Subject:                          V S Update - Tuesday sessions; LCW; Harewood help; Yoga; New arrivals; Events (Yorkshireman, Fell relays, Kirkstall ultras); Results (Sedbergh, Wensleydale Tri, Escrick, Glencoe, Comrades, Paddy Buckley); Fell Champs update


Sent: 29 August 2015 00:33

Sorry, no VS Update last week, but a double-length issue this week


Tuesday Sessions


1 September – NO Lasagne Normal training sessions at 6pm and 7pm. Apologies for the lack of lasagne, Tony is on holiday, and due to the bank holiday, unable to get anyone else in to prepare and serve food.


Message from Simon Vallance, the monthly fell session will be rough running and of course a few hills in Scotland Wood and MVT.  We will probably end the session in the park and return via the road due to lack of light when return through the woods.


8 September – 6pm sessions at GSAL, 7pm sessions at Leeds Met See website for details


15 September – junior mile race and senior club handicap race Juniors meet 6:15pm, Adults meet 6:45 PROMPT!, slightly earlier start time than usual due to dark evenings.  Full details will be on the website soon.


22 September Normal training sessions at 6pm and 7pm, hopefully with food!


Sunday 6 September – Leeds Country Way


Message to the 60 runners and 4 reserves - please don’t take part in dangerous activities for the next 10 days! 


We’ll publish estimated start times mid-week next week, also arrangements for getting your race numbers.


Please continue to use the email threads for arranging final recces and transport on the day.


We do have some flyers for Harewood Trail Race which we’d like to give out to incoming runners at the end of each leg.  Hopefully outgoing pairs in the B or C teams could do this while they wait for their incoming pairs, but as soon as the “A” team get in and cooled down, they could take over handing out these flyers.  Please email if you are willing to help with this.


Just to note – if you didn’t sign up and are now available to be a reserve, please email


Sunday 8 November - Harewood Trail Races and Junior Race


If you’re available to help on the day, please email or by Facebook


List of names so far, including those who’ve signed up via Facebook


If you can (also) help before the day with flyers (handing out at races and/or putting on car windscreens and/or taking to schools, gyms, running shops etc), please mention this when you email the “help” account as we will soon be publishing a list of races and places and need names for each.


Thank you!


Monday Evening Yoga (from Liz Wood)


I'm excited to finally announce....Monday Evening Yoga for VS!

·         Who: all VS members, whether runners, cyclists, triathletes or injured/'resting' warmly welcomed. (I'll post this message in all 3 VS FB groups).

·         What: yoga session designed specifically for you to improve at your sport, to aid flexibility, recovery, build strength & stamina, prevent injury and help you relax body & mind.

·         Where: Friends' Meeting House, 136 Street Lane, LS8 2BW

·         When: Every Monday evening except the 3rd Monday of each month (room in use).


The next few weeks are sporadic (see below) but it would be great to get started. We can use this time to test it out & make tweaks to suit everyone as best we can.


·         Mon 24th August - first classes!

·         Mon 31st August - relaxing end to the Bank Hol

·         Mon 7th Sept - post LCW stretch

·         Mon 14th Sept - no class (I'm away)

·         Mon 21st Sept - no class (room in use)

·         Mon 28th Sept - no class (I'm away)

·         Mon 5th Oct - class

·         Mon 12th Oct - no class (Munich)

·         Mon 19th Oct - no class (room in use)

·         Mon 26th Oct - class


Room hire is 6-9:30pm, to make full use of this I'm proposing 2 classes: 6:15-7:15pm and 7:45-8:45pm, if this would suit people?


New Arrivals


Following closely behind Lula Button and Trystan Mann, we have further announcements for the Striders Under-11 team for 2024/5 season


From John & Emma Wallace - Emma gave birth to Grace Emilia 8.52am on Sunday 26th July. She was a whopping 9lb 6 and pleasingly has ginger hair. And she eats and sleeps well. Looking forward to her joining the VLS Ladies teams in years to come.’


From John & Katie Batchelor - The latest junior strider was born at 0445 today (22nd August) -  John and Katie Batchelor are delighted to announce the birth of Alexander George Batchelor a modest 5.5lb with a mop of black hair.


Also two other new arrivals spotted on Facebook 

·         On 20 August, Eamon Hanley, a second son for Rosie and Brian (Brian was a VS member 2003-2013 with a marathon PB sub 2:36, he now supports the British race-walking team)

·         On 26 August, Jannik Thomas, a son for Grace and Martin


Sunday 13 September – Yorkshireman Marathon and Half (from John Marsham)


Entries for Yorkshireman full close 6 September. Half is already full. If you haven't done this before it's essentially a race over trails over the moors with some tarmac (a C (i.e. not too hilly) long on the FRA website). It's 13 September 2015.


