Beacon Solstice

On Friday a large group of Stilton Striders ran the Beacon Solstice ,an undulating  5 mile trail race around Beacon Hill Country Park , this race includes a canicross category where runners with a dog run the course,  this category  started 10 minutes before the runners .
Group photo
First back for Stilton was Luke Eggleston in 20th place in 32min 40.  27. Ian Drage 34.32,  43, Ben Pickard and Jeff ( canicross) 47.18,   58. Jon Wilson 38.39,  66. Christie Jones 39.22,  85. Daniel Howley 40.33,  98. Ross Jackson 41.40,  100. Dan Giblett 41.44 ,  122. Greeba Heard 42.54,  129. Rebecca Forester 43.09,  156. Nigel Willatt 44.08,  157. Jacqui Riley 44.13,  158 . Ray Walker 44.21,  161. Nick Pryke 44.06,  172  Brian Walkling 45.16,  186. Mel Willatt 45.47,  189. Colin Miles 46.05,  190. Sarah Lawrence 46.15,     228. Kathy Walsh 47.55,  232. Vanessa Walker 48.10,  272. Matt Chalmers 49.24,  276. Deb Wilson 49.30,  348. Kaye Mead 54.03,  391. Helen Benzie 55.52,
Luke Eggleston looking strong.
Ben Pickard and Jeff in Canicross

Prestwold 10k

A group of Stilton Striders travelled to Prestwold Hall near Loughborough for the Prestwold 10K , the latest round of the Leicestershire road running league hosted by Barrow Runners. The race starts and finishes on the Prestwold race track taking in a couple of villages on the outskirts , it’s a fast mainly flat coarse. It was a warm muggy morning for the 700 strong field.
First back for Stilton was Alan Thompson in 60th place in 39min 16, next in 74th a brilliant race debut for new runner John Robinson in 40.05,  110. Ian Drage 42.23,  136. Darren Glover 43.25,  141. Nicola Taylor in her first league race ran a PB 43.45, 204. Michelle Farlow 46.25,  218. Julie Bass 46.55,  242. Vicki Lowe 47.42,  265. Dan Giblett 47.57,  325. Abi Arnott 50.23,  338. Greeba Heard 51.05,   345. David Hall ,  390 . Ray Walker 53.41,  455. Vanessa walker 56.10,  464. Kathy Walsh 57.10 .

Bob Graham Round Attempt 1

Written by Katie Hateley

The Bob Graham Round was first introduced to me via a raffle prize at the Striders Christmas do 2015. The prize I picked was a book that was gifted by Greg Pettingill called ‘Feet in the Clouds’, so this is Greg’s fault really! The more I read about the round the more I wanted to attempt it.

So what is the Bob Graham Round?! It was developed by, surprise surprise, a chap called Bob Graham who was a hotelier in Keswick. In 1932 Bob set himself a challenge at the age of 42 to climb 42 Peaks of the Lake District in 24hrs. He achieved the 66mile, 42 peak, total ascent of 27,000 ft route on his second attempt in sports wear of shorts, vest, pyjama jacket and tennis shoes! From there on in people have challenged themselves to complete the route just as Bob Graham did but with further development on footwear. There are no medals for completing the round and attempts are submitted to The Bob Graham Club all on honesty.

The round is split into 5 legs with each leg beginning and ending on road level. Recceing the route is a key part of completing the round and many trips to The Lake district were planned as well as further training in The Peak district and also our very own Burrough Hill. The other essential and most important part of completing any run, as we know, is mental determination or just being mental! I am also very lucky to have the best support team ever of dear friends from the Stilton Striders Running Club who I could not even contemplate attempting the round with-out them all.

So after months of preparation the weekend of the attempt arrived, May 26th. The start time of the route is a key factor as this will determine which of the legs would be ran in the dark. So a 3am start was decided from Moot Hall with John and Simon joining me for Leg1. We headed off with nervous excitement to the start after 1.5hrs sleep and was closely followed by all of the other support team who also set their alarms at the ridiculous hour to provide cheers and support from the start.

3am arrived and we were off feeling strong and excited. Our first climb was up to Skiddaw and we were progressing at a great speed. The weather report gave details of a clear day and a wind on the tops of the mountains and sure enough they were correct! We were greeted with 50mph winds that you could lean into and not fall over. The leg continued strongly with a great rocky descent at the end down Halls Fell into Threkeld where we had a wonderful support crew awaiting us with cheers and waves! Kaye, Carl and Celia did a fine job of providing me with all of my essentials of tea, food and more tea and of course hugs. I had great further support from others too that came along to greet us.

