2001 Issue 1
We've got the permit, we've printed and sent out the entry forms, as at 20th January we have 30 entries, so all we need now are some MARSHALS. Contact Geoff 266-6288 sooner rather than later if you are available. At the end of February we'll be publishing a MAP showing all the marshalling points, and a CHART showing all the duties so we'll try not to lose any runners this year!
We now have 90 Striders who are paid-up or honorary members for the year September 2000 to August 2001. 11 are social members or 2nd claim members who do not run competitively with us, so 79 will registered with the North of England AA and UK Athletics for the May 2001-April 2002 athletic year and therefore be able to tick the "club member" box on race entry forms. 24 members from last year will shortly be receiving "final demands"!
In this Issue
Thank you to all the contributors without whom this edition would have been about 6 pages! But the in-tray is now empty, so if you've a story, start writing now!
Welcome to New Members:
Just two new members to report, both related to existing Striders, who ran with the Club and competed for the first time at the New Years Eve Handicap:
Natalie White - daughter of Paul - has been living and working in London until recently but has moved back to Leeds and (when they have sold their house in London) she and partner Tim are looking to buy a house in Leeds. Natalie ran 42mins for the 5 mile race so with a bit of training will be catching her Dad soon. Not much chance of catching Tim, though - he was the race winner at the Chevin Chase and unfortunately for us will continue to run in Shaftesbury Barnet colours.
Bob Wilyman - father of Lisa - was running with Lisa's old club, Adams, but, having got a bit fitter, now has the competitive urge again. He used to run for Leeds City but we won't hold it against him - we'll just add another useful vet to our squad for the LCW and other races. Whether, with Tuesday training, he'll catch Lisa is another matter.
We have quite a few prospective members - Beverley, Alison, Alistair, Chris, two Andy's and Martin - from whom, at the time of writing, we had not received subs; they'll be receiving this Newsletter so hopefully we'll welcome many of them in the next issue.
The e-mail distribution list is now up to 37 Striders who receive the "Electronic Striders Update" - a collection of brief news items and forthcoming events - every 2 or 3 weeks i.e. a little more regularly than this Newsletter. If you would like to receive this, just send me an e-mail and I can pick up your e-mail address to include you on the distribution list.
Note that Striders on this distribution list are requested not to use the list for any purpose other than Striders "correspondence". A few of the e-mail addresses are business rather than home and you will be aware of a lot of press coverage of the potential consequences of "mis-use" of e-mail at work.
Design-a-Shirt Competition(from "A Spectator")
Dear Bob, I would just like to say,
About Striders Vests, that's if I may,
The ones now worn are out of date
And I should know 'cos I spectate.
Other clubs' are more up to date,
So let's think about it before it's too late.
The colours are good but the design is not
And in a race you are hard to spot.
Look to the future and change the vest style
And then I'll be cheering you every mile
Why not have a "Design a Shirt" competition - the winner to receive the winning design.
The "Spectator" has handwriting similar to Joyce Lambert. I sympathise with her point. Although many non-club runners don't wear "boring" white, there is also a high likelihood of confusion with other clubs who wear white - how many times have you chased to overtake a white vest and black shorts only to find it was an Otley A.C. runner? (this happens in my dreams as I overtake Ian Fisher).
I'm not sure whether she was also keen to change the club colours ... but couldn't find a rhyme for "colours"!
In "And There Was Life" - the Unofficial History of the Striders, Stuart writes that the club colours were chosen as "white - for long runs in hot weather", but of course the truth is that white vests were cheaper than others in Leeds Market.
And your editor will get his vote in before anyone else steals his ideas - his proposal is black and white checked vests (approximately 3 inch squares) with black shorts - the reasons being
Now that I've put in my suggestion, note that on the Ronhill web-site you can do just this - you get a choice of 27 patterns and 18 colours and since many of the patterns will support 3 or even 4 colours, that's ... lots ... of combinations! (http://www.ronhill.co.uk and click on "Club/Corporate")
No your eyesight was not failing with the last edition ofVSNews - it was printed at a bit of an angle. This was down to your editor, not the photocopier - I had an accident with the "final copy" and had to reprint in a rush - I didn't notice I'd not lined the paper up straight. It was 120 copies later that I spotted the fault!
Xmas "Do" & Striders 2000 Awards
A great time was had by all Striders and partners (44 in total) at the Xmas do. Thanks to Steve O for organising - a good meal, great raffle prizes and terrible jokes.
The T-shirts were awarded for the Grand Prix. Of the winners, only Ingo was unable to attend - his blue Group B winners T-shirt will be posted on. For the full list of winners see page 5.
Steve Webb was presented with the Fell Championship trophy together with its official presentation box - an old shoe box with 6 of Geoff's old socks for packing.
The next presentation was the Horsforth Marathon Cup for best marathon performance of the year. In the past we had never awarded the Cup to the same person two years in succession ... until we awarded it to Kathy in 1998 and 1999. I had to put Kathy out of her suspense straight away by saying that she had not won it for a third year! 2nd at New York and a time of 3:06 was a pretty poor performance compared with previous years! Almost an attempt at the Also-Ran trophy!
Another valiant failed attempt at both the Marathon and Also-Ran trophy was by Ian Place with his 3:02 at Bungay where he finished 7th overall, was 2nd V50 but there was no prize, and beat the 1st V40 but did not receive his prize.
Fastest marathon by a Strider was again Mark Hoon who recorded 2:34 while winning his home town "Marathon in the Parks" in Maryland USA. Fastest by a Strider in the UK was by Steve Thirkell 4th at Leeds in 2:47:45 and Steve also had a great race at Potteries where he finished 3rd overall, but in both races he was wearing the blue of Horsforth not the white of Striders.
Which brought us to the unusual situation of actually awarding the trophy to the fastest "real" Strider - and that was for 2:48:03 at London to Alan Hutchinson.
