Sleaford Striders hit the road again for Dresden races

Chris North will start just behind the elite runners at next year's London Marathon after clocking a superb time at Dresden EMN-170211-160933002
Chris North will start just behind the elite runners at next year's London Marathon after clocking a superb time at Dresden EMN-170211-160933002

Stilton Strider Chris North was the first UK runner to cross the line at the Dresden Marathon.

North was part of a group of Striders who travelled to the historic Germany city, following the club’s European trips to Toulouse, Frankfurt and Amsterdam in the last three years.

Sleaford Striders who took on the half and full marathon in Dresden EMN-170211-160946002

Sleaford Striders who took on the half and full marathon in Dresden EMN-170211-160946002

Race numbers were collected and a little sightseeing took place on the Saturday before the races on the Sunday.

The flat route took the runners through and past attractions including the castle and cathedral with Iain Bailey, Greg Southern and Bryan Brockington joining North in the full marathon.

Each of the Striders achieved magnificent times with Bailey clocking 2hr 53min 24secs, Southern back in 3hr 00min 58secs, and Brockington 4.10.46.

North had already qualified for the London Marathon as good for age courtesy of his time in London earlier this year, but he set out to beat his previous time, and eventually finished in a fabulous time of 2.43.44.

The time, which could have been even better had he not suffered severe cramp at 24 miles, qualifies him for a championship place at London next April, just behind the elite runners.

The marathon was essentially a two-lap course and those taking part in the half had one 13.1-mile lap to complete with 19 Sleaford Striders finishing the race.

First Strider back was Andy Dickinson in 1hr 45min 03secs followed by John Hutton in 1.47.32, and Simon Jackson (1.48.55).

Jane James was the first lady Strider home in 1.50.23 just ahead of Jo Patrick (1.52.13), Kate Hutton (1.56.05) and Sue Patrick (1.56.07).

Dawn Bailey finished in 2hr 00min 36secs, from Derek James (2.03.12), June Jackson (2.07.29), Tracey Dickinson (2.07.30), Hannah North (2.07.30), Val Oliver (2.12.13), Ann Riddell (2.12.15), Graham Riddell (2.12.16), Sarah Breeds (2.15.30), Jim Millar (2.17.05) and Sam Tate (2.36.31).

A special mention goes to Lyn and Stan Yates who travelled to Dresden with their cow bells to encourage the runners as they went by.

* Sleaford Striders offer both adult and junior sections, with juniors starting from the age of six.

The juniors meet on Mondays and Wednesdays, and the adults meet every Thursday. In addition there are events most weekday evenings and the members take part in road racing, track and field, as well as cross country.

Some members simply enjoy the varied social side of the mixed ability club with many members developing from the popular couch to 5k courses.

For full details, visit www.sleafordstriders.org.uk