2002 Issue 3
In This Issue
Autumn Handicap - Tuesday 10th September
This will be on the 10k route starting by Eccup Res at the bottom of the steep hill, running round the path, across the dam, on the back road to Eccup and back.
Off at 6:50pm prompt-ish, so if you're one of the slower runners, make sure you arrive a few minutes early to find out your start time, and if you're one of the faster runners, make sure you're there no later than 7:00.
Briscoe's Fell Race (Striders GP) - Saturday 14th Sept
This event has moved location and start time (but not date) and will now be from the "Cheerful Chilli" near Danefield at 5pm. £3 to enter - this includes the glass of beer you have to drink at the end, but Striders GP points will be awarded for your time prior to downing the pint. After the race - £5 for as much beer as you can drink and/or £7.50 for a vegetarian meal.
Striders Annual General Meeting - Tuesday 24th Sept
Start time will be 8:30 prompt in the back bar at Leo's. We will have reports from the Committee from the last year (plenty of successes) and elect a new Committee (maybe we can recruit some younger members). Then it's on to open discussion. If you want to make sure a subject is discussed, then let me know prior to the meeting (preferably a couple of days prior although 5 minutes prior will be acceptable if accompanied by a glass of orange quencher). If anyone is unable to attend the meeting but wishes any point to be made, the same procedures apply (excluding the quencher). Things that come to mind are Tuesday training sessions, the new Club vest, next year's Grand Prix format ...
Harewood Trail Race (& junior race) - Sunday 13th Oct
Planning is well on schedule and with 8 weeks to go we had 50 entries, so we could have a record entry. As mentioned on the front page of the last V S News, there are much stricter safety requirements to adhere to. So we need as many Striders as possible to assist on the day.
It's first come first served for choice of marshalling positions. If you make the right choice it could only be about 1 hour out of your Sunday morning, so phone me now to book your position (see map in the centre pages). Continued on the next page ...
Harewood Trail Race (& junior race) - continued
We need 7 Striders to be "section leaders" and a further 7 to be deputies, each team to look after a section of the race 1 to 1½ miles long -
The sections will be as follows
If you count the number of marshalling points, you get to 30. But we're also doing all the race administration, time-keeping and recording, and manning the half-way drinks station - we need 40 in total. That's over half the active members of the Club. Please support us - we raised over £2000 last year and have achieved over £5000 in the three years that the Harewood races have been run.
A few of you have asked "When are subs due?". The answer is that our year starts on 1st September, but we decide the subs at the AGM (which will be on 24th September). There are a few new members who, when they joined, paid a couple of months of the old year and the full subs for next year. They paid £8. It's likely that subs won't change this year, so if you really feel the urge to pay, then you can send £8 to Danny. Otherwise the date at which you will go into arrears is the end of October, so there will be plenty of time to pay after the AGM.
£2.50 from these subs has already been paid to the North of England Athletic Association for Club membership and Individual registration. We should receive membership cards soon and these will be handed out at the AGM and/or posted out with the next newsletter.
A reminder that the cross-country season starts in October. The main races where we expect a high number of Striders are the 4 West Yorks x-country league races, the Yorkshire Championships, the Northern Champ's and, for those who are eligible, the Yorkshire Vets Champ's. Now although these are all listed as Championships, anyone may run and the standard is such that no Strider is likely to finish last. This applies particularly to the "Northerns" which seems to be quite a social occasion as well.
Sat Oct 19 1300 West Yorks cross country at Low Moor, York (near university)
Sat Nov 2 1300 West Yorks cross country at Peel Park, Bradford
Sun Nov 24 1300 West Yorks cross country at Scunthorpe
Sat Jan 5 Yorkshire Championships probably at Nunroyd Park, Guiseley
Sat Jan 11 1300 West Yorks cross country at Keighley
Sat Jan 26 Northern Championships probably at Bramham Park
Sat Mar TBA Yorkshire Vets Championships
At the AGM we will be taking your money (£3 for the West Yorks - 75p per race!) and also setting up a special offer for anyone who wants to run all 6 'open' races. Contact Paul Briscoe for more details. N.B. none of the races takes entries on the day!
The Tuesday Training Cycle and "Steady Run"
It has always been an (unwritten) rule of the Club that members may use the Club to whatever extent they wish. Some Striders will train most Tuesday and Thursday sessions. Other Striders, due to their location or for other reasons, do not train with us, but are happy just to receive their Striders News and still feel they are part of the Club.
For Tuesday training we must make sure that everyone in the Club has an opportunity to train with the Club. This is why we have a formal schedule of a cycle of 4 training sessions each month. And this is why they are all designed so that slower runners are not left behind. And for the majority of sessions, this works - for the 400's (1st week of a month), the miles (3rd week) and the hills (4th week), the slower runners either run shorter reps or have less rest between reps (ideally the former).
But sometimes this doesn't work for the fartlek session (2nd week of the month). What should happen - and what must happen in future - is that the faster runners, at the end of the speed bits, should turn round and go back to the slowest runner. Otherwise the fast runners get their recovery and the slower runners don't - they get a very long speed session at race pace or fall off the back - this must not happen.
What about Striders who don't want to do the scheduled session and instead want to run a "steady run". They are free to do this. But the steady run has become something of a misnomer. Because it, too, often turns out to be a fastish run for the fast runners, which therefore means race pace for the medium speed and drop off the back for the slow runners.
What do we propose to do about the "steady run"? Well at the moment, nothing! Except to warn slower pace runners that they would be better off running the scheduled session instead of risking being dragged along at a faster runner's "steady pace".
And what if there is a fartlek and a "steady" run available? Two groups should form before setting off and it should be clear which session is which. The scheduled fartlek group will run and regroup regularly; the steady runners are left to their own devices.
Thursday Night Training and Curry ...
Where Bill Murphy of Striders News leads, 'Oliver' of the Evening Post follows.
"A jewel next to the chippy", he wrote in the YEP Saturday supplement on 29 June. "Had I not been recommended to visit Ruchee, I might well have got back into the car and driven away. But I persevered - and it's a good job I did". There then followed an almost 2-page article, finishing with "We stumbled out into the night, full to bursting with great Indian food". He awarded it 4 stars (out of 5) for food, 4 for value, 2 for atmosphere (he should have gone in on a Thursday evening!) and 4 for service.
NB He also said "If you want a bargain, try the tandoori buffet on Sunday lunchtimes!"
Reminder - first Thursday in the month - train from Scott Hall then curry at the Ruchee.
If you go down to Leos' today ...
(following on from the last edition), we now have new carpet in the bar and new benches in the changing rooms (but no sign of a new brush to sweep the floors!). Soon there will be re-carpeting and redecoration of the foyer and there is a rumour of refurbishment of the men's showers.
Regarding the bar, all 'sections' of Leo's (rugby, cricket, running) have received a letter from the Clubhouse Management requesting that 'playing kit and footwear' should not be worn in the bar area, nor should kit or kit bags be brought into the bar area.
Since the foyer will also be redecorated, the changing room door will in future be the only door to be used for access when going out for, or returning from, training. We will be provided with set(s) of keys.
Your editor's opinion is that there has been a quantum leap in the standard of the environment in the bar area. Anything that keeps the bar in its current state is to be supported. We should co-operate with these requests, please!
The Club Vest saga - continued
Current voting (5-4-3-2-1 votes per person) is as follows
All the above will have "Valley Striders" on the front, either in the traditional lettering (but slightly smaller because of the 5cm limit) or in a logo to be decided later.
Discussions will be continued at the AGM. If you won't be at the AGM, then you can still vote - just list your 5 preferred designs in your order of preference and they will be allocated votes from 5 down to 1.
We have had 3 new members join during the last 3 months
Mike O'Callaghan is the younger, leaner, faster and more handsome of the O'Callaghan brothers (that's got to be worth a pint of orange quencher). And if you still can't tell the difference, he's the one with the clicking ankle. Mike ran with the Striders from 1983 to 1990, before joining Horsforth Harriers which was then his local club. He started running again in preparation for a medical for insurance as he turned 40. Then, after 2 months of training, he managed to run 38-something at the Morecambe 10k. A "useful" addition to our vets team.
John McCormack works with Roy Flesher. He'd run a 2 mile leg of the Leeds ½ marathon Corporate Challenge and afterwards said to Roy, "I enjoyed that run, I'm off to join a club this evening". "Which club?", said Roy. "Abbey Runners", said John. "Oh no you're not!", said Roy, "come along to Valley Striders!". And John has been a frequent Tuesday Strider since.
Daniel Cutts follows his father's footsteps in more ways than one. He runs quite a lot of the shorter fell races. And he doesn't train (except by running races!). Although he's only been at the club 2 months he is off his marks in the Fell Championship - at Stoodley Pike he was just 2 places behind Geoff.
Your editor is embarrassed that when writing the last newsletter in April and May, he did not look far enough ahead in the calendar, so some birthdays have sneaked by.
Fortunately, Valley Striders does not send birthday cards to members reaching a major birthday, otherwise Danny would have had a worried look at the AGM.
