2014 race reports

20/12/14 – Gaddesby Gallop

Only two Striders made the short journey to Gaddesby for this year’s very chilly Gaddesby Gallop, which was attended by some 153 runners.  The 5.3 mile cross county course, though predominantly flat, required you to negotiate a number of obstacles including stiles, a waist deep pond, a drainage pipe, a stream and some very boggy fields.

The first Strider home in 41 minutes dead was Simon Bottrill (22nd) followed by Jim Hatherley (36th), in an impressive 42.49 after having turned up over 5 minutes late for the start.

It was also good to see Rob Beers running, for his first claim club Barrow, coming home in 43.49 (40th) and three members of the his monday night group (Melton Running Club) all putting in great performances with Martin Rile finishing in 44.40 (46th), Fay Lewis in 66.29 (141st) and Elaine Bottrill in 67.14 (143rd).  [Simon]

14/12/14 – Keyworth Turkey Trot half marathon

Striders were out in force at last weekend’s Turkey Trot half marathon, with 11 Striders taking on the undulating course around the roads of South Nottinghamshire. Following their awards earlier in the weekend for male runner of the year and female runner of the year, respectively, Jason Barton led home the Striders in 1.21.52 and Abi Arnott had a good run to finish in 1.46.30.

Shane Sharkey (1.33.20), Rich Gray (1.37.30), Simon Bottrill (1.41.38), Rob Beers (representing his first claim club of Barrow in 1.37.38), Michael Atton (1.40.29), Jenni Wisher (1.44.11), Ben Pickard (1.45.35), Vicki Lowe (1.47.29) and Susan Pettingill (2.14.38) completed the Striders team.

Thanks also to Gemma, Greg and Diane who all showed their support out on the course.

10/12/14 – Leicester City 5k winter series Race 2

It was the second in the four race series around Victoria Park in Leicester on Wednesday evening. Wanting to maintain their good form from the first race, the Stilton Striders team did not disappoint.

The cold biting wind was no match for Jason Barton as he did one better than last month by finishing second overall in a time of 18.04. Shane Sharkey was next Strider (10th overall) in 21.15, only 3 seconds ahead of Ben Pickard (12th). Collectively, they matched their efforts from the first race by being crowned first placed team once again. [Shane]

6/12/14 – No walk in the park 5k

Stuart Gregory made the trip to Chesterfield for the final race of the No Walk in the Park 5k series. The race, which takes in 4 laps of Queens Park reached its climax in very icy conditions. Stuart, in his final race of 2014, managed to knock 39 seconds off his personal best to finish in 27mins 2secs. [Stuart]

23/11/14 – Mo Run 5k

Stuart Gregory was the only Strider to make the trip to Nottingham for the Mo Run 5k & 10k event at Wollaton Park. In somewhat wet conditions, Stuart lined up to take part in the 5k event. Having already decided to put all his efforts into getting a high finish he started strongly, leading the race for the first mile, before slipping back into third place. By the time reached mile three he had slowly slipped further back out of the top ten, however, he held his own over the last mile to finish in a very creditable 24th out of 240 entries, his highest finish in any race, narrowly missing his PB by 25 seconds to finish in 28.06 [Stuart]

16/11/14 – Beacon Hill Trail Half Marathon

Five Striders were at Beacon Hill for the trail half marathon and on a cool, cloudy and later foggy day Mike Bryan was first home, in 16th place overall, in 1.38. He was followed by John Houghton (1.58), Louise Houghton (2.08), Steve Boylan (2.19) and Stuart Gregory (running his second half marathon of the weekend) in 2.28.

16/11/14 – Stilton Stumble 10k and 24k

Jason Barton completed a successful week by taking overall victory in the 10k race at the Stilton Stumble in 36.19. This scenic (well, it would have been without the fog), flat rural race is going from strength to strength with the 300 places in the 10k selling out in advance of race day.

Three Striders competed in the longer 24k race, with Shane Sharkey leading them home, followed by Rich Gray and Vicki Lowe.

15/11/14 – Autumn Shakespeare Half Marathon

Stuart Gregory was the only Strider to make the trip to Stratford on Avon for the raceway’s autumn Shakespeare half marathon, setting a not too bad time of 2hr 10m 50s. [Stuart]

12/11/14 – Leicester City 5k winter series race 1

After one race the Stilton Striders are the reigning Leicester City 5k male team champions! Awarded with “first male team” status, the Striders fielded a team that saw 4 runners finish inside the top 20. Jason Barton finished in an impressive 3rd place overall time of 17.46. Shane Sharkey and Ben Pickard crossed the line together finishing 16th and 17th in 20.51 and new Strider Clive Kent took a massive 51 seconds off his PB with a time of 21.08. [Shane]

9/11/14 – Ballbuster Duathlon

With all injuries behind him, Wayne Hackett was at last able to carry on where he hoped to start about a year ago, racing under the name of his triathlon club, Belvoir Tri.

Box Hill, Surrey, which was used by Mark Cavendish in the 2012 Olympic Games, was the destination for the Ballbuster Duathlon. The race was an 8 mile run, 24 miles on the bike and a final 8 mile run – all of which was on an 8 mile loop so included the ascent of Box Hill 5 times.

In mild but slippery conditions, the first run was completed in 62m 50s, bike in 1hr 26m 22s and final run in 69m 49s. This gave a total time including transitions of 3 hours 42 minutes and 29 seconds. [Wayne]

8/11/14 – Seagrave Wolds Challenge

536 souls entered this year’s Wolds Challenge, 16 miles of trails among some of the best of the beautiful rolling Leicestershire countryside following the Wreake Valley, passing by the villages of Ratcliffe-on-the Wreake, Rearsby, Hoby, Shoby, Ragdale and Six Hills.

The event was devised to encourage exploration of the rolling countryside around Seagrave, to raise money to help towards the refurbishment upkeep of Seagrave Memorial Hall and to support other good causes.

Eight brave Striders stood together and shivered on the start line, the sun was out, it was a dry but chilly wind, scudding clouds threatened to bring worse as we all pondered over our kit selection. With a new and slightly longer course to celebrate the race’s 10th birthday a town crier set us on our way, within minute’s the sun lost the battle with the grey cloud, it started raining, the chill wind whipping up, resolve was called upon to tackle the muddy, wet miles that lay ahead.

Despite the heavy rain from the day before and the challenging weather the course remained good underfoot, in addition four water stops crammed with an Aladdin’s cave of cakes and sandwiches fuelled the heart and legs. First Strider home in his debutante Wolds challenge, new kid on the block, stamping his authority once again as he goes from strength to strength Simon Bottrill in an incredible 51st position 2.06.24, next up and good to see Dan Valencia returning to the racing circuit finishing in a bruising 2.16.14 with John Houghton on his shoulder in a new PB time of 2.16.18. Richard Gray produced a solid performance crossing the finish in 2.17 followed by Mike Brighty storming home in an excellent 2.25.13 making his way (in some haste) immediately to the Apple Pie and custard queue…

2014 Seagrave Wolds pie

First lady strider Abi Arnott crossed the line in a very strong 2.30.59 continuing her excellent running year, Vicky Lowe put in a very respectable 2.31.02 despite recovering from flu, Louise Houghton finished of an impressive performance from the Striders recording a 2.42.48.
2014 Seagrave Wolds ladies

Another notable success, Rob Beers (running for his first claim club of Barrow) ran an excellent 2.10.01 taking more than two minutes of his time last year. [John]
2014 Seagrave Wolds men

2/11/14 – Shepshed 7

Another well participated weekend of running as the Stilton Striders were out in force at the Shepshed 7 and Dovedale Dash. The 7 mile two lap course from Shepshed community college was a really enjoyable race this year as the weather yielded near perfect running conditions for the seven Striders that took it on. First home, and 13th overall was Jason Barton narrowly missing out on his Gold Standard with a time of 41.48. Next back was Luke Eggleston still running strong, finishing in 52.01 only just ahead of Gary Postle – a rare outing finishing in 52.16. Next home was Shane Sharkey closely followed by Abi Arnott in times of 55.47 and 55.48 respectively. Vicki Lowe completed in 1.00.26 and Stuart Gregory ran a course personal best in 1.07.04.

