And I think to myself, what a wonderful club

Above: Competitors after completing the Stratford half
Below: Club members after completing the London Marathon.

 

HOkay, I took my great nephews to see Avengers: Endgame at the weekend. That was long. I’ve never read War and Peace but people tell me that’s very long and don’t get me started on the Brexit deliberations but I don’t think any of these compare to this week’s newsletter.

The reason for this is that so many of you lot have been out there doing stuff these past seven days.

The club week started for me last Thursday at Stourport where 19 of our Masters Athletes, together with our unselfish and essential officials did the club proud by finishing 2nd in the opening fixture of this year’s Vet’s T&F league. Please read Andy Reeves’ article below. Welcome to the world of press correspondents Andy.

Then it was the weekend. Wow. At the last count we had 16 competing in the London Marathon, 3 of our most talented junior endurance athletes qualified for and competed in the London Mini Marathon, 3 of you ran the Stratford full marathon and over 30 of you completed the Stratford half. Oh, and Gavin Bliss ran the wonderfully organised ( I hope you’re reading this Rob and Sarah !) Leicester 10k.

The week ended for me last night at the first of this year’s Warwickshire Athletics AA Open Graded meetings where 14 club members stretched their legs and arms in the first of this year’s gatherings at the Coventry Godiva Harriers track.

There have been so many feel-good stories this week but I’d like to mention one because I think it not only epitomises the individual concerned but says something about the ethos of our club.

Below is an email that was sent to Rob Minton by someone at the BBC, who was competing in the London Marathon.

Hello,

I wanted to say thank you to one of your kind, friendly and helpful runners at today’s London Marathon. Her name was Emily. 

After about 400 metres into the race, I realised that I’d dropped all my gels on the floor. I thought this might be a sign of a bad day ahead. 

I struck up a conversation and mentioned this to Emily. We hadn’t even reached half a mile or so.

She kindly offered me three gels and bloks. She did it without a second’s hesitation. 

The community of runners.

I managed to get a PB of 3:37 and that is down to Emily.

Pleas pass this on to her.

Thanks

Chris 

Anyone who knows anything about Emily Adams will not be remotely surprised by this typically generous and unselfish gesture on her part. 

Emily’s action got me thinking and I think that this generosity of spirit, this unselfishness, this willingness to help others, even at the expense of our own success, is in the very DNA of our club.

Unselfish acts for the greater good. Helping one and other. One for all and all for one is in my opinion what Stratford upon Avon Athletic Club is all about. It is why I am so proud to be a member.

When we work together as a team nothing is beyond us. Few things illustrate this better than our Couch to 5k initiative. From the germ of an idea by Rob Minton this has truly blossomed into something we can all be proud of and indeed, this point has been acknowledged by extensive coverage in this week’s local press.

Rob started the ball rolling and then the club’s ethos of helping others kicked in. 

It was and is a team effort. No one individual has had to take on the responsibility. The likes of Sarah Bland, Martyn Sergent, Sally & Gavin Bliss and Victoria Jeffs supported this initiative assisted by many other club members. Martyn, Sally and Gavin have even gone to the extent of getting coaching qualifications to better enable them to support group members.

I have been fortunate enough to help out on just a few of these sessions and without exception every member of the various groups I have spoken to have mentioned how welcoming and supportive everyone at the club has been. 

And what a hugely successful initiative it has turned out to be and will continue to be. 

Several of the feel-good stories over the weekend are as a result of the commitment and tenacity of these C25Kers. We heard Mark Bailey’s story a few weeks ago. This week there’s the story of Jen Wharton’s emotional journey from Couch to London Marathon, added to which quite a few of our C25Kers have gone on to complete both half and full marathons but the mere act of committing to training with qualified helpers for 9 weeks and then graduating by doing a parkrun is a huge achievement in itself.  

Truly inspirational.

