Striders newsletter – July/Aug 2019

In this edition we profile a current club member (Greeba Heard), her incredible progress and motivation, then highlight members’ charitable fundraising efforts and revamp the London Marathon eligibility criteria for the club’s place(s) plus introduce our new race “the Bison Bash” as well as a round up of the many events over the last month or so.


From the newsletter team
Chris, Emma, Katie, Michael and Andy

Diary dates March to May 2019

In addition to our usual runs:

Wed 13th Mar Twyford headtorch run & normal Melton road run
Thu 14th Mar Indoor technical session (Remount Barracks)
Sun 17th Mar Kibworth 6 (LRRL) – 6 miles
Sat 30th Mar Frisby Fun Run
Sun 31st Mar Desford 5 (LRRL) – 5 miles
Fri 5th Apr Hope for Justice 10K **
Wed 10th Apr Somerby headtorch run & normal Melton road run
Wed 24th Apr Annual General Meeting
Sun 5th May Livingston Relays / Wymeswold Waddle
Sun 12th May Bosworth Half Marathon (LRRL)
Sun 19th May West End 8 (LRRL)

LRRL (Leicestershire Road Running League) – entry in advance, details of how
to enter will be released when announced

** Local runner Andrew Wrath will be running 10K at each of a number of
different locations across Europe on Friday, April 5, showing how easy it is to
traffic people across borders. He will be finishing in his home town of Melton
Mowbray. Melton Running Club-MRC and Stilton Striders will be co-hosting a
10K run with Andrew when he arrives by train approx. 21:30pm in Melton and
we’d like your support for this serious but special occasion. Melton Sports is
putting a pair of AfterShokz Trekz Air open ear headphones and a goodie bag
(worth over £150) up for grabs to boost the fundraising total on the night.

21 Oct 2016 – Yorkshire Three Peaks Ultra

It was 8am on a bright and clear day at Hawes (Wensleydale Cheese land) where myself and 17 fellow runners headed out on the first Yorkshire Three Peaks Ultra Marathon organised by Ranger Ultras. The race consists of the Yorkshire Three Peaks sandwiched by two very boggy Fells with a total of 70km and 3200mt of ascent.

The runners took a natural split into two groups and after our first checkpoint I fell into a great pace with a fellow runner who helped me giggle and chat throughout the rest of the race. Each Peak- Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent- all varied in its terrain which added to the challenge of the race. We were blessed with a beautifully clear day which provided us all with stunning views and helped ease any niggles that showed themselves.

The support throughout the day was faultless with food, drinks and giggles a plenty. On the final leg we were presented with a stunning sunset over the Dales. The last boggy fell leading back to the village of Hawes was via head torch, even my shadow was running in a hobbling manner at this point, but the warm welcome and sense of achievement made me realise once again how much I love the world of running.

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Ultra has to be my toughest running challenge to date I would highly recommend it for the stunning views and support.  [Katie]

8 Oct 2016 – Curbar Commotion

“What’s all this commotion about !? 10 miles 450 metres of ascent, fell and moor, gritstone and peat, flapjack and two pints of Chatsworth Gold. Curbar Commotion 2016, we b*****y love the peaks”
John Houghton – 2016

Truly an epic day for John Houghton, Lou Houghton, Stuart Shaw, Clive Kent, Simon Bottrill and Katie Hateley, inspired by the fells over the village of Curbar, a small, but busy hamlet sat on the river Derwent in the Peak District. A snip at £6 on the day, the race was well organised with plenty of marshalls, a spirited Master of Ceremonies and tea or coffee on tap, if required.

The weather is beautiful and the runners gathered behind the start near to the school where the race funds go towards sports facilities so that future generations can find their own feet on the road of sport and confidence. A surprising move of the crowd mean that the race has started. Runners begin to surge, gradually finding their pace before the first left into the short ascent of tarmac, where they can warm up their climbing legs. Then a queue for the stile, which serves as a gateway for the trails over the fells.

