The club soon began to grow and, among those early joiners, several remain active members to this day – John Greenlees and Malc Hill were with Steve at the first meeting, whilst Duncan Percy joined very soon after.
Striders needed an identity and so a competition was held to design a logo. The familiar badge that we all wear so proudly to this day was designed in 1991 by John Silverwood’s father Jack.
Club colours were next on the agenda. Sky blue with red logo and trim was quickly settled on after a negative reaction from some of the lady members to wearing a predominantly red kit! The first club T-shirts were ordinary cotton and not good for running, before running vests arrived soon after.
Steve recalls that his first foray into race organisation wasn’t too successful, with just 36 people turning up to take part in a 5-miler to raise funds for Desford Primary School on a deeply unpleasant rain-soaked day.
Despite that less than promising start, he forged ahead with plans for the first Striders race in 1992, the Desford Quarter Marathon, held over a 6.55 mile circuit from the start line on St Martin’s Drive, along Hunts Lane to Kirkby Mallory and back up the bridle path, Peckleton Lane and Parkstone Road to the finish line at the primary school. A total of 62 people took part in that first event and, the next year, over 100 turned out for the grandest Striders race yet, complete with a finish gantry and a timing clock hired from Running Imp in Lincoln!