Sent: 02 November 2009 23:59
Subject: V S Update - reminders and announcements, diary, grand prix, thank you, agm, race reports & results, 2 new striders, messages


Sorry, it’s been a while since the last V S Update so this email is rather longer than normal – make a cup of tea, sit yourself down …


Quick reminders and announcements


Next Tuesday (November 3) between mouthfuls of lasagne we will discuss Grand Prix events for 2010.  If you’re not able to get to Leo’s that night and have some suggestions, please mail them to .  NB too late to order lasagne now.


NB we’ll have a meeting to discuss Fell Championship 2010 in a few weeks time.


Next Sunday (November 8) is the first Peco XC league race at Golden Acre Park.  Entries on day.  £2.50 I think, possibly £3.  Race details at   Note that there are also races for juniors for 8 to 16 years who need not be club members but need be related to a club member.   Also Valley Striders have been asked to supply a few marshals. So far it’s just me and Gary Sutherland.  Email me if you can help.  


The following Tuesday (November 10) is the regular second Tuesday in the month track session at Leeds Met, meet at 7:10 at Indoor Sports Centre


Abbey Runners have also asked if Striders can help marshal at the Abbey Dash (22 November).  They need 90 marshals and not surprisingly are having difficulty getting that number.  Email me if you can help.  (So far, we have me, Geoff, Sylvia, the Umplebys, the Careys and Xanthe – thank you!)


Don’t forget the Thirsk 10.  Postal entries close on 7 November so get your entries in this week.  We hope to have 40 to 50 Striders running there in the hope / expectation of winning back the Abbey-Valley Challenge Cup.  Every Strider who runs will score points, the cup will be won as much by quantity as quality.  It’s a simple scoring system – the first runner (from one of the 2 clubs) scores 150 points, the last runner scores 50 and everyone else is in between.  Therefore even the 3 slowest runners score in total more than the fastest.  And the scoring system also leads to some exciting head-to-head race finishes.  If you intend to run but don’t have transport, or if you want to share transport, let me know.


Membership subscriptions are due now.  If you haven’t already paid (you can check at ) send a cheque for £15, payable to Valley Striders, to Paul White, 17 Whinmoor Court, Redhall, Leeds LS14 1NX.  NB if you are a non-runner, or second claim or a junior, see the membership page for the appropriate rate to pay.  Nearly half of our members have paid – thank you! 


Also a repeat reminder for you to check .  If the last column is not a “Y”, we do not have emergency contact details for you, in which case, please email me with the name and phone number someone to contact for you in case of emergency.  Thank you to the 10 people who replied last week, we now details for 74 of you but that is less than half the number of active members in the club.


Events diary for rest of 2009 and early 2010


  • Sun 8 Nov - PECO XC race 1 Golden Acre Park – enter on day
  • Sun 8 Nov - Cop Hill fell race (Yorks vets champs)
  • Sat 14 Nov - Burley Bridge Hike (VSGP)
  • Sat 21 Nov - West Yorks XC race 3 at Wakefield (VSGP)
  • Sun 22 Nov - Abbey Dash 10k (VSGP)
  • Sun 29 Nov - Thirsk 10 (VSGP)
  • Sat 5 Dec - PECO XC race 2 provisional Horsforth
  • Sun 6 Dec - West Yorks XC race 4 Nunroyd Park Guiseley
  • Sun 13 Dec - Calderdale Way Relay
  • Fri 18 Dec - Striders Xmas meal and Presentation Night at Leos – details soon
  • Sat 26 Dec - Chevin Chase (2010 VSGP)
  • Sun 27 Dec - Xmas Handicap (2010 VSGP)


