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Boundary 500 Classic, Yorkshire Dales, Tuesday, October 9, 2018

125 miles (power assisted)

Nigel Heppell

Tuesday turned out to be a good day.

Weather windy but warm for the time of year and traffic pleasantly light throughout the journey.

Illness removed one rider from the start line, wisely avoiding the perils of sneezing inside a full-face crash helmet, but numbers were maintained with the welcome addition of pillion Lynn.

Four bikes (800; 900; 1000; 1100cc, and 74years old in total), four riders, and one pillion(total age – don’t ask) set off from the Rose Tree Inn, Shincliffe at 10am and travelled down to Kirkleatham Hall, our chosen start and finish checkpoint on the Boundary 500 Classic Challenge circuit. Potential navigational issues for the day were flagged up when we struggled even to find the entrance to the café!

Having decided upon an anti-clockwise circuit our first checkpoint came after a long haul to the location halfway between Leyburn and Masham; unfortunately we added a 20 mile detour through Aysgarth before getting there. A short hop on to the second checkpoint at Masham with lunch at the brewery visitor’s centre.

Back across the Vale of Mowbray to Osmotherley and a delightful road up onto and across the moors towards Helmsley; enlivened by two Hercules transport planes flying up the valley on our right and overtaking us on the same level, if not lower!

Not much route choice from there onwards but we (ok, I) still managed to miss the turning for Rosedale Abbey out of Hutton-Le-Hole which meant we had to reverse our intended direction of travel through the last three checkpoints along the Esk valley. The consequence of this was yet more extra miles but with views of some stunningly illuminated moorland scenery as the sun lowered towards the horizon but eventually with the added hazard of driving straight into the sun as we turned onto the Whitby-Guisborough road to take us back to our start point.

Finish time – 1830 hours.

Kirkleatham Hall, TS10 5NW 34 miles from Durham
Brymor Ice Cream Parlour, HG4 4PG 68
Masham, HG4 4EF 4
Osmotherley, DL6 3BN 21
Beadlam Grange Farm Shop, YO62 7TD 18
Hutton-le-Hole, YO62 6UA 7
Castleton Market Place, YO21 2EG 13
Danby Visitors Centre Car Park, YO21 2NB 3
Lealholm, YO21 2AJ 5
Kirkleatham Hall, TS10 5NW 22


  • 161miles for the Classic Challenge
  • 230miles return from Durham
  • 248miles Chester-le-St/Washington return

Many thanks to those taking a day out of the working week and all for a fine example of sustained careful and considerate riding.

(Visited 93 times, 1 visits today)

Blaydon Race, Saturday, June 9, 2018

5.6 miles

Kimberley Anne

When I woke Saturday morning the first thing I did was to look out of the window, a sigh of relief to see it was overcast and I felt hopeful the weather wouldn’t change!

As always the great British weather is never what you think and before it was 3 pm the sun was beaming down in a very busy Newcastle city centre!

After a few delays, we were finally off at about 3.20pm, 20 minutes later than planned. I had a strategy all planned in my head, realising if I do a steady mile at first then speed up after each mile I should easily beat my time from last year! First mile down and strategy out the window; I recorded a mile almost one minute faster than planned but the pace felt good. I thought to myself I don’t feel like I’m pushing too hard so let’s keep the pace.

Two miles down and the weather was just getting hotter; no water for at least another 2 and a 1/4 mile. My mouth was so dry and it’s all I could think of. A lot of runners had found some shade on Scotswood Road and I followed them for as long as the shade lasted. It definitely helped!

Pace still felt really good and at last the water station was in site. The marshals couldn’t get the water out quick enough, but I managed to get a cup, sip a little then use the rest to cool me down and off again I went.

Pace still feeling good but by this time the sound of sirens are going off; one ambulance passed and then another two. As I approach the end I can see that two runners were receiving medical attention. I grabbed my friend who was running as I started to panic. I thought what if I overheat, I’ve no water and I’m so close to the end. I was also worrying, hoping that these runners were okay; it was unbelievably warm with no breeze!

