Subject:                                     V S Update - Dates including VSGP and VSFC, Hooded tops, Max's run, Race results, River Moy and BMW reports, Cardiac concerns, support Wheatfields


Sent: 14 June 2012 23:33
Subject: V S Update - Dates including VSGP and VSFC, Hooded tops, Max's run, Race results, River Moy and BMW reports, Cardiac concerns, support Wheatfields




Sun 16 June – Buckden Pike fell race – V S Fell Championship


Tue 19 June – another normal week for training sessions and all at Leos – Kathy’s beginners/improvers at 6pm, Holly’s improvers at 7pm, club group meet Leos at 7pm for 5 by 6 mins at Eccup Res.


Tue 26 June – Yorkshire Vets Race at Leos starting at 7:30pm – approx. 5 miles round the woods near Leos,  There will be a 6pm Kathy’s group (all welcome) but the two 7pm sessions are cancelled as we need people to marshal.  If we have enough marshals then spares will be able to run (you needn’t be a vet).  If you can marshal please email


Fri 29 June – Tony Haygarth’s band, two singers who cover most things from Elvis to Adele, dancing compulsory (says Dan), buffet food, cost is £12.50, please book at by Sunday 16 June.  If you’re probably going to come, we’re happy for you to book and say “probably” – you may cancel later if something unexpected occurs.


Tue 3 July – Pie and peas night.  The proposal is that Kathy’s group and Holly’s group will both meet at 7pm so that runners can have a meal straight afterwards.  Fell training group to meet at Leos but earlier than usual - 6:45pm.  Club group meet Leos 7pm for 3 by 10 mins session.  Book food at saying whether you want meat pie or veg bake, whether you want mushy peas or baked beans and whether or not you want apple pie.


Wed 4 July – “John Lunn” 5k at Woodhouse Moor – V S Grand Prix


Wed 4 July – Danefield Relay – teams of 3 – make up your own teams


Fri 13 July – Washburn Valley Relay – teams of 3 – make up your own teams


Sun 15 July – Eccup 10 mile – V S Grand Prix – also junior races (3 different distances depending on age)


Sun 15 July – Holme Moss Fell Race – V S Fell Championship


Sat 21 July – Ingleborough Fell Race – V S Fell Championship


Sun 22 July – Pudsey 10k – V S Grand Prix – also junior races  (2 different distances depending on age)


Tue 24 July – VS 30th anniversary – change of plan! - Summer Handicap 5 mile off-road route via Emmerdale, also junior 1 mile race, followed by barbecue.  More information to follow


Wed 25 July – Golden Acre Relay - teams of 3 – make up your own teams – details will be on


Sun 2 Sep – advanced notice of date for Leeds Country Way - last year we had 5 teams of 12 runners, keep this date free!


Grand Prix / Fell Championship / Junior Races


Just got the Chevin Fell Race results and updated Fell Championship table from Steve Webb, the table will be on the website by the weekend.


I’m a couple of races behind with the Grand Prix table, but this too will be on the website by the weekend, including the Otley 10 results.


We’ve added a race to the Grand Prix to replace the Rothwell 10k that was cancelled in May.  This is the Hyde Park summer mile that is on Wednesday15 August.


We now have over 20 juniors in the club, most of them training at our Tuesday 6pm session.  I know that there are quite often junior races alongside fell races at village shows etc but these are usually off my radar, so If anyone spots junior races please let me know. 


Hooded Tops – message from Dan Murray


We are about to place an order with our branded clothing supplier for some more black hooded tops. These are as many of you will have seen people wearing around the club which have ‘Valley Striders Leeds’ on the back in large print and the same on the front on the left chest but smaller and embroidered. The cost is £21 per top and the choice of sizes is S / M / L / XL. If you’re unsure about size, please ask someone who is wearing one to see if they would mind you trying it assuming they look about your size. We will be placing the order on Monday 25th June so can all orders be made by emailing by no later than Friday 22nd June stating your name and size.