  • Sun 3 Jan - (probably) Harrogate Ringway relay
  • Sat 9 Jan - Yorks XC at Wakefield, c/d 11 December, names to Drew Taylor
  • Sun 17 Jan - PECO XC race 3 provisional Ilkley
  • Sat 23 Jan - Northern XC at Witton Park, Blackburn, c/d 11 December?, names to Drew Taylor
  • Sun 24 Jan - Brass Monkey half  entries closed  (2010 VSGP)
  • Sun 31 Jan - PECO XC race 4 provisional John Smeaton
  • Sat 6 Feb - Yorks Vetc XC at Sheffield, names to Drew Taylor
  • Sun 7 Feb - Dewsbury 10k (provisional)
  • Sun 14 Feb - Liversedge half (enter early)
  • Sat 27 Feb - Nat XC at Leeds, c/d 4 January, names to Drew Taylor (2010 VSGP?)
  • Sun 28 Feb - Snake Lane 10
  • Sun 7 Mar - PECO XC race 5 provisional Emmanuel College Thackley


Dan Murray says “Ladies and Gents, entries now open for the Chevin Chase, get your Tu Tu at the ready!!”


Regarding major Cross Country events (Yorkshire, Northern, Yorks Vets, England), please email Drew Taylor to book your place.


Grand Prix 2009


Just 4 races to go.  29 Striders have already run 8 races, therefore have already qualified for a 2009 Grand Prix performance vest or shirt.  But another 32 have run 4 or more races – they too could qualify.  Who will win the men’s and ladies’ championships?  Who will win the vets prizes and the groups?  Click on and follow the links for Grand Prix points table and Grand Prix points table by group.


And a statistic for you – Striders have now run 94 marathons this year – 56 measured road marathons and 38 off-road marathons of 24 miles or more.  If you’ve run a marathon this year, check that your run has been included in the “Any Other Marathons” section in


Performance Spreadsheet  This is now updated to the middle of October.  If you’ve run a race in a remote part of England (e.g. Teesside or Lancashire or Sheffield) then Paul may have missed your result, so check


Thank You! – two letters received


From Ruth at Lineham Farm


Just a small note to say “thank you hugely” for all your hard work and determination for the recent Harewood Races.  The day was really fun and we are so pleased to be associated with the Valley Striders. 


Please pass on out greatest thanks to all concerned.


(Bob says - NB we are still calculating the final profit, but it appears to be about £3,800 to be shared between Lineham Farm and Yorkshire Air Ambulance.  Lineham farm also took about £400 on the refreshment stall.)


From Imogen at Cancer Research  


I just wanted to pass on my thanks to Valley Striders for coming along to volunteer at this year’s Cancer Research UK Run 10k at Harewood House.  I hope you enjoyed the day.  Our Run 10k events could not take place without the help of our volunteers and your support is very much appreciated.  Thank you! 


2009 has been a really successful year with over 1700 men and women taking part in the event at Harewood.  This was our biggest year there to date which is a fantastic success.  We have already raised £43,000 and look set to smash the target of raising £74,000 from Harewood alone.  Every penny will go directly towards Cancer Research UK’s vital research into the prevention treatment and cure of all kinds of cancer.


Thanks again for your help and hope to see you next year.


AGM – Chairman’s Brief Notes


42 Striders attended the AGM last week. There were some excellent reports by committee members and other officials – the minutes will be available shortly and will include several of the reports in full, available to everyone to read.


Laura Clark and Tracy Stewart have resigned from the committee due to other commitments.  Although they were only on the committee for one year, both have supported the club for several years – Laura as women’s captain and Tracy as an unofficial leader of the Thursday session.  Thank you, and I hope you’ll both be back regularly with Valley Striders soon.


And I’d like to welcome Xanthe Hannah and John Wallace as new members of the committee. 


Information about the AGM and the committee can be found at and


Message from Valley Striders founder and vice-president


Hi Bob & just a brief note before next Tuesday & the yearly lift off once again. Hope things are going well - they seem to be according to the missives I keep receiving - & that you are in fine fettle; what will they do without your catering expertise & who will get the pies in? Besides wishing everybody all the best @ the AGM the reasons I'm emailing are two-fold. I am clearing out old stuff which has remained untouched / undiscovered for yonks & have come across, besides lots of my medals for forgotten events of the past, the original Club Resolution & some really early course & events stuff that I wrote when the Striders was virtually my life. I wondered if you would like them for the archives, if you have such a thing, as they are not doing much sat up here in Scotland? I'll not be offended if the offer is not taken up & will keep said documents to be found when I've snuffed it & some devil is going through my things! Anyway if you do want them then let me know & as I'm down in Harrogate on Sat 21st November I could always leave them behind the bar @ Leos.


