Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tomorrow and Saturday

UTUP for me Thursday and Saturday. If YJ wants my company on Saturday 20ish miles is ok by me.
This Week

Thursday - UTUPing, suggest fell shoes and move onto tarmac as darkness falls.

Saturday - Will contact Michelle S. via Albs.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I can manage a utup this thursday, but I think it better be a brief appearance if we're going to have to keep up with Y 'speedy'J (well done btw). I can only manage 8min/m pace for the first mile!

Had a quick scan of the entrants for Snowdonia Marathon and Albert's wife Michelle and her friend Kathryn are entered. They might welcome a run round. Michelle did Macc half on Sunday with YJ in just over 2hrs. Anyone who knows them better than me want to invite them?

Downhill Route Last Night

I left the car at the RMI and set off for Scotsman's Stump about five past six, passing the parish church at 6:10 by the clock. As I started the struggle up Foxholes it was beginning to seem that reaching the Stump by 6:30 was unlikely, and as the time ticked away it became blindingly obvious that it was impossible.

Ever the optimist, I consoled myself with the thought that "they're bound to start late" and with the staggered start, it would be some time before the last runner was released from the trap. Also, there was bound to be another runner, on the last minute, getting a lift up to the start, who would share his lift with me.

But it was not to be. Two cars (unknown drivers) passed me on their way down, but neither stopped to offer me a lift up. When I finally arrived at the Stump it was deserted, so I made my final preparation (it was pretty dark by then, so I didn't have to stray far from the road) and set off towards the Pike. Fairly predictably, there was no Pike marshall, so it was a lonely run all the way through. There was a new fence near the bridge over Tiger's Clough, which threw me off my line (the dark didn't help much either) and I lost a few minutes finding it.

Then down Green Lane, across the playing field and as I approached Lee Lane, there was Peter Ramsdale walking back to his car, carrying a bottle of wine (don't know what he did to win that). We exchanged a quick word and then it was past Sam's Bar, across Station Park and back to the RMI. No-one outside, so checked inside, where the only occupants, apart from a barman in danger of redundancy, were lingerers from a Weight Watchers group (!).

Not a totally successful evening, but a reasonable work-out. Total time on feet from the clock in the car ~ one hour thirty minutes, but no time for the course, as no stopwatch.

The is a prize of a poke in the eye with a sharp stick for the best list of lessons that can be learned from this debacle.

Moving On ~ Well done YJ running at 7:56 pace for a tough half marathon. Your little brother was pleased to average 8:00 for a flat 10K!

Monday, September 28, 2009

FRA Navigation Elterwater

It was with some trepidation that Nicole and I approached the FRA Navigation weekend based at Elterwater YH, and for those of you who know us, you will know why. 

Excellent course with extremely supportive volunteers with years of experience made it all seem so easy indoors… and then we tried to put it into practice on the fells.  It wasn’t just us, most of the folk on the course had a bit of a wobble.  My night navigation partner, a burly window cleaner from Nelson was reduced to a jibbering wreck when faced with a 10K solo exercise with ten controls to find.  Our aim on the previous evening was to maybe find three.  We did in fact get all ten, but somehow neither of us could cope with the daylight route, in perfect conditions.

Lots of fun, extremely informative, some people were already signing up for the next event at Kettlewell in April!

Verdict - stick with me at night, follow Nicole in daylight hours.  They say practice makes perfect – we’ve both got a long way to go (and neither of us could probably find the way back).

Won’t be joining you roadies, Rucksack Navigational Challenge in Edale this Saturday EEEEEK!  You’ll be relieved to hear that FSS and I will be doing this as a pair.  Following Saturday  LDWA Autumn in Lakeland – splendid scenic route of just 20 miles.   Looking forward to seeing some of you at the Joss Dinner.

Congrats to YJ on Macc Half.


Calling all roadies

With the approach of the Snowdonia marathon there are just three Saturdays left and I plan to use them for some hilly road miles round the old Bolton 40 course. Speed won't be important but distance will and initially I shall probably have a short warm-up lap locally. If anyone wants a long run I'll dispense with the warm-up as long as I can stretch the outing to about 20 miles.

Company will help ease the tedium of road milesA single lap is 13 miles, adding the Belmont triangles takes it up to 17 and the old jubilee course (best run clockwise) incorporating Sheephouses and Anglezarke would give us about 22.. If anyone bumps into any other Howrich runners entered in Snowdonia we could always extend the invitation - as long as they are not too fast!

