Subject:                          V S Update - busy Saturday; VSGP/VSJGP; Next XC races; Parties; Hoodies; London; Sunday&Thursday; Results from XC Relays, WYXC, Guy Fawkes, Bradford and OMM


Sent: 07 November 2014 00:28



Brass Monkey entries open – Saturday 6a.m.


Knavesmire Harriers announced that entries for the 2015 Brass Monkey race will open at 6am on Saturday 8 November, via


They have a new race entry supplier this year. To save time on the day of entering, you can create an account and password on the Results Base website in advance. Simply click on “Log in” at the top of their website and follow their instructions to create an account. You will be able to enter fully from 6am on Saturday 8 November.


The race date is Sunday 18 January 2015 and the race starts at 10am. The entry price is £22 for UKA affiliated runners and £24 for unaffiliated runners.  If you have any questions, please contact


From Bob - note that this is a perfect course for a PB, but as for 2014, we won’t be including it in the VS Grand Prix.


Roy’s 250th Parkrun – Saturday 9a.m.


It will be Roy Huggins’ 250th parkrun this Saturday.  He’s done 245 of the 249 at Leeds (Hyde Park) and this week will be no exception.  So it would be great if Striders parkrunners diverted to Hyde Park this Saturday to support Roy (even if most of us won’t see him after the first 100 metres!)


Leos Bonfire – Saturday 6:30pm


Probably the biggest bonfire in the area!  Bonfire at 6:30pm, fireworks at 7:15pm, bar and hot food (of course), all welcome (need not be Leos or Striders members)




VS Grand Prix Races


Just 4 races to go in this year’s Grand Prix, prizes will be presented at VS Xmas Party on 12 December

·         Sat 15 Nov - Harriers v Cyclists (also in the Fell Championship)

·         Sun 16 Nov - Abbey Dash 10k – ENTRIES STILL OPEN

·         Sat 22 Nov - West Yorks XC race 3 at Keighley - see below

·         Sun 30 Nov - Peco XC race 1 at Barnbow (Crossgates) - see below


The first 4 races of next year’s GP will be

·         Sun 14 Dec - Peco XC race 2 at Pontefract or Nostell Priory

·         Fri 26 Dec – Chevin Chase 

·         Sun 4 Jan - Peco XC race 3 at West Park Leeds 

·         TBA – VS Xmas/NewYear Handicap – either Sunday 28 December or Sunday 11 January


VS Junior GP 2013/4 prizes will be presented at the VS Juniors Xmas Party on 9 December


VS Junior GP 2014/5 races include Abbey Dash Junior Race and all Peco races (dates listed above)


VS Fell Championship – updated on website (go via the “for Club members” tab)


Food – Tuesday 18 November


Pie and peas, normal arrangements, details on front page of website.


WYXC race 3 – Saturday 22 November at Keighley


If you’ve not registered yet and you’re wanting to run this race, please email by Wednesday 12 November – no late entries!


To check whether you have been registered go to


Peco race 1 – Sunday 30 November at Barnbow (Crossgates)


Anyone who ran a peco race last year has been registered.


To check whether you have been registered go to


If you’re not registered and you’re wanting to run this race, please email by Friday 21 November – no late entries!


For the other dates in the series see


Juniors (school years 4 to 12) need not register.  Ages 16 and above may run in the senior race at the discretion of the Race Organiser (please contact me)


VS Junior Xmas Party – Tuesday 9 December – save the date


VS Xmas Party – Friday 12 December – save the date


Hooded Tops (Adults and Juniors) – Deadline for Xmas orders - Sunday 23 November 2014


Message from Mr Kit – Last chance to order a hooded top ahead of Christmas. The options / costs are:

·         Adult Black Hoody (no zip) - £20

·         Adult Black or Grey Hoody (full zip) – £24.50

·         Kids Black Hoody (no zip) – £15

·         Kids Black or Grey Hoody (full zip) - £19


Each hoody comes as either male or female and will have ‘Valley Striders Leeds’ on the back (heat applied) and the same on the chest only smaller and embroidered. The price also includes for your name or initials to be embroidered on the chest so you don’t get it mixed up with other Striders. If someone doesn’t want their name adding, a slight saving to the prices above can be offered. An image of the tops can be found on Facebook.


