Tag Archives: Elvet Striders Christmas handicap

Christmas Handicap, Houghall Woods, Sunday, December 15, 2019

Flower Power

So, there I was on Sunday morning, sitting in reception at MC convinced that no-one would turn up. I mean there had been the North Eastern XC Championships the day before, the Tri-club Christmas do the night before and it is the ‘season to be jolly’ … and sometimes ill!

But then the doors opened and in walked an image of long haired hippiedom, (if that’s a word) with beads, scarves and shades, looking like he’d just emerged from the Woodstock festival and uttering ‘peace and love, man’. An unrecognisable version of David Shipman.

Moments later Adam Ant arrived in full highwayman ‘Stand and Deliver’ mode brandishing a pistol – very menacingly I have to say. Anita Clementson had landed!

And then came Mandy! Clutched in the arms of a massive green alien she waddled in. Walking seemed difficult so how she was going to cope with running 2 laps of Houghall Woods escaped me.

Somehow then I knew it was going to be alright!

Then there followed an array of runners in astonishing and funny costumes. John Bisson, who had wanted to race it arrived in a massive inflated Santa costume while Elaine (Dancing Queen) Bisson looked luscious as Agnetha (the blonde?) from Abba.

We had many others – several 70s Flower power hippies, Wonder Woman, Santa’s elves, a busy bee, John McEnroe, Olivia Newton John in complete leather ‘You’re the one that I want’ mode, Hermione from Harry Potter and Fiona (Brittany Spears) Brannan.

photo by Nick Latham

No time for a group shot this year since everyone set off to the start outside Houghall College. The weather was good – cold but sunny – and so David Shipman & Mike Bennett (the 2 one lappers) led the run off with scratch runner Joanne Richardson. Some of the paths were slippery along to the corner up to Houghall Lane but everyone knew and ran on the grass where possible. Most people were just out for a relaxing run around the woods but there were some good times.

Anyway, everyone got around – some pulled out after one lap – and Priyan didn’t get lost this year! It was a very happy and fun event and then most of us set off for the pub. The Court Inn gave us a small alcove off the main dining room so we could present the prizes without disturbing other diners too much.

It was a very good and enjoyable day! Be there next year!

Name5mile timeHandicapFinish timeActual time 
David Shipman1 lap
Mike Bennett1 lap
Joanne Richardson5401 lap
Mandy Dawson44101 lap
Michael Littlewood292556.3431.34
Anna Basu342055.5735.57
Lewis Littlewood351957.4838.48Junior
Conrad White351957.5338.53
Elaine Bisson351958.1339.13
John Bisson351958.3239.32
Erin Keeler- Clark381658.5742.57Junior
Keith Wesson40145743
Sean Laidler312366.0443.04
Lizzie Wallace421255.5343.53
Jude Warner45955.1746.19Junior
Louise Warner45955.1946.19
Mark Warner45956.2947.29
Paul Evans45957.2748.27
Charlotte Evans45957.2748.27Junior
Ava Warner45958.4749.47Junior
Wendy Littlewood45958.9949.99
Zanna Clay48656.1150.11
Fiona Brannan48657.4651.46
Priyan Mistri (friend of FB)48657.4651.46
Anita Clementson50456.5352.53
Phil Todd46863.0455.04
Jan Young50459.3255.32
Same Time Next Year!

Prize winners & a few thank yous

The prizes for running:

1st finishers – jointly Louise & Jude Warner – 46.19

Fastest Male – Michael Littlewood – 31.34

Fastest Female – Anna Basu – 35.57

Fastest Junior – Lewis Littlewood – 38.38

All the other prizes went for fancy dress as follows and in no particular order:

David Shipman, Anita Clementson, Mandy Dawson, Keith Wesson, Sean Laidler, Elaine Bisson, John Bisson, Lizzie Wallace, Zanna Clay, Phil Todd, Jan Young, Fiona Brannan, Priyan Mistri & Mark Warner.

I’d like to thank Dougie, Simon and Stuart for helping to promote the event.

Also thanks to Paul Foster for setting out the course and marshalling at the dodgy tree, to George Nicholson for marshalling at the bottom of Houghall Lane and to Nick Latham for marshalling in the woods and taking some great photos

As always Santa and his elves were brilliant at the start and judged the fancy dress and Carole Seheult recorded the finishing times.

