Northampton Teams. In the same report we hear how so many of our junior’s excelled representing their respective counties.

We also have the final team results from last week’s Vet’s T&F league fixture with our ladies finishing within 1 point of Worcester ladies. Our men finished in 3rd place with our combined team finishing 2nd on the night.

Adrian Mason had a wonderful Father\s Day by winning the 10k at Cheltenham Race course. There is a super report on 3 of our recent C25Kers competing at Cheltenham. It’s heartening on a couple of levels because I think it reflects well on us as a club for continuing to organise free to enter C25K groups and it most definitely reflects well on Lisa Parkhill, Lizzy Perry-Natrins and Rebecca Rumsey, who all exceeded their expectations greatly by all running great races. They also had a ball. Welcome to the world of races ladies. Onwards and upwards. John Butler also competed at Cheltenham picking up an age category award

Well it was a case of another week another half marathon and another age category win for the indefatigable and ageless Kate Sergent.

On Wednesday night some 49 members competed in this month’s Shakespeare race at Bidford.

Last weekend also saw a small but perfectly formed team compete in the Technical Events Midland League T&F fixture and finally a dozen members competed in the challenging Offa’s Dyke 15.

Good luck to those of you who are competing at the weekend.

Take care.

David Jones.
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Oliver Battersby flies through the air.
While Seb Hillard floats over the hurdles
Olisa Odiamma McKenzie is well clear

County Schools and Inter County Championships.

Report – Paul Bearman

After a long winter’s and spring training we are well into the competition season and after the respective County Championships where, after 7 years winning the Warwick Vase as the club with the best number of points, Stratford were knocked off their perch by a formidable Rugby & Northampton team but once again the strength across the juniors in particular showed what a strong club we are competing against much bigger clubs.

Onto the County Schools Championships, which are the first step towards the English Schools National Championships and over 40 Stratford junior athletes were selected to compete in their respective county championships; Warwickshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire

After trials athletes were selected to represent their area, which is a feather in their cap to start with. The County Championships are a gateway for junior athletes to represent their respective area at the various inter county champs.

For those who do well they can be selected for the prestigious Inter County Championships, which are a major stepping stone towards the possibility of being selected for the ESAA Championships assuming they reach the stringent ESAA entry standards. This is the pathway we set ourselves and work towards at the beginning of the season.

After the trials in local schools 39 athletes were selected to represent South Warwickshire schools in the inter area championships with a couple more in the Central area at Leamington.

Ruby Edwards and Ella Smith went to the Gloucestershire Championships and Luca de Freitas Pires and Ethan Winning competed in the Worcestershire Championships at Stourport.

Amongst the many excellent performances across the 3 championships, Alex Wood broke the Warks county schools’ junior boys 300m record with a dominant run finishing in 38.8s. He has the ESAA entry standard from previous races.

Olisa Odiamma McKenzie produced a leap of 1.72m to win the junior boys High Jump, achieving the ESAA entry standard in the process.

The Lambert brothers Sam and Zac dominated their respective races with Sam winning the 800m in a time 1.59.7 and was followed home by James Day 2.09.2 and Josh Davis 2.10.2 for a 1-2-3. Sam also has the ESAA ES from an earlier race.

Another 1-2-3 came in the Inter boys 3000m with Zac winning in 9.09.2 followed by Will Mayes in 9.28.0 and Tom Fisher in 9.34.2.

Seb Hillard is on the comeback trail after fracturing his ankle earlier in the year and he won the Inter boys 100m hurdles in a time of 14.5s and his training partner Toby Thomas finished 3rd after knocking nearly a second off his PB. 

Will Hovell won the junior boys 800m in a time of 2.08.0 but he also continued his odyssey in the Pole Vault finishing 2nd in his first competition with a “modest” but promising 2.40m.

Afterwards The South’s Team Manager Jamie Powell from Alcester Academy said “our athletes did a fabulous job finishing second in the Inter age group and winning the Juniors. Also, we were the only area with Seniors involved (all Stratford AC athletes), so you could say we won that too, although there’s no trophy!

After their performances in the 3 championships, 14 Stratford athletes were selected to represent their counties in their respective Inter County Championships. These competitions are only just one down from the national ESAA champs and so represent a big step up in the level of competitors that are involved.




