Race Reports, July 2015

Club Handicap, Houghall Woods, 29th July

2 laps


position name bib handicap finish time actual time
13 Adam Walker 207 27 56.47 29.47
27 Jerry Lloyd 202 27 58.12 31.12
28 Chris Wade 204 27 58.13 31.13
35 Paul Swinburne 187 24 59.36 35.36
11 Graham Dalgleish 201 21 56.41 35.41
12 Innes Hodgson 144 21 56.46 35.46
15 Richard Stollery 172 21 57.10 36.10
25 Sarah Davies 165 21 58.01 37.01
41 Mike Bennett 203 24 61.20 37.20
33 Michael Ross 161 21 58.46 37.46
42 Andrew Podmore 183 24 61.51 37.51
19 Alex Collins 126 18 57.30 39.30
26 Andrew Davies 127 18 58.03 40.03
5 Adam Bent 206 15 55.11 40.11
7 Peter Hart 115 15 55.15 40.15
2 Toni Sowerby 66 9 49.40 40.40
8 Debs Goddard 34 15 55.42 40.42
44 John Hutchinson 162 21 62.43 41.43
16 Jan Young 122 15 57.14 42.14
17 Helen Williams 121 15 57.14 42.14
4 Robin Linton 80 12 54.28 42.28
20 Jill Rudkin 119 15 57.40 42.40
36 Sarah Fawcett 116 15 59.51 44.51
39 Steve Ellis 114 15 60.45 45.45
21 Clare Metcalfe 72 12 57.48 45.48
29 Andy James 74 12 58.17 46.17
31 Barbara Dick 104 12 58.26 46.26
34 Katie Finney 90 12 58.51 46.51
9 Rebecca Divine 60 9 55.53 46.53
43 Francis Timson 200 15 62.04 47.04
10 Louise Simpson 68 9 56.20 47.20
18 Phil Todd 29 9 57.14 48.14
1 Rachel Brown 208 0 48.15 48.15
22 Emma Hart 56 9 57.48 48.48
6 Jan Ellis 48 6 55.11 49.11
32 Karen Hooper 55 9 58.35 49.35
14 Deborah Thompson 49 6 56.49 50.49
3 Maggie Thompson 11 0 53.33 53.33
37 Jennifer Cooper 44 6 60.28 54.28
38 Sharon Campbell 45 6 60.29 54.29
23 Ann Towers 24 3 57.48 54.48
24 Karen Pyle 205 3 57.53 54.53
40 Bev Walker 19 3 60.58 57.58
30 Mike Elliott 2 0 58.20 58.20

76 finishers.

2015 Charity Relay, Pennine Way, 24–26th July

Anita Clementson

Northern Section: Friday Leg 2 - Byrness to Bellingham - 15.5 miles - with Diane Watson

Anita and Diane running toward the finish of their leg on Bellingham Bridge As we waited for the arrival of Kerry & James, our northern leg 1 runners, we took the advantage of having tea in the local inn and gaining some inside knowledge on the route ahead. On asking the rather grumpy woman at the inn, she took a long breath and turned her head slowly to the clock, then looked back at us: "are you planning to do this today?" We were obviously not giving her the impression of experienced fell types that were capable of tackling 15 miles of the boggiest part of the Pennine way (a feature she was also keen to warn us about).

Luckily we managed to regain some positivity and returned to wait patiently at the checkpoint. Text messaging allowed us to get some idea of Kerry & James' progress. In the meantime we had a leisurely chat with a guy who had nearly finished his 18-day walk of the whole PW and then there were Kerry & James, bounding along looking quite fresh after their epic 25-mile first leg trek.

So Diane and I were finally on our way! Navigation was required for the first half of what was a fairly undulating but not too hilly route. Luckily there had been plenty of time to study our OS map and so we had more or less memorised the route ahead.

Due to the delay and the fact that we didn't want to arrive too late for Scott, who was waiting to take over at Bellingham (we were nearing 3 hours behind schedule) we took the option of missing out the boggiest part of our section (we were also warned about this by two people we met) but had to add an extra half mile of easier ground. It wasn't an easy decision, and it would have been nice to just follow the course of the PW but common sense took precedence. As a result, the 'baton' [or 'map' as it also known - Ed] was passed on safely at the bridge over the North Tyne in pretty Bellingham, pausing only to take some photos, before Scott was on his way…our job was done!

We encountered only beautiful scenery and a slightly surreal sense of being a little part of a much bigger event knowing that all of our friends in the club were with us in spirit and that we were making our mark in the history of the club.

Karen Hooper

Central Section: Sunday Leg 5 - Sunderland Bridge to Palace Green - 10 miles

Elvet Striders Relay Runners on Palace Green at the end of a successful 2015 Charity Relay We ran through armpit-high thistles with our arms in the air, got rashes from foot to shoulder from the long grass…I spoke to Striders I had never spoken to before…I turned round and saw a whole tribe of purple behind me in the beautiful countryside…I weed in a field with someone I'd only spoken to once before who I'm now proud to call a friend…I talked about the sadness of losing babies and the support that 4Louis provide to bereaved families with a total stranger…I cheered Striders running further than they've ever run before…I enjoyed meat pie and a pint with new friends in The Elm Tree and shed a tear at Paul's speech. Thank you Striders - it was just what we all needed! X

Dave Shipman's white van

Southern Section: Friday, Saturday & Sunday - Support

Dave and Jan about to set off the leg to Pen-Y-Ghent Thursday 6.30 am: Contents being removed including old lawnmower and box of unsold car boot stuff which I have carried round for ages. Must be an expedition coming soon? Parked up next to house, suspect we will head off after work?

Thursday 5.30 pm: I was right: all surfaces hastily cleaned and bags of kit thrown in.

Thursday 6 pm: 'Driver D' joined by 'Kiwi Mike' (with no dog this time, but several more bags and a tent). Off we go!

Thursday 6.30 pm: Durham City, pick up 'Lady J' (must be in for a long trip if the number of bags she has are anything to go by!).

Thursday 8.30 pm: Got through all the road works (and avoided running out of petrol) to Woolley Edge services. Joined by Driver D's double, known as 'Our Kid' apparently - and yet more bags!

Thursday 9.30 pm: Fiddly, wiggly roads to the campsite. Abandoned in car park for the night - typical!

Friday 5.30 am: Kettle on - bloody hell, this is an early start! Joined by what looks like a black coffin -carrier but on investigation it's a multi-purpose removal estate car on its way back from an end-of term university visit - my sympathies, done that run a few times! Mobile catering function required for several sleepy campers after what they describe as a snore-interrupted night (nothing to do with the beers they drank before bedtime then?).

Friday 5.55 am: Bleary-eyed bloke carrying two rucksacks approaches; also has what he calls 'a tent'; looks more like a full-body condom to me! All goes in through the back door; he sets off running and away we go!

Friday 12.00 noon: After several hours hurtling over hill and dale, parked at length on the end of Saddleworth Moor. No sign of Kiwi Mike. Eventually he arrives after losing his way but by then I've moved on to Yorkshire where I'm joined by a red Honda Jazz and two more runners with lots of kit bags.

Friday afternoon: Yippee! Into Calderdale relay country after 'Pirate Nige' (the driver of the black coffin-carrier) and Lady J (she of the many bags) have been off-piste looking for hairy sausage caterpillars! Familiar roads and hills that I've been round a few times.

Friday night 8.00 pm: Make it to Malham before nightfall as required but then drive backwards and forwards on narrow, stone-walled lanes looking for Moon's Farm campsite. Find two campsites but not of that name and eventually work out that it's the one at the foot of Malham Cove. Joined by a red Golf and red Polo, so relay convoy status is now established. No room on the campsite but Mrs Moon kindly lets me use her car park, assisted by red Golf moving over to give me breathing space which I need after the last 24 hours!

Saturday 7.00 am: Mobile catering required again: runners seem even more bleary-eyed but still enthusiastic. Bags, damp tents and sweaty kit thrown in the back, along with an assortment of food and drink.

Saturday 8.15 am: Runners set off in beautiful sunshine. I get my insides swept out and Kiwi Mike beats my carpets - first time in a long time!

Saturday 8.30 am: Off for a beautiful trip round the Dales: up to Arncliffe, down both sides of Pen Y Ghent seeking runners on the move with no success. Then to Horton where I'm left in a pub car park but am eventually rescued by Kiwi Mike.

Saturday 2.00 pm: After being abandoned for a couple of hours in Hawes, found by Driver D and 'Chatterbox Jan', both looking sweaty and weary but with bags of food and drink and off we go again.

Saturday 6.00 pm: On the road for ages, over Butter Tubs Pass, people in and out, stops at Tan Hill, a tunnel under the A66, supposed to be heading for near Middleton but left parked next to a barn: sign says "To be kept clear at all times" so I will probably get towed away by a tractor! Passengers seem intent on standing in a field with cows, staring for over an hour at a distant horizon. Farmer arrives and doesn't tow me away, instead gives friendly advice about how savage cows can be then, once the red Polo has been moved, farmer drives off up track. Eventually runners appear, pause briefly for water from my diminishing supplies then head off up the track after the farmer.

Facing up to 'savage' cows was all part of the challenge!

Saturday 8 pm: At last! A campsite instead of a car park! Company of other vans and tents; passengers have all gone to the pub; night may not end well!

Saturday 10 pm: As I suspected, a crowd of folk have returned to use my lounge facilities: Kiwi Mike brings out cake; 'Party Jean' finds a bottle of Amaretto left over from Xmas; rattling bags of cider and beer come from cupboards and rucksacks. Remarkably, peace and quiet by midnight.

Sunday 7.30 am: Breakfast time again: folk seem more bleary and tired, less energetic until joined by 'Tigga Till' and Joan who set off up the hills. Random packing follows before I head for Wolsingham Station via Bollihope Common and across the moors. Apart from our convoy, there's hardly any traffic and no people.