And a huge thankyou to everyone who turned up and ran (waddled, strolled?) in such amazing costumes.

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Christmas Handicap 2018, Houghall, Durham, Sunday, December 16, 2018

Handicap Course

Pam Kirkup

The Christmas Handicap came within a whisker of being cancelled this year. A few days before the deadline, I had only 6 entrants and quite a few apologies from people who would normally take part but were doing other races or Christmassy things. But then there was a flurry of last-minute entries and on the morning of the race, there were 34 runners, about normal for the last few years.

The theme for fancy dress this year was ‘Movies past and present’ – lots of scope in that, I thought. George Nicholson and David Shipman had agreed to lead off the ‘scratch runners’ so that anybody new to the course would not get lost (more about that later!) and the various turning points and ‘hazards’ were well marked with arrows and tinsel.

And so we were all set to get going at 11.00 … except that the only ‘scratch’ runner hadn’t turned up. So I had to do a quick revision of the handicapping – mostly in my head.

Where’s Allan Seheult when you need him? He’d have done it in a heartbeat! So David (alias Where’s Wally and George (alias Banana Man?) set off with the 3 new scratch runners, followed by Wendy (the Riddler) Littlewood. There were some amazing costumes including Captain America, Crocodile Dundee, a nun, a busy-bee and Conrad who seemed to be a downhill racer!

It was a good day for running – not too cold, sunny and the only bit of ice was on part of the footpath and on the corner at Houghall Lane. Everyone entered into the spirit of it – the bran tub was overflowing and Santa entertained passers-by as usual.

The first across the finish line was Fiona Harrington Hughes in 47 minutes. Fastest male was Bryan Potts in 32:07, the fastest female was Fiona Brennan in 34:56. All 3 juniors got prizes – the fastest being Lewis Littlewood in 41:01. The rest of the prizes were for fancy dress. And then we come to the last across the finish line … we waited but there was no sign. And then someone said ‘Is that not him running down from Shincliffe Bank?’. Completely from the wrong direction! He had just kept going past Houghall Lane in spite of the large arrow and tinsel directing runners to turn right. Obviously ‘in the zone’! Anyway, he saw the funny side of it.

Afterwards, we went to the Court Inn for the Christmas Carvery and the prize giving. Fancy Dress prizes went to (in no particular order) Lizzy Wallace, Conrad White, Mike Bennett, Anna Mason, George Nicholson, Lesley Charman, David Shipman, Wendy Littlewood, Tim Matthews, Lesley Hamill, Karen Byng, Fiona Kinghorn Jones, Joanne Richardson, Sam Renwick, Jonathan Hamill and Fiona Brannan.

Once again it was a very enjoyable and sociable event.

More Photo’s can be found here.

Name5 mile timeHandicapFinish timeActual time
Bryan Potts29.0022.0054.0732.07
Fiona Brannan29.0022.0055.5633.56
Sam Renwick30.0021.0055.2134.21
Terry Robertson35.0016.0051.5935.49
David Holcroft35.0016.0051.5735.57
Lewis Littlewood40.0011.0047.0136.01
Conrad White37.0014.0051.2437.24
Mike Bennett34.0017.0056.4839.38
Lizzie Wallace43.008.0049.4141.41
Anna Mason42.009.0052.0643.06
Tim Matthews42.009.0053.4844.48
Oscar Littlewood40.0011.0056.0345.03
Graham Perry38.0013.0058.4145.41
Fiona Harrington Hughes51.000.0047.0047.00
Lesley Charman43.008.0055.1947.19
Wendy littlewood48.003.0051.1048.10
Joanne Mustard43.008.0059.1251.12
Fiona Kinghorn Jones45.006.0058.1652.16
Karen Byng45.006.0058.1652.16
Lesley Hamill45.006.0058.1652.16
Danielle Glassey46.005.0059.0954.09
David Shipman51.000.0056.4256.42
George Nicholson51.000.0058.0158.01
Joanne Richardson51.000.0058.0158.01

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Christmas Handicap, Houghall Woods, Sunday, January 3, 2016

Pam Kirkup

Do they know it’s Christmas?

