2000 Issue 2
Many many thanks to everyone who helped with the Trail Race. Did you all get your bottle of Briscoe's? If not, please contact me. We can arrange a few extra bottles, with the commemorative label, made to the same recipe.
In the last VSNews, I wrote "It's three years since we last lost any competitors en route and we'd prefer not to lose any this year either!" Unfortunately 20 took a major detour across the Ring Road and another 20 went off course slightly. In spite of this, the race was a great success - the other 225 runners were not affected, we received positive comments and words of thanks from many of the competitors and made a profit in excess of £300 from the race. It is the race committee's intention that half of this profit should go to Club funds as partial payment for the Wimmin's Showers, and the other half should go to local children's charity Lineham Farm at Eccup which we pass regularly on our Sunday Runs. [full feature on page 4]
In this issue I am pleased to welcome five new contributors to VS News - George Black, Ingo Zoller, Carmel & Bernadette and Jane Sutton. In the February issue we had first time contributions from Ian and Roy. As far as I am concerned the more the merrier (it means less for me to do!). I am also sure you the readers prefer a change from Bob, Max, Geoff and Sylvia. Anyone who would like to have a go give me a call - I will use as much or as little editorial red pencil as you like.
In this Issue
Welcome to New Members:
James Burnham has just joined us - his first race in a Striders vest will be the London, where it will be a family outing with brother Rob and father Danny both running. Danny and James will be running together, if they don't get round it may also be James' last run in a Striders vest, we hope not! (see page 9)
Vadim Kouznetsov is a colleague of Niels in the maths department at Leeds University. He ran the Abbey Dash as part of the "Leeds Uni Maths Team" and our Trail Race as "unattached" before signing up. He and his wife Olga hail from St Petersburg and have now been in Leeds nearly 5 years. They have just bought a house that is part of the Meanwood Tannery development, so Vadim takes over the honour of being nearest Strider to the Meanwood Valley. Vadim cycles to work - take care! - they say things come in threes - see the "Injuries" article on page 3.
I hope to be able to introduce 2 more new members in the next issue (we are currently negotiating the transfer fees from their former clubs, but these will be subject to full medicals including key-hole examination of their knees).
And News of "Old" Members
Ray Price e-mailed me "Hello Bob, sorry to be late with subs again, I'll put a cheque in the post to you. I'm still not running yet, but as the weather improves I'm getting itchy feet. May surprise you one day and get back to the club again, I do miss everyone as much as the running. Hope you and the rest of Valley Striders are fit and well, have a good summer. All the best to everyone."
Ray is one of 4 remaining fully paid-up members of the first meeting of Valley Striders on 10 December 1982 (we should have had a coming-of-age party at the end of last year), the others being Stuart StJohn (regularly falling off his bicycle), Geoff Webster (acting as Sir J.S.'s training double) and Martyn Hopson (spotted training several times).
Of the '83 intake (in chronological order), Steve O is running but somewhat slower and John Whalley's timekeeping has not improved in 17 years. Yvonne Bissitt, after many injuries, is planning a come-back at the Leeds Half. Mike Crosfill does a little secret training but his main claim to fame is being one half of the partnership with Eileen for timekeeping at the Handicaps and Trail Races.
We also have 4 members of the '84 vintage. Mike Henry is currently injured but due back in a couple of months. Sylvia Watson and Tony Haygarth are still
running with us regularly. Finally Rob Burnham, who joined as a 14 year old, made a great come-back to racing after 10 years with 2:59 at London.
Congratulations to Mark Bean and fiancee Sarah who had a daughter Charlotte Mary last September. (We'll forgive Mark for missing some training sessions at the end of last year).
Rob Burnham married Christina (Tina) Wood at the Bath Registry Office on 3rd December after a short engagement. They are living in Bradford-on-Avon. Since moving down to the Bath area some years ago, Rob has kept pretty fit with a few bi- and triathlons, but has been in serious training since Christmas for the London Marathon.
Many special happy returns to the following:
New to the veterans class are / will be Jerry Watson (40 in April), Paul Briscoe (40 in June), Graham Firth (40 in June). Tony Lupton was 55 in April.
