All posts by Dougie Nisbet

World Transplant Games – Bike Road Race, Hetton Lyons, Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Shaun Roberts

Baptism of fire in the road race on an undulating course at Hetton Lyons. This was a combined 17-lap race for all the 60+, 70+, 80+ men – first over the line sets the end of the race.

Pushed very hard at the start, but got dropped by a breakaway of six. Managed to keep my foot on the pedal for the full hour, though, and only the leading two got a lap on me. So ended up 7th of 24, which I was pretty pleased with, as there were some proper cyclists here.

World Transplant Games – 5K, Town Moor, Newcastle, Sunday, August 18, 2019

Shaun Roberts

After the recent British Transplant Games, the very local World Transplant Games, within a couple of miles of where I spent quite a long time in hospital, couldn’t come soon enough. Good to start the week with the 5K, which I thought was my best chance of doing well, having picked up the Gold in Newport. The course was changed close to the last-minute, from, I think, the normal parkrun course, to a shorter version, two laps, due to a circus pitching on the route! Obviously, pretty flat … but there was a fair wind blowing …

photo by Mandy Dawson

I set off fast, perhaps a tad too fast – perhaps a bit too much adrenaline coursing through the veins. Was ahead of the firm favourite to win the MV60s after the first lap … but than flagged a bit. The last section into blustery wind was a bit challenging … and yet, my band of supporters (you know who you are!) told me I was still second, so I was more than delighted to come away with a Silver medal.

Whoop! Can enjoy the rest of the games now …

Lakeland 100, Friday, July 26, 2019

105 miles/24000 ft climb

Elaine Bisson

My Lakeland 100 journey started at 4am on a Saturday morning in November 2017 as I travelled to the Lakes with Jules to accompany her on her first recce from Coniston to Buttermere. I was quite taken with the excitement and camaraderie surrounding the event. The route, 105miles of Lakeland trails, what’s not to like?! So when a big empty hole appeared after my BG there seemed nothing better to fill it with.

At 9am one September morning I was ready to enter when low and behold the system crashed and my chances faded. Cajoled by friends and my husband who knew I’d had my heart set on it, I got a charity place a week later.

Continue reading Lakeland 100

British Transplant Games, Sunday, July 28, 2019

Shaun Roberts

When I was first diagnosed with leukaemia, early last year, little did I realise the long road ahead would end up at ‘Transplant Sport’ ! I’d never heard of it until I saw a piece on Look North about the upcoming World Transplant Games, which involves transplant recipients from all over the world, all competing together, but in separate age categories … and it’s all happening within a couple of miles of where I spent months in hospital.

So … I managed to get myself selected for TeamGB, running and cycling, and was ‘encouraged’ to also do the British Games. Off to Newport …

Cycling ‘Road Race’, Maindy Centre, Cardiff

The ‘road race’, had been planned to be up and down lanes of a car park, but when this was announced, with just a week to go, everyone was aghast. People thought all the bends dangerous, but I just thought it was naff. Anyway, helpfully it was quickly rearranged to be on Geraint Thomas’s childhood velodrome, with a lovely smooth tarmac surface, with gentle banking.

The format was 15 minutes plus five laps, in a race combining 50+, 60+, 70+ men. Think I can confidently say I cycled faster than I ever have before (ignoring Weardale downhills): my Garmin was saying 20-22mph most of the way.

Result: third in the 60s to win a Bronze medal! Whoop!

Purple and Green, and Bronze and Gold.

5K Run, Newport Riverside

The longest race distance at these games is the 5K, so was my best chance of a good run. The route was a pre-existing out and back parkrun course along a flat riverside path, nice surface. The only thing the organisers’ messed up was layering a 3K fun run on the top of it, such that the leaders encountered a mass of families with kids halfway back into town! Doh!

Anyway, set off at quick pace, and kept it together for about 2.5 miles, shouting ahead on the way back (politely, of course) for a bit of space. Well-pleased with the time (21’22), even if it was a bit flattering ( 3-mile course, I reckon).

Gobsmacked to find it was good enough to win the M60s … Gold medal! Whoop!

Track 800m

The first track race, next day, was a mere 15 hours after the start of the 5K, so legs were a bit heavy. Got properly warmed up after having various pulled muscles doing track training recently, then set off after the firm favourite for the race, and kept with him for … half a lap! Hung in there in front of the rest though, and was happy with the time: 3’04. Second place, and a Silver!

Once again: Whoop!! One more event …

Track 1500m

After a long wait (legs seize up, massage, snooze in van, wake up, warm up again) … my last event, late afternoon, was 1500m, against the same firm favourite as earlier, but with all the MV50s in the race as well. Race tactics? Push hard all way round and see what happens!

Seemed to work … finished fourth in overall race, second MV60, getting round in 6’09 … so another Silver! Whoop!

Well-chuffed with these games … some wonderful people, great stories, very moving at times, a fantastic supportive atmosphere … and to come back with a Gold, two Silvers, and a Bronze in the cycling was way more than I expected, and all a bit of a bonus. I’d like to put my feet up now, but there’s the small matter of the World Transplant Games in Newcastle next month

Elvet Striders Grand Prix, Saturday, July 27, 2019

photo credit: Nigel Heppell

The results of the GP have been updated after the Northumberland Coastal Run. The latest rankings can be found on the GP Results page.

