August 2004

2004  Issue 2



London Marathon

Tracey and her Valley Striders vest have been on the front page of The Times and the front page of Athletics Weekly.  Now it's time for them to be the headline feature of this edition of V S News.

I don't think anyone will disagree that the highlight of the last 6 months was at 11:33am on Sunday 18th April when Tracey crossed the finishing line of the London Marathon.  I certainly heard the cheer 150 miles away from Stuart StJohn's house in Dumfries.  Well done, Tracey!

And then there was all that publicity.  Front and back pages of all the national newspapers.  Local, national and satellite TV.  "Tracey's Column" every other week in the Daily Mail.  And she was spotted in some unlikely places including Eve, Woman & Home and Retail Week (I only take the last of these three).

I'm not allowed to tell you how Tracey's training has been going as the Daily Mail has exclusive rights, but I do have an exclusive for you in the form of an email of best wishes and advice from Olympic bronze medallist and Striders President Charlie Spedding (see page 3).

Now we all (except Tracey) look forward to sitting in front of our TV screens at 4p.m. on Sunday 22 August to see the next instalment of the story.  We'll all be with you Tracey, good luck!

Other Headlines

The Meanwood Trail Race was a great success.  Our new junior race had 30 runners and we will repeat this next year.  We had a record total number of runners and raised a record over £1000. Thank you!

Congratulations to

·         Lisa Wilyman, winner of the Leeds Half Marathon

·         Sam Harris, winner of the Yorkshire 10k Championship

Forthcoming Events include the Leeds Country Way, Autumn Handicap, Briscoe's Fell Race, the Annual General Meeting  and the Harewood Trail Race.

More details of these on page 2 and the back page.  And I hope you enjoy the rest of the magazine!


In This Issue


Email from Charlie Spedding........................................................................ 3

Concluding 2003............................................................................................ 4

Identify the Strider (1).................................................................................... 5

Grand Prix 2004............................................................................................. 6

Grand Prix Results and Reports..................................................................... 6

Grand Prix 2004 Remaining Events............................................................... 13

Medical Advice............................................................................................ 14

Joint Pain?  Suffer no longer!  (from Steve O'Callaghan)................................... 14

DHMO - the new undetectable wonder drug?.................................................. 15

New members.............................................................................................. 20

Birthdays, Births and Farewells................................................................... 21

Other Race Reports...................................................................................... 22

Buttermere Round - 15 February  (from Eric Green)........................................ 22

Pafos Marathon (Cyprus) - 14 March  (from Ian Place).................................... 24

Belfast Marathon - 3 May  (from Brian Hanley)............................................... 25

German Report  (from Ingo Zoller)................................................................. 26

Helen Windsor 10k - 7 July (from Brian Hanley).............................................. 27

Ironman Triathlon New Zealand - 6 March (from Bill Murphy)............................ 28

Ironman Triathlon Austria - 4 July (from Bill Murphy)....................................... 30

Identify the Strider (2).................................................................................. 34

Bradford Millennium Way Relay.................................................................. 35

Cross Country............................................................................................... 36

Fell & Trail Running..................................................................................... 38

Forthcoming Races/Events........................................................................... 40

Striders & Spiders Contacts.......................................................................... 40

Thanks to those mentioned above for their reports and also to the usual suspects for their comments and paragraphs.  My proof-readers were EG, IP and PW, but it's not a hanging offence if the punctuation of the final product is not as good as Lynne Truss's (or should that be Truss')

AGM - Tuesday 28 September, 8:30 at Leo's

We will look back on the year and elect a new committee.  I am hoping to book Tony to do the catering (see page 14 for the review of the home made pie following the most recent Club Handicap).  And if you've suggestions for agenda items, let me know and I will circulate these to Striders on email (anonymously if you prefer).

I know one item for discussion will be Women's Striders Vests (see page 5)

Also we will have Club Membership Cards available for distribution (see opposite)

Email from Charlie Spedding

It was my pleasure and privilege to be made President of Valley Striders during the '80s. When I was commentating on the London Marathon for Radio Five Live on Sunday I was thrilled to see a Valley Striders athlete doing so well. I managed to mention on air what a sociable club Tracey Morris runs for, but Tracey is now getting so much publicity that Valley Striders must be getting more exposure than you ever imagined. Well done to her, of course, but well done to the whole club for creating an atmosphere in which her talents could thrive.

I would appreciate it if you could pass on the following to Tracey.

Dear Tracey,

Twenty years ago I ran the London Marathon. I was in my 30s, it was my second marathon, it was the Olympic trial, and with two men certain to be selected there was only one place available. I certainly wasn't the favourite to do so, but I finished first and went on to the Olympics Games.

There is a thread of coincidence between us here, which becomes more interesting when I tell you that because of my achievements (and perhaps my attitudes) the members of your club at that time voted for me to be the President of Valley Striders, an honour which I happily accepted. I don't like to tempt fate, but I went on to win a bronze medal at the Los Angeles Olympics, so I sincerely hope the thread of similarities remains unbroken.

I am very aware that you will be bombarded with advice for weeks to come, and prominent coaches may well be telling you that they can make you into an even better runner, and the sport will want you to go on training camps. I am reluctant to pile more advice on you, but I feel I must say "don't change what already works", and beware of other runners wanting to compete in training at training camps - they leave their best running behind.

As well as Los Angeles, I was 6th in Seoul. Both these races were extremely hot. If you want any advice on how to cope with the heat, or the Olympic experience, or, of course, the marathon please get in touch. I would be happy to help in any way I can. Whatever you do, I wish you the best race of your life.


Charlie Spedding

Club Membership Cards

Note that all Striders paid up for Sep2003-Aug2004 and/or Sep2004-Aug2005 will be registered with the North of England A.A. for 2004/5 and will receive their membership cards at the AGM.  With these you will get £1 discount off races and 10% discount at Up & Running!

Concluding 2003

I know we're now nearer 2005 than 2003, but I never did tell you who won the two main trophies for 2003 at the Presentation Night.

However I could make an excuse that by mentioning it now you could get your thinking caps on and put forward some suggestions for the award winners for 2004.

The Horsforth Marathon Cup, originally presented by Janet Kitchen, is awarded to the best marathon performance (not necessarily the fastest) by a Strider.

There were a few nominations for this, so in reverse sequence

·         Disqualified: Jerry Watson 2:43 at London but in a Thames Hare & Hounds vest

·         7th: Paul Briscoe, 7th in the Three Peaks Race

·         6th: The men's winning marathon team at Leeds - Terry Bean 2:48, Jerry Watson 2:54, Drew Taylor 3:07

·         5th: Mick Wrench, joint winner of the Burley Bridge Hike

·         4th Kathy Kaiser, 2nd W50-54 at London marathon 3:11:59

·         3rd: Mark Hoon, based in Washington USA, Corning Marathon winner in 2:33

·         2nd: Lisa Wilyman, an excellent debut marathon at London in 3:01:34

·         1st: Lisa Wilyman, an even better Leeds marathon win in 3:00:10 (shame about the 10 seconds but hope the trophy and cheque was some compensation)

NB Since winning Leeds and then running the Leeds Country Way, Lisa has not run much with the Striders due to work commitments and then taking a course and qualifying as a personal trainer in April 2004.  However she had obviously been doing more than a little training on her own as her performance at the 2004 Leeds Half Marathon was to show.

The Also-Ran Trophy, originally presented by club founder Stuart StJohn, is awarded to the Strider who tries hardest without winning anything.  Note that this is not a sign of incompetence but an indication that winners have an opportunity to go on to greater things.  Previous winners include Geoff Webster, Dick Dale, Bob Wilkes, Paul White and Mark Bean, and a few others who paid me not to mention their names.

Our winner for 2003 is a regular runner on Tuesdays and Thursdays, ran 7 races in the Club Championship, ran in the Leeds Country Way (but not for any of the teams that were placed second) and had an almost unsurpassable record in races throughout the year, finishing last Strider in 15 races.

There was just one blip in this form, when she won the Yorkshire Vets 5k championships W45-49 category at Hyde Park in September.

Despite this, we still awarded Debbi Wagman the Also Ran Trophy.


Identify the Strider (1)

Number & Name




Year and Reason Started Running

1996 - Wanted to get school 800m record and didn’t like it when people didn’t turn up for hockey and netball practice.

Date Joined Striders

October 2003





      - 800m


School (not record)


      - 1500m


School (record)


      - 5K



May 2004

      - 10K



June 2004

      - 10 Mile



July 2004

      - Half Marathon


Great North Run

September 2000


Represented Yorkshire in Inter-Counties X-Country 2001 and 2004.


Ran very badly in Inter-Counties 2004.


To run faster.

Avge Weekly Mileage

Not sure as it is gradually increasing – probably about 60 at the moment.

Favourite Training Run

Eccup Reservoir.

Favourite Pre-Race Meal

Toast and Honey.

Favourite Race

Any flat road race of a standard distance.


Don’t assume 10Ks will be measured in kilometres.


Cross country, flat road races, chocolate, pic’n’mix.


I'm sure there must be plenty I just can't think of them at the moment (I must be in a good mood today!).

Other Interests

You mean there is more to life than running!

Answer on page 15

Valley Striders Women's Vests/Tops

I have not looked personally but have been told that there is only a limited range at The Complete Runner at Ilkley.  We hope to have some proposals by the AGM.

There is also a suggestion that we should carry a full range of club kit - your comments?

Grand Prix 2004

Grand Prix Results and Reports

Chevin Chase - 26 December 2003

   11 Steve Webb          43.49

   22 Mick Loftus         45.16

   61 Andrew Cutts        48.01

   83 Martin Horbury      49.27

   84 Sam Harris          49.32

   98 Jerry Watson        50.04

  118 Bob Jackson         51.01

  145 Mick Tinker         52.20

  148 Alistair Fale       52.29

  185 John Hallas         53.40

  195 Tony Haygarth       54.18

  212 David Cusack        55.06

  266 Crawford Weir       57.03

  304 Simon Redshaw       58.10

  314 Dawn Morley         58.36

  343 Dick Dale           59.34

  394 Laura Brook         61.06

  411 Eric Green          61.54

  471 MitchScott-Baxendale63.33

  498 Kay Mason           64.38

  523 Sara Dyer           65.20

  534 Steve O'Callaghan   65.50

  535 Madeleine Watson    65.58

  572 Brendan Kitson      67.21

  685 Debbi Wagman        71.44

Second Claim

   99 Trish Barton        50.06

  386 Jim Towers          60.55


Christmas Handicap- 28 December 2003

                           Clock   Hand-    Run  Grand Prix

  Pos Name                  Time    icap   Time  Points

    1 Sam Harris           40.09    7.00  33.09  92

    2 Tim Crossland        40.54   14.00  26.54 100

    3 Kay Mason            41.21    1.00  40.21  80

    4 Simon Vallance       41.26    8.45  32.41  94

    5 George Little        41.29    8.45  32.44  93

    6 Steve Webb           41.34   12.00  29.34  98

    7 Sara Dyer            41.42    0.30  41.12  79

    8 Tracey Morris        41.45   12.45  29.00  99

    9 Tony Haygarth        41.54    6.00  35.54  85

   10 Debbi Wagman         42.06   -3.45  45.11  78

   11 John Hallas          42.12    7.55  34.17  88

   12 Paul White           42.30    7.25  35.05  86

   13 Paul Morris          42.37    3.15  39.22  82

   14 Andrew Cutts         42.42   10.15  32.27  96

   15 Bob Jackson          42.44    8.45  33.59  90

   16 Mick Tinker          42.53    7.55  34.58  87

   17 Mick Wrench          42.56   12.15  30.41  97

   18 Natalie Crossland    43.40    3.45  39.55  81

   19 Martin Horbury       43.46   11.15  32.31  95

   20 Mark Bean            45.17   11.45  33.32  91

   21 Jerry Watson         45.57   11.45  34.12  89

   22 Roy Flesher          47.31    9.30  38.01  84

   23 Geoff Webster        53.21   14.00  39.21  83


4th West Yorks Cross Country at Bodington Hall - 10 January

(See Cross-Country section for results and report)

Brass Monkey Half Marathon - Sunday 25 January

    8 Tracey Morris       73.44

    9 Brian Hanley        74.19

   31 Vicky Whitehead     78.44

  100 Bob Jackson         86.52

  115 Sam Harris          87.56

  117 Paul Hunter         88.01

  193 Paul White          92.44

  248 Eric Green          96.17

  267 Hayley Palmer       97.19

  317 Simon Redshaw       99.35

  439 Gary Sutherland    105.18

  542 Paul Morris        110.10

  655 Kay Mason          116.44

  655 Debbi Wagman       116.44

Second Claim

  112 Chris Booker        87.45

  290 Jim Towers          98.11

  724 Lyn Eden           121.40

There were a few prizes collected in the new banqueting suite at York Racecourse as Tracey and Vicky took 1-2, and with Sam won the team prize.  Brian also picked up a prize.  Commiserations to Kay who, after injury, was using the race as a fitness tester for London, struggled and wisely ruled herself out of London for this year.

