November 2002

2002 Issue 4


Membership Fees At the AGM we agreed that membership fees should remain the same. The new year started on1st September and the normal rate is 12, but if you pay by 31st December you qualify for the reduced rate of 8 for paying "early".

Striders 20th Birthday Celebrations

On 10th December it will be the 20th anniversary of the first meeting of Valley Striders. We have two celebratory events that week - one on Tuesday 10th, the other on Sunday 15th. We are trying to make these the biggest ever Tuesday training run and biggest ever Sunday run, so please make every effort to come to at least one of these events - they are suitable for all abilities and levels of fitness. Those with no fitness whatsoever are also welcome to join the post-run celebrations. For details, turn to pages 6 and 7.

Christmas Meal & Presentation Night will be at Leo's on Friday 20 Dec. Carnivore and vegetarian options available. 8 to Steve O as soon as possible.

In This Issue



  • Tuesday training - changes




  • Harewood Trail report







  • International Race Reports from Germany (Ingo Zoller)






  • Fell Championship positions, remaining events


  • Poem; Book; Xmas Handicap & Harrogate Ringway reminders



Striders Annual General Meeting - Tuesday 24th Sept

Attendance Register

29 Striders attended, apologies had been received from Steve O and Kathy.

Reports from Committee 2001/2002

Secretary Paul Briscoe was first to stand and mentioned that he would shortly be applying for the Club London marathon entries (see elsewhere in this VS News). He said he regularly received news and reports from UK Athletics and the North of England Athletic Association and that he brought these on Tuesday evenings so that they were available for anyone to read.

Fell Secretary Geoff Webster reported a much better year and that most races had returned to normal after being cancelled in 2001 due to Foot and Mouth. Highlights of the year to date were Andrew Cutts attempting to run every race in the Fell Championship and Paul White getting his shoes covered in mud for the first time at Briscoe's Fell Race.

Treasurer/Membership Sec Danny Burnham distributed the accounts and reported a healthy position. He stated membership had risen by 2. Bob had stated an increase of 3 in the AGM Agenda document and they agreed this was as near accurate as necessary.

Competition Secretary Paul White reported that a comprehensive review had taken place at then end of last year and the outcome had been reported in VS News including a set of rules and a set of questions and answers. The 2003 championship would use the same rules but some changes to the races to be included - comments to Paul or Hutch, please.

Relays Captain Paul Furness reported a successful year of relays - a nightmare to organise but a pleasure to run. Names were required for Calderdale and Harrogate.

Cross-country Captain Paul Briscoe reported increased numbers of Striders running x-country last year and that we had finished one place higher in the West Yorks League. He hoped this would continue in 2002/3.

Vets Captain Eric Cusack said that there had been successes in the Yorks Champioships for several Striders Vets. However, yet again there had been little participation in the Yorks. Vets 10 race series. He suggested that for next year he would identify one race and as many Striders vets as possible should run that race!

Wimmin's Captain Sylvia Watson reported two very good additions to the Club in 2002 - Mary and Tracey - and was pleased to say that Jane Sutton was staying with the Club even though she has moved to Bakewell. The Wimmin again had a team at the Yorks road relays (but the men didn't).

Election of Committee 2002/2003

There had been a couple of resignations from committee posts - Sylvia from Relays Captain and Carole from Cross-country. Lisa Wilyman and Tracey Morris had agreed to share the Relays Captain's responsibilities. Sylvia volunteered to take over as Cross-country captain. Mick Wrench volunteered to take over the Vets Captaincy ... when he was old enough (we'll remember this in 2007, Mick!) The two sub-committees were disbanded having completed their work (see later). The remainder of the Committee was elected unopposed.

Bob forgot to say that he was pleased that the appointment of Lisa and Tracey brought younger members onto the committee and that this trend should continue. Even though G.W. appeared to be getting a year younger each year, the rest of us weren't and so an active strategy was necessary to bring in fresh ideas.

Officer Striders (*=Fell Section)

President             Charlie Spedding; Stuart StJohn*
Vice President        Stuart StJohn
Club Captain          Steve O'Callaghan
Secretary             Paul Briscoe; Geoff Webster*
Treasurer             Danny Burnham
Membership Sec        Danny Burnham
Competition Sec       Alan H & Paul W; Geoff W*
Newsletter Editor     Bob Jackson
                      Men            Wimmin
Captain               Steve O            Sylvia Watson
Relays Captain        Paul Furness       Lisa and Tracey
Cross-Country         Paul Briscoe       Sylvia Watson
Fell Captain          Steve Webb*        Sylvia Watson*
Vets Captain	      Eric Cusack,Kathy Kaiser
Coaches	George Black & Max Jones

Subscriptions - Were agreed to remain at 12 (8 for early payment, 2 discount for social members).

Athletics UK - membership cards have been provided by the North of England AA and were issued to attendees at the meeting. Remaining cards will be issued with this Newsletter.

Meanwood Trail Race

2002 - 268 finishers (up 1 on last year) 500 to Lineham Farm (down 50); total 1400 raised to date

2003 - date to be arranged and part of Airedale Triple Trail again. There was a discussion whether the race should take place on a Sunday. There was an overwhelming majority to stay with Saturday.

Harewood Trail Race and Hop

2002 - Sunday 13 October. Over 5000 has been raised so far for St Leonards. Arrangements were made for marshalling positions (also see report on page 9).

West Yorks XC at Striders - Nov 2001 - Bob reported that we had received some very favourable comments regarding the course, the marshalling and the organisation - thanks again to everyone. With this year's West Yorks League travelling as far as York (North Yorkshire) and Scunthorpe (Lincolnshire) we might have to hold another soon just to minimise travelling.

Training Sessions - Tuesday and Thursday would continue at 6:45pm and Sunday at 9:15am. However there had been some adverse comments about a couple of the fartlek sessions in summer - the slower runners had got separated and the session had split into several groups. Ideas were requested and Max came up with a session that involved an out-and-back speed session - run for 5 minutes at pace, immediately turn round and run 5 minutes back to the start. This seemed ideal for runners of all paces so we agreed to try this out for the next 2nd Tuesday session (see page 5 for more details).

London Marathon Entries - will be drawn at the Christmas Handicap - anyone with a rejection slip should contact Paul Briscoe in early December.

Help for Abbey Dash - the Club had been given a donation of 50 by Help the Aged as a thank you for providing 6 marshals at last year's race. After some discussion it was agreed that 10 should cover entry to the wimmin's relays, 15 should go to Club funds and 25 to Lineham Farm. Volunteers were requested for this year, names to GW.

Forthcoming Relays - Names for Calderdale 8 Dec 2002 to GW and for Harrogate Ringway probably 5 Jan 2003 to Bob J (see page 35)

Xmas Meal - Friday 20 December 8 to Steve O.

Xmas / New Year Handicap - Sun Dec 29th 11:00 - 5 miles from the Res - bring a present value approx 3.

Design a Shirt - This had all started at last year's AGM and from over 25 designs we were now down to a shortlist of 10. Votes had already been received and all the AGM attendees were invited to make their choice on a sheet that was passed round the meeting. In total, 32 Striders voted indicating their 5 favourite choices in sequence (awarded 5-4-3-2-1 points):

It was agreed that this was a significant majority for the "traditional vest" and to close the voting - with thanks to all who had suggested styles and/or voted.

Several items were discussed under "Any Other Business"

Striders 20th Birthday Celebrations - There was a unanimous decision that we should celebrate this occasion, thought to be December 10th (subsequently confirmed). The most popular suggestions were a run on the Tuesday followed by food and drink and a run on the Meanwood Valley Trail (from which Striders got their name) the following Sunday. Paul Furness offered to collect further suggestions and co-ordinate this (see pages 6 & 7 in this VS News).

Valley Striders Banner - It was suggested that Valley Striders should have a board next to the Leo's club board on King Lane advertising training nights and giving club contacts. This was agreed and Eric to investigate.

"Running Fitness" magazine - Bob promised to submit an entry for the club pages.

The meeting closed at 10:05 p.m. (a record early finish considering there had been a 10 minute drinks break)

Tuesday Night Training - two changes

As mentioned in the AGM minutes, we have a change to the Tuesday training sessions. There is a new session to replace the fartlek. This is 3 runs of 10 minutes, as follows.

This has been designed following a suggestion from Max. The original was reported in AW in October 2001 and was a session that John Anderson designed for Liz McColgan and Dave Moorcroft. They used to run one 20 minute session (10 out / 10 back) and their target was to run the 'back' session faster. This seems a rather unsociable session for us, hence the 3 runs with 2 breaks.

This appears to have met with full approval of everyone who has run it. Max has now suggested that you now need to set a target each night:

The other change is that from January, we will do this as the first Tuesday and the 400's as the second, so that we don't have two consecutive weeks on the High Ashes.

Happy Birthday Valley Striders

From Paul Furness - special events manager

Event 1 - Tuesday 10 December - Run and food and ...

Our beloved running club is 20 years old in December. We cannot, must not let this milestone go by without some sort of event to celebrate our anniversary. The Valley Striders 20th birthday run and party will be held on Tuesday, 10 December at Old Leos Rugby Club.