2/11/14 – Dovedale Dash

Four Striders made the trip up to Dovedale for the 4.7 cross country race known for its fast downhill start followed by its iconic river crossing. Simon Bottrill was first round completing in 36.30. John Houghton (41.51) finished ahead of Steve Boylan (47.32) and Louise Houghton (1.01.20).

1/11/14 – No walk in the park 5k

Stuart Gregory made the trip to Chesterfield for race 11 of “No Walk in the Park”. The 5k circuit around Queens Park was well attended with 80 competitors, with a winning time of 17min 37sec. Stuart was nowhere near this time and crossed the finish line in a time of 27min 41sec, to take 57th place. [Stuart]

31/10/14 – Hope Skeleton Run

You know those races when you just don’t know what to wear? And then you get it all wrong???? There were several things that I knew about the Hope Skeleton Run:
1. It was a 5 mile run on Halloween
2. It incorporated three inclines of Beacon Hill
3. It was off-road and headtorches were required
4. Fancy Dress was optional
5. It was bloody warm!

I assumed that not many people would actually be in costume as it was only an “optional” suggestion and not a race requirement. Bearing this in mind, I decided against my idea of running as Chucky (in jeans and a Striders vest instead of the traditional dungarees), and opted for my vest and shorts – far more suited to the conditions.

Also knowing the terrain around Beacon Hill and that this was an off-road race, I opted for my Walsh Fell shoes.

When I got there, I quickly realised that I was the ONLY runner not in at least partial costume, and once the race had begun I found that it was entirely on paths that run through the woodlands surrounding Beacon Hill. I had massively messed up each and every one of my wardrobe decisions. Luckily I had a headtorch!

The run was one of the more enjoyable races that I have done and found that the last mile (downhill) involved me and some lad dressed as a Giant Mouse switching and swapping race positions as we figuratively played a game of cat and….. well….. you can probably see where this is going.

I won the race in my overly-nobbly shoes to finish the course in 42.13. Not an amazing time, but was never really meant to be. It’ll do and I’ll definitely frequent this run in future years. [Shane]

26/10/14 – Leicester Marathon and Half Marathon

Another local race saw a large amount of entrants representing the ever growing running community in Melton as 12 Stilton Striders, 3 members of the Melton Running Club and 2 other local runners took part in the Leicester Marathon and Half Marathon event on Sunday. Under near-perfect running conditions there was a fierce battle going on for first Meltonian home over the half marathon distance as the two quickest Striders went head-to-head for the first time – both recording Personal Best times. On this occasion Jim Hatherley was the victor in an impressive 1.20.13, only 9 seconds ahead of Jason Barton in 1.20.22 – the runners finishing 11th and 12th overall. Mark Stonely was the next Strider to finish, also in a PB of 1.33.39 ahead of debutante Luke Eggleston (1.40.11), Michael Atton registering a 1.41.26 PB and Michael Cooke (1.45.14). Louise Houghton was the first female runner back in 1.51.53 narrowly beating Helen Plant in 1.52.42 (PB). Also representing the Striders were Andy Robinson (2.05.10), Alison Wilson (2.13.15), Shaun Staff (2.16.08) and debutante Wendy Piesley (2.23.56).

Representing Melton Running Club in the Half Marathon event was Sarah Lawrence (2.10.04), Diane Atton (2.18.50 PB) and Helen Cooke (2.34.46). Conor Savage from Melton Council recorded a time of 2 hours exactly, while an injured Laura Pickard made it round in 2.28.36.

Three Striders took on the marathon distance and each felt the impact of running the full distance. Running his first marathon, Ben Pickard was first back in 3.56.24 ahead of club mates John Houghton (4.02.47) and Shane Sharkey (4.11.34). [Shane]

26/10/14 – Worksop Half Marathon

Stuart Gregory was the only Strider to take part in the Worksop Half marathon. Having not run for two weeks Stuart decided to set a steady pace and completed the undulating and picturesque course in 2hr 24m 50s a not to shabby 18m 7s quicker than 2013. [Stuart]

19/10/14 – Great Birmingham Run

Jason Barton and Shane Sharkey were the only two Striders to venture to the West Midlands flagship running event – The Great Birmingham Run Half Marathon. With both runners using the run as a training step towards more significant runs next weekend, they both set relatively conservative targets.
2014 Birmingham Half

However, both runners took advantage of the course’s fast first mile and put in much faster times than their targets. Jason, aiming for a personal best at next week’s L eicester Half Marathon came in a massive 7 minutes under his target time in an impressive 1.23.35. Shane, supposedly tapering for next week’s full marathon event took two minutes from his own course record with a 1.36.36 – 4 minutes under his target. [Shane]

12/10/14 – Eaton Stampede

Eight Striders.. yes that’s right, eight! Met at Eaton country park to take on the fourth Eaton Stampede a challenging 10km cross country race on trail, field and mud with fell like ascents raising money for Dove Hospice and Eaton Community Park.
2014 Easton Stampede 1

The Striders team bunched at the front of the start line jostling for position, eyeing up their Garmin’s, Louise eyeing up whether John’s lunch box was in range for a quick tweak. The sun burnt away the last of the cold fog as a shout from a marshal signalled the start of the race. Mike lead the Stilton charge despite a persistent (and frankly annoying) loud cough, closely followed by Andrew despite encumbered with heavy bandaging from Wednesday nights out run (another story).

Seven Striders made it into the top ten finishers, first home in an excellent 2nd place was Mike Bryan 44.26 (despite a major beer festival hangover) followed by Andrew Bentley 47.24 in a well-deserved 4th place (despite outrun injury’s) then Luke Eggleston in an amazing 5th position, (getting faster and faster) 48.37, in 6th place was John Houghton in 48.44 in what can only be described as the sprint finish of the year (it really was) very closely followed by Michael Cooke 48.46 in 7th, then a disgruntled looking Stephen Boylan (pronounced Boooolan) in 8th in a time of 48.48, on his heels Richard Gray in 9th position in 49 mins (Equinox solo hangover).

