27 Mar 2016 – Desford 6 (LRRL)

Four Striders made it to Desford for the last race in the LRRL winter league. With Luke Eggleston and Matt Gayton both having Reading half marathon to look forward to next week this was a good warm up. Luke Eggleston posted a brilliant time in 38:09, Matt Gayton was only a few seconds behind in a very good time of 38:49.
Next home for the Striders was Clive Kent who put in a very strong time of 41:46. Jenny Kent was still running strong when she crossed the finish line in 58:45 taking more then 2 minutes off

 her PB time for the 6 miles distance. [Luke]

AGM, Weds 13th April 8.30pm

This year’s club AGM will be held at 8.30pm on 13th April 2016 at the usual location – the Dance Studio next to the bar at KE7 Sports Centre.  Agenda and a copy of last year’s minutes will emailed out to members shortly.

As usual, membership fees for the coming year (1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017) will be agreed at the meeting and become due immediately.  We will also have our stock of kit there, so bring some cash!  Orders for club kit that we don’t currently have in stock can be discussed on the night.

20 Mar 2016 – Ashby 20

The ever popular `warm up for a Marathon` or `I like Hoodies` event sold out in record time this year, despite a promising grey start the day being the first day of spring certainly did shine like it.

With the heroics of the previous day at Charnwood thankfully not hurting that much I go to task with trying to pace Dan Valencia to 3:30 and help `Lucky` Luke Egglestone to his longest distance yet in preparation for Manchester Marathon by not letting him go off like a scolded cat.

I have to admit despite the `dancing feet` I worry about how my legs will feel later on, I’m glad that they are fine on the long climb up to Swepstone and can only pray they stay like that come the second lap. Luke is running well, Dan is a little more cautious, we make it to Heather without any hitches and pretty much soon enough back in Packington for the second lap.

Very aware of my energy levels I take a gel at 8, 12 and 16 miles, Dan has fallen slightly behind and I almost need reins on Luke. He second climb upto Swepstone feels a lot more harder, at 13 miles I let Luke cut loose where he`s following Barrow Runner Ian Robinson, thankfully he`s ran within himself after going off and this looks very promising for his first Marathon.

My last three miles were not pretty and I spent far too long at the last drinks station at Packington so as not wearing a watch I was very happily surprised I crossed the line in 2:31: 45.

Great as usual race, superbly organised as ever and a lovely Purple hoodie!  [Rob]

Striders Results:

Luke Egglestone (2:28:50)

Rob Beers (2:31:45)

Dan Valencia (2:34:12)

Jenni Wisher (Time TBC)

Vicki Lowe (2:47:47)

Abigail Arnott (2:55:32)

Michelle Farlow (2:55:32)

Theresa Clyde Coltman (2:55:32)

Sarah Lawrence (3:17:30)

Jon Wilson (3:34:32)

Deborah Wilson (3:34:32)

Helen Metcalfe (Time TBC)

19 Mar 2016 – Charnwood Marathon

It’s the twentieth Charnwood Marathon and my personal favourite race in Leicestershire, this Charnwood stunner at a mere £10.00 entry for the 16.4 mile or 27 mile version with every penny going to charity!

Sadly with Ashby 20 and the Stathern Duathlon amongst the many events happening this weekend this great event does suffer somewhat and for me at least its a better course than the ultra-popular Charnwood Hills race in local vicinity.

Today its Rob Beers, Greg Pettingill, John Hudson (in Barrow colours) doing the shorter route, Rich Gray doing the 27 and Sue Pettingill walking the 15 miler. The challenge begins at Rawlins College Quorn before heading out of the village on a slow uphill towards Woodhouse and Woodhouse Eaves before turning up Upper Broombriggs. Today was meant to be very much a training run but Greg went flying off at the start and I felt honoured to join him and sort of kept it up although I did hang back a bit at sections of the course. From Upper Broombriggs it’s the long climb up Beacon Hill followed by a long descent off the top down Deans Lane before cutting round the Beacon plantation. From there the course goes up Windmill hill, back into Woodhouse Eaves and into that (Bloody) golf course, I always wonder going through here about flying golf balls and which way they will come!

