Yearbook 2014

Aaron Gourley

My best running moment was finally conquering the Hardmoors 60 in September after 2013's disappointment where I dropped out at 40miles barely able to walk. It didn't go entirely to plan but reaching the finish line was the cumulation of lots of hard work and support from friends and family. Aaron Gourley age 36 yrs 7months My best running moment was finally conquering the Hardmoors 60 in September after 2013’s disappointment where I dropped out at 40miles barely able to walk. It didn’t go entirely to plan but reaching the finish line was the cumulation of lots of hard work and support from friends and family.Aaron Gourley age 36 yrs 7months

 

Alister Robson

Best running moment 2014 - I'm most proud of completing my third London marathon, my favourite race (and I've done a few) with a 10 minute PB. All the training leading up to it went perfectly, Jantastic and setting up the Friday Night half marathon club definitely helped. In the same period I set new 10k, 10 mile and 20 mile PBs and recorded my fastest ever parkrun. Half marathon was the one that eluded me, but after several failed attempts I finally nailed that too in August :-) In 2014 I took part in 63 races and 21 parkruns, which considering I haven't run since Kielder marathon on 5th October I don't think is too bad :-) I also won 4 x NEMAA Silver Medals. Running ambition 2015 - To be fit again and never take it for granted again Best running moment 2014 – I’m most proud of completing my third London marathon, my favourite race (and I’ve done a few) with a 10 minute PB.All the training leading up to it went perfectly, Jantastic and setting up the Friday Night half marathon club definitely helped.

In the same period I set new 10k, 10 mile and 20 mile PBs and recorded my fastest ever parkrun. Half marathon was the one that eluded me, but after several failed attempts I finally nailed that too in August 🙂

In 2014 I took part in 63 races and 21 parkruns, which considering I haven’t run since Kielder marathon on 5th October I don’t think is too bad 🙂

I also won 4 x NEMAA Silver Medals.

Running ambition 2015 – To be fit again and never take it for granted again

 

Allan Seheult

Back to running, perhaps better described as Back to running, perhaps better described as “not walking”. Completing first parkrun on 13 December.

 

Anita Clementson

Best running moment 2014 - I'm pleased with improving my running and gaining year on year PBs over all distances. Also in 2014 made it down for more Wednesdays than any other year :) Running ambition 2015 - To improve my PB at each race distance Best running moment 2014 – I’m pleased with improving my running and gaining year on year PBs over all distances. Also in 2014 made it down for more Wednesdays than any other year :)Running ambition 2015 – To improve my PB at each race distance

 

Anita Dunseith

Best running moment 2014 - I've had a few standout moments this year that I'm really proud of - achieving my goal of not being last in XC was a highlight towards the end of last season and completing my 31 mile Hardmoors Ultra Marathon was also a great achievement. However, my proudest moment of 2014 was coming round the corner into the village with my lovely husband Mark to finish my first ever marathon (Hardmoors Rosedale 28 mile trail marathon) and seeing Dave Robson and Melanie Hudson sitting on the bank waiting to cheer me in, having waited for ages for me and not even knowing me that well back then. I was unbelievably touched to see them and I was overwhelmed by what I'd achieved after taking up running a year previously and going through a really hard time the winter before my run. It still makes me cry now thinking about that moment; their kindness and support epitomised the spirit of Striders and why I absolutely love being part of this club. Running ambition 2015 - sub 28 Durham parkrun, sub 60 10K, sub 2hr30 half marathon. Mainly though, remembering to 'smell the flowers' - enjoying each run and keeping my head up to see the beauty around me. Best running moment 2014 – I’ve had a few standout moments this year that I’m really proud of – achieving my goal of not being last in XC was a highlight towards the end of last season and completing my 31 mile Hardmoors Ultra Marathon was also a great achievement.However, my proudest moment of 2014 was coming round the corner into the village with my lovely husband Mark to finish my first ever marathon (Hardmoors Rosedale 28 mile trail marathon) and seeing Dave Robson and Melanie Hudson sitting on the bank waiting to cheer me in, having waited for ages for me and not even knowing me that well back then. I was unbelievably touched to see them and I was overwhelmed by what I’d achieved after taking up running a year previously and going through a really hard time the winter before my run.

It still makes me cry now thinking about that moment; their kindness and support epitomised the spirit of Striders and why I absolutely love being part of this club.

Running ambition 2015 – sub 28 Durham parkrun, sub 60 10K, sub 2hr30 half marathon. Mainly though, remembering to ‘smell the flowers’ – enjoying each run and keeping my head up to see the beauty around me.

 

Ari Hodgson

Ari Hodgson (right) - entry submitted by his dad Innes (left) Best parkrun performance - any parkrun when he has managed to get out of bed and got to the start line on time. Best performance has to be his first fell somewhere in Derbyshire and the write up that went with it. Ari Hodgson (right) – entry submitted by his dad Innes (left)Best parkrun performance – any parkrun when he has managed to get out of bed and got to the start line on time.

Best performance has to be his first fell somewhere in Derbyshire and the write up that went with it.

Barbara Dick

Finishing my first marathon (Kielder) on a sunny October afternoon, 5 hours 11 minutes. Not an amazing time by marathon standards but personally so glad to have finished and not be carted off in an ambulance or herded off the course after 8 hours by concerned sweepers. Finishing my first marathon (Kielder) on a sunny October afternoon, 5 hours 11 minutes. Not an amazing time by marathon standards but personally so glad to have finished and not be carted off in an ambulance or herded off the course after 8 hours by concerned sweepers.

 

Bill Ford

Best running moment 2014 - Watching Jill in Berlin as she smashed her Marathon PB Running ambition 2015 - To stay fit and finish The Wall Best running moment 2014 – Watching Jill in Berlin as she smashed her Marathon PBRunning ambition 2015 – To stay fit and finish The Wall

Camilla Lauren Määttä

I guess the achievement I'm proud of this year is overcoming injuries earlier in the year to be able to run regular fell and cross country races at a reasonably good pace. I guess the achievement I’m proud of this year is overcoming injuries earlier in the year to be able to run regular fell and cross country races at a reasonably good pace.

 

Catherine Smith

My proudest achievement is that this time last year I set myself some 'running goals' (sort of New Years resolutions I guess) and they were to run the two iconic North East road races (Blaydon & GNR) and join a running club to push myself further and I'm proud to say I've achieved all three! The highlight being that Elvet Striders are everything I wanted from a club and more! Bring on 2015! My proudest achievement is that this time last year I set myself some ‘running goals’ (sort of New Years resolutions I guess) and they were to run the two iconic North East road races (Blaydon & GNR) and join a running club to push myself further and I’m proud to say I’ve achieved all three! The highlight being that Elvet Striders are everything I wanted from a club and more! Bring on 2015!

 

Claire Galloway

First GNRFirst GNR

 

Colin Blackburn

My biggest personal achievement this year was knocking more than 10 minutes off my Coastal Run time. 2012 and 2013 had both been awful runs for me over that course but this year I managed to lay those demons to rest and have a great race. It’s difficult to work out what a PB really is on the Coastal Run as the distance varies but I felt an 11 minute improvement was a real one. In addition to that, I managed to get to and from the race via public transport! My biggest personal achievement this year was knocking more than 10 minutes off my Coastal Run time. 2012 and 2013 had both been awful runs for me over that course but this year I managed to lay those demons to rest and have a great race. It’s difficult to work out what a PB really is on the Coastal Run as the distance varies but I felt an 11 minute improvement was a real one. In addition to that, I managed to get to and from the race via public transport!

