January 2005

2005 Issue 1


Section 1

Road and General

Sunday 22 August 2004

Entering the Panathinaiko Stadium, 400 metres to go

Tracey Morris, Valley Striders’ first Olympic Athlete

In the newspapers, Tracey has often been quoted “I’m just terrified of finishing last”.  There were 88 entered for the Olympic Marathon and of these, only three had PB’s slower than Tracey’s.

On the day 81 started, 66 finished and Tracey finished 29th, i.e. in the top third of those that entered and well in the top half of those who finished.

She deservedly becomes only the third Strider to be featured in a picture on the cover of V.S.News.  This honour follows quickly after being awarded the Janet Kitchen Horsforth Marathon Trophy for best Striders Performance of the Year, the North Wales and Anglesey Sportswoman of the Year and other awards.


London Marathon Training Run At Harewood – 27 Feb

Last March, at short notice, we helped Runners World and Leeds Tourism Department organise a 16 mile paced run round the Harewood Estate as a training run in preparation for the London Marathon.  About 150 runners turned up and they were supported by 8 pacers from Runners World and 4 from Striders.

We’re going to do the same again this year but with 4 Runners World pacers and 6 or more Striders pacers.  The route is the Harewood 10 mile Trail route but running on the tarmac access road at the back of Eccup Res rather than running all the way round.  This year there will be just 5 groups – 7, 7½, 8, 8½ and 9 minute miling.

We will need two runners at each pace.  (We will need a spare one at each pace in case of injury to any participant, the Harewood Estate are likely to insist on this).  Hopefully one in each pair will be equipped with a GPS pacer watch for the day to set the exact required pace.  Your mission as pacers is to run at that pace (no faster, no slower) for the 16 miles.  It is therefore advisable to choose a pace that you can comfortably achieve!!

I already have 6 volunteers, but the more the merrier.  All pacers are likely to be “recompensed” with a free pair of running shoes.


In This Issue


Valley Striders AGM     28 Sept 2004................................................................ 4

Things on Page 7........................................................................................... 7

Grand Prix 2004............................................................................................. 8

Grand Prix Results and Reports..................................................................... 8

Grand Prix 2005.......................................................................................... 14

Other UK Race Reports and Results............................................................. 15

Striders Presentation Night – Awards........................................................... 16

New members.............................................................................................. 18

Birthdays, Births and Farewells................................................................... 19

Coach’s Column (Max Jones)....................................................................... 20

International Reports................................................................................... 24

Emails from Belfast (Natalie Crossland)......................................................... 24

Alderney Half Marathon  11 Sept (Mick Tinker)............................................... 25

½ marathons & 10ks in Germany (Ingo Zoller)................................................ 27

Danish Report (Britt Folkerman).................................................................... 27

San Diego 5K  (Carole Schofield).................................................................. 28

Reports from the U.S.A................................................................................ 30

Emails from South Africa (Annemi Van Zyl)................................................... 31

Forthcoming Races & Events........................................................................ 32


Membership Subscriptions

If you haven’t yet paid your subs for this year (September 2004 – August 2005) there will be a reminder with this V S News. If you want to renew your membership, please send a cheque for £9 to Danny Burnham at his NEW address 3 Wyncroft Grove, Bramhope, LS16 9DG, before 28 February.  After 28 February, the full rate of £12 will apply. 

All Striders who have paid for Sep2003 - Aug2004 and / or Sep2004 - Aug2005 have been registered with the North of England A.A. for 2004/5.  The list of Striders currently registered with NoEAA is on our website - you can look there if you need your VLS number.  There are membership cards for all but the most recent recruits and if you’ve not already picked yours up, it will be enclosed with this V S News.

NB If you’ve not got your card and it’s not in here, then most likely you are also in arrears for last year i.e. September 2003 to August 2004, in which case you will also find a final reminder letter enclosed with this V S News!!


Valley Striders AGM     28 Sept 2004

The meeting started at 8:30p.m.  35 Striders were in attendance and 30 pies and peas were eaten.  With the extra sustenance most stayed to the finish at 9:40pm.  The time of 1 hour 10 minutes was probably a P.B. for a Striders AGM!

Membership Cards

Those at the AGM received their membership cards.  See page 3 for more information.

Reports from Committee 2003/2004

Reports were received from Paul Briscoe, Danny Burnham, Geoff Webster, Paul White, Sylvia Watson, Steve Webb, Paul Furness and Bob Jackson.  As usual, the fell section reports proved most entertaining.  Paul White had some statistics on this year’s Grand Prix and suggested there should be a review ahead of next year.  Danny’s treasurer’s report showed, when taking into account outstanding due payments e.g. subs to Leo’s, a similar balance at year end to the previous year.

Election of Committee 2004/2005

* indicates new appointment

President                                              Charlie Spedding

Vice President                                      Stuart StJohn

Club Captain                                        Steve O’Callaghan

Secretary                                              Paul Briscoe

Treasurer                                              Danny Burnham

Membership Sec                                 Danny Burnham

Competition Sec                                  Alan Hutchinson & Paul White

Fell Competition Sec                           Geoff Webster

Newsletter Editor                                Bob Jackson & Ian Place & Nick Brown

Curry Secretary                                   Bill Murphy

Coaches                                                George Black & Max Jones

Road Captains                                     Brian Hanley* & Jules Barltrop*

Cross Country Captains                    Martin Horbury* & Sam Harris*

Fell Captains                                        Steve Webb & Sylvia Watson

Vets captains                                       Eric Cusack & Kathy Kaiser

Relays captains were appointed for each relay, as follows

             Calderdale Way                      Martin Horbury & Geoff Webster

             Harrogate Ringway                Bob Jackson & Alan Hutchinson*

          Bradford Millennium              Sara Dyer* & Bob Jackson

             Leeds Country Way              Bob Jackson* & Alan Hutchinson*

We were very pleased to have volunteers (without too much persuasion) for the two road captains and the two cross country captains – all new faces on the committee.  We also spread the relays organisation much wider although I suspect that we may still need Paul Furness’ experience and advice nearer each race day!
Subscriptions for 2004/5

Will be £12 (£9 before 28th February, £2 discount for social members).

The “reduced” rate has been increased from £8 to £9 because the NoEAA registration fee has been increased by £1 per member – otherwise there would have been no need to change.

Subs in future years may change due to external circumstances – we may be asked to contribute towards refurbishment of the showers and changing rooms at Leo’s and the reorganisation of UK Athletics may change the registration fees for clubs and athletes.

Club membership / UK Athletics membership

·         134 paid in Sep 03-Aug 04 (prev years 144,117,118,111)

·         11 hon members included in above (10,7)

·         9 new paid since Sep 04 (3), 2 resigned, net 141

·         127 registered first claim May 04-Apr 05 (133,115,103)

·         9 registered second claim (9,7,6)

·         5 social members not registered (10,13,16)

Meanwood Trail Race

2004 - 304 finishers (prev ave 208 max 325); 30 juniors (new)

(£1,000 to Lineham Farm - total for 5 years £3,300)

2005 - Sat 9 April

Harewood Trail Race and Hop

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

Over 80 Striders / family / St.Leonard's involved in race, total for 5 years > £10,000

2004 - Sun 10 October - marshals required

In last 9 years, 5,423 have run in VS organised events

(6,211 including Harewood ’04)

Honorary Members

It was proposed (and carried unanimously) that Mike and Eileen Crosfill both be elected Honorary Members of Valley Striders.  They have recorded finishing times at all except two Club Handicaps since 1987 (and some before), and all the Striders Races (including our two events in Roundhay Park in the 1980’s)

Fell Relays

It was suggested that we should consider entering teams in the Ian Hodgson Relay and the 2005 FRA Relay Championships

Other matters discussed

(but now only of historical interest) were Lineham Farm Christmas cards, the Christmas Meal, London Marathon club entries and the Grand Prix format


Olympic Representative - Tracey - marathon(29th)

UK Champion - Tracey Morris – London marathon

Yorkshire Champion - Sam Harris - Helen Windsor 10k

Yorkshire Reps Sam Harris - intercounties XC,

Vicky Whitehead - half marathon

West Yorks X Country 2003/4 - men 10th, wimmin n/c

Sam 4th W20-35, Sylvia 5th W45+, Steve 5th M40-49

West Yorks X Country 2004 - men 9th, wimmin 5th  

Liz 3rd W45+

National X Country - men 87th/116, wimmin 39th/54


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

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

Leeds C Way M 10th, V 4th(16th), W 4th(24th), B 31st (/39)

Calderdale Way 36th (2nd mixed) & 48th (/96)

Individual Performances

Tim Crossland - 1st at Liversedge ½mar, John Carr 5k

Lou Gilchrist - W70 10 mile world best 1:17:58 at Sale

Brian Hanley - 1st at Mileta 10, 2nd Baildon B Way

Sam Harris - 1st W at Wheldrake 10k, Armthorpe 10k,

              Horsforth 10k

Tracey Morris - 1st W at Brass Monkey, Snake Lane 10,

East Hull 20, Wakefield 10k, Thirsk 10

Jane Sutton - won three fell races

Lisa Wilyman - 1st W at Leeds ½marathon

Steve Webb - 1st at Blubberhouses Moor 25

Team Performances

Men won Spen 20

Women won Brass Monkey, Leeds half and Nottingham half

The Roundhay Pulse overall team prize was won by a mixed team of Striders

Handicap 2004 Winners

Xmas 2003 5 mile - Sam Harris (23 ran) (Last Year 18)

Spring 10k - Gary Sutherland (20) (LY27)

Summer Trail 5 mile - Mivvi Tekchandani (23) (LY35)

Autumn 10k - Eric Green (32) (LY34)

Things on Page 7


First, thanks to all the Striders who have contributed to this V S News.  We have the regulars (including the return of Max’s Coach’s Column), some occasionals, and some first-timers (thank you Rob Bumstead, Natalie Crossland, Martin Horbury, Mick Tinker and Simon Vallance).  Contributions of any length are always welcome.