So, firstly, apologies for the ones I missed:
And these are in the near future (if I get the newsletter out on time):
Regarding our two sets of twins, I shall have to ask Niels to calculate the probability is of having two pairs of people with identical birthdays in a club of 125 members.
Grand Prix 2002 Results & Race Reports
Leeds Half Marathon
If you remember June's newsletter, there was doubt as to which club won the men's team prize for the Leeds half. The doubt was resolved 5 weeks after the race when some trophies were delivered to Terry Bean's house. Congratulations to Terry, Steve and Roy!
Dick Hudson Fell Race
I do not have positions and times but the Striders finishing sequence, defining the allocation of Grand Prix points, was Andrew Cutts, Rob Bumstead, Alistair Fale, Geoff Webster, Mike Midgley, Sylvia Watson, Bob Wilkes.
This race was also the Yorkshire Vets Championships - congratulations to Peter Lambert who won the V65 "gold" and to Tim Towler who won the V40 "silver". Our sympathies to the wimmin's team (Tracey, Lisa and Annemi) who were runners-up in the team race just one point behind Knavesmire.
11 Henry Lang 60:58
28 Tim Towler 63:30
38 Drew Taylor 64:30
55 Rob Bumstead 66:47
58 Tracey Morris 66:58
84 Lisa Wilyman 70:45
110 Mark Bean 73:38
123 Peter Lambert 74:53
123½ Andrew Cutts 74:53
148 Annemi Van Zyl 77:51
196 Sara Dyer 86:16
Entries were somewhat down on previous years, there being 4 other races that weekend within a 25 mile radius. Striders took advantage of this opportunity and Tim C, in Striders vest but not quite up to full fitness, had a great run to finish 3rd. The Striders team of two Tims and Roy took first team prize. Drew missed out on a £10 Up&Running voucher by entering on the day. To complete the Striders array of trophies, Tracey finished 2nd woman and also achieved an excellent time on a tricky course on a warm day.
3 Tim Crossland 32:53
17 Tim Towler 37:36
25 Drew Taylor 38:23
29 Tracey Morris 38:43
35 Roy Flesher 39:35
59 John Hallas 41:11
65 Paul White 41:51
135 Annemi Van Zyl 46:03
139 Bob Wilkes 46:17
Summer Handicap Trail 5-and-a-bit
Steve O must have been smiling when he saw his start mark but he had not allowed for trail expert Andrew who came past him at the end of the dam and stretched his lead to half a minute by the finish. Steve and Alistair had a battle for second - Steve slipstreamed behind Alistair and came past with a couple of hundred yards to go. Three of our 2001-2 lady recruits filled the next 3 places - Annemi and Mary started together and finished 6 seconds apart; Tracey passed them in the final few yards. Fastest time was Henry who was one second faster than Mick, who was one second faster than Drew. John and Claire have been sent on a map reading course for next time but if you watch "Emmerdale" episodes over the next few weeks you may see them in the background.
The regular administration squad of Mike, Eileen, Max and Joyce was in attendance (thanks to all of you) and a surprise appearance was made by John Umpleby, who (and I forgot to announce it) presented the Handicap Trophy way back in 1988.
Finish Hand Actual G.P
Time -icap Time Pts
1 Andrew Cutts 40:34 9:00 31:34 96
2 Steve O'Callaghan 41:09 4:45 36:24 86
3 Alistair Fale 41:18 7:45 33:33 92
4 Tracey Morris 41:29 9:45 31:44 95
5 Annemi Van Zyl 41:33 4:00 37:33 83
6 Mary Egan 41:39 4:00 37:39 82
7 Geoff Webster 41:51 6:30 35:21 88
8 Drew Taylor 41:52 11:15 30:37 98
9 Peter Lambert 42:09 5:30 36:39 84
10 Lisa Wilyman 42:28 8:30 33:58 91
11 Henry Lang 42:35 12:00 30:35 100
12 Tim Towler 42:49 11:00 31:49 94
13 Paul White 42:53 8:00 34:53 89
14 Roy Flesher 42:56 11:30 31:26 97
15 Mike Brown 42:59 4:45 38:14 80
16 Mick Loftus 43:06 12:30 30:36 99
17 Dick Dale 43:15 5:15 38:00 81
18 Carole Schofield 43:28 7:00 36:28 85
19 Chris Kaye 43:49 9:30 34:19 90
20 Bob Jackson 44:31 8:45 35:46 87
21 Harry Bates 44:38 11:45 32:53 93
22 John McCormack 46:57 0:00 46:57 79
23 Claire Taylor 48:14 0:00 48:14 78
Other Results from the Roads
Potteries Marathon - June 16th
75 Bob Jackson 3:35. 660 ran. Winner's time was 2:30 but only 10 broke 3:06.
Ackworth 10k - June 19th
33 Roy Flesher 39:11. 271 ran. Won by Ian Fisher in 31:32
Blackpool ½ marathon - June 23rd
116 Bill Murphy 1:35:36, 410 Brendan Kitson 1:54:20. 748 ran
Won by Tim Crossland's team-mate Dominic Bannister in 1:07:34.
Grand Prix positions after 17 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 shown. Note that at the end of the season it is best 8 races to count.
Roy Flesher 785-10=775(8)
Tim Towler 586-10=576(6)
Mark Bean 571-10=561(6)
Bob Jackson 540-10=530(6)
Mick Wrench 393-20=373(4)
Neil Dutton 299-20=279(3)
Steve Webb 297-20=277(3)
Paul Briscoe 200-30=170(2)
Terry Bean 199-30=169(2)
Mick Loftus 199-40=159(2)
Henry Lang 686-10=676(7)
Andrew Cutts 675-10=665(7)
Paul White 646-20=626(7)
Drew Taylor 585- 0=585(6)
Kathy Kaiser 553- 0=553(6)
Alistair Fale 552- 0=552(6)
Rob Bumstead 389-10=379(4)
Tracey Morris 380-20=360(4)
John Hallas 367-30-337(4)
Steve O'Call 336-30=306(4)
Eric Cusack 289-30=259(3)
Jane Sutton 279-20=259(3)
Paul Furness 257-20=237(3)
Rob Liddle 192-30=162(2)
Mike Midgley 192-30=162(2)
George Little 185-30=155(2)
Chris Kaye 179-40=139(2)
Dick Dale 732- 0=732(8)
Peter Lambert 724-20=704(8)
Lisa Wilyman 655 -0=655(7)
Bob Wilkes 616 -0=616(7)
Geoff Webster 460-10=450(5)
David Cusack 244-20=224(3)
Carole Schof'ld 167-40=127(2)
Annemi Van Zyl 625- 0=625(7)
Sara Dyer 333-20=313(4)
Sylvia Watson 181-30=151(2)
Bob Wilyman 170-30=140(2)
Mary Egan 162-30=132(2)
Mike Brown 164-40=124(2)
Claire Taylor 243-30=213(3)
Natalie White 171-30=141(2)
There are a further 19 Striders who have completed one race in the Grand Prix giving a total of 61 Striders involved so far this year. Additionally there are 7 Striders second-claimers who have scored points but cannot be counted in the Grand Prix as they were wearing the wrong shirt. NB the rules and regulations of the Grand Prix were in December 2001 Newsletter.
There are still 11 races to go, so even if you haven't started, you still have the opportunity to complete 8 races. It is possible to win a group or category with only 8 races and certainly anyone who has already run 2 or more is still well in the hunt.
Grand Prix Event Calendar(from Bob, Paul & Alan)
(9)Burley Bridge Hike
Cornwall 10K Road Race(from Tim Towler)
Runners divide into those who run on holiday and those who don’t. On the basis that holidays are a time for doing what you enjoy, and I enjoy running and also because running is surely the best way to explore a new area, I fall into the former category.
Finding a race can be more problematic. This year’s summer holidays took the Towler family to Cornwall. We were based just outside St Austell. Before we travelled I had scanned the running magazines and found the Cornwall 10K, which took place mid way through our holiday from R.A.F. St Eval near Newquay, less than 20 miles from where we were to stay. The event also had a fun run ideal for my two boys. Perfect. Don’t say anything - just enter. Thankfully when I told the family there was not too much dissent.
The rest of my family have a similar philosophy believing holidays are to be enjoyed. Carole my wife plays tennis and beat me every day. The boys demanded to be taken swimming everyday and the dog loved long walks or runs, when it was a bit cooler along the coastal path, which made Church Lane in Meanwood look positively flat. There was therefore little chance of arriving for the race well rested
On the Sunday morning, after a very pleasant evening of good food and good wine (well we are on holiday), satellite navigation did its job and got us to RAF St Eval. Having prayed for hot sunny weather all week, seemingly our prayers had been answered. There was not a cloud in the sky and the temperature rose into the high seventies.
The fun run took place 45 minutes before the senior race. I never fail to be impressed by the enthusiasm and tenacity of the youngsters who run in these events. It doesn’t matter how young they are, they have already learned to tell the tale of the battles they have had with their competitors mid race. The fun run finished with a group photo for the Newquay Road Runners web site. (If anyone goes onto find this photo don’t bother trying to guess which my kids are - they missed the photo!).