The plan is to have our normal Tuesday training session from Old Leos (starting at 6.45/6.50pm) and as the 10th is the second Tuesday in our monthly training schedule we have decided to revert back to the traditional session i.e. the Fartlek run which is on the 9-mile route. In the early days of the club we used to run this session on most Tuesdays.

The faster boys and girls can sprint away on the fast bits but we will absolutely guarantee that the entire group will stay together throughout the run.

The provision of Hot Food has been arranged and will be available in the bar after the run. Do not worry if you are carnivorous, vegetarian, ruminant or cannibal - all dietary requirements will be catered for.

To make this night a complete success we need YOU to attend - that means ALL members of this fantastic running club of ours. Whether you are a regular Tuesday night attendee or if you only run with the club on one Tuesday evening in the year, this is THE Tuesday evening in 2002 when we ask you ALL to run with the club.

Lets make this the largest Tuesday night club run we have had in our 20-year history.

We are also asking everyone to bring along a photo from about 20 years ago. This need not be a running photo! David Cusack's will definitely not be a running photo and Daniel Cutts will have to use his imagination.

Striders who are injured and/or retired will also be very welcome to come along for the food and chat.

N.B. The menu will be pies (meat and vegetarian) and peas and/or beans - not very haute cuisine ... but FREE!

I look forward to running with you ALL on the Tuesday, 10 December from Old Leos.

Event 2 - Sunday 15 December - Run and drink and ...

The second run will be on Sunday, 15 December. This will be a "normal" Sunday morning club run but the plan is to run the entire route of the Meanwood Valley Trail - from which the club got its name. The Trail starts on Woodhouse Moor and finishes near to Golden Acre Park (a distance of approximately 61/2 miles). All club members are invited. Lets make it our biggest Sunday run since the club was founded in 1982.

The "Striders Meanwood Trail Celebration Run" will be 9 miles as follows.

We will start from Woodhouse Moor at 10:00 - by the traffic lights with the University Engineering block on one corner and the Old Library on another. Within 600 yards we will be on the quiet footpaths of the Trail (not so quiet if there are 30 or 40 Striders). We will run up the Meanwood Trail, via Old Leos, continuing on the Trail via Golf Course Farm and King Lane to Golden Acre Park (61/2 miles). We will, then run back to Old Leo's via Otley Road, Church Lane and Stairfoot Lane - an additional 21 /2 miles - making a total run of 9 miles. Showers available and drinks at the bar. Bring own food.

For transport, arrange to share two cars. Meet at Old Leo's at about 9:30 and then drive one car down to Woodhouse. Afterwards, use the car at Leo's to take the other driver back to his/her car. We will link people up for car sharing if required.

There will be other options for anyone who wants a shorter or longer run and these will be as follows;

We will have more details of these options later but emphasise that the main run (9 miles) and the first option (41/2 miles) are the official Celebration Runs.

New members

The nights are drawing in and it seems that many runners are looking for someone to train with rather than run on their own. And where better to come than Valley Striders?

Chris Sawyer (from Paul Furness) The club has welcomed several new members over the past few months and I am pleased to introduce Chris Sawyer who recently joined us. Chris and I worked together at Yorkshire Electricity for many years and we had regular lunchtime running sessions around Scarcoft and Thorner. Other ex-YE staff who are Striders include Paul White and John Hallas. Chris runs approximately 30 miles per week and his favourite race distances are half marathons and 10 mile events. He has been running for 12 years and enters approximately 1 race every 2 months.

Simon Vallance ran the Meanwood Trail in 2001, finishing in 45th place in 51:47, 5 places (less than 1/2 minute) behind Drew Taylor and two places behind Rob Bumstead (both of whom joined the Striders soon after). He had intended getting in touch but then managed to slip a disc later in the year and had to stop training for some length of time. Now back in training, but still not racing, he got in contact and has been a regular Tuesday member. He also appears to be nearly back to his 2001 form.

Paul Bunton arrived with Simon, but has a good pedigree of his own, having run 1:46 at the Coniston 14 (same day as Meanwood!) and 3:57 at London. He has run sub-40 for the Abbey Dash but he says "that was a few years ago". Like all the best runners, he is now injured (achilles) but hopes to be back in training around Christmas.

Vicky Chapman has run the London Marathon twice, 4:45 in 2000 and this year 3:49 with her boyfriend Simon. He vowed never again to run a marathon (nor to do the training, he's not sure which is worse) so she decided that joining a running club would be better than training alone or on a treadmill in a gym. In her first two races in a Striders vest, she "counted" for the cross-country team and won a shield as part of the 2nd women's team at the Roundhay 5.

Gillian Goodwin ran in the Corporate Challenge in the Leeds 1/2 marathon in 2001. Running the last leg she watched the main event run past and decided she'd like to have a go so in 2002 ran the half marathon (2:05). She then decided she needed a running club after her regular training partner moved away. She has now become a frequent member of both the Tuesday and Thursday sessions and should show a big improvement from last year's 49:21 at the Abbey Dash.

Kay Mason rang me to enquire about the Harewood Trail Race, we got talking and I found she had been to a training session of another local club earlier that week. "Why not try Striders?", I said, "we're much nearer for you". She ran 1:31 at Harewood and then came to try us the following Tuesday. And she's run with us several times since, both Tuesdays and Thursdays, but has to schedule these in alongside sessions on the treadmill and in the gym at David Lloyd.

Prior to these joining, our average age was 45. Good news - all of these 6 are under 45!

Announcement of Engagement

I'm sure all Striders will want to join me in congratulating (in order of joining Striders) Natalie White and Tim Crossland who announced their engagement a couple of weeks ago. Tim's proposal took place while they were on holiday for a weekend in Paris. Paul is now scanning his Grand Prix 2003 events schedule to see when the wedding can be fitted in. I'm told it will definitely not be Leeds 1/2 marathon weekend. Natalie was talking about having the reception at Hazlewood Castle or similar. Paul was checking the diary at Leos' to see when Albert could put on pie and peas on a Tuesday evening.


Lisa said "In the last Newsletter you didn't mention that I would be 30 in October". I have now. I don't usually do 30's (or 35's for men) as these aren't normal age-group breaks for races. But Ingo is M30-35 5k champion of his region of Germany, so you 30's could go there for prizes. (Also 30 around now are Claire Taylor, Mark Bean and Brendan Kitson, and Mick Wrench will be 35 in December). Roy Flesher will be 50 in January so 2003 is the ed's last chance of the M50 Grand Prix category. GW will be 37 on Abbey Dash day, so give him a birthday card as you cross the line.

Harewood Trail Race (& junior race) - Sunday 13th Oct

There were 566 finishers in senior race (up 104 on last year) and 147 in 2mile (up 22 on last year). Although there had been some rain in the week, the course was not too muddy underfoot and we had a fine day with little wind, so conditions were ideal. This was definitely taken advantage of as course records were beaten by 2 men and 7 women. There were only a few Striders running but they came in with some good results as Tracey and Lisa finished 3rd & 4th, Paul was 4th vet and Andrew set a P.B. We also recorded a record profit for St Leonard's Hospice. This was in excess of 2500 before any individual sponsorship arrived and is likely to exceed 3000 in total. Thank you to everyone. There is a bottle of beer for anyone who marshalled - see me on a Tuesday night.

 12 Paul Briscoe    61:59 (4th M40)
 27 Walter Busittil 64:20 (Thirsk, Paul B's brother-in-law)
 34 Jack Verity     65:01 (St Bede's; Mick W's partner at KIMM)
 38 Andrew Cutts    65:40 (P.B.)
 42 Tracey Morris   66:11 (3rd W, 2nd W35-44)
 48 Lisa Wilyman    66:48 (4th W, 2nd W under 35)
147 Andy Moorhouse  73:36 (new Strider)
201 Howard Jeffrey  76:40 (Otley AC, 2nd claim VS)
202 Chris Sawyer    76:41 (new Strider)
421 Kay Mason       90:54 (new Strider)

2 mile race

 57 Daniel Towler   19:10 (age 11, son of Tim)
 80 Oliver Watson   20:31 (age 7, son of Jerry & Madeleine)
124 Helen Watson    24:48 (age 8, daughter of Jerry & Madeleine)
126 Anna Watson     24:54 (age 6, daughter of Jerry & Madeleine)
139 Jenny Bates     27:45 (age >21, wife of Harry)
140 Sue Dale        27:45 (age >21, wife of Dick)

Grand Prix 2002 Results & Race Reports

Autumn Handicap 10k

The fourth official and the video referee were required as controversy surrounded the Autumn Handicap. No they weren't, it was just that Mike Henry, in his first competitive run for over 3 years, said he thought he could run 50 minutes and actually ran 47:31, 1:58 clear of the chasing pack. It didn't seem fair that he should win after setting his own handicap mark although we couldn't think of any reason for disqualifying him (although the holes in his Valley Striders vest could have been too large - this was his original 17 year old vest that had seen much wear).

