Friday, December 28, 2007
JtE has now proffered the following explanation:
"I bumped into Matt in M & S this morning and asked him what he's playing at. Unfortunately he had a good answer! It all stems from the fact that at the Solstice 'do' you and I challenged or ridiculed him when he said that he came off Great End to Sty Head via The Band, our point being that The Band leads from Three Tarns to Langdale. In fact his grid reference identifies another Band leading from Great End to a point near to Sprinkling Tarn. Our Band is named at GR265089."
Apologies Ray, you were quite right, and I, for one, have had my mediocre store of knowledge enhanced.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Received the following from Mr Shsticklegs. Does it mean anything to anybody?
As a man(or an excuse for one) who came in for a severe and unwarranted mocking last Saturday evening, may I, if you have a map of the South Western area of the lakes, point you to grid reference 225089.
As the carol goes; "Do you see what I see".
Matt, Staffers, or whoever"
I suppose you can just about make two fingers out the rock formations on the 1:25,000 if you try really hard.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
FSS (aka the Flying Scotsman) has set his sights on a 13 peak enhancement of the classic BG Round for 2008. Read all about it on his blog ~ www.fss55at55.blogspot.com. Knowing Ian's ability to stick absolutely to his training regime, I'm sure that only acts of God (he'd overcome a single one) will stop him succeeding.
Let us know as soon as you set a date, Ian, there'll be no small number of us wanting to be involved on the day, and if we can, to help with your preparation.
As at 45 minutes past midnight on the morning of 20th I'm not aware of anyone reporting for a run at the usual time later today. Apologies received from JtE, t'Yorkshireman and yours truly. If no interest, Peter and I may drink in the Thatch so we can walk home. Is there anybody there? Knock once for yes...
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
John, if you've got up to 90 miles a week during April, you may like to consider the Coniston Fell Race and Buttermere Sailbeck, which have tended to be on the first two weekends in May. They won't help your mileage much, but might be useful sharpeners and they both incorporate a fair bit of rock to get you ready for coming off Gable, Kirk, Pillar etc.
At the moment it's looking like there should be no break in the Saturday runs over the Christmas period, although the durations may be curtailed. Eight thirty start at the Barn, or, as is becoming the norm, as early as you want from anywhere else, reaching the Barn at 8.30. Wonder where (and when) YJ's Saturdays will need to start, as he moves inexorably towards his hundred miles a week.
Thursday 20th December 2007
Readers of the RMI blog will be aware that the club's annual Hospital Run now coincides with the wfdbwgua Bob's Smithy Run (would you rather go to hospital or to the Bob's Smithy?). The HR was traditionally on the last club training night (Tuesday) before Christmas but has recently been moved to the Thursday to protect the track session.
Suffering, as I do, from divided loyalties I'm going to do as I did last year; start with the slowest group from the leisure centre and then drop off at the Smithy on the way back, probably about eightish. If we have a squad starting at our normal time of 6.30, I'll tell any drinking, but non-running parties to expect you any time from 7.15. Can someone indicate whether we will have a turn-out?
Not wanting to appear reactionary (although it gets increasingly more difficult with the passing years) I'll just mention that for 'elf and safety reasons, the HR now goes out along Chorley New and back along Chorley Old because when we're all eyeballs out on the return, Chorley Old is better lit and we're less likely to get run over.
Lamb diced about 500g
Garlic finely chopped (JtE may wish to omit this ingredient)
Paprika 1 tsp
Ground Ginger 2 tsp
Turmeric 1 tsp
Cinnamon 1 tsp
Cayenne Pepper 1 tsp
Sultanas, good handful
Dried Apricots 4oz (chopped)
Flaked Almonds, good handful
Honey 1 tablespoon
Saffron 1 strand
Lamb stock 1 pint (made with stock-cube)
Large can chopped tomatoes
1 can Chair de tomate (which you can get in Sainsbury’s) or a good dollop or 2 of tomatoe puree.
Cook the onion and garlic in a large pan with a little oil until softens.
Mix the dried spices together in a bowl and add the diced lamb, coat the lamb well. Add the lamb to the onions and garlic in the pan and brown gently. Add the lamb stock, chopped tomatoes, apricots, sultanas, almonds, saffron. Bring to the boil, and then simmer gently to allow the liquid to reduce slightly.
At this point depending on the time available, you can either allow this to continue simmering gently on the hob for a further 30mins or so. Or you can transfer to a slow cooker for a couple more hours, an occasional stir and tasting required!
If you haven’t got a slow cooker you can cook it for a further 1hr in the oven but you’ll need to add a bit more liquid (such as a carton of tomato juice) to make sure it doesn’t boil dry.
This amount should feed 4, comfortably. I usually manage one portion on the day and four portions for the freezer. It goes well with rice or cous cous. Some of the amounts of the ingredients are vague-ish to allow for individual variation and taste.
Is there no end to this woman's talents?
Sunday, December 16, 2007
It's not often that a photograph can capture the full beauty of a particular scene, but I think that this one, which TF took on her mobile phone from just below Hordern Stoops, does just that. We all seemed to agree that it was a grand outing on a fine morning and if you'd already forgotten it, this will remind you.
Whilst on a more mundane note ~ TP0142 ~ as Michael Caine would say "Not a lot of people know that"; and I suppose, even fewer would care. JtE claims he found it first, but he can't really claim it as he didn't know he'd found it. Three down, lots more to go.
