Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So Far So Good

The first month's preparation for the Joss has gone well. Target mileage was 133 (30 per week) and 134 was achieved at about 10:35 this morning with a trip up the Pike. Not a lot, but higher than usual for this time of year. Total mileage for 2008 was 1,622 giving a weekly average of 31.

Schedule for January is 35 per week, a total of 155 for the month.

Progress on weight reduction was (predictably, given the festive season) negative, BMI up from 23.8 to 24.2 ~ "obesity" kicks in at 25.0! I now need a loss of over 2lbs a month to get down to 10st 10lb.

Injury position moderately improved. Pain from the periformis still there but generally manageable without painkillers. We'll have to see what the increased mileage does to it.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stop Press

Results for Wansfell are posted and I did loads better than I thought!

You'll need to be quick to view it though, as I've emailed them to request a retraction. Can't have anyone getting the wrong idea and thinking I'm any good at this fellrunning lark!

Saturday the 3rd. January

I will be there UTUP.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Peak 'O' Trial, contd.

Doesn't appear to expand, so GR are as follows (all SK)

Start/Finish 034928
1) 025922
2) 027926
3) 015923
4) 016915
5) 028912
6) 057917
7) 061920
8) 037924

Peak 'O' Trial (Sun 28th Dec)

A bit of an informal affair this one. Originally it was billed as pre-entry only, with a choice of a 4m/1hr event or 8m/2hr event. The format - a set of check-points marked on a map, which could be visited in any order. A punch would be provided at each of the check-points to prove you'd been there. Knowing that I was doing Wansfell the day before, guess which one I opted for. Yep, that's right the 8m one!

This year Des (Organiser) decided to reduce his work-load and provide us with a B&W paper photo-copy map instead of the colour laminated version we had last year. He had thoughtfully marked the CP's with a red felt-tip pen though! My initial route choice was determined by a stop at the car for the OL1, you couldn't see any contour lines, and it was hard to decide whether path, wall, stream etc. I managed to find all the CP's in an epic 2hr45mins. The winner, Julian Minshull of Glossopdale, did it in 1hr30mins. My route came out at 9.8m.

I've marked the CP's as purple blobs on the map below, there were 8 of them (I hope it'll expand). What order would you do?


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Well done to T'Yorkshireman. Only sorry we weren't back in time to see it.
Thanks for run on Saturday - it was worth taking time out of my busy sacrificing schedule to join you. If I don't see you before, have a good new year and look forward to the first Saturday UTUP of 2009. Nic'O
PS Well done Julie. I think you are very brave. Of course as everyone knows - I'd get lost on the way to the start.
Fielden Cup, Dec 27th
A mad rush to get everything done before this bastion of the Horwich RMI Calendar (I'd promised to post up mp3s my five desert island discs to Carms RnB Groovers list!) meant that it was a last minute arrival at the Bowling Club , just in time to register and pay my £2. I know I'm always last minute, verging on late, but generally I can depend on Bazza to be even later and yes, he was, just following me into the Car Park. Mary shouted hurry up so I had not time to argue that my terrible time at the Marl Pits Cross Country should give me a good handicap so just accepted whatever Pete threw at me. Said to both me and Baz that we can do seven and half minute miling so decided to set us both off with Mary. So no pressure, knew that Baz would beat me like he has convincingly in the last couple of cross country races (by nearly 5 minutes at Marl Pits) and Mary would wallop me on a fell race but not sure about the roads.
A fast jog to the start where all the rest were waiting for us. Pete's clock starts. Off goes the only runner with a bigger start (on 2 minutes). Where's Bazza? He's only thought that start was same as the Jubilee. How can anyone make such an error? Can't think of anyone on this list who'd make such a schoolboy error - it must be a lack of ed-ucation.
Anyway Baz gets to the start just in time and off we go - four of us on 3:30 handicap, including one I don't know who breaks away from us with Mary just ahead of me and Baz. Heading onto Horribin Lane and I've moved ahead of Mary with the other guy about 10 yards in front. I catch him on The Street and go ahead and he sticks with me. Norman is marshalling at the turn and no faster runner has caught us but the one who started off on two minutes is well ahead and there's no chance of catching him. He'll surely win unless a very fast runner comes past  in the next few seconds.
The final 200 metres were spent negotiating all the families of walkers expecting the mad rush to come past. No cones so all of a sudden the finish line arrives with Pete R there. I've finished second and just managed to hold off the guy who start with Baz, Mary and myself. Very surprised that I'd beaten Baz. Then people start congratulating me as the Fielden Cup winner. I'd not realised that the bloke who was first across the line was a guest runner as was the guy I'd battled with all the way through.
It's a big trophy and I feel honoured that my name will be added to the names on it that go back to 1897. I think the aim is to get the race back to its normal April/May date for 2009.
So Ed, it could have been you. Discussing it with Mary after you'd driven past and I reckon you'd possibly have been given a 2 minutes start on us which may have been enough.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wansfell Fell Race 2.5m/1500ft

A bit of a crisp morning, bright sunshine, a lovely day for a race. Warm up was an hour trundle round the shops in Ambleside trying to keep exactly that - warm. Not something I do a lot of, shopping without money/credit card, so an extremely surreal experience. Didn't spot any bargains that would do as a prize for finishing.

The start for this one is at the bottom of Stock Ghyll Road behind the Edinburgh Woollen Mill shop, so there's a disproportionate amount of tarmac for such a short race. But I ran all of it, so that earns a tick in my book. Turning onto the fell I realised that the waterproof socks were going to be redundant for the day, nice and firm underfoot. There were lots of encouraging spectators out and thankfully I made better progress up the hill, minus the chatter.

I hadn't enquired about the route before-hand having been given a synopsis by EtU the previous week. Mmm, obviously hadn't listened carefully enough as I expected a straight out'n'back. So on the way up the fell, much mental effort was given to plotting my return 'lines'. How time flies when you're having fun, a glance at the watch revealed 20 mins had elapsed and still no sign of the leaders.

Could only mean one thing - there was a better way down, yippee! A fast grassy descent followed by a brief sojourn onto the tarmac, before turning into the finish on the car park at the old Grammar School (now part of the University Campus).