 

Conrad White

Running for the majority of the year and beating 20 mins for the parkrun (even if it was not at Durham - and I came within a whisker of it at Durham). Running for the majority of the year and beating 20 mins for the parkrun (even if it was not at Durham – and I came within a whisker of it at Durham).

 

Corrina Sleeman

The Bacchus (because it's the only one I did but it was such good fun). It was a PW (personal worse) ...4hr30min 1/2 mara! More drinking than running ha! The Bacchus (because it’s the only one I did but it was such good fun).It was a PW (personal worse) …4hr30min 1/2 mara! More drinking than running ha!

 

Danny Lim

Running ambition 2015 - Not to bite off more than I can chew! Running ambition 2015 – Not to bite off more than I can chew!

 

Dave Spence

Doing my first Harrier League Cross Country in the mud of Aykley Heads on my 67th birthday and most importantly not coming last even though I did manage to wrap my leg in the marking tape and needed assistance to entangle myself. Its amazing what exhaustion does. Doing my first Harrier League Cross Country in the mud of Aykley Heads on my 67th birthday and most importantly not coming last even though I did manage to wrap my leg in the marking tape and needed assistance to entangle myself. It’s amazing what exhaustion does.

 

David Brown

Best running moment 2014 - Running free along the Northumberland Coastline, without measuring a pace or distance, not to race, just because I can. Best running moment 2014 – Running free along the Northumberland Coastline, without measuring a pace or distance, not to race, just because I can.

 

Debbie McFarland

Running the Northumberland Coastal Half Marathon, toughest half marathon of the year and by no means a good time but loved it and all the beautiful scenery Running the Northumberland Coastal Half Marathon, toughest half marathon of the year and by no means a good time but loved it and all the beautiful scenery

 

Denise Benvin

Best running moment 2014 - My first favourite moment was my 82 minute PB on my marathon time in June and still being able to walk fine the day after! My next moment was doing the Princess Challenge in August with Anita and Sue. This gave me so much confidence in myself and what I was capable of. It was my first ultra and will stay with me for ever. My final moment was doing the Hardmoors Roseberry Marathon. It was a very windy day which added to the effort required to take on this race. There was a lot of climbing - over 5500ft of it in fact! After about 13 miles I was alone but I carried on a bit nervous if I am honest as I had nobody else to seek reassurance from. I continued through all the checkpoints until I reached the last one and I set off with jelly babies in hand and mouth hoping I would get across the last stretch of moorland and through the woods before it got dark. This was not to be the case and I did my last 5 miles in darkness by myself on the moors and through the woods. I finished having completed 31.2 miles my longest distance to date and teaching myself to have faith in my own abilities Running ambition 2015 - To stay fit, continue to improve, finish my Rat Race Coast to Coast, and lastly do a 55 or 60 and finish it Best running moment 2014 – My first favourite moment was my 82 minute PB on my marathon time in June and still being able to walk fine the day after!My next moment was doing the Princess Challenge in August with Anita and Sue. This gave me so much confidence in myself and what I was capable of. It was my first ultra and will stay with me for ever.

My final moment was doing the Hardmoors Roseberry Marathon. It was a very windy day which added to the effort required to take on this race. There was a lot of climbing – over 5500ft of it in fact! After about 13 miles I was alone but I carried on a bit nervous if I am honest as I had nobody else to seek reassurance from. I continued through all the checkpoints until I reached the last one and I set off with jelly babies in hand and mouth hoping I would get across the last stretch of moorland and through the woods before it got dark.

This was not to be the case and I did my last 5 miles in darkness by myself on the moors and through the woods. I finished having completed 31.2 miles my longest distance to date and teaching myself to have faith in my own abilities

Running ambition 2015 – To stay fit, continue to improve, finish my Rat Race Coast to Coast, and lastly do a 55 or 60 and finish it.

 

Diane Watson

My best moment of 2014 started the moment I was encouraged by my husband Scott to join the Striders and peaked when I ran the Hardmoors half at Goathland, something I never thought I would be capable of. Previously just the name 'Hardmoors' would have sent me back indoors. I now have goals I never would have imagined before and am loving the variety and support through being in a club. My best moment of 2014 started the moment I was encouraged by my husband Scott to join the Striders and peaked when I ran the Hardmoors half at Goathland, something I never thought I would be capable of. Previously just the name ‘Hardmoors’ would have sent me back indoors.I now have goals I never would have imagined before and am loving the variety and support through being in a club.

 

Dougie Nisbet

The sweet combination of isolation and companionship running the Durham Dales Challenge and occasionally bumping into clubmates, sometimes running alone, sometimes running together. Both lovely. I love being alone. I love company. The brutal truth hitting the wall in the Loch Ness Marathon realising I'd wasted months of careful training by indulging in a few favourite races during the taper and blowing my sub-4 dream. The sweet combination of isolation and companionship running the Durham Dales Challenge and occasionally bumping into clubmates, sometimes running alone, sometimes running together. Both lovely. I love being alone. I love company.The brutal truth hitting the wall in the Loch Ness Marathon realising I’d wasted months of careful training by indulging in a few favourite races during the taper and blowing my sub-4 dream.

 

Elinor Butler

My proudest running moment is doing my first marathon in Edinburgh in 3:43 - 2 mins faster than my goal time! My proudest running moment is doing my first marathon in Edinburgh in 3:43 – 2 mins faster than my goal time!

 

Fiona Kinghorn-Jones

My biggest achievement by far was my good for age time in the Town Moor Marathon. I first ran a marathon in 2000 and since then hadn't run anything over 4 miles until I joined Striders 18 months ago. I managed to knock nearly an hour off my previous time! Not getting GFA wasn't an option that day, it's on my bucket list to run London as a GFA before I'm 40! My biggest achievement by far was my good for age time in the Town Moor Marathon. I first ran a marathon in 2000 and since then hadn’t run anything over 4 miles until I joined Striders 18 months ago. I managed to knock nearly an hour off my previous time! Not getting GFA wasn’t an option that day, it’s on my bucket list to run London as a GFA before I’m 40!

 

Flip Owen

Best running moment 2014 - Collecting my third finish goblet in the 95 mile West Highland Way Race. Watching Anna finish 2nd lady in her first 24 hour race covering 72 miles of a cross country course. Running ambition 2015 - On January 10th I take on 430K of hills, bogs, snow, ice, rain and generally freezing weather (Montane Spine Race). Few finish. I'd like to be one of them or at least give it a damn good try (oh, and not get injured in the process). Best running moment 2014 – Collecting my third finish goblet in the 95 mile West Highland Way Race.Watching Anna finish 2nd lady in her first 24 hour race covering 72 miles of a cross country course.

Running ambition 2015 – On January 10th I take on 430K of hills, bogs, snow, ice, rain and generally freezing weather (Montane Spine Race). Few finish. I’d like to be one of them or at least give it a damn good try (oh, and not get injured in the process).

 

Gareth Pritchard

Edinburgh Marathon, mile 22 when I realised I had the sub 3 hour time in the bag after two failed sub 3 attempts last year and fighting injury problems in the build up. The last four miles were slow and painful but the most enjoyable miles I have ever done. Hard work done and cruising to a 2:56 and my family cheering me home. A great moment Edinburgh Marathon, mile 22 when I realised I had the sub 3 hour time in the bag after two failed sub 3 attempts last year and fighting injury problems in the build up. The last four miles were slow and painful but the most enjoyable miles I have ever done. Hard work done and cruising to a 2:56 and my family cheering me home. A great moment

 

Geoff and Susan Davis

Best running moment 2014 - Aykley Heads XC Running ambition 2015 - To keep going! Best running moment 2014 – Aykley Heads XCRunning ambition 2015 – To keep going!