The final presentation was the Stuart StJohn "Also Ran" Trophy. I explained to the audience how most recipients were honoured to receive this trophy - most were still regular members of the Club. But Geoff interrupted to say his career had never been the same since Stuart awarded him the trophy over ten years ago saying "Here you are Geoff, you'll never win anything, you'd better have the trophy this year".
We did have a runner-up for this trophy - in fact a team of 5 runners-up - they being the 5 Striders who decided to include the "Collingham Fun-Run" in the middle of their Sunday Run and were all beaten by a 14-year-old.
But our clear winner was a Strider that you don't see too often at Club nights nor at road races - she prefers to be off-road in the Dales or in even more remote locations. But she had worn the Valley Striders vest in competition in 2000 more times than any other Strider. And as far as I knew, her trophy cupboard, was, until now, bare. Well one corner will be full for 2001. The Also-Ran Trophy winner was Sara Dyer.
Grand Prix 2000 Results & Race Reports
Holmfirth 15(This section is intentionally left blank - no Striders ran!)
Skipton & Bradford x-c races- see Cross Country section
I paid my £3 for results only to find that they had also been published on the Runners World website.
70 Jerry Watson 33.41
95 Terry Bean 34.37
100 Mick Wrench 34.47
152 Neil Dutton 35.59
186 Ian Townsley 36.45
210 Niels Laustsen 37.10
221 Mick Loftus 37.20
271 Bob Jackson 38.18
289 John Hallas 38.39
302 George Little 38.55
309 Ken Kaiser 39.02
314 Alan Hutchinson 39.08
328 Kathy Kaiser 39.17
331 Lisa Wilyman 39.20
373 Ian Place 40.00
480 Paul White 41.46
561 Madeleine Watson 42.46
585 Eric Cusack 43.04
617 Dick Dale 43.33
639 Bob Wilyman 43.51
701 Bob Wilkes 44.35
801 Peter Lambert 45.41
803 Mike Brown 45.42
1015 Penny Sanders 48.09
Jerry (in his Thames Hare & Hounds vest) finished 4th V40, just behind the third wumin but just ahead of V40 Dave Brophy of Leeds City.
Kathy finished 3rd WV45. Her son was not impressed. "You're the World Champion marathon runner, you finished 2nd W45 at New York but only 3rd W45 at Leeds!"
Niels' trip from Denmark proved worthwhile as he collected a PB - I suspect a few more of you also achieved PBs in near ideal conditions.
Grand Prix Final Positions
Winners of Striders Grand Prix 2000 T-shirts were
Qualifying for White Grand Prix 2000 T-shirts for completing 8 races were
Steve Webb 794, Neil Dutton 789, Niels Laustsen 786, Alan Hutchinson 776,
Paul White 756, Ian Place 748, Peter Lambert 733, John Hallas 721, Sara Dyer 696
If you would like a T-shirt, contact me for details.
There were 3 Striders who ran 7 races, 7 ran 6, 4 ran 5, 4 ran 4, 10 ran 3, 9 ran 2 and 18 who ran 1 - a total of 71 who competed intentionally or unintentionally.
Grand Prix 2001
The Valley Striders Grand Prix for 2001 (previously discussed as the "Champion of Champions") will cover all types of running (except track) i.e. road, cross-country, fell and trail. There are 7 categories each consisting of 4 or 5 events. We have not yet decided the full set of 30 events, but those in bold are definitely included, some because we have had to make decisions to choose events before the nextVSNews is published, others such as the Abbey Dash are included as "old favourites"
NB there are 5 events in each of the "medium road" and "long road" categories because clearly you cannot run both the Leeds ½ and the Leeds Full.
The intention is to spread the events as evenly as possible through the year between 26 Dec 2000 (Chevin Chase) and 2 December 2001 (Abbey Dash).
Runners will need to run 8 races which come from at least 5 categories. There will be wimin's and age-group prizes and maybe others besides.
However, for those who only run road, there will be a special category for 6 out of the 14 road races. This is in line with Ian's suggestion that the Road G.P. should be streamlined. Also for those who only run road, I have inserted the Harewood Chase in the Trail section (despite Geoff's disapproval) - it at least one third road / tarmac and the rest is very good running - so gives road runners a chance to get their 5th category.
For those who only run off-road, you can run cross-country races, fell races, trail races and the trail handicap which gives you 4 categories so unfortunately you must choose one road race to get in your 5 categories. But also the Fell Championship will continue in its current format - see page 27 (and Geoff will continue to calculate the scores!)
Grand Prix 2001 Results & Race Reports
Your Newsletter Editor posted his entry first class post on the day before closing date only to have his cheque returned a week later saying that entries were full. Ian Fisher suffered the same fate but he ran the course anyway and finished first (with no number). There were several others who ran with no number - some crossed the line and some pulled out before - so there could be confusion amongst the results. Do not be surprised if the time published in the results does not match that on your watch!
The website said that the wimin's winner was Luisa Wildeman from Valley Striders - in fact Lisa finished third. Lisa also had her name published in the Wharfedale Observer ... as the caption for a picture of someone completely different. Paul Briscoe finished 6th overall and first vet, just behind a duck. Somewhat further back were 4 Santa Clausettes, one of whom I'm sure was Nicola - maybe Horsforth Harriers are also changing their club colours - to red with a white fur fringe!
Congratulations to Lisa and Paul and lets hope 2001 is as athletically successful.
NB full results have just appeared on http://www.guiseley.co.uk - Striders placings will be reported in nextVSNews.
