11 Feb 2015 – Leicester City 5k winter race 4

For the fourth and final race in the Leicester City 5k Winter series we finally had some good running conditions. The air was still but not muggy, no rain, snow or ice and it was cool without being cold (awful conditions seem to have gone hand in hand with this race, the same way that sunny too-hot conditions are associated with LRRL races)! Three Striders made up part of the 71-strong field having completed every race in the series.

Jason Barton was involved in a three-way sprint for the line and finished in third place – only two seconds behind the winner(!) in a time of 17.29.  Shane Sharkey was next back in 17th place (21.12) after what felt like a strong sprint finish to see off an unattached runner, however this was nothing compared to the scrap that Ben Pickard had as he finished 20th in the field.  Having spent the entire race on Conrad Webbe’s (West End) shoulder Ben made his move as he approached the 3 mile mark. Edging ahead he saw the end in site but Conrad was not done yet. What resulted was a 6 min/mile sprint which saw both runners crossing the line in (21.27).
Both runners finishing ahead of Jay in tonight’s race were from Beaumont Running Club meaning that we did not get the accolade of first team back (their third place runner finished in 19.44) and there was no series team prize (although with two firsts and two seconds I fancy our chances of it), however, Jay was crowned male series winner having had three podium finishes across the series where 3 from 4 count.  [Shane]

8 Feb 2015 – Markfield 10k LRRL winter league race 2

Fourteen Striders competed in the second winter league race, which was run in almost perfect conditions. With racing experience and the intervening “technical sessions” most Striders ran at a faster pace then at the Barrow 6. Will this trend continue at Kibworth?

First Strider home was Jason Barton in 23rd overall, 36:18; followed by Jim Hatherley 30th, 36:47; Darren Glover 83rd, 39:07; Natalie Teece 124th (7th female) 40:47; Greg Pettingill 128th (4th in category) 40:56; Matt Gayton 164th, 42:11 (pb); Shane Sharkey 188th, 42:52; Luke Eggleston 219th, 44:01; Ben Pickard 258th, 45:17; Neil Jaggard 292nd, 46:16; John Houghton 316th, 47:06; Vicki Lowe 334th (7th in category) 47:57; Louise Houghton 406th, 50:37 and Stuart Gregory 571st,61:56.  [Greg]


7 Feb 2015 – Rab Mini Mountain Marathon

Andrew Easom Bentley & Mike Bryan took to the snowy hills of the Peak District to take part in the Rab mini mountain marathon. We had a map, compass and 4 hours to get to as many randomly placed check points as possible. Each check point was allocated a number of points between 10 & 40 depending upon how far away they were or how difficult to navigate to. The winner of the day managed 440 points in 3h 57, we were delighted to come in 58th out of nearly 200 runners with 286 points after a 4 point penalty for arriving 4 minutes over the allotted 4hour time limit (not bad at all) . To sum up a fantastic day had by all. [Mike]

7 Feb 2015 – No Walk in the Park 5k

Stuart Gregory made the trip up to Chesterfield again for the the second race of this year’s No Walk in the Park 5k race series.  On a perfect running day, Stuart made a fantastic start, pacing ahead of his pb for the first three laps.  Unfortunately, the pace had taken its toll and a slower final lap saw him finishing the event in 74th place, in 27 mins 4 secs.  [Stuart]

1 Feb 2015 – Charnwood Hills Race

On a cold and cloudy morning, six Striders made the trip to Martin High School for the annual Charnwood Hills Race.  After 14 miles of hills, bracken, uneven ground, trails and mud, Mike Bryan was first Strider home in 61st place (1.54.18). Darren Glover was next in 105th (2.02.15), shortly followed by Simon Bottrill in 110th (2.03.30) and Rob Beers (representing his first claim club, Barrow – 112th, 2.04.06).

John Houghton, (240th, 2.27.11), Louise Houghton (283rd, 2.45.25) and Stuart Gregory (311th, 3.03.45) completed the Striders contingent.

31 Jan 2015 – Peddars Way Ultra

So, here’s the thing about ultra marathons – just when you think you know what you’re doing, something comes along and reminds you who is boss (clue – it isn’t you…).