"The race starts on Main Street. From there runners bear right along cobbles and through Sun Street towards Penistone Hill. After a brief uphill section, they pass the cricket ground and along Lee Lane to the nearby reservoir. The next four miles is on tarmac, over a stream and across an open moor to Withens Pub. The route continues across countryside, passing near Gatehouse and via Houghgate and Brookhouse reaching the halfway mark at the junction with the A629.  The inward half starts along a footpath to Denholme Beck. Under a railway bridge to a reservoir, through allotments and over a viaduct, the route carries on through forest and across moorland to Hainworth Village. From there, runners pass along Black Moor Road, the nearby farmhouse and onto Penistone Hill. Then the last 1.2 miles onto the finish line" 


Saturday 17 October - English National Fell relays (from John Marsham)


At Barley, near Burnley (Pendle Hill).  Please contact John Marsham ( if you would like to run in a open-mens relay team. 4 legs run in succession.

·         Leg 1, solo, ~7K with 450m of ascent (winning time 30 minutes approx).

·         Leg 2, pairs, ~15k with 630m of climb (winning time 75 minutes).

·         Leg 3, pairs navigation leg (estimate of winning time: 70 minutes).

·         Leg 4, solo, ~8K with 400m of ascent (winning time 35 mins approx).

You must be first claim Valley Striders and have done two category 'A' fell races before. So far there hasn't been enough interest for a women's team, but please let me know if that is not true.


Kirkstall Abbey Trail Running Festival (from 10-in-10-er Kate McIntyre)


I am promoting this event on behalf of my friend and fellow Ten in Tenner, Diane Shaw of the Kirkstall Harriers


Here are all the details:


·         The Kirkstall Harriers welcome you to the Kirkstall Abbey Trail Running Festival

·         Friday 20th November - Ultra marathon – 2 laps – 31 miles; Marathon – 3 laps – 26.2 miles; Half marathon – 1 lap – 13.1 miles

·         Saturday 21st November - Marathon – 3 laps – 26.2 miles; Half marathon – 1 lap – 13.1 miles; Start time for all races on both days: 9.30

·         For more details visit: and click on the “Marathon Events” tab.

·         Entry fees: Ultra marathon £25; Marathon £20; Half marathon £14; (plus £2 if unattached)

·         No entry on the day. Minimum age: 21 for the ultra and 18 for other distances.

·         Any enquiries to Diane Shaw: 07550 076455 or

·         Online entries only at:

·         We really hope to see many Valley Striders taking part.  It’s a rare opportunity to undertake a local double!! (Although you only need sign up for one, if you prefer!)




Sedbergh Hills report, 16 August (from John Marsham)


A change from the usual finishing order at Sedbergh Hills (which I’m sure will be short-lived). I think this just goes to show how much different fell races suit different people, how much difference having a good or bad day makes, or perhaps how tired you are going into the race. It was a new race for three of the four of us, but with 14 miles and 1830m of climb (steeper than Borrowdale and the Glencoe Skyline, but more runnable than either) and a warning “that it’s not all fast running on grassy tracks” it was always clear it would be quite tough. Steve Webb set the pace on the first up hill (as ever) and I trailed at the back. Two weeks hill walking hadn’t helped my speed up hills, but I thought it must have helped my stamina? I caught Ross and Mick on the first big down and was surprised to find myself ahead on the next up. The route then follows a runnable, but tricky and often scenic traversing line, before hitting what felt like mountain marathon terrain: a series of ups and downs through 3 cols. I caught Steve on a one of these steep descents. The final long climb on a good track and descent to Sedbergh provides fast running for those who are able. Like many others I missed the best descent gully; that let a friend from Dark Peak sneak past me unnoticed, but I guess that makes up for me following him around the first half of Jura. A great race in a quiet corner of the Dales – but one that does tend to leave your legs aching for a few days  - although clearly not for Joe Symonds, who won the Glencoe skyline six days later.


