Race Reports, June 2008

WMOC 2008, World Masters Orienteering Championships, Portugal, 29th June

...or what I did on my holidays.

Colin Blackburn

Day One in the Big O-ther house...

Well, we arrive in Portugal without any hitches and Neville manages to stay on the right side of the road long enough to get us from the airport to the Event Centre and then to our apartment in Porto do Martinho. Nev plumps for the luxury bedroom, John and I get the medium bedroom leaving Chris and Gary on the put-you-ups in the slightly smelly lounge.

The World Masters is the biggest orienteering competition in the world for old gadgies. In orienteering money that means 35 or over. Some 3000+ competitors ranging from 35 to over 90 and from countries as far apart as Finland and New Zealand are taking part this year in a very sunny Portugal. There are even a couple of guys from Nigeria, not a country known for its orienteering until you realise that they run for Finnish clubs. It's an open event that now comprises a Sprint and a Long Distance competition. The Sprint has one qualifier and a final, the Long has two qualifiers and a final. Depending on performance in the qualifiers you run in one of several finals. The A final in their age group is the aim of everyone here but I'll be hoping for the B final, in some of the bigger age groups they'll be hoping to avoid the E final.

Day Two...the competition begins

Orienteering sprints are won by margins of a second. The winner in my age group will take about 17 minutes to visit 24 controls over 2.4km of winding twisty streets. There can be no dithering over route choice and no errors in navigation if you want any chance of being in contention. Of course I can only dream of a decisive error-free run, still I can try.

For this event the entire town of Leira was closed off to traffic by the police and military. We parked in the car park of the local football stadium where we were "quarantined" until our starts—this is to stop us exploring the town before our run. Fifteen minutes to go and I walk up to the town's castle where my race is to start. The organisation is amazingly professional. At five minutes to go our names and numbers are checked, at four minutes our dibbers, at two minutes we get a list of control descriptions and with a minute to got we stand beside our maps.

10 seconds to go, fingers on the map, on the long beep it's off! The first five controls are all in the ruined castle. The map is very detailed and it is difficult to see where there are gaps in walls so there are a few hesitations here and there. It's not the way I normally visit castles but three minutes later I'm finished in the castle and heading down the steep cobble lane into the town past the queues of those waiting to start.

The town is a maze of narrow alleys and stepped passages. At one point a control is found only by running through an ice cream parlour. Another is annoyingly placed in an underground car park where I make an error in going down the wrong ramp. A complete circuit of the car park later I find the control but at the expense of at least 60 seconds. The flowerbeds in the park are out-of-bounds so I take care not to get myself disqualified on a technicality, just. 24 minutes and 14 seconds later I punch at the finish control and it's all over.

It was very hot out there and I'm glad I was running in shorts and vest (NFR) rather than full orienteering kit as some were. Once all five of us are back we head to the apartment for a swim in the chilly but refreshing Atlantic. Elfie, back home in the UK, did us all a favour and checked on the web what final we were all in and our start times. Amazingly I had made it into the A final.

The smell in the third bedroom is getting worse. Even the apartment's owner held her nose when she came in to drop off clean towels—she must think all orienteers smell lke this. It smells like a small army of mice have peeed somewhere.

Day Three...the sprint final

The sprint final takes place in the seaside town of Praia da Vieira, again closed off by the police. This time it's a sprint with a difference. It starts and ends in the town but the middle third of my race is in the wooded sand dunes on the edge of town. It is the same sort of distance as the qualifier but this time the middle section would be the undoing of many sprinters. This is where I made my big error, at least three minutes. The winner completed the course in a staggering 13:40. I was ten minutes off that pace but I still finished in the top half of the world!

Oh, we discovered the source of the smell. An old vase that had contained some flowers but now contained only the rancid left-over water. Chris and Gary can sleep well tonight.

Day Four...a day off

A day off, so what do we do? Go orienteering! Three of us head up the coast for a model event. This is essentially a self-timed practice in a woodland similar to those that will be used over the next few days. Controls are set-out and a map is provided but you pick your own course. It's a useful way of getting a feel for the terrain. It turns out the terrain is fast and complex—forested sand dunes with no serious undergrowth, to do well you need to be fast but being fast can mean making big mistakes.