I think I shaved it under 40 mins, won by Rob Hope (P&B) in probably half the time.

My prize, a new computer. Yes I know it's a very extravagant prize for such a short race but the Barclaycard was getting very bad withdrawal symptoms. It's stop shaking now.


Having visited another local trig point today, I list below a record of those 'bagged' so far:

GR654158 Hordern Stoops TP0142 Surface block

GR659149 Winter Hill TP0701 Primary pillar

GR666121 Near Matchmoor Lane TP5219 Secondary pillar

GR685132 Lomax Wifes Farm TP6865 Secondary pillar

GR678215 Darwen Tower TP2736 Secondary pillar

GR716157 Near Nico's TP2839 Secondary pillar

TF and I also have:

GR694065 Cow Lane TP2467 Secondary pillar

Our route today, taking in TP6865, was 10.5 miles as near as I can tell.

Stop Press!

T'Yorkshireman wins T'Fielden Cup! Detailed report awaited.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas... all our readers.

I also am UTUPing on Saturday, and may do the Fielden Cup if anyone fancies it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Saturday the 27th.

It's UTUP for me.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It Just Gets Better and Better

Not only does NicO have a rather fine homsestead just separated from the open moor by a muddy scramble, a fence and two feral ponies, but she has her own trigpoint and not just one, but two Druid circles! We need look no further for venues for our Solstice and Equinox "dos".

This is why she never came, she was up on Cheetham Moor in her robes (one hopes) sacrificing stuff.

Better late than never

A belated thanks to Nico and David for the splendid spread on Saturday. Also to NLN for her contribution. It's alright for you workers you can blog in work-time, but some of us retirees live a hectic life.

I don't know what David had done Nico, for you to inflict us onto him, but I bet he won't be doing it again in a hurry. If he was harbouring any thoughts of taking up running, they would have flown through the window at gale force when he saw the bedraggled trio of me, JtE and EtU. Rag, Tag, & Bobtail.

By the way Nico, did you say you were going on a FRA navigation course? If not, I can thoroughly recommend it to you. Re your suggestions regarding further sorties like Saturday's and thoughts on the matter. Well, we could dispense with the running!

I've noticed that TF's photo is suffering the same disease as mine. It might be an idea to email the photo to someone(EtU) who doesn't have the problem and see what happens if they post it.

Enjoy youselves at the track tonight. I'm going for an Italian. Sophia Loren.

Finally, a thanks to David for taking us back to our cars at Belmont. I nearly ran the "runners " down on my way back towards Egerton, but I don't think they noticed. Too full of mulled wine.

Have a Merry Christmas and in case I don't see you before the New Year, All the best for 2009.
I'm bored already!

Having a slow day so far at work today, the toothaches must be saving themselves for 11.30am tomorrow, must be in Asda today. So a perusal of the net found an interesting discussion on the LDWA about runners on walks I especially liked the comment

"....some will always hate them on events...." Why would that be, I wonder? Is it REALLY true? I find them to be generally inoffensive, in fact quite friendly. They don't cost much to feed because they can't run and scoff at the same time, and most have disappeared by the time most of the walkers have finished"

So I'm aiming to prove them wrong on the 3rd of Jan and scoff as much as I can on The Hebden - except maybe the coconut cake - don't like coconut. It could mean I'll be running slow enough by the end to finish with the walkers.


(not at ut/up 25/12, 27/12, 01/01 or 03/01 and possibly 08/01 either)

Who's In Lumber?

TF has a hill named after her and NicO, of course, a whole town. Now I see, from the map that NicO provided on Saturday, that either NLN or FSS have a tree plantation named after them. See GR 698168.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Festive Run
Thank you NicO and David for your hospitality yesterday.
The proof we made it to the trig point and earned our festive fayre

Nico's Noshup

Many thanks to you Nico and to David for an excellent rounding off to the year, and to you Nico for your route choice for the run. Yes, I agree, we must do this sort of thing more often. It was good that all the regulars were able to join in, and well done YJ for your brave effort when you were not quite up to it.

All the best to you all for Christmas and the New Year and thanks for putting up with me!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Nice one, NicO

Many thanks to NicO and Dave and to NLN for her contribution to this morning's excellent diversion from fell running. It was a great way to round off the year and was much appreciated.

My plan to run on Tuesday 30th was unfortunately short lived as arriving home I learned that the date clashes with the funeral of a friend who was a leading light at our church and I will prefer to pay my last respects to him. If anyone was planning to join me on that day the run will now start from my house at 6.15 am...............

No takers? Then all have a very good Christmas and see you in the New Year.
Thanks everyone for indulging me on my mystery tour - we got there eventually. Thanks for the lovely cards. We've got to make it an annual event, and we could do a few different ones at different times of the year round everyone's local. We could have Ed's Easter Exercise and Eat, we've got Coope's doz covered, John's jaunt, NLN's nosh and dash, TF's trot and food, Matt's mini marathon with munchies. Before you groan, let's have some better ideas.

Anyway, have a great Christmas and utup on Saturday. Who left the gloves, they are very nice but don't fit me? I'll bring them next Sat.

PS Looking forward to the trig pic.
This Morning

11 miles (rounded for EtU - and by the way you should definitely give yourself the 10 for Thursday) to Nic'O's.  Many thanks for the festive fare - lovely.  14 for the three who made it back to the car on foot (slowly).   

Yuletide Greetings to one and all - see you next year


Friday, December 19, 2008

Does the Team Think...

...that my diversion into Morrisons, and my subsequent exit via the Mornington Rd entrance, will have added 0.07 miles to the route? You see, I only book whole miles and the extra 123 yards would justify me booking ten. Advice please; perhaps Matt could pace it out.

The Hospital Run

I'm glad I enquired if anyone was planning to do the Hospital Run last night and had the positive response from Ed. The reason being, Ian told me this was a very popular outing and there would definitely be some slower runners. To my horror on arrival at the Leisure Centre I could see no-one that I would call even a moderate runner. Thankfully, Ed arrived and the two of us set off in advance of the rest. Barry Altman did arrive but only after Ed and I left.