Race Watch Hand Run G.P
Pos Time -icap Time Pts
1 Neil Dutton 41.09 11.00 30.09 100
2 Tony Haygarth 41.30 7.10 34.20 92
3 Kathy Kaiser 41.32 7.30 34.02 94
4 Natalie White 41.58 0.00 41.58 81
5 Roy Flesher 42.08 9.35 32.33 98
6 Bob Jackson 42.36 9.00 33.36 96
7 Paul Furness 42.40 8.30 34.10 93
8 Paul White 42.44 5.45 36.59 86
9 Steve O'Callaghan 42.58 8.30 34.28 91
10 Chris Kaye 43.00 8.30 34.30 90
11 Alan Hutchinson 43.03 9.35 33.28 97
12 John Hallas 43.50 8.45 35.05 89
13 Lisa Wilyman 44.02 7.30 36.32 87
14 Jerry Watson 44.23 14.00 30.23 99
15 Keith Cluderay 44.27 10.45 33.42 95
16 Mark Bean 44.39 5.00 39.39 84
17 Bob Wilyman 44.47 6.30 38.17 85
18 Mike Brown 45.25 3.15 42.10 80
19 Ian Townsley 45.58 10.30 35.28 88
20 Geoff Webster 46.05 5.15 40.50 82
21 Stephen Ball 46.20 6.00 40.20 83
22 Peter Cox 47.08 3.15 43.53 79
Apologies to a few Striders who missed the half-way turning point and so ran an extra 200 or 400 yards. Or maybe they were trying to get slow times ready for the Spring Handicap - we will see when the marks are published. Also with a misleading time was Ian Townsley who pulled up with ½mile to go and walked in - I've published his time to make sure he gets some GP points.
There was about an inch of packed snow all the way round, but it had been packed by feet rather than vehicles so there wasn't the layer of ice that was making side roads and footpaths treacherous. Generally grip was pretty good all the way and times were perhaps only a minute or so slower than expected.
Up at the front, Natalie, off scratch and with a 3 minute advantage over the second runner to start, did manage to turn at the correct point and held on to her lead until the last mile along the reservoir path, at which point Tony was catching Natalie and Kathy catching Tony but Neil came past all three. Neil's was the fastest time, faster than Jerry who having won last time was lucky to be given a handicap such that he started before the winner arrived back.
NB London Marathon 2001
Sincere apologies from "The Committee" to those who received rejections from London this year - we missed the closing date for sending off the club applications so did not get any club entries. We're blaming Max as he's the only one who reads Athletics Weekly cover-to-cover and at the time the one-eighth page advert appeared, he was just packing his bags to go to America and didn't see it till he came back. We will try harder next year, when anyone who has had a rejection this year and gets another next year will get priority.
North of England men's 12 and wimin's 6 stage Relays
will be held at South Leeds on Saturday 7th April. Can we get teams for this? For the men, there are 4 long stages (of just under 5 miles) and 8 short stages (of just under 3 miles). The first 8 to volunteer get the short stages - you only have to run up the hill in Middleton Park once whereas it's twice for the long stage. The men certainly can't do worse than the previous time the event was in Middleton Park - we were a convincing last, not helped by one of our number on the long stage running an extra-long stage, having been directed by a marshal to do a third lap. Its a great atmosphere, the change-over is on the track in front of the grandstand in South Leeds Stadium, and, unless you are on the first leg, you have the opportunity to be overtaken by some of the North's best runners!
Harrogate Ringway Relay
22 teams entered this 20 mile 5 stage relay on January 7th. Clubs represented were Nidd Valley, Harrogate, Otley, Ilkley, Ripon and Burn Valley with Valley Striders entering for the first time. We entered 3 teams and they finished 6th, 9th and 14th (with only 9 minutes separating them) - full report in nextVSNews.
International Race Reports
Dublin Marathonfrom Dick Dale
On the 29th October, Mick Wrench, Harry Bates, myself and partners flew off to Dublin from Leeds/Bradford, George Dawson having gone the day before. The flight took 35 min on Ryan Air EI CKQ for Keith's info.
After a 40 min bus ride to the hotel we discovered George had dropped off Mick's and my numbers, T-shirts etc to reception. But Harry had not got his registration slip to George and so he had to get his own. The bus driver told us it was a ten minute walk - about a mile or so. Harry and Mick walked down, Harry said it was more like 4 miles. Strange we have someone like that in our club (don't we Harry). Anyhow, Saturday night we all got together and went out for the traditional pasta meal, enjoyed by all, then an early night as the race started at 8:30a.m.
Mick, Harry and I rose at 6a.m. for toast and coffee and then off to meet George who was staying in a hotel ½ mile down the road. It was a freezing cold morning but dry. We all got as close to the front as we could then bang on time we were off, all going well until about 20min into the race when it began to rain. From then on it became wet and windy and very very cold. It continued to be like that until about 3 or 4 miles from the end of the race. But that did not sicken us off, we are Valley Striders, plus being cheered on by Lara, Jenny and Sue braving the elements at the 12 mile mark.
Well we all completed and met up at the end to find Mick had finished 84th in 2:53, Harry 186th in 3:03, myself 410th in 3:18, and George 1315th in 3:46. All quite pleased with our efforts considering the conditions. There were over 7000 finishers.
George went back to his hotel for a bath; Mick and Lara went shopping. But Harry and I had to go for a Guinness having not had a drink for a month. We all joined up for dinner and more Guinness. George went back on Tuesday and the rest of us had a trip round the Guinness factory and more of the black stuff - a good day had by all.
Probably the quote of the trip was as we arrived at Dublin Airport and Lara saying "Cor its freezing! Isn't there a Mauritius marathon?". And that's something we are looking for - a warmer place to go next year - anyone else interested, please say.
Editor's note - this was George Dawson's 98th marathon. His plans are to run his 99th in the Shakespeare Marathon at Stratford in April 2001 and his 100th at Leeds in May - which will be approximately the same venue and 18½ years on from when he started.
