Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Blimey, the lengths you married women have to go to get your Husbands to make the tea!
As to the treatment, a lot will depend on how stable/unstable the fracture is and whether there is or could possibly be a dislocation within the Elbow joint. As they let you out, then I'm guessing they don't think it's too serious and you'll probably get away with a 'pop' cast for a couple of weeks.
I don't think they'd bring you back to the fracture clinic otherwise, but even if they think it's ok to leave then FSS is in for busy couple of weeks. I'm sure he'll cope, he's made of stern stuff!
Having endured my company for five hours last Saturday, NLN could evidently not face the prospect of having to do the same again this Saturday at the Borrowdale as planned, even though JtE would be there to counteract my presense. Understandable as that may be, it's a bit extreme to break your arm just to avoid the encounter NLN. You could have done what everyone else does and said "I'm not running with you, you silly old Sod!".
If I volunteer to miss the Saturday run for a couple of weeks the physcological boost you get should ensure you're back running within the week.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Not for NLN, it would seem. It was only this Saturday that I was accused yet again of being associated with each of her last three mishaps:- the poorly engine, the nose and the speeding ticket. But we hoped that that would be the end of her problems, for the time being at least.
But it obviously was not to be. Perhaps she is destined to suffer three lots of three bad things, so after the arm there's two more to go in this series, and then three more ~lets hope not.
Sorry to hear of your injury, but having FD, lets hope you GUA pretty damn quick.
Very best wishes for a speedy recovery.
This year has seen me develop a very unhealthy attraction to hard surfaces. You all read with amusement of my encounter on Great End, well the story continues. Last night the tarmac beckoned and I fell hook, line and sinker for its magnetic qualities. Upshot is - a broken right arm! Much to the disbelief of FSS, who with some reluctance transported me to the A&E department of Chorley Hospital at nine o’clock last night. Three and a half hours later a quite jubilant young doctor pointed out to us both on screen a clean break of the ulna at the elbow joint.
Currently I am in a sort of sling contraption to support the arm, but am due at the fracture clinic first thing Thurs morning. Don’t know what to expect then. How is this sort of fracture dealt with, maybe TF can enlighten?
Excellent cakes on Saturday thanks go to Julie and Joan and to Christina for additional support.
All for now!
The extra long Saturday mornings recently paid off for me on the South Downs 30 mile race on Sunday. Conditions were almost perfect, contributing to the 43 minute improvement over last year.
Finish time was 5 hrs 38 mins with an official pace of 11 mins 06 secs per mile.
Unfortunately there was no split at 65 years so I was lumped with the 60 plus group in which I came third. Overall placing was 65 out of nearly 100 starters. Haven't worked out the total climbing yet but it won't be huge -- they don't have proper hills in the south!
Here are more photos of Saturdays run. Not much variation from JtE's I'm afraid.
Thanks to Joan & Julie for the cakes etc. Good website NLN.
A likely looking group
Remember when we could run?
Monday, July 27, 2009
NLN - thanks for the link to that website, thats just what I've been after. I tried to do something similar with 'mapmyrun' and the ordnance survey site using 2 screens on view for my homework for Sunday's race. Had to resort to using the OL paper map in the end. Just a pity I made the assumption we'd probably follow some of the 'Gritstone Trail' route south of Teggs Nose Country Park and not the one mile bit we did that was north!
I mapped my route on Sunday as being 12 miles so a bit short of the 15 that was advertised. My only transgression was taking a short-cut down a farm drive which wasn't a 'right of way'. I know this 'cos it said so on the gate. But this is what happens if you leave your gate open, any Tom, Dick or Fellrunner can come wandering in. More than likely 30 + others before me. Wonder if we all had the same 'blag' ready if caught '....a bit lost 'guv, come to see if there was anyone about to tell me where I was... there was a notice on the gate.... well I never, didn't see that, ever so sorry...' !
Glad you all enjoyed the cakes. My aim is to feed you enough of them so you all get to run slower so I can keep up!
I can manage a utup on thurs and probably Sat as well.
Encouraging the older ones amongst us to reminisce, that is.
