Christmas dinner and presentation evening – Thurs 8th Dec

With over 70 Striders attending on Thursday it should be a great night.  Just to confirm details for those that are booked in, we are aiming to eat at 8pm, feel free to arrive for a drink from 7pm onwards.  The awards will be after the meal and feel free to bring along a raffle prize.

Venue is the Alpine Restaurant at The Grange, Asfordby Hill, LE14 3QU

8 May 2016 – Wymeswold Waddle

Sorry for the late report, but they all count.

The annual Wymeswold Waddle road race took place back in May of this year with 268 runners taking on the undulating 5 Mile course. Two things that I can remember of the day, it was extremely warm and Shane decided to run the 12 miles there as a warm up!

The results were as follows;
5th, Jason Barton, 28:55
42nd, Natalie Teece, 34:37
66th, Ben Pickard, 36:38
100th, Mike Brighty, 39:56
152nd, Shane Sharkey, 43:07
190th, Vanessa Walker, 46:15

20 Nov 2016 – Clowne Half Marathon

Just north of Chesterfield the annual Clowne half Marathon, a very hilly and most often windy and cold half marathon with a ton of crippling hills, sorry not really selling it am I? Still a road half Marathon for just £18 and an absolute superb goodie bag might help get a few up to this next year.

Running my first road half marathon in two years and I’m absolutely full of cold, the weather driving up the M1 was enough for myself and fellow Strider John Hudson to keep mentioning warm fire and going home. I did Clowne probably four years ago it was bitterly cold and windy yet somehow I did my first sub 1:40hm, If I got anywhere near that today given how yucky I was feeling (I even packed a base layer and considered longs!).

Like many we didn’t leave the warmth of the leisure centre until the last minute to head to the start it was cold, very wet and windy all day, In the end I plump for shorts and vest, be quite rude not to. Getting underway I don’t feel too bad, although early progress is hampered by my shoelaces coming undone twice in the first two miles and playing catch up. My mile four I`m not feeling too bad and passing people throughout, the hills don’t worry me too much and I’m quite surprised when I clock mile five at 6:21. From 10k on I`m running with a guy from Matlock and one from Grantham a.c, pretty much egging each other on silently and we all seem to be making progress passing people as we go past 2nd lady at mile 9. Most of the course is nice rural lanes, there is one village you go through which utterly says `old mining town`, about mile 9 there is more pavement which isn’t great especially one section which is on a right camber.

There’s` a very unwelcome hill at mile 10 up to the church, I recall having done this previously a marshal saying “It’s all downhill from here” , it certainly is not, the fibber!

Legs start to welt at mile 11, although I continue to pass people up to the last mile and never get passed myself, hopefully that means I`m doing something right. Last hill into Clowne feels like a 15min mile and the last 400m feels never-ending, cross the line way ahead of what I’d have been happy with.

So the wet, cold, windy and hilly course may not appeal but under £20.00 for a road half including not just Banana, flapjack and water after but probably the best goodie bag I’ve ever seen at a road race! Hoodie, Tech T-shirt amongst a bag full of things.

Good result by John Hudson also, bit of a disappointment not many Leics club`s ventured over as have done in the past-It`s well worth a look. The biggest downside is the distance between the race car park, start/finish and the race village (changing rooms, bag store etc) logistics need improving there.  [Rob]

13 Nov 2016 – Derby Runner XC, Markfield

Overshadowed by Seagrave but a day with far better weather our small but happy band of Stilton’s headed to race 2 of the Derby XC league at Markfield.

So having done near 17 miles of Seagrave challenge the day before the quads weren’t great, luckily for me I was joined by a great team of XC newbie Matt Gayton, the Stilton debut of Mark Ashmore (and his Junior runners!), in form Natalie Teece and Striders legend Nick Brown. Matt asked a pretty good question before hand “These are the same people who run the league runs?” yes totally, same people from the same clubs no Dathan Rietznhein clones, same people as you beat in the league runs!

Today is one of the races where they split Male and female runners by 10 min staggered start, I’ll be honest the worst bit in these races are the starts when 400+ plus blokes go all out sprint for the first corner. I`m pretty much taking my time and enjoying it, not far in I’m forced to anyway as my laces somehow come undone three separate times! Once the pack starts to thin out they do get a lot more friendlier and enjoyable. Because this series is now so popular or even oversubscribed, very much like a fell race your stuck often in lines and have to take your passing chances when you can get them, let’s be honest they are all a good bit of fun so don’t no use getting upset over your garmin time. This is my first race in spikes and very happy given its now getting quite muddy underfoot, the others grumbled about the uphill’s but today I felt I did some of my best work on the ups and downs. So with the lace problems of earlier most of the race for me was a negative split and playing catch up which actually made it very enjoyable.

