Equinox 24 2018

Equinox 24 is a 24 hour race with options of 10k, large teams, small teams, pairs and solo. It all started on Friday when a few excited Stiders were ready at the gates to put up camp near the entry/exit point of the main field. Tent poles creaked under tension and tarpaulin flapped in the breeze of a greyish day. The Eleventh Duke of Rutland must have been impressed with the small temporary town being erected on his huge tracts of land.


A good few of the Striders ensemble headed over to the Chequers Inn, a homely pub with good grub for a bit of pre-event sustenance and to ensure the ales hadn’t gone stale since the last outrun visit out this way. No-one from the Striders crew (as far as I’m aware) did the beer run, but there’s an option to drink a beer and run round the field on the Friday due to the many types of refreshment available throughout the weekend.

Ben and Tom
Ben and Tom

Saturday kicked off with hearty breakfasts and remaining team members arriving before the 12 o’ clock parking inside the field cut-off. Sarah Lawrence negotiated with the marshalls to arrange the camper-van to park near to the mother-camp. The array of camping equipment was proudly displayed and teas were brewed. Now to the running orders! Who would be running first? The first runners may end up doing more laps if the orders remained on Sunday. But should positions count, a tweak in order could make a difference to attain one more lap.

Jon and Debs
Jon and Debs

And they’re off! 12 o’ clock Saturday is the start of the 24 hour race. Timing chips were affixed, with teams and 10ks setting off at a ferocious pace while soloists took the long game plan, although not as slow as might be expected! For the soloists we had: Matt Gayton, Richard Gray, Ben Pickard, Brian Walkling, Shane Sharkey, Amanda Pearson, Laura Pickard, Dan Moult, and Marie Gray. For the teams we had Simon Bottrill, Clive Kent, Katie Hateley, Greg Pettingill, Jon Wilson, John Houghton, Dan Valencia, Michael Atton, Paul Geeson, Christie Jones, Sharon Eshelby, Jenny Kent, Vannessa Walker, Liz Parkinson, Sue Pettingill, Debs Wilson, Emma Palmer, Sarah Lawrence, Kaye Mead, Nick Pryke, Rachael Heggs, Katie Edwards, Emma Hope, Julie Bass, Dan Howley, Tam Nicol, Mark Ashmore, Tom Peacock, Ray Walker, Matt Taylor, Dan Giblett.


The course took runners out of the field, past the mother camp and onto a tarmaced road for a few hundred yards. Then right onto the first rough ground up to the top of a field. Then to traverse interweaving tracks at the top and then onto a muddy rutty track back to the road. Puddles were the main route decision maker here… to enter the puddles and make the trainers wet could be quicker, or use the verge where there was little room to overtake? So then back along the road and eventually people on their out-laps are met coming the other way before turning right over a bridge and past a picturesque lake. A slight hill up and this isn’t ‘THAT HILL’, but it’s a tester before a noticable kick up in the gradient and this is now ‘NOT THAT HILL’. Eventually runners arrive at the top where a drink may be had before decending down a quick off-road, off-camber trails. Luckily, it’s relatively dry this year and people can get away with road shoes although some prefer deeper tread on their shoes. The track winds down and then levels out and then the infamous ‘THAT HILL’ appears. There’s always some determined runners who nail ‘THAT HILL’ and run up it, but the majority take a slightly more balanced approach. For myself, I ran to the ‘THAT HILL’ sign and then power walked. I figured the upcoming down hill would give opportunity to make up time if I still had the energy left. Once ‘THAT HILL’ is summited the trail takes runners back out onto the road, which is now going down. For the soloists, this could tell on the quads later. In fact, the quads, the calves, the glutes and any other muscle that runners didn’t know they used! Then back to the field, past mother camp, and all the supporters lining the route around the field. This is where it really hurts for the teams. It seems to go on forever, especially the last drag up to the blow-up transition area. *SNAP!* Snap bands are passed on for the next team members and pizza can be grabbed. Soloists may think about refueling or just put one foot in front of the other and head out again!

Matt enjoying the crowds!
Matt enjoying the crowds!

There was so much positiveness going on that it’s hard to describe it all. But things that stick out for myself are things like the colours of the bunting on re-entry of the field, cheering team members, last ditch efforts to get an extra lap in, fire pit, tired non-sensical talking (myself), huge efforts of all teams and solists, too much cake, tea from Yorkshire, and John’s ‘tent’.


Wolfpac hanging out
Wolfpac hanging out

September 2017 – Round up 2

Jon and Deb Wilson travelled to york for the Plusnet york marathon. Jon finished in an excellent 3hrs 35 min 10 secs to record a new personal best for the distance, Deb finished in 4.54.21 despite struggling with a calf problem from around mile 14.

2 striders travelled to Elvaston country park for the Goldengate Gallop a flat 5 mile part trail part road race, Julie Bass finished an excellent 2nd lady in 37.54 then Lynda Harris in 41.15.

Emma Hope completed her first half marathon the Tissington Trail Half in 2.05.07.

Another group of Striders travelled to Beacon Hill near Woodhouse Eaves for the Beacon Hill trail half marathon, a tough 2 lap trail race around the edge of beacon hill country park. 1st back for the striders in 11th place was Luke Eggleston in 1.34.50. Next in 27th was Ian Drage in 1.40.39, then Greeba Heard 1.56.21, Sarah Lawrence 2.16.00, Matt Chalmers and Rachel Heggs got round in a fantastic 3.03.4 .


