Subject:                                     V S Update - Training sessions for April, Events, Map reading, Marshals, Results, Reports from Tokyo and Jurassic Coast


Sent: 28 March 2013 12:56




Despite the weather, all four training sessions took place on Tuesday.  The juniors and beginners probably had the best of the conditions, running on crisp snow on the rugby pitches, but the other two groups managed to find some ice free pavements.


Please note some changes from the normal training schedules for April


Tuesday 2 April – juniors & beginners joint session at 6pm, Grace’s intermediates at 7pm, experienced runners 3 by 10mins at 7pm


Tuesday 9 April – juniors & beginners separate sessions at 6pm, Holly’s intermediates 7pm location to be agreed, experienced runners at Leeds Met track at 7pm


Tuesday 16 April

·         juniors & beginners 6pm will include recce of Meanwood Valley Trail junior race 1 mile route,

·         other groups also doing recce runs on the Meanwood Valley Trail senior route, start 6:45pm prompt.  One group will go as far as 7 arches (3 miles), another group as far as the ring road (5 miles), the third group the full route (7 miles)

·         followed by food


Tuesday 23 April – the juniors and beginners 6pm sessions may be using the track at Grammar School at Leeds.  Watch this space!


Tuesday 30 April – club handicap 5 miles at Eccup Res 6:45pm, preceded by club junior one mile race at Eccup Res 6:15pm.  Followed by food


Other dates


It’s the Guiseley Gallop this Sunday 10:30 from the retail park at Guiseley, approx. 10k of trails, trees, towpath, road and more trails and trees. 


This is also the first race of the Leeds Race Series see for details, free to enter


Next Sunday is the Baildon Boundary Way, there are now have 3 entries available  Alun Davies Sue Sunderland and Joe Hanney Sue’s is only available till this Sunday so maybe try her first

·         We will accept swaps but this is something you must organise; we do not act as an introduction agency!  We do not have the time to attempt to match people up. If you have arranged a swap, please email us at heading your email ‘BBWAY SWAP’ with full details.  In particular we need the new runner’s:  full name, postal and email addresses, phone number, date of birth, running club (if any).

·         We will email a swap form for the receiver of the race place to complete.  We MUST be notified of the change of details and the receiver of the race place MUST complete and sign a swap form BEFORE the race.  FAILURE TO DO SO MAY RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION.


Map reading


Message forwarded by Amanda Seims


Navigating your way around is an essential skill for any explorer, and with the help of Cotswold Outdoor’s interactive classes, navigation is easy. We will be offering a free class, delivered by Ordnance Survey experts, on the 7th of May.  The workshop, which is aimed at beginners, will begin at 6:30pm, for one hour and will be followed by time for questions at the end. Attendees will learn essential map and compass reading methods, including understanding map symbols, taking grid references and reading compass bearings.
The event will be at the Cotswold Outdoor store in Leeds:  Unit 6, The Core, Lands Lane, LS1 6AW
Tel: 0113 245 0879  Email:

Meanwood Trail – Saturday 20 April


We’ve now got two-thirds of the number of marshals that we need - please email if you can help.


If we get more than necessary then Striders will be able to run the race – email as above, saying “would like to run if possible”. 


Who’s Running Where?


Paul Smith is leading the Grand Prix “Any Other Marathon” category with his marathon at Tokyo – see report below


The European season starts properly next week with Paris - Andy Stoneman, Alex Watson-Usher and Gemma Midwood will be representing Valley Striders there.


Please continue to email with the marathons that you’re running this year, and to see who’s running where, click on

Race Results


Ashby 20 (Leicestershire)

  37  Dave Penman       2:09:21

564  Alex Watson-Usher 2:55:44   }picture on facebook

  565  Gemma Midwood     2:55:44   }


East Hull 20

   49  Kevin McMullan    2:16:51

   74  Myra Jones        2:22:17

   76  Joel Giddings     2:22:38

  157  Nick Barnes       2:36:00

  178  Mike Robins       2:39:15


Trimpell 20 (Lancaster)

  122  Sue Sunderland    2:37:34


Thirsk 10

                         Chip     Gun

  15  Simon Midwood     0:58:19  0:58:20

   18  Paul Kaiser       0:58:41  0:58:42 

   60  James Tarran      1:03:42  1:03:51

  142  Howard Jeffrey    1:09:50  1:10:00

  146  Tim Towler        1:09:54  1:10:10

  178  Eric Green        1:12:10  1:12:15

  193  Lisa Wilyman      1:12:49  1:12:57

  201  Paul Sanderson    1:13:52  1:14:09

  215  Sharon Tansley    1:14:41  1:14:52

  239  Sue Sunderland    1:16:10  1:16:21

  576  finished


You’ll see a picture on the Valley Striders website homepage of our runners and riders at the Stokesley Duathlon – hoping for race results and a race report next time!


Race Report – Tokyo Marathon (24 Feb) – from Paul Smith


Following a speculative entry (American marathons were too expensive, I’ve never been to Japan, looking for something a bit different etc.) I managed to get 1 of 35,000 spots (350,000 applications) to run in about October last year.


Arrived in a sunny but very cold Tokyo on the Friday before the race on the Sunday and registered in a frenzy of Mascots, Mizuno and Macdonalds sponsored helpers (is it right a burger joint sponsors this sort of thing?)


For the first time I actually did some effective, constructive and targeted training only to be hampered by a very bad chest infection 2 weeks prior to the race. Adding in a 16 hour flight and too much excitement to sleep gives me enough excuses but still hit the time I trained for of 3hrs 29mins, miles faster than any road marathon I’ve ever done before but slightly disappointed as my training suggested maybe 10mins better than that and went through halfway in a comfortable 1:40 before my cold started to hurt me.


