The Strider, September 2001

In the absence of any new contributions for The Strider, here’s what was being written about in September 2001, another year where the racing program was disrupted, in this case by the UK foot and mouth outbreak. It includes a report on his run in that year’s London Marathon from Dave Arden, who sadly died very recently. Someone who knew him well said “Dave was a great athlete. Won the Great Wall Marathon even after a marshal sent him the wrong way. Was a record holder at cycling time trial. Won European duathlon, maybe Worlds. Holds the record for most firsts at Woodbank Parkrun.

Interesting to note that, at the time, the club “has less than 10 active members which is hardly enough to warrant an existence.




Believe it or not, the last edition of the newsletter was back in March, just after the first outbreak of Foot and Mouth. Things seemed to go from bad to worse and still there are cases of Foot and Mouth being identified today.

Fortunately, things around this area were not too badly affected and most paths are open and consequently a number of races have or are now taking place. The committee has assessed the situation and has selected a number of races that should enable the 2001 club championship to be completed. The first race is the Stanage Struggle, which takes place on Sunday 23rd September at 10:30am

Also in this bumper packed issue you will find reports on the London Marathon, The Whaley 6 and the Eccles Pike Fell Race.

Details have now been finalised for Terry’s race, which will take place in early November. All members are encouraged to take part in this club event which is explained in more detail on


There are still a number of people who have not renewed their subscription for this year. Please can you let Di Howe or myself have this as soon as possible. Membership is £7.00 for an individual or £10.00 for a family membership. If you DO NOT wish to renew then please let us know. The membership fee does not cover the cost of a membership, for example, we have to pay AAA’s registration of £3.00 for each individual member which means only £4 net towards club funds.

Memberships that are not renewed will mean you will no longer receive free newsletters and you will have to pay the additional £1.00 unattached levy for race entry.


by Dave Arden

On the basis that I always write a report whenever I complete a marathon – here’s my report.

It’s the Friday before the Sunday – so to speak (I suppose that doesn’t really help because most Fridays precede Sundays don’t they). We’ve arrived at the London Arena after the usual navigational difficulties around the Isle of Dogs, in order to carry out the obligatory registration.

After completing the necessary paperwork, receiving the hallowed numbers and having my personal electronic chip swiped with all my particulars, I notice my wife’s eyes light up at the expanse of sporting fashion displayed across the hall below us. I can see immediately that the next couple of hours are going to require considerable international diplomacy in order to escape without the need to approach the building society for a further loan against our house. I should point out that my objective at such events is to get a seriously large plastic bag as full of as many freebies as I can. This goal differs somewhat from Emma’s, which is to come away looking better and certainly more ably equipped than anyone else in the building (or possibly London). Two hours later and we’re driving on to our accommodation and whilst some unnecessary transactions have taken place the need to add to the balance sheet at the Halifax has not arisen. I’ve survived the first test of the weekend.

Anyway it’s now Saturday (which like most Saturdays follows the preceding Friday). Anglo-Sino relations remain intact. We are staying with a Chinese family who live in Abbey Wood, so there remains an ongoing requirement for a degree of international diplomacy.

This is further tensioned by the usual flurried conversations in an Eastern tongue, during which, in the middle of an often quite loud discussion, the word “David” can be quite legibly heard by those of us who recognise the name. This then results in considerable intrigue by the party so named as to the subject and purpose of the discussion. Experience has taught me that it is rarely complimentary, so I usually try to ignore any such reference as much as possible. Otherwise the day passes quietly and for once I feel as if my build up (or wind down as the case may be) is going well.

OK it’s now the Sunday (which, having checked in my encyclopaedia prior to embarking on this report, does follow Saturday). Unusually my organisational skills, when applied to the other members of my family, appear to be working. We all exit the house calmly and on time. We arrive at the Station and board the train, all still according to plan. And what’s more, the train departs Bexley Heath Station only a mere three minutes late – still well within the margins allowed in my programme!

As we are travelling west to Maze Hill, the train, whilst containing a large number of runners, was not packed like those running east from the city. Most of the travellers wearing running shoes are quiet and look thoughtful, presumably considering the next few hours with a deal of trepidation. I am one of these.

