Subject:                          V S Update - dates incl track training, parkrun mobrun, pie'n'peas, various VSGP and VSFC races; calls for teams for BMW & YV relays; V S Roundhay parkrun report; Fellsman report


Sent: 10 May 2014 00:15

Sunday 11 May – Leeds Half Marathon


Good luck everyone! NB If you’re not showing as a Valley Strider in the results, please email me with your time so I can include it in next week’s email and use it to calculate VS Grand Prix points.


If you’re spectating, then recommended vantage points are the brow of the steep hill out of Meanwood and the top of Stonegate Road, I’m sure there will be plenty of people shouting “Come on Striders” from those two locations. If you want to see more of the race, from Meanwood you can then nip through Headingley and pick up the race either in the Spen Lane area (NB the change of route to use Butcher Hill rather than the Ring Road to Charlie Browns) and/or go across to Kirkstall Lights and/or the Viaduct where support will be much appreciated.  I think this will be the 48th time I’ve run along that stretch of Kirkstall Road (including Leeds halves, Leeds marathons and Abbey Dashes) and it is definitely mind over matter when you can see a straight line of runners ahead for 2 miles, so all support welcome!


Sunday 11 May – Calderdale Way Relay – we have one team – good luck!


Tuesday 13 May - Track Training


·         The Tuesday 6pm sessions for juniors, beginners and improvers are at Grammar School at Leeds

·         The Tuesday 7pm sessions for intermediates and eperienced runners are at Leeds Met

·         More information, including maps and directions, on the VS website homepage


Tuesday 13 May – Jack Bloor Fell Race (in VS Fell Championship) see the website says navigational skills are required but unless you are very fast or very slow there will be plenty of people to follow


Wednesdays 14 and 21 May – John Carr 5k at Esholt (in VS Grand Prix)


Aggregate time for all 3 races to count for John Carr series prizes

Best time for any race in series to count for VSGP


Saturday 17 May – parkrun mobrun at Roundhay (in VS Grand Prix)


This is the one day in the year when the running clubs in Leeds try to get the most runners taking part in the parkrun.  In 2012 it was Hyde Park, in 2013 Templenewsam, and this year it will be Roundhay.


We had 2nd most runners in 2012 and most runners in 2013 but don’t take it as a foregone conclusion that we will have most this year as 14 of our members are in Ireland and some of our fell runners in the Lake District.


So let’s have a big turnout (in VS vests if possible) on 17th at Roundhay!


Just a reminder for recently joined members to ensure they are registered as Valley Striders.


And also at last Saturday’s parkrun there were a couple of VS WAG’s running, maybe they could be enticed to join and register as VS for parkrun. And to avoid bias, ladies, if you have HAB’s who run but are not Striders, then maybe you could entice them to join and register as VS too.


Saturday 17 May – Fairfield Horseshoe (in VS Fell Championship)


Saturday 17 May – River Moy Half (VS Spring Tour) – followed by a lot of Guinness


Sunday 18 May – Windermere Marathon – Myra is running, are any other Striders?  And the previous day there is the White Peak Marathon – I highly recommend this (put in your diary for next year!)


Tuesday 20 May - Training / Pie’n’peas


·         All sessions from Leos

·         Pie and Peas at 7:15pm - book at before 10pm Sunday 18 May, choosing meat pie or veggie bake, mushy peas or baked beans, and whether you want apple pie.

·         Pie and Peas at 8:30pm - book at before 10pm Sunday 18 May, choosing meat pie or veggie bake, mushy peas or baked beans, and whether you want apple pie.


Thursday 22 May – Apperley Bridge Canter (in VS Grand Prix).  Race is filling fast, already over half full, so don’t rely on being able to enter on the day.  Details at but cheaper to enter by post


Monday 26 May – Ilkley Trail Race - details at


Saturday 7 June – Wharfedale Half Marathon (in VS Grand Prix) - details at


Wednesday 11 June – Otley 10 (in VS Grand Prix) - details at


Saturday 21 June – Yorkshire Vets Road Relays


The race is at Roberts Park, Shipley, so not too far away.  Teams as follows M35(4 per team), M40(4), M50(3), M60(3), M70(3), W35(3), W45(3), W55(3).  2.9 miles per leg.  £5 per person to enter.