A steady climb takes the runners onto a trail through some trees. It’s a choice to run near, or slightly further behind runners ahead in order to spot rocks, slippery roots, or shoe squelching mud bowls. These mud bowls aren’t deep enough to suck shoes today, but they take more effort to move through as the feet slip just enough to steal a small amount of forward momentum.

A slight right takes the course up a steep climb. The trail gets slightly tougher as runners pick through small rocks, lifting their knees to hop up small grassy steps and over rocks, all the while scanning the trail for the next obstacle. Turn right past the marshalls; we are happy to receive a bit of respite after this short sharp section with an craggy undulating flat. Decisions; do we stretch out on this easier bit or conserve ourselves for the summit ascent about 900 metres ahead? So different strategies occur as the fell-runners tit-for-tat each other on different sections. Some show their prowess on the climbs, while others launch past you on slight ramps down.
Once over the summit, it’s a flying descent of 1.5 miles. Feet fly and runners criss-cross the trails as they pick their preferred racing line through, round, or over the main feature of these fells; gritstone. It’s lovely stuff, grippy, yet forgiving with it’s weathered rounded corners. There are a few loose fist-sized rocks to tippy-toe, but these sit nicely in the middle of eroded paths and are easy to run beside.

Another up, then a good mile of descent. The springy gates test trail etiquette. How far should a runner be behind you that you don’t need to hold the springy trap-gate open for them?
False summit? Another climb! 0.8 miles really gets the heart ticking. But at this point the racers know the end is not far, so we can choose to keep the effort high before the steep descent to the finish where the marshalls pen our numbers down for the results.

What does the conscientous runner need at the end of a good race? Cake – good cake and tea or coffee. And it’s here where we share our tales of the fell.
A slight change in course from previous years took the final mileage up to 9.7(ish) miles. In some conditions, that sounds like a daunting prospect, but with eyes on the obstacles of the fell ahead, it felt much less; more like a jaunt down the lane. The miles fly by like the gritstone under the soles of the Stilton Striders.

Results: Stuart Shaw – 35th 1:14:57, Clive Kent – 87th 1:25:00, Katie Hateley – 98th 1:26:18, John Houghton – 111th 1:28:54, Simon Bottrill – 129th 1:32:03, Lou Houghton – 184th 1:45:03

21 Aug 2016 – Rugby Rover 30k

Great turnout from Stilton Striders on this highly recommended 18.6 mile multi-terrain race now in its 14th year. Although sometimes billed as a fell race there is far too much road to be treated as so, it`s maybe nearest to either Seagrave or Woodhouse Mayday in feel so do check it out if not going to Ireland or Racing the train this time next year.Sadly numbers for the race are down again this year, we must have been the most heaviest represented club, too many Derbyshire clubs simply not there supporting this event (A mere £15 on the day plus tech T-shirt or £13 in advance). We start at 9:30am with Stuart Shaw well out ahead for the Striders team, most of us started quite near the back for the opening mile or so along the canal. From the flat start those of us who have done it before know it very suddenly turns into a very steep uphill fell, last year Luke who is running with me ended up walking this, not this year, made it look positively easy! This first major uphill is great for getting the lungs working whilst wondering if your legs ever will again, I feel pretty groggy this morning but more of that later.

We reach the water station at about 8k, I recall last year roping in `Mr Positive split` Luke at about this distance, to be fair I think this year if he gave me 8k head start he`d have caught me on current form! Another big uphill and Luke is flying although he still decides it’s better to run with me than shoot off, we then head for the 10 mile point over many fields towards the radio mast at Alderwasley. Then we head towards the rather fine pub at Alderwasley and perhaps my favourite part of the route, unfortunately my legs aren’t feeling it today, a little lacking in sleep and worst of all stomach problems are starting to happen. I eventually nudge young Luke on who goes on to have a really good and comfortable race as I start to suffer going through Ambergate woods and slow noticeably. Coming out the other side I even am forced to walk due to how my stomach feels, new medication I’m on seemed to be the longer standing problem but at the time it was hell. All I want to do now is get over the finish line and the long three miles back seems a lot further, it wasn’t impressive by any means as 9 mins slower than last year but even then it certainly is and always will be a tough old course.

