Thursday, July 31, 2008


I didn't pick up any ticks on Saturday, which was surprising with the bracken being up. I've picked up as many as five on one outing in the Lakes, although it doesn't seem as much as a problem round here. There are various recommended methods for getting rid of them, all aimed at avoiding the obvious direct pull, as this is said to leave the mouth parts in, which then go septic.

The direct pull can also tend to use the beast as a sort of hypodermic; as you squeeze, its body fluids are forced out through its mouth parts into your bloodstream, increasing the chance of developing Lyme disease. Although Lyme disease is only carried by deer ticks, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem on our fells.

Recommended methods of removal mainly rely on suffocating the little bleeders (I use this word advisedly, not as a term of abuse) by the application of Vaseline or hairspray, so that in dying slowly they release their grip and just drop off.

But just spare a thought for the ticks as they wait for a host. Do they have Velcro on their backs and hold on to the bracken loosely so that their transfer to a passing runner is a fairly passive thing? Keep your legs shaved ladies ~ do hairier people pick up more ticks?

Or do they crouch with tensed legs, spot you coming and then leap across the divide, like some arthropodic rugby three quarter, going for the tackle?

Or do they hang by one arm (leg?), like some tiny Tarzan on a vine, and grab your leg (or worse) hair as you pass (keep shaving ladies)?

And how long do they have to wait, and will they, at Borrowdale, say "Isn't it always the the same, you wait six weeks for a fell runner and then 500 come along all at once!"


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

To wrap it all up........

Thanks Pauline for posting the pictures. A great job done. I like the captions.

Peter, in my posting, is Peter Heneghan.

Julie, the route that we took to Noon Hill was the same as last year. I think that the route you describe was that taken when we recced the first half of the Winter Hill Race with you.

Coope's Dozen

Looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at the start
The Fast Team at Hordens - never to be seen again
The Slow Team at Hordens - not all will make it

The Slow Team at the finish - looking somewhat different
Some look calm, cool and collected - others look like this!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Down the South Downs Way

This is the story of the 30 mile South Downs Way ultra race, a tale of Northern Grit versus the Southern Jessies, or Southern Softies as one self deprecating local remarked.

In reality the event was a scorching day out in temperatures close to 30 degrees with a bunch of friendly people, some of whom were top athletes who set a scorching pace.

The route was an out-and-back course with drinks available only at 8, 15, 22 and 28 miles, barely enough in view of the high temperatures, but even with that knowledge a high proportion of the field chose to run with no drinks or kit.

Perhaps that was a factor behind the 10 per cent drop-out rate.

From pre-race information I knew that the start incorporated a lap of the sports field at Clayton village just north of Brighton and being a slow starter I feared being the last off the field and being a figure of ridicule. Fear not, from starting in last position I made up plenty of ground before we hit the gentle slope of the South Downs which soon had most of the field walking.

As Murphy’s Law would have it the overcast skies soon cleared and the day began to boil. The field stretched out into a long line that provided a clear guide to the route. The early terrain was a mixture of Downland grassland and stony tracks, some times narrow between scrubby shrubs and fences, and we dropped off the Downs to the A27 before climbing to a second ridge of similar terrain, Towards the turning point the route became a mixture of concrete farm tracks and tarmac lanes which bounced the heat of the sun right back up to the runners. By then it was around noon and the heat was reaching its height.

So far progress had been good, no navigational problems and gaining places on the climbs.

Drinking plenty, and with minimal help from jelly babes, heat and energy were not a problem and an improvised legionnaires hat, soaked in water at every opportunity turned out to be a good device.

The return was (surprise, surprise) much the reverse of the first half but with dwindling strength and speed. Towards the end I lost a few places in spite of running most of the later hills, having decided to walk when necessary on the rough stuff and save energy for when I could run on the grass. The descent to the village sports field down a stony track had me down to a slow trundle, with just enough energy left in the bag to run round the field.

