Sunday, January 30, 2011
It was one of those days that gets off to a bad start. The 6 o'clock departure to Kendal for the That's Lyth LDWA event took a turn for the worse when access north to the M6 was closed and I ended up heading south. A quick turn round at Samlesbury put me on the right course and I ended up in Kendal to find all the public toilets closed (don't ask!).
But fortunately from there the day got steadily better. You know immediately you set off what sort of a run its going to be and so it was as I set off through the freezing streets for the first climb and I found myself in company with a lot of fit younger lads and lasses.
The route takes us over the limestone escarpments to the west and south west of Kendal and incorporates 3,300 feet of climbing over a mixture of roads, tracks and fields and a few scrambles down some almost sheer limestone faces off Whitbarrow Scar.
From there we headed for Witherslack and then back into the Lyth Valley which we crossed to Cotes Corner where NLN was dispensing tea and biscuits with her usual charm. The run in headed us back onto the limestone, this time Scout Scar and then back across the old racecourse where I managed to slip on the very last bit of exposed limestone taking a heavy fall and picking up a few bruises in the process - but no injuries of a lasting nature.
As I said the day had gradually got better and as the miles ticked by the watch showed progress that had not revealed itself in training. By the finish I had managed to beat last year's run by 32 minutes in a time that was the fastest for 9 years. Total time for the 23.57 miles was 4hrs 22mins 57secs at an average of 11.09mins per mile. The fastest mile time was 8mins 56secs (twice) and the slowest (descending from Whitbarrow Scar) was 16mins 35secs.
Fantastic weekend filled with sun, summits and socialising it doesn’t get much better than this! Arriving early in Great Langdale the conditions were perfect cold, frosty and firm under foot but without a cloud in the sky, the sunshine looked every bit as good as the forecast predicted.
A frosty Great Langdale with clear blue skies above
Not long after setting off from the Old Dungeon Ghyll we were forced to de-layer on the climb up Rosset Gyll to Esk Hause, meeting Kev Davison (the Navigator FRA) en route.
Rosset Ghyll with Rosset Pike on the right
A frozen Angle Tarn with Great End peaking over Esk Hause
Bowfell with Angle Tarn below
Sunshine on Angle Tarn
We parted company on the summit of Great End, with Kev going on to Scafell Pike and us returning to Esk Hause before going on to Esk Pike and Bowfell.
Kev and FSS with Scafell Pike between them
Highest summit in England!
Wisps of cloud gathering in Mickledore
Great Gable from Great End
Pillar (centre) then Black Crags, Scoat Fell with Steeple behind – from GE
Just below Bowfell summit we met up with Dave Makin and the other Achille Ratti lads who had started at Dunmail to run back to the ODG as a recce for Dave’s impending Joss this year. We then clambered over the Crinkles. I made a bit of a show of meself going down the Bad Step, which I’ve done many times before with no problem but perhaps the degree of caution required in running over the hard packed snow and ice in some parts resulted in a bit of shilly shallying on the down-climb. Lucky FSS was there to look after me!
The last climb of the day over Harrison Stickle before the descent to the car at the ODG, where we decided to take light refreshments from the bar. Of course, the AR lads were already in residence and we joined them in a glass or two before returning to the hut along the valley. The day gave us 12.7m with 5,148ft climbed.
Interesting ice formations on the grass
At bishops Scale, after a hot shower, Dave’s wife Jan and co. laid on a splendid repast of pie and peas for about 30 or so runners/walkers. After supper, some hardy folk returned to the ODG, however, we were content to sit by the log burner with a glass of wine before retiring.
Sunday morning and a leisurely start to the day with me dropping FSS in Ambleside at about 9.00am to run over Wansfell, Garburn Rd etc (you can read about it on his blog) to me at George’s Garage, on the outskirts of Levens, which is the final checkpoint on That’s Lyth, (LDWA event) where I was marshalling for the day. A cold day in the garage, but great conditions for the runners/walkers – of which there were 299 starters, all of whom passed by or through the garage. Great to pass the time of day with so many familiar faces, one of which was our own YJ, who just ran in to say hello as he was having a great run and didn’t want to lose the momentum for the last five miles – look forward to reading about it YJ :) The first man through was at 10.13am for interest.
Quality weekend had by all! Hope the piccies capture a bit of it!