Do you remember that the first few Leeds marathons were run the last Sunday in October (Max tells me that it was called "The Duchess" after Jimmy Savile's mother - the first race was held on 31st October 1981 which was her birthday) - and started and finished in Roundhay Park (rumoured to be so Jimmy hadn't too far to go home for his shower or bath afterwards)
New York, New York, so good they named it twice
From Kathy Kaiser
What a fantastic trip we had, we had promised ourselves years ago we would celebrate the New Millennium by going to New York to do the marathon, as we hadn't done a foreign marathon, apart from London, so off we went.
I tried very hard to get out of it and go shopping instead, but to no avail, and I'm so glad I did it. We had a week in the city, the 1st three days were spent involved in the marathon build up.
We arrived on the Thursday before race day on the Sunday, we arrived in time to get the chore of registration out of the way, we must have hit on a good time to go (mid-afternoon) as we did not have to queue at all. The exhibition was all well organised, although not as big as London, but big enough with the Official merchandising particularly well organised.
Friday morning and up at 7:00am for a 3mile run round Central Park with fellow marathoners from the hotel, the hotel overlooked Central Park, the trees were amass with colour absolutely gorgeous, then a "walk about" tour of some of the major sights in Manhattan with our Sport Tours guide. The temptation to walk round looking upwards all the time is overwhelming. Saturday was a big day with the international friendship run, or breakfast run. All the overseas runners, approx. 10,000, congregate at the United Nations building with flags, banners, fancy/sort of national dress the atmosphere is very much that of a carnival. Eventually after speeches which few people listen to, our merry band of people all jog or walk the 4-5 miles to Central Park and to the Marathon finish line, where we were provided with a breakfast of Bagels, fruit, yoghurt cereal and lots of coffee. Not perhaps the ideal preparation for a marathon the day after, but worth doing all the same. We compensated by having a three hour boat trip round Manhattan in the afternoon, then off to the pasta party for as much pasta as you could eat.
Sunday and the marathon itself, it did not start well, as the bus was late setting off from the hotel and not surprisingly, got held up in a traffic jam, but we made it. The next problem was to find our starting areas and baggage buses, which was absolutely horrendous, no signs telling you where to go, when you did find your way you were stopped by a marshal telling you to go another way. We decided to go our separate ways Ken leaving me with the words "See you in Central Park". Aagh I thought, and off I went to; where else; find a loo, next problem, so no loo stop, missed my call up for my start, I was in a panic, charged about trying to find out where I should be, found, but by now I was way back from where I should have been, so I had to squeeze and push my way nearer to the front made quite a bit of headway. Then we were off jumping over clothes and bin liners just dropped at the start, worming my way round bodies and I was away over the Verrazzano bridge on my way to Central Park. Brooklyn first which seemed to be well populated with very enthusiastic Mexicans. As we move into Queens we encounter the Hassidic Jews, which is a total contrast and all a bit weird but very moving, the streets are lined with just as many people but the are all totally silent and in their best clothes. We then enter Manhattan via the Queensboro Bridge (or the 59th Street Bridge) feeling groovy, also used in the opening titles of "Taxi". When you hit the other side of the bridge the noise from supporters is deafening, this continues all the way up 1st Avenue with just a brief quiet spot during our token visit to salubrious Bronx. Central Park is a welcome sight, but is also the most undulating part of the course. Many people were stopping to walk and I found myself passing lots and lots of people. I finished in 3:06 which I was delighted with, after all the trauma with my broken elbow, Ken finished just after in 3:15. After meeting up with each other we walked the 5-10 minutes to our hotel and phoned home to Paul who already knew our times as he had been following our progress on the internet. Every runner wears a 'chip' and split times are available as soon as you crossed over the mats. Incredible. He also told me I was 2nd O45 and had won a prize, which indeed I did - I received a beautiful crystal glass vase from Tiffany's inscribed with the Marathon logo.
Monday we reverted to being tourists and did all the usual sight-seeing + SHOPPING (at last) things. Which included a day trip to Niagara Falls, which was an incredible sight and a welcome break from the big city.
It was a fantastic trip, we both thoroughly enjoyed (except the start). One I would love to go back to, and do all over again. The Americans certainly know how to SPECTATE, party and make you feel very welcome.
From "Ed": Congratulations to Kathy who was 2nd W45 at New York (57th W overall and 923rd in race) in 3:06:07. She was 18 minutes behind 45-year-old Gillian Horowitz (also GBR) but half an hour clear of the next W45. Ken ran 3:15:14 (1552nd).
From Max: For the oldies, Gillian Horovitz was Gillian Adams before she
married a NYC theatre impresario by the name of Lionel Horovitz. She had a
marathon time of 2:37:10 back in 1980, which I'm guessing was in the first London
Marathon, i.e. the Avon Women Only one, held the year before Chris Brasher's. Only
10 minutes slower in 20 years : there's hope for us all yet!
Congratulations to Mark Hoon who WON the Montgonery County Marathon in the Parks in his home state of Maryland in a time of 2:34:47, over 4 minutes clear of the second place. This race was on tarmac paths and off-road trails, so this looks a good time. There were 702 finishers, of whom 24 beat 3 hours.
Tuesday Training - a reminder ...
... that the start time is 6:45 (not 6:50 or even 6:55), so arrive early to get changed or on time if you're already changed. This applies to committee members too!
Venice Victory for Valley Vetfrom Roy Flesher
In past editions ofVSNews you may have read of the slick, efficient organisations of big-city marathons. Well, this is Italy.
We arrived in Venice, without baggage, on a mild, sunny, October afternoon. This was our first visit and the boat ride from airport into the city is indeed stunning and impressive. After checking in at our hotel, another short waterbus journey along the Grand Canal and then a bus across to the mainland took us to Mestre, the nearest town, and to registration. The usual exhibits, freebies and pasta were on offer and the whole process went smoothly. By 6.00 p.m. our luggage had caught up. From Leeds to Venice, via Brussels, the longest airport queue was at lost luggage Venice Airport. This is Italy.
