Super Sunday and Summer Six.

 

Medal winners one and all. 
L to R  – Paul Hawkins, Andy Reeves, David Jones and Phil Brennan, all of who won medals at last weekend’s British Masters Championships
This week we have a report on the British Masters Track and Field Championships, held at a wet and very windy Alexander Stadium, with all 4 of our club members who were competing, coming away with medals.

We also have a Summer Six report, including introductory comments from Tony Jackson on the importance of this race to both the club’s finances and reputation.

There’s a report on our Vets’ Track and Field team’s final league fixture of the year, in what has been our most successful campaign to date.

Although we again finished 2nd to the all conquering Worcester team, we managed to reduce the total score deficit between ourselves and Worcester from 169 points last year to 101.5 this year. The ladies have gone from and 83.5 point deficit to 59.5 and the men from 85.5 to just 42. I know 2nd place is still 2nd place but we have closed the gap considerably. 

Our ladies team tied with Worcester in the last fixture and in the 2nd fixture, our men’s team defeated Worcester men by just 1 point. It was the first time Worcester men have ever been defeated in a league fixture.

Finally, after a spread of photos, there a report on Team Adams and Hutchinson’s recent parkrun in Scotland. If any of you do a spot of parkrun tourism, please drop me a report, together with a photo and I’ll be sure to feature it.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Best Wishes

David Jones

 

Paul Hawkins on the way to one of his 2 silver medals at the weekend

British Masters Track and Field Championships.

Report – David Jones and Jon Mulkeen

All four club members competing at the British Masters Championships on 10-11 August came away from Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium with medals around their necks. Four of the 5 medals being claimed on the club’s very own Super Sunday.

In what was the finish edition of the championships to be held at the home of British Athletics prior to work commencing on the stadium in readiness for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Stratford quartet faced not only the cream of Britain’s athletes aged 35 and over, but also wet and extremely windy conditions.

Club chairman Paul Hawkins picked up a pair of silver medals in the M60 race walking events. First up was the 3000m where he quickly settled into second place, tracked by Hardeep Minhas. Hawkins was overtaken by Minhas after five laps but stayed just behind his opponent until the final 120m.

Paul then started to overtake and Minhas responded to his move by going too fast, as a result of which he was disqualified for bending his knees. It meant Hawkins finished second to claim the silver medal in 18:41.88, 25 seconds shy of his season’s best in a race that was hampered by the wind.

The conditions were much the same the next day when Hawkins lined up for the 5000m race walk. As was the case in the 3000m, Steve Allen went off quickly and Hawkins was fairly isolated, but he maintained a steady pace to finish runner-up in 32:00.71, claiming his second silver medal of the weekend.

“I was very happy with the two silvers,” said Hawkins. “The times were slow, but irrelevant in the conditions. I will get gold at these champs some time – that’s six silvers in three years!”

David Jones was delighted to pick up a bronze medal in the M65 800m, clocking 2:52.31, one day after finishing fourth in the 1500m (5:57.84). Although he missed out on a medal in the longer event, he was pleased to make up significant ground in the latter stages, having taken the bell some eight seconds behind the fourth-placed runner, whom he was able to overtake in the final 50 metres.

While his times were a bit slower than he would have liked, he was nevertheless happy with his performances in the difficult conditions.

Two of the club’s medallists will be representing their country next month at the European Masters Championships in Venice.

Phil Brennan competed in the M75 5000m and 800m with barely a couple of hours break in between. He finished fourth in the 5000m in one of the strongest M75 races ever held over the distance in the UK. His time, 23:07.77, was his fastest clocking for the distance for two years.

He then moved on to the 800m, where he claimed the bronze medal in 3:13.44, some 20 seconds clear of the fourth-placed runner.

Sprinter and high jumper Andy Reeves earned a bronze medal in the M35 high jump with 1.60m, just five centimetres shy of his season’s best.

 

Back row L to R : Hannah Finch, Maggie and Stuart Macleod, Rachel Green, Suzie Ross, Dave Maundrell, Annie Cox and John Butler.
Front row L to R : Kate Sergent, Max Ross, Graham Hill, Clare Weatherhead, Alan Green and not forgetting Retro Lilly the ice-cream van !
Stratford Summer Six.

Report – Tony Jackson and David Jones.

Our club has a well earned reputation for hosting well organised events and two of our races are primary fund raisers, without which there would be pressure to increase club subscriptions.

Our major race has always been the NTRIX Road Race but because we were becoming increasingly reliant on a single event the Committee made the decision to introduce a second race.

In hindsight this was a very important decision with the whole future of the NTRIX having being put into doubt following the withdrawal by NFU Mutual of their facilities and the cancellation of the 2019 race.
 
The Stratford Summer Six is based at Mary Arden’s House in Wilmcote and is a scenic six mile route on country roads.

