AFTER the 15th running of Stratford Athletic Club’s extremely popular annual Stratford Summer Six on Saturday, almost every member of the host club competing in the race was rewarded with a lifetime best.
The undulating six-mile course starts and finishes at Mary Arden’s Farm in Wilmcote, by kind permission of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, which cares for the Shakespeare Houses. It is also part of the Warwickshire Road Race League.
A record of almost 400 runners entered the race, which is an extremely important fund-raiser for the club and involves a considerable amount of organisation. This year more than 30 club members were involved in making the race run smoothly and another 20 members competed in the race.
Seth Turner was the first of these to finish, placing 52nd in 39:34. He was followed by Pete Sugden, whose time of 40:30 took more than three minutes off his PB.
Just ten seconds and three places separated the next three Stratford runners – Max Ross (41:58), Carl Matthews (42:02) and Graham Hill (42:08).
Annie Cox was the 35th woman to cross the finish line, taking 17 seconds off her PB with 45:14. She was closely followed by Clare Weatherhead (45:30).
Dave Maundrell’s time of 47:41 was almost a four-minute lifetime best for this distance. He was followed by Suzie Ross (48:06).
Experienced marathon runner Kate Sergent won her age category, clocking 56:59 to finish as the first W65 competitor.
“I have helped marshal at this event many times, so it was lovely to run the course,” said Sergent.
“It made me realise how lucky I am to be a member of SAC, as the organisation and support was fabulous, with so many members coming together to help make it a huge success.”
Coventry’s Oliver Paulin won the race in 31:56, while Leamington’s Kelly Edwards was the first woman, clocking 36:12 as 356 competitors completed the race.