November 1999

1999 Issue 4

Dates for your diary

Friday 17 December - Xmas Meal 7:30pm at Leo's - eats at 8:30 prompt. £8.00 per person to Steve O by 10 December latest

Where else can you get a Christmas meal where:

Sunday 2 January 2000 11:00 am - Club Handicap 5 miles from the reservoir edge (the path from Alwoodley Lane)

Other Items in this Issue













  • Spiders News & Fell Championship from Geoff




Subscriptions are £7.50 p.a. if paid by 30th November (otherwise £9).

If you've not already paid, get your chequebook out now and send a cheque, payable to Valley Striders,

to Danny Burnham at 2 Stairfoot Walk, Leeds, LS16 8DS

Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 28 Sept

25 Striders and 24 Spiders attended. It was good to see amongst this number a few who were not Tuesday regulars including Mike Crosfill, George Dawson, Martyn Hopson, the Lamberts, Dave More and John Umpleby.

Committee Reports

Club Captain: Steve O opened the meeting with his report. Despite him being given a time limit of 5 minutes, we let him go on somewhat longer, which was fortunate otherwise we'd have missed his story of his own "performance" in the Belfast marathon where, because of the heat and his follicly-challenged head, he'd decided to wear a knotted handkerchief on his head to minimise the risk of sunburn - a picture of him in said headgear had appeared in the following edition of "Police Sports Monthly".

Steve picked up on the major Striders achievements of the year (too long to list here - refer to your previous editions of VSNews). The notes I made as he was speaking included "welcoming many new members this year", "women's showers now installed (but not paid for yet)", "being able to use Leo's as a base for Sunday runs", "Kathy's World Championship run", "Paul Briscoe's Meanwood Meander beer for the trail race" and "thanks to my supporters for the Bob Graham Round particularly to Ian Place and John Blundell who went up to the Lakes for a 3a.m. shift but we had already abandoned the attempt".

Treasurer: Danny said that, taking into account a few outstanding transactions, our balance had gone down £100 in the year to £1800 but that we still had to pay Leo's for the showers. It was agreed that the subscriptions would go up (possibly only for one year) to recover a small part of the cost of the showers - £9.00 p.a. for September to August but £7.50 if paid by end-November. Membership has remained at about 90 with 10 new members and 10 leavers in '99.

Competition Secretary: Jon commented that the new events on the calendar had not been particularly well supported. There was some discussion, I'm not sure who suggested it, but it was agreed that the 2000 Grand Prix would include

Women's Captain: Sylvia identified the two top occasions of the year (already mentioned by Steve) - the wimmin's showers and Kathy's win. She also announced she wished to let someone else take over as captain. Bob noted that on the agenda he had deliberately split her job into 4 this year to enable parts of the job to be passed on to different people.

Cross Country Captain: Paul announced the dates of the West Yorks and Yorks Championships (see back page of this VSNews). As the second West Yorks race clashed with the Guy Fawkes 10 it was agreed to remove the GF10 from the Grand Prix.

Spiders Captain: Geoff mentioned that the Spiders had been first team at a race but unfortunately due to the poor arithmetic of the organiser the prizes had been awarded to a different team.

Election of Committee

A few changes - Steve Webb was proposed as Spiders Captain as "someone to follow on the fells (although you might get lost)" and Kathy and Carole were elected to take a portion of Sylvia's duties:



Spiders (Fell Club)


Charlie Spedding

Stuart St John

Vice Pres.

Stuart St John


Club Captain

Steve O'Callaghan

Steve Webb

Wimmin's Captain

Sylvia Watson

Sylvia Watson


Paul Briscoe

Geoff Webster

Treasurer & Membership Sec

Danny Burnham

Bob Jackson

Competition Sec

Jon Willingham / Tim Towler

Geoff Webster


Dick Dale & Chris Kaye



Striders Men

Striders Wimmin

Vets Captain

Eric Cusack

Sylvia Watson

Road & Relays

Paul Furness

Kathy Kaiser

X-C Captain

Paul Briscoe

Carole Schofield

Affiliation Bob informed the meeting that the UK Athletics athletes registration scheme was likely to go ahead from May 2000 with a payment of £5 per athlete (since the AGM there has been a circular from the North of England AA saying this would be £3) such that (a) athletes would not have to pay the "unattached" levy at races and (b) athletes could compete for their clubs in championship and relay races. Since we had already paid the NoEAA for the 2 clubs for their year to May 2000, there was no decision to make at the AGM - we would have a special meeting early next year when the full implications were known. See page 5 for more details.

Training Sessions The Tuesday training run continue on a monthly cycle - 400metres, fartlek, mile reps, hills. It was agreed that Thursday sessions would revert to Leo's (however this has not happened - contact Kathy, Paul F or Geoff if you want to check where a particular Thursday session will be based). Steve O had mentioned earlier to consider using Leo's as a base for the Sunday run - this may happen in future.

Xmas Meal and New Year Handicap - for arrangements see page 1.

Trail Race - again a successful event both as a race and financially - agreed to hold 5th race in March 2000 (25th?).

Harewood Hop - Bob gave brief report - see page 10 in this VSNews.

Showers - installed - not much else to say.

Any Other Business - there was a proposal that the Club should pay team fees for relays as the money always proved hard to collect. This was rejected.

