October 2001

2001 Issue 4

In This Issue


























Valley Striders News 2001 has performed like a poorly-prepared marathon runner. Aiming at a target of 5 issues a year, it got to 3 in early June but then hit the wall. Whether it reaches the finishing line remains to be seen (is there any equivalent of Maxim for typist's finger?); in the meantime there is plenty of news to catch up on, but first details of some ...

Forthcoming Events

The ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING will be at Leo's on Tuesday 30th October. I would like to say that this has been carefully planned on the 5th Tuesday of a month so as not to upset the regular Tuesday training schedules, but in fact the delay has been due to time spent on other matters. The A.G.M. will start at 8.15pm prompt-ish.

The CROSS-COUNTRY SEASON is now upon us. The first West Yorkshire race is Saturday 20 October but by the time you read this it will be too late to enter - sorry! But you will still be able to get in 3 W.Y. races for the £3 entry fee. Full details of the Cross Country calendar on page 32.

The 2ND W. YORKS X-COUNTRY will be hosted by Valley Striders at Leo's on Sunday 4th November. For this, we are assuming that the regular x-c runners will turn up earlier to set out the course, but we will need about 10 or 12 more volunteers please for marshalling duties. The races run from 12:00 to 3:30 but even if you can only spare an hour, please contact Paul Briscoe!

The CHRISTMAS MEAL will be on Friday 21st December at Leo's - arrive around 7:30 p.m. to eat at 8 p.m. There will be a buffet meal - we have made a request for even more vegetables and pasta than last year. This will be followed by presentations of various awards, then finally a little drinking and possibly a little dancing to MC Steve O'Callaghan and his CD collection. Price is a bargain £8, partners are made very welcome but are not compulsory, booking in advance (well before 21st Dec, please) to Steve.

Please read on for more Important News continuing on pages 2 and 3

NB The Index to this edition of VS News is on Page 4

More Forthcoming Events

We have 4 mixed terrain relays to plan for

CALDERDALE WAY RELAY on 9th December - at the time of writing this race is definitely ON. We are intending to enter two teams of twelve as usual - a mixed team and a mens' team - so we need 18 men and 6 wimmin. If you are interested, contact Geoff, Sylvia or Paul Furness ASAP. If we are oversubscribed we might make up a third team! NB recceing is essential on this route

Harrogate Ringway Relay on 6th January 2002. This is a more social event involving clubs from Harrogate and the surrounding areas. Teams of five runners are required, the length of legs varies from 2½ miles to 5 miles for a total of 21 miles. We entered this for the first time in January 2001 and had three teams. Can we get 4 or 5 teams this year? If you are interested, contact Bob.

Bradford Millennium Way on 30th June 2002. This is a brand new event organised by St Bede's AC following the new Bradford Millennium Way, a circuit of approximately 45 miles. It will start (and finish!) at Bingley and will take in Ilkley Moor and Haworth Moor and also some canal towpath sections in case you were worried it was all up and down. It doesn't go anywhere near or around Bradford - the nearest point is Shipley Glen. Teams will be of 5 or 6 pairs - still to be decided. Watch this space!

Leeds Country Way on 1st September 2002 - no excuse for not preparing - all (or nearly all) the footpaths are now open although some are very overgrown.

Now let's look back briefly on some ...


Recent highlights

The Meanwood Trail Race was a great success - 267 finishers and over £500 raised for Lineham Farm Children's Centre (and nearly £100 for Valley Striders club funds). Paul Briscoe was 1st vet. More on page 8

In the World Veterans' Athletics Championships, Eric Cusack came home from Brisbane with a gold medal as the third counter for the British team in the M50 marathon. Read Eric's report on page 14.

The Harewood Trail Race was also a great success - 462 finishers in the 10 mile race and 125 finishers in the junior race / fun run. These numbers were up from 423/53 last year in spite of several other local races on the same day. Paul Briscoe was 1st vet and Terry Bean 3rd vet. There were 45 Striders and 25 Leonards on various duties and over £2000 has been raised for St. Leonard's Hospice. Thanks to everyone - again there is a bottle of Briscoe's for every marshal - well deserved - so come down on a Tuesday to collect. Report in next VS News.

On Tuesday 28 August, we had a special guest from Scotland. Honorary member and presenter of the Horsforth Trophy for best Striders marathon performance each year, Janet Kitchen, came to visit us. She presented us with the archives of the Horsforth marathon and half-marathon from the early and mid 1980's; we presented her with her Striders membership card and a bottle of Briscoe's. Three previous winners (Kathy, Max and Paul), and the current holder (Alan) of the Horsforth Trophy were in attendance. We spent a little time browsing through all the photos, but will arrange a proper session for the middle of winter when we need cheering up after a chilly training evening. We have already seen pictures of Martyn Hopson with a moustache, Tony Haygarth with hair, and Steve O'Callaghan as thin as Keith Cluderay is today. What more delights will we find with an hour or more to spend?



Subs for the Striders year September 2001 to August 2002 are / will be £8 if paid by 30th November (£12 thereafter). For new members joining during next year , the rate is £1 per month or £8 whichever is the lesser. For social and non-competitive members see below to find out how you can pay £2 less. Cheques, payable to Valley Striders, should be sent to Danny Burnham (address on back page).

(the small print - these rates are officially subject to ratification at the A.G.M.)


We have received our North of England Athletic Association membership cards. If you've been at the Club recently you should have been given yours already, otherwise it should be contained with your Newsletter. You will need your registration number (VLS and 5 digits) on some race entry forms to be able to claim the £1 off for affiliated runners. Also you can use your card as proof of club membership to claim discount in some sports shops (see more on page 5)

If you don't receive your Card, it could be because you are social member with the Striders or no longer a competitive race runner, in which case we have not registered you with the NoEAA. If this is the case, you can claim £2 off your Striders membership fee when you renew. If you receive a card but no longer want to run any races, pay the full membership this year, but let us know and your discount will start next year.


Training Sessions


New Members

We have eight new members since the last Newsletter - Jayne Rodgers, Bill Murphy, Rob Bumstead, Henry Lang, Drew Taylor, Dave Milner, Tina Pennock and Claire Taylor.

Most of them get a mention elsewhere in the newsletter, having already run club handicaps or other races. All of them are younger than your Newsletter Editor - I will have to republish the age-bands table that was in the April VS News. Many of them are faster - notably Rob and Drew who were both in the top 50 in the Meanwood Trail Race. I managed to beat Henry in the Leeds half marathon but I'm not sure I fancy my chances next time he puts pen to entry form and foot to start line. Bill is a Thursday regular; he is also at Leo's on Tuesdays but is rugby training not running! Dave is first claim with Chapel Allerton but runs regularly on Sundays with us - it didn't need much persuasion to get some money from him. Jayne, Tina and Claire are all internet surfers who found the Virtual Striders on the website, came on a Tuesday to see the real Club and stayed. All three have been running frequently on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays. I have shown them our membership list with lots of other wimmin members. To prove I've not made up the names, could a few more of you come along to Tuesday or Thursday training please.

Of these, 6 signed up prior to September and are included in our initial batch of NoEAA registrations and are also included in the following statistics which seem to indicate a pleasing continuing upwards trend in numbers








Start of year





















End of year (paid up)








In the next 3 months we have one of each of the 5's between 35 and 55 and a 65 too. Those that will become the youngest in their age-groups are:

Tina Pennock (35 in October), Jayne Rodgers (40,Dec), Teena Colebrook (45,Dec),

Steve O'Callaghan (50,Nov), George Kendrew (55,Oct), Ron Pannell (65,Nov)

Congratulations to all of you from the rest of us who are just getting more wrinkly in our current age-groups!

