Report – Hannah Osborne.
Sunday 15th May saw the club compete in the ever popular Cotswold Hilly 100 Race. This is an event not to be missed!
This year saw 36 teams competing in the event, with 4 from Stratford, a Mens A Team and 3 Mixed Teams. The Mixed Teams set off at 5am in a deserted town centre as the rain was coming down. This early start allows more time to get round the route. The more competitive Teams set off at 6 or 7am.
7am saw the Stratford Men’s team set off and 1st to run was Alex Adams who set the team up with an outstanding 1st leg run through Welford to hand over at 10 miles in 54:53 to Ben Kruze. Ben again ran a race that showed the quality athlete he is by running 10 miles with over 1,000 ft of climbing in 54 minutes 39 secs and 14 minutes ahead of 2nd place.
The race continued for the men’s teams as Kenilworth pushed on and showed the strength of runners they have when they eventually took the lead, with it passing back and forth between the 2 clubs a few times.
The support shown from club mates after they’d finished was and is such a huge part of the spirit of the day.
Alex Adams commented on the day, “Great experience for my first Hilly 100 and what a team to do it with. Great support and brilliant performance all round. Absolutely loved it and will be back to get revenge on Kenilworth next year”
The mixed teams saw the many new runners to the Athletics club step up and take on the challenge of a leg, all supported by other club members and family. With lots of friendly rivalry in the different teams and legs thrown in.
So many moments from the day but a few here….
Beverley Bridgen coming in to finish her leg and the next runner not there, support telling her she’s just a bit further on and Bev running on (not realizing she’d finished the distance!).
Karl Harris seeing snow on the top of the hill he was about to climb!
Wild poo’s?! Plenty of them…I’ll say no more.
Trains that cross the road you’re on, when you’re on it….poor Adam Linforth in the lead had to stop and do some train watching, or maybe he welcomed the breather.
Richard Dobedoe & Nick Cooper missing the turn ½ mile from handover and running an extra kilometre. I’ve still not found out who led who the wrong way.
Meeting new club member Dean Hands at a handover leg – knew who he was because in the club vest….but he hadn’t had the memo about which way round it went! Karl Harris soon told him (sorry Dean!)
Kim Lee decided running 1 leg of the race wasn’t enough of a challenge so continued on for another leg keeping Kate Sergent (who was ‘shaking her ass’) company.
The finish at the sports club saw runners and club mates gather together to support their final runner and get together as a team, comparing notes on legs and enjoying a burger & pint.
Pip Bell commented on the day: “As I have only been a member of SAC for about 9 months I had only vaguely heard about the Hilly 100. It sounded like a very daunting event and the word “Hilly” in the name was enough to make me think I should wait a couple of years before trying it out. However I took the plunge and decided to give it a go this year. I loved every hilly minute of it!! The support from SAC, other clubs, fellow team members and our support crew was amazing!! I definitely feel a part of this amazing club now and I will wear my Hilly 100 T-shirt with pride!! A big shout out all of the support crews who made the event so much easier! I’m still buzzing from it and hope others will try it in 2023.”
The Men’s Race was won by Kenilworth Runners in 10:15:29, with Stratford AC coming 2nd in 10:19:41. The Ladies Race was won by Spa Striders in 12.35.96, with Northbrook winning the Mixed Team in 11.18.10.
A big thank you to everyone who was involved in the day – from runners, support crew, family members, club mates and Tony Jackson for putting on the event, you all made it another memorable day.