Cheers, Dan  


Max’s Run


To celebrate what would have been Max’s 85th birthday, last Thursday evening by 6:45 there were just 6 of us trying to keep dry under the shelter at Oakwood Clock.  We agreed to wait to see if anyone else came, and sure enough, a couple of minutes later someone did, and this pattern was repeated several more times (although they didn’t admit it, I’m sure the latecomers were deliberately arriving late in the hope that everyone had set off and they could go back home)


So at 7pm, we were 13 – Alex Irvine, Andy Settle, Bob Jackson, Ged Coll, Graham Ford, Joel Giddings, Julie McGurk, Liz Reddington, Maggie Horgan, Myra Jones, Rich Clough, Richard Irvine and Tom Button.  Not an auspicious number, but looking back on it, a very satisfactory number as Max’s route is just over 2 miles and therefore the 13 of us achieved just over a marathon between us.  Not quite as far as the 118 miles that Max achieved in 24 hours as an over-70 and which is still a world age record.


After the 2 mile route, a few who were more (fool)hardy took in a lap of Roundhay Park Lake, several who had run to Oakwood ran home, and I have to admit that I just got back in my car and drove home looking forward to the warm shower.




Sheffield Half Marathon

                                       GP Points

       7  Andy May            1:13:56      100

     189  Dan Murray          1:29:40       93

    3789  Alexa Hannant       2:11:44       87

    5517  Becky Murray        2:40:27       80


Apperley Bridge Canter

                                       GP Points

       4  Richard Balshaw     0:37:01      100

      19  Joel Giddings       0:39:15       99

      22  Clive Bandy         0:39:41       98

      34  Gary Mann           0:40:45       97

      35  Roy Huggins         0:40:46       96

      45  Dan Murray          0:41:40       95

      47  Tahir Akhtar        0:41:45       94

      48  Andy Stoneman       0:41:48       93

      60  Richard Irvine      0:43:01       92

      71  Alan Walsh          0:43:34       91

      72  Alan Brydon         0:43:39       90

      77  Greg Skerrett       0:43:46       89

      83  Lisa Wilyman        0:43:54       88

      87  Alistair Smyth      0:43:58       87

     100  Joe Hanney          0:44:40       86

     101  Adam Parton         0:44:41       85

     103  Paul Smith          0:44:47       84

     105  Leroy Sutton        0:44:58       83

     149  Nick Wallhead       0:47:21       82

     162  Patrick Barrett     0:47:52       81

     170  Mick Tinker         0:48:12       80

     185  Iain Currie         0:48:55       79

     204  Ged Coll            0:49:55       78


Wharfedale half

                                       GP Points

      23  Joel Giddings      01:45:23      100

      28  Gary Mann          01:47:13       96

      37  Richard Irvine     01:52:05       92

     109  Graham Ford        02:09:02       88

     118  Alun Davies        02:11:19       84

     127  Ian Spence         02:14:56       80


Wharfedale Full Marathon (counts for “Any other marathon” category)

                                       GP Points

      10  Eirik Stangnes      3:25:53       90

      15  Ian Sanderson       3:34:24      n/c 

      16  Clive Bandy         3:34:25      n/c

      31  Richard Adcock      3:57:57       75

      36  Paul Smith          4:01:59       73

      ND  Martin Oddy         4:12:30       71


       8  Kim Threadgall      3:24:02       90


    n/c = not counting for VSGP AOM points, has run faster marathon elsewhere

    ND = no dibber so not counted in official results but accepted on VS results


Pictures on VS Facebook


River Moy Half – report from John Wallace


Ballina, Co Mayo, Eire – Saturday May 13th 2012


A year goes by right quick and here we were again, by far the largest overseas contingent for this superb little race. Last year Patrick Barrett seduced 9 of us (calm down, not that sort of seduction) to join him at this race where he promised a flat course and an excellent craic. He was half right – the craic was superb but if he thinks that’s flat I wouldn’t let him design a house for you.


Nonetheless, despite the lack of flatness and some foul weather, a raft of PB’s were set and prizes won last year and the Striders posse, expanded by the addition of another drunk, sorry I mean runner, in the shape of Nobby returned to show the locals what they could still do.


