Stopsley Striders Newsletter – February 2022

The newsletter will be made up of recent/key content we post on Facebook and any other messages we need to share.

Club Awards 2022

A reminder that the annual club awards return on March 5th at Stopsley Working Men’s Club. Evening starts at 7pm, awards at 7:30. There will be a buffet supplied to members by Cheryl McLaren and her parther Richard, charity fundraising by Hilary and her team plus a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our members from the 2021 season.

70 Tickets are available for £5 from Spond and we have a small number of offline tickets left. Please email Thom to reserve an offline ticket (subject to availability).

All ticket holders will have the opportunity of winning a Year’s race pass for any ATW event. You have to be in it to win it!

Also part of this evening will be the Rosa Trophy. Please click this link for details and to vote for this award. This voting slip will go to Zena Ellis only, so it is a very secret ballot for a very special award!

Rosa Trophy (

Club Membership Fees 2022/23

A reminder of club fees for 2022/3. Fees will be collected in April.

For the 2022/2023 year renewal fees are:
– England Athletics Affiliated Members – £46
– Non-England Athletic Affiliated Members – £30
– England Athletics Affiliated Members Students/65 & Over – £36
– Non-England Athletics Affiliated Members Students/65 & over – £20

 For the 2022/2023 year new member fees (includes club vest) are:
New Membership Until AGM
– England Athletics Affiliated – £61
– Non-England Athletics Affiliated – £45
– England Athletics Affiliated Students/65 & Over £51
– Non-England Athletics Affiliated Students/65 & Over £35

Post AGM Membership will be reduced up to 50%

(England Athletics Affiliated Fee of £16 TBC)

Track will be an additional £3 per session (subject to potential price reduction in March 2022)  

We are working hard to ensure that being a member of Stopsley Striders has physical and mental benefits to our members wellbeing as well as other benefits.  

Benefits of Club Membership  

  • Insured Running at Club Running Events  
  • Free Club Nights at Inspire in a private room with Coached Sessions and Social Running  
  • Regular Club Social Nights Per Month  
  • Other running events organised on Spond  
  • Entry to 3 Counties Cross Country League  
  • £2 discounted Affiliated Entry to all ARC organised events  
  • 10% Discount to all ATW organised events  
  • 15% Discount from RunThrough Events (NEW DISCOUNT)
  • 10% from SportsShoes  
  • 15% from Proviz  
  • 5% Discount from Beds Osteopathy
  • 6% Discount from PhysioFit
  • 5%-10% N D Sports Therapy
  • Other discounts to be announced


Benefits of England Athletics Affiliation  

All of the above plus

  • £2 discounted affiliated entry to all England Athletics organised events  
  • Paid entry to County, Southerns and National Cross Country Events  
  • Entry to Club ballot for London Marathon Places (Subject to additional rules)  
  • Further insurance from England Athletics  
  • Ongoing Running discounts included in monthly newsletter – these have included New Balance, Runderwear, Kukri plus many more  
  • Ability to be a club coach at Stopsley Striders (subject to training)  

Club Championships 2022

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

5K – Marston 10th June – Entry now open (£2 discount entry for all EA affiliated members)

5 mile – Hatfield 5 November (Date TBC) (ATW Race 10% Striders Discount)

10K – Flitwick – 10th April (£2 discount entry for all EA affiliated members) or Love Luton 30th October (ATW Race 10% Striders Discount)

10 mile – Sandy – 18th September (PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE)

Half Marathon – St Albans – 12th June (ATW Race 10% Striders Discount) or Love Luton 30th October (ATW Race 10% Striders Discount)

20 Mile – Any race (not virtual)

Marathon – Any race (not virtual)

Beds AAA County Championships

These races have age category prizes and team prizes for runners living in and born in Beds!

Lets get Striders ruling the County!

5k – Doug Anderson (Bedford Park) – 20th July (£2 discount entry for ALL members at it is an ARC race)

10k – Beds AAA – 15th July – (£2 discount entry for all EA affiliated members)

5 mile – John O’Callaghan (Luton) – June (Date TBC) (£2 discount entry for all EA affiliated members -TBC)

10 mile – Sandy – 18th September (PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE)

Half Marathon – Love Luton 30th October (TBC as County Champs – Maria suggested it to them!!) (ATW Race 10% Striders Discount)

20 mile – Oakley 4th September  (£2 discount entry for ALL members at it is an ARC race)

Cross Country 2022/23

Thank you to Charles for attending the 3 Counties Cross Country League meeting on 17th January.


