May’s Monster Round-up
The merry, merry month of May finally brought us light evenings, clear skies, and some better conditions in which to enjoy our runs, jogs and walks! Our Striders recorded over 180 results across a wide range of events, doing so whilst putting in week-after-week of Bed Race training! Heat was an issue at many events, with May 2018 being the sunniest since 1989 and warmest since records began more than 100 years ago, according to the Met Office. So, in many ways, May was a ‘monster’ of a month for our club members!
Saturday 5th May – parkrun participation, fabulous fells, horrible hills and copious cakes…
The first Saturday morning of May saw many of our members enjoying their parkruns. With participation being the mainstay of parkrun (rather than outright performance) it’s great to see Striders out in large numbers, week in, week out around the area. Harrogate parkrun saw over 500 runners took part, 18 of whom were Striders! In the spirit of participation, here are our finishers – in no particular order! Strider of the Year Edna Wood (29:06), Tracy Allison (29:47), Robert Charlesworth (29:55), Paul Heywood(24:10), David Halladay (24:12), Joanne Sharratt (37:52), Ruth Mann (39:17), Fiona Slight (28:29), Ian Mitchell (21:34), Mark Taylor (24:55), Tony Everitt (29:10), Dawn Richardson (30:37), Jane Johnson (31:00), Gaynor Downs (33:36), Jo Gray (35:31), Fiona Gartside (35:44), Sean Brennan (21:01) and Mick Dobson (27:35). Further afield at the Peterborough parkrun, Annika McDonald clocked 28:34. At Catterick parkrun, Jayne Close clocked 33:30 in her first visit, whilst at Wetherby parkrun, Nicola Carter found herself the first lady home in 21:35. Fountains Abbey parkrun saw the ever-present Derek Calvert clock 24:04, joined by Ryan Middleton (24:15) and Steve Morland (18:56 PB). Finally, Dalby Forest parkrun was the choice of Tom Calvert and Niamh Falconer who were in that neck of the woods (pun entirely intended) prior their race in Kirbymoorside the next day! Niamh was third lady home in 22:25 whilst Tom was 2nd overall in a stunning 17:28.
Up the Odda
This challenging trail race starts from Hawksworth and heads up the very steep and grassy Odda not once, but twice! This made for a very challenging race in the heat of the sun, with the occasional competitor on all fours! James Wright clocked a very decent 49:28 whilst Julie Elms overcame the challenge in a very respectable 1:25:52.
Nene Valley and Cakes. What more could you want? The Cakeathon challenged competitors to run as many laps as they wanted in 6 hours, with plentiful cakes each lap or at the end! Claire Baxter took up the challenge, passing the Marathon mark and clocking 26.82miles before calling it a day ‘early’ after a mere 4hrs 43minutes! Rarely has there been a better deserved (or needed) cake!
Buckden Out Moor Race
This fell race scales Buckden Pike, topping out at the 702m summit. James Warburton was certainly up to the challenge, finishing 3rd overall in an excellent time of 42:10.
Kentmere trail challenge
The latest round of the Lakeland trail series saw the hardy competitors gathering at Staveley. Janet and Steve Morris continued their challenge in this series, taking on the 17k course in 2:43:57 and 2:58:31 respectively.
Sunday 6th May – hot, hot, hot.
Kirbymoorside 10k saw hot, sapping conditions to ‘welcome’ our runners. Tom Calvert claimed 6th place overall in a highly-competive 38:01. James Wright was only a short distance behind, making the top 20 in 41:10. Niamh Falconer clocked a strong 51:15 before Dawn Richardson completed the quartet, overcoming the temperature in 1:06:09.
Peco XC vs WYWL Relays.
Several months had passed since the Peco and West Yorkshire Winter cross country leagues had ended, with several delays affecting the inter-league finale. Unfamiliar balmy conditions therefore greeted the competitors at Beckett Park, Leeds. The event saw teams of three runners representing the leagues or their clubs taking turns over a 3mile course. It proved a strong day for the Peco league, triumphing overall and in 5 of the 6 categories. Striders had two teams in the event. Our Ladies Vets LV40+ team came home in 44th place after legs by Lisa Harrison (24:25), Jo Gray (35:03) and June Graham (27:36) – a total time of 1:27:04.