Sizing info can be found using the links below:

Full zip hoody: (black or grey):

Pullover hoody: (black):


Can I please request orders by no later than Sunday 23rd November 2014 to


London Marathon ballot


I have applied for club places in the London Marathon 2014 – we usually get 4.


There is a priority system for allocation of these places

1.      With rejection slips (members prior to 1 Jan 2014 & have never had club place)

2.       With rejection slips (members prior to 1 Jan 2014 but have previously had club place)

3.       Without rejection slips (members prior to 1 Jan 2014)

4.       With rejection slips (members since 1 Jan 2014)

5.       Without rejection slips (members since 1 Jan 2014)


If you would like your name to be put into the ballot which will take place at the VS Xmas Party, let me know by Tuesday 9 December 10pm


Email and say which of the above 5 categories your application falls.  Names will be listed at


Sunday and Thursday Training


About 12 of us got together on Tuesday to discuss Sunday and Thursday sessions.


With so many races on Sundays before Xmas, the discussion has been deferred for a few weeks to give more Striders opportunity for input.  In the meantime Tim will continue to issue his weekly email (thanks) to give the opportunity for people to meet at Smithy Mills at 09:00 or possibly make other arrangements.  If you’re not on Tim’s email list (i.e. you didn’t get one today) and you’d like to be, then please email


Regarding Thursday sessions, Mike Hall volunteered to take over co-ordinating these sessions (thanks) while Richard Irvine recovers from injury and John Wallace recovers from his operation. 


There were three main decisions made

·         the Thursday run should be a continuous run, not stop-start, and therefore at pre-determined points, lead runners should loop back to pick up the group

·         the route should be published in advance

·         if sufficient numbers, there should be 2 groups


Mike will publish details each week on Facebook and also via the Thursday email list.  If you’re not on Richard’s email list (i.e. you didn’t get one today from Mike), then please email




National XC Relays


Valley Striders finished 59th out of 143 teams (although there were another 24 “teams” who had 1, 2 or 3 runners, so started but didn’t finish)


Striders were 2nd team from Leeds (actually we were the only other club from Leeds who turned up), but also featured well amongst Yorkshire teams.


Selected results


   1 Stockport       1:01:10

   2 Morpeth         1:01:34

   3 Highgate        1:01:54

   7 Leeds City      1:02:44

  30 Leeds City ‘B’  1:06:50

  59 Valley Striders 1:10:57

     Gwil Thomas       17:49 *

     Paul Fotherby     18:00

     John Hobbs        17:33

     Matt Hallam       17:35


Yorkshire teams -  17 Hallamshire, 31 Holmfirth, 36 Rotherham, 41 City of Sheffield, 48 Sheffield RC, 49 City of York, 56 Wakefield, 75 Keighley & Craven, 77 Barnsley AC, 78 Doncaster ‘B’, 84 Barnsley H, 85 Knavesmire H, 91 Sheffield RC ‘B’, 93 Wakefield ‘B’, 108 Barnsley H ‘B’, 115 Steel City 1:21:19, 116 Sheffield Hallam, 129 Doncaster ‘B’, 143 Barnsley H ‘C’.


* Sorry Gwil, but there’s a little note on the website that says “due to the start line being positioned differently to the changeover line first stage legs were shorter”


WYXC race 2


The women finished 7th, but retained their 3rd place overall in the series.  Well done to Rachel Mackie in her first race in Valley Striders colours.

