On Saturday 18th January 15 Striders took part in the Sussex Masters Cross Country Championships which were held locally at Coombes Farm. On a gruelling course – the word ‘hilly’ does not do it justice, conditions were glorious for running being cold but with bright winter sunshine. The Downland views at the top were brilliant. Everyone enjoyed their run and the new Striders Gazebo made its first appearance, which was the envy of every other club! Well done in particular to Myra who ran with a smile and to Richard Butler who made is debut in a Striders vest.
On Sunday 5th January 11 Striders made the relatively short journey up to Epsom to run the Tadworth 10. The race start was at the famous Epsom race course, venue for the Derby. Consequently, the race facilities on the ground floor of the main stand were excellent. A warm environment, tea and coffee for sale and plenty of toilets so no queuing. The start of the race was a 5-minute walk away and there was plenty of car parking. The race itself was a mixture of terrain. It started on the race course and after a long downhill followed country roads, small villages and paths through wooded areas. The course consisted of 2 loops which had a steady climb and a long downhill section that followed. On the second loop the climb was more noticeable with tired legs! Conditions were cold but dry and Mike Osmon was first Strider home closely followed by Tim McGrath who set a PB for the 10-mile distance. This well organised race was a thoroughly enjoyable day out and a great start to the New Year. I’m sure this race will grow in popularity with Striders.
Senior Team finished 12th out of 18 [best placed finish since 2012]
Junior Team finished 9th out of 18
Junior Team won award for Most Improved Participation
[Well done to Clodagh Fowler, Paddy Fowler, Grace Fryer, Albie Barnes, Isla Wells, Theo Turner, Harry Turner, James Wells]
Keith Fowler scored the most Senior Points for men 
Natasha Sparkes scored the most Senior Points for women 
Paul Hurley took part in the most Senior runs [13 out of 16]
Clodagh Fowler scored the most Junior Points for girls 
Paddy Fowler scored the most Junior points for boys 
Clodagh Fowler took part in the most Junior runs [6 out of 17]
Striders had a large turn out with 16 runners taking part in this event. The course was a challenging one with very little flat ground to be found as it worked its way thought the forest in a 5 mile loop back to the start.
It was a glorious late summer day when messes Rabone ,Turner, Tullet and McGrath set out on another relay adventure with Karen Thomas tackling the solo 10k route in a pincer movement This event was local Arundel Cricket Club was the venue . The event was a 6.5 mile loop though the woods up hill and down dale back to the start for handover it was a lovely route with a constantly changing vista it offered a challenge with some fearsome steps halfway around . There was also a solo half or full marathon option with laps.
We set of in reverse order from last relay and all really enjoyed the event it was very social with other clubs and old friends there too and with a free burger and a medal at the end whats not to like i would recommend for the future
We all arrived on what proved to be a very chilly morning no one really wanted to strip off and start the race.. However it soon warmed up when we started. Striders where well represented in this event at all levels.
The course has changed for the better since i last did it 5 years ago and for the better a very flat fast course with brilliant support for the runners. For some strange reason i thought i would go for it i have been trying to get under 45 mins for manly years and have come so close many times. This time i was lucky and was able to take 50 secs of my time to get under the 45 so very happy . I know a few other club runner got PB and well done to them on there efforts
From Hannah Wise
New Forest Marathon, Sunday 8th September 2019
If you like the idea of running through scenic woodland and darting out of the way of a stampede of ponies then The New Forest Marathon is for you!
This is one of my favourite races because it offers some of the most beautiful running experiences in the UK. A mix of woodland enclosures and far reaching views and of course the famous ponies that like to roam around the villages stopping cars and runners in their tracks.
The main routes start and finish from New Park Showground, Brockenhurst and meander through the heart of the New Forest National Park. People of all ages and abilities are encouraged to take part and there is a large variety of distances for both runners and walkers to choose from:
New Forest Marathon
New Forest Half Marathon
New Forest Health & Leisure 10k
Go Run For Fun 1k and 200m Junior Run
I’ve run the New Forest Half for the last couple of years so this year I opted for the 10k route.