Just clicked on NLN's latest link and there it was - Crook Peak. Just a little research (it's still in the calendar) confirmed that it was the Crook Peak that I raced down in deepest Zummerset back in August 1993. I was doing an audit at ROF Bridgwater (only one "e" in that one), when one of the local lads mentioned that there was a race on the Wednesday night.
It seemed like home from home when I turned up at registration to find that there was not only a Tetley's wagon in the car park (delivering beer, not tea), but Chris Lyon and his wife were entered.
The race didn't go well, my diary entry reads "...terrible, only just beat Carole Lyon". The beer went down better.
It wasn't always ideal, working away from home with a young family, but it certainly gave me opportunities to run in new areas. Earlier that month I had "bagged" Ben Lomond whilst on audit at Bishopton near Glasgow.
Co-incidentally, my training diary also tells me that the world triathlon championship was held in Rivington in that same month, although I'm fairly sure it wasn't an ironman. I did the Horwich tri a week later and fairly predictably my diary entry reads "...pretty bad (PW)..." ~ did I never have a good run?
Just spotted another co-incidence - this year (perhaps every year) the August Harrock Hill race, which I believe was first organised by Chris Lyon, is on the same evening as Crook Peak - spooky!
Well worth a look at this.
Gives you a split screen of the OS map and the corresponding google earth image. Typed in White Coppice to see where we went wrong on Sat. No paths appeared on the image from Hurst Hill down to the bridleway to Watermans cottage – but hey I knew that anyway. Just type in any location on the top left of the OS map.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
An interesting/amusing thread on the FRA forum on a subject close to JtE's heart. A couple of extracts below. Worth a look - some more serious issues ie health and safety guidelines etc All under General fell running issues -
There seems to be a view in the farming community that the stock that has been rapidly bred up since foot and mouth is far more jumpy / batty / possibly more agressive than previous. This could be a factor in an increasing number of incidents occurring.
"Are cows gradualy getting more aggressive? In a hundred years, when we're enslaved in a bovine hell, will we look back at this period and say: this is where it all began?"
"Passing a group of cows is similar to passing a group of drunk teenagers at night.
I think the most important thing is to be confident. I don't really believe they smell fear, but they certainly notice body language. If they do approach you looking dodgy you can usually face them down by waving arms and speaking to them in a stern manner. This works 9/10 times. In the remaining 1/10 times the best advice is to run as fast as you can. The average cow is rubbish at opening gates, however some teenagers have learned this skill."
"I have been to a "Next" sale - probably a similar experience but scarier - never come between a cow and her calf. Or a woman and her sale rail."
"My ex-wife is a bit of a cow. She could be dangerous and could certainly smell fear."
Thursday, July 23, 2009
How this one got in the calendar is a mystery. The amount of tarmac would have been criminal in a 15 mile race let alone a 5 mile one. An internet search had provided little in the way of info about the race, in the listing it said
'New course for 2009, cutting out tarmac of High Street'
So with this you make the assumption that people have moaned about the road bit and they've improve the route by taking it off-road. Well technically it was 'off-road', it was on a tarmac path/track that ran along the road! Ok, so health & safety were probably ecstatic about limiting the potential damage to cars from running over a Fellrunner, but narrow bits caused at least three bottle-necks in the first 5 mins.
By the time I got to the 'off-road' bit, my feet were done-for by my new fell shoes. I'd been trying to break them in gentle by limiting the time worn to an hour at a time, so 5/6m races were the longest I've been tempted to do in them so far. Such a relieve to whip them off after only 55mins!
On the plus side I managed to maintain my position for the whole race, I didn't get rained on, I didn't fall over, I burned a few calories and I was back home by 10pm. I think I would only be really tempted to do this one again if it'd been dry for at least 2 weeks and I could therefore run it in road shoes.
You might have guessed it NLN, I had a pair of those boots. The outer nails in the picture are Tricuni No. 6 and the stud type nails that would be in the sole and heel, Tricuni No. 1. They gave a good grip on wet rock but, as you might imagine, they were ridiculously heavy. Vibram soles put an end to nailed boots.
