June 2002

2002 Issue 2


 In This Issue


Meanwood Trail Race

For the second year running we raised over 500, making a total of over 1200 that we have collected for Lineham Farm in the last 3 years. Thanks to everyone who helped. If there is anyone who did help and did not get their bottle of Briscoe's Muddy Meander (this describes the course, not the beer) contact me.

Congratulations to Paul Briscoe on his 2nd place 43:01 (1st M40) and to Terry Bean 6th 43:57 (3rd M40). Andrew Cutts was the only other Strider, 53rd in 50:41. The race winner for the third time was Trevor Wilks of Leeds City (42:07), and the women's winner for the fourth time was Sarah Rowell who finished 22nd overall (47:13). There were 268 finishers - a record - by one!

In spite of many phone calls we could have done with 6 or 8 more marshals. This year we had a new problem. Half an hour after the course had been laid out in Meanwood Park, some 5-a-side football games started covering part of our route. The runners had to weave between the touchlines, but with 2 more Striders in this area the route could have been quickly relaid to go round the outside of the pitches. We know that many Striders work or are unavailable on a Saturday. We are considering moving the race to a Sunday. Opinions to Geoff or Bob please.

Grand Prix

60 Striders have already competed in the Grand Prix. The next races are Dick Hudson Fell (June 25), Otley 10 (June 26), Harrogate 10k (July 7), Summer Handicap (July 16) and Autumn Handicap (Sept 10). With 15 races still to go, even if you haven't started, you still have plenty of races available to be able to complete the 8 needed to qualify for prizes (see page 9).

Summer Handicap - Tuesday July 16th

The first runners will be away at 7 p.m. The start is at the gate to Eccup Reservoir at the bottom of the path from Alwoodley Lane and the route is a 5 mile clockwise circuit across fields and footpaths to Eccup, on the Dales Way to Emmerdale, along footpaths to the water treatment works, across the dam and back along the Reservoir-side path.

Leeds Country Way - Sunday September 1st

This race, cancelled in 2001, is back on this year. In the last few years we have had 3 teams - "A", "Vets" and "Wimmin", and we would like to enter 3 teams again this year. The legs vary from 9 to 11 miles and the furthest away is from Stanley to Morley - every leg can easily be recce'd in 21/2 to 31/2 hours including travelling time - so could even be done in a summer evening. Contact Paul Furness or Kathy Kaiser as soon as possible if you are interested. We will need to send our entries by the beginning of August so we will need to plan who is running with whom during July, so phone by 15th July at the latest.

Harewood 10 mile Trail Race & 2 mile junior race - Sun Oct 13th

Please keep this date free (don't enter the Manchester marathon or the Bridlington half!). We will need more marshals than last year as we will need to hold some gates open (last year, when there was no livestock near to footpaths, all gates had been left open) and there are stricter safety requirements to adhere to. Over the past 3 years, the St Leonard's Hospice Fundraising Centre has, with our support, raised over 5000 from these races. NB Striders may run if they provide a "sub" to marshal.

Affiliation Fees

We are about to pay our affiliation fees to the North of England Athletic Association, for which we have to submit a full list of members. What does this mean to you? If you've already paid your Striders subs for our current year (September 2001 to August 2002), you needn't worry because we will automatically include you. But if you haven't paid, we leave you off the NoEAA list and you will not be entitled to claim 1 off a race entry for being a member of an affiliated club. (If you are in arrears, there will be a reminder with this VS News).

Filling in Entry Forms

There have been a few occurrences where race results have been "inaccurate" for our runners - this could have been due to the computer operator transcribing the details incorrectly or could have been due to the Strider not filling in all parts of the entry form. A category or team prize may be at stake! Always make sure you fill in:

And if entries on the day are not eligible for prizes, then please pre-enter!

Excess Postage!

You will have noticed a 33p stamp on your envelope - this is because the record-breaking 44 pages of this issue of VS News has taken us over the 60 gram limit for 19p. You can thank (or blame) 20 (!) different Striders reporters for this, including five first-timers - Claire, Harry, Madeleine, Mark and Rob. I prefer the thanks - I've only had to write about 7p-worth this issue. Contributions for the next issue are welcome ... immediately!

Leeds Marathon and Supporters

There were 32 Striders (first and second claim) running in these two races and they were awarded 7 prizes. Race results are on page 8. Two more Striders were running in the Corporate Challenge - see page 13.

But special mention must be made of all the Striders who were supporting on the route - Doug Allaway & Janet Parkinson, Carmel Barker & Bernadette Clayton, Harry Bates & Steve O, Yvonne Bissitt, Eric Cusack, George Dawson, John Hallas & Tony Haygarth, Andy Hinton, Kathy & Ken Kaiser, Mick Loftus, Ian Place, Ray Price, Stuart StJohn (on the bike), Sylvia Watson & Geoff Webster. Sorry if I missed anyone - if you were on the first half of the route you should have shouted louder, if you were on the second half, I was in no state to pay attention.

Special thanks to Striders' number one supporter Joyce - everyone should have picked up at least one place on the run-in up the Headrow with that extra encouragement! And Dick Dale wrote "Can you put in the newsletter a big thank you to Ian Place who phoned Saturday evening before Leeds M. asking if I needed a feeder for the race, which I did, and he did a great job for me and stayed to meet me at the finish".

New members

It doesn't need the brain of Stephen Hawking to work out that if we have no-one joining and no-one leaving, then after 3 months, the average age of club members will have gone up by 3 months.

So I am pleased to announce that by recruiting two (relative) youngsters, the average age of Striders has remained constant over the last 3 months. And the average speed has increased, too!!

Tom Boddington is a friend of Claire Taylor and has been running with the Thursday group for about 3 months now. He signed up with the Striders just in time to save his first 1 with his Leeds half marathon entry. He ran 1:36:59 which was 7 minutes faster than last year. William Hill's are already refusing bets on him breaking 1:30 next year.

Tracey Morris is a friend of Lisa Wilyman. Lisa and myself have been chasing Tracey to recruit her for the past year and finally caught up with her a week after the Leeds half. Neither of us managed to catch her in the Leeds half - she ran 1:28:59 and was 5th woman, one place lower but 71 seconds faster than last year.

You will see a few more unfamiliar names in some of the results sections - we hope to convert some of them to members (and relieve them of some money) in the next few weeks.


The March edition of V.S.News mentioned a couple of new 60-year-olds, but a couple of other major birthdays have come and gone since then and another couple are coming and going as I put the finishing touches to this V.S.News.

Steve Thirkell turned 50 in March and took advantage by winning the Yorks vets V50 marathon championship at Sheffield (and finished 3rd overall).

Steve Webb turned 40 in May and 9 days later took 3rd V40 in the Yorks vets half marathon championship at Leeds. This birthday means that the whole of the Striders committee are now veterans() - it is time for some of you younger ones to come and "commit" before we are all racing in the zimmer frames 10k.

Wilf Little turned 70 at the end of May. He will be hoping to run his annual 10k at the Abbey Dash in December and in the meantime keeps fit delivering VS newsletters.

Max Jones' 75th birthday was the same day as the Queen's golden jubilee. Still an Ever-Present at the London marathon and in the Coach's Column of V.S.News, he has a long way to go before becoming oldest competitor at London (but he was oldest finisher at the Comrades Marathon in 1998 and 1999).

() Note - except Geoff Webster, who as everyone knows, is only 37


Grand Prix 2002 Results & Race Reports

Brass Monkey 1/2 marathon

We had a report in the last edition, but missed printing the results

49 Mick Wrench 1:20:01
164 Paul White 1:29:22
224 Kathy Kaiser 1:33:07
269 Ken Kaiser 1:35:05
310 Peter Lambert 1:37:27
xxx Dick Dale 1:40 ish

Spen 20
4 Steve Thirkell 2:04:24
11 Neil Dutton 2:09:47
13 Roy Flesher 2:11:18
54 Dick Dale 2:26:50
76 Annemi Van Zyl 2:43:34

Good preparation and good results for all the marathon runners. Neil was presumably just there for the enjoyment. Steve claimed his final YV45 title 1 day before his 50th birthday.

Guiseley Gallop

41 Tim Towler 42.44
45 Mark Bean 43.34
66 Andrew Cutts 44.55
71 Alistair Fale 45.32
85 Mike Midgley 46.22
111 Peter Lambert 47.42

Your correspondent was officiating with stopwatch at this event and was somewhat surprised to see a confirmed road runner claim the 100 GP points. Mark, suffering from a "late night", was less than a minute behind, and they were followed by the off-road specialists. All were there for the Briscoe's.

A possible entry for the Guinness Book of Records was that the last finisher took over twice as long as the next-to-last. This was because he was pushing a wheel-chair. It takes some imagination to work out how he got round even in 21/2 hours. N.B. this record would have only lasted two weeks, since it would have been broken by the man in the deep-sea diving suit in the London marathon.

London Marathon

Here are the statistics for Striders and friends:

Pos M/W 10k 20k half 30k 40k finish
731 702 Roy Flesher 0:40:54 1:22:30 1:27:08 2:03:57 2:45:40 2:54:51
834 801 Rob Liddle 0:39:06 1:19:27 1:24:01 2:01:34 2:46:17 2:56:03
1559 1495 Rob Burnham 0:42:29 1:25:25 1:30:11 2:09:31 2:54:57 3:05:12
1843 w84 Kathy Kaiser 0:42:38 1:26:23 1:31:15 2:12:08 2:58:45 3:08:20
2308 1843 Ken Kaiser 0:43:51 1:28:23 1:33:25 2:13:48 3:01:22 3:12:11
4595 4231 Dick Dale 0:48:01 1:37:21 1:42:53 2:27:53 3:18:21 3:28:31
5502 5038 Dave Milner 0:46:11 1:31:34 1:36:33 2:20:01 3:21:01 3:33:57
9775 w1117 Annemi Van Zyl 0:52:09 1:44:25 1:50:27 2:41:45 3:39:45 3:52:19
16416 14004 Danny Burnham 0:55:58 1:51:51 1:58:08 2:51:00 4:02:56 4:18:17
19253 w2876 Mel Gray 0:57:59 1:58:23 2:04:47 2:59:15 4:09:31 4:25:02
24723 19997 Tony Lupton 0:56:31 1:56:47 2:03:46 3:09:27 4:35:10 4:51:52
30609 23737 James Burnham 1:03:41 2:15:59 2:25:35 3:41:27 5:21:09 5:41:42
31766 24401 Max Jones 0:54:36 2:08:17 2:18:57 4:01:30 5:46:37 6:09:38

I am pleased to report that all the Club entries got round safely, pride of place being taken by Annemi who easily broke 4 hours.