I have to admit to being surprised when we left the Leisure Centre and Ed turned left, instead of right towards Victoria Rd, at which point he informed me that we had to run to the Crown Hotel before turning towards Bolton along Chorley New Rd. Although Ed wasn't for having it, I persuaded him that it would be an act of altruism for the two of us to take the Winter Hey Lane route, thus cutting off a bit, and saving our (much) faster colleagues the discomfort of a long wait at the site of the old Hospital. He finally saw the sense in this strategy and this is what we did. FSS, when told, thought this was OK because the Run 'proper' only commences at the old Hospital site, the former is just a gentle warm up! Yeh right! He did comment that he was surprised at how long it took to catch up with us!

Anyway, Ed tipped me the wink that he would be making a stop off on the way back to Horwich - not for a bevvy but for more personal comfort reasons! This being the case, he suggested I press on. I think there were only three other ladies out - all 'proper runners'. Gaynor set off earlier than all the rest, as her cycling partner was accompanying her, Suzanne was clearly ahead of the game, this left Geraldine who was really suffering with a longstanding injury of the piriformis. Despite my pleas for her to run on (and leave me in peace) she insisted on keeping me (very good) company until half way up the road from the roundabout on the ring road, to Bob's Smithy when I finally managed to convince her to 'attack' the rest of the climb. I did re-join Geraldine on the descent to the Leisure centre and we jogged in together at the end.

Ed cruised in with Barry Altman, singing the praises of Wm Morrisons splended hygiene facilities and commented that he was tempted to extend his visit longer than necessary due to the excess of comfort to be had. Apparently he and Barry put the world of bowels to right on the run in - Barry having faired much worse in resorting to a field between Bob's Smithy and the Blundell Arms. I hope this is not TOO MUCH INFORMATIO for you all at this festive time.

As I failed to switch on my GPS until well into the run, I promised to check the mileage on gmap which I have just done and Ed it is 9.93 miles - thank goodness we missed the Crown!

Below is the link for gmap pedometer if you click on, or type into your search engine, you can then map your run using the street maps and get a precise mileage. Just type in Horwich or Bolton or wherever to get the map on screen.

See you all tomorrow at Black Dog - 8.30.


PS Calderdale Relay results are on Halifax Harrers website - It appears that Horwich Mixed (formerly ladies) were 80th overall 5th out of 18 mixed teams

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Knock, Knock!

Who's there?


Madoff who?

Madoff with the money!

Boom, boom!

Staying on a topical note, "Hurrah" for the AB of C, Doc Williams, for resurrecting use of that wonderful 28 letter word ~ "antidisestablishmentarianism".

Good on yer, Doc!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pre Christmas Gallop and Graze - Saturday

Thanks Nic'o. I'll be there.
Great Minds...

If you go to the Calderdale Way Relay forum on the FRA website, you will see that someone shares our philosophy ~ especially YJ's.
Date for Your Diary?

A couple of months ago I mentioned my interest in the Longridge 7 and the Ribble Valley 10k. Longridge 7 now done and dusted, but I'm not able to do the Ribble Valley on 28th Dec.

However I am planning to do the Garstang 10k on 11th Jan. Matt also expressed an interest, but entries need to be in early as it fills up. Details on John Schofields site ~

And yes, NLN, I am planning to do the hospital run, but unless there's a sudden show of interest, I'll not be calling in the Bobs Smithy en route for a quick one. I'll wait until we're back at the RMI ~ mind you, they only have fiz at the RMI, whilst Stuart has six handpulls at the Smithy ~ perhaps just one then ~ no, only kidding.

Anybody Doing the Hospital Run on Thursday?


Monday, December 15, 2008

The morning after the night before

I don't seem to anticipate promlems like the rest of the gang. The excuses not to run had come in thick and fast: saving ourselves for the Calderdale Way relay, officiating at cross country, hurt my leg, got a cold etc. Anyway, I went out with him for his 12 mile plod making sure that he didn't fall over or get lost. Glad he made it on Sunday.
Lets get it straight

The Matt & Tina taxi service aim to please. When the client tells them to pull up as close as possible to the destination, in this case the T & T, they do so, though they did ignore the clients request to drive into it in order to make the most of the available drinking time. We accept no responsibility for the client getting home at 2.00 am and the subsequent bad head, this being the result of too much beer and a rolling pin.

EtU's bad head seems to have lasted well into Sunday, for his information regarding our places in our respective categories was erroneous. I was 4th out of 5, admittedly a sterling attempt at being last but I couldn't even manage that. Failed again. Meanwhile EtU had at least 4 behind him. His he becoming modest? No! that can't possibly be. It must be his eyesight. By the way, the Prime Minister won my age-group running for Liverpool Harriers. He's obviously better at running races than at running the country. Not difficult.
Calderdale Relays

Unfortunately the Salford B team couldn't overcome the handicap of having me running as opposed to chief route-finder and therefore Horwich Ladies will have beaten us by quite a margin (no full results yet). However, despite my poor show on the running side of things, I did manage to impress Joanne (my running partner) with my magic socks, which when removed revealed spotlessly clean feet.

The Salford Harriers A team fared a lot better and


A fantastic achievement by the lads after numerous years of trying.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Few Things

Sorry if Friday's venue wasn't too good, I'd left it a bit late to book and had to take what was available. Marks out of five ~ beer 4 (good but no choice) food 3 (ok, but hardly haute cuisine) ambiance 2 (only 1 if we hadn't been there) company, as ever 5!

PS ~ Matt, when you give me a lift home, please leave me closer to 4 Grimeford than to the TaT. Still, it gave JtE an easy run on Saturday.

Sunday ~ Longton

Next day dawned as next day will, to find YJ proper ill. The doctor came and shook his head. "It's not a chill, or cold." he said, "Perhaps the advice we gave was best, after Snowdonia you should have have rest."

Sunday ~ Longridge

Only two of our intrepid three toed the line, Mat, nursing a bad knee (does he have a good one?) and yours truly, nursing the chronic sciatica and an embryonic cold. Apparently Matt was in front of me at the start and I passed him early on without noticing, so I ran the whole race peering ahead for a red vest, which was already behind me. I finished a couple of minutes in front of him him, but despite the age difference I claim the victory as I was second last in my age group, whilst Matt was last in his ~ good game, good game. Looking for salvation in yet another PW ~ my time was only 48.1% on top of the winner (Scott Monk in 40:54); could have been worse.

