Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Week 3 on my comeback - Sun 13th October

It was a busy day helping out at the first race of the XC League on the Saturday, so I was looking forward to an easier day spectating at the Manchester Half Marathon.

My friend was running it with her cousins husband. It was his first time at a half marathon, she's lost count how many she's done!

With lots of road closures I had to drop little Smartie off in a local side street and run a mile and a bit to get to the start area. There was an initial out and back loop for the runners so the back of the start was also mile 2. Well 30 mins had elapsed after the official start when I got a phone call - 'we've not moved yet, we're still at the start'.

It took them a further 30 mins before they came past. I was getting a little chilly so I said I'd run with them a bit to warm up. So I kept to one side and used the pavement where I could.

I had a map of the route and the intention was cut off and re-join them further along the route. We were chatting and enjoying the atmosphere so much that I just kept going. At the 10k marker, our novice runner announced that this was the furthest he'd ever run. He's a tall lad, my friend's not much taller than me so I decided to stick with them just in case he needed some help later on.

Never seen anyone so determined to complete an event. The only time he stopped running was for a pee stop just before 9 miles. He crossed the line in 2hrs 56, beating his target time of 3hrs. First time I've seen beer given out as a post race recovery drink at a road race (it was alcohol-free though).

An impressive amount of people out supporting round the course, lots of music and a very nice atmosphere.

By the time I got back to Smartie, I'd also done a half marathon. So much for an easy day.


Friday, October 11, 2019

Curbar Commotion Saturday 5th October (9.8m/415metres climb)

I've been waiting for the results before posting a report, but non have appeared.

This was the 2nd race in my 'come-back' series.

Based in the Peak District from the small village of Curbar which is on the A623 heading towards Bakewell.

A lot larger field of runners for this one than the previous week, the weather was a lot more benign.

The route heading out along the main road to start with before heading north through a wooded area up to Froggat Edge where we were greeted by a lady ringing a bell telling us we were at the top. At this point I'd just been keeping ahead of 2 ladies chatting at the back.

Once on the edge, I put a bit of a spurt on until we reached a boggy bit round some fields. Some nice firm running until the southern most point. Here I caught up with a couple more runners on downhill muddy section, and managed to just keep ahead of them until the end.

The parent/governors of the school had laid on a good selection of drinks and cakes at the end.

I clocked 10.25m in the end and a time of 2hrs15. A lot more runnable than the week before, but still hard work and a good effort.

I'm having a week off racing this week as it's XC league. But will be back on racing next Sunday 20th Oct


Sunday, September 29, 2019

Rombalds Romp Fell Race  8m /1214ft Sunday 29th Sept

I've decided, I'm making a come-back. None of my clothes fit! Well I picked a cracker of a race for my first V50 fell race. Yep, you read that right, 51 and 3/4, and this was going to be my first V50 race of the type that you rock up on the day, fill in paper form, hand over a bit of dosh (probably less than a pint of beer in London) in return for a number you pin on your chest.

I'd done a bit of orienteering on Rombalds Moor (just south of Ilkley) in the past. I had a look at the route map yesterday and realised there was a bit of everything in this one, trail paths, peaty trods, boggy bits, a bit of road (not excessive). Just over 8m with a previous winning time of about 50 mins, last runner 2hrs 10 in 2018. I can do it, bring it on!

Not many races you get a 'full on' orienteering map to follow. 60-odd toed the line. The weather was biblical.

Well, I was walking up the first hill on the tarmac. Not a good sign, but I did have someone behind me keeping the sweepers company. I lost sight of the lady in front by the 2nd CP, so ran virtually the entire race by myself. 

The route was completely flagged, so my map stayed in my pocket, and I could just run. It was an absolute blast! The weather was pretty grim, but the route wasn't steep enough that I couldn't keep moving to keep warm. It was very wet, boggy, muddy, a real good variety of terrain. It reminded me why I love fell-running so much.

I crossed the finish line in 2.07mins. The race organiser was there to greet me, I must have had a big smile on my face as he asked if I'd enjoyed it. Fabulous,  I told him, it was my come back race and I'd be back again in a year, hopefully to get under 2hrs. I complemented him and his helpers on the flagged route that took us round the best bits of Rombalds Moor.

I came away with these

The one on the left I got for finishing, the one on the right for being V50. What a result!


Saturday, September 14, 2019

A Good Do!

The cake says it all!    An early celebration to mark a special birthday for a special person at the Black Horse last night.  Enjoy it when it arrives John.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

YJ Does His Bit for His Country

The 2019 Maidenhead Half Marathon had been promoted as including The Celtic Challenge, a veterans' home international. John had secured a place in the England V75 squad, by virtue of achieving  a top three place in one of the selection races.

He had been hoping for a sub 2 hour time, preferably closer to 1:55. However on the day it just wasn't there and he ran a, nevertheless very respectable, time of 2:02:47. To save you doing the maths, that's just over 9 minute miles.

The race results are a bit of a hotchpotch; one version has him down as 6th out 8 V75 men; another has him down as 1st V80 - he turns 80 in fact, 16 days after the race date. What is clear that he finished 11 minutes in front of the first man who was actually 80 years old on the day.

I can find no trace for the results of the Celtic Challenge - perhaps culling them from the overall race results was beyond the scope of the results system.

A couple of photos:-

Our man with his grandson Milton.

...and with a lady who obviously took a shine to him - he didn't disclose whether they exchanged contact details.

Let's see what he can do in his first race as a real 80 year old - The Snowdonia Marathon - in six weeks time.

Monday, September 09, 2019

Joss Leg 1 - Saturday 17th August '19

Just three of us, TF, YJ and self, set off for Pooley Bridge for a day out on the Eastern Fells. The weather was fine for the drive, although a mixed day was forecast.

The eponymous bridge appears not yet to have been fully repaired after the floods, traffic lights ensuring that there is only one way traffic proceeding at any time.

We approached the fell via the main camp site, which appeared to be very busy as we passed through. Gaining height steadily, we by-passed Arthur's Pike and were soon on Loadpot:-

Note: - This is a stock image, obviously taken in sunshine. As we approached, we watched a squall blowing in from the south west and were just about fully waterproofed when it struck. There were more to come, but these reduced in severity as the day went on.

On from there we joined the course of High Street, the Roman road and on to Wether Hill (Google what a 'wether' is - it's not just a bad spell of 'weather'), then Red Crag. There is a slight col at that point, whence I sent my faster companions ahead, to allow me a comfort break and to avoid me slowing progress further.

From there, we separately took in Raven Howe and reconvened a little way further on, me part way to High Raise, J & J on their return from that peak.

I turned at that point, and we descended together down Ramps Gill, enjoying a light lunch part way down:-

We kept to the east of the motor road and after what seemed (to me) an eternity on an undulating off-road route we returned to Pooley Bridge.

A great day out, despite our early drenching, with 17 miles completed. Many thanks to my companions for their company - and navigation.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Joss Leg One - Sat 17th Aug '19

YJ and I will be driving up to Pooley Bridge to run part (?) of Leg 1 of the Joss Naylor Challenge - no reason, other than we like the route - and Lakeland calls.

Any takers?