Started at UTUP yesterday and went by Ammunition Corner and Hordern Stoops to Great Hill. Then by the Brinscall triangle to White Coppice and via the reservoirs back to the barn. The old leg performed without the slightest problem and there are no after effects today. Disappointingly however my lower back problem re-emerged and I struggled over the last half mile. It felt good to be back on one of our familiar routes again after so long. I was interested to see the new fencing and gating system now installed on the latter part of the triangle, presumably as part of the development of the bridle path.
The purpose of this outing was to test my capability of doing the 16 mile Amble in two weeks time. It seems that I am still unfit at this stage and that participation might be unwise.
12.2 miles. 3 hours 57mins!
Saturday, January 29, 2011
I decided to take my camera but checked it to find battery just about flat so these were taken with my mobile phone camara. The one with all three of us was a pot luck, point it back towards us and hope. At 0°C you can't hang around!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Now that Jon Schofield has posted results on his website, it's easier to see that SN was placed 5th out of 14 in her category, whilst I just managed to sneak into the top half of mine, placing 8th out of 16.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Bad stuff :- from a malodorous pub with unsavoury locals, downing pints of lager at about 10:45 a.m, instant coffee in plastic cups for £1.25 (£0.50 at Garstang), faulty lock on the only cubicle in the men's toilet that resulted in two ladies (I knew you always went in pairs) bursting in on me, when they thought the coast was clear!
Just SN and me from the wfdbwgua squad with Big Little Brother Swift putting in a guest appearance. BLB well inside the hour, which had been a target only a few months ago, in 58:01 (352nd), but slightly miffed because he hadn't seen the finish in time to muster the sprint that would have seen off the two ladies with whom he had been to-ing and fro-ing for most of the race. SN 291st in 53:33, having thoroughly enjoyed the race, but slightly disappointed not to have crept nearer the 50 minute mark that seems to have emerged recently as a target for several of us. I was pleased with my 232nd place in 51:19, just 13 seconds a mile outside the elusive 50.
Race won by Jon Fletcher of Border Harriers in 33:24, first lady (19th overall) was Philippa Maddams of Keswick AC in 38:30. Phillipa is presumably the wife of Russell Maddams, also Keswick AC (formerly of Horwich RMI) who placed second in 33:41.
And yes, YJ we know you want to know, first MV70 was Mr (!) Robson of Manchester Tri in 53:29, but John, you've got to be in it to win it!
Note to SN :- the red vest and the purple T shirt clashed somewhat, perhaps a white T shirt next time.
NLN, YJ and I had rendezvoused at the UTUP, before heading for the meet, where EYJ told us of his injured ribs and head wound ~ he's now a fully accredited member of the wfdbwgua group.
On our way to the Trespass Stone (well we did have NLN with us) we played the usual Saturday morning game with a herd of cows (of both sexes) and taking advice from our on-board bovine expert, we made a wide detour to avoid the bull with all his bits intact.
Back at the Bottom Barn I peeped in to see if Nic'O and JtE had arrived but no sign of them at 12:15.
I'll leave YJ to complete the details of the outing, as I baled out on Spitlers, after EYJ had turned for home at Hordern Stoops, leaving NLN and YJ to head off for Round Loaf.
Might eventually turn up on time for this one day! Was just about to leave home when I realised I hadn't sent the oldest nephew his birthday present (via amazon). I make it to junction 19 on the M60 only to join the back of a queue, 7:20am on a Saturday morning!! Some degree of luck made it a short wait, but opting to take the safer (but longer) driving route via Todmorden to Mytholmroyd I arrived at the registration just in time to see everyone depart.
Lots of excuse me's and thank you's later, I got past the walkers to join the back of the runners. Wouldn't want to miss this one, a cracking route and fantastic food on route and at the finish. A nice steady pace saw me round in 5hr02mins, over 30mins improvement on the last time. Didn't suffer with the dreaded cramp this time. I have since learnt that one person walking the route sadly died during the event. Condolences must be extended to their family and hopefully they'll be comforted by the fact that their relative was enjoying life to the end. You couldn't not do on this route.
Having somehow managed to get my name on the start list for 3 Peaks, Sundays leg stretcher was a gentle trundle up and down Pen-y-Ghent.
Next out on the 5th feb for NUTNUP!
