Stopsley Striders Newsletter – January 2023

There’s only one place to start this month and that’s our cross-country event. It’s been over ten years since we last hosted a Three Counties Cross Country event, but we decided last year to throw our hat in the ring and offer to host it this year, we were accepted, and the planning began. A plea was put out for helpers and over 40 Striders put their names forward to help. The course was decided (who doesn’t love a hill to finish?), the marshals were organised and the army of caterers were given their roles, pun intended. And boy did we deliver, the event was a huge success so a massive thank you to everyone involved in organising and helping out, it’s really put our club on the map and every member should feel immensely proud of what we achieved. Same again next year?

In the race itself the men came fourth, ladies tenth and the club seventh overall, we remain in sixth position out of 14 clubs. The last Three Counties Cross Country is at Bedford on Sunday 5 February. Let’s get as many Striders as possible running this – six Striders have the chance of competing in all five events!

But back to our event, here’s what the other clubs had to say:

‘Brilliant event, thank you to all involved’ – Dunstable Road Runners ‘

Loved it! (That final hill though!!!) Thanks everyone for another brilliant event.’ – Wellingborough & District AC

‘Thank you for a great race today’ – Bedford Harriers

‘Many thanks for organising today, great event, I think everyone enjoyed the final hill!!’ – Ampthill & Flitwick Flyers

‘Great event, well organised’ – Northants Tri

‘Excellent course and can’t get lapped!’ – Rugby & Northampton AC

‘Thanks to Stopsley for organising today’s event. I thought it was brilliant. Well done! That finish gave the course more character. Fantastic venue for the HQ. Thanks everyone for a great event!’ – North Herts Road Runners

‘Great event, that hill was brilliantly brutal!’ – Leighton Fun Runners

‘Great event and fantastically well organised, loved the finish! Thanks Stopsley!’ – Dunstable Lions

‘Well done Stopsley, nice to have a new course in the mix. I think I would sum up the course as ‘hills and headwinds.’

‘Thanks Stopsley for a great event and the nice hilly finish!’ – Northampton Road Runners

Beds AAA Cross Country Championships

In other cross-country news, on Saturday 7 January twelve Striders and some hardy supporters braved the wind and rain at Ampthill Park. It proved to be successful as Christine Lathwell was first Beds lady home, picking up a Gold medal. Bronze medals were achieved by Charley Snowdon and Andy Durrant, finishing third in their age categories, and the Vet 60 men’s team of Andy, Paul Keech and Richard Hardy claimed another Gold.

Well done to all who attended and putting up the gazebo in the wind was a feat in itself.

Coming Up:

Time to Talk Day 2023 For Mental Health Awareness – Thursday 2 February

Kate has organised a 5k and 8k route for those running and Liz and Amanda have organised a Steppers walk. It’s great that the club supports these events and well done to them for organising it, so please sign up on Spond. It’s intended that we go to the Hansom Cab afterwards for a chat and drink, all are welcome. If you need further temptation, they often have a quiz night on a Thursday…

Monthly Social – Monday 6 February

This will be held at the Barrels, who will be opening specially to host us. It would be great to see as many of you there as possible for what’s always a great evening.

Awards Night – Saturday 4 March

Our Awards Night is a Striders highlight where we celebrate the success, hard work and commitment of our members. This year’s event will be held at Stopsley Working Mens Club. We’ll be confirming final arrangements very soon – look out for further details on Spond and Facebook.

Stopsley Striders 5 & 10 Mile Trail Race

This year’s race is confirmed for Sunday 13 August 2023 and is now live to enter on our website.

Early Bird Entries: 5 mile £13.00 – £15.00, 10 mile £18.00 – £20.00

Strider of the Month!

Strider of the Month for December is Liz Evans.

Well done Liz, it’s well deserved!

Please see the run report for the full details.

Kit Update

The way in which you buy the new kit has now changed. You can order any of the items of the Stopsley Striders new kit directly from Prestige Design.

Please remember they are able to print your name on running tops and hoodies. To order new kit, please contact Jackie Ginger at Prestige Design on 01582 797372.

When you order the kit you will need to pay for it straight away. Jackie is the only person that will take an order for Stopsley Striders kit. You will also need to collect the kit that you order directly from Prestige Design, which is located on the Barton Industrial Estate on Faldo Road in Barton-le-Clay.

If you have any problems please do not hesitate in contacting Martin Pretoria.

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

– 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

Watford Half Marathon – Sunday 5 February
Gade Valley 12/17 mile – Sunday 19 February
Baldock Beast Half Marathon – Sunday 26 February
Cambridge Half Marathon – Sunday 5 March
Great Yarmouth Seafront 10k and Half Marathon – Sunday 12 March
Milton Keynes Festival of Running – Sunday 12 March
Gade Valley 17/20 mile – Sunday 19 March
Ashridge Boundary Run – Saturday 25 March
Oakley 20 mile – Sunday 26 March
Welwyn Half Marathon – Sunday 2 April

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

Please email if you want to recommend any upcoming races.

December Run Report

By Charley Snowdon & Ryan Parsons

December is normally a quiet month in the running calendar but not for us Striders! Nope, we grabbed the festive season by the antlers and embraced a month of competitive running, extreme challenges, fancy dress, ParkRuns, partying, TikTok challenges, successful fundraising, social runs and trails!!

Our Christmas party was a huge success on 2nd Dec at South Beds Golf Club, where members donned their glad-rags, let their hair down and enjoyed dancing the night away. Leading up to the evening, some Striders had been practising the Beyoncé ‘Cuff it’ TikTok challenge which was performed with great enthusiasm and in perfect unison (obviously) on the night! Kate Neale set to raising as much money as possible for the clubs nominated charity, Brain Tumour Research and held a Dutch auction (a Strider tradition) for a delicious Christmas cake expertly baked by Gill McLaren. As the beer flowed, the bids came thick and fast with the evening raising over £200 for this worthy cause.

