Report: Annual Dinner and Awards night

Annual Dinner and Awards Night, Friday 31st January 2020

Unusually dry and warm conditions greeted our great turnout of athletes as they gathered at the start of this new event last Friday evening. Held at the Dower House in Knaresborough, Event Director Sarah had masterminded the combining of the previously-separate Christmas Dinner and Awards evening into a new glittering spectacle!

Arriving ahletes were greeted immediately at the first drinks station, where the water seemed strangely fizzy. Neither club colours nor kit were required on this occasion and in some cases this caused comedic confusion as teammates struggled to recognise each other in the impressive disguises they had chosen to wear. We also seemed to be the only club in attendance. Strange.

After warm-ups and further refreshments had been taken, our Chair James Wright invited everyone to take their seats (seats..?) for lap 1, which would comprise of ‘starters’. Duly our athletes began, enjoying a refreshing change from protein bars and bananas. With some members still collecting further refreshments, lap 2 began – the ‘Mains’ – this was a really sublime performance and many commented on the quality of the course which Dower House had designed for the occasion. In spite of a choice of routes, everyone seemed to arrive together as Vice-chair Mark announced there was to be a break prior the final lap.

It was Mark’s duty to present the trophies for our 2019 Ben Campbell Club Championship. After a busy season of 15 races, our four champions were:

Senior Ladies: Laura Wilmshurst
Senior Men: James Wright
Veteran Ladies: Nicola Carter
Veteran Men: Steve Morland

Mark also paid tribute to many of the contenders in a record-breaking season. (If you missed them previously, the full report, results and final positions can be viewed on our 2019 Standings page here). Sarah Gore also presented a number of ad hoc awards, much to amusement and surprise of the audience:

Best Photo: Edna and Sally in perfect synchronisation at the Solstice Saunter
Contribution to baking: Catherine Morland
Support in advance of the event: Sally Fannen

The Striders then returned to action, completing their final ‘sweets’ lap and as refreshing coffees were served, Chairman James Wright hosted the presentation of a series of awards acknowledging effort, contribution and achievement across 2019:

Community contribution award: Linda Dodsworth and Mark Taylor for the establishment of Conyngham Hall parkrun.
Determination award: Steve Morland for his 200-day, 1000-mile fundraising effort.
Best Newcomer: Donna Tucker – a remarkable year becoming fast established in the club, pushing personal targets (marathon this year!) and introducing others to the club.
Most improved Strider: Debbie Herridge – who enjoyed an excellent 2019 upping her distances, challenges and pace!

Finally James announced that the Strider of the Year member votes had resulted in a tie and that the award would be shared between Sarah Gore and Steve Morland. James’s speech drew from the many lovely comments left by fellow Striders, describing why our two winners were so worthy of their award. In addition to sharing the shield, both will receive a pair of Saucony running shoes courtesy of our friends at Up and Running Harrogate. A further two awards will be made at club in the next few weeks to Striders who were not able to attend.

With the official part of the event concluded and official photographs taken, it was now time for all the Striders to relax and ‘warm-down’, with many performing a range of interesting stretches on the dance floor whilst others refreshed themselves further! Many of the members took the opportunity to get snapped in action at the fantastic photo booth, which had been setup by Murray Scott and allowed some fun dressing-up opportunities in front of a backdrop of Strider vests! A huge thank-you to Murray – you can view them online in our Facebook Members Group here.

As our Striders dispersed after a fantastic and successful evening, there was much talk of repeating the event again next year, so we’re delighted to announce that a booking has already been made for 29th January 2021. We owe massive thanks to all those who made the evening possible, but most notably Social Secretary Sarah, who worked so hard to bring the event to life.


On Tuesday 4th Feb, James Wright presented Martin Brock with his Community Contribution Award, recognising his tireless work within Knaresborough Lions and organisation of the Great Knaresborough Bed Race.

Steve Morland


PECO XC and Club championship continue next weekend!

As the dust settles on a successful weekend, with a lovely awards dinner, remarkably strong parkrun turnout and PBs today at the Dewsbury 10k, it’s time to look forward to the week ahead!

Tuesday (4th Feb) – Training: Structured session with Eric, Jog and Run groups and Zero to Hero.

Thursday (6th Feb) – Training: Jog and Run groups and Zero to Hero.

