John Skevington starts the first of three special coached sessions

On the 11th January John Skevington travelled over to us in Melton for a technically packed, yet fun session of drills, practice and knowledge sharing.

After a brief introduction to the ideas behind the forthcoming drills, Ben and Jaqui were kindly volunteered to show their running form across the sports hall. This would set a benchmark where John vowed that he would make the entire running assembly better runners after the 2 hour session. Not only that, he had also captured Ben and Jaqui’s efforts on video. That was a statement of intent. Could it be met? Later we would find out…

With a circular warm up, the runners were somewhat prepared for the drills ahead. Rosie, John’s assistant, performed flawless looking demonstrations without apparent effort. She has obviously practiced these drills regularly. It was hard not to realise she is an ‘Elite’ runner as her T-Shirt stated and her form followed this through. Some noteable drills include the A-Skips, which some Striders had been performing in the technical sessions. Up and down the runners went, with observations and points of improvement pointed out by John and the team.

Warming up

B-skips were also performed. For many, this was unheard of. For others, the B-skip was a dark art heard about but never before seen, so it was interesting to see how this differed from the A-skip. And a Frankenstein drill. If only Frankenstein’s monster was as agile as all of the Striders, he might not have been so misunderstood. Lunges – what was interesting to see was the difference in how we may have been performing these before. These looked to take 2 parts to the movement to help ascertain the body position. Will be interesting to talk to Mark about this in the Structured sessions. When the drills are new, the positions can feel very alien, even unbalanced, but everyone persevered and improved immensely.


A series of force development and technique embedment took place using hurdles and steps with drills in a series of groups. Arms? Which arm? Now which leg again? Gradually all the Striders started looking naturals at these drills and the coordination of legs to arms looked great. The hurdles would seem to grow as the session went on and the odd hurdle would spring out from under the feet, but the jumping was looking really good fun, although tough! And a special kind of sit-up would engage the core.


After all that, it was back to reprisal of the Skips! Everyone immediately looked more confident and improved tremendously at these. Mark A was star pupil! Then how would Ben and Jaqui get on with the pressure of hordes of Striders watching to see if John’s statement would come to fruition? There was no doubt, they had both improved and looked great when running up and down the hall again. Then Liz G looked after us and led us through a great cool down.


This has been a great session to learn some drills and technique. Now to practice these more! 🙂

There’s two more sessions to go in the next two months. Send an email to if you are interested to find out a little about us or join the Stilton Striders. And remember the Striders Technical sessions take place every Thursday at 7pm, where these drills and more will be revisited. They’re great to help you run better, no matter your ability. These sessions take in various locations around the town, including smashing loops, hills (what hills?) and the pyramids. Mark Stoneley would love to show you where the Meltonian pyramids are 🙂

Thanks to Di for organising the venue. It was fairly tricky to find somewhere with availability for our growing club within some reasonable distance of Melton Mowbray. It’s great to see that England Athletics see that running at our grass roots is important, so we thank them for the funding of our fantastic efforts.

Leicestershire county XC champs – 6th Jan 2018

Rotherby Lodge Farm was the local venue for the Leicestershire County Cross Country Championships on Saturday 6 January 2018.  The earlier rain and slippery mud made this an extremely challenging course.  Natalie Teece had a great race amongst the top county cross country runners to win a bronze medal in the Masters category.  The ladies masters (6K) fielded a full team and achieved a credible 5th place out of 11 teams; Natalie Teece (29:48 3rd), Vicki Lowe (35:08 26th), Sharon Eshelby (36.40 33rd) and Lou Houghton (37.48 37th).

Alan Thompson led the Striders Masters Men in the 10K (52:19 20th), followed by Paul Geeson (59:25 50th) and Ian Howe (60:22 52nd).
A number of junior Striders also ran, putting in creditable performances:
U13 girls (3K) – Georgie W 18:42, Zoe N 19:00, Izabella R 19:58, Lucy J 20:26, Milly C 22:06
U15 girls (4K) – Amy J 24:36
U15 boys (4K) – Joe B 18:17

For those who enjoyed the terrain, the Frisby Fun Run on 14th April uses some of the same course but is considerably shorter!


* Interested in entering races? Not sure what you need to do?
Sometimes races need to be entered in advance, normally via an online form (but not always). Other races can be entered on the day as well, but may cost a little extra. Most races involve safety pinning your numbers on before the race. The League races often have chip timing too, which marry up to your race number.

Terrain and distances vary, but most races follow similar courses to previous seasons. Ask other Striders if they remember the course. An ‘oooh watch out for the hill at mile 4’ can be useful 🙂 Wear the club vest or t-shirt to get those Strider Cup points and most of all have fun!

Any questions, please email
The event calendar is here (races are constantly being added):

Chilly round up early late December and early January 2018

A couple of days before Christmas a group of Striders travelled to Gaddesby for the Gaddesby Gallop, a 5 and a half mile X-country race with a number of stiles, a dew pond and a drainage pipe to negotiate, and the mild wet weather had made it very muddy .

In a record field of 195, first back for the club showing his off road skills was Michael Atton in 23rd place in 40.23, followed by Ian Drage in 25th 41.03, then Paul Geeson 43.10, Darren Glover 44.31, John Houghton 44.47. Next in her first race for the club was Vicki Hurrell 45.52, Dan Giblett 52.32, Daniel Howley 52.32, Ross Jackson 53.36, Lou Houghton 53.52, Sarah Lawrence 60.47, Debs and Jon Wilson ran together in 67.08, Kaye Mead 68.44 .

Michael out of the woods
Michael out of the woods

In the new year a few striders travelled to Leicester for the 3rd round of the Leicester 5k Winter Series.

First back in 4th was Luke Eggleston in 18min 18, then in 6th and first lady was Natalie Teece in 19.57, followed in 7th by Matt Gayton in 20.28, then Liz Goodbourn first vet 50 lady in 24.53.

[Darren G]

Huncote Hash

On the 31st of December, I made my way over to Huncote to take part in the annual “back to basics” Huncote Hash cross country race. I was a solo Strider this year, joining 343 other runners for the 6.5 mile run. Heavy rain the previous day ensured a particular wet and muddy run, brilliant conditions for a fun XC. The course itself started off with a short loop through the local woodland, before heading out toward Croft Hill. I managed to conquer the hill, with my mum waiting at the top to shout some encouraging support and snap some good pictures. The route then descended back down the other side of the hill before making back towards Huncote, wading through a waist deep stream before attempting a sprint finish.

Ross Jackson giving it a blast on a wet and muddy fun filled day
Ross Jackson giving it a blast on a wet and muddy fun filled day

I managed to finish in 146th place in 1:03:36 before receiving my finishers soup and bread roll. As only my 2nd ever XC race I thoroughly enjoyed this. It is an incredibly well organised event with lots of support from the locals, without which there’s no chance I would have made it over that hill!

(Well done Ross!)