After an hour out in the woods going our different ways we decide to set off for a little sightseeing only to discover that the Volkswagen van has dug itself into the sand at the side of the track. Nev spins the drive wheels a little just to make sure it is good and stuck. Then with two passing Swedes arguing over whether the twigs should be put lengthwise or across-wise under the tyres and the help of a few burly Russians we managed to push the van back on to the track.

Once we have freed the van and are on the way back we stop for a traditional sardinha (grilled sardines with potatoes and salad). I have the sardinha sin-sardines but with a very nice Portuguese goats' cheese instead.

Day Five...the real work begins

We arrive at what seems like a carnival in the huge forest at Pataias. There's a band with a belting female singer doing classic covers—at least she's not covering The Cure's Lost in a Forest! These extensive coastal forests were first planted for the building the Portuguese ships that helped them colonise large parts of the world. Today they are a great natural resource for wood, wildlife and leisure. They are also very sandy and the running can be difficult once a sandy path has been churned up.

I have an early start time today and so head off to the start taking in the small warm-up area. Once I have started I find to my expectation that the dunes are very complex and I stuff up on two controls but do fairly well on the rest. I'm out for 77 minutes which feels good for me but isn't going to worry the winner of my heat who managed the same 8.3km course in just 49 minutes.

Once I have finished I have to hang around for the rest of the guys as our start time were spread out over two hours. What better way than to relax with a cool beer or two. They know how to do their orienteering abroad.

Day Six...no rest
Colin just after finishing

The second long-distance qualifier starts and ends in the same place as yesterday but the courses head south instead of north. At least I know what to expect. As I have a late start today I hang around watching some of the other competitors start. I see the british competitor Elizabeth Brown start. She turns 90 this year so she's running in the W90 class, though she seems to be doing the same course as the W85s. Incidentally she got the gold medal in the sprint event for her class a couple of days ago. The M90s and W90s have "minders". The minders are young Portuguese orienteers who shadow their charges. They keep a respectful distance not helping in any way but being there in case of a fall, where a quick response is more important than for younger competitors. There was a rumour though that her minder had to push Elizabeth up a particularly difficult dune!

Pretty much the same performance for me today, two mistakes and 75 minutes for 8.4km. The same guy who won yesterday wins today in 42 minutes. He's French as well! I know I won't be in the A final but hopefully I'll have made the B and avoided the C. That's me looking pensive after finishing!

Day Seven...sightseeing

Another day off. We take in a monastery, descend what must be the most spectacular show cave in the world and walk in some dinosaur foot prints in an old quarry.

Day Eight...the grand finale

Yes, I'm in the B final. That'll do. It still means my final is longer than my qualifiers at 8.7km. The forest this time is at Pedrogao (there should be some accents in that) and it has a little more undergrowth than that at Pataias. The running is likely to be a little slower for me. The same carnival atmosphere greets us when we arrive.

I have an early start today, it'll be good to get it over with and watch some of the A final winners coming in. It is absolutely sweltering today, the heat and the undergrowth take their toll and I am out there for over 96 minutes. I made one horrendous mistake in a complex area of high dunes which meant too much climbing to relocate. I finish way down the field but at least, unlike two years ago in Austria, I wasn't disqualified. As I cross the line I'm given my commemorative metal plaque.

The best of our group, Neville managed 66th in the A final for the M55s. Not bad considering the finals went all the way down to D for his age group. Chris decided not to run the last day due to a recurrent back problem. Gary and John both compete in the M40 B final, Gary managing 5th place.

Although none of us challenged for medals the Brits did very well overall finishing third in the medals table behind Sweden and Finland and ahead of Norway! 5 golds and 13 medals in total. Sweden dominated the event with 23 golds out of their 46 medals.

We all head, exhaustedly, back to the airport where the other four fly home. I take a bus into Lisbon have a wander round and then get the overnight train to Madrid to meet Elfie for a very enjoyable holiday where I don't run once! Portugal is a fantastic place to orienteer and I'll probably revisit for a holiday some time. Next year the World Masters are in Australia, too far for me so it'll have to be Switzerland in 2010.

