Weekly round-up

02 Jul 2015

Ladies and gents,

We meet again after another busy fortnight, both on and off our feet. To permit you to skip to the bits you're interested in, the first paragraph will be admin issues, the second what people have done, the thirs what's coming up and the final one an update on the cahrity relay, with a breakdown of stages and people provisionally named for these (hint - whilst we've got enough runners to make this work, we'd be delighted to have more company). So, pick your paragraph and let's go...

In brief, after the much-regretted resignations from the committee of Jacquie Robson (Secretary), Greta Jones (Ladies VC) and Anita Dunseith (Publicity), we were able to fill, after giving over a week for people to come forward if interested, all three posts with three Striders who have kindly agreed to stand in until October's AGM (when all posts are vacated, though they may be stood for again if the incumbent wishes to). No elections were held for any of these posts as there was a single volunteer for each, though if anyone else wishes to serve on the committee in october, please have a think about it and have a chat to one of us if you're unsure what's involved. Anyway, welcome to Pam Kirkup (ex-secretary, now doing it again temporarily), Kerry Barnett (new Ladies VC) and Steph Piper (Publicity, so the person you need to email (apart from me) to let her know if there's anything you think worthy of the Echo, a paper Anita seemed at times to be on the staff of such were her contributions. I think it worth noting here that two of these three have been members for less than three years and it brings a lot of pleasure to see them keen to help develop a club that clearly means a lot to them and plays a key part in their (and our) running. Thank you Pam, Kerry and Steph. Thank you also Jacquie (who, even though she has left the club is still involved in organising the GNR volunteers - more nearer the time), Greta and Anita. A final word on Greta - last night's club run seemed to go down very well, despite the pollen-induced hives, and it was a pleasure to organise. However, on grotty dark nights club runs can be difficult to manage to run safely and effectively, such are our numbers. I would like to give Greta the credit she has not asked for but is due for the efforts that she made to devise runs that included and challenged all whilst minimising our chances of getting flattened in the darkness; many of the runs of the last two winters have her mark on them.

Onto the running - this time of year the race calendars are overflowing, with races coming so thick and fast that difficult choices must be made. Eleven days ago the Lambton 10k got its first outing in the Striders GP calendar, the chance to run around the grounds usually closed to us proving so popular that over fifty Striders turned out. Of the 715 finishers, Gareth Pritchard finished a fantastic 6th place in 37.22, beating Graeme Walton to the 15 points, Katy Walton, Louise Warner, Lesley Charman and Fiona Jones the first female Striders over the line on a fairly tough course. Without having the chance to list everyone who ran, mention must be made of Robin Linton, 306th in 56.07 and Rebecca Embleton, 614th in 69.30, both of them new to the club and Rebecca in her first ever race. We also, as we so often do, fleshed out the numbers at the back of the race, with a lot of recent C25K and 5-10k graduates names showing in the results, demonstrating again how the seemingly impossible feat of going from sedentary to racing competitively can be achieved with guts and hard work.

The weekend afterwards things gravitated towards West Durham, where Dougie, Maggie Thompson and Christine Farnsworth undertook the Durham Dales Challenge, thirty miles of remote running broken, as is standard in Long Distance Walkers Association events, with more food than one can eat. Seriously, these things are so un-race-like that they don't even give you a finsihing time with seconds included and it is considered poor form to decline the cups of tea on offer around the course. That said, Dougie was fourteenth according to the results, which is still rather impressive and all had a great day out in the wildflower meadows of upper Teesdale. Unfortunately the same could not be said of Jane Ives, Joan Hanson and David Toth who ran the 55 and 110k variants of the Lakeland Trail race, a testing race that avoids the peaks and crags but is nevertheless pretty rough on the legs; sadly, the 'well-stocked checkpoints' advertised had little food and were running out of water. That didn't stop them getting round and enjoying the well-chosen scenic courses, David taking over 22 hours to complete his odyssey, but it is poor bordering on dangerous to advertise something you don't provide - if you enter a bare-bones fell race then you pack accordingly and any water or food en route is a bonus (put simply - if I dehydrate or go hypo, it is my own fault), but trail-racing has become popular in the last couple of years in large part because it feels more secure and better-catered - a dehydrated/hypoglycaemic runner caused by failure to provide what has been promised would be hard to defend.