Friday, January 21, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
On 5th Feb TF, NLN, EtU and myself will be doing a Pennine Way recce in preparation for my 70 at 70ish attempt on May 28th. If anyone else is interested we can perhaps organise enough to justify another car. An earlyish start is contemplated (exact time to be decided by democratic means) and an out and back route is planned totalling 20 miles from Cowling (MR965427) to MR947324 between Widdop Res and Walshaw Dean Res.
The next possible date for a recce is March 5th.
All offers of help for all or part of the 70 mile run on May 28th will be most welcome. I will be shortly launching a sponsorship appeal for Help the Heroes, though any costs incurred by helpers will be deemed to be sufficient contribution.
I shall be UTUPing on Saturday 22nd planning a warm-up run through Lever Park starting about 08 00 and returning by 08 25. Are there any other insomniacs?
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
Last Saturday I decided to make the effort and UTUP. It was good to see EtU, YJ and TA at the start and as they ran off towards the Top Barn I started on my own walk. I basically took the “standard route” to Healey Nab but kept to the bridle route passing beneath the Nab instead of forking left at the appropriate point to gain the summit. This brought me out onto the tarmac road leading to Heapey which I took until right turning to White Coppice. From there I took the bridle path towards Brinscall for a short distance before turning back and taking the direct route to Waterman’s Cottage, then skirting Anglezarke, High Bullough and Yarrow reservoirs back to the barn.
Not having turned out since the 17th. July last year I had forgotten the pleasure there is in starting early to spend the morning in the rain and wading through mud. I must do it more often.
9.25 miles. 2 hours 55 mins!
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Thought it'd be straight forward this one, gentle ease into racing at the start of the new year. But it was a battle of all the 'elements' involved in fell running from the off.
First element, Mandy and Wayne. Who caught up with me at the queue for the first style. So much for the racing start.
Second element, the wind and rain. Had to be careful not to run to close to the drainage ditch that circles the Turley Holes plateau, just in case you got blown in and had to swim round.
Finally the third and surprise element (at least for me). Agility test. At about the halfway point the open drainage ditch became a smaller closed one. Route choice was deep, peaty mud or running along the top of a 2ft wide cylindrical concrete tube. I managed to find a picture of part of it here, it's the bigger one on the left in the centre of the picture.
If it'd been smooth all along it's length it wouldn't have been too bad, but it was obviously made in sections joined together, as about every three foot there was a wider bit sticking out from the tube (the joint, I presume). So trying to stay on the top, and also not trip yourself up was extremely testing.
Came back in about 2hrs 10mins, a minute or so ahead of Wayne and a couple ahead of Mandy. Apparently according to the organizer it was the best turn out they'd had on the most miserable day for running the race.
I'm off to do the 'Hebden' next Saturday and away the following week so won't be out for a utup for the next two Saturdays.TF
Saturday's outing was again limited to a small, but enthusiastic, group of EtU, TA and myself, having had a short warm up through Lever Park before the others turned up.
Already on the car park as I returned was JtE who was out for a walk training session with the Amble in mind. We parted in opposite directions.
Our route, intended to extend our usual mileage, was via the Top Barn, Ammunition Corner, Horden Stoops, Belmont and then through the dye works to eventually pick up the track via Dog Bucket Farm to the track below Catherine's Edge. By the time we reached the car park on the Tockholes road in high wind and driving rain EtU was feeling the strain of a strenuous week and some back pain and decided on a return to the Lower Barn by way of Spittlers Edge. TA and I accompanied with him till we had to turn off for Great Hill where the wind strength had further increased. From there we did the Brinscal triangle, White Coppice and back to Rivington Green in calmer weather.
We had already decided that we would again take on the bovine hordes in the field by the green but they had obviously had wind of our agressive intentions and the field was empty, except for the tell-tale cow pats that marked their dojo.
So we escaped to live another day, myself having covered 19.92 miles in 4hrs 23mins 2secs - an average of 13mins 54 secs per mile - with a total ascent of 2821 ft.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
An early start saw Rae, I and Katie driving to Marsden to traverse back to Edale whilst Helen (happily) picked up the childcare duties taking Katie, home. By this time the rain had stopped thankfully, but conditions were still difficult with the rivers in speight being the main problem, but the return journey was made. The five of us meeting in the pub at the end. Sadly the Old Nag's Head was closed for some reason but fortunately there is a back up in the village.