 

George Nicholson

Best running moment 2014 - My highlight once again has to be my 34th Great North Run which took place in September. Each year is special, but for the last 10 years, since my illness and the death of our granddaughter, taking part as an 'Ever Present' in the World's Largest 1/2 marathon and fundraising for Acorns Children Hospice has taken on greater significance. I felt very honoured this year to be asked by Nova International to be the 'normal runner' they wanted to be interviewed by Angelica Bell on BBC's The One Show. This year also saw the 1 millionth finisher, and I was thrilled to have the chance to witness at close hand the moment the Young Lady crossed the line. Roll on 2015 GNR and my 35th Running ambition 2015 - To be standing on the Central Motorway in Newcastle on the Morning of Sunday 13th September wearing my Race Number Best running moment 2014 – My highlight once again has to be my 34th Great North Run which took place in September.Each year is special, but for the last 10 years, since my illness and the death of our granddaughter, taking part as an ‘Ever Present’ in the World’s Largest 1/2 marathon and fundraising for Acorns Children Hospice has taken on greater significance.

I felt very honoured this year to be asked by Nova International to be the ‘normal runner’ they wanted to be interviewed by Angelica Bell on BBC’s The One Show.

This year also saw the 1 millionth finisher, and I was thrilled to have the chance to witness at close hand the moment the Young Lady crossed the line.

Roll on 2015 GNR and my 35th

Running ambition 2015 – To be standing on the Central Motorway in Newcastle on the Morning of Sunday 13th September wearing my Race Number

Graeme Walton

Best running moment 2014 - The first is seeing Vicki McLean go from non runner to achieving her lifelong dream of running the GNR. Being part of her amazing journey has meant more to me than anything I have done for myself. When I knew Vicki before we 'reconnected' in Feb this year she was overweight, to see her now is heartwarming and overwhelming. My second was completing the Castles Marathon two weeks after my first marathon. My first marathon, The Yorkshire Marathon, was fantastic, but the Castles was something else. 26.2 miles all on my own, the sense of achievement was awesome. Who knew that less than two years after starting myself off on the C25K on a cold, dark January morning I would complete two marathons and compete in the National Fell Running Championships. Running ambition 2015 - To do four marathons and an ultra and still be alive Best running moment 2014 – The first is seeing Vicki McLean go from non runner to achieving her lifelong dream of running the GNR. Being part of her amazing journey has meant more to me than anything I have done for myself. When I knew Vicki before we ‘reconnected’ in Feb this year she was overweight, to see her now is heartwarming and overwhelming.My second was completing the Castles Marathon two weeks after my first marathon. My first marathon, The Yorkshire Marathon, was fantastic, but the Castles was something else. 26.2 miles all on my own, the sense of achievement was awesome. Who knew that less than two years after starting myself off on the C25K on a cold, dark January morning I would complete two marathons and compete in the National Fell Running Championships.

Running ambition 2015 – To do four marathons and an ultra and still be alive

 

Helen Allen

Best running moment 2014 - Finishing the Stockton River Rat Race after facing every challenge and giving it my best. Awesome day. Running ambition 2015 - To run the London marathon and finish upright with a smile on my face Best running moment 2014 – Finishing the Stockton River Rat Race after facing every challenge and giving it my best. Awesome day.Running ambition 2015 – To run the London marathon and finish upright with a smile on my face

 

Innes Hodgson

Running ambition 2015 - To enjoy my running Running ambition 2015 – To enjoy my running

 

Jan Young

I guess my achievement is Mountain Queen title. To win it again, I need for faster runners not to turn up and I need to send Penny off course, or maybe keep quiet on a misty day, as routes are still unfamiliar to her. I guess my achievement is Mountain Queen title.To win it again, I need for faster runners not to turn up and I need to send Penny off course, or maybe keep quiet on a misty day, as routes are still unfamiliar to her.

 

Joanne Parkinson

Best running moment 2014 - Mine has to be plucking up the courage to join the C25K group. Now I can actually run 10K, who would have thought that! Along the way I have met a great bunch of people who continuously encourage and push and offer wise words of running wisdom! I have met new friends gained a best friend and super running partner, overall a totally fab year. Looking forward to what next year brings Running ambition 2015 - To run my first half marathon Best running moment 2014 – Mine has to be plucking up the courage to join the C25K group. Now I can actually run 10K, who would have thought that!Along the way I have met a great bunch of people who continuously encourage and push and offer wise words of running wisdom!

I have met new friends gained a best friend and super running partner, overall a totally fab year. Looking forward to what next year brings

Running ambition 2015 – To run my first half marathon

 

Jon Ayres

My personal My personal “best ” of the year had nothing to do with my own efforts. I tracked the efforts of a fellow Strider, whom I’d done a few long training runs with, at this year’s London Marathon. They unwittingly became involved in a race with someone I used to run with over at DCH. Their half way times were within 3 seconds of each other and it became a case of cheering on the Purple runner as my previous allegiances dissolved.At around 15 miles the Orange Vest started to pull away and by the next checkpoint a gap of 40 seconds or so was the difference (a matter of no more than 150 metres)

At this point Ayres Jr looked at me with a red face and produced a smell that indicated it was more than just gas and as the only adult in the house said infant was whisked upstairs for a full change. For those not au fait with the requisites of changing a child it’s a process best approached in a relaxed style – more haste less speed indeed – however, my desire to keep an eye on the “race” led to this wise maxim going out of the window.

Fresh child in tow and a glance at the 35K times showed the gap shrinking and hope rose anew within me as I took a deep breath (the air had now cleared from my child’s exertions), crossed my fingers and offered a prayer to the Running God. At 40K the advantage had been reversed and Strider led Harrier and went on to do so right to the end, indeed from memory I think they may have put nearly a minute on their unwitting opponent.

A tremendous race to watch (though the protagonists were not aware of each other to the best of my knowledge) and nappy change apart, a great way to observe the Marathon.

Jon Steed

For me it was completing my first marathon, the Yorkshire Marathon. Target time was 3.30. Trained pretty hard most weekends along the trails but the necessary 8 min miles seemed elusive. On the day, in the dense fog, after resting and even not drinking for what seemed like many days, everything was great. Road running is quicker than trails and I came in at 3.24.01 with a big smile on my face. Couldn’t walk for about three days afterwards but it was a badge of honour. For me it was completing my first marathon, the Yorkshire Marathon. Target time was 3.30. Trained pretty hard most weekends along the trails but the necessary 8 min miles seemed elusive.On the day, in the dense fog, after resting and even not drinking for what seemed like many days, everything was great.

Road running is quicker than trails and I came in at 3.24.01 with a big smile on my face.

Couldn’t walk for about three days afterwards but it was a badge of honour.

Karen Chalkley

My greatest achievement this year I think was to run the hilly Edinburgh 10 mile race without stopping or walking AT ALL in 1h35m. Thoroughly enjoyable it was too. My greatest achievement this year I think was to run the hilly Edinburgh 10 mile race without stopping or walking AT ALL in 1h35m. Thoroughly enjoyable it was too.

