Stopsley Striders Newsletter – MARCH 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

Congratulations to all Striders who won awards at the recent Awards Evening. It was a wonderful, emotional evening to celebrate the achievements of all our Striders who did well in 2021. Thank you to Maria Petts for the great organisation, Nadia Hall for sorting the awards and Amanda Rankin and Liz Evans for booking it at SWMC.

The photos and citations (reasons for awards!) will be posted on the website and on Facebook soon. Thank you so much to Kate Neale’s daughter Tess for the photos and for Cheryl McLaren and her partner Richard for supplying the food. We also thank Mark Smith and Shaun Mutter for talking about their Ultra experiences and I am aware that this has increased the interest in the club regarding this type of event.

If you wish to be considered for an award at next year’s celebration please remember to record all of your races at

Record Your Race – Stopsley Striders

The winners were:

Award NameWinner
Senior – FemaleKate Mutter
Senior – MaleShaun Mutter
Vet – FemaleCalista Strange
Vet – MaleMark Smith
Super Vet – FemaleRuth Doyle
Super Vet – MaleGez Fallon
Super Great Vet – FemalePam Abbitt
Super Great Vet – MaleDave Debnam
Performance AwardRob Barnes
Performance AwardChristine Lathwell
Performance AwardJohn Chapman
Performance AwardKaren Ashby
Performance AwardPhil Abbitt
Performance AwardPaul Keech
Performance AwardAndy Reid
Performance AwardRichard Hardy
Improvement AwardIan Pitkin
Improvement AwardDenis Rowley
Improvement AwardSam Whaley
Improvement AwardClaire Bracey
Improvement AwardJill Bywaters
Improvement AwardTheresa Gunnell
Improvement AwardHilary Blessing
Improvement AwardTracy MacDonald
Improvement AwardMartin Ball
Improvement AwardThom Darby
Improvement AwardDawn Boon
Special AwardNadia Hall
Special Award2021 Committee
Special AwardVicki Crowston
Special AwardMaria Petts
Special AwardAmanda Rankin
Special AwardLiz Evans
Special AwardValerie Dawson
Special AwardMartin Smith
Special AwardCharles Nelis
Special AwardSanjay Roy
Special AwardCarly Eaves
Special AwardEammon Devane
Special AwardChris Mclaren
Special AwardDonna Wiggett
Special AwardGary Fowler
Bill Barrett Award – MaleShaun Mutter
Bill Barrett Award – FemaleCaliste Strange
Ken Abbott AwardChristine Lathwell
Ken Abbott AwardJudy Reid
Ken Abbott AwardPaul Keech
Ken Abbott AwardAmrik Singh
Rosa TrophyThom Darby
Chairman’s AwardMaria Petts
PearlNadia Hall
OpalCalista Strange
OpalKulwinder Assra
OpalJill Bywaters
AmberDenis Rowley
AmberCharles Nelis
EmeraldRuth Carvell Doyle
SapphireGez Fallon

We have also been able to award Strider of the Month trophies in person again now – if you would like to nominate a Strider for SOTM please email or speak to one of the club captains!

Club Membership Renewals 2022/3

Please could all members ensure that their details on the England Athletics Portal are up to date  during March in preparation for membership renewal.

Log in – Athletics Portal (

We have also added two fields on Spond that we would like members update to ensure that members are safe on club nights. These fields are Medical Information and ICE contact. This information is only visible to coaches and committee members and will help if any incident arises. If members are not on Spond please could you join by downloading the app and using the code UYAAY.

A reminder of club fees for 2022/3. Fees will be collected in April. Please look out for the email in the first few days of April with renewal details and again we will be collecting them via the England Athletics Portal – please look out for the invoice from Stripe Payments.

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 has increased by £1 to £16)

Track will be an additional £3 per session.

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)  

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!
  • Cost of the Beginners course is £20.72. For members to sign up friends and family please use the SPOND group called Stopsley Striders Beginners Course –(SPOND GROUP CODE UEPTJ). To then pay you need they will need to sign up to the event Stopsley Striders Beginners Course 2022. This includes the guarantee of a weekly coached session each Thursday, a supportive Facebook group for ongoing advice and support and the annual Beginners graduation Parkrun in July.
  • This code will be released to the wider community on 26th March at Luton Wardown Parkrun.

At the same time as it is a new Membership year we will welcome any runner above Beginner Ability to the club and welcome them to any club evening!

Striders Races 2022

We are so happy to announce that one of our club races is back for the 7th August. The 5 mile and 10 mile races are available to enter via the race website.

Please visit the website for details

Stopsley 5 & 10 Mile Trail Race – Stopsley Striders (

We will also start working soon on the return for Stopsley Challenge for 2023!

