June 2001

2001 Issue 3


In This Issue



















Almost as much reading as the Sunday Times (and even one supplement!), thanks to major contributions from 12 Striders and a paragraph or two from at least 7 others.


Meanwood Valley Trail Saturday 30 June 10:30am

The race is definitely on! Additional entry forms have been printed and with 2 weeks to go we have had 40 new entries in addition to the 160 who entered before March and whose entry has been carried forward. I am expecting another 50 in the final two weeks and 100 more on the day.

Now we just need YOU on the morning of 30 June. See map on the separate sheet for more details. Contact Geoff on 266 6288 and let him know which spot you would prefer. There will be a Bottle of Briscoe's for every Strider on marshalling duty (although, if entries exceed 350, you will have to wait for another "batch" to be brewed!)

If you can, come to Leo's Tuesday evening 26 June when we will be running the route

It will be important to have the route fully marshalled as there is far more vegetation than there was in March and the paths and lines of sight are less clear. Some marshals will need to give directions as well as point the way - fortunately the Sunday run has trained some Striders to talk non-stop for two hours so they will be used in these critical locations. At some points at the start and end of narrow paths, diplomacy will be needed to request walkers to wait while the runners come through - a recruitment campaign will be started shortly as we have no-one suitable in the Club!

Lineham Farm Children's Centre will receive 50p per entry and some runners have made additional pledges on their entry forms. I hope we can raise more than £250 and maybe a lot more with collection boxes on the day. (The farm is still closed as a precaution against F&M).

The race is now fully approved by the NoEAA, West Yorkshire Police, Leeds City Council Leisure Services and Leeds City Council Public Rights of Way Dept.

Stop Press - Regarding the Foot and Mouth outbreak at Ilkley. Should this spread further down Wharfedale there is a risk that our footpaths may be closed again. Phone me or Geoff nearer the date if there is any doubt.

Summer Handicap Tuesday 3 July 7pm

This will be on a 5¼ mile circuit of the southern half of the Harewood Trail Route - start and finish at the normal point for the handicaps i.e. bottom of path from Alwoodley Lane by the side of Eccup Reservoir at 7:00 pm. Route will be clockwise towards Goodrick Plantation, then on the Dales Way link to Eccup, then on the Leeds Country Way to Emmerdale, then back to the Water Treatment works, and the last 1½ miles is the familiar route across the dam and along the path on the edge of the Res.

Stop Press - This route is currently fully open. If in doubt check with me nearer the date (we could use the Meanwood Trail instead).

Leeds Country Way Sunday September 2nd

Is hopefully, possibly on. Some of the paths run through farmyards which are still out of bounds, but I would have thought that a route could be devised to avoid all of these, so keep September 2nd free in your diaries.

Harewood 10 mile Trail provisional date 30 September

I went round the full 10 mile route at the beginning of June and ALL the footpaths were open. Whether we get permission from the Harewood Estate for the race is another matter, we'll have to see over the next month, but you can all now enjoy the best 10 mile training route in the area. NB please please do not upset the Harewood staff (and risk our race) by using the short cut between the main gates and the permissive path - you need to come out onto the A61 for about 100 yards and then go back in through the door. NB Church Lane is closed to traffic but is definitely open for walkers (and runners) - I checked with the Estate Office. NB if you are thinking of a September marathon, please choose Manchester on 23rd rather than Nottingham on 30th!

Membership (from Bob)

I am about to submit our list of members to the North of England Athletic Association. Club members on this list will automatically get a registration number and registration card which entitles them to fill in their club name on race entry forms and not pay the £1 levy for being "unattached".

All Striders paid up at 1 May 2001 will be registered for the NoEAA year from May 2001 to April 2002. If you are not intending to run any races in this next 12 months, let me know (by phone, e-mail or letter) before the 14th of July in which case I will not submit your name to the NoEAA and you will be entitled to a discount of £2 when you renew your Striders membership in September this year

Welcome to New Members

I have a long list of prospective new members but have only closed the deal on two


I rang Brendan Kitson to let him know that the Spring Handicap would be from Roundhay. His mum answered "He'll be flying to Sri Lanka that day to get married".

And so he/they did - Brendan and Claire were married on April 9th in Sri Lanka and then continued their honeymoon in the Maldives. When they got back. they had a "do" at the Metropole in Leeds for family and friends. Congratulations!


W45 marathon champion Kathy Kaiser will be able to challenge for the W50 group from August and veteran Spider Tony Foster will be a M55 from September. I think I may invest some money in shares in a candle-manufacturing company!

Correction to April VSNews:

Alistair and Carin work at the LGI not Jimmy's (apparently this faux pas is on the same scale as calling someone a Manchester United supporter when they support City!)


Injuries ...

E-mail from Ian Townsley (6 April) Hi Bob, just a quick note to let you know that I have not jumped ship. I'm still struggling with the hamstring and haven't run for more than 15 minutes this year. I'm keeping fit by cycling but I feel this may be aggravating the problem, I need my bike, however to get to work and back. Been out tonight for a run around the cricket ground and allotments near Meanwood Park and at present don't seem to have any adverse reaction. It's totally and utterly frustrating I'm desperate to start running properly again. I've gained over a stone and of course lost speed so even when I do overcome the problem it's going to take time to regain full fitness. ... Regards to all at the Striders, whose numbers seem to have increased since the start of the year. Cheers!

E-mail from Janet Parkinson (16May) Just a quick note to let you know that I am still around after fractured ribs and pelvis, I am getting back to a reasonable level of fitness hopefully for the summer off road season but very slowly. Being in the medical profession does one no good, as we think we are indispensible. But I was proved wrong, trying to do the X-country and running with fractured ribs and pelvis did me no good at all from the fall I had at the last Hi-Tec Adventure series race. But I now have my orthotics which is a bit like learning to run again, and have started to build up gradually, so hopefully I will be back for the summer.

E-mail from George Black (30 March) Well Bob the old jinx strikes again. I have injured my left calf and I am off the road again. I had cut back on my mileage and was only running every second day and doing no speed work only easy/steady runs. I can only put it down to running more on the road, bloody foot and mouth, or changing shoes or perhaps even both. All our little local races have been cancelled but we are running Wednesday night track races which have been well supported although confined to club members. Best wishes for your own training, Geo.

E-mail from George Black (29 April) Got my news letter thank you. Sorry to hear Steve O hit the deck but it happens to the best. Injury got worse. WALKING down stairs to take Louise to hospital left calf just 'went'. Cannot do Vets 1/2 marathon champs so next race will be the International in November as I am now 11st 12lbs (16 lbs over March weight). The result at Ibrox today as my beloved Gers. got gubbed again means I have been comfort sipping the Glenmorangie. Louise goes into hospital next Saturday for neuro-surgery, collapsed vertebrae, which has kept her off work for 8 weeks with another 8 weeks to come. I will have to do even more household duties and nursing so it is just as well I am not training as I find it difficult to get into a routine when she is at home all day. Look forward to the London result E mail and I hope that the guys got their anticipated times. Best wishes Geo

Letter from Natalie Curtis I moved house in January and have been busy since then. My very long term, very annoying injury permitting, I hope to be back at the Club in the summer.

Letter from Yvonne Bissitt I will more than likely be entering Leeds Half in my capacity as a semi retired fun runner. You (Bob J) can keep my wobble board and pass it on to anybody who needs to use it, my donation to the Club

... and Recovery

Since receiving these, Ian has been seen at the Club and running well - his cycling to and from work must have kept him fit. Yvonne did run the Leeds Half with spectacular success - see later in this VS News. George e-mailed me on 20th June "I am anticipating starting training again during July but meantime I am doing some cycling which seems to be keeping me pretty fit." Best wishes to Janet and Nat and to anyone else currently injured - hope you're all back in training soon.


Footpaths - Extract from Department of the Environment,Transport and the Regions Press Release 23 May 2001

This Code should be promoted widely and in particular placed at access entry points such as car parks and picnic sites as well as at tourist information centres. Failure to do so risks irresponsible behaviour and, thus, increases the risk of disease spread.

Please take special care to protect the countryside from foot and mouth disease by following this Code

  1. If you have handled cattle, sheep, goats or pigs in the last 7 days please stay off all other farmland.
  2. Do not go near, and never touch, handle or feed livestock - if you come across them unexpectedly, move away slowly; if necessary re-trace your route.
  3. Keep dogs on short leads where there are livestock.
  4. Do not leave any waste food or litter.
  5. Stay on the path and leave all gates as you find them.
  6. Use disinfectant where provided.
  7. Start your walk or ride with clean equipment, footwear and clothing.

NB in infected areas, point 3 reads "Do not take dogs on land where there are cattle.", otherwise there are no differences.


Design-a-Shirt Competition (see January and April VSNews)

I now have 19 or so different designs including 14 sent to me by "Jake Shipley, aged 8", of which the most eye-catching was one that I would call "Friesian" but would probably not be safe to wear on footpaths at the moment. There was another one that I would call "Zebra" which would not be recommended for the Comrades Marathon. The others I'll not tell you because I don't want to inhibit your creative skills. Entries remain open until 1st August (publication in next Newsletter and before AGM in September)

Shirts & Socks Inventory (see April VSNews)

Only one Strider (initials CS) has admitted to having more than 50 Tshirts. However this is subject to a re-count as I did not make the rules clear that I was asking for short sleeve Tshirts - there should be separate records for long-sleeve T's, vests and running pants ... and shirts should only qualify if they are from a race or event. NB under the new rules my number of s-s T's is 44. CS also admitted to having a 1976 Leeds City vest so I'll note this down as a claim for oldest item of running kit! There were no claims for more than 240 socks. We will keep this open, and you may ask for your name not to be printed for fear of your spouse or partner reading the newsletter.

Identify The Striders

We were going to have "Feel the Strider" but that wouldn't have worked too well in a newsletter, so instead Paul White came up with the idea of a "Member Profile" and I came up with the idea of you trying to guess who the Strider is.