Other Horwich runners were Paul Muller (V50) in second place (wow!), Glyn Kay 12th, Layne Mercer (?) in 38th, Icelandic Kev in 103rd. I was 156th and Matt was 170th ~ 241 finished. A couple of Salford youngsters ran and managed to beat both Matt and me.

Celebrated after with full English at the Stag's Head in Goosnargh; who needs low cholesterol?


Did Horwich ladies beat the mixed Salford team?

Hi everyone, hope Friday went well. Sorry I couldn't make it.
NLN and I managed not to disgrace ourselves in the Calderdale relay. Despite an incident with a deep bog in which NLN's trainer was swallowed, (and luckily retrieved) and me nearly disappearing, we finished in under an hour and were in time to release our next couple ahead of the mass start. A gentle jog back to the start and we were home before 3.

Next Saturday - meeting 8.30 at the Black Dog - 10-12 mile run - and call in at mine for "Seasonal light refreshments." Should be good - David's cooking! It's 3 miles back to the dog from here. Please come.
Just for your info.......

Norman Mattews will be 70 on the 29th. of this month.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Off road and off his trolley

Nothing to do with fell running, just a comment on t'Y's notes on the motorist on the rocky descent from the Pigeon Tower. In a previous life as a rally navigator in the mid 1960s I was driven down that very same route in a practically new Hillman Imp which reached the bottom with no obvious ill effects. How the years of erosion (and the tramp of Walshes) have taken their toll.
I'm NewTUPing tonight, as I believe is the Galloping Major and possibly also t'Yorkshireman.

I'm not ut/up tonight, but will be out tomorrow. It'll be later on, as I have to complete the catering for the XC on Saturday, so no run for me on Saturday as I'm on 'official' duty.

Nice pics FSS, impressed you could manage Helvellyn in what looked like fell shoes. We were all a bit like 'bambi on ice' on Saturday morning last week.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lakeland Photos

Thanks FSS for the pictures via NLN. I know that the word 'awesome' is over used these days but it is appropriate to use the word in relation to those cornices. A very dangerous place to anyone inexperienced. It looks as though you had a greay day out.

See you both on Friday.

Monday, December 08, 2008

...And if you thought the West Pennine Moors looked good on Saturday!

Broken Cornices on Helvellyn
Can you spot the folk traversing Striding Edge - rather them than me in this condition

Looking North West over Wythburn with High Raise in the distance

And finally FSS on the summit of Helvellyn

Should their mothers let them out?
Following Saturday afternoon's cross country I decided to get a few hours' walking in on Sunday so set off from Rivington around 11am. A hard climb up to the Pigeon Tower (due to wearing walking shoes rather Walshes or Mudrocs - which struggled to grip on the icy inclines), I finally reached the bit below the grassy triangle to see a young to middle-aged bloke (with pregnant wife) heading towards me in his nice Audi A3. When I realised that he was about to continue down the hill (luckily the passenger window was open) I beckoned him to find out if he realised that were he to continue he would surely wreck his gleaming A3 - even a 4 wheel drive would come a cropper. Luckily for him he took notice and reversed : I could just imagine the response from the AA to call out on what you all know as the first climb in the Winter Hill Race. I think it's about time a barrier was placed after Pike Cottage.

Hope to see you all Friday, and maybe even Thursday as the TT fixture is on Tuesday this week. I managed get in 10 miles last Sunday with maybe 10ft of ascent as the route took in Nether Poppleton and Knapton, near York, accompanied by Diane. Her speed is now starting to give me concern - I think the day that she will outpace me over 4 or 5 miles is not far off. i'm going to have start training hard.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Well remembered JtE.
So first one at Horden Stoops
The second at Great Hill, different photographer this time.

Thanks TF for the reports on our daytime outing and on your evening activity. Glad you enjoyed the orienteering. Are you going to post the pictures taken at Hordern Stoops and at Great Hill?
Towards 23rd May 2009

The campaign was scheduled to start on 1st December, with a target mileage for the month of 30 per week (133 for the month). Although this may seem modest, the most I’ve averaged since June was 28 in both September and October, with only 23 in November, so 30 will be a move in the right direction. Mileage in the early months should be relatively easy to achieve, especially with JtE’s Amble campaign to ride on the back of. We’ll see how we go.

However the month started with a slight hiccup in that family duties precluded training on the 1st, but the situation was recovered, and by 11:00 a.m. on the 7th I had got the 30 miles in.

BMI (I know it’s not the best indicator, but it’s easy to do, and it is all about relativity, rather than absolutes) target is 22.5. On the last Wednesday before campaign commencement it was 23.8; means I’ve got 9lbs to lose by mid May ~ approx ½ lb per week. However now is not a good starting point, as I’ve just had a week with bad guts, so weight is artificially down and with Christmas just around the corner I don’t expect to see any real progress until the new year.

The overall plan is to gradually ramp up the weekly miles (maxing at 50 in April), race frequently on the fells, monitor weight loss and race road 10ks as often as practical to assess progress. Watch this space ~ but rest assured, I won’t be boring you with frequent updates, just one at the beginning of each month.

Head-torch Testing

Thank you one and all for the warm-up to my Saturday evening's entertainment. A shame we had to cut short the route due to the slippy conditions but I'm sure we'll get a chance for another go. So for the record the morning route was Lower Barn - Horden Stoops - Belmont - Catherine's Edge - Great Hill - White Coppice - Lower Barn. Time-wise we were out for 3.5hrs and distance 13m.

I headed off to the Brinscall/White Coppice area again 5hrs later for a go at night orienteering, curious to see how my new head-torch would fare. Well if Anthony thought mine was good, he should have been there to see some of the 'monster' head-torches of the serious contenders. A bit like having a car headlight perched on your head but with a size of batery pack to match, strapped to their back. Mine seemed a bit puny by comparison, but at 15 quid from Argos you can't really complain too much.

