Category Archives: GP

The GP is made up of 24 races in four general categories: Cross-country, Fell and Trail, Short Road or mixed-terrain, and, Long Road or mixed-terrain.

Each category comprises six races, and there are separate women’s and men’s competitions.

In each race the first Strider home gets 15 points, the second 14 points and so on. All Striders 15th and below get 1 point.

In the overall Grand Prix all 24 races count. In each category a runner’s best four from six count.

Race Key
See the fixtures page for details of individual events.

Harrier League, Thornley Hall Farm, Saturday, February 11, 2017

Joanne Patterson

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race.

Thornley Hall Farm – NEHL Cross Country

So the day had arrived.  I had been awake most of the night listening to the rain lashing off the windows and dreading the fact that I had to face my demons and have my second try at this NEHL fixture.  My first attempt at it (in fact, my first attempt at XC since I was at school) hadn’t gone great.  As is probably common knowledge by now, I got too carried away and had a nasty fall around 100m from the finish, and so didn’t get to cross the finish line.

I had arranged to travel to Thornley with Tamsin, she picked me up early and we agreed that we must be mad.  It rained the entire journey.  Pictures were being posted on Facebook of the mud and the conditions, which did nothing to calm the nerves and dread.

We arrived at the farm and it was immediately obvious that this was going to be tough.  Everywhere you looked there was mud.  Nowhere near as much grass as I remembered from the first time.

I hunted out the Striders tent and a few of us huddled inside to keep warm.  The tent filled up, the chattering and laughing started, and I didn’t feel quite as nervous.  Knowing that even you seasoned XC pros were dreading it just as much as me, really helped!  I popped out with Kerry and Catherine to cheer on the U11’s, so we could see future Strider Lewis Littlewood having a really good run.  Lots of U13s passed in the next race, minus one or both trainers in some cases – Christ.  I was going to lose my new trainers wasn’t I?  Another thing to worry about!  Shortly after that we headed back to the tent to take off our multiple layers of warm clothing ready for battle.  A few team photo’s (in the warmth of the tent) and we heard the call for the ladies to line up!

We all huddled together (with hardcore vest-wearing Lesley in the centre of the huddle) to try and keep warm, as the rain turned to sleet and we were told there was a 15 minute delay.

This soon passed, and the gun went off.  The first part of the race seems to pass in a blur.  Lots of fast ladies passing me, but I felt I was holding my own in my part of the pack.  Off the grass and through the biggest, icy cold puddle I have ever experienced – wow that was actually fun.  The first hill was slippy slidy mud – I tried to run up it the best way I could, but I don’t think you could describe it as running.  I hear cries of “I can’t do this” from other runners and I immediately feel in good company!  There was literally no avoiding any of the mud or puddles, and I just ended up embracing it, with my main worry being to stay upright.  It was horrible.  It was hard.  My feet were so heavy, the hail bounced off my face like someone had just thrown stones at me.  I can’t do this.  It’s too hard, it’s not for me.  I won’t make a difference – all the faster ladies are way ahead – they make the difference for us.  Not long after these thoughts, I see 2 purple vests holding up an injured Mandy.  Oh no somebody is hurt.  Oh no they’re some of our fast ladies.  She seems really hurt.  I should stop and help.  No Joanne, she has help, she will be ok.  But if I help, I won’t need to run anymore.  But we have potentially lost 3 ladies.  You need to run, you need to do all that you can for the team.  So I keep running.

Massive huge hill.  Jan Ellis has placed herself perfectly in the middle of the hill.  You can’t stop now, she will see you.  You can get up the hill.  I imagine Jon Ayres shouting at me about my arms, and I get up the hill with Jan’s support ringing in my ears.  Wow that was hard.  I think I am going to die – oh great, look here’s Phil and Di with a camera….I carry on steadily, always worrying about falling – I will look like such an idiot if I fall again.  My favourite part of the whole course, is the downhill bit which leads upto the hill next to all the tents – for some reason, I really like that hill.  I take at least 2 ladies with the men shouting support as I went.  I think I may have sworn halfway up, but I didn’t stop.  Crap.  I have to do that whole thing AGAIN?!  For all my mile times on my garmin were a lot slower, it felt like the second lap went so much faster.  I was back around to my favourite part again in no time, met by more male Strider support, plus some comment from Jon about my arms (supportive I’m sure).  I didn’t look over, I just put everything I had into that last hill and passed another 2 ladies (who I think promptly took their places back on the downhill but still…).  Running along that last bit to the finish seemed to take forever, but shout outs from the already finished ladies kept me going.  I have never felt anything like crossing that finish line and stopping my garmin (which for the first time ever I could not have cared less what the numbers were).  I did it.  I blooming did it.  And I wasn’t last!

Now, where are those brownies?

I never understood the love/hate thing that people have for XC until now.  I can’t wait for Alnwick.

men
posbibnamecatpackrace timeactual time
1401Dan Jenkin (DCH)MsenF43:5038:50
27551Scott WatsonMV50S47:0247:02
29546Phil RayMV35S47:0647:06
30556Stephen JacksonMsenF47:1242:12
38533Matt ClaydonMV40S47:3447:34
49521Jason HardingMV45M48:1045:40
85534Matthew ArcherMV35S49:3149:31
99536Michael LittlewoodMV40M49:5147:21
101500Danny LimMV35S49:5549:55
134507David GibsonMV45S50:5050:50
146520James GarlandMV40S51:2151:21
149514Gareth PritchardMV35F51:2746:27
216532Mark WarnerMV35M54:0351:33
239535Michael HughesMV45S55:0055:00
258525Jon AyresMV40S55:5155:51
265501Dave HalliganMV50S56:2356:23
284499Daniel MitchelMV35S57:5157:51
305549Richard HockinMV60S59:4659:46
331529Malcolm SygroveMV50S62:3962:39
341561Tim MatthewsMV50S63:4463:44
356528Lindsay RodgersMV45S66:0766:07
365544Peter HartMV35S69:0769:07
366504David BrowbankMV35S69:0969:09

369 finishers.

women
posbibnamecatpackrace timeactual time
1613Emma Holt (Morpeth Harriers & AC)FsenF31:1527:55
22416Olivia NealFsenM36:3234:52
48418Rachael BullockFsenM37:3835:58
56432Tasmin ImberFV40F37:4534:25
66419Rachelle MasonFV35S38:0338:03
91428Stephanie PiperFsenS39:0339:03
97391Juliet PercivalFV40M39:4338:03
118407Lesley CharmanFV40S40:4840:48
124433Victoria BrownFV35S41:1141:11
128415Nina MasonFV40S41:2841:28
141406Laura JenningsFsenS42:0642:06
146382Jan YoungFV60S42:3442:34
174434Victoria JacksonFV35S44:1944:19
2051120Joanne PattersonFsenS49:0549:05
235402Kerry BarnettFV40S55:5555:55
238401Kelly CollierFsenS57:3257:32

245 finishers.

 

The Brass Monkey, York, Sunday, January 15, 2017

Half Marathon

Stephen Jackson

Grand Prix Race. Endurance Champion Race.