May you enjoy success now that you are youngest in your new age-groups!
P.S. apologies for missing a very important birthday in last V.S.News - Dave Cusack was 18 (and so can now legally follow the Steve O' runners diet).
If you see a Striders international on a bike, look out! Before Christmas, Ingo fell off his and injured his hip; just recently a van stopped suddenly in front of Niels - Niels came off and broke his collarbone. Niels, we hope you recover as fast as Ingo - and if either of you have any more accidents we'll have to consider raising the 6 million dollars for surgery to build one decent runner out of the best parts which are still working.
Sylvia writes: Good to hear that Nat is back in training; let's hope Carole "mine's a Guinness" Schofield is back soon too.
Meanwood Valley Trail Race
The number of pre-entries had increased from last year's 133 to 196. With 77 entries on race day last year, 270 to 280 looked possible this year. "Would the course cope" was our main worry; "had we enough beer" was the other! Saturday dawned with ideal weather, warm for March, still, and a forecast to stay dry till mid-afternoon. It brought out another 104 entries on the day, but by the time the race started at 10:30, Peter and Jo had taken the money, handed out the numbers and written out most of the labels, so they could have half an hour's rest.
Three hours previously, Geoff, Sylvia, Eric, Ian, George, Ken and Kathy had been spidering away with yards of red and white striped tape marking out the course. Geoff had also been out from 6pm to 9pm the previous evening taping up in more remote parts of the route.
In our pre-entries, we had twice winner Sarah Rowell, former British multiple record holder Ron Hill running his 2049th race, and Paul representing the Striders and the Brewery. On race day, entries included previous winner Trevor Wilks and winner of the Harewood Hop Mick Hawkins. Terry Lonergan was first to enter on the Saturday morning so we would have a battle of the sponsors.
By 10:25, all marshals were in position. At 10:30, Geoff, having given the runners instructions and encouragement over the megaphone, started the race. Two laps of the field spread the runners out and then they were off into the woods behind Leos, round to the crags, before heading down the trail towards Smithy Mills.
But just past Seven Arches, where we thought the route was clearly marked both by our red and white tapes and the Meanwood Valley Trail yellow waymarkers, sabotage! Someone had very "kindly" "tidied" our tape and laid it across our route to point the runners across the beck and out towards the Ring Road. Without a marshal in sight, they crossed the dual carriageway and then made their way westwards on the path on the North side of the Ring Road and eventually rejoined the route near Parkside Road.
Paul, in about 20th place, took action when he reached the Ring Road and diverted runners back towards the tunnel. By now, the runners were close together, so we didn't lose any more. And the rest of the race went without a hitch!
The finishing crew of Mike & Eileen, Tim & Carole, Eric, Peter C and Jane S were ready for Mick Hawkins when he crossed the line, and the race administration went smoothly such that not a label was out of place and prizes were presented at 12:15, only 30 minutes after the last runner finished.
The race statistics:
We have come up with some suggestions for next year:
If anyone has any comments on the above, further suggestions and/or wished to volunteer for "senior" marshal, please contact Bob or Geoff.
Grand Prix 2000 Results & Race Reports
Brass Monkey Half(from Ingo)
Only two of our four internationals featured in this race. LM ran her first half marathon and, being very conservative, she set herself a target time of 1:46. Too conservative, it turned out to be! Although getting passed by Max J at the 10M mark, she fought back and finished ahead of him, by a second, in a strong 1:41. IZ was challenging his PB and, with his luminous yellow shoes (still shiny, and that's even after Scarborough Rock), he was going strongly from the start. After 2M he had to readjust his speed to a more moderate 6:30/M, and even a bit further on the second half of the course. At least he had fully recovered from his hip injury when falling of his bike earlier this month. Coming round the last bend he saw Roy F (finished in 1:20), Jon W (1:21) and Mick W (new PB 1:16, well done!) in their new sweatshirts, and enjoying their support he managed to beat two more runners to the finish line in a new PB of 1:26:30.