My second go at using a proper orienteering map,so it took a little while to get my 'eye' in. A possible explanation for taking nearly 9 mins for finding the first control 100m from the start! Once I'd found it, I felt resonably confident to carry on. I'd picked the easier of the three courses to do as you were given a written description of the siting of the controls, such as 'SE corner of Ruin', instead of a list of squiggles.

I manged to find all the controls and arrived back at the finish in just over 70mins. An interesting tour of Wheelton Plantation, amazing that I can still find boggy bits in the dark. This time put me 5th out of 10th, so not bad for my first go. The winner on my course managed 42mins.

On one of the harder courses was 'Icelandic Kev' (Latham), I didn't see him, so if he turns up to track on tues, say 'Hello' for me.


Friday, December 05, 2008


Not run since Monday because of Knee injury, so won't be utuping tomorrrow. It's a pity cos' it sounds an interesting run. Just hoping that the injury clears for the Longridge 7 mile next weekend. Enjoy yourselves tomorrow. By the way TF I was just joking about the 25.5 miles, I'm prone to exaggeration. It was 25.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Split times

From memory I think we made it to Darwen Tower on Saturday in about 2hrs, with me bringing up the rear, I don't do fast starts. I think we then made it back to the cars in a total of about 4hrs &15/20mins. Me again bringing up the rear because of a painful leg, induced by wearing of wrong bumbag.

Does this help?
Don't split your sides

I have asked EtU to let me have times of the Saturday runs during my absence so that I can get some idea of when I am fast enough to return to the squad. It has since occurred to me that split times would add to the usefulness so that I don't necessarily have to complete the long runs in one go. Can anyone oblige?

Despite the wintry weather I have managed a run every day during the inclement weather (we don't get snow in Longton) yet the light at the end of the tunnel still seems a long way away. Like Arnie said "I will be back".
Prepare to be Wow'd (is that correct EtU)

By these images of Skiddaw, Blencathra and Keswick. All taken yesterday by Ann Bowker you will find them at:

Click on recent pictures on my digital camera and you won't regret it.

No running so far this week - too slippy for me, not sure about tonight. Looking forward to seeing those out UTUP Sat 6th.


I shall be out for my first run of the week tonight. Had a nice longish walk yesterday recceing Leg 6 of the Calderdale Relays. As you can see from the attached photo not as much snow Halifax way. Picture taken from Southowram across the valley towards Luddenden. I think the tall building in the middle is on 'Tower Hill' GR SE 057260

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Hospital Anyone?

Planning ahead, is there a view on whether we are going to support the RMI "Hospital" Run on Thursday 18th Dec? ~ see RMI/Norman's (?) blog.

I've tended to do this, although it did used to be on a Tuesday (but presumably had to move so that it didn't interfere with the track) and it now interferes with our last run and drinks at the Bob's Smithy before Christmas.

Is there a view, or perhaps more to the point, will anybody be going to the Smithy?

Thursday 4th Dec '07

NTUPing (6:30).

This is week one of my Joss Naylor Traverse campaign, so more miles rather than less (but nothing too silly as it's early days yet).


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Saturday 6th Dec Run

If we've no YJ, I'll bring my map and compass and we can decide on the day if we want to try and repeat his run via Roddlesworth etc.

Meandering Matt

I don't know where he went and he probably doesn't know either. However he still found his way back before the rest of us.
(Lack of?) progress report

YJ is still feeling sorry for himself following his disappointing performance at Pendle and and equally poor run in the mid Lancs cross country at Sefton Park last Saturday where a time 7 minutes slower than last year was recorded.

Training times are still slow but there was a slight improvement last week possibly due to stepping up the mileage. I won't be out with the squad on Saturday 6th Dec due to a first birthday for Milton but will bear you all in mind as I trundle round Hampshire. Participation on 13th Dec will depend on training performance in the meantime, a final decision being taken at the 8.30 rendezvous at the Lower Barn. I shall have to bear in mind there is a cross country meeting at Blackpool in the afternoon and the Longridge 7 race the next day. Before that I look forward to seeing all at the Wagon and Horses.

PS: Liked the Lakeland pix from NLN.
When I mapped Saturday's route I got 16m, 8.5m to Darwen Tower. The extra 0.5m is very important for my weekly mileage. Not sure how Matt got an extra 10m though. Did you take a wrong turn on the way back?

I should be ut/up snow permitting on thurs. Decided to take the train to work today due to treacherous road conditions in Bolton. As usual, on arriving at work it was a case of 'What Snow?'


Monday, December 01, 2008

Last Saturday's Mileage

So JtE. That's 5.5 miles for EtU, 15.5 miles for you & the ladies, and 25.5 miles for me!
Saturday 6th. December

YJ, have you seen TF's last posting? The run that she refers to is your route via Roddlesworth Reservoirs, Abbey Village, Brinscall etc. Will you be with us on Saturday?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

David Staff Fell Race 5.1m/1200ft

As I'm resting at a Lecture at Bolton Hospital tomorrow evening I decided that Sunday's run had to include a bit more of an effort. So off I went to take another look at Darwen Tower.

Despite the glorious conditions there was no time for a food stop at the top this time, mostly due to the slow ascent. Normally I can run all the way up, but yesterday's run took its toll. Coming down hill I began to pull back a bit of ground on the runners in front of me. Another 10 miles and I might have got past.

A disappointing 6 mins slower than last time in 2005. At some point, racing every weekend should start to pay off surely?

Next weeks suggested route coming back via White Coppice would be very handy for me as I'll be back at 6pm with my head-torch for a bit of night-orienteering. So I'll need you all to keep your eyes peeled earlier in the day for any little orange orienteering flags. My last attempt at this resulted in emergency instructions via a mobile on the use of 'don't worry you won't need it' gps!


Thanks NLN for the detailed 'write up' and for the excellent pictures. Yes, it was just as the pictures show.