Rombalds Stride - Saturday 7 February

    3 Steve Webb        2:56.56

    8 Brian Hanley      3:09.40

   15 Mick Loftus       3:18.11

   22 Alan Hutchinson   3:24.31

   26 Rob Bumstead      3:25.45

   36 Bob Jackson       3:35.13

   65 Geoff Webster     3:57.28

   80 Ian Place         4:05.24

   99 Eric Green        4:24.00

  114 Bob Wilkes        4:31.35

  226 Madeleine Watson  5:34.47

Second Claim

  232 Jim Towers        5:39.22

  233 Lyn Eden          5:39.22


Baildon Boundary Way - Sunday 7 March

    2 Brian Hanley        81.06

   30 Roy Flesher         94.42

   46 Simon Vallance      97.47

   48 Martin Horbury      98.21

   59 Andrew Cutts        99.57

   63 Bob Jackson        100.56

   79 Mick Tinker        103.07

   87 Rob Liddle         104.13

   92 Paul Hunter        105.11

  162 Peter Lambert      110.50

  197 Eric Green         115.11

  213 Bob Wilkes         117.13

  215 Laura Brook        117.22

Second Claim

   32 Chris Booker        95.10


Spen 20 - Sunday 14 March

    4 Brian Hanley      2:02.20

   12 Drew Taylor       2:09.35

   19 Alan Hutchinson   2:15.40

   40 Bob Jackson       2:28.08

   73 Simon Redshaw     2:43.08

Brian had a very lonely run, 5 minutes behind 3rd place and 1 minutes ahead of 5th.  All the Striders running here went on to run marathons in spring or early summer - read on to find out how they got on!

The G P committee decided to award G P points for Spen and East Hull but consider them as one race in the G.P. and allocate points based on race time

East Hull 19.4 - Sunday 14 March

   6 Tracey Morris  (W1)1:56.21

  31 Roy Flesher        2:08.46

  97 Eric Green         2:28:56

  107 Rob Liddle        2:31.59

  237 Cath Benson       3:07:00

      winner 1:45.15  271 ran

A race marshal at mile 18 of Hull attempted to scupper the awarding of G.P. points when he decided to send the runners straight on at a roundabout rather than send them for two extra turns to ensure full distance, hence the East Hull 19.4. A bit of calculation was required to award the G P points.  All the Striders here went on to run the London marathon - read on to find out how they got on!

Ackworth Half Marathon - Sunday 28 March

  187 Sam Harris          90.03

  216 Paul White          92.48

  220 Mick Tinker         93.20

  228 Jane Sutton         93.44

  232 Eric Green          93.57

  309 Hayley Palmer       99.16

  356 Gary Sutherland    102.03

  380 Natalie Crossland  103.48

  415 Mary Harris        105.40

This was also the Yorkshire and UK half marathon championships.  The women's team failed to be bronze medallists in both of these by the margin of 5 days.  That is, that 5 days later, Sam came to the end of her 6 month transfer period, but unfortunately, on 27 March, was classed as a "non-counter"

Spring Handicap - Tuesday 6 April

                           Clock   Hand-    Run G.P.

  Pos Name                  Time    icap   Time Points

    1 Gary Sutherland      48.48    4.30  44.18  88

    2 Eric Green           49.22    6.30  42.52  91

    3 Hayley Palmer        49.45    5.45  44.00  89

    4 Simon Redshaw        49.59    5.15  44.44  87

    5 Roy Flesher          50.29   11.45  38.44  96

    6 Mick Tinker          50.39    9.00  41.39  93

    7 Mick Loftus          50.50   13.00  37.50  98

    8 Tony Haygarth        51.01    7.15  43.46  90

    9 Lily Wong            51.13    4.45  46.28  86

   10 Rob Liddle           51.21   10.45  40.36  95

   11 Bob Wilkes           51.47    4.30  47.17  84

   12 Mick Wrench          52.17   15.30  36.47  99

   13 Sam Harris           52.23   11.15  41.08  94

   14 Peter Lambert        52.49    5.30  47.19  83

   15 Jerry Watson         53.02   14.30  38.32  97

   16 Kathy Kaiser         53.51    7.15  46.36  85

   17 Mark Bean            55.34   13.30  42.04  92

   18 Geoff Webster        55.43    7.45  47.58  81

   19 Steve O'Callaghan    57.47   10.00  47.47  82

   20 Brian Hanley         57.51   21.45  36.06 100

When Gary joined last year he was planning to run a marathon this summer but a number of injuries disrupted his training such that he did not even run the Leeds Half.  So winning the club handicap was some compensation.  The next 3 places were also taken by newer members to the club.

London Marathon - Sunday 18 April

  107 Tracey Morris     2:33.52

  836 Roy Flesher       2:56.16

  928 Drew Taylor       2:57.40

 1229 Alan Hutchinson   3:00.53

 1472 Rob Liddle        3:04.19

 2891 Julia Barltrop    3:18.32

 5893 Eric Green        3:37.47

 7266 George Little     3:44.57

17672 Debbi Wagman      4:26.37

20254 Cath Benson       4:37.20

22161 Jennie Owst       4:45.56

22181 Paul Morris       4:46.01

26656 Tony Lupton       5:12.54


We all know what happened at the front of the Women's race, but how did the other Striders fare?  Roy comfortably ran inside 3 hours despite a shortage of training.  Drew picked up an injury a couple of weeks to go and was unsure whether to start.  Anyway he decide to see how far he could get without the injury causing problems - 26.2 miles was the answer.  Alan had a good first 30k and then saw Roy and Drew go past in the last 10k.  If Rob Liddle did more than 6 weeks serious training, he'd break 3hours.  Jules had a brilliant debut marathon (see New Members section).  It was also a debut for the next 6 Striders - most would be very pleased with their performances.  Paul Morris's run was disrupted by a phone call after he had only run 8 miles - it was from Vicky telling him of Tracey's success.  He received a few remarks from other runners about being on his mobile - I'm sure none of them believed him at the time that his wife had just finished as first British runner!


Jack Bloor Fell Race - Tuesday 9 May

   16 Steve Webb          45.26

   29 Mick Loftus         47.41

   38 Andrew Cutts        49.13

   47 Jerry Watson        50.45

   80 Mick Tinker         54.22

   96 Bob Jackson         56.30

  100 Geoff Webster       57.05

  124 Sylvia Watson       61.41

  130 Tony Haygarth       64.32

  138 Sara Dyer           68.43

I was told this was a navigational fell race. This basically meant that instead of running along the paths on Ilkley Moor, you actually ran through the gorse, heather and bogs, and when you came to a path you went across to the next gorse/heather/bog etc.

A couple of friends knew the route and we went up on the Sunday before to recce.  Not Valley Striders friends, I should say - with GP points at stake, which Striders would have offered me a recce?  There was only one seriously steep descent and there was a set of steps that could be used instead of jumping off the edge of the crag, so I decided to enter.

The race was more follow-my-leader than navigational.  From time to time, one or two intrepid runners disappeared off at right-angles to the pack - I'm not sure whether they gained or lost.  I made a steady pace but it was the hardest 5½ miles I'd ever run as you can judge from the time.  My 5 minute lead ahead of Geoff before the final descent was just sufficient to allow me to walk down the steps and still finish ahead of him.  Before next year, I'll book my place in Casualty in advance and leap down the crag like the rest.

Leeds Half Marathon - Sunday 16 May

   14 Terry Bean  (M40/1) 78.22

   30 Mick Wrench         81.58

   47 Lisa Wilyman  (W/1) 83.40

   83 Roy Flesher (M50/3) 87.52

   84 Nick Brown          87.55

  120 Sam Harris    (W/3) 90.17

  120 Bob Jackson         90.17

  151 Rob Liddle          92.07

  160 Simon Vallance      92.42

  215 Paul White          94.52

  222 Mick Tinker         95.14

  235 Paul Hunter         95.33

  305 Eric Green          97.45

  319 Hayley Palmer       98.13

  433 Natalie Crossland  101.50

  474 Paul Hilton        102.42

  503 David Cusack       103.22

  504 Simon Redshaw      103.26

  542 Carmel Barker      104.25

  555 Bob Wilkes         104.42

  621 Steve Purnell      106.24

  713 Lily Wong          108.08

  750 Mivvy Tekchandani  109.01

  788 Penny Sanders      109.39

 1250 Sarah Brown        119.37

 1277 Paul Morris        119.48

 1443 Cath Benson        123.01

 1455 Leroy Sutton       123.43

As usual, this race brought out a large contingent of Striders.  I was one but I still haven't worked out its attraction.  Sadly there was no full marathon but the half had nearly a thousand extra entries, there would be over 2400 finishers.

I was surprised and pleased to see Lisa on the start line.  She had race number 1.  "You should be on the front line", I said.  Her reply was unprintable.  She started a row or two ahead of me and I never saw her again.  Some good secret training she's been doing.

It was as usual an unusually hot day for the time of year.  You know what I mean.  It's just a Leeds tradition for half marathon Sunday to be 10 degrees warmer than the rest of May.  Many runners struggled in the heat, it's a tough pull up to the Otley Road roundabout and there are still over 5 miles to go with no shelter down Kirkstall Road.

Nick sent his thanks to Roy for bringing him in the last 3 miles to set a PB by 4 minutes.  I caught Sam just before 12 miles.  We knew she was currently in 3rd place and we ran in together (hence the unofficial joint 120th place), not looking behind us until the last 100 metres (that's what I told her as we were running, but I managed a sneaky look over my shoulder now and again).

So, congratulations to Lisa on her win, to Sam who joined her on the podium and also to Hayley who joined them for the women's team prize.

Thirsk 10 - Sunday 6 June

    6 Tracey Morris       57.21

   31 Lisa Wilyman        63.46

   35 Sam Harris          64.06

   36 Brian Hanley        64.08

   54 Nick Brown          66.15

   90 Eric Green          72.04

  125 Martin Horbury      74.59

  167 Paul Hilton         78.19

  273 Paul Morris         91.33

  283 Mike Brown          93.03

I'm sure this is the first time that 100, 99 and 98 GP points in a race have been scored by wimmin.  You will be surprised to learn that they did NOT win the team prize - firstly because Tracey had not pre-entered, only deciding late that it would be great warm weather training, and secondly and more importantly because it was four to count!

Edinburgh, Blackpool & Potteries (Stoke-on-Trent) Marathons

 At Potteries - Bob Jackson    3:18:33 (46/540)  100 GP points

 At Edinburgh - Eric Green     3:34:35 (287/2853) 99 GP points

 At Edinburgh - Simon Redshaw  4:07:21 (966/2853) 98 GP points

 At Blackpool - no Striders                      nul points

Stoke-on-Trent marathon - 20 June  (from Bob)

This was my 16th marathon and 3rd attempt at Stoke, having had relatively poor runs in 2000 and 2002 with times around 3:35 (both PW's - Personal Worsts). In both cases it had been over 25 degrees C, it's quite a tough course with hardly a flat stretch anywhere and a couple of nasty hills in the last 6 miles. With the heat (and the hills) I just hadn't coped. But nor had most of the rest of the runners, and both times I was placed in the top 10% of the field!

