ATHLETICS - Stratford AC athletes make England debuts - The Stratford Observer
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16th Aug, 2022

ATHLETICS - Stratford AC athletes make England debuts

STRATFORD AC athletes Ben Kruze and Matt Burdus-Cook enjoyed success on their England debuts as they secured victory over Wales in the International Road Running Masters competition in Tenby.

Both Stratford runners were selected to race for England in the 10k at the Long Course weekend – a multi-discipline, multi-national, three-day event staged by the British Masters Athletics Federation, Wales Athletics and England Athletics.

And Kruze won the overall race in the MV35 10k in a time of 31 minutes 59 seconds with Burdus-Cook third in the MV45 race in 34 mins 30 secs.

The pair will now move onto the next Masters event in Bristol where they will be joined by fellow Stratford member Kate Wright, also running 10k in her category.

Athletes are chosen to represent their country based on recent results with eight runners selected in each age category.

The top four finishing athletes for each nation and age group are scored to determine the winning nation with both Stratford runners contributing to England’s overall win.

At the same event, fellow Stratford members Adam and Jane Linforth took on the half long course (1.2m swim, 70m cycle, half marathon run) and 1.2mile swim respectively.

In her first swimming event, J Linforth finished in an impressive 49 minutes, placing 63rd female.

Linforth completed the 1.2mile swim in 37 minutes, 10th overall and sixth male in the LCW half, 29th overall in the swim and seventh in the 40-plus age group.

The 70 mile cycle course featured 5,000 feet of climb across rolling Pembrokeshire countryside but Linforth took 30 minutes off his previous route best to finish in 4:16.

It was a PB for Linforth at 1:31:49 in the half marathon, which took in 1,000 feet of climb on a tough, hilly and hot route and was 50 minutes quicker than his 2018 time in the same event.

The couple both paid tribute to their SAC triathlon coaching and with Do3 for their success.

Elsewhere, Stratford shot putter Lewis Byng set a new under-23 deadlift world record in his second discipline at the BTC Strongman push-pull contest.

The 20-year-old lifted a remarkable 411kg (906.1lbs) to set a new world record for his age category and beat Kevin Nee’s mark of 410kg (903.9lbs) which was set back in 2008.

GB international Byng is currently the top ranked under-23 in the country in shot put and sits at number three across all age groups.

He is the all-time best thrower at under-20 level and is the only male athlete to have won both under-23 and under-20 UK championships in the same weekend.

Runners from each end of the age spectrum represented SAC in the Bourton One Mile Challenge – a fast and flat point to point road race which finishes in the centre of picturesque Bourton-on-the-Water.

Stratford’s Alex Adams, the club’s 16-year-old England international finished the race in fourth place with a time of 4 mins 33 secs which places him 12th in the current UK under-17 rankings.

He was running in isolation for much of the race with a 16-second gap between him and the third placed finisher whilst he was a comfortable 12 seconds ahead of the fifth placed runner.

At the other end of the age spectrum, 77-year-old John Butler finished in 107th place in a time of 9 mins 14 secs which puts him fourth in the UK rankings for his age. Fellow club runner Phil Brennan is currently in second place.

Lastly, Stratford’s Seth Turner took on the Salomon Serpent Trail 50k run through South Downs National Park.

After a fast opening 5k, Turner slowed his pace amidst a field of high calibre national and international competitors.

At halfway he was in 35th place but as others slowed on the challenging course he stayed strong to make up 12 places, finishing 23rd of 459 runners in just under four hours and 30 minutes.

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