This year’s event was hosted by the Striders, with a course specially designed and hosted by the Houghton clan at The Grange garden centre. After traffic problems caused a delayed start, the 95 runners set off into the last rays of summer evening sunshine on a warm, if a little wet underfoot, evening.
Jason Barton set the early pace, leading the field of 40 Stilton Striders, 30 Wreake Runners and 25 Barrow Runners across the early muddy sections and into the wheat fields. Whilst broadly flat along the River Wreake, the course made its way up three hills – christened “Barrow Bump”, “Wreake Rise” and “Strider Mountain” for the evening – as it headed out to Kirby Bellars and then back towards The Grange.
With Tim Hartley from Barrow coming through to finish the 4.6 mile course quickest, the team challenge was to see which club would get their first 25 runners back with the lowest cumulative position.
Final positions were calculated over a fantastic Tartiflette (and a drink or two), and for the first time since 2009, Stilton came out on top by a slim 8 places overall.
A huge thank you must go to John, Louise and all at The Grange who did us proud, all our enthusiastic marshals and everyone else who contributed – designing, clearing and marking the course, volunteering on the night and, of course, all the runners. It was a great night, with a really positive atmosphere – roll on 2016!
A selection of photos are here.