Race Reports, January 2009

Gadgie champions!

VAANE Cross-country Championhips, Wallsend, 31st January

Jan Young

Striders were represented by four female, five male vets at the championships on Saturday on an windswept course at Wallsend. Women 35 years + men of 70 years + ran two laps, 3k, while the vet men 35-69 years coped with 4 laps. The course included rough grass patches, a few lonely trees, a windswept football pitch and, thank goodness, mud!

Some of us were feeling under the weather, but enjoyed the fresh air and managed to collect medals, proving age is no barrier to enjoying cross country running.

Well done our men's team, winners of the M50-59 age group - Mike Bennett, Shaun Roberts and Keith Wesson, with a sick Geoff Davis close behind. Jean Gillespie, Wendy Rowell and Mike Hall also received medals. For proof that running keeps you young, look no further than Striders evergreen Mike Hall, running at 75+ years, Morpeth's Walter Ryder, 70+ years and 10th overall in the race, with a time placing him well up with the 40-45 women, and Gateshead's Ted Joynson who at 85, proudly wearing his club vest, walked the course.


Men's 10K

Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Brian Rushworth Sunderland H&AC M45 34:21
48 Mike Bennett M50 6 43:00
56 Shaun Roberts M50 8 43:50
60 Keith Wesson M55 7 43:58
65 Geoff Davis M50 9 45:02

101 finishers. Elvet Striders: 1st Men's Team, M50-M59.

Men's 5K - M70-M85

Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Walter Ryder Morpeth Harriers M70 22:15
9 Mike Hall M75 3 35:49

11 finishers.

Women's 5K

Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Kathryn Foley-Waugh Chester-le-Street F35 19:18
23 Susan Davis F45 5 23:44
31 Jean Gillespie F50 3 25:37
32 Wendy Rowell F55 2 25:58
34 Jan Young F55 3 28:15

35 finishers. Elvet Striders: 1st Women's Team F50-F59.

Sedgefield Harriers Handicap, 18th January

Andy Jordan

On a crisp Sunday morning in January whilst many Striders were out pounding the streets of York, six of us turned up to do the handicap race in Fisburn near Sedgefield. It was a glorious morning with a slight frost and a chilly wind but bright blue skies and an incentive to get running to keep warm. The race was organised on a very fair handicapping system with start times given depending on the best 10km time that runners had done in the last 12 months. The course is fantastic and I would thoroughly recommend the summer and winter versions which follow the same route across fields and old railway lines. It has a couple of hills but nothing too difficult and it is well marshalled throughout. I came in last of the Striders in about 20th place having done the race in 48 minutes and was delighted to find out that the club had managed to fill the top 4 places with Amanda leading the field home.

Put the race in your diaries for this summer and next year - the icing on the cake is that entry is free and for a small donation you can have a cuppa and a slice of cake!

Brass Monkey Half Marathon, York Racecourse, 18th January

Shaun Roberts

Dire weather was forecast for the night before, but by Sunday morning it had all blown over, and conditions could hardly have been better - dry, cool, bright sunshine, and a bit of wind from the west.

I set off quite firmly, trying to get a bit of shelter from other runners as we headed into the wind, and was going well until about nine miles, when I had to ease off a bit. Still quite pleased with the time for this time of the year. Dave had a very good run, just missing out on a PB by six seconds. Dougie also had a good run, getting into the top half of the field, which was a milestone. Jean ran well, though take a tip, folks - don't ask her about races until a good ten minutes after the finish! Barrie was typically modest after his run - though he was a good two minutes up on last time. Alan, Yvonne, Jim and Margaret also got round well.

Quite a decent little "Brass Monkey" rucksack to all finishers, which was a change from the usual sweatshirt. An excellent half-marathon to start the year with.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 PIERSON, Matthew Holmfirth Harriers M 1:06:34
17 FAWKE, Kim Telford AC F 1 1:16:19
227 ROBERTS, Shaun M50 1:31:06
564 ROBSON, Dave M55 1:42:42
626 NISBET, Dougie M45 1:44:52
736 BRADLEY, Jean F50 1:48:59
792 EVANS, Barrie M60 1:50:54
839 SMITH, Alan M60 1:53:07
853 JONES, Yvonne F55 1:54:00
1160 NICHOLSON, Jim M60 2:11:46
1202 THOMPSON, Margaret F55 2:17:11

1280 finishers.

What no Mud!

Farringdon XC, Harrier League, 10th January

Susan Davis

Conrad prepares himself for the cakes.

The warm wet weather that was being promised arrived just a little to late for my liking. As a result the going under foot at Farringdon was so hard it was more like running a road race than a cross country. The solid ground enabled many of the team to complete the course and better their times from last year. It has to said that certain parts of the course also allowed us to practice our skills for Dancing On Ice.

Mike had a bit of a tumble and I am sure all Striders hope that his injuries are just superficial. I understand Mandy was wanting to take photographs but Mike refused, "I am with you on that one Mike". Conrad as usual appeared to smile his way round the course to lead the mens team home. I have spoken to Alan Purvis tonight and although he is at the back of the field he remains competitive and was disappointed to be outsprinted and pipped at the post by another competitor that he battled with and remained in front of for a greater part of the race. Well done to all of the mens team.

