At the end of October, having accumulated a grand total of zero Strider table points in the month, I entered the Coalville 10k which takes place over 2 laps on trails and paths around the former Snibston Discovery Park, which is now largely returning to nature following the closure of the visitor facility last year.
The numbers for this event were fairly modest, with a Cross Country League race taking place nearby on the same morning, with not too many club vests in evidence. Despite the local youths having done their best to disrupt the event by dismantling and burning the course signage the previous evening, the organisers did a sterling job of resetting the course on the Sunday morning, and the race was able to start on time. The course itself was varied in terrain, being a mixture of trails and paths, with a couple of sharp climbs up the landscaped waste heap of the former Colliery, which kept the levels of interest up during the run.
Due to the good conditions on the morning and relative lack of congestion around the course, I managed to get home in 7th place overall in a chip time of 41.03, which was my best at the distance this year, so despite being the lone Strider there I was glad I took part in this slightly quirky 10k event. [Alan]
In horrid rain just over 300 took on the Stilton Stumble 10k with Jason Barton putting in a dominate display to win for the 2nd time in 3 years clocking 35min 25 secs. Next in was Luke Eggleston in 4th place in another personal best 38.04, next in as 3rd place veteran Darren Glover in 7th in 38.54 , then Ben Pickard in a pb of 44.01, Wayne Hackett in 44.48, first lady for the club Greeba Heard in a pb 47.19, then David Hall 51.14, Kathy Walsh in her first race for the club a pb in 52.45, Vanessa Walker 55.24, Laura Pickard 55.38, Alexandra Fairhurst a pb in 60.35.
The sole Strider taking on the 24k race was Nick Pryke who finished 46th in 2hr 6min 33. [Darren]
Described as tough at the start, then getting tougher with a tough finish! The Eaton Stampede cross country 10k, as close as you’ll get to a fell race locally without driving to the Peak District, once again a brilliant club turn out on this fantastic race, well done everyone!
Jim Hatherley 10k 42.15
Stuart Shaw 10k 42.30
Paul Geeson 10k 46.35
Dan Valencia 10k 47.45
Simon Bottrill 10k 48.15
Katie Hateley 10k 49.30
John Houghton 10k 49.45
Christie Jones 10k 51.15
Mathew White 10k 53.45
Jon Wilson 10k 53.50
Nicholas Smith 10k 56.00
Lou Houghton 10k 56.45
Daniel Howley 10k 57.30
Nick Pryke 10k 57.45
Rebecca Forrester 10k 57.45
John Hudson 10k 61.30
Celina Silver 10k 65.30
Kaye Mead 10k 67.30
Deborah Wilson 10k 67.30
Richard Gray 10k 75.00
Conrad Gray 10k (U12) 75.00
Janet Hudson 10k 79.30
Last weekend saw the 4th annual Equinox24 race – a 24 hour event held over a hilly off road 10k course in the grounds of Belvoir Castle. Starting at midday on Saturday runners compete either in teams, pairs or solo – all looking to get as many laps in as possible before midday Sunday. Around 250 teams and a similar number of solo runners meant around 500 runners out on course at all times of day and night, lit only by their headtorches through the hours of darkness.
With six teams, five solo runners and one 10k entrant from Stilton Striders and friends and family from MRC and Melton Mowbray parkrun, there was a great spirit in camp all weekend. Many runners clocked up their furthest distance ever, some also whilst pushing for their fastest 10k, or just enjoying a weekend camping with friends. Everyone pushed the boat out and baked enormous scones, lemon cake, apple, rum and raisin cake, flapjacks, brownies, cheesecakes and Marie brought a huge chocolate cake to celebrate her birthday. With the kettle on almost permanently, a couple of gazebos and some bunting, you just need to imagine the GBBO (Bake Off) with a bit of running on the side and you’re more or less there.
