24 Jul 2016 – Snowdonia Trail Marathon

I`ll leave the mysteries and glitz for the gossip columns and focus on the big race itself, that we had what 20 Stilton Striders at this event racing the 10k, Half Marathon and full marathon (ok it’s an ultra) in Wild Wales is absolutely fantastic.

What isn’t so fantastic is again we would be doing the event in heavy rain as half an hour before the event the heavens open, at least it’s a tad warmer than last year when the weather caused some rather massive anxiety and self confidence issues. Our big group of runners are pretty well kitted out, really not sure if some of them know what they are facing but hey ho they are smiling! The half and full start together leading out the village before a very sharp climb on Snowdon’s lower slopes that has far too many people walking in the first mile, its heavy traffic and good agility is needed in case of death by bum bag or backpack. Making good progress as pass Mike Bryan and Jim Hatherley early on, enjoy the first four miles of just grinding up the endless hill, there`s the masochist in me. Long fell like downhill brings us out near the Snowdon ranger before over a mile of tarmac on the way to Rhyd-Du and the turnoff to Beddgelert forest. Before I know it I’m looking at signs for 8 and 11 miles, have to say I was thinking of the team out there doing the half how they were finding it, when Luke would get back etc.

Make it to Beddgelert village wondering how far Stuart Shaw is in front as haven’t seen him since 5-6 miles thinking the mud and terrain near Llyn Dinas may have slowed him down only to find they had trailed the surface like Beacon Hill! Mud still to come though as we crossed the road to the far side of Llyn Gwynant and quite a merry adventure it is round there. Simon Bottrill I found out later somehow picked a wrong turn somewhere and ended up thigh deep in the lake losing 20 mins running time in the process, not good as it was tiring enough at this bit. 17 miles in and the course was changed, the long slog upto Pen Y Pass took another route although it was a damn lot steeper, some people preferred it, personally I didn’t. 20 miles and you’re at Pen Y Pass the highest road in the UK, some people may have said this year’s course was shorter than the 29.3 miles of last year but unless they’ve shaved the mountain down somewhat from here on it was exactly the same as last year’s course.

Instead of plumping for last year’s heroics in a vest I admit I was tired and went for a base layer, an energy gel and a protein bar as I started climbing the very hard going Pyg track up Wyddfa, a fresh looking Jim Hatherley passes me at 21 miles. Even the Half Marathoners had a hard climb going up the Snowdon Ranger path but the Pyg is the hardest route: full of scrambles, hand holds and parts of the route are very exposed to the elements, as well as the feeling it’s never ending. Pretty sure about 30 people must have passed me on the way to the summit, my pace was slow if persistent and it took a good mile downhill to get going again after the top, quads were burning on the descent after all the elevation.

Finally start descending a bit better and sadly the road back into Llanberis again doesn’t happen as we are sent through woodland trails around the back, taking my waterproof off cost me a good minute I can tell you. Past Dolbadarn Castle and I can smell the finish even starting to laugh as one runner goes the wrong way and heads towards Electric Mountain! Over the line to a great applause from the crowd and and the Striders faithful, a bit quicker than last year also.

Nothing on photo can tell you what this race is like, if you ran the full, the half or the 10k you deserve massive respect; it is a very tough race or perhaps event. You really have to have been ¾ up a Welsh mountainside exposed to the elements with badly aching legs and fading energy to imagine what this is like. I have massive respect for everyone who did this weekend’s races, everyone in my eyes achieved, although there were some stunning results also.

See you next year? [Rob]

29 Jul 2016 – GrimReaper Ultramarathon

Friday 29th July saw this year’s GrimReaper Ultramarathon take place at Grimsthorpe Castle, just over the border into Lincolnshire.  A laid back event, with options to run either 40, 70 or 100 miles on the marked 10 lap traffic free loop – with team options available and camping for those that want to make the most of the 26 hour cut off for all distances.

Rich Gray represented the club in the 40 mile solo race – after a solid first lap of 10 miles in 1.38, the sun came out, the pace gradually slowed and the gently rolling hills ended up feeling like much bigger inclines!  14th place, 7hrs 52mins.  [Rich]

3 club challenge 9th August

The Three Club Challenge is on Tue 9th at East Leake Golf Club and is held by Barrow Runners this year. 

They would like to know how many attending would like food please. It will be £5 per person. Could you please let Katie know asap so that we can pass numbers to Barrow?

