March 2002

2002 Issue 1


In This Issue

  • 2001 Club Awards
  • Grand Prix 2002 Results and Calendar
  • Report from Paul White
  • Scottish Report (George Black)
  • Coach 2's Column (George Black) "A Cautionary Tale"
  • International Report from Mark Hoon
  • Club Colours
  • Coach's Column (Max Jones)
  • Vets Events
  • Cross-Country
  • Spiders Section - Fell and Trail
  • Rombalds Stride report and poem
  • Fell Championship events
  • Harrogate Ringway report
  • Bradford Millennium Way preview
  • Forthcoming Races & Events

    This is only the fourth VS News that has been graced with a picture - I'll let you guess why! Could it be:

    • A sample picture from one of the Horsforth Marathon photo albums that Janet Kitchen has left with us (see pages 2-4)
    • One of the earliest recorded pictures of a Valley Strider - 3½ months after the club was founded and when the club had only 11 members
    • An illustration that Valley Striders vests are indistinct and so we should vote for a new style (see pages 18-19)
    • A face to memorise so that when you are cheered/cajoled/heckled by a cyclist while you are running up Stonegate Road in the Leeds half or full marathon, you'll know who it is and you can say "Thank you for your exhortations Mr VLS00001" (or something similar).
    • In celebration of our founder, Stuart St John, whose 60th birthday it will be on March 12th

    And the answer is ... all of the above.

    Happy birthday, Stuart, from all that know you and all that have been encouraged by you!


    Meanwood Trail Race - Saturday 23rd March 2002

    With 4 weeks to go we have over 60 entries. This doesn't sound many at this stage but how many of you enter in the last week or enter on the day? Many of you? Most of you! Hopefully we will have 250-300 entries and hopefully this will raise about £400 for Lineham Farm. But to ensure the race is a success, we need YOU! There is a race map enclosed with this Newsletter. Please pick your spot and confirm with Geoff on 2666288. On the day we need you to be in place at the latest at 10:00 if you are the North side of the Ring Road, 10:15 if you are in Meanwood Park. Between then and the time the runners are due please walk between your spot and the next spot in both directions to check that all tapes are still in place. Finally, when the runners arrive, please encourage them, particularly the back-markers (you were a back-marker once and will be again some day!) NB if you have a little more time to spare and can arrive at 8:30 to 9:00 then volunteer to help laying out the route - we have 4 sections and ideally need 3 people on each section - full training will be given by our more experienced course-layer-outers!


    Horsforth Marathon (and ½ marathon) photos

    On 29 January about 15 Striders "stopped behind" after training to look through the photos from the Horsforth Marathon 1981-1985 and the half marathon in 1986. There had been an official photographer each year - except for the first - and Janet had created a photo album for each.

    Guest of honour was our own Martyn Hopson whose record for the marathon reads 16th, 13th, 2nd, 3rd, 1st. After the final marathon, he had been presented with a cup for best achievement over the series of races. (A similar cup became our Handicap Trophy). Martin's fastest time was 2:28:10 - only one minute slower than the course record.

    Martyn, Steve, Keith and Geoff were able to identify many Striders from the early days, including several running prior to joining Striders either as unattached or running for another club. Of course, we found Martyn and Steve - Steve was 3rd in 1981 and 2nd in 1985. Of current and recent members, we found Harry Bates (Skyrac), Terry Bean (u/a), Yvonne Bissitt (VS), Richard Butterfield (u/a), Martin Cockerham (u/a), Mike Crosfill (VS), Sonia Dear (u/a), Fred Douglas (P&B), Tony Haygarth (VS), Mike Henry (VS), Max Jones (Paul Madeley t-shirt), Ron Kelly (VS), Chris Leggatt (Bingley), Ray Price (VS), Steve Thirkell (Madeley). Geoff Webster was very upset that there were no pictures of him even though he had run the race twice.

    Also guesting was Carole Schofield who won the first Horsforth Half Marathon in 1982. This race had been created just for women as so few had entered the full marathon in the first year. Carole, racing in Leeds City colours, had been a GB junior international at 800 metres, and, 2 years later, this was her first attempt at a half marathon. She suffered so badly from blisters and bruises during the race that she has never run a half marathon since! (I'm not joking). Carole brought along her own photograph album which included many of her 800 metre races and concluded with ... the same pictures from the Horsforth ½ marathon. Her time was 1:23:00.

    We'll arrange another viewing in the future if there is sufficient demand!


    The Horsforth Marathon Story (part 1) from Janet Kitchen

    Reflections from a Valley Strider who has never run in her life!

    In 1980, I went to work (9 hours per week) for Gerry Breakell, Community Education Officer based in Horsforth School. He said "You can help me with the organisation of the marathon". I said "What is a marathon?" (honestly, I had no idea what a marathon was). He explained that it was a run of 26 miles 385 yards and that he had just completed that distance with 3 other runners - Hilary McEwan, John Benson and A N Other - from the Airedale and Wharfedale College to somewhere near Ilkley. He proposed to organise an official event - a Marathon to start and finish at Horsforth School in 1981.

    From that innocent beginning I took to it like a duck to water, We made an appointment to see Jim Exley, AAA Referee, who explained how to organise and record, and from then on I was completely "hooked", I found it so enjoyable and easy to understand. The work certainly filled my 9 hours, plus many more (unpaid) as the event drew near. We were proud of the fact that we had started our preparations before the London Marathon was announced, although the London event was actually run before the Horsforth Marathon.

    The May Day Metro Marathon was held on 4th May 1981 and was sponsored by Arnold G Wilson (Horsforth) Ltd who loaned new Metro cars to all officials to tour the course on the day (this was for advertising purposes of course). There were 388 applications with 234 runners on the day. 189 finished within 5 hours. The overall winner was Malcolm Martin from Sheffield in 2:29:12. The first woman home was Elizabeth Murtha, position 104, in a time of 3:38:35 (only 4 women ran).

    This was Malcolm Martin's first marathon and after the event he said he would like to present us with a special trophy. So he gave us a cup for "First Man Home Running His First Marathon". A great idea! Unfortunately it caused extra administration work - the following year we had to list all "first marathoners" as well as all Horsforth residents for the 2 special prizes. Still - all good fun! (The prize for the first Horsforth resident was a meal for two at "Stuart's" wine bar and this attracted a good number of Horsforth runners each year.)

    To be continued ...

    2001 Club Awards

    We reported the winners in the Grand Prix and Fell Championship in the last issue, so there are just two more awards to report

    Stuart St John "Also Ran" Trophy

    While writing this VS News, I came across the Minutes of the First Annual General Meeting of Valley Striders Athletic Club held on 14th September 1983 at the Bay Horse Public House, Parkside Road, Leeds 6.

    28 Striders attended, and section 10 Any Other Business item (iii) reads "Stuart St John introduced a special trophy for the club member who displays the greatest determination, consistency and overall merit during the year without winning a prize in any event. On this occasion he took pleasure in presenting the trophy to Ray Price".

    For 2001, it seemed to be difficult to find anyone to fit the bill until I found a man with the following performances:

    And he had "qualifications" to match

    Now some of the times don't sound too bad for many of us, but this runner is only 29 so he doesn't have the benefit of making them look better by using the Age-graded Tables. When I tell you his PB's - from 10 years ago - include 1:12 for a ½ marathon and 55mins for 10 miles, there has definitely been determination this year to get going again.

    The form of old looks to be on the way back with 36:53 at the Abbey Dash - he won't be an "also ran" next year. But for 2001, we awarded the "Also Ran" Trophy to Mark Bean.

