Subject:                                     V S Update - pie and peas, Templenewsam parkrun, BMW, Cycling kit, reports from Sheffield Half, Fairfield Horseshoe and running the Dales Way


Sent: 16 May 2013 23:53

Tuesday 21 May - Pie and Peas


An extra pie and peas night this month!   There will be two sittings, one at 7:15pm and the other at 8:30pm. 


Book at before 10pm Sunday 19th choosing meat or veggie pie, mushy peas or baked beans, and whether you want apple pie, and which sitting you want to go to.


Saturday 25 May – parkrun mobrun at Templenewsam


All Striders are invited / requested to run the parkrun at Templenewsam on Saturday 25th May.


This is the day of the Leeds club mobrun, a bit of inter-club fun to see which club can turn out the most runners.


This is the 3rd year the mobrun has taken place but the first time at Templenewsam.  In the previous two, Hyde Park Harriers have enjoyed home advantage but not so this time.


So, if you regularly run parkruns, please come to Templenewsam next Saturday.  If you don’t regularly run parkruns, please come to Templenewsam next Saturday.


If you’ve never run a parkrun, you need to register at before next Friday, then print out a barcode.  Turn up on the day, no need to register, nothing to pay, as you cross the line you will be handed a tag with your finishing position, walk to the end of the funnel and someone will scan your personal barcode and also scan the tag with your position.  If you go on later in the day, you’ll see your results.


Final note, please ensure you are registered at parkrun as a Valley Strider.  If you’re not sure, look out for your weekly newsletter from “News at Parkrun”, at the top right of the message it will tell you your name and club, and there is an option to edit your details, and also an option to print your barcode,


More information at note that we are going for the total runners prize not the average time prize so everyone please come and run (or even walk)


See you there!


Bradford Millennium Way Relay – from John Wallace


Never mind the normal Sunday run – what you all want is a proper challenge, for which the BMW on Sunday 16th June is just the thing


It’s a 50 mile 5 leg route, run in pairs, that starts and finishes at Bingley rugby club with change overs near Denholme, Oxenhope, Silsden, Ilkley Gates and on to the finish. It's north and west of Bradford essentially going around the greater Rombalds moor, parts coinciding with Yorkshireman and Rombalds Stride routes.


Harder than the Leeds Country Way, easier than Calderdale, and in my (biased) view better than both. The clubhouse is a good finish as it has beer and sandwiches and the results come out pretty quickly.


Saltaire Striders organise it and there should be more details on their website (if you can get it to work!)


Go on - you know you want to


Email me back if interested




Valley Riders (or Valley Striders C C) kit – message from Andy Stoneman

Due to demand we’ll be making another kit order. Please take a look at  and let me know if you’d like to order anything. The order deadline is Tuesday 4th June.

Popular items are the arm warmers and full back wind gilets which are also useful for running, the bibshorts, short sleeve tops and the lightweight training jacket. The caps are also very useful to wear under your helmet to keep the wind off on cooler days.

Please also note we can order junior cycling tops with a short zip (24/26/28/30/32” chest sizes ) at £35.  includes a price list. Place your orders at

Please state

Race results


Leeds Half Marathon - I published some draft results in the “Special Update” earlier in the week, but still waiting for some replies to my “who was who” question.


Jack Bloor – not yet published but congrats to Julia Leventon who finished 3rd


John Carr 5k at Esholt – this is a 3 race series, first two races published at, I’ll compile the VS series results next week


Race report – Sheffield Half Marathon – from Tim Towler


As our youngest son is at Sheffield Hallam University, and planned making his half marathon debut in the Sheffield Half, Carole and I decided to join him. Unbelievably Sheffield and Leeds both chose 12 May for their half marathons. I have run Leeds many times but have never run Sheffield, so it gave me opportunity to compare the two.


Giving ourselves an hour to drive to Sheffield and park up, with the race starting at 9.00am it was an early start for us, particularly for a Sunday morning. There was no parking at the Don Valley Stadium where the race starts and finishes, but parking was easy as the Sheffield Arena car parks were open for the runners, leaving you with a 10 minute walk to Don Valley.


I am spoilt when I run city centre races in Leeds, as my office is also in Leeds city centre, so I never have problems parking, finding a toilet and leaving my bag. I thought Don Valley was a great venue for the race. The stadium has plenty of toilets, a good bag storage area and plenty of space where you can stay under cover and keep warm (which shouldn’t be necessary in May!)