In the meantime, a few more details about the event and last year’s report is at the link below:


20 Jul 2016 – Notts 5

Weds the 20th July and 5 of us made the trip to Nottingham Embankment for the Notts 5 road race, now in its 23rd year I’ve not done this version but it’s similar to the original course and still extremely flat, just 19 ft of elevation gain for the 5 miles (according to Strava).  Perhaps not perfect conditions for quick times as it was a bit on the hot side and there was a nagging wind which was quite tough in your face in parts but saying that some great times in a decent field of 273 finishers.
Won by Alistair Watson of Notts AC ( midland x country champion ) in 24.55 , not bad eh?
Anyway, first back for Striders with another brill run in 30th place Luke Eggleston 30 min 38 secs, he was chasing sub 30 but it’s only a matter of time, next was Darren Glover in 41st place 31 min 42 secs, I was hoping to get under 31 but happy with my run.
But run of the night must be Brian Walkling who was chasing a target of 38.20 to achieve his 3rd bronze standard target he brilliantly ran 38min 05 secs  for 129th position, great effort, marvellously paced by Ben Pickard who was just behind in 130th in same time (or was it Shane 😉 ) and our 5th runner was the ever improving Vanessa Walker in an excellent 236th place with 46 min 29 secs, great atmosphere and a bottle of beer at the finish so all good.

17 Jul 2016 – Brooksie’s Bash

On a personal note, this was a 10-mile trail event that I did not want to do. Originally posted by Rob in the Striders group, I decided that I would accompany him on this one and have a run around with him (such is his relaxed “enjoy it/training run” approach with local trail runs). Shortly after entering it, I checked the entry list only to see the complete absence of his name from the entry list. He wasn’t in, nor was he going to be. I didn’t want to do it on my tod!

As a club we had a truly fantastic night at the Rainbows 100-lap challenge on Friday night, and that sprinting resulted in some tired legs on Saturday morning. On Saturday morning, I was roped into accompanying one of our juniors at race effort at parkrun – and so on Sunday I definitely did not want to do the event that I did not want to do.
Sunday morning came around and the feeling in the legs confirmed that I definitely did not want to do it. By this point, I had found out that another Strider (Simon Proctor) would be joining me, and that he was willing to drive. This kind of meant that I had to do the event that I didn’t want to do.
We got checked in to the registration in the picturesque grounds of Foremarke Hall, and the sun was beating down. I knew that there was no part of me that wanted to do this event.
Having convinced myself that I was just going to jog around it to complete it, we took to the start line – Simon was far more keen than I was to be completing his first race as a paid-up Strider. The run took us around the grounds of the £8,000 per term boarding school before exiting over some nearby fields. After a fairly open first mile, there is a long two mile stretch of single file running due to the lack of path width through crop fields and by streams, ditches, and hedges. This single file traffic meant that there was no option to take it easy – you simply had to keep up with the person in front as no-one wants to be the one to inconvenience the person behind (#verybritishproblems). At the 5 mile marker there is a testing hill across an open field with the first of two water stations at the top of it. I was starting to feel weirdly OK about doing this race by now.
A lovely run around the outskirts of Ticknall Village brought us into a mile long stretch of woodland – and everyone who knows running knows that on a good run there is always a wood!!! Another tough hill up to the 2nd water station at 7.5 miles and I was starting to love this event.
The hills fell away to a fast  downhill path which covered almost the entire last 2 miles of the course brought us back in to the school grounds and across the line. I crossed the line in 1.27.30 (43rd), and Simon in 1.38.47 (85th). We were both really pleased with our times, the route, the atmosphere, the organisation, and the complimentary boot-bag to all finishers. We were there for the inaugural event with 144 runners, but this event is already a staple race for next year’s calendar and a strong recommendation for anyone with a spare weekend next July. It’s only going to grow from here. Absolutely loved it, and knew that I would!

15 Jul 2016 – Rainbows 100 lap challenge

A fantastic evening, once again, at the Rainbows 100 lap challenge, with 3 teams of Striders joining in the competitive fun at this event which raises much needed charity funds for Rainbows.

Link to Melton Times report: http://www.meltontimes.co.uk/sport/other-sport/record-breaking-stilton-striders-win-rainbows-100-lap-challenge-1-7487791

Bandage Tour update

Here is the monthly update for runs 22 to 25.

Really racking up the miles now with around 400 this month and roughly 2000 miles so far to run about 78 miles must be mad. Seriously though i am getting concerned about my carbon footprint and the effect on the planet, I mean this is clearly worse than flying away on holiday isn’t it? So to off set this in the true tradition of the jet set I have planted a small tree in the back garden and feel so much better

Run 22 was in March, the town not the month, a 4 lap course all on grass which needed a mow a nice course with a pacer runner at 6 45 pace thought I would give it go but had a Harry Kane moment ie thought I was better than I am. First 2 laps ok but then tailed off on the final laps.

