Sent: 31 May 2011 00:22
Subject: V S Update - club dates, GP & FC races, MVT thanks, Sunday run, River Moy report, Results, Help Holly


Club dates


Max’s run – Thursday 2 June


Just a reminder that this week’s Thursday run starts at OAKWOOD CLOCK at 6:45pm.  This is to celebrate what would have been Max Jones’s 84th birthday.  Max had a 1.9 mile (3km) route that he used to run regularly, and if he was training for an ultramarathon he’d run it 10 or more times.  We’re just going to run one lap, in his memory, then go for a run round the lake at Roundhay Park and maybe a bit further. 


Lou Gilchrist will be coming over from Rochdale and we’ll be presenting her with the “Max Jones” trophy for the best age-graded performance by a Valley Strider in 2010.  Read about Max at


Pie and Peas – Tuesday 7 June


Usual arrangements apply - book at before 10pm Sunday 5th, choosing meat pie or vegetarian bake, mushy peas or baked beans, and whether you want apple pie


Yorkshire Vets Race – Tuesday 28 June


On the evening of 28 June we’re hosting the 4th race in the Yorkshire Vets series 2011.  We need 25 marshals.  If we get more than 25 volunteers, then the extras will be able to run the race (yes, even if you’re under 35)  So please email me if you’re able to marshal, also saying whether you’d like to run (if there are sufficient marshals).


Grand Prix and Fell Championship dates


A busy couple of months coming up if you’re active in the Valley Striders Grand Prix Club Championship (GP) and/or in the Valley Striders Fell Championship (FC).


And even if you’ve not started either, you have many opportunities to get in your 8 GP races and/or 5 FC races to put you in the lists to qualify for prizes.  The Wharfedale events and Round Hill Fell race are particularly attractive as they count in both championships!!


Note the Fell Championship has a pair of category letters see for explanation.


Note that the Hyde Park traditional series of 3 races has been replaced by a single race on Wednesday 20 July in memory of John Lunn, one of the great characters of athletics in Leeds.  Tony Gill, the race organiser, has removed the requirement for club members to run in club colours; his request is that you run in anything colourful to celebrate John’s colourful life!


Wed  1 Jun - Otley Chevin 3.5m 900' [FC category AS]

Sat  4 Jun - Wharfedale off road marathon 25.0m 2600' [GP Long race, FC category CL]

Sat  4 Jun - Wharfedale off road half marathon [GP Long race, FC category BL]

Wed  8 Jun - Otley 10 [GP medium race]

Sat 18 Jun - Buckden Pike [FC category AS]

Sat  2 Jul - Wharfedale TTT day 2 [FC category AM]

Tue  5 Jul – provisional date for Summer Handicap [GP handicap race]

Sun 10 Jul - Eccup 10 [GP medium race]

Sun 17 Jul - Holme Moss [FC category AL]

Wed 20 Jul - "John Lunn" Hyde Park 5k [GP short race]

Sun  7 Aug - Round Hill, Timble, nr Otley (CM) 9.0m 1100' [GP fell/trail, FC category CM]


Meanwood Valley Trail


Thank you to everyone who helped for the race.  One or two Striders had last minute cancellations of their previous commitments and turned up on the day and I believe we had exactly 70 helpers on the day.


Special thanks to Striders friends and relations including Ian Place’s wife and sister (drinks), Ged Coll’s wife and 2 children (drinks), Andy Jones’ wife and friend (marshals), Andy Stoneman’s mum (marshal), Greg Skerrett’s daughter (marshal) and Xanthe Hannah’s dog.


We also had lots of helpers before the race, some of whom weren’t available on race day so did their bit in advance, including

·                John, Roy, James, Ian, Ruth, Michaela, Tony Mills’ kids and more - handing out entry forms at races
·                Paul Briscoe – delivering beer and printing beer labels
·                About 10 of you - labelling the beer Tuesday evening
·                Mark Woodhead - snipping the nettles and brambles near The Myrtle
·                Paul Sanderson - collecting the prize vouchers
·                Ged Coll - purchasing and donating the water
·                Roy Huggins - providing the table and delivering the cups, water and bins to Meanwood
·                Sorry if I’ve missed anyone


It is the quantity and quality of the support that gives much of the character to this race – myself and the finish marshals received many compliments about the marshalling which I’m now passing on to you. 