Having expected a time of around 7 hours, my finish in 6 hrs 21 mins was particularly rewarding but way outside the over 60 winner who took 5 hrs 28 mins. (There was no over 65 class). The first 18 miles took 3 hrs 23 mins, which I can hardly claim put me up with the fast group of the Coope’s Doz because the going was so much easier and so hard and dry. The last 18 miles was covered in 4 hrs 20 mins! Out of 120 starters there were 109 finishers of whom I was the 93rd The winner a Southerner, but definitely not a softie, took 3 hrs 47 mins.

All considered, it was a great day out in a particularly scenic part of the country. Perhaps next year we could reroute Coope’s Doz down Sou…….. But then perhaps not. Nowhere’s as great as the northern fells.

Coopes Dozen - Just an odd thought

For some reason I felt that last year we'd taken the 'Winter Hill' race route to get to Georges Lane and thence Noon Hill. We very rarely approach Georges Lane/Noon Hill this way, which is why I felt it must have been a special occasion! On the way out on this route, I do remember asking someone (possibly YJ) the question "is this the way that WH race goes then?" At this stage, I hadn't considered doing the Winter Hill race, so if it'd been on one of the reccies I wouldn't have needed to ask the question, if you see what I mean?

Anyone else think we went this way? Maybe I dreamt it, but hopefully it'll explain my odd choice of route when I did my clockwise version in April. Having done out and back along Georges Lane to get to Noon Hill I couldn't face the rocky road down to the car park. So I decided to take the grassy slope at the side of the Pidgeon Tower, and cut a corner off.
Coope's Dozen ~ Further Development

Bazzer (A) and I have already put a marker down for a clockwork round sometime in January. Sounds as if it may be unsupported (by runners as well as at the roadside).

Also, how about a relay? We work out a schedule, pick our legs, and wait in splendid isolation on our chosen top for an incoming runner to arrive. Would suit those with a GSOH who don't like crowded places. JtE has already bagged Egg Hillock to Counting Hill, in anticipation that the bracken will have died down by then.


Monday, July 28, 2008

18.83 And All That

I didn't know until Saturday that Coope's Dozen is so long. I have always booked 18 miles and as I count half miles I must be about 6 miles short at the moment. Barry Allman verified the distance using the latest equipment

Sorry for the delay in posting this report. Having poor computer skills I have been trying, without success, to post some photos. I will try again today and hope for the best!

Nine of us were ready for photos and the off when Mat turned up. However we did get away by 9.03.

The fast group, this year, was a small one but high calibre in content. FSS and Albert Sunter participated.They sped over the horizon in quick time.

The slow group consisted of NLN (we must change this pseudonym for one more appropriate),TF, Mat, Barry Allman, Barry Tyson and two of his friends, one of which I have down as Peter. EtU didn't start with us because of drainage problems (at home, not personally) but he joined us on Winter Hill Flats.

All went well on the circuit to Hordern Stoops where Joan and Christina met us with refreshments.The climb from Egg Hillock to Counting Hill, which I always detest, was particularly difficult this year in that the vegitation was unusually high, perhaps because of all the recent rain. We reached Hordern Stoops in just under two an a half hours to be told that Ian and Albert had gone through about 50 minutes earlier! Ian subsequently confirmed that his time there was 1.35 and that he and Albert stopped for 4 minutes.

Barry Tyson and one of his friends (not Peter, the other one) had had enough at this point and returned to The Barn. The rest of us eventually got away and were soon toiling to, and from, Old Adam Hill. EtU told me that Paul Murray had suggested that this summit be included in the dozen. I must have a word with him! Spittlers and Great Hill were then attained with some welcome striding out on the flags (over the mud for EtU with his unused legs). Then, with some trying navigational variances, Round Loaf (or Brown Loaf as Mat knows it) was reached, and from there to refreshments again near to Waterman's Cottage. I don't know in what time we reached this point and was probably past caring. Unfortunately, because Joan and Christina's schedule was governed by the time that the slow group left Hordern Stoops, they missed Ian and Albert. Sorry Ian and Albert and sorry Albert that your personal refreshments remained in the car.

