Elaine Bisson Stars in Montane Dragon’s Back Race

Elaine tackles the Crib Goch ridge

Elaine Bisson achieves second place in “The World’s Toughest Mountain Race”

The Montane Dragon’s Back Race is definitely not a race to take lightly. This six-day stage race takes competitors across the rugged spine of Wales from the north coast at Conwy to the capital, Cardiff. The total distance is 236 miles, with 17,400m (57,000 ft) of ascent. In short six brutal ultra-marathons on consecutive days.

The race took place between the 6th and 11th of September, 2021. Conditions varied between warm sunshine and persistent rain with virtually no visibility. Elaine completed the course in a total time of 66:53:28, 2nd of 7 female finishers out of 37 starters.

Elaine had many of us on tenterhooks, “dot-watching” on the tracker site as she completed each day’s challenge, and eagerly awaiting the daily video report. It was truly awe-inspiring.

Elaine sums up the experience: “It has been the most wonderful and challenging adventure. I’ve shared the trails with so many extraordinary characters, their positivity and strength inspirational. Friendships forged out on the fells are among my strongest. I have made memories that I will treasure forever.”

Many congratulations, Elaine, on an outstanding result.

Editor’s note: You don’t have to take my word for this. Elaine is also a great run report writer, so watch this space for a fantastic bedtime read.

 
(Visited 50 times, 3 visits today)

Great North Run 2021, Sunday, September 12, 2021

The 40th running of the Great North Run took place on 12th September 2021, after a year’s absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The race was run on a revised course, for one year only, as an out and back route, crossing the Tyne Bridge twice and passing through the city centre before finishing next to the Town Moor.

As usual, many Striders took part in the race. Their results can be found at the bottom of this report. Here are some Striders’ recollections of the race.

Sarah Fawcett writes…

I think this was my tenth GNR and I smiled the whole way round, despite the entire route being uphill!

It was wonderful that the event happened after all of the uncertainty of recent months and I thought that the organisation was excellent.  Everything seemed to work really smoothly.

I, like many, will be happy to go back to South Shields next year but the advantages of yesterday’s route was that I spent most of the time looking across the carriageway to spot Striders running in the opposite direction. Also the doubling back route meant that the bands and charity cheering squads were condensed into half the normal geography and therefore were an ever present atmosphere booster.

The pizza and lager at the end were very enjoyable too. 

 

This from George Nicholson…

For me now there is little point in entering races anymore as age, health and injuries have slowed me up so much that even the proverbial tortoise would get to the finish line before me. The one exception of course is the Great North Run. Having done it 39 times before, not to enter is unthinkable. Just getting to the finish is my only priority, and I try not to worry about my ‘run/walk time’ . Pride obviously comes into it a bit, and I did hope to get a sub 3hour. This at least I did mange by 1 second!

 

The last 200m was nerve racking as I could see the clock ticking down. It was a bit distressing to be overtaken by 2 daffodils at that point, and very embarrassing as the moment was captured on BBC1 and broadcast round 127 Countries. Thank you Malcolm for also making it known on social media.

My only other concern was, would I remember to turn back around at White Mare Pool or would I turn left as usual and head off along the A194 to South Shields?

Good to see several Striders’ vests along the way, and brief shout-outs to Alan Smith and Jonathan Hamill. It was also great to exchange a few words with several ex-Striders.

Apart from the run itself, the other exciting thing for me with the GNR weekend is the annual gathering with other Ever Presents at the Sage in Gateshead on the Saturday afternoon. We always meet up for photos, compare ailments and reasons why we run slower. Naturally there is also cake to eat. For the first time Brendan Foster came along to join us and he was in quite a jovial mood.

Only sad bit for my weekend was that ‘Ever Present’ Barrie Evans was not able to make the start line, thus I am now ‘last man standing’ for Striders.

Lastly I would like to thank everybody who sent me some lovely messages and words of support.

… and Marc Watson

I spoke to Allan Seheult about racing and tactics and best ways to run on a number of occasions. One of the best bits of advice he left with me was negative splits. Well Allan, my GNR today is dedicated to you. Ran a disciplined first half which allowed me to push on second half and absolutely smash my GNR PB. (Along with smashing my first half of the run with my second. 3 sub 9 minute miles in the second half too.) As soon as I looked at this chart I thought of Allan and what he gave to me as a runner. Miss his coaching dearly and so glad he left this with me.