1          Jo Symonds     M         Shettleston H    02:13:40

34         John Marsham              Valley Striders   02:54:11

36         Nicky Spinks     F40       Dark Peak FR   02:56:29

37         Ross Bibby                   Valley Striders   02:58:11

52         Mick Loftus       M40      Valley Striders   03:09:40

68         Steve Webb      M50      Valley Striders   03:20:31

121 finished


Wensleydale Triathlon (from Dan Price)


Great weekend in Hawes for the Wensleydale Tri. Another superb event from the 'mytri' organisation. Good to catch up with Benjamin Roland Hall afterwards. Ben and Ali both did the 'full-cheese' event(probably equivalent to a 70.3 as although shorter it is far hillier) whilst I opted for the half (equivalent to Olympic maybe). Not seen full results yet, but seems Ben and I both came 7th in our respective races and Alison claimed 3rd female picking up a cheeseboard for her efforts!


Escrick 10k


   92 Louise Cazan    44:42  1st F35

   98 Liz Wood        45:10

  109 Carmel Barker   45:52  1st F55

  165 Liz Reddington  48:47

  216 Nicola Hartley  51:34


Glencoe Skyline Race, Saturday 22 August (from Steve Dixon)


32 miles and 4000 metres plus of ascent Inaugural running of this event and part of the UK Skyrunning Series


"Soaring ridges, exposed traverses and precipitous drops. Fast and light over rough and technical terrain. A fusion of alpinism and mountain running. Welcome to Skyrunning." - intro on the race web site.


I had been looking forward to this race all year. The anticipation only increased when my entry was accepted following strict vetting for appropriate climbing and running experience. Never before had I needed to provide details of rock climbing routes. 


This was to be the culmination of a mega summer of mountain running starting in the Italian Dolomites with the 75 mile Lavaredo Ultra Race at the end of June. Lavaredo race was my psychological warm up for cracking the 100 mile barrier in the Lakeland 100 race 4 weeks later. Success in the Dolomites and two Lake District sunsets and two sunrises later I arrived back in Coniston after 36 hours running a very happy 'centurion' man. This left 4 weeks of recovery time to successfully complete the skyrunner race. Slight snag was a swollen ankle and severe shin pain that I'd ignored for the last 45 miles of the Lakeland race. Provisional diagnosis, still to be confirmed by MRI scan, was a tibial stress fracture!!! Crutches for 10 days and no running for at least 6 weeks was the rehab. I didn't need to be good at maths to realise my race entry and campsite fees were going to be a casualty too!


So 10 days of hobbling around on crutches and lots of biking saw the swelling disappear and the residual pain confine itself to the calf muscle and tendons. Disappointment at having to withdraw changed to hope that just maybe there was a chance. At the back of my mind though I suspected that feeling of hope was really denial and to attempt this race was a pretty stupid thing to do. Call me stupid but the next two weeks were taken up with hamstring and calf strengthening exercises prescribed  to minimise any adverse stress to the tibia, controlled stressing of the shin with hops and jumps, and walking interspersed with jogging. In the final week leading up to the race I was chuffed to be able to run distances up to 10K pain free. It was go go go for Glen co co co!!!


Jenny, the wife, was not too chuffed though when I drove our campervan away from the delights of the Edinburgh Fringe and our comfortable campsite on the Firth Of Forth on the Friday to the Glen Coe Mountain Resort. I couldn't disguise the fact that outside the ski season it is little more than a windswept car park and when the wind subsides the midges fill the void! With a vengeance!

Registration done and the live tracker strapped to my race pack I could only fret about how young, fit and professional everyone else looked. There was a stellar cast of European sponsored mountain runners, with the Skyrunning World Champion Emelie Forsberg the brightest star. Tomorrow was likely to be a big embarrassment for me I feared.