I wanted to take the pressure off a little and enjoy soaking up the scenery on a different route,
I wasn’t disappointed.
On Saturday morning we (Darren and I) stopped at the Race Village en-route to our Aribnb in Brockenhurst to pick up my race pack.
I’d recommend picking up your race pack in advance. This year we got a fashionable florescent green t-shirt, no worries about getting lost on the woods! The Race Village is equipped with a stage and aspiring musicians to keep you entertained and places to grab a coffee and bite to eat (and lots of places to buy more running t-shirts!)
We enjoyed some lunch then went exploring on our bikes through the New Forest.
Sunday morning (race day) we cycled 15-20 mins through the Forest to the start. For me this is an absolute highlight. The woodland feels fresh in the morning and with the sun starting to shine through the tree branches everything glistens. The 10K route takes your through the heart of the Forest and makes you feel alive and invigorated. On my run we saw a stampede of ponies, all the runners had to dart off track to let them charge on! This was a real highlight and a magical sight. There were two water stations at 2.8k and 7.5k and you get a decent medal at the end!
We stayed Sunday evening (to avoid the traffic queues home) and drove to Milford on Sea for dinner and a beach stroll– well worth checking out if you have time.
I’ve already signed up for the Early Bird price for the 10k next year.
Top Tips for the Race:
Places to stay:
The cheapest option is to camp in the New Forest. There are some great campsites right on the doorstep of the start line, so you can take your time on race day and take a gentle stroll to the race village.
Stay in Brockenhurst (or that way).
There are some fabulous and reasonably priced Airbnb’s and BnB’s in around Brockenhurst.
If driving the traffic tends to pile up coming in from Lyndhurst – leave yourself plenty of time as you could find yourself stuck in traffic for a very long time.
Take your bikes! It’s really worth it! The New Forest is HUGE and getting around by bike to explore is so much fun – watch the streams if you’re cycling through them – pedal fast and don’t stop in the middle?!
Look after the environment: The New Forest Marathon is big on respecting the Forest. Don’t drop gel packets or tissues or anything en-route otherwise you might receive a DQ.
Carry your own water/ drinks whilst running.
There are water stations on the course with water in recyclable paper cups. You must drink the water at the station then bin the cups there.
It was a hot day and some runners needed more water than provided so it’s a good idea to take your bottle.
Get involved in the race warm up! Every distance has an organised warm up and it’s a fun way to feel part of a community of runners.
Take in the scenery – it is simply stunning!
Sign up for 2020 now if you want the Early Bird discount price.
From James ans Steve
The Junior wave which was my wave were scheduled to enter the water at 9am and start, the start was very hectic as everyone was fighting to get that front position, I managed to nesly myself between two swimmers so I was able to jetsteam off them, after around 200m I managed to get into my pace and start to really fight to gain some ground. The swim was shorter than I thought it was going to feel so I held back in speed which meant I went slower than I could have. I jumped out of the river and ran to transition my legs felt very odd as I was doing so, due to the very cold water, sadly my transition was a deadly slow 2:20! As I had a clothing malfunction. I then proceed to make up for the time lost in the swim and the Transition by making sure I paced behind two runners I thought had a good 5km pace/time.
The run itself was definitely not my best 5km, my time was 21:17 but still very happy with how I did. The run was hard as the strange feeling in my legs would not go but I fought through. I crossed the line and the sense of joy was great, I came 6th in the Junior boys Category which I know next year I can do better by cutting the time down not only in Transition but also in the swim and run but still happy with my result considering I was racing against as GB representative.
I would like to say a massive thank you to Stephen Feest for not only encouraging me to race but for also taking myself there as he was too competing, but for all the amazing tips and equipment he gave me.
The Arun river water was a bit colder than I expected, but I had a fair swim followed by a reasonable transition, out the River, into transition whilst getting wetsuit off and running shoes on.
