Team effort the key in renamed race
STRATFORD AC’s renowned team spirit was in evidence, but from a slightly different perspective than usual when they organised, managed and ran the newly-named Not the Not the Roman IX, writes Phil Brennan.
This historic 12k road race on the outskirts of Stratford is popular with the local running community, as for many it is the first serious challenge of the new year.
A large number of volunteers are needed to fill all the necessary management, admin and marshalling roles which ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for the 350-plus competitors but such is the senior members’ strength in depth that 18 members were free to join in the race itself.
The course starts in Tiddington, and returns via the Banbury road, a stiff climb up Loxley Hill, then through the village and back on the Wellesbourne road.
Ben Kruze, from Midland Masters AC, was first male in 41mins 27secs with a two-minute gap to second place, while first female, Leamington AC’s Natalie Bhangal had only six-second lead after clocking 48:14.
Seth Turner was first home for Stratford in 14th place in 48:18, taking second in the M45 category, with Max Ross, (29th, 49:57) and Steven Peters, (32th, 50:25) in hot pursuit. Fern Hordern was first SAC female finisher, (59th, 53:36, 2nd F45).
The next six home were well under one hour: Graham Hill (61st, 53:44), John Bettles (72nd, 54:58), Peter Wharton (81st, 55:42), Annie Cox (92nd, 56:17), Clare Weatherhead (97th, 56:49), and Damian Wheeler (118th, 58:41),
Mark Loosmore (138th, 1:00:15), Ricky Davies (139th, 1:00:16), Tom Horbury (271st, 1:13:29), Clare Eynon (285th, 1:14:58), Pip Abrams, (309th, 1:17:52), Jan Turner (310th, 1:18:09) and Catherine Wiggins (333rd, 1:24:08), completed the SAC contingent. Turner would surely have won a prize but was entered in the under 35 category: a tribute to her sprightly performance, perhaps.