Tuesday, 3 March 2015

March Striders Newsletter

The muddy National XC at Parliament Hill
Hello everyone and welcome to the March Striders Newsletter.

As the Cross Country Season draws to an end, we would like to thank and congratulate everyone who has represented the Club in the Chiltern League and the Herts/Southern/National Championships.  A special mention to our Veteran Women who secured 1st place in the Chiltern League – a superb effort!

Dates for your diaries and things to update you on, as follows:

1.         RACES

Club Championships


With three of the season’s eight Club Target Races already behind us, here’s a reminder of when and where the others are.

Club Target Races for the 2014/15 Season  (50 Point Races)
Date            Race                                        Distance
06/12/14     Chiltern League XC Luton        Various
01/02/15     Watford Half                            Half Marathon
21/02/15     National XC Championships    Various
12/04/15     Sandy 10                                10 Miles
July             MWRRL Mob Match             10K
30/08/15     Headington 5                          5 Miles
04/10/15     Standalone 10K                     10K
18/10/15     Great Birmingham Half Marathon    
 
We would like to see a really big Striders presence at each of these races and hope that many of you will target these races.  Some of them do fill up, so it’s worth entering in advance.  We will be providing coach transport to the Birmingham Half in October, so no need to worry about getting there and back, but more details about that nearer the time.

In all of the 50 point races, 50 points will be awarded for 1st Strider, 49 for 2nd and so on, with a minimum of 30 points. If you run all eight, only the best six out of eight 50 pointers will count towards your total score.

Click below to view the latest Club Champs standings:

Men's Standings

Women's Standings
 
Herts County Vets Cross Country Championships


If you're 35 or over (women) or 40 or over (men) on the day of the race, you are invited to enter the Herts County Vets Cross Country Championships on Sunday 22 March at Trent Park.

Men 40-49 and 50-59 start at 10:30 am with a race distance of approx 8k. Women and Men Over 60 race at 11:15 am for approx 6.5k.

Full details were provided in the email sent out by the XC Captains.

The event is by pre-registration only.  If you would like to be entered please email either Wendy (ladies  at stalbansstriders.com) or Graham (men at stalbansstriders.com).

Race Social


There will be a Social on the evening of Sunday 22 March to celebrate the end of the Cross Country Season, at a venue to be announced shortly.

2.         STRIDERS’ ANNUAL CHARITY

Thank you to everyone who suggested nominations for our 2015 Charity.  As ever there were some very worthy suggestions, but after narrowly missing out in the 2014, the committee voted overwhelmingly in favour of local charity Centre 33.

Run by a dedicated staff of volunteers, Centre 33 is a drop in centre where homeless and socially or materially disadvantaged people in the St Albans community can come to relax, socialise and enjoy a free meal and a drink in a friendly, welcoming environment.  We will once again be donating a proportion of proceeds from our races this year, but if you would like to get involved further, more information can be found at: http://www.centre33.org/
 
3.         STRIDERS’ WEEKEND AWAY


We thought it was about time that we organised a Striders Weekend Away, so we have booked out YHA Eyam in the Derbyshire Peak District, from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th May.

Eyam is a very pretty village, famed for an outbreak of bubonic plague in 1665, in which the villagers chose to isolate themselves rather than let the infection spread.

Full details will be circulated shortly but the weekend will include a variety of running/walking/cycling/sight-seeing/drinking based activities depending on your fancy.  The cost of the weekend would be £80 per head full board, but the committee has agreed that the Club will subsidise this so that the cost to members is just £60 per heard.

Facilities include two dining rooms, lounge, pool room, a cycle store and self-catering facilities and it is fully-licensed!  The bedrooms range from 2-bed, 4-bed and a few 8- bed rooms.   The hostel’s website is http://www.yha.org.uk/hostel/eyam.

We have paid for full board, which means there will be a meal on Friday evening when everyone will be arriving at different times, breakfast both mornings and a packed lunch to take out on our runs, walks, cycles on Saturday.

We will be taking online bookings shortly and will let you know when that is ready to go live.  Car share and sleeping arrangements will also be arranged nearer the time.
 
4.         HOUSE KEEPING

New Club Racing Vest

We are still working on the exact shape and fit of our new racing vests but remain on course to roll them out to members in time for the start of the Mid-Week Road Race League in May.  Details of how you can get yours, will be made available in due course.
 
St Albans 10K


After careful consideration we have decided that the St Albans 10K, which the Club has traditionally hosted in May, will no longer take place.  A busy fixture list and a dwindling enthusiasm for 10K’s with the MWRRL races just around the corner, has led to a fall in popularity of our event, to the extent that it is no longer worth the time and effort that goes into organising it. 

The St Albans 10k won't be run this May
But do not be disheartened Striders! Our 10K Race Director Nick, has been exploring some exciting other ideas for a new race in September, which we hope to reveal in the spring.  Nick would also like to recruit a co-Race Director to help with the organisation (see below), so if you are interested please contact either myself or Nick on 10K at stalbansstriders.com.

