Yearbook 2015

Aaron Gourley

My favourite running achievements in 2015 were taking part in the 3 Peaks Fell Race and beating the ‘bus of shame’. Running Teenager With Altitude and not coming last, Skiddaw fell race and doing ok then running the Borrowdale fell race and not coming last but not quick enough to get a sandwich at the end. My running goals for 2016 are to compete in more of the Lake District’s classic fell races, squeeze in a few ultra marathons and maybe get a bit quicker in the few road races I’ll do this year.


Alison Heslop

In June 2015 I turned 46 and decided I needed to lose weight and get fit for my health and my family. I down loaded the NHS C25K podcast and could be seen running around our farm every other day. At week 7 of the 9 weeks I plucked up the courage to join Striders and met the amazing Neil Jennings and the rest of the Strider Family.I haven’t looked back since. In September I got a last minute place in the GNR, and managed to complete it in 2 hours 38 mins. I have ran various 5 and 10K races since then. Next year my aim is to beat my PBs set this year, and also keep off the 2 stone of weight I have lost.


Alison Kirkham

Re 2015: Well it was a year of personal achievements, I completed my first sprint triathlon, followed by a half ironman, the most surprising was that that I managed to complete the half marathon element with negative splits and faster than I’d done the GNR the year before. Other highlights were taking part in the Blaydon Races for the first time, also my first experience of a Striders bus trip!I also won parkrunner of the month in July!

Taking 3 mins off my 10k time at the mo run in November is probably worth a small mention.


Allan Seheult

Allan Seheult

Got back to “running” in 2015, managing a 7 minute improvement in my parkrun time and completing the Blaydon Race and the Darlington 10K. Hoping to improve my times in 2016 in these races and get fit enough to run in the Brampton to Carlisle 10 miler, my favourite road race.


Anita Clementson

Highlights 2015: Getting out with good company and exploring some wonderful places not far of our doorstep in training for marathon events i.e. i.e. Osmotherly HM, Allendale, Clennel. Taking part also for the first time in the Calderdale Relays and the club relays along the Pennine Way was a fantastic and fun experience.Plan for 2016: The calendar getting nicely full and aiming for a similar year aiming to try out events I’ve not done before and a great excuse to explore further AONB


Anna Basu

Highlight(s) of 2015 – doing the Childrens Cancer Run with my 12 year old, and experiencing a 10K MoRun with my husband (neither of us suits a moustache; no photos provided)- Lowlights of 2015 – requiring to have water poured on my head by a first aider at the 10 mile mark when doing the Great North Run.

– Running goal for 2016 – to do a half marathon without requiring a first aider to pour water on my head.


Ashley Price-Sabate

The highlights of my year 2015 were overcoming serious tendon injury and going on to run my first 10Ks (Coxhoe, River Ness and Hellhole) and my first 10 mile race (Northumberland Big 10).My goals for 2016 are to run my first half marathon in Girona, Spain in February, and my first full marathon at Loch Ness in September.

All this in the year that I will turn 50. Here’s a happy photo of myself, my husband Jordi, and our friend Trevor (both now Striders, too!) at the Loch Ness Marathon Festival of Running this year. The boys had just finished the marathon.


Camilla Lauren-Määttä

My main achievement for 2015 was completing several longer trail races (Allendale, Swaledale, Chevy Chase and Clennell Trail marathon) within the 20-29 m bracket, including being first lady in my age group at Clennell – (more due to moving up an age grade than to fast running!).During 2016 I’d like to work more regularly on my speed and hill training, although I’ll still fit some longer races in as well.


Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith

My running highlights of 2015 have been achieving PBs in 5K, 10K, cross country races and two half marathons, GNR & Kielder. I genuinely don’t think I’d have achieved any of these goals if I hadn’t joined Striders!For 2016 I’d like to build on this by achieving PBs across the board again as well as trying new races and completing my first marathon, in the dark!! As you do!! Supporting and being supported by the purple posse along the way!