NB one or two of the answers in this first profile may not be true

Number & Name

VLS00002 - for the name see page 20



Year and Reason Started Running

Always done it to some extent

Date Joined Striders

1892 or1982 (can't remember)





- 5 Mile

29 mins

Leeds marathon 1st 5 miles (42 mins for last 5)


- 10K




- 10 Mile


Guy Fawkes


- Half Marathon

1hr 23min



- Marathon

3hr 06min




1st vet at Ulfkil Stride (but you say you are 39 - ed)

Inventing the Meanwood Trail Race route

Completing the Fellsman Hike (61 miles / 11000ft)


Not getting a big egg in the Bunny Runs


Win the Three Peaks

Avge Weekly Mileage

25 to 70 varies

Favourite Training Run

Ilkley Moor / Baildon Moor / Otley Chevin / all three

Favourite Pre-Race Meal

Don't have one but a quantity of malt extract swallowed before a long distance race seems to be effective

Favourite Race

Bens of Jura, Borrowdale and Ulfkil Stride

(all approx 25 miles off road)


Grease your feet with vaseline before a race.

Eat jelly type sweets in a long distance race.


Sweaty greasy feet


Running laps

Other Interests

Looking at my collection of supermarket plastic bags and counting my socks

This section was so popular with my proof-readers that I decided to put a second one in.

The final item is a great cryptic clue - start with that one and work up if you fancy a challenge!

Number & Name

VLS00014 - for the name see page 20



Year and Reason Started Running

1984 - football injury and hassle as manager of team

Date Joined Striders

June 1985





- 5 Mile


York 10!


- 10K


York 10!


- 10 Mile


York 10


- Half Marathon


Bramley ½


- Marathon





Yorkshire 20 mile champion / Yorkshire vest in 20 mile inter-counties team / team silver medal

BT marathon champion and 3rd overall at Gloucester 1986 (week before York 10 performances)

Won Leeds marathon 1987

Won Poole marathon 1989


Not peaking for a fast/flat marathon


Too late for me - now coaching others to beat my times

Avge Weekly Mileage

Used to be 90; now 40-50

Favourite Training Run

Anywhere I don't fall over!

Favourite Pre-Race Meal

Pasta and more pasta (the night before)

Favourite Race

Spen 20


10% - please see me on a Tuesday


Running fast


Running slow

Other Interests

Going even faster (absolutely flying)


Grand Prix 2001 Results & Race Reports

Spring Handicap

Due to the path round Eccup being closed, the Handicap was hastily rearranged to take place on the Roundhay 5 route. Max had marked out the route with chalk marks and signs at each mile. John Umpleby got all runners except one off at their allotted start times (normally 2 or more go off late). Mike and Eileen were on timekeeping, Peter and Joyce on marshalling - the best organised handicap for some time.

There were 31 runners including 4 guests from Airienteers, 1 friend of Ian Place's (only afterwards did Judy mention she was 2nd W45 at London 2000), and 2 second-claimers, all of whom do not qualify for VS Grand Prix points but are welcome all the same.

Congratulations to Mike Brown, whose training for Dumfries Marathon surely improved his speed over the shorter distances, and to Jerry for fastest time - looks good for London!

Fin Name Watch Hand Act Run G.P

Pos Time icap Time Pos Pts

1 Mike Brown 39.07 3.15 35.52 21 83

2 Natalie White 39.15 1.00 38.15 27 79

3 Louise Green 39.26 1.00 38.26 29 78

4 Mark Bean 39.36 5.00 34.36 18 86

5 Bob Wilkes 39.47 3.30 36.17 22 82

6 Vadim Kuznetsov 39.53 5.00 34.53 20 84

7 Tony Haygarth 40.00 6.45 33.15 15 89

8 Peter Cox 40.02 2.45 37.17 26 80

9 Judy Brown 40.03 8.00 32.03 12 Guest

10 Jon Willingham 40.07 10.30 29.37 6 96

11 Paul White 40.21 5.45 34.36 18 86

12 George Little 40.23 9.15 31.08 8 94

13 Keith Cluderay 40.50 9.45 31.05 7 95

14 Bob Jackson 40.57 8.45 32.12 13 90

15 Alan Hutchinson 41.03 9.15 31.48 11 91

16 Jerry Watson 41.06 13.30 27.36 1 100

17 Steve Webb 41.14 13.15 27.59 2 99

18 Mick Loftus 41.25 10.00 31.25 9 93

19 Dave Shelley 41.37 5.00 36.37 23 Aire

20 Kathy Kaiser 41.43 7.45 33.58 17 87

21 Mick Wrench 41.44 13.15 28.29 3 98

22 Chris Burton 42.01 1.00 41.01 30 Aire

23 Geoff Webster 42.06 5.00 37.06 25 81

24 Ian Marshall 42.17 9.15 33.02 14 Aire

25 Ian Place 42.38 8.45 33.53 16 88

26 Rob Liddle 42.52 11.15 31.37 10 92

27 Martin Horbury 42.58 13.45 29.13 5 2nd claim

28 Nicola Wilde 43.00 6.15 36.45 24 2nd claim

29 Paul Briscoe 43.05 14.15 28.50 4 97

30 Henk Van Rossum 43.21 5.00 38.21 28 Aire

31 Max Jones 46.07 4.00 42.07 31 77

Thanks to everyone for coming, and special thanks to the Watsons without whom we would have been hungry and the officials without whom we would have been lost.

Guiseley Gallop

Disappointingly there were only 168 finishers in total at a time when off road races were few and far between. Either people were put off by it being a 3 lap more like cross-country or that they didn't think it would be on. Some of these who missed the event must have been Striders because only 6 of us turned out to claim "new style" grand prix points. But due to the thin-ness of the field, 3 of us won prizes.

6 Paul Briscoe 36:38 1st M40-44

28 Bob Jackson 42:17 3rd M50-54

40 Tony Haygarth 44:26

49 Geoff Webster 45:35

66 Eric Cusack 47:21

67 Sylvia Watson 47:40 4th W, 1st W50-54

I was slightly embarrassed to receive the 3rd M50-54 as the 3rd M55-59 had beaten me and not received a prize ... and then I noticed that I'd beaten the 2nd M45-49. Awarding male veteran's prizes seems to be as difficult as awarding wimmin's prizes!

London Marathon

Positions and times of Striders and friends:

10k 20k half 30k 40k Finish

M 1146 Niels Laustsen 0:42:30 1:24:50 1:29:33 2:08:06 2:53:04 3:02:58

M 1578 Rob Burnham 0:40:26 1:21:44 1:26:31 2:05:23 2:56:00 3:09:07

M 1746 Dave Milner(ChpA)0:42:10 1:25:35 1:30:23 2:10:32 3:00:42 3:11:32

W 1040 Lisa Michez(Abby)0:59:03 1:53:03 1:59:12 2:49:58 3:47:14 3:59:00

W 2331 Mel Gray (ChapA) 1:14:18 2:12:02 2:18:24 3:12:50 4:16:14 4:29:53

W 2733 Carin Van Doorn 1:12:23 2:11:23 2:17:42 3:13:13 4:22:02 4:38:04

W 2889 Louise Greene 1:10:18 2:11:32 2:18:18 3:16:47 4:26:42 4:41:32

M17861 Max Jones 0:57:17 1:55:03 2:01:52 3:03:21 4:36:37 4:54:10

W 6601 Tina Burnham 1:39:23 3:05:19 3:14:29 4:44:42 6:33:13 6:52:19

Approximately 23250 men and 6750 wimin finished

Unfortunately there were no ChampionChip mats at the start otherwise we'd have been able to get the "real" times. I spoke to Ken Kaiser and he said there were mats at the start for New York where there are a similar number of runners but the starts are wider so there are more runners per minute crossing the start line at New York ... and they have a mat at the start.

Niels had been hoping for sub-3, he wonders whether he had over-trained leading up to the marathon and/or not done enough long runs. He is now considering running the Odense marathon in October.

Ingo reports that Lisa M had a good run, considering her recent lower back and hip trouble, finishing in 3:59:00. It had taken her about 5 minutes to reach the starting line.

Carin was pleased to get round but slightly disappointed with her time. She had been at the back of the Red Start and took nearly 15 minutes to cross the start line. She also encountered queues for the loos that took at least 5 minutes (I didn't ask her how many times she went - ed). She is keen to run another marathon but I'm trying to persuade her to do some more scenic and less painful courses e.g Thirsk 10 and Harrogate 10k.

London Marathon A Tale of One City and Two Sundays

(from Max)

The 2000 London

One of the EverPresent Forty had gone to a lot of trouble to get us special "20 London Marathons And I Ran Every One" running vests and he had arranged for a photoshoot of us all at 8:30 at the Green Start. I was chatting with Dave Walker while we were waiting (for the 9 who didn't bother to turn up) and we asked each other how the race might go for us. Dave turned to a tall young girl standing next to him and said "I'm taking my daughter round this year. How about you, Max ?". "I've been busy doing other things instead of training for this", I replied, "but I ran a Half in 1:43 at the end of January, which should be worth 3:40 at the most today. We only have to finish to retain our EP status, of course, but it would be an added bonus to get below the 3:49 I ran in my first marathon, here in London '81, because that's the slowest of the 84 I've run. If I have any claim to fame, it's that I'm the only EverPresent who has never run slower in London than in that first one".

It went as well for Dave as he had expected, but not for me. I had had diarrhoea on the Saturday and on the Sunday morning, I had lost my carboloading into the London sewerage system, I had hit the Wall at 5 miles and I'd walked from 12 miles. Far from finishing in sub-3:49, in a 6:17 finish it had taken me 3:52 to walk the second half ! If it hadn't been London, I would have caught the train from Shadwell just after halfway, collected my kit from the baggage truck and been home in Chesham before that.

At the Back It's not the London We Know and Love. After I had overcome the shame of having to walk in a mere marathon, I bowled along at a 17 minutes a mile clip. I began to think I'd be all right providing the weather remained friendly (which it did). I slowed down to 18s on The Highway while chatting with another walker in distress, the Carpet over the cobbles at the Tower had been taken up by the time I arrived, but no matter.

