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Shephard leads Stratford AC home at Ilmington

Stratford Athletic Club runners at the fourth Tempo Ilmington Race series. Photo: Sarah Bland
Stratford Athletic Club runners at the fourth Tempo Ilmington Race series. Photo: Sarah Bland

RICHARD Shephard led Stratford AC home at the fourth Tempo Ilmington Race series which attracted the highest number of starters for two years, report by Sarah Bland.

A 24-strong contingent from Stratford AC took part in the clockwise route and after an early battle with eventual winner Paul Andrew, Shephard placed second in a time of 37:08.

Andrew built up an advantage on the hills before going on to secure his fourth win from as many races in the series.

Matt Burdus-Cook ran a great race to finish fifth overall in 39:30, his first time inside 40 minutes in this direction, and gave him the V35 category win.

Dan Lynch, suffering from the end of a chest infection, was 11th in 40:33 but is still in strong contention for the series age group prize.

Making his first appearance here this season, Alex Hill ran a great race to finish just 13 seconds behind Lynch in 12th, clocking a time of 40:46.

Ivan Sarti took his third V55 age category win of the season (16th, 41:33) and was pleased to knock some time off his previous run in this direction, so he still maintains the lead for the series.

He got the better of Chris Cond who was 25th in 42:37.

Owen Goschen ran well under the admission of not being able to train as he would like to finish 32nd (44:00, 3rd V45) as is David Smyth (46:00).

Adam Evans finished 58th in 46:30, while Joe Lee is back on it and in training, beating his time from November (46:39) to finish 25 seconds ahead of Damian Wheeler (47:05).

Two V45s battled it out after that – Peter Sugden, 71st in 47:05, and Alan Dwyer, 86th in 48:31.

Simon Curran ran a good time of 56:14, while Stuart Macleod clocked 1:04:02.

He was more than a minute quicker than his time from December’s race.

Bringing up the tail of the Stratford men but not the tail of the race was John Butler in 1:19:14, who looks on course for the V75 series prize.

In a strong field, Emma Parkin was Stratford AC’s first woman to finish, placing 16th among the women in 49:40.

The ever-smiling and ever-consistent Rebecca Pridham was 26th woman in 53:43. Just eight seconds separate her times from all four races in the series so far.

Despite a bad cold, Suzi Graham made it round in 57:38 and Maggie Macleod ran strongly again to finish inside an hour (59:29).

Making her first appearance here, Pip Abrams completed the race in 1:02:53.

Alice Baxendale ran more than six minutes quicker than her time in November’s race, finishing in 1:06:38.

Clare Eynon also continued to improve, finishing in 1:08:04. Returning from injury, Louise Stewart was happy to finish in 1:12:27, while Gemma Smith ran 1:22:46.

Fellow runner Mel Price was the first woman overall, finishing in 41:46.

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