My regular proof-readers were temporarily unavailable, so thanks to Eric Green and Paul White for proof-reading this edition.  I amended a few pages after they’d done their job so don’t blame them if you spot a comma or apostrophe in the wrong place.

Women’s Vests

There has been a lot of discussion over the last 12 months about the design of the Striders vests for women.  I have not examined these personally but I believe the issues are where the lettering goes and that there should be a crop top available.  We were supposed to appoint someone to investigate this at the AGM but we may have forgotten.

I have recently received an email from Complete Runner - “Terry has asked me to let you know that, after a gap in supply, we now have in stock the normal 'Avanti' style Valley Striders Vests.”


We’re on winter training until the end of March, then after the clocks go back we may well get onto the summer routes straight away.

The regular monthly cycle of 3*10mins, 16*400m, 5*1mile, hills has continued with only one hiccup.  One evening in late summer, we only had 3 takers for the 400m session and they too were persuaded to go on Steve O's tour round Bodington Hall, Beckett Park, Spen Lane and Horsforth Woodside.  Unfortunately 3 more Striders turned up at the start of the 400m session … to whom I apologise.  The rule for Tuesday night is even if no-one wants to do the speed session, we must run past the start of the session to see if anyone has gone straight to the start.  Having said this, the turn out since Christmas has averaged 20 for the speed session, 5 for the steady run, so no similar problems envisaged.

The only other change is on the 3 by 10 minutes session.  There was a suggestion that the time should be increased say to 12 mins, but this would not work as we would not be able to see each other as we started round the curved section of the High Ashes.  So there is now an optional 4th out-and-back.  Just decide before you start how many you want to do!

Pace calculator

John Hallas emailed:  The following link is a very good race time calculator with lots of
other pacing information. I am sure some members have seen it but it is quite good.

Grand Prix 2004

Grand Prix Results and Reports

Harrogate 10k

   35 Sam Harris          37.26

   36 Brian Hanley        37.27

   52 Nick Brown          38.32

   66 Martin Horbury      39.11

   81 Ross Anderson       39.54

   97 Richard King        40.24

  123 Bob Jackson         41.26

  128 Paul Hunter         41.37

  147 John Hallas         42.17

  169 Roy Flesher         43.05

  174 Paul White          43.09

  194 Eric Green          43.47

  206 Tony Haygarth       44.16

  227 Julia Barltrop      44.49

  252 Mivvy Tekchandani   45.39

  275 Peter Lambert       46.26

  279 Bob Wilkes          46.34

      Yvonne White        60.09

Yvonne White is Paul’s daughter and Natalie’s sister.  She lives in Kent and has recently joined Sevenoaks A.C.  Her next big event is in July 2005 when she gets married.

Round Hill Fell Race

    8 Martin Horbury      69.43

    9 Paul Hunter         69.55

   13 Andrew Cutts        72.24

   22 Geoff Webster       77.32

   24 Steve Purnell       78.36

   30 Alistair Fale       83.22

   32 Sylvia Watson       83.50

   33 Tony Haygarth       84.14

   38 Simon Redshaw       90.36

Martin’s report in Spiders news

Briscoe's Fell Race

    3 Steve Webb          22.49

    6 Martin Horbury      23.47

   12 Jerry Watson        24.38

   16 Paul Hunter         25.07

West Yorks Cross Country at Shipley


  2 Sam Harris        21.22  99

  9 Lisa Wilyman      22.33  94

 28 Julia Barltrop    23.52  88

 35 Maddie Geddes-Bar 24.27  86

 36 Mivvy Tekchandani 24.31  85

 41 Mary Harris       25.03  83

 45 Liz Ball          25.26  82

 48 Carole Schofield  25.38  81

 50 Hayley Palmer     25.44  80

 51 Jill Watson       25.45  79

 64 Caroline Lynch    27.01  77

 67 Sylvia Watson     27.23  76

 76 Julia Geddes      28.11  75

 82 Sara Dyer         29.06  73

2nd claim

 92 Lyn Eden          32.06  






 11 Brian Hanley      33.54 100

 70 Steve Webb        38.21  98

 84 Simon Vallance    39.00  97

 85 Rob Bumstead      39.04  96

101 Jerry Watson      40.01  95

103 Ross Anderson     40.07  93

118 Martin Horbury    40.35  92

119 Alan Hutchinson   40.36  91

129 Paul Hunter       41.10  90

134 Bob Jackson       41.36  89

142 John Hallas       42.41  87

160 Geoff Webster     44.05  84

173 David Barton      46.34  78

187 Bob Wilkes        51.02  74

2nd claim

 72 Chris Booker      38.28  

 79 Jon Willingham    38.51  

 94 Howard Jeffrey    39.40  

164 Jim Towers        44.40  


Well done Martin and Sam for getting a record number of Striders on a cross-country start line. Well, all but one.  “Doing a Whalley” is a well known Striders term for turning up an hour late for a race.  Now we have “doing a Wily” – this is turning up in plenty of time but warming up a long way from the start and missing the warning calls and so setting off 20 seconds after the race starts.

Sam was beaten by English junior international Aine Hoban.  Then we found out that Brian’s mum is also called Aine, so we were able to learn the proper pronunciation which is, I believe, “Onya” as in “Onya Bike”.


Withins Skyline

   49 Andrew Cutts        53.42

   52 Simon Vallance      53.51

   94 Paul Hunter         57.26

  125 Bob Jackson         60.29


West Yorks Cross Country at Bramley

Girls U17

  9 Maddie Geddes-Bar 22.05  92


  7 Lisa Wilyman      27.09  98

 44 Mivvy Tekchandani 30.11  91

 47 Carole Schofield  30.42  90

 53 Hayley Palmer     31.13  89

 58 Liz Ball          31.39  87

 68 Caroline Lynch    32.30  85

 70 Laura Clark       32.41  84

 79 Sylvia Watson     33.44  83

2nd claim

104 Lyn Eden          39.54  



 12 Brian Hanley      35.06 100

 74 Jerry Watson      39.25  99

116 Neil Dutton       41.38  97

120 Ross Anderson     41.50  96

126 Martin Horbury    42.11  95

149 John Hallas       43.28  94

156 Bob Jackson       43.47  93

187 Alistair Fale     47.15  88

190 Geoff Webster     47.29  87

208 Bob Wilkes        51.35  82

2nd claim

129 Howard Jeffrey    42.16  

172 Jim Towers        45.35   

Thanks to Tracey Morris, I was 156th instead of 157th.  She had taken Mark
Hetherington (Abbey Runners) training on Friday night, and Mark did not
quite last the pace on Saturday afternoon (he was 163rd)

Maya Tekchandani has been awarded a certificate for being the best Valley Striders supporter at this race.  She was very shy to start off with, then was calling “Come on Mummy” in the women’s race, then “Come on Striders” in the men’s race.  Joyce the Voice, your position as chief supporter is in danger!


Burley Bridge Hike

    4 Alan Hutchinson      3:06

    8 Rob Bumstead         3:14

    9 Bob Jackson          3:15

   10 Geoff Webster        3:18

   19 Eric Green           3:40

   20 Peter Lambert        3:40

See GW’s report in second section

Holmfirth 15

   21 Drew Taylor         94.28

   63 Paul Hunter        103.32

   94 Mick Tinker        108.32

West Yorks Cross Country at Ilkley


  1 Sam Harris        20.51  99

 28 Jules Barltrop    23.45  93

 34 Mary Harris       24.54  90

 39 Hayley Palmer     25.16  89

 44 Liz Ball          25.24  88

 45 Carole Schofield  25.32  87

 51 Laura Clark       25.52  86

 62 Caroline Lynch    26.49  84

 65 Sylvia Watson     27.14  82

 71 Dawn Morley       27.53  81

 76 Sara Dyer         28.36  80


 10 Brian Hanley      32.49 100

 76 Jerry Watson      36.39  98

108 Rob Bumstead      38.16  97

111 Mick Wrench       38.32  96

124 Neil Dutton       39.18  95

131 Alan Hutchinson   39.41  94

154 John Hallas       41.30  92

160 Bob Jackson       41.58  91

190 Geoff Webster     46.08  85

193 Eric Green        47.20  83

196 Bob Wilkes        50.55  79

Roundhay 5

   20 Drew Taylor         28.42

   29 Nick Brown          29.42

   67 Andrew Cutts        31.44

   81 Jules Barltrop      32.23

  121 Mick Tinker         33.58

  130 Eric Green          34.26

  158 Julian Bhowmick     35.28

  166 Steve Dixon         36.00

  190 Peter Lambert       36.53

      Yvonne White        47.47

Report from Eric Green

When Bob asked for a few words for the Newsletter on the Roundhay 5mile race, I thought which one. I’d done three in 2005, all of which were 5 miles and all around the park. Good job it was the one on the 21st Nov and was a PB one so a little more memorable than the Pulse in the Summer (lots of Bananas at that one). Or the St Gemma’s run also in November where no timings were taken of any of the finishers.