Robin Hood full and half Marathon

With the Equinox 24 event falling on the same weekend, it was a small group of Striders who made the short journey to Nottingham for the annual Robin Hood event. The sun decided to shine, so conditions were warm by late September standards, and we were grateful for the frequent water stations around the course.
A special mention goes to Greeba Heard, who completed her first full marathon and in doing so raised an amazing total of over £2,700 for the Breast Cancer Now charity – well done Greeba!
The races attracted over 7,000 participants in total, with a phased starting system along the Victoria Embankment. All times reported are chip times, with Striders times as follows:
Full Marathon – Greeba Heard 4.03.08
Half Marathon – Luke Eggleston 1.26.16 (75th place overall), Natalie Teece 1.28.31 (117th overall, and 4th F35), Alan Thompson 1.31.00 (half marathon PB), David Hall 1.53.46, Ross Jackson 2.01.34.
Helen Widdowson also completed the half marathon although I think the result was reported under the name of the lady whose place you took, so sorry I couldn’t find the official result but I remember you saying it was around 1.47 at the finish so well done Helen!

Calke Abbey 17th Sept 2017

Very well organised Jack Rabbit 10K which  started and finished in  the grounds of Calke Abbey the rest of the race was on the roads outside the Abbey which incorporated two fairly long hills.
As with all Jack Rabbit events a nice medal and goody bag to finish. The only downside of this race was I thought it might have all been run in the grounds of the Abbey.
3 Striders did this one.
Jon Wilson:  102.52 (he was running with a friend to get her round)
Debs Wilson: 56.50
Kaye Mead: 102.29
by Kaye Mead

3rd in the Stanwick Lakes Relay Tri – 16th Sept 2017

Renee Wright (1.9K swim – friend of Kirsty Black), Sean Elkington (76K bike) and Andy Nicholls (20K run) took part in this triathlon as the only relay team.

Creditable times of 0:31, 2:04 and 1:28 were posted to give us 3rd position overall.  Sean’s cycle was only 2 minutes slower than the winner – a qualifier for this year’s Kona Ironman world championships.

[Andy N]

LRRL presentation evening – 6th October

On the 6 October 2017 a group of striders attended the Leicestershire Road Running League presentation and it was a great night celebrating all our achievements in the 2017 summer and winter road running league. A number of trophies were received on the night including individual summer awards for Natalie Teece, Julie Bass and myself (Vicki Lowe).

The team achievements have been down to all who have competed as a team effort. Every point has counted towards our position. This is a competitive league and we should all be very proud. We look forward to running in our higher divisions in 2018 with promotions for vets ladies, mens and ladies teams. Trophies will be awarded for top 6 ladies counters, top 8 men’s counters, and 3 vet lady counters at our Striders presentation night later in the year.

Brecon Beacons 10 Peaks 9th September 2017

I entered the Brecon Beacons 10 Peaks race one week before the start date as I was feeling quite hesitant about taking part. But as usual once the race starts all of the apprehensive butterflies disappear until the next race.
The 10 Peaks (actually more than 10!) is a self-navigating race over 56 miles and takes in 15000ft of ascent over some of the most beautiful scenery of Wales. Plenty of scope for innuendo bingo with Fan Y Big and other peak names. The green rolling hills of Brecon made the miles fly by as well as the various other runners I chatted to on the way. There was always a warm welcome from the many friendly marshals at each of the 5 check points. The weather added to the challenge of the day with rain, mud, strong winds oh and rain. The final descent to the finish line was a sheer mud slide. People at the finish line watched with smiles as head torches in the distance appeared and disappeared in close succession as runners made or I should say slid their way down the muddy descent!
My main objective on the Start Line was to complete the race and so when I found out that the bar was still open and that I was 1st lady with a time of 16:47:55 I was completely overwhelmed!
I would definitely be considering The Lakes 10 Peaks for 2018.
Katie Hateley

Newsletter – 5th September

This months’ newsletter features some information on Autumn and Winter running. Whether this be headtorch running or road running, there should be something there to motivate the tying up of running shoes! Don’t forget the hi-vi too.

There’s also a little more news about the fantastic LRRL acheivements, run-leader opportunities, race reports, Cross-Country, and more!

See the link here:
Newsletter – September 2017

John Fraser 10

Stilton striders travelled to Countesthorpe for the final race of the Leicestershire Road Running League- the longest race in the series.
This is a tough course with gradual climbs and downhill.
662 Leicestershire runners joined the start line.  A great run from Ian Drage leading the Striders in 1.06.54 closely followed by Alan Thompson in 1.07.45. Natalie Teece led the ladies team in a strong 1.08.32.
Other times:
Matt Gayton 1.10.23
Vicki Lowe 1.17.09
Julie Bass 1.17.33
Michelle Farlow 1.19.34
Greeba Heard 1.20.14
Sharon Eshelby 1.22.44
Helen Plant 1.25.04
Ross Jackson 1.26.31
Ray Walker 1.30.16
Vanessa Walker 1.34..27
Emma Hope 1.35.03
Ceilia Bown 1.40.54
Final league standings and individual positions will be announced shortly from the league.


September 2017 round up

A group of Stilton Striders travelled to Rutland for the Rutland half and full marathon. In the half marathon with 550 in the field, and first back for the Striders, winning the ladies race and finishing a brilliant 11th overall, was Natalie Teece in 1hr 29 min. Next back in 24th place was Stuart Shaw in 1.36.14, and Lynda Harris 2.09. A couple took on the full marathon with Helen Metcalfe and Celia Brown completing it in 5hrs 44 mins .

A few striders participated in the Calke Abbey 10k. Debs Wilson was first back in 56.50, then Kaye Mead in 1.02.29. Rachel Holland and Jon Wilson finished with great times of 1.02.52

Dan Valencia ran a brilliant Worcester half marathon finishing in 1.42.58.

[Darren G]