The course led runners around tracks and across undulating fields, then past cheering marshals and up “Not That Hill”, a 2-3k gradual climb to the water stop half-way. In the hours of darkness, glo-sticks lit the course and the marshals handed out jelly babies to keep everyone going. With spectacular views across the Vale of Belvoir, there was a challenging off-camber descent to the beginning of “That Hill”. Strategies varied to ascend this short-sharp, much maligned bank of fear and loathing. Only, it wasn’t as bad as all that! Once over this, it was a smoother descent back to and down the road, over the bubbling river to the lake. The mists on the lake at dawn set a spectacular scene with quacking ducks, swan and the sound of rubber on tarmac. John Houghton was one notable casualty of “Houghty’s Muddy Corner”, which took runners into the circuit of the camping field. The course went right past the Strider/MRC Basecamp, with cheering and Elaine’s chocolate distribution going down well with the solos on course. Then eventually to the final straight, where slap-bands were handed to the next runner in teams, or soloist could sign-off and recalibrate before doing #onemorelap.
Stilton Striders A team pushed the pace from the beginning and after 22 hours were neck and neck with the second placed team. There was still time for the lead to change hands at least twice in the last three laps before the Striders emerged victorious for the second time in four years! A wonderful result for the team and the club, which led to enthusiastic celebrations in front of the double-decker bar bus and high morale as we cheered in the final (last but by no means least) solo runner – an awesome guy who did the whole thing in hiking boots whilst carrying a heavy bergen!Once again a highlight of the running calendar and next year’s event (23/24 September 2017) is sure to sell out in record time again. [Jenny]
Ben Pickard and Richard Gray 83rd/84th with 110k each,
Shane Sharkey and Dan Moult 174th and 185th with 70k each, and
Marie Gray 208th with 50k.
Stilton Striders A (Matt Atterbury, Jason Barton, Mike Bryan, Luke Eggleston, Matt Gayton, Jim Hatherley, Stuart Shaw, Natalie Teece) 1st with 340k,
Wolfpac (Mick Atton, Simon Bottrill, Katie Hateley, John Houghton, Clive Kent, Greg Pettingill, Dan Valencia, Jon Wilson, managed by Matt Chalmers) 8th with 290k,
Stilton Striders zzz (Mike Brighty, Wayne Hackett, Iain Howe, Ian Mason, Andy Nicholls, Sarah Procter, Brian Walkling) 42nd with 260k,
The Hateful Eight (Joe Cliff, Alex Dulewicz, Clare Marlow, Kate Morris, Tom Peacock, Calum Walker, Seb Walker, Ray Walker) 55th with 250k,
MRC Wonder Women (Elaine Bottrill, Sarah Lawrence, Jenny Kent, Kaye Mead, Sue Pettingill, Jacqui Riley, Debs Wilson) and MRC Wonder Women Too (Celia Bown, Nicky Durrance, Liz Parkinson, Laura Peacock, Laura Pickard, May Øvstegaard, Vanessa Walker) 210k each for 127th/128th.
Matt White 41st.
Three Stilton Striders made the short trip to this year’s Badgers 10K in the small town of Atherstone. Stilton Striders’ Jason Barton won the race last year, and first back for the Stilton Striders was Jason Barton in a very good 3rd place in a time of 36:10, a few minutes later Luke Eggleston crossed the line in 39:37 in 13th place. Stuart Shaw was still running strongly when he crossed the finish line in 42:23 in 31st place. [Luke]
Stilton Strider’s Jason Barton was in top form as he raced to a new personal best and a top 6 finish in a 550- strong field at Whitwick last week.
Barton joined his club mates at this year’s Carl Rutt Memorial 10K, the latest round of the Leicestershire road running league.
The race, hosted by the Hermitage Harriers, is held annually on a ruthless hilly course, but he clocked a super PB of 34min 57 Secs to cross the line in sixth place.
Next to cross the line for the Striders was Luke Eggleston with another strong run with a time of 39:05, while Stuart Shaw (39:53) also broke the 40 minute barrier.
Mark Stoneley clocked 41:10, just ahead of Nick Brown (41:25), making his welcome Striders return.