I always find runs in Roundhay Park enjoyable, both for the scenery and the fact they are usually fast (well fast for me anyway) and can be used as a good short speed session.
Anyway what do I remember about the 21st Nov, it was cold. It was very very cold. I got there early and sat in my car thinking I could always turn round and go back to bed. But no I decided to brave the weather, especially as it was my 51st race of the year and the 18th Grand Prix event I’d done.

With only a short time to the start I jogged across to the start. Passing a few Striders on the way I was trying to judge how many points for the Grand Prix I might get, but as I saw more and more Striders my points haul was starting to look lower and lower.
Anyway 5 miles means a short race but as with all Park races they are reasonably undulating and all 2 laps, Joyce and Bob were marshalling part of the course this meant plenty of support for Striders. I finished with a time of 34m 23s coming in 130 out of 512. So thinking sod the points I was happy with a new PB.

Roll on next year and the three 5 mile Park races that I’ll be certain to run.

Abbey Dash

Congratulations to Sam who finished 9th, commiserations to Mary who was 2nd fastest in her age-group but did not stand near enough the front at the start so was out of the top 3 awarded on gun position. Well done to the other 28 Striders, it looks like there were some good times going (wish I'd got my entry form in on time now!)


Chip                  Chip Gun   Gun

Posn                  Time Pos  Time

  41 Brian Hanley    32.23  41 32.26

 102 Sam Harris      35.29 101 35.35

 108 Drew Taylor     35.48 108 35.54

 221 Nick Brown      38.09 397 41.22

 232 Andrew Cutts    38.25 226 38.37

 267 Ross Anderson   38.53 324 40.03

 271 Tim Towler      38.55 262 39.05

 274 Alan Hutchinson 38.58 289 39.37

 281 Paul Hunter     39.07 293 39.39

 300 Richard King    39.22 335 40.16

 319 James Tarran    39.31 326 40.06

 336 George Little   39.43 344 40.26

 350 Rob Liddle      39.56 333 40.15

 384 Jules Barltrop  40.25 394 41.20

 481 Mick Tinker     41.34 430 41.53

 491 John Hallas     41.39 428 41.52

Chip                  Chip  Gun   Gun

Posn                  Time  Pos  Time

 554 Mivvy Tekchanda 42.19  474 42.32

 563 Eric Green      42.23  599 43.55

 611 Mary Harris     42.57  686 44.53

 704 Natalie Crossla 43.55  624 44.11

 705 Hayley Palmer   43.55  758 45.51

 761 Caroline Lynch  44.20  802 46.17

 769 Paul Bunton     44.23  759 45.52

 809 Paul Leary      44.46  707 45.03

 838 Paul Morris     44.58  820 46.05

 866 Roy Flesher     45.13  905 47.13

 999 Erica Hiorns    46.22 1273 50.39

1397 Alison Marringt 49.21 1184 49.47

1668 Hannah Scott    51.21 1626 53.33

1765 Jayne South     52.11 1634 53.34

    2nd claim

 233 Peter Johnson   38.26  264 39.11

I think I spotted all the new members who would have been unattached when they filled in their entry forms.  I also spotted the two "Leeds Valley Striders" and the one "Leeds Grammar School". Paul Hunter's position brought him equal with Mick Tinker in Grand Prix group C, what would happen at Wakefield? Paul Morris's points took him ahead of Tracey in the Grand Prix table.


West Yorks Cross Country at Wakefield


 24 Jules Barltrop    24.47  92

 32 Liz Ball          25.53  90

 35 Carole Schofield  26.11  89

 46 Sylvia Watson     28.11  87

 57 Sara Dyer         30.36  86

2nd claim

 61 Lyn Eden          31.08  







 10 Brian Hanley      32.45 100

 46 Jerry Watson      35.37  99

 82 Drew Taylor       37.30  98

 91 Ross Anderson     38.24  97

 92 Martin Horbury    38.26  96

 98 Neil Dutton       38.52  95

111 Alan Hutchinson   39.38  94

114 Paul Hunter       39.57  93

126 John Hallas       41.15  91

142 Geoff Webster     43.35  88

2nd claim

131 Jim Towers        41.59  

Paul Hunter's 8th place gave him the 1 extra G P point he needed to win Group C!

See Martin Horbury’s end of season report in the second section of V S News.

Grand Prix 2004 Final Positions

Brian Hanley    800 (M Champ)

Sam Harris      788 (W Champ)

Martin Horbury  784 (M40 Ch)

Steve Webb      782 (2nd M40)        

Drew Taylor     779 (3rd M40)

Bob Jackson     771 (M50 Ch)

Andrew Cutts    770

Jerry Watson    769

Alan Hutchinson 766

Paul Hunter     766 (Group C)

Mick Tinker     765 (2nd M50)

Roy Flesher     761 (3rd M50)

Eric Green      760

Rob Liddle      746

Simon Redshaw   725 (Group D)

Geoff Webster   723

Jules Barltrop  714 (2nd W)

Tony Haygarth   711

John Hallas     710

Paul White      704

Hayley Palmer   690

Bob Wilkes      680

Sara Dyer       639 (W Vet Ch)


Group B was won by Sam Harris, with Martin Horbury runner-up.  Mick Tinker was runner-up in Group C.

3 Striders with 7 races just missed out on their GP T-shirts – Ross Anderson 648, Mivvy Tekchandani 580 and Sylvia Watson 576.

There were 4 on 6 races – Simon Vallance 577, Mick Loftus 572, Carole Schofield 495, Paul Morris 492. 

Tracey Morris only dropped one point in 5 races (net score 479) but was otherwise engaged for much of the year.  Others with 5 were Mick Wrench 460, Nick Brown 456, Peter Lambert 426, Natalie Crossland 401.

More scores: Lisa 359, Rob B 358, Richard 346, Mary H 327, Debbi 324, Gary 320, Steve P 314, Liz 307, Caroline 294, Alistair 255, George 255, Neil 247, Paul Hilton 232, Kay 229, Steve O 204, Tim C 170, David c 143, Mark 143, Ian 140, Maddie 138, Dawn 137, Cath 135, Lily 135, Laura C 130, Madeleine 128, Elika 126, Mary E 126, Kathy K 123, David B 118, Julia 114.  There were a further 32 Striders who ran just 1 race.

Paul White’s summary of the Grand Prix year

The Grand Prix races have been very popular again this year with 95 members taking part. 

We are making some changes to the format next year to try and encourage more people to do at least 8 races.  This year 23 runners completed at least 8 races, and we start with 5 presentations to some of those runners: 

The first is a “golden oldie” but somebody who always takes part in a variety of races and is still running very well Bob Wilkes.  The next is a young lady who is steadily improving and hopefully will have a lot more PB’s to come Hayley Palmer. The third one goes to a newcomer this year and somebody who had an outstanding marathon time of 3:08 in Chicago Jules Barltrop.  The next is one to add to my collection of t-shirts it’s the 9th Grand Prix I’ve competed in!  The final t-shirt in this category goes to the overall winner for the last two years Steve Webb.

The winner of Group D joined the Club last year and has been an enthusiastic member taking part in a variety of races Simon Redshaw.

Group C was very closely contested, Mick Tinker was in the lead with two races to go but Paul Hunter drew level at the Abbey Dash and finished one point in front with his effort at the Wakefield Cross Country event.

The Ladies Vets champion and last year’s Group E winner is Sara Dyer.

The Vets Over 50 champion has taken part in 17 Grand Prix races, he sets the handicap times, collates the race results as well as doing the newsletter, emails and updating the website – he puts a lot of time and effort into the club and does an excellent job, Bob Jackson.

The Vets Over 40 champion was somebody who has done a tremendous job in getting so many members to take part in the Cross Country events, including the Calderdale Way Relay last week, Martin Horbury.