The Peddars Way is a 47 mile trail, from the edge of Suffolk, heading up through the whole of Norfolk to finish on the coast at Holme next the Sea.  Adding a half mile at each end to get the right start and finish areas, this ultra ends up as 48 miles (if you make it all the way).

The first four hours, heading towards the half(ish) way checkpoint at Castle Acre, were very pleasant – cold, sunny at times, and solid trails helping keep the pace (relatively) good.  Heavy snow at this point just added to the picturesque views as runners grabbed hot drinks and food before moving on.

Leaving Castle Acre, the trail follows an old Roman Road – on this occasion directly lined up with the headwind blowing straight down from the arctic.  The snow became sleet – just enough to soak you through, whilst hitting you in the face with lumps of ice – and most runners grabbed any shelter they could to put on the extra layers of warm and waterproof clothes that organisers had rightly insisted were carried.

At the next checkpoint, with 12 or 13 miles still to race, the most exposed section still to come, and struggling to get warm even whilst running, sole Strider Rich Gray decided enough was enough.  35 and a bit miles in 6.30-ish made it a decent training run, with bigger goals on the calendar for later in the year.

25 Jan 2015 – Barrow 6 LRRL winter league race 1

A fresh, bright winter’s morning provided ideal running conditions for a record field of 667 at the first winter league race of 2015, the Barrow 6.  A redesigned start didn’t take away the usual challenges of this rolling 6 mile road race.

With 17 Stilton Striders in attendance (the club’s largest turnout in the league for a few years), there were league debuts for Matt Gayton (41.03), Sarah Lawrence (54.53) and Luke Eggleston (42.59).

Joining Sarah to make up the ladies team were Vicki Lowe (46.14, 7th in her category) and Louise Houghton (49.03).

Scoring for the men’s team were Jason Barton (34.38, 16th place), Darren Glover (39.06), Greg Pettingill (40.20, 5th in his category), Richard Gray (40.18), Simon Bottrill (40.59), Shane Sharkey (41.30), together with Matt and Luke.  They were ably supported by Ben Pickard (44.06), Iain Howe (44.10), Neil Jaggard (44.51), Dan Valencia (44.52), John Houghton (45.44) and Stuart Gregory (57.03).

The next race in the series is the Markfield 10k on Sunday 8th February.  Full results and latest league tables are on the Leicestershire Vision 2020 Athletics Network website.






18 Jan 2015 – Derby Runner XC race 4, Bradgate Park

Steve Dewick, Rob Beers and Greg Pettingill joined over six hundred runners in this hilly, two lap, race over Bradgate Park. With blue skies and the remains of an overnight frost, conditions were perfect.

First Strider home was Greg Pettingill 117th in 39’ 35” (6th MV50), followed by Rob [representing his first claim club, Barrow Runners] 214th in 43’ 14” and Steve Dewick 353rd in 51’ 29”.  [Greg]

14 Jan 2015 – Leicester City 5k winter race 3

It was a bloody cold night in Leicester as the wind stopped the event team from even setting up their usual base at the Leicester City 5k (race 3 of 4), and the finish area was reduced to just the necessities – all weighted down of course. Genuinely concerned about the toll of Christmas indulgence, lack of race fitness and ever-present injuries, three Striders took to the start line.

Jason Barton (somewhat predictably) was the first home in an impressive 4th place – considering he wasn’t racing, just jogging round – in a time of 19:12. Next in was Shane Sharkey in 10th place (21:28), and Ben Pickard, back from injury, completed the set in a cautiously ran 22:24. This was the first race in the series in which the Striders failed to claim first team award – with 3 series debutantes from Beaumont all finishing within the first 10 (1st, 3rd, 8th). [Shane]

Leicester City 5k vest


3 Jan 2015 – No Walk in the Park race 1

In his first race of the new year, Stuart Gregory headed off to a cold North Derbyshire for race 1 in the no walk in the park race series. Finding himself over a minute up on his previous best after the first two laps, he dropped back slightly in laps three and four to finish the first of twelve races in the series, in a personal best time of 26 minutes 43 seconds, 19 seconds quicker than the final race of the series in December 2014. [Stuart]