But I had bigger problems than just not being able to run. I knew that my glucose stores had been depleted in the previous 24 hours, but, to make matters much, much worse, there was no carbo-drink left at the 15-mile station when I got there in spot on 3 hours. One of the volunteers there found me a couple of only half-empty ones amongst the castaways in the gutter. At 19 miles, they were sweeping up the remaining sachets on the road into an enormous bin-liner and the crew of the 23 miles station had all gone home by the time I arrived.

I began to feel decidedly unsteady in Birdcage Walk : it was to take me over 10 minutes to get from the 800 To Go sign to the finish line. The sun came out for the first time as I wobbled into The Mall and, when I saw the shadow of my upper body tilted over at an angle of more than 10°, I was reminded starkly of the last three hours of my M70 WR 118 miles in 24 hours in Hull in 1997. I knew that I was now severely hypoglycaemic.

There was a medal for me at the finish, but there were no Goody Bags or ex-British Rail sandwiches left. I only got a T-shirt to add to the previous 19 in my collection - yes, in 1981 I had bought one in Greenwich on the Saturday! - because, while I was downing the four soluble glucose tablets I'd ordered, one St John's man told another in my hearing that he'd almost forgotten "to go and get a finishers' shirt this year, but luckily there were three left".

In the 18 previous years of running London, I had no idea how different and difficult a day it is for those at the back. I bet Alan Storey doesn't know, either!

And Dave Walker? I have sometimes finished a few minutes ahead of him, at other times he has had the edge. This year it was my turn. He and his first-time marathoner daughter finished in 6:21, all of 4 minutes behind me. Oh!

The 2001 London

An Inactive Eight Months. By midsummer I was experiencing constant pain in my right knee when running, which £500 worth of physiotherapy in the autumn didn't alleviate all that much. My total training and racing distance run in 2000 was 396 miles. And when I sent in to London my Guaranteed Entry form in January, I was not running at all, just waiting and hoping for my poorly knee to get better by itself. Against "Best Marathon" I had filled in 2:57 and against "Estimated Time" 6:08, which was based on a combination of alternately shuffling a 10-minute mile and than walking an 18-minute one.

A Ray of Hope ... On March 1st, I managed to cover 4 miles on my training circuit in 39:57 without any walking at all. The following day it was 38:55, then 37:50 and eventually 33:56 at the beginning of April. Then, in my first completed race since London '00, I had run 42:07 over the hilly Roundhay 5 course in the Spring Handicap. In just over five weeks of proper training, every session a fast-as-I-could-go 4 miles, my resting pulse rate was down eight beats per minute and I was running a minute a mile faster. So now my London time would not start with a 6, a 5 or, possibly, not even with a 4. "I only had to finish", quote, but 3:59:59 - equivalent to an Open Class 2:51 - would be an extremely satisfying added bonus (as well as scoring another point in favour of my hypothesis in the current Quality versus Quantity debate!).

... but Then Dimmed. With just 9 days to go, I encountered another hazard : I developed plantar fasciitis in my left foot (to complement the now-diagnosed "thinning of the articular cartilage" behind my right knee cap). I dismissed as irrelevant the fact that the long, slow distance training session I had undertaken the previous day had been cutting the grass for the first time this year!

Unfortunately the dreaded PF showed its hand on Good Friday, physio Maureen was not to be back at work until Easter Tuesday and I knew from previous encounters with it that plantar fasciitis is the injury she has least confidence in treating. Even so, she saw me on that Tuesday and after I had completed my last carbounloading session last Thursday.
To the great surprise of both of us it didn't hurt at all on Friday. Even so, though my foot felt a bit cramped when I had fixed it, I decided to follow her recommendation of putting a heel-raise in the shoe. My reasoning was that I know that a toe-nail grows back eventually - a year for a big toe, a few weeks for the littlest ones - whereas plantar fasciitis can be a right pain for six months.

London Twenty O One. Despite thus missing 4 training days, my resting heart rate having regressed 4 beats per minute and the time round my 4-mile circuit up by over a minute, I still set my heart rate monitor for Sunday to 139/144 to get me round in the 3:59:59. "Berlin Or Bust", as we used to say!

I was more careful this time, though, not to pig myself when carboloading on the Thursday and the Friday. And I played extra safe by carrying round with me a bum-bag containing a dozen glucose tablets and two cut-up Power Bars.

I went through half-way in 2:00:49. With a south-east wind forecast which would help blow us home over the last 7 miles, a negative split and sub-4 hours was just about on, although both the left-side big toe and the right-side knee had been hurting since the first ½ mile.

I had not had any experience in my 20 Londons of running in a 32000 field at 4-hour pace, though, and I had not realised how narrow the roads are then relative to the number of runners. Such are the hazard-avoiding strategies we EverPresents have to adopt - "one strike and you're out" - that I slipped to 12-minute miles as an alternative to pushing, shoving, risking a fall and a DNF.

And then to walking to chat with an in-kit referee from New Zealand who was getting some abuse from the locals. After 3 miles of that, I suddenly realised that if we continued at that pace my time would start with a 5. So we jogged home, he in 4:56 - unaccountably he had stopped for a drink with less than 20 minutes to go and then for a wee, even though he was wearing regulation black shorts! - and I in 4:54 officially, but 4:53 on my watch 'cos I'd started right at the back of the Green Start.

In contrast to the humiliation of last year, I was not passed this time by either of the Save-The-Rhinoceros men. And, by a whole glorious minute, I finished ahead of Lady Ann Redgrave and her husband.

I had lost another couple of minutes in the closing miles when the big toe-nail gave notice by sending out sharp pulses of pain that it was breaking loose. I saw after the finish that the upper on my left shoe was, er, discoloured. When I got home to Peter's, I found that I had achieved a Personal Record : all five of my left foot toenails are now off or have begun their journey off. And I also learnt how soap, cold water and vigorous rubbing can remove a deep red stain from the forefoot of a racing sock in less than five minutes!

Job Done for Another Year. But the main objective of running the 2001 London Marathon, to retain my EverPresent status from 1981 by finishing this 21st running of it, had been achieved. While not in a respectable time, it will probably be not too far removed from the median finishing position, which used to be 3:35 in the early days of London but which has been 4:35 recently.

And I guess there won't have been many in front who had run as little as 174 miles in the 16 weeks since January 1st, 11 miles a week, with none of 47 training sessions lasting as long as 40 minutes.

Pity I didn't run the 2:51 equivalent, though.

PS I now have the list of finishers of this year's race as published in The Times. The stats are:

  1. There were 30139 finishers, the last in at 9:19:40.
  2. I was shocked to see that Roy was 30138th, but on closer inspection the runner's name was R.Fletcher!
  3. At the sharp end, just over 3%, 1027 in all, were sub-3 hours finishers. Without looking it up, I believe that is a dozen or so fewer than the previous lowest ever. In the first year, 1981, 1294 ran sub-3 which, out of c. 6500 finishers, was 20% of the total.
  4. The median 15069th finishing time was 4:23:17 so, over 6000 places behind that, I was well into the slower half with my official 4:54:10.
  5. Within a few either way, there were 80 per minute crossing the line at 3 hours, 250 at 4 hours, 150 at 5 hours and still 45/minute at 6 hours. There were even 28 who clocked 6:17 and change : I'm sure it wasn't as crowded as that when I made my lonely way down the Mall last year.
  6. There are 9 finishing funnels nowadays. Indeed, the whole Ballot system for getting a bib-number to run in the London Marathon is based on restricting the peak number of finishers per minute at any time to a prospective maximum of 350, i.e. 40 per funnel per 60 seconds. Which is why there is the question on the Application Form, with the letter to be put in the box on the outside, so that the "Sorry!" booklet can be sent to the Rejecteds without the London staff having to open the envelopes.
  7. The need for this forward planning of the Finishing Area became apparent in that very first race. Chris Brasher, no less, had found himself at the end of a 15-yard queue before he could cross the line into the then single funnel for his 2:56:56! The following year there were three funnels, then six and now nine from the days when there were well over 300 a minute finishing in the 3:50 to 4:10 range.

Leeds marathon

5 Steve Thirkell 2:44.46

23 Alan Hutchinson 2:57.56

45 Ian Place 3:10.19

55 Eric Cusack 3:13.18

69 Dave Milner (CA) 3:19.38

178 Bob Wilkes 3:51.45

318 finished

Steve Thirkell, now wearing a Bingley vest was detached from the leading group but came through well in the second half for a reliable 5th place and 2nd M40. Alan slowed on the 2nd lap but still broke 3 hours. Although he was 23rd overall he was only 10th M40. Ian came past Eric at the 22 mile mark - Eric's lack of long distance training showing but also showing promise for the world vets at Brisbane in July (we'll be thinking of you,Eric!). Ian was 4th M50 and Eric 7th M50. It was only 4 weeks after Dave's last marathon at London - a more even pace but a much harder route, he said. Bob finished 4th V60

The Leeds Marathon – Hutch’s experience!

I intended this to be my highlight marathon of the season having failed to be accepted for the London event. So I started training at the same time as I would for London giving myself an extra 5 weeks. I managed an average of 53 miles a week since Christmas putting in the usual mixture of speed sessions, steady runs and the long run at weekends. However I lacked races with only the Brass Monkey Half, the club handicap and Rombalds Stride during my training. I dieted well and got my weight to 11 stone (70kg). Alarmingly I suffered a hip injury on Monday before the race, then some backache but by Sunday all this had cleared up.

On the day I planned to run at 6.30 minute mile pace for the first half hoping to keep something in reserve for the second lap. I was worried about the effect the hills would have particularly second time around and the effect of the weather if it was like the previous weekend.

It started pleasantly but not as hot, although after two miles I started to feel the effect of the sun just as we started up the Meanwood Road 3 mile climb. Throughout the first half I maintained my 6.30 average going through the half way stage on the Headrow in 1.25. I did not feel the usual spring in my step that I usually get from marathon races, and at 14 miles as I rounded the bend on to Meanwood Road ready for the climb again, my thighs tightened up painfully, and I felt I would lock up with cramp at any moment. My pace slowed although the encouragement from my family who were supporting at the 16 mile mark and again from Harry, Paul F. and Gary at 17 miles certainly helped me up the hill. Their advice to relax must have had an effect as I felt better for the downhill to Smithy Mills. The runners were spread out fairly well – I could see a string of 7 along the Ring Road and I managed to catch one at 19 miles. However by 22 miles I knew I was slowing and despite efforts from Steve O’ and Keith Clud. to spur me on two runners overtook me on the Kirkstall Road.