Sunday 12.00 noon: Tigga Till and Joan arrive at the station, no trains running, so join us for a drive to Witton Park where I am left on my own for hours by the side of Paradise Park (an over-generous description when compared to the scenery I have been through in the last 48 hours!). Seemingly, Bleary-eyed Paul, Pirate Nige and Lady J got lost in the long grass!

Sunday 1.00 pm: Diversion to Newton Cap Viaduct seeking 'Captain Anna', who in turn was seeking Kiwi Mike; no sign of either so on to Willington...

Sunday 1.20 pm: Willington: amazing crowd of runners, all waiting for Kiwi Mike, none with bags and none needing a lift thank goodness! All say they are running to Durham.

Sunday 2.30 pm: Sizeable group head for Durham; party atmosphere. Kiwi Mike leaves me near Durham Rowing Club and heads off with Bleary-eyed Paul to do yet more running.

Sunday 5.30 pm: Kiwi Mike and Driver D return in pouring rain but good spirits. Appears that the trip has been a great success!

Sunday 5.45 pm: Parked up in Chester-le Street; over 450 miles covered; job done! Kiwi Mike and Driver D remove a few bags of kit and walk away. Wait a minute! Come back! What about the bags of wet and sweaty kit? What about the soggy bananas and left over cake crumbs, half-eaten sandwiches and water bottles? And who do these red boxer shorts belong to?!!

Penny Browell

Southern section: Friday Legs 5 & 8; Saturday Leg 1; Sunday Legs 4 & 5

Penny, Paul & Steph come together for an almost nocturnal 'selfie'.
Friday, Leg 8 - Ickornshaw to East Marton - 9 miles - with Paul Evans: having said I probably shouldn't run at all (dodgy ankle making me whinge a lot), I decided I wasn't content with the 10-miler earlier with Steph and Paul so volunteered to take on what turned out to be the final leg of the evening. I was told it was easy-ish and not too long (which I guess is what 9 miles and 1,250 feet is for Paul Evans!). But even he was tired (after more than 20 miles) and the climbs seemed bigger than they should have been and whilst it was lovely to see the sun setting from a perfect viewpoint it was also a bit nerve-wracking as we had no head-torches and there were still a few miles to go.

More worrying though, were the cows, one of which seemed to take a dislike to me and after a little lurch, started heading towards me. Paul recommended jumping over the fence but as it was about shoulder height for me - with barbed wire on the top - I didn't rate my chances! To cut a long story short, we managed to escape unscathed but still had to race the light to reach East Marton by nightfall.

When we got to the canal we knew we were nearly there but when a slight edge of doubt crept in to Paul's voice I was beginning to get a bit concerned. Then I spotted a lonely beam of light flickering in the darkness ahead - it was Steph! Come in search of us! And so, just before 10.00 pm, our leg was done. Sadly too late for the pub dinner I'd promised myself but still leaving me with a very content smile on my face.

Juliet Percival

Southern section: Friday Legs 2, 3 & 7; Saturday Legs 4, 5 & 6; Sunday Leg 2

Juliet in a 'weary legs' phase! As I write this, the three days of the southern legs are now a blur of…chilly dawns…hurried muesli…squeezing wet tents back into bags…driving…plodding…eating cake…driving…running…wonderful views…eating cake…running…endless views of rolling green hills and patchwork fields…waiting…cheering and clapping for smiling Striders out in force…drinking coffee…wonderful company…running…weary legs…waiting…runners' heads bobbing up over the horizon…dreaming (of a hot shower)…drinking coffee… "there they are!" …running…COWS!..."what if it's a bull?"...slow to a walk…eyes down…be invisible… beautiful, peaceful countyside…lovely banter…"how many more miles?" …getting late…pitching tents in the dark (hilarious!)…racing to the pub (too late for food)…crisps and alcohol for supper again!…"another round?"…"why not!" …returning to campsites in the dark…no showers…grim…feeling stinky…sleeping bags…overtures of snoring…chilly dawns (again)…hurried muesli…"off we go"…"

Roz Layton

Northern section: Saturday Leg 3 - Knarsdale to Garrigill - 14 miles - with Debs Goddard & Jean Bradley

Nothing could be nicer than standing in the middle of unfamiliar countryside on the Cumbrian/Durham border on a warm day, surrounded by orchids, harebells, cranesbill and buzzing insects. Just a nagging worry affects the mood: where are they? Are they OK? Have I missed them?

Thank goodness for a good phone signal and Debs' clear decision-making (…leave Alston, come and meet her and Jean further up the route at Knarsdale). This turned out to be an abandoned station on the old South Tyne railway, with platform, an old ticket office and signs threatening forty shilling fines...

It wasn't long before Debs and Jean came trotting along the track, cheerful but a bit frustrated by the disappearing Pennine Way 'acorns' [motif that indicates the Pennine Way trail - Ed]. So much for the Pennine Way becoming an eroded motorway then - even when we could find the route it was often overgrown!

Jean and I could only admire the map and its reader as we were 'spectacle-free' and so we continued, skirting Slaggyford happily enough but losing time as what 'acorns' there were led us over stiles and into fields with no apparent exit. On one occasion we found ourselves face to face with a herd of cows and their calves and - yes - climbing to his feet as we approached, a big creamy bull guarding the gateway!

Alston to Garrigill had less drama but was just as pretty. We anticipated 'lashings and lashings of ginger beer' but a wonderful half-pint outside the newly refurbished pub won out, underscoring the satisfaction of running twice as far as I'd expected and the 'Striderly' pleasure of running with good friends.

Mike Elliott

Northern Section: Saturday Leg 6 - Cauldron Snout to Holwick - 9 miles - with Andy James.

Mike makes the awkward descent of the waterfall of Cauldron Snout.
After doing 'Park Run' in the morning I checked my OS Teesdale map of early-60s vintage that didn't even show the Tees being dammed at Cauldron Snout to form Cow Green Reservoir (luckily the contours were in the same place however). I then joined Andy at Ebchester for the drive to the start of the final northern leg of our charity relay, arriving there about 4.00 pm for an estimated start time of 5.30 pm. No other Striders were in sight but it was early days...

The weather was sunny: 14 degrees with a gentle breeze but then a black cloud appeared, bringing heavy vertical, then horizontal, rain and HAIL! (Was this July?). So, like the sheep around us, we sheltered behind a stone wall (baaa!). The storm passed, the sun came out again and we soon dried out.

By about 6.00 pm we concluded that with no one else was going to join us, and that we might have missed a 'relay running late' message. Miraculously, we found a sign near the dam which said 'GOOD MOBILE PHONE SIGNAL HERE' (move one yard either way - no signal!) and called Steph who said Jon Ayres was on his way from Dufton and should be with us in an hour and a half. Being the good civil and electrical engineers that we are, off we went to explore the dam and its water pressure measuring boreholes, generators and anything else we could find (howay, it filled in the time!).

To our delight, Jon arrived a tad early from his magnificent solo effort across the tops and after sharing info and pleasantries, his legs then had the luxury of driving Andy's car to Bowlees visitor centre.

Still no more troops, so off we went, down the side of Cauldron Snout and onto the rock-strewn paths of the Falcon Clints' boulder field (could have been on the moon) along with the odd board-walk then eventually onto something vaguely runnable. This was not going to be a 10K PB!

The first half of the leg was on the north bank of the River Tees (the south bank appeared to be marked on the map as an MOD training area). After the tribulations of the Clints and Holmwath Escarpments, we arrived at Widdy Bank Farm where we could at last make good progress after our mountaineering experiences. Then we saw the sign that said it all: three and a half miles back to Cauldron Snout, three and three-quarters to High Force. HEY UP - we thought this was a 10K!

Across ditches, and through stones walls via little wooden gates, across the bridge over Harwood Beck, then crossing to the south side of the River Tees at Cronkley, then onto a wide track for 400yards (which made us look like models on a cat walk).

Next was a trip around a farm yard (no Old Macdonald or quarter-pounder's to be seen) where we encountered a problem due to the lack of way markers: options were to follow a boggy fence line, climb a steep hill covered in gorse or back-track towards the MOD area. We chose to climb the hill (probably a short cut to dry ground but slightly longer) until we hit the PW again.

Next obstacle was a barbed wire-topped fence where we put our high jump skills to the test (gold medals being awarded to both participants). Then it was back down to low ground to see some friendly faces albeit a flock of sheep (who decided not to follow us due to the fact they were not as fit as us athletes!).

At last we hit a reasonable track, so, putting more coal on the fire, we reeled in the miles to High Force. What a long three and three-quarter country miles that was (must have been all those photo stops)! A quick decision not to dive into the cold, fast flowing, peaty waters at High Force then we pushed on to Low Force and Wynch Bridge (a suspension footbridge built for lead miners in 1830).

Here we saw a poster nailed to a tree saying Strathmore Arms, 1 mile - nectar! In the heather we caught a glimpse of a young 'Monarch of the Glen' [a deer - Ed] scratching its lug at the sound of these two explorers; he then showed us how to cope with cross county hills by bounding away.

Onwards across the quickly darkening fields with Andy's phone shattering the quiet of the countryside. It was Paul asking if we are still alive and what our favourite tipple is! Back to tarmac and the comforting lights of Holwick (or IS it Holwick? - No sign of a pub and only a few well strung out houses - have we got the wrong village? - We stop and knock on the door of a house at 10.00 pm - "Where is the Strathmore Arms?" - "Just there love" - relief!).

Finally, after two-and-a-half hours, we receive the most rousing of receptions from the locals and many of the lads and lasses who ran the Southern and rest of the Northern legs. Then it was into the pub with just enough time to embrace everyone in sight, hoy a pint down our necks (courtesy of the landlord) and enjoy the band.

The campers then made their way to bed so they could be fresh, waiting for Paul's foreign accent to ring out at 7.00 am: "Hi de hi campers, your breakfast is ready and no cooking required: IT'S IN A CAN!".

