Category Archives: news

Elvet Striders Down Hill Dash Club Run 2017, Wednesday, April 5, 2017

1 mile

The inaugural Striders Downhill 1 mile run looked a great success with some fierce finishes.

For more photos (all downloadable full size) visit the gallery …


Here’s the details of the run for the next time!

Gareth writes …

The Wednesday (5th April) the club run will be a one mile downhill dash from old Durham Gardens. The Start at the top of old Durham Gardens and finish at the wobbly Bridge at MC.

The idea is to set each pace group off under the run leaders and meet just about 7:30ish at the start area. We will then set each race/wave off in their chosen Mile group.

I just want this to be fun, but people can definitely target a Mile PB if they desire on the day as it’s very fast Down Hill.

Here’s a map of the route:

Total distance: 1636 m
Max elevation: 86 m
Min elevation: 34 m
Total climbing: 14 m
Total descent: -56 m
Total Time: 00:05:19


And now a pictorial guide (Gareth’s photos):

The Start

Down the hill then turn right towards the Cathedral

A long flatish slightly downhill stretch with the Cathedral in the distance

Down towards Old Durham Gardens then bear left at gate (marshalled)

Looking back at the gate that you’ve just gone through

Down the hill then bear left up the muddy path

A few metres up the path then bear right, towards the river

Just before old bridge, bear right then left

Left Left Left under the old bridge

Straight run to the finish

If you’ve got 10 minutes to spare, here’s how it looks. You can see that it’s going to be very sunny. It’s not quite GoPro quality but you get the idea. Be ready for the Susan Davis photobomb.

Link to full size (1.3GB) file: Downhill Dash 1 mile

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GP results updated, Thursday, January 12, 2017

Grand Prix Race. The GP results have been updated after Herrington Park. The next GP event is the Brass Monkey Half Marathon.

(Update: I used the provisional results for Herrington Park instead of waiting for the official results, which means that some of the results, and consequently, GP totals, are not correct. We’ll get this sorted)

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Northern Navigators Charity Score Event, Houghall Woods, Monday, December 26, 2016


Patrick Hamill

Team Smitchard & Hamill braved the -3°C Boxing Day winds blowing 35 kph to conquer the steps of doom!

It was a windy, cold, horrible and foul day.  We parked at the top car park on the Science Site and could hardly stand in the wind.  After a while, we got a special gadget to check into the controls which were hidden in Houghall Woods.

There were lots of tricky places where the controls were hidden, with obstacles, slippery mud, hills and steps.  I also taught the grown ups a new technique to climb hills, “Climb like a tiger!”.

I was pretty pleased that I managed to run in my wellies alongside Captain Gareth – I think I’ll catch him at parkrun one day!

After a run along the top of the forest, we had to go into a gorge which was very deep.  We saw lots of other people, going in different directions, but luckily we had a compass and my Dad is good at reading maps.  We had to be back within an hour, or we would get penalties.  So, we decided to run up the steps of doom which were very tricky and tiring.

When we got to the top, we had to run fast across the car park towards the finish.  Then we queued up to get our scores and Gareth got me some chocolate!

Patrick Hamill (aged 7) #parkrunpat

David Aspin has taken a great batch of photos from today’s event and are available as a Flickr album:
Northern Navigators Charity Score Event - 26/12/16

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Night time safety / December club run, Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Catherine and Gareth Smitchard

Well done to everyone who turned out tonight, particularly those who were super luminous, reflective and lit up! Shining bright like diamonds! 

Given the darkened streets we really do recommend people purchase kit that helps them be seen by motorists, cyclists and other pedestrians. To encourage this and in memory of the girls who tragically lost their lives in the recent accident we will be dedicating the next club run to them. We’d like you to invest in (borrow / share) items to keep you safe and wear them ALL on club run night to make our own ‘lumiere’ event on 8th December. A few people had the heel lights on and they were really fab, as were the flashing arm bands. Only a few quid from eBay! Failing that neon clothing / over vests etc are available at reasonable prices – not the most fashionable items but could save a life. 




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How to become a blood stem cell donor

Shaun racing in the Willow Miner - Feb 2017Shaun was the Elvet Striders web officer for many years and has contributed countless reports and articles. Many of you will have heard the news about Shaun. After a routine blood test he has been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and within two days admitted to the Northern Centre for Cancer Care in Newcastle for an intensive 4 week session of chemotherapy.

Shaun and Ros are very positive and seeing Shaun you wouldn’t realise he is ill. His amazing fitness, positivity and good humour are all helping him. Shaun’s doctors are checking the stem cell register for a match so he can have a transplant.

This post is to help publicise and encourage as many fit young people to join the stem cell register.

Registering is very easy, you just need to be under 55 and you can sign up below:

and you’ll be sent a DIY cheek swab kit. If you aren’t a match for Shaun, you could be a match for someone else.

Shaun has also somewhat depleted the national blood bank supplies – they’ve been giving him red blood cells and platelets – so don’t forget to give blood!

Please share the link around all your contacts. Thanks.

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