Once I passed, I then started having the dreaded conversation in my head. I could feel a twinge in my knee, but couldn’t decide if I was just imagining it.

I could see Morrison’s, so I knew the end was in site, this often happens with me as soon as I’m close to finishing, it’s like a little trigger starts and I just want to stop. I pushed on hard. I knew the end was near, all I could think of was a drink of water so I powered on and wound the speed up!

I was focussed to get to this finish line as quickly as I could and that’s what I did!

I crossed the line feeling amazing, but my body didn’t know what to do. The heat and everything got to me but I did it and also got a course PB!

I finished in 51:13, I couldn’t be happier!


(Visited 70 times, 1 visits today)

Stuart’s Scott’s Biggest Adventure (so far…). The Bob Graham Round, Lake District, Saturday, May 5, 2018

66 miles & 27,000ft of ascent

Stuart Scott

It has taken me a while to put this report together as I’ve really been struggling to write a report that does justice to the enormity of the challenge that is The Bob Graham Round. I really wish I was a better writer to get across fully what this challenge has meant to me, but here’s my best shot at it…

I’ll start with the generic boring bit:

The Bob Graham Round is a fell running challenge that involves completing a route of approximately 66 miles and 27,000ft of ascent over 42 of the highest peaks in The Lake District. The round was first done in 1932 by Bob Graham, a hotel owner in Keswick, who at the age of 42 wanted to complete a circuit of 42 lake-land fells, within 24 hours. The round is known as the testing ground for the supremely fit and being a lover of extreme challenges, from the second I heard about it I knew I had to complete it.

After a little research into what exactly the round involved, I knew I had to become a member of a running club if I wanted to have any chance of completing the round. This is when I decided to join Elvet Striders.

Continue reading Stuart’s Scott’s Biggest Adventure (so far…). The Bob Graham Round
(Visited 216 times, 1 visits today)

Dark Skies Run at Kielder, Kielder Northumberland, Saturday, March 24, 2018

26.5 miles

Karen Wilson

Kielder Dark Skies had been on my to-do list, if I ever decided to do a marathon, the photos always looked stunning, it is such a beautiful place and to have full access to the Dark Skies was a bonus (if the weather played nice). The weeks leading up to the race I thought I may need to buy a set of waders but the weather gods looked kindly on us.

I arrived full of excitement, if not the usual pre-race nerves. Got my number, a Trial Outlaw buff (I love a buff!!), sorted my kit bag, a quick final bite to eat and went out for a wander around. Found the other Striders in time for an obligatory Striders selfie and we were off.

I tried to stick to my race plan and not to get carried away with the crowd. Had a little chat with Dougie as we dodged the mud, before looping along the reservoir and heading back up and across the start line again. It was just beautiful, running through the forest with the regular views of the reservoir.


I had had a problem with my foot 2 weeks before the race. Figuring it was tendonitis which I’d had in the past, I rested it and it seemed to be fine, well at least until mile 3!! Ouch. It started to hurt but I tested it and it was manageable so I carried on. A welcome downhill to the reservoir before having to turn back and go up the hill again!!

My playlist hit the spot and along with chatting to various other runners along the way, the miles ticked by. The atmosphere was fab. I was chatting with one guy, maybe around 7 pm and he commented on it still being light; we roughly stayed together for a while, when we realised it was starting to get dark. To see the stars appear almost one by one was magical and before long the sky was lit up with masses of stars. I was gutted that I couldn’t get a photo of it, but it will stay with me in my internal camera. It reminded me of the 6 am dive in the Maldives looking for Hammerhead Sharks. While waiting, the plankton was sparkling all around us and I thought then it looked like a clear night sky.

On I went, by now head torch on and I found myself alone in the forest. I confess prior to the run I had been a little nervous as to how I would feel in the forest, technically, on my own but I absolutely loved it. Kerry had said that when she’d done it, she sometimes switched her torch off and I even did this too, it was so tranquil.