    Horsforth Trophy for best Marathon Performance

    There were six nominations for this award

    6th place went to Jane Sutton for her 3:15:09 at the Rotorua Marathon. This was the fastest marathon by a Strider wumin in 2001. She was also voted the "Best Storyline in VS News" for her report of a race in New Zealand where she finished 5th woman but ahead of her was a man running with a woman's number and a transexual, so she in fact finished 3rd (see April 2001 VS News)

    5th place went to Annemi Van Zyl for her performance at the Burley Bridge Hike (slightly shorter than, but as much effort as, a marathon) where she was first wumin in 3:31. N.B. This was also the first time the VS News Editor's vest has ever won a race.

    4th place went to the best weight-graded performance of the year. If you've been reading VS News or the website, you'll know about age-graded tables. Weight-graded tables don't exist yet but just might after this item. The theory is that a 2 hour marathon by a 10 stone man is equivalent to a 3 hour marathon by a 15 stone man. On this basis, Steve O'Callaghan's 3:32 at Manchester at 16 stones calculates to 2:12:30 and is world class.

    3rd place was awarded to the fastest men's time of the year for a marathon. Last year Alan Hutchinson won the trophy with the fastest time of 2:48; this year, Mick Wrench's 2:45 at Benidorm could only earn 3rd place.

    In 2001 there were two outstanding performances but there can only be one winner.

    2nd place was also earned at Benidorm. 3:53 for a marathon does not sound fast, but I think most of us would be pleased to be able to run that time at the age of 68. What makes this performance extra-special was that it was also this runner's 100th marathon and 2nd place was awarded to George Dawson.

    The best marathon performance of the year was deemed to be Eric Cusack's 2:53 at Brisbane which gave him 9th place in the World Vets Championship over-50 category, and as 3rd placed British runner, a gold medal for being a member of the winning team. This result did not seem likely early in the year when Eric was struggling to run at 7 minute mile pace for a 10k race. He must have focussed his training to achieve an average pace of 6:36 for the marathon distance. Please pass on your training tips to us, Eric!


    London Marathon 2002

    Best wishes to all Striders running London, and in particular to the three that came out of the "hat" to take the Club places - James Burnham, Tony Lupton and Annemi Van Zyl.


    Grand Prix 2002 Results & Race Reports

    Chevin Chase

    11 Paul Briscoe 42.27

    51 Steve Webb 46.37

    63 Henry Lang 47.22

    82 Andrew Cutts 48.46

    94 Lisa Wilyman 49.22

    105 Eric Cusack 49.49

    108 Jane Sutton 49.54

    119 Bob Jackson 50.27

    159 Ken Kaiser 52.10

    298 Dick Dale 56.25

    307 Peter Lambert 56.48

    336 Nigel Covey 57.41

    338 Mick Tinker 57.43

    341 Steve O'Callaghan 57.47

    359 Bob Wilyman 58.23

    398 Annemi Van Zyl 59.37

    421 Martin Cockerham 60.18

    429 Brendan Kitson 60.33

    431 David Cusack 60.41

    517 Bob Wilkes 63.32

    598 Sara Dyer 66.58

    674 Nicola Wilde 70.51

    Having been beaten by "A Duck" last year, this year Paul and all the other Striders were beaten by "Chris Pudding" who finished in 5th place. Congratulations to Paul who was 2nd M40, Lisa 4th W (3rd U35), and Jane 6th W (2nd W35). N.B. 2nd W (1st W35) was Angie Hulley. Congratulations also to new(ish) members Henry and Andrew, finishing in the top 100. And to Steve W who had been vying for John Whalley's late arrival's title but was well placed on the start line this year. There were a few Striders making their annual appearance in Striders colours (although maybe not with Striders logos) - Nigel, Mick, Martin and Brendan - now that we know your preferences, we have you marked down to form a team in the Bradford Millennium Way relay. Nicola, running with other Horsforth Harriers, swapped last years Santa outfit for a fairy costume - you'd have thought they would have flown over the course! 797 finished.

    Xmas Handicap

    Race Watch Hand Run G.P

    Pos Time -icap Time Pts

    1 Mick Loftus 40.08 9.45 30.23 100

    2 Lisa Wilyman 40.26 7.00 33.26 94

    3 Eric Cusack 41.08 8.30 32.38 95

    4 Paul White 41.17 6.30 34.47 91

    5 Geoff Webster 41.38 5.30 36.08 86

    6 Henry Lang 41.40 9.45 31.55 97

    7 Jane Sutton 41.42 8.15 33.27 93

    8 Roy Flesher 42.03 10.15 31.48 98

    9 Kathy Kaiser 42.17 7.00 35.17 89

    10 Andrew Cutts 42.28 9.00 33.28 92

    11 Mark Bean 42.41 10.45 31.56 96

    12 Bob Jackson 43.06 8.15 34.51 90

    13 John Hallas 43.19 8.00 35.19 88

    14 Steve Webb 43.22 12.30 30.52 99

    15 Alistair Fale 43.34 8.15 35.19 88

    16 Sara Dyer 43.48 1.15 42.33 82

    17 Mike Brown 43.55 4.30 39.25 84

    18 Bob Wilyman 44.16 4.15 40.01 83

    19 Steve O'Callaghan 46.02 7.45 38.17 85

    This was a rare occurrence where the fastest man on the day was also first across the line. It is usually difficult for a fast runner to win the handicap - a fast runner running 5% faster than their handicap is 1½ minutes ahead of par; a slow runner running 5% faster is 2 minutes ahead of par, so would come in 30 seconds ahead. However the incentive to the fast runner is that there is always someone ahead to pass, and Mick passed 15 Striders to gain his win! Congratulations!

    The editor has been asked to point out that Paul White ran 4 seconds faster than Bob Jackson. The other notable occurrence of the day was Jane's homemade flapjack which made a welcome appearance in the bar after the race after a gap of 2 years.

    4th West Yorks x-c at Huddersfield


    Pos Time G.P.Pts

    7 Lisa Wilyman 23.55 95

    15 Jane Sutton 24.54 92

    24 Kathy Kaiser 26.34 90

    26 Janet Parkinson 26.58 88 Team 72 pts, 1st place

    36 Sylvia Watson 28.39 86

    The wimmin's team took home a set of bronze medals for finishing 3rd overall in the race series. In the four races, they finished 7th, 5th, 2nd and 1st. Lisa took a second bronze medal as she finished 3rd in the W21-34 category. The W35+ category was very slightly tougher and Jane did well to finish 6th.


    Pos Time G.P.Pts

    21 Paul Briscoe 34.47 100

    31 Terry Bean 35.47 99

    37 Jerry Watson 36.19 98

    40 Mick Wrench 36.29 97

    58 Henry Lang 37.39 96

    72 Mark Bean 38.57 94 Team 259 pts, 6th place

    74 Drew Taylor 39.22 93

    101 Alistair Fale 42.14 91

    104 Geoff Webster 42.37 89

    113 Paul Furness 43.39 87

    137 Bob Wilkes 50.04 85

    The final bronze medal for the Striders was collected by Paul for 3rd place in the series in the M40+ category. He failed to retain his title but was beaten by two "new" 40-year-olds. The men's team had finished 6th, 7th, 10th and 6th; their overall position was 6th.