The race started on the running track, and it seemed so much easier than I have ever found it in Leeds to get into the right timing pen. Indeed I am sure I could have started on the front line if I had wanted to!


Sheffield is known for its hills, but the research we had carried out on the course suggested it wasn’t going to be too hilly. From Don Valley you run a pretty flat 2.5 miles to the city centre. There is then a gradual stepped climb as you pass through the city centre and on to half way, which is the highest point of the course, as you pretty well re trace your steps back to the finish. This means that the second half is faster and providing you have fuel in the tank you will, as I did, end up with a negative split. I think the Sheffield course is faster than Leeds.


I can’t say which of the 2 courses is the most interesting as I don’t see a lot of the scenery when I am racing, save the few yards of tarmac in front of me, though I do remember there being lots of corners and turns.


Any Strider who runs Leeds knows what great support we get on our home town course. There were plenty out, in pockets, along the course watching in Sheffield, though not so many shouts of “come on Valley”. The turn round point is a true out and back section, so that for a mile you see runners going the opposite direction on the other side of the road. It was this mile where the support was at its best, 2 and three deep along the pavement, and very vocal.


The winning time in Sheffield was 1.06, and in Leeds 1.13. I was 372 in a time of 1.31.32. In Leeds this time would have made me 172. Carole finished in 1.54.25 and came 2644. In Leeds she would have been 1788. There were 5398 finishers as compared to 4529 in Leeds. So Sheffield appears to be a slightly bigger race and a better standard, on what I think is a faster course (even though my half marathon PB was in Leeds!) If you go to Sheffield you certainly won’t see as many runners you know, though when we got to Don Valley we did bump into Lou Wardman (nee Allinson) who ran 1.36.01 for a PB.


Out of the 2 races, I hate to say it, but I prefer Sheffield, but that will be immaterial as Don Valley closes and they look for a new venue next year, which may well be one of the city’s football clubs. At least I got to run in Don Valley before it closes!


Fairfield Horseshoe Report from Steve Dixon


It was a busy May weekend for Striders running, Grand Prix runners 35 plus in Leeds Half, Fell Championship runners 1!


This year Fairfield in the Lake Distirict was an English Championship Counter as well as being part of our Fell championship.  It was heavily oversubscribed and, with well over the 500 limit, the club were relying on the inevitable no shows.  We obliged by 3 striders becoming injured in the weeks leading up to the race.  It was nearly 4 when I fell off my bike midweek and twisted my ankle.  Intensive icing and mobilisation meant I was trudging through the muddy parking field at Rydal Hall to register in good time.  The poor weather forecast looked as though it would be accurate and waterproofs were straight out of the bag.  There was no sign of the higher fells only dark grey cloud down to about 100 metres.


There was a mandatory kit check for everyone before your number was issued and this led to disappointment for many and anything looking remotely like pertex was rejected.  I think Pete Bland Sports Van did good business selling waterproof jackets.  It does seem as though kit checks are becoming increasingly more stringent and runners entering off road events should make sure that they have with them all the required kit that may be demanded.


The start of the race was delayed for half an hour to allow for all this checking and to allow for difficulties in parking on the waterlogged field.


This allowed for the weather to improve and apart from a chilly wind it was a wonderful day out on the clearly defined horseshoe ridge that makes up the race.  After the brutal initial climb onto the ridge it’s a fairly straightforward ascent to the highest point, Fairfield.  Then it’s about turn (after first taking in the breathtaking views across to the Helvellyn range of hills) to run across the summit plateau with a welcome strong back wind toward Hart Crag,.  Having traversed Hart Crag and Dove Crag all that remains is to negotiate the long, winding, descending ridge that takes you into Ambleside, but to finish the race we turn right off the ridge and down into the Rydal estate.  I thought I was going to go under the 2 hour mark but the estate road along the bottom of the valley is always longer than you think and I was nearly 2 minutes adrift.  A good reason to come back next year to finally crack that sub 2 hour finish.! Success all the same as my time was a PB by almost 10 minutes!


With no other striders to report on I’ll mention my travelling companion Dave McGuire of Hyde Park Harriers on his first ever Lakeland fell race.  A much stronger runner than me and he was well placed before the descent began, but was handicapped by the worn studs on his shoes and was swallowed up by more surefooted runners on what was a very slippery descent.  I’m sure that will be rectified before his next Lakeland race over the Wasdale course.