I got into my stride and picked a few Age Groupers off (faster swimmers than me !!) to come 7th in the 60-64 year old age group.
The 5k run was on a closed road from the Black Rabbit nearly into Arundel, return and around the scenic Swanbourne Lake and to finish at the pub. My time for the 5km was 21:41
Great camaraderie from the other competitors and a well-run event, would recommend it if they run it again locally.
But, best of all, I beat my mate Glen Parissi of Striders to win a pint!
Aquathlon is a good way to enter into “multi discipline” racing without the need for a
As always we give out are annual awards at the AGM. As well as the normal awards this year we added some funny prizes to add some comic value, First the serious stuff.
Best male performance Mike Osman
Best female performance Becky Kipping
Most improved male Paul Hurley
Most improved female Gemma Wells
Club person was a tie between Tony Pearce & Jacky Brown
Special achievement award Rob Holmes ( completed 100 marathons )
The comical awards just for a bit of fun
Most stylish runner Mike Osman
Club Joker Kevin Valentine
Cake maker Mrya Jasper
Epic tumble Paul Hurley
Sprint finisher Sean Carter
Well done to the winner and i am sure that most of the members have scored there own little victory's in the last year just a shame everyone cant win .
The race started in the lovely grounds of Windelsham School off the A24 .
Striders had a great turn out with eighteen runners tacking a hilly four mile loop . The race left the grounds and took a farm track up hill away from the school to join with the south downs way which it followed for about a mile in a westerly direction then return for the finish on a billiard table smooth piece of grass. Well done to all that run on what was a very warm and muggy day .
The event had twp race options a 40 mile solo ultra or a team relay with 4x10 ish mile sections from DL in Worthing to DL in Brighton marina taking in a route along the south downs way.
We had two teams in the race.
It was an early start i picked Jo and Carla up went onto Neil where Karen kindly drive us all day , we arrived at DL for 7am start .
After waving the first wave off we headed for the check point for hand overs this routine continued all day until we reached Brighton , the course was very challenging with some large climbs in places and a warm day. On completion competitors could use the facilities at the club so we had a well earned swim and Jacuzzi. This was a lovely race well organised and low key with a lovely T shirt and a free burger.
By Anita Watkins
You may have gathered that I am a Lancashire lass in exile to the southern counties, as I have family still ‘up north’ I’m lucky enough not to need to shell out for hotels for events in that neck of the woods.
My brother did this event a couple of years ago in his Sergeant Pepper suit, at least I thought he did it – turns out he did the half. He had such a great time that I decided I had best give it a go.
I had a plan for this marathon, I’ve done a few before where the aim was basically to keep moving forwards and get to the end. This time, I thought, there will be a proper structured training plan (thank you Judi Bond), I’ll have an evenly paced, slow run and get to the end having walked very little of the course just inside the cut-off time.
The course starts at the historic Albert Dock where you can visit the Beatles Experience alongside loads of other interesting places. You pass by The Liver Building, The Cavern, Goodison Park, Anfield (the home of the Champions of Europe!), Penny Lane, Chinatown and just about every iconic site in the city. I believe Liverpool also has the most parkland of any UK city outside of London. The marathon goes through Stanley Park, Princes Park and Sefton Park – all of which are lovely.
The marathon was the week before the Champions League final and virtually the whole city was decked in the red of Liverpool FC, even some of those houses adjacent to the Everton Ground. It was quite a spectacle even if you aren’t a football fan.
This is a brilliant event, there is a music stand every mile or so round the course, the majority of them are live bands. Can you imagine my joy as I heard the DJ playing ‘Penny Lane’ just as I got to the top of Penny Lane? OK, it was 20 odd miles in and I was a bit delirious by then, so it took me a while to realise that the poor guy had been playing it on a loop for HOURS by the time I got there!! As someone who gets full value for money out of my entry fee I am used to the music and cheer squads being at the packing up their gear stage by the time I get there. This was not the case at Liverpool. Most stands still had live music playing, those that didn’t had a sound system and a supportive DJ. All of the aid stations were fully stocked, and the marshals were as fantastic as you could hope for.
