Stopsley Striders Newsletter – December 2022

What a busy month this has been, with both social events and various races. Our Christmas party was a huge success judging by the feedback we have received, so a big thank you to the organisers and everyone who attended the event. Well done to Kate for raising an amazing amount towards the club charity and to Gill for making the cake. This was followed by a well-attended social at the Barrels, it was nice to see a few familiar faces we hadn’t seen for a while and hope to see you again soon. 

A wet and windy Monday night saw over 40 Striders attend our annual Christmas Lights run visiting the houses in Old Bedford Road and Fallowfield, where we were treated to mulled wine and mince pies at the Disney house. Many thanks to Carol and her parents John and Judy who made us feel welcome and to Nicola and Sara who arranged it for us. Make sure you check out all the photos on Facebook. 

After the cross country events at a muddy Wootton and snowy Baldock our team currently sits in sixth position after three races, a fantastic achievement, well done to all our amazing runners and supporters. 

We also had the final club champs of the year at Hatfield 5, which saw some great results and lots of PBs. Well done to all Striders who have participated in races this month. We have had to cancel a few club nights recently due to the snow, your safety always come first, so we urge everyone to take extra care running in wintery conditions. 

Finally the committee would like to wish all Striders a very merry festive period and hope to see as many of you as possible on our planned runs.

Coming up:

See Spond for details

Monthly Socials

Monday 9 January – The Barrels

Run & Talk

Sunday 8 January

Boxing Day Run

Monday 26 December

Starbucks, Gypsy Lane

Running London

The draw for the Club’s 2023 London Marathon place was conducted at the Baldock cross country by Bill Barrett, who braved the weather to support our team. The lucky winner, seeing off 19 other hopefuls, was Claire Bracey – well
done Claire!
The Club is currently awarded one place. This is dependent on the number of England Athletics affiliated members we have, so the more we have affiliated, the more chance we have of getting more places.

Charity News

The World Cup Sweepstake raised £160 for the Club charity – Brain Tumour Research. Congratulations to our winners: 

1st Argentina (£50 each) – Claire Router and Joe Cashman 

2nd France – (£20 each) Antonia Licata and Tony Ashby 

3rd Croatia – (£10 each) Steve Close and Sileshi Tesema 

If you weren’t one of our lucky winners, there’s still the Stopsley Striders 100 Club! 

Pick your numbers, pay for the year, cross your fingers every month! It’s £1 per number so £11 for 11 months. 3 prizes a month – 50% in prizes, 50% to the charity. 

Fill in the Google form ( or find Kate on club night and pay via bank transfer

Striders of the Month!

October: Kallum Wright and Sandy Reeve-Smith
November: Peter Breslin and Jane Few

Well done to you all and we will present you with your trophies when they are available.

Christmas Club Nights

There will be no club nights on Monday 26 December, Thursday 29 December and Monday 2 January
There will be no track on Tuesday 27 December

Cross Country

Stopsley – 15 January 2023
Bedford – 5 February 2023
Sign up on Spond.  More details at

Beds County – Ampthill Park – 7 January 2023
Southerns – Beckenham – 28 January 2023
Nationals – Cheshire – 25 January 2023

We will be hosting the league meeting on the 15 January 2023 and Charles is busy organising the final details. We will need lots of help on the day to welcome the 350 runners to the event in terms of parking attendants, marshals, catering etc. We need as many of you as possible, so please keep the day free and we can put on an event we can be proud of!

Club Championships 2023

These races have age category 1st, 2nd and 3rd Certificates for all age categories.

5K – Marston 9 June 2023 or Hitchin 24 September 2023
5 mile – Hatfield November 2023 (Date TBC)
10K – Flitwick 16 April 2023 or Love Luton 29 October 2023
10 mile – Sandy 2 April 2023 or Leighton 24 September 2023
Half Marathon – St Albans – 11 June 2023 or Love Luton 29 October
20 Mile – Any race 2023 (not virtual)
Marathon – Any race 2023 (not virtual)
Cross Country – Ampthill Trophy 15 October 2023

We have added a couple of extras this year to give more opportunities to do as many as possible.

– ATW Race 10% Striders Discount. Contact a strider or committee member for the code
– £2 discount entry for all EA affiliated members)

Other Race Suggestions: January-March 2023

Fred Hughes 10 mile – 22 January 2023
Gade Valley 12/17 – 19 February 2023
MK Festival of Running – 12 March 2023
Gade Valley 17/20 – 19 March 2023
Ashridge Boundary Run – 25 March 2023
Oakley20 – 26 March 2023

Don’t forget to record your race results:

For races with the ATW discount please see Active Training World Events – Active Training World Only Events with ATW as a Prefix to the race name carry the discount

For races that have ARC £2 discount for ALL members web46-arcdb — query_1 (

For races that have the EA £2 discount for England Athletics Affiliated Members Only please look out for races that are licensed by England Athletics

November Run Report

By Charley Snowdon & Ryan Parsons

November was a fabulous month of running and begun with Charles Nelis initiating additional Sunday long runs starting and finishing at Elevenses Cafe at Inspire. This is quickly becoming a Sunday staple on non race days and the Elevenses homemade cinnamon swirl buns are providing the motivation! Look out on Spond and Facebook for details of the next one.