It’s been the same with other initiatives. As I understand it Victoria had the idea for this newsletter. She discussed it with senior members and went ahead with the full support of the club and I thank her for that. 

There’s Chris Whateley and Jean Hill’s Saturday morning run, which was another example of individual members recognising something that they thought would improve the club for the benefit of it’s members. It was then discussed openly with other senior members and it went ahead and it has been extremely successful. Which is the way it should be. There are other examples I could quote.

It’s back to that ethos of being unselfish, of putting the club first.

I know from my own experience last year when I was having injury problems, how supportive and freely giving of advice so many members were.

I know there have also been instances where this support has extended beyond the sporting arena. Where members have had personal issues that they have found difficult to cope with and they have turned to friends within the club to help them cope and that help has been forthcoming.

I realise this editorial has very much focussed on the senior membership but the generosity of spirit, the ethos of helping others applies equally to the junior section under the auspices of the two Pauls – Bearman and Hawkins and their army of coaches and age group leaders. It also extends to both the officials within the club who give freely of their time and to the triathlon section.

As I said earlier, in my opinion this ethos of unselfishly supporting each other runs through the very DNA of our club and long may it continue.

These views are very much my own but I’m hopeful that they are views that are shared by others.

I know it’s pretty corny but with apologies to Louis Armstrong, I’d like to round off my ramblings with this:

I see skies of blue and clouds of white

The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night

And I think to myself what a wonderful club” 

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Best Wishes

David Jones

Above: Tara Lambert after completing the Stratford Marathon.
Below: Rachael Green competing in the Stratford Marathon.

Rotary Shakespeare Marathon.

Report – David Jones.

Three club chose the daunting experience of turning left at the end of The Greenway to complete another 13 mile lap of the course while the half marathon competitors carried on to the finishing line of their event.

The first of these to finish was Tara Lambert. Just last month Tara completed the 107 mile Dublin2Belfast Ultra, so a mere 26.2 miles was akin to a stroll in the park.

She had hoped to go under 4 hours and this she did comfortably, finishing in 3:50.29. This was a massive 40 minute PB and 42 minutes quicker than her time in this race last year.

Tara said “I felt quite strong on the day and decided to maintain a brisker pace than usual. It must be the endurance training that carried me through”

Tara was followed by Rachael Green, a recent graduate of the club’s  successful Couch to 5k initiative, completed the race in 4:09.21. The final member of the club to finish was Rebekah Loftus in a time of 5:11.13.

The race was won by Orlando Corea in a time of 2:36.55 and the first lady to finish was Rachel Davies in 44th place, with a time of 3:15.39. 580 competitors completed the race.

Above: Seb Hopper on his way to a 13th place finish in the Stratford half in a time of 1:20.01.
Below: Sarah Wheeler and Phil Brennan

Rotary Shakespeare Half Marathon.

Report – David Jones.

No fewer than 32 club members were amongst the 1808 finishers in this year’s Rotary Shakespeare Half Marathon. Conditions were close to perfect as runners set off on the challenging course.

First home for the club was 19 year old Seb Hopper. Seb professed himself delighted with his 13th place finish in the magnificent time of 1:20.01. This was an almost 9 minute improvement on his previous best time for this distance. Seb was somewhat irritated by the .01 though. He was 8th in his age category

Rich Shephard was apparently using this race as something of a training run but he still managed a top 20 position with a time of 1:21.12. Rich was also able to encourage the next club finisher Matt Burdus- Cook to overtake a few runners in the finishing straight. Matt was 19th, in a time of 1:21.52 and finished 4th in his age category (AC). 

Less than 90 seconds separated our next 3 club runners to finish. A slimline Wayne Vickers (31st – 1:24.45 – 6th AC ) was followed by an in form Richard Dobedoe (39th – 1:26.06 -7th AC ) with Chris Cond (41st – 1:26.12 ) just 6 seconds behind.

Having recently joined the club, Andrew Holbrook did his new yellow and black vest proud by finishing 65th in a time of 1:29.33.