Conrad White

Conrad White

Achieved the (what had been elusive) sub 20 at Durham on my 100th parkrun.Achieved a decade PB for the Sunderland half marathon on a very wet May bank holiday (possibly resulting in not achieving another one of my goals) – Don’t you just love British bank holiday weather. Exceptionally pleased to win the striders (age graded) “parkrun challenge” and be presented with a cup which I will treasure.

Goals for 2016 – if I can regain fitness – the two outstanding goals from 2015. Pleased to be part of the sea of purple that is Elvet Striders.


Dave Robson

I have had many great running experiences in 2015. Completing the Hardmoors 60m race was my highlight of the year. I had been thinking of entering this event for a few years and I finally decided to go for it. It was a hot day, followed by a cool night and the almost continual ascents and descents along the Yorkshire coast were energy sapping. I ran with Kath Dodd and Sara (from another club) and we all helped each other get through our inevitable low patches.I also celebrated my tenth year as an Elvet Strider in 2015. Joining the club was one of the best decisions I have ever made and I wish I had joined when I was a bit younger ! The inclusiveness and support from club members has helped me tackle events I never would have dreamt of entering before joining Elvet Striders. Most importantly, I met my partner Melanie through the club !

Running Goal for 2016

My main aim is to stay injury free so that I keep running for all of 2016. I will continue to run marathons and I am aiming to do an ultra marathon, the 40m Lyke Wake Race, an event I have also always wanted to do.


David Browbank

Started running in Jan. Completed Couch to 5K in March with a parkrun @ Durham which i finished in 34 mins. I am now running a parkrun PB @ 25mins 06sec which i am very happy with.I completed my first 10K in August at the York 10K which i ran for the Children’s Heart Unit at Newcastle and raised £671

My running goals for 2016 are to get my parkrun time to below 25mins consistently and to run a 10K in 55mins.


Dougie Nisbet

A malevolent virus set me back several months and knocked what little form I had out of my sails. I tentatively and hesitatingly returned to running during the year and steadily built up some fitness until instead of cancelling entries I made a last minute decision to enter the Durham Dales Challenge. I got round. It wasn’t pretty but I was so very pleased just to complete what is a fantastic event on our doorstep and a favourite of mine. It was a huge confidence boost. And I started doing the Harrier League again after an unintentional gap year.Plans for 2016: Continue seeking out the weird and wonderful races and get back on the fells. I seem to have stopped fell racing. When did that happen? Must fix that.


Elaine Bisson

Personal Achievements: My highlight was achieving a PB 3:20 at Windermere marathon, a 3rd place and to top it off being presented with my first ever trophy by Joss Naylor. Until joining striders I spent 4 years running alone. I now run with some amazing friends, who help make the miles more memorable than I could have imagined!

Goals of 2016: I want to stay injury free and get faster before I am too old.


Fiona Kinghorn-Jones

Fiona Kinghorn-Jones

Goal: Marathon PB at London


Fiona Wood

Running highlights of 2015: Making running a priority for me again and in doing so getting my 5k time back down by 5 ½ mins since February. Joining Elvet Striders. Doing my first trail and XC events.

Running goals for 2016:

Get back to (beat?!) my previous PB times at 5k & 10k. Run the Blaydon Race, more trails and more XC!


Gareth Pritchard

Gareth Pritchard

Highlights this year were running London for the first time, big Pb at the Bristol half marathon. But my Biggest achievement was placing 3rd at the Blackpool 10k road race. Goals for next year are to consistently run sub 17 for 5k and try placing at the kielder marathon.


Geoff and Susan Davis

Geoff Davis

Achievements: helping to organise the Aykley Heads x/c.Goal: to keep going.


George Nicholson

Injury, sickness, and old age limited my participation in Races this year. However apart from The Great North Run there were 2 events that were the highlights of my year.Previous years I had organised of my own ‘parkrunathons’ i.e completing 8 x 5k courses in 1 day. In 2013 I travelled to the West Midlands and in 2014 to Manchester. Last year I promised my Wife I would not undertake to another one. Instead I took part in two!

