I decided to try out this half. Standing at the start line in my lonely striders vest thinking I wouldn’t know anyone – at the side of me was our fellow Melton parkrunners Emma Machowska and Gosia Garnier and was a lovely surprise to see them. The course was a winding first half mainly streets, but second half made up for it along the Thames river bank and past the grounds of Hampton court palace. I was pleased with my efforts 1.42.00 and 8th in age cat. A well organised and friendly race in a beautiful part of London, nice thick medal and tech teeshirt. [Vicki]
14 Striders made it for this year’s Beacon hill trail half marathon running on its 3rd year in a row. The course is two laps and takes you through the beautiful scenery of the Beacon Hill Country Park and includes hills, woods, fantastic views and fast downhill sections and even more hills!
Race results Luke Eggleston 1:33:00
Mark Stoneley 1:38:09
Greeba Heard 1:59:01
Jon Wilson 2:00:05
Dan Howley 2:01:42
Helen Plant 2:07:56
Shane Sharkey 2:10:05
Matt Chalmers 2:10:30
Sarah Lawrence 2:12:27
Jacqui Riley 2:19:36
Deborah Wilson 2:21:45
Kaye Mead 2:27:35
Celia Bown 2:28:55
Lynda Harris 2:42:15
Just north of Chesterfield the annual Clowne half Marathon, a very hilly and most often windy and cold half marathon with a ton of crippling hills, sorry not really selling it am I? Still a road half Marathon for just £18 and an absolute superb goodie bag might help get a few up to this next year.
Running my first road half marathon in two years and I’m absolutely full of cold, the weather driving up the M1 was enough for myself and fellow Strider John Hudson to keep mentioning warm fire and going home. I did Clowne probably four years ago it was bitterly cold and windy yet somehow I did my first sub 1:40hm, If I got anywhere near that today given how yucky I was feeling (I even packed a base layer and considered longs!).
Like many we didn’t leave the warmth of the leisure centre until the last minute to head to the start it was cold, very wet and windy all day, In the end I plump for shorts and vest, be quite rude not to. Getting underway I don’t feel too bad, although early progress is hampered by my shoelaces coming undone twice in the first two miles and playing catch up. My mile four I`m not feeling too bad and passing people throughout, the hills don’t worry me too much and I’m quite surprised when I clock mile five at 6:21. From 10k on I`m running with a guy from Matlock and one from Grantham a.c, pretty much egging each other on silently and we all seem to be making progress passing people as we go past 2nd lady at mile 9. Most of the course is nice rural lanes, there is one village you go through which utterly says `old mining town`, about mile 9 there is more pavement which isn’t great especially one section which is on a right camber.
There’s` a very unwelcome hill at mile 10 up to the church, I recall having done this previously a marshal saying “It’s all downhill from here” , it certainly is not, the fibber!
Legs start to welt at mile 11, although I continue to pass people up to the last mile and never get passed myself, hopefully that means I`m doing something right. Last hill into Clowne feels like a 15min mile and the last 400m feels never-ending, cross the line way ahead of what I’d have been happy with.
So the wet, cold, windy and hilly course may not appeal but under £20.00 for a road half including not just Banana, flapjack and water after but probably the best goodie bag I’ve ever seen at a road race! Hoodie, Tech T-shirt amongst a bag full of things.
Good result by John Hudson also, bit of a disappointment not many Leics club`s ventured over as have done in the past-It`s well worth a look. The biggest downside is the distance between the race car park, start/finish and the race village (changing rooms, bag store etc) logistics need improving there. [Rob]
There was a great Strider turnout with 24 Stilton Striders at the Leicester marathon.
Marathon results: Stuart Shaw 3:04:17 PB, Matt Gayton 3:11:44, Luke Eggleston 3:18:12 PB, Richard Gray 3:54:01, Andy Nicholls 3:58:18, Sarah Lawrence 4:26:54.
Half Marathon results: Jason Barton 1:19:04, Darren Glover 1:25:00, Mark Stoneley 1:30:58, Natalie Teece 1:31:29, Shane Sharkey 1:40:11, John Houghton 1:41:13, Vicki Lowe 1:45:30 Greeba Heard 1:45:58, Liz Goodbourn 1:46:04 PB, Louise Houghton 1:52:00, Helen Plant 1:54:56, John Hudson 1:56:35, Colin Miles 1:57:36, Lynda Harris 1:59:44, Vanessa Walker 2:02:05, Ray Walker 2:03:50, Helen Metcalfe 2:04:46, Alexandra Fairhurst 2:35:35.