Email if interested.  Note that we can make up teams that cross age groups, e.g. if we had two M40’s and two M50’s they could be a M40 team.


Sunday 22 June – Pudsey 10k (in VS Grand Prix) and junior race (in VSJGP).  Details at


Saturday 28 June – Leeds 5k Track Races (at Leeds Met) See


Sunday 29 June – Bradford Millennium Way Relay


I’m repeating the information from Myra in the V S Update 2 weeks ago.  The race passes through a few small villages but all the towns are skirted so much more rural and more scenic than Leeds Country Way.


We are now looking for teams for the Bradford Millennium Way Relay on Sunday 29 June.  This is teams of 5 pairs, total 50 miles, all within Bradford City Council boundary, but nowhere near Bradford, details at starts and finishes at Bingley Rugby Club, and goes via Marsh (near Oxenhope), Laycock, Silsden and Ilkley.


We entered 2 teams last year and it would be great if we could do the same this year.  The first 10 who apply get a guaranteed place.


Please email if you’d like to run.


Tuesday 1 July – Danefield Relay


On Otley Chevin, see  for details


Tuesday 1 July – Jane Tomlinson 5k Canal Race at Methley  also junior race Details at


V S Roundhay parkrun - Report


Many thanks to everyone who helped last Saturday – race directors, timekeepers, finish recorders, marshals, pacers and not forgetting cake providers.


We had 47 finishers, this doesn’t include a pacer or two who didn’t bring a barcode (or perhaps did but didn’t want their parkrun average time to go up)


The winner, Alex Pagdin, is recorded as Skyrac AC, but wore the white vest of his 2nd claim club Valley Striders – he ran 17:45.  Myra was 1st woman in 10th place and 19:09.


Some photos on the Valley Striders website home page with links to more photos on the 2014 photos page.


Here’s the Race Director’s report from the parkrun website


A big thank you to the Roundhay parkrun team for allowing Valley Striders to ‘take over’ last weekend. We all had a marvelous time, the sun shone and we very nearly saw a record turnout, what a wonderful morning it was!


Having been given the opportunity to write the run report, I thought I’d start with something that actually made me jump up and down!  I was absolutely delighted to see our junior 2nd claim runner Alex Pagdin cross the finish line in a Valley Strider vest with a new PB of 17:45. Alex is just 15 years old and has been representing Valley Striders in some of the winter cross country races and more recently, been running with our Thursday night group. It’s encouraging to see that Alex’s stamina is improving and he’s now running stronger and faster, the PBs keep appearing and it’s exciting to see that he’s going to become an exceptional senior runner. Well done, Alex! :-)


The Valley Strider joy continued as first lady Myra Jones crossed the line in 10th place, knocking 38 seconds off her previous PB to run 19:09. Running without a watch she said she thought she’d ran ‘‘about 19:40’’.  This new PB now ranks Myra as the 3rd fastest lady to have ever ran at Roundhay parkrun and we couldn't be happier for her, another outstanding achievement as she nears the end of her training for the Windermere marathon next weekend. Well done, Myra! :-)


We were lucky enough to be able to field quite a few runners on Saturday and from a review of the results it really was a week for PBs, with 14 Valley Striders running faster than they have before. We further recorded 276 finishers in total and a huge 77 new PBs across the field!  It was also a week for some parkrun tourists amongst an encouraging 42 new runners! At the other end of the parkrun spectrum, we had Tim Pocock & Alan Bracken who both completed their 99th runs and will soon join the 100 Club and be granted one of those coveted black t-shirts.


Moving onto the younger amongst us, we’re very proud of all our junior runners at Valley Striders and we’d  like to give a special mention and congratulations to Tally Diamond (age 9) who was the 15th female to cross the line with a new PB of 24:02. Tally is a regular at the junior parkrun events, she regularly runs at Temple Newsam parkrun and she just keeps getting quicker and quicker as the weeks go by. Another brilliant run, Tally! Also running were older brothers Jordan who secured a new PB of 27:42 and Stephen who ran 22:31 on his first time at Roundhay. We were also thrilled to see another of our junior runners, Callum Parton, knock 7 seconds off his PB to record a new time of 20:05. Callum is just 15 years old & another one that’s showing promising signs of things to come!