I had dreaded the long boring run along Kirkstall Road on the second lap but Steve O’ kept me company on his bike giving words of encouragement and advice as well as much needed drinks. As we passed the fire station I asked anxiously if there was anyone behind me. I didn’t like his answer "there are 6 behind you and 3 are closing at 50 metres". A lot of strict talking from Steve and I think I increased my pace by a minuscule amount. The long haul up the Headrow dragged on and the gap had closed to 10 metres when Steve peeled off on his bike yelling "You’ll never forgive yourself if you let them beat you in the last quarter of a mile". He was right – I dug in finding something extra and raced round the corner into Cookridge Street and yet another 100 metres to the finish banner. I had done it – they came in moments behind me slapping me on the back and saying they had been chasing me for miles. Meanwhile I vowed no more marathons - this was agony.

My time was not what I had wanted (perhaps 2.50 for Leeds was too ambitious) but I was pleased with my position of 23rd in 2.57.56 and it was great to see from Bob’s notes that we were second team. Congratulations to all the other Striders in the marathon and the half and particularly to Mick Wrench who is just getting faster and faster. What do you eat Mick?

For me the training starts again in August ready for the New York marathon! So much for the vow.

Leeds half marathon

11 Mick Wrench 75.25

19 Steve Webb 77.17

34 Roy Flesher 81.28

87 Bob Jackson 86.42

134 Rob Liddle 89.37

141 Tracey Morris 90.03

174 Paul White 91.12

182 Mark Bean 91.34

234 Tony Haygarth 94.21

238 Yvonne Bissitt 94.28

344 Alistair Fale 98.06

360 Bob Wilyman 98.49

376 David Cusack 99.30

474 Carmel Barker 102.49

552 Vadim Kouznetsov 105.06

563 Mike Brown 105.20

668 Penny Sanders 108.01

833 Sara Dyer 111.37

867 Peter Cox 112.30

947 Brendan Kitson 113.57

1037 John Sutcliffe 116.06

1060 Danny Burnham 116.42

1716 finished

Mick Wrench had a brilliant run to lead the Striders home, achieving a PB and this only 4 days after his 5th place in the Otley 10. Mick, Steve and Roy were second-placed team after Rothwell Harriers. Tracey Morris, running in Adams colours, but now planning to join Striders, was leading the wimmins race until the last 3 miles but then struggled but still achieved 4th place in an excellent time. Paul White was aiming for 90 mins but his 91:12 was still a P.B. (if 3 places higher he'd have been in the top 10%). Mark Bean also had a good run - the Tuesday training is working. Yvonne appears for two races a year - this and the Great North Run - and despite race nerves (you'd have thought she'd have cured this by now) ran well for 2nd W45. Alistair, running for the first time in a Striders vest (mine! - ed), was just ahead of 1st V60 Ron Hill.

Thirsk 10

11 Mick Wrench 55.34

19 Paul Briscoe 57.31

60 Roy Flesher 61.37

82 Eric Cusack 63.42

100 Bob Jackson 65.15

167 Paul White 68.53

216 Nicola Wilde 71.30

263 Bob Wilkes 73.33

337 Mike Brown 77.13

Mick gained a PB by 1 minute and a prize as 10th finisher (one was a late entry). Paul was 4th M40 but won 3rd M40 prize as one of the M40's was in the top 10. Nicola was 7th W40 but won the 3rd prize because most of the W35s were slower. Very confusing!

Otley Chevin Fell Race

On short notice "the committee" (me and Geoff) decided this would also be in the Grand Prix. Everyone on the e-mail distribution list was notified as were some of the "regular" fell runners. But the Spiders seem to have temporarily forgotten the attraction of walking up a steep hill and hurtling down again without a parachute - Steve Webo was our only entry and won the 100 points.

Positions after 15 events to 5 June

8 races - Bob J 769; 7 races - Tony H 653; 6 races - Paul W 551, Bob Wilkes 543

5 races - Jerry 496, Paul B 496, Steve W 494, Mick W 494, Roy 491, Hutch 479

4 races - Eric 382, Lisa 378, Geoff 351, Mike B 342

41 more Striders are on the scoresheet!

If you're looking for a likely winner, choose anyone from that cluster of 6 Striders on 5 paces - they look poised to strike in the second half of the season.

Full Event List

With so many events being cancelled this is not looking so good - we may have to have a re-think if we can't find enough fell, trail and long races

Key S = short road M = medium road L = long road

H = handicap X = cross country T = trail F = fell

Tue 26 Dec T Chevin Chase

Sun 31 Dec H Winter Handicap 5

Sun 14 Jan X W Yorks XC Otley

Sun 28 Jan M Brass Monkey half

Sun 4 Feb S Dewsbury 10k

Sun 8 Mar L Spen20 CANC(note 1)

Sun 25 Mar M Ackworth ½ mar

Tue 3 Apr H Spring Hcap 10k

Sun 15 Apr T Guiseley Gallop

Sun 22 Apr L London Marathon

Tue 8 May F JBloor POST(note 2)

Sun 20 May L Leeds marathon

Sun 20 May M Leeds ½ marathon

Sun 3 Jun M Thirsk 10

Tue 5 Jun F Otley fell(note 4)

Sun 24 Jun T Hwood Chase CANC(1)

Tue 3 Jul H Summer Hcap 5¼ (3)

Tue 17 Jul F Dick Hudson CANC(4)

Sun 22 Jul M Eccup 10 CANC(5)

Sun 29 Jul F Holme Moss 16 ????Sun 29 Jul S Harrogate 10k

Wed 15 Aug M Mileta 10 (note 5)Tue 28 Aug H Autumn Hcap 10k

Sun 9 Sep F Yorkshireman trail Marathon

Tue 11 Sep F Jack Bloor (note 2)Sun 23 Sep L Manchester mar (5)

Sun 30 Sep L Nott mar NOT GP (5)

Sat 20 Oct X W Yorks xc Pudsey

Sun 21 Oct S Bradford 10k

Sun 28 Oct L Holmfirth 15

Sun 4 Nov X W Yorks xc Leeds(6)

Sun ?? Nov T Meltham Cop Hill trail 7

Sat 24 Nov X W Yorks xc Spen

Sun 2 Dec S Abbey Dash 10k


  1. We still need to find other races to replace these
  2. Jack Bloor fell race postponed from 8 May to 11 Sep
  3. Summer H'cap will be 5¼ miles - Southern lap of Harewood trail
  4. Otley fell added to replace Dick Hudson
  5. Mileta 10 added to replace Eccup 10
  6. Nottingham not in GP (30 Sep clashes with Harewood Trail)
  7. Leeds x c to be organised by Valley Striders & Horsforth H

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.

For those who only run road, to get your 5 categories you need to run at least one trail or fell or x-c race - the Harewood Chase seemed your best bet but is off! There will also be a special prize for 6 out of the 14 road races. For those who only run off-road, you will get 4 categories by running x-c races, fell races, trail races and the trail handicap. You will therefore need at least one road race to get your 5th.


Please carry identification when out running on your own

Serious section.

Another Strider posted me a cutting from Athletics Weekly.

"Steve Cram's brother, Kevin Cram, was found dead in a Cardiff gutter by a passing motorist. It is thought he collapsed and died from a heart attack during a run. The 39 year old had been out running and had no identification. As he lived alone, he had not been reported missing and it was 36 hours before his identity was known"

Can I suggest that you all carry identification, together with any medical information, when out running on your own.

Northern 6-stage (wimmin's) relays at S. Leeds

(from Kathy Kaiser)

Saturday April 7th, saw six Valley Striders wimmin at South Leeds Stadium, ready, willing and able to take part in the Ladies Northern Six Stage Relay, held at the same time as the men's twelve stage relays, for the first time. So being held in Leeds and organised by Leeds City, we felt it was a must for us to enter.

Our team consisted of 1st leg: Lisa Wilyman, 2nd leg: Penny Sanders, 3rd leg: Natalie White, 4th leg Madeleine Watson, 5th leg: Sylvia Watson, 6th leg: Kathy Kaiser.

The course was basically one lap of the South Leeds Stadium 5miles. Starting on the track, out onto the road upwards and into the park, up, up and more up to the top, then down, down and more down back to the stadium and the changeover, so as you can see an easy course!!!

We were all really nervous at the thought of competing in a relay with top quality clubs and very worried about being at the back of the field. With plenty of spirit (not the alcoholic type) and plenty of hard work we finished a very commendable 15th out of 24 teams. The main thing was we all enjoyed it, perhaps we could try some more relays? It was a great experience competing with the likes of Sale Harriers and Salford Harriers.

So a special THANK YOU to all the team for their brilliant performance. And I hope they all enjoyed a good day out.

Remember, teamwork is all about helping each other out, so no matter what your ability is, we all have a roll to play We've all got individual goals to aim for but don't forget sometimes your team or club needs you.

Happy Running,

Kathy XX

Identify the Strider - Answers

Strider VLS00002 is Geoff Webster

Strider VLS00014 is Keith Cluderay

Shakespeare marathon

George Dawson finished 203rd and 4th over-60 in 4:01:09. He then decided that 3 weeks was not enough recovery before Leeds, so his 100th marathon is "on hold" until later in the year - Manchester in September if he's fit, otherwise Benidorm in November.

Wakefield 10k

55 Roy Flesher 36:08 M45 4th

63 Neil Dutton 36:33

112 Bob Jackson 38:13 M50 15th

161 Eric Cusack 39:54 M50 19th

176 Ian Place 40:29 M50 22nd

779 ran

Otley 10

5 Mick Wrench 56.34

71 Mark Bean 70.54

169 Sara Dyer 85.34

181 John Sutcliffe 88.54

214 ran

Yorkshire Vets 5k Success!

