The Striders annual pilgrimage to one of the toughest marathon events took place on Saturday, 27 October.
The Beachy Head Marathon is one the biggest off-road marathons in the UK. Formerly known as the Seven Sisters Marathon, it is popular for its scenic and challenging route through the South Downs National Park countryside.
There is also a 10km off road run for supporters looking for a taste of the Beachy Experience.
The Striders fielded a team of 60 athletes. 50 for the big one and ten in the 10km.
Remarkably bragging rights for first club vest home in both events went to members of the same family.
David Valenti completed the marathon event in a personal best time of 3hrs 52mins 14secs whereas his brother, Richard Valenti stormed the 10km in 49mins 35secs.
In the marathon Gary Spicer was 2nd clubman home in 4hrs 12mins 30secs. Not far behind was Ashley Claridge in 4hrs 19mins 19secs. 4th Strider was Daniel Barnard in a PB of 4hrs 23mins 30secs. Also running his lifetime fastest was Roy Shears in 4hrs 27mins 18secs.
In a strong ladies field it was Rebecca Still taking the honours fit first lady Strider back in 4hrs 45mins 46secs. 2nd to her was Sarah Bradshaw in 4hrs 53mins 21secs. Claire Wright was not far behind her in 4hrs 53mins 22secs. Next past the finish was Karen Seymour in 4hrs 53mins 29secs with Lucy Hewitt nipping at her heels in 5hrs 5mins 50secs.
First lady Strider home in the 10km went to Julie Greene in 1hr 1min 46secs.
David Valenti 3:52:14 PB
Gary Spicer 4:12:30
Ashley Claridge 4:19:19
Daniel Barnard 4:23:30 PB
Roy Shears 4:27:18 PB
Paul Williams 4:31:06
Rosie Williams 4:33:43
Glenn Davies 4:41:42
James Topham 4:41:49
Joe Lovelock 4:45:53
Rebecca Still 4:45:46
Bradley Clayton 4:47:26
Sarah Bradshaw 4:53:21
Claire Wright 4:53:22
Karen Seymour 4:53:29
Mark Ransom 4:56:33
Mick Diddams 4:57:01
Steve Prince 5:03:10
Andy Patching 5:05:49
Lucy Hewett 5:05:50
Paul Bowditch 5:05:50
Phil Robertson 5:11:35
Kellymarie Lywood 5:16:39
Kelly Brett 5:16:39
Craig Ecclestone 5:17:07
Richard Vassiliou 5:21.08 PB
Richard Sutehall 5:28:02
Lisa Duce 5:28:27
Andrew Howes 5:28:56
Gina Woodfine 5:28:57
David Whittley 5.41:30
Jo Branchett 5:43:53
Abby-Gale Bratby 5:49:31
Andrew Thomas 5:49:31
Gavin Malloch 5:56:41
Ron Smith 5:58:47
Kevin Eastop 6:02.38
Clare Eastop 6:02:39
Kent Parker 6.10.02
Nicki Brown 6:20:03
Alison Kite 6:21:11 PB
Michelle Perry 6:42:45
Martine Ingram 6:43:38 PB
Vanessa Patching 6:57:54
Emma Higgins 6:57:52 PB
Annette Lebreton 6:57:52
Helen Shears 6:57:53
Jackie Austin 7:21:48 PB
Lynn Coomber 7:22:05 PB
Sheila Malloch 7:39:42 PB
Wendy Howes 7:39:45
Orla McGaley 7:41:07 PB
Darren James 7:41:07
Cheryl Sieloff 7:41:43
Danielle Smith 8:08:49
Victoria Whittley 8:15:15 PB
Robert Holmes 8:15:41
Peter Harvey 8:15:41
Wendy Knee 8:15:42
Clare Fox 8:48:35 PB
Rachael Robertson Dnf due to injury – completed 16miles in 4 hrs.
