A 36-STRONG Stratford Athletics Club contingent took part in the first race of the Tempo Winter Series.
The village of Ilmington plays host to the series of 10k road races every month through the autumn and winter.
Matt Burdus-Cook showed exactly why he was voted Stratford AC’s Athlete of the Year with a storming second place overall in 37:48.
The next 16 finishers for Stratford were all under the 50 minute mark.
Ivan Sarti (41:25) saw off a close challenge from Richard Liggett (41:29) and John Raby (41:43), the three of them taking 10th, 11th and 12th places respectively.
Having beaten over 30 of his younger club-mates, Sarti was a shoo-in for the M55 category prize.
Ade Mason, 43:09, 19th, continued his busy racing programme and was followed by Seth Turner (43:18, 21st), Malcolm Bowyer (44:21, 27th and second M55), Chris Cond (44:42), James Coy (44:49), Max Ross (45:08), Mark Hateley (45:13) and Graham Hill (46:07).
International triathlete Emma Bexson (46:18) was first Stratford lady finisher, 53rd overall and sixth woman. John Bettles (47:39) Carl James, Clare Weatherhead (all 49:20) and Amy Hinton (49:12) beat the 50-minute barrier, with Luke Watkins (50:22) unlucky to miss out.
Phil Brennan (53:14, 1st M75) was closely followed by Daniel Hodgkin (53:16), with the duo seeing off the challenge of Tony Tomecek (54:19) and Rebecca Pridham (55:07) herself under pressure from Simon Curran (55:14).
Kimberley Lee (55:20), Louise Stewart (56:04) and Richard Hartwell (59:05) came in under the hour.
The remaining club stalwarts to complete the challenge were Neil Robertson (1:02:51), Gabriella Porter (1:04:53), Clare Eynon (1:05:00), Tom Horbury (1:05:31), Stuart Macleod (1:05:33), Alice Baxendale (1:09:29), Paul Nash (1:13:05), Gemma Smith (1:13:35), and John Butler (1:20:42).
Representing her country for the second time, the Stratford AC member’s preparations for the event had been hampered by a lack of training partners for the necessary long runs.
Despite this, Sergent finished the scenic race around York in 4:55:05 to finish ninth in her category.