Andrew was followed by the first Stratford lady to finish, Sarah Wheeler. Sarah’s time of 1:31.34 ensured she not only finished 87th but was 2nd in her age category.

Finishing in 100th place was Mark Hateley in a time of 1:32.17

Next was Waleed Agabani in a time of 1:32.57 and he was followed by David Smyth. David had hoped to run the race in 1:35 and he did this with 16 seconds to spare, finishing in a time of 1:34.44.

Pete Sugden was delighted with his performance, as well he might be. His PB time of 1:35.19 was a 4 minute improvement on his previous best time, achieved at this race 12 months ago.

Just one second separated the next two SAC finishers, with Ryan Bakewell finishing in a PB time of 1:41.32. He was followed by the second Stratford lady to finish, Lynne Hinson. Competing just a couple of weeks after her marathon debut in Brighton, Lynne’s time of 1:41.33 was a course PB and just 40 seconds off her PB. She was also a couple of minutes quicker than her time in the Warwick half marathon in March.

Lynne commented “It was a great race and perfect weather conditions.  I felt strong throughout the 13 miles and best of all I managed a course Pb of 1:41:33! I was so pleased as I had only run the Brighton Marathon two weeks before so I wasn’t sure how my legs would be”

Another PB was recorded by Gavin Lambert (1:44.22). His time was a 5 minute improvement on last year. Gavin was followed by Ted Burch in a time of 1:44.50 and he was followed by the next two Stratford ladies to finish, Liuba Pasa was 2nd in her age category with a time of 1:46.11 followed by Cara Reynolds in 1:46.46.

Following his recent return from the World Masters Indoor Athletics Championships in Poland, Phil  Brennan, the club’s international masters athlete, recorded the 2nd fastest time in the UK this year in his age category. He completed the race in 1:49.10.

It was then the turn of 18 year old half marathon debutant Edie Hutchinson. Edie exceeded her expectations running a superb race and finishing with a time of 1:49.36. She even had enough energy at the end for an impressive sprint finish, which suggests there is more to come from this talented athlete.

Next was James Deacon (1:49.58) who is getting back to some good form. Having only joined the club this year, Clive Swain (1:51.41) should be delighted with his time.

Christian Williams (1:52.24) hasn’t done as much running as he would have liked recently due to a young child and with twins on the way, I suspect that will continue for some time. Having said that, he’s just enjoying his running now, as opposed to being obsessed by his times. Christian was followed by Andrew Madden (1:54.09)

Bev Brigden (1:55.41) had a fabulous run and was over 3 minutes quicker than last year, she also finished 6th in her age category.

Ian Hill (1:56.57) was followed by recent Couch to 5K graduate Tony Tomecek (1:57.10).
Maggie McLeod (1:50.06) another recent new member comfortably dipped under the two hour mark and was 9th in her age category

Yet another recent C25K graduate,Louise Stewart (1:59.31) also dipped under 2 hours with all her training paying dividends.

I’m not sure they could hold the Stratford Half without the ubiquitous Allan Coldicott ( 2:02.19) competing. This time was over 8 minutes quicker than his time last year.

For Sheryl Buckland (2:45.03) It was the first time she has managed to get back up to the half-marathon distance since 2015 due to some health issues. She was really pleased to have managed to get the whole way round! . She said that she was 15 minutes or so slower than I have managed in the past but that she is 4 years older! 

Finally John Butler finished in a time of 2:52.12

The race was won by Matthew Batley in a time of 1:12.52 and the first lady to finish was Katherine Wood in 8th place with a time of 1:18.02

 
A smiling James Cusack captured live on TV.
 

London Marathon.

Report – David Jones.

Sixteen of the finishers in this year’s London Marathon were club members.

The first of these to finish in a superb sub 3 hours time of 2:57.02 was Simon Hanagarth. This was a PB for Simon who dipped under the 3 hour mark for the first time in Barcelona earlier this year.

