Stevenage Striders ready for birthday fun at Stevenage 10k

Stevenage Striders celebrate their eighth birthday during August.

Stevenage Striders celebrate their eighth birthday during August. - Credit: STEVENAGE STRIDERS

All birthdays are special but when your history is still in single digits and you have had a global pandemic to deal with for 18 months, then they are often celebrated a little more heartily.

Stevenage Striders were formed in August 2013 by Chris and Sue Leigh who wanted a different ethos, such as it is free to join and is all inclusive regardless of ability.

Chris Leigh (front) and Sue Leigh were the founders of Stevenage Striders in 2013

Chris Leigh (front) and Sue Leigh were the founders of Stevenage Striders in 2013. - Credit: RICHARD UNDERWOOD

The club offers two training sessions on weekdays and a longer run on a Sunday morning and in 2015 they launched a zero to 5k training programme, running two programmes a year since with the next two planned for September in Hampson Park.

In the same year they were named best newcomer club at the Herts Sports Partnership awards.

Membership has grown each year, reaching 300 in 2018 and in 2019 they held the Stevenage 10k with 450 entrants.

It received plenty of positive feedback and raised over £1,000 for charity.

Last year was cancelled but it returns next month, September 19, with four charities being nominated - JOCA, Stevenage Community Trust, Feed Up Warm Up and Lister Hospital Butterfly Service.

Entries are still being taken with the entry form at www.racesonline.uk/race-entry/stevenage10k

For more information on the club go to www.stevenagestridersrc.org.uk

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Stevenage & North Herts Athletics Club had fun on the track in the Southern Athletics League with George Marvel leading the way, breaking the 22-year-old senior club record in the hammer in what was his first competition since 2016.

Other notable performances at St Albans saw Libby Taylor win the women’s hammer and Ed Laws the 400m hurdles.

Joshua Wright (nearest the camera) of Stevenage & North Herts AC in the Eastern Young Athletics League.

Joshua Wright (nearest the camera) of Stevenage & North Herts AC in the U13 100m at Ridlins in the Eastern Young Athletics League. - Credit: NORMA HARRIS

The club had 40 youngsters in action at Ridlins in the Eastern Young Athletes League where seven U13 boys collected eight A and B string wins, plus the relay, between them.

Joshua Wright won the 100m, 200m and long jump while Owen Fairey took the shot put and Nathaniel Emeje the discus.

The B string wins came for Fairey (100m), Jake Trevelyan (200m) and Harry Thompson (800m) while Wright, Fairey, Jake Trevelyan and Fred Dilley won the 4x100m relay.

In the U13 girls events there were B string wins in the 800m for Eleanor Roberts and in the 70m hurdles were Lauren Coles came out on top.

The U15 boys had success with Callum Fairey (800m), Bobby Pitman (pole vault and discus), Sam Buss (hammer) and Kyle Gall Gray (200m B).

Lucy Baverstock won the U15 girls pole vault and long jump and Lily Cotter the discus.

In the U17 group there were PBs for Jake Sutton (100m hurdles), Sara Mavromoustakis (100m) and Shanumi Akinfenwa (high jump).

Six Fairlands Valley Spartans raced at RunFest Lee Valley, where the half-marathon and 10k choices started and finished at the White Water Rafting Centre.

Nick Kleanthous and Thomas Sauka of Fairlands Valley Spartans after the Lee Valley 10K

Nick Kleanthous and Thomas Sauka of Fairlands Valley Spartans after the Lee Valley 10K. - Credit: FVS

Danny Scanlon was 20th of the 227 finishers in the half marathon, with Sam Simmons 52nd, and Thomas Sauka ran a sub-50 48 minutes 38 seconds 10k, with Nick Kleanthous within seconds of a PB in 53:36.

Sam Simmons of Fairlands Valley Spartans after the Lee Valley Half Marathon

Sam Simmons of Fairlands Valley Spartans after the Lee Valley Half Marathon. - Credit: FVS

Parkrun PBs were recorded by Simmons, Steve Elder and Stephanie Gajic at Stevenage and Sally Phillips at Wimpole Estate.

Steve Wells was ninth at Stevenage, Jonathan Parr fourth in Norwich and Eva Ramsey, the first female at Aldenham.

Six from North Herts Road Runners completed the Sheepy Shuffle Half Marathon, the group using the path round Grafham Water

Six from North Herts Road Runners completed the Sheepy Shuffle Half Marathon, the group using the path round Grafham Water for the virtual event. - Credit: NHRR

Six North Herts Road Runners ran a virtual half-marathon to raise money for the Mirkwood Rest Home for Retired Sheep.

Mike Bullock, Lorna Chambers Brian Judkins, Susan Mansfield, Lucy O’Connor and Richard Weber opted for a route round Grafham Water to complete the Sheepy Shuffle.

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