A third attempt on the Joss Naylor Challenge is obviously my main target for 2008. The first attempt 10 years ago was completed in 13 hr 58 min, at that time nearly two hours outside the limit for 55-59. Later that age group got the time extended to 15 hours but there was no backdating.
Eight years on EtU and I set out on a joint attempt which was to end in failure for different reasons. I fdbgua descending from Thornthwaite Beacon sustaining bloodstains and minor damage that was enough to slow me down and cause abandonment at Rosset Pike. EtU went on to complete gallantly but was out of time. So May 24th 2008 must be successful.
Although as TF correctly states I have 24 hours to complete, my target will be 18 hours, always assuming that training goes well and I can build up sufficient pace. With this objective in mind I will aim to complete at least one long event each month from January. They will include: January - That's Lyth; February - Anglezarke Amble (and Winter Hill the following day); March - Wuthering Hike and Fleet Half Marathon; April - Three Peaks and Barbondale Round; and May - anything I can find early on. Suggestions welcomed.
Training target for November and December has been 50 mpw (actual average for the past 11 weeks has been 52 miles) and the intention is to increase each month's target by 10 miles building up to 100 miles by mid May then a sharp taper, whatever that is, to the big day. Should all this go according to plan the remainder of the 2008 will probably involve trying to complete all the long championship events that have defeated me in recent years.With your help, support and encouragement all this should be possible. I just need to keep free from injuries.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I managed to unearth some details about this challenge that John's set himself, as I've said I'd help. Anyway having looked at this site http://www.cooltravels.me.uk/run_jnc.htm it appears he has 24hrs to do this, which I guess could mean running in the dark for part of it (depending on which section you helped with). Does this mean I'll have to put a head-torch down on my x-mas list? If this is the case, what sort does anyone recommend?
I think John's going for a sub 18, planning to start just before it gets light and finishing at dusk, so if all goes to plan, no desperate need for a head torch. But if you feel the need to get one, I see the Flying Scotsman as our kit expert. Over to you Ian.
All Black Coach for the Wallabies?
Was amused by a commentator on the radio this morning who said that in NZ it's generally accepted that when a New Zealander moves to Oz it raises the average IQ in both countries ~ took me a moment or two to work it out.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Turned out to be a bit of a tester, although the weather was tolerable at the car park at a quite temperate 3.5 degrees this declined rapidly on the tops to freezing with the torrential rain becoming sleet, hail and snow. Due to our reversal of the route, we ended up running into a very strong wind, and a lack of planning of the route in this direction, meant that the two trigs at Old Harpers and Whimberry Hill were always going to be tricky. The trig at Hordern Stoops remained disappointingly concealed. Having checked the source again, and noting that it is reported to be in good condition I can see this being an ongoing mission for anyone in the environs. There has got to be a prize for the first person to locate this tantalising trig. Let’s face it the weather gave us a thrashing, but the good thing is - it’s there to go back to. Wonder if Young John would furnish us with the mileage – it was so bad there was no hanging about at the cars.
Looking forward to some of JTE’s suggestions for outings over the next few weeks – in fact I might even make the effort next week despite the ravages of a works do on the Friday night – not sure ‘though!
The Hobble has morphed into the Wuthering Hike (31) but strangely I can’t find a date for 2008 – it’s not actually an LDWA event. Can anyone enlighten us? But hey why stop there – what about the Fellsman (62 + 11,00ft) 10th/11th May and if you don’t fancy that one there’s a fine 50 some time in June in the Yorkshire Dales (Afoot in two Dales).
The following relatively local events may be of interest:
Sat 05/01/2008 The Hebden 22/14.5
Sun 13/01/2008 23rd Two Crosses Circuit 25/18
Sun 27/01/2008 That's Lyth 23
Sat 02/02/2008 Rombald Stride Winter Challenge 25
Sat 09/02/2008 Anglezarke Amble 24/16
Sun 17/02/2008 Beacon Bash 21
Never done the Hebden, Two Crosses is a classic but we’re in Glasgow that weekend, I’ll be marshalling on That’s Lyth – our group’s flagship event (highly recommended), Rombald’s is a good one but a long way to get to for the start, the Amble speaks for itself, Beacon Bash – highly recommended. Runners always welcome, no need to carry food and drink, you will be well supported. Just carry your own kit.
In complete contrast to Saturday Ian and I had a lovely trot out in fine conditions on Sunday on the South Lancs Xmas event – advertised as 14 we actually clocked it at just over 12 miles from the RUFC club in Wigan round Worthington Lakes, over to Blackrod and back through Haigh Hall – very pleasant and in defiance of the weather forecast.
If you go on to the trigpoint website, there's lots of pictures of TP0142. It looks like it may be the bit of concrete that JtE found, but I don't remember seeing the stud.
By the way, Baa Neap is cylindrical ~ wow!
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Eden, (Young John's son) with a little help from Hazel, presented him and Sheila with their first grandson early on the evening of Sunday 9th December. Young what'shisname weighed in at a fine 8lbs 11 ounces. Eden, we are told, is traumatised, bur Hazel will be back on the fells tomorrow.
Congratulations all round.
John and Sheila are off to Brighton tomorrow to help with choosing a name, but will be back for running and partying on the 15th (Sheila will only be partying).