We can start at the UTUP though the last Saturday coincides with the Joss Naylor dinner which may affect timing of the morning programme.
Downhill Race tonight
A bit late to mention it, but whilst making a brew just now, I've just remembered that it is the Downhill Race from Scotsman's Stump tonight at 6.30 if anyone fancies a quick blast over to the Pike and down. I expect I shall be the slowest.
Not seen results from Saturday's XC yet. I set off too quickly harbouring ideas of battling with Mr Murray but struggled on the second lap. At least I was in front of Mssrs Shuttleworth and Chester (Barry is the Soul Twins' cousin).
Macclesfield half

After the disappointment of last week, Sunday's Macclesfield half marathon came as something of a relief. Following a fast start, strong on exuberance and low on commonsense with a fastest mile of 7 mins 03 secs on this rural course that has a total climb of nearly 2,000 ft., the hills started to bite. The climbs are long and hard with some sharp descents, the last ascent coming at 10.5 miles and lasting until 12 miles.

Throughout, the target has been the over 0/70s record which demanded an average of 8 mins 30 secs per mile and by the halfway point it obvious that only a disaster of Langdale proportions was going to thwart this ambition.

The line was crossed in 1 hr 43 mins 55 secs, almost 8 mins inside the previous record and guaranteed the other objective of first 0/70.

Perusing the posted results, post race, a younger veteran runner standing behind me said to his mate: "Wow (expletive deleted) look at that 1 43 at 70" his mate repeated "(expletive deleted) 1.43 at 70" at which point I felt compelled to come clean before the third joined in. It was almost as rewarding as the £20 vouchers I won plus the £10 spot prize voucher.

Sir Nicholas Winterton presented the prizes and was moved to make a comment each time he handed over the vouchers. Make what you will of his remark as I approached "...and all the way from Chorley, looking very distinguished..." Maybe he should have gone to Specsavers.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Whilst running last Saturday, EtU and I, having nothing better to talk about, discussed LMS and LNER steam locomotives. They were designed to haul trains between London and Scotland and vice versa. Whilst the LNER engines were, perhaps, a bit quicker, in my view the LMS engines had it on sheer good looks.



The quickest LNER locomotive, “Mallard”, still holds the world record for a steam engine at 125.80 miles per hour.



The quickest record for an LMS locomotive is 114 mph.


Just thought you all might be interested!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Last of the Summer...

...or to be more correct, first of the Autumn.

Thursday saw four of us setting off for what will probably be our last 2009
evening gallop (!) up the climbs. We started at 6:30 sharp (ish), and attained Two Lads in reasonable light, where we met Albert, Tony V and Colin Jones. Then a border collie arrived, closely followed by Doug Hayes. We chatted only briefly as we were on a mission.

Dusk was already falling as we stopped for a photo-shoot on the Pike. At this point TF turned for home, leaving the Good, the Bad and the (very) Ugly to continue Noonwards.

Not much light on Noon Hill, and even less as we descended to Georges Lane and thence up to the trig point, where yours truly managed (eventually) to master the technology and use the timer on the camera.

Then it was down the motor road with the aid of headtorches and back to the cars in just about two hours. A good outing, marred only by JtE arriving home a little later than had been hoped and thereby risked missing the start of New Tricks.

But don't fret John, here's one I took earlier.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Elterwater? Where's that?

Do you realize girls that your first challenge will be to find the place? If you manage to find it, then have a great weekend and take care!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I had initially considered the road and track option to the north of Harter Fell but thought 'proper' fellrunners can't do that and if anyone found out I'd get laughed at. The other consideration was by that stage in the proceedings there would have been too much of a temptation to carry on down the road back to the Youth Hostel and miss out 5 & 6 altogether.

So south side I went, following the Duddon route in reverse except the very top. As I guessed correctly (having subsequently checked) the ft/climb for both routes was nearly the same. Even if it'd been a nice smooth path I doubt that I'd have run much of it anyway, so opted for the shorter route.

As for the last check-point, I could have cried when I realised what I'd done, but I was too tired. A humongous effort to make myself climb back up the last hill. Looks like a lot didn't bother!