I did the initial event in 2015 doing the 15 mile version (Which in actuality was nearer 18), thoroughly enjoying and decided to step up to the full for this Warwickshire off-road run.
Set in the quaint town of Henley in Arden in Warwickshire it’s all very Shakespearian in appearance around here, not really surprising given Stratford upon Avon isn’t too far away. It’s looking very bleak today, ok it’s raining and as soon as the actual race started it started absolutely bucketing it down throughout.
It’s a very laid back event starting a bit like Charnwood Marathon at a local school, today is about putting a few miles in and enjoying rather than going at a pace or for a time. I`m despite the weather having a gentle cruise through the countryside, despite the Forest title (A tree is planted for every Marathon entrant) it’s more a mixture of everything than being Sherwood forest so to speak, the actual forest running is very minimal.
The route splits at 10 miles and thankfully I stay with someone with excellent GPS, despite the weather I somehow get stung by a wasp that’s strayed down my vest! Totally a mix of things as we head through Alcester one minute and then ploughing through muddy fields in moon boots the next and please don’t think Warwickshire is flat, this had an awful lot of ascent throughout.
No wonder I was tired at the end, having done 20 miles in less than 3 hours I wondered why I was still running over an hour later, the final distance clocked in at 28.5 miles! Came in at 4:30, not helped by actually getting a little lost in a housing estate in the last mile! Still great training and enjoyed the route immensely especially as I didn’t have to look for the very small pink arrows which weren’t exactly noticeable or regular.
The Pro’s: Laid back no onus on finishing time, very nice part of the midlands and easy on the eye, great food stops (inc Bacon Butties and veggie burgers), superb food after (3 courses!), under £20.00 entry and hasn’t got overly popular and spoilt as yet, warm spacious and plentiful facilities before and after, No-one from local clubs doing this! No race numbers – either get your card stamped or shout out your number at check point
The Cons: Be prepared to do more than advertised distance! The signs are very small and irregular not good unless you know where you’re going, marshals only at check points.
In horrid rain just over 300 took on the Stilton Stumble 10k with Jason Barton putting in a dominate display to win for the 2nd time in 3 years clocking 35min 25 secs. Next in was Luke Eggleston in 4th place in another personal best 38.04, next in as 3rd place veteran Darren Glover in 7th in 38.54 , then Ben Pickard in a pb of 44.01, Wayne Hackett in 44.48, first lady for the club Greeba Heard in a pb 47.19, then David Hall 51.14, Kathy Walsh in her first race for the club a pb in 52.45, Vanessa Walker 55.24, Laura Pickard 55.38, Alexandra Fairhurst a pb in 60.35.
The sole Strider taking on the 24k race was Nick Pryke who finished 46th in 2hr 6min 33. [Darren]
Latest newsletter is below, including a call for volunteers, details of our Autumn/Winter club run plans, a special run to mark World Mental Health Day, LRRL awards, forthcoming cross country season, Christmas dinner date and more…
I`ll leave the mysteries and glitz for the gossip columns and focus on the big race itself, that we had what 20 Stilton Striders at this event racing the 10k, Half Marathon and full marathon (ok it’s an ultra) in Wild Wales is absolutely fantastic.
What isn’t so fantastic is again we would be doing the event in heavy rain as half an hour before the event the heavens open, at least it’s a tad warmer than last year when the weather caused some rather massive anxiety and self confidence issues. Our big group of runners are pretty well kitted out, really not sure if some of them know what they are facing but hey ho they are smiling! The half and full start together leading out the village before a very sharp climb on Snowdon’s lower slopes that has far too many people walking in the first mile, its heavy traffic and good agility is needed in case of death by bum bag or backpack. Making good progress as pass Mike Bryan and Jim Hatherley early on, enjoy the first four miles of just grinding up the endless hill, there`s the masochist in me. Long fell like downhill brings us out near the Snowdon ranger before over a mile of tarmac on the way to Rhyd-Du and the turnoff to Beddgelert forest. Before I know it I’m looking at signs for 8 and 11 miles, have to say I was thinking of the team out there doing the half how they were finding it, when Luke would get back etc.
Make it to Beddgelert village wondering how far Stuart Shaw is in front as haven’t seen him since 5-6 miles thinking the mud and terrain near Llyn Dinas may have slowed him down only to find they had trailed the surface like Beacon Hill! Mud still to come though as we crossed the road to the far side of Llyn Gwynant and quite a merry adventure it is round there. Simon Bottrill I found out later somehow picked a wrong turn somewhere and ended up thigh deep in the lake losing 20 mins running time in the process, not good as it was tiring enough at this bit. 17 miles in and the course was changed, the long slog upto Pen Y Pass took another route although it was a damn lot steeper, some people preferred it, personally I didn’t. 20 miles and you’re at Pen Y Pass the highest road in the UK, some people may have said this year’s course was shorter than the 29.3 miles of last year but unless they’ve shaved the mountain down somewhat from here on it was exactly the same as last year’s course.