Last Strider home and completing a Striders domination, first lady in great form Louise Houghton 56.30 in 14th position. [John]
2014 Easton Stampede 2

12/10/14 – Daventry 10

Stuart Gregory was the only strider to make the trip to Daventry for the Daventry 10 mile road race. after a long day the previous day Stuart turn up in surprising good form setting a steady pace around the 10 mile course and in perfect running conditions crossed the finish line in a time of 1hr 44m 34s, and finish 118th out of 123 starters… [Stuart]

11/10/14 – Spartan Race The Beast

Stuart Gregory was the only strider to make the long trip down to East Sussex for the final round of the Spartan race UK series, having already competed in two of the six race events and at two different distances Stuart only had to complete the final event to receive his tri-Fector. The race started well for Stuart as he plodded his way to three miles without any real effort, unfortunately that would it from a running aspect as the challenges got under way with a cargo net climb, water wade and mud crawl. Miles 4 and 5 saw bank climbing, monkey bars, rotating bars, a 300 meter barbed wire crawl, atlas stone carry, jerry can carry, ammunition box carry, sand bag carry, mud pits and an open water tunnel crawl. By miles 6 and 8 things had vastly slowed down and following the 1 mile tractor tyre carry, log carry, bucket of water carry and a swim ”had to take the alternative there” rope climb, concrete tyre pull and barrel pull it was off again to the inverted wall and straight wall climbs. miles 9 to the finish just got harder and harder as everyone was feeling the stresses and strains of the day, the final challenges saw spear throw and another wall climb, followed by another rope wall climb and dash to the finish over the fire jump in total 150 burpees were completed and finished the event in 4hr 34m 23s, also having completed all three distances I will be getting my tri-fector via the post in the next few days… [Stuart]

5/10/14 – Curbar Commotion

C’mon c’mon baby do the Curbar loco-motion with me!

Start and finish from Cliff College, Calver. 230 runners. Curbar Commotion, the fell race, 9 miles, 1650 feet of ascent.. three Striders crouched liked coiled springs at the start line of what was clearly the first day of autumn (it was very cold).. John cracked a hilarious joke (I thought it was funny) only to be met with a sharp twist of his left scrotum from the hand of wife Louise (pretty sure it was Louise) Steve was mumbling something about running as a team..? The gun went and Steve disappeared in a frantic charge followed closely by Louise and then John, once he’d made a few.. ahem.. adjustments.
2014 Curbar Commotion 1

Up up we went.. and up again. Once on the top, the best of the Peak district lay before us as far as the eye could see.. Baslow Edge, Curbar Edge, Froggett Edge and on..
2014 Curbar Commotion 2

First Strider home Superman (Spider) Steve in an excellent 1 hour 20, followed by a disgruntled John in 1 hour 21 and then Lou in 1 hour 29 (coming back from injury, midlife crisis, other injuries, OD on chocolate). [John]

28/9/14 – Robin Hood Half Marathon

The weather was probably more suited to spectators than the runners as a plethora of Meltonian runners, including three Stilton Striders, took to the streets of Nottingham on Sunday morning to take part in the Ikano Robin Hood Half Marathon.

Duncan Greene was first Strider home in a fantastic time debut Half Marathon time of 1.25.39, followed by Shane Sharkey in 1.36.34 and Stuart Gregory secured another personal best for distance as he completed in 2.07.55. Richard Angrave, representing his first claim club of Wymeswold, completed the course in 2.16.14. Well done to them all, and also the other Melton runners including the other debutants from Rob’s beginners group – full details in the Melton Times article linked below.

Melton Times report (2014 Robin Hood)

20-21/9/14 – Equinox 24

Belvoir Castle was the venue for the second running of the Equinox 24hr 10km relay race. Stilton Striders decided to enter two teams in the 6-8 category and went one step further than last year with Striders Team A, coming out winners of the whole event!
2014 Equinox Striders in front of castle

The winning team was made up of Mike Bryan, Shane Sharkey, Jay Barton, Simon Bottrill, Jim Hatherley, Duncan Greene, Andrew Easom-Bentley and Ian Johnson.
2014 Equinox winners

Team B also did extremely well, managing 28 laps, made up of Mike Brighty, Ian Mason, John Houghton, Steve Boylan, Evan Larke, Shane Durrance and Wayne Hackett. Coming in 12th out of 45 large teams, this was another impressive performance.
2014 Equinox team B

A big mention for runner Rich Gray who was competing as a soloist covered 10laps before having to call it a day after 13hrs due to a knee injury. Also, Andy Robinson who is on his running comeback after a bit of time off entered the individual 10km race and came home in a creditable time of 46mins 01seconds for 18th place. [Wayne]

21/9/14 – Snibston Country Park 10k

Stuart Gregory was the only Strider to make the trip to Snibston Country Park for the annual 10km race. The very undulating hilly course attracted a slightly smaller field this year and in perfect running conditions Stuart completed the first of two laps in a touch over 28 minutes. He went on to complete the second lap in 30 minutes to finish in a personal best time of 58.16. [Stuart]

14/9/14 – Crossdale 10k

Just the two Striders in the Crossdale 10k on Sunday, a cross country race on rock hard ground around fields and tracks on a beautiful day for running. A good run from Vicki Lowe saw her beat last year’s time to finish 62nd in 50.20 and a not so good run by Neil after some ill advised cycling on Saturday who finished 68th in 51.19. There were 151 finishers. [Neil]

7/9/14 – Great North Run

Once again three Striders made their North East Return for the Great North Run. In very hot temperatures, which affected everyone, Abi Arnott crossed the line first in a decent time of 1hr 46min 27seconds. Wayne Hackett, after recent knee surgery and limited running, 1:55:46, with Mike Brighty having to push hard in the latter stages to go under the 2hr barrier in 1:59:25. [Wayne]

7/9/14 – John Fraser 10

Another League Race, another blazing hot day as six Stilton Striders made the journey over to Countesthorpe, Leicester for the John Fraser 10. The final league race of the year presented the 459 runners with a 10 mile route that could be described as undulating to say the least. A real competition for the place of first Strider home saw Richard Gray and Ben Pickard battle it out, with the former beating the latter by a matter of 3 seconds in times of 1.11.32 and 1.11.35 respectively. Shane Sharkey completed his 100% League Race record and, although he was cautiously protecting an injury, still recorded a time of 1.14.34. John Houghton came in on target in a time of 1.20.56 followed by Vicki Lowe in another strong performance of 1.22.16. Stuart Gregory achieved a PB for distance but missed out on his own target as he finished the race in 1.38.56. [Shane]

30 & 31/8/14 – Spartan Race Series Races 1 & 2

Stuart Gregory was the only Strider to make his way down to East Sussex for the first two events in the Spartan race UK series. with Stuart entered in the early afternoon heats ground conditions were horrible and with a shoe misjudgement this made things worse as less than half way into the very challenging 4.5 mile sprint race thing became very slippery for the rest of the race, as Stuart completed the first race of the weekend in 1hr 44m 53s.

After a filing dinner and good nights sleep in nearby Crawley, it was off for day two at the Spartan race series and yet again saw Stuart starting in the early afternoon and after a better choice of shoes Stuart made a quick start in the 9 mile super race and pushed on to the first set of challenges and having climbed through sinking mud, bogs, brooks and wall and streams thing got hard as the next few challenges involved a tyre flip, atlas stone carry, tyre pull, log carry, hill running and much more. Nearing the finish Stuart put in a number of burpees having failed quite a few tasks, and came home in 2hr 35m 06s knocking a cool 43m 48s off of his time from 2013. [Stuart]

30/8/14 – Longshaw Sheep Dog Trials fell race

‘Part of the World’s oldest sheepdog trials.. pay to enter, run for nowt, real ale..’.. the Longshaw sheep dog trials fell race .. 6 miles 1000ft.. mud.. lots and lots of mud!.. stupidly steep terrain over Burbage, Higger Tor, Owler Tor including woods, rocky paths and the occasional bog!