Thursday 24th Sep

At this time of year we're losing daylight at the rate of nearly three minutes at both dawn and dusk every day. The sun sets at 7:01 pm this Thursday, so assuming that we'll just about be able to see for another half hour after that, we should just about be able to do the climbs one last time (sun sets 6:43 next week ~ no, JtE, not all week, just on Thusday).

So, put your climbing legs on, be ready to run at 6:30 sharp (or as soon as I arrive after that) and let's go for it ~ but put a headtorch in your bum-bag, just in case.


Followed TF's route round the LDMT using Routegadget; a fascinating piece of software. Hers was a brave but unpopular route choice from CP 4 to 5, and her aberration between 5 and 6 was, to say the least, "interesting".

Monday, September 21, 2009

Open to Offas – 30.29 miles, 6,977ft climbed

Having done this event last year with FSS and got round in just under seven hours, this year was always going to be a more leisurely and social  affair, the aim simply to get some miles in.  This was accomplished in a very enjoyable manner.  Without my trusty ‘pacer’ I added an hour to my time, completing in just over eight hours as a result of a wrong turn right at the end, would have been in just under eight without this.  Had I stuck with Keith, my original plan, I would have been nearly two hours over!  This as a result of too many pints having been consumed on the Friday night – Keith not me!

A great day out, wonderful route, warm, overcast.  Jogged along with a couple of chaps from West Lancs LDWA and a Macc Harriers man, who some of us will meet at the Joss Naylor dinner, as he completed his round in June this year. 


2009-09-19_Open_To_Offas 010

2009-09-19_Open_To_Offas 009 

Peter Nolan, Macc Harriers

Brian Fisher


Recognise the man on the right – Brian Fisher of West Lancs LDWA.  We’ve bumped into him a few times around Winter Hill, Great Hill.  One of your saviours JtE at White Coppice, on the Amble.

Here’s a link to Brian’s picture gallery for more piccies of the day.

PS  FSS supporting Bill Williamson’s Ramsey Round.  Sadly weather in Scotland not so kind, this coupled with a shortage of daylight hours meant that Bill didn’t get round in the 24 hours.

Holiday Pictures

What do medieval church buildings and railway steam engines have in common. The answer, using modern parlance is “You get what you see”


Here, no matter where you look, the columns, tracery, arches, and externally the buttresses and pinnacles are all in stone in compression in all its glory doing its  job in stabalizing the structure for all to see. No hidden steelwork or reinforced concrete here.


Similarly, the works of the steam engine is exposed to be seen. No hidden crankshaft, pistons, connecting rods and the like.


Normally steam engines have four buffers, one at each corner, but this one has a fifth buffer on the footplate. Have you seen the driver’s headgear!.


Finally, this one’s for Ian.

Hope you’ll all forgive my ramblings. Thanks FSS for the now downloaded software making blog postings with pictures much easier.

As predicted, Sunday's Langdale marathon was a stern test and a major disappointment in that my finishing time of 4hr 52min was my worst ever. For the first time I knew what it means to 'hit the wall' and this I did at 20 miles.

Up that point it had been a pleasant if strenuous outing with the warm sunshine bathing the surrounding fells and raising the temperature for those grunting round this two lap race. It could have been the heat, or the lack of recent long runs that progressively sapped the energy. As the half marathoners peeled off to their finish the road ahead became increasingly quiet with just a few companions to divert the mind from the task ahead.

By 20 miles walking, especially on the climbs was becoming more frequent and by 23 it was difficult to raise the pace to a run. At 24 miles an ambulance pulled alongside to check on my condition, driving on when I assured them that all the vital signs of life were still there.

Passing the car park for the last quarter mile meant more effort to impress the few spectators who had hung about. That last section was the hardest road run I can remember.

Desperate to gain some crumbs of comfort from the outing I was the winner (and only entrant) in my age group and, more positively, completed the first lap in 1hr 58mins, ahead of the age-group winner of the half marathon, Edward Corley of Horwich RMI, by 14 minutes.

The Langdale marathon's claim to be the toughest road marathon in the world does have some credence with its 3,927 feet of climb. Must do better next year.
I've plotted my route on the routegadet thing. A picture is worth a thousand words!

Can manage UTUP thurs and fri, but not sat.

Wishing Hazel a speedy recovery.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Holiday at Santon

Not a lot to report, other than that I managed to run every day, apart from travelling days. Did my Mitredale round and was ticked off by a Duke of Edinburgh adjudicator for advising a group of young ladies who seemed to need some advice from an old man.