We have two Yorkshire Vets 5k champions from race at Esholt. Let Kathy tell you about the race and also the series:

John Carr Esholt race series (from Kathy Kaiser)

The above series is three 5k races, held in May on Wednesday evenings.

It is really a game of two halves ( I've definitely been watching too much football ) meaning the first race incorporates the Yorkshire Vets 5k Championship, and the other two complete the series.

We had 5 Striders racing in the first race :

Mick and myself completed all three races:

Neil Dutton ran one race - the second - and finished in 17min 18sec

They are great races ( too short and fast really ) run on almost traffic free roads, starting on Settlement Tank Road ( very inspirational ) but you soon run through the water authority grounds, a quick turnround and finally back through Esholt village into the cricket ground and the finish. (and a Mars bar!)

I had better mention my dearly beloved also ran, and he won our little battle, he beat me in two out of the three races. Ken ran in after me on the first race in a time of 19min 52secs, but had the better of me over the next two, in a cumulative time of 59min 12 secs. Well done Ken.

NB Results from the web-site (from Bob)

Overall Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Total

Mick Wrench M 18 16:05 14 15:49 12 15:50 10 47:44

Ken Kaiser M50 116 19:52 104 19:38 98 19:42 54 59:12

Kathy Kaiser F45 113 19:45 119 20:13 102 19:50 57 59:48

All three had a consistent series, each with their fastest and slowest separated by no more than 20 seconds. Note that Mick ran the 3rd race just 3 days after the Leeds half!

Sheffield Marathon (from Bob Jackson)

"Preparation, hesitation, perspiration and so near to congratulation"

I was pleased with my preparation for the Sheffield marathon. I had had 7 or 8 long runs of 17-22 miles since Christmas, had run the Striders Tuesday session every week and had put in at least one other decent session every week. 3 weeks earlier I had run 38:13 at Wakefield an AG 78.6% which was my all-time AG highest percentage (and worth 1.5% more than my 36:08 10k PB), and 2 weeks previous to that I had a ½ marathon AG best (77.7%) of 84:51 at Ackworth.

But I was hesitant. I'd heard of Sheffield's hills. The course was 60% flatter whatever that meant - the profile still showed a lot of ups and downs. I looked at the route on my OS map and spotted all the spoil heaps from the disused coal mines. It wasn't going to be scenic. I'd not particularly enjoyed running 2 laps at Leeds. This course was 2 laps out and back - you had to pass the spoil heaps 4 times.

Training in the last 3 weeks had been mixed. I still did the Striders sessions but 2½ weeks before the race I did 23½ miles ... the day after the Striders 5 by 1 mile ... and suffered! Niels told me about a taper plan recommended by his Danish club trainer: Sunday 6*1km reps, Tuesday 4*1km, Thursday 2*1km, Friday 1*1km all with 2km warm-up warm down. I had done the Sunday and Tuesday sessions by the time I met Niels after London and he said he had had pain in his thigh muscles just after half-way but wasn't sure what had caused this. (He'd still run 1:30 first half, 1:33 second which looked good to me). So I still did the Thursday and Friday sessions as instructed. There was more hesitation when I looked out at 6a.m. Sunday to see it pouring with rain. But the weather forecast was that it would clear slowly ... and it did seem to get brighter as I drove down the M1.

The Don Valley stadium facilities were brilliant. A huge car park less than 5 minutes walk, all the changing rooms were open, well-marked boxes to place "special drinks" (I had Lucozade sachets for 7, 13 and 20 and Maxim gel for 20), no queues for the loos an hour before the start (with 20 mins to go the queues were less than 5 minutes), well organised baggage deposit (using the indoor track area), and a gentle jog round the track to warm up. And it had stopped raining!

I know that I don't do enough mileage for marathons (no need for Jones or Briscoe to enter the discussion here) so doubling the half marathon time and adding 5% (2:58:30) wasn't on, but 3:05 was a possibility - I would set off at 7:05 pace (3:06) and see how it went. (I had told everyone I was aiming for 3:10!)

I saw Mike Brown at the start (I couldn't miss him - he is 6" taller than most runners) and we wished each other luck. I chatted to race number 616 at the start - he'd entered on the day. So I guessed there would be 500 in the marathon and I'd been told 1500 in the half - we were outnumbered 3 to 1! Marathon runners had numbers front and back - when we settled down after a couple of miles there seemed nearly as many full as half around me so with luck there would be some company in the second half.

With so many runners about, the first few miles passed quite quickly and I didn't look too much at the scenery. At 1½ miles I did notice the 24/7 sauna and massage - could be useful on the second lap! One or two mile markers seemed to be out of place but I was just ahead of 7-minute mile pace - a little too fast. Coming up to the turn at 7 miles there was the leading bunch to watch on their way back. At about 7½ I spotted Bob Wilkes coming the other way - I called to him but he probably couldn't see me as the sun was in his eyes. Mike was a hundred yards or so behind Bob.

(Bob e-mailed me later to say "I did turn to see you fading into the distance. Brave of you to do the full one. I thought the new route was an improvement on previous one for having a steady run. I was pleased with my 98.45 achieved through 7½ mins consistent pace as training for Leeds full. It took me 30secs to get through the start. I saw Mick Brown and we exchanged grunts.")

I reached 10 miles in 69:14 - still a bit too fast and then I think I made my next mistake. There weren't too many coming past me but I expect that quite a few half-marathoners were making their final effort and I should have let a lot more go past. I reached half way in 90:06 - 1½ minutes ahead of 7's and even kept this pace up till 15. (At 14½ I went past the sauna and massage but it was closed - made a note to write to the Trades Descriptions about its 24/7 sign). At 15 I saw Mike again as he went through 12½.

But now with fewer runners about, the stretches that were uphill and/or into the wind became harder and I slowed on these. It was now that I saw the surroundings - the industrial estates, car marts and slag heaps. But there was one benefit of the two lap out and back course - the four or so groups of 30 to 50 people on route were there to cheer us on 4 times! There were only 4 actual drinks stations but this gave us 11 watering points (I'll not spend a paragraph explaining the mathematics of this) and at these there were always plenty of people with water and sponges. At 13 and 20 I called out my race number and they found the sachets on the table for me.

At 16 someone told me I was 51st. I was in a little group - I went to 50, to 49, back to 50, and then lost count! At 19 I thought I recognised the face of the runner coming towards me in 6th place at the 22 mile mark. It was Steve Thirkell - but in a Bingley vest. At the final turn, at 20½, although there was my Maxim gel, I really only needed water - it had got quite warm - and I took water (and sponges) for the rest of the race. The leading lady, Ruth Whitehead of Bingley, came flying past me at 22 (I had overtaken her at 14) but only 3 or 4 others did and I overtook more than that. Mike and I gave each other encouragement when I was at 22½ and he at 18½.

I had still been on 7's (i.e. heading for 3:03½) at 20miles but the final 10k took 48½ minutes and I finished in 3:08:11. There was a great cheer from the spectators in the stands as I came into the stadium and onto the track ... but this was for some junior boys and girls running relays up and down the 100 metres track.

Steve was waiting at the finish and pointed me at the drinks. He had finished 5th overall in 2:42 but was waiting to find out his position in the vets and in the Yorkshire championship (he finished 3rd in both - an excellent result). He was "looking forward" to next year when he moved up to 50. My heart sank!

I went back towards the changing rooms. The girl had my bag in her hand before I got there. There was plenty of room in the changing rooms (the half marathoners had gone home) and the showers were fully working. I had my bananas, the rest of my drink, and went outside to watch some more runners come in. The junior relays were keeping the crowd entertained while the marathon runners came in 3 or 4 per minute. I went to find where the results were being printed and invested 10p for the first 100 marathon runners. 46th Bob Jackson Valley Striders 3:08:11 M50/4. I looked for M50/3 - he was 3:00:14 - I don't think I could have done that.

Mike hadn't come in yet and I was ready to go. But just as I was leaving I saw him coming round the edge of the stadium. I called to him as he overtook the runner ahead. And I waited for him and after he had crossed the line, pointed him at the drinks, then picked up his bag. As I left for the second time, I chatted to two parents and two 10 year old sprinters - their school had come second in the relays and they were really pleased!

I rang the marathon office the next day. "Thanks for a well-organised race. Can you tell me how many M50 prizes?" ... "Three" ... "I'll have to run faster next year!"

The results came through 2 days later and confirmed my position. There had been 345 finishers of whom all bar one had finished under 5 hours so it is not recommended for Sir Steve Redgrave. There were only 27 runners in 4:30-5:00, but there were 88 in 4:00-4:30 so it would be a good marathon for anyone with a sub 1:55 hour half marathon time and some training. There were 1777 finishers in the half marathon.

I ran Nottingham last year in 3:09:56, but due to the large field and narrow start it had taken 8:44 for the first mile. So I'd run the same time for the last 25 miles of these two races. Sheffield was harder, but I was fitter. I think I was just over-optimistic in the first half. I usually rest for 4 or even 5 days before a marathon (cries of shock/horror but it works - it gets me really keen to run in the race). But for a scientific experiment you should only change one variable at a time so for the Leeds half I'll try to run a steady pace but use Niels' taper plan again. Then on to Potteries in June but I must remember to make allowances for the course and the weather when deciding my target - it's never a race for good times. And to Manchester or Nottingham in the Autumn - if I can keep my fitness I'm sure there could be a 3:05 (or faster) there.

Full marathon

5 Steve Thirkell 2:42:15 M40-49 3rd out of 96

46 Bob Jackson 3:08:11 M50-59 4th out of 39

274 Mike Brown 4:13:20 M40-49 84th out of 96

345 finished

Half marathon

394 Bob Wilkes 1:38:49 M60+ 7th out of 48

1777 finished

Note how similar race numbers were to the Leeds events. Ian (4th M50 at Leeds in 3:10) and I chose the wrong marathons - at Blackpool the 2nd M50 ran 3:13!