Three Striders stood on the cold, bleak start line, probably all thinking the same ‘what the hell am I doing here?’ these thoughts were quickly banished as the horn was blown (?) and 164 runners charged of across the boggy moor. First Strider home and in excellent form was Steve Boylan with a new PB time of 58.15 taking nearly two minutes of his time last year, next in John Houghton in 59.23 followed by Louise Houghton 1hr 12mins. [John]
2014 Sheepdog

25/8/14 – Old Dalby Hill Race

As part of the Bank Holiday Monday festivities at Old Dalby Day, eight Stilton Striders took on the infamous Old Dalby Hill Race. The charity race takes runners over 4.5 miles of hilly mixed terrain including road, gravel tracks, forest trails, fields and mud, with the rain adding considerably to the overall experience.

In his first ever off-road race, Jason Barton made a statement by finishing third overall in a fantastic time of 31.20. Shane Sharkey was next in, taking 13th place with a time of 38.06. John Houghton (14th) completed the course in 38.36, just ahead of Steve Boylan (38.55), Michael Cooke and Max Houghton (42.20). Stuart Gregory completed the set in 50.45. [Shane]

17/8/14 – Muff Half Marathon

The Donegal Quadrathon is a “4 marathons in 4 days” event around Co. Donegal in Ireland. As the final day of this coincided with the dates of my holiday in the county, I decided it would be rude of me to not take part in at least a half marathon on the final day, running from Bridgend through Muff and on to Redcastle close to the Northern Irish border.

The heavy rain showers that had plagued the area all morning and had potentially ruined the atmosphere for those who had started the full marathon at 9am miraculously cleared minutes before the Half Marathon start time of 11.00. A gentle breeze and a warm sunny day ensued ensuring near-perfect running condtions. This really helped as I did my usual quick start, however, just over a mile into the race I felt a sharp ping through my calf and I soon realised my recovery from last week’s calf-strain was perhaps not complete. I struggled on and by 5 miles I was seriously considering not finishing the race and had it not been for the fact that I held a considerable lead over the small field of Half Marathoners I surely would have done. I struggled on and eventually sacrificed my lead with just over a half mile to go but I held on to my position to finish 2nd in a time of 1.38.30. Might have a couple of weeks off now….. [Shane]
2014 Muff Half

17/8/14 – Kimbolton Half Marathon

Stuart Gregory made the trip to Kimbolton Castle on Sunday for their annual half marathon. After some early rain the weather cleared and with near perfect running conditions Stuart tackled the hilly course. AFter the second major hill at nearly 11 miles it was looking tough to beat his PB by a large amount. Pushing on until the (surprisingly steep) final hill forced a slowing in pace with nearly two and half minutes taken to cover the final 400m he finished in 2 hrs 10 min 14 sec – this was 24m16s quicker than his 2013 time and 9m32s faster than his previous half marathon best. A great race and it would be fantastic to see a few more Striders there in 2015. [Stuart]

16/8/14 – Trail des Haute Forts

Two Striders made their way to Morzine in the French Alps to compete in this years ‘Trail des Haute Forts’ under the shadow of Mont Blanc. Husband and wife team John and Louise Houghton, along with a record entry of 500 runners, tackled the 24 kilometres of high altitude mountain trails with 1800 metres of ascent. The race is now in its 8th year and is also used as a qualifier for the infamous ‘Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc’ held every year in Chamonix (runners take on a 166 kilometre route with 9600 metres of ascent around Mont Blanc through three countries). Despite wet muddy conditions and freezing temperatures both managed to produce new personal best times of 3hr 30 for John and 4hr 04 for Louise. [John]

12/8/14 – 3 Club Challenge

A team of 13 runners from Stilton Striders took part in the annual 3 Club Challenge, an annual fixture involving Stilton Striders, Wreake Runners and Barrow Runners.

Run this year over a 5 mile multi-terrain route from Beedles Lake Golf Club, East Goscote, this event which has a heavy emphasis on participation as well as some competition against local clubs attracted 95 runners in total. The team scoring system led to a victory for Barrow.

Jason Barton, Ben Pickard, Rich Gray, Laura Pickard, Gemma Brown, Gary Postle, Joe Postle, John Houghton, Vicki Lowe, Harvey Hopwood, Stuart Gregory, Rob Szabo and Steve McGarry all ran well and were supported by Shane and Mike who came along to offer their support (whilst nursing their injuries…) and a guest appearance from John Stares in a supporting role.

A great night, as ever, and its our turn to host in 2015….
2014 3 club challenge

7/8/14 – Chevin Fell Race

Stuart Gregory made the trip to Milford for the 4.5 mile Chevin fell race which includes 876 feet of ascent and two passes of Chevin golf course. He completed the course (including a complimentary fall with just under a mile to go) in 51 mins 19 sec to finish 80th out of 86 finishers. [Stuart]

6/8/14 – Huncote Joy Cann 5

Eight Stilton Strider vests were on show in Huncote on Wednesday night as their respective wearers took part in the year’s penultimate league race, the Joy Cann 5. The first Strider home was Shane Sharkey narrowly missing out on a personal best in 32.53. Richard Gray was second in with a time of 33.51 very closely followed by Simon Bottrill (33.57) and Ben Pickard, who took a massive two and a half minutes off his previous best with a time of 34.26.

Also securing a new PB was John Houghton (37.58) ahead of first female Strider Vicki Lowe (38.57), Louise Houghton (40.44) and Lucy Underwood (49.19). [Shane]
2014 Huncote 5

1/8/14 – Jagermeister 10k

The annual Jagermeister 10K attracted 376 finishers on Friday 1st August on a hilly course within the grounds of Nottingham University . 10 minutes before the 7pm start of the race the rain came down and caused all those competing to race for cover. The first half of the race was endured through rain and the course was covered in puddles making r unning a difficult proposition. Nevertheless such is the spirit of runners and the fun of this race that no spirits were dampened and a great night was had by all rounded off with a burger and chips and a couple of pints at the University Sports and Social Club. Richard Angrave was the only Stilton Strider running and in his fourth time competing in this event broke the hour for the first time with a course best of 59:28 to finish 306th out of 376. There are some amazing spot prizes and with four of the Wymeswold team winning a jacket, bottle of Jagermeister (35%), and two winning cocktails and glasses between them.

Fantastic night out – interesting course – zany host team – what more could you want – come on Striders sign up next year. [Rich A]

23/7/14 – Notts 5

Wednesday evening saw 190 runners take to the Victoria Embankment in Nottingham for the Annual Notts 5. A scattering of trees and light summer breeze afforded the only shelter to the runners on the five mile route; including sole Strider Shane Sharkey. The conditions definitely slowed up what is usually considered a PB course, and Shane finished in a pleasing time of 33.10.

20/7/14 – Long Eaton 5

An early 10am start for the Long Eaton 5 mile race but still a warm humid morning for around 200 competitors.

A flat course around West park and Long Eaton town (nice) with the first 600mts and the last 400mts on grass. Neil Jaggard was the only Stilton Strider to take part and he and his bandages managed to find enough energy from somewhere to win a sprint finish and cross the line in a respectable 36mins 57secs (silver). [Neil]

20/7/14 – Hermitage 10k

On Sunday, it was the turn of Hermitage Harriers to stage the 5th of the summer Leicestershire Road Running League Races and the weather held up nicely to provide good running conditions. The course however, could not be described as having PB potential as 405 runners endured 381 feet of ascent over the 10k route.