 

Karen Hooper

I guess I should be proud of doing the Great North Run, joining a running club, finally being able to call myself a runner (other people have called me a runner for a while, it's taken a long time to see myself as one!), reducing my parkrun time by over 6 minutes and doing a 10K (on several occasions). The thing that was hardest out of all of them & which I am most proud of is being able to run without walking for more than 22 minutes! This was my stumbling block on C25K which I just couldn't get past for about 18 months - after getting through that psychological barrier, I did all of the other things ;-) I guess I should be proud of doing the Great North Run, joining a running club, finally being able to call myself a runner (other people have called me a runner for a while, it’s taken a long time to see myself as one!), reducing my parkrun time by over 6 minutes and doing a 10K (on several occasions).The thing that was hardest out of all of them & which I am most proud of is being able to run without walking for more than 22 minutes! This was my stumbling block on C25K which I just couldn’t get past for about 18 months – after getting through that psychological barrier, I did all of the other things 😉

 

Karen Jones

Running ambition 2015 - Hmmm somebody somewhere mentioned a marathon. Running ambition 2015 – Hmmm somebody somewhere mentioned a marathon.

 

Karin Younger

I did my first parkrun in November 2011, as I was approaching 52 years old. I'd run/walked/jogged on my own a little for a couple of months and found out about parkrun from Karen Chalkley. Fast forward to September 2014, joining Striders in 2012 ( I think...) 114 parkruns completed and at the age of 54 - I knocked 7 minutes and 23 seconds off my 2013 (first) GNR time. 2013 was 2:20:30 and 2014 was 2:10:07. It's a tie really between my new GNR PB, reaching 100 parkruns in June, and being a runner...an Elvet Strider! I did my first parkrun in November 2011, as I was approaching 52 years old. I’d run/walked/jogged on my own a little for a couple of months and found out about parkrun from Karen Chalkley.Fast forward to September 2014, joining Striders in 2012 ( I think…) 114 parkruns completed and at the age of 54 – I knocked 7 minutes and 23 seconds off my 2013 (first) GNR time. 2013 was 2:20:30 and 2014 was 2:10:07.

It’s a tie really between my new GNR PB, reaching 100 parkruns in June, and being a runner…an Elvet Strider!

 

Karrie Rutherford

This year I joined the Couch to 5K and completed parkrun. But my highlight is not the run or the distance. I found a new love that I think about everyday and I discovered it with my best friend Kerry Ellis who did C25K with me. Striders is such an amazing club. Completely inclusive and welcoming to all. This year I joined the Couch to 5K and completed parkrun. But my highlight is not the run or the distance. I found a new love that I think about everyday and I discovered it with my best friend Kerry Ellis who did C25K with me. Striders is such an amazing club. Completely inclusive and welcoming to all.

 

Kate Macpherson

Best running moment 2014 - I think the things I'm proudest of this year are three firsts: first 'baby' ultra, first cross country and first fell race. I'm proud because I've run the longest distance I've ever run and loved it. I've conquered my fear of Cross country...and loved it. And I've conquered my fear of fell running (always thinking I just wasn't the skinny-assed-knotted-piece-of-string fell runner type and couldn't do it!) and loved it! All of those things have happened due to the amazingly supportive group of people I'm proud to call friends and due to being part of the best club ever! (I'm also super proud of my award for EA NE Volunteer of the Year, more than I can tell you in words, but I guess that's not quite running!) Running ambition 2015 - Not really sure...but you've got me thinking about it. Can't pin one goal down really. Best running moment 2014 – I think the things I’m proudest of this year are three firsts: first ‘baby’ ultra, first cross country and first fell race.I’m proud because I’ve run the longest distance I’ve ever run and loved it. I’ve conquered my fear of Cross country…and loved it. And I’ve conquered my fear of fell running (always thinking I just wasn’t the skinny-assed-knotted-piece-of-string fell runner type and couldn’t do it!) and loved it!

All of those things have happened due to the amazingly supportive group of people I’m proud to call friends and due to being part of the best club ever!

(I’m also super proud of my award for EA NE Volunteer of the Year, more than I can tell you in words, but I guess that’s not quite running!)

Running ambition 2015 – Not really sure…but you’ve got me thinking about it. Can’t pin one goal down really.

 

Kate Talbot

Best running moment 2014 - It hasn't been my best year, no PB's or even close! But I have now encouraged seven members of my fellow Neville's Cross staff around at least 1 parkrun, One has been a Strider for over a year now, one is now a Blackhill Bounder and completed her first 10K then her first 1/2 marathon with me this year and two more have just completed a parkrun after graduating from Kate Macpherson's C25K this month! I completed my 100th parkrun this summer (now on 110!). However my BEST moment of this year was getting my 6 year old nephew to complete his first parkrun after he has been 'training' with me since the summer!! I love sharing what I love (running!) with the people I love! Though I must get back to trying to run fast again at some point! Eeek! Running ambition 2015 - DO SOME RUNNING!!!!! (not be a lazy ass) so I can finallllyyy achieve sub 30 5K and sub 60 10K!! please please please! Best running moment 2014 – It hasn’t been my best year, no PB’s or even close! But I have now encouraged seven members of my fellow Neville’s Cross staff around at least 1 parkrun, One has been a Strider for over a year now, one is now a Blackhill Bounder and completed her first 10K then her first 1/2 marathon with me this year and two more have just completed a parkrun after graduating from Kate Macpherson’s C25K this month!I completed my 100th parkrun this summer (now on 110!).

However my BEST moment of this year was getting my 6 year old nephew to complete his first parkrun after he has been ‘training’ with me since the summer!! I love sharing what I love (running!) with the people I love! Though I must get back to trying to run fast again at some point! Eeek!

Running ambition 2015 – DO SOME RUNNING!!!!! (not be a lazy ass) so I can finallllyyy achieve sub 30 5K and sub 60 10K!! please please please!

 

Katharine Bartlett

Running ambition 2015 - To keep on running, of course. Oh, and to do the GNR the day before my birthday (the big five-oh) Running ambition 2015 – To keep on running, of course. Oh, and to do the GNR the day before my birthday (the big five-oh)

 

Katherine Hay-Heddle

Running ambition 2015 - To get myself back to the form I had in early 2012 Running ambition 2015 – To get myself back to the form I had in early 2012

 

Katherine Preston

Best running moment 2014 - For me it was completing Snowdonia marathon in 4.35, absolutely loved it. Running ambition 2015 - Sub 4 in Paris marathon for me Best running moment 2014 – For me it was completing Snowdonia marathon in 4.35, absolutely loved it.Running ambition 2015 – Sub 4 in Paris marathon for me

 

Kathleen Bellamy

My best moment of this year was getting round my very first half marathon at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. I felt fantastic crossing that finish line. My best moment of this year was getting round my very first half marathon at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. I felt fantastic crossing that finish line.

 

Katy Walton

My end of year shout would have to be Newton Aycliffe 10k in June. Not only did I come 3rd lady against two ladies who I never believed I would be close to during a race, but this is my current 10K PB too. Support from fellow Striders here (Bill Ford looping around on his bike and Graeme) was so encouraging I think that's what made me achieve what I did. Oh, and I wanted to beat Matthew Crow. Something of the past that now, there's no catching him at present...... or is there.....He he My end of year shout would have to be Newton Aycliffe 10k in June. Not only did I come 3rd lady against two ladies who I never believed I would be close to during a race, but this is my current 10K PB too. Support from fellow Striders here (Bill Ford looping around on his bike and Graeme) was so encouraging I think that’s what made me achieve what I did. Oh, and I wanted to beat Matthew Crow. Something of the past that now, there’s no catching him at present…… or is there…..He he

 

Kay Cairns

Choosing to join Kate's C25K in April - I had signed up to the Color Run and decided I should at least try to run a bit of it! So I guess the best moment was choosing to start running in the first place. A close second best moment was completing my first ever 10K - the Coxhoe Trail in November - with one of my new best friends thanks to the group, we would have never met otherwise. Choosing to join Kate’s C25K in April – I had signed up to the Color Run and decided I should at least try to run a bit of it! So I guess the best moment was choosing to start running in the first place.A close second best moment was completing my first ever 10K – the Coxhoe Trail in November – with one of my new best friends thanks to the group, we would have never met otherwise.