Mandy easily Breaking Free To bring to an end our 30th anniversary year of celebration focusing on 1985 seemed entirely appropriate. A few of us would remember fondly (or otherwise!) New Romantics, David Bowie, the end of the Punk era … Margaret Thatcher. Others would be toddlers or in nappies! However, scope for fancy dress seemed vast and the runners did not disappoint. Numbers were down from last year as it was still very close to the New Year’s festivities but by 11.00am we had a motley crew of runners, leaders and supporters ready to face the quagmire which was Houghall Woods.

Back to haunt us all! At 10.30 it was still very quiet in the cafeteria at MC and then in burst Freddie Mercury in true Live Aid garb, an unrecognisable Mandy Dawson. There followed Dougie, resplendent as Adam Ant (Prince Charming mode!), Anita as a cross between Toyah Wilcox and Cyndi Lauper and George as John McEnroe. Another version of Adam Ant appeared along with Doc Brown from Back to the Future. Tom seemed to be Too shy as Limahl and Catherine Smith brought You cannot be serious! her welding helmet from Flash dance. Michael came in a chavvy shell suit and then, the piece de resistance … Margaret Thatcher in red suit and gold handbag – Mike Bennett by any other name.

The weather was kind to us – no rain and it was reasonably mild. The woods were very muddy but everyone managed to get around. Mike amused the passers-by Has anyone seen my DeLorean?by delicately holding up his red skirt in order to run. There was great teamwork with the marshals and helpers at the finish and I’m very grateful to Anna, Tom & Anita for leading some of the newer runners around the course.

After a successful run we went back to the Court Inn for a very well deserved lunch. Santa, alias Nick Young – a member since 1985 and a former chairman – assisted Paul in the presentation of prizes. Fancy Dress prizes were also given to Tom, Anita, Dougie and of course Santa for their help and support on the day.

Once again, I’d like to thank everyone who helped out today. It was a very happy sociable event.


Santa’s Striders
pos name cat 5M Time h’cap finish time actual time prize
1 Gareth Pritchard M S 29 34 65.13 31.13 Fastest Male
2 Paul Swinburne M V 36 27 61.04 34.04 Fastest Vet
3 Conrad White M V 37 26 62.55 36.35
4 Alex Witty M S 40 23 59.51 36.51
5 Mike Bennett M V 40 23 61.57 38.57 fancy Dress
6 Mandy Dawson F V 40 23 62.19 39.19 fastest Female & FD
7 Andrew Davis M S 40 23 62.58 39.58
8 Michael Ross M V 42 21 63.17 42.17 Fancy Dress
9 Camilla Lauren-Maatta F V 42 21 64.54 43.54 fastest vet F after MD
10 Victoria Brown F S 45 18 63.35 44.35
11 Victoria jackson F S 44.5 18.5 65.26 46.76
12 Steve Ellis M V 45.5 17.5 65.23 47.53 Fancy Dress
13 Mike Parker M V 50 13 61.24 48.24
14 Catherine Smith F V 46 17 65.35 48.35 Fancy Dress
15 Jonathan Hamill M V 50 13 62.25 49.25 Fancy Dress
16 Anja Fetchner F S 46.5 16.5 66.01 49.31
17 Jan Ellis F V 49 14 63.36 49.36
18 George Nicolson M V 52 11 63.29 52.29 Fancy Dress
19 Fiona Wood F S 48 15 67.48 52.48
20 Wendy Littlewood F S 60 3 56.11 53.11 1st finisher
21 Margaret Thompson F V 61 2 56.44 54.44
22 Erin keeler-Clarke F J 40.5 22.5 69.08 56.08 Junior prize
23 Joanne Porter F V 50 13 69.09 56.09
24 Joanne Richardson F V 50 13 69.1 56.1
25 Shelagh Barton F V 57 6 64.25 58.25
26 Kay Cairns F S 60 3 62.31 59.31
27 Sarah Watson F J 48 15 74.47 59.47 Junior Prize
28 Kath Bartlett F V 63 0 60.31 60.31
Rebecca Talbot F S 58 5
Kerry Barnett F V 55 8
Joanne Parkinson F V 55 8
Kelly Collier F S 51 12
David Shipman M V 50 13
Debbie Jones F V 50 13
Ryan Johnson M J 46.5 16.5
Steph Piper F S 45 18
Junior Swinburne M J 44 19
Helen Thomas F V 43 20
Jan Young F V 42 21 1lap
Louise Warner F S 40 23
David Spence M V 39 24
Peter Hart M S 39 24 1lap
Elaine Bisson F S 38.5 24.5
Jack Watson M J 32 31 1lap Fancy Dress
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Not the Christmas Handicap, Sunday, January 4, 2015

Pam Kirkup


What a fantastic turnout we had today – and the sun was shining on a perfect day for running!

