Sent: 26 October 2008 00:48
Subject: V S Update - Race reports etc


I promised you a V S update with a few race reports, stories and other items, here it is to read at your leisure.


But first, a BIG REMINDER that closing date for the Snake Lane 10 mile (and 3rd Abbey-Valley Challenge) is that your entries must be in by 1 November, that’s next Saturday.  I’ve just had an email from the race organiser that he is keeping places open for us but I expect it to be full after that date.  I know it’s a long way off (February 22) but it’s only £7, so even if you’re not fit for 10 miles now, send off your entry and treat it as an investment!


Harewood Trail


You will be pleased to know that the man with the heart attack is off the critical list.  He is still in hospital, but now on an open ward.


So now I can tell you a couple of lighter stories about the day.


I went up to Harewood the day before the race.  Andrew & Carolyn Cutts and Paul, Pam, Josephine & Dominic Hunter were labelling beer in the Village Hall and I went to set up the main start.  I did this and then looked round the rest of the field to check there were no unexpected problems.  But there was one!  The portaloos had been delivered the day before.  I thought they were going to be set up in the far corner of the field but instead I found them right on the start line of the junior race!  What to do?  The next morning, Mick Tinker and Dave Middlemas were there early to set up the junior start and the finish. Andrew was there too.  I mentioned about the toilets, “could they me moved?”, I said.  “But maybe not, because maybe they’d been levelled when they’d been delivered”.  (We had an insurance policy at £600 cost per unit if damaged but I guessed that if we moved them we’d invalidate the policy).  Off they went and 20 minutes later they were back with satisfied expressions.  “We managed to move them back 3 feet” they said.  “There will be room for the customers to queue and the runners to run by.  No problem with the first 5 but we had a real struggle to shift the sixth.  All three of us pushing from front and back but it wouldn’t shift.  Then a guy got out of it and said ‘What’s going on?’”   (I hope he wasn’t our man who later had the heart attack!)


I’d got some race number left from last year and we wanted exactly the same design, so I just ordered numbers to cover what we’d used last year,  We had a few more runners so the entry team started using last year’s numbers.  Then, as they were handing them out, Rob and Dave spotted that they’d just issued 888 twice.  The race was off in a few minutes, they quickly switched to a different range and then assessed the damage.  Eric said that I’d better complain to the printers but I admitted that I’d used last year’s numbers and probably left some in from 2006 too. Twelve numbers had been duplicated – 879 to 890.  What to do?  Rob and Dave went to the finish of the race and watched for the 24 runners with numbers 879 to 890 coming in … and asked each of them for their name.  They had them in their finishing sequence so when Sam, Mary, Eric and Peter were putting the labels on the sheets and got a number 879 to 890 they just referred to Rob and Dave’s lists to see which of the duplicates had come in first.  I have made a note for next year not to use leftover old numbers. Or alternatively we could not bother with numbers at all and just ask everyone what their name is when they come in – there’s an idea!


Rab Mountain Marathon – report from Group J (under 40) WINNER Anthony Fryer


A glorious weekend was promised for the 2nd Rab mountain marathon and the weather really didn’t disappoint. A cold blustery Friday at camp turned into a glorious Saturday. A sharp breeze soon dropped and we were left with a cool sunny day and great visibility across the range of hills North of Skiddaw and Blencathra.


The start was slightly different this year with the first task to mark up the map controls with the relevant points (controls were pre-marked) and decide your route. My tactics were as always, look at a general route either clockwise or anti-clockwise then plan 3 checkpoints ahead.


Off I went. I think I set off a bit fast (be interested to see the splits results later) and I suffered for a couple of checkpoints up and over Carrock Fell and down a horrible descent of brambles, sharp rock and ferns. A real battle to get down to the bottom. This I think contributed to my biggest (and probably only) real mistake of the weekend. Due to feeling it a bit so early on. Not catching up with people I just should be flying past I went conservative. I all of a sudden didn’t trust my fitness and endurance and thought I would crash and burn so I started to run conservative.


