The forecasted heavy rain failed to materialise on Sunday morning at the St. Helens Dream with the 5k and 10k trail races going ahead in bright autumnal sunshine.

St. Helens Sutton A.C. once again hosted this popular and superbly organised event which always attracts a large contingent of Striders.

Despite the favourable weather conditions, the event was as challenging as ever with its punishing hills making it one of the toughest tests around

In the 10k race, the peerless David Wilson tore into a commanding lead from the offset, and never relinquished his advantage to cross the line in 38:54. It was a Striders 1-2 as the consistent Daniel Cheetham chased home his good friend in 40:35.

Third Strider home Darren Eckersley, despite competing hours after completing a 12 hour night shift, secured the club's latest victory in the team competition.

Eric Ranson was next home. Despite walking the vertiginous hills out on the course to conserve energy, Ranson still came home in an impressive 47:37.

John Barr continued Striders' success in the race as he claimed the victory in the V60 category with an excellent 53:05.

Following his well deserved retirement from work, the victory capped a memorable weekend for Barr.

Outstanding performances from Jo Mercer and Jackie Dobson for the women saw both women slice minutes off their times from the same race last year.

In the 5k event, first lady home for Striders was the effervescent Emma Callery. Returning form a long absence from racing, Callery produced a superb performance to finish 5th lady. Equally impressive was the formidable Janet Holmes, who emerged victorious in the V65 category with a stunning time of 34:21. Ultra-marathon warrior Kevin Brennan returned from injury to take on the unfamiliar 5K distance, and delighted his friends and family with a 4th place finish.

A strong team of Striders passed into enemy territory to compete in the always popular Wigan 10K. The diminutive Kylie Barlow was the star performer as she secured a well-earned PB of 43:30 to finish in 13th Place. Sian Walsh, made it a family affair as she followed her sister home in a superb 49:35. Close behind Walsh came Rachel Tickle in 52:12. Karen Mason also ran strongly to better her previous record; crossing the line in 1:00:58.

For the men, John Williams completed the course in a powerful 44:16, despte being hampered by an ongoing injury.

At the Mid-Cheshire 5K on Thursday evening, Gary Eccleston obliterated his previous PB by over a minute, clocking a tremendous 23:43, while first Strider home,Martin Ballard, moved ever closer to the magical Sub-20 mark with an outstanding new PB of 20:23. First home for the ladies was Rachael Fairclough in 19:49, finishing a creditable 22nd overall in a highly competitive field, with the much-improved Kerry Riley also earning a new PB with a fantastic 23:28. Rachel Tickle, keeping nothing back in advance of racing the following Sunday, also showed her class with a 25:17.

Rebecca McKenna was the sole Strider flying the flag at the Golden Ball 10 Mile Race in Lancaster. Although not quite able to muster the victory that would have seen her take home the first prize of an omelette maker, McKenna ran strongly in training for bigger events ahead.