Next was Ivan Sarti with a an age group club record time of 2:58.16. This time knocked over 26 minutes off the previous club record, which had stood since 1988. Ivan was also 22nd in his age category.

Malcolm Bowyer has suggested that his might be his swan song for this prestigious race having competed in it over 20 times. If it is to be his last and I’m not convinced, he certainly finished with a flourish. His time of 3:12.34 was just 13 minutes slower than his time 16 years ago!  It also ensured he finished 90th in his age category.

James Cusack is a regular marathon runner who should be delighted with his time of 3:17.55, his quickest time since 2016.

Read James’s story, along with other club members’ Marathon stories further on in the newsletter.

James was followed by a couple of Stratford ladies. First of these to finish was the redoubtable Emily Adams who felt this was the first marathon where she didn’t have to prove anything. She really enjoyed her run of  3:47.29.

Emily was followed by Annie Cox, who comfortably achieved her aim of getting under 4 hours, having failed to do so by just 53 seconds at last year’s Stratford Marathon. Her finishing time was 3:51.31.

Tim Hutchinson, who has been struggling with injuries for some time, suffered with a sore ankle at mile 8, he then experienced severe pain in his calf as well as a painful left glute. He finished in a time 3:54.19 and he was followed by Andy Smith in 3:57.16.

It was then the turn of the ladies, with marathon debutants Francis Doran (4:06.13) and Hannah Finch (4:14.59) both having fabulous races. Recent new member Ian Greaves (4:33) was followed by Jane Fradgley in a PB time of 4:49.17.

Despite being pregnant, Sarah Boundy still managed to break the 5 hour mark, recording a time of 4:59.22 and she was followed by Pippa Abrams in 5:08.39.

Last but most definitely not least was Jennifer Wharton (6:35.45) Again, please read Jen’s inspirational story below.

The marathon was won by Eliud Kipchoge, running the second quickest marathon and recording a time of 2:02.37. Great britain’s sir Mo Farah was in 5th place (2:05.39) and Callum Hawkins in 10th (2:08.14)

The ladies race was won by Brigid Kosgei in 2:18.20 with Charlotte Purdue from Great Britain in 10th place (2:18.20)

From top to bottom: Alex Adams, Georgie Campbell and Maddie Linfoot in the London Mini Marathon.

The London Mini Marathon.

Report – David Jones.

The Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon is the official British Athletics three-mile road championships for young athletes aged between 11 and 17.

The course stretches from London’s Old Billingsgate to The Mall.

The event is open to entrants from the nine regions of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and includes teams from all 33 London Boroughs.

A previous winner of this race is Sir Mo Farah

The club had three of our most talented junior endurance athletes competing. All 3 had to qualify to compete in this prestigious race and they were representing the West Midlands.

In the U13 girls category, Maddie Linfoot completed the race in 20 minute exactly. She finished in 56th place and the race was won by Ruby Vinton in 17.14

Georgie Campbell was competing in the U17G category, finishing in 13th place with a time of 17.32. She was rightfully happy with this time, especially as it was quite windy at times. Overall she really enjoyed the whole weekend and hopes to compete again next year. Her race was won by Charlotte Alexander in 16.36.

Alex Adams was competing in the U13 boys group and finished in 14th place with a time of 16.43, 38 seconds behind the race winner Ben Peck (16.05). Alex found the pace really fast but he managed to stay with the leading group for the first two miles and led home the second group. He really enjoyed the experience.

Above: The club’s winning 4x200m really team – Rob Minton, Dave Wilson, Andy Reeves and Drew Sambridge.
Below: The club’s women’s relay team – Hannah Osborne, Gemma Smith, Christine Coote and Sheila Lammas.
Stourport under the rainbow, skies are blue ! Kate Sergent at Stourport

Vet’s T&F League fixture.

Report – Andy Reeves.