10 Km results:
Richard Valenti 0:49:35
Paul Valenti 1:01:44
Julie Greene 1:01:46
Lorraine Neale 1:14:38
Esther Harris 1:14:39
Lesley Osmond 1:15:29
Alison Jarvis 1:17:44
Sally Patching 1:20:58
Robyn Benyon 1:20:58
Brad Thompson 1:23:13 PB
David Valenti had to contend with sweltering heat whilst running the Milton Keynes marathon. The Strider who said he wanted to give up and phone his wife at 18-miles as he was suffering from the heat and dizzy spells, refused to give up and crossed the line in a very respectable 4hrs and 12minutes.
Tenacity must run in the family, because his dad Paul Valenti had to cope with equally difficult conditions in the half marathon event. Like his son he showed true strength of character to ‘keep on running’ completing the event in 2hrs 30mins.
20 Sittingbourne Striders took part in the London Marathon held on Sunday, 22 April 2018.
With record temperatures the runners had a lot to contend with for the mass participation event. It is fair to say that despite many of the team being capable of running sub-4 hours times, the extreme heat took its toll with a number deciding to ease of the pace in the interests of safety.
Many of the team were running in aid of good causes with thousands being raised for charity.
1 st for the club was Mick Diddams who just missed out on sub 4, he ran 4.04.14. He was closely followed by Ashley Claridge, running in aid of Children with Cancer, in 4.06.15. Third Strider home went to Craig Eccleston 4.26.25.
Alastair Wilkins, who is in the process of joining the club, was the only friend of the Striders going under 3-hours. He ran a fantastic race to finish in 2.44.08.
First lady home for the team was Olwen Cockell, running for the Oliver Fisher Special Care Baby Unit, she completed the course in 4.08.12. 2nd lady Strider back was Karen Seymore, who was running to raise money for NDCS. She finished in 4.34.43. Third place honours were taken by Angyalka Bartlett in 4.49.43.
The drama of the day was provided by Paul Williams, running in aid of MDNA. He became disorientated 800m from the finish. Two runners saw him struggling and lifted him by the elbows to escort him to the finish. Though the time of 5.57.11 is somewhat off the usual pace for the runner, the experience highlights the spirit and comradery that the marathon brings out in people.
Striders London marathon competitors (with charity where applicable)
Alastair Wilkins 2.44.08
Mick Diddams 4.04.14
Ashley Claridge 4.06.15 (Children with Cancer)
Olwen Cockell 4.08.12 (Oliver Fisher Special Care Baby Unit)
Craig Eccleston 4.26.25
Karen Seymour 4.34.43 (NDCS)
Andy Patching 4.38.05 (Children with Cancer)
Angyalka Bartlett 4.49.43
Paul Dyer-Wright 4.50.05 (St Michaels Hospice)
Vicky Attwood 4.52.01 (Team Victa)
Daniel Judd 5.03.29 (Team Macmillan)
Ronald Smith 5.20.31
Paul Williams 5.57.11 (MNDA)
Joanna Bing 6.07.11
Daniel Tester 6.14.41 (Muscular Dystrophy UK)
Colin Ayling 6.20.31 (Oliver Fisher Special Care Baby Unit)
Hayley Thomas 6.29.44 (Clic Sargent)
Annette Lebteton 6.39.06 (Wisdom Hospice)
Dionne Grant 6.39.07
Alison Davey – retired
Elliot Stokes took part in the reject run in Samphire Hoe, it’s a race designed to attract those runner who didn’t win a place in London 2018. He completed the marathon distance course in around 4:01:30.
Roy and Helen Shears travelled to Lincoln to run the Boston marathon. Roy broke the 4-hour barrier completing the course in 3.55.56. Helen did very well to finish in 5.41.39.
