• Phil Coales leads Striders to victory at Harriers XC Invitational

    Striders of Croydon ended the cross-country season on a winning note with a convincing victory in their inter-club match against local rivals at Croydon Harriers at Lloyd Park on Saturday. On a snow-covered six-mile course, Striders had the first four finishers. Phil Coales led them home with a comfortable individual win, while club colleague Lee Flanagan took second place and was first in the over-40 category. New recruit Tom Lawson made an encouraging debut in third place, while Tom Gillespie was fourth and Joseph Ibe sixth. Steph Upton was the first woman to finish, placing 12th overall, which was a particularly good run as she had also been the first woman to finish at the Riddlesdown parkrun only six hours earlier. Club colleague Karen Speed was the fifth woman to finish, placing 17th overall.

    Striders had six finishers in the Hastings Half-Marathon on Sunday. They were led by William Pennells who ran well to place 190th out of 2469 finishers, recording a personal best 92 minutes 58 seconds. His father Geoff Pennells was next home in 1 hour 40 minutes 23, and was followed by Steve Smith (1.44:56), Richard Myers (1.45:01), Richard Tanner (1.58:53) and Rachel Tanner (2.06:15). On the same day, Sophia Sachedina ran the Hampton Court Half-Marathon in 1 hour 49 minutes 52.

    Despite the wintry conditions, Striders also had 45 finishers in the various weekly parkruns on Saturday (20 at Lloyd Park and 25 at other venues). There were first places for Alastair Falconer at Riddlesdown (18:41) and Simon Ambrosi at Lloyd Park (20:28), while Selena Wong was the first woman to finish at Lloyd Park, placing 24th overall (26:25).

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