The next fixture on the GP calendar is a green jersey race. The Quayside 5K.

July 2014

Northumberland Coastal Run, Sunday, July 21, 2019

Grand Prix Race - click flag for current league tables. Endurance Champion Race - click flag for more information. about 14 miles

photo by Nigel Heppell


PosbibNameTimeCatCat PosGenderGen Pos
1200Tom Charlton (TYNE BRIDGE HARRIERS)01:16:58Senior Male1Male1
3611Stephen Jackson01:20:23Veteran 352Male3
12752Michael Mason01:25:14Veteran 403Male12
21540Georgie Hebdon01:27:59Senior Male10Male21
25573Jane Hodgson (MORPETH HARRIERS & AC)01:28:14Veteran 351Female1
27698Michael Littlewood01:29:04Veteran 409Male26
281192Graeme Watt01:29:51Veteran 4010Male27
69686James Lee01:38:05Veteran 4017Male65
87954Allan Renwick01:39:51Veteran 506Male81
117575David Holcroft01:42:58Senior Male27Male107
144244Nik Corton01:45:52Veteran 5015Male129
1651057Stephen Soulsby01:47:06Veteran 5511Male147
198512Peter Hart01:49:14Veteran 4039Male173
226181Matthew Carr01:51:08Veteran 4043Male195
2301066Jon Steed01:51:37Veteran 5030Male199
28059Anna Basu01:54:39Veteran 458Female43
3151101Malcolm Sygrove01:56:45Veteran 5044Male261
329285Mandy Dawson01:57:23Veteran 506Female58
359891Mark Payne01:58:37Veteran 3542Male292
42973Michael Bennett02:02:51Veteran 655Male342
454121Jean Bradley02:04:18Veteran 601Female100
458201Trevor Chaytor02:04:46Veteran 5535Male358
486945Andrew Rayner02:06:37Senior Male55Male378
490475Marita Grimwood02:06:56Veteran 4522Female111
650196Letitia Chapman-Ward02:16:50Veteran 3527Female192
659986Jill Rudkin02:17:30Veteran 4042Female199
662307Angela Dixon02:17:40Veteran 4539Female202
771925Ashley Price-Sabate02:25:35Veteran 5048Female282
8021042Alan Smith02:28:22Veteran 704Male499
831989Jordi Sabate02:31:24Veteran 5087Male511
881355Stephen Ellis02:38:51Veteran 6521Male531
922437Rebecca Gilmore02:45:45Senior Female54Female383
9231230Fiona Wood02:45:46Veteran 4078Female384
929699Wendy Littlewood02:48:06Veteran 4080Female389
930415Carolyn Galula02:48:07Veteran 4580Female390
946370Christine Farnsworth02:52:07Veteran 658Female401
956327Victoria Downes02:55:40Veteran 4082Female408
9721116Helen Thomas03:03:10Veteran 4084Female421
974789Karen Metters03:04:35Veteran 4085Female422

Ironman, Austria-Kärnten, Sunday, July 7, 2019

Swim: 3.8km - Bike 180km - Run 42.1km

Tim Matthews

Writing from the comfort of a DFDS Ferry after transiting mainland Europe in one day, here’s my account of the Iron Man branded Long Distance Triathlon based at Klagenfurt , Austria 07 July 2019. The run bit’s toward the end, but I had to swim and bike to warm up for it, hope it’s of interest.

Jeez that was a bit of a stress head experience – the weather in the weeks leading up to the event was ringing all the wrong bells – record temps in Europe – severe warnings of danger to life – In 21 years of IM Austria there has only ever been one non wet suit swim before but all the warning signs were there that this was going to be another.

For context there are water temperature thresholds which determine whether a race is deemed either ‘wet suit compulsory’, ‘optional’, or ‘forbidden’. I’m a weak swimmer, and wet suits help some people like me (mainly blokes with heavy, sinky legs) to be more efficient and confident in the water. For me a non-wet suit swim is a big deal, without wearing one there’d be a very likely chance that I’d not make the 2h20m cut off time.

I didn’t follow any web forum threads (I never do – a recipe for headspace disaster imo) – but as I suspected that there’d be a good chance of a non wet suit swim I bought a SwimSkin from Wiggle – It’s an uber tight hydrophobic garment which is some sort of cross between a swimming costume and an industrial strength condom. Still I watched the weather forecast from three different web sites AND logged the reported water temperature – it never exceeded 23C and was forecast to go down – that would be OK, just….. except that the break in the weather as forecast kept slipping back, and the temp stayed high. Not till I got to the race venue in Klagenfurt did i start to get unsolicited info about water temp being >26C (24.5C is the non wet suit threshold for age group athletes), & even then one didn’t know whether or not that was competitor hyperbole, or swim wear vendors plying for sales.

I was really miserable – I know how hard it is to navigate this particular swim course – instead of being 3.8k it’s previously been up to 4.2k at worst – the chances of me DNF’ing the swim were huge.

OK so I’ve been doing loads of fresh water swim training recently – but even so the maths are very close sans wetsuit…… and without one I’m even more nervous and afraid of, getting breathless in, open water – it all serves to slow things down. I even thought about shaving my legs!! I mean WTF – is that even a thing????