This time I wasn't quite as fit but we had had some quite hot weekends leading up to the race and I'd done a couple of long runs (20 miles+) in the midday heat to attempt to acclimatise.

On the day it was only 12 degrees! I set off at about 7 minute miling. With it being so cool, I found it easy, but the pace seemed OK. I had a pit stop at 6 miles because I'd drunk 500ml on the start line instead of the recommended 250ml. At about 8 miles I saw the three leading ladies were about 200 yards ahead of me. They were all from the same club (Newcastle AC - that's Newcastle Staffs not Tyneside) and as I got nearer, they were all chatting away as if it was just a Sunday jog. Well, I couldn't stop could I, so I went past. And reached half way in 1:34. Five weeks earlier I'd run Leeds Half in 1:30, so this should have set some warning bells.

I kept going well till 15 miles, when I stopped at a drinks station to pour a bag of High 5 carbo powder into my drink bottle and then top up with water. As I struggled with it (the next week Steve O showed me how I should have tied the slip knot), the three ladies went past, still chatting and never to be seen by me again. It then started raining. I was in a mesh vest and after 15 minutes of continuous rain I started to get quite cold. But only a couple of runners passed me, so I was still going OK. The rain stopped, I got a bit warmer, I hadn't slowed too much.

But the final hills did cause me some trouble. About 6 runners came past in the last 6 miles, and I finished in 3:18. So, ten minutes slower for the second half. I was 46th out of 540, so still in the top 10%, and 4th M50, just out of the prizes. Not quite to race plan but a satisfactory result! The three leading ladies had raced the last 6 miles and finished in 3:06, 3:09 and 3:10. I later found out that the ladies winner had run 2:47 earlier in the year, so she really had been out for a Sunday jog.

I'm not sure what the moral of that tale is - maybe "know who you're racing and pacing, and if you don't know, then run at your own pace".

P.S. now I've found out that Jules ran 1 second faster at London than I did at Stoke, I'll have to start planning my next marathon!

Hyde Park 5k - Wednesday 7 July

   30 Martin Horbury      18.56

   34 Richard King        19.19

   46 Roy Flesher         20.17

   51 Mick Tinker         20.33

   53 Tony Haygarth       20.49

   54 Paul White          20.51

   57 Simon Redshaw       21.16

   61 Eric Green          21.58

This was the first run in Striders colours for Richard, who hung on to Martin for the first one and a half laps but had to concede the 100 points on the last lap.  Striders won no prizes but packed the middle of the field well.

Summer Trail Handicap- Tuesday 20 July

                           Clock   Hand-    Run  Grand Prix

  Pos Name                  Time    icap   Time  Points

    1 Mivvy Tekchandani    39.54    3.00  36.54  83

    2 Natalie Crossland    41.00    3.30  37.30  80

    3 Paul Hunter          41.46    8.00  33.46  91

    4 Brian Hanley         41.53   13.45  28.08 100

    5 Tony Haygarth        42.01    6.30  35.31  87

    6 Elika Tasker         42.02    5.30  36.32  84

    7 Rob Liddle           42.05    9.15  32.50  96

    8 Mick Loftus          42.16   11.30  30.46  99

    9 Carole Schofield     42.17    6.00  36.17  86

   10 Martin Horbury       42.20   10.45  31.35  98

   11 Simon Redshaw        42.32    5.30  37.02  82

   12 Paul White           42.33    7.15  35.18  88

   13 Alan Hutchinson      42.38    9.45  32.53  94

   14 Mick Tinker          42.50    8.30  34.20  89

   15 Andrew Cutts         43.12   10.15  32.57  93

   16 Bob Jackson          43.27    9.30  33.57  90

   17 Eric Green           43.32    6.15  37.17  81

   18 Ross Anderson        43.35   10.45  32.50  96

   19 Steve Purnell        44.02    4.30  39.32  79

   20 Richard King         44.39   11.30  33.09  92

   21 Ken Kaiser           44.57    8.30  36.27  85

   22 Sam Harris           45.04   12.15  32.49  97

   23 Kathy Kaiser         46.32    6.15  40.17  78

Mivvy was the dark horse and she exceeded all expectations from her 1:49 at Leeds ... or maybe it's a great advert for what 2 months training with the Striders can do for you.

The cup was presented to Mivvy by John Umpleby who originally bought the cup for the Striders in 1987.  John then took it away again and by the time you read this the engraving should be up to date - thanks John.  Thanks also to Mike & Eileen for timekeeping and recording.

The pie'n'peas turned out to be a home baked steak pie and a vegetable bake (potatoes, onions, tomatoes and peppers) with cheese - every plate was cleared!  Next booking for Tony's catering is Tuesday 7 September (the Autumn Handicap) and you can book a meal without running the handicap.
Grand Prix Groups for 2004 and Current Positions

Note that all runners who have completed 3 races or more are shown in the following list.  There are still 12 races left so even runners who haven't started could get the eight races to qualify for a Grand Prix T-shirt and possibly even win a category prize.

The points cover 16 races up to and including the Summer Handicap.

Group A             Brian Hanley 794, Bob Jackson 762, Roy Flesher 670 (7)

                            Steve Webb 486 (5), Tracey Morris 479 (5), Mick Loftus 473 (5),

Jerry Watson 464 (5), Andrew Cutts 461 (5), Mick Wrench 265 (3)

                            Drew Taylor 263 (3)

Group B             Sam Harris 761, Martin Horbury 675 (7), Rob Liddle 556 (6)        

                            Paul White 533 (6) , Alan Hutchinson 365 (4), Simon Vallance 264 (3)

Group C             Eric Green 754, Mick Tinker 750, Tony Haygarth 530 (6),

                            Geoff Webster 435 (5), Paul Hunter 347 (4)

Group D             Simon Redshaw 715, Bob Wilkes 425 (5), Paul Morris 407 (5),

                            Hayley Palmer 333 (4), Sara Dyer 329 (4), Natalie Crossland 310 (4),

Gary Sutherland 242 (3),

Group E              Debbi Wagman 324 (4), Kay Mason 229 (3)

The above scores include penalty points where runners have not completed 5 different types of race (if they've completed more than 5 races they may still be penalty points if they aren't different types).  The types are shown in the events list below but note that all the Medium races have been contested this year.

Grand Prix 2004 Remaining Events

Cat       Day     Date              Time    Type      Event

Short   Sun      Aug 1           10:30.   Short      Harrogate 10k

Fell      Sun      Aug 8           11:00.   Fell         Round Hill Fell Race, near Otley

Hcap   Tue      Sep 7            18:45    Hcap      Autumn handicap 10k

Fell      Sat       Sep 11          15:00.   Fell         Briscoe's Fell Race, from Otley

X-C      w/e      Oct 16/17     13:30    X/c         West Yorks cross country 2004 race 1

Fell      Sun      Oct 24           11:30.   Fell         Withins Skyline, near Haworth

X-C      w/e      Oct 30/31     13:30    X/c         West Yorks cross country 2004 race 2 ***

Long   Sun      Oct 31           10:30.   Long      Holmfirth 15

Trail     Sat       Nov 13         a.m.      Trail        Burley Bridge Hike 20

X-C      w/e      Nov 20/21    13:30    X/c         West Yorks cross country 2004 race 3 ***

Short   Sun      Nov 21         11:05.   Short      Roundhay 5 mile

Short   Sun      Nov 28         a.m.      Short      Abbey Dash 10k

X-C      w/e      Dec 4/5         13:30    X/c         West Yorks cross country 2004 race 4

                                               *** Note we will choose one of these two races for VSGP


Medical Advice

Joint Pain?  Suffer no longer!  (from Steve O'Callaghan)

After 34 years of running and many years of heavy mileage to run fast marathons I now suffer with wear and tear damage to my upper foot joints. This is because my running action involves a certain amount of rolling from a heel strike to the take off on the ball of my foot. I now wear orthotics, which helps, but due to the problem I no longer race very much as the stress involved leaves me limping for days. I have for some time taken Glucosamine Sulphate, which has helped the problem, but not sufficiently to take away the pain completely. If I trained hard I found that the only way to keep going was to take Ibuprofen to ease the pain. This however I did not want to do on a daily basis so I contented myself to train easy and thereby keep a certain level of fitness.

I read an article about collagen in the Daily Mail relating to a woman who had knee problems and had to stop running because of the soft tissue damage where bone was wearing upon bone. The surgeon advised her to try collagen which she did and within a few months she was back running and went on to set PBs at all distances. I tried to get some from Holland & Barratt but because of this article they were sold out for weeks. I saw an advert in the press and went on the Collagen Collection website and ordered some which came in a capsule form. The website has testimonies from Olympic and other athletes. Since taking it I have noticed a marked improvement with the pain in my foot joints and have not taken any Ibuprofen for some months now.

Recently I was contacted by the company who are now supplying 3 times the amount for about the same cost in a 10g sachet format. Research has proved that this dosage gives greatest benefit to joint conditions. 3 months supply for £95.88 (introductory offer.) About £1 a day.

If this has helped me then I am sure it can help others and who knows I might even get back to racing again.

For more information, see website

or contact Steve (0113) 267-7779


The 14th Rule for "Borrowing" Race Numbers

Do you remember the 13 rules from the last V S News?  There was a guy at the Baildon Boundary Way who used rule 14.  Make up any number and stick it on.  Run the route and through the finishing funnel.  Come in the top 20.  Don't stick around for the prize-giving because the woman bearing the official version of the number and who was awarded first place is still on the course.  Let the race organisers have to sort out exchanging trophies and vouchers because all the women have won higher denomination vouchers than they were awarded in the presentation.

DHMO - the new undetectable wonder drug?

Usually Striders News contains original contributions, but this has been borrowed from the Sheffield Tri Club website.  Hope you enjoy it!

Some of you may have read or heard about a new performance enhancing substance gaining popularity with athletes, from professionals to amateurs, primarily due to its apparent low cost, ease of administration and low traceability once in an athlete's body. I have even heard rumours that certain members of Sheffield Tri Club have tried experimenting with the substance, however this has not been confirmed. The British Triathlon Union have issued a press release on the substance and the implications for triathlon, which is available on their website for the more inquisitive amongst you

What is Dihydrogen Monoxide?  DHMO is a colourless and odourless chemical compound, also referred to by some as Dihydrogen Oxide, Hydrogen Hydroxide, Hydronium Hydroxide, or simply Hydric acid. Its basis is the unstable radical Hydroxide, the components of which are found in a number of caustic, explosive and poisonous compounds such as Sulphuric Acid, Nitroglycerine and Ethyl Alcohol.

The dangers, uses and potential threats posed by this chemical, Dihydrogen
Monoxide, are widespread:

·         Some call Dihydrogen Monoxide the "Invisible Killer".

·         Others think Dihydrogen monoxide should be Banned

·         Athletes use DIHYDROGEN MONOXIDE, or DHMO, to enhance performance.

·         Dihydrogen Monoxide is a major component of acid rain

·         Thousands die each year after inhaling Dihydrogen monoxide

·         It corrodes metal

·         Dihydrogen Monoxide can be deadly

Find out the truth about Dihydrogen Monoxide see

The guy from Sheffield Tri said "I prefer mine with hops and fermented with an ethanol content, or neat when on the bike"

I'm sure most of you have worked it out by now, but if not, get your magnifying glasses out ... Dihydrogen is H2 and monoxide is O, so put it together and you get H2O!



Identify the Strider (1) - answer

Strider VLS00172 on page 5 is Sam Harris


Other Race Results

There have been a lot of Striders competing in a lot of places. Keep this VS News handy for next year and if you think you might enter a particular race in 2005 there is a good chance another Strider ran it in 2004.

Woodkirk 10k - Sunday 18 January

 68 Tony Haygarth       43.51

131 Eric Green          48.24

252 ran    winner's time 35.21

      so assume a tough course!