We disembark and immediately meet with the thousands of participants from the West. We are all directed along what can only be described as an extremely tortuous route through Maze Hill to the start area.

This is it, no turning back now! (This last statement describes politely a rather concerning sinking feeling I felt at this time – more correctly it was more of an “oh sh*t – 26.2 miles is a bloody long way”).

A chilly wind is blowing right across the green where we congregate. This is the cause of immediate goose bumps on my legs the instant I remove my tracksuit bottoms. Hiding behind one of the transport lorries I manage to do some stretching and get a bit of a massage without too much chill. I then proceed into the area designated for the championship entry runners. This contains a large tent where further freebies of water and energy drink can be obtained in copious quantities.

After a short while I pack my bag, load it onto the designated wagon and don a bright orange bin liner to join the other bright plastic bin liners awaiting the start. In front of us it is possible to see the likes of Pinto, Tergat, El Mousziz and the other big hitters warming up adjacent to the start. This further dents my confidence. Comparing them with me in my mind – they look extremely fit and focused – I look like a bright orange plonker and feel more like another adjective beginning with ‘f’.

Helicopters fly overhead as we are escorted up behind the world’s top 26 milers. The thought passes through my mind with all this activity going on around, that either

a) someone has escaped from Wormwood Scrubs,

b) it’s the Queens Birthday or

c) I’m about to have to run a very long way!

If it were a multiple choice, I think I’d go for b) The Queen’s Birthday. I could have a relaxing drink, sit on the grass in the sun and take the odd photograph of the passing procession. A far better option I’m sure.

Over to my left I can see Sir Steve on a raised platform about to utter the immortal words. Sure enough, without much further warning there is a loud bang and we’re off.

The game plan is to take it reasonably easy over the first few miles but maintain a pace that will still give me a fighting chance of the 2:30 target. This requires an average of about 5:44 miles and, although I do not feel to be running particularly fast, the excitement of the crowds and the noise are something new to me and the first mile is run off in 5:35. I settle down a little and the two mile mark is reached in 11:16.

As the field starts to spread out the chilly cross wind can be felt which makes me think that this is probably not one of the faster London days. Almost immediately, I can hear over an unseen P.A. system a race radio commentator informing the multitudes that this is perfect weather for running marathons. Remaining rather cold and being buffeted by the wind, I conclude that obviously the DJ has never ventured more than 20 yards away from his no-doubt brightly coloured MR2 soft-top.

By mile three I’m with a small group all of whom seem happy with the same kind of 5:40 pace that suits my objective. I stay with them trying my hardest to relax which, as you may imagine, is a difficult task. Trying hard to relax must be considered quite a contradiction in terms.

10 k in 35:11 – ideal, just ahead of schedule and still feeling comfortable. Rounding Cutty Sark, I hear a familiar voice in the crowd shout “David”. I wave but with so many people watching, I don’t recognise a sole. Six miles further on I’m with the same group, still moving at a similar pace. However, all of a sudden it’s becoming more difficult to stay with them. I’m not out of breath but my knees are beginning to ache and my running is no longer fluid. Across Tower Bridge and a gap starts to open. I try to pull it back but I realise that although I could probably close it down, I’ve got over fourteen miles to go. It is at this point that I realise that the lack of racing miles has left me somewhat short of my objective.

Halfway in 1:14:53. In theory still on target however, in practice, becoming very unlikely. Legs rapidly becoming sore; moral dropping by the stride. Still nearly half the race to run and I’m having to resort to a damage limitation exercise.

The loop around the Isle of Dogs becomes a real drag with lots of unexpected twists and turns that I really could do without. The highlight is seeing my family at about 18 miles. This bucks me up a little and I briefly raise my game. However, I soon drop back to what appears to me to be a real slog. My knees and feet are becoming seriously sore. I have an overwhelming desire to say sod it and find an alternative way to The Mall. However, in reality I recognise this is not an option as, no matter how painful my current endeavour, it is but a mere drop in the ocean to the mental and, no doubt, physical torture I would have to endure from my wife, if I were to pack in.

