Yearbook 2019

Chairmans Introduction

2019 – A year of running excellence.

I’m pleased again to introduce another Strider yearbook; a rich collection of memories and achievements.

Thanks to all contributors and a special mention to Simon, whose tireless efforts are highly appreciated in the production of our yearbook.

I also want to place on record my thanks to all who volunteer and give their time, and to all of you for your contribution as club members.

It is impossible to summarise every achievement across our wide range of disciplines.  As ever, the annual Awards Evening will provide a future celebration opportunity.

Until then, I know that this yearbook will provide a great source of reflection for many, so please enjoy it.

Let’s keep moving forward together!

Best wishes

Jonathan Hamill

Chairman

Entries are in no particular order. Please click on the Member’s name to view their past reports.

Tamsin Imber

I was unfit at the start of 2019, having been ill for 18 months. In 2019 was so pleased to be well and to run again. I relished lots of lovely running on trails, swimming and some fun ‘bike dates’ (cycle rides with my husband).

I ran five low-key trail races in a non-competitive way, partaking in the joy of running in countryside I had not seen before. This included the Bolton Abbey half (Yorkshire) and Hedgehope half (Cheviots, Jan 2020). I ended up racing in three of them and came 4th lady in the Thrunton Thriller 15m race (Cheviots), 2nd F40 in the Swainby Sweep Trail race (NYM) and 2nd F40 in the Bolton Castle trail race (Wensleydale).

I did a summer ‘Swim-picnic’ event with family. This was a 2.5km non-competitive swim (100 pool lengths) from one to village to another along the River Cam with a big picnic at the end. There were lots of weeds and surprised ducks.

Bike dates include memorable moments of climbing steeply up from St Johns in Weardale to Langdon Beck in driving rain, an off-road ride across the NYM to the Lion Inn for lunch with a roaring log fire and a romantic Christmas ride from Newbury to Bath. The latter was 64 miles of meandering minor roads and muddy, pot-holed canal tow-path. The last few miles were cold and dark. The bright lights of the houses of bath disclosing the hillside were a welcoming sight.

My favourite aspect of Striders is track sessions. I have not made Striders for a long time due to evening fatigue. In substitution, I wrote ‘A Beginners Guide to Track’ with Allan and the other track coaches for the website. At the end of 2019, I randomly had some energy one Monday night when Allan had announced last minute the track was available and he was running a session. I got to that session and ran hard and enjoyed every minute. I bumped into Allan in the MC cafe the next day. That was the week before he passed away. Good memories now.

Ian Jobling

I turned 50 in March 2019. For many this half century milestone is a trigger to slow down and take it a bit easier. For me 2019 would be different. I wanted to drop a few pounds and improve my fitness, so I signed up for the Great North Run. I would run my first GNR for Cystic Fibrosis. A training plan was drafted based on 2-3 short runs and a longer weekend run of about 8 miles.  Training went well but it took about 3 months for my body to adapt to serious training.

I did my first Durham parkrun in April in a time of 00:36:08. Then a friend and member of Elvet Striders suggested I came down to a track session at Maiden Castle which I did, and boy did I enjoy it. This was when I met Michael Littlewood and Allan Rennick. Both guys were so welcoming and encouraged me to stick at it for age was not a barrier but a challenge to be overcome. My first event for the Striders was the 3 Peaks trail race. The team spirit and forthcoming encouragement from fellow striders was overwhelming. I was hooked and signed up to the Durham 10K which I completed in 01:06:38. I remember that night was so hot, and the atmosphere was electric. Meeting Paula Radcliffe was special. Then it was onto the Darlington 10K which I completed in 00:54:24 minutes. Then came the Gateshead 5K which I ran in 00:25:18.