Commonwealth Games

Paul White has reminded me that tickets are now on sale for the Commonwealth Games which takes place in Manchester from 25th July to 4th August next year. The marathons are on Sunday 28th and the athletics events are from Friday 26th to Wednesday 31st. It would be a blue moon if there was a Striders excursion, but maybe you will want to go in groups, if so, get your Electronic Strider to sign on to


Identify the Striders

These were so popular so here's another couple for you. Answers on page 31.

Number & Name




Year and Reason Started Running

Summer 1984 - school x-c champion aged 15, gave it up to play football, then bitten by early 80's London marathon bug.

Date Joined Striders






  • 5 Mile


Thorner Fun Run, Leeds

August, 1991

  • 10K


Abbey Dash, Leeds

December 1990

  • 10 Mile


Tom Scott 10, Glasgow

February 1991

  • Half Marathon



October 1989

  • Marathon



April 1990


  • Winner of Thorner Fun Run (only race I have ever won)
  • Beating Veronique Marot at Leeds Half (when I caught her up at the 11 mile mark she informed me that she was only out for a slow run)
  • Overtaking Tony Haygarth in last 400 metres at York Half In 1991


Never beaten Eric Cusack over the marathon distance (but I will one day)


To run another sub 3 hour marathon before I get too old

Avge Weekly Mileage


Favourite Pre-Race Meal

Spag bol & garlic bread

Favourite Race

4th leg of Leeds Country Way (Thornbury - Golden Acre)


Never ask Keith Cluderay a question on cars or planes during a long Sunday run (only kidding Keith)


Dressing up in ladies clothes


Having to give the clothes back to the ladies

Other interest

Watching/supporting Wigton Moor Juniors football team (son Alex was top scorer last season)

Number & Name



53. d.o.b. 23-10-1947 (but not Tony Haygarth)

Year and Reason Started Running

1984. March 28th. Locked keys in vehicle. Ran home 1½ miles for spare set. (Just thought I would like to have a go at this jogging craze)

Date Joined Striders






  • 10K



Ossett (unofficial course)

Clitheroe 10k



  • 10 Mile



Tadcaster 10

Reebok 10


  • Half Marathon


York ½


  • 20 Mile


East Hull


  • Marathon





Valley Striders team winners Yorks Marathon champs 1994

GB team gold medal V50 marathon Brisbane 2001

Have run about 100 marathons


Never broke 2:40 for Leeds marathon. Or 1 hour for Otley 10. Or won the lottery jackpot.


To die when I am fit and healthy

Avge Weekly Mileage

Last year 12; first 6 months this year 24; this week 47

Favourite Training Run

Home (Guiseley) - Apperley Bridge - Leeds/Liverpool Canal - Bingley - Swine Lane - Dick Hudson's - Hawksworth - Home (about 21½miles)

Favourite Pre-Race Meal

Pasta & salad. Bread & butter pudding & custard.

Favourite Race

The human race! (and any marathon!)


Vary training runs. Think positive


Real ale. A good joke. Sunshine


Smoking. Cold damp weather.

Other Interests

Travel. Walking. Caravan and camping


Meanwood Valley Trail

The Trail Race was a great success. I must have received 15 or more appreciative comments at the end of the race, ALL of whom said "great course" AND "well marshalled", so thanks to everyone who turned out.

Special thanks to

If you never got round to claiming your bottle of Briscoe's, it's too late for the Meanwood Meander but I do have some bottles of Harewood Hops so you can still make your claim!

Race results: 375 entries, 267 finishers, won by Shaun Winstanley of Harrogate in 41:30, 1st vet PAUL BRISCOE in 5th place 44:10, 1st lady Lisa Mawer of Bingley (15th) 47:02, 1st LV Sarah Rowell (21st) 47:49, last place 101:55.

Financial results: £552 collected for Lineham Farm. (NB 90 entries from March did not turn up on the day and their entire entry fee was donated to Lineham Farm). £78 profit for Valley Striders

What do you think about when the race should be run next year? The provisional date is 23rd March. If we want to keep it within the Airedale Triple Trail Series it needs to be 23rd March or 13 April or 20 April. (Guiseley Gallop is normally on Easter Sunday which will be 31st March and the Baildon Boundary Way will be 7 April) It could be summer again but it does mean that we have fewer Striders available to marshal because of holidays. Let me know what you think!



For discussion at the AGM. I will bring along sketches of the various designs that have been submitted. Interestingly all are black and white although this was not a constraint that was placed on the design. Come along with your ideas!

Shirts and Socks Inventory

The current record claim is "over 100" race T-shirts. The man who made this claim is a joiner by trade so presumably he has built himself some extra wardrobe space! GW's socks record was reduced when a bagful went in the LCC green recycling bin this week!


Grand Prix 2001 Results & Race Reports

London Marathon (from Niels Laustsen)

My coach could not give me any good explanation of my problems - all he could say was that clearly the problem had been there when I started. He suggested that either I had overtrained (which I am quite sure is not the case) or I had done something too strenuous for my thighs in the very last few days before the marathon. My conclusions at this stage are: 1. I need to experiment with the taper - more rest is probably required! 2. I should include some more long runs before my next marathon. Incidentally, I have more or less decided that the next one will be on 14th October in Odense, Denmark; this race includes the Danish championships, so a strong field is expected. The drawback is that the weather can be really unpleasant at that time of the year.

Summer Handicap

The Summer Handicap has, since its inception in 1992, been run at least partly off road. This year we tried a new route - the Southern loop of the Harewood Trail Race i.e. a lap of Eccup Reservoir but also taking in the Leeds Country Way to Emmerdale. Although this is nearly all off road, all the footpaths are in good condition, particularly in the Summer. Knowing this, Paul White was persuaded to come out for his first trail race.

Fin Name Watch Hand Act G.P

Pos Time icap Time Pts

1 Mark Bean 39.40 7.00 32.40 95

2 Henry Lang 40.15 8.15 32.00 96

3 Geoff Webster 40.58 5.15 35.43 86

4 Dick Dale 41.41 5.45 35.56 84

5 Roy Flesher 42.02 11.15 30.47 97

6 Ian Place 42.18 9.00 33.18 92

7 Jon Willingham 42.20 11.45 30.35 98

8 Mick Wrench 42.28 14.45 27.43 100

9 Chris Kaye 42.36 9.15 33.21 91

10 John Hallas 42.47 9.00 33.47 90

11 Rob Bumstead 42.54 9.45 33.09 93

12 Paul White 43.04 7.15 35.49 85

13 Lisa Wilyman 43.15 8.15 35.00 88

14 Keith Cluderay 43.19 8.15 35.04 87

15 Mike Brown 43.40 6.00 37.40 81

16 Paul Briscoe 43.46 14.30 29.16 99

17 Mick Loftus 43.58 11.00 32.58 94

18 Bob Jackson 44.01 9.45 34.16 89

19 Danny Burnham 44.13 3.30 40.43 79

20 Peter Cox 44.16 3.00 41.16 78

21 Simon Fox 44.22 8.15 36.07 83

22 Kathy Kaiser 44.57 8.30 36.27 82

23 Carole Schofield 48.23 8.00 40.23 80

The winner was Mark Bean - a well-deserved result considering his improvement in form over the last 12 months. Mark was ½min ahead of new member Henry who was ½min ahead of old member Geoff. These three were well clear of the chasing horde.

Fastest time was Mick Wrench who secured 100 Grand Prix points. Mick was 1½ mins clear of fell specialist Paul Briscoe (terrain too easy and course too short for Paul).

