Subject:                          V S Update - Meanwood thanks (£1750 raised); Food for 5 May; Training for 5/12/19 May; Race diary; TDY preview; Reports from USA, Huntingdon, 3 Peaks, Spain and York; Results from Baildon, Meanwood, Barbados, Reeth, Manchester, Huddersfield and London


Sent: 30 April 2015 14:42

I’m sorry it’s been nearly three weeks since the last proper V S update.  If you’ve been suffering withdrawal symptoms, then take care, because here is an overdose to compensate.


In this edition

·         Meanwood Trail thanks (record number of runners and record £1750 raised)

·         Food for next Tuesday, training for 5/12/19 May

·         Races coming up in the next few weeks

·         Tour de Yorkshire preview

·         Reports (including duathlon and triathlon) from Washington USA, Huntingdon, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, Spain and York

·         Results from Baildon, Meanwood, Barbados, Reeth, Manchester, Huddersfield and London


Meanwood Trail


Dan Murray posted in Facebook  “A massive thanks to all those who marshalled on Saturday and who helped on the lead up to the race and on the day in whatever capacity. I'm pleased to say the day went extremely well like a well oiled machine with I believe record numbers. Here are a few photos of the day including a shot of some very impressive spikes which I'm thinking of investing in for the next Peco series!  Great to see Kim Threadgall Spence first lady over the line and Matt Hallam 7th Male.  Top Tussock Digging by Jason Praill on the day. Boy does that boy know how to prod!”


If you’ve not seen Dan’s photos on Facebook, you can now find these (and more) at 


And a big thank you from me too.  On the day we had 86 Valley Striders, family and friends helping with the race. 10 of these did early duties, either car parking or race entries, and then ran.  But 76 came along purely to volunteer.  Thank you!  “Well-oiled machine”, yes, but if we had been short there would have been the chance of a Bournemouth-gate (a marshal took a comfort break and the 10k became 13k!)


I am going to make a few special mentions and apologise in advance if I’ve missed anyone from this list

·         Dan who came back from holiday a week before and was faced with a list of 70 names, a set of 6 maps and the task of placing all the names on all the maps, then emailing all the team leaders (see below)

·         Andy Stoneman who created a brand new set of coloured and numbered maps for this year, and also designed the entry form and the centres for the medals and trophies

·         John Batchelor and Alex Watson-Usher, our promotions team, who distributed entry forms, ordered beer, medals, vouchers etc

·         Alistair Smyth on race permit and signage on the day

·         The 30 Striders so who came on the recce run

·         Richard Adcock for beer transport

·         The beer labelling team who came along to Leos on the Friday evening

·         And the many who started at 08:00 on Saturday morning …

·         Paul Furness and his car parking team

·         Jason Praill who planned and set up the start and finish, supported by Ken Kaiser

·         Our marshalling team leaders, (who had also contacted their team members during the week) and were then 8:00 Saturday setting up the route.  They were, in no particular order (as they say on “Strictly”), Mick, Aileen and Ronan Loftus, Gary Mann, Kathy Kaiser, Ross Bibby, John Bucktrout, Richard Clough, Ian Sanderson, Ian Place, Sarah Smith and Mark Woodhead

·         The entries and results team led by Joel Giddings, Michael Hall, Tom Button and Helen Gill

·         Mike and Eileen, our timekeepers, who have now clocked up more than 100 Valley Striders events (races and club handicaps)

·         Last out, John and Pat Umpleby who, amongst other tasks, cleared and cleaned the function room at Leos afterwards, we must allocate more people to help on this task in future


As I said, we did have 10 Valley Striders running, also 17 juniors in the 1 or 2 mile race, see the results section


We had 68 runners in the 1 mile and 41 in the 2 mile, the total of 109 being the second highest ever.  The senior race had a record 385 finishers (previous best 356 in 2007) and was up from 234 last year.


