Jul 242014

Le Tour de Cookridge came to a thrilling conclusion on Tuesday night with the final King of the Mountains stage.  Overall winners were Duncan Clark and Karen Garvican and full results are available here.  In all, 59 Abbeys took part over the four stages and it the event succeeded in not only being great fun, but also showing the enormous improvements some have made through training with Abbey and demonstrating the way different disciplines suit different people.  Well done to one and all!

I would encourage everyone to join in if they can next time, because there was a strong training element too, hopefully demonstrating to each of us who our training peers really are and encouraging us to be more confident about moving up a group for Tuesday sessions.

See you next year, when this Tour will definitely return to Yorkshire!

 July 24, 2014  Posted by at 10:30 am news Tagged with:  No Responses »
Jul 112014

poker-jerseyStage 4 is on 22nd July and will be a time trial consisting of 1 mile ran up hill followed by 1 mile downhill. The course will be up Otley Old Road to Cookridge Tower, then you can use the rest of the training session to work your way back to the club. Come and see what times you can do – even if you’re not in the Tour

Stage 3 Report

See the current standing here

 July 11, 2014  Posted by at 8:58 am news No Responses »
May 192014


Le Tour comes to Cookridge… or training and racing together

To mark the arrival of that there Grand Départ in Leeds this summer, Abbey will be staging its very own this Tour in June/July.

The aim is to stage some whole club training sessions that both encourage a stronger racing mentality and help us all to get to know each other a bit better.  We’re a big club, but we run in small groups (albeit for good reason) that can make it difficult to get to know those outside our particular training group.

Le Tour de Cookridge is four race/training events just for Abbey members:

1) The Annual 5K Handicap    Sunday 8th June 2014
2) A Team Time Trial               Tuesday 17th June 2014
3) L’etape du Tour                      Tuesday 8th July 2014
4) King of the Mountains         Tuesday 22nd July 2014

Race 1 – The Prologue – Abbey Annual 5K Handicap

Rules: Usual handicap rules apply.

Race: The same format as previous years, a 5K race (starting on Long Causeway and doing 1½ laps to finish at AWMA) with every entrant having a handicap time to give a staggered start and a mass finish. For Le Tour, everyone’s gross finish time (including their handicap) will count for the Tour. This will keep things close but give a chance for anyone to wear the yellow jersey

Reward: Push that bit harder and catch the runner in front. The race levels the playing field for all runners and gives everyone an equal chance of glory!  Plus loads of Grand Prix points to be had and a BBQ after.

Race 2 – The Team Time Trial – training hard together

Rules: Gather all the training groups together from beginner to Bolt.  Everyone lines up in order from the fastest to the slowest.  Then the line of runners is divided into three equal sized groups to be called Snap, Crackle and Pop!  Teams of three are created made up of one runner from each group selected at random. There will now be teams of mixed ability and probably new faces – as a rule you must introduce yourselves!

yellow-jerseyRace: An approximately 2 mile lap around Bedquilts that can be run easily by the slowest runner.  All teams set off together with all 3 runners in each team.  They run around the lap at the pace set by their slowest (Snap) runner.  After one lap, the slowest runner drops out and the team continues at the pace of the mid-pace (Crackle) runner.  At the end of the 2nd lap the mid-pace runner drops out.  Finally, the fastest runner (Pop) runner does a third lap alone. In other words the slowest runner runs 1 lap, the mid-pace runner does 2 laps and the fastest runner does 3 laps.  The race and everyone’s lap is timed, but the team time is set by the all runners and is a cumulative of the whole team. This cumulative time is added to everyone’s Tour time; this will shake up the yellow jersey!

Reward: The slowest runners are encouraged to push themselves and up their pace. The medium runner gets a beasting from the fastest runner and trains harder. While the fastest runner learns to warm up and after pushing everyone else has to deliver the goods on his/her run. Comparing times will show who was in the wrong group and can help you to climb up the Abbey training group ladder.

green-jerseyRace 3 – L’Étape du Tour – a multi-terrain race

Rules: A “normal” race that includes both road and off-road (plus some stiles!). Everyone is timed but, like the Tour de France, if you are close enough (e.g. within a 30 second gap) to the person in front you get the same time as him/her.  So if the winner runs in exactly 30 minutes and the second placed runner is 30:29, then he/she will get the same time of 30 minutes and so on until there’s a gap of more than 30 seconds.  The wearer of the yellow jersey will be a “marked man” (or woman) and the peloton will have to shake them off so they drop time.  Your time gets added to your overall Tour time.

Race: A 5-6 mile course starting and finishing at the club on well-trodden roads and trails around Eccup reservoir.