What I will say, is that while I knew it would be a tough race, I had told myself I’d done a few races with big hills Hell Runner (where we were literally clawing at the bankside to get up), Hawkshead took in the Coffin Trail, Paras 10 with ridiculous hills covered in rubble and Bacchus Marathon had 2 fairly steep & long hills which we had to do twice, so the hills didn’t worry me too much. However, I was not prepared for how relentless the ups were and that they seemed to far outweigh the downs (which when they came were often steep) and I didn’t appreciate how little ‘flat’ sections there were. Boy, it was hard going!

Around mile 14 I confess I was in tears, the pain in my foot had got bad, possibly with not getting any rest from going up or down, and I did think I may have to quit at the next CP, but I was still enjoying the run and I really didn’t want to give up (helped somewhat by the paracetamol which had kicked in by the time I reached the Dam).

Taking the great advice from Kerry during our Sunday runs I went with my bronze medal plan – to cross the finish line. At the Dam I met up with a girl I’d ran with earlier in the race and after a brief loo stop and putting on my jacket as it suddenly felt cold, we headed across the dam. I walked this bit with her and once across I ‘trotted off’. She was still walking but with my run/limp speed and her brisk walking we matched each other fairly well and we opted to stay together.

At mile 19 we were still on target for a 6hr/6.15 finish and this spurred us on but after that, I don’t know what happened. Before we knew it a few people caught us and got passed us, the hills through the wood were steep and my Garmin had died so I had no idea how far we were from the next CP. I was feeling very cold and somehow I forgot to keep fuelling. We kept pushing forward and occasionally chatting about all kinds of rubbish but it kept us going, then the thing I dreaded happened…. the tail runners caught us.

We had to get to the last CP by the cut off time and their calculation was we might not make it…. I just felt sick and I know she did too, especially as she was in for the double. We pushed on and on and the lights of Leaplish were in the distance. It felt like it had been a LONG way from the Garmin dying at 22miles. We got to the CP to the marshal saying sorry ladies you’re out of time… Well I swear he must have seen our faces and quickly followed with ‘see those lights? They are the van coming down for us…. if you’re gone, you can’t be picked up’ we were like Mo & Usain as we made our way through Leaplish and I vaguely heard him say only 1.6 to go… after what we’d done that would be nothing!!

We kept going one step at a time and I have to say I was in my own little world and we were through gate after gate and then the TR said just around this corner. Pain forgotten, we pushed on and even the incline to the finish couldn’t dampen my spirits. I’m sure I grabbed her arm and dragged her with me, although I almost forgot the finish was inside the clubhouse! I have never ever been so happy to see a finish line!! I think I my eyes may have leaked!!

Before long my husband, Mum and Jonathan turned up inside. I never saw anyone waiting outside but it was a bit of whirl. We went over the road for our post-run hot meal. My running buddy was sat at a table, I stayed standing up (not convinced I’d get up if I sat down). We had a little hug before I left and she thanked me for staying with her, but it was a joint effort. She was staying over as she was doing the double. Given the time, due to being so long finishing & that the clocks were going forward, I opted to just head back. Hubby brought me a mini bottle of prosecco to celebrate my finish, which I had in the car on the way back. I won’t lie I was devastated to be in the last 2 finishers again, but with a fully functioning foot I am sure I would have at least managed my silver plan, however, I am grateful to the TR’s and the guys at the checkpoint for letting us through.

Overall, a fabulous race and I would say to anyone who fancies it do it. It is not every day you’d get to do something like this. I have discovered a love of running at night and quite like running at night on my own – who knew!

I took my trainers off in the car and my foot looked a little bruised. Still thinking it was tendonitis I wasn’t overly concerned. Got home, showered and put some ice on it and it was clearly swollen. A trip to A&E on the Sunday confirmed I had a full fracture of the 2nd metatarsal (to add insult to injury they were out of purple casts!).

So I’m hoping this is off soon, so I can get back to Club and, fingers crossed, I am fit enough to do Loch Ness in September. It has certainly scuppered my plans for the year!

(Visited 256 times, 1 visits today)

Laufen mit TriAs Hildesheim, Saturday, January 20, 2018


Jonathan Hamill

What else after a rather pleasing outcome at the Georgengarten parkrun? Suitably re-fueled by coffee and cake, I was looking forward to running with the TriAs triathlon club ( in Hildesheim, courtesy of a kind invitation from work colleague, Nils.