It rained heavily for most of the night and this was going to make Curved Ridge on Stob Dearg the first climbing obstacle on the route even more serious. My worries were unfounded as the wind had dried the rock and all hand and foot holds were reassuringly secure. The main obstacle was having to queue behind the 100 plus runners in front climbing the crux pitches above. I could have done with putting in a 30min 10k to be at the front of that queue! Finally I summited on the Buchaille Etive Mor ridge and the Skyrunning commenced but was soon interrupted by a treacherous descent into Lairig Gartain and a steep climb out up onto the Buchaille Etive Beag ridge. The original race plan was to run along the ridge to Stob Dubh before descending into Lairig Eilde to then climb up onto the ridge connecting the 3 Sisters culminating with Bidean nam Bian. The Stob Dubh descent was deemed too challenging even for this race and instead we descended from the col via a less severe but longer route. From Bidean nam Bian, the highest point on the route at 1150 metres, the route plunges down to the lowest point near to sea level at the road junction near the Clachaig Inn. Heavyish rain had set in at this point and made the descent nerve wracking to say the least as my shoes were slipping and sliding on the wet greasy rocks most of the way down. At least having to look down at my footing took my mind off what was to come! Form the southern side of the Glen the Aonach Eagach ridge appears as an intimidating vertical 900 metre wall and after 20 miles of mountain running psychological counselling was as much in need as the food and drink on offer at the valley bottom checkpoint! Thankfully I was nearly an hour inside the 8 hour cut off at this check point so was able to have a quiet word with myself that the sooner I started climbing the sooner I will escape from these midges. It was slow painful tedious progress but about an hour later I arrived on the ridge having climbed through a cloud inversion and more sky running lay ahead along what's reputed to be the most spectacular ridge on mainland Scotland. It looked pretty awesome! It's a grade 2 scramble and theoretically much easier than the Curved Ridge graded as 3 or a moderate rock climb. With tired legs and arms and wet rock and sporadic muscle cramps that grading went out of the window. Curved Ridge was easy in comparison! It was reassuring to be running along with a couple of others for mutual support in route finding and hand and foot placings. Am Bodach peak is the end of the scrambling and for most is the start of the 'quick' descent down to the floor of the Glen. I had been running for a little over 10 hours by this point and it would take me nearly another 3 hours to stay high and follow the tail end of this ridge to join the West Highland Way at the Devil's Staircase and thence via the Kingshouse Hotel back to the finish!  


Eirik Stanges promised me a pint if I beat Emelie! Ha! He'd have been safe to have offered a pint to anyone who beat her. He'd have been getting a pint in for Joe Symonds only, the winner in 7 hours 36 mins. Emelie was not able to close the gap in the closing stages and finished second in 7hrs 44mins.


My achievement was to finish and it took me 12hrs 57mins, 117th out of 148 starters and 122 finishers. Mark Harris was the first Vet 45 in 3rd place seconds behind Emelie. There were no other vet categories but a quick google (sad, I know) failed to identify any other Vet 60 finishers so I've allocated myself that unofficial provisional 1st Vet60 placing.

Came away with incredibly sore leg muscles but amazingly no shin pain!


Comrades Marathon (from James Tarran)


James Tarran narrates his training and race report in his blog  He finished in a time of 8:58 for the mainly uphill 87k / 52 miles.


And extract from the blog:-


As I wandered through the line, an elderly man in a green tracksuit came to me. “A Valley Strider from Leeds!” he said in a broad West Riding accent.

“Have you heard of Bernard Gomersall?”  Oh my goodness – the man from the ‘Ghost Runner’ book..

“Is it you? “ I asked.

“Yes – I won this race 50 years ago”.

I was flabbergasted and a little dumbstruck. He embraced me and I think I managed to say something vaguely appropriate like “it’s an honour to meet you”.

He soon let me go – I later realised why. He was there as a guest of honour and was due to fire the 9 hour gun.


(note, Bernard was a member of Harehills Harriers, one of 3 clubs that merged in the late 1960’s to become Leeds City)


Paddy Buckley 2015 (from John Marsham)


The Paddy Buckley is the “Welsh Bob Graham”, but unlike the Bob Graham there is no strict 24-hour limit. It is shorter than the Bob Graham at 61 miles (although I did at least 65, without really going wrong), but is steeper, with 28000’ climb (8500m) and is widely acknowledged to be at least an hour longer. There are currently 128 registered finishers, 101 in less than 24 hour.


After four enjoyable weekends of recces I started at 6pm on Friday 26 June. I was on schedule for the first three legs and then slowed down on the fourth. I was still up when I started the final long 21-mile leg, but soon lost time and could not run at the end, losing 1 hour 40 mins on the last summit to finish in 27 hours 31minutes.A great day out in the hills though – thanks to Chris, Mick, Dave, Sue and Ann who supported me, and especially to Ann who did almost all the recces.


Full (long) report is at


Fell Championships (from Steve Webb)


Table updated to include the likes of Borrowdale, Sedbergh Hills, and Round Hill.  Also included Snowdon International Race: after careful scrutiny of the rules I was unable to award any bonus points to Simon Redshaw for his self-inflicted pre-race mountain triathlon activities.  Sorry Simon but I did enjoy your report!


It remains very tight at the top.  In an unpublished edition of the league I actually sneaked ahead of Ross by about 0.3 points, but he is deservedly back in the lead.


Plenty of good hill running opportunities out there, and as usual let me know if you have run a FRA calendar race which I haven't been able to spot.


Will be on website Saturday evening