So, we are all asked to state our goals for 2008. My basic aims are to do the Anglezarke Amble and to be with Young John for part of his Joss Naylor. (Young John, are you ready to post your date? EtU) I will see how the Amble goes before making any further plans.There is the Howarth Hobble in March. (I must be mad for even mentioning it.) However, in preparation for the Amble I need some distance training and perhaps the committee might consider any of the following for a (fine gale free) Saturday morning.
DARWEN TOWER: 16 miles.
Out directly and back via Great Hill and Spittlers.
CADSHAW AREA: 17 miles.
Winter Hill, ramp, Egerton Road (GR 681157), Belmont (GR 677163), Blackburn Road (GR 699172), Cadshaw Area (GR 703181), Higher Pasture Barn Farm (GR 671189), then Catherine Edge to Belmont, Horden Stoops and finish.
TURTON AND ENTWISTLE RESERVOIR; 19 miles.
Out directly to Belmont, over Belmont Reservoir dam then to Blackburn Road (GR 699172). Around Turton and Entwistle Reservoir to Cadshaw Area (GR 703181) then all as the Cadshaw Area route back to the finish.
Perhaps Pauline would check the distances.
Good stuff John, count me in. In fact no half measures, I'm up for resurrecting the old team for the Hobble (if I'm not in Rome ~ can an LDWAer give us a date). It might might be nice to have a lady on board as a distraction from the pain; any takers?
If we'd had a proper look at the map, and if I hadn't been dying of exposure, this would have been easy to find.
Fairly soon after the depression where Young John and I made a pit stop, a spur goes off right, SSE from the main wall. Following this for a couple of hundred yards brings you to another wall junction where you turn right (WSW) and the pillar is very soon after, on, or very close to, the wall.
Easy peasy from the comfort of a warm lounge on a Sunday afternoon.
By the way, Mary got home safely.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Pauline, I really didn't need to be enticed onto this wild goose chase, there must be better things to do.
But for info, my trig is Baa Neap on the Shetlands at GR HU673914, much more exiting than Suffolk!
The nearest Bernsten I've found so far is Lancaster FBM Aux 1 at GR SD 494610, between Williams Park and the M6.
And yes, lets find the Winter Hill 3 on the 8th, but you're navigating.
Whilst out on a walk recently I was made aware of a pursuit in which apparently many lovers of the outdoors are engaged in. I thought I would share this with you as it appeals to those of a ‘bagging’ disposition. By going to the website trigpointinguk.com you can find a wealth of information and search for your very own trigpoint by entering your month and year of birth prefaced by a TP. The search for me and Ian turned up the following not very exciting trigpoints Ian’s being a Berntsen (I’m sure our editor will tell us what exactly this is). Suffolk seems a long way, no matter how appealing a Bernsten is. However, you have the possibility of your trigpoint being for instance on the Cuillin ridge or even Hordern Stoops for anyone born in January 1942! One friend found that her trigpoint was located in Wolverhampton (yes – it could be that disappointing) and being in the vicinity on a barge trip (don’t ask) had a jog over to make its acquaintance.
There are three trigpoints listed in Horwich and the next time we’re at Hordern Stoops, I for one will be looking out for the surface block – good to know they’re all in good nick. As we’re looking for a route for Saturday how about incorporating a visit to all three as part of our outing?
Another in the long list of endless trivia that the internet makes so possible.
Pauline, thank you for this. As we trig point aficionados are well aware, a Bernsten is a trig point without a pillar. It takes the form of a similar installation to that fitted to the top of the more familiar pillars, but sunk into the ground and covered by a stainless steel cap. Because of its form the locating of a Bernsten is generally seen as something of an achievement. Our next task must of course be to find the nearest one to Winter Hill. The name Bernsten seems to derive from a 19th century trigonomotrist of that name.
Pauline also provided some tabular trig info, but I couldn't transfer it to the blog.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Suggest we do Alan Sweatman's Christmas handicap ~ see the RMI website. Alan doesn't quote a start time, but with reporting for handicap assessment at 10.30, and drinks in the Crown at 12.30, a start based on 11.00 looks likely.
Could do a decent warm-up on the fells first.
Don't forget it's fancy dress (optional) and everyone is expected to bring a raffle prize.
This could be the launch of my Little Black Rambo concept ~ anyone got bandoliers I can borrow?
Monday, December 03, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Recently came across some results for this race, which was organised by Andy Walmsley for a few years in the early nineties. It went from White Coppice via Great Hill summit, Spittlers, Winter Hill trig and then back along the same line. United Utilities were never keen on authorising the route and entries were strictly limited. I've not got all the results but from the ones I have, John Hope had the fastest time with 1 hour seven minutes. I'm not sure why it folded, perhaps Andy just lost interest; it might even have been after he fell off Sharp Edge and was quite badly injured.
I'm not proposing to resurrect it as a race, but thought it might make a change for a Saturday morning to run it as an informal handicap. It would add interest if we could get the numbers up to approaching 20 or so, so folk may like to ask around and drag a few others along.
Would Saturday 26th January be a good date?
How do you wash your fell socks? If you put them in the washer with the outsides out they end up clean, but there always seems to be some fine sand inside when you next put them on.
I've taken to rinsing the muck off the outside, under the tap, and them turning them inside out to go in the washer. The outsides don't come quite as clean as they would washed outside out, but at least there's no sand inside.
A perfectionist might wash them twice, once each way, but then a perfectionist probably wouldn't have got them dirty in the first place.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
An entry application form for this event, to be held on the 9th. February 2008, is now available on the web. The 26 mile route is recommended. It's a good morning out for some, and a somewhat longer outing for me.