Finally, we will have raised just over £1,750 for Lineham Farm, bringing the total to £16,600 in 16 years and Valley Striders total charity contrbutions to over £52,000.  THANK YOU!


Training and food on Tuesday 5 May; training on 12 and 19 May


Tuesday 5 May

·         juniors and beginners/improvers at Leos at 6pm

·         intermedates and experienced runners meet Leos 7pm for 3 by 10mins at Eccup Reservoir

·         fell runners meet Ilkley at 6:45 pm for recce of Jack Bloor routewill start with a warm-up and then a 1 mile run round the junior route for the Meanwood Trail Race.  Note that walkers and very slow runners will be asked to take a short cut after half a mile.

·         Followed by two sittings for lasagne – please book by 10pm Sunday 3 May

·         early sessions followed by lasagne at 7:15pm book at choosing meat or veggie lasagne (£3.50) and whether you want apple pie (£1.50). 

·         later sessions followed by lasagne at 8:30pm book at choosing meat or veggie lasagne (£3.50) and whether you want apple pie (£1.50).


Tuesday 12 May

·         6pm juniors and beginners/improvers at Grammar School at Leeds

·         7pm intermediates and experienced runners at Leeds Beckett University, Headingley


Tuesday 19 May – training sessions replaced by VS club races

·         Juniors and beginners/improvers 1 mile meet by Eccup reservoir 6:15pm

·         Adult club handicap (5 miles) meet by Eccup reservoir 6:45pm

·         Full details on the home page of the website, all club members welcome, guests too


Note that training information is always on the home page of the website


Race Diary

·         Sat 2/9/16/23/30 May – Templenewsam parkrun in Leeds Race Series

·         Sun 3/10/17/24/31 May - Templenewsam junior parkrun in Leeds Junior Race Series

·         Mon 4 May – East Leeds 10k at St Aidans’ RSPB reserve – just a few places left and no entries on the day

·         Wed 6/13/20 May – Esholt 5k VSGP

·         Sun 10 May – Leeds Half Marathon – entries still open?  VSGP

·         Tue 19 May – VS junior mile and VS club handicap

·         Thu 28 May – Apperley Bridge Canter VSGP and Leeds Race Series

·         Sun 20 September – Vale of York half marathon VSGP – entries open 1st May, could sell out fast


Note also Leos Beerfest from Fri 1 May to Sun 3 May


Tour De Yorkshire Sportive (from Joel Stead’s weekly VSCC news)


Tour De Yorkshire number crunching (yes I am that sad). I had a look at the list of entrants from the TDY e-mail today. Valley Striders have by far the most entrants of any club. Here's my analysis:

Entrants: Total Entrants = 5,401 (I can't believe they aren't closing the roads!!!)

Valley Striders = 57

Ilkley CC= 47

Alba Rosa = 35

Otley CC = 31

Cappuccino = 30

Harrogate Nova = 18

Routes - of our 57, 13 are doing the 50km, 11 are doing the 108km and 33 are doing the 142km. There are 43 male and 14 female of us.

Of course there could be members of other clubs who hadn't entered their club details on entry (in fact 3 of ours hadn't but I've included them above). But overall, great effort from our members. Good luck boys and girls and ride safe!




Blooms to Brews marathon (from Myra Jones)


After an Autumn marathon double, I definitely wasn’t going to do a spring marathon this year and started planning a 3 week trip to the Pacific Northwest instead.  However, after booking the flights I couldn’t resist looking for races that would be on our route between San Francisco and Seattle. After quite a lot of searching I found that Woodland, a small town a few miles north of Portland, was hosting the Blooms to Brews 10k, half marathon and inaugural marathon and marathon relay.  Sean was absolutely delighted.


So bright and early on April 12th, we made our way down to the local park for the 7:30am marathon start. Sean did the half marathon which started 10 minutes later. After a very busy ‘taper’ week,  I had been unsure about what time to go for but after standing in the pouring rain listening to a slightly dodgy rendition of the national anthem, I made my way to the front row of at the start line and stood next to the 3hour pacer.


