About us

Sandbach Striders was born back in 2003. Since the early days, membership has grown with a firm ethos of the club being not just about running but social activities as well. The club is affiliated to UK AAA and has its own qualified coaches. Many other special events take place on various nights too.

The club meets on Wednesdays at 18:30 and Sundays at 09:00 at Elworth Cricket Club.

Whilst many members compete in races from 5k to Marathons, the emphasis remains purely on keeping people motivated and having fun. Why not scan through our race reports to see what we’ve been up to? Having read them, you’re sure to see why Sandbach Striders has developed the motto of being

"No Ordinary Running Club!"

Monday, 26 September 2011

Race Report: BH5K Naked Run 2011

Is there anything less attractive than a man stood completely naked apart from wearing a pair of socks?

Yes there is.

28 men stood completely naked apart from wearing socks (some odd), in a car park, and wearing a full range of off road running shoes.

Oh yes, and one person wearing a pair of those vibram five finger running shoe thingys.

It should actually have been 29 men stood in the car park but there was one lonely figure sat on a nearby picnic bench clinging to his discretely positioned towel like a child not wanting to let go of the security of his mother's hand.

Yep, that was me.

Horrified by the images that were unfolding before me of men warming up before a race, including some sprints, strides, squats and lunges, I decided I would keep as lower profile as possible and stay where I was until the very last moment. 

Unfortunately I obviously looked like the new kid with no friends which provoked several well meaning runners to come and check if I was ok.

Now, if I'm sitting on a bench with a naked man stood in front of me, it puts my eye line just where I really don't want it to be and is certainly not conducive to entering into light hearted banter. As the third one approached I decided it was preferable to bite the bullet and join the crowd and I left the safety of my towel behind.

Once we had all had numbers drawn on us by volunteers using lipstick we headed up to an area called the meadow where the garden chair which signified the start line was placed.

It can only have been a few minutes before the shout of  3... 2... 1... GO was heard, but it seemed like a lifetime to me, and certainly enough time to be faced with one small 'athletic'  gentleman wearing a white towelling headband who insisted on warming up with vigorous star jumps.

Anyway... the race was now underway and it very quickly turned into what felt like a normal race. Some people disappeared into the distance, some dropped behind and then there were the few running at my pace.

We did two short laps of the meadow and then headed off for three longer laps along a woodland trail which was very pleasant.

Just as my head was beginning to think more about running than being naked, the path exited the woods and ran right through the centre of the caravan site where spectators had gathered with their cups of coffee and bacon rolls to cheer us on.

The field had thinned out substantially by now so my cunning plan to maintain anonymity in the pack was coming apart at the seams and by the third lap I found myself on my own as I ran the gauntlet of bemused campers watching my body parts flapping in the wind.

I'm sure it was just at this point that my running rhythm set up a kind of propeller type, tassel twirling effect but thankfully the spectators either didn't notice or were just polite enough not to point it out.

The third lap allowed me to catch four or five runners including the guy running in the vibrams and the one wearing the headband before I passed through the car park and the naked marshals in their yellow bibs for the final time and on up to the finish line.

A moment's lack of concentration had me almost throwing some 'Escolme' style jazz hands in the air for the finish line photographer but thankfully thoughts of the photo appearing on a pillow and being presented to me at the club dinner flashed into my mind along with the relief at having ticked the 'No Photographs' box on the entry form.

I barely broke stride as I crossed the finish line in a bid to get back to the picnic table where the safe haven of my towel was waiting for me. It didn't take too long for my clothes to be back on which despite feeling strangely out of place were definitely where I prefer them to be.

The organisers were fantastic and really did a very good job at making me feel as much at ease as I possibly could. Whilst it's not likely to go on my list of races I must do again, I certainly wouldn't advise against it if anyone fancied having a go.


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