Category Archives: 5km

The Beer Belly Fun Run, Consett, Saturday, August 27, 2016

6 x 1k laps

Pam Kirkup

Stand and Deliver!

Stand and Deliver! … otherwise known as the 2nd Beer Belly Run from the Grey Horse pub in Consett raising funds for Motor Neurone Disease.

This has to be said is a ridiculous concept, one that we have inherited from America. The idea is that runners do 5 x 1K laps around a pub, after each lap you down a half of beer until the last lap when you down a pint. Thankfully I was driving and so was excused the beer swilling however the landlady did give me a glass of wine at the finish.

The entry form said that fancy dress was “positively encouraged” so Paul and I joined the throng – me as Adam Ant in ‘Dandy Highwayman’ mode and Paul as a Beverley Hillbilly. If you weren’t around in the ‘60s Paul’s outfit will be a mystery to you! There were some cracking costumes – Harry Potter characters, Freddy Mercury, a zombie with a rubber mask, Elvis and a man in drag with enormous false breasts to name but a few! The fancy dress prize went to a bloke wearing hideous white Y-fronts with a towel stuffed down the front, he had a knotted hankie on his head, he ran in wellies and he had a brown ‘skid mark’ painted on the back of his pants with some toilet paper hanging out of the waist band. Gross but hilarious! Blackhill Bounders had a few serious runners in it to compete for the prizes – even so I think I might have been second lady! Paul & I certainly finished quite high up … which might give you an idea of the standard.

Afterwards there was a buffet and 2 bands were due to play during the evening. We left after the buffet but it was a very enjoyable afternoon and an entirely fun event.

The inaugural event was last year to raise money for Parkinsons UK – a local teacher, Nigel Nattress had been diagnosed with the disease and the pub organised a series of events to raise money for the charity. The final sum raised was £5000+. Unfortunately, Nigel had been misdiagnosed – he actually had Motor Neurone Disease and died in the spring of this year. He was only in his 40s.

So this year the pub continues fund raising – this time for the MND charity and Marie Curie nursing. The pub raised £500 on Sunday alone. Some students from Longfield School in Darlington, where Nigel taught have raised £2000 in a sponsored sky dive.

The run might have been quite silly, great fun but in a very worthy cause.

What a Wheeze 5km Christmas Cracker, Ropner Park, Stockton, Sunday, December 6, 2015

Melanie Hudson

 

Dave holds nothing back with his Santa outfit.
Photo courtesy and © Karen Newton

This race is three laps of Ropner Park in Stockton and 5k in length. It is all on tarmac, and besides a tiny hill at the end of each lap, it is a very flat and fast course.

I entered this race for two reasons: the first being that entry included a medal with santa on, and the second being that I would get to dress up in my Mrs Santa outfit.

I had planned on taking it easy, since the only short events I have taken part in have been the parkrun, where I have mainly been volunteering as the 30 minutes pacer for the last few months. However, on the morning I felt like I had quite a bit of energy, and since the course was flat and on a good surface, I wondered if I could do under 25 minutes, I guess there was only one way to find out. So off I went, the first lap felt reasonably comfortable, the second lap I started to wonder if I could maintain my pace, in the third lap I could hear someone was trying to pass me which kept me going. However, he did eventually pass me on the final hill, only for him to then not turn off for the finish and headed off to do another lap. Thankfully he very quickly realised his error and turned back. By this point I was ahead of him, so I slowed and let him pass me at the finish, as I am sure he would have beat me had he not started a new lap. I came in at 24 minutes 18.

Dave also had a really good run, finishing in 26:12. He probably could have gone faster but he was also doing another 5k that afternoon, so needed to keep something in reserve for that. There were at least seven other Striders running.

It was not until the next day, when the results came out, that I discovered I was the 3rd lady to finish, thank you to Jill Young for picking up my prize.

Great Run Local, Gibside, Sunday, October 11, 2015

5km

Jon Ayres

As the preparation for Marathons next year begins so the thinking of how to incorporate long runs into family time starts. The chance to take the Jr members of the clan for a day out at Gibside hall and for a few miles to be clocked up running there, followed by a harder end to the run appealed.

Having never done a “great local” run before I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but am happy to confirm that they feel very much like the parkrun of 5 years ago, friendly and well organised with the group totalling around 60 or so.

