Yearbook 2018

Chairman’s Introduction 

2018 – Time to pause and reflect.

I’m delighted again to provide the introduction to our great tradition, the Strider yearbook; a rich collection of memories and achievements.
Thanks to all contributors and a special mention to Anita, whose tireless efforts are highly appreciated in the production of our yearbook.
I also want to place on record my thanks to all who volunteer and give their time, and to all of you for your contribution as club members.
It is impossible to summarise every achievement across our wide range of disciplines.  Our annual Awards Evening will provide a future celebration opportunity.
This club is held in high regard, and you should all be proud of your personal and our club achievements.
Let’s keep moving forward together as a great running club.

Best wishes
Jonathan Hamill

[Entries listed alphabetically by the last name.
Click on the individual’s name to link to their race report history]

Stef Barlow

In 2017 I suggested to my husband Mike, as a new Strider to follow the club GP to allow him to try all racing disciplines, to learn what he enjoyed and his strengths. This meant I would be tagging along so ended up entering the races and I have enjoyed racing in 2018, across all types of terrains and distances. It didn’t start as planned as I spent Christmas floored with the flu, so January ’s races were a struggle, literally being sick at the end of some and in floods of tears at others – in hindsight I should have allowed more recovery time. February was significantly better and a definite highlight of my year was racing in the English National XC championship on Parliament Hill, London. I just loved the atmosphere and viewing the iconic London skyline, whilst running a fantastic x country course, I had a beam on my face all the way around. The only downside being poor Mike had sprained his ankle a day before, so could only spectate.
The rest of the Spring saw me taking on a variety of races in the build-up to the Yomp in early June. It was the first time in a number of years I had felt confident to take on the distance, as my back problem seemed finally under control to run further than 10 miles. It was a grand day out in the hills, and great to see the men take away the non-local team prize.
The NEEMA’s saw lots of fun evenings in the summer months, as like xc I love the team camaraderie of these events. I managed a 10k PB in Darlington in August, which I was over the moon at, as I thought pbs were a thing of the past for me.
My proudest achievement of 2018 was in November being awarded the Alan Purvis Quaich for endeavour. I love racing but am never the fastest so don’t expect to win prizes so was gobsmacked to receive this, that’s the beauty of this award, it’s for hard work put in across the season.
2019 is an open book at present, I have some ideas of races, but not committed to much yet so am excited to see what it will hold.

Mike Barlow

I’ve been trying to concoct my contribution to the Yearbook for a good couple of weeks and the result is always the same…a blank space, it’s not that I have nothing of any worth to add, far from it, I have been involved in, witnessed and achieved far more than I would’ve thought possible 12 months ago…So, in no particular order and with very little in way of clever or witty comment, here is my 2018…
Proudest Moment(s): There have been many…
– Being involved in Elaine’s BGR.
– Coming 6th in Hardmoors Osmotherley 1/2.
– Running with and been beaten by my son in the Saltwell 10K (the running with my son part is the proud bit, and it was only by 2-seconds!).
– Winning the King of the Mountains title in the club GP.
– Becoming Track & Field Captain, being proposed and seconded (and thirded & fourthed…) by your peers is a humbling experience!
– Along with Messers Evans & Kearney, winning the ‘First Non-Local Team’ trophy at The Yomp Mountain Marathon.
– Being part of the XC team at Alnwick, the absolute pinnacle of what a team can achieve, securing our position in the First division took a monumental effort by every Strider on that day, and we delivered!
There’s undoubtedly something I have missed out, but I think I’ve written enough!
Well done to every Strider for a marvellous 2018, here’s to an even better 2019!

Kerry Barnett

My yearbook entry this year has to be the success of Cotsford Fields parkrun where I am Event Director.
After 4-5 years in the planning, with the money in the bank and the route planned, the only thing missing from getting this parkrun up and running (pardon the pun!) was an Event Director and a core volunteer team.
I stepped up to become co-Event Director with Wayne Appleton and within 2 months we were planning our inaugural event.
We are now 22 events in, hosting between 27 and 90 participants every week in all kinds of weather. We are now also looking at getting a parkrun started up in Spennymoor in 2019.
Parkrun has been such an important part of my running journey, I’ll be doing my 100th parkrun on the 22nd December.
Enabling other people to become part of this amazing community and to increase their activity levels and hopefully improve their general health and fitness is an amazing feeling. Sometimes it’s even better than achieving your own running victories.

Looking back at my 2017 entry where my goals for 2018 were:
– more marathons and ultras, probably no time PB’s but running isn’t all about times. – now up to 32 marathons/ultras
– Successful set up of Horden parkrun – now called Cotsford Fields parkrun and on event number 22 now
– Complete my LiRF qualification – completed in 2018

I think I’ve done everything I set out to do. So what are my goals for 2019??
– continue running marathons – still aiming for my 50 by the time I’m 50 years old
– run 75 miles at Endure 24 in June

Anna Basu

Not sure whether Dickens was a runner, but here goes:
It was the best of times,
(Sunderland HM 97 min; Bridges of the Tyne; enormous Coxhoe trophy, actual local race cash prizes and races with Jelly Teas!)
It was the worst of times,
(Northumberland Coastal HM – clearly defeated/blown away by a gale force wind)
It was the age of wisdom,
(Backing off after a hamstring injury and more or less following physio advice)
It was the age of foolishness,
(Sustaining a hamstring injury in the first place by haring down Gibside Fruitbowl slopes on a dodgy leg; dragging myself round Pier to Pier in debilitated post-gastroenteritic state……)
It was the epoch of belief.
Erm… Actually, it still is the epoch of belief, so thank you, Dickens, but I will stop right there. I still can’t believe how lucky I am to be part of this wonderful Club full of lovely supportive positive people, vibrant purple/green/fluorescent and generally garish clothing and/or fancy dress, mostly covered in mud, sweat and rain, huddling in tents and swapping stories and cake.
So, after a Winter of (Relative) Despair (and much-needed Strength Training), I look forward to running my first marathon in the Spring of Hope. Or thereabouts.

Natalie Bell

I have had many highs and lows in running this year but I finally have my mojo back and I have been hitting my goals non stop lately.
This year I gained a PB in the following distances:
– 10k 45 minutes,
– 10 miles 1hr 12 mins,
– HM 1hr 42 mins,
– 5k 21.23 mins,
– 1 mile 6.24 mins.
I completed my first marathon and got promoted to the medium pack in harrier league XC. I completed Wooler trail half marathon (14 miles) placing 13th female and placed 5th female in my most recent 10k.
I am the fittest I have ever been after hitting training hard. I am training for a 40 mile ultra in 2019 in honour of my sister who is suffering from cervical cancer and currently have over £500 raised for Jo’s Trust Cancer Foundation. I will be undertaking my second marathon in April 2019 and also taking part in endure 24 as part of a female team.
Trail running seemed to be the theme of this year which seems to have improved my road running immensely. I am not stopping there! I increased my races in 2018 and increased the number of hills I ran to improve my running overall.
In 2019 I will be training hard and completing some hefty distance races. Bring it on!!

Peter Bell

Still Proud to be Purple.
I was regularly at Riverside park run running around 22 mins. Top 10 in my age group some weeks. Determined to improve I went more to track.
For me, track was something developed by medieval dungeon masters as a form of torture. I would fly around it keeping pace with the likes of Littlewood and Jackson only to find they were doing their cool down!
I finally did a sub 7 min mile.
The DKMS Park run and the associated 24-hour relay made me immensely proud of the club. What an event! What a cause! What a club! The companionship and atmosphere was something to behold.
I trained hard in France for the GNR but returned to the UK with a mystery bug that knocked me sideways. I was in no fit state to run. Conditions on the big day were far from ideal as the sun got out, cooking me to the ten-mile mark where it all fell apart. I walked and ran to the finish in 2 hours ten minutes. Too Hot! Too packed! Too ill! Not to be knocked down I messaged Geoff whilst on the bus home. Any room for me in the harrier league?
So harrier league. One half of you hates it, the other loves it. It’s gruesome and gruelling amazing and inspirational. When Aykley heads came around I knew the course was tough but that hill up from the railway line is generous. It just keeps on giving you hell.
In October, determined not to curl into a corner with a big bar of Cadburys I set up the 1000 miles group for those who simply wanted to run 1000 miles by October 2019. And some mad fools joined me!
In December “Marcothon” popped up on facebook. Run three miles a day every day in December. So I did, finishing on the tree-lined canals of Brittany France.
So next year? Perhaps Speadeadam half and perhaps some international racing in France during the summer. Thousand miles is up in October then another Marcothon ?
Whatever happens, I know the club is in good hands and I will always be proud to be purple.
The photo is me completing Marcothon on Dec 31st with my dog Cookie completing her “Barkothon”. Outside the church where I got married in Brittany France.

Kathleen Bellamy

After undergoing physio, at the start of 2018, I kicked off my running year with Blackpool festival of running where I completed 3 races over the 2 days including a marathon & I had an absolute blast, so much so that I am going back in 2019.
I have been concentrating on getting myself back to a fitter, happier me in 2018 & am delighted at how my training is going as I feel a lot better than I have done in some time. Races I have enjoyed this year have been our very own Willow Miner, tough but beautiful, Durham City 10k, where I knocked off 12 minutes off my time from the previous year & the Hart Village 10k…ish/7 miles trail race which was such fun & extremely friendly, which is what I expect from a race.
I aim to carry on improving my fitness levels in 2019 & although I am not planning on entering as many races as 2018, I am concentrating more on my training & am hoping to do a couple of marathons alongside a few shorter races throughout the year, the emphasis being purely on enjoyment, which for me is all that is important.