A two week holiday in Kefalonia was followed by the GNR. My family and I took the Striders bus that morning to Newcastle and everybody was buzzing. It was tough. I had set a target time of 2:15:00 and eventually struggled over the line in 02:16:47 which I was happy with considering it was my first attempt. I did the Tynedale Jelly Tea 10 mile in 01:36 and then it was onto the Coxhoe 10K which I finished in a time of 00:53:36. I was feeling good and was getting quicker. I ran the Hamsterly Forest 10K in 00:56:20 and then got my park run PB of 00:54:07 in October a whole 12 minutes faster than I had achieved in April. The Autumn saw me compete in the NEHL Wrekenton 6K XC race 00:54:56, the Brampton to Carlisle 10 mile 01:26:05, then the 12K NECC Championships in Alnwick where I got a time of 01:16:04. This was my hardest race in 2019 and took its toll on me. My final race of the season was the Saltwell 10K where I achieved another PB of 00:52:50 compared to my Durham 10K time of 01:06:38.

My targets for 2020:

  • Sub 22 minute 5K
  • Sub 50 minute 10k
  • Sub 2 hour Half Marathon

 

I have met some wonderfully supportive people during my time as a Strider. I would especially like to thank Alison for making such a great club run leader, Wendy for her positive encouragement on race day, Allan for making me feel so welcome every time I turn out and to Stephen and Michael for being great team captains and for setting an example of how to train and race to success.

 

Fiona Wood

It is pleasing to be able to say that I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved this year.

The London Marathon in April saw me bag a new PB, finishing 13 minutes faster than my previous marathon effort. Not only that, but conditions were near-perfect for me and I paced it well.
Most importantly, it was a truly wonderful day.

At the Copenhagen Marathon, 3 weeks later, a much hotter day but a new PB again by another minute, and a fabulous weekend away with friends to boot!

I didn’t want to lose momentum following the spring’s exertions, so I also participated in the Northumberland Coastal Run for the first time, and then during Autumn I did several trail half(ish!) marathons.

I closed out the year with a new 10 mile PB at the Brampton to Carlisle Race, and I exceeded my 1000km target for the year, making this my highest mileage year since I started running 10 years ago. I was also very surprised and happy to finish the Ladies’ GP in the top 10 for the endurance category and in the top 20 overall.
Certainly, I am feeling ‘fit at 40’!

Challenges for 2020:
Hardmoors Half Series
Dark Skies 14
To try to run more consistently and increase my annual mileage
To keep enjoying it!

James Lee

2019: A year of not quite…

I ran PBs in 2019 and set records on my watch. I led a run and some stretches and wrote some race reports. I did fifteen Monday cross-country sessions and became a medium (again) in the Harrier League. With 12 rounds of chemo, I’m not dead yet. But I keep looking for that little bit more.

Back in February I ran 19:06 at the Chester-le-Street parkrun. On the track in June I ran 19:04 – another PB. Decent warm-up, consistent speed each time – but I need to knock a second off each kilometre to break that magic minute barrier.

The rest of the year was all about half marathons. There were accidental PBs as I increased my distance in training, going from 1hr 38 to 1hr 33. The three off-road half-marathons were educational with good bits, but not the fastest terrain. So in November I ran Tatton Park near Manchester. Flat, mostly on-road, finishing in 1hr 31. Trouble is I was going for that hour and a half marker. I had started too fast and lost those 70 seconds in the last four miles. Not quite magic either.

Then there was the pushing harder. My heart rate hit 178 on that first parkrun, then again on the Durham Cost Half. 220 minus my age. On the Skipton Trail half I hit 189, then 196 at Tatton Park. In hindsight, I’m sure that was crazy – and probably explains the last four miles. There is such a thing as trying too hard. I don’t plan to be 21 again.

I started doing Pilates in March. It has fixed my hip, which is what got me there. My core (as I call it now) is probably the strongest it’s ever been (including when I was 21). There’s always more, though. My right foot is better but still sticks out, and I suspect that’s the cause of my uphill limits. That will be the challenge in 2020.

Yesterday I went to a funeral in East Anglia. On the train, I did some writing for the kids. That afternoon I lost my speech trying to ask for a pint of water. Today, half-way through writing this, I went for a run out West. I was tired and my calves hurt. Then the right music came on in the right place. Suddenly I was at the top of the world with a gleaming sky and miles of open countryside in front of me. I started grinning. It’s not numbers that keep me running.

