It’s the March 2019 Results Round-up…
Featuring this month: Three sisters, a canal, daffodils, propellers, MC Hammer, an errant branch and a case of forgotten footwear…
“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”
― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
A fair reflection of many of our running days this March, however it might seem that the Victorians didn’t have rain! We did, guaranteeing the myriad running conditions to which our Striders are accustomed at this time of year. 10k and 10mile races returned in abundance, with great expectations of a successful season ahead for our athletes. There was no shortage of success either, with some fantastic times clocked, new distances tackled, much progress in evidence and even a few prizes along the way!
Saturday 2nd March
Just some of the many Striders at the 2nd March parkrun.
We’re including a solitary parkrun in this report because of course it formed part of our Club Championship. The second of this year’s extended 15 rounds and following-on from last month’s opener in Liversedge, it attracted Striders in strong numbers and ensured that our championship entries were greatly boosted! The Harrogate course was in expected condition for this time of year, with soft conditions on the grass and those crocuses to be avoided. The closure of Oatlands Drive provided an extra stretch of tarmac and so the worst of the mud was avoided! Cue several PBs, perhaps unexpected at this time of year!
Well done to the magnificent turnout of 38 Striders who turned out to ignite our championship! In the Senior Ladies category, Fiona Kitchingman took a fine first place from Laura Wilmshurst, whilst in the Veteran Ladies category Nicola Carter (23:02) snatched first place from June Graham, with the age-adjustment suggesting that a close fight will ensue this year across our biggest category. In the Senior men’s category, Tom Calvert’s very fine 17:48 guaranteed him a score of ‘1’, with James Wright’s 19:08 just holding off Tom Killmurray in the battle for second place. In the Veteran Men’s division, Steve Morland (18:42) led Dan Foley in another healthy field of ten Striders. Full results can be found in our recent March parkrun report here: March parkrun report
Raising funds for the North Yorkshire mountain rescue, the Dalby darkrun followed the course of the popular Dalby Forest parkrun for a night-time blast along the valley tracks and through the trees. This made for an exhilarating experience and the ‘tunnel’ effect resulted in some of the Striders, already doubling-up after the morning’s championship round, bettering their previous daytime efforts on the course! The club was also proud to provide the first two finishers in the race! Leading the field home in 18:36 was Steve Morland, pushed strongly by James Wright in 19:08. The recovering Catherine Morland (with clan and dog in tow) clocked 27:18 to win her category, whilst Fyn Lees (27:57) was runner-up in hers.
Some of our Striders up in the hills of Dentdale.
Sat 9th March
For the second year, our club championship returned to picturesque Dentdale for their ‘undulating’ 14-miler. Our Striders joined a field of nearly 300 runners who enjoyed better conditions than previous in which to tackle the twisting ribbon of a course up and down valley. The infamous rollercoaster of a 14th and final mile once again proved a stern challenge as tired competitors found themselves tantalisingly close to the brewery and finish line!
Ian Waller returned to action with a very strong 1:51:21, claiming the club’s veteran honours from our competitive new recruit Steve Dodsworth (2:05:45). Claire Baxter (2:18:55) led home the rest of our Striders: Georgina Townsend (2:26:00), Natalie Hale (2:26), Laura Wilmshurst (2:27:08) and Linda Dodsworth (2:35:24).
Sat 16th March
Normally the ‘55’, this tenth edition of event was shortened slightly and renamed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cleveland Way National Trail. Starting at Guisborough, it followed the Cleveland Way route towards Helmsley, passing over the crest of the North York Moors and the Cleveland Hills taking in Roseberry Topping and the ‘Three Sisters’ before reaching the finish at the Market town of Helmsley. With over 2000 metres of ascent and a time limit of 16hours, just finishing the event is a challenge! Graham Yare was up to it though, battling the ridiculous winds and rain and nearly being blown off the path on the hills to complete this extreme event in 15 hrs, 9 minutes and 37 seconds. A tremendous effort, Graham!
Sunday 17th March
Thirsk 10 mile
Thirsk – the town of the vet. Immortalised by the writings of James Herriot and latterly providing the backdrop for Channel 5’s ‘The Yorkshire Vet’, this historic market town once again played host to the ever-popular Thirsk 10 mile road race. With over 1,000 entries, the flat fast course heading north from Thirsk Racecourse presents an early-season opportunity for a PB. On a busy racing weekend, ten Striders chose this as their challenge.