York "Race for Life" (not the Leeds Marathon) (Paul Briscoe)

Whilst many Striders were busy either running or watching the Leeds ½ and full marathons, I was at York racecourse watching a far more significant event - my wife Jo taking part in her first ever race! It was the 5K Race for Life in aid of Imperial Cancer Research. Jo had always vowed that she would never take up running but ultimately succumbed when agreeing to take part in this event with colleagues from work. She followed an 8 week training plan prepared by Runners World, starting with 1 min running, alternating with 1 min walking. As the weeks went by, the proportion of running increased and the rest decreased.

I can report that there were a few moments of despair along the way (especially in the second and third weeks) but Jo persevered and started to amaze herself by being able to keep going! She took the event itself in her stride - even the obligatory aerobics routine before the start (should we include one for the trail race?)! Nearly 3000 participants and a narrow start made for difficult running and I think many found the racecourse hard going. But Jo has been undaunted by the experience and has vowed to continue doing her 3 miles three times per week - she has admitted to almost enjoying it, has lost weight and has even noticed that her resting pulse rate has dropped from the 80’s to the 60’s. The only problem has been that her calves have grown too big for most of her trousers!

Sorry there's no Coach's Column (from Max) (e-mail on June 1st)

I'm down in Chesham for the duration of the Election, busy delivering leaflets on behalf of the Lib Dem candidate in Aylesbury, i.e. son Peter. There's a lot to do and only 6 days to do it in - another batch of leaflets came from the printers today - so I'm not going to be able to write a Coach's Column for you for the next VS Newsletter.

As it so happens, however, just 5 minutes after I arrived here yesterday John Keston rang, bubbling over with his news of his latest race (33:57 for 5miles) since breaking his leg and then his ankle. So I suggested to John that VS readers would be interested in a "Letter from America" giving that info and with a summary of the race itself, his feelings after losing 2 years' worth of competition, his recent training methods, looking forward to going for the M75 record, etc, etc. see page 27

8th June: Results from Aylesbury: D Liddington (Con) 23230, P Jones (LD) 13221, K White (Lab) 11388, J Harper (UK Ind) 1248

(e-mail 11 June) John has sent me the results of his races last weekend (see page 29). The classy performance is the 10k, 'cos it's 94.76% Age-Graded when interpolating between the 76 and 77 age lines in the Tables for John being 76.5 years young. Not only is that (probably) the thick end of 10 percentage points quicker than any of us Leeds-based Striders have achieved this year, it's worth 28:28 for Open Class 20-29 year olds. It's also almost exactly the same AG% as John achieved when he got the 3:00:58 M70 marathon WR in 1996 and it would translate to a late fall/autumn marathon time this year of 3:14:58 to compare favourably with Warren Utes' existing M75-79 WR of 3:18.


International Reports

Rotorua Marathon (from Jane Sutton)

Hiya everybody, this will be my last news piece from New Zealand as I will be leaving, very reluctantly, on 28th June to return to the UK.

In the last newsletter I told you I was planning to do the Rotorua Marathon – even though it is officially described as ‘challenging’, it is NZ’s most popular, as it is set around the lake and offers wonderful views. Initially I was undecided about running this marathon as my priority was to clock an official sub 3.15 so that I could gain automatic entry to London marathon next year and I didn’t think a hilly marathon was an ideal choice. However, having decided to give it my best shot I trained well for 3 months and was averaging around 50 miles a week with plenty of long runs, including a few over two and a half hours and many of 90 minutes. I emailed Kathy Kaiser for some top tips and Paul Furness has been a great ‘coach’ but both of them advised plenty of speed work, which I completely accept is a crucial element of training, but one which I couldn’t motivate myself to carry out on my own without club support. Instead I concentrated on longer runs and hoped the triathlons I’d been doing would help count towards speed work.

I tapered down 2 weeks before the marathon and at that point felt in great shape – I had lost weight, felt very fit and raring to go, completely injury free. As I cut down the miles, however, I began to feel I’d lost my edge and this was compounded when I caught a virus and didn’t run for 4 days. A couple of days before the race I went to a charity do raising money for young NZ sportspeople and dozens of NZ’s finest athletes were there. Paul’s boss had operated on many and introduced me to Rod Dixon (former New York winner), who told me to add 10 –15 % of my predicted time onto the marathon to account for the hills. This seemed way too excessive to me and I then chatted to Alison Roe, (former Boston marathon winner and record holder) who advised me to add 10 –15 minutes on to my time. Everybody made the same point, to start slowly and steadily. Alison was sympathetic regarding my preoccupation with having put on weight and losing my mean edge since tapering and told me she had shut herself in her hotel room for 3 days before the Boston marathon, feeling exactly like this, and had then gone out to win and run a PB. She added that she thought many female marathon runners are too obsessed with how much they weigh and that she advised having a bit of meat on you to work off on the run!

My family and I drove down to Rotorua the night before the race, along with Cat, my friend from Sydney, and her family. The pre-race preparations went without a hitch and as I lined up on the front line, I felt confident and excited. Cat was aiming for an identical time to me, a sub 3.15, being realistic (with secret aims of a 3.09). In contrast to me, Cat had been personally to see Arthur Lydiard, who had given her a copy of his training schedule, which she had followed to the letter. There was great mutual, friendly competition between us so when over the first few kms, Cat pulled away, I had to force myself to hold back and let her go. It’s very hard to let someone of a very similar ability out of your sight, but I didn’t want to set off too fast.

I passed the 10k mark in 43:58 minutes, the half marathon point in 1:35 and shortly after, spotted Cat in front of me, flagging after a long hard hill. As I passed her she tried to stick with me but I didn’t see her again. I was running smoothly, strongly and with huge enjoyment, feeling fully confident. At 32km my time was 2:25 and I was imagining all sorts of marvellous finishing times. It was just after this that I started to feel tired and by 34km I was concentrating hard, trying to maintain an even pace but finding this increasingly difficult as I became more fatigued. The last few km were awful, I was trying so hard, desperately working out the maths in my head at each km marker to see if I was going to make sub 3.15, knowing that I was slowing down at each step. As I neared the finish I spotted a friend, Helen, who I know from local 10k races – she ran a 37-minute 10k just before the marathon and I was surprised to find myself right behind her. As I came to the home straight I heard the man on the tannoy count me in and I gritted my teeth and sprinted for all I was worth, passing Helen and another female, to finish in 3:15 and 9 seconds. I was gutted! I know it’s a cliché, but so near and yet so far!

Shortly after finishing I heard the news that Cat had pulled out after the 30km mark as her legs had packed up and she was unable to muster the energy to continue. I felt desperately sorry for her as she had trained so hard, but it made me realise what a tough course it was. I had very sore thighs at the front and couldn’t lift my legs to walk properly or go up and down stairs for days after, which suggests the hills had taken their toll. The good news was I came 4th in my age group (35-40) and 12th overall – there were a few ex-Olympians in the first few placings so I was pleased with this result but still very unhappy to have missed the sub 3:15 barrier. I am positive I can run faster on a flatter course and have pencilled in Dublin at the end of October. Anybody else fancy it?

I’m looking forward to catching up with you all again and especially doing the Leeds Country Way. See you early July!

Injury and Recovery in the USA (John Keston)

I've had three devastating injuries to my left leg from late October 1997 to December 1999. A broken left great trocanta requiring pin plate and screws Oct 1997, then a broken fibula January 1999 then in Oct 1999 running through the woods in Sunriver Oregon I stubbed the great toe of the same leg on a protruding chunk of lava rock tearing the ligaments and muscles; this took longer to heal than the broken fibula.

So for two years my training was limited, mainly to recovery jogs and walks. This year I was resolved to formulate a training regimen that might help me get back to some kind of elite 75-79 age group form. During the recovery periods after each injury I noticed that the walks, however long, did not stress the muscles and recovery sped along rapidly so that in each of the injury years I was able to race but not anywhere as fast as I wished.

Patiently I persevered with the regimen not running more than 25 miles and walking about 15, in any week. Mostly my weekly total was below 40 miles and quite often sub 30. During this extended period I experimented with different training methods to stay injury free and get ample rest so that the musculature of both legs might get strong and that they might not be compromised while working them hard.

Beginning in March of this year I devised a training formula that is working very well for me. I was aware that weight lifters methods of building muscle is; not to work the same muscles every day but to work them hard every third day. This way they gain muscle and while we runners do not want to get bulky, neither do we want in our old age to lose muscle. I felt that prior to my injuries, loss of muscle had been happening to me by over training. I thought that if I did as the weight lifters, I might again be able to produce some good times for my age group.

The regimen that has produced the following race times is: Walk six miles, broken into an AM and PM session for two days in a row and then to run the third day for two hours or a little more, during which, after four or five miles at a slow pace I kick in a twenty minute tempo at 10K race pace (if I feel up to it) and then slow down to 8:30 pace to finish the training session, covering from fourteen to eighteen miles. This method gives me about 60 miles a week with far less stress than running every day.

It is producing excellent racing times for me. Since Max told you of my 8K 33:57:44 I have run a 10K road race in 43:20. Had this been on track I would have set a new American single age record, the old mark is 43:54. In fact this week-end I am" going to run 10,000 at the famous Hayward Field in Eugene Oregon, the "Hayward Master's Classic" meet. I'm also going to run the age graded mile, 1500, 3000 and 5000 over two days. So I'll try for some single age records for seventy six years.

I've included all my race times for this year and as you will see I have got progressively faster, which I attribute to my new training.