    Rombalds Stride

    6 Striders ran, and Geoff scored 100 points.

    For a report and poem of the race, see pages 30 and 31

    Dewsbury 10k

    39 Tim Crossland * 33.38

    127 Roy Flesher 37.09

    151 Neil Dutton 37.53

    171 Tim Towler 38.30

    217 Lisa Wilyman 39.39

    243 Bob Jackson 40.21

    276 Paul White 41.13

    283 Kathy Kaiser 41.17

    299 Dave Milner * 41.44

    318 John Hallas 42.13

    321 Ken Kaiser * 42.15

    411 Dick Dale 44.19

    535 Natalie White 46.47

    572 Lou Gilchrist * 47.54

    578 Max Jones * 48.00

    650 Janis Atkinson * 49.24

    721 Claire Taylor 51.31

    * = 2nd claim (not eligible for G.P.points)

    I think this was a record turn-out of second-claim Striders. Tim is introduced to you further down this page of this VS News and Dave was introduced in last October's edition. Ken and Max you know well, but it was a rare appearance over the border (from Middleton Harriers in Lancashire) by Lou, who was pipped to the W55 prize by just 3 seconds, but was conceding 13 years to Irenie Bass (there was no W60 or W65 prize). Janis is also from Middleton, is not second claim, but is Yvonne's sister which seems a reasonable excuse to include her in our report.

    Commiserations to Kathy - her 41:17 was over 3 minutes slower than the W50 winner, but she was one minute faster than the W45 winner! Congratulations to the Whites - PB's for both of them.

    Tibet or Not Tibet ...

    Around this time last year, Carol Whalley left husband and Strider John for a three week trek to the Himalayas. Many Striders were amongst those who sponsored her for Mencap and the group of 105 trekkers raised £250,000. Carol has now published an account of her travels which makes great reading but unfortunately would take this VS News over the 60g weight limit for 19p postage. There is a copy on the internet, or if you would like a paper copy, contact John on 268-4331 or see me at the Club - Bob

    New member

    Tim Crossland - having run with us in the Harrogate Ringway Relay, has now joined us second claim. This means he will be able to run relays and in the West Yorkshire and Yorkshire championships with us. His first claim club is Shaftesbury and Barnet Harriers, which you will find abbreviated as "SBH" when you scan the results listings in Athletics Weekly (you will find him near the top).


    Andrew Cutts has now joined us first claim, running for the first time in "white with black letters" at the Chevin Chase, although it will be October before he is able to score in our team (conveniently, the start of the cross-country season)


    2002 Grand Prix Event Calendar (from Bob, Paul & Alan)


    Short road

    Medium rd

    Long road










    Chevin C





    Brass M ½







    Dewsb'y 10k




    Rombalds S






    Spen 20


    Guiseley G






    London m







    Leeds ½

    Leeds m

    White Wells






    Otley 10


    D Hudson





    H'gate 10k



























    Withins Sky





    R'hay 5

    GFawkes 10



    Burl Bridge




    Abbey 10k







    We seem to now have the full 28 events, or had until we noticed that Otley 10 and Dick Hudson were on adjacent days and that the Bradford M.W. Relay was the following weekend. So here's your chance to suggest an alternative (if you don't, Otley will be in). And of course, as indicated in the GP Handbook in the December issue, any event that is more than 3 months away can be amended should there be sufficient support for an alternative.

    We seem to have quite a good balance in that there is at least one of everything in the last quarter (remember we finish the season with the Abbey Dash very early in December). But there is a gap in August and a definite overload in November, so suggestions are welcome.

    Races to the end of May are now fixed - further details including precise day and start time at on the back page of this VS News.

    We already have three suggestions for change for next year: (1) include all Yorkshire championship races, (2) have fewer races, (3) score handicap races on finishing position not finishing time. All of these were part of the original discussions. But if you feel strongly in favour of any or all of these, let Paul or Alan know and they will consider them for next year. Likewise if you have any more suggestions, let them know. And if you are strongly against any or all of the above three, let them know, too!


    How I Broke 1:30

    (The Paul White Story Part 1 – The First 54 Years)

    This is my story of how I eventually achieved a long held ambition of breaking 1 hour and 30 minutes for a Half Marathon.

    Whilst excelling as a schoolboy in all sports (including cross country running some may be surprised to know) I did not run again for 17 years. After taking part in the "Fathers Race" at my children’s Primary School Sports Day in 1981, and realising how unfit I was, I decided to exercise by attending circuit training classes which led to the start of my running career. For the next 13 years I ran in a number of "Fun Runs" with distances of usually 3-4 miles, and used to run once or twice a week, never at night or in the winter.

    In June 1994 I ran my first serious race, the Humber Bridge 10K finishing in a time of 45:54, which gave me great encouragement to enter other 10K races. My running progressed well and, having felt the need to push myself to a higher level, I joined Valley Striders in October 1995. My running moved up a gear as I was running with better runners; finding out more about training methods, shoes and clothing; benefited considerably from the Tuesday and Thursday sessions; and started to do longer runs. Paul Furness, who I knew from work, encouraged me to join the Club and I was also pleased to see that Peter Lambert, who I knew from circuit training, was a member. I must take this opportunity to thank all Club members for always being friendly and offering helpful advice.

    I did my first Half Marathon at Leeds in 1996 finishing in 1:31:38 and thought that getting under 1:30 wouldn't be far away! 1996 was a great year in which I ran 25 races setting some PB’s that stood for 5 years, I also managed to win the Winter Handicap race trophy.

    My injury problems then started – pain in the sides; achilles heel; and sciatica. During 1997 and 1998 I was constantly running in pain. I literally felt every step of the way in the Leeds Half Marathons for those two years and should not have run in either but hoped against hope that I’d be OK on the day. The golden rule should be that if you have any doubts don’t run, but it's easier said than done! I did make a number of visits to the physio and eventually with the help of orthotics, ultrasound treatment and a series of exercises my injury problems began to steadily clear up in October 1998. During these years any PB’s seemed a long way off and at times I wondered whether to continue running was such a good idea.

    A very traumatic event also affected my running in 1997. On the second day of our Silver Wedding Anniversary "Mediterranean Cruise of a Lifetime" I suffered from a sudden attack of acute glaucoma (temporary blindness which can become permanent if not treated immediately). I was transferred from the ship to hospital in Rome where I spent several days before the condition had stabilised so that I could be flown home for eye surgery. This meant that I couldn’t run for about 3 months and then had to start again very cautiously.

    Although injury free I had further eye problems in 1999 which eventually resulted in another operation and more disruption to my running. By the end of the year things began to look up and I got a pleasant surprise and welcome boost when receiving the "Also Ran" trophy at the Club’s Xmas meal. In 2000 I was able to start building for the future with long runs and a consistent improvement in race and training times.

    2001 was a great year with 4 PB’s (10K, 10 miles and two Half Marathons). Confidence had returned and I was running as well or better than I’d ever done before. At the Leeds Half I managed 1:31:18 (over 7 minutes better than 2000) and followed that up with 1:30:28 at Bridlington (over 4 minutes better than 2000). Could I realise my dream?

    Finally I did it and ran 1:29:22 at the Brass Monkey in January 2002 (1 minute and 6 seconds off my PB and nearly 3 minutes better than I’d done in the 5 previous races at York). My split times were: 6:34, 13:20: 20:08; 27:05; 33:41; 40:44; 47:42; 54:30; 61:25; 68:20; 75:20; 82:10 and 89:22. Although this time may be modest when compared with those for some other Club members, I am very pleased and proud to have achieved my aim at long last.

    So what is the secret of my success? There are probably a number of factors: a series of stretching exercises twice a day every day, and always before running; consistent training, typically 4 times a week (Tuesday session at the Club; 13 miles on Thursday; hill reps on Friday; 10 miles on Sunday – about 35 miles per week); running these sessions hard but keeping something in reserve; having rest days; healthy eating and drinking plenty of water.

    At the risk of blowing my own trumpet (if I don’t who else will) I hope that writing about my experiences may encourage other runners to overcome any injury or problem in order to achieve their own personal goals, whatever they may be.

    I hope in the near future to write an article on "How I Broke 40 minutes for a 10K", my current PB is 41:13 achieved at Dewsbury a week after the Brass Monkey in February 2002. If I don’t hurry up Natalie may beat me to it!?

    Stuart StJohn and John Whalley - separated at birth!