Eight Stilton Striders formed part of the field and were led home by late entrant Shane Sharkey (I forgot to enter!!!) in a time of 43.23. Next in was Simon Bottrill finishing strong despite picking up an injury on route in 46.19, followed very closely by Ben Pickard putting in his second best 10k time of 46.27. Abi Arnott was the first female runner home in 47.43. John Houghton (49.06) finished ahead of Nick Smith (49.54) and Louise Houghton (52.28). Competing in his first Summer League Race, Stuart Gregory made it home in 1.00.14. [Shane]
2014 Hermitage 10k

11/7/14 – Whissendine 6ix

Hot and humid conditions made for a challenging Whissendine 6ix, three Striders gave there all in a family affair. First home in 46.21 John Houghton, followed by wife Louise in an excellent 49.26 coming back from injury, next in Max Houghton in his first competitive road race in a superb 52.28. [John]

11/7/14 – Rainbows 100 lap challenge

As the Leicestershire schools were breaking up for there summer holidays, a group of running enthusiasts comprising of members of the Stilton Striders, parents of junior striders, juniors and some newby runners from the Melton Running Club Monday night beginners group descended on Saffron Lane Running Track to compete in the 100 Lap Challenge under the Striders name.

The team completed the 100 laps in a very respectable time of 2hrs 19mins 54secs, coming 4th out a total of 9 teams.

The team comprising of: Chris Southam, Jasmin Southam, Matt Atterbury, Richard Gray, Darryl Schoffield, Shane Sharkey, Jay Barton, Lucy Underwood, Ben Pickard, Mandy Stace, Ian Johnson, Wendy Piesley, Ian Mason, Laura Pickard, Andrew Easom-Bentley, Mike Bryan, Oliver Hall Stace, Katie Morley Stace, Ann Thomas, Diane Atton and Lily-Mae Hackett. Organiser Wayne Hackett.

A big thank you to all who helped out and well done, as I know a lot of you were out of your comfort zones and very nervous. It was also a good way of showing you different forms of running. Also once again a special mention to Di and her Juniors who again came first and had the admiration of others. [Wayne]

8/7/14 – Watermead Challenge

Stuart Gregory and Shane Sharkey made the short trip to Watermead Park for the 5 mile challenge. Shane was first Strider home in 21st place in a time of 32 min 41 sec and was followed in around 10 minutes later by Start who finished in 135th in a time of 43 min 18 sec, his fastest time for any distance thus far… [Stuart]

7/7/14 – Hathersage Fell Race

282 Fell runners showed up for the Hathersage Fell race in the Peak District to take on a gruelling 4.5 mile off road loop with just over 1000ft of descent. Three Striders took up the challenge, putting in strong performances due in part to John’s tea… First Strider home in his first Fell race ever was Mike Bryan in 99th place in an incredible 40.25 (Despite complaining of knee problems?) second home in 173 place was John Houghton in a solid 45.17 (Despite a 360 degree forward roll descending Higger Tor) closely followed by Stephen Boylan (Coming back from injury) in 183 place in a time of 46.14 [John]

6/7/14 – Thurlby 10k

A nice undulating course with a steady 1k climb out of the village before a tour of the surrounding countryside with a very open section with no shade from the hot sun. Really pleased with my time of 46.33 (silver) which is an improvement on the Swithland shocker. 42nd place in a field in excess of 100. [Neil]

6/7/14 – Chesterfield Spire 10

Stuart Gregory was the only Strider to make the trip to North Derbyshire for the Chesterfield Spire 10 mile road race. On a perfect running day Stuart knocked 20 minutes 42seconds off of his previous time to complete the very hilly course which started with a three mile long 693 feet accent, followed by a long 5 mile decent, and slight incline to the finish, in 1hr 43m 28s to finish 194th out of 225 finishers. [Stuart]

3/7/14 – Holme Pierrepont 10k

The final race in the Holme Pierrepont Grand Prix took place around the National Water Sports Centre on Thursday evening amid perfect running conditions despite the obviously tired legs through the series’ intensity. Shane Sharkey, running his third race in three days, finished the 10k race in 41.25 to leave him finishing 38th on the Series leaderboard at his first attempt. Ben Pickard secured 74th place by putting in a PB of 43.35, and Richard Angrave (143rd) took nearly 3 minutes off his PB with a time of 55.42. The three series completers were joined for this race by fellow Strider Alison Wilson who got home in 59.36. [Shane]

2/7/14 – Hungarton 7

Wednesday evening saw the third Leicestershire Road Running League summer race, set in the village of Hungarton. Despite being known as one of the toughest races in Leicestershire, a team of 12 Stilton Striders were among the 424 runners to tackle the notoriously hilly terrain.

First back was Darren Glover in 45.33, with Simon Bottrill putting in another strong performance in 49.29, closely followed by Richard Gray in 49.51 and Iain Howe in 52.02. Abi Arnott put in yet another personal best, finishing in 53.44 ahead of Nicholas Smith in 54.46. John Houghton just pipped Shane Sharkey to the line, with both recording times of 55.02. Vicki Lowe finished strongly in 55.38 followed home by Mike Brighty (57.20), Louise Houghton (59.35) and Rob Szabo (1.02.09). [Shane]

1/7/14 – Wollaton Park 5k

The third race in the Holme Pierrepont Grand Prix was a 5k route around the scenic grounds of Wollaton Park in Nottingham and featured a surprisingly tame herd of deer at the start. The undulating multi-terrain eveng attracted 301 runners, including three Stilton Striders.

Shane Sharkey and Ben Pickard both achieved personal best times in 20.22 and 21.25 respectively, with Richard Angrave completing the set in 27.07. [Shane]

29/6/14 – Tamworth Gate Gallop

A great day was had by Stilton Striders’ Stuart Gregory at the Tamworth Gate Gallop as he knocked 16 minutes and 58 seconds off his previous time to come home in 1hr 4min 5sec for a new course best for this race. The run marks the end of a series of 5 runs in 9 days over a total distance of 60.5 miles in 17hr 29min 17sec which culminated in last weekend’s 48.1 miles in 3 days. Stuart now has two runs remaining before a well earned summer break during July. [Stuart]

26/6/14 – Colwick Park 5

The second of the Holme Pierrepont Grand Prix races took part on Thursday night in the picturesque setting of Colwick Park. 262 runners completed the 5 mile route including three Stilton Striders. Shane Sharkey (43rd on the race series leaderboard) finished first in 33.01, Ben Pickard (90th) second in 36.56 and Richard Angrave (175th) in 43.40. [Shane]

26/6/14 – Clough/Taylor 10k

After a well earned rest, Stilton Striders’ Stuart Gregory was back on the track this evening literally in the Clough/Taylor 10km race at Donington park. Stuart made a fantastic start to the event sitting in the top half of the field for the first 6km, before dropping back slightly. Things were going well until 8km when an infrequent stomach problem slowed him down slightly and cost him a sub one hour time, for the first time this year as he finished in 1hr 00m 52s a seasons best and 9m 23s best for that race. [Stuart]

24/6/14 – Rushcliffe Park 4

Tuesday night saw the start of the Holme Pierrepont Grand Prix of races. The first of which, a 4 mile route around Rushcliffe Country Park, was contested by a field of 262 runners including three Stilton Striders. Shane Sharkey made it home in 26.17 followed by Ben Pickard, a minute ahead of target in 28.47. Richard Angrave also hit target with a time of 35.06. [Shane]