Wellingborough, Wootton (Northants), Letchworth and Stopsley will be the venues with it looking like Ampthill being the 5th venue.

Our race’s tentative date is Dec 11th 2022! Save the date please as we will need runners, marshalls, car park attendants, sandwich makers and all sorts of other help during, before and after the race!

Beds Cross Country will be on this year in Bedfordshire – Race Date TBC


Good luck to Christine Lathwell who will be representing Striders at the Southern Cross Country at Parliament Hill on 26th February!!

Race Suggestions – Races suggested by members


STOP PRESS – Get this date in your diary –


Don’t forget to record your race results:

2022 BEGINNERS course

Our annual beginners course will begin on Thursday 28th April 2022. This course will be a pre-bookable course only for 50 runners. The link for entry will be open to members only for a short period of time before going on general release so it gives our members an opportunity to get friends and family involved before being open to the wider Luton community!

Club Kit

Martin Ball has been working tirelessly with Prestige of Barton to help the club relaunch our kit. We are hoping to have a sample of this new kit available at the Awards Night and we are also hoping to include a 40th anniversary Striders logo designed by our very own Zena Ellis!

ATW Events Club Discount

The Club have negotiated the benefit for all club members to receive a 10% discount to all ATW events.

Please use the discount code sent emailed Newsletter and on Striders Facebook page when entering their races.

Please visit Active Training World Events – Active Training World for a list of their upcoming events.

Charity & Social – March (Please see Spond for February Events!!!)

  • 20th March   Sunday Long Runday
    • Following the success of the Boxing Day run we encourage Striders to run down the cycle path for their long run.
    • Organise your run on Spond
    • Aim that everyone finishes their run at 11am and meets at Starbucks (Luton Retail Park, Gipsy Lane) for a coffee and cake
  • 14th March – Post run drinks at The Barrells after our 8km and 5km led runs! Also Stopsley Steppers will be having an outing on this evening!
    • Meeting from 20:00. There will be a Spond event for numbers, or message one of the committee the week before.
    • For the earlier club run on this evening we will be offering a 5K and 8K run in a similar format to the Christmas Lights Run with a run leader and tail runner
  • 24th March (TBC) – Club run  from Crawley Green Social Club (Not Inspire) at later time of 7:30.
  • Coached Session and Walking Group
  • An opportunity to try out some different routes
  • Social and Pot Luck Buffet (Supplied by members) from 8:30
  • Charity Fundraising

This year’s charity is Hospice at Home Home | Hospice at Home Volunteers and the Club Rep for the charity is Hilary Blessing.

So far the events held for the charity have been a 12 days of Christmas Challenge and the December Club Social which saw an auction for Gill McLaren’s Christmas Cake, a Gin Sling plus some other fundraising. £302 raised so far so thank you to all that have contributed to the charity.

The committee are currently hard at work in organising a Club 40th Anniversary Bash for June 2022. Look out for more information regarding this event VERY soon. We are looking to have the event on one of the weekends around the 28th June (The club’s actual birthday!) so please keep the weekend’s free around this date.

Club Suggestions

If you would like to make a suggestion to the club committee please email or speak to a committee or complete the form below by clicking the link

That’s all folks…

We would like to wish you all a happy new year and look forward to seeing you at a club event in the near future.

If you have any questions or comments please contact a member of the committee.

Or submit your suggestions to


A group of 3 Striders represented our club at the Chiltern cross country event held at Stopsley

Common on 4th  December. Well done to Ian Pitkin, Rob Barnes and Charles Nelis.

On Dec 6th we had our monthly meet up at the Barrels after the Monday night social run. Everyone

who had ran a marathon in 2021 was invited to bring their medal and wear their t-shirt for a group

celebration and of course a photo. The 12 ladies dominated this event next to the 2 men who took

their position for the photo by laying on the floor and posing.

There was a handful of Striders on December 12th  who decided to dress up as Santa and support

Keech Hospice running 5k in Bedford along the embankment, completing 2 loops. It was a sight to

behold and an enjoyable time for everyone raising much needed funds for our local hospice.

Also on the same date Martin Pretoria ran in the Milton Keynes half marathon getting a PB in

2:20:20. Well done Martin.

We had a great turn out from Striders for our last track session of 2021 on 14th December. It was

great to see so many people on a cold winters evening putting in much effort to improve their

running pace and times. Please come along on any Tuesday evening. Sign up on Spond, it is only £3

and run as hard or easy as you wish to.