 

Results

NameClubPosFinish TimeCategory Pos
Marc ScottRichmond & Zetland Harriers101:01:221
Hellen ObiriKenya101:07:421
Stephen JacksonSunderland Harriers & AC (Elvet Striders 2nd Claim)2601:08:475
Graeme WattElvet Striders8201:15:529
Georgie HebdonElvet Striders9201:16:3662
Michael LittlewoodElvet Striders13201:18:235
Allan RenwickElvet Striders25901:22:385
Emma ThompsonElvet Striders36701:24:504
David CowellElvet Striders48101:26:4474
Bryan PottsElvet Striders49301:27:00115
Mark GriffithsElvet Striders50001:27:0651
Matthew ArcherElvet Striders67301:29:06102
Anna BasuElvet Striders84101:30:438
Corrine WhalingElvet Striders106601:32:4312
Kyle SunleyElvet Striders117801:33:36417
Paul SwinburneElvet Striders189601:38:03223
Karen ByngElvet Striders225601:39:3714
John HugillElvet Striders258501:41:12467
Louise MortonElvet Striders293301:42:3256
Nina BojadzicElvet Striders301901:42:5258
Andrew DaviesElvet Striders387901:45:40462
Simon GrahamElvet Striders486001:48:35710
Kelly GuyElvet Striders574501:50:39148
Mark FosterElvet Striders589601:51:04819
Anna GrubertElvet Striders644201:52:25187
Callum AskewElvet Striders684401:53:221860
Paul WestElvet Striders685801:53:25937
Joanne RobertsonElvet Striders687001:53:26198
Theresa Rugman-JonesElvet Striders768001:55:12128
Lisa SampleElvet Striders820801:56:24281
Jo Ann LongElvet Striders880301:57:40621
Calista IbbitsonElvet Striders946101:58:58698
Heather RaistrickElvet Striders987901:59:48118
Chris EdwardsElvet Striders989501:59:501258
Deborah JonesElvet Striders1096102:02:22233
Kirsty NelsonElvet Striders1118202:02:54351
Alan ScottElvet Striders1168002:04:09559
Jane DowsettElvet Striders1190702:04:41278
Mark HerkesElvet Striders1290602:07:092927
Steph GreenwellElvet Striders1297802:07:241135
Marc WatsonElvet Striders1332602:08:111286
Sarah FawcettElvet Striders1357902:08:47214
Jonathan HamillElvet Striders1385602:09:271135
Laura CampbellElvet Striders1500802:12:13710
Mark KearneyElvet Striders1511402:12:291721
Kirsten FenwickElvet Striders1579102:14:01784
Bob GrattonElvet Striders1585402:14:10336
Aileen ScottElvet Striders1705402:17:02574
Rachel CoyElvet Striders1740202:17:59900
Jane IvesElvet Striders1755002:18:19607
Lisa LumsdonElvet Striders1764002:18:322934
Angela WilliamsElvet Striders1868502:21:20682
Angela DixonElvet Striders1890702:21:54934
James NicholsonElvet Striders1900002:22:1550
Sophie DennisElvet Striders1944902:23:321050
Adam BentElvet Striders2038202:26:12216
Andrew ThurstonElvet Striders2061902:26:52448
Allan NicholsElvet Striders2219202:31:431487
Alan SmithElvet Striders2398902:38:3020
Kayleigh HindElvet Striders2464402:41:123006
Rachel TothElvet Striders2646602:50:391619
Margaret ThompsonElvet Striders2660802:51:2623
Alison SmithElvet Striders2695002:53:251658
Angela CowellElvet Striders2736602:56:142009
George NicholsonElvet Striders2788002:59:59115

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Gateshead Harriers Quayside 5k 2021, Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Anna Basu

I know I post too much running stuff but last night’s Quayside 5k was really meaningful for me, having put me through some admittedly self-inflicted agonising. The race has two halves, with a 20 minute cutoff for the A race. After two sub-20 minute 5ks pre Lockdown One (aka a very long time ago), and spurred on by admiration for Emma Thompson’s 2019 A race performance (it’s true Emma!), I had signed up for the A race. Since then I hadn’t done many 5ks at all, and certainly nothing sub-20, and I am currently training (hard) for a marathon. So, though theoretically capable of a sub 20 5k, just, it wasn’t really in the bag and when race day came round I was aware I could actually come last… Thanks to an interesting Striders mile race heat about two years ago, I do have prior experience coming last with a smile, but still it takes a bit of mental preparation and good friends to weather it!

Proof that Anna doesn’t always smile when running.