I was given the run down on the 10K by Frank Wheeler, a life member of Bingley Harriers, now living in Cornwall and running for Newquay, the only person on the day to recognise the Striders’ vest. The race was part of a grand prix series. Typically the number of runners would be around a hundred but there would probably be upward of two hundred today as the race incorporated the Cornwall County Championship. Last year the temperature reached 87 and many hadn’t finished.
We were off. Forget last year’s temperature, I was already sweating neat alcohol. The route was unusual in that we went out and back over the first 4k and then on a 6k loop. Yes, we also experienced some of those Cornwall hills. It was all run on quiet country roads. I was happy to finish 24th out of 231 finishers (38:13) and came away with a mug, as all finishers did, for my exertions. We could have stayed on for the barbecue Newquay Road Runners put on after the race, but as the sun was still shining the family thought the beach a better idea.
Our next holiday is in Lanzarote in October. Whilst I might not find a race I will certainly run.
Oh What A Week That Was(from Peter Lambert)
On Thursday 20th June Joyce and I joined 20 other runners/wives/husbands/partners from Kippax Harriers and Rothwell Harriers on a trip to run in the final Brugge 25k Veterans Grand Prix the following Sunday.
The overnight ferry from Hull to Zeebrugge saw us in Brugge by 9.30a.m. the following morning. What a beautiful city, the architecture of the buildings is spectacular and the canal and bridges show why it is known as the Venice of the North. The only down side as we all found out to our cost were the mosquitoes. After two days I had bigger bites than I have muscles!
As I understand it, the Grand Prix has been in its time a classic race attracting a field of thousands from across Europe. Times have changed due to lack of sponsorship, council objections and the organiser well into his seventies with no-one willing to take over - sounds familiar. This year’s race had a finishing field of 377 and, on a separate route, a 10k took place but both races finished in a football stadium similar to Elland Road.
A good course starting from the main square - where I saw two familiar faces - Jerry and Madeleine Watson - and taking a scenic run out into the countryside. I was fortunate to win 1st M65 - with a gold medal to prove it - in 1:52:40. Not a world record but as George Black once told me the first step to winning anything is to turn up for the start!
Jerry ran well finishing 8th in 1:32:09 5th V40 and Madeleine 2:09:35 5th W35.
Back home Tuesday morning. Club run in the evening. Nice and steady, no heroics.
Wednesday evening saw the Otley 10 take place and what can we say about it that has not been said already. As it was the Yorkshire Vets Champs the organisers arranged for the Senior Citizens to have a pacer each, no not the heart kind, the two legged kind!! Mine was Andrew Cutts who was out for a "steady run" after running the night before. His steady running got me round in 74:50 and the M65 title. THANKS ANDREW.
Two days of recovery running and a rest day brought the Millennium Relay on the Sunday. Myself and Annemi were running the last leg from Ilkley to the Rugby Club at Bingley. As in some of the other legs it was a mass start and Annemi must have had rocket fuel on her cornflakes as she shot off leaving me trailing by 100 yards for about 4 miles. Eventually catching her we ran together and met Bob and Joyce parked down a lane - I am saying nothing - who informed us that we had to catch the Keighley and Craven team in front with a leeway of 30 seconds which we did not achieve despite our all-out effort. But the good news on count-back of times was the mixed team had WON by 21 seconds -but this will be verified no doubt in a more detailed account of the race by someone else. A splendid effort by all the mixed team, well done to everyone. We won a shield for the club and individual prizes of a long sleeved sweater and a book of Lakeland walks by Tony Wimbush an ex-Valley Strider member.
As the title of this trumpet blowing article says, what a week. 3 prizes in 8 days, so just remember you younger Striders what George Black said to me - "If you don’t turn up you cannot win!"
Finally, I have my long-promised contribution to the next VSN ready, and Britt has given her acceptance of it. I am afraid that it will increase the risk of excess postage - but you seem to believe that the club can afford it. And there is no need to worry: I don't have anything vaguely as interesting lined up for the autumn, so I won't write as many pages for the next issue!
As usual, please feel free to correct my poor use of the beautiful English language.
I hope that all is well in the club - send my best wishes to everyone!
Australian rules running(from Niels Laustsen)
Since you last heard from me, I have travelled quite a bit. In fact I have been as far away as you can get, more or less, as I have spent the spring in Australia (which of course isn't the spring in Australia, but the autumn). My fitness hasn't benefitted from this trip, I am afraid, and indeed I am still far from regaining last year's shape.
The background for my Australian trip is that my present job in the Maths Department at the University of Copenhagen came with a travel grant to spend a semester in Australia working with two of the leading experts in my field.
In February I packed my bags and left a Copenhagen covered in snow. On my way Down Under I spent a week-end with my cousin in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In short, Kuala Lumpur is a runner's nightmare - hot, humid, and hilly. So don't ever go there for a running holiday!
My first stop in Australia was at the Australian National University in Canberra. Compared to Kuala Lumpur, Canberra is a runner's heaven. Although it was late summer when I arrived, and still pretty hot (up to 30 C), the air was dry and clear, and it cooled off fairly quickly in the evening, so it was fine for running. Moreover, there were good running paths all over the place. From the beginning, the city was designed to be the Australian capital, and nothing was spared to build it. In particular, all roads were laid out before houses were built - including an impressive network of bicycle (and running!) paths completely separate from the cars.
In the week-ends, it seemed that everybody was out getting some exercise. Not surprisingly, there were, therefore, lots of races to choose from, most of them well documented on the web. The site to consult about Australian races ishttp://www.coolrunning.com.au. It has a calendar listing races throughout the country. Below I shall describe some of the more interesting races that I came across.
At the university I met a couple of Swedish guys who ran in a nice little 5km race each Friday at lunchtime. Of course I had to have a go at this, too. It was surprisingly cheap to take part; 50 cents (approx. 20p) per race. But the prizes weren't big, either - one pair of socks for the winner. They have recently celebrated their 1000th race - not at all bad for a weekly event.
The race is a handicap race, so I immediately felt at home; this was just like Valley Striders, except that the course was a bit shorter, and the race took place more often. Unlike Bob's impressive computer program calculating your handicap taking into account any race that you have ever run (at least within the not too distant past), they only counted results from their own race, and so I had to run two qualification races to get a handicap. This seemed fair enough, but, as we shall see, they had other 'Australian rules' that I wasn't aware of (somewhat like the game they call 'football' which is nothing like the game that you can watch at Elland Road).
Encouraged by the main organizer, I did not push too hard in my two qualification races, in particular as the 2nd of these took place the day before I was going to compete with my Swedish colleague in a 10km race (and I did indeed beat him). Still, I was surprised when I got my handicap; it seemed to be far too generous. I set off chasing whoever was in front, and I caught what turned out to be the last one in front of me before 4km, so I cruised across the finishing line. Finally, I had managed to win a handicap race, I thought, after being close a couple of times in Leeds. But when the organizer returned, he mentioned something about a time limit, and I found out that, due to the special 'Australian rules', I was disqualified for having run 'too fast' (even though I had run exactly the same time, 18:40, as in my first qualification race). So I should have taken it much more easily over the final kilometre. A further unfortunate consequence was that the following week my handicap was changed by 2 minutes in the 'negative' direction, so in spite of the fact that I ran 18:40 once more, I was way behind the winner.
However, at this moment another special 'Australian rule' surfaced, namely the overwhelming kindness and friendliness of the Australians. Since it was my last Friday in Canberra, I said goodbye to everyone after the race - and the winner donated her prize socks to me on the spot! So I am now the proud owner of a pair of 'low cut' Australian running socks.
Half way through my stay Britt came to visit me, and we had an early summer vacation. The highlight was walking the Overland Track in Tasmania, an 85km long, very famous, and very beautiful trek through mountains and forests in central Tasmania. The weather in Tasmania is infamous for its rapid changes, and we were certainly not spared in any way. During the week that we spent on the Overland Track, we had sunshine, fog, rain, thunder, sleet, and even a bit of snow (but no gales). Nevertheless, I can strongly recommend the trip.
The reason that the Overland Track deserves mentioning in a running magazine is that you don't have to walk it, you can also run it. Indeed, each year there is an Overland Track Race. It has a strict limitation of 50 participants, so if you want to do it, you'd better register as soon as possible. But, on the other hand, if you want to stand any chance of completing this tough 85km off-road race over steep mountains, through deep mud, and across numerous tree roots, then you'd better start training as soon as possible, too.
Other races with strict limits on the number of participants are the Sydney Half and Full Marathon in May and September, respectively. Here the limits are several thousand runners, but they are, nevertheless, quickly filled up. I was lucky to get one of the last entries for the Half Marathon, just before the limit was reached in late March, two months before race day.
It is not surprising that Sydney Half Marathon is a popular race as it takes place in the very centre of the city. The start is in a (far too narrow) street right under the famous Harbour Bridge, then you run along the harbour with views to the Opera House, make a loop in the Botanical Garden, and finally go past the skyscapers in Downtown to return to the start - and then you do it all once more, in case you missed any of the wonderful sights the first time (just like Leeds Marathon).