On the 16th we had a social run from the Crawley Green Sports and Social club followed by our club

social including food and drink. The club Champs certificates were given out for the year. Well done

to everyone and thank you for adding your times so we could work out the first, second and third

places in all the age categories. Please add all your race times for the coming year not just PB’s using

this link.

On the 19th Dec we had a friendly cross country event with Dunstable Road runners visiting us to run

our 5 mile route. This was expertly organized by Kate Neale and her team of wonderful Striders who

kindly gave up their time to come and freeze so we would all know the route. It was a cold, foggy

morning with no views over the hills to be seen. It was great to have a good crowd of Striders and

Dunstable Road runners together.

Also on that day 2 Striders ran in the 10 mile race at Graffam Water. Claire Bracey 1:47:22 and Leigh

Betts 2:07:36. Well done ladies.

On Dec 20th we had our annual Christmas lights run. We had 2 groups going out, one running 5k and

the other running 8k. The plan was to meet up at the Disney decorated house in Old Bedford road at

the same time. The 8k group turned up first to mulled wine and cakes which had kindly been put on

by the home owners John and Judi with their daughter Carol helping out too. What lovely

people to do that for us all. The 5k group then arrived after a slight detour and we were able to have

a large group photo with the hosts. The 8k group then carried on to the house off of Austin Road

covered in lights for a photo with Father Christmas himself.

On Christmas Day we were able to go to the Wardown Parkrun for the first time. 235 people finished

the course including plenty of Striders. It was lovely to be able to start the day off with this before

going home to eat and drink too much!

On Boxing Day we had our annual run from Starbucks at Gypsy Lane. Run for half an hour along the

Harpenden cycleway, turn around and run back for a cuppa. We had approximately 20 Striders

attend and enjoyed running off the Christmas dinner ready for the Boxing Day shenanigans.

We were able to attend a New Years Day Parkrun at Wardown Park after a night of excess for some

starting the year as we mean to go on. Big thanks to all their lovely volunteers for enabling these

runs to go ahead. Please volunteer if you are able to.

Well done to Donna Wiggett in Ireland completing the Greencastle 5 mile road race wearing her

Striders T-shirt and to Amanda and Tom Rankin completing in the Pirton Boxing Day run.

Well done to Vicki Crowson and Maria Petts for completing in the Lee Valley Velo Park on 28th  Dec.

Vicki did 10 mile race and Maria the 10k.

On Jan 8th it was the Beds AAA cross country championships. It was a tough course held at Campbell

Park in Milton Keynes with plenty of rain and mud. Paul Keech was 2nd V60, Richard Hardy, Paul

Keech and Andy Reid came 1st in the Super Vet team. Rob Barnes came 7th , Tom Rankin 28th and

Charles Nelis 48th . Christine Lathwell finished 4th  overall and 1st vet lady. What an amazing set of

results from a small group of Striders who represented our club with fantastic outcomes.

On 16th Jan we held our January cross county meet. Cross country can be done any time during the

month if you are unable to make the date. There were 12 of us who ran a very muddy, hilly long

course with a couple of striders going out slightly earlier. Three of us took a tumble with some

coming off worse than others. From the photos taken I think Gez and Thom got the muddiest! Well

done to everyone for taking part.

On Jan 23rd , 13 striders ran in the Fred Hughes 10 mile race over in St Albans with a couple of PB’s

thrown in: Rob Barnes 58.38, Danny Kelly 1:12:45, Peter Brown 1:15:06,  Ian Curry and Andy Durrant

1:18:23, Charles Nelis 1:22:05, Ruth Doyle 1:25:37(PB), Dawn Boon 1:27:02(PB), Peta Henry 1:39:20,

Valerie Dawson 1:44:42, Martin Ball 1:45:41, Claire Bracey 1:51:54 and Kate Neale 2:01:55.

On 25th  January it was great to see Hicham Hasnaoui back at track for the first time since his knee

injury in May 2021 which resulted in surgery. Track is a great place to start after an injury as you are

able to run your own pace but without being out on your own. Please come along and welcome back

Hicham. Please make sure you buy your tickets for the awards night on March 5th . They are £5 and are

available to buy on Spond. It will be held at Stopsley Working Mens Club from 7pm and will include


Congratulations to all Striders not mentioned but completed in December and January. Please fill in

the race record with your achievements during 2022 and please remember to keep an eye on the

age grading as they are a great award to receive for your hard work and dedication.

Stay safe and keep running.

Ruthie and Charles.