RUNdown – July 2022


Welcome to the July issue of Striders’ RUNdown. This month Lucy Whelan is our front cover model. Lucy has recently come back from a painful injury that meant she was unable to run for 12 months. After a lot of patience with physio exercises and rest she is back running and took part in the Saltwell Fell Race. It’s lovely to see her back. Injury is something that happens to many of us and we can all empathise with the frustration of not being able to run.

As usual we celebrate all your achievements in the Shout-out, and this month has been ram-packed with races, including our own Willow Miner Trail Race! Your participation has been fantastic.

I was pleased to interview Jan Young for our Strider Chat feature. Jan has been a member of Striders for 36 years and it was fascinating to hear about her running experiences and to see her running photos from times past.

Finally I include a lovely trail route in our local area. I ran this recently with Tricia Everett, Susan Scott and Rocky the dog. The poppies in the fields were beautiful.

Enjoy the rest of the summer.
Happy running,
Tamsin, Ladies’ Captain and writer and editor of Striders’ RUNdown.
Malcolm, sub-editor and website publisher.

Strider Shout-out!

Endure 24 Leeds

This is a 24 hour running challenge. Run as many 5 mile loops as you can in 24 hours. The event can be entered by solo runners and groups of runners of different sizes (group categories include all female, male and mixed, of different sizes). The course is an undulating loop on trails and paths. Corrine Whaling and Nina Bojadzic ran within an all female group of 7. This team, called ‘The Speedy Mother Runners’ did amazing. They came first in their category, for the third year running! They did 38 laps and covered 190 miles in total.

Fiona Jones and Karen Byng entered as a pair called ‘The Northern Lights’. They dressed up as butterflies and their aim was just to enjoy the atmosphere, although they managed to cover a large distance themselves. Karen did 40 miles and Fiona did 25 miles.

The superhero team of Cal Ibbitson, Jo Robertson and Louise Collins were in an all female team of four called ‘The Durham Dazzlers’. They covered an amazing 26 laps (130 miles) and came 4th in the small team category.

Jane Dowsett entered as a solo runner and completed a personal challenge of running 50 miles! Anna Seeley also entered as a solo runner and ran 75 miles, coming 21st! New member Claire Austin who has relocated from Dewsbury ran in with a group from Dewsbury and enjoyed some laps. Congratulations everyone.

Purple parkrun and parkrun

parkrun achievements this month include new member Sam Jackson who came first at Riverside in a speedy time of 16:50 on 2nd July. Also on this day, Bryan Potts flew round in 17:21 and Riad Ketani in 18:47! Well done.

What a fantastic turnout of Striders at the Riverside parkrun on 9th July! We gave it a good purple streak. Sam Jackson 16:33, Bryan Potts 16:59, Ptoli Hand 18:12, Lewis Littlewood 19:17, Ian Butler 21:29, Rachelle Mason 22:40 , Heather Raistrick 25:01 and Men’s Captain Michael 17:20. It was lovely to see you all and I am looking forward to the next purple parkrun already which will be in August.


Bottoms Up Cup 5k

This is an annual 5k race around the Princess Anne Park in Washington. It is a memorial race in memory of founding Washington club member, Stephen Bottoms, and is used to raise money for a local school. Sam Jackson and Bryan Potts entered this fast and furious race. They both did amazing. Sam came 2nd and Bryan came 5th. Also Bryan’s daughter Layla ran the 1.5km race. Photo evidence shows her with a big smile, running all the way, and she got a great time of 9:59! Congratulations Layla!

Great North 10k

This is a flat hard-surfaced 10k along the Newcastle River Tyne quayside, starting and ending in Baltic Square. It is a popular event. Andrew Davies, Simon Wakely, Alexandra Butler, Aaron White and Paul Wilkinson took part and all ran really well.

Windermere Sprint Triathlon

Susan Scott did her first ever triathlon. This involved swimming across Windermere followed by a bike ride and a run in this beautiful area of the Lake District. She did really well, with a strong finish, as she moved up places in each discipline.