There are two runs – 2 and 5k – with the longer set off a few seconds earlier. The course starts flat but there are a couple of “lung busters” with the terrain being a mix of hard and softish trail. Marshalls are spread around though both I and Elaine Bisson managed to take wrong turns at separate points, fortunately these were soon corrected. The last mile or so is a long drop with a sharp short climb and a flat finish (very fast).

A great course in a terrific setting, definitely worth a visit.

For the record Elaine finished first Woman about ten seconds ahead of me, due to some really strong hill running, however as her wristband hadn’t arrived (a bit like the parkrun barcode, just a touch fancier) she wasn’t registered in the final results.

Phil Johnson 5k, Barrow Haven, Lincolnshire, Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Steph Piper

 

Clan PiperThis was a one-off race by Barton and District Athletics Club in memory of Phil Johnson, a local athlete who sadly lost his battle with cancer this year. I was down visiting the family for a few days and had taken my running gear, expecting to go for a training run with my dad and his club, the Wold’s Veterans. Formal training wasn’t on due to the Bank Holiday and dad decided to save his legs for the race on Tuesday evening.

I hoped there might be EOD, but dad said Phil had been a popular chap, and the 100-capacity race had sold-out with a long reserve list. Still, as we headed out the door dad to race, and the Piper girls to spectate I grabbed my running gear on the off-chance there might be a number going spare. At the registration desk, as dad picked his number up, I asked if they might have had a no-show and I could transfer. Even better they had a single number spare! For £3 (profits to the Brain Tumour Society), I was in. As they say up here Shy bairns get nowt!

We lined up on the start and, with a very brief announcement and thanks, were off along the flat country roads of Barrow-upon-Humber. The course was a simple triangle out from the pub with a couple of sharp left turns and back again. A couple of gentle inclines between the second and third km markers allowed me to leave several Barrow AC girls behind (I overheard several of dad’s Wolds Vets team mates lamenting these ‘hills’ at the finish line! Ah, the flatlands!).

I kept a steady pace round the course and the final mile towards the finish felt long, but with the Humber Bridge on the horizon resplendent again the sunset, it felt good to reflect on all that running is, and does. A lovely run out, and a befitting memorial race.

Sunderland 5K, Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Katy Walton

Quick 5k just what I needed to see where I was with my training. I headed over to Sunderland with Graeme who had race envy so he entered the race on the night.

It was a gorgeous sunny night with a good turn out of club runners including plenty of Striders.

First race up was female and V50 men. To the top of the hill Louise Warner, Sarah Davies and myself did go. Feeling nervous, I had heard the start was a scrabble with a chance of a tumble and a crushing as people run over you! Off we went down the hill immediately. Louise Warner must have had too many skittles as she flew down the hill ahead of me. Taking note that Stephen Jackson had gone off too fast last year I decided to let her go. “I will catch her” my positive mindset said.

Once at the bottom of the hill the runners go around the small lake, this did include a little hill, but soon you were heading along on the flat again. I managed to pass Louise on the bridge as we approached the lake. About 400 metres later Kim Simpson seemed to be getting closer to me, I reeled her in and went past, this gave me a boost to continue running as I was.

Up the hill to the crowds of supporters I went with huge cheers from Lesley, Phil, Catherine and the strider men who were ready to race. Back onto the lake path, this time to do a loop around the big lake.

I enjoyed this loop, you could see that the course ahead was flat, this just made me feel great and continue with my pace.

Before I knew it I was running back up the hill towards the supporters and there was the finish. It was over. I looked at my watch praying it to be under 21minutes and to my shock 20.03. Louise came in not far behind me followed by Sarah, both enjoying the race.

The guys race was over and done before you new it. The order changed between the Striders as they ran past to do their loops. We were all guessing who would come round first the next time, it was very exciting! Excellent efforts from all but Rob ran in first followed by Stephen and then Gareth. Graeme had a great run followed by Richard Hall senior. Simon Gardner had a fantastic time too he came in after the dashing trio ahead of Graeme.

I think this would be a great race for the sprint section in the Grand Prix next year. It’s local, very fast and they accept entries on the day.

Bottoms Up Cup, Sunday, May 31, 2015

Simon Gardner

I was supposed to be lining up at the Middlesbrough 5K but constant injury problems and not mentally able to push myself hard I decided (or bottled it) to give a new race a go and not chase a time.