So it was that Paul White was awarded the Handicap Trophy having held off Drew by just one second. Drew may have later regretted his attempt, suffering somewhat in the Nottingham Marathon the following Sunday, but his 99 GP points for second fastest may prove vital in the VS Championship run-in. Steve Webb took the 100 points, over a minute faster than Drew.

                Finish Hand Act'l G.P
                  Time -icap Time Pts
 1 Paul White    49.29  8.45 40.44 90
 2 Drew Taylor   49.30 12.45 36.45 99
 3 Tim Towler    49.41 12.15 37.26 96
 4 Mark Bean     49.43 12.45 36.58 98
 5 Roy Flesher   49.51 12.45 37.06 97
 6 Lisa Wilyman  50.12  9.15 40.57 89
 7 Rob Bumstead  50.22 11.45 38.37 93
 8 Peter Lambert 50.25  6.00 44.25 84
 9 David Cusack  50.44  6.15 44.29 83
10 Steve Webb    50.57 15.30 35.27 100
11 Bob Jackson   51.03  9.30 41.33 87
12 Annemi V Zyl  51.05  4.30 46.35 80
13 Alistair Fale 51.16  9.30 41.46 86
14 Sara Dyer     51.20  1.15 50.05 74
15 Mike Brown    51.38  4.45 46.53 78
16 Harry Bates   51.40 13.00 38.40 92
17 Claire Taylor 51.45  0.00 51.45 73
18 Mick Loftus   51.56 14.00 37.56 94
19 Natalie White 51.58  5.30 46.28 81
20 Bob Wilkes    52.02  4.30 47.32 76
21 Alan Hutch    52.13 10.45 41.28 88
22 Dick Dale     52.30  5.45 46.45 79
23 Andrew Cutts  52.44 13.30 39.14 91
24 Sylvia Watson 52.59  5.00 47.59 75
25 Tony Haygarth 53.18  9.45 43.33 85
26 Steve O'Call  53.21  8.00 45.21 82
27 Jerry Watson  53.47 16.15 37.32 95
28 John McCormck 56.03  0.00 56.03 72
NB Mike Henry    47.31  0.00 47.31 77

Briscoe's Brewery Fell Race Danefield 14 Sep 02 (Paul Briscoe)

53 competitors completed the annual Briscoe's Brewery Fell Race, held in Danefield Forest Park, Otley. In this unique event, on completion of the gruelling 31/2 mile fell course, competitors were then required to drink a pint of Briscoe's Brewery real ale to finish the race.

England International Rob Hope (Pudsey), already a veteran of this event, was a comfortable winner, enjoying the luxury of being able to savour his pint a little, still finishing around a minute ahead of second-placed John Mason (Woodkirk). First Strider in at the end of the run was Steve Webb, earning himself 100 points. However, hard on his heels was Jerry Watson, who used his greater drinking experience (?!) to good effect to overtake Steve during the beer phase - a fine moral victory Jerry! First Veteran was Nick Pearce of Ilkley - Jerry and Steve were 7th and 8th vets respectively. Andy Cutts, in a rare excursion onto better terrain, was also handily placed with Tim Towler not far behind. Paul White showed commendable resolve to pick his way through the mud - don't tell him that you can NEVER get your shoes back to a pristine white after a trip off road! A certain GW also finished the race - but his heart clearly wasn't in it as it took him over 5 minutes to down his pint!

In the ladies race, Sarah Grant (Abbey) was a clear leader at the end of the run. However, Annemi flew the flag for the Striders with an impressive finishing "kick" during the drinking phase to score an outright win - also securing the star prize of a polypin of beer for Christmas. Sylvia, was first lady veteran overall (as well as 1st over 50) with Sara Dyer, not far behind, being 2nd vet and 1st over 40.

Mark Hayman (Dark Peak) was the fastest beer drinker, downing his pint in just 25 seconds, a commendable effort immediately following a gut-wrenching 800ft climb! Tim Towler was the fastest drinker amongst the Striders (1 minute dead). Tim should watch his back though, as Annemi was only 3 seconds slower with her pint and certainly looked far steadier on her feet afterwards! Fortunately, I can report that Tim did definitely not fall into the bushes on the way back to his car, despite the beer being some percentage points stronger than Tetleys!

Thanks to all who supported the race, which will continue to be held at this new Danefield venue in future years.

Pos                 Time Beer Total Race
B.B.                B.B. Time Time  Pos
 8 Steve Webb      21.45 2.29 24.12 16 4th M40
16 Jerry Watson    22.44 1.28 24.12 15 3rd M40
21 Andrew Cutts    23.40 1.33 25.13 22
25 Tim Towler      25.09 1.00 26.09 24
31 Paul White      27.10 1.49 28.59 34 2nd M55
32 Annemi Van Zyl  27.25 1.03 28.28 30 1st L
38 Sylvia Watson   29.45 1.49 31.12 38 1st LV50
43 Sara Dyer       30.34 1.39 32.13 40 1st LV40
52 Geoff Webster   37.53 5.07 43.00 52

B.B. = before beer (GP points based on time B.B.)

Cross Country at York

Complaints from Paul Briscoe included that the course was too dry, too flat, too even, too short and the weather was too sunny (other than that it was OK for a cross-country).

Pos               Time GPPts
 19 Tim Crossland 32.36 100
 25 Henry Lang    33.02 99
 28 Steve Webb    33.34 98
 36 Paul Briscoe  34.09 97
 70 Drew Taylor   35.45 94
129 Geoff Webster 40.54 91
133 Bob Jackson   41.17 90
    162 ran, team 6th
Pos               Time GPPts
  7 Tracey Morris 19.57 96
 13 Lisa Wilyman  20.20 95
 25 Jane Sutton   21.26 93
 37 Kathy Kaiser  22.48 92
 53 Sylvia Watson 24.23 89
 58 Natalie White 24.40 88
 61 Sara Dyer     24.56 87
 68 Claire Taylor 25.39 86
    84 ran, team 3rd

Withins Skyline Fell Race (report from G.W.)

Six Spiders turned out for this seven mile dash through the mud on the Haworth moors. Lisa and Bob were both making their first foray onto the fells in a competitive event and they were both overwhelmed with joy by the experience. Lisa especially liked the waist deep bog that she swam through on the descent.

G.W. ran his usual brilliantly tactical race to come down to the finish with a late run. Alas it was far too late to catch the winner. Indeed, 'twas too late to catch Andrew and Mick who were engaged in their own battle to be first Spider.

Sylvia's late run failed to materialise and her plan to beat G.W. (as she has done in the past) did not succeed this year. Unfortunately she was also adrift of the first W50, but only by 38 seconds.

All 190 runners won a Curly Wurly!

 37 Andrew Cutts   52.34
 42 Mick Loftus    53.22
101 Geoff Webster  60.57
114 Lisa Wilyman   62.16
132 Bob Jackson    65.39
143 Sylvia Watson  67.10

Holmfirth 15

It seems that fell runners are taking over the Grand Prix. Here was a chance for road runners to earn some fairly easy points, but only 3 turned up for a race that is only 1 mile and 1568 yards longer than a half marathon. Neil scored his 3rd 100 of the season, Drew picked up a useful 99, and Chris in his first Striders GP race broke the 2 hour barrier.

 27 Neil Dutton  1:35.49
 35 Drew Taylor  1:37.03
123 Chris Sawyer 1:57.26

Cross Country at Shipley

This was an excellent debut for Vicky - her first race as a Strider and her first off road race. Lisa beat some of the local stars and was only a few seconds behind Andrea Dennison (who won the Holmfirth 15 the week before). And we had the first race after injury of three runners - Carole, Mick and Hutch - all of whom made a significant impact on team placings.

Pos                  Time GPPts
 26 Henry Lang       29.25 100
 41 Paul Briscoe     30.03 99
 74 Mick Wrench      31.56 98
100 Andrew Cutts     33.46 96
115 Alan Hutchinson  35.32 94
121 Bob Jackson      35.56 93
138 Geoff Webster    37.35 92
160 Bob Wilkes       42.04 89
    164 ran, team 10th

Pos                  Time GPPts
  6 Lisa Wilyman     18.32 97
 18 Vicky Chapman    19.34 95
 43 Carole Schofield 21.51 91
 56 Sylvia Watson    22.57 90
 64 Sara Dyer        24.56 88
    73 ran, team 5th
    team currently equal 2nd


Guy Fawkes 10

Tracey and Lisa receive our congratulations for finishing 1st and 2nd in the race. Just how good their times were is indicated by the fact that only 5 runners of the 468 finishers broke one hour. (On our Harewood Trail, we also had 5 breaking the hour). There were 5 other Striders who were not frightened of the hills around Ripley.

 24 Neil Dutton    64.14
 36 Tracey Morris  65.30
 43 Lisa Wilyman   66.21(PB)
 80 Andrew Cutts   71.04
189 Peter Lambert  78.27
277 Mike Brown     83.54
342 Sara Dyer      89.19
    468 ran

PS Tracey, Lisa and Sara won the wimmin's team prize!

