Sent: 08 May 2009 11:34
Subject: V S Update : Lineham, Leeds Half, Tuesday, MVT, Results and Reports


Lineham Farm Open Day – Saturday 9 May


Relax this Saturday before the half marathon with a visit to Lineham Farm – “bluebell walks in the woodland, lots of yummy refreshments, meet the animals, arts and crafts, climbing” – it says on the poster.  Where is it?  Imagine you’re going from Leo’s to Bramhope up King Lane.  You’d go past 5 Lane Ends, turn right at the T junction and then turn left down Kings Road to reach the roundabout at Bramhope.  Instead of turning left, go another 50 yards and then turn right.  It’s signposted from there.


Leeds Half Marathon – Sunday 10 May


Good luck to the 57 56 55 (there have been a few drop-outs) at least 50 of you running Leeds on Sunday.


If you’re spectating, you’ll find Valley Striders injured and retired members and other supporters almost everywhere on the route, but particularly the length of Meanwood Road from Sheepscar to Meanwood where we have 10 official marshals.  There are also normally a good number up Stonegate Road and at King Lane roundabout.


Help wanted!  Do any of you have family supporters staying in Leeds City Centre for the finish?  I’m looking for someone to hand out Meanwood Valley Trail entry forms just to the first 100 or so runners in the JUNIOR race (not the main race).  If someone can help, please contact me 0777 5898 558.


Afterwards, my social secretary tells me we are meeting up for post race refreshments and mutual congratulation / commiseration as appropriate at Wetherspoons on Park Row.  Which road is Park Row?  Imagine at the end of the race you’re coming up the Headrow past the Town Hall and you then turn left into Cookridge Street.  If you’d turned right, you’d be in Park Row.  Please don’t do this in the race, there are no chip recorders down Park Row.


See you on the start line – have a good run everyone!


Global Triathlon for Braithwaite School


Record your training and racing mileage starting this Saturday and ending a week on Sunday, multiply by 2p or 5p or 10p per mile and donate to Braithwaite School.  They hope to have enough mileage donated to swim the Channel, cycle to the USA and run to Africa.  More details in next V S Update (or see the 23 April VSU email now on our website).


Tuesday 12 May – Jack Bloor or Track Training


It’s double points time on Tuesday – the Jack Bloor Fell Race counts for both the Grand Prix and the Fell Championship.


Or if you fancy something flatter, we’re training on the track at Leeds Met, meet ready to run at 7:10 at the Indoor Sports Centre.  We had some good variety in last months session which, I think, made it more suitable for slower runners, so we’ll be doing some of those reps again.


Meanwood Trail Race – Saturday 16 May


We had about 25 run the recce last Tuesday which was pretty good considering Rothwell the day before and Esholt the day after.  Thanks to everyone who has volunteered so far.  Still a few more needed.  Separate email to follow later this weekend with marshalling positions and instructions.




Three Peaks Race


   92 Mick Loftus        3:53:03   

  105 Simon Vallance     3:54:45   

  108 Eirik Stangnes     3:55:19   

  137 Steve Webb         4:02:38   

  292 Mick Wrench        4:26:05   

  500 Stephen Dixon      4:56:35   

  539 Richard Adcock     5:05:53   

  567 Geoffrey Webster   5:15:20   


Report from Simon Vallance below


London Marathon


  554 Jerry Watson       2:53:18      100  

  975 Eric Green         2:59:57       98  

 1324 Dan Murray         3:05:36       96  

 3074 Kevin Mcmullan     3:22:43       94  

 3925 Patrick Barrett    3:28:40       92  

 4449 Paul White         3:32:02       90  

 5737 Roy Flesher        3:39:32       88  

 8256 Nick Barnes        3:52:03       86  

 9601 Bernadette Clayton 3:57:03       84  

10331 Dave Watson        4:09:47       82  

31562 John Sutcliffe     5:41:43       80  


Reports from Kevin McMullan and Jerry Watson below


Shakespeare Marathon

  147 Greg Skerrett      3:28:29


Sheffield Half Marathon


  103 Jeremy Ladyman     1:24:16

  161 Jim Clay           1:26:34

 1251 Chloe Hudson       1:44:46

 2531 Keith West         1:58:06

 3691 Jane Sanders       2:12:43


Report from Jim Clay below


Dorset Marathon (“undulating”)

    6 Eric Green         3:05:32

There were 98 finishers, Eric was 1st M50 and 3rd vet.