By the way, there are about 30 bottles of beer in Leos clubhouse for those marshals who couldn’t collect theirs on Saturday.


Those of you who have marshaled before will have noticed that race numbers were down on previous years – 63 junior finishers (100 last year) and 218 senior finishers (255 last year and 342 the year before).  There are a number of possible reasons including - bank holiday, poor weather at 8am, Apperley Bridge & Ilkley Trail same weekend, parkruns, low publicity, proximity to Yorkshire Vets race.  If you know any runners who did or didn’t run MVT please ask them why they did or didn’t run and feed back to me.


In spite of the lower number of runners, we’ve still managed to make a reasonable profit from the race all to be donated to Lineham Farm – about £500-£600 from the race itself, plus £250 in additional donations to Lineham Farm, plus £60 as the gift aid effect on the £250 donations.


So thank you all.


Our next event is the Yorkshire Vets race at Leos on 28 June (see above for details).  We’ll also need about 8 marshals for our Club Handicap on Tuesday 5 July (NB we nearly lost a couple of runners in the May Handicap so better to be safe than sorry).  So if you haven’t helped recently but are free on one of these two dates, please let me know.


Bridlington 10k – Saturday 4 June - message from Mark Hetherington


Mark Hetherington has emailed “Abbey are taking a coach over (leaving on Saturday at 11.00am and getting back at about midnight). We will definitely have spare seats on the coach, so we would be happy to offer Striders seats at £5 each (heavily subsidised!) and tickets for the evening’s entertainment at The Spa at a discounted rate of £5 each (instead of £7). Email or call me (07753 614624) if you are interested?


The Sunday Run – message from Tim (and Carole) Towler


Traditionally the Sunday run from Smithy Mills has catered for runners who race a half between 1.20 and about 1.40. Slower runners have understandably been put off, fearful of being left on their own. Carole has been joining us over the last few weeks. I have been struggling with injury and have been happy to run with her so she doesn’t get left. As it happens she is running so well at the moment, more often than not she has coped with the pace.


It has got us thinking of the runners in the club who race a half in a time range of about 1.40 to 1.55, and who are likely to come down to Smithy Mills if there was a slightly slower group, and there was no fear of being dropped. Carole has already been in contact with 4 Striders who are all interested in joining such a group. Carole (and I) are happy to coordinate a second group, in a similar way to the way the current Sunday running group is coordinated.


If you are interested, please email me and Carole ( and )


Race Results and Reports


River Moy Half Marathon – report from Tom Button


River Moy Half Marathon, Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland - 14th May 2011


In the week before Ireland welcomed both the Queen and Barack Obama some far more important and influential guests visited the Emerald Isle: Valley Striders!


After the night before's standard pre-race meal of beer and pizza, 9 Striders + 1 support team member (John Batchelor on a bike) joined over 200 other runners for this very friendly half marathon. The course was undulating for the first 6 miles with climbs in the 4th and 6th miles, with the latter being in to a headwind. But, once we turned at 6 miles, the old Irish blessing of “May the road rise up to meet you and the wind be on your back” came true. After 3 more miles of mainly downhill we ran through very picturesque woods before a final 3 miles along the banks of the River Moy itself and a finish in front of their club house.


First Strider home (and first overseas runner) was Dan Murray in 6th place and a time of 1:24:39. There was then a trio of Striders all under 1:30 in 13th, 14th and 15th: Greg Skerrett, Tom Button and John Wallace. Alistair Smyth picked-up the first M50 and was followed in this category by last year's M50 winner, and tour rep, Patrick Barrett. Alan Hutchinson and Tim Towler both proved that they are on the road back from injury and final Strider home, literally flying the flag for England, was “King of the Skins” Jonathan Brownbill.