Leg 2 began, again in a very strong manner with Paul G supporting me. We kept a great pace up the first peak of Clough Head to face the rest of Leg 2, which navigationally is one of the easier legs. We were met by Chris (Mick A) and Matt after Helvellyn which is part way through the leg with further water and snacks. Chris then joined myself and Paul for the remainder of the leg which soon started to feel tough. The long descent down to Dunmail Raise was made much shorter once I saw the many waving hands of my lovely friends and family. Once refuelled, hugged and feeling stronger again I was ready for the start of Leg3.

A sharp climb greeted myself, Chris and Rich up Steel Fell. It was a slow slog with lots of waving to everyone at the road point on Dunmail Raise all the way to the top of Steel Fell. Once on the top the leg continued at a slower pace with me feeling pretty exhausted again and pain to my knees which was not easing after much pain relief. We reached the half way point, Rossett Pike, where Elaine and Jenny welcomed me with much needed hugs, tea and cake. Greg was also waiting patiently at this point to join us for the rest of Leg3 and also to continue onto Leg4 with myself and Clive. Chris retired at this point so I continued with Greg and Rich. My pace slowed even more with my knees completely falling out with me and the winds still remaining strong on many of the peaks. The further on we climbed the more I realised that I would not be able to continue after Leg3. My first thought was that I was going to come back and reattempt my round, my second thought was a feeling of guilt and sadness for everyone who had come along to support me who could not run their legs that they had spent weeks of recceing for. We decided to complete the leg and recce one of the 3 options up to Sca Fell (Scafell Pikes best friend). The descent from Sca Fell to Wasdale is certainly a long downhill and it was taken at a very slow pace. The support crew were watching through binoculars for our arrival as worry was setting in for our safety, which I did not realise! John and Si joined us all on the descent which helped me so much and then the wonderful crowd of my support cheered us into Wasdale Head. Needless to say my emotions took over as soon as I saw John and then continued once I saw the many lovely faces of my support and family. Several months of training, waking at all hours to scan maps and routes, living and breathing Bob Graham and the overwhelming of support of so many great friends and family had come to a stop.

I headed back to the Hostel discussing the round over and over like I have done for nearly a year now, poor John! (Bob is like my second partner) Back at the Hostel the cheers continued by the other supporters and then the celebrations began. The fact of me completing 44 miles and 17,000ft of climb had bypassed me and I was then reminded that I should be proud of this and I am! The celebrations continued for the whole weekend as in true Stilton Strider fashion, I think I was more exhausted from this than the run!

I have been completely overwhelmed with such amazing support from friends and family and also the friends at home who were watching via the means of Facebook. You all have made this challenge into such an amazing experience.

Thank you to John, Si, Elaine B, Kaye, Carl, Celia, Paul G, Sharon, Rich, Chris, Matt, Paul D, Dan, Jenny, Clive, Greg, Sue, Liz, Tom, Dad, Audrey, Elaine, Pepper and everyone else back at home that offered support. I honestly can-not thank you all enough, it still completely overwhelms me at the thought of level of support which I have received.

I will be back Bob and my next attempt will be September with some changes of route, fresh legs, determination, tea, cheese sarnies and once again immense support.

Rothley 10k

A group of Stilton Striders travelled to Rothley for the Rothley 10k on Tuesday 12th June.  A popular midweek race on a hilly course , with a large field of over 1000 finishers.
First back for Stilton was Alan Thompson in an excellent 41st position in 39min 42 secs , followed by 193rd Julie Bass 46.49, 290th Rebecca Forester with another personal best 48.57, 291st Christie Jones 48.57,  462nd Sarah Lawrence 53.07,  474th Ray Walker 54.18,  574th Vanessa Walker 56.16 ,  647th Kathy Walsh 57.29 and  661st Rachel Heggs 57.20