Beamish 10K, 29th June

Andy Jordan

Can you beat the tram at Beamish? Simple answer. No. One thing that I have learnt from this race is that trams are deceptively quick. I have also discovered that I quite enjoy 10k races as this was my first ever attempt at the distance and my first run as a strider. The race had a friendly atmosphere and it was great to be running with the club as it meant I recognised a few faces at the start line. Having only been to Beamish a couple of times I had not realised that it is actually quite hilly and the second part of the race (the off road bit) was harder than I thought it would be. However, all 5 striders who entered made it round without any mishap and we managed to win the team event as well which was a huge bonus for my first club run. Can't wait for next year now that we have a title to defend!

Alan Purvis

The Beamish Tram Challenge is certainly unique. Where else do you get the opportunity to chase a tram? In some respects I was better placed than the majority of runners in that I was around when trams and trolley buses were the latest mode of transport. I became pretty good at jumping on and off when they were still moving!

This was a highly organised event with a four-page list of instructions, much of which was to prevent people getting free entry to the Museum. The staff at Beamish, including their numerous volunteers, turned out in force to marshall what was a quite complicated course.

The proceedings started at 9 00am with a fun run of one-lap of the tram-track. The race was started by the author of the "Horrible Histories" series of chidren's books, Terry Deary, who is a runner himself with Quakers. About fifty youngsters, some accompanied bt their parents, took part including James Reeves with his Dad, Tom.

When all the stragglers got back to the Town it was the turn of the adults to show their paces. I was beating the tram for the first ten yards over the cobbles but was soon left behind. We completed two laps of the tram circuit passing familiar features such as the colliery village, the main entrance, the fairground and the bandstand, encouraged by Debs Goddard outside the Cooperative Stores. Just before we turned onto the paths around Pockerley Manor I was lapped by the leader.

The second half of the race took us up and down hills steep enough to reduce some competitors to walking. This was followed by a long trek around the edges of ploughed fields and a stream crossing before a steeply descending track took us to the finish. The sight of Beamish Hall ahead encouraged a last effort but this was prolonged by a tour of the outbuildings behind the Hall before the finish line. As well as a rather smart black tee-shirt we received a passable picnic with a ham sandwich, a packet of crisps, an apple and an orange drink.

Striders were represented by Andrew Jordan, Philip Owen, Tom Reeves and Dave Robson. I jokingly asked Dave if he was doing another race later in the day. He wasn't but only because he had run the 5K time trial at Middlesbrough followed by a race at Kendal on the previous day!


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Nick Swinburn Morpeth M 32:58
12 Tracy Laws Chester le St FV 46:18
17 Thomas Reeves MV 42:24
77 Andrew Jordan M 49:25
99 Phil Owen MV 51:23
118 Dave Robson MV 53:11
156 Alan Purvis MV 1:00:24

180 finishers

Gibson Grind Trail Race, Kendal, 28th June

Dave Robson

I got to the parking area in the local College and realised that I was pretty tired, so I thought this might be tough. I made my way up the primary school where the fete was being set up. I had registered late for this race and the number which had arrived in the post was number 7, so I was slightly concerned that there might not be many runners. We had to register even though we had a number so I asked how many people had shown up and they said about 15 so far and they were expecting 80, so that was fine.

I watched the runners arrive, recognised just one and had a look at the various stalls on the field before going back to the car to get changed. I had considered trying to doze in the car for a while, but I left it too late. I got to the start and another Fetchie came over and introduced himself, it was good to have a chat with someone. He hadn't done this one either, but he said that he had looked at the map and the first two miles looked all uphill.

This was my first surprise about the route. I had expected that it would be flat out of Kendal and then a bit of a climb, along the ridge, then down, back up to the ridge and then back down the way we had come to the edge of Kendal with a flat finish.

We started and I suppose it was flat round the school field for about 100m ! The we started to climb through some school fields and then a short road section (upwards !) before turning up a narrow path between houses which had the narrowest stone gap I have ever seen at the end. This caused a bit of a queue. Then into a field (upwards) which turned into a track with a short road section over the bypass. This was the point when I expected the climbing to start, but I felt we had done quite a bit already. We turned into a field and started to climb up to Scout Scar.