“Come along, it will be fun, 12km or so at a steady pace”, was what I heard. The first bit was certainly true!

We met at the DJK Sportplatz at Hildesheim, where the club also has use of a track – more on that to follow.

With introductions made, we ran over a couple of bridges and followed a riverside path in a loop – a shade over 8mm pace. That seemed to be the warm-up, and we then headed for the hills, literally! We climbed up a gravel path through the Steinberg woods, past a zoo and taking in a great view of the surrounding area. At this point, I lamented my decision to opt for road shoes – my new Saucony Koa STs which I’d left in the car would have provided a bit more traction on the muddier bits.

We dropped down back to the DJK Sportplatz hitting 13km. Most people said farewell at this point but there was a (very good) plan b, partly for one of the members who was training for an Ironman event. We bolted on a 5km sight-seeing tour of the old town. Hildesheim is renowned for its historic churches, and we passed St Mary’s Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We also passed a whitewater canoe course which looked amazing, prior to returning to our starting point.

I joined in a “warm-down” with a twist, as we headed to the track for some drills which included some sprint efforts! Just over 18km, an average pace a shade faster than 9mm, and we were done. The mixed grill and isotonic Weißbier tasted really good when I got back to the hotel!

An amazing bunch of people, and a capable triathlon club who put on a fantastic running tour – thanks all, and you will be very welcome to run with us if you visit Durham.

Here’s the relive overview of this run:

(Visited 63 times, 1 visits today)

Airport run – LHR T5, London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5, Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Jonathan Hamill

For some time, I have been interested in what some may see as a slightly unusual run; inside London Heathrow airport Terminal 5.  My motivation comes from spending way too much time in airports, and Ben Edelman, an associate professor at the Harvard Business School, and author of guidance for running in and around airports.


On the morning of 14th March, I had my chance.  I arrived in Heathrow’s Terminal 5A, from Newcastle.  My next flight (to Madrid) was also due to leave from Terminal 5, so having already cleared security at Newcastle, I headed to BA’s North Galleries lounge.  Perhaps fortunately for this adventure, I still have lounge access – there are changing facilities, you can leave your bag and, instead of a pre-flight G&T.…go for a run!


I struggled to get a GPS signal initially but the Strava app on my iPhone seemed to cope with a combination of GPS, cellular, and Wifi positioning. I headed down the escalator to follow the signs for the transit to the B and C gates. There I took the lift down to level -4, leaving most passengers to alight at -2 which is the train platform.

The main feature of this run is an underground pedestrian tunnel linking Heathrow’s Terminal 5A to the satellite buildings which house the B and C gates.  The tunnel is some 670m in length between T5A and T5C, according to Bombardier who supplied the automated people mover system (trains which run above the pedestrian tunnel).


The tunnel has apparently been recently renovated to add a softer floor, and purple lighting – welcoming to a travelling Strider!  There are various moving walkways along the way, but also space aplenty to run.  There are a couple of narrower sections, which makes life slightly interesting to share the tunnel with a passing passenger cart, and there is a slight incline between the B and C gate section.
There aren’t many users of the tunnel – mainly air crew, the odd passenger, and it is fairly cool. At the final approach to the C gates, a traffic light controlled door allows safe passage of pedestrians and carts.


I headed along the tunnel, to pass the B gates, then on to the C gates, where I got in the lift and up to the satellite building. I ran around the satellite building, which was nearly empty. A member of BA gate staff stopped me to ask what flight I was on, and she was tickled when I explained, “Madrid, but I’m just out for a run first”!


I ran the loop from T5A to T5C, including the loop of T5C satellite building twice, before doing a 1km loop of T5A, returning to the North lounge to shower and collect my things.  An interesting experience of some 5.7km which left me refreshed for my onward flight!  If you have time in Heathrow, try it!

