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, 10 October 2011

Race Report: Chester Marathon 2011 #1

I was running my eighth marathon in the past two years. As Chester is so close to home, this was the first ever marathon I had run where I enjoyed the comfort of my own bed the night before and with so many Sandbach Striders team mates running I was determined to put in a good performance. I set myself a target to beat my personal best time of 3:39:11 that I ran at the Copenhagen Marathon in May.

 The race started at Chester Racecourse. The next two miles took runners past the Chester Cathedral, the Eastgate Clock and the Amphitheatre before descending into the Welsh countryside. I had briefly read the race information booklet which described the course as “both scenic and fast”. Until 15 miles I would
have completely agreed with this summary of the route. I managed to run the first half of the marathon in 1:42:53 and given that I had run 13.1 miles I felt very comfortable. My confidence grew and my aims for the race changed; I knew if I kept up that pace I would be close to a 3:30 finish.

However, inevitably fatigue was due to kick in and whilst the second half of the race could definitely be described as “scenic”, it certainly could not be described as “fast”. The race proceeded to take me up hill after hill, mile after mile through the towns and villages of Holt, Farndon, Churton and Aldford. Still, I managed to maintain a relatively steady pace and with a constant vocal support of spectators shouting “come on Paul” and the support of my Strider teammates as I re-entered the racecourse for the last 500 metres, I managed to get to the finish in good time. The last mile was very special, and was the main highlight for me, as the route takes runners alongside the River Dee and the crowds of support become increasingly packed. I narrowly missed out on the sub 3:30 finish, but was extremely pleased to finish with a time of 3:31:12 in front of the grandstands at the Racecourse. I had smashed my personal best time by almost 8 minutes!!

I proudly received my medal and long sleeved training top; both of which are a high standard. This was before hobbling back to cheer my remaining teammates to the finish; some were running their first marathons or also hitting their best times.

I would recommend this marathon to anyone. The route takes you past all the main sights in Chester and is one of the only marathons that routes through two countries. The drinks stations were frequent; approximately every three miles in the first half and every two miles in the latter. The crowds and marshals are brilliant and the autumn timing of the marathon means it’s unlikely to be too hot. Nonetheless, expect a marathon of two halves; the first downhill and the second uphill. As with any marathon there will be times where you have to dig deep towards the end, but the Chester Marathon perhaps more than most up those hills.

Well done everyone, a great day and fantastic memories!!

For more information go to http://www.chestermarathon.co.uk/

Paul Barnett

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