The club’s Masters team made a strong start to the 2019 league season last Thursday with the opening match of the Midlands Veterans League taking place in Stourport.  

The men’s and women’s teams combined to give Stratford AC 2nd on the night.  This despite a number of athletes only recently returning from injury.

During the evening there were a numerous personal bests and a total of NINE age group club records.

For the ladies there were club records for Jan Turner W70 100m (23.3), Kate Sergent W65 mile (8:53.2), Christine Coote W60 javelin (11.45) and Elaine Ledden W55 shot (6.20)

For the men’s team there were club records for Paul Hawkins M60 2000m walk (12:02.3), David Wilson M40 Triple Jump (8.88).

Andy Reeves (13.2) was 2nd in the 100m and Drew Sambridge, on his debut picked up useful points in the mile (5.23)

Rob Minton made a welcome return to the track and set club records in M40 mile (5:18.5) and High Jump (1.40). Rob then teamed up with David Wilson, Drew Sambridge and Andy Reeves in the 4x200m Relay (1:47.4)  another club record.

Elsewhere there were strong individual performance from Peter Coote, who racked up points both on the track and the field.  Phil Brennan, debutant Peter Sugden, Malcolm Bowyer, Robin Kindersley and Tony Humphreys all added points to the men’s total.   Paula Williams had her usual busy night, whilst another debutant Hannah Osbourne together with Gemma Smith and Sheila Lammas all contributed valuable points for the ladies.

The team were supported by officials John Turner, Daf Hawkins, Tony Jackson and Andy List 

The next round of takes place on Wednesday 5th June at Redditch.

A current athletic star meets stars of the future. Jonnie Peacock with club members Thomas Weaver and Seb Hillard at Wednesday night’s open graded meeting.

Warwickshire County AA Open Graded Meeting.

Report – David Jones.

 

The first of this year’s Warwickshire AA Open Graded meetings took place at Coventry Godiva Harriers track on Wednesday 1st May.

It really is a superb proposition. You register on the night, pay a fiver per event and  compete and the results are in your inbox the following morning. What’s not to like ?

In ideal conditions, no wind and a hint of moisture in the air, 14 club members, a combination of junior, senior and masters, took the opportunity to stretch their legs or arms in this early season opener.

First to feature for the club were Seb Hillard and Thomas Weaver in the 100m.

For Seb it was his first time at this distance in an official meeting. He had a fabulous race, finishing in a time of 14.76, comfortably under the 16 second mark his mum had been targeting !! Thomas Weaver’s time of 15.45 was just outside his PB time of 15.12.

Next it was the turn of the Sheppard sisters Imy and Jess in the 100m. Imy’s time of 12.97 places her comfortably inside the top 50 in the current UK rankings having been ranked 327th last year. Sister Jess recorded a time of 13.17, ranking her 76th in the UK, compared to her 2018 ranking outside the top 200.

The ever improving Daisy Musk recorded a PB time of 63.45 in the 400m, eclipsing her previous best time of 64.8.

Nacho Fernandez had a busy night, recording a PB of 63.64 in the 400m and in the shot put, in his first competition, he managed a throw of 8.17.

In the 1500m Niamh Hillard improved her PB by over 5 seconds by recording a time of 5.25.79, a time that places her just outside the top 50 rankings in the UK in her age group.

Following her excellent run run in the London Mini Marathon at the weekend, Georgie Campbell was just a couple of seconds off her PB in the 1500m, recording a time of 4.45.84, a time that ranks her 14th in the UK compared to her 52nd placed ranking last year.

The club had 3 representatives in the 3000m. First of these to finish was Alex Adams, another member who competed in the London Mini marathon at the weekend. Alex was stepping up to this distance for the first time in an official meeting and his superb time of 10.01.84  places him 6th in the UK rankings in the U15 age category.

Charlotte Marshall was also stepping up to this distance for the first time in an official meeting and her time of 12.03.88 places her inside the top 40 UK rankings for her age.

