100 lap challenge – Fri 15th July

As in prior years, we will be entering teams in this great charity event, held at the Saffron Lane Athletics Stadium in Leicester.  Mixed teams of around 20 runners – with each runner doing around 5 laps of the 400m track each in a relay.  It really is a fantastic summer’s evening event, all run in a great spirit.  Please let Mike Bryan know if you are interested in joining in.

22 May 2016 – Gaddesby 7 (LRRL)

11 Striders ran the Gaddesby 7 – a new race addition to the race calendar for the LRRL. The route was familiar for many of us as on our doorstep; all well organised and with great marshalls along the course including our very own Shane Sharkey on road duty. Forgetting the first 2 miles of hills there was a thrilling downhill finish.

There was an impressive first league race return for Natalie Teece coming 8th place in the ladies race in 49.20, and a Striders debut run for Alan Thompson 49.30. First Strider was Luke Eggleston 45.05 just followed by Matthew Gayton 45.19 (love a bit of striders competition), then Darren Glover 45.46, Natalie Teece 49.20, Alan Thompson 49.30, Clive Kent 51.40, John Houghton 54.11, Louise Houghton 55.21, Vicki Lowe 56.30, Ben Pickard (who ran there and back!) 59.52, and Jenny Kent 1:10. 

Thanks to our Strider supporters along the way and Matt Chalmers for taking some great pics. All enjoyed well earned scones after race freshly made by Lou earlier that morning.  [Vicki]

15 May 2016 – West End 8 (LRRL)

Not the best of Strider turnouts for the 1st Summer League – Westend 8. However, some great times achieved from the six striders that tackled this 8 mile course around Queniborough and South Croxton.  Great support was received from Shane, and Ben well placed right at the top of the hill at South Croxton to cheer us all up it, and from Louise Houghton on her bike. Jason Barton came 6th overall in a fantastic 46.11, followed by Matthew Gayton 50.54, Luke Eggleston 51.03, Michael Cooke 58.00, Vicki Lowe, 1.03:37, and Jenny Kent 1:23:15. PBs for Matthew and Jenny . Big thanks to Clive Kent for taking some great action photos. [Vicki]

14 May 2016 – Dukeries 30

How could one resist the offer of a run around Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park even if it was 30 miles?

A very early start saw Rob Beers and Rich Gray head over to the Dukeries area of north Nottinghamshire for good initial tester for the ultra season. A mixed and varied lot of runners here today to do both the 30 and 40 mile courses put on by Hobo events and definitely the most entertaining race briefing I’ve ever heard!

7:30am the race starts, it’s cool early on but the clouds soon shift to a quite lovely day, the one real XC bit is in the first mile where drainage problems see us shin deep in water for 100 yards, this is the only `OMG` moment throughout. Very soon it appears we are running in the garden of Eden or at least some of Mercia`s finest scenery, there are just so many picturesque places throughout the race it would be hard to pin point just one, stunning.

Race splits at 6.5 miles with the 40 milers (including our mate Zoe from Hermitage Harriers) going via the Major Oak. Poor Rich has to listen to me blabber on about all kinds of things as we hit a selection of quaint villages and some prehistoric caves known as Creswell crags, before we know it we are upon the next checkpoint.

Rich tells me to go on at 20 miles he either thinks I’m running exceedingly well or has earache, the marshal up ahead says the next checkpoint is 1.5 miles in reality it was about 4 miles. Having not worn a watch or anything, I’m quite happy to find out that I’ve “ Two Park run’s left” to go as I run off doing the maths in my head.

Going very well and still passing people, quite a few walking from 20 miles, the terrain has been a good mix of everything without being hard going, certainly even Rich quoted it as `all runnable`. The mix of everything kept it interesting, it wasn’t just field after field , the navigation was spot on also-if I didn’t get lost anyone can do it!

Knee started ceasing up about 28 miles and by 29 miles I was forced to have the odd cheeky walk due to it becoming painful.

Sprint finish had more in common with `the Hunchback of Notre Dame` than Usain Bolt but I made it and loved the event, would recommend this highly for anyone looking at a longer than Marathon event or enjoying an off-road jaunt.

Really good Technical vest and medal with a buffet after, very good value for money , and a real credit to the organisers for putting this excellent event on. Rob Beers (4:48:11) and Rich Gray (5:00:36). [Rob]

The Bandage Tour 2016

In January this year I made a rash statement about completing 20 different parkruns at 20 different locations from the start of the year hoping to complete the challenge before the end of June. I am pleased to say I am well on target. I have missed three Saturdays, through work, giving blood a couple of days before and a bout of man flu but I have now completed 16. With runs in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and of course Leicestershire the sporting capital of England. Travelling as far as Lincoln, Gainsborough, Peterborough, Swadlincote, Moira, Corby and a host of other places.
The great thing is I don’t decide where I am going until I get in the car on a Saturday morning and I never know what I am  going to find until I get there. With courses ranging from tarmac paths, gravel paths, grassy paths muddy paths or in the case of Gainsborough waste land at the back of the leisure centre. Some are pan flat such as Mkt Harborough others very hilly like Gedling. Most of them are 2 lap courses or out and backers, others like Lincoln and Gainsborough are 3 laps. Some very picturesque like Rosilston in the national forest others less so such as Forest Rec which is in the middle of Nottingham. But which ever one you do they all present a different challenge and are always a friendly social occasion and always near a cafe for a cuppa at the end.
After completing 16 my favourites so far are the 2 in the National forest at Rosilston and Conkers with my least favourite being one in Lincolnshire that wasn’t Lincoln. Times range from 21.41 at best down to a couple around 24.30. with a few age category ‘wins’, a few top 20 finishes and a few 70% age grading results but remembering all the time its a run not a race.
In fact I have enjoyed it so much so far that I have revised my challenge hoping to complete 25 or even all the parkruns within 50 miles of Melton Mowbray which is still on this years to do list.
Mansfield on the radar for this week, another one to tick off.