Matt and Mark had a pretty good race, Nick did far better than he`ll let on! Natalie had a stormer (told her she would!) being 2nd lady most of the way and eventually 4th, pretty sure she can go on from this and score even higher. Naturally no PB`s or sterling efforts from myself but enjoyed massively see you at Bagworth Heath!  [Rob]

12 Nov 2016 – Seagrave Wolds

Best Stilton turnout I’ve yet witnessed in the 25 years of this ever popular multi terrain event, would like to think there were more of our shirts today than any other club. Last year I had a great run coming 17th and the only sub 2hr Strider, new course this year and even the two Striders ahead of me never cracked 2 hours although this was slightly longer.

Absolutely chucking it down from before the off, despite this event has its biggest ever turnout, it certainly looks colder than it actually is, happy to get set off as we head towards Radcliffe on Trent. Thankfully only one golf course and it’s over pretty early, and we hit Cossington and the Barrow canal. The Route did feel like a Barrow Runners summer outrun somewhat, without being too rude the rain made the whole course a damn lot better as would’ve been awful in the dry. A highlight was climbing up from the Butter market to the top of the memorial at Mountsorrel, unfortunately I’m stuck behind someone in racing flats from Stamford Striders who has forgotten his trail shoes so it’s a walk up. Far too much tarmac through Swithland although the reservoir always looks stunning, we hit Rabbit bridge and then the always mud entrenched Buddon Wood which is an absolute gas if you love the filthy stuff. Coming out in Quorn if you’re wearing heavy duty fell shoes the next few miles were awful , I’m going along chatting to the Stamford Strider who is a lot happier to be on tarmac for a few miles. Barrow for me was the worst part, having to run down the high street had more obstacles than every offroad part of the course combined , very overjoyed to get finally offroad again.

The last three miles thankfully were all entrenched with mud, I seemed not to get overtaken by anyone during the race but pushing past people even in the last mile and could’ve happily done a Marathon if the chance would’ve been there. Still I got in at a decent time as third Strider, even though another year of faffing about trying to scan my barcode on my wrist lost me a good 30 seconds, Grrr.

The pie and custard was as good as ever and was good to get changed and warm and watch the expressions of my fellow Striders as they came in-A good run from Michael Atton, an ecstatic Sarah Procter, a very glam looking Sarah Lawrence and Bex Forrester, a cheering Brian Walkling and a strangely fresh looking Dan Howley.

Well done to our whole horde who ran, sounds like it’s a return to the original Charnwood course next year so make sure you have a stud on!  [Rob]

Luke Eggleston – 2.02
Sean Elkington – 2.08
Rob Beers – 2.11
Alan Thompson – 2.14
Dan Valencia – 2.21
Rich Gray – 2.24
Sarah Procter – 2.33
Paul Geeson – 2.33
Clive Kent – 2.44
John Houghton – 2.44
Noel Blake – 2.48
Nick Pryke – 2.49
Dan Howley – 2.50
Brian Walkling – 2.52
Vicki Lowe – 2.54
Michelle Farlow – 2.54
Rebecca Forrester – 3.07
Sarah Lawrence – 3.07
Kaye Mead – 3.29
Helen Metcalfe – 3.37
Jenny Kent – 4.11
Celia Bown – 4.11

Action required – Xmas dinner and annual awards

Ahead of this years dinner and awards, there are a few bits of information that we need from members in the next couple of weeks:

Xmas dinner – reserve your place(s) and pay your £15 per person by Weds 23rd November at the latest.  It all takes place on Thursday 8th December at the Alpine Restaurant at The Grange – drinks from 7pm, meal at 8pm followed by awards.  No need to pre-order food, but menu is attached at this link (and if you have any other dietary requirements, just let us know).

Club person of the year award – one of the main annual awards is based solely on a vote of the members, and the award is intended to reward someone who has given something extra to the club over the last 12 months.  So please have a think about who deserves a special ‘thank you’ and email us your vote.

London Marathon place – we have qualified for 2 places for the 2017 race.  As in previous years, we would like anyone who entered the ballot, was unsuccessful, and would still like to run the race to let us know.  Please don’t be shy – we can’t award you a place if we don’t know you want it!

Club standards – why not join the growing band of Striders who have already claimed their standard for this year?  Just email us your 3 qualifying times at different distances and we’ll do the rest!  All details at the club standards page.

29 Oct 2016 – Norfolk Coastal Marathon

After its successful debut year which saw John Houghton and Dan Valencia take part, 2016 saw an even greater gaggle of Stilton Striders coming along to give this one a try.

Sadly taken ill Simon Bottrill had to sadly bow out on race morning but we did raise a jar for him after, so we were still 6 strong doing the Full Marathon and two doing the half Marathon.

Thankfully an early night for all was good as we got the coach at 7am to take us to the event start; none of us were taking it as a race really just a good day out and a nice weekend. The Fog was very heavy early on which as I predicted turned into a beautiful sunny day although running into the sun without sunglasses was a sweaty affair.

