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.
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!
Erin Keeler- Clark
Priyan Mistri (friend of FB)
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:
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.
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.
The first fixture of the 19/20 Harrier League season saw an impressive 68 Striders, old and new turn out for a sunny fixture at Wrekenton. Rain in the week meant that there were a few puddles around, but the weather on the day was kind – there were even complaints of it being too hot!
In the mens race, Captain Michael lead home with an excellent time, resulting in a promotion to the medium pack. Michael will be joined by Tom Hamilton, who ran a fantastic first fixture, also leading to a promotion. As usual, XC Captain Stephen ran a blinder, and is currently sitting in 4th position in the overall standings.
In the ladies race, Emma Thompson had a brilliant run, coming through from the fast pack and overtaking nearly 500 runners to finish first Strider home, followed shortly by XC Captain and coach Elaine, who was promoted into the fast pack.
On the day, the men finished in 5th place overall and the ladies 7th in what looks to be a very competitive season. The new tent performed admirably, and everyone put on their best singing voices to with Susan a Happy Birthday – well what else would Mudwoman do on her birthday?!
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.
Callum Hanson (Pudsey & Bramley)
Geoff Davis (NFR)
Robin David Parsons
Susan Davis (NFR)
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.