    The front page celebrated Stuart's 60th birthday on March 12th, but we also pass on our congratulations to his twin brother John Whalley who will also be 60. What a coincidence for them to be born on the same day! Not quite! John's birthday is two days later on March 14th. And John has been late for most things ever since!


    Slippy Stanes (a.k.a. Banana Skins)

    - Scottish report 2001 from George Black

    Following my age group win at the Scottish Vets X/C Champs on 3rd March, I planned to have a few weeks of steady running to re-establish my aerobic base and perhaps more importantly have a mental break from the painful anaerobic sessions put in during January and February.

    Slippy Stane (1). On 24 March, during an easy 12 mile run, my left calf tightened up 5 miles from home. As the stagecoach only passes the spot once a month, I was forced to get home as best I could. There was no question of over-training that week - (1) 7 miles in 68 minutes (average heart rate 119), (2) rest day, (3) 5 miles easy untimed, (4) 6¼ miles 55 mins (AHR 117), (5) rest day.

    I realised that it would be some weeks before I could run again so I began training with the local racing cyclists 3 or 4 times a week. On 10 July, with no running other than a tentative 39 miles in the previous 4 weeks, I ran a certified 5 mile race in 31:52 - the equivalent of 39:35ish for 10k.

    I then decided to take part in the Tour de Fife, 4 races in 4 days over 4 different types of terrain, starting on 16 July. Anyone who has ever seen the opening sequence of Chariots of Fire will be able to picture the course for the first race, 4¼ miles on the West Beach at St. Andrews. Day 2 was a 7½ mile race up the 1200 feet plus East Lomond Hill. Day 3 was a 4 mile race on the road round the edge of a public park, very similar in terrain to Roundhay, having a hill which had to be climbed twice. Day 4 was a 4 mile x/c race. I found that my position improved each day, ending up 11th overall. It is planned to extend the race to 5 days next year so if you fancy a holiday near St Andrews with an excuse to sneak off for a run every night, you know who to contact for details.

    My next competitive outing was the duathlon I had done the previous year. With my improved fitness and new strategy for all the transitions, I felt I could do well in my age group.

    Slippy Stane (2). On the first change over, from run to bike, I forgot my cycle helmet and had to go back for it when a fellow competitor pointed out my mistake. This cost me about 1½ minutes but I still managed to win my age group, finishing 39th overall. Without the time penalty, I would have been within 17 seconds of the first over 50.

    Slippy Stane (3). Starting to feel fit again, I went out with my cycle club for an 85 mile Sunday run, then back to one of the lad's house for a barbecue (and beer). We decided to have a race round his Crescent on Monkey Bikes (6" wheels). To cut a long story short, I fell off (6" fall) and hurt my right hand so badly that 3 months on and 2 cortisone injections later it still prevents me from carrying out my "househusband" duties.

    Slippy Stane (4). The damage to my hand made it difficult to brake and change gear but as I had entered the League of Veteran Racing Cyclists' Scottish Road Race Champion-ships (Over-60), I decided to start and see how I got on. To say the organisation was poor was an understatement. On finishing my warm up, I got to the start 5 minutes early, just in time to get on the back of the bunch as the race started. After about 5 miles along the banks of Loch Lomond, my rear wheel hit a "cat's eye" and broke a spoke. Another rider told me that my wheel had buckled so I had to release the back brake to allow clearance and prevent the wheel rubbing against the brakes. The race was from Balloch to Dunoon up the notorious 4 mile climb of the well-named "Rest and be Thankful" hill. The "pleasure" was enhanced by a strong headwind on the climb ...

    ... Slippy Stane (5). On the descent, with speeds well into the 40's, the back wheel was behaving badly and then my computer chose this moment to pack in (the battery had failed). I had no idea how far we had gone or how far to the finish which was just as well as the race was about 10 miles more than it was supposed to be at 57 miles ...

    ... Slippy Stane (6). On reaching the outskirts of Dunoon, I managed to position myself behind the rider I thought would lead out the 7 of us in the leading group when everyone started sprinting flat out. In cycle races, a marshal should wave a flag at the 200 metres to go mark but they had decided not to comply with this rule. When the leading rider turned a corner, he found the finish less than 100 metres away, reacted first and won. I managed to get through to 3rd place but would never have beaten the winner anyway as he was obviously a sprinter/roadman. Still, as this was my first official road race in 41 years, I felt quite pleased. I recognised the names of many of the riders from the teens and twenties but not the faces as they had all got so old.

    Another duathlon on 4 November - 4k run, 12.8 mile cycle - was my warm up for my main event of the year, the Vets X/C International at Callander Park, Falkirk. Unusually, the duathlon went by without a slippy stane and I finished 6th in the run and 13th overall. I had not cycled for 6 weeks before the race as I had been concentrating on my running. I found the bike ride very hard - the course went up to "The Mast" - get the picture? I had to take it easy on the main descent as I did not want to fall off a week before my target race.

    My training had been going well, very low mileage but very high quality with lots of rest days - not easy days, rest days. On the morning of the race I did my usual 2 mile run 16 seconds faster than ever before with a heart rate 9 beats lower. Things looked good. You've guessed it ...

    ... Slippy Stane (7). On looking at the field, the English runners were as usual the ones to beat. Bob Toogood realistically was in a different class, but, with Les Prestland and Steve James absent, the placings seemed to be up for grabs. I have got a healthy respect for Freddie Gibbs who has been going really well since he changed his diet, but I did not know much about the other runners. I got off to an excellent start and it was well into the first mile before Bob and Freddie shot past at high speed. I reverted to my usual tactic of then concentrating on waiting for the next 60 year old rather than waste energy trying to race younger vets.

    The English runners arrived together and battle commenced. I quickly realised at this stage of the race that I was stronger on the hills but that one of the English runners was faster on the flat. After about 10 minutes into the race, two things began to happen. I could sense one of the English runners start to "crack" and I began to feel "that" sensation in my stomach. The cramps began to get worse and I was forced to ease off. The pains got worse not helped by the 4th English 60 year old going past and then even worse another Scottish 60 year old going by. Without going into the gruesome details, my stride was now 6" as I was afraid to open my legs. Eventually I had to make 2 pit stops and the first Welsh and Irish 60 year olds had also passed by this time.

    I managed to rally in the last mile and re-passed the Welsh runner, but, despite closing, could not catch the first Scot or first Welsh, finishing 7th overall. In any other race I would have pulled out but I was glad I didn't as we managed to beat the Welsh team for the silver medal by 2 points. The race winner was Scotland's National X-C Champion (the National not the Vets), Tommy Murray, who ran away from the field and then 45 minutes later won the open race by a similar margin - a truly awesome display.

    When things go so terribly wrong, you examine what you did leading up to the race but I had followed my normal training and eating habits the previous week and, while excited, was not unduly nervous. You could say "s**t happens"!

    As reported in December 2001 VS News, George was 2nd counter for the Scottish team.

    The possibilities at the International were reinforced 3 weeks later when I ran only my second 10k of the year on a difficult course in East Kilbride in 37:56, beating Dave Fairweather, who had beaten me by 1min 26secs in the International, by a similar amount.

    As reported in December 2001 VS News, George's time was the fastest for 10k by a V60 Scot in 2001.

    Let's hope I have used up next year's Slippy Stanes as I intend to concentrate on cycle and duathlon races as a much needed new challenge.

    On the quality/quantity and weight discussions, I have reduced my weight from an average of 11 stone 5 pounds in recent years to 10st 7lbs and found that the 2 seconds per mile per pound weight formula that Max taught me is spot on.