The difference being though is I was not under pressure to run all 8 of the 5k runs each time as I was not the organiser. Friends made from the previous years did that and invited me down to theirs. Both were for the sole purpose of raising funds for my chosen charity, and one that is so close to my heart, Acorns Childrens Hospice

In July Gareth ( Gazz) Pashley of Chorlton runners organised one in Manchester again and we raised a satisfying amount of £568 for the day. Then in August Kevin Parsons from Arrow Valley parkrun organised a repeat in the West Midlands. Over 50 runners took part starting at 7:30 on a wet morning and an amazing 200 turned out for the final run of the day at 7:00 that evening. A fabulous £5304 raised for a wonderful charity, such a memorable day – running and putting the Fun into Fundraising, what more can an old guy wish for.

As ever the pictures tell the story far better than I could ever describe.


Graeme Walton

It was definitely an up and down year for me. In the early part of the year I trained for the VLM, during this time I PB’d at half marathon and parkrun. I ran other various races and was without doubt in the form of my life. London didn’t go as well as I had hoped but nevertheless it was an amazing experience. The 2nd half of the year has been frustrating with a series of injuries resulting in virtually no running at all.My hopes for 2016 – Stay healthy and free from injury!


Helen Thomas

For my running achievements in 2015, the thing I’m most proud of is coming along to that first Wednesday night in March to join our wonderful little club. I’ve discovered a new world of trails, headtorch runs, night runs around Durham and a renewed love of XC, even Aykley Heads! For races, I think my highlight was the Pier to Pier, first race in a striders vest, great camaraderie at the start and lots of fun and laughs splashing along the first mile in the wet sand!For 2016, I’ve got my first long trail run at the end February in Northumberland which I’m looking forward to and I’ve just entered the Yorkshire marathon in October which will be my first road marathon. I’m also hoping to try a bit of fell running and I’m already looking forward to all the XC races!


Innes Hodgson

Innes Hodgson

Achievements: Moving up to the sub 8 minute group and not being out classed.Joining Susan’s YOGA group, it has certainly improved my running.

Down side four months out with a knee injury and finding out that there is nothing that can be done about it. Ah well never mind.

Goal: Knee replacement


James Potter

James Potter

Achievement in 2015. I managed to knock 20 minutes off my half marathon pb.Goals for 2016: Complete first marathon (Manchester in April) and go sub 2 hours for half marathon.


Joanne Parkinson

My running achievement for 2015 was completing my first half marathon which was the GNR. Also another achievement was my first xc outing… Next year I hope to complete another half marathon and just continue on this fab journey of running.


Jon Ayres

Jon Ayres

I suppose this will go down as a good year for me, three things come to mind-after ten years I managed one of my original goal times that started me running, for the half marathon. At the third attempt I broke my target time at Swaledale.Finally early one Sunday autumn morning running up to Hett a low sun casts long shadows across a field, I catch a glance of this picture of a perfect peleton and a huge grin sticks to my face-it’s me and four top people and it’s great, it’s the reason I love running.

Goals for next year – Another, carelessly, scribbled time planned from ten years ago beaten. To see both Elvet’s Men’s and Women’s teams in the honours at Swaledale – and hopefully to be a counter for it. And a couple more of those Sunday mornings when the world is good and the running’s even better.


Jonathan Hamill

2015 for me was about starting running again and as part of my recovery from a back injury. I achieved my goal of 1000km in 2015 on Monday 28th December during a club run. I’ve made running a habit, even when travelling with work and I’ve run in 23 cities/towns in 9 countries and on one cross border run, I visited two countries. My highlight has been running a half marathon distance.My goal for 2016 is to build on the foundation I’ve achieved, run further, get faster and work towards a marathon.


Juliet Percival

2 highlights of 2015: The first is accompanying Susan Davis (Mud Queen) around the first leg of her successful Joss Naylor challenge. A very humbling experience, and I felt very privileged to be (albeit a very small) part of her amazing day. The second is completing the St Oswald’s 100k ultra in September. It’s a race I have done before, but this year made even more memorable by the support of my amazing running buddies, who were there to help me along the way and cheer me in at the end … a moment I will never forget, and demonstrates why running is so important to me. Edward Monkton’s Zen Dog says it all: “He knows not where he’s going for the ocean will decide – it’s not the destination – it’s the glory of the ride”. My main running goal for 2016 is the Lakes Ultimate Trails 110km hoping I can combine the long distance with some challenging ascent, and get to spend some quality time familiarising myself with the beautiful Lakes scenery in the company of good friends … one day I might even even be able to name some tops!


