NOTICE BOARD Updated 3. 10. 2011

Race Report from ITU World Championships, Beijing China.


I arrived in Beijing on the evening of Wednesday 7th of September it was around 7 PM after a long journey, the air was warm and thick around the airport and as I saw my bike being loaded onto what looked like a 1970s bread delivery van with no lights, I realized I was in a very foreign place. The 1 hour transfer to the hotel encountered a very intense rain storm, and as only one of the buses window screen wipers worked (not on the drivers side) visibility was minimal.


I was pleasantly surprised by the hotel, the travel company had made out it was the second choice place and not that great, not sure where these guys usually stay but I imagine it must be the Savoy! I parked my bags, ate and returned to the reception to check in, then I realized that this was the Pros hotel of choice, Javier Gomez was sat looking relaxed playing on his Ipad while the likes of Tim Don, Helen Jenkins and the Brownlee brothers lugged there own bags and bikes around without a suggestion of being the worlds best. This made me realize that this was actually the world champs, and a pretty major event.


The following 2 days went very well the air was much fresher out of town and the conditions where like a good summer day in the UK. I did a recce of the bike course, which was made tricky by the over zealous Chinese security which frankly was all show. Being stopped, searched and going through a metal detector part way around a course seemed excessive to me.


I also managed a couple of swims in the reservoir, the water an amazing 28.5 degrees which made feel very relaxed and confident as I am sometimes badly effected by the cold water, and dislike  the wetsuit.


A couple of laps of the run course and I felt great, the jet lag did not seem to be troubling me and I was going well.


On Friday the main able bodied events started and I had the pleasure of watching the U23 men’s race, GBR filled the podium and I felt inspired, all was going to plan.

I ate at the hotel after the race and retired for an early night, not sure if it was nerves or jet lag kicking in but I could not sleep. I probably managed about 2 hours before the alarm told me it was 4 am and time to get moving.


I headed down for a very early breakfast, going outside in the process I was met by darkness, pouring rain, strong wind, the air was seriously cold, I can not deny that all my previous confidence and enthusiasm drained from me in seconds, I know I am a Yorkshireman but I hate the cold, I just don’t have the natural insulation to cope with it.

The 20 min bus journey to the race site was a miserable and quite affair with everyone left wondering where the previous day’s perfect conditions had gone.


The roads up to registration where stood in water as large crew of Chinese “volunteers” tried in vain to sweep the standing water away .

 The registration area, a large marquee was ankle deep in water, but proved to be the warmest place to hang out while the clock ticked very slowly down to start time. A last minute trip to the toilet was a horrific ordeal they were the hole in the floor type and had seen a massive amount of action! Yet again I realized that I was in a very foreign country!


30 minutes to start time , I checked in at the bag drop and made my way to the start pontoon, at this stage dressed only in my race suit I began to feel the cold badly. I went through a few nervous warm up routines and tried to convince myself that it was the same for everyone.

“14 and half minutes to the start” were reported by an America marshal, it was a very long 14 and half minutes!


On instruction I slide reluctantly into the water, at that stage my whole mood turned on its head, the water was still “swimming pool warm” and my confidence came flooding back.

Almost as soon as the words “take your marks” entered my ears the start horn sounded and the mass start chaos began to unfold. My approach has always been to avoid the “boxing”, it’s a waste of energy, so having adjusted my course a couple of times I found a bit of clear water and got to work, I felt strong and the field began to fall away .By the second buoy I had attached myself to the hip of Andrew Shipton (British champ) and was seriously cruising.(This was my race error, I believed him to be leading only to find out later that the Spaniard had given me the slip and I lost him in the choppy water).

The swim exit lead to a wide steep flight of steps leading into the transition area, all matt covered so good to run in on, I found my bike with out problem, clipped on my helmet and number belt and slipped into my bike shoes (bagged to keep dry). The exit was a very short run from the rack , I mounted and began the steep and very wet decent into the first sharp left turn by this time in pursuit of Shipton and an Australian who had made good time in T1. The 3 of us exchanged the lead on the first half of the 2 lap course, I was strong on the climbs they showed more confidence on the descents. 

