VALLEY STRIDERS - Information Sheet
updated 6 August 1998
Valley Striders was founded in July 1982 by a group of runners looking for a Club which concentrated on distance running - road, cross-country and fell - rather than a 'normal' athletics club biased towards track and field. The name refers to the Meanwood Valley in North West Leeds, around which many of the early training routes were based. By 1985 the Club had nearly 150 members, but some of these were based at Ben Rhydding and a breakaway group subsequently formed Ilkley Harriers. Since then, membership has remained around the 100 mark. The Club started with a constitution and minuted meetings, but quickly adopted the relaxed approach that continues today!
The Club is still based near the Meanwood Valley:
- Tuesday training session starts 6.45pm from the Old Leodiensians' Club on King Lane (1 mile North from Sainsbury's Superstore on the Ring Road). This on a 4 week cycle - 400m reps, hill session, 1mile reps and fartlek. All sessions except the fartlek are suitable for anyone capable of 50 mins or better for a 10k.
- Thursday training is at 6.30pm - in the winter from Scott Hall Sports Centre, in the Summer from Leo's. This is an easy run of 6-7 miles suitable for inexperienced runners.
- Sunday : most weeks there is also a Sunday morning session at 9.15am from Smithy Mills Lane/ Parkside Road.
- There are also reputed to be sessions from Roundhay Park some Wednesday and Friday evenings and also Thursday mornings, but these are just social runs of half a dozen Club members!
The Club still has around 100 members:
- 30 are regulars at the Tuesday and/or Thursday training nights.
- 30 more are occasional Tuesday/Thursday and/or appear regularly at local road, cross-country or fell races and/or run relays etc. with the Striders.
- the remaining 40 are social members / second claim / injured / working away from Leeds / have other good excuses for not running regularly with the Club.
There are 3 internal competitions within the Club:
- The Grand Prix consists of 4 Club Handicaps (see below), 4 West Yorks cross-country races and approximately 15 selected road races in Yorkshire varying in distance from 5 miles to the marathon. The first Strider at each event scores 100 points, the second 99 etc. Runners are divided into 4 groups according to ability and a Grand Prix T-shirt is awarded to the runner in each group scoring the most points in their best 8 scoring events, as well as to the overall men's, women's and vets' champions.
- The Fell Race Championship is contested between April and November and points can be scored at most fell and trail races in Yorkshire and some across the border (i.e. in Lancashire).
- The Winter League runs from December to March taking in 8 - 10 cross country, fell and trail events.
- There are 4 Club Handicap events during the year. These are included in the Grand Prix - actual running time is used to calculate points.
- Spring and Autumn are 10km around Eccup Reservoir.
- Summer was 7 miles - it previously included some cross-country, for 1996/7 followed most of the route of the Trail Race (see below), but new for 1998 was 5 miles and followed most of the Cross-Country route (see below)
- Winter is 5 miles, on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year - in previous years the main prize was for the best fancy dress, but in 1997 it reverted to serious competition (for those who have not taken Christmas to excess!)
We have organised several races:
- In March 1996, we organised a Trail Race of 8 miles on the paths on and near the Meanwood Valley Trail, and we repeated this in 1997 and 1998 (results). The fourth race is planned for the last Saturday in March 1999.
- In November 1997 we hosted one of the races in the West Yorkshire cross-country championships, again using part of the Meanwood Valley Trail and the fields and woods near Leo's.
- In the past we have organised 3 other races: 5 miles from Eccup in 1984, and 10k races in Roundhay Park in 1989 and 1990. We have also been involved in the organisation of several other local races.
We have two B.A.F. qualified coaches - Max Jones and George Black - who are available most Tuesdays to give general advice or to prepare personal training plans.
Valley Striders Achievements
are listed on a separate page.
Our Club President is Olympic marathon medallist Charlie Spedding, and our Vice-President is our founder Club Secretary, Stuart St.John, who emigrated to Scotland in 1994. The 'working' Committee is:
- Club Captain; also info. on Tuesday training - Steve O'Callaghan
- Club Secretary; also Cross-country Captain - Paul Briscoe
- 16 Ash Grove, Otley, LS21 3EL
Women's Captain; also info. on Thursday training - Sylvia Watson
- Treasurer and Membership Secretary - Danny Burnham
- Fell Club Captain and Secretary - Geoff Webster
- 0113-266-6288 - 52 North Park Avenue, Leeds, LS8 1EY
- Vets Captain - Eric Cusack
- Relays Captain; also info. on Sunday training - Paul Furness - 0113-269-8231
- Club Coaches - Max Jones 240-2987 and George Black
- Grand Prix Events Co-ordinator - Jon Willingham - 01756-700820
- Newsletter Editor - Bob Jackson - 0113-289-2830
eMail Bob Jackson- email@example.com
- Internet 'home' page http://freespace.virgin.net/bob.jackson/striders.htm
If you have a particular area of interest, then contact the person as indicated above, otherwise contact any of the above for further details of the Club, or just turn up on one of the Club nights when you will be sure of a welcome (and with no commitment to join).
P.S. Club Membership Subscription for September 1998 to August 1999 is £6 p.a. and for new members is / will be pro-rated for part of the year e.g. £4 starting Jan 99. Membership for under-18s is £1.
Created by Bob Jackson eMail firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated on 6 Aug 1998