We intrepid explorers continued our adventures: a one-and-a-half mile cross-country walk to the car (thanks for the torch Nigel) and then over the dales to Ebchester. I never knew rabbits came out in such numbers at night, with the journey being a rabbit slalom course (we managed it without harming any, so rabbit pie was off the Sunday menu).

Hope you enjoyed the above tale. It could have been the tail of Peter………..Oh come on, they don't get any better!

Joan Hanson

Central Section: Sunday Leg 1 - Holwick to Wolsingham - 16 miles - with Till Sawala.

Me and Tigger Till strike out for Wolsingham Today I picked up a total stranger that I met via a Facebook message then got quietly freaked out on arrival at the campsite at 8am to be told by fellow bleary-eyed striders that Till can run...didn't you realise Joan?.. really quite fast...sub 3-hour marathon actually. Till then proceeded to run 'really quite fast' although he referred to it as 'relaxed social pace'. He was certainly able to converse with ease as he bounced along beside me in his Hokas (quite a lot like Tigger) consistently up a big hill, then on tarmac (that's another first). Words of encouragement were offered by a convoy of the aforementioned striders in their cars before we struck out over the moors and down into Weardale. We took slightly longer than the 2 hours on the original schedule for this leg but had a great morning out and we didn't get lost.

Elvet Striders Clamber, Houghall Woods and Low Burnhall, 22nd July

5.2 M

Dougie Nisbet

Another sunny evening and some great racing last night. It looked hot and tough from where I was standing taking photos around the Willow Miner. Till's also got a great batch on Facebook, and there's a nice write-up in the Northern Echo.


position bib name club cat cat pos time prize
1 55 Liam Emmett Jarrow & Hebburn MU20 1 31.28 1st male/1st U20
16 104 Lucy Butt Durham City Harriers FSEN 1 38.32 1st female/1st female senior
5 94 Stephen Jackson M30 2 34.28 1st strider male
21 15 Elaine Bisson F30 1 39.18 2nd female/1st female F20/1st strider female
22 18 Penny Browell F40 1 39.38 3rd female/1st V40 female
24 32 John Coulson M30 5 40.33
25 12 Mike Bennett M60 1 40.36 1st male V60
27 149 Katy Walton F30 2 40.49
34 150 Louise Warner F30 4 42.39
48 37 Sarah Davies F40 3 43.52
51 13 Adam Bent M60 2 44.22
56 134 Malcolm Sygrove M40 18 44.33
60 6 Gareth Neil M30 11 44.46
71 135 Kathryn Sygrove F40 6 45.50
72 70 Debs Goddard F40 7 46.05
77 89 Melanie Hudson F30 9 46.40
79 121 Stephanie Piper FSEN 2 47.03
81 142 Roz Layton F60 1 47.22 1st female F60
86 126 Jill Rudkin F30 10 48.08
90 33 Jenny Search F30 11 48.43
95 133 Ian Spencer M50 14 50.37
98 78 Lesley Hamill F40 13 50.47
104 130 David Shipman M50 16 52.08
107 58 Sarah Fawcett F50 4 52.57
108 17 Stacey Brannan F30 15 53.00
110 144 Angela Tribe F40 16 53.07
111 86 Lucy Herkes MSEN 4 53.32
115 52 Stephen Ellis M60 5 53.58
116 42 Rebecca Devine FSEN 3 54.25
117 14 Denise Benvin F40 17 54.32
118 131 Alan Smith M65 2 54.44
127 88 Karen Hooper F30 19 58.10
128 129 Aileen Scott F40 19 59.02
129 51 Janet Ellis F50 7 59.03
133 9 Kerry Barnett F40 20 62.03
134 41 Sophie Dennis FSEN 5 62.53
135 161 Lindsay Craig F40 21 62.57
138 65 Laura Gibson F30 20 64.26
139 96 Natalie Johnson F30 21 64.27

140 finishers.

Grand Prix Race. Endurance Champion Race.

Coastal Run, Beadnell, 19th July

about 14 miles 'ish

Jon Ayres

I love this race and am almost evangelical when describing it to people "the beaches are great, the trails are quick and pretty, the view of the castle as you run past and the support from the locals, it's just fantastic" etc.

So how to make it better? Well this year I had a cunning plan, following a run of the course a couple of weeks prior to the actual day, an alternate route had been found!

To the day loads of people in purple vests, a coachload and a fair few more all gathered around the car park, queueing for the loo and avoiding the slow moving traffic as their owners looked to secure a place to park, the strength of wind is debated and just before the off the gathering on to the beach for the team photo [If anyone has a 'team photo', or indeed, any photo, - send it to me! Ta. Ed.].

Then we're off a stampede of splashing soles the broad starting line changes shape to an, almost, beach long peloton, a line of smiling faces embracing the day, enjoying the run and reaffirming a love of running.

At this point however a small group edge towards the waves turning with the bay and aiming away from the masses their eyes focused on a small path and a break in the dunes, a set of purplies are off exploring.

Concern races through my mind, I've checked and reread the rules- the course is suggested not set, our route choice is our own and ( perhaps crucially ) we never really did compare the choices available. Too late now we hit the new (ish to us) trail and keep the pace lively hoping this is a wise choice.

After a mile and a bit we merge with the main field I see faces I'd not expect to be passing now, numbers that had been passed on the run out are ahead. I ask a fellow strider for his measured distance (the new path is about 500 metres longer, perhaps this is why after 35 years of the event being run the alternate is not needed?)

From this point on works to be done and it's head down and pushing as hard as I dare, still 10 miles to go. I have a good day - in the end when comparing time to last year the deviation didn't make much difference- but throughout the feelings are good, smiles stay on faces and it's a great day and another fantastic experience.

On the final beach the wind really took hold, the sand clung to the feet sucking them down and devouring energy but still the love affair is there. This is why in the depths of winter,on freezing cold mornings I, my friends, clubmates and countless more like us all put on our kit and get out there because running isn't just about the personal goals, it's a shared experience that releases endorphins and on good days, of which this is definitely one, makes the heart glow.

At the end we excitedly chatter and congratulate each other on getting round, one of our number wins their category which is really very impressive as they too choose the long route. And then that's it I'm not on the coach back and am part of a small group descending quietly home, the talk turns slowly to other subjects. Thoughts will gradually no doubt blend parts of today's run with those done before and also, hopefully, with those to come but always, always there's a part of me that dwells forever on those beaches.


Striders POS Name Club Cat Chip Time
1st MCarl AveryMorpeth HarriersSenior M1:15:42
1st FEmma HoltMorpeth HarriersSenior F1:29:36
1Stephen Jackson Senior M1:25:04
2Gareth Pritchard Senior M1:25:55
3Jon Ayres (M) Veteran401:42:30
4Katy Walton Senior F1:43:24
5Graeme Walton (M) Veteran401:45:02
6Elaine Bisson VeteranF351:45:06
7David Brown Senior M1:47:40
8Mandy Dawson (F) Veteran401:51:09
9Michael Bennett (M) Veteran601:51:35
10Juliet Percival (F) Veteran401:53:24
11David Spence (M) Veteran601:56:14
12Michael Terry (M) Veteran401:57:22
13Malcolm Sygrove (M) Veteran402:00:57
14Innes Hodgson (M) Veteran502:03:28
15Ari Hodgson Senior M2:03:28
16Nicola Whyte Senior F2:04:17
17Fiona Jones VeteranF352:04:17
18Lucy Cowton Senior F2:04:17
19Camilla Lauren-maatta (F) Veteran402:04:58
20Jean Bradley (F) Veteran502:05:15
21Debs Goddard (F) Veteran402:05:54
22Melanie Hudson VeteranF352:08:47
23Dave Robson (M) Veteran602:09:44
24Anita Clementson (F) Veteran402:13:23
25Kathryn Sygrove (F) Veteran402:13:36
26Katherine Preston (F) Veteran402:18:57
27Debbie Mcfarland Senior F2:27:18
28Emil Maatta Senior M2:28:40
29Christine Farnsworth (F) Veteran602:33:24
30Kelly Collier Senior F2:40:07
31Helen Allen (F) Veteran402:42:55
32Aileen Scott (F) Veteran402:57:19
33Stan White (M) Veteran502:57:19
34Margaret Thompson (F) Veteran603:03:29
35Claire Galloway Senior F3:09:34
36Laura Jackson VeteranF353:09:34

800 finishers.

[Note: Results on the www.resultsbase.net website are not listed by overall position when filtered by club. To see your overall position you need to go the their website and click on your own result. Ed.]

Burton Leanord 10K, 19th July

Robin Linton

Robin the lone Strider.So I keep saying I am a new strider but I have now been part of the group since May so it's probably time to take away my newbie title and give myself the 'guy who brings the cake' title (courtesy of my girlfriend of course). I have never written a race report before but since I was the only strider to take part in Burton Leonard 10k [and indeed, the first race report on the site for this race. Excellent! - Ed.], it seems like I should write a race report as it is a race I would recommend in the future.

So I entered this race because I only had 2 Sundays off in the month of July and I was itching to get more 10k competitions under my belt. So I had a look around and there was nothing within the distance I could compete at as the Beamish 10k had been cancelled, a race I thought would be excellent around the grounds but never mind I booked up to this one instead!

It only cost £10 with a UKA number and it was only about 70ish miles away just outside Harrogate on the 19th July. I couldn't find race reports online off anyone who had done it apart from the fact in the description it described a few obstacles on the route. So I entered with a good friend of mine who doesn't do a lot of competitions or even has the need to train but is a good runner and definitely had the capability to do it. So we drove down with our girlfriends and showed up to this little village and when I say little village, it was tiny. The whole place was shut down for this race, I think it had been going on 4 years but it was amazing to see a community come together like this to stage this race, everyone in the village must have either been competing or helping out.