The meeting closed - at 10p.m.

The meeting re-opened - with a much-reduced attendance (just Steve O, Keith, Bob and Paul) the following Tuesday at 10p.m. I'm pretty sure it was not within the terms of the constitution, but we did it anyway - we amended the constitution to award Honorary Membership not only to international runners but also to world champions. Hope you approve!

Publicity Section

The Striders web-site has been updated with the full results of the Harewood Hop, pictures of Ruth Anderson's visit and 20 pictures from the WAVA marathon.

I now have an updated Information Sheet in both electronic and paper formats. If anyone would like a copy, either because you know someone who may be interested in joining, or just for your own interest, then pick it up from the web-site or call me for a paper copy.

Meanwood Valley Trail Race - Saturday 25 March 2000

With the cross-country season now upon us, we are now starting to make plans for the fifth yes fifth Trail Race. This will be Saturday 25 March or possibly Saturday 1st April - we are trying to check the date of a 10k at Harrogate which clashed with us this year. Paul Briscoe has promised the beer, so what more is required? Your support on the day - please keep these dates free!

UK Athletics North of England Registration Scheme

The revised proposal for an athletes' registration scheme was discussed at the AGM of the North of England AA on October 16th and our information is that it was approved. The proposal was:

From May 2000, runners will need to pay £3 per annum if (a) they are to represent their clubs in championships and relays and / or (b) they want to avoid paying the £1 "unaffiliated" road race surcharge at each race. Currently the Club pays approximately £120 p.a. to the NoEAA which will reduce to £60. If you do a calculation based on 80 members in the Club, this means a saving of 75p per member. So the net increase is £2.25 per member. We are still trying to find out whether the conditions of first- and second-claim membership have changed and what impact this will have on Striders and Spiders.

More in the next edition of VSNews.

The Valley Striders Measuring Wheel

Has been found (although its previous keeper didn't know it had been lost) and Keith Cluderay has been seen recently pushing it round various Striders training routes checking out the distances. But first he went up to the measured mile on the A65 just before Ben Rhydding, and it checked out at 1758 yards according to the wheel, which seems accurate enough for most purposes.

He has measured the hill at Church Lane at 695 yards - 220yds is at house no. 61, 440yds at no. 97 and 660yds at no. 138. The summer hill from the Res is 530 yards and he has marked the 220yd and 440yd points.

He has also measured some of his own training routes. If anyone else wants to measure their own routes or rep distances the wheel is now in the Editor's garage!

New Members

We welcome Sarah Dyer and Lisa Michez who both ran their first race in Striders colours (white with black spots) in the Huddersfield Cross Country (see report on page 12). Sarah has been persuaded to join us from Airecentre Pacers by partner Steve Webb; Lisa increases our Leeds University continental contingent to 4 - she is from France and her main sport is Rugby League.

We also welcome back to the Club Jane Halloran who ran with us for a couple of years three years ago before we sent her out on a spying mission to Skyrac. She has now returned with the inside information and is becoming a regular on Tuesdays. It is just an observation that there is less chat and more running from the men (KC excepted) when Kathy, Carole, Nicola and Jane are on the Tuesday run.

VSNews Exclusive - Interview with Kathy Kaiser

Your Chief Reporter managed to "corner" our World Champion on a Tuesday evening at Leo's after a hard training session. You will find below that despite probing and tenacious questions worthy of Jeremy Paxman, Kathy managed to come up with diplomatic answers that would make her a prime candidate for the next Minister for Northern Ireland.

Date and Place of Birth? 24 August 1951, Dewsbury

A tricky question to start with - football team supported? Huddersfield Town. But Ken, the boys and even my Dad all support Manchester United.

Running or other sport at school? Netball. No running.

I've found that you joined Striders in November 1988. Did you do any sport or running before joining? My main sport before then was pushing the pram for the three boys. I did enter a few races before joining Striders e.g. the Womens' Own 10k in Roundhay Park.

Current Job? Receptionist for Ken's orthodontics practice. Ken calls me "Practice Manager".

Other interests? Recovering after training and racing, sewing, walking, watching Huddersfield Town or Manchester United.

PB's? I'll have to check these with Ken. Kathy came back the following week with: 10k 37:12 at Wakefield 1997, 10miles 62:40 at Thirsk 1998, ½marathon 1:23:30 at York 1994, marathon 2:55:02 at London 1994

Age-graded PB's? I've never bothered with these. Ken will know. Ken filled in the form: 10k 87.49% at Wakefield above, 10miles 86.82% at Thirsk above, ½mar 83.65% at York above, marathon 84.59% Sheffield 1997 2:56

Do you have any cats or other pets? I don’t like cats I'm afraid we'll have to end the interview now. We did have an iguana - we used to talk to each other - sadly it died last year.

What do you consider your best performances or best remembered races? The WAVA marathon at Gateshead, my first time under 3 hours in a marathon at London 1994, my time of 37mins for 10k at Wakefield 1997.

Your favourite events/races? Valley Striders Handicaps, the Leeds Country Way, other relays, the Coniston 14.

The Kaiser offspring - potential runners of the future? The youngest is a good goalkeeper. The middle one could be a long distance runner and the eldest a sprinter, but there's no street cred in running. Maybe they'll change their minds when they get to 40!