Jan 7 2001 10K (Forest Grove,OR) 10K 47:41 7.41

Jan 28 Dam Run 10K (Princeville,OR) 10K 44:49 7.13

Feb 4 Zena Rd. 15K (Salem,OR) 15K 72:05 7.45

Mar 4 Napa Valley (CA) 5K 23:22 7.32

Mar 18 Shamrock Run (Portland,OR) 5K 22:02 7.06

Mar 18 Shamrock Run (Portland,OR) 8K 38:12 7.38

Apr 1 Spring Splash (Salem,OR) 8K 35:24 7.08

Apr 8 Bridge to Bridge (Portland,OR) 8K 34:32 6.56

Apr 14 Great Arbor Day (Salem,OR) 8Kxc 36:04 7.15

Apr 22 Race for Roses (Portland,OR) 5K 21:54 7.04

May 6 Lilac Bloomsday (Spokane,WA) 12K 54:00 7.14

May 20 Iris Festival (Salem,OR) 10M 71:38 7.10

May 26 OR Sr. Olympics (Silverton) 5M 33:58 6.47

May 26 OR Sr. Olympics (Silverton) 800m 3:00.9 6.02

May 26 OR Sr. Olympics (Silverton) 1500m 6:03 6.29

Jun 2 Dustin's Run (McMinnville,OR) 10K 43:20 6.59


World Records in the USA (John Keston e-mail 12 June)

I ran on the 9th and 10th of June at the Hayward Classic in Eugene Oregon. It is one of the premier Master's Meets in the US. Hayward Field is a splendid facility and conducive to good performances. The order is as below:

Jun 9 8:30AM 10000m 41:59.06 M75-79WR (previous 42:04)

Jun 9 10:30AM Mile 6:27.81 M76 single age WR

Jun 9 3:00PM 3000m 12:22.88 M76 single age WR

Jun 10 . 5000m 21:05

Jun 10 1500m 5:54.5

(from Bob) John might have also had a single age WR in the 5000 had his lap counter not told him to run an extra lap. A sprint on the last proper lap might have taken off the 6 secs necessary to beat the existing record of 20:59. See page 25 for Max's comments.

News from Copenhagen (6 April, from Niels Laustsen)

Yesterday I learned that Britt & I were successful in buying a terraced house in Bagsværd (a northern suburb of Copenhagen, somewhat similar to Roundhay/Oakwood - except that there are no open fields with cows and sheep across the ring road!) We are, of course, looking forward to have our own home - although buying a house in (or near) Copenhagen is a pretty expensive affair. (Well, London is much worse - but people working in London are also paid much better than me.)

As you know, there are only slightly more than two weeks left before London Marathon, so I am busy with my final preparations. Last Sunday I ran my final race before London: an off-road ½-marathon organised by the running club which Britt's parents are members of. I ran in 1:25:22 and, although it is not particularly fast, I was definitely pleased with that because it was a very tough course: lots of hills (small compared to Yorkshire, but many of them!), lots of mud, and generally difficult terrain with roots, stones, holes and other things to be careful not to stumble over - the worst thing would be to strain an ankle just 3 weeks before London! The winner was nearly 5 minutes in front of me; for most of the race I was in 2nd position, but in the end I was beaten by a second and to finish 3rd. Of course this mainly indicates that the field was not very strong - the Danish 10k championships took place at the same time and just 25 miles away, and the best orienteers were racing at a big international meeting near Copenhagen. All in all, I was very pleased with this final test before London. I feel my fitness has improved quite a bit since I joined my new club with an excellent (and paid!) coach and quality training sessions 3 times a week. At the moment, I am eagerly practising my marathon pace; it feels very easy, so I cannot think of any good excuse for not breaking the 3 hours!

Two of my club mates are in Morocco this week running the so-called Marathon des Sables, which is 243km long, goes straight through the desert, and consists of 6 stages ranging from just over 20km (a 1/2-marathon) to 82km (nearly twice a full marathon). One of my club mates dehydrated on the 2nd day and had to be taken to hospital by helicopter, but the other one is in top 20 - and has survived the 82km. I am **not** planning to do this next year (or any other year, for that matter).

105th Boston Marathon - no tea party (from Roy Flesher)

First you have to qualify by meeting designated time standards (not too challenging at 3:10), at a certified marathon, in the previous year. Then you have to get a flight (Easter weekend) and find a hotel room (Boston is full on marathon day). But without doubt it is the chance of a lifetime and worth the effort.

From 1897-1968 the race was held on April 19th, Patriots' Day, a holiday in Massachusetts to commemorate the start of the Revolutionary War. In 1969 the holiday was moved to the third Monday in April so if anyone fancies the trip you can work out future race dates easily.

Regular readers will have read of the American marathon experience in these columns - but Boston is special. The whole state seems to make the race the centre of the holiday and police estimate up to a million people line the route. Many TV stations compete for best coverage (live at 5.00a.m. for a 12.00 start!), big screens in the city centre enable spectators to watch broadcasts, two companies putting the race 'live' on the net by monitoring your progress via shoe chips and you could stop at one of the several booths en route to post messages. Transportation to the Sport and Fitness Expo, number pick-up and on the day of the race was smooth and plentiful - huge but hassle-free.

15,000 lined up at the start having been transported out to Hopkinton far too early in my view but there was a fully-equipped athletics village to relax and prepare in. A point-to-point course and the Stars and Stripes at the starting line stretched to the west - headwind, not too bad, but experienced participants were quick to point it out. Quite a narrow, downhill start but smooth from strictly controlled corrals of 1,000 runners each. You rapidly pass towns of Ashland, Framingham and Natrick with many spectators then able to catch trains into Boston for the finish. Between miles 12 and 13 is Wellesley School - an all female school - this section is called "Screech Tunnel" because of the loud vocal support from the students. Then you head for the hills. Get some good miles in early was the advice and that was my tactic - just over 2 hours at 30k having done regular 20 minute 5k blocks. The five mile stretch from mile 16-21 has four hills in it (and no downs to speak of) culminating with the mile-long Heartbreak Hill - aptly named and with a hospital tent at the top. From 22 miles on it is flat or downhill if you have anything left. Huge crowds spur you on and at one mile to go you pass Fenway Park where the Red Sox vs New York Yankees baseball game is timed to finish as the leaders arrive, adding 30,000 fans to the crowd.

I finished in 2:58:15 not able to claw back time lost on the hills but within my 3 hour target. Temperature was about 60oF at the end and I had sunburnt shoulders to prove it - other than that no real distress and it felt good to be back. Lee Bong-Ju of Korea won in 2:09:43, further evidence of a tough course but breaking a run of ten straight Kenyan victories.

After a couple of hours in bed - a touch of heat stroke I think - it was out on the town and what a party atmosphere it was. The Red Sox had beaten the Yankees which is like Leeds beating Manchester United, apparently; the bars and restaurants were packed with many showing video playbacks of the race and a medal round your neck meant a warm welcome.

A total experience for anyone who fancies a big-city foreign marathon. Boston itself is a fine place to visit and explore, compact and with plenty of shopping and, unusually for the U.S., a real history. One thing missing - the limo and a trio of beauties; I must ask Peter Lambert what his secret is! Awesome! Go runners!

Quer durch den Rotthauser Busch (15k) (from Ingo Zoller)

"How not to try to win a race"

Interesting question. You would expect that not knowing about the race until late Friday afternoon would certainly help in not being fit enough on Sunday morning. Nor should a hard training run on Friday evening help matters much. And being just in time for registration for the race shouldn't be too helpful either. To make matters worse, over 160 runners lined up on the starting line, and set off like being chased by the devil himself. And after 5k I even got a stitch in the side, which certainly terminated all chances of winning anything in a race like this. At least in the UK it probably would. Still, I recovered, and finished the race in a reasonably good time, and found myself in 13th position overall (out of 159 finishers, but don't ask me how I managed to end up that high in the field!). Knowing the age structure of German long distance running I knew there was a chance of me finishing just inside the top 3 in the M30 age group (30 to 34), since most good runners are already in M35 or M40. But never did I expect the speaker to announce as winner of the M30 age group: winner in 57:12: Ingo Zoller, Valley Striders! Now I know the feeling of being on top of the podium, and, what should I say, I've now got the taste for it!

Strider Success at Gersprenzlauf ½ marathon (from Ingo)

Just to keep you informed about the Strider successes on the continent ... I ran a low-key half-marathon (Gersprenzlauf, named after a local creek) yesterday, as a last test before racing Würzburg Marathon (May 20th). Since the regional 10k road running championships happened to be on the same day and even the same location the field for the half marathon was not very strong. Most good runners preferred a start in the championship race. I wasn't eligible, since I am neither living here for long enough nor registered for a local club. So I enjoyed a good, hard, but not too hard run over 13.1M. After 2M it was already clear that the race would have a runaway-winner, he eventually won in 1:15 (too fast for me), but that there could be a fight for 2nd. I was comfortably in 7th position here, but decided to run steady until about half-way, and then speed up to make my way on to the podium. At half-way I was up to 4th already, and catching! In the end I had a comfortable run for about 12.5M, by now already in 2nd position(!), and a hard 0.6M to finally drop the last opponent, thus securing not only an age group victory, but also a 2nd place overall! I now have a trophy for my nonexisting trophy cabinet. :-)

Stop Press Ingo ran 2:59 in the Würzburg marathon - report in next V S News

Spiders News

Again, due to the lack of fell races we have two reports from the same series of races:

Ron Uphill (a.k.a S.Webb) does not Report from The Fells

Even less to report than last time unfortunately. At the time of writing Tony Blair (hon. president of the Islington balsamic vinegar and fell running club) has declared that the foot and mouth crisis is over. In reality of course the situation in the Yorkshire Dales is worse than ever with a series of new outbreaks around Settle and Malham threatening to sweep across Ribblesdale and into Wharfedale. Unfortunately MAFF policy in every circumstance appears to require the massacre of all hill sheep. If these four legged residents of the fells and custodians of the landscape do disappear then we can look forward to future fell races requiring compulsory equipment comprising cagoule, emergency food, compass, kevlar gaiters and machete. The last two items will be needed to hack our way through invasive bracken, bramble, gorse and miscellaneous scrub as our wonderful and unique fells revert to grotty uncontrollable bush.

As mentioned last time the post Easter 'Bunny Run' series of short evening races was relocated from Harden Moor to the grounds of Cliffe Castle in Keighley. The initiative of Dave and Eileen Woodhead in providing these off road races was rewarded with an average attendance of 200 competitors, including a high proportion of ladies and juniors. The lung bursting 2 lap course was billed as 3 miles with 500 feet of climb, and included a challenging mixture of grass, mud and tarmac paths. Geoff and Sylvia and Steve and Sara all ran at three of the four individual races. Sylvia was equal first FV50 in the series and the others collected various quantities of chocolate eggs to reward running speed or pot luck. At the relay event this foursome was joined by Lisa. The ladies team of three placed 74th and won Easter eggs for being 8th ladies team. Meanwhile Geoff and Steve teamed up with Kath Drake in a Spen Valley (or was it Valleyborough?) team which was 27th overall and 3rd mixed team. With 93 teams running in total it all made for a great spectacle, albeit a slightly chaotic one.