I’ve also noticed a few PB flurries recently and one of those belong to none other than the lovely Becky Fishburn who knocked another 19 seconds off her PB to run 20:57. Becky, I’m going to have to admit defeat now, I can no longer validly call you my parkrun nemesis! Really really well done! :-)


In summary, our top 3 male finishers this week:


17:45 Alex Pagdin – Skyrac – in a Valley Strider vest ;-)

18:03 Elliott Cole – Leeds City AC

18:13 Edward Powell – Unattached


And the ladies:


19:09 Myra Jones – Valley Striders

20:57 Becky Fishburn – Leeds & Bradford Triathlon Club

21:19 Laura Dransfield – Roundhay Runners


So, a huge well done to everyone that ran, if it was your first, your 100th, a PB, or just a fun way of starting your Saturday! A big thank you to you all for supporting the event!


Finally, as I've been given this opportunity, I’d like to personally thank the regular parkrun team for all the time and effort they volunteer every single week. Those that know me will know I'm a bit of a parkrun geek and despite the #hillofdoom I really do think that it is one of the best things happening in the UK right now. It is because of people like Graham and Becky and all the other wonderful volunteers that we’re so lucky to have such a great event on our doorstep and of course, more widely available across the country too – thank you so much!


And, on behalf of Valley Striders, I’d like to reinforce the thanks to everyone that makes the run possible each week, we’re very grateful as a club and would like to continue to offer our support as much as we are able. #parkrunyourlife.


I look forward to seeing everyone again when Valley Striders return on mass for the Roundhay parkrun Mob Run on May 17th! Eekk!


Thanks again for another week of #parkrunjoy


Alex :-)


Results - John Carr Race 1


   26 Gwil Thomas       16.54   

   62 Steve Webb        18.04   

  111 Paul Smith        19.15   

  121 Mike Furby        19.26   

  202 Louise Wardman    21.07   

  227 Sean Fitzgerald   21.48   

  255 Alex Watson-Usher 22.36   

  386 Sara Dyer         27.53   


Race Report – Fellsman – from Sarah Smith


The Fellsman is a high level traverse covering more than 60 miles over very hard rugged moorland. The event climbs over 11,000 feet in its path from Ingleton to Threshfield in the Yorkshire Dales.


Most of the route is over privately owned land, the use of which is secured by the organisers for the weekend only. This being the case, the route does not follow well defined footpaths, so the entrants’ navigational skills with a map and compass are tested as well as their physical fitness. Because of this, only fit and experienced walkers or runners should enter.


After the Auld Lang Syne race on New Years Eve, Meg posted our Fellsman 2014 entries before we left the Keighley area, so that they would arrive at the Fellsman in the first batch, as entries opened on New Year's Day.  

Due to a hectic few months at home and at work, I didn't have time to think about this until the week before.   I realised I had not received my handbook when I noticed people on Facebook talking about how good it was, so I contacted one of the RO's and it arrived a few days later.  I spent a few hours on Wednesday and Thursday night, putting the grid references for the check points on my OS maps, and reading the Points to Observe.

I texted Geoff to warn him I was expecting to get lost, he texted back that Sylvia had been the first lady twice, 14h 30m with a noon start and 12h 59m with the new 9 am start, so I asked about pitfalls to avoid.  I received an email from Sylvia:


Hello Sarah                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 


It's a long time since I did the Fellsman, so I don't think I can be much help. I've dug out the results & I've still got the compass bearings for all round the course though not much use to you, not knowing exactly where they were taken from & anyway the course may have changed: I must have been very keen & determined. I surprise myself: I went on my own the weekend before & camped at Dent & did  a 40 mile recce (that includes return to camp mileage). I do remember being anxious to get well on before being teamed up when darkness fell (do they still do that?) & joining up with a group of chaps who were then allowed to continue, I think they were worried to have a woman complete their team but I showed 'em. I also remember being on Dodd Fell somewhere, checking my compass bearing while a group of chaps just ahead left & them arriving at the next checkpoint before them. A lovely feeling (I'm no great navigator).


I certainly didn't carry any liquid but will have started well hydrated & drank at every opportunity.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       


I remember Linda Lord (I spoke to at Pendle) watching & saying 'just think about the next section'                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          


good luck                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   



Helpful.  I liked the emphasis about carrying no liquid, in light of the views of Mr Webster on that subject it made me smile.  I made sure I was drinking water all day Friday to start well hydrated.  That much I could manage. 