You wouldn't mess with this pair. Six weeks ago I thought it wasn’t going to happen. Too many GP races and other events were crowding in so the entry for my original date was pitiful – a whole 6 people. Today we had 10 times that number with only a few withdrawals – all for viral infections or injuries. So at 10.55 this morning we all gathered together on the field for the annual group photograph. And the costumes were amazing! We had pirates, pantomime dames, princesses, several Red Riding Hoods (at least one male version!), Rudolph the red nosed …, a wicked witch, Cinderella, a host of other characters including Scott as the Wolf from Red Riding Hood who terrified runners and passers-by with his antics.

If you go down to the woods today. We congregated in MC before we ventured out into the cold and I noticed a line of men queueing for coffee and looking with astonishment at the stream of people arriving dressed in bizarre costumes. It was priceless!

So we got started at around 11.00am and thankfully everyone was ready for their start time. The finish was a bit busy to say the least. Thankfully a group of Striders and marshals managed to funnel finishers into the right order. It worked perfectly! I’d like to thank everyone who helped. Tom & Joan Reeves marshalled at crucial turning points – and Joan decorated a couple of places with tinsel. Phil & Anna were a huge help with the course, leading new runners and helping at the finish. Sue did a great job registering runners and helping me with the timing and of course a huge thanks to Santa and his elves who came out of hibernation in Lapland for the day to support the race and help at the finish. Thank you again to MC Tom who did the presentation in the pub – sorry about all the e-mails!!

Panto Villains, the lot of them.


Santa’s Striders
Pos Name 5 mile time Start Time Finish Time Actual Time Prize
1 Adam Walker 28.8 33min30 65min13 31.43 fastest male
2 Neil Sleeman 30.4 32min 64min17 32.17 2nd fastest male
3 Katy Walton 32.3 30min 65min23 35.23 fastest female
4 Conrad White 32 30min30 65min19 34.49
5 Elaine Bisson 34.032 28min15 64min18 36.03 2nd fastest female
6 Scott Watson 33.6 28min45 66min07 37.22 F.D. Prize
7 Keith Wesson 34 28min30 66min59 38.29
8 Eric Green 36.944 25min30 64min06 38.36 F.D. Prize
9 Michael Ross 36.8 25min30 64min39 39.09
10 David Spence 36.112 26min15 66min06 39.51
11 Richard Hall (senior) 36.8 25min30 65min37 40.07 F.D. Prize
12 Lesley Charman 35.84 26min30 67min05 40.35
13 Andrew Davies 37.6 25mins 66min10 41.1
14 Jan Young 45 17min30 59min12 41.42 1st finisher
15 Erin Keeler-Clarke (J) 40.5 21min30 63min56 42.26 1st junior
16 Jean Bradley 40.368 22mins 64min38 42.38
17 Stephnie Piper 41.6 21mins 64min27 43.06
18 Ian Spence 44.064 18min30 61min45 43.15 F.D Prize
19 Debs Goddard 39.2 23min15 66min40 43.25 F.D Prize
20 Jane Ives 39.2 23min15 66min40 43.25 F.D Prize
21 Lucy Cowton 40 22min30 66min24 43.44
22 Fiona kinghorn Jones 40 22min30 66min24 43.44
23 Nicola Whyte 40 22min30 66min24 43.44
24 Melanie Hudson 40 22min30 66min38 44.08
25 Mandy Dawson 42 20mins30 64min33 44.33 F.D Prize
26 David Case 40.8 21min 65min33 44.33
27 Anita Clementson 45 17min30 62min42 45.12 F.D Prize
28 Diane Watson 46.4 16min 63min15 45.15
29 Debbie McFarland 44.96 17min30 65min30 46
30 Steve Ellis 41.84 20mins30 67min10 46.4 F.D Prize
31 Karin Hooper 46.4 16min 64min45 46.45
32 Denise Mason 44 18min30 65min28 46.58
33 Karin Younger 48 14min30 61min35 47.05
34 Barbara Dick 45 17min30 64min37 47.07
35 Gillian Green 43.968 18min30 65min44 47.14
36 Denise Benvin 48 14min30 61min52 47.22
37 Catherine Smith 45.392 17min 64min32 47.32
38 Helen Hall 51.2 11min15 62min20 51.05 F.D. Prize
39 Mike Elliott 52 10min30 62min08 51.38
40 Stan White 45.04 17mins30 71min27 53.57
41 Dougie Nisbet 44.8 17min30 71min27 53.57 F.D Prize
42 Aileen Scott 49.904 12min30 66min32 54.02
43 Margaret Thompson 51.2 11min15 66min16 55.01
44 Joanne Parkinson 54.4 8min 63min50 55.3
45 Shelagh Barton 53.392 9min 65min 56
46 Joanne Richardson 51 11min15 68min03 56.48
47 Katharine Bartlett 56.848 5min30 62min25 56.55
48 Claire Galloway 51.792 10min30 67min41 57.11
49 Kerry Lister 49.6 12min45 70min01 57.16
50 Victoria McClean 49.92 12min30 70min04 57.34
51 Sophie Dennis 49.616 12min45 70min25 57.4
52 Laura Jackson 54.448 8min 67min29 59.29
53 Bev Walker 62.4 0 61min20 61.2
54 Mike Bennett 40 22min30 DNS
55 Anita Dunseith 50.4 12min DNS
56 Ann Towers 50 12min30 DNS
57 Dave Robson 40 22min30 DNS
58 Mark Dunseith 39.5 23min DNS
59 Lyndsay Rodgers 37.104 25mins15 DNS
60 Malcolm Sygrove 35.68 26min45 DNS
61 Lucy Butt 33.6 28min45 DNS