Then it was my turn. I have to say I was pretty pleased with my time of 12.45.53 having targeted 13 minutes. This despite the fact that Alex, competing in the same race, had showered and changed before I crossed the finishing line.

Paula Williams was competing in both the Javelin and Shot Put, both are events that this remarkable athlete is currently ranked number 1 in. She threw 32.28 in the Javelin, a throw that she described as rubbish but that was still the 2nd furthest throw in her age category this year. No need to ask who’s thrown the furthest.

In the shot put, she recorded a throw of 10.19, the third furthest throw this year. Again, no need to ask who has thrown the furthest.

So, all in all, an extremely successful meeting for our club’s athletes that augers well for the rest of the T&F season.

Needless to say the ubiquitous John Turner was there timekeeping. I really think there must be more than one John Turner (what a scary prospect that is!!) as he seems to be officiating at every race or meeting I attend.

Gavin Bliss bliss competed in the Leicester Big 10k on Sunday. It wasn’t  a pb for that course but he said he felt good until the last mile when his fast start caught up with him.

His time was 58:45 which he was very pleased with.

The race was won by Scott Meadows in a time of 35:14

Marathon Stories

Thanks very much to the many of you who have sent me your own thoughts on your marathon experiences at the weekend. I decided that rather than incorporate them into my race report, I would allocate dedicated space to them. Here goes…. Hankies at the ready.

Jennifer Wharton pounding the streets of London and below, with husband Pete and children Millie and Herbie.

Jennifer’s Story.

Pete Wharton.

So many of you have heard of couch to 5km and this is where the bug begins to get active and more healthy.

But have any of you thought about doing couch to 42km and the Virgin London Marathon ?

Well this is exactly what Jennifer has been doing for the past 6 months and this challenge sets her apart from so many people, and takes her from ordinary to extraordinary in my view.

Jennifer was a self-confessed elite athlete – at couch to couch, until she decided to enter the marathon.

On Sunday 28th April 2019 along with 40,000 other athletes, Jennifer completed her first marathon in 6:35.45mins and most importantly she did it with a smile on her face.

Jen has supported me through the London Marathon twice, amongst other races, and this year it was my turn and pleasure to support her as she tackled the 26.2 miles through the streets of London.

This is our story and I have no doubt many of our friends and family will have had similar experiences and suffered the devastating experience of a miscarriage.

Whenever or how it happens in your pregnancy it hurts. #breakthesilence

On Christmas Day 2011, Jen and I unfortunately and very upsettingly suffered a miscarriage at 12 weeks into our pregnancy,

As with so many people, we felt completely isolated and thought it was just us that suffered this awful loss. However, the more we looked at it and supported each other, we found that it is quite common, and that 1 in 4 pregnant women suffer a miscarriage.

We realised the big problem is that no one speaks about it for obvious reasons. However, the more we have both spoken to people, the more we have realised that support amongst friends is vital, as well as professional help provided from trained people at the Miscarriage Association, a small charity which provides vital support.

Jen is too humble and doesn’t quite realise the size of the challenge she has taken on and that’s why I love her so much, as do Millie and Herbie, our gorgeous children which we are so blessed to have.

Through the process of training, Jen has not only got the bug for running (probably not another marathon), but she has continually got quicker at Parkrun and at 10kms. She has joined Stratford Athletics Club and made loads of new friends, who are all supportive of her and others. Not wanting to name too many but Karen Harris, Victoria Jeffs and Emily Adams have been amazing in encouraging, running with and supporting Jen. Thank you.

I even had the embarrassment of Jen renewing her membership before me this year.

Jennifer has now achieved the goal of completing the marathon, which is staggering and amazing given she had never run prior to October.

Most importantly she has also raised awareness for the Miscarriage Association and this has helped her and our family openly discuss what is tough subject. It has also got many others opening up to her.