John the Elder
See Feb 2006 archive for details of 2006 Amble fiasco.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
It says something about the interest within the club in our own fell championship, that having come last counter in every race I've done, and having only done 5 races (with 6 to count) that I've placed equal seventh overall! Obviously the statistician couldn't believe it either, as I'm actually listed as ninth!
If (I try not to do "ifs", but just allow me this one) I'd entered and finished last counter at Edale, I'd have secured another 10 points and finished fifth!
(Am I using too many exclamation marks?)
Further Update on the Above
Graham Schofield hasn't done a "long" so I move up to solo seventh!
Friday, November 23, 2007
Winter Hill (part 2 recce ? 01/12/07)
Fairfield (running not watching this time)
Duddon (the big boys and girls race)
Reservoir Bogs (unfinished business and so long as there's a slow ones start, as promised)
Exterminator (recce'd this year)
Open race at World Mountain Running Trophy (Switzerland)
Now there's a collection of races, but have you run them all past Norman?
W.Hill recce for 1 Dec confirmed by committee.
What's this "Mound" that JTE's on about? Does he mean The Knoll?
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Yes, it's less than six weeks away. Some of our more driven friends have already started their campaigns but it would be good to hear some detail (including dates) of their and other's targets. For me, it's just to complete Wasdale Horseshoe Fell Race without getting timed out. Can we have some input, the more extreme the better.
Winter Solstice "Do" Saturday 15th Dec
The Thatch and Thistle couldn't take us for the 8th so I've booked the 15th. I know this doesn't suit everyone so I hope I won't be alone. Usual format, come when you want, bring who you want, drink what you want, eat what you want and go when you want. A Christmas meal is available, but needs to be ordered. If you want turkey and stuff you'll need to give them a ring on 01257 474026 and make sure they know you're with me. Otherwise just turn up and choose from the usual menu.
Thursday 22nd Nov & Saturday 24th Nov
Raymondo (aka Mat Shsticklegs or Staffers) is back in business.
He and I will be at the Thursday meeting point at 6.30. We will also be at the Lower Barn at 8.30 on Saturday. Our Saturday run will be limited to two and a half hours as Ray is going to the football match in the afternoon!
(I'll be on top of Wasdale Screes, Ed)
John the Elder
Monday, November 19, 2007
This must be one of the toughest fell races outside of the Lakes, and with the usual cold November weather and a fair amount of wind, this year’s was no easier than expected. Being in our club championship there were quite a few Harriers there, all of whom proceeded to beat me (must find out what the tall, cheery, toothy, bald guy is called). Thought I might have a chance of finishing in front of Richard Longlands, but he took 20 minutes or so out of me.
However, had an enjoyable race, to-ing and fro-ing with our John and Wayne Walsh of Bowland right to the final checkpoint. John climbs better than me and I descend better than him, whilst Wayne descends better than me and I climb better than him, so it was interesting all along the way with much changing of positions ~ a reet good race.
Thinking I had left John for dead at the penultimate checkpoint (10) I was surprised when he appeared ahead of me, due to better navigation, as we approached Bill Smith (author of Stud Marks on the Summits) at CP11, with Wayne closing fast due to better descending. However, by then I had blown off all Friday’s alcohol and had refuelled on Lucozade Sport and Mars bars, so was in no mood to roll over. I put in a sustained effort for the last mile and a half and managed to put 37 seconds between me and Wayne with a further minute and 21 seconds between Wayne and John, clocking 3.58.05 and going under 4 hours again for the first time since 1999.
The only V65 recorded in the results finished behind John, so he seems to have have been the first in that category, although recorded as a youngster of 60. Horwich ladies took the team prize, courtesy of Lyndsey Squires (nee Brindle), Geraldine Walkington (1st LV50) and Mary White ~ no mean feat on Clayton's home turf. Just for the record, Pete Walkington, Horwich V60, finished one second behind Geraldine (who was pacing whom?) and a full 36 minutes ahead of the only other Horwich V60.
Found the little café between Barley and Roughlee (GR SD838393) on the way home and celebrated with a bacon and egg barm.
Although I didn’t have the optimum line between CP’s 10 and 11, it must be said that races such as this and Winter Hill have lost a little something, now that the routes are so well trod and navigation is so much easier than it was a few years ago, especially when visibility is as good, as it was on Saturday~ but don’t remind me of this when I get lost on Winter Hill in February!
Also, a pox on technology! This race has always been 17 miles long, but now some comedian (comedienne?) with sat nav or a GPS or an MP3 player or whatever, has jogged round and it's only 16.8 miles. "What's wrong with a piece of string wrapped round pins?" say I.
See TF's comment ~ any more for Duddon? Could be another good race.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
8oz self raising flour
8oz chopped dates
2oz walnut pieces (chopped)
¼ pint of milk
Pre-heat oven to gas mark 4, 350Â°F or 180Â°C
Cream margarine and sugar together. Add chopped dates and walnuts. Gradually add flour. Finally add milk and mix well before transferring to a greased and lined tin.
Bake for approximately 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
I used to buy packs of chopped dates but recently have used packets of stoned-out dates and chopped them myself. It's a bit more effort but I think it's made the cake much more moist. I use skimmed milk and normal granulated sugar. The cake's best left for a few days to 'mature'. So for example I baked this one on Tuesday morning (in lieu of doing a run!) for the cross country on Saturday. Keep in an airtight tin, or wrap in tinfoil until required.