Dewsbury 10k - Sunday 1 February

  5 Tim Crossland     PB 30:52

 13 Tracey Morris  (W/1) 33:41

 47 Vicky Whitehead   PB 35:58

105 Sam Harris        PB 39:00

131 John Hallas          39:43

167 Tony Haygarth        41:02

170 Paul White           41:11

174 Mick Tinker       PB 41:14

218 Simon Redshaw     PB 42:53

220 Eric Green        PB 42:54

242 Steve Purnell     PB 43:40

263 Natalie Crossland PB 44:16

364 Paul Morris          47:55

657 ran    winner's time 29:48

The question we were asking was whether Tim's 30:52 was the best ever time by a Strider for 10k.  Tracey set a women's course record and with Vicky (4th W) and Nat took the team prize.  The men's team were 7th  There were 8 PB's in all.  Paul White's time was a CB (a "course best") - his fastest for the course in 8 attempts.


Liversedge half marathon - Sunday 15 February

  1 Tim Crossland        72.49

 26 Vicky Whitehead (W2) 84.05

185 Simon Redshaw       102.54

254 Kay Mason           110.04

372 Debbi Wagman        125.51

409 ran    winner's time 72.49


Tim was 3mins 56 secs clear of the second-placed runner!  Amazing!

Snake Lane 10 - Sunday 22 February

  7 Tracey Morris   (W1) 56.39

 22 Drew Taylor          58.52

 33 Tim Towler           60.30

 46 Vicky Whitehead (W3) 62.40

 51 Roy Flesher          62.56

 91 Nick Brown           65.46

107 Paul Hunter          66.31

622 ran    winner's time 54.05


Radcliffe 12 mile Trail Race - Sunday 29 February

  4 Robert Jackson   (Horwich)

 18 Paul White    (Rossendale)

Bet you didn't know there were namesakes of Striders the other side of the Pennines! Any other contributions on this subject will be used to fill an appropriate gap in the next newsletter - can there be another Geoff Webster?

Huddersfield 10k (hilly) - Sunday 29 February

 10 Terry Bean           37.31

336 Mike Brown           53.11

505 ran    winner's time 33.45


South Leeds 5 - Sunday 21 March

 31 Howard Jeffrey        33.10

 52 Tony Haygarth         35.21

 84 Steve Purnell         37.20

 97 Peter Lambert         38.30

Morecambe 20 - Sunday 21 March

107 Eric Green          2:29.44

324 Debbi Wagman        3:25.31

Debbi was away for Spen & Hull so this was her pre-London 20

Wakefield 10k - Sunday 4 April (windy)

  5 Brian Hanley          33:56

  6 Tracey Morris   (W/1) 34:00

 12 Drew Taylor   (M40/3) 35:20

 45 Roy Flesher   (M50/4) 37.55

 93 Sam Harris      (W/7) 39:47

132 Jane Sutton   (W35/4) 40:58

183 Paul White            42:38

195 Eric Green       (PB) 42:49

Men's team 4th

Women's team 2nd

Salford 10k - Friday 9 April

 14 Tracey Morris   W1 PB 33.22

 48 Roy Flesher           36.35

This was Tracey's warm up for London, and a very good one it was too!

Guiseley Gallop - Sunday 11 April

 33 Nick Brown            41.40

 47 Howard Jeffrey (2clm) 42.51

 61 Andrew Cutts          44.10

 76 Richard King    (stj) 45.13

 95 Mick Tinker           46.37

139 Tony Haygarth         48.32

207 Lily Wong             51.51

278 Peter Lambert         55.56

            winner's time 36.16

Rothwell 10k - Sunday 25 April

 49 Sam Harris      (W/4) 39.27

107 Eric Green            41.58

129 Paul White            42.47

192 Simon Redshaw         45.05

233 Peter Lambert         46.50

295 Mike Brown            49.55

555 ran, winner  I.Fisher 31.17

Sheffield ½ marathon - Sunday 2 May

214 Eric Green            92.03

1411 Simon Burnett       119.05

Eric writes:

For those of you looking for an additional "local" half marathon as well as Leeds then you cannot do better than the Sheffield Half. There are a lot of similarities but as I did both this year I'd rate the Sheffield half much better. No, not just because of the PB I got at Sheffield and the "slow" run I managed at Leeds, water stops seemed more frequent and better organised and a great finish in the Don Valley stadium rounded of the race. I also found the earlier start at 9am meant we'd completed the course before it got really hot (Leeds HM organisers take note). With the early start you'd have thought maybe fewer runners but roughly the same amount set off in Sheffield as did two weeks later in Leeds. The course took us through the streets of Sheffield city centre with mostly uphills in the first 6 miles and mostly downhills in the last 6 miles. I think in terms of difficulty the course was equal to that of Leeds, as to my running 5 mins slower in Leeds then I can only put it down to the time of the run in the day. PS The medal was better than in Leeds.

Goodricke Gallop - Tuesday 27 April

58 Lily Wong              47.21

Race for Life at Templenewsam

Hayley finished second out of several hundred runners!

John Carr 5k race series Esholt - Tuesdays 5/19/26 May

 29 Sam Harris     18.18(49)  18.08(65)  17.50(53)  = 54.16

 31 Andrew Cutts   18.18(48)  18.13(69)  17.57(58)  = 54.27

 62 Hayley Palmer  19.46(85)  19.57(124) 19.25(111) = 59.08

103 Sara Dyer      24.00(131) 23.21(189) 22.34(196) = 70.15

Despite Sam's high overall place, she was 'only' 5th W in the series.

John Carr individual race results

First race was won by Tim Crossland in 14:40, ahead of Ian Fisher!- Congratulations!  The only other Strider running these races was Brian Hanley who ran 18:07 (64th) in race 2 and 17:51 (54th) in race 3.  Having been paced by Tracey at Wakefield and now paced twice by Sam at Esholt, there may be a stewards' enquiry into this matter

Sandal Castle 10k - Sunday 16 May

171 Elika Tasker          45.48

192 Peter Lambert         46.27

253 Tony Haygarth         48.34

Bluebell Trail Race - Sunday 23 May

  7 Brian Hanley          70.18

  9 Terry Bean            70.32

 32 Bob Jackson           80.55

 54 Mick Tinker           85.05

 79 Simon Redshaw         90.00

West Yorks 5 - Sunday 6 June

 11 Neil Dutton           31.04

North of England 5k at Horwich - Sunday 20 June

W18 Lou Gilchrist (W70/1) 23.10

Humber Bridge ½ marathon - Sunday 27 June

 90 Paul White            94.30

125 Eric Green            97.52

136 Natalie Crossland(W5) 99.44

    winner Darran Bilton  67.52

The attraction of running across the longest single span bridge in the world (1,410 meters and a total length of about one and a half miles) resulted in well over one thousand entries and 989 finishers in this popular and spectacular race.

Daughter (Natalie) is finishing closer to Dad (Paul) these days and narrowed the gap to just over 5 minutes. Natalie knocked another 2 minutes off her PB and finished as 6th W. Paul took three and a half minutes longer than the same race last year but still managed to finish in the prize list as 3rd M55. Like Paul, Eric finished in a very similar time to his run in the Leeds Half.

Otley 10 - Wednesday 30 June

  3 Brian Hanley          58.33

 27 Rob Bumstead          64.41

 44 Lisa Wilyman     (W3) 67.03

153 Jim Towers     (2clm) 79.10

193 Bob Wilyman           83.22

222 Sara Dyer             86.46

272 Lyn Eden       (2clm) 97.47

Wheldrake 10k

 13 Sam Harris       (W1) 37.40

 35 Eric Green       (PB) 41.30

Skipton Tough 10 - Sunday 4 July

 10 Brian Hanley          65.43

 77 Jim Towers     (2clm) 78.40

130 Lyn Eden       (2clm) 98.11

144 ran  -  winner's time 57.26

Helen Windsor 10k (incl. Yorks Champs) - Wednesday 7 July

  4 Brian Hanley (Yorks3) 34.37

 22 Sam Harris       (W1) 38.29

Roundhay Pulse Race 3 mile - Sunday 11 July

 13 Elliot Smith          22.17

 15 Alex Marrington       22.51

 31 Alison Marrington     24.47

 47 Alex Smith            26.35

367 ran     winner's time 19.17

Elliot and Alex Smith are Max Jones' grandsons, Alex Marrington is Alison's son.

Roundhay Pulse Race 5 mile - Sunday 11 July

  4 Howard Jeffrey (V40/1)30.22

 16 Paul Hilton           34.09

 28 Eric Green            35.05

 39 Liz Ball         (W2) 36.15

 69 Stephen Ball          38.58

210 Sue Smith             50.41

240 ran     winner's time 29.13

Congratulations to Liz for 2nd W overall, and 1st in the W45 age-group.

Congratulations also to Paul, Eric and Liz on winning the team prize.  For both Paul and Eric it was their first prize for running.

Sue Smith is Max's daughter

Thorpe Edge 10k - Sunday 11 July

  2 Brian Hanley          35.19

Eccup 10 - Sunday 18 July

  3 Brian Hanley          55.58

 40 Sam Harris      (W/2) 63.08

 41 Howard Jeffrey (2clm) 63.45

 52 Nick Brown            64.49

 83 Richard King          68.19

136 Paul Hilton           73.07

146 Eric Green            73.42

180 Steve Purnell         76.21

189 Natalie Crossland     76.50

227 Simon Redshaw         79.52

281 Paul Morris           83.24

321 Mike Brown            86.33

An excellent run from Brian, a PB on a tough course, and only beaten by Leeds City's Darran Bilton and Otley's Ian Fisher both of whom you would normally expect to win most races they enter.  The women's section was won by Tracey's training partner Gill Keddie of Leeds City, 12th in 59.03, so also an excellent run from Sam to finish 2nd with a PB.

New members

187.       Kirsten Jackson.  Kirsten emailed me back in October last year - she had found our website and was interested in the age-graded and weight-graded tables.  It was a week before she was due to run the Melbourne marathon and I guess that with much less training to do that week she'd found some spare time on her hands.  Max, Ian Place and myself all replied.  She ran 3:08.  Max paid her subs, so she is now our furthest away Strider.  Last month she had entered the Gold Coast marathon but the day before the race was ill (I shall say politely that she lost all her carboloading) and did well to get to 15 miles.  The next target is sub 3 hours for Melbourne this October.  Good luck!

188.       Julia Barltrop.  Jules was the flood of enquiries about the club following Tracey's success.  She ran her first ever race at the Abbey Dash last December in 44:34 and then in January received the usual begging letters that we all get asking us to run the London Marathon for charity.  Only she said yes!  It was another thing to cross off the list of things to do before she was 30.  Training did not go well with niggly injuries caused by new shoes and increased miles but she managed to run 3:18:32 (what could she have done with uninterrupted training?).  A few days later I received an enquiry by email...

189        Richard King:  Although Richard joined after Julia, his first appearance at Striders was just before Tracey day.  He had run his first race at the Guiseley Gallop and with little experience of off-road running achieved 45:13 ahead of quite a few of our own off-road regulars.  At Guiseley he asked about clubs local to Headingley and someone kindly pointed out the Striders.  He's already given Martin Horbury a fright at the Hyde Park 5k and with a Striders vest and a decent pair of shorts will go even faster.

190        Myfanwy Tekchandani.  Mivvy was another to find us via the website, having run 1:49 at the Leeds half marathon, finishing 750th.  She ran in the Welsh cross country championships as a schoolgirl, and now, a little over the age of 30, has returned to running.  Do I have a sense of deja vu here?  Call in Steve O'Callaghan for advice!

191        Alison Bogie.  Alison and Johnny Harrison are Chapel Allerton Road Runners who came along a couple of times on a Tuesday with Dave Milner who is Chapel Allerton but second claim with us.  Alison has also decided to join us second claim and went on several of Geoff and Steve's scenic Tuesday expeditions in preparation for running the Lyke Wake 42 mile race in July.  Report on that in next VS News.

192        Hannah Scott.  Hannah would have run the Leeds half marathon but was injured just 3 weeks before the race.  Her brother ran 1:23 at Leeds so there is obviously some talent in the family!  (He is a St Albans Strider which is Hannah's home town).  She did run the St Albans half marathon in June in 2hrs 7 mins.  With a few Tuesday and Thursday sessions, her next half marathon will be 1:59:59 or faster!