Congratulations to Roy as highest-placed Strider, to Rob Liddle who broke 3 hours for the first time, and to Kathy who finished 3rd W50.

London marathon report - from Kathy Kaiser

It's difficult collecting my thoughts together regarding the London Marathon this year. From a personal point of view it was an awful race, apart from my time, which I was delighted with. I would have been delighted if I'd had a good run, but I was even more pleased having felt really bad throughout the race.

But what a race to be involved in!! Although I would have like to have watched it live, you can't have everything. What a superb win by Paula, I was so pleased for her, and by the men's winner Khannouchi.

I was in the privileged position of starting on the elite women's start at 9:00am. Along with Paula Radcliffe, Derartu Tulu etc. I was able to apply to start in this start because of my New York time. Any woman who has run a marathon in 3:15 or under in the last two years can apply to start with the elite women and be part of the "AAA + UK Marathon Championships." It's a wonderful start to be on, only a couple of hundred women, with all the facilities on tap. Although I did have one hiccup, I nearly got disqualified over the size of the "Striders" on my club vest. There are rules regarding size and amount of sponsorship and advertising on your kit and the size of Striders on my vest was a fraction too big, so I had to lift my number up to cover the bottom of the writing, it was also logged down on the checker's record sheet. All very silly for such a minute amount, but something to be careful of in future.

At the start everyone was vying for a view of Paula, who seemed very normal, very fit and very very thin. So off we went, that was my last sight of the elite women, as they disappeared into the distance, leaving behind the good club runners, as we are often called. I felt OK at the start apart from a tweak in my hamstring when warming up, which I was very aware of over the first couple of miles, but soon forgot about, as my digestive problems started to take over. My mile times were going well. The crowds were absolutely fantastic, the noise was deafening. I managed to see lots of people I knew in the crowds, which was great and very encouraging. I still think the best part of the race, apart from the finish, is going round Cutty Sark, it never fails to thrill.

The leading men came past me at around 19 miles, you are very much aware they are coming because you hear the helicopter for ages getting nearer, then the motorbikes and the TV van, all making sure you move out of the way to let the men pass. It is a very impressive sight as the men fly past.

I started to feel a bit better towards 22-23 miles, and passed quite a few women in this final stretch, and also one of the men. The finish was a welcome sight, as was the time on the clock 3hrs 08min 21secs.

So having said all the way through training for London it would be my last marathon, experiencing the crowds and having qualified again for the elite start, it would be bad mannered not to take it up and have another go, especially as Ken has now regained his enthusiasm for marathons after enjoying his run in 3hrs 12min. I might enjoy it more next time. That 3 hour mark is beckoning again.

Spring Handicap

Race Pos Watch time H'cap Time GP Pts
1 Natalie White 48.21 2.15 46.06 79
2 Henry Lang 48.55 11.45 37.10 98
3 George Little 49.29 10.30 38.59 93
4 Paul White 49.41 8.15 41.26 87
5 Rob Bumstead 49.59 12.00 37.59 95
6 Lou Gilchrist 49.59 1.45 48.14 76
7 Ken Kaiser 50.01 9.00 41.01 88
8 Roy Flesher 50.04 12.30 37.34 96
9 Peter Lambert 50.30 5.45 44.45 83
10 Claire Taylor 50.31 0.00 50.31 73
11 Kathy Kaiser 50.52 8.00 42.52 84
12 John Hallas 50.56 10.00 40.56 90
13 David Cusack 50.57 6.30 44.27 83
14 Drew Taylor 51.00 13.30 37.30 97
15 Mick Wrench 51.16 16.30 34.46 100
16 Mark Bean 51.23 13.15 38.08 94
17 Rob Weston 51.28 12.00 39.28 92
18 Chris Kaye 51.28 10.30 40.58 89
19 Bob Wilkes 51.29 5.30 45.59 80
20 Jerry Watson 51.32 16.00 35.32 99
21 Annemi Van Zyl 52.17 5.00 47.17 78
22 Glyn Smith 52.31 5.00 47.31 77
23 Bob Jackson 52.36 10.15 42.21 85
24 Paul Furness 52.39 10.30 42.09 86
25 Carole Schofield 54.01 9.00 45.01 81
26 Mike O'Callaghan 54.04 13.15 40.49 91
27 Dick Dale 55.08 6.00 49.08 75
27 Steve O'Callaghan 55.08 6.00 49.08 75

If the handicapper does his job correctly, the handicap should be won by the most improved runner over the past 3 to 6 months. Looking at recent "form", I think Natalie and Henry would have justified being listed as pre-race joint favourites, and Henry might have caught Natalie had 10k been 6.5 rather than 6.2 miles. Timekeepers Crosfill and Crosfill and number-hander-outer Lambert (J) were kept busy with 17 of the 28 runners coming in in a two-minute timespan.

The 100 points for fastest time was awarded, yet again, to Mick Wrench.

Two potential new members had turned up their first training session with the Striders and were persuaded to run. Both beat the handicapper and Rob Weston, who works at Lineham Farm and had run the Trail Race, finished 9th fastest. Glyn Smith, a confirmed off-road runner, didn't fare too badly on the paths and tarmac. Mike O'Callaghan, on 4 weeks training back with the Striders, finished 10th fastest.

Leeds Marathon

2 Jerry Watson 2:44:39
3 Steve Thirkell 2:45:45
21 Drew Taylor 3:07:15
57 Dick Dale 3:25:42

Elbis Parsley won the event which allowed the newspapers opportunity for Elvis Presley puns (Elbis on song, Elbis rocks in etc), but Striders second claimers took the other two places on the podium with Jerry (white vest with Thames Hare & Hounds logo) (1st V40) holding off Steve (white vest with blue Bingley Harriers hoops) (1st V50).

Drew Taylor missed his 3 hour target but in the hot and humid conditions should be satisfied with his 21st place. Dick reliably finished sub 3:30.

Leeds Half Marathon

10 Terry Bean 1:16:35
14 Steve Webb 1:17:55
34 Roy Flesher 1:21:36
38 Henry Lang 1:22:19
43 Mick Wrench 1:23:29
44 Tim Towler 1:23:39
83 Chris Chambers 1:26:53
91 Mark Bean 1:27:31
92 Rob Liddle 1:27:35
96 George Little 1:28:05
113 Tracey Morris 1:28:59
125 Bill Murphy 1:29:44
136 Paul White 1:30:46
145 Bob Jackson 1:31:10
168 Lisa Wilyman 1:32:23
205 Alistair Fale 1:34:26
228 Peter Lambert 1:35:32
273 Tom Boddington 1:36:59
322 Paul Furness 1:38:27
409 Bob Wilkes 1:41:22
522 Vadim Kuznetsov 1:43:48
591 Mary Egan 1:45:22
607 Sara Dyer 1:45:41
624 Alison Marrington1:46:04
710 Penny Sanders 1:48:00
841 Lou Gilchrist 1:51:05
930 David Cusack 1:52:51
1036 Melanie Gray 1:55:33
1820 finished

Congratulations to our prize-winners in the Yorkshire vets 1/2 marathon championships - Roy 1st V45, Bob W 2nd V60, Peter 2nd V65, Terry 3rd V40 and Mary 3rd WV45.

Team competitions can be decided by three different methods. In order of most frequently used these are:

We are still waiting to see which method the organisers used! If the team prize had been for most runners in the first 100, we would have won easily! Whichever method of calculation was used, our ladies' team of Lisa, Sara and Alison finished 3rd (Mary was missed off the team list but it would not have affected the result).

White Wells Fell Race

13 Neil Dutton 33:00
16 Andrew Cutts 33:08
75 Bob Wilkes 47:26


Positions after 13 events

N.B. the scores below show total points, penalties (from not having run 5 types of race), adjusted points and number of races. All Striders who have run more than one race are shows. Note that at the end of the season it is best 8 races to count!

Group A
Roy Flesher 591-10=581(6)
Mark Bean 477-10=467(5)
Bob Jackson 453-10=443(5)
Mick Wrench 393-20=373(4)
Neil Dutton 299-20=279(3)
Steve Webb 297-20=277(3)
Tim Towler 293-20=273(3)
Paul Briscoe 200-30=170(2)
Terry Bean 199-30=169(2)

Group B
Kathy Kaiser 553- 0=553(6)
Henry Lang 486-10=476(5)
Paul White 462-20=442(5)
Andrew Cutts 386-20=366(4)
Alistair Fale 362-10=352(4)
Drew Taylor 290-20=270(3)
Eric Cusack 289-30=259(3)
Jane Sutton 279-20=259(3)
John Hallas 271-30-241(3)
Paul Furness 257-20=237(3)
Steve O'Call. 250-30=220(3)
Rob Bumstead 193-30=163(2)
Rob Liddle 192-30=162(2)
George Little 185-30=155(2)

Group C
Dick Dale 650- 0=650(7)
Peter Lambert 548-20=528(6)
Lisa Wilyman 469 -0=469(5)
Bob Wilkes 429 -0=429(5)
Geoff Webster 275-20=255(3)
David Cusack 244-20=224(3)

Group D
Annemi Van Zyl 357-20=337(4)
Sara Dyer 243-20=223(3)
Bob Wilyman 170-30=140(2)

Group E
Natalie White 171-30=141(2)
Claire Taylor 165-30=135(2)

There are a further 26 Striders who have completed one race in the Grand Prix giving a total of 60 Striders involved so far this year. If you don't know what the Grand Prix is about, contact Paul, Alan or Bob and they will let you have a back-copy of December 2001 newsletter which explains it in detail.

There are still 15 races to go, so even if you haven't started, you have plenty of opportunity!