At the beginning of November, the phenomenal Christine Lathwell, travelled to Ireland for the British & Irish Masters Cross Country International in Dublin. “I almost wasn’t allow to fly as I don’t have a passport!” laughed Christine. “I had a good race and came 4th with the V45 ladies team coming overall 2nd, we were all so pleased to get a medal.” This in undeniably a fantastic achievement and so many congratulations and well wishes go to you Christine, you really are a valued inspiration.

Sticking with the cross country theme, Kallum Wright, Tom Rankin and Charley Snowdon headed to Milton Keynes on 12th November for the Chiltern Cross Country League. This is a highly contested league with lots of pro runners including Olympians, where the woman run separately to the men. It was fast, it was furious but we didn’t finish last! Tom beat Kallum to the line, but not by much, watch this space as the competitive rivalry between these two continues to simmer! Another Strider that doesn’t mind the mud is Peter Breslin. Peter took part in the Dirt Half Challenge on the 19th November in 1:40 “including getting lost in the forest!” Very well done Peter, your love of trails and enthusiasm for being out in the countryside is infectious and most certainly is paying off!

Martin Pretoria was on his merry travels once more, this time landing in Greece for the Athens Marathon. “I can honestly say it’s the toughest run I’ve ever done and it’s going to take me a couple of days to get over it, but it was well worth it!” said a proud Martin. Martin finished in a time of 06:45:07.

Luton Wardown Parkrun was painted purple on Saturday 26th November to mark Evelyn Lutterodt’s 250th Parkrun! It was great to see so many people out supporting Evelyn and the morning really highlighted the friendship and coming togetherness that being part of Stopsley Striders is all about. The beautiful Evelyn was beaming as she served delicious and well received purple celebratory cake to all.

Now it’s back to the cross country, where on Sunday 27th November, Stopsley Striders proudly travelled to Northampton for the second race of the Three Counties Cross Country League.

This was an awesome event where the Striders camaraderie was at the forefront of the day. The men ran superbly with Rob Barnes leading the way, followed by Kallum Wright, Ryan Parsons, Gez Fallon, Ade Copp and Paul Abrahams all scoring for the boys.

The ladies team gave it their all with Charley Snowdon, Ruth Doyle, Karen Ashby and Judy Reid all contributing to the teams overall current position of 10th. Admittedly, it was the mens scores that held us at 10th and moving forward, Charley is extremely keen to encourage and build the ladies team.

Stopsley Striders XC Team

The League is very much a club event and showcases the club at it’s best by competitively supporting each other whilst having fun!

Please, please do sign up for the next one.

A mud free, Hatfield 5 also took place on the Sunday where there was a sea of proudly donned Striders vests. First Strider home and absolutely smashing it, with a PB of 35:03 was Nick Betts, also running extremely well, our Chairman Andy Durrant, recorded a PB of 36:27. Further PB’s were achieved by Leigh Betts 50:11 and Jill Bywaters 50:10.

Special mention to Sandy Reeve-Smith who gave it her all for a PB of under 50 mins. “I wanted to crack the 50 mins and beat my Stopsley 5 mile time which I did”, said Sandy. “It was a lovely run and a nice distance, I will definitely do this one again!” Age category PB’s on the day came from Thomas Darby 36:02, Evelyn Lutterodt 49.55 and Philip Abbitt 48.52. Undoubtedly the Striders camaraderie also shone across Hatfield that day. Congratulations to all that took part.

Peter Brown ventured off into town and took part in The London Half Marathon for a time of under 1:50 “It was very tough but I was happy with how I ran overall”, said Peter. “The support was absolutely phenomenal and I really enjoyed it.”

A couple that needs a mention are Leigh and Nick Betts who have been representing Striders at a plethora or races up and down the country. I think everyone who knows Nick and Leigh will agree that they are just the loveliest couple and how they support each other in their running is just beautiful.

Leigh and Nick ran the Alton Towers Half Marathon around the rides (and the carpark!) finishing in 2:40:59 for Leigh. Whilst Nick steamed ahead for 1:45:15.

“It was a lovely run through the park whilst the rides were on but it was a lot harder than the Luton Half”, said Leigh. “I didn’t realise how hilly Alton was and there were lots of twists and turns and tight corners.”

This is our first run report as Captains so please do forgive us if we have left anyone out, run reports will run monthly and we will try and cover as much as we know about!

Do remember to upload your race results on the website and do share what you’re up to on social media so we can all support and follow each other. Look out for next months run reports including Shaun Mutters Hurtwood 50, Rob Barnes Cheviot Goat Ultra, Cross Country Report from event number 3 hosted by North Herts Road Runners and of course as many Santa Canter’s, Elf Encounters and Rudolph Runs as possible!

We wish you all a very merry and peaceful Christmas.