Thanks girls for risking hypothermia as you waited for me getting up Great Hill. It felt a hard run to me, perhaps because of the conditions under foot, but I regret that I can only record 15.5 miles.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What a Grand Day Out

This morning must rank as one of the best days ever on the West Pennine Moors, setting off from the lower barn in freezing fog didn't look too promising, but by the time dangerous corner was reached, we had emerged from the clag into brilliant sunshine.   Great Hill taking on that lovely red glow of the low rising sun - what a pity none of us had a camera.  JtE had a 'superlong' route in store for us taking us via the Amble route out to Darwen Tower where we sat in the glorious sunshine for a snack.   Back via Great Hill and Spitlers Edge and the sun still shone, with the inversion clearly visible at the head of the valley.  Operator error meant that we didn't get an actual readout of miles completed, but I think JtE will provide us with appropriate information.   The looks of disappointment on everyone's face when I read out that we had completed only 6.1 miles at Darwen Tower were a picture!

Anyway in the absence of any piccies from this morning, I hope you enjoy the ones below captured on Christmas Eve 2006 when FSS and I arrived at Ambleside in exactly the same conditions as this morning and again climbed through the cloud and had the most glorious Christmas Eve completing the Fairfield Horse Shoe, before descending back through the clag in the afternoon.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Darwen Tower

Yes, if you say so NLN!
Change of Plans

Means that I'm looking forward to running from the Lower Barn tomorrow - when you say long JtE are you talking Darwen Tower?? Time to bury the ghost!

Note to TF re Photos

It's because you're on them that they need blowing up, it's the only way we can see you!

Thursdays (and Saturday 29th)

Thursdays seem to be falling apart a bit. There's only been me on three of the last five weeks. So I'm going to start turning up for 6:30, then if no-one else shows by soon after 25 to 7, I'll scamper off to join Norman's group, which kicks off at 6:45.

Plasterer coming Sunday, so I'm now a definite for Saturday.

I'll be at Lower Barn on Saturday Morning.

Sorry I didn't post an absence note yesterday. I was on an IT training course and wasn't allowed access to internet! All about teeth, so I'm afraid I can't help with the photo thing. Anyway given the fact that I'm on some of these photos, surely the smaller the better.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'll be Utuping on Saturday
Saturday the 29th.

I'm UTUPing (and hoping for a longish run!).
Thursday 27th & Saturday 29th Nov '08

I'm UTUPing Thursday (with headtorch) and Saturday (plasterer permitting), but don't wait for me.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Will it work using Picasa?
I think it's going to be too large!
Posted by Picasa
So do I

EtU, I use that icon as well. Looking at Properties and comparing with other photo properties which do expand, everything seems in order. When I've a bit more time I'll have a play, but it's an interesting one.

Mat, might it be something to do with how we upload pictures? I use the "Add Image" icon.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

No Success

Sorry about that last post. I was just wondering if the size of the upload had anything to do with my pictures not expanding. But it doesn't.

Thanks everyone for the kind comments re The Tour of Pendle.

Just Testing

Yesterday's Local Run

NicO, Matt and I turned out to run via Hordern Stoops, Catherine Ege, Great Hill, Brinscall and White Coppice. EtU, who hadn't been well all week, had joined us, but was a bit off song, and left us at Drinkwaters.

There was a low air temperature, but otherwise the weather was kind to us.

14.5 Miles.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Don't Go to the Thatch and Thistle...

...on the 12th 'cos they're not expecting us. Due to a timing difficulty with the booking arrangements, we are expected at the Waggon and Horses, half a mile further north along the A6, on the left.

Kirkbymoor 6.5m/1600ft

Nothing much to report other than I didn't break 90mins, probably about 93mins this time. Height wasn't a factor with the stickers this time, as there weren't any. I skipped the prize-giving in favour of a hot flask of soup back at the car, refreshments being limited to tea and biscuits in the village hall. Black Combe are usually pretty prompt about getting results on the website so they'll appear here in the next day or two if you're curious.

Think I had 2 behind me. On a claggy day should be even more given the route choices of some from the 5th cp. Weather will determine when the next time will be!


Well done Matt. Guess I just need to keep things ticking over for the next 20-odd years and then start to put some serious training in, hoping that all those V40's winning prizes now will have burnt themselves out.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Tour of Pendle

FSS and Matt: Have you seen your pictures and the write up on the Horwich RMI blog? Well done Matt. You beat all those O70s who were not fit enough to turn up, and there are a lot of those at our age!
ToP Prize

TF wondered whether there was a prize for me from the ToP. Well in todays post I received a £15 voucher for Pete Bland's from Kieran Carr the organiser. Not bad considering I didn't have any competition.

Yep, Friday the 12th. is ok for me.
Long Runs and Other Training

I, too, look forward to supporting JtE on some good long outings on Saturdays. OK For TaT 12th I think and then a good outing on the 13th as I'm not out for the next two Sats.

Attended my first Track session last Tuesday - verdict - not as bad as I had feared, thanks to the generous support and encouragement provided by JtE, Nic'O, FSS and the Sunter brigade. However, this could have been because Norman wasn't about, I'm advised that there's a policy of no 'chatting' on the way round when the top man's on duty! FSS has been telling me this is what I should be doing for at least two years, but hearing it from friends who run at about my pace made it much less threatening! So thank you, I'll give it a few more go's. It has meant changing my evening sessions about a bit so that I don't miss out on the kick boxing/weights, and getting in one decent run - not to mention the Yoga which at the moment is having to take a raincheck. This not good as my legs and lower back really need this. Anyway will see how it goes on the run up to Christmas.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

T of P & Sats.

Thanks TF for the info re the Tour of Pendle. I didn't wait for the prize-giving as M65 is the oldest category on the Entry form. If Yj is to attempt to beat Brian Leathey's time some reccying is required I think, bearing in mind Brian is a Clayton-le-moors harrier and will know the course like the back of his hand, or front of his foot if thats more appropriate.

With the festive season almost upon us and entertaining to be done, it's clear that JtE is running short of beer glasses, so please try to help him out. As he says in his blog, "Any suppot will be greatly appreciated".

Will be Utuping on Saturday. Friday 12th for TaTing sounds ok to me.
On a More Serious Note...

...initial enquiries indicate that Friday 12th December is looking good for the next "do". It's always difficult to suit everybody, so unless there's a mass objection, I'll see if The TaT can accommodate us for that evening.

Additional guests always welcome.