The refreshment point was left for the trudge over Healey Nab and to the finish. Whilst everyone was going quite well, my memory is of NLN, who urged us to leave the refreshment point, forging ahead, sometimes into the distance, with Mat occasionally making a vain attempt to stay with her.

Ian and Albert finished in a very impressive 3.28.18 and the rest of us in about five and a half hours.

Reports of Jimmy's Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

There are not many high points to having a dysfunctional septic tank, but we experienced one on Sunday evening.

I was at Watters' B&B where we had stayed for the weekend, when he returned from his weekend away and opened a letter from Bill Smith. Peter exclaimed "Oh no!" and burst out laughing. When his near hysterics had subsided, I enquired what was amusing him and he explained that Bill had only heard that Jimmy Niblett had passed away and had submitted his obituary to the "Fellrunner" on that basis. He had since spoken to Jimmy on the phone, and whilst Jimmy is very ill, and not wanting to see too many folk, at the time of writing he hadn't yet asked St Peter for admission.

Not sure why Bill had written to Peter, perhaps as fellow authors they exchange information (misinformation?) on shared interests.

I know it's always tempting to want to share hot news, but the phrase "indecent haste" does spring to mind here.

Hang on in there Jimmy.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Bit of Science

When comparing 10k performance with that of a marathon, perhaps it's the case that so many factors come into play that an accurate comparison can't be made, unless the comparison is carried out in something of a clinical manner.

A prson's performance in two separate events might be affected by such things as terrain, weather ( headwind, tailwind, rain, sun, hot, cold etc), hindrance by slower runners, personal condition and perhaps other things as well.

A fairly accurate comparison could perhaps be made if a specific 10k course, starting and finishing in the same place, were to be chosen, and a 10k run timed. Then, on a different day, carefully chosen to emulate the conditions for the 10k run, the course would be run in four laps and a bit, (the bit being 2195 metres or approx. 1.36 miles) the distance covered being that of a marathon. In using this method it would have to be assumed, of course, that the runner was in the same personal condition for both runs.

The initial data obtained would form the basis for assessing other runs, factoring in the various conditions that might apply, and making an appropriate allowance.

Does all of this make sense or is it a bundle of rubbish as they say and would it be worth it anyway?

So far as "hitting the wall" is concerned, as I have said before, once a reasonable level of fitness has been achieved, the human boby behaves a bit like a car. Put fuel in and it goes. Don't put fuel in and it stops. In my early days of marathon running I would invariably "hit the wall" at about 20 miles, not knowing the reason why. When I was training for my "Joss" Norman Matthews put me right in regard to the importance of eating and drinking regularly during a long run. It really does work!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

D for Dunce

I really must pay more attention in committee meetings
I really must pay ....

The start line was not the place to find out that of the two Sale 5k races (a 4 race series) in our Road Championship, tonight was not one of them. And as I was accompanied by the two twenty-something whippersnappers, I'd have been certain of maximum vet points too. Had it been the right race.

After this revelation, the race went as predicted. We all followed Andi (Salf H), me finishing 11mins after him with 260 runners between us. I thought I'd probably be about a minute slower than last year (pb 24:30), so the extra 20secs on top of this, I'm allowing for heat exhaustion. 24 degrees is not my ambient running temperature, hence the reason for an autumn marathon.

Unfortunately this does mean that I'll now have to consider repeating the whole thing again in a fortnight to bag a few points. Could be a tough decision this, as the next one will be the day after the 14m run home from work. Tonights effort was the day after a nice relaxing afternoon spent in the garden cutting the grass and trimming the pyracantha, skimmia, hebe, aucuba, spiraea, hypericum, cotoneaster......... In fact if it was green(ish) it got a chop, I managed to fill the green wheelie bin and the black one (storing it until the green one gets emptied next week- honest!)



An interesting one, this.