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


Short road

Medium rd

Long road







(26)Otley 10

































(27)Holmfirth 15 (26)Withins





(17)Roundhay 5

Fawkes 10



(?)Burley Bridge Hike

(2) XC3
(24) XC4










Training and Racing in the Peak District - from Jane Sutton

Just to prove I'm alive and kicking here in the depths of the Peak District, I thought I'd let you know what I've been up to since I moved from Leeds in January. Well, living in Bakewell is a runner's dream - I'm slap bang in the middle of miles of open countryside, linked by small, quiet country roads that are perfect for a girl who's always preferred straight tarmac to uneven field! Even I, though, have been tempted to run along some of the footpaths and trails and despite often meeting nothing but fields of sheep, cows and goats, I don't feel at all threatened or unsafe. A few times I have had to take a detour to the nearest farm to tell them their lambs are out on the road and the local farmers are now starting to wave hello at me as they get used to the sight of this crazy lone runner. I'm loving living in Bakewell and having such unspoilt countryside around me to train in, but to be honest my running took a bit of a nosedive after I moved here. It has been a big upheaval and there was a lot to sort out, so training took a back seat. I decided around February that I was going to withdraw from the London marathon as the pressure to train properly was getting me down. Obviously I was continuing to run, but without any real purpose and my lowest point came at the Stratford Upon Avon half marathon where I ran 1.36, my worst time ever and felt rubbish from start to finish.

I was then inspired by Kathy's great London performance to train for another marathon and more recently I've started to get back into the swing of things, running the Eyam Half Marathon on 19th May. Eyam's claim to fame is it's the village where the Great Plague of London was supposed to have spread to, after a local tailor was sent a piece of infected cloth through the post. There are plaques all over the old cottages in the village recounting the story. As for the race, I knew it was going to be a tough course - it said on the instructions there was a 400m climb in the first mile - in fact it was 800m over 2 miles and again a similar climb towards the end with lots of bumps in the middle! On the plus side it meant there were some wickedly fast downhill sections but it was bloomin' hard work, a bit like the Baildon Boundary way but on roads. Maybe I should stick to these sorts of races though because I was first lady! I honestly don't know how I pulled this off as the woman who came second is usually much faster than me (she won the Ashby-de-la-Zouch 20 miler in 2.13). I decided to run the first two miles really slowly and I actually took off my watch so that I wouldn't be tempted to speed up. When the route levelled off, I had much more energy than those around me and that's when I started to catch this woman up, who had gone off like a bomb up the hills. It was like Baildon all over again, except Pete Lambert wasn't there at the finish to give me a winning kiss this time. Apparently as I was entering the village, it was being relayed over the tannoy that I was the leading lady and I flew in feeling like Paula Radcliffe. My time was 1.38.02 but I wasn't worried what it was - it's one of those races where your time doesn't mean much unless you're going to compare it from one year to the next over the same course for your own personal record. The woman who came second was keen to make it clear to me that she was knackered, having run the Belfast marathon a week earlier (3.01) and to tell me her PB time for a half marathon etc etc. I knew already that she was having an off day for me to beat her, but I thought it was a bad case of sour grapes on her part (remember, if you look at my Mystery Strider portfolio losing ungraciously was listed as one of my pet dislikes). Anyway, maybe the tip to winning is to walk a bit - I've never done this before in a race but at some parts it was so steep, I was hardly moving and I noticed that the guys around me who were walking were not losing ground on those still running, and in some cases they were actually pulling away when they started running again. So I thought I'd give it a go and had a short spell of walking too, obviously with purpose, but it was amazing how much of a breather it gave me and I would definitely walk again if a race was that steep.

It's actually a great course with stunning views over the Peak District (described on one of the race results web sites as "allegedly one of the toughest half marathons of the year, with spectacular views over 5 counties!") and I'd thoroughly recommend it for next year to anyone who fancies a tough half marathon (as if!).

Other Results from the Roads

Valley Striders have been out and about in the last couple of months, most not venturing outside Yorkshire, but one intrepid Strider travelled across the border!

Snake Lane 10 - February 24th
58 Roy Flesher 1:00:19, 97 Drew Taylor 1:03:27, 228 Peter Lambert 1:10:54 (M65/2). 654 ran. Winner's time was 52:04.

Huddersfield 10k - February 24th
7 Terry Bean 36:18 (M40/1), but beaten by 1st W, Rowan Smith. 297 ran. Win 33:31.

Dent 14.3 - March 9th
177 Annemi Van Zyl 1:58:10. 339 ran.

South Leeds 5 - March 17th
73 Andrew Cutts 34:17, 81 Paul White 34:50, 110 Peter Lambert 36:34 (M60/3), 136 Howard Jeffrey 38:04, 187 Max Jones 39:58 (M70/1), 200 Natalie White 40:41. 419 ran. Winner 25:38.

Ackworth 1/2 marathon - March 17th
19 Neil Dutton 1:18:03, 22 Steve Thirkell 1:18:24 (M50/1), 30 Roy Flesher 1:19:51, 82 Drew Taylor 1:26:58. 377 ran. Winner 1:07:41.

Dumfries marathon - March 17th
182 Mike Brown 4:27:58. 226 ran. Winner 2:42:16.

Coniston 14 - March 24th
555 Annemi Van Zyl 1:53:11. 1224 ran. Winner 1:14:12

Wakefield 10k - April 7th
1 Tim Crossland 31:35, 39 Roy Flesher 36:19 (M45/5), 108 Ken Kaiser 39:45, 135 Paul White 40:32 (PB), 143 Dave Milner 40:56, 298 Natalie White 45:23. 723 ran. Winner 31:35 ! - congratulations, Tim!

Doncaster 1/2 marathon - April 7th
60 Drew Taylor 1:29:38. 237 ran. Winner 1:08:09.

Rothwell 10k - April 21st
88 Andrew Cutts 39:07, 106 Paul White 40:05 (PB), 159 Peter Lambert 42:32. 487 ran. Winner 31:44

Sheffield Marathon - April 28th
5 Steve Thirkell 2:46:59 (M50/1, 2nd in Yorkshire championship), 290 Mike Brown 4:26:40. 334 ran. Winner 2:34:17

Sheffield 1/2 Marathon - April 28th
265 Peter Lambert 1:35:44 (M60/5), 932 Brendan Kitson 1:52:00 1987 ran. Win 1:08

Tadcaster 10 - May 5th
14 Roy Flesher 59:47, 19 Mick Wrench 1:00:15, 67 Mark Bean 1:05:40, 181 Howard Jeffrey 1:14:48, 279 Melanie Gray 1:23:20

Silverstone 10k - May 7th
6 Tim Crossland 30:54 (PB) 957 ran.

St Bede's 5k - May 8th
21 Steve Webb 16:35, 63 Andrew Cutts 18:33, 143 Sara Dyer 22:36. 189 ran. Winner 15:02 (Ian Fisher, fresh from London Marathon 2:22)

St Bede's 5k - May 15th
18 Steve Webb 17:17, 39 Andrew Cutts 18:33 (again!), 108 Sara Dyer 23:27. 138 ran. Winner 14:45 (Chris Cariss, fresh from London Marathon 2:21)

Thirsk 10 - May 19th
19 Mick Wrench 59:35, 25 Roy Flesher 60:33 (revenge for Mick after Leeds!), 245 Max Jones 82:41 (2nd M70)

St Bede's 5k - May 22nd
17 Mick Wrench 16:51, 20 Steve Webb 16:59, 23 Neil Dutton 17:11, 56 Andrew Cutts 18:39, 126 Sara Dyer 22:41. 166 ran. Winner 15:17.

St Bede's Series Results
9 Steve Webb (2nd M40), 23 Andrew Cutts (5th M40), 66 Sara Dyer (3rd W40)

Thursday Night Training and Curry ...

... on the first Thursday of the month, post-training discussion continues at the "Ruchee" on Stainbeck Lane For more details, contact Bill Murphy on 0113 269 2158 or e-mail

If you go down to Leos' today ...

... you're sure of a big surprise! New bar, new seating, new air conditioning, newly painted toilets. Shame about the men's showers, but they should be next ...

Leeds Corporate Challenge Half Marathon Relay

From Claire Taylor:

Although I wasn't running the full or half marathon, thought you might like to know how a Strider got on in another capacity. I was running for the Leeds University Language Centre team, and was given the first leg, from Millennium Square to the garage in Meanwood. I tried to set off at a fast pace (for my standards!) and have to say that I really felt that the speedwork sessions I've done with Striders really paid off - as we turned the first corner and there was an incline, all the people around me dropped like flies whilst I ploughed on up the hill. Makes me glad I've done all those hill sessions (she says through gritted teeth). Although there was no official time at the end of each leg, according to my watch I'd done it in 15 minutes, which makes that a 7 and a half minute mile - a real achievement for me, considering I make at best an 8 minute mile over a 10k. Also, as far as I could tell, I was the second woman back on my leg - again, there's no official record of that - but I was only aware of one woman ahead of me, and kept her within sight the whole time. Overall, our team came 11th out of 81, and we completed the whole course in 1 hour 38 mins and 59 secs. All in all, I was pretty pleased! Anyway, just wanted to let you know, and also to say that without training with Striders I would have never managed it. Roll on next year - maybe I'll do the proper half marathon by then...

From Alan Hutchinson:

Robert ran the fourth leg in a time which he estimates to be inside 11 minutes. I was a bit more sedate in my final 3.1 mile leg but our team Jones Lang LaSalle came a credible 13th out of 81 finishing teams in 1.41. My back paid the price for the next 3 days.

Wildlife report from Mark Bean

It was a beautiful Sunday morning 19.05.02. I ran down to Smithys for the usual meet with Steve O & Harry Bates, after not being able to decide where to run I suggested that we drive somewhere for a change and run from there. This we did and set off to the Royalty at Yeadon to run some of the Rombalds Stride & have a change. It was a gorgeous day, the sun was out and there was some beautiful scenery. After about 1 hours running we went under the railway at Ben Rhydding and headed down a country lane, the next thing we saw a bird with a bright red tail fly in front of us out of a nearby tree. We ran on to see if we could see what it was, about 100 yards down the road there it was perched in a tree. When we realised what it was we couldn't believe our eyes, it was a parrot! Not only that as we were stood looking at it amazed it spoke to us, it said "hello". Well, me and Harry looked at each other just to be sure we did both hear the same thing!!!! We, being friendly runners, obviously said "hello" back. After a couple of minutes we decided to run on, at which the bird decided to fly along with us. It stayed with us for about half an hour before flying off (obviously realising we were no competition). In all our years of running that is the most unusual wildlife we have ever seen (especially in England).

