Sent: 10 September 2009 23:48
Subject: V S Update - Key dates, Charlie Spedding, LCW results, Norwegian race reports, Up & Running offers


Key Dates


Marathon Sunday – 13 September


Good luck to Striders running marathons including the Yorkshireman, Fleetwood, Nottingham and Medoc.  Please send me your race reports – you won’t be doing anything else on Monday!


Two recent marathon results – John Wallace 3:40 at Guernsey and Eric Green 3:03 at Wolverhampton.


Harewood Recce – Tuesday 15 September


Meet 6:45 PROMPT at Harewood Village Hall.  There will be 2 groups, one running 8¼ miles, the other 5¼ miles.  If you are slow and want to run the long route, bring a torch! To get to Harewood Village Hall, drive from Leeds to Harewood, straight on at the traffic lights at Harewood House main entrance, then first left down Church Lane (just after the new pedestrian lights).


WYXC final reminder – deadline Thursday 17 September


Names to me and/or money (£7) to Paul White by Thursday 17 September.  NB £4 for under 17’s (minimum age 9 on day of race).


Paul’s address is 17 Whinmoor Court, Redhall, Leeds, LS14 1NX.  In view of current postal delays, even if you are sending money to Paul, also let me know by email.  The list of names will be updated regularly at


Races are

- Sunday 11 October at Halifax

- Sunday 1 November at Bodington Hall, Adel

- Saturday 21 November at Thornes Park, Wakefield

- Weekend 5/6 December to be advised

Men’s race approx. 9k, women’s race approx. 6k.


If you are sending Paul some money, if you want to pay your subs at the same time, then add £15 for first claim membership.  And add another £7 if you ran in the Leeds Country Way and haven’t paid yet.


Thursday Training – Thursday 17 September


Sharon has asked me to remind you that the 17th is the third Thursday of the month, so after the run (meet 6:45 at Scott Hall), then many will go on to the Ruchee for the monthly curry night.


Club Handicap and Pie & Peas – Tuesday 22 September


Meet by the Res at 6:45 PROMPT for a 5 mile race to the farm at Eccup and back.


Afterwards pie and peas, please choose

- meat pie or vegetarian bake (£2.50)

- mushy peas or baked beans

- apple pie (optional, £1.50 extra)


Book by email by 10pm Sunday 20 September


Harewood Trail Race – Sunday 4 October


Thank you to the 33 who’ve volunteered so far, but another 37 needed please.


Abbey Dash – Sunday 22 November


One of the fastest 10k races in the UK, potential for a PB, and on your doorstep.


Also a good warm up for the Thirsk 10 the following week.


Thirsk 10 mile – Sunday 29 November


This is the 4th race in the Abbey Runners vs. Valley Striders head-to-head competition.  Striders are leading 2-1 but Abbey won at Snake Lane in February and hold the cup.


Every runner counts in this competition; the more runners we have, the better chance we have of winning.


Entry forms can be found at  It’s £12 to enter and a potential PB course - the only two hills are where the race crosses the London to Newcastle train line.


Calderdale Way Relay – Sunday 13 December


Like the Leeds Country Way only hillier and colder.  We have entered 2 teams.  If you are interested, email Anthony Fryer


From our Club President – Olympic marathon bronze medallist Charlie Spedding


Hello Valley Striders,

Many years ago you bestowed on me the honour of being your Club President. Way back then, I was thinking about writing a book and I am pleased to say that I have, at last, staggered to the finish line. It is available from where you can find out more about it, and even read a few pages.

I would really appreciate it if you could spread the word among your members.

Best wishes,


Charlie came to run at the club on 24 September 1985.  There are a couple of pictures from that night

See if you can recognize anyone still with the club!


That night we ran what was our traditional Tuesday route, out the back of Leos, across Stairfoot Lane and then King Lane to the Res (this is still our “long” route to get to reps by the Res).  Then round the Res, through Eccup, up Blackmoor Lane (past the road leading to Lineham Farm), down Kings Road towards Bramhope, then back along Otley Road.


There were two groups and I ran in the first group, we set off at a fair pace and we were all thinking “I’m sure he’ll catch us soon” and of course he didn’t as he was too busy chatting!


Steve O emailed:


I have ordered Charlie's book today and sent him an e-mail.


On the night he came to the club I ran with Charlie and he held us back and we had a good chat. Some of us had run a marathon a week or so earlier and he was surprised how well we we running so soon after a fast marathon.


