Saturday, October 31, 2009


Regarding the problem that I am experiencing with font type and font size in posting on the blog it seems that the Windows Vista Service Pack, which can affect device drivers, could be the culprit. Please tell me who else uses Windows Vista and if  a similar problem is experienced.

This posting is via Windows Live Writer as recommended by FSS.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Well I never

Learnt something new today and it's only 8:26am. The term 'clag' is actually an acronym for an RAF term Cloud Low Aircraft Grounded. How come I had to learn this off a website and none of you told me?!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

This Saturday

UTUP for me. In composing this posting the font does not show as Arial and the font size seems to be the same regardless of the size I select. The actual posting, however, will, I think, show in Arial. I have just installed Vista Service Pack One. Could this be the problem? Any ideas anyone?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Does This Help?

One of the problems with the blog which seems to be under discussion is the ease or otherwise that photos can be arranged and captioned. I sought, some time ago, the advice of FSS and he referred me to This should be accessed having the blog/user name and password to hand. It solves this particular problem and it also also allows the correct enlargement of pictures when double clicked. It's so simple that even I can use it successfully.
Saturday 31st Oct

I will not be out this Saturday, as I will be in Hampshire and West Sussex with the family. Fully intend to be out the following Saturday.
Playing Catchup

I'm constantly chasing my tail these days so it's a overdue well done to;

NLN for the quality of her pics. I thought FSS had done the Joss Naylor weekend on his super camera until he advised me differently.

TF for the website information re YJ's Snowdonia.

YJ for his comprehensive M70 victory at the Snowdonia. For those who are not aware, Peter Norman DNF, was the M70 English Fell Champion last year and was second this year.

EtU for drinking lots of beer.

I've noted the comments re the new editor which none of us(EtU apart) have the Permissions to change to, we can only delete ourselves from the blog. As you say EtU, you would think that as Blogmaster changes to your settings would apply to us all. I will make enquiries but the omission of a Spellchecker seems a step backwards. I was advised that manipulation of images was easier on the new editor, but as we all have our own ways of handling them on the old editor maybe we should stick with it. However I will pursue the matter.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Blog Settings

 Not sure why we're seeing different stuff. Can understand that as the "blogmaster" I may have different permissions, but it would seem sensible either for new facilities that I initialise to be made available to all, or for everyone to be able to specify their own. Come on Matt, you put me up to this, what say you?

And how do we access spellcheck?

When I click on settings all I get to change is 'email posting address' and 'mobile devices', I have nothing else to scroll down to. Am I on the budget version?

No utup this week for me.

Just a Few Things

Everything comes to he who hurts ~ well done at Snowdonia our kid; you've probably spotted that you also beat all but one of the over 65s (wanted to put an apostrophe in that, but grammatically incorrect).

Talking to Albert Sunter last night and he said that Michelle didn't finish (retired at 18 miles with back pain) and definitely didn't cross the finishing mat, so looks like the technology got it wrong ~ a genuine computer error?

Has anyone else lost spellcheck and gained crossing out? It's free by the way. Perhaps we all have to update our profiles individually. Matt pushed me towards this, on the basis that it's easier to manipulate pictures. Go into settings, scroll down to global and select the updated editor.

UTUPing Thursday 29th and Saturday 31st and Through the Villages on Sunday.
Well done to John, Joan & John
Already spoken to them on the phone but just want to add my congratulations - yet another top class performance from YJ and an equally great feat of endurance for Joan to put up with JtE for so long (only kidding, John)!
Running wise, I've not been doing much but will start to pick up again now.
(amended since earlier today) Next Monday or Tuesday, if the weather is reasonable, I'm off up to the Lakes so if anyone wants to join me please phone or email. If I'm on my own I'll walk the Kentmere Horseshoe but also happy to run it if I have company. Originally planned for Thursday but I've cancelled my final day off.
My long walk in the Pyrenees scheduled for next Summer is now moving into more serious planning. I've started my own blog for it so rather than repeat, here is the link.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

YJ in action

Well done, YJ outstanding achievement.

Couldn't find any pictures of the others mentioned.