Despite being advertised as a flat Boston Qualifier, the race hadn’t attracted a very big or high quality field and I spent most of the race in a 3hour pace group consisting of 4 (including the pacer), with only half a dozen or so marathon runners ahead of us. After the rain cleared, the route was pretty scenic and ran entirely through open countryside, alongside a couple of rivers and fields of tulips (the ‘Blooms’). 

The mile markers were a bit all over the place so I found myself having to rely on the pacer knowing what he was doing.  At halfway, we got a new pacer and the guy who had been pacing us ran off into the distance to claim 2nd place.


I felt pretty good for the first 20 miles but even though I was still with the 3hour group sensed that the pace was beginning to drop a bit.  Mile 22 was off-road and into a headwind, although we followed the pacer’s instructions and lined up single file behind him, I felt we were starting to struggle and definitely going too slowly.  A pretty frustrating wrong turn when we rejoined the road meant we had to retrace our steps up a short hill and I knew this would put us even further behind schedule.  It also seemed to split the group, with the only man in the group pulling ahead of me and the other girl falling further behind.  Although, I wasn’t sure what time I was on for I knew I could still take a good chunk off my PB so kept going as fast as I could.


The last mile seemed to go on forever and I finally crossed the line in 3:02:16 (1st lady, 7th overall and  just over 4minutes faster than my previous PB).  I don’t have any mile splits but according to the results I ran the first 16 miles at an average of 6:47min/mile and the last 10.2 at an average of 7:13 pace- so I definitely slowed down!


After finishing the race we took advantage of the local beer (‘Brews’) included in the race entry and  spoke to quite a few of the other runners.  We found out the man who had been leading the race had been directed the wrong way by the lead cyclist and missed a 6mile loop of the course, so was disqualified.  Our wrong turn then didn’t seem quite so bad!


I doubt many Striders will be passing through Washington State in mid April but if anyone is this is a  lovely flat course and a really fun and at times slightly crazy event to be a part of.    They have a video on their Facebook page which sums up the day quite well!