The conditions for the seafront marathon were a vast improvement after the heat of last years race, with 21 Striders taking part in what is now the 2nd largest marathon in the UK and 6 in the 10k. Kevin Rye led the Striders pack home obtaining a personal best of 3.06.45 placing him 214th overall in a field of 19772 runners! Teresa Watson came in with another pb of 4.28.53, earning her a good for age place in next years London Marathon
Kevin Rye 3.06.45 214th out of 19772 runners – pb
Ashley Claridge 3.42.58 – 1660th
Mick Diddams 3.47.01 – 1979th
Laura Woods 3.57.02 –
Sarah Bradshaw 3.57.55 – 3050th – pb
Lucy Hewett 3.59.01 – 3182nd
James Pamplin 4.01.21 – 3407th
Kellymarie Lywood 4.02.11 – 3478th
Rob Sapp 4.09.14 – 4030th
Matt Nunn 4.13.33 – 4500th
Steve Prince 4.13.20 – 4371th
Ross Pilcher 4.15.27 – 4569th
Teresa Watson 4.28.53 – 5799 – pb & gfa
Paul Bowditch 4.30.35 – 5944th
Lisa Hammond 4.33.17 – 6184th
George Samuel 4.46.01 – 7299th
Gavin Malloch 4.59.29 – 8326th
Andrew Howes 5.20.35 – 9487th
Jo Bing 5.43.20 – 10387th
Steve Bradshaw DNF
Darren James DNF
Shelly Coker 48.29 – 461st out of 4552 runners – pb
David Whittley 50.04 – 585th – pb
Sheila Malloch 59.05 – 1581st – pb
Orla Mcgaley 1.08.10 – 2514th – pb
Felicity Cleary 1.08.10 – 2515th – pb
Wendy Howes 1.10.58 – 2731st – pb
Owler 10k, Half & Full Marathon : Sunday 26th November 2017
5 Striders tested their legs in the new two lap multi-terrain run, set in the surroundings of Conningbrook Lakes Country Park and the roads of Brook with the following results:
Bradley Clayton 4:07:27 28th place out of 77 runners
Rosie Williams 4:35:25 41st / 8th female
Gary Read 1:54:15 51st place out of 200 runners
Gavin Malloch 1.59.46 73rd place
Sheila Malloch 1:01:47 49th place / 27th female out of 101 runners
New York City Marathon : Sunday 5th November
Across the pond Chris Lawley ran the New York City Marathon in a time of 3:13:49.
Beachyhead Marathon & 10k 2017 : Saturday 28th October
A warm and sunny Eastbourne greeted 58 Sittingbourne Striders who travelled to Eastbourne to take part in the Beachy Head Marathon & 10k this weekend. Flagged as the second hardest marathon in the country the gruelling course includes the impressive ascents of the 7 sisters but rewarding runners to glorious views of the south downs.
Marathon: Kevin Rye was first Strider home in a time of 3:40:41 placing him 49th overall out of a field of 2156 runners…a new record for entrants. David Valenti was next Strider home in a time of 3:59:18 placing him 154th overall. Elliot Stokes was 3rd strider home in a time of 4:28:15 putting him in 378th place. Sarah Bradshaw was first female strider home in a time of 4:46:09 placing her 581st overall.
10k: Glenn Davies came an impressive 29th place out of 751 competitors with his time of 46:10.
Maidstone Half & Full Marathon : 15th October
Thanks to hurricane Ophelia, unseasonally warm conditions welcomed the runners taking part in this hilly half marathon. Used as a good warm up for some of the Striders taking part in the Beachy Head Marathon at the end of this month, the course features challenging lanes in and around the villages of Boughton Monchelsea, Loose and East Farleigh.
Ross Pilcher was the first strider home crossing the line in 1.41.18 placing him 39th overall out of 418 entrants.
Glenn Davies – 1.47.41 – 70th place
Lucy Hewett – 1.48.55 – 75th
Bradley Clayton – 1.50.03 – 86th
Jacob Beany – 1.50.43 – 97th
Joseph Lovelock – 1.50.59 – 96th
Jeff Fox – 1.52.04 – 102nd
Paul Bowditch – 1.53.04 – 109th
Clive Crisp – 1.56.59 – 135th
Julie Green – 2.12.33 – 268th
Davina Brown – 2.17.02 – 301st
Richard May – 2.22.12 – 322nd
Natalie Jimenez – 2.42.24 – 388th – Natalie’s first half marathon
Aaron Pritchard took part in the full marathon which was 2 laps of the half course, crossing the line in 4.44.38 placing him 52nd out of 78 entrants.