Sent: 09 November 2007 00:24
Subject: V S Update - Cross country, Track training, Results, Reports (Snowdonia, OMM, New York) and more


Cross Country – final reminder for Woodkirk this Sunday (11 Nov)

Teams comprise 8 men and 5 women.  The vets teams comprise 6 men and 3 women (I think).  We get penalized for not having a full team and the more runners we have the better.  

The course is approximately 5 miles and is a good introduction to off road running.  There are a couple of muddy tracks on each lap but there are also some dry stony paths and even a section of pavement, so come on, give it a go!

- Race Date & Time: Sunday 11th November, start time 11.00am, registration 10:00 – 10:45 but suggest you arrive 10:30 at the latest.  Race fee is £2.50.

- Race Location: The race HQ will be alongside Shaw Cross Rugby Club, Leeds Road, Dewsbury


- Directions: M62 junc 28, take main road signposted Dewsbury A653 & travel 3 miles to Shaw Cross, ground on main road on right, club house 100 yards up the road on the right (just after end of dual carriageway)

- Car Parking: All parking will be on road: please park legally, and with consideration for local residents

- After The Race: Changing and showering facilities, race results and food will all be provided at Shaw Cross Rugby Club

Thank you to Xanthe, Dan, Jonathan, Geoff & Sylvia for volunteering to marshal, this means the rest of you can run!

The next cross country will be Saturday 17 November at Knavesmire Racecourse York (details in next week’s V S Update)

Track Training at Leeds Met Carnegie / Beckett Park – next Tuesday (13 November)

There were 30+ at the first session and there was an overwhelming majority to continue this on the second Tuesday in the month throughout the winter.  And Leeds Met say they’ll be pleased to have us back!

Several Striders have sent details of their favourite track sessions but we’ll not get too complicated before Christmas, so this is how it will work next Tuesday

Meet in the foyer of the Sports Centre at 7:10pm ready changed (directions below)

20 minute warm-up jog out of the campus, up Otley Road as far as the Ring Road Roundabout, when the first one gets there, all turn round and head back to the track.

Assemble on the 400 metre staggered start using lanes 3 to 8.  Then run a 400 metre timed lap, when the last runner crosses the line there is a 40 second break before repeating three more times.  For this set, runners should be in mixed abilities in each lane so that the runners in each lane get spread out quickly.  Also at the end of the 400 metre lap, the faster runners in particular should continue jogging because they are going to get a break of 70-90 seconds before their next 400 metres.

2 minute break

Then running round the track, 2 minutes on, 40 seconds walk recovery and repeat three more times.  Please note the slowest runners should use lane 3 or 4 so that they complete a full circuit.  Other runners should use lanes 5 to 8.  Just continue running/walking, no need to return to the start for each lap.  Geoff and Sylvia will have a loud whistle to start each 2 minute rep.

2 minute break

Repeat the first set of 4 by 400 metres timed laps.

Finally, between 3 and 5 laps gentle jog on the track and/or on the jogging trail around the track.

Showers then refreshments at Three Horse Shoes pub.


There are two ways of getting into Beckett Park, two sets of changing rooms, and two ways of getting into the track.

We will meet in the Indoor Sports Centre which is much smarter, has a foyer area where we can meet, and drinks machines etc for afterwards.  NB Don’t forget £2.25 and also bring a £1 coin for the lockers.

Jerry Watson recommends going through the North Gate on Church Wood Avenue and here’s a nice Google map he’s done  Follow the red dots!  If you can’t download the map, then I need to tell you that Church Wood Lane is about a third of the way between the Weetwood Lane junction (Three Horse Shoes pub, Brian’s, Cottage Road Cinema area) and West Park (Up & Running).  To get to the Sports Centre, follow the signs, this means, having passed through the entrance barrier from Church Wood Lane, generally continue to travel in the same straight line, although there is a little right turn and left turn half way along.

It sounds complicated, but the floodlights will be on at the track and this should make it easier to find!

Jerry says : “If you park in the car park by the track using the north entrance from Church Wood drive, the entrance to the Sports Centre is opposite the car park entrance. £ 2.25 is the standard price for a using the track. As you enter the Sports Centre you'll see the turnstile and cash desk in front of you so you'll just need to say "one for the track". Go through the turnstile and either turn left to go straight to the track, or turn right and through the doors to look for the changing rooms”.

Meet in the foyer at 6:50 before getting changed or 7:10 ready changed.

I’m sure some people won’t get this email, so we’ll have to start by finding them, they’ll be at the Outdoor Reception / Athletics Centre (they will have entered via the South Gate on St Chad’s Road, and again continued in a straight line), which has portacabins for changing.

Hopefully the training will be easier than finding your way.


Oops, I printed Paul’s address incorrectly in the last email, please send your cheques to Paul White, 17 Whinmoor Court, Red Hall, Leeds LS14 1NX

Fees are £12 for first claim, £9 for second claim, £6 for juniors, £3 for social members.  NB First claim and juniors subs includes £3 UK Athletics affiliation.

Paul is also collecting other dues - £6 for West Yorks XC, £4.30 for short sleeve T shirts, £5.50 for long sleeve T shirts.

Xmas meal

Friday 14 December.  Buffet meal and awards presentation.  Possibly a drink or two.  Partners invited!  Only £9 each.  Please book with Steve O’Callaghan  NB state whether vegetarian meal.

