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Big medal haul for Stratford's veteran athletes at Midland Masters T&F Championships

STRATFORD AC’s senior athletes celebrated a medals blitz at this month’s Midland Masters T&F Championships.

Members of Stratford AC's sprint group at the Midland Masters T&F Championships where they won 24 medals between them.
Members of Stratford AC's sprint group at the Midland Masters T&F Championships where they won 24 medals between them.

The nine-strong cohort came away from the Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton with a remarkable 24 medals in total, including 13 golds, six silvers and five bronzes.

After a difficult 18 months the emphasis was on enjoying getting back into competition, while accepting that performance standards might have slipped somewhat.

Christine and Peter Coote made a welcome return to the track, with Christine winning gold in her 100m age group in club record time.

Christine then went on to win three silver medals in the shot put, long jump and javelin, all with club record distances.

Meanwhile, Peter won bronze medals in the 100m and 200m respectively, both in club record times.

He then picked up three golds and a silver in the shot put, hammer, discus, and javelin, giving him a clean sweep of the M65 club throws records.

For Paula Williams the morning started with two events at the same time – the shot put and hurdles.

She managed to get in two attempts at the shot put, with a best throw of 11.39m before rushing across to the hurdles for her race, recording a time of 12.99s.

It was then back to the shot put where she got in one more throw before injuring her elbow.

After a steady 13.75s in the 100m, Williams threw 32.93m in the javelin before completing the day with a triple jump of 9.83m, bringing her medal tally to five golds from five events.

Phil Brennan’s plan for the day was to keep up with the younger athletes, as a result he went through the first lap of his 800m race perilously close to his PB, winning the gold medal in a time of 3:16.78.

Ninety minutes later, he completed the 1,500m in 6:35.68 to win yet another gold medal.

Not having competed since the Inter Area Competition in March 2020, Elaine Ledden was nervous about these championships. However, she quickly got back into the swing of things.

Her first event was the shot put where she felt she achieved a disappointing 5.82m.

Ledden’s second event was the 100m where she hadn’t expected to do very well, but was really pleased with winning a silver medal in a time of 15.64s.

She then won another silver medal in the long jump with 3.13m. Lastly, she picked up a gold medal in the 400m, clocking 77.01s.

Christine Coote and Elaine Ledden.
Christine Coote and Elaine Ledden.

Still recovering from injury, Mark Illingworth was unable to compete in the sprints. However, he entered the shot put, discus and won gold in the javelin in his age group.

Dave Wilson ran the 100m in a season’s best time of 13.14s, winning a bronze medal in the process, and in the 200m his time of 27.18s won him another bronze medal.

Dave Battersby ran times of 26.85s in the 200m and 58.4s in the 400m to rank him 21st and 17th respectively in the current UK rankings for his age.

Elsewhere, Simon Curran ran a PB of 28.42 in the 200m.

World Triathlon Championship Series

JOSH Harrison and Theo Skirvin joined other athletes from right across the UK to compete in the World Triathlon Championship Series in Leeds.

Harrison competed in the Tri-Star 2 (U13) age group race which began with a 200m open water swim in Waterloo Lake in Roundhay Park.

Up next was the 5km bike leg around local roads before the race finished with a 1,700m run which included some tough hill sections, culminating in a brutal 30m hill before the finish line.

Harrison had a strong race and was placed well out of the swim.

After a steady bike leg he finished with a strong run, attacking the final hill to cross the line in 40th place in a time of 35:09.

Meanwhile, Skirvin competed in the youth category (15-18yrs) in what was his first triathlon in nearly two years.

With no dives from the pontoon this year, the race started with a short run down the ramp into Waterloo Lake for the 200m swim.

After exiting the water, there was a steep climb at the start of the 9.5km bike section. Skirvin’s favourite discipline is the run and he was happy to pass several other competitors, finishing in 35th place in his category.

Land’s End to John O’Groats

JUNIOR athletes Josh and Ben Harrison completed their Land’s End to John O’Groats challenge at the weekend.

Fundraising brothers Josh and Ben Harrison.
Fundraising brothers Josh and Ben Harrison.

The Stratford AC members started their challenge on 1st January with the aim of running and cycling the driving distance between the two most extreme points of the UK in aid of the MS Society.

Brothers Josh and Ben finished their 874 miles on Sunday and have raised £2,010 for charity, more than double their original target of £874.

To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/josh-and-ben-harrison.

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