V S Update - 23 April 2017

- Training Tuesdays 25 April and 2 May
- Thursday run on tour
- VS Grand Prix events
- Junior Mile and Club Handicap
- England Athletics affiliation
- London Marathon 2018
- Reports from Roundhay parkrun and Barcelona

Training Tuesday 25 April

Juniors and Beginners & Improvers from GSAL at 6pm

Intermediates and Advanced Runners from Far Moss at 7pm - hill sessions. (FB invitation) For more details of intermediate and advanced training, see the link on the website home page to "Summer training information".

Training Tuesday 2 May

All groups will be from Far Moss.

The 6pm sessions for juniors and beginners/improvers will be preceded by some presentations to junior members for numbers of training sessions completed, please arrive on time!

After the warm up, we will all be running/jogging round a 1 mile route that we're suggesting is suitable for the Junior Races that we're hoping to hold in July.

We're hoping that there will be food after the 6pm and 7pm sessions, see website for details nearer the date.

VS Thursday Senior Run - summer venues!

We are entering the summer season and as usual we are planning a variety of alternatives to our usual starting point at Scott Hall Sports Centre. Our first outing will be Otley Chevin on 4th May. For anyone who wishes to join us we'll be meeting at the Surprise View car park at 18:45 (for a 19:00 departure) and running the usual 7 - 8 miles (with stops). These sessions are suitable for all VS members who can manage 50 minutes or less for 10k. We typically aim to run at 8:30 min/ mile, with opportunity to re-group at various points.

VS Grand Prix (from Alan Hutchinson)

Correction - dates for John Carr 5k series are Wednesdays 3, 10 and 17 May - 19.30 from Esholt Hall (entries open) your best time from series counts  www.ukresults.net

Junior mile races and Spring Handicap

Please put Tuesday 23 May in your diaries for the club junior mile races at 6:15pm and 6:30pm and the adult spring handicap 5 miles at 6:50pm, afterwards food at Far Moss

England Athletics affiliation

On Wednesday 19 April at 13:48, England Athletics sent emails to 238 Valley Striders members to confirm their affiliation for the year to 31 March 2018.  Membership cards and a booklet of benefits should arrive in the next 4 to 6 weeks.

If you didn't receive an email and you believe you should be registered

London Marathon 2018 (from Bob Jackson)

While you're watching the London Marathon on TV today many of you will be thinking about entering next year's race.

If you are aged 18-40 and you've recently run faster than 3:05 (men) or 3:45 (women) you are guaranteed a place.  If you're older than 40, the time criteria are less strict so check the website www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com to find the qualifying time for "good for age".

Charity places also guarantee you a place but you need to guarantee to raise a significant amount of money.

Most runners get in through the public ballot.  Last year this was open from 2nd to 6th May, and I expect that these dates will be shown on the VLM website early next week.

London Marathon 2018 (from Myra Jones)

If you are unsuccessful in the public ballot we will have 3 places available in the club ballot, which will be drawn later in the year.

In order to be eligible for a club place you will need a rejection from the main ballot and to have been a Valley Striders AC first claim member since before 1 January 2017.  Priority will be given to those who have not had a club place before and those who are active within the club (participating in grand prix races and relay/team events, coaching and volunteering etc).

The club ballot places are available to everyone, regardless of how fast you are likely to run the marathon. Quite a few of the faster runners within the club will already have gained automatic entry due to running Good For Age qualifying time, so we do encourage potential London Marathon runners of all abilities to apply.

Details of how to apply for the club places will be announced after the results of the main ballot (much later in the year) but if you have any questions in the meantime, please let me know, email info@valleystriders.org.uk .