Finally in this section, welcome back to Mike Evans who has rejoined the Striders after a 4 year absence.

Birthdays, Births and Farewells


Notable or notorious birthdays that have passed recently or are due soon include:

(40) Mark Hunter, Kay Mason, Steve Purnell, Erica Hiorns

(45) Terry Bean

(50) Mick Tinker, Martyn Hopson, Ian Townsley, Howard Jeffrey, Mary Egan

(55) John Sutcliffe, Mike Henry, Ian Place

(60) Dave More

(75) Ruth Anderson - is it really 5 years since Ruth came to see us on her 70th birthday and was awarded honorary membership before competing in the WAVA championships at Gateshead?



News of three new Striders now preparing for the 2024/2028/2032 Olympics

An email from Erica Hiorns and Mark Hunter "Just to let you know that I gave birth to a baby daughter - Zoe - on Jan 19th. She was 6lb 2oz and is doing fine."

An email from Claire Taylor who "on Wed 31 March, 10.48 am, gave birth to baby girl, Lara, weighing in at a bouncing 8lbs 8ozs - don't ask me where all that fitted inside me! Baby healthy and happy, parents tired but over the moon. Thought you might want to let other Striders know Jairo's and my good news".

A phone call from Paul Briscoe: Jo gave birth to a baby boy, on 7th May at midday, 7lb 13oz, "long and thin with big hands and feet", said Paul.

He was eventually named Sam(uel) James, but suggestions sent to Paul included

·         Chevin Chaser, Rombalds Reviver or Burnsall Classic.

·         Steven John (after Webb and Whalley) - since he was 8 days late arriving.

·         Pen Ernie Ingo (for the Three Peaks enthusiast)

Congratulations to all nine (parents and babies)!!!


Farewells (but membership retained) to

Annemi Van Zyl who ran her last race in Striders' colours in the successful Bradford Millennium Way mixed team.  10 days later she was flying back to South Africa to take up a new job as a dietician associated with a medical practice in Cape Town.  We wish her every success and hope she will visit us again some time.

Tim and Natalie Crossland who have sold their house in Roundhay and moved to Belfast during Tim's 2 year tour of duty there, rather than Tim coming back to Leeds for 8 days in 30.  I'm told they will both be back to attempt PBs at the Abbey Dash!

Other Race Reports

Buttermere Round - 15 February  (from Eric Green)

<< Keswick's Athletics Club's challenging annual road race. 22miles starting in Keswick, running alongside Derwent Water to Grange, onto Borrowdale then Rosthwaite. From Seatoller then over Honister pass past Buttermere Lake, through Buttermere then up over Newlands pass. Back to Keswick through Stair, Swinside, Portinscale>>

Not a popular race, only 82 ran it this year which was a few more than last year's 66. The weather helped, from Wednesday when it forecast overcast with light showers for the weekend in the lakes it changed each day to be slightly better than the last. The morning of the race broke to glorious sunshine albeit cold with frost on the ground. That started a great debate as to what to run in. Someone who'd cycled Honister and staying at the Youth Hostel where I'd booked in for the night before, advised leggings as up on top of Honister pass it was bleak and cold. I looked at the sun and thought it couldn't be that cold, certainly not as cold as the week before in the sleet at Rombald's Stride. But as he'd been on top of the moors before and knew what to expect I went back to the car to pick up leggings and gloves previously deposited there when I saw the sun.

We then set off for Moot Hall in the centre of Keswick at 9.45. No sign of any registration, slight panic, had we got the right day. As Moot Hall was a tourist information place, we went inside and asked the guy behind the counter, he'd not even heard of the race. No problem we said, we'd come back in half an hour.

Luckily we spotted a small group of people who looked like runners and they directed us to the cricket pavilion to register. Only £4 for the race so we weren't expecting T-shirts medals etc at the end. My running partner was a member of a virtual club on the net, whatever one of those is, do they go running round the ether?, and joined this specially for this race. All the entry forms said you must be a member of a running club, experienced and a Senior. Certainly I fulfilled two of those categories. Not sure about the experienced however. When we got to the registration desk a sign stuck to the desk said £4 club runners, £5 unattached, and they were charging everyone £4 with no real checks or questions, so much for the entry forms.

Registration completed, we'd time to complete final checks for what we were carrying and head back to the centre back to Moot Hall. Lucky we'd recce'd where things were.

This time there were a few runners congregating by Moot Hall with family, friends giving words of encouragement. Most of the competitors looked experienced fells runners, but there were a few who looked steady runners. I was hoping I wouldn't come last, last but one would have been OK, but I wasn't thinking about a time, when I was asked I was hoping for anything under 4 hours as I'd never done this length on the road before. Ten minutes to go and nerves were setting in for some of the runners, one girl who'd done it last year and vowed never to do it again said she felt sick. Two minutes to go and we got a few words from the organiser, keep to the left, follow the roads round in one long loop and have fun. Then we were off.

As I was running with no niggles or injuries I thought I'd keep my pace to around 8 min miles for the first seven miles till we reached Honister Pass then take it from there. Although the contour map showed this first third as flat, it was definitely undulating. Anyway I left my running colleague a little way behind, she asked me to push the pace for her till we got to Honister as she was training for the Paris marathon. However, I soon found another runner to talk to, someone from Blackpool, Wesham Road Runners, she was running comfortably at that stage and I thought I'd try to keep up with her for as long as I could. Long blond hair, attractive may also have been a factor.

Well the moment of truth arrived when we hit the bottom of Honister, looking up we realised how far we had to climb in a very short space of time. A mix of walking and running, mostly walking got us to the top. Half way up I regretted the leggings as it was getting very warm at that stage. I stripped off my long sleeved top and left my Valley Striders vest on. At the top there was quite a crowd, well at least six or seven, shouting well done to everyone. My new running friend was ahead of me at that stage but as I picked up speed on the downhill I soon caught her up. She suggested we might be on for about 3h 10m but as I'd no idea how far there was left to go I suggested, to manage expectations, 3h 20m.

The next few miles were spectacular scenery but fairly flattish. We then turned sharply right at Buttermere and saw Newlands pass stretching upwards for as far as the eye could see. To fortify us we had squash and a single jelly baby from the water station. Newlands was not as steep as Honister but still a difficult climb, again we quickly settled into a walking/running alternate pace. This time I got to the top before my new friend, she'd admitted to only ever doing 18 miles before so I suspect she was tiring at this point, not that I wasn't, maybe just a little less tired then her. A swift down hill followed and I was fairly pleased to overtake two on the way down.

A little over two hours had gone by and at the next water station I asked how far there was to go, about 5 miles mostly downhill was the answer, quick calculations and it seemed possible I could break the 3 hour mark. But then again allowing for a substantial margin of error on the "about 5 miles" and I thought perhaps not. Pressing on I saw two ahead of me and resolved not to look behind me, over the next mile I caught the two ahead of me as we reached the last unmanned water stop at Stair. A short distance further ahead I saw the first direction sign for Keswick, 3 miles. Three miles to go. Next sign 13/4 miles. Then seeing the yachts at Portinscale marina and I realised I was at the north end of Derwent water, not far to go. At a road side corner at this late stage in the race were the St John's Ambulance asking if runners were alright. I thought they really should have been half way up Honister or Newlands pass not in a car park with a mile to go.

The last mile was really difficult. Keswick getting closer and closer but not fast enough for the three hour mark, we turned following the arrows into the outskirts of Keswick then into Fitz Park at that point I knew there was only a few hundred yards to go. The sight of the cricket pavilion was so very welcome. I tried to run faster for the last twenty yards or so, to impress the crowd, but had nothing left to give. At the finish line I stopped my watch on 3h 3m 10s. Despite missing 3hrs I was still pleased with the time, two minutes later my new friend from Blackpool came in.

A few minutes after the race had finished the results were posted on the door of the pavilion. I was pleased to have not come last but just beat the 50th person in.

Very welcome at the end was hot sweet tea, scones and mince pies, the prize for completing the 22 miles was a slate coaster, not much but for £4's we had brilliant organisation, magnificent scenery, and great weather. What more could you ask for. I'll be there next year, just have to convince Bob to put it on the grand Prix list.


Pafos Marathon (Cyprus) - 14 March  (from Ian Place)

Having not completed or competed in a Marathon since Leeds2001 (Amsterdam 2003 DNF), my confidence was down.  This was my comeback Marathon.

Plainly the way I started (8min mile pace) I was determined to finish rather than go for time. Every KM was marked, so my maths was tested.  I gave myself a mental kick at 8KM going through at 39mins.  I increased my pace to 07.45 and met a guy called Rick from Texas at 20KM, he had overtaken me at 5KM.  We decided to run together and after finding out he had only run one previous Marathon in Egypt in which he had walked some of the distance, I told him I wasn’t planning to walk and to stick close to me.  I injected some pace concentrated on my running and forgot about Rick.  Through 32KM(20miles) the course kinked around the outskirts of Pafos and at 34KM joined the half marathon/10km race course, where there were still remnants of the half marathon runners walking/jogging.  At this point we were out of the cool wind and the temperature rose considerably.  I was surprised to see Rick just behind me at the turn 36KM. We turned and I told him to stick in behind me for the last 6KM down to the Port.  At this point there were a few interested people walking along the paths, but as the race organisers decided to go low key, no one knew what was going on.  We finished on a hilly dirt track alongside the medieval fort on the quay-side of Pafos port.  I finished in 3hrs 27mins 13secs.  Rick just finished behind me and I congratulated him on his Marathon PB.

Verdict a good long run, but I would not recommend this race to anyone as the finish area just off the main road was chaotic, jammed pack with cars/buses and people walking and very dangerous.  Apart from the economical use of the truth the course is not “mainly flat” and the statement “Effective traffic control/management is assured” is highly inaccurate.  My concern is that someone may get hurt.  I've sent an e-mail to Stavros (the race organiser) and hope he takes heed.

Still having said that I am back into Marathon running and that’s all that counts-------- Bob writes: Here's Stavros's report of the event that I received by e-mail:

"A bright sunny morning assisted in producing a festive atmosphere as 500 runners assembled for the various events (Marathon, Half Marathon and 10km Road Race). The Marathon course started from Petra tou Romiou (Birthplace of Aphrodite goddess of love and beauty) and finished at the Pafos Mediaeval Fort square. The other two races (Half Marathon & 10 km Road Race) started and finished at the Pafos Mediaeval Fort square. The events were successfully organised by NIKI Sports Management. The starting gun fired by the Deputy Mayor of Pafos Mr. Savvas Vergas saw the Marathon depart at 8:30 a.m. followed by the Half Marathon at 9:15 a.m. and the 10km at 9:30 a.m."

"The number of runners that participated indicated the big impact of the event, as most of the runners came from abroad, especially to participate in the event. There were runners from more than 15 different countries such as UK, Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Lebanon, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Austria, Finland, Holland, Norway, Switzerland etc."

"The French runner Ditier Pommey won the SpiderNet Pafos Marathon 2004 finishing in a time of 2:52:41 which is a new course record. Mr. Mikhail Gogolin from Russia was second in 2:57:24. Ms Seidel Susanne of Germany clocking 3:27:23 won the women’s race with German Marathoner Josi Guttenberger in second place with a time of 3:27:24."


Belfast Marathon - 3 May  (from Brian Hanley)

I was trying to figure out how to send this to the addresses of everybody who sent me all those nice e-mails, but I couldn't manage it, so I may have to go via you instead! I might as well give a race report as I never have before.

So thank you to those people who sent e-mails (and the others who were at the John Carr race yesterday) - it would appear that you knew my result before I did, as my computer was a victim of the Sasser virus. I only found out at about 5:15 p.m. yesterday.

The start was quite good - the queue for toilets was reasonably short and I managed to hop in on the front line about a minute before the start - so no having to hang about getting cold (it was raining at this point). There were quite a lot of people lined up as a relay over the total distance is held at the same time as the main marathon. This caused a bit of congestion as the relay runners were not separated like they are at the Leeds half. But no matter, as they proved quite handy allies when battling the wind (as I like to stick in behind people as much as possible, or maybe you know that already).

