TINA DAVIS was the first Stratford AC runner home in the Christmas Cracker 10k race around the Warwickshire countryside, reports David Jones.
Runners, invited to run in fancy dress, follow a course for 10km or 20km races from Moreton Morrell Agricultural College through the country lanes to Ashorne. There is a climb at 6km after which the route is fairly flat until 9km. Here competitors run up the hill they started on and into the college grounds, where the 10km race finishes and the 20km runners head back out for another lap.
In the 10k race, Davis (53.35) was first home for Stratford in 59th place. It was the first time Davis had run this race, having recently moved to Stratford from the Kent coast. Despite the gloomy weather, she enjoyed the challenge of the route, especially the hill up to the finish.
In 71st place and second in her age group was Kate Sergent (55.23). For Sergent, this year just keeps on getting better, with her improving on last year’s time by three and a half minutes.
Gill Robinson (1:01.39) in 118th place, found the race tougher than she had expected but nevertheless enjoyable. She said the competitors in fancy dress helped take her mind off the worst bits of the course.
Martyn Sergent (1:01.44) was just five seconds behind Robinson and professed himself happy with his time.
The race, completed by 187 runners, was won by Stuart Spencer in a time of 31.44, more than five minutes clear of the second-placed runner.
In the 20k race, Tim Tandy, a relative newcomer to the club, stormed home in ninth place in 1:24.57, just 19 seconds slower than last year, before he joined the club.
James Cusack (1:29.17) has had a great year of running and finished in 14th place. He was pleased with his run and was delighted to run sub 1:30.
Sarah Odell (1:41.27) was in 35th place and second in her age group. She felt she got off lightly where the weather was concerned, although it was quite blustery in places, especially going up the big hill at the finish, something the 20k runners had to do twice!
In 42nd place was Dave Clarkson (1:43.58). It was his third year at this event but his first at the longer 20k distance. Trying to keep up with the other Stratford runners proved to be a mistake though and he also found the uphill climb back in to the college to be the toughest part of the race.
The race was won by Nathan Montague in a time of 1:14.55 and 101 runners finished the race.
n Ewan Rayment is moving ever closer to his holy grail of a sub 90-minute half-marathon after setting a personal best in the Milton Keynes Winter Half Marathon.
He clocked 91.13 in a superb performance, shaving 41 seconds off his time at the Birmingham half in October.
Rayment finished in the top seven per cent of the 1,534 finishers, in 109th position overall. The race was won by Kris Garson in 69.32