International Reports

The Rocky Road to Boston - from Ingo Zoller

Hi Striders - another report from somewhere in outer space (at least outside the UK):

Part 1: Preparation

Since May 20th, 2001 I was looking forward to this event. May 20th was the day I qualified for the 106th running of the Boston Marathon, and I was going to enjoy that one. So towards the end of the year I started building up my fitness, extending my long runs up to 22 miles in undulating terrain, and worked more and more on my pace as well. A short bout of flu interrupted the preparation shortly, but not for long, a week of off-piste skiing with my dad (he is not one of the youngest anymore, and he wished to go off-piste with me again while he is still young enough to do it. Who could say no in this case?) didn't seem to do much damage either. On March 23rd there were the German half marathon championships, not too far from Aschaffenburg, so I had to go there and compete. Of course only on a short taper, reducing Wednesday's speed session towards just fine-tuning my half-marathon race pace, a few easy runs on the next two days, and there it was: the day to test my shape. The first serious race of the year. It was cold, and it was windy, too. A damp, cold wind went through everything. The course itself: four laps around a reservoir, with a few short climbs and downhills, just to interrupt the rhythm, and trees sheltering us from the wind when we could have had a nice tailwind. No protection against the headwind, though! The race was split into three heats, first the men (18 to 39), then the women (18 to W70 or so), and finally the men vets. I had to start in the first and strongest race, setting off carefully, and staying with a reasonably strong group around me for the first two laps. Some runners got reeled in, more dropped out of that group, and at the start of the 3rd lap that group had finally dissolved. Now the hard work had to begin, keeping the pace up while trying to catch others, and hide behind them when it was getting too windy. On the last lap there was no-one to hide behind anymore, despite being nowhere near the fast end of the field. Still, I finished in a strong 1:20:21 (new PB by almost a minute), in 167th position out of 214 finishers in this race. Everything looking good for Boston!

Part 2: Tuning for Boston

Three weeks and a bit to go, I started with yet another hard week of training. Another 13 miles on Tuesday, a speed session on Wednesday, another few 10 mile runs on the other few days, and then another hard and cruel 22M training run on my favourite undulating course on Saturday. Felt good afterwards, despite having had a very fast last third of this run. A short and easy run again on Sunday, before I used a nearby 10k race as the last seriously fast run before the big one. Lining up on the starting line, I still felt my legs from Saturday, and thought, I'd be glad if I'd finish somewhere near 37 min. It was a flat out-and-back course, well marked, so it was easy to check the split times, and to ensure it was an even-paced run. And I had a good, even paced run, finishing in a surprising new PB of 36:34, I never expected this to happen on this day. So looking good for Boston. Now the taper was going to start, the distance of the longer runs was shortened, and the pace of the faster ones was cut down. Two more speed sessions, where I only tuned my legs for the required just-under-6:30/mile pace, and then the departure for Boston.

Part 3: Boston

Arrived at Boston on Friday (lunch time), went to Bill Rodgers running shop, to sample some of the atmosphere, and to get some necessary items for the near future (spare screw-in spikes and such stuff). And of course to get the first impressions of Boston. Then over to the hotel I was staying at, directly on the route coming down from Heartbreak Hill. A short training run, just to smoothen the legs, followed on the early evening, and then this long day finished early. Saturday then it was time to go to the expo for picking up the race number, T-shirt, new training shoes for the next marathon preparation and so on. I guess I spent too much time there, but it was just a phantastic experience. Sunday morning then it was time for the International Friendship Run, 2.62 miles through the city of Boston, where traffic was blocked off completely for this run. It was just a gentle jog, while chatting to some blokes from Canada and some from LA. Afterwards it was time for a good breakfast, and then I went into Boston again, to explore the city, while ensuring I wasn't on my feet for too long. It was warm and humid again, as it had been for the last two days already, and as it was expected for the big day. In between I went to meet Roy Benson, who gave me some good tips for future marathon preparations, and Jack Fultz. It was a good time, and I felt confident, being fit, well-relaxed, well-hydrated, so the big day could come. Last thing on Sunday: The pasta party, an event it was said too good to be missed. Well, it was good fun, but I won't go there again.

Part 4: Out to Hopkinton and back.

It was damp and cold in the morning, but everyone expected it to change. The start was not until noon, but we had to go to the city centre to get the shuttles towards Hopkinton. There were long queues, waiting to enter the buses, everyone seemed to be relaxed, maybe a bit nervous. Finally on the bus, it was an hour's drive to Hopkinton, where the race was due to start. Still about two hours left for the final preparations... Surprisingly the clouds didn't lift, leaving us with around 60F at the start. So temperature-wise it was not too bad, but the humidity stayed at around 96%! OK, even then a good race should have been possible, and I intended to set off with 6:45/M pace. This should get me into Boston well inside the 3h mark, with a possible 2:55, if I'd get over the hills well enough to speed up on the downhill. But no, since I had only trained for that 2:50 barrier, I simply couldn't reduce my pace to below 6:30/M pace! I knew from the splits that I was too fast, but whenever I tried to slow down slightly, I ended doing 6:30 again. And again. And again... So I went through half-way in 1:24:55 (own clock), still feeling strong, trying to drink sensibly, and just letting the legs do what they wanted (slowing down a bit just didn't work!), went through 30k at the same pace, and then had to climb up the Newton hills (including Heartbreak Hill). On the first ascent I felt my calves slightly, recovered, took it easy, and got up quite well (better than expected, regarding that I had been too fast for the first 19.5M!) up to the 3rd climb (out of 4 noticeable). Then I started feeling cold, and the race fell to pieces. In the end I somehow reached the finish line in 3:05:41 (chip time 3:05:00), well below what I expected even under these conditions. The sun came out somewhere on the second climb, but that didn't help anymore.

Analysis (Mistakes)

  1. I had only focused onto the 2:50 time barrier, ignoring the fact that heat or humidity might prevent this from happening.
  2. I didn't rest enough on the last two days before the race, I should have known better, but still spent too much time at the Expo.
  3. I simply had not tuned my legs to any consistent speed slower than 6:30/M pace (see (a)).
  4. Instead of joining in the International Breakfast Run, a short run on my own, just going through the different paces, would have been more sensible.

But it was a good event, a phantastic atmosphere, amazing crowds partying, screaming (especially Wellesley College, a girls college which you could hear already out of half a mile distance), and generally pushing you forward even when your legs didn't want to any more. The course itself is not as scenic as London, but doesn't have any cobbles and hairpins. Instead it has lots of ups and downs, many more than the official course profile showed, and not many long and flat stretches between. Uta Pippig showed up in the finish area, and welcomed and hugged more or less everyone coming in (after having had a nice 10k run somewhere at the slow end of the field at the beginning, just for the fun of being there in the crowd). Jack Fultz and Roy Benson were there, Joan Benoit, Grete Waitz, and many more Boston Marathon celebrities.

On the flight back, we were waiting at the gate, when Elfenesh Alemu (3rd woman in 2:26:01) and Getachew Kebede (8th in 2:11:43) turned up. They were flying to Frankfurt as well, and continued towards Hamburg, where Elfenesh is going to race on Sunday. It was good fun on the flight back, when we ended up talking and talking... And it was good to hear that they had stiff and heavy legs, too!

I guess I'll have to be back there again next year, to make up for this time (at least the time was good enough to ensure being qualified again). But before that I'll race at Berlin this autumn (Sept 29th), which happens to be the German marathon championships. Does anyone fancy a start there? For me it will be another attempt at that 2:50 barrier, and I won't make mistakes a) to d) again!

From Ruth Anderson in California

I finished my 10th Lincoln, Nebraska, marathon May 5th. Even thought I would get a decent time, and did half way, but alas 80 degrees F took its toll. I lost over 40 minutes the second half. Still my sorry time of 5:37 was 10 minutes better than 2 years ago in the pouring rain and wind. Hate to think these are the top times for women over 70 at this race, but take what I can get these days!

Enjoy reading about you Striders. Our Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders hit its 25th Anniversary this year. For treats we went back to the "original" fees for the last month's 4th Sunday Run (50 cents for members!).

Striders vests contravene UKA rules (from Bob)

Kathy mentioned in her London report that the letters in the Striders logo were too large and she had to partly cover them with her race number.

In the "UK Athletics - Rules for Competition":

Rule 217, Advertising

  1. A runner is not allowed to display on his/her person any advertising other than:

(i) the accepted name, logo and/or badge of his/her affiliated club in lettering which should not exceed 4cm in height

(ii) the name or logo of the club sponsor (subject to size regulations in rule 16 ...)

(iii) a single trade mark of the clothing manufacturer ...

(iv) the name of the official sponsors of the race on the number card (subject to size regulations in rule 209 ...)

Get your ruler out and measure your "Valley Striders" lettering on your vest. The "Valley" and the "r/i/e/r/s" of Striders are all OK at 4cm, but the "S", "t" and "d" of Striders measure 5cm.

So it looks like we'll either have to change our vests or put them in the wash at 95oC and hope that the lettering shrinks!

Here's another rule

Rule 222, Clothing

  1. In team or relay races all competitors must wear registered vests of the team they are representing which are of the same design and colour, unless the Referee has given permission for a change to be made. A Club may have two sets of clothing registered at any one time.
  2. A runner failing to comply with the clothing rules in team races will be liable to disqualification from the team race and the team result shall be scored as if that runner had not taken part in the team race.

So we can have two styles, but if entering a team competition, need to make sure we all wear the same style (can't see much chance of that!)

Shortlist - short of votes - more votes required

Regarding the shortlisting of vest choices, we have only had 8 voters so far, but the leading styles at the moment are (in numerical order) 12, 18, 21, 23, 24, 26. Please send some more votes for the shortlist before we go for the final vote. And if you like the current vest (number 12), vote for it, otherwise it might not appear in the shortlist. (If you've mislaid your March 2002 VS News with all the patterns, give me a call)

Coach's Column - "A Health Warning" (from Max)

Non-Coach's Column - (from Paul Briscoe)

From the "UkRunning" E-mail list.

