RIOT Round-up: January 2023

This is the first RIOT blog in a while and though we can’t capture everything, it aims to give a summary of what RIOTers have been up to over the last month. Please do let us know if you have spotted anything you would like to highlight for future write-ups.

Before we start rounding up January 2023 it only feels right to recognise how RIOTers saw out 2022 with the Festive 24 challenge.  In December, 60 members ran or walked 3 miles or 30 minutes a day from the 1st – 24th December, in pursuit of a coveted Festive 24 bauble medal. As part of this challenge RIOTers went out in the dark and bitterly cold, wet weather, which takes some determination. Well done to everyone that completed the challenge and also those that may not have completed it but gave it a go and set a benchmark to beat. Special mentions to Steve Stone breaking the Festive 24 catch-up record, with 8 x 3 mile catch-up runs in a day. There were also impressive catch-ups from Rob Scott, Gerald Carter and Kerri Oliver. Congratulations also to Dani Brooks who has all SIX Festive 24 baubles in her collection – running her way through every Festive 24 challenge since 2017. 

The Festive 24 was held in memory of Claire Ridge and what a worthy challenge to remember a determined and brave lady. Festive 24 kicked off RIOTs fundraising for Pancreatic Cancer UK, next is the R12 on 4th February ( and a group of runners who are on their own challenge that weekend;

Start as you mean to go on

January may have been a quiet month for events, but we had a strong start! On New Year’s Day a group of RIOT runners took on the mile-long climbs of the Broadstone Quarter Marathon. Whatever their New Years Eve fueling strategy was, it seemed to work, with 10k PBs for Michael Paulley, Wendy Britton, a course PB for Mark Brown and Louise Fox coming in as 5th lady. Congratulations also to Eleanor Rollett, Paul Munford, Philip Reese, Jo Brooks and William Loates for their strong starts to 2023. 

The Broadstone Quarter wasn’t just about individual achievements but running for a team as part of the Dorset Road Race League. The ladies team, recently promoted to division one, came fourth in a competitive field. With the men’s team starting as they mean to go on, topping division two.  It would be great to see more members at DRRL races, it is not all about pace, but supporting the club, local events and pushing yourself on races you might not have tried before. For more information visit: or speak to the Club Captains (Eleanor Rollett and Steve Stone).

Dark Moors to end the month

The last weekend of January brought a group of RIOTers to the dark trails of Moors Valley Country Park for the White Star Running Dark Moors races. Running in the dark is hard anyway, but night trail-running in the woods adds an extra challenge. Well done to Karen Lewis, Shelley Carter, Anne Woodruff, Shannon McCabe and Steph Leyland for tackling the 5 mile race and to Virginie Morris for a speedy run after illness, placing 3rd lady in the 10 mile event. 

Trails, beer and training runs

What January lacked in events was made up for in social and training runs. The first social run was the coastal trail run known as the ‘Pasty Run’, across the six pasty runs, this one had the most challenging weather. Many of us questioned our sanity as we drove through black clouds and hail on the way to Worth Matravers. However, though we had plenty of challenges to contend with; side winds, mud, hills and steps, the threatened rain and hail held off – until the last mile at least! We definitely earned a pasty and pint by the fire in the Square and Compass pub. Well done to all the runners that took on the 10 and 7 mile routes, many tackling personal challenges be it distance or terrain. 

RIOT member, Andy Mutter, is no stranger to a crazy challenge and 2023 is no different as he sets out to run 52 marathons in 12 months, raising money for the MS Society. Though a personal challenge, many of his marathons have had opportunities for runners to join him along the way. The “beerathon” marathon, unsurprisingly, was a popular one, with many joining for miles and pints along the 26.2 mile route. Kerri Oliver and Penny Atkin got some training miles in on the first half of the Yeovil to Dorchester marathon, whilst others joined Andy to “Run the Rhino”. Lastly, lots of runners joined Andy for frosty and scenic loops of Maiden Castle (22 in total for a marathon) running distances from 3 miles to the full 26!

RIOT are also out training hard for their spring events, including 10k, half marathon and marathons. Some are doing these distances for the first time and others are training for a PB, giving RIOTs Training Tuesday sessions a go for the first time. The weather has made motivation tough, so we are impressed at the dedication of those training hard. A special mention to Sadie Laker who is building back her miles for Manchester marathon after breaking her foot in the summer, and to Claire Turner and Gaurika Kapoor who have both achieved their longest ever runs in their training for London. Also, a shout out to our steady runners who have been supporting each other through their training by coming together to get their long runs done on Sunday.

Other RIOT news
  • Good luck to our 43 Couch to 5k runners who are busy training their way to the 5k distance, supported by lots of club members. We look forward to seeing them achieve the milestone at a graduation parkrun then welcoming them into the club!
  • It is great to see RIOTers at parkrun regularly, well done to Emma Parker, Bill Britton, Rob Davison, Tim Rogers and Simon Phillips who got PBs at our local Great Field parkrun. Thanks also to those that have volunteered, if you can help volunteer one week you can find out more here: or here for the Junior parkrun on Sundays
  • Set yourself a trail challenge by signing up the Hardy Half on the 14th May 2023 – you can expect some fun downhills, good views and perhaps something a little bit different for the inaugural event!
  • For those that took part in the Every Mile Counts challenge in November, we can update you that the £800 raised has now been spent on items for the food bank and homeless charities. The next charity event is the R12 raising money for Pancreatic Cancer UK, you can sign up until midnight on 31st January ( and there are opportunities to be involved on the day.
  • The next Dorset Road Race League event is the Lytchett 10, you can sign up here:
  • Credit to the RIOT members we stole photographs off; George Peters, Dani Brooks, Malcolm Curtis and others.