Bring it on!
Speaking of which FSS has posted an image of a pair of original climbing boots on display at the fabulous Brackenclose FRCC Hut in Wasdale. Did any of you possess a pair? Another snippet which appeared on this site and was picked up by the RMI blog is a video of this year’s Wasdale race. Well worth a look, you can see EtU actually made the start, if not the finish.
Looking forward to Coope’s Dozen, Saturday
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
We mustn't get into too much nostalgia, JtE, or boast too much of past glories(?) but perhaps the team will forgive us the occasional trip down memory lane.
I'm fairly sure that 1990 was the year when, at the end of the final Kentmere climb, I felt I had left Gary Harold and Roy Edwards a comfortable distance behind, but as is so often the case, I had underestimated the paucity of my descending skills. With perhaps half a mile to go, my complacency was disturbed by the sound of scattering rocks as our two training companions made great inroads into my lead.
I raised the pace and managed to hold them off, but it was a very close call. John, seems like you have a copy of the results, can you confirm that I did manage to stay ahead, and by what margin?
Another little memory of the day is of my late mother-in-law giving my picnic orange to Albert Sunter. Was it that he needed it more than me, or because he deserved it more than me?
I believe that this picture was taken after the Kentmere Fell Race on the 1st. April 1990. I was 55, EtU was 45, And Gary Harrold, reading from the results, must have been under 40. EtUs time was 2.09.15 and mine 2.22.46. Note my time at your approx. age t'Yorkshireman. I'll give you the 10 to 15 mins. you might have had!
(more or less)
I chucked my slide rule away about 30 odd years ago in favour of the newly invented calculator. Although I have been working in metric measure since 1972 when the building industry changed over, I feel more comfortable in considering the height of mountains in imperial measure, and, of course, we always consider distances in miles. For my calculations therefore I have converted the horizontal distance from Styhead to Gable summit to feet to coincide with the vertical height in feet given on my map. Using trigonometry, the opposite, being the vertical dimension, is 1349 feet, and the adjacent, being the horizontal dimension, which I measure as 3975 feet, gives me an opposite over adjacent figure of 0.3394 and applying this figure to the Tangent column in my trig. tables gives me an angle of 18.75 degrees. Further, my old friend Pythagoras (is that how you spell him?) tells me that the sloping distance from Styhead to the summit, in a straight line and excluding bumps, is 4198 feet, only a mere 223 feet more than the horizontal dimension. Amazing!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Using the Excel formula =ATAN(CF/3/1760/LM*2)*180PI() where CF is height climbed in feet, and LM is the race length in miles (just repeat all the other stuff) we find that the average gradient for the Pike Race is a mere 4.77 degrees.
On the same basis, and in response to a query from JtE, we find that the average gradient from the Sty Head stretcher box to the the summit of Great Gable is only 17.7 degrees.
"Can this be so?" I hear you ask yourselves. Perhaps JtE, being that sort of guy, would confirm using his sliderule. Just remember, John, that when you're using race distances, you need to halve the published distance, as, on average, only half the race is up ~ although it doesn't always seem like that.
Monday, July 20, 2009
On chatting to him after the race he mentioned YJ being the first entrant in the first race he'd organised, amazing that me and YJ had the same conversation in the car up to Wasdale. Anyway he's planning to do the JNC next summer with a friend of his Harry Johnson (also V70) from Newburgh Nomads. It sounds as though he's going to use the full 24 hours so I might be able to offer to help out for the running on this one!
EtU should be relieved to know that there's nothing in the little book that I can do next week, I'm going to get withdrawal symptoms. So I better make the most of Stoney Middleton and Gritstone Tryal this week.
With TF's fell total now standing at an almost unassailable 134 miles, against my paltry 25, I've a lot of racing to do between now and the "Daleside Brewery Auld Lang Syne" if I'm not to hand over that fiver to JtE.
And what's more, I do believe that she's the only one of us to have completed an A Long this year; speak up if I'm wrong.
They took entries on the day at Kentmere, so I lined up with the rest of them on what had changed from a wild and blustery morning to a suddenly rather warm sunny afternoon. First race for my new mudclaws so made sure I got plenty of vaseline on my heels.