Over the last two or three years we have had a very strong Ladies section with Tracey, Vicky and Lisa all winning races and setting some course records.  This year has seen the emergence of another star, a young lady whose races this year include:

·         1st in the Horsforth 10K

·         1st in the York Millennium Bridge 5K

·         1st in the Helen Winsdor 10K

·         1st in the Wheldrake 10K

·         1st and 2nd places in the West Yorkshire Cross Country races

·         2nd in the Askern 10

·         2nd in the Eccup 10

·         2nd in the Harewood Trail race

·         2nd in the Thirsk 10

·         3rd in the Leeds Half

She had a tremendous time of 35:35 in the Abbey Dash and has her photograph in the latest edition of “Runner’s World” the Ladies Champion is Sam Harris.

The final award tonight is for the Men’s and Overall Club Champion, it is to somebody who has had made great progress during the year.  His results include:

·         1st in the Mileta 10

·         2nd in the Baildon Boundry Way

·         3rd in the Eccup 10

·         4th in the Helen Windsor 10K

·         4th in the Spen 20

·         9th in the Belfast Marathon

He had a superb time of 32:26 in the Abbey Dash, it is the other half of the dynamic duo Brian Hanley.

Grand Prix 2005

Note that there are 6 categories this year.  Three categories from last year - fell, trail and long road – have been reconstituted as two new ones - long (road & off-road) and  trail/fell combined.  There are now 5 races in each of the categories short road, medium road, long and trail/fell, and 4 races in handicap and cross-country.  New races in the calendar are highlighted in bold – we hope you approve of our choices!

Cat       Day     Date         Time    Event

Tr/Fl    Sun      Dec 26      11:00   Chevin Chase

Hcap   Sun      Jan 9         11:00   Striders handicap 5

Med    Sun      Jan 23       10:00   Brass Monkey ½ marathon (entries closed)

Long   Sat       Feb 5        09:00   Rombalds Stride 23

Short  Sun     Feb 6        09:30  Dewsbury 10k

Long   Sun      Mar 13     10:00   Spen 20 and East Hull 20, score according to time

Med    Sun      Mar 20     10:30   Ackworth ½ marathon

Tr/Fl    Sun      Apr 3        10:00   Baildon Boundary Way ½ marathon

Long   Sun      Apr 17      a.m.     London marathon

Short  Sun     Apr 24     11:00  Rothwell 10k

Hcap   Tue      Apr ??      18:45   Spring handicap 10k

Tr/Fl    Tue      May 10    19:15   Jack Bloor Fell Race, near Ilkley, 5.2miles/1150ft

Med    Sun      May 15    a.m.     Leeds ½ marathon

Med    Sun      Jun 5        14:00   Thirsk 10 mile

Short   Wed    Jul  6         19:30   Hyde Park 5k

Hcap   Tue      Jul ??        19:00   Summer handicap 5¼ off-road

Tr/Fl    Sun      Jul 31        11:00   Round Hill Fell Race, near Otley 9miles/1100ft

Short   Sun      Aug ??     a.m.     Harrogate 10k

Tr/Fl   Sun     Aug 28    11:30  Norland Moor fell race 7.1miles/1100ft

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

Med     Sun     Oct 2??               Selby ½ marathon

X-C      Sat       Oct ??      13:30   West Yorks cross country 2005/6 race 1

Long   Sat       Nov ??     a.m.     Burley Bridge Hike 20

X-C      Sun      Nov ??     13:30   West Yorks cross country 2005/6 race 2

X-C      Sat       Nov ??     13:30   West Yorks cross country 2005/6 race 3

Short   Sun      Dec ??      a.m.     Abbey Dash 10k

XC       Sat       Dec ??      13:30   West Yorks cross-country 2005/6 race 4

Long   any      any           any      Any other marathon, score according to time


You can now travel the world for Grand Prix points in this final category – Las Vegas,  Paris, Berlin, New York, Chicago, Melbourne, you name a marathon, it’s in!  Nearer home, your opportunities in the UK up to June include Duchy (Cornwall), Shakespeare (Stratford), Lochaber (Fort William), Three Forts (Sussex), Halstead (Essex) and Blackpool.

Other UK Race Reports and Results

Hull 24 Hour (from Ingo Zoller)

As rumoured already - former French Valley Strider Lisa Michez decided to surprise everyone by competing in a 24h track race. Since she was never known for her speed she thought it might be an event where she does not need to run fast. The venue she chose was the East Hull 24, and she did indeed surprise everyone. Including the organisers, the British selectors, and each and every competitor in the field. Not so much by stopping exactly at the end of her last lap, but by keeping going for not only 100 or 200 laps (on a 400m track!), she kept going even after her 300. and 400. lap, and finally had enough after 484 laps - almost 100 laps ahead of her nearest female competitor.

She thought it would be her one and only race over that kind of distance, but she might have to change her mind about it...

Now the official results were found in the depth of the web, on the pages of the International Association of Ultra Runners:
The results           km        miles
 1 Jim Rogers       M 226.69  140.86
 2 Stuart Buchan    M 209.05  129.90
 3 Garth Peterson   M 208.03  129.27
 4 Lisa Michez      F 193.60  120.30
 5 Graham Wilkinson M 170.94  106.21
13 Hillary Wharam   F 153.91   95.64

41 ran

Snowdonia Marathon (from Steve Webb)

At the Snowdonia Marathon (toughest road marathon in the UK?) Eric Green finished 108th in 3.36.08 and Sara was 479th in 4.21.24 (16 seconds outside her pb for this course apparently). The provisional results showed both of our heroes as 'Fairland Valley Striders' but I grabbed the computer people and hopefully this will be corrected for the final results.

Nottingham Heritage Races (Rob Bumstead)

Rob was working in Nottingham part of last year

Race 1 – Holme Pierrepoint 10k     22nd June 2004

1st  Tim Hartley            Charnwood   31:23
29th Robert Bumstead                    37:38

450 ran

Race 2 – Wollaton Park 5k     24th June 2004

1st  James Hayden           Notts AC    15:23
21st Robert Bumstead                    18:25

404 ran


Striders Presentation Night – Awards

Stuart StJohn Also Ran Trophy for the Strider who has tried hardest but won nothing

Paul Furness came runner-up in this award.  Despite doing very little serious running (and spending most Tuesdays and Thursdays looking for groups of women slower than him to run with), his efforts were outstanding in organising the LCW teams and recceing nearly all the legs.  And the teams won nothing!

But the winner this year was not just an also-ran.  He was an also ran and ran and ran.  He ran 50 races in 2004.

Like Debbi Wagman last year, he did actually have one success (or in our terms, failure). He managed to win first team prize at the Roundhay Pulse Race.  However since there were only two teams competing, I think we’ll forgive him this.

So where have his 49 other races been?  In Yorkshire, you name it, he’s probably done it.  All distances from 5k’s at Hyde Park and York to 20 miles at East Hull.  And off-road, too, from short cross countries to long distance trail races such as Rombalds and Burley Bridge.  Outside Yorkshire he ran 3 of the biggest marathons in Great BritainLondon, Edinburgh and Snowdonia.

So for wearing the Valley Striders vest nearly every week of 2004, the SSJ Also Ran Trophy was awarded to Eric Green.

Janet Kitchen Horsforth Marathon Cup – for the best marathon performance by a Strider during the year

This was, of course, won by Tracey, but to be precise it was shared by Tracey (at London) with Tracey (at Athens). 

Mention was made of a few other notable performances all of which would have been good candidates in a normal year

·      Steve Webb for winning the Blubberhouses 25

·      Brian Hanley, Drew Taylor, Alan Hutchinson winning the team prize at Spen 20

·      Jules Barltrop for 3:08 at Chicago only her 2nd marathon (after 3:18 at London)

·      Brian Hanley 9th at Belfast in 2:41

And we look forward to seeing Tracey, Lisa and Jules on the Womens UKA Championship start line on April 17.

London Marathon Draw

The first three names, drawn by independent adjudicator Max Jones, out of Bob’s flat cap were Natalie Crossland, Mary Egan and Kay Mason.  We wish all 3 of them the best of training, and success on April 17.  Reserves for these places will be Anne McCaffrey, George Little, Eric Green, Mivvy Tekchandani and Hayley Palmer.
Bob Jackson’s claim for the Marathon Cup

There was a claim by Bob Jackson that his run at Potteries marathon was a better performance than Tracey’s at Athens – I put the case for you to decide



Had time off work to train

Worked full time up to weekend of race

Full support team of physios etc

Read the “Injured Runners Handbook”

Three weeks of acclimatisation in Cyprus

10 minutes in the service station on the M6

Bussed to the start

Drove himself, then 10 minutes walk

Ice bath before the start

Rubbed ibuprofen gel on various places

Own drinks laid out on route

Tepid water had been put out hours ago

Scenic route through ancient villages and past historic temples

Route passed old coal mines, slag heaps and disused pot banks

Plenty of local support all the way

Plenty of local support all the way

Beautiful sunny day – able to get sun tan

Cold wind and rain (in June) – almost got frostbite

Finished on track in historic stadium

Finished uphill on grassy field

Full medical facilities for recovery

Got changed in tent and ate ice-cream

2:41 – 29th/66 – top half

3:18 – 46th/540 – top 10%


Steve O’s Speech

With a record 50 at the Christmas meal (28 Striders and 22 partners), Steve’s plan to mention everyone by name was ambitious.  But successful.  All bar one who only booked the day before and was missed from Steve’s checklist.  But Steve knows who you are and you are marked for special attention next year.