Anyway what I am reflecting on here is the good friends. I really want to thank Corrine for her very effective pre race moral support provided by text from Scotland! And my long suffering husband for putting up with a slightly jumpy wife for a day or two and coming to support me. And the infamous GTG* crowd in a similar vein, for acknowledging the issue! In the end, the race and training (here huge thanks go to North East Project (Run)) carried me through and I got that sub 20 (19:48, not a PB, but fastest 5k since January 2020). I desperately wanted to achieve this again post Covid, and now I have, even though it required ending the race curled up on the concrete waiting for normal breathing to resume… and I didn’t come last, as it happens, but even if I had it would have been with a race I was proud of.

The other thing about friends is how wonderful it was to meet up with fellow Striders and warm up together pre race, chat, laugh and then stay to watch and cheer on the B race and cheer far too loudly, (though obviously not as loudly as Allan R, champion Striders cheerer!) Lots of Striders absolutely smashed their times last night – a good deal of training has been going on and there were a lot of very happy people with times I could only dream of. This is a gratitude post for the power of running, endeavour and friendship. Oh, and possibly also Mars bars, though that may be someone else’s story…

*GTG:  Greggs to Greggs!!! Allan Renwick’s contribution to Sunday long runs. Start at Greggs Fram, run a lot (in various little packs that keep converging), finish at Greggs, go to Greggs and buy coffee and sarnies and eat them on the grass.

Race Route

Results

Race A

PosNameNet TimeCategoryCat PosGen PosClub
1Calum Johnson00:14:10Senior Men (20-34)11Gateshead Harriers & AC
34Danielle Hodgkinson00:16:20V35 Ladies11Wallsend Harriers & AC
45Georgie Hebdon00:16:32Senior Men (20-34)2144Elvet Striders
61Michael Mason00:17:03V45 Men460Elvet Striders
65Graeme Watt00:17:11V40 Men1264Elvet Striders
91Bryan Potts00:17:58V35 Men2389Elvet Striders
113Riad Ketani00:18:22V35 Men30107Elvet Striders
122Allan Renwick00:18:33V50 Men7114Elvet Striders
129Lindsay McEwan00:18:46V45 Men11120Elvet Striders
136Matthew Archer00:18:59V40 Men18125Elvet Striders
167Anna Basu00:19:48V45 Ladies422Elvet Striders

186 finishers.

Race B

PosNameNet TimeCategoryCat PosGen PosClub
1Andrew Freeman00:18:02V40 Men11unaffiliated
10Julie Pescod00:19:43V35 Ladies11Sunderland Strollers
55Mick Davis00:20:56V50 Men945Elvet Striders
79Nina Bojadzic00:21:39V40 Ladies419Elvet Striders
105Karen Byng00:22:13V50 Ladies328Elvet Striders
136Mark Foster00:23:13V40 Men1596Elvet Striders
161Andrew Davies00:24:01V45 Men17108Elvet Striders
177Heather Raistrick00:24:39V55 Ladies563Elvet Striders
207Stephanie Greenwell00:25:21Senior Ladies (20-34)2779Elvet Striders
226Phil Swinburn00:26:02V40 Men23139Elvet Striders
236Kirsty Nelson00:26:28V45 Ladies1193Elvet Striders

385 finishers.

Race Photos

Thanks to Jan Panke for the many other Strider photos.

External Links

Full Results can be found on Race Timing Solutions.

Race Organiser’s website: Gateshead Harriers

(Visited 138 times, 1 visits today)

Pete Bland Kentmere Horseshoe fell race 2021, Sunday, August 1, 2021

AM / 12.3m / 3300ft

Nina Mason

A few months ago I entered a handful of fell races, determined to get ‘hill fit’ again. I have read a bit about the Kentmere Horseshoe, it has got history, and it looked a great route from a valley I have not previously explored.

Mum came with me on the day, and she did a decent walk, pretty much the route of the race, though dropping back down the valley just before Kentmere Pike. The weather was forecast cooler, but we got sunshine and heat again. I shouldn’t complain, but I do, I find these conditions tough to run in.

This year the race was part of the fell running championships. Plus, it was Pete Bland’s memorial race, following his death in November, so a huge entry of 600. He had organised the race for many years, and there was a very moving speech before the start. (He was a lot more than RO, and the Fellrunner magazine had done a great tribute supplement about him earlier this year).