So we collected our numbers and made our way to the start line which was a little unnerving as the weather was just starting to change but it stayed good throughout the race. The marshal sounded the horn and off we went, immediately my friend and I could tell we were losing time as we started right at the back and I mean out of 350 people-ish we were 2 from the back. We decided to take it easy at first as there was limited room to pass and we didn't want to get too pushy and obstruct people.

Red and Yellow and Green and Blue, and Orange and Purple and ...We got up the first 1k in a reasonable 5:16 and then as the group spread out we started making some keen and aggressive overtakes. The first part of the route was old country roads, pretty standard to run on no problems at all. We came across a ford and there were two routes, the foot bridge (the sensible dry option) or run through it and it was quite a big ford. By the time we had realised we could use the foot bridge we were half way through splashing water and mud everywhere.

After this we started an uphill climb, just gradual nothing to sinister, my friend started to pull away and honestly I could have kept up but normally I exert myself too early in races and come across the finish line on my hands and knees. So I let him go and proceeded to continue with my own strategy, it got very cross country very fast around the 4k mark, running through fields, down long sloping muddy paths which were very claggy and liable to slipping. As I came out the woods as I would call it onto 8k I was feeling good. I started to pick up the pace, it was back on good solid roads and paths so I really turned the wick up and attacked a hill the best I could. I could now hear foot steps behind me and I was being chased by 4 club runners in the same group and they were gaining on me quite quickly. The competitive side of 'these 4 from Harrogate harriers' I think it was are not going to pass me came out. So I pushed hard for the last 2k with a 400m sprint finish. I was happy that I managed to pull out a gap to them and they didn't even get the chance to pass me, I didn't set a PB but with the tricky terrain I felt I did okay with a 56:32 only a minute and a half of my latest PB.

At the end we got water, a banana, a sports bag and a medal quite a good little reward for the price I paid to enter and for such a small event the support from such a tiny village was great. I would definitely do it again!

Sunderland 5K, 15th July

Katy Walton

Quick 5k just what I needed to see where I was with my training. I headed over to Sunderland with Graeme who had race envy so he entered the race on the night.

It was a gorgeous sunny night with a good turn out of club runners including plenty of Striders.

First race up was female and V50 men. To the top of the hill Louise Warner, Sarah Davies and myself did go. Feeling nervous, I had heard the start was a scrabble with a chance of a tumble and a crushing as people run over you! Off we went down the hill immediately. Louise Warner must have had too many skittles as she flew down the hill ahead of me. Taking note that Stephen Jackson had gone off too fast last year I decided to let her go. "I will catch her" my positive mindset said.

Once at the bottom of the hill the runners go around the small lake, this did include a little hill, but soon you were heading along on the flat again. I managed to pass Louise on the bridge as we approached the lake. About 400 metres later Kim Simpson seemed to be getting closer to me, I reeled her in and went past, this gave me a boost to continue running as I was.

Up the hill to the crowds of supporters I went with huge cheers from Lesley, Phil, Catherine and the strider men who were ready to race. Back onto the lake path, this time to do a loop around the big lake.

I enjoyed this loop, you could see that the course ahead was flat, this just made me feel great and continue with my pace.

Before I knew it I was running back up the hill towards the supporters and there was the finish. It was over. I looked at my watch praying it to be under 21minutes and to my shock 20.03. Louise came in not far behind me followed by Sarah, both enjoying the race.

The guys race was over and done before you new it. The order changed between the Striders as they ran past to do their loops. We were all guessing who would come round first the next time, it was very exciting! Excellent efforts from all but Rob ran in first followed by Stephen and then Gareth. Graeme had a great run followed by Richard Hall senior. Simon Gardner had a fantastic time too he came in after the dashing trio ahead of Graeme.

I think this would be a great race for the sprint section in the Grand Prix next year. It's local, very fast and they accept entries on the day.

Tour of Merseyside, 5–11th July

6 races, 7 days, 52 miles

Denise Benvin

I had spotted this little beauty back in 2013 on the BTR website it was 6 races in 7 days, it was 52 miles over the week all different races and different terrains and different distances. As I had only been running a matter of months an I hadn't even run a full 5k, I thought one for another year. In 2014 I was on holiday when it was taking place so 2015 was me year. So euro in hand I went to use the computer in reception whilst on holiday and secured my place. I have family in Liverpool and put a weeks holiday in at work and invited myself to my parents for the week (they didn't object, not sure why I wouldn't want to spend a week with me)

Race 1 was Southport half marathon an it was a warm day to say the least, Dougie had also decided to do this run an it was nice to see a strider face at the race. This was a flat fast course and went out one way to a turn around point, on my way to the turn around point I spotted Dougie coming towards me on the other-side a few mins between us, at least I knew where he was and so the chase was on. I did spot Dougie in the distance around the lake some 6 miles further on, and all but few miles from home and I was catching him, he however also had a canny spurt and I never got any closer. You can read Dougie's amusing report which is also on the website [thank you! [blush] Ed.]. The gauntlet has been thrown down for next year though ... 13 miles done

Race 2 was in Thurstaston the Wirral side of the River Mersey and was a 6 mile multi terrain race, it was a wet night which got even wetter in fact torrential at one point, but it was a lovely run that went out on to the beach for a around 2 miles it was heavy going here on the legs and only got a bit lighter on the legs as we made our way towards the woods which was equally as nice to run through. It was then along the track for a couple of miles and back to the start finish line. The atmosphere was lovely and people were getting to know each by now ... 19 miles done

Going Coastal.

Race 3 was by Walton Hall Park and was 10 miles on the Sustrans Cycle Trail known locally as "The Ralla" it was 2.5 miles one way then 2.5 miles back to the start/finish then the same in the opposite direction, whilst this was not a course to rave about it was nice in the fact you got to see the other runners going in different directions and there was plenty of encouragement through out to field an it turned out to be a nice night considering the look of the grey clouds and dull skies an the forecast was for rain ... 29 miles done

Race 4 was a short and sweet 5 miles, and somehow it ended up as a fancy dress night (think it might be a regular after this year) the race started and finished in the Wellington pub car park in Hale Village, a dammed good idea I thought, nice and handy for post race refreshments. It was a lovely flat 5 miles in the evening sunshine, it was a race of left turns around the outskirts of Hale. We got lots of encouragement from people sat in their cars waiting to get through the village as well as local residents who had come outside to watch the spectacle all of whom must have thought we were all nutters, they wouldn't be far wrong in all fairness. The Children however thought it was fantastic and it was lovely to hear the laughter and squeals of delight as we ran past. I do wonder if the Lord Mayor will let us back next year????? It was a great atmosphere people really having fun getting to know each other now. I had managed to find a leopard print dress in a charity shop that I cut up found a scarf to match and went as Jane, thankfully nice and light to run in given the heat. I will have to start thinking now for next year as there was a pretty high standard set this year, so I am open to suggestions folks. A fab night all round ... 34 miles done

Race 5 was at Stadt Moers country park. This used to be the tip many many years ago and deep in the trees you can find the outlet holes for the gas to escape, you wouldn't believe it if you went thought it really is a lovely place and is one of the winter xc courses for the area. We had to do 2 x 3 mile laps but before we started it was time for everyone to catch up and laugh on the previous nights costumes. Race time came and it was on with the announcements and handing the tour leader tops out then off we went. The course was lovely and with a bit of mud in the winter it would be fab, we snaked around and up and down the hill and trees in front a few times before heading off in a different direction and then coming round to the start finish for a much needed bottle of water in the heat and lap 2. When finished the queue for the ice-cream van soon built up, it sold handmade ice-creams an had been getting some hammer each night but the poor ladies really had to work on the warm nights, so even if you run just to eat the ice-cream it was worth it. Another great night and 5 races down this meant that tomorrow was the last race, I had made it this far tomorrow I would finish even if I had to finish at a crawl pace ... 40 miles done

Race 6 the final race, this was once again on the other side of the river at Wallasy it was the Wirral Coastal run and the final 12 miles. It was a tad windy as we waited for the start we had been asked to be there for 9.30 so we could have a group Tour photo, an so we all gathered around to have the picture taken, it was the photographers job to get us all in, and so balanced up a step ladder dug in to the drifted sand on the prom it was cries of squash up a bit more, move to the front, supporters move left or move right, no move in more an a few more to the front etc.

Squash Up!

However the picture was eventually taken with much laughter and ribbing and one photographer who somehow didn't fall off his ladder and we for the last time took our position at the start finish line. This was going to be fun, 6 miles of head wind woo hoo along the prom towards Hoylake, I had got to around mile 4 when the leaders came towards me flying along and well on their home, how they managed their words of encouragement going at that speed was beyond me. To get the full 6 miles in we went on to the beach at mile 5 and a half, and ran half a mile on the sands to the water station which was also the turn around point, that was it, I was on my way back now, I was on my way home to the finish line and to completing my first Tour. The head wind which was now supposed to be behind us helping had dropped an the sun was out, and so it was a very warm 6 miles to the finish, It was a fantastic feeling to count the miles down and the final push to the line was full of fellow competitors and family members all cheering and clapping, but I crossed the line, I had finished. I had completed The Tour of Merseyside I had run my 6 races in 7 days I had run my 52 miles an I was a fully fledged "Tourist" I was given my medal and collected my T Shirt. I made my way back along the prom to meet one of my new friends and run in with her and watch her cross the line. All that was left was to make our way back to Liverpool an the post race bash an presentation. So with a nice pint in hand an some much deserved grub from one of the food sellers we all chatted till it was time for the presentation an awards. Then it was time for a good laugh at the footage that had been recorded all week by the camera man catching our week for us, his hard work an cutting an editing each night to put hours an hours of footage on to a DVD so we could look back an remember total miles completed 52 ...