Special mention must go to Lisa, who also accompanied June on the 3rd leg as the field thinned out over the sparsely -marshalled course. Our club representative team finished in 20th position overall, clocking 1:02:35 after legs by Steve Morland (19:05), Nicola Carter (21:22) and Gary Wilkinson (22:08). PecoXC will return along with the wintery conditions at the end of the year.
Roche Abbey 10k
Roche Abbey is definitely a hidden gem – it’s not very well known, but nevertheless it’s very beautiful. Nestled away in South Yorkshire near the picturesque village of Maltby, it was the base for a choice of track and trail events. In the 10k option, Claire Baxter finished up as 3rd Lady in 52:04, followed by Vanessa El-Etriby in 58:26.
Tuesday 8th May
Thursday 10th May
The York 5K series continued into race 2 at the University of York Sport Village’s Cycle Circuit. James Wright clocked an extremely competitive 18:18, followed by Lucy Shore (32:48) and Rachel Boyd (38:46).
Saturday 12th May – a championship day at parkrun!
Fountains Parkrun (Club Championship)
Fountains Abbey parkrun was the venue for the latest round of our club championship, resulting in a fantastic turnout of 30 Striders at the historic venue. Great performances were seen throughout the 384-strong field. Appropriately, the first parkrunner home was our own Tom Calvert (17:43), leading a Strider-dominated top ten as our members worked together to cut their way through the field: 3rd – James Ireland (18:34 Pb), 4th – James Wright (18:35 Pb), 5th – Martin Brock (18:38 Pb), 7th – Stephen Morland (18:44 Pb) and 9th – Dan Foley (19:07 Pb). Strong finishes followed in abundance: Ian Mitchell (20:30), Ian Waller (20:38), Robert Earl (21:16), Ryan Middleton (22:18 PB),Craig Mitchell (22:22 Pb), Claire Baxter (22:26 PB and 2nd Lady), Nick Wallen (23:39), Gary Wilkinson (23:41), Derek Calvert (24:12), Georgina Townsend (24:45), Julian Carr (26:00), Natalie Hale (26:45 PB), Michael Dobson (30:06), Mark Shelton (30:07), Dawn Richardson(30:18), Laura Wilmshurst(31:03 Pb), David Sinton (32:01), Gaynor Downs (32:16), Jackie Knight (33:59), Jo Gray (35:04), Lauren Downs (35:47 Pb), Joanne Sharratt (35:59 Pb), with Louise Buck and Ruth Mann clocking identical times (45:35).
Meanwhile, back at Harrogate parkrun, there was still a strong Strider representation with another rash of PBs! Our recent and very-welcome recruit Ted Welton knows the course very well and clocked a very competitive 19:58 to finish 7th, ahead of David Halladay (26:53), Robert Charlesworth (28:48), Rebecca Williams (28:50 Pb), Deborah Goldfield (28:50 Pb) and Jane Johnson (29:24 Pb). Last but no means least, Coventry parkrun’s huge field included the visiting Tony Everitt (29:22) and Tracy Allison (29:36).
Sunday 13th May – upping the distance
With a load of 5Ks out of the way, Striders moved up in distance around the North.
Ripon 10 is a long-established favourite and now included as part of the hornblower series. 500 runners headed west out of Ripon for 10 miles of very mixed terrain, taking in Studley’s bridges, Fountains Hall and a brutal 7th mile climb. Steve Morland led the Striders home in 1:12:43, followed by Ian Waller (1:16:29), Sean Brennan (1:21:17), Gary Wilkinson (1:22:27), Gareth Conkleton (1:25:06), Stewart Hymas (1:27:30), Paul Haywood (1:36:05) and Strider-of-the-year Edna Wood (1:48:59).
Leeds half-marathon has become another favourite with thousands pounding the outskirts of Leeds before a very loud and vibrant finish in the city centre. A quartet of Striders tackled the challenge with Lisa Harrison (1:57:04) chased in by Mark Shelton (2:20:06), Dawn Richardson (2:19:47) and Laura Wilmshurst (2:24:22).
Sunderland half-marathon was visited by the ever-improving Claire Baxter, clocking a strong 1:40:20 around the Wearside course.
Back on home turf, Dan Wilson was tackling the Harrogate Triathlon, comprising a 400m Swim, 14mi Bike and 3mile run. Dan splashed for 10:22, pedalled for 1:03:08 and dashed for 23:19, turning in a competitive total time of 1:40:07.
