June 2003

2003 Issue 2

In This Issue

Pulse Race Roundhay Park 5 on July 13th

This is a new race organised by the British Heart Foundation. Chris Jackson and Steve Ball are on the organising committee. Striders are providing the team for the race finish and some more marshals. Come and help or come and run for this good cause!

Next Grand Prix Races (see also pages 10 and 31)

Hyde Park 5k (July 2), Club Handicap 51/4 trail (July 22), Harrogate 10k (August 3), Round Hill fell race (August 10). The remaining Grand Prix races are listed on page 10 and the remaining Fell Championship races are listed on page 31.

Pie and Peas

Having started this at the Spring Handicap, it is looking like a permanent arrangement one Tuesday a month and maybe in the autumn/winter could become twice a month. "Normally" the third Tuesday, in July this will be on the fourth Tuesday to coincide with the Club Handicap. NB Book your pie'n'peas at the latest the Sunday before the Tuesday.

Striders 21st Anniversary / Club Handicap / Pie and Peas on July 22nd

Run the handicap, eat the pie and peas (book by 20th), enjoy the rest of the celebrations.

Leeds Country Way on Sunday August 31st (see also page 3)

Can we get four teams of 12? Mens, wimmins, vets and a.n.others. Yes if we plan early. Sign up A.S.A.P. with Paul Furness, letting him know whether you are a definite, a probable or a possible. See Paul or Tracey or Lisa for more information.

Harewood Trail Race on Sunday October 12th

Everyone, please keep this date free to be able to help on the day. Entry forms have been printed - if you can hand some out at a race or just take some, please contact me.


Meanwood Trail Race

From Lisa Barnes, Appeals Manager for Lineham Farm:

"On behalf of everyone at Lineham Farm Children's Centre, may I thank you very much indeed for your generous donations which we have received from your Meanwood Valley Trail Race."

"We are really grateful for your continued support, commitment and energy in helping to provide so many local disadvantaged children with an unforgettable experience."

"If any of your members would like to know more, please do ask them to contact us anytime, or they may like to visit our website Our Summer Fayre is on Saturday 12th July if people would like to come and visit us (or even help out!)"

From Jim Wheldon, "Thanks from all at Pudsey Pacers for such an enjoyable event. Much appreciated. Please convey this to your team."

Valley Striders on e-mail

Of 128 paid-up Striders on my address list, 95 are on my e-mail list and so receive "Electronic Striders Updates" every two weeks or so. I'm sure a few of the rest of you are too, so if you're on e-mail and not receiving ESU's, then e-mail me so I can pick up your e-mail address and include you.

For those not on email, photocopies of the ESU's are available on a Tuesday evening. Don't be shy to pick one up - you can always say that your PC isn't working!

Entering Races

Remember always to put your club name on any entry form. I have noticed a couple of results sheets where one of our runners is showing as club "Meanwood Valley" or "Meanwood Striders" etc. There are many clubs with "Valley Striders" as part of their name (use "Google" on the internet to find at least 10 others), but we were the first and so are just "Valley Striders".

Some entry forms ask for a UK Athletics or North of England AA registration number - these are printed on your club membership cards. New membership cards for the UK Athletics year May 2003 - April 2004 should be enclosed with this V S News.

Can I also remind everyone that for Yorkshire Championship events (including Yorkshire Vets), if you were born in Yorkshire or have been resident in Yorkshire for the last 9 months, you should always tick the Yorkshire eligibility and team eligibility box(es). For all championships you must pre-enter before the official closing date, so if you see it is a Championship event, don't leave it to enter on the day.

It is amazing how many results lists I see where runners did not qualify either because they did not pre-enter or forgot to tick the relevant box. At the Thirsk 10, I benefited from two peoples "generosity" - I won the third M50 prize (of 10) but only because two of the four M50 runners ahead of me had entered on the day.

You never know when you may win an individual or team prize. Two appropriate slogans come to mind "It could be you!", and "You've got to be in it to win it"

Leeds Country Way - Sunday 31 August

This is the Striders' favourite event. It is a 60 mile relay run by 6 pairs each pair running about 10 miles, mostly off-road but nothing technically difficult (ask Paul White who never runs off-road but ran a leg of the LCW for the first time last year).

It will be the 12th year of the race and we have had 3 teams most years. Last year we had 3rd wimmin's team, 4th vets and 5th open. Can we get 4 teams this year? Recce'ing is essential but is local so can even be done on a summer's evening.

PLEASE contact Paul Furness NOW

Also the earlier you call the better your chance of choosing the leg you prefer. If you've not run before and would like a "guide" for your recce run, I'm sure there will be several Striders willing and able.


Grand Prix 2003

Brass Monkey Half has been reinstated, so Tracey gets a well-deserved 100 points (full results in last edition of V S News).

Spen 20 (report from Niels Laustsen)

Although this race report is not written by Jane, let me start it her way: "It was hilly". Surely, this will come as no surprise for the many Striders who have run it over the years, and since this was my second time at Spen, I knew what to expect, too. My first Spen was in 2000, in 2:16:23. This time I was fitter, and aiming for a time around 2:10. As the results below indicate, this was slightly too optimistic. However, it did not matter much as the hills meant that the split times were not of much use for pacing oneself anyway - judged from my heart rate, I ran with a fairly even effort throughout, but nevertheless my fastest mile was 5:39 and the slowest 7:15 (guess which was uphill and which downhill - no prizes offered).

The day started cold, with frost on the grass when Bob kindly picked me up in Roundhay. It was still pretty chilly when we got to Cleckheaton. However, just before the race started, the sun broke through, and it became a lovely warm spring day with hardly any wind - perfect race conditions, really.

Before the start, Bob introduced me to Terry Bean and Drew Taylor, both looking very fit. Other Striders who had made the trip to Cleckheaton included Roy Flesher and Mick Wrench, so the club had a very strong team out, which I would be proud to be part of. Obviously, Terry and Mick were too fast for me, so my strategy was clear: take it easy up the long climb just after the start, stay with whoever is third Strider, and then get away down the long hill. This strategy worked out well, I followed Roy up the hill, and then got away downhill. Even though my quads blew up in the end (as they always tend to do when I go beyond 17-18 miles), I managed to keep going - and as third counter secured the men's team prize which was a book token that I spent on Kings Cross Station before returning to Denmark.

7 Terry Bean (M40/2)2:04.53
11 Mick Wrench 2:07.18
18 Niels Laustsen 2:12.21
26 Roy Flesher(M50/3)2:15.14
29 Drew Taylor 2:16.20
56 Bob Jackson 2:26.49
73 Dave Milner 2:34.15
176 finished

Ackworth Half Marathon

52 Steve Thirkell 81.29
65 Tim Towler 82.07
83 Alan Hutchinson 84.14
85 Mark Bean 84.28
119 Bob Jackson 87.32
154 Paul White 90.03
203 Chris Sawyer 94.00
228 Roy Flesher 95.46
359 Laura Brook 102.48
500 Kay Mason 112.40
576 Debbi Wagman 121.02
Teams - men 12th, wimmin 8th

Baildon Boundary Way

An excellent club performance for the white vests (black letters) of Valley Striders where 11 of us finished in the top 15% of the field. There is a race report from Nick Brown in the "Spiders" section of this V S News.

7 Terry Bean 83.24
9 Steve Webb 84.39
15 Mick Wrench 86.47
20 Rob Bumstead 88.43
27 Nick Brown 90.51
34 Simon Vallance 92.33
41 Rob Liddle 94.22
47 Drew Taylor 94.44
49 Bill Murphy 95.06
56 Andrew Cutts 96.02
57 Bob Jackson 96.04
162 Laura Brook 109.25
231 Sara Dyer 117.21
382 finished

London Marathon

M190 Jerry Watson 2:43.30
M573 Alan Hutchinson 2:55.12
W46 Lisa Wilyman 3:01.34
M1296 Roy Flesher 3:06.35
W101 Kathy Kaiser 3:11.59
M3664 Dick Dale 3:29.00
M3960 Dave Milner 3:31.09
M6502 Neil Kaiser 3:48.19
M6558 Jonathan Finn 3:48:42
W1461 Carmel Barker 4:02.27
W1462 BernadetteClayton4:02.27
30000 ran

For three weeks after the event, Kathy was showing as first W50, but eventually Sally Musson appeared in the results in 50th place and 3:04:25, so Kathy moved down to 2nd W50, but still well deserving congratulations from the rest of us.

Because the race was south of Birmingham, Jerry ran in his Thames Hare and Hounds vest. The TH&H vests won 2nd team prize (Leeds City were 1st, Otley AC were 3rd), but Jerry was the 5th Hare or Hound across the line so was just outside the counting members.

I think I take a long time to get the official results out for our races, but the London Marathon takes longer. The results were first out that evening, but the next day some of the placings had changed, then the times changed (to exclude the time taken to cross the line) and then the placings changed again (presumably in answer to some queries e.g. for runners whose chip had failed to signal when crossing the line). Kathy moved from 98th W to 101st W in this period and got 1 second slower. Carmel and Bernadette got 2 mins 11 secs faster but lost 89 places! They wouldn't have this trouble if they had Geoff Webster with a loudhailer to start the race and Mike and Eileen to record the times.

Spring Handicap

The race ran true to form, with the most improving Strider (Vicky) finishing first and the last 3 winners of the Handicap Cup occupying 3 of the last 4 places.

Kay Mason, second on the start line, held the lead until the last 1/2 mile when she was overtaken by Vicky. But she bravely hung on to second place, holding off the challenge of Mark, Rob, Simon and Tracey who all finished within 30 yards of her.

The 100 Grand Prix points for fastest time went to Mark Bean who was a full minute and a half faster than Tracey. 13 of the 27 runners were under 40 minutes.

Pies and peas were eaten while the results were calculated (thanks to Tony for the food and Mike & Eileen for the computations).

Finish Finish Hand Actual Time G.P.
Pos Name Time -icap Time Pos Points
1 Vicky Chapman 48.14 9.30 38.44 7 94
2 Kay Mason 48.51 1.00 47.51 26 75
3 Mark Bean 48.52 13.15 35.37 1 100
4 Rob Bumstead 48.54 11.30 37.24 3 98
5 Simon Vallance 48.57 10.00 38.57 =9 92
6 Tracey Morris 49.29 12.15 37.14 2 99
7 Roy Flesher 49.43 11.15 38.28 6 95
8 Natalie White 49.45 0.00 49.45 27 74
9 Lisa Wilyman 49.53 10.30 39.23 11 90
10 Alan Hutchinson 49.57 11.00 38.57 =9 92
11 Rob Liddle 50.05 10.30 39.35 13 88
12 Steve O'Callaghan 50.16 5.30 44.46 20 81
13 Chris Sawyer 50.23 6.00 44.23 19 82
14 Tim Towler 50.27 12.30 37.57 5 96
15 Harry Bates 50.30 11.45 38.45 8 93
16 Nick Brown 50.50 13.00 37.50 4 97
17 Dawn Morley 50.53 5.00 45.53 21 80
18 Bob Wilkes 50.58 3.45 47.13 24 77
19 Lily Wong 51.41 5.00 46.41 22 79
20 Dave Morley 51.46 10.00 41.46 16 85
21 Mike Brown 52.00 5.15 46.45 23 78
22 Steve Purnell 52.20 5.00 47.20 25 76
23 Drew Taylor 52.31 13.00 39.31 12 89
24 Andrew Cutts 52.37 12.30 40.07 14 87
25 Bob Jackson 52.45 11.45 41.00 15 86
26 Tony Haygarth 53.20 9.00 44.20 18 83
27 Paul White 53.32 10.30 43.02 17 84

Leeds Marathon

6 Terry Bean 168.08
8 Jerry Watson 174.03
18 Lisa Wilyman 180.10
23 Drew Taylor 187.02
31 Mark Bean 189.12
33 Bob Jackson 190.11
141 Sara Dyer 235.37

In the prizes were Lisa Wilyman (W/1), Bob Jackson (M50/2) and the Striders team (Terry, Jerry and Lisa) (1st team overall). Just outside the prizes was Sara Dyer (W45/4)

There were PBs for Lisa (by 11/2 mins) and Sara (first time under 4 hours), and for Mark, too, as it was his first marathon.

Shame on the Yorkshire Post and Evening Post who gave far more publicity to the Ethiopian man who won the marathon and the Kenyan male and female winners of the half rather than to our Lisa from Yorkshire.

Message from Mark Bean

I would like to say a big "thank you" for the help and support I received during my run of the Leeds Marathon. It was my first marathon so I didn't know what to expect!!. Firstly I would like to thank Dick Dale for cycling with me with Maxim drinks and lots of encouragement without which I may not have even finished - his help was very much needed and appreciated!! Also Paul Furness for running backwards and forwards at different points of the course also offering advice and encouragement!! And the advice I received through the months from you hardened marathon runners. And Lisa Wilyman & Roy Flesher for the 2-3 times a week that we all trained together during the dark winter nights. And lastly to all the other Striders and their families/friends that I have not mentioned who lined the course with shouts of encouragement.

Thank you to you all, Mark

Leeds Half Marathon

15 Steve Webb 76.49
19 Neil Dutton 78.35
27 Tracey Morris 79.36
40 Tim Towler 81.53
42 Roy Flesher 82.34
56 Vicky Chapman 84.54
58 Mick Wrench 85.11
59 Alan Hutchinson 85.16
90 Rob Liddle 87.59
121 George Little 89.59
133 Paul White 90.22
261 John Blundell 95.57
293 Paul Hilton 96.39
340 Eric Cusack 98.02
345 Peter Lambert 98.09
436 Laura Brook 100.52
478 Lily Wong 102.16
493 Carmel Barker 102.37
544 Erica Hiorns 103.45
551 Mary Egan 103.58
613 Steve Purnell 105.22
659 Vadim Kuznetsov 106.17
664 David Cusack 106.23
719 Penny Sanders 107.45
745 Brendan Kitson 108.21
816 Tina Ward 109.53
822 Nick Brown 110.03
1030 Kay Mason 114.47
1069 Mike Brown 115.35
2nd claim & "visitors"
309 SophieHetherington 97.17
392 Howard Jeffrey 99.44
399 Bridget Strong 100.02
437 Crawford Weir 100.52
648 Leroy Sutton 106.06
725 Lou Gilchrist 108.00
956 Paul Morris 112.57

In the prizes were Steve Webb (M40/2), Tracey Morris (W/2 and W35/1), Roy Flesher (M50/3), Vicky Chapman (W/3), John Blundell (M60/2), Peter Lambert (M60/3), and Lou Gilchrist (W55/2). This year the prizes were in 10 year age bands instead of 5, so effectively they had halved the number available and Striders took 7 of the 27 on offer.

Just outside the prizes were Mary Egan (W45/4), the men's team (2nd, 5 points behind Horsforth) and the women's team (2nd, 10 points behind Ackworth).

There were PB's for Vicky (by 2 minutes), Lily (by 7 minutes), and no doubt a few more.

There were 1994 finishers so, by my calculations, there were 9 Striders in the top 5% and all Striders finished in the top 55%.

Note that Paul Morris finished just over half an hour behind Tracey which this time is probably a poorer weight-graded percentage (refer March VS News). I also have a theory that Paul timed his finish to allow Tracey plenty of time to get home first and put the Sunday lunch on.

Let's hear a well deserved round of applause for all Striders who took part in the races and record their thanks to the numerous other Striders supporting along the race route.

And there were also a few Striders officiating - GW, SW, Annemi and pal, Max were amongst those helping for no more reward than a ham sandwich and smokey bacon flavoured crisps (no vegetarian options available).

Leeds half marathon Corporate Challenge

I suspect there were a few Striders opting for a 2 mile section of the corporate challenge (I spotted Madeleine Watson at the start of leg 2), and I suspect that many of them found the 2 mile sprint almost as tough as the 13 mile endurance would have been.

Leeds marathon day fun run

Striders and families in the fun run included Alison Marrington and her two sons James (12) and Alex (9) for whom it was their first competitive run. Alex had been spotted on a 31/2 mile training run with his dad, Peter, a week before, so did not have any problem with the shorter distance of the fun run.

Steve Purnell reports that as he set off on his first half marathon, his wife, Dolores, accompanied Hannah(8), Tom(6) and Rachel(5) on their first introduction to competitive running in the one and a half mile fun run. Having survived the initial stampede of school teams, they all duly completed the run in 15 minutes. All enjoyed the experience and Tom got to shake the mayor's hand, which made his day. They also all enjoyed collecting their medals and goody bags.

Thirsk 10

20 Tracey Morris 61.38
32 Vicky Chapman 64.38
42 Nick Brown 65.47
71 Bob Jackson 69.44
72 Andrew Cutts 69.58
77 Paul White 70.43
153 Jackie Buxton 78.21
157 Bob Wilkes 78.53
165 Simon Burnett 80.17
177 Sophie Hetherington 81.21
190 Dave Morley 82.01
193 Laura Brook 82.17
298 Paul Morris 95.41
315 Debbi Wagman 98.16

The wimmin easily captured the team prize, which was a good thing as they had waited an hour and a half for the presentations. Tracey was 2nd W (and also 1st vet), Vicky 4th W and the team was made up of two new club members (so new they didn't make it into the "New Members" section of this newsletter), Jackie and Sophie.

The temperature was about 25oC and with little shade conditions were tough for those that set off at a sensible pace. Those that set off at their normal pace for 10 miles started to struggle at the 5 mile mark. I e-mailed Max after the race and asked him if he had any information about the heat-graded tables. This was his reply:

"Well not so much "heat-graded tables" as a single figure, more like a rule-of-thumb, which Alberto Salazar - New York City marathon winner in 1980/81/82 - reckoned was a close approximation. It was that "every degree over 65F adds 1 second per mile". 25 is 77 in old money, which is 12 more than 65 and 10 times 12 seconds per mile is two minutes. So take 2 minutes off your time today and if it is still too slow, that just shows that the experts aren't always right."

There was a battle for 4th Strider between your correspondent and Andrew Cutts. Andrew had run a fell race the previous day and was saying from the start (as always) that he was too tired from the previous race. There was never more than 100 yards in it and your correspondent took the lead at the 9 mile mark and from there didn't dare look behind. This earned him 97 Grand Prix points and also 5th M50. However since the first two M50's had entered on the day, a 10 Terry Lonergan voucher came through the letter box a few days later. Thanks, Andrew for "pushing" me!

Grand Prix "Rules"

Full details of the Grand Prix are available on the website, but briefly,

Latest positions

Striders who have run 3 or more races so far are:

"A" - Steve Webb 695/7, Andrew Cutts 657/7, Roy Flesher 671/7, Drew Taylor 571/6, Mick Wrench 488/5, Terry Bean 399/4, Tracey Morris 397/4, Mark Bean 391/4, Tim Towler 388/4, Nick Brown 365/4, Mick Loftus 293/3, Rob Bumstead 291/3

"B" - Bob Jackson 756/8, Lisa Wilyman 567/6, Paul White 556/6, Alan Hutch 384/4, Eric Cusack 354/4, Simon Vallance 279/3, Rob Liddle 274/3

"C" - Vicky Chapman 387/4, Kathy Kaiser 378/4, Peter Lambert 347/4, Chris Sawyer 271/3, Steve O'Callaghan 251/3, Dave Cusack 250/3

"D" - Laura Brook 438/5, Dick Dale 269/3, Bob Wilkes 263/3, Brendan Kitson 249/3

"E" - Sara Dyer 524/6, Kay Mason 329/4

NB these do not include penalty points as hardly anyone has run 5 categories so far.

These positions are updated on the website after each G P race.

Postcript to 2002 Grand Prix

Claire Taylor e-mailed "Only one more race & I could have bought a Grand Prix T-shirt? (cue sound of gnashing of teeth). So if I hadn't dropped out of the x-country in Shipley, no matter how badly I'd done, that would have made it up to 8 races. Oh well, I guess that'll teach me not to drop out of a race part way round."

GP 2003 Events

Here is the full, final, official list of events (unless any race is cancelled)

The end of year congestion that we referred to in the last newsletter has been partly relieved. The Brass Monkey half has been reinstated so there is now no need for the Guy Fawkes 10. It would appear that the Manchester marathon will not take place, which leaves the Nottingham marathon in September as the final long race. The precise dates of these races, if known, are listed on the back page.

Note that the provisional date for the Abbey Dash is 30 November!

There is still plenty of time to run 8 races and qualify for a GP T-shirt, even if you haven't started yet!


Other Race Reports / Results

East Hull 20 (9 March)

Three Striders were using this as part of their preparation for a Spring marathon

30 Roy Flesher 2:12:24 (M50/3))
41 Mark Bean 2:15:07
43 Lisa Wilyman 2:15:34 (W/3)

South Leeds 5 (16 March)

There were two PC Striders (Neil is with the "force" and Peter's initials are PC) and two in plain clothes (no Striders vests, both prior to joining!)

12 Neil Dutton 29.04
28 Nick Brown 31.01
137 Steve Purnell 37.42
144 Peter Lambert 37.55

Wilmslow 1/2 marathon (16 March)

Our two representatives were also representing Yorkshire in the inter-counties half marathon championship. Not only did they both record PBs but also they came back with gold medals as part of the winning team. CONGRATULATIONS! Gill Keddie of Leeds City was first counter for Yorkshire; Tracey and Lisa were 2nd and 3rd counters. Tracey's time sets a new all-time Striders women's best for the half marathon, beating Yvonne's Bissitt's 11 year old record of 1:20.

120 Gill Keddie 1:17:43 7th W
133 Tracey Morris 1:18:42 9th W, 2nd W35
191 Lisa Wilyman 1:22:18 13th W
3123 ran

Fleet 1/2 marathon (6 April)

Tim Crossland finished second overall in a time of 1:10:15. This event was also hosting the Inter-Services Championship, which he won. CONGRATULATIONS!

Wakefield 10k (6 April)

This was either some final speedwork before London or just the first chance in 2003 for a fast 10k, Dewsbury having been cancelled earlier in the year. Tracey recorded a PB and also a V.S. wimmin's all-time best. Vicky's time was a PB by 3 minutes. Jackie Buxton is a friend of Lisa's - a good first run with the Striders and not the slowest 10k run by your Editor's vest. Even with 5th, 8th and 11th, the VS wimmin's team could only finish 2nd behind Wakefield Harriers led by Penny Thackray (3rd) and Angela Dickie (4th). Must try harder - no, just joking, well done our team!! Not to forget congratulations, too, to Roy Flesher for his 2nd place M50 category.

29 Neil Dutton 35:02
49 Tracey Morris 36:00 (W/5)
58 Roy Flesher 36:15(M50/2)
82 Steve Thirkell 37.22(M50/7)
84 Lisa Wilyman 37:24 (W/8)
97 Vicky Chapman 38:15 (W/11)
186 Paul White 40:48(M55/6)
229 Howard Jeffrey 41:48
236 Ken Kaiser 42:06
259 Paul Hilton 42:39
406 Jackie Buxton 46:22
1009 finished

Meanwood Trail (12 April)

Striders were not allowed to enter this race unless:

Guiseley Gallop (20 April)

10 Striders and 1 second-claimer were amongst 459 who spent Easter Sunday morning running around Spring Woods, the Leeds-Liverpool Canal and Esholt village. Oh, and not forgetting Esholt sewerage works. For those who ran Rombalds and/or Baildon it was a case of deja vu (only in the opposite direction in some cases). A bottle of Guiseley Gallop welcomed us at the finish. It was also refreshing that half of the Striders had been with the club for less than a year - presumably the old lags were at home unwrapping their Easter eggs!

16 Neil Dutton 38.46
34 Nick Brown 40.46
38 Mick Wrench 41.02
63 Andrew Cutts 43.47
96 Bob Jackson 45.35
116 Howard Jeffrey 46.32
123 Dave Morley 46.58
193 Peter Lambert 49.48
243 Kay Mason 52.43
293 Laura Brook 55.08
394 Debbi Wagman 62.50

Airedale Triple Trail (6/12/20 April)

Two Striders completed all 3 races - the Baildon Boundary Way, the Meanwood Trail and the Guiseley Gallop. With a total distance of just over a marathon (spread over 15 days!), Nick Brown was 9th in 3:00:30 and Andrew Cutts 12th in 3:12:24. There were 61 who ran all 3 races, and Andrew is one of the 9 to be double triple-trailers, having also run all 3 last year.

Rothwell 10k (27 April)

Congratulations to Vicky who was 3rd W.
35 Vicky Chapman 37:02 PB
104 Paul White 40:15
224 Peter Lambert 44:25
244 Laura Brook 44:57
275 Mike Brown 46:25
416 Debbi Wagman 52:29
547 ran

Manchester 10k

Tim Crossland featured on TV in the leading group for the first 2k until a group of 4 Africans broke away. Tim's result was 27th in 31:43, by far the fastest time by anyone in a Striders vest this year.

Beckett Park women's 5k race

Alison Marrington finished 3rd in 23:55. Congratulations! The Evening Post only reported that the winner was a 12 year old ... who runs for Leeds City and won the Leeds Schools cross-country championships this year - watch out Lisa, Tracey and Vicky!

A few other Race Results

Keswick 1/2 marathon Sara Dyer was the only Strider finishing 272th out of 499 in 1:51:23.

Rother Valley 10k Jane Sutton was 107th (42:13) and Dawn Morley 212th (46:16) - 636 ran.

Eyam 1/2 marathon Jane Sutton was the only Strider, 93rd (5th W, 3rd W35) 1:40:54 NB winning time was 1:16 and 1st W was 1:32, 357 ran (hilly).

Kirkby Malzeard 10k Mike Brown was the only Strider, 99th out of 185 in 47:54.

Templenewsam Race for Life Dawn Morley finished 6th.


The Leicester Marathon, Mallory Park, 24th Nov 2002.

(from Bill Murphy)

"...designed by marathon runners and uses country lanes, passing through numerous villages, the full is undulating (some may say hilly) with heights between 90 and 170 metres but does have 3 short sharp climbs at 12.5, 13.5 and 20.5 miles..." Leicester Marathon Information, Birstall Running Club Website

The warm up for the Leicester Marathon began with two ladies leading the masses (c. 900 runners) in a 'step aerobics' type of affair at Mallory Park Race Track. This process, cunningly designed to avoid muscle pulls and strains was a great idea. Of course, in the relatively confined space at the start, this led to more than a few poked eyes and one or two folk clutching parts of their anatomy caught by flying feet. Add to this confusion, an all-important bit of mis-timing. While the race group was precariously balanced in a sort of "left leg off the ground and the hands to the right" position, the starting pistol fired. The resultant surge over the start line caught everyone by surprise and allowed the Von Trapp Family Singing Team to take an early lead.

Having run in the amazingly flat Nottingham Half Marathon a couple of months before, and Nottingham being only 25 miles away, I expected a flat course. Of course had I thought about the geology of Leicestershire, and after all I have a PhD1 in Geology, I would have realised that this was folly. I was therefore unprepared for the multitude of climbs that appeared on route. The initial hint that something was amiss was the fact that edelweiss was being touted around by a gang of running nuns at the start.

The plan of the course was relatively simple. The route of the half marathon and the full marathon was the same until c. 7 mile mark. Being winter the opportunity for relieving pre-race nerves was painfully limited. Up to the 7 mile stage there had been a few ups and downs, but just past the cut off point, i.e. the last chance saloon for anyone who had realised why the local club runners were carrying alpine-stocks and crampons, there was a dreadful foretaste of things to come. As the marathon runners trotted past those fortunate enough to be turning off, the proceedings were watched high on the hill by a lonely goatherd who clearly thought his goats had a collective intelligence greater than hardy souls who pressed onto the first significant hill. The first climb was a tricky one, and while trying to avoid the creeping feeling of dread, I found myself pondering hills as a problem in running and how do you solve a problem. Like Maria, whom I happened to be running beside at the time, I concluded that there was nothing to be done, except get on with it. Following this first climb I decided that marathon running would not fall into the category of one of a few of my favourite things. With such a thought in mind, and with the Von Trapp family still in sight, I was dragged on ever upwards (or so it seemed) with only the wild excitement of the next descent to keep me going. This all sounds poetic, but by this time I felt rather pathetic as I was passed by the collection singing nuns, chanting "dixit dominus" in hot pursuit of the family in sailor suits who were gambling over the hilltops. Fortunately by this time we were well into the Leicestershire countryside.

While the course remained undulating and the fifteenth mile was passed I was warned that when you are sixteen, going on seventeen, there is a deceptively flat section of the race. This in fact gave me the opportunity to take on an energy gel and some water. Sadly by this stage, the climb at 20.5 miles was drifting into my mind and I tried to think about other things. Sadly, the only thing that kept popping into my mind was a rather Simpson-esque "Doh". A deer, a female dear, watched as a rae, a mere drop, of golden sun lighted my way, leaving mi to call myself a name (unrepeatable in these pages), when I realised that I still had too fa to run.

Meanwhile Sherpa Tensing passed me gasping with altitude sickness and muttering something dire about high altitude pulmonary oedema. This, I concluded was the only reason for me gasping for breath, and the fact that my legs wouldn't work - I did wonder however, how every other runner had seemed to escape this dreaded climbing condition unscathed. However, cresting the last hill I realised that I still had to climb every mountain at least metaphorically (or given the local geology metamorphically). However, on the flat again after the final sharp climb I thought I could say goodbye, adieu, auf wiedersehen, goodnight to the hilly section of the course. Leaving me only with something good ahead.

While the remaining 5 miles or so were 'relatively flat' allowing yours truly to lengthen my stride and pick up the pace, there were still a couple of nasty surprises ahead. At this stage the flying nuns found that long-stride running was not in their habit, leaving the moderately more appropriately dressed Captain, Baroness and collection of diminutive child sailors to make a break for freedom. The occasional sharp climb was a reminder that there were still challenges ahead. Not least of which from the Von Trapp family - who seemed to be trailing some form of mountain tableau, something not really required given the nature of the race. Murphy, making a mad dash for a small roundabout before the final run in (which seemed about 2 miles long), drifted down the final descent onto the race track where the start and finish line was to be found. My, what now seemed like a very rapid, approach to the finish line (you'd run faster too if you were being chased by 12 nuns, and 7 kids in sailor suits!!) was confirmed to the fact that runners seemed to be everywhere, almost as if the hills were alive. With the sound of music coming from the motor racing circuit there was now no chance of getting lost. I crossed the finish line in a moderately unimpressive 3:14:07 but securing 30th place (presumably the alpine tableau had caused some congestion at the roundabout).

Overall, I have to say that this was not a gentle introduction to marathon running (it was my first one) and there were a few people en route to cheer you on but not many (at least not without the oxygen cylinders and masks). That said, if you want to enter a very well organised race, with frequent drink stops that gave you the option of high carbohydrate energy drink or water, then this one is definitely one to do. The race was sponsored by Everards, and this was my excuse for sampling the local product (a rather fine ale) the previous evening - I had rather hoped they would be providing the drinks on the course, but sadly not. I recommend this race, but take your climbing shoes!

My parting thought as I returned up the M1 was, " least I'll never do anything as hilly as that again. Now, where did I put that entry form for the Baildon Boundary Way??"

N.B. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find all the songs from "The Sound of Music" in the text.

Oldham 1/2 Marathon - Sunday March 30th

'........and then up the hill' (from Jerry Watson)

The intention of this race was to get some indication of fitness for the London. Now I knew that with Oldham being on the top of a hill meant at least an uphill finish but I didn't know too much about the rest of the course. This in hindsight was rather stupid, especially as pre-race advertising did say undulating.

It was a small race with this year just over 150 runners, run from Oldham Sports Centre in the centre of town which could be good for bored child spectators if they remember their swimmers. The race is not extensively advertised leading I think to the small field, but this does mean that parking is easy across the road from the Sports Centre and Start, and there is a relaxed and low key feel to the whole of the pre-race.

There are mile markers at every mile, which seemed pretty well placed, 3 drink stations and a first rate results team from Joe Lee Computing (if they can cope with the National X-Country then this is 'pips' as the saying goes). It is held in aid of the Mayors Charity and the Mayor is there to start, and remains there to shake your hand at the finish and present you with an early gothic medal. All pretty good you might think?

Well I'm afraid the course leaves something to be desired if you are looking for a fitness indicator. After the starting mile, miles 2 to 4 is steadily uphill (approx. 160 metres in climb I think) which deposits you right on top of the moors with legs shot to pieces. The course then drops down to a village called Delph. The Ordnance Survey adorns this road with a black arrow in a couple of places, so I guess I was lucky not to have to run up it. Anyway, the legs remain shot. Between 5 and 6 there is a bit of running by the River Tame to raise the spirits, before another little climb and then a big climb up to 9 miles. By now I had lost the will to live but actually the last few miles are not so bad, corresponding at least to my definition of undulating, with a last grind up to the finish.

My time? ... Didn't I say?


International Section

Britt wins Kalundborg Full Marathon (30th March) From Niels Laustsen

Two weeks later (after Spen), I was ready to race again, this time together with Britt back in Denmark, more precisely in the town of Kalundborg, where I grew up. The races consist of 5 and 10 laps, respectively, on a 4.2195km course (= 1/10 marathon). A special feature of the course is that it passes through three pubs. This does obviously not make it fast, but it certainly adds an unusual flavour to the race!

I had entered the half marathon, Britt the full - as one of only four women. Since cash prizes of DKK 1000, 500, and 300 (divide by slightly more than 10 to get figures in pounds) were offered for the first three, she was very excited - after all, it is not every day that you can win DKK 1000 in a race. Her optimism grew as it turned out that only one of the other three women had made it to the start. At half way Britt had a comfortable lead over her competitor, and soon afterwards found out that she had pulled out - so now Britt just had to complete the race to win the first prize of DKK 1000! Not only did she do this, she did it with style, setting a new PB of 3:41.29.

In the men's half marathon, I had hoped to make it to the podium, too, but had to settle for fifth position in the slightly unsatisfactory time of 1:24:04, possibly still suffering a bit from the tough race at Spen - and after all not too bad, taking into account that I had visited a pub 15 times during this period of time - who else can do that?? (But admittedly I skipped the drinks that were on offer in the pubs; the usual diluted carbohydrate drinks seemed more appropriate to me.)

Two World Records for John Keston

My news from US. I don't know if Max has told you. On March 3rd at Napa Valley Marathon I bettered Warren Utes' 78 yr WR of 3:36:59 running 3:36:41. Last Sunday (16 March) in Portland Oregon I bettered the 5k WR of 22:18, running 21:40 or something close to that time, it has not been officially ratified yet when it does I'll keep you informed.

I hope your season is going well. I hope also that one of these days I'll be able to run with the club.

Stop Press - Bradford Millennium Way Relay

In case you're wondering why this makes the international pages (a) there was a team from Belgium taking part and (b) there wasn't any space anywhere else.

The Striders mixed team retained their trophy, finishing over 1 hour clear of the next team (last year it was 35 seconds), in 6th place overall, in 6hrs 57mins for approx. 45 miles. The "A" team were 13th in 7hrs 49mins. There were 23 teams (the Belgians were 12th). Full report in next V S News.

2-Oceans Half Marathon - Cape Town 19th April from Rob Liddle

After preparing myself in the African sun for a week trying the local wines, beers and food I managed to get myself to the start line for what is said to be the most beautiful race in the world, the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town. The full marathon is a very hilly 56km and so I thought I'd start with the normal 21km half marathon.

Unusually we set off in the dark at 6.25am since once the sun comes up it gets very hot very quickly even in the autumn months. The day was extremely misty and foggy but quite warm and nearly 6000 runners set off through the streets of Cape Town. 7500 ultra marathon runners had set off at 6am for the full 56km.

After half an hour we left the streets to wind our way round the foothills of Table Mountain on the Cape Peninsula and by 7.15 the sun was coming up. Unfortunately the fog did not lift and so I did not get the highly rated views that day. I was overtaken by some very fast runners, some running barefoot, in true Zola Budd style. It was a very hilly course but I managed a 1.30.00 on the gun to get the last silver medal, runners after 1.30 getting a bronze. The winner came in with a course record of 1.03.

Next year I think I'll go for the full ultra distance. A trip to Cape Town and the Two Oceans is highly recommended.

Departure of our South African international

Annemi's contract in Leeds runs out at the end of June. She was intending to go back-packing in South America for 3 months before trying to get another contract in the UK for 9 months and then returning to South Africa in summer 2004. Complicated? It gets worse. Because of her knee operation a few months ago, she's decided to delay her holiday for 3 months and has found a short term contract where she can suitably acclimatise to some of the South American conditions she will experience - empty beaches, high humidity, a language she can't understand - yes, she's going to Hartlepool! It's only 80 miles away so maybe we'll see her a few more times before she sets off on holiday! Good luck, Annemi!

Two World Records for Lou Gilchrist (from Max)

Athletics Weekly's reporter at the Sale 5 on June 1 was right on the money to claim that "the most impressive female performance and arguably of the whole race was W70 Louise Gilchrist, who ran 37:00".

Three weeks later, on June 22, in the Manchester 10k she ran 46:37.

No-one officially collates world records for road races, only for track, but Ryan Lamppa of the US Road Running Information Center e-mailed "I'm not aware of any faster time for each distance for that age group. Congrats to Louise". With THE authority on road running records saying that, I think we can take it that Lou's times are both world records.


New members

After introducing 4 new members in the last V S News, we have 6 for you this time. All are under 40, so compensating for some of the major birthdays listed in the next section.

Most of these have been running with us for over 3 months, so you probably know many of them better than I do. In fact, we could have played "Identify the (new) Strider" where I left the name out and you had to work out who it was. And you'll find that most of them are mentioned in one or more race reports in this V S News.

157 Tina Ward

Before joining Striders, Tina's annual race was the Leeds half marathon, where she improved from 1:53 in 2000, via 1:49 in 2001, to 1:47 in 2002. Sadly, she went back to 1:49 this year but that may in part be due to Geoff's 9 mile magical mystery tour of Eccup and other footpaths 5 days before the race. We hope to see her in Striders colours again before next May, maybe in an evening race as most Sundays she looks after her 3 year old son while her husband goes fishing (it's a better excuse for not running races than most that I've heard!). Striders coincidence - Mark Bean's wife, Sarah, is a supervisor at the nursery where Tina's son goes.

158 Dave Morley and 159 Dawn Morley

I say Dave and Dawn (or Dawn and Dave), but we rarely see them together as they take it in turns to look after their two daughters. The original idea was for Dave to run Tuesdays and Dawn Thursdays, but then Dave succumbed to a long established calf injury and we saw Dawn more often, until she had a virus etc, and then Dave had a new leg muscle injury and etc. Dave lectures in Physical Education at Leeds Metropolitan University, Dawn is a P.E. Teacher at Roundhay School. True sportspersons, never fit for longer than a couple of weeks at a time!

160 Hayley Palmer

Hayley lives in Meanwood and found out on the internet that we were her local club. She e-mailed me at the end of last year that although she had never been part of a running club, she used to do a lot of running and had competed in several 8km races with a PB of 33:12. The mystery of the 8km races (you don't see many of them around) was solved when I met her and she told me she had been working in Germany and then France. She is a regular on the Thursday runs and the hills up the Meanwood Valley don't seem to trouble her, so maybe she will race some longer distances soon. Hayley has just moved into one of the new houses near the old tannery in Meanwood - we shall have to get the measuring wheel out to find out whether she or Vadim lives nearest the Meanwood Valley Trail. Striders coincidence - Hayley used to go to school in Lincoln where she was taught by Dawn Morley!

161 Nick Brown

Half of Nick's signing-on fee goes to Bill Murphy who he knows from David Lloyd, the other half to the staff of Up and Running at West Park where he is a regular customer. Before joining, Nick's PBs for 10k, 10 mile and half marathon were 38mins, 66mins, 1hr 35mins. Since joining, Nick ran 37:50 in the Club Handicap 10k, and 1:30:51 in the Baildon Boundary Way (the latter has to be worth at least 5 minutes faster on a road race). You may wonder why he has appeared in so many race results as "unattached" when he has been a Strider for a couple of months now - a clue is that he always wears very low race numbers.

162 Steve Purnell

Steve is a friend of Mick Loftus and also is a partner in the veterinary practice that looks after the Striders' webmaster's cat. Steve took up running about 3 years ago when one of the nurses decided she ought to keep fit and needed some company running round the streets of Roundhay. He has run several 10k races and then entered the Meanwood Trail this year. I suggested he come on the marshals' recce run 11 days before the race and he enjoyed it so much that he signed up the following week.

163-168 Between first and final draft of this newsletter, VLS00163 through to VLS00168 have joined - Sarah, Sophie, Mitch, Andy, Jackie and Andrew. I will have to leave it till the next newsletter for the full introductions.

Birthdays ...

... around now include Peter Cox and Madeleine Watson (both 40), Chris Sawyer (45), Liz Ball (50) and George Dawson (70). Congratulations!

A training sequence comes to an end

Tim Towler e-mailed: I have finally got that monkey off my back! You have guessed it, the sequence of 518 days (without missing training) and 3400 miles of running has come to an end. The cause is a pulled calf muscle from an early morning run on Saturday. Ironically the sequence started with my come back from the same injury to the same calf back in November 2001. You may remember the cross country in Bramley Falls where you sailed past me - when the problem originally arose!

Editor's note - Tim only fell short of Ron Hill's record by 361/2 years and approximately 110,000 miles. Ron started keeping a record of his training in 1956 and since then has run 142,640 miles. On 24 Dec 1964 he started a sequence where he trained twice a day every day except Sundays when he ran once - he continued that for 26.2 years to March 1991. He has continued running every day and, as at April 2003, that sequence is still unbroken. If you want to read more about Ron, go to the website

Sheffield half marathon and marathon

Steve Thirkell, running in his Bingley vest, was the only Strider and finished 41st (4th M50) in 1:24:39. There were 2142 finishers in the half marathon (151 more than Leeds) and 263 finishers in the marathon (9 less than Leeds), so a similar sized race.


P.S. to the Horsforth Marathon Story (from Janet Kitchen)

(Parts 1 to 7 were published in previous V S News and are available on the website)

News of a former Strider - Wayne Bentley

John Tweedie e-mailed: "I run the website for Wayne Bentley (Valley Strider 1985-1993) and he was absolutely gobsmacked when I showed him the Chris Spedding photo. Would we be able to 'borrow' it to put on Wayne's Site as he would love his 'fans' to see it!"

Ed's note: I went on the website where I was able to find where he will next be singing (mostly in the Oldham area, did you go and see him after the half marathon, Jerry?) and details of Wayne's double CD "We're in this love together".


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Spiders News (Fell, Trail and Off-road)

3 reports from Ron Uphill (a.k.a. Steve Webb)

Wadsworth Trog and Half Trog

The Trog is a notoriously tough 20 mile tussock fest on the moors above Hebden Bridge. Last year saw the first running of the Half Trog, a 9 mile jaunt held on the same day but designed to appeal to the more sane fell runner. It proved to be highly entertaining as dense clag on the fell resulted in runners scattering in random directions in their attempts to find the route. This year was a complete contrast with blue sky, bright sunshine, perfect visibility and no chance of getting lost.

The downside was that several days of freezing temperatures had left the ground unbelievably hard. There were thick sheets of ice where you normally find sucking marsh, and the infamous tussocks had frozen hard into unyielding stumps which kept tripping you up. So, plenty of opportunities to fall over and the consequences of falling were very painful; lots of bloodied knees were on display at the finish.

We had four Troglets in action: Steve was 6th overall (but faster than the inaugural winning time), Andy Cutts 22nd, Sylvia 55th (and 1st F50) and Sara 63rd. We were pleased to get encouragement on the course from ex-Strider John Willingham, who had travelled over to support his Skipton AC team-mates, and all but Andy were pleased to pick up prizes.

In the real McCoy the course record was broken by Rob Jebb of Bingley (by the simple expedient of following two people who knew the route and then sprinting clear on the run in) and the time to beat now stands at 2.50.03. Geoff was our only Full Trogger and despite arriving at the start with limited time to load up with malt extract he had sufficient stamina, natural talent and determination to charge round in 3.58.20 for 60th place. However I think he has been nursing an injury ever since, so even he did not escape unscathed from the famed Beast of Wadsworth.

Ilkley Moor Fell Race

This race was also blessed with fine weather but underfoot conditions were softer than Wadsworth. The course is a minor classic of 51/2 very hilly miles. The start above Wells Road is always hectic as runners fight for a good position before hitting the narrow paths that climb up to Cow and Calf quarry and on up to the Pudding Stone. Most of the height gained thus far is then lost immediately on an awkward and rocky descent alongside Hangingstone Beck. After crossing the footbridge at the bottom it is time for the lungs and legs to take another pounding with a long climb to the top of Ilkley Crags - part of this section is a scramble on hands and knees through the heather.

By this time the field is probably strung out over 11/2 miles of the course and there then follows a traverse above the woods before the final climb up to the Badger Stone. After contouring across to the Keighley road it is time to head back downhill with just one awkward stream crossing to worry about before the superb grassy descent to Wells Road.

Just three Spiders were in action in a field of 238. Steve got into a good position at the Badger Stone and for once managed to hold onto it for the descent to the finish; 20th overall and 1st V40 (although just behind the 1st V45). Andy was a bit down on his normal position in 90th and Sara was 207th.

Bunny Run One

There was a very cold downpour at the Bunny Run on Harden Moor. Sara and Andy were running, I was still getting over my cold. Then the pub had a power cut; hand pulled beer could be served by candlelight but of course the soft drinks dispenser was out of action.


Spring on the Fells - 3 reports from Mick Loftus

White Horse Wander

This is an unusual up-side down fell race, it starts at the top goes to the bottom and then back up. It covers 7 miles or so around Sutton Bank and be Kilburn White Horse on the edge of the North York Moors. I was the only Strider, which was a shame because it's a great course and this year the sun was shining. Still, I was the first Strider to finish, 18th place out of 100 or so.

Blubberhouses 25

This is a LDWA event, 'walkers' set off an hour before the runners. However the distinction is a little blurred. I saw many walkers jogging along, some finished in under 5 hours, not bad for a 25 mile hill 'walk'. Also, there were many runners reduced to walking (I was one of them). I staggered back in 3.30 or so. I finished in 3rd place, a rare occurrence indeed. The number of runners in the race was low but way more than 3 so I was very pleased. I guess there may have been 30 runners including a late starting Geoff Webster, who finished in around 4 hours.

Three Peaks

After the dreadful conditions last year anything slightly better felt perfect. Yes, there was a howling gale with severely limited visibility on the tops but what do you expect? With last years split times written on my arm I set off with a PB in mind. By Ribblehead I was 6 minutes a head of last year, by the top of Whernside 10 minutes, by Hill Inn 12 minutes. Then all I needed to do was match my (very slow) split times from last year for the final sections to get under 4 hours. I managed it, just hanging on to the time already gained. I ran 3:57 (4:08 last year), 53rd place. As for the other Striders, Andy Cutts dropped out, not feeling too good. Paul Briscoe struggled in, disappointed with 7th place overall and 2nd vet, there really is no pleasing some people. He didn't even break any arms.

Paul, proof-reading this, commented that he was "upset" because he had a 3 minute lead in the vets category at the top of Ingleborough but by being too careful on the descent to avoid falling, he was overtaken. He lost out on the vets 1st place by just 8 seconds!


Baildon Boundary Way (from Nick Brown)

Hi Bob, here's my offering for the newsletter. May not be shortlisted for the Booker Prize but you've got to start somewhere!

Come the morning of the race I had foolishly offered to pick up a couple of waifs at around 9:45am and take them over to Baildon. This, as I found out 45 minutes later, was probably a tad too late as my time keeping, although spot-on, left us doing a slightly more vigorous warm-up than usual and certainly more energetic than the many thousands already lining up at the start all tapping their watches and looking disgruntled waiting for us three to descend the track from Baildon Rugby Club. Bill, I think you'd better drive next time!

As for the race itself the start seemed frantic as we spread ourselves out along an imaginary line "in't top field", as someone on Emmerdale once said. My thoughts started to turn to the night before and that extra glass of wine and hour's less sleep I'd managed to cram in pre-race day. Heaven knows what time I could post given an early night and a mug of hot-chocolate. But enough about my nocturnal habits and onto the race. "Come on Nick, I'm falling asleep here!" Ok, ok.

As I said the start was fast - probably the fastest I'd ever started and thanks to those kind Striders who push us to our limits on a Tuesday evening I managed to hold a reasonable position as the tracks narrowed and we headed down the valley towards Esholt Village.

Thanks Tracey, Steve Webb and Henry.

As we passed through Esholt I stopped off for a pint at The Woolpack and caught up with Seth and Betty for a gossip. After discussing the relative merits of keeping ferrets over other such favourites as rabbits and guinea pigs I re-joined the race in a reasonable position and well rested after my pint of Guinness and packet of pork scratchings. And so after a short excursion up the odd hill and woodland trail the course flattened out around the water works and down to the canal basin which we then followed for a few miles which as far as I'm concerned was welcome relief from the cross-country trails. I don't consider myself an out an out off-roader because I haven't been fitted with bull-bars and four-wheel drive yet (upgrade coming after a couple of years training!) My breathing started to regulate and stride cadence came back to its normal settings where upon I found myself running stride for stride with a guy who seemed to be heading my way, and to top it off he was wearing a rather smart stripy running vest which I admired for all of 3 miles as we chopped and changed position for the hell of it before I'd had enough of him parading his vest to all and sundry and put a little spurt in on what was to be the final flat section of the race for... well... the entire second half of the race!