I have never been more proud as a husband watching Jen go through the training and safely crossing the finishing line. She has inspired not only Millie and Herbie but many friends and family, who have seen that, with a goal and some hard work, anything can be achieved. 

Alex Adams, towering over his mum Emily ( sorry Em ) as they both proudly show off their London medals

Emily’s Story.

I loved my run. It was the first marathon that I didn’t feel I had to prove myself.  

I knew it would be emotional but actually I loved it!  

I started steady, leg niggles until 3 miles but then I started seeing people in the crowd I knew, so I kept stopping to say hi.  I felt really comfortable at 23 miles when I saw Alex and Karl. I started to push hard the last 3, miles feeling great. I caught up with Tim and Andy and had a brilliant feeling crossing the line with two other SAC club members.    

I loved it because I did it for my dad! 

James Cusack’s Story.

This was my quickest marathon since 2016.

It was an amazing marathon and weekend in London.

The weather conditions were perfect and it was great to be running with so many club mates who all did brilliantly.

I saw Kipchoge and Mo Farah on the route too, which was amazing. It was where the course loops past at around 35km.  Clearly I was going the opposite direction to them.

On the latter miles, 21-26.2, I felt the pinch due to a shortage of long training runs but I’m delighted with my time 3:17:55. 

London was a delight, the volunteers, the police, the underground workers all made it an absolute pleasure to be in the City of London.

Every marathon runner should get to experience the London Marathon at least once. 

 

Ian Greaves.

Ian Greaves’ Story.

I completed the London Marathon on Sunday, which was my first marathon!

I felt I’d done the miles in training but given the size of the event and the logistics of just getting to the start line (I started 43 mins after the official start time), I think I underestimated the amount of nervous energy you expel in the build up!

I knew it was going to be tough, just maybe not that tough!

I felt good at halfway, the crowds on Tower Bridge were amazing but the following miles around Docklands and Canary Wharf felt long and hard.

The tunnel leading to the embankment saw lots of runners desperately stretching for the final push and even the final 800 metres felt at least twice that distance but crossing that line on the Mall, after all those hours training, was priceless.

Tim Hutchinson’s Story.

The day didn’t go as planned for all of our runners but here is Tim’s honest account of his race.

My ankle got sore around 8m and by 10m I left Ivan Sarti to it and slowed down.

I tried for a sub 3 hour and then a good for age place but in doing so everything seized up.

My calves were screaming at me and so was my my left glute.

Andy Cox caught me up around 16mile and he was in trouble as well, so we jogged half a mile and walked half a mile, figuring that was the quickest way get back to the bags.

Emily caught us up on Birdcage walk and the pair of us managed to catch her back up on the finishing straight to cross the line together.

There was much pain and disappointment but Andy and I had a laugh, which under the circumstances helped a lot.

I’m now waiting for a referral back to Ox-sport to see what can be done long term on my ankle because it’s so unstable.

In hindsight I wish I’d seen Edie’s run instead, very proud of her! 

( Tim’s daughter Edie ran her first half marathon in Stratford on Sunday and had a superb race )

More Stratford half photos, the majority courtesy of Jon Mulkeen.
Left: Richard Dobedoe and Wayne Vickers
Right: Andrew Holbrook.
Left: Matt Burdus-Cook
Right: Gavin Lambert.
Above: Lynne Hinson and below, Edie Hutchinson.
Liuba Pasa
 
Left: Pete Sugden and right Chris Cond.
Bev Brigden.
Tara Lambert, Liuba Pasa, Louise Stewart and Gavin Lambert.
Above: David Smyth and below Christian Williams.
Sheryl Buckland and friend.

And Finally.

I hope you have been inspired and enthused by this week’s newsletter.

All athletics events, big or small, largely rely on volunteer officials to enable them to go ahead. Without these officials the events that many of you enjoy taking part in just would not happen.

If you are interested in becoming an official or would like to find out what it involves please ring John Turner on 01789 773514

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