It was first run in 2004 and has since been incorporated into the Warkwickshire Road Race League, which has promoted the race to all local clubs who make up the majority of entrants.

The race limit is set at 400 to reflect the limitations of the route and infrastructure e.g. car parking and this year, for the first time, we effectively reached the race limit before race day, which meant no on the day entries.

Once again the race was a huge success and whilst finances are still to be confirmed, this will be an important contribution to club funds.

The success of our races and our reputation doesn’t happen by accident and is dependent on a lot of hard work by the Race Committee and the volunteers who put their name forward to help in a variety of roles on the night.

Thank you to everybody who responded to the request for volunteers and to those who helped in any way. Without your support our races cannot take place    

 This year over 30 club members were involved in making the race run smoothly and another 20 members competed in the race.

The first of these to finish was Seth Turner in 52nd place with a time of 39.34, followed by Pete Sugden, who’s time of 40.30 was over 3 minutes quicker than when he last competed in the race in 2017.

Just 10 seconds and 3 places separated the next 3 Stratford runners, the first of who was Max Ross (41.58) followed by Carl Matthews (42.02) and Graham Hill (42.08)

It was then the turn of the first two Stratford females to finish, Annie Cox (45.14) 17 seconds quicker than last year, followed by Clare Weatherhead (45.30)

Dave Maundrell’s time of 47.41 was almost a 4 minute lifetime best for this distance. He was followed by Suzie Ross with a time of 48.06.

In another closely fought inter-club battle, a mere 6 seconds and 2 places separated the next 3 club runners. First of these to finish was Simon Curran in 50.54, followed 2 seconds later by Hannah Finch (50.56) and then it was the turn of Rachel Green (51.00)

Maggie Macleod (52.20) and husband Stuart (57.10) commented that this was not their usual Saturday night activity, which can often include alcohol but nevertheless they felt the event was very enjoyable with excellent organisation, great support around the course and a great spirit all round. It was their first go at this race and they found it very very good fun apart from the challenging hill at 5 miles!

Maggie was followed by Louise Stewart (53.01) who seems to have been bitten by the racing bug of late and she was followed by Alan Green (55.13)

The only age category winner for the club was our international marathon runner Kate Sergent. In a hotly contested battle for the age category win, Kate’s time of 56.59 was just 6 seconds and one place ahead of the 2nd place runner in her age group.

Kate commented “I have helped marshal at this event many times, so it was lovely to be allowed to run the course. It made me realise how lucky I am to be a member of SUAAC, as the organisation and support was fabulous, with so many members coming together to help make it a huge success”

Kate was followed by Gavin Bliss in a time of 59.03 followed by the ubiquitous John Butler in 68.30 and finally Will Humphreys completed the course in 71.34

The race was won by Oliver Paulin in a time of 31.56 and the first placed female, in 22nd place and a time of 36.12 was Kelly Edwards. 356 competitors completed the race.

Our record breaking Vets relay teams : L to R – Emma Bexson, Paula Williams, Hannah Osborne and Elaine Ledden.
Below L to R : Rob Minton, Paula Williams, Dave Wilson and Drew Sambridge
Midlands Vets T&F League.

Report – Andy Reeves.
 

The final round of the Midland Vets League would see another strong performance from the whole of the Stratford AC Team.  

The match would see the ladies team finishing joint 1st with Worcester, both teams finishing on 141 points.  The men would finish 2nd on the night, meaning that on the combined match Stratford would finish 2nd on the night and also in the overall championship behind Worcester.

The Stratford ladies would completely dominate the field event only dropping only 4 points out of a possible 64 points.  Paula Williams would take convincing victories in the Long Jump (W35 4.36m), triple jump (W40 9.61m) and a league record in the Javelin (W40 36.16m) and she added to this by taking victory in the 200m (W40 29.5).  

Christine Coote would take third in the shot putt with a club record performance (W60 6.80m) and victory in the triple jump (W60 6.05m) In addition Christine would take third in the 200m (W60 36.1).

 Jan Turner would take second place in the long jump (W70 2.22m) in a club record and she also turned in a solid performance in the 200m (W70 in 46.0)  

Liz Crabtree, making her debut, would take victory in the discus (W50 21.08m), and Sarah Bland taking second in the Pole Vault (W35 1.50).

 Hannah Osbourne would show her versatility on the track by competing in the 200m (W35 36.5), 800m (W35 3:02.9) and 3000m (W35 13:56.8).

Elaine Ledden would compete in the 200m (W50 32.5) duly setting a new club record.  Emma Bexson would also show her versatility in the middle distance races by competing in the 800m (W40 2:59.8) and 3000m (W40 12:33.0)  

Maggie McLeod enjoyed a great night by taking second in the 3000m (W50 14:39.8) setting a new club record in the process.