New names in the results are Henry Lang who started with us 4 weeks previously, Rob Bumstead who had run the Meanwood Trail Race the previous Saturday and Simon Fox who had contacted me on the Sunday. All three appear to be good assets for the Striders - and will also bring the average age of club members down by a few months!

Harrogate 10k

17 Mick Wrench 34.20

24 Terry Bean 34.57

62 Neil Dutton 36.58

77 Roy Flesher 37.47

140 Alan Hutchinson 39.52

154 Bob Jackson 40.30

171 John Hallas 41.05

230 Lisa Wilyman 42.42

244 Tony Haygarth 43.06

254 Paul White 43.17

317 Bob Wilkes 44.21

399 Peter Lambert 46.09

600 Natalie White 50.50

Sorry, no report, Striders too busy at end of race handing out Harewood Trail Race entry forms to all finishers.

Mileta 10

10 Paul Webster 60.45

12 Steve Thirkell 60.57

48 Bob Jackson 68.08

68 John Hallas 70.47

107 Bob Wilkes 77.48

I thought I was safe for 100 points until I spotted the spectre of Paul Webster coming towards me just before the start. Paul had not been seen since the cross-country season and neither had his vest which was still showing some mud splash marks - you should try a different powder, Paul. Despite the extra weight (of the mud), Paul stayed ahead of marathon man Steve. I stayed ahead of John, but Bob didn't stay ahead of the thunderstorm that started just as I got in - Bob finished looking as though he'd just done the swimming leg of a triathlon.

Autumn Handicap

Fin Name Watch Hand Act G.P

Pos Time icap Time Pts

1 Tony Haygarth 49.21 8.15 41.06 89

2 Mick Loftus 49.41 12.00 37.41 96

3 Paul White 49.44 7.45 41.59 85

4 John Hallas 49.47 10.00 39.47 92

5 Eric Cusack 49.48 10.30 39.18 94

6 Roy Flesher 50.02 12.45 37.17 97

7 Bob Wilkes 50.43 5.45 44.58 80

8 Bob Jackson 50.53 10.30 40.23 90

9 Mick Wrench 50.55 17.00 33.55 100

10 Ken Kaiser 51.04 10.00 41.04

11 Andrew Cutts 51.07 9.45 41.22

12 Kathy Kaiser 51.10 9.15 41.55 86

13 Dick Dale 51.20 6.30 44.50 81

14 Steve Webb 51.24 16.15 35.09 99

15 Mark Bean 51.30 12.45 38.45 95

16 George Little 51.35 11.15 40.20 91

17 Rob Bumstead 51.43 12.15 39.28 93

18 Paul Furness 52.07 10.30 41.37 87

19 Peter Lambert 52.42 8.00 44.42 82

20 Rob Liddle 53.09 12.00 41.09 88

21 Jerry Watson 53.12 16.15 36.57 98

22 David Cusack 53.52 7.30 46.22 78

23 Madeleine Watson 54.03 7.45 46.18 79

24 Keith Cluderay 54.16 12.00 42.16 84

25 Max Jones 54.32 4.30 50.02 76

26 Simon Fox 55.22 12.15 43.07 83

27 Sara Dyer 55.38 2.15 53.23 75

28 Claire Taylor 57.35 0.00 57.35 73

29 Tina Pennock 57.39 0.00 57.39 72

30 Steve O'Callaghan 58.40 9.45 48.55 77

31 John Whalley 60.04 5.15 54.49 74

I was unable to announce a new name on the John Umpleby Cup - I thought Tony Haygarth had won it before. It turned out he had won it twice before - in Summer 1988 (only the second time it had been raced) and in Spring 1998. I will obviously have to make another adjustment to the handicap calculator program. Note that unlike Brazil with the World Cup he doesn't get to keep it having won it 3 times. Mick Wrench also has his name on the Handicap Cup 3 times - Spring '94, Summer '96 and Summer '00 - (he's been keeping quiet about these!), but it should be said that Mick's name has only recently been engraved onto the J.U.Cup for his '96 run - the Summer Handicap winners used to receive a separate trophy as there was only space on the band to engrave 3 handicap winners per year.

We knew Mick Wrench's time of 33:55 was the fastest in recent memory (because we couldn't remember anyone who had run faster recently). But looking back through the records, we only had to go to Spring 1997 when Gary Shipley ran 33:32, prior to that, in Autumn 1993, John Convery ran 31:29 and in Spring 1992, Richard Butterfield ran 31:39.

There are some more new names in the results. Andrew Cutts lives on The Avenue but runs with Longwood Harriers (we hope to pinch him next year), and Claire Taylor and Tina Pennock enjoyed the run so much that they signed up with us a couple of weeks later!

The 31 finishers means we have averaged 27 finishers per race for the four handicaps this year - this is the best since 1992.

Briscoe's Fell Race

Since none of the fell race reporters were at the race, it is necessary for the chief (and only) race marshal, none other than your Newsletter Editor, to file the report.

There was a slight panic 20 minutes before the race because Dave and Eileen Woodhead, bringing the race numbers, had not yet turned up, but by official start time the field of about 25 was numbered, pinned and on the starting line, ready for off. There was a preponderance of vests coloured purple with a gold diagonal bar, and I learnt later that some in plain clothes were also Pudsey and Bramley members. There was a lone Otley AC vest and there were no Striders at all, so I quickly joined the supporters of Longwood Harriers (Andrew Cutts who is about to join us as second claim) and Leeds City (Andrew's son, Daniel).

Phil Sheard and Gary Devine took an early lead, and on the way back it was Phil with a 15 second lead from Gary which he held on to while drinking the pint of Briscoe's at the bar in the Bowling Green. Just behind first lady "Pange" was Andrew who finished in 6th place and claimed 1st vets prize. A couple of places back was Sarah Rowell, with blood on T-shirt and a hand which seemed bandaged in red - I later found out she was wearing a glove to grip the empty glass that all runners had to bring back from the summit. The blood was real, a trip had led to sprained ankle and a cut lip. Not far behind was Daniel, for first junior. He had to drink a pint of lemonade which was probably a harder task than beer.

Manchester Marathon

19 Steve Thirkell 161.42

53 Mick Wrench 171.54

96 Roy Flesher 179.57

105 Eric Cusack 180.48

147 Bob Jackson 186.29

167 Drew Taylor 189.28

187 Neil Dutton 191.38

393 Steve O'Callaghan213.53

515 Bob Wilkes 225.20

Congratulations to Steve T who was 2nd V45 in the National Vets Championships. The National Police Championships were also held within the race - congratulations to Steve O who was 2nd V45 and to Neil was 3rd counter for the West Yorks Police team that finished runners-up. (Former Strider Dick West was also in that West Yorks team)

Eric was just a few minutes off his Brisbane time (with reasonable excuse), his time just over 3 hours placed him 7th V50. Roy went past Eric in the last mile - he was almost spot on even pace having gone through half way in 1:29:30. This was an excellent achievement as the last 6 miles was into the wind and undulating with an uphill tendency. My split was 1:31 / 1:35 and only three went past me in the last 10 miles. Of course Steve O would say that neither Roy nor myself were trying hard enough in the first half.