Race Results

Bridlington Half

   18 Howard Jeffrey   1:22:48  M50 Yorks gold medal

Holmfirth 15

  188 Peter Stevenson  2:15:03

   20 Howard Jeffrey   1:37:35  M50 Yorks silver medal

  228 finished

Guy Fawkes 10

First Strider home was new member Gwil Thomas in a time worth an hour and a few seconds on a flat course!  Congrats too to Howard Jeffrey (Otley AC) 1st M50 and to John Wallace on a PB by 4 minutes!.  The following table shows Grand Prix points

   18 Gwilym Thomas      1:03:33      100   

   29 Howard Jeffrey     1:05:28       99   

   33 Ian Sanderson      1:06:10       99   

   65 Eirik Stangnes     1:09:10       98   

  160 Jim Clay           1:14:46       97   

  182 Simon Redshaw      1:16:02       96   

  209 Hayley Palmer      1:16:54       95   

  289 John Wallace       1:19:51       94   

  317 Sharon Tansley     1:21:16       93   

  363 Nick Barnes        1:22:59       92   

  828 finished

Final events for Grand Prix points are Burley Bridge Hike (Sat 10 Nov), Knavesmire XC (Sat 17 Nov) and Abbey Dash (Sun 25 Nov)

The 2008 Grand Prix season opens on Wed 26 Dec at the Chevin Chase (entry forms now available – enter early).

Snowdonia Marathon – from Steve Webb

News from the wet and windy Snowdonia marathon last Saturday.

Sara ran this for the nth time and finished 832nd in 4.34.27 (chip position and time).  Having now had the benefit of a back to back comparison she thinks it is definitely harder than Windermere!

Bill Murphy was entered but we didn't see him on the course or in the results.

As the cloud was so low and it looked as though it was going to rain I decided not to embark on my usual jaunt up to Snowdon summit (there's only so many times one can put up with zero visibility and a howling gale on top).  So I got a very late entry for the marathon and got round in 3.11.41 for 35th place (gun position and time).  I was in a tidy 12th place to about 15 miles but then found my legs got extremely stiff from all the road running and I slowed right down.  Halfway in 1.24.50, 20 miles in 2.14. 

The early race leader had a more startling fall from grace.  He went off like a rocket apparently intending to challenge the course record, but it sounds as though he had a complete system failure at about 23 miles and failed to finish.

OMM 07 (formerly KIMM) – from Mick Loftus

Three Striders took part in the Original Mountain Marathon (OMM) this year, all in the Elite Class.  This involved 50+ miles and 13,000+ft of ascent over two days, carrying all over night gear, with self navigation over rough mountainous ground in the Lowther Hills in Southern Scotland.  The weather and visibility varied between very pleasant and clear through to wet, cold, windy and thick hill fog.  The weather conditions during the night were dreadful. 

We were all delighted to complete the event; quite an achievement for us all. Simon and his partner beat Mick W and I with 30th and 35th placings respectively.  Of the 53 starters in our class only 38 completed the race.  Over 3000 runners take part in total in various classes.

After picking up an injury on day one I struggled round on day two.  We only just managed to get back within the cut off time with 4 minutes to spare.  Mick and I had been 'running' for a total of over 18 hours.

30 Edward Gascoyne & Simon Vallance   Day 1 09:53:57 (32) Day 2 07:22:33 (30) Overall 17:16:30
35 Mick Wrench & Mick Loftus          Day 1 09:40:52 (29) Day 2 08:28:44 (38) Overall 18:09:36

New York Marathon – from Xanthe Hannah

In short; I had a terrible experience and hated the latter stages of my first, last and only marathon. I finished in 4:23 after walking the last 6 miles as I simply ran out of energy and felt like death would be a preferable way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I set off way too fast for the first 10 miles which was pretty stupid and I regret not sticking to the 3:50 pace group when I blew past them early in the race.

The course is supposed to be quite undulating but I thought it was very flat compared to north Leeds. The crowds were excellent all along the route and hand out orange slices, kitchen roll, bananas and sweets etc. Some had even set up their own unofficial water tables but they were unnecessary as copious amounts of water and Gatorade were supplied every mile. It's quite scenic; the start especially, as you run over a huge bridge with a fantastic view of Manhattan. The weather was excellent but the overall experience is marred by having to spend up to 5 hours waiting on Staten Island in the dark and cold prior to the race start. There were also some organisational glitches which meant that many hundreds of people would have missed the start as they were still queuing to drop off their bags. Even with the mass start there was never any problem with overcrowding as the roads are so wide; so it would be a good race for someone wanting to have the experience of a mass participation event but with the opportunity to run at an uninterrupted pace.

I didn't realise quite how painful the following couple of days would be but it was very funny walking around Manhattan on Monday and getting knowing looks from other people that were hobbling too.

And Finally

The apple pie was superb on Tuesday.  There was a proposal that we should have pie, peas and apple pie every week and train once a month.  Even with the current arrangement of the first Tuesday in the month, we are still likely to be the fattest running club in Leeds.  But nice!  And a bit of extra weight at the start of the Abbey Dash won’t go amiss!

Oh and before I forget an early warning for January 2008.  The club won’t be open on 1 January.  So first training Tuesday will be 8 January and we’ll do 3 by 10 minutes and have pie/peas.  Second training Tuesday will be 15 January at Leeds Met Carnegie track etc