I also bought some neoprene shorts – I tried them over the Swim Skin (or as it has become known in some quarters: my ‘Body Sheath’! it felt worse than just the Body Sheath (BS) and It really was too warm to swim in the wet suit (a bit like being boiled in a bag) whereas wearing only the BS felt cool and easy BUT the timing – I’m so slow at swimming ….. aargh.

In the race briefing on Saturday when they confirmed it would be a non wet suit swim it was a relief tbh, at least I knew what to prepare for – the organisers made an error and said calf guards were OK but nothing else was to be worn below the knee or elbow.

There was a cheer from a small part of the crowd which I thought was pretty shit – they (the cheerers) were never going to be obliged to wear wet suits themselves, so what was the point of the cheering other than to make already nervous people even more so. Loads of hubbub in the crowded race briefing – so much so that the official intervened and said something like ‘stop – its disrespectful talking over me while I’m trying to do a briefing’.

Questions were invited and I asked them to clarify the ‘calf guard / nothing below the knee’ thing – which they did for those who’d gone to the front to ask, and also for the German briefing which followed. No rubber, no neoprene and nothing below the knee or elbow.

Nevertheless there was a massive rush on neoprene shorts in the expo – the vendors were having a field day!

A guy (a German guy) came up to me in the hotel later that day (after the English and German briefings that he clearly hadn’t attended) and asked me “is wet suit forbidden?” My chance had come – after years and years of ‘entertaining’ folk (!) with my ‘flair for languages’ ! (I reckon to be fluent in any language within an hour of arriving in a country – this usually equates to speaking very poor french at people no matter where I am, and shrugging and mumbling a lot) I was FINALLY able to use my one and only true German phrase (“for you ze var is over” doesn’t count) – and I delivered it with flair and passion……. “Wetsuit ….:.ES IST VERBOTEN” I said.

Perhaps it was the same bloke, who knows, but shortly afterwards someone was observed removing their bike and both transition bags from the transition area. I haven’t looked at the DNS / DNF lists yet – but I’ll bet there was more than one DNS (see epilogue).

Anyhow – once it was confirmed, it was what it was, a Non Wetsuit Swim! – I ignored the chit chat and did my thing – controlled what I could, left the rest to fate and got the bike and run stuff ready and put it in transition. Then I returned to the digs – had dinner and three rounds of pudding and went to bed at 20:00 for a 03:00 alarm (I’d been going to bed and getting up a little earlier each day for a week to try and adjust my body clock, so this was an hour earlier than I’d moved it to).


  • 03:00
    • Alarm Denial Ritual
    • Ablutions (very important – another one week of pre race body clock conditioning)
    • Smother self in Butt’rrrr
    • Get into all Tri Suit / swim gear except ‘Body Sheath’, swim hat, and goggles.
  • 04:00
    • Breakfast – to be completed no later than 2.5 hours before swim start – needs to be digested before 07:30 swim start
  • 05:00
    • Go back to Transition – put food, energy drinks and Garmin on bike.
    • Blow up the tyres.
    • Switch on the lights and Garmin
  • 05:30
    • Back to Hotel
    • Breathe
  • 06:00
    • Double Espresso
    • Walk to race start
  • 06:30
    • Get into Body Sheath!


Swim Course

OK here we go. I’m wearing white hotel slippers – a Body Sheath – a rubber hat and a pair of tinted goggles – it’s not a good look. I’ve self seeded (yes it’s a thing) into a predicted swim speed pen with 3000 or so other similarly clad peeps, many of whom (at my end of the pen) also look scared witless – non wet suit swims are not a popular pastime.

There’s a bunch of marshals looking out for folk wearing illegal kit and a big pile of confiscated neoprene shorts, socks and calf guards. As I approach the start gate I guesstimate about 5 minutes to go before I get to the front and have an energy gel – any sooner and if I wasn’t active my body would think I didn’t need it and initiate an insulin response which would lower my blood sugar and be counter productive.

We were released into the beautiful turquoise water of Lake Wörthersee in groups of 4 every 5 seconds.

So there I was, where I thought I’d never be, at the start of a NON WET SUIT IM-Triathlon swim!!

So now it really matters – ever since my dad tried to teach me to swim (age 5) by getting me to jump into a pool and then NOT catching me I’ve never liked swimming (!) – Even now, despite the best efforts and advice of many well meaning but occasionally conflicting coaches – I’m pretty sh@t at it. UNLESS I’m absolutely calm, and in total control, swimming to me is a bit like being waterboarded in a hypoxic sensory depravation chamber. To get through a race I have to stay calm, stay aerobic, sight to way-markers one by one, not lose my cool when swam over, kicked in the head or my vision is blocked by a paddle board mounted swim marshal. In this, my first IM distance race without the safety aid of a wet suit, the first section is crowded – I’m getting punched and kicked and swam into – but the sun is behind me and I can see my way – I tick off one yellow route marker buoy at a time – breaking it into manageable chunks. Sooner than expected I (think I) see what the race brief said would be a red triangular 90 degree direction change buoy – it wasn’t – it was a marshal on a paddle board in a red t shirt and he/she was moving – so I’d been heading to a moving object and was off course – CALM – BREATHE – finish every stroke – smile sweetly at the marshals – say “thank you marshal”.