                                              Dist  Pace   GP pts

      11  Myra Jones          0:22:38   5.9  3:50.2   89

      43  Rebecca Fishburn    0:24:24   5.9  4:08.1   84

      50  Rachel Mackie       0:24:56   5.9  4:13.6   82

      59  Louise Cazan        0:25:41   5.9  4:21.2   81

      62  Claire Senior       0:26:06   5.9  4:25.4   80

      63  Sue Sunderland      0:26:15   5.9  4:26.9   79

      66  Chloe Hudson        0:26:31   5.9  4:29.7   78

      68  Pascale Fotherby    0:26:48   5.9  4:32.5   77

      72  Gemma Midwood       0:27:47   5.9  4:42.5   76


The men finished 2nd , and retained their 2nd  place overall in the series


      16  Matthew Hallam      0:29:10   8.7  3:21.1  100

      20  Jon Parker          0:29:30   8.7  3:23.4   99

      27  John Hobbs          0:29:54   8.7  3:26.2   98

      30  Dan Fisher          0:30:06   8.7  3:27.6   97

      35  Gwil Thomas         0:30:18   8.7  3:29.0   96

      42  Paul Fotherby       0:30:29   8.7  3:30.2   95

      43  Andy May            0:30:29   8.7  3:30.2   95

      56  Jon Pownall         0:31:00   8.7  3:33.8   93

      69  Jerry Watson        0:31:53   8.7  3:39.9   92

      72  James Tarran        0:32:05   8.7  3:41.3   91

      96  Kevin Mcmullan      0:33:04   8.7  3:48.0   90

     111  Gary Mann           0:33:49   8.7  3:53.2   88

     129  Vernon Long         0:35:07   8.7  4:02.2   87

     132  David Merritt       0:35:12   8.7  4:02.8   86

     137  Andy Pagdin         0:35:55   8.7  4:07.7   85

     145  Adam Parton         0:36:42   8.7  4:13.1   83


            NB Grand Prix points have been calculated by guessing the lap distance and the start and finish distance and then getting an average time per km.


Guy Fawkes 10


      44  Ian Sanderson        1:08:18  100

     127  Graham Pawley        1:13:55   97

     128  Joe Steele           1:13:58   93

     134  Paul Smith           1:14:18   90

     186  Sue Sunderland       1:17:42   87

     216  Mike Robins          1:19:11   83

     341  Stephanie Gledhill   1:24:37   80


Bradford City Runs (from Bob)


By far the most topologically interesting race I’ve ever run, there were 3 races taking place concurrently – a 5k, a 10k and a half marathon. 


Easy-peasy to design the 5k and 10k, just make the 10k two laps of the 5k.  But for the half marathon – trust Mark Hetherington (also Peco XC organiser) to come up with a devious solution – it had 4 laps but an extra loop of 1.1k during the first lap to make up to the required 21.1k.  So what about the poor marshal who would have to separate the 800 total runners after a mile?  Simples, start the half marathon 10 minutes before the other two races, all the half marathon runners would be off on their loop before any of the 5k or 10k runners arrived.


Got all of that? OK!  So I set off with the other 3 Valley Striders – all of whom had entered the half  (my theory was that although the half was most expensive, the cost per lap was least expensive).  Out on the loop and then back onto the main lap.  A nice hairpin bend with an out-and-back so I could see how far Leroy was ahead of me (quite a bit) and how far Holly was behind (not much).  And then towards the end of this 1st lap, a few of the 5k runners came flying by – and I mean flying as they were running about 3:20 per km and I was running about 5:10.  Coming to the end of the lap back to City Park, there was also a stretch with runners on their next lap coming out from City Park, more about this later.  Words of encouragement from Tom in City Park (he’d entered the Wednesday before the race and twisted his ankle the following day). Second lap, and 10km runners started to come past.  Into the hairpin and the gaps (Leroy ahead, Holly behind) had got a bit wider.  Tom again in City Park.  Onto the 3rd lap, and in the middle of this lap, the 3 lead runners in the half came past a full lap ahead (they were the only ones who did, they had a big lead).  Round the 3rd lap, and lapping some of the very slow 10k runners.  Coming into the end of the 3rd lap, just starting her 3rd lap was Maureen, and just behind her, starting his 4th lap was Leroy.  Tom again in City Park.  For the 4th lap the gaps between runners were getting wider, I think I was overtaken by just two half marathoners even though I slowed a bit.


Certainly all of this took the mind off the route which was hilly (it was Bradford), windy (it was Bradford) and not very scenic (ditto).  But the marshals were brilliant, many of the key locations being supported by clubs in the Bradford network.


Finally to the finish, and considering the route, I was pleased to get under 1:50.  I had a gap of a minute over the next runner – it was ex-Strider James Forbes.  He said he’d been getting faster since he’d stopped coming to our Tuesday sessions, but I suspected it was more due to him being a stone or two lighter, not due to radical training plans!