As we began the second lap again screaming down the long steep descent to the sharp left hand turn the Australian had fallen away and my tussle with my fellow countryman continued. Unfortunately his confidence in the surface seemed to be greater than mine, and he began to open up a lead, I was reluctant to risk anymore than I was doing , and new I had the run to make gains on him,  so didn’t follow a Swiss guy into the railing and turn the shops bike into a mangled wreck.

 A steep descent and sharp left lead into T2, I was out of the shoes and moving well, racked the bike quickly popped off the helmet and got into my bagged dry run shoes. (Always take a bin bag to a wet race).

My run legs felt ok the conditions on the bike course had prevented me from a total burial of myself, but that of course could not last, I had to track down the opposition and started to take the heart rate to a dangerous level. The run was a 3 lap course in and out of the main arena, not sure why but I did not see Shipton, but knew he could not be too far away so pressed hard.

As we entered the arena with about a km to go I knew the gap behind me was closing and I also knew that I was not prepared to give anything away and so started the “sprint” at that point, not a particularly wise move. By the last turn about 300m to go I was wrecked the legs had gone solid and I was convinced I was about to throw up, but the pursuit was still on, I had a quick glance back (big mistake) and was convinced they were gaining, my heart rate now about 100 above MHR. One last push took me over the line. I was wrecked Chinese officials tried to move me along the finish area, I was not polite!

After a minute or so I was back among the living and staggered down through the recovery area having water, bananas, towels and paperwork pushed in my hand.

I soon came across Andrew Shipton who seemed to think he was 5th?

5th ,I thought he had won and I had come 2nd or 3rd ,more must have got away on the swim I thought, I was still strangely happy , I knew I had given it everything in the conditions and if I had been beaten then fare enough.

I slowly made my way back to the bag drop discussing every detail with my mates, I noticed Shipton talking with the Spanish guy, so went for a word. He was claiming that 2 of the top 5 had been disqualified for only completing 2 of the 3 run laps, this made sense I was convinced they hadn’t passed me ,that said I never saw the Spaniard get away! Still not sure I thought best wait for the official results, which seemed impossible to find at the race site.

We collected our bikes and remaining rain sodden gear and made our way back to the hotel. I went straight on the net to find the results, but without any luck. I washed, changed and tried to sleep but was still in race mode and could not settle.

I met my mate for lunch and we headed back to the arena to see the men’s elite race. As we took our seats my mate received a text from his wife, he was delighted he was 4th in the 30-34 which was a good result in a very competitive age group. He offered to find my result and I waited for the reply,” f**k me, you where 3rd man!” was the answer and he gave me a big hand shake I struggled to remain cool taking the congratulations but was actually “over the moon”, as the football pundits would say.

We watched the elite race which was great to see, I had never seen a pro race before. After this recollections become very vague due to a period of celebration which involved an untold number of Chinese beers, at the race followed by many more back at the hotel.

The following day was the  ladies elite race , I had arranged to go to breakfast with one of my mates but on calling at his room found him in a very sorry state, so I headed down alone. I sat on my own nursing something of a hangover when a couple of Spanish track suited guys sat down at my table closely followed by Javier Gomez, It seems strange being sat with people you usually see in magazines or on TV. I chatted to him and he seemed a really descent guy who spoke excellent English, he was telling me he’d suffered with the cold and the conditions had made it a “tough day” for him. I caught up with him outside and got a photo.

The weather was again back to being sunny and warm for the elite women and it was again a good race and great to watch. After the race we went back to the hotel and got ready for the medal presentation and closing ceremony which was held at a large sports arena about 45 mins away.

As we arrived I was ushered to a seating area by the stage and shown to a seat with my name on (you know you’ve made it when a seat has your name on).

