Wednesday, 22 June 2011

1986 A time for change in Ilkley

 I must say I was pleasantly surprised how well I felt after Monday's 12 miler on the canal but I stuck to the plan and just ran an easy 4  last night on the local playing fields.  A run usually done pre and post races.
 Quite interesting last night as there was a inter school cricket match going on.  Ilkey Grammar School versus South Craven School from over the hill in Airedale.  I had a word with the Ilkley teacher afterwards, asking him how the game had gone.   Now I'm not an avid cricket fan but know that to score 217 runs in 20 overs as his team had done in winning,  takes some doing!    On another part of the field 20 teenagers had set up temporary goalposts and were enjoying a good kick about.  No adults. no coaches.  So much for their generation being stuck in theior bedrooms, glued to computers!
 Todays' run will have to be more exacting.  The week's track session.  Hopefully I'll have the track to myself.

1986.  A look back to this week 25 years ago.
The local running scene was in somewhat of a transition stage in the summer of 1986.   Many of the Ben Rhydding running group which I'd established at the local hockey club had joined Valley Striders ,the Leeds based  club I belonged to.   Others were members of other local clubs; but all enjoyed training together.
 We used to close the Complete Runner at 8 p.m. during the week.  One evening at 7.50,  one of the group came in to say that there would be a meeting to discuss "breaking away" from Valley Striders  and possibly setting up an Ilkley based club.   I asked when the meeting would take place.
"In ten minutes time", was the reply!
  Naturally, I went straight down to the meeting .  A  "gang of 4" sat facing the well attended meeting and  stated  that there was a feeling that we should no longer be a "satellite" as I called it
of the Leeds club and set up locally instead.
  At the end of the discussion, in which I simply pointed out the obvious that setting up a new club would involve a lot of work ,  a vote was taken.   A split decision but in favour of the split.
  many were surprised that I voted in favour.  I voted that the new club would be a good idea in the long run and so it has proved.   But  as with many others I would stay with Valley Striders;  at that time there was 8 of us who had won marathons, why leave a strong club like that.
I didn't train down there any longer but was saddened to learn that others who wanted to continue to train with the group but also wanted to stay with V.S. were apparently made less than welcome.
 I did subsequently have 2 periods with the newly formed club Ilkley Harriers which has just celebrated the 25 years anniversary growing from strength to strength with about 400 members I believe.

 AIREBOROUGH 10k.  June 22 was then one of the last races which many of the group raced in the white and black of Valley Striders  pending  the new club.   I was back "on the podium" taking 3rd place in 33.00 behind Richard Butterfield   32.24 and Steve Whetstone (Pudsey & Bramley) 32.36.   Ever green Bob Dover was 5th in 33.53 still running well for Bingley.
  There were some good performances from the Ilkley V.S. group with Alan Pearson 35.42, Ian Dolby 36.25 , Norman Blackburn 39.07, Richard Galling  39.37 and Andy Husband 39.47 breaking 40 minutes.
  For many then it would be the last race they would wear the simple white and black kit of Valley Striders. Before long they would be seen in the red and green of newly formed Ilkley Harriers.
The beginning of an era.

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