Subject:                          V S Update - track training on Tuesday; Meanwood marshals information; Membership; MDS; Yorkshire Trail Races; Heptonstall report


Sent: 04 April 2014 00:58

Tuesday 8 April - Training


The 6pm sessions for juniors and adult beginners & improvers will be at Grammar School at Leeds.

click  for map showing where to park and how to get to the track from the car park.

NB Parents please look out for another email coming soon about this session.


The 7pm sessions for intermediates and experienced runners will be at Leeds Met Track.

click  for  map for getting to Carnegie Athletics Track.

click for map for parking.  Meet just inside the Indoor Sports Centre.


These details are also on the V S website   


MVT Recce Run


Note that there will also be a recce of the Meanwood Trail Race route on Tuesday 8 April, starting at 6:30pm prompt from Leos.  This run will be suitable for the experienced runners group and all but the slowest of the intermediates.  Wear trail shoes as it is quite wet and quite muddy in parts.  Please email Dan if you’re intending to do the recce.


Saturday 12 April – Meanwood Valley Trail


I’m wishing I hadn’t put “we now have enough marshals for MVT” in the last email as already 2 have dropped out.


If you’ve already volunteered, it’s a long time since we asked for names so can everyone check and please email to confirm (or otherwise). If you have a preferred location or are restricted for time please note in your email.  Also if we do have spare marshals, some Striders will be able to run, please put “WLTR” (would like to run) in your email.


If you haven’t already volunteered, and are available on 12th, then email


What’s it all about?  The race details are at  In summary,


·         The Meanwood Valley Trail is a footpath from Woodhouse Moor to Golden Acre Park.  Our race uses some parts of this footpath

·         The first race was 1996, so this the 19th year.  The route was designed by club secretary Geoff Webster. 

·         The adult race starts at 10:30 from the field behind Leos club, does a big loop of the woods round Leos, then takes footpaths down towards the Ring Road, through the tunnel, a big lap of Meanwood Park and then the outward route in reverse, a total of just over 7 miles.

·         We’re expecting about 300 runners this year. 

·         In 2004 we introduced a junior race

·         The junior race starts at 10:00 from the field behind Leos club and does a loop of the woods round Leos,

·         School year 3-6 do 1 lap (approx. 1 mile), school year 7-12 do 2 laps

·         We’re expecting just over 100 juniors

·         Since 2001 all of our profits have gone to Lineham Farm Children’s Centre, a total of about £12,000 so far.


You’ll be allocated a marshalling point number and your meeting point - what do we want from you?

·         Before the day, take a look at the maps at to get an idea where you’ll be

·         Bring your mobile and a pair of scissors or knife to remove signs after the race.

·         Wear warm clothes and appropriate shoes (the route is quite muddy in places).

·         Course set-up starts at 08:00 – volunteers required!

·         Marshals for the junior race are needed to meet at Leos at 09:30, most will also marshal the senior race  (finish by 12:15)

·         Marshals for the senior race are in 4 groups and meet as follows

o    Round Leos meet Leos 09:45 prompt (finish by 12:15)

o    Down to 7 Arches meet Leos 09:45 prompt (finish by 12:00)

o    7 Arches to Ring Road meet junction Parkside Lane / Ring Road 10:00 prompt (finish by 11:45)

o    Ring Road / Meanwood Park meet junction Parkside Lane / Ring Road 10:00 prompt (finish by 11:30)

·         You’ll be given a yellow bib, the phone number of your team leader, and the phone number of the chief marshal.  NB for a real emergency, just ring 999!

·         You’ll be taken to your position and told where the runners are coming from and which way to send them.  NB Some parts of the route are out-and-back so you’ll see the runners twice

·         There will be a sweep runner from V S after the slowest runner, after they have gone through you can take down any tape or signs, give your bib back to your team leader and go home (or go for a run).

·         Please note that assembly times are British Summer Time not Valley Striders Time.


Valley Striders juniors are encouraged to run.  If parents are available to marshal they will be given positions on the junior route.


There will be a full set of marshalling positions and instructions emailed early next week, please check your emails regularly!


Tuesday 15 April


I’m hoping this will be a curry night after training, please check on the website after the weekend.


Sunday 31 August


I’ve noticed that entries are now open for the Wetherby 10k.  This is on the same date as the Leeds Country Way Relay, and having won all the 3 major trophies last year, this year’s V.S. objective is to have a record 6 teams i.e. 72 runners.  So please hold off entering Wetherby and we’ll give you more details about LCW soon!




Please note that the U K Athletics year started on 1 April.  Valley Striders members who have not paid their subscriptions since 1 September 2013 are not being registered with England Athletics, so anyone in  this category is not entitled to claim the £2 off race fees in future unless they pay their membership to us.


To check your status, please go to .  If you need to pay, it will say “Due” and your England Athletics number will be blank.  Please email for details of the fees and how to pay.  (if you have paid in the last 10 days, ignore this).