 

Aaron Gourley

Whilst 2019 didn’t exactly go the way I’d hoped running wise, it was still a good year. From Hardmoors 30 at the start of year to kick things off I then had good runs at the Hardmoors 55 despite the weather, narrowly missed out on matching my pb at the Great North Run by 1 second and ended the year at the brilliant Tour de Helvellyn in December. These highs were intersected with a few not so good runs like, St Cuthbert’s Way 45 mile race during which I vowed never to run another ultra ever again and Newlands Valley fell race where I ran out of water on a very hot day and suffered badly for the final miles.

So for 2020, I would like to be more consistent and have more good runs than bad. I have my eye on a few big runs over the summer, one of which is the St Cuthbert’s Way 100k Race The Tide edition (I’m pretty sure at some point in the race I’ll regret it!). I’ll also be looking forward to doing my first proper duathlon trail race also hosted by Trail Outlaws. But in the main 2020 will be about enjoying running and despite my vow never to run another, the emphasis will be on ultra trail races with a large helping fell racing. 2020, the year of adventure!

Mark Foster

Tailing off towards the end of 2019, I was actually thinking that the year had been a disappointing one in terms of running. On reflection, I couldn’t have been further from the truth, it really does depend on how you view it. I’ve since realised that I need to be more positive, build upon successes and celebrate these. Additionally, I need to recognise failure, which ironically can also be celebrated, and adjust training and mindset to reduce the chances of failure in the future.

Highlights of the year

Brass Monkey Half Marathon (New PB)

  • Another half marathon PB knocked out, taking over 4 mins off previous time.

NEMMA T&F (including first official category win and medal)

  • 100% participation this season with more focus on short/middle distance and Throws.
  • 1st in GP for Gender/Age Category (VM40) for Throws
  • New PBs at 100m, 400m and 800m distances.
  • Both 100m and 400m times quick enough to gain a place on the all time Striders Classic Distances leaderboard, 2nd in both to the one and only Chris Callan.
  • Huge thanks to Mike Barlow & Lesley Charman for their organisation, as well help, advice and support.

Kielder Run Bike Run (26.2 miles)

  • Loved it last year so went back for more. I took off over 5 mins from last year’s time. Great to see many striders there too.

 2020’s main targets/challenges

London Marathon

  • The biggest challenge of them all. I was fortunate enough to get a place through the standard ballot process – that’s a feat in itself. I need to make sure training is planned and on point to achieve my personal time target of sub 4 hours.

NEMMA T&F

  • Again …. I do love NEMMA T&F, so much fun. May try out the jumps this year or do I just defend my throws title. Targeting PBs on all events participated in.

Kielder Run Bike Run

  • Not signed up for it yet but will most probably do it again. Targeting to take a chunk off time, especially on bike section.

2019 Summary

Retaining my positive spirit, 2019 has been a very good year with continued improvement and progress. I’ve focussed more on what I enjoy and I’ve met many of my challenging targets, and those I didn’t meet I actually had good reasons for these (total running miles down but spend more time on bike for RBR, only entered 2 10ks; 1 trail and 1 Durham City on hottest day of the year as well as hilly).

Below is a year on year view of results and targets (red = no where near, amber = close, green = smashed it).

 

Wendy Littlewood

2019, another rollercoaster year!
After successfully completing my first Marcothon and consequently my highest ever monthly mileage, I started 2019 as I meant to go on with a brilliant pb at Hartlepool then things went downhill.

Brass Monkey performance was disappointing – hated just about every step in that wind and then got struck down with flu. The rest of January and February was a write off.

Then it got worse. Just as I began to feel more normal I picked up an injury. I had a place to run in London and I simply could not run.
I spent hours run/walking and biking as well as more one-legged squats than I care to remember. I would ‘do’ London as my first marathon but it could hardly be described as ‘running’!

