The Striders RUNdown
This October has been the month of the marathon! The London marathon, the Manchester Marathon, the Kielder Marathon and the Loch Ness Marathon all took place and many of you took part. Some of you were trying for a PB, some of you were running to enjoy the occasion and some of you were trying a marathon for the first time.
Well done everyone! If you were racing for a PB and got one, congratulations! If you were doing a marathon for the first time and completed it, well done! If you tried for a PB and didn’t get one or if your run did not go to plan, you are still amazing, sometime things do not work out on a particular day. Good luck for next time. Here is a list of our amazing October Strider marathoners. (Huge apologies if I have missed anyone).
Alan Smith take a bow! He did the virtual London marathon then cooled down later in the month with the Coniston 14!
Some incredible runs from Alex Collier, Allan Renwick (how did you do that after Berlin!?), Anna Basu, Corrine Whaling, Emma Thompson, Michael Littlewood, Michael Mason, Graeme Watt, Rachel Toth, Louise Collins and Jo Robertson.
Some flying times from new member James McNaney and Nina Bojadzic. Marc Watson did awesome in the Manchester half. Bryan Potts set a fantastic 4-minute PB in the half, at 1:19:01.
Horrendous weather. Shout out to Emma McCabe as this was her first marathon AND she came 9th in her age category and 36th overall. Also on this day was the Kielder half marathon in which super speedy Stephen Soulsby rocked it in 13th place (fastest grandad in the northeast) and Lindsay McEwan flew in 11th place. Lotti Collier did amazing, as did Helen Parker, Jane Dowsett and Diane Soulsby. Meanwhile Mick Davis smashed the Kielder 10k coming 6th in his age category. Penny Browell and Mark Foster got muddy on the Kielder Bike-Run-Bike, and Penny was 3rd lady!
Loch Ness marathon
Mega spoditious running by Karen Wilson who did the Loch Ness half.
Things that can happen when training for a marathon!
Maybe you can relate to some of these?
- In order to fit training around work and family life you find yourself running very early in the morning or very late at night.
- You spend a lot of time creating routes of the length you need for different runs.
- This goal becomes an excellent excuse to buy new kit. Yes, you NEED those cool leggings and maybe some shorts, actually two pairs as those blue ones are nice too, definitely need new socks.
- Thank goodness you bought new kit as all your running kit is in the wash since you have been running more.
- You are slightly astonished at how much you are actually eating. This starts to become embarrassing at work as you embark on your third snack of the morning.
- Trips to the supermarket become more running fuel focused than family meal focused.
- You used to think a half marathon was a long way. Now it’s just a typical evening jaunt out. 10K is your short run. 5K..what’s that?
- It rains for a week and you get drenched for a week.
- Due to kids / life / work you fail to keep to the plan at some point and find yourself doing 10k laps of Framwellgate in the dark being cheered on by an old man sitting on a bench outside a pub as you repeatedly run down Framwellgate Front Street.
- You pray no-one ever finds out what is on your MP3 player.
- You get a cold.
- You manage to plan a great holiday / project / solve a work issue in detail whilst on a long run.
- You no longer know what normal toe nails look like.
- You find yourself assessing the form of all the runners you pass on your drive to/from work. You also feel envious of them because they are running and you are not. The fact that you have already run that day is irrelevant.
- At some point the pavements are icy. On a dark evening you skid and slip to the nearest patch of grass and run in rectangles for an hour. You find you are not alone as all the local dog walkers have had the same idea. You try not to run into dogs as they all charge about in random directions. This is a bit disco-like as many of the dogs have flashing light collars.
- A non-runner / work colleague asks which marathon you are doing. If it’s not London they assume it is easier.
- Maranoia grips you in the last two weeks and you become concerned about your sanity. Previously inane activities such as taking your kids to school, walking the dog or just going down the stairs at work are fraught with danger and risk.
- You find the preparations to get to the start line (travel / accommodation / packing and organising the entire family) are exhausting and harder than the actual marathon.
Marathons in northern England in 2022
Feeling inspired? Here is a list of some popular marathons happening not too far from us next year. Search on the Striders Website Archive of race reports for reviews.
- Northumberland Marathon, 26th Feb 2022.
- The Manchester Marathon, 3rd April 2022.
- The Chester Marathon, 15th May 2022.
- The Edinburgh Marathon, 28/29th May, 2022.
- The London Marathon, 2nd October 2022. (Okay, not in the north, but needs to be listed)
- Kielder Marathon, October 2022.
- Yorkshire Marathon. TBC.
- Newcastle Town Moor Marathons (Northeast Marathon Club). Dates TBC.
- Saturn running events, supported lapped distance running. Durham on 13th Feb 2022. The Love Run.
There are many trail marathons available in the North York Moors, Northumberland Cheviots, Yorkshire Dales, Lake District, Howgills and the Leeds-Liverpool canal path, and along the coast amongst others. These tend to be low key and scenic. Race organiser websites include It’s Grim up North Running, Wild Deer Events, High Fell Events, Lakeland Trails, Hardmoors Race Series, Endure24, Trail Outlaws, MAD races and Montane races and events.
Three challenging marathons around the World
The North Pole Marathon
This is a chilly event with temperatures ranging from -24 °C to -40 °C. With wind chill temperatures it can reach -60 °C. Training tip: some Swiss competitors have been known to train in large factory fridges. Another aspect is the actual lack of land to run on. Each year the organisers create a course to avoid breaks between the ice rafts. Race marshals are armed with guns to scare polar bears away should they try to attack runners. Don’t forget your snow goggles.