Bluebell Trail (10 miles mixed terrain and hilly)

    7 Dan Fisher         1:13:29

A great result for Dan, there were over 300 finishers


Rothwell 10k


   60 Gwil Thomas        0:35:57      100

   66 Jim Clay           0:36:16       98

  106 Tom Button         0:38:01       96

  121 Ian Rosser         0:38:28       94

  168 Patrick Barrett    0:39:49       92

  197 Nick Barnes        0:40:57       90

  205 John Wallace       0:41:14       88

  285 Paul Sanderson     0:43:37       86

  325 Rachael Nevins     0:44:49       84

  374 Sue Sunderland     0:46:32       82

  508 Lou Gilchrist      0:50:02       80


Several PB’s here, but unfortunately not eligible for the Club PB’s because Rothwell is classified as an “assisted” course because of the overall drop in height from start to finish.


Esholt 5k


Best time for series counts for GP Points – next race next Wednesday
Congratulations to Eddy Robinson, first junior (under 20) in the race and he’s only 15.
                                      Race 1      Race 2      Race 3
                       Best    Pts  Pos   Time  Pos   Time  Pos   Time
Steve Webb         0:17:25      100   30  17.25    0   0.00    0   0.00   
Jim Clay           0:17:29       98   32  17.29    0   0.00    0   0.00   
Kevin Mcmullan     0:17:32       97   34  17.32    0   0.00    0   0.00   
Jeremy Ladyman     0:18:00       95   42  18.00    0   0.00    0   0.00   
Tom Button         0:18:14       93   49  18.14    0   0.00    0   0.00   
Rob Bumstead       0:18:25       92   55  18.25    0   0.00    0   0.00   
Eddy Robinson      0:18:45       90   65  18.45    0   0.00    0   0.00   
Dan Murray         0:18:48       88   68  18.48    0   0.00    0   0.00   
Nick Barnes        0:19:14       87   84  19.14    0   0.00    0   0.00   
Andrew Cutts       0:19:20       85   87  19.20    0   0.00    0   0.00   
Paul Sanderson     0:20:32       83  124  20.32    0   0.00    0   0.00   
Chloe Hudson       0:22:40       82  187  22.40    0   0.00    0   0.00   
Sara Dyer          0:24:55       80  239  24.55    0   0.00    0   0.00   





Request from Tom Ridgway


Firstly, sorry for not being at Striders for such a long time - a baby does seem to take up a lot of our time! However we have been flying the Striders flag at some races further afield like the Bath Half (I got sunburnt in the middle of March on that one!).  My next race is the Edinburgh Marathon on May 31st which I have decided to use to raise some money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance as I think it is a worthy cause which we all may need to call on some time.  The sponsorship will also help "speed" me to the finish of my first marathon.  I have a Justgiving page . Hope to see everyone soon.


Three Peaks Race report from Simon Vallance


Eight Valley Striders entered the 55th Three Peaks race in the Dales; three novices in the shape of Richard Adcock, Steve Dixon and Mick Wrench, with five old hands going back for another go: Mick Loftus, Eirik Stagnes, Simon Vallance, Steve Webb and Geoff Webster.


The race is a VS Fell Championship event and is run over a total of approximately 24 miles and yes, it goes over all of the three peaks as the name suggests.  It follows the walkers route for the most part, although there is a direct ascent of Whernside from Ribblehead viaduct rather than the dog-leg out to the north to pick up the ridge.


It was a sunny day in Horton when we set off at 10 o’clock, although there was a fairly stiff easterly breeze which helped to keep temperatures down as we raced up Pen-Y-Ghent.  It’s quite easy to be dragged into starting too quickly as you leave Horton on the road and then climb up on the bridleway towards the first peak.  However, this race is all about pacing yourself properly – effort wasted here will be greatly regretted later in the race.


Approaching the summit of Pen-Y-Ghent, slower runners are greeted by the race leaders flying back down the hillside to begin the long track and road section that leads to the viaduct.  As I reached the summit, I saw the two remaining tops that still needed to be scaled shimmering gently in the spring sunshine.  Whilst the view was undeniably beautiful, it was hard not to feel apprehensive about the total distance still to go.  Whernside and Ingleborough both looked a very, very long way away.


