9th Dec, 2016

Stratford athletes are Masters in the second city

Liam Moakes 23rd Sep, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

RUNNERS from all over the UK converged on Birmingham’s iconic Alexander Stadium for the British Masters National 10,000m Track Championships and a trio of Stratford AC runners secured medals in impressive fashion, writes David Jones.

The race also incorporated the Midlands Masters Championships. A distance of 10,000m on the track is not the easiest of races, as you not only have to be able to run but also count to ensure you do not do more or less than the 25 laps required.

In near perfect conditions, three of Stratford AC’s more senior runners represented the club. The combined ages of Roger Wilson, Phil Brennan and David Jones total some 210 years and they commented, on arriving at the stadium, that next door was a crematorium, handily placed should any of them expire during the race!

Roger (45:19.18) has made a truly remarkable return after over 12 months out due to injury and he signalled he was well and truly back a fortnight earlier with a superb time of 44:38 in the Wilne 10k at Draycott.

This was his fastest 10k since 2008 and his willpower and determination to come back after such a lengthy period off is to be truly admired. His performance in this race was justly rewarded with a bronze medal in the National Championships and gold in the Midland Masters, plus an immediate UK ranking of five in his age group.

Phil (49:31.95) unbelievably lined up on the start line less than 24 hours after representing SAC in the gruelling Midland Road Relays at Sutton Park. They do say there is no fool like an old fool Phil!

He has competed in a huge number of races this year, representing Team GB in Italy, Poland and France and, although missing out on a medal in these National Championships by finishing fourth, he was able to add a silver medal to his trophy cabinet by coming second in the Midland Masters Championships.

David (45:55.28) was competing in only his second 10,000m track race and was disappointed with his time. By his own admission, David is a little tactically naive in these races and in this instance, instead of running his own race, his effort to try and keep up with the second and third placed runners meant starting off too quickly.

His legs were feeling somewhat weary after a reasonably full year of races and, while disappointed at finishing fourth in the National Championships, he did not go home empty-handed after picking up a silver medal in the Midland Masters Championships.

The M65 race was won by Arthur Daley in a time of 41:23.74 and the M70 by Peter Giles in 41:31.79. Peter was once a member of King Crimson. Younger readers – ask your parents!