As the miles painfully pass, I find myself actually passing one or two other runners. These guys appear to have hit the wall in big style as they all look as if co-ordination of individual footsteps is becoming a problem.

This is not helped by those bloody cobbles at the start of the embankment. I think back to watching a video of Pinto in last year’s event. He ran over this section of the course as though it was downhill, with a tailwind and riding Steve’s motorbike. (I use this comparison to Steve’s bike as it is the fastest thing I can think of – and I’m extremely envious). I now realise that this section has a very rough surface and is incredibly painful on the soles of the feet.

It also dawns on me at this time that Pinto and his merry band have probably already finished and are relaxing with a nice cup of tea and Rich Tea biscuits.

Looking at my time through the mile-posts I try to calculate my likely finishing time. Unfortunately, with the general fatigue, which must have now spread to my brain, I can only deduce with limited confidence that it will hopefully not require me to turn the page in my diary.

As I near the finish I can only summarise the last few hours of my life as being quite disappointing. The lowest point being the run in to the line. I had previously imagined being full of running at this point, and being able to sprint the last 100 metres to just dip under 2:30.

The reality was somewhat different.

Passing under the finishing line did not end my problems. Firstly, I had considerable difficulty in climbing the ramp up to the platform to have my electronic chip removed. I could not get the crampons to fit and I’d left my ice axe back at the start. I put these problems down to altitude sickness.

Secondly, my kit bag was located on the first of what seemed, with my blurred vision, to be an endless line of wagons. This meant that, having retrieved my belongings, I had to carry them approximately 400 yards through the pickup zone, whilst trying to keep warm wrapped in bako-foil. As the bag had an extremely long cord, and as my arms were very tired and appeared closer to the ground than normal (probably on account of my legs having become even shorter) – I found it extremely difficult to get the damn thing off the ground. Hence, I had the most humiliating experience of having to drag my belongings the complete length of one of the most famous streets in the world.

So here’s to the next one – Manchester 23rd September 2001. Course has changed – starts in the city centre and ends at the velodrome. Must have a chance – I know the velodrome well.

(Ed. Dave finished in a time of 2:39:11 which was 141st overall. Not Bad!)


Most people will recall that when Terry passed away last year he bequeathed a sum of money to the running club. It was decided that we should use this money to purchase a trophy of some description that would be presented to the winner of an annual race in Terry’s memory.

The committee have now finalised the details of the event, which are as follows:-

The race will take place on November 11th at 10:30am and will start at the Taxal Lay-by.

This is not a race that will be won by the fastest person, but will be won by the person who completes the course in a time closest to the estimated time they provide prior to the start of the race. You will not be allowed to wear a watch during the event. The start will be staggered.

The course starts at the lay-by — passing the church — cross the road — through the fields onto Taxal Moor road — takes the 45o path onto Taxal Moor (passing the tree planted by the rambling club in memory of terry) — across Taxal Moor — through the woods — Over Windgather — climb to Pyms Chair — down road to Hoo Moor — Across Hoo Moor — through the farmyard to Knip farm — round the back of Knip farm to bridge — along fields and track to lay-by.

Everybody is encouraged to take part in this event where everyone has a chance of winning. Please let me know in advance if you will be turning up for this event. Presentation in the Shady Oak afterwards!


As most people know, despite the Foot and Mouth we did manage to hold the Whaley 6 this year. Unfortunately because of the late decision, advertising was not very extensive and numbers were down on previous years. Still, 73 runners did take part and all seemed to thoroughly enjoy the event.


It was touch and go whether or not the Eccles Pike would take place this year. The FRA would not sanction any race unless permission was obtained from landowners to cross their land. Contacting landowners on the Eccles Pike route was not easy, especially when they were on holiday! However, perseverance paid off and Andy Jones managed to get in touch with the farmer at the last minute. 73 runners took part and Brian has kindly written the following notes on the evening:

‘This year’s Eccles Pike went off very well, this thanks to; a very good response on the night by Club members, some excellent pre-race organisation by Mark (almost single-handed it seems), and some good support from some non-club members.

A special mention for Lou who received his commemorative Life Members Trophy for services rendered to the club in its formation, and for many years on the committee. He received a good round of applause from the competitors before the start of the race.

