UNABLE to carry out its regular runs, it was decided to take sessions online.

Brendon Jackson, who founded Allen Valley Striders running club 15 years ago with his wife, adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic, and helped move the group online over the past 12 months.

As a result of his dedication to keep the group active, he has been nominated for a Sport Tynedale Award. The annual awards ceremony has been unable to go ahead due to the pandemic, but the organisation is organising a virtual alternative to honour those that have adapted to keep their sport going.

Jackson, who has competed abroad in running competitions over the years, has been shortlisted for the Motivating Outdoor Activity: Outdoor Sport award - much to his surprise.

“I’m humbled someone has nominated me to be honest, I feel honoured” he said.

“Since we’ve all been unable to be meet due to the three lockdowns over the last few months, I decided to try and keep us all in touch on Facebook and by using the running app Strava."

Jackson added: “I just thought of the idea so that we could all stay connected even though we couldn’t meet up in person.

“Originally we decided to run weekly challenges as a bit of friendly competition where everyone involved would score points depending on how well they did, and from there I created a Grand Prix style results system to crown our winner at the end of each lockdown.

“This has then grown to different challenges lately, and we’ve done everything from running up a hill as fast as you can and even seeing how many bridges you can cross on your run.”

With a wide range of ages taking part as part of the club, Brendon also ensured that everyone had a level playing field when it came to the results."

“A lot of it is based on age and gender", he explained.

“We have a range of people from 19-72 years old as part of our club, so I put everyone’s information into a piece of algorithm software to work out a event set of results for everyone no matter who they are.

“I’ve done it simply because it’s what I enjoy,” continued Jackson.

“We have members all over the local area including Haltwhitle, Haydon Bridge and Prudhoe so our aim has to been to keep everyone together even if its just virtually.

“On average we have about 21 people taking part. It’s all good fun and ultimately its just what I love doing.”