53 finishers.

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Christmas Handicap, Sunday, December 22, 2013

Pam Kirkup

Santa getting some help.

It was a morning of, shall we say, varied weather conditions for which, has to be, a record entry for the 2013 Christmas Handicap. We had a record 40 runners entered, 33 of which started and 31 finishers. The theme this year was ‘Fantasy – however, you wish to interpret it’ – and Striders did us proud! There were some fantastic costumes so that Santa and his Elves had a hard time choosing the winners.

Chairman Tom led the first runners off – very gently I imagine after his 38 mile romp around Hellvelyn yesterday (ouch!!). At this point the sun was shining and the sky was bright.it was just when we got to the back end of the field – the fast lads and girls were greeted with darkening skies, a distinct drop in temperatures and heavy rain which seemed to sharpen into hail at one point. Resourceful Strider supporters, recorders and various race officials responded by attempting a Guiness book record for how many people you can squash into a bus shelter … without having any intention of actually catching a bus!

We were treated to an incredible double rainbow – beautiful but hey, it doesn’t keep you warm! And the runners all hurtled home some 61 minutes after it all started. There was a mass dash to cars and to MC – if anyone really did want a shower and then we headed off to the pub.

Anita? ANITA???

Link to the full results below, but highlights are as follows:

  • The first runner home was Ann Towers in 48.02.
  • Fastest man was Neil Sleeman in 34.10 – 1min and 1 second ahead of Jon Steed who finished in 35.11.
  • Fastest woman was Megan Bell in 37.48.
  • First junior was Erin Keeler-Clark, Joanne Richardson’s daughter, who finished in 41.42.

Fancy Dress Winners:

  • 1st prize and best woman went to Anita Clementson as Edward Scissorhands.
  • Best male went to John Greathead who was a cheerleader but looked like Britney Spears gone wrong.
  • Runners up were Dave Robson (either the Grim reaper or a very sinister monk!), Sophie Dennis as Minnie Mouse, Melanie Hudson as Maid Marion, Kerry Lister as an angel and Victoria Downes as a very wicked fairy!