So, in spite of my poor fitness, I have had a great time Down Under. And I haven't even mentioned my best running experience yet. That was meeting a group of kangaroos while training in the local wood!
Further news from Denmark(from Niels Laustsen)
After returning home to Denmark, I have run a couple of interesting races. In July, Britt and I took part in a 5-day event, with the 5 stages adding up to a marathon. We just managed to break 2:50 and 3:25, respectively. Taking into account that the stages were as far from 'flat and fast' as you can get around here, we were quite happy with this.
The race took place at the beautiful Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. Britt and I spent a week of holidays there together with Britt's parents, and we can definitely recommend both the race and the place to anyone looking for a nice way to combine a family holiday with some quality running. There will be a similar event in week 30 next year. If anyone is interested in doing it, please let me know, and I shall send you further information (or you can consult the official race websitewww.etape-bornholm.dk).
Last week-end (10th-11th August) I ran in a 24-hour race. I was part of an 8-man (well, 3 men and 5 women) team from my Danish club. We were of quite different abilities; I was perhaps the strongest member of the team, so you will understand that it was no elite team - quite the opposite. Still, we placed 6th out of 14 teams (and quite a few of the teams in front of us were all male), so we were very proud! Like the Leeds Country Way, it is always something special to run for a team, rather than just for 'yourself'.
The race course was a 5.72km lap around a lake. We managed to run 52 of those laps within the 24 hours; I did 10 laps in a total time of 3:59:46, and so for the first time I went 'ultra'. (Puritans may argue that since I did not run the 10 laps consecutively, it does not count as an ultra race, but I am going to ignore such minor details.) I was most pleased with the fact that I managed to pace myself well - my last lap was my 2nd fastest - and to eat and drink enough during the whole event to stay well hydrated and carbo-loaded. Perhaps my fitness is on its way back, after all.
Niels' story about the Australian Rules for the handicap reminded me about a handicap race organised by the Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders in California, where the runners have to estimate their time before they set off and the winner is the person who finishes nearest to their estimated time (NB watches are not allowed!). This story came from one of our 5 American Striders, Ruth Anderson. And what a coincidence - the next time I looked in my in-box, there was an e-mail from Ruth ...
Greetings from California(from Ruth Anderson)
Good to hear from you again, Bob. Can't remember when I last sent you an email, either. It has been at least as long ago as Max Jones' birthday. I haven't heard from Max since then, so am wondering what he has been up to?
I have been volunteering at quite a few races lately, including the Western States 100 mile endurance run, the 100K race in San Francisco, named after me, and a couple of trail 50K local events.
I did manage to compete in an ultra after missing a couple of years. It was this past July 20th, a 12 Hour Track Race at the College of San Mateo (south of S.F.). After 10+ hours I had had enough of the cold, strong wind, and let my distance be 40.2 miles.
I'm almost embarrassed that it is a record for women 70-74. No record was listed / published for an American or world mark for that age group. It does leave a "soft" mark for any W70-74 to shoot for.
It seems too early for our US cross country season to start, but the first local event will be this coming weekend. I will miss it, but plan to do some later on in the fall. This weekend I will be a USATF official at a 50K trail National Championship in the beautiful Marin County "Headlands" across from the Golden Gate Bridge, in the woods on Mt. Tamalpias, but starting and ending on beach. I have run on some of the trail sections that are part of the Dypsea race course, so know what a tough event this will be. Still wish I were in shape to do an event like this. Trails are still my favorite racing and training courses.
Look forward to reading all the Strider news.
I asked Ruth about the race that was named after her. She replied:
The course for this race is around Lake Merced in San Francisco. It was the AAU 100K Championship in 1976. I took up the challenge to try that distance with only a 50K, and Pikes Peak Marathon to my "credit". I finished 2nd over all behind Don Choi, the famous postman of San Francisco, who had several 6 Day races to his credit. Of course he was way ahead of me, but I did finish under 12 hours, which was a best time for a woman, even internationally. This was a one time race. When my ultra club, Bay Area Ultra Runners, (BAUR) decided to put a race on that course in 1986, they named it to honor my early achievement, especially for the pioneer aspect of such an event. Being 10 years older, I was even more pleased to finish under 12 Hours, but no longer a "best" mark nationally or internationally.
... but are you Herb Elliot?(from Stuart StJohn)
Imagine dear reader, if you will, your idea of the perfect training run. I will try and paint you a picture of the one that happened to me and one that will remain with me forever. It does not involve running naked round Eccup Reservoir with Scully from the X-Files, so if that’s your thing then read no further!
Mid-nineteen eighties; a first Wednesday in July; 06:50 hours; clear blue sky; birds singing; at peace with the world. (You get the picture?).
I leave my Meanwood home to meet up with my training partner, great friend and cracking runner, Martyn Hopson, for the twice-weekly ‘bullshit’ run into work. I use the word ‘bullshit’ as on these runs I attempt to fill an educated man’s head with thoughts/ideas that I know he will take on board and which I hope will make him feel invincible and the greatest thing since sliced bread! This is no disrespect to any of my other great mates and class runners in the Club such as Steve ‘O’, Keith, Terry, et al, but Martyn was my faster pair of legs, my achiever of things that I could never achieve in a month of Sundays and, in a way, my ‘trainee’.
We always meet on the Meanwood Valley Trail around 07:00 at the now removed fallen oak, which used to straddle the path just past the Bywater Farm dog kennels just north of the ring road. As usual he is running late having stopped for his extra ‘dump’ somewhere in Meanwood Park! Martyn could have ‘dumped’ for England; boy he was fast at that as well! His best was 10 seconds just off the Otley Road, but that’s another story. He arrives and we set off up the trail feeling each other out (it was not legal in those days though luckily we were never caught!). Because the trail was quite narrow it was always Indian file with me in front holding him in, but at the same time giving him a commentary on everything/anything athletic and, depending on how I was going, a sexual run down of past encounters with errant couples I had stumbled across on my silent and single training runs. They were everywhere in those days; it was great to disturb lazy devils who could not be bothered going 10 yards off the beaten track. Ray Price tells of a really good one round the ‘Res’, but that’s another story as well!
We cross Stairfoot Lane and as we climb up towards the first fence stile Martyn is already edging alongside like a lurcher about to lurch. I keep him at bay over the stile and round the edge of the field up to the golf course stone stile, getting a breather without letting him know I was already hurting a wee bit. On to the golf course and we are side by side and just easy as I knew what was about to come, it always did, once we were on King Lane. It is then that we both spot this bloke running towards us. Bear in mind reader, if you have bothered to get this far, that in all the times both Martyn and I did this run we never once met anybody running anywhere near here at this time of day. "What silly sod is out at this time of a morning?" says I. "Looks fit and tanned and he’s got good kit on" says Martyn.
We three are about to converge and I am ready to give the customary nod and the extra bit of pace, you know how you do to impress the opposition? I had already wiped the blegg from around my mouth to show lack of suffering. Well the chap puts up his hand for us to stop; so we do , except we are running on the spot and really not wanting to hang around. "Do you boys know the way back to Leeds from here?" the man asks. "I seem to have taken a wrong turning and got myself lost". Stuart, thinking of all the 20 pences of a Tuesday night, reckons he could have another one in his black book and so very diplomatically asks the man "where do you want to be?" but at the same time thinking what a numpty to be out here and not know where he was going! "Queens Hotel" the man exclaims. "Christ" says I, "you are way off target". "The Hotel receptionist told me that this was a well marked run and that I would not get lost" he replies.
It is round about now that both Martyn and I begin to raise eyebrows and feel the earth start to move. (You lady members know what I mean!). Bear in mind that Martyn is in the middle of reading and putting into practice the latest training book by Percy Cerrutty who was the coach who took Herb Elliot to the 1960 Rome Olympic 1500 metres gold medal and made him a household name. Anyway I say to this chap, "we are heading back to Leeds to begin work so you can run with us if you wish and if we go too fast just let us know and we will slow down! It is about seven miles the route we go". Fighting talk from the Strider’s secretary eh?
The next part of the conversation with the chap I can remember as if it was only yesterday. I looked at him and said, "I know this might sound stupid, us being here on the middle of a golf course on the outskirts of Leeds early on a lovely summer’s morning talking to you, a complete stranger, but are you Herb Elliot?" "Yes", came the reply. Silence for several seconds followed by a rush of goodness knows what pumping through the body, then two Striders behaving badly, shaking hands, bowing, crawling, mock curtseying and doing everything associated with actually meeting in the flesh a hero and athletics legend. By this time both Martyn and I were whooping and a-hollering. Poor old Herb just stood there embarrassed waiting, I presume, for these two silly ‘boys’ to calm down so that he could get back to his hotel and escape mad dogs and Englishmen.
