Sent: 12 February 2010 12:05
Subject: V S Update - Alison Rose feedback, Tuesday training, Wadsworth Trog & Open 5 reports, Best of the Fells


Alison Rose’s Drills Session


I asked in the last V S Update for some feedback from the session that I could forward to Alison (I said wouldn’t publish any names).  But so far I’ve not received any comments.


Just a few words such as “educational” or “entertaining” or “exhausting” would be great so that I could send a “thank you” from all of the Striders.  And, while it’s fresh in your memory, would you like another session from Alison and her team in the Autumn?


Please reply!


Tuesday Training


Unfortunately the track on Tuesday was too icy for running.  We’ve run when it has been quite slippery on the top bend but this time we’d have had difficulty staying on our feet on the whole track, even the straight in front of the pavilion.  For some reason the track seems to have a microclimate about 3 degrees colder than the surrounding area.  Most of us went and did a hill session at Church Lane


The consensus was that we should have an “extra” track session on Tuesday 23 February and I’ve asked Carnegie whether I can book this slot.  Assume that this is ON unless you hear otherwise.


Tuesday evening start times seem to be slipping back by a minute each week.  The track is booked from 7pm but several people were arriving at 5 past or 10 past.  Similarly the Tuesday sessions at Leos are supposed to start at 6:45 but many turn up later knowing that we are “always” late.


From next Tuesday (at 6:45) we are going to do a few warm-ups and drills at Leos before we set off.  Arrive at 6:55 and you’ll miss them!


NB if the weather gets worse, check on the website for the status of training sessions.


Thursday 18 February – meet LEOS 18:45 for steady run followed by showers followed by curry at Ruchee.


National XC


Thank you!  I have already had 7 people volunteering for the 2:30 to 3:30 slot at the “National”.  Thanks to Dave Middlemas, Kathy & Ken Kaiser, Nat Crossland (& Ted), Paul Furness, Paul Sanderson and Sara Goward for putting their names forward so quickly.


Anyone else not running is still welcome to volunteer.  Because we right in the middle of Soldiers Fields we should be able to set up our “base” there, so it should be quite a sociable do, whatever the weather.


For those running, are some of you able to get there early?  Either to do the 10:30 or 11:30 slots or even a little but earlier to set up the course?  I’ll forward names to Geoff and Sylvia as they’ll know how many people are required at what time.


Wadsworth Trog - report from Xanthe Hannah

A good Striders turn out for the combined half and full Wadsworth Trog on Saturday. 8 of us set off for the full and I’d rashly agreed to let Jonathon run with me and take advantage of my navigation. My (our) goal was to beat Geoff but this was quickly revised to merely meeting the cut-offs when we saw Geoff sprint off into the distance at the start despite having declared that he would be ‘starting slow’. The first mile or so was a loop round some fields to spread the pack out and we caught sight of Geoff again when queuing to get over a stile. By the time we reached the moor on the way to CP1 I was getting rather irritating reports from Jonathon on a) how far in front Geoff was and b) how many calories his watch said he’d used so far. Just before CP1 Geoff inexplicably stopped and let us overtake him saying that he didn’t feel quite right. At CP1 I stopped to re-tie my shoe and Geoff overtook us and disappeared into the fog. CP2 was down a vertical hill which we then had to climb back up. At this point Jonathon was beginning to look a little shocked as though he hadn’t quite expected it to be so difficult. We lucked out on the run to CP3 as the people we were following did some spot on navigation taking us directly to CP3 where we caught up with Geoff. We got held up at the road crossing and yet again Geoff disappeared into the fog like a sprightly mountain goat.

Just after CP 4 Rob came running past us having taken a little detour between CP2 and CP3. We caught Geoff up again between CP4 & CP5 which is at the top of a long steep hill. Seizing the moment we started running when most others were still walking and managed to build up a small lead. Again we lucked out in that the people we followed cut off a big corner on the way to CP6 meaning that as we were running back from CP6 we passed Geoff running towards it. At this point Jonathon decided to stop for a picnic but told me to run on. He was starting to look a bit peaky so I ran on and waited for him at CP7. This delay saw all the runners in front of us disappear into the fog so from that point on we were on our own for large sections. On the way to CP8 Jonathon confessed that when I’d warned him that I’d be walking bits of the course he’d taken this to mean it would be more of a hike than a race. By CP8 Jonathon was (to put it kindly) being dragged along but decided that carrying his bum-bag like a man-bag would help him in some unfathomable way. We plodded on to CP9 and picked up some company through CP10 who stayed with us until CP11 where I kindly gave Jonathon a gel so that he could start acting human again. We reached CP11 within the cut-off which was a relief and some random kind gentleman was letting the runners sip his flask of tea which was nice.

CP11 onwards was where the real navigational effort began but we made it to the stones by following a group in the distance. At the stones we lost sight of them so from there to CP12 we were totally alone, in the fog with only the vaguest idea of which way to go. We were walking at this point (somehow thinking it’s safer to be walking when lost) and I was beginning to get quite worried about ever finding our way to CP12. After about 20 minutes we saw a man walking a dog and I ran a bit hysterically towards him to get directions. We were actually only about 200m away from CP12 so shortly set off towards CP13; another test of navigational prowess that was the undoing of many (cough cough Geoff). Jonathon was still flagging and I kept looking back to make sure I hadn’t lost him  to the fog (he later told me that he couldn’t understand anything I was saying by now as his little brain had shut down from the exertion). I had recced the course with a local runner so had a great tip for a shortcut from CP12 to CP13. Unfortunately the fog meant this was pretty useless as visibility was down to about 50m but we veered off in the general direction regardless. It seemed a little crazy at times as we ploughed though tussocks and bogs but then, like a shining beacon in the distance I spotted the land mark and thus we made it to CP13 safely; only to have a comedy moment when we saw several runners approaching CP13 from the opposite direction. The rest of the route was flagged and we struggled gamely on. The difference in our finishing times is due to Jonathon stopping at the car on the way to the finish.

To be fair(er) to Jonathon I struggled to keep up with him in the early stages, he struggled to keep up with me in the middle and towards the end we both struggled to move at all. I’ll definitely be returning next year to see how much faster I can do it solo but I was definitely glad of the company when seemingly lost on the moor.

Half results: 

  1 Lee Athersmith  (K&C)

 34 Keith Brewster         2:10:35

 37 Alun Davies            2:13:27

 46 Sara Dyer              2:44:32

 55 started, 46 finished


Full results:

  1 Tom Brunt Holmfirth H  3:00:24
28 Eirik Stangnes         3:47:59

 33 Steve Webb             3:54:53

 60 Malcolm Coles          4:24:55  (2nd M60)

 88 Stephen Dixon          4:30:49

 98 Robert Bumstead        4:37:31

109 Xanthe Hannah          4:49:47

110 Jonathon Brownbill     4:51:45

126 started, 6 did not finish, 2 finished but missed check points
Mp  Geoff Webster – didn’t find Sheepstones 5:28:37


Bob added: NB Some posts on including maybe the people that came to CP13 in the opposite direction!


Steve Webb added:


Results for Wadsworth Trog (VSFC) and Half Trog (just for fun) now available on CVFR website.  Presumably Anthony will work out some scores shortly.  This is a B Long which feels like an A Long.  Eight Spiders tackled the Full in thick mist which made navigation on the plateau very difficult, not helped by the rubbish OS mapping in that particular area.  Eirik kept going much better than me in the final third and overtook en route to the penultimate checkpoint for a good result.  Malcolm Coles was 2nd V60.  Xanthe and Jonathan kept plugging away to beat the 5 hour barrier.  Geoff claims Sheepstones Trig point was stolen by thieves under cover of the mist.  Three Spiders were racing in the Half.


Everybody is doubtless keen to get out again at Winter Hill near Bolton this Sunday - second race in VSFC.


Open 5 Adventure Race at Haworth – report from Richard Adcock

I thought I'd send you a message to let you know I'm still around but doing more biking and swimming to save my knees.

I bumped into Anthony Fryer in Haworth yesterday at the start of my first Open 5 Adventure Race, an orienteering race in which you have "Five hours to visit as many checkpoints as you can on your mountain bike and running".

It was Cold, Drizzly and Foggy with visibility down to 10 metres at times (it's a comforting feeling whilst lost being able to hear other people even if you can't see them) so perfect for spending the day running around the hills.

The race is set up to be just possible to complete in the time by the best having their best day! and as there is no set route you start by making a plan of where you think you can get to.

My planned two hour run turned into well over two and a half hours partly as I extended my planned route and partly because my compass thought it would be funny to keep moving North and watch me zigzag around!!

Tired and hungry back into transition, quick change for the bike, grab some food and then off again.

I hoped to regain some time and energy on the bike but a lot of the route was either too muddy or too steep to ride so a lot of pushing going on, even downhill at times thanks to two feet of snow!

Exhausted, Wet and Cold, it was a great way to spend five hours.

I did learn two things  1. My Waterproof socks aren't!  and 2. Trust your compass

I finished midfield in 39th of 66 Male(Solo) and 75th of 166 teams overall and Anthony was up near the top in 11th and 19th respectively.

Next one is Sedbergh in March, for more information visit and for results

Other Results


Tigger Tor


260 Malcolm Coles    1:50:36

292 Dave Jones       2:07:45

307 finished


Yorkshire Vets XC


  Simon Vallance    M40/11th

  Andrew Thompson   M40/13th




from Paul Holloway


Thanks for the update.  It's good to see more Striders at the Parkrun.  I can highly recommend the South Manchester parkrun for any Striders venturing out that way - it's absolutely pancake flat and consequently a great choice for anyone looking to beat their PB.


from John Hallas


Came across Terry's blog which is good reading and probably of interest to many Striders.


“The Best of the Fells”


Message from Steve Webb:  This is the book created from lots of reports by fell runners - profits to go to mountain rescue.  I mentioned it at the AGM a couple of years ago because the author/compiler asked for permission to include pieces by me and Mick Loftus.


Worth publicising I think, log on ("weeeeeeeee,eeeeeeeeee,eeeeeeee,eeeeeee,lllllllll, you know you make me wanna shout!") to check the details.


The preface to the book says:


The Best of the Fells is a collection of fell race accounts, written by runners, and featuring a wide range of races and challenges across the UK (and a few beyond). Read it for entertaining accounts of the Bob Graham Round, the Fellsman, classic Lake District fell races, the Ben Nevis Race, the Grizzly and many more. Thirty-five different running clubs and fifty runners have contributed to the book. All proceeds from the book are being donated to UK Mountain Rescue.


Here’s the email from the editor, Peter Hooper


Well, the book is live at last!  You can view/purchase it at the following site:

Let me know if you have any problems accessing it.  If you click on preview that allows you to view the first few pages, including the contents page.  I'm sorry I can't give you all free copies but there are so many of you!  I am sending review copies out to selected individuals, organisations (FRA have had an advance copy) and websites, but if you could help promote it (assuming you like the look of it!) to your club or other organisations I'd be really grateful.  For those of you with blogs or websites, I do have some code that will put a 'lulu' button on your site which will then take readers straight to the page above - let me know if you would be interested in doing this.

As best as I can calculate at the moment, the gross margin per book is £3.24. I'll come back to you all in due course to let you know how we're doing and how much is going to MRT.  I'll also set up some form of independent audit so that everyone is happy the right amounts are being paid to MRT.  If you have any queries or concerns then I'll be very happy to answer them.

Thanks again for all your support - and for your writing of course!  I hope you like the end product.