One of the good things about having done the race before is that you know when to conserve energy and when you can afford to push a bit harder.  The descent from Pen-Y-Ghent is a good long descent, punctuated by a few sharp rises, so it’s a good time to relax and pick up a bit of speed. 


Sadly we’d lost the breeze now, with the wind at our backs and dropping into the valley, the temperature rose steadily.  The ground was astonishingly dry, and with the limestone hardpack trails reflected the sun’s glare and it became clear that hydration would be as important as endurance.  Thankfully I’d taken a small bottle of Hi5 with me, and generous supporters, including Sylvia Watson and spectators proffered drinks as we made our way towards the road and on to the viaduct. 


A much needed drink and a quick glance at the watch saw that I was slightly ahead of schedule.  I’d completed the race in 2008 and failed to break the 4 hour mark by 50 seconds, so I was determined to shave at least a minute off my time.  I also accepted the kind offer of a Jaffa Cake from Eirik who had been running neck and neck with me since the top of Pen-Y-Ghent.  He had also run the race last year, and like last year had been with me up to this point, but had faded badly in the second half of the race.


The next major objective is the summit of Whernside, and viewed from the valley floor looks a long way up.  The route makes a direct ascent up the progressively steeper east flank of the hill.  At first you can run occasionally, amidst the bent over hands on thighs approach favoured by fell runners.  Later it’s a hands and knees scramble to the summit to be met by marshals, supporters and a fluttering Union flag.


The descent from Whernside is wild and rapid, and as I leapt between rocks and ditches, trying to stay off the path and on the grassy flanks of the hill, I had a hard time avoiding walkers following the same route as me, coming close to a near fatal collision with a small and very angry lap dog.  Fuelled by adrenaline it wasn’t long before I reached the Hill Inn and the next drink stop.  A great feature of the race is that you can leave pre-prepared drinks at the start, which are then ferried to Ribblehead and the Hill Inn for you to collect later, laid out in readiness for your arrival.  


Suitably refreshed, I began what always feels like the hardest part of the race, the ascent of Ingleborough.  It’s here, if anywhere, that you’ll suffer if you’ve gone out too hard, not eaten enough or passed up on the drinks on offer.  The climb starts easily enough, but you can tell how much people are hurting as they stop to walk up inclines they wouldn’t even have noticed earlier in the day.  The trail soon becomes a series of duckboards and flagstones that keep the erosion of thousands of walkers’ feet in check, culminating in a set of steep, rugged steps that lead to the summit.


Here I’m met by Andy Cutts with a bottle of maxim and some hearty words of abuse.  He tells me that Mick Loftus is a minute or two ahead of me and Steve Webb three minutes ahead of him and struggling. as he leapt ahead of me, I reverted to the hands and knees approach favoured by the very young and the very drunk.  And then I was on the summit plateau running towards the final checkpoint.  I gave a cheery wave to Mick Loftus, who was beginning his descent, but he didn’t return it, either too busy watching his feet or just not in the mood for small talk.


From here it’s all downhill back to the event centre at Horton, but still a good five miles over unforgiving limestone pavement.  I was still feeling reasonably strong and quite confident of a sub-four hour time, even more so as I caught sight of Steve Webb in the middle distance.  Just as drew closer to Steve, Eirik bounded past me – it was starting to look like it could be a close finish.  Steve was struggling, so we both passed him and continued the descent.  As the path flattened, I managed to overhaul Eirik who asked me if we were still on for the magic time.  I reckoned so, though he confessed to empty legs and a lack of confidence in finishing within four hours.


However, Eirik passed me again when I stopped to help a fallen runner with cramp.  Thankfully I wasn’t detained too long as a veritable army of walkers and marshals descended on her and encouraged me to get on my way, which I did, passing Eirik again as we crossed the farmland just outside of Horton.


The finish into the village was, as ever, accompanied by a feeling of enormous relief.  It was great to see Peter and Joyce Lambert cheering me in as I crossed the road, entered the event field and reached the finish in 3 hours 54 minutes and 45 seconds, shaving more than six minutes off my previous personal best.


Great packing from the Striders saw four of us finish within ten minutes of each other, and sprawl helplessly on the grass just beyond the finishing funnel.  A great day, a hard race and congratulations to all the other Striders who managed to complete the circuit – particularly to Richard, Steve D, and Mick W. doing it for the first time, and to Geoff who just keeps on keeping on.  Well done.