Baildon Boundary Way

                                     GP pts

    15 John Shanks            1:29:30   100

    21 Jonathan Smyth         1:31:39    99

    23 Ross Bibby             1:31:48    98

    40 Joel Giddings          1:37:51    96

    63 Vernon Long            1:43:12    95

    68 Mike Furby             1:43:30    94

    92 Graham Jones           1:47:26    93

   100 Sean Fitzgerald        1:48:39    91

   103 Alan Hutchinson        1:49:00    90

   123 Jason Praill           1:51:50    89

   139 Louise Cazan           1:54:35    88

   178 Keith Brewster         1:58:58    86

   183 Stephanie Gledhill     2:00:15    85

   188 Chloe Hudson           2:01:27    84

   214 Bob Jackson            2:05:29    83

   249 Sarah Smith            2:12:29    81

   291 Samantha Harris        2:23:10    80


Meanwood Trail Junior Race


1 mile                             pos in cat

    7 Alvie O'Brien       6.48 BSY5-6   5

   15 Imogen Idle         7.03 GSY5-6   5

   22 Finlay Chambers     7.20 BSY5-6  12

   26 Theodore Rosenberg  7.25 BSY3-4   5

   28 Thomas Steel        7.27 BSY3-4   6

   34 Felix Linley        7.39 BSY3-4   8

   38 Dominic Richardson  7.46 BSY3-4   9

   44 Josephine Pawley    8.04 GSY3-4   5

   46 Alessia Teoli       8.09 GSY5-6  13

   52 Alec Twigg          8.31 BSY3-4  14

   62 Thomas Webster      9.38 BSY3-4  19

2 miles                                     

    4 Avner Bordoley     11.00 BSY9-10  2

    6 Joe Sherman        11.03 BSY7-8   3

   29 Laurie O'Brien     14.17 BSY7-8  15

   31 Jason Twigg        14.39 BSY9-10  8

   36 Isabelle Webster   15.09 GSY7-8   9

   37 Jasmine Webster    15.26 GSY9-10  5


Meanwood Valley Trail Race


    7 Matt Hallam       44.23

   15 Ross Bibby        46.35

   31 Jonathan Smyth    49.30

   33 Kim Spence        49.38

  110 Rachel Mackie     56.21

  123 Simon Webster     57.20

  150 Louise Cazan      58.41

  195 Kat Martin        62.08

  199 Samantha Harris   62.20

  302 Eamon O'Brien     71.30


Airedale Triple Trail


                        Guiseley Baildon Meanwood Total  pos in cat

  7 Jonathan Smyth   M0  0:41:07 1:31:39 0:49:30 3:02:16   3

22 Louise Cazan     F35 0:50:52 1:54:35 0:58:41 3:44:08   2

37 Samantha Harris  F0  0:56:00 2:23:10 1:02:20 4:21:30   2


Oistins 10k Barbados


   16 Colin Smith 46:62

  101 finished


Anglian Water Sprint Duathlon (from John Shanks)

Congratulations to Sarah Shanks in claiming a qualification spot for the 2016 ETU Champs, I'm very proud!

I'm waiting to see if I have a roll down place as I missed out on the auto spots, despite being stronger than I was last year. My AG has become very competitive so I'll need to up my game a bit more to keep up.

The event is based in a car park next to Grafham Water. It’s a very nice location, and the organisation is top notch. Thanks to Nice Tri Events.

Run is off road within the public footpath. It was 5km out and back on both R1 & R2. Bike was also out and back towards the A1. Very flat with a couple of bumps.

Since our good bikes are in transit to Alcobendas, we had to make do with our winter bikes.

The timing of the qualifying events has become a bit of a c**k up, a few people are not happy. If we were to take the stance of a certain laughing stock of a football club did the same day, we'd jump up and down, wave our hands about and claim conspiracy. However, we just got on with it and seen it as a test ahead of the main event.

It was hard going but we were happy with our efforts. I also managed to catch back up with some of the shiny TT bikes on the way back into a headwind, round a couple of bends and up a small hill.

Run 2 was all about picking people off, I claimed a fair few victims but was around 45 secs short of one of the 4 qualifying spots.

Main thing is no injuries and confidence for both of us for Sunday. I think I'll do that event again next year, it was up there with Oulton Park as a favourite


Dales Trail Series (from Kim Spence)


Some results from the weekend.  A few of us took part in the first race in the 'Dales Trail Series' which was a 20km off road race starting from Reeth, Swaledale.  Brilliant course and would definitely recommend the the next event which will be over 30km and starts in Muker on the 11th July. 

   1st Andy Blackett   1.29.03
  10th Clive Bandy     1.43.38
  11th Kim Spence      1.44.10 (1st female)
  54th Andreas Mayer   2.05.01
  DNF  Simon Vallance due to injured calf

Manchester Marathon

                            Chip     Gun

   78 Gwil Thomas          2:46:01  2:46:09

  192 Andrew Bennett       2:52:59  2:53:07

  204 Rav Panesar          2:53:18  2:53:25

  300 James Tarran         2:56:02  2:56:10

  415 Gary Mann            2:58:07  2:58:16

  581 Andy May             3:02:56  3:03:02

1246 Andy Pagdin          3:16:38  3:17:00

1464 Sean Fitzgerald      3:21:19  3:21:43

1887 Adam Parton          3:27:19  3:28:14

3947 Jenny Hall           3:55:07  4:01:57

5825 Claire Senior        4:24:25  4:31:13


Counts for VS Grand Prix points in “Any other marathon” category, points now updates on website


Huddersfield Half Marathon


    1 Dan Fisher      1:20:31

   48 Leroy Sutton    1:55:27 

  139 ran

   54 ran the marathon but no Valley Striders


Counts for VS Grand Prix points in “Any other half marathon” category, points now updates on website


Three Peaks Race (from Mick Loftus)


Ten Valley Striders lined up in the pack looking nervously at the grey sky and fretting about how many and what type of layers to wear and carry for the Three Peaks Fell Race 2015.  It was already wet and chilly, and it was due to get worse.