The Jungfrau Marathon, Switzerland
This says it is the most beautiful marathon in the world, and looking at pictures on the internet it does look nice! It starts at Interlaken, from there you go past the turquoise waters of Lake Brienz, through traditional mountain villages and beautiful pastures all with the backdrop of the Jungfrau and surrounding mountains. Along the course are alphorn players and bell ringers. Its uses a mixture of hiking paths and roads. Except for the last km, it’s all uphill.
The Great Wall Marathon, China.
This takes place in May every year along part of The Great Wall of China, East of Beijing. There are 5164 steps to climb and a lot of uphill. Hot (35 to 40 °C) and dusty. Runner reviews agree there is a wonderful international feel with runners from everywhere and beautiful scenery.
Other Strider achievements this month
There has been a host of Strider racing activity this month! It’s great to see. The York 10 miler was enjoyed by Steph Greenwell, Kirsty Nelson, Heather Raistrick and Phil Swinburn. Nina Mason continued her fell running with the Curbar Commotion, the Peak District 10 miler and The Langdale Horseshoe race in very claggy conditions.
Lisa and Davey Lumsdon, Alan Renwick, Matt Archer and Joanne Patterson took on the Tyneside 10k. Exceptional running from Lisa Lumsdon, her passion and determination over the past few years is clear to see and has lead to her getting faster and faster. Robert Thirkell did the Three Peaks Fell Race in Yorkshire. Well done Robert!
Sorry if I have missed anyone. Please let me know of your achievements in November if you are happy to share, as it would be great to celebrate them in the Striders RUNdown.
The British Fell Relay Championships, Saturday 16th October.
Men’s team: Geoff Davis, Stuart Scott, Mark Warner, James Garland, Lindsay McEwen, Nick Latham.
Ladies’ team: Tricia Everett, Susan Scott, Susan Davis, Nina Mason, Ellen Powell, Tamsin Imber.
Ace supporter: Jan Young
This was a fantastic Strider day out involving partaking in an adult obstacle course created by nature. It took place on private land in the Howgill fells near Tebay. This gave the bonus excitement of no prior knowledge of the route and indeed route maps were not released until the day! The obstacles included very steep uphills and downhills, bogs, stream crossings and uneven areas of long grass tussocks. The weather was grey and drizzly and a white mist danced on the tops of the fells all day. The white sky did not depress the soul as the lush autumnal greens and browns of the fells were pretty, the river lune wide and tuneful and the small copses of trees that followed the river were bright and rustling.
It was a bit of a trek from the parking in Tebay to the event field; a patch of flat grassy land held by a meander in the river. Mark, Nina, Jan and I joined the throng of bag laden runners to follow the flagged route to the event area. I had two heavy rucksacks as we needed to take drinking water for the whole day, dry clothes, food and kit. My upper body enjoyed the workout in blissful ignorance not knowing it would be majorly called upon later in the day! On arrival we located the Strider tent which Stuart had already put up, good man. A steady stream of people were arriving.
Lindsay and Ellen were getting ready to run as they were in leg 1. Striders had entered two teams, a woman’s team and a men’s team. Each team had 6 runners (legs 2 and 3 were paired legs). Lindsay and Ellen rushed off to be kit checked and enter the holding pen. There was plenty of room in the holding pen to warm up and a crowd gathered around it, waiting for the start. The start of a race is always an impressive sight to see I think and this time it was a sprint start as at the end of a field was a narrow gate which everyone wanted to get through without bottle necking! After the roaring start a thick line of runners was seen gunning it up the steep-sided nearby hill, including Lindsay and Ellen. I include some photos below to give you an idea of the joy.
The rest of us then relaxed about drinking tea and eating cake waiting for our turn. It was lovely to meet Tricia and Susan Scott who I had not met before. I pootled up the hill on the other side to cheer incoming leg 2s and outgoing legs 3s. I was really looking forward to running. This was my first time doing fell relays. Mark and I were on leg 4. When our time came, Mark and I went to the holding pen together. Strider male leg threes came in and Mark bounded off. Then I am convinced there was a time warp. Literally, I blinked maybe three times, had a quick conversation with a Bingley lady, and then Mark was back! He must have gone so fast! I saw him floating through the finish! He is fast! But then he does have the speed of Paula Radcliffe. He probably overtook all of leg 3 that were still out there!
Wayhay, it was now my time to go! I wasn’t dissappointed. I loved it! Leg 4 was short so I tried to run fast. My upper body was majorly involved at all times. On the über steep uphills it was used to grip onto stuff (plants, mud, rocks). On the across the bog bit it was used to prevent face planting when falling over. On the downhill bit it propelled me on a bum slide! When I got to the finish the Striders were there cheering me in 🙂 I would summarise fell relays as a fun day out with nice people and cake. Finally, to note, any Strider is welcome to participate in the fell relays and they take place every year.
Running Jokes Corner
- Why did nobody consider Cinderella a good athlete?
Because everyone knew that her coach was a pumpkin.
- What is another name for a free treadmill?
The great outdoors.
- Which way do crazy runner go if they get lost?
They take the psycho-path.
That’s all from me! So until next month,