Darren Glover was next back in a time of (41:38), Natalie Teece was first Strider lady home in a 104th place overall in a time of 42:40, followed by Katie Hateley (47:03), Louise Houghton (50:11), Sarah Procter (51:06), David Hall (51:47), John Houghton (52:07).
Just six seconds separated Vanessa Walker (57:35) and Laura Pickard who crossed the finish line very strong and recorded a new PB with a time of (57:41).
I`ll leave the mysteries and glitz for the gossip columns and focus on the big race itself, that we had what 20 Stilton Striders at this event racing the 10k, Half Marathon and full marathon (ok it’s an ultra) in Wild Wales is absolutely fantastic.
What isn’t so fantastic is again we would be doing the event in heavy rain as half an hour before the event the heavens open, at least it’s a tad warmer than last year when the weather caused some rather massive anxiety and self confidence issues. Our big group of runners are pretty well kitted out, really not sure if some of them know what they are facing but hey ho they are smiling! The half and full start together leading out the village before a very sharp climb on Snowdon’s lower slopes that has far too many people walking in the first mile, its heavy traffic and good agility is needed in case of death by bum bag or backpack. Making good progress as pass Mike Bryan and Jim Hatherley early on, enjoy the first four miles of just grinding up the endless hill, there`s the masochist in me. Long fell like downhill brings us out near the Snowdon ranger before over a mile of tarmac on the way to Rhyd-Du and the turnoff to Beddgelert forest. Before I know it I’m looking at signs for 8 and 11 miles, have to say I was thinking of the team out there doing the half how they were finding it, when Luke would get back etc.
Make it to Beddgelert village wondering how far Stuart Shaw is in front as haven’t seen him since 5-6 miles thinking the mud and terrain near Llyn Dinas may have slowed him down only to find they had trailed the surface like Beacon Hill! Mud still to come though as we crossed the road to the far side of Llyn Gwynant and quite a merry adventure it is round there. Simon Bottrill I found out later somehow picked a wrong turn somewhere and ended up thigh deep in the lake losing 20 mins running time in the process, not good as it was tiring enough at this bit. 17 miles in and the course was changed, the long slog upto Pen Y Pass took another route although it was a damn lot steeper, some people preferred it, personally I didn’t. 20 miles and you’re at Pen Y Pass the highest road in the UK, some people may have said this year’s course was shorter than the 29.3 miles of last year but unless they’ve shaved the mountain down somewhat from here on it was exactly the same as last year’s course.
Instead of plumping for last year’s heroics in a vest I admit I was tired and went for a base layer, an energy gel and a protein bar as I started climbing the very hard going Pyg track up Wyddfa, a fresh looking Jim Hatherley passes me at 21 miles. Even the Half Marathoners had a hard climb going up the Snowdon Ranger path but the Pyg is the hardest route: full of scrambles, hand holds and parts of the route are very exposed to the elements, as well as the feeling it’s never ending. Pretty sure about 30 people must have passed me on the way to the summit, my pace was slow if persistent and it took a good mile downhill to get going again after the top, quads were burning on the descent after all the elevation.
Finally start descending a bit better and sadly the road back into Llanberis again doesn’t happen as we are sent through woodland trails around the back, taking my waterproof off cost me a good minute I can tell you. Past Dolbadarn Castle and I can smell the finish even starting to laugh as one runner goes the wrong way and heads towards Electric Mountain! Over the line to a great applause from the crowd and and the Striders faithful, a bit quicker than last year also.
Nothing on photo can tell you what this race is like, if you ran the full, the half or the 10k you deserve massive respect; it is a very tough race or perhaps event. You really have to have been ¾ up a Welsh mountainside exposed to the elements with badly aching legs and fading energy to imagine what this is like. I have massive respect for everyone who did this weekend’s races, everyone in my eyes achieved, although there were some stunning results also.
See you next year? [Rob]
Alan Thompson represented the Striders at the Caistor ‘Sting in the Tail’ 10k on 10th July – 67th place 45.15. Good race for anyone who enjoys an uphill finish! [Alan]