Another key question - the number of times you have beaten Ken in races versus the number of times he has beaten you? It's not important to me.

Favourite training? Striders mile reps

What is your training plan for the week before a marathon? I carbo-deplete Monday to Wednesday, and carbo load Thursday to Saturday with lots of porridge, toast and tatty ash. Tatty what? It's one of Ken's Mum's recipes - potatoes, quorn or chicken, onions and carrot stewed for a while and eaten with bread to soak up the gravy. It’s a tradition for Thursday night, I go on my last run while it's stewing. You don't run Friday or Saturday? I would just run 2 miles on Saturday if it’s a local marathon. Oh, and Saturday night we always have Lokshen pud - that’s cooked vermicelli then baked with egg and dried fruit.

And what's your favourite meal (assuming you're not going to run a marathon in the next 7 days)? Pasta with salmon and a bottle of red wine - I like the food at the Flying Pizza but we are more likely to go to Fat Franco's in Horsforth - it’s a better atmosphere.

Future targets? (1) persuading Ken to book tickets to Brisbane in 2001 and (2) running the WAVA Marathon at Brisbane in 2001

What possessions would you want if stranded on a desert island? My running shoes, Ken and the boys.

Steve O'Callaghan - a correction

Steve picked me up to say that the article in the Yorks Evening Post had misprinted the year of his marathon PB - it should have been 1983. My assumption of him appearing on TV pacing Ingrid Kristinsen was therefore based on a false premise. Steve had appeared on TV in 1985, but actually running alongside Ann Ford who finished 1st Brit and 3rd woman in just over 2:30. The TV commentators Ron Pickering and David Coleman had said something along the lines of "alongside Ann Ford is Steve O'Callaghan from Leeds - his marathon PB is 2:21 so he's not having such a good one this year. He's just ahead of her now - he's a big man for a marathon runner - in fact so big we can't see Ann Ford now"


For those of you who are interested in age-grading, I now have a spreadsheet which, if you enter your sex and date of birth at the top of the spreadsheet and up to 250 of your own performances (date, course, distance, time) in the body of the spreadsheet, will calculate an age-graded percentage for each performance. This is currently available only in Excel 95/98 and Lotus 1-2-3 formats - if you would like to try it give me a call - please help me test it before I let it loose on the world!

Letters from Scotland (right shoulder injury number 1)

I've had two letters from Stuart, one in June, just after the Leeds ½ marathon, which I managed to misfile/mislay/lose and therefore wasn't mentioned in September's VSNews, the other more recently with a blank cheque for subs.

From June's letter: "It was good to see lots of familiar faces on the route though there were a lot of unknown ones as well. I did the full two laps and had good chats with Martyn, Sylvia and Yvonne and also saw Keith and Steve 'O'. I really enjoyed it and it made for a pleasant weekend …

"I cannot recall too much about the Also Ran Trophy other to say that I bought it in 1981 from Schofields Royal Stewart glass department and that I think the first recipient was Ray Price; other holders have included Geoff, Ron Kelly, Mike Crosfill and John Whalley. It was never awarded to myself due to my terrific athletic prowess at breaking records as well as the worry that I might also break the glass. It was presented to the person who I thought would probably never win anything, but enjoyed racing, training and watching other 'better' athletes take all the tea-towels, clocks and biscuits home as prizes …

"Also good to see that the women's showers are up and dripping at last. Was there an official opening or wetting ceremony, or even a peeping cubicle? I came across my 20p black book the other evening and all the names and dates were there to remind me of the 'fun' I had collecting. I will save it for you to put in the Striders museum." (This was when Striders subscriptions were £2 per year plus 20p per Tuesday run from Leo's - a total of £12.40 if you ran every week - ed).

"I am afraid I have been a naughty boy again on my bike! Oh dear and woe is me. At the beginning of June I set off home after work. It was pissing it down so I had on the heavy waterproofs and was going like the clappers with my head down. I do not know what happened other than to say the front wheels twitched and I went over the bars and into the hedge. I was a wee bit shocked, but I got up and looked around, as one does, to see whether anyone was having a giggle and then I bent down to pick up my unscathed vehicle, that was when I felt the pain! There was a lump like an apple on the top of my right shoulder and whenever I moved my arm I could feel the bones rubbing together and it made me feel rather sick. I managed to get back on my bike, but every bump in the road meant a pain up my body and I still had seven miles to go in the pouring ran! Somehow I got home with a mixture of blood sweat and tears. Catherine got my clothes off as is her want every time I step through the door, dried and changed me and took me to the hospital for X-rays. I have dislocated/sprung the whole shoulder and the healing process is long and slow.

From October's letter: "I thought I had better get my open cheque in for unstated subscriptions, so please be gentle with me. …

"The shoulder is still giving me some gyp four months after the event, though I am back on the bike full time. I have been on the shop floor more and more recently trying to strengthen my shoulder. Boy it is hard work and the timber is heavy …

"The Cheshire Home has closed and all the residents are now in 'sheltered accommodation'. I do not visit as much and the driving trips to concerts etc have all but dried up. I am becoming more and more involved with the Children's Panel - I am now doing chairmanship and hearings." …

I have Stuart's address if anyone wishes to send him a combined

Get Well / Xmas / Millennium card (saves on postage too!)

