“You have nurtured a love of running and exercise in us”

 

Club members at Balsall Common.
L to R : Alex Adams, Cindy Brittan, Pete Sugden, Bev Bridgen, Dave Maundrell, Tash Watkins, John Butler, Pippa Abrams, Luke Watlkins and Ruth Calderbank.
A relatively quiet week. Andy Cox, Simon Bolton and Pete Evans ran the Berlin Marathon and we had 10 members competing at Balsall Common.

Emily Adams and Adrian Mason ran the Cheltenham half and Phil Brennan kept his hopes alive of being selected for the England Masters team later in the year.

There’s a lovely heartfelt letter from Louise Boxall with her thoughts on the Couch to 5k group she joined and commenting on the support all members of that group got from other club members.

The letter confirms what we already know, we really are part of a very special club.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Best Wishes

David Jones

Andy Cox edged ever closer to a sub 3 hour marathon at Boston.
Berlin Marathon.

Report – Phil Brennan.

Three Stratford runners maintained the tradition of taking on the world’s biggest, at the Berlin Marathon on 29th September. The course is known to be fast, although hit by rain late on, and attracted over 46,000 entries, with the winner missing the world record by two seconds.

Andy Cox prepared perfectly for the event, and was rewarded with a stunning 12 minutes off his PB, despite “the heavens opening at around 30k”. In 2799th, his 3:04:00 puts a sub-three hour finish in his sights. 

He was followed by Simon Bolton, 4698, 3:16:11. 

This  was Simon’s 10th marathon and his 5th World Marathon Majors event. Going into the race he had the usual niggles that he’s come to expect at the end of a marathon training regime but nothing too serious. His primary objective was to get across the line successfully but he had a target of 3:20 firmly in his mind. 

The conditions at the beginning of the race were near perfect from Simon’s perspective; good temperature, dry and little wind. He quickly settled into a nice rhythm of around 4.42/km which felt comfortable. Having always suffered towards the end of previous marathons he worked hard to control his pace. By 30k the rain started to come down, but he started to feel increasingly confident so pushed a little harder and ran through to the end of the race feeling strong, even putting in a decent sprint finish. The result was his first negative split by 1min 20sec, and an 8 minute marathon PB .

Having missed out on Boston qualifying for the last two years by seconds, He thinks he’s nailed it this time!

Third of the trio, Pete Evans, knows his way round the big marathon courses and recorded a solid 3:41:38 despite feeling unwell over the last 5k and being forced to slow down.

 

A letter of thanks.
 

FROM COUCH TO 5k AND BEYOND… 

” The runners who gave up their time to help, inspire and motivate us week by week are fantastic –
 you have nurtured a love of running and exercise in us “

 

We wanted an opportunity to say thank you to all the chaperones at  Stratford upon Avon Athletic Club who have helped us learn to love running over the last 6 months. 

A large group of us started the Couch to 5K in May this year, most of us with very little experience of running and for a variety of reasons : to get fitter, to lose weight and to attempt the Park Run every week were among the varied goals we set ourselves.

So we met, with a little trepidation, for the first time at the athletics track in spring.

From those first minutes of running we really clicked as a group and I can honestly say the encouragement we gave each other and we received from the volunteers at the club, who patiently ran with us, has been incredible. 

We had aching muscles, injuries along the way, got soaking wet, learnt about the joys of foam rolling, stretched like there was no tomorrow and had a good laugh too. 

We were so pleased with our progress we named ourselves ‘Team Awesome’.

The runners who gave up their time to help, inspire and motivate us week by week are fantastic and, if we as a group are anything to go by, it has been so worthwhile and has paid dividends.  

We all ran the Stratford Park Run for the first time on July 13th and we continue to do so very happily. 

Many in the group are still achieving Pb’s, we all enjoy the fun and camaraderie of participating in the runs.  Those of us who had a summer holiday took our trainers with us, so we have run the streets of Europe.  Steve Boxall ran the Stratford 10k this year in 51:15 minutes.  Liz Crabtree has represented the club’s T&F teams at both Senior and Vets level, making her debut throwing the discus in the Midlands Vets League, coming first ! 

The League events sound interesting and are something more of us may try out for later.   

Quite a few of us are also aiming for a 10k winter warmer run next February and we look forward to joining other members of the club in the various runs and races throughout the weeks and year.

So, suffice to say you have nurtured a love of running and exercise in us.  We are now members of Stratford upon Avon AC and we look forward to our weekly sessions.

A new C5K group started a few weeks ago and it’s great to see them taking their first strides out.  

Thanks to all who have supported us along the way and long may it continue.  

Louise Boxall

On behalf of Team Awesome

 

Alex Adams collects his trophy.
Balsall Common 5k and 10k.

Report – Phil Brennan.

The Balsall Common 10k was the last but one in the 11 race seasonal series of the Warwickshire Road Race League. Six of our hardy club runners took part in the changeable conditions.

First home was Luke Watkins, 129th, 47:17, followed by Under 23 Annie Cox, 144, 48:12.

Beverley Brigden, 203, 52:26, seems to have improved with almost every road race this season, so it wasn’t a surprise that this was another PB.

Ruth Calderbank, 278, 58:16, kept her hopes alive for an overall series prize, while there were solid performances from Pippa Abrams, 298, 58:58, and Tash Watkins, 355, 1:07:21

Alongside the 10k race, the event also hosts both an adult and junior 5k race.

To those following his progress, it was no surprise that Alex Adams won the junior race in 17:52, nearly two minutes ahead of the opposition.

Stalwarts John Butler (117th, 35:35) and Cindy Brittan (139th, 38:02), made up the Stratford contingent.

 

Adrian Mason and Emily Adams.

Cheltenham Half Marathon.

Report – Phil Brennan.

The scenic and popular Cheltenham Half Marathon runs through the historic town, with literally a grandstand finish at the racecourse.

The forecast rain held off, for which Ade Mason, running in his home town, was grateful. After a comeback from injury, and racing for the first time in five months, he was delighted to clock 1:36:43 in 212th place .

Emily Adams races so often she had actually forgotten she had entered. Her decision to run was a good one, as despite being troubled by the wind and the long finish round the racecourse, she achieved a 16 second PB from her previous best in 2014, recording 1:47:15.

England Masters Inter Area Cross Country. 

Report – Phil Brennan.

 

Nowton Park in Bury St Edmunds hosted this annual event. I was representing Midland Masters and finished second in the M75 category, keeping my hopes alive of selection for the England Masters team later in the autumn.