Reward: A better time can be achieved by hanging on to a faster runner, shaking off a competitor, or digging in and packing well like in a cross country race.  As much a race of tactics as speed.

poker-jerseyRace 4 – The King of the Mountains to la tour de Cookridge

Rules: Test your mile pace to the extremes with a one mile race up to Cookridge Tower, followed by one mile back down again. Everyone warms up together with a 15 minute run from AWMA, and there’ll be a few minutes to catch your breath before the descent back down.

Race: Start off New Adel Lane, then straight up Otley Old Road to the tower. We’ll warm down with a jog back to AWMA. The cumulative time of both your miles will be added to the Tour time.

Reward: Obtain 2 ‘unique’ PBs. Some long hill training and an opportunity to improve downhill technique.

mad-abbeyAnd the winner is…..everyone!

…and the lowest overall time male and female.


If all this has left you a little confused and you have questions, why not drop into the bar and quiz one of us about it over crisps.  Or send an email.

Jason Praill (jason.praill@btinternet.com)

Martin Browne (martin@racebest.com)


 May 19, 2014  Posted by at 9:42 pm news No Responses »
May 192014

Abbey Runners have recently formed the “Abbey Riders” cycling group, meeting at the club on Sunday mornings for a steady couple of hours of cycling.

If you are combating running injuries or interested in Triathlon or Duathlon training then please contact peter@thedales.co.uk for more information.

We have also designed and produced an “Abbey Riders” short sleeved jersey as illustrated below! – They are very stretchy, have a very low drag coefficient and will fit over your long sleeved tops.


Abbey riders tops

Our first supply of apparel sold within minutes and another order is on it’s way from South East Asia!

The jerseys sell for £36.99 each, at no profit, and are available from Peter.

It’s not obligatory to own a bicycle to purchase a top!

Peter Leach

 May 19, 2014  Posted by at 6:07 pm news No Responses »
May 192014

The new Yorkshire Evening Trail Series (organised by our own Jason Praill) starts with the “Maypole Meander” on Wednesday 28th May, at the Gascoigne Arms, Barwick in Elmet, LS15 4JQ.

The same self guided format with £2 pub voucher as enjoyed by Abbeys at the Hot Cross Run. Start when you want between 6.30 & 7.30pm, so there’s less hassle with rushing to the event after your daily commitments. On street parking is available, and bus number 64 runs half hourly from Leeds (I’m sure lifts home from others will be on offer). Entries on the day are £5 att / £7 unatt. Advance entries also available on racebest.com

Series points will be calculated relative to the fastest male and female times, your best 3 scores will count. Series champions will be crowned, medalled or T-shirted, I haven’t decided yet! There will be a prize fund created from all the races that I’ll stretch down through the order. An Abbey mini-league table will also be provided for future email updates.

The full series dates are:

Wednesday 28th May at the Gascoigne Arms, Barwick in Elmet, LS15 4JQ

Wednesday 18th June at the Fox & Hounds, Bramhope, LS16 9AX

Wednesday 16th July at the Fox Inn, Thorner, LS14 3DX

Wednesday 13th August at the Windmill Inn, Linton,  LS22 4HT

Full details on www.countrytrailraces.co.uk

 May 19, 2014  Posted by at 6:05 pm news No Responses »
May 192014

W/C 19th May 2014

For newcomers, be aware that Thursday training alternates between the club and Carnegie Track in Headingley. Details are available on the Abbey web site:


Tuesday:   Club run back to normal format at AWMA to start running at 7:30pm

Thursday:  Short hills and  paarlauf on grass, meeting at 7:20 for a 7:30 start

Please note that Thursday sessions are suitable for runners of all abilities and even if you are in one of the fastest or slower club run groups, you will be very welcome and likely to benefit from these sessions and Mark’s expert coaching.

If you notice some of our members making good progress achieving personal bests and club records in recent months, this may in part be linked to them attending Thursday training regularly in support of their overall training regimes!

hills photo

Photo by atmtx

 May 19, 2014  Posted by at 6:03 pm news No Responses »
May 192014

Three  race results this week.

Jack Bloor

A decent Abbey turn out at Jack Bloor with our men’s team of Same Alexander, Phil Livermore and Ian Furlong picking up third place:



Fairfield horseshoe fell race

Well done to the five Abbeys running the Fairfield horseshoe

Race number Forename Surname Club Class Time Position
26 Greg Weatherhead Abbey Runners MSEN 01:38:32 32
17 Martin Shaw Abbey Runners MSEN 01:49:27 86
124 Richard Foster Abbey Runners MSEN 01:56:51 130
159 John Fortescue Abbey Runners M50 02:01:46 155
258 Catriona Purdy Abbey Runners W40 02:07:17 191


Charlesworth chase

I know that Mike Ayers was planning to run this race but cannot locate the results yet.  The twist on the day looked great fun and made national and local papers and is worth a look at the additional pics in the Daily Mail (of all places!)




 May 19, 2014  Posted by at 5:55 pm news No Responses »