    To confirm the theory, on 10 October I ran in a club confined 5k on the track in 19:03 while weighing 11st 6lbs. This is the equivalent for me, and for most people, of a 39:06 10k (i.e. 5k to 10k is plus 10seconds per mile or double your 5k time and add a minute). When I ran the 37:56 10k, my weight was 10st 9lbs, so the improvement has come almost entirely with the weight loss and I feel would have probably calculated spot on at a better 10k course.

    On mileage, I ran 347 miles in the 30 weeks leading up to the International but averaged over 100 miles a week of very hard cycling during my cycling phase My longest run since March was 9 miles and longest bike ride 100 miles. No doubt Max and Paul will argue that it was because or in spite of the low mileage / high quality.


    A Cautionary Tale (from George Black)


    International Reports

    Letter From America from Mark Hoon

    Thanks for the most recent newsletter. I will send my subs by snail mail, thank goodness I do not need to pay in Euros, otherwise I would have to get a new cheque book.

    So, here is my annual letter from America, that introduction does not in any way imply that I can write such astute pieces as Alistair Cooke.

    My year was low key as children and work prevented me from devoting large amounts of time to running. This year we were busy again with the birth of a daughter in April and 1 week before her birth I ran my personal worst in the Cherry Blossom 10 miler: almost 56 minutes (I have run this race every year since I got here in Washington which is 10 years). After Evelyn was born it was difficult to motivate myself to run any races but I had started in our club championship so I ran in these less competitive races. The club I am in is called MCRRC (Montgomery County Road Runners Club), it is a mammoth club with most people running for relaxation. They organize races throughout the year that are free for members. There is a race each month and some months 2 races, these vary in length from a 1 mile track race to a half marathon and the club even organizes a marathon (see later; for which a fee is required). I have run in their championship series, and cross-country series the last few years and have hardly entered any fee paying races. I finished 2nd in the road race series and third in the cross-country races this year. We also volunteer to marshal or help out in at least 2 races and this year my wife Marilyn took on the large job of being in charge of race registration for the club marathon. With almost 2000 entries she spent a lot of time typing names into data bases!

    In July I started my 3 months of training for an annual autumn marathon. I had picked out the Chicago Marathon on October 7th since I had heard it was a flat fast course. In the last 3 years my times in the marathon had been getting slower and slower; 2-28 in Richmond VA, 2-32 in Richmond VA and 2-34 in the Marathon in the Parks, MD. I was determined to stop the slide and try to get a time under 2-30. Early into my training a friend who I run at the track with told me he was running in Chicago too, the pressure was on. His marathon times were going in the opposite direction to mine and he wanted to run a faster time than last year (he is 7 years younger than me). All through the heat of the Washington summer I increased my miles till I reached almost 60 miles per week (my normal running week is only 25 miles).

    We arrived in Chicago on a very full flight and then went to stop in a hotel about 20 miles outside of the city. The next day we did the sight-seeing tour which was hard work with a 6 month and 3 year old. The race started at 7-30 in the morning and we had to be up by 5-30 to drive into town, my poor wife had to deal with two very unhappy sleepy children, and it was very lucky that 30 minutes after the start she found a MacDonald's open where she could revive with hot drinks and pancakes. Unfortunately, I missed seeing her at 6 and 10 mile because the crowds were too big, but she said she saw me! The race went well for me as I ran one of my most even paced marathons, 56:30 to 10 miles, 1:14:30 to halfway, 1:53 to 20 miles and 2:29:33 to finish only 10 minutes behind the world record setting first lady racer. So I met my target and my friend ran his PB but was phew ... one minute behind me. The course is fast and although I do not care for large races this one was very well organized and there were not the problems I have had with other big races. This year we are going to economise and go to races we can drive to, the one we picked out is the Corning Marathon (New York), only 4 hours drive away through the autumn colours of the Appalachians - I will send in my report next year. And maybe we can save up the pennies so that in three years time when I turn 40 we can make a trans-Atlantic trip in April to run in the London marathon...

    Mark, congratulations on your superb run at Chicago, once again you have run the fastest marathon by a Strider in the year. And when you come to London, come a couple of weeks early so that Marilyn can help us take entries for the Meanwood Valley Trail - Bob

    Lord of the Rings Connections

    Good news! At the end of the first book and film, Strider is still fit and healthy, although he is now heading in a different direction from the Ring. (Apologies if you were just off to see the film and now I've given the game away). (If you want to know what happens at the end of book three - and presumably film three, too - Ian Place is the man to ask).

    Bad news! No elves, dwarfs or hobbits likely to be found on the Meanwood Trail. In the second report in the Evening Post on 2 February, a leading expert, Denis Bridoux, said: "The Yorkshire influences on Tolkein are much stronger that is generally realised. When he arrived in Leeds in 1920 to take up his position of Reader in English Language, his writing was mainly of academic essays. But poems penned by him in Leeds started to use dragons and other mythical creatures. And he started telling his children increasingly mesmerising bedtime stories while living in the down-to-earth surroundings of the Beckett Park area". Prof Andrew Wilson, lecturer in medieval literature at the University of Leeds, said: "The real link between Leeds and the Lord of the Rings is that studying and teaching Old English, Old Icelandic and Middle English opened doors for him to intriguing lost shires and worlds".

    Thursday Night Training and Curry ...

    ... on the first Thursday of the month. On February 7th, a few of the Thursday training group went for a curry at the "Ruchee" on Harrogate Road (probably the nearest to Scott Hall) and this will also be the venue for March. So if you are fit, go for the run, if not, meet up afterwards - the next date is April 5th. Contact Bill Murphy on 0113 269 2158 or Bill says "If we start having big numbers we may have to think about somewhere else but we should be ok there for the moment. If we try and stay consistent with day and location it means those that cannot train can still curry favour (sorry couldn't resist it!) with those who do."


    Club "Colours" (from Peter Lambert & Bob Jackson)

    In the December 2001 edition, we published 13 shirt/vest designs and 3 logo designs for your consideration. Voting seems to have come a low priority with you (perhaps you have been phoning in to "Pop Idol" instead). But to compensate for this we have had suggestions from four more Striders and we have had a browse through the Fastrax club kit catalogue and the Ronhill website. The outcome is a further 13 designs and one new logo for you to consider. We've also added another of Jake Shipley's entertaining designs - not recommended for running in Africa unless in a game reserve! NB I think number 20 is ruled out because it is in use by another Northern Club.

    As we said before, if a style is from a manufacturer's standard range, the costs are likely to be (much) less. For example, the Fastrax styles range from £10.30 to £12.75 and the Ronhill from £9.25 to £12.60 (printing of logos extra on both). From the styles that have been suggested, the following are "standards"

    Because of the lack of votes and the introduction of new options, we are not creating a shortlist yet. Instead, we are inviting you all again to place your votes so that we can have a shortlist for the next newsletter. Please cast your votes for your favourite 5 shirt designs in order. NB you can vote for fewer than 5 designs if you want.

    1. Jake Shipley

    2. Jake Shipley

    3. Jake Shipley

    4. Jake Shipley

    5. Joyce Lambert

    6. Jake Shipley

    7.Peter Lambert

    8. Bob Jackson

    9.Judy Wilkes &J.Shipley

    10. Jake Shipley

    11 Bob Wilkes

    12 Stuart StJohn 1982

    13. Bury A.C. & J Shipley

    A. Peter Lambert

    B. Bob Jackson



    C. Stuart StJohn

    Send your votes to:

    Peter Lambert

    27 Baronsway

    Leeds LS15 7AW

    Or email to

    14 Hoops

    (NB available from Ronhill)

    15 Hoops with space for logo (M.Brown)

    16 Quarters with space for logo (M.Brown)

    17 Fastrax "Duo"

    18. Fastrax "Cruise" & Drew Taylor

    19 Fastrax "Pride" NB stripe and side panels can be any colour

    20 Fastrax "Avanti" black on white & North Fylde RR

    21 Fastrax "Avanti" white on white (Valley Striders but with trim)

    22 Drew Taylor

    23 Drew Taylor

    24 Jerry Watson

    (Ronhill "2 diagonals")

    25 Jake Shipley

    Vote for up to 5 designs, showing your order of preference

    26 The Kaisers

    27 The Kaisers

    D. Logo blue letters on gold background (colours of Leeds) (M.Brown)


    Vets Section

    West Yorks Vets - Championship Events

    NB The 6 road races and the fell race are "normal" races which anyone (of any age) can enter - the Vets Champs are awarded to the best vets in these races.