Burley Bridge Hike

11 Striders were attracted by "double points" (sounds like Fridays at Homebase) because this race was in both the Club Championship and the Fell Race Championship.

There was a leading group of seven runners, which included four Striders, for the first third of the race. Just after the 11 mile mark was a long uphill section back onto Ilkley Moor and Steve Webb went into the lead only to have a problem finding the 7th checkpoint at 14 miles. You would have though it would be easy for an experienced orienteer. But his problem was that he was so fast to this point that the man placing the checkpoint flag had not arrived. This allowed two runners to catch Steve and they went away on the downhill section.

Steve eventually finished 4th, almost caught by Drew. Andrew and Mick also finished in the top 10. Hutch in his first long race for a while showed his marathon form by finishing 11th. Also running were a couple of trail regulars (Geoff and Pete Lambo) and a couple of trail irregulars (Bob and Steve). Special mention must be made of Vadim and Peter Cox whose first long trail race it was, indeed it was the first time either had been further than a 1/2-marathon in a race.

Drew, Andrew, Bob and Steve O wish to pass on their thanks and sympathies and thanks (in that order) to Annemi and Tim who organised the recce run for the race (thanks), then both succumbed to injury in the intervening weeks (sympathies), but turned out to support us on race day at Twelve Apostles and the finish (thanks).

 4 Steve Webb        2:54
 5 Drew Taylor       2:54
 6 Andrew Cutts      3:01
 8 Mick Loftus       3:03
11 Alan Hutchinson   3:09
15 Geoff Webster     3:20
18 Bob Jackson       3:27
31 Peter Lambert     3:48
36 Steve O'Callaghan 4:02
37 Vadim Kuznetsov   4:02
40 Peter Cox         4:03

Grand prix 2003

First events are listed on page 36. Note the closing dates of some of these. For the rest of the year we will discard some of the less popular events of 2002, so if you have suggestions for races to be included in their place, contact Alan Hutchinson or Paul White (phone numbers on back page).

Grand Prix positions after 25 events (3 to go)

At this stage we can safely say that we will have new Men's open champion as well as M40 and M50 champions. Although Drew and Andrew appear to be in a clear lead, Henry can catch up if he runs a short race to remove his 10 point penalty and Steve needs one race of any type to get into the 790's. Geoff may have to run a road race (!) to make certain of M50. The Wimmin's championship is clearer with Lisa favourite to retain her title and Kathy to win LV. (Tracey does not qualify for LV as she only turned 35 during the year). Group B is unclear, but Annemi should win Group D.

Minimum 4 races
                       No. Best Race   GRAND
Name            Cat Grp Rcs 8 Types     PRIX
                       Run Pts Run   Pen PTS
Drew Taylor       40 B 10 789 SML TXH  0 789
Andrew Cutts      40 B 13 787  M FTXH  0 787
Henry Lang           B  9 789  M T XH 10 779
Tim Towler        40 A  8 779 SM FT H  0 779
Roy Flesher       40 A  9 786 SML   H 10 776
Lisa Wilyman       L C 12 770 SM FTXH  0 770
Geoff Webster     50 C 10 754    FTXH 10 744
Bob Jackson       50 A 11 740 SM FTXH  0 740
Paul White        50 B  9 744 SM F  H 10 734
Dick Dale         40 C  9 733 SML T H  0 733
Peter Lambert     50 C 11 745  M  T H 20 725
Annemi Van Zyl     L D  9 720 SMLFT H  0 720
Bob Wilkes        50 C  9 703 SM FTXH  0 703
Sara Dyer         LV D  9 693  M FTXH  0 693

Click here for link to Final Positions

Last 3 events are Roundhay 5, Scunthorpe x-c and Abbey Dash. The points and placings are being updated each week on the website. Also on the website is an explanation of how the GP points are calculated (which we may repeat in the next VS News).

Race Reports

Leek half Marathon (from Jane Sutton)

I didn't pre-enter for this race as I only decided at the last minute to run. I tried to ring the contact number given in Runners World listings a few times, to check there were still places available and ask directions, but couldn't get through. It said on the Runners World website that it was in Cheadle, Staffordshire so this is where I headed on Sunday morning. I was bombing along the open country roads with all the Sunday drivers still enjoying their cornflakes, making great progress and I turned to Sarah and said, with a big beam on my face, "for the first time ever in recent history, I'm going to arrive early and be able to warm up properly and relax". Hmm, famous last words because on arriving in Cheadle there wasn't a runner to be seen or a fluorescent notice on a lamppost in sight. We stopped and asked several locals where Brough Park, the start of the race was, and the general consensus seemed to be "not anywhere round here".

As the race was Leek Half, we took the road out of Cheadle towards Leek but were just aimlessly driving with no clues, so eventually we decided to buy a local map and check that. It turned out the park was actually in Leek town centre itself, so although we had been heading in the right direction, we had miles to go and my customary panic set in. I did make registration in time but it was the usual story of stressed up runner trying to fill out entry form whilst also looking for safety pins, doing up laces and trying to locate the toilets. I later found out that the race secretary lived in Cheadle (the one I couldn't get through to) and that it had been erroneously advertised as starting there.

I got to the start line okay, and although I seem to say this every time I write an article for this newsletter, it was a really hilly race (honest!), so I had no notions of setting off quickly and thought that a lack of proper warm-up might actually be a good thing. The woman at the front of the start line with me was really nervous and kept flapping her arms about, huffing and puffing, muttering, "I hope I just get round". She then turned to me and said, "I didn't really want to be at the front". It was hardly congested, there was bags of room for us to move and it was on the tip of my tongue to answer, "well, get back there then!" but the gun went and we were off. This woman ran off like a hare and ended up winning, which made me think what a silly business all that was.

As for me, I just stuck to my plan and went as 'steadily hard' as I could. It was extremely hilly, not such acutely steep gradients as the Eyam half marathon a few months ago, but just relentless climbing for much of the way with very short bursts of steep downhill. For some reason I seem to have got quite good at flying down hills and now relax totally to the point where I am almost out of control, but literally whizzing past everyone. As I flew down one hill, I had this crazy urge to hold out my arms like plane wings and shout "You've just gotta fly like a bird!!" You'll all be very embarrassed to hear that I did (wearing my club vest of course so they all know Valley Striders are nutters). I didn't get any verbal reply but the looks said enough.

The best bit about this race is that it's mainly downhill for the last mile and I felt quite strong but absolutely unable to up the pace in any way. I didn't bother sprinting for the line as there was no one around me and I finished in 1.37.04, which placed me 5th in the open ladies. The winning lady's time was 1.31.37 so it was obviously not a race for a fast time, but having never done this one before, I couldn't say whether my own time was good or bad. I felt as though I had run quite strongly the whole way though and had enjoyed it, so I was pleased on the whole. I had also been worrying about the Leeds Country Way and wondering if I was fit enough to run with Kathy, but after this race I was confident that I would be okay - more about that later!

Nottingham Half Marathon 16th Sept (from Jane Sutton)

I entered this half with the express intention of running alongside the sub 1.30 Runners World pacing group. I wanted to put myself to the test and see how close I could get to a sub 90 minute half marathon as I haven't managed this for a couple of years now. I know I don't train as efficiently as I used to with a total loss of speed work since leaving Leeds (Serena Blackburn from Horsforth Harriers and I used to time each other to run like crazy round Kirkstall Abbey once a week) and I think maybe my age is starting to take its toll (okay, okay, I know 36 isn't ancient, but it's all relative!), but I did wonder if I had lost that self belief and wasn't setting off in races with the same edge. The pacers are supposed to run an even pace from the outset so I planned to stick with them as long as I could, hopefully to the finish!

I last ran this race in Nottingham in 1999, when I did the full marathon and was chasing a sub 3.15 to get into London. It was all horrible - I missed the start, had to do a wee in the open car park, and then clocked 3.16. This time I started well, managing to locate the sub 1.30 pacer at the start, but it all went a bit pear shaped from then on. There are 12,000 people in this race and like all big events, the start is heavily congested and so I lost my pacer almost immediately. Sometimes I would get held up and then have to sprint to catch up and other times I found myself deliberately slowing down because the pacer was behind me. In retrospect, I should have set off on my own nearer the front and hopefully let him pick me up around the 2 mile mark. As it happened when we reached 2 miles we were already off the pace by a considerable amount, about 45 seconds. As you know to get a sub 1.30 half marathon you need to run quicker than a 7 minute mile and we went through the first in 7.15, and the second, 14.35. I knew it was impossible for me to make up this deficit over the remainder of the race because I was already running hard just to keep up with him! I was doomed and watched the yellow flag bob steadily away into the distance while I settled down into my own rhythm, which is what I should have done all along. I'm glad I tried it though because I've been wondering for a while if this was the key to a good half marathon time - it's not!