The actual 'start' was a mess though - a local DJ saying "Away ye go!" is not really what anybody expected (the Kenyans beside me looked particularly confused) and as nobody actually moved, we were simply implored to "GO, GO NOW!" and off we went. A photographer took a picture of the opening 20 yards and so in the 'Irish News' you can clearly see a Valley Striders vest. They seem to be everywhere these days.

Nothing happened for the first five miles, apart from what is apparently "the sharpest corner in world marathons" but which was actually quite disappointing when you went round it. The Falls Road was interesting, lots of murals to look at to pass the time. And all was okay up to about half-way, as it actually felt like a race: there were people out supporting, I could see other people running, and the roads were mostly closed.

After half-way was a bit more tricky. I saw no other runners for about an hour. I went the wrong way at one point due to a misinterpretation of a marshal's instructions (northerner-southerner communication problem); and as we had to run on the pavements for most of the remainder of the race, the number of obstacles increased and indeed I crashed into an old man who seemed to come out of nowhere. Still, I got to 20 miles in 2:00:25, so I felt like I was going to be fine. Even the sun had come out.

This is the point where I had read that many athletes consider it only a 10k race left to go. I tried to use this idea to motivate myself to keep going but it simply didn't work. In fact, nothing seemed to get me moving any faster than shuffling. A runner materialised from the ether and passed me after about 24 miles, disappearing very rapidly. Being told that 300 yards were all that was left didn't work either. Next time I shall have to import
Joyce Lambert to shout at me and transport her about the course!

The finish was the typical mix of relief and pain. Official organisation was absent at this point, and I had no idea where I finished or where to get my special t-shirt (still not discovered). Still, I got a nice shiny medal and my mother took a photo of me with the winner. A nice little race, but next time I aim for the slightly flatter Dublin route...

P.S. The reason I'm down as England is because the entry form asks for nothing but your name and address. The official programme has me down as 'Leeds'. They put in house numbers for some of the entries!


German Report  (from Ingo Zoller)

Just returned to serious competition, and bagged in a few age group 2nds and one 1st. Starting with two half marathons, which I used as a first test out of normal training, and where I came 2nd (I finished 2nd M30 twice before in the first one, so I had to take it easy to ensure the 3rd consecutive 2nd M30. Unfortunately it will be the last time there as well, since I'll have to start in the M35 age group next year). The places of these half marathons are probably completely unknown in the UK (Grosskrotzenburg and Kahl), but at least the first one is suited to train your tongues! At Kahl I raced in a 10k race a few weeks later again, finishing 7th overall (again 2nd M30), and just a week later topped this performance at Mainaschaff, when I finished unlucky 4th in an undulating 10k race. At least I won my age group there by half a mile or so. Now that the endurance base seems to be solid I should be well prepared for my trip to the Swiss Alps for two big races: Thyon-Dixence and Sierre-Zinal. And there I should face good, proper opposition again - a few English fell runners will be there!

Keep on running - Ingo

Helen Windsor 10k - 7 July (from Brian Hanley)

This story actually begins at the Reservoir Bogs race near Hebden Bridge. The winner was kind enough to give me a lift to the train station, and happened to mention he was doing the Yorkshire Championships the following week as part of the Helen Windsor 10k. I knew nothing about this but it sounded interesting so I told another Strider that I knew who would be dead keen and so Sam and I sent off our entry forms the next day, just in time.

It was a nice day in Leeds but this being Halifax it was cloudy and windy. We noticed that there was a problem with the car upon arriving (liquid was leaking out, and this being a girl's car, was appropriately pink). Despite not being able to drive or knowing anything about cars, I managed to persuade Sam into not panicking and to worry about the race instead.

I had injured my leg badly in the Skipton Tough 10 three days beforehand (please do NOT look up the results) but I badly wanted to win a Yorkshire medal having suffered coming 4th in the 20 mile version at Spen. A Yorkshire medal is not a novelty to Sam but these elite women must keep up appearances.

The race was quite hilly. Ian Fisher took off at the start and I didn't see him again for 34 minutes. Jon Cordingley of Bingley was also too fast so it was between some guy from Meltham and myself for third. He got ahead at the start and I knew from Newton's law of motion that his heavier body would lose less momentum in the wind than mine, but I was hoping that Newton was wrong. He wasn't and I never caught him.

At the end, I made sure to run around and congratulate all three men who had finished ahead of me. Naturally this was a good means of checking if they were actually entered in the championships. Jon Cordingley was missing the magic red dot on his number so I knew I had a bronze medal!

I ran back along the route to see how Sam was doing. She was near the finish but Samantha 'PhD student in Mathematics' Harris had not realised that the distance markers were in miles and not kilometres. She had got to 6 miles thinking there was another 4,000 metres to go, rather than 400. Luckily she had already bothered to get ahead of all the other women by then, and won both the race and Yorkshires.

For that she got a nice medal, a large cup with strange covering, and some vouchers.

Host club Halifax Harriers did well to keep this race a secret - they won both team championships, although they seemed much more interested in holding a raffle. That's Yorkshire folk for you.

The treasurer of the Scarcroft Show Society writes: Brian, the trophy was a "rose bowl" and the strange covering was wire mesh.  When you buy Sam some flowers, she can fill the bowl with water and then push the flower stems through the mesh so they stay upright.  Alternatively you could buy her some goldfish and her cats will not be able to get at them through the mesh.

Ironman Triathlon New Zealand - 6 March (from Bill Murphy)

I was warm, it was nervous, I couldn’t get comfortable and I was facing 12 hours of it. Food would be restricted, energy output would be difficult to assess and I would doubtless face severe dehydration by the end of it.

That was just the flight.

Whatever possessed me to enter a long course triathlon and the end of the New Zealand summer? For months I had found no enjoyment in my beloved bike – I had in fact got to the point where only looking at it made me feel cold. Long hours in the swimming pool; thousands (and I mean it!) of cold hours on the bike, and many nights of running in the dark were the wages that this particular sin (not death, but sometimes I thought it came pretty close) had paid. However, as I watched the bike slip down the luggage conveyor belt at Leeds & Bradford Airport all of that began to fade from my mind only to be replaced by potential panic about whether the bike would arrive in Auckland.

I don’t really have much to say about the flight to be honest. Leeds – Heathrow was painless; the 10-12 hours to Los Angeles was quite pleasant; and the last 12(ish) hours to Auckland was passed in blissful (sleepy) oblivion. The bike arrived; I got to my hotel and spent a day being a tourist in Auckland. I drove to Taupo the following day and relaxed I was ready to race. The only shock of the journey was reading the New Zealand papers who were reporting on extensive flooding and the worst summer weather ever recorded – so much for sunshine and a wind free ride…

The whole Ironman experience was a whole week in the making with various lead up events in the offing. Seminars about how to eat right, train better and go faster abounded. A trade show was on and there were options to ride the bike course, run the run course and splash about in the water (in other words – do the swim). I of course approached the whole event with the usual studied gravity, namely I settled down to have three days with my feet up and have a few beers.

A pre-race pasta party actually had genuinely good food and a Parade of Nations through the town gave me the opportunity to meet fellow Brits. A traditional Maori welcome allowed all the northern hemisphere athletes the chance to pick up their first sunburn of the year.

Race morning dawned bright and clear (again, as these things always do). Dawn broke just before some 1355 athletes made the frantic dash into Lake Taupo at the sound of an army cannon. The swim was the usual chaotic frantic affair but the water was warm (as far as I was concerned) and the course was easy enough to follow. I actually managed to navigate a more-or-less straight line out and back without adding the usual 200-300 m of zig-zag swimming to the distance. A mere 1 hour and 23 minutes after the cannon fired I was leaving the water for the bike. Into transition, I changed and then was off for the bike leg.

A perfect start was about to be somewhat disrupted by three days of dietary laxity. I really should know better about not eating foods I am not accustomed to prior to a long race, but hey, I was still in transition 1 so what was the problem. Nature’s call answered – off I went for the 112 miles of cycling.

The bike leg was quite a chilly start, but hardly cold but having nature screaming loudly in my ear at about the 18 mile mark was unwelcome. It was even more unwelcome at the 30 mile mark; the 70 mile mark and the 90 mile mark. With such a disrupted session on the bike, it was never going to be swift, and just to add insult to injury a stiff head wind picked up later in the day gusting to 30 miles per hour. Some 7 hours (and 4 toilet stops) after leaving Taupo I was back in Transition 2 and changing for the marathon.

As I changed, and I dragged my shorts along the backs of my legs (this is doubtless an image none of you actually wanted…) I realised that this was an area that I had missed with the sunblock: my calves were an interesting radiant red colour, which lit up the immediate area with a warm glow. Similar patches were found on my arms at the edge of my cycling shirt and my legs at the edge of my shorts. I had an interesting striped appearance on my head where the ventilation slits were on my helmet. However more sunblock on I went out on the run – paused at the first support station to have some coke, a cookie and some crisps.

Doubtless there will be some Striders who view starting a marathon by munching sweets as a bad move (Snickers Bars were also available), but by this time I needed the sugar, the caffeine and I desperately needed the salt from the crisps. I exchanged some pleasantries with a Kiwi lass at the station and headed off for the run.

The run was a two lap affair and the course was more or less flat along the lake shore with a couple of short (c. 50 m) climbs of about similar steepness to the summer hill training sessions and one longer one (c. 300-400 m) similar to Stonegate Rd. These were the only interruptions to an otherwise flat course. Of course, you did have to do them four times on the two lap, out and back, course.

There was not much to say about the marathon course. It went, I ran it in 4:33 and a few seconds and finished. It was always warm even when night fell and although I had a T-shirt in my special needs back at the 22 km stage I didn’t feel the need to put it on. Perhaps this was the benefit of winter training – namely even in the cold parts of the day, I felt fine.

I finished the marathon strong after suffering calf problems in the 18-22 mile stage. I normally found that if I stopped at an aid station for water/coke and some crisps and walked the 20m from one end to the other while I took on some fuel it was fine. The end result was that I did the last 3 km in just under 14 minutes and managed a sort of sprint finish to the line. The atmosphere on the last kilometre was amazing: crowds lined the route and were cheering you on all the time and the last 200 m as you turned towards the finish line had massive support. It really made for an electric finish. My final time of 13:30:52 was acceptable, but I feel that with more experience and less injury niggles (and strategic use of over-the-counter medications) I could do substantially better – but don’t hold your breath for a Striders Gold – Kiwi athlete Cameron Brown won the race in 8:30:30 finishing with a marathon of 2:42 – a time most of us would be happy with even of we hadn’t done all the other bits.

This was a fantastic race. The atmosphere was great, the organisation could not be faulted and the people of Taupo were out to support from 7am to midnight. The post race party and awards was a great evening and the food was again, excellent. This is a race about which I have nothing negative to say. There were 1700 volunteers supporting athletes around the course: it was well marshalled and the food and fluid stations were frequent, well stocked and invariably what was needed.

Will I do a full Ironman race again – I’ll answer that when the blisters heal and I can walk from one end of the street to the other without using the Ironman Shuffle!


Ironman Triathlon Austria - 4 July (from Bill Murphy)

It will come to no surprise to any Striders that a mammoth session was involved. The plan was simple: drive to race, do race, drive home. This is a format that we are all very familiar with. Of course when the said race is a ferry journey and c. 900 mile drive then the situation becomes somewhat more complex. Nevertheless after the dubious joys of Ironman New Zealand I felt the logistics would be somewhat simpler.  In fact a combination of The AA, P & O Ferries and Mastercard (official sponsors of Bill’s Euro 2004 tour) meant that in fact up until the time of writing (and I am still in Klagenfurt) things have gone well. Of course you don’t want to hear about all of this nonsense, you want to hear about the plan, the venue and of course, the race.