Sunday (9th Feb) – PECO XC League (2019-20) Race 4 at West Park, Leeds. This also doubles as the 2nd round of our club championship, so dig out those trail shoes! The full details (prepare for lots of detail!) are now available at:

Details of all our club events can be found on our events page at:

Run Routes tonight (Thurs 30th January)

Tonight we will be heading out in our normal groups but we are shirking our selection of ‘Elastic’ routes due to the proliferation of roadworks!

Instead, your run leaders will be hoping to utilise Abbey Road and Waterside, where there are neither holes nor traffic! This does however mean a dark section (on Abbey Road) so please bring along a head-torch or similar if you have one. Your run leaders will then adjust the distance of the run to suit each group.

Good Luck!

Knaresborough is littered with them.

Knaresborough is littered with them.

This stretch is 2.4miles in one direction and will hopefully form the basis of your runs.

This stretch is 2.4miles in one direction and will hopefully form the basis of your runs.

Abbey and waterside 5mile

5-mile route suitable for Intermediates, using Abbey Road and Waterside in both directions and making a loop in the town.


Club Championship Report – Round 1, Wetherby

Many of the Striders in attendance at Wetherby parkrun

Many of the Striders in attendance at Wetherby parkrun

Our 2020 Ben Campbell Club Championship got underway last weekend with a fantastic 39 of our members taking part in the Wetherby parkrun. Held on the Wetherby Ings alongside the River Wharfe and based at the Sports Association, the parkrun is run entirely on grass and is pancake flat – unlike its many neighbouring events! Whilst the lack of hills lends itself to steady pacing, the conditions underfoot on the day were soft and sticky, meaning that PBs were conspicuously absent! Not a concern for the 22 members making their first visit to the event, who no doubt establishing a time to beat when conditions improve!

Whilst most definitely NOT a race (it’s a timed run), we were rather pleased to see the whole top 5 on the day filled by our members, led home by our most recent member, Tom Wilson, who held off the challenge of several fellow Striders. Well done!

At this point it’s worth reminding everyone about how our championship works! This year we have 16 events to choose from, with various distances and terrain to suit as many members as possible. Your best 7 finishes will count for your final standing. At each event, your actual finishing time is divided by a value relating to your age and gender. Those championship results are then sorted to provide your finishing position within your category. For a great example of how this levels the playing field, look no further than our Veteran Ladies category below! The person in each category with lowest total score from 7 events will be crowned the champion.

Our Senior Ladies category saw the first 5 contenders register finishes, including some very welcome new faces! Leading the way at this very early stage is Kathryn Pickles, with a very competitive time of 23:33.

In the Senior Men, Tom Wilson of course leads the way, but the competition behind looks tight, with all eight contenders cracking the 25-minute mark. Well done to Craig Mitchell – the only Strider setting a PB on the day!

Our Veteran Ladies category promises to be hotly-contested once again with 13 contenders already on the board. Whilst Carla Reddish made an immediate impact with her impressive 23:06, it wasn’t quite enough to overcome the mighty effort by Sue Morley (25:08) which translated into 1st place in the championship. Equally impressive was Lizzie Medwell – just recovered from illness too – who takes 3rd place in the age-adjusted standings. Thank you to Nicola for tail-walking and foregoing the chance of some early-season points!

Last but not least, were our 12 contenders in the Veteran Men category – also featuring some very welcome new faces. John Hamilton looks certain to feature strongly this year, already claiming a great 2nd place whilst still recovering from injury. Mick Dobson also put in a sterling performance against the local firefighters, finishing ahead of at least one of them!

So here are the results and standings after Round 1:


Our Club Championship continues in a couple of weeks with our second event taking place at the West Park PECO XC round on Sunday 9th February. For more details of this year’s championship events see 2020 Club Championship

Steve Morland



Coming up this week…

Here’s what’s coming up this week:

Tuesday 7.30pm: Structured Training with Eric, Jog & Run groups, Zero to Hero.

Tuesday 8.30pm: 2020 Run-leader induction training (for those unable to attend last week)

Thursday 7.30pm: Structured Training with Eric, Jog & Run groups, Zero to Hero.

Friday 7.30pm: Annual Dinner and Awards Night at Dower House Hotel. If you haven’t voted for your Strider of the Year yet, you can do so by clicking here. Voting closes at 10pm Wednesday.