The recently reformed Washington running club had put this 5K on to help publicise the club. The race HQ was based at Biddick school which meant excellent parking and facilities. After picking up my number I had a quick chat with John Hutchinson and then made the 10 minute walk from the school to the start.

The course is based in princess Anne park and after a short briefing we were on our way with a flat straight first 1K which then went down into the woods. They did say part of the course was on trail and with the overnight rain this made it very slippy in places. Obviously what goes down must come up and my heart sank at the sight of more steps to climb (I’d had my fill of steps at George ogle). This just about reduced most people to a walking pace.

Once out the woods it was back on to the paths with several undulations I was struggling to find any rhythm (running mojo lost please return to me if found ) but thankfully with being just 5K it wasn’t long until we were back on the finish straight crossing the line in 11th place.

It’s a very cheap race £5 and very well marshalled so if you fancy a good challenging 5K then it’s definitely one for next year.

Great Winter Run 5K, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, Saturday, January 10, 2015

Laura Jackson

Laura Jackson - Elvet Striders' Ice Maiden!I signed up for this event in August last year as I was frightened I would stop running once the Great North Run was over in September 2014. Although it is only a 5K it takes in historic Arthur’s Seat and being an escaped Scot it was too much to resist. My sister and two of her friends also signed up so we had a team of four when we arrived in Edinburgh on Saturday morning, on what turned out to be a perfect winter’s day – sunny but crisp with a little frost underfoot on the grass.

Whilst waiting in the obligatory portaloo queue, fellow Strider Till Sawala came to say hello. He was also doing the event, having been in Edinburgh for work a few days previous to the event. We were given coloured “waves” to start in, a bit like the GNR. I was in green but my sister and her friends were in pink so I dropped back to pink with them. Each wave started about a minute or so apart but as it was chip timed it wasn’t an issue. Soon it was our turn to go.

A lovely flat downhill start quickly turned into a 2km gradient, up the right hand bank of Arthur’s Seat. The gradient got gradually steeper then it flattened out to some amazing scenery. Travelling round the back of the mound was something I’ve never done before so was unaware of the “loch” and also the scenery of Edinburgh and beyond.

Hailstones batter the runners around Arthur's SeatAs we continued around it became completely surreal. A big dark cloud which seemed to have appeared from nowhere released hailstones at such a force that it felt like we were being fired at with small missiles. Luckily I had decided not to ditch my Striders hoodie for my rain jacket as this gave some protection against the cold pellets that were firing in all directions. Some runners in front of me simply stopped as visibility was poor. I tied my hood up as high as I could and with my glasses as eye protection, I continued on my way.

Shortly after this, the hail morphed into big fat snowflakes and this signalled the final 2k descent which was without a doubt the best feeling ever. Running 2km completely downhill as the snow disappeared and the sun came back was a beautiful end to the event and on completing we were given a packed goodie bag, medal and long sleeved, non-tech, t-shirt (the Drumstick Squishies were eaten en route back to the car!) .

Goody bag minus Drumstick Squishies!I really enjoyed the race and will definitely use the route again as a casual run or perhaps for preparation for a hilly route as the hill itself was very difficult. This was a lovely 5K event and local to my parents so I’d probably do it again next year. My finish time was 38.39 which, given the weather and the mountain to climb, I wasn’t too bothered about, I was just pleased to have done,it and most importantly, enjoyed it. Well done too to Till, who finished a whole 20 mins before me and also in an amazing 22nd place- what a hero!

The race also provided the fringe event for the Great Edinburgh Cross Country that was being televised and as I was waiting on my sister to finish, I watched Chris Derrick doing his final preparations before then going on to win the men’s event later in the day. We would have probably stayed to watch if we had not been like snowy, wet icicles at the end.

Results

Pos Name Club Cat Cat Pos Time
1 Nathan Cox Morpeth Harriers & AC 16:32
7 Annabel Simpson Fife AC 19:16
22 Till Sawala Elvet Striders 18:42
1844 Laura Jackson Elvet Striders 38:39

1881 finishers.