What about ‘The Plan’? Well, the training went very well and I was totally on track to achieve my goal of ‘running’ a marathon (as opposed to completing a marathon). Then I spent the evening before with my kid brother. It’s not what you are thinking – no alcohol was consumed. Race plans were discussed in some detail, which involved a lot of supportive brotherly banter about not needing to worry too much because the sweeper bus would be going at the same pace I planned to run and I’d be on it before too long!
Well of course I set off way too fast in a determined effort to stay ahead of the bus. Not only too fast, but I got a 10K PB, and very nearly a 10 mile PB in the early part of the course – sorry Judi, I may have panicked!! There was no way I could keep that up for 26.2 miles and by the time I got to Chinatown it was getting very painful. On just about any other day I would have been grateful to get to the last 4 miles which is dead flat along the banks of the Mersey. On this day those 4 miles were into a headwind that threatened to knock your feet from under you at times. Still, I completed my sixth marathon (without even seeing the sweeper bus), I’ve forgiven my brother for doing what little brothers do, and I got my Rock’n’Roll medal!
I had a fantastic day!
Top tips for this event
⦁ Liverpudlians are fantastic!
⦁ Stick to your plan and do not let the marathon demons into your head! (This applies to any race)
⦁ Park at the Anglican Cathedral - £8 for the day, outside the road closure zone and reasonably close to the start/finish
⦁ Liverpool is surprisingly hilly, not steep but relentless for the first 22 miles
⦁ If you aren’t local, it’s a great city to spend a couple of days in.
By Rob Holmes who completed his 100th marathon amazing
Race report for the Golden Phoenix Marathon on the 2nd June
Myself and about 100 other runner completed the Golden Phoenix Marathon on the 2nd June.
This is the flag ship race of Phoenix Running. A friendly, inclusive, low key events organiser with awesome bling. They host running events from 5km to 50km mainly in the Walton upon Thames area. (https://www.phoenixrunning.co.uk/).
Although blisteringly hot this event was very well organised with plenty of water, sweets and cakes. Also Ice lollies at the half way point - very welcome surprise.
With 99 marathons completed this was the charm. Finally did it, got to 100.
My little shaved monkeys (Kids) have already stolen the bling.
Now need a new challenge 200? better not tell Jacky!
As the name suggest this is a low key, friendly, fun running event. With lots of cake!
Held at Jeskyns Community Woodland in Gravesend, Kent. Under blue skies and near perfect running weather.
The race started at 7:30 and was a 3.28 mile gentle undulating lapped event. As many as you can / like in under 6 hours. I stopped at 8 laps giving me the marathon.
A well organised event with nice bling.
99 marathons finished. Need to get the 100 done before all the niggles join to become an injury.
This years event had a mixed field or ability with a staggered start to level the playing field and all that took part finished with in three minutes of the leader. Becky Kipping was the victor and got a voucher for the run shop for her efforts well done Becky.
As the race got underway as crack chefs (Austin and Barrie ) set to work on the food and everyone was deferentially well feed by the time we went home . It was great to see all the club mates and there partners having a chat over a burger and enjoying a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon.
In perfect weather for running, Andy Ward, “Wardy” was introduced to the 30 or so members present.
He gave a brief intro about his passion for coaching, own experiences, esp. Triathlon related and how he’s happy to share.
He explained about his involvement and tuition from Jon Bigg, (Sally Gunnel husband and Mo Farah involvement etc).
We started with a dynamic warm up with drills, “Korean Death March, “chase the chickens”, “Madness walk”, Skips A, B and C, “Grapevine” (aka “Carioca”), etc.
This was followed with “Strides”, going up through the gears.
The main part of the session consisted of a running circuit (square of about 75m sides), of easy, steady and effort running, with slight uphill and down sections.
The effort part rose from 30 secs, to more time, with easy, then steady recovery between.