From: "Cook, Charles" <> To: <>

Sent: 29 May 2002 16:04 Subject: RE: [UKRunning] weight and height

I remembered this interesting discussion of weight and its effect on performance: (this is Oct 2000 Non-Coach column)

The other articles by Paul Briscoe on the Striders site are well worth reading, the articles by Max Jones are perhaps a bit eccentric!

Cheaper New Balance (from Bob Wilkes)

"NB" has two factory shops. When I visited the Maryport, Cumbria branch 2 years ago the selection and staff knowledge was poor. I was agreeably surprised visiting the branch in the centre of Shap village recently. It is convenient off the M6 junction 39 with a good selection and somebody who knows about the products. Worth phoning to see what they have got in and they will contact you if you leave a request.

Situation Vacant

Secretary for West Yorkshire Cross Country League

Work just 4 Saturdays a year plus one annual meeting

Further details available from Bob

Situation Vacant

Up & Running - "The Running Specialist"

We are currently looking for full and part time staff for our Leeds shop at West Park

We particularly need runners of any standard

Please contact the Leeds shop on 0113 278 8866


When the Saint was God - from Harry Bates

I spent much of my early running career trailing StJohn's Striders not only up the mean wood trail but also in most of my early races. They were a little known religious sect that haunted the mean wood paths on early eerie mornings.

They followed their sacred trail through the infamous smithy mill tunnel where they anointed their Spartan footwear with the excrement of holy cattle. In a disorderly line they wound their way along the meandering footpath between tall trees reciting the mantra of their tortured racing experiences. Their dedication to a strict diet of carbohydrates resulted in a strange incense being left behind their trail. The lesser of their followers were keen to move up the pecking order motivated by this strange aroma. It was better to run near the front.

After emerging into the early morning light from the dark and mean wood the pilgrims continued to a secluded and remote grassland that had small round holes. These holes were home to small white eggs which flew very fast through the air. Men with strange robes (tartan trousers) followed these eggs trying to break them with their sticks until they hid in their small round holes.

StJohn the holy one led us through these strange tribes telling of a sacred stile where many moons ago he had met a tall Australian elder who knew all about the fauna that grew in this secluded grassland and was known world-wide as herb Elliot.

The procession often continued along the shores of a misty lake which had strange powers. Running faster and faster the StJohn Striders eventually stopped breathless emitting noises after which the lake was named. Eccup, Eccup, Eccup. The party recovered smiling when the Saint caught them up and uttered the spell breaking chant "Sillytwats".

Travelling on ignoring many dangers, they met many strange people recruiting each to their fold. One early morning bright and cold they met an aged traveller who had knowledge of the sect. This being had great understanding of the cross country and guided the brethren through inhospitable lands crossing the tracks of a strange beast that lived in a large tunnel. Its tracks could be seen through cuttings and across rivers for many a mile. This person was revered by all and was known as Sir Christopher who legged it.

There was one father Stevo drinkagallon a young priest of the order who was strong and fearless, striding onward through any danger. He could teach small dogs to somersault and one morning leading the disciples was attacked and bitten by a wild beast. The miracle was told that the beast was immediately struck down and mummified. As if preserved in alcohol.

StJohn Striders fame spread far and wide. Their leader revered for his many fabled deeds. One time in the hair wood he came across a bush that moaned and moaned. He had experienced many pilgrimages before when people were found joined in strange rituals, celebrating the joys of nature.

Not one to ignore his fellow man or woman he found only an injured waif. His name was Martin who had fallen on bad times crippled in one leg. StJohn uttered a mystical incantation "Hop son" and thereafter Martin rose, began to run and immediately joined the Striders. He is known now as brother Martin hop son a member whose miraculous cure has been heralded far and wide.

This ghostly brethren that lived in the dream time (Sunday morning 10 00am) journeyed on mid summers day to their holy place. A large chasm in which a tranquil pool of crystal clear water glinted in the early morning sun. This was their inner sanctum where experienced acolytes were initiated by bathing in the holy waters. After removing all vestments they entered the pool. The great one, StJohn was last in procession entering the water solemnly reciting the initiation verse, "Bloody hell it's cold on your knackers."

On one of these midsummer pilgrimages they met a deaf mute in the golden acre. He was found thin and frail lost in the undergrowth muttering strange disturbing noises that made no sense. "Cluderay-cluderay-cluderay." The holy one took pity and enunciated the magic words. "Shut your noise you silly-get-and-run," where upon the poor urchin continued, "Cluderay-cluderay hay it's the concord". He had seen a vision on high and ran effortlessly to the front of the group leading up every hill pointing to the object in the sky. Many strange adventures have shaped the sect. Brother Cluderay is but one. Still on quiet mornings you can hear him recalling his day of healing, recounting his vision in minute detail to all unfortunates that venture near.

There are many fables - Friar firmness and his trusty rod. He was found knee trembling in the dark mean wood unable to speak and breathless. His knowledge of sheepdogs and sheep were legend. An unusual pastime for one reared in a nunnery. He too was converted by our leader, our holy man, our god.

Now on pale winters days retired Abbot Stevo drinkalot (previously the right reverend drinkagallon) followed by your faithful scribe lead out the new initiates following the hallowed footsteps of the StJohn trail recounting the many magical fables of when the Saint was God.

I myself eventually joined this secret flock after ten years following their trails.

I have learned much of their secret ways and mystic powers.

I cannot tell all of their visits to far and distant lands they claim to be their own.

A fatherland where their forefathers were knights of old who crusaded through the holy lands two thousand years before. StJohns Striders exploits on the island of Malta were many and varied. All were sacred and kept within the fold. Their ceremony of the moon was performed at sunrise when the shafts of early morning light fell on the brethren assembled in order, baring their souls to virgin light.

StJohn chanted his verse.

"May the light of this morning shine true and whole

So the mark of the Striders is on oursouls."

All returned from their crusades having performed strange rituals to the moon. The only sign of communion with their ancestry being the traces of lipstick left on their underpants. No one knows only the chosen few.

My own initiation and story will forever remain untold.

I am just your story teller.

Your faithful Scribe,

Master Bates

Editor's note The Herb Elliot reference is a true story - Herb Elliot had been staying in Leeds before making an appearance on "This is Your Life" (which used to be filmed at the YTV Studios) for Derek Ibbotson. Stuart and Martyn had met him out training early one morning near Golf Course Farm on King Lane. This is such a good story, I've asked Stuart to put pen to paper for the next edition of VS News.

Some background for you younger runners: Herb Elliot is an Australian who won the gold medal in the 1500m in the 1960 Olympics, breaking the world record. He retired in 1961, aged 23, having been undefeated at mile and 1500m for seven years. Derek Ibbotson won a bronze medal in the 5000m at the 1956 Olympics and broke the world mile record in 1957. Derek is from Huddersfield and there is a race the "Derek Ibbotson 70th birthday 4.2 mile multi-terrain" from Rochdale on June 11 this year.

Message from Dick Dale

About a year ago my brother (Timothy) was diagnosed with cancer. He is 49 years old and the only brother I have. As you can imagine, the last year for his family and ours has been quite traumatic. Well Tim does have one fault - he is a Man U fan, in fact a member at Old Trafford. Knowing his last treatment was 3 weeks before the Leeds vs. Man U game, I tried to get some tickets as a surprise for him, but of course they had all gone. But one week before the game, on Saturday evening, I received a phone call from Harry Bates asking if I had managed to get some tickets. When I told him "no", he said "I am going to give you my two so you both can go". Well I am quite an emotional person and not afraid to tell you that I had to pass the phone to Sue to go and have a good cry. I could not believe anyone could be so generous. Well after me saying "no" and him saying "yes" a few times I agreed and after phoning Tim he was over the moon. I am quite sure it gave him a massive lift that week and especially after the result he was very very happy. He is on the mend now and we both would like to say a big thank you to Harry, we will never forget what you did, thanks again, and what a great mate you are!

Dick and Tim

Spiders News (Fell and Trail)

Karrimor International Mountain Marathon 2001

From Steve Webb

The KIMM can be regarded as either a classic event or an exercise in mass dementia. The philosophy behind the event is that it tests running speed and stamina in demanding terrain and also requires navigation, teamwork and mountain skills.

The competition takes place over two winter days and is for teams of two, with numerous classes available. The Elite, A, B and C navigate through a series of checkpoints in order; the Long, Medium and Short Score classes have a time limit (e.g. Long Score has 7 hours on day 1 and 6 hours on day 2) and they collect as many points as possible within their time limit by navigating to checkpoints.

At the end of day 1 there is a compulsory overnight camp and teams must be self-sufficient over both days. Water is provided (in the form of a stream) but each team has to carry its own clothing, tent, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, food and emergency gear. Clearly the trick is to travel as light as possible whilst ensuring that you have enough food to refuel ready to tackle day 2 and that you do not contract hypothermia, trenchfoot, frostbite, dysentery etc in the meantime.

In previous years I have run in KIMMs in Dumfries, Brecon Beacons, Kielder, Galloway, Howgills and Lake District, and never more than once with any partner. In 2001 the event took place in the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park, a rarely visited range of hills south of the Clyde Estuary between Largs and Greenock. My partner this year was Dave Chapman, a fellow Airienteer and veteran of 20 KIMMs and every single Great North Run. On known form and the evidence of team training runs over Ilkley Moor it seemed that I was the faster runner but that Dave was likely to excel if circumstances called for extreme determination in adversity.

My preferred course on the KIMM is the B, which tends to keep me occupied for 5-6 hours on day 1 and about 4 hours on day 2. My only experience of the A was a nightmare event on the Howgills in 1998 with howling gales and driving rain throughout day 1, and several dangerous crossings where streams had swollen into foaming torrents. We completed the event but took 91/2 hours on that awful first day and spent all night expecting the tent to blow away. Unsurprisingly most teams retired that year; when Sara arrived to start her course the teams waiting to start were outnumbered by those already beating a retreat off the hill!