Stockton Winter 5K Trail Race #3, Preston Park, Stockton, Saturday, December 13, 2014

Denise Benvin

I woke up to the sound of my alarm at 7.15, and not for the first time wondered why I was getting up this early to go running when I could be laid snug in bed on this cold December morning. However I knew soon enough that I would soon have to go a meet Kerry, Karin and Kelly my fellow partners in crime for our trip to the Stockton Winter 5k trail race at Preston Park. This was my first race on a local level and I was rather nervous, and we got there in plenty of time, filled out the necessary paper work, so number in hand we had a nice welcome cuppa and got ready for the race, meeting up with other Striders also braving the cold December morning. We watched the juniors come in giving a good cheer and clap for them (I love to see the kids race). Then time for a loo stop and the start line, there was a good gathering of runners and before we knew it the race had started.

Striders excel on kids' crocodile, or indeed snake, sideways swinging thingy ... ok, ok, you come up with a clever caption!

The race itself consisted of 2 laps around the park, part path and part trail. Things started off well nice little flat bit then down hill past the lake and the swan along the trail, then yes you guessed it a HILL, no!! panic!! I hate hills, anyway I gritted my teeth and up I went at the top it was a right turn and round the outside of the park past the butterfly house and back to the start. The flat and down hill bit was welcome but as I was running past the swan in the lake which I swear was smirking at the thought of me getting up that hill. I plodded along the trail to the “HILL” and gritted my teeth once again and I could hear the voice of Mike Elliot in my head saying just keep plugging away, don’t give up now. The top of the hill reached and a left turn to come along to the finish and there he was the man himself, spurring me on and a sea of purple shouting me across the line yipee. My first race over with, so we all went in search of coffee this was not quite as successful though (note to self take a flask just in case). Presentations over with we all departed via the play area and a picture on the long snake swing. Still in need of coffee we stopped at MacDonalds on the A19, we weren’t the only Striders with this idea ha ha. Now looking forward to my next race.

MoRun 5K, Town Moor, Newcastle, Sunday, November 9, 2014

Kerry Lister

'Mo Sistas' suitably attired for the MoRun 5K at NewcastleOne 10k race on a sunny Sunday wasn’t enough for Helen Allen, Vicki McLean, Laura Jackson and me so, after the Heaton Harriers Memorial 10K, we signed up for the Newcastle 5k MoRun while Denise ‘the Machine’ Benvin joined Kirsty ‘looks like her dad’ Steed in the 10k.

The race is run in support of ‘Movember’ to raise money and awareness for Prostate Cancer so, yeah, it was expensive compared to the Heaton Harriers race in the morning but you get an awesome moustache medal, and I’m fairly sure our ‘running outfits’ may well have been frowned upon on by those in the more serious earlier run. Fancy dress and moustaches were optional but when my number came through as 118 then my fate was decided!

We lined up with hundreds of other people, young, old, dressed up, moustachioed, bare faced – all were welcome – then we were off! With many moans and groans we started on our 3rd lap of the Town Moor, then our legs finally loosened up and we began enjoying our MoRun. It wasn’t fast, it wasn’t particularly comfortable but, hey, it’s not every Sunday you get to be a Mo Sista!

'Mo Sistas' done it for themselves - complete with 'tash' medals!

Watergate 5K, Gateshead, Thursday, August 28, 2014

Alister Robson

Alister wearing some NEMAA silver bling.Again a low Striders turnout for this one which many would enjoy very much. No T-shirt or medal, in fact only a bottle of water and a buffet after, but cheap as chips and part of the NEMAA championship series too.

Unsurprisingly I always think this venue would suit a parkrun down to the ground being a good surface and going nowhere near any roads. It starts flat if a touch competitive at the front, before a short sharp climb, then a long downhill when you can really get the speed up. A tight right hand bend across a narrow bridge and again you’re climbing up a longish drag. There’s a quick drop to get your breath back then the bit I always forget about, another short climb. From here it’s a short downhill, a tight right turn and a long straight and back to the start to begin the second lap.

I had a great run here which surprised me a little as I hadn’t run much this week, and had a horrible journey to get here – stuck on the A1 Western Bypass which was like a car park – and only just got there in time to meet Richard and Becky, the only other Striders in attendance at the start. Richard came in just after me and Becky ran strongly too – I think both comfortably improved on last year, here.

We hung around for the presentations and a beer and I was overjoyed to discover I’d won the NEMAA silver medal for my age category, and that I’d also won a silver from my run at the Morpeth 10k earlier this month. 🙂