The gradient was runnable (sometimes I wished the gradient was just a bit steeper so that I could feel justified in walking). I took it easy, conscious that there was a second hill coming and we were also running into a bit of wind.

Finally got up there and we turned towards the viewpoint, went round it and then ran along the escarpment with great views toward the coast. However, the ground was pretty rough in this section (trail shoes definitely required) so you had to keep your eyes on where you were putting your feet. The track undulated slightly in this section.

As we got to the end of the scar, we started to descend and just before what I thought the final climb was a very welcome water station - it was great conditions at this stage, cloudy and cool and the wind was coming across us.

The second climb didn't seem too bad (and that was because we had nowhere near gained the amount of height we had lost, but I wasn't aware of that at this stage, I was happily thinking its all downhill from here). It was undulating a bit but nothing too bad. Then in the distance I could see short steep climb. Okay I could manage that and as I had run all the hills so far, I went for it and overtook someone - I had been gradually catching all the people who had passed me on the first hill.

If flattened out a little and then started to climb a bit more ! So much for my expectations, but hey one more wasn't too bad, so I kept plodding upwards and passing some people walking. We then turned a corner and started to descend. I could see Kendal in the distance and this was all now not too bad at all, all downhill !

We turned a corner and I could see a valley ahead with runners going down it and....... up the other side ! I wasn't really ready for this one and my pace slowed with the disappointment, but I wasn't going to walk now !! I got to the top of valley, it turned again and climbed again and I could now see it climbed for what looked a long way. I got there and guess what ? It turned a corner and it climbed again. By this time, I was just thinking how much more ?and no, no, no, I am not going to walk. Went through a gap in a wall and started to descend (at last) and we came to the gate we had come up through. So finally it was downhill for 2m, just beautiful !!!!

After a chat with some finishers I went back to the car to get changed and came back up to the school for discounted vegetable curry - lovely !

Started to drive home and realised I was very, very tired. Pulled over into some services and had more to eat and tried to sleep in the car. Didn't fall asleep, but the rest did me good and the second half of the drive was much better.

A great but tough run. The work put into the organisation, the marshalling and the ribboning of the course was incredible for a primary school fete.

I may well do it again and it should be easier now I know what to expect from the course !


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Craig Robert Kendal MV40 53:20
93 Dave Robson MV55 83:20

110 finishers.

Albert Park 5K Time Trial, Race 5, Middlesborough, 28th June

Dave Robson

I got up in plenty of time to do this one, but faffing meant I had to rush and in the rush I forgot my Garmin - Doh !

Left home at 8.05 for a 9.00 start and I have never been to that part of Middlebrough before ! Not great organisation. I found the park without to much trouble and I was lucky enough to see another runner walking towards the start so I followed him, caught up with him and he told me how it all worked. Essentially, there are no numbers you just line up and off you go. At the end you are given a token indicating your finishing position and you take it to the person with the laptop and give your name and the token (you must have registered with the parkrun organisation at least a day before - you do this just once)

Got there and everybody was very friendly. Bumped into a family I know who all run. We were soon off, two big laps and one small lap on tarmac paths round the attractive Albert Park. Almost flat apart from one small rise which you do three times. I could one of the family not too far ahead of me, but I knew there was no hope of catching her and I wanted to take it easy because of the next race later that day. 24min 17sec, about 90sec above my pb, but that was fine.

I enjoyed it and I will do it again.


Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 Gary Jones Blyth RC SM25-29 75.54 17:06
17 Caitlin Pearson New Marske Harriers AC SW20-24 64.21 23:03
21 Dave Robson VM55-59 64.33 24:18

37 finishers.

DFR Summer Handicap, Race 2, 22nd June

Congratulations to Tom on taking first place in the DFR Summer handicap Series second race. The more intricate handicap results are available via the link.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Thomas Reeves 65.41
17 Michael Fahey 74.07
18 Peter Fahey 74.17

26 finishers.