8 May 2016 – Clawson 10k

A perfect day for spectating at this year’s Clawson 10k, with sunshine and warm temperatures a shock to the system for the runners.  158 started this hilly 10k – the climbs and descents giving it the feel of a fell race.  The route would be familiar to anyone who has joined one of our head torch runs from Long Clawson over the last couple of years – although it is definitely a different test in the sunshine as opposed to the dark, wind and rain!

There was a bumper turn out of Stilton Striders for this local favourite, with Katie Hateley taking home a chunk of Stilton as 3rd lady and four other top 10 finishes (some aided by a number of other runners going off course).
Luke Eggleston (4th, 46.53), Darren Glover (5th, 47.03), Rob Beers (6th, 49.30), Rich Gray (8th, 49.46), Michael Atton (14th, 51.14), Katie Hateley (3rd lady, 22nd overall, 52.49), Dan Valencia (23rd, 53.14), John Houghton (33rd, 56.29), Dan Howley (44th, 58.40), Louise Houghton (46th, 61.17), Sarah Procter (50th, 62.56) and Lynda Harris (57th, 65.02).  Nicholas Smith, Celina Silver and their dog (all representing Stamford Striders) were 116th in 80.41.  Di’s junior Striders training sessions are also clearly paying off with Finn Mulholland first junior in 68.37 and Archie Parrott in 76.50.

Ab Kettleby outrun

Ahead of tomorrow’s outrun (11th May, Ab Kettleby), please can we take care not to fill their car park? They need us to leave around half the spaces for restaurant customers – the road through the village (opposite the pub, towards Wartnaby) is wide enough to park on, but please take care not to block driveways, etc. Any efforts for car sharing much appreciated! See you all there…

2 May 2016 – Woodhouse May Day Challenge

This must be my 5th or 6th May day challenge and it’s an event I always sing highly of as it despite its `tough` profile is one for everyone.

As usual a very large crowd of runners is on hand in the serene village of Woodhouse Eaves for this year’s challenge, as 9:30 strikes the runners start in pursuit of the walkers who have set off an hour earlier. Good turnout today from Stilton Striders and Melton Running club, many doing this event for the first time and although it’s not quite as nice weather as years past it’s still quite pleasant.

Not wearing a watch today my plan is to stick near Barrow Runners Russ Lewin and Chris Trinder and aim for 1:40 or even more hopefully under. The usually painful slog up Deans Lane isn’t too bad this time, someone else said it that it’s not Deans Lane so much but the pull up to the Beacon straight after. A nice long descent down Beacon Hill country park and back into Woodhouse Eaves before the slog which I dread most Woodhouse golf course!

Feel a little bit better on entering Bradgate Park this year than last (stitch from not breathing properly) and enjoy the descent down to Newton Linford gates. The flat through Bradgate Park isn’t too bad although it’s here I lose my pacers in Russ and local legend Tim Hartley at 9 miles in, not often I’ll be able to say about running alongside Tim! I`m running alongside Stuart Shaw doing this event for the first time who despite saying he`s really feeling it is actually looking very fresh. Just over 10 and a half miles and I can feel it, not sure whether to blame the 19 mile XC route from Saturday or not doing enough long tempo work but I’m tiring and it can be the hardest few miles for many doing this race. I urge Stuart on “If you’ve anything left its two miles” , He definitely looks more fleet footed than I do and I seem to drop pace slowly until I hit the tarmac again at Old Woodhouse. Another `forgotten killer` is Old Woodhouse with the mean incline at its rear before the slow pull back into Woodhouse Eaves playing field, followed by the `loop of shame` around the field (Anyone who has run this knows what I mean!).

Bit off the time I wanted but as usual really enjoyed, very proud how everyone did, Kaye calling me every name under the sun but loving it really, Brian Walking coming over the line like he’d scored a hat trick in a cup final and pretty much a great day out for all. [Rob]

Stuart Shaw (24th, 1:40:59), Rob Beers (26th, 1:41:27), Katie Hateley (74th, 1:53:29), Brian Walking (160th, 2:06:31),  Simon Proctor (175th, 2:09:58), John Hudson (230th, 2:17:51), Susan Pettingill (260th, 2:29:12), Kaye Mead (261st, 2:29:13), Helen Metcalfe (309th, 2:46:41), Elizabeth Gray (310th, 2:46:52) and Stuart Gregory (314th, 2:49:45)