Mid-Cheshire 5K 2023 – Classic road racing at its finest

Race date: 25th August 2023

Report by: Robert Byers

The Mid-Cheshire 5K is renowned for being a fast race, regularly playing host to the England 5K championships. Notoriously, it has a slight net downhill of about 10 meters, however what truly sets it apart is the sheer depth it attracts. To illustrate, even a sub-15-minute 5K was only good for 41st place this year.

A small cohort of four Striders made the trek across the Pennines to Kingsley for the summer edition of the biannual event, which kicks off late on Friday at a rather sleepy 7:15pm.

Event parking takes place in a vast cow field, much to the annoyance of the local livestock who amusingly responded with aggressive mooing as cars lined up. Following the tradition of similar 5K races, this event maintains a refreshingly modest atmosphere. There are no race t-shirts, no post-race treats, and bibs aren’t mailed out beforehand. This summer, the race hosted the England vs Wales masters 5km race, which pitted a 59 strong team of England’s finest masters’ runners against their Welsh counterparts. With our very own Maurice Smith proudly repping the VM75 vest for England.

The course itself involves “one and a bit” laps, meandering through rolling country lanes in the heart of picturesque Cheshire. The initial mile is a gradual downhill, which we collectively agreed was best to attack head-on. The focus here was on maintaining a strong early effort & position, rather than fixating on a specific pace. The subsequent 1.5 miles feature a gentle incline. It’s crucial to approach this segment with caution, as it can easily tire out the legs if one doesn’t ease up slightly after the swift start. The last kilometer mirrors the first, sweeping downhill toward the finish line. At this stage, it’s all about pushing your limits and giving it your all.

Sting in the tail – The end of a 5K never ceases to hurt

Close to perfect conditions led to some outstanding results across the board. Despite my initial intention of transferring my bib due to a nagging knee injury, I surprisingly matched Ryan’s current senior male club record. As Peter Brown humorously suggested, perhaps this achievement stemmed from the benefits of some enforced rest. Eddie demonstrated the results of consistently grinding out late night sessions around the infamous Neepsend triangle with an enormous PB, now only seconds away from that elusive sub-17 clocking. Abbie’s remarkable streak continued as she shaved another 14 seconds from her existing senior female club record, evidently the mountain running is paying dividends. Lastly, Maurice completed the race in 22:01, securing the top spot for the England V75 team and setting a fresh V75 club record in the process. It’s safe to say that this one will be quite a challenge to surpass in the future!

Eddie, Abbie and Rob post-race

Strider’s results:

Position Name Chip time Cat Notes
126 Robert Byers 15:46 SM Ties Ryan Sheppeck’s club 5K record
320 Edward Brooks 17:04 SM A PB by over 30 seconds
362 Abbie Pearse 17:25 SW New senior female club record
741 Maurice Smith 22:01 VM75 New VM75 club record, Representing England in the masters 5K match vs Wales (1st VM75)


The men’s race was won by James West (Tonbridge AC) in 14:03. The women’s race was won by Samantha Harrison (Charnwood AC) in 15:11.

Full results can be found here.
A livestream of the full race can be found here.


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