Newburn River Run, 18th June

Dougie Nisbet

Having concluded that being prepared for a race didn't produce results I decided to give being unprepared a try. Starting with an afternoon nap, I woke up a couple of hours before the race feeling decidedly peckish. Hmmm, a dilemma. To eat, or not to eat, that was the question. A bit of cheese on toast wouldn't do any harm. It's only 6.5 miles for goodness sake. A nice big, no a bit bigger, bit of Welsh Wizard with lots of tomato ketchup. Great.

A few wrong turnings found me arriving at the start with a couple of minutes to spare. The whistle was blown and I walked forward looking for the start line so that I could start my watch. After a brief discussion with a neighbouring prospective-watch-starter, we concluded that no start line existed, so we synchronized watch-starting and of we went. (I liked the start, but my favourite start so far has to be the Snods 6 where someone just shouted GO!).

I like starting at the back. It makes me feel fast! I steadily passed other runners while my various internal organs gurgled happily to one another about the Welsh Wizard and whether or not the ketchup was organic. I peered optimistically (and naively) ahead for more purple vests, but as Father Ted might say, these runners are close, but your clubmates are very far away.

It's a lovely course. Starting on a quiet road that turns into a track that turns into a path that turns into a bridge. After the bridge there was an unexpected fork on the otherwise well-marshalled route. Left or Right? I cunningly solved the problem by following everyone else. The river is never far away, and is your soothing constant companion as you stride along the leafy elm-lined paths. My favourite moment was passing the baffled horses that looked over the fence in the last mile.

Phil, Mike and Dave had already had their supper and beer when I sauntered nonchalantly into the bar pretending I'd run a slow race on purpose. It was a good atmosphere and a good race and I'll be back next year.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Darren Purvis Chester-Le-Street & Dist AC 34:34
74 Mike Bennett V55 1 43:19
187 Dave Robson V55 13 50:47
228 Phil Owen V40 38 53:01
302 Dougie Nisbet V45 27 1:00:14

340 finishers.

3M Newton Aycliffe 10k, 15th June

Conrad White

On Sunday two striders who had not done the Swaledale (Conrad White and Alan Purvis) travelled all the way to Newton Aycliffe for a 10k. It is reported to be flat but there are a couple of small rises. It is a well organised event with about 300 participants and a 3k fun run for those who may wish a shorter event.

The weather was kind - a slight breeze and a bit of sun on the second lap. I managed a minute faster than last year and Alan Purvis was pleased with his time (under an hour). I cannot find any official results as yet. I would recommend it for next year as a good local 10k worth supporting


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Martin SCAIFE North York Moors A.C. 31:45
20 Carolyn SUMMERSGILL Middlesbrough and Cleveland H F 37:12
55 Conrad WHITE MV50 42:08
99 Adrian JENKINS MV40 45:24
231 Alan PURVIS MV60 57:26
252 Dorothy JENKINS FV35 1:02:57

263 finishers.

Swaledale Marathon, 14th June

Fiona Shenton

In a fit of delight after finally being the first woman home on my fifth attempt, I promised I'd write the race report for this one. My excuse for the delay is that I've been waiting for the full results to come out but nothing so far. Anyway there was a great Striders turnout as usual, runners, walkers and supporters. The race is a tough one 23.1 miles and 4128ft of ascent - so not for the faint hearted. Its popularity is well deserved, in addition to the spectacular (though not, in my opinion, necessarily beautiful) scenery it is always really well organised, everyone friendly and with lovely Reeth to explore and relax in afterwards - good pubs and cake shops.

But onto the serious business of the race itself. Conditions were perfect, mostly dry underfoot as we've had so little rain, reasonably bright but with enough cloud cover not to get sunburned and a cooling breeze. The route is relentlessly up and down. Some stretches on the tops are rather stony and barren, but as the scenery is constantly changing and anyway you have to watch your footing most of the time it's never boring. You must pass through eight checkpoints, so NO CHEATING.

I didn't have much of a plan other than to make as much time as possible going up the hills and on the flatter stretches because I'm quite a woose on steep downhills. Also I was a bit worried about getting lost, I really ought to know the route by now but there are still one or two places that catch me out. Actually I did go a little out of my way coming off Great Punchard Head but luckily I think everyone else including the other lead women followed - hurrah! Anyway plan, such as it was, worked (despite the size of my bum-bag please note Shaun and Alan, and if it HAD started to rain I wouldn't have let either of you share my huge cagoule!) Oh other important factor was eating a steady supply of sports gels, very dull but they do work.