Elaine Bisson

This year, I have had very different running challenges. Up until May, I was obsessed with Lakeland maps, leg times, route choices and elevation gain…everything to prepare me for a successful Bob Graham Round. I’ve built up the very best of friendships on those fells in sun, wind, rain, and snow, memories that I will treasure. It was an experience that will be hard to rival. I am very proud (and a little disappointed) to realise my time was 3 minutes shy of being the fastest female round of the year.
I have recently qualified as a Coach in Fell/Trail running fitness, thanks to my Monday lunchtime guinea-pigs! I look forward to helping other Striders achieve their goals in the future.
The Montane Cheviot Goat was my final big race of the year. It tested me to my limits, I was scared, knee deep in bog and blinded by thick fog in the middle of the night. I loved every minute…I’m pleased Stuart called me chicken so that I’d enter!
The Tour de Helvellyn was a disappointing year finale, the route being cut short due to storm Deirdre. I was fit for a good PB, I’ll have to try again next year and hope for better weather.
A big goal for 2019 is to compete in the classic Lakeland fell races. Too soon after my BGR I ran the Wasdale fell race and struggled with painful knees. I will definitely be attempting to beat my time next year. Although the longer fell races are what I really enjoy, I want to improve my xc race positions. I’m also still hankering after a few road PBs…

Fiona Brannan

I joined Striders at the end of 2017, after starting to run a few months earlier, and wanting some company to keep running through the winter without having to turn to the roads. I’d had a start in running some five years earlier at university, but quickly developed shin splints, and after 4 years out, found the only way to stay injury free was to avoid them and add in some hills and soft terrain. After a winter of splashing around in the dark and the mud with Nigel and co (I didn’t recognise anyone by face for months until it got lighter), I was persuaded to try cross country, my first being the Northern Championships, starting small… To my genuine surprise, I rather enjoyed it!
Next came an invitation from Elaine to join her on trips into the fells in preparation for the Bob Graham – and so started the ‘real’ training. A spring and summer chasing her and often Geoff around the fells (for I was far slower) improved my fitness no end, and some success in smaller fell races followed. Pacing (or following, providing snacks and company) her and Stuart on their Bob Graham Rounds was a real highlight of the year, I feel very lucky to have been able to be a part of it. In fairness, I’ve enjoyed all the events I’ve taken part in, I’m not sure anything has brought out the competitiveness in me more than team relays, be that Fell Championships, Calderdale or the shorter road events. Even a summer of trotting about in the fells on my own, or sometimes in company has been borne of the people I have met in the club.
By the end of the year, I had graduated from an initial goal of the 20 mile Chevy Chase to marathon, at the Wooler Marathon (at 29 miles, technically my first ultra!). Although this went reasonably, I did pick up my first injury, so for next year, the goal is to step back the distance again, and try to stay fit! To be honest, I never thought I’d make it this far, never mind with some success. Needless to say, it’s been great, I’ve loved it all. The New Year begins with the Captain Cook’s Fell Race – at 5 miles, that should be about manageable, and then… I think there should be enough to be getting on with.

Lee Brannan

This year has been great for me as I’ve pushed myself more than I ever have as a runner, the biggest reason I’ve improved as a runner is mainly down to the track team which I’ve enjoyed immeasurably
Alan and the team deserve great credit in assisting me to achieve my goal from running ten-minute miles down to eight-minute miles whilst improving my stamina
My goals for 2019 are to run more and enter more races as I quite enjoy the competition, I also want to compete in my first Marathon which I will hopefully achieve
Here’s looking to a healthy and successful 2019 for the striders

Stacey Brannan

This year I did the London Marathon – only thanks to Elvet Striders. I never ever thought I would ever run a marathon, never mind the London Marathon! On the night of the ballot I can remember feeling in shock but for me, this was once in a lifetime.
The training plan was received (thanks Anna) and I commenced with gusto. Along the way, I made many new friends – running the miles in company truly helps. As the double figures increased – so did the snow. The marathon group kept going out – I thank everyone I ran with for their support. A car crash in the middle didn’t help but I got back on the road.
The marathon season began, I downloaded every tracking app going to see the success of my fellow runners! My Sundays became consumed by following my running buddies.
Now my turn, I decided to enjoy every step. I spoke to people along the way. My wonderful husband and daughter saw me 4 times along the way (Anita’s purple flag was a top tip).
Next for me -well I have been in single figures running since April. I think I will stick to half marathon distance. The medal hangs proudly in the house and I smile every time I think of it.
Thanks, Elvet Striders. I can’t wait to be a spectator in the Marathon to support such a great race!

Ian Butler

Having retired from work, my goal for 2018 was to firstly improve my running fitness and then enter more races over the course of the year to test out any accrued improvements on my PBs or general running fitness. Additionally, I simply wanted to try some new running adventures.
The only problem I had with this was that because of existing long-term injuries and general wear and tear on knees and ankle joints, I could not rely on simply increasing my mileage to seek improvement. I had to rely on alternate training methods to raising my cardio and strength fitness to help improve my running.
For this, I turned to mountain biking and attending spinning classes a couple of times a week. The spinning provided really good interval training that pushed my cardio workouts, whilst the cycling, in general, helped with longer endurance efforts. Combined with club runs and my own runs, these extra activities certainly helped increase my training workload, without causing too much stress.
In addition, I bought a Garmin watch to help plot my progress, combining records of my running, cycling and swimming efforts. I cannot recommend highly enough such devices, as it helped me understand pace and what I can or cannot achieve on races of different distances.
Subsequently, I’ve gathered a whole range of event medals and T-Shirts, combined road and trail events, with various race distances covered from 10k to half marathons, and introduced my self to cross country. In addition, I have set new PBs for 5k, 10k and half marathon, and have achieved much more than I thought possible a couple of years ago.
One highlight was achieving 2nd place in the Lambton Trail 10k. Admittedly it was in the M55 class, but it was still a prize. The prize itself was 2 tickets to see Sunderland play Bristol Rovers at the Stadium of Light in mid-December. I’m still not sure if this was a prize or punishment, but in any case, before the match started I was led down to the pitch-side and unceremoniously handed my trophy by a man in a jacket. It wasn’t quite an Olympic medal presentation, but it did take place in a 48,000-seater stadium, in front of about 48 people, as the rest of the crowd were still in the pre-match bar.
I aim to continue with this running lark into 2019……

Chris Callan

Looking back at 2018 I can scarcely believe I’ve competed in 37 races!! Mind you that number is inflated by 11 sprint events at the NEMAA Track & Field League which I have to say is tremendous! If you’re over 35 and reading this I can’t encourage you enough to get amongst it.
Highlights include winning a race for the first time at the Northumberland Half Marathon followed by my second win of the year returning to the Auckland Castle Trail Race. In addition, I’ve placed in the top 4 nine times including a 3rd place finish at my local Coxhoe 10k trail race – a very proud moment. I mention these achievements as this is new territory for me having only ever placed once before 2018 and since my running adventure began in Jan 2016.
I’ve had a good year with all the quality training paying dividends and signing off 2018 with 1,980 miles in my legs and PB’s in every distance.
On reflection though, I know I have taken elements of running a little too seriously falling into the trap of chasing targets and PBs… being disappointed at achieving a 10k pb at Darlington was to be a turning point for me, I hit reset and I’ve never looked back. Running used to be what I did, running is now who I am. I’ve developed a deep connection to the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other and have journeyed into a place so tranquil and peaceful it is stunning! Who’d have thought the simple act of running could bring so much pleasure.

Matthew Carr

The last year has been a good one for me. I started it overweight and probably like most people looking for a way to shed some of the pounds and become happier. Having not done any running at all since completing my first and only race, the GNR in 2014, I decided it was time to dust off the mouldy trainers, but the thought of joining a running club didn’t enter my head. Well, that was until a night out for Wendy Littlewood’s birthday, I’ll not mention the number (otherwise Wendy may kill me!), we met up with the striders in the Shakespeare. Here I met a silver-tongued Jonathan Hamill and we decided striders was the club for me – this may or may not have been influenced by alcohol. Either way, a few weeks later I found myself under the floodlights and doing laps of the track. By laps, it felt more like people doing laps of me the rate people were flying past me, but they all had a word or two of motivation or encouragement for me which really helped.
I didn’t set myself any running goals in 2018, other than see if I can stay injury free, enjoy myself and hopeful improve. I’m pleased to say I’ve managed to do all three and also lose a bit of weight in the process, which has delighted me.
My highlights have been:
• The races I have entered this year have felt like running in a sauna until October.
• Time trial – finished the year with a 13:55 in December compared with 18:13 in February.
• Mile race – finished the year with a 6:31 in September compared with 7:32 in March.
• Parkrun – finished the year with a Durham PB of 22:20 compared with my first run of 28:18 in February.
• Brampton to Carlisle – finished my first ever 10-mile race in 1:18:41
• The members of striders. You are all wonderful people and have been very friendly, encouraging and supportive.
My targets for 2019 are pretty simple – stay as injury free as possible, run Kielder marathon, give back to the club where I can and go quicker!