Remaining Events 2001

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

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

Sat 20 Oct 13:50 X West Yorks xc PudseySun 28 Oct 10:30 L Holmfirth 15Sun 4 Nov 13:50 X West Yorks xc Leeds(6)

Sun 11 Nov 10:30 T Meltham Cop Hill trail 7m 900' £3 EOD

Sun 11 Nov 11:30 F Ilkley Fell 5mSat 24 Nov 13:50 X West Yorks xc SpenSun 25 Nov F Rivock Edge Hill Race 10m 1500' £3 EOD

Sun 2 Dec 09:30 S Abbey Dash 10k

Note more details of fell and trail races from Geoff (EOD = enter on day)

Note closing date for Abbey Dash is 9th November

Positions after 18 events to 23 September

Despite the lack of trail and fell races, most of the top runners in the list have managed to run a race from 5 categories. The committee will use their discretionary powers (whatever that means) when awarding prizes at the end of the season. The proposed approach is to deduct 5 points if a runner has only run in 4 categories, 10 if only run in 3 categories etc. The proposed penalty points are included below

43 more Striders are on the scoresheet!

The bookies have stopped taking bets now on the G.P. winner; the big question is whether Paul Briscoe will run enough races to overtake Roy for the vets first place.


First Events - 2002 Grand Prix

Wed 26 Dec F Chevin Chase

Sun 30 Dec 10:30 H Xmas Handicap 5 miles

Sat 12 Jan 13:50 X W Yorks xc Huddersfield

Sun ? Jan M Brass Monkey ½m

Sun ? Feb S Dewsbury 10k

Note Chevin Chase became full before the official closing date last year

Note Brass Monkey does not take entries on the day


London Marathon 2002

From the number of reminders that we've had, I think it's likely that we'll remember to put in for our Club entries for next year's "London". If you enter and get a rejection slip, then let Paul know and he will put you in our ballot which we normally draw at the Christmas Handicap (30th December). Note that priority will be given to Striders who also got a rejection last year, but if this is your first rejection, do not let this deter you, you may get a place, and if not, you will get priority next year.

N.B. Hopefully, those of you that have entered (the closing date was October 19th) will have read the small print about "easier" qualifying times for a guaranteed entry. These times are now 3:15 for M18-59, 3:31 for M60-64, 4:01 for M65-69, 3:45 for W18-49, 3:51 for W50-54, 4:13 for W55-59 etc. If you've missed London 2002, these are your targets for the Leeds Marathon 2002 to guarantee you an entry for London 2003!


World Veterans' Championships

Report from Eric Cusack

After a 21 hour delay at Heathrow and a typhoon in Hong Kong, Margaret and I were ready for a holiday!

We landed in Melbourne at 4:45am to be met by thick mist and drizzle. After collecting our hire car, we set off to my sister's house on the East side of the city. It was 19 years since I last saw my sister Elizabeth, so we had a good reunion and sightseeing stopover for the next 4 days. We then drove over to Margaret's cousins at Moe ninety miles from Melbourne. More sightseeing and a bit of training for the next 5 days.

On Thursday 12th July we flew up to Brisbane where we were met by my old friend and workmate Brian Spark who I had not seen for 29 years. I had to register for the marathon so we went over to the ANZ Stadium. The championships had started 8 days before, but I was quite surprised at the lack of organisation.

The next day was spent looking round the city and checking where the marathon starting area was. We were very impressed with Brisbane and the surrounding country. It is a lovely place, clean and modern.

On Saturday morning, I woke at 5am and set off across the William Jolly Bridge to the South Bank Parklands where the marathon started and finished. After the twenty minute walk I saw the crowds of people gathering in the early light of morning. Some runners did not know the start time had been rescheduled from to 6am to 6.30am (more bad organisation).

As the sun's rays lit up the tops of the skyscrapers at the other side of the river, the starting gun fired and we were off. A loop around the man-made beach and on to the boardwalk, through a bit more parkland and under the William Jolly Bridge where the local dossers were asleep in their pits. We ran down the riverbank for 5k and then a tight turn around a cone and back, unfortunately the two marshals stood talking had sent us the wrong way round the cone so a few hundred yards back up the path we had to cross through the path of the runners behind us in the race!

The next obstacle was a steep twisting ramp up on to Victoria Bridge and across the river for the first time. The 10k mark was on the far side of the bridge and as there were no mile markers, only kilometres, I had to judge my pace at every 5k. I was turning out a steady 6.30 mile pace.

At 11k a Brazilian and a German ran alongside of me and we started taking turns leading the pace and running Indian-style. After a loop around the Botanical Gardens we headed back down the river and past Victoria Bridge. I decided to up the pace at 15k to see what the reaction of the Brazilian and German would be, but there was none and I gently pulled away from them. Another tight turn around a cone and we headed back up the river to cross back over Victoria Bridge. One good thing with all the turns was that you could see who was in front and behind you.

After crossing the bridge we had another full lap to run. I was feeling good and felt I was running well. As we ran under the William Jolly Bridge for the third time all the dossers had woken up and were sat up in their sleeping bags with ring-side seats. On the second lap around the Botanical Gardens I grabbed a cup of water and before I had time to get a drink, a Portuguese runner on his way out of the gardens ran around a large bush on a tight corner and bumped straight into me, knocking us both flying. A female marshal stood on the corner looking at her nail polish, unaware that somebody could get injured, was quite shocked when I shouted at her "Tell the runners to keep to the left!". "Oh yes I will", she said. Obviously she had never had any experience of running or marshalling in her life.

Back on the boardwalk at about 18 miles a spectator stepped forward and asked me if I was English. "Yes", I replied. "Well, you're in a medal position for the team", he shouted, "possible silver, definite bronze". Talk about an adrenaline rush. I just had no thoughts of a medal until then. Could this be the day? There was only one person who could make it happen and that was me. I pushed on, reeling in the runners in front one by one.

Suddenly at around 23 miles out stepped the spectator again. "Are you the bloke I spoke to earlier?", he said. "Yes that's me". "You're now on for GOLD and definitely silver" The adrenaline pushed in again, nobody was going to pass me now! But another mile and a half along the river who should come running past? - the flipping German! Then I realised by his number he was only a youngster in his forties.

Crossing back over the river for the last time and within shouting distance of the finish, I dug in and reeled him back in. A few hundred yards to go and there between me and the finish line was a New Zealander. I sprinted past him and looked at the clock which was fast approaching 2hrs 54mins. I dived across the line to make it 2:53:59.

A nice young lady removed the electronic chip from my shoe. "Right, where's the beer tent?", I said. As fast as you could wink, a television crew pounced on me. "Will you say that again on camera, mate?" They took me to one side where I gave a little interview and the Valley Striders vest was seen in all its glory, dripping in sweat.

I was then joined by the other two Brits. In first Over-50 place, Alan Carroll, and in fifth place Pete Marsh and I finished ninth. The mystery spectator was Terry Hall. We beat the Aussies by two points. Unfortunately the bad organisation got worse at this point and I did not see any results until they appeared on the internet a week later.

We then continued our holiday and had the most wonderful time. A few days later we flew down to Sydney and met up with our daughters Heather and Michelle who have been travelling round Asia and Australasia since last September.

The gold medal was finally in my hands 32 days after the marathon. Anybody fancy a trip to Puerto Rico in 2 years time?

e-mail from Ruth Anderson

Hi Bob,

Glad one of the Valley Striders was noted in the news. Was Eric Cusack the only one to go that reported? Congratulations to him on a gold medal in the marathon. Sorry I didn't know him before or I could have cheered him on at the bridge, as I was cheering my daughter on to a silver medal in her age group (35-39). I didn't run in the marathon myself, but did finish both the X-C 8K and the 10K race walk. By just not getting DQed in the walk I was a team member for the W70ies USA silver medalists. That was a real pleasant surprise!

I was hoping that Kathy Kaiser would be there, but hope it wasn't due to the concerns Max had presented concerning drug testing. He claims that was why he didn't go. One of my reasons was to continue my "ever present" string of having competed in all the WAVA championships (as Max has in all London marathons). Now I am the last remaining woman and there are only 8 men left of the over 20 honored in Japan at the 10th Championships in 1993.