Finally, there was a warm down with talk about foot strike on landing when running.
Heel strike, not so good, braking effect. Mid foot and forefoot etc and demonstration of propulsion.
There was also chat, and demonstration, regarding the use of strong elastic type resistance bands and use around your legs (above and below knee), to help Glute issues.
Wardy promised to send links to some of the topics we chatted about, (to follow).
Striders then thanked Wardy, had a group photo (Mary’s camera), and presented him with a £30 “Run” shop voucher.
This is always a popular race for team orange and this year was no exception with to my count 29 striders taking part. The race starts on the green by the sea front in Littlehampton does a lap of the green before heading onto the beach. Runners head east for 2.5 miles along the sands negotiating rock pools groins and water channels on the way before turning and heading back in the direction they came from back to the finish . This is a lovely friendly little event with the beach element adding a different twist to it and helped by what was a beautiful late spring evening . Well done to all the competed with a particular mention in dispatches to Paul Hurley and Mike Osman both of which are moving like trains at the moment.
By Mike Osman
Laura Thom and I decided to challenge ourselves to complete the Seaford Half Marathon consisting of around 250 participants. A day perfect for running, mostly sunny with a light breeze to keep us nicely cool going round. It treated us to a beautiful mix of coastal views, countryside footpaths, and multiple but varied hills to ascend and descend to test our endurance to the maximum.
We set out from the start line at 9:00 a.m. beginning on a flat coastal length before embarking inland through a delightful countryside course which was well marked and well marshalled. There were water and juice stations set up at 4 ideally spaced locations to provide all the necessary hydration throughout the run. A thoroughly enjoyable atmosphere and great support as we crossed more public foot pathed areas and a few animals for company as well, including this mean looking cow that seemed intent on guarding this gate that I had to get through! As the run drew to its climax we pushed over our final hill climbing to the peak of Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters to take in a view worth capturing, before a steep descend down the other side to the bottom, feeding you with adrenaline for the rest of the route along the coast and to the finish line to receive our finishers medals. More very gratefully received drinks, biscuits and bananas awaited us at the finish, and even the possibility to buy a nice warmly made crepe with a selection of fillings to choose…. Hmmm yum!
Both I and Laura finished with very respectable times. I had a time of 1:48 and Laura hit a PB of 2:21. Confirmation of exact timings and finishing places shall be confirmed and available to view on the events website by 12 noon this Wednesday.
An awesome event! Stunning views, a great challenge, and at £17 entry an absolute steal for a half marathon, I would highly recommend
From Natasha Sparkes
On the 12th May a group of striders met at Portslade Community College and Sports Centre for an 11am start of the Portslade Hedgehoppers 5 miler.
There are changing facilities, showers and toilets available at the Sports Centre.
The weather was beautiful, around 16 degrees and gorgeous sunshine.
We had a short walk to the start. The first gradual incline was long and felt like it would never end!
This course is very hilly and quite tough but has fantastic scenery all around.
There were a couple of water stations along the way and marshals were encouraging.
The 3 mile mark was the most enjoyable part of the run for me with a nice, long flat stretch with stunning views to take in before the last few inclines.
At the end there was a nice selection of biscuits and soft drinks
Ali Van E Sent us this regarding the clubs beginners course and the club in general and i felt it was worth sharing.
It's now been a year since I started the Couch to 5k course with Striders. Benita was brilliant and made the sessions fun and achievable. I used to like running when at school (nearly 40 years ago!) so joined up hoping to find an exercise that I could enjoy again and which would improve my fitness. I know I'm not the best runner and doubt I'll ever run a marathon, but I love what I am doing and feel so much fitter and healthier than I've felt for years.
I enjoy the camaraderie of the club, the support for everyone whatever their ability and the way even small achievements are celebrated.
I managed to do a sub 30 minutes park run recently and I know compared to others isn't that fast but it was for me, especially as the first 5k l did was 47 minutes!
I am so happy that I joined up and would like to thank everyone for being so supportive and lovely.
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