I usually do a 10k a week or so before Snowdonia and find that I'm just over a minute a mile slower in the longer event. An international marathon runner who runs 5 minute miles for a marathon could expect to have a 10k time of about 28 minutes, at 4:30 mile pace. Not a dissimilar slowing, in percentage terms to mine.

But then I tend to be something of a one pace runner, so maybe others at my level would deteriorate more significantly. Borne out by me passing lots of folk in the second half.

Probably, the more of a fast twitcher you are, the more you would slow down, as you come to mobilise your white fibres. Also it's going to be affected by your miles. If someones really has done the distance work necessary for a marathon (and just how much is that? I hear you all ask) then there should be less of a slowing effect. If you haven't done the work, you can expect the classic "wheels falling off/all gone pear-shaped/hitting the wall" effect somewhere between 15 and 20 miles, with the consequent drastic impact on pace.

Come on, lets hear about your experiences (JtE, YJ, FSS, Mat); how about a bit of science, instead of my anecdotal viewpoint.

Back to the particular case in question, my prediction is that TF will run almost exactly two minutes and 15 seconds a mile slower at Snowdonia than she will at Sale.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I'm committed to doing Sale 5k tomorrow evening. Too many people know that I'm supposed to be doing it, so can't back out now. It's on our club's road championship list and I haven't done any of them yet, so still nestling nicely at the bottom on 'nil point'.

I suppose If nothing else it'll give me an idea of current 'race' speed and whether 10min/m pace is correct pace to aim for in the marathon. This of course will be allowing for the inaccuracies in extrapolating from a 3.1m totally flat race to a very hilly 26.2m race!


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Swift Bros Conquer (two of) the Chipping Trigs

We left the Cobbled Corner Cafe in Chipping just after the scheduled start time of 8:00 on Saturday 19th July and headed for Fell Foot Farm at the foot of Parlick. We followed the early part of the Paddy's Pole route, contouring round Parlick summit to the low point of the saddle towards Fairsnape, thence keeping to the left of the wall. The weather was at its worst at that time, heavy rain and a fierce wind, but with the temperature not too cold. Fairsnape trig was achieved in 57 minutes.

Then we (John) made our first mistake by letting me navigate our way off the fell. This resulted in us meeting a six foot wall and wandering backwards and forwards for a considerable time, trying to find a gate or stile. We eventually got to the road but had difficulty later finding the footpath from the road to Beacon Fell, and resorted to asking the postman, but he hadn't much idea, don't think his van uses footpaths. When we eventually reached that trig point, where we took the photo, we had been going for a further 1 hour and 29 minutes ~ works out at almost 30 minutes for each of the 3 miles (as the crow flies).

At that point we decided that we hadn't the time to complete the full route and jogged straight back to Chipping, in a further 1 hour and four minutes, making a total time of 3:30. Distance covered ~ 12.5 miles. This is us on Beacon Fell, with the top of Fairsnape the high point on the long ridge between our heads. Parlick is on the right.

Further outings: obviously we've to aim to do the full circuit, but first we need to recce the Beacon Fell to Longridge Fell route. It would also be interesting to do the first two again now we know the route. We agreed that it had been a good morning out, and as with so many things, if we achieved it first time round it perhaps wouldn't be quite such an achievement when we finally do it.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Chipping Trigs 19th July

Start time now agreed as 8:00 a.m.

Buttock now almost 100% OK. Clearing up so quickly suggests it must have been sciatic and the disc has nestled back into place.


Thursday, July 17, 2008


Yes, UPUT. Please 'phone if you can't make it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thursday 17th July

UTUP (or is it UPUT?) buttock permitting.


My Buttock (the right one)

After quite a good track session last night I was left with a slight twinge in my right buttock, which was significantly worse this morning. It eased during the day, but after changing for the Jubilee and jogging to the start, it was obvious that it would seriously hinder my efforts so I didn't start.

Not sure whether it's a muscle pull or a sciatic problem. I'm hoping it will soon pass, but if not, perhaps the rest will do me good.