Am still trying to catch up after the great trip to Australia, which also included a few days in Cairns to enjoy the rain forest and Barrier Reef. Keep up the great work on the VS News.



International Reports

Würzburg Marathon (from Ingo Zoller)

A new marathon in one of the nice old towns in a tourist area of Germany - the North End of Bavaria. While Würzburg might not be known so much for famous long distance runners it is certainly known for its history, its hills, its city centre, and of course for its wine (bottled in so-called Bocksbeutels, but never call those containers 'bottles', even if they look similar).

This year they managed to organise a reasonably flat marathon. Like Leeds it is a two-lap course, and it features a half-marathon, like Leeds. And similar to Leeds there were around 1500 finishers in the Marathon, and just over 2000 in the half marathon. But that is where the similarities end. The course starts in the city centre, but follows closely the river Main, leading through some of the scenic parts of the city, through some parks, and right over the market place. Of course it crosses the river a few times, featuring the only significant climbs and downhills there, and just before reaching the finish it reaches a few hundred yards of cobbles. Still, this course is good for a PB, at least as long as you don't mind a few sharp corners and a hairpin even sharper than the one around Cutty Sark.

Race day started cold, but with clear blue skies and lots of sunshine. This presented me with the serious question, should I go for 'boom or bust', or should I play safe? It could stay cool for most of the race, in which case I would bite myself if I didn't take the chance, so OK, I went for 'boom or bust'.

After an initial mess at the start, and, discovering that a lot of distance markers were either missing or invisible, I found myself between a few half marathon runners and keeping in touch with some former opponents from Munich. Running at a constant pace of just 6 min 28 sec per mile I got to half-way in 1:25:30 without any problems. But it was getting warmer quickly, too quick, and there was no shadow to hide from the sun. By then quite a few runners around slowed down a bit, I shouldn't see them again until well after the finish line. By 22 miles I was still on target for a 2:49 finishing time when disaster struck. Running easily up to then, and actually thinking that the gamble with the temperatures paid off, when I hit the wall. Basically it was more like crashing into the wall than just hitting it!

Afterwards it was more like getting to the finish somehow, coming to a complete standstill a few times, and just trying to get inside 3 hours. I got passed by four or five I had passed earlier, and who were suffering similarly, but hit the finish line with an official time of 2:59:32 (net running time: 2:59:10), in 81st position (16th in M30, it should have been somewhere around 60th and 10th in the age-group!). Although the gamble didn't pay off, and my legs would have preferred just hiding in the woods somewhere, I'm still reasonably satisfied with my first official time of under 3 hours. And I'm hungry already for the next race, looking for a sweet revenge against this 2:50 barrier!

Hausen 10k (from Ingo Zoller)

How is it going? Enjoying the summer? I was racing in a regional 10k event today (Hausen, part of Obertshausen, not to be confused with my home town Oberhausen), and it being summer meant it was going to be warm and humid. Basically it had been quite warm for about a week already, so not really my favourite conditions. It was a flat course, starting on a dry ash track inside the stadium, but leaving after about 200 metres, and twisting through the forests. The exit of the stadium was quite narrow, so I set off in my usual pace: too fast to sustain for the whole race, but for a change it was well intended to avoid being stuck in traffic while the paths were too narrow to pass someone. As soon as there was a bit more space I dropped the pace, and hit half-way exactly on my target time of 18:15. But I was suffering from the heat, and was slipping around a bit on most parts of the dirt tracks, most notably on some of the tighter bends. Nevertheless, by then I was in 13th position (out of over 300), and this was not going to change any more in either direction. Like the runners 20 sec. ahead of and behind me I lost a bit in the second half, reaching the entrance of the stadium, and slipped a bit on the last 500m around the track. It turned out to be my slowest 10k of the year (up to now), and although it was flat, I was still very satisfied with both position and time: 37:10.

This race contained a 100k team event, with all runners to compete in this event being nominated before the start and their respective running distances adding up to 100k. A 5k and a 20k race were on, and a few junior races over 400m and over 1k as well, and all runners in all of these races were eligible to be included in the 100k team. As it turned out, my local club (with me as second fastest in the team) won this event in 6 hours 23 min, just 9 minutes ahead of the second team. Perhaps something like this should be included in the Harewood trail race?


News from Denmark (from Niels Laustsen)

Niels e-mailed me in May, he had been appointed Newsletter Editor for his running club in Copenhagen and wanted some tips. I look forward to reading a copy (preferably an electronic version that I can put through "Babelfish" or "InterTran") - maybe he will bring a copy when he comes over at the end of October. He also wrote:

My training seems to be going well - I just managed to cut off a minute from my Saturday training course (5k with quite a bit of hills in it). Next Monday I start racing again - just a small 10k race organized by my club. I have some more races lined up for August (5 and 10k) and September (5k and 1/2 marathon - and possibly a 20k) before the marathon in October. Britt is working hard to get ready for her first marathon. At the moment, she is expected to be the 'reserve' (i.e., 4th counter) for the women's team in the Danish championships. The men's team consists of at least 5 sub-2:30 guys (and only 3 to count), so my chances of making the team aren't good - but perhaps I can be the last counter for the 2nd team...


John Keston Adds Two More M76 WRs (from Max)

Members who joined the Club back in the 20th century will remember that one of our number who lives in the United States, John Keston, ran an age-group world record breaking marathon of 3:00:58 just before his 72nd birthday. He was intending to be the first M70 to dip under 3 hours, but he was unable to do so because he broke a femur the following year – when he crashed his racing bike – and a year after that he broke the tibia of the same leg when he slipped and fell on his building site while carrying some planks of wood across an icy surface. Now 76 and with a load of metal plate in his left leg, he has at last got back to racing at record pace.

A dual-nationality American as well as proudly GBR in the VS Newsletter and any UK-published ranking lists I have anything to do with, he has achieved five so-called "Single Age" US M76 records, ranging from 1 mile in 6:27.81 through to the marathon in 3:22:59, all of them over 90% age-graded. His best AG performances of the year so far have been his world record M75-79 10k track time of 41:59.06, which clocks in at 94.7% and his M76 10k road time of 41:12, which is a whopping 97.1%.

Moreover, the 41:12 was run just seven days after the marathon which, while he took time out to break his leg twice, was the first John had run in over four years. The internal integrity of the age-graded Tables means that that time is worth an Open Class 10k of 27:47 and a marathon of 2:10:37. I cannot remember any British man beating either of those this year : that marathon time would have placed 5th in this year’s London, two places ahead of Mark Steinle. That, as Americans are wont to say the word, is "aarsome".

As you would expect of your Club coach who has a particular interest in the theory and practice of marathon racing, I asked John what his training programme had been this time and how it had compared with that before his 3:00:58. Then he had favoured medium mileage outings, once or twice round his 7-mile loop at around 6:45 mile pace, and lots of fast work at the track. He had also walked a lot, but putting enough effort into it for John to count as training mileage. In summary, over the 13 weeks prior to that marathon, he had averaged 31 miles per week running and a further 12mpw walking.

This time round, he has done no trackwork apart from one 5k race – in an M76 WR 20:37 – and he has confined his speed work to 3 miles, 20 minutes worth, at 10k pace slotted in the middle of his 7-mile loops. That and 10 races in the 13 weeks added up to 14mpw of fast running. The warm-up and cool-down phases in the loops, run at 8-minute mile pace, made up another 12mpw, thus taking the run total to 26mpw. Possibly because he thinks it a safer way of exercising than cycling, John has spent much more time walking his loops than running them. Walking added another 20mpw, thus making a grand total of 46 miles per week of record road racing directed activity.

