Race Results – W/C 29th October 2018

Team Striders out in force marshalling the Trail 5 race, directed by Rachel Tickle

The weekend before bonfire night was a real sparkler for the St Helens Striders.

Getting the weekend off with a bang was the effervescent Collette Flaherty who competed in Punk Panther’s ‘A Short Circuit’ race. This confusingly titled race is actually 53km long set against a stunning backdrop. Flaherty whizzed around the course to finish as 3rd female in an impressive 7:39:11.

David Wilson shot off like a rocket at the Halewood 5k. The club’s marathon record holder ran an accomplished race setting a new personal best at this distance of 16:44. Sparks also flew at the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k as Kerry Riley knocked nearly a minute off her previous best time. Her fellow Striders were delighted for her when she finished in 52:46. Husband Mark Riley led the Strider pack in 39:58 closely followed by another husband and wife duo Kelly Hamilton (40:22) and Mark Hamilton (48:38).

Three Strider Firecrackers raced the half-marathon distance on Sunday. Kevin Cairns and Sue Heaps travelled to Lancaster where they completed the course in excellent times of 1:42:59 and 1:57:35 respectively. Scott Robertson’s explosive pace saw him finish the Tatton Park half in 1:28:21.

Sunday was the St Helens Striders annual Trail 5 mile race around Carr Mill Dam and the surrounding area. It is a particularly leg-burning course but hugely popular with local runners who enjoy the mud, hills and scenic route. Race director, Rachel Tickle, and her band of volunteers all clad in Strider red, ensured the race ran smoothly and was enjoyed by all. Club members all commit to marshall the race to make it as lively as possible for the runners. However this year, Striders’ luckiest man Mark Fillingham, won a charity raffle to run as the sole Strider, ensuring his hand was as hot as a bonfire after all the high fives he received along the course!

Team Striders out in force marshalling the Trail 5 race, directed by Rachel Tickle
Team Striders out in force marshalling the Trail 5 race, directed by Rachel Tickle


Paul Brown, Jenny Appleton and mini-Strider marshalls Maibon and Morgann ready to cheer on trail runners


Kevin Cairns proudly displays his well deserved Lancaster Half medal

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Race Results – 28th & 29th July 2018

Fresh from last week’s test of strength and endurance where she competed seven marathons in 7 days, Strider Collette Flaherty was out again this weekend at the Lakeland Ultra where she ran an incredible 50 miles in 13hrs54. The mental and physical challenge of completing an ultra race cannot be underestimated and Flaherty, finishing this race in such an excellent time after her week of marathons deserves the highest of recognition. Long standing Strider member and fell running expert Kevin Brennan also completed the 50 miler in an exceptional time of 11hrs16. He described the conditions as particularly challenging with runners facing driving winds, heavy rain, thunder storms and even a bout of vicious hailstone.

The Lakeland Ultra can be completed as a 50 mile race or a 100 mile race and Gary Spriggs chose the 100 mile option. This race is widely considered to be the hardest single-stage foot race in the UK. Spriggs ran through two nights in awful conditions to finish the race in an astonishing 38hrs35 – an absolutely phenomenal achievement.

At the other end of the distance spectrum, many members ran in the Seaside 5km race at the Wirral on Wednesday evening. Kelly Hamilton continued her incredible Grand-Prix season coming in at 19.44 as 3rd Female. Scott Robinson was 1st Strider past the finish line in 19.05. Jenny Martin was delighted to finish in a personal best time of 23.52. With only one race left to run in the Merseyside Grand-Prix, Strider ladies are currently in third place.

Kevin Brennan looking fresh after completing a 50 mile run
Kevin Brennan looking fresh after completing a 50 mile run

Collette Flaherty proudly displays her 50 mile medal
Collette Flaherty proudly displays her 50 mile medal

Striders at the sunny Wirral Seaside 5k race
Striders at the sunny Wirral Seaside 5k race

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Race Results – 21st & 22nd July 2018

Booth shows Iron determination

The week both began and ended in spectacular style for the St Helens Striders as Paul Booth became an Iron Man and over 30 members completed the Conti Thunder Run.

After months of following an intensive and highly scientific training plan, Strider Paul Booth competed in Bolton’s Iron Man event. Widely renowned as one of the toughest Iron Man events in the world , the course is extremely hilly yet Paul was able to complete a 2.4 mile open water swim, a 95 mile bike ride followed by a whole marathon in under 12 hours. Paul was supported by a band of fellow Striders and proud girlfriend Nicola who admitted she was most relieved when he finished the swim as several competitors had to drop out of the race at this point. Paul’s dedication to the cause is such that when he needed to do a run but was looking after his young daughter Rosie, he literally ran a half-marathon by going back and forth doing laps of his back garden! This is an extreme event so to even finish, let alone achieve a time of under 12 hours is phenomenal.

The week finished with the Conti 24 hour Thunder Run. The idea of which is that teams of runners take part in a gruelling 24 hour relay where one member completes a 10km loop then passes the baton over to another team mate which continues over a 24 hour period. The course is a highly technical trail course with treacherous paths and steep hills throughout. This made running throughout the night in particular a nerve-wracking, sleep-depriving yet exhilarating experience. All teams produced some absolutely stand out performances with members completing an average 3-5 laps each. That’s 30-50km each in a 24 hours period with virtually no sleep. Team Speed Queens (Daniel Cheetham, Emma Callery, David Wilson, Anthony Ellis and Lisa Cheers) finished the event in 15th place after completing a staggering 26 laps with Cheetham completing 6 laps (60km equalling the club record for this event). Paul Brown showed true grit by carrying on to complete a 5th lap after the point teams that were allowed to finish. Member David Brisco described this event as his toughest challenge yet – a sentiment echoed by the majority of the Striders who took part.

In other events, Jon-Jo Doherty, who also completed 5 laps at Thunder Run, equalled the club’s 5km record in an astonishingly fast time of 16:36 on Friday night at the Lancaster 5km event.

Members competed in the Elswick 10 miler with Chris Reid placing as 1st veteran 55 in an impressive time of 55 minutes. He was followed to the finish by Les Abbott and Alex Abbott to achieve a team prize.

Finally this week, in between the excitement of Iron Man and Thunder Run, new member Colette Flaherty has been quietly completing 7 marathons in 7 days as part of the Scorcher Run festival – that’s an incredible 184 miles in one week. An outstanding achievement especially as she finished in third place overall and 3rd female. This represents determination at its best and finished off a week of extreme challenges for our members.

Thunder Run team Speed Queens
Thunder Run team Speed Queens

Paul Booth proudly showing off his Iron Man medal with girlfriend Nicola Doyle
Paul Booth proudly showing off his Iron Man medal with girlfriend Nicola Doyle

Colette Flaherty crosses the finish line of her 7th and final marathon of the week
Colette Flaherty crosses the finish line of her 7th and final marathon of the week

Chris Reid, Les Abbott and Alex Abbott were a successful team at the Elswick 10 mile raceNe
Chris Reid, Les Abbott and Alex Abbott were a successful team at the Elswick 10 mile race

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