22/6/14 – Prestwold 10k

A very slight breeze was the only respite afforded to the 520 runners that took part in the second Summer League race at Prestwold on Sunday. The newly reformed 10k route offered little shade to the team of 7 Stilton Striders who all put in a solid performance. Shane Sharkey was the first Strider home in a time of 42.06 with Mike Bryan in 43.22. Abi Arnott put in a very strong finish to be the first female Strider with a time of 46.57. Ben Pickard showed that he is getting back in form after injury as he crossed the line in 48.34, followed closely by Vicki Lowe (49.33). Completing his 4th race of the week was John Houghton in 50.06, with Louise Houghton completing the pack, also coming back from injury, in a time of 51.16. The next League race will be held in Hungarton on Wednesday 2nd July. [Shane]
2014 Prestwold 10k

21-22/6/14 – Dig Deep weekend

After Friday night’s trip to Beacon Hill, Striders’ Stuart Gregory headed off for a weekend’s running in the peak district. Saturday morning saw the start of a 31 mile ultra race across the high peaks things started well with good progress being made to mile seven in 1hr 43m, having joined another runner at check point one the pace improved slightly to check point three and four, unfortunately by this point the pace had slowed slightly as the profile of the course became more hilly and with the monster of win hill coming into sight it was time to save some energy for the hard climb ahead. win hill marked the start of three big climbs and it took 44 minutes to complete the one and a bit mile long 1 in 3 accent, this marks the half way point on the route and the going was all but down hill to the feed station at Bradwell sports centre, where a top up on water and food was always a welcome sight. and so if was off again to the next climb at Bradwell hill a one mile 1 in 4 accent and at 19 miles is nearly two thirds of the way around, a pleasing sight as check points eight and nine Derwent bridge and river came into view as this section is a lot flatter and marks the beginning of the end with only one big climb of 2 miles remaining this took quite a while as by 24 miles the legs had started to give in, finally as check point ten came and passed the person I had been running with legged it, it took a pain staking 40 plus minutes to walk the remaining 1.3 miles very very slowly, to finish in a time of 10:26:28, to finish 43rd in the senior male category and 102 overall, the person I had been running with finished 27 minutes ahead of me after running into the finish to beat her target of under ten hours.

Sunday morning saw a very achy Stuart Gregory line up for the second race of the weekend in the 12.1 mile, 12.12 challenge race and thing surprisingly got off to a good start over the first seven miles as he reach check point one in 1hr 30m 13 minutes up!! on the ultra race the day before unfortunately this did not last as his pace slowed to a near walk after fiddlers elbow for the next 2 and a bit miles, before his legs kicked back in at limb valley and was able to run the remain 1.3 miles to the finish and only lose 43 minutes on the year previous finishing in a time of 4hr 5m 52s. Stuart was also running for rainbows hospice and so far has raised over £200 with sponsorship still to come in…. [Stuart]

20/6/14 – Beacon Hill Solstice Race

John Houghton narrowly beat Vicki Lowe for the title of “first Strider home” in this 5-ish mile trail race, with both clocking 41.15 for the “undulating” course (see photographic evidence below). Max Houghton, in his first race, was next in 45.30, closely followed by Steve Boylan (45.59). Stuart Gregory, at the start of a long weekend, completed in 52.00.
2014 Beacon Hill

18/6/14 – Club Handicap race

On a beautiful evening for spectating and enjoying the views at Rutland Water, Shane Sharkey, Mike Brighty and Vicki Lowe took the top 3 places at the annual club handicap race. Full report on the “Outrun” page.

17/6/14 – Rothley 10k

Four Striders took on this year’s race, a challenging undulating two lap course all on road. 472 runners took part in perfect running conditions, with a new start/finish this year in Rothley centre adding to the excellent race atmosphere, it felt like the entire population of the village cheered the runners home.

First Strider was John Houghton (47.41), then Louise Houghton (53.01), followed by Alison Wilson (58.39). Representing his first claim club, Wymeswold, Richard Angrave completed the course in 58.32. [John]

15/6/14 – Stathern 10k

One hundred runners descended on the village of Stathern for the annual Stathern 10k – this year raising money for Dove Cottage Hospices. Known as a fast course, six Stilton Striders put in strong performances registering a Personal Best time each!

First home, finishing sixth overall, was Jim Hatherley taking a minute off his previous best with a time of 36.31 followed by Mike Bryan, 10th place overall and breaking the 40 minute barrier for the first time in 39.28. Shane Sharkey ( 13th) took over two minutes off his PB with 40.34 and Ben Pickard saved a minute finishing in 46.23. John Houghton beat wife Louise with them putting in times of 46.55 and 48.33 respectively. [Shane]

8/6/14 – Swithland 6

Another league race, another blazing sunny day. Nine Striders turned out in force to attempt the first of the Summer League races around the Swithland Reservoir – eight successfully (hope the injury heals soon, Louise!).

Shane Sharkey was the first to complete the 6 mile undulating race in a time of 41.14, followed closely by Simon Bottrill on his race debut as a Strider who finished in 41.50. Nicholas Smith was next home in 45.52 with John Houghton in 46.34.

Abi Arnott was the first female Strider home in 46.50, just ahead of Neil Jaggard (47.11). Vicki Lowe (48.46) and Celina Silver (55.06) completed the set. [Shane]

8/6/14 – Carsington 7+

Stuart Gregory was the only Strider to make the trip to Carsington Water for the annual 7+ mile race and completed the 7.8 mile course in 1hr 25m 31s, over 12 minutes faster than 2013. [Stuart]

6/6/14 – Notts 10

Two Striders attended the Notts 10 mile race at Holme Pierrepont on Friday evening. A warm, still evening and the picturesque backdrop of the National Watersports Centre made for perfect running conditions.

Shane Sharkey, running his first 10 mile race, was the first Strider home in a time of 69.00, whilst Stuart Gregory took 8 min 23 sec off his time from the same event last year to finish in 1.40.46. [Shane]

28/5/14 – Beeston Trent 5

Stuart Gregory was the sole Strider in the field at the Beeston Trent 5 mile. He posted a personal best of 45min 8sec – taking nearly 7 minutes off his previous time at an average pace of 9.02 per mile. [Stuart]

18/5/14 – West End 8

The hottest day of the year so far was the somewhat ironic setting for the final Winter League race on Sunday. Seven of the Stilton Striders tackled the heat on the 8 mile course around Queniborough and South Croxton. Having completed 100% of the League races this year, Shane Sharkey was the first Strider home in a time of 58.34 followed by Iain Howe in 59.17. Abi Arnott was the first of the ladies back as she recorded a Personal Best time of 64.52 ahead of Vicki Lowe (66.37). Next home were a husband and wife team with Louise Houghton the victor (66.45) just beating husband John (66.56). Mike Brighty completed the strong field of Striders in a time of 67.31. [Shane]
2014 West End 8

11/5/14 – Long Clawson 10k

Superb turn out once again for the 7th edition of the now infamous Clawson 10k. Five Striders took on the gruelling steep off road route, driving heavy rain and strong winds added to the challenge.