Course was good and, despite the usual picking your way through the crowd in the first 10k, is mostly flat with 3 or 4 stiff climbs over bridges in the last 10k. Organisation was excellent; very clear where to be at start despite everything being in Japanese, easy to get there, easy to get back afterwards. No waiting around for bags or stuff at the end and the freebies are good too. They take you past a lot of the major things/areas to see in Tokyo too and a couple of parts of the course are an out an back effort which was early enough in the race to see the leaders come by and get the atmosphere from that. The support was constant throughout the race and I’ve never high fived so many people during and after a race as it did seem a novelty to the crowd to be a non-Japanese entrant. Sensible locations for food and water and sports drink stations and from 5k in they appeared about every 2.5k, never had tomatoes during a race before tho!


If there was a downside it was the temperature and icy wind (-5 with wind chill they reckoned) that really got you at certain parts of the course but a minor point in the scheme of things especially as there was bright sunshine to go with it.


Even better than the race though was the holiday afterwards. If you fancy the going that far I recommend the race and the country. Admittedly I got a good deal on the flight but together with the race entry, accommodation etc it wasn’t as expensive as you might imagine. I would definitely do it again.




In terms of marathons/race entries that you were looking to compile I’m entered for these on your “who’s running where”. Filter them as you see fit as there are quite a lot

24th March Ultra 26 Rivington – approx. 30 mile off-road navigation by the guy who does the Lakeland50/100 events (Did the Grizedale one with Kim in Nov – on the pricey side but excellent event)

13th April Calderdale Hike (37miles trail)

27th April 3 Peaks

11th May Eco Mountain Marathon, Brasov, Romania

1st June Wharfedale Marathon

29th June Mont Blanc 42km

7th July Coniston Marathon (Lakeland trails) – if I’ve recovered from week before

17th August Race the Train only 14miles I think but slightly unusual challenge (North Wales somewhere)


Race Report – Jurassic Coast Challenge – from Richard Adcock 


The Jurassic Coast Challenge is billed as 3 marathons (78.6 miles) in 3 days along the 'steep rocky cliff paths, shingle, sand, mud and a bit of tarmac' of the South West Coast path.


Due to recent heavy rains causing the cliff to collapse in places there are a number of diversions adding approx 5 miles to the course; getting lost on these diversions adds on another couple of miles (and loses you 15 places!)


I thought this would be a nice easy trail run, I didn't think they had any hills down south; I certainly didn't think they had that many, that big and that steep!


Day 1 - 27.4 miles

Lyme Regis to Weymouth


27 miles of slippy ankle deep mud into a 20mph headwind and rain, trying not to fall off the cliff top is entertaining for a while, then it's not!

5:17:51  (22/193)


Day 2 - 27.4 miles

Weymouth (round Portland) to Lulworth Cove

'Steep steps'

Less mud today, replaced with steep climbs and lots of steps (pic1 doesn't show the 200 steps down (almost to sea level) and then another 200 back up to the checkpoint).

And just in case you were missing the mud from yesterday, it got muddy for a few miles before reverting to being hilly again - the coast past Durdle door and Lulworth Cove would be lovely in the summer.

5:39:49  (27/197)


Day 3 - 30.4 miles

Lulworth Cove to Shell Bay, Studland

30.4 miles is not a marathon, it's torture on tired legs.

Today was a combination of the previous two; muddy and 'undulating', starting straight off with a lung busting climb out of Lulworth Cove up to the cliff top and spending the day enjoying running where we could, climbing/slipping/falling when we couldn't until the final climb over Ballard Down (where you can see the finish 5 miles away!), back down to sea level and finish with 2 miles along the sandy beach into a gale -the finish line was a welcome sight after that.

7:22:11  (52/153)


Total time:  18:19:51

Total distance: 85.2 miles

Finish position:  (not known yet)


It was a very well organised, friendly event, and fair play to the organisers for keeping it going in the worst conditions they've ever had.


Pictures (click JCC 2013)



Request for marathon runners to participate in MSc research project

Email from Gary Cochrane, research student at Leeds Met

MSc Research Project:  application of a 3:1 positivity ratio can increase resilience and positive affect in marathon runners.

I am a keen marathon runner and a mature student, currently studying for a Masters degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology at The Carnegie Faculty, Leeds Metropolitan University. As part of my studies I have to complete a final piece of work known as a Major Independent Study (MIS) and to do that I am looking for participants who have entered a marathon, which needs to be completed by the end of May 2013.

My study is based on increasing research which demonstrates that people who are able to make positive adaptations in the face of difficult challenges can experience long-lasting benefits physically, socially and psychologically.

In running terms, I want to see if a self-talk technique called the 3:1 positivity ratio, can be used to increase positive emotions and resilience in runners.

Simply put, the 3:1 positivity ratio, requires a runner to use three strong positive thoughts to counter any one negative thought that occurs during a run. Research shows it takes at least three (relevant) positives to counter the one negative thought.

This area of study is taken from a branch of psychology known as positive psychology, more specifically as the Broaden & Build Theory of Positive Emotions. The aim of which is to enable individuals to enhance their wellbeing and live fuller lives. So far it has not been extensively studied in an endurance sport context; which adds to the interest.

This research study has been signed-off by my local ethics coordinator at Leeds Metropolitan University, in compliance with the university’s Research Ethics Policy and Procedures guidelines (a copy of which can be provided on request).

The formal elements of this request are attached.

If you think you might have runners who are about to run a marathon, whether novice or experienced runners, and you think they might wish to participate please pass on my details and ask them to contact me. The study is not complicated or time consuming but it could help shed some light on an interesting topic and it might also provide your runners with a new way of approaching mental preparation for marathon training.

Thank you for your consideration. 

Yours sincerely

Garry Cochrane