Arriving on Friday lunchtime in a town dominated by bars was possibly not the best strategic move, but undeterred we swiftly adjourned to The Old Shebeem (or something like that) for a sandwich and a bit of refreshment. Despite the 12 month interlude the landlady quickly remembered us (Dan’s cheeky grin always wins them over) and started pulling 11 pints of the black stuff – pretty soon she was pulling another 11 and not long after … well, you get the picture.


It soon became apparent that the quality of the Guinness was dividing the group into serious runners and those who fancied a good time – this was further emphasized when on the long walk along the river to collect our race numbers we lost 5 of the party to another bar.  The remaining 6 pressed on to the race HQ, Ballina rugby club, and started catching up with friends from last year and generally chilling out - it was perhaps no coincidence that these 6 were the first 6 Striders in on race day! We ascertained that last year’s winner had been banned from winning again and was running as a 1.30 pacer – Dan’s chances had just improved.


A little later we returned back up the river and went out for a bite to eat at cousin Dessie Barrett’s new bar and restaurant, and then later a few of us adjourned to his old bar. It’s very difficult to get out of these places as people kept turning up and buying us drinks – what a nice bunch. Still, Capt Bob would have been proud that we were all tucked up before midnight to do our best for the Striders the following day.


The race was a very respectable 11am start so plenty of time for a full Irish breakfast (as much to provide ballast for the inevitable post race drinking as energy for the race). In complete contrast to last year (hissing down and gale force wind) the weather was bright, sunny even, and only slightly windy. A record field of about 300 lined up and the Mayor set us off – I have never been so near the front of a race before. That wouldn’t last!


Little Dan sped off with the leading group, closely followed by Nobby and lawyer John B. For a while I held my own just behind these guys as we all chased sub 1.30. However, the outward 6 miles is largely uphill, including a gradually climbing 2 mile stint along a not very busy main road, and it was along this stage that Nobby and the lawyer pulled away from me, as did the old man of the group Hutch, and shortly the 1.30 group avec Alistair. The sun was out and I was finding it pretty tough.


Shortly after the 7 mile stage the route goes into a series of little ups and downs, during which I could see ahead of me that Hutch and Alistair were going have a right old battle as were Nobby and John further ahead of them. I was slightly surprised then to see they were both little Dan who had apparently ‘tweaked a muscle’ (probably his drinking arm). We entered some pretty and slightly shaded woodland and ran alongside the Moy river, with a fine view of a concrete ship that now forms a boom but gallingly also being able to see the finish straight over the river which was still nearly 4 miles away.


Perhaps recognizing this my legs went to pieces and my pace slowed very considerably. Coming up to the last water station at 11 miles I just wanted it all to be over. To take my mind off how bad my legs felt I decided to swallow a fly and ended up stopping to wash it down – stopping in a race, aarrrgh!! Coming up to the bridge back over the river I was shocked to see Tim Towler stood there cheering people back in – shocked not because he’d finished (dropping out I presumed rather than due to a new personal best – he hadn’t even overtaken me) but because he didn’t have a Guinness in his hand ready for his fellow Striders – poor support that Tim. I stumbled back along the river but on coming to the last corner I glanced over my shoulder to see Greg just behind; this spurred me on for one last surge and the chance to add some cramp to the general weariness I was feeling. I beat him.


At the finish line I and all the Striders got personally announced to the crowd as we approached the line – it’s rare for a club runner to be a local celebrity but it would appear that all you need to qualify in Eire is to be part of a group of drunks from Leeds. I was so relieved to finish. Dessie was there handing out medals (if you’re not taking part you’re helping appears to be the motto) and I went to join the Striders that had finished and cheer in the other runners.


Patrick soon followed, no longer competing for the over 50 trophy since he invited Hutch and Alistair along, followed by Jonathon Brownlee(bill), resplendent with Yorkshire flag, and Tom Button, pleased to finish after his recent attempt to snowboard whilst not on the snowboard.


All in all a brilliant race which is getting bigger each year but still retains a homely feel; Nobby was first Strider, setting a new PB and also being 1st overseas runner. He was closely followed by lawyer John who also set a PB and was 2nd M40, Alistair pipped Hutch but was unfortunately 2nd M50, failing to defend his title. Hutch did take a title – 1st M55.  My own poor run put paid to any chance of taking the M45 although I was 2nd – I like these small races.


