February 11, 2007
Peter Galpin 1:43:14
Jane Preen 2:04:58
No. of finishers
As romantic gestures go, even the hardest-hearted would feel dizzy were their loved one to place a string of 30 love hearts alongside the roads of pretty rural Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire and Rutland in time for Valentine’s Day. But any ardour would soon be dampened once they’d realised that each of the hearts were placed exactly one kilometre apart and that they’d have to run past all of them.
So, while hearts were aflutter and sap was rising in Stamford on February 11, it was only in anticipation of a tough 18-mile-plus run, perfect for runners preparing for a spring marathon.
Now in its 15th year, the Stamford Striders St Valentine’s 30K is well on the way to becoming a classic. As any of the 559 finishers will tell you, it puts paid to the myth that the Lincolnshire area is flat. In fact, for some, the last six kilometres felt akin to a mountain marathon. Factor in blustery wind and this year’s race was a true early season endurance test, even with the help of the RUNNER’S WORLD Pacers.
You’ll hear few complaints though. Organisation is spot-on, with efficient baggage storage, a warm sports hall for before and after and marshals who seemed unconcerned that blasting uplifting music from their cars was going to result in flat batteries.
Even local motorists seemed happy to wait in traffic as runners passed (apart from the one who executed a perfect three-point turn among 500 runners). If the Striders could just make the tasty post-race bacon sandwiches bigger, it’d be perfect.