It was busy along the whole route but there was excellent crowd support for most of the way and plenty of drinks stations, most offering bottles of energy drinks too, which was a bonus. I was feeling okay for most of the race, it's a sort of gently undulating course, but by the time I got to 11 miles I was very tired. At 12 miles, the first lady to pass me came up on my shoulder - I really didn't want to be overtaken at this late stage and dug deep to stay with her so the pair of us were running side by side for the rest of the race with not a word spoken but competitive vibes bouncing off each other. We were really running fast and there's no way I would have been able to sustain this pace if I hadn't been locked in competition with her. I just beat her over the line, but we were given the same race time so you can see how close it was! In actual fact this lass had run a quicker time as the chips on our trainers showed she had beaten me by 11 seconds. Still, my finishing position worked out right as I had actually beaten the lady in front of me by 33 seconds.

My actual time was 1.31.23 - I was a bit disappointed to have been nowhere near a sub 1.30, but I really couldn't have run any faster and I have two more half marathons in the next fortnight to have another bash without the pacer.

Half Marathon Results (from Drew Taylor)

140 Mick Loftus 1:22:25 (chip 1:22:18); 440 Jane Sutton 1:31:58 (1:31:23)(15th F35);

986 Bill Murphy 1:40:37 (1:36:56); 2372 Brendan Kitson 1:54:54 (1:51:11)

Winner 1:07:10. 5338 finished.

Nottingham Marathon 16th Sept (from Drew Taylor)

As far as I was concerned, the time was a bit disappointing. I hadn't felt particularly good right from the start, although I managed to keep on schedule (3:00:00 pace) until about 15m and then gradually started losing time. I hadn't taken it particularly seriously and it showed, so no complaints. Good runs from Mick and Jane though in the half marathon.

88th Drew Taylor 3:13:15 (chip 3:13:04). Winner 2:37:23 (chip 2:37:22). 774 finished.

I assume the race time is classed as the official time as opposed to the chip time as that's the order the results are listed.

Road Relays, Don Valley Stadium (from Jane Sutton)

Kathy emailed me and said Sylvia had seen this race and thought I might be interested because it was in my neck of the woods. I was glad of the opportunity to meet up with some Striders, and so it was that I met Lisa, Janet and Natalie in the car park on the day of the race. We decided to have a recce of the route which turned out to be a good idea as it wasn't all that obvious to follow and I'm sure I would have got lost - it started in the stadium, went on a loop around the immediate vicinity and then finished back on the track, about 2 miles altogether.

Lisa was running the first leg and was worried she was going to come in last - as if! Some of the other teams did look pretty swift though, more like track athletes. As Natalie waited for Lisa to come in, we watched Penny Thackery fly into the stadium, miles ahead of the next runner. Lisa arrived a bit later in a little bunch of runners, handed over to Natalie, and after her run, over to Janet. I was running the last leg and was completely worn out by the time I got half way round. This fast and furious stuff kills me, but it's good for the legs I suppose. I caught a few women up, I'm not sure where we finished, but it didn't matter anyway, it was fun.

Identify the Striders

This very popular feature from last year has returned with two of our newer members as the subjects of the profiles. Both will be found mentioned several times in this VSNews.

Number & Name



30 (just)

Year and Reason Started Running

1984 - parental decision to keep me off the streets in my pre-teenage years!

Date Joined Striders

April 2000





- 5 Mile

32ish mins



- 10K


Abbey Dash


- 10 Mile



Guy Fawkes 10

10 mile mark Great North



- Half Marathon


Great North Run


- Marathon





Represented Yorkshire in inter-counties x-country 2000

Represented England (aged 14) in x-country 1986


Every Leeds half marathon


To complete a fell race spending more time on my feet than on my bottom, preferably with clean trainers

To marry into money!

Avge Weekly Mileage

35-40 miles

Favourite Training Run

Tuesday speed sessions (usually 50m behind Tracey)

Around Eccup and Emmerdale (especially when filming)

Favourite Pre-Race Meal

Malt loaf

Favourite Race

Chevin Chase


Elbows out (!)


Jack Russells


Junkmail and tired legs

Other Interests

Learning the guitar

It's a small world - 20-ish years ago the subject above and Vicky Chapman's boyfriend used to play out in the street together.

The second one should be easy, too - there aren't many runners whose PB's are in trail or fell races!

Number & Name



15,100 days

Year and Reason Started Running

1974 - raced school bus home for a bet, and won

Date Joined Striders

Year of foot and mouth.





- 5 Mile

About 31 mins

Somewhere in England


- 10K

38 mins

Abbey Dash

2001 (my first)

- 10 Mile

65 mins

Harewood Trail


- Half Marathon

3 hrs 11 mins

Sedbergh 6000ft 14 miles


- Marathon

4 hrs 17 mins


2002 my first but not my last


Ran 6 races in 6 days. Raced every other day for a month. Finished the Yorkshireman. Trained with the Striders on Tuesdays (never trained before in my life!).


Not being able to ski the flying kilometre in Les Arcs.


Do 100 races in a year. Do all Geoff's fell championships.

Avge Weekly Mileage

Depends on how many races I can get to.

Favourite Training Run

Anywhere on the fells that's wet, muddy and below freezing.

Favourite Pre-Race Meal

Steak, chips, (with salad cream), onion rings, mushrooms, six veg, 3 beers, sticky toffee pudding. (But don't expect to run well on this).

Favourite Race

Anywhere that's muddy and wet.


Don't eat a big pre-race meal. Make sure your fell shoes are on tight.


Racing. Skiing. Mud, rain, the winter, snow.


Racing in the heat. Having to wear or carry full body cover for a race.

Other Interests

Skiing red runs. Mountain biking (my son Daniel is a lot better though). Eating Yorkshire pudding with onion gravy.

It's a small world (2) - 20-ish years ago the subject above used work with Tim Towler's sister at Goodall's Dairy at Scarcroft who says "he was pretty mad then. I think he lived in Shadwell and occasionally he would run to and from work. Also, he fell off a cow once, and broke his arm!"

Half Ironman UK - Llanberis, 8 Sept (from Bill Murphy)

As indicated in my last race report most descriptions seem to start with something along the lines of 'the day dawned bright and clear...'. Again, I am going to dispose of the poetic license and tell the truth. This will forever ruin my chances of writing for the 'The Sun' and 'The Mirror', but when you can write for the Striders' Newsletter, who needs them. I will re-apply for my poetic licence (available from Post Offices ???) later in this description. I should say at the outset th at place names have been confused to protect the indolent i.e. I cannot be bothered to go and check the spellings on a map.

I would like to say that I saw dawn, but even that would be a bit of a misnomer. The day started in, what is by most sane people's standards, the middle of the night. At 5:15 am (on a Sunday morning!) I found myself fumbling around in the dark at the door of the hotel, trying to get out. Having escaped the 15th Century series of bolts that had threatened to foil my race plans at the first hurdle, I emerged, and thought that I had somehow managed to get to the swim leg of the race in lightning speed. The deluge of rain that hit me was as if Moses had parted the Red Sea straight ahead, but had accidentally turned left. Within the 20 m walk to my car I was soaked, and gave some thought to putting on my wetsuit as it was the driest thing I now possessed.

The road to Llanberis (could be a Bob Hope movie?) was illuminated by a stream of cars aquaplaning along the road as 1200 nutters (i.e. Triathletes) attempted to reach the town before the road was closed at 06:00. On arrival parking was cheap and easy and, since the town would be completely isolated due to road closures for the rest of the day, relatively secure. Therefore, potentially tricky bit finished, the transition entered, the change done, feet in the water - I was ready to go.

An important lesson was learned at this point: don't believe that race referees are any better informed than competitors. While discussing a race regulation with one of the referees, we were both somewhat surprised by the observation that either a large shoal of piranhas had found its way into the lake, turning the water white in a feeding frenzy (a bit like a tri club in a pasta bar) or the race had started without the promised time warnings. On the plus side the resulting mad dash into the water meant that I didn't notice how cold it was, on the minus side, I was still 200 m from the start line. It is worth noting that at least one athlete had put one foot in the water, shuddered, and returned to the changing tent...

Sometime during the swim, sun rose. Not that you could actually see any evidence of it as it was obscured by Noah's Ark passing by, with the old gent bailing frantically, but the sky had turned from black to grey and yet more rain fell. Emerging into transition from swim to bike was a bit like going to swim in a shallow pool. On dashing from the changing tent, the route to the bikes was blocked by flooded sections of car park. Some foolish individuals who endeavoured to keep their feet dry for another microsecond, tried to go around, most decided that another few strokes of front crawl was probably not beyond their abilities. Having already done 1900 m of swimming in a cold lake, somehow 2 m of puddle didn't seem too much of a challenge!

The bike route was not flat, 90 km long, and not flat. It could be split into three broad sections of about equal distance: the first bit from Llanberis to Beddgelert was mainly short hills up to about 200 m long. Nothing terribly challenging. The second part was a long climb that started roughly at Beddgelert to the top of Pan Y Pas down to Capel Curig and up the A5. Two long climbs that drained the strength of many athletes - one benighted individual was out of his saddle on the bike at the bottom of Nant Gwynant - a bad way to start at 3 mile climb. The last section of the route was through Bethesda back to Llanberis involving a long descent and some short hills again. In order to make the cycling more challenging the organisers had arranged some little joys on the road - come to Llanberis it said, SEE - High speed puncture repairs! MARVEL at the time it takes to get a tire off your front wheel! BE AMAZED by the number of punctures you can get through kevlar coated tires in the space of 200 m of new road surface. Medieval religious scholars used to ask questions like "how many angels could dance on the head of a pin?" now exclusively to readers of the Striders Newsletter, it can be revealed how many rubber handling, pump wielding triathletes can fit into a road lay-by. The answer is too many! By this time of course everyone was soaked, but the rain had stopped for just long enough for participants to get dry and then be drenched again by frequent showers, so the poor sods having to fix punctures also risked hypothermia - another cunning challenge set in association with the N. Wales tourist authority.