Bob writes: apart from a Striders contingent of 10, there were also 4 second-claim Striders who get a mention in our results (names in italics) but cannot claim Grand Prix points as they were running in the wrong coloured shirts.
26 Mick Wrench 76.07
36 Steve Thirkell 77.57
54 Roy Flesher 80.16
57 Jon Willingham 80.45
122 Ingo Zoller 86.30
173 Tony Haygarth 89.45
181 Peter Lambert 89.57
220 Dick Dale 92.04
255 Nicola Wilde 93.46
275 Paul White 94.59
389 Bob Wilkes 99.25
432 Lisa Michez 101.20
433 Max Jones 101.21
734 Melanie Gray 118.23
Dewsbury 10k(from Ingo)
Bob writes: a good team run at the front for Roy, new member Neil and Jon. Jane Sutton's sub-40 time would have won a prize at many races but this race had drawn a lot of elite runners chasing an extensive prize list - the leading woman ran 33:51 and there were 8 under 37 minutes! What inducement can we offer Jerry to change his allegiance and join Striders as first claim?
64 Jerry Watson 34:16
124 Roy Flesher 36.20
128 Neil Dutton 36.41
139 Jon Willingham 37.00
157 Ingo Zoller 37.34
160 Tim Towler 37.35
184 Niels Laustsen 38.12
232 Alan Hutchinson 39.11
264 Jane Sutton 39.56
364 John Hallas 41.56
376 Paul White 42.12
384 Peter Lambert 42.25
398 Dick Dale 42.41
504 Andy Hinton 44.28
557 Tony Haygarth 45.12
563 Britt Laustsen 45.18
617 Lisa Michez 46.17
861 Melanie Gray 51.38
871 Wendy Nielsen 51.54
South Leeds 5 (Wimmin win team prize)(from Bob)
Five miles? No problem!? Twice up the hill in Middleton Park? Painful! Now I know why the Sunday runners chickened out from this Grand Prix Race on the excuse that they wanted a decent long run and others went for an even easier run at the East Hull 20. It was left to the Grand Prix faithful - the Laustsens and the Whit(tl)es and a few others to represent the Club.
Peter Lambert picked up his customary V60 prize. Then a few days later the results came through. On the back page the team results VS Men 12th (just ahead of Abbey Runners and Otley AC). VS WIMMIN FIRST. Jane rang me the next day "I've just received three trophies and three t-shirts through the post". I saw Niels at Spen and asked him to pass the good news to Britt. I rang Alison that evening and told her that the Striders had won the team prize. She asked me who were the wimmin who had counted. "You", I said. She was chuffed! It was her first race since her time off for motherhood last year and also her first race as a vet.
62 Niels Laustsen 31.34
87 Bob Jackson 33.22
97 Jane Sutton 33.46
109 Paul Sutton 34.23
114 Peter Lambert 34.41
123 Paul White 35.23
162 Howard Jeffrey 37.28
174 Alan Whittle 38.17
176 Britt Laustsen 38.20
227 Alison Marrington 41.53
Spen 20(from Bob)
It was about the 16 mile mark that I started to wonder why I was doing this. I remember running this in the early 90's in preparation for London, but this year I didn't have a London entry. Could well be grounds for certification! Fortunately the weather was very pleasant - sunny and calm (I remember 50mph winds in previous years and I've been told about snow in other years).
Ingo and Niels had good results - both look on for sub-3 hours at London. Dick was running very strongly at the finish - I caught him at 16 and this seemed to spur him on such that he made 3 minutes on me in the last 4 miles. Nicola, running for the first time in a Yorkshire vest, vowed to give up racing as she crossed the line, but didn't have such a bad run, her split times were 74/78. Erica looked in very good form at the finish and should do well at London.
50 Ingo Zoller 135.00
54 Niels Laustsen 136.23
60 Ian Place 138.29
92 Mick Loftus 146.52
100 Dick Dale 148.08
107 Bob Jackson 151.19
115 Nicola Wilde 152.45
166 Erica Hiorns 164.23
194 Alan Whittle 170.42
241 John Sutcliffe 202.45
Spen 15 multi-terrain triathlon (non G.P. event)
Geoff invented a new event - the first 11 miles of the Spen 20, 2 miles by car to a drinks station and finally a 4 mile run across fields to get back to the race arena at Cleckheaton. This event is unlikely to be repeated in future years.