(Visited 388 times, 1 visits today)

Princess Short n Sweet Challenge, North York Moors, Saturday, August 30, 2014


Lindsay Rodgers

Pre-race nerves, or perhaps it's just a bit chilly. Having ‘done’ the Hardmoors 10K at Saltburn, I was intrigued by the some of the Striders discussing the Princess Challenge due to take place at the end of August. It was to raise money for the local mountain rescue team, a charity that trail/fell runners rely on but hope that they will never need to use. The 30 mile was probably a bit too far whereas the 8.5 ish seemed manageable, so with the encouragement of the Hardmoors junkies, off I went.

Arriving in Ravenscar early enough to see the rest of the striders gear up and head off on the big one it was time for the race briefing and kit check. They were only around 40 entries for the 8.5 so for once the pre-race jitters did not involve a long wait for a toilet and with the words of ‘ it is an undulating course’ in my mind we set off.

The first 5 miles were on a nice cinder path, the only real challenges being helping one runner who took a tumble and trying to avoid the hordes of walkers and cyclists. The major thing that stuck in my mind was a comment ‘ watch out for the joggers’ from a group of walkers and helping a lady who did not seem to understand how to get her bike through a gate (it helps if you get off it). The first CP was in Robins Hood Bay and I arrived just after being passed by some of the 30 milers on their way to Whitby .My pace was not too bad (5.30/km) so it seemed to be a good time was in order. At this point runner 120 and I looked at each other and decided that as both of us were first timers best stick together as we worked out our route as we searched for the Cleveland way. This is where it changed from gentle downhill to a constant up and down. Wonderful trail along the coast (keep the sea to the left of you), punctuated by constant sharp drops and brutal climbs as we worked our way back to Ravenscar.

After the 7 mile point runner 120 (lovely lady from Surrey, never got to find out your name, sorry!) dropped me and I was over taken by some quickies that had taken an accidental detour and added a couple of extra miles to their run. This is a point where you realise that you are only running against yourself and walking can be a sensible option from time to time Between the efforts a fair amount of time was spent explaining to people why we were running geared up across the Cleveland way and then looking at the reaction when I advised that this was the ‘short’ route.

Tired but happy. Looking at my Garmin 8.5 miles soon came up with Ravenscar still in the distance at the top of a very steep hill, this is where Hardmoors comes into its own. All distances are approximate and as I struggled up the never ending rise it soon hit 9.5 miles. I must admit the last mile and a bit was walked (a power version) although a gentle run was managed for the last 500 metres. Total distance 9.89 miles. Final time 1.51, but who cares, I finished. Entering the hall, you are greeted by a round of applause by the other competitors and then stuffed full of tea cakes and sweets followed by a huge hug from the race director Kelly.

Pound for pound the best value race of the year, the best views and apart from the striders handicap and parkrun the nicest runners that I have come across so far. Yes I am now a convert to Hardmoors; Running for the enjoyment of the event and the company of brilliant people. Anyone thinking of a testing run next year should give this a try and was a fantastic end to my first year as a novice runner/strider.

(Visited 37 times, 1 visits today)

Kilburn Feast, North Yorks Moors, Sunday, July 13, 2014

7 miles

Lindsay Rodgers

Having mainly stuck to park runs and a few 10K races, I thought it time to push the boat out and try something a little longer. Not quite ready for 10 miles yet so when I saw the Kilburn race, I thought why not. It was in the afternoon so no early start; it is called undulating so no serious hills (supposedly); it was in North Yorkshire (almost as nice as County Durham); it was a village fete so the family could come along and best of all there was a public house at the finish line!

So all the Rodgers family headed off with the constant call from the back of the car, are we there yet and will there be ice cream. We arrived to find plenty of parking and even toilets in the car park. We then bumped into Alister on the high street so I did what was right and let the kids pester him, while he tried to get them to become parkrun volunteers. So far so good as race time approached the kids went off and attacked the tombola and Mr Robson and I found our respective places in the pack.

Alister, Lindsay, and mascots for the day ...

With the words of Alan Sehault in my mind about pacing, I set off at a steady 5.00/Km with the intention of running round in a less than an hour. First mile done and then I started to appreciate the reminder from my wife to put sun block on as it was getting very hot and very sunny. The first portion of the race is quite gentle, a small couple of hills and a nice descent, then you realise that ‘undulating’ has a different meaning in Yorkshire, I would read it now as very hilly! Thank goodness for the helpers at the 3 water stations and 2 sponge points, they even had a car driving round offering water to those of us at the back.