London marathon report from Kevin McMullan


The race of truth. It is called this for good reason.


For one, there is no hiding place. Not on a route that is packed with thousands all the way round.


Nor is there any sentiment to broken bodies in the last 6 miles – its 6 miles whether fit or reduced to a wreckage of a former self.


My preparation had been as good as in any previous marathon. Good weekly mileage, plenty of races, quickish times (pointing to a possible PB), and a decent taper. I was fresh and raring to go on race day.


Mistake number 1 I think was not recognizing that the heat might be an issue, and re-planning my race strategy accordingly. Even at 8.00AM sitting in the start area, the sun was warm, wind light, and I had to sit in the shade just to keep cool.


I have never been a great runner in warm conditions, even going back to when I raced a lot in the summer. (some years ago). Add to that the fact that I have almost no warm weather acclimatisation at all this year should have set the alarm bells ringing so that I was extra careful in my race planning and execution.


I took water and sports drink on board in the hour and a half up to the start. I saw Dan Murray in the start pen and we both chatted for the few minutes until the gun sounded. It only took 20 odd seconds to cross the start line, and after negotiating traffic in mile 1 (7.15) settled into what felt like a comfortable pace and mile 2 was 6.33. I did notice that I was sweating quite a lot and the first water station is not until 3 miles.


Mile 3 has a downhill section and the red route joins at this point. I took on water at mile 3 and mistake number 2 was not drinking enough at this or other subsequent stations. I took some sips but with hindsight, should have topped up liberally in those first few miles to combat the conditions.


Mile 3 was 6.10 and I thought a little fast but wasn’t worried. The next 6 were pretty easy – didn’t feel hot, but mistake 3 was that I skipped some water stations thinking I was OK. (there was another 6.10 along here which was definitely too quick). Its one thing doing ten miles on a freezing February night without water, quite another running in warm sunshine at 6.30 pace.


The danger signals start coming a few miles before the wheels completely drop off. At first, its just little niggles of fatigue and slight tightening of muscles. At tower bridge at 12, there is a slight incline approaching the bridge and one hamstring felt a bit tight here, and I felt more tired than I should had been but tried to dismiss these unwelcome signals.


Went through halfway in 1.25.10 – and felt reasonable if not as easy as I would have liked. Just after was a large Cancer research gathering who all screamed my name and waved their batons which was a fantastic feeling.


The crowds had been incredible. All the way round people had been shouting my name as it was stenciled on my Cancer Research vest. Certainly the best supported marathon I had done.


I guess it was 17 when I knew I was going to have trouble. The legs felt much heavier than they should have done, and were tightening up more and more. I tried to take more water on board, but I suppose the damage was done - approaching 2 hours in the heat and if dehydration has already set in then its all downhill after that. It was at this point that I spotted Jerry passing me wearing his Thames hare and Hounds vest, looking considerably stronger than I felt.


I went through 30K in a respectable although slowing 2.02 (my 5K splits are on the marathon website which speak very much for themselves but are repeated here which should go with an X certificate)


20.41 - 19.56 - 19.59 - 20.19 - 20.25 - 21.31 - 26.00 - 38….


The 19th mile was 7.25 and I had taken a few steps at the drinks station to pour water over my face and drink the rest.


However, I had the horrible feeling of certainty that there was no way I would negotiate 7 more miles in a rapidly deteriorating physical state without some nasty collateral damage. And so it was.


The really bad news was the descent from runner to wreckage happened very quickly shortly after. Normally when muscle cramps start, you get a minor twinge that is manageable for a time if you perhaps slow a little. But I was suddenly beset with multiple cramps, all of which made even jogging for a minute or so virtually impossible.


The last 6 were without doubt the most wretched experience from a running experience of my life. I cannot even say it was ‘running’ because it wasn’t – I must have spent as much time stretching out calves & hamstrings as I did walking/jogging.


With this physical misery is the added dejection of swathes of runners constantly passing you, some of which you recognize as having passed yourself some miles back.


Dan came past me at some indeterminate mile prefaced with a 2 and he gave me a sympathetic pat on the back as he disappeared into the distance all too rapidly.


All the while, the crowd is urging you to start running. I desperately wanted to do just that, but every attempt was curtailed by some agonizing, new cramp, which at one point completely locked up the whole quad of one leg so I could barely move, let alone walk or run.