After a Chinese themed show, the medal presentation started, I was called up, armed with a Union Jack handed to me by one of my fellow countrymen, I felt immensely proud and to be honest a bit emotional ,although managed not to cry!

I left the stage a happy man and again set about the Chinese beer until the very early hours.

I won’t bore you with the following day’s trip around Beijing or the very long flight home, but all in all it was an amazing trip, a great race for me and a fantastic experience.

Thank you to all my friends, family and sponsors for all your help I could not have done this without you.






Tony Winbush has put this report together of a "little run" he and a friend partnered up for, a couple of weeks ago.

Do have a look at the link that he sugests it is awsome. 

The  2011 Transalpine Run – “The Highway to Hell”

4 countries – 8 days – 274 km – 15436 m climbing – 320 teams from 25 nations

Click here for some inspiring video of the full 8 day race.

Despite the AC/DC soundtrack that blasts out on the start line each day this race seemed more like a “Stairway to Heaven” – eight days of eating, sleeping and mountain running across the earthly paradise of the European Alps!

I have compiled a brief report below.  Unfortunately there was no over 60 or 120+ category as we were the only team in that category but we still managed a top 5 place in the senior master (100+) category as well as beating  two thirds of the rest of the field.  We got presented with expensive Suunto watches. We weren’t entirely sure why, perhaps they took pity on us for being the oldest team!!

 One of the great features of this route is the cameras stationed around the course each day to produce some inspiring video footage which is then presented in the evening (see link above).


Following on from previous GB successes a small contingent of a dozen GB teams made their mark on the 7th Transalpine run. There were outstanding performances from Scotland with Claire Gordon & Fiona Maxwell taking first place in the women’s categories in 34-40-28 while Jethro Lennox & Joe Symonds came second in the men’s with 26-54-18 close behind Spaniards David Lopez & Miguel Cabellero in 26-37-51. Ben Abdelnoor & Mark Palmer were 8th in 31-33-38 while Yorkshire runners David Jelley & Martin Gabriel of Ripon Runners and Rod Sutcliffe & Tony Wimbush of CVFR/Idle AC made 4th and 5th respectively in the Senior Masters category.  Unfortunately there was no 120+ or v60 category.    320 teams started and 245 finished the epic 274 kilometre route which involved ascending 15436 metres of alpine terrain as it made its way from Obersdorf in Germany through Austria and Switzerland to finish in Latsch in Italy.  Stage details are shown below.

The entry fee plus “camp” fee is about £700. Almost like a military operation cum travelling circus the run takes over the seven stage towns to provide all food, stage baggage transfer (for which you are given a spacious Salomon holdall) plus sleeping space on a sports hall floor (for which a sleeping bag and mat is required), prize giving, stage briefing and finally a ‘pictures of the day’ presentation to close each night.  To get everyone psyched up at the early morning starts AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” blasts out prior to the countdown to each stage!   Full details and loads more videos at

The 2011 Western Route Stages

September 3      Obersdorf (GER) to Hirschegg (AUT)       27.2 km/1806 m 

September  4     Hirschegg (AUT) to Schruns (AUT)            53.2 km/2481 m

September 5      Schruns (AUT) to Galtur (AUT)                   43.1 km/2672 m

September 6      Galtur (AUT) to Scuol (CH)                           39.9 km/2339 m

September 7      Scuol (CH) – uphill run                                    6.2 km/ 936 m

September 8      Scuol (CH) to Mals (ITA)                                                37.0 km/1332 m

September 9      Mals to Schlanders (ITA)                               36.9 km/2063 m

September 10   Schlanders (ITA) to Latsch (ITA)                 30.2 km/1807 m


Gummers How Weekend 2011


Not all of us win races, so to most the “race within a race” is just as important.

And so it is for the Idle teams who now regularly compete in the Lakeside Gummers How Fell Race.

The overall standard this year was high and although Donna, Lawrence & Leon were the first home for Idle, triumphant for the second year running in the “race within a race” (gutted), The competition was too strong for them to match last years commendable overall third place position.