When I eventually reach the YELLOW (not red at all) triangular 1st 90 degree direction change buoy I turn left – I breath to the left – the sun is rising above the mountains to my left – I’m totally blinded to my breathing side; so I close my eyes and only open them every 10 strokes when I want to peek forward to keep on course to the next buoy.

Left again at the next Triangular buoy – this time straight into the rising sun – I can’t see a bl@@dy thing foreword – just occasional silhouettes – this is the worst bit, I’m supposed to be finding the entrance to a canal from the expanse of a lake – I can see the occasional silhouette of a paddle board and some yacht masts – I know there’s a marina near to the canal entrance – blind logic – breath – finish every stroke – stay calm – repeat.

Into the canal – another 1200m or so, there are people lining the side – looking at their watches – looking behind me – I mustn’t be last if they are looking behind me – but I have no idea at all what time it is. I keep on keeping on – reach – stroke – finish it – breath – reach stroke finish it – breath ….. the bank side is moving slowly by – I collide with a tree root – then a patch of lily pads – there are boats moored to the side, their outboard motor oil stinks in the water – I can see the marshals at the swim exit – 100m or so to go – crowds and marshals are screaming at me – I reach the ramp and what seems like a thousand arms descend and drag me out of the water COME ON … What time is it? – It doesn’t matter GO GO GO – FFS I’ve made it with FIVE minutes to spare!!!! I later learn that someone behind me made it with TWO SECONDS to spare!


A light touch is required – I’ve got a v short time to get in and through before it too is closed – I strip off the Body Sheath, grab my bike bag, run into the ladies area of the changing tent – nobody cares – there’s no body there – they’re all miles ahead – Slap on some more Butt’rrrr and get my bike kit on – bike shoes – helmet – a quick waz – grab the bike and GO GO GO.


Bike route

This is my best bit, this is where it all comes together for me, it’s like skiing on freshly groomed motorway width pistes & I LOVE IT. The course had been modified since I last did this race two years ago – I’d driven the (new for this year) Northern Loop in the VW Fun Bus a few days earlier – it seemed to be gently sloping up and down and with largely smooth surfaces (from the comfort of Das Bus that is) – I was really looking forward to it. I came out of transition, got up on the pedals, and off.

Everyone I go past on the bike course in triathlons has been quicker than me in the swim – it’s great for the ego. First one, then another; I need to keep a check here, and not get carried away…then they started coming thick and fast. Rules are ‘no drafting on the bike’ you can’t get close to another rider without then getting past them in a very short time – or you get a five minute time penalty – DQ for repeat offenders. That’s created a problem – it meant that on what had appeared to be gentle, smooth steady paced climbs from Das Bus I kept having to put in bursts of power to get quickly past each successive one time fast swimmer (now slow cyclist) competitors; and the motorcycle mounted draft buster marshals were being a bit zealous in their mission. I got one informal talking to, so after that I was more careful. The effect was that I wasn’t as consistent in the bike as I might have been – much more on and off – a bit of holding back till I got a decent descent and could take a few bikes out at a time. But once the field had thinned out a bit I was off again.

There’s different schools of thought on cycling in Triathlon (Quelle Surprise!) One endorses slow cadence, high torque, low HR – the other fast cadence, low torque, higher HR. Both give you the same net power, but they each rely on different energy systems and related predominant fuel. I’m a fan of the latter, shredding your leg muscles and bruising joints by overloading them for 180k is really bad way to warm up for a marathon. So I get my HR into Zone 4, drink near constant glucose & fructose mix for fuel and hydration, eat Nak’d Bars and Banana and spin it out – flying.

As you approach the end of the new Northern Loop and start to drop back down toward the Wörthersee you can see over the lake to the far side of the Southern Loop and the mountain ranges that form the border with Slovenia – fantastic..that’s where I’m heading now. But first back past the transition area – through the screaming fan zone – up on the pedals to get the carbon wheels singing – and off again … off along the Southern shore of the Wörthersee towards Velden – but what’s this – strange, feels a bit like hard work, feels a bit WINDY, it cant be .. surely …

BOOM – CRASH – KARUMBA – KRACKLE – A bit like the storm that broke the summer of 2018 on the same weekend as The Lakeland 100 and the Outlaw Triathlon – A HYOWJ thunderstorm hit the Karentan area of Austria just as I was mid way between Klagenfurt and Velden on the shore of the Wörthersee. There was washed out soil and tree debris everywhere – The wind was catching my wheels and throwing me about, the rain at lake level (hail in the mountains) soaked the roads and riders. Folk didn’t seem to know what to do. I passed cyclists sheltering under bridges and in barns. I saw at least three who had taken their helmets off (I’ve no idea why) and were heading back toward the race HQ. WTF, I thought, surely to hell they haven’t black flagged the race for a bit of WEATHER – jeez, it was little more than Sunny Sunday TriClub Cycle to Sedgefield. When I arrived at the next aid station it was clear that they’d had a bit of a panic at race HQ, but NO Black Flag (phew) – the storm passed and I shot off West then looped back to the South then East – up over the infamous Rupetisburg Hill Climb – I didn’t even notice it. There were no cow bell dingling spectators on that part of the course this year (no brollies or wellies I guess) which was a shame, but it’s amazing how much harder a hill climb is when there’s shed loads of graffiti on the road and crowds lining the route shouting HOPHOPHOP to tell you that it is one.

