Slaughterford 9 - 29th January 2012
This was the first time that the Striders had ventured to this race, and the team of 7 had to contend with brutally steep hill climbs, treacherous descents, thick mud, and a diversion through a thigh deep stream as well as freezing cold conditions on the day.
Elkins, who is training for her marathon debut in April, ran sensibly, avoiding the temptation to go off too quickly on the downhill section at the start. Her prudent approach paid off as she reeled in her main challenger, Niki Morgan from Chepstow Harriers, eventually finishing 46 seconds clear in 1:05:54 and 28th place overall out of 370 finishers and 3rd Strider.
Ahead of her were Dave Smeath who moved steadily if unspectacularly through the field to achieve a creditable 15th place in 1:02:44 and Jamie Paterson who made light of the cold, wet muddy conditions with a solid 24th place in 1:05:28. Adam Cary, back on his old stomping ground, was 56th in 1:09:36, but also managed the feat of running all the way up the final hill, which was more Alpine than Cotswold. Next home was multi-terrain specialist and renown mudlark Jill Harsent (1:37:04), just ahead of super-vet Dawn Addinall (1:37:54), with Jo Bryant (1:41:24) bringing the team home.
All enjoyed the new race immensely, (though Jo was disappointed by there being more sections of tarmac than she had been expecting - how much punishment does she want?!) and will spread the word to bring a larger contingent of Striders next year.