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.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Thursday 6th & Saturday 8th Nov '08

I'm UTUPing.