The above amounts will make two skimpy 1lb loafs, or one good sized one with a bit left over for taste-testing. On Tues I used 12oz flour, 6oz marg & sugar, 12oz dates, 3oz walnuts and ¼ pint and a bit of milk. This made a decent sized 2lb loaf.
Look guys, we can't have this thing taken over by this girlie stuff; half a gallon of ale on offer for the most macho (printable) input. Must compare with the apocryphal story about the fell runner who caught his finger on an awkward stile and it was ripped off as he jumped down. He threw it to a bystander asking for it to be put on ice at the local hospital, where he duly reported, after completing the race, to have it re-attached.
Monday, November 12, 2007
I think the muddiest area is definitely just up from Hordern Stoops to the escarpment. I was taking a group of university students up that way on Saturday in bad weather conditions and one managed to find an area of bog and went in up to his chest. That beats my effort on the downhill race when I went in upto my waist.
The student also found the skeleton of the sheep in the morass and insisted on changing clothes immediately! (see Nick O's comment).
Drove over to Limbrick Sunday evening to see how the refurbishment was coming along. Initial pleasure on seeing that it was open was dimmed slightly on entering, by being met by a selection of those awful, oversized lager dispensers where the hand pumps used to be. However all was not lost, a couple of hand pumps had been retained at the kitchen end of the bar. Only one was "loaded" and that with Theakston's Best Bitter ~ which to my taste is rather bland, not very bitter and definitely not the best. But credit where credit's due, it was in good condition and quite drinkable. The other pump had dispensed Moorland's Old Speckled Hen.
My own Speckled Hen was disappointed in having to drink cider rather than her usual tipple ~ perhaps, as we have elsewhere, we'll ask them to get it in special, like.
The wall between the pool room and the main dining area had gone, as had the pool table and the general impression was that it is no longer the slightly scruffy boozer (frequented by slightly scruffy boozers) but rather is leaning towards attracting the dining fraternity who'll wash their meal down with a lager and bottle of wine rather than savouring the beer ~ wonder how long the hand pumps will remain?
We didn't eat (we rarely do) apart from salted peanuts, but scrutinised the menus. We were told that the chef is Italian, and this was apparent with a full page of pasta dishes. English meals sounded good and reasonably priced although pies were not much in evidence. The proof, as they say, is in the eating ~ we didn't hear any complaints or see much uneaten food going back.
I didn't check whether the dart board had been retained, although the back room had not been "diningised" so could still be used for regular pub stuff. There was one of those plasma thingies in the room nearest the kitchen, no comment. Returning to the removal of the pool table, I was going to comment adversely on that, here, but on reflection, these are a recent North American import and have no place in an English pub, bring back bar billiards!
Blast from the past ~ Richard and Gaynor Isbister were there and enjoying their meals. Richard's quite a little pudding now, hard to believe that he once ran sub 60 in the Horwich 10.
To summarise, it's now not as good a pub than it was, but it could have been worse; at least there was one hand pull, and the staff were all very pleasant.
Ed ( Now AKA Grumpy)
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Having followed the Tooth Fairy's route choice, the Chief Muddite (aka NL Not-a -Runner) would no doubt be pleased to see her companions sink into into the noxious sludge betwix Two Lads and the Shooting Hut on the well supported outing on Saturday 10th Nov.
Which brings me to ponder on which is the slutchiest route on Winter Hill. Is it...
a. The Winter Hill route as covered above.
b. The route from the mast across to the Pike (as used as part of the Downhill Race).
c. Across the flats towards the trig point from Hordern Stoops.
d. None of these ~ please put forward your own suggestion.
Perhaps we should put it to the test by doing all three (four?) on the same day. Perhaps the TF could work out an economic/efficient/effective route.
Ladies may wish to shave their legs to avoid attracting too much undergrowth.
I'll leave someone else to comment on the various poor excuses offered for coming home early on what was probably one of the best mornings we've seen on Winter Hill for some time.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Preparation had been going swimmingly last week until I got a phonecall from Bev (our 2nd fastest) to say I'd been promoted from 'spectator and chief bag-minder' to running anchor-leg on the 'A' team at the National XC Relays. To quote '.....no pressure Julie, but me (Bev) and Rach (our fastest) want a team, everyone else has let us down'.
We'd had 2 teams entered, so this represented a 2/3rds drop-out rate in a week, bad but not as bad as the men who couldn't get anyone to run. So, mindful of my trauma at the National Vet Road Relays, I made sure that my spikes were polished to sharp points to ensure I got to the front of the holding pen and stayed at the front. Sharp, pointy spikes didn't do me much good when running though, I managed to drop the team from 12th position to 50th!
And so to Sunday. I have to admit that the organizers had upped a gear from the last time I did this race in 2004 (my first Half Marathon, 2hr12mins). We now had On-line entry, Chip-timing, Shuttle Buses from Car Park to Start/Finish, Secure Bag Storage; the whole thing had a much more professional feel to it. It was a new 2 lap course in '05 and having read some of the reviews from the previous '05 & '06 races on the Runner's World site, they appeared to have taken on-board some of the constructive criticism. However, one thing I did notice was that they forgot to include instructions with the chip and the velcro strap. I'd had to wear one the day before, so sat smuggly watching the puzzled looks as the assembled runners tried to decide what to do with them. This quandary finally filtered through to the bloke with the microphone '..... it goes round your ankle and not your wrist or your neck'.