Post race a mountain of sandwiches, cakes and tea/coffee was laid on and consumed before we headed off down the road to Crocketts bar and then the Old Shebeem, which saw some of the worst breakdancing, but best Freddie Mercury impression, ever seen, followed by some more at another bar because it was there, and then a fishing tackle shop that also sold beer (you couldn’t make it up). And it was still only 8pm – the night hadn’t even started. But, being an old rugby player what goes on tour stays on tour, unless you ply me with alcohol in which case all will be revealed....


Can’t wait ‘til next year. 


   13  Gary Mann           01:28:14   1st International

   15  John Batchelor      01:29:21   2nd M40

   18  Alistair Smyth      01:30:10   2nd M50

   20  Alan Hutchinson     01:30:27   1st M55

   24  Dan Murray          01:31:53

   30  John Wallace        01:34:01

   31  Greg Skerrett       01:34:15

   54  Patrick Barrett     01:38:11

   72  Jonathan Brownbill  01:41:17

   97  Tom Button          01:44:49


Clumber Park 10k results – race win for Holly!


    7  Holly Williams     40:52    1st W

   69  Laura Goodson      45:14    9th W

  198  Sarah Smith        50:00

  252  Carole Towler      51:44

  351  Liz Winchurch      54:29

  374  Vicky Hepworth     55:17

  415  Grace Thomas       56:15

  761  Emma Johnson       69:40


Pictures on VS Facebook


Bradford Millennium Way Relay report from John Wallace


After the recent heavy rain, resulting in some of the wettest reccy runs ever, the weather miraculously cleared and we were blessed, or cursed depending on opinion, by blue sky and sunshine for the 2012 BMW relay.


The leg 1’ers all arrived nice and early and set off at a good pace with 48 other teams from all over Yorkshire, Lancashire and Holland. Andy and Tosh had clearly listened to the comments about the early bottleneck at the first bridge and sprinted into 3rd place, something Tosh appeared to be regretting a little by the end.


Both pairs came through successfully, albeit down on my predicted times, and mentioning how slippy it had been. Having done reccys on Thursday and Friday this was no real surprise and I think everyone was expecting slower times due to the wetness of the ground underfoot, with small becks becoming significant rivers and the bogs being much boggier than usual – there was certainly no chance of staying dry.  


Leg 2 set off with the mixed team in second place (behind newcomers and eventual winners Stainland). Leg 2 would have been pretty hard over the moors but Roy and John B were enjoying it so much for the Mens team they decided to take a few detours before eventually arriving and handing over to Steve and Jeremy.


It’s and odd thing about running with Steve (an experience I am unlikely to be put through in race conditions) but everyone who finishes with him immediately says never again. I say immediately, but Jeremy’s first gasped words were actually ‘water , water, water’ before he collapsed in a heap against a wall whilst Steve shook hands and said hello to people he hadn’t seen for a while and generally looked like he’d had a nice stroll – yes, Jeremy had definitely had the Steve Webb treatment.


We didn’t see the leg 3 mixed team which meant Amanda and I had the joys of the mass start. Adopting the Andy/Tosh approach and conscious of a very early stile which would create a bottleneck we set off at pace and were 2nd over the first few obstacles, which we somehow maintained up the first hill. In fact we maintained it over the whole leg, paced ourselves well and were eventually first of the mass start group as well as clawing in a few other teams for a magnificent pb on the leg by 2 seconds! Remarkably we were only 3 minutes slower than our Mens team – possibly Kevin and Dusan were slowed down by the flippers and snorkels they thought advisable after the Thursday reccy? Or possibly they were just enjoying the scenery too much!


Leg 5 had unfortunately well and truly gone by the time we arrived, but provided arguably the best performance of the day as Holly (fresh from her win at Clumber Park) and Nobby contrived to break with last years tradition and not get lost or fall down rabbit holes and posted the 6th fastest time, albeit still behind the mixed team of Stainland (2nd) who really were rather good.


Overall magnificent positions of 12th for the Men and 19th for the Mixed (4th mixed thanks to the late charge from Holly Nobby), a huge improvement on last years 12th and 20th. Bingley won (as usual but no records) whilst Accrington overturned a 15 minute deficit on leg 5 to take Vets glory (and 4th overall). Keighley and Craven won the ladies (as usual but no records).