The race started in two waves, women first then the men 15 minutes later. It starts, inevitably, with a long climb. Up Buck Crag, round Yoke, and to the first checkpoint on Ill Bell. Then a fast trod up to High Street (CP2). From there to Kentmere Pike (CP3) it undulates a bit, but lots of good running, and then a good couple of miles downhill to the finish.

Except for the first climb, much of this race is very runnable – lots of grassy trods, and some flattish or undulating sections once up on the tops. This made the race pretty fast, with the winning time 1hr22! Because of the split start, the first men caught me 50mins into my run, flying past, then a steady flow kept passing me until Kentmere Pike, when paces started to even out.

As for my run – urgh. I never felt like I got into my running. A late banana? Like the Grinch, were my shoes too tight? Was I weary after a long run out last weekend? Whatever it was, my head didn’t feel in the right place, and my competitive edge never really appeared. I lost places in the women’s race where I would usually battle harder, and even on the downhill I didn’t feel physically comfortable. What a waste, as downhill is the best bit for me! My mum made all the effort to climb to the halfway point to be rewarded with ‘I feel like sh*t’, and when asked about the views I hung my head in shame – all I had seen was my feet. I feel sure I could have picked up a few places if I had felt more on form, not like me at all.

But I cheered up enough to enjoy some  post-race chat with friends from other clubs, and the sun shining on the finish and the event field. The route is fabulous, the race organisation was great (as expected), and the fell-running spirit much in evidence – competitive, but always supportive. Kentmere is a beautiful village and valley, and I am determined to go back both for my own outings and to tackle the race again.

Results

PosNameClubCategoryTime
1stJacob AdkinKeswick ACMSEN01:22:20
7thHannah HorsburghKeswick ACWSEN01:29:30
309thNina MasonElvet StridersW4502:15:13

478 Finishers, 3 DNFs

External Links

Full Results can be found on SportIdent.

Race Organiser’s website: www.kentmerehorseshoe.org.uk

(Visited 99 times, 1 visits today)