Lesley Charman

2018 has been a tough year in terms of training & running. There have been no enjoyable races, no PBs and no achievements. Or have there?
I’d declined to write a yearbook entry, foolishly feeling a bit sorry for myself. However, I was encouraged to reflect nonetheless.
Over 14months of non-running (not even for the bus), feeling my fitness waning, merely watching what I had previously loved to participate in & trying my absolute best to keep involved in, in any way that I could – helping at track with Allan & Ian, cheering at races that I could access & encouraging fellow members in Track & Field (which I absolutely loved) but it just wasn’t the same. I used to say “I’d be happy if I could run Durham Park Run once a week”…
Extensive knee surgery late 2017 was followed by slow, painful rehab & heaps of self-doubt. I was encouraged to return to cycling & swimming but thought I’d never run again. Focusing my efforts on other disciplines I completed my first 3k open water swim event in June & then my first cycling Sportif in Sept.
Following professional advice to the letter, in July I began to walk/“jog” (hobble), for a few minutes at a time, very gradually increasing, with support from the most patient person I know – you know who you are.
On 28th July, I walk-jogged Durham Park Run in 42minutes. It wasn’t pretty! The following week on my birthday, I knocked 9 minutes off (less walking, more hobbling).
I’m happy to say, I’ve made slow but steady improvement, I’ve got my “post-op PB” down to 25:36 & I’m now “running” Park Run most Saturdays.
So yes, maybe I have overcome challenges & achieved goals after all.
Looking back & reflecting has enabled me to realise just how far I’ve come – Thanks for the nudge, Anita!
Onwards & upwards, my goals for 2019 are:
1. Get this bloody metalwork out of my leg so I can run without limping!
2. Complete Breca Swim-Run.
3. Achieve various swim & cycling goals.
4. Sub-23minute Park Run?…..”

Trevor Chaytor

Ambitions for 2018 –
1 – Don’t get lapped by Stephen Jackson at Alnwick Harrier League. CHECK
2 – Ensure I’m not beaten by my American ‘nemesis’ over any distance. CHECK
3 – Complete first ultra-marathon. CHECK
4 – Revisit some old ‘friends’ – Darlington 10k, Kielder Marathon etc. CHECK
5 – Complete 250th parkrun by end of 2018. CHECK
Ambitions for 2019?
I’ll just make them up as the year progresses.

Juan Corbacho Anton

Hi Striders! my first half a year as a Strider and it´s been awesome. I must say that running has not been the best of joining the club but the friendships I have made.
I´ve loved running Gibside Fruitbowl, Coxhoe trail, Willow Miner or Hamsterley 10m, where I got to see that I am a better runner than I thought. I remember my first day as a Strider and how difficult it was to get to the finish line of the Durham Coastal half, but all this hard training is paying off. I think I am a different person, feeling a lot better and thinking that I can go for a lot more, and not just run related. Anyway, there are a few highlights that I must mention: the club runs last summer, other local runs with some club members that I now consider my friends, all the support from captains, because it is unbelievable what they do for us, every track session and of course, Cross country!! it is true what they say about it: “you hate it, but you keep coming for more”. And the atmosphere its great by the way (It has nothing to do with the cakes :))
I have run all my life, but never with this level of consistency. So, without having a special target in mind for 2019, I would like to try another ultra trail without having to crawl to the finish line or maybe try an official marathon, which is something that I have never done before. I would like to run pier to pier, Northumberland Coastal or other North East events I have heard of. We are already planning what seems to be a good 2019 full of different races, like Allendale challenge, Brass Monkey or Dentdale run. Also, if I keep improving, why not? see if I can achieve a few PBs. That might be the next logical step, but the main thing is to enjoy every second surrounded by good purple people!
Thanks, Striders! it has been a lovely experience, but the best is yet to come.

Rachel Coy

I welcomed 2018 by completing RED January and the miles I achieved running every day provided me with the drive to keep on going. 2018 saw me join the Striders – thank you for being so welcoming.
It has been a year of challenging myself and proving to myself that I am more capable than I thought. I have experienced a massive improvement in my 5k, 10k and half marathon times. I am still miles off many in terms of speed but I have managed it. My greatest achievement though has to be the amount of money I raised for the charity Mind. Over the course of the year, I raised over £1500.
Bring on 2019, improvements and fingers crossed successfully completing my first marathon.

Andrew Davies

I’m copying this paragraph from last year’s yearbook because it’s still relevant…Durham City junior parkrun has gone from strength to strength. I’m so proud of the team and everyone who’s ever volunteered and sacrificed a Sunday morning lie-in. Being part of it is my biggest achievement in running.
In 2018 I visited the new Cotsford Fields parkrun a couple of times and Druridge Bay in December making me Great North Done Regionnaire. I received my 250 parkrun t-shirt in November and I got my PB below 21:00 to 20:45. Is 19:59 possible in 2019? I’ll be improving my P and Wilson indices either way and might complete Stopwatch Bingo if I finish with a time ending with 20 seconds.
I ran too many races in 2018; three within a week at one point. I expect to do the same in 2019. Some highlights include going sub-6-minutes at South Shields Monthly Mile and 1:13:20 at Brampton 10 miler. I’ve enjoyed every Monday and Wednesday with the club and every race we’ve attended together. I love being the sole Strider representative too, Stamfordham 10k and Temple Park 5k for example.
For 2019 I have similar ambitions to every year, improve my PBs at a mile, 5k, 10k, 10m and half. Finish higher at XC. Do more NEMMAs. Train more efficiently and effectively by adding variety, hills, intervals, strides, LSRs etc. I’m well on the way to completing 1000 miles for the year starting October 2018 with Peter Bell and his FB group. But the big one is Liverpool Rock’n’Roll Marathon. I want a distance PB, i.e. no stopping for a stretch at 30k, and sub 4 hours.
I wish all Striders the very best for 2019 and hope you successfully completing your ambitions.

Peter Dawson

This is my first full year as a Strider – I haven’t got my t-shirt yet – but I plan to do so.
I feel that particularly the track work has really helped me in my running – thanks to all those who have given up the time to provide these excellent sessions – they usually result in a post-session parkrun pb.
I am looking forward to joining in some of the team events when they don’t clash with my daughter’s football playing.
I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed the runs about Durham and having the opportunity to chat and run at the same time.
I don’t think without the sessions with the Striders that I would have even contemplated the Lyle mile over the new year. 1-mile 100m elevation.

Steve Ellis

Having missed out in January on a place in the Brass Monkey, I decided to be a little more organised this year and book well ahead. The only criteria for participation in races being they had to be 10 miles or longer; one per month and no clashes with NEEMA or cross country. In doing this I completed every month, bar July ( on holiday) and December. So, mission accomplished.
A definite highlight was NEEMA this year too. I missed out on being sprint Champ because I missed a meeting in July and even though I won every other race I lost by one point! Still, I won age range trophy in the 5k race at the end of the summer.
A great year all around and hope for more of the same next year. Just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other as fast as I can really.

Paul Evans

After a bad start, most of the first 2/12 being spent injured, 2018 has been a reasonably good year, with training, speed and positioning all improving. Most importantly, after 2016-mid-2017 being pretty rubbish, I’ve enjoyed running again.
5th place and team counter at the Yomp, and placing fairly well at the Waltz, Holme Moss, Sedbergh, Two Breweries and Pendle. Thrashing ourselves to death in a team of 7 runners, when 12 were intended and a lot of doubling-up was needed, at Calderdale also both a good day out and excellent training. Getting the team baton around the FRA relays (and finishing halfway up the field in grotty conditions) was a first for the club also.
Low points?
Losing most of the soles of both feet at Holme Moss – bone-dry conditions and a terrible shoe choice. I could barely walk for days and not run until 5/7 later, slowly and painfully. Missing out on 2x ultras (Calderdale and Bradwell) through illness and work was less-than-fun, but these things happen.
If I had to pick one only, I’d go for knocking 6 minutes off my previous best at Pendle, to break sub-3 hours. However, the team prize at the Yomp and introducing my daughters to full-length parkrun have been rather special.
Best Strider moments?
Relays, every time. Honourable mention to the field at every XC fixture also.
Goals for 2019?
I’d like to see the club compete for more as a club, putting out multiple, strong teams at Calderdale, FRA etc, as well as looking at some newer hill relays. For me, running more, harder, longer and faster – simple enough, on paper. update this time next year…

Sarah Fawcett

It’s been an enjoyable and varied year, starting with the conclusion of my first cross country season: who knew that running around muddy fields could be fun? Thank you, Susan and Geoff. I’m back for my second season.
Doing more track sessions in Spring and Summer was also surprisingly good fun and good for me. Thank you, Allan & team.
I don’t do parkrun very often but I got PBs 2 consecutive weeks in Summer including a stonking 24.32. Thank you Malcolm Sygrove for spontaneous pacing.
Various half marathon+ events during the year gave opportunities for a bit of travel and every weather variety possible; Dentdale; Durham Coastal; Northumberland Coastal and Great North Run.
This is probably my preferred distance but I persist in being inspired by the amazing distances some Striders manage and this keeps me going as I slog along on my own on Sunday training runs.
This year’s marathon was to be Venice at the end of October. Thanks for all the comments on my race report; yes it was harder work than I’d hoped but the last 1.5 miles of plodging through flood waters was certainly memorable.
I was disappointed with my performance and so the opportunity to do another marathon 3 weeks later, seemed a good idea.
7 laps of Town Moor never appealed previously but low key and just up the road- why not?
What I learnt was that running a marathon over laps is fine; counting down from 7, not 26. What I also learnt, thanks to Anna Seeley, was that running 9 mins & walking 1 min while chatting the whole way round, still results in a good time; 4:32; happiness!
Anna and I intend a repeat performance at Herrington Park this weekend celebrating Catherine Smith’s birthday and yet another marathon for her and Kerry Barnett.
Next year? Kielder Dark Skies double, thanks to Ashley P-S for the inspiration; more track and cross country for stamina, and who knows what else? One thing’s for sure though and that’s the friendship, support and encouragement from Striders. Thank you all