Another terrific event and we’ll be back next year - maybe even 3 teams (it really is the best relay).


Big thanks to all for taking part and to the unused reserves for being there. Full Striders results below:


Valley Striders A (Mixed) 95:

1.  Ian Sanderson & Laura Clark     time 1.33.37, leg position 21st (2nd mixed), overall team position 21st       

2.  Paul Sanderson & Sue Sunderland      1.36.55, 30th, 28th

3.  Patrick & Chloe                      1.26.11, 41st, 33rd

4.  John W & Amanda                      1.23.09, 14th (2nd mixed), 26th

5.  Nobby & Holly                        1.23.09, 6th (2nd mixed), 19th

Total time 7.23.01


Valley Striders B (Mens) 96:

1.  Andy Stoneman & Tosh            time 1.26.31, leg position 14th, overall team position 14th       

2.  Roy & John Batchelor                 1.34.12, 28th, 17th

3.  Steve Webb & Jeremy                  1.02.54, 6th, 13th

4.  Kevin Mc & Dusan                     1.19.56, 10th, 11th

5.  Dan M & Adam Parton                  1.35.18, 22nd, 12th

Total time 7.00.30


Message from Chris Leggatt


The latest edition and the notice of The Wharfedale 1/2 & Full marathons from Threshfield reminds me of the times I came over to Yorkshire as a Sale Harrier to run the Burnsall 10 over that part of the Dales.  I always thought it the best of the best for a race venue. I would love to run again but old age and the fact I'm in Spain prevents my participation.  These days I cycle around to Grassington via that little road on the far side of the Wharfe.  I suggested some time back that a cycle group be formed when Stev'O told me of his regular cycles.  Rode "The Way of the Roses" 170 miles, by myself last year.  Anyone up for the challenge?  From Morecambe to Ripon is all hills.

Cardiac concerns (from Athletics Weekly 4 Jan 2012, by Jason Henderson)


Is running bad for your heart? When done to excess, during periods of illness, then disturbing evidence says, quite possibly, ‘yes’


The following can be found online at


Ever since Jim Fixx keeled over in 1984, runners have been worried that their sport might be bad for their health. Perhaps not worried enough, though.


Fixx famously helped trigger the running boom in America with his best-selling book The Complete Book of Running. Yet he was only 52 when he collapsed after a run and died from a heart attack.


Most people sought solace in the fact that Fixx had a family history of heart disease and had led an unhealthy lifestyle until his mid-30s. It will never happen to me, they told themselves.


I have been no different. So far I have breezed through my running life thinking that every run I do will strengthen my heart, not make it weaker.


With the heart being the main muscle and motor that drives the entire body, I’ve got a kick out of wearing a heart rate monitor during track sessions and driving my maximum rate up as high as possible. Then, I’ve looked in envy at world-class athletes who have resting rates of around 30 beats per minute and maximums in excess of 200 (a far more impressive ‘range’ than my own modest 50 and 180-odd).


What if we are all wrong, though? What if running hard, long distances actually damages the heart?


At this point I would say that I am not going miss my run today. Nor am I going to avoid going tomorrow, or the day after. The healthy benefits of running far outweigh any possible negatives. There is also no firm evidence that lots of running hurts your heart.


Saying that, research done by Athletics Weekly contributor Martin Duff suggests that there could be a problem. He has been in contact with dozens of athletes – including well-known figures like ex-British internationals Bill Adcocks and Bernie Ford – and has encountered too many ex-athletes with heart problems for it to be a mere coincidence. Given this, he is keen to spread the word so that some definitive scientific and statistically sound research can be undertaken into the subject.


Duff, a former 14:20 5000m runner, takes up the story…


Did our training lengthen our lives? Or is it now shortening them? I think the answer might be “both”. On the one hand, we have protected ourselves against artery blockage and subsequent heart attacks but, on the other, we may have caused other tissue damage.