I thought I had it bad until I learned the fate of Dan Valencia who didn’t read the signs in the last half mile and ended up doing 20.6 miles and came back rather annoyed! Stuart Shaw was back first Strider, despite setting off too fast, it is a hard one to judge if you haven’t done this before where all the bumps are and tiring bits.

Was a tad warm today although the rain in days previous had left it softer (muddier!) underfoot than usual, despite the problems we all had a great day. [Rob]

Stuart Shaw (2:31:38, 22nd), Luke Eggleston (2:38:55, 35th), Rob Beers (2:47:39, 52nd), Paul Geeson (2:48:53, 54th), Simon Bottrill (3:04:24, 81st) John Houghton (3:08:08, 93rd), Matt White (3:11:01, 109th) Dan Valencia (3:26:35, 121st)

10 Jul 2016 – Great Hucklow Fell Race

My third time running this awesome 6.2 mile with 1125ft of ascent Gritstone series Fell race, rather a personal fave, it does have something of everything and a lot of fun. I had hoped to get a few more of us by pointing out that the mere £5.00 entry on the day is better than the £60 plus that many people will happily part with to adventure races. However we did get 7 Stilton Striders myself, Dan Valencia, John Houghton, Luke Eggleston, Steve Dewick, Stuart Shaw and Katie Hateley plus Leics locals Dave Lodwick from Roadhoggs and Haydn Williams from Barrow.

Even though rainfall has been heavy it`s still very muggy and will be wet under foot regardless, there is an absolute swarm of flies around the village, thankfully didn’t eat one today. Luke and Stuart have taken higher places up the start line, the race starts with a quick run through the village before heading offroad with a couple of downhill fields. This is followed by a very steep descent (aka drop) and rocky track before the long pull uphill and getting my feet wet for the first time. It`s not a too tough uphill but I’m stuck in my lines and can see Luke and Stuart pushing on, trying to manoeuvre forward would be a huge waste of energy I’d need later so I have to bide my time.

The highest point comes early on before a marshy downhill, a poll across the moors, a second peak and a long downhill to the only bit of road on the course. After two `shiny` races last week I overtake six people before we hit the offroad again, the following section I never told Luke about or he wouldn’t have come! You hit a wooded valley that is a really good slalom, its muddy, often cantered footpath, trees and branches come out of nowhere, footing is precarious, oh its superb but you really have to be on it!

You then come out in Griezedale valley which means readjusting your legs to the hills again and the sun is now out and beating down, I see Luke and Stuart who are still going superbly 30 seconds ahead but any thoughts of catching them are lost when I follow someone on the wrong path and end up surrounded by nettles! On the right path still going strong there is the really big uphill pull out of the valley before one large down and up and just the downhill through the woodland to finish.

Well I beat last year’s time so going right, didn’t catch Luke and Stuart who both ran superbly – Stuart`s first and definitely not last fell race, Luke who has now ran 3 superb races this week. The rest of the team come in and we partake of the awesome homemade flapjacks and those locally sourced Hucklow bananas (where do they grow them? Superb!). Steve Dewick ran a little slower than usual when a branch caught his glasses and flung them nearby which enforced a Thelma from Scooby-Doo type search!

Yonderman cafe after for the best chip cob in the peaks followed by a trip across the road to the Three Stags at Wardlow Mires, the saltiest pub in the Peak, absolutely awesome day – please join us people next time, we`d love to have you with us!

Stuart Shaw (34th, 58:45) Luke Egglestone (38th,58:55) Rob Beers (45th, 1:00:28) Katie Hateley (84th, 1:06:39) John Houghton (92nd, 1:08:22) Dan Valencia (98th,1:09:17) and Steve Dewick (148th, 1:29:41) [Rob]