The climb of Pen-y-Ghent actually felt quite mild until we got up high where it was cold, damp and blustery.  It was a straight forward and familiar climb for me.  The descent is takes in a short loop of the top before plunging down to the main path.  The next section is now all well made tracks with hardly any mud all the way to Ribblehead.  Ross appeared, had a quick chat before easing away into the distance on the road section. 


After Ribblehead, the race really starts, you cross the beck, get stuck into the bog and get climbing.  The weather had deteriorated by the time I was climbing Whernside.  I put on a waterproof as the rain turned to sleet and wet snow.  We crawled (literally in my case) the last very steep metres to the summit.  Then a sharp turn and force the legs to get moving again.  The descent of Whernside is now restricted to well constructed but unforgiving rocky steps.  Down and down until the track flattens and then rises to the checkpoint at Hill Inn. 


At this point you know if you are going to get round ok, do well, struggle or stagger.  I was feeling alright and after Hill Inn, I kept a steady pace up to the steep climb of Ingleborough.  Then it was back to crawling up into the cold murky weather and onto the plateau.  You couldn't see the summit cairn until you were right in front of it.  Sensibly the route is well taped up there.  This also led us back down in the direction of Horton. 


Checking my watch at the check point, I knew I was well outside pb time but should be safely inside 4 hours.  I pushed on determinedly.  I passed a few runners but was passed by others.  It is always a long way home to Horton and my initial enthusiasm for a strong chase to the finish faded.  I tried to just maintain position and pace through the rocky limestone until the second to last downhill section.  Then there is a small rise which feels like a 4th peak before the actual last downhill, under the railway, through the garden, over the road and into the finish. 


Here is a good little montage of pictures which give a flavour of the day (for the front runners at least):


The marshals did an amazing job up there for hours!


As soon as we finished everyone went straight into the large marquee which thankfully is now erected each year. Nevertheless, within a few minutes all competitors were deeply chilled (in the original sense).  I saw several who were clearly borderline hyperthermic but they were now in safe hands with shelter, hot food, drink and first aid all available. 


The ragged band of Striders found each other looking slightly ashen and shivering.  We each got some hot food and retreated to cars to get dry clothes on.  We drove away with car heaters full on reflecting on the fickle weather and another Three Peaks adventure.

Race winners were Ricky Lightfoot (Salomon International Team) 02:51:42  and Helen Bonsor (Carney Hill RC) 03:27:24 (44th overall)  

                                    GP pts

   90 Ross Bibby           3:39:02    100

  181 Mick Loftus          3:56:24     98

  220 Simon Vallance       4:03:00     95

  228 John Marsham         4:04:38     93

  414 Eirik Stangnes       4:30:43     90

  487 Ian Sampson          4:39:03     88

  500 Alison Price         4:41:27     85

  524 Martin Oddy          4:45:25     83

  579 Dan Price            4:55:00     80


London Marathon

                                     GP pts

   278 John Hobbs          2:39:20    100

  3231 Ian Sanderson       3:12:15     98

  3594 Kevin Mcmullan      3:14:26     97

  5145 Steve Wilkins       3:24:54     95

  5226 John Batchelor      3:25:26     93

  5519 Hannah Corne        3:26:55     92

  5872 Michael Hall        3:28:28     90

  5919 Tom Button          3:28:42     88

  7701 Steve Dixon         3:37:59     87

11007 Sarah Smith         3:50:56     85

11754 Jeremy Richardson   3:53:39     83

29954 Louise Jennings     5:07:43     82

32093 Neil Hall           5:22:46     80

Second claim

  2371 Jerry Watson        3:04:52     98

  1176 Andy Wicks          3:21:45     95

28527 Neil Holloway       4:59:05     82


European Triathon Championships – Alcobendas, Spain (from Sarah Shanks)


What a race! Lived up to the forecast. Rain, rain and more rain before and after, dried up for the actual race though but lots of surface water. Great atmosphere and after crashing at Stirling the other month, I knew I had to take the roundabouts steady.