 

Kerry Lister

Best running moment 2014 - The first is seeing Vicki McLean go from non runner to achieving her lifelong dream of running the GNR. Being part of her amazing journey has meant more to me than anything I have done for myself. When I knew Vicki before we 'reconnected' in Feb this year she was overweight, to see her now is heartwarming and overwhelming. My second was completing the Castles Marathon two weeks after my first marathon. My first marathon, The Yorkshire Marathon, was fantastic, but the Castles was something else. 26.2 miles all on my own, the sense of achievement was awesome. Who knew that less than two years after starting myself off on the C25K on a cold, dark January morning I would complete two marathons and compete in the National Fell Running Championships. Running ambition 2015 - To do four marathons and an ultra and still be alive Best running moment 2014 – The first is seeing Vicki McLean go from non runner to achieving her lifelong dream of running the GNR. Being part of her amazing journey has meant more to me than anything I have done for myself. When I knew Vicki before we ‘reconnected’ in Feb this year she was overweight, to see her now is heartwarming and overwhelming.My second was completing the Castles Marathon two weeks after my first marathon. My first marathon, The Yorkshire Marathon, was fantastic, but the Castles was something else. 26.2 miles all on my own, the sense of achievement was awesome. Who knew that less than two years after starting myself off on the C25K on a cold, dark January morning I would complete two marathons and compete in the National Fell Running Championships.

Running ambition 2015 – To do four marathons and an ultra and still be alive

 

Kirsty Steed

Best running moment 2014 - My running moment of the year was completing my first marathon. It may not have been the time I wanted but I cried the whole last mile because I was so proud of what I had achieved - turning from a fat couch potato to a marathon runner. Running ambition 2015 - To be able to run again! Best running moment 2014 – My running moment of the year was completing my first marathon. It may not have been the time I wanted but I cried the whole last mile because I was so proud of what I had achieved – turning from a fat couch potato to a marathon runner.Running ambition 2015 – To be able to run again!

 

Laura Chapman

Best running moment 2014 - Snake Lane for me was the first time I ever ran 10 miles without stopping, felt rather proud. Running ambition 2015 - Run Paris Marathon and live to tell the tale (here's to hoping I'm not in a wine and cheese coma by race day). Ooh and I want to run the Princess Challenge. Best running moment 2014 – Snake Lane for me was the first time I ever ran 10 miles without stopping, felt rather proud.Running ambition 2015 – Run Paris Marathon and live to tell the tale (here’s to hoping I’m not in a wine and cheese coma by race day). Ooh and I want to run the Princess Challenge.

 

Laura Gibson

For me it was the GNR after only beginning my running journey a year prior. However, things have overtaken that and now I'm pretty proud of helping Kate with the Couch to parkrun group and the Durham Mums on the Run group on a Monday. Though GNR is still up there. Meeting my best mate/s and running with them is a big highlight. For me it was the GNR after only beginning my running journey a year prior. However, things have overtaken that and now I’m pretty proud of helping Kate with the Couch to parkrun group and the Durham Mums on the Run group on a Monday. Though GNR is still up there.Meeting my best mate/s and running with them is a big highlight.

 

Laura Jackson

So many to choose from and so many moments to remember. This has been a real struggle to think of just one as there have been so many. Some highlights I considered were competing the Great North Run which was the reason I began running again this year, completing the So many to choose from and so many moments to remember. This has been a real struggle to think of just one as there have been so many. Some highlights I considered were competing the Great North Run which was the reason I began running again this year, completing the “Clamber” despite finding it very challenging and even though I came last, it was such a beautiful course that it outweighed the hills and lies the marshals told, (“No more hills after this one!”). Doing the Town Moor 10k and the Mo Run in the same day in November and the fun and banter we had on the day to the Tears I had at Aykley Heads Cross Country, I have learned and enjoyed something about the majority of the running I have done this year.My best running moment of 2014 was completing the Paras10 in August. I loved the course, despite it being gruelling and swelteringly hot. I loved the fact the tabbers ran alongside the non tabbers, inspiring me all the way round and making me think I couldn’t possibly give up. It was so hot that at one point I was hallucinating about water, I was so thirsty (purchased a Camelpak the next day for future longer runs!) and thought my legs were going to give way at the notorious hill at 8 miles but when I crossed the line, I felt like a warrior. I can’t wait to do it again next year and beat my time!

Lesley Charman

Best running moment 2014 - There's been quite a lot of great moments within my first year (well, 7 months) as a Strider. I loved the grass and track sessions, and especially the track mile race with loud cheers along the finishing straight. I thoroughly enjoyed travelling with other club members to and from the Coastal Run too!! I think my best actual running moment though, would have to be my first ever race in a Strider vest (only a few days after joining) at the Pier to Pier, when I put in a decent sprint finish over the sand and passed some fellow Striders, whilst being cheered on my them and others from the club. What a wonderful feeling to have such support. I'm sure the vest made me run faster on the day - if only I'd been able to keep that form for the rest of the year!! Running ambition 2015 - A sub 1:45 half and maybe try a marathon?????? Oh and a sub 22 Durham parkrun. In my dreams.... but will try!! Best running moment 2014 – There’s been quite a lot of great moments within my first year (well, 7 months) as a Strider.I loved the grass and track sessions, and especially the track mile race with loud cheers along the finishing straight.

I thoroughly enjoyed travelling with other club members to and from the Coastal Run too!!

I think my best actual running moment though, would have to be my first ever race in a Strider vest (only a few days after joining) at the Pier to Pier, when I put in a decent sprint finish over the sand and passed some fellow Striders, whilst being cheered on my them and others from the club. What a wonderful feeling to have such support. I’m sure the vest made me run faster on the day – if only I’d been able to keep that form for the rest of the year!!

Running ambition 2015 – A sub 1:45 half and maybe try a marathon?????? Oh and a sub 22 Durham parkrun. In my dreams…. but will try!!

Lindsay Rodgers

Best running moment 2014 - parkrun (50th this year) time improved from 25.04 to 23.19 Improved 10K time from 60.10 to 50.10 First 10K First fell run First 5 miler First 10 miler First trail half marathon First duathlon Confirmed Hardmoors junkie Gaining a strange 'love' for Roseberry topping.... For some reason I enjoy that intense pleasure of post-run shattered legs. Love that in running the only real competition is with yourself and that as long as you do your best you can be happy with your efforts. Oh and I've met the best group of people ever Running ambition 2015 - To do the Princess Challenge in August and catch the Sygrove Express (Malcolm) at some point in the year. I would add to beat Button Bank in the Durham Duathlon, complete the Weardale Triathlon, not have to pick up my bike and run with it at the Kielder Duathlon (at some points it was the quickest option) and after the 'fun' of Hardmoors to try my hand at fell running. Best running moment 2014 – parkrun (50th this year) time improved from 25.04 to 23.19Improved 10K time from 60.10 to 50.10

First 10K

First fell run

First 5 miler

First 10 miler

First trail half marathon

First duathlon

Confirmed Hardmoors junkie

Gaining a strange ‘love’ for Roseberry topping….