A cold, but not freezing, morning in York for the 35th Brass Monkey half marathon. The weather, as it turned out, was pretty kind to the 1500 or so runners. The drizzle had disappeared by the time the race started at 10:00 and the wind was barely noticeable.

If you enjoy road running there is no denying it’s a cracking race. York racecourse provides the organisers with a great base for runners and spectators alike, the course is as described; ‘fast and flat’ and the marshals and officials do a great job making everyone feel looked after.

I have a theory that the January date is particularly appealing for club runners looking for a ‘post-Christmas’ target – a reason to pull on the high-vis kit through December. Whatever the reason, this is a popular race with a capital P and apparently sold out in 38 minutes.

Unlike last year, this time I had a plan. Go out at 75 minute pace and (3:33/km) and try to pick it up towards the end. As it worked out I had some company for a big chunk of the race as a group of 5-6 runners from various clubs around the North East, including captain Gareth Pritchard, worked together in a little pack – each taking a turn to lead the group.

This worked really well up to 9/10 miles when I decided to make a bit of a move – followed only by one runner from Roundhay Runners in Leeds. It emerged that we had a similar goal in mind and again, the ‘strength in numbers’ approach helped build the momentum towards the end of the race, which was now in sight (metaphorically speaking).

As we hit the railway bridge with a couple of miles to go I had a little bit left in the legs, and pushed on again with my pace now nearer to 10k effort (3:22/km) – time for my end of race mantra ‘now or never’.

So, a second over 1:14 according to my watch, a second under according to my chip; I always did like chips.

A new half marathon PB of 01:13.59 and a post-race analysis of ‘job done’.

A very popular race with fellow Elvet Striders in abundance with lots of smiles and encouragement pre and post-race.

I really hope this can be the first entry on the running calendar for 2018, it is most certainly one of my favourites.

Results

Strider Pos. Bibno. Finish time Chip time Participant Category Start time Speed Pace
1 896 01:14:02 01:13:59 Stephen Jackson (M) Open Senior 10:00:10 10.62 mph 5:39 min/mile
2 1382 01:15:41 01:15:37 Gareth Pritchard (M) V35 10:00:10 10.38 mph 5:46 min/mile
3 1066 01:18:20 01:18:14 Michael Littlewood (M) V40 10:00:12 10.03 mph 5:58 min/mile
4 62 01:25:17 01:25:09 Matthew Archer (M) V35 10:00:15 9.22 mph 6:30 min/mile
5 165 01:36:03 01:35:40 Elaine Bisson (F) V35 10:00:29 8.18 mph 7:19 min/mile
6 165 01:41:04 01:39:46 Kate Milburn (F) V35 10:01:24 7.88 mph 7:36 min/mile
7 304 01:42:28 01:41:26 David Case (M) Open Senior 10:01:09 7.67 mph 7:49 min/mile
8 1800 01:45:47 01:44:44 Nicola Whyte (F) Open Senior 10:01:09 7.43 mph 8:04 min/mile
19 1558 01:47:43 01:46:59 Eric Green (M) V45 10:00:50 7.30 mph 8:13 min/mile
9 1524 01:48:47 01:48:02 Chris Shearsmith (M) V35 10:00:52 7.22 mph 8:18 min/mile
10 436 01:49:46 01:48:27 Lesley Charman (F) V40 10:01:25 7.16 mph 8:22 min/mile
11 250 01:52:43 01:51:24 Victoria Brown (F) V35 10:01:25 6.97 mph 8:36 min/mile
12 713 01:56:17 01:55:22 Lesley Hamill (F) V40 10:01:02 6.76 mph 8:52 min/mile
13 274 01:56:19 01:55:24 Karen Byng (F) V45 10:01:02 6.76 mph 8:52 min/mile
14 435 01:57:47 01:56:29 Steve Ellis (M) 60 10:01:25 6.67 mph 8:59 min/mile
15 790 01:59:51 01:58:09 Mark Herkes (M) Open Senior 10:01:49 6.56 mph 9:08 min/mile
16 389 02:00:35 01:57:57 Lucy Cowton (F) Open Senior 10:02:44 6.52 mph 9:12 min/mile
17 327 02:00:35 01:58:58 Trevor Chaytor (M) V50 10:01:43 6.52 mph 9:12 min/mile
18 1506 02:00:38 01:59:06 Anna Seeley (F) Open Senior 10:01:39 6.51 mph 9:12 min/mile
19 1558 02:00:39 01:59:06 Catherine Smith (F) V40 10:01:39 6.51 mph 9:12 min/mile
20 485 02:04:47 02:02:22 Jane Dowsett (F) V45 10:02:32 6.30 mph 9:31 min/mile
21 485 02:05:28 02:03:56 Karen Crampton (F) V45 10:01:39 6.26 mph 9:34 min/mile
22 1367 02:08:33 02:06:10 James Potter (M) V35 10:02:30 6.11 mph 9:48 min/mile
23 1926 02:08:57 02:06:30 Katie-Louise Finney (F) Open Senior 10:02:34 6.09 mph 9:50 min/mile
24 441 02:10:28 02:08:01 Katie Davison (F) Open Senior 10:02:34 6.02 mph 9:57 min/mile
25 1314 02:10:29 02:08:02 Mike Parker (M) V40 10:02:33 6.02 mph 9:57 min/mile
26 1555 02:12:28 02:09:59 Alan Smith (M) V70 10:02:35 5.93 mph 10:06 min/mile
27 789 02:12:32 02:10:07 Lucy Herkes (F) Open Senior 10:02:32 5.93 mph 10:07 min/mile
28 1067 02:13:20 02:10:44 Wendy Littlewood (F) V35 10:02:43 5.89 mph 10:10 min/mile
29 938 02:13:45 02:11:20 Debbie Jones (F) V45 10:02:32 5.88 mph 10:12 min/mile
30 558 02:16:09 02:13:19 Kirsten Fenwick (F) Open Senior 10:02:57 5.77 mph 10:23 min/mile
31 1146 02:16:22 02:13:57 Debbie Mcfarland (F) Open Senior 10:02:32 5.76 mph 10:24 min/mile
32 841 02:19:22 02:16:46 Karen Hooper (F) V40 10:02:42 5.64 mph 10:38 min/mile
33 65 02:24:50 02:24:10 Teresa Archer (F) Open Senior 10:00:47 5.43 mph 11:03 min/mile
34 114 02:26:14 02:23:36 Kerry Barnett (F) V45 10:02:44 5.37 mph 11:09 min/mile
35 1325 02:26:37 02:23:59 Joanne Patterson (F) Open Senior 10:02:44 5.36 mph 11:11 min/mile
36 634 02:29:04 02:26:16 Rebecca Gilmore (F) Open Senior 10:02:55 5.27 mph 11:22 min/mile
37 1676 02:33:37 02:30:49 Margaret Thompson (F) V65 10:02:54 5.12 mph 11:43 min/mile
38 139 02:36:20 02:33:36 Faye Bell (F) V35 10:02:50 5.03 mph 11:56 min/mile
39 913 02:44:27 02:44:27 Neil Jennings (M) V50 10:00:07 4.78 mph 12:33 min/mile
40 912 02:51:16 02:48:37 Elaine Jennings (F) V50 10:02:45 4.59 mph 13:04 min/mile
41 1035 02:53:03 02:50:21 Rachel Leigh-Firbank (F) V40 10:02:48 4.54 mph 13:12 min/mile

“I completed the York brass monkey today for the first time.  2hrs 3min 56sec.  Sore and aching but very happy with my result.  Met up with some lovely striders who were very friendly and supportive, especially Trevor Chaytor who helped me get home afterwards due to an unexpected emergency back in Durham.”  Karen Crampton

Harrier League, Herrington Park, Saturday, January 7, 2017

UNITED WE STAND!