Tom Calvert produced a fantastic (but perhaps frustrating?) time of 01:00:03, whilst Steve Morland clocked a lifetime PB of 01:01:51. James Wright put a sleep-deprived night behind him to clock 01:06:08, whilst the experience Ian Mitchell produced a fine 01:14:27 and Stewart Hymas returned home in 01:16:06. Claire Baxter continued her return to fitness in 01:25:53, ahead of Sarah Gore (1:36:04), Lizzie Medwell (01:41:03), Dawn Richardson (01:45:43) and Jo Gray (02:09:32).
Dawn at the finish of Thirsk 10
Striders past and present meet in Thirsk
More happy finishers at Thirsk
Storming the finish
Bradford’s ‘out and back’ route provides another great opportunity for PBs (there’s a theme emerging here…) with a slightly negative second-half boosting runners to competitive times. In a massive 2,500-strong field, Issy Rowe set a blistering 40:40 to claim fifth female with Dave Sinton recording a very decent 51:11. New recruit Donna Tucker’s run was both impressive and frustrating in equal measure, clocking just one second over the hour (1:00:01), whilst our Strider contingent was completed by Jo Sharratt (1:07:15), Ruth Mann (1:07:52) and another very welcome newcomer in Richard Bracey (1:09:13).
Lightwater Valley Challenge 10k
A brand new route greeted competitors at this year’s 10K Lightwater Valley Challenge. Starting at the Lightwater Valley car park it headed out on quiet country roads into the surrounding countryside taking a scenic route for those with the energy to appreciate the views! After working their way to the highest point of the course (301ft) runners then had ‘The W’ to smash, marking the midpoint peak between two peaks. W smashed and course completed, Lisa Harrison and Beyham Akyollu both impressed with times of 53:54 and 54:45 respectively.
Friday 22nd March
York Spring 10km (Race 1 of 4 Seasons)
It was a return to the York Sports Village for a trio of our Striders taking part in the first of York’s four seasonal Today evening 10km events. So, more laps of the 1k cycle circuit ensued, with memories of ‘Bloodaxe’ (see February) still no doubt fresh in the mind. James Wright, no doubt very familiar with the tarmac by now, continued his recent 10k form with a speedy 38:39, finishing 4th overall. Lisa Harrison set a PB after working a night-shift (24th in 51:11) and Fyn Lees (44th in 59:05) also finished strongly – if perhaps dizzy – in the top half of the field.
Sunday 24th March
Dishforth 10k finishers
Dishforth Dash 10k.
Ok, let’s be honest about this. Dishforth 10k is flat, a bit boring and often breezy! Nonetheless it’s in aid of a good cause, easy to get to and presents a great chance to post a competitive 10k time early in the year. This year’s Striders contingent found that the stiff winds affecting the North of England made pacing nigh impossible, but some great times were posted. Steve Morland crossed the line 12th in 37:19, followed by Nicola Carter (46:00) and second in her class, Catherine Morland (47:09) and Lizzie Medwell winning her category in 1:02:48.
James digging into the wind at East Hull 20
East Hull Harriers 20mile
An ideal ‘warm up’ for forthcoming marathons, This flat and fast course on rural roads and part of the railway line located in the Holderness area was tackled by three Striders. James Wright encountered those stiff headwinds yet registered a very impressive 2:20:31 (65th overall) ahead of Claire Baxter (3:14:07). The most impressive performance came from David Sinton, who posted a fantastic 3:14:23 as his preparation for Belfast continues. We think he found the experience enjoyable… “…dicky tummy, burning legs, dropped oranges… whipped in the face by a branch. Pretty eventful really!”
A successful quintet at the Canal Canter
The ‘Grim up North’ events continue to gain popularity and provide an alternative to the traditional selection of club races. They provide entrants with a range of distances to choose from, all running concurrently at the same location. The Canal Canter is an ‘out-and-back’ on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, based at Kirkstall. Its flat route is not particularly technical so it’s a great opportunity to improve that PB. This was undoubtedly the case for the group of our Striders who entered, with each one of them setting a best over the half-marathon distance! Louise Lodh underlined her return to form with a scintillating 01:49:34 to lead our Striders in, 11th overall and claiming the second lady prize along the way – well done, Louise! Very close behind were the trio of Vanessa El-Etriby (14th in 1:50:48), Debbie Herridge (15th in 1:50:56) and Gosia Przybyl (16th in 1:54:09). Completing a super set of performances was Helen Richardson with a debut time over the distance of 2:01:36.