Skiddaw Fell Race

This is a fast-paced, ‘there and back’ fell race from Fitz park in Keswick, up to the summit of Skiddaw and straight back. The route is steep, which is especially testing on the way down. It is 9.6 miles and 3105ft total ascent. For a mere £11 entry fee what’s not to like! Stuart Scott, Emma Thompson, Matty and Barry Kirtley took part. They did fantastic, Emma coming 4th female and first in her age category.

NEMAA Track and Field

The 3rd and 4th fixtures of the season were held this month. The third fixture saw brilliant running from new timers Emma McCabe and David Milligan. Both of them came first in their heats in the 400m race. Alison Smith ran really well getting a PB in the 100m and coming first in her heat. Malcolm Sygrove came first in his heat in the 400m. Sophie Dennis came 3rd in her heat in the 400m. George Nicholson was presented with a trophy for his performance in the NEMAAs last season. Congratulations George!

The fourth fixture of the NEMAA showed a great turnout from Striders despite the heatwave. This time Mark Foster came first overall in the Discus, with a huge throw of 24.8m. He also came 5th in the shot put. Alison Smith came 4th in her heat in the 400m. James McNaney came first in the long jump with a huge 5.35m. David Milligan did really well coming first in this heat in the 800m. In the 300m, Sophie Dennis and James McNaney came 3rd in their heats and James came 2nd overall. Debra Thompson, Jean Bradley, Fiona Jones, Allan Renwick and Andrew Davies took on the mile race, with Jean coming 4th in her heat and Graeme coming first in his heat. Well done also to Lesley Charman, Helen Wilkes, Stef Barlow and Nina Bojadzic who also went. Sorry if I have missed anyone.

Bridges of the Tyne 5 mile race

This is a fast flat road race along Newcastle Quayside, passing the bridges of the Tyne. Seventeen Elvet Striders took part. Special mentions to Michael Littlewood coming first in his age category and Anna Basu coming third in her age category.

There was strong running from you all. So, well done also to, Phil Ray, Matt Archer, Stephen Soulsby, Lindsay McEwan, Allan Renwick, Graeme Watt, Nina B, Mick Davis, Fiona Jones, Simon Graham, Karen Byng, Louise Collins, Wendy Littlewood, Vics Jackson and Fiona Harrington-Hughes.

Ironman Austria

After months of hard training, Graeme Walton did his first ironman, and smashed it! The event centred around the town of Klagenfurt which nestles at the end of the Wörthersee, a beautiful blue lake where (according to the website) water temperature is 23 degrees in July! So, this is slightly warmer than the good old North sea which this month is rocking the heights of 12 degrees celsius. What a wonderful place to swim it looks! However, the ironman is no recreational swimble. This ironman involved a 2.3 mile swim around the lake, then looking at the map it looks like you swim along a river that enters the lake to get to the swim/bike transition. Then Graeme did a testing 112 mile bike ride after that around Carinthia. This was followed by a 26.2 mile run to Krumpendorf and back, to finish in Europa Park in Klagenfurt. Congratulations Graeme! He did it in 12:59! He has definitely earnt that tattoo.

Saltwell Fell Race

This is a pretty evening fell race near Stanhope of 5.6 miles and 984 feet total elevation. It is organised by the Saltwell Harriers. Lucy Whelan and her husband and fellow Strider Tom took on this race. They both ran really well, Tom coming 9th , and had a lovely evening for it as is shown on our front cover.

C.F.R.A. Wasdale Fell Race

This is a hard fell race organised by the Cumberland Fell Runners Association. Not for the inexperienced! It covers some very high and technical ground which requires good navigation skills, especially in bad weather. The race is 21 miles and has a total of 9,022ft elevation, taking in some of the big fells in the Wasdale area including Seatallan, Pillar, Great Gable, and Sca Fell Pike. Elaine Bisson took on this race and did really well coming 2nd lady. She also got a good PB on her previous time!

The Pocket Round, Keswick

Stuart Scott and his friend Paul Wilson did the newly invented ‘Pocket Round.’ This is a swim-run challenge set up by The Pocket Cafe in Keswick. It can be done at any time and the cafe has a leaderboard of completers. The route is 7 miles, with the run along trails near the shores of Derwentwater and the swim is across Derwentwater linking three of the islands. Stuart and Paul were some of the first completers! Well done.