Phil Goode, myself & Phil Routh had a better row across this year & because you can’t set off back until your last man is down you would think the sensible option would be to only go as fast as your slowest team mate (or Phil Routh as we like to know him) take it easy, enjoy the view. But again the ”race in a race” mentality kicks in, & in no one more so than ultra competitive P. Goode, who put his head down & went, getting to the top & back down in great style. First for his team, first for Idle.


Dave, Tony & Martin on getting down only had the row back to contend with. But the Windermere Ferry had them in its sights & that sinking feeling was soon replaced by an altogether warmer (and smellier) feeling as the propeller came inches from their boat. Luckily the boat came to no harm.


The evening was rounded off with the usual banquet & celebratory drinks, where, as the night goes on stories are embellished & challenges made for the next year (again).


The weekend didn’t end there for some, as on Sunday morning Lawrence led a mean mountain bike ride over terrain that only areas like the lakes can throw at you.


Back next year?









Cancelled because off the extreme winter conditions we experienced late last & early this year the Calder Valley Relay was rescheduled, unfortunately having to push to one side another shorter fell race “mytholmroyd” that Halifax Harriers successfully organise. This date too was in danger due to extreme weather conditions, as the warmest April on record gave way to widespread moorland fires. However the rain came just in time allowing Idle AC to for the first time to take part on a beautiful day in this great off rd relay.

The team had to change considerably but we finally stitched one together and it all went to plan.

Dave Lewis & Tony Winbush overshot the finish slightly (Tony probably wanted to do another 30 miles)

 Martin Burnside & Tony Brayshaw set off and took in the delightful views from Studly Pike summit en route.

 Leon then dragged me round the relatively short but mostly uphill leg 3.

 Clair McConnell & Julie P Heys extended their foray into fell running by stepping up to the mark & taking on leg 4 (I think they want to thank Steve for this)

Phil Routh & Trevor, old hands at this relay thing now, teamed up again to run leg 5.

And Phil Goode was (at short notice) evenly partnered up with Chris Stubs who ran a great leg to get us round in 67th place overall.

Although this may not sound too impressive in the overall standings, I think for a small club with such a range of  “ athletes” it is a result. And judging by the positive response I have had off everyone who ran (including the girls) then its definitely worthwhile. Results at




Friday 6th May was the WYWL presentation night.

While these nights (as important as they are) can be a bit (shall we say) dull, a few of us still felt obliged to show our faces. And as it turned out all had a good night.

Davina, who has been involved in one way or another since its formation, was there to offer her support, and writes.   


Success in the West Yorkshire Winter League!!!!!


What is the West Yorkshire Winter League?


 - It’s the main league, consisting of 5 events, in which Idle AC members are encouraged to run!


Whilst the League does offer individual trophy positions, its primary objective is team competition.  The five team scores are added together to decide the following team trophies:


1st Combined Team, 2nd Combined Team, 3rd Combined Team.

1st Male Team.

1st Female team.

1st Vets Team (combination of male/females).

There is also the most improved club trophy


Whilst Idle AC didn’t collect any Team trophies this season we had three individual trophy winners at the presentation Night, hosted by Baildon Runners on Friday 6th May. As a club we celebrate their success.


Congratulations go to Rachel Phillips, Julie Parker-Heys & Tim Whitcombe:


Rachel Phillips – 2nd F35


Julie Parker – Heys – 2nd F40


Tim Whitcombe – 3rd M50.


In addition the League has two very special trophies, which are presented to the most improved male and female runner who has completed all 5 events. The most improved male runner receives the Dave Turpin Memorial Trophy and the most improved female runner receives the Paul Dowson Memorial Trophy. Through these trophies we remember two well known league competitors who both died suddenly, indeed within days of each other, during the 1999 -2000 season.


Well  done to Rachel  Phillips who was presented with the Paul Dowson Trophy - her name is added to those of Kay Gambles, Claire McConnell and Julie Parker-Heys!