Well there were a few true stories and a few slightly true and the rest seemed to have come from the spam in Steve’s email inbox.  I looked round and there were a few worried faces (mainly from those whose first time it was), when would it be their turn, what would he say, then a sigh of relief that it was another v*ag*a story from the internet joke book.  (Had to put asterisks in otherwise this page wouldn’t get out of my firewall)

And this was followed by the raffle.  £1 a ticket, about half the people won a prize, there was £25 profit which will be donated to Lineham Farm, don’t return your prize to Steve if it fails to work after 28 days!

Steve - thanks for organising the event, for your speech, for the raffle and also for saving  us from 50 minutes of disco music!

New members

Nineteen new members in the last six months, a few have read about us on the website, but most have joined by word-of-mouth recommendations from other Striders – more infectious than pyramid selling

193.         Ross Anderson – found us via the website, but when he’d joined found that Liz Ball had been his tutor and that he knew Jules, young and fast!

194.         Steve Dixon – joined in 1995 for 2 years, was a training partner of Neil Stoddard, said he would rejoin us when he got fit, hoping to run Three Peaks this year

195.         Mal Smith – been trying to recruit him since he ran Meanwood a couple of years ago, Vicky Whitehead has moved in next door and they’re now training partners!

196.         Johnny Cocker – Eric Cusack’s son-in-law, was going to run Leeds Country Way but was injured, hope to see you soon

197.         Elika Tasker – found us on the website, moved to Leeds from Huddersfield, found a house-share in Roundhay, one of her housemates is Rob Bumstead!

198.         Caroline Lynch – never run further than 10k road or 3 miles off-road, press-ganged to run with Mivvy leg 2 (11 miles) Leeds Country Way – she forgave us!

199.         David Barton –  fastest Geddes-Barton at Pulse Race but no prize, recruited and ran LCW at 1 week’s notice

200.         Julia Geddes – 2nd W45 at Pulse Race, recruited and ran LCW at 1 day’s notice

201.         Maddie Geddes-Barton – 2nd W overall at Pulse Race behind Liz Ball, has had two good cross-country runs with us, currently our youngest Strider

202.         Julian Bhowmick – ex squash player, had to retire because of problem with elbow, knees OK, speedy runner

203.         Eileen Crosfill – elected as life member for distinguished services to race timekeeping and recording (nearly 100 events with the Striders over 20 years)

204.         Nigel Birch – friend of Julian, works with Bob, ran Meanwood a few years ago

205.         Jayne South – training partner of Sarah Brown, works with Julian, knows Mivvy, has run several of our races, has a London entry

206.         Nga Huynh – works with Ross, paid her subs on her first training session.  How do you pronounce her name?  It’s a silent ‘g’ and the surname is “Win”

207.         Paul Leary – trains with Eric Green at Morley Sports Centre

208.         James Tarran – recently moved from Rochdale (was a R.Harrier a few years ago), hoping to run 3 hrs at London ‘05

209.         Anne McCaffrey – knows Bill Murphy and Gary Shipley, Thursday runner, also runs Tuesdays, has a London entry

210.         John Bucktrout – works with George Little – has already graduated from slow squad to medium squad on Tuesdays

211.         Bobby Ndawula – trains at Scott Hall gym, asked which club the runners on a Thursday evening belonged to.

·       Apologies for any errors above, will be put right in the next issue!

·       Anything that is correct above will be put wrong in Steve O’s next Xmas speech!

Birthdays, Births and Farewells


Birthdays at the end of 2004 included Maddie Geddes-Barton (17, changed from U17G to JW), Cath Benson and Mitch Scott-Baxendale (35, now vets), Mark Hoon and Nigel Birch (40, now vets), Jayne South (also 40), Mike Evans and Dave Milner (all 50), Danny Burnham and John Umpleby (60) and George Black (65).

Birthdays at the start of 2005 will include Jules Barltrop (she’ll have done 3 marathons before she’s 30), Ingo Zoller (35, a new age-group in Germany), Paul Bunton  and Mal Smith (40, will become vets), Alison Marrington (also 40), Mike O’Callaghan, George Little, Carmel Barker, Jerry Watson (all will be 45), Julia Geddes (50), Jim Towers and Ken Kaiser (55), Lyn Eden & Tony Lupton (60).

Of the senior members, Danny is back on the road again, up to 20 minutes per run.  John Umpleby is doing a lot of cycling, up to 40 miles but since he has started taking collagen, he has been doing some running too and is threatening to come to the Spring Handicap to see if he can win the cup he presented to the Striders back in 1988


Congratulations to Simon and Christine Redshaw on the birth of a son, Ben.


A few long-time members who have put in good service for the Club have recently resigned - we are sad to see them go:

Ray Price – one of the originals (VLS00004), no longer running

George Dawson – multi-marathoner, now moved to Knaresborough

Alan Whittle – always a volunteer at our races, now moved to Northallerton

Wilf Little – another volunteer and also LS8 Striders News postman, no longer running


A few more Race Reports and Results

Scarborough 10k

Congratulations to Lisa Wilyman who finished 2nd but took 1st prize (Alison Raw had entered on the day)

Bridlington Half Marathon

Congratulations to Howard Jeffrey (Otley AC, 2nd claim Strider) who won the Yorks Vets M50 half marathon at Bridlington and to Sara Dyer who was 3rd`W45.


Coach’s Column (Max Jones)

Two More Years of Learning how Coaches Help … or not.

I last wrote a Coach’s Column for VS News in November 2002, so this one is by way of a review of what I’ve been up to in the last two years.

Years of Experience. I was appointed the Deputy Factory Manager of the copper alloy tube works of Yorkshire Imperial Metals in Stourton shortly after I came to Leeds in 1958. When the Production Director introduced me to the managers of the three separate factories on the site, he said of George Bramham, who was in charge of No 2 Mill, “You’ll learn a lot from George, Max, he has 30 years of experience working in this Department.”

I did learn a lot of things from George, including how to drink the strongest tea in the factory without flinching! But the one fact which emerged from our discussions over the next three years which I remember to this day is that, because of the very slow rate of change in the market demand for the product, George’s experience of No 2 Mill was little more than one year’s worth repeated 29 times.

I thought of George when I was reading Paula Radcliffe’s book “Paula, My Story So Far”. Clearly the first 284 of its 324 pages had been written months before Athens, but in their worst nightmare the publishers could not have thought that the last two chapters were to be so different from what had been expected.

On the Friday before the race I had written to a journalist pal of mine – the same one I had e-mailed ten days before London to give him the embargoed advice that Tracey had “a better than even chance of being the first Brit home and in 2:32/2:33” – that I couldn’t see how Radcliffe could win on such a horrendously hilly course and in the anticipated 33 degree temperature “because she’s so much heavier than the little Japanese. Unless, perhaps, she drinks up all her bottles and the Japanese don’t!”

It was clear from what she said in the days after the race that she had been severely hypoglycaemic before the Start, in effect hitting the Wall when only 10 miles into it. In the book I learnt she had been on “a heavier course of anti-inflammatories” from the previous Sunday because a long-standing muscle strain had recurred. One of the well-known side effects of high doses of NSAIDs is diarrhoea – the worst thing to hit marathon runners is for their carboloading to be deposited in the local sewers before the race has even begun – but in her book we are told that Radcliffe’s had persisted right up to 20 minutes before the start.

Before reading it I had presumed that her downfall in Athens had come about because of her lack of experience and that of her coaches of racing on hilly courses in the summer. I was astounded, therefore, to read that as long ago as 1995, when she ran in her first Senior World X-Country Championship, that she had gone from third at 800m out to nineteenth at the finish and there to collapse. She writes “The race had depleted my blood sugar to the point where I was hypoglycaemic. It wasn’t the first time this had happened and once I realised what was going on it didn’t alarm me. The annoying part was that I thought I was growing out of it”

The only way fit and healthy runners can become hypoglycaemic after only 8km is when they are so before the start. I know, ’cos I’ve been there and done that. I had had diarrhoea on the Friday and the Saturday before London 2000; I also hit the Wall early, but at 5 miles; to preserve my ‘EverPresent’ status I walked the last 14 miles; and it took me longer to cover the second half than my previous worst full marathon time, the first London in 1981.

Radcliffe should not only have been alarmed by her collapsing but, more particularly, those around should have questioned why she did also after two other races and even once after a training session in the Pyrenees [and those are just the four occasions which are recorded in the book].

Athletes at the top level in any sport do 95% of the work, but their coaches are there to contribute the 5% which means the difference between a place on the podium and struggling amongst the other also rans. Perhaps it is facile with hindsight to say that Radcliffe’s advisors should have known that high doses of anti-inflammatories can cause diarrhoea and hence hypoglycaemia. But that’s what advisors are for, to analyse the mistakes of the past and then to prepare their athletes to avoid them or to overcome them next time.