I think we presented him with a glass tankard and I have a photo showing me filling it with beer as he held it but I can't find the photo. I think Leggo has a good collection of the photos.


I went with Keith to meet him in Newcastle to discuss Tracey's training and mental preparations and overall advice regarding competing in an Olympic marathon, before Athens. A lot of the advice he gave us is obviously detailed in his book.


Paul Furness emailed:


Many thanks for the brilliant photographs - fantastic memories - my god, did we all have moustaches in those days!!!!! 


Martyn Hopson emailed:


Thanks for the update.  I have bought his book!


I am now back up North in Cracoe near Skipton.


I am hoping to come down to the club soon but am having some surgery done on my knee soon.


Leeds Country Way Results


Team results included

 1 Leeds City       7:00:13

 2 Striders A       7:21:05

 3 Horsforth Vets   7:29:19

 4 Pudsey & Bramley 7:30:59

 5 Pudsey Pacers    7:33:52

 6 Abbey A          7:40:18

 9 Striders Vets    8:12:37

15 Abbey B          8:45:56

16 Striders Ladies  9:00:58

17 Horsforth Ladies 9:07:21

20 Striders B       9:22:11

21 Abbey Ladies     9:22:23

31 Abbey C         10:54:56

32 teams finished


As I suspected, Horsforth put out a Vets team as their A team.  Full results at


Eirik The Viking's international 3 peaks

15 august, Adidas Skåla uphill race. 8.2K -1829 metres ascent  


With Matt and I on the start line for this WMRA grand prix race, this may have been the biggest ever striders turn out at a 'proper' grand prix race?


The start of the race was by a lovely Western Norwegian fjord and the finish is at the top of Skåla, 1848 metres above sea level.


It was nice and summery at the start of the race but it gradually got colder the higher we got and at about 1500 metres, we were hit by 20cm of new snow and fresh snow showers.


This made the final part of the race very 'interesting' and significantly slower than in previous years but I managed to cross the finish line more than 4 minutes quicker than last year and that wasn’t too bad.


John Sombol from Kenya won the race in 1.09.55 beating the best mountain runner in the world the last decade, Jonathan Wyatt by 5 seconds.


In the battle of the Striders, I managed to pull away from Matt quite early on but he  was only about a minute behind at 1100 metres but I managed to increase the lead to just under 4 minutes on the, for me, very familiar snowy conditions in the final part of the race. In the end I came 161st with 1.44.22 and Matt 208th with 1.48.15. 600 ran.



Pictures at the finish:


22 August, Storsylen (1762 metres) Uphill race. 11.2K, 1000 metres ascent.


After checking the start list and finding out that I was probably the only non Olympic athlete taking part, my main aim in this race was not to come last!


During the warm up, I recognised at least 40 well known elite Norwegian cross country skiers so in order of not getting in the way, I politely took up a starting position at the back of the field.


The route starts with a 250 meter climb the first few K's followed by 6-7k with undulating terrain before a 700 metre killer climb the last 2k or so to the top.


I was surprised to see at least a couple of runners behind me up the first hill and managed to overtake a couple of people before the end so in the end I had 21 out of the 84 runners behind me,

So in the end I finished in 63rd position with the time 1.41.11. I thought I did an ok race but this by far the worst position I have ever had in a race. The winning time was 1.11.29.


29 August. Mont Blanc, 4810 metres.


Well, this wasn’t really a race but I managed to walk through the thin air to the roof of the Alps. My mate, who had decided to climb Mont Blanc on his 40th Birthday, and I walked up to the Goutier hut (3800m) before setting off to the summit early in the morning the next day.


With practically no acclimatising, the altitude was always going to be an issue but I managed to get to the top and back without any major problems. Perhaps it was Bob's hill training by the reservoir that pulled me through it....


It was a bit windy on the top but the conditions were really good and the views were breathtaking. The walk along the very narrow and exposed Bossons Ridge to the top was absolutely fantastic!


Up & Running


Are you running the 2009 Great North Run on 20th September ?


Pop into UP & RUNNING in Headingley to our Great North Run advice clinic anytime this Saturday 12th September from 9.30 to 5.30pm.

  • Get tips on clothing, footwear, blisters, race strategy, nutrition, injuries, pacing
  • Try some energy gels/ energy drinks
  • Get advice from our experienced staff - anything from getting to the start line to what to eat the night before!!

We look forward to seeing you on SATURDAY 12th SEPTEMBER.




Alison, Sian and Ian


A second email from Up & Running advertised a “3 for 2” sale at Leeds Central Store.