Instead of plumping for last year’s heroics in a vest I admit I was tired and went for a base layer, an energy gel and a protein bar as I started climbing the very hard going Pyg track up Wyddfa, a fresh looking Jim Hatherley passes me at 21 miles. Even the Half Marathoners had a hard climb going up the Snowdon Ranger path but the Pyg is the hardest route: full of scrambles, hand holds and parts of the route are very exposed to the elements, as well as the feeling it’s never ending. Pretty sure about 30 people must have passed me on the way to the summit, my pace was slow if persistent and it took a good mile downhill to get going again after the top, quads were burning on the descent after all the elevation.
Finally start descending a bit better and sadly the road back into Llanberis again doesn’t happen as we are sent through woodland trails around the back, taking my waterproof off cost me a good minute I can tell you. Past Dolbadarn Castle and I can smell the finish even starting to laugh as one runner goes the wrong way and heads towards Electric Mountain! Over the line to a great applause from the crowd and and the Striders faithful, a bit quicker than last year also.
Nothing on photo can tell you what this race is like, if you ran the full, the half or the 10k you deserve massive respect; it is a very tough race or perhaps event. You really have to have been ¾ up a Welsh mountainside exposed to the elements with badly aching legs and fading energy to imagine what this is like. I have massive respect for everyone who did this weekend’s races, everyone in my eyes achieved, although there were some stunning results also.
See you next year? [Rob]
This was the inaugural running of a fantastic half marathon from Eye Kettleby Lakes, just outside Melton Mowbray. There was a great showing from the Stilton Striders and our MRC and parkrun friends running, volunteering and supporting. The route started in the campsite and followed quiet country lanes to Great Dalby, where there was enthusiastic support and another water stop, before heading off on an undulating loop round to Little Dalby and past (not up!) Burrough Hill to rejoin the road back to Eye Kettleby. Some great views and perfect running conditions, slightly breezy and overcast to start and brightening later.
Jay Barton won the race and so was first Strider home in 1:19:25, followed by Luke Eggleston who also got onto the podium in 3rd place in a PB time of 1:26:05. Also well placed were Stuart Shaw (6th, 1:27:49), Matt Gayton (8th, 1:29:26), Darren Glover (10th, 1:30:59), and Mark Stoneley (12th, 1:34:50). Natalie Teece was 15th overall and first lady home in 1:35:14. Michael Cooke was 20th (1:39:58), followed by Andy Nicholls (1:40:23), Greeba Heard (2nd lady in 1:43:18), John Houghton (1:44:06), Alan Thompson (1:46:37), Michelle Farlow (4th lady, 1:48:15) and Vicki Lowe (8th lady, 1:49:35), Abi Arnott (1:52:28), Simon Proctor (1:54:51), Mike Brighty (1:56:36), Mike Williams (1:56:55), Helen Plant (1:57:16), Jon Wilson (1:57:30), Matt Chalmers (1:58:30 PB), Sarah Lawrence (1:59:53), Vanessa Walker (2:08:31), Nicholas Smith (2:12:57), Celina Silver (2:13:01), Kaye Mead (2:13:49 PB), Charlotte Allen (2:14:15), Lou Houghton (2:20:07), Alison Wilson (2:22:28) and finally, dressed as cavemen Clive Kent (2:27:25), Jenny Kent (2:27:27) and Laura Pickard (2:27:28), chased home by best-dressed dinosaur Ben Pickard (2:27:28).
Unfortunately we had a few injuries and Ray Walker and Debs Wilson weren’t able to finish the half. Despite injuries, Liz Parkinson completed the 5k run that was held at the same time. They also took lots of great photos.
Many thanks to Shane Sharkey, Theresa Coltman, Helen Benzie, Nina Snowling, Wendy Piesley and all the other volunteers for their cheerful support on the course.
Following the race, there was lots of catching up over tea and cake, a hog roast and some amazing ice cream. All sat outside admiring the beautiful views across the lakes and listening to George Simpson doing a lovely acoustic set. An ideal way to spend a Sunday and we’re all hoping that it’s on again next year. For more details keep an eye on: www.claireschallenge.co.uk [Jenny]