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NSRRA Champions Ross Connor and Kelly Butler

2020 NSRRA League of extraordinary running

Ross Connor and Kelly Butler are this year's NSRRA champions

This has been a year like no other for Ken Rushton and North Staffordshire Road Runners Association (NSRRA). A global pandemic threatened to scupper their season but they adapted and indeed thrived as results show. In addition the competition had its highest number of ‘Compleat Runners’ since 1985. 

The season started on a positive note at the Alsager 5 (2 February) and wins for Omar Ahmed of Birchfield Harriers and Beth Potter of Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers. Next was the Knighton 20 Mile & Relays (8 March) where Daniel Soltys of Stone Master Marathoners (Stone MM) and Kelly Butler of Birchfield Harriers were the winners. 

Tthings changed with the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown from 23 March. In what was a triumph over adversity, Ken and Co. converted the rest of the race programme to virtual events beginning with the St Thomas Virtual 10K in June. Points were allocated as in normal times for groups and age groups and this year, the best 8 races counted towards the league competition. Awards are presented to group winners and age group winners and for ‘Compleat Runners’.   

This was a successful move as the local running community threw themselves into these events, their strong performances and PB’s a testament of this commitment despite the restrictions. They ran on courses of their own choosing that met the criteria regarding elevation and adhered to social distancing guidelines. Results were uploaded and shared on the NSRRA Facebook page along with post-run selfies.

Impressive running throughout from Ross Connor of City of Stoke AC and Kelly Butler of Birchfield Harriers whose wins or top three placing saw them crowned 2020 Men’s and Women’s Champions. 

The 2020 season consisted of 18 events, two of which were live and 16 virtual across a range of distances from 5K to 20 miles. 16 people became ‘Compleat Runners’, taking part in all events.  

With good news about vaccines and a return to normality what will next year bring? Ken Rushton is confident ahead of 2021 saying: “We are starting with our flagship race, the VeloRunner Alsager 5 as a virtual but hopefully by event 3 or 4 we will be hosting live races.” 

For more details about next year’s events and how to join, visit the NSRRA website. Membership is £5.     

Image courtesy Ken Rushton

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