Anyway this year we were entered on the dreaded A; this involved 37 km on Day 1 and 30 km on Day 2 and was planned for a winning time of 11 hours. For you road marathon experts this sounds like very slow progress, but remember this event is not only off-road, but off-path with lots of hills to be conquered en route and the small matter of your weekend lodgings to be carried on your back. At 8.30 on the Saturday morning we duly tramped up the hillside from the event centre and joined the throng of strangely-attired kimmsters taking in the views of the Clyde estuary and waiting nervously for their start times.

One minute before the start was our first opportunity to see the event map and our course for the day. The route to No. 1 began with the traditional uphill drag, and as the whistle blew we charged off in pursuit of the earlier starters on A. This is the biggest mountain marathon in the calendar and so the hillside was full of runners heading off in various directions. I soon caught one of the teams that started a couple of minutes ahead of us and included my running partner from last year; however Dave had not matched my pace off the start line so I waited for him to catch up and having regrouped we continued the chase. A pattern was then established for the first few hours. Having agreed our route choice to the next control I set the pace at a tempo which was perhaps slightly higher than Dave might otherwise have chosen, but ensured that I did not disappear off into the distance. We had no problems with the navigation, were locating the controls efficiently, and seemed to be moving well. As far as the weather was concerned it was one of those days when the cagoule was going on and then coming off again on a regular basis; not altogether surprising for west Scotland in late October.

In this terrain there was little incentive to stray from the straight-line route between controls because there were no useful paths to be exploited and no massive peaks or ravines to avoid. However underfoot conditions were rather grotty, with lots of deep tussock grass, and en route to control 4 we opted for a very long run down alongside a stream in pursuit of decent runnable terrain. This seemed to take forever. The leg to control 5 was the longest of the day, and the most obvious route would take us straight back up the stream again. We thought this would be unbearable psychologically and so we struck off on an alternative route. Halfway along this leg we began to lose a bit of momentum as we climbed in the rain and mist onto a tussock-infested but otherwise featureless and deserted plateau. I was going through a bad patch (at this point we had been out for 5 hours) and we duly stumbled along through the murky Scotch mist on the vaguest of compass bearings. Eventually we happened upon a rotten fence post and concluded that we were after all exactly where we had intended to be. We plodded on, the rain kept falling and the tussock grass turned into equally unrunnable deep heather.

This was my low point of the weekend. Fortunately all I had to do at this point was concentrate on keeping up with Dave, who in contrast was now feeling stronger and was able to forge ahead and drive us on across the terrain towards the control. En route to control 6 we made use of the only path on the map to jog very slowly up a hill that set us up for a long wade through yet more deep heather. Strangely I began to revive at this time; must have been all the jelly babies, chocolate raisins, power bars, banana chips and dried apricots taking effect. We punched control 6 and then swept past some other teams who were struggling to locate No. 7 on the descent towards the finish.

After 7 hours 41 minutes we had completed day 1, and we began the process of recovery; this is where the team organisation and planning comes in. Our camp was at a small farmstead and was a select affair, with only the Elite and A courses making it to this northern extremity of the competition area. All the other classes were camped somewhere else. While Dave went to collect water I put up the tent and sorted out the cooking equipment; thus about 10 minutes after completing the run we were into dry clothes in our sleeping bags, drinking tea and looking forward to sampling the first of many rehydrated pasta meals.

My philosophy is to be as comfortable as possible at the overnight camp, so I take lots of food, a decent size two man tent that is big enough to sit up in (rather than a 11/2 person nylon coffin), spare dry socks, hat and gloves and plenty of bubble wrap to be used as a disposable karrimat. After a while the sun came out, and as teams continued to drift into camp we gradually worked our way through the food, enjoyed fine views of the surrounding hills and compared notes with other competitors. We finished our meal with some morale boosting treats: dried fruit with custard, washed down with hot blackcurrant and whisky (not mixed).

Next morning the 6.00 am reveille was either a haunting melody or an appalling din, depending on your reaction to very loud bagpipes being played right outside your tent. The leaders in each class were off at 7.00 am with a chasing start for all teams placed within an hour of them after day 1. We were just outside this cut-off so were in less of a rush to get up. Breakfast was another of my secret weapons; bacon flavour super noodles, you really should try them first thing in the morning!

The day 2 start is always pretty hard work as the loaded rucksack (which always feels heavier than before despite all the food and fuel consumed at camp) magnifies various aches and pains that are picked up on Day 1. I had spoken to some friends on the Elite course and seen the location of their Day 1 controls, so deduced the likely site for our first control of Day 2. Sure enough when we picked up the map No. 1 was where I expected it to be and we ran off to execute our pre-planned route choice. En route to No. 1 we saw Sarah Rowell (Paul Briscoe's training partner from P&B) hobbling back towards the camp, seemingly a victim of the unrelenting tussocks.

The leg to No. 2 was immense, taking us due south across most of the event area in a single yomp. We ran steadily with me setting the pace and began to move past a long line of rival teams as our route crossed several low spurs and a broad valley before climbing to the spine of a high ridge with far reaching views. At one point we followed the line of an old mineral railway. It is actually shown on the Ordnance Survey map but did not appear on our competition map. The rails and sleepers are physically there but are hidden deep within the heather and, being to all intents and purposes invisible, are no aid to navigation.

After 21/2 hours we dropped into the reentrant at No. 2, then contoured around to a stream for No. 3 and made our way over a road and across a dam wall to attack the southern part of the competition area. By now we knew that we'd broken the back of the course and just had to keep plugging away to finish. But there were still a few more hills to climb and several miles of tussock to conquer before we punched at the final control and faced the last mile of downhill path (at last, a path!) as all the courses converged to the finish. I managed not to bonk out on Day 2 but Dave had suffered in the last hour or so. With the finish only a mile away he suddenly recovered and tore off downhill. I joined him and we overtook loads of teams on an exhilarating descent to the line.

Day 2 took us 5 hours 12 minutes for a total time of 12:53. The winning time was 10:43 and the slowest time 19:48, including a staggering 12 hours 7 minutes on day 1 - persistent or what? We were very pleased with our 13th position, and the sprint finish was certainly required because three teams were within a minute of our total time. This year the KIMM will be staged in the "English Borders", which most people assume will mean the Cheviots. For more details check out also which has details of other mountain marathon events.

Baildon Boundary Way

2 Steve Webb 1:22:24
5 Mick Wrench 1:22:53
32 Henry Lang 1:32:08
80 Alistair Fale 1:40:59
81 Mike Midgley 1:41:01
83 Andrew Cutts 1:41:08
87 Bob Jackson 1:41:40
109 Peter Lambert 1:45:28
236 Sara Dyer 2:07.29
291 ran

Congratulations to Steve Webb who finished 2nd overall. We watched the replay on the video in the clubhouse while waiting for the prize presentation. Steve was 4th going into the hill on top of Baildon Moor at 121/2 miles and was 2nd when he reached the top, a position he hung on to over the last 1/2 mile. Mick couldn't quite repeat his 3rd place of 2 years ago. Henry's good performances over the cross-country in the winter continued into trail running in April.

A little further back, Mike Midgley stayed ahead of a Striders group of Alistair, Andrew and Bob who ran together for most of the first 121/2 miles (until that big hill sorted them out). Alistair just caught Mike on the line.

St Leonard's Way Challenge (from Geoff Webster)

There was a good V.S. turnout for this LDWA style event, in fact the Spiders representation swelled the number of runners from 1 to 7. There is a full report from Madeleine later in this section. As usual, pies were eaten at the finish and an inquest was held into the day's events especially G.W.'s route-finding.

There are plenty of these low key events (most of which have a lot more runners - ed) - they are very good long distance training runs with good support at checkpoints. See G.W. if you are interested in taking part in one. Madeleine has entered the White Bear Way which goes round the reservoirs and moors in the area of Horwich in Lancs on 15th June. This is a long established event and offers a good day out.

Bradford Millennium Way Relay: 30 June 2002

By the time you read this, the closing date will have passed for team entry - we will have one or two teams, depending on the success of some phone calls. We may still need some reserves! And wish us luck for the race! Report in next V.S. News.

Blubberhouses Moor 25 (from Rob Bumstead)

Only three Spiders ran the Blubberhouses 25 this year, the low turnout possibly being a result of the Baildon Boundary Way being run on the same day. The weather was glorious, perhaps the best day of the year so far, and the start at Bland Hill Community Centre was full of runners liberally applying sunscreen - not the usual sight at a race run at the start of April. Indeed, when questioned, the race organiser confirmed that it was not necessary to carry a survival bag as was stated in the equipment checklist, as he was more worried about dehydration and sunburn than exposure.

Walkers set off on the route at 9:30, an hour before the runners started. The Spiders who competed were Geoff Webster, Madeleine Watson and Rob Bumstead. The route starts off crossing the dam at Swinsty Reservoir before passing through Timble Village and heading up onto Round Hill and then on to Beamsley Beacon. The first walkers were caught and passed on the way up to the moors, which was where the only slight boggy section of the day was encountered.

After dropping down to Deerstones and crossing the A59, the route wended its way across the fields with superb views of Bolton Abbey and up the Wharfe to Cavendish Pavilion. The shortcut up the road to Storiths was not allowed this year as the police had requested it was avoided due to potential danger on the narrow road. This section of the route was very busy with walkers and day-trippers enjoying the sun, and at The Pavilion which is half-way, Geoff, the first Spider, was in the second group of runners in about 6th position overall with a time of just under 1:45.

After leaving the river, the route heads eastwards, with a steady 4 mile ascent to Rocking Hall followed by the descent to the lower end of Thruscross Reservoir. At this point Rob caught up with Geoff, having been 15 minutes down at The Pavilion. Geoff said he needed caffeine not water, and duly stopped at the refreshment point for a cup of tea and a couple of jam sandwiches, to the delight of the lady in charge of the refreshments, who said he was the first taker of the day.

Meanwhile, Madeleine was having a good run and was holding the position of first lady.
After crossing the River Washburn, Rob took the scenic route along with three other competitors, which involved some extra ascent out of the woods and subsequent descent, whilst Geoff refreshed by his snack and knowing the correct route, having made the same mistake in a previous year, almost caught up again along the correct lower route.