Wednesday 16th May – ‘Donfaster’
The Askern 10k, near Doncaster, is renowned as a fast course and this proved to be the case, with an amazing 72 runners breaking 40 minutes, and winning times of 32 and 35 minutes for the men and ladies! The closely-matched duo of Martin Brock and James Wright both smashed through that 40-minute barrier in times of 37:56 and 38:37. Well done chaps!
Saturday 19th May – a right royal day
With a wedding to watch (or avoid) and some longer runs scheduled for the following day, this was a quieter day race-wise but not before the usual array of parkruns!
At Catterick parkrun, the improving Jayne Close represented the club with a time of exactly 33minutes. With Harrogate parkrun now (finally) dried out, the runners are flocking back with nearly 500 taking part. Robert Earl (20:45), Sean Brennan (20:49) and Ian Mitchell (21:16) were the first trio back, joined by Gareth Conkleton (21:35), David Halladay (23:54), Julian Carr (25:18), Tony Everitt (27:34), Vicki Gibson (27:42), Tracy Allison (29:16), Dawn Richardson (30:10), David Sinton (30:41), Joanne Sharratt (35:04) and Ruth Mann (40:19).
At the Roundhay parkrun, Annika McDonald (29:58) continued her tour of venues. Fountains Abbey parkrun saw the contenders taking part in a range of wedding vows, pledging to improve their PBs, thank the volunteers and only cross the finish line once! Tom Calvert (17:51) battled strong lead group, joined in the results by James Wright (18:14), Steve Morland (18:27), Derek Calvert (23:33), Claire Killingworth (24:17) and Emma Hepworth (24:38)
Pizza Run brought their new 5K event to Yorkshire, with contenders invited to collect a slice of pizza after each lap of Cross Flatts Park, Leeds, or saving them for after the finish! Claire Baxter fancied a slice of the action, clocking a spicy 4th overall in 26:38 and the first hungry lady home.
The Charlesworth Chase saw James Warburton back in action again, tackling the 5.2 mile run (climbing 1200 ft) in 41:42 with a beer to be drunk before crossing the finish line in 7th place!
Sunday 20th May – Lakes and Mobots
The Brathay ASICS Windemere Marathon is based at Brathay Hall, a Georgian country house overlooks the northern shore of Windermere with a backdrop of Lake District fells. From there, a 26.2 mile anti-clockwise rolling circuit of Windermere unfolds, taking in Hawkshead, Newby Bridge, Bowness-on-Windermere and Ambleside along the way. Four of our striders took on the challenge in 2018, with some intense and diligent preparation paying dividends on a warm day. Rob Clarke broke into the top 100, claiming 74th place in an excellent 3:31:16. Phil Cornforth powered in to the finish in a superb 3:46:26, followed by the highly-prepared Gary Wilkinson, stopping the clock inside 4 hours with a 3:58:59. Only minutes later a quartet of powerful performances was completed by David Halladay in 4:05:30.
At the Manchester 10k, Mo Farah may have been taking the headlines with his fine win, but he was chased home by a trio of Striders! In fact, a mere 59 places behind was Tom Calvert; 60th overall in a very fine 36:05. Completing a trio of very competitive runs were Claire Baxter (46:36) and Niamh Falconer (49:45).
Tuesday 22nd May – Rushing around
The inaugural ‘St. Robert’s Rush’ Time Trial took 51 of our members along the beautiful and tranquil Abbey Road in search of their fastest possible mile. A fantastic evening was had – the full report can be read at: Race Report
Wednesday 23rd May – Brownlee inspiration
At the fourth round of the Evensplits Leeds 5K series, James Wright and Natalie Hale enjoyed some intense competition at the Brownlee Centre Cycle Circuit. Doubtless inspired by Yorkshire’s finest triathletes, Natalie raced around in 25:39, but not before James had lowered his PB for 5K in a fleet 18:14.