Alex Wood




Will Hovell


800 & Pole Vault


Arthur Williamson




Olisa McKenzie


High Jump


Niamh Williams




James Day




Will Mayes




Zak Lambert




Seb Hillard




Ethan Winning




Oliver Battersby


High Jump


Luca de Freitas Pires


Long Jump


Ella Smith




Ruby Edwards


Triple & Long Jump


Ella Smith and Ruby Edwards travelled to Exeter for the South West Championships representing Gloucestershire against Dorset, Wiltshire, Avon, Devon, Somerset and Cornwall.

The rest of the Stratford contingent competed In Stoke in the Masons Trophy for either Herefordshire & Worcestershire or Warwickshire against Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire and the West Midlands

Amongst some good performances and personal bests, the stand out medal performances came from Olisa Odiamma McKenzie winning gold in the junior boys High Jump with 1.71, Will Hovell winning silver in the JB Pole Vault with 2.20m and another entry standard performance from Alex Wood winning bronze in the JB 300m in 37.94.

The final comments come from Gwil Price the Warwickshire Team manager…..

A very proud Warwickshire Schools A.A. ‘Champion County for the 2nd year running!!!!  …..

A fantastic result for us!!

It must be remembered that we are a small county by comparison with the majority of Counties competing at this event, thus making this follow up win an even greater achievement!

The 90 athletes from 30 schools displayed real determination and total commitment, using their considerable talent to compete strongly against quality opposition and some appalling weather conditions Some were gaining their first representative honour at county level and many were relatively inexperienced 

Finally, to the greater number of athletes who represented us at the Mason but will not qualify for the ESAA Championships, feel proud that you have achieved so much at this prestigious event!

My thanks to Stratford volunteers for their support Niamh Hillard, Emma Sparrow, Sandy Green and Nick Hillard.

Midland Vets T&F League

Ladies 2nd, men 3rd on the night.

Above are the team results from last week’s Midland Vets T&F league fixture, showing that our ladies finished in 2nd place, just a single point behind the all conquering Worcester Ladies. 141 v 142. That’s close. From memory, we’ve only ever beaten Worcester Ladies once in the 10 years or so since we’ve been competing in this league.

Our men’s team finished the night in 3rd place, just 4 points behind 2nd placed Midland Masters.

After 2 fixtures our combined teams are in 2nd place overall in the league on 494 points, some 67 points behind Worcester but 123 points clear of 3rd placed Bromsgrove & Redditch.
And the winner was…..Adrian Mason. Well done Ade
Adrian with his 7 year old daughter Daisy who took part in her first chipped time race.
Adrian alongside age category winner John Butler
Cheltenham Racecourse Running Festival 10k 

Report – Adrian Mason

And they’re off…………. Odds on favourite 🙂

As part of the Cheltenham Running Festival held on Fathers Day, comprising of a 5k,10k and Half Marathon, I opted to run the 10k race along with the invincible and fellow club runner, John Butler.

Being my home town, having lived there for 20 of my younger years, it’s always an honour to return and run there, none more so than at the world stage of the Cheltenham Racecourse.  

Sold as a “flat-ish” course, it is far from flat and whilst a large majority is on tarmac, there is a fair share of gravel and soft wood chippings (no prizes for guessing what’s buried under the chippings!) but thankfully they removed all the fences! 

The 10k ran two laps of the course, which meant spectators had a great view of the runners, but it did become quite busy in places, as all three races were on the course at the same time, with the Half doing 4 laps!

With no expectations and no idea how many entrants there were, I rocked up for a pleasant sunny Fathers Day trot, hoping for a Top 10 finish at best.  With ~180 starters, I led the pack out following the 10k lead bike and had a contest on my hands up until about 6km. 

It was at this point I realised the competition were fading a little with the heat, so I pushed on feeling quite comfortable with the pace and ~4km later, running slightly long, I crossed the line as the winner!! in a time of 38:31. 

John Butler also bagged another age cat win to his name. 

Delighted with the win and completely unexpected, this made for a great Father Day that I won’t forget in a hurry and the 1st Place medal was lovely too.  My 7yo daughter Daisy also ran her first chip-timed mini race with 58 other children of all ages and came 21st.  She was over the moon and it made for a great family day out.

