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!"

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Race report: Hell Up North 2011

Well the time arrived, the time that serious trail runners from all over the UK wait all year for. Thankfully the Striders were taking it as seriously as a budget airline takes customer care. All this became Evident at the 8-45 am meet up at the clubs training camp. 

First to arrive was Christiana whom had roped/persuaded or I get the feeling possibly beaten her husband in to entering this event.  A sort of feeling that you can only really get when you see a grown man wearing a white robe that Jesus Christ himself would have been proud to wear, a beautiful white number that hung loosely off the shoulder, worn with such aplomb. 

Then there was the Chairman, Terry & near namesake Perry, in a sort of Terry & Perry comedy sketch, waiting nervously for their outfits to be fitted. Along came the bulk of the Ladies with Claire, Catherine and Andrea armed with wonderful fetching dress’s for the aforementioned Terry & Perry and a few other brave hardy husband/friends that had been roped in for the expedition. 
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Myself? I opted to go for playing baby in a lovely all in one pink night suit complete with Bib and Dummy, adapted and designed by my good lady. The only strange thing was that I actually managed to get another club member to wear one as well!! (Thanks Paul).
So back to the serious stuff, last year I completed the hell up north where I first met the Sandbach Striders doing the course in tu tu’s. At that point I knew I had to join a club that appeared as fun as this. On arriving at the course it was great to spot a huge banner showing the very striders that ran the race last year and we strategically placed ourselves for photos in front of the said banner. 

This year’s event though would be different. Last year, parking was terrible, the start delayed, exiting the car park was nothing short of dangerous and the goody bag was at best, poor. 
This year’s event was met with great hard standing parking that required an approximate ½ mile walk to the start, clockwork organization and a goody bag that, was not that bad. Other complaints from last year were that the course was too short and not tough enough. Well good to see that the organisers got that right too and added another couple of miles making the course a few feet short of 12 miles. 

The race itself turned out to be a lot of fun. It was a tough start going up the hill and then keeping on going up the hill oh and then going up a bit more of a hill until we reached the top….at which point instead of last year’s going down the hill we took a trip though the forest before going, err, up the hill again a bit further. Eventually the course took us back past the start and the gathered Strider supporters association, made up of my wife, Andrea’s husband and the girlies little kiddies. 

As sure as night becomes day in a Hell raiser Trail event, you know you are going to get dirty, very dirty, you are also going to get wet, very wet. It took it’s time coming but eventually we reached the first open field of Bog. At this point the Chairman of the group decided to show us all what a great leader he was. Terry opted to take no prisoners and run through the bog without stopping, a task that was in itself difficult and a highly risky one as the odd training shoe left in the mud would testify. 
The Bog of Doom

Anyhow, the Striders continued through the course bit by bit and little by little. Myself and Paul were now wearing suits that were weighing that much I felt like a marine carrying a backpack, only colder and wetter. Eventually we conquered the hills of doom, which in essence are just hills that go straight up, forget running these, next time I will bring my mountain ropes. 

Of course, the grand finally of the now famous hell up north hits you at the end. This is of course being the Bog of Doom. The Bog of Doom is a bit difficult to explain, but it’s sort of like a long swimming pool but instead of water it contains thick thick mud, a sort of mud that even walking through saps the life out of you. Not only that, but by the time we reached it, I was cold, wett, shaking and so so hungry. But nether the less, through we went and off to the finish line. At this point 4 of us prematurely completed the course, not prematurely in terms of winning you understand, the event was won hours ago. But we were premature as we left the some striders in the bog. Im not sure if it was because of the cold, or the excitement of wanting to see what would be in that goody bag but finish before them we did. We stood and awaited the chairman to bring home the rest of the troops before heading back off to try and scrub the copulas amount of mud off of ourselves before the drive home. 

Before during and after the race, we received a lot of positive comments on our dress sense from other club runners, the goody bag contained a great technical T shirt, some wonderful shakes and a few other bits and pieces and this year, A MEDAL !!! Simply entitled SURVIVOR. I think most of all, although no Strider won first prize, I doubt there was another group of running buddies that had as much fun as we did. 

Till next year(s) event.