First home, in 3rd place overall, was Jim Hatherley in the remarkable time of 43.35. 2nd Strider was Rob Beers looking strong (51.34) followed by Andrew Bentley (55.42), John Houghton (1.02.56) – John was disappointed with his time but happy to be in front of his wife (he he) Louise Houghton (1.08.30) – however it should be mentioned her last mile was completed with no shoes! [John]

11/5/14 – Wymeswold Waddle

Sunday 11th May saw the Annual Wymeswold Waddle race attract 245 starters with three Stilton Striders at the start line. The race had a new Race Director this year, Niall Gardam who seamlessly organised another fantastic day for the village. Previous Waddles had all been organised by Chris Taylor, who actually took part in his first Waddle dressed as King Duck and despite injury and the weight of the suit still finished the five mile race in 39:52.

For Stilton Striders, Mike Brighty on his way back from injury recorded a time of 37:40 for 84th place whilst former Melton Times editor and new Stilton Strider member, Michael Cooke finished two places ahead with a time of 37:23. Third of the trio was Richard Angrave finishing in a PB of 44.25 for 176th place. [Rich A]

11/5/14 – Bosworth Half Marathon

With 4 races in 8 days, Stuart Gregory finished things off with a season’s best over the 13.1m distance at Bosworth on Sunday 11th May, completing the rather tough route in 2hr 29min 29sec.

7/5/14 – Croft Hill Race

Stuart Gregory, making it 3 races in 4 days, ran at Croft Hill on 7th May and completed the 4.5 mile hill race in 49min 51sec.

5/5/14 – Woodhouse May Day Challenge

Monday saw the Woodhouse Eaves May Day challenge – an undulating 13.5 miles off road race through Bradgate Park. Representing the Striders was Rob Beers (1:43.53), Vicky Lowe (1:59.31) and Stuart Gregory (2:55.17). Also running were members of the Melton Running Club showing fantastic progress as some of them only starting running in January. Tom Peacock was the first of these back in 1:46.47 Followed by Simon Proctor in 2:06.28 and Kayleigh Leavis (2:16.50). Next back in his first ever race was Luke Frier (2:21.33) closely followed by Sarah Lawrence in 2:22.38. John Hudson and Janet Hudson finished the course in 2:28.26 and 2:35.57 respectively while Laura Peacock made it home in 2:36.07. Another race debut saw Helen Cook home in 3:06.11 ahead of Shaun Staff in 3:17.10. Local runner John Stocks also completed the course in 2:03.10. [Shane]

4/5/14 – Lichfield Half Marathon

Stuart Gregory completed the course in 2hr 33min 06sec ahead of racing again the next day at Woodhouse.

4/5/14 – Langtoft 10k

On Sunday, Shane Sharkey was the lone Strider at the Langtoft 10k, bearing the heat to take 3 minutes off his 10k personal best to record 43m 03s.

3/5/14 – Thames Path 100

Over the bank holiday weekend, 227 runners set off to race the 100 mile Thames Path from Richmond in West London to the finish in the grounds of Oxford University. With a 28 hour cut off, many would not make it (80 dropped out along the way or were beaten by the cut off).

Among the finishers was Stilton Strider Richard Gray, who finished in 89th position in 24 hours 46 mins and 10 seconds.

Full report (2014 Thames Path 100)

27/4/14 – Shakespeare Half Marathon

One Strider made his way to Stratford upon Avon for the Shakespeare Half Marathon. In near perfect running conditions, Stuart Gregory completed the race for the first time, covering the moderately undulating course in 2:36:59. [Stuart]

21/4/14 – Nottingham 10k

Easter Monday saw the annual Nottingham 10km race at Wollaton park take place in near perfect running conditions, 571 runners took part with Stilton Striders’ Stuart Gregory completing the route in 1hr 6min 51sec, 42 seconds faster than in 2013 and a disappointment given his recent performances at other races… [Stuart]

13/4/14 – London Marathon

The sun shone brightly over the capital city for the 34th London Marathon on Sunday, but although this provided spectacular conditions for the millions of spectators, it made the course much tougher for the 36,000 runners. Three Stilton Striders took part in the race and, despite the 20° heat, all finished comfortably in the top quarter of the field.

Mike Bryan was the first Strider home in his marathon debut in a time of 3.22.14. Jason Barton was next in in a time of 3.38.38 and Shane Sharkey with a time of 3.48.41.

Shane has raised £1800 for Headway East Northants and Mike is hoping to tip £2000 for Leicestershire Hospice LOROS. [Shane]

6/4/14 – Desford 6

Another fantastic day’s racing for the Stilton Striders on Sunday, both locally and on the Streets of Manchester. 6 Striders took part in the Desford 6 mile league race and were led home by Jason Barton in a time of 37.32 and closely followed by Greg Petingill in 38.51. Next home was Shane Sharkey (41.03), Ben Pickard (43.46), John Houghton (46.00) and Ian Mason in 50.02.

Shane and Jay were using this as a last warm up session before next week’s London Marathon where they will be joined by Mike Bryan.

6/4/14 – Manchester Marathon

Vicki Lowe made the trip up to Manchester and put in a qualifying time for next year’s VLM by running the Manchester Marathon in a fantastic time of 03.49.05.

6/4/14 – Derby 10k

Also in action were Gary and Joe Postle who were raced at the Derby 10km. They came home in 43:09 and 44:10 respectively.

6/4/14 – Beacon Hill Bunny Run 10km

Finally, Sunday 6th April also saw the third running of the Beacon Hill Bunny Run – a 10km main race and 3km support race. Stuart Gregory, who’s form has been improving race by race, knocked a whooping 11mins 9sec off of his 2013 time to cross the finish line in 1hr 6mins 38sec over the 10km course which climbs Beacon Hill twice before winding down to a fast down hill finish…. the result was a real turn up given that it’s the quickest he’s run this year on a hill! and only just under seven minutes off of his PB for any 10km race which was set at Tamworth towards the end of 2013. [Stuart]

30/3/14 – Belvoir Half Marathon

The Belvoir Half was subject to perfect running conditions on Sunday, and this showed as six out of seven Stilton Striders achieved new personal bests. Darren Glover was respectfully the first Strider home in 1.29.24 and then the personal records started falling.

Shane Sharkey took 6 minutes off his best with a time of 1.30.26, Mark Stonely was next – 3 minutes under his previous best – with 1.34.26, then it was Iain Howe in 1.37.56. Dan Valencia finished strongly in 1.41.31, followed by John Houghton, a minute under his best in 1.42.47. Ben Pickard also managed to take 3 minutes off his PB with a time of 1.42.53. All seven Striders finished comfortably within the top half of the field. [Shane]

30/3/14 – Grand Tour of Southwell

A successful day for the Striders was finished off over the fields surrounding Southwell where Rob Beers made 3rd place in the Half Tour and Rich Gray was 2nd in the Full Tour. A low key 31 mile or 16 mile event in its second year, this small but perfectly formed event is one to watch for next year, if numbers allow.

23/3/14 – Loughborough Half Marathon

Two Striders made the trip to Loughborough for this year’s half marathon. Reuben Bradshaw finished in 2.06.33 and Stuart Gregory continued to improve upon his recent performances knocking 11 seconds per mile off his pace, finishing in 2.30.36.

16/3/14 – Stilton 7

Sunday saw 355 people competing in the long awaited return from Stilton Striders RC in hosting a running race for the very unique Leicestershire Road Running League (LRRL). The Stilton 7 consisted of two laps starting and finishing near Holwell Works heading out towards the former Asfordby Mine Site, taking in the climb up past Welby Church, then down to the Valley and back up Asfordby Hill, before heading back round the loop again.

