|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.