    Sun Feb 17 1300 Cross country - Thornes Park Wakefield (NB vets only)

    Sun Apr 7 1000 Wakefield 10k

    Wed May 8 1930 Esholt 5k

    Sun May 12 1000 Leeds ½ marathon

    Thu Jun 13 1930 Howarth 5

    Wed Jun 26 1930 Otley 10

    Sun Jul 14 1100 Road Relays at Mickletown (NB vets only)

    Wed Jul 17 1930 Eldwick Fell (also in YVAA series - see below)

    Sun Sep 8 1200 Track & Field at South Leeds (NB vets only)

    Sun Oct 27 1030 Holmfirth 15

    Yorkshire Veterans' A.A. - Events

    NB These events are vets-only.

    All races approx 10k mixed terrain. The Eldwick Fell race is also in this series. Points are scored in each race 100 for 1st, 99 for 2nd, etc and age group prizes awarded at the end of the season for scores from best 6 races.

    Sun Jan 13 1100 South Leeds Stadium

    Sun Mar 10 1100 Horsforth

    Sun Apr 21 1100 Halifax

    Sun May 19 1100 Heslington (York)

    Tue Jul 9 1945 Starbeck (between Harrogate & Knaresborough)

    Wed Aug 14 1930 Ripon (Cricket Club)

    Sun Sep 15 1100 Honley

    Sun Oct 6 1100 Harrogate (Squash Club)

    Sun Nov 24 1100 Esholt

    Contact Eric on 01943 878154 or Kathy on 0113 269 4820 if you would like more details of any of the above events.



    Yorkshire X-C Championships - report

    This was held the first Saturday in January at Rotherham on a course that was quite tricky due to two weeks of frost being followed by 2 days of warmer weather. In many places it was still frozen but in others there was 1 inch of mud on hard ground and there it was very slippery. A further challenge was that much of the course involved running on the side of a hill - it would have helped to have had one leg longer than the other.

    Lisa led our wimmin home in 24th place with Kathy 42nd and Sylvia 55th. Only three were needed to count and the finished 8th.

    The men's team also had three Striders - unfortunately it was 6 to count. Jerry had a good run and Geoff and Bob saved themselves for the Harrogate Ringway the next day (Bob more so than Geoff). They conveniently forgot to pick up a set of men's results.

    Northern x-c Championships - report

    Just 4 Striders - Geoff, Steve, Sara and Sylvia - travelled to the southernmost point of the North of England. The results have not got back yet!

    Yorkshire Vets X-C Championships - report

    After two weeks of rain, a mud-bath was anticipated but such was the terrain and drainage that the only muddy area of the course was the finishing funnel.

    The first of the two races was for old wimmin (35+) and very old men (50+). Equality for wimmin was the rule in this race and the wimmin had to run the same 4 laps of the 2400 metre course as the men. This distance is even longer than is run for the wimmin's (open age group) National Cross-Country which was about 8km this year!

    We were all given race numbers to be pinned on our fronts and age group numbers to be pinned on our backs. The idea of these age group numbers was so that you could see if the runner in front of you was in your age category or not; then you could decide if it was worth a sprint finish. This seemed unfair on the runner in front but was neutralised by the fact that you needed good vision to see these smallish numbers!

    One Strider who had no runners in front in her age category was Kathy Kaiser who won the LV50 category championship - congratulations! Her time was 45:26. Sylvia finished 4th in the same category (49:38), just ahead of Bob Wilkes (49:43). Just ahead of Kathy were Geoff (44:33) and Bob J (43:15). There were not enough runners for a team in these age groups.

    In the second race for slightly less old men (40-49), Paul Briscoe set off in second place, but by the end of the first lap (of four, they were running the same distance) he was 10th. He came through strongly in the later stages to finish 6th (35:32). The Striders team with Jerry (38:05), Drew (41:35) and Tim (42:45) were 9th, but only 13 points away from 6th.


    Spiders News (Fell and Trail)

    Calderdale Way Relay

    Overall the mixed team was 47th (3rd mixed team) and the men's team 50th. 92 teams finished. Here are the full details.


    V.S. Mixed

    Leg time & pos

    Cum time & pos

    V.S Men

    Leg time & pos

    Cum time & pos


    Terry Bean

    Mick Wrench

    1:14:00 (14)

    1:14:00 (14)

    Neil Dutton

    Mark Bean

    1:22:40 (37)

    1:22:40 (37)


    Janet Parkinson

    Lisa Wilyman

    1:28:47 (78)

    2:47:53 (47)

    Alistair Fale

    Geoff Webster

    1:14:34 (43)

    2:37:14 (40)


    Madeleine Watson

    Sylvia Watson

    0:52:41 (60)

    3:35:28 (61)

    Bob Jackson

    Mike Midgley

    0:55:15 (69)

    3:32:29 (49)


    Jerry Watson

    Ingo Zoller

    1:18:48 (27)

    4:54:17 (41)

    Eric Cusack

    Alan Hutchinson

    1:25:43 (46)

    4:58:12 (45)


    Kathy Kaiser

    Annemi Van Zyl

    1:14:21 (57)

    6:08:38 (44)

    Paul Furness

    Ken Kaiser

    1:07:57 (39)

    6:06:09 (42)


    Henry Lang

    Bill Murphy

    1:28:50 (45)

    7:37:28 (47)

    Harry Bates

    Steve O'Callaghan

    1:39:54 (71)

    7:46:03 (50)

    In the absence of a race report, a cautionary tale. Your editor was called up as a late reserve despite complaining that it was hardly worth a 100 mile round trip for a 4½ mile race. So the plan was to run the 4½ miles and then run back using a shorter 3-3½ mile route to at least make the day worthwhile. Alas! They check all your equipment at the start - rainproof jacket, leggings, whistle, compass, map - but they don't check whether you have your glasses to read your map. After 2 miles, a vital turn was missed and a couple of minutes later he and his partner were heading downhill back to Todmorden rather than uphill to Blackshaw Head. A word with some golfers who had seen some runners the other side of the golf course put them back on track to find themselves about 100 yards in front of Sylvia and Madeleine. Unfortunately, your editor was wearing his yellow dayglo thermal top so couldn't avoid being spotted and the secret could not be kept hidden. Still, the extra mile made for a total of 9 miles, and coming back we could admire the views as the fog had lifted on our side of the valley. On the other side, there was a wonderful view of Stoodley Pike. With the fog all around the Pike, all that could be seen was the monument itself, which appeared to be floating in mid-air.

    The Stoop, Haworth Corrections to report in December 2001 VS News

    The report said that "Five Spiders negotiated the course", but if you read the report you will have seen the names of Jerry, Ingo, Sylvia, G.W, Sara and Carin - six. In fact there was a seventh Spider, Andrew Cutts, who finished between Jerry and Ingo, but so far ahead of the Spiders Sec that he must have missed him.