Katy Anglesea

Achievement: Was completing couch to 5k supported by some wonderful selfless people and then amazingly for someone who previously couldn’t run for 2 minutes joining a running club … Elvet Striders. Here I have made some lifelong friends (and become a sister in a little purple family) who have kept me going and FORCED me to realise I can do it!My goal for 2016 is to improve on my parkrun times and start to run a LITTLE further!!!


Kate Macpherson

Best achievements of 2015 were not necessarily time-based! I loved training for and running races such as the Helvellyn Lakeland trail race with fab running buddies. My stand out moment was achieving 70k in the Lightning Run, a 12 hour race (although I stopped after 11 hours!). I didn’t stop smiling for the whole thing it was so much fun!For 2016, I want to run the London Marathon and enjoy it! A bucket list race so I want to train well and soak it all up. I’d also really like a parkrun PB sometime this year …


Kathleen Bellamy

Kathleen Bellamy

My goals for this year are to complete my first hardmoors half marathon at saltburn and to complete my first marathon at the Edinburgh marathon festival.


Katy Walton

Katy Walton

Best achievement was to run the Northumberland coastal run and beat my time for the 3rd year running.Running goal for 2016 – run again.


Kay Cairns

Kay CairnsKay Cairns

Highlight – completing my 1st half marathon (GNR) with my running buddy Joanne – I couldn’t have done it without her!Challenge for 2016 – to start my own workplace C25K group with the help of the lovely Kate Macpherson.


Kerry Lister

2015 was a great year for me, my personal highlight was finishing my 7th marathon in a year with a 5 minute PB at York in October.My running goal for 2016 is to continue on my quest to complete 50 marathons by my 50th birthday which means another 8 marathons this year and hopefully, another PB.


Laura Gibson

I felt 2015 was a bit of a nothing year for my personal running achievements, but actually I’ve achieved quite a bit. I have encouraged lots of others to reach goals, achieve targets and enter races they wouldn’t have necessarily entered before. That to me is far better than achieving myself.However, having said that my goals for 2016 are to get back to running regularly, to enter more races and get out of my comfort zone, by doing races I haven’t done before. So far I have entered the Pier to Pier and the Northumberland Coastal run, both of which I have never done.

I also want to continue encouraging others and see them meet their goals.

Lesley Charman

2015 was my first full year as a strider & definitely a year of two halves! I’ve met some fantastic people & I’m sure many of whom will be life long friends.2015 Achievements: I competed in my first XC season, bagged a Half Marathon PB at Brass Monkey (1:44:16) & managed a Pier To Pier PB (53:23) which was my first ever race as a Strider the previous year. I somehow managed a sub 22 Durham parkrun (thanks to the awesome Simon Gardener AKA ‘Top Pacer Extraordinaire’) followed 7 days later by a further parkrun PB at Claremont Park in Orlando. I then (somehow?) finished 2nd in my age group at the Lambton 10k & ran all the way up “THAT HILL” at the end of the Blackhill Bounders relays.

However, I didn’t manage a marathon…I’ve been plagued with injury… & haven’t ran in months…. But… I HAVE thoroughly enjoyed being involved with track & using my vocal chords to their max at various races over the last 6 months!!!

My goals for 2016: Rehab to full fitness & return to running & triathlon. God I’ve missed the competition!!!!!! 😉


Lesley Hamill

My running highlight of 2015 was completing the Great North Run and raising over £800 for Cancer Research.My running goal for 2016 is to complete the Paris Marathon in April.


Louise Warner

2015 achievements: Sub 40 minutes @ Blaydon and sub 1:40 @ GNR, both of which were enjoyable and I didn’t have any expectations for.2016 goals: Relative best @ Wrekenton XC (first race in 2015 as a Strider and I fared miserably!) and sub 43 minute 10K.