However, halfway up the first climb I could feel the first signs of them rubbing so I stopped and added some more vaseline and rejoined the climb at what was for me a leisurely pace, not wanting to push it - a long way to go.
Stopped again half an hour later - will tightening my laces make any difference? No! Well I'm not one for retiring if there's no timeouts and as I headed for High Street could see there were a few quite a distance behind. By High Street I'd caught Mark up again along with some women from Totley and Abbey Runners and another fellow just ahead - feeling very fresh but as usual struggling on the descents. As we headed for Kentmere Pike I was now struggling on the climbs, not because of fitness, but because my heels were killing me. Luckily some kind people from Chorley Harriers were giving support and provided me with some blister plasters about half a mile before Kentmere Pike - but all this stopping loses time. Wonderful views on this race btw. final descent of Kentmere was somewhat muddy then the flagged run-in where you think you've got lost because the flags disappear for ages. Eventually finished in 3:06 with my usual sprint!! but a feeling that I should have been 10 to 15 minutes quicker without the constant pain in my heels.
Sunstroke - it must have been sunny because despite suntan lotion, had a splitting headache by late evening.
Because, I'm usually on holiday at this time of year, it was the first time I've done Kentmere and it should be a route that I would generally enjoy. Hopefully I will get a chance to go back and post a decent time.
Plenty of photos at
Hope to make Coope's Dozen but it all depends on if my packed for hols.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Perhaps a too cautious start at Holme Moss meant a slower time (?10mins) than last year, but there was a change to the final section of the route that played a factor. Conditions were a bit 'soggy' as you can see for yourself http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpVMNuNY2lA yours truly appears at about 2mins and right at the end of the video, bloke behind me is the sweeper. He had the unenveable job of watching my rear again for about 8/9 miles as he did last year, he said he still wasn't fit enough to do the race, wonder if he'll use that excuse again next year!
I managed to pull away from the other tailenders (4) after the climb to the top of Laddow Rocks. Some of the stream crossings after this point got a bit interesting. I had no one in sight, so had to do my own depth testing, what had been ankle deep trickles last year, were knee/thigh deep torrents this year. All adding to the enjoyment of completing my first AL for the year.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
I'm sure all the regular gang know that we're doing Coope's Dozen next Saturday, 25th July, but for other readers, we start from the Top Barn at 9:00 a.m. Expect to be out for anything between two and a half and five hours, covering 18 miles and visiting 12 local tops. All welcome; email me (see above) or ring me on 01257 480026 for further details.
The cattle currently loose on Two Lads seem a bit more interesting than we've had in recent years. This highland cow is a fine beast, caught here ruminating in the early afternoon. There were calves nearby, one or more of which could have been hers.
This beef shorthorn bull is also quite fine, although to be seen at his best he would need to stand up, which I couldn't persuade him to do. These are primarily bred as "crossing bulls" which means that rather than being kept for siring pure bred shorthorns, they are used to improve the quality of calves from other breeds, frequently highlands. They come in a variety of colours, this red and grey mottled chappie is described as "roan". They are known to have a "lovely" temperament (JtE please note).
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Thought I'd bore you with a few race stats, details for my cumulative total so far. The more mathematically aware amongst you can make of them what you will. I've uploaded it as a 'jpeg' file to save a bit of space, click on as you would for a photo. If it appears a bit blurry then close one eye and squint with the other. It'll all become clear. If not, you're sitting too close to the computer.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Sorry to hear about your experience at Rivington, JtE, at least you seem fairly bullish about the situation, and certainly not cowed by it. At least they didn't cream you.
Hope that you were wearing your jersey and weren't Friesian.
Let's also hope that there's not an'udder occurrence, but in case there is, put an entry in your dairy, so that it's well documented; just don't milk it.
Sorry to read of your timimg out EtU. It was obviously a glorious day and this must have been some consolation.
Thanks NLN for your wicked comments concerning my new affiliation with Darwen Tower!