Eventually we set off down King Lane, through the Golden Acre, out of the top gate and on to the footpath down the Otley Road, through Lawnswood and then West Park and into Headingley. The pace was steady as we tried to run three abreast with Herb in the middle. His ears must have been ready to drop off as both his partners absolutely swamped him with question after question. He never faltered, slowed or complained and by the time we reached Hyde Park corner, where Martyn usually turned off to his school, we knew just about everything pertaining to Herb Elliot. Martyn kept on running and so did I and so did Herb; all the way past the University down to City Square eventually dropping our ‘mate’ off, outside the Queen’s doors!
I was working at Schofields at the time and during our run Herb had managed to blurt out that he was looking for a lightweight suit for his imminent Yorkshire T.V. appearance on This is Your Life where he was guest of honour for an unsuspecting Derek Ibbotson, (another class running act). This was to be his only stop in the U.K. and his sole reason for being here, and so he was wishing to shop in Leeds and then go home! I gave him some directions on where to get the best bargains in between questioning him. About 10:30 that morning I get a call from the Suit buyer telling me there is a customer in the department asking for me and wanting to take me for a coffee. "He’s got an Australian accent" says the buyer "and the Sports buyer reckons he knows the face!" I went down to the department to find Herb signing autographs and by the time we managed to get away for a coffee he must have wished he had stayed in his bed that particular morning. I will tell you what though; Martyn and I were bloody glad that he didn’t!
By the way, did I ever tell you about the Sunday afternoon I went training with Steve Monaghetti in Roundhay Park, and what I said to Emil Zatopek and his wife Dana when he presented me with a prize in Malta? Memories.
Running is not good for your health
As the twentieth birthday of the Striders draws near (the inaugural meeting was held on 12th December 1982), I have conclusive evidence that running is not good for your health. Of the Striders who attended that inaugural meeting and who are still members of the club, not one is fully fit - VLS00001 Stuart StJohn (knees), VLS00002 Geoff Webster (brain - too much fell running), VLS00003 Martyn Hopson (heart surgery a few years ago) and VLS00004 Ray Price (diabetes and kidney problems) Goodness knows what has happened to the other original Striders who left the Club years ago - but maybe they are the picture of health!
But seriously, we wish Martyn and Ray a quick recovery from their recent set-backs. (And we wish Geoff a 10k road race to cure his addiction to fell-running).
And now for some good news
Yvonne Bissitt(VLS00007) wrote "Thought I better pay up as I may consider entering a 10k later this year if I can get fit."
Mike Henry (VLS00009) renewed his membership, saying "Please find enclosed cheque. I was hoping to quit running but find various injuries improving - so no excuses! I won't be racing though, so a 'social' runner is what I am."
Tony Foster wrote "After some medical treatment I hope to resume normal training and enter races again quite soon."
Janet Parkinson e-mailed "Just been to run the last leg of the LCW with Natalie. 5 months ago I was told I would never run again after major abdominal surgery and here I am. And 40 to boot. I hit the big 40 in July and was determined to keep going. Hopefully into the cross country season. It puts life into a new perspective."
The end of the Injury Woes?(from Ian Townsley)
If you’ve ever been out with a long-term injury and thought you would never run again you’ll know how I’ve felt for the last 14 months.
I’ve always been prone to injury, don’t know why, I stretch before and after runs and warm up at the beginning of runs, but in the years I’ve been running injury has never been far away. Nothing serious mind just a strain here, a pull or a tear there.
Last June I was stupid enough to embark on a long run knowing I had problems in the hamstring area. I’d be OK, I thought to myself I’m running through lots of woodland and it’s only on hard surfaces that it affects me ….wrong! For days afterwards I could hardly walk, I limped around. The thing improved so that eventually I got back to walking properly and then running but the pain was still there and I could feel it on every run, I immediately reached for the ice on my return home as the thing throbbed away.
Eventually I thought that I was being stupid and if I ever wanted to run again pain free I would need another long rest. I sought the help of a physio who could find nothing , she put me on to a podiatrist and then a homeopath….if they could only find something wrong, locate the problem I would have something to work on but nothing.
I was able to keep my fitness up by cycling which I have been able to do almost everyday, to work and back, I even thought that this might be aggravation the problem. Eventually I stopped paying for treatment, I wasn’t gaining any benefit, I went to my GP and waited for 3 months on the NHS waiting list for further treatment maybe with a different approach.
I thought about running, everyday - it was like a death in the family, I longed to get out there again but was convinced that the thing was getting better, in a matter of weeks I’d be back running but if I went for a run I’d aggravate it and it would set me back. I saw the NHS physio, she tried all sorts of tests but could find …nothing. Eventually on July 29 she said the magic words…"I want you to go out for a run". So I did, just 10 minutes and I was shattered and stiff for two or three days afterwards but I survived it, then I went for another 10 minutes, then 15 until now I’m running about 6 miles most days. I’ve still got the problem but I do not aggravate it by running, on the contrary it feels slightly better for up to a couple of hours after a run. Walking can be slightly uncomfortable but I’m back now on my old running routes contemplating when I might be racing again, contemplating running on holiday and awaydays, and I feel great, I have got an important part of my life back.
Hope to see you soon.
In The Media(from Steve Webb)
Living Legend Geoff Webster has enjoyed a high profile of late. If you watched the BBC coverage of the Commonwealth Games mountain bike races you may have seen him lurking at the side of the course. We do not know if he was responsible for the puncture which ended the hopes of race leader Caroline Alexander (carelessly discarded safety pin from running vest?). GW also appears together with Sylvia in the current edition of the CTC magazine; a photograph of them accompanying an article about the York Cycle Rally. Please form an orderly queue for the autograph………
The London Triathlon(from Bill Murphy)
For anyone who develops a sick desire to take part in this "masochistic" (see the Telegraph on the 5th of August) sport you would do considerably worse than do the London Triathlon as a first attempt. The day dawned bright and clear (well, cloudy but all race descriptions start with 'bright and clear') somewhat earlier than necessary, as the occupants of the room next to mine had their alarm set for 05:30, and it was so loud it woke up everyone in a 3 room radius. Needless to say, these benighted individuals were almost introduced to the Thames rather preemptively.
Having remortgaged my house in order to pay for the parking charges in the Excel Centre in London Docklands I headed for the race start. I immediately drifted past the ultimate race winner, Simon Lessing, without breaking sweat. Sadly, I was still in the car. Having deposited the car, and signed an undertaking that if my house value failed to cover the parking charges I would sell my soul, I got to the start of the race, wetsuit and running shoes in hand.
Quick change, and onto the quayside ready to go. As usual, nerves were getting to me, and given that the water in the Royal Victoria Dock was worryingly warm, I presume other competitors were also suffering. The start of the swim had more in common with a western saloon brawl than synchronized swimming – arms and legs flailing all around, with some people even moving forward (and one or two who appeared to moving downwards…). In a flash… well ok in a relatively short period…. ok, in what seemed an eternity, but was in fact only 28 minutes, I found myself dragging myself from water having to remove the wetsuit and head for transition….
The path to transition was one of enlightenment (this is still a race report, not a description of obscure religious practices) and involved a flight of stairs, about a 200m dash across a wet concrete floor and the need to remember where in the mass of about 3000 bikes mine was parked. Bike found: another 200m trot in the other direction got me out of transition and on to the bike leg.
The cycle leg of the race was referred to as flat and 'technical'. It was four laps of a 10 km route, which sounds somewhat dull, but it meant that there were spectators along the majority of the course. The road was not quite flat with one short climb at one end, although it was definitely 'technical' with 8 roundabouts and 2 tight turns to negotiate. At the eastern end of the route the turn was sufficiently tight to ensure that it was necessary to drop to about 10 km per hour. It was at the first turn, I discovered that the reason for averaging 40 km per hour so far, was the rather stiff wind blowing from the west on a long exposed section of road adjacent to City Airport. Picture the scene: what had been sleek, aerodynamic, smooth cycling triathletes had become a collection of out-of-breath, gasping, wheezing maniacs desperately trying to drop 5-10 gears and keep moving forward rather than just grind to a halt and keel over. I rather suspect this is why a small crowd had gathered around this point – I had wondered why they had set up a small betting stand and were laughing hysterically…
The second time around I was wise to this, and I too got to grin in a smug manner to those who were still on the first circuit and were caught by the wind. The third and fourth laps passed largely uneventfully, with only a small banana skin and a rather large spectator providing entertainment value. The former depositing a cyclist on his backside, the latter deciding there were not enough roundabouts on the course and deciding to become another obstacle in the road. At this stage it was all plain sailing into transition to dump the bike and head off for the easy bit, the 10 km run, or so I thought.
The rather slippery concrete floor however provided one more obstacle to be negotiated – a small group of triathletes that had become bizarrely entangled in a small heap of legs, bikes and lycra resulting from a patch of water, the concrete floor and someone's cycling shoes. The resulting mass of man, woman and metal bore more than a small resemblance to something from a Jules Verne novel: I rather expected a small whaling vessel to appear dockside at any moment.