Michael Ross

After 2 years of injuries it all came good in 2015 with pbs at all distances, the most memorable breaking 46 minutes at Darlington 10k clocking 45:56.

Aim for 2016, to get under 22 minutes for 5k.


Paul Evans

1. Running achievement – individual: 56th in the Edale skyline. Overall: seeing dozens of Striders coming together for the charity relay over pennine and weardale ways.
2. Running goal: re-gain lost fitness and race the Lakeland classic fell races


Paul Swinburne

2015 achievements: I was really pleased with 2015. It was my first full year as a strider and I’ve met some really friendly and interesting people. I’m really enjoying the social side of the club too at ‘The Court’.I was really pleased to finally get under 20 minutes in a parkrun (though that achievement at Durham still eludes me!) I ran my first marathon at Kielder, beat my GNR pb and ran my first harriers league race at Durham. I was very pleased to complete my first open water swim at the Great North Swim, the Fred Whitton Sportive and my first middle distance triathlon at Bamburgh. In 2016 I hope to do a few more triathlons and try and improve my running times. It would just be lovely to stay injury free and remain fit!


My first full year as a Strider has been filled with highlights but two stand out. First, the ladies’ team coming first at Swaledale. Although my own performance wasn’t as strong as I’d hoped, bringing home the team prize after such a fabulous but tough race was an unbeatable feeling. Secondly, being chosen by two of my running heroes, Geoff and Susan, as the first recipient of the Quaich for endeavour was a truly humbling experience and made all the pain of cross country worthwhile.In 2016 I’d love to see us retain the Swaledale team prize. Other than that no particular goals yet – just keep training and racing with my fantastic Strider pals.


Peter Hart

In 2015, I have finally joined an actual running club (Striders!) and started to run on a regular 3 or 4 times a week basis.I am getting fitter and faster, with all of my times reducing and my distances increasing. As yet, I have not achieved any real goals or targets, but I have taken part in a few “Character building” cross country races … and am hoping to use these to smash all of my PB’s and targets in 2016! Oh, I am also going to run my first ever Marathon!

Thank you for all of your advice and support in 2015!


Rebecca Devine

I joined the club in Spring this year and my running achievement is going from hardly ever running to running two half marathons in two days with my Mum in October and beating my target time on both days.Goal for 2016: get to the end of my first marathon!


Rebecca Talbot

Achievements: getting running again, joining Striders, keeping running despite various injuries, my first trail run, not being last in the Saltwell 10k (my first race as a Strider).Goals for 2016: A sub 30min 5k, first x-country, a half marathon Also to remember to foam roller!! But mainly to keep running and enjoying it.


Sarah Davies

Running highlights of 2015: Parkrun continued to be the highlight of my week in 2015 and a parkrun PB of 21.17 at Riverside was one of the highlights of the year for me. I loved the beautiful Kielder Half Marathon (meeting Steve Cram there was an added bonus!). I carried on my love/hate relationship with cross-country and was happy/terrified to be promoted to the medium pack at the final Harrier League fixture of 2015.Goals for 2016: more of the same? Oh, and I want to try out fell-running.


Shelagh Barton

This photo sums up my year- the Purple Posse at my first Hardmoors, what a great bunch. I’ve done 6x10k in respectable times and am so proud of my finishers medals I used them to decorate my Christmas Tree.Goal for 2016: to implement some of the great advice from the more experienced Striders to build strength and speed so that next year I need a bigger tree!!!


Simon Gardner

Simon Gardner

Elaine Bisson completing the rather hilly Windermere marathon in 3:20 was very impressive in fact I’d happily admit I would be chuffed if I could do a flat marathon in that time! Greta and Steph successfully completing the Comrades race was a truly remarkable achievement. I can’t get my head around the idea of running 56 hilly miles in the South African heat. I was and still am very very proud of them both.