Watch this space/buttock.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Holme Moss Fell Race 17.5m/4500ft Sunday 13th July

I have to thank Holmfirth Harriers for a superb day out. Can’t ask for more when for a fiver you get glorious scenery, plenty of liquid during the race and fed at the end. Oh and to top it off, a bottle of wine to take home to celebrate your day’s accomplishments with your feet up!

So here’s where I ran. It took the winner Chris Birchall (Leeds AC) 2:37 , me 4:51 (inside my 5hr guestimate)

I stopped off on the way there to take this picture from close to the 7th cp (couldn't resist!). The start/finish is from behind the ridge in the far distance and you head round the edge of the forest on the right on the way out to point where I’m standing. Going back (from same point) you head through the forest along the left edge of the reservoir.

The following link shows you some views from the 3rd to 6th cps.
Crowden to Black Hill

Wasdale 2008 ~ Now with PS

Fairly inevitably, I was timed out. It was on Pillar after 3 hours and 41 minutes of "running". Cut off time was 3:30.

Disappointing, but not a total disaster, as the awful tiredness that has afflicted my legs on so many occasions recently wasn't there and my time can't have been much slower than in 2003 when my training diary tells me that I was "timed out on Pillar, despite extended cut-offs". I think they had given us an extra 15 minutes then, as they did yesterday.

They day was fine and sunny to start and the trip was worth it, if only to see the view of the Scafells from Seatallan which seems to accentuate the grandeur of Mickledore.

No other Horwich runners that I could see, only points of contact were David P-T who was at the start prior to making his way up to Esk Hause (I didn't get that far) and Bowland Wayne who was a few minures ahead of me when we were both sent home. Also the guy from Glaramara who had passed me on the descent on that day but got timed out on Seatallan and a weedy youth who was whinging about not having recovered from some Mediterranean Iron Man (Lanzarote?) (also timed out on Seatallan).

Next year? I'll try again, but only if I feel significantly fitter in the lead-up.

Tally to date: 10 starts ~ 5 finishes. PB: 1994 5:42.

Joss? ~ yes, we said "how do?" on Greendale Bridge. Joss Naylor Traverse? ~ not this year.

PS ~ Although I'm quite sure I was timed out, the results on the CFRA website have me as a finisher in 6:33. I've emailed them.

Bill Oddie

Further to JtE's suggestion that Bill had been seen peering out of the undergrowth at 4 Grimeford lane, there have been no recent sightings.

Apparently he has been captured by a group of Japanese soldiers who don't know the war is over.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008


I'll be there. UPUT.

Update ~ Chipping Trigs ~ Saturday 19th July

YJ and I are planning to make the inaugural assault on the three Chipping Trigs on the above date. It'll be a mix of road and fell with an earlyish start ~ all welcome.

The trigs are Fairsnape : GR 590468, Beacon Fell : 568428 and Longridge Fell : 657410. There are other trig points in the area, but these three are well spread around Chipping, are good vantage points and involve a decent amount of climb (main purpose of outing?). We'll work to Coope's Rules which are simply that any route can be taken which is either a public (or concessionary) right of way or open fell; the theory being that for small numbers there is no need to ask permission and we shouldn't upset anybody.

Start and finish point will be somewhere near the Sun Inn, the steps to the churchyard and the Cobbled Corner Cafe (depending on ones particular area of interest). Just need to agree a time.

There is ample parking behind the village hall, indeed, if the weather is particularly bad the event will be held in the village hall.

I considered letting Bowland know, but if we don't, at least we'll hold the record for a while.

Grateful for any extra company.

Thursday 10th July


I'm affraid I can't make the Thurs evening run this week, but I'll be there on Fri evening for the meal.

Nice to have you back blogging JtE!


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I'm Back!

At last I've been let out of Limbo. Thanks girls for your support whilst I was there.

Santon Bridge 28th June to 6th July 2008

A good Lakeland week with more fine weather than wet and only one day when rain seriously affected activities.

