• Alastair Falconer first at Switchback

    Alastair Falconer, from Striders of Croydon, ran very well to place first out of 109 runners in the annual Switchback cross-country race in Addington Hills, completing the undulating five-mile course in 29 minutes 26 seconds. Striders dominated the men’s race with Lee Flanagan second (30:02), Krzysztof Klidzia third (30:26) and Phil Coales fourth (31:07). Striders’ women were led by new member Jemma Zakariyyau who was the third woman to finish, placing 26th overall (34:40). Rachel Vinton was 40th (37:41) and Selena Wong 49th (39:18).
    In the Chester Marathon on Sunday, Dave Shaw had an excellent run to set a new club over-55 record of 2 hours 57 minutes 24 seconds. Club colleague Geoff Pennells set a new club over-60 record of 3 hours 28 minutes 04. In the Chicago Marathon, Simone Luciani ran 2 hours 48 minutes 15, followed by Mike Stewart (3:04:08). In the Bournemouth Marathon, David Robinson was 39th (2:59:10) and Liam Redmond 41st (2:59:14). In the Oxford Half-Marathon, Niamh Vincent ran a personal best 96 minutes 31, lifting her to 16th place in Striders’ all-time women’s rankings. Rachel Lindley was the first woman to finish the Grantchester 10K, placing ninth overall in 39 minutes 14.
    On Saturday Joanne Campbell was the first woman to finish the South Norwood parkrun, placing ninth overall (21:59), while Lucy Finch was the first woman to finish the Roundshaw parkrun, placing 51st overall (24:04), and Natalie Clerke was the first woman to finish the Letchworth parkrun, placing 22nd overall (25:35). Striders had a total of 59 finishers in the various weekly parkruns.
    This Saturday (13th), Striders will be competing in the opening Surrey Cross-Country League races of the season. Their men are in Division One at Richmond Park, while their women are in Division Two at Wimbledon.

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