STRATFORD Athletic Club were well represented among the 600 starters at the third staging of the Alcester 10k.
The event had all the features which makes it popular – an undulating but scenic, fast and traffic-free course, fine autumn weather and the carnival atmosphere in the town centre – where town criers and street artists send off the runners and welcome them back.
Sixteen Stratford athletes donned their yellow and black vests across all race categories and first home was Neil Wicks in a superb fourth overall in 37:16, close to a season’s best, which clinched first place in the M35 category.
Paul Jefferies, 11th, was desperately unlucky not to break 40 minutes, being timed at 40:00. Next was relative newcomer Alex Hill (27th, 41:25), well placed at sixth in the competitive senior category.
First woman home was Lynne Hinson in 77th and second F45, 45:52, followed by Hannah Osborne who was 96th, 46:43.
Phil Brennan (110th, 48:03) took first place in the M65 category, nine years and 51 weeks after first entering the section.
Suzi Graham (146th, 50:19) had another determined race and was unlucky to miss the 50-minute barrier.
Regular campaigners Dave Maundrell (172nd, 51:17) and Chris Whateley (179th, 51:34) were next, followed by Ruth Calderbank (210th, 55:19). Ruth was unhappy about her race fitness, but still claimed the almost inevitable F65 top prize.
Jan McLure (258th, 55:49) showed few ill-effects just a week after her PB half marathon and Jean Hill (345th, 59:57) just maintained her recent consistency under the one-hour barrier, which on this occasion proved just too much for Nic Reynolds (348th, 60:10) to match.
Andy Turner (362nd, 60:45) made a welcome return to racing and John Butler (531st, 1:13:36) escorted Sheryl Buckland (532nd, 1:13:37) across the line, or perhaps it was the other way around.