Secondly, I'm migrating for the winter to Australia so there will be NO Christmas cards to those who I normally send to, so if you could, would you pass on my early festive greetings next Tuesday & tell them I'll be thinking of everyone. Hope everything goes ok & you've no awkward so-&-so's like Terry L used to be, or that anybody prattles on for too long like yours truly, or my old mate Steve O! Oh & don't let Mr Hopson get up because he'll only be wanting to flog some time-share in Cyprus or a cabin in the Cotswolds!


Take care.


Love Stuart.


(Bob says - If you want to read a brief and entertaining history of the first few years of the Striders, go to )


Race Reports and Results


Amsterdam Marathon – report by Nick Barnes
I went over to Holland with a few friends from my old running club in Lancaster (one was running his 100th marathon!) to run the Amsterdam marathon.  It must've been one of the tamest trips to Amsterdam by a group of Brits ever, being more concerned with arriving at the start line in tip-top shape than enjoying many of Amsterdam's other "attractions". 
Sunday morning turned out to be cool and sunny and I was surprised to see Eric hanging around at the start - can't believe I travelled that far and still wasn't the leading Strider! I started at the back of the 3:30 pen and feeling quite apprehensive after missing this target by some way in London earlier this year, and settled into slightly outside 8-min miles for the 1st 10k and watched seemingly hundreds of runners stream past.  Things started to click after this and I picked up to inside 8-min miles along a 10-mile out-and-back picturesque stretch along the Amstel river where you could see the faster runners coming back up the opposite bank. I was steadily re-taking places from just before halfway by holding onto my pace - in fact my fastest mile of the race came quite late on at mile 19!  I just slipped off 8-min miles in the final 5k to come home in 3:31:58 by my watch - although the thieving Dutch gypsies took 2 secs back on my chip time, so its officially 3:32:00 for 1788th out of 6902, and my two halves differed by only 40secs so it was almost even running.  I smashed my PB by over 20mins and was pleased to not struggle and fall apart over the final miles this time, although admittedly I was a little disappointed to have come so close to 3:30, so now I'll have to run another one!  My Garmin said I'd run 26.5 miles at the finish, which I can only put down to weaving round runners and going round the outside of corners through most of the second half.  I decided that extra 0.3 miles entitled me to a big fat Thai meal and several beers on Sunday evening.
I'd thoroughly recommend Amsterdam to anyone wanting to make a weekend out of a race.  Its fast, flat, running out of and back into the Olympic stadium is really inspiring, and there's plenty of runners to keep up a good atmosphere without the roads being jam-packed full.  There's also a half marathon and 7.5k on the same day, and you can fly direct from Leeds!
Results at if you enter my number 1545, where there are links to photos and videos every 5k from halfway.

Holmfirth 15 on 25 October - report by Rob Hamilton


Holmfirth lies 5.5 miles from Huddersfield and of course is best known for its Last of the Summer Wine series. Holmfirth is also surrounded by breath taking scenery of the Peak District and South Pennines. With these facts you could be intimidated and believe you've entered a fell race instead of a road. Not that I'm adverse to a challenge but I was delighted the course consisted of a small loop with two laps and the hills were gradual climbs (a short hill tester towards the end).


I stayed in Huddersfield the night before so travelling was only a few miles away, however going out on the town after meeting old acquaintances and with a lack of sleep is not to be recommended.


There was a brief downpour of rain before the start, with patches of breeze on route; otherwise the weather was ideal for running. I probably started too fast and by the first lap I was feeling the effects of going out the night before. My conscience said to drop out, but I gritted my teeth and continued finishing 34th out of 170 finishers. To my surprise I received a prize for first M40.


The winner: Stuart Macdonald. Bingley Harriers. 1.24.45.

Panos 1:28:13 was 4th just missing out on 3rd by 2 seconds.