From everything that runners have told me, it seems there are instances where atrial fibrillation (AF), which can put the patient more at risk of a stroke, has not been recognised by GPs. Some of you, like me, were initially diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma. I eventually “undiagnosed” myself and later the heart damage was recognised (firstly to a valve and then of AF). I was then moved from aspirin to warfarin and beta blockers. Running with the latter is like driving a car with the hand-brake on!


Some have not been so lucky and have had strokes. These could have been avoided if the probability of AF had been recognised and treatment made earlier. So, for those not on aspirin, warfarin or other anticoagulant drugs, please take note. The drug Pradaxa is also used, but I understand that it cannot be used where there is a leaky or damaged valve.


If a long-term trainer is exercising and suddenly finds a shortage of breath, it is unlikely to be a result of “old age”. It could be AF so my recommendation is to see your GP. If it is, treatment can be prescribed.


Current athletes training to high intensity will inevitably ask what they can do to avoid the problems? Years ago, Chris Brasher, the 1956 Olympic steeplechase champion and founder of the London Marathon, warned runners not to train through heavy colds, flu or viruses. At the time we largely dismissed the idea because we had to get our mileage in. Yet now it seems it may have been a sensible suggestion and that the high intensity training we all did 40 or so years ago, through colds and illnesses, may have damaged our hearts, leading to valve damage, irregular heartbeat and AF.


Dr Chris Pepper, Consultant in Cardiology and Cardiac Electrophysiology at Nuffield Leeds Hospital told one of Athletics Weekly’s readers: “It is well-recognised that long-distance competitive running increases the risk of atrial fibrillation. Some estimates put this at around twentyfold … I am sure there is much to be discovered about the reasons underlying the increased risk of AF in runners.”


My own cardiologist, Dr James Sneddon, agrees. However, the problem is, as my electrocardiologist, Dr Martin Lowe, explains, most GPs and even cardiologists typically see just one case of heart damage caused by high-cardiac concerns intensity training during their careers and therefore do not recognise the symptoms or the cause.


Canadian cardiologist Dr Larry Cresswell, who writes on, told me: “Endurance athletes have a much greater risk of atrial arrhythmias than non-athletes. These arrhythmias aren’t generally life-threatening, but they do cause grief and often require treatment.” The problem is that the symptoms have to be recognised and the appropriate medication given.


AF, if not treated with blood-thinning drugs like aspirin, warfarin or Pradaxa, can lead to a stroke and it is important that GPs recognise the symptoms and get the diagnosis right.


So what action should present-day high-intensity trainers take?

» Avoid running with flu or other viruses.

» Do not train while run-down or stressed.

» Get regular monitoring by qualified personnel for the onset of any atrial arrhythmias.


Dr Andreas Wolff has carried out research which shows that there is a link between high intensity training and heart damage. He looked at 300 top male Finnish orienteers and compared them with a larger sample of non-athletes. Both sets were approaching 50 years of age. He found that there was a 5.8 times more frequent development of AF in the athletes.


The above comments were part of a longer article that appeared in the December 8 issue of Athletics Weekly (see the back issues section of this website for a copy). Since then, the magazine has received a number of letters from runners and ex-runners who have suffered problems.


Duff is also still encouraging athletes to fill in a questionnaire which can be received by emailing him at the address:, but he also urges the medical world to take note and look into the area in more depth.


In conclusion, should you stop running? No way. Should you think twice about training hard with a cold or virus? Definitely.


Keep an eye on Athletics Weekly, too, because further news and developments are almost certain.


Volunteering Opportunity – earn £10 for Wheatfields Hospice


Georgina Abbott, new VS member, has emailed:


We have a volunteer opportunity for people to get involved helping at the Leeds Xpress Triathlon at Leeds Grammar School (LS17 8GS) on Sunday 29 July and I wondered if you could spread the word to members of Valley Striders?  We are looking for about 20 people to help on the day, which will involve working as route marshals and cheering on the athletes. The marshal’s role is to ensure runners and cyclists take the correct route and inform pedestrians of any road closures. A company called Xtramile events is organising the Triathlon and for every person that volunteers for us they will donate £10 to Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice.


In other news we also have a few places for the New York Marathon in November if you know anyone that is interested.


It would be great if you could include the above in your newsletter and ask people to contact me on if they are interested in supporting us.