Same time next year I think

Manchester parkrunathon, Manchester, 11th July

8 x 5km

George Nicholson

Last Saturday I took part in my 4th Charity parkrunathon to raise funds for Acorns Children’s Hospice, this time returning to the Manchester area to run in the official 9:00am run at Cheadle and to run round 7 other parkrun courses in the Manchester area all in one day.

parkrunathors for Acorns Hospice 2015

I did it there last year with Sam Nightingale (the former Sunderland parkrun E.D. & Netball Coach who is well known to many Striders). On that day 5 others joined us at different stages and we formed a ‘Dream Team’. One of those runners, Gazz Pashley, contacted me about a month ago and wanted to do the challenge again on the 11th July. So with little preparation and training I agreed, but not to do all 8! In the end I completed 6 of the runs which was still a distance of almost 19 miles, so I felt relatively pleased. More pleasing was the fun we had, new friends made, and the wonderful amount of money we raised. Leona & Lorraine were 2 Chorlton Runners who were also with us last year and they did a wonderful job recruiting several more of their fellow club runners. The Dream Team had grown to 10 in number for the 7:30 am start at Woodbank parkrun course.

parkrunathors for Acorns Hospice 2015

One big thrill and a lovely surprise was the appearance of Peter Bell and his lovely wife, Beatrice. They had seen my itinerary on Facebook, and as they were in the area met up with us all at 5:00 pm for run #7 at Worsley Woods – Thank you Peter.

parkrunathors for Acorns Hospice 2015

Arrow Valley parkrun near Birmingham (where I did a parkunathon 2 years ago) are undertaking to complete another tour of the West Midlands on September 5th to raise further funds for Acorns. Their Team starts off with a magnificent 30. Wonderful news.

parkrunathors for Acorns Hospice 2015

The pictures provide a better idea of the day than my words ever could, and will hopefully stimulate an interest in the minds of several of you.

Next Summer I intend to have a tour of the North East parkruns and some plans are already in place. Andy James has given me reasonable rates for a Bus with 2 drivers from Gillingham’s for the day. All I will then need is about 50 or so ‘volunteers’ to run with Peter & I. Fingers crossed they will be mostly Striders - Watch This Space ...

Lyke Wake Race, North York Moors, 11th July


Aaron Gourley

Gary and AaronThe Lyke Wake Walk is one of those iconic challenges that I'd longed to do but never had the chance. Friends had completed the walk many times which is to be done in under 24hrs.

So before I entered the dark world of ultrarunning I always thought of this as being a challenge that was the preserve of long distance walkers not realising people actually ran it. And when last year it was announced that the Lyke Wake race would be no more after 50 years due to dwindling numbers, I thought that I'd missed my chance to run it competitively.

But low and behold, with the dedication of Quakers AC and renewed interest from the ultrarunning community, the 51st Lyke Wake race was on and I wasn't missing out.

The race is a point to point route starting in Osmotherley and ending in Ravenscar following the Cleveland Way for most of the first half before heading out across the North Yorkshire Moors towards the coast.

I arrived in Osmotherley with fellow Wingate resident and Sedgefield Harrier, Gary Thwaites opting to stay the night in the YHA about half a mile from the start. Gary is a fine runner and very disciplined so bringing him down to my level on a lovely warm evening in Osmotherley, we scoffed the finest fish & chips I've had for a long time before washing it down with very, very good pints of Wainwrights in the local pub before calling it a night.

The Lyke Wake operates a handicapped starting system and Gary and I had estimated a 9hr finish which gave us a 7:15am start. Other groups would start a various intervals throughout the morning ranging from 4am to 10:30am.

There was a small group of runners for this start and following a thorough kit check and a few words of wisdom from the RD, we were off.

A short run up the road saw us join the Cleveland Way heading north towards Carlton Bank and the first check point at Lord Stones. There's no prescribed route for the Lyke Wake but there were checkpoints that must be reached so from Lord Stones you could go over the three sisters (Wainstones, et al) or follow the low path. We chose the low path.

With the next checkpoint bagged it was off up to Blowarth Crossing and the long stretch to the half way point at The Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge. Reaching the Lion Inn at over 40 mins ahead of schedule we spent a little time scoffing rice pudding and various other goodies that had been laid on for us. Leaving here was a drag and the temperature was increasing as we hit the open Moor. The ground was relatively dry bar a few really boggy sections which would see you sink to your knees. The ground bounced as we ran to the next check point and the heat, the terrain and the distance were beginning to take their toll and I was fading fast. The next miles were hard and I was struggling, Gary tried his best to lift my spirits but I was not responding well.

I took a moment to regain my composure at Lilla Cross, before a long downhill towards Jugger How checkpoint, but dropping down into a steep ravine I slipped and fell which sent my calf into cramp. I struggled to get back out of the ravine and felt totally dejected as the time we'd built up slipped away.

The final three miles took us up in to Ravenscar and the coast line and Robin Hoods Bay in the distance beamed in the late afternoon sun. Running on pure adrenaline, I push on to the finish line at the Raven Hall Hotel to complete the race in 8hr33mins. This was 27mins faster than my predicted time but much slower than I thought was going to be possible.

Hats off to Anthony Corbett and the hard work and dedication of Quakers AC to get this race back on, I'm sure it will go from strength to strength. The only negative point I have is that due to it being a point to point race and the staggered starts it makes it quite a challenge logistically, especially if you're running unsupported as there's no transport provided to or from the start finish areas. Sort that and this will be a winner.

Dales Trail Series DT30, Muker, Swaledale, 11th July

33 km

Diane Watson

Start of the 33 km Durham Trails Series DT30 race at Muker, Swaledale
As we drew closer to Swaledale about 8.30am, the weather was not looking too good. A grey sky was drizzling miserably and low cloud obscuring the high ground filled me with trepidation in case visibility was poor. I knew I was going to have to rely on other runners and markers to get me round the course. The route was described as being partially marked and marshalled at key direction changes, but it looked fairly straight forward on the map. As usual, my insecurities about navigation came to the fore but as a map wasn't compulsory I felt reassured that it would be OK. We met Elaine Bisson in the car park who had planned to run with John Ayres. Unfortunately at 06.30 that morning John had called to say that he had injured his back and that he couldn't run. Like me, Elaine had no map and hadn't had a chance to look at the route as John had planned to show her round.

The event seemed well organised with plenty of drinks and snacks for sale and after a quick cup of tea and a flapjack we set off to the start about 1km away where we met Dave Robson and Mel Hudson who seemed keen to get started. By now the sun was shining and it was pretty warm. The briefing informed us that the route was actually 33k, but we were told with tongue firmly in cheek that since the first 3k was on roads, it technically was still a 30k trail race (not sure how that works!). We were triple counted and suddenly we were off.

Having been warned that the first 5 miles was uphill, it was not as bad as I thought with some bits more runnable than others. However, the fast runners quickly left me for dead and I took up close to the rear with a couple of other ladies. We had been warned to take it easy on the narrow rocky descent after 5 miles or so, but even so, I managed to trip over a rock (or maybe it was my own feet). Momentum took over and I hit the the ground with knee and thigh before inadvertently using my left boob as an airbag against a rock. I think it might possibly have saved me a rib fracture but it hurt (I have a colourful chest as a reminder)! A very caring runner stayed with me for a few moments whilst I got to my feet; I declined her water to drink or to wash my bloodied knee with, and steadily increased from a hobble back to a run. I did keep telling her to run on but she refused, and I felt a brief (very brief) pang of guilt as I ran off and left her behind…!

Diane, Dave and Mel pass the Tan Hill Inn, the highest point of the DT30 trail race
It was hot and I was pleased that there were 5 drinks stations, having previously thought it was a bit of overkill for 33k. I made a point of drinking at each one but still ended up a bit dehydrated at the end of the day. At roughly the half way point I reached the famous Tan Hill pub where Mel and Dave caught and left me, and I where my husband, Scott, was waiting with camera in one hand and a half pint of 'Ewe's Juice' ale in the other. I could see he was twitching that I stopped at the checkpoint to eat one of my mini cheese and pickle sandwiches (washing it down with water and an excellent flavourless isotonic drink). Although I was pretty quick I expected to have an ear bashing at the finish, which was duly delivered. Yes, I accept that my drinking and eating on longer races could be more efficient but I've not got the knack yet so give me a chance, I only started racing 9 months ago!

Diane gives it everything in a sprint finish after 33 km!
The route then continued on a grassy/tussocky/boggy descent and very rocky trails. At one point my injured leg disappeared into a black, squidgy, peat bog (though it probably did the grazes some good). Out, up and off again, I was on a roll. Feeling low on energy I had a very quick drink and a gel at the 23K station and was soon feeling pretty good again. It didn't seem long before I passed the 28K checkpoint and came upon a narrow, rocky steep incline, albeit short with a marshall at the top who directed me to the left saying 'Only another couple of K to go'. That was a looooooong 2K! There were groups of walkers coming in the opposite direction; the path was intermittently narrow and rocky, up and down, but most of the walkers moved to let me past. I thanked them, one and all (had a Striders vest on and had to at least APPEAR to be nice) and was looking forward to a leisurely flat and grassy finish.

Eventually I went through a gate - which closed with a loud clang - and at last could see, in the distance, the finish alongside the river. A few brief seconds later I heard the gate clang again. I knew it was another lady, who had shadowed me for much of the race and I thought that if she overtook me now I was incapable of increasing my pace for that distance so I would just have to accept that she is a better woman than me. But it didn't happen and with about 50 metres to go I eventually heard her breathing heavily behind me - right on my shoulder. All I could think was (penny in the swear box) "there's no ******* way she's taking my place now!".

I mustered up some energy from somewhere deep down, somewhere that I had never before delved into, and ran hell for leather! It paid off and I beat her by 2 seconds. Although I thought I had 3 or 4 runners behind me, I was chuffed to find that there were actually 10. My jubilation that I'd not let myself nor the Striders down was embellished by finding out that Elaine had finished 3rd lady overall. Now I'm back home nursing my bruises and looking forward to the next challenge…. Anybody know if arnica's any good?