Mark Foster

Personally, I thought 2017 was a quite successful one for me in terms of running. Every single target I set in 2017 was smashed, not bad considering it was my first year of actual ‘proper’ running, however, 2018 had to be more of a challenge where boundaries and limits had to be pushed, I wanted to make sure that 2018 delivered greater success and further improvement in my running. In amongst the mix of time and distance-based challenges, I promised I would try out NEMAA Track and Field, as well as revisiting XC after injury curtailed my 2017 attempts.
Taking into account 2017’s results. I decided upon the following targets for 2018, even throwing in a first marathon for good measure.
Within the first weeks of the year, I was presented with the ever-popular Brass Monkey Half Marathon race in York. Given its reputation for being flat and fast, I hoped this would be the chance to nail my 2018 HM time target early on. It was exactly as described – flat, fast, and Brassic – bloody freezing. I ran an evenly paced race and with only 3 miles to go, I knew I had to quicken up slightly to hit my target time. With this in mind, I kicked on and completed the race in 1:49:39, 21 seconds under target. One target ticked off already.
Never in my life did I think I would ever run a marathon, never mind contemplate doing one. Well, guess what, I bloody well did it. Liverpool Rock n Roll was the venue; it was hard, sadistically “enjoyable” (took me some time after the race to say that), but most importantly – overwhelming satisfying. I can still hear my own words of “Never again” ringing around my mind ….. who knows whether I will (still not signed up for another). There was no time target set, only a simple case of ‘just do it’ – another target hit (if you would like to read more than you can find my report in race reports section).
In 2018 I turned the ripe old age of 40 and as result, I moved into the VM40 category. To be honest, this made little difference to some of my race placings by category, in some cases, I finished in lower positions in my new category in comparison to my previous, although it did come in handy for the Striders team at the NEMAA T&F. As my birthday fell during the T&F season, I competed in a number of fixtures before my birthday and some after, but due to a recalculation of results for fixtures that took place before my birthday, it resulted in gaining an extra 10 points for the team. I really loved NEMAA T&F, not only competing but the support, fun and banter amongst fellow Striders is brilliant. I will definitely be back for more in 2019 and would suggest others who haven’t tried it to do so.
A lot of my focus during the summer, post marathon, was on improving my 5k, 5 mile and 10k times. For a while, it was PBs galore and 2018 target times were being achieved across the board, however, I did miss out on accomplishing my 2018 10k target time by only the slightest of margins ….. 1 bloody second – 47:31. I would like to publicly thank Allan Seheult and more recently our new club captain, Michael Littlewood, who have both provided excellent interval sessions which I have benefited from immensely.
I can’t really explain why but I decided to enter the Kielder Run Bike Run Marathon held in early October. It’s a multi-discipline event of running and cycling a total of 26.2 miles around Kielder Water, taking in the most amazing and awesome views that Kielder has to offer. Without much training, I managed to complete the event in just under 3 hours, literally seconds under. Without a doubt this was the hardest thing I have ever done, but most certainly the utmost satisfying of anything.
Heading towards the back end of the year I knew I still had some targets remaining; 10-mile time, an XC or 2, and reaching 1000 miles for the year. The Brampton to Carlisle Road Race, given it’s not particularly undulating, was the usual suspect for achieving the 10-mile time target. As race day approached, I wasn’t feeling greatly confident, so I re-adjusted my goal to beating 2017’s time, however, the feeling on race day was a bit more encouraging. I finally finished the race on 1:18:32, 32 seconds slower than 2018 target but a huge 3 mins 8 secs faster than 2017’s time. BTW – No race report to accompany this race but I must say it’s a great day out and I know a man who can help transport you and sort hot food out on the way home 😊.
As promised, I give XC another go. I couldn’t make as many as I wanted to but I did manage to fit in the newly introduced Gosforth Park XC. I had slight jitters beforehand, not necessarily worried about the race itself but because I was transporting precious cargo. I had both Jacksons, Stephen and Vics, along with Georgie Hebdon, so the pressure was on to deliver on time. Thankfully, all was good, they all blasted it and I ran ok (that’s all I’ll say). Once again, the support and camaraderie amongst all Striders at these events is brilliant, similarly to NEMAA T&F. If you haven’t tried it then at least give it a go.
So, the final target, 1000 miles – it was going to be tight, going right down to the wire but with 82 miles left to run in December and Brass Monkey 2019 training in full flight then it was inevitable it was going to happen – Target ticked off.
Summary of results for 2018 and targets for 2019.
To conclude, it’s been another fantastic year but bloody hard work. Thanks for everyone’s support and advice throughout the year. This is an amazing club, one which I’m very proud to be a part of.
All the best for 2019 everyone.

Becca Gilmore

2018… You haven’t been kind.
What do you do when you’re faced with recurrent illness? You’ve lost your mojo. Life just seems to damn hard. When you know that you should run, get those endorphins going. But the body feels like lead and the mind like cotton wool?
You reach out… to your clubmates, your running buddies, your friends. They grab you by the wrist, help tie your laces and drag you out the door. For a mile, for two… Come along, you can always walk if you need to. Sign up for this race, it’ll be a nice day out. We always do this race together. Just think of the cake at the end….
So you grind out a couple of half marathons, Pier to Pier, and a parkrun PB. And as much as you want to celebrate these, there’s the voice in the back of your head saying “you should be quicker”, “you can do better than that”, “you’ve let yourself down”.
And then, life gets put in perspective in the harshest of ways. So you tell that voice to shut the hell up. You put on those trainers and you run. Not because you want to, but because you can. Others aren’t blessed with that option.
So 2019… I don’t know what you have in store. But whatever happens, I’ll run. Maybe not far. Maybe not fast. But I’ll be out there. Putting one foot in front of the other. Carrying on the journey.
Sorry, it’s not the most uplifting of entries but this was my year! Next years will (hopefully!) be brighter

Aaron Gourley

2018 saw me achieve my aim of completing the Hardmoors 110, but despite this, I’ve been disappointed with my running as a whole.
So my aim for 2019 is to dig in, work hard and, with my eye on completing a significant running challenge early in the summer, improve my strength, stamina and speed in races over shorter distances which should help with the longer runs I like to do.

Jonathan Hamill

2018 – reduce the targets and enjoy running with the odd achievement.
Brass Monkey Half Marathon, a good start and solid PB of 1:41:01. Then Germany with work – the town of Wismar on the Baltic Sea (colder!) 5th finisher at the Georgengarten parkrun in Hannover, followed by some hilly runs in the January storms.
February and different win; a pair of Strava socks in the #AthletesUnfiltered competition. Then the bogfest of Thornley XC for a good punishing.
My March focus was Dark Skies Marathon at Kielder. Then the DKMS parkrun takeover event which did us the power of good as a club. In April a 5-mile PB at Hartlepool Marina (37:13), and a parkrun PB at Durham of 22:35.
The Durham Trail 10 mile race in May, then a course PB of 54:21 at Pier to Pier – a favourite race. My PB streak alive at the Durham Coastal Trail HM in June (course PB of 2:03:27). More running in the Lower Saxony hills. The DKMS relays at Aykley Heads and the fly swatter baton!
The Hexham Half Marathon (that hill!) in July and the 1000 mile threshold. August and off to Brittany for some warmth and some coastal running.
1st of September and the Princess Challenge Ultramarathon (31 miles). A training run but 8th place in 6:17:42 and a PB of over an hour! Two weeks later, RAF Spadeadam Trail HM, supposedly a tapering run ahead of the Causeway Ultramarathon the following weekend and my racing highlight of the year. I finished the 64km course in 8:39:50 and a PB of ~50 minutes. Wrekenton XC as a recovery run was interesting!
The final distance jigsaw piece was Kielder Marathon on 7th October which I completed in a pleasing 4:12:12 time. I was a bit broken after that and at Gibside Fruit Bowl in November I was still not fully recovered. Fast forward to December and at the time of submission, I have exceeded my 2017 distance total >2720km and a PB at Riverside parkrun (22:32).
2019 = more leading Prison (and other) runs, less tarmac and more trail for me!

Lesley Hamill

2018 started off with lots of long, chilly runs in preparation for the Endurancelife Northumberland coastal marathon in February. This was one of my favourite races, as both the weather and the route were amazing.
In April I completed the Paris marathon for the second time and was delighted with a 24 minute PB, although the hot conditions were a bit of a shock to the system after the freezing conditions I had trained in at home.
In May I was hoping to achieve a sub 50 minute 10k in Sunderland but ended up crossing the line in 50 minutes exactly. Maybe next year…Durham City 10k in July wasn’t as enjoyable as I’d hoped due to a back injury, but the new route was interesting.
Following the death of my Father in July, I decided to start fundraising for Macmillan, having already entered the Great North Run and the Yorkshire Marathon. Karen and I ran the GNR together and we have raised around £2500, which is fantastic.
After Paris, I decided to enter the Yorkshire Marathon, as I fancied trying for a faster time in cooler conditions. Training over the summer in the unusually hot weather was challenging, and setting the alarm on holiday in France to fit in some long runs wasn’t ideal, but it was all worth it when I had a fantastic race, finishing in 4:09 (a 23 minute PB!).
Next year I hope to complete another marathon, not sure where yet though. My main aim though is to continue to enjoy running and leading runs!