Saturday 26th May – purely parkrun
Our fourth Saturday of the month saw members visiting six different venues around the region. Pontefract parkrun is based at the longest flat racing course in Europe and a great test for parkrunners. Annika McDonald (28:38) joined over 400 runners there at her third different venue of the month. There was more racecourse action at Catterick parkrun, where Sean BRENNAN proved he wasn’t horsing around with a very competitive 20:21. In Victorian times, Harrogate parkrun’s site was also a racecourse for horses, rather than humans. No stray horses there any more though, only the Stray fair, which meant the customary diversion! First back after dodging the dodgems was Ted Welton (20:12) joined by Steven Core (21:55), Ian Mitchell (23:34), Nick Wallen (24:21), David Halladay (25:08), David Sinton (31:07), Jo Gray (35:55), Joanne Sharratt (38:50) and Ruth Mann (40:14). Skipton parkrun’s solitary Strider was of course Jason Green (24:33), putting in his eighth appearance of the year at Aireville park. Dalby Forest parkrun was the choice of another lone Strider – a holidaying Claire Baxter, who headed up and down the trails in the valley in an excellent 23:15. Finally to Fountains parkrun where a sextet of Striders was moving considerably faster than the Monks who might previously have trodden those paths. Back in winning ways was Tom Calvert (17:39), tracked by James Wright (18:15). Completing the Knaresborough contingent were Niamh Falconer (4th lady in 22:01), Derek Calvert (23:46), Fiona Gartside (31:19) and Sarah Jones (33:07)
Sunday 27th May – Local Races, new and old
Northallerton 10k (Club Championship)
There has been a settlement at Northallerton since Roman times, but only in recent years has the town reached the peak of civilisation that is the 10K running race. The 3rd running of this event was included for the first time in our own Ben Campbell Club Championship, guaranteeing that a strong Strider turnout would amass by the town clock pre-race. Those expecting a flat course were in for a surprise however, with the first four miles climbing up through local villages and the notorious Sandy bank before plunging back towards the town. The unusually hot conditions were affecting most of the runners with the phrase ‘…not a PB day…’ commonplace around the finishing line.
James Wright was the first Strider home in 14th place with his time of 39:40 particularly strong given the conditions. He narrowly pipped Martin Brock, who also snuck inside 40minutes again, recording 39:59. A little further back, the chase for veteran’s championship points was as intense as the heat, with Steve Morland (41:41) leading in Ian Waller (43:20), Phil Cornforth (47:03) and David Halladay (47:34). Once age adjusted, that could be anybody’s! Craig Mitchell put in a great shift to record 48:09 ahead of Julian Carr (52:50) and Jo Gray (1:18:14). With most runners agreeing that it would be worth another attempt, there may be some difficult decisions to be made between Northallerton 2019 and the ever-popular Melmerby 10K….
Melmerby 10k – A firm favourite over many years, Memerby’s undulating course starts and finishes in the village before heading north into the tranquil lanes. A little more shade would have been welcomed though, as the weekend’s sun made conditions testing for all the runners. Ian Mitchell is coming into great form ahead of the summer and this showed in his excellent 42:43 performance, leading home the Striders. Lisa Harrison overcame the head with a strong 54:38, before Sarah Hill (1:02:16), Dawn Richardson (1:04:37), Edna Wood (1:06:08) followed in quick succession. Performance of the day, however was arguably Bill Kirkpatrick’s splendid 1:11:47 to complete a fine set of Strider runs.
The ‘Helvellyn and the Dodds’ is an out and back course across open fell land in the stunning Hellvellyn range. James Warburton tackled the tough uphill sections and equally steep descents whilst fighting off cramp, but still completed the 15mile course in a very competitive 2hrs 59.
Saturday 26th May and Sunday 27th May – Serious stuff
Two dates? This must mean serious running! The Hardmoors 110 Ultramarathon follows the dramatic Cleveland Way National Trail encircling the North York Moors and the Cleveland Heritage coastline. Commencing in Filey, competitors have a time limit of 36 hours to complete the 110-mile single stage trail race, following the stunning Cleveland Heritage Coastline, turning through the beautiful Cleveland Hills and the North York Moors before finishing in the market town of Helmsley. Graham Yare fancied the challenge: “…with no training I just wanted to see if I could get through – chafing, lots of very painful blisters and sunburn. Still managed to finish though!” His finishing time of 35hrs, 34mins and 46seconds was a monumental achievement! Very well done Graham.
31st May – Culminating Canter
Closing out an incredibly busy month was our Strider-of-the-year Edna Wood, who clocked a great 1:06:16 for the club at the Apperley Bridge Canter, near. Bradford.
So that completes May – a massive month for the Striders. June sees the return of the Evening Summer League, the Bed Race and sees members racing right to the end of the month (literally) at the Endure 24. Happy Running!