The race is point-to-point and starts at Stra, a small town on the River Brenta. Buses run from the Tronchetto area of Venice from 7.00am which meant a waterbus journey along the canals at 6.00am. Free of boat traffic and tourists the city is haunting at this time of day. Around Stra town square there was the typical pre-race atmosphere. Facilities were good: tents to change in, warm-up area, toilets (plenty) which flushed, drinks, massage etc. The internet site gave a 9.00am start, race info. had 9.30; the gun went at 9.20 at the request of national TV. This is Italy.
The course meanders gently through the countryside and is flat as it follows the River Brenta and the many lavish villas which line its banks. At 15km you enter Mestre and Marghera quite ugly industrial areas but with busy town centres and plenty of locals out to support. The course then crosses the Liberta bridge, a straight, seemingly endless 4km strip of land, surrounded by the Lagoon, which connects the mainland to Venice but by now you can see the tower of St Mark's. The finish is 5km away as you start the most difficult part, running along the edge of the canals, at least not flooding this year, up and over a dozen bridges and across the Grand Canal on a temporary bridge of boats to the finish in the heart of the city.
I did 3:06, nothing spectacular, but considering a year of mishaps, at least a PB for 2000. But the best was still to come. As I crossed the line, my chip was removed and I was taken to a podium and variously filmed and photographed. I was presented with the Runner's World Magazine Nations Trophy, awarded to the first M40 and F35 from each of the eight countries in which RW is published and a fine Murano glass vase it is. The fact that I have one engraved with USA (the authorities having given the UK version to the first American) is immaterial! This is Italy.
Overall, a race and a trip to recommend. Average of 4-5000 competitors, beautiful city, plenty of pasta, nice weather, lots to see and do on a short stay but expect the unexpected. This is Italy.
Edinburgh Duathlonfrom George Black
or "Now for Something (Almost) Completely Different"
As a former racing cyclist (pre 1961) I have always regretted being a very poor swimmer (breast stroke being for life-saving awards only), so it has not been possible to take part in a triathlon.
However in August I saw that a duathlon was being held for the second time in Edinburgh, consisting of a 5k run, 20k cycle and 4k run. (Note for the geographically challenged: Edinburgh is a small city some 45 miles from Glasgow much the same as Manchester is relative to Leeds)
I had been unable to do any sort of running during the 14 weeks since April's Lochaber Marathon due to a groin strain, but had maintained some level of fitness by fairly hard cycling. So I thought this was a good opportunity to try something different without the threat of drowning! I decided not to practise the changeovers from the two disciplines partly due to my injury and partly because ignorance is bliss. I was right!
The course turned out to be round "Arthur's Seat", an extinct volcano near Edinburgh Castle, and held on closed roads.
I picked out the "most likely" competitors and copied the way they hung up their bikes on the rails by the saddle or handlebars and laid out their cycle kit. On the starting line I saw the other competitors all looked very fit and very young. In fact there was only one other over-60 competitor (vintage category).
The start was immediately uphill and changed quickly from road to grass and almost became a fell race. I was struggling so badly I was afraid to look back in case I was last as I was reduced to walking.
I reached the changeover point at the end of the 5k in 20min 9secs but took 46 seconds for the transition, changing shoes and putting on my gloves, sun glasses and compulsory helmet.
The cycle ride was again an uphill start but I found my legs were "good". Not for long. The route follows the road up Arthur's Seat giving a steep climb over 1 mile in length. I had always been a useless climber and found things hadn't changed during the last 40 years.
After 3 laps grovelling up the hill and Kamikaze descending I reached the second changeover in 40min 8secs an average of 18.6mph. Armstrong can sleep at night!
This transition took even longer, 1min 7secs as I became disoriented in the transition area and could not find my change over station. I put it down to the blood going to my legs and not my brain rather than the start of senile dementia.
I began the 4k run, yes uphill again, and immediately got "the burn". My quads must have been full of lactic acid despite the last 2 miles of cycle being downhill. The 4k was covered in 14min36secs of some of the most painful minutes of my life but despite this I continued to pass "the brave and the stupid" who had set off too fast.
I found I had finished 53rd out of the 120 starters and had beaten the other old guy to win the vintage category by 20 minutes. If I had known this I would certainly would not have tried so bloody hard on the 4k.
After a "fine" tea I was presented with a nice trophy and an even nicer brown envelope.
For those of you who would consider this type of event, the following info. may help:
Chicago Marathonfrom Ian Place
Chicago was not what I expected. It was even better, better than anything Roy’s expletives can come up with.
It’s like New York without the rip off. Runners at Chicago don’t know how lucky they are. The Marathon still has a homely feel about it. Despite the huge numbers, runners tend to feel they are still a select few who brave the distance.
My main worry was the weather. I had seen previous Chicago Marathons with sub-zero chill factors but my fears were unfounded and it felt pleasantly warm at about 75 degrees at the end.
The event went well despite being late to the toilets at the start and it taking me 6 mins to cross the start line. I managed to keep passing people right up to the 25 mile marker where I held my own and finished with a time of 3hrs 17mins - not spectacular but not bad considering I did the first half in 1hr 42 and the second in 1hr 35.
Walked for miles around the city and enjoyed brilliant views from the tops of their skyscrapers i.e. Sears Tower and the John Hancock Tower. Verdict: I’m going back to do better next year.
Tuesday Training - a reminder ...
... that the start time is 6:45 (not 6:50 or even 6:55), so arrive early to get changed or on time if you're already changed. This applies to committee members too! This reminder is in case you skipped page 11.