The last 20k of the Southern Loop, is mainly downhill and smooth – a guy cycles up beside me (no draft buster marshals survived the thunder storm) and tells me about his recent puncture.
‘Have you got a spare tube?’
‘Yes sure’ I say.
‘What about CO2?’
‘That too’, my retort.
So he drops back – and I wonder what he’s thinking. Then he cycles up again,
‘I’ll just slip in behind you then’ he says.

I’m wondering if he’s expecting me stop and give him a tube, or perhaps even the full Convoi Exceptionalle / National Breakdown service so – I reach for my easy access CO2 and hand him the canister.
‘Look mate, happy to help but if you want the tube you’ll have to stay ahead of me’.

He slips in behind but despite the massive assistance afforded by slip streaming me he drops back…. and I’m off again.

I know the course, it feels fast – this bike is a joy to ride – mountains turn to pasture, trees to deciduous, I can smell the lake again, hear the hum of the city and then the transition zone, the Pros and young folk with brand new bodies are on the run course – some have even FINISHED it (b@stards). I fly through the suburbs, past the sports stadium, waved through red lights by the police and into T2.


7 hours for 180k for the bike is slower than envisaged by about 45 mins. Add that to the 45 min excess swim time and I’m running out of contingency time for the run! Another light touch required – no brewing up or making sarnies. Why do I do this again? .. oh well COME ON…. rack the bike, grab my run bag, towel out on the floor, change socks and shoes (all pre prepped with Johnson’s finest baby powder). Helmet, gloves, shoes all in the bag, turn the race number belt around and off, but something doesn’t quite feel right…


…. Something wasn’t right – there was a distinct mass in the undercarriage department – had I followed through with one of those post gel farts ??? Thankfully not, I’d forgotten to take my bike shorts off – the rain and sweat sodden chamois swinging about like a well hung baboon and knocking me off my stride. No worries , I give the crowd a laugh, took them off with a burlesque flourish and flung them to the baying crowd – hilarious.

And off we go, round three, a 42.2k run. It’s so important to get this right and not blow up. We’ve all heard about hitting WALLS in marathons, but that’s really just running out of fuel, esp the carbs / glycogen fuel needed to run in HR zone 4 and above – it’s hard if not impossible to replenish glycogen at the rate it’s consumed over the course of a marathon distance, so we get that WALL thing at c.30k when there’s nothing left. So here I am I’ve just swam for 2h15m and cycled for 7h in a purposeful HR Z4, and despite constant fuelling on the bike I’m already glycogen deficient and now it’s time to do the marathon.

After blowing up early at both Paris and The Northumberland Coastal Marathons earlier in the year due to fuelling anomalies, my strategy for this race was to start and stay well sub threshold for the whole distance – I wanted to start and keep my HR in the Low Zone 3 region and be more reliant on Fats than Glucose for fuel. I’d already stacked up on ham and cheese croissants during the latter part of the bike course and I set out to start each run section slowly allowing my pace to steadilly and sustainably increase so that I never went into an oxygen debt – and if my HR crept up toward Z4 I’d back off. Note: training for that sort of run strategy is best done alone – it’s embarrassing – but it works.

So I shuffled off – past an already busy finish line grandstand – and toward the town of Krumpendorf. Feed stations are every 3k or so, and at each I walked though, swigged flat coke, iso, and a splash of water; ate a slice of melon, a lump of banana and two pretzels – then I’d get on my tip toes, walk tall, reach my hands up high, stretch out and slowly get back to an exaggerated easy shuffle which then morphs into a sustainable easy run.

From Krumpendorf it was back to the Grandstand, collect lap band #1 then out to Klagenfurt City Centre. In Klagenfurt it’s all so very café culture – the bars and restaurants do a great trade while the competitors run through the cobbled streets dinging a charity bell. Back along the canal tow path to the Grandstand and out toward Krumpendorf again.

So by now the Grandstand is in full swing and I’ve still got another half marathon to run. As I left the hum of the Grandstand behind it tended toward dusk, the aid stations were running out of stuff, it’s a quiet part of the course and frankly a little bit mentally taxing to ‘keep on keeping on’ when out Krumpendorf way. It’s time to start to count – 1 & 2 & 3 & 4, fiver, sixer, seven, eight, all the way to 100, then repeat, then repeat, then repeat ….. eventually back to the Grandstand area and collect lap band #2.

By now it’s properly dark, and remember that avoiding the 30k wall thing ? Well this is where it pays off – I keep it going, walk the aid stations, fuel, fluid and caffeine – restart…… But it’s starting to hurt now – I’m still keeping the intended pace and HR zone but my quads are complaining, my hamstrings are tight, and I get a bit of a wobble on when the ground goes uneven. I walk the subway descents and ascents so as not to pull a calf.

As I approach Klagenfurt for the final time I actually begin to wonder if I’m going to make the time cut off – I’ve stopped being able to do basic maths and I can’t work out how long I have left to finish or how far it is – but I take comfort (of sorts) in the fact that there’s no broom waggon in sight and there are still loads of other folk on the course.

