Above : Rich Shephard on his way to winning the Compton Verney half marathon by 4 minutes. Below : Team Stratford at Compton Verney
Smells Like Team Spirit
And what a team spirit.
The morning after the night before.
Last night close to 50 club members were either competing, officiating or volunteering as we hosted a Vet’s T&F league fixture at our own High School track for the very first time.
It was a magnificent occasion blessed by glorious weather. The feedback I had at the end of the night from visiting team members was wholly positive.
It was a night when both junior and senior sections of the club rose to the occasion and helped put on great show.
Planning and organising this fixture was absolutely a joint effort by both myself and Andy List and I think it’s fair to say we both found it to be a pretty steep learning curve and something that we could not have done without the support of so many other club members.
The team’s performance will be the subject of a proper report by Andy Reeves when the official results are published.
A quick look at the provisional results this morning indicate that, having been run very close by us at the last fixture, Worcester AC raised their game considerably, increasing their points total from 239 at Redditch to 278 last night.
We once again did the club proud by finishing in 2nd place with 246 points, 32 behind Worcester, a wider gap than in the last fixture but still a big improvement on the first fixture.
Both of our teams finished in 2nd place with the men just 14 points behind Worcester and the ladies 18 points behind.
I must stress that these are provisional results.
There were so many club members officiating or volunteering and I’m going to attempt to thank them all.
A massive thank you to Paul Bearman and Sandy Green who put up with my continual whining about the cage markings and who were so generous with their time, advice and help. On the night they were ably assisted by Carolyne Johnstone and Michael Lane. Thank you both.
Senior members who officiated and to who thanks are due were Tony Jackson, Anthony Carus, Danny Tolhurst, Chris Belcher, John Turner, Daf Hawkins, Amanda van der Schyff, Alison Gravelsons, Dave Battersby and Dave Wolstencroft. Without you guys the fixture just would not have happened. Thank you.
Sarah Bland was superb and unflappable in collating the results, signing in the officials, administering team changes, doing the PA etc. etc.
Andy List was doing everything from raking the sand pit, to helping Sarah, to shooting back home to pick up extra leads, weighing the implements etc. etc. A genuine Jack of All Trades.
Thanks also to Cindy and Emily for putting on the refreshments.
I’m loathe to single out individual members but I must praise the efforts of the 4 junior members who helped out on the night. Caleb Spriggs, Alex Adams & Charlotte and Harry Gravelsons were superb throughout, showing energetic enthusiasm allied to a superb work ethic and all with a smile on their faces. Thank you.
Many thanks also to members who came along to support.
I think, indeed I know, we all did the club proud..
Elsewhere this week we have a report on the Compton Verney half marathon, with 27 members competing and 3 of them finishing in the top 5.
Paul Hawkins was doing his walking thing again, this time finishing 3rd in his age group at the British Masters 10k Racewalking Championships and Lesley Kirk and Lisa Dallisson found another mountain to run up in the Midnight Mountain half marathon.
Finally, a special thank you to Jon Mulkeen for his wonderful photos from Compton Verney.
Enjoy the rest of your week.
Above : Emma Parkin, out first female finisher at Compton Verney. Below : Matt Burdus-Cook on his way to a 3rd place finish at Compton Verney
Compton Verney Half Marathon.
Report – David Jones
Previously known as Edgehill Half Marathon, Tempo Events decided to rename the race after the beautiful start and finish venue.
This half marathon sets off from the front of Compton Verney and winds through the villages of Kineton, Little Kineton and Radway before returning up the “cheeky” Pittern Hill at 11.5 miles and back to finish on the lawns of Compton Verney by the lake.
Like the previous two years, this year’s race was blessed with glorious weather and no fewer than 27 club members lined up at the start of the race. Remarkably 3 of these members finished in the top 5.
First of these to finish, indeed first to finish overall, was Rich Shephard in a stunning time of 1:16.55, a full 4 minutes ahead of the 2nd placed runner. Next was Matt Burdus-Cook, who is in a superb vein of form, in 3rd place with a time of 1.21.16, just 16 seconds behind the 2nd placed runner. Matt was followed by Neil Wicks in 1:22.25 and 5th place overall.