Letter from America (right shoulder injury number 2)

I received a copy of the July/August edition of the Lake Merritt Joggers & Striders News together with a letter from Ruth Anderson, who wrote (on 9/9/99):

"I shall never forget the wonderful birthday celebration you Striders gave me. It is really an honor to be an honorary member of your club. My whole first visit in England was most enjoyable, even if my performances at the WAVA XIII weren't good. At least the cross-country was fun, but the marathon was my worst ever. Just finishing was the real "reward" even if being 3rd W70 did get me a bronze medal.

"My visits after the Gateshead meet to York and Lincoln were a real treat and plus going on to Kent before returning home were all with old friends. That's what makes these trips all so worth while.

"I'm sending a copy of my local Club, Lake Merritt Joggers & Striders, which I hope you will enjoy reading. Wish I had written an article about "my" (team organizer / captain) Women 60+ Lake Tahoe record setting winners. I hadn't planned on running a leg, only crewing. Just the weekend before I had run a 50k trail race in the Southern end of Yosemite Park. It took me 9 hours over that hilly rocky course - at altitude. Not a good way to "prepare" for that 12.3 leg I ran.

"Now I have an even greater handicap. Two weeks ago I took a dive on a trail just training and dislocated my right shoulder. Can't put in enough training for the Twin Cities Marathon Oct 3. I hope I can do enough to finish another trail 50k in Dec - the Summit Trail in Houston Texas (I'm not even thinking of the 50 mile).

"Look forward to seeing the Valley Striders News following my visit. Hope some of the photos came out too. Again many thanks for everything."

The Harewood Hop - Sunday 26 September

Although we only had 63 pre-entries (of which only 6 were for the junior race), optimism was high with a forecast for good weather after early mist. We might not have been so optimistic had we known that nearly one-third of our pre-entries were not going to turn up, but Peter and Joyce took 73 entries on the day. We had 28 starters for the junior 2 mile race and 91 for the senior 10k.

Striders and St Leonards Hospice officials were in equal numbers, with Geoff and Sylvia on course layout, Mike and Eileen on timekeeping, Tim and Mick T on recording, Britt on spot prizes, 7 Striders on early car-parking duties who then went on to run the senior race, and another 7 Striders who marshalled the river section of the course.

The previous day, Sylvia, Alan (from St Leonards) and myself had been doing some preparation on the river section. I was on strimmer converting the footpath from single track to two-way traffic. Sylvia was on nature watch, spotting a hare (in a field not in Hare-wood) and a pair of red kites circling the fields by the river (Harewood House organise day sessions of red-kite spotting for which you can pay good money). Alan was on diplomacy particularly when Farmer Cooke turned up to move his sheep from one of the fields that we were due to run through. He couldn't afford a sheepdog so while he drove his Range Rover his wife Louise was on foot opening the gates and cajoling the sheep.

In the junior race / adult fun run, we only had one non-finisher, a 55-year lady, so all the juniors including 3 under 6 years old completed the demanding course which included two climbs of the Hill. The first three places were taken by 9-10 year old boys despite there being boys up to 16 years old in the race. The first two had come over from Lancashire and were members of clubs with fell racing backgrounds.

With Mick Hawkins on the start line, I didn't fancy any of our Striders for first place, but the white shirts/black shorts were well placed with Alan Hutchinson 15th 44:16, Chris Kaye 17th (3rd M50, no prize) 44:44, George Little 19th 45:23, Carl Johanneson 23rd 46:23, Liz Ball 30th (1st W45) 47:22, Paul Furness 38th 48:40, Andy Hinton 49th 50:40 and Fran Dingsdale 51st 51:42. The slow times were due to their strenuous car-parking duties, not the severity of the course.

Down by the river, the Striders marshalling team of Geoff, Sylvia, Alan W, George K, Steve W, Tony F and Tony H had a reasonably quiet time until a lady wanted to walk her dogs along the footpath and wanted to use both of my "lanes". Keith Clud, resplendent in V.S. Elite Squad training top was the information centre at the top of the hill.

Due to very generous contributions from our sponsors Simpson Construction and Trebor Bassett and no charge for use of the Harewood Hill Climb facilities, nearly all of the entry monies became "profit" for St Leonard's Hospice - over £400 was raised, with some more expected from several in the junior race who were being sponsored.

We are already planning for the second race on September 24th next year and, on Mick Hawkins' recommendation, Geoff will submit it for entry into the Fell Runners Calendar/Yearbook as a grade 'C' race.

Pacing - the discussion continues

Regarding my debating point in September VSNews of men pacing women, open age-group men pacing veterans etc, I received in my Manchester Marathon race pack a sheet "Rules for Runners" under which I found "Rule 214 - Assistance":

  1. No attendant shall accompany any runner in a race unless to assist a blind or partially sighted runner.
  2. No person is permitted to join in a race, whether to accompany the runners for the whole of the distance or any part or stage of the race, unless he/she has been properly entered for that race and is eligible to run.
  3. Pacing of an athlete by a runner in a different category (e.g. pacing of a competitor in the female or veteran category by an entrant in the open male category) is deemed to be assistance and may render both the paced and pacing runner liable to disqualification.

All of which seems to put an end to that discussion!