Didn't run on the Saturday of arrival or Sunday of departure, but ran every day apart from these. Three morning trips up the nearby Irton Pike direct from home, my regular Mitredale Round, again from home, taking in Boat How, Illgill Head and Whin Rigg, returning over Irton Pike. An outing with David P-T from Wasdale head up to Sty Head, then Gable, Kirk (where David was pleased to be recognised from the TV by some walkers) and straight down the nose back to Wasdale Head ~ a good hard workout, which more than reminded me of my weak descending. Also Wainwright's Devoke Water Round from the Birker Fell Road on a very pleasant morning.

Most significant was the Glaramara fell race (AS) on the 29th. As I scrambled up the 10 ft step at the top I was in front of two guys, but both passed me on the descent and I had resigned myself to my first ever last place in a fell race. However, just before coming off the fell I was pleased to see a figure in front of me moving even more awkwardly than I was. However this temporary uplift was dashed when as I passed him, it turned out he was one of the leaders who had twisted his ankle, so I resigned myself again to last place. Final situation, I discovered when I saw the results, was that Jack Dugdale of CLeM (for it was he with the injured ankle) was included in the results behind me.

But in truth I was last, you can't count beating an injured man who limps over the line, half an hour behind where he should have been.

Verdict, a good week with some good workouts, but not particularly encouraging from a fitness point of view.

Oh yes, I did a bit of walking with the Old Speckled Hen as well.


Monday, July 07, 2008

Saturday 5th July

Saturday morning's run saw us (NLN, JtE, YJ, TF) set off from the Lower Barn to Ammunition Corner (thought that's what YJ called it) and then use Pauline's route to gain Spittler's Edge and onto Great Hill (4.25m). This alternative route meant only a little run on the road and worked out at only 0.25m shorter. A brief stop on Great Hill to re-group and then drop down the track towards Brinscall and the bridge for refuelling. At White Coppice (7.85m) surprisingly enough there was no Cricket to watch to delay us. The final stretch headed back past Anglezarke Reservoir to the cars at the Lower Barn. A total of 11.85m in 2hrs 40mins (call it 12m for all the wiggly bits). We were all sopping wet through, but no-one had required any medical attention, and I don't even recall anyone having a 'near-miss', so can't be bad.

The mystery packet turned out to be 4 energy efficient 8w (40w, in old money) light bulbs. This ‘freebie’ was from British Gas, apparently they’re sending out 52 million of these to their ‘loyal’ customers. So some could be coming to a letter box near you shortly, or not as the case might be. Two thoughts have since occurred to me. 1) Considering the amount of money they’re making they could have sent the more useful 10w(60w)or 15w(100w) bulbs and 2) I don’t purchase my ‘lecky’ from BGas, only gas. So can’t wait to see what E.ON are going to send through the post!


Friday, July 04, 2008

JtE mentioned last night that he'd posted info about Coope's Dozen on Norms Blog. So as he's expired (who'll be next for the chop?) I've done c&p just to remind you all. I'll be doing some cakes again for the refreshments.



The annual running of this course will take place on Saturday the 26th July, starting at the Top Barn (GR 638149 at 9.00am and finishing at the same point. It is a social run and not a race. There will be a support car at the start carrying drinks and other refreshments to Horden Stoops (GR 655159 - about half distance) and at the top end of Anglezarke reservoir (GR 616179). Anyone wishing to have their particular concoctions or kit transported to the support points can hand them over before the start.

The summits to be visited are:

Noon Hill GR 647150
Pike GR 643138
Two Lads GR 655134
Whimberry Hill GR 686139
Egg Hillock GR 684142
Counting Hill GR 672142
Winter Hill GR 660149
Old Adam’s Hill GR 661174
Spittlers’ Edge GR 654174
Great Hill GR 646191
Round Loaf GR 638182
Healey Nab GR 607180

The distance is about 18 miles but, of course, it is reasonably convenient to do the first or second half only. People usually split into fast and slow groups with the slow group taking at least four and a half hours, but at the discretion of the slowest member of the group. There is absolutely no pressure on anyone so why not give it a go?