Having avoided this last obstacle, I proceeded to my allocated bike slot, donned road shoes and shot out of transition like a bullet out of a gun; well, that was my perception, those who actually saw me suggested I looked more like an apoplectic giraffe with BSE. However little style it involved, I was off on the run less than 2 hours after entering the water – something of an achievement as far as I was concerned.
The run was also a four lap affair with spectators strategically planted along key parts of the route. These key areas were the tight bends, where you risked ending up in the cycle lane in spite of the barriers, and the drinks stations where they could watch you cover yourself with lucozade, and actually get none into your mouth. Each lap involved runners returning up the 20o ramp into the Excel Centre and then going back out again. The back out was easy, the 'up' was a bit of a trauma (albeit a rather short one – the hill sessions on Tuesday evenings suddenly seemed like they had been a good move). Overall the wind on the run leg was refreshing, the sun came out and it became a romp home to complete. I say romp – given the time it took to run 10 km, I might have considered a brisk walk to have been a better description of my performance in the last discipline. My final time was 2:40 – I was 65th out of my age group of c. 250 competitors.
Overall, this was a great race. It was superbly organized, security for your kit was adequate without being proscriptive and even the swim was relatively warm and calm. For anyone wishing to dip their toe into multisport events, this is a good one to start on with good support and crowds to cheer you on. A medal and a banana to finish – what more can you ask for!
Coming soon to a newsletter near you: Sun, Sea and Sand, well actually, Rain, Lake and Mountain – a report from your roving reporter on Half Ironman UK at Llanberis – subtitled "Run to the Hills".
Horsforth Marathon Story (part 4)by Janet Kitchen.
This year (1984) we lost our main sponsors Arnold G. Wilson who went into liquidation. We were approached by the Horsforth Garage Ltd. (Renault Main Dealers) who were very good but there was not so much money available. The Woodside Cavalier Restaurant (manager Steve Whitehead) provided the medals. Other prizes were donated by Mars Confectionery Ltd., Madeley Homecare and several other local businesses. I always had to work quite hard to acquire the prizes because the Horsforth Sports Council wanted to be able to give the maximum amount of money to local charities after the event.
The booking of Horsforth School was difficult this year. The School needed the Hall for an event of their own so we had to ‘make do’ with the Gym. Not as good for the prize giving but nevertheless adequate, and certainly better for the runners than having to change in a draughty field! We also had to pay the caretaking expenses for the booking which had previously been free.
The Fourth Annual Horsforth Metro Marathon - Sunday 25th March 1984.
Out of 252 applications we had 196 runners on the day (190 men and 6 women). A new record for the course was created by overall winner Brian Scobie - 2.27.06. He had held the previous record since 1982 but managed to better this by over 2 minutes. Overall winner in the women’s race was Valley Strider Yvonne Bissitt, 72nd in a time of 3.17.40. Valley Striders were first team with Martyn Hopson 3rd, Jeremy Wilkinson 10th and Anthony Hartigan 17th (30 points)
Since 1981 we had been noticing Martyn Hopson’s marathon performances. Even though he was 3rd this year, he was only 5 seconds behind the Richard Lamb (Bingley Harriers) and over 2 minutes faster than the previous year when he was 2nd. We would be watching the 1985 event with interest!
Jimmy Savile and his team enjoyed the run and gave a vote of thanks to all the helpers for their hard work in providing such a well-organised event. We always received many letters of congratulations and thanks after each marathon and it made the hard work all worth while. Jimmy completed the course in 137th position and a time of 3.49.17 - 5 minutes faster than his last run in 1982.
On a personal note, in June 1984 I developed breast cancer and had to have a mastectomy and radiotherapy. It was a big shock but I got over it quite well. Word must have got around, because in about September, I had a telephone call from Keith Atherton wanting to come and see me. He presented me with a large bouquet of flowers from Valley Striders. It was a lovely thought and I was so grateful - thank you.
Part 5 in the next issue of V S News
Spiders News (Fell and Trail)
Buckden Fell Race (from Andrew Cutts)
Just got back from Buckden, the only Strider present and it was a club championship. Ran O.K., 18th place out of about 70. Missed a P.B by 40 secs, very tired legs after having ran 20 races in 47 days! maybe thats why! I'm going to have a good rest (5 days) until 3 day event starting this Friday, 2 of which are club championships, hope to see some Striders there this time.
Calder Valley 3-Day Event on the Fells(from Andrew Cutts)
Friday 21st June 7.30pm3 mile 1000' from the Dusty Miller, Mytholmroyd. This race is what I would call a short sharp Fell Race. The climb starts straight away, it's just about runnable,. By the time it levelled out I was back in 20th place. I could see at least two runners up in front who I knew were V40s, so I set off after them. Finding that I had a lot more running in my legs than I thought, I caught them easily and kept going, passing several more. The marshal who was at the top said I was in 11th place. Knowing I usually catch some on the descent, set off after the rest of the field, to try and finish in top ten. On the way down I passed four more finishing 7th overall and 1st V40. 60 ran.
The prize giving consists of more quantity rather than quality, personally I agree with this method, it means us slower runners can sometimes win the odd prize, about 30 runners came away with something, I went for a large box of biscuits!
Saturday 22nd June 3pm Wadsworth old town, above Mytholmroyd, 4 mile, 600'. Striders Championship and also Yorkshire Vets Championship Race. Best described as a tough XC course. About 70 runners turned up, over half doing the 3 Day Event, the other 30 or so were all Vets who were there for the Yorkshire Vets Championship. Again I set off slow, caught some on the last climb (24th at the top) and a lot more on the way down, finishing 14th overall and to my surprise 1st V40, which gave me the title V40 Yorkshire Champion! So I came away with my first Trophy as well as my box of biscuits! Congratulations, Andrew!
Sunday 23rd June 11am 8 mile 1000' Navigational Skills [and they were needed]. Striders Championship. This was going to be a tough one, I was tired from the previous 2 days (plus the 6 races in 12 days I'd managed to fit in before that). With cag., map, jelly babies and compass (or so I thought), I set off. The first mile was an obvious route, but then you had to think about it. I had set off at my usual pace (slow) and was in no rush, had a look at the map, went for my compass in my bum bag (no compass), just jelly babies all over the place (the bag had burst). I orientated the map best I could and off I went. Found checkpoint 1, more by luck than judgement, the marshal, who I knew, said the leading group of four are about 2 mins ahead and there are 2 other runners just ahead, you're in 7th place. It all went down hill after that, I was looking at my map at the same as running flat out (big mistake). The next thing I remember was the runner behind picking me up off the floor. I told him I was O.K. and to keep going, he did, and so did over 20 others. I started walking which eventually became a jog, got to checkpoint 2 by which time I had had enough. Told marshal I'd had a bad fall and was packing it in, and which was the quickest way back. He said to go to checkpoint 3 then 4 then follow flags to finish, so I kept going, nobody else passed me and at checkpoint 4 I was in 26th place. (don't know how, good route choice I suppose) I passed 5 on the way down, finishing 21st overall,(not bad) but no biscuits today. It turned out that I had just done enough to finish 1st V40 in 3 Day event and 4th overall.
I came away with a copy of an 1850s Map of the area, bottle of Briscoe's beer, a sweat shirt and some of the course embedded in my knee, arm and hand! I soon recovered and was back two days later for Dick Hudsons.
Ingleborough Fell Race – Sat 20th July(from Rob Bumstead)
I recently ran in a couple of local(ish) fell races where I appeared to be the only entrant from Valley Striders. Both events were worth running and brief reports are below.
The Ingleborough Fell Race was held as part of Ingleton Carnival, starting and finishing on the playing field in the middle of the village. The route is the classic ascent of Ingleborough via the Fell Lane and Crina Bottom, an ascent of 2000 feet, returning the same way. This is a route I had run on a few occasions previously whilst training and I was hoping for a time of 55 minutes or just over. Weather conditions on the day were warm and relatively dry, though previous rain meant it was wet underfoot especially in the later stages of the ascent.
I reached the summit in a little over 37 minutes keeping to the path all the way, and then decided to follow the majority of the runners directly in front of me, who were descending directly from the summit, cutting the path corner, which may not have been the right decision as this was very slippery. Once back on the path, it was full-steam all the way back down to the finish. My descent time was over 21 minutes, giving an overall time of 58:44 and 47th place, a bit slower than I had been hoping to do.
The winner’s time was 47:09, this being the only time under 50 minutes on the day. 178 runners completed the race.
Holme Moss Fell Race – Sunday 28th July(from Rob Bumstead)
The Holme Moss Fell Race is run over typical Pennine terrain, centred around the Holme Moss transmitter on the A6024 road going out of Holmfirth. It consists of several relatively short but brutal ascents and descents through the cloughs dug into the moorland, and longer stretches of flatter terrain on the top of the moors. This year was about as dry underfoot as it is ever likely to get in this part of The Pennines. The total ascent is 4000 feet over about 16 miles of running. After starting from Brownhill Reservoir and a gradual climb, the first steep descent and subsequent reascent occurred within the first half hour of running – fortunately although it was warm, the sun was not to come out until I was two thirds of the way through the race. Otherwise I would have roasted.