NB please send your reports to vsupdate@valleystriders.org.uk

NB please send your results to raceresults@valleystriders.org.uk (and in particular any marathons, half marathons and ultra races - all of these are eligible for GP points)

Leon Jones - Roundhay Parkrun (from Richard)

Whilst a number of our regular parkrunners enjoyed some tourism in York, one of our junior members was making a little bit of history at Roundhay. Former Strider, Joe Sherman's JM10 age group record of 20:20 had stood since November 2013 until Leon came through the line with a time of 20:13 last Saturday - even more impressive considering that he still has quite a while to go before he turns 11 so the new record may well only be temporary. Worth also noting that Leon returned to Roundhay for junior Parkrun on the Sunday and narrowly missed out on the JM10 record with a time of 7:43 for 2k. On this occasion Leon finished 3rd and the first 4 finishers, all Valley Striders (Alfie Jones, Alvie O'Brien, Leon Jones and Jamie Walker), recorded times that sit within the top 25 fastest for this event. Leon's time of 7:43 puts him 2= on the JM10 hall of fame, equal with... Alfie, Alvie and Jamie!

Like a Jewel in the Sun - Barcelona Trail Marathon (from Ross Bibby)

25 March 2017- 42k, 1750m ascent/descent

Freddie Mercury was right, and it is a beautiful horizon too. But for me the attraction of Barcelona lies in the hills and mountains that surround the city, and on Saturday 25th March the small village of Begues was the setting for the Ultra Trail Barcelona (UTBCN). Comprising of races ranging from kids to 100k there was something for everyone, and I choose to do the marathon distance. With 1750m ascent it was certainly no "Mickey Mouse" option (despite what the ultra runners at the club might say - you know who you are), but the highest peak was about 600m so there weren't any monster Alps-style climbs to deal with in one go.

One thing I was expecting was the weather to be fairly hot, conditions I don't exactly thrive in to be honest, so imagine my delight when it was thunder and lightning the night before with torrential rain! It didn't suit everyone though - rumour has it the weather put my fellow traveller off taking part in the 70k (strictly rumour).

Come race day the usually arid, dry and dusty ground was sodden, with mud and impromptu streams and deep puddles lining the first half of the route. My ideal conditions then, and not exactly the weather most of the Catalan, Spanish and other European runners were used to. I saw ski jackets and gloves not just at the start but during the race too (!), and plenty of poor souls slipping and sliding in their "Speed"cross. As usual the ever trusty Inov-8 Roclite 295's (the greatest running shoe ever made?!) held firm on the variety of terrain, but even they were tested on the polished unusually wet rocky descents. If anyone has ever done the Three Peaks fell race and remembers the last section of wet slippy limestone through Sulber Nick, it was a surprisingly similar experience- quite technical and not particularly easy.

For many parts of the route you have views of the Mediterranean, whilst weaving in and out of the Parc del Garraf, which gives a real boost to tired legs. The halfway point was at a spectacular old monastery at Palau Novella, with support from a few locals plus Becky and Andreas who had mountain biked up. At this point the 70 and 100k routes turn off down towards the sea and the marathon route continues into the mountains. It was at this stage approaching midday when the sun was fully up, really quite warm and the ground had dried completely. My mild advantage of being from cold and wet Northern England had quite literally evaporated, and it was a bit more of a sweaty slog to get around the last 13 miles, through plenty of spiky bushes and copious amounts of rosemary. That said it was still a joy to run, and having had just 9 days of running training prior to the race following a month off with injury, I was making the most of being out in the mountains, tired but pain free. The slower pace did also allow me to take a couple of seconds of rest by messing around with my Go-Pro...

Knowing the major climbs were over as I approached the lower part of the village of Begues down an excellent and fast (but quad burning!) trail my pace had picked up and I joined the 22k runners for the final stretch to the finish. Crossing the line I felt great- finishing in 4hr18m in 20th place overall and 1st Brit. Looking at the results I was really pleased to be only 39 mins off the winner and 5 mins ahead of the first woman in what was actually quite a competitive series of races (World Skyrunning champion Luis Hernando won the 22k race, to illustrate this). I think I could have shaved off 20 minutes if I hadn't been hampered by injury in the build up, but who cares, it is about enjoying the race (and holiday), doing as well as you can on that specific day, and ultimately staying injury free.

You can see some pictures at www.rock-running.com