There was some excitement in my run. On climbing the stone steps on the approach to Rivington Green I was confronted by a herd of some 30 black cows and bullocks. They were quite excited because they had found another cow, not of their herd, on the opposite side of the fence. They completely blocked my route to the gate beyond. Being a bit weary at that stage I could not face a detour and therefore decided to go through them. I was a bit concerned as someone had recently been killed under similar circumstances. However, with much tossing of heads and jumping around, those in my way allowed me through. Having got some 30m beyond them I decided to look back only to see that one particularly frisky young bullock thing had decided to take me on. It was galloping towards me. I was too far away from the gate to run and so I faced it loudly clapping my hands and bawling at it to b***** off. Whilst its legs seemed to be flailing about in all directions the net result was, miraculously, that it veered away. I carried on a short distance and looked round again only to see that it had decided to do a repeat performance. I responded in similar manner. This time it skidded to a halt facing me, with head held low. My reaction was to keep eye contact with it and walk backwards. I did this until I noticed that it had been distracted and at that point I legged it to the gate. Norman would have been proud of me. So, unless you people particularly want to get rid of me, you shouldn't let me out on my own!
Sunday, July 12, 2009
It was just 20 years ago that I first entered the Wasdale Fell Race and the wisely shaken heads in the RMI when I announced this were proven to be right when I was timed out on Gable in 4:25.
The next year, (1990) I was better prepared and finished the course in 6:35; I was delighted.
1991 was another DNF timed out on Pillar, but finishes in 1992, 1993 and 1994 (my BG year) when I ran 5:42 meant that I felt that I had some credibility as a fellrunner.
My next attempt was in 1998 when I ran 6:23, but I didn't realise that that was almost certainly to be my last finish. 1999 saw poor conditions and I took a terrible line off Whin Rigg and arrived at Greendale half an hour off schedule. I knew there was no point in toiling up Seatallen, and that year was my only voluntary retirement.
In 2003 and 2008 I was timed out on Pillar, but with the benefit of my Joss training, I felt that 2009 might produce another finish. But it was not to be, despite sterling support from TF and YJ on Pillar. Pillar was reached 15 minutes earlier than in '08 (one minute over the cut-off but the marshals turned a blind eye) but the descent to Black Sail is not to my liking and having worked hard to reach Pillar I was running out of steam. On reaching the marshals on Gable, I was 25 minutes outside cut-off and despite my cheery "Can I carry on?" I was, quite rightly, sent home.
The beauty, magic and menace of the Wasdale valley and surrounding fells have always made them special to me (scatter my ashes on Mickledore) but it seems that I won't be trying the 'Big One' any more ~ well maybe just one more time...
Enjoyed a lovely leisurely day at Wasdale in glorious sunshine. Bit hot for the runners but for the rest of us quite wonderful. Lunch at Wasdale Head Inn and a pootle in the valley before seeing the winners in at the finish, followed by drinks at the Screes. Very nice. I may never run again!
Good to see EtU make it to the start and TF and YJ before they headed up Yewbarrow. Look forward to reading all about it. Ed was that you in the Honda as we left the field?
Must have been a tough one chatting to Steve and Brian who both retired from the proceedings. Suzanne B made it round I believe in just over six hours.
Hope to be out on Thurs but not Sat as back up for weekend in Wasdale staying at the Fell and Rock Climbing Hut, which was the building just behind the race finish yesterday, coincidentally.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
I put a reserve earlier on today (via EtU) on one space if that's ok YJ. Were you thinking of taking the route up Yewbarrow and across to Scoat? Quite fancy having a go at that one having studied it intently last year whilst waiting for FSS to arrive at Wasdale last August.
I did suggest to EtU that we could follow him round from Pillar shouting encouragement or whatever will make him run quicker!
A slight amendment to my FRA total, I'd missed one off from March and a further race completed this evening so total now stands at 113.1m and 29820ft
EtU and YJ are in the Lakes on Saturday to run and spectate respectively on the Wasdale race. We are meeting at the Hob Inn at 8.00 am and there is currently spare room in the car. YJ will be planning a roundabout run (about 9 miles) ending up at Scoat or Black Sail pass to support EtU (U-nencumbered with drinks). Return from the rendezvous will add a few more miles.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
My mileage total for FRA Races is now up to 102.6 and Ft/Climb 26930. To date the longest has been 11.5m and shortest 3m, so sadly lacking in AL races.