You can get some idea of the conditions and the amount of water on FSS's Blog
Next out on Sat 22nd UTUP.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
I'm allowed a little treat occasionally. All the weekends under canvas or in my case Kerlon 1200 (having now invested in a Hilleberg Akto Tent) allow me to sample some of life's luxuries. Can't beat relaxing in the hot tub looking across to the hill you've just done a few reps round. Bit chilly getting in and out mind, as it was an outdoor one.
The Losehill House Hotel (www.losehillhouse.co.uk) was ideally situated for last weekend's little excursion. A 3 night break with Dinner, Bed and Breakfast and 2 spa treatments. A full body massage after the 16m on Saturday and Facial after Sunday's time trial. My room had commanding views over to Win Hill. Food was delicious, Masterchef style and spoilt for choice. Would highly recommend it.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
UTUP Saturday 15th
Got my fell calender early in the new year, but then, I pay by standing order.
What's this mention of an hotel, TF, getting soft in your old age?
Interesting that despite my age, lack of form, weight and general disability, I was fifth in the 2010 Horwich RMI fell championship.
But that pales into insignificance behind Nic'O's third place in the ladies' championship. Well done that lass!
Monday, January 10, 2011
Entry now in for for the 3 Peaks. 15 weeks to go to get myself race fit, with a small matter of Edale Skyline at week 11.
Training started in earnest this weekend with a recce of the Edale Skyline route. Starting at Losehill (Hotel was on side of Losehill) and round to Jaggers Clough on Saturday and the remainder (Win Hill) on Sunday. Sunday's shorter route allowed a bit of testing of timings for 'racing line' vs 'main path' route up to the summit of Win Hill . Didn't quite pan out as I expected. I was 15 secs quicker on 'main path' and ran this route after I'd run the 'racing line'.
Could be a tough call on race day. 'Racing line' is more sheltered from prevailing winds, but a narrower path/trod which could make passing runners awkward, always assuming I'm close enough to get past anyone. 'Main path' is more exposed, but could be better running especially if it's been really wet the week before race and makes passing other runners easier. The other 'racing lines' offered on the race map were obvious quicker routes, especially given the underfoot conditions on Saturday on some sections.
Will be out hopefully on thurs for a utup and some hill reps. Saturday I'm at the hairdressing utup so have looked up the race diary and found myself a nice 'little' 12 miler to do from Littleborough on the Sunday instead. Anyone received their paper copy of the Fell Calendar yet? Still not got mine and it was posted out on the 14th Dec. Mind you I'm still receiving xmas cards at the moment, one arrived from Knutsford today!
Interesting to read of EtU’s encounter with the Rivington beasts. It sounds just like my experience. I have it on good authority that, because a cow doesn’t like to be hit on the nose, the best thing to do is to give it a good slap using your bum bag. I think to do that would take some courage. The beast might think “OK pal, if that’s the way you want to play it……………”
Coincidentally on Saturday morning I walked from the Lower Barn to White Coppice and back (parking at the side of EtU at about 9.00am). I whimpishly decided that in order to keep my feet dry I would avoid the mess at the bottom of the steps near Rivington Green. I went via the Bowling Club instead and I’m glad that I did!
Sunday, January 09, 2011
Slight drama approaching Rivington Green as we mixed it with the cows that had harassed JtE some months earlier. YJ had skipped past the bovine blockade, but I became engaged in a sort of Mexican stand-off with fairly determined beast that instead of backing off, moved menacingly forward. Whilst not wanting to show fear, I noted that the fence behind me had an uncomfortable looking topping of barbed wire. However, loud shouting and a threatening posture (not usually my style) seemed to persuade the beast that it shouldn't bother and I was able to reach the gate with my body and most of my dignity intact.
Sunday saw us both (that's me and YJ rather than me and the cow) toe the line for the Garstang 10k. Suffice to say that YJ took the MV70 prize in 48:21, almost 9 minutes ahead of the second placed man in his age group, and 160th overall in a field of 350 finishers. The race was won by David Rigby of Preston Harriers in 32:45, whilst I finished 248th in 53:25. Not a good time, but not too disappointing after the flu and the resultant bad chest.
Lets see what the Chernobyl 10k brings on the 23rd.
Thursday, January 06, 2011
Christmas was a time of full on flu for FSS and with me just recovering from the same, our walking boots have not seen as much action for a long time, as running was out of the question. Very enjoyable it was ‘though and gave us the time to stop and stare and put the world to rights on our outings on the paths and tracks from our front door.
This rather handsome beast was so disappointed when we left him that he took to head