Red Kite Trail Run

A hilly, local trail race along the Derwent Valley through woodlands. Alex Brown enjoyed this 8 mile race. Well done!

Chapel Top Fell Race

A fun local summer’s evening fell race from St John’s Chapel in Weardale up to the top of Chapel Fell and back (7km and 400m ascent). The initial route is on a track but then it is open fell, so navigation skills needed. Well done Graeme Watt, Steven Airey and Iain Gibson, great efforts.

Ultra North’s Ultra 55

This is an urban ultra race that uses parks, disused railway lines and ways (Hadrian’s Way, Wylam Wagon Way and Derwent Walk) within Newcastle and Gateshead to create a circular 55km (34 miles). It starts and finishes in Derwenthaugh Park in Swalwell. Anna Grubert took part and did amazing! She came first lady! Congratulations Anna.

Durham City 10k and 5k

Forty-four Elvet Striders took part! What a turnout! You all ran so well. Special mention to Emma Thompson who came 3rd female, Nina B who came 11th female, Liam Huntington who came 12th, Bryan Potts who came 13th, Graeme Watt who came 14th and Phil Ray who came 19th, Chris Hassell who came 4th in his category, Karen Byng came 1st in her age category, Jean Bradley came 3rd in her age category, Theresa Rugman-Jones came 3rd in her age category, Roz Layton came 1st in her age category. However, well done to all of you that ran for taking on the challenge.

Also, seven Elvet Striders enjoyed the 5k race. In this race Rachelle Mason came 3rd in her age category and Sue Walker came 5th in her age category!

Thanks so much to the volunteers from Striders who helped out. Thanks Mike Elliot, Lisa Lumsdon, Malcolm Sygrove, Wendy, Jan, Nina M, Oei-chi Basden and former Striders Jill Hall, Kay Pouton and Christine Hall. Greatly appreciated as without volunteers it could not have happened.


Dalesrunner 30

A beautiful 30km trail run in Upper Swaledale. This starts in Muker and goes up across the heather moors to Tan Hill Inn. Then it’s back down through moorland, hills and sparkling gills to the valley’s flower meadows, back to Muker. This race took place within the heatwave. Camilla, Malcolm and Nik Corton enjoyed this fun race.

Allan’s Memorial Mile Races

This was a very fitting evening to celebrate Allan Seheult. Well Done Roz for winning the memorial cup, very well deserved. It was lovely to see Dave Shipman and other older members of the club and members of the Triathlon club come together for this memorial evening. Thank you to Michael Littlewood, Fiona Jones and everyone who helped organise this night. Thank you to everyone who participated and who volunteered on the night.

Northumberland Coastal Run

A big group of Striders took place in this extremely popular event. This 14 mile trail run follows the coastal footpath from Beadnell to Alnmouth estuary through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s a great summer race where you can dip your toes in the sea at the end should you like. It’s fiercely competitive in part, as many clubs take part. Others may choose to take their time and enjoy the scenery.

Congratulations to all who took part. You were Stephen Jackson (running for Striders) who came 2nd in a speedy 1:26, Michael Mason who came 10th (2nd in age category), Michael Littlewood who came 15th (4th in age category), Graeme Watt and Stephen Soulsby who both came 5th in their age categories, Lindsay McEwan, Paul Forster (2nd in age category), Alex Collier, Nina B (14th female and 5th in age category), Allan Renwick, Craig Thornton, Nik Corton, Emma McCabe, Paul Swinburne, Ian Butler, Jean Bradley (2nd in age category), Sue Gardham, Michael Bennett, Louise Collins, Fiona Jones, Theresa Rugman Jones, Malcolm Sygrove, Heather Raistrick (12th in age category), Sarah Fawcett, Jill Rudkin, Kirsty Nelson, Jane Baillie and Maggie Thompson (2nd in age category).