Wakefield 10k(from Bob)
The two Alans were getting some pace training for London, the rest of us were there for the GP points. Neil had another good run on a course that Paul White and myself believe to be only a few seconds slower than Abbey or Dewsbury. Bear it in mind next year if you're looking for a PB - it may be the week after London in which case the London training could have set you up for a fast time.
43 Neil Dutton 35.44
90 Alan Hutchinson 37.50
123 Bob Jackson 39.01
146 Lisa Wilyman 39.58
227 Paul White 42.27
369 Alan Whittle 46.39
372 Janet Carter 46.42
489 Melanie Gray 50.20
507 Simeon Perry 51.22
585 Wendy Nielsen 54.57
A few statistics are worth a hundred words. Or they would have been had the Champion Chip machines been working properly at the 20k and halfway marks. But do a little bit of subtraction to calculate the time for the 10k between 30k and 40k and compare it with the time for the first 10k and this will give you an indication of who had a good race and who didn't. Our two wildcard entries Alan and Erica both had good ones - Alan 1 minute faster than last year and Erica a good even paced run having taken 7 minutes to get through the start, unfortunately she missed her PB by 1½mins, probably due to the congestion of runners in the first half of the race. Congratulations to Rob on his sub-3. Although Ingo's official time was 1½ minutes over 3 hours, he was 2 minutes through the start so his personal time was sub-3. Peter was very pleased with his time, having judged his 7½ minute mile pace to perfection. Roy's injured knee packed in just after the half-way mark and he was forced to walk part of the way. Finally in these notes, Max, due to a stomach bug, did his carbo-unloading before the race, but bravely jogged/walked the race to do a P.W. by 2½ hours and so became one of only 39 to have completed all 20 Londons. More about London in the next VS News - I have been promised/threatened with 4 reports.
10k 20k ½mar 30k 40k Marathon
M476 Alan Hutchinson 0:39 x x 1:58 2:38 2:48:03
M1128 Rob Burnham 0:40 x x 2:02 2:49 2:59:46
M1246 Ingo Zoller 0:43 x x 2:06 2:51 3:01:26
M1923 Dick Dale 0:43 x x 2:14 3:01 3:11:11
M2352 Eric Cusack 0:41 x x 2:11 3:04 3:15:28
M2412 Peter Lambert 0:46 x 1:36 2:16 3:05 3:15:57
Nikki McNally 0:53 x 1:44 2:25 3:13 3:24:00
W262 Nicola Wilde 0:46 1:34 1:40 2:22 3:13 3:24:54
M5010 Roy Flesher 0:41 x x 2:09 3:25 3:36:50
W676 Erica Hiorns 0:58 1:49 1:56 2:41 3:36 3:46:44
M6943 Alan Whittle 0:49 1:38 1:44 2:28 3:33 3:48:58
M21032 John Sutcliffe 1:13 2:18 2:27 3:32 4:58 5:17:25
M23032 Danny Burnham 1:20 2:31 2:40 3:56 5:31 5:48:48
M23033 James Burnham 1:20 2:31 2:40 3:56 5:31 5:48:48
M23919 Max Jones 0:56 2:12 2:26 4:01 5:50 6:17:04
Grand Prix Positions after 10 races including London:
7 races : Bob J 673
5 races : Niels 491, Ingo 489, Peter L 470, Paul White 465
4 races : Steve W 399, Roy 390, Alan H 387, Dick 376, Alan W 375,
Bernadette 371, Tony H 367, Britt 359, Sara 355
Did anyone run Sheffield?