So back to the run, I will admit to drifting to a powerwalk on one of the big hills and the constant changing of the running line to find shade. There was a chap of senior age running with me, never found out his name, but thanks to him for dragging me round the undulating bits.

At mile 6 I thought one more to go and managed to pick the pace up again especially when I found out that the last portion was downhill. Then a shock as I passed the 7 mile marker with no sight of the finish line, it seems that in Yorkshire racing they are generous with the distance and so I ‘sprinted’ the last 700 odd yards to be cheered in by Alister and my family with the best thing of all, a photo by Helen of me with both feet off the ground.

Now to the key point, the pub at the finish line allowed for 3 pints of carbo loading and an understanding wife to drive me home! Time just a tad over 1.03 so very happy given the hills and the conditions.

This is a great race and is worth a larger strider turnout, wonderful route, brilliant organisation and plenty for the family to do while they wait, although I am not sure what Alister will do with the coconut the girls gave him. Oh and there is a pub at the finish line.

(Visited 30 times, 1 visits today)

Summer Fan Dance Race, Brecon Beacons, Saturday, July 5, 2014


Kerry Lister

So, after cheering my hubby on in January at the Avalance Endurance Events Winter Fan Dance, he and his friend booked for the summer one. Unfortunately The friend got a bad back following the Durham Coast Half Marathon a few weeks back, and as it was so near the event, no money back or deferral til next time, there was, however, an opportunity to transfer the place for the sum of £10. Weellllll, I had done Swaledale, Penshaw, Roseberry Topping, Round Sheffield and a couple of other half marathons so surely I’d be ok for ‘a gruelling 24km non-navigational race over two sides of Pen Y Fan, the highest mountain in the Brecon Beacons. This infamous route has long been a part of SAS (Special Air Service) and SBS (Special Boat Service) Selection and is considered the yardstick of a candidate’s potential to perform well on Test Week and ultimately pass the Special Forces Selection programme.’ taken from the website.

Kerry at the start ...

Took the option to go ‘clean fatigue’ or non load carrying to the uninitiated. Rob went for the load bearing option (as expected). Borrowing Denise’s fell shoes and waterproof jacket, off we went on the 6 hour drive to Brecon.

As we approached Rob kept pointing out very high points on the landscape. Not sure if he was trying to scare me or prepare me. anyhow we arrived safe and sound, settled into our hotel and set the alarm for 615am.

The morning came around and in silence we prepared separately for our upcoming challenges. The weather looked okay, the tops were shrouded in mist and the weather forecasts said 20/30% chance of precipitation. Not bad odds really.

At the red phone box of the Storey Arms 830am came and the rufty tufty load bearers had their briefing from former SAS fella Ken Jones and off they went . I had another hour to wait til my set off time so, as you do, started chatting to anyone around me. The folks at the Fan Dance are a good bunch of people, unpretentious, all ‘bricking it’. Finally 930am arrived, we had our briefing, well the folks at the front did, at the back ( my natural place) we couldn’t hear, however, me being me I forget instructions very quickly so probably funny miss much.

... and Kerry at the finish.

Off we went, the sun started coming out, the first hill was long, the first 2 miles were all climb, too much for me to run, and in fairness I didn’t see much running at this point, I did however start overtaking people and eventually found my pace with a lovely lady called Sue (who had suffered a back problem, had surgery and found a new love of all things fitness) and her nephew Ashley ( who was training to run 6 marathons in 6 days for charity). I managed a little jog at the bottom of the summit (if that makes sense) of Pen Y Fan and left them behind for a short while, and reached the summit (886 m) in about an hour. Considering the climb I was well pleased with that, and of course had to have my photo opportunity.

Off we went again, to Jacobs Ladder, well all we saw was a precipice, fortunately there was someone who knew what he was doing to show us the way, imagine Roseberry Topping on steroids on top of another mountain and that’s Pen Y Fan and Jacobs Ladder.

