Tatsuya Okamoto, from Striders of Croydon, ran very well to finish third in the first East Surrey League cross-country race of the season, in Lloyd Park on Saturday. Rob Lines was 12th, Tom Gillespie 16th and Andy Perks completed the men’s scoring team in 18th place. Striders’ women were led by Kara Boaks who was the eleventh woman to finish, placing 52nd overall. Fiona Carr was the 13th woman to finish while Ruth Pearson was the 21st woman to finish. Striders had five male non-scorers. Kerim Suruliz was 29th, Jason Gallagher 35th, Chris Green 41st, Jon Dean 48th and Stephen Siu 53rd.
On Sunday, Striders revived their traditional five-mile multi-terrain ‘Switchback 5’ race, starting and finishing in Lloyd Park. There were 131 finishers. Striders had the first man home in Harry Madgwick-Lawton, who ran well to complete the undulating course in 31 minutes 07. Phil Coales was fourth (31:48), Matthew Stone sixth (32:57), Steve Corfield eighth (33:14), Simon Ambrosi 11th (33:47) and Tom Gillespie 12th (34:18). The first woman to finish was Nikki Sturzaker of Herne Hill, who ran well to place seventh overall (33:14). The first female Strider was Fiona Carr who was the eighth woman to finish, placing 60th overall (45:12). Zoe Williams was the ninth woman to finish (46:20) with Angela Seesurrun tenth (46:40) and Susanna Lutman 12th (48:10).
In the Chester Marathon, Jay Lidbetter ran well to finish 48th in a club M45 record of 2:43:24. Graeme Drysdale ran 3:08:24 while Gemma Halliday ran 4:06:07.
On Saturday morning, Niamh Vincent was the first woman to finish the South Norwood parkrun (21:26), while Ellyw Evans was the first woman to finish the Futakotamagawa parkrun in Japan (21:49). Striders had a total of 96 finishers in the various weekly parkruns.