I chose to miss out on a 40 score despite being shown by Richard from Dark and White at the overnight camp what he saw as optimum route would have meant hardly any height gain and good paths to run on. But carried on regardless with my exact loop. Some fast running along tracks round Skiddaw House, overtaking mountain bikers as they struggle up the hills, and moving out the way as they zoom past on the downhills. The second half of day one was unremarkable in most aspects as nav was spot on, route choice was perfect, everything just clicked. This meant I cleared all the nearby controls to base camp with over 40 minutes to spare on day 1. Despite being told I was current 1st at overnight camp I thought I had blown the chance of a good place as I was also one of the 1st at overnight camp.


There were some awesome performances out there at the end of day 1. Vets 40+ was the most competitive with a massive 430 on day 1 from Ali Hubbard and 407 from Pete Nelson. The male under 40 was competitive in a different way with a 3 way tie for 1st on points at 380. Once all the other competitors came in I had dropped to 9th in the order with 320 yet with that 40 I didn’t get I missed out on 4th. Tom Brunt from Holmfirth leading the Elite group with 530 and Shane Ohly and last years winner, Jonathan Aylward tied in second with 510.


The overnight camp was a great find! A little narrow field in a gully, surrounded by old oak trees. Managing to eat and chill outside before bed and the rain briefly arrived. the midges were out but didn’t seem to be biting as much.


Sunday started with a bit of hill fog over some of the higher peaks and meant when I started and got to the top of the first hill there was a great cloud inversion over many of the fell. There was a time limit on some of the high scoring checkpoints on Skiddaw so I made my way towards there via Little Calva and dropping down to the Cumbrian Way. A great chance to push on, whilst refueling and preparing for a tough middle section of the day. A 300m climb up Skiddaw followed by a nice fast section to Lonscale Fell and a thigh punishing descent, before another tough climb and descent of Mungrisdale Common. With all that up and down I was thankful for Mudclaws as they just stick to anything!


I knew by then that I had cracked the back of the course and I should start heading back. On the way back I scooped up a further 85 points on the run in and as I knew I was finishing really tried to push hard to get the final 15, although I did have my eye on another 15 pointer but was just too pushed for time after a final ascent.


On day two I managed 1st in the Under 40’s category with 305. Next was Jon Cox and Chris Naylor with 270 points. Toby Cushion and the team of Nick Hart and Charles Johnstone were back in 3rd with 240. A total of 65 points behind myself but with a bit of controversy as there was no early notification on the closing times for the checkpoints on Skiddaw. I have to agree it may have been nice to know the cut off points but it was also nice to see that people starting earlier had an advantage over those who wait till the end in the hope to pick up peoples trods and lines that have developed.


There was a lot of change on the final results at the end of day two. Firstly I won top in category! No-one was as surprised as me after being 9th at overnight. I even looked at the results day 1, saw I was current top but then went home, just not thinking that there was a possibility of top 3, never mind 1st! My first ever moment of glory and I went off home and missed it. GUTTED!!!


I was secretly hoping for a podium place but not mentioned it to anyone as I knew it was a tough order against some very good competition and fast runners. Not bad for a bloke who has been running for about 18 months in total. I managed to sneak first place by 5 points mainly due to a storming day 2 which had me with second most points overall and 65 points ahead of one of the overnight leader and eventual second place of Toby Cushion.


In the Elite Tom Brunt continued how he left off at overnight camp and came in with 400 points, 30 points more than 2nd placed team of Simon Patton and Dave Troman. Last year’s winner, Jonathan Aylward was 3rd after 340 on day 2.


The Over 40s category was again filled with great runs from Ali Hubbard and Richard Snowden who finished 1st and 2nd respectively. Pete Nelson, who had an excellent day one slid down to 5th overall.


Full results for day one   Full results for day two   Overall Results


Overall an absolutely great event (again!) Nice friendly atmosphere, which is what I expect from Dark and White Events. Superb organisation and a great location that I will be back to explore, but maybe this time on a mountain bike. Long may the Rab continue as a laid back, low key but competitive event. Long will I continue to have this race as a goal for the season!


Elite next year or continue in the same class to defend my title?


Read more of Anthony’s adventures in his blog at   Maybe he’ll now have to change the name of his blog to!


