Allen Valley Striders

Derek Todhunter, Chair of the Allen Valley Striders, writes to share a report on the group:

“Allen Valley Striders is the name of the local running club which meets three times weekly at the Allendale Sports Club Pavilion in Catton. Club runs take in the beautiful and challenging countryside around the Allen Valley. The club is an eclectic mix of runners of ages 18 to 70 and a fairly even split of male and female.

At our heart are the club aims of fun, friendship and fitness. Members have achieved success over the year with numerous age group “prizes” in races over wide-ranging distances and terrains. However, what is more important is that regardless of our level of ability we are participating and achieving personal goals and supporting the efforts of others to achieve theirs. These personal goals could be running for longer or faster, while widening our circle of friends. Members organise social events, often based around running but always with excellent refreshments. Together these activities certainly contribute to a happy atmosphere in the club.

We organise the Hobble (the Angus Tait Memorial Hexhamshire Hobble) and Allendale Village Fair races which were received last year with universal acclaim for the marshalling, organisation and the refreshments on offer. The Hobble attracted its largest entry, both pre-race and on the day, for years. As a relatively small club, to undertake such commitment is commendable.

So the club Allen Valley Striders, and its members, really do try to cater for all abilities from serious to recreational runners.  We support each other and promote fun, friendship and fitness through the events we organise for ourselves and others. It has become an important part of many lives who benefit from increased physical, social and mental wellbeing.

The Striders are more than happy for new runners to attend training sessions.There have been 4 new members recently. All runs are from the Sports Club Pavilion. The way we run is that every mile or so the faster runners loop back to “pick up” the slower runners so in that way nobody is ever left behind.  On Monday night we start at 7pm and run between 3 and 4 miles. Wednesday nights at 7pm and between 4 and 5 miles. Sunday mornings is 8am start for a longer run but often there is a support vehicle. Simply turn up 10 minutes before we start to get involved. We have a club Grand Prix based on a handicap system, we do enter several races and we have many social activities. There is absolutely no pressure to participate in any event/activity you do not want to. Some members compete and others do not!”

Thanks Derek, sounds like a really friendly and active group! To get in touch with the club, email them ( or join their Facebook group. Or, as Derek kindly notes, you could stop in for a chat before they set off on their running sessions . . . .

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