    Race Report - Rombalds Stride (from Geoff)

    Six Spiders started from Guiseley Scout Hut (along with about 500 other competitors) on what turned out to be a very windy day. The route takes in Esholt Woods and Village followed by Baildon Moor Top and a long boggy section to Whetstone Gate radio masts on Ilkley Moor. Most of this was into the wind so it came as a relief to get the wind behind on the run down to the Ilkley bottom checkpoint. Alas, from there runners had to battle a strong crosswind along the moor edge down to Burley and Menston. After this the climb up and down and up the Chevin was more than a little strenuous. This was topped off with further headwind running along the Chevin to get back to Guiseley.

    The Rombalds Stride has in the past been a good event for the Spiders to pick up some trophies. Both Liz and Sylvia have won the wimin's trophy over the present course, while Peter L, G.W. and George D have picked up vet prizes and Steve Thirkell (VS/Horsforth/Bingley) has won the men's race (Steve turned out this year and finished 3rd). Unfortunately, this year, no Spider was fit enough to raise a challenge but all got round in a reasonably good time. First Spider back at the Scout Hut was G.W. (3h36) who had his best run for several years. He finished 6 minutes ahead of Eric C (3h42) who chose to do a slightly longer route round the Chevin and so lost his chance to catch G.W. Next in was Rob Bumstead (3h52) who said his legs gave out on the Chevin. He had 18 minutes to spare over Peter L (4h10) who has done this course so many times he decided to take it easy and look at the scenery. Madeleine W was next home in just over 4½ hours. This run was part of her quest to get fit in 2002. Ian P, who is not fit and is struggling with injuries, finished in around 4hr 45min; he is a tuff old bloke! And speaking of tuff old blokes, it is worth mentioning that Terry Kelly (V70+) of Fearnville R.C. finished in 5hr 13min - this included going the wrong way on the Chevin and doing an unnecessary 200' of climbing up the steep steps from the White House. He said he found that bit very difficult due to his age but it seems more likely that the difficulty arose from the fact that he had run 20 miles cross country by the time he arrived there.

    For the record, the race was won by Andy Robertshaw of Otley with Andy Hauser (P&B) 2nd and Steve Thirkell (Bingley) 3rd. The first wumin was Andrea Priestley of Fellandale with Jean Shotter (P&B) 2nd. Jean sank waist deep in a bog on Ilkley Moor and was rescued by G.W. and another bloke. But for their intervention she would still be up there!!!

    As usual, pies and pasties were on offer after the finish so everyone tucked in and held an inquest into the events of the day.

    A special poem concerning the Rombalds Stride has been submitted by W. McGonagall (poet and tragedian) or possibly by A.N.Other or G.McW.


    The Great Rombalds Run

    It was in the year two thousand and two

    That a most terrible wind down the moorland blew

    Down upon the town of Guiseley

    A more pleasant place the eye could not see

    Upon the day of the Rombalds Stride

    Five hundred persons gathered from far and wide

    And as the village clock struck nine

    They all set off on an event which will be remembered for a very long time

    And though the wind did blow and bray

    The resolve of the competitors he could not gainsay

    As that mighty throng made its way

    The braying wind could not dismay

    Thro' weather that was more likely to rain than be fine

    On an event which will be remembered for a very long time

    Over hill and dale and moor and bog

    Some were quite pleased it was windy because in these conditions there is no fog

    Others ran till their legs gave way

    While the mighty wind did blow and bray

    But their efforts he could not gainsay

    Because it did not rain and the weather stayed fine

    On an event which will be remembered for a very long time

    Once off the moor all the runners began to grin

    As they skipped up Otley Chevin

    Then down the road to Guiseley Scout Hut

    They all hoped the door would be open and that it would not be shut

    Then they all agreed with many a sigh

    It was worth running 23 miles for a cheese and onion pie.

    (Don't complain that it doesn't scan - I'm told it's not supposed to - ed)

    Stop Press - Wadsworth Trog

    Steve and Sara opted for the short (9 miles) course over rough moorland. Sara finished 3rd wumin and Steve 4th bloke

    Fell Championship points

    After two races, G.W. hits the front. G.W. 55, Steve W 53, Eric 50, Sara 50, Rob B 47, Peter L 44, Madeleine W 41, Ian P 38


    Fell Championship Events 2002

    Full list (probably)

    Sat Feb 2 TG Rombalds Stride 23

    Sat Feb 16 L Wadsworth Trog 20 from near Hebden Bridge pre-enter

    Sat Feb 16 L Wadsworth Half Trog 9 from near Hebden Bridge pre-enter

    Sun Feb 23 F Ilkley Moor 4½???

    Sat Mar 2 F Noonstone 9 from Lumbutts

    Sat Mar 16 T Wuthering Hike 31 from Haworth

    Sun Mar 31 TG Guiseley Gallop approx 10k

    Tue Apr 2 F also Apr 9/16/23 Bunny Run 3 easy moorland

    Sun Apr 7 T Baildon Boundary Way ½ marathon

    Sun Apr 7 T Blubberhouses Moor 25 good tracks, record held by P Briscoe

    Sat May 4 T St Leonards Way 24 miles (Haworth to Hebden Br and back)

    (organised by St Leonards Hospice, entry forms from Bob)

    Sat May ? TX Malhamdale Meander 26 from Malham - may not be on

    Sat May ? TX Fellsman Hile 60 from Ingleton - may not be on

    Sun May 12 F Springs Wood Chase 4 from Guiseley Retail Park

    Tue May 14 F Jack Bloor 5 from Ilkley (evening)

    Sat May 25 FG White Wells 3½ from Ilkley

    Mon Jun 3 F Austwick Amble 8 has been won by Steve Webo

    Wed Jun 5 F Chevin Fell Race (evening)

    Wed Jun 12 F Mytholmroyd 7 (evening)

    Sat Jun 15 F Buckden Pike 4

    Sat Jun 22 F Wadsworth Gala 4 (Tom Tittiman race) easy route

    Sun Jun 23 F Reservoir Race 8 from Wadsworth

    Tue Jun 25 FG Dick Hudson 6½ from Ilkley

    Sun Jun 30 F Settle Hills 7

    Sat Jul ?? TX Osmotherly Phoenix 30 tough trail on N Y Moors

    Tue Jul 9 F Stoodley Pike 3½

    Sun Jul 21 F Oldfield Gala 3 nr Keighley

    Sun Jul 28 L Holme Moss 16

    Sun Aug 4 T Kettlewell Kanter 24 trail (CHECK DATE)

    Sun Aug 18 L Sedbergh Hills 14

    Sat Aug?? F Burnsall Fell (usually week before Bank Hol)

    Sat Aug BH T Smugglers Trod 26 good trails (date to confirm, usu. Bank Hol)

    Sun Sep 8 L Yorkshireman Off-road Marathon

    Sat Sep 14 FG Briscoe's Fell Race 3½ Otley

    Sun Sep ?? T Nidd Vale Circuit 26 from Lofthouse nr Pateley Br, good trails

    Sun Sep 22 F Whernside 11

    Sat Oct 5 T Saddleworth Trail 10

    Sat Oct 26 FG Withins Skyline 7 from Haworth (free Curly Wurly for finishing)

    Sat Nov 2 F Shepherd Skyline 6 near Todmorden

    ? Nov ? TG Burley Bridge Hike 21 (date to confirm)

    Sat Nov 16 L Tour of Pendle 17

    Sun Nov 17 L Lordstone 11 N Y Moors

    Sun Nov 24 F Rivock Edge 10 from Silsden

    Sun Dec 1 F Bolton by Bowland 8 mainly muddy x-c

    Sun Dec 22 F The Stoop 5 from Haworth (last race in 2002 Fell Champ)

    All distances in miles

    F = fell race L = long fell race

    T = long trail race (all have refreshment stops with tea & buns etc)

    X = not in Fell Championship - for information only

    G = also in Grand Prix


    Harrogate Ringway Relay

    There were 23 teams of five runners in this, the 13th running of the Harrogate Ringway 21-ish-mile circular footpath on the first Sunday in January, organised by Nidd Valley Road Runners.