Back to the park near the finish line & grandstand – the distance signs say different things (as they do on any multi laps course – Kielder is the worst!) and I can’t recall which signs are relevant and whether they mean distance ‘completed’ or ‘to go’ – I get to one that says 3k – surely it can’t be – and then Boom there’s the ‘turn here to finish sign’.

I turn the corner and it comes upon me a bit quicker than I’d expected – didn’t have time to lose my rabbit caught in the headlights expression …. but the Grandstand is BOUNCING– the finishing shoot resplendent – dancing girls in full swing – cheesey tunes mixed into the best apres ski sound track you’ve ever heard – It’s fantastic. IM is one of the few event companies (of my experience) that know how to do a finish line properly (the other being ‘Challenge’), and this one is no exception – it’s fantastic.

The support for the last finisher is unreal – then when the final cut off of 17 hours ticks over and there’s Fireworks over the Wörthersee.

What a Day – a non wet suit IM Triathlon in the bag – and #5 of 10 (or so!) done.

Ding Dong.


The results include 8 (web) pages of folk who have dns or dnf against there names and a few dq’s. I don’t know how this compares to previous years but It feels like a lot. As well as the normal collection of finishers in their 60’s and 70’s (occasionally 80’s) who are an absolute inspiration – there was one guy there who at close of play Sunday had completed 252 (two hundred and fifty two) IM distance triathlons – I’m still trying to work that one out!

Willow Miner Trail Race, Houghall and Low Burnhall Woods, Durham, Wednesday, July 10, 2019

5.3 miles

Kev Morson

I joined the striders in May, having being on the lookout for a running club for a little while but not having plucked up the courage to do so, so if I haven’t met you yet, hello! The Willow Miner hasn’t been far away from conversation since I joined the club. On the last bank holiday in May I did a recce of it on a ‘Captains Special’ run and made my usual excuses afterwards that trail wasn’t for me, uneven ground is tricky etc.

Having said that, training on trail routes had been progressing reasonably well so I took the plunge and signed up, knowing this would be my first event in striders colours. I am certainly not at the top end of the club in terms of pace but I was determined I was going to maintain a reasonable level of pride in the performance I put in.

Last week another recce of the route was to follow (thanks to Malcolm for giving up his time for this) and I found I had gained some confidence from the first time I had attempted it. Onto race day, I had persuaded a friend (who isn’t currently a strider, maybe one day) to attempt the race as well. He has had a pretty severe knee injury and hasn’t run a lot of late but he is always game for a challenge. Following the opening messages involving a lot of thank yous to get the race on (more on that later) we were good to go.

As is often the case at the beginning of the race, the first part was quite frantic, settling down around about a mile in. This is where my next thank you is owed, I ran the rest of the race from this point with Louise, a fellow strider, who was an absolute superstar.

She was a superb pacemaker through the middle of the race and then I took up the role for the last 2km or so. She kept me on point excellently and I wouldn’t have managed the time that I did without her. Finishing time officially for me was 50.02, work to do on that but I had set myself a target of 50 minutes so the aim for next year will have to be 45 minutes! My injury prone friend managed 57 minutes without any reoccurrence of his injuries so that’s a positive to build on also!

To Jonathan and all of the volunteers who marked out the course and marshalled to make the event possible I must say thank you, you were excellent and kept me going! It was very professionally done and at no point did I think I was going to get lost.

To the striders who showed up to offer support who weren’t involved, thank you to you too, its that sort of support that makes this club what it is (even including the photographers who always catch me looking fresh!) The mood at the finish was excellent with the buzz of all of the different clubs involved, many of whom I spoke to were very complimentary about the event and our club as a whole, which is excellent to hear. Finally well done to our speedsters and to each and every strider who finished the course, in humid conditions all efforts were impressive!

Final thought from me is with regards to the club and how welcoming it has been in the short time I have been a member. If you are considering joining a running club I couldn’t recommend this one highly enough. There are runs available for all abilities on a weekly basis and I have improved both speed and endurance a lot in my short time with the club, with lots of further room for improvement.