I do not expect any current GBR internationals will hear of John’s incredible achievements or would take any notice of them if they did. But there’s a lot in there for us to think about and try to explain, I believe. It was John who had first shattered my belief, based on my own training experience, podium places and a couple of age-group ultra records in the 1980s and early 90s and written up in VS News in October 1995, that, quote, "the par for the course is 2 hours plus your age in minutes – plus 10% if you are female – provided you average 55 miles per week [at a good pace]. More mileage than that contributes nothing, but for every mile per week less than that, add one minute to your race time". There was also a calculation later which purported to enumerate the benefits of doing hills and intervals. The best John should have been able to achieve off 31mpw and his track work was 3:14, not the 3:01 he did. Now he’s done it again.

When I was paid to work, at one time I was a member of a national group which consisted of the heads of the major builders’ merchants Companies and of producers of central heating equipment. The philosopher of the party was Ian Smith, then the Managing Director of Baxendale, makers of central heating boilers. The rest of us had been involved in some discussion which, because we had all taken up our entrenched positions based on opinions which each one of us knew to be right and those of the others to be wrong, we were getting nowhere. Ian hadn’t said a lot until he came out with "Theory without Practice is sterile ; Practice without Theory is futile". There was a moment of complete silence. Then Barry Jackson, MD of the family builders’ merchant business in the city of Lincoln and our chairman that day, declared that it was time for lunch.

Many years before that episode in my business career, my first job was in one of the factories of the Metals Division of ICI. I was just down from Cambridge after getting degrees in Mechanical Engineering and in Metallurgy, i.e. I knew all the metallurgy of making brass rod in an engineering factory which anyone needed to know. Dr R. King, PhD, the Technical Manager, was explaining to me some matter of detail which did not accord with my newly-acquired understanding. Bright-eyed and bushy tailed, I said that I didn't think it said that in the textbooks. I have forgotten long since what the subject was, but not Bob King's reply. "Then we'll just have to rewrite the books, won't we, Max ?"

Who can explain a 41:12 10k, equivalent to an Open Class 2:10 marathon, off 26mpw of running by a guy with a twice-broken leg who is just eight weeks short of his 77th birthday ? In less than a year, John Keston has demolished both the theory and the practice of training for long distance road racing. The man's a menace !


Age-Graded Tables and the Women's Recent 100k and Marathon World Records (from Max Jones)

Back in my secondary school days in the early 1940s, one of our science teachers had held the British hammer throwing record in the 1920s, an event about which we knew nothing, of course. One day, however, news had filtered through that Arne Anderson had broken Gundar Haag’s world record for the Mile – or maybe it was the other way round, I forget – and we asked him whether anyone would ever break the 4-minute "barrier" (in an event about which he knew nothing or very little, of course). "Yes", said Mr Nokes, "it’s only a question of time". We all laughed, which was what pupils were meant to do in those days when schoolmasters made facetious, stupid remarks like that.

Roll forward to the 1980s and a group of ageing decathletes wondered whether the IAAF tables for each event of the Ten truly reflected a correct comparison when used to score their own performances. From that small beginning was created the first edition of the WAVA Age-Graded Tables in 1989, which was updated in 1994 and the third edition is due out within a few months. In the 1994 edition there are 10 letter-size pages of so-called "Standard Performances" – approximately equivalent to the world records for each event for each single age for 18 to 50-year-olds – for all the field events, every regularly run distance from 60m to 100km, the walks and every single age from 8 to 100.

Because of that huge scope, there were many occasions where there were few or even no times or distances on record and others where those which were available didn’t fit the overall pattern. Rather than leave blank spaces, Al Sheahen and his committee determined, give or take, what would be the Standard had anyone with the necessary talent posted a result, these estimates having to make sense in relation to world record times which were actuals. For instance, it would obviously be incorrect to have the pace-for-age of a marathon runner faster than those for the less often run 35km and 40km distances. So each of the 10 pages of figures had to be consistent internally, not only across the event range and up and down the age columns, but also between the genders.

In the current context, the marathon columns in the Tables are very enlightening. For the 1989 edition, the Committee had not only Densimo’s WR 2:06:50 in the Rotterdam marathon and Ingrid Kristiansen’s London mark of 2:21:06, but it also had 47-year-old Evy Palm’s London run of 2:31:05. These times posed three major problems. The first was that of the internal consistency of the LDR Table. At the shorter end, there was the men’s sub-13 5000m and sub-27 10000m to take account of, times which were very much greater percentage reductions from the record times of the late 1960s in those events than Densimo’s had been relative to Derek Clayton’s two sub-2:09s. The second problem was that, give or take, running records slow down at the rate of 1% every year after the age of 35. The third problem was that, right through from the 60m short sprint indoors to the marathon, the best performances of women – Flo-Jo’s wind-aided 10.49 apart – were always in the range 10% to 12% slower than those of the men. In the end, the 1989 Committee decided that the Tables should give pride of place to the achievements of Palm and Clayton, not to those of Kristiansen and Densimo. The men’s Standard time for the marathon was set at 2:04:20 and the women’s at 2:18:00. Yes, honest !

It so happened that I was competing in the US Masters' Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene when the 1994 Tables were published there and I attended the launch presentation. When the discussion had veered off into Field events – about which I knew nothing and, if the truth be known, I cared less – I glanced through the pages which most interested me, namely the men’s and women’s LDR. In the previous year I had run my first M65 British record time for an ultra, so I was pleased to see that the new tables included both a 50km and a 100km column. I was astounded to see that the Open Class Standard for the 100km was not my former clubmate Don Ritchie’s 6:10:20 but the seemingly ridiculous 5:39:20. I drew Al Sheahen’s attention to this after the meeting when everyone else had left. "You’ve un-made my day, Max" he said. In fact, he was right and I was wrong. Although I had the 100km figure in my head, I didn’t have the time for the WR at 50km. If I had had, I would have seen that, less than 5 miles further than the marathon distance, it had to be the 2:33:10 in the Table, not the actual record of 2:43:38. And Don's best-ever marathon time was 2:19, not 2:07.

Roll on to the year 2000 and a little Japanese woman, Takao Abe, a recent 2:28 marathon runner and coached by the marathoning Soh twins, runs 2nd overall in a 100km race. I gathered from the headline that this feat had astonished the ultra cognoscenti, so before I read on I consulted the AG Tables to find that 2:28 for a marathon is equivalent to 6:29 for 100k. Abe’s time was 6:33. The Soh brothers had sussed out what we had all missed, i.e. that a fast marathoner who is well coached can run a much faster ultra than had previously been thought possible. For years the women’s 100k scene had been dominated by Ann Trason, whose WR of 7:00:48 was over 18 minutes quicker than any other woman had ever run that distance then. But Trason’s time had been off a 2:38 marathon PR, which the Tables say is worth 6:55. Abe had smashed what, back in 1990 with the WR at 7:18, had been the seemingly impregnable 7-hour "barrier".

What has all that got to do with Takahashi’s 2:19:46 in Berlin and Nderebe’s 2:18:47 in Chicago just seven days later, I hear you ask. Simply, I believe, that the women’s marathon world record is still as far off its potential as is the men’s. I don’t know but I guess that it was some men who drew Al Sheahen’s attention to the fact that the 2:04:20 of the 1989 Tables was so "impossible" that he felt obliged to pacify them by putting Densimo’s actual time in the 1994 edition, but that no woman was that bothered (although their Open Class Standard time was in fact eased also, if only to 2:18:51 !). Be that as it may, the other factor is that the 10k Standards in 1994 are sub-27 for men and, at 11% more, sub-30 for women, i.e. Wang Junxia’s time which the West dismisses, quite wrongly in my opinion, as the time of a "drug-cheat".

