STRATFORD Athletics Club’s David Jones – the driving force behind the club’s successful veterans track and field team – made it on to the podium at the recent British Masters 10,000m Championships in Jarrow, Tyne and Wear.
It was a rare opportunity to contest the 25-lap distance, as it is becoming increasingly unpopular with masters meeting organisers. The Jarrow event was well attended, with 79 competitors taking part in a friendly atmosphere.
Despite a lack of recent racing experience at the distance, unlike some of the other competitors, and in unseasonal heat, Jones secured bronze in the highly competitive M65 category.
He confessed to being disappointed with the time of 50:16.28 but has made a great comeback from major injuries and can look forward to a competitive season next year.
Jones has established himself as one of the increasing number of Stratford masters who are competitive at this level.
Forest Trails 17-mile
THE HEART of England Forest is an impressive and successful project to plant millions of trees in Warwickshire and allow public access.
A series of trail runs has been established as part of the fund-raising and this year Stratford AC’s Lesley Kirk, a highly experienced off-roader, and Louise Stewart, a self-confessed newbie looking to expand her endurance ability, took part.
Both opted for the 17-mile course rather than the full marathon – a wise decision in retrospect as the day warmed up.
Despite the low-key nature of the event, their finishing times reflect the size of the challenge, with Kirk 18th overall and sixth woman in 3:11, followed by Stewart in 36th overall and 16th woman in 3:46 out of 101 participants.
They were also happy in the knowledge their entrance fees would contribute to the planting of more trees.
Balsall Common 10k
SIX hardy Stratford runners took part in the changeable conditions at the recent Balsall Common 10km – the penultimate event in the 11-race Warwickshire Road Race League.
Luke Watkins was first home in 129th, clocking 47:17, followed by Annie Cox in 144th in 48:12.
Beverley Brigden (203rd, 52:26) seems to have improved with almost every road race this season, so it was no surprise this was another PB. Ruth Calderbank (278th, 58:16) kept her hopes alive for an overall series prize and there were solid performances from Pippa Abrams (58:58) and Tash Watkins (1:07:21).