It was a minor miracle that she got as far as she did, but having said that, I believe she would still have been right to have started the race, even if she had realized her chance of winning it had gone. As the good Baron de Coubertin, the founder of the Modern Olympics, said at the banquet in London before the 1908 Games: “The important thing in Life is not the victory but the contest; the important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part.”

First Principles. I believe that there are three cardinal principles which underlie athletic success: the athlete must have a medium term objective; there must be a basic understanding, shared between athlete and coach, of the processes whereby the athlete is to generate the physical energy required to attain that objective; and how that energy can be used to the maximum possible effect and with the minimum of waste.

Bearing those in mind, this is my report on how I was able to help three athletes, two of them Valley Striders, to achieve what they did in the past two years.

Lou Gilchrist. We don’t see Lou at the Club often because (a) she lives in Wardle, near Rochdale; (b) she became a First Claim member only in September ’03; and (c) she’s a Vet 70. She had always been up amongst the leading lights of her age group from the moment 16 years ago when she began running seriously, including being first W60 in London in 1994 and 1995. But it was at the 1999 WAVA Championships in Gateshead when she registered on the world stage with a clutch of medals.

There she won gold in the W65 X-Country; the silver in the 5000m in her first Track race ever in a time which was 88% Age-Graded; and the bronze in the 1500m and only a second outside the UK W65 record! In 2003, she swept up all the W70 Road world records from 5km to the half marathon, in times which varied between 89% and, into ‘International Class’, 91% AG. Last year, as a Valley Strider, she lowered her 10 mile WR to 77:57 and the 10k one to 45:50, the latter a phenomenal 95.4% age-graded, which is comparable only to John Keston’s 3:00:58 M70 WR, when he was just shy of his 72nd birthday, and with the times Ron Pannell and George Black did which were only a little behind those two.

And Lou’s ‘secret’? She races almost every week; virtually all have vicious hills in them; and she does stretching exercises twice a day. Racing every week keeps her heart and hence aerobic capacity in good nick; attacking the hills builds up her quads to maintain a good stride length; and the elasticity of her tendons and ligaments, induced by the stretches – with her knees locked she can put the palms of her hands on the floor in front of her – means she has a good stride rate. Stride rate times stride length equals speed over the ground: get them both up and the run’s a good ’un.

And Lou’s training régime? Always run hard; never over 5 miles at any one time; never run on consecutive days, so as not to get injured; average mileage per week, excluding races, not more than 15.

And my job? Just to listen, to explain, to encourage, and to be there when she runs.

Tracey. From the times she was running beforehand clearly brimful of talent, her route by plane and bus to Marathon and thence on foot to Athens, via the medium term objective of being first Brit in London, was founded on the realisation that she had been already running throughout 2003 the equivalents of sub-3 marathons. Engaging in two fast training sessions every week instead of only one, racing every two weeks and getting a pair of lightweight shoes for running them were just the essential added ingredients which were to help her to turn the dream into reality.

Without any one of them in the mix, Tracey could so easily have been a nearly-was. Instead she beat the second Brit, the originally Ethiopian, Birhane Dagne, by less than half of one per cent of the 2:33:52 she ran.

Ed Whitlock. No, not a Valley Strider because London-born, as was John Keston, now Canadian Ed Whitlock is still a Ranelagh member. He took John’s W70 marathon WR in 2001 and then he became the first 70-year-old, with a 2:59:10 in Toronto in 2003, to go sub-3. But he had almost not made it, staggering through the last 200m almost like Gabrielle Andersen had done in the stadium in the 1984 Olympics. When I heard that he would be running in last year’s Toronto race, I engaged in a frantic 13-e-mails-in-12-days correspondence with him.

Based on the flimsy evidence I had had at the start, I had surmised that in 2003 his carbohydrate reserves had run out, not at 18.0km as Paula Radcliffe’s had, but at 42.0km. That did indeed turn out in the end to have been the probable explanation, but I was anxious not to presume that to the exclusion of everything else.

Hence the daily e-mails, during the course of which he told me that he had stepped up his long runs from two 3-hour efforts in 2003 to three of them each week. But they were not done at jogging pace, being typically 20 to 22 miles each – between 8:10- and 9-minute miles – but, and this is the sting in the tail, in trainers weighing 383 grams each. Compared with his racers, which weighed only 167g, that 216g, dead-weight ‘handicap’ on each foot would have been the equivalent of 20 to 25 seconds a mile, meaning he was running over 60 miles a week at an average pace which was equivalent to close on 8 minute miles. At SEVENTY THREE!!! 

Added to which I have no doubt at all that lifting his shoes up a foot or so with every stride of c. 1000 every mile would have kept his quads in good shape as well, and the gentle stretching of his tendons and ligaments for nine hours a week would have been beneficial, too.

We decided not to change anything from the previous year except for him to wear his socks inside out to stave off blistering his feet and to drink as much Gatorade from the aid stations as he could manage without stopping. In the event, he took “not as much Gatorade as you suggested, Max, but much more than last time” and he ran it in 2:54:44; without hitting any Wall, but with a negative split of 1:27:31 to 1:27:13; to become the first man over 40 ever to run a 100% age-graded time in the marathon.

Summary. I believe these four tales, three of when things have gone well and one when they went unbelievably, agonisingly wrong, illustrate the crucial importance of the personal athlete-coach relationship. I do strongly recommend to all those of you who aspire to follow in Lou’s, Tracey’s and Ed’s racing footsteps, either at their exalted level on the world stage or closer to home – e.g. to run a marathon in under 4 hours or the Abbey Dash in under 44 minutes – that you decide now what dreams you want to turn into reality in the coming year.

I am not advocating any particular training programme for achieving it, for there is no one-size-fits-all, gender-neutral régime in Running, but rather that athletes, of whatever standard, get to together with coaches, of whatever qualifications, to create for every one individually what is needed to climb the peak.

And, to avoid making the mistake which Paula Radcliffe and her advisors did, always go over together what has happened in the last week or two to determine what more – or less – needs to be done.

For those who fancy the chance of reaching the top, fix your gaze on competing in next year’s Commonwealth Games, which are in Melbourne, Australia. The marathon is on March 19, but as the Big City marathons of Los Angeles, Rotterdam, London and Boston are all in March or April, they will lure the professionals away.

Tracey has helpfully opted to run for her beloved Wales, which leaves all three England places up for grabs Down Under.

That would be fun if four of you went together, wouldn’t it!!??

International Reports

Emails from Belfast (Natalie Crossland)

August 2004

Hello from Belfast!

Hope you are all well and the running is going well, Tim's Mum sent the Harrogate 10k report from the Harrogate local newspaper and I spotted Eric in one of the pictures.

Tim and I both did a 5mile road race in Cookstown on Saturday, it was strange not to see any familiar faces! All the races over here are on a Saturday, which leaves time for a few wines and a meal on the Saturday night!  I did 35.43 mins and came 3rd lady, £10 cash. Tim was 9th, 25mins something.

Tim has joined Willowfield Harriers to run with whilst we are over here, they won the mens team prize, the other 2 guys ran 24mins.  There was an article in the local newspaper Saturday morning, which announced Willowfield had a new secret weapon to unveil but wouldn't name him! The Athletics scene is very close over here. Willowfield has a similar atmosphere to Valley, everyone is very friendly and they have gone out of their way to help us settle in. I am hopefully going to join Lagan Valley which apparently has lots of women runners.

We enjoyed - not sure that's the word - watching the Marathon yesterday, it was frustrating when the BBC turned to the news after the first 4 runners had finished, but great to then hear about Tracey.

Looking forward to watching all the Athletics over the next week. Tim has done me a training plan - very tiring, and I am doing a 5km race next Friday. We are going on holiday in 3wks for 3wks travelling around Spain, but we will be keeping the running going.

Hope you are all well, look forward to seeing you for the Abbey Dash.

(Nat joined Lagan Valley and had a good run 43.55 at the Abbey Dash)

September 2004

Tim and I ran a 10k yesterday, Mallusk, the hilliest course I have ever done and very hot as well. Tim came 3rd and 1st team, I was 5th woman. Wearing my Valley Striders vest gained me some attention from the winning woman. Oh you run for the famous club....Valley Striders, they were asking all about Tracey, and in their club quiz on Friday evening had a picture of Tracey - to guess the athlete!  (anyone at VS want to volunteer to organise a quiz? – ed)

I wanted to mention that I am keen to do the London marathon, I have applied through the ballot, but was also wanting to be put in to the 'hat' if Valley Striders have places like last year.

(Nat was lucky  to be 1st  out of the hat and will be on the start line with Tim on April 17)

Alderney Half Marathon  11 Sept (Mick Tinker)

OK, so Alderney, being in the Channel Islands, is not strictly International, but it does have its own coins/notes; its own vehicle registration numbers  (AYnnnnn); you don’t have to wear seat belts AND it’s a lot nearer to France than Britain. So for someone who hasn’t competed outside of the North of England then to me it’s International.