Another good turn out for the womens team who were led home by Debs, her Tri -Training is paying off and she ran a determined race. A great performance from Fiona running from the Fast Pack. Excellent pack running from Steph, Liz, Zoe, Jan & Wendy. Great to have Nina in the team and our relative newcomers Zoe & Jane appearing to enjoy themselves.

A big thank you to all our supporters enduring the very cold weather, help with the tent was greatly appreciated, Elvet Eats were again of a high standard and thanks to Dave & Dougie the photos . Well done to Geoff Watson who had a great run and is now in the medium pack. Clearly making cheesecakes is good cross training. Looking forward to the next cross country and hope that we can field an even bigger team.

By the way - anyone lost a pair of glasses in a grey hard case, left in the tent? Susan and Geoff have them.



Pos Name Club Cat Pack Time
1 CALDER, Tim Gateshead (NC) S 28:38
162 WHITE, Conrad V S 35:59
163 BENNETT, Michael V S 36:04
192 ROBERTS, Shaun V S 37:02
216 NICHOLSON, George V S 37:53
289 ROBSON, Dave V S 42:33
294 NISBET, Dougie V S 42:45
317 PURVIS, Alan V S 48:33

319 finishers. Elvet Striders: 10th Men's Team, Division Two.


Pos Name Club Cat Pack Time
1 SNOOK, Alexander Marie Shildon AC S 22:03
42 GODDARD, Debs V S 26:24
44 SHENTON, Fiona V F 26:26
54 DAVIS, Susan V S 26:50
64 MASON, Nina S 27:41
74 BARLOW, Steph S 28:37
75 LAMB, Liz S 28:42
76 TOMLINS, Zoe S 28:55
77 YOUNG, Jan V S 29:00
78 ROWELL, Wendy V S 29:09
89 IVES, Jane S 30:51

99 finishers. Elvet Striders: 11th Women's Team.

Hill Forts and Headaches, Rothbury, 1st January

Colin Blackburn

The new year dawned on a very cold and frosty Curlew Sike. Everything dripped with a deep frost, everything was sparkling white. The last time I ran Hill Forts and Headaches it was mild in Rothbury but snowing at the finish of this 3 mile uphill-only race that climbs 1020 feet. This year I figured it would be freezing at the top and so packed my best thermals and Ron Hills. It turned out that our house was in some sort of frost bubble and everywhere else was comparatively mild including Rothbury.

Registered and warmed up, a record 62 runners set off from outside the Newcastle Arms following a quick mobile call from the starter to the finish line. The race takes a similar but slightly different route to the first climb on the Simonside Cairns race of a month ago. A pipe band practising for a New Year's day march in Rothbury serenaded us up the first short road section. Through the first style we were then off road and uphill for the rest of this race. There were a couple of very short dips but nothing for the descenders to get excited about. Once past the Lordenshaws car park the final steep climb was hard, both on the legs and underfoot. For a change I could see where the finish was and I was very pleased to get to the cluster of finishers in under half an hour. I did, though, find it was not quite so cold as I had expected en route and I wished I'd packed some shorts and a lighter thermal.

After catching my breath and waiting for a few more finishers it was time to jog back down to the start. After a quick change the Newcastle Arms provided soup, bread and a welcome pint or two. The presentation saw NFR taking many of the prizes, our own Will Horsley finishing second—or third if you count Casper crossing the line first. There were some very fast juniors, two finishing in the top ten overall, and all the juniors were rewarded with prizes. Five Striders took part, four running in their NFR vests with Dougie showing the Elvet Striders colours.

This is a hard race but it is over relatively quickly, a definite recommendation for a New Year's Day race.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Philip Sanderson NFR V40 1 22.32
2 Will Horsley NFR Sen 22.49
16 Geoff Davis NFR V50 27.53
22 Colin Blackburn NFR V45 29.20
23 Katherine Davis NFR FV40 1 29.31
37 Susan Davis NFR FV40 32.56
44 Dougie Nisbet V45 34.18

61 finishers

Captain Cooks, 1st January

Shaun Roberts

Up with the larks for the drive down to Great Ayton, where no less than twelve Striders had dragged themselves out of bed to enjoy the dubious privilege of being able to run up to Captain Cook's Monument. You can see a "Dirty Dozen" reference coming up can't you? Well, no, actually - it wasn't too muddy at all - quite firm underfoot in fact. Still hard work getting up the hill, but it didn't take too long, and then you were hammering down again along the road and through the fields.

Two Daves approach the top of the hill - by Phil Owen.

Mike was first home, well in front of me, then Graham, who caught me up coming off the hill and made me pull my finger out to keep in front of him on the way home. The Young clan all had good runs, as did Jean, Phil, two Daves and John. Then off to the Spreadeagle in Stokesley for some fine food and the first pint of the year - and an excellent one at that.

A good start to the year.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Matt Speake Knavesmire Harriers 30.53
49 Erika Johnson Swaledale RR W 1 38.30
54 Mike Bennett M50 4 38.52
109 Shaun Roberts M50 13 42.47
111 Graham Daglish M55 5 42.59
161 Cal Young M 53 45.55
180 Nina Mason F 10 47.18
194 Jean Gillespie F50 3 48.29
201 Phil Owen M40 33 49.05
206 Jan Young F55 3 49.44
210 Gary Davies M 56 50.16
215 Dave Robson M55 10 50.50
219 David Shipman M50 27 51.21
221 John Everett M50 28 51.28

256 finishers.