Job done, part two

Another day of high winds and driving rain, a pattern becoming all to familiar for Snowdonia Marathon entrants. This year the temperature was a little warmer and the wind direction was more in favour of the runners, until the exposed section at the top of the last climb when the violent gusts were of no use to anyone. Otherwise it was a case of water, water everywhere...

With three targets I had placed a lot of pressure on myself. Sub four hours was never a reality after the first climb, though a still a tantalising prospect for the next 17 miles; the spectre of the scotsman never materialised as he was down in the programme as V65 and finished well adrift in 4 29; and the biggest prize, the O/70 win, came with a margin of 45 mins.

Personal stats were: Time 4hrs 5 mins; distance (according to Garmin) 26.55; and pace 9 mins 14 secs per mile. Total up and down was just over 3,100ft.

Other finishers included Albert Sunter 3.43, Michele Sunter 4.02, Tony Varley 4.24, and Kathryn Swindell 4.52.

Tony seems to have a problem which arises every time at 21 miles and this year was no exception although this time he was not to be caught motionless at the drinks station talking to the marshalls. As you can see he lost 19 minutes to me in the last 5 miles so he must have suffered over the later stages. As I ran in to the finish I got a call from a Chorley Harrier on his was back to his car. "Well done, Tony" he shouted. Another case of mistaken identity.

The winnings included a nice mirror with stained glass Snowdon image by a local craftswoman, a Brooks rucsack, hopefully a free entry for next year and.....a buff with a Welsh dragon motif.
Congratulations YJ, a very impressive time.

Congratulations also to JtE and Joan on the big 50.

Only Hazel and myself running Saturday and we had a very enjoyable run around Rivington, no idea yet where we went as I haven't downloaded the watch.

NLN, the photos are amazing!

Hoping to be utup next Saturday, will bring straw if YJ there.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Job done

Thanks to all the squad for your unremitting support during my preparation for the Snowdonia marathon, and additionally to TF for being so quick off the mark. I did indeed win the O70 category in a time of 4hr 5min so it was at least one of the targets achieved. I planned a brief note to bring you the up-to-date news, with a longer report (all groan) to follow when I have seen the results, which is where I am going now, and when I have recovered. Watch this space.
Snowdonia Marathon 2009

For those of you as impatient as I was (and I hope YJ won't mind) as I spent all afternoon stressing at the XC with all my fingers and toes crossed that all that training had paid off. Weather forecast didn't look kind, not as bad as last year, but not good.

So the results are here . You have to select '2009 Snowdonia Marathon', and then V70 men and click search.

I know that one of his targets was that all important 1st V70 and beating his nemesis (whose name I can't recall). If you do it correctly you'll be able to see whether or not a bottle of bubbly is cracked at the Swift household tonight.

ps I'll wait a bit more patiently for YJ's report, well until Monday anyway

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

North York Moors

I know this area quite well TF having been on holiday there even recently. There’s a good pub just beyond the southern end of the Hole of Horcum!


Tank Engine NYMR

North Yorks Moors Railway


Joan at 'Aidensfield' 2 .

Aidensfield (Goathland really)

Forgot to say my posting box thing looks no different. I can't do crossing out, but I can see the spellchecker. Did this cost any extra EtU? 'Cos if it did, you've been had!

Best of luck to YJ for Saturday. Hopefully the weather will be an improvement on last year!

Saltergate Gallows 8.5m/975ft Sun 18th Oct

Unfortunately I can't furnish my report with lovely photos like NLN, but the weather on the east side of the country (North York Moors) was equally as glorious as it was in the Lakes on the Saturday. You'll just have to take my word for it.

In any other walk of life there could be something distinctly dodgy about going to meet a bloke sat in a car, parked in a remote car park, and handing over some cash through the open window. But in the life of a fell runner this is what you can come to expect. But I must say that this was a first for me, I didn't even have to put pen to paper. The RO must be a very trusting soul as it meant none of us had signed the usual disclaimer! The race route is in 'Heartbeat' country. It's not a programme that I've watched a lot but apparently the point where the race starts features in the introductory shots.

With only 975ft of climb in 8.5m there wasn't going to be much opportunity to practice my Lakeland skills, but the good tracks made for a bit of practice for faster running. They also allowed a chance to take in the views. The route crosses the North York Moors railway line twice, it makes a change being 'tooted' at by a Steam Engine than the usual cars!