Heavy traffic and one-man path`s in the early going, one runner actually fell over quite spectacular over a mangleworzle on mile two, It`d be interesting reading his race report! Myself and Michael Atton had drunk a surfeit of the free tea pre-race and were running along dying to stop but the vegetation did seem pretty sparse for stopping. Pretty much we split into two groups, Myself, Michael and Paul Geeson in the front group and Dan Valencia, Katie Hateley and John Houghton in the group behind not that any of us were particularly pushing the pace.

The first 7 miles are a loop before what essentially becomes a pile down the coast along the coastal path, some of which is really nice and long after we take our first few miles on the sand itself. Now for all you who haven’t tried it, it’s fantastic when you run near the sea on the hard stuff but the soft or sinky stuff is a nightmare especially as I found later for me.

We caught up with the tail end of the Half Marathon about mile 14, again if you’re going for a time it’s a bit hard pushing past people in the sand dunes, really a case of wait your opportunities. We find Lou Houghton and Kaye Mead running the half marathon a bit further on, Michael at mile 15 whose `positive split` Marathon plan starting feeling it and was going to drop back actually stayed with us and kept with us until mile 20, some going!

Second lot of beach came and for me probably the nicest bit of the day, really started to feel strong and catch up with Paul who was ahead and went past, next few miles were running nirvana. Unfortunately the path off the beach at mile 22 was that soft sand again and the pace for me along with my endurance started to drop.

Paul pushed on looking strong throughout and even managed a 7:15 in the last mile, the last two miles for myself weren’t my best with a shoelace coming undone then becoming over tight as I ran to the finish. I`d now entered `trundle mode` just happy to get back, lost another couple of minutes at the enforced traffic light crossing, I could see a guy in front in high-viz who just seemed to keep going-would the finish line ever come? It did but it’s one of those where you think your finishing but then come to do a lap of the stadium, its then I hear `Go on Rob`, Katie Hateley behind me coming out of nowhere! Remember how to run again and better up-tempo finish, great performance though from Katie(well worth the following day`s hangover!) with three of us in within four hours.

Great feeling after for us all and lovely enjoyable weekend, happy Birthday John!

The Pros: Enjoyable route, scenic and laid back, nice medal and T-shirt, signposted well, plenty of support on course and friendly marshals

The Cons: Very few unless you count the soft sand!


16 Oct 2016 – Spires and Steeples

I had originally planned to do this stunning point to point event with Simon Proctor, we had originally planned to do the 26.2 mile Lincoln to Sleaford route with Simon raising money for the MIND charity. Unfortunately Simon became injured and I`m sure along with everyone else would like to wish him a speedy recovery and we can have another go at this next year.

So not wanting Simon`s place go to waste my sparring partner John Hudson (running this for the 5th time) stepped up to the plate as part of his Leicester Half Marathon training and I stepped down to the half to accompany him.

For those of you who don’t know this event (And believe me there is far too many Leics club who don’t!) it’s a greatly organised multi-terrain point to point along the Spires and Steeples way, also it`s not really timed so the pressure is off. This is my Sixth Spires; unfortunately it’s not lucky seven as its absolutely dreadful rain this morning with a slight nip in the air also which wood later turn into a head wind. Were transported by luxury coach from Sleaford to Metheringham hoping it drives a little slower as its vile out, luckily after we pick up our numbers the other end the pavilion is open and we don’t have to go out until 5 minutes before the race.

Race starts and it’s a decent amount of runners despite the rain, I set off quite slowly giving myself time to warm up and get used to the cold and rain. After a mile and a half I`m starting to claw people back, I made totally the right choice by putting a stud on today as its not only wet but very muddy , some of the churned up fields must’ve been a nightmare for those in flat road shoes.

My plan today was just to enjoy it and see how I go; having not ran this distance for a while at any real pace. The road sections are somewhat different today; there really was heavy flooding in parts in the small villages. The last time I did this event was two years ago and a comeback race after a long injury-also my first ever race in a Stilton Striders vest! I didn’t feel so great that day and struggled but this time was still running very strong at the place I ran out of steam last time. The last few miles are the worst, it’s a long grassy embankment back to Sleaford that seems to go on forever, if you do the Marathon version it probably does go on forever! I`m back in very good time and apparently 4th place, not bad for a training run, certainly a XC today rather than a trail or multi-terrain.

John ran well also and fingers crossed for Leics Half this coming weekend!

Anyone who has seen the S/S FB site or webpage will notice a ponytailed runner from two years ago, I’m pretty proud of this. However was over the moon with S/S flags at the finish line which bear my image prominently in a Striders shirt! Everyone who finished had to run past them! Made me laugh anyway.

The Pros: Friendly, laid back, very well organised, the route is very nice with a bit of everything, largely flat, not really timed, well signed and marshalled, lots of Ducks when you get back to Sleaford, the Rob Beers flag,

The Cons: If it rains heavy it’s a different event effort wise, very meagre at feed stations and goodie bag after such generosity in previous years, the slog along the embankment at the end which neither myself or John ever like.