The tedium of the autobahn over I arrived in the home of Ironman Austria. Klagenfurt is a medium sized town in the Austrian Canton on Caranthia that is nestled in a valley between the Dolomites and the Tyrolean Alps. There are significant differences between these two sets of mountains, but they are principally geographical and geological (and therefore, by definition pretty dull). Sufficient to say that ‘up’ was a word that I heard shouted quite a lot on race day. I found the Hotel Dermuth with the minimum of fuss (and German) and settled in. It is worth having a slight diversion here to say that I can now speak several orders of magnitude more German than I could before I arrived. On reflection, I should have learned more of the language as “Achtung Spitfire” and “Hander Hoch Englander” were never going to serve me well. However I now know more practical phrases like “no I am not drowning, I always swim this way” and “where the f%$k is my bike?????”

My first full day in Klagenfurt was taken up with finding the town centre, finding the race location and generally sorting my life out. The town Centre itself has a central square with a large statue of a dragon. The town heraldry has a castle and a dragon on it – presumably this is “klagen” and “furt”. About 4 km west of the town Centre is the Worther See which is the race venue (about 1.5 km from where I was staying). This is a large glacial lake which is heated by thermal springs at the base. Therefore, it tends to be 18-21oC at this time of year. This should have set different alarm bells of a different kind ringing in my mind.

The second (Friday 2nd July) day involved race registration in the morning and a pasta party in the evening. I had met up with two other triathletes with whom I went to register James (from Belfast) and Matt (from San Francisco) – no jokes about “A Scotsman, American and an Irishman…” please. Thursday night and Friday provided a horrid warning for the weekend. Specifically, the rain was falling in sheets. Visibility was extremely limited and I once again thought I saw a pair of small mountain goats looking hopefully for a passing ark and the spectre of Llanberis loomed large. The heavy rain that persisted all day on Friday turned the pasta party into a prelude of the swim with decking put down to allow athletes and staff to pass by with some degree of freedom. This was only partially successful as a few large ponds developed as the race director was giving the welcome speech. The job of the entertainers was made a bit trickier by these – the acrobat coped OK, but the fire breathers were looking distinctly soggy.

Saturday (3rd July) was given over to race instructions in the morning and bike and kit bag check in during the afternoon. This done, I could relax and prepare for Sunday and the race.

Being lakeside on Saturday gave rise to the odd problem. Namely 7 mosquito bites in the space of about 30 minutes resulted in a near constant itching that was pretty unpleasant and made me dash for the insect repellent that I had wisely brought with me from England. This particular variety of repellent was one that showed up another shortcoming of the SA80 assault rifle. It had been kindly forwarded to me by a friend who was based at HQ Royal Marines in Portsmouth some years ago. The problem was that the level of DEET used was such, that it used the melt the lightweight rifle butts. This is what I liberally sprayed over myself for the next four days. This was moderately successful but the Klagenfurt mosquito was obviously tougher than that which the British Army is used to facing: it only slowed the furious assault of blood sucking flies, but didn’t halt it. It was at this point I realised that the dragon statue in the town centre was in fact a monstrous mosquito.

Race day dawned bright and clear as always (and once again it did, is this evidence of global warning???). The hotel provided food from 4am and by 7am I was on the starting line in my wetsuit wondering what to do with an old pair of Asics Kayano shoes that I had forgot to check in with the rest of my dry kit. While pondering this, the start sounded. The race had begun.

At this point some 2300 competitors rushed to the water to start the 3.8km (2.4 mile) swim. This year in recognition of the fact that the race had grown in size it started from two beaches. I was on the left hand beach at the right hand side. The swim course was relatively complex. The two groups of triathletes surged into the water and met c. 200 m offshore. At this point what had been a pleasant morning swim became a thrashing melee of hands, knees and elbows. I found myself reflecting on the fact I should have brought boxing gloves as the bunfight got under way in earnest. Having reached the first marker the melee turned for shore eventually reaching the beach, running around another marker, and then surged back into the water for the remaining 1.8km of swimming. The involved navigating your way around a third marker and swimming 800 m up a canal (the water in which was an interesting shade of green) which was, to say the least congested.  Out of the water in a mere 1 hour 22 minutes and into transition where a quick change saw me out on the bike for the 180 km bike ride. Sadly, I did not move quickly enough to avoid picking up another four mosquito bites.

The bike course was a three lap loop that basically went up a mountain and came down a mountain. The first 15 km was effectively flat on the lake side. The incentive to go faster arose from the clouds of hungry mosquitoes that lurked around the water edge in a threateningly Bill-shaped cloud. The next 15 km was effectively uphill with the maximum gradient of 10o. This brought us through the town of St Egyden where athletes were met by a wall of sound as the crowds cheered us up the hill. The support was immense and it inspired me to push that much faster – that and the fact I was not yet high enough to escape the miasma of blood sucking insects that seemed to lurk around every corner – so up I went. All the way up the hill people were out cheering, often shouting “up, up, up!” sometimes offering beer and occasionally sympathy. On reaching the top of the hill a quick descent ultimately saw us back in Klagenfurt. If the second climb up the mountain was tough, the third was truly horrid. By this time many of the spectators were back in Klagenfurt to watch the professional triathletes do the marathon. Therefore, not only was the third lap horrid, but it was pretty lonely and (in spite of being told there is never a wind in Ironman Austria) a stiff wind had arisen which you had to ride into on the descent. However, I consoled myself with the fact that it was back to the town for the marathon.

Transition 2 was slower (6 bites) as I took some time to eat some pretzels. It had taken me 6:09 (and some meaningless amount of seconds) to cycle the 180 km. This was almost an hour quicker than the bike stage of the New Zealand Ironman in March, so I was feeling good starting the run. This feel-good component lasted for c. 500 m when I realised that 1. the right knee injury I had picked up in training 10 days ago still had not healed and 2. it was still very hot. However, I also realised that the knee injury would not get any worse so I could live with the discomfort for 42km. The marathon was a two loop affair. You left the race venue: ran c. 8 km west along the lake shore to the town of Krumpmendorf and then turned around ran past transition and then along the canal to Klagenfurt town Centre, around the Dragon / mosquito and back to Transition. This made the first 21km – you then repeated the course for the whole marathon. There was relatively little shade on the section to Krumpmendorf but plenty from transition to Klagenfurt. Again the support was fantastic and a large number of people lined the route to cheer athletes on. At Krumpmendorf the first significant obstacle appeared – mostly in pairs – as the park that we had to run through appeared to contain a nudist section. The organisers had suggested that they hoped this would be the first time that an Ironman race would be completed in less than 8 hours. The fact that the winning man (a Ukranian Soldier called Viktor Zyemtsev in c. 8 hours 14 minutes) was significantly slower than he did it last year may suddenly have been explained by the large collection of comely ladies who were in the park.

However, not all on the run was so simple. The first warning of a nutritional problem was the sight of an athlete from Rochdale Tri Club lying on the ground suffering from extreme cramp. This is when I realised that there was in fact no source of salt anywhere on the marathon course. By this time competitors had been on the course c. 8 hours and while many would have had some form of salt on their bikes, some did not (at this point I was glad I had stopped for the pretzels). The result of this salt deficient course was a relatively large number of athletes suffering from cramp – or having to walk to avoid it. While I was on the first lap I passed both James (who had hung around the park to the point where he was in danger of getting arrested (and possibly slapped by an irate husband as well) and Matt coming the other way on their second lap, both very comfortably in front of me. John Fisher, another Leeds based athlete, also passed me at this point on his way to a cracking 10 hour 25 minute finish.

The marathon was generally uneventful – long (surprise, surprise??), hot and for the most part relatively painful. The course was effectively flat apart from a rise of some 5 m along the canal. I say that it was c. 5m when I walked along the canal path on Thursday, however, on the second lap of the run course on Sunday it re-wrote my understanding of the tectonics of the Alps. Somehow it had become a monstrous impediment that reduced otherwise fit men and women to gasping, struggling wrecks. Ultimately I got past this obstacle and passed the 39 km mark. The end was in sight and I got a touch of white line fever. I picked up pace and by the time I crossed the finish line, some 4 hours 29 minutes after dumping the bike I was almost at a sprint. Sadly this means that I once again forgot to smile for the photographer and so have another grumpy finisher’s photo. I arrived at the line in 12:23:32 taking 1131st place. Approximately 300-400 people did not finish and I surprised myself by sneaking into the upper half of the field in a triathlon for the first time.

Bike collected, kit accumulated I managed to cycle the traumatic 1.5km back to the hotel. The post race lack of pace however gave the Klagenfurt mosquito another chance allowing me to accumulate another 11 bites on the ride home. “I’ll be back” I said to John Fisher (in the predictably bad Austrian Schwarzenegger accent) for the fireworks at midnight. However, the fact that James Nisbett had already got the beer in at the hotel dealt the Coup de Grace to that idea. Two glasses and I was a dribbling wreck. As a cheap method of getting drunk though, Ironman Triathlon will not catch on.

On the whole this was a great race. It certainly had one of the most spectacular backdrops I have ever seen. Coming over the mountain on the bike course gave you one of the most amazing views of any race I have ever done. A fast course, but not for the faint hearted.

And so, to Half Ironman UK at Sherborne – should be a doddle really. We shall wait and see.

Identify the Strider (2)





Year and Reason Started Running

1987 – because our neighbour took us to the local club.

Date Joined Striders

August 2003





- 5K



May 1996

- 10K



April 2004

- 10 Mile



July 2004

- Half Marathon


Brass Monkey

January 2004

- Marathon



May 2004


Coached athletes to national standard in the sprints, hurdles, and heptathlon - one became national champion.


Suffering so badly at the end of my first marathon.  Hadn’t eaten enough carbohydrate the day before.


Represent Yorkshire at any distance.

Avge Weekly Mileage

I don’t know, as I never really worry about distance as compared to how fast I do it.  I suppose between 50 and 60.

Favourite Training Run

22 miles on a Friday night.  It includes running the Kirkstall 10k route three times.  It’s quite painful but my stopwatch keeps me company.

Favourite Pre-Race Meal

Rice Krispies.  They’re 87% carbohydrate and only 1% fat!

Favourite Race

The English Cross-Country Championships.  I’ve only done one, mind.


More Valley Striders should do Valley Stretches.  Before and after running.  It might mean I’m not always last to the reservoir.


Running races.  Planning complicated training sessions.  Buying new trainers.


Being injured - the word ‘dislike’ is not strong enough.  Bananas.  Falling over and getting lost in fell races.

Other Interests

Going to the cinema. Going to football matches, especially internationals.

Answer on page 37

Bradford Millennium Way Relay

Valley Striders "A"

1. Mark Bean & Bill Murphy                          1:32:34             (16)            1:32:34             (16)

2. Martin Horbury & Bob Jackson                1:23:14             (9)              2:55:38             (12)

3. Keith Cluderay & David Cusack               1:12:07             (7)              4:07:46             (12)

4. Andrew Cutts & Alan Hutchinson           1:12:32             (1)              5:20:18             (7)

5. Peter Lambert & Ian Place                          1:36:03             (12)            6:56:21             (7)


Valley Striders "Mixed"

1. Lisa Wilyman & Steve Webb                    1:18:55             (2)              1:18:55             (2)

2. Sam Harris & Brian Hanley                        1:18:59             (7)              2:37:54             (3)

3. Janet Parkinson & Steve O'Callaghan      1:11:51             (5)              3:49:45             (4)

4. Sylvia Watson & Geoff Webster              1:29:59             (18)            5:19:44             (6)

5. Annemi Van Zyl & Tim Towler                 1:38:19             (14)            6:58:03             (9)


Congratulations to the Mixed Team who retained their winners' shield.  Having won by 30 seconds in 2002 and 50 minutes in 2003, it was going to be a closer thing this year with a team from Pudsey and Bramley to contend with and who had Sarah Rowell on the first leg.  Lisa and Steve had a great run to finish 2nd overall.  The team that had led then got lost and Sam and Brian found themselves in 1st place before being overtaken by two Wakefield teams.  They still increased the lead over P&B to 6 mins (and now hold the leg 2 course record for a mixed team).  Neither Wakefield pair on leg 3 was ready at the start at Laycock so Janet and Steve O set off in first place.  They ran very well to record the 5th fastest time on that leg, although dropped a position.  Sylvia and Geoff dropped a couple of positions but still handed over a 2 minute lead to Annemi and Tim.  Would it be enough with Jack Maitland running for P&B?  It looked hopeful as Jack was carrying a map and his partner did not look an experienced runner.  Annemi had run this leg in 2002 and Tim in 2003 so they knew the way.  Yes they held out and in fact stretched the lead - we won by 3 minutes!