My aim that day was to get round in less than 6 hours otherwise we would miss our train home – mission achieved!! And I had a ball!!

The next highlight of the year was undoubtedly the parkrunathon. An incredible day, loved every second. I adored running with so many friends as well as both my boys and I was so proud to play a small part in raising funds and awareness for Ifucareshare. Can I claim this as my second marathon of the year?

Jersey Marathon beckoned in October. Running on my home turf the weekend of what would have been my Dad’s birthday was so emotional. Reckon my Mum and brothers were quite proud of me that day!

Oh and I became a parkrun North-East regionaire! Travelling to different courses has given me much more confidence and independence as well as being great fun!

A main learning this year has been how crucial and enjoyable cross training is. I once thought I’d never be a runner – I was wrong. Why should I still believe I can’t be a swimmer/cyclist/fell runner??

My achievements are always eclipsed by the running adventures of the male Littlewoods and I am so glad! Love that we are all involved!

Thank you Striders for being our second family and thank you Allan for everything you have done for us. We will miss you always.

Jonathan Hamill

I started 2019 with my preference set for trail running.  My ambition was to run my usual >200km each month with a main focus on the Causeway Ultra in Northern Ireland.

January and RED kicked off with a double parkrun.  More enjoyable was getting my workplace Couch to 5k programme off the blocks, and then a bit of wintry running in the German hills.  On one particular off-road night-time adventure, I had some extra company – a pair of orange eyes following me from the undergrowth.  My colleagues informed me the next day that wild boar could be found in that area..

In February, I celebrated my Birthday with a min-ultra – laps of the Riverbanks during one of the excellent Saturn Running events.  The Duergar Run (a challenging night fell run) was also hugely enjoyable, until the final furlong.  Having gained a bit on the final approach to Rothbury, I fell headfirst through the stile, managing to retain some dignity with a barrel roll and crossed the line a little furious and bloody.

The highlight for March was the graduation of my C25k group – excellent commitment and a positive impact.  April saw me conclude a run streak of 100 days – hats off to anyone who pursues this madness!  May saw me return to the Hils (Lower Saxony) and my favourite Bloße Zelle (highest summit in the region).

June saw another successful Willow Miner Trail Race!  July was parkrun #100 and then some delightful trails en Bretagne as part of our Summer holiday and time to build some distance ahead of the August highlight – the Princess Challenge ultramarathon.

September contained two highlights – the first was running the Great North Run with Lesley and her friend Laura.  The second was the main dish – a trip home and the Causeway Ultra, which doled out the formidable 64km challenge of the North Antrim coast (picture is the final approach to the finish line).

October’s highlight was Divis and Black Mountain.  November’s was Hohe Tafel – a night ascent of the highest of the Sieben Berge (Seven Hills) of Alfeld.

December was a busy month, with some more German trails but the running highlight was when my eldest boy (Fergus) joined me on a run around Low Newton Junction.  Here’s to 2020 and to keep moving forward.

Lisa Lumsdon

Scarborough 10k  first  SUB 1 hour 59.38 a new Pb . Sep 29th 2019

I love this 10k it’s out and back all flat too.
The weather was very cold wet and windy all the components that in my head would never allow me my goal .

On the start line I put my head into race mode and we set off , the wind got stronger and the rain got heavier,
I felt strong I thought about all of my training (Allan’s Track session and Michael Theatre of Dreams ) come on you got this I ran my heart out .

Being in a running club has really helped my confidence, I’ve made friends and the support is amazing .

Running clubs are for everyone weather you are fast or slow

Tricia Everett

Completing the Bob Graham Round on the 26th May 2019 was undoubtedly a huge highlight and milestone event for me. I will always treasure the experience and will continually feel incredibly grateful to everyone who gave their time, skills and effort to support me.

January to May was dominated by running in the Lakes, memorising and visualising BG routes, researching kit, scrutinising nutritional information on food and drinks and seeking advice from those already in the BG club! Within this time I completed the Lakes 42 and I really enjoyed this race. There was great camaraderie with fellow runners, some good elevation, and the simple beauty of all I had to do that day was put one foot in front of the other!

After the BGR, I gave myself time to recover but soon enough I had entered the Cheviot Goat. My training was adequate but just 2 weeks before the December event I gained a calf strain. The calf injury had almost, so almost recovered and I could have hobbled round the 55 miles but I knew I would do so with a very high risk of a more severe injury. I didn’t want to be a hobbling, grumpy ‘because I am injured and can’t run’ Mum over Christmas so with a heavy heart I decided not to race.

Looking ahead to 2020 I’m not sure if I’ll enter races or have a fresh challenge. I do know that I love running in the hills and that ‘The best spontaneity is prepared’ so I will keep a decent weekly mileage and elevation going and when the opportunity strikes I’ll be ready!

Matthew Carr

I finished my 2018 yearbook entry with the following:

My targets for 2019 are pretty simple – stay as injury free as possible, run Kielder marathon, give back to the club where I can and go quicker!

Well, December aside where illness and work forced me to take a break from running I’ve managed to live up to the lofty 2019 targets.

Personal highlights have been completing my first marathon at Kielder in 3:48, which is something I’d never thought I’d be capable of achieving, setting significant new PBs at every distance, clocking up 1900 miles and making new friends along the way.

While PBs are all well and good, I have gained the most amount of pleasure from the social side of the club in 2019. The bus and shared car journeys to the various races, watching in disbelief at the amount of food Peter Hart can eat before a race. The return when various members of the club may have had one too many (Michael Littlewood ;-)) and elated conversations when people have smashed their race. Thank you Striders, you are all wonderful people!

2020 is hopefully a repeat of 2019, but swap Kielder for Berlin.

Rachel Coy

Photo by Epic Action Imagery (www.epicactionimagery.com)

2019 was the year I set myself a number of challenges: I managed to meet just one of them. Starting the year with RED January once again, I got off to an amazing start. Doubling my mileage from the year previous year. As I had signed up to run my first marathon, the spring was spent running further and further as I followed my training plan. Each week seemed to be a new distance PB.

In terms of the marathon, Manchester was brilliant. I set myself two targets. The first was to finish, and the second was to beat the time my husband had set in London in 2004. I achieved both. I’m not fast but I did it. I loved everything about Manchester and signed up to do the 2020 event two days after finishing. Couch to Marathon in 20 months. I even managed 30 miles at the Endure 24 Leeds event in June!

My other targets were about getting quicker, huge PBs in The Blaydon Race, and at parkrun seemed to suggest this was happening and I was positive I would achieve sub-25 minute for 5k and sub-50 minute for 10k, and sub 2 hour for half.

Unfortunately, all my goals went out of window on the first day of the school summer holidays, and 3 days before Durham 10k, when I fell over while gardening and damaged all the ligaments in my right ankle. The only positive form this was it meant I didn’t need to run on the hottest day of year. Nearly 6 months later, and despite physio, it is still swollen and sore, but I have managed to start running again. I had the joy of running the Remembrance Run in Durham with my 9 year old.

My attention has now turn once again to marathon training plan again. I am not going to let 2019 stop me achieving my goals, it just might take me longer to get there.

Lee Brannan

Last year was a great year for me after securing a club ballot place into the London Marathon ( sorry Peter ), I can honestly say that the track training sessions with Allan absolutely brought me on as a runner in preparation for this combined with a brilliant training plan provided by Anna Seeley and constant support from various other striders really got me motivated. Of course my amazing wife Stacey who ran the London Marathon the year before to which I was truly in awe with inspired me to give it a crack along with our lovely daughter shouting and supporting me all the way round.

For this year I’ll be doing it all again but for charity this time to try and help our homeless people and get them off the streets, planning to attempt to run 1000 miles this year too which I can only give it a go and see what happens

On the subject of Allan he really helped me with my speed and stamina training and I’ll always be indebted to him and the team for that, he will be sorely missed in this great running club

Good luck to everyone with their yearly goals and here’s hoping to another successful year for The Elvet Striders

Anna Basu

2019 was the year of losses and finds, sometimes strangely balanced.

Personal losses led to my dropping out of umpteen races in the early part of the year. And thus confusing the Transport Officer +++ (sorry Mark). On the plus side, I therefore started the XC season from the slow pack and ran an eerie race NOT in the midst of the female stampede, to come 5th at a very muddy Aykley Heads.

Lost a lot of sleep due to a painful hamstring injury and then found, just when resigned to it, that I had finally healed.

Lost a mile race, badly (by running with v v fast people, trying not to fall too far behind, belting out a 1k PB and then completely running out of gas). Found, afterwards, a strange new love for track sessions.

Found my penchant for fancy dress which had been impressively strong in my preschool years and then lost for some time. Er – it’s ok for grown ups as long as you are running, right?

Lost a minute off my parkrun PB (now that’s the kind of loss I’ll sign up to!).

Found new Strider friends and in particular a VERY committed running buddy: it’s certainly motivating trying to keep up with you Corrine.

Found, and then lost, the most wonderful running coach Allan who believed in me and made a huge difference in a few months – but I have not lost, and will treasure, what I learned.

Here’s to putting it into practice in 2020! One of my goals smashed on New Years Day already – but that’s a story for next year…

Nick Latham

2019 wasn’t a year I’ll want to remember for personal reasons but running was some compensation.

When I wrote last year, I was hoping for a HM PB at the Brass Monkey. It didn’t happen but I came away having learnt a lot. I also said I was going to do more volunteering and that I was either going to go for something long and challenging or aim for my 5k PB. I stuck to my volunteering aim, mainly at Durham parkrun, where I joined the core volunteer team and led my first event as Run Director.

My favourite run was Families on Track. I managed to convince the rest of my family to do the relay and my better half came out of it still running; she’s recently started a Couch to 5k which I’m helping her with.

I embraced the hills and off road and some of my highlights were the Roseberry Romp, the 4 Tops Challenge (I think a top 10 finish, but with no official results) and the Viking Chase. I added Keswick, Gibside and Whinlatter parkruns to my tourism count. At cross country, I managed to do Aykley Heads and the Sherman Cup this year for the first time. I set a distance PB of 20 miles at the Saturn Remembrance Run and a new 5k PB at my last Durham parkrun of the year. I put in more 30 mile weeks and 100 miles months, resulting in another 1000 mile year, a relief after fearing I’d broken a toe in February.

I finished the year feeling stronger and acquitting myself better than I have before.

For 2020, I’ve set a few targets:
* I’m booked on the Run Leader course in February
* Finish the C25k and see where that leads for both of us
* Building my aerobic base – I’m hoping for 1200 miles in the year, health and injuries permitting; there’ll be a healthy amount of off-road running.
* Work on my 5k time – I know there’s still more to come, I’m certain I can do sub 22 but how much further down could I take it?
* I’m planning a fundraising project – the running part will be a long-distance route over multiple legs and I’ll be looking for people to join me.

Michael Littlewood

For me 2019 has seen a continued improving trend. I have managed to achieve pb’s across all distances and have also learnt a lot about racecraft.

The year did not start well however as I battled against ill health in January and February, this really knocked my marathon training for London. Somehow I pulled myself around and was delighted to get a new best time of 2:44:10. Another 2 years of Championship qualifying place.

I saved my best performance for later in the year at Kielder Marathon. Going into mile 18 I was in 12th position and running reasonably well. Then I attacked. I increased my minute mile place by 30 seconds. I finished in 4th place and 1st in age category in a time of 2:55:20. I was the fastest person in the whole race over that last 8 miles.

I have absolutely loved being Men’s Club Captain this year. I am so proud of the spirit and comaraderie amongst our members. Of course it has been amazing and wonderful to see so many people achieve things they never thought possible but it is the friendship and support which are most important.

