Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Beach Party

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Summer Beach Party

On the evening of Saturday 27th June, we met on the beach in Moraira and spent a few hours relaxing and enjoying ourselves. Most brought a picnic, some barbequed a few tasty morsels and, of course, there was just a little vino in evidence! It was a great end to a summer season of local races, in which The Striders did very well, as you will have read in the previous items. Well done to all of you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Euro Weekly News article


The ninth and final race in the 13th Circuit a Peu Marina Alta 2009 series, the XII Cursa Popular Benissa took place last Saturday (June 20) and two members of the Costa Blanca Striders went home with awards. Amanda Fletcher was placed second in the ladies Vets B category in a time of 42:45 and, in the men’s Vets C category, Jeff Whittington came home third in 40:01. Two more Striders just missed out on the medals, Louise Ambler (45:53) and Bianca van Londen (46:50) were in fourth and fifth positions respectively. In the Vets B class, Tony Sharpe (42:39) and Steve Waller (49:19) also completed the draining, hilly 9.1 kilometre course.

The icing on the cake came when the prizes for the overall winners in the series were announced and the Striders took home another three cups; Amanda was first and Louise was third in the ladies’ Vets B group and Jeff Whittington was runner-up in the Vets C class. In the team event, despite only being a relatively small club, the Striders were placed 32nd out of the 95 clubs who had taken part in the races. In the 2009 series, the Moraira-based running club, which was started about five years ago by Phil and Laura Welch, amassed an amazing 23 trophies, which is pretty remarkable by anybody’s standards. If are interested in joining the C B Striders, whatever your ability or fitness, then visit their blog spot at for all the details.

There was a new name on the winner’s trophy in the men’s race this week; Vicente José Mas Leyda of C A Cametes Spat winning in a time of 31:26, second and third were Juan José Martinez Diaz (C A San Vicente) and Alejandro García Agulló (C A Decatlon Kondy), who both clocked 31:52. However, in the ladies section, the first home was a very familiar name; C A Dianium’s Maxine McKinnon, who took 35:34 to complete the course. Patricia Lopez Vicedo of C A Xeresa was second in 37:36, and third to cross the line was Olivia Peiró Sabater (38:37) of C A Safor.

C A Cametes Spat won the series team prize, followed by C A Safor in second and C A Llebeig Xàbia. Well done to all the teams, competitors, around 1,200 in total, and all their supporters and friends, and especially all the organisers of the 13th Circuit a Peu Marina Alta 2009 series, without whom there would be no event, here’s to the 14th Circuit a Peu Marina Alta 2010 series.

You can view all the results and details of all nine races at the Som Esport website ( and there are thousands of excellent pictures of all the races at

Picture, by Eileen Whittington

Jeff, Amanda and Louise

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Euro Weekly News article


On one of the hottest days of the year so far, 900 resilient runners managed to conquer the taxing 9.3 kilometre course in the penultimate race of 13th Circuit a Peu Marina Alta 2009 series, the XII Cursa Popular Jesús Pobre last Saturday (13).

The men’s race was won by Emilio Vizcaya Gregorio of C A Dianium in an exceptional time of 31:59; second home was C T Prodesport’s Juan Ramon Pous Perez (32:36), who was just in front of Vicente José Mas Leyda (32:54). Sandra Diaz Hernandez C A Runnersworld Alzira was victorious in the ladies event, finishing in 38:35; Olivia Peiró Sabater, of C A Safor took the runner-up spot in 40:28 and Ana Alberola Puigcerver (40:46) was third.

In last week’s contest in Ondara, Sasha Lines, who is more at home on the sea, completed her first ever 10K road race in an excellent time of 1:04:28, and that was after just five weeks training at Paul and Amanda Fletcher’s Run in the Sun. During the week, Sasha, who now appears to have succumbed to the ‘running bug’, was casually talking to local ultra-runner Rafa and he mentioned that he was taking part in a 30 hour mountain run in August.

An intrigued Sasha asked what his full name was so she could look out for him. “Rafael Abbot”, he told her. “That surname sounds awfully English”, Sasha responded. “Well, that’s because I was born in England - Guildford hospital.” Sasha, who hails from that part of the UK, thought that Rafa was pulling her leg, so, knowing that there were three maternity hospitals in the area, called his bluff and named one, but Rafa said he didn’t think that was it. She then named a second hospital that was run by nuns and this time Rafa said that he thought that was the one. A very surprised Sasha then announced that that was where she had been born… small world, isn’t it?

Sasha, who took 1:03:00 to run the Jesus Pobre course, also managed to get her hands on a trophy from the race, albeit on somebody else’s behalf. She accepted the Vets B third place award for Costa Blanca Strider Bianca von Londen (48:26). Two other Striders also won prizes. In the women’s Vets B category Amanda Fletcher (44:31) took her place on her eighth consecutive winners’ podium. Amanda has now accumulated five first places, two seconds and a third. Jeff Whittington (41:19), who is not far behind Amanda in the ‘trophy stakes’, once more managed the runner-up spot in the Vets C class. The other members of the C B Striders who toughed out the demanding conditions were: Paul Fletcher (36:47), Tony Sharpe (42:49), Paul Elliott (47:37), Steve Waller (53:22), Ron Hoare (53:49) and Carol Hoare (58:06).