Other Race Reports
Pocklington Snake Lane 10(from Ingo)
The recent straight road races apparently left most Striders unsure about their cornering abilities, so only two Striders (Peter L and Ingo Z) attempted to continue their individual chases on this curving course in freezing conditions. IZ challenged for yet another PB and after a 15M warm-up bike ride (including replacing a punctured tube at the half-way mark!) he found himself in good shape for this reasonably fast course. With his finishing time of 62:20 he sat himself a tough target for the rest of the season. PL wasn't chasing PB's anymore, instead he preferred picking up yet another race victory. With just over 67:30 minutes he won his age category in this race for the third time in the last four years!
Final positions: 1. John Convery (Bingley) 52:09; 63. Ingo Zoller (Valley Striders) 62:20; 111. Derrick Pickering (East Hull) M60 65:56 (entry on the day did not qualify for prices); 137. Peter Lambert (Valley Striders) M60 67:32
Grüße Aus 20 Berliner Halbmarathon(from Carmel & Bernadette)
Carmel and Bernadette have been on their travels to foreign parts again! After an interrupted build-up to the big day due to Bernie's knackered knees we finally arrived in Berlin raring to go (running of course, not the Teutonic hunks with their gross steins!)
We woke up on the Sunday morning with limbs still moving and the sun shining. After a breakfast of jam and bread we headed for the start. When we arrived we were greeted by rather serious runners warming up, stretching etc. We decided to rest our legs and sit in the main hall. The highlight of the day was outside the mens shower tents after the race when the men showed no inhibitions, much to our delight. It was certainly a good vantage point to stop for stretch and recover, the first time we've followed the guidelines with a full 20mins stretch! We arrived back at our hotel after a couple of stop-offs to quench our thirst and a few ciggies. After a quick shower and scrub-up we hit the bars and clubs of Berlin ... another story not for publication!
Incidentally, all went well in the race, the knees held out and we finished in 1:39.
See you in the next newsletter with more adventures from the Meanwood sisters.
(Editor's note - I will let you into the secret of why Carmel and Bernadette always run together - they have only one running watch between them!)
Ackworth Half Marathon
Gary Shipley had a good run where he finished 10th in 74 minutes. Peter Lambert was first O-60 and George Dawson first O-65.
East Hull 20
Roy Flesher ran 2:04:04 (13th overall) but was pipped for the V45 category by 2nd claim Strider Steve Thirkill 2:02:59 (10th). The only other Strider was Alan Hutchinson 2:13:29 (50th). These times look good for London!
Ian Place and George Dawson went to Suffolk for the Bungay marathon. This was a 2 lap course - there were a few hundred finishers in the ½ marathon but the 2nd lap was rather lonely as there were only just over 100 finishers in the marathon.
Ian's run must make him a leading candidate for the "Also Ran Trophy". He ran 3:02 and finished 7th overall. But he was beaten for the V50 prize by 30 seconds and there was no V50 second prize. To rub salt into his wounds, he beat the M40 prize winner by 4 minutes. George ran 3:42 to complete his 92nd marathon.
Bits and Pieces
UK Athletics North of England Registration SchemeWe've now had all the paperwork through but it will take a couple of weeks to wade through the small print. Expect another VS News around the end of June with some more info.
SubscriptionsIf you still still still still owe your Subscription then please pay as soon as possible Send a cheque, payable to Valley Striders, for £9 to Danny Burnham at 2 Stairfoot Walk, Leeds, LS16 8DS
Yorkshire VetsSee schedule in February's V S News
Harewood HopNo news I'm afraid
Briscoe's Brewery(from Sylvia)
We returned early from a holiday to attend the grand opening and didn't regret it. Though we missed the race - Sara was our VS wimmin's representative - the beer and food were excellent. Mountains of food for a fiver in the Curlew Cafe must have satisfied all the fellrunners. Paul B was served the largest baked potato though he was in the wrong seat when the waitress tripped and the chocolate cake went flying. This was caught by a gleeful Leeds City member though his disappointment was great 'cos 'twas the last piece and he'd already had one so 'twas retrieved and served elsewhere. It was fun. Good luck to Paul and Jo the bottlewasher.
