THE SECO Alcester 10k is a new event which this year was set in the market town on Sunday and provided a varied and beautiful course, with rolling road closures throughout.
Stratford Athletic Club members were among the field and they were greeted by a beautiful but cool sunny morning which provided perfect running conditions.
The winner of this event was James Bowler from Bromsgrove & Redditch AC in a time of 32.46.
Nine Stratford AC members competed in a field of 471 and their times and places were as follows: Anthony Howell (42.48 – 36th); Roger Wilson (45.08 – 68th); Phil Brennan (46.42 – 95th); Chris Whateley (49.46 – 134th); Ruth Calderbank (50.49 – 157th); Angela Cox (51.18 – 168th); Debbie Edkins (55.27 – 244th); John Butler (1.00.43 – 323rd); Jean Hill (1.03.31 – 357th).
There was a great atmosphere to this race with plenty of entertainment put on in Alcester High Street and the event was very well organised.
The rolling road closures made for very safe running and hopefully this race will become a classic regular fixture.
Yet again, Stratford Athletes did not come away empty-handed, with Wilson, Brennan and Whateley dominating the V65 category in first, second and third places respectively and Calderbank and Cox first and second in the V55 ladies.
Whateley was agonisingly close to a personal best and Hill improved her 10k time by a massive three minutes.
THE POPULAR Oxford Half-Marathon also took place on Sunday and featured a field of more than 7,500 entries.
This must count as one of the most spectacular half-marathons about and the course winds around virtually every college and the university parks, not to mention all the best pubs in Oxford!
The large programme of road closures must have caused some debate among the normally traffic-friendly local authorities and may have had something to do with the somewhat delayed start.
Sam Nicholson recorded a cracking 1:32.01 to put him 372nd overall and an excellent 19th in the crowded M45 category. This was a huge PB for him and a full seven minutes ahead of his previous best at this distance.
The other Stratford AC representative was Sheryl Buckland, whose highly respectable 2:29.58 put her 40th in the F55 category.