For some reason I enjoy that intense pleasure of post-run shattered legs. Love that in running the only real competition is with yourself and that as long as you do your best you can be happy with your efforts. Oh and I’ve met the best group of people ever

Running ambition 2015 – To do the Princess Challenge in August and catch the Sygrove Express (Malcolm) at some point in the year. I would add to beat Button Bank in the Durham Duathlon, complete the Weardale Triathlon, not have to pick up my bike and run with it at the Kielder Duathlon (at some points it was the quickest option) and after the ‘fun’ of Hardmoors to try my hand at fell running.

 

Mark Dunseith

Best running moment 2014 - My best running moment of 2014 was with about 3 or 4 miles to go on my ultra marathon on the West Highland Way when I reached the top of a hill and Ben Nevis was straight in front of me. It was bathed in sunlight and against a cloudless blue sky. After such a hard day it was an amazing sight. I also knew I was close to the finish which only added to the moment. Best running moment 2014 – My best running moment of 2014 was with about 3 or 4 miles to go on my ultra marathon on the West Highland Way when I reached the top of a hill and Ben Nevis was straight in front of me. It was bathed in sunlight and against a cloudless blue sky. After such a hard day it was an amazing sight. I also knew I was close to the finish which only added to the moment.

 

Michael Downes

Finishing my second Ironman at Roth in under 13 hours, running better than ever thanks to the Striders pushing me every week! Finishing my second Ironman at Roth in under 13 hours, running better than ever thanks to the Striders pushing me every week!

 

Mike Bennet

Getting old there isn’t so much to shout about but I was the oldest competitor in the Classic Quarter, from Lizard Point to Lands End, 44 miles in June this year, I wasn’t last either coming in at 152nd out of 198 finishers. (100 dropped out during race). Getting old there isn’t so much to shout about but I was the oldest competitor in the Classic Quarter, from Lizard Point to Lands End, 44 miles in June this year, I wasn’t last either coming in at 152nd out of 198 finishers. (100 dropped out during race).

 

Mike Hughes

Oh its so hard to pick something, seeing Sally run Harrier League and doing her first triathlon; those “crack of dawn” morning runs when the sun feels warm again, the birds are singing and the woods are a mass of wild garlic and you have the world to yourself; standing on the start line at the Nationals down in Nottingham then charging off across the field which feels more like running into battle; that mad heather grabbing climb at the National Fell Relays; being on the top of Helvellyn in the early hours of the morning in pitch black and mist on the Billy Bland Challenge; seeing Mo run over the finish line at the GNR; the excitement (and cake) round the tent at HL’s; the string of headtorch runners highlighting the way ahead in some dark muddy wood; a run out with Striders and you discover yet another path or route you never knew existed, or the opposite almost of still not knowing my way round Waldridge! All in all I suppose it’s just as simple as being in a great running club with so many people to inspire you, I’m not just a runner, I’m a Strider! Oh its so hard to pick something, seeing Sally run Harrier League and doing her first triathlon; those “crack of dawn” morning runs when the sun feels warm again, the birds are singing and the woods are a mass of wild garlic and you have the world to yourself; standing on the start line at the Nationals down in Nottingham then charging off across the field which feels more like running into battle; that mad heather grabbing climb at the National Fell Relays; being on the top of Helvellyn in the early hours of the morning in pitch black and mist on the Billy Bland Challenge; seeing Mo run over the finish line at the GNR; the excitement (and cake) round the tent at HL’s; the string of headtorch runners highlighting the way ahead in some dark muddy wood; a run out with Striders and you discover yet another path or route you never knew existed, or the opposite almost of still not knowing my way round Waldridge!All in all I suppose it’s just as simple as being in a great running club with so many people to inspire you, I’m not just a runner, I’m a Strider!

Natalie Stones-Johnson

That first night in March when I turned up at Maiden Castle absolutely terrified but did it anyway after encouragement from Kelly Collier and Bill Ford. Best thing I ever did. Being part of something great is an awesome feeling. There have been countless amazing moments since then but this was the first and what lead to all the others so has to be my best. That first night in March when I turned up at Maiden Castle absolutely terrified but did it anyway after encouragement from Kelly Collier and Bill Ford. Best thing I ever did.Being part of something great is an awesome feeling. There have been countless amazing moments since then but this was the first and what lead to all the others so has to be my best.

 

Natalie Torbett

I haven't done as much running this year due to saving for my month long trip to New Zealand recently. However, what I did do was do my first 10 mile running event, which is my furthest running distance to date. To top it off it was the Paras 10 mile on 31st August which was a hot day and a tough course so I was really happy I'd completed it. Next year hoping to get back my running and do a half marathon. I haven’t done as much running this year due to saving for my month long trip to New Zealand recently. However, what I did do was do my first 10 mile running event, which is my furthest running distance to date. To top it off it was the Paras 10 mile on 31st August which was a hot day and a tough course so I was really happy I’d completed it.Next year hoping to get back my running and do a half marathon.

 

Nicola Whyte

Best running moment 2014 - I've achieved more with running in the last year than I ever would have imagined, achieving PB's in 5K, 10K and half marathon distances. If I was to pick a race it would be completing the Glasgow Great Scottish half in 1.44.50 more than 30mins off my first half marathon 1 year previous. Although I missed the infamous Strider support my parents were there to cheer me on! However, running for me this year has been more than just the races. I have met so many wonderful people who have shown me encouragement when I've needed it most and more importantly friendship. My only regret is that I never joined sooner!! I love running thanks to Striders!! Best running moment 2014 – I’ve achieved more with running in the last year than I ever would have imagined, achieving PB’s in 5K, 10K and half marathon distances.If I was to pick a race it would be completing the Glasgow Great Scottish half in 1.44.50 more than 30mins off my first half marathon 1 year previous. Although I missed the infamous Strider support my parents were there to cheer me on!

However, running for me this year has been more than just the races. I have met so many wonderful people who have shown me encouragement when I’ve needed it most and more importantly friendship. My only regret is that I never joined sooner!! I love running thanks to Striders!!

 

Paul Evans

Best placing - 3rd in the Hardmoors Wainstones Marathon. Best race - Three Peaks fell race - finishing in the first 100 runners on a windy, clear day perfect for distance running. Best performance - subjectively, 12th in the Long Tour of Bradwell; everything just felt right on a glorious summer's day and realised on finishing that I couldn't have gone any faster but still had a few miles in me. Best day - a three-way tie between the Calderdale relay, where we had our first ever top-half finish, the FRA relay, which we entered for the first time ever, and the Aykley Heads XC, where I think as a club we accomplished something very special. To an extent, this year I've 'ticked-over' running-wise and look forward to going further in 2015. National Fell Race Relay @ Sedburgh Oct 14 Best placing – 3rd in the Hardmoors Wainstones Marathon.Best race – Three Peaks fell race – finishing in the first 100 runners on a windy, clear day perfect for distance running.

Best performance – subjectively, 12th in the Long Tour of Bradwell; everything just felt right on a glorious summer’s day and realised on finishing that I couldn’t have gone any faster but still had a few miles in me.

Best day – a three-way tie between the Calderdale relay, where we had our first ever top-half finish, the FRA relay, which we entered for the first time ever, and the Aykley Heads XC, where I think as a club we accomplished something very special.

To an extent, this year I’ve ‘ticked-over’ running-wise and look forward to going further in 2015.

National Fell Race Relay @ Sedburgh Oct 14

 

Penny Browell

Best running moment 2014 - Really enjoyed my year of running in 2014, made a million times better by joining Elvet Striders in the Autumn. Highlight for me has to be cross country - over the moon to be promoted to medium in my first race and fast in my second. And absolutely love being part of the Elvet ladies team! Combined with the joy of being part of a fantastic supportive team. Loved it! Running ambition 2015 - To run the London marathon and finish upright with a smile on my face and not to bite off more than I can chew! Best running moment 2014 – Really enjoyed my year of running in 2014, made a million times better by joining Elvet Striders in the Autumn.Highlight for me has to be cross country – over the moon to be promoted to medium in my first race and fast in my second. And absolutely love being part of the Elvet ladies team!