Elaine takes a well earned 3rd Lady prize in the DT30 at Muker, Swaledale


position bib name club cat time
1 66 Ben Hukins M 02:30:06
8 26 Lucy Colquhoun FV35 02:53:24
27 11 Elaine Bisson Elvet Striders FV35 03:08:35
98 64 Melanie Hudson Elvet Striders FV35 04:14:30
99 117 Dave Robson Elvet Striders MV60 04:14:31
105 146 Diane Watson Elvet Striders FV45 04:25:23

115 finishers.

Grand Prix Race. Sprint Champion Race.

Angel View Run, 9th July


Graeme Walton

With GP points up for grabs and a desperate need to recapture some kind of form I decided to give this race a go. My fitness had dropped since my London Marathon experience due to injury and laziness - more of the latter to be fair.

Katy and I arrived in good time and met up with Conrad and Jan in the car park then off we went to pick up our race numbers. The race was billed as approx 6 miles long with the starter explaining the route at length before we set off: two loops plus an out and back section consisting of trail/grass/road including some steady climbs. A group photo was taken with Sarah and Robin, and then we were ready to tear up the course.

I wasn't sure as we stood at the start line whether I had it in me to compete with Conrad, however as the race began the racing spirit soon kicked in. We soon headed up the first hill with Conrad speeding away from me. I felt decent enough as we made our way through the first lap without to much problem. At the end of the first lap there was a very tough climb where I got the chance to see the front runners on the way back down - they were absolutely flying, although it was downhill for them. At the far end of the out and back section I got a chance to see how far Conrad was in front of me - too far!! Coming back down the hill was heaven and then onto the second lap I started...

Hmmm... this is where it all went wrong: unfortunately a marshal on one of the points had sent the front runners the wrong way and so had little choice than to send the rest of field the same way. Image my surprise when my race was over after only 3.8 miles!! Maybe if you look on the results it will read that I ran approx 10k in under 28 minutes???? - I guess not. No harm done though; as far as every one was concerned it was an honest mistake that could happen to anyone.

Special praise to the Striders prize winners - Conrad, Jan and Sarah who all won some gift vouchers for performing well in there age categories.


position name club cat time
1 Adrian Bailes Birtley AC U21 21:48
25 Lorna Graham Birtley AC F O35 26:28
27 Conrad White O55 26.31
39 Graeme Walton O40 27.48
46 Katy Walton F 28.40
63 Sarah Davies F O45 30.17
87 Jan Young F O60 32.47
92 Robin Linton 33.29

118 finishers.

Grand Prix Race. King/Queen of the Mountain Race.

Saltwell Harriers Fell Race, Stanhope, Co. Durham, 7th July

BS/9 km/300 m

Penny Browell

Penny running strongly at the Saltwell Harriers' Fell Race just prior to the 'fluid exchange' (see article)
After a tough day I was delighted that childcare and work allowed me to escape to try out this little fell race. There is nothing better to clear the mind than a run in our beautiful countryside and the fact that the race had been described as a "little brute of a race" made it sounds like a great challenge.

Whilst some of our speedy club mates met in Newcastle for the 5 mile Bridge of the Tyne Race, a hardy group of 10 purple-vested adventurers met in a layby on a road near Stanhope to begin our Tuesday evening. As we waited for the start the wind was a touch chilly but the sun was out and after a somewhat scary briefing ("obey the rules or I will tell the FRA and you will never run a fell race again") we were off.

The race soon warms you up as it starts with a steady climb first on track and then through the grass. Once we'd turned at the mast we ran directly into the sun which made it quite difficult to make out where your feet were going. There were plenty of boggy puddles to keep you on your toes and I was quite happy to learn from the runner in front where not to plant my feet. I have to say I felt absolutely great out there - the views were fabulous and seeing runners spreading out into the distance always gives me a buzz. My enjoyment was only slightly diminished when, whilst overtaking a DFR runner, who (I hope not realising I was there) deposited a full mouthful of spit across my face. Maybe he just couldn't handle being 'chicked'…

After crossing the road we continued the descent to the stream checkpoint. As ever I lost places on the descent. I was aware that at this point I was first Strider. I didn't know where I was in the ladies' ranking but I knew I didn't want to drop back. So each time someone passed me I breathed a sigh of relief that it was neither a strider nor a woman! The descent becomes suddenly much steeper just before the stream and I had to resort to sliding down on my bum as running was never going to work. The bum tactic was fairly efficient and I was soon into the stream, slightly disappointed it was nothing like the wade through the Tees at Cronkley a couple of weeks ago but quite appreciative of the refreshing cold water. As I scrambled out I heard what I'd feared from the start - Graeme's voice….it was going to be a repeat of Cronkley with him flying past me and me regretting taking the first hill too fast!

Penny finally overhauls a fast-finishing Graeme on the 'velvet path' climb to the finish of the Saltwell Harriers' Fell RaceI tried to push on but the next section along the contour of the hill was quite uncomfortable. I'd turned my ankle slightly on the descent and couldn't get into a rhythm. Unsurprisingly Graeme passed me and when we had to negotiate a tricky little downhill section I thought I'd lost him. To make matters worse I could hear a woman breathing down my neck. Now I didn't really mind Graeme beating me but since someone had mentioned I was second lady on the downhill, I did not want to lose my place. Next up was a fairly steep uphill section and I knew this was my chance to lose her. I put my foot on the gas and passed a couple of men so I knew there was space between us. This burst of speed brought Graeme back into sight. As I levelled with him I asked how far we had to go - he warned there was a steep uphill to finish but with my hill rep training in the bag (thanks Tom) I decided I'd be fine. So on I went. The final climb was painful but with the end in sight I pushed on and was delighted to cross the line and grab my much-needed bottle of water.

As many people have said before, this really is a cracking little race and I can't think of a better way to spend a Summer's evening. At just £5 it's an absolute bargain (especially as they are generous with prizes!). Anyone who is tempted to try fell racing I really recommend this one next year. You won't regret it!


position bib name club cat time
1 65 Andy Blackett Durham Fell Runners M 42.48
29 84 Karen Robertson NFR F40 51:02
47 86 Penny Browell F V40 53.56
51 55 Graeme Walton M V40 54.21
53 16 Michael Bennett M V60 54.51
75 73 Shaun Roberts M V55 59.28
83 57 Katy Walton F Senior 62.38
88 87 Stephanie Piper F Senior 63.48
97 31 Jan Young F V60 65.36
108 62 Anita Clementson F V45 73.13
110 63 Diane Watson F V50 76.52
111 64 Jean Bradley F V55 78.02

113 finishers.

Bridges of the Tyne Road Race, Newcastle Quayside, 7th July

5 miles

Stephen Jackson

Stephen in full flight at the Bridges of the Tyne 5 Mile Road Race 2015
In the months of June, July and August the race calendar is full of local gems like this. Just a few weeks after the Blaydon Race, I was back on Tyneside hoping to set a new 5 mile PB. The route is a simple 'out and back' course along the iconic Newcastle Quayside with a little climb on the turn at around 2 miles. Other than that it is fair to say that the race is 'fast and flat' with ample opportunity to attack the last couple of miles.

There was a huge turnout of new Striders, well established Striders and ex-Striders; everyone was extremely encouraging and it really was a great occasion. I think many people made a bit of a night of it and stayed in a local hostelry after the race. The conditions were warm and although there was a headwind on the way out it did help on the way back when things started getting tough.

Gareth Pritchard set off looking strong and I followed suit as we both went through the first mile a little quicker than intended. There was still time to take stock, ease off and get to half way (including the race's only hill). The second half was hard work but I felt able to gradually pick up speed and, one by one, gain a few places. I finished the race above 5km pace which was encouraging. The funny thing about running PBs is it never gets any easier.

It was great to give a cheer to other Striders as they stormed towards the finish line, everyone was running hard which was great to see. Goody bag included a technical T-shirt and a protein drink. This is a race I'd most certainly do again.


Striders POS Name Club Cat Finish Time Chip Time
1st M Lewis Timmins Morpeth Harriers Senior M 25:28 25:27
1st F Justina Heslop Elswick Harriers VF35 27:49 27:49
1 Stephen Jackson Senior M 28:32 28:31
2 Gareth Pritchard Senior M 28:47 28:45
3 Simon Gardner (M) V45 30:56 30:51
4 Paul Pascoe (M) V45 33:39 33:31
5 Helen Todd VF 35 36:26 36:02
6 Fiona Jones VF 35 37:16 36:51
7 David Spence (M) V65+ 37:55 37:39
8 Stephanie Walker VF 35 38:48 36:18
9 Martin Welsh (M) V50 38:49 38:33
10 Katherine Preston (F) V45 40:49 40:32
11 Karen Jones (F) V45 41:11 38:40
12 Richard Hall Senior M 41:32 39:28
13 Greta Jones (F) V45 41:33 39:03
14 Lesley Charman (F) V40 43:01 42:27
15 Louise Barrow Senior F 43:20 42:52
16 Rebecca Fisher VF 35 46:48 44:43
17 Angela Coates (F) V40 46:54 46:35
18 Karen Hooper VF 35 48:37 48:02
19 Aileen Scott (F) V45 48:44 48:13
20 Liz Baker (F) V40 49:07 48:36
21 Laura Chapman Senior F 50:39 49:58
22 Laura Gibson VF 35 50:53 50:12
23 Kerry Lister (F) V40 50:59 50:25
24 Mike Elliott (M) V65+ 53:48 53:15
25 Natalie Johnson VF 35 53:48 53:07
26 Fiona Billinge (F) V40 53:57 53:25
27 Helen Allen (F) V45 55:52 55:11
28 Claire Galloway Senior F 56:28 55:47
29 Lindsay Craig (F) V45 58:37 58:02
30 Laura Jackson VF 35 58:42 58:07

381 finishers.