Photos courtesy of Tamsin Imber

Video courtesy of Aaron Gourley

Last Saturday’s Harrier League fixture at Herrington Park saw around 70+ Strider members in attendance. There were Strider men, women, young , old, fast, not so fast, new members, long servers, coaches and committee members all there wanting their club to do well and for everyone to have a brilliant day. It gladdened even the hardest heart to see it and it showed just what this club is all about. We Striders are able to come together no matter who we are, what we are or where we’re from and give our all in the service of the club. It was absolutely magnificent and all who were there should be incredibly proud!

The day itself was cloudy, mild and calm if a little damp and the tent and banner was soon up along with many more from our sister clubs. Some of these clubs have long histories stretching back to the nineteenth century such as Heaton Harriers; our next door neighbours for the day, while others are ‘new arrivals’ like Derwent Valley Trail Runners in only their second HL season. It was great to be among them all.

The Striders tent filled up quickly in anticipation of the senior women’s race. We had veterans such as Roz and Jan, welcome returners like Karen, Nina and Emma, fresh faced speedy Striders in Tamsin and Olivia, new devout converts such as Diane and Helen & tough campaigners like Mudwoman herself, Stef & Camilla. We also had one slightly apprehensive debutant, Carla, who quickly shed that apprehension and enjoyed her day to the utmost.

Although it was dry overhead the course was quite muddy in places with a couple of challenging hills and a long woodland section which contained a few obstacles for good measure. Not an easy course by any means. Nonetheless, well over 300 women lined up to do battle with purple vests well in evidence at the start particularly in the front rank of combatants.

Rachelle and Mudwoman were first to show followed by Lesley and they hurdled the fallen logs with eagerness and élan. Emma, on her long anticipated return to the Striders x/c fold, battled her way steadily from the medium pack to finish ahead of Rachelle & Mudwoman with another medium packer, Olivia, powering through at the end to finish as 4th counter. But what support they had from their team mates including the ever improving Helen, a determined Rachael, a committed Vics, a dogged Denise and many many more. No less than 30 Striderettes competed and they all ran their hearts out. But Harrier League is a savage and unforgiving arena, particularly the first division,  and with some of our regular ‘counters’ absent through injury or illness our women’s team finished 9th on the day and slipped to 8th for the season just above the relegation zone. We now have a fight on our hands that we’re determined to win!

As well as fielding 57 runners across the two main races Striders had numerous members there who came along to cheer their club mates and have an enjoyable day out. An injured Conrad gave his impression of the ‘Shipman Roar’, Anna, Katy & Allan cast their coaches’ eye over proceedings while Catherine S, Jan E, Stan, Jo P & Diane W all did their best to spur on the purple hoards. Many thanks to them!

One or two of our male runners were so far into the zone during their warm ups that they failed to hear the whistles and shouts that heralded the imminent start of the men’s race. Consequently they had a bit of catching up to do after the gun was fired! Fighting through that 500+ field on what was now a very muddy course couldn’t have been easy but Striders were fielding a very strong team. An absolutely magnificent run by Stephen, coming from the fast pack, saw him finish in 35th place overall and first Strider home. Scott too did his fare share of bursting through finishing second Strider and being closely followed by Matt A (his best X/C race thus far?!), Gibbo, Phil Ray and Jason (from the medium pack).

These guys also had some fantastic support from our other fast packers Gareth & Michael M plus Michael L, Mark & Jack from the medium pack. Pictures on social medium have also shown the grit and determination displayed by the rest of the magnificent team particularly David Browbank (retaining his shoes), Douglas Jardine (putting his body on the line in his debut race), young Emil (thrown in the deep end on his first outing) and Richard Hocking (beating over 150 younger men).

This was Striders best performance in the first division so far. All 6 counters finished in the top 80 places – an excellent display but, such is the quality of our opponents, our 6th place on the day still keeps us in 8th place for the season but with a 2 point cushion over the relegation zone and now just 2 points behind the 7th place club. Like the women we too have a battle on our hands and one that we are equally determined to win.

So we have just two fixtures to go and if any one who manages to read this far and hasn’t yet run this season, particularly those for whom we already have numbers, then I urge you to turn up at Thornley and Alnwick and run for your club. You really are missing out on a fantastic experience if you don’t!

Mudman

Ps I would like to give a special mention to Kerry and Denise for an act way above and beyond the call on duty –  the removal of all the goose poo from the Striders tent!

results

women

position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 1786 Lorna Macdonald (Morpeth Harriers & AC) Fsen S 27:30 27:30
64 372 Emma Bain FV45 M 32:51 30:56
67 419 Rachelle Mason FV35 S 32:49 32:49
71 431 Susan Davis FV55 S 32:56 32:56
119 416 Olivia Neal Fsen M 33:51 31:56
135 418 Rachael Bullock Fsen M 34:01 32:06
141 407 Lesley Charman FV40 S 34:07 34:07
143 432 Tamsin Imber FV40 F 34:09 30:19
151 428 Stephanie Piper Fsen S 34:35 34:35
158 433 Victoria Brown FV35 S 34:44 34:44
169 379 Helen Thomas FV40 S 35:12 35:12
177 414 Marita Grimwood FV45 S 35:28 35:28
191 423 Roz Layton FV60 S 36:43 36:43
195 356 Camilla Lauren-Maatta FV50 S 36:38 36:38
196 384 Jenny Search FV40 S 36:40 36:40
200 369 Diane Harold FV40 S 36:53 36:53
204 382 Jan Young FV60 S 37:15 37:15
206 427 Stef Barlow FV40 S 37:11 37:11
218 415 Nina Mason FV40 S 37:44 37:44
221 350 Anita Clementson FV45 S 37:53 37:53
234 409 Louise Barrow Fsen S 38:28 38:28
246 385 Jill Rudkin FV40 S 38:51 38:51
247 434 Victoria Jackson FV35 S 38:52 38:52
261 389 Joanne Porter FV45 S 39:23 39:23
281 393 Karen Metters FV40 S 40:56 40:56
286 357 Carla Clarke FV35 S 41:45 41:45
296 360 Catherine Walker FV55 S 43:29 43:29
303 348 Aileen Scott FV45 S 44:10 44:10
315 421 Rebecca Dodd Fsen S 45:32 45:32
318 368 Denise Benvin FV45 S 45:51 45:51
321 402 Kerry Barnett FV40 S 46:03 46:03