Half Marathon

                      Gun      Chip

   40 Leroy Sutton   1:40:05  1:39:43

   93 Bob Jackson    1:48:59  1:48:51

  110 Holly Button   1:54:32  1:54:16

  214 Maureen Coffey 2:20:26  2:20:08 (1st and only F65)

  239 finished


OMM 2014 Elite Class Race Report – from Mick Loftus


We pushed through buffeting winds towards the glow of lights from the overnight camp.  It had been a very long day and we were battling with mud and tussocks by the light of our head torches to finish the first day of the 2014 Original Mountain Marathon (OMM) Elite Class.  We jogged and stumbled in after 11 hours and 36 minutes of completing on the hills.


The day had started at 5:30 before Mick Wrench and I drove into the heart of the Northumberland National Park, just south of The Cheviot Hills.  We had registered and set off at around 8:00 into a strong wind which was to be a feature throughout the weekend.  We took a poor line to the first control but then settled into a steady pace over runnable ground to the next controls.  The good ground didn’t last long.  Soon we were floundering in mud and tussock grass.  This terrain saps your energy, breaks your rhythm and threatens to break your ankles.  I fell several times each day and seemed to find hidden deep holes regularly.  We constantly scanned the ground ahead for any small paths or quad bike tracks to ease our passage.  There were a lot of fences and boundaries which mostly had parallel tracks even when they were not marked on the map.  We adopted a strategy of following these as we slowly made progress.  The straight line distance for the day was 42km with 2580m of climb.  Depending on route choice, this meant we would be covering well over 30 miles.  It became clear early on that it was going to a very long day.  After about 6 or 7 hours we had a big climb followed by a traverse of some particularly soul destroying ground.  This left me light headed and energyless.  We pressed on doggedly to a control in some forestry.  This control proved problematic for us and other teams.  The maps this year were not as good quality as usual and we really struggled to find the control.  After at least 20 minutes of frustration we came across the control and pressed on into the approaching dark.  It was fully dark by the time we reached the next control.  Then the final leg of about 1.5 miles took us 80 minutes of confusion in the dark (top teams did it in 30 minutes in daylight) until it was finally over.


It had been our longest day ever in a mountain marathon.  We wondered how many other teams would make it around.  The wind remained strong at the campsite as we struggled with exhaustion to get the tent up.  Eventually organised, we got changed and cooked our food. Provisional results showed that we were 17th out of only 18 teams completing the day.  It wasn’t clear how many had started but 34 teams had entered.  


We had a good rest overnight, good sleep was too much to hope for  with the howling wind.  We were relieved and slightly surprised that our lightweight tent has survived the night at all.  At the start of day 2, ‘bad weather courses’ were announced which shortened our 36km route, a bit.  The weather was actually better than day 1,with the the same wind but less rain (it had rained intermittently throughout day 1).  We weren’t complaining though (at least not about a shortened course).  We knew that we only had to complete the day to get our highest ever placing, our previous best was 21st.  However, just completing was going to be a massive challenge.


The pattern of day 2 was similar to the previous day; miles of running along high boundary fences, across almost impenetrable tussock grass, with a little track and road running towards the end.  We were very weary and the time flew by without great progress being made. The accumulated aches, pains, abrasions, knocks and twists were also slowing us down. The cut off time for the day began to get uncomfortably close as we neared the end.  We got to the last control after 8 hours and then trotted in to the finish with a half hour to spare.  Day 2 had taken 8 hours and 17 minutes.


The results showed that we had come in solidly last position but in 13th place!  Only 13 teams had completed the OMM Elite Class, the lowest number in recent years.  So this was our very best or our worst ever result, depending on how you look at it.  After just under 20 hours of running, I think I will choose to look at it as our best ever result.


Simon Vallance went for the Elite course with non-Strider Neil Gascoyne.  They had a slightly later start time than us and found themselves looking for that difficult control in the woods in the dark.  They couldn’t find it and had to abandon the event.  


Ann-Kristin Koehler and John Marsham had a successful 10 hour 40 minute running weekend in the B Class to come 16th overall out of 68 finishers and 3rd ‘mixed’ team.


Mick Loftus (


P.S. if I’ve missed any reports, please re-email to me and I’ll publish next week.