STRATFORD AC enjoyed an excellent turnout at the first of this season’s five Winter Series races as 37 club members took part whilst Matt Burdus-Cook claimed overall victory.
Despite a night of torrential rain, and with a yellow weather warning in place for heavy rain and lightning, the first race of the Series took place in Ilmington.
A couple of entrants were unable to make it to the race location due to localised flooding but the skies eventually cleared by 10am and the rain held off for the race itself as the sun made a brief but welcome appearance.
And a sea of yellow and black vests descended upon the start line in what proved to be a successful race for Stratford.
Club member Burdus-Cook claimed the overall race victory in a time of 36 minutes 52 seconds with under-17 runner Maisie-Joy Spriggs 15th and first female home in 43 mins 12 seconds – some two minutes and 45 seconds ahead of the next female to cross the line.
And Maisie-Joy’s sibling Caleb just pipped his sister to the line in 14th place as the under-20 athlete finished two seconds ahead in 43 mins 10 secs.
The second Stratford athlete to finish was under-17 runner Noah Balchin who placed eighth in 41 mins 42 secs closely followed by David Teasdale who finished first in his age category and 9th overall in 41 mins 49 secs.
Next to finish was Max Ross in 10th who set a personal best (PB) time of 41 mins 53 secs whilst James Coy also ran a PB of 43 mins 45 secs to come home in 16th with Sam Wilks one place further back in 17th in 43 mins 52 secs.
This meant four Stratford runners finished in the top-10 and eight in the top-20 as the club’s younger athletes proved their worth with some outstanding performances.
Completing the Spriggs family was father Chris who placed 47th in 49 mins 18 secs whilst Great Britain duathlete Fern Horden came home in 56th to finish second in her age category and as the second female Stratford athlete to finish.
Kim Lee was the third female Stratford finisher in 60th in a time of 50 mins 30 secs with Phil Brennan first in his age category in 116th place in 57 mins 21 secs.
Every finisher was rewarded with a pack of sausages handed out by club members as 241 runners completed the race.