Wish I could have seen the first 3 coming home to finish:


  1st Rob Hope         Pudsey and Bramley  1hr 19mins 18secs

  2nd Morgan Donelly   Borrowdale          1hr 19mins 26secs

  3rd Rob Jebb         Bingley             1hr 20mins 35secs

210th Dave McGuire     Hyde Park           1hr 51mins 19secs

278th Steve Dixon      Valley Striders     2hrs 01min 38secs


408 finished and 4dnf’s (and lots of dns's)

Running the Dales Way – from Amanda Seims


So a while ago a few of us all decided we'd try and run the length of the Dales Way (circa 84 miles) from Windermere back to Ilkley in 3 the date got closer the group size whittled down to just two of us, despite trying to recruit more to our gang via the FRA forum, Lakeland 100's facebook page, UKClimbing's trail running section (340 views alone!) and various other outdoor forums

It began to dawn on me that maybe this wasn't such a good idea otherwise we'd have been inundated with people keen to tag along surely?

The week before I started to question my fitness, having only run 27 miles as my longest distance, never running two long days back to back, let alone 3, and never having tried running with camping kit.   Camping kit is quite heavy and you actually need quite a lot of stuff even at this time of year......I got on the internet and splashed out on a light mat and sleeping bag in the sale and sold off my old heavier stuff to ease my conscience!  Thanks to Holly for the loan of a down gilet and Andreas loaning me his ultralight tent I got my pack down to ~9.5-10kg with a little food and 1 litre of water.

We arrived in Windermere on the Saturday just before lunch and set off in reasonable weather.  The pack actually felt fine as it was rammed full and I felt pretty good although slightly concerned that we had to get all the way to Sedbergh to stand any chance of completing it in 3 days.  The first section is quite pleasant over gentle rolling hills in the Eastern lakes  but as the day went on, we realised how slow we were with the packs and that we still had quite a way to go.  After stopping a few times to keep on top of blisters (assumingly caused by the pack weight as I never normally get them?) and we got closer to Sedbergh where to knowledge of a food shop awaited us.  We were tempted by many goodies in the big Spar but unfortunately unable to carry much with already full packs and knowing that we had to walk another mile or two past town to find a quite spot to camp.

We found a great place in some woods and were looking forward to some proper food - with the strong wind blowing through this took longer than we'd hoped as the stove kept going out but finally we got some soup on the go and Andreas' infamous cous cous and chorizo dish.  The downside of our campsite was the lack of water - after cooking we had little left and that meant sacrificing making porridge before we set off in the morning.

We were disappointed to wake to drizzle and finally made the decision to pack up the wet tent and get our weary legs going to Dent which was another 5 miles on.  We waited until the cafe opened and had a huge breakfast and picked up a few snacks and water.  As soon as we left Dent the rain started.  We jogged for a few miles out of Dent but then spent the rest of the day trudging through bogs pretty much and trying desperately to keep Compeed and plasters on our feet.  This was a bleak day, staying in full waterproofs all day and seemed like our longest thanks to all the walking.  We were really low on water this day and decided against the peaty river water after seeing a good dozen dead sheep not far from it.  Once you leave Dent there really is nowhere to buy supplies until Buckden so we just had to keep going with that in mind.

The campsite at Buckden had been upgraded since I last visited to now include a hot shower and a great one at that!  We were also lucky that the pub was still serving food and treated ourselves to a Sunday roast and desert (and heaps of water!).  I was really starting to hurt in various tendons and joints by this point though and tried stretching in the pub in desperation to hopefully allow me to walk the next day.  

Monday was a slow start but thankfully the niggles had eased off enough to allow us to jog most of the day although we still managed to take a good 8-9 hours.  This day was tough with tired legs and our first day of good weather which made for some hot running but at least we had plenty of food stops within towns along the way.  Arriving at Bolton Abbey was akin to stepping into Leeds city centre; rammed with people and quite noisy which is a vast change from when I've visited there before.  Although it was good to see so many people getting out of the house and enjoying some fresh air though but we welcomed the tranquillity of the river stretch through Addingham.  The last few miles to Ilkley seemed never ending and I was really struggling with aches and pains but we made it just after 6.  I don't think I have ever been so hungry after running in all my life!

Doing something like this off little distance training was tough but taking things really slowly at our own pace made it achievable.  Camping meant that we had the flexibility to change our daily distances if needed, but using accommodation would have meant better recovery and the chance to properly stretch each night. I'd probably opt for a route that has cheap hostels along the way next time I do something like this!

Pics are on the VS facebook page.