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) – 26th June (£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

Well done to Christine Lathwell for representing the club at the Southern Cross Country Champs at the end of January and to Christine, Gez Fallon and Richard Hardy for attacking the mud at Parliament Fields in the National Champs in February. Details of their finishes can be found in Ruth and Charles’ run report below


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

Race Suggestions – Races suggested by members


Don’t forget to record your race results:

Club Kit

Martin Ball has been working tirelessly with Prestige of Barton to help the club relaunch our kit. The Committee have decided that initially we will launch with 5 products; t-shirt in race colours, snood (or some might call it a buff!), hoody, jacket and hat). Details of how to purchase to follow but we will be suing Spond initially before being able to move across to the Prestige Website and members will then be available to purchase directly from Prestige.

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 of available in newsletters emailed 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 and April (Please see Spond for Events!!!)

  • 3rd April – #RunandTalk
  • Join our #RunandTalk champion Kate Mutter on a 1 hour run and then breakfast at Old Skool Pantry.
  • This event is restricted to 20 members only.
  • A great opportunity to release the stresses and strains of daily life and get some well earnt exercise and decent hearty scran!
  • 20th March and 17th April   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 and 11th April – 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 and 21st April (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.

Club members raised over £300 for the charity in March

Save The Date

15th June 2022 – Striders 40th Birthday Bash at South Beds Golf Club

Ticket Details to follow in April

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 look forward to seeing you at a club event in the near future.


February Run Report.

We began February with Time to Talk day on the 3rd. Our club has been accepted as an official group for this by England Athletics. There will be more to follow about this and it is being led by Kate Mutter.

On 6th Feb we joined with Dunstable Road Runners for a cross country run over at at Dunstable. As there was a mix up over the starting times a group of Striders ran the course around the quarry without any of the Dunstable team as they were meeting an hour later. There had been a heavy rainfall and the course was extremely muddy but fortunately it wasn’t actually raining at the time. Dave Debnam was flying in his brand new cross country shoes. We tried to remind him to slow down in case he fell again but he was on one. Charley Snowdon a new strider came along, she ran into a big muddy puddle with both shoes on and unfortunately exited the puddle with only one. As we finished the course the Dunstable crew were just starting so more than half of the Striders group decided to run it again. I think it was the tea and cake afterwards that was so appealing. It was great to run and chat with the DRR. We were very grateful for their hospitality afterwards.

On the same day five Striders took part in the Watford Half Marathon. Well done to Rob Barnes 1.16.44, Richard Hardy 1.54.44, Sanjay Roy 2.00.31, Valerie Dawson 2.19.33 and Hannah Roy 2.27.54.

On the same day, Theresa Gunnel, Claire Bracy and Hilary Blessing took part in the Great Barford Run Together Inaugural Run.  Well done ladies.

Mark Smith completed 34 miles in the Pilgrim Challenge on day 2 after being a sweeper for them on day 1. Great running Mark.

On 13th Feb 8 Striders ran in the Welwyn 10k. Danny Kelly 44.19, Thom Darby 47.19, Phil Abbitt 58.43, Amrik Singh 58.56, Kulwinder Assra 1.02.12, Claire Bracey 1.02.17, Leigh Betts 1.04.05 and Pam Abbitt 1.13.52. Danny came first in his age category and Pam came second in hers. This is really great news. I was the Stopsley Strider cheerleader while marshalling on the route earning myself a free race with ATW. Of course, Nadia Hall was encouraging all the Striders while working at the event

Tom Rankin ran in the Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon on the same day with a fantastic time of 1.34.42

On 20th Feb we had our Sunday long run. 13 of us started at 9.30am running the Harpenden cycleway with a few more finishing and having a coffee in Starbucks at 11am. Please join us on 21st March starting at what time you choose and finishing at 11 at Starbucks, Gypsy Lane.

On 21st Feb we had our Barrels night after a social 5k or 8k run or a walk with Stopsley Steppers. Thank you to the group leaders and tail runners for looking after everyone.

On 26th Feb it was the National Cross-Country Championships at Parliament Hill. Gez Fallon came 1423 and Richard Hardy 1923. Christine Lathwell was 106th out of 1010 competitors. Well done to these three striders. Ivor Webb was called up to marshal at the event also representing our club in a positive way.

On 27th February it was the Welwyn Half Marathon. Two striders ran in this race. Liz Evans 2.55.25 and Amanda Rankin 2.55.26. Well done to this mighty pair.

Also, on that date Charley Snowden ran in the Baldock Beast Half Marathon with a PB time of PB 2.03. Fantastic running.

What a great month of running. Well done to everyone who ran including those who have not had a mention. 

Keep running. Stay safe and look after each other.

Ruthie and Charles.