The Marathon des Sables


Richard emailed this afternoon Hi Bob,  It is 30 minutes until I leave, I have re-packed my bag numerous times thinking I have forgotten something, so anything missing now will have to be begged or borrowed.  I have attached my kit list if anyone is interested in the details, and if I can get into the queue for the computer I will send Ellen email updates to forward on to you.


Richard’s final week of training included the Woodhouse Moor parkrun – not easy as he was wearing his 10Kg backpack and pushing a double buggy!


The race starts this Sunday and the website is  (Richard is number 479)


I think those of us doing Harewood 10k or Baildon Boundary Way half marathon or Manchester Marathon may be having an easier time than Richard on Sunday.


Country Trail Races – from Jason Praill


Thanks for plugging my Hot Cross Run in the last email, I have been busy and organised 4 more races for this summer. It's really just dates for the diary at the moment, but could you let my fellow Striders know please? I'm hoping to capture the imagination of any runners who enjoy a trail run but also like a little friendly competition.

Yorkshire Evening Trail Series.

A new trail running series will appear in the countryside around Leeds this summer. Country Trail Races are promoting 4 separate events with the usual self guiding format and pub voucher. The races will all be approx 6 miles long and held on Wednesday evenings. You can start when you are ready after 6.30pm, just be back before dark! If you run any of these races, then points will be awarded based on your finishing time and your best three scores will count towards your series total. Someone will be crowned Yorkshire Evening Trail Champion!

28th May - The Gascoigne Arms, Barwick-In-Elmet
18th June - The Fox & Hounds, Bramhope
16th July - The Fox Inn, Thorner
13th Aug - The Windmill Inn, Linton

Make a note of the dates, there's also an opportunity to get some practice in with The Hot Cross Run on Good Friday from The Star & Garter Inn, Kirkby Overblow.

Further details on


2014 Heptonstall Fell Race Report – from Mick Loftus


The Heptonstall Fell Race (15m, 3170 ft) has something for everyone (as long as your tastes only extend to different versions of off-road running).  It covers high moorland, with steep climbs and descents into sheltered wooded valleys.  It also starts with a blessing from the local vicar.  This year including some sensible advice about a well thought out hydration strategy, 'the water that I will give him, shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into life everlasting.' (John 4:14).


The 2014 run was muddy in many places but the changes in gradient and surroundings kept things interesting, as did the complete disarray and chaos that occurred within the first mile.  Apparently some marker flags had been mischievously moved resulting in the front runners going wrong.  At this point some 200 plus runners were in full charge through a steeply wooded valley.  The leaders turned rightwards in a climbing zig-zag but then someone realised the error, everyone turned and started climbing through the steep woody undergrowth to a style invisible at the top of the slope.  Instead of the usual profile of such a race, with a long snake of runners moving along a track, there were 200 runners all taking roughly individual but parallel routes straight up and over everything.


At the end of this pandemonium I found myself in about 20th place, which is great in theory but in practice just meant that I was passed every few minutes for the next half hour by faster disgruntled runners.  Once things has settled down we were up onto the boggy moors, aiming for a distant trig point. This section was dishearteningly muddy but before too long we plunged down off the moor in a steep descent.  The subsequent climbs and high sections were more runnable and the weather had stayed fine with hazy views across the open landscape. 


We crossed familiar paths from other events in the area and then passed through Walshaw.  Here there was an unusual large sign saying, 'Please do not vault this gate!'.  At this point we had run a tough 10 miles, and although I can't speak for everyone, I suspect that very few runners had considered the 'vault' option until it was prohibited.


From here there was an excitingly steep drop down on a slippy path into the Hardcastle Crags woodland.  After bombing through the woods we climbed steeply out and looped back toward Walshaw.  Then we had a slow climb back over towards Nook and Crimsworth Dean followed by a fun fast gradual descent through fields and woods towards the finish. 


Heptonstall is rightly famous for many things; a ruined church, picturesque houses and Sylvia Plath's grave but all these arguably stem from its key feature; it is so inaccessibly high above the valley below, that the 20th (never mind the 21st) century has barely touched it.  We now grappled with this key feature by way of an achingly steep climb through woods and up steps, eventually topping out in fields to make the last few 100 metres still upwards to the finish.


The vicar was still about offering salvation in the form of flapjacks.


    1  Adam Osborne    Leeds C    m      01:54:10

   22  John Marsham    Valley S   m      02:20:01

   28  Jo Buckley      Calder V   l      02:21:32

   46  Mick Loftus     Valley S   V40    02:25:57

   56  Simon Vallance  Valley S   V40    02:28:12

   58  Clive Bandy     Valley S   m      02:29:11

   64  Ross Bibby      Valley S   m      02:31:33

   70  Andreas Mayer   Valley S   m      02:33:09

  108  Mark Woodhead   Valley S   V50    02:46:55

  118  Ian Sanderson   Valley S   V40    02:49:20

  126  Justin Vogler   Valley S   V40    02:50:33

  174  Alun Davies     Valley S   V50    03:25:04

 206 ran