As an aside, it’s just as well, isn’t it, that Ingrid Christiansen’s 2:21:06 WR from London in 1986 was lowered first by a Kenyan, then by a Japanese and now by another Kenyan. What a scream there would have been from the anti-drug-cheat zealots if one of Ma Junren’s Chinese hard-training peasant girls or Olga Yegorova had been the first woman to crack 2:20 ! But I digress.

Back to the matter in hand and to the men. It is only now that two sub-27 men, Paul Tergat and Haile Gebrselassie have their hats in the road racing ring. But there are two factors which are particular to the marathon which do not apply to the 10k. One is carbohydrate depletion and the other is dehydration, both of which are very dependent on weather conditions. I believe it to be very significant that all the marathon world records of the last 15 years have been achieved either in Spring or in Autumn races, never in the heat of Summer. By far the most important factor in racing fast marathons is the critical need to prevent the body overheating by generating more heat than the body can get rid of while still maintaining a WR pace. Alberto Salazar reckoned that every degree over 65°F adds one second per mile to a marathon time if the relative humidity is also over 75%. Both Berlin and Chicago this year were run in temperatures in the high 30s, low 40s at the start.

Wind is also a great cooling medium and if it’s a tailwind that’s even better. This year in Berlin, as when Ronaldo da Costa took Densimo’s record at last, it was headwind out – but less so for those sheltering in the pack – tailwind back. I haven’t heard which way it was blowing in Chicago, but I cannot imagine that Windy City with breezes less that the speed the runners are moving, i.e. 5 metres per second, more than twice the "legal limit" in the short sprints.

We tend to be more impressed by the amounts by which the LDR records are reduced than we should be. 2:04 is "only" 2.4% below 2:07, even though it's a huge 3 minutes. In 1996, Michael Johnson lowered his previous 200m PR of 19.73 down to 19.32 : that's less than half a second, but it's still 2.1% ! So, while there’s no chance that 28 and 31 minute 10k runners could do it, I believe that the sub-27 and sub-30 track stars will eventually breach 2:04 and, plus 11%, 2:16 when the weather is kind and the pacemakers helpful.

In my not very humble opinion, of course !


Wimmin's Section (from Sylvia Watson)

Over the last 10 years, the wimmin's team has enjoyed a lot of success both by individuals and in team events. Not being able to field teams as strong as Bingley or Leeds City, nevertheless we have done our best, run hard and enjoyed the team spirit that relays in particular engender.

Having run the Northern 6-stage road relays earlier this year at South Leeds and finished a creditable 15th out of 24 (the men couldn't field a team for a race not much more than 5 miles from base), it was with some disappointment that I realised we had missed entering the Yorkshire road relays at Sheffield in October, due to the entry form being mislaid or waylaid somewhere between Otley and Roundhay.

Hopefully this won't happen again next year and in the meantime, I'll look back on our recent results and hope that we can achieve similar or better next year

Yorkshire Championships

1993 5th/10+

1994 14th/19

1995 13th/22

1996 9th/11

1997 7th/10

1998 7th/14

North of England

1989 13th/23

1993 18th/34

1994 13th/35

1995 23rd/38

1996 29th/43

2001 15th/24

Junior members

Congratulations to Erica Hiorns (and Mark) who had a baby boy Eddie 7lbs on Sunday 9th September. Erica is back doing a little training in her spare (?!) time and hopes to run the Abbey Dash in December.

Congratulations to Sarah Bean (and Mark) who had a baby boy Daniel James on Tuesday 9th October. (your apology for missing the fartlek is accepted, Mark)

Sports shop discounts

Hopefully you know that with your Club membership card you can get 10% discount on full price merchandise at both the Complete Runner (a.k.a. Fastrax, a.k.a. Terry Lonergan) at Ilkley and Up & Running at West Park Leeds and Harrogate. You may also find your card "works" at other shops! It doesn't harm to try - at worst you'll have to pay the normal price.

There is also another scheme at Up & Running where you can claim an extra 5% (i.e. 15% off full price and 5% off sale merchandise) simply by quoting our Up & Running Club reference C52492001.

Identify the Strider - Answers

Strider VLS00018 is Paul Furness,

Strider VLS00017 is Eric Cusack

Cross Country (from Paul Briscoe)

Sat Oct 20 13:50 West Yorks XC league (1) - Bramley Fall Woods

Sun Nov 4 13:50 West Yorks XC league (2) - Leo's

Sat Nov 10 English XC Relays - Mansfield

Sun Nov 11 Aaron Memorial Races - Middleton Park

Sat Nov 24 13:50 West Yorks XC league (3) - Spenborough

Sun Dec 9 Calderdale Way Relay

Wed Dec 26 Chevin Chase

Sat Jan 5 Yorkshire XC Champs - Valley Park, Rotherham

Sat Jan 12 13:50 West Yorks XC league (4) - Newsome HS, Huddersfield

Sat Jan 26 North of England XC Champs - Allestree Park, Derby

Sun Jan 27 Yorkshire Vets XC Champs - Thornes Park, Wakefield

Sat Feb 23 English "National" XC Champs - Bristol

Sat Mar 23 Meanwood Valley Trail Race - Leo's

Notes (from Bob)


Spiders News

Ron Uphill In Shock Conversion To Cycle Touring

What a disastrous year for the agricultural communities it has been. Many of the fell races in the Dales and Lakes are just one of the attractions at the host village gala or fete. So when we turn up to spider around on the fells part of the entry fee usually goes towards a local village charity, as does the profit from the tea and cake stalls. I wonder if anybody has investigated the economic impact of the decimated fell running fixture list? One thing is for sure, the new pair of Walshes I bought in the spring (and which remain pristine) will last longer than any fell shoes I have ever owned. In an attempt to get a bit of exercise (and provide a lot of support to the tea shop economy) Sara and I have had a summer of cycling on the back roads of Wharfedale. We also took part in the two wheeled version of The Great North Run, The Great Yorkshire Charity Bike Ride from Wetherby to Filey and spotted GW and Sylvia at the CTC bike rally in York.

This time the only race in my report is the Danefield Relay, held the night after the summer club handicap. This event is staged by Horsforth Fellandale and attracted a great turnout of 72 teams. The course is about 3 miles on tracks around Danefield Country Park and includes a lot of climb in the last ¾ mile, so that the exhausted incoming runner is usually keen to effect a changeover right at the front of the box.

This year we had four teams with both male and female Spiders fielding two outfits. Thanks go to Kathy for organising the two ladies teams and to all our team members for running hard and wearing the VS vest with pride.

Our leading team "" comprised one w in fine condition (Mick Wrench), and two w's recovering from illness (Jerry Watson and Steve Webb). Mick was sent out on the opening leg to make the most of his recent excellent form and shake up the other teams. This he did brilliantly, and after a lengthy tussle with Pudsey and Bramley he edged clear on the run in to finish in first place. Jerry had been looking to convalesce with a low-key run but instead found himself out in the lead, with Gary Devine of P&B snapping at his heels and other strong runners, including Ian Fisher of Otley, not far behind. Jerry kept the team going and came back 5th so it was left to a coughing and spluttering Steve to try and snatch a podium place. He overtook Keighley and Craven but could not make any impression on the team in 3rd and so we had to settle for 4th, which is one place better than last year.

