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!"

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Race Report: Frankfurt Marathon 30/10/2011

This used to be billed as the fastest marathon in Germany until Patrick Makau broke the record in Berlin earlier in the year. As it stands it's still a fast course, with a total height difference of only 27m. It's a well attended race with around 18,000 runners. The Expo was large and well organised and located right next to the start and finish points a short walk from Frankfurt's central railway station. I collected my race number, chip and goody bag without much difficulty and also was pleased to receive a backpack in lieu of the obligatory t-shirt which unusually were an optional extra. Inside the goody bag were a pack of batteries (useful), some water (obvious), some sweets (tasty) and four painted hard-boiled eggs (I'd have preferred a protein shake...) I also received a voucher for the pasta party the night before the race.
Near the start line

The pasta party was held in the expo centre where the finish line was to be. It was a very glitzy and loud affair with BMW cars in abundance as they were the principal sponsor. The organisation was less impressive however. I arrived a couple of hours before the closing time but they were already out of alcohol-free beer and coca-cola to which we had vouchers for free drinks. Luckily there was still vegetarian pasta and water. I'd be lying if I said the pasta was one of the better meals I'd ever eaten, but it was a decent sized portion and did the trick as far as carb-loading went.
The race was due to start at 10am on the Sunday morning, which meant I had time for a good nights sleep and a leisurely breakfast particularly as the clocks went back giving me an extra hour in addition to the extra hour that Central European Time already gave me over UK time. Trying to find the correct pen at the start was tricky as they had all been fenced off with no obvious method of getting through. I saw a group of runners clambering over a fence near a high kerb so thought I'd chance my luck and joined them. I'm not sure why organisers make it so difficult to get into place. If runners can't get to their correct pens it means they start in the wrong place which gets on everyones nerves.

The race was a lap of the city centre, a loop, a long out and back, followed by another trip through the city centre and back to the expo centre for what promised to be a climactic finish. The race was well supported with a few bands along the route to help the runners along. Water stops were adequate and well organised. 

Surprisingly I passed 41km still looking like I was going to hit a pb. I wasn't expecting this given how badly I'd struggled to get a sub 4 in Chester a few weekends earlier. Not unusually my crappy Garmin had misread the distance and as I approached the finish line in 43km according to it I narrowly missed a pb but notched up my second fastest marathon this year, hitting 3:39. The race winner Wilson Kipsang had a similar experience, narrowly missing the recently set world record by a mere 4 seconds.

After the race we were presented with a nice chunky medal and had access to iced tea, water, coca cola, bananas, grapes, apples and cake. The only thing that took the shine off the race for me was only realising too late that I was supposed to take my chip back to the expo after the race in order to avoid a €25 surcharge. I'm not exactly how many runners would have realised nor appreciated a trip up two flights of stairs and a 600m round trip to do this immediately after running a marathon. I've written to the organisers in the hope that I can still return the chip and avoid the fee, but we'll just have to see just how that pans out. In fact I've just heard back from the organisers and they assure me that if I post it off to them now I won't be charged. Phew.

Frankfurt was an interesting place to visit. A couple of days felt the right length of time to get a good feel for the place and see the key sights. Flights are plentiful and cheap as Frankfurt is a huge international hub. Getting to and from the airport is easy on the fast, regular trains and hotel accommodation is cheap and plentiful. My lack of German didn't seem to hinder my progress as the bulk of Frankfurters seemed to possess an excellent command of English. Would I do it again? Perhaps...

For more information visit the race website.


1 comment:

  1. Nice pics, you really did a great job. Congratulations for a great job well done and looking forward always.