Run 1 - we were told it was a hilly course, but it was no Roundhay Park. Managed an average speed of 7.11 pace and felt good shorter at 2.8 miles which suited me.


On the bike and such an undulating course, you picked up speed then hit a roundabout, again and again. It was like being in Milton Keynes! Survived it, although my average speed was low but not surprising.


Faced the run again. Gave it one last blast and managed a 7.23 av mile pace for the last 1.6miles.


Finished 4th GB in my category and 8th/10 in my group- pleased as I thought last was on the cards.  What an experience! Felt very humble and quite emotional in places.


Finished to find John had come off his bike on the second roundabout and was gutted. Just some scrapes and a damaged bike, all can be fixed and giving him more fighting spirit to do it next year.


Thanks for the support everyone, including John who steadied my nerves and gave me last minute tips. Such an amazing event, great people here and very organised. Such an experience! Definitely will be back to do it again. With John Shanks.


York Sprint Triathlon (from Sophie Johnstone)


York 2014 (held at York Uni Sports Village) was my first attempt at a tri. I entered the super sprint on my new hybrid bike and managed to come second, I got a lovely trophy which sits on my desk at work.


A year and a few sprint tris later, and I was back, this time for the sprint distance. The same route just twice as many laps on each discipline: Sprint: 400m swim - 18km cycle - 5km run.


The weather forecast had been terrible so I was pleased when with a warm breezy sunny day.


Swim: went well; set off in 30sec intervals so plenty of space in the pool. You work your way across the pool, four lengths in every lane ducking under the lane ropes.


Transition: A bit of a free for all and quite cramped for your stuff, but as it’s the finish too there’s a good crowd, and a PA with music so a lively atmosphere.


Bike: a flat circuit of 6 laps. My cornering is terrible (must work on this) so I was slow around the roundabouts at each end. However I was feeling strong on the bike and overtook plenty. I was again on a new bike for this year, my first road bike, which I love. I went for it on the bike course, pedalled hard on a big gear into the headwinds on the out laps and loving the tailwind on the return. My first tri on a road bike as the bike leg at Skipton was cancelled because of the awful weather.


Run: pretty flat but my legs were feeling it so not my best 5km; perhaps I went too hard on the bike?


Trophies!: it was all enough for third place, and first in my age group. So two shiny trophies. Other random goodies included porridge, energy supplements, fancy swim hat oh and a finishers medal.


Final results:

Swim: 7.09 (pleased as includes lane rope ducks and run to T1).

T1: 1.56 (terrible, must practice)

Bike: 35.48 (ok, but I really do need to practice cornering)

T2: 1.15 (what was I doing?!)

Run 23.20 (could do better)


I was beaten by two 16year olds; they posted absolutely amazing swim times of 5 mins. No way I could get near that. Also well over a minute faster in T1. I guess they had their bike shoes clipped on their bikes whereas I had a long run to the mount line in my bike shoes. The bike and run I was comparable with them, did I mention I love my new road bike?! :)


There were only 2 seconds between 3rd and 5th place so I was really lucky! They also have an ‘elite’ race which takes place after the sprint, but looking at the times I would’ve actually come 4th in this race. Pretty chuffed with that! 2016 entries open at


Bob says : Sophie didn’t mention that there were 131 ladies in her event, so an amazing result to be 3rd overall - congratulations




I apologise for anything or anyone that I’ve missed, please email me and I’ll have an “Errors and Omissions” section in the next V S Update