At halfway, Crowden, I was 29th in a time of 1:29, and the leader was 18 minutes in front of me. The last, and possibly longest, steep section was the pull up to Laddow Rocks, where I pushed hard and overtook almost 10 people, expecting them to come back past me on the way up to Black Hill. However, I still felt reasonably good and managed to hold most of them off, even on the final descent and return to the reservoir.
The winner's time was 2:22:28 and I finished 22nd in 3:04:33. 87 competitors finished the race. This is a good but tough course, and I imagine it would be a completely different experience if the weather was less favourable.
Radcliffe 6½ mile Trail Race(from Geoff Webster)
Sylvia & G.W. represented V.S. at this Lancashire version of the Meanwood Valley Race. The course was not half as tough as the V.S. race but lack of training found the V.S. pair struggling to go the pace especially the steep climb which was all of 20 feet (the rest was pretty flat). G.W. finished half way down the field and won nowt but Sylvia secured a vets prize (a bottle of wine!).
Oldfield Gala Fell Race(from Geoff Webster)
This was an entertaining country gala and a fast runnable moorland course. Andrew, G.W. and Sylvia represented V.S. and finished in that order. However, only Sylvia was in the prizes. She finished second wumin and won a bottle of wine!!
13th Andrew Cutts - 2nd V40 - 27mins (PB), 26th Geoff - 1st V50 - 31mins,
34th Sylvia - 1st V45 - 35mins. 1st was Ian Holmes - 24mins. Total ran - 39.
Stoodley Pike(from Geoff Webster)
Tony Foster made a reappearance on the fells at Stoodley Pike and had a good run in spite of the fact that he has been under doctor's orders with ankle problems for quite a while. The doc says that running will do him good!
32nd Andrew Cutts - 21mins (PB), 65th Geoff - 25mins, 67th Daniel Cutts - 25mins,
94th Sylvia - 28mins, 119th Tony Foster -33mins.
1st was John Taylor - 18mins. Total ran - 124.
Other Race Results(from Andrew Cutts)
Wharfedale 3 Day
9th Andrew Cutts. 1st was Gary Devine. Total ran - 36.
Crow Hill (Mytholmroyd)
12th Andrew Cutts - 1st V40 - 36mins (PB)
1st was Andy Clarke - 32mins. Total ran - 50.
Widdop - Hebden Bridge
16th Andrew Cutts - 57mins (PB). 1st was Andy Wrench - 50mins. Total ran - 83.
Chatsworth Challenge – 8th June 2002(from Jane Sutton)
This event was cancelled in 2001 because of foot and mouth disease and entries for that year were carried over to this year’s event, so I don’t know if the 300 who ran the race is more than average, but it is still a very low-key event, with no toilets at the start and virtually no trees to compensate! It’s held in the grounds of Chatsworth House, just a couple of miles from my house in Bakewell, and it’s worth doing particularly if you fancy a day out with your family afterwards in Chatsworth grounds and house.
The event was advertised as a 6ish mile race but everybody at the end agreed this wasn’t right. I’d say it was nearer 8 miles. The route takes you through the estate grounds and it’s a mix of very muddy terrain, tracks and grass. There are hills and stiles to cross and the latter can hold you up if you’re stuck in a pack of runners, but there aren’t any muddy rivers to cross as some people remembered from years gone by.
The fact the race was longer than advertised wouldn’t have mattered if it hadn’t been such a hot day, making everyone more thirsty, and there were no drinks stations en route. We were warned in advance about this but I figured I would just be able to manage without water for 6 miles and opted not to carry fluid. In retrospect, this was a bad move and I was gasping for a drink by the end. Several people collapsed at the finish - St. John’s ambulance were loving it, I don’t think they’d seen so much action for years. Apart from the fact there was no water available in hot conditions en route, I think many people were feeling so rough at the finish because we had all started to pick up the pace prematurely, believing the race to be nearly over around the 5½ miles point, only to find ourselves having to dig deep for an ‘extra’ couple of miles.
I was really exhausted by the end and vowed I wouldn’t run this race again, and now a couple of months later, I’m not in any great rush to change my mind. Having said that, it is a lovely route and venue and something a bit different from the ordinary road race.
The winning men's time was 39.19 and women's time 50.21. I came 6th woman in 55.34.
Burton Leonard 10k (75% tracks, 25% road)(from Bob)
This was a really friendly race on a warm sunny afternoon with entries being taken on the village green by a lady who I later found out was Trevor Wilks' mother. Trevor's father was the race organiser (Trevor has won our Meanwood Trail race 3 times). But I had no delusions about it being a low key race as it was the final event in the Black Sheep series. The next person I bumped into was Ian Fisher!
We went out on a tarmac lane, which became a tarmac track, which became a gravel lane, which went through a ford (or you could go over a stile), which became a rutted track, which turned into a woodland path, then across some fields, then a similar return journey. You get the picture. It was hot and there was not much shade. Fortunately there were drinks at half way but many were struggling on the uphill run back.
There were plenty of trophies, but the two Striders just received a T-shirt each.
43 Bob Jackson 45:31, 86 Mike Brown 51:54. 162 ran. Won by Ian Fisher in 33:43
Sedbergh Hills 14M, slightly undulating(from Ingo Zoller)
As you might have heard as a rumour already, there were four Striders out on the Howgill fells again last Sunday. Of those SW (not to be confused with Ron Uphill) happened to enjoy a nice day out in the mist, while Andrew Cutts, GW (that 37 year old bloke who accidentally always ends up being categorized as a vet) and IZ (yes, one of the continental section of the Striders was there) endured a hard battle with the elements on this nice and slightly undulating terrain.
For my part I had a good run, and managed to finish just over a minute quicker than I had done two years ago. And this was despite a terrible performance on some of the downhill sections and along some of the contours. The lack of fell running on the continent certainly showed here. AC seemed to have a good race as well, finishing somewhere between IZ and GW, who enjoyed a good sprint battle to the finish line with one of the girls from Ilkley.
And for the ones who might wonder a bit at the times (IZ: 2h46m, AC: 3h11m, GW not far behind), the winning times were outstanding: Andrea Priestley broke the women's course record with 2h28, and Rob Hope won in 2h10m. Ian Holmes only managed 5th in 2h11m.
I'd say: slightly undulating...
Greetings from Germany
P.S. Apparently there were two continental fell runners involved, the first of those finished in 2:44 (4th woman overall), the second in 2:46 (that was the German one). If anyone might wonder where the first one came from, she came from a Dutch town called Arnhem, which is just around the corner from the home town of the other continental
fell runner. Admittedly she is currently living at Kendal, so she is enjoying the best training conditions for those events.
Sedbergh Fell Race 14miles 6000ft(from Geoff Webster)
Ingo had done plenty of training for this race so a good result was expected particularly as he had travelled from Germany for the run. The V.S. international was not disappointed when he finished in a time of 2:46 (P.B. by 1 minute). Andrew C only had to travel from Leeds and he had more than 20 years' experience of fell running. Alas, this was all in short and medium races - this was his first attempt at a long Class 'A' race. His legs did not enjoy the experience and he finished in around 3:10 - just before his legs gave out. Twenty minutes later, G.W. staggered in - his legs gave out 5 miles from the finish.
Quotes: Ingo "I may be back for another P.B. next year"; Andrew "This run was a wonderful experience - can't wait for next year"; Geoff "Maybe I should do some training".
Bradford Millennium Way Relay: 30 June 2002
This had been well publicised in previous issues of VS News, and Paul Furness as men's captain and Kathy Kaiser as wimmin's captain quickly assembled 5 runners each to make up a mixed team. However, getting another team of 10 seemed remote until Steve O turned on his charm and persuasion and hey presto there was a men's team.
This being a new race (and indeed a new footpath route), all the legs needed recceing although bits were familiar to Striders who had previously run the Yorkshireman Marathon, the St Leonards Way, or had just been for a jog on Ilkley Moor. Again, special thanks to Steve who, on four of the Sundays prior to the race, took the relevant participants and any willing Sunday runners on 4 of the legs.
At this point I must mention that during their recce of leg 3, Harry stepped in a puddle ... and went in up to his chest. Kathy on her recce had managed to miss this puddle, but runners from other clubs must have found it because there was a warning on the race website the following week. When a vacancy appeared on leg 2, Harry was quick to volunteer, so we brought in our reserve, Dave Cusack, on the basis that the puddle would only just cover his ankles.
Other than this change, the team-sheets stayed unaltered from the original selections. The concern in the weeks going up to the race was who would be playing in the World Cup Final that day - Brazil came to the rescue of the Striders team by knocking England out! The remaining concern on race day was whether Paul Briscoe, scheduled to arrive back from holiday in Ireland in the early hours of Sunday morning, would be ready to run the last leg across Ilkley Moor at two in the afternoon.