Whilst Alderney is the third largest C.I. it is nowhere near the size of Jersey and Guernsey, being oval in shape and measuring only 5km east-west and 3km north-south. Furthermore it is wedge shaped, with cliffs to the South and West, peaking at 300m, and 6 fabulous sandy bays to the North and East. It has 1 town (St. Anne), 1 lighthouse, 1 airport, 1 harbour, with a 1km break-water, 1 Ian Botham, 14 forts and a 2km railway line (originally built to move stone from the quarry to the breakwater and forts, and now providing pleasure trips on in-season Saturdays) – ALL of which, bar one fort, can be seen on the HM route – twice! Thankfully there are also ample pubs, restaurants, shops and hotels/guest houses.

The forts were built in Victorian times as defence against the French but were never used in anger. The Germans invaded in 1941 but unlike Jersey and Guernsey they found the island deserted as the residents had already been evacuated to the mainland. Whilst the Germans built hundreds (no exaggeration) of concrete bunkers, tunnels, gun positions, anti-tank walls, search-line stands, range finders, etc, etc – again which were never used in anger – they left the island relatively in tact when they surrendered to the Brits in 1945. Most of their legacy remains and is easily and freely accessible.

On to the race. I knew of it from two previous visits to the island – we rent the holiday home of some friends – and was pleased to see that this year’s had been moved from its usual October date to mid-September, which meant that we could have a cheap late-summer week’s holiday, just after the school holidays, and I could partake in the race, around what must be one of the most interesting courses there are.

So, how do you fit a half-marathon into such a small island. Easy – as indicated above – you run around the perimeter (avoiding the airport runway) and then you do it again! The day was Saturday and the start-time was midday, I guess to allow “foreigners”, to fly/sail in. It was really tricky to sort out the eat/drink/toilet schedule for a midday kick-off, but the time eventually came to assemble at the Start – positioned at the end of a long flat road next to a beach by the harbour. The pre-race briefing warned us that the railway was to start running at 14:00 and whilst it was to run slower than usual today, that where the route twice crossed the lines at unmanned, ungated crossings, we must give way to the train. Oh yea, when do runners ever give way? The local policeman (whose LandRover has reg. AY999) closed the road for us and by the time we set off heading West a queue of 3 vehicles had built up. The usual 30-40 field had been swelled this year to 60-70 by a club from the UK coming over on Friday en masse in a yacht, with several of them still suffering from sea-sickness on the start line!

After 1km we passed the 15 or so who were about to set off behind us for a one-lap 10K race (yes they run both races – why I do not know) and then 0.5km further on we hit Tourgis Hill, or has it had been badged “Torture Hill”. I’d recce’d the route on the previous Tuesday and wasn’t phased by the 260m climb in 2km – well you don’t train/race in Yorkshire and worry about hills do you?  (although I’m sure that Tracey wasn’t quite so complacent about that long drag out of Marathon!) – and as expected the hill was OK and as usual I passed a few early dashers on the way up. Lynda cheered me on at the 4km mark as the route passed within 20m of our lodgings and we set off down hill to “... fight them on the beaches …”.

At 8km I could still see all those ahead of me (so I wasn’t leading!) which seemed to number about 10 and I sailed through the half-way point without problem. The hill was again OK (passing a flagger on the way up) except that I somehow managed to catch my right toe in a hoop of my left shoelace (cross-wind?) and went flying. If that had been on a downhill it would have been disaster. Again, Lynda met me at 15km with a small bottle of High-5 (cheers Bob) and I charged off downhill again. Another flagger was passed at 20km and I struggled the last 1km to the finish line against a strengthening head-wind, with no in sight behind apart from the last flagger. Lynda was there having taken the short cut down from the town – but without the camera !

So how did this middle-aged, middle-of-the-road, middle-distance runner do? I’d come 9th in 1:42:40, which was a great position for me but a slower time than expected. Must have been the wind! So what about an age prize? No – in my first year as an M50 I’d been beaten by TWO other M50s!

A quick dip in the lovely cold sea to burn off the lactic acid and then into the harbour bar for a wonderful free dish of pasta and veg. soup, washed down with several pints of Guinness (not free!). All in all a great end to a great holiday, but there is a twist to the tale.

During that evening’s meal out in a local hotel I discovered that several runners wearing wrist GPS devices had measured the course at 14.3 miles! Given that the winner’s time was 1:31 this seemed plausible, and would give me a respectable 1:35, but how could they get it so wrong? The course was marked out in 1kms and whilst I didn’t record any split times, I mentally checked most of them and never suspected that they were of different lengths. Therefore, if the GPS’ers are right somebody can’t measure a kilometre!

I’ll be following this story with interest in case of a Steward’s Enquiry.

Finally, if this race were to be included in next year’s GP, apart from having a great time in a fantastic setting, I have no doubt that VS could make a clean sweep of all the prizes. So how’s about it Bob/Alan/Paul?

½ marathons & 10ks in Germany (Ingo Zoller)

Just returned to serious competition, and bagged in a few age group 2nd 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!


Danish Report (Britt Folkerman)

Until now my running year has been OK. At winter time I won a series of 6 cross country races, in spring I won a big half marathon (800 competitors) and in June I took gold medal in the East Danish Championship 10.000 meter on track. This autumn I hope to ran faster than 3 h 30 min. in marathon and to regain my veteran champion titles in short and long cross.

Britt was successful – she ran the Odense marathon in 3:27 (a new PB) and finished 3rd in the W30-34 category in the Danish Championships.  Last year (2003) she had run 3:33, and she used this to gain her entry as good-for-age at London 2005 – look out for a Valley Striders vest on the green start!



Actually this is Athletics Weekly’s Review of the Year Quiz:

·      Q10.  Which club does marathon star Tracey Morris run for?

I wonder whether the other 19 questions were as easy?

Question of Sport

Will Tracey be appearing on Question of Sport?  If she was invited she says she would choose “Home”.  I know there were some spelling questions a few weeks ago.  Here’s one for you to remember, Tracey.  P-a-n-a-t-h-i-n-a-i-k-o.


San Diego 5K  (Carole Schofield)

Well this was our fourth holiday in San Diego, we had visited most of the sights and tourist attractions so what else could we do?..... we could, just lay on a beach?..... I know let’s run in the San Diego 5K!!!

I had decided before the trip I might run in the San Diego Half Marathon, (Well I have managed to put off running one since 1982) but two weeks before the holiday I hurt my back and could hardly walk, so I wasn’t sure if I would be able to run at all. Once we arrived in San Diego I tested my back out by running a couple of miles along the beach, apart from being very warm everything was fine, but decided that to run the half with a dodgy back might not be such a good idea, so I opted for the 5K. So after persuading Kevin my 16 year old son to run with me, we headed for the registration which was on Friday and Saturday, the race being Sunday 15th August.

The registration was at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel, close to the airport and harbour. I was expecting a table just to pick up our numbers, but it was situated in a huge exhibition hall filled with running and fitness gear, promotions for future races, all kinds of drinks, gels, potions, cereal bars, and anything else you could think of to do with running. We even had our legs massaged by this supposedly revolutionary plastic stick which was supposed to relieve your muscles of aches and pains after running, and warm muscles up before a race. Unfortunately they were about 170 dollars! We didn’t see anyone buying one. I think you could probably get the same effect from a rolling pin! The registration was very organised you filled in your details on a computerised form took it to the desk, paid your dollars, received your number, chip, goody bag and t shirt, and just to check you had done everything right you could then scan the chip and your name and number appeared on the computer screen. That’s it we were in. By this time my 12 year old daughter Claire had decided she might like to run, so Ian agreed to run round with her, and so it turned out to be a family outing! Just needed to get up 5.30 am! to get to the start for 7.00 am!!!

As you all know early mornings just don’t agree with me (especially to run!) and unfortunately I didn’t sleep either worrying about waking up on time. So 5.30 am we were all up and raring to go!!! We couldn’t get breakfast anywhere as most places didn’t open until 6.00 am so we all had a couple of Krispie bars and a drink and we were off.

The race was in Balboa Park, a huge park, with lovely buildings, fountains, Museums, Cafes, and next door to the San Diego Zoo. It made Roundhay Park look very small in comparison. The course was one lap starting on a slight incline then over a bridge onto a flat section, then a down hill followed by an uphill and a nice downhill into the finish. The half marathon also finished here but started at Point Loma the furthest point of San Diego near to the airport.

Both races started at 7.00 am. Kevin and I had managed to weave our way quite near to the front of the start line. Claire and Ian were happy to start at the back but with our chips attached, we were assured that it didn’t really matter where you started.

7.00 am!! the gun went and we were off, unfortunately the woman in front of me started to walk so I had to dodge round her and then another lady who I’d seen on the front line started to jog very slowly in front of me. Kevin on the other hand got a great start, he took one look back to see where I was, and that was it he was off like a rocket. He wasn’t going to wait for his old Mum!

The first mile was fine, the second had the hill in it and by the third I was glad to get back. In the meantime Kevin had increased his lead on me and disappeared into the distance. (He didn’t want to run at first because he thought I would beat him!!!)