Last but not least was Lesley Charman’s sub 22 Durham parkrun. I decided spur of the moment to give her some gentle encouragement on the day and she showed great determination and effort to smash that long sort after goal. A fantastic day 🙂

For me the 5:03 for the mile and 17:07 5K were incredibly painful but very rewarding after a lot of very hard work. Times which were unthinkable just a couple of years ago.


Stanley White

Chuffed that i managed to complete the Northumberland Coastal Run of around 14 miles … the first time that I’d ran more than 10 miles since the London Marathon of 2012. A big thank you to fellow strider Aileen Scott for sticking it out with me after I’d led her down the longer route devised by our own Jon Ayres. Really pleased with keeping my parkrun attendance high I’ve now completed 190. Disappointed that i didn’t manage to lower my PB and that I can’t figure out why after doing PB at the track time trial in March.Far and away the Highlight of this year was seeing my sister become, I believe, only the 3rd woman over 55 to complete the Joss Naylor 48 mile lakeland challenge in under 16 hours. If you can ever be part of one of these attempts you won’t regret it Goals for 2016 … more parkruns … taking the shorter option in the Coastal run hopefully with an improved time.


Steph Piper

My biggest achievement of 2015 was to run 28 miles during the Anniversary relay, and also take part in the Calderdale Way relays after I only started fell running at the beginning of the year.Goal for 2016 – the DT40, which has now been ‘upgraded’ to full marathon distance!


Stephen Jackson

Achievement: 9.04.15 – Greater Manchester Marathon – 02:42:38There is no doubt I went on to run better later in the year in terms of pacing, I did not avoid the 20 mile ‘wall’ and did slow considerably towards the end of the race. However, with the help of Allan Seheult, we worked hard to achieve a sub 02.45:00 marathon performance and subsequent entry into London 2016. The feeling as I crossed the finish line was so good I completely forgot about all the pain.

Goal: 2016 – all roads lead to London in April. My third road marathon, can three be the magic number? 02?3?.?? – we shall see. Most important is another enjoyable year – might get myself some fell shoes and launch an attack on the club GP.


Sue Jennings

I think my greatest achievement in 2015 was completing the Great Wall of China Marathon in May.And for 2016, I have entered the Hardmoors grand slam which is the Hardmoors 30 on New Years Day, Hardmoors 55 in March, Hardmoors 110 in April and Hardmoors 60 in September. I am also going to Peru to do the Machuu Pichu marathon!


Teresa Archer

2015 saw a great start; having finished the C25K in October (2014) my running went from strength to strength, enjoying not only being able to run but enjoying a sport I never thought I’d love (thanks to my mum Jan Ellis for signing me up on the course). I joined Striders officially & then embarked on my next running challenge; the 5-10k course in January. Instantly I felt proud of myself that I could run longer & further so with the new found confidence I signed up for my first 10k in Blythe, it rained, poured & the wind blew at us from every direction but I loved it, my first 10k race done!! I then did the Blaydon Race & it’s here that I met my running buddy Alison Kirkham who, with the help of Laura Gibson got me round the course on that hot sunny June evening. Following this Alison & I ran Lambton 10k together also. Disaster struck in July however when I injured my back badly, seeing me unable to run for 2 months & in recovery I had to build up my distance & pace slowly, I felt cross that all my hard work had to start all over again…but I did it & my first run was in August in Corfu, on the beach at 6am watching the sun come up with my biggest support, Matt Archer.My 2016 goals: to run those same races again, enter more 10k races, to get a sub 30 parkrun time and to return the support to Matt as he embarks on his first marathon in Paris. (Oh & stay injury free.)


Tim Skelton

Achievement of 2015 – Rejoined Striders after 3 year absence and now regularly run 25km a week thanks to the amazing members.Goal for 2016 – complete my 1st half marathon and also a 20km fell/trail race.


Tom Reeves

Two good bits last yearRunning round the handicap with Shaun after both of us had been out of running for ever. It was such a pleasure and privilege to be able to run again. Also my first cross country for 18 months at Tanfield great to be part of the team again even though I didn’t count.

This coming year is all about staying injury free and seeing what running opportunities come my way.


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