Desford Striders has collected its first silverware of the summer and, just like the proverbial
buses, it has come in threes.
A 20-strong mixed team bagged second place earlier this month in the
annual Rainbows 100 Lap Challenge at Saffron Lane Athletics Stadium.
Just two years after failing to complete the century of 400m circuits
in the allotted time during its inaugural appearance, the Striders
contingent completed the event in a very creditable 2:13, less
than five minutes after eventual champions Stilton Striders Juniors, to seal the accolade.
Meanwhile, the conclusion of the Leicestershire Road Running League
(LRRL)’s winter races in May brought with it a massive boost for two
of the club’s members who were awarded age category prizes for the
season. Club coach Andy Ball was the Male Vet 50 Champion while Anne
Newbery was the runner-up in the Female Vet 40 category. Andy and Anne
were subsequently presented with trophies to mark their achievements
at the first LRRL summer league fixture in June.
The club is currently undergoing a busy period with the LRRL summer
programme well underway. The past month has seen large Striders squads
presenting the club in races at Prestwold, Hungarton and Hermitage.
In the latest league fixture, at Hermitage, a total of 27 runners from
the club tackled a challenging, hilly 10k course which saw Ian Mansell
leading the Striders home in 37:33. The in-form Nicola Davies was the
first of the club’s eight women to cross the line, finishing in 45:08
to take sixth place overall in the ladies’ race. Ian and Nicola’s
successes were a repeat of those at the previous fixture, the Hungarton 7,
in which they crossed the line in 40:27 and 51:28 respectively.
Previously there was a turnout of 15 Striders at the
Prestwold 10k where once again Ian Mansell was the first Strider home,
recording a time of 35:53. Of Desford’s seven ladies taking part,
newcomer Lucy Cutler was the first over the line in a time of 49:17.
The club returns to league action on 6 August at the Huncote 5, the
penultimate fixture of the campaign.
Still on the road, the club has been well supported in a number of
local charity races. The annual Hinckley 5k event took
place in June and saw first-timer Lewis Smart lead the Striders home in
16:04 to round off a memorable debut. Ruth Evans in 26:54 was the first over
the line for the ladies. Elsewhere, in a time of 42:22, Pete Marvin was the
winning Strider in the Rothley 10k, while Anne Newbery was the first of the
club’s ladies, running home in 51:00. Club captain Ash Payne crossed the
line in 43:47, just two places ahead of Leicester boxer Rendall Munroe.
In July, a squad of twelve completed the Watermead Challenge, an
annual charity race around John Merrick’s and King Lear’s lakes at
the country park near Syston. In the five-mile race, Duncan Percy was
first for the club’s men while Nicola Davies was the leading Striders’
lady. the duo ran home in 33:12 and 34:31 respectively. Meanwhile, in
the three-mile event, junior Strider Bethany Bland, aged just seven,
crossed the line in 35:46 to take first place for the club.
Once again Ian Mansell dominated the Leicester City 5k Summer Series
at Victoria Park. The prolific Strider won the July event in 17:23
after taking third place the previous month in a time of 17:41. He
goes into the final fixture of the four-race programme in August
strongly placed and with a good chance of winning the entire series.
Desford Striders continues to be well represented at local parkruns -
the free, weekly, timed 5k runs that take place every Saturday morning
in parkland around the UK - and a couple of members have continued to
dominate these recently. At Braunstone, Ian Mansell finished first,
second and third in successive weeks, crossing the line in 17:03,
17:47 and 17:47 respectively. In addition, earlier this month he
completed Beeston parkrun in 17:38 to take second place. Ryan Pegg,
meanwhile, claimed victory at Conkers parkrun in July in a time of
17:50, ironically 18-seconds shy of the personal best time that saw
him take the runner-up spot there three weeks earlier. He also took
second place at Kingsbury Water parkrun during the month, crossing the
line in 16:58, his course best.
With parkruns proving increasingly popular and more and more of the
club’s members getting involved in the running side of them, Desford
Striders will be taking over Braunstone parkrun on 26 July and
providing volunteers for all of the twenty or so raceday roles. For
further details about the club’s involvement at the event, please
contact the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.parkrun.org.uk/braunstone for further
information about parkrun generally.
With local marathons in short supply over the summer months, a number
of Striders instead took on the Colworth Marathon Challenge in
Sharnbrook. This is a suite of three races - totalling the 26.2 miles
of a full marathon - that take place over three consecutive days in
the Bedfordshire village. Eight Desford runners completed the trio of
runs - five mile and half marathon distance multiterrain races and an
8.1 mile cross country – with Graham Hobbs’ accumulative time of
3:33:58 proving to be the quickest. Anne Robertson was the fastest of
the three lady Strider taking part, recording a total time of
While 26.2 miles is a massive achievement in itself, club member
Cheryl Wright went one better and completed a gruelling 80-mile
course last month in a Leicester to Skegness Challenge. Cheryl was one of
a number of charity fundraisers that ran and cycled the entire way from
the city to the seaside town while a number of others ran the route in
relay teams. The twenty or so were raising money for Mesothelioma UK
and further details about the challenge can be found at