In lieu of any results my race went like this. Next to last at first check point, one male behind. Passed male and female runner on a downhill section just before CP2. Passed another female runner on the way to CP3. Got passed by 2 male runners in club vests but no numbers (obviously late arrivals!) on way to CP4. Managed to gain sight of a male and female North York Moors runners soon after CP4. Now I should point out that this is their club's race and you can probably guess what's coming next!

I worked really hard to catch up with them, but when I did they stopped and the female runner said " Oh, you've got a map, we've not got one. We think we have to cross the railway line but we're not sure where that is, the two other runners crossed over it back there"

What made things worse was not only did I have a map but also a copy of the written route description as well, but I wasn't telling them that. A bad workman blames his tools, so here goes - my map was only a B&W copy of the above and a lot of features were fairly faint (well nearly non-existent) but I thought it'd be enough to get me round, clearly not! I back-tracked to the crossing point just before the last placed runner. So depending on whether the NYM runners made it back to the finish I make it a net gain of 2 places from the start. If they include the ones without numbers, no net gain or loss

Although I hadn't felt I deserved it, I finished my day with a trip to Whitby for Fish&Chips for my lunch. Lovely they were too.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Stroll with Joss – Sunday Morning

A complete change of conditions from Saturday provided disappointing weather. 

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Dave P-T Peter Nolan of Macc Harriers and EtU to set off for a bit of a run.

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This left the rest of us to tag along with Joss for a tour of some of his favourite places above the valley floor.  The chap in the background in red with the grey woolly hat is Don Talbot an esteemed member of the Rucksack Club and also the first completer (after Joss of course) - Number 1 in the Joss Naylor Challenge list. 

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Another highly accomplished Rucksacker Edwin Coope on the right of the picture - JtE’s little brother.

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On Buckbarrow looking down at Greendale – one man and his dog

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Joss’s Millenium Seat.

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Another one that Joss built earlier

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It’s that hard man of the fells look!


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More Autumn colour

Monday, October 19, 2009

Yewbarrow Saturday Afternoon

Having motored up to Wasdale via Pete Bland’s Kendal, Windermere a lazy day on Yewbarrow soaking up the sunshine seemed the thing to do – so we did.  Here are the results.


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The Screes

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Autumn colour

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The Scafells and Mickledore

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Great Gable in the distance

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Wasdale resident

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Wastwater from Yewbarrow

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Looking across to Scafell from Yewbarrow

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Wastwater with Great Gable at the head of the valley

Joss Naylor Challenge – Celebration Dinner

Or was it a Saturday Squad away day.  Apart from Nic’O and TF, all the usual suspects were present, with the added bonus of their partners.  Joss presented the tankards to successful completers including our own FSS and EtU and a most enjoyable evening it was as can be seen below.


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This year’s crop

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Book signing opportunity

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Clutching said signed book

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It was all worthwhile!

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Little Bird (you know who you are)...

...tells me that a local personality with strong connections to the RMI has been seen riding a scooter on training nights.  A bottle of plonk to the first person to post a photo.

Succumbing to pressure...

...I've moved us onto the "Updated editor".  Don't know what this will do for us; let me know how it was for you.  First impression is that I can't find the speelchick spellcheck, but that doesn't matter, 'cos now we can do crossings out.

Dress Code for JN Dinner

If you're not sure what to wear, you can get a clue from Matt's posting of 22nd Oct '08.  Also, Cumbria magazine says not to come the National Park without your underwear, apparently there are lots of outlets for outdoor kit, but nowhere to buy knickers!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Saturday 12th December

Yes, I know Christmas is a long way off (unless you shop at Tesco) but those of you who suffered the Wagon and Horses last year, may be glad of a little forward planning.

The Thatch and Thistle holds "Party Nights" every Friday in December, so if we're to go there in that month, then Saturday looks favourite ~ can't have you lot partying and enjoying yourselves, God forbid!

My only free Saturday in December is the 12th, so I've provisionally booked that date.

Please let me know if that's OK, or if anyone has a better, or more adventurous idea.

