25 years in and the love just keeps on flowing for the St. Valentine’s 30K. This weekend’s race (it is run each year on the Sunday closest to St Valentine's Day) sold out in just 10 days, meaning 750 runners will show their love for the sport with a tough and testing race through Stamford.
The flagship event from Stamford Striders, the event has regularly featured in the top 10 races in the UK. On top of it being famous for its enthusiastic marshals and efficient organisation, the unique distance, plus challenging course, makes its ideal preparation for a spring marathon.
Starting and finishing at Stamford's Welland Academy (formerly Queen Eleanor School), the course winds its way through Little Casterton, Tolethorpe, Ryhall, Careby, Pickworth and Great Casterton on a challenging rural undulating route – Sunday’s field can certainly expect a few modest hills.
Last year saw Aaran Scott replicate his 2014 success with a superb victory in 1:39:56, more than eight minutes ahead of his nearest competitor. Sophie Kelly of Cambridge & Coleridge AC was the first female finisher, coming home in 02:02:56. The 2011 and 2014 Ladies winner, Philippa Taylor of Nene Valley Harriers was second in 2:03:39.
While many couples may be enjoying a relaxing Sunday ahead of Valentine’s Day, what better way can there be to show your love than to run 18 miles through Lincolnshire and Rutland on a freezing February morning?