• Phil Coales first Strider at Parliament Hills Fields

    Striders of Croydon faced strong opposition in the London Cross-Country Championships at Parliament Hill Fields on Saturday. They had a total of 21 finishers (12 men and nine women). Their men’s team placed 19th, led by Phil Coales who ran well to place 43rd of the 494 finishers, covering the ten-kilometre course in 37 minutes 16 seconds. Alastair Falconer also ran well to place 84th (39.08) while veteran Matt Stone was 204th (42.35) and Luke Burden completed the scoring team in 287th (44.46). Striders’ women’s team finished 20th, led by Joanne Campbell who placed 104th of the 275 finishers, covering the six-kilometre course in 26 minutes 19. Steph Upton was 132rd (27.06), Becky Laurence 145th (27.32) and Lucy Kulp completed the scoring team in 166th (28.31), just one second ahead of club colleague Adele Boesinger.

    In the London Youth Games cross-country races at the same venue, Striders’ youngest competitor, Christopher Finch, ran very well to place 12th out of 151 finishers in the under-11 boys’ race. He was the first Croydon finisher and covered the 1500 metre course in 5 minutes 40. His elder sister Lucy was 93rd of 254 finishers in the under-13 girls’ race, covering the 2000 metre course in 9 minutes 12.

    On the same day, Striders had a total of 54 finishers at the various weekly parkruns (29 at Lloyd Park and 25 at other venues). Their best placing came from Lee Flanagan who was second at Lloyd Park in 18 minutes 57. On the following day, Striders had 14 finishers in the Brighton 10 kilometre road race. They were led by James Bennett who finished 26th in 34 minutes 04, while their first woman home was Serena Stracey who ran 44 minutes 24. Meanwhile, at Walton-on-Thames, 63-year-old Nick Kyritsis became the first member of Striders to complete 300 marathons.

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