On a warm morning, the first person to cross the finishing line representing Coalville based club Hermitage Harriers was Matt Adcock in magnificent time of 38mins 25seconds, with the first lady being Emily Ault of Barrow Runners in 44:44.

The Striders themselves had a contingent of 15 runners, heading the pack was Jason Barton who finished 25th in 44:06. Followed by Darren Glover(45:47), Greg Pettingill (46:12), Mike Bryan(47:42), Shane Sharkey(49:34), Andrew Easom Bentley (50:59), Iain Howe (52:13), John Houghton (54:48), Dan Valencia (55:04), Andy Nicholls (55:37), Abi Arnott (56:54), Ben Pickard (57:21), Vicki Lowe (57:48), Neil Jaggard (59:45) and Richard Angrave (67:20).

We would like to thank Holwell Institute for the use of there hall and facilities, Grange Garden Centre for parking, Nigel Keep and his staff from 54a King Street Coffee Shop for there catering, family and friends of all Striders who helped out with the event and the help of individuals from various running clubs. Also to all residents within the race a rea and Holwell works for the patience and inconvenience this may have caused. [Wayne]

16/3/14 – Hurden 9

In a very strong field which included a number of GB runners and four out of six course records falling by the wayside by some margin Stuart Gregory put in a improved performance although still placing last over the nine mile course and managed a more respectable 1hr 45min 06sec ”11:40 per mile” his best mile pace since the waterside five on new years eve…… [Stuart]

9/3/14 – Retford Half Marathon

Stuart Gregory was the sole Strider making the journey to Retford for their half marathon. Everything was going well until mile nine, when a mixture of minor old injuries, leg ache and cramping meant he had to hobble to the finish line. When word got back that he was coming in with an injury, albeit 30-45 minutes later than planned, he was treated to a big cheer and a finish time of 2:57:47. [Stuart]

9/3/14 – Ashby 20

The hottest day of the year was the setting for Sunday’s Ashby 20 race. The undulating 20 mile route was not made easy by the heat but that didn’t stop three of the Stilton Striders completing the course in good times ahead of their respective marathons in London and Manchester next month. Shane Sharkey and Jason Barton crossed the line together in a time of 02:39:44 and Vicki Lowe finished in 03:02:06. [Shane]

2/3/14 – Silverstone Half Marathon

The wind was no friend of the two Striders contesting the Silverstone Half Marathon on Sunday, however, that didn’t stop either putting in fantastic times. 11,000 runners were at the annual event Jason Barton, the first Strider home, finished 48th in a personal best time of 01:22:31 and Shane Sharkey was back comfortably 721st in a time of 01:38:47. [Shane]

1/3/14 – Belvoir Challenge

Mud was the order of the day at this year’s Belvoir Challenge, with the very wet winter showing through in the footpaths. Conditions for the event, however, were ideal with a cold start giving way to sunshine and no wind. Drinks stops every 5 miles or so were well stocked with tea and cakes for runners, walkers (and the odd supporter).

First Strider home in the marathon distance was Sam Spencer (in 4.12), followed by Rich Gray (4.30), John Houghton ( 4.44), Mike Brighty (5.08), Gary Christmas (5.24) and Louise Houghton (6.13).

Making the most of the conditions in the ‘fun run’ (actually over 16 miles) was Mike Bryan, who finished in 6th place in 2.02, with Andrew Bentley (2.21) and Abi Arnott (2.52).

16/2/14 – Stamford 30k

Mike Brighty and Vicki Lowe were the only Stilton Striders to make the short trip to Stamford for the 21st annual running of the Stamford 30K on Sunday. The race is very popular with runners as part of their training towards spring marathons and the 750 places on offer are quickly snapped up.

The race starts in Stamford and the course then winds its way through the local villages on a challenging rural undulating route before a final energy sapping grass section back in Stamford. The runners were treated to perfect sunny and windless conditions resulting in a new course record for the winner. The first Strider across the line was Vicki Lowe with a great time of 2:36.31 to claim 11th place in her category. Mike Brighty was next in finishing strongly in a time of 2:46.20. Both runners were very pleased with their progress towards forthcoming longer distance events. [Vicki]

9/2/14 – Markfield 10k

10 Striders made the annual trip to Markfield for the second league race of the season, the Markfield 10k. They joined 526 runners in battling strong winds and the undulating course that passes the picturesque Thornton Reservoir (as well as the not so picturesque M1 bridges).

Jason Barton was first Strider home in 38.46, with Greg Pettingill and Mike Bryan not far behind in 40.44 and 41.01 respectively. The mens team was completed by Richard Gray (42.57), Andrew Bentley (43.50), Shane Sharkey (46.06), Ben Pickard (47.00) and Ian Mason (50.26). Stuart Gregory, in his first league race for the club, came home in 68.45. Louise Houghton was the ladies team, finishing in 48.41.

The next league race is the Ashby 5 on February 23rd – would be great to see a full mens and ladies team out for this one!

2/2/14 – Charnwood Hills Race

A group of Striders joined 382 runners at the Charnwood Hills race on Sunday 2 February 2014.

This 14.5 mile race was a test of stamina following the recent wet weather with sloppy muddy conditions. The Charnwood Hills race is the only fell race held in Leicestershire over Bradgate, old John, Broombriggs and Beacon Hill and looking over beautiful scenery. Greg Pettingill had a brilliant race finishing in a time of 1.51.17 and coming 3rd in his VM50 age category. Vicki Lowe, 2.25.38 (finished 9th in VF45 Category) and Steve Dewick returning from time out from racing finished in 2.36.38 running for his fell club Dark Peak. Stuart Gregory, in his first event as a Strider, completed the course in 3.22.

19/1/14 – Kibworth 6

5 Striders braved the first LRRL winter league race of the season the “Kibworth 6”. This 6 mile race has got to be one of the hardest league races with two challenging hills Saddington and Gumley Hill. Striders were not able to field a full team for the event however Jason Barton 38.37 in his first winter league race for the club flew ahead of male team mates – Greg Pettingill 40.17, Mike Bryan 40.52 and Shane sharkey 44.14. Vicki Lowe the only lady strider, and first league race returning back to the club ran 46.45. [Vicki]

18/1/14 – CTS Anglesey Ultra

34 miles around the Anglesey coast in the pouring rain with flooded paths and 3 ascents of “Holy Mountain” (total ascent of over 5,000 feet) was as tough a challenge as it sounds. With the previous year’s event cancelled due to heavy snow, a bit of rain was not going to put off the field of runners from their choice of distance – 10k, half marathon, marathon and ultra were all in action using much of the same course. Rich Gray was the lone Strider in attendance, completing the ultra in 7 hours 38 minutes. [Rich]

4/1/14 – County XC Champs

On Saturday, 9 juniors ran in the county cross country championships. The conditions were awful, with continual rain and the course becoming mud all the way round. However, these 9 brave little souls ran their hearts out.

First up was Victoria Sercome in the U17 girls and finished an excellent 6th. The U13 girls saw Lucy Thomas finish 28th, sister Ella was 29th and with Mia Barlow finishing 34th this gave the team 5th overall which was an excellent result – particularly as all three are at the bottom of their age group.

Luke Jane, running his first cross country of the season, finihed a creditable 8th in the U17 boys. Marcus Rowland and Tom Dryell ran in the U15 boys, finishing 9th and 10th. The last athletes to run were Edward Birch and Taylor Jordan in 14th and 15th respectively.

Well done to all! [Di]

Melton Times report (2014 County XC)

Striders logo vest 1 blue