    We had entered for the first time last year and had a steady result but with unimaginative team names - our "Z" team finished 6th, "X" finished 9th and "Y" finished 14th. The race had been won by Harrogate Hares, second had been Otley Flyers, and last were Ripon Doug's Dawdlers.

    This year 6 clubs were represented - Harrogate Harriers (6 teams), Nidd Valley (5), Otley AC (4), Valley Striders (4), Ripon Runners (3) and Ilkley Harriers (1).

    The rules of the race said that there must be at least one lady in the team (to run the first leg), must be one vet over-45 and also one vet over-40. This did not cause any problems of team selection for our club as we have plenty of wimmin and plenty of old men. There was a last minute panic when Claire came down with flu and was unable to run - fortunately Natalie's partner, Tim, was available to run as his first claim club, Shaftesbury and Barnet had decided not to send a team. He was just back in training after injury, but his most recent form in Yorkshire - winning the 2000 Chevin Chase - suggested he would be a suitable replacement.

    So four Valley Striders wimmin lined up to the start on the Waterside at Knaresborough. Or perhaps I should say skidded to the start as this was very icy - one of the worst places on the entire route. Another part that was to cause trouble later was a section through the Nidd Gorge on leg 5 where the slatted wooden duckboard bridges were very slippery and a couple of runners (not Striders) returned bloodied and bruised.

    On the start line, representing the Valley Spiders was Lisa Wilyman - she would hand over to Eric Cusack, Mick Wrench, Mick Loftus and Jerry Watson. Lining up for the Valley Strollers was Natalie - their team was Tim, Andrew Cutts, Steve O and Mark Bean. Leading off the Valley Sagas was Kathy Kaiser, to hand over to Peter Lambert, Bob Jackson, Geoff Webster and Paul Furness. And Sara Dyer was the first team member for the Valley Sheilas, the others being Madeleine Watson, Annemi Van Zyl, Sylvia Watson and Janet Parkinson.

    Lisa came through in 3rd place (behind Ripon and Harrogate) on the first leg, the other Striders teams were in the middle of the pack. On the second leg, Eric had picked up a place for second and Tim had overtaken half the field to be in 4th place. After that there were not too many changes in position but for most runners there was usually someone else just ahead or in the near distance or just behind, so there was always an incentive to keep up the pace. So much for the "have fun, do something different with a crowd of similar lunatics" as specified on the race entry form!

    All Striders team members had done their recceing well, and those that had done it earlier in the week (or even the day before) rather than a month or two previously fared better as they knew the conditions to expect. Mick Loftus had identified an area of black ice by previous experience and managed to avoid it on the day - the runner in front of him didn't. There were one or two minor variations from the straight line route as when crossing fields with no marked path the fog was so dense in places that you couldn't see the next stile but on reaching the fence or hedge it tended to be 10 yards one way or the other.

    The early leaders, Ripon, faded slightly to 4th place, and it was Otley, out of the places on the first two legs, who came through in the later stages to win, Ian Fisher finally taking the lead with less than 2 miles to go.

    Selected Results

    1 Otley All Stars 2:13:19

    2 Harrogate Hounds 2:14:35

    3 Valley Spiders 2:18:15

    7 Valley Strollers 2:29:06

    9 Valley Sagas 2:35:47

    16 Valley Sheilas 2:50:54

    23 Ripon Doug's Dynamoes 3:12:59

    If you're interested in running next year, contact me (Bob). The legs are easy to recce - since the longest is 5¼ miles, the longest recce run is 10½ miles (unless you get lost); no need for two runners and two cars. It is also highly likely that we'll have a go at running the whole route again on a Sunday morning in mid or late summer. The full route is 21 miles but last time we also arranged to leave cars for an early finish at 16 miles.

    Harewood Trail Race 2002

    While V S News is in the Harrogate area, here's advance notice / reminder that we are intending to hold the Harewood Trail race this year and the likely date seems to be Sunday 30th September. Please keep this date open, if you can.


    Bradford Millennium Way Relay: 30 June 2002

    From Paul Furness

    This is a new event for the Valley Striders racing calendar. The date of the race is Sunday 30 June and hopefully the club will be entering at least one team and hopefully two or even three teams if there is sufficient interest from you guys and gals out there.

    Unlike the race name suggests, the route does not go anywhere near Bradford. The nearest point is probably Shipley. The race, which is organised by St Bede's running club, starts and finishes at the Bradford & Bingley Rugby Club on Wagon Lane in Bingley. It has a circular (clockwise) route visiting Harden, Denholme, Oxenhope, Oldfield, Laycock, Eastburn, Silsden, Addingham and Ilkley before returning to Bingley. The total distance is approximately 45 miles.

    The race is divided into 5 stages with athletes running in pairs (like in the Leeds Country Way and Calderdale relays).

    If anyone is interested in running in this event please let me know (Paul F) on 0113 269 8231 or Kathy Kaiser on 0113 269 4820. As this is the first running of the BMW relay then a lot of recceing will be required. Please let me know by Easter if you want to run so that we have sufficient time to organise the pairings for the team(s) and possibly arrange some Sunday recceing runs. I hope to hear from you guys and gals soon!

    Bob writes: - I have just received an e-mail with the details of the 5 stages:

    1. Start ½mile south of Bingley town centre just off the A650; finish at the old chapel at Marsh (½mile north west of Oxenhope) - 9½ miles, hilly (OS maps 288 and 21).
    2. Marsh to Laycock near the chapel - 9½ miles, hilly (OS21).
    3. Laycock to Town Head Silsden (the northern outskirts of Silsden on the A6034 Sildsden to Keighley road) - 7½ miles, hilly (OS21).
    4. Silsden to the south side of Ilkley just before White Wells - 9 miles, hilly (OS21 and 297).
    5. White Wells, Ilkley back to Bingley - 9½ miles, hilly (OS297 and 288).

    Legs 2 and 3 have the disadvantage that they are the furthest from Leeds but have the advantage that you only need one Ordnance Survey map.

    Other Trail Relays for 2002 include


    Forthcoming Races/Events

    Grand Prix 2002

    Sun Mar 17 1000 Spen 20 (note earlier start time)

    Sun Mar 31 1100 Guiseley Gallop

    Sun Apr 14 London marathon

    Tue Apr 30 18:45 Handicap 10k Eccup Res

    Sun May 12 10:00 Leeds full marathon and half marathon

    Sat May 25 White Wells 3½ from Ilkley

    Tue Jun 25 Dick Hudson 6½ from Ilkley

    Wed Jun 26 Otley 10 definite date but provisional event for GP

    Sun Jul ? Harrogate 10k

    Tue Jul ? Handicap Summer 5 around southern loop of Harewood 10

    Other Road Races - plan your diary

    The following were taken from the North of England A.A. website. Some do not have permits so the dates are provisional

    Mar 3rd Norton 9, 10th East Hull 20, 17th South Leeds 5, 24th Ackworth ½mar

    Apr 7th Baildon B Way ½mar, 7th Wakefield 10k, 28th Sheffield ½ & full marathon

    May 5th Tadcaster 10, 8th/15th/22nd Esholt 5k, 15th Askern 10k, 19th Thirsk 10

    19th Sandal 10k

    Jun 1st Ackworth 10k, 4th Skipton 10, 9th Birkenshaw 5, 13th Haworth 5,

    16th Stainland 7, 30th Harewood 10k (but same day as Bradford M Way)

    We have copies of entry forms for most races which we keep at Leo's in a folder marked "Entry Forms". If you run a race and see entry forms for a forthcoming race, grab half a dozen copies to replenish this folder.