Tag Archives: Anita Wright

This has been the happiest of all my 30 years of running. I’ve loved every minute of being a Strider, every Club night and every race I’ve done in green and purple. I’ve made some great friends and been supported and encouraged every step of the way. Whilst I’m sad to have had to give up running at the end of 2017, owing to a serious back injury, I go out having had a wonderful and very happy year.
My high points of this year include:
– Joining the Committee
– Running the Hampton Court Half Marathon with my daughter Lucy.
– Running the Simonside Fell race with Catherine Smith after a 20-year absence
– Winning my category at the Quayside 5K this year (the one and only time I’ve ever won anything in running)
– The parkrun-athon for Acorns charity; 8 different parkruns (and a bit of track) all on one very sunny Saturday
– Doing cross-country racing, for the first time since school.
– My last ever race at Gibside Fruitbowl – just because it’s challenging and beautiful.
– Favourite race of this year: Pier-to-Pier. A fabulous Strider day out by the sea-side. Sun, sea, sand, fish and chips, wine, ice-cream and great friends.
Plans for this year:
– Continue to support the Club and Dougie as Deputy Website Officer.
– Stay engaged with the Club and find a non-running role for myself.

Parkrun Strider takeover & DKMS Blood Cancer registration event is a resounding success, Durham, Saturday, March 24, 2018

5k

Anita Wright


When the shout went out from the Club Chairman, Jonathan Hamill, for volunteers to turn the Durham parkrun purple, in support of DKMS, it was with all the customary enthusiasm Elvet Striders are known for, that folk stepped-forward to give up their Saturday morning to take over all the scanning, marshalling and run-directing.

Shaun Roberts, a popular, respected and long-standing member of Elvet Striders running club, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia earlier this year after a routine blood test and was placed on the register for a stem cell donation.

DKMS is a blood cancer charity founded in Germany in 1991 by Dr Peter Harf, in honour of his wife, Mechtild.

Within one year of the founding, DKMS (Deutsche Knochenmarkspenderdatei -German Marrow Donor Program), had increased it volunteer donors 23 times, to 68,000 people. This gave even more inspiration to Peter and reinforced his motivation to expand internationally.

Since launching in the UK, in 2013, DKMS have been receiving great support, registering more than 300,000 people as potential blood stem cell donors. Some of these amazing people have gone on to donate blood stem cells, giving more than 330 second chances of life to blood cancer patients in the UK alone.

Fast forward to 24 March 2018, a lovely Spring morning at Maiden Castle.

By 08:30 the car park was buzzing with a 35 strong team of Strider volunteers and some co-opted Strider children, excitedly awaiting instructions from Jill Young.

An enthusiastic cheer went up when Shaun arrived and was warmly welcomed by all his friends.

Shaun joined the merry band of volunteer Strider marshals, time-keepers, starters, photographers and supporters as they headed off to their various check-points.

The runners started to arrive.

It was impressive to see such a big splash of Strider purple on the starting line for the pre-race briefing.

During Jonathan Hamill’s briefing, he paid tribute to Shaun (a huge parkrun cheer) and the selfless generosity of a young person in the South of England who is helping Shaun by donating his stem cells.

Dogs’ leads were then checked, children under 11 were gathered up to ‘arms-length’, timers were readied… then they were all off!

321 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 18 were first timers and 51 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 23 different clubs took part.

Gareth Pritchard was the first of 45 Striders running, finishing in second place overall.
Sally Hughes put in an impressive performance as the first lady with a PB of 19:57.

 

The words of David Shipman, Club President, perhaps sum up the day best of all:

‘I have been involved with the Striders for over 30 years and today was one of the most uplifting and reassuring about the positive aspects of the club and the overall running community. 

The atmosphere from the outset was warm and supportive, with applause and cheers for Shaun when the purpose of the Parkrun takeover was explained.

At the finish around a hundred folk streamed into the Rowing Club to swab and apply to go onto the stem cell register. Of those 80 were successful, which is brilliant. A significant number of runners also said that they had already registered. Many others took leaflets to consider registration or to pass onto friends and family.

So a massive thanks is due to all,Rowers, Striders,Parkrunners, Waldridge Warriors, Neville’s Cross Battlers,Shadforth Shufflers,Couch to 5 Kers and a few passing strangers. I hope that we will see many of you again when we do a fundraising 24 hour relay in June. Keep an eye out for details from Chairman Jonathan soon.’

 

80 parkrun finishers registered with DKMS and provided samples in just over an hour, at Durham Amateur Rowing Club. The parkrun takeover has inspired 80 people to sign up as stem cell donors and potentially save lives.

An incredible success for all involved. We certainly did wear Purple with Pride on Saturday!

 

