Sent: 09 December 2007 00:33
Subject: V S Update - Cross country (final reminder), Dec 11 training, Xmas do (final reminder), London marathon, Harrogate ringway, Abbey Dash, Columbus marathon


Yorkshire and Northern Cross Country – final reminders – entries must be in by Tuesday 11 December

Yorkshires at Huddersfield on Saturday 5 January £5 (£4 for juniors)

Northerns at Roundhay Park on Saturday 26 January £3.50 (£3 for juniors)

In particular I can recommend the Northerns as the best value race you’ll get in 2008.  There should be about 3,000 runners across the 8 races, come along and join them!  Great atmosphere! 

Let me know if you want to enter by Tuesday 11 December 11pm at the very latest.

Other cross country dates

Sun 23 Dec – 2nd race in Sport Direct league at Ackworth – details to follow

Sun 13 Jan – 3rd race in Sport Direct league at Crossgates – details to follow

Sun 13 Jan – Yorks Vets Cross Country at Keighley – entries must be with us by Thursday 3 January at the latest

Sun 17 Feb – 4th race in Sport Direct league at Otley Chevin – details to follow

Sat 23 Feb – English Cross Country Champs at Alton Towers – no details available yet

Sun 9 Mar – 5th race in Sport Direct league at Thackley – details to follow

Tuesday 11 December - training at Leeds Met Carnegie track at Headingley

Meet at the indoor sports centre 6:50 – 6:55 to get changed or 7:05 ready to run.  Arrive a few minutes early because there may be a queue to pay.  Directions on the website.  Afterwards at the Three Horse Shoes.

Xmas Meal and Presentation Night - Friday 14 December – final reminder

The Valley Striders Christmas Party is to take place at Leos as usual on Friday 14th December 2007, 7pm for 7.30pm. An excellent evening with excellent food is guaranteed all for the knock down price of £9 per person.

Please let me know if you wish to attend.  Let me know if you require vegetarian food so that I can ensure there is plenty on offer. Hope to see you there.

Steve O’Callaghan,  mobile 07721 611330, email -

Bob Says

With a week to go, over 50 have signed up.  Having had record attendances at the summer Anniversary events, it seems that another record will be broken!

Please send me your nominations for the Marathon Trophy and the Also Ran Trophy which will be presented on the night.

Christmas / New Year Handicap – Sunday 30 December

We’ll meet down by the Res at 10:45, first runner off at 11:00.  5 miles round the Res, almost to Eccup (there will be a marshal to tell you where to turn), and back.  Fancy dress optional.  Grand Prix points available.  Back to Leo’s afterwards.

London Marathon Places

We have two unallocated places for the London Marathon.

If you were rejected but still want to run, let me know by Friday 28 December.  We’ll put the names into the hat and draw two names for these places at the Xmas Handicap.  We’ll also draw one name for a guaranteed place in 2009 so someone can start training early!

Harrogate Ringway Relay – Sunday 6 January

We already have three teams

- Nat Crossland, Bob Jackson, Andrew Cutts, Sylvia Watson, Paul Hunter
- Erica Hiorns, Jonathan Brownbill, Greg Skerrett, Patrick Barrett, Dan Murray
- Helen Priest, Neil Fairburn, David Cusack, Eric Cusack, Jonathan Cocker

And we have two more towards a fourth team. 

Get yourselves together in teams of 5 – you must have at least one woman, one over 40 and one over 45. 

Or if you want to be part of a team, let me know.

Did I mention that the sausages and giant Yorkshire pudding are brilliant at the Yorkshire Lass in Knaresborough?  There’s a veggy version too!

Leeds Canal lunchtime Handicap  

John Hallas tells me he organises an occasional handicap race on the Leeds Liverpool canal near the City Centre,  The next one will be Wednesday 23 January, so put it in your diaries and I’ll give you more details later (or email John )

Abbey Dash Results

Four names that I missed in the last email brings the number of first claim Striders who ran up to 41

Chip                      Chip       G.P   Gun   Gun

 Pos                      Time       Pts   Pos  Time

1974 Anne Worrall       0:49:48       65  2064 0:54:39            

2023 Sarah Gordon       0:50:02       64  2105 0:54:53            

3822 Matt Watkins       0:59:34       61  3978 1:07:35            

4051 John Whitehead     1:01:17       60  3666 1:05:02            


And here are three more runners currently considering joining Striders

 369 Neil Hamer         0:40:08            336 0:40:16    

1846 Maureen Coffey     0:49:11           1421 0:50:24  6th W55

3163 Kathly Poon        0:55:35           3256 1:02:06

Columbus Ohio Marathon Report – from Chris Leggatt

Well, Jonjo and I did the Columbus, Ohio, Marathon on the 21st October but what drama in the weeks before the race!