Run 23 was in Huntingdon and it was a case of spot the tourist, everyone was wearing pink, except me, in memory and tribute to a local runner who when diagnosed with cancer set up a charity, the lady in question died earlier in the week and 565 people from the very young to the very old turned up to run. It was an unbelievable atmosphere, very moving with great support all the way round.

Run 24 a trip in the opposite direction to Daventry. If any of you go there don’t go the country park because although you run round there you start on the opposite side of the road and run through an underpass nice course a bit undulating with a few kissing gates and a nasty uphill finish.

My initial target was 20 different ones which was upgraded to 25 and they have all been great for different reasons but run 25 was something else. Down to the west midlands this week to run at Kingsbury Water Park near Sutton Coldfield. Arrived about 8 40 to find a huge queue for the car park someone had clogged up the cash machine and the barriers were stuck, it got sorted but delayed the start by half an hour in the end. The fun however had only just begun as there was a special train event this held the start up even further as strange people turned up with their trains. We still hadn’t finished though as it was the runs third birthday and time for lots of awards , this was going well until we had to stop again to allow a horse box into the car park bringing donkeys for the donkey rides!! Nearly ready for the start just a couple of awards left with the last going to the ladies points winner who bounced across the car park in a space hopper costume. you couldn’t make it up. Oh and did i mention that the plan B 2 lap course (normally 1 lap) had to be used because of the trains. Even after all that I had my best time of the month in 21. 43.

It’s why park run is so much fun, every run something odd happens.

Even after reaching 25 I still have a few on my 50 mile ish radius list so may keep going.

Regards Big (Bandaged) Leggy

9 Jul 2016 – Gonerby Tough Duathlon 

The Gonerby Tuff duathlon was an understatement of a name for a low key first time event organised by Belvoir Triathlon Club. contacting of 5 x 2.25mile lap route, a run, 3 on the Mountain Bike and a final run.

Three Stilton Striders were in action, Clive Kent (1hr 31mins), Andy Nicholls (1hr 47mins) and Wayne Hackett (1hr 40mins, after completing the Whissendine6 road race the previous night).


Jul 2016 – HPRC Grand Prix

The end of the school year can only really mean one thing – it is time to start focusing on running again, with the intention of being race fit in time for Equinox. Knowing that I was so far from where I would like to be, I needed a short sharp burst of runs at race effort over a short period of time. Cue: the Holme Pierrepont Grand Prix series.

The four race series is held over 2 weeks and is based around East Notts covering distances from 5k to 10k, costing just £25 for the whole series and including a series Technical Tee to all series entrants. In a revision to the previous race schedule, the first race this year was the Rushcliffe 4 – a 4.1 mile run around the grasslands of Ruddington country park. This race is characterised by having a massively wide start that narrows after 200m to a very thin path, so getting a decent start is somewhat essential or you get squeezed out and held back in the bottleneck. The race is half grass/half path and a lovely scenic route. It didn’t quite go to plan as I had to stop twice on the short distance to simply de-phlegm (nice??!!) but still finished with a 7 min pace in 28.49.

The usual race finale was the second race this year: a flat and dull 10k around Holme Pierrepont water sports centre. The course involves a lap and a half around the water’s edge, a bit on the surrounding roads, and a full mile finishing straight. The start was delayed 15 minutes due to cricket traffic and a breakdown closing off a lane, but this didn’t make up for my having to run “naked” (forgot my watch). Felt good all of the way around the run, but this good feeling was explained by my time. Finishing in 46.10 I was not disappointed, but knew I could have done better. This was the only race where I was accompanied by a fellow Strider as Vanessa Walker took on the course in a fantastic 56.48

The third race was probably my best by some distance. The Wollaton 5k required a great effort by the marshals to clear all the deer from the course just before the start. An undulating path/grass route that involves a tricky there/back section delivered my best 5k time since last August (it really is a summer thing?!) at 21.14

Finally, the series finished at Colwick park for their 5 mile 2-lapper around the country park. Entirely on pathways, this was the one race where I actually felt like the wheels had come off, but pleasingly only just missed out on a 7 minute average, in a time of 35.31.
Overall in the series, I finished 63rd out of the 275 runners that completed the series. Very pleased with the whole series, but work still to be done…. If only I had 8 weeks off work to do it… [Shane]