Peter Hart

2018 was quite simply the best year of running in my life and will probably stay my best year too!
I trained hard, lost weight, got no injury’s and also got a bit lucky in a couple of races too.
I got involved in the NEAMA’s and so improved my quickest times from 400m up to full marathon distances. ( I technically ran an Ultra too 27.4 miles!) Achieving 11 PB’s in a row in full races!
Easily the highlight of my running year was the Manchester marathon in April, which I ran in 3h 36 min. (a 1 hour, 8 minutes and 33 second PB!) I actually improved this time later in the year by a few minutes, but it was not a patch on Manchester.
I had only ran one before and had hated it! This time around I was much more laid back in my approach and ran with a large group of “running fwends” each week and as a group, we all improved massively because of the group support.
Targets for 2019…
Desperately searching for a marathon to train for which doesn’t interfere with my wife’s 40th year of birth celebrations! Oh, and running it sub 3.30 if I manage to find one.
After training for a few marathons this year and understanding the dedication it takes to improve your times. My overall Striders highlight would easily be Stephen Jacksons winning run in the Chelmsford marathon in October this year. Replacing his late brother Gerard’s entry at the last minute and then actually WINNING the race in his brother’s memory in a simply stunning time of 2h 34 mins!
The sight of him sprinting over the line while unleashing a huge roar left it in no doubt how much it meant to him. That was absolutely class Stephen and brought a lump to the throat.
Sometimes it’s more than just a run…

Georgie Hebdon

Joining in late 2017 this was my first full year as a Strider; after a few years of being a “part-time” runner I decided to join the club firstly to become affiliated with EA so I could avoid forking out for a medical as part of the Milan marathon entry requirements which I’d already entered and secondly to do some properly coached track sessions – needless to say, these two reasons have now expired and I’m prospering from the social side of being a club runner and gaining knowledge from like-minded runners.
2018 was a year of firsts for me by competing at most distances up to marathon and PB’ing at those distances a couple of times over the duration of the year. Towards the tail end of the year I managed to take considerable chunks of my times at Vale of York half and Heaton Harriers Memorial 10k; I had the target of going under 17mins for a 5k before the year was out but having achieved a 17.01 mid December at Riverside Parkrun that target will have to wait till 2019!
A highlight, or to phrase it better, an experience I won’t forget in a hurry was the Northumberland Coastal run in July. Scheduled for a sunny Sunday in the height of the hottest summer in years there was talk of additional water stations… Turn up to Beadnell Bay on race day to grey skies, windswept sand dunes and sideways rain whipping in from the North Sea; it was a very tough and unforgettable race along a beautiful stretch of the coast. My debut XC season has also been a highlight, there’s something different about the races to the road races I’ve competed in, there’s a real sense of community at the events as well as the competitive edge.
I’m hoping for the same in 2019; continue the progress I’ve made this year and compete in more events contributing to the club’s profile and reputation.

Tamsin Imber

I was unable to be an active member of the Striders in 2018 due to getting a chronic illness with an unknown end date. Therefore my greatest challenge this year has been remaining sane 🙂 This has been possible with the support of wonderful family and friends, some of whom are Striders.
I am overjoyed to be recovering now and my best Strider moment and running moment of the year was taking part in the Aykley Heads cross country race.
Pure joy! A spur of the moment couch-to-4-miles in an afternoon decision! It was hard, but not nearly as hard as not being able to get out of the house. I am very happy to be able to put running into the diary for 2019

Stephen Jackson

It’s been another good year from a running point-of-view. I continue to be ambitious and have high hopes for 2019.
Defending the Durham 10k title in the summer was another wonderful running memory. The finish line on palace green and another victory on home soil.
The time I was most happy with was 32:36 for 10k in London – a great benchmark for PBs over the half marathon and marathon later in the year.
My proudest moment was winning the Chelmsford marathon in memory of my brother.

Fiona Kinghorn-Jones

I ran some personal bests on the track this year at the NEMAAS winning my age category in middle distance and finally breaking 21 mins for 5000m.
Other achievements included 3rd Lady in the Kielder Half along with a new PB and age category wins at Bridges of the Tyne and Coxhoe 10km.

Nick Latham

2018 was a year of many firsts for me:
– My first year as a Striders member
– My first 30-mile week
– My first 100-mile month
– My first 1000 mile year
– I ran my first cross country race at Thornley (and promptly contracted proper ‘flu for the first time)
– I ran in my first fell race (coming very nearly last, but that didn’t matter in the slightest)
– I led a run for other people for the first time
I got close to my HM PB at Vale of York – hopefully, I can beat it at the Brass Monkey, I’ll know by the time this is public.
I’ve done more volunteering than ever before, mainly at parkrun, supporting my eldest doing DofE, also at events like the DKMS relay and the Christmas handicap. I’m also enjoying helping my youngest do a Couch to 5k for the Physical section of DofE.
I’ve had some great experiences, such as sharing the Vale of York with Georgie & David, enjoying the fellowship, team spirit and cakes of the NEHL XC races and the life-affirming solo run on the Lakeland fells in November.
After the Brass Monkey, I’m undecided about the rest of 2019. There’ll be more event volunteering. My running could go to one extreme or the other – I’ll either do something long and overly challenging (for my level of fitness, anyway), or focus on 5k and try to improve my PB.
Happy 2019, Striders!

Roz Layton

More focus on Parkrun this year for me. Who wouldn’t when they find they can achieve a laughable 87% age grade, while really really quick guys of similar age languish in the 60%s and 70%s?
For similar immature reasons I was delighted with a Brampton to Carlisle 10 miles in not much more than 80 minutes – until I noticed the last time I did it was in the last century – 10 minutes quicker. How lucky am I to be able to run at all!
One of the bonuses of running more with Striders again is being reminded what sound, kind, funny people we have in our club. I love that a lot of people are prepared to put online their concern for the environment, the mental and physical health of each other and the country. I think we were too cautious to do that in the past.
Goal for next year? Triathlon World Champs in Lausanne, September. Age-graded, of course!
(2nd goal – staying ahead of these two? )

James Lee

At the start of 2018, my tumour was stable, my sight had come back, and I’d started going to Geoff’s Monday lunchtime training. The one I remember? Downhill reps: so easy on the day, so sore the day after! I knew I was getting faster, but then there was Alnwick. Last race of the season, starting at the front for the first time. One strider shot off, with another runner behind him – and then there was me. That first mile was magical. The hill training paid off on the third lap, the sprint finish was flat out – and someone took a picture as I qualified as a medium. Striders came second that day.
In July I had a seizure for the first time. My life expectancy dropped to one year. I missed the Willow Miner race. I started chemo. Running on chemo is a medical unknown. One nurse said yes, one said no, my consultant said be careful. I enjoy it, and happiness has a known, positive effect on brain tumours… of course, I ran. It takes me away from it all.
I was the last medium home at Druridge Bay, but I still wanted to run Aykley Heads. There aren’t many races I can get to by bus. I’d warned the first aid people at Druridge of the risks but, for the home race, I thought I’d warn everyone. So many kind words before, so many enthusiastic yells on the way around – thank you all.
My aims for 2019? I’d like to lead a Wednesday run, and I’ve been testing out a route. I’d like to run Alnwick again – if the pills allow. I want to keep running for as long as I can.

Michael Littlewood

My main focus races in 2018 were Brass Monkey and London and as I came into the New Year injured and unwell, I wasn’t feeling overly confident. I still managed a decent performance in both although not pbs – understandable given the tropical weather we had in London on that day in April!
My bad run and injuries continued into the Summer. I was appalled at my Darlington 10k performance, a real low point on what is normally a pb course.
I began to turn things around from the Quayside 5k onwards. I really started to feel like I was getting some of my bravery back.
Into the Autumn, my injury started to ease off and I felt able to head into some hard training and feel like a proper runner again.
I also somehow stumbled into becoming the Men’s Captain, a role I am absolutely loving. This was completely unexpected, it certainly provides an insight into all the hard work that goes on ‘behind the scenes’… A big thank you to all involved in keeping the club running!
The Theatre of Dreams at the park and ride as an alternative this winter for times when we have not got access to the track seems to have been a big hit and appears to have helped a few achieve pbs which is always the aim.
November meant a Strider favourite, Brampton to Carlisle. That Sunday lunch is so good! My aim was to complete the run in under an hour – job done!
A new training plan meant really upping the distance, the last 12 weeks of the year amounted to over 1000 miles and my annual mileage was 3000+
The hard work and miles seem to be working as I managed a pb at parkrun and on the time trial as well as a 2-minute pb at Captain Cook fell race on New Year’s Day.
I am hoping that 2019 will be my best year yet as long as I can hold this old body together!

Wendy Littlewood

As that blue eyed-blond haired, Irish songsmith Ronan Keating sings ‘Life is a Rollercoaster, just gotta ride it’!
My 2018 running year once again proved this!
My two main aims going into the year was to get a sub 2 hour half at Brass Monkey and to complete my first ever marathon by doing the London. Sadly my success at one led to my failure at the other.
I completed Brass in just under 1:56, my previous (and only other time) was 2:10 so a huge improvement helped considerably by a brilliant albeit tough training plan provided by Kate and company and pacing on the day from Greta and Karen (all formerly of this parish).
I knew something in my hip was not right straight after the run, this niggle then progressed to full on limping and a lot of pain. After a long wait, appointments and scans led to a diagnosis of torn ligaments and area of stress in the hip bone which could lead to fracture. I had to stop running for a while and rest up. London was out of the question and indeed I did not start running again until into May.
Oh, but I loved that Summer of running! Focussing on simple completing runs rather than bettering previous times was a revelation!
We ran in 2 trail events this year in Jersey, I finished second from last in both events and did not mind a jot!
I was very much surprised to get a 10k pb at Darlington and a huge highlight for my life not only the year was the Durham City event. Myself and Michael completed the 10k. Oscar did the 5k and Lewis had the honour of being the race starter!
The Autumn meant the monster that is the GNR. Michael insisted that I run, hated every single second and promptly entered the Wooler half the next day as a means of expelling the demons! Now, this was a run I adored, so beautiful!
I was glad to run Brampton to Carlisle for the first time and amazed to have completed under 90 minutes.
2018 – pbs in all distances, Marcothon done, fantastic times running with hubby and the boys, great memories of a great year.

