January 2004

2004 Issue 1

Section 1

Road & General


Valley Striders AGM 28 October 2003

2002-3 Roll of Honour and Statistics

New members

Striders 21st Anniversary / Life Memberships

Identify the Strider

Grand Prix 2003

Grand Prix Final positions

13 Rules for "Borrowing" Race Numbers

Other Race Reports / Results

Birthdays & Marriages

Roundhay Pulse 5 - Sunday 13 July (from Nick Brown)

Nottingham Marathon 14 Sept 2003 (from Bill Murphy)

International News (from Ingo Zoller)

Forthcoming Races/Events

Grand Prix 2004 Events



If your last issue was dated June 2003, you haven't missed one. It has indeed been over 6 months since the last issue. Those of you with e-mail have been kept up to date with events and news, but I humbly apologise to those without e-mail for this lengthy period without information.

But you do get two issues for the price of one! You should have a second section headed "Trail, Fell and Cross-country". For those of you with not much time to spare, please at least read the front page of both sections!

Subscriptions remain at 12, but 8 if you renew before 29 February 2004, send Danny (see address on page 31) a cheque payable to "Valley Striders"

The recent Harewood Trail & Junior Races raised over 2,500, bringing the amount raised for charity by Striders' races in the last 5 years to over 12,500 - thank you! - and the number of runners who have run in our races to over 5,000.

The next Meanwood Valley Trail Race will be Saturday 27 March. For the first time there will also be a junior race. All proceeds to Lineham Farm Children's Centre. Please keep this date free!

Race Results highlights of the last 6 months include

This edition also contains a report of the proceedings of the AGM, many race reports and results, and initial races for the 2004 Grand Prix. The second section continues the theme but for off-road running and racing.

Finally, I would like to thank the usual suspects for their contributions of race reports and my new Assistant Editors, Ian Place and Nick Brown, for contributions, suggestions and proof-reading of this Edition.

Valley Striders AGM 28 October 2003

I will start this report in the way that Geoff usually finishes his fell race reports, that is "Pie and Peas" were eaten by everyone.

The meeting started at 8:45 with 24 Striders present. Bob apologised for his poor planning of the meeting being in school holidays and that it had only been announced via e-mail, thus potentially ruling out 30% of the membership.

The agenda handout included the 2002-3 Roll of Honour and some statistics, which were corrected as the meeting proceeded and the updated information is reproduced in this Newsletter immediately after the AGM report.

We started with Reports from Committee 2002/2003, which included

Club Captain, Steve O'Callaghan, who said that he would be saving his major speech of the year till the Christmas do

Treasurer, Danny Burnham, who presented the accounts which showed a net gain for the year of 150, but last years subs to Leos' still to pay and therefore effectively a net loss of 150. This would leave a balance of 900 which was considered healthy.

On behalf of the Membership Secretary, Bob Jackson had prepared some membership figures which showed a net increase of 27 members during the year. There were also a lot of runners who had come to one or two training sessions and might join soon.

Competition Secretary, Paul White, said over 70 Striders had already competed in a Grand Prix race and many had completed or were well on their way to completing 8 races. Any comments about the format for next year should be passed on to him or to Alan Hutchinson

Fell Competition Secretary, Geoff Webster, announced that with 2 races to go, Andrew Cutts was a certain winner of the trophy for the second year in succession. Since no-one had ever won the trophy 3 years in a row, other Striders had better get out on the fells next year.

Relays Captain, Paul Furness, reported a very successful set of results for the Striders, with 1st mixed in the Bradford Millennium Way and three 2nd places (and also 2 fastest legs) in the Leeds Country Way.

(At this point in my report I must apologise to Paul for not offering the meeting the opportunity to show him their thanks and congratulations for being the main organiser in our best season for relay success for 10 years - thanks, Paul!)

Paul pleaded for Striders to sign up for the Calderdale Way Relay on Dec 14th - names to himself or Geoff, and names to Bob for the Harrogate Ringway on Jan 4th.

Men's Cross-country captain, Paul Briscoe, reported full teams at all 4 West Yorkshire league races, also at the Yorkshire Championships and Yorks Vets. He also offered his position to anyone who would like to take over for the current year.

Women's Cross-country captain, Sylvia Watson, reported 3rd place medals in the West Yorks and an individual series victory for Lisa.

Women's Vets captain, Kathy Kaiser, announced 4 Yorkshire Championship category winners (one more than shown in the original handout!)

Fell Captain, Steve Webb made a very comprehensive report about successes on the fells, mentioning the Wharefedale Triple T (3 1st places), Danefield Relay (4th), Mick Wrench 4th at Rombalds, PB & ML at 3 peaks, and the previous weekend, ML & MW at Karrimor. Mick Wrench promised an article for the next VS News entitled "Ice on the Trainers" - his experience on the Sunday morning after the overnight camp.

Newsletter Editor, Bob Jackson, apologised to those without e-mail that there had only been 3 VS News since the last AGM. He appealed for assistants and assistance to compile articles, proof read etc.

In absentia, Bill Murphy was thanked for his introduction of the monthly Thursday curry night and it was suggested he should be appointed to the committee.

The committee was elected en-bloc in a similar configuration to last year but with the addition of a few deputies and assistants - thanks to Ian, Nick and Martin for volunteering their services and to Lisa and Tracey for taking on additional responsibility in the new Striders year.

Election of Committee 2003/2004 (New appointments marked *)

President Charlie Spedding

Vice President Stuart StJohn

Club Captain Steve O'Callaghan

Secretary Paul Briscoe

Treasurer Danny Burnham

Membership Sec Danny Burnham

Competition Sec Alan Hutchinson & Paul White

Fell Competition Sec Geoff Webster

Newsletter Editor Bob Jackson / Ian Place* / Nick Brown*

Curry Secretary Bill Murphy* (Thursdays only)

Men Wimmin

Road Captain Steve O'Callaghan Lisa Wilyman* / Tracey Morris*

Relays Captain Paul Furness Lisa Wilyman & Tracey Morris

Cross-Country Paul Briscoe / Martin Horbury* Sylvia Watson

Fell Captain Steve Webb Sylvia Watson

Vets Captain Eric Cusack Kathy Kaiser

Coaches George Black / Max Jones

Subscriptions - It was agreed that subscriptions should remain at 12 (8 before 29th February 2004, 2 discount for social members). The reason for the delay in announcing the rates was that there is a possibility that Leo's will ask Striders for financial support to refurbish the men's showers. Since nothing positive has occurred, there seems no point in raising subs now.

Training Sessions Max Jones was thanked for his innovative "3*10 minute" session which he had suggested at last year's AGM and has proved to be one of the most popular. There was a discussion about how the Tuesday and Thursday groups could be brought closer together. In spite of the occasional hurled firework, the Thursday group wanted to remain at Scott Hall because most could run there from home. Quite a few Striders attended both sessions and this should be encouraged.

Races organised by Striders Bob announced a problem with the Harewood Race that several leading runners had taken a detour adding a few hundred yards due to deciding that a marshal point manned last year was not required this year and then unfortunately the adjacent marshalling point being overlooked. He wished to delegate some of the duties for the following year's races, including Race Entries Secretary and Chief Marshal. Race entry forms would be prepared shortly for the 2004 Meanwood Race and a volunteer for Entries Secretary was required urgently.

(I am pleased to report that within 5 minutes of the meeting ending, there were two volunteers for Entries Secretary, and another the next day. Sam Harris has been appointed to the job, the other two will be offered alternative duties nearer the race. Thank you)

On an extremely positive note, Bob wished to thank the 70-plus Striders and family who had helped at the Harewood Trail Race, and noted three landmarks

for which everyone should be very proud of the Club

Bob forgot to mention that there will be a junior race of approximately 2 miles, probably for age groups 10-15, at the next Meanwood Race

Grand Prix 2004 It was agreed to continue with the format of 7 types of race, 4 of each type. It was noted that there were lower numbers at fell races and long road races. Regarding long road races, there was a rumour that there might not be a Leeds Marathon, only a Half in 2004 (this has since been confirmed) and so we would have to select an alternative long race for inclusion

Forthcoming Events The next few items are a bit late to be relevant to this newsletter - if you weren't at the AGM, this is what you missed hearing about (and read on to find out what happened)

Any Other Business

Tuesday/Thursday intercommunication There was quite a long discussion on this subject. Unfortunately there was little representation from Thursday runners at the AGM (perhaps because it was on a Tuesday, ed). It was noted that there were only a few members who were regulars at both Tuesdays and Thursdays. It was recognised that most Thursday runners did not want to move from Scott Hall (e.g. to Leo's) as it was local for most of them and many jogged to and from Scott Hall for the session. It was agreed to leave as is but to encourage Thursday runners to attend Tuesday and vice versa. Missionaries would be sent! Strangely, the first missionary movement was Bill Murphy from Thursday appearing on a Tuesday!! Apart from coming to train, he had also come to seek sponsorship for when he competes in the 20th Ironman New Zealand Triathlon in Taupo on March 6. He will be swimming 2.4 miles, cycling 112 miles and running 26.2 miles to raise money for St Dunstan's which is a charity for blinded servicemen and women. If you would like to sponsor Bill, phone him on 0113 269 2158 or e-mail him at

UK Athletics Reorganisation Paul Briscoe described a change of the organisation structure from 3 English regions into 9 new regions in line with Government designated regions. There is much discussion in Athletics Weekly of the pros and cons of this but it appears to be a foregone conclusion if UK Athletics is to continue to receive government funding.

Valley Striders Sign Geoff was appointed "Sign Secretary" to investigate putting a Valley Striders sign alongside that of Old Leos' at the entry to the club from King Lane

2002-3 Roll of Honour and Statistics

ROLL OF HONOUR Oct 2002 - Dec 2003


Welsh Champion - Tracey Morris 10k at Flint


Yorkshire Champions

Tracey Morris - W35 - 5k (Hyde Park) & 1/2 marathon (Leeds)

Debbi Wagman - W45 - 5k (Hyde Park)

Sara Dyer - W45 - 10 mile (Otley)

Yorkshire Representatives

Tracey Morris & Lisa Wilyman - 1/2 marathon

Lisa Wilyman - cross country

West Yorks X Country - wimmin 3rd team, men 6th, Lisa Wilyman won W-under-35


Calderdale Way 2002 3rd mixed??

Harrogate Ringway Relay 2003 - 5th, 12th, 13th, 16th, 18th (/34 teams)

Bradford Millennium Way - Mixed 1st(6th overall), "A" 13th (/23 teams)

Leeds Country Way M 2nd, V 2nd(13th overall), W 2nd(16th), D 20th (/33 teams)

Calderdale Way 2003 23rd and 90th (/94 teams finished)

Harrogate Ringway Relay 2004 - 3rd, 13th, 15th, 16th, 19th (/31 teams)


Individual Performances

Paul Briscoe - 1st M vet Chevin Chase 2002

Vicky Chapman - 1st W at Harewood 10

Tim Crossland - Inter-Services 1/2 marathon champion

Sara Dyer - 1st W at Wharfedale Triple T series

Mark Hoon - 1st M at Corning Marathon

Tracey Morris - 1st W at G Fawkes 10, B Monkey 1/2m, Snake L 10, Otley 10,

Harewood 10k, Pudsey 10k, Ackworth 10k, Bridlington 1/2, Roundhay 5,

Abbey Dash 10k. 1st W Vet at Great North Run (and at lots of other races!)

Jane Sutton - 1st W vet Huddersfield 10k

Steve Webb - 1st M Wharfedale Triple T series, 1st M Vet Chevin Chase 2003

Lisa Wilyman - 1st W at Leeds marathon

Team Performances

Men won Spen 20, Leeds Marathon, Roundhay Pulse 10k, Selby 1/2

Women won Thirsk 10, Ackworth 10k, Harrogate 10k

Mixed team won Wharfedale Triple T


Grand Prix 2002 Winners

Men - Steve Webb & Henry Lang

Women - Lisa Wilyman Women Vet - Kathy Kaiser

Men Vet - Drew Taylor Men Vet 50 - Bob Jackson

Group Winners (B) Henry Lang, (C) Lisa Wilyman, (D) Annemi Van Zyl

Fell Champion 2002 - Andrew Cutts

Horsforth Marathon Cup 2002 - Kathy Kaiser 3:08 at London

Also Ran Trophy 2002 - Annemi Van Zyl

Grand Prix 2003 - See this VS News for full results

Marathon Cup & Also-Ran Trophy 2003 - if you weren't at the Xmas do or Xmas handicap, you'll have to wait till the next VS News to find out!

Handicap 2003 Winners

Xmas 2002 5 mile - Bob Jackson (18 ran) (Last Year 19)

Spring 10k - Vicky Chapman (27) (LY28)

Summer Trail 5 mile - Steve O'Callaghan (35) (LY23)

Autumn 10k - Mick Tinker (34) (LY29)

Xmas 2003 5 mile - Sam Harris (22 ran) (LY18) (report in next V S News)

Club membership / Athletics UK membership statistics

Races organised by Striders

Meanwood Trail Race

2003 - 325 finishers (prev years 268,267,263,190,130,160,93)

(908 to Lineham Farm - total for 5 years 2,300)

2004 - Sat 27 March - part of Airedale Triple Trail again - new junior race

Harewood Trail Race and Hop

2003 - 453 finishers in 10 mile and 147 in 2 mile

(previous years 566/462/424/90 and 147/125/53/27)

Over 80 Striders / family / St.Leonard's involved in race

Approx 2,500 raised all to St.Leonard's Hospice

Total for 5 years exceeds 10,000

In last 8 years, 5,089 runners have competed in 15 VS organised events (8 Meanwood, 5 Harewood, 2 West Yorkshire cross-country meetings)

New members

Your membership secretary has had to work overtime recently. We have 24 new members joined since the end of May 2003.

I used to try and write a mini-introduction of each new member but since (a) it would fill the rest of the newsletter and (b) at one of the curry nights, someone read them all out aloud from the last newsletter, which was embarrassing for all concerned.

So I'll just do you a one-liner for each and I'm sure that if you scan through this VS News you'll find at least half of these names in some race, relay or other event.

  1. Sarah Brown, colleague of Steve Purnell, also runs aerobics classes at Killingbeck
  2. Sophie Hetherington, favourite distance 1/2 marathon - see also see footnote
  3. Mitch Scott-Baxendale, friend of Brendan Kitson, also does kick-boxing
  4. Andy Sumner, (2nd claim), ran with us for BMW, unofficial club photographer
  5. Jackie Buxton, next door neighbour of Bob Wilyman, currently injured
  6. Andrew Wallace, New Zealander and triathlete, 2:53 at London 2003
  7. Laura Clark, used to run cross-country at school, Thursday regular
  8. Mark Hunter, partner of Erica Hiorns, runs 5k's fast, anything else is too far
  9. Leroy Sutton, works in same building as Paul Furness, Thursday regular
  10. Sam(antha) Harris, transfer from Leeds City, young and fast!
  11. Simon Burnett, friend of Sophie Hetherington, cricketer at weekends
  12. Eric Green, lunchtime training partner of Bob J, only started running Oct '02
  13. Lyn Eden, ran for us in LCW, 1st claim Nidd Valley
  14. Jim Towers, ditto Lyn Eden, both are regulars at Striders trail races
  15. Crawford Weir, friend of Laura Brook, LCW footpath by-passes his house
  16. Simon Redshaw, another of Bob's lunchtime squad, 1/2 marathon specialist
  17. Brian Hanley, fast Irishman from Julianstown, 25 miles north of Dublin
  18. Paul Hunter, friend of Drew Taylor, regular at Striders trail races
  19. Mary Harris, mum of Sam, another 1/2marathoner, currently injured
  20. Emma Jenkins, regular on Thursdays, yachtswoman at weekends
  21. Gary Sutherland, came to train for Leeds Marathon '04, now targetting Blackpool
  22. Cath Benson, friend of Debbi Wagman, training for London '04
  23. Chris Booker, also with West Yorks Police AA and Leeds/Bradford Tri
  24. Paul Morris, husband of Tracey, improving faster than Tracey!

Of the 144 members who paid sometime in 2002/3, already 78 have renewed their membership. We have a further 11 honorary members so are well on the way to the 100 mark without any reminders having been sent out.

Prospective new members are welcome to run with the Striders (Tuesdays and/or Thursdays) for a few weeks before deciding whether to join. After 2 or 3 months we will ask for membership money. Of course there are exceptions - Sophie came to run with us in November 2002, but then fell off a climbing wall and broke her ankle, she came back training with us in June 2003 and joined a few weeks later.

Striders 21st Anniversary / Life Memberships

After the Handicap on July 22 we had a great evening with pies and peas. Thank you to Carole for the cakes and to Chris Leggatt, Mike Crosfill and others for bringing pictures.

Included in the evening were presentations of Life Memberships to Stuart StJohn (in absentia), Geoff Webster and Steve O'Callaghan. Stuart, together with Mick and Morin Dewhirst had sown the seeds of the club early in 1981. The first meeting had been held on 23 July 1982, at Mick's house, with Stuart, Morin, Martyn Hopson, Steve Rock, Paul Seward and Geoff Webster attending. The Valley Striders register of members shows 6 of these (all except Paul) plus Andy Bowman, Steve Pitts, Ray Price and Jez Wilkinson all joining the club on 10 December 2002.

Stuart was the focal point of the Club for the first 10 years before he emigrated to Scotland. We used to pay 2 for annual subs and 20p per night for training at Leo's. Stuart's little black book recorded the collection of over 10,000 20pences.

Stuart wrote a series of 4 articles for VS News in 1992-3 entitled "And There Was Life", an unofficial history of the first 10 years of the Striders. In it he talked of a solo training run where he saw another runner ahead of him up Creskeld Lane and raced him to the top. This runner turned out to be Steve O'Callaghan.

On the night, Steve was able to tell his version of the story, that he had already been out 15 miles and that he had waited for this other runner. Steve joined in March 1983 and soon followed many other leading road runners of that time including Brian Eden, Chris Leggatt, Terry Lonergan and Hilary McEwan. Steve's claims to fame also include his marathon PB of 2:21 and his Christmas speeches.

Geoff has been leader of fell and trail for the entire 21 years of the club. It was his idea and his route for the Meanwood Trail Race - in the first and second years he actually made clay trophies for every runner!

It was with the approval of all present that these three were agreed to be worthy recipients of honorary memberships for their great contributions to the club.

In spite of all Bob's announcements and Steve's speech of thanks (he had been tipped off), we were all out by 10:15, so there were not too many bleary eyes at work the next morning!

Niels Laustsen e-mailed "I won't entertain you with any long stories about them, just say that the down-hill running of the big man with the even bigger lunch box has been a great inspiration for me - and, as a consequence, not many of the runners that I compete with around here can match me in that discipline".

George Black emailed " Please convey my congratulations to Stuart, Geoff and Steve whom I am sure will appreciate the honour as much as I did.

Ruth Anderson e-mailed from her home in America, sending the Striders best wishes for their anniversary (she had been made a life member when she visited us on her 70th birthday en route for the World Veterans games in Gateshead in 1999)

Identify the Strider

Number & Name




Year and Reason Started Running

1987 - career-ending neck injury while playing rugby

Date Joined Striders

July 1997





- 10K



April 99

- 10 Mile



May 1998

- Half Marathon



March 1998

- 20 Mile


East Hull

March 2000

- Marathon



April 1998


UK winner of Runner's World Magazine Nations Trophy in the Venice Marathon October 2000


Tripping and damaging knee just before London 2000 having run East Hull 20 in 2:04


Sub 3 hour marathon as a V50

Avge Weekly Mileage

Zero to 50/60 miles (must be more consistent)

Favourite Training Run

Anything not involving hill reps

Favourite Pre-Race Meal

Bagel, honey, banana

Favourite Race

Big city marathons, preferably abroad

Valley Striders club handicaps


Decide what you want from your running. If your sights are high you must stick at it; otherwise be content


Crossing the finishing line when you know you have worked hard and achieved your aim


Hill reps

Other Interests

Music, food, drink

Answer on page 29

A new candidate for the Ladies' Section (from Danny Burnham)

James and Lisa Burnham "provided" your Treasurer and his wife Caryl with their first grand-child on Bank Holiday Monday, 25 August. The new family member is Ella Jennifer who weighed in at a healthy 8 lbs. Running shoes will hopefully be purchased early next year.

Grand Prix 2003

Leeds Marathon (May 11)

I was misinformed (by Peter Smith, the race organiser) that the team prize was for a mixed team, in fact it was for a men's team. As a result, I am pleased to announce that together with Terry and Jerry, it was Drew who was the third counter - each won a plaque to commemorate their win. I'm sure Lisa won't be too upset not to win the team prize as she won a much larger plaque for first place (and also a much larger cheque).

Leeds 1/2 marathon

We found another Strider in the results - Laura Clark ran 1:51 - so there were 39 Striders

Jack Bloor Fell Race (May 13)

This seems to have missed appearing in the previous V S News, neither in the G P section, nor in the Fell Championship section.

11 Steve Webb (M40/2) 45.44
23 Mick Loftus 48.25
27 Henry Lang 48.42
32 Andrew Cutts 49.31
41 Rob Bumstead 50.47
135 Tim Towler 62.59
169 Robert Cutts 70.03
220 ran, winner G Hull 40.22

Steve Webb and Tim Towler had both run the Leeds half marathon two days earlier - it appeared to have more effect on Tim than Steve, or maybe Tim was a little more scared of heights than Steve.

Hyde Park 5k (July 1)

?? Neil Dutton 18.??
26 Tim Towler 18.29
35 Roy Flesher (M50/2) 18.57
42 Bob Jackson 19.34
45 Paul Hunter 19.44
46 Paul Hilton 19.45
60 Dawn Morley (F/6) 21.05
64 Hayley Palmer (F/8) 21.14
74 Steve Purnell 22.04
77 Natalie White 23.33
92 Debbi Wagman 25.30
2nd claim
70 Jared Read 21.39
71 Sam Harris 21.40
120 ran

Hyde Park 1 Mile Fun Run

13 Dan Towler (B12) 9.06
18 Tom Purnell (B7) 10.03
20 Rachel Purnell (G7) 11.45
21 Hannah Purnell (G9) 11.56
22 Dolores Purnell 11.56
24 ran

Summer Trail Handicap approx 51/4 miles (July 22)

35 Striders ran in the Club Handicap Trail Race (approx. 51/4 miles). I shall have to look back in the records to see how long it is since so many ran.

Congratulations to Steve O - after 15 years and about 50 attempts, he finally wins the Handicap. Even if it did require extreme measures of putting on 2 stones in weight to get slower for the last two handicaps and then slimming it all off again in 6 weeks.

Near congratulations to Sophie - NB the computer had taken into account her 2 minute "pit stop" at Thirsk - an extra minute that day in the pub and she might have won the handicap.

Some devious scheming is required from the rest of you before September 9th.

Great to see so many of the 2002/3 intake running ... and Vicky, Nick and Andrew W were 3rd, 4th and 5th fastest.

Apologies to Simon B and Crawford, on looking on my sheet I did already have handicaps for you, they were slightly better than those I gave you but I'm not saying by how much.

Results were as follows

  Pos Name                  Race   H'cap   Road  GP 
                            Time           Time  Pts
    1 Steve O'Callaghan    39.34    5.15  34.19  83
    2 Sophie Hetherington  39.41    5.30  34.11  84
    3 Lily Wong            40.50    3.45  37.05  77
    4 Mike O'Callaghan     41.12   10.45  30.27  95
    5 Chris Leggatt        41.27    5.15  36.12  79
    6 Steve Purnell        41.32    4.00  37.32  74
    7 Nick Brown           41.33   11.15  30.18  96
    8 Simon Vallance       41.56    9.45  32.11  90
    9 Laura Brook          42.00    3.15  38.45  72
   10 Leroy Sutton         42.01    4.00  38.01  73
   11 Vicky Chapman        42.02   12.00  30.02  98
   12 Andrew Cutts         42.06   11.00  31.06  91
   13 Mike Brown           42.07    4.45  37.22  75
   14 Alan Hutchinson      42.12    9.45  32.27  87
   15 Carole Schofield     42.13    6.00  36.13  78
   16 Steve Webb           42.14   13.15  28.59 100
   17 Simon Burnett        42.17    7.30  34.47  82
   18 Mick Wrench          42.18   13.00  29.18  99
   19 Paul Hilton          42.25    9.00  33.25  86
   20 Tracey Morris        42.29   12.00  30.29  94
   21 Drew Taylor          42.36   11.45  30.51  92
   22 Andrew Wallace       42.47   12.30  30.17  97
   23 Kay Mason            43.13    2.45  40.28  70
   24 Roy Flesher          43.18   11.00  32.18  89
   25 Jerry Watson         43.49   13.15  30.34  93
   26 Paul Furness         43.56    8.30  35.26  81
   27 Chris Kaye           44.14    8.30  35.44  80
   28 Danny Burnham        44.23    2.45  41.38  69
   29 Mick Loftus          44.34   12.15  32.19  88
   30 Gillian Goodwin      45.22    1.30  43.52  68
   31 Debbi Wagman         45.27   -1.30  46.17  66
   32 Geoff Webster        46.05    7.00  39.05  71
   33 Crawford Weir        46.43    9.30  37.13  76
   34 Mark Bean            46.57   13.15  33.42  85
   35 John Whalley         62.01   16.00  46.01  67

Note that Grand Prix points are allocated according to road time, so Steve Webb scores 100, Mick Wrench 99 etc.

Harrogate 10k (August 3)

29 Tracey Morris (W/2) 36.19
32 Vicky Chapman (W/3) 36.32
50 Brian Hanley 37.34
58 Mick Wrench 37.55
94 Andrew Cutts 39.32
96 Roy Flesher 39.39
103 Bob Jackson 40.04
108 Alan Hutchinson 40.22
142 Paul Hilton 41.30
157 Paul White 42.02
176 Sophie Hetherington 42.42
208 Simon Burnett 43.34
230 Jackie Buxton 44.16
259 Bob Wilkes 45.03
292 Eric Green (stj) 45.50
322 Mary Egan 46.44
349 Simon Redshaw (stj) 47.19
404 Laura Brook 48.58
563 Debbi Wagman 55.01
stj = soon to join
2nd Claim
167 Sam Harris 42.24
214 Jim Towers 43.50
629 Lyn Eden 58.18

Congratulations to Tracey, Vicky and Sophie (7th woman) who won the team prize

Round Hill Fell Race (August 10)

9 Andrew Cutts 65.36
11 Rob Bumstead 66.44
23 Bob Jackson 72.53
29 Martin Horbury 75.17
34 Bob Wilkes 83.24
35 Sylvia Watson 96.33
38 Geoff Webster 115.32
Report in Section 2

Autumn Handicap 10k (September 9)

Pos Name Race H'cap Road GP
Time Time Pts
1 Mick Tinker 47.34 5.00 42.34 83
2 Brian Hanley 49.17 13.45 35.32 99
3 Steve Purnell 49.34 4.30 45.04 77
4 Bob Wilkes 49.46 4.15 45.31 76
5 Rob Liddle 49.55 10.30 39.25 89
6 Tracey Morris 50.04 13.45 36.19 97
7 Sam Harris 50.05 8.45 41.20 85
8 Tim Towler 50.07 12.45 37.22 96
9 Simon Redshaw 50.26 5.30 44.56 78
10 Natalie White 50.29 4.30 45.59 73
11 Roy Flesher 50.30 11.45 38.45 92
12 Steve Webb 50.31 15.00 35.31 100
13 Crawford Weir 50.33 6.30 44.03 81
14 Andrew Cutts 50.37 12.45 37.52 94
15 David Cusack 50.39 6.00 44.39 80
16 Paul Hilton 50.48 9.45 41.03 86
17 Drew Taylor 50.55 13.00 37.55 93
18 Mike O'Callaghan 50.56 14.45 36.11 98
19 Mike Brown 51.04 5.15 45.49 74
20 Bob Jackson 51.07 11.00 40.07 88
21 Alan Hutchinson 51.10 11.00 40.10 87
22 Carole Schofield 51.20 6.30 44.50 79
23 Dick Dale 51.52 4.45 47.07 70
24 Mick Loftus 52.20 13.15 39.05 91
25 Paul White 52.29 9.45 42.44 82
26 Mark Bean 52.31 14.45 37.46 95
27 Steve O'Callaghan 52.46 11.00 41.46 84
28 Kathy Kaiser 53.16 7.45 45.31 76
29 Kay Mason 53.34 2.15 51.19 68
30 Dawn Morley 54.10 7.45 46.25 72
31 Eric Cusack 54.15 7.45 46.30 71
32 Vicky Chapman 54.20 15.15 39.05 91
33 Ken Kaiser 56.52 9.15 47.37 69
34 Debbi Wagman 65.20 -3.00 68.20 67

Mick was in serious training for the Ilkley Triathlon later that month and it paid off with a clear win, well ahead of his predicted time based on Abbey Dash and other 10k's in 2002.

Briscoe's Brewery Fell Race (September 13)

Run Beer Total VSGP
Time Time Time Points
12 Andy Cutts 23.45 1.35 25.20 100
15 Tim Towler 24.54 0.57 25.51 99
28 Ian Place 28.08 1.05 29.13 98
30 Eric Green 29.10 0.59 30.09 96 GP points awarded
32 Simon Redshaw 29.05 1.31 30.36 97 before beer!
37 Sylvia Watson 31.39 1.57 33.36 95

Robin Hood Marathon (September 14)

The only Strider was Bill Murphy who therefore took the 100 Grand Prix points. Brendan Kitson and Mitch Scott-Baxendale ran the half marathon but don't get 491/2 points each! See Bill's report later in this VS News.

West Yorks Cross Country at Halifax (October 11)

Wimmin GP
11 Sam Harris 21.23 94
29 Janet Parkinson 22.47 92
34 Dawn Morley 23.52 91
38 Hayley Palmer 23.58 90
53 Sylvia Watson 25.45 88
58 Madeleine Watson 26.36 86
59 Sara Dyer 26.48 84
Team 7th/9

Unfortunately Sam doesn't "count" for us till April'04

Men GP
9 Tim Crossland 33.10 100
44 Brian Hanley 35.51 99
46 Steve Webb 36.04 98
66 Mark Bean 37.39 97
68 Jerry Watson 37.55 96
79 Drew Taylor 38.33 95
142 Bob Jackson 42.34 93
173 Geoff Webster 47.15 89
179 Bob Wilkes 50.16 87
181 Eric Green 51.25 85
Team 6th/17

Withins Skyline Fell Race (October 25)

Striders finishing sequence was Steve Webb, Andrew Cutts, Rob Bumstead, Geoff Webster, Sylvia Watson

West Yorks Cross Country at Guiseley (November 2)

Wimmin GP
9 Sam Harris 25.27 95
25 Janet Parkinson 27.43 91
33 Carole Schofield 28.41 89
34 Dawn Morley 28.42 88
40 Hayley Palmer 29.39 86
50 Sylvia Watson 30.48 85
Team 6th/9

Men GP
52 Brian Hanley 34.43 100
70 Mike O'callaghan 35.34 99
71 Drew Taylor 35.35 98
78 Mark Bean 36.09 97
99 Mick Wrench 37.18 96
126 Andrew Cutts 38.45 94
144 Martin Horbury 40.16 93
148 Bob Jackson 40.29 92
170 John Hallas 42.37 90
179 Geoff Webster 43.22 87
Team 11th/18

Burley Bridge Hike 201/2 miles trail (November 8)

=1 Mick Wrench 2:39
4 Steve Webb 2:42
6 Drew Taylor 2:45
7 Alan Hutchinson 3:06
9 Mick Loftus 3:10
13 Bob Jackson 3:22
15 Geoff Webster 3:32
31 Sara Dyer 4:23
33 Eric Green 4:26

Congratulations to Mick Wrench who crossed the line in first place together with a Pudsey & Bramley runner and a Skipton runner. They took 10 minutes off the course record!

As you can see from the times, there was a 21 minute gap between Drew (6th) and Alan (7th). Both Alan and Mick Loftus took more scenic routes. Bob followed Geoff from the 4 mile mark to the 12 mile mark and then lost him in the fog. This was fortunate as Geoff then also took a scenic route. This was the longest distance that Eric had ever run (he also took a scenic route so it was even longer than he had intended).

Roundhay 5 (November 15)

3 Tim Crossland 26.16
8 Tracey Morris 27.38
23 Vicky Chapman 29.17
24 Mike O'Callaghan 29.30
27 Tim Towler 29.41
63 George Little 31.57
83 Andrew Cutts 32.43
85 Alan Hutchinson 32.44
95 Sam Harris 33.09
150 Eric Green 35.38
152 Hayley Palmer 35.44
172 Paul Morris (stj) 36.33
173 Dawn Morley 36.35
189 Steve Purnell 37.22
206 Lily Wong 38.05
221 Bob Wilkes 38.31
226 Mary Harris 38.46
231 Mike Brown 38.53
342 Debbi Wagman 45.21
2nd claim
82 Howard Jeffrey 32.40
234 Lou Gilchrist 38.59
N.B. Tracey's time was the 15th fastest by a British woman for 5 miles in 2003! 

West Yorks Cross Country at Huddersfield (November 29)

Wimmin GP
31 Dawn Morley 24.32 94
38 Sylvia Watson 25.28 93

Men GP
44 Steve Webb 36.08 100
98 Alan Hutchinson 40.49 99
106 Bob Jackson 41.45 98
109 Martin Horbury 41.58 97
119 John Hallas 43.15 96
124 Geoff Webster 44.57 95
140 Eric Green 48.58 92
141 Bob Wilkes 50.04 91

Due to the Abbey Dash the following day, influenza and fear of freezing to death in the wind and sleet, the Wimmin failed to get a team out for the first time for 3 years or maybe longer. The men did get a team out but, with the exception of Steve, packed the last third of the field and did well to finish 12th out of 12!!

Abbey Dash 10k (November 30)

21 Tim Crossland 31.38
40 Tracey Morris 33.23
49 Brian Hanley 34.18
71 Mike O'Callaghan 35.05
76 Drew Taylor 35.16
92 Tim Towler 35.55
199 Bob Jackson 38.56
208 Simon Vallance 39.07
257 Sam Harris 40.05
304 Andrew Cutts 40.53
306 Paul Hunter 40.55
388 Mick Tinker 41.54
504 Crawford Weir 43.25
506 Simon Redshaw 43.27
511 Eric Green 43.30
515 Tony Haygarth 43.32
663 Natalie Crossland 45.03
693 Carmel Barker 45.30
749 Mary Egan 46.09
782 Paul Morris 46.19
796 Lily Wong 46.26
920 Mike Brown 47.35
924 Laura Brook 47.38
1112 Gillian Goodwin 49.25
1137 Kay Mason 49.40
2230 Leroy Sutton 64.13
2305 Rob Liddle 65.56
2nd claim
286 Howard Jeffrey 40.39
375 Dave Milner 41.45
618 Jim Towers 44.37
1875 Lyn Eden 57.29

Many Striders (Simon R, Eric and Natalie included) took advantage of near-perfect racing conditions to records PB's.

However my main report is borrowed from Running Fitness February 2004 edition. They secured an interview with one of our runners without negotiating a fee, so there's no way I'm paying for reprinting it. It is in a feature about the Masters International Cross-Country (see page 44 of this V S News), and continues ...

In stark contrast to Lamb (the men's winner who had just turned 40 but had won many senior regional titles in the last 20 years) is Tracey-Anne Morris, runner-up in the women's race at Cardiff during an amazing November just 14 months after a stage when, as she admitted, "I was happy jogging about 5 miles three times a week".

The fireworks came early when Morris placed fourth overall in the none to easy Guy Fawkes 10 at Harrogate on November 2nd in 59min 48sec, more than two minutes inside the course record. Following Cardiff, she won the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k in her best ever time of 33min 23sec. Such was the manner of her victory here she left a host of internationals trailing in her wake.

"When I arrived and heard who was running I was stunned but it was nice to be in a race with this class of people," but it was former AAA 10,000m champion Bev Jenkins, World Championship marathon representative Jo Lodge and World half marathon representative Andrea Green who were the ones stunned.

"I ran for Wales as a schoolgirl over the country and apart from a few runs for Leeds City as a student in my mid-20's that was the end of my running career."

It was with a group from the Adams Gym she took up running, "just to keep fit and then I decided to compete in the 2002 Leeds Half Marathon," where she ran 88min 59sec, pretty impressive for someone on 15 miles a week.

It was at this time that Bob Jackson suggested that she joined Valley Striders. "You'd be better off running with someone than going round the block on your own," he said.

"The next year I somehow found myself accepted for the elite race in the Great North Run so I stepped up my weekly mileage to 40. It paid off as I came away with a time of 76min 34sec."

Contact lens optician Morris now has her eyes firmly set on this year's Flora London Marathon. "I'll have to step up my mileage again but I must admit I enjoy the regular 15 to 20-mile runs on a Sunday morning with the Striders."

N.B. Tracey's time was the 7th fastest by a British woman for 10k in 2003!

Grand Prix Final positions

Striders who ran 8 races or more (scores for best 8 are shown):

(A) Steve Webb 799 (Men)
(A) Mick Wrench 786
(A) Andrew Cutts 780
(A) Drew Taylor 776
(A) Tracey Morris 772 (Women)
(B) Bob Jackson 772 (V50)
(A) Tim Towler 767
(B) Alan Hutchinson 766
(A) Roy Flesher 760
(A) Mark Bean 755
(C) Vicky Chapman 753 (Group C)
(C) Geoff Webster 722
(D) Eric Green 716 (Group D)
(B) Paul White 709
(D) Bob Wilkes 708
(E) Sara Dyer 691 (Group E)
(D) Laura Brook 670

Other Striders who weren't far short of the required 8 races were:

7 - Sam Harris, Dawn Morley, Sylvia Watson, Mike Brown, Debbi Wagman, Kay Mason
6 - Brian Hanley, Mick Loftus, Lisa Wilyman, Steve Purnell
5 - Rob Bumstead, Mike O'Callaghan, Nick Brown, Simon Vallance, Rob Liddle, Paul Hilton, Kathy Kaiser, Steve O'Callaghan, Lily Wong

13 Rules for "Borrowing" Race Numbers

  1. Don't use anyone else's number in any circumstances (except rule 3).
  2. If entries haven't closed and the race is for a good cause, then pay the money and enter in your own name.
  3. If entries have closed before the official cut-off, then make a surreptitious enquiry (e.g. do it using someone else's e-mail at work!) to the race organiser whether they will officially accept swapped numbers (maybe for an additional donation of 1 or 2).
  4. If you ignore rules 1 to 3, then at least follow rules 5 to 11.
  5. If you are a leading runner (i.e. could win an individual prize), don't borrow from anyone.
  6. If the person you are borrowing from is a leading runner, don't borrow from him/her.
  7. Don't use the number of someone of the opposite sex (men, you wouldn't want to win a ladies prize you weren't entitled to, and vice versa).
  8. Don't use the number of someone older than you (you wouldn't want to win a vet's prize you weren't entitled to).
  9. If you use the number of an unattached runner, don't run in your Valley Striders vest.
  10. Don't use the number of someone in a different club from you (unless you know that that club has no chance of winning a team prize) (and don't run in your Valley Striders vest).
  11. If you use the number of a fellow Strider then don't stop for the prize ceremony if you've won a team prize.
  12. If you use someone else's number, make sure they or their family (who will be on the phone number that they wrote on the entry form) know of your various illnesses, allergies etc should you have an accident or be taken ill during the race.
  1. If, despite the warnings of rule 12, you do borrow a number and you are caught, don't tell them about the 13 rules.

Other Race Reports / Results

Ackworth 10k

9 Tracey Morris 36.53
10 Neil Dutton 36.57
23 Vicky Chapman 38.24
30 Tim Towler (V40/2) 39.09
40 Lisa Wilyman 40.05
55 Roy Flesher 41.07
78 Paul Hilton 43.47
220 ran

Harewood 10k

Wimmin's race
1 Tracey Morris 35.45
2 Vicky Chapman 36.48
7 Jackie Buxton 44.22
47 ran

Men's race
12 Nick Brown 36.34
26 Andrew Cutts 39.18
41 Paul Hilton 41.37
98 ran

Otley 10 (also Yorks & Yorks vets Championships) (25 June)

15 Steve Webb 59.07
20 Tracey Morris (W/1) 60.56
29 Neil Dutton 63.06
33 Rob Bumstead 63.29
38 Vicky Chapman (W/2) 63.58
42 Jon Willingham (2ndClm)64.29
48 Nick Brown 64.52
52 Tim Towler 65.05
176 Bob Wilkes 78.13
232 Laura Brook 84.11
237 Sara Dyer (W45/3) 84.28
292 Debbi Wagman 97.37
315 ran

Congratulations to Sara, who, although finishing 3rd W45, won the Yorkshire Championship because the two in front of her weren't eligible or didn't tick the box.

Commiserations to Tracey who would have been Yorkshire champion and Yorks vets champion, and to Vicky who would have been Yorks runner-up, and to Debbi who would have been Yorks WV45 runner-up, had they ticked the boxes.

Humber Bridge 1/2 marathon (29 June)

Paul White was the only Strider, finishing 73rd out of 993 in 1:31:10. This gave him 3rd M55 prize, but just 40 seconds separated the first three M55's. I am relieved to report that Paul beat all 12 members of the Regal Fish Supper team. If he hadn't, he'd have been entering the next race as "Leo's Pie'n'peas". The winner, Darran Bilton, formerly of Hull but now of Leeds City, won in 1:08:29, nearly 5 minutes clear of the next runner.

Pudsey 10k (6 July)

12 Tracey Morris (W/1) 38.45
17 Vicky Chapman (W/2) 40.02
19 Tim Towler 40.21
48 Paul Hilton 45.25
114 Eric Green (stj) 50.45
136 Laura Brook 52.51
195 Debbi Wagman 60.25
239 ran - winning time 35.22
stj=soon to join

Roundhay "Pulse" 5 (13 July)

Congratulation to the Valley Striders men who were first team and to Liz Ball who was 1st W45

5 Mick Wrench 29.32
7 Andrew Wallace 30.09
11 Nick Brown 31.06
26 Paul Hilton 33.30
78 Eric Green (stj) 37.18
83 Liz Ball (W45/1) 37.36
114 Stephen Ball 39.44
310 ran

Read Nick Brown's report on page 27! And thank you again to the Striders admin team that so well supported the timing, funnel marshalling, and recording.

Skipton 10k

Yet again I didn't find Nick on the results sheet - he had entered prior to joining Striders and had again secured the number 1 race bib.

29 Nick Brown 37:18
38 Roy Flesher 38.19
281 ran - winning time 30.04

Eccup 10 (20 July)

36 Roy Flesher 67.20
117 Jim Towers 78.33
124 Simon Redshaw 78.54
139 Eric Green 79.51
186 Laura Brook 84.38
189 Mike Brown 85.10
292 Lyn Eden 100.12

Sale 10 (3 August)

122 Chris Leggatt 74.59
145 Lou Gilchrist 78.28

Hyde Park 5k - race 3 (also Yorks vets Champs) (3 September)

Valley Striders and friends made up over 10% of the field. This was also the Yorks Vets 5k championships - congratulations to Tracey Morris (1st W35), Debbi Wagman (1st W45), Lyn Eden (1st W55) and Roy Flesher (2nd M50). Debbi was listed as Valley Triders, and try she did. I had told her that she had won the series trophy, so when I announced, half way round the Harewood recce run, that we had a Yorkshire Champion in our presence, she was surprised to find out that it was her.

17 Brian Hanley 17.00
19 Tracey Morris 17.11
25 Mark Bean 17.34
39 Roy Flesher 18.32
43 Tim Towler 18.48
59 Bob Jackson 19.33
61 Paul Hilton 19.40
68 Paul Hunter (stj) 19.58
69 Sam Harris (stj) 20.00
stj = soon to join
73 Mark Hunter 20.07
98 Dawn Morley 21.37
100 Hayley Palmer 21.46
104 Bob Wilkes 22.07
106 Steve Purnell 22.22
113 Jim Towers (2ndClm) 23.31
123 Debbi Wagman 25.25
133 Lyn Eden (2ndClm) 27.21
148 ran - winning time 15.12

Kirkstall 10k (7 September)

15 Mike O'Call (M40/3) 37.02
17 Tracey Morris (W/2) 37.16
23 Vicky Chapman (W/3) 38.01
34 Tim Towler 38.55
36 Nick Brown 39.11
62 Roy Flesher 42.01
95 Eric Green 44.11
182 Paul Morris (Leeds GS) 49.18

Great North Run (21 September)

On the elite wimmin's start were Tracey and Vicky. They did not disappoint the Striders fans, both recording PB's, Tracey was 13th in 1:16:35 and was first vet and Vicky was 15th in 1:18:58.

The main race featured some Kenyans, Ethiopians and South Africans. Some way behind were Paul Hilton (1:32), Crawford Weir (1:33), Paul Hunter (1:35), Eric Green (1:39), and Simon Redshaw (1:41). It is possible that at least one of these was running with an alias or as a trans-sexual.

St Gemmas Roundhay off-road 5 (nearer 41/4) (27 September)

8 Simon Vallance 25.33
10 Andrew Cutts (M40/1) 25.53
15 Bob Jackson (M50/1) 26.33
38 Eric Green 29.51
45 Geoff Webster 30.31
51 Sylvia Watson (W55/1) 31.25
61 Kay Mason 33.11
80 Debbi Wagman 37.03
120 ran, winning time 24.04

A new route had had to be devised due to the works in Roundhay Park. The previous year we had run a lap of Soldiers Fields before entering the Park by the Lakeside Cafe. This year we started in the Arena (though there was no obvious reason why we could not have run round Soldiers Fields first and then descended to the Arena near Jimmy Savile's flat). Never mind, Soldiers Fields in September is hardly serious off-road, and the shorter distance seemed to suit the Striders who walked away with 3 engraved chrome-plated "saucers" - a great result. (And it was your editor's first ever category win from 21 years of running!) Despite our three top-15 places, we were easily beaten for the team prize by Harrogate Harriers with two U-17s and an M in the first 5.

Horsforth 10k (also Yorks vets Champs) (5 October)

25 Mike O'Callaghan 36.21
41 Tim Towler 37.17
109 George Little 40.55
147 Ian Place 42.31
150 Sam Harris 42.37
215 Eric Green 44.41
251 Mike Brown 45.59
272 Mary Harris 46.47
356 Kay Mason 49.06
2nd Claim
103 Trish Barton 40:43
161 Howard Jeffrey 42.52
219 Jim Towers 44:58
471 Lyn Eden 56:10

Selby 1/2 marathon (5 October)

Congratulations to Valley Striders men who won the team prize:

7th Brian Hanley 76.02, 28th Drew Taylor 83.18, 31st Mark Bean 83.58

Bridlington 1/2 marathon (also Y Vets Champs) (12 October)

4 Tim Crossland 72.51
23 Tim Towler 81.43
W1 Tracey Morris 76.48
W30 Natalie White 105.44

Tracey was 12th overall and Yorks Vets champion.

Flintshire 10k at Mold (information from Tim Towler)

Tracey ran 34.14 in the Welsh Championships. She finished 2nd to a Kenyan having matched her stride for stride until the long downhill run in to the finish. Unless said Kenyan has been resident in Wales for the last nine months this will make our Tracey Welsh Champion!!

The assumption was correct and as a result Tracey was selected for the Welsh team in the Masters International Cross-country Championships (see page 44) and in the Welsh team for the inter-area 10k held in conjunction with the Abbey Dash (see page 17).

Birthdays & Marriages


Club members that reached major birthdays in the last 4 months or will reach them in the next 3 months include Jackie Buxton (35 last September), Vadim Kuznetsov and Gary Shipley (both 40 last September), Mark Hunter (40 this February), Mick Tinker (50 this March), Chris Kaye (55 last October), Bill McGrogan (55 on Xmas Day), Paul Furness (55 last December). To those of you racing competitively, good luck now that you are amongst the youngest in your age-groups!

Natalie Crossland and Vicky Whitehead ...

... are names you may not recognise but they are not new members.

Natalie White married fellow Strider Tim Crossland at St Edmund's Church Roundhay on 18th October (sun shining and England beating South Africa). Natalie and Paul had made the arrangements, Tim was in Iraq until 2 weeks before the wedding but back in time for them to run the Brid half the week before (Paul was injured). The reception was at the Holiday Inn Bramhope with an excellent speech from Dad (she said). They had 2 weeks honeymoon in Morocco, time spent between Marrakesh and the Atlas Mountains.

Striders connections - Madeleine, Helen and Oliver Watson were in the choir and the Church is directly across the road from Spiders HQ (Geoff and Sylvia's house).

Vicky Chapman married Simon Whitehead on a catamaran in Sydney Harbour on 27th November. Her sister lives in Sydney so made the arrangements. Twelve of Simon and Vicky's friends and families travelled out from England for the occasion. They honeymooned for 2 weeks in Australia and 1 week in Dubai and when they got back had another celebration at the Leeds Armouries just after Christmas. Serious training for London 2004 resumed in January!

Roundhay Pulse 5 - Sunday 13 July (from Nick Brown)

The morning had started well enough as I lay in the bath having my usual pre-race relax and ponder which has become somewhat of a ritual these days. Not sure if it does me any good but psychologically I feel the benefit however small the amount of time I spend submerged, and considering that some of my best races this year have come after very late nights and very little rest the night before I cannot equate my race form at all.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who goes through the race in his or her mind beforehand, trying to piece together the perfect race plan - where to back-off and get the stride pattern right, where to push-on a little and quite often where I'm going to find the nearest Asda or Sainsburys after the race to fuel my ever-increasing intake of natural racers goodness. Bananas, Lucozade and my old fave Bernard Matthews Faggots in Gravy (now with more than 10% meat and a free tub of Chocolate ice-cream thrown in, all for 1.39, now that's value). Anyway my day had started well enough as all I had to complain about as I made my way over to Roundhay was a thick head, ringing in the ears and a mild bout of 'strut your funky stuff back', which I naturally put-out on Friday night during a performance on the dance-floor that I hoped to repeat today... only in race terminology you understand.

Some chance, I really shouldn't say but if I mentioned the words Saturday, Night and Fever, not necessarily in that order, I think you understand.

I parked up in possibly the worst place I could have chosen - right beneath a tree without leaves or branches now being used as a mountaineering practice pole by a troop of squirrels and I swear that one of the blighters was looking at me funny. Hence my car would resemble the inside of my Saucony's come midday and about 90 degrees in the shade of my glovebox.

Strolling across the park to the start near Mr Savile's residence I was already feeling faint and saw, on the horizon, something resembling the shape of a tree and dashed across to it in order to preserve what little energy I had left.

Shade, shade, must have shade.

It was around ten minutes before the start and so I decided to limber-up in the best way I know how on a hot, sunny day - I used the eyes right method. This involves discreet eye stretching in any direction but focused entirely on the 'sunshine sheilas' that often frequent the park on days such as this. All concealed, of course, by strategically dark sunglasses and a look of grim determination/pre-race horror.

I managed to stay out of the sun for as long as possible and then the time came to assemble on the start line. We had been stationary for quite some time and were all getting rather restless as delay after delay meant we were rooted to the spot for what seemed like an age.

This innocent few minutes then, for me, transformed into an episode that will haunt me for many a race to come and thinking about it now brings me out in a cold sweat. As the race gun went off I naturally engaged adductors and quads in order to make my usual pedestrian start and quickly realised that my knees had risen mere millimetres and I was literally going nowhere. A quick inspection of my feet revealed the soles of my trainers slowly melting into the tarmac and the smell of smouldering flesh filled the air. I motioned to Sir James to help me pull my feet out of the grey stuff as all hell broke loose around me and I was passed by Gurkhas, Naughty Nurses, 90 year old vets and a strangely familiar looking guy in a Rhino costume. Oh and yes, Jim did indeed Fix It For Me.

Having extricated myself from this 'sticky' situation (ooh that was terrible), I managed to persuade a few people to step aside and let me through to the front and by the bottom of the first hill and the Lakeside Restaurant I felt like the Pied Piper with the surrounding trees echoing to the noise of a thousand footsteps all trying to pass me before we had to face... THE HILL.

Roundhay has become one of my favourite training areas and the HILL in question is one we generally give a wide berth or at least save until the very end so as put one last effort in to make it look like we've done some work. However, going up twice has never been attempted by any human in history and we were all in unknown territory. I was scared.

The first section isn't too difficult as the rise slowly levels out and cadence can return to normal as can your breathing pattern. It's the final little push as you turn in front of The Mansion that has always proved tricky for me so it was eyeballs out and gnashing of teeth as the crest arrived in the nick of time and I could then relax for a couple of miles.

Naturally in the conditions I kept questioning the mile marker authenticity and wondered if I might be able to evade the beady eyes of the Marshals and take a little detour across country. To no avail, as the marshalling was excellent and they kept popping up everywhere from behind bushes and trees like squirrels might do if startled.

There's a theme running through this report.

I'd done a rough count at the start of how many competitors were in front of me and I thought about 8 or 9, which for me was quite exciting because rarely have I found myself half way through a race and still inside the top ten. Don't get too carried away.

After a couple of miles of relatively even paced running I heard the ominous sound of someone coming up behind me and decided on a plan of action. I was to steer this person into the oncoming traffic and the path of several Mercedes and Bentley drivers on their Sunday morning stroll to the paper shop. Unfortunately for me the person about to flash past was one of my own team mates (although I didn't recognise him) and so I decided against this manoeuvre and waited to see if another more appropriate victim would appear.

Once again it was on down the hill to the restaurant and another ascent of THE HILL! This time it was torture as the temperature was hot enough to create slicks out of my now very used trainers and I felt like I was wearing slippers! How fast could you run in your slippers? Ah, happy days...

Myself and Andrew (2nd Strider home) had a bit of a battle up here and I eventually consolidated my position in favour of being able to breath. Which I find useful whilst running. The psychological demons were having a party in my head and I was beginning to wonder how far the car was away from here. Not that I would ever think of quitting, more that I might be able hop into the car and try and get parked a little closer to the finish. Innocent really.

I rounded the final corner at Oakwood Clock and dared to take a look across to the main road and the following pack. Luckily no-one was particularly close and I started to concentrate on keeping a rhythm which was difficult as a set of drums can get heavy after 4 miles.

At this point I should mention that during the race I had decided to give the people of Roundhay a real treat and get my pastie-white body out on show for that added look of professionalism. Therefore on approaching the finishing line I noticed men, women, children and dogs all grabbing for their sunglasses as the glare from my torso and folically challenged head was so bright, Stevie Wonder could have seen it. I had created my own 'flash' for the photographers on the finish line... wonder if I can patent that idea?

On a more glum note, the finish area soon transformed into a hospital A&E department as a runner who'd passed me on the first lap was in considerable distress after putting in an impressive performance to the detriment of his health, eventually going on to hospital. Whoever he was I hope he takes heed of the wise words my old friend Peter Kay has often been heard to mutter..."I like it warm, but I don't like it this warm!"

Nick Brown,

(Valley Strider and Runner-Up in the Worst Race Report Writing Competition 2002, in conjunction with Runners World and Tongue Twisters Magazine.)

NB. As for my little squirrel friends in the car park, by the time I got back to the car they were all sunning themselves on towels strategically placed on the roof like a bunch of German tourists in Lloret de Mar. Cheek!

Nottingham Marathon 14 Sept 2003 (from Bill Murphy)

"Ah, you're OK. I thought something had happened to you." Said Brendan Kitson in a rather tired, slightly bored manner. Of course the manner of his address might be excused when you think that I had kept him waiting for two hours at the finish line. As lethargic as Bren and Mitch had become sitting in the sun, they were positively animated by comparison to the way I felt.

It had all started so well, and all managed to go so wrong. It was one of those days when I tried to pin down exactly when everything began to go to pieces and could not come up with a definitive conclusion. I pondered long and hard, and could come up with only one thought - stuff it!

Who expects temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s in September? The thermometer in Brendan's car had recorded 28oC after having been moving for a while, which is an astounding 82oF. This is September in England - unheard of! Well, this is not strictly true since the record was set in London in September 1906 at 92oF. This was nevertheless the condition in which this years Nottingham Marathon was run.

I once commented that race reports always start with the day dawned bright and clear. This is another example from 2003 when it was yet again the case. Perhaps it is global warming, but I never remember this type of weather when I was younger. That said, it could have been something to do with growing up in Scotland. As Billy Connolly once said, "I am a Scottish person, my natural skin colour is a kind of pale blue. It takes me a week in the sun to turn white!" It was notable that the boundary between the good (glorious) weather and the cloudy region of the nation was the Scottish Border.

The whole affair of getting to the start line was relatively painless this year. The M1 was clear, we were early enough to stop for coffee at a service station and some decisive driving by Bren "Schumacher" Kitson circumvented many of the traffic queues approaching the venue. We arrived c. 9:30, decided on a trip to the portaloos and we got to the start line c. 09:55. Perfect - it was warm, sunny and life was stress free!

It was 10:00am and we were off! Some 9000 odd people dashed, well shuffled, over the start line for the 13.1 / 26.2 mile race. We then stopped, walked another 50 m, and then started again. I have often felt that the start of the Nottingham race is to running, what mass starts are to triathlon swimming. During the first 500 m I felt I had returned to the waters of Sherborne Castle and, felt the boxing gloves should come out of the box again. It took some time for the field to clear eventually progressing from a Quasimodo like shuffle, through to a walk a trot and finally, a full blown free, flowing run. The term 'running' was of course a description of someone else. A description of my running style would involve the words "giraffe", "epilectic" and "BSE" formed into one sentence. As this point there is only one thing flowing and it had something to do with bulls (not the Bradford variety).

As ever I found myself passing lots of fellow half marathon runners on the way around, thinking my usual thoughts like "I don't remember this hill last year" and "3 miles down only 10 to go" etc. These are the things I think every year I do this race, although such mental ramblings were punctuated by the occasional thought "Gosh, it's hot!" and sadly the thought of "3 miles down only 23 to go" didn't really enter my head. This was the first year that I was running the full marathon and not the half.

"Excellent" I thought. I am passing the 13 mile mark in 1:34 and a few irrelevant seconds. Somewhere in the back of my mind, the prospect of the next 13.2 miles, was finally beginning to make it's presence felt. This should have been a forewarning, but it was actually being drowned out by the thoughts at the very front of my mind of "Bugger me, it's hot", "I can feel my right ear slowly burning in the sunshine" and "where's the next drinks station".

The said drink stations were placed approximately every 3-4 miles. They normally contained water, SIS energy drink and a wet sponge. The latter would have been more appropriate in the first 100m boxing bout. This was in fact some excellent positioning and in many cases became a lurch from one water station to the next, as the temperature continued to rise and runners continued to fall (occasionally on sponges discarded around the drink stations).