Willow Miner Trail Race Results 2021

2021 Winners

Graeme Watt of Elvet Striders
Aly Dixon of Sunderland Strollers

Full Results

PositionTimeNumberFirst nameSurnameCategoryClub
10:38:11260GraemeWattMV40Elvet Striders
20:38:23203MichaelLittlewoodMV40Elvet Striders
30:39:29211AlistairMaxwellMJesmond Joggers
40:39:54242GarySpaldingMRun Peterlee
50:40:07257MattWalkerMV40Durham City Harriers
60:40:21229IanPickettMV40Tyne Bridge Harriers
70:40:54261PaulWeirMV40Sedgefield Harriers
80:42:19155AlyDixonFV40Sunderland Strollers
90:42:42212LindsayMcEwanMV40Elvet Striders
100:42:44146AlexCollierMV40Elvet Striders
110:43:02208IanMarshMNorth Shields Polytechnic
120:43:13160ThomasDuttonMElvet Striders
130:43:42220DavidNolanMLow Fell
140:43:55255DavidWalkerMV50Sedgefield Harriers
150:44:00141KevCarraharMV50Sunderland Harriers & AC
160:44:14224DarrenParksMV40Jarrow & Hebburn AC
170:44:27161KarlEdwardsMV60Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers
180:44:59190LeeJohnsonMWashington Running Club
190:45:12196JohnKirbyMDerwent Valley Running Club
200:45:19172DavidGribbenMV60Houghton Harriers & AC
210:45:21239TobyRoutledgeMJesmond Joggers
220:45:29267MaxWilkinsonMDurham Fell Runners
230:45:38177OliverHearnMNorth Shields Polytechnic
240:45:55144LauraCheethamFJesmond Joggers
250:45:57234AllanRenwickMV50Elvet Striders
260:46:20178AndrewHeavisideMV40Crook & Dist Sports AC
270:46:27127PhillipAtkinsonMV50Birtley AC
280:46:31232JoanneRaineFAberystwyth Athletic Club
290:46:35248JohnSutcliffeMV40North Shields Polytechnic
300:46:45218PeterMilburnMV60
310:46:48157JohnDoddsMV50Washington Running Club
320:46:59193TristanKeatsMV50Stockton Striders AC
330:47:04128BrianBailesMV50Birtley AC
340:47:04137RachelBrehenyFV40Jarrow & Hebburn AC
350:47:31165StevenFairbairnMV40
360:47:35252IanThompsonMCrook & Dist Sports AC
370:47:59180GeoffHewitsonMV60Crook & Dist Sports AC
380:48:07187JackLoganM
390:48:10194JaniceKellyFV50Run Peterlee
400:48:13245LukeStevensM
410:48:14264CorrineWhalingFV40Elvet Striders
420:48:21153ShannelCurtisFV40Birtley AC
430:48:28152MalcolmCoxMV60Sunderland Strollers
440:48:33159LeeDrummondMV40Birtley AC
450:49:01129PhillipBainesMV40Stockton Striders AC
460:49:11154MichaelDaleMV40Elvet Striders
470:49:15169SimonGardnerMV50
480:49:51216AllanMcManusMV40Sunderland Harriers & AC
490:50:11134MartinBoalM
500:50:20227RachaelPerowneFV40Tyne Bridge Harriers
510:50:39122StevenAireyMElvet Striders
520:50:41191StevenJonesMV40
530:50:47215ShaunMcGrathMV50Houghton Harriers & AC
540:50:55166CliffordFeatherstoneMV60Durham City Harriers
550:51:04231RebeccaPottingerFBirtley AC
560:51:10126CallumAskewMElvet Striders
570:51:11258JonathanWallaceMV50Sedgefield Harriers
580:51:17167StevenFinnieMSunderland Strollers
590:51:26246AndrewStoddartMV40Newcastle Frontrunners
600:51:37140SiButterworthMV40Shildon Running & AC
610:51:39176IanHearnMV50North Shields Polytechnic
620:51:40266JocelynWilkinsonFV40Run Peterlee
630:51:48124JenniferArthurFDurham City Harriers
640:51:59151VikkiCottonFV40Sunderland Harriers & AC
650:52:04230DaniellePizzeyFGateshead Harriers & AC
660:52:43200BrettLambertMV40Aycliffe Running Club
670:53:15201DavidLeatMV60Stockfield Striders
680:53:48254LyneValentineFV60Sunderland Strollers
690:54:02138MichaelBunnMV60Jarrow & Hebburn AC
700:54:15226Anna EvaGarrido MoyanoF
710:54:39235ShaunRobertsMV60Elvet Striders
720:54:46209RachelleMasonFV40Elvet Striders
730:55:11210TimMatthewsMV50Elvet Striders
740:55:31249LeighTangFGateshead Harriers & AC
750:55:34174KeithHattonMV60Shildon Running & AC
760:55:40150AndrewCoolingMV40Sun City Tri
770:56:00143MarkChapmanMV40Sedgefield Harriers
780:56:11147LouiseCollinsFElvet Striders
790:56:28121JohnAdamsM
800:56:54139StephenBustonMV40
810:56:57195PeterKingMV50Sedgefield Harriers
820:56:58186PeterJacksonMV40Coxhoe on the Run
830:57:12130MegBakerFElvet Striders
840:57:15241RebeccaSnaithF
850:57:27240MarkRussellMV50Stocksfield Striders
860:57:40168StuartForsythMNewcastle Frontrunners
870:57:53238MickRobsonMV50
880:58:22158KayDrummondFV50Birtley AC
890:58:23253ZoeTowersFV40Birtley AC
900:58:34256MarieWalkerFV50Sedgefield Harriers
910:58:43170SimonGentMV40North Shields Polytechnic
920:59:08164SarahFairbairnFV40
930:59:26185CalistaIbbotsonFElvet Striders
940:59:35135RachelBoalFElvet Striders
950:59:39244JohnStephensonMV60
960:59:47265NicolaWhitmanFV40Saltwell Harriers
970:59:53175ChrisHearmonFV50Sedgefield Harriers
981:00:02182DavidHodgsonMV50Elswick Harriers
991:00:06268PaulWilkinsonMV50
1001:00:15251CharlieTaylorMV60Runnation Running Club
1011:00:39204JoanneLuckingFV40Ponteland Runners
1021:00:50123ChristineAllenFCrook & Dist Sports AC
1031:00:51250AmandaTaylorFV50Crook & Dist Sports AC
1041:00:55213AliceMcGeeFWashington Running Club
1051:01:44225SophiePattersonF
1061:02:42270JanYoungFV60Elvet Striders
1071:03:00259MarcWatsonMV40Elvet Striders
1081:03:57222StephenPalmerMV40Birtley AC
1091:04:29131EmmaBarnettFV40
1101:04:30162LeeEgglestoneMCoxhoe on the Run
1111:04:52233DuncanReedMV50Farsley Flyers
1121:05:17206WendyLynchFV50Low Fell
1131:05:19214AllysonMcGrathFV50
1141:05:31163StephenEllisMV60Elvet Striders
1151:05:57142GeorgeCawkwellMV70Crook & Dist Sports AC
1161:06:12236EmmaRobinsonF
1171:06:12132LucyBlacklockF
1181:06:12183AshleighHoltF
1191:06:18243CherylStanleyFV40Low Fell
1201:08:03188SimonJamesFV40
1211:08:22149JillConnollyFV60Sunderland Strollers
1221:08:46247KevinSugdenMV40
1231:11:33207RebeccaMaddisonFV40
1241:11:33237AngelaRobsonFV40Elvet Striders
1251:12:03205LisaLumsdonFV40Elvet Striders
1261:14:20223TeresaPalmerFV50Birtley AC
1271:14:24197MonicaKnightFV40
1281:14:49171LucyGibbisonFV40North Shields Polytechnic
1291:17:14269KirstyWiltonFV40Sunderland Strollers
1301:17:37145JimmyColledgeMV60Lonely Goat RC
1311:18:43136ClaireBrabanFV40Birtley AC
1321:19:19181KayleighHindFElvet Striders
1331:21:11199AshleighLafaurieF
1341:21:12125JamesAshtonMCoalfields Tri
1351:26:56192SarahJuliffFBlackhill Bounders