On the climb up the first 'little' hill there was a well-placed water stop and the organisers had even thrown in a path of enviable quality so that we may enjoy our one and only opportunity to take on fluids. The path seemed to consist of half sharp stone to half big stone to half boulder (if my maths is correct), and managing to get any of the water down was a feat to behold as I was mesmerised by one such competitor in front of me who seemed to have just graduated from the 'Cunning Plan' department at Cunning University, for not only did he manage to get an entire cup of water down his neck but he did it without spilling a drop. I stopped him, awarded him his gold Blue Peter badge and quickly sprinted past him to gain one more place in the Baildon Boundary Way. What I'd neglected to mention to my fellow runner was that I too had graduated from Cunning University earlier in the year, not with a 2:1 or 2:2, but with honours, and for that I am truly grateful.

The following 3 to 4 miles consisted of a mixture of terrains from woodland trails to open moorland and back again. The woodland trails were particularly testing as the good old Sunday brigade were out in force and meant that every time you came upon Fred and Olive doing their usual 2 mile stroll, not forgetting Sam the Jack Russell, you found yourself having to shout very loudly a couple of hundred metres before collecting them on the way round. If I'd collected a pound for every time I innocently caused a dog to yelp up the nearest tree I'd have about 14.00 by now!

Then came what was for me the hardest part of the race - the moor. Although the previous couple of weeks had been relatively dry everywhere else in West Yorkshire, at Baildon they seemed to have had the equivalent of Papua New Guinea's yearly rainfall total in one evening, hence the ground was, how can I put it? Moist! The drag up onto the less steep patch of moorland was very tough and I did my usual selfless routine of encouraging those in front of me who seemed to be slowing, to keep going and not to give in. If I think back, I should have shouted words of discouragement and told them how bad they were at running. Thus, enabling me to perfect my "oh hell, he's coming for me, I shouldn't have said that" race technique. Noted for next time though.

And that was pretty much it until the sting in the tail - and what a sting. Just when I thought the hard part was over I noticed that some people seemed to be running up a very short but very steep hill in front of me. Surely not, not after 5 miles of hills, they couldn't be asking us to do yet another 'adductor wrencher' could they? Oh yes they could, and as I neared the final little hill I noticed a small crowd at the very top. Now call me a cynic but my rationale for this little gathering was as follows. They either really enjoyed watching us pile across the moor and had realised that this was a fantastic vantage point at the end of the race or (and my preferred opinion) is that because we'd just run 12.5 miles in all weathers and over all sorts of terrain, some of those lovely people wanted to see the pain and nausea etched on our faces for those final few metres. I'm glad to say I denied them the satisfaction of seeing this particular competitor fall to his knees or stop and walk but merely summoned all I had left and let the arms and legs do the talking.

Needless to say I was proud of my day out in Baildon. I had completed another half marathon in my second fastest time ever - strange for an off-road event, and as I lay in my post-race bath with a glass of wine and the remains of last night's curry I looked forward to the next Baildon Boundary Way and all it has to offer. As I've asked to marshal the event next time!

Just don't tell Bob.


Race Reports from Geoff Webster

Blubberhouses 25

Only 2 Spiders turned out this year because most had opted for the easy peasy Baildon Boundary Run. Under foot conditions on the moor were good because of the period of dry weather. GW did not run anywhere near his best time on the course but he still managed to win the Old Blokes Trophy in a time of 3hrs 55mins. Mick Loftus got a move on and got round in 3hrs 28mins and won a 3rd place medal. Pies were eaten as usual.

Bunny Run Relay

Only 21/2 miles on footpaths near the Guide Inn on Oxenhope Moor, but G.W. could only manage 18mins. This did not set up the Spiders for the mixed team prize. Things went from bad to worse when Sylvia sprained an ankle and had to walk part of the course. The Spiders would have won the prize if Sara could have run the 21/2 miles in 10 minutes. She had a good try but failed by at least 30 seconds. So the team didn't win a prize but everyone got a Cadbury's choc egg and the winners got a ton of Easter eggs each. Furthermore, choc eggs were tossed around the pub with abandon almost causing a riot amongst the junior competitors. There was also plenty of free grub on offer!

Results from John's Run 102 Andrew Cutts 52:14, 168 GW 56:21, 239 SW 63:08

Steve Webb recommends ... Mountain Marathons You Must Not Miss!

These two events are excellent opportunities for anyone wishing to have a go at the Karrimor (as reported in previous editions of VS News). They will certainly get you acclimatised to the terrain, maps and techniques required for the KIMM. However they are a slightly soft option because you return to the event centre after Day 1 and are not required to live in a refugee camp overnight. So you need to carry safety equipment, clothing and food sufficient for one day only.

Capricorn Mountain Marathon

Date: 19 & 20 July 2003

Location: Caldbeck Fells, Northern Lake District (superbly runnable fells around Skiddaw House; a classic venue for this type of event)

Courses: (A) 27km (Sat) / 18km (Sun), (B) 21km / 14km, (C) 18km / 12km, (D) 15km / 9km, (Score) 5 hrs / 3 hrs


Phoenix Mountain Marathon

Date: 30 & 31 August 2003

Location: Alwinton, Northumberland (Eastern Cheviots, wonderful open country)

Courses: (A) 25km / 22km, (B) 20km / 18km, (C) 16km / 14km, (D) 9km / 9km



Fell Championship 2003 Latest Positions

Last year's winner, Andrew Cutts, has now taken the lead.

AC 326, Steve W 289, GW 219, Mick L 246, Mick W 184, Sara 150, Bob J 147, Nick Brown 112, Rob B 98, Drew 91, Tim 73, Sylvia 72, Laura B 72, Neil D 62, Annemi 60, Paul B 59, Simon V 54, Eric 52, Rob L 51, Bob W 50, Kathy 48, Ken 46, Bill M 45, Ian 44, Dave M 42, John W 40, Daniel Cutts 34, Harry 34, Kay 33, Debbi 30

Several race results are still to be included - if you run a race, make sure Geoff receives a copy of the results.

Fell Championship 2003 - Remaining Events

Full calendar of Events for rest of year


Forthcoming Races/Events

Grand Prix 2003 next events

Wed Jul 2 19:30 Hyde Park 5k

Tue Jul 22 19:00 Club Handicap "trail" 51/4 (Pie'n'peas after)

Sun Aug 3 10:30 Harrogate 10k (note early start time)

Sun Aug 10 11:00 Round Hill Fell Race 9 miles more boggy than felly

Tue Sep 9 18:45 Club Handicap 10k

Sat Sep 13 15:00 Briscoe's fell race

Sun Sep 14 Nottingham marathon

Team Events

Fri Jul 11 19:15 Washburn Valley relay (teams of 5)

Sun Aug 31 08:00 Leeds Country Way (see page 3)

Other 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

Jul 6th Skipton 10k & Pudsey 10k, 13th Roundhay 5 & Kilburn 7, 19th Bishop Wilton 1/2mar, 20th Eccup 10, 27th Burton Leonard 10k

Aug 6th Hyde Pk 5k, 12th York Millennium Bridge 5k, 17th Kirkby Stephen 10, 20th Denby Dale 10k, 24th Dumfries 1/2m

Sep 3rd Hyde Park 5k (Yorks Vets champs), 7th Bingley 10k & Pocklington 1/2mar, 21st Mileta 10 (Cleckheaton), 21st? Temple Newsam 5

Oct 5th Horsforth 10k (Yorks Vets champs) & Selby 1/2mar, 26th Holmfirth 15

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.