THE EXTREMELY popular Not the Roman 9 race once again proved to be a highly successful event for organisers Stratford Athletic Club.
It is the club’s biggest fund-raiser of the year, with the surplus being used to support membership and provide facilities and equipment for junior and senior members to encourage the health benefits that derives from such participation.
The race was originally named after its first sponsors Roman Motors and started as a nine-mile road event in 1968.
In 2004 it was necessary to change the host venue and Stratford AC were pleased to be able to use the facilities at NFU Mutual and their sports club, FISSC, at Knights Lane, Tiddington.
The route remains predominantly the same but the change of the start and finish meant a re-measuring of the course. This is why the distance is a slightly unusual 12km and also explains the current name of the race.
The course is undulating, over mainly rural roads with one challenging climb just before halfway at Loxley Hill.
Although a local event, the need for SAC to provide both marshals and officials means only a limited number of club members compete.
This year close to 70 members were officiating in some capacity, with club members not allowed to compete until all of the posts are filled. With almost 500 runners completing this year’s race, it is a huge logistical challenge to organise.
Due to the restrictions placed on club members competing in the race, this undoubtedly benefited other local clubs. The winner was Conor Carson from Kenilworth in a time of 42.36 and there was further success elsewhere in south Warwickshire as Leamington club Spa Striders provided four of the top ten finishers.
First woman to finish was Natalie Bhangal of Leamington C&AC in a time of 47.42.
Despite only eight SAC members competing, the club did enjoy success, particularly in the FV45 category in which Seanin McPherson (67th – 50.51) was not only first club member to finish but also won her age category.
Sheila Lammas (105th – 53.12) finished third in the same age category and first man to finish for the club was Joe Lee (77th – 51.15).