Combined with the joy of being part of a fantastic supportive team. Loved it!

Running ambition 2015 – To run the London marathon and finish upright with a smile on my face and not to bite off more than I can chew!

 

Rachael Bullock

I'm really struggling to think of my fave moment of 2014! There have just been too many good adventures and new experiences! The year started with That's Lythe, the furthest I had ever run at that point, just short of a marathon. Terrible weather and totally broken by the end of it, but a great weekend with great company! That was with Susan and Geoff and Juliet, and I had many other great outings with them during the year, including the three peaks and Billy Bland challenge. They made me realise that I am capable of running long, even if it breaks me!! My personal running high would have to be my 11th place finish at Wrekenton x-country, the best run of my life! And my most proud achievement completing my first triathlon, something I never thought I would do, but I now have the triathlon bug as well as the running bug! I’m really struggling to think of my fave moment of 2014! There have just been too many good adventures and new experiences!The year started with That’s Lythe, the furthest I had ever run at that point, just short of a marathon. Terrible weather and totally broken by the end of it, but a great weekend with great company! That was with Susan and Geoff and Juliet, and I had many other great outings with them during the year, including the three peaks and Billy Bland challenge. They made me realise that I am capable of running long, even if it breaks me!!

My personal running high would have to be my 11th place finish at Wrekenton x-country, the best run of my life!

And my most proud achievement completing my first triathlon, something I never thought I would do, but I now have the triathlon bug as well as the running bug!

Richard Stollery

My running moment of the year was my first half marathon, the Mersea Island Round the Island Race My running moment of the year was my first half marathon, the Mersea Island Round the Island Race

 

Rob Everson

Best moment of 2014 for me is any of the XC, Durham relays and Warrington relays. None of them were my best races but they're all races that Striders need to come together as a team. Apart from that two races that stick in my head - both 5 miles - Hartlepool and Bridges of Tyne, both out and backs and the support from fellow Striders on heading back as runners are still going out was unbelievable to the point in the Bridges of Tyne race where a New Marske runner beside me asked if I was famous because of all the shouts I received from Striders! Also helping my niece Freya Talbot (only 11 years old) run the whole of Durham parkrun without walking in 32 mins Also being awarded Elvet Striders male runner of the year, especially all the nice comments that people had emailed. Best moment of 2014 for me is any of the XC, Durham relays and Warrington relays. None of them were my best races but they’re all races that Striders need to come together as a team.Apart from that two races that stick in my head – both 5 miles – Hartlepool and Bridges of Tyne, both out and backs and the support from fellow Striders on heading back as runners are still going out was unbelievable to the point in the Bridges of Tyne race where a New Marske runner beside me asked if I was famous because of all the shouts I received from Striders!

Also helping my niece Freya Talbot (only 11 years old) run the whole of Durham parkrun without walking in 32 mins

Also being awarded Elvet Striders male runner of the year, especially all the nice comments that people had emailed.

 

Roger Moor

Spending money and distributing trainers and jeans, DONATED BY STRIDERS, to youngsters in a poor mountain community in Uganda in April. The money went on mosquito nets, footballs (boys) and watches (girls) for each child we sponsor through secondary education. Spending money and distributing trainers and jeans, DONATED BY STRIDERS, to youngsters in a poor mountain community in Uganda in April.The money went on mosquito nets, footballs (boys) and watches (girls) for each child we sponsor through secondary education.

 

Sally Hughes

My favourite running related moment of 2014 would be actually being able to run at all. It wasn't until last year that I was allowed to start running because of my back and could never run before the op either so I am just happy that I can run at all. If this doesn't count then Blaydon race was probably a highlight just because of the atmosphere and sense of achievement I gained from it. My favourite running related moment of 2014 would be actually being able to run at all. It wasn’t until last year that I was allowed to start running because of my back and could never run before the op either so I am just happy that I can run at all.If this doesn’t count then Blaydon race was probably a highlight just because of the atmosphere and sense of achievement I gained from it.

 

Scott Watson

Stand-out moments for me in 2014 were making the committment to join Striders (that I’d put off for years) but by a country mile, seeing my wife Diane do the same then being there to take part in her first fell race (I never saw that one coming!). Goals for next year? Avoid injury and any of that sort of unpleasantness and fill in the missing spaces in my fell running CV. Stand-out moments for me in 2014 were making the committment to join Striders (that I’d put off for years) but by a country mile, seeing my wife Diane do the same then being there to take part in her first fell race (I never saw that one coming!).Goals for next year? Avoid injury and any of that sort of unpleasantness and fill in the missing spaces in my fell running CV.

 

Shelagh Barton

Best running moment 2014 - I’ve always done something to try to keep fit. Aerobics (the Jane Fonda burn), yoga (you want me to put my leg where?!), the gym (bor-ring) and finally in April came across C25K and decided that after many years of ‘I don’t do running me’ I’d give it a go. Having missed the start of Kate’s course I did it myself with podcasts and was to be found shuffling down the A167 begging ‘Laura’ to tell me the ninety seconds were up. Fast forward 8 months and I can run 5K and sometimes more. My greatest achievement has been to keep going but I would never have done that without Striders . Initially I thought it might be a lonely pastime but no chance of that! There is always someone prepared to sweep you up and get you home, always someone to encourage, support and advise. Striders come in all shapes and sizes and no-one cares what you ‘do’, but then, Lycra is a great leveller!!!! Thank you Striders, I feel fitter and stronger than I have done in years and plan to keep running as long as my ageing joints will allow. Running ambition 2015 - To try to keep up with Katharine Bartlett! Best running moment 2014 – I’ve always done something to try to keep fit. Aerobics (the Jane Fonda burn), yoga (you want me to put my leg where?!), the gym (bor-ring) and finally in April came across C25K and decided that after many years of ‘I don’t do running me’ I’d give it a go.Having missed the start of Kate’s course I did it myself with podcasts and was to be found shuffling down the A167 begging ‘Laura’ to tell me the ninety seconds were up.

Fast forward 8 months and I can run 5K and sometimes more.

My greatest achievement has been to keep going but I would never have done that without Striders . Initially I thought it might be a lonely pastime but no chance of that! There is always someone prepared to sweep you up and get you home, always someone to encourage, support and advise.

Striders come in all shapes and sizes and no-one cares what you ‘do’, but then, Lycra is a great leveller!!!!

Thank you Striders, I feel fitter and stronger than I have done in years and plan to keep running as long as my ageing joints will allow.

Running ambition 2015 – To try to keep up with Katharine Bartlett!

