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From 10k to 100 miles, Striders cover all the distances

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Here’s a late May race round-up

Chester 100-mile trail ultra-marathon
Saturday 18 May 2019

Tackling an event that was double the distance of anything he’d done before, CLC Striders’ Rob Bircher knew he was in for a challenge at the Chester Trail 100-mile ultra. Starting at 6:00am at Waverton Village Hall, the runners headed out along the River Dee, visiting various checkpoints at 7.5, 12.5, 22, 35, and 48 miles. Rob made good time, easily arriving at the checkpoints within the cut-off limits, taking in the Old Dee Bridge, the North Cheshire Way and the Sandstone Trail along the way.

The second half of the ultra trail was a whole lot tougher and hillier, but Rob continued to make all the checkpoints within the cut-offs. And then the rain came down as it got darker. This was Rob’s first experience of going through the night, and the fact he was absolutely soaked added an added challenge, especially for his feet. The final 15 to 20 miles back along the river Dee through soaked grass and stinging nettles were extremely tough before coming back onto canal tow-paths for the final stretch.

Rob was delighted just to complete the gruelling challenge, but to finish inside the top 50 and earn a gold buckle for his efforts made him doubly proud of his achievements. He couldn’t have done it without his running buddy Laura Kearney and Andrew Paterson, who provided race support throughout, including soup and tea in the middle of the night!

Rob Bircher and Laura Kearney at the Chester 100-mile trail ultra

Rob Bircher and Laura Kearney at the Chester 100-mile trail ultra

Edinburgh Marathon
Sunday 26th May 2019

Two Striders competed in the iconic Edinburgh City Marathon, facing gruelling head winds as they turned for home for the final six or so miles of the race. Despite this, both acquitted themselves brilliantly in their first times over the marathon distance with Oliver Watkins clocking 3:05:25 and Hedley Phillips registering a hard-fought 3:33:21.

Liverpool ‘Rock and Roll’ Half Marathon and Full Marathon
Sunday 26th May 2019

Eoin McQuone continued his ever-improving form to register a new PB at the Liverpool Half Marathon, narrowly missing his 90-minute target for the year by finishing in 1:30:13, battling a really strong headwind over the final five miles towards the finish. Meanwhile, club runner Finlay Willicott ran his first full marathon at the same event, battling the headwinds from mile 20 and successfully completing the course.

Birmingham 10k
Sunday 26th May 2019

On a windy and drizzly Sunday morning, Strider Tom Kabala ran the duel carriageways and underpasses of inner city Brimingham to register a sub-37-minute time of 36:51.

London Vitality 10k
Monday 27 May 2019

On a much brighter Bank Holiday Monday in the capital, 11 Striders lined up to compete with the masses in the London Vitality 10k race, won again by Sir Mo Farah. The Striders were led home by a really strong performance from Will Pearce in 37:09. Second home was Paul Lockyer, just ducking under the 40-minute mark with a time of 39:53. Rachel Vines clocked a really strong time of 41:18, with Tom Fletcher, Helen Knight and Karlien Heyrman not far behind her in 41:24, 41:44 and 41:58 respectively. Tim Brock 42:34, with Amanda Steer next home in a solid 42:53. Gavin Jerman finished in 44:11, Mike Speke in 51:13 and Rebecca Reynolds in 53:11.