The race was an undulating course (my mile split times prove it!) along cycle paths and through two parks, not entirely 'traffic-free' if you count pedestrians, pushchairs, kids on bikes, dogs, ducks etc. Well marshalled, accurate mile markers (except for the 9th), frequent water stations and I got to check the car was ok twice as we ran past the car park on the 4th and 11th mile. For my efforts I got a medal, a mug (much more useful than a t-shirt), two bananas, a bottle of water, and two sachets of arnica gel - which I applied liberally to my arms which were strangely more sore than my legs when I finished.
Finally my vital statistics: I managed a pb of 1:55:52, placed 375 out of a total of 587 finishers. Over 800 had entered, so that's a lot of no-shows on the day. I was 59th female out of 165, and 26th oldish-bird (v35-44) out of 58. Although being used to turning up on my own to run races, it was an odd feeling running in a race where you don't recognise the local 'vests'. I did however spot what I thought was a 'Dark Peak' one, a perusal of the results confirmed this. So there you go - small world!
The Tooth Fairy
Julie also made mincemeat of my challenge for her to run her half at a faster pace than I ran my full marathon. I think the lads are going to have to up the miles!
Monday, November 05, 2007
After going over 3 hours on his last couple of outings, Anne's brother Roger ran 2.59 placing 3rd over 55. Well done Rog.
Saturday 10th November
Standard start ~ Bottom Barn at 8.30.
I'll then be missing Saturdays 17th (ToP) and 24th (Bitt), back on 1st Dec, so I'll leave it up to others to declare their plans.
Present for all Thursdays though.
Word on the street was that Nicole might be going through a slightly blue period, but with her 10th equal placing in her age group (over 21?) in the English Fell Championship this must change colour to become her purple patch. Good stuff Nicole, what's next, a top three placing in 2008?
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Ed and I were the only participants in this Saturday's run. Although the intelligent ones were not out with us we nevertheless had intelligent conversations, or at least we think we did. One topic in particular was the forthcoming UEFA cup match between Beyern Munich and Bolton Wanderers. Ed. thought that Bolton would lose 5-1 and I thought that they would lose 4-0. However, we could not decide for certain which score would be worse than the other. Can anyone help?
John the Elder
I don't know how I got involved in this, I'm about as interested in football as I am in flower arranging.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Part way through the fourth rep up Foxholes with Norman’s squad on Thursday evening I wondered if this was good preparation for the Snowdonia Marathon. Nearing the top of Pen-y-Pass, part way through the fourth mile in the race, my doubts began to firm up, and later, towards the end of the fourth hour, they had well and truly crystallised. Something had gone seriously wrong; but what?
Although conditions were not brilliant for the first half of the race, things fined up later and we had a following wind for quite a long part of the back straight; so I can’t really blame the weather. Ok, I was a pound heavier and just a day short of one year older than last year, but my miles were up slightly and I had been feeling good. No excuses, it just didn’t happen on the day, and I ran a disappointing 4-18. Twenty-one minutes slower than last year and my second slowest marathon ever. John also seemed disappointed with his 4-08 and second over 65 (out of 12 in that category it has to be said).
Before the race I was thinking that I might give it a miss in 2008, but I can’t bow out on a low, so I’ll be aiming for another sub 4 hour and doing a bit more preparation.
Other Horwich results were a bit mixed, John Foulds ran 3-39 dead, Tony Varley did 3-57 (well run Tone), Alex McVey finished in 4-52, whilst Albert DNF’d; no detail of what went wrong at the time of going to press.
Later, I had a quick pint at the evening ‘do’ and was amused to see that two enormous bouncers had been hired. Seemed a bit unnecessary to have a couple of guys, who must have weighed almost as much as the entire collection of runners put together, to police a gathering that had as much fight in them as a pack of stick insects on a bad day. Perhaps they’d heard about runners hitting the wall and didn’t want the premises damaged.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Scientists from Bangor University have discovered the world's oldest living animal; a 405 year old clam which they dredged up just off the coast of Iceland (nothing to do with the 405 year old fish fingers found in the Iceland car park). Unfortunately it did not survive the journey to the surface so was declared DOA.
Now, I kid you not, on the basis of this, Help the Aged have given the University a £40k grant to further research into longevity! So, coming to a retirement home near you, the Bangor University Longevity Research Team ~ they'll study how the older residents have managed to last for so long, then kill them.
As they say, you couldn't make it up!
Being in that area when the news broke, I had assumed that it was the Welsh Bangor, but perhaps it was the Irish one.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
The following runners counted for the Horwich team:
Dave Milliken 174.29
Brendan Bolland 191.29
Dave Massey 198.42
The total time for these three runners is 564mins18secs
Calculation for points scored is as follows
1) Convert total time into seconds and divide by 3 to get an average time 33858/3 = 11286
2) Convert winning time into seconds = 9755 (Ian Holmes 162.35)
3) This meant that for their average time Horwich were 1531 seconds slower than the winning time (11286-9755=1531)
4) This is then expressed as a percentage of the winning time in the race to get the number of points so
1531/9755x100= 15.69 rounded up is 16% slower.
winning individual got 100pts, so 16% less = 84pts.
(The winning team average time worked out as 5% slower than winning individual, so thats why they got 95pts and not 100 as you would expect.)