341 finishers.

men

position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 1786 Ian Harding (Morpeth Harriers & AC) Msen S 33:20 33:20
35 556 Stephen Jackson Msen F 39:36 34:16
56 551 Scott Watson MV50 S 40:28 40:28
60 534 Matthew Archer MV35 S 40:29 40:29
66 507 David Gibson MV45 S 40:37 40:37
74 546 Phil Ray MV35 S 40:51 40:51
80 521 Jason Harding MV45 M 40:59 38:19
97 536 Michael Littlewood MV40 M 41:25 38:45
122 520 James Garland MV40 S 41:56 41:56
132 533 Matt Claydon MV40 S 42:04 42:04
162 514 Gareth Pritchard MV35 F 42:27 37:07
165 540 Neil Sleeman MV40 S 42:29 42:29
227 1734 Michael Mason MV40 F 43:46 38:26
232 532 Mark Warner MV35 M 43:48 41:08
263 515 Geoff Davis MV55 S 44:24 44:24
288 519 Jack Lee Msen M 45:04 42:24
293 487 Aaron Gourley MV35 S 45:19 45:19
362 549 Richard Hockin MV60 S 47:30 47:30
412 529 Malcolm Sygrove MV50 S 49:30 49:30
445 492 Andrew Davies MV40 S 51:19 51:19
470 511 Douglas Jardine MV35 S 52:45 52:45
477 498 Craig Walker MV55 S 53:10 53:10
484 504 David Browbank MV35 S 53:37 53:37
487 510 Dougie Nisbet MV50 S 53:43 53:43
499 1749 Emil Maata Msen S 55:53 55:53
508 496 Chris Shearsmith MV35 S 57:32 57:32
511 555 Stephen Ellis MV60 S 58:21 58:21
518 545 Phil Owen MV50 S 59:36 59:36

531 finishers.

Captain Cook’s Fell Race, Great Ayton, Sunday, January 1, 2017

BS / 8km / 318m

Dougie Nisbet

Grand Prix Race. King/Queen of the Mountain Race. I’ve never seen Star Wars …
Dougie Nisbet in Captain Cooks Fell Race. Photo by Dave Aspin.
Photo Courtesy and
© Dave Aspin

Well I have actually. But I’ve never done Captain Cooks, which is almost as bad as never having tried Harrier League, or Brussels sprouts. You can’t claim not to like something unless you’ve tried it. Despite having a great fondness for the Esk Valley fell races this particular fixture had never really appealed to me for some reason. I usually prefer Nine Standards or the (newly returned) Hillforts and Headaches.

I’d heard it was a busy race so I arrived about an hour early, which by my standards is an eternity. After finding somewhere to park an indecently long way from registration I turned up at the Royal Oak to see lots of happy smiling Striders. They were smiling, I think, because they turned up 2 hours early and had already registered. After a while I found the end of the queue and wondered if I’d get to the front before the race started.

I hadn’t been sure about Kit requirements. Although it’s a pretty short race I noticed from Steph’s 2015 report that she considered carrying, amongst other things, a knife (type unspecified, a Rambo one I assumed), so I thought I’d better at least take the basics. It could be rough out there.

I registered with only about 10 minutes to spare and I still didn’t know what shoes I was going to wear! I wandered up to a few random and not-so-random strangers and barked: “Trail or Walshes?!”. One brief straw-poll later and it was pretty clear that Walshes were the clear choice. I ran back to the car, had a quick costume change, then back to the Start with a few seconds to spare.

And then we had the race, which was ok. You went up a hill, not going round the monument (which I thought was a bit ungracious – I was tempted to run round it anyway), then back down again. On the climb I was glad for the Walshes as they dug in nicely and I could see lots of runners, an amazing number of runners, who were in road shoes and wasting a lot of energy sliding about and going twice the distance. They’d also managed to fit their entire kit requirements into a matchbox sized pocket in the back of their pants which was pretty impressive.

Despite there being loads of Striders at registration I saw none around me. I kept thinking I saw Camilla ahead and hoped I might catch her by the finish. I was somewhat bewildered to find her at the level crossing cheering me on and I paused to work out what was going on. Then another marshall told me to stop chatting and keep moving. I glanced back and noticed Jan hunting me down and I wasn’t having that, so moving I kept.

As we approached Great Ayton I was a bit bemused to discover I’d crossed the finish line in the middle of a field. What devil’s work was this? A fell race? That didn’t finish outside the pub it started at? Surely there’s some law against that? Then the hailstorm started and the kit that I was carrying that had been of no value at the monument suddenly became quite handy for the walk back to the car.

So what do I think? I enjoyed it. It’s a good race. But I think I enjoy Nine Standards more. It’s got snow at the top and everything. And by my calculations, the 20 minutes extra that it takes to drive to Kirkby Stephen is easily saved by not having to stand in a long queue or park 10 minutes away. So next year I’ll probably head back to Nine Standards. But then there’s Hillforts and Headaches… Hmmm… That’s the good thing about fell races. EOD. Decide in the morning when you wake up.

Results

pos bib name time cat/pos/pts/total
1 1052 Lloyd Biddell (Mercia Fell) 30.40 MO/1/50/50
1 57 Nik Tarrega (York Knavesmire) 38.17 FO/1/50/50
34 1115 Matthew Claydon 36.44 M40/8/41/41
46 1100 Jason Harding 37.42 M45/8/41/41
50 1141 Gareth Pritchard 37.54 MO/27/22/22
54 1038 Phil Ray 38.08 MO/29/20/20
56 1034 Jack Lee 38.14 MO/30/19/19
78 324 Danny Lim 39.27 MO/39/10/42
79 1051 David Gibson 39.29 M45/12/37/37
84 1166 Mark Warner 39.46 MO/41/8/8
135 1136 Dave Forster 42.42 MO/58/1/1
138 1193 Louise Warner 42.52 FO/5/44/44
158 1108 Mike Hughes 44.30 M45/26/23/23
170 1223 Mandy Dawson 45.11 F45/5/44/44
243 1137 Dougie Nisbet 50.13 M50/23/26/26
251 276 Jan Young 50.55 F60/2/48/96
259 1040 David Shipman 52.00 M60/9/40/40
266 1039 Emil Maatta 52.24 MO/77/1/1
272 1086 Tim Matthews 52.40 M50/27/22/22
293 1231 Lesley Charman 54.47 F40/12/37/37
306 153 Anita Clementson 57.02 F45/12/37/82
326 1224 Diane Watson 60.05 F50/7/42/42
331 1209 Victoria Brown 61.35 FO/26/23/23
336 1207 Diane Harold 64.49 F40/18/31/31

345 finishers.

Angus Tait Hexhamshire Hobble, Allendale Town, Sunday, December 4, 2016

CM / 10.4 miles / 1243 feet

Velvet Strider

Grand Prix Race. King/Queen of the Mountain Race.