After the race we were served tea and sandwiches in the club house by the lady mayor before retiring to a local hostelry for the prize-giving and the special black “recovery” drink that they specialise in. This recovery drink clearly works as by Monday morning we were running barefoot along a beach in driving rain (the seaweed baths afterwards helped sooth the pains too).


We really did received “a hundred thousand welcomes” over the weekend and everyone seemed to know why we were there (except for one who asked if there was a circus in town!). Special thanks must go to Patrick for arranging the trip and especially all his relatives who ferried us around all weekend.


Tom Button



   6 Dan Murray          01:24:39

  13 Greg Skerrett       01:28:53

  14 Tom Button          01:29:28  3rd M35

  15 John Wallace        01:29:39

  20 Alistair Smyth      01:31:21  1st M50

  31 Patrick Barrett     01:34:21  2nd M50

  37 Alan Hutchinson     01:35:19  3rd M50

  45 Tim Towler          01:36:46  4th M50

  69 Jonathan Brownbill  01:41:16


Windermere Marathon


  72 Greg Skerrett      3:22:09

  89 Alistair Smyth     3:28:12

 106 Simon Redshaw      3:32:58

 125 Bob Jackson        3:37:25  2nd M60


Edinburgh Marathon


     Joe Hanney         3:38:05

     Tim Darlison       3:39:33

     Steve Dixon        3:51:34

     Sarah Smith        4:02:43

     Meg Galsworthy     4:10:51

     James Forbes       5:22:25


All the times for Windermere and Edinburgh have been entered into the Grand Prix “Any Other Marathon” category and the scores have been updated on the website,


Apperley Bridge Canter


   6 Simon Midwood        36:03

  11 Daniel Fisher        37:16

  37 Roy Huggins          40:20

  44 David Vidal          40:59

  45 Dan Murray           41:01

  49 Gary Mann            41:14

  51 Eirik Stangnes       41:16

  52 Robert Bumstead      41:19

  61 Greg Skerrett        42:10

  75 John Wallace         43:13

 116 Alistair Smyth       45:58

 121 Leroy Sutton         46:13

 150 Keith Brewster       47:42

 163 Chloe Hudson         48:11

 172 Mike Midgley         48:35  1st M65

 192 Caroline Chilton     50:12

 235 Rachael Nevins       52:04

 278 Kay Duggleby         54:46

 295 Julie Walker         55:22


New beginners group at Middleton Park – message from Holly


Hello all Valley Striders,


I have spoken to a few of you about my idea for setting up a group for people in the mental health system to get into running and now I'm putting my money (actually, my time) where my mouth is. 


There are a lot of barriers to people experiencing mental health difficulties to get into normal activities, the biggest one is stigma. There is an ongoing campaign, run by NHS, to obliterate MH stigma and I think they're on the right lines.


Exercising actually helps reduce stress levels, opens up opportunities for making friends, having a laugh, working towards a goal and reducing drug use (prescribed and non-prescribed).


I want to combine the two ideas: reducing stigma by opening up the beginners session to all (whether that have a diagnosis or not) and getting people active. 


I am setting up a "Run Leeds" beginner's group (similar to Strider's beginner's sessions) in Middleton Park, on a Wednesday afternoon, around 1pm.


I will be running this by myself and at the moment I'm looking for someone (or a group of people, on a rota system) to help take the group out. You do not need to have any qualifications, I have the insurance we need and everyone who comes will do so on their own back (i.e. if they get injured we're not liable).


I am being backed by Community Links, Adult Social Care (the old Social services provision of day services) and England Athletics.


I have not set a start date yet so please let me know if you are willing/able to help be at the session or with other things that may crop up that need doing. 


I will be flyering around the whole of Leeds, this will include places where MH services run other sessions, where the psychiatrists hang out, hospitals (if I'm allowed) local newsagents, dentists, doctors, willing people's places of work...the list goes on!


Please ask me as many questions as you can think of...I tend to just see the positives so if you think of anything that could hold this project back I would like to problem solve them before the group gets going.


So...what do you reckon? Can you help practically? Or give me some advice?


Warm regards