Spot Prizes:

  • Went to Jon Steed – for almost being fastest man; Stephanie Walker and Fiona Kinghorn Jones and Mandy Dawson who out-elved Santa’s real elves.

I’d like to thank everyone who took part today, all the supporters, marshals, people spotters, recorders, those who looked after other people’s children and to Phil who adorned the woods with gold tinsel!

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Christmas Handicap, Sunday, December 23, 2012

Pam Kirkup

Assorted Crimes of Fashion. After several days of deluge and horrendous storms, I wasn’t holding out much hope for the Christmas Handicap actually happening. However MC said they were open and the car park wasn’t flooded so maybe Santa was smiling on us! Got there early to check part of the course – the part I expected to be the most muddy. It was pretty boggy but nothing that Mudman and Mudwoman couldn’t cope with so I went back to the car park and just hoped somebody would turn up! … And they did!

Fashion criminals from all decades kept on arriving! Some stunning and astonishing costumes emerged making it very difficult for Santa and his Elves to choose Fancy Dress winners. Then there was the annual dispute about handicap times! I have to say some of the ‘predictions’ were unrealistic (some would say dishonest!) in the extreme! But then we had to take into account the restrictions caused by cumbersome costumes, accompanying children and the very muddy conditions on parts of the course. And hey, it’s a fun event so who cares who wins? (!!)

Once Santa arrived and the bran tub was filled we got going. Passing drivers were amused and entertained by the spectacle and Santa worked the traffic to get as many smiles, waves, horns hooted and police car blue lights to flash.

The first finisher was Richard Hall in 42.33. A steward’s inquiry was demanded from some quarters but in the true spirit of Christmas there was good will to all men! Other results and times below. At the Court Inn there was a good turn-out of runners, supporters and helpers. The prizes were awarded as follows:

  • Race Winner – Richard Hall 42.33
  • Fastest Time – Adam Walker 31.39 Junior
  • Fastest Male – Mike Bennett 36.03
  • Fastest Female – Megan Bell 37.10

Fancy Dress Winners:

  • Male – Dougie Nisbet a stunning David Bowie Ziggy Stardust style
  • Female – Melanie Hudson Madonna in the gold basque!!

Runners up:

  • Paul Beal, Jean Bradley, Dave Robson, Anita Clementson

Spot Prizes:

  • Jan Young, Kathryn Preston, Andrew Thompson, John Greathead.

All children got some chocolate in a mini selection box. Thanks to Santa and his Elves, to Carole Seheult for helping at the finish, to Phil Owen for checking out the course and taking pictures, to Dougie for finding time to take pictures on the run!, to David for MCing at the pub and of course to Harry for his support and prizes.

Poised on the starting line ...Absolutely criminal.
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Christmas Handicap, Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pam Kirkup

Some 17 runners braved the increasingly cold temperatures for the annual Striders’ Christmas Handicap. There was quite an array of Hollywood ‘wannabes’ snuggling together for warmth as Santa waved at all manner of vehicles – including 2 police cars – raising a smile from even the most surly drivers.

Naturally, the handicapping was perfectly executed! Well, considering how many inaccuracies occurred in the information people gave me – thank goodness for the many sets of results on the website. Dave Robson shamelessly told me that the young race winner, 16yrs old Adam Walker, would “do it in around 44min 20.” He actually romped home in 34.07, a worthy winner.

The fancy dress was impressive and cleverly thought out – I now see Andrew Thompson in a new light after his appearance as one of Spinal Tap. A new career beckons, Andrew!

Festive celebs, Santas and elves.

Prizes were awarded as follows:

Race winner, fastest runner, first junior – Adam Walker in 34.07
First Lady finisher – Liz Lamb in 44.50
Fastest Adult male finisher – Shaun Roberts in 34.18
Fastest Lady runner – Roz Layton in 38.39

Fancy Dress prizes:
Best Male – George Nicholson as the Straw Man/ scarecrow in Wizard of Oz
Best Female – Juliet Percival as a Christmas tree
Runner-up Male – Andrew Thompson as one of Spinal Tap
Runner -up Female – Jan Young as a Christmas Elf

Spot Prizes:
David Shipman – a very credible Robin (no sign of Batman, however!)
Nigel Hepple – as Forrest Gump in his ‘running across America’ phase
Laura Ralph – new runner and handicap debutante
Margaret Thompson – another Christmas Elf

Jules and Jerry.