Full Results

Bib No.First NameLast NameCategoryAffiliated ClubTimePosPos in catCategory Winners
95StephenJacksonMSENElvet Striders32.2011Race Winner
133SteveRankinMSENSunderland Harriers & AC33.46222nd Male
112MichaelMasonMVET40Elvet Striders34.31311st Mvet40/3rd Male
54JonDixonMSENTriology / Bike Science North East34.4843
169GraemeWattMVET40Elvet Striders35.3352
161MattWalkerMSENDurham City Harriers & AC35.3864
108MichaelLittlewoodMVET40Elvet Striders35.5473
32LauraCheethamFSENJesmond Joggers36.25811st Female
79TomHamiltonMSENElvet Striders36.51105
58ChrisDwyerMSENSunderland Strollers37.12116
66DezFieldenMVET40Aycliffe Running Club37.22125
99JohnKellyMSENWashington Running Club37.33137
115PaddyMcshaneMSENJarrow & Hebburn AC37.47148
105JamesLeeMVET40Elvet Striders37.57156
48PaulDaltonMVET40Quakers Running Club38.19167
162DavidWalkerMVET50Sedgefield Harriers38.391711st MVet50
156EmmaThompsonFSENElvet Striders38.421822nd Female
1AndrewArnellMVET40Royal Navy Athletics Club39.06198
15MikeBoweMVET40Derwent Valley Trail Runners39.29209
3PhilipAtkinsonMVET40Birtley AC39.412110
165MilWaltonMVET40Sedgefield Harriers40.132211
25NickButchartMVET40Washington Running Club40.242312
38JuanCorbacho AntonMSENElvet Striders40.29249
94RobertHulseMSENBlaydon Harriers & AC40.392510
124DarrenParksMVET40Jarrow & Hebburn AC40.572613
125RobinParsonsMVET40Elvet Striders41.022714
131NeilProcterMVET40Sunderland Strollers41.042815
122NickNewbyMVET40Birtley AC41.273016
151JohnSutcliffeMVET40North Shields Polytechnic Club41.323117
23IanBrownMVET60Stocksfield Striders41.453211st Mvet60
13JohnBissonMVET40Elvet Striders41.513318
86GeoffHewitsonMVET60Crook & District AC41.57342
55LeeDrummondMVET40Birtley AC42.013519
89RichardHollandMVET40Aycliffe Running Club42.013620
8AnnaBasuFVET40Elvet Striders42.183811stVet40/3rd Female
42MalcolmCoxMVET60Sunderland Strollers42.31393
168CarlWatsonMVET50Low Fell Running Club42.43402
114AllanMcmanusMSENSunderland Harriers & AC42.584112
175DALEWILKINSONMVET50Sunderland Harriers & AC43.01423
17RachelBrehenyFSENSouth Shields Harriers & AC43.04433
39NikCortonMVET50Elvet Striders43.33444
46LeeCuthbertMVET40Durham City Harriers & AC43.514724
166RosieWarnettFSENSedgefield Harriers43.59494
83AndrewHeavisideMVET40Crook & District AC44.065025
91MichaelHoweMVET40Washington Running Club44.195126
70MichaelGaskillMVET40Crook & District AC44.395328
41VikkiCottonFSENSunderland Harriers & AC44.48545
157IanThompsonMSENCrook & District AC45.015514
37ClaireCookFSENGateshead Harriers & AC45.31576
80MatthewHardcastleMSENStocksfield Striders45.335816
5RachelBallFSENSunderland Strollers45.38597
50SarahDaviesFVET50Elvet Striders45.396011st FVet50
72PaulGriffinFVET50Stocksfield Striders46.00612
103BrettLambertMVET40Aycliffe Running Club46.056330
119DanMitchellMVET40Elvet Striders46.126431
27IanButlerMVET50Elvet Striders46.19655
29KevinCarraharMVET50Windle Valley Runners46.29676
28MarcusByronMVET50Tynedale Harriers & AC46.42687
137SusanScottFVET40Elvet Striders46.52692
20MatthewBrimmMVET40Coundon Striders47.007032
146GrahamSoadyMVET40Sunderland Strollers47.057133
160NilsVespermannMSENTriAs Hildesheim47.327217
163MarieWalkerFVET50Sedgefield Harriers47.39733
178ClareWoodFVET40Elvet Striders47.48743
74HelenGuyFSENStocksfield Striders47.50758
44JamesCroftMVET50Houghton Harriers & AC47.55768
159LyneValentineFVET60Sunderland Strollers47.587711st Fvet60
153MalcolmSygroveMVET50Elvet Striders48.14789
176AlanWilksMVET70Aycliffe Running Club48.347911st Mvet70
134ShaunRobertsMVET60Elvet Striders48.37804
71SimonGentMVET40North Shields Polytechnic Club48.508134
85TracyHendersonFVET40Sedgefield Harriers48.51824
65AndrewFeatherstoneMSENSedgefield Harriers48.558318
53AndrewDixonMSENQuakers Running Club49.148419
147GemmaSoulsbyFSENElvet Striders49.33859
78PhilipHalseMVET40Low Fell Running Club49.398635
49AndrewDaviesMVET40Elvet Striders49.408736
24TonyBrownMVET50Stocksfield Striders49.548810
84IanHedleyMSENSedgefield Harriers49.568920
35LouiseCollinsFSENElvet Striders50.019010
120KevinMorsonMSENElvet Striders50.029121
69LesleyGarnhamFVET50Aurora Harriers50.09924
139JennySearchFVET40Elvet Striders50.22945
164ElizabethWallaceFVET40Elvet Striders50.40956
167MarcWatsonMVET40Elvet Striders50.469637
180ChristineWoodsFVET60Durham City Harriers & AC50.52972
16JeanBradleyFVET60Elvet Striders51.01983
73MaritaGrimwoodFVET40Elvet Striders51.03997
174JacquelineWhittakerFVET50Aurora Harriers51.181005
148CherylStanleyFVET40Low Fell Running Club51.221028
43RobCraigMVET50Sunderland Strollers51.2510311
117SusanMilburnFVET60Aycliffe Running Club51.331054
116PeterMilburnMVET50Aycliffe Running Club51.3410612
18SharonBridgeFVET40Crook & District AC51.451079
128AshleyPrice-SabateFVET50Elvet Striders52.351117
127JanPraterFVET40Sunderland Strollers52.4411210
57RachelDurrandFSENElvet Striders52.4511312
56KayDrummondFVET40Birtley AC52.5211411
2JenniferArthurFSENDurham City Harriers & AC52.5711513
172LucyWhelanFSENElvet Striders52.5811614
51SarahDelaneyFVET40Newcastle Frontrunners53.2111712
4RonAveryMVET60Sunderland Strollers53.381185
26LouiseButchartFVET40Washington Running Club53.5511913
107BecksLippeFVET40Elvet Striders54.0212014
140ChristineSmithFVET40Sunderland Strollers54.0612115
75AdrianHallMSENTyne Bridge Harriers54.2112224
154KathrynSygroveFVET50Elvet Striders54.261238
179DianeWoodFVET50Durham City Harriers & AC54.261249
22LynBrownFVET60Stocksfield Striders54.411265
81FionaHarrington-HughesFVET40Elvet Striders54.4712716
177AngelaWilliamsFVET50Elvet Striders54.5312810
64SarahFawcettFVET50Elvet Striders54.5412911
130KathPriestFVET40Elvet Striders54.5913017
77VickiHalseFSENLow Fell Running Club55.1213115
123PercyParkinMVET70Crook & District AC55.141322
82ChristineHearmonFVET50Sedgefield Harriers55.2513312
126BeverleyPhillippoFVET50Aycliffe Running Club55.5013413
158PhilipToddMVET40Elvet Striders56.4413739
61StephenEllisMVET60Elvet Striders57.061397
138CatherineScottFVET50Durham Mums on the Run57.2714214
143AlanSmithMVET70Elvet Striders57.431433
60JanetEllisFVET50Elvet Striders57.4414415
30GeorgeCawkwellMVET70Crook & District AC58.111454
90JoanneHopeFSENCrook & District AC58.5114717
135DeborahRobinsonFVET40Aurora Harriers59.2114820
87SharronHogarthFVET50Crook & District AC61.1815616
100AdrianKelsallMVET50Washington Running Club61.1915714
101LauraKennedyFVET50Washington Running Club61.1915817
109WendyLynchFVET50Low Fell Running Club61.5216018
11KathleenBellamyFVET40Elvet Striders63.1616121
36JillConnollyFVET60Sunderland Strollers63.451628
98SarahJuliffFSENBlackhill Bounders65.0516324
10FionaBellFVET40Blackhill Bounders66.2116523
12FrankBestMVET60Coundon Striders68.141668
142AlisonSmithFVET40Elvet Striders68.4516724
14IreneBlayFVET60Blackhill Bounders71.471699
47SueCuthbertsonFVET60Sunderland Strollers73.1717010
96ZoeJamesonFVET40Sunderland Strollers73.1717125
145JacquelineSoadyFVET40Sunderland Strollers73.5617226
141ClaireSmithFVET40Sunderland Strollers74.0017327
33KathrynClarkFVET40Elvet Striders80.5217428
173DavidWhiteMVET70Durham City Harriers & AC87.581755