Results

Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 John Butters NFR Men Veteren 40-49 1:09:32
26 Jason Harding Men Veteren 40-49 1:21:00
29 Karen Robertson NFR Women Veteran 40-49 1:22:29
35 Geoff Davis NFR Men Veteran 50-59 1:26:06
99 Susan Davis NFR Women Veteran 50-59 1:42:37
108 Dougie Nisbet Men Veteran 50-59 1:44:05
127 Melanie Hudson Women Senior 1:51:20
147 Diane Harold Women Veteran 40-49 2:20:20
148 Joanne Porter Women Veteran 40-49 2:20:21

153 finishers

Harrier League, Thornley Hall Farm, Saturday, November 26, 2016

Velvet Strider

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race.

Results

u17 and u20 girls
pos bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 301 Isobel Chaudrey (Gateshead Harriers) FU17 M 19:13 18:08
3 280 Sally Hughes FU20 S 19:52 19:52

41 finishers.

women
pos bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 553 Alex Sneddon (Jarrow & Hebburn AC) Fsen F 29:13 25:53
30 432 Tasmin Imber FV40 M 31:57 30:17
57 417 Penny Browell FV40 F 33:06 29:46
65 413 Mandy Dawson FV45 M 33:15 31:35
74 411 Louise Warner FV35 M 33:36 31:56
78 380 Helen Tones FV40 M 33:43 32:03
81 419 Rachelle Mason FV35 S 33:45 33:45
85 431 Susan Davis FV55 S 33:55 33:55
99 428 Stephanie Piper Fsen S 34:08 34:08
105 391 Juliet Percival FV40 M 34:22 32:42
141 374 Fiona Jones FV35 S 35:26 35:26
158 425 Sarah Davies FV45 M 36:05 34:25
176 415 Nina Mason FV40 S 37:12 37:12
181 382 Jan Young FV60 S 37:24 37:24
183 369 Diane Harold FV40 S 37:28 37:28
212 351 Anja Fechtner FV35 S 38:47 38:47
214 408 Lesley Hamill FV40 S 38:50 38:50
229 434 Victoria Jackson FV35 S 39:28 39:28
241 389 Joanne Porter FV45 S 40:30 40:30
248 409 Louise Barrow Fsen S 40:40 40:40
249 359 Catherine Smith FV40 S 40:42 40:42
267 426 Stacey Brannan FV35 S 42:43 42:43
283 360 Catherine Walker FV55 S 45:03 45:03
290 402 Kerry Barnett FV40 S 46:01 46:01

302 finishers.

men
pos bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 1723 Sebastian Anthony (Loughborough) guest S 36:11 36:11
24 556 Stephen Jackson Msen F 40:25 35:25
61 521 Jason Harding MV45 M 41:47 39:17
87 514 Gareth Pritchard MV35 F 42:30 37:30
92 533 Matt Claydon MV40 S 42:35 42:35
94 540 Neil Sleeman MV40 S 42:36 42:36
103 536 Michael Littlewood MV40 M 42:46 40:16
113 507 David Gibson MV45 S 43:02 43:02
114 519 Jack Lee Msen M 43:02 40:32
163 546 Phil Ray MV35 S 44:15 44:15
171 516 Graeme Walton MV40 S 44:26 44:26
182 563 Tom Reeves MV50 S 44:35 44:35
204 500 Danny Lim MV35 S 45:07 45:07
208 534 Matthew Archer MV35 S 45:13 45:13
228 515 Geoff Davis MV55 S 45:46 45:46
240 487 Aaron Gourley MV35 S 45:57 45:57
261 535 Michael Hughes MV45 S 46:44 46:44
292 499 Daniel Mitchel MV35 S 48:34 48:34
307 549 Richard Hockin MV60 S 49:15 49:15
362 561 Tim Matthews MV50 S 51:59 51:59
395 492 Andrew Davies MV40 S 54:12 54:12
407 510 Dougie Nisbet MV50 S 55:21 55:21
412 498 Craig Walker MV55 S 56:23 56:23
433 545 Phil Owen MV50 S 60:49 60:49
437 544 Peter Hart MV35 S 61:42 61:42

450 finishers.

Brampton to Carlisle, Sunday, November 20, 2016

10 Miles

Tamsin Imber

Grand Prix Race. Endurance Champion Race.

Photo by Helen Linton

Pre race

Well, what a top day for a run! Cold yes, but blue skies and the sun is coming out as we arrive in Brampton. I enter the school and join the throng of club runners-it is buzzing with a cheerful vibe! And it’s warm inside! After bumping into a few Striders here and there, I head outside as there is still half an hour before the start-so time for a short warm up around Brampton. Brampton is a pretty village indeed. I find a few quiet side streets to run along. I bump into a man walking his dog and his dog starts to run with me, so I offer to take him to Carlisle :-). Further about the village I spot a few other runners warming up-they are all male and not wearing much-they look like fast runners! Noting the time I head back to base to catch Mr Walton.

The Plan

Prior to now I have always ran how I feel. In races this has sometimes worked, and sometimes resulted in ‘the Crash’ when I have set off far too fast! So today, Graeme has very kindly agreed to run with me using his watch to pace us. So I get to see how it feels like to run a paced run and also to see how to use a watch. We finalise our plan just before the race. We were going to go for 71 minutes with a negative split pacing, but Graeme suggests trying for sub-70 as we seemed comfortable at 6.55min/m on the track for 10minutes on Wednesday … I’m always up for a challenge … so why not. We can always drop back to even splits if it doesn’t work out.

The Start

Graeme and I join the crowd, squashing in behind Stephen and Matt at the start-line. After ‘the wait that is before every start’ everyone moves forward like at a music gig when someone comes on stage … and we are off! Down the hill, round the sharp bend and out of Brampton. It’s a bit congested. Graeme keeps looking at his watch, and I just follow Graeme!

Mile 1

Congested and following Graeme.

Mile 2

The sun comes out. Nice views across the fields. Still a bit congested. I am warm now. I angle through a gap in the runners to throw my £4 hoodie that got from the British Heart Foundation charity shop last week to the roadside. (We’ll drive back this way and pick it up if it’s there, if it’s not that’s fine).

Mile 3

Nice. We are into a steady pace now. I’m enjoying this. A down followed by an up and then onto the smaller road.

Mile 4

Running. Nice country road, nice weather, what’s not to like? Graeme keeps looking at his watch, he is keeping us in a good steady pace. As we go round a bend I notice 3 girls ahead. Hummm. I wonder if Graeme has noticed? Probably not. I wonder if his watch will notice if I speed up just slightly and creep past them? Hummm, we are not supposed to increase pace until Mile 5.

Mile 5

Excellent I can see the mile 5 marker! Ha. I increase pace a bit and get past those girls . Graeme looks at his watch.

Mile 6

Graeme looks at his watch.

We have a mile 6 sign and then a 10k (6.2 mile) sign. It confuses me as I have done quite a few half marathons recently and this is half way, I remind myself it is a 10mile race. Graeme now suggests we don’t increase pace til after the bridge, hummm maybe we went off too fast for a negative split for my level of fitness, I guess that is the danger of aiming too high. Well, if we can do even split that is ok.