Left to right: Lisa Parkhill, Lizzy Perry-Natrins and Rebecca Rumsey.
Cheltenham Racecourse Running Festival 

Report – Lisa Parkhill.

The day started well with the warmth of the sunshine putting Lizzy, Bec and myself in good spirits for what I guess Bec and I can call our first official 10k since our Couch 2 5k graduation in January.

Lizzy entered the 5k and Bec and I were pretty sure she was going to get a PB, despite her disagreeing.

On the journey there I was moaning about the lap thing. I almost changed distance a few weeks ago as I’m not a lap fan and was doubting my ability as to if I was capable of running 2 laps of 3 miles!

Bec prepared in ways she’d never done before a run or raceday, aiming to go out faster than usual and eating breakfast. Lizzy was calm, well organised and assured us we’d be fine. 

We wished each other luck as we set off for our runs.

I have to say, I thought racecourses were meant to be flat. There were quite a few inclines in places which started messing with my lap issues.. haha.

Fair play to the half marathon runners who had 4 laps to contend with.

On the whole I felt good and went off at a sensible pace and I was able to maintain it without dying towards the end.

Bec felt hot
Lizzy felt she may have missed out on part of the course resulting in knocking 4 minutes off her time!

When we found eachother at the finish we all smashed it and got much better times than expected. 

Lizzy got an amazing PB for her 5k of 27:49  
1st in age group.

Bec ran an incredible 1:04 when she had targeted 1:06.

I was very happy with my time of 1:01:18, I was thinking more of 1:10. 

We were very proud of ourselves. 
We saw Adrian Mason who won the 10k in 38:31
Well done Adrian. We saw John Butler too.

So on the way home, I decided the lap thing wasn’t that bad and even though Bec had stitch all the way round, she managed to keep her breakfast down.
Bec also had her 3 answers to race practice.. Can’t eat anything before a race, can go out faster than normal and still have fastest splits at the end but will feel like dying and needs to buy some bone conducting headphones.
Bec and I praised Superstar Lizzy on her amazing PB.

So how better to spend a Sunday… I can’t think of one!! 
Another week another half marathon! Kate Sergent.
Redditch Half Marathon.
Report – Kate Sergent.

Knowing my husband Martyn was away working I decided to enter Redditch Half  Marathon. It’s local and 6 laps of Arrow Valley Park ( one of my favourite parkruns) and it would give me a focus for the day.

My good friend Ann ( David Jones’ wife) said that only I could enter a half marathon , the week after my last one just because it would “ give me something to do”

Ian Greaves was 72nd in a time of 1:51.01 but I didn’t see him. 

There was a 10 k option but I like the long slow miles and the half didn’t disappoint.

Brilliant organisation. Lots of lovely marshals. Lots of water.

I loved it!

I did stop for the loo so was a couple of minutes slower than last week. 2.20.38 and 1st age group.
Then it was home to cook my own dinner!!
And they’re off !
This is so much fun.
June Shakespeare Race

Wednesday night saw some 49 club members compete in this month’s Shakespeare Race at Bidford.

Jamie Hall finished in 1st place with a time of 41.49, Drew Sambridge was 2nd in 42.57 and Sam Mercer 3rd in 44.38.

1st female finisher, in 15th place, was Maisie-Joy Spriggs in 51.07.

For the full results please follow the link below:
Thomas Stanton and Mafileo Lesatele
Matteo Martinengo
Tilly Campbell and Harry Hibbert
Emma Bexson
Maisie-Joy Spriggs
Midland T&F League

Technical Events Fixture

A small but perfectly formed Stratford team competed in this fixture last the weekend.

All divisions were competing at this fixture and the programme consisted of just: 

110/100m hurdles

400m hurdles

3000m steeplechase

400m flat

High Jump

Triple Jump

Pole Vault


It will probably be a while before we learn how the overall league points worked out on a division by division basis. On the day we had PBs recorded in the Triple Jump, Hammer & 400m!

For individual results please follow this link:


Technical-Match-2024-RESULTS-version1.pdf (

Offa’s Dyke 15
We had several members competing in this race last weekend and those listed in the results as Stratford A.C. members are shown below. Sarah Gillard also completed the race, finishing in 148th place with a time of 2:44.21.

For the full results please follow this link: