This is the first in an ongoing Striders history series compiled from Striders newsletters and committee records. The other pages are:

Striders History 1982–1993 by Roger Stevenson (founder member and club archivist)

My thanks for the valued assistance of John Rothwell, Ian Shepherd & Norma Parkes in compiling this article. And to Mick Wall for transcribing and formatting my original document over to the website and scanning all the photographs.

Hi Striders and other interested folks, hope you find all this an informative and enjoyable read. 35 years (at the time of writing) since the club was formed and when I look back at everything connected with the club, I realise a book could be produced. Maybe one day!

The following will give an outline of our history. Read how the club has developed, see how the foundations were laid, learn about those members whose contribution has been priceless.

Many aspects of life here in the UK have arrived from the USA. Some have failed to materialise, others have been been slow to be accepted. What is referred to as “The Running Boom” came from the USA around 1980 and immediately grew like a well-fed mushroom. In fact running flourished at an unbelievable rate!

In Sheffield, like most of the UK, folks began to be seen at any time of the day and anywhere running or as some folk called it “jogging”.

The first London Marathon in 1981 was a major catalyst and in 1982 the Sheffield Marathon was resurrected, a race that was once a feature of the Sheffield sporting calendar. A social phenomenon had occurred and many were keen to be involved not just as runners, but as suppliers of the kit required and as organisers of the many local races that began to appear.

Why and how was the club formed ?

Prior to 1980, distance running and the marathon was very much a niche sport and the established clubs in Sheffield were struggling to come to terms with the mass participation boom. They simply couldn’t cater for and indeed were not welcoming to the new breed of fun runner/jogger. Striders were one of many similar new wave clubs that formed during the early to mid 1980s to cater for this upsurge in interest and participation.

From acorns, oak trees grow

After viewing a 1982 Sheffield Marathon video at the Abbeydale sports club in June 1982, an 11-member steering committee was formed after an invitation by Richard Hnat, a local businessman with a sports shop on Infirmary Road. The steering committee met on 20 July at the Faces nightclub on Charles Street, behind the Cole Brothers store. Richard Hnat’s vision and drive together with that of John Rothwell, who was to become a renowned club member, gave birth to what has now become a special club with loads of special people!!

The steering committee formed that night comprised

  • Keith Ibbotson – Chair
  • Eileen Bibby – Secretary
  • Diane Knowles – Treasurer
  • John Rothwell – Membership Secretary
  • Richard Hnat & Ken Richardson – Social Secretaries
  • Christine Jackson, Mick Thompson, Derek Broomhead & Martin Gomersall
  • (Ken Rutter who was also present did not become part of the Steering Committee and no longer had contact with the club)

Another organisational meeting was held at Faces on 3 August 1982.

On Wednesday 22 September 1982, the club was officially launched at the Pine Grove Country Club at Stannington in Sheffield. A group run was followed by a meeting where the runners attending were invited to join the club.

A social evening featuring Diet and Health Food followed at Pinegrove on 1 November.

Where did the name come from and why yellow and green for the club colours ?

Richard Hnat had already decided on the name before that 1982 Sheffield Marathon.

John Rothwell comments that a year or so later whilst in Richard’s shop and chatting with members of Chesterfield AC and others, someone said that they suggested the name to Richard. Just how much truth in that story we will never know !

John Rothwell along with fellow Strider Christine Jackson had met Richard in his shop, telling him that in relation to the club’s colours, they wanted to stay away from the Hallamshire red, Sheffield AC yellow, Rotherham black and the Wednesday and United colours. Richard had a stock of green and yellow material with a yellow pinstripe which we could have cheaply and so the club colours were born !

Striders began to use Rowlinson Sports Centre on Sunday 7 November 1982 and what was then Queens Tower Squash club near Norfolk Park on the following Monday as training venues. The use of various locations around the city for Striders training runs was established.

Queens Tower Squash Club 1984

In mid December 1982 there was a disco and fashion show for members (venue unknown).

On Boxing Day 1982, Striders held their first Boxing Day Fun Run in Graves Park, with 43 runners, Striders and their children, completing a Fun Run of 2 miles.

The club held it’s first AGM on the 24 January 1983 at Pinegrove Country Club, at which the Steering Group was disbanded and a Committee of 10 was elected. A decision was made to join both the Amateur Athletic Association and the Women’s Amateur Athletic Association. Sub-committees were then formed and affiliation to the various running bodies was progressed.

Mention must be made and thanks given for all the work undertaken in the setting up of the club. A group of very enthusiastic folks giving their time and energy to establish a very special organisation.

Weekly runs were organised followed by a chat and a drink in some nearby pub.

The sociability and friendliness aspects of the club were being established.

A Boxing Day Fun Run, Christmas Disco, Pie & Pea Supper and a Nike-produced video strengthened the club’s sociability.

Various members achieved good results in both local and other races close to Sheffield, personal bests were achieved and social events were organised, as were trips for members to various races. The club was growing, enthusiasm was high, and Striders became an essential part of members’ lives.

Why no club HQ?

The lack of an HQ became an emotive subject, yet 35+ years down the road the club functions well without one.

It was and still is a unique concept to take the club out to the suburbs to maximise accessibility and training opportunities. To make all this work the club was dependent on strong communication channels, i.e. Striders News, which in its day was ahead of its time and was voted Running Magazines newsletter of the year! Communication is still the backbone of the club and thanks to the internet and social media we are as strong with communicating to and amongst our members as ever!

A brief point of discussion here regarding the club’s decline in the early to mid-2000s and then an upsurge in interest. The decline could have been due to a reduction in the frequency of Striders News appearing and the upsurge as a direct consequence of social media.

Society changes in many ways and so do the sections within it. Striders will continue to change, that is inevitable!

Striders News appears

I will now continue with extracts from the monthly club newsletter Striders News, along with reference to committee meeting minutes. The first edition of Striders News appeared in August 1983, a double-sided A4 sheet, edited by Dave Ashurst and John Rothwell. I have extracted what I would call significant information relative to dates, members, events and various organisational issues re: the club and the running world, instances which shaped the future of the club. There is mention of occasions involving members who are still around 30 years later.

Club-organised races and events where possible are mentioned in the month they took place. Many races reported on lack the date when they occurred.

Pre-organisational issues and comment regarding races and events have always featured in editions of the Newsletter, but have not been included to avoid confusion in instances where races and events did not occur.

There have been a million words in print, a complete story would fill numerous volumes!

There is a lot to read through here and yes it is somewhat monotonous in its content. However, history is being recorded and I believe a worthwhile task is on the way to completion. Whilst collating the following information, I have also referred to Committee meeting minutes. Minutes as you are all aware contain detailed information, much of it although of interest is too detailed for inclusion here. I take responsibility if there is anything missed. I am of course dependent on folks pointing out to me those omissions.

A full complement of club records is available elsewhere on the Striders website, under the “Club History” section. Individual records are shown in this history.

We remember with affection those Striders no longer with us, friends once loved and now lost. So I dedicate this history to the memories of those below.

  • Alan Brook
  • Trevor Brown
  • Trevor Burton
  • Adrian Butler
  • Rod Clark
  • Reg Creaser
  • Howard Ellis
  • Les Eyre
  • Keith Hale
  • Keith Ibbotson
  • Roy Kitson
  • Rachel Leonard
  • Bill Locking
  • Jean Locking
  • George Maynard
  • Michael Newsam
  • Les Parkes
  • Julian Paul
  • Dennis Tuft
  • Gerald de Vane

July 1983

  • The first Steel City mile: 35 members took part in 5 races

September 1983

  • Club membership now 100 including 1 junior
  • New club vests available from Richard Hnat, cost £4.35
  • A Striders-organised talk took place at the Hallam Tower hotel on 14 September, the guest speaker being Ron Hill, one of the finest long-distance runners this country has produced
  • Afterwards it was proposed that the club ask Ron to become Striders’ first Honorary member

October 1983

  • First Steel City 10k on Friday 14 October, from Middlewood to Oughtibridge and return
  • A request for runners to be seen in the dark. Members heard such requests then as they do now!!
  • Club member Ian Shepherd had been involved in discussions re: the organisation of a Great British Fun Run. This would incorporate a 3500-mile relay run around the coast of Britain. Striders considered taking part along with The British Deaf Association, a charity that Ian worked for, but in the end neither did.

November 1983

  • This issue of Striders News increased to 4 x A4 pages
  • First club cross country race took place in Longley Park on 13  November
  • Striders Keith Ibbotson and Dave Ashurst involved in the organisation of the 1984 Sheffield Marathon
  • Details of an Amateur Athletic Association registration scheme to enable communication from the AAA to club members. This initiative would hopefully encourage the now hundreds of non-club runners to become involved in a club of their choice. Registration was essential for runners wishing to take part in the many road races now being organised.
  • Concern expressed that the club wasn’t looking after its slower runners and as a result “Doubling Back” was introduced

December 1983

  • Club to apply for affiliation to the English Cross Country Union
  • Affiliation to the Yorkshire Cross Country Association confirmed!
  • South Yorkshire Amateur Athletic Association contacted re: the club wishing to compete in the following season’s league
  • Mention of the club’s initiative in “Doubling Back” for slower runners on training runs
  • After the the club’s first cross country race had taken place in Longley Park, further events were planned at Shirecliffe, Concord and Graves Park
  • Total membership at this year end was 130

January 1984

  • An interesting article titled “From a rabbit to a hare” by club member Roger Rowe. The story of a broken-down, recalcitrant, 38-year-old ex-rugby player who became bitten by the running bug. A tale of progression, running in the dark not to be recognised, visiting Richard Hnat’s shop for his first pair of running shoes, his first race and pride in completing it, hardly being able to walk for a week, a running-inflicted injury and a visit to the doctor, another race and the discovery of PBs. A story many can relate to, an example of the change to a person’s life through involvement with running and of course becoming a member of this well-loved club !!

February 1984

  • The club had plans to run a 10k from the Rowlinson Sports Centre (now Graves Leisure Centre). However, South Yorkshire Police stated it was their policy NOT to give permission for races to take place, other than existing events that are held in the city
  • Striders holding training runs from Sheffield Wednesday’s training ground on Middlewood Road
  • In a time without online communication and social media sites, difficulties with distribution by hand of the Striders News were being encountered

March 1984

  • First mention of the South Yorkshire Amateur Athletic Association 5-mile road race series. 3 races, 10p per race!!
  • Another comment that in 1984 and in a society minus online communication, photocopying was becoming a problem! Both renting and purchasing a machine were under consideration.

April 1984

  • First advertisement of a Sports Injuries Clinic
  • Mention of Beginners’ Nights training runs
  • Lis Colquhoun’s Hare & Tortoise project said to have been successful
  • Richard Hnat to move his shop from Infirmary Road to West Street

May 1984

  • Striders News had now enlarged to 6 x A4 pages
  • Long training runs in preparation for the 1984 Sheffield Marathon to be run from Rowlinson Sports Centre on Sunday mornings

June 1984

  • Wednesday evening training runs commenced from Rowlinson Sports Centre on 6 June
  • First post Sheffield Marathon party night took place on the 17 June
  • Supervised weight training sessions planned
  • Sew-on cloth badges in club colours and incorporating the “Striding Legs” logo now available at 65p each
  • Sunday morning women-only training runs from the Hallam Grange Lawn Tennis Club
  • Local clubs, Striders included, are being encouraged by the NCAA (Northern Counties Athletic Association) District Committee to put forward members who would be interested in qualifying as officials i.e. Track and Field judges, Timekeepers and Starters
  • Striders took part in a Powerjog competition (running on a treadmill) at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane ground on the 19 April
  • The club received details of the AAA/Esso award scheme for clubs and schools to encourage in young people a long-term interest in cross-country running. Dave Ashurst and John Rothwell were to introduce and coordinate the Striders’ involvement in the award scheme which would hopefully be the first stage of a longer-term aim to provide regular training/racing facilities and opportunities within the club for youngsters.

July 1984

  • Queens Tower Squash Club and Pinegrove Country Club are now established as Striders training venues
  • John Rothwell attended a meeting to discuss the proposed Woodbourn Athletics Development Centre
  • A warning to club members that it is a contravention of the of the laws of the AAA/WAAA to run in non-permitted events
  • The club’s first quiz night attended by 60 members, relatives and friends at the Manchester Hotel on Nursery Street
  • Club member Ian Darley seeking interest in members wanting to take part in the Paris to Versailles 10-mile road race
  • Striders and the Sheffield Central Deaf Club heavily involved with the organisation of the Duke of Devonshire’s Chatsworth Chase
  • Steel City Mile at the Hillsborough track

August 1984

  • Club recently affiliated to the WCCA (Women’s Cross Country Association)
  • Ron Hill, former European and Commonwealth Marathon champion, is made the club’s first Honorary Life member
  • Striders take part in the Mansfield Triathlon
  • On 22 August, Striders’ Le Jog (Land’s End to John O’ Groats) team consisting of Rosie Adams, Malcolm Bramhall, Iain and Lis Colquhoun, Malcolm Hadfield, Craig Jenkinson, Rob and Rachel Leonard, Marie Miller, Laurie Parmenter, John Rothwell, Gill and Phil Samuels, Ruth Shield, Graeme Siddall and Craig Steeland passed through Sheffield accompanied by club members. Together they ran between Rowlinson and Concord Sport Centres. This relay began at Land’s End on 19 August and finished at John O’ Groats on the 27 August.

September 1984

  • First club track meeting took place on Friday 7 September
  • Volunteer assistance required for the forthcoming Chatsworth Chase
  • 7 Striders took part in the Tour of Tameside which comprised 6 races over 7 days!!

October 1984

  • Beginners nights commence, Monday evenings at Queens Tower Squash Club
  • First inclusion in Striders News of information relating to South Yorkshire Cross Country League
  • New club vests arrive!

Cutlers Relay – 1984

November 1984

  • John Rothwell resigns as Striders News editor because of the need to reduce his ever increasing workload with the Striders. Ruth Shield to take over from 1 November.
  • In addition to the normal 7–10 mile run from Rowlinson on a Wednesday evening, a speed session is introduced
  • Members’ enthusiasm for their sport is reflected in the uptake of training and qualification as officials e.g. race starters and timekeeping.

December 1984

  • The following areas are identified as requiring short-/medium-term development: cross-country, track, women’s athletics
  • Mick Derrick, John Rothwell and Lis Colquhoun qualify as AAA/WAAA officials
  • Club library being developed by John Rothwell
  • Minutes of the club for 4 December, comprising 6 x A4 sides, an indication of the increasing workload in running the club
  • Again to be mentioned in a time where online communication had not yet arrived, the purchase of a typewriter for club use was being considered
  • Sponsorship enquiries to aid the production of Striders News were ongoing
  • An increasing membership was adding to problems in hand distributing the Newsletter across the city

1985 – Junior Striders

This year was notable in the early history of the club with the rise in participation of Junior Striders.

The development was natural in the fact that many members had children and their Strider parents brought them along to training sessions. The original Juniors were Glen and Neil Parkes, Neil Keally and Paul and Angie Bragger.

Initially the youngsters just joined in with the adults at Monday night beginners’ sessions taking place at Queens Tower but after a few weeks it became very apparent that the youngsters needed something different and a separate group was introduced for the juniors.

Junior Striders at play!

You will read further on that at one time, the Juniors formed a fifth of the club membership.

  • Club members began coaching the Juniors and the enthusiasm gathered momentum
  • Junior coaches and helpers involved at various times and in various disciplines were Dave Ashurst, Winston Bendell, Sue Bragger, Trevor Chambers, Rod Clark, Iain Colquhoun, Martin Dye, Pete Dye, Les Eyre, Joan Gould, Jean Gregory, Roger Hibbert, Mike Ingham, Mark Johnson, Alison Memmot, Alan Mitchell, Andy Oxley, Les Parkes, Janet and John Rothwell, Phil Samuels, Ian and Pam Shepherd, Graeme Siddall, Martin Sunderland and John Wilkinson
  • Some of those Striders went on to gain coaching qualifications
  • The AAA/Esso 5 Star Cross Country Award Scheme along with other initiatives was well received and attended, being valuable contributions to the development of the Juniors
  • Graves Park, Rowlinson Sports Centre, Queens Tower, Redmires Playing Fields and Woodbourn Stadium were often-used training venues
  • As natural as the initial development was, the demise had a measure of inevitability about it. Those youngsters had other interests, other distractions and of course gradually moved on with their lives. The same with coaches and helpers whose time involvement became too much and they also moved on.
  • The demise of the Junior section wasn’t instant. Through the 1990s there was still involvement but over that decade it gradually faded and then ultimately finished
  • The Juniors competed with distinction both locally and regionally in school and club athletics with many representing Sheffield and some going on to represent their county at national level at both Cosford and Birmingham and also at various South Yorkshire locations both on the track and cross country
  • It is a little known fact that the very first Striders ever to run on Woodbourn Athletics track were a few of the juniors in the Sheffield City Schools Track and Field Championships on the 4 July 1986, the day the stadium formally opened
  • Various social activities over the years were organised for the club’s junior members and were thoroughly enjoyed by both kids and their parents
  • Archive material relates to the admirable work done and the time given towards the organisation of this well-remembered section

AAA-ESSO Award Scheme – 1985

January 1985

  • 100-mile Canal relay race proposed on the “Cheshire Ring” on Sunday 12 May. Teams to comprise 8 runners with each person to run approximately 12 miles. 2 non-runners to be allowed in each team to assist with driving. Start and finish will be near Marple, just outside Manchester. Canals negotiated will be Peak Forest, Macclesfield, Ashton, Rochdale and Bridgewater, and the Trent and Mersey. There will be a 6:00 am start time, and teams will be picked according to ability.
  • Information relating to Junior Striders taking part in the South Yorks Cross Country League

February 1985

  • London Marathon guaranteed places on offer for the first time to club members
  • First appearance announced of Striders at the National Cross Country Champs at Milton Keynes
  • Training schedules for a half and full marathon listed in this issue

March 1985

  • Ron Hill Sports becomes supplier of club vests and shorts
  • Striders run in the Northern Cross Country Champs for the first time

April 1985

  • Sponsorship arrangement being considered with the Manufacturers Life Insurance Company MANULIFE who have offered the club a £500 cash sponsorship deal
  • Striders 100 mile Canal Relay Race to be sponsored by the Cheshire Building Society. Teams have been picked, team members’ names as yet not given!
  • The National Cross Country Championship was held at Milton Keynes. 7 Striders ran, here are their names and positions out of a finishing field of 1806 runners. Finish times were not available.
    • Dave Bonnington 986
    • Mike Ingham 1160
    • Laurie Parmenter 1293
    • Barry Wiles 1384
    • Graeme Siddall 1432
    • Rob Leonard 1508
    • Roger Stevenson 1575
  • Striders team finished 172nd out of the 194 complete teams. Ground conditions were a nightmare, a sea of deep mud in parts.

May 1985

  • This Striders News was 9 x A4 pages!! Evidence of the increased participation by members in road races, too many results for this issue.
  • Two specific weekly training sessions planned for young people
  • Club members travel in a club-organised coach to the Lincoln half marathon
  • Entry form available for first club track meeting
  • First article detailing the availability of sports nutrition products

1985 – More Junior News

  • The inclusion of Juniors within the club was now gathering momentum
  • Neil and Glen (sons of club members Norma and Les Parkes) had run in the 1984 Chatsworth Chase Fun Run. They had continued to compete and gained mention in Striders News along with Ben Howarth (son of club member Mary) in the 4 November 1984 results of the South Yorkshire Cross Country League meeting at Cannon Hall near Barnsley.
  • Junior Striders were again mentioned in the April 1985 Striders News having competed in cross country events at Hillsborough Park and Graves Park
  • There was a letter in the April 1985 edition by club member Mike Ingham containing favourable words re encouraging youngsters in the club and those wishing to join
  • In the May 1985 edition as mentioned above, the club was to provide two specific training sessions per week for youngsters
  • In the June 1985 edition, it was reported that Redmires Playing Fields would be a venue for training on a Saturday morning. This turned out to be a popular location for the Juniors.

June 1985

  • Striders honoured by being given the chance to stage the 1986 Yorkshire Cross Country Champs. In Graves Park
  • Permission given for the club to use the Redmires playing field for Saturday morning training sessions
  • Striders now training from Queens Tower, Pine Grove, Rowlinson, Concord, Middlewood Road, Redmires and Hillsborough
  • 15 Striders ran the London Marathon
  • Club members appointed to establish and organise the club’s three weekly training sessions for youngsters

1985 – the Canal Relay

The Canal Relay, run on 12 May, started and finished on the Upper Peak Forest Canal at Bridge 21 (Rawton Walls Bridge) near Marple. The route followed Upper Peak Forest Canal, Lower Peak Forest Canal, Ashton Canal, Rochdale Canal, Bridgewater Canal, Trent & Mersey Canal and Macclesfield Canal, and back to the start. This was the 100 miles of the Cheshire Ring and was reported in this issue as an Autopsy on a page and a half of A4.
Here is a summary of the day.

  • Four teams, two in each team, took part. The four teams had names of Coe, Ovett, Cram & Elliott and were captained by Andy Oxley, Ruth Shield, Malcolm Hadfield and Dave Beech. Other team members were Richard Taylor, Mick Lockwood, Rachel Leonard, George Appleby and Charlie Lees. (A discrepancy there with actually 9 names. I have recorded what I read!)
  • The teams left at staggered intervals between 6:00 and 6:45 am, running anticlockwise and so passing through Greater Manchester early in the day.
  • Early in the race and the Ovett team had already gone off course.
  • Charlie Lees in the Coe team had unsuccessfully asked for directions from a drunken passer-by!
  • The Ovett team again became lost!
  • The Elliott team somehow achieved a good position after also being lost en route. Questions were asked and rumours abounded along with some stiff language!! A time penalty was imposed, much to the disgust of the Elliott team, for not following the prescribed route.
  • The winning team was Coe in 11:32:03. The winning margin was 27:46. Second was the Cram team, in third place was Elliott and last was Ovett. No more info re: placings and times is available.
  • The winners received the Cheshire Plate, a silver salver donated by the Cheshire Building Society.

Nike Womens Own 10k Race – Chesterfield 1985

July 1985

  • Club road running championship introduced based on 19 local races
  • Father and son Striders Les and Paul Eyre completed Sheffield Star Walk
  • Striders’ first club tent purchased

August 1985

  • A new editor for this edition, Mike Ingham. 11 pages, plus an 8-page cross country preview.
  • New design of club vest
  • Four Striders took part in the World Vets’ Road Running Champs at Lytham St Ann’s
  • 8 Striders took part in the Mansfield Triathlon
  • New section in Striders News for the young athletes in the club
  • Cross country training schedule in this edition
  • Rob Leonard the new cross country secretary

September 1985

  • Young athletes now form one fifth of club membership
  • News that on Sunday 20 October, Striders will organise the first event of the South Yorks Cross Country season in Graves Park with 50 Junior Striders due to take part
  • Problems with club kit now resolved, new-style vests available
  • Significant numbers of Striders ladies expressed interest in regular ladies’ meetings
  • On the club social scene the following were offered: family day trip to Morecambe and Blackpool; bonfire party; children’s Christmas party; adults’ Christmas party

Three years of Striders history and the foundations have been laid. Hard-working Committee members, affiliation to running bodies, the creation of Striders News, a thriving social scene, training sessions organised, Junior Striders on the ascendency, club races organised and participation by club members in major races. Read on, although the pace of development tends to slow down!

October 1985

  • A new format for Striders News, now A5 size pages and 20 of them in this bumper edition
  • Sponsorship agreement with Manulife terminated by the club. £200 had been received with which a club tent had been purchased.
  • Club records now collated and printed in this edition, with awards to existing holders
  • Important info not included in Striders News for this month: Mike Ingham discussed with John Rothwell who had organised Le Jog in 1984 the feasibility of organising a relay run around the British Coast

November 1985

  • Club membership was 277, including 50 ladies and 50 juniors
  • Following an application to the Sheffield Council for Sport & Recreation, the club was granted financial assistance of up to £50 to help with the purchase of 2 large heavy-duty plastic Start and Finish banners
  • Venues for the four club cross country meetings were advertised as Longley Park, Ryecroft Glen, Shirecliffe and Graves Park
  • Striders weekend in Amsterdam advertised for May 1986
  • John Rothwell, Gill and Phil Samuels and Mike Ingham have started planning for the 1986 Canal Relay on Sunday 25 May. Next year’s event will be run on a completely different part of the English waterway system.

December 1985

  • Yet another change to the appearance of the club magazine. Now bound with a green and yellow A5-size cover.
  • Club to stage Yorkshire Cross Country Champs in Graves Park on 25 January 1986
  • In the Worksop half Marathon on the 27 October current members (as of 2017) recorded the following times: Dave Beech 1:21:45; Roger Stevenson 1:22:32 (pb); Bill Locking 1:23:08; Alan Barnett 1:26:03; Alan Brook 1:26:43; Jean Locking 1:40:21; John Hunt 1:42:43; Norma Parkes 1:54:52 (pb); and Gerald de Vane 2:03:36

Men’s records: road

In 1985 at Morecambe, Bill Locking set a record of 1:00:58 in the MV over-55 category for 10 miles. This record still stood 38 years later in November 2023.

Boxing Day Fun Run Graves Park – 1985

January 1986

  • The general committee of the Amateur Athletic Association agreed in principle at their September meeting to allow a single advertising logo of no more than 50 sq cm on club vests
  • Striders staged the Yorks Cross Country Champs in Graves Park on 25 January

February 1986

  • Annual membership fees for 1986: seniors and new £6; junior members £2
  • Striders planning a British Coast run in 1987!
  • A reminder of the forthcoming Canal Relay Race on Sunday 25 May. At this stage the exact route wasn’t being revealed, but the start and finish will be on the Trent and Mersey Canal near Burton on Trent. A meeting to announce the teams and to provide more details will be held in April.

March 1986

  • Striders running sub committee, through Women’s Secretary Rachel Leonard, proposed that a low-key 5 km open race for women only be held around Norfolk Park
  • An article in this issue expressing reasons why women don’t run, i.e. housework, demands of a young family, amusement, ridicule and hostility from male partners, relatives, friends and neighbours
  • A report in this issue re: the staging by the Striders of the Yorks Cross Country Champs in Graves Park on the 25 January. The president of the Yorkshire Cross Country Association, Fred Lewin, commented that in his 31-year membership of the YCCA, this had been the best ever event!

April 1986

  • Plans to hold a jumble sale to raise money for club funds
  • Meeting planned to discuss the issue of fundraising for the club
  • Visits arranged to Whitbreads Exchange Brewery and Fletchers Bakery
  • The National Cross Country Championship this year was held at Newcastle. Nine Striders made the trip up North. Positions out of a finishing field of 1707 runners and finish times were:
  • 577 Rob Franklin 57-12
    603 Pete Wakefield 57-28
    906 Graeme Siddall 59-46
    1027 Mike Ingham 60-48
    1116 Laurie Parmenter 61-30
    1335 Roger Stevenson 63-40
    1368 Mick Derrick 64-20
    423 Trevor Brown 65-05
    1496 Rob Ashurst 66-15
  • Striders team finished 127th out of the 188 complete teams. A very good result against some of the best in the country! A very cold day with snow on the course. Rob Ashurst got off to a bad start when he lost a shoe which he eventually found.

May 1986

  • Striders News wins a competition held by Running Magazine for the Best Club Newsletter. First prize was a Minolta Photocopier.
  • Club member Mary Howarth to run the Lincolnshire 100K
  • The Canal Relay to be held on 25 May will be contested by three teams over a distance of approximately 75 miles around the Trent and Mersey Canal, Birmingham Canal Navigations and the Coventry Canal. The first team will start at 8:00 am from Fradley Junction, followed at 8:15 and 8:30 by the other two teams.

Published in Sheffield Star; Striders waiting for the coach in Paternoster Row to take us to the Amsterdam Marathon

June 1986

  • Striders Tote planned to boost club funds
  • Club member Rod Clark donates trophy awarded annually, to recognise the Young Strider to have earned recognition for their attitude, contribution and effort
  • Large contingent of Striders run at Harewood House near Leeds for the first event in the British Deaf Association Grand Prix series. The club was connected on many occasions with the Deaf Association by Ian Shepherd, later to become Chair of the club.

July 1986

  • Club announces a twinning partnership with a running club in the German city of Bochum. The club is called Langlaufgemeinschaft Opelaner E.V. This initiative proved to be a real success, with visits to and from Sheffield and Bochum. Many lasting friendships were made!

I am indebted to Pam and Ian Shepherd for the following information. The club involvement with our German friends forms a major part of the club history.

  • Sheffield’s twin city in Germany is Bochum and Pam had been involved with the official exchange visits from the start of 1980
  • This was with her language group at Rowlinson. In 1983 Ian was employed as a bus driver with South Yorkshire Transport and started to to plan a relay run from Sheffield to Bochum exchanging with bus drivers in Bochum. This relay took place in 1984.
  • When Ian returned and after discussions with a few fellow Striders, it was suggested that Striders should explore the possibility of arranging an official exchange with a running club in Bochum. This was agreed at the club’s 1985 AGM.
  • Pam and Ian then made contact with Sheffield City Council who said they would be prepared to acknowledge it as an official exchange if the initiative was forthcoming
  • Pam and Ian then spoke to their friends in Bochum who made enquiries with the runners they knew. This culminated with Pam and Ian visiting Bochum in the Spring of 1986 where they attended a meeting with representatives of Langlaufgemeinschaft Opelaner E.V., the running club of the Bochum-based Opel car factory. At this meeting, their Chairman Herbert Hahn went along with Pam and Ian’s proposal and a few days later the Bochum Town Hall acknowledged it as an official exchange and Ian along with Herbert went to Opel and signed a certificate ratifying the exchange.
  • In September 1986, 20 Opelaners came to Sheffield and took part in the Graves Park Chase. They were hosted by 14 Strider families.
  • The exchange lasted for 15 years, with both clubs hosting each other in alternating years
  • After the first exchange, the following exchanges all took place over the August Bank holiday weekend. The format of those weekends was a race followed by a party on the evening of the race day. Both Sheffield and the Bochum local authorities contributed a small donation towards the visits, usually a prize presented after the race.
  • Those races covered 5k fun runs,10k and half marathon distances. One year a yacht race was staged at Pinegrove. On a couple of years. Saxilby running club got involved by participating in our races at Rother Valley as well as organising a race in Saxilby.
  • One memorable event was the Derwent Dash, a 10-mile run around the Derwent and Howden Dams in Derbyshire
  • On the year that the club ran the relay and cycle to Bochum, Striders were hosted halfway in Germany by a running club at a village called Kalkar. One of the Opelaners had a friend who lived in the village. In future exchanges, Kalkar became involved both in Germany and Sheffield.
  • Over the years great friendships were formed, some which last to this day
  • Approximately 30 Striders and their families both hosted our German friends and visited Germany. Also numerous other Striders contributed to the success of the exchange by assisting in race organisation and fundraising.

Striders racing in Bochum, Germany

  • Also in the July 1986 issue was a report by Charlie Lees on the Canal Relay run on 25 May over the 75 miles of the Birmingham Ring. The event started and finished at Fradley Junction on the Trent and Mersey Canal and on to the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal, the Birmingham Canal Navigations, the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, the Coventry Canal and back to the start. First runner off was Les Eyre who set off to the first change over point towards Cannock Chase. Next leg and onwards by Dave Ashurst and Dave Wheatley to the Birmingham Conurbation and a change over point at Tipton Station, where Paul Thompson set off and was described as running both through and underneath Birmingham! The three teams were named the Argie Bargees – the winning team in 8:44:57 and a winning margin of 25:36 – with the Navigators in second place and the After Eights last, not helped by a malfunctioning starter motor on their support vehicle. Members of the winning team were John Evans, Alan Henshaw, Mick Lockwood, Steph Franklin, Wayne Farrell, Barry Wiles and Billy Kerr. No more info available re times and placings.

August 1986

  • Club member Mary Howarth becomes the first Strider to become a British National Champion, by winning the British National 100K Championship

September 1986

  • Club track meeting sees 21 races across all male and female age groups!

October 1986

  • Club membership now 388
  • Heavy demand for club kit
  • 91 Striders and 7 guests ran the club 10k

November 1986

  • An extensive 2-page report on the visit to Sheffield of our friends from Germany
  • Striders now running far and wide e.g. Tatton Park in Cheshire, Wakefield, Barnsley, Rockingham near Barnsley and Cleethorpes

December 1986

  • Club Tote now well established
  • Striders Juniors Time Trial results from the AAA/Esso Cross Country Award Scheme and the South Yorks Cross Country League indicate the continuing success and progress of Junior Striders

Junior Striders Christmas Party – 1986

4 years of Striders history and the foundations have been laid. Hard-working committee members, affiliation to running bodies, the creation of the club’s monthly newsletter, Striders News. A thriving social scene, training sessions organised, Junior Striders in the ascendancy, club races organised and members entering races both across this region and the UK and the three running disciplines of road, track and cross country all popular. The twinning partnership with our German friends from Bochum had become an instant success. Successive committee members have worked hard to establish the club.

Striders are now well and truly part of the social phenomenon that has landed on these shores. In Sheffield on any day of the week and at any time of the day can be seen folks out running, many of them being Steel City Striders.

A lot has happened in the 4 years of the clubs existence, the future beckoned and further reading of this club history will outline the ongoing development of a once small acorn growing towards being a mighty oak!!

Any organisation needs folks who are born leaders and individuals who drive initiatives forward. We were thankful that during these early years of the club, there was John Rothwell, Dave Ashurst, Keith Ibbotson and Ian Shepherd to guide the club through this period. They were assisted by too many to mention!

Women’s records

In 1986, Ruth Shield (women’s senior category) set a club 5-mile record still standing in November 2023, running the distance in 29:13 at Cambridge. She also ran a 1:01:43 10 miles at Bedford, 2:23.9 in the 800m at Copthall and 4:56.2 in the 1500m in the Southern Womens League. In the mile event at the West London Open Meeting she ran 5:22.1. At an unknown location she ran 10:29.1 for the 3000m.

January 1987

  • Club to hold a meeting to discuss possible involvement in the forthcoming South Yorks Track League after the interest shown in the discipline last year
  • Strider Roger Rowe reports on his run in the New York Marathon
  • Over 50 races advertised for the year, the majority of them within easy reach of club members, an indication of the growth in running events

February 1987

  • A review of the accounts for 1986 shows the club being financially stable. Striders has now changed from a small organisation into a well-established running club.
  • Members asked to show interest in the forthcoming half and full Benidorm Marathons
  • Seven Striders had competed in the Gateshead International McVitie’s Cross Country event

March 1987

  • A report of problems with the running surface at the Woodbourn Athletic Development Centre
  • A demonstration on self defence for ladies to be given by club member Jack Mitchell
  • Striders just completed its first year of membership to the Fell Runners Association
  • A proposal that the club offers life membership to first-claim club members who either represent their country or win a national title in open competition

April 1987

  • Junior Striders to cycle out in the Peak District from Parsley Hay
  • Day trip to Scarborough in September advertised for members to take part in the 6-mile road race
  • A cruise on the Peak Forest Canal aboard the Judith Mary advertised
  • An amusing article in the newsletter covering many associated running topics, issues in life that most folks in their pre-running days wouldn’t be concerned with:
    • Lady members frightening the male members with their increased standards
    • The increasing standards of Junior Striders, who poke fun at their “elderly” club colleagues
    • The obsession with training, deemed not to be good for anybody!
    • Striving for PBs instead of PWs (Personal Worsts)
    • Avoiding first aid support from over-enthusiastic St John’s Ambulance staff
    • The best-dressed club in South Yorkshire, attired in kit which is useless on a cold, rainy and miserable January day!
    • Running shoe obsession, what’s wrong with the old black pumps we all wore at school? Members are denying charity shops of income.
    • Shorts are too short, they should be ex Army & Navy stores or ex rugby union and fit 4 inches below the knees
    • Members are not wearing garters to support socks soaked whilst out in the rain
    • The choice of bin liners prior to the start of races is appalling. Liners still with waste food attached and no coloured designs.
    • Male members wearing ladies’ tights to keep warm, a disgusting practice!
    • Thanks to “Strider Sam” for some light-hearted comment!
  • Membership application by John Tollerfield accepted, a member who would become an outstanding competitor, setting many club records still in force 30 years later

John Tollerfield Road Race Champion – 1987

May 1987

  • John Rothwell is now the club’s first Coaching Officer
  • Striders to visit the club’s twin club in Bochum, West Germany in August

June 1987

  • After 18 months of planning following a suggestion by Mike Ingham and John Rothwell in 1985, the British Coast Relay Run had finally got under way on 9 April. Whist the team were in the Applecross area in North West Scotland on 21 April, club member Les Parkes tragically died aged 41. A devoted family man, with Norma his wife and two son’s, Glen and Neil. An all round friendly guy, much loved and respected, full of enthusiasm and encouragement. We remember his death with much sadness, a friend who left us with so many memories!!  36 days of hard running, finishing on the 14 May.
  • A meeting to announce the teams and provide details of the route of this year’s Canal Relay will be held at the Queens Tower Sports Club on 23 June

British Coast Relay Run – 1987

July 1987

  • Mary Howarth runs the Feltham Puffers 24-hour foot race, covering 101.5 miles

August 1987

  • A special general meeting of the club is announced to discuss the possibility of the club owning its own premises!
  • Mike Ingham, Striders News editor, is to step down and be replaced by Steve Beckett
  • 79 Striders run in the club’s Steel City Mile event

September/October 1987 – a joint issue

  • The SGM called to discuss the club owning its own premises led to a vote against the proposal
  • Newsletter production problems overcome. Striders News carries on!
  • Sub-committee formed to organise the club’s twinning arrangement with Opelaner E.V.  Ian and Pam Shepherd agreed to coordinate.
  • This year’s canal relay was held on 19 July along a 77-mile length of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal from Wigan to Bingley. A lengthy report by an unnamed member in this issue which I have somewhat edited, but the important information is included!
    • This year produced the closest finish yet in the event’s 3 years history
    • Team captains were Peter Wakefield (Towpath Trotters Neopolitana) with members Billy Kerr, Don Bond, Christine Hall, Mary Howarth, Luigi Cazzato and Ken Richardson; Mick Lockwood (Top of the Locks) with members Steve Beckett, Phil Samuels, Barry Wiles, Roy Bradshaw, Barbara Holmshaw and Alan Henshaw; John Rothwell (Flowers Flyers) with Graeme Siddall, Bob Franklin, Sue Flowers, Reg Creaser, Richard Taylor, George Appleby and Bob Marlow. Referee for the day was Mike Ingham, who suffered afterwards with a bout of leg-pulling as he had commented that he once stood on Wigan Pier.
    • Reading the report gives a story of an exciting day with an ever-changing sequence of team placings together with various mishaps (Barbara Holmshaw stood at the wrong changeover location, John Rothwell complaining that a bicycle had been used in assisting navigation, Mary Howarth sustaining an injury which meant her pulling out, the Top of the Locks minibus arriving a the incorrect change over location…)
    • Some sarcastic but possibly true comments e.g. it was clear the Towpath Trotters Neopolitana had no pre-plan, just changing runners when they felt like it, Top of the Locks rearranging their schedule
    • Winning team was Towpath Trotters Neopolitana in 9:05:24. Second team was Top of the Locks in 9:06:19, just 55 secs dividing the top two after 77 miles. Flowers Flyers finished in 9:08:37.
    • The organisers finished as they had started, cooking beef stew on Mike Ingham’s calor gas stove

November 1987

  • An extremely well-attended floodlit track meeting at Woodbourn Road with races varying in distance from 60 to 5000 metres
  • News of a possible trip to the indoor track at RAF Cosford near Wolverhampton

December 1987

  • Club member John Hunt organises accommodation in London for Striders running in the 1988 London Marathon together with their family and friends
  • John Kerr, who would become an outstanding performer in club colours, became a member
  • Committee minutes in 1987 contained much discussion about problems associated with runners of other clubs wanting to join Striders, existing members failing to pay subs, members failing to respond and the work involved by the membership secretary in solving the problems arising

Men’s records: road

In the 100km event at Lincoln Malcolm Hadfield set a club record of 9:19:13 The record still stands in November 2023. Also in that event, Preston Grundy set a record in the MV over-45 category of 10:36:00. Dave Bonnington set a club record for the marathon at London 2:34:36. 

Men’s records: track and field

At Woodbourn Stadium, Rob Ashurst, Andy Oxley, Barry Keight and Dave Ashurst set a club record of 3:53.0 in the 4x400m relay in the senior category.

January 1988

  • An article about the staging of the World Student Games in Sheffield which were due to take place in 1991
  • Three Senior Men had run sub 2:40 marathon times in 1987

February 1988

  • New club Chairman John Rothwell gives thanks for the work done by retiring Chairman Ian Shepherd
  • Three Striders, at the invitation of South Yorks Orienteers, take part in an event in Beeley Woods
  • Numbers in excess of 70 run from the Queens Tower venue on a Monday evening

March 1988

  • In pre-electronic delivery days, a report on the problems associated with the distribution of the club magazine
  • A Striders Ladies team for the first time had taken part in a major cross-country championship, the Northern Women’s at Nunroyd Park, Yeadon near Leeds
  • Five Junior Striders picked for the Sheffield schools cross-country squad

April 1988

  • Rob and Dave Ashurst replace John Moore as joint editors of Striders News
  • Dave Ashurst resigns as Secretary, with Mike Ingham taking over and taking on a dual role with his position of Treasurer
  • Increased club participation in track and field athletics leads to the compilation of 20 forthcoming track meetings in this issue
  • A full and detailed article appears regarding the British Olympic Appeal Day on the 15 May in Graves Park. This is both a fundraising event for the Olympic team and an encouragement for people to get involved in the world of athletics.
  • This year’s Canal Relay will take place on Sunday 14 August. The event will start at Stourport on Severn where the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal leaves the River Severn, and run to the terminus of the Caldon Canal at Froghall near Leek in Staffordshire.

May 1988

  • Details of the recently introduced club family membership are given in this issue
  • A new race on the club calendar, the 10-mile Derwent Dash around the Derwent and Howden reservoirs. This race is in conjunction with the visit of our twin running club from Bochum.

June 1988

  • On Wednesday 27 April before the South Yorks Road Race League fixture at Loxley, club member George Maynard had died suddenly. A quiet and well-liked guy who had only been running for 2 years, showing continuing improvement on the way.
  • Discussions underway with Birley Squash Club for use as a club training venue
  • The following club members expressed a wish to run in this year’s Canal Relay: George Appleby, Roy Bradshaw, Christine Hall, Helen Lindley, Reg Creaser, P. Revill, Barbara Holmshaw, Malc Hadfield, John Taylor, Richard Taylor, Doug Thompson, S. Kirby, Matt Surgeon, Stewart Robinson, Pete Morris and Mary Howarth

July 1988

  • Comments of praise and thanks from fellow athletes, Sheffield Lions Club, National & Provincial Building Society and the Lord Mayor for the clubs participation in the Olympic Appeal Day
  • Birley Squash Club recognised as a club venue on Monday evenings

August 1988

  • John Hunt stands down as club Social Secretary, Sandra Page takes his place
  • 96 Striders take part in the full and half Sheffield Marathon
  • Running Magazine asks the club to stage a family fun day, promoting the idea that running benefits participation in all sports. Sponsorship raised on the day will benefit heart research.

Sheffield Marathon Fundraising – 1988

Canal Relay, 14 August 1988

I am indeed fortunate in receiving an article from Mike Ingham re this event, a guy whose love for the club together with his quality of organisation knew no bounds. No apologies about its length, it’s a story of a well-remembered day. The Relay was 82 miles between Stourport and Froghall.
Winning team (team name not known) members were Helen Lindley, Christine Hall, Steve Kirby, Bob Marlow, George Siddons, Earnest Swift, Matthew Surgeon and Pete Wakefield. The winning time was 9:54:09 with a winning margin of 10 seconds.

Our team arrived early and we waited around for the other teams to arrive.

The teams were to set off in 10- to 15-minute intervals but of course every team had to be there together despite a further wait for the off. As there was time to pass while waiting, there was a little light banter in addition to the serious business of winning the Relay. We had discussed in advance of the start the optimum distance for each runner and the baton changeover points.
After all, the teams did know the canals to run along.

One thing that hadn’t been discussed – by our team at least – was the running order. I remember the referees, John Rothwell and Dave Ashurst, being there to hand out the batons. Beautiful aluminium batons as used in track athletics. Thing was, who was our first runner ? We quickly decided that the best option was for the quicker runners to go first to “get some in” even though it was a staggered start.

As you might expect, the shiny aluminium baton was passed around the team to give a feel for size and weight to be carried. Our troubles started there, as the baton states “Only these know the Real Story” so I will not name names to save embarrassment even though this is written over 30 years later. One member of the team decided that the aluminium baton was so light that it would probably float on water. Before anyone could say “No”, the baton was gently and lightly placed on the waters surface of the York Street Lock, the first lock on the Staffordshire & Worcester Canal. Of course batons by design are hollow despite their light weight and it soon filled with water and before anyone could grab it, it quickly sank to the bottom of the lock, probably some 15 or 20 feet below. That’s where the twig / stick / branch in the mounted case comes into the story. There was a mad scramble around for anything that the team could carry and after the snap from a tree along with a tidy up of excess-to-requirement wood, a baton was produced, and it worked admirably too.

Our team set off courtesy of Graeme Siddall, the quickest runner in the team. Following Graeme was the next quickest runner and so on until we did indeed build up a handsome lead: 30 minutes in fact, and in a very quick time. The referees were giving details at certain checkpoints along the way. What was there to lose ? We only had to maintain the lead and never mind that, we could actually extend it, but disaster was to strike.

Canals by design have towpaths that “ run out “ into dead ends. Anyone running from the Sheffield Canal Basin to Tinsley will know this for sure and that at certain points the opposite tow path has to be taken by means of crossing bridges. Fine in Sheffield but in the Midlands the crossings were an unknown. A number of times runners were caught out and had to backtrack to the last bridge to cross over, wasting precious time. In one place in particular, both tow paths ran out as the canal continued through a tunnel below ground to be joined up later by means of running along roads, paths and fields. That was a difficult time trying to work out the correct way to run.

There were scenes of panic not knowing which way to go but fortunately other runners were making their way in reverse order to meet the forward runner and guide the way to the other side of the tunnel and a changeover point. I remember well as I was the forward runner panicking. Was I going the right way? Would I run past the change over point? It was stressful but fortunately I eventually did see team members in the distance guiding the way.

This tunnel with no paths to follow and in need of finding a way round posed no problem for Les Eyre. He was on the wrong side for the cross-country run but instead of retracing his steps to the last bridge, knowing his team couldn’t lose any more time, he jumped in the canal and swam across. Foolhardy, probably.

The canal was very polluted and actually looked brown due to the waste deposited by the Potteries industry. In addition canals are home to rats long with the diseases they carry.
Not nice at all!

While our team was OK with the tunnel crossing, we had woes of our own and the story of the 10-second defeat begins now. As mentioned earlier, we had run up a handsome lead so returning to a previous bridge to cross was not a problem. In order to grab defeat from the jaws of victory we sent off a runner on an easy leg. That runner made the simplest of mistakes. OK, multi-crossings were giving problems but this runner made the error of all errors. Instead of retracing steps to the previous bridge the runner took it upon himself to run INLAND! After some considerable time inland and no water in sight, the runner eventually realised the error and re traced back to the canal. At that point returning to the previous bridge was now the obvious choice. Trouble was, all our lead and more had gone.

At the next change over there came a full team committee meeting. At first everything went very quiet and thoughts of whether to just give in and run to defeat were soon dismissed.

It soon became apparent that with pent up anger (OK lets be kinder and say frustration)
and the flowing adrenaline, we were going like hell changing more often to fresh legs. The attitude was “we can still win”. So off we went running like crazy. Now I hear you ask:
who was that misplaced runner? Lets think back to the beginning. Hmmm, who sank the proper aluminium baton? Yes, the same person!

We knew time lost was being recovered thanks to the referees’ checkpoint updates and it wasn’t too long before we were sure that we could still win this race. The finish line was getting ever nearer and we were so confident that we had pulled back the lost time we were pretty much celebrating at the end. Even the referees were sure we had done it so we sat back waiting for the others to arrive and check in with their times. Celebration turned to horror when with all the times in the referees came to have a quiet word: “Sorry guys but you have just lost the relay by 10 seconds.” “It’s a joke right?!!!” No, the faces told a different story. “Yes, you have lost by 10 seconds.”

Obviously a recount was ordered but the referees stood firm. From then on I can’t remember who actually won nor what had happened after that. Was there a presentation? Don’t know. What did we do afterwards? Don’t know. What happened on the way home? Don’t know. It’s amazing how the mind went blank over something as tiny as 10 seconds. That’s competition I guess and its a lonely place when it wasn’t just defeat, but the way it happened.

Undaunted though I knew in my heart that I had to make a stance in order to remember the defeat. The other runners handed in their official batons but I decided to hang on to our branch.
My mind was still sharp enough to think of a type of memorial to our defeat. I knew just how to do this as my father-in-law was a Pattern Maker at the once famous steel works Edgar Allens all his working life and if anyone could do this it was him. I gave my thoughts to him and he went away with his tools, pieces of wood and even had the glass front of a case cut to the size of his handy woodwork. He coloured and varnished our twig / stick / branch and mounted it in the wooden case with a block at the bottom in order to have the engraved plaque fixed in place to remember that day. Since then I have proudly had it on display at home.

THE BATON to honour the heroes who lost a race that took all day to complete but ended in defeat, begrudgingly by 10 seconds.

Sadly my father-in-law died in 2018 at the age of 94 and I am grateful to the work he put into the finished article. I have told Roger Stevenson the author of the club history that one day it will belong to the Steel City Striders in their archive when I fall off my perch. I hope that this story, a true one, will show “Striders” how we all fell in love with running and what marvellous things can be achieved by great bunch of people.

September 1988

  • Concern in this issue of the lack of response from members on the state of training venues used and the training provided by the club!! Removal of two venues from the club’s information sheet brought about some strongly worded responses
  • News of the club’s intention to stage the Northern Cross Country in Graves Park in 1989

October 1988

  • Club member Bob Marlow in talks with the Sheffield Transport club at Meadowhead concerning the club training night on Wednesdays being transferred to that venue
  • A group of Striders travelled a fair distance north to attend the Barrow & Furness AC Open Track and Field meeting
  • Strider Mary Howarth runs the Preston International 24-hour race, covering 109.75 miles
  • Discussions ongoing regarding recent criticism towards the Committee

November 1988

  • Comment that the Bochum exchange weekend had been a great success
  • 86 runners in the 10-mile Derwent Dash and 52 ran the 3-mile fun run
  • 47 Junior Striders gained awards in the AAA/ESSO Track award scheme
  • 475 members in the club this month
  • Confirmation that Striders will host the Northern Cross Country Championships in Graves Park in January

December 1988

  • Jean Locking awarded Honorary Life Membership in recognition of becoming British Over-50 10k champion
  • In the 100m at Woodbourn Stadium, Sarah Barnard and Sue Bragger set a record of 13.9 seconds

Jean Locking awarded life membership in 1988

Men’s records – track and field

  • In 1988 at Woodbourn Stadium, Martin Evans and Phil Murray both set the same record of 2:03.5 in the 800m.

Women’s records – track and field

  • Sue Bragger, veterans category, ran 1:06.2 in the 400m at Woodbourn Road
  • Also at Woodbourn Road, Rachel Leonard, veterans category, ran 5:04.4 in the 1500m, 5:28.2 in the mile and 18:45:00 in the 5000m
  • Rachel Leonard ran 2:29.7 in the 800m at Cudworth
  • In the 100m at Woodbourn, Sarah Barnard, senior category, and Sue Bragger, veterans category, ran 13.9 seconds in the 100m

January 1989

  • Sunday morning training runs commenced from the SWFC club gymnasium
  • Race reports on the Buckstone Biathlon, a combination of running and cycling, starting and finishing at Redmires reservoir. The race went beyond Stanage Pole to the Buckstone below Stanage Edge and back
  • 45 Striders ran the Worksop half marathon
  • Suggested establishment of Standing Instructions and Guidelines

February 1989

  • What turned out to be a memorable day on 14 January last was the hosting by Striders in Graves Park of the Northern Cross Country Championships
  • Striders Veteran Ladies Rachel Leonard, Claire Piddington and Sally Wakefield took the Silver medals in the Yorkshire Veterans Cross Country Champs at Thirsk. These were the first county medals to be won by Striders. Rachel, Claire and Sally were well supported by Mary Howarth, Chris Hall, Sheena Woodhead and Norma Parkes.

March 1989

  • The first organised cycle ride for club members was to take place on 2 April
  • Adidas became involved in a series of mid-week road races. Two events (5k and 10k) were to be held in Sheffield city centre
  • In celebration of the 100 years of the Yorkshire Cross Country Association, a dinner was held at the Griffin Hotel in Leeds. Striders were represented by Roger Stevenson, Dave and Rob Ashurst and Graeme Siddall
  • 17 area track fixtures advertised with events at Woodbourn Road, Cudworth and Rockingham
  • Further agreement by the committee with reference to the club paying entry fees and transport costs where members run as part of a team. Decisions regarding this issue had been taken by the committee in 1987.
  • Four Junior Striders represented the club at county level
  • A report prepared on the feasibility of the club hosting the National Cross Country Champs in Graves Park. It was concluded the location was not suitable!

April 1989

  • Striders Senior Men win the South Yorkshire Cross Country Champs at Herringthorpe Valley Park in Rotherham. Pete Wakefield, Dave Bonnington, Andrew Wilkinson and John Lindley were the club’s four lead runners who won the title.
  • Another addition to the busy social life for club members, a 12 mile ramble starting and finishing at Longshaw
  • The fifth staging of the Canal Relay will take place this year on Sunday 13 August from Whaley Bridge on the Peak Forest Canal to Stenson Marina on the Trent & Mersey Canal

May 1989

  • A bumper issue of Striders News: 32 pages, a reflection of the very good health the club found itself in!
  • Club membership was 507
  • Strider John Tollerfield placed fourth in the Sheffield 10k Easter Road Race with a time of 32:29
  • A new trophy, the George Maynard Trophy, presented by the wife of the late George Maynard, will be awarded annually to the fastest under-11 Junior Strider over 100m at one of the club track meetings

June 1989

  • Strider Billy Kerr runs the Dubai half marathon in temperatures around 80ºF in 1:18:31
  • A team of male Striders took part in the Manchester to Blackpool road relay, resurrected after 25 years. They were placed 10th out of 47 clubs competing.
  • Strider Roger Rowe runs the London marathon in 2:38:12
  • Club money to be invested in a Building Society account

July 1989

  • Striders News editor Dave Ashurst gives news of his departure, not from the club but from his editorial duties. He was about to become the manager of Runnercare on Arundel Gate.
  • Mary Howarth and Christine Hall had run the Feltham Puffers 24-hour race in May. Mary ran 84 miles and Chris 72 miles.
  • Striders men were the 5-mile South Yorkshire Road League champions
  • This year’s Canal Relay cancelled due lack of support

Steel City 10k – Redmires 1989

August 1989

  • An enjoyable day out for the club, with members competing in the Filey cliff race. Pete Wakefield, Graeme Siddall and Alan Barnett were the men’s team winners.
  • Numerous reports of fell races were an indication of the growing popularity of this running discipline for club members
  • A late report on the 1988 Canal Relay, author unknown! A somewhat unusual contribution in that it was likened to excerpts from the Holy Bible! An unfortunate occurrence was the loss of a relay baton into the depths of the canal, via the slippery hands of one who shall remain nameless. Amends made by the production of a piece of wood to use as a baton. This baton had no magical qualities, since one of the teams went well off-course. All was well in the end, even though the relay was won by the narrowest of margins in controversial circumstances. The teams of course adjourned to the pub.

September 1989

  • News in the July issue of the cancellation of the Canal Relay from Whaley Bridge to Stenson Marina was unfounded, with the event taking place on 13 August. The relay was reported with a number of articles from members competing.
    • Antony Appleby, a Back of Beyond team member, was less than impressed about his 5:30 am start from home
    • Sorrow (or was it sarcasm?) expressed at Neil Parkes having to run through a monsoon and Les Eyre for whatever reason swimming across one of the canals
    • Pete Morris with his Whaley Comets team described the different scenery encountered, together with the varying weather conditions on the route.
    • Details given of the diversion around the 2926-yard long (and towpathless) Harecastle Tunnel
    • Praise for the drivers of the support vehicles on the day who ventured down lanes where others would have turned back
    • John Moore’s team the Time Bandits bagged two runners at the last hour and then lost another runner on the day through injury. They eventually came second, only losing first to Whaley Comets by 12 minutes over 90 miles of running.
    • No report in this issue from the “no name” team
    • Some favourable comments from Reg Arundel thanking the organisers of the event, saying what a great experience it had been with the sense of camaraderie and the desire to win making the adrenaline flow
  • A party of 50, including Striders, their family and friends took part in the fourth exchange visit with Striders’ twinned club Langlaufgemeinschait Opelaner e.V, this time to Bochum.
  • 23 races took place at the Striders track meeting at Woodbourn Road.

October 1989

  • Pete Wakefield won the Rund Um Die Burg Blankeinstein race in West Germany whilst with the Striders party on the exchange visit to our twin club
  • 50 Striders and 10 guest runners competed in the 10-mile Derwent Dash, won by Iain Darley in 56:26. 31 runners competed in the fun run, won by Mark Johnson.
  • The thirdrd club cycle ride of the year went out to Clumber Park

November 1989

  • John Rothwell steps down as the coordinator of Junior Striders
  • Club membership is 496
  • Norma Parkes steps down from her work in ordering and distributing club kit
  • Thought provoking comments within a letter in Striders News from John Tollerfield:
    • Poor turnout of club members in local races, especially a recent fell race
    • Members inferring that our club was a poor choice to join with reference to other area clubs
    • Surprise at comments about training sessions being too fast
    • Consider those who wish to improve by increasing mileage and intensity, and formation of groups committed to improvement, the club must have direction that is in a forward manner
  • Results of the club’s field event champs. In which 13 men and 6 ladies took part.  The disciplines were high jump, shot putt, long jump, javelin, triple jump and discus.

December 1989

  • Comments in this issue relating to the difficulty and the workload whilst organising the distribution of Striders News can be appreciated today (2019) 30 years later when we live in this electronic world
  • A well remembered shop opened on Attercliffe Road: “Keep on Running”. A location much visited by Striders in later years.

Men’s records – track and field

  • Pete Wakefield, veterans category, set new records for the 1500m (4:12.7) and the mile (4:32.2) at Woodbourn Stadium
  • Phil Murray, senior category, set a new record for 4:11.0 for the 1500m and 8:54.5 for the 3000m at Woodbourn Stadium. He also set a new record for the 10k, of 32:17.8, on the same track.
  • Rob Ashurst, senior category, set a new record of 54.8s for the 400m at Woodbourn Stadium; veteran Rod Pritchard set a record of 56.5s
  • In the 110m hurdles, Mark Johnson set a new record of 19.6s at Woodbourn Stadium. He also set a new record for the long jump – 5.57m – at the same venue.
  • In the shot putt at Woodbourn Stadium, veteran Steve Ludlow set a record of 8.86m
  • Martin Evans and Phil Murray both equalled their 1988 record of 2:03.5 in the 800m
  • Veteran John Gregory threw the discus 17.58m and the javelin 29.72m

Men’s records – road

  • In the Michelin 10-mile event (location not known), Pete Wakefield set a club record of 53:18
  • In Glasgow, veteran Dave Campbell set a record of 2:02.12 in the 800m

Women’s records – track and field

  • At Woodbourn Stadium, Sue Bragger set a record of 29.4 in the 200m
  • Kirsty Eyre set a record of 1.20m in the high jump at Woodbourn Stadium
  • In the discus at Woodbourn Stadium, Sandra Page set a record of 14.94m
  • In the javelin at Woodbourn Stadium, Christine Hall set a record of 8.74m
  • In the shot putt at the same venue, Deborah Taylor set a record of 5.6m
  • Also at Woodbourn, Kirsty Eyre rand 48:41.5 in the 10k

January 1990

  • Striders compete in a AAA track meeting at Cosford
  • Another visit planned to Sheffield in August by our running friends in Germany

February 1990

  • A motion proposed at the AGM in March to change the club name to “Athletic Club” was defeated
  • Club member Pete Wakefield had become Yorkshire Vets over-50 Cross Country Champion at York on 14 January
  • Striders Ladies’ team claimed the silver medal at this event in their 5K race
  • Training runs in Derbyshire titled Sunday Specials were to commence in April
  • Resignation of Dave Ashurst announced, a member noted for his past work in driving the club forward
  • 3 Striders competed in the Rawmarsh 5.5-mile road race on the morning of 1 January. No mention of what time they had gone to bed the night before.
  • The possibility of the club purchasing its own computer was discussed

1990 Annual General Meeting

  • The 1990 AGM was somewhat explosive, with resignations following, and because of situations discussed there began a decline in both Junior Striders and the Track and Field sections of the club. Comment had been passed that “T&F” was never taken seriously and the move to change the name to “Athletic Club”, a Committee-sponsored motion, was defeated after some adverse comments were made between members during the debate.
  • Comments made with reference to the Junior section were not well received and as a result Janet Rothwell (a qualified throws coach) resigned. A number of Juniors followed as did John Rothwell who carried on his intense involvement in coaching with Sheffield AC.
  • We can reflect and wonder upon the future direction of Striders if that meeting had been a dull affair with no contentious issues raised
  • After the meeting, only 7 members were left on the committee to carry the club through the year. Co-opted officers were appointed to help with the club administration.
  • Arguments and differences of opinion are a sometime feature within every organisation and Striders are no different. The club moved on with the help as usual of some very dedicated folks. 27 years later the club thrives, onwards and upwards!!

Junior Striders – 1990

March 1990

  • 2 club stalwarts and founder members, Janet and John Rothwell, have announced they are leaving the club
  • 54 members ran in the Barnsley TUC Classic 10k
  • Concern expressed in a letter re the fact that the club committee is down to 7 members

April 1990

  • Hathersage Triathlon advertised: 800m swim, 18-mile bike ride and 6 mile run
  • Ron Hill, one of the UK’s greatest runners, is to give a talk at the Pinegrove Country Club
  • South Yorkshire Cross Country Champs, held at Stradbroke College. A successful day with Striders’ girls’ team in 3rd place, boys’ team in 3rd place, youths’ team winners, ladies in 3rd place, senior men in 3rd place and veteran men winners.
  • Club member Steve Ludlow was on the way to recovering from his recent fall while trying to freefall off a roof rather than using the ladder!
  • This year’s Canal Relay to take place on Sunday 17 June

May 1990

  • Mary Howarth sets new ladies’ marathon club record of 3:15:45
  • Club track meeting on 6 of April consisted of 32 races
  • Club to organise a Ladies’ 5k road race at Redmires
  • Over 1000 compete in the Sheffield 10k road race
  • Strider Ian Darley runs the London Marathon in 2:36:20
  • Concern expressed at the lack of help forthcoming to assist in the running of the club
  • Club appoints a Press Officer, Graeme Siddall

Womens 5k – Redmires 1990

June 1990

  • John Gregory becomes first Strider to win the Hallam Chase, said to be the oldest race of its type in the world, first run in 1862! Club member Mick Derrick finishes in 2nd place.
  • A report in this issue of the Ron Hill evening at Pinegrove and a summary of his running achievements. What an incredible read!
  • Striders ladies won the team prize in the Manchester to Blackpool relay!!
  • Resignation of Ken Richardson, one of the club’s founder members
  • Disappointing news: the Canal Relay planned for 17 June has been cancelled due to lack of support

Manchester to Blackpool Ladies Relay winners – 1990

The Canal Relay Story

As you will have read earlier in this history, 5 Canal Relays took place between 1985 and 1989.

The relay concept was due to club stalwart John Rothwell, who organised each one as well as designing badges for the winners, with a lock gate design. Dave Ashurst and others were closely involved. On reflection these events were an amazing part of the club history.

Different areas discovered, keen competition, camaraderie established, a never-to-be-forgotten time for those involved. All reasons for the extensive coverage of those events.

July 1990

  • Mary Howarth runs the UK 100k champs race at Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham in 9:45:00
  • Christine Hall runs the Doncaster 24-hour track race and covers 107 miles
  • John Tollerfield wins the Stainforth 10 mile, Rotherham Advertiser 10k and the Sheffield Half Marathon, in which John Kerr was 1st male vet and Rachel Leonard was 2nd lady

August 1990

  • The Bochum exchange visit will involve a “yacht race” in which the distance and route remain a closely guarded secret until 45 mins before the race starts. At this point, the runners inform the timekeeper of how long it will take them. Runners must then start without wearing a watch! At the finish the winners in each category are those finishing the nearest to their estimated time.
  • 37 Striders complete the Sheffield Full Marathon

Junior Striders Coaches – 1990

September 1990

  • An excellent turnout of 60 runners in the “Yacht Race” and 34 runners in the Fun Run organised for the visit of our friends from Germany
  • The Striders-organised Ladies 5k race at Redmires attracts 72 entries, of which 25 were Striders
  • A volunteer registration form for the 1991 World Student Games appears in this issue

October 1990

  • 65 runners in the Derwent Dash won by Pete Wakefield in 54:54. Jayne Allot was first lady in 63:59. 21 in the fun Run won by D. Stamp. This event was first run in 1988.
  • John Tollerfield wins the Prince of Wales half marathon in 1:09:49. 65 Striders finished.
  • Mary Howarth ran the Bolton 40-mile event in 5:39:44, taking 2nd place.
  • 5 Striders took part in the Sheffield Triathlon. Dave Gledhill, Christine Milton, Stephen Watson, Anne Maskrey and Roger Stevenson.

November 1990

  • 1st appearance of the 18.5 mile Totley Terminator, later renamed the Exterminator
  • An article appeared in this issue penned by Strider Bill Aukland, a Sheffield Star reporter. He had completed the Sheffield half marathon and gained help near the finish in Hillsborough Park with the sight of a plunging vest of a lady hanging over the spectator barrier.
  • Christine Hall and Mary Howarth became British 24-hour record holders with a combined team total of 219 miles. Mary ran 112 miles and Christine 107.
  • Striders membership is 444

December 1990

  • The club social scene is well advertised: 3 Christmas training runs, Gents’ Christmas night out and a Ladies’ Christmas night out
  • The increased fragmentation of the club and the decrease in participation of members in club events has led to discussion around the establishment of a central base for the club

Men’s records – track and field

  • John Tollerfield, on the track at Rotherham, set a new record for the 5000m of 15:01.9
  • Senior male John Wilkinson set a new record for the 400m hurdles of 1:02.8, running at Woodbourn
  • Phil Murray set a new record for the high jump of 1.60m at Rotherham
  • Veteran Trevor Brown achieved 9.26m in the triple jump
  • In the 4x100m relay at Rotherham, S. Wales, P. Plumtree, J. Wilkinson and P. Swinburn set a record of 46.3s
  • Veteran Pete Wakefield ran 9:00.0 for 3000m and 15:37.2 for 5000m
  • Phil Murray ran 8:54.5 for 3000m and 4:34.6 for the mile
  • Veteran Chris Stamp ran 35:51.4 for 10000m and 11:47.5 in the 3000m steeplechase

Men’s records – road

  • John Tollerfield in 1990 set the following OVERALL club records, running in the Senior Men category:
    • 24:43 in the 5-mile event at Armthorpe
    • 49:49 in the 10-mile event Stainforth
    • 30:35 in the Leeds 10k
    • 1:07:39 in the half marathon at Rotherham
    • 1:17:47 in the 15-mile event at Holmfirth
    • 1:4:42 in the 20-mile event at Stafford
  • In the 10K event at Leeds in 1990, Pete Wakefield set a club record in the Male Vet over-40 category of 32:12; in the Half Marathon at Stafford he set a club record of 1:10:48

Women’s records – track and field

  • At Woodbourn, Natalie Morris (Junior) equalled the club record for 200m in 29.4s. In the long jump she cleared 3.98m.

Women’s records – road

  • Mary Howarth set the following records:
    • In the 100k event at Nottingham, an overall record of 9:45:00
    • In the 20-mile event at Ashby, 2:19:27 in the FV over-35 category
  • In the Wombwell 5-mile event, Carol Moore set a record of 29:50 in the FV over-40 category; also in that category, she set a record of 39:03 in the 10k at Rotherham
  • Mary Picksley set a record of 1:46:00 at Holmfirth in the FV over-40 Cat

January 1991

  • The club welcomes its 1000th member, Julia Gash
  • 1st mention ever in Striders News of Orienteering!

February 1991

  • Full-page advertisements requesting volunteers for the World Student Games and a booking form for tickets for the event
  • Striders Ladies become Yorkshire Vets’ Cross Country Champs at Thornes Park, Wakefield. Carol Moore, Christine Milton and Rachel Leonard were our scorers, supported by Mary Howarth, Helen Lindley, Claire Von Anrep, Sheena Woodhead and Sandra Page.

March 1991

  • Striders volunteer to set up a drinks station on the route of the Sheffield Marathon. The race incorporates the World Student Games Marathon.
  • Committee charged at the AGM to examine the establishment of a central venue for the club
  • Venue representatives introduced, club members who will be a point of contact at Queens Tower, Birley, Rowlinson, Pinegrove and Hillsborough

April 1991

  • Strider Mary Howarth has her entry accepted to run in the Everest Marathon
  • This year’s Canal Relay will be on Sunday 23 June

May 1991

  • Special General Meeting called at the Victoria Hall on Norfolk Street, at which the committee will recommend that Queens Tower becomes the administrative centre of the club. The meeting will give members the opportunity to debate the situation.
  • Ian Shepherd takes on the role of Club Press Officer
  • Mary Howarth and Christine Hall compete in the Darlington Interprint 12-hour track event. Mary ran 66 miles and Chris 65 miles.

Mary Haworth – Women’s 5k – Redmires 1991

June 1991

  • Rod Clark, Striders’ oldest member, is made an Honorary life member of the club in recognition of his victory in the British Indoor Long Jump Championship for his age group at the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow
  • Mary Howarth is best placed lady in the Doncaster 24-hour race, running 114 miles. Chris Hall ran 92 miles.
  • The club is to run a drinks station in this year’s Sheffield Marathon
  • Striders have now adopted Queens Tower as the administrative centre of the club after a motion was passed at the Special General meeting on 21 May

July 1991

  • Striders News not produced!

August 1991

  • Sara Watkinson confirmed her ranking as Sheffield’s number one by completing a sprint double, 100m and 200m, in the Junior Girls age group at the Sheffield Schools Track & Field Champs at Woodbourn Stadium
  • Resignation announced of Keith Ibbotson, Striders’ first Chairman and founder member of the club and a very accomplished runner
  • Anne Wilkinson 1st lady in the Blackamoor Chase
  • Another disappointment after last year’s cancellation was again the news that through lack of response the Canal Relay did not take place in June

September 1991

  • This edition contains a 4-page advertisement for the Marlow Group Limited, a company owned by club member Bob Marlow who was generous in his sponsorship directed towards encouraging participation in cross country events. Bob also supplied the club with a new tent.
  • 100 (93 Striders) ladies competed in the Striders-organised Ladies’ 5k at Redmires

October 1991

  • Striders Christine Milton and Dave Gledhill are to take part in the World Triathlon Championships in Queensland, Australia
  • Strider Jenny Blizard wins the Yorkshire and Humberside Women’s Triathlon Championship and is runner-up in the British Youth Triathlon Women’s Championships

November 1991

  • Strider Anne Watson is first lady in Chesterfield Half Marathon
  • The Bochum Exchange Group raise funds through jumble sales
  • Event planning in progress to celebrate the club’s 10th anniversary. A mixture of running disciplines with events on 6 consecutive days.
  • Junior members compete on the track at Cosford and Birmingham
  • Striders compete in the Leeds Country Way Relay

Leeds Country Way Relay – 1991

December 1991

  • The 100th edition of the club magazine
  • Club Christmas Dinner and Disco will be held at the YMCA Shaftesbury Suite, Broomhall Road
  • Numerous forms of club kit now available: tracksuit tops, sweatshirts, T-shirts (long & short sleeve), men’s vests and shorts, ladies’ vests and shorts, Viloft tops, racksters, hooded tops

1991 was a good year for record breaking, with the below records still standing in November 2023.

Men’s records – road

  • In the 5-mile event at Maltby, Pete Wakefield set a club record in the male vet over-40 category of 26:13

Men’s records – track and field

  • At Woodbourn Road, Phil Murray set a record in the 3000m steeplechase of 9:55:00 and John Wilkinson (senior category) ran the 200m in 24.1s
  • At Grimsby, Paul Swinburn (senior category) ran the 100m in 11.6s
  • At Woodbourn Road, Trevor Brown (veterans category) set a record height of 1.31m in the high jump. At the same venue, Julian Grant (senior category) set records of 11.57m in the triple jump, 30.32m in the discus and 3.10m in the pole vault.
  • At Grimsby, Julian Grant achieved 8.80m in the shot put and 3.10m in the pole vault
  • Back at Woodbourn Road, Mick Wall (veterans category) recorded 5.00m in the long jump. In the hammer, Simon Woodhouse (senior category) recorded 20.62m.
  • At Cudworth, Simon Woodhouse threw the javelin 43.04m and on the track, Pete Wakefield, Alan Mitchell, Martin Sunderland and Barry Keight (all veterans category) ran 54.3s in the 4x100m relay

Women’s records – road

  • In the 15-mile race at Holmfirth, Anne Watson ran 1:37:55

Women’s records – track and field

  • At Woodbourn Road, Diana Starno (veterans category) cleared 1.25m in the high jump

January 1992

  • Worthy of mention is the Rod Clark trophy. Rod was Striders’ oldest member. The trophy was awarded by Rod to the Junior member who showed the most dedication and improvement in the year.
  • Other notable achievements by club members in 1991 mentioned in this issue and not mentioned previously in this history:
    • John Tollerfield selected for Yorkshire in the Inter Counties 20-mile championships. He ran the distance in 1:48:42.
    • Christine Milton, Ladies’ winner of the Wombwell 5
    • Mary Howarth, Ladies’ winner in the White Peak Marathon
    • Anne Wilkinson, Ladies’ winner in the Blackamoor Chase
    • Anne Watson, Ladies’ winner in the Swallownest 6 and Ladies’ winner in the Bassetlaw Half Marathon
  • An interesting report to say the least by Mary Howarth on her run in the Everest Marathon on 2 November. A remarkable achievement by a remarkable lady. 59 runners completed the full course, including Mary in 8h 42min.
  • Doug Thomson edits his last Striders News
  • Juniors again compete at Cosford and Birmingham

February 1992

  • Mike Ingham, a previous editor, again takes on the role of editor of Striders News
  • 3 Striders competed in the 48-mile Rowbotham’s Round Rotherham Run: Mary Howarth finished in 8:57:34, Preston Grundy in 9:14:55 and Peter Morris in 10:02:59
  • Provisional programme of 12 events announced for September to celebrate the club’s 10th anniversary

March and April 1992

  • Unfortunately March and April editions either not retained or not produced!

May 1992

  • 77 Striders run the Sheffield 10k
  • 86 athletes turned out in the Striders Track meeting in April. 8 new club records achieved.
  • Striders compete in an indoor open meeting at Birmingham

June 1992

  • City of Sheffield Sports Development and Events Unit thanks Striders for the help given at the Reebok Festival of Road Running held in the City Centre

July 1992

  • Jenny Blizard wins the National Junior Triathlon Championships in Wiltshire.

August 1992

  • 13 Striders run the full Sheffield Marathon and 69 compete in the half distance

September 1992

  • Looking back through the Striders News in this year, there is an appreciation of the hard work and time spent by members in organising the programme of events to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the club in September. Here are full details of that programme during the week of Sunday 13 to Sunday 20 September:
    • Sunday – special run at Chatsworth
    • Monday – Paper Hash run at Birley
    • Tuesday – point-to-point race from Pinegrove
    • Wednesday – orienteering event and junior fun run from Graves
    • Thursday – Striders 5k and Junior 3k in Norfolk Park
    • Friday – track meeting at Woodbourn Stadium
    • No event on the Saturday
    • Sunday – Striders 10k and Fun Run at Redmires
  • A 10th anniversary T-shirt was produced.

October 1992

  • An interesting article from Strider Julian Paul in which he suggests a slight change of name for the club to increase the visibility of the fact that we are Sheffield based i.e. Sheffield Striders Running Club
  • 10 Striders return with medals from the South Yorkshire Track and Field Championships at Herringthorpe, Rotherham. Juniors also competed.

November 1992

  • Warnings in this issue of the danger posed by autumnal bracken which gives off poisonous cancer-causing spores
  • An appreciation of the work done by club members, 28 of them, in distributing Striders News on foot, bike and car in pre-electronic days
  • Striders Roy Kitson, Julian Paul, Terry Gomersall, Dave Bonnington and Roger Stevenson competed in the World Veterans Road Running Champsionships, staged at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham
  • 10 Striders competed in the 60-mile Leeds Country Way Relay, comprising 6 legs, each run by 2 runners
  • 1st report of Striders running in the Great North Run
  • A variety of reports on the events celebrating the club’s 10th anniversary with 248 taking part over the week. Our friends from Germany took part in the celebrations.
  • Strong comments from some members against Julian Paul’s suggestion that there should be a name change for the club
  • Juniors compete in the SY Cross Country events at Hillsborough and Campsall

December 1992

  • An article by club secretary at the time, Roger Stevenson, promoting the establishment of a club Point to Point Challenge, i.e. Sheffield to Barnsley / Rotherham / Doncaster / Chesterfield / Worksop. Surprisingly little response, the initiative never started.
  • Strider John Kerr worth a mention for his high placings in local and national road races over the past 10 years
  • Juniors compete on the track at Cosford

Men’s records – road

  • In the 15-mile event at Holmfirth, John Kerr set a club record of 1:25:52 in the male veteran over-40 category

Women’s records – track and field

  • At Cudworth, Lorraine Sunderland, Diane Stamp, Helen Lindley and Claire Von Anrep (all veterans category) ran 1:08.7 in the 4x100m relay

Women’s records – road

  • Mary Picksley set 4 records in the female veteran over-40s category:
    • 1:03:04 at Tadcaster for 10 miles
    • 1:23:43 at Retford for the half marathon
    • 2:16:30 at East Hull for 20 miles
    • 3:06:18 in the London Marathon

January 1993

  • This edition contained the Annual Report for 1992. It’s worth mentioning here a good number of the names of members involved in club organisation. The 1992 committee had been:
    • Chairman – Iain Colquhoun
    • Secretary – Roger Stevenson
    • Treasurer – Norma Parkes
    • Membership Secretary – Les Eyre
    • Track and Field Secretary – Alan Mitchell
    • Road Secretary – Keith Hale
    • Cross Country Secretary – Peter Wilkinson
    • Social Secretary – Rose Nelson
  • Co-opted Officers
    • Minutes Secretary – Anne Wilkinson
    • Striders News Editor – Mike Ingham
  • Coaching Officers
    • Iain Colquhoun, Paul North, John Wilkinson, Trevor Chambers, Martin Sunderland and Pete Dye
  • Other Officers
    • Press Officer – Ian Shepherd
    • Striders News Distribution – Doug Thomson
    • Twinning Coordinators – Pam and Ian Shepherd
    • Photographer – Norma Parkes
    • Club Kit Coordinators – Diane and Chris Stamp, Barbara and Martin Miller
    • Archivist – Roger Stevenson
  • Venue Reps
    • Queens Tower (Monday) – Anne and Steve Watson
    • Birley – Sue and Mick Bragger
    • Norton – Christine Hall
    • Norton (juniors) – John Wilkinson
    • Pinegrove – Keith Hale
    • Queens Tower (Thursday) – George Appleby
    • Hillsborough (Friday) – John Crossland
    • Hillsborough (Sunday) – Barry Wiles and Rod Clark for his commitment to Junior Striders

February 1993

  • Full-page spread showing the new route of the 1993 Sheffield Marathon. One of many variations over the years, with this new route starting and finishing at the Sheffield United ground on Bramall Lane, going out to Totley at its furthest point!

March 1993

  • A report on the first and last use of Hollinsend Playing Fields as a club cross country venue on 31 January
  • News of Striders visiting our twin club in Bochum in what is the 8th year of the partnership
  • Trunce 93 dates advertised, still going strong 30+ years later

April 1993

  • A report on the attendance of Junior Striders in February at the Sheffield Ice Sports Centre on Queens Road in Sheffield
  • Still a small intake of Juniors into the club

May 1993

  • Mike Ingham, Striders News Editor, gives notice of his resignation
  • A report on Striders running in the National Cross Country Champs at Parliament Hill Fields, London, in a field of 2156 runners
  • Striders take out a 6-month membership at the Northern General Sports Injury Clinic

June and July 1993

  • June & July editions for 93 not produced – this was a result of editorial resignation and difficulty in finding a replacement!

August 1993

  • Doug Thomson takes on the role of Editor on a temporary basis
  • A shortage of news for publication made this edition just a double-sided A4 sheet containing South Yorkshire League Cross Country dates, new members and resignations, a Sunday Special run, news of the Percy Pud, 1993 Christmas Party and a photo of past Chairman Ian Shepherd sat on a large pile of Stones beer cans donated for a reception being held by the British Deaf Sports Council, of which Ian was Press Officer

September 1993

  • Still publication problems, this edition without its usual front cover and just 8 pages
  • Sad news that Queens Tower on Park Grange Road has closed and no longer available for club training runs
  • A thank you letter produced from Norwich Union, sponsors of the 1993 Sheffield Marathon, recognising the help from the club in manning a drinks station

October 1993

  • Sheffield Works and Social Club on East Bank Road being used as a replacement venue for Queens Tower on a trial basis
  • Strider Mary Picksley recorded as 1st Lady Vet in a time of 1:27:08 in the July Prince of Wales Half Marathon starting and finishing at Herringthorpe Stadium in Rotherham
  • Strenuous attempts being made to find a permanent replacement venue for Queens Tower. Venues considered: Ponds Forge, Hallamshire Tennis Club, Graves Leisure Centre, Davy’s Sports & Social Club, YMCA Broomhall, SUFC Bramall Lane, Birley Squash Club, Goodwin Sports Centre on Northumberland Road, Woodbourn Road Track and the Sheffield Works building on East Bank Road.

November 1993

  • Sheffield Works on East Bank Road now the official replacement for Queens Tower
  • Striders donated £58 towards the staging of the 1993 Special Olympics in Sheffield
  • A report on a very successful visit to our twin club in Bochum, Germany. 51 Striders attended with friendships renewed and made. Races were entered with 3 distances on offer. An invitation was accepted by our German friends to come to Sheffield in August 1994.
  • A report by Julian Paul on the Leeds Country Way Relay in September, in which the following Veteran Striders won the Vets trophy: John Gregory, Dave Sedgewick, Bob Pringle, Dave Bonnington, Mike Goss, Dave Parry, John Kerr, Pete Wakefield, John Robinson, John Cutts, Steve Ludlow and Martin Rhodes

December 1993

  • A new editor for Striders News announced: Dave Beech will take over in January
  • Positive comments re the use of the Sheffield Works Department as a training venue
  • Strider Andy Oxley asks for anyone interested in playing 5-a-side soccer at the SWD Sports Club to contact him
  • Juniors continue to run in cross country events

Men’s records – road

  • In the 20-mile event at Bury in 1993, John Kerr (male veteran over-40) set a club record of 1:54:11

A pause now for reflection and comment

10 years on and the baby that was has now fully grown!

Reading through these pages your breath is almost taken away by the extent to which the club has developed.

Although mentioned before, the following words/statements are an indication of a special organisation.

  • Development and foundations
  • Members’ contributions
  • Striders kit in its many forms
  • Establishment of training venues
  • Ongoing increases in club membership
  • Affiliation to various running organisations
  • Land’s End to John O’ Groats
  • A life-changing experience being a Strider
  • Communication problems both arisen and solved
  • Typing and photocopying issues
  • Junior Striders
  • Members qualifying as officials
  • Canal Relays
  • Major events staged by the club
  • A valued connection with the Sheffield Deaf Club
  • Twinning arrangement with our German friends in Bochum
  • Rise in popularity of track and fell running
  • British Coast Relay Run
  • The following Striders achieving outstanding results: Mary Howarth, Christine Hall, John Tollerfield, John Kerr, Pete Wakefield, Rachel Leonard, Ann Watson and Mary Picksley
  • The occasional club cycle ride
  • Honorary life members Jean Locking, Mary Howarth, Rod Clark and Ron Hill
  • Sponsorship from club member Bob Marlow
  • Club records, some long established

A full complement of club records, including track and field, is available on the club website in the “Club History” section.

The rise and fall of club membership has always been a point of discussion and will continue to be so. Currently whilst I compose this history (October 2017) we have around 50 members. In May 1989 we already had over 500 members and arguably we were the biggest club in the city at that time. That claim is supported by the fact that our members were fully paid up whereas it was usual in other clubs that member numbers were inflated by including those in debt to a club.

We were again arguably one of the best and still are one of the best clubs in the North in terms of creativity and organisation. These facts are borne out by by events that we once had and are still organising e.g. Coast run, Land’s End to John O’ Groats, Chatsworth Chase, Northern and area cross country events. South Yorkshire 5-mile road league, Percy Pud, Dronfield Way Relay and Sheffield Way relay.

The recording of our history is some task, to write a book is nigh on impossible. I do hope the manner in which I have set out the above is acceptable.

Your comments and criticisms are more than welcome and any omissions I would be glad to hear of, both appreciative and contentious!!

The recording of the club history will continue and the demise of our club magazine in paper form will make the task harder. Informing club members has bowed to the presence of online communication. Thankfully we have committee meeting minutes in paper form, still a source of reference.

I will carry on that’s for sure, let’s hope I am around long enough to see the job through.

Alas I can no longer run and that saddens me more than you can all imagine.

I run in my dreams and I think of all the running I once did.

Let’s be hearing from you!

Roger can be contacted via the Contact Form

The next page of this history is at: