Sent: 19 May 2010 00:01
Subject: V S Update - social events, forthcoming races, Meanwood Report, race reports, Fellsman report, Duathlon report


BIG THANK YOU to everyone who helped at the Meanwood Trail Race – see below for race report.


Social Events


Thursday 20 May is curry night – come for a run (from Scott Hall) first and/or turn up at the Ruchee about 8:30pm


Sunday 30 May (bank holiday weekend) is Striders night out.

Everyone welcome, the more the merrier!

Time: 7pm, possibly earlier (any change of plan will be on )

Location: starting at Angel’s Share in Chapel Allerton.  Contact Liz Wood

Reasons (if you need them): it's a bank holiday; summer is just around the corner; Striders are the best; life's too short not to!

Another reason: it’s Liz’s birthday the following day (my informant is TT)


Tuesday 1 June is pie and peas at Leos – book at choosing meat pie or vegetarian bake, choosing mushy peas or baked beans, and choosing whether or not to have apple pie


Thursday 3 June run will be from Oakwood Clock (usual time 6:45pm) and will take one lap of Max’s training circuit (1.9 miles) before heading off round Roundhay Park.  The first Tuesday of the month has been designated “beginners session”, we will look after everyone, whatever their pace, so if you have friends who want to try out a running club, recommend them to come to this session


Friday 11 June Matt Marsh (not a Striders member) has emailed me “Hi, I'm arranging a big rounders game for Friday 11 June on Roundhay Park for one of your members birthdays, Lucy Nowlin. Lucy trains with the club on a Thursday evening. Will it be possible to send an email to members, omitting Lucy from the list to let them know about the game. We will be meeting in the main car park at 6.30 on the evening with the game taking place on the large grass area next to the car park.”  Email

Forthcoming Races


Details for all of the following except Chevin Race on


Sun 13 Jun - Bradford Millennium Way Relay – we now have 9 men and 7 women.  To ensure 2 teams we need 4 more and a couple of reserves.  If I don’t get any more names before Thursday night, Tim Towler and myself have made an executive decision and picked teams which we will announce on Friday to give opportunities for recceing.


Meanwood Trail Report


There were 75 marshals and other officials – THANK YOU all of you.


Thanks in particular to non-members of Striders who helped including Carolyn Cutts, Becky Murray, Adam & Sammy Mills, Ed & Neve Carey, Sam Briscoe, Tracy Almond (Chapel A) and Dave Beston (Abbey).


We had a few problems with the junior race – just one marshal short and another in the wrong place caused the 3 leaders to go wrong and an 8-year old girl to be lost in the woods for 10 minutes.  This would probably have been avoided if someone had walked the route 5 minutes before the start of the race.  We will know next time.  We had 99 finishers (would have been a record-equalling 100 if the little girl had finished).


The senior race went like clockwork.  We had a couple of drop-outs due to injury but we still had 255 finish.  I received at least 15 favourable comments from runners (beautiful route, friendly and helpful marshals was the general gist, although some muttered about the hills), and some of the funnel marshals told me they’d had similar comments as they kept the line in order.  Our race referee, Alex Grant from Abbey Runners, also had similar feedback.


Andrew Cutts completed his 13th Meanwood Trail Race.  He has also run all 3 races in the Airedale Triple Trail (Baildon/Guiseley/Meanwood) for the 9 years that the series has been running.


The initial estimate is that the race will make about £530 profit.  However this does not include “additional” donations to Lineham Farm for which we received a further £370.  And most of this £370 was marked with the tick in the gift-aid box, which is worth a further £80.  So we won’t be far short of £1000 when everything is totted up.


So also CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who helped, and by the way, there is a bottle of “Meanwood Meander” beer for everyone, collect from Leos any Tuesday.


Feedback from competitors


Email from Craig Bradley


I would like to pass on my thanks to all the marshals who helped out at the Meanwood Valley Trail last Saturday.  Their encouragement was fantastic, and much needed for a novice runner like myself.   The sheer number required to ensure that everyone went the right route was also amazing.   I will definitely be running this race next year.   I also think it is too cheap, something I understand you don’t often hear from a runner, but as a golfer I can’t believe the value of these races.  Keep up the good work!!


On the Runners World Website


My fave trail race, especially so with conditions as good as yesterday.


The Forum


The forum has been live for a couple of weeks now and a few Striders have joined but it needs many more of you to join for it to be worthwhile.


It is the place for running specific talk, to organise training runs, ask for training advice, arrange car sharing to races or just chat with your club-mates.


To join in first you must register with Nabble who host our forum and then become a member of "Valley Striders" forum, please follow the instructions below:
1. Go to
2. Fill in your email address and create a Username and password (keep these as you will need these to login in the future)
3. Input the verification code (this confirms you are a person and not a computer)
4. Click register
5. You will then receive an email verification, click the link to confirm.

6. Now you can read the forum AND post replies to topics.
7. Finally, to create your own topics you need to become a member of the "Valley Striders" forum, to do this send an email with your name and username to
8. Post away

If you have any questions please contact the administrator at


Race Reports & Results


Heaton Park parkrun


Lou Gilchrist knocked 9 seconds off last week’s time for 27:45 and an age-graded percentage of 91.89% (she’s 77)


Beaverbrook Blackpool 10k


Rob De’Giovanni 33:45.  We suspect that this did not have a UK Athletics measurement (Blackpool appears to have shorter rulers than elsewhere In the country), but even so, an incredible time, and not bettered by a Striders male for at least 3½ years, maybe longer.  Only Tracey Morris has run faster recently.


Chester Half Marathon


Ceri Jones  2:15:46


Windermere Marathon


Eric Green 3:18:54

Simon Redshaw  3:25:44

Meg Galsworthy 5:23:59


Jack Bloor Fell Race (VSGP & VSFC) & Esholt 5k (VSGP)


In next V S Update


White Horse Half Marathon - Sunday 11th April – from Nick Barnes
A good flat half marathon in the Oxfordshire countryside perfect for setting a new PB - so I did.  I ran 1:31:57 (75th out of 440), about 20 secs quicker than last year, but I was a minute up at 10 miles so I definitely lost some time coming back into the wind in the last 3 miles.  Its a good race thats not overcrowded so I'll probably be back again, although I may be scarred after being whooped by Dangermouse.
Thornborough 10 - Monday 3rd May – from Nick Barnes
A really tiny village race in Buckinghamshire, the route followed a two lap course and it was constantly up and down so you knew where to expect the hills 2nd time around.  I ran 1:07:04 and finished in 4th place (out of 50ish).  I was in view of the leaders for about 3 miles or so and could see the front car, but then one guy decided it was far too slow and bolted off! No prize tho - gutted.
Ripon 10 - Sunday 9th May – from Nick Barnes
This was a much tougher race than I remembered - I knew there were two long uphill slogs, but I'd managed to blank out many of the other shorter ones!  A good mix of trail and road running out on country lanes near Fountains Abbey, its a very pretty race and well worth a visit as its not too far away.  I ran 1:09:58 (it was much harder than the Thronborough race!) for 52nd out of 372, about 3 minutes up on last year so hopefully things are heading in the right direction.

Fellsman 2010 (62 mile 11,000 ft ascent) – report from Mick Loftus


On Saturday 8th May, I found myself dejectedly jogging into a check point called Stonehouse in the upper end of Dent dale in the Yorkshire Dales.  I had run about 27 miles to get there but I still had over 30 miles still to go to complete the Fellsman 2010.


I had been up since 5am having slept in my car, then got bused to the start at Ingleton.  The weather was dry, as was the ground but there was a cold strong headwind.  We had been over Ingleborough, Whernside, Gragareth, Great Coum and Blea Moor. I was knackered and miserable.  I felt that this time I had bitten off more than I could chew.  I was moving slowly and had not settled into a rhythm with anyone else going at my pace.  I had to do my own navigation from Whernside onwards which slowed me down further.  I had not recce'd the route.  It would have probably taken a week. It was my first attempt at the Fellsman and I swore, my last.


At Stonehouse there was food and a thorough kit check.  We had a substantial list of stuff to carry including 300g of 'emergency rations' which we were not allowed to eat and 6 plasters (and yes they did count them).  Eventually I pressed on.


There followed an ascent of Great Knoutberry and down to the halfway checkpoint at Redshaw.  I got some more food down.  The realisation dawned, that no matter how rubbish I felt, I couldn't drop out.  There were 100s of runners and walkers behind me, they were all going to make it, so would I.


The next section was the ascent of Dodd Fell, I joined up with 3 other runners who were going at my pace.  At last I had the company I needed to pull me through.  We were soon onto the hardest section which was the crossing of Fleet Moss to Middletongue and on to the appropriately named Hell's Gap.  Navigation and conditions underfoot are both very difficult here, although many said it was the driest they had ever seen it and "Much easier this year" - thanks.


I stuck to the other three runners like glue.  Only one had done the event before but he knew the route really well.  We marched up each slight incline and jogged the flats and down hill.  The miles and hours passed.  I now felt bearably exhausted, where going any faster is inconcievable but keeping going on and on, is just possible.


It was now early evening, I had been going for some 10 hours.  Another checkpoint and feed station at Cray in upper Wharfedale appeared.

Then the climb of Buckden Pike, we had done over 45 miles now.  We marched up as best as we could.  The checkpoint came into view, from now on the checkpoints were just a disembodied arm sticking out of a wind-buffeted mountain tent.  Our tallys were clipped and on we went.

The cold wind was now on our backs but it was bitter.  I was wearing everything I had brought with me.   We ran south down the ridge of Buckden Pike to another major checkpoint at Park Rash.


Here we were officially 'grouped', where runners are put into a group which must  stay together from that point or all get disqualified.

This is a good safety measure and a strong motivator to keep going at the group pace.  We picked up two other runners and set off as a six up Great Whernside.  This was a similar experience to Buckden Pike but now in pitch black night.  Running by headtorch is a surreal experience, all the more so after 50 miles on the go.  All depth perception is flattened out.  I kept stubbing my toes and tripping.


Over Great Whernside and down to another checkpoint.  We made a slight navigation error.  It is all very well having 6 maps and compasses, and 3 GPS devices but with 6 exhausted runners to use them mistakes still happen.  We readjusted with little time lost.


To the last control we had a series of well spaced beacons to follow. These were actually roadwork lights.  It was weirdly disorientating experience to follow orange flashing lights over miles of moorland. They were 100s of metres apart and seemed to float in the blackness beyond the tiny pool of light provided by your headtorch.


After an age we arrived at Yarnbury, the last control and start of tarmac.  Only 2 miles to the finish now, mainly downhill.  As we ran through sleeping 'down-town' Grassington, I checked my watch to see it was midnight.  The final few 100m are uphill to the finish at Threshfield.  We tumbled through the door to the finish after 15 hours and 4 minutes.  There was no fanfare but lots of relieved grins and thanks.  We had run into the night with fantastic spontaneous teamwork.  We'd got round together, where individually or at least I, could not have managed.


To sum up, this is less of a race, more of a rite of passage.  Many people come back year after year, often walking the whole thing to finish in well over 24 hours.  It was won this year in 11 hours by Duncan Harris.  The record is 10:50. I came 45th out of 297 finishers in 15:03.


If you really want a big challenge without traveling to the ends of the earth, then the Fellsman is your local epic.


Clumber Classic Duathlon – report from George Black


JBH has suggested that I do a report on my participation in the Clumber Classic Duathlon as it may be of interest to other Coffin Dodgers.


Following 2 years out of competition due to various injuries which affect the aged I decided that I would just exercise instead of training for cycling and running events.


However my hopes of a leisure time spent drinking beer and eating chocolate were dashed when I learned that the World Duathlon Championships, including age group events, were being held in Edinburgh during September 2010.I felt it was worth an attempt to qualify for the Great Britain 70-74 age group.


In 2007 I had won the European 65-69 age group Duathlon Championship at this venue by over 8 minutes so I knew that while the course is very difficult it suits an all rounder rather than a pure tester type cyclist.


I had only run 223 miles during the period Nov 09 to February 2010 and cycled 400 miles during December/February. I had however managed 19 turbo sessions since January.  The running consisted mainly of 20 x 400 metre intervals with fewer than 15 second recoveries run at 10 mile/ ½ marathon pace. I did not do any hill training, long runs or weights to avoid the risk of injury.  You have got to be in it to win it.  The cycling was mostly Peter Read turbo training, the dreaded 25/20/15 minute session: progressive 15 second intervals and 1 minute intervals.


There were 4 qualifying events for selection to the GB team and 4 places available at each venue. I felt fairly confident that despite my restricted training I would gain selection as I only had to finish within 15% of the winner of my age group.


The 2 races that appealed to me most were the Clumber Classic at Worksop and the Stirling Duathlon. The former incorporated the British Championships and the latter the Scottish Championships.


I decided to enter Clumber as I had previously won the Scottish 60 plus title while at my previous attempt to win the British I had been forced to drop out with a hamstring injury when having a substantial lead. I felt it “owed me”.


With the Clumber event being held on a Saturday, Louise and I decided to travel south on the Thursday taking the opportunity to visit family and friends in Leeds during the trip. This decision proved crucial as it gave me the opportunity to ride over the cycle route on the Friday and to walk the difficult section of the run.


The 10km first run consisted of a 2.5km run to the turning point then back to the start which was repeated. It afforded the opportunity to see the opposition on 3 occasions. There was a steep climb at 1km then an uphill drag to the turning point.  The cycle route of 2 laps x 20km started and finished in Clumber Park National Trust Country Park  also used A and B classified roads.


The biggest problem was deciding which wheels/tyres to use as the surface in the park was very poor in places. I decided to gamble on my trusted Corima 4 spokes and carried a Pit Stop repair kit in case of a puncture.


I found there were 8 entries in my age group and some research on Google indicated that Les Bailey would probably provide the greatest challenge. I learned that Les had gained the world record at Ironman Lanzarote in the 70 plus age group .He had also won over 20 major medals at British duathlon championships along with world championship silver and bronze and silver at the European championships.


The weather leading up to the race had been fine but frosty and my main concern was that there may be ice on the shaded parts of the cycle route within the park.  However on race day!!! Freezing rain and very cold conditions met us. I have found over the years that I have performed well in extremes of temperature so I was not really concerned, even pleased.


On arriving early at Clumber Park We were directed to a car park ½ mile from registration and the start. As late arrivals were sent to car parks adjacent to the start I felt this was unfair to people who had made the effort to arrive on time. Subsequent events exacerbated this sense of grievance.


With a full field on 600 entries for the Classic and an additional 200 for the Clumber Sprint event the transition area was very busy but well organized and controlled. After racking my bike I obtained permission from the race referee to wear my cycle cape. I also wore running tights and gloves. I went into my pre-race preparation. On returning to the start I was annoyed to learn that the start had been delayed 15 minutes to accommodate the late arrivals. Most of us had made the effort to arrive on time and were now being forced to hang around in the cold having worked up pre-race sweat.


The race was started in 3 waves and went very smoothly with everyone exercising common sense until the field began to thin out.


I was wearing my Polar HRM and had set my target zones, which I always adhere to. However after about a mile I found that the transmitter battery had ceased to function. It was an older model with a sealed unit.


I had planned to run steady to the first turn and then evaluate my position against the others in my age category but in truth even at this point I knew I was not on a good day. As I approached the turn I was surprised to find that another 70 year old Jim Edwards, who I had never heard of, had established a considerable lead. The good point was that Les was somewhat down on us both.


As I was unsure of my form I decided to maintain my steady effort and hope he had started too fast. Two further checks showed that Jim was in fact gaining more time on me. I finished the run in 47:21, about 5 minutes slower than my usual duathlon time. As Jim had run 45:12 I knew I was in for a hard day on the bike.


As Louise always tells me transition is not my strong suit so the least said the better. Suffice to say my time of 4:46 for my two transitions was the third slowest over both events I therefore went out onto the bike 2:35 behind Jim.


Fortunately I found I had ‘good legs’ and began to progress through the field.


Problem 2. I discovered that my computer was not working. I was glad that I had ridden over the course previously as it allowed me to judge the various distance points. Unfortunately it was very difficult to identify riders I was passing as many were wearing waterproof jackets which obscured their numbers.


I will not dwell on the fact that many of those ahead seemed to be drafting. This is particularly prevalent in duathlons as many runners have no experience on the correct etiquette from riding time trials. However there is no excuse, the rules are clear, it is cheating.


Problem 3. I had been aware of a noise coming from my bike but found it hard to identify as the rain was making so much noise on my aero helmet. I checked the front changer and released my front brake (Shimano) but it was only when I eventually released the rear brake that it disappeared.  I can only assume that someone had accidentally bumped my bike during the racking process as I had reset my computer and tested my brakes prior to racking my bike.


The bike course was proving difficult due to the cross winds and inexperienced cyclist were obviously having trouble trying to ride on tri-bars. My bike ride was completed in 1:13:48 and on reaching transition I was relieved to find that all the other 70 year old’s bikes were still in position. I was therefore in the lead. Jim had taken 1:17:58.


Another transition nightmare.


Onto the last run and from experience I know that when you are in the lead all you have to do is travel at the same speed as the pursuers, or even slightly slower. I had the luxury of running steady to the 2.5km turn and finding I had a winning lead over Jim as we passed for the last time. Another steady 2.5km, a final look round with 200mts to go and the welcome finish in 2:30:29 My final 5km had taken 24:31 while Jim took 25:53 to finish in 2:32:58.


Although initially disappointed with my times I later found that I would have finished 2nd in the 65-69 age group and had beaten the current Scottish over 60 Champion.


I had achieved both my objectives but will have to improve a great deal between now and September. This will mean increased volume and effort in training to be competitive at the worlds with the consequent increased risk of injury.


There are some very talented competitors in the older age groups as it is mainly the better athletes who continue to compete at this level. The opposition does thin out but in most events, no matter how many take part, there are only about 4/6 at most who have a realistic chance of winning.


So with Scottish, British and European Duathlon golds it leaves only the worlds to complete the set and wouldn’t it be special to win it in Scotland.


Green Day Tickets


3 spare Green Day tickets for Wembley Stadium on Saturday 19 June 2010 at 16.30.


They are £46.75 each.  If anyone is interested please contact Carole Schofield


Carole told me how she got these.  You know when you are ordering online and it says please wait till the transaction is complete, do not press the send button again…  Now you know.