Race Reports(from Geoff)
The early leader in the V S Spidering on the Fells Championship was Sara who was the only Spider tuff enuff to turn out for the 22mile Wadsworth Trog. For this valiant effort she got max points and made sure of this by phoning G.W. the same evening. The T-shirt bears the logo "I tamed the beast".
Another solo Spider turned out for the 27 mile Trollers Trot trail and fell run. This was Mr P.Lambo. Peter got round the course in 4¼ hours. He made sure of his points by sending the race results to G.W. And wot do points mean? Points mean something or other!
In the Blubberhouses Moor 25 the Spiders had a better representation with 4 runners. They were G.W., Eric C, and Kath & Ken K. This was the finishing order but nobody threatened to beat Paul B's course record. G.W. finished in 4hr 13min hotly pursued by Eric in the final mile round Fewston Reservoir. They could be seen burning up the track at a fantastic 10 minute mile pace! They were awesome!! Kath & Ken came in together a few minutes later. They lost a few minutes by following the walkers' route at Bolton Abbey. This is ¾ mile further but they won't get extra points for this. All Spiders got soaked. Last year's winner (Captain Spider Steve W) did not run, but this year the race winner was former Spider Jeff Coulson.
On the same day there was another good representation of Spiders at the Baildon Boundary Run. The wimmin's race was won (YES WON) by Jane Sutton who did the 13+ miles in 1hr 39mins (see report page 18). There was also the added bonus provided by Mick the Wrench who finished 3rd in the men's race in a time of 1:23. Hooray! Mick almost missed out on his prize because the finishing marshal forgot to take his number. Fortunately Joyce L. was on hand to act as team manager and was able to put matters right. Hooray again! As a consolation Mick W has been awarded the position of automatic choice for the VS Fell Team. Peter L. was 2nd V60 in 1:40. Let's hope Jane turns out for a few fell races as well we could do with a few more wins in that area.
Fell Championship Points
Sara 166, Steve W 96, Peter L 80, Jane S 59, Mick W 57, G.W. 48, Eric 45, Kath K and Ken K both 40. All results to G.W. please.
2000 Fell Championship(Geoff 266-6288)
Dates marked ?? are the equivalent date of last years race - contact G.W. nearer the date to check whether these are still on. Full details of the events are in the Fell Runners Association 2000 Handbook on Leo's Noticeboard or ring Geoff. For BOFRA events, get details from Geoff or look in Athletics Weekly. Further events in the next VSNews.
Sat May ?? Cross Hills Gala (BOFRA)
Sun May 14 1200 Horbury Hike trail race 21/1500' National Mining Museum
Sat May 27 1430 Hutton Roof Gala 7/1300' near Kirkby Lonsdale
Sun May 28 1530 Nidderdale 5/1000' Ramsgill nr Pateley Bridge
Mon May 29 1300 Austwick Amble 8/1200' nr Settle (record 59:10 S.Webb)
Wed Jun 7 1930 Otley Chevin 3½/900'
Sat Jun 10 Ulfkil Stride 33 pre-enter
Sat Jun ?? 1500 Pen-y-Ghent 5½ Horton in Ribblesdale
Sat Jun 17 1430 Buckden Pike 4/1500'
Sun Jun ?? 1300 Sharphaw nr Hellifield (BOFRA)
Wed Jun 21 1900 Mytholmroyd 7/1350' - Dusty Miller Pub, Myth. nr Halifax
Sun Jun 25 1245 Settle Hills 7/1750' Settle Rugby Club
Sat Jul 1 1100 Erringdon Moor 8½/1900' nr Mytholmroyd
Sat Jul 1 Osmotherley 30 pre-enter
Fri Jul 7 2000 road race 3 miles } Wharfedale Triple T
Sat Jul 8 1100 fell race 12 miles } all from Kettlewell
Sun Jul 9 1100 fell race 2 miles } as recommended by Steve Webb
Sun Jul 9 1100 Reeth 4½/1000'
Tue Jul 11 1930 Stoodley Pike 3½/700' - Top Brink Inn, Lumbutts, T'dm'rd'n
Tue Jul ?? 1830 Addingham 5 (BOFRA)
Sun Jul 16 1430 Oldfield Gala 3/500' Grouse Inn, Oldfield, nr Oakworth
Sat Jul 22 1430 Turnslack 8/2000' Calderbrook, Summit, nr Littleborough
Sun Jul 30 1100 Holme Moss 16 Brown Hill Res nr Holmbridge
Sat Aug 5 1100 Borrowdale 17/6500' Rosthwaite, Borrowdale
Sun Aug 6 1100 Barnoldswick mixed terrain 6
Sun Aug 6 1200 Latrigg 3/950' Keswick (part of Borrowdale weekend)
Sun Aug 6?? Weeton Show 4 (BOFRA) between Leeds & Harrogate
Sat Aug 12 1500 Arncliffe Gala 2/450'