Position  Gender Position  parkrunner  Run Time  
11Robin LINTEN
Durham City Harriers
00.16.09
22Gareth PRITCHARD00.17.24
33Michael MASON00.17.41
55Mark WARNER00.18.18
1212Matt CLAYDON00.19.30
1717Mike BARLOW00.19.50
181Sally HUGHES00.19.57
2524Paul SWINBURNE00.20.38
3230Geoff DAVIS00.21.11
3835Andrew DAVIES00.21.35
524Anna BASU00.22.21
565Rachelle MASON00.22.49
6761Peter MATTHEWS00.23.27
7265Stephen SOULSBY00.23.36
10819Laura JENNINGS00.24.57
11191Chris SHEARSMITH00.25.01
11493Martin WELSH00.25.09
13827Jill RUDKIN00.26.20
142113Paul Andrew BEAL00.26.29
14633Stacey BRANNAN00.26.52
14734Claire HUNT00.26.55
15237Rebecca BLACKWOOD00.27.14
171126Jim NICHOLSON00.28.12
172127John ADAMS00.28.14
19356Maria DIMOVA-COOKSON00.29.15
19658Lynne WAUGH00.29.17
218150Malcolm Robert SYGROVE00.30.04
22070Sue WALKER00.30.16
22574Gillian GREEN00.30.22
23077Karen Anne CHALKLEY00.31.09
23981Victoria Esther DOWNES00.32.11
24584Claire HODSON00.32.40
25087Carol HOLGATE00.33.10
26599Katharine BARTLETT00.34.29
266100Alison SIMMS00.34.30
272105Lesley HAMILL00.34.56
273106Karen BYNG00.34.58
277169David ARNOTT00.35.14
294118Sue GARDHAM00.37.51
297178Mike ELLIOTT00.38.30
298120Joanne PORTER00.38.31
299121Joanne RICHARDSON00.38.31
303124Diane SOULSBY00.39.34
305126Jenny SEARCH00.39.50
306127Kate TALBOT00.40.27
321185John ROBSON00.49.40
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Simonside Fell Race

BM / 11km / 350m

Anita Wright

Anita, Anna and Catherine (neatly in alphabetical order!)This race is of particular significance for me. My parents started the race as a memorial to my brother, Mark, who was killed in a road accident in 1981. It is the reason why I run.

In 1982, as a thank-you to the villagers of Thropton for all their support and for turning-out en-masse for his funeral, my parents thought it would be a fitting memorial to organise a fell race as part of the village show. The show committee agreed to his request provided that my parents took on the entire organisation – all the marshalling, timekeeping, route marking etc. Every friend, acquaintance and relative was co-opted.

My Dad wrote recently that he remembers all of the names of the runners who participated in that first race in 1982. The names kept cropping up again and again over the years. Runners really loved and supported the race over the many years that the family were involved with it – many of those runners were Striders.

A few years after the race started up, I was co-opted into ‘computerising’ the entries and results. Being the only person with access to a ‘portable’ PC in the mid ‘80s (a Toshiba that weighed approximately the same as a small lorry) and knowledge of spread-sheets, I got ‘stuck’ in a caravan adding entries and times for the entire day.

Having done that for several years, I decided that there was nothing in the world that could be worse, or more stressful, than dealing with up to 300 fell runners banging on the caravan door pestering for results. It was time to take up running.

When Thropton Show moved to its present site in 1992, despite an extra mile and a road crossing being added, there was a bonus – the addition of the river crossing (out and back), which immediately became a feature.

In 2008, after 25 years of managing the race, my parents handed over the organisation to Morpeth Harriers and, more recently, the very capable hands of Phil Green from Heaton Harriers.

Fast forward to 2017 – The Return….

I arrived on the show-field early on Saturday and paid my £2 entry fee for the race.

Arrival of the Strider Posse!The weather was atrocious, I was nervous and was just about to ‘turn tail’ and head for home, when the Strider posse, in the shape of Catherine, Anna, Geoff and Susan ‘rode over the horizon’ to save the day. I’ve never been so happy to see purple in my life.

Phil Green delivered the safety briefing and announced that the river crossing was ‘off- limits’ as the river was 4 to 5 feet deep. The announcement was greeted with much disappointment by all but one runner (me).

As the race started, the clouds parted, the rain cleared and we were blessed with the most tremendous views.

The first mile was steady and relatively flat with me driving Catherine on at an unsustainable Park Run pace (nerves got the better of me). Any time benefit gained from my Usain Bolt start was quickly lost as we started to climb. Accompanying the climb was an increase in the angle of incline, the number of obstacles and the mud.

The pièce de résistance of the 3 miles of steep uphill running, came in the form of a scramble up the crags to the summit. The path is much improved from the days when our family initiated the race, but nonetheless is topped off with a final pull up with both hand and knees.

On reaching the summit, it was wonderful to be greeted by my Dad who’d set off earlier to cheer us on.

The short stretch of path across the summit was particularly breath-taking; to the right are views all the way to the Northumberland coast, to the left, expansive views of the Cheviots (and the show-field 3 ½ miles away).

The scramble back down the crags was a bit hair-raising, followed by a short stretch of track and then on to the forest break (mostly mud and dense heather). More downhill and crags followed before hitting a stretch of forest road.

At this point the marking-up of the course left a bit to be desired and it became clear that many runners had inadvertently struck out their own routes back – fundamentally, however, so long as you keep going down, you can’t go wrong.

Deep PurpleIt did, nevertheless, work to the advantage of Catherine and me as we made up a couple of places.

There was a brief ‘discussion’ with 2 hikers on the way down, who accused us of cheating, as we’d not followed the crowd of runners who’d gone in the wrong direction. They were clearly oblivious to just how perilously close they were to being punched in the mouth and being told where to ‘stick’ their advice. Out of all the runners on the route on Saturday, I’m pretty sure that given we’d initiated the race 31 years ago, I know the route!!

I’m very biased, of course, but this is a fabulous race (especially on a clear day), with a huge amount of variation and stunning views. I highly recommend it for next year.

nameagePOSITIONtime
Kurt Heron
(Ashington Hurst)
SM151.18
Karen Robertson
(NFR)
FV402062.55
Geoff Davis
(NFR)
V602864.57
Susan Davis
(NFR)
FV505577.22
Anita WrightFV566891.38
Catherine SmithFV406991.39
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