Next was James Coy who broke the 90 minute barrier (20th – 1:29.24 ). This was the quickest of his 3 half marathons this year and his quickest half marathon for 3 years.
Just under 2 1/2 minutes and 7 places separated our next 4 club runners to finish. The first of these was Richard Liggatt (22nd – 1:30.54) closely followed by James Cusack (24th – 1:31.13) John Raby (25 – 1:31.53 ) and Mark Hateley (29th – 1:32.20)
Adam Evans (38th – 1:34.35) was followed by Joe Lee (50th – 1:38.08). It was then the turn of Pete Sugden who’s time of 1:38.52 was a full 10 minutes quicker than last year.
Graham Hill (74th – 1:41.55) was followed by Emma Parkin (94th – 1:45.26) the first of our females to finish. The second of the Stratford women to finish was Cara Reynolds 1:46.21) followed just 23 seconds later by Sam Wignell (1:47.44) and then Yvonne Gajny (1:50.52). Yvonne finished 4th in her age category.
Tony Tomecek and Sarah Vernon recorded identical times of 1:57.17 and for Sarah it was a PB.
Tara Lambert (1:57.30) was followed by 2 top 5 age category runners. The first of these was Maggie MacLeod, just dipping under the two hour mark with a time of 1:59.29 and 3rd in her age category and Bev Brigden (2:01.42) who was 5th in her age category.
Our other club members to finish the course were Louise Stewart (2:04.18), Kimberley Lee (2:06.30), Stuart MacLeod (2:21.42), Kate Sergent (2:27.57) and Pippa Abrams (2:28.08). Kate was 1st in her age category, a full 10 minutes ahead of the next placed runner.
The first female to finish was Joanne McCandless in 4th place with a time of 1:21.28. 328 runners completed the course.
The Jim Sharlott 10k – incorporating the BMAF 10k Racewalk Championships.
Report – David Jones
The Jim Sharlott 10k included a 10k racewalk, which itself incorporated the British Masters 10k racewalk Championships.
It was held in Abbey Park, Leicester over an oval lap on footpaths.
Our very own international Masters racewalker Paul Hawkins was one of the competitors.
Paul says he started off at a decent pace but that his form wasn’t brilliant and he felt he made a few errors early on. He then slowed down a bit in the middle of the race but finished strongly. His last mile was his quickest and he finished 3rd in his age category with a time of 64.28.
With barely a minute separating the top 3 places, he was just 17 seconds behind the 2nd placed finisher, who had passed him at the half way mark but he kept close and was closing in on him at the end.
Paul will be competing in the BMAF 20k in a couple of weeks time
The Midnight Mountain Half Marathon
Report – David Jones.
The Midnight Mountain Half Marathon is no ordinary half. Set in the breathtaking Brecon Beacons, the course takes runners through forests, over streams, past waterfalls and up mountains.
The difference between this and any other mountain half marathon is that competitors start at 5.30PM.
The Midnight Mountain Half Marathon uses part of the ‘Fan Dance’ which is a the infamous run taken on by potential members of British Special Forces as part of their selection process. This includes an ascent of Pen y Fan (2,907ft / 886m) which is the highest peak in South Wales.
Club members Lesley Kirk and Lisa Dallisson competed in this challenging event, finishing 39th and 40th respectively. Lesley’s time of 2:14.04 secured 2nd place for her in her age category, with Lisa finishing just 43 seconds later, in a time of 2:14.47
The race was won by Faye Johnson in 1:38.36 and the first male to finish, in 2nd place overall was Henry Dodwell with a time of 1:39.38. 106 competitors completed the course.
Some superb photos from the Compton Verney half courtesy of Jon Mulkeen.
Clockwise from the top :
BevBrigden, John Raby, Tara Lambert, Richard Liggatt, Graham Hill, Louise Stewart, Yvonne Gajny, Pete Sugden, Sam Wignell, James Cusack, Joe Lee, Sarah Vernon and Maggie Macleod, Tony Tomacek, Stuart Macleod, Neil Wicks, Adam Evans, Pippa Abrams & Kate Sergent and James Coy.