Sun Aug 13 1200 Sedbergh Hills 14/6000'
Thu Aug 17 1915 Dennis Stitt 5/850' Victoria Inn, Woodhead Rd, Holmfirth
Sat Aug 19 1700 Burnsall Gala 1½/900' pre-enter
Baildon Boundary Way(from Jane Sutton)
Few of us run to win and I certainly don't usually - that's why being first lady at the Baildon Boundary Way was such a great thing for me. I don't usually run off road (in fact the only other off road race I've ever done is the Striders' trail race in 1998!).
I do like half marathons though and that's why I entered. It was run on Mother's Day and the weather was cold and misty so after half a dozen changes of clothes I eventually set off in a lightweight fleece under my running vest. I had done the Ackworth half marathon the Sunday before so I was still quite tired and didn't feel brilliant over the first mile so I slackened off slightly and decided to just enjoy the race and use it for training for the Leeds Half in May. We hadn't gone very far when I realised what a hopeless choice of clothing I'd made as the fleece was really getting on my nerves. I decided to strip, while still running, and put the vest back on, handing the fleece to a lady at the first drinks station. At this point I think I was third but having got rid of the wretched fleece I instantly felt lighter and happier and shot off past lady number two.
I was still just running a steady race and not going mad and was surprised to find I liked the mixed terrain and although I was knackered going up the hills I seemed to recover quickly for the next bit. We then emerged from some woods to a long bit of canal towpath, at I guess the 6 mile point - I couldn't say for sure, and I had long stopped looking at my watch as I knew it wasn't going to be one of those races where the time mattered.
I then saw the leading lady about 50m in front of me but she was belting along and didn't seem to be slowing. I ran behind her for the whole section of the towpath with a growing excitement in my stomach, thinking I might finish second lady. As we neared the end of the towpath I found myself narrowing the gap and the next thing I had overtaken her without too much effort. Wow! I was in the lead. This alone made me feel funny - I had never been in this position before and now all I wanted to do was just hold on. Usually by this stage (approximately eight miles) in a half marathon I am starting to feel the effort but I think I got an adrenaline buzz because I had taken the lead and I seemed to get a second wind, also the fact I had not gone mad over the first few miles probably helped. I remember actually saying to myself out loud 'I feel great!' As the miles went by and I couldn't hear the heavy breathing of the second lady on my shoulder, I began to really think I might win and I got all emotional just at the thought of it. The race was also open to walkers who had set off before the runners and so, as I went past them, lots of people shouted "Oh look! First lady!" and that really spurred me on.
I can't really remember much of the actual race route apart from Baildon Moor at the end. By now my right foot had awful blisters and I had managed to twist my knee somehow but I seemed to be flying over the ground and getting more and more emotional at the prospect of winning. It's a wonder I could see where I was going with the tears welling up in my eyes. I was paranoid in case I went the wrong way and a lady behind caught me up. The next thing I knew I had got to the top of this awful hill and I could see the finish. I sprinted over the line and won! It was the most fantastic feeling, one of the best I've ever had. Often someone from my family is there to watch but that day there was no one and I had this great excitement bubbling away in my stomach and no one to share it with and then poor Peter Lambert came over the finish line a few minutes later and copped for it! I threw my arms around him and shouted, "I WON". He was so lovely, really pleased for me and it just made me cry. I was so thrilled and because he is a runner he probably knew how I must have been feeling.