For the team event (and like X-C leagues) it's not required that it's the same runners counting for the team, but would make it diffucult who to decide to give the prizes to at the end of the series. The counters for Horwich in the other races were as follows:
Ennerdale no team
Wasdale Brendan Bolland, Ricky Graham, Ian Charters 60pts
Borrowdale Huw Price, Richard Baker, Albert Sunter 54pts
3 Shires Brian Walton, Rob Green, Albert Sunter 73pts
Langdale Huw Price, Peter Walkington, Ian Charters 69pts
For the team event (like the individuals) it's a minimum of 2 superlongs out of three races, and it's the best points scored. So for Horwich the races that counted for total points were Duddon (84), Wasdale (60) and 3 Shires (73), giving a total of 217.
Is it getting any clearer?
Thanks for that Julie, and every credit for working it out yourself, we'll make an accountant of you yet! By the way, how did Salford do?
Julie went on to explain that by taking more than double the winner's time it would be possible to get not just "nil points" but negative points. Apparently my Duddon and Borrowdale efforts would have accumulated me the magnificent total of minus 20!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Becca from TrustInns tells me that the Black Horse is expected to re-open "in a couple of weeks time". Watch this space for a report from your very own Mitchelin Guide/Man (delete as appropriate).
...or perhaps we should do a team recce to compare it with the Thatch and Thistle for the Winter Solstice do.
All suggestions gratefully received.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Congratulations to the Flying Scotsman on completing all the six Lakeland Classics to place 52nd in the FRA Trophy and on leading Horwich into 7th place in the team results. But can anybody explain how the team scoring works? And how did we finish a team if the only other counter was Brendan, who only did 2 races? And why have they (as so many now seem to do) ignored my finishes at Duddon and Borrowdale?
Not sure, but the Tooth Fairy seems to be emerging as the nearest we have to an intellectual in the group, perhaps you could take on the task of explaining how it all works.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I don't mean that we have no use for Nic, what I mean is that the website that the Galloping Major recommends for measuring runs ~ http://www.walkjogrun.co.uk/ ~ will be of no use for her as she professes never to know where she has been. So if she doesn't know where she has been, she can hardly measure it, can she?
I've looked at the site, but as with so many things nowadays, I could make neither head nor tail of it. Anthony tells me it's very good, so let's have a second opinion off someone with grey (or even nay (John?)) hair.
PS ~ I've just had another look, and if you read the instructions...
Monday, October 15, 2007
Perhaps this needs to come under the title of 'I don't believe it' as news of Mr Shuttleworth's early demise courtesy of a Yorkshire Dales Bog are sadly unfounded. Apologies to those for whom this is 'old news'.
I attended a 'ta ta' do on Saturday evening for one of my Salford team-mates Tricia Sloan (is this a joke pseudonym? Ed). Tricia's off to Cambodia for 2 years to manage a hospital for VSO, so it leaves me to fly the flag for Salford Ladies on the fells. So imagine my surprise when amongst this group of Tricia's family, friends and work colleagues Neil appears, very much alive and coughing (and spitting? Ed).
The evening did leave me and Ruth (also Salford) pondering the facts that 1) runners can't dance and 2) we still attract 'unusual' people to talk to. Ed, if you called him a 'lazy bugger' as you passed him floundering in the bog, then he heard you! (Guilty as charged. Ed).
Julie, Is it OK if I sign all my Ed-iting (as above) then everyone knows who wrote what? I'll tackle the "runners can't dance issue" at some later date. Ed.
I will be at the Joss Naylor dinner on the 20th October and on the 27th October I will be at the wedding of my niece (daughter of Mat Shticklegs). I intend to be running on the 3rd November.
Yesterday's road run will be one I won't forget in a hurry. Although only 15 miles or so for me, I had certainly had enough by the time I finished at the Lower Barn. It seemed to be far more tiring than longer runs off road such as Darwen Tower or Coope's Dozen. I think it's the relentless pace and the hard surface in road running that is so wearying.
Ed's additional run from home to the Lower Barn and back was impressive enough but John the Younger's effort, starting at Horwich and joining us at the barn after running over the Pike, and then running back from the barn area, to his car in Horwich, via The Millstone was mind blowing.
On top of all this the Swifts raced from The Black Dog at Belmont to Hordern Stoops and by the time they had finished, they had left me, a forlorn figure, half a mile back. However, they did wait for me at the top! Nicole and Julie were very sensible in leaving the pack at Scout Road and heading back to the barn via the fell. (The Tooth Fairy probably knows the route they took but Nic O claims not to have a clue "it was misty" she said. Ed).
All of this was in preparation for the Swifts' participation in the Snowdonia Marathon. I am sure that all of the Saturday gang wish them a good run. I know that there will be a race within a race so to speak and so to both of them I say "Go for it!".
John the Elder.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
The Swift Bros will be at the Bottom Barn at 8.30 on the 20th for a spell on the fells.
On the 27th John the Elder will be at his niece's (Staffers' daughter's) wedding and the Swift Bros will be in Snowdonia ~ so it's up to the ladies to fly the flag on the local fells for the WFDBWGUA Gang. Please feel free to use the blog for announcing your plans; there might be someone out there that reads this!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Although my run was not of any significance, it would have been nice if Norman's Yorkshire correspondent had at least noticed me! ~ See the RMI blog.
Fellow members of the Neil Shuttleworth Appreciation Society will be amused that having passed Neil rolling about in a peat bog half way down the descent, it wasn't until I was coming off the M65 on the way home that it occured to me that I should have checked whether he made it to the finish. Perhaps he's still up there.