(Visited 488 times, 1 visits today)

Willow Miner Trail Race 2021

Elvet Striders are delighted to once again host the Willow Miner Trail Race, on Wednesday, 21st July 2021, at 7pm.

This year’s race is kindly sponsored by Start Fitness. 

We are proud to be holding the race in aid of Mind (reg. charity 219830) and The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation (reg. charity 1057213), supporting mental health and cancer research.

The Course

The course covers 5.7 miles of beautiful trail through woodland and nature reserve, those returning to the race can witness how the woodland trust has grown and matured since the inception of the event. After a winding start through Houghall woods, the course drops into the undulating section of the Durham Woodland Trust, climbing up to views over the River Wear and Croxdale Woods before descending to wildflower meadows and around to the Willow Lady. A single-track section along the bank of the River Wear leads to a climb up towards the Willow Miner, before traversing back to Houghall Woods and the finish. The route will be fully marked and marshalled.

Entries

Entries for the race cost £9, or £7 for attached club runners. Please visit our SiEntries page to enter.

Please note that to enter as a UKA attached athlete you must enter your own UKA number, available to look up on England Athletics’ site.

Event Details

Parking will be at the Graham Sports Centre (Maiden Castle), DH1 3SE as in previous years. Note that New Elvet Bridge in Durham is currently closed, which may affect your route to the event.

Toilets will be available inside the sports centre. It is likely that face coverings will still be required in order to enter the sports centre buildings. Depending on government and local restrictions on race day, showers may also be available and this will be made clear in the lead up to the event. 

Registration, start and finish have moved from the football field to the farm at Houghall College. This will be signposted and marshalled from the car park. Registration will open at 6pm. The specific start arrangements will be confirmed closer to the race date in accordance with current government guidance but we hope to be able to provide a mass start.

There is no required kit list, however the course covers some steep, muddy and uneven sections so trail or fell shoes are highly recommended both for grip and reducing the chance of ankle injuries. In the event of inclement weather a waterproof top may also be required. There will be space to leave luggage not needed for the race by the start.  

Sadly, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and uncertainty around restrictions, there has been no social event or post race food arranged at present while we work to deliver the best race we can, though water will still be provided at the finish. We hope to return to the after-race celebration next year!

(Visited 1,621 times, 1 visits today)

Mark Kearney Wins Hardmoors 110

Mark receives the winner’s sword from race director Jon Steele

Mark Kearney achieves a brilliant win in ultra-marathon on the North York Moors.

The Hardmoors 110 is a gruelling 110 mile race beginning in Filey in Yorkshire, following the cliff tops and moors of the Cleveland Way, and finishing in Helmsley. It includes nearly 15,000 feet of ascent. This years event began on Saturday 29th May, in sunny and warm conditions.

Mark completed his victory in 22 hours, 28 minutes and 30 seconds, more than an hour ahead of his nearest rival, reaching the finish line at nearly half past six on Sunday morning, after a day and a night on the hills. He received great running support on the way by Striders Michael Littlewood, Stephen Jackson, Georgie Hebdon, Stuart Scott and Elaine Bisson.

Jill Young and Simon Graham were, to quote Mark, “the best support crew I could ever ask for” making sure he was fed and watered and in top condition throughout the whole race.