Another International Report
Werl-Soest 15kfrom Ingo
A single Strider was spotted at the biggest European New Years Eve race. Amongst four thousand five hundred starters the Munich based representative of the Striders started in the Werl-Soest 15k (that is 9 miles and 568 yards for you) race on December 31st, 2000. This race connects the towns Werl and Soest, just east of Dortmund (twin city of Leeds, so you should know that one!). Having done no speedwork since the Leeds Country Way relay he didn't intend to take it seriously, instead just testing his form for the coming spring season. And the severe lack of speedwork showed early in the race. It took him about 8.5 M to get his feet going properly! While not being exhausted, he just managed to finish within 60 minutes (in 184th position), and certainly decided to take up speedwork first thing in 2001...
I heard rumours of snow in England. Surprisingly there is no snow at Munich at the moment, in fact Munich had only two days of snow this winter! Instead it is comfortably warm (just above freezing, I guess), dry (apart from the permanent drizzle), sunny (sun? what's that?)...
(this section is deliberately well hidden)
Sorry to give the game away but we have a few big birthdays coming up in the first quarter of this year - actually all in February. Jane Sutton becomes a vet (35) - so that's why she's run off to the other side of the world. Jon Willingham also becomes a vet (40) but still looks young (all policemen except Steve O look young to me these days). Carole Schofield moves up to V40. Bob Jackson moves to V50 (you thought he was at least 60 but it's just the strain of writing newsletters and organising races). Last but not least, Peter Lambert gets his bus pass, so if you see him running somewhere after February, it's because he wants to, not because he can't afford the fare.
Skipton cross country
The intended HQ for the event was closed due to it being used as a refuge for families who had been moved out of their homes because of the floods. Instead we moved next door to the cattle market. Part of the course was along the canal side. These did not seem good omens, but it did not turn out too bad. The worst point was a 6 foot drop into a stream (it looked like 12 foot and I nearly "refused" on the first lap), but it cleaned the shoes from the mud from the previous field and the weather stayed favourable and Leeds beat Liverpool 4-3.
25 Janet Parkinson 34.17
34 Madeleine Watson 35.29
43 Sylvia Watson 36.42
53 Sara Dyer 39.39
Wimin - 7th
Men - 7th
18 Paul Briscoe 39.23
22 Jerry Watson 39.54
30 Steve Webb 40.37
66 Mick Wrench 43.30
83 Neil Dutton 44.48
106 Alan Hutchinson 47.00
114 Bob Jackson 48.13
117 Geoff Webster 48.44
132 John Hallas 51.08
139 Ian Place 53.23
Bradford cross country
The wimin's race was run in driving rain and several collapsed over the line with exhaustion and/or hypothermia. 10 minutes later the rain stopped and the sun came out and the men had quite pleasant conditions.
Paul finished first vet for the third race in a row - he is certain of winning the West Yorks title without needing to run the final race - however he may as well run it as (a) he doesn't have far to go - the race is in Otley and (b) the presentation is after the race so he needs to turn up to collect the trophy - congratulations Paul.
Lisa's 7th place was the highest place by a Strider in any cross-country for quite some time. This was in a field of 61 which is as big as previous races. Well done!
7 Lisa Wilyman 24.34
19 Kathy Kaiser 25.45
30 Madeleine Watson 27.05
38 Sylvia Watson 28.11
53 Sara Dyer 31.35
Wimin - 3rd
Men - 7th and 16th
19 Paul Briscoe 39.01
28 Steve Webb 39.36
32 Jerry Watson 40.02
47 Mick Wrench 40.43
66 Paul Webster 42.06
84 Neil Dutton 43.38
109 John Hallas 46.09
117 Bob Jackson 46.55
121 Alan Hutchinson 47.53
122 Tony Haygarth 48.00
133 Geoff Webster 48.30
141 Ian Place 49.28
160 Bob Wilkes 54.54
Calderdale Way Relay
A little off the pace of Bingley, Clayton-le-Moors and Pudsey & Bramley there was a fascinating battle between Valley Striders Mixed and Valley Striders "B", where the Mixed team overtook the B team on leg 4 and held on to be ahead by 7mins 1secs and 6 places at the finish. The Mixed Team finished third (again), 9mins 14secs behind the winners Pudsey & Bramley and 5mins 18secs behind runners-up Holme Pierrepont.
A certain P.B. ran the last leg with Shane Green for P&B "A" team to guide them into 3rd place overall.
According to the guide map, leg 3 is 4½ miles. I can safely say that I've never run slower for that distance, either on a training run or having hit the wall in a marathon. It's a good thing that the weather was reasonable! I looked at the map afterwards. I think they had to print the contour lines thinner than normal so they could fit them all in!
Leg time & pos
Cum time & pos
Leg time & pos
Cum time & pos
Cross Country Stop Presses
Lisa finished 8th in the Yorkshire Championships at Bodington Hall on January 6th. Two of the wimin ahead of her were juniors and as the first six automatically gain a place in the Yorkshire team, she will be representing Yorkshire in the inter-counties at Nottingham in February. Congratulations ... and good luck.
In the 4-race series for the West Yorks Champs, finishing at Otley on January 14th, Paul Briscoe was 1st vet, Jerry Watson 2nd vet, Lisa Wilyman 2nd open wumin, and the wimin's team (Lisa, Kathy, Janet, Madeleine, Sylvia and Sara) 3rd. Excellent!
Full reports and results in nextVSNews.
2000 Fell Championship(Geoff)
Fell Championship Final Positions
Steve W 648
Ken K 192
Paul Webo 115
Madeleine W 114
Jerry W 100
Kathy K 90
Tony F 78
Jane S 59
Mick W 57
Eric C 46
Mick L 44
The Fell Championship Trophy was presented at the V.S. Christmas Do this year instead of at the Winter Handicap. Steve W, alias Captain Spider, was on hand to receive the coveted trophy for the second year in succession. Steve said it was the proudest moment in his life since getting lost in the Pen Y Ghent race in 1999. Sara, who had made a great effort to be the first wumin to win the trophy, said that although she was disappointed not to have won, it gave her great pleasure to "have been beaten by such a great sporting hero".