This could prove to be a bit critical as I did my online entry for the Lake District Mountain Trial last night (the first one on the list). This involved a bit of tricky navigating round a duff link from the ldmta site, so I passed the first test with flying colours.
Now things get a bit tougher, entries are vetted for suitability and I’m upping the stakes this time and going for the Women’s Trial and 12m/5000ft. You are required to state your relevant experience, some of the suggestions were BG and JN. I didn’t think I’d get away with ticking the JN and adding a very small foot note *car support X 2, so as part of my recent achievements and ‘relevant experience’ my list included
From last year
3 AL’s (Holme Moss, Exterminator, & Tour of Pendle),
From this year
2 LDWA (Hebden & Trollers Trot)
2 AM’s (Anniversary Waltz & Buttermere Sailbeck)
3 Long ‘O’ type events (Kinder Trial, New Chew & South Pentland Hills)
A couple of district and regional orienteering events
So fingers and toes crossed, I hope I’ve done enough to satisfy the scrutiny panel. In any case they need someone to make all the others appear so much better!
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Monday, July 06, 2009
For anyone interested the three chicks, all females, have been ringed and the two older ones fitted with radio transmitters for tracking during migration. The transmitters and the aerials are visible on the webcam. I am not in favour of the fitting of these devices as I feel sure that the back feathers cannot be as waterproof as they otherwise would be and the aerodynamics must be affected in terms of drag. This must have some detrimental effect during the thousands of miles of migration. However, following their migration on Google Earth is fascinating.
Luckily I had worn my gps and so had quite a few so we were able to compare how far we had done. This ranged from the actual length, 5.8miles, through my distance, 6.28, right up to 7m. All due to a Teddy Bear Picnic in the woods with a walk and a problem with 2 sets of flags. I think Gordon took my route and finished a couple of minutes after me. Suzanne Budget came in first woman and Graham Schofield first Horwich man, 5th overall. I was 83rd.
Hope you all had good weekends and think you should do the 3rd and last in this series on 22 August as it's up to the Tower yet again. Don't want to do Tower ever again after that!
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Today's outing was completed only by YJ, JtE and me. The basic UTUP run was Spittlers, Great Hill, Brinscall triangle, White Coppice, Healey Nab and to the barn. 13 miles. YJ, however, had completed almost 6 miles before the UTUP arrangement, and as we were back at the barn 10 minutes earlier than anticipated he went off with EtU for another mile or so. It was evident during the run that without the pace injected by the girls the Saturday run really would become a sort of Last of the Summer Wine.
Friday, July 03, 2009
As I have a need both for a long run on Saturday and to be back in time for visitors arriving for lunch I will be starting a warm-up lap at 7 o'clock aiming to be at the UP at the UT to run with the main group. This was a practice I dropped last year when I could not keep up with the group pace. So, should I similarly be too slow for you all on Saturday, as I was last week, I will trundle on alone aiming for distance rather than speed. If only I could believe that TF was really not planning a fast run....
Before that I hope to see you all at the T&T.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Referring to your Oban experience EtU, I should declare that Stafford and "closing down" go hand-in-hand. Taking myself as an example, today I went to see a Orthopaedic Practicioner about my shoulder which closed down just before Christmas and shows little interest in re-opening. The Practicioner had an optomistic but rather naive view that it could be coaxed into altering it's attitude.
Then there's my moody knee which, unless constantly nursed, goes into a sulk and closes down for about six months. Finally, as you are aware my brain closed down many years ago with a notice declaring, "All items of value have been removed".
The one redeeming fact is that the Distillery remains open to produce whisky, whilst I remain open to consume it. This is a most agreeable and civilised state of affairs whose status I am eager to retain for a considerable number of years.
Tomorrow I hope to have a rare Thursday utup session. 6.30 I presume.