I did also observe that the car parking went better than I’ve ever seen it, thanks to the joint Ayatollahs, Nick and Ralph. There’s a career there somewhere Nick!’


As Brian mentioned, life membership and a commemorative tankard were presented to Lou in recognition of the effort he has put in on behalf of Goyt Valley Striders. Lou has kindly written the following thank you note in response to this:


‘Dear Friends, just a few words to say thank you for the life membership of Goyt Valley Striders, conferred on me recently. To receive this was in itself very pleasing, but to receive it engraved on a truly handsome pewter tankard was fantastic.

Although I have regrettably had to reduce my running to little more than an occasional jog (due to an unfortunate medical condition) I have by no means given up on the pursuit of physical fitness.

I am now enjoying mountain biking whenever the demands of work and DIY allow (I never seem to have a paintbrush out of my hands these days!). Please be assured of my full support in the years to come and once again thank you.

Best regards

Lou Lomas’


In response to some of the complaints regarding the previous batch of club vests that were purchased we have commissioned a new batch to be made.

A number of people complained of excessive rubbing, which resulted in ‘Joggers Nipple’.

Tony Hulme has hunted high and low to find a different type of fabric that will solve the problem. Apparently the green that we use is not very common!

Fortunately he managed to succeed and we are now the proud owners of 22 new club vests. I hope most members will take the opportunity to take advantage of what is a great price and purchase, at £9.00 (cost price).

Even if we all buy one we will still have a stock of approximately 12 vests. This means we all have to try our best to attract new members to wear the vests!


It looks as though the Otters will no longer take place. I have been contacted by a runner from London who is a seasoned campaigner at the annual 40 mile event who believes the school has dropped it. The committee discussed whether or not we should attempt to take the event over but felt it was too big for a club our size. If anybody else feels they would like to take over the organisation then I think you will be most welcome.


Here are the details of races that are definitely taking place this year.


22/9 Lantern Pike (5M) 3:00pm

23/9 Stanage Struggle (6¾) 11:00am

14/10 Open Country Mountain Marathon

Sherwood Forest

Anybody Interested?


7/10 10K Derby Classic 11:00am

27/10 Witham 10 11:00am

28/10 Holmfirth 15 10:30am

25/11 Clowne ½ Marathon 10:00am


The new sports complex on the football field should soon be completed and may well become the new home of Goyt Valley Striders. We have definitely been offered a Sunday morning slot but are awaiting the final costs to be calculated before we can decide on whether to accept the offer. Members’ opinions would be gratefully appreciated on this matter. Meanwhile the following plans give an idea about what is expected to be available.


The closing date for entries to next years London Marathon is approaching fast. The 14th October is the last day, after which you will have to wait another year.

The club is expected to have one entry this year, which will as usual, be drawn from those individuals that were rejected in the ballot. If there are no people who fall into this category then all members are eligible to apply for the entry.

If anybody wishes to be considered for the entry then please let us know as soon as possible.


It seems a long way off, but believe me it will be here sooner than you think. Shall we have a meal out this year or should we wait and double up with the AGM like last year. You views would be appreciated.


Don’t forget that we have a club website.

We have now received over 520 visitors, which equates to approximately 3 a day. New things will be added shortly. Check out the weather on our website.

Why not put pen to paper and write out a route that can be posted on the site. Details of routes can be sent to me and I will duly post them on the site.


Due to the Foot and Mouth crisis it has not been possible to arrange a camping barn trip this year. Rest assured that we have not forgotten and will try and arrange a booking early in the New Year.


Get fit for next spring and start the Fell Season with a bang. That’s what your competitors are doing by taking part in the winter Cross Country Series. Why don’t we do the same. Contact Mike Hudson or myself if you are interested.


We have not entered a team this year due to injury but will hopefully enter one next year.


We need new members. The club now has less than 10 active members which is hardly enough to warrant an existence.

We need ideas and help to stimulate more interest within the club and to attract new members. Somebody out there must have some ideas about what we can do.

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This account is for the editor of the Strider. Currently that is Pete Fotheringham.

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