The first organised Athletic Club in the Selby area was Riccall & Selby District Athletic Club (RASDAC), which was based in Riccall and run by Mr & Mrs Keith and Judith Parish, whose young family were all fine sportspersons. It was mainly a track & field club for youths. In 1981 RASDAC staged a Half Marathon around Skipwith Common, the first “half” in the Selby area. Many local adult runners, who were unaffiliated, took part in the race, and subsequently joined RASDAC. This adult group trained mainly in Selby at the old St Mary’s Hall, which has recently been demolished. The group grew fairly quickly, and in the winter of 1985-6 they decided to leave RASDAC and form a club of their own. On the 1st March 1986 this club was registered with the AAAs as Selby Striders Running Club.
The first chairman was Bob Saddington, a well-known man in Selby because he was a councillor and in fact had been the first mayor of the town. Other officials of the club in its early days were Denis Cooper, an experienced Race Walker in his younger days, and Alan Joslin, a southerner who had moved into the area to work at Drax Power Station. These three men were instrumental in guiding the club in its early days.
The standard of running in the club hit a very high level from the start, in the Selby Marathon in June of 1986, only a few months after the club had been founded, seven members, Ian Harper, Ian Muir, Ian Forth, Jim Harran, Bobby Simms, Alan McAdam and Bob Jarvis all broke the three hour barrier. In the early 1990s the club had a notable victory in the team competition for the Mike Constable 10 mile race at Bridlington when Ian Muir, Stuart Newby and Phil Hissett beat off some strong teams from all over the country in what was at the time a very prestigious race.
Ian Muir is the best runner the club as had in its history, closely followed by Ian Harper. The ladies section also had some fine performers in the early days – Carol Whatts was a leading figure with some fine runs as a lady veteran while Diane Savage, Sue Jones and Julie Atkinson all set some great times before moving out of the area and leaving the club.
In the latter part of the 1990s the club’s most outstanding runner was Nigel Holden. Nigel only ran 10Ks mainly, but he was regarded as one of the very best veteran runners in the region at that time.
Alas, over the past decade or so the standards set by the above members have not quite been matched, but the club is in a way turning things full circle as it approaches its silver jubilee in 2011. In 2006 a junior section was formed at the invitation of the local sports authorities, and a club that began from the members of the RASDA is setting about giving the youngsters of the area a chance to enjoy a lifetime of sport in athletics.
Please click here for the all time Striders records.