The death of our dear friend and coach Allan at the end of the year was devastating. He really drew me into the club and made me believe in myself. I miss him so much every day. I will never forget him. I really hope I thanked him enough for all he did for me.

I know that I am not the speediest or most naturally gifted runner in the club but Allan would always remind me of what I am good at. Being determined, getting stuck in and taking the pain well.

My single, simple aim for 2020 is to run as he would want me to.

Stuart Scott

2019 has been another great year for my running and I really feel like I’m going from strength to strength . Besides a great number of adventures to The Lake District helping out with training and support for Bob Graham rounds and a Joss Naylor challenger. Below are the highlights of my running year

January Brass Monkey 1h 25min 08
February Last Man standing 120 miles (9th)
May 10 mile PB in 1h 02 min 42
May Tyne trail ultra 150k (1st)
June Swaledale Marathon 3h 31 min (10th)
July Missed Lakeland 100 due to Injury
September Attempt at Frog Graham Round
October Langdale Horseshoe with Susan + Bob Graham Awards Dinner
December Cheviot Goat 13h 1 min (24th)+ EAMS Marathon 3h 7min (1st +PB)

I’m currently getting stronger and more confident with my running month on month. I love the long stuff and my planned races for 2020 are The Spine Challenger, Last One Standing, Endure 24 , Lakeland 100 and The Cheviot Goat.

I plan to support as many Bob Graham attempts as possible, complete a Frog Graham Round , start learning how to paraglide for run-fly adventures and generally push all boundaries with my running as far as possible. My favorite quote at minute is ‘Only those who will risk going to far can possibly find out how far one can go’. Bring on 2020

Chris Edwards

This year has been a fairly quiet year for me. Training hasn’t been as dedicated as it should have been, and work/life events and, at times, a lack of mojo have made getting out when I’ve needed to tricky.

However 2019 has brought the following:

– My second Paris marathon completed, half an hour quicker than my first

– My first duathlon completed (Kielder Run, Bike, Run) in a time I was very happy about

– Wooler Trail Half completed with Lisa – possibly my favourite event of the year

– A very hot Ultra Trail Cape Town 21K – with 1400m of vertical ascent – completed in a fraction under 4 hours (this is where the picture is from)

These are nowhere near times that have been achieved by most other members of the club but for me they are significant and I’m very proud of them. Thanks too to all of you that have encouraged me along the way and helped me keep my mojo which, at times, has been tough.

This year I’d like to step up to either the 35 or the 65 in Cape Town – help me!!

Special mention too for Alan Seheult. We crossed paths less than a lot of others in the club but I’ll never forget your en-route encouragement in a lot of races, and also your track pyramid sessions. The pyramid sessions mainly because they were utterly brutal and I hated every second of them while doing them, but regardless of that, you were a master and will continue to be an inspiration to all those who have known you. Thank you for bringing out the best of all of us.

And finally, to all Striders – run strong in 2020! You can do it.

Simon Graham

2019 has been a great year of running for me.

Having entered the Hardmoors ‘Half’ marathon series I went on to complete all seven of these. Getting beaten by Mark Kearney in each one, finishing the Full Marathon’s before I’d managed the Half’s.

It was also the year of the Ultra. I completed two in 2019, the Hardmoors 55 and the St. Cuthberts Way 45. Knocking three hours off my time from the previous year at Cuthberts.

Training for Ultra’s though brought a downside for me. I got fat. Apparently despite putting the miles in I was overcompensating in other areas. It was worth it though!

2020 see’s me looking at shorter distances and training for a single road marathon, as always looking to complete not compete. Of course if things go to plan there could also be another ultra before the end of the year, but I’m not committing to anything.

2019 was also the year that in October I took on the role of Web Officer (Publishing) for Elvet Striders and it has given me great delight in being able to read some of your adventures and experiences before others. It has also allowed me to have the pleasure of compiling this great yearbook.

Allan Seheult 1942 -2019

An inspiration to all at the club.

Coach and Friend.

Rest in peace.

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