The 13 through to 18 mile stages were absolutely devoid of anything approaching shade. And the "Gosh, it's hot!" thought acquired a whole new expletive as I shuffled past the 18 mile mark heading for the Holme Pierrepont Watersports Centre. The full marathon at this stage did a sort of multi lap loop of the lake. The race joined the lake at about two-thirds of the way up. Participants then ran down to the seating and associated buildings, then back up the lake, around the top and back down the other side. This made up approximately 2.5-3 miles worth of running. At this stage I was somewhat gladdened by the fact that I was 1. Still passing people, and 2. Those people were suffering in the heat just as badly as I was. The water was clear and still. There was a gentle breeze, the sun was shinning, it was hot - it was a perfect day for walk: alas, I was not walking (yet!!).

The reason why I took up triathlon is that I have a low boredom threshold, and doing any one thing for 3-4 hours I find quite tedious. I can think of a few things that I like doing for that length of time but not many, most of these are best not mentioned in these pages. Sadly these never last for that long in any case (I of course mean cycling for those of you who were tending towards smutty thoughts). However, at this stage I was looking at the water and thinking; "20 minutes running or, using my extra-special super triathlon ability to swim, I could make it across the lake in perhaps all of 2 minutes". Given the amount of fluid I was loosing in the heat at this stage, nobody would have thought I was unduly wet had I actually just swum the distance. Dripping wet is dripping wet after all. However, pride, ego, bloody-minded determination and the fear of ruining a perfectly good pair of running shoes, all made me give up the idea of a watery adventure for another joyous 3 miles in the sun.

And still the temperature rose.

By the time I got to the other side of the lake there was a small crowd of us trying to keep each other going. My natural innate popularity, good cheer, friendliness and charm had made me several companions at this stage. It was proof positive that I have these qualities in abundance, although it could be the fact that I was carrying four small bottles of water that I had re-filled at the last drinks station - although surely not! We all managed a short sprint as we passed the 'drinks 200m ahead' sign just short of the 23 mile marker.

By this time we were running along the river back into the town. Well I say running. I personally was shuffling with occasional short strolls to enjoy the atmosphere and soak up the sunshine. Not that my, by now slightly lobster-like complexion (even Ironman™ 8 hour sun-block sweats off after a while) needed any more sun and my ears, which stuck out from beneath my cap were distinctly tender. However I managed to run past the 24.5 mile drinks station, which was now completely devoid of water, Gatorade, or SIS drinks and crossed the river for the dash to the finish. This is where I encountered the Final Insult mentioned in the HIMUK race report. The last 1.5 miles makes you run AWAY from the finish line. Now this is OK at mile 13, but at mile 24.5 this really is just a mean trick devised to wound you in ways that anyone who has never run 26.2 miles will appreciate!

However the last loop completed, the end was in fact in sight. I passed the 26 mile marker with aplomb (and a couple of bananas) and even managed to raise my head high and in my mind's eye sprint the last 200 m to the finish line. The more objective view from Brendan was that I actually managed a slightly faster shuffle to cross the line in just a little short of four hours. To be more precise I seized 298th place (sneaking into the top 300 courtesy of that last burst of energy at the end allowing me to pass a few other shufflers) in a time of 3:55 - pretty poor as far as I was concerned. This split being 1:34 for the first 13 miles and 2:20(ish) for the second 13 miles. This was all pretty unpleasant stuff - 2 fun hours, then 2 hours of purgatory, followed by an hour of nausea when I could keep nothing but water down. Three hours of feeling very unsteady followed and I had well and truly been welcomed to the world of severe dehydration! I only realised how much salt I had lost when I took a shower and my eyes started to sting. Although some old chap called Lot had asked me if I had seen his wife which should have been a hint.

Ultimately I put this poor performance down to 1:The heat, 2: Incomplete recovery after Half Ironman UK, 3: Letting the Half Marathon runners set my pace for the first 13 miles, 4: still being a relatively inexperienced runner at these distances, 5: the heat. 6: the heat, 7: the heat etc. You get the picture.

Well, I had planned that this would be my last race before Ironman New Zealand on the 6th of March 2004 (Hint, hint! I am racing to raise money for St. Dunstan's Charity for blinded servicemen), but I really now feel that I need the additional marathon experience. This means that there is only one thing to do: dig out my mountaineering kit - back to the Leicester Marathon on the 16th of November for a few of my favourite things (reprise).

I will conclude my normally irreverent (some might say irrelevant) race report on a more sombre note. Tragically, 28 year old, Craig Johansen of Harby, Leicestershire, collapsed shortly after mile 9 mark while running the Half Marathon. He was pronounced dead at Queens Medical Centre. I am sure that everyone in the Club will be saddened to hear such dreadful news on what should have been a great day. I am sure you will all join me in expressing our condolences to his family and friends.


Amsterdam Marathon

Ian Place started the Amsterdam Marathon but had to pull out through injury about half way. He was taken back to the start .... by boat!

On page 11, the Strider you were asked to identify is Roy Flesher

International News (from Ingo Zoller)

Part 1 (July 2003)

Some short news from the continent: I've almost finished my track season, putting in some good hard speedwork and a few good races over 800m and 1500m. So I'm almost ready to return to longer road and off-road races now...

The latest race I entered seems to have featured quite a few runners out of Leeds over the years. In 2001 there were Paul & Philip Sheard, Susie Jollie, Stephen and Louise Bottomley (last three from Kirkstall) in tough competition with some guys and girls from Lancashire (amongst others Billy Burns). And a few years earlier Sylvia and Geoff featured in this race as well. Now it is time for me to attack the hill between Sierre and Zinal.

Part 2 (August 2003)

Just the latest news about the extent of my foot injury: The magnetic resonance scan confirmed it to be a stress fracture of the second metarsal bone, which was detected early enough. The doc thinks that in about four weeks time it will be healed, so by October I should be able to restart running again. Until then I will have to stick to water and bike to keep me fit.

Part 3 (December 2003)

Got some news for you... despite being very busy I managed to put in some training, avoiding injuries up to now, and even fitting in some cross country races. Despite them not being muddy enough for me I still finished in the middle of the field somehow, which is OK for me at the moment.

Towards the end of this run I even fitted in a road half marathon. The two hares here set off too quick to stick to them, and 240 more or less hungry hounds chased! Luckily a group of three hungry hounds managed to put in a gap between them and the remaining crowd. In this tiny group the first one was dropped somewhere early - he must have feared the other two might prefer a dog for dinner if they get too hungry. The second hounds recipe was a long run in the slip stream, and a short sprint towards the finishing line. This wasn't really to my liking, so after about 7 miles of good running I asked him to do some work for a moment. He thought I was tiring (maybe I was, but I didn't tell him), and actually did about a mile of work into the wind, keeping the two hares within sight. Then he fell back into my slipstream, and a mile later dropped out of it again - now only the hares to chase! But it was more a terrain for the two hares, they managed to put enough space between them and the chasing pack, and got to the finish line a little bit ahead of the first hound...Anyway, third overall (second top-three finish in a half marathon), first in the M30 age group (second time in a half marathon!), somehow this seems to be one of my favourite distances. And I'll get the hares next time!

Bark bark


Forthcoming Races/Events

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

Feb 1st Roundhay Romp, 1st Dewsbury 10k, 15th Liversedge 1/2, 29th Huddersfield 10k

March 14th East Hull 20, 21st South Leeds 5

April 11th Guiseley Gallop, 25th Rothwell 10k

May 2nd Sheffield 1/2 (no full marathon), 5th/12th/19th Esholt 5k series, 9th Fountains 10 (BS), 30th Melmerby 10k (BS)

June 5th Kirkby Malzeard 10k (BS), 10th Bronte 5, 27th Rainton 10k (BS)

July 3rd Burn Valley 1/2marathon (BS), 4th Pudsey 10k, 11th Roundhay Pulse Race 5, 25th Burton Leonard 10k (BS)

Races marked (BS) are in the Black Sheep Race Series, complete 3*10k and 1 of the long races to receive a plaque and be eligible for series prizes, but you need to pre-enter the series by 30 April

Races in the Striders Grand Prix are listed on the back page, not here

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.

Striders & Spiders Contacts

(see elsewhere on the website for Valley Striders email address)

We have over 120 Striders or potential Striders on the e-mail distribution list - if you have e-mail and are not receiving the Electronic Striders Updates that come out every two weeks or so, e-mail the address and ask to be included.

Grand Prix 2004 Events

Due to the popularity of so many races last year, most have been retained in the 2004 GP.

In with the two sections of V S News there should also be a folded A4 sheet "Grand Prix Handbook" - it tells you all you need to know and more.

Contact the Grand Prix Events Co-ordinators, Alan Hutchinson 01937 574613 & Paul White 265 8667, if you have any queries about the Grand Prix in general or any of the above races in particular.