Somehow I made it to big Ben and down birdcage walk, the crowds getting ever bigger. With a little less than a mile to go a St Johns ambulance guy asked if I needed medical treatment but I supposed that a few more minutes of laboured hobbling would be as equally expensive time wise than a few minutes massage.


So I plodded on amidst the noise and shouts of encouragement that were so deafening I couldn’t fail to be uplifted, trying to make a token effort to show them that yes, I was a runner, or had been less than a short hour ago, although it seemed such much longer than that.


The 800 metres and 600 metres to go banners came and slowly went, and mercifully I was turning at Buckingham Palace, a huge overhead sign declaring that there was only 385 yards to go. I was determined to hobble/jog those very same yards, even if it did endanger a leg locking up completely, and I managed it, crossing the line not so much in elation, or exhaustion as relief that the torment was over.


Overall the whole day had more pluses than negatives and over time I will be philosophical about the whole experience. I have my medal, the time whilst not what I can achieve, is still respectable, I raised lots of money for a worthy charity, and my son was there to share it all, and a post race hug suddenly put it all into perspective.


Would I do it again. Definitely. The race of truth it may be, but me and her have unfinished business.


London Bridge Station report from Jerry Watson


My 24th marathon attempt and 13th London. The most interesting bit was getting from London Bridge to Blackheath. Got off a Thameslink train to hear the announcement that passengers to Blackheath should stay on platform 5. Oh good. Move to front end of platform as train is always emptier at the front, and exit at Blackheath is also there. Platform already busy, and soon fills up to five deep. A train pulls in, but on platform 4 across the tracks, closely followed by announcement of a platform alteration and that passengers should go to platform 4. Walk half length of platform to find stairs totally clogged and then announcement saying passengers for Blackheath should remain on platform 5 for the next train. Return to end of platform. At appointed time a train arrives again on platform 4 closely followed by another platform alteration announcement. Train on platform 4 pulls away full. Next announcement is for a train already on platform 2. This is a short train and already full.

At this point and after 25 minutes of walking up & down platforms I give up on London Marathon instructions and take train to Greenwich and approach the start from the other direction.

The clear blue skies and warmth at 8.15 am meant staying in the shade and adding 2 minutes to my schedule. I was also on a Greenwich Park start for the first time since the 80's and had forgotten how narrow the roads were, so was fairly slowly away. But started picking it up from 10km and was running strongly until the Tower when I began to lose my bounce, and then leaving the Blackfriars tunnel when my focus went. But for the grotty last 2km I would have done negative splits which would have been a first for me. As it was I was 30 seconds slower in the 2nd half, completing in 2:53:18.

Didn't see any other Striders vests before or during the race (really do need a graphic of the Arches or something for the back of the vests), but did hear and spot the vocal Kaiser support (thank you).  

Sheffield Half Marathon report from Jim Clay


Three Striders flew the flag south of the border and took on 'the city of seven hills' for the Sheffield 1/2 Marathon last Sunday.


As 35,000+ set off from Greenwich, nearly 5000 more sensible souls gathered in glorious sunshine at Don Valley stadium for the track start. Jeremy and I planned to run together, and race strategy was not to go off too quickly - can you guess what’s coming? From the gun we took it 'easy', but were probably in the first 50 runners out of the stadium. One mile marker approached, time check please Jeremy... 5m 45s. Er, do you think we should slow down?


Very sunny morning, course headed into the city centre and wound around in a series of short climbs to reach the Ecclesall Road section and half way point. Very well supported at this point, which was needed for the long climb to the highest point, then around the cones (just like the Abbey Dash) back down to city centre and then home. Plenty of water points and well marshaled, but difficult to get into a steady rhythm between 4 and 9 miles with the twisty, undulating course.


Lack of training and warm conditions started to tell at 10 mile mark. Hung on through 11 and 12 to reach the stadium - great, I thought, only 200 yards left. No. You are cruelly sent past the track access tunnel to complete a further full lap of the upper stadium seating before finally entering the tunnel and finishing straight. Longest 800m I have done in a long time. The photos say it all.


1st Male - local lad Jason Ward, 68m 02s. 1st Female Rebecca Robinson (Kendal) 74m 52s.


Striders results included  Jeremy Ladyman 1h 24m 16s, Chloe Hudson 1h 44m 46s, Jim Clay 1h 26m 34s.


At least it’s a marker for the Leeds half next weekend!