The Bunnny Runs (from Geoff)

In the absence of any real fell running, Dave and Eileen Woodhead came to the rescue of suffering addicts by rearranging the Bunny series from the moors near Haworth to the urban setting of Cliffe Castle Park in the centre of Keighley. It may not have been wild terrain but it did have a big hill which seemed considerably bigger on the second lap.

All finishers received a Cadbury's Creme egg to revive themselves with. Those who ran fast enough to get into the top ten or win an age category were presented with a huge amount of Easter eggs.

During the course of the series Sylvia ran in three of the four events and won a large Easter egg each time and received further goodies for being the winner of her category for the series. Steve Webb also won some chocolate for figuring prominently in the men's section. G.W. got nowt but the standard prize.

Sara was lucky enough to get a spot prize large egg and went on to win another in the fifth event which was the relay race. The V.S. wimin's team, running as "Eggsonlegs" was sixth; the team's other two members were Sylvia and Lisa. Lisa got them off to a good start and got round the one lap course in a little over 12 minutes but she had to wait for her prize for further 90 mins (while the results were calculated, not while waiting for Sara and Sylvia, ed). This made a pretty long day for the early-rising postwummin.

The V.S. men's team wasn't so lucky firstly because Mick Wrench didn't turn up to run because he'd been out disco-dancing all night and had a little too much pop to drink - sleeping under a hedge bottom is not good preparation for a race! Mick's substitute was Kath Drake and so this turned the men's team into a mixed team. Alas this led to a second whammy because although the team finished third they were overlooked at the prize-giving and their eggs went to Skipton Juniors mixed team. Juniors should not have access to chocolate at sporting events. The V.S. solicitor is looking into the matter.

Fell Championship Positions (from Geoff)

The dearth of fell running means that there has not been much progress in the Championship. However, a meeting of the fell committee decided to include the Guiseley Gallop in the Championship. This means that 3 Peaks (cancelled) specialist Paul and cap'n Bob Jackson have both scored some points.

Points so far: S Webo 222 G Webo 210 Sylvia 170 Sara 120 Eric 92

Hutch 54 Paul B 54 Bob J 52 Ian P 50 Tony H 48 Madeleine 42 Lisa 34

Not the Three Peaks 2001! - (From Paul Briscoe)

It has become a bit of a tradition in recent years for me to write a report on the Three Peaks race. Of course, it didn’t actually take place this year due to Foot & Mouth…. But we can’t let tradition be broken by such inconveniences!

In this column last year I was puzzling over my complete loss of form in recent times - from ’95 - ’97, I placed in the top 5 in the Peaks for three successive years, each time getting well inside the 3hrs 10min elite standard. After April ’97, things went downhill fast and I ran some 10-12mins slower in the ’98, ’99 and 2000 Three Peaks. My times for cross-country races were also 2-3 mins slower than I would have expected. What had gone wrong? Was it age catching up with me or was it simply a bad run of form? Thankfully, I can report that it appears to have been mostly the latter, as my speed has now largely returned.

The period to last spring seemed to be punctuated by a whole series of training interruptions due to injury or illness. However, after last year’s Peaks I managed to keep training throughout the summer and my form gradually improved. There were promising signs in the Harewood Chase 10K, where I was 1st Vet. and in the Harewood 10 mile trail race, where I was 4th overall (and 3rd Vet.!). However, it was once the cross-country season arrived that I really started to feel like my old self again. I was back up in the teens again in the West Yorkshire League (rather than the 30’s or 40’s of recent times) and had a clean sweep of 4 wins in the Vets category. I ran especially well in a quagmire at Bodington to finish 24th overall and 1st Vet. in the Yorkshire Championships - however, unlike the ladies, I was denied a winner’s medal because there was supposed to be a separate Vets. Championship in early March…….! I also had my best run for some years in the Northern Counties at Witton Park, Blackburn - the closest cross-country ever gets to fell running!

In late January, I started my build up for the Peaks, full of confidence that I could achieve my ambition of winning the Vets title - after all, my previous best performances in the race had all come after a similarly good cross-country season. I started to feel the benefit of the extra training by mid February but didn’t ease down for the National at Durham, intending to save my best for the Yorkshire Vets the following week. Despite tired legs, I still achieved my best ever placing in the National (190th) but was then unable to contest the Yorkshire Vets when Foot & Mouth closed the venue with days to go. Of course, things went from bad to worse very quickly after that.

To say that I was disappointed was an understatement…. I’m sure that I don’t have to tell all you Vets in the Striders that you become very aware of the advancing years and your loss of speed - I really believed I was in the form to win the Vets titles in both the Yorkshire’s and the Three Peaks and it will undoubtedly be harder next year - even if I can stay fit. I haven’t, though, allowed my fitness to go completely to waste. I made the "mistake" of contesting my first Striders handicap on the road for many years in March - I don’t run on the road very often due to long-standing back problems. The mistake, though, was that I clearly hadn’t fully recovered from a flu’ type bug…… although I also considered lodging a stewards’ inquiry into the handicapping scandal (only kidding Bob)!!!! Normal service was resumed at the Guiseley Gallop, run over a largely cross-country course in Nunroyd Park. There I was 6th overall in a strong field and 1st Vet, gaining revenge over Bob Duncan, the winner of last year’s Harewood Trail Race. I also came very close to beating Paul Sheard, but he unfortunately saw me coming with about 300yds to go and used his afterburners to avoid humiliation!

The last few months with Foot & Mouth have been frustrating for all of us, all the more so for knowing that, as MAFF are now acknowledging, many of the footpath closures have been unnecessary. On the positive side, I think the most pleasurable aspect of the winter has been the renaissance of the Striders men as a competitive force - in the West Yorkshire X-country league we generally had 3 inside the top 30 and most of our counters in the top 100. We also had a huge contingent at the National. Can we do even better next year? - let’s have a go!

For me the plan for the next few months has to be to try and stay relatively fit so that I can be competitive again next winter….. and hopefully finally have a shot at that elusive Three Peaks Vets title (Foot & Mouth willing!).


Briscoe’s Brewery 2nd Annual "Breeze" Race, Otley (28/4/01) - From Paul Briscoe

This race report should probably be in the Spiders section as it can lay claim to being the first true fell race to take place in Yorkshire since the Foot & Mouth restrictions came into force! The race celebrates the anniversary of the brewery’s move to its new home at the Bowling Green Public House in Otley.

Around 30 souls, some brave, some foolhardy, took up the challenge of running from the town straight up the Chevin to Surprise View to collect an empty beer "glass" (plastic, of course!), before running back down again to finish at the pub. Arriving at the bar, they were presented with a beer which they were required to drink to finish the race (spillages incurred time penalties)! Men had to drink a pint of Briscoe’s fine ale whilst the ladies were given the option of a pint or a half. This year the organisers had enlisted the assistance of the Lambert race consultancy service to help with results but trying to provide "split" times for the run and beer drinking phases proved fraught with difficulty!

Runaway winner for the 2nd successive year was Rob Hope (P&B), who completed the run in a staggering 11.05, although his lead was reduced slightly by the chasing pack of Simon Stainer and Graham Patten (both Ambleside) during the drinking phase! Finishing his pint in around 6 seconds, Steve Bottomley (also P&B) moved smartly up to 4th overall. A certain Ron Uphill (Striders) was also handily placed amongst the Pudsey drinking stalwarts. The ladies race proved more contentious as Shane Green’s wife Pange (P&B) won on account of choosing to drink a half, thus overtaking Kate Boobyer and Heather Dawe who both drank pints! Although Pange kept her "star prize" of a night plus dinner for 2 at a luxury B&B, she agreed to a drink off to determine who won the "Green" (one of Shane’s artistic masterpieces). Having recovered her breath, Heather (unattached but soon to be part of the Bowling Green beer race team) downed her pint in just 5 seconds, the fastest time of the day!

Many prizes of beer and T shirts were presented and a good time was had by all - as far as your reporter can remember!

Forthcoming Event - Danefield Relay (from Steve)

The Danefield Relay is on the first Wednesday evening in July (4th), and is well worth running. We had three teams last year. If anybody is interested in running then can they please contact me so I can co-ordinate teams. (I note that like last year this falls on the day after the club handicap, so we are handicapping ourselves!)

Entries are £4.50 on the night per team of three. It only remains to emphasise how enjoyable an event this is.

Forthcoming Events

Grand Prix 2001 (Jon 01756-700820) - see page 16

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

Jul 8th Pudsey 10k

Aug 8th Hyde Park 5k, 15th Mileta 10 (GP), 22nd Denby Dale 10k

Sep 9th Netherthong 10k, 9th Kirkstall 10k, 23rd Templenewsam 10k,

30th Pete Atkinson South Leeds 5

Oct 7th Horsforth 10k, 21st Batley 10k, 21st Bradford 10k (GP)

28th Holmfirth 15 (GP)

Nov 18th Roundhay 5

Dec 2nd Abbey Dash 10k (GP), 23rd Denby Dale 6, 30th Hot Toddy @Todmorden

Postponements/cancellations: Harewood Chase, Eccup 3-day

Other races (not in West Yorks)

Jul 29 th Harrogate 10k (GP) Aug 25 th Burnsall 10

Sep 16th Great North Run (entries closed), 23rd Manchester mar (GP)

Nov 4th Guy Fawkes 10 at Ripley (NB same day as W.Yorks x-c organised by V.Striders)

World Veterans' Marathon

Jul 14th 06:00 Brisbane Australia - good luck to Eric

Electronic Striders:

The e-mail distribution list is now 53 addresses / 60 Striders. These Electronic Striders are receiving mini-newsletters every 2 or 3 weeks so if you're on e-mail but not on my distribution list, don't be shy, e-mail me now!