3rd Dec, 2016

Florida fun ends in fine victory for Kate

Liam Moakes 10th Feb, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

STRATFORD Athletic Club stalwart Kate Wright tagged on a race to the end of her recent holiday and it proved a worthy decision as she was victorious in the Sarasota Music Half Marathon on Sunday.

This is a stunning event with some glorious temperatures and decent sunshine added to some wonderful music around the Florida course.

Kate was in fine form to come in as first placed female in a time of 1:25:37 and, not only was she first female home, she also finished sixth overall.

All five runners ahead of her were very much her junior. The race was won in 1:15:01 by Warren Gradjalez, a mere 35 years younger than Kate.

Clearly Kate’s strategy of eating and drinking plenty whilst away proved a good omen on the day.

IT IS often a difficult transitional phase for athletes from juniors to seniors and for many the period coincides with time away at university.

For these students the opportunity to compete against their peers provides an ideal stepping stone and the winter highlight of the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) competition is the National Cross Country Championships.

This year the event was held at Plock Court, Gloucestershire, and two Stratford Athletic Club runners were selected to represent their university over a ‘real’ cross country course – muddy, wet and windy.

Zoe Chandler (University of Birmingham) and Cadie Hibberd (Cardiff University) lined up in a strong ladies field featuring nearly 600 athletes.

Zoe had a terrific run to finish 33rd (23.31) which continued the excellent form she has shown when available to compete for the club in the senior cross country league.

A renowned slow-starter, Zoe for once made a good start and hopefully this will help her confidence for future races.

For Cadie, this was more of a step into unfamiliar territory, so she was very pleased with her 419th position (31.28) which augurs well for her continued transition into the senior ranks.

JOHN Butler represented Stratford AC in the fourth race of the 2015/16 Centurion Grand Prix Series on Sunday at Chelmsley Wood, Solihull.

There was a reasonably flat, five-mile, multi-terrain course and the weather conditions were wet and windy, including a massive puddle to swim through!

John braved the elements and finished the course in an impressive time of 49:28 to come 125th out of 132 runners.

The winner of the race was Peter Brookes of Holmfirth Harriers in a time of 26:02 and the first lady to finish was Sarah Conway of Birchfield Harriers in a time of 33:10.