[Note: Results on the www.resultsbase.net website are not listed by overall position when filtered by club. To see your overall position you need to go the their website and click on your own result. Ed.]

Southport Half Marathon, 5th July

Dougie Nisbet

I'm spending a lot of time in Southport at the moment visiting family, and we all know what we do when we're away visiting family don't we? We check to see if there are any races on! And, what's this, a half-marathon just 10 minutes walk from my in-laws flat? Well, that certainly comes under 'serendipity' in my dictionary.

Adding some purple to Victoria ParkDenise was there too, but she had a special bit, as I discovered when I was facepalmed trying to get into their enclosure. "Are you a Tourist?", I was asked. My baffled expression was a clear enough answer and I went over to the non-Tourist bits of Victoria Park. I bumped into Denise soon enough though, easily spotting the purple vest amongst the not-very-purply-generally runners. (Penny Lane Striders is near the top of my list of great club names, just below the Troon Tortoises). Denise is currently doing the Tour of Merseyside, 6 races over 7 days. It looks a blast and it's one to keep an eye on for next year. Fills up quickly though.

So just one weekend after running the Durham Dales Challenge as an impulse purchase, here I was again, on another one. The course was described as fast and flat. We started and I did as I was told. Belting round the first 5 miles, keeping an eye on my watch and having quite a high opinion of myself. Mile 5 to 6 I started reviewing the situation, and on mile 7 I slowed to a jog.

For the next few miles I was a shadow of my former self and around the lake in Southport I later learned that Denise had me in her sights. But I perked up the last mile or two and soon after passing the 12 mile marker found myself back in Victoria Park. A little loop, and there it was, the Finish. Time to give it what's left! Closer, closer, and, what the hell?! Someone's having a laugh! I could see the finish, just 100 metres away, but sadly we were separated by a marshall and a metal barrier. Apparently, we still had a lap round the park to do yet! Cruel, Southport, Cruel!

I know, for a laugh, let them see the finish, then send them round the park again!

I still managed to just squeeze in a sub-2 hour half although I hadn't expected to literally end the race with a Park Run. Denise wasn't quite so chuffed with my time, telling me that she almost caught me around the lake, but then 'you sped up again you little sh*t'. I glowed with pleasure; it's always satisfying to pip a clubmate over the line, and even better when they're a bit miffed about it! Better luck next year Denise!

Skiddaw Fell Race, 5th July

9m / 2700' AM

Aaron Gourley

As I reach the finishing straight my 3 year old daughter wants to run with me, so I slow and let her run along, but she decides she's no energy left, so I scoop her up and carry her over the finish line before slumping in a heap to the floor.

"Daddy, can we play snap now?" she asks as I lie wheezing on the grass outside Keswick Cricket Club after completing the Skiddaw Fell Race. She has no concept that I've just run up to the summit and back down from England's fourth highest mountain standing at 931m covering 9:43miles in 1hr40mins on a hot July day.

It started out relatively easy as the 115 competitors set off at 12:30pm from the edge of the cricket field in Fitz Park, a sharp left up a road and across a foot bridge over the A66 leading into the woods.

Soon the gradient increases and the pace drops. Onto the track at the foot of Jenkin Hill the gradient steepens further - head down, hands on knees power walk begins.

After a while the gradient shallows and it becomes strangely runnable as we pass the gated junction leading to Skiddaw Little Man. It's on this path the lead runner passes on his way back down closely tracked by the second placed runner. I'm in awe as I plod onwards and upwards.

As I near the summit more and more runners come hurtling down towards me then on the summit plateau, Hardmoors queen, Shelli Gordon passes. I reach the top and find it necessary to touch the summit cairn before I turn to make my descent, but not before I remove a stone that's sneaked into my shoe.

It's a beautifully clear day, to my left is Blencathra in all its glory and immediately ahead, the Helvellyn range shadowing over Keswick and the valley below. It's moments of beauty like this that make fell running such a fabulous sport. But I daren't take my eyes of the ground for too long as the gradient on the descent steepens.

Up ahead are a group of runners, I catch two guys who are tentatively making their way down and target the two ladies in front but as the path levels out, their pace seems to increase, (or is it mine decreasing?). As we make our way back through the woods they disappear, a final steep descent back to the foot bridge at the A66 sees me caught by a girl from Horwich running club, who powers past me for the final stretch.

This is a fantastic no-nonsense fell race, tough but a relatively simple out and back race with the opportunity to eat your £7 entry fee in cake at the end!

Red Kite Trail Race, Derwent Valley, Co. Durham, 5th July

5 M

Mark Dunseith

View over the the Derwent Valley
I've been injured and lazy lately: after my first DNF at the Hoka Highland Fling in April I have been having trouble with my hips and have only taken part in three parkruns, the Lambton 10k, Phil's Clamber recce and the Weardale Triathlon. I've missed nearly every Strider Wednesday and Monday night in that time too. The annoying thing about being injured, apart from not running, is losing entry fees. In the past month I have DNS the Windermere Marathon and The Yomp. So when the Red Kite Trail Race came along for only £4 I decided to sign up as it wasn't a lot to lose if I couldn't take part.

But take part I did and what a race! We started by collecting our numbers from Dipton Community Centre which has a balcony with stunning views over most of the course. One of the local runners showed us where the water stop was and pointed out different sections of the run route while looking over the vista.

Elvet Striders, Mark and Flip together at the Red Kite Trail Race 2015So to the start line we went and after a short briefing we were off. The route took us along the road and after a turn off onto the trail almost the whole first half of the race was downhill. I started near the back due to my lack of recent runs but I soon realised that once you get on the trail there isn't much room for overtaking. Eventually the trail widened and I took off downhill. A lot of runners were running on their heels here trying to slow themselves down but for me this is all free running as you can let gravity pull you down and all you have to worry about is where to put your feet. I caught up with Phil Owen and started to run with him while having a chat about everything and nothing. It was just like being on a Wednesday social run around Houghall Woods which wasn't lost on Debs Goddard as she shot past us and told us there was too much chatting and not enough effort going on.

There were a few stiles to climb which kept the bunch together and after climbing one stile we were in a field with about 50 cows. The cows were obviously a little upset with us being in their field as they were circling the runners and running round making plenty of noise. If you were a city type it might have put you off a bit but Strider club runs have prepared our runners for this type of thing. The farmer was in the field trying to herd them away from the runners but he wasn't having much success. Through the field we went then through the farm and along the bottom of the course towards the water stop and the inevitable climb back to the community centre.

At this point Phil took off while I was just trying to get through the race. However, after leaving the water point I had a bit of a 'moment'. I enjoy running but every now and again I have a moment which I love and I had one here. I think it was the smell of the woods that did it for me as I started climbing and felt great. Not great as in having energy and a second wind, just the feeling that this is an awesome thing to be doing on a Sunday morning. I wasn't going fast, I wasn't going to complete a goal such as the longest distance I have run, or my quickest mile, I was just enjoying running. I would put this in my top three ever running moments.

For the remainder of the race I was run/walking but enjoying every step. I was saying hello and having a chat with everyone who overtook me but having a great time. Every time I tried to walk there was a camera pointing at me or a marshal encouraging me so ended up running more than walking. Just as I thought I was back to the top of the climb there was a decent size downhill before the final ascent. Back to the pavement and a short 'sprint' to the community centre where I was told there was soup and cream scones for the runners but I was just happy to lie on the grass and watch the rest of the finishers come in while chatting to the other Striders.

This is a great race and so cheap compared to many others. The course has everything a trail race should have and I can't recommend it highly enough. I'll definitely be back next year.

Great North 10K, Gateshead, 5th July

Lesley Hamill

Advertised as the 'North East's biggest 10K' (and probably the most expensive!), this race is a good opportunity to experience the atmosphere of the Great North Run, which I am also doing this year. The course starts behind Gateshead International Stadium and makes its way to Gateshead Quayside, passing landmarks such as the Sage, the Millennium Bridge and the BALTIC Centre.

Turning the Quayside Purple.

As this was going to be my first race since I ran the Great North Run in 1998, and also my first race as a Strider, I was feeling really excited. Thankfully Laura Gibson had lent me her vest, and once I'd figured out how to pin my number on using my new Event Clips (very handy!), I was good to go. My husband, Jonathan, was also running the race, and we met up with some of the other Striders taking part in front of the stadium. Also taking part in the race were over 200 Gurkha soldiers, raising money for the Nepal Earthquake Response Fund, they were quite an awesome sight!

Helen returns to racing after a 17 year breather, and as a Strider! We made our way to the start (and got filmed for the local news, which we only discovered later on!) It was hot, but the atmosphere was great and we were treated to an interesting warm up with Katie Cook, who had appeared on The Apprentice (apparently). Soon we were off, I got a bit carried away and ran the first 2k at my parkrun pace, which I soon realised I couldn't sustain, especially in the heat! Once on the Quayside it was brilliant to see the much faster Striders on their way back. It was at this point that I was pleased to be wearing my Striders' vest, as the waves and shouts really kept me going. I was relieved to reach the turnaround point, especially as I knew the fire brigade was just round the corner with a big hose!

After a refreshing shower it was great to bump into another friend who was running, and to cheer on some other Striders on the other side. I had lost hubby at this point (sorry Jonathan!), it was really hot, but I felt good, and knew my target of sub 60 minutes was achievable. The hill at 9K was a bit of a surprise, but the sign at the bottom saying 'Smile!' and 'Local Hero' blasting out from the speakers definitely helped me up it! The last 1K seemed to go on forever, but the excitement of the stadium finish kept me going. Hearing the hundreds of spectators cheering everyone in at the end was amazing; I even managed a sprint finish!

I was delighted with my time of 55.54, a 10K PB in my first race as a Strider, and am now even more excited about the Great North Run in September!