Accompanied David P-T whilst he ticked off what he felt was his last Wainwright that it was sensible to tackle from Wasdale. This was Seaththwaite Fell, a fine small top that overlooks (would you believe?) Seathwaite. One that should definitely be visited, even if you're not "bagging".

Other days were just Irton Pike.

Tracking Tuesday, and UTUPing Thursday and Saturday.
Memo to TF

"what a day" is not an adequate account of your LDMT epic!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Just to let everyone know that Hazel is now home and recovering. For those that didn't know - Hazel felt ill but decided to try a longish run (like fell runners do) and ran home from work, over 7 miles, before being admitted to hospital with septicaemia. It means she is a true member of the wfdbwgua, and probably it's a hard one to better.
If you are reading Hazel," Get well soon."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

YJ - also 'Unready'

Ten days away on holiday with minimal training is not the best preparation for a marathon so Sunday's 26-miler is going to be a real test and also the reason why I shall not be UTUPing on Saturday.

I shall be at the solstice meal on the 25th by which time I shall have decided whether I shall be out on the 26th or saving my energies for the Macclesfield half marathon on the 27th.

Monday, September 14, 2009

7hr52 & 25/25, what a day! Results (& splits) on sportident website. Routes will be on routegadget at some point so you can all have a go. My route was 13.5m on straight lines, don't know ft/climb.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Not utup for me tomorrow, workmen coming round to discuss a job. Off to Nottingham on Monday for a few days and I'm not sure if I'll be out the following Saturday, so don't wait if I'm not there by 8.30.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Sneaking on while IT at work are fiddling with the system!

No Utup for me this week as resting for the LDMT on Sunday. This is likely to be my longest and toughest day out in the hills so far (if I finish) and I've already emailed the organisers advising that I'll be the slowest and wanted an early start. They believed me and I got 8:32am!

So for post-race recuperation I have planned a relaxing weeks holiday in the Lakes which starts on Monday with a full body massage and facial, which I thought I'd probably deserve after my hard efforts the day before. This is followed on Wednesday by a day of improving my culinary skills, and Friday watching the Uphill Race at the Commonwealth Games in Keswick. As you can see, not a lot of movement required for any of these, so I may try to fit in a few hills as well, but a lot depends on whether my legs agree with my head.

I can make the utup on 25th Sept.

Next Couple of Weeks

UTUPing Thursday 10th, then Santon Bridge 12th to 19th.

Most folk can make 25th for the "do" so I'm firming up on that, apologies to those who can't make it, will allow more time for planning for the Winter Solstice.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Blast from the Past
Probably my favourite when I was about 6 years old - we'd just got a telly.
Don't think I'll use that style for my next race finish though!

Up in the Lakes this weekend but probably get no mileage in - going to watch Diane in the Great North Swim on Saturday.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Pandion Haliaetus

Dennis Mason sent us this link.
Rufford 10k, yesterday
Just a few quick comments. I thought Ed must have had a cracking race as he was only two minutes behind and had done a fair old bit of mileage on the Saturday. Obviously the carbo loading on Saturday night must have done wonders. I had my fastest time since 2004 and we weren't far behind the likes of Blandy and Bazza. I'm sure Matt would have been first V70 were it not for not being race sharp. Below is my deteriation then slight improvement over the years for the course:
09 - 47:32
08 - dns
07 - 47:36
06 - 47:45
05 - 49:37
04 - 47:19
03 - 44:44
02 - 46:12
01 - 44:05
00 - 43:40
99 - 45:47
25th is fine for me for equinox but is it too far for Ed and PW to travel?

Sunday, September 06, 2009

A Blast From the Past ~ Nostalgia Still Rules ~ OK
Where Larks and Swifts Splash

Having survived the short course, I have a lot of respect for NLN's completion of the full WEF route. The short course wasn't especially demanding as a route, but at 18 miles with water splashing up from the ground, gurgling down the streams and falling from the heavens (guess that's lower case for the pleural) to take on the extra 8 miles into the high ground deserves a lot of credit, well done!

TF and I splashed along and had a great time. My number was 69, so it didn't matter whether I was on my a**e or my elbow and the two alternated more than once or twice. Towards the end we were to-ing and fro-ing with a trio of sporty ladies who seemed to have the edge on us speed-wise, but TF's (almost) perfect navigating kept us in contention, and they fell by the wayside with a mile or two to go, and we were eating our quiche and salad (hardly the food for heroes) when they finally landed. An excellent long morning out.