Striders Dominate

On Sunday 19th June, a group of Striders competed in the Road to Recovery Half Marathon,  starting and finishing at Eye Kettlby Lakes and organised by Claire Lomas.  This was the 3rd edition with proceeds again going to the Nicholls spinal injury foundation.  This year also included a 5k and 10k race .
In the tough half marathon, Jason Barton defended his title to win for the 3rd year in a row in an excellent 1.19.21.  Next, in 4th overall and also defending her ladies title, was Natalie Teece in 1.28.56.  Then in 9th Ian Howe in a P.b of 1.34.57,  16th Clive Kent 1.38.40, 24th Rich Gray 1.45.11, 26th Michelle Farlow 1.47.12,   32nd Abi Arnott 1.48.44,  39th Rebecca Forester 1.51.15 p.b,   44th Sharon Eshelby 1.54.23,  55th Sarah Lawrence 1.56.49,  59th Mathew Daniel 1.58.19 p.b,
 79th Matt Gayton 2.13.23 (  in a wedding dress , getting married next week!), 84th Daniel Gray 2.17.58,
Ben Pickard , Jenny Kent,  Dan moult , and Kaye Mead finished together in fancy dress in 2.50.46 .
Luke Eggleston showed his return to form to win the inaugural 10k event in 39 min 13 secs.  A fantastic debut in 5th place overall winning the ladies was new Strider Nicola Taylor 43.59. 8th Michael Cooke 46.04, 9th Christie Jones 46.23, 25th Ray Walker 53.44, 26th Rachel Ashmore 53.40,  36th Vanessa Walker 58.09 and  76th Simon Richardson p.b 69.51.
In the 5k , in 2nd place overall and first female was Junior Strider ( under 13 category ) Georgina in an excellent 22 min 53 .

Keswick Mountain Festival 2018

Another group of Striders headed to the Lakes but this time it was the Nicholls and Taylor families plus friends for “KMF” rather than “BGR”. The Keswick Mountain Festival has a wide variety of events to choose from (runs, swims, sportives, triathlons including kids events) with the added bonus of live music in the evenings and stunning scenery.
Saturday began with a 5K swim in the lake for Kristy N and Amy T (Matt’s wife), then a 5K trail run for Luke N.
Sunday started very early with a 50K trail run for Andy N and, during the 8+ hours that took, Matt T did the long triathlon (including cycling the epic Honister Pass).
Andy taking a break to take a selfie!
An early start for Matt.
In the Junior aquathlon, Zoe N, Ella T and Reuben T all finished with podium positions.
Junior Strider Zoe won the 11/12 girls event.
Who’s going to join us next year?

More May Races

Sunday 13th May 2018

A group of Striders travelled to Leicester for the Bosworth half marathon; part of the Leicestershire road running league and also this year the county half marathon championship. In a large field of over 870, first back for Stilton, in an excellent 15th, was Jason Barton in 1.18.58.   67th Luke Eggleston in 1.26.56. Alan Thompson secured another p.b: 1.29.54 , 110th was Ian Drage 1.31.41,  265th was Vicki Lowe 1.43.11,  281st was Julie Bass who also finished 2nd in her category with a time of 1.43.48.  361st was Daniel Howley 1.48.09,  378th was Michelle Farlow 1.49.34,   417th was Dan Giblett 1.51.37 and  508th was Jacqui Riley 1.57.41 .


Other Striders competed in the Clawson 10k . A  hilly off road race over fields and styles.  First back for Striders and first lady in an excellent 10th place was Natalie Teece in 46.31. 18th was Matt Gayton 49.27,  36th was Michael Cooke 53.43,   38th was John Houghton 53.50,   41st was Katie Hateley 54.16,   87th was Lou Houghton 60.17, 173rd was Emma Hope 71.06 and  220th was Simon Richardson 80.30 .


Sunday 27th May 2018

A group of Stilton Striders travelled to Kibworth for Kibworth 6, a Leicestershire road running league winter race rescheduled from February due to snow. Conditions couldn’t have been more different with temperatures in the twenties for what is one of the hilliest races on the calendar.  First back for Striders was Jason Barton in an excellent 9th place in 36 min 4 secs, next in a brilliant new p.b of 40min 48 secs was Andy Nicholls in 52nd, not far behind in 55th was Alan Thompson in 40.57, 62nd was Ian Drage in 41.27, 115th was  Darren Glover in 45.31,  177th was  Dan Giblett in his first 6 mile race 49.25, 228th was  Liz Goodbourn  in 53.08,  237th was  Ray Walker in 54.14  and 256th was Vanessa Walker in 56.09 .