So let's get the usual start line excuses out of the way.

Two weeks before Jonjo was out training on Ilkley Moor (ba't at - without his hat), despite me telling him some weeks before to stay on the roads, and the inevitable happened. He turned his ankle on a rock and ended up with a very bruised foot and did not run again until two days before the race.

As for me, I have for quite some time now had  a condition that manifests itself every so often.  My back tweaks, the left groin hurts, my thigh goes dead and the sciatica returns with a vengeance. The whole leg feels like it does not want to work.  The Saturday before flying out it happened again!  Four miles to get home and only 8 days before the race.

On the Monday my Doctor referred me to a private sports injury specialist, Martyn Speight, a very successful fell runner (3rd in the 3 Peaks) and he diagnosed Lumber Spinal Stenosis.  What the hell is that?  A narrowing of the spinal canal which places pressure on the spinal cord. If you want any of the details, have a look on the web "The Bonati Institute Glossary: Spinal Stenosis". In my case the nerve between the compacting vertebrae is that which goes to the left leg.

I did not think it was possible but two treatments including acupuncture, and a series of exercises got me to the start line.  We had a jog around part of the course on the Friday without any after effects. Loaded the pasta and jells and on a gloriously sunny morning we set off at 3.30 pace.  The terrain is dead flat. The longest straight road is 6.5 MILES long and the atmosphere at the start and finish beats London.  On a figure of 8 course there were obviously some quite spots but on the whole the "Buckeyes" came out and support in that vocal way only Americans seem to do. It is certainly a race I would recommend to anyone wanting to do a PB.

How did we do?  Let's get the excuses in again.  We were on our schedule (half way in 1.43.49) until about 19 miles when Jonjo said "Dad, I've got a stone in my shoe". I told him to pull to the side of the road and get it out before it caused any damage.  I slowed down to await his return and when he did, I could not pick up the pace.  He stayed around until the 21 mile point and pumping himself up with aggressive arm shakes and "Come on England", off he disappeared into the crowd in front.

Me? I just watched the road and concentrated on moving forward!  The weather was hot with the relentless sunshine but the crowd support was fantastic and before I knew it I was at 25 miles, then 26, one final turn and downhill to the finish. Jonjo was waiting just beyond and the treasured memory is of the emotional embrace and "We did it Pops".

Our times were Jonjo, 3.43.54 (debut) and me, 3.46.48. Having led the O/60s at the half way point I finished 3rd.  I did not know it at the time but I suppose it puts my effort into prospective for an old un.  I had no problems with the pre-injury.  Just a little cramping from 8 miles onwards and some enormous blisters on 3 toes. The winner did 2.31 which is slower than my Piccadilly time all those years ago.  Age is a bummer isn't it?

We spent the following week touring Ohio. In Cleveland, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  Vineyards and at the Halloween Weekend, two great theme parks. Cedar Point on Lake Erie and Kings Island in Cincinnati. Great rides and thrills. Sue was a super trouper and photographed whilst we had a "lads" time.

A month has gone by and our sponsorship of Martin House hospice has reached £700.  Still more to collect.

The front of the vests had the names of Alan and David on the shoulder traps.  The backs had our names, the Union flag surrounded by the words "The Brits are Coming", and "Remembering Alan and David".  This I did in remembrance of two great friends, Alan Robershaw and David Fossati from Sale Harrier days who passed away during the last few years.  Alan was my coach from when I started running aged 14 and David was a close friend I covered many a mile with.  As long as I have the ability to run, I will do something each year wearing this vest.  Next year?  Maybe the 3 Peaks or San Francisco Marathon!  I must be mad.