I haven't had a chance to hear how everyone else faired, must have been pretty good because Striders women were 2nd in the team event against some impressive opposition. I'll send results as soon as they're out and maybe others can add their marathon tales, there were definitely a few first timers - what did you think?


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Stewart Gregory Holme Pierrepont Running Club M 03:08
19 Fiona Shenton F40 1 03:50
58 Shaun Roberts M50 04:20
75 Mandy Dawson F40 04:25
103 Andrew Thompson M 04:37
152 Wendy Rowell F40 05:00
171 Louise Billcliffe F40 05:07
176 Philip Owen M 05:11
178 Jan Young F40 05:11
192 Jane Nathan F40 05:17
197 Calum Young M 05:18
238 Margaret Thompson F40 05:38
247 Christine Farnsworth F40 05:40
248 Barrie John Evans M50 05:40
259 Amanda Hunter F40 05:46
276 Mary Gibson F40 05:56
377 Debra Goddard F 07:05

467 finishers.

Summer Handicap Series, Round 3, 11th June

Colin Blackburn

Thanks to everyone for coming along and taking part in round two of the handicap series on a rainy June night. Thanks also to Mandy and Louise for helping out on the finish line.

Karen was first across the line but she was running off a very easy handicap! She'll find it tougher next time. Andy was the first finisher off of a set handicap followed very closely by Carl and Phil O. Geoff W was fastest on the night.

The next handicap will be on Wednesday July the 9th. As this is one week before the Court Inn Clamber it is ideal training for the race, taking place over the same course give or take a few hundred yards. Everyone is welcome!


Name H/C Start Finish Time Runs New H/C
Karen Elliott 40:00 19:25:00 20:01:05 36:05 1 36:29
Andy Jordan 41:19 19:23:40 20:02:23 38:43 2 38:59
Carl Harvey 41:52 19:23:00 20:02:28 39:28 2 39:42
Phil Owen 41:51 19:23:00 20:02:30 39:30 2 39:44
Nina 53:30 19:11:30 20:02:39 51:09 1 51:23
Michael Kitson 46:45 19:18:10 20:03:05 44:55 2 45:06
Lynn Moor 49:16 19:15:40 20:03:18 47:38 3 47:48
Alan Smith 41:32 19:23:20 20:04:18 40:58 2 41:01
Viv Patterson 51:05 19:11:30 20:04:22 52:52 3 51:08
George Nicholson 40:43 19:24:10 20:04:31 40:21 3 40:23
Geoff Watson 31:29 19:33:30 20:04:32 31:02 2 31:05
Conrad White 34:09 19:30:50 20:04:43 33:53 2 33:55
Mike Hall 49:47 19:15:10 20:05:01 49:51 2 49:50
Tom Reeves 32:08 19:32:50 20:05:05 32:15 2 32:11
Mike Bennett 32:45 19:32:10 20:05:38 33:28 3 32:48
Vicky Hinds 53:25 19:11:30 20:05:49 54:19 2 53:34
Callum Young 41:00 19:24:00 20:06:19 42:19 1 42:19
Shaun Roberts 33:45 19:31:10 20:06:38 35:28 2 33:48
Nigel Heppell 34:56 19:30:00 20:07:03 37:03 3 34:59
Dave Robson 40:00 19:25:00 20:07:47 42:47 1 42:47
Jan Young 40:14 19:24:40 20:10:02 45:22 3 40:41

Blaydon Race 5.9M, 9th June

Mandy Dawson

It was a hot steamy evening........ hmm....that's another story ......now back to the Blaydon. A great turn out from Striders with a come back run from John Hutchinson and Graham Daglish getting back into the swing of things, also nice to see some new members running as well as the regulars. The usual melee (how do you spell this??) at the start with us women sneaking into a variety of pubs to use their facilities then the obligatory singing of "The Blaydon Races". Steph had an interesting start - she arrived in Newcastle having forgotten her trainers and had to dash to JJB sports to buy a new pair to run in, they seemed to serve her well......what make are they Steph as you flew round?? Mark (from the Weardale Way run) said hello, just a sprint for him after that epic event. Shaun did his usual manoeuvrings to get near the front....quite fun watching him dodge the police and barriers ....perhaps he wanted to be on the telly!!!