I also found "Rule 213 - Refreshments" - "No drinks may be carried or taken by a runner other than those provided by the Promoter". A strange one this, considering that Manchester only provided water yet allowed elite runners to provide their own drinks for the drinks stations (or did the bottles only contain water?). I had a bum-bag with an empty flask and 3 sachets of High Five Energy - I made up the drinks at the refreshment station using the supplied water (NB I recommend that either you practice doing this "on the run" before the race or stop to open the sachet and mix the water, otherwise you'll be covered in sticky sugary solution for the rest of the race). If questioned I would have said that the sachets were food and therefore I was not breaking rule 213. And now I bet you all want to know what rules 1 to 212 are! Wait till the next VSNews! Or not!

Moira Dawson

Valley Striders send their condolences to George and his family on the recent death of his wife after a short illness. George has phoned to ask me to pass on his thanks to those of us who attended the funeral and/or sent messages of sympathy.

Grand Prix 1999 Results & Race Reports

Autumn Handicap 10k: Britt was first away off 4:30, but with the penalty of winning the Summer Handicap she was quickly caught by Danny then Bob Wilkes then Carole. But it was George Little who took the lead with 2 miles to go and won with 45 seconds in hand from Niels who was 7 seconds ahead of Mick Wrench. Mick had started as back-marker and his on-the-road time was 34:26. Roy was second fastest with 37:00 and Tim 3rd with 37:32. George's 39:33 was a PB - his first time under 40 minutes.

Selby half: Tim Towler was the only Strider, but his 1:22:26 was the fastest he'd run for 9 years.

Horsforth 10k: A battle for first Strider between two who had both run a marathon the previous week - Mick Wrench (36:41) finished half a minute clear of Roy Flesher (37:15) with Tim Towler (38:01) and Niels Laustsen (38:07) having a battle for the 98 points. George Little followed up his handicap sub-40 with another a 39:39, chasing him in was Bob J (40:53) and Ingo (41:26). The wimmin were led in by 2nd-claim Nicola Wilde (43:21), then Britt (46:32, PB) and finally Maddy (49:09).

West Yorks X-C at Huddersfield: For the first time for a while, Striders had two complete teams at the first cross-country race of the 1999/2000 season. Unfortunately for the men's captain the two teams were both women's teams.

On a tough course on the side of a hill and through boggy fields, Carole and Kathy were well placed from the first lap, but Liz came through on the final lap for 16th place (23:36). Kathy (25th, 24:29) was just 5 seconds ahead of Carole (29th, 24:34). Fresh from marathons full and half, Bernadette was final counter for the first team (34th, 24:56) and Carmel first counter (45th, 25:38) for the second team. No doubt they were both looking forward to the showers after the race - sadly there was no jacuzzi. Britt was 6th Strider (47th, 26:22) and Sylvia in her first competitive run since surgery was 7th Strider (48th, 26:39); final counter was new member Sarah Dyer (57th, 27:49). There were another 19 behind Sarah, so all our runners finished in the top ¾ of the field. New member Lisa Michez ran two of the three laps which had been her target for the day in her first cross-country race.

In the men's race, Mick Wrench (30th, 40:20) and Steve Webb (39th, 41:16) were both well placed. Ingo carried forward his fell expertise onto the country and ran strongly for 92nd/46:33. Geoff started slowly but came through to 119th/48:49. And Bob started slowly and finished slowly for 131st/50:34. Greg Hull's winning time was 36:13, so we assume it was a long 10k.

Grand Prix positions (excluding Guiseley cross-country)

Group A Mick W 800 (best 8 races), Tim 791(8), Roy 692(7), Jon 676(7)

Group B Bob J 763(8), Kathy 665(7), Niels 581(6), Eric 572(6)

Group C George L 741(8), Carole 732(8), Geoff 729(8), Dick 642(7)

Group D Paul White 726(8), Dave Cusack 455(5)

Group E Britt 512(6), Carmel & Bernadette (both 271(3)), Danny 241(3)

Appropriately, Mick scored his 8th 100 when beating 1998 Champion Steve Webb at the Huddersfield cross-country.

Other Race Reports

It has been marathon and half marathon month for many Striders:

Budapest Half Marathon: Sharon is obviously well on the road to recovery from her long term injuries as she ran her first competitive race for a couple of years in a time of 1:33 - we'll forgive her for being unavailable for the LCW!

Edinburgh Marathon:

I found the results of the "Meanwood Four" in the North Leeds Weekly Post (a Friday supplement to the Yorks Evening Post) of October 8th. In the Moortown local news section I found an article headed "Marathon Runners" that started "It's amazing what snippets of news float to the surface whilst relaxing in a jacuzzi!"

I read on: "An ardent reader of these columns phoned me last week from the jacuzzi of a local leisure club where he had just met a girl from Meanwood who had a story to tell. Acknowledging the instructions at the start of the District News he picked up the phone and gave me a call.

"The girl in question was back in Leeds after running in the first Edinburgh Marathon along with her sister and two male friends who also live in Meanwood. Civil servant Bernadette Clayton completed the marathon with her sister Carmel Barker, from Stonegate Carpets, Meanwood, and running club colleagues, manager Brendan Kitson and ambulance driver and instructor Nigel Covey.