Saturday Runs

I'll be keen to keep my long distance training going as I've entered the 'Hebden' (LDWA) on Sat 3rd Jan 2009. I'll be at ut/up on Saturday 29th Nov and Saturday 6th Dec so keen for a couple of 3hr+ outings!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This Saturday

I'll be there UTUP.
Routeing A Round

Hoping to lay the ghost of my disasterous 2007 Anglezarke Amble 'run' I am hoping to increase my Saturday milage. With this in mind I propose the following round for one of our Saturday outings:

From the Lower Barn to Hordern Stoops, then Belmont, Catherine Edge as far as GR667190 (just beyond Lower Pasture Barn Farm) and there turning east up the moor to join the Amble route at GR673191. From this point to Darwen Tower and remaining on the Amble route back to Rivington and the Lower Barn. About 17 miles.

Another useful round is YJ's training run from the Lower Barn visiting Slipper Lowe, Roddlesworth Reservoirs, Abbey Village, Brinscall, White Coppice and back to the Lower Barn. I think about 15 miles.

Any suppot would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday 20th and Saturday 22nd Nov '08

I'm UTUPing


Why Is It...

...that when I post a photo and you click on it, it goes full screen, but Matt's photos don't react in this way? If no contributor knows, perhaps NLN would pose the question to FSS.

The results are now up for Saturday's race

What a star performer, Mr Ray 'Matt' Stafford was 1st V70. Well done Matt.

Even more impressive is that on checking previous results there hasn't been a V70 finisher since 2002 - Brian Leathley of Clayton-le-Moors in 4:03 and Derek Clutterbuck of Rochdale in 4:25. Makes me wonder if you had a prize to collect?

I wonder if 4:03 is the record for a V70, would be interesting to find out in readiness for next year (YJ!), 21st November 2009.

I'm off racing again (proverbial kid in sweet shop now) on Saturday, but can be at UT/UP on thurs if anyone else fancies it. If not I'll have a run from the gym and save my batteries!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What a Reporter

Well done to TF for producing her report of The Tour of Pendle so quickly. Had it been left to me it would have been nearer Christmas, and not necessarily this one.

I had, for me, an uneventful run as opposed to the last time I did the Tour. Did I ever tell you about that? Anyway this time, I did not lose my;
glasses; checkpoint tags; or hat; all of these retrieved, but only the hat by me. Nor did I lose my drinks bottle without even having a drink, or my way about four times.

I did get off the correct path on the way to checkpoint 2 which cost me a few minutes and I should have dropped off to checkpoint 9 earlier than I did but I didn't lose too much there. I also took a dive that a professional footballer would have been proud of, and left my car unlocked for the duration of the race. It didn't work. The car was still there when I got back. It reminds me of the time when I left the house alarm off. A burglar broke in and left us a television.

Congratulations to TF for completing what is a challenging course, just a fortnight after doing the Snowdonia marathon. That was quite an achievement. The Snowdonia marathon was obviously the reason that YJ was narrowly timed out at checkpoint 4. Us oldies don't recover as quickly as you youngies, as you'll find out one day(hopefully).

Checkpoint 4 is the same as the last checkpoint(11), so it wouldn't have taken YJ long to get back to the Start/finish. He must have had a long wait for myself and TF to come in and she expresses my sentiments exactly when she says it was much appreciated.

As you curse your way up the last two climbs, both very steep, you wonder why you do these things, but as you drop off Pendle Hill to the last checkpoint you get your answer. All in all, a great day out.

Regarding the photos on the link that TF provided, there are photos of us and of Ian at the beginning of the race. Ian, 16-26 and various combinations of us 41-48.

By the way, I never did catch that young lady you see me chasing at the stream. Whenever I got close to her she seemed to find a talent for sprinting that I'm sure she never realised she had until Saturday. I have this effect on people. Very inspiritional.

Here's a photo of us before the start.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday - Post Script

YJ wasn't the only one having a bad day yesterday - FSS took a very nasty turn of the ankle at about the ten mile point.  Having tried to 'run it off' he gave up and hobbled to the finish in the most direct route available.  With some difficulty he did manage to get a pair of dress shoes on for our inaugural Rucksack Annual Dinner engagement last night.  A very rare outbreak of common sense persuaded him not to run today, dispite the glorious conditions.

I attach our local route of yesterday which gave us a good outing, the weather having cleared up niclely after the first hour.   We stared across to Pendle Hill from Great Hill and conditions didn't look too bad .  Will miss you all for the next two weeks as Kendal Mountain Film festival weekend and a Rucksack Meet mitigate against Saturday runs.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tour of Pendle 16.8m/4850ft

The intrepid trio were off again, however this time we had a substitute – ‘Matt’ in place of EtU. Having watched two weather forecasts before I left home I did begin to wonder whether the BBC would be better off just sticking to News and Sport. It looked a ‘compass’ sort of day glancing out of my window. 20miles further north, the conditions began to match the forecast.

Something new for me was a collection of little tags to hand in at each check-point. You can tell I’m a novice – I counted them all and checked all the numbers. Well would you believe it! I had 12 ‘131’ and 2 ‘130’. Imagine the confusion that could have created. Mind you I’d have liked a couple of spares just in case any dropped off. Lots of ‘tug’ tests later and I was reasonably convinced I wasn’t going to lose any on the way round.

The race organiser managed to engender a communal spirit when told we had to stick to path next to the wall after CP1. Groan all round. Issues to do with erosion have begun to affect Pendle Hill, I’m guessing he’s trying to ensure the race lasts another 25 years. When recceing this bit, I’d only got so far when ‘I don’t think so’ struck, and headed off onto the moor to locate a better route. I knew it wouldn’t be YJ’s favourite section of the course. So it was to be, I passed him a bit further on as he was carefully negotiating a few more bits of ‘sticky-up’ rocks. ‘Matt’ had long disappeared into the distance by this time. My worry was how much sticking to wall on this section was going to affect my time at the cut-off point. As I climbed over the stile onto Spence Moor I had 15mins to cross the top and get down ‘geronimo’. I managed to keep my bum clear of most of it and 7mins later I handed my tag in at the bottom.

Have a look at these
and give them marks out of ten for style & artistic merit – Matt 262-268, TF 284-292 & YJ 300-304

The rest was a picnic! I munched my way through Jelly Beans, Nuts, Fruit, Cake and Chocolate – saved that for last climb. Aside from a little bit of clag on the first climb it was a lovely clear day all the way round, perfect for my first attempt. My drop off for CP 9 needs a bit of work, but overall really pleased with my efforts.

