THE SECOND running of the Monty 5k at the Edmondscote Stadium in Leamington featured minor improvements to the course which greatly improved it for the runners.
This year, competitors had to run 600m on the track before exiting straight ahead, meaning athletes were spread out as they left the track.
The course is very flat but not as fast as it might be due to the twists and turns. After the lap of the track, runners then head towards the town centre alongside the River Leam.
At the edge of the town, the route returns though Victoria Park and back alongside the river before finishing, Olympic style, with a lap of the track.
The conditions were ideal for running, if just a little warm, as a baker’s dozen 13 Stratford AC members lined up at the start.
This race features in the club’s Grand Prix competition and was also the second of this year’s Warwickshire Road Race League fixtures.
Therefore, from the Stratford runners’ point of view, valuable points were on offer for both competitions.
First home for Stratford, by a considerable margin, was 19-year-old Sam Weaving whose very impressive time of 18.46 left him in 30th place and fifth in his age category.
Next to finish and continuing his fine run of form was Peter Sugden in 95th place with a time of 21.47. Peter was followed by David Jones (107th – 22.23) who was second in his age group and just managed to hold off Luke Watkins (109th – 22.36).
Phil Brennan (124th – 23.16) maintained his hold on second place in the club’s Grand Prix competition and also managed to finish fourth in his age group.
Dave Maundrell (137th – 24.07) ran another consistent race, whilst first lady to finish for the club was Annie Cox (149th – 24.45) who won her age group at the recent Massey Ferguson 10k and this time managed second place in the L20 age group.
Ruth Calderbank (160th – 25.36) got yet another age group victory, hot on the heels of the one she obtained in the Massey 10k. Ruth was just 20 seconds ahead of Jan McLure (164th – 25.56) who earned more valuable Grand Prix points.
Jan was followed by Bev Bridgen (169th – 27.01) and next to finish, following her recent international call-up, also finishing second in her age group, was Kate Sergent (177th – 28.56).
Kate was just 19 seconds ahead of her much-improving husband Martyn, who had a fabulous run to finish in 178th place in a time of 29.14.
Tash Watkins completed the list of Stratford runners in 182nd place in 30.25.
Stratford’s men’s team finished in ninth place, with the ladies and masters teams both fifth.
Some 190 runners completed the race, which was won by Joseph McCloud in a time of 16.54. The first lady to finish in 40th place was Charlotte Everard in 19.38.
SOME 887 runners completed the Leicester Big 10k, put on and organised by local company Tempo Events.
Stratford Athletic Club’s husband and wife team Gavin and Sally Bliss competed the race together in a time of 1:06.00, finishing in 533rd and 534th place respectively.
Sally commented that Gavin was there for her as she struggled and that it was a really good event.
The race was won by Michael Coltherd in a time of 31.37. First lady to finish in 18th place was Chloe Finlay in 40.30.
Reports compiled by David Jones.