Mile 7

This mile was hard. I am not sure why! I just had to grit my teeth through it!

Mile 8

This was a good mile. Graeme shouts out that we only need to do 2 more miles at 7 minute pace. Excellent! I can do this. Towards the end of mile 8 Graeme seems to be running faster and faster! Suddenly it feels like a time trial! Is this really still 7 min mile pace? It is uphill, maybe that’s why it is hard?. I have also noticed 3 more girls ahead, I get behind them but it’s hard to get past as they are running astride. Graeme is urging me on. A quote I read somewhere flits into my head. ‘Racing hurts, get over it’ that was easy to accept when sitting on the sofa ha ha!, however I’m not stopping now, I try and keep up with Graeme’s legs!

At this point it is clear Graeme could run the last bit faster than me, I think he should just go, but he doesn’t as he is a Gentleman.

Mile 9

I wish I knew where the finish was, then it would be mentally easier I think. But, its only 4 laps of the track I tell myself. Graeme is being very encouraging all the time. Why did they build The Sands so far away? We are now running with 5 ish other guys. My breathing is really loud! so I am pleased there is background traffic noise! Graeme urges me past them, and I try and manage an increase in speed for a bit, but I don’t know where the finish is so slow down again. Graeme shouts out it’s just round the corner, but I’m not sure which corner he means, there are people in the way! Aghh! And then the path is lined with people and low and behold the finish line is just ahead! Mr Walton is ahead but lets me pass just 1m from the line! What a good sport! … And ooo it’s so good to stop! ..After recovering Graeme checks his watch for one last time-wayhay! 1hr 09 mins! We did it!

Post race

Thanks so much Graeme! This was really helpful! Graeme’s watch showed that we did even splits. .. ha. It’s funny how different a 7 min mile feels at the start compared to at the end! I really enjoyed this race and I would definitely do it again! It’s a nice route and a good club event!

Lucy Herkes

Brampton to Carlisle 10m today has been a weird day with a weird run and a mix of emotions… I woke up this morning feeling just quite bleurgh about the day. It was more that I just felt like I couldn’t be bothered to run 10 miles. I just wanted to stay in bed. My legs were tired from the thousands of steps I had walked delivering leaflets this week and my mind was tired because.. Well just because…. But I battled on and got up. Task 1 complete. Task 2 was to actually get ready for the race. Loads of self doubt just kept giving me this mental block. Even down to the smallest things like which gloves to wear and which top and the thought of these things was giving me a sense of dread ! It was weird! I got ready anyway and made it to the bus. Our running club puts on a bus for some of the races and this was one of them. As soon as I got on the bus and saw my friends I felt better. I think it’s being around other people. And when those people are smiley and happy, I think that’s infectious. They build my confidence. Not only around running but all aspects. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many people believe in me. So when I’m asked what’s helped in my recovery I have to say not only running but the friends I have made through running. I’ve only known them maybe 18 months but already they feel like family. We arrived in Carlisle an hour before the race started. Luckily the start was next to a school so we were able to keep warm inside and use the toilet (only 4 times I think this race, it’s getting better!) Anyway, the ‘ideal’ in my head was to keep the race pace at around 9:15 min/miles. I figured that if I could do that, it equates to a 2:01:00 half marathon. My next half marathon is in York in January and it’s totally flat so I was going to try and push for 2 hours. This felt like such a good plan. I ran alone, I wanted to just see what I was capable of. Running alone was good in a way as I was able to focus on what I was doing, but at times it was lonely too and not so good for my motivation!! Anyway, for the 1st 3miles I was running around 9 minute miles. I knew this was faster than what I had planned but I felt good so I kept at it. That was the mistake I made I think. I went off too fast for the first 10k and so after that I really struggled. (I did get a 10k PB!) With me, I never know what goes first, mental strength or physical strength. Or in other words do I become physically tired or mentally tired ? Or does one cause the other and vice versa..? For the last half I really struggled. I can’t even explain what with. My breathing was fine, it wasn’t that. My legs, yes were tired but not overly tired but my mental strength did disappear. All I could hear inside was …

“He’s walking just have a walk!”
“You haven’t made your time anyway so just stop.”
“You are so slow!”
“You won’t do well, you won’t continue, you’re useless, people will be finished and you’re still struggling.”

For some people they say that they can give themselves a boot up the backside and when people pass in a race it motivates them to catch them. But it is the opposite for me. If someone passes I think “well screw it, I’m shit!” It’s like I go into a self-doubting, weak mental frame of mind where my thoughts turn from “this feels good, keep going,” to “you’re shit, just stop.” Once I’m in this mindset I don’t seem to be able to pull myself out. A couple of friends caught me/I caught a couple and that gave me a little boost, enough to get to the end. I just wish my mind was as strong as my legs. I don’t think it’s just me who experiences this though, right? So I finished. My average pace was 9:25 which I was disappointed with but it did teach me what I need to do about pacing for this half marathon in January. I just wish I could get some sort of magic pill that kept my mind strong. Overall I had a great day. Even though I was slightly disappointed in my time, thinking about it, I really beat myself up and criticise myself and I think I need to be kinder. I keep trying to think that I wouldn’t criticise a friend for going slower than hoped for and I would be proud of their achievements. Just wish I could think like this for myself. The day was rounded odd perfectly – dinner, pudding and wine with friends and then a few gins, Xfactor and I’m a celebrity. Not the most healthy food and drink choice but hey ho we all need a treat. Here are my splits from yesterday – they’re hilarious and certainly shows where I went wrong! positively split times

Results

position name cat catpos chip time
1 Nick Swinburn (Morpeth Harriers & AC) 50:18
45 Tracy Millmore (Birtley AC) L 1 58:35
21 Stephen Jackson 56:08
33 Gareth Pritchard 57:23
65 Jason Harding V45 9 1:00:10
113 Matt Archer 1:04:44
152 Simon Gardner V45 22 1:06:50
207 Tamsin Imber L40 6 1:09:44
208 Graeme Walton V40 29 1:09:44
341 David Case 1:16:57
342 Stuart Barker 1:17:12
351 Nicola Whyte L 65 1:17:40
358 Jean Bradley L60 1 1:18:12
381 Jonathan Hamill V40 47 1:20:33
413 Victoria Brown L35 18 1:22:32
414 Katy Walton L35 19 1:22:33
427 David Browbank 1:23:03
481 Helen Parker L40 21 1:26:24
486 Angela Greathead L40 23 1:27:05
493 Robin Linton 1:27:24
501 Mark Herkes 1:27:52
502 Anna Seeley L 130 1:27:53
503 Catherine Smith L40 25 1:27:55
527 Diane Harold L40 29 1:29:26
561 Deborah McFarland L 167 1:33:57
563 Jane Dowsett L45 18 1:34:03
569 Lucy Herkes L 171 1:34:13
575 Joanne Patterson L 177 1:34:29
577 Christine Farnsworth L65 1 1:34:46
584 Katie Davison L 181 1:35:35
617 George Nicholson V65 22 1:38:58
618 Katie-Louise Finney L 203 1:39:12
621 James Nicholson V65 23 1:39:20
625 Teresa Archer L 209 1:39:46
627 Huw Dixon V55 38 1:39:54
635 Karen Chalkley L50 23 1:40:16
636 Debra Thompson L50 24 1:40:54
642 Kelly Collier L 221 1:43:05
653 Kerry Barnett L45 26 1:46:44
655 Aileen Scott L45 27 1:49:44
656 Julie Jarratt L45 28 1:50:12
659 Stan White V55 39 1:52:00
661 Margaret Thompson L65 2 1:53:11
665 Neil Jennings V50 51 1:55:33
666 Laura Gibson L40 45 1:55:52
667 Sophie Dennis L 241 1:56:46
670 Natalie Johnson L35 50 1:58:56
673 Lisa Hall L 247 2:02:41
676 Rachel Leigh-Firbank L40 47 2:16:12
677 Elaine Jennings L50 28 2:16:12