Club Summer Handicap, Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A few Finish Line photos from the summer handicap …


Position Name Starting GroupFinish TimeActual Run Time
1Lindsay RodgersF45.2540.25
2Jon TurnerF46.2241.22
3Kevin MorsonD46.5146.51
4Philip ToddD47.3747.37
5Nicola DorricottD48.0348.03
6Sarah FawcettF48.3943.39
7Alex BrownH48.5638.56
8Debra ThompsonD49.0449.04
9David JamesD49.0549.05
10Philip ConnorH49.2439.24
11Graeme WattM50.4630.46
12Gareth PritchardM50.4630.46
13Terry RobertsonK51.5733.57
14Stephen SoulsbyK52.4734.47
15Conrad WhiteK54.0536.05
16Sophie DennisD54.1254.12
17Peter Hart56.3542.35
18Kirsty NelsonD1 lap
19Natalie BellH1 lap

More at

High Force Fell Race, Sunday, June 23, 2019

Grand Prix Race - click flag for current league tables. King/Queen of the Mountain Race - click flag for more information. BM / 18km / 500m

Dougie Nisbet

I was tempted to run today. Cronkley Fell is an old Strider favourite and a traditional GP fixture. But 14 days after Comrades I knew it’d be unwise. Many times I’ve run a favourite race, felt fine for the first mile, then not so fine for the remaining 90% of the race. Lessons learned.

So Roberta and I wandered up by High Force, flasks and flapjacks packed, bumped into Jan, and settled down beside the Tees. This is a fine course. There were moments when I wished I’d been on the other side of the lens, but a man’s got to know his limitations.

But it illustrates the wonderful fickleness of the GP. The GP is the Elvet Striders all-rounders race. It’s open to all. And if you had been a lady Strider today, and ran, and finished, you’d have scooped 15 GP points.


111Callum Hanson (Pudsey & Bramley)01:20:29MO
553Graham Watt01:31:51M40
12121Geoff Davis (NFR)01:41:44M60
232311Robin David Parsons01:48:31M40
28263Allan Renwick01:54:28M50
333014Simon Dobson02:00:20M40
3853Susan Davis (NFR)02:01:29W50

GP Note: Geoff and Susan are not eligible for GP points as they ran as NFR. If I’d run today, as DFR, as I’d planned, I would’ve been ineligible too. To be eligible for GP points you must run as a Strider.