Tuesday, 12 April 2011


         As I looked back over WEEK 14 it's hard to believe that a quarter of the year has gone already. How's YOUR running year going? 
                  Playing your cards right or have you gone bust already?
For me, it wasn't a bad week.  A very solid hill session on the Tuesday followed by a medium track session within 48 hours.  No run above 9 miles but the week totalled 48 miles, 529 on the year . The average rising to a respectable -38. So pleasing progress from the 16 troubled miles of week 1.
 Saturday was really the only easy day of the week, but the 4 miles around Sutton Park in reverse gave me the opportunity to see all of the 60 plus teams who started.  There was talk that the overall standard in terms of times was not up to the past but certainly the number of teams and the intense scrap at the front for the medals illustrated that there is still a great deal of interest in this national event.  But no matter what reputation or history a club has if current leadership is lacking,  absence seems to be inevitable. 
Witness no Bingley mens team and the ladies team of 6 reduced to one!
  This lack of support was possibly more evident at the Northern 12/6 stage relays which were held on a Sunday and it's possible the North  "shot themselves in the foot" as many runners were unwilling perhaps to give up a long Sunday run , particularly if training for London.  2001 saw 49 teams compete. 2011 just 35.

   1986.......looking back to this week 25 years ago
This year's Northern 12/6 relays were on March 20th but in 1986 they were held somewhat later on April 12th.  Being a very new club back then there was no tradition of participation in the championship by VALLEY STRIDERS and as  previously stated the vast majority of members focussed much as I did on marathons. Nevertheless, a full team of 12 elected to travel to Sefton Park Liverpool to compete against most of the North of England's long established clubs. Many containing teenager track runners willing and able to flash around the 6 short legs.  I know I have some "mature" local readers so I will stir a few memories by going through the VALLEY STRIDERS team  and the team position after their leg (of 58 teams)     
                 18    BRIAN EDEN                      26.35    
                 20    JOHN CONVERY               27.29
                 29    MARTIN HOPSON             28.27
                 28    MARTIN DAY                     28.19
                 33    STEVE O'CALLAGHAN     28.43
                 31    HILARY Mc EWAN             27.25
                 30    TERRY LONERGAN           14.58
                 31     S. HIGGINS                          15.26
                  31     GRAHAM TOLLEY             15.08
                  31     MIKE ABBS                         15.36
                  35     J.FLANAGAN                       16.23
                  36     G. MINFORD                       16.54             
                    36TH OF 58 TEAMS FINISHING

So that was our Saturday in Liverpool. A successful turn out and  a reasonable position all things considered. Sadly it was not a 12 x marathon relay which would have suited us a lot better!
                                   SUNDAY...................AIREBOROUGH 1OK
   The 15 minute dash around Sefton Park must have been deemed insufficient racing for the weekend as the following day I joined the Ilkley section of Valley Striders in running the Aireborough 10K run from Yeadon C.C. by Skyrac A.C.   This would serve as one of the last speed
sessions before my Bristol marathon and things continued to bode well with a 4th place in 32.53, in a race won by local English international Dave Slater in 31.09 with one of my former pupils Scott Dry second in 31.55. 
  The group generally performed well with a dozen inside 40 minutes.  Several of them were to go on and form part of the first Ilkley Harrier club membership.
                         So, 2 races in two days; a busy weekend..............time to taper!


  1. Reading your post I remember running at Sefton Park in '86 so I looked up my results - Blaydon finished not far behind your team in 38th position and I ran one of the long legs (think it was the last one) in 27.12

    Unfortunately Blaydon can now not even get a team out for the 6 man, never mind the 12 stage.

  2. You actually ran the 5th long leg, Alan....
    Remember your team which made its way through from 56th of 58 on the first leg?
    56 R.Walsh 29.40
    47 K.Bell 27.20
    45 A.Woods 28.54
    45 G.Coe 29.32
    41 A.Dent 27.12
    43 R.Nevin 29.12
    41 N.Jobson 14.32
    40 R.Bell 15.37
    40 K.Ducker 14.43
    39 P.Guthrie 15.00
    39 S.Surtees 15.37
    38 R.Ogle 15.06
    So 38th to our Valley Striders 36th.
    Many of them still running?
    Glad to read you are on the mend. Terry