 (The marathon with mountains)

You come away from the 3 Peaks fell race with very little. Of course, you have the memories, the sense of great achievement - or dragging despair, depending how your race went. And the aching limbs...  But there's no medal - nothing to physically show for all the blood, sweat and tears. There is a t-shirt and this year even that had a rather odd design to it: blue background with a big black scribble on the front. But after a while it began to make sense - the scribble had 3 Peaks.


But the more I thought about that t-shirt, the more I began to realise that to describe this as a 3 Peaks race is wrong.  There are 4 Peaks.


Like the 3 Peaks, the fourth has both a gentle, inviting side and a darker alter ego. On the wrong days, the fourth peak can be unforgiving and hostile. The fourth peak is the mind.


To get around the 25-mile route, you need to conquer all 4 Peaks.


If I wanted proof of that, I needed to look no further than Laurence Doddy. I bumped into him shortly before the race started. Bumped into him might not be the right phrase. What caught my attention was his rasping, lung-scratching cough. He said he was on antibiotics. He caught the shocked look on my face.  “Perhaps I shouldn't be running this race… ” he said.


But he did run it, and did so in style. Laurence completed the race in under four hours. I know for certain it wasn't his lungs that got him around that course. It was his mind.


The repository for fell running knowledge at Idle AC lies with Tony Wimbush. His view is that the 3 Peaks race doesn't start until you reach Ribblehead, about half way into the 25 mile route. From Ribblehead onwards, the course lays traps for body and mind – exhaustion begins to drag at your legs, negative thoughts begin to intrude. At the same time, stretching out in front is the whale-like flank of Whernside: it's a mile of steeply upward fell. Parts so steep that I found myself on all fours. And once on top, your legs have to quickly change rhythm. You go from contracting your leg muscles to gain height, to extending them to get speed and pace on the descent. It's like crashing through the gear box of an old car, nothing wants to work.


Then.... you do it all again, this time on Ingleborough before the run back to the start at Horton. Despite the difficulties, I was faster than last year but I failed to get under five hour mark.


Idle AC had seven runners in the race, a good turnout for a small club.


Shaun Lennon had a fantastic run, getting round in 4 hours 21 minutes. He must now have his sights on a sub 4-hour effort next year.


Leon Winder and Peter Hilliard made the transition from tarmac to fell look easy. Leon was just 7 minutes behind Shaun and Peter clocked in at 4 hours 39 minutes. Peter had adopted a bit of a roadie’s disdain for fell matters. He hadn’t recce’d the course and ran it in road shoes!


Tim put in a solid performance to get round in under five hours (4 hours 53 mins). He credited his success to a pair of knee-length socks which helped prevent cramp which in the past has caused him problems on the climb up Whernside and forced him to drop out of the race.


But cramp caught up with Phil Routh who was timed out at the Hill Inn checkpoint about 18 miles into the course.  Two weeks earlier, Phil had completed his 900+ mile bike ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Cycling 100 miles a day  – day after day, had taken its toll. By the time he got to the top of Whernside, his legs had had enough and downed tools. He couldn’t move fast enough to get to the checkpoint within the cut off time. He was heartbroken.


But there is next year.


The first 3 Peaks race was run in 1954 with a handful of runners setting out from a pub. There was no set route – they just had to navigate to the summit of the 3 Peaks. The winner that year was Fred Bagley. He was back for this year's race, this time for the less arduous task of presenting the prizes. He described everyone who'd taken part over the years as members of an exclusive club. If you think of it as the 4 Peaks, it becomes even more exclusive.


 Though without marshals we would'nt have a race


                                                                                                  The Runners and Riders






Latest Checkpoint

Time of Day



Tony Brayshaw

Idle AC






Laurence Doddy

Idle AC






Peter Hilliard

Idle AC






Phil Joyner

Idle AC






Shaun Lennon

Idle AC






David Lewis

Idle AC






Phill Routh

Idle AC


Retired Finish




Tim Whitcombe

Idle AC






Leon Winder

Idle AC










Although I flagged up this item some time last year, I feel it’s worth highlighting again.