Congratulations to Mark on a wonderful achievement.

(Visited 118 times, 1 visits today)

A New Chair

Ian Butler, Club Chairman

Today we formally wish to welcome Ian Butler as our new Club Chairman.

Ian is a proud Yorkshireman who has been involved in the operations of the club for some time now in his role as Training Coordinator.

Ian succeeds Jonathan Hamill who has now moved into the advisory role of Club President.

We wish both Ian and Jonathan the best of success’ in their respective roles.

(Visited 56 times, 1 visits today)

Captains Report 2020

Hello folks,

Last time we said it would be a while, and so it has been.

Reading over last year’s report truly brings home what a different world we are living in now. Anyone remember parkrun? Or that we did in fact have a cross country season? Even in these… ‘times’ (insert appropriate adjective), we are so very proud of our club and its heart, our club members. We have continued running, just in different ways and with adjusted objectives. Running Strong.

As always, it is so difficult to pull out individual highlights for fear of omitting other worthy feats however we feel a couple of people need mentioning who have completed particularly outstanding or perhaps just plainly ridiculous adventures. Beginning the year, Elaine Bisson pushed further than ever before to win the Montane Spine 100 mile Challenger (what next??). Segway to Stuart Scott: a Backyard Ultra on his treadmill – 108 miles in 26 hours in April followed by The Accumulator in May with Aaron Gourley (the number of miles ran each day to correspond with the date of the month, a total of 500 miles for the month) and in June a 24 hour run in aid of RT Projects.
Across the world (virtually, of course), Wendy and Ashley were amongst others in the club who ran the length of Tennessee… and back again to complete 1270 miles over the early summer. Maybe they fancied the holiday experience? No words to describe the endurance and strength of character each one of these challenges will have taken.
Alex Brown’s achievements are also worthy of note. Hitting his distance pb with the Hardmoors 55 (and looking exceedingly chirpy with it) was not enough, he then completed the Virtual Wooler Marathon (28.5 miles) just a few weeks later. Perhaps the PE department will stake a claim to poach him from the History department soon!
Continuing in the long-distance range, it was amazing to see Mark Kearney representing Striders proudly by winning the Punk Panther Ultra in lockdown conditions. He has certainly not let up on his impressive mileage and looks set to crack 4000+ miles this year. Only a very select group of Striders will achieve that in 2020.

Finally, no Captain’s report in recent years would be complete without mentioning ‘the legend that is’: Stephen Jackson. In running terms, Stephen has once again shown his talent by achieving the club’s 10k record with a time of 31:30 beating his own previously held record. Not content with this, he also beat the club record for HM with a time of 68:50 again beating his own previously held record. We are all aware that Stephen recently moved to run first claim for Sunderland Harriers. Elvet Striders will forever have your back Stephen and we wish you all the best as one of the most brilliant and gracious runners in the North East. Dave Shipman however, is delighted to retain the club’s mile record time!

2020 has been a year like no other. So many cancelled events, no team buses, club runs or parkruns. Camaraderie is such an important part of the club and this has not ceased due to lockdown (not the first, or the second). Seems like every week we have heard of our members completing virtual challenges either solo or with running buddies – we will still pretty much run any distance for a bit of bling (I hear Corrine has a lovely framed pictue of the A167 on her wall now)! Well done to all of those who have further and faster (or slower, or shorter!) in these circumstances, you are all built of stern stuff.

It is an old saying but still true. This club cannot function without its volunteers and we would like to say a huge thank you to our run leaders who have proved their flexibility this year by continuing to find imaginative ways to keep us going throughout, leading small groups and quality training sessions. Hear this: you are appreciated, and so much (it’s a gang that is always open to new members by the way!). Who could have thought a car park would become our main training ground, and special thanks to Michael (from Fiona, and the rest of us) for devising and running the sessions that soon became known as the ever popular ‘Theatre of Dreams’. Next year, look forward to the franchising and expansion to multiple locations, new coaches, new car parks, new dreams… (thank you Tamsin!)

Prior to this meeting Jonathan Hamill announced his intention to step down as Chairman of Elvet Striders, a position he has held since 2017. Jonathan has done an outstanding job leading this club for several years, from one turbulent situation to another. Being Chairman is a time consuming, difficult, and unpaid position, made only tougher through juggling full time work and the added pressures having a young family brings. We appreciate the not inconsequential effort and sacrifices you have made in devoting your time to the running of the club: they have not gone unnoticed. Thank you, Jonathan.