Toronto, September 2008 (from Jonathan Brownbill)


Well Bob, it was a hard race. Both the Queen (Andy May) and I paid a heavy price for exertions at the Toronto Marathon and Half Marathon. The Queen managed a creditable and regal 2:53, and I managed 1:43, which is acceptable for a sack race. Following the race we enjoyed the social aspect running provides, especially in a foreign country and drank the elite runners from both Ethiopia and Kenya under the table. We followed our victory with a hearty rendition of our beloved national anthem 'On Ilkley Moor Bar T'at'. This proved too much for the Queen who fell asleep at the bar (bless, it was 8:30 pm).


Some interesting points about running in Canada is that they do not have clubs like running Valley Striders. Instead they have running clinics which are organised and run by running shops aimed at specific events such as 5k, 10k etc. They do not have races in December, January, February or March. Can anyone guess why?


At the Expo I was seduced by 'The Stick' - a toothbrush for muscles. It claims to keep muscles relaxed. Use on skin or through light clothing. The Stick is waterproof and designed to bend without fear of breaking. Use before, during and after periods of activity. For pin-point rollout slide hands onto spindles. The amount of pressure is always determined by the recipient. Golly gosh I had to have one, not certain if it was for running or some other activity that involved exertion.


While feeling the benefit of The Stick a slim runner from Ethiopia sat next to me and was also taken by The Stick. As an Elite he got an $8 reduction.  Coming from Yorkshire I saw a chance and mentioned that I knew an Elite.  Patrick B's international reputation for avoiding his round did not cut the mustard, but mentioning our lady Olympian got me a $3 reduction. The Ethiopian Runner told me he was second in last year’s Dublin Marathon. I told him that was great, but how much more of a reduction would he have got if he had been first?


Looking to the future, the Queen and I are keen to visit another Commonwealth country and to this end, the Mighty Reggae Marathon and Half Marathon, Negril, Jamaica, December 2009 is on the cards. The race features a 5:30am start, Red Stripe, a winner’s medal with a revolving rasta in the centre and celebrating miles dedicated to Bob Marley and other reggae greats. So save some money (Up & Running Vouchers won't do) and holiday leave and have an early December break in Jamaica - its a boomting!


Jonathan 'Buffalo Soldier' Brownbill


Thornton-le-Clay 10k (from Jeremy Ladyman)


Chloe and I ventured over to the other side of York to Thornton-le-Clay on Saturday for a small 10K. I was pretty keen to have a go at this one as I have upped my training in recent weeks and enjoyed a couple of days rest beforehand. After stretching and small quickish jog session, I felt in fine race shape when lining up at the start. At this point things started to take a rather unusual turn. An enthusiastic set of Morris dancers decided to welcome us to their hamlet and the race by dancing for us whilst we waited patiently for the gun to go. Unfortunately the jig was in front of the start line and lasted a good few minutes too long given the stiff breeze and autumn temperature. Blood was almost spilt when they tried to form a narrow guard of honour to cheer the runners off - they clearly did not appreciate that cheery, lithe road runners could be so hostile to anyone standing in their way.


Once the gun was fired and the dancers had dived for cover, the course turned out to be a good one with fine views over the surrounding hills and farmsteads. I didn't do myself any favours by completing the first kilometre in 3 mins 30 secs (far too fast for me) despite it being uphill and into the wind. From then it was about holding on for as long as I could. Happily I improved my best 10k time by over 40 secs. One of the Leeds City guys (who were well clear of the field) said I finished well which was nice of him, though I think I was flattered by one of the local runners completely falling apart in the last kilometre. A couple of cups of tea and slices of flapjack went down very well in the village hall afterwards. It was good to catch up with Eric Green and listen to his racing - I had expected to bump into him given the race was within 150 miles of Leeds.