"All four are members of the Valley Striders Running Club, Alwoodley. The longest distance that the group has run has been a half marathon but they decided to meet the challenge and enter the full marathon in Edinburgh. They raised substantial funds for local charities, Nigel raising £450 for the British Heart Foundation. All were sponsored individually.

"They all found the course most picturesque and the atmosphere was dynamic. There was an emotional end to the run for the girls, however, as they came into Princes Street and met the crowds willing them on. Touched by the crowd's support, Carmel and Bernadette joined hands and finished together in Meadowbank Stadium completing the 26 mile course in 3 hours 45 minutes - some 25 minutes ahead of the boys! All four hope to run the London Marathon next April."

Bernadette told me later that their times had been misprinted - they had run 3:55 (official time 3:56:23). Even so, congratulations from VSNews on breaking 4 hours in your first marathon. Nigel's and Brendan's official times were 4:28 - ed

Another Strider finisher, Dick Dale, sent his own report of the weekend:

Eric travelled up Friday and myself, Harry and Mick Wrench travelled up Saturday to the Edinburgh marathon. Harry was only playing a supporting role as he was having trouble with sciatica. Eric was staying in his caravan and myself, Harry and Mick were in hotels in the centre of town. The three of us with wives/partners went out for a pasta meal on Saturday night - Harry was "good" to us shovelling lager down like it was his last drink, but Mick and I did tackle a big banana split at the restaurant that was 2 foot high and a foot across.

I had caught a virus on the Thursday and didn't feel too good but still ran 3:33:36. Mick and Eric overtook each several times in the last few miles with Mick first Strider in 2:56:50 with Eric just behind in 2:57:30. The two girls were not far behind me. We were all well supported by Harry who must have run about 20 miles himself coming out to see us all and running with us all for a while - well done H.

Harry was also our pub co-ordinator on Sunday afternoon and night when Eric, wife and Dave were also present.

It was quite a tough marathon and quite hilly - the winner's time was 2:14 so you can tell by that. It was good going over the Forth Road Bridge - a first for me. The weekend stayed fine and we had the best of the weather on the Sunday for the race - a good weekend was had by all.

Maybe next year we'll go farther afield maybe Dublin and more will come along.

Nottingham: Mick Loftus, in his first marathon for a couple of years, ran 3:18. He was accompanied to 17 miles by Roy who was having a steady run in preparation for Chicago. Roy then got away for 3:06. Ingo ran the half marathon (his first) in 1:37:30.

Manchester: Bob J ran 3:16 on training plan reputed to consist of 15 miles per week and a Soreen malt loaf per night. He says the Soreen was not taken for its carbohydrate content - rather that since Soreen is made in Manchester it would help him acclimatise. He also says this is a good fast course, but be prepared to be shouted at by irate drivers caught in the gridlock of the East side of Manchester.

Great North Run: Again I have to refer to the North Leeds Weekly Post (October 15th edition). There was a picture of the Meanwood Sisters with their medals and 4 column inches of text with, again, plugs for Stonegate Carpets and Valley Striders. This time it was Carmel being interviewed:

"We did the half marathon in 1hour 45mins. We normally do it in about 1hour 37mins but the run was very busy with 41000 entries and that slowed us down. But we finished in about the same time as Sally Gunnell and that pleased us."

The article continues that they felt well enough to go shopping the next day and then went for a jacuzzi (again! - ed) at the David Lloyd Centre. Their next target is the 10k Abbey Dash in December.

Your editor would just mention that he spotted a spelling mistake in the caption to the picture (not that we ever have such things in VSNews). There was an 'r' missing from one of the sisters' names. Perhaps for the Christmas Handicap they will appear together in a fancy dress costume involving an animal with 2 humps!

Snowdonia: Ian Place e-mailed me:

As events go forget about your London/New York/Chicago they are just boring road marathons. If you want the challenge of the marathon combined with a 5 mile hill/fell race the Snowdonia Marathon is the one for you. In fact it’s one for the whole club, despite that the five hardest miles are at the end of the race, it would make for a good club handicap. The key is to attack that last hill at 21miles!

My pre-race preparation began nervously chatting to fellow competitors, many who had competed in this one before. They gave me some vital information that helped me survive the following 3 hours.

Once the gun sounded at 09:30 my normal pace kicked in. Not being fast I tried to keep to seven minute mile pace, which was hard not only on the first three mile climb but equally hard on the next seven mile descent. The next ten miles are undulating then comes mile twenty-one. The only way I can describe the next two miles is equivalent to Church Lane’s hardest gradient petering out to a farmyard track at the end. I was dreading what was to come and was not disappointed to find the track descending to the road at an alarming rate with a 1,200 ft drop between mile 24 and 25 which does wonders for your legs. The sweet sensation of an almost flat last half mile to the finish made me wonder shall I go back next year and try to beat 3hrs 23mins?

NB at the same race Sarah Dyer ran 4:21 and Steve Webb spectated by running up Snowdon but could not see the race due to the mist limiting the visibility!

Chicago: Roy ran 2:49:17, finishing 44 minutes behind the winner (a new world record was set). Roy has promised me a report for the next VSNews

Leeds Country Way

The Vets' and Wimmin's Teams both finished third in their categories. There were new winners in each if these sections - Wakefield men and Knavesmire women. Last years winners - Steel City men and Abbey women - were pushed down to second and our last year runners up teams were pushed down to third. Overall last year the men's teams were 9th and 10th; this year they were 12th and 14th.