Kevin had a brilliant race finishing 27th out of 783 runners, in a brilliant time for his first 5k of 20.09 he was the fourth 16 year old and the first overseas runner, but didn’t get a prize. Unfortunately the age group was from 0 - 17 and there were some fast runners before him. The winner of the race was 19 and ran 16.35.

I came 50th in my slowest ever 5k 21.25. I knew from doing the mile reps that 7 minute miles was about my fastest pace so I expected about 21 minutes so wasn’t too far out. I was also lucky enough to come second lady in my age group and received a huge medal. The first woman was 18th in 19.15, and was I admit slightly older than me, but that meant she was in a different age group!

After handing in our chips, we found a spot near the finish to watch the others come in. Claire came sprinting in 281st place and could have gone much faster had she started further up the field, and not had her Dad to slow her down! She ran 29.26, and was the third 12 year old, but was in the same age group as Kevin.

Ian came in 3 minutes later, he gave us all a royal wave as we cheered him on and he saved his sprint for the last 10 yards to pass a few people. He said afterwards he thought he was going to die in San Diego, well it is his favourite place!

The winner of the half marathon was Joseah Matui of Kenya in 1.04.25 just beating the last person in the 5k who finished in 1.04.32! The women's race was won by Alevtina Ivanova from Russia in 1.15.01. There were over 6,000 runners in the race.

The post race party was also well organised with bananas, oranges, plenty of drinks, and a rock band. The results were out very quickly, and were very detailed even printing what pace you had been running at. The presentations also bang on time, at 8.30 am. There were prizes for the first three in all age groups, the oldest male person was 82 and ran 31.08! In the women it was 81 and she ran 43.08.

We had had a good morning, and it was only 9.30 am! time to get back to the hotel for a proper breakfast! It seemed a very long day, it’s amazing what you can fit in when you get up early!!! Maybe next year we’ll do the half marathon, although reports say it is very hilly!! another one of my favourite things.

For anyone interested the San Diego ‘Rock and Roll’ full marathon is 5th June 2005, with excellent prizes. Last years race was sponsored by Suzuki, and the winner received a Suzuki car, motorbike, and speedboat, and next years prize money will exceed $100000.

Check out our photos from the race on - 7406,7407,7396,7397

Reports from the U.S.A.

Emails from U.S.A. (Ruth Anderson)

What a great schedule of events you have lined up for the rest of this year and on into the Spring of 2005. Wish I could join you !

My running has really been very slow with few races. Have been helping at some, even going back to Calif. for the Western States 100 Miler the end of June. That was a lot of work for three days, travelling from start to finish, working aid stations and crewing for one of the runners. Really enjoyed it (not the staying up all night, trying to find the trail by flashlight), rewarding to help the runner stay on course for a sub 24 hour finish.

I will be going down again the 2nd Sat. of Oct to help at an aid station in the 50 miler my Calif Club, the Bay Area Ultrarunners, puts on in the Oakland Hills. Surely one way to see every body, at least once, as it is an out and back course.

City of Trees Marathon, Boise, Idaho (Ian Place)

Some of you Older Valley Striders would have remembered the David Coleman phrase “marathon tourist” as used in the 1988 Seoul Marathon, you remember the one where Charlie Spedding kept disappearing off the back of the leading pack until in the final stages he faded and the Italian Bordin won.

Well in Boise Rob Sargent (my mate from Dagenham) and I were the marathon tourists except in our case only one Master got away from us and he came 9th overall so we beat everyone in our age group barring him.

Conditions were poor - thick fog, humidity 96 percent, route very complex with the only hill at 20miles, not much support but plenty of cars and traffic in the latter stages. I started at even pace and ended up struggling at 21miles and the hill came as a relief, not only that the fog cleared and we were blessed with some sunshine - which did not last long. So there you have it, beautiful location spoilt by bad weather but you can’t have everything.

We did our tourist bit first in Denver before the event and later in Seattle where we wandered around museums and went to see the Boeing factory where they make the B747-400, B777 and B767

PS If anyone wants to see the 1988 Olympic Marathon I still have on tape Start to Finish and it’s one of the best marathons to watch.


 1 M Carlson    2:41:24

 9 D Hill       3:06:26 (1st M55-59)

13 Rob Sargent  3:12:13 (1st M50-54)

23 Ian Place    3:15 (2nd M55-59)

New York Marathon

Liz Day went to New York and in her first marathon ran 3:24 for 1874th place (215th W) out of 31653 finishers.  Well done!

Chicago Marathon

Jules Barltrop ran the Chicago Marathon and finished 1128th overall (84th W) in 3:08:16, reducing her PB by 10 minutes, and qualifying for the UKA Championship start at London.  Congratulations!

Emails from South Africa (Annemi Van Zyl)

28 June

It was an enormous pain to get here with all my things, especially the bike, but after 3 hours of booking in, the flight was fine and the Cape is beautiful!!!! And it feels like home!!

I am getting into things fairly fast. I will start with work things by Wednesday, so not a lot of lazing around. I will be moving into a place in Claremont tomorrow. When I stand in the small little garden I can even see the back of Table Mountain.

If you are planning a trip down here, let me know!!

20 July

Sorry, can’t make the pies and peas!

I am now a Celtic Harrier, they organise the Cape Town Marathon in August and The 2 Oceans Marathon, in April/ March!

Come and visit me if you want to take part, winter in the Cape is warmer than summer in the UK!!

30 July

Thanks for letting me know about Tracey's race. I do not think SA has any potential gold medallists, so the Olympics is still being kept quiet here!

South Africa is cold and wet for the first time this winter, or since I am here anyway. The nights are getting lighter, so the club that I run with uses Kirstenbos Botanical gardens as our running ground (I am sure Peter and Joyce will know of this huge garden on the slopes of Table Mountain) - heaps of hill training!

I also swim with a group at 6am, a heated pool, but OUTSIDE!!! Getting in is freezing, but you are still half asleep, and as it gets lighter, Table Mountain is next to you! - makes living here really worth the while!!!

Love to everyone, please give my best of luck wishes to Tracey - I will watch the race!



Forthcoming Races & Events

Sun 30 Jan    0730    Las Vegas MarathonIan Place will be running, therefore when he finishes, will be leading in VSGP 28 "any other marathon" category.  He has made a good choice, the route has a net 800 feet drop from start to finish.  On the other hand, the first 20.9 miles are on a straight road...

Sat    5    Feb   0900    Rombalds Stride (VSGP 4)

Sun 6    Feb   0930    Dewsbury 10k (VSGP 5)

Sun 6    Feb               Yorkshire vets cross-country at Thirsk – entries closed

Sun 13 Feb   1200    Liversedge half marathon - nb half a mile of off-road

Sat    19 Feb               National cross-country at Birmingham – entries closed

Sun 20 Feb   1100    Snake Lane 10 mile at Pocklington - race full (UKR)

Sun  20  Feb   1100    Buttermere Round 22 from Keswick

Sun 27 Feb   0900    Pace Run at Harewood House supported by Valley Striders.  2 laps of 8 miles (extra half lap optional).  Come and pace or come and run or come and run just one lap. (see page 2)

Sun 6    Mar  1100    Norton 9 near Doncaster

Sun 13 Mar  1000    Spen 20 and East Hull 20 (both VSGP 6)

Sat    19 Mar 1100    Coniston 14

Sun 20 Mar  1030    Ackworth half marathon (VSGP 7)

Sun 20 Mar 1115    South Leeds 5 miles (also 5km at 1000)

Sun 27 Mar 1030    Guiseley Gallop (UKR)

Sun 3    Apr   1000    Baildon Boundary Way (VSGP 8) - race nearly full

Sat    9    Apr   1030    Meanwood Trail Race (also junior races at 1000) organised by Valley Striders.  Please keep this date free in your diaries, we will need as many Striders as possible to help.  Last year this race raised over £1000 for Lineham Farm Children's Centre at Eccup.

Sun  10  Apr               Wakefield 10k

Sun 17 Apr               London marathon (VSGP 9) - Entries closed

Sun  24 Apr   1100    Rothwell 10k (VSGP 10)  Also Yorks vets 10k champs.  (UKR)

Sun  24  Apr               Shakespeare marathon (Stratford) and Lochaber marathon (Fort William) (both VSGP 28 any other marathon)

Wed 4/11/18 May      St Bedes 5k series at Esholt

Sat    21  May 1100    White Peak Marathon from Cromford near Matlock (VSGP28)

                                      This is on cinder paths along a disused railway line and on a canal towpath – an off-road marathon but road shoes are recommended.  Limit 200 and since Potteries marathon is no more, may fill early!  There is also a ½ marathon.  

Sun 22  May              Sandal Castle 10k (UKR)

Thu  23  Jun                Ackworth Midsummer 10k (UKR)

“UKR” are UK Results Yorkshire challenge, run 3 of 5 to be eligible for series prizes

NB for full Grand Prix list see page 14, for Fell and Trail list see pages 58-59.