Panos’s Training Schedule (from Panos)


I don’t know if you want to put my current regime into the next newsletter, some people may find it interesting, as I wanted to share my experience as I want everyone to get quicker. I run the risk of entering geek status, but why fight it, and I’ve told most people who are interested anyway, who have given some good advice on how to improve it.
I run to the gym (LA Fitness in town) from Horsforth (Abbey Inn) along the Leeds-Liverpool canal. This is about 5-6 miles. I then swim (front crawl) around 1000m, which cools me down and when I go into the gym after I feel that I'm starting again (that’s the beauty of swimming I suppose). I like swimming so much now I’ve bought a swimming hat and it looks like a black condom on my head but these are the sacrifices we must make. So I then row 5000m which takes around 22min. After this I work on the core i.e. sit ups and free weights, not too much, prob takes about 20 min. During these 4 stages I'll keep the energy levels up with a chocolate, fruit (Peaches are the sexiest of the fruit kingdom) and water (I don't bother with energy drinks). After weights run home the same way.
In total this takes around 3hrs. I’ve been doing this 3-4 times a week, with the speed session on Tues and a race or 12-15 miles on a Sunday. Rest days Mon and Sat. So I’m doing around 60 miles a week combined with the non impact stuff for improving the endurance and breathing. I don’t time the running stages as I’m listening to radio 1 and bopping whilst I run, but I'm running harder on the way back. I try to avoid roads and stick to the canal cause l get running rage when things get in the way like drunks and automobiles.
I’ve been lucky for the past few months cause I haven’t been time restricted, but most people wont have the time with obligations, and once I’ve found work again I’ll have to change the regime. But I’m sure some people who are injury prone like me will find it useful to break up their training with non impact stuff. I hope to cut the non impact stuff down, and run more and harder, and try fit cycling in there, maybe on the rest day.

Paul Gill is running the New York Marathon


Paul is running for the ‘Help the Hospice’ charity.  Paul says “I lost a close school friend in recent years who died after a prolonged terminal illness. He and his family were supported with such care and love throughout his final years by the Hospices.  I hope to raise much needed funding to show my appreciation.”


Paul was organising a raffle in association with his fundraising but I missed the fact that the raffle was being drawn on his 50th birthday, which was yesterday (sorry, and happy birthday, Paul).  However his fundraising website is still open for donations and I’ve already seen a few Striders on there, so I’m sure he’d be pleased if a few more of you joined them.


Paul is paying his own travel and race entry, so every penny raised goes to the Hospices.  Email Paul if you want any more information.


NB Paul White and Tim Wilkinson make up the Striders trio at New York, so good luck to all three next Sunday!


Special Group Rate for Valley Striders at David Lloyd Gym – from Richard Adcock


I had a chat with the membership team at the David Lloyd Gym about a Valley Striders Corporate membership scheme and if we can get 50 people (including those already members of the gym) we can benefit from :

  • Saving up to £199.80 per year each!!!  (see details below)
  • Save £10 per month or £5 each if you joined as a couple and If you pay annually you can save a further 10% !!
  • Quarterly Group Fitness sessions - things like "The Bleep test" (where you run on the track between two points until you hear the bleep and the time allowed reduces each run until you can't make it),and other sessions that can be organised to our requirements
  • A taster week for those unsure about commitment
  • As well as all the usual offerings of a very nice gym


They offered to come along to a club night to explain all details and answer any questions we may have


A bit of smallprint,

  • Proof of VS membership is required (this can just be the paid up membership list)
  • If joining as a couple only one person has to be a member of Valley Striders
  • Couples class as two towards the total number
  • Minimum membership is 12 months (current members are only subject to their existing term, not 12 months)
  • In the first stage we have to offer a list of names of those interested and they have 6 weeks to go in person
  • to sign their own contract and if we do not get 50 everyone will revert to the normal price

Current prices

  • single Health and Fitness membership is £76.50 reducing to £66.50 and then £59.85 per month if paying annually
  • couples Health and Fitness membership (each) £64.50 reducing to £59.50 and then £53.55 per month if paying annually
  • single racket sports are £95 reducing to £85 and annually £76.50 per month
  • couples racquet sports (each) £71.50 reducing to £66.50 and annually £59.85 per month


I think I've mentioned most points, but if anybody has any questions please do not hesitate to ask me


Richard Adcock [  ]


Also please email Richard if you are already a member of David Lloyd (and if so whether you have single or couple membership), so he knows how near to 50 we are.


And finally


If you’re not going to compete in the London Olympics, you could always be a volunteer.  Bill Murphy sent this link