The Crosses, Goathland, North Yorkshire, 4th July


Dave Robson

A cross certificate.

This section is written three days before event starts ...

I am a bit nervous about this event. It is five years since I ran an event over 50m or 40m or even 35m. I normally do marathons, though some of them like the Hardmoors marathons are often closer to 30m. I always get some nervous anticipation before a race, especially a marathon, because I know it is going to be hard at some point. I know I will question why I am doing that event. But I know that feeling won't last and the buzz I get when I am finished is always good. I wonder if I didn't get any nervous anticipation whether I would do the events. Maybe if it was all routine, then that is the time to find something else to do.

I nearly didn't enter this event, but I read that it is a one off event in aid of the Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue Team. So if I didn't do it this year I might never get another chance. The plan is that the route visits many of the crosses on the North York moors. It starts at midday in Goathland so I will be finishing in the dark also at Goathland. One good thing about it is that I have covered some of the route before in the Hardmoors Rosedale, Smuggler's Trod, Rosedale Ultra and Hardmoors Goathland races. But there is the nagging negative voice which says are you getting a bit too old for 50m+ events ?

My positive voice says well that is exactly what you said in 2006 before you entered your first marathon. That and all the following ones worked out well, so why not this one ??

After the event ...

With a midday start we could have a bit of a lie in. We drove down in two cars as my car would go in the event car park and Melanie would drive round and support me. This worked out great, it made it so much easier being able to change my shirt (twice) and shoes (once) and pick up food. Thank you Melanie :-)

On the drive down it was cloudy and at one or two places on the moors, there was thick fog. It was still pretty hot, but there was a bit of a breeze. It could have been been much worse there have been some very hot blue skies days with no wind this last week.

At Goathland we parked up and went over to the Village Hall, registered, collected the goody bag and chatted to the many Hardmoors runners who were there. There were quite a few walkers doing the event - there was a 24hr cut off so there was plenty of time to walk round.

From the start at the Village Hall we started off running down the old railway track just like on the Hardmoors Goathand event, but we went a bit further before turning west and heading our first hill. After this were small sections of road and lots of paths across the moors. Some of these were uneven and I realised that my Hoka Stinsons were not the best to start this event with, I was twisting my ankle a bit too much. After the first checkpoint at about 6m there was a steep descent into Glaisdale where I had to slow down to keep myself from slipping over. The second major climb, on road (Caper Hill at about 9m), got us out of Glaisdale and there was Melanie waiting for me at the top. By this time the sun was out, but luckily there was a breeze. It was in our faces, but it did give us some relief from the sun.

Beautiful North Yorkshire views.

After the second self clip at Botton Cross, I managed to lose my tally card. It was pretty windy there and I had to bend right down to get it scanned so maybe it fell out of its holder then. Luckily I remembered my number which kept the checkpoint staff happy.

I met up with Melanie at the Lion Inn and had more water melon, it was so cooling :-) Then it was the long stretch on the old railway line to Rosedale Chimney. This stretch I know well and it seems to go on for a long time. I was walking and running by this time. There are some beautiful views down to Rosedale.

After reaching the Chimney checkpoint it was a lovely downhill to Lastingham where I met up with Melanie.

After this there was a long stretch of road followed by a long drag upwards on a forest road before a plunge down to the Pickering railway line at Newtondale Halt. This was followed a very steep climb out of the dale before the drag up to Saltersgate. Here I met with Melanie for the last time and changed shoes and finished off the water melon.

After the next checkpoint, Lilla Cross, it was on with the new head torch, the Alpkit Arc. It had come with batteries but they didn't last much more than an hour so I had to try the big selling point of the Arc, the easy battery swap. I managed to drop the replacement case, but luckily I had a second headtorch and was able to find it !

The next section was Robin Hood's Bay Road, which was the furthest from a road that you could imagine. I would have struggled to run much of this if I was fresh and and it was daylight.

Catch ya later!

This section was very well lit with perfectly placed glowsticks. After Postgate Cross, (where I stopped for some lovely soup :-)) the glowsticks got a bit more sparse and I had at tricky time getting to John Cross. Luckily I knew where I should be from the Smuggler's Trod and got myself back on track. From there it was a bit of plod back to Goathland which I reached at 9 minutes past 2 am.

Having done the first half in about five and half hours, I can see that I am marathon fit, but not really able to go too much beyond that. I should have done more back to back runs to get myself used to running on tired legs. The heat in the first half also took its toll.

I am pleased I did it, but I am not sure I would do it again if it does happen again in the future, it was last done in 1999 and cancelled because of low numbers and only brought back this year because it is the 50th anniversary of the Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue Team. Apparently they had 250 enter this time (they had a 300 limit) so it is possible it might continue as a fundraiser for the Team who did a great job at the checkpoints and at the finish in Goathland.

Chevy Chase, Wooler, 3rd July

20M / 4,000'

Camilla Lauren-Määttä

Here's one that Camilla took earlier - on the recce Chevy Chase, a classic fell race open to runners and walkers, has been organised by Wooler Running Club since 1956. This popular race fills up quickly, so I had entered the race in February (so tempting to enter summery races that time of year and so easy to lose count of how many you enter). It is also one of those races where you get cake at the end, always an added bonus. I had arrived early, so had a quick chat with fellow Striders Maggie and Christine before they started their walk 1 h before the runners. Unusually, I was the only Strider running the event this time, so I chatted to unaffiliated runners Liz and Mark whilst waiting. Apparently, many runners had pulled out of the race last minute due to the weather, so Mark had managed to get a last minute place by turning up on the day.

It was still pouring down when we lined up in Ramsay Lane and were told there was a slight possibility that the route may get diverted from the hills later in the event of a thunderstorm. I knew that the first half of the race was going to be the toughest, as we would climb both the Cheviot (815 m) and Hedgehope Hill (714 m) so I took it easy to conserve my energy for later. After the first check point at Broadstruther there was a steady climb over boggy ground, gradually steepening after the Cheviot Knee. The mist was creeping in, so I made sure to stay close behind a lady in a bright yellow top and stripy socks as I couldn't see very far in front of me.

After a rather long climb and a short flattish run along a flagstoned path I arrived at the Cheviot summit. At this point I hauled out my compass to take the bearings to Hedgehope Hill, as there was no chance of spotting the hill from this distance in the mist. I followed a few runners over a stile and down a steep bank (no footpath at this point). The runners in front of me seemed confident about where they were going so I decided to follow them rather than the compass. However, I soon realised that they didn't have a clue of the best route, so we all changed direction together following my compass bearing. We would need to cross Harthope Burn at a suitable place but after some additional trotting found a gentle slope and a narrow crossing point only getting slightly wet feet. I was relieved to see some walkers in front of me, so we couldn't have gone too far off the right track. I was happy to see that they were Maggie and Christine power walking up the hill with great stamina. At last, I could also see the fence that led up to the hill summit.

As I descended down Hedgehope Hill all the fog had lifted and I could see green fields covered by fluffy cotton grass and further away Housey and Long Crags, meaning that Longlea Crag must be hidden behind them. Nearby a group of runners were carrying a lady with a twisted ankle, but they all seemed in good mood. It was getting hotter and I wished I had taken some sun cream with me, but at least I carried plenty of water (and there were often jelly babies on offer at the check points). The last half of the race was a complete contrast to the first; I was running in glorious sunshine through Harthope Valley, past Brands Corner and along Carey Burn to the suitably named Hell Path. My legs were rather knackered after the hills and started to cramp up during the last mile to the Youth Hostel. It was a relief to arrive at the finish and receive a rucksack and water bottle (apparently Liz, the lady I met at the start, had received a spot prize in her rucksack consisting of a large pair of pink pants - the latest alternative to t shirts and wine bottles?).

Overall, this was definitely one of the toughest races I've done due to the terrain (good contender this year to Allendale Challenge in terms of bogginess), but my memory is short so I'll probably be back for more at some point. Also, next year is the 60th anniversary of Chevy Chase so not a bad choice for the 2016 racing calendar..

Tynedale 10K, 1st July

Conrad White

The English summer had arrived and we officially had a heat wave! – More like a shake of the hand – a few of days when it got quite hot. Suffice to say the temperature was warm and close and sweaty.

I had managed to leave work on time and parked on the correct side of the Ovingham bridge this year, so I was there with time to spare having registered and parked. There was a goodly crowd of runners including, as always, a number of striders. From the school it is a mile up the hill to the start, which means the first mile is downhill and tempting to take tooooooooo fast (and then the legs run out of steam by the end, as you think you are on for a PB.) After the first mile the course undulates for a couple more miles on the road through Wylam before doubling back on the other side of the river in the Tyne valley. It is a scenic midweek run which I have done on a number of occasions and enjoy. There was an unfortunate shoe lace malfunction at 2 miles that cost me a few seconds but generally the going was good. I had reigned in the first mile so that I found I was then able to work my way through the field gradually – which was a nice feeling. Around the 4 mile mark I noted I was chasing the same person as at Lambton. I kept pushing and again was able to sneak past her in the final stages. There was a very welcome bottle of water at the end and pie and peas back at the school. A friendly well organised race with entries on the day it is a good way to spend a summer evening. Well done to all striders in the warm clammy conditions.


1Ian HardingMorpeth Harriers16-391/12700:32:28
30Emma HoltMorpeth Harriers00:37:28
116Conrad White55-595/2300:42:33
251Helen Todd35-398/4600:47:45
289Karen Jones45-495/2300:49:19
295Greta Jones45-497/2300:49:26
312David Spence65+3/900:50:10
384Sue Gardham40-4415/3600:53:09
388Ian Spencer50-5439/4800:53:17
457Brian Ford45-4949/5100:58:19
459Louise Barrow16-3447/6200:58:19
528Mike Elliott65+8/901:08:09

546 finishers

Club Run Orienteering Night, Low Burnhall Woodland Trust, 1st July

Dougie Nisbet