THE SECOND race in the Tempo Winter Series – the Tempo Events 10k – attracted 22 of Stratford Athletic Club’s finest hill-running athletes.
Conditions were perfect for running as cool temperatures and the heavy overnight rain subsided to a light drizzle. The hilly course presents a challenge for all competitors and fast times are less important than targeting personal bests and enjoyment of racing.
First finisher for Stratford AC was the inspirational Graham Taylor (5th, 40.11) who ran with a small group just behind the leaders for the first 4km, until the brutal and steep climb up Campden Hill saw the group thin out. He made up a few places on the ascent and managed to keep up a good pace as the course levelled out.
On the long sweep down Lark Stoke Hill, Graham passed another rival before pushing on up the final 1km climb to the finish but he could not get any closer to the athlete in 4th place.
Graham was delighted with his highest placing in a Tempo 10k and his time which was nearly two minutes faster than he had run on this course in previous races.
First woman for the club and 3rd woman overall was Kate Wright (8th, 40.56). Kate was pleased with her performance, reporting that she felt “pretty comfy all the way” and enjoyed having some strong female competition.
Kate finished one minute behind Hannah Brooks of (Crawley AC) and 28 seconds behind Camilla Barnes (Worcester AC) and was impressed with her ability to “keep up with the two youngsters” for the first 5km.
In common with the rest of the Stratford AC contingent, Sarah Wheeler (9th, 41.49) was really happy with her morning’s work. Her pace was quicker than in the first race of the series and she was really proud to be so close to three very fast ladies.
David Smyth (15th, 43.41) managed a massive personal best, beating his previous best time for the course by over three-and-a-half minutes. It is great to have David running so well and finishing in such a lofty position as he has such excellent natural ability but has been unlucky with injuries in recent years.
David credits his cross-country training for enabling a confident surge down Lark Stoke Hill, which enabled him to gain a couple of positions.
Full Stratford AC results: Graham Taylor (5th, 40.11); Kate Wright (8th, 40.56); Sarah Wheeler (9th, 41.49); David Smyth (15th, 43.41); Robin Kindersley (17th, 43.57); Waleed Agabani (26th, 44.55); Mark Newman (28th, 45.35); James Cusack (30th, 46.06); Alison Bagnall (42nd, 47.58); David Jones (52nd, 49.18); Rachel Clarke (89th, 52.53); Penny Stainthorp (94th, 53.21); Andrew Turner (104th, 54.36); Chris Whateley (111th, 54.53); Allan Coldicott (132nd, 58.07); Debbie Edkins (162nd, 1:00.50); Kate Sergent (175th, 1:02.46); Martyn Sergent (192nd, 1:04.49); Victoria Jeffs (194th, 1:04.59); John Butler (206th, 1:06.13); Natasha Watkins (209th, 1:07.19); Maria Fitzgerald (223rd, 1:09.56).
KATE SERGENT (634th, 2:15.54) took part in the Grand Union Canal Half Marathon and described the experience as “brilliant”.
This multi-terrain race starts in Uxbridge and finishes in Watford. In 2012 the race finished fifth in the ‘Scenery’ category of a Runners World poll.
Kate reported the course was very muddy in parts and the path was narrow and uneven so it did not present much of a personal best opportunity but she ran really well and was just over a minute down on her 2012 time.
Martyn Sergent (665th, 2:19.54), Kate’s husband, has only recently joined the club, but his track sessions are already paying dividends.
Kate believes it will not be long before Martyn finishes ahead of her. Martyn was six minutes behind in the Glasgow Half Marathon but reduced the deficit to four on this occasion.
SIX Stratford AC athletes headed to the flat and fast course at Long Marston and achieved creditable results in the Shakespeare Raceways Autumn Races.
Paul Jefferies showed the field a clean pair of heels in the 5k race. He started assertively, forged clear in the first 2km and kept his composure well. Paul was overjoyed to win by a comfortable 40 seconds.
Full Stratford AC results: 5k – Paul Jefferies (1st, 19.11); Nadezhda Svetlakova-Doyle (22nd, 28.40).
10k – Alison Bagnall (43rd, 43.02); Rachel Ward (joint 122nd, 50.38); Ruth Calderbank (joint 122nd, 50.38); Debbie Edkins (167th, 54.54).
THE McTighe siblings have continued their fabulous year of racing with fine performances in Switzerland during the last few weeks.
Agnes won three races while Agatha, Marmaduke and Ignatius also performed to a high standard.
Results: Lausanne Marathon Junior 3,000m: Agnes McTighe (U13) – 1st, 10.20.4; Agatha McTighe (U15) – 4th, 11.16.0.
1,500m: Marmaduke McTighe (U11) – 2nd, 5.24.4.
1,200m: Ignatius McTighe – 2nd, 4.45.3.
Corrida d’Octodure (Martigny) 2,650m girls race: Agnes McTighe – 1st, 9.03; boys race: Marmaduke McTighe (U11) – 9th, 10.18.
Corrida Bulloise (Bulle) 1,750m: Agnes McTighe – 1st, 5.56.
Debbie Edkins running in the Tempo Events 10k. Picture by Barry Cornelius. (s)