Haven't yet seen the results for the Rufford 10k thingy (was Matt's reference to the Ruffold 10k just a mistake, a Freudian slip, or a clever reference to it being a contest between two rough old men?), but despite Saturday's exertions and a couple or more beers in the evening, I managed to get back to a sub 50 minutes finish (it was a very flat course). T'Yorkshireman beat me by over 2 minutes, well done Gordon. Matt was a few minutes behind me, but no doubt was further up his age group than I was in mine.

Matt bemoaned his lack of speed, blaming it on not being able to do the Tuesday track sessions, but we are investigating the possibility of organising our own session at the Arena on Wednesdays ~ all welcome.

Where Eagles Fly

Well they might well do, but there was no chance of seeing them on Harter Fell in all that clag!  My first attempt at running solo and therefore being responsible for my own navigation EEK!  Chose this event as having done the Kentmere Horseshoe recently I knew second half of route.  This being said I poured over the maps, instructions, plotted the whole thing on memory map and fretted over ever getting out of Burneside.

So on the day?  Stuck to the Toyota school of map reading (following the one in front) out of Burneside, however beyond Potter Tarn felt confident with the preparation and got to first checkpoint, in fact picked a better route than FSS when comparing map traces.  Over to Mardale and up to Nan Bield not even I could have gone wrong, slight hiccup induced by following two blokes along the contour path under Harter Fell, but realised that they were intending to bypass summit so struck out and up to cairn and passed them on the run off to Kentmere Pike. 

Up to Nan Bield Jenny (Chorley H) and I had been running together more or less but she pulled away from me on the climb to Harter where I had a few agonising bursts of cramp in my right calf.  Not fully recovered from last week’s exertions then!  Thank goodness I’d stuffed a Clif bar in my rucksack as an afterthought back home, I managed to swallow this and wash it down with a full bottle of water and the cramp eased off. 

Following route instructions, but reluctant to get map out in appalling conditions coming off Kentmere Pike, followed another two blokes to ‘Ladder stile’.  Turned out to be a different ladder stile anyway in right direction but managed to miss out Shipman’s Knotts, traversing on path below.  This bit didn’t feel just right but as all four blokes were now following me, I thought it must be OK (not just me then).  Got to vicinity of Mag’s How but couldn’t find the blessed place.  Ran up and down village knowing I was within 100yds of it as I’d found the path away from the checkpoint!  AAARGH!  Then saw Jenny – she’d had a couple of mishaps coming off Shipman’s and so had been delayed.  Trotted last leg together Jenny doing most of the route finding on the bridleways/tracks/footpaths, which all looked the same to me.  But I did find the path by the river and did feel I knew the general direction we were going in due to the preparation and at one point corrected the wrong turn on the road.  So feel reasonably good about fulfilling the objectives 7/10.

The last leg from Kentmere didn’t just prove confusing to me - FSS missed a gate and put an extra four miles on his route missing out on 2nd man home which he had been up until that point (still about an hour ahead of me).

Lessons learnt – not difficult but much more practice required.  Looking forward to Navigation weekend on 25th.

Including my run down to Kentmere Church and all the way back up to Green Quarter looking for the checkpoint, I clocked 26.75miles and 5,839ft of climbing.  This is one of the toughest LDWA events I’ve done, reflected in the time of just under seven hours which neither Jenny or I could believe.  Getting back ‘though, only one other woman was ahead of us, so we weren’t as slow as you might think.  And it wasn’t Britta (Fellrunner Editor) in fact there were a number of women who at the start I didn’t think I would see again, which I didn’t but for a different reason if you see what I mean. 

Good to see EtU and TF at the start (rucksack now ordered – thanks for info TF) – how was it for you?


Friday, September 04, 2009

Utup tomorrow but only doing a couple of hours due to Ruffold 10k on Sunday.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

utup thurs, and eagles (short) sat

This Saturday, the 5th.

UTUP for me for a canal towpath run.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Equinox Do

I have provisionally booked the TaT for Friday 25th September.

Speak now or forever...
This Week

Thursday 3rd Sep ~ UTUP.

Saturday 5th Sep ~ Flying With the Eagles ~ but