Personally, the bike course was uneventful. As a result of handicapping myself by crossing the start line some two minutes after the rest of the field I then spent quite some time playing catch-up. I managed to catch the first of my friends who had started in the first wave (some 15 minutes before the second wave in which I began) at about the 50 km mark. Naturally I had words of encouragement for my esteemed colleagues - NOT! On our return to Llanberis the cycling bit was over, and was made happier and more satisfying the departure of Noah from North Wales for dryer climates. The bike could be ditched for the fun bit, naturally, the run.

Snowdon is not a nice mountain. A fell runner had been missing for three cold and wet days by the start of HIMUK and it seems likely that he had come to serious grief. Running up Pen Y Pass is not nice either, but at least fatalities were unlikely. Heart failure was possible, but possibly the greatest hazard was presented by animals naive enough to have made a dash from the ark - specifically, sheep. There had in fact been a warning to competitors about having sheep on the road during the bike leg - something that required considerable balance and some suggested that behind bushes would be better. The half marathon route took competitors from Llanberis to carry on up the pass (another movie theme there I think) to Snowdon Youth Hostile (no spelling error, believe me, I've stayed there!) and back down. The official race photographers were waiting at the top to snap your happy smiling face as you crested the hill.

Happy smiling face - my posterior! The expressions on people reaching the top of the hill varied from mild discomfort, through pain and anguish all the way to the deep and obvious desire to die in a truly horrid manner. The latter possibly involved being trampled by one of the Llamas that had escaped from Noah - who, possibly revealing his true plans at last, had opened a restaurant offering exotic animal dishes to weary athletes at the top of the pass. Digressions aside, having spent the last 21 months in Yorkshire I would like to say that Tuesday hill sessions had made this easy - they hadn't. It was a long hard slog up the hill and a knee jarring dash back down. The race organisers had provided well for the athletes: water stations were frequent, energy drinks were on hand and the local Territorial Army even turned out with bananas. A number of Royal Navy and Royal Marine Triathletes had already commented about chimps and chumps by the time that I made similar disparaging comments... Joking aside, something solid was actually a welcome site three hours after I had eaten my last (sic only) powerbar. The provision of water useful that it was, had a certain irony to it, since as I ran through the last water stop, the rain was falling so heavily that I couldn't see it until it was almost too late. It was partly obscured by the ark as Noah had finally given up on the bailing, run it aground, given the 'abandon ship' order and decided it was every man, wimmin and Chinchilla for themselves.

The last mile can only be described as soul destroying because you actually run past the finish line to complete a circuit of the town before getting to cross through arch triumphantly (or exhaustedly as the case may be). Completing the last mile had one or two final challenges - mainly spectators. Once finished the local Rotary Club descended upon you to give you a T-shirt, medal some energy drink, Tea, coffee, biscuits and anything else you wanted (and quite a few things you didn't). I finished in just over five and a half hours - not bad for a first attempt, but I had paced myself wrong, and I felt that I could have gone around again despite running the half marathon in a respectable 1:36 (well respectable as far as I was concerned).

Overall this was a good event and despite my tongue in cheek references to the weather it was actually only very bad for the first hour or so. Snowdonia is a great location for a race, and I will take my hat off (thereby blinding passers by with the reflected glare) to anyone who does the Snowdon marathon. My main criticism relates to the involvement of the local community. Many competitors experienced hostility from the locals, which stemmed from two points. Firstly, resentment about the roads being closed and hence villages being completely cut off for the day. Secondly, a basic lack of communication. I spoke to some farmers who owned land along the bike route who knew the race was happening, but didn't know exactly what was due to take place on their section of the road (at least they realised it wasn't the swim). The result is that many local people will oppose a repeat of this race next year, certainly, if the organisers plan to turn the event into a full ironman distance event. A salutary lesson for race organisers!

Coming to a newsletter near you....The Nottingham Marathon and Half Marathon. A new report entitled: Brendan Kitson and Toilets of Doom (complete with a cast of 10000ish).

International Reports from Germany (from Ingo Zoller)

It's time for a few lines from Germany again:

Fulda 1/2 marathon (and BEER)

Another month of racing is over, and it did include some interesting races. Some of them might be of interest for the Striders, if they happen to be on the continent.

It started with the south German half and full marathon championships at Fulda. The area is not known for being as flat as the Dutch coastline, it is more known for its hill walking and cycling opportunities. And Fulda itself is known for its old and cobblestoned city centre, its history, and of course for its BEER!

Nevertheless (or more exactly for this reason) someone thought runners would like racing here. The course is surprisingly flat (maybe similar to the first half at Nottingham), the marathon runners enjoy the climbs twice. The event was well organised, marshalling was OK (not as good as some events at Harewood or Meanwood, but still OK!), the only real downside was a significant bit of gravel paths on the second part of the course. Crowd support also was more or less non-existent. But the finish in the stadium was great again. For me it was a good preparation race for the Berlin Marathon, I just finished outside the top-10 in my age group with a close-to-PB time of 1:20:41. And of course every finisher got a beer glass with an initial filling of what this area is famous for.

5000m Track

Just a few days later I raced in my first track event of the year, the local 5000m track championships. A low key event, but still some hard racing up front. For me it just replaced a speed session. Luckily I did race there, the result was not only a 7th place overall, I finished 5th in the championships (2 runners were from clubs outside the region, so didn't count here), and also first in my age group (also last in my age group, but this did only bother the organisers, who spent some time looking for the second-placed runner in my category).

Munster marathon

Three days later I ran the first city marathon at Münster, near my home town. This area is not as much known for its BEER, more for its sausages (if you happen to like it), for its gruesome medieval history, and its flat countryside. Lots of cyclists around, and on this day around 5000 runners. It was a sunny and hot Sunday morning, and despite an early start the temperatures had reached 19C already at the starting line. Later they rose to over 25C. And of course there wasn't much shadow to find. Lots of spectators here, a lot of them having a barbecue by the road side, watching and drinking BEER, while supporting all the local and foreign runners. The course takes the athletes not only through the city, but also through some of the more scenic countryside areas around Münster. It's flat, so if you want to run a fast marathon, this could be an option. I did only consider this to be a long training run, so I set off slowly, and didn't really speed up until the 34km-mark. Here I thought "this is getting a bit hot, it is time for a shower", so it was time to accelerate. Easier thought than done, towards the end the crowds moved so far into the street that it felt more like a mountain stage during the Tour de France than a marathon race! After 3h32m59s I reached the finish, there it took me a lot of time to get through the finishing area, before I got out towards the shower.

Berlin Marathon

Now the taper period for Berlin started, so no more racing until then. The event is not in the same league as Boston or London (I'd prefer Boston, but London is almost as great as Boston), but still a good race. For me it was not too bad either. A short race rundown:

Public transport to the start was absolutely no problem, so accommodation anywhere near an underground or S-train stop would be fine. The start was wide enough, I got into my stride very early. The Brandenburg Gate was still concealed, it wouldn't be revealed until October 3rd. But all the passageways were open, so no traffic jam here, either. Afterwards the field was stretched out well enough. Not much crowd support on the first half of the race (the eastern part of the city), this changed when the western part of Berlin was reached again. There is still some border within the city, although the wall doesn't exist anymore!

Around the 28km-mark my quads suddenly got heavy, I lost a bit of momentum. Targeting 2:49 until then, it now looked more like a 2:51 or maybe 2:52 finishing time. Still, I kept going at a very constant pace, until my calves ceased up at the 35km-mark (22M). Why? I don't know yet. But contrary to previous marathon races this time my race didn't fall to pieces completely. I continued a bit slower than before, but still at a constant pace faster than 8min/mile, and rolled into the finish at 2:56:10.

Now the long finishing area was to be negotiated. Here a free massage was available (highly recommended!), lots of bananas, apples, water, Gatorade and so on. Towards the end of the finish area I refuelled with a bowl of pasta with tomato and olive sauce. But before I could reach free air and public transport again, I had to negotiate another obstacle: a brewer's dray, where everyone got a free BEER!

My legs refused talking to me afterwards, and especially stairs posed a serious problem, it was Dalek time again.


Race Result - Horsforth 10k 2002

33 Roy Flesher    37:31
38 Mark Bean      38:08
53 Tracey Morris  39:04 (2nd W)
55 Harry Bates    39:08 (2nd M55)
80 Lisa Wilyman   40:27 (5th W)
   517 ran, winner's time 31:43

Identify the Striders - the answers

VLS00112 is Lisa Wilyman and VLS00139 is Andrew Cutts

Spiders News (Fell and Trail)

Leeds Country Way

39 teams competed

First time and position is as ranked for that leg, second time and position is team position at the end of the leg e.g. Janet and Annemi were 19th fastest pair on leg 5 and at the end of leg 5 the team had moved to 29th place (a gain of one place).


Mens A

Mens Vets


1. Garforth

to Stanley

Neil Dutton

Mick Loftus

1:16:58 (5)

Eric Cusack

Alistair Fale

1:30:29 (21)

Erica Hiorns

Penny Sanders

1:45:18 (34)

2. Stanley

to Morley

Mike O'Callaghan

Drew Taylor

1:23:33 (11)

2:40:31 (9)

Paul Furness

Bob Jackson

1:35:37 (24)

3:06:06 (21)

Kathy Kaiser

Jane Sutton

1:27:54 (16) FASTEST

3:13:12 (23) WIMMIN

3. Morley

to Thornbury

Roy Flesher

Tim Towler

1:10:15 (6)

3:50:46 (6)

Dick Dale

Steve O'Callaghan

1:23:24 (15)

4:29:30 (20)

Lynn Bostock

Alison Marrington

2:07:35 (38)

5:20:47 (32)

4. Thornbury

to Bramhope

Mark Bean

Henry Lang

1:23:21 (6)

5:14:17 (6)

Harry Bates

Andrew Cutts

1:31:35 (14)

6:01:05 (19)

Tracey Morris

Lisa Wilyman

1:30:06 (11) FASTEST

6:50:43 (30) WIMMIN

5. Bramhope

to Scarcroft

Bill Murphy

Paul White

1:15:08 (13)

6:29:25 (7)

John Hallas

George Little

1:15:17 (14)

7:16:22 (14)

Janet Parkinson

Annemi Van Zyl

1:21:08 (19)

8:12:01 (29)

6. Scarcroft

to Garforth

Rob Bumstead

Rob Liddle

1:06:45 (6)

7:36:10 (6) 5th open

Tony Haygarth

Peter Lambert

1:14:42 (18)

8:31:04 (14) 4th vets

Julia ??

Natalie White

1:23:25 (25)

9:35:36 (27) 3rd wimin

On the next page is a report of leg 2 from Jane. I was dreading reading this report. Paul had been cracking jokes at the start with Jane; I said "be careful what you say - you won't be cracking jokes if they (Jane and Kathy) come past us". Fortunately they didn't, but they did make up 71/2 minutes on us, of which Jane has made not a mention. Maybe she's saving it for a more opportune time! NB She also forgot to mention that she and Kathy won the trophy for fastest wimmin on le g 2.

Leg 2 Report from Jane Sutton

I was really quite nervous about this race, mostly because I wasn't sure if I was fit enough to be running with Kathy. It's one thing letting yourself down in a race through lack of training, but it's a different kettle of fish when you feel you've let a fellow runner down, and ultimately the whole team! I was hoping that the effects of Kathy's London marathon training had worn off - little did I know at the time she was going to run the Yorkshireman off road marathon a week later. Nevertheless I was really looking forward to the race - I miss being actively involved in the club now I'm so far away.

Kathy had sent me excellent directions so I found the meeting point quite easily and in good time. Bob and Paul F were there too so I had a brief chat with them and Kathy before they headed off to wait for Eric and Alistair. As Bob and Paul set off with a bit of a spring in their step I told them to listen out for the patter of Striders feet behind them, hoping that Kathy and I might be able to set off soon after them. We watched quite a few other teams come in and then it was our turn to take the baton.

I have to say that Kathy went off like a train. I'm usually quite bad at starting too quickly but this time it seemed that we were going at high speed from the outset so I confess to feeling a little worried. I didn't have a clue about where to run - I'd never seen the route before and was totally reliant on Kathy who seemed to know it like the back of her hand. It did mean, though, that I had to run behind Kathy for most of the way when the track was narrow, and I think this always make you feel as though you are having to work harder to keep up. Also I needed to leave a few yards gap between Kathy and me so that I could see where to put my feet - at the speed we were going, everything on the ground was whizzing by my eyes in a blur! Fortunately Kathy kept to the same pace so I realised after a couple of miles that things weren't going to get any worse and I relaxed. We didn't speak very much to each other, not because we're not great friends, but because we were concentrating so hard!

It was great running with Kathy, she knew the route so well and when we saw other runners on leg 2 heading in an alternative direction, I had complete confidence that Kathy knew the proper way. Bit of a shame really that she did - this 'alternative route' seemed to be a short cut, and definitely a lot leveller. From the outset we steadily passed runners (but sadly not the two targeted Striders), and this gave Kathy and I a continual boost. Towards the end Kathy urged me to go on and tried to explain directions to me but I went wrong at the first stile, so I decided to stick with her!

Bob and Paul were at the finish with Drew and Mike. I think I must have had a bright red face from the heat and effort and was really thirsty. Even at that relatively early time in the day, it was already quite hot, so it must have been a nightmare for all you guys later on. I was very tired having run hard the whole way and I thought how well paired Kathy and I had been because it's not easy to match up runners, especially when one lives in a different county to everyone else! Kathy (and Sylvia it has to be said), are a great inspiration to me and I really enjoyed this run with her. Cheers Kathy!

Fell and Trail Race Reports

Saddleworth Trail Race 5 Oct 2002 (from Annemi)

On leaving a fairly bright Leeds, the Saturday morning, the dark western sky turned increasingly wetter as I made my way over the M62 in the direction of Oldham. It started to feel like autumn and my enthusiasm for racing decreased to an all time low. But, on turning off the M62, the most beautiful little villages started appearing out of the fog. I reached Diggle in a soft, misty rain that was showing signs of clearing.

The enthusiasm of the organisers and the other competitors was rubbing off and 107 of us set off at 10:30, a 17 km trail over Saddleworth Moor. The first mile and a half was a cruel uphill that felt endless, but it put the fast runners well ahead, so the rest could follow the thin trail of runners across the Moors. It was a well marshalled race by members of Saddleworth runners, thickly wrapped up against a fairly strong and cold wind. As a runner it felt as if the wind was coming from all directions. I see on the results website they describe it as a mild breeze. I hate to think what storm-like conditions are like in that part of the country! An interesting part of the race was close to Wessenden, where we had to go down about 30 steps, limestone turned into a very slippery surface by the rain. Flying runners were brought to a halt, tip toeing down the steps, and trying to make up for 'lost' time on the uphill steps on the other side.

The first runner in was Ed Gamble from Stockport in 69 min 06 sec. Andrew Cutts had a great run in 76 min 14 sec, 15th overall and 4th M40. The first lady in was Kath Drake from Spenborough in 80min 31 sec, a F40 runner, 31st overall. I finished in a time of 91 min 17sec, 6th female. We were rewarded by a welcoming cup of tea and the results of the Saddleworth runners cake-baking competition. Even the green cake went down well!

St Gemma's Roundhay Park 5 Mile (from Bob)

While 500 runners were taking the views of Leeds and Bradford Airport in the Horsforth 10k, just 86 runners enjoyed a more pleasurable run in Roundhay Park. The mainly off-road route started outside Jimmy Savile's, a lap of Soldier's Fields, on the road down to the Lakeside Cafe, up to the Mansion, past the upper lake and up the high side of the gorge, back across the bridges on the low side of the gorge, round the lower lake, across the dam and finished at the Lakeside Cafe. (I'm worn out just describing that).

Of the four Striders running, three won trophies (*) and the other one() collected three trophies as he was the only one who had stayed for the presentation.

11th Andrew Cutts, 31:55, 3rd M40 *
20th Bob Jackson, 35:46, 3rd M50
22nd Mike Midgley, 36:05, 1st M55 *
26th Daniel Cutts, 42:32, 2nd U17 *
also running
41st Howard Jeffrey (Otley AC and VS 2nd claim), 37:39
61st Robert Cutts (Longwood Harrier & VS supporter), 44:27

Striders were 3rd placed team behind St Bedes and a team of women (3 U20 and 1 O45) from Nestle Rowntrees!

Karrimor Mountain Marathon (KIMM) 26/27 Oct 2002

(from Annemi)

It was on the evening that we were doing the "dark" run over the Harewood Trail that Alistair was telling me about a niggle in his hip, and if he doesn't recover from it in time, he will not be able to do the KIMM this year. As a joke I offered to take his place if he can't make it, as we agreed you just need to be very tough to survive the KIMM, fitness and running does not have that much to do with it, if you are not a elite runner.

The phone call on the Friday morning took me by complete surprise. A very disappointed Alistair still has his injury and with 2 weeks to the KIMM realised he needed a replacement. (I'm assuming that was a replacement runner not a hip replacement - ed).

