By Lucas Jones
I don’t need to tell you all how strange 2020 was!
Since March we’ve been missing a lot:
• races (although Aidan and me somehow managed to do a half ironman triathlon)
• our usual, brilliantly informal Tuesday and Saturday club runs
• and of course the pubs!
However, I am very proud of how the club came together in these difficult times. Starting with the relay in May, and continuing with the Mob Match, and all the events that comprised the Lockdown Championship. Thanks to everyone who suggested or helped to organise those events: I know they helped just about save my sanity last year.
Despite the lack of races and the ever-changing lockdown conditions, there were still many notable individual running achievements and I just want to quickly mention a few that spring to mind:
Nathan – the ridiculous Eccles Pike Marathon (just about!) followed by a 35 minute 10k (at a very rare race); followed up earlier today with a sub-17 minute 5k!
Mark Richards – attempt at “60 at 60” Bob Graham Round – the traditional 42 summits, plus an extra 18! He didn’t quite manage the 24 hour limit (ended up 32 hours 45 mins), but it was awe -inspiring to see Mark persevere; I don’t think stopping was ever on his agenda, despite looking in need of an air ambulance on more than one occasion.
Robin Leathley – as well as many stupidly fast local runs, Robin completed a very swift unofficial Bullock Smithy (he wasn’t the only Strider to run the course this year despite the race having been cancelled).
Julia Carter – Building on her V40 win in 2019, Julia has very impressively started dipping her toes into the murky waters of ultra-running; Bullock Smithy later this year!
Louise Smith – refusal to let shielding get in the way of joining in with our lockdown challenges, doing them on her own improvised back-garden running track instead
On of course Rusty, and his wonderfully demented Eccles Pike ultra-marathon for Thomas Theyer Foundation: 25 ascents, 36 miles and 13.5 thousand feet of elevation, which is nearly halfway up Everest!