Marathon Coach

We have once again booked a coach to take members to the start of the London Marathon.  A place on the coach costs £7 for Striders and any places remaining two weeks before the race will be made available to family and friends.  As with previous years, pick up will be 6am from Harpenden and 6.30am from St Albans.

Full details and a payment link will be appear on the website (stalbansstriders.com) this week.

Trading of Race Places

We would remind members that running races in other peoples’ names is against the rules of England Athletics.  Some races do allow entry transfers so you can take someone else’s place and run in your own name, but for races which do not, we would ask members not to run a race in someone else’s name.
 
Website Revamp


The website is currently going through somewhat of a makeover and hopefully you will be pleased with the changes in due course.  If you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to contact myself or Hannah on webmaster at stalbsansstriders.com.

5.         VOLUNTEERS REQUIRED

Calling all (budding) Run Leaders


If you are a qualified run leader or indeed if you are interested in doing the Leadership In Running Fitness (LIRF) course, please contact us.  Not only will it give you an England Athletics recognised qualification in run leadership, but importantly it means that you are insured to take runs out on behalf of the club.

If you have already completed the LIRF course, we would also like to hear from you so that we can compile an up to date list of qualified Run Leaders on the website.  Email webmaster at stalbansstriders.com.

Sunday Morning Runs

Also coming in the spring, we plan to introduce an additional run session at 9.30am on Sunday mornings.  Similar to the 8am Saturday morning runs, these will be longer social runs suitable for all abilities.  We do not expect anyone to commit to leading every week, but if you would be interested in leading a run on maybe one Sunday a month, please contact us.  Email chairman at stalbansstriders.com.

New Member Co-Ordinators

With the regular influx of new members on a weekly basis, we have decided to introduce a new members’ night on the first Tuesday of the month to coincide with tea night.  We are looking for friendly, welcoming people who wouldn’t mind arriving a little earlier on those nights and talking new members through a little bit about the club before everyone else starts to arrive.  We would be looking to put a small team together and then leave you to co-ordinate cover amongst yourselves.  We will even throw in some high-viz vests!  Email deputychairman at stalbansstriders.com.

New Co-Race Director (September)

As mentioned above, we would like to recruit a new Co-Race Director to work alongside Nick with the planning and implementation of the new race in September.  This is a great opportunity to get to grips with all of the organisation that goes into getting race on, with the benefit of working with an experienced Race Director.  If you are interested, please email Nick on 10K at stalbansstriders.com

Don’t forget that volunteering for any of these opportunities will entitle you to the reduced membership fee, when renewals are due in August.
Strider Of the Year Gladstone Thompson

6.         ANNUAL AWARDS EVENING

As we haven’t had a newsletter since the Annual Awards Evening, I thought it would be a good opportunity to recap the winners for the benefit of those who could not attend.

The 2014 Winners
Strider of the Year - Gladstone Thompson
Female Athlete of the Year - Deborah Steer
Male Athlete of the Year - Tom Crouch
Most Improved Female Athlete - Wendy Walsh
Most Improved Male Athlete - Graham Foster
Volunteer of the Year - Peter Blackaller
Legs of the Year - Pablo Plaza Lastras

We were also proud to introduce longer term member Zoe Lowe and past member Paula Craig into our Striders Hall of Fame, joining inaugural member, Jim Miller.

It was a great evening and congratulations to all.  All of the photos from the evening are available in the gallery on our website and you are welcome to download any copies.  There are some really good photos of everyone, so it is well worth having a good look through.  If you require higher definition copies of any particular shots, we have those too.

7.         COMMITTEE


Finally, a reminder of the current committee members and our positions.  Feel free to approach or contact any of us at any time, email links are available on the website.

Executive Committee:                                                      
                                                                              
Stuart Middleton (Chair)                                                 
Jen Conway (Deputy Chair)                                            
Jenny Maddocks (Secretary)                                          
Wendy Webster (Treasurer)                                            
Alison Campbell (Membership Secretary)                      
Lucy Martin, Wendy Walsh (Women’s Captains)                    
Joe Dunn, Graham Smith (Men’s Captains)                     
Emma Haldearn (Social Secretary)                                 
Hannah Martin (Webmaster)                                           
Gladstone Thompson (Coaching & Development, Kit)    
Graham Smith (Club Champs Manager)     

Associate Committee:
Ben Walsh (Auditor)
Mike Jubb (Coach)
Tina Tremaine (Catering)
Nick Bradley (SAS 10k Race Director)
Laura Hawkins (Handicapper)
Lucy Waterlow (Blog Editor)
Colin Braybrook (Sunday XC League Director)   
Steve Alexander (MWRRL Race Director)    
Mandy Attree, Lucy Stern (FH10 Race Director) 
Peter Blackaller (Marshals Co-ordinator)  
Clare Stephen, Colin Braybrook, Shona Davie (Comms and Publicity Team)
Chris Davies, Paul Cremins, Kim Dickson,
Emma Halldearn (Get Started Leadership Team)
 
The next Newsletter will be in May, but in the meantime, please look out for further updates on any of the above and happy running.

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