Ian Sanderson 1:39:37 24th

Rob Hamilton 1:43:06 34th, 1st M40

Andrew Thompson 1:43:38 38th, 2nd M40

James Tarran 1:44:30 40th

Ruth Warren 1:56:57 87th, 2nd F50


There were encouraging marshals and mandatory cake and sandwich stall, but I have been to better organised events. Overall it’s worth a visit even its just to see the picturesque Peak District or see where the late glamorous! 'Nora Batty' and 'Compo' performed in the Last of the Summer Wine.


Dublin Marathon on 26 October – race and tour report from Jonathan Brownbill


A Brilliant race, a Brilliant trip and a Brilliant time had by all.


On the 26 October 2009 at 9am, a Valley Strider Reconnaissance Mission embarked upon the inaugural Autumn Marathon Club Trip Race. In times to come these early Street Pounders will be revered and regaled as the first of a long line Autumn Trip Club Marathon Runners. Plans are in hand for the 2010 mission and further details will be available in due course.


Back to this year. Dublin is a fare city with a taxing Marathon route that is not flat or a doddle. However, weather conditions were perfect and support from the residents of the fare city was exceptional with a level of warmth shown by the host city to all runners that is beyond the norm. Many residents stood outside their homes and provided no end of verbal, nutritional and liquid support. I would estimate that there was at least 1000 plus unofficial refuelling stops enroute offering fruit, jelly babies, haribos, chocolate, the odd cigarette and I for one, was offered a rub (cramp in my leg).


A couple of highlights of the run were the Special VS Vest which we had made that provided a real sense of belonging, Matt finishing sub 3 hours which was a brilliant run. The genuine excitement level of all leaving the hotel at the same time on the morning of the run to get the start at the same time and finding laughter round every corner on the 10 minute walk that took care of any nerves and reinforced the fact that we are members of a running club.


After the race we all relaxed and submerged ourselves in what Dublin and the Irish do best 'The Craic'.


A couple of our brave party deserve special mention as they brought a little bit extra to the experience. The first person worthy of recognition is Tom Button who must receive the award for 'best use of lips' ... his bugle playing and rendition of 'Papas got a Brand New Pig Bag' was brilliant. Up next is Dr Alistair who went to the aid of a collapsed runner just after the race while in the pub, he took the stricken runner’s pulse and told him it was very weak and he should remain prone for a couple of minutes. When the collapsed runner had left the pub Alistair was asked how weak the pulse was 'No idea', came the reply 'I could not find it'. How good is Dr Alistair,  he made the dead live again. Now turning to the most lame excuse on the trip, please step up Alan Hutchinson. Alan had to call it an early one on Monday evening as his burger was stuck in his Oesophagus, nothing to do with 9 pints of Guinness Alan? Finally the organiser and Rick Astley look-a-like, Mr Patrick Barrett, who receives warm thanks and special award for his interpretation of Irish Dancing merged with a manic head banging set at a Motorhead concert. Truly inspiring Patrick and to think you claim to have Irish Blood in you. Now how do you say Slainte?


                                  Grand Prix pts

 287 Matt Allen         2:59:52      100 

 404 Dan Fisher         3:05:55       98 

 481 Alan Hutchinson    3:09:23       97 

 488 Alistair Smyth     3:09:37       95 

 606 Dan Murray         3:13:31       94 

 828 Liz Wood           3:19:46       92 

 875 Dave Thompson      3:21:07       91  (Billericay Striders and VS 2nd claim)

 933 Patrick Barrett    3:22:28       91 

1119 Tom Button         3:25:41       89 

1617 Greg Skerrett      3:33:18       88 

1616 Jonathan Brownbill 3:33:19       88 

2126 John Wallace       3:40:27       85 

3378 Gary Mann          3:55:24       83 

5006 Paul Sanderson     4:12:56       82 

8092 Mary Egan          4:59:20       80 


Tom Button has uploaded some photos - you can see them at he says you don't need to be registered on facebook to view them.


Leeds Parkrun on 31 October


  2 Gwilym Thomas     17:00

 11 Rob Hamilton      18:40

 12 Ian Sanderson     18:44

 15 Roy Huggins       18:57

 19 Ian Rosser        19:08

 20 James Tarran      19:15

 54 Leroy Sutton      21:40

103 Paul Holloway     25:00


For other parkrun results see


42 Striders have raced at least one Parkrun and between them have run 292 races.


Gwil has 7 race wins, Caz 2, and Elika and Vicky 1 each.  James Tarran only needs to run 3 more races to get a T-shirt for 50 races.  Not too far behind are Ian Rosser on 31, Paul Holloway on 29 and Ian Sanderson on 28.