The final race in the 2009 series takes place this Saturday (20) at Benissa. As with all the previous weeks, the youngsters begin their races at 17.00 and the grown-ups two hours later, at 19.00.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Euro Weekly News article


The seventh race in the 13th Circuit a Peu Marina Alta series, the 11th Cursa Popular Ondara, took place last Saturday (6) and one of the runners, Sasha Lines, reckoned that it was ‘harder than sailing across the Atlantic’. Sasha, from near Guildford, is currently on a ‘running holiday’ at Paul and Amanda Fletcher’s Run in the Sun. Sasha, a keen sailor, who was part of the America’s Cup organisation when it was held in Valencia, had never taken part in a road race before and her one fear was coming last, as she had only had just over four weeks training with Paul. Well, she need not have worried, as she finished almost six and a half minutes in front of the back markers in a time of 1:04:25. It was obviously plain sailing for Sasha, who, four weeks ago could only manage to run for two minutes at a time and then she would have to walk for a minute, what an achievement, watch out Paula Radcliffe.

After eight races in the 2008 series and six in this year’s event Costa Blanca Strider Jeff Whittington finally managed to beat his great rival Norbert de Wulf in a 10K event. Paul, who had managed the runner-up spot in the previous two Vets B class, had had a rigorous track training session the previous evening, so decided to ‘take it easy’ and ran alongside Jeff, encouraging and cajoling him all the way. A very pleased Jeff said after the race that Paul, a UK Athletics qualified coach, had ‘made all the difference’. Jeff ran the arduous 9.8 kilometres in a time of 40:11, beating his Belgian Vets C opponent by just over 40 seconds. The only other C B Strider to be placed was Paul’s other half, Amanda, who came home first in the Vets B category in 44:42. Only two trophies this week for the Striders but two winners, though.

The other members of the club who finished the demanding run in baking hot conditions, were Paul Fletcher (40:05), Brian Boobier (48:25), Steve Waller (49:35), Jeff’s son Harvey (51:07), Bianca von Londen (52:50) and Louise Amber, who, supportively, ran around with Sasha (1:04:28).

It was roles reversed this week in the men’s race, with Said Day Day (31:43) of C A Lamuratti beating last week’s winner Mounir Horma (32:01) of C A Franc Beneyto into second place, with Juan Ramon Pous Perez (32:25) of C T Prodesport in third. The women’s race was a pretty close affair with Olivia Peiró Sabate (40:24) of C A Safor coming out on top, followed by Cristina Oselló Prats (40:58) of C A La Ribera second and third was Ana Alberola Puigcerver (41:24). For all the results and other information visit the Som Esport website at

The penultimate race in the series is this Saturday (13) at Jesus Pobre. As always, the youngsters begin at 17.00 and the adults at 19.00.

Costa Blanca News article

In was a distinctly family affair at the XIII Volta Popular a Gata on Saturday, when three pairs of husbands and wives representing the Costa Blanca Striders took part in the sixth race in the 13th Circuit a Peu Marina Alta series. Paul and Amanda Fletcher, who are the owners of the Run in the Sun running holidays (, were second and first respectively in their categories. Amanda was back to winning ways, taking the top spot in the Vets B class in a time of 44:49, and Paul equalled last week’s runner-up spot in 37:57.
Running in their first race of the series, Matt and Helen Round achieved very creditable times, considering the extremely hot conditions. Matt took 45:45 to complete the 10km course around the narrow streets of Gata de Gorgos and Helen was seventh in the Seniors class in 47:46. After her successes at Teulada and Xàbia, Carol Hoare (57:50) could only manage fourth position in the Vets C group, and husband Ron finished in a time of 53:33.
Two other C B Striders also made it to the winners’ rostrum, Bianca van Londen (48:56) and Jeff Whittington (42:00), were both third in their respective categories. The remaining stalwart Striders who finished alongside over 920 others were Brian Boobier (47:46) and Louise Ambler (51:22).
There was an exciting sprint finish in the men’s race, with Mounir Horma (32:21) running for C A Franc Beneyto, just pipping Said Day Day of C A Lamuratti by a single second; third place went to C T Prodesport’s Juan Ramon Pous Perez (33:12). In the women’s race Sandra Diaz Hernandez of C A Runnersworld (38:50) was the victor, closely followed by Patricia Lopez Vicedo of C A Xeresa (39:22) with Olivia Peiró Sabate (42:11) of C A Safor in third. For all the results and other information visit the Som Esport website at
There are just three races to go in the nine-race series; next Saturday (June 6) it’s off to Ondara, followed a week later (June 13) at Jesus Pobre, finally winding up in Benissa on June 20. The junior races all commence at 17.00, and the seniors set off at 19.00.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I would like to thank you all for all the support you have given me for the Ironman.
The Ironman Lanzarote is known as the toughest Ironman in the world,mainly because of the mountainous bike leg which is so windy at times that it nearly blows you off your bike!
I was very nervous before the race and was "bricking it" as i entered the water about 1395th of the 1400 compeditors. As you might know swimming is not my best discipline but i came out of the water in a credible time of 1hr 20mins for the 3.8 kms.
On the bike i had 2 punchures,but had plenty of time in hand to start the marathon knowing i was going to finish within the cut off time of 17hrs. The run went well for 20kms,but on the 3rd leg i ran out of steam and dropped back on my estimated time.But i picked up on the last leg and finished in 4hrs 30mins. Total time 13hrs 26mins.
I was totally Knackered and humbled by the support of my family and friends who had spent the day following my progress. It was a fantastic experience and a great event which takes over the whole island.Would i do it again,of course i would!!!