The Big Dipper

Race Date: Sunday 11th September 2022

Race Report by Laura Fletcher

This race was sold to me on the views, so as I arrive on Sunday morning in the fog I feel slightly optimistic about these views! (The sun did come out eventually)

Where to start with this race….Well at the top of a nice hill luring you into a false sense of security that it won’t actually be that hilly!

The race starts on a nice downhill so perfect for that 1st mile pace of far too fast to maintain. Then a few little hills followed by a beautiful sweeping downhill, which is where I notice an 11 miler marker and make a mental note that I will see this now named hill of doom in a while!

I settle into the race and position myself behind fellow Strider Phil, all is going well and the marshals along the route are super friendly and encouraging to help on those hills. After the 1st water station I loose Phil and continue at a slower pace. I then see Phil up ahead walking up a hill so I immediately copy his decision and walk, he soon sets off again so I pick a new friend to follow who’s still walking. I don’t see Phil again as after this he stepped up to turbo speed and enjoyed the next half of the race.

As I’m just about halfway and the front runners are heading back and after a clap to those I head off on a lovely flat and downhill section. Then there’s this hill of all hills and it just goes on for days. I make a new friend and we walk and chat. Once at the top I plod (this was now all i could do) along knowing now what to expect as we’re back running where we’ve already run (towards the hill of doom) but some nice downhills before this.

I pass Chris Hodson being a high viz hero and fantastic marshal cheering all on “come on girl you’re smashing it” is his shout to me and I just scowl and shake my head….we’re at mile 11!

The hill of doom had gotten steeper since running down it and as I plod on up I can hear Helen Smith shouting out to all, I’m now walking and with some final encouraging words from Helen I manage to drag myself across the finish.

Turbo Phil is all happy and smiley and enjoyed the race, other Striders all did well too although I couldn’t see them at the end for my bleeding eyes!

So the inaugural Big Dipper in one word if you haven’t guessed by now…Hilly.
But it’s a superb event with a challenging course and the goody bag well I’d finish it any day for that, tshirt, medal, beer with a bobble hat, treats galore!
Well done to all at Dronfield for a great local event. Get it in your diary for next year!

Striders at the Big Dipper

208 runners took on the Big Dipper. Bertie Houghton of Hallamshire Harriers won the men’s race in a time of 01:13:58. Winner of the women’s race was Natalie Neville of Hillsborough & Rivelin RC in a time of 01:36:50. Eleven Striders took part.

Striders Results

P Name Cat Cat P Time
36 Stephanie Millar FSEN 2/25 01:43:29
88 Paul Bland MV60 2/9 01:56:55
89 Philip Swirles MV40 32/51 01:57:01
98 Sam Ainscough MSEN 28/48 01:59:01
115 Tessa Bainbridge FV40 13/32 02:02:39
124 Tom Nuttgens MV50 18/36 02:04:24
142 Phil Dooley MV40 42/51 02:08:49
158 Phil Kelly MV50 29/36 02:11:36
168 Crispin Jones MV50 31/36 02:13:29
179 Laura Fletcher FSEN 21/25 02:17:32
184 Katelyn Mckeown FV40 26/32 02:19:07

Full results are available here as a downloadable Google spreadsheet.

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