Paul Webo declared that he will be fully fit next year and he intends to prevent Steve winning for a third time. He then proposed a toast to the Champion and all Spiders kissed Steve's feet. In the absence of Ingo, G.W. was the easy winner of the subsequent Spiders' disco dancing competition!
Ed's note: this report just proves my theory that fell race entry forms should be obliged to carry a government warning that fell running may damage your mental health.
Burley Bridge Hike - Steve W wins!
Steve W was the first back to Ben Rhydding Grammar School in this 21 mile trail and fell event despite not knowing the route. He took a few devious twists and turns while running and reading the map at the same time but managed to get on the correct path over the last 2½ miles between Burley and Ben Rhydding. This is more than Hutch and G.W. managed. Alan found a route through some boggy fields which slowed down his dash for the finish. Meanwhile, G.W., who knows this route well, went off on a path which led to the Cow and Calf Hotel on Ilkley Moor. Well it was only an extra mile or so and the view was good.
All three Spiders finished in the top ten - a shame there wasn't a team prize - they consoled themselves with cups of tea and pies at the finish. Sylvia attended the run as a marshal, standing next to Ilkley Paddling Pool collecting number tokens in a bucket.
Steve took part in the Rivock Edge race and this made sure of his victory in the Spiders Championship. Meanwhile, his nearest pursuer, Sara, ran in the far more arduous Tour of Pendle but couldn't score enough points to catch up.
Himmelbjerg-løbet - a Danish fell race(from Niels)
I can almost hear you laughing now, thinking that Denmark is far too flat to have a fell race. According to the books you are absolutely right: our highest point is just 173 metres above sea level, and Himmelbjerget, the hill in question, is even further below at 147 metres. Surely you will laugh even louder when I tell you that the name "Himmelbjerget" means "the sky mountain" (because it is so high that it reaches the sky!). However, when you stop laughing, think about the hill reps; most of you will agree that they are pretty tough, although you don't reach any high altitude. For the same reason I claim that Himmelbjerg-løbet deserves the name "fell race". It contains hardly any flat bits, it is up and down and up and down all the time.
There are three distances to choose from: a fun run (2.9km) going down from the top and then immediately back up again - is this what they call fun?? - a short course (9.6km), and a long course (15.1km). I entered the long course, aiming for a time around 1:05, depending on how tough the hills really were.
The race starts at the very top of Himmelbjerget, so the first ¾ mile is straight downhill. My experienced hosts (Britt's parents) kindly pointed out to me that the key to a good race lies in the start. If you are at the front, you can have an unrestricted, fast run
downhill, whereas everybody else gets stuck. Being a newcomer, I was in the second (and last) heat, so I easily managed to make my way right to the starting line. Off went the gun, and down the hill we ran. Anyone of you who has seen me running downhill off-road will know that my descending is pretty poor (otherwise just ask Geoff his opinion!). However, compared to the other Danes, I was actually quite good.
As soon as we were down, we had to run up another hill, then down, up, down... I guess that you have got the general picture by now. The path was very muddy, and since the whole area is covered in woods, it was full of old leaves. Moreover, after a beautiful, bright morning with clear, blue sky, the rain came approx. 5 minutes after I started; this
of course made the mud even deeper and the leaves very slippery. However, the fact that I was wearing the trail shoes that I have personally imported from Yorkshire clearly gave me an advantage over my competitors in their road shoes.
My heart rate monitor showed that my heart was working really hard because of the hills, in fact even harder that it usually does at my 1km intervals, so I decided not to push too hard. I reached 5km in 21 minutes, feeling strong, and soon I began catching up with runners from the first heat who had started 10 minutes before me. The path turned into a track and then a tarmac road. This helped me finding a good rhythm that I managed to keep when the tarmac ended. I was now overtaking quite a few people and had to be careful not to get stuck at the narrow parts. This point became even more important when we merged with the 9.6km runners (who set off 10 minutes after me, but obviously had a short-cut). Among them I saw Britt's father, and certainly the temptation was too strong - I just had to overtake him!
I was now quickly approaching the finish which is a notorious killer: you have to go all the way back up to the top, so that the final ¾ mile is all uphill. There is a small tower at the top, and somewhere near the bottom you catch a glimpse of it, and it just seems miles above you. To make sure that your legs get really heavy, this final climb starts with 20 steps; then the path steadily ascends 10-15% for the next 1km. Almost everybody else was walking up this bit, but somehow I managed to keep running (probably because of my training on the hills of Leeds), my thighs nearly exploding with lactic acid. About 200 metres from the finish, the path flattens out a bit, and you just have to hope that you will get to the finish before the lactic acid wins the battle over your will power.
After finishing, it took a while before I had the energy to look at my watch; it was still sub-1:05, so I was very pleased. In fact, my official time was 1:04:30, 6½ minutes slower than the winner, but still 2 minutes in front of the first woman. I hope that these times indicate how tough the race is, although it should be said that none of the very best Danes were present; they were all competing in the Danish XC championships elsewhere.
Anyway, if any of you fancies a muddy, hilly challenge abroad, I can strongly recommend Himmelbjerg-løbet. It always takes place on the last Sunday of October. See you there next year!
Scarborough Rock off-road marathon
G.W. decided on a steady start and set off slowly behind the walkers. However, he soon passed John W. who was doing his annual new year training run and had started even more slowly. G.W. then passed Eric and David C. who were also progressing slowly. This was due to David's night out on the town the previous evening.
After G.W. caught up to Ian P. the pair went on at a steady pace for several miles until G.W.'s legs decided that 15 miles of steady running was just about enough. From that point his pace gradually deteriorated to a grinding jog.
Ian kept going strongly to finish in a time of 3hr 35min. G.W. managed to scrape in a few minutes under 4 hours. Eric and David arrived about 45 minutes later with John a little over an hour after them.