 In the 2000m walk there were good team performances from Kate Sergent (W50 4:01.2) and Gemma Smith (W35 16:26.3).  Kate also set a new club record in the 800m (W60 4:01.2)

For the men, in the field it was a busy night as usual for Peter Coote, who would take second in both the Hammer (M60 21.05m), and Long Jump (M60 2.70m). This along with a third in the Pole Vault (M60 1.50m) and 200m (M60 33.9) would cap of another busy night.  

Roger Milbourn was second in the Shot (M40 8.93m)  Andrew Reeves was finish third in the Triple Jump (M35 9.67m) also running in the 200m (M35 28.8) with Andrew List competing in the javelin (M50 15.08m).  Similar to Hannah in the ladies’ team, Rob Minton would show his range of distances.  Taking victory in the 200m (M40 26.4) and 800m (2:19.4) before competing in the 3000m (M40 10:41.0).   David Wilson competed in the 200m (M50 27.7)

International athlete Phil Brennan would compete in the 200m (M70 38.3)  Drew Sambridge ran in the 800m (M35 2:26.2) with David Jones also running in the 800m (M80 2:55.6).

In the 2000m walk there was victory fro Paul Hawkins (M50 12:09.4) and Malcolm Bowyer would finish second (M40 13:30.9) before competing in the 3000m (M50 12:13.6)  

Rich Shephard, competing in his first track event for 25 years, equalled the club when he ran the M35 3000m in 9:42.2.

The 4x100m relays rounded the night off.  This would see the team of Minton, Wilson, Sambridge and Reeves take victory in a new club record time of 51.1.  Not to be outdone, the ladies team of Ledden, Osbourne, Williams and Bexson would also set a new club record of 62.1.

All attention now turn to the end of season cup final which takes place at Nottingham on Saturday 31st August.

We should never forget or take for granted the invaluable support of our officials who help out at these fixtures.

The ever present John Turner has these comments to make about this fixture.

” Annie Walton and Karen Harris  both came on to the timekeepers stand.  Annie has recently completed her Level 1 course and  this fixture was the first of her required four meetings before she qualifies as a level 1 timekeeper.  

For Karen it was her first experience at ‘ having a go ‘ as a  timekeeper.  She is yet to do the course because of  family commitments but I have no doubt that she will qualify in due course.

Both ladies did well for first time efforts, made easier by the help of the chief Steve Carrott from Worcester AC.

I must also mention Hannah and Caleb, who both did the track judges course recently. Hannah of course was competing last night so could not officiate “

Last week I erroneously credited the report on the Blue Coat Aquathlon to Ali Skirvin. It was actually written by Theo. Sorry Theo.
Pictured above are most of the Stratford Triathletes who competed in this event. 
L to R : Kate Pridham, Theo Skirvin, Georgia Pridham, Charly Marshall, Juliette Marshall, Joshuah Harrison and Ben Harrison
Photo Roundup.
From the Summer Six.
Above from left to right : Will Humphreys, Maggie Macleod, Suzie Ross and Alan Green.
Below : Pete Sugden competing in his weekly race !
Photos from last weekend’s British Masters championships at Alexander Stadium.
From the top : Phil Brennan in the 5000m and David Jones on his way to a bronze medal in the 800m
And Finally

Five Go Parkrunning in Scotland

Below: You have to have a certain amount of sympathy for the Scots, having the Ganavan Sands parkrun invaded by the  likes of the Adams’s and Huchinsons.
L to R : Emily Adams, Tim, Edie, Jo and Fin Hutchinson and finally, putting some distance between himself and his mum, Alex Adams.
Ganavan Sands Park Run.

Report – David Jones as dictated by Mrs Emily Adams !!

Saturday 10th August was the day the sleepy parkrun ( average number of runners 47 ) at Ganavan Sands near Oban was invaded by Teams Hutchinson and Adams, donning their yellow and black SUAAC vests.

Starting at Ganavan Sands car park the route follows the multi user path inland to its end at Dunbeg Village. On the return to Ganavan, there is a short repeat loop still on the same pathway. The route is undulating with 2 hills, the first is steep. There is a stunning view of Ben Cruachan.

Alex Adams led from start to finish. His time of 18.57 is a course record for his age group. Tim Hutchinson was 2nd for part of the way and finished in 3rd place with a time of 20.12. Emily finished in 17th place with a time of 24.39 and was followed by Edie Hutchinson, who’s strong run resulted in a time of 27.49. Poor Fin Hutchinson suffered from cramp part way round but gamely finished the course.

Tim and Alex celebrated by running in to the sea, with Alex sporting a snazzy pair of white boxers, which according to his mum was not a pretty sight ( that’s what mum’s are for Alex – to embarrass you )

All 5 plus Jo Hutchinson then descended on the burger van in the car park, indulging in the likes of haggis sandwich and burgers.

If any of you have your own stories of parkrun tourism please drop me a line and I can include them in the newsletter. Photos are essential.