YJ was there to cheer me in at the finish, as he’d done with Matt some 20mins earlier. For YJ, it was to turn out to be a disappointing Tour of Pendle as he’d had to call it a day at the half-way point. A long wait to see us both home, much appreciated YJ. Matt managed 4hrs16mins and I did 4hrs 37mins. There were two runners tied for first place. Time was 2hrs 20-something – the stickers were too high up the wall for me to be able to read them properly, so didn’t get their names/club.

At time of going to press I can report that I can manage to come down the stairs facing forward, unlike three weeks ago! Think I'll avoid the hard stuff from now on.

Witch Way - Witton Weavers Way

Whilst most of the gang were at Pendle, NLN and I embarked upon a route taking us into an area where there are a myriad of paths all marked 'Witton Weavers Way'. I sometimes wonder if these people were weavers in the traditional sense, or whether they got their name as a result of their weaving around these footpaths in some incomprehensible manner.

Our route took us from the Lower Barn via Hordern Stoops to Belmont, over the Belmont reservoir dam and then via the Amble route to the Darwen road. Following the road roughly north for about half a mile we picked up the old Amble route past Cranshaws and along a Witton Weavers Way, across the moor and to Piccadilli. From there it was Great Hill and Spitlers Edge to Hordern Stoops. I mentioned to NLN at this stage that I hoped that we would get 15 miles out of our trip. With this in mind, she suggested that we took in Noon Hill just to make sure! This we did and back at the barn her device gave us 15.78 miles.

A considerable part of the route was deep in mud but the rain mostly held off. Looking from Great Hill, Pendle Hill seemed to be capped in cloud but otherwise the weather looked good.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Date for Your Diary

After long discussion, Barry Allman and I have homed in on Saturday 17th January '09 for our winter dozen. I know this date won't suit everybody but aiming for January or February and dodging major cross-country events, the Amble, Winter Hill and Barry's trip to Torremolinos, this was our optimum date.

The plan is a 9:00 a.m. start from the top barn and to travel clockwise, self contained (i.e. no road support). Hopefully there will be enough of us to make up more than one group.

If this date excludes too many, I 'd welcome the arranging of an additional outing on an alternative date, which I'd also hope to take part in.

Nearer the time I'll give the 17th a bit more publicity, as ever, the more the merrier.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shall not be Utuping on Thursday but hope to see YJ & TF before the start of the Tour on Saturday.
Longridge 7 ~ Sunday 14th Dec '08

I'd indicated that I may be doing this race, and can now confirm that I've entered it. Details on John Schofield's site.

Thursday 13th and Saturday 15th Nov '08

I'm UTUPing Thursday, but away Saturday. Saturday may be a bit lean as I understand that TF, YJ and Matt will be in the Mist Over Pendle.


Monday, November 10, 2008

The Hobble

Thanks TF for your latest report and especially for the map. Stoodley Pike, Mankinholes, Todmorden. What memories these names conjure up. Great days out with EtU on the Howorth Hobble. Good weather, bad weather, it didn't really matter. Always striving for six hours but never making it!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Shepherds Skyline 6m/1150ft

The warm-up for this one began at 9.30am with a bit more recceing of Leg 4 of the Calderdale Way Relay. I was joining the route as it passes above Hebden Bridge Golf Club but decided not to be too cheeky and use their car park and left the car parked further along the road. On my return, I thought I’d short-cut across the course to get back to the car. Some people never learn do they? Foiled by a stone wall and barbed wire, I trudged back up the hill emerging on a tee just as one of the golfers was about to drive off. Oops. Apologised profusely and offered him the golf ball I’d found.

Off then to Lambutts and the Shepherds Rest Inn. Tod Harriers had thought of everything. To save us messing up the pub there was an area outside designated ‘Hose Down’. However, after registering and arriving back at my car, I found one of West Yorkshire’s shiny new fire engines parked in front of it. I decided that what ever mud I collected I’d take it home with me.

How good is this for a route map!

The weather forecast wasn’t quite spot on, and carrying a windproof top was insisted on. I added a hat and gloves in pockets but bared a bit more leg on this occasion. For one poor runner, who wrenched his knee after just dropping past Stoodley Pike, the number of runners offering spare kit would prove a godsend. He was eventually stretchered off the hill.

I finished leaving plenty of room for improvement for next time. Winner Ian Holmes (Bingley) 42:31, me 83:38 and a record turn out of 362. So I just about squeaked under double the winning time, which is usually my marker for a poor race, but then this also depends on the calibre of the winning runner.


Friday, November 07, 2008

Headtorches at Dusk

(as opposed to pistols at dawn)

I think it was TF to blame, either directly or indirectly, in that she was most obviously wearing a headtorch. My recollection is that it was her (she?) that suggested we run up the Pike, and whilst some of the guys (Steve, The Galloping Major and me) may not have have been so keen, no-one was prepared to be seen as a wimp. So there we were, five minutes later, on Thursday evening, jogging up to the Ye Jolly Crofters to tackle the Pike from Georges Lane.

An enjoyable, if somewhat uneventful outing. We ran round to the steps side of the Pike, up the steps, recovered our breaths by the tower, down the race route and then back along Georges Lane and down Foxholes. There seemed to be quite a lot of mountain bike activity (no indication of anything organised) but no other runners.

We dispersed soon after 8:00, all tasked with coming up with new routes for future outings.


Thursday, November 06, 2008


I'll be out tonight. But on Saturday I'm doing a bit of recceing for Calderdale Relays and a race.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Looking Forward to seeing you all Sat

YJ, fresh from running on the South Downs and round the stockbroker belt of Hampshire, will be at the lower barn at the usual time on Saturday 8th. However, he will be off to Burnley for the Mid Lancs cross country in the afternoon so please be gentle with him.

It will be good to get back to proper Saturday mornings.
Thurs & Sat

Concerting dis Thursday. Will be chasing around with the other Utuppers on Saturday.
Saturday 8th. November.

I'm UTUPing.