Meanwhile the "A" team had a steady start with last minute sub Bill managing for the first time not to turn his ankle in an off-road race.  They then gained places for the rest of the race.  I was hoping for a steady run after Martin had suffered at Thirsk two weeks earlier, but he was back fully fit and chatting with his old team-mates from Keighley & Craven as we passed them.  I puffed and panted behind and the gentleman that he is opened the gates for me and we managed to beat the time that I ran with Vicky last year by 11 seconds (Vicky, you should have held the gates open for me last year).

Andrew and Hutch had a stormer and were fastest pair on leg 4.  They both looked as though they had "tried" - it looked like neither wanted to slow the other down.

Cross Country

Final Race in West Yorks Championships at Bodington Hall


  4 Sam Harris         22.41 95

 27 Carole Schofield   26.53 92

 32 Sylvia Watson      27.44 91

 44 Sara Dyer          30.21 90





  3 Tim Crossland     29.12 100

 39 Brian Hanley       32.09 99

 52 Steve Webb         32.49 98

 63 Drew Taylor        33.35 97

 93 Jerry Watson       35.30 96

122 Martin Horbury     38.05 94

141 Geoff Webster      40.52 93

Overall in the series, the men's team finished 10th.  Unfortunately the wimmin's team were not ranked because they had less than 4 runners in an earlier race.

No individual medals this year, but "well done" to the following who were well placed for the series - Sam 4th (so close!) in the W20-35, Sylvia 5th W45+, and Steve 5th M40-49.

Yorkshire Vets at Graves Park, Sheffield

See also Jane Sutton's report in January 2004 V S News.

There were two races, a race for wimmin and men over 50, the other race for men 40-49.  The first race was complicated by the fact that the wimmin and men over 70 ran 2 laps (5k) whereas the men 50-69 ran 4 laps (10k).  As I was finishing my second lap, several women sprinted past me as they headed for their finish; I still had 2 laps to do!

Wimmin - Sylvia was 2nd W55 and won a little plaque.

Men - Bob Jackson 50th (23rd M50-54), Geoff 73rd (12th M60-65) and Bob Wilkes 90th (18th M60-65)

Inter Counties Cross Country at Nottingham

Sam was called in as a late (only 5 days before the race) replacement for the Yorkshire wimmin's team and finished 237th out of 287 runners

Guiseley Gallop Sunday 11 April

 33 Nick Brown           41.40

 47 Howard Jeffrey  (2c) 42.51

 61 Andrew Cutts         44.10

 76 Richard King   (stj) 45.13

 95 Mick Tinker          46.37

139 Tony Haygarth        48.32

207 Lily Wong            51.51

278 Peter Lambert        55.56

(2c=2nd claim, stj=soon to join)

481 ran    winner's time 36.16


English National at Templenewsam

Several of us had been involved in the preparation of the race which included 3 steady uphills and downhills per lap, hardly any flat and plenty of sticky mud.  It would have been 4 hills per lap but when the Southern Counties AA came to view the course they decided it was too tough.

The Striders were in charge of a big field, the bottom of which had a specially installed bridge over a stream which we had to ensure had a deep layer of wood chippings and the top of which had mud which eventually became a 4 inch deep pool of water and mud.

A special thank you to all the Striders who turned up at 8a.m. to mark the course and to those who turned up at 1p.m. to marshal so the markers could run.

The English National Cross Country Association were also appreciative of our efforts - they must have made a profit on the day and we received a cheque for £100.

Women's Race (2 laps)

 199 Jane Sutton        41.14

 277 Hayley Palmer      43.55

 298 Lily Wong          44.49

 317 Carole Schofield   45.29

 318 Sylvia Watson      45.30

 437 Debbi Wagman       56.15

 430 Lyn Eden    (2clm) 55.38

 454 ran, winner 32.28

Striders finished 39th out of 54 teams, one place behind Horsforth, but one place ahead of Kirkstall who were themselves one place ahead of Abbey.

The race was won by Birhan Dagne, who was to figure in a much longer, much flatter road race on 18 April.

Men's Race (3 laps)

 287 Brian Hanley       49.26

 436 Steve Webb         51.21

 894 Alan Hutchinson    58.18

1028 Andrew Cutts       60.46

1046 Bob Jackson        61.04

1091 John Hallas        62.01

1195 Geoff Webster      64.39

1252 Simon Redshaw      66.40

1291 Ian Place          68.37

1327 Eric Green         70.52


Second claim & friends included

 728 Terry Lonergan     55.50

 827 Jerry Watson       57.17

1124 Howard Jeffrey     62.53

1242 Malcolm Coles      66.11

1260 Jim Towers         66.57

1395 ran, winner 41.24

Striders finished 87th out of 116 teams, one place behind Dorking and Mole Valley AC

The race was won by Glyn Tromans of Coventry Godiva who did not finish topless but did finish without one shoe, the other being left somewhere in the specially prepared glutinous mud near the farm (it was the colour of mud but had a different smell).


Identify the Strider (2) - answer

Number 2 is Brian Hanley (we were going to put "speaking Gaelic" as an interest, but that might have been too easy)


Fell & Trail Running

Blubberhouses Moor 25  (from G.W. & B.J.)

Only 4 Spiders turned out this year to tackle the route round Blubberhouses Moor and part of the Washburn Valley with the final steep uphill on the road to Bland Hill.  Times were slower than usual due to the strong headwind for the first 8 miles.  This did not stop Steve Webo finishing first in the good time of 3hr 20min.

Some way back G.W. and Bob J. were racing for the highly valuable Fell Championship points.  G.W. got away on the steep descent off Beamsley Beacon, but Bob caught up again on the long steady climb to Rocking Hall.  Bob arrived at Bland Hill in 4hr 4min with G.W. following in 4hr 8min.  However, they had no chance to get the old blokes prize because this was taken by former Spider Tony Wimbush in 3hr 58min. 

Steve received a big trophy and Bob and G.W. were given medals for 2nd and 3rd old men.

Heavy rain started just after G.W. finished, so Sara was well soaked when she arrived about an hour later.

Badgerstone Relay  (from G.W.)

Teams of 3, 3 miles per leg, on Ilkley Moor.  Only one VS team this year, consisting of Sara, Sylvia and G.W.  Sara went off on first leg and, having run the Wharfedale Off-road Marathon on the previous Sunday, soon secured last place.  This was not improved on by Sylvia.  G.W. almost bust a gut trying to catch up - all to no avail.  The Spiders definitely did not win anything.

The Three Peaks 2004  (from Mick Loftus)

It was the 50th Anniversary Race this year, with a record entry of over 600 runners (508 starters, 407 finishers). The day was absolutely perfect - for spectating. It was over 20C, without a cloud in the sky and only a slight breeze on the tops.

As it turned out it wasn't going to be one of my best performances. I completed the race in 4h17min, way outside my pb. Thanks to Kathy, Ken and Sylvia for their support out on the course and sorry for being completely uncommunicative!

It was televised this year by Yorkshire TV. It was inspiring to watch, even though neither GW (finish time 4h50min) nor I featured in the coverage.

Every runner should have a go at The Three Peaks once. It's a superb event.

Get qualifying now!

GW writes: There was a high drop out rate with a lot of runners suffering from dehydration.  The two Spiders have been declared heroes by the V.S.F.R. Committee!

Bob J comments: It is not surprising that runners dropped out when they claimed to carry full body cover, map, compass, drink and emergency food in a 4"x4"x8" bumbag!

Fell Championship Points so far

Steve W 413, G.W. 379, Sylvia 218, Brian 199, Bob J 193, Andrew 166, Sara 163,

Mick L 158, Mick T 94, Ian 93, Hutch 82, Jane 82, Martin H 59, Eric G 57,

Bob W 51, P.Lambo 48, Rob B 48, Roy F 48, Lisa 46, Simon V 45, Tony F 40,

Tony H 34, Jerry W 33, Madeleine W 30, Rob L 30, Paul Hunter 27, Terry B 26,

Janet 21, Steve O 21, Dave C 19, Keith C 19, Hayley 19, Sam 19, Laura B 15,

Lily 13, Annemi 12, Tim 12, Simon R 10, Mark 9, Bill 9

Steve Webo is piling up the points at the head of the table but is being hotly pursued by G.W..  Sylvia and Sara representing the wimmin, had been battling for third place, but Sara has now been overtaken by Brian and Bob J.  Last year's champion is in 6th place but has not posted all of his results to the Fell Committee and so he is probably the dark horse.  But no results - no points.  If he continues like this he may be called before the Committee to present his credentials and have his particulars taken down.

The next race in both the Fell Championship and the Grand Prix is the Round Hill Fell Race.  Let's have a big turn out!

Remaining races

Day     Date         Time    Type    Event

Sun      Aug 8       1100     FG        Round Hill 9/1100' Timble nr Otley

Tue      Aug 10     1930     F           Withens & Windmills 5/1000' Ogden Res

Sat       Aug 14     1500     F           Arncliffe Gala 2/443' Arncliffe nr Skipton

Sat       Aug 21     1700     F           Burnsall Classic 1½/900' (pre-enter)

Sun      Aug 22     1200     F           Sedbergh Hills 14/6000'

Sun      Aug 29     1130     F           Norland Moor 7/800' Copley Village nr Halifax

Sat       Sep 4        1500     F           Mount Skip 4½/1000' Mytholmroyd

Wed    Sep 8        1900     F           Ilkley Incline 1/560' tarmac then track!

Sat       Sep 11      1500     FG        Briscoe's Fell Race 3½/900' Otley

Sun      Sep 12      1000     LT        Yorkshireman Off-road Marathon 26/3065'

             also Half Marathon 13/1750' (both Westfield Lodge nr Haworth, both pre-enter)

Sun      Sep 19      0830     LT        Lockwood Bounder Trail 22/3300' nr Skelton N Yorks

Sat       Sep 25      1500     F           Thieveley Pike 4/1000' near Burnley

Sat       Oct 2        1030     T          Autumn Leaves 10/1200' Kiln Green Church

                                                        Diggle nr Saddleworth

Sun      Oct 24      1130     FG        Withins Skyline 7/1000' Penistone Hill Haworth

Sat       Nov 6       1400     F           Shepherds Skyline 6/1150' near Todmorden

Sat       Nov 13?   0800     TG        Burley Bridge Hike 21 Ben Rhydding nr Ilkley

Sat       Nov 13     1100     F           Great Whernside 4/1555' Kettlewell

Sun      Nov 14     1030     F           Cop Hill (mixed terrain) 7/900' Meltham Cricket Ground

Sun      Nov 28     1100     F           Rivock Edge 10/1500' Silsden Park near Keighley

Forthcoming Races/Events

Leeds Country Way - Sunday 5 September

We had 4 teams of 12 last year and are attempting the same again. Expect to be contacted shortly, or better still, phone Paul Furness if you are available.  First come, first served (and first choice of leg)

Club Handicap - Tuesday 7 September

This will be 10k round the Res path to Eccup and back.  Pie and peas (see review on page 14) will be available, please book early (i.e. by Sunday 5th!)

Briscoe's Fell Race - Saturday 11 September

Support your local brewer!  NB you'll need special training for this, you have to drink a pint of beer after crossing the line.  A sprint finish is not always advisable!

Harewood Trail Race - Sunday 10 October

Entry forms are now out so contact me if you can put some out a local sports centre or shop or take some to a race.  Please, everyone, keep this date free to marshal - you are all required!  There will be a recce run on Tuesday 14 September, meet 6:45 at Harewood Village Hall - all welcome!

website  or

e-mail (note new 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.

If you don't have email, then, if you ask, I will send you printed versions of the Electronic Striders updates every 4-6 weeks in between Newsletters.