Race Report – PECO XC Round 3

Race Report: PECO XC Round 3 at Crimple Valley, 19th January 2020

There was a time when Crimple Valley, now most famous as the backdrop for the Great Yorkshire Show, was home to the Headquarters of ICI. Named after the nearby beck, their wonder-fabric ‘Crimplene’ was lauded for being tough, durable and easily-washed. Those same properties would prove to be essential for competitors at the brutal third round of this season’s PECO Cross-country championship!

Returning to Harrogate for a second year, Knaresborough Striders and our friends at Nidd Valley had taken over the running event of the event from Harrogate Harriers. The plan to re-use the 2019 course proved impossible however, when Yorkshire Water began their massive pipeline project across the site. After much head-scratching and recces, the result was a shorter loop to be completed twice on the ‘hillier and muddier’ side of the site. Smiles were mixed with grimaces as hardy souls from around Yorkshire challenged themselves on an interesting and stern test, most notably in the utter mudbath of a climb through the trees. Hopefully we shall return to the picturesque winding section through ‘Hooky Woods’ in future years!

Before the Senior event began, our new group of juniors were back in action. In the Under 11s 1-mile race, Jessica (12:08), Robyn (14:22) and Rosie (14:22) all put in a determined effort on the hills, urged on by tail-runner Amy Naylor! In the daunting ‘Under 16s’ category, Filip did fabulously around the tough 2-mile course in 26:53.

The main event saw a massed start and utter cavalcade down the muddy hill into turn one as all 864 competitors grabbed whatever bit of space and traction that they could! With many of our members on marshal duties (and providing phenomenal support around the course) our numbers were a little lower than at the previous events but nonetheless saw some fabulous striding! In our Senior Ladies category, Amy Naylor led the mud monsters home in a strong 46:48, finishing 57th overall. Also drawing on fell running experience, Beyhan Akyollu clocked 51:10, with Emma Killmurray finishing in 1:11:04. In the Senior Men, Tom Killmurray was first to climb the uphill finishing straight in a very competitive 38:27, leading home James Cornforth (41:29), Aidan McNab (42:10), Gary Webster (43:02) and Strider-of-the-Year Mark Shelton (54:38).

Sue doing what she does best!

Sue doing what she does best!

In our Veteran Ladies category, Catherine Morland was first home in 46:50, with wonder-woman Sue Morley (55:04) finishing a fantastic 2nd in her age category, Julie Elmes (56:42) and Paula Wilkinson (1:01:06). Our best-attended category was the Veteran Men, where Steve Morland finished 54th overall in 36:55 followed by Ted Welton (41:41), Steve Elmore (45:56), Guy Marshall (49:22), Paul Walker (55:51), Dave Sinton (1:05:57) and Mick Dobson (1:05:02).

With three events now complete, Striders have some creditable overall standings! We are 3rd in the Ladies First Division, 4th in the Men’s Second Division, 6th in the Ladies Vets’ Premier Division and 7th in the Men’s Vets First division. A few individuals are also beginning to make their mark in the age and gender categories: Sue Morley currently holds 1st place in the F60 category, whilst Catherine is up to 4th in F45 and Steve Morland 3rd in M45. We also have several Striders who are likely to leap up the final standings upon logging results at the remaining two events. The full individual and team results and standings can be found at

Finally, a word of sincere appreciation to our organisational team, headed by Sima, Nicola and James Wright who put in the hard hours in advance of the event and to all those of you around the course who made the event possible. You were all brilliant!
PECO continues in Round 4 of 5 on Sunday 9th February at the West Park round, which also doubles as Round 2 of our own Club Championship.

Steve Morland

Tonight’s Elastic Route…

Tonight’s ‘Elastic’ Running Route

Tonight our groups will be heading up to Starbeck via Waterside and the A59 and then back via Calcutt. We don’t have an up-to-date map of this one at the moment, but your run leaders will know the different variations for each group. Hopefully we will all converge on the descent of Aspin Lane back to the Cricket Club at 8.30pm!

Be aware that Aspin Lane remains quite heavily dug up. The roadworks are slowly shifting up the hill away from the Cricket Club but do please be careful on your different walks, jogs and runs tonight!