Afterwards there was a considerable gathering of runners, helpers, families and supporters at the Court Inn for lunch. London Marathon numbers were drawn after David Shipman presented the prizes.

Marathon numbers went to: Jane Ives, Barrie Evans and Claire Readey. We drew out 2 additional names as reserves: Sue Jennings and Peter Brooks.

A night at the Oscars is wasn’t but I’d like to thank everyone who took part and in some amazing costumes. Thanks also to Santa (Nick Young) and his elves (Janice Young and Gill Wesson) for entertaining the traffic and for judging the fancy dress. I’d also like to thank Mike Bennett and Andy James for being timekeepers and to Allan Seheult for supporting the runners.

Finally, I’d like to thank Harry and the staff at the Court Inn for making us so welcome.


Pos Name Pos Time
1 Adam Walker 34.07
2 Shaun Roberts 34.18
3 Roz Layton 1 38.39
4 Nigel Heppell 39.27
5 Jerry Lloyd 40.00
6 Peter Bell 40.26
7 Andrew Thompson 41.10
8 Alan Smith 44.00
9 Liz Lamb 44.50
10 George Nicholson 45.07
11 David Shipman 47.18
12 Jules Percival 47.26
13 Jan Young 48.02
14 Louise Miller 51.01
15 Laura Ralph 51.05
16 Emma Detcheon 54.07
17 Maggie Thompson 55.56

17 finishers.

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Christmas Handicap, Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pam Kirkup

In spite of pretty cold conditions some 23 runners turned out for the handicap – some very skimpily dressed to meet the horror/ supernatural theme! Nick Young appeared again as Santa and entrtained the bemused motorists passing by. Richard Hall was first finisher in 40.27 and Jan Young was first female finisher in 44.35. There were also a few who dropped out!

Festive ghoulishness.

Prizes were awarded as follows:
Richard & Jan for first finishers
Mike Bennett – fastest male time
Nina Mason – fastest female time
Rhys & Rhianne Goddard – children participants
Liz Lamb – best female fancy dress
Kevin – best male fancy dress both judged by Santa and his elves!!

Spot prizes went to:
Shaun – who had already run the Sunderland parkrun, had reccied the course and was only 3 seconds behind Mike.
Roz – for her Santa’s elf costume and being a very close second to Nina.
Alister – who got Santa mixed up with Satan!
And finally George Nicholson who frightened the traffic as King Kong.

London Marathon numbers went to Alister Robson, Maggie Thompson and Christine Farnsworth – reserve is Dave Walker.


Pos Name Pos Time
1 Mike Bennett 35.48
2 Shaun Roberts 35.51
3 Conrad White 36.58
4 Andrew Thompson 38.50
5 Nina Mason 1 39.00
6 Roz Layton 39.46
7 Richard Hall 40.27
8 Alister Robson 40.44
9 Ian Spencer 42.19
10 Callum Young 42.55
11 Kathryn Seagrove 42.58
12 Kevin( friend of DS) 43.10
13 David Shipman 43.13
14 Jan Young 44.35
15 Alan Smith 44.18
16 Dave Robson 52.09
17 Liz Lamb 52.09
18 Lynn Bargewell 54.17
19 Emma Detcheon 54.45

19 finishers.

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Christmas Handicap, Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pam Kirkup

The temperatures were arctic, local races were being cancelled on piece and yet Striders were out in force for the Christmas Handicap! But then we are superheroes, aren’t we? The fancy dress was inspirational – and every runner came in costume; anything from various members of the Superman family, Batmen, Catwomen and Robins of all ages. We had Wonderwoman, Darth Vadar, The Hulk, Indiana Jones and Steve Urwin … clearly raised from the dead … and many more.

A topnotch selection of Superheroes and Villains!

Naturally, the handicapping was extremely accurate and so after runners entertained the traffic, the race was eventually won by Supergirl, otherwise known as Angela Proctor in 43.24.
Fastest woman was guest runner, the tooth fairy (Aveen Fox) in a stunning 32.54.
Fastest man was Indiana Jones (Geoff Watson) in an equally stunning 32.58.
2nd Fastest woman was the Hulk herself (Debs Goddard) in 40.05 – don’t get her angry!
2nd Fastest man was Steve Urwin (Mike Bennett) in 34.46 – without his crocodile.
Fastest junior was Robin (Adam Walker) in 39.16 – we’ll nick him from Fetch.