We did take away two trophies - Liz & Kathy had the fastest women's time for leg 2 and Carole & Jane for leg 5 (theirs was also a new womens best time for the leg).

Stars of the "A" team were the two Pauls, 2nd fastest on the longest leg. Stars of the Vets team were Roy and Tim who were 8th fastest on leg 3. Tim only just qualified for this team, running on his 40th birthday.

Here are the Striders results and statistics courtesy of Dave Bath and his Kippax Harriers race organising team (a compressed version of the 12 pages we received).






Garforth to Stanley

Eric Cusack

Bob Jackson

1:20:21 (14) 14

Dick Dale

George Little

1:23:53 (20) 20

Janet Carter

Maddy Illingworth

1:44:44 (41) 41


Stanley to Scotchman Lane

Harry Bates

Steve O'Callaghan

1:23:31 (12) 10

George Kendrew

Ian Place

1:29:37 (21) 18

Liz Ball

Kathy Kaiser

1:26:23 (16) 33


Scotchman L. to Thornbury

Roy Flesher

Tim Towler

1:12:52 (8) 11

Tony Foster

Mick Loftus

1:30:48 (24) 22

Erica Hiorns

Penny Sanders

1:35:47 (29) 33


Thornbury to Golden Acre

Paul Furness

Alan Hutchinson

1:30:59 (21) 11

Paul Briscoe

Paul Webster

1:14:32 (2) 17

Carmel Barker BernadetteClayton

1:45:59 (34) 31


Golden Acre to Scarcroft

Mike Henry

Peter Lambert

1:16:22 (14) 12

Dave Cusack

Martyn Hopson

1:23:15 (23) 18

Carole Schofield

Jane Sutton

1:18:29 (17) 28


Scarcroft to Garforth

Tony Haygarth

Chris Kaye

1:15:35 (14) 12

Jon Willingham

Mick Wrench

1:08:11 (5) 14

Melanie Gray

Wendy Neilsen

1:34:40 (35) 30


7:59:40 12th

8:10:16 14th

9:26:02 30th

NB The figure in brackets is the position in which the pair finished for the leg, the other figure is the position of the team at the end of the leg e.g. the two Pauls were the 2nd fastest pair on leg 4 and at the end of leg 4 the team were in 17th place.

Spiders News (from Geoff 266-6288)

There are no race reports in this issue because nobody has done any racing (apart from Kathy in the Yorkshireman - did anyone else do this?). The leading fell championship places remain unchanged with Webos in the first three places - Steve, Paul and Geoff in that order.

In the knowledge that Kathy was writing an article on the F.R.A. Navigation Course (see page 22), here are some salutary tales which can only be further recommendation for the Navigation course.

The first candidate for attendance at the Navigation Course is a certain Steve W. who won the Nidderdale Fell Race about which it was reported in the Fell Runner Mag that the race leaders went off course and took a roundabout route which fortunately made no difference to the result.

This detour (one of several in fell races by Steve W.) is as nothing compared to some achieved by other Spiders. Imagine the disappointment felt by one Spider, Graham Tolley, who, after running 30 miles in the Ulfkil Stride, climbed the last 1000' and turned the wrong way in the mist. Instead of arriving at the finish in Buckden he found himself back in Linton where he had been 45 minutes earlier.

If you mark up your map before the event it is a good idea to double check. G.W. and Sylvia W. entered the Mourne Mountain Marathon which unlike the Karrimor has only one map for the teams of two to share as opposed to having a map each. A fatal error was made when marking the map - one checkpoint was marked a mile out of place. This resulted in the hapless pair pacing up and down a bleak stretch of moorland in pouring rain while the flag marking the true position was in sight across a wide valley. Once the error was discovered a mad charge across the moors resulted in order to make up time (at one point Sylvia had to wade out into the middle of a loch to reach a check). Nevertheless this valiant attempt to make up time failed - they did not reach the overnight camp and were forced to retire.

Last year Sylvia 'won' the Holme Moss Fell Race when she overtook Liz who had been in the lead until making an interesting navigational error. However Sylvia had made an error earlier and missed a checkpoint so she hadn't won at all. Liz went a long way round to get to the checkpoint and arrived at the finish to get prize.

Even such brilliant navigators as G.W. can make mistakes. For instance in the Ingleborough Fell Race, run in thick mist, he managed to go the wrong way, got lost, went back to the top, set off down again and came out 2 miles from the finish. He arrived back at Ingleton after getting a lift. The resuts showed G.W. towards the end of the field but didn't mention his unorthodox means of getting back.

It is also a good idea to make sure your map covers the whole of the course. In the 3 Shires Fell Race in the Lake District, G.W.'s map omitted the last 3 miles. After battling through atrocious conditions including several navigational detours, our hero got lost 2 miles from the finish and had to knock on a cottage door to find out where he was. The farmer's wife seemed a bit startled at the soaking mud covered figure that greeted her but once she realised that this person wanted to get to the 3 Shires Pub she knew it had something to do with a fell race. G.W. was pointed in the right direction and arrived at the pub where Sylvia had been for over an hour.