No need to limit ourselves to the TaT, it's just my first choice for ease of travel.
Thursday 15th Oct

I'm UTUPing, as I believe is TF, but there is a suggestion that we'll be tagging on to Norman's session. If anyone else would like to turn up and swell the "NO" vote number/s, they will be very welcome.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Autumn in Lakeland

A very early get up on Saturday meant leaving home well before sunrise to arrive in the village of Rosthwaite in the Borrowdale valley for an 8.30 start.  This is an event we’ve enjoyed several times before usually in good weather, but nothing quite so special as the clear azure skies on offer on this occasion.  The route was originally planned by the late Boyd Millen the first of only three to have completed a double – yes DOUBLE – Bob Graham round.   It’s now down to his widow Lillian, herself a BG completer to put the show on the road, which she does in great style and with the help of the Morcambe Bay and Bowland LDWA group.

Although perfect conditions on the day, heavy rain overnight meant there was a lot of water on the ground making it tricky in many places.  FSS and I completed the 21 mile route with just under 5,000ft of climbing in 5hrs 9mins.  I think the pictures taken by FSS say it all – a fabulous day in the hills.



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The mighty Causey Pike with Little Town at its feet (click on image to get scale of it)

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Leaving Rosthwaite

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Looking back to Rosthwaite climbing the steep track up to Dock Tarn

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Dock Tarn



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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mid Lancs XC, Kendal
As the club is giving preference to this league, I thought I may as well have a go. I'd been out with East Lancs LDWA on Wednesday for a little 16 mile jaunt around Belmont, Egerton, Rivington and Winter Hill so Thursday nights session comprised a whole 20 minutes so I could get back before J went off to work. Managed to arrange a lift with Tony H which was a good job as without me he would have been hunting round the centre of Kendal for the venue (and from hearing phone calls, he wouldn't have been the only one!). The course was at the Westmorland Showground just off the South Lakes turn off from the M6. We arrived in time to cheer on the juniors and four ladies representing Horwich. The course itself was pretty dry and a trail shoe would have been perfect. An easy choice of Walshes over spikes for me. As usual, I was the last Horwich man, but I seem to be getting closer to the rest - probably the course suited me.
I've got a TT match next Thursday so as captain I'd better turn up - we're not doing bad at the moment, a point adrift of the leaders, but we've had a blank week which is worth up to 9 points.
No XC next Saturday but may do the Chorley 4 Peaks Plus 3 Lads LDWA walk (20 miles).

Those Were The Days

In August 1991 Norman and I ran the Borrowdale Fell Race together. The purpose of his entry was to drag me round as quickly as possible. I was 56 and Norman about 54.img464

Approaching Styhead check point.



At the finish.

The things that that man will do for people!

Saturday run

Thanks to all for your continued support of my Snowdonia training which is showing progress week by week.

As no roadies are available to run next Saturday, due to diary clashes, I have decided to bring the Saturday run forward to Friday so if anyone is available and wants a long road run they will be most welcome. Intention is to do a warm up lap as last weekend and then do the Bolton 40 lap plus the Belmont triangles which should give me about 23 miles. This would give plenty of opportunity to "pick and mix" for any distance from 14 to 23. If anyone can join me I will be at the lower barn at 8 30 (or any other time by negotiation). If there are no confirmations I'll go straight on at Rivington Green after the warm up.

Pendle preview

I have no clashes for the week before Pendle and so am available for a serious recce. Will set aside unlimited time

Tour of Pendle (21st Nov 2009)

Looks like a great day out TF.   There’s just so much to do isn’t there?  My next outing with the Sat Squad will be 7th November and looking forward to seeing everyone who’s not at the Joss dinner then.   I feel my membership of the Squad is in danger of downgrading to ‘Associate’ status.  In between then and now we’ve got our annual visit to the mountains of Mallorca, the Joss Dinner and on the 14th we’re in Nant Peris for the weekend of the Rucksack Club dinner.

Yesterday was Autumn in Lakeland – report and piccies to follow, glorious weather.  Keeping up to date by reading your accounts of what you’ve been up to – trust your road outing was similarly blessed with sunshine.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tour of Pendle (21st Nov 2009)

I know this is a bit of a way off, but tentative discussions have indicated that TF, YJ and Matt are up for this one. However, TF and Matt have expressed a wish to hone their route choice with a recce.