Nina Mason

At the start of 2018, I planned more hills and off-road, which I’ve always enjoyed. The best bits of my running year:
– all the XC races – I love the competition, the team support (and supporting), the mud; and finally promotion to medium pack!
– rediscovering the Lakes (which I’ve previously only walked) and becoming thoroughly hooked; the climbing is tough but it’s made me stronger
– Sedbergh Hills in thick mist – recces and pre-prepared bearings paid off
– days out on the hills, some with mum (Jan) – a few long ‘weathery’ adventures 😁
– feeling fitter in December than I did last January, and really enjoying my running
And for 2019? All off-road. I have a plan of recces and races; some of you will know I enjoy solitary days out on the hills. Practising more with map and compass, and head torch too – the dark adds another dimension! I’d like to get somewhere near my PB at Swaledale, I want to compete in my first Lakes race (maybe do a few if I can meet the cutoffs), and hoping to end the year with the Tour of Helvellyn.

Kirsty Nelson

Ok, so this was the year that running got serious for me. I met a great bunch of girls on a Hills-rep run one night and my training groups changed for the better. That was when I felt my anxiety for coming to club subside. I pushed myself this year to run my first marathon, which I did in October I in York. I was chuffed with 4hrs 36 mins and decided I can and will do better. The challenges I’ve overcome is myself, thinking I can’t, I’ve laughed loads with the group I’ve run with, often laughing at Sharon Pattinson for just being her silly self. I’ve been encouraged, supported and inspired by others through Elvet Striders. My goals for next year are an ultra marathon and to just get stronger and more confident with my running.

Dougie Nisbet

My high and low of 2018 were the same race. I returned to South Africa to get the Back to Back medal in Comrades; a medal only given to novices who successfully complete their first two consecutive attempts at Comrades. I was thrilled to achieve this ambition, but I also had a wretched race. I’d trained well and thought I was fit and ready but had a bewilderingly awful race, way outside my target time.
But always look forward, never back. It’s not racing if it doesn’t have its disappointments. I’m still puzzling over what went wrong and working out how to do things differently in 2019.

Joanne Patterson

So I have put off doing a yearbook entry this year, as I felt 2018 was a bit of a ‘nothing’ year, but then when I actually look back properly, it hasn’t exactly been nothing.
I started the year by taking 23 minutes off my Half Marathon PB and coming so close to sub 2 I could almost taste it. I equalled my parkrun PB (although, this was bittersweet as I actually beat it but the timing on the day didn’t match my trusty Garmin). Took 2 minutes 34 seconds off my 5k race PB on the Quayside and then my final race of the year took 5 minutes off my 10 mile PB.
So I guess in summary I need to realise that just because I don’t get a parkrun PB every week, or just because a race doesn’t go exactly as I would have liked, 2018 has been good and I have made good progress in spite of life sometimes getting in the way of training.
My aims for 2019 are to stop comparing myself to other runners of similar ability. I need to do this for me, and me only. I am only going to enter races that I “want” to do. It is so easy to get caught up in the excitement of everybody signing up to something and not wanting to miss out. If I can achieve anything in 2019, I would love to get my 10k PB down.
I will continue to follow my clubmates far and wide to support – I am immensely proud to run with all of you. Thank you to each and every one of you who have supported and encouraged me.

Juliet Percival

My proudest moment of 2018 was completing the Montane Lakeland 100 in July. It was also my biggest challenge/achievement of the year, as well as the weekend I enjoyed the most!
Taking part in this race was a perfect example of what motivates me to run: the training gave me a focus and provided a way to de-stress when other things in life were worrying me, and it took me around areas in the Lakes (new and familiar) that I absolutely love. Most importantly, the training and event weekend itself showed me how my favourite running experiences are the ones I share with friends.
I couldn’t change the horrendous weather, but the help and encouragement from some very special Striders (Mandy Dawson and Joan Hanson) plus my twin Anja, became my focus for an unforgettable couple of days. I signed up to the L100 as something I wanted to train for together with a very special bunch of folk, and so it was mission accomplished before I’d reached the start line. Completing the event was the icing on the cake, but very much a team effort.

Bryan Potts

I joined Elvet Striders in April 2018 and have represented the club at a few races.
The proudest moment for me was running my first ever GNR. Not knowing what to expect, the atmosphere on the day was brilliant. The crowd shouting for you and, more so, wearing the Elvet Striders colours and people who you don’t know willing you on was incredible. I managed to finish in 1:35:06 which was amazing considering I had only started running since October 2017 and what was even better I just finished outside the top 1000. Hopefully, I will gain entry for 2019 and do even better, as I know I have more to give.
The race I enjoyed the most has to be the Durham 10k in July The number of people taking part in the race and to see so many runners in Durham on a Wednesday night was fantastic. Running next to some great runners including Georgie Hebdon, Sam Renwick, Barrie Kirtley and Stuart Scott who were near me for most of the race spurred me on to achieve what I did and finish in just over 40 minutes.
I would have to say parkruns have helped me become a better runner. Although having only run at Durham, Riverside and Fellfoot, I have gained so much from them and it has made me realise I can push myself more. From my first ever race finishing in 28-mins to now hitting just over 18-mins makes me realise I can push myself further and further.
My most challenging race was the Kendal mountain festival 10k which ended up being 10.8. The race was a road/trail/fell race and once I climbed over 200 metres at the start having to push myself to go faster was such a hard task. I was slightly disappointed in finishing in over 47-mins and could not push myself how I thought I could, due to the start of the race tiring me out, somehow I finished 39th to my amazement out of over 550 runners which then made me realise I was not the only one who found it tough.
I hope to enter more racers in 2019 and improve as a runner. I am certainly proud of wearing the Elvet strides colours

Gareth Pritchard

I decided to experiment with my running in 2018 and try something different. Could I run long but also keep the speed on the short stuff? I got a mile PB, got very very close to my other PB,s. On the long stuff, I ended up running 125 miles in just over 23 hours at endure24 Leeds. Somehow I won the event, set a personal distance record of by 90 miles, set a course record and a new single event distance record by any strider at 125 miles and loved every minute of it. Its safe to say this was my stand out moment of 2018 and something I am extremely proud to have achieved.
My two years as men’s captain also came to an end this year. It was a privilege to give something back to the club that has been such an important part of my life so far. Looking after your mind and mental well-being for me is wrapped up hand in glove with running.
So in 2019, I want to help develop this more like a goal for myself and others.
As for PB targets in 2019:- sub 2:45 marathon, sub 16 at 5k, sub 34 at 10k. The big one… try to achieve 100 miles again at endure24. Now I’ve taken a small step back from official club business, it’s time to see exactly how quick I can be. Roll on 2019. (And a new age category as a v40)

Phil Ray

My highlight from 2018 was the start of the national cross country championships at Parliament Hill in London. It’s very like a scene of a medieval battle ( without the weapons)as over 2000 runners line up in a very wide line ready to charge towards a hill which very quickly goes into a bottleneck. A fast start is a must before it turns into a crush. It was great fun to be involved and the only time I’ve ever run where I had no control of where I was running when I hit the bottleneck; You just get swept away in the crowd. The course was brutal, it was very muddy, I fell over 3 times and even took a punch in the face ( it wasn’t deliberate- I think) but I would do it again tomorrow.

Shaun Roberts

Hell of a year for me, though not for my running!
Got a diagnosis of leukaemia back in January, and was whisked straight into the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle to start chemotherapy. This didn’t go entirely smoothly, so I was there for most of the next four months until getting a stem cell transplant mid-May, which gave me a new immune system.
The club has been fantastic during this period … the DKMS parkrun to find stem cell donors was a great success, as was the summer Charity Relay to raise funds to pay for processing all these new donors! Brilliant effort! I was delighted to feel well enough to come along to the relay, and actually, have my first jog in six months. Many thanks to everyone who helped to put on these events.
All is now going very well. I’m having regular checkups in hospital, but apart from having to avoiding ill people/kids/dogs, life is very much returning to normal. Back running again, now … I just have to build up some speed and endurance. But to be honest, just being able to run again feels like huge progress.
Looking forward to seeing more of Striders, old and new, in 2019.

Not an entry full of running achievements here … but one I’m very pleased to have in the Yearbook, not least as it gives me a chance to thank the club for two great efforts helping support Stem Cell Transplants.
Cheers, Shaun

Jo Robertson

Just a short one from me but 2018 marked my first year as a Strider having joined in the summer.
It has been quite the year having had my little boy at the back end of 2017 and taking my first proper running steps since before I had my older child. I think I have come a long way in a year! My highlights for 2018 include training for and running the great north run whilst still on maternity leave, achieving a PB at the Durham City 10k and of course meeting so many lovely people to encourage me to keep going and build confidence in my running.
Plans for 2019 – Brass Monkey and Kielder Half are booked. I’d love to focus on improving my 10k time and hopefully will make 500 miles running. I’m in the process of buying a shiny new double running buggy to help with this!!