If you don’t know, it’s a rout that was established over 20 years ago and has been resurrected in its current “challenge” form by legendary Idle AC member Tony Wimbush.

Having run it a few times in 2010 I know it to be a great rout of mixed terrain & excellent training ground for fell races. The benefit of it having a challenge element as apposed to just a training run is that you tend to push yourself that little bit harder than you would otherwise do. And once you know the course its easy to get round on your own so you have a quality race rout with no time restrictions, do it when and as many times as you want.

It has its own web page (as above) and you can add your completions & times on its own link on the FRA forum accessed through the web page.

Although we have some excellent running in and around Idle, to train for the fells you really need more challenging terrain, something that this rout offers with an element of friendly competition.

Tony has offered to take a training run round the course soon and like a lot of his routs it has a shorter cut off, this time back on the canal so there’s no chance of getting lost.

If you fancy having a go (and I strongly recommend it) keep an eye on the web site where it will be posted. In the meantime have a look at his website for inspiration.


For a small club there has been a lot going on in 2010.


Besides all the usual fell & road races that we compete in as individuals or with mate’s there were lots of big events to be involved in & lots organized on a club level. Some on normal club nights like the Ilkley run or large groups on bike rides, piss ups or recce’s. But most take some organising & more people stepping up & getting involved means we “as a club” did loads.




A good result in the 2009 / 2010 West York’s Winter League with Individual winners at the presentation night as well as winning Most Improved Club.

We passed on the option of putting on a race as we had enough on our plates but put on a good club event this year so proving that with shared responsibility we can match the bigger clubs.


We had six Idle runners at the Three Peaks Fell Race, which must be the hardest local race of the year, five of us 1st timers. And I think we will have more this year flying the flag.


We entered three local long distance relays. Two up on last year (although one was put on hold because of the snow) a great success again and I would encourage more Idle runners to take part in 2011 if we do them again. They can be a pain logistically but are well worth the effort on the day.


There was the Gummers How weekend in the Lakes. A must for some of us from now on, the race & the bike ride up turning into a regular event for the summer.


Twelve Idle runner / rowers taking part and lots of family & friends spectating made this a great day with an Idle boat coming third in the team event. Not sure who they were now but that’s not important, the event was going to close because of lack of interest so support like this is.


We had runners at the at the two big London & Edinburgh marathons also the Great North half. Lots more at smaller but non-less worthy events. Some overseas and Anna managed a staggering Ten Marathons in Ten days!


The Idle trail race was again made a great local event with most turning out on the day to help make it a great success. He might run every day but the great Ron Hill again made sure one of those days was at our race.


We have people who do Triathlons some even outstanding & we now have people whom at best struggle to dance let alone ride a bike (Pete) taking part in Duathlons.


 Again with team work the Christmas do gets better & better. The club was all trimmed up, great food, plenty to drink, presentations, the London draw & lots more in fancy dress this year. The elves turned up again the next day & sorted the lot. Team Work!


Idle now has a new, updated, longer more diverse handicap event. Over three events Fell, Trail & Road. The more people take part the better it will become.

We still have regular Tuesday night sessions but now interspersed with fitness & “bleep” tests. The sessions are posted on a newly set up “Idle forum”. It’s so easy to use even I can use it. Turn up if you want or don’t if you can’t but we have the choice.


We have a member who regularly organises runs, which include runners from other clubs. Admittedly on the longer side & off road but he can on some work in cut offs to accommodate slower or recovering runners. On well thought out paths & tracks that link into great runs. Runs that may turn into low-key local club events or challenges but with Idles name in front. Watch this space & join in.


With all this and lots more I haven’t mentioned here it’s hard to say why the numbers are sometimes down on some training nights. Perhaps because of the cold spell, holidays, family commitments, Phil Rouths sense of humour. Who knows? But a lot of people as you can see put in a lot of effort & the training nights are still there so turn out when you can.