At 8 a.m. on race day, the team sheets had been handed in and, I think I can safely say without too much offence to the other 16 Striders, two of our faster pairs were lined up on the start line - Jerry and Steve W for the "A" team and Lisa and Mark for the mixed team. Jerry and Steve had a great run, coming in second behind a faster (and younger) Abbey Runners pair. Lisa and Mark finished 10th of the 20 teams, but most importantly, gained 19 minutes on Keighley & Craven, our only rivals for the mixed team race.
Both Striders teams lost a few places on leg 2. Henry and Harry were the "A" pair, but Harry was now suffering from some "stomach problems" probably due to accidentally drinking some of the puddle he fell into 2 weeks previously. Henry therefore had a very easy run, as did Bob, whose partner Madeleine had picked up a heavy cold on the Friday before the race and struggled on the uphills (of which there were many).
The two H's handed over to the two tall guys (Steve and Dave) and they picked up a place. Bob and Madeleine missed the cut off (but only by 1 minute), so Paul and Kathy set off in the massed start along with another 6 teams. Paul and Kathy were not the tallest of the mixed team, but they were the joint captains, so we thought that if the water was deep they should go down with the ship. But they were fleet of foot, picking up 3 places and running the 7th fastest time on the leg.
It was all vets on the 4th leg, but no age concern, as Eric and Alistair picked up two places and Geoff and Sylvia picked up one.
On the final leg, Paul (who had got back from Ireland) and Mick gained 2 places for Striders to finish 4th overall and were the fastest pair on that leg - congratulations!
The cut-off time at the end of the 4th leg had been stringent - only 8 teams had made the cut-off and Peter and Annemi were one of 12 teams in the massed start. Keighley and Craven were also in the massed start and they too had missed the cut-off at leg 2 but by how much? It was going to be close! It was going to be closer as they crossed the main road near Dick Hudson's - K&C were about a minute ahead. Joyce and myself urged them along as we took in the views of Ilkley Moor. Back at Baildon Rugby Club, in came the K&C pair ... just over a minute later in came Peter and Annemi.
And so it was that Paul, Jo, Peter, Joyce, Annemi and myself watched the results times being filled in on the master sheet while around us everyone was eating pork pies and peas. (The rest of the team had retired to watch Brazil beat Germany). It was going to be close! Peter loaned me a jam and banana sandwich to keep my strength while the calculators buzzed. "We've won by 21 seconds". The K&C captain demanded a recount. I scribbled all the times down on a piece of paper, added them up and it confirmed the winning margin. The K&C captain couldn't understand how their team had finished ahead of ours but calculated as second. (It was because where we'd missed cut-offs and the next pair had had to go in a massed start, our pair had not been as late arriving as the K&C team). Annemi went up to collect the shield. Joyce took a photo of the triumphant Striders team (the 3 who had stayed) with shield in the car park.
All runners received a T-shirt; the winning mixed team received long sleeve sweatshirts.
1. Bingley Rugby Club
to Marsh (near Haworth)
1:19:57 (2) 2
1:31:09 (10) 10
2. Marsh (near Haworth)
to Chapel Lane Laycock
1:33:57 (13) 7
1:45:18 (15) 14
3. Chapel Lane Laycock
to Town Head Silsden
1:13:26 (9) 8
1:09:06 (7) 11
4. Town Head Silsden
to White Wells Ilkley
1:17:48 (6) 6
1:27:57 (12) 10
5. White Wells Ilkley
to Bingley Rugby Club
1:17:03 (1) 4
Annemi Van Zyl
1:32:09 (11) 11
Final Time / Position
Bradford Millennium Relay will be on June 15th next year - book this date in your diary!
Danefield Relay(from Steve Webb)
This event is very popular with local clubs and it was great to see 3 VS teams in action on the hilly 3 mile circuit of Danefield Forest Park. This year 59 teams took part. The leaders went off at a furious pace with Mick, our big star at this event in recent years, hanging on grimly and the ever present Andrew trying to keep him in sight. The race order shuffled dramatically on leg 2 as Ian Fisher of Otley came from nowhere to nip into the lead just ahead of P&B. Meanwhile Henry was having the run of his life and overtook several teams en route to an excellent 5th place. Otley, P&B and Wharfedale were out of reach on the last leg but Steve was able to pull away from the rest of the field and pass Pudsey Pacers to secure our customary 4th place.
Andrew, Alistair and Geoff performed well to take 5th Vets position, 17th overall. The Ladies team of Carole, Sylvia and Sara was 5th in their category and a handy 45th overall. Thanks go to Geoff and Sylvia for organising the teams and to all who took part.
V S Zombies
Mick Wrench 20.07
Henry Lang 19.25
Steve Webb 19.17
V S Vets
Andrew Cutts 20.58
Alistair Fale 22.09
Geoff Webster 23.31
V S Wimin
Carole Schofield 25.11
Sylvia Watson 26.50
Sara Dyer 27.54
Phoenix Mountain Marathon 17-18 Aug(from Steve Webb)
This is a two day long distance orienteering event held in the Cheviots. It differs from the KIMM (as described in the last issue of VS News) in three respects:
This year the event centre was at Town Yetholm and the competition area covered the north western part of the Cheviots. The hills looked at their best in the hot sunshine but conditions at ground level made for some very tough courses with vast swathes of deep bracken (containing well hidden nettles and thistles) to be negotiated and occasional dense conifer plantation to fight through. The A course covered 50 km over two days and was planned for a winning time of 9 hours. Day 2 was particularly hard going with a steep ascent close to the summit of The Cheviot followed by a long ridge run along the Pennine Way to the finish. Madeleine was the only female on this course and displayed great fortitude to finish in 14 hours. Steve got round in 9 hours 32 for 3rd place, finding the last hour on Day 1 really hard work.
In fact we had representation on every course. Alistair tackled the B and completed it in 10 hours 11 for 14th place. Sara was 23rd on the C in 11 hours 40 despite having a drystone wall collapse on her arm at a sheepfold. Meanwhile Jerry escorted two of the Watsonettes (Helen and Oliver) around the D in 12 hours 37.
Fell Championship Points
It looks as though Andrew has an unassailable lead in the Fell Championship but he may have to go on holiday to give someone a chance to catch up.
Andrew C 696, G.W. 385, Steve W 307, Sara 288, Alistair 230, Sylvia 175,
Rob B 173, Madeleine 146, Mike Midge 121, Pete Lambo 113, Mick the Wrench 110,
Henry 105, Bob J 93, Bob W 70, Neil Dutton 52, Ken K 51, Kathy K 51, Eric 50,
Tim 47, Mark 42, Ian P 38, Carole 36, Daniel Cutts 36, Tony F 34
Stop Press! The latest information on A.C.'s progress is that he has gone on holiday ... and run 3 fell races including gaining more Fell Championship points by running the Burnsall Fell Race (for the 26th time!)
Fell Championship Remaining Events
Sun Sep 8 L Yorkshireman Off-road Marathon
Sat Sep 14 FG Briscoe's Fell Race 3½ Otley
Sun Sep ?? T Nidd Vale Circuit 26 from Lofthouse nr Pateley Br, good trails
Sun Sep 22 F Whernside 11
Sat Oct 5 T Saddleworth Trail 10
Sat Oct 26 FG Withins Skyline 7 from Haworth (free Curly Wurly for finishing)
Sat Nov 2 F Shepherd Skyline 6 near Todmorden
Sat Nov 9 TG Burley Bridge Hike 21
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)
F = fell race
L = long fell race
All distances in miles
G = also in Grand Prix
T = long trail race (all have refreshment stops with tea & buns etc)
Kathy and Annemi are planning to do the Yorkshireman Off-Road Marathon on September 8th. Is anyone else turning out? If you don't fancy 26??? miles around Haworth don't forget that the Burley Bridge easy peasy trail run (21 miles of mixed terrain) takes place on Nov 9th. There is some food and drink on the course and a meal at the finish. Pre-entry is preferred so get your entry form from G.W. Don't forget this is in the Fell Championship and in the Club Grand Prix.
Stop Press - Leeds Country Way results!
Well done, everyone! (more details in next V S News)
Grand Prix 2002 final events
Tue Sep 10 19:00 Handicap Autumn 10k
Sat Sep 14 1700 Briscoe's fell race from the Cheerful Chilli, Danefield nr Otley
Sat Oct 19 1300 West Yorks cross country at Low Moor, York (near university)
Sat Oct 26 Withins Skyline 7 from Haworth (free Curly Wurly for finishing)
Sun Oct 27 1030 Holmfirth 15
Sat Nov 2 1300 West Yorks cross country at Peel Park, Bradford
Tba Guy Fawkes 10 from Ripley between Harrogate and Ripon
Sat Nov 9 Burley Bridge Hike
Sun Nov 17 1105 Roundhay 5
Sun Nov 24 1300 West Yorks cross country at Scunthorpe
Sun Dec 1 0930 Leeds Abbey Dash 10k
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
Sep 8th Bradford 10k, 8th Netherthong 10k, 11th Hyde Park 5k
22nd Templenewsam 5, 22nd Kirkstall 10k, 29th Horsforth 10k
29th Roundhay off road 5
Oct 20th Batley 10k, 27th Roundhay Romp 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.