Dave Robson

2018 has been a good year for my running – twenty marathons/ultras completed and no injuries. Two of marathons were road marathons which I struggled with, as I hadn’t done enough training for them. The rest have been off-road events and have included all seven of the Hardmoors marathons.
My favourite event of this year has been the Durham Dales Challenge which had a new route, but sadly that event is not happening in 2019.
I run for fun and for the scenery, so no PBs.
My aims for 2019 are to enjoy my running and try to avoid injury!

Alan Scott

Having started 2018 off well but not quite achieving parkrun times of 2016 I asked a few questions of those around.  “Shake it up” was Kerry’s reply on one of the early Sunday jaunts. Long Slow, Track, parkrun, Reps; within 3 weeks, hey Presto overall parkrun PB [CLS 24:17]. I know the time doesn’t compete with the fast lads [and lassies] but the Strava Kudos from them was well appreciated.  I followed that with a couple of good times and whilst it looked all rosy in the garden, suddenly…… I think “Burn-out” was the phrase. Poor P2P and Blaydon results demoralised into a spiral crash with low motivation and parkrun times I can only remember when first completing couch to 5k.
The summer didn’t see any improvement but the encouragement received from all was phenomenal. From Aileen who kept me running, to Strider run outs with Alison; from Stan and his advice to the all-inclusive x-c training with Geoff and Susan, and from Mike’s “Theatre of Dreams” to Hill reps and runs………it all came back.
The last 18 parkruns from August have been an exhilarating experience, – 10PB’s of which 7 were overall parkrun PB’s, 1 equalled PB, and the introduction to 4 new courses [which, by the way, are now set as course PB’s]. These recent runs culminated in taking over 2 mins off my previous PB set back in 2016 and finally getting me into the 22min window, a time I could only ever have dreamed off. 2019 will challenge me at other race distances so it could be interesting.
2018 has been somewhat different, to say the least.  What I can add unreservedly is the achievements I’ve made and the challenges I’ve overcome have been inspired by fellow runners, Striders, friends and family, all of whom are too many to mention.  Thanks.

Stuart Scott

2018 has been by far the best running year of my life, I’ve taken on some massive challenges and thankfully with the support of many people from this great club I’m still here to tell the tale.
The highlight of my year and quite possibly one of the highlights of my life has to be my successful completion of The Bob Graham Round (5th-6th May) I will be forever grateful to the following people for supporting me through this:
Fiona Brannan, Mark Davinson, Paul Johnson, Geoff Davis, Mike Hughes, Aaron Gourley, Penny Browell, Elaine Bisson, Andy Berry, Jack Lee, Daryl Tacon, James Garland, Phil Ray, David Gibson, Susan Scott, Tricia Everett and John Scott.
During 2018 other achievements included:
– Running an 18:11 Durham Parkrun
– Finishing 2nd in The Wall Ultra 10h 23min
– Finishing 3rd in Ennerdale 50k 4h 24min
– Completed Mcwilliams Round 8h 9 min
– Running over 84 miles and 19,000 ft in GB24
– Running Cheviot Goat in 13h 43 min
Finally and very controversially I also took my first ever race win at The Striders Three Peaks Challenge….. this was done with the help of a friend, a stepladder and a swim!
I am really looking forward to pushing myself to the absolute limit during 2019 and have no idea where it will all end.
At this present moment in time (07/12/18), I have signed up to the Lakeland 100 and am waiting to hear back if I have been accepted into The Spine Challenger. I plan on having another go at The Bob Graham and would love to get a few recces in of The Paddy Buckley and The Charlie Ramsey Round.
My current DREAM Goal is that ridiculous I wouldn’t put it in print for fear of being laughed at but I have every faith it will be possible one day…..

Jenny Search

My running in 2018 started well with my 99th parkrun on New Year’s day and then I finally bagged my 100th the following weekend in my home town in Cornwall.
Firsts for me this year were: Durham 10 mile trail run, Pier to Pier, Northumberland Coastal run and taking part in an 8-person team in a 24-hour run (loved them all except for the awful conditions on the coastal run!)
My most enjoyable events have been swim-runs, these combine two of my favourite things: trail running and open water swimming. You swim, run, swim, run (and repeat until you cross the finish line) and have to carry everything with you. This means running in a wetsuit and swimming in trainers! But the sense of adventure as you swim across a lake, clamber out and then run across the land to the next stretch of water is exhilarating. You compete in pairs so it’s great to have someone sticking with you.
My proudest moments have been supporting couch to 5k groups both with the Neville’s Cross Battlers (associated with a primary school) and with Durham mums on the Run. Running with them on their graduation parkruns and helping them achieve something new is incredible. I’m also extremely proud of the amazing team that makes Durham City junior parkrun happen every week. Many striders are in the core team or volunteer regularly and it’s fantastic to be a part of it and watch the next generation develop a passion for running.
I am over the moon to receive one of the club ballot places for the London marathon and that is my main focus for next year at the moment…

Anna Seeley

2018 was the year of the long distances, 13 marathon/ultras completed. Highlights of which being the 100K canalathon in March, this time finished rather than a DNF thanks to the surprise Strider support with beer at the summit of the canal and chocolate milk when a swim in the canal was looking like a preferable option to running alongside it.
Distance PB in sweltering conditions at Endure24 Leeds and seeing my fellow Striders smash their distance PBs too.
Fastest marathon in 7 years on a decidedly soggy day in York, completely exceeding expectations given it was my 3rd marathon in 6 weeks. Low point realising I really did have 56 stiles/fences to climb during the 8 laps of the Black Sheep Challenge.
2019 will be the year when I hopefully, third time lucky, get to join the 100-mile club at Endure. Once that is done then the focus can shift to seeing whether I can achieve what I thought, until York this year, was out of the question, a GFA for London as I would love one more run in the Capital and the chances of getting a place in the ballot are just about nil.

Catherine Smith

I’ve loved being Ladies Captain for a second year and a Strider highlight has definitely been organising the handicaps and club runs, bringing everyone together and of course seeing people achieve amazing things, proudly wearing purple.
Over the last year, I have again faced the challenge of hypermobility induced niggles which have frustratingly affected my training, that said I still managed to complete my 50th parkrun and achieve a distance PB covering 55 miles at Endure 24 Leeds, which I was super proud of, particularly as we raised a significant amount of money for GNAA too!
I hope by the time this is circulated I’ll have ticked off my 10th marathon and next year I’d like another distance PB at Endure.
I also plan to do more volunteering in the running community- a double dose of endorphins on offer right there!

Lee Stephenson

I’ve never run so much as I have in 2018. The year started with entering the Manchester marathon. This was after saying I wasn’t ready for a marathon but a week later there I was filling out the application form. The training seemed relentless but improved my running no end.
Parkrun times improved due to track sessions and my stamina was better than it had ever been. I achieved a half marathon PB in Colchester of 1:56 in March and completed the Manchester Marathon in April in sub 5 hrs which for a first marathon was all I hoped for.
Since then I have run numerous races: Pier to Pier, Blaydon Race, Bridges of the Tyne, Durham City 10k, South Shields 10 mile, Quayside 5k, Tees Pride 10k, Coxhoe Trail 10k, GNR, Brampton to Carlisle 10 mile and whilst out in Cape Town in October I ran the OutSurance GunRun half marathon. I didn’t actually think I’d run this many until I’ve just listed them.
I do have some favourites, Pier to Pier, Bridges of the Tyne, Durham City 10k, Tees Pride 10k, Brampton to Carlisle (made better by the Carvery afterwards) and the GunRun in Cape Town.
Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy the Blaydon race, South Shields 10 mile or the GNR. The heat was a factor in why these runs were not good for me. I never thought I’d say I prefer running in winter to running in summer but the heat really did sap my energy.
Next year I will be doing the Manchester Marathon again but aim to try some different races and improve my annual total running distance. I may even do two marathons next year!
At the moment I am struggling a bit with getting myself out, initially due to time constraints but this has affected my motivation to the point where the thought of running causes some anxiety. That’s what happens I suppose when you stop the momentum. I’ll be out again soon enough and I know getting back to the Striders sessions will kick start my love for running again.

Malcolm Sygrove

2018 was a mixed running year for me, with illness and injury limiting opportunities for competitive running. However, I did manage something of a return to form in the spring and summer, which saw my parkrun times regularly return to sub-22 minutes. My most pleasing run of the year was the Northumberland Coastal Run (pictured), where I put in a strong performance despite one of the worst summer’s days I can remember, running into a gale and squally rain. This was followed in August with an over age-50 PB at 10K in Ulverston. Sadly this proved to be the end of my season, as I sustained an injury which put me out of serious running for two months.
I think a special mention is deserved for the very enjoyable Trail Outlaws Durham 10 Mile Trail. It’s great to have such a race in our own back yard, and I hope that it will continue to draw Strider support in future.
2019 will begin with me pounding out the miles in preparation for the Kielder Dark Skies Marathon. After that, I have two goals: complete my 250 parkruns, and then put some serious effort into the NEMAA Track and Field.