Finishers 677.

Sherman Cup & Davison Shield, Temple Park, Saturday, November 19, 2016

Mudman

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race.

If it’s Good Enough for an Olympian……

A bright, cold day saw 25 Striders compete over a gentle x/c course ideal for beginners. This one off cup fixture hosted by the HL tends to attract smaller fields than the league matches themselves but, without the usual pack system, we still saw a men’s field of 379 and a women’s of 286.

Thirteen Strider women lined up to do battle with two times Olympic 1500m finalist Laura Weightman. Louise managed to get closest to her followed by Sarah and Helen and these were our counters for the Women’s Vet team (we had no senior team as no u/35 Striders competed!) As ever though there was plenty of support for them from faces old and new such as Jenny Search running for the first time this season and Jan Young running her millionth x/c supported by daughter Nina, in the race itself, and grand-daughter Leigh on the sidelines. The team received some enthusiastic support from Strider children ringing bells and waving purple and silver wavy things. It was much appreciated.

As a warm up to next Saturday’s crucial league fixture at Thornley, a dozen Strider men chose to compete here today for their club and were rewarded with 13th place in the Vet Team competition. Michael led the team home followed by a determined and grimacing James. Phil Ray was our first non vet home but once again we didn’t have sufficient youngsters to make up a senior team. That didn’t stop Richard Hockin from finishing first v60 home though!

Another great x/c day out was had by all, and it was particularly pleasing to see certain children of Strider parents perform so well in their orange vests. Potential Olympians of the future sharing the stage with an Olympian of today. If x/c is good enough for them then it’s good enough for me too!

Results

men
position bib name cat race time
1 852 Carl Avery (Morpeth Harriers & AC Msen 29:10
82 536 Michael Littlewood MV40 36:09
112 520 James Garland MV40 37:21
172 546 Phil Ray MV35 39:31
215 515 Geoff Davis MV55 41:15
227 535 Michael Hughes MV45 41:33
234 497 Conrad White MV55 41:44
287 549 Richard Hockin MV60 43:46
315 561 Tim Matthews MV50 45:21
317 492 Andrew Davies MV40 45:23
357 496 Chris Shearsmith MV35 48:54
364 555 Stephen Ellis MV60 50:54

379 finishers.

women
position bib name cat race time
1 1172 Laura Weightman (Morpeth Harriers & AC) Fsen 21:29
49 411 Louise Warner FV35 28:00
81 425 Sarah Davies FV45 28:57
169 379 Helen Thomas FV40 31:47
172 384 Jenny Search FV40 31:55
177 369 Diane Harold FV40 32:07
179 356 Camilla Lauren-Maatta FV50 32:08
181 382 Jan Young FV60 32:19
190 415 Nina Mason FV40 32:38
206 434 Victoria Jackson FV35 33:17
215 351 Anja Fechtner FV35 33:44
254 389 Joanne Porter FV45 35:46
273 402 Kerry Barnett FV40 40:14
277 390 Joanne Richardson FV40 40:27

286 finishers.

Harrier League, Druridge Bay, Sunday, October 9, 2016

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race.

photo by Sarah Davies Photo by Satch Millen.

Results

men
position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 331 Justina Heslop (Elswick Harriers) FV35 S 22:40 22:40
43 537 Michael Mason MV40 M 39:02 36:32
67 520 James Garland MV40 S 39:34 39:34
70 507 David Gibson MV45 S 39:43 39:43
80 556 Stephen Jackson Msen F 39:52 34:52
89 521 Jason Harding MV45 M 40:08 37:38
127 533 Matt Claydon MV40 S 40:46 40:46
156 563 Tom Reeves MV50 S 41:09 41:09
192 525 Jon Ayres MV40 S 41:33 41:33
224 560 Stuart Scott MV35 S 41:58 41:58
231 501 Dave Halligan MV50 S 42:05 42:05
248 519 Jack Lee Msen M 42:16 39:46
273 543 Paul Swinburne MV40 S 42:47 42:47
346 522 Jerry Lloyd MV45 M 44:23 41:53
360 535 Michael Hughes MV45 S 44:44 44:44
413 491 Alex Witty MV35 S 46:26 46:26
423 508 David Hinton Msen S 46:41 46:41
424 549 Richard Hockin MV60 S 46:46 46:46
433 531 Mark Payne MV35 S 46:58 46:58
493 561 Tim Matthews MV50 S 49:08 49:08
547 555 Stephen Ellis MV60 S 52:41 52:41
548 490 Alex Collins MV35 S 52:42 52:42
573 559 Steven Comby Msen S 59:11 59:11

331 finishers.

women
position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 694 Stephanie Dann (North Shields Poly) FV40 S 26:42 26:42
22 417 Penny Browell FV40 M 29:43 28:03
63 428 Stephanie Piper Fsen S 30:49 30:49
65 432 Tasmin Imber FV40 M 30:51 29:11
71 419 Rachelle Mason FV35 S 30:58 30:58
93 433 Victoria Brown FV35 S 31:29 31:29
107 380 Helen Tones FV40 M 31:41 30:01
111 431 Susan Davis FV55 S 31:47 31:47
132 374 Fiona Jones FV35 S 32:10 32:10
141 391 Juliet Percival FV40 M 32:23 30:43
171 418 Rachael Bullock Fsen M 33:06 31:26
179 425 Sarah Davies FV45 M 33:11 31:31
185 1123 Nikki Malia FV40 S 33:15 33:15
208 379 Helen Thomas FV40 S 33:45 33:45
209 369 Diane Harold FV40 S 33:47 33:47
266 415 Nina Mason FV40 S 35:11 35:11
282 352 Anna Seeley Fsen S 35:44 35:44
288 382 Jan Young FV60 S 36:00 36:00
307 376 Fiona Wood FV35 S 36:34 36:34
313 359 Catherine Smith FV40 S 36:48 36:48
322 389 Joanne Porter FV45 S 37:26 37:26
352 348 Aileen Scott FV45 S 39:34 39:34
369 390 Joanne Richardson FV40 S 41:31 41:31

405 finishers.

