Stratford athletes show strong team spirit at Hilly 100

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Ben Rothery.

ATHLETICS

STRATFORD AC finished just outside the medals in the men’s race at the Cotswold Hilly 100, producing their best time for a good few years at the prestigious event.

The 100-mile relay is contested by teams of ten people, each running a ten-mile leg.

It is organised by Stratford AC for charity, and has been going for more than 25 years.

Its unique nature always attracts a strong entry and this year 40 teams took part, including four from Stratford AC.

The race starts and finishes in Stratford and extends as far south as Chedworth.

The earliest runners leave Stratford at about 5am and the latest arrive back at about 6pm.

Matt Burdus-Cook led off the men’s A team with a sub-60-minute effort on the opening leg before passing on to Chris Cond.

Ivan Sarti, Alex Hill and Drew Sambridge all produced solid efforts to keep Stratford in contention.

On leg six, Ben Rothery clocked the team’s fastest stage, covering 10.1 miles in 58:29 before handing over to Joshua Newman, who recorded 65:14 for his stage.

Jamie Chorley and John Raby then took up the running before anchor leg runner and race organiser Rob Minton brought the team home with a 64:59 leg.

The team finished in 10:54:18, 45 minutes quicker than last year and just 13 minutes shy of a medal.

Leamington won in 10:16:43, with Kenilworth finishing second (10:20:35) and Spa Striders placing third (10:40:29).

The men’s B team finished comfortably inside 12 hours, clocking 11:58:44. Kenilworth won the B team race in 11:10:57.

Helped by a sterling 78-minute effort from Lynne Hinson, Stratford AC’s women’s team finished in 14:25:00.

Leamington won the women’s race in 11:33:23, smashing the course record by 11 minutes.

The podium places were the same as in the men’s race with Kenilworth taking second place (12:11:31) and Spa Striders finishing third (12:30:27).

Stratford AC clocked 14:09:40 in the mixed team race, but were some way off making the podium as Northbrook won in 11:25:54, another course record.

Leamington finished second and Spa Striders third.