Also (see following report) shame on the Tooth Fairy, if it had been two ladies in front of me who had gone astray, I would have called them back.
Picture the scene, approx 2 miles into race, approaching Race Marshall at NW corner of Black Moss Reservoir. Marshall gives very clear instructions to 'turn right at the end of the reservoir and follow the flags'. 100yrds in front are 2 male runners, said runners carry straight on, and don't turn right. What would you do
(a) Call them back, or
(b) Let them carry on
Full marks to anyone who answered (b)
The reasons why this is the correct answer are
1) It was a lovely day for exploring the South Pennines
2) They blatantly ignored the instructions of a Race Marshall
3) They were big, huge, enormous red flags, a blind bat could have spotted them
4) We were all given a map at registration with the route marked on it
5) Being a dentist, I like to inflict pain
A lovely race, but not one for the purists as there are lots of those stone-slab things to run on, and a long flight of steep steps to negotiate which were the wrong height/depth for my little legs to do 2 at a time, they'd be lethal when wet. Loads of free cakes at the end.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
It was with great anticipation that I set off Sunday 23rd to join my partner for the Dark and White Peak District score orienteering event. The aim – to visit as many checkpoints in 3 hours as we could, including returning to the start. The day was perfect, cool and sunny, and we reached the car park in Hayfield in good time.
The first problem emerged when the competitors realised the tourist information toilets, situated tantalisingly in the car park, had been fiendishly locked!! This meant a lengthy queue at the first rocky outcrop on the route we had taken. (Relieved (!) to hear that it's not just me that has a problem with finding the 'facilities' - Ed).
However, the competitors soon split up and the time flew by. Number 15 posed a problem as the electronic punch had been nicked. (Another ploy by unfriendly natives??) A quick phone photo of me holding the dibber at the “National Trust sign 5m east of gate” seemed to suffice.
I kept getting distracted by the staggeringly lovely views. If you like bleak moor land surrounded by peaks, this is the place to be. Luckily my partner had the map reading under control and we didn't get lost.
We arrived at the finish 11 miles later, having collected about 9 controls each with different values depending on how difficult they were to collect. The finish was very civilised with free hot drinks and biscuits as our dibbers were downloaded into the computer and we were given our total score.
Convinced we had won our age category we happily returned home to check the results. Unfortunately we finished 6th out of 6 so not quite as good as we thought. However we didn’t have the lowest score of the day and we had had a very enjoyable time so I would thoroughly recommend it as a fine way to do a run.
Nick O and JL
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
…were ~ "turbo-charged Last of the Summer Wine"! Let me explain, having married someone who morphed into a fellrunner I too have undergone certain changes. However, I do have some difficulty in changing my perception of myself as anything other than a long distance walker and so it was with great trepidation this week that I rang Ed to accept the open invitation to join the gang any Saturday morning for a circumnavigation of the major summits of the West Pennine Moors.
My anxiety grew as Saturday approached, would I be able to stand the pace, the climbs, the distance and so on. I made it clear at the outset that knowing the area I would be more than happy to bail out and return under my own steam if necessary, not wishing to interfere with the training plan. As it turned out I was lucky that this Saturday’s run was planned around Ed and John’s half marathons the day after, so my initial fears were unfounded as an easy run was the order of the day.
The route was thoroughly enjoyable, particularly if you’re a muddite, ranging from the Lower Barn over to Round Loaf from which splendid views could be seen. The approach and arrival at Great Hill heralded a slight change in the weather which closed in a little but then brightened on the descent to White Coppice and a return to sunshine all the way back to the cars. The technology of the day confirmed 11.6 miles with which everyone was pleased, although Ed’s total for the day would include the run to and from home.
Great company, eminently sociable, excellent route planning - highly recommended. I’ll be back for more.
You're too kind!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Those of you that haven't tried the 'comment' option (and also those that already have), to save me doing a write-up, how about offering some comments?
All you do is click on 'comment' below and do your stuff. Apparently, if you don't have a Google account you just sign in as 'anonymous'. John the Elder managed it (or perhaps it was Joan), so the rest of you should be able to cope.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Julie got round, has blisters, no further info. at present.
Autumn Equinox Gathering
Have booked places at the Thatch & Thistle on the A6 for Friday 21st Sept. Arrive any time, but tables booked from 7.30; they're in the pubby bit to the right of the bar as you go in. Format same as usual, place your own food order when you want and settle up independently. No need to eat if you don't want to, but not drinking is frowned upon.
No dogs, except guide dogs ~ Gordon, you'd better wear dark glasses as I don't think they believed you last time.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Although fell running is not about beating other folk, I'm sure she also took some quiet satisfaction in placing a full 20 minutes and four places in front of Joss Naylor ~ not something I've ever done (ok, fell running is about beating folk).
Julie passes thanks to the folks back home for keeping her company on those long Winter Hill (and beyond) Saturday morning runs which she feels helped her prepare for this, her first long outing on the Lakeland Fells.
Well done Julie,
Also out on the same day was our flying Scotsman, placing 99th out of 153 starters in the LDMTA long course. Ian was out for 7 hours and 1 minute ~ they like to get their money's worth, these Scots. Ian was at the track on Tuesday, complaining of sore thighs, but I still never got anywhere near him. Quite an epic Ian. Brendan Bolland placed 2nd behind Jim Davies of Borrowdale.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Saturday 15th September