Rob Barnes needs no introduction, this Strider is an absolute machine and on the 3rd Dec he took part in the Cheviot Goat. The 55 mile ultra race takes place high up in the fells on the Scottish border and is described as, ‘a test of all your abilities as both your mind and body are placed under stress in this unforgiving environment’.

“The race didn’t go to plan, but still a nice day out in the hills”, said Rob. “I had an argument with a barbed wire fence where I thought the terrain looked better on the other side, but the fence had other ideas.

This was around half way through, on one of the most remote parts of the course, but luckily I knew there would be some marshals in a couple miles who were part of the local mountain rescue. The marshals were great and very quickly patched me up like a F1 pit crew with a big bandage that allowed me to finish the race!”

On Dec 4th, Leigh and Nick Betts made a merry couple representing Striders at the 10k Hertfordshire Santa Run. “It was a lovely run but we spent a lot of time dodging dogs’ said Leigh. Leigh finished in 1:08.35 with husband Nick leading the way in a time of 46:34.

V65 Strider, John Chapman has been taking part in the 5K Winter Series that starts on Boscombe Pier in Bournemouth. The race takes place once a month, for four months, from November and follows the same course. “I came 2nd in my first race but wasn’t pleased with my time, there was a gale force headwind and I struggled to run against it, I had set off too fast and couldn’t maintain my pace however, I looked at the results and knew I could do much better”, said John. “My aim for the December leg was to beat the V65 runner who had beaten me previously by over 45 seconds, I am pleased to say that I did just that and ended up beating him by 16 seconds with a time of 20:56.”
We are pleased to report that John now leads the V65 category and we look forward to following his progress.

Shaun Mutter was up to his usual crazy antics on the 4th Dec, when he took on the Hurtwood 50 again, we think the clue is in the title; ‘HURTwood’. This beast of a race takes place across the Surrey hills with 1400m of elevation across 50km.

“This race had previously nearly beaten me, it was my ‘demon’ race”, said Shaun. “My personal aim was to beat the sunset which I’m pleased to say I did.”

Shaun smashed it and recorded a course PB of 6:07, nearly an hour faster than he had previously!

Then it was off to Milton Keynes for the MK Winter Half on 11th Dec, where Striders wrapped up warm ( apart from Kallum Wright!) to take on this half marathon in far from ideal conditions. “It was bloody cold and I was an idiot to wear shorts and a vest in minus conditions!” laughed Kallum. “The last two miles I couldn’t move my face, the ice was trying to freeze my eyes shut but I couldn’t blink!” Despite the harrowing cold, Kallum crossed the finishing line in an impressive 1:27.04 where he was shortly joined by Peter Breslin in 1:34.47, Nick Betts 1:44.58, Evelyn Lutterodt 2:20.05, Liz Barker 2:32.12, Theresa Gunnell 2:36.39 and an always smiling Claire Bracey bringing up the rear in 2:40.25.

Then it was off to Baldock on 18th Dec, to take part in the third race in the 3 Counties Cross Country League which was hosted by North Herts Road Runners. There was snow on the floor and it was absolutely freezing but that did not deter our lion hearted Striders.

We gave it our all on a challenging course and finished strong with our ladies team (with the help of the awesomely talented Lucy Treleaven) coming in 6th and our men 7th, resulting in us climbing up the league table from 10th to 6th.

Charley and Miriam continued their healthy battle to the finish line with Miriam pulling away, beating Charley for second lady Strider home.

Our usual Monday Club night took a festive turn on 19th Dec, with our annual Christmas Lights Social Run where we descended on ‘The Disney House’ for mulled wine and mince pies with thanks to John, Judy and Carol and then onto The O’Tooles in Fallowfield.

Well done’s go to Thomas Derby and Peter Breslin for braving the wind, rain and mud on the undulating course that is the Buntingford 10 Miler. The race took place between Christmas and New Year with Thom achieving an age category PB.

“I would recommend this end of year race to everyone”, said Thom. “It’s a great medal and every runner gets a Mars Bar!”

ParkRun over the Christmas Period is an annual staple for many Striders and Luton Wardown smashed it this year, successfully hosting runs

on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years Eve. We know that many of you Striders enjoyed dressing up and running up that dreaded hill several times over the holidays!

On Boxing Day, Donna Wiggett took part on the Annual Greencastle 5 mile run. “The race took place in very wintery snowy conditions and my first race in 4 months”, said Donna. “I am so very lucky to be the first Strider home!”

And finally, also on Boxing Day, a drove of Striders made their way to Gipsy Lane to run off all that turkey and Christmas pud down the path to Harpenden. A highlight had to be watching Chris Treleaven run with his gifted daughter Lucy as they have identical running gaits. Chris commented, “If we run the same, then why can’t I keep up with her?”

December Strider of the Month

Liz Evans for being an absolute superstar and getting the DJ at South Beds to play Beyoncé! Joking aside, Liz is always there, looking after us, willing us on, volunteering and being a true team player even though Liz can’t run at the moment.

Liz, you’re bloody lovely and the club is better for having you in it! Thank you so, so much :o) xxx

So that’s that for the December run report, wowzers! Look out for next months reports from our hosting cross country race, Fred Hughes 10 and many, many others.

Please remember to upload your race results to the website and post what you’re up to on social media so we can write about you! Many thanks, Charley & Ryan.