4 May 2015 – Woodhouse May Day Challenge

Four Striders and Rob Beers headed to Woodhouse Eaves for the 13.5 mile May Day Challenge. It was a beautiful day in Charnwood for what would be Mr Beers last appearance in the Red & Yellow vest of his previous first claim club Barrow.

From the off Simon Bottrill set the early pace but within the first 2 miles he was shown a clean pair of heels as Rob put in one of his usual master classes in trail running. Simon never caught Rob but on what was one of the flattest course around Charnwood three of the Striders, out of field of some 339 runners, came in the top 100. First Strider home was Simon Bottrill in a respectable 1:42:08 (34th) followed by Dan Valencia putting in another great performance in 1:46:20 (55th), then Michael Atton with a rare steady paced performance in 1:50:46 (75th). Last Strider home and knocking 23 minutes off his time from last year was Stuart Gregory in 2:32:09 (297th), well done Stuart. 

Amongst the other runners and clearly showing Barrow what they will be missing and Striders what they had gained was Rob Beers running an impressive 1:41:39 (32nd), followed by two potential new recruits and again both in the top 100, Matt Taylor 1:42:04 (33rd) and Martin Riley 1:51:19 (81st).  [Simon]

Five Stilton Striders (Rob, Simon, Dan, Michael, Stuart) and three soon to be Stilton Striders made it to the annual Woodhouse Mayday Challenge. This 13.5 mile multi-terrain event is put on effortlessly each year by the village and is one of the friendliest, most enjoyable, scenic and laid back races on the running calendar.

The race started by Charnwood’s legendary Town Crier, it’s a large field of runners but for those who know the course it’s better to reel yourself in at the start and sit back as the first climb comes in the first mile up Deans Lane (highest road in Leicestershire?). From there it’s to Beacon Hill and a long descent before even more descent through lower Broombriggs and back into Woodhouse Eaves.

Up next is the much despised Golf course (Boo, hiss) which thankfully goes away quickly and the pull which is cardiac hill. Sharp stitch stops me at mile six, thankfully get going again for the descent down to Newtown Linford gates in Bradgate Park and a long tarmac section through the park to Swithland gates. Taking it steadier through Bradgate was a good idea as the last few miles can be very tiring but I manage to kick on quite nicely through Swithland and past Rabbit Bridge, last two miles feel laboured but i`m back and it’s a course PB and first Strider (“you run excellently when you’re not messing about!”) Actually we all did well some excellent results, special mention to Stuart Gregory who knocked something like 30 mins off last year’s time.

Hopefully get even more Striders over to the 2016 event