I stayed behind to get my prize. I could see people nudging each other, pointing at me, saying "she won" and I felt great. When I went to receive first prize they handed me a gold envelope and my friend with me urged me to open it but in all honesty I didn't care what was in it. I was on a complete high (it was £50 Boots Vouchers because I know you all want to know!). I know I was lucky that day because all the really good women had probably not entered, in preparation for the London Marathon but I still won and it will always be special.
(Editor's note - I will let you into the secret of Jane's success - home-made flapjacks. I am hoping that she will let me have a copy of the recipe to print in the next VS News)
Ogden Res Fell Race(from Sylvia)
Madeleine Watson, her cousin and I (a family event?) took part in the Ogden Res F.R. Madeleine passed me about ½ way and we both watched "Cus" finish. They were both going to a night orienteering event that evening and I haven't heard of them since!
Fell Relay Race Calendar(Races suggested by Steve, Sylvia & Geoff)
Tue Jun 13 1900 Sheepstones R, Mytholmroyd 3 * 3 * 1000'
Wed Jun 14 1915 Badger Stone Relay, Ilkley Moor 3 * 2½ * 590'
Sat Aug 26 Cross Keys, Saddleworth 2 * 3 road, 2 * 2½ fell
???? Danefield Relay, Otley Chevin
???? Worth Way Relay
Grand Prix(Jon Willingham 01756-700820 or Tim or Gary)
Sun May 14 1000 Leeds Marathon and Half Marathon (c.d. 23 April)
Wed May 24 Otley 10 (Yorks womens ch)
Sun Jun 4 1400 Thirsk 10
Thu Jun 15 1930 Haworth 5miles (Yorks vets ch)
Tue Jul 4 1900 Striders Summer x-c Handicap from Leos (not the Res)
List of events from July onward in next VSNews - will include:
Sun Aug 13 1100 Askern 10 (Yorks vets ch)
Sun Sep 10 1100 Bradford 10k Odsal (Yorks ch & vets ch & AAA ch)
Sun Oct 15 1200 Bridlington ½marathon (Yorks vets ch)
Sun Oct 19 1030 Holmfirth 15 (Yorks ch & vets ch)
Dewsbury Park Relay- Wednesday 31 May
Kathy e-mailed me: Is anyone (male or female) is interested in running a relay on Wed 31May (Spring bank Holiday) at 7.00pm. This is round Crowsnest Park in Dewsbury. 4 runners per team, each runner to do two legs of 1.2 miles. Interested parties to contact me on 269-4820 or e-mail Kathyk@dial.pipex.com
Come And Try Orienteering- Wednesday 28 June At Leos
Can you run fast and navigate at the same time? On behalf of Airienteers, I am organising an informal orienteering event on the evening of Wednesday 28 June at Adel Woods. But there will also be a special "score event" competition for the Valley Striders. You are invited to come along and try your hand at "cunning running". Your friends from other running clubs are also welcome.
Where? - Leos, the usual Tuesday place. It will give you a chance to charge around in the woods and explore off the beaten tracks.
When? - Turn up ready for start times between 18.00 and 19.15 (not a mass start).
What is it? - You will get a detailed specially drawn map of Adel Woods showing a number of controls and their points value. Each control is located on a specified feature (path junction, boulder, crag, ditch etc) and is marked on the ground with a flag and a needle punch. Within a 40 minute time limit you have to find the controls and score as many points as possible. You punch a card as proof of visiting controls. There are bonuses for finishing early, penalties for returning late. All will become clear on the night and instruction will be given.
Incentives? - Mystery prizes for good performances!
What do I need? - Normal running kit with trail/fell/waffle sole trainers. Tights or tracksters might be useful in view of undergrowth. If you have a simple compass it will also be useful, but I will try to bring along my spares. In view of the time limit you will certainly need a watch to check your progress. This orienteering event has to be registered for insurance. A £1 entry fee covers this and other expenses.
Further details: - Ring Steve Webb on 01943 871606