Thursday, July 03, 2008

John The Elder Excommunicated!

My blog access tells me that my invitation to post on the blog has expired and that I must apply to Ed. for reinstatement!


What with looking after father-in-law I'm afraid I have only just checked my email to find the message above from JTE asking me to post on his behalf. Sorry John your message re Thursday is now redundant.

However message re Saturday is as follows:

Saturday 5th July

Yes YJ, I will be at the Lower Barn at 8.30.

From JTE

Changes in times of arrangements for me this Saturday now mean that I can join the Sat Squad - so look forward to seeing whoever at UTUP


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Thurs 3rd July

I'm planning on being out on thurs evening this week at the usual time/usual place. ? Need to know if I need to hang on for anyone, reply on blog or email - julie dot laverock at talk21 dot com -

Sat 5th July

I'll be there. I'm planning to have a little warm-up first on the road, aiming to be back at car for 8.30am. However, I have to go and collect a packet from the Post Office Depot in Bolton on Saturday morning (it opens at 7am) so the start time/distance for my warm up will depend how long I have to queue.

I've no idea what's in the packet because I'm not expecting a parcel. It was too big to go through the letter box apparently. I'm trying not to get too excited, because remembering the last time this happened it turned out to be a free tube of new toothpaste from Colgate in a large cardboad box!
Saturday 28th July

My mother always warned me about going out with fast women, and Saturday morning was proof that we chaps never learn.

The Saturday Squad was down to two, NLN and YJ (who was feeling anything but after a week of tiredness, aching joints and lack of motivation).It may have been foolhardy to pair up with the ever improving NLN and to even consider the usual warm up lap. But that was how it was and back at the Lower Barn for the usual start time the decision was made to repeat the run to Darwen Tower a fortnight earlier aiming possibly to shave a bit off the time. By the Tockholes road, with legs that were beginning to tire, YJ was beginning to regret the choice of route, a feeling that was barely improved when reaching the Tower four minutes up on the previous fortnight. NLN skipped along merrily, but the pace was slowing due to fatigue on my part.

The return to the Lower barn got slower and slower and we trundled back to Rivington 16 minutes behind the target time. NLN looked as thought she could have gone round again. What a change in a month. The build-up to the Joss Naylor run had gone well and left me feeling strong on the big day and hoping that the improved fitness would stay with me during the summer. So far that has not happened and the long Saturday morning outings seem to be afflicted by a reduced pace (more apologies to all). As long as the stamina is still there, and you can't grumble at 5 hours on the go and still running after 22 miles, there is still hope for a reasonable run in the Downland Challenge Ultra Run, a 30-miler on July 27th in West Sussex.


Note from NLN

YJ is too kind as usual. Having run in the Lakes with John two consecutive weekends before his Joss I know how strong he was going and look forward to seeing him back in form any Saturday soon. Sadly recovery time is never as quick as we would like it to be!

FSS and I had plannned to have a run round the first leg of the 55@55 route on Sunday but waking up to steady rain we decided to reduce our carbon footprint and go local. Starting at White Coppice, to make it easier to get to the Dressers Arms at the finish, we set off in fairly muggy conditions over Healey Nab. Not long before a light shower arrived and the waterproofs were on an off untill the Chinese Gardens when the heavens opened on the approach to the Pike. Up and over Winter Hill and down to Hordens and we were beginning to feel a bit of a chill. We decided to recce a new (to us) footpath that YJ and I had seen a runner on the day before, just before Dangerous Corner. This took us over to the slabbed path, missing out Spitlers Edge, and then onto Great Hill. Could be a useful foul weather alternative for our Saturday excursions. The rain went off and a good drying wind followed us back to the car and on to refreshments at the Dressers.

Saturday 5th July

YJ asks - will anyone be at the Lower Barn at 8.30 this coming Saturday (July 5th)?

NLN says - family commitments mean no show for me