My plan to cycle from Skipton to Threshfield was ditched when Meg insisted on giving me a lift, and as well as my bags she had also picked up my lovely, soft, massive blue blanket.  Registration and kitcheck were followed by dinner, a pasta dish and a slice of bread, I sat with
Nick Ham and we were catching up when Stuart Mills came and joined us.  They were exchanging tales about fractured metatarsals and I was thinking I wanted to listen to them and join in the conversation but I was really tired from getting up around 5 am most days that week, and I also wanted to go to bed and get my much needed sleep. 

Nick then said, and I kid you not, words to the effect of "one of the most important things in training in the days leading up to an ultra is getting lots of sleep, really topping up on your sleep in the week before."

So I just got up and blurted out, "night night", I felt a bit rude but I really needed and wanted my sleep. I slept well on the floor in the sports hall and hoped that my snoring wouldn't ruin anyone else's much needed sleep.  I brought spare ear plugs to offer to any complainers but no one woke me.

Breakfast was a bacon roll and porridge and there might have been a sausage in it but I wasn't sure.  The now familiar bus journey to the start of a run was an opportunity to rest my legs.  "Every day hurts" by Sad Cafe came on the radio and transported me back to 1979 until our arrival at Ingleton where I registered and became the proud owner of a circular tally which I hung around my neck.  The famous, prized, Fellsman tally.  Will this be the wheel of fortune or the disk of death? 

The start 8.30 am

It still hadn't really dawned on me.  I joined in the swell of runners heading out of Ingleton, uphill, then up Ingleborough, and slowly making my way up Ingleborough in the rain and the wind, I realised my fate was in the hands of Fortuna and so resolved to enjoy every step of the way.   All I knew was that ahead of me lay 60 miles of beautiful Dales landscapes, and once the wind had blown the rain and clouds away, the views and skies would be the prized backdrop to hours of moorland running.  What joy. 


Running down Ingleborough I chose the grassy slopes over the slabs, and made good progress, despite falling and sliding twice.  I make faster progress sliding down a bank than mincing down the steps.

After being buoyed by the sight of Andy Smith cheering me on at the gate at the bottom of Whernside the ascent of Whernside was unremarkable, the run down the west side to Kingsdale was pretty sublime, and the climb up Gragareth was done quietly, the wind and rain had gone.

The tented marshals were cheery and from there it was a good trot along the spine of Gragareth to Great Coum, and through the Flinter Gill checkpoint down to Dent, the first checkpoint with a main course on offer, the earlier ones having snacks and sundries. There was a Trev and Simon atmosphere going on in the catering tent or maybe it was more Chuckle Brothers but either way it was a laugh a minute and I could have sat there on the grass longer but I was in a race, and so pushed on.   

Leaving Dent, me and another runner missed a turn despite some map fondling but our mistake was pointed out as the other runner realised it, also some others called us back.  A climb followed and we contoured round the end of Whernside enjoying good views of distant places we had yet to reach, followed by a giddy run down and then a climb up to Blea Moor.

Half a bowl of pasta at the Stone House checkpoint, and a small handful of choccie biccies, I set off for Great Knoutberry, shortly to hear a fellow runner lamenting and cussing at yet another climb.  With tired legs, I climbed in silence, looking forward to the return downhill which was a bounding delight on the springy soft ground. More soft landings and sublime downhill running led to Redshaw where it was good to be cheered on by Andy Smith again.  I was surprised to see Meg at the checkpoint in charge of the tea pot as I had lost track of where I was on this mad escapade. I inhaled a hot dog, emptied some stones out of my shoes and set off, feeling grand. 

I followed the fence to Snaizeholme then when it was time to leave the fence I aimed in the direction of runners I could see in the distance; they looked like white horses and I couldn't catch them up.  I had no idea what time it was or how far I had run and had to go.  I tried to gauge how much daylight I had left to enjoy from the position of the sun because my plan was simple: to get as far as I could in daylight.  Every time I walked, I thought this means longer in the dark on Great Whernside.

A runner who I had been running with hours earlier caught me up; we ran together almost to the end.  This chance encounter, of course, explains not only how and why I finished the Fellsman but led to some interesting conversation.