 

Simon Gardner

Best running moment 2014 - Kind of predictable for me but my 17:42 5K and 36:36 10K were way above and beyond anything I thought I would ever achieve, not bad for an old knacker ;-) Running ambition 2015 - Improve 5K and 10K PB if possible, break my Blaydon Race PB and again successfully avoid doing any type of fell race Best running moment 2014 – Kind of predictable for me but my 17:42 5K and 36:36 10K were way above and beyond anything I thought I would ever achieve, not bad for an old knacker ;-)Running ambition 2015 – Improve 5K and 10K PB if possible, break my Blaydon Race PB and again successfully avoid doing any type of fell race

 

Sophie Dennis

I did my second 10K run ever last February and got my first PB. Also February/ March time I did my 50th parkrun at Durham. Not long after that I was out through injury for three to four months (bummer). Since coming back I've done another four 10Ks , three of which have been PB's. In September I did my second Great North Run and to my amazement I knock off 20 minutes from my previous time and I was spotted on TV (whoooo I'm famous!). Apart from the Great North Run I did my first 10M race (Brampton) which I will never forget, I fell at the first mile and split both knees open but carried on to the finish also injuring my foot in the process. Some say I was a hero/brave and some say insane - I ended up on crushers and off work for a week. I have now completed my Run Leader course so I look forward to leading groups and using the skills I have been taught but also I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead in 2015. I did my second 10K run ever last February and got my first PB. Also February/ March time I did my 50th parkrun at Durham. Not long after that I was out through injury for three to four months (bummer). Since coming back I’ve done another four 10Ks , three of which have been PB’s.In September I did my second Great North Run and to my amazement I knock off 20 minutes from my previous time and I was spotted on TV (whoooo I’m famous!).

Apart from the Great North Run I did my first 10M race (Brampton) which I will never forget, I fell at the first mile and split both knees open but carried on to the finish also injuring my foot in the process. Some say I was a hero/brave and some say insane – I ended up on crushers and off work for a week.

I have now completed my Run Leader course so I look forward to leading groups and using the skills I have been taught but also I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead in 2015.

Stephanie Walker

Best running moment 2014 - Completing VLM despite obstacles a plenty and raging plantar fasciitis in both feet (I can now self medicate...) And then The Bacchus. I have never laughed so much over a weekend running with great girls. Loved it, fell over, washed my wounds in white wine (like you do...)...simply amazing time. Running ambition 2015 - To recover from being broken and then to run and finish the greatest race on earth. Best running moment 2014 – Completing VLM despite obstacles a plenty and raging plantar fasciitis in both feet (I can now self medicate…)And then The Bacchus. I have never laughed so much over a weekend running with great girls. Loved it, fell over, washed my wounds in white wine (like you do…)…simply amazing time.

Running ambition 2015 – To recover from being broken and then to run and finish the greatest race on earth.

 

Stephen Jackson

Best running moment 2014 - A sub 3 hour marathon in Nottingham was a big bucket list tick. However, sub 80 GNR and [just] sneaking in the elite finish line was an incredible feeling! It's been a thoroughly enjoyable year of running and I put 90% of my improvement down to joining Elvet Striders! Running ambition 2015 - 02:45:00 Best running moment 2014 – A sub 3 hour marathon in Nottingham was a big bucket list tick.However, sub 80 GNR and [just] sneaking in the elite finish line was an incredible feeling!

It’s been a thoroughly enjoyable year of running and I put 90% of my improvement down to joining Elvet Striders!

Running ambition 2015 – 02:45:00

 

Steph Piper

Best running moment 2014 - I only really started running properly in May 2013, to train for the Race For Life in memory of my best friend's mam who died of lymphoma. Fast-forward a year to May 2014 when I joined the most amazing running club in the world, despite thinking I was never good enough for a running club. How very wrong of me. In 2014, with the support of Striders I've: Lost a stone in weight Reduced my parkrun pb from 25:01 to 23:22 Reduced my 10km pb from 57:17 to 49:43 My first ever time trial (third week running with the club) was 16:02. On Wednesday I reduced it to 14:47 I was honoured to win the Striders ballot to gain entry to the GNR - I never thought I could run a HM. Despite injury I finished in my goal time of sub-2 (1:59:38). Anita helped me find my 'thing', when she lent me her spare trail shoes at the Waldridge Fell BBQ. Trail running and doing XC for the first time since school (when I vowed I'd never run again), helped me come back from injury and fall in love with running again. I can't tell you how much this means - thank you so much. Running ambition 2015 - To complete my first fell race on the first day of the year. Another sub-2 half marathon. Sub-23 parkrun Best running moment 2014 – I only really started running properly in May 2013, to train for the Race For Life in memory of my best friend’s mam who died of lymphoma.Fast-forward a year to May 2014 when I joined the most amazing running club in the world, despite thinking I was never good enough for a running club. How very wrong of me.

In 2014, with the support of Striders I’ve:

Lost a stone in weight

Reduced my parkrun pb from 25:01 to 23:22

Reduced my 10km pb from 57:17 to 49:43

My first ever time trial (third week running with the club) was 16:02. On Wednesday I reduced it to 14:47

I was honoured to win the Striders ballot to gain entry to the GNR – I never thought I could run a HM. Despite injury I finished in my goal time of sub-2 (1:59:38).

Anita helped me find my ‘thing’, when she lent me her spare trail shoes at the Waldridge Fell BBQ. Trail running and doing XC for the first time since school (when I vowed I’d never run again), helped me come back from injury and fall in love with running again. I can’t tell you how much this means – thank you so much.

Running ambition 2015 – To complete my first fell race on the first day of the year. Another sub-2 half marathon. Sub-23 parkrun.

 

Steve Ellis

A few weeks ago a guy acknowledged me in my local shop. A few weeks ago a guy acknowledged me in my local shop.”Hello” he said, “you’re the runner from the estate. I’ve seen you out with your dog!” So I was thus rumbled! It also spurred me on in a quiet moment to consider my running year for 2014.I had resolved to attempt a longer distance than the standard 10K races I had been previously doing and so entered the Thirsk 10 (mile). It seemed an awful long way as I gradually increased my training distances but achieved it in just over 90 minutes.

I was duly chuffed and therefore considered having a go at a half marathon later in the year. In between times I completed several 10K races I had done last year (North Tyneside, Sunderland, Blaydon, Aycliffe) and improved my PB’s in them all. I know it’s all relative but it does come down to a personal challenge when you know you’re never gonna win anyway! I even won a prize in a race from Beadnell to Bamburgh as fastest in my age category. My ghast was truly flabbered by that i can tell you.

Perhaps I should have retired at point on a high, but I had other challenges to come! The half loomed, training complete and a target of 2 hours thrown down.

The inaugral Haltwhistle half marathon was off. I finished in 2 hours and ONE SECOND! ARRRRGH!!! I must point out in my defence m’lud that two sections had to be walked as the course went through a guys garden! So I claim, albeit by way of compensation, to have cracked the 2 hours. The most galling thing of all was that as i went through the finish the guy with the watch called out “Oh hard lines mate, 2 hours one second”…. I’ll get him next time.

So that was to be it for the year until a certain impassioned plea from a certain publicity officer goaded me into trying cross-country. I agreed to do 4 before Christmas. I managed 3 as i was ill for the Wallington run. I was very surprised to be disappointed not to be able to do it. It seems strange to say it but having run for the club and not yourself, it feels in a way that you have consummated your purpleness!! So i guess after all that I decided that the guy in the shop may well be right… I am a runner.. and a purple one at that!

 

Vic Downes

Downsa pulling me across the finish line at the Northumberland half in 1:59 and bursting into tears! Downsa pulling me across the finish line at the Northumberland half in 1:59 and bursting into tears!

 

Vicki McLean

Best running moment 2014 - My running moment of 2014 came when I realised I could actually run! With the support of my friends I have accomplished many goals the biggest one which was actually getting off the couch! Without their friendship and support my dream of running the GNR would not have happened and for this I owe them so much x Running ambition 2015 - To survive the London Marathon! Best running moment 2014 – My running moment of 2014 came when I realised I could actually run! With the support of my friends I have accomplished many goals the biggest one which was actually getting off the couch! Without their friendship and support my dream of running the GNR would not have happened and for this I owe them so much xRunning ambition 2015 – To survive the London Marathon!