Dave taking a break from celebrity-spotting.
Jo enjoying her time in the city.
Jo Gray and David Halladay entered this new Half Marathon, which passes through both the City of London and City of Westminster. As the name suggests, there were famous locations aplenty, with our Striders starting on Pall Mall, finishing by Downing Street and passing Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, Nelson’s Column, the Gherkin, the Shard, the Tower of London and the London Eye. Jo’s hard work and determination paid off, completing the 13.1miles in 03:04:57, whilst David (Enjoying the great atmosphere and a spot of celeb hunting) comfortably broke the 2-hour mark in 1:55:00.
Sunday 31st March
A flat and fast race around Elvington Airfield, the flyer takes place over 5mile and 10mile distances with its a bespoke medal (resplendent with spinning propeller!) awaiting the finishers. Over the longer 10mile distance, David Sinton finished strongly in 1:28:22, from Lisa Harrison (1:28:37) and Donna Tucker (1:44:48). Over the 5mile distance, Andy Easton’s improving pace resulted in an excellent 35:45, leading home a Striders contingent of Vanessa El-Etriby (38:39), Claire Baxter (39:37), Debbie Herridge (39:52), Gosia Przybyl (40:30) and Natalie Whitwham (47:11). A word also for Mustafa El-Etriby who clocked a fine 31:59 and who may be appearing in our colours very soon…
Some of the competitors at Elvington flyer.
The Striders PECO relay squad + canine friend.
Issy running for the PECO ladies squad.
Ted running his leg at the PECO relays
Relay handover for the Superwomen
The traditional end to the PECO season saw 54 teams from the PECO and West Yorkshire leagues in a hotly-contested competition at Middleton Park. It’s three competitions in one: Firstly, PECO and West Yorkshire choose six representative teams each from their leagues and contest the annual trophy. Issy Rowe was selected for the PECO Ladies Open Team, logging a great leg of 21:32 and contributing to that team’s 8th place finish overall. That helped seal a 5-1 victory for PECO over West Yorkshire. Secondly, each club is invited to select a representative team (Male, Female and Vet) to race for club honours. Our team of Steve Morland (19:14), Sima Lowery (23:44) and Ted Welton (19:33) clocked a great 1:02:31, finishing 9th overall and claiming 3rd place in the club standings! Finally, runners can enter further teams in any category. Our ‘Knaresborough MC Hammers’ team of Nicola Carter (24:20), Catherine Morland (24:46) and Steve Morland (20:05) claimed first place in the ‘Mixed Open’ category, whilst the ‘Knaresborough Superwomen’ team of Sue Morley (27:44), Edna Wood (29:19) and Julie Elmes (27:28) claimed the Ladies SuperVets crown. Well done Striders and enjoy your prize-winning socks!
New shoes not pictured.
One of the most beautiful road races in the country, several of our Striders chose to take in the incredible scenery as they lapped the Lake District’s third-largest expanse of water. James Wright was the least distracted by the views, completing the circuit in 1:33:14, with Ian Waller putting in another strong performance in 1:43:53. Having made a stop en route to buy running shoes (oops…) Stewart Hymas clocked 01:48:15 ahead of Julian Carr (02:02:28), Georgina Townsend (02:07:40) and Lizzie Medwell (02:25:04).
Striding through the daffodils
Temple Newsam Daffodil Dash 2019
Our final event of March 2019 was the Daffodil Dash held at Temple Newsam. Probably not quite what Capability Brown had in mind when he landscaped the grounds, the wonderful spring scenes will have perhaps taken the 75 contenders minds off the ‘undulations’ which typify this favoured running location. Our brace of striders certainly had a spring in their step around the 10k route, with Debbie Herridge recording a very symmetrical 55:55, just ahead of Claire Baxter in 58:52.
With a fantastic 16 events completed in March, Striders continue to go from strength-to-strength and it has been great to see new names appearing. We’ll do our best to keep spotting your running efforts, but don’t forget to post something onto our forum if you want to be certain of appearing in April’s report!