The Quadrathon is a series of four full or half marathons around the Malin Head peninsula in Donegal, Ireland. This year it was held from 17-20 August 2017. Although the weather was predictably Irish (everything in one day) we managed to avoid the worst of the summer storms.
Shane Sharkey, Ben and Laura Pickard and Clive and Jenny Kent had a mini-holiday, staying in a lovely house in Culdaff only a few minutes from the beach and right in the middle of the loop that the marathon runners were going the draw around the peninsula. Each day there was a different start/finish, with the half marathon starting at the 13.1 mile point and running the latter half of that day’s marathon.
Malin Head is the northernmost point in Ireland, and it feels like the Extreme North, exposed and wild. The scenery was breathtaking, especially when running along the coast road or reaching the top of yet another hill and seeing the purple moors, golden beaches or deep blue-grey Atlantic ocean spread out before us like a patchwork quilt. The real strength of this race series was the people though, the support and camaraderie that lifted us up and carried us along to the end of each day feeling stronger than ever – some great characters and lovely people that we look forward to seeing again (it seems to be a small world). We all had off-days, where the size of the challenge became overwhelming, but came through that and finished strongly. While it wasn’t about the times for most of us but about covering 104 miles over four days (or 52 miles, for Laura and me), Clive came 21st out of 92 finishers in the Warrior challenge and raised £700 for the MS Society in the process.
The handicap race is a fantastic run to see if people can match their recent form, or beat it. The idea being that everyone finishes at the same time based on a complex array of algorithms and dark matter accelleration (estimation by the independent adjudicator). Slower runners start first, while the faster runners are progressively handicapped by adding on time before they follow the earlier starters.
Starting and finishing in the market town of Atherstone. This undulating route passed through the lovely Merevale Estate. When I say undulating it felt like the first half of the 10k was up hill. The scenery was spectacular. Extremely well organised 10k with lots of atmosphere. Nice medal and teashirt at the end, printed chip time was available also.
A team of 4 Striders competed in the National Triathlon Relays competition on 26th August – Andy Nicholls, Michael Atton, Sarah Procter and Paul Geeson.- team “We Also Run”.
The format of this was the 1st person swims a 500m loop in the Holme Pierrepoint rowing lake, then the 2nd person does the same, then the 3rd, then the 4th.
Following on, the 4th swimmer hands over to the 1st person again to cycle 15K (3 laps of the lake), then the 2nd, 3rd and 4th do the same cycle. Finally the 4th cyclist hands over to the 1st person again to run 5K (1 lap of the lake), then the 2nd, 3rd and 4th do the same run.
Although there are some phenomenal athletes that take part in this event, there is also a real mix of people taking part with a very positive atmosphere and great support from spectators.
With none of the team (except Andy) having done a full triathlon before and missing the pre-race briefing, it didn’t start too well. But once the race got going, everything went smoothly. Chris (Mick) had a fantastic cycle (learning point for next year – drafting isn’t allowed!), Sarah was really fast in the swim and all 4 ran well – especially with Sarah hardly having run for months.
Also competing was Matt Taylor for 4LifeTri (who kindly organised our team) and Wayne Hackett for Race Hub. I won’t mention that we managed to beat both of their teams. Oops, I just did!
It was a great effort for Team Striders at the 3 Club Challenge from Anstey Nomad Football Club in August. This is definitely what its all about; big turnouts and enjoyable evenings in lovely country side with our fellow local runners. 40 striders took part with a great effort by all. It was a great evening and there is always next year to get that trophy back from Barrow. Big thank you to Mark Stoneley and Debs Wilson for helping.
Names taking part were:
Mike Brighty, Jay Barton, Helen Benzie, Noel Blake, Simon Botterill, Celia Bown, Matt Chalmers, Michael Cooke, Luke Egglestone, Sharon Eshelby, Paul Geeson, Darren Glover, Dan Giblett, Wayne Hackett, Greeba Heard, Dan Howley, Christie Jones, Marie Kennedy, Clive Kent, Jenny Kent, Sarah Lawrence, Vicki Lowe, Kaye Mead, Mark Lupson, Dan Moult, Andy Nicholls, Helen Plant, Mark Stoneley (marshall), Nick Pryke, Chris Southam, Alan Thompson, Vanessa Walker, Matt White, John Wilson, Debs Wilson (helper), Steve Dewick, Katie Hateley, Alison Wilson, David Hall, Emma Hope.
This 10 K course is well known for being hilly with the first 2.5 mile run up a very steep hill. The humid weather made conditions even tougher, but the scenery made up for it as a great race. First home for striders was Luke Eggleston 38.49 and finishing in the top 40 places. Following was Ian Drage 40, 11, Jon Wilson 46.06 and David Hall 52.54.
This was the penultimate race in the Leicestershire Road Running League Summer Season and it was great to see so many Stilton Strider ladies racing to fight for what will be a top position in the league. First lady was Julie Bass 46.20 (2nd V category), followed by Michelle Farlow 48.56, Vicki Lowe 49.13, Greeba Heard 50.56, Helen Plant 51.08, Emma Hope 56.55, Vanessa Walker 57.26, Liz Parkinson 58.35, Deb Wilson 58.53.
I took part in this race last year completed the short tour so this year I decided to take part in the Long Tour. The self-navigating route takes in 32 miles of the beautiful Peak District with ascent of around 7500ft.
I arrived at the start line in Bradwell and the inspirational Nicky Spinks was there taking part. I dint have the courage to ask for a selfie as she looked quite preoccupied so instead I sneaked a photo in and looked like a stalker! I also knew she would be sat at home with her feet up by the time I finished!
The route covers some beautiful parts of The Peaks such as Castleton, Edale, Hope, Ladybower Reservoir, Aston, Bamford, Stanage Edge to name a few. I met some familiar faces on the way round from previous races and also friendly new faces, so it was quite a socialble day.
I completed the race in 7hrs 44mins. The race is a bargain of £13 entry and has great support throughout both short and long routes. A must for exploring The Peaks.