Meanwhile there was an interesting contest between the Vets and the leading VS Ladies. The Ladies were not far behind throughout but Peter Cox was able to stay ahead of Sylvia on the final leg. Results are as follows:

Team Leg 1 Leg 2 Leg 3 Total Mick Wrench 17.37 Jerry Watson 20.11 Steve Webb 18.44 56.32 4th

VS Vets Geoff Webster 22.54 John Hallas 23.14 Peter Cox 26.03 72.11 48th

VS Ladies Lisa Wilyman 23.49 Kathy Kaiser 24.53 Sylvia Watson 25.24 74.06 53rd

VS Ladies too Natalie White 27.01 Penny Sanders 28.11 Bev. Connor 28.03 83.15 67th

Finally a reminder to everybody who plans to go training, or indeed walking, on footpaths in the countryside. Many footpaths are now open but please do not forget the code of conduct which Bob published on page 5 in the last edition of VS News. If you choose to use footpaths on farmland then you covenant to follow the guidelines. You should clean your running shoes after every run across farmland, and if you tread in any dung (one of the many attractions of fell running!) you should try to clean it off before leaving that very field. Sara has obtained a bottle of MAFF-approved disinfectant to spray on running shoes after each and every excursion onto footpaths to help maintain biosecurity.

Stop Press - the Ilkley Fell Race has been rescheduled for Sunday 11 November and will be included in the Fell Championship and in the Striders Grand Prix.

Ed's note: again, due to the lack of fell races we have 2 reports from the same race

Danefield Relays July 4th 2001 (from Kathy K)

July 4th was a glorious night, in fact it was far too hot.

We had four Striders teams 2 men's and 2 women's and quite a few supporters.

The highlight of the night was seeing a Valley Strider coming in in first position at the end of the first leg. Mick Wrench had a marvellous run, well done Mick and the rest of the men's teams for such a sterling performance, we wimmin were well impressed.

Our wimmin's teams consisted of: (1) Lisa Wilyman, Kathy Kaiser and Sylvia Watson (2) Natalie White, Penny Sanders and Beverley Connor (who had never run for us before). Sara Dyer was our reserve, but was not feeling very well, but would have run if needed (thanks Sara).

It was a tough little course, each leg finished with a run uphill that any fell runner would have been proud of.

It was great to run off road with all the foot and mouth restrictions around.

The Flying men Striders finished 4th overall, and the Flying not so fast men Striders finished 48th overall.

Our Wonderwimmin finished 53rd overall, (6th ladies team ) and our Wonderwimmin 2 finished 67th overall, (12th ladies team).

Thanks to everyone who came along to run and to support, it was a good evening.

A Report (from A. Codger)

Dear Cap'n Bob,

Because Mr G.W. has disappeared in the direction of Scotland looking for a fell race, the Fell News has been taken from the memoirs of A. Codger, one of the very first to join the newly founded V.S. Running Club.

Ee well, 'cos there's no fell running in the whole o't'county o'Yorksher, nivver mind t' North of England, I thought you might like to hear about some of me memories o' the early days o' V.S. Fell Running. Aye, back in them days we didn't have any of yer newfangled fancy trainers. No we didn't. The best we could aspire to was a pair of Dunlop Green Flash tennis shoes. That's if you were a bit of a toff and could afford 'em. Most of us made do wi' running 20 miles and more off road with nowt but sacking wrapped round our feet. That's if you could afford the sacking. Some runners could go thro' peat bogs and boulders with nowt but corrugated cardboard glued to their feet. Many's the time I've seen lads setting out on t' Three Peaks with a roll of cardboard, a pair of scissors and a tube of Evo-stick so as to do repairs on route. Aye, and many's the time I've seen 'em staggering in at t' finish not from exhaustion but from being overcome by glue fumes. What's more, we didn't have any fancy compasses for route finding. No we didn't. We found our way with a wooden arrow nailed to a piece of board. You could spin the arrow with a flick of your finger and where it stopped was the direction to go.

Aye, it were tuff in them days and one o' t' tuffest runs were the Lyke Wake Race. This 42 mile run o'er t' North York Moors was first done by a V.S. man back in the 1980's. This was none other than Mr Stuart StJohn who is of course V.S. member no 1. Stuart was second on that occasion when he was beaten by a young bloke called Gerry Orchard who as a veteran of many long distance trail races made an appearance at the latest Meanwood Trail Race. Aye, well, Stuart's run inspired the Club to enter this event on two occasions when V.S. successfully carried off t' trophy. Leading the team on both occasions was a spritely Steve O'Cal. I can remember seeing him and Harry Batey and Keith Clud bounding along the old railway track high on the moors with nowt but sheep for company. When you get up there wi' t' wind and rain a-blowing in your face you can stop and look at the view and be inspired to thoughts such as "There are no public toilets for 20 miles". Aye, it's tuff but awesome. When you get to t' finish you can collapse on the village green at Osmotherley and do they run to get first aid? No they do not. Well they didn't in them far off days as Mr G.W. will affirm. There is photographic evidence of this strapping young bloke stretched out on the grass while bystanders grin in amusement!

We had to have one of the wimmin in the team in them days so we got Sylvia who was specialising in ultra runs. She was very pleased to do a time under 6 hours and even more pleased to be presented with the team trophy. This honour was performed by that well known club comic William "Baldy" Hague who couldn't stop cracking jokes. Sylvia was so thrilled that the incident has remained a blank in the memory to this day, but we do have photographic evidence.

One of the most notable performances for the 42 mile course was recorded by John Whalley who finished in 7 hours and ran straight into the village fish and chip shop for jumbo haddock and chips. He rounded his meal off with ½lb of marzipan mushrooms; G.W. was sick by proxy. Another notable performance was achieved by Max "Twinkle Toes" Jones who completed a full two miles of the distance before tripping up for the third time and falling full stretch on the rocks. He was carted off to be bandaged up. As we all know, Max was not put off ultra distance running and went on to set some impressive records. Aye they made 'em tuff in them days.

Photos of Stuart & Co at the Lyke Wake can be viewed if any of you fancy getting inspired to have a go. Mind you, you'll have to be tuff to do it like we did in the olden days. We didn't have Nike shoes, Pertex shorts and Ron Lonerhillagan vests and false teeth. We couldn't afford 'em. We couldn't afford false gums!! So when foot and mouth is no more, get out onto t' fells like we did in t' Good Old Days. T.T.F.N.

Fell Championship Positions (from Geoff)

No races run since the last VS News so points are unchanged: 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


Forthcoming Races

Grand Prix 2001/2 see page 13 for last races of 2001 and first races of 2002

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

Oct 28th Holmfirth 15 (GP)

Nov 18th Roundhay 5

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

Jan '02 20th Woodkirk 10k, 27th Moorside 10k @ Meltham

Feb 17th Liversedge ½m, 24th Huddersfield 10k

Mar 12th Spen 20 (GP), 17th South Leeds 5, 31st Ackworth ½m (possibly GP)

Other races (not in West Yorks)

Oct 27th Guy Fawkes 5 at Great Yorks Showground

Marshals needed for Abbey Dash

If you were going to watch the Abbey Dash, why not do your watching with a few more Striders in the Kirkstall area, and at the same time support the race (and Help the Aged) by acting in an official capacity. Abbey Runners have asked for help from local clubs (with a contribution to our club funds depending on number provided). If there is a good chance that you are available, let me know by the beginning of November at the latest

Electronic Striders

The e-mail distribution list is now up to 58 addresses / 65 Striders. So chances are that if you're out running with two other Striders, one of them is Electronic! If you're on e-mail but not on the list, simply send me an e-mail and you will receive the next Update.