Rebecca Talbot

2017 was a wonderful year in many ways, but not for running. I spent the first half of it pregnant and unable to even walk very much never mind run, so after a gentle easing back into it, my aim for 2018 was to get back to where I’d been before I got pregnant. I’m really proud to have managed this and more!
I started the year by doing RED January and gave myself Achilles tendonitis which has plagued me all year. Some good physio got me to my first post-pregnancy 10k at the start of February (Dalton Park) where I got a pb of 1.05 and I managed a slow XC at Alnwick in March (but I’ve always been slow at XC and probably always will be!)
It took me until June to get the magic sub 30 mins 5k again, followed by a pb a few weeks later at parkrun. I’ve since had two more parkrun pbs this year, most recently 25.50 in November. I also smashed my 10k pb at the Coxhoe Trail in September with a time of 56 minutes. I had a pretty awful Great North Run (didn’t everyone this year?) and though disappointed, managed to get a 9-minute pb (2.16).
But the runs I’ve enjoyed most this year haven’t been about times, they’ve been about trails, mud, views and excellent company! Highlights included Hawkshead 10k trail, the Willow Miner (finally!), Durham Trail, Northumberland coastal in awful, awful weather, and the wonderful Wooler half (my very favourite day of running this year). I think I’ve only made it down to Wednesday night training once this year, so it’s also great to see other striders at races.
My goals for 2019 include attempting a fell race, getting a half marathon pb, getting a distance pb as part of an Endure 24 team in June and getting a half-decent running photo!

Emma Thompson

My first full calendar year with Striders and a really enjoyable year of running, thanks in no small part to the inspiring achievements and incredible support from fellow Striders.
My biggest goal of the year fell very early in January, trying to get a sub-90 in the Brass Monkey to achieve the championship qualifying time for London 2019. I was in no way convinced that I could achieve this, so was thrilled with 1:28:28, knocking a good few minutes off my previous PB of 1:33:40 which dated back to 2008! Even more thrilled when my sister also just snuck under 90 minutes, meaning next year we can line up for London together.
A little unsure of my running goals for the rest of this year, I entered Trail Outlaws Durham 10 mile, 2nd female, Penshaw half marathon, 1st female, and Durham city 10k, 4th female for the second year running. Still waiting for the year all the speedies stay at home so I can improve on fourth!
Some of my most enjoyable runs have been the ones when I dare to try new routes and set off without a clear plan. I’ve only just run one of Geoffs head torch runs on a Wednesday and will definitely be back for more, a lovely challenging run in the mist and dark, the kids loved hearing about all the sheep running across the path in front of us.
My confidence and enjoyment of running has definitely soared since joining Striders, thanks to the amazing support and encouragement that this club provides.
Goals for next year are definitely my first marathon as the biggie! Maybe a fell race finally? Probably back to Durham 10k, more XC…. just more running and hopefully no injury. And a new vet category to look forward to (eek).

Celeste Veitch

As years go, I was happy to see the back of 2018 as it presented several personal challenges. I did manage a few 5 and 10ks, two of my favourites were Kielder 10k Gateshead trail run. I had the fortune of securing a place in the GNR and raised money for charity. My time doesn’t shine but as anyone who ran it will attest, it was warm and I was pleased to finish.
Goals for 2019 – I’ve signed up for Kielder again and am looking to add more 10ks. Perhaps another HM, the Vale of York or Castle Howard HM for 2019? I look forward to joining Allan’s track sessions and the theatre of dreams.

Lizzie Wallace

2018 – I joined Striders, realised 10k is completely possible, discovered new Durham, got 4 new Park Run PBs, signed up for first ever half and ran dressed as a bee… twice. I’ve met some fantastic, supportive and positive people too!
Looking forward to running the Haweswater half in spring 2019.
Thanks to all new running pals!

Graeme Watt

I finally took the plunge to join Elvet Striders in September 2018 after a number of years running Durham parkrun and the occasional longer race unaffiliated. I first wore the hallowed purple vest in the Coxhoe Trail Race, where I was pleased to finish in 9th position and as 3rd Strider home. I’ve enjoyed (or endured) running cross-country in the Harrier League, gaining promotion to the medium pack in my first race, and in the North Eastern Championships. But my proudest running achievements of 2018 were attaining sub 18-minute parkruns at Riverside (17:35) and Durham (17:48). These are times that I never thought were possible only a few short months ago, which I attribute largely to the Striders track sessions and “Theatre of Dreams” track substitute.
My immediate running goals for 2019 are a half-marathon PB (sub 1:23) at Brass Monkey and promotion to the fast pack in the Harrier League (having missed the cut-off time by 7 seconds at Aykley Heads). I’d also like to diversify my running by trying a duathlon and maybe a fell race.

Karen Wilson

Well, 2018 certainly didn’t turn out how I planned it! Running was good I loved being part of the Strider family I joined some Striders doing long run Sundays, the miles certainly go by quicker with friends and good craic. The snow, ice & temperatures didn’t dampen our enthusiasm and I was very much looking forward to doing my 2nd marathon at Kielder Dark skies, although I was apprehensive at running through the forest in the dark I soon discovered I actually love running in the dark. With the prep, I felt better prepared than my 1st & of course, knew I could do the distance so felt sure 2018 was going to be a good running year.
I had a few niggles pre-Kielder but set off feeling great sadly this didn’t last long & I finished with a broken foot. The cast was on for 8 weeks, I had to pull out of Loch Ness which was devastating & my plans for a decent target at DKMS24 became a pipe dream (although I did get a couple of laps in).
DKMS gave me my first opportunity to volunteer for Striders organising the entries in advance & on supporting on the day. I really enjoyed taking part in a race from a different perspective and the camaraderie on the day was fantastic. I also supported at the Willow Miner and the Relays and have to say I may prefer being trackside at a race haha.
I finished 2018 races off with Paras10, one of my all-time favourites, again with my mum and a few Striders, it never disappoints & as always I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I confess I have struggled to get myself back to club having lost confidence in myself but now I have made it back I’m in awe at the wonderful welcome I received on my return. I cannot thank you all enough for the continued encouragement.
I am now looking forward to more adventures in 2019 – I have Dark skies and Windermere marathons, Saturn Running 7hr endurance & Paras10 booked, hoping for my 50 Parkrun for my 50th, a PB or 2 would be nice and of course not forgetting lots more Strider fun along the way!!

Kimberley Wilson

What a year 2018 was!! My proudest moments have to be getting a PB at Parkrun of 26:18…I never thought for a minute I’d be able to shave so much time off from 2017!
I also took part in my first half marathon, which is something I never thought I’d be able to do. Running 13.1 miles seemed like crazy but I was silly enough to do it twice. The training and commitment I put into training for the GNR and Kielder half was insane, massive shout out to my running partner (and boyfriend) Robin Linton for pushing me through each training race no matter how much I moaned.
Most of this year I’ve improved on races from the previous year so it’s been a good year for me in that sense and I became the proud owner of a snazzy red 50 Parkruns tee!
Challenges for me have to be the running mojo, it’s definitely been a hard one to keep a hold of. I think all of the training sometimes just got too much and my love-hate relationship of running often got the better of me and I’d use every excuse to not go out. I’m in an okay place with running as I write this but I guess I need to be as it’s Brass Monkey in two weeks, hopefully, the amount of food and alcohol from Christmas will keep me going.
My goals for 2019 is to just keep at it, I’m going to immerse myself in track training this year to see if I can really pick up speed! I’d love to get sub 26 at Parkrun….fingers crossed that happens!
My best strider moment has to be the end of Kielder Half marathon and being greeted by the ever so lovely Wendy Littlewood! At my moment of need, there was a familiar strider face to cuddle me up and wipe away my tears! A true team moment in those couple of seconds!
A huge well-done to each and every strider that has achieved their goals last year!

Fiona Wood

Oh dear, not really a very good year of running for me!
Not that many miles completed at all, and most of those were only since September.
Nonetheless, as I threatened to do last year, I’ve returned to cross country (Wrekenton and Aykley Heads) although it was strange running XC with no mud!
I also had a grand day out on the Hardmoors Goathland Half, definitely more of those to come – if I am quick enough on the entry button!
Plans for 2019: London Marathon in April and Copenhagen Marathon in May.

Anita Wright

I’d be lying if I said 2018 hadn’t been a difficult year for me, with regards to the Club and running. At the end of 2017, I had to give up 31 years of running, owing to a serious back injury. 2018 has, consequently, been challenging, both mentally and physically.
I’ve sought ways to replace running in my life, but there is nothing that comes close to that incredible ‘high’ you get when a goal is achieved, a PB smashed or a challenge conquered.
I still feel very sad (and jealous) when I come down to Maiden Castle on Wednesdays. I can’t help myself, however, I really have enjoyed the evenings spent supporting the track team and the work I do as Web Officer.
Your race reports have been amazing this year. I’ve lived vicariously through every minute of the incredible running accomplishments described in your reports; over 120 of them in total this year!
My achievements of note this year include:
– Qualifying as an EA Coaching Assistant and joining Allan, Ian and Lesley supporting the Track coaching team.
– Mastering the website & supporting Dougie.
– Helping to raise £132.80 for the Alzheimer’s Society from the running gear recycling event organised in the summer.
– Learning to swim – I’ve gone from zero ability in January to being a competent freestyle swimmer and have recently achieved a PB –  2,300m in 55:20 mins.
As for 2019 … I’ll be continuing to support the Committee, website and track. I am also VERY much looking forward to going on an Antarctic expedition with my husband in the new year.

Jan Young

After a broken arm start to 2018, my priority was getting back to racing & staying upright, so the NEMAA vets cross country race five days after the plaster came off was a big event for me. Rewarded with age group medal.
Still not at my fittest & spurred on to share events with daughter Nina, couldn’t resist entering English National Cross country, London, 24 February. Geoff and Susan had been recommending London for years and what a huge event it is, thousands turn out! 1113 in women’s race. Now looking forward to Nationals at Harewood House 2019.
Proudest moments
Nina taking my ‘Queen of the Mountain’ crown & her promotion to Harrier League medium pack.
2019 goals
• to compete in ALL cross country events, especially harrier league
• keep up focussed training sessions
• cheering all on at events

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