Then we were off at a blistering pace (literally in my case) and just a nice breeze along the Scotswood road to help cool us down and the usual band half way along to cheer us on. Most people were suitably dressed in vest tops apart from two mad runners in Sumo suits!!! (and no that wasn't me carrying a few extra pounds!!)

A new contraflow meant you could cheer on more striders followed by a new scenic route round the industrial estate before the long run in from 5 miles to the end .....that hill seemed bigger this year. Lots of crowds at the end to force you into a sprint finish round the car park.

Where was the tripe, pickled onions and black pudding...the only reason I ran....what a disappointment to have to make do with a squashed ham and pease pudding butty and "bottle o' broon".

Well done to Tom continuing his good form as first Striders home. I haven't seen the results yet but Louise said she may have spotted Sandra as first female.......were you there running as someone else???

A good night was had by all - keep an eye out for Striders modelling the latest Red Blaydon shirt shown off on Wednesday nights no doubt.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Ayele Mergessa Ethiopia M20 28:34
23 Roman Gessese Ethiopia L19 31:59
239 Thomas Reeves V40 39:14
278 Shaun Roberts V50 39:47
414 Graham Daglish V50 41:46
658 Mandy Dawson L40 44:08
1002 Andrew Thompson M 47:07
1116 John Hutchinson V50 48:01
1218 Alan Smith V60 48:50
1247 Dave Robson V55 48:58
1294 Stephanie Barlow L35 49:17
1308 L Billcliffe L45 49:21
1511 Jenifer Crilley L40 50:39
1757 Michael Kitson V50 52:50
1799 Andy James V60 53:04
2039 Philip Todd M 54:56
2123 Greta Jones L40 55:34
2124 Mike Elliott V60 55:34
2644 Marg Thompson L55 59:35
2954 Emma Thompson L 1:02:45

3435 finishers.

Kirkby Malzeard 10K, 7th June

Dave Robson

I haven't done this race for four years and it was pretty much as I remembered it except that the hills didn't feel as steep this time. I travelled down with Phil who had had a bottle of white wine the night before and wasn't confident of doing well....

We fought our way through Ripon where there seemed to be lots of road works and got to Kirkby Malzeard an hour and half before the start - Phil was entering on the day and he was advised to get there early. Its a very attractive village and we walked from the car park to the Mechanics Insitute which was the race HQ. How does a small village have a Mechanics Institute ? Phil got his number and we wandered over to look at the finish area in a nearby playing field, then back to the start to see the children's race and then back to the car to get changed and faff. Just as we were ready, the sun came out so we used the sun tan cream, but left hats and sunglasses behind as it was still a bit hazy.

Warmed up a bit and it seemed to be getting sunnier, so jogged all the way back to the car to get hats and glasses! What a couple of faffers!

Saw an old friend near the front at the start so wandered over for a chat and that meant we were fairly near the front, nearer than I would normally line up. We were off and I found myself trying to keep up with the people around me which wasn't the most sensible thing to do. After the first mile I slowed to a more reasonable pace and by then we were into the undulations - there were quite a few of these and I guess you could say that this course was the hilly side of undulating. It was all on very quiet roads.

I was happy with my time and Phil was very happy with his time, a new pb - congratulations ! An improvement of about 2 minutes and he is now thinking of incorporating a bottle of white wine the night before into his training regime !

We went back to the Mechanics Institute where there were free sandwiches, scones and tea which most of us had in our mugs which were the finishing prizes. Headed back to the car got changed and heading to the pub for a pint and watching the Derby before heading home.

A lovely place, great countryside, good weather, a fine run and a pint in a country pub, a great day.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Gary Dunn Thirsk & Sowerby Harriers 32:42
23 Erika Johnson Swaledale RR F35 40:23
116 Dave Robson M50 48:00
139 Phil Owen M40 50:31

246 finishers.