Once down there we hit the Roman Road, the main challenge here being not breaking an ankle or face planting (again). Plenty of ‘well dones’ and ‘keep goings’, eventually passed Rob on the return journey with his bumbag full of burst gels and massive blisters on both his feet.

Just after mile 7 was RV2 also known as the turnaround point, good glug of water and some flapjack for the return journey, a quick check by the DS that I was fit to continue and off the three if us went again, a bit of a jog here and there as terrain allowed then there it was. The monster that is Jacobs Ladder – part 2. Bigger and uglier than going down was going up. Load bearers were struggling to stay upright and keep moving, it was long, very long then that little steep scramble at the end to reach the Pen Y Fan summit for the second time. Now we knew from here it really was all downhill, well apart from the little up hill bit. 4 hours passed, which means we did not managed to complete the course in the time required for SAS selection, secretly we were all pleased about this as we didn’t really want to join the SAS anyway.

With the thought of collecting our patch and enjoying the promised hog roast we practically skipped the last stretch, seeing the red phone box of the Storey Arms and Rob standing there we knew our journey was complete, we had done it!

With Hugs and handshakes from everyone we had encouraged, passed, hi fived and raced we made our way back to the car for a well deserved bath and Fan Dance Race beer. The photo with the patch and the red phone box – 2 icons of the Fan Dance Race experience, had been taken.

Was it a challenge? For sure. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Will I do it with a full load next time? Probably.

(Visited 42 times, 1 visits today)

Blaydon Race, Monday, June 9, 2014

Grand Prix Race - click flag for current league tables. Sprint Champion Race - click flag for more information. 5.9 miles

Karen Hooper

Blaydon Beer.

As I sit here finally drinking my Blaydon Race Beer (& checking the Striders website to make sure there aren’t already 20 race reports), I thought it was about time to write about my first experience of this famous race.

I had attempted to register for the Blaydon Race all those months ago but being a mere mortal (ie. not yet a Strider) & having to join the masses on Day 2 of registration, I was unsuccessful. To be honest, I’d assumed that was that & carried on with my life! Until, the Friday before when a colleague of my husband emailed around work offering his wife’s race number, I said “Yay” immediately, all sorted, until his wife came home & revealed she had given the number to someone else. Who’d’ve thought I’d be so gutted not be running (certainly not me a few months ago!). A long weekend at work with intermittent chances to check emails meant I was too slow to claim another couple of numbers until finally on Sunday evening, I got one!!!!

So, Monday 9th June after a frantic rush around getting kids/husband sorted, I arrived by the viaduct to get the Striders bus. I could’ve done a couple of laps round the viaduct looking lost but thankfully the bus pulled up so I followed it to the stop to be greeted by a gaggle of purple.

My first time on the Striders bus, very exciting & my first time reading the words to the Blaydon song (????????? I’m from the South so no idea what they’re on about!). The bus was a tad warm by the time we arrived & I have to say I was a bit concerned what the smell would be like for the return trip. We pulled up at the cathedral to be greeted by even more purple & went en masse in search of toilets, joining a queue of Blackhill Bounders into Subway.

So, we joined the crowds eagerly anticipating the race, we stood for a while waving our wrists as high as we could to try & wake up the Garmins & then it just kind of started, I didn’t hear the song or the bell, we just started walking a bit, then a bit faster, then crossed something that could’ve been a starting line & started slowly running & following the masses.

Then all of sudden, I looked down at my wrist to see what the beep was & I’d run a mile in 8.38, then the second in 8.50 – no wonder I was tired! The next few miles were a bit slower but I kept going. It was hot & humid but I just got carried along by the crowds & the roadside music & drums & I still kept going.

Around mile 4 I started to think I might run the whole way without any walks encouraged by my running friend who’s a lot more experienced & better runner than me struggling – I was keeping her going this time!

The incline up the bridge was tough as was the run along to the water station passing runners on the other side of the barrier knowing that we had to run back along there. The water station was a beautiful site – not sure how much of it ended up being drunk versus thrown over me.

