THE STRATFORD Athletic Club ladies’ team claimed victory in the White Horse Harriers Half Marathon which is run on a level and attractive rural course through the country villages of the Vale of the White Horse in Oxfordshire.
Starting from Grove, the course follows quiet country lanes through the villages of Denchworth, Lyford and Charney Bassett and a wonderful performance by the trio of Stratford ladies secured a 14-point team victory.
Another superb performance from Kate Wright (1:24.12 – 21st) saw her first home for Stratford as fourth lady to finish and first in her age group.
Next to finish for SAC was Sarah Wheeler (1:26.11 – 31st) who is just returning after a lengthy period without racing and, as such, she should be delighted with her performance as she finished fifth lady and third in her age group.
Both Kate and Sarah commented they were at a loss to understand why a predominately flat course should feel so hard and the race required constant effort all the way around.
Sarah’s lack of racing meant she found the last three miles particularly tough going but she revealed the homemade cakes at the end made up for it!
The third of Stratford’s talented trio to finish was Rachel Pearce (1:31.31 – 67th). This was another fabulous performance from Rachel, following on from her recent Goring 10k run.
Not only was it a personal best, but she was also tenth lady to finish and second in her age group in what was all in all a superb victory for Stratford ladies.
Some 450 runners competed in the race, which was won by Phil Fernandez in a time of 1:13.18. First lady to finish was Jessica Webb in 1:21.20.
MORE than 1,500 runners enjoyed the British Heart Foundation Warwick Half Marathon which took place around the beautiful town of Warwick and its surrounding countryside.
Four SAC runners finished the race, which started and ended at Warwick Racecourse, and the first of them home in a hugely impressive sub-1:30 time was Tim Tandy (1:29.46 – 69th).
Pete Wharton (1:45.58 – 377th) was next to finish for Stratford and was delighted to start his season off with this PB performance and thinks that with a bit more practice and fewer hills he can get down to 1:40.
Cat Coleclough (1:49.50 – 486th) is a recent member to the club and can be mightily pleased with her performance as fourth to finish for Stratford.
Just 12 seconds behind Cat was Charlotte Potgieter (1:50.02 – 500th) who was another Stratford runner to claim a PB in this race.
The race was won by Renou Ludovic in 1:13.52 and first lady to finish was Tori Green in 16th place in 1:23.44.
MORE notable individual performances were recorded by other Stratford members at recent races.
James Lawson is just a few weeks away from his first London Marathon and as such took part in the 20.1-mile Kingston Breakfast Run.
Starting and finishing in the historic Kingston-upon-Thames market square and taking in the river down to Hampton Court, this 20.1-mile route is perfect preparation for the marathon.
James finished in a time of 3:30.57 and said he found it more of a mental than physical challenge but one he can definitely take some positives from.
The redoubtable Phil Brennan failed to find running past the Olympic Velodrome and Aquatic Centre inspirational in the British Masters Athletic Federation 10k. He found this three-lap race tiring and its course difficult to navigate, with many sharp turns and undulations. He expressed himself disappointed with his time of 48.20, but he should not be.
Jane Duncan raced at the Revolution 5k at Warwick Castle and came 18th in just 24 minutes. In her first foray back into racing after a long lay-off, she was totally surprised yet delighted with her result.
Three club members completed the revised three-lap Massey Easter 5 on a pleasant Easter Sunday morning including Ruth Calderbank who finished the course in 178th position in a time of 42:56.
John Butler was 230th in a time of 50:23, followed by Chris Seeney in 238th place in 51:03.
At the Centurion Grand Prix, among the field were Luke Aaron Watkins and John Butler of Stratford AC. The former finished the course in a time of 39:11 to come 55th and John completed the course in a time of 47:04 to come 85th. It was also his fastest time in the series.