Other results:

  • Shaun Roberts alias Thor god of thunder – 35.34
  • Dave Walker as Batman – 38.50
  • Jamie Steele as Rocky – 39.00
  • Andrew Thompson, cutting a dash as Zorro, 39.47
  • Catwoman Roz – 40.12
  • Chris Hedley, ghost of Christmas yet to come – 41.02
  • Phil Layton, another Batman – 42.44
  • Bananaman on Holiday, alias Ray Partridge – 43.16
  • Catwoman Lyndsey Tarn purred in at 43.28
  • Darth Vadar Jean Gillespie was next in 43.50
  • Captain Condom Peter Brooks followed in 43.51
  • Catwoman Jean Bradley – 44.03
  • The boy wizard Harry Potter alias Dougie Nesbit soared home in 44.11
  • Catwoman Jan Young arrived in 44.36
  • Wonder woman Jen Copley – 44.45
  • Followed by Grown-up Robin – Dave Robson in 44.49
  • … along with Lara Croft herself, Denise Mason also in 44.49
  • Jane Ives, Super Santa was next in 45.08
  • Blues Brother, David Shipman – ‘just cruising’ strolled in at 47.43
  • Barry ‘Supermarket’ Bird came in next in 49.40
  • Another Super Santa, Emma Detchon came in at 51.30
  • And finally Superman Phil Todd in 54.09 – I blame the Kryptonite!

Santa and his elves identified 5 winners of the fancy dress:

  • Dougie as Harry Potter
  • Shaun as Thor
  • Jamie as a very sinister Rocky
  • Ray as Bananaman (with cocktail)
  • And finally Denise as Lara Croft – totally shattering the mystique for Barry!

We all then gathered in the Court Inn for the presentations, some lunch and to thaw out with a few beers. Thanks to everyone who took part or helped. A special thank you to Santa who along with his elves, entertained passing motorists and buses by while the race was going on and of course to Harry for looking after us so well at the Court Inn.

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Christmas Handicap, Saturday, December 20, 2008

Barry Bird

Thanks to all the visitors from another world who visited us to compete in the Christmas Handicap. A very good turn out from Aliens and Humans. Thanks to the supporters and helpers also and a big thanks to our sponsors The Court Inn and Pam Kirkup who donated prizes in the form of various alcoholic beverages.


Pos Name Est Time Finish H/Cap Actual Prize
1 Jim Nicholson 52.00 51.05 4.00 47.05 1st Gent
2 Debs Goddard 41.00 52.53 15.00 37.53 1st Lady
3 Ray Partridge 40.00 54.27 16.00 38.27 Spot prize
4 Geoff Watson 33.00 54.28 23.00 31.28 Fastest Gent
5 Graham Daglish 36.00 55.14 20.00 35.14 Spot prize
6 Kevin 41.00 56.05 15.00 41.05
7 Dave Robson 42.00 56.47 14.00 42.47 Spot prize
8 Yvonne Jones 42.00 56.48 14.00 42.48 Ladies Fancy Dress
9 Alan Smith 41.00 56.53 15.00 41.53
10 Keith Wesson 34.00 57.48 22.00 35.48
11 Dougie Nisbet 39.00 58.16 17.00 41.16 Gents Fancy Dress
12 Andrew Thompson 38.00 58.36 18.00 40.36
13 Jan Young 44.00 58.59 12.00 46.59 Fastest Lady
14 Maggie Thompson 52.00 61.06 4.00 57.06
15 Dave Shipman 41.00 61.07 15.00 46.07
*16 Jean Gillespie 42.00 35.45 14.00 21.45 Spot prize
*17 Angela Proctor 43.00 36.45 13.00 23.45
*18 Phil Owen 43.00 37.35 13.00 24.35 Spot prize
*19 Zoe Tomlin 43.00 37.35 13.00 24.35

* Runners completing one lap.
Jan Young was fastest lady to not have already won a prize.

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