Then all of a sudden, I was in Blaydon with the lovely sight of more crowds to cheer us on to the finish. The mileage on my watch didn’t quite match up with the marked mile signs, coupled with not knowing the route & where the finish was meant I probably held back a bit in the last stretch – I thought it was going to end at the bus station but it kept going.

I was so proud to collect my t shirt at the end – I ran the whole race in a respectable time of 53.55 & I’m still grinning now.

So from me, thanks to Lesley Charman & Helen Thomas for the third-hand number– hope I did you proud, thanks to the Striders bus for the introduction to the lyrics, thanks to John Hutch for the offer of black pudding at the end (honestly, the absolute last thing I could’ve eaten but thanks anyway), thanks to the two Lauras for the chat on the walk back to the bus, thanks to Paul for the lift home & thanks to the other 64 Striders for the purple visions.

Same time next year???


1Peter EmaseRun-Fast(M) 19-3926:34
14Joanne ChelimoRun-Fast(F) 19-3929:42
82Rob Everson (M) 19-3933:00
104Gareth Pritchard (M) 19-3933:04
111Adam Walker (M) 16-1833:38
236Simon Gardner (M) 40-4436:14
335Michael Tait (M) 19-3937:33
415Katy Walton (F) 19-3938:35
472Michael Downes (M) 19-3938:56
649Jon Ayres (M) 40-4439:01
590Mathew Crow (M) 40-4439:09
524Graeme Walton (M) 40-4439:36
620Sally Hughes (F) 19-3940:37
727Fiona Jones (F) 19-3941:38
988Sarah Davies (F) 45-4942:20
1081John Hutchinson (M) 55-5942:37
841Lucy Cowton (F) 19-3942:44
1006Jackie Mckenna (F) 45-4943:19
1061Stephanie Walker (F) 19-3943:19
1103Mark Dunseith (M) 19-3943:17
1466Richard Hall (M) 19-3943:55
1167Claire Readey (F) 19-3943:57
1316David Spence (M) 65-6944:21
1218Greta Jones (F) 45-4944:27
1342Nicola Whyte (F) 19-3945:19
1431Paul Beal (M) 50-5446:02
1664Ian Graham (M) 65-6947:17
1743Anita Clementson (F) 45-4947:41
1695Victoria Downes (F) 19-3947:53
1546Lindsay Rodgers (M) 45-4948:01
1571Stephen Ellis (M) 60-6448:15
1710Philip Todd (M) 40-4448:16
1858Robert Clark (M) 19-3948:46
1687Anja Fechtner (F) 19-3949:00
1888Jill Ford (F) 45-4949:05
1982Ian Spencer (M) 50-5449:35
2130Andy James (M) 65-6950:12
2391Rebecca Fisher (F) 19-3950:28
2043Ann Towers (F) 19-3950:29
1942Brian Ford (M) 45-4950:39
2292George Nicholson (M) 65-6951:49
2318Karen Anne Chalkley (F) 50-5451:59
2357Kelly Collier (F) 19-3952:16
2691Helen Hackett (F) 45-4952:42
2463Emma Detchon (F) 19-3953:21
2515Karen Hooper (F) 19-3953:55
2571Denise Benvin (F) 45-4954:07
2492Michael Traynor (M) 50-5454:09
2727Karin Younger (F) 50-5455:27
2735Debbie McFarland (F) 19-3955:43
2778Anita Dunseith (F) 19-3955:45
2794Katie Butler (F) 19-3956:12
2595Victoria Walton (F) 19-3956:17
2896Aileen Scott (F) 19-3957:01
2954Kathleen Bellamy (F) 19-3957:22
3038Mike Elliott (M) 65-6957:52
3152Louise Barrow (F) 19-3959:55
3265Helen Allen (F) 40-4461:20
3249Laura Chapman (F) 19-3961:36
3250Laura Gibson (F) 19-3961:37
3325Kerry Lister (F) 40-4462:37
3330Lindsay Craig (F) 45-4962:35
3331Sophie Dennis (F) 19-3962:38
3326Helen Page (F) 40-4463:15
3494Laura Jackson (F) 19-3968:20

3574 finishers.
NB: Results sorted into chip time order for GP purposes.

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