Up Cardiac Hill before the slight incline into Bradgate Park and looming ahead the climb up Old John which I might be in a minority but strangely enjoy. An orienteer over Bradgate Park towards Swithland gates before entering Swithland woods which somehow I found easier to navigate in eight inches of snow doing this event a few years ago than in early spring. Into Swithland village and I hope the fatigue in my legs is enough to keep my away from my nearest rival some 30 seconds back. Turning left at the Telephone box and getting the right path (Something race leader Wreake Runner Bruno Nikoloff surprisingly got wrong!) towards old Woodhouse. It now became a re-trace of the route we took outwards and I up the speed on the way back to Quorn although the last road before the high street seemed to go on forever. I spot John Hudson whose race was curtailed due to injury early on and tells me I’m currently in fourth place! Turning the corner I enter Rawlings college but this is the hardest navigation bit on the course and I can’t remember which way I came in! Anyway I make it in and yes very happy with fourth place for a quick training run!

I can’t say enough good about this event I really can’t , the only downsides slightly being the races it clashes with over the weekend and if you don’t know the area the first time can be very hard to read the map.  [Rob]

16m results: Rob Beers (4th, 2:09:58), Greg Pettingill (9th, 2:16:46), Sue Pettingill (73rd, 4:52:19)

27m results: Rich Gray (51st, 5:20:56)

13 Mar 2016 – Newton Fraction Half Marathon

3 Striders turned up for the Newton Fraction half marathon on a cold but bright sunny morning. With various other races including the Silverstone half on the same day it was encouraging to see so many runners entered – in fact I think the race had been a sell out prior to the day itself.

Other than 2 pretty horrendous hills I can’t praise this race enough!!! It started and finished at South Kesteven sports stadium in Grantham…..there was plenty of free parking, no queues to get race numbers, plenty of water stations (and jelly baby handouts) en route and a pretty decent goodie bag at the end (including a race t shirt). The route took in a few roads around the stadium to begin with and then straight onto the Nottingham canal path for a few miles…..which was pretty nice going for a sunny Sunday morning!

Mile 5 brought us into Woolsthorpe and this is where we hit the first of the steep hills – once recovered we had some miles on the road  before hitting the brutal Casthorpe hill at mile 10……. I had been warned about this and although including plenty of hill training in my pre race runs it still got the better of me…..and a lot of other runners too.

Onwards and upwards quite literally we came back into Barrowby for the last few miles back to Grantham – this is where it really hurt and thankfully the time that all 3 strider runners seemed to meet up and give some words of encouragement to each other. We had a stadium finish – with one lap round before the finish line. A really good race and one I’d definitely recommend a go at!!  Results – Mike Brighty 1:51:14, Sarah Procter 1:52:46 (pb), Louise Houghton 1:52:51 and John Hudson (representing first claim club, Barrow) 2:03:14.  [Sarah]

12 Mar 2016 – Queniborough Fun Run

This race is like the Huncote Hash, only shorter and wetter with 6 deep stream crossings on each lap.  On what seemed like the first day of Spring, a select bunch of Striders and their children braved the mud and water.

For the children, Emily Walkling came 33rd in the Year 3/4 race, William Walkling came a superb 14th in the Year 5/6 race, followed by Luke Nicholls 40th and Zoe Nicholls 42nd, James Walkling 24th in the tough Year 7 to Age 17 race.
For the adults, Andy Nicholls came 4th and Brian Walkling 11th after having already done parkrun the same day.

Next in the series is the Frisby Fun Run on Saturday 16th April – hope to see some of you there!  [Andy]

13 Mar 2016 – Keyworth Trail Run

The initial Keyworth Trail Run is an event of 15 or 30k (although they’ll happily admit it’s 31.5k), a good crowd is on hand for the event in proceed of Willowbrook primary school in Stanton on the Wolds. It’s a nice day although the fog is quite heavy and when it clouds over quite cool, having rained much of the week it’s going to be heavy going in places. There is but one Stilton Striders shirt on display this morning for this local event (cough!) and far more from our local neighbours.

The longer distance starts half an hour earlier at 9:30am, having done 21 miles and over 3000ft of ascent the previous day the idea of staying with Malcolm Harris and Simon Cole from Barrow Runners on the way round thankfully leaves my head in the first 2 miles. I can feel very uphill in my quads and by mile three the option of cutting back via the shorter route is certainly more than an idea as we head towards Wysall. Do not be put off by the word ‘Trail’, this route has some serious XC equal to and surpassing the wetter years of the Charnwood Seagrave course and the Belvoir Challenge-ploughed up fields and mud baths aplenty.

