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!"

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Race Report: Delamere Forest night run

This was the first in (hopefully) a series of Monday night runs to keep us entertained and fit over the dark, cold and wet Winter months.

For a bit of a change we thought we'd run around Delamere Forest. 

In the dark.
On a cold night. 
In the middle of a heavy shower.

To add a bit of mortal danger interest to the proceedings, we put Grant in charge of navigation, who assured us, much to our relief, that we most definitely would not be taking a route through the dreaded "Bog of Doom".

So, we parked up at Delamere Railway Station and in the middle of a heavy shower, we donned our waterproofs and head torches. The safety briefing was conducted quickly and off we set. Or so we thought. The sound of a car alarm going off stopped us in our tracks. It turned out one of our members had decided the rain looked a little too heavy and had tried to hide out in the front of the car. It's ok Chris, we won't mention who it was.

Our route started with a nice gentle jog upwards to the top of Old Pale Hill where the TV transmitter resides. This was the just the start that Jason was hoping for, and it was exactly what his legs needed after completing the Round Rotherham 50 only two days earlier.

True to form after a couple of miles we somehow managed to lose Delamere Forest and we ended up running along a road. This certainly made a change from our normal Winter route running around the back roads of Sandbach.

Eventually we found the forest again and headed back into its murky depths. At times, the run reminded us of the Blair Witch Project, but thankfully the only frightening and horrific sights we saw were each other.

Running at night where the only light is that of your head torch and the flittering reflections of your fellow runners is a strange experience, but an extremely engaging one. The tracks through Delamere Forest are reasonably safe. As in the daytime you have to take care of roots and low hanging branches, that doesn't change at night. The sensation of darkness and silence makes you much more aware of your surroundings and even though you can't see what you are running through you can certainly feel it. It's an experience I'd very much recommend you give a try.

I was quietly pondering the glimpses of moonlight through the forest canopy and the gentle rustling of the leaves above when I heard the unmistakeable THUD of runner on ground. Our first and thankfully only incident of the night  was when Perry decided he'd had enough of running and thought it might be more enjoyable to submit to gravity and plunge suddenly earthwards. Interestingly and rather something of a confusing paradox he blamed his glasses on his inability to see what was in front of him.

After 11k or so, we passed the Visitor Centre and made our way back to the car park. A little bit wetter than when we set off but none the worse for wear.

Thanks to everyone who turned up, fingers crossed these kind of runs can become a new and interesting addition to our running schedule.

*nb* Monday 24th October sees the next extra-curricular run up The Cloud. Contact me for more details.


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