A great turn out of Striders (and a few ‘soon to join’ Striders) had a great evening at this year’s Solstice Run. Set in Beacon Hill Country Park, it shouldn’t be a surprise that this isn’t the flattest course. 1 mile up, 1 mile down, 1 mile up (slightly less steep), 1 mile ‘undulating’ and then a fast final mile down to the finish. With around 250 runners (including a healthy CaniX section), there was a great atmosphere. The times suggest our runners were in a hurry to get back, no doubt influenced by the thought of the beer and barbecue generously provided by John, Lou, Steve and Mike.
First back (and presumably thirstiest Strider) was Mike Bryan, who ran a fantastic 34.04 for 13th place overall. Rob Beers [see bonus report below] was next in 35.43 (3rd Vet 40), after an epic battle with Luke Eggleston who was just behind in 35.55. Rich Gray (37.29), John Houghton (39.21) and Simon Bottrill (“just taking it steady” in 39.28) all had good runs. Louise Houghton continued her great form with 3rd place female CaniX runner in 41.53.
Vicki Lowe crossed the finish line in 42.19, with Max Houghton (47.40), Steve Boylan (47.56), and final Strider, finishing in a PB for that event, Stuart Gregory came home in 51.25.
It never takes too much prodding to get me running around Beacon Hill, so the idea of a 5 mile race on a Friday evening followed by a barbecue with a horde of Stilton Striders all boxes were swiftly ticked.
Nine Stilton Striders and Two forthcoming Striders made this year’s start line- we could’ve outdone the Loughborough club`s I reckon for attendance, special mention to Lou Houghton representing Stilton`s Canix Cross division.
The Race starts with Mike Bryan on the front row tailed by Luke Eggleston and pretty quickly we are climbing the second highest hill in Leicestershire, if you’re familiar with it tis a long slow pull to the summit. The descents however are superb it’s here I get in front of Luke , only for my shoelaces to come undone near the hill`s bottom, doh!
Round the plantation and then climbing the `Charnwood Hills race` side of the Beacon, this for me is the toughest part of the Hill itself thankfully the legs kick on near the top and after one more ascent it’s a mile or so to go to the finish. Local knowledge and being pretty good on descents (“Drop the hands!”) Helps me come in as 2nd Strider and somehow still managing to not be beaten in a race by the ever improving Luke Eggleston who comes in not far behind me .
Everyone came in happy with the race and the medal we got was really good, personally chuffed with my performance as was very unconfident beforehand, course PB`s from John Houghton and an elated Stuart Gregory.
Despite the chill in the air after the run a massive thank you to Stilton`s social committee for putting on the Barbecue and Refreshments, very nice evening indeed and this may well be a tradition from now on! [Rob]