Next we head towards Wymeswold and all throughout the run I’m on tracks and paths I never knew existed, it really is that superb and rural sometimes you could be anywhere in the country let alone somewhere between local villages. A little later we head towards Willoughby and even then we are on paths I hadn’t of thought using before, although a couple of people went wrong I found the signage throughout very good indeed. On the other side of Willoughby the sun comes out, and head towards Widmerpool , there is now a few really feeling the strain, saying it’s supposed to be only 195ft of ascent its very undulating! Never does the terrain become a bore: one minute your going through fields, then a track, then road, then woodland, even though I’m familiar with the layout of the local villages it kept me guessing throughout.

Long pull back to Keyworth, with me doing a great impression of someone trying to run on the road back to Stanton on the Wolds, finally I get back and happy with the time given I used as a training run and some often brutal terrain. Great organised event with very nice marshals and event staff, chip timing, absolutely awesome route, didn’t expect a goodie bag so to get a really good one including a T-shirt was superb! Very fairly priced entry and really hope this grows next year. Really would like to see more Striders shirts next year, there were quite a few excellent events on but it’s always nice to support the local races and this was a cracker. [Rob]

12 Mar 2016 – Grindleford Gallop

I had a guy from Barrow Runners go on about this for years hence I had to give it a go, this year’s event sold out in a mere eleven minutes! Originally three Stiltons made the cut but injury meant just myself (Rob Beers) and stand in par-Excellence Dan Valencia would make it to the start line.

Very few Leicestershire clubs on show at this event of around 600 people, we meet up with Zoe Sewter from Hermitage and local legend Tim Hartley who not only hadn’t realised the event was today but hadn’t raced this distance for about 14 years!

We start mid-pack I must admit to not feeling up to it and `training run` being imprinted, in any case it was a reccie for both of us as not knowing really what to expect in 21 miles and 3000ft apart from pain. The first mile towards Froggat woods is incredibly slow with stiles and the usual bottleneck hold ups, people jumping the mud and puddles (surely? It’s an offroad race you know what to expect?). The first big hill comes and whilst I persist up it Dan has plumped for another technique (!) , we head towards the village of Eyam.

Bit too much road at the beginning but Longstone edge is plenty muddy, it’s all those high walls and stiles you have to climb that really play on the agility. Great Longstone leads us towards Bakewell and a long stretch of trail that is far too easy to just hammer and lose a lot of steam (Dan!) as at the end of which is a huge climb with some sort of cowbell at the Hill bottom!

The descent towards Chatsworth estate is one of the most scenic I find, I’m enjoying the downhill, I don’t enjoy the agility of dodging people from here to the end of the race as the weather is getting a lot better and they are coming out the cracks. We hit the village of Baslow at 17 miles and I am somewhat battered (Tim H said he suffered from here also), I’ve tried to conserve energy and definitely another gel or two wouldn’t have gone amiss. Anyway it’s the biggest climb of the lot up to Baslow edge, not knowing the course or how long I’ll be climbing the odd cheeky walk finds its way into my shattered legs as I hope saving them will help with the technical section on the edges. The top eventually came and the technical section began, testing ones agility against not only stones and mud but walkers, Dogs etc on tired legs was very hard work and by the time we came to the woods near the end of Baslow edge I felt really tired and no energy left. The final descent into Grindleford would’ve been done better by a Dalek down a flight of stairs; wearily I tread downhill through the village over the bridge and over the finish line. Thankfully getting inside to a hot cuppa, a bowl of soup and a cake can do wonders for rousing a flagging energy level!

Despite the pain, the uphill and everything it’s a superb well organised event showing off some of the best of the Peak district, both myself and a just as tired Dan Valencia loved it. This year was very much a reccie and we hope to return next year a bit wiser of where to go quick and where to lay off a bit, great day for the offroad runner.  [Rob]

13 Mar 2016 – Silverstone Half Marathon

It was fantastic race conditions at the silverstone race circuit as Jason Barton and Luke Eggleston both went to the Silverstone half marathon on a cold but sunny morning.
Jason was in super form as always and posted a fantastic 1:18:50 just missing out on a top 10 finish (14th place).  Luke, who was also in brilliant race form, posted a 1:28:08 taking more than 4 minutes of his previous PB time for a half marathon.  [Luke]