The day was bright and sunny and there was some excellent viewing to be had, that is if you were not looking at your feet like G.W. John took advantage of the good weather by stopping to take photos. This must have added a few minutes to his time.
David had recovered from his hangover by the finish and was able to take part in the excellent repast that had been prepared by the wimin of the W.R.V.S. This was a choice between beef sludge or dry cardboard cheese pasty. Most Spiders opted for sucking up the slurry, but G.W. had the dry cardboard. Eating the cardboard was almost as arduous as running through more than 20 miles of mud. A good time was had by all!
Fell Championship Events 2001
Sat Feb 3 T Rombalds Stride 23 usually plenty of Striders
Sat Feb 17 L Wadsworth Trog 20 from near Hebden Bridge
Sun Feb 25 F Ilkley Moor 4½
Sat Mar 3 F Noonstone 9 from Lumbutts
Sat Mar 17 T Wuthering Hike 33 from Haworth
Sun Mar 18 F Aireborough Wild 4 from Guiseley Retail Park
Sun Apr 1 T Blubberhouses Moor 25 good tracks, course rec held by P Briscoe
Tue Apr 3 F also Apr 10/17/24 Bunny Run 3 easy moorland
Tue May 8 FG Jack Bloor 5 from Ilkley (evening)
Sat May 12 TX Malhamdale Meander 26 from Malham
Sat May 12 TX Fellsman Hile 60 from Ingleton
Sun May 13 T Horbury Hike 21 good footpaths
Sat May 19 F White Wells 3½ from Ilkley
Sat May 26 F Hutton Roof 7
Mon May 28 F Austwick Amble 8 has been won by Steve Webo
Wed Jun 6 F Chevin Fell Race (evening)
Sat Jun 16 F Buckden Pike 4
Wed Jun 20 F Mytholmroyd 7 (evening)
Sat Jun 23 F Wadsworth Gala 4 (Tom Tittiman race) easy route
Sat Jul 7 F Erringdon Moor 8 from Mytholmroyd
Sat Jul 7 TX Osmotherly Phoenix 30 tough trail on N Y Moors
Tue Jul 10 F Stoodley Pike 3½
Tue Jul 17 FG Dick Hudson 6½ from Ilkley
Sun Jul 29 LG Holme Moss 16
Sun Aug 5 T Kettlewell Kanter 24 trail
Sun Aug 19 L Sedbergh Hills 14
Sat Aug BH TX Smugglers Trod 26 good trails
Sun Sep 9 LG Yorkshireman Off-road Marathon
Sun Sep 16 T Nidd Vale Circuit 26 from Lofthouse nr Pateley Br, good trails
Sun Oct 7 F High Brown Knoll 6½ from Mytholmroyd
Sun Oct 21 F Withins Skyline 7 from Haworth
Sat Nov 3 F Shepherd Skyline 6 near Todmorden
Sat Nov 17 L Tour of Pendle 17
Sun Nov 18 L Lordstone 11 N Y Moors
Sun Nov 25 F Rivock Edge 10 from Silsden
Sun Dec 2 F Bolton by Bowland 8 mainly muddy x-c
Sun Dec 16 F The Stoop 5 from Haworth
F = fell race L = long fell race
T = long trail race (all have refreshment stops with tea & buns etc)
X = not in Fell Championship - for information only
G = also in Grand Prix
Grand Prix 2001
Sun Jan 28 1000 Knavesmire Brass Monkey ½ (c/d 6 Jan - NO entries on day)
Sun Feb 4 0930 Dewsbury 10k (c/d 13 Jan - NO entries on day)
Sun Mar 18 1100 Spen 20
Sun Mar 25 1030 Ackworth ½ Marathon
Tue Apr 3 1845 Spring Handicap 10k
Sun Apr 15 1100 Guiseley Gallop
Sun Apr 22 London Marathon
Tue May 8 Jack Bloor Fell
Sun May 20 1000 Leeds Full and Half Marathon
For further races see page 6
Other Cross Country Dates
Sat Jan 27 Northern Champs at Witton Park, Blackburn c/d 9 Dec
Sat Feb 24 National Champs at Maiden Castle, Durham c/d 6 Jan
Sun Mar 4 Yorks Vets Champs at South Cave near Hull c/d 17 Feb
For all the above events Paul Briscoe / Carole Schofield will need to know if you want to run 3 days before the closing dates shown so they can send in the team entries in time.
Airedale Triple Trail Challenge
Sat Mar 24 1030 STRIDERS Meanwood Valley Trail Race - Marshals required
Sun Apr 1 1030 Baildon Boundary Way half marathon
Sun Apr 15 1100 Guiseley Gallop 10k-ish
These 3 events form the "Airedale Triple Trail Challenge" for which, unfortunately, Striders will be ineligible for the first race (and therefore the series awards) as they have to marshal the Meanwood Race. However, if you enjoy trail running, try to run the other two races in the series. If you want a warm up for these, on March 18 is the Aireborough Wild 4 mile race using some paths from the Guiseley Gallop.
Other Road Races - plan your diary
The following were taken from the official list of races issued by the West Yorks AA. Some do not have permits so the dates are provisional
Feb 18 Liversedge ½, Feb 25 Huddersfield 10k, Mar 18 South Leeds 5,
Apr ? Rothwell 10k, Apr ? Wakefield 10k, May 5/23/30 John Carr 5k series,
May 16 Otley 10, Jun 6 Roberttown 7, Jun 14 Full Bronte, Jun 17 Stainland 7,
Jun 20 Ackworth 10k, Jul 8 Pudsey 10k, Aug 15 Mileta 10, Sep 9 Netherthong 10k,
Sep 23 Kirkstall 10k, Sep 23 Templenewsam 10k NB Sep 16 is Great North Run
Sat Apr 8 Northern road relays - South Leeds Stadium - see page 8