The KIMM is a 2 day fell running event, normally held in October, in a different part of the country every year - normally a part that gets the most rain, wind and snow. The race is run in teams of 2. You can enter to do a set course, of which there are 4 different degrees of difficulty (Elite, A, B or C course) or you can enter the score event, with 3 degrees of difficulty (Long, Medium and Short score). In a team of 2 you need to run with all your gear to camp on the Saturday night - tent, sleeping bag , stove, dry clothes, food and energy bars. Put all of this together in a bag and you realise that running is only possible on very level ground or downhill. (Saying that, I saw Steve Webb ONCE, speeding past me, uphill through a pine forest on Saturday morning, doing the A course)

I was doing the B course with a work colleague of Alistair's. The KIMM was held in the Cheviots this year, so we drove up to Wooller on Friday night, registered at the already muddy KIMM terrain and set off to a B&B for a last night of comfort, central heating and warm water running from a tap.

There is a staggered start to all the races, to ensure that you find your own way to the checkpoints. Saturday started as a clear, sunny day. The 40 minute walk through thick mud, to the start line did not put us off, so we set off at 8:35. No matter which course you did, the race started in a valley, so you set off going up a hill.

We had 6 checkpoints to get to on Saturday. (You only get the course map as you set off, so there is no route planning ahead of time). Apart from strong winds on the fell tops, Saturday stayed a sunny day, with very good visibility and beautiful views. As Chris, my racing partner was saying, we could nearly start to enjoy the race! After 6 hrs 40 min, many steep hills up and down, we made it to the overnight campsite in glorious sunshine, a few hundred colourful little tents already pitched in the, then, grassy camp terrain. The first priority is to get your own tent pitched, to change into dry clothes and to get a warm drink.

As we went to sleep on Saturday night, it was still a fairly pleasant night, but I woke up at 2 a.m. with an incredibly strong wind blowing down on us. With the wind came loads of rain and by morning the grassy campsite was turned to mud, with signs of a river forming through it.

The first teams set off by 7 a.m. on Sunday morning. We were only starting at 9:14 and still the rain was coming down and the wind was just as strong. Again we started on a very steep uphill, nearly on all fours, not to get blown over by the wind. The Sunday route is suppose to be easier than Saturday, but we still had 8 checkpoints to get to, visibility was poor, it was COLD and very, very windy. (Typical KIMM weather I was told). There was the same number of uphills and downhills, but the rivers were much more swollen after the previous night's rain. To jump over a flooded river with a heavy pack on your back proved very difficult. We had about a hour to go to the finish when we got to a very fast flowing river, with the footbridge swept over and hanging at a 45 degree slope. It meant crawling over the bridge, but trying to hang on the higher bars, trying to "preserve" what is left of the bridge to the runners behind us. The next river was even more exciting. A small little stream was turned into a large , fast flowing river. The only way to cross was to slide on your buttocks over an overhanging tree, tricky when you are cold and tired!

We finished day 2 in another 6 hrs 45 min, welcomed by a lovely warm cup of soup. I was very pleasantly surprised that I was not nearly as sore as I thought I would be. I have a good idea what "adventure racing" is about and will even consider to be back! Have a look on for some good action and muddy photos, and if you can get into the results site, please let me know where we finished!

(from "Ed") Pleased to oblige, Annemi

Which, on my calculator, adds up to 1350 pairs starting and 1132 finishing. I never knew there were 2700 people in the UK daft enough to run around the tops of mountains and through rivers for two days in cold and rain carrying all their worldly possessions.

Drew Taylor recommends ...

... Tesco's Honey Nut Cornflakes because (a) they are a good source of high carbohydrate and low fat; (b) when he opened a packet last week, he set off a miniature firework display and inside was a certificate notifying that he had won first prize of 37,000. In the YEP he says that he can't remember whether he actually ate the cornflakes that day! NB there are 15 prizes of 1,000, some still unclaimed, if you want to follow Drew's diet!

Yorkshireman (& woman) Off-road Marathon (from Kathy)

I had a bad run and really struggled at the end (and the middle!) but Annemi and I still managed to be first ladies pair. Annemi was running so well that I sent her on without me.

16th Mick Loftus  4:04:25
21st Andrew Cutts 4:17:40
30th Rob Bumstead 4:27:50
36th Annemi & Kathy 4:40:51

Fell Championship Points

Andrew 737, G.W. 480, Steve Webo 390, Sylvia 361, Sara 331, Alistair 230,
Bob J 199, Rob B 173, Pete Lambo 159, Madeleine 146, Mike Midge 121,
Annemi 113, Mick the Wrench 110, Henry 105, Kathy 103, Tim T 96, Drew 76,
Bob W 70, Alan H 63, Jerry 61, Ingo 57, Neil D 52, Ken K 51, Eric 50,
Paul White 46, Steve O 43, Vadim 41, Peter C 39, Lisa 42, Mark 42,
Ian P 38, Carole 36, Daniel Cutts 36, Tony F 34

Fell Championship Remaining Events

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)

Andrew will be crowned "King of the Fells" at the Christmas Do i.e. before the last event! He has been keen to run all the races in the Fell Championship but his lead his safe now. He had been considering how to run Rivock Edge (Silsden) on the morning of November 24 and cross country at Scunthorpe in the afternoon. This seemed to involve winning Rivock Edge in a course record time and then hurtling along the M62 at 110mph. He needs the Grand Prix points so is unlikely to run Rivock Edge.

Recommended event (but not in Fell Championship)

Tue Dec 31 F Briscoe's Brewery Auld Lang Syne (6m/800ft) from Haworth


Steve O has a supply of Maxim at extremely competitive prices

Phone Steve on 267-7779 for details

Swansong to a Lost Cause by Dee Jected

The voting is over, the die has been cast,

No moving forward, we'll still live in the past.

Tradition is fine, but where did ours start?

At the back of Leeds Market off a broken-down cart.

No need to worry as our main tradition goes on

In the guise of our saviour, the noble Saint John.

To the Luddites among you, "Humbug", I say.

The futurists in Striders will have their day.

A new vest proposal was started by Joyce.

You all know her, the one with the voice (Big Gob according to PF)

At races now you may find the voice subdued,

You never know you may even get booed.

From this proposal one thing we have learned:

Trying something different gets your fingers burned.

After this we've both earned a rest

So it's back to the plain, boring, white string vest.

"Off Road Running" by Sarah Rowell

Looking for a Christmas gift for a fell or trail runner? Or even for a road runner seen to be looking at the studded shoes in Up&Running. Buy them "Off Road Running" by Sarah Rowell. Half the book is about training, the other half about the various types of off-road competition - trail, cross country, fell, mountain running, orienteering and mountain marathons. NB that last chapter should have a government health warning.

You can get a copy in the shops for 14.99 but if you ask Paul Briscoe nicely he will be able to secure you a copy directly from the author and for only 12.

Christmas Handicap - Sunday December 29th

This will be 5 miles, starting by the reservoir lodge at the bottom of the hill from Alwoodley Lane. Afterwards, beer at Leos (bring your own food). Bring a Xmas gift, value approx 3, wrapped, for exchange. More details from Bob.

Harrogate Ringway Relay

This event is for local teams - Nidd Valley, Harrogate, Otley, Skyrac etc. We entered 3 teams two years ago and 4 teams last year. The Ringway is a 21 mile set of footpaths (very little road) and this is divided into five sections of between 21/2 and 5 miles. Each team consists of 5 runners of whom at least one must be a woman, at least one V40 and at least one V45. Last year one of our teams was all wimmin, and another all over-50! It is not taken seriously except the beer an d food at the Yorkshire Lass in Knaresborough after the event. Because the legs are short, they are easy to recce. Can we get 5 or 6 teams this year? Everyone of any standard is welcome. Details from Bob.

Forthcoming Races/Events

Grand Prix 2002 final events

Sun Nov 17 1105 Roundhay 5
Sun Nov 24 1350 West Yorks cross country at Scunthorpe
Sun Dec 1 0930 Leeds Abbey Dash 10k (entries closed)

Grand Prix 2003 first events

Thu Dec 26 1100 Chevin Chase (enter early - no entries on day)
Sun Dec 29 1100 Xmas handicap 5
Sat Jan 11 1350 West Yorks cross-country at Keighley (closing date Dec 28)
Sun Jan 26 1000 York Brass Monkey 1/2 mar (race already full - entries closed)
Sun Feb 3 0930 Dewsbury 10k (closing date Jan 18 or earlier if full)

Other Cross Country events (no entries on day for all events)
Sat Jan 5 Yorkshire Champs at Nunroyd Park, Guiseley (c.d. Dec 8)
Sat Jan 26 Northern Champs at Heaton Park, Manchester (c.d. Dec 8)
(close to M62 junction 18 so easy to get to)
Sat Mar 2 Yorkshire Vets Championships somewhere in Hull

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

Jan 19th Woodkirk 10k, 26th Moorside (Meltham) 10k
Feb 16th Liversedge 1/2mar, 23rd Huddersfield 10k,
23rd Pocklington Snake Lane 10m (closing date Feb 9)
Mar 16th Spen 20, 16th South Leeds 5, 23rd Ackworth 1/2mar

There is a folder at Leo's which has copies of entry forms for most races. If you see entry forms for a forthcoming race, grab half a dozen copies to replenish this folder.