Other wfdbwgua'ers have suggested 'away days' and I wonder whether it would be possible to combine the two with the added potential for our 2 fledgling navigators to test out their newly learned skills (no pressure girls!). Because of Cross Country and Haircut commitments the only Saturday I could make would be the 14th Nov. Handy as this is one week before the race.

The tricky bits as far as the race is concerned are
1) locating the turn off for the trod to check point 2
2) locating the turn off for the trod to check point 5
3) locating the best line for check point 9
3) Locating the best line for check point 11

The map of the race route is located here

I don't think we need to recce all of it, so my initial thoughts would be to do the following

1) Follow race route from start to turn off for trod to CP2, (build cairn),
2) Stay on main track and follow until turn off for CP5 (build cairn)
3) Follow race route to turn off for CP9 (build cairn)
4) Follow race route to finish

By my reckoning this gives us nearly 12m and most of the climbs except the one from CP3. Outside guess of 3.5hrs? My time for the full route last year was 4hr37mins, having got through the 2hr cut-off at CP4. I appreciate that some of you may be on tighter dealines and therefore a shorter route would be to go from the start to CP4, and then following race route to CP5 etc, thus effectively doing the 2nd half of the race. At a guess about 9m and do-able (is that a word?) in 2.5hrs? If we arranged to be in Barley for a start some time between 8.30 and 9.00am we could be done by lunchtime. I think car-sharing would be extremely sensible.

Any thoughts?


ps On an important financial note pre-entry is £5 but on the day it's £10 - quite a mark-up. I personally will be pre-entering!!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Saturday Road

Minor changes on my part, in that I'll run from home and meet you Millstone-ish, and I'll not be doing the final loop, due to a lunch invitation.

Hope both your knees are OK, Matt, your old one and presumably your younger one.
Interesting stats from last Saturday YJ, although the Anglezarke loop seemed longer than that to me. No doubt that was because I faded on the climbs. As long as the old knee is ok(I've had a little reaction) I'm interested in doing the road again on Saturday to see if I can improve a bit.
This Saturday

UTUP for me to fell run, or road run, or to do some of both.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Midweek kanter

Postponing my midweek rerun of Saturday's outing proved to be a good move. After Tuesday's monsoon Wednesday's calm, dry and cool weather was perfect for running, although it did bring out the hordes to Rivington, forcing a start to be made from the main drive and not the Lower Barn car park, making the route slightly longer.

The conditions would play some part in the improved pace though more can be attributed to the previous two circuits of the Bolton 40 course.

Pace today was 9 mins 33 secs per mile for 18.5 miles compared to last week's midweek run at 9.54 for 14 miles.

Just for the record, Belmont to Horden Stoop took 13 mins - that was 53 seconds faster than Saturday without my pacer!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Thursday 8th and Saturday 10th

Ankle niggle permitting, I'll be UTUPing both days.
Winter Hill Road Circuit

As we made Horden Stoops we could see the approaching weather, a vast wall of clag, at this point stretching from somewhere over Chorley to a lot further south. I did forlornly hope we'd get back to the Lower Barn without getting wet, but when you're contending with 40mph winds it was a very forlorn hope. Started to feel the first drops at Ammunition corner.

YJ will post the stats, but the initial impression was that we completed the circuit about a minute slower than a similar outing last year. Given the battle up the last climb, I was 'well chuffed' with that, especially as this was the longest road run I'd done this year. Not sure I'd have managed it on my own, so I have the charming company to thank for that (YJ, JtE, Matt & EtU).

I'll be out again on Saturday for a repeat performance.

Sat Stats

Now that the change in the weather to torrential rain has brought a chance to be indoors for a while I can provide the statistics for Saturday's road run. For those who were not with us the squad comprised TF, JtE, Matt, EtU and YJ.

The single lap measures 14.25 miles car to car; plus the Anglezarke loop pushed it up to 18.25 to the Lower Barn; and plodding on to Riv and Blackrod school and back edged the miles to over 20.