The last five miles followed the west sides of Fewston and Swinsty Reservoirs, with a final ascent back to Bland Hill. Geoff almost caught Rob, who was now struggling, and would have done so, had there been another half mile. Rob finished 12th in 4:03.

In the prize-giving, two of the Spiders were honoured, Madeleine being first lady in 4:42 (19th overall) and Geoff was third Vet in 4:05 (13th). Madeleine's name joins, among others, the name of Sylvia Watson on the Lady's Trophy, a seven-times previous winner.

The winner was John Wootton in 3:16 - Paul Briscoe's course record remains intact. There were 175 finishers.

The Three Peaks 2002 (from Mick Loftus)

After weeks of warm dry weather the race weekend arrived and it rained. I was the only Strider starting, Paul Briscoe running for Pudsey and Bramley. Before the race the announcer said that there were only 350 entries (the lowest in recent years) and that there were more over 60-year-olds than under-30s.

The race started in a slight break from the rain. After the climb of Pen-y-Ghent the weather started to get worse. The run up to Ribblehead was very wet and muddy in places (most places in fact). After an hour and half I got to Ribblehead. Now it was pouring with rain and the wind had really picked up. The river crossing at this point was deep and a bit scary. The one marshal in wellies would never have caught anyone who slipped and got swept away. The climb of Whernside is brutal at the best of times and this wasn't the best of times. I put on all my spare (wet) clothes, the wind ripped through them, leaving me and everyone else very exposed. The summit plateau was unbelievably windy. It was a real struggle to stand up straight. The rain was horizontal and torrential. I could feel all warmth draining from my body as I forced myself onwards. Whernside is flat on top, so it was some time before we could descend out of the worse of the wind chill.

Down towards Hill Inn it was a little sheltered and I was able to regain some rhythm and warmth. At least dehydration wasn't going to be a major factor. I climbed up Ingleborough slowly, I had abandoned any hopes of pbs and was now just aiming to finish in one piece. The summit of Ingleborough is a rocky plateau, the wind had managed to change direction by 180 degrees and was now in our faces as we headed to the control point. After turning back for the descent the wind pushed me onwards. This would have been welcome except that it was pushing down a steep and rocky slope. The gradient soon eases and the path is wide but very rough and rocky. I had checked my time at the last check point and realised that I was in fact on for a pb. This spurred me on.

Eventually Sulber Nick arrived. This is a curious fault in the limestone pavement which forms a rocky ditch for 1 - 2 miles in a straight line. About a third of it was under muddy water. You never knew if you were stepping into a 2 or 22 inch deep puddle or what was at the bottom of it. Now dreadfully tired I arrived at the last obstacle, the 'muddy field'. Not only was it very muddy, it has a hill in the middle of it. I slowly crossed it and then under the railway bridge and back into the finish. It took me 4 hours 10 minutes.

There was very little by way of applause, most of the spectators had given up. After greeting my family I went to the tea shop to claim my 1 of refreshments. The crowds of people inside parted to let me through with worried looks to their faces. I obviously looked terrible, in fits of shivers.

We escaped from the scene straight away to find a cafe in Settle. We noticed ambulances, police and mountain rescue teams going the other way. As I finished 50 starters were known to have dropped out, more were sure to follow. I didn't hear any other results as it wasn't a day for hanging around. I did hear that Paul had got 2nd Vet but that wasn't the full story.

Bob J rang me later that night to check that I was alright! Paul had rung him to say he had broken his arm (again!). He said that his were not the only broken bones in casualty and that there were cases of hypothermia coming in.

The weather clearly caught a lot of people out; it had been very severe. I was very cold at times but never felt like I was about to cross that line where hypothermia starts. Some people wisely packed it in before they got in danger. Others didn't or perhaps slightly injured, they slowed and got really cold very quickly.

Three Peaks 2002 - So Near Yet So Far! (from Paul Briscoe)

As many of you will know, for some time now I have been on a crusade to win the Vets title in my favourite race - the classic 3 Peaks fell race. Last year, with high hopes after an excellent cross-country season, I was denied by foot & mouth. This year, my cross-country performances had not been so exceptional, but still good enough to give cause for hope.

For the cross-country, I had been averaging about 50 miles/week, with 2 speed sessions plus a long run of around 2 hours most Sundays. In early February, I started to build up the miles by increasing the length of my Monday, Wednesday and Friday runs to over an hour (and occasionally 11/2 hours) and lengthening my Sunday runs to around 21/2 hours, whilst still maintaining my Tuesday/Thursday speed sessions - a total of 70+ miles/week. This isn't as much as I used to do but still plenty given my more active job. Initially, nothing happened, but suddenly, in mid-March, I started doing all of my training runs several minutes faster without any appreciable increase in effort. Yet again, the formula of more miles, long sustained runs and speed had brought out my best form, and the following weekend I produced probably my best ever run in the Meanwood Valley trail race, placing 2nd behind an in-form Trevor Wilks. So now I knew I was fit for the Peaks!

In the last few weeks before the race, the weather dried up and I tried to run up as many hills as I could, regularly running up Simon's Seat, Buckden Pike and many of Wharfedale's other tops. 2 weeks before the Peaks, I even set a PB for my favourite loop - from Bolton Abbey up the river to Howgill, straight up Simon's Seat, then returning to Bolton Abbey via the "Valley of Desolation" - 59-28 for this was my first time under the hour. I was, though, having some plantar problems - pain under my right foot and heel, probably coming from my back due to running on very dry, hard ground. Physio treatment on this was very painful!

Approaching race day, the weather remained dry and warm and all looked well for ideal conditions for me - just as long as my foot behaved. Sadly, though, the Azores high retreated with 2 days to go and I was suddenly faced with the prospect of cold, wind and mud. Even on the Saturday, the course was apparently dry, but that night the clouds engulfed the peaks, the heavens opened and a bitter wind picked up. So race morning was anything but what I'd prayed for and the River Ribble was raging!

The race field was rather depleted with championship races either side of 3 Peaks weekend - only about 250 started. Even so, Simon Booth, winner in 2000 and probably Britain's best fell runner over distance, had decided to run and several other consistent performers, including Andy "Scoffer" Schofield, made the race at the sharp end look competitive. My problem was what to wear on my feet because normal fell shoes would provide little protection for my injured foot. In the end, I selected my new Adidas Swoops for their extra padding and reasonable grip.

The race started in persistent drizzle but I felt comfortable and reached the summit of Penyghent in about 6th place, not far adrift of the leaders. However, I lost time on the descent by missing the short-cut in the mist and the lead pack of four were almost out of sight when I reached the Pennine Way. It was at this stage that I started to regret my choice of footwear - the formerly hard-baked mud was now a greasy clay and my Swoops didn't seem to gain much purchase. So my pursuers caught me and we ran as a group of three into Ribblehead, already dreading the impending river crossing. In the event, the river wasn't as wild as I had expected and I set off up Whernside with reasonable expectations, clearly comfortably lying first Vet.

Up to this point, the weather hadn't really been a problem, apart from the inevitable mud. However, up Whernside, the wind picked up and conditions quickly became very cold and unpleasant. I struggled to get my top on in the gathering gale before battling on but conditions continued to deteriorate and I was soon aware of being chilled through despite the extra protection and despite climbing hard - being so skinny, I always suffer far worse than most in the cold. I tried to speak to the one runner who had kept with me, but my mouth was numb and what came out was gibberish! For the first time ever, I felt seriously in danger and considered turning back, but I knew that if I could just make it over Whernside the wind would be more on my back. Remarkably, despite the conditions and thick mist, I managed to navigate to within 100 yards of the trig point without anyone to follow and was soon following the ridge towards the one tricky descent in the race. The problem was that I was now so cold that my co-ordination was suffering and I had to walk most of the way down the hill to avoid falling. Despite losing so much time, I only lost 2 places, but was now clearly too far adrift of the leaders to be a threat.

Thankfully, the weather eased for a while and I could now see the top of Ingleborough ahead - still lying 1st Vet, I decided to carry on past the Hill Inn, leaving Jo looking very concerned. I felt fine going up the lower slopes of Ingleborough, but my suspect back suddenly caught up with me as my right calf started to tighten severely around the nerve. So on the duck boards, where I normally expect to blitz the opposition, I couldn't even run for fear of tearing a muscle - I even suffered the ignominy of being passed on the climb - something that has never happened before! Even so, at the summit I was still 6th overall, clear as 1st Vet and feeling quite strong, so I set off for Horton feeling reasonably confident. All went well to start with and I had soon passed the shooting hut, where I broke my wrist a few years ago. Not far beyond though, in a small gully on a flat part of the path, I managed to clip an unseen stone with my left foot and went flying, landing on my right shoulder. I didn't feel too shaken and got up straight away, only to be met by a severe pain at the top of my arm. A few steps was enough to tell it was serious - every slight jolt made it click and sent a nauseating ache down my arm. I cursed and swore at myself before carrying on as best I could - it was far too cold to hang around. The footing through Sulber Nick is awkward and whilst I was able to jog parts, I had to walk the rougher sections as the pain was too severe. With my painfully slow progress, inevitably, another runner finally passed me just before the last descent back to Horton. I jogged slowly in to the finish and made straight for the first aid tent. The tent was already full of runners, most suffering from exposure. Clearly though, my celebrity status as the man who had finished 3rd with a broken wrist had not been forgotten and I was immediately the centre of attention. The doctor felt I had dislocated my shoulder and as soon as they had warmed me up I was packed off to Airedale hospital. Sadly, the X-rays revealed that I had actually fractured my humerus, just below the shoulder - a clean break not considered very serious, but extremely painful because it cannot be set in plaster and the entire weight of the arm pulls on the break.

