MAKING his third appearance at the Coniston Marathon, Stratford AC’s Dave Parkin finished comfortably inside four hours at the scenic and challenging event.
Described by Runners’ World magazine as ‘the most scenic trail marathon in Britain’, the race starts and finishes at Coniston Hall Landing Point on the shores of Coniston Water.
Parkin finished in 3:56:44, placing him 23rd overall and ninth in his age category.
The race was won by Joel Jameson in 3:03:20 and 210 runners finished the race.
Walled City Marathon
HAVING completed the 107-mile Dublin2Belfast Ultra at the end of March, Stratford AC’s Tara Lambert thought it time to revisit the Emerald Isle for the relatively short 26.2-mile Walled City Marathon.
The race sees runners from across the world arrive in Derry to compete over a stunning course that takes in all the sights and sounds of the city.
As a measure of the improvement Lambert has made over the past 12 months, her time of 3:53:39 was more than 45 minutes quicker than her time last year.
She finished in 286th place overall, was the 32nd woman to finish and ninth in her age category.
Lambert, who grew up in Derry, says the race has a special place in her heart.
“I remember Derry during the troubles,” she said.
“This race is a celebration of how much Derry has changed and what a fabulous place it is now.
“There is some beautiful countryside but also some steep climbs coming out of the river valley.
“The crowd lining the streets cheering and shouting your name won’t let you walk and the traditional Irish drums sound give you chills.
“Although it has twice the ascent of the Stratford Marathon, this is probably my favourite road marathon and I was very happy with my time.”
Eric Koech won in 2:34:19 while Natalie Hall was the first woman in 3:03:35 and 821 runners completed the course.
Tempo Run For Beer Relay
SEVERAL quartets from Stratford AC came together for the annual Tempo Run for Beer Relay on the recreation ground opposite the RSC Theatre.
More than 100 teams in total took part in the relay race where teams of four each run individual legs of two miles.
Every runner receives a bottle of beer – or a soft drink – on completing their two-mile leg.
While a handful of running club teams battle it out at the front, there are prizes for best fancy dress team, fastest pub team, veteran team, super vets team and several others.
The winning team was Chariots of Fire, who completed the eight miles in a time of 43:25, at an average of 5:25 per mile.
Ben Taylor, of Judas AC, ran the quickest leg at 10:06.
Stratford AC’s top squad was Three Men and a Girl, comprising four of the club’s best juniors – Georgie Campbell, Cameron Black, Josh Dobedoe and Fin Hutchinson – with a total combined age of just 60 years.
They completed the race in 48:52, a fraction outside six-minute-mile pace, and won the junior team award. They placed 10th overall.
Two-and-a-half minutes behind them, in 15th place with a time of 51:15, were The Smokey Sausages consisting of club members Matt Simms, Pete Sugden, Emily Adams and Seth Turner.
A special mention went to the Stratford team consisting of eight-year-old Toby Spriggs, running with his mother Hannah, together with brother and sister Caleb and Maisie Joy.
They finished in 40th place with a time of 56:52.
At the other end of the age spectrum were club members Kate Sergent, Ruth Calderbank, Phil Brennan and David Jones with a combined age of 280 years.
They finished the race in a pretty respectable time of 63:09 at just under eight-minute-mile pace.
Great Midlands Fun Run
STRATFORD’S Emily Adams returned to her hometown of Sutton Coldfield to take part in the Great Midlands Fun Run alongside her mother Cindy Brittan and club-mate Karl Harris.
Starting in Sutton Coldfield town centre, much of the 8.5-mile route is within Sutton Park, Europe’s largest urban park.
After negotiating ‘Cardiac Hill’ runners return to the finish in the town centre.
Adams and Harris ran the race together, both finishing in 1:09.
“It was an undulating lovely route through Sutton Park, including the horrible Cardiac Hill,” said Adams.
“It was warm and a couple of short showers were welcome.
“I was pleased with my run as I’m not race fit at the moment so a 1:09 time was welcoming.
“Karl ran with me to keep me going. My mum, as always, was a real trooper and managed to get round.
“I didn’t find it as easy as in previous years, but it’s always nice to run in your home town.”