English National Cross Country Relay at Mansfield on 31 October


Striders finished 68th out of 151 teams, this was about 30 places up on last year.  The race was chip-timed so we have results to the nearest one-hundredth of a second!


Leg 1 Panos Aristotelous   17:10.95

Leg 2 Dan Fisher           18:13.90

Leg 3 Rob De Giovanni      17:53.55

Leg 4 Simon Midwood        18:00.35


NB Dan was running just 5 days after Dublin marathon!


West Yorkshire Cross Country on 1 November



 48 Hayley Nancolas    25:55

 58 Sharon Tansley     26:31

 74 Chloe Hudson       27:59

 75 Madeleine Watson   28:02

 94 Lyn Eden           35:35 (Ilkley H)

Team 9th



 15 Panos Aristotelous 29:57

 52 Gwil Thomas        32:23

 57 Steve Webb         32:28

 70 Jeremy Ladyman     33:24

 87 Alex Nancolas      33:53

101 Rob Hamilton       34:33

130 Joel Giddings      35:56

136 Rob Bumstead       36:12

141 Lewis Balfour      36:21

161 James Tarran       37:36

170 Roy Huggins        38:12

176 Mark Hunter        38:29

180 Tahir Akhtar       38:59

189 Malcolm Coles      39:54

199 Tony Haygarth      41:40

200 Paul White         41:41

205 Mick Tinker        42:28

215 Jim Towers         44:22 (Ilkley H)

218 Geoff Webster      46:01

219 Bob Wilkes         46:17

Team 6th


Photos at


A plea – after each cross country could at least 4 Striders stay behind to help dismantle the tent.  On Sunday, Sylvia was holding one corner and nearly floated off to Bramhope, the wind was so strong.


Jerry Watson had an unfortunate and unusual accident.  I’ll let him tell the story


Was going pretty well following through just behind Jeremy Ladyman I think it was, Early on 2nd lap just after turning to run along the Otley road Kevin Langan (Knavesmire)  got caught in some billowing tapes. What I think happened was that he kept running and the tape didn't snap but got pulled tighter and tighter like an elastic band. Eventually it pulled the stake right out of the ground which then was fired as from an elastic band and flew like an arrow & hit me square on the knee cap (luckily not the pointed end). It really hurt, & my cry made Kevin jump! So I have a small but deep cut and the real problem is the heavy bruising which means I can't bend my knee and I can hardly move now.

Kevin finished 89th and as the people around me at the time finished in the 76-96 bracket I think I was going well as I didn't break 100 last year and it was a big field so probably better.

Really p****d off as I'm off to Seattle to run the marathon at the end of the month and I can't see me running a step at least for a week so this screws any plans of me racing it, as I've already lost a couple of weeks of buildup in October through a chesty cough.
Ah well. Old men should not be allowed out!


New(born) Striders


From Jools Barltrop


Just to let you know, Christian Luke, the latest addition to Striders, was born on Sept 25th weighing 6lbs 2oz. Judging by his delivery, he should have a decent sprint finish! We're both doing fantastically well. Love to all.


From Gwil Thomas


Could you let everyone know that Emma and I had our daughter on Monday, 26th October at 8:14pm.  Her name's Erin and she weighed in at an athletic 8lbs 9, 3/4 ozs. 




From Ian Nixon, Up and Running, Headingley


Injury has all cleared up now, so hopefully will be able to get down in the next month once I can get use of the car! Can you let club members know that we now have in stock the book recently published by your very own president, Charlie Spedding, in store now, which with 10% club discount will be cheaper than anywhere else! Perfect for Christmas!! Hopefully see you soon.


(Bob says, but if you buy direct from Charlie you can get your copy personally inscribed)


From Michaela McGarry


A big 'THANK YOU' to everyone who was kind enough to complete my daughter, Vicky's, food questionnaire. It was most appreciated.


That’s all, folks!