Timewise we were amazingly similar to last year's equivalent run. We were back at Rivington Green the first time within 11 seconds of last year (despite the strong Westerly on Saturday) and the Anglezarke loop, with the team now down to EtU, Matt and YJ, was better than my solo run last year by 6 mins. Total climb was 1,569 ft for the single lap and 2,355 ft for the full distance. Pace over 20 miles was 10.57 and as I slowed when left on my own the pace for the full group would be about 10.50.

Times were 2.36 for the single lap; 3.23 for 18 miles and 3.40 for 20 miles.

Plans for a rerun have been shelved for a better day, possibly tomorrow if body and time permit. Training 68 miles in 7 days has finally taken its toll so as today's energy levels are low plans for the next few days are fluid (and I don't mean beer) aIthough I shall definitely be at the UTUP on Saturday, ready for more tarmac.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Last Saturday

Where's the full report YJ?

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Rucksack Navigational Challenge

With winds of 50mph on Kinder, the challenge was to stay upright – spectacular views from the plateau of the downfall blowing up into the air.  Early thoughts of putting into practice last week’s instruction were soon abandoned as FSS and I battled the elements to find the controls.  Having bagged three from six I managed to navigate solo back to the warmth of the organiser’s campervan for a nice cup of tea, leaving FSS to capture the last three.  Unfortunately (for those still on the course) my ‘bail out’ coincided with the heaviest rain of the day and no visibility on the tops.  FSS managed one from three of the remaining controls, getting to within half a mile of the furthest before turning back, unable to stand. 

I was out for about 3.5hours and covered 8.67 miles!  Different!  How did you Roadies get on, what were conditions like in our own backyard?


Friday, October 02, 2009

Downhills and flexibility
Apologies for not posting earlier. On Monday night it did cross my mind as to the non-appearance of Ed. More than that, I did make the comment to the others up there in the mist. I believe Rammy was also expecting you.
As always I was panicking that I would not get there on time. I chose to park at the usual Thursday night spot at about 5.45 thinking that 20 minutes to Wilderswood and 25 minutes to the Stump would be sufficient so I would arrive not too drained. Picking up the shortcut which brings you out to the right of the mast road helped and I was able to a mix of jog/walk to the mast as one of the earliest arrivals. So like me to be so well prepared and arrive in good time, isn't it Ed?
Colin set off first so that there would be someone at the finish who knew who was who as the young lady (Diane) who'd driven off to be at the finish didn't know most of us. I was off next, soon to be caught by Mark, Tony, young Mr Fowler from Preston and Pete R as we headed off towards the Pike, pulling some back as we got a bit of climb towards the Pike where Dougie was ensuring we touched the Tower.
Eventually all but Michelle overhauled me but I think my time of 29:38 may have been a PB, certainly I should have had the biggest improvement prize had there been one as I think last year I included an initial loop around the mast to start all over again.
Ed, I'm surprised Dougie had gone and you didn't catch up to Michelle (who had started after me). We were in the RMI Car Park for quite a while as the prizegiving took some time, such were the volume of prizes. Definitely a race where you had to be inittowinnit - even for the poorest descender in the club like me!
Flexibility - From Nov 1st, I shall be more flexible with my running although my diary is already filling up, but if anyone would like a good long daytime run, let me know.
Changing sport, my TT has had its ups and downs. I represented the region at CSSC games and managed to lose all 13 matches, only winning one game. I then followed up the day and half of TT with a hilly 10k in 49:30. This poor TT performance has been balanced by the new Bolton League season where I've managed to win 8 out of 9 matches so far, with my only loss very narrow to a player I've not yet managed to beat in the past three years - it all depends what level you play at!
And congratulations to YJ. Yes a bit remiss of Ed not to mention at the Quarterly Do.
Belated Congratulations

I learned last night that on the 17th September our good friend YJ became 70 years old. I admonished his little brother for not letting us know at the appropriat time.

Congratulations and very best wishes YJ from all of us.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Well done to YJ for his half-marathon performance. It seems that expletives were not the only thing that were flying round Macclesfield! To run 8 minute miles was tremendous. I shall be Utuping on Saturday, hoping that I can keep him within sight.