A personal note from Michael here, at the end of last year Elvet Striders lost an irreplaceable member, coach and friend. Allan Seheult first gave me any confidence in my running ability, I would run through walls for him. He epitomised Striders for me. The friendship, the generosity, the encyclopaedic running knowledge. So many of us benefitted from his kinship and support. We will never forget him. As 2021 beckons and the hopes of a vaccine develop, I am sure we are all wishing for the day that we can return to some form of group running and perhaps even cross country and elbows out (fingers crossed!!) When this happens, lets not get too excited and let’s remember Allan’s three points of sage advice: … Don’t go off too fast, don’t go off too fast and don’t go off too fast!

Thank you all, and here’s to the next year!

Fiona and Michael

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Saturn Virtual Remembrance Run, Saturday, November 7, 2020

Marathon

Jo Robertson (With Louise Collins)

It’ll be the last time Louise Collins ever messages me on a Thursday afternoon asking whether I was going for a long run on Saturday….. “For sure” said I, “fancy a marathon attempt?”

So the plan was made, neither of us having properly trained for it but after a run of races being cancelled, me wimping out of Langdale Half due to the weather and a fairly solid summer of training for not very much, it felt like the virtual Saturn Run was an opportunity for us both for a first marathon.

We started early, Louise in her customary tiki shorts and t-shirt regardless of the weather and me wrapped up for Jack Frost (with my snowstorm tiki’s on to boot). We had agreed a 10-minute mile plan which I was super keen for us to stick too. It was going to be a tough day as it was, for me, and Louise is a considerably stronger runner than I am, so pacing was going to be key to my success.

We had a brilliant time. Starting from Durham we followed the lines all the way to Bishop which although a bit dull did allow us to tick off a lot of relatively easy miles. We particularly enjoyed telling someone we were running to Durham – when we were quite clearly going in the wrong direction! Arriving at Kynren was a bit of a shock for us having not really known where we were for some time and a few stops for photos (including many poppies) followed.

I had planned three different possible routes and the one we chose was the flattest. I don’t know Bishop at all but the maps on my watch had us, and as long as we followed the map line we were good. I think Louise was questioning this as we embarked on quite a long climb up Durham Road which, for those who don’t know Bishop, is definitely not flat. Louise was a trooper and ran the whole way – pausing to wait for me to catch up each time! I think the hill took quite a bit out of me and I must admit around mile 15 I was quite head down. My right leg was hurting and it was feeling like hard work with a long way to go. Louise still appeared to be super fresh and it was probably the only time I was a bit worried this wasn’t going to be.

Thankfully we arrived into Spennymoor and to Louise’s parents waving flags and cheering us on. I think I was the one who needed and benefited from it more than Louise to be honest! It was an enormous pick me up and I actually felt my legs get lighter as we set off again. Onwards down Tudhoe Front Street and more support just as we hit 20 miles from Terry and my very excited children. My leg still bothering me but we were keeping pace really well and I was delighted to be able to confidently tell them we were going to make it.

Heading over to High Shincliffe via Sunderland Bridge we spent much of the last six miles telling each other we were nearly there, trying to calculate whether we would need the loop of High Shincliffe planned or whether the detour to Louise’s parents would be enough and continually looking at our watches. Neither of us wanted to have to do that extra loop and the sense of relief when we worked out we didn’t need it was significant. Maths like that at 23 miles in is pretty impressive too I think! Our pace was still really good but it felt like a very long parkrun home and we’ll both admit to hanging-on as we headed down the A177 – by this point comparing which parts of us were hurting the most. I would have burst into tears on the hill outside Maiden Castle if it wasn’t for the fact we were only 0.5m from the finish line but even then I had to walk it. Absolutely nothing left. The finish line did arrive though and the lamppost after the parking meter on Quarryheads Lane will never be looked at the same again by either of us.

Just a short walk back home including one of the steepest hills in Durham (sorry Louise!) but by then it was all done and we had finished bang on pace. Emma Piasecki nearly causing a crash on the A690 to pull over and give us a well-done cheer was the cherry on top of the cake.

It feels somewhat strange having a first marathon being a virtual one. We definitely stopped which you wouldn’t do in a race, but it does leave me keen to experience a proper one and see what’s possible with more dedicated training – we can only hope for races like that at the moment though. Having said that though, the team-work was so much fun and there is a heck of a lot to be said for shared experiences like that in this lockdown world. Thank you Louise.

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