Sometimes I went on ahead, sometimes he did, "come on, Terminator" he would jest if I lagged behind, "see you!" said I as I ran past him gaily.  He was very sociable and realised I didn't have the capacity for speech whilst running, once I had said my quota that was it.  He chatted to all the runners we passed and I just followed the land.

Fleet Moss.  Middle Tongue.  Hells Gap.  Cray.  These words alone inspire a sense of trepidation and respect.  These places are wild, desolate and beautiful. 

In the doleful words of one runner, this was a "boring, featureless section" but as you know, I don't expect entertainment on a long distance run.  I don't understand what is so special about having a feature anyway?  This terrain is not only remote, but spectacular.  You are lucky to see a sunset here, and feel some droplets of rain which are hurled your way momentarily then stop.  

Night time is coming.   We make our way across moors and I find myself in a band of runners, one tall man constantly checks his map and bearings, his companion is bright and spritely and we are sticking with them through the tussocks.  I am incapable of speech but the other runner is making friends as usual, and chatting to this impressive duo.

Before we find ourselves here, this running companion who has adopted me has been asking everyone if they have run this race before, if so, did they finish and generally researching for the grouping exercise at Cray.  I appreciate the wisdom of his approach, but can't contribute as I am concentrating on moving.

Meanwhile unbeknownst to us, we undergo a two part interview and pass.  The spritely runner says to me, "we were wondering if you would you like to group with us at Cray?".  I nearly died.  "Thank you, I would love to!"  I said, aware that this invitation was the stuff of dreams.   She asks a question about my friend, "I don't know, I have never met him before, I don't even know his name".  That's my social skill laid bare.  We all introduce ourselves and crack on.  Fortune's wheel is well and truly in her upward turn. 

I dispel my fears I might be the one to slow the group and vow to push on.  Arriving at Cray, I see Andrew Smith again, what good and unexpected support.  Here I put long, warm, winter leggings on and gloves and head torch.  We set off for Buckden Pike and Loz and Debbie's navigational skill is quickly put to use, we are crossing fields and stiles in the dark, I am totally unaware of my whereabouts, I haven't been here for over 20 years.  I know that my task is simple.  Follow these people.  They know what they are doing. 

The next few hours are surreal.  My limitless love and joy of long distance running does waver a little as the hours pass by.  I should have had more sugary sweets to boost me but mistake number 2, I had only my emergency rations and didn't want to break into those for fear of disqualification.  If I could have eaten one of my Boost bars I would have broken into a rousing gospel chant.  Loz's jelly babies and pastilles were gratefully received and I grabbed as much food and biscuits as I could at checkpoints to sustain me.

All I had to do was follow, and the intensive preparation and care these navigators had taken to make sure they got the route right in the dark was a salutary lesson in night time navigation.  I would only be capable of monosyllables, if pushed, from Buckden Pike.

Through the clag which bounced off the head torches, the bogs and checkpoints of Top Mere, Park Rash and Great Whernside I silently trudged, although I made the mistake of allowing speech to occur at this last checkpoint by telling the marshalls camped out with no tent but just sleeping bags on top, in the cold, in the clag, with rocks for a base, that they looked like hobbits.

"How many hobbits have you met?" I am challenged with.  Stubborn as ever I didn't like to say "none".  I almost said my son had feet like a hobbit as if that would be a good enough answer, but I realised that was unkind and it was nasty of me to ever think that, let alone say it.   I was looking forward to getting in my sleeping bag on the floor and wrapping myself in my lovely, soft, blue blanket, they had the rest of the night on the mountain ahead of them. 

I can't say much more about this night time section, although I feel compelled to go back in daylight and see where we went. 

When we reached Yarnbury we were degrouped and I ran alone along the road for a while, then followed Deb and Loz to the finish where there's Alex drinking beer and Meg in charge of the laptop, this all seemed perfectly normal, as did eating a massive baked potato hiding under a big coating of chilli.  Then a long sleep and a lift home from Meg.  I feel totally spoiled, I have had such a fabulous time. 

1st men:     Kim Collison and Adam Perry 10 hours 51 mins
1st female: Carol Morgan                        14 hours 29 mins
Joint 136th Sarah Smith                          18 hours 45 mins
383 started
285 finished