One rule about navigating in fell races is NOT to follow someone who seems to know the route. This often results in the lead runner turning round and saying "Are we going the right way?" At least in those circumstances you won't be lost alone. Sylvia was once doing the Borrowdale Fell Race in misty conditions and spotted the veteran fell runner George Brass taking what looked like a good route across the moor to Honister Pass. She set out after George and was just getting into sticking behind him when he turned round and said "Don't follow me, I'm only going for a wee".

FRA Navigation Course (from Kathy Kaiser)

When Ken and I go on long runs, we often try to get to areas that we are not familiar with and navigate by the map to make the runs more interesting. It usually ends up with Ken doing most of the navigating and consequently I do not get a lot of practice. We have also done many LDWA events and similar which specify that all runners must carry a map and compass. Fine, but if you ever actually need it............... So it was that I expressed an interest in the Fell Runners Association navigation courses advertised in the FRA handbook to improve my navigational skills. Two courses are held each year, spring time in Kettlewell and autumn in Elterwater. We opted for the Lakes.

The course started at 9pm on the Friday so to make a day of it, we travelled up early to get a walk in first. In the thick mist on Crinkle Crags we got lost, only proving that we did definitely need the course. With the help of kind motorists we managed to get back to the youth hostel in Elterwater at the appointed time.

Friday evening started with a talk on basic map and compass work and a few paper exercises. On Saturday we all rose early for a 7am short run before breakfast. After breakfast we had another talk on different scale of maps and terminology. Then in groups of only two or three according to previous experience we all set off up Silver Howe for a full day with an experienced instructor for practical exercises. Using primarily the topography of the surroundings and secondly our compasses, we navigated ourselves to various points. Much more emphasis is placed on recognising features than I realised and using an orienteering map at a scale 1:10,000 (1cm=100mtrs) with contours at 5 metre intervals, even the most innocuous grassy mound that you would not normally pay any attention to is shown on the map and may indeed be an important landmark to navigate by. The other technique we were taught involves working out how many strides you normally take to cover 100 metres. Once you have this knowledge "Its up here somewhere" becomes "Its between 60 and 70 strides" and less time is spent searching for relevant points.

Many of the instructors were experienced in the Karrimor type events lasting two days and talks and videos on the equipment needed were given. After the evening meal on Saturday we had a chance to try out our new skills on Elterwater Common with a night orienteering event. In pairs we had 12 checkpoint to find. Compasses and pacing were more important than visual features as it was dark. Following this most people appeared to handle the optional navigation exercise to the Britannia with the minimum difficulty.

On Sunday morning we returned to the site of the night exercise to see where all the checks really were. Easy in the light! After further talks on safety we prepared for the main event of the day - an orienteering course over a range of probably 5 or 6 miles done solo. Those who were not confident of their ability could have a "shadow" - an instructor to follow at a distance and only intervene if serious mistakes were about to be made. This really was hard work, although as you are working so hard mentally trying to decide if that insignificant little mound really is the one shown on the map, the physical exertion is largely forgotten.

Accommodation is at the Elterwater Youth Hostel and the cost including meals and packed lunches is only £50 per person. We both got a tremendous amount from the course and will probably be booking to go to the Kettlewell course next year. It does not matter whether or not you are an individual member of the FRA as the club is affiliated to the FRA. The whole weekend was very enjoyable with a good camaraderie amongst the participants and instructors. If you are interested and want more information I will be happy to supply it.

Women's Fell Racing (from Sylvia)

The recent good turnout at the Huddersfield cross-country is encouraging with regard to fell running as this race was more like a short fell race than cross country. Only Liz and I have been on the fells while Kathy (with Nicky) ran the Yorkshireman long distance trail race. Let's hope we see more wimmin on the fells next year - a race diary will be published in the next VSNews.

1999 Grand Prix (Jon Willingham 01756-700820

or Tim Towler or Gary Shipley)

Final events for 1999:

Sat Oct 23 13:45 West Yorks x-c 1st event at Huddersfield

Sun Nov 7 13:45 West Yorks x-c 2nd event at Guiseley

Sun Nov 21 13:45 West Yorks x-c 3rd event at Wakefield

Sun Dec 5 09:30 Abbey Dash 10k

2000 Grand Prix

Sun Dec 26 Chevin Chase (a popular race for Striders)

Sun Jan 2 11:00 Club Handicap 5miles

Sat Jan 8 13:30 Yorkshire x-c at Halifax - NB entries close Dec 9th

Sat Jan 15 13:45 West Yorks x-c 4th race at South Leeds Stadium

Sun Jan 30 10:00 Knavesmire Brass Monkey ½ mar - no entries on day

As agreed at the AGM, all Yorks championships and Yorks vets championship races at 10k, 10miles, ½marathon, 15miles, 20miles and marathon are automatically included in the GP2000 unless clashing with a Striders-organised race or the Leeds Country Way.

After 6 races in the first 6 weeks, we'll take it easier in February - see next VSNews for details.

Note that the Yorkshire Vets x-c is Sunday 23 January at York but is not a G.P. event as it is not open to all ages.

Advertisement - Steve O'Callaghan has available 2 kg tubs of Maxim electroltye - normal retail price £16.95 - to Striders members - £11.00.