Back into Durham, the Cronkley Fell race was the next day, Striders making up 20% of the entire field of thirty, with Penny Browell third lady, Jan Young 1st FV60 (both taking home wine) and most others getting spot prizes after a race which ran hard - a headwind on the largely uphill first half was not what I or Graeme Walton (racking up another 14 GP points to close in on Gareth and Rob) needed, though the course is a well-chosen one with superb views of the Tees valley and the race itself runs very well with a lot of scope for position-swapping. As only thirty ran this race this year, it is slightly endangered and I would urge you to consider it next year. Finally, Clare Metcalf, Karen Hooper, Kelly Collier, Laura Gibson and Laura Jackson all made their way up to Jesmond Dene this week for the evening Anita Nott 5k race, one which 40% of our club cannot ever enter due to it being a rare women's only race; slightly disappointing for the likes of Stephen, Rob and Simon who struggle to resist a fast, well-measured 5k but apparently a nice evening all round.

GP as it stands now: for the women, there is very tight competition, with Katy on 112 after Lambton, Penny hauling her back a little (on 105 after Cronkley), Fiona Jones on 90, Elaine Bisson on 84, Lesley CCharman on 70 and Jan Young on 69. In the QOTM section it si a 3-way fight, Jan having racked up 55 points from 4 races, Penny on 45 from 3 and Camilla L-M on 25 from 2 so still able to tie with Jan if she gets two maximums. In the Sprints Katy is close to sealing victory but there are probably 9 runners behind who, with good performances at the Angel View and parkrun can finish second or third. A lot to play for. For the men, the table deceives as it is now largely a two way fight for the yellow jersey between Gareth and Graeme, Rob Everson riding high but not entering the longer races so unlikely to score further in more than two races. The mountain section read Paul Evans (45 from 3), Phil Owen (31 from 3) and Scott Watson (28 from 2), with Nigel, Mike B, Mark Dunseith and Danny Lim all capable of challenging. The sprints, on the other hand, is tight - Graeth, Rob, Simon G, Graeme and Conrad all on between 25 and thirty points with two races to go and their finishes typically seconds apart. This section for, me, is probably going to be decided by a margin of <10 seconds at Sedgefield parkrun; proper racing.

Coming up:
Finally, the more distant future:
Edale - Middleton
Day 1:
Edale - Snake Pass (8m) - Paul E/Nigel H
Snake Pass- Crowden (6m)- Paul E
Crowden-Wessenden Head A635 (4m) - Mike B/Nigel H
A635-A58 (11m) - Mike B/Danny L
A58-Blackshaw Head (10m)- Paul E/Penny B/Steph P
Blackshaw Head- Ponden (10m) - Dave S/Jules P
Ponden - Ickornshaw (6m) - Jon A
Ickornshaw - Lothersdale (3m)*
Lothersdale - Thornton (4m)*
Thornton - Gargrave (4m)*
Gargrave - Malham (6m) - Jan Y

Day 2:
Malham - Horton (14m) - Paul E/Steph P
Horton - Hawes - (14m) - Jon A/Penny B
Hawes - Thwaite (9m) - Nigel H/Mike B
Thwaite - Keld (3m)*
Keld - Tan Hill (4m)*
Tan Hill - Baldersdale (10m) - Jan Y
Baldersdale - Middleton (6m)

Kirk Yetholm - Middleton
Day 1 (remote, few roads to change over):
KY-Byrness (25m) - Dave R/Mark Dunseith
Byrness - Bellingham (15m) - Camilla L-M/Anita C
Bellingham-Twice Brewed (Hadrian's Wall) (16m) - Kerry B/Denise B
Day 2:
Hadrian's Wall section* (8m, broken into chunks) - as many of you as possible + Mark D
Greenhead-Knarsdale (8m) - Sue J/Angela G
Knarsdale-Lintley Farm* (4m) -
Lintley Farm-Alston* (4m) -
Alston - Garrigill - Allan S/Roz L
Garrigill-Dufton (16m) - Dave G
Dufton-Cow Green Reservoir (9m) - Kerry B/Denise B
Cow Green - High Force *(6m) - Andy J/John C
High Force - Middleton* (5m) - Lisa Hall/Lorna Grey/Kate Talbot + anyone else who wishes to

Thanks for reading

Paul and Anna