Harrier League, Wrekenton, Saturday, October 1, 2016

Mudman

Grand Prix Race. Mud King/Mud Queen Race.

Handy Mandy Saves the Day!

Conrad shows how to play it cool. The new x/c season kicked off this year at Wrekenton with both Strider teams competing in their respective First Divisions. With a myriad of other distractions this weekend today was always going to be difficult for Striders’ x/c faithful. Nonetheless, some magnificent performances throughout the field, not least by the evergreen Mandy Dawson, saw the teams steer clear of their dreaded ‘drop zones’. Striders women finished 8th from 10 on the day while the men finished 7th from 10.

No less than 48 Striders gathered beneath the purple banner to resume, or begin, their love affair with cross country racing. Veterans of many previous campaigns, such as Roz, Jan Y & Conrad, were there rubbing shoulders with newcomers like Andrew Davies, Phil Ray, Kirsten Fenwick, Diane Harold and Faye Bell and trying to calm pre-race nerves. The weather was very ‘un-cross country like’ with sunny skies, mild temperatures, a gentle breeze – and a bone hard course! A perfect day to make one’s x/c debut.

Mandy back in great form. The women were first up and, after a disturbing absence of any of the ‘Sea of Purple’ with their toes on the start line, Mandy was first to the fore with a quick start from the slow pack melee. Rachelle and Lesley followed with Mudwomen herself keeping in close contact. But as always Striders were conspicuous throughout the 350 strong field where no less than 41 other clubs were represented. It was great to see come backs from Nina & Sue, gratifying that Camilla preferred her running to be ‘alcohol free’ and gladdening to see no less than 27 Striders giving their all for the greater glory of their club. Fresh faces and familiar faces were cheered to the echo by their club mates some of whom, like Simon, Karen, Phil and Mark, had come along just to watch.

The welcome return of Nina - a more vocal supporter you'd be hard to find! Mandy maintained her ‘lead’ to be first Strider home, & gaining promotion to the medium pack (again), while on the second lap Mudwoman came through strongly to pip Lesley while being closely pursued by Tamsin running from the medium pack. But there were some great performances throughout the field including Jean (2nd in age group), Jan Y (3rd in age group) and Roz (4th in age group)! Some great sprints for the line too – Jill and others. Well done everyone – particularly the debutants – x/c can be a ‘savage arena’ even for us ‘old lags’ and you may feel more exposed than in say a road race, but the rewards and sense of achievement are fantastic! Let those endorphins flow!

And so to the men’s race. The final event of the afternoon and a field of 532 competitors or 1,064 elbows! Striders’ first run out in the top division for more than 20 years – bring it on! A crowded start from the slow pack and a bottle neck at the first incline showed how important it is to find a position near the front of the field if such situations are to be avoided. No such problems for James Garland who had one of his best races of recent years and sped off to head the slow pack Striders. Michael and James. Only two of the clubs best athletes managed to overhaul James – Michael Mason first Strider home running from the medium pack and Stephen Jackson second Strider running from the fast pack. Incredible performances! James was followed in by debutant Phil Ray – rewarded by a strong performance in a tough race – then Jason flying through from the medium pack and Matt Claydon making a very welcome return to x/c. These guys were backed up by a further 15 Striders all of whom gave their all including Danny Lim (travelling up from Teesside), Daniel Mitchel (in his second season for Striders), veteran Richard Hockin with hair flying in the wind and webmaster Dougie just making it the start line after a very thorough warm up!

Well done to you all! We held our own first time out in the top flight so there’s much to be pleased about. But make no mistake we’re going to need a battalion of purple clad reinforcements if we’re going to hold out against the top clubs in the region. I know we can do it – so come on, let’s get cracking!

Results

men
position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 407 James Askew (DCH) Msen S 31:34 31:34
55 537 Michael Mason MV40 M 37:00 34:30
77 556 Stephen Jackson Msen F 37:33 32:33
90 520 James Garland MV40 S 37:50 37:50
107 546 Phil Ray MV35 S 38:11 38:11
116 521 Jason Harding MV45 M 38:18 35:48
144 533 Matt Claydon MV40 S 38:47 38:47
149 507 David Gibson MV45 S 38:53 38:53
211 505 David Brown MV35 S 39:54 39:54
236 515 Geoff Davis MV55 S 40:22 40:22
255 500 Danny Lim MV35 S 40:40 40:40
260 501 Dave Halligan MV50 S 40:47 40:47
315 535 Michael Hughes MV45 S 42:31 42:31
318 499 Daniel Mitchel MV35 S 42:34 42:34
324 487 Aaron Gourley MV35 S 42:49 42:49
354 497 Conrad White MV55 S 43:35 43:35
394 549 Richard Hockin MV60 S 44:34 44:34
447 498 Craig Walker MV55 S 46:57 46:57
472 510 Dougie Nisbet MV50 S 48:29 48:29
478 504 David Browbank MV35 S 48:58 48:58
492 492 Andrew Davies MV40 S 49:51 49:51
498 555 Stephen Ellis MV60 S 50:51 50:51

532 finishers.

women
position bib name cat pack race time actual time
1 71 Chloe Price (Birtley AC) Fsen S 24:09 24:09
27 413 Mandy Dawson FV45 S 28:06 28:06
87 431 Susan Davis FV55 S 29:48 29:48
88 407 Lesley Charman FV40 S 29:49 29:49
92 432 Tamsin Imber FV40 M 29:53 27:53
103 411 Louise Warner FV35 M 30:08 28:08
106 419 Rachelle Mason FV35 S 30:10 30:10
128 433 Victoria Brown FV35 S 30:40 30:40
139 379 Helen Thomas FV40 S 30:56 30:56
166 425 Sarah Davies FV45 M 31:30 29:30
172 383 Jean Bradley FV60 S 31:37 31:37
183 369 Diane Harold FV40 S 31:56 31:56
185 356 Camilla Lauren-Maatta FV50 S 32:00 32:00
207 423 Roz Layton FV60 S 32:46 32:46
223 382 Jan Young FV60 S 33:15 33:15
228 385 Jill Rudkin FV40 S 33:25 33:25
229 427 Stef Barlow FV40 S 33:25 33:25
239 415 Nina Mason FV40 S 33:37 33:37
243 351 Anja Fechtner FV35 S 33:40 33:40
293 381 Jan Ellis FV50 S 36:12 36:12
301 403 Kirsten Fenwick Fsen S 36:41 36:41
306 422 Rebecca Talbot FV35 S 36:52 36:52
309 434 Victoria Jackson FV35 S 37:03 37:03
315 360 Catherine Walker FV55 S 37:40 37:40
316 348 Aileen Scott FV45 S 37:49 37:49
321 430 Sue Jennings FV50 S 38:22 38:22
329 421 Rebecca Dodd Fsen S 39:46 39:46
339 402 Kerry Barnett FV40 S 42:20 42:20
343 373 Faye Bell FV35 S 43:48 43:48

352 finishers.