So, there we are - my position in fell running folklore is now secure - the first runner ever to finish in the top 10 of one of the classic fell races with a broken limb...... twice! Sadly, though, that fall cost me very dear, as the man who passed me on the "run" in was a vet, meaning that I just missed out on my target - my only consolation was being first Yorkshireman home in 7th place overall! I know that, given better conditions, I was in the shape to make the top 5, but the cold and mud, as well as my fall, made for the worst of all worlds for me! My time, 3hrs 34mins, was my slowest ever by over 15 minutes, which demonstrates just how bad the conditions were - even race winner Simon Booth ran 20 minutes slower than in 2000. Apparently, about 50 runners (20% of the field) failed to finish; at one stage there were 50 runners in first aid being treated for exposure and 4 runners were hospitalised - 3 with hypothermia and one with a broken ankle. So beware, the organisers are right - this race can be dangerous. I just need to decide now whether to risk trying again next year, in search of that elusive vets title - answers on a postcard please!

From "Real Runner" website - Ron Hill's Column

In my last column I sang the praises of the Nick Beer 10K in Llandudno. This time I would like to recommend the Meanwood Valley trail race, over seven and a half to eight miles, just north of Leeds.

Okay, so you may wonder whether or not it was wise to race off-road with an injured knee, but rest and the UV rays of Tenerife must have had a beneficial effect because I really enjoyed the course, with its rocky paths and trails.

One particularly steep section reminded me though that my fitness is not what it used to be and I could feel my heart thumping dangerously. I heeded the warning and relaxed to finish 210th out of 268, beating 22% of the field.

That performance gave me a lot of confidence going into Easter Saturday's Rivington Pike Fell Race ...

Bunny Run Relays (from Geoff Webster)

Two Spider teams entered these runs at the Guide Inn near Haworth. On a beautiful wet and cold night on the edge of the moor a problem arose; 6 Spiders and 2 teams of three, unfortunately one of the Spiders was under contract to run for another team. Andrew C was down to run with dad and son in the Cutts Family Singers team. This was solved when Andrew volunteered to go again with the Spiders 1st team of Sylvia and Sara. This meant working up a sweat for Team Cutts then freezing for half an hour before running again. Meanwhile Steve Webo went off first for Spiders 2nd team and handed over to Alistair. Both of these young lads put in fast laps but had to rely on poor old G.W. for the last leg. He said he didn't feel too good and ran like it too. Despite G.W. jogging the course, the good news was that the Spiders 2nd team won some Easter eggs as did the Cutts family. Alas, although Andrew ran his socks off for the V.S. 1st team, they remained egg-less. Maybe there wasn't a mixed team category. If that is so, Andrew let his side down by not registering as a wumin (or maybe Sylvia and Sara should have signed on as men). Come to think of it, Andrew ran as A.N.Other. This raises the question of whether he should get his Fell Championship points when he ran under a false name! (Steve and Andrew were both running in 10k's the following day - there is no news of how well they did). Despite not winning anything, Sylvia and Sara both enjoyed the evening out especially the scramble up the muddy bank. This is where G.W. also experienced great difficulty due to the poor old bloke wearing odd shoes i.e. one road racing flat and one fell shoe. He is ready to be put down!

More Fell Race Results

Andrew Cutts has been busy on the fells recently, some for Fell Championship points, some for pleasure, including (results from various websites):

Craig's Cracker 6 mile at Ogden Water. A.C. 3rd (V40 2nd) 45:33 21 ran

Saddleworth Runners 3 day event

Saddleworth Fell Race: A.C. 120th 25:33. 194 ran. This looks to have been a high quality race with Bingley runners Jebb, Holmes, Taylor and Peace occupying positions 3 to 6.

Springs Wood Chase at Guiseley: A.C. 7th but 3 out of the first 6 took the wrong route but were not penalised.

St Leonard's Way (from Madeleine Watson)

St Leonard's Challenge (Haworth to Hebden Bridge and back)

This was a 20 mile LDWA (Long Distance Walkers Association) type event held on the Saturday of the May Bank Holiday. Organised to raise money for St Leonard's Hospice - as is the Harewood 10 mile. There were 6 checkpoints, with drinks at each, including tea and biscuits at a couple. You are given a description of the route (things like "follow this path for 1 mile" and "cross the road and take the grassy downhill path to cross a garden").

The race started at Haworth, went west through Penistone Hill Country Park to Top Withins, along the Pennine Way for a bit, down between Walshaw Dean Middle and Lower Reservoirs, continued down Hebden Dale to the Hardcastle Crags Estate, up Middle Dean, Crimsworth Dean, along a water conduit round the edge of Oxenhope Moor, past Leeming Reservoir, through Oxenhope village, across the Keighley and Worth Railway and over the fields back into Haworth.

For this event runners set off an hour behind the walkers. So by the time we arrived all the walkers had set off and it was fairly quiet. Valley Striders turned out in force (it's all relative!), with Kathy and Ken Kaiser, Bob Jackson, Geoff Webster, Sylvia Watson and myself. There was another runner - which made 7. The event is fairly relaxed anyway, but with only seven runners, it definitely appeared more like a VS long training run than a race. That is apart from GW, who hared off at the start, having been ill for most of the week with a bad cold.

We got regular updates at the checkpoints about our "other runner up ahead" - gradually getting further and further ahead of us. At checkpoint 4 (12 miles) he was at least 35 minutes ahead. We split into 2 groups with Ken, Kathy and Bob slightly ahead of Sylvia and myself. We were almost at checkpoint 5 (16 miles) when I glanced back to see the intrepid GW behind us! He had got lost. We jogged slowly on, waiting for him to catch up. Only he didn't! He started to eat his chocolate bar - having got lost, he'd lost his winning fight, and had decided to walk. Sylvia waited for him and I went on, eventually to catch up the others just before Haworth.

We finished in 4hrs 15 minutes, had our meal and several drinks and waited and waited and waited. By this time, we were quite worried about Geoff. I had seen him and Sylvia walking together, and that was 4 miles from the end. Even if they'd walked how long does it take to do that distance? Anyway, they did come back after about 51/4 hours, looking fairly happy. They'd done a slight detour to get an ice cream and a can of pop!!!!!!!

Anyway, lovely route, fantastic scenery, friendly atmosphere, refreshments en route - what more could you want from a run?


1st equal Bob Jackson, Kathy Kaiser, Ken Kaiser, Madeleine Watson 4 hrs 15 mins

5th equal Sylvia Watson, Geoff Webster 5 hrs 15 mins

7 ran, approximately 193 walked

Green Belt Relay 2002 (from Annemi van Zyl)

The weekend of 11 and 12 May I made my way down to London to join Ranelagh Harriers, a west London based running club, for the Green Belt Relay. This is a 200 odd mile road and cross country race around London's green belt, organised by Stragglers Running Club.

A friend of mine runs with Ranelagh Harriers and he asked me if I would like to do it, seeing that I was not a very keen runner when I lived down in London. That's why I never knew the South had that many steep hills!

To take part you have to be a team of 10, each person running a leg on Saturday and Sunday. The distance of each leg varies from 6.9 to 13.8 miles. The website,, is an essential source of information with detailed maps, descriptions and even photos of each of the 20 legs. You can imagine the amount of organising that goes into an event like this, having 10 runners who can run on Saturday and Sunday, making sure everyone is at the right place and on time, with the right map and their own water. And there is obviously London traffic to keep in mind, especially those Sunday afternoon drivers!

The race itself: For a cross country, the road is surprisingly well marked and marshalled, some water is even provided along the way. My Saturday run of 13.8 miles was north west of London, around Watford. An amazingly beautiful area and surprisingly hilly. Sunday I did 10.4 miles in the south west, close to Guildford, again a stretch with steep hills! ( I just always thought the south of England is all flat!). Fortunately the rain had stayed away for some weeks and the roads were not too muddy. I was in the Ranelagh Lassies team, defending the title from 2000. (The relay did not take place in 2001 due to Foot and Mouth) At the end of day 2, 28hr 13min 50 sec, we were in the 20th position overall, second ladies team. In total there were 24 teams, of which many were mixed teams or mainly men's teams. The race was won by the Ranelagh Greyhounds, a superfast men's team in 21:16:12.

Although it was called a relay, I do not think anyone ever finished a leg before the next would start. All the starts were mass starts and timekeeping was per leg, then all times were added in the end to give the overall result. There was about an hour to an hour and twenty minutes between the starts of the legs. There was also a cut-off time for each leg, around 2 hours on a leg. This was to force the teams who were competing for the "toilet seat" (prize given to the slowest team), to run instead of crawl. The Ranelagh Bloodhounds managed to be the slowest team and deserved their toilet seat!

The organisers of the relay hope to attract teams from the north of England in the future! It is a lot of fun in another beautiful part of the country.

Fell Championship Events 2002

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 61/2 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 31/2
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 31/2 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

Fell Championship Points

Because of his devotion to Bunny Running (see article), Andrew C has nosed into the lead, one point ahead of that other prolific bunny runner, Sara.
Andrew C 259, Sara 258, Steve W 251, GW 209, Madeleine 146, Alistair 142,
Peter L 111, Rob B 109, Bob J 93, Mike M 81, Sylvia 68, Mick W 62, Henry 54,
Ken K 51, Kathy K 51, Eric 50, Tim 47, Mark 42

Forthcoming Races/Events

Grand Prix 2002 (see page 9 for rest of events)

Tue Jun 25 Dick Hudson Fell Race 61/2 from Ilkley
Wed Jun 26 19:30 Otley 10
Sun Jul 7 11:00 Harrogate 10k
Tue Jul 16 19:00 Handicap Summer 5 around southern loop of Harewood 10
Tue Sep 10 19:00 Handicap Autumn 10k
Sat Sep 14 Briscoe's fell race from the Bowling Green Pub, Otley

Other Road Races - plan your diary

The following were taken from the West Yorkshire Road Race and/or North of England A.A. website. Some do not have permits so the dates are provisional
Jun 9th Birkenshaw 5, 13th Haworth 5, 16th Stainland 7, 19th Ackworth 10k,
19th Ripon 10k, 30th Harewood 10k (but same day as Bradford M Way)
Jul 6th Burn Valley 1/2marathon, 7th Pudsey 10k, 7th Skipton 10k,
20th Bishop Wilton 1/2marathon
Aug 11th Askern 10m, 14th Mileta 10m (Cleckheaton), 18th Denby Dale 10k
Sep 8th Bradford 10k, 8th Netherthong 10k, 22nd Templenewsam 5,
22nd Kirkstall 10k, 29th Horsforth 10k
Oct 20th Batley 10k

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.