Trail Outlaws Durham Coastal Half Marathon

Those of you who have done this race in the past will remember it used to be run by the National Trust, but it is now organised by Trail Outlaws. This coastal half marathon from Noses Point just South of Seaham to Crimdon Dene took place on the same day as the Northumberland Coastal Run. The weather was equally hot and humid. This part of the coast is hilly as the path goes in and out of denes, and there are often steps up the cliffs. In total there are 320 steps.

Well done to Marc Watson, Sarah Cook, Craig Walker, Hayley Lockerbie and Claire Austin. Congratulations to Lisa Lumsdon who had not done this race before. Congratulations to Sarah Watson who had not done this distance before. Also, Anna Basu holds the female course record for this race and it was not beaten this year! Anna’s record time is 1:45, and the fastest female time this year was 1:48 (Jackie Murdy of South Shields Harriers) whoop whoop!

Willow Miner Trail Race

This was a fantastic evening. Fiona Brannan was the event organiser (as she was last year) and she did a very thorough and efficient job. This included negotiating with three landowners, organising prizes, the course, a race sponsor (Lets Run from Stokesley, who came with their pop up shop and provided race numbers and prizes), organising marshals and helpers on the night and all the equipment needed such as signage, safety pins, first aid cover and much more. Thanks so much Fiona. Thanks also to Stuart who cleared the paths and to all the marshals and volunteers that helped before, during and after the event. It could not have gone ahead without you.

The race sold out and a fab number of you guys ran too. Well done to everyone who ran. It’s a toughie with all those ups and downs. Congratulations to Sam Jackson who came 3rd place, new member Anna Linfoot who came first lady and Nina B who came second lady! It was a fun night and I’m looking forward to it next year already.

Redcar Penguins 5 Mile Road Race

Bryan Potts took part in this fast road race along the Hartlepool coast road. The race started and finished in Zetland park where there are penguin art sculptures. He did really well and came 4th place.

Castle Howard Half Marathon

This was a hilly trail run around the grounds of Castle Howard and adjacent countryside and farmland. It was hot and humid and I made use of all water stations to either drink or chuck it on my head. I ran it really hard as that’s how I wanted to run that day. Although a smaller number of participants than in the Northumberland Coastal run, I was still pleased to come first lady.

Sunderland 5k Road Race

A fast and flat 5k road race took place in Sunderland this month. Four of your took part and flew round. Well done to James McNaney (16:26), Bryan Potts (16:46), Graeme Watt (17:00) and Michael Littlewood (17:15). Whether these are PBs or not, they are very fast times.

Lewis Littlewood’s PBs

This month Lewis ran three PBs all within four days! Amazing! These were 1500m 5:02, 1 mile 5:17, and 5k 18:54. Well done Lewis.

Stephen Lonsdale’s PBs

Stephen Lonsdale also had a cracking month of running, also getting PBs in three distances. He ran a sub-20 parkrun (19:44), got a 10k time of 41:15 and ran 5:33 for the mile! Wow!

Shaun Roberts prepares for the Westfield Health British Transplant Games

Shaun has been training hard for his upcoming British Transplant Games, which takes place in Leeds at the end of this month. He has included some races within his training plan. Shaun said, “I recently ended up in the prizes at the Commondale Beacon Fell Race, run over eight miles of North Yorkshire moorland. Watching the prize-giving I was gobsmacked to be announced as the MV65 winner, and was presented with three bottles of Yorkshire beer, no less. When the full results eventually emerged I found out I was in fact the only MV65… but you’ve got to be in it to win it! Three days later I was again first MV65 at the Riverside ‘purple’ parkrun, this time amongst some actual competition, although Conrad White was not in attendance, otherwise… Anyway, you wait years for gadgie prizes and then two come along at once!” Well done Shaun, we think they were both very well deserved! All the best from the Elvet Striders for the British Transplant Games. You tell me you’ll be doing the 1500m and 5k running events, the 5k cycling time trial, 10k bike road race and basketball competition. Have a fantastic time.

Also Well Done to…

Several Striders  ran in the Lakeland 50 and Lakeland 100 events at the end of July. Fuller coverage of this event will appear in the next issue.

As always, if anyone would like a mention in the Strider’s RUNdown do contact me. I list all races I can find before the start of the month and then go through all the race results but I am bound to miss some!

Strider Chat: Interview with Jan Young

At the World Cross Country Championships, held at Maiden Castle in April 1995. Four miles ‘open’ races (open to all to enter)

This month I spoke to Jan Young about her running. Jan has been a member of Striders for 36 years. I think you will agree she is one of our most supportive members. If she can’t run you will see her cheering everyone on, especially at cross country! In the past she has been Ladies’ Captain, Kit Officer, Transport Officer and is currently Membership Secretary. She says in the days before computers and email were widely used, she would hand write reports about the club and post them to the Northern Echo, as they would publish local clubs’ results. I loved hearing about her running experiences and seeing her old race photos and I think you will too.

When did you start running and why?

Sports day when in Durham City Harriers, September 1982.

I’ve always been a walker, because in the 1950s and 1960s we didn’t have cars. My dad was a mill worker, and he used to take me on walks around Pendle Hill. All the town centres and mills in Lancashire are in the valley bottoms, so you had to walk up really steep hills to get to the quiet roads and paths. When I was at grammar school we did cross country and I also played hockey. I don’t think I was that skillful at hockey, I just enjoyed running up and down the centre of the pitch and being outside. I started running solo in 1976 when we came to Durham and I can remember I couldn’t even get round the block with the breathing, so just kept that up, thinking the breathing will get easier, the breathing will get easier! I joined Durham City Harriers in 1981 and Striders in about 1986. And why? Just because I like being out and the feeling of being active. I have always been competitive, but nowadays I just think I am lucky to be running so I am not as competitive as I was, I can’t be.

Hurworth half marathon, July 1984. First lady.

What is your favourite place to run?

Oh definitely it’s got to be high open spaces with views. Then second would be trails and woodland, but I love being up high and often just being on my own. It’s just a lovely time to yourself.

What have been your best race or running experiences?

With Allan Seheult at the finish of Swaledale Marathon in June 1996.

In the 1990s you could run the Simonside fell race on the Saturday at Thropton Show, which used to be on our GP. And then if you ran the Great North Run on the Sunday, you got an exclusive T-shirt. It was a back-to-back challenge.

Also in the 1990s, we used to run Hamsterley Forest trail races which were organised by Chris White who was the founder of Northern Runner shop in Newcastle. He also had a magazine called Northern Runner which was full of athletics and races. The races in Hamsterley Forest were famous for having the signage regularly sabotaged by whoever lived in Hamsterley and didn’t like runners. So people would be running anywhere and then you would have to wait for them to get back to the finish.

In my 60th year, it was the North East cross country at Hartlepool, and my prize possession, which I’ve still got, is my race number. Susan Davis presented me with bib number 60, which I could wear on my Strider’s vest in the race.

York half marathon, 27th March 1983. Chocolate factory in the background.

In 1991, I did the York Half Marathon, which is now called the Brass Monkey. The race was the ‘Yorkie’ after the chocolate bar produced by Rowntree, as the Rowntree factory used to be at the race course near the race start. I don’t think it’s there anymore. In the race I got to 10 miles and used my mantra to myself, which I used in many races. With three miles to go, I would visualise, it’s just round Houghall Woods, and I would say to myself, ‘It’s just round the woods, you’ve done that so many times you can do this.’ I finished the race in 1:41, I was so chuffed. I have used my mantra many times. I’ve used it in the Swaledale Marathon from Surrender Bridge.

In 1996, I had a good time in the Swaledale Marathon and finished in 4:17. That was good for our ladies’ team at the time as well.

A funny race experience was in 1998 in the Redcar marathon. Coming along the promenade to the finish at the sports centre I saw a long dark ponytail in front of me, and I am thinking I am going to catch that woman because it could be a position prize, and I dipped in front of her just before the finish line then looked behind and it was a male Blyth runner! I have seen him since because he ended up as one of the medical cyclists in the Great North Run, still with the ponytail. In that race I came second vet in V45, in 1:36.

What are your proudest running experiences?

Cross country Harrier League with Fiona Shenton. Year and location unknown.

OK, so the main one is, I’ve done every Harrier League since 1993, I’ve managed to do most of the races every season. I have never missed a season. Since 1993, I’ve added the Northeasterns, Northerns, and I’ve done 8 English Nationals. Susan and Geoff were really encouraging. They showed me it’s not a big deal, you can do it, anyone can do it. If you can run a Harrier League race just go for it, it’s a great day out.

Winning Ladies’ Team at the last fixture of Harrier League in 2004.

I have also done 20 Calderdale relays and 20 Swaledale marathons and 19 Dent races. I know the routes. The Dent race was always on the grand prix. Dent is a lovely race as it supports the school, it’s not a big running event company and it’s a lovely place to go for the weekend. I’ve also run 22 Captain Cook’s monument races. I have enjoyed 12 Guisborough Woods races and 14 Blyth Sands races. Blyth Sands is great, it’s an age handicap race, so the oldest go off first. I used to run in the summer and winter series of trail races organised by the Esk Valley Fell Club, as I just liked going down and running them. That’s like a grand prix, as you collect points in your age group for every race you do in the series. I like running on the moors.

Third annual assault course at Catterick Garrison. She came first lady. This photo appeared in the Northern Echo. (Jan says “Think I was first back as set off in waves- maybe not fastest- Can’t recall who organised, but Army marshalled obstacles”).

I have also done Tough Mudders and Muddy Mayhems. These are obstacle courses. They were Nina’s idea. She did them too. There are different obstacles, including rotating inflatables you have to climb over, wheelie bins full of ice, skips full of muddy water, climbing walls, crawls under netting, climbing walls, tunnels and you run between them. The County Council organised a few at Hardwick Park. They were really good fun. One year I was with Barbara Dick and we popped our heads out of the netting, you know like army netting, then we had to cross the lake. It’s not deep enough to swim, you wade across, it’s waist height. So we came out of the netting and Barbara said “Jan, it’s sleeting!” and I can remember thinking ‘$&&%!’ I was cold enough and then we waded across the lake. “Do you know Jan, we’re just wading through duck poo here!”

What have been your worst race or running experiences?

The London marathon in 1998. I ran it with Nina. This is the only road marathon I’ve done. I got injured at 10 miles and that was it. I was skipping along and enjoying it, then I got injured. A groin bursa developed. I met up with Nina back at the hotel and she had been sat on pavement curbs due to cramp and dehydration. We both finished it, but we were just disappointed. We had trained like mad. We had a running buggy for her daughter (my granddaughter) Leigh, and we trained and trained. I think the training did help me do well in the Redcar half marathon later that year. I never ran another marathon, as I don’t like the regular pace. I like varying pace, it’s more interesting and you can catch people on the downhills.

At the finish of the Great North Run in June 1982.

What advice would you have for other runners?

Definitely cross-train. Yoga, pilates, walking, dynamic stretching, weights, cycling, dynamic warm ups, strength and conditioning, anything. Don’t just run. You need to keep flexible and strong. Otherwise you just get injured.

Attend to an injury straight away. Listen to a niggle and just do what feels right for you. Recover and rest.

Celebrate the achievements you have. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t get that PB. Just enjoy being out.

Future running goals?

Just to get over my present injury, so I can get back running again. I would like to run in the next cross country season, but I will have to see how it goes. If I can’t, I’ll be cheerleader. I think we’ll do well next cross country season.

I am just excited for this club and enjoy celebrating everyone’s success; from encouraging folks starting out running to keep it up, to our individual and team wins.

Village Greens Trail Run

If you fancy a new route here is my local ‘village greens’ trail run. It is all on footpaths and links up the village greens of Tudhoe Village, Byers Green and Hett. It is 15 miles and I include a route map as follows. The route is marked in green. We started at Sunderland Bridge and we went anti-clockwise, but obviously you could start anywhere and go either direction. The cows at High Croxdale can be avoided by taking alternative footpaths (see OS Explorer 305 Bishop Auckland).

Summer Post-run Recipe: Fruit Kebabs

Finally, what’s not to like but a fruit kebab after a run in the sunshine! Enjoy the rest of the good weather and hope your running goes well over the holiday season.

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