Shepherd leads Stratford athletes home in Winter Series race

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Richard Shepherd.

ATHLETICS

RICHARD SHEPHERD stormed to overall victory in the second race of the Tempo Events Winter Series.

The monthly challenge sees runners tackle the lanes and hills of Ilmington over a 10km course and a 37-strong Stratford AC contingent took part.

Shepherd was overall winner in 36:34, his fastest over the course for two years, and an emphatic minute-and-a-half in front of team-mate Matt Burdus Cook in second place.

Burdus-Cook (38:03) demonstrated his continuous improvement by posting his fastest time over the course and was comfortably ahead of the third placed runner.

Long distance specialists Richard Liggatt (10th, 42:01) and Ade Mason (16th, 43:04) were next in.

Just over a minute separated Owen Goschen (17th, 43:14), Seth Turner (18th, 43:24), Malcolm Bowyer (19th, 44:00) and Joe Lee (22nd, 44:24).

Bowyer was a comfortable M55 category winner, over two minutes ahead of the second finisher.

Max Ross (24th, 44:50) beat 45 minutes, while the next nine finishers, Mark Hateley, Emma Bexson, Graham Hill, Ben Phyall, John Bettles, Clive Swain, Luke Watkins and Amy Hinton were well inside 50 minutes, while Carl James (50:51) and Clare Weatherhead (51:00) came close.

Peter Wharton (52:54) and Phil Brennan (54:02, 1st M75) were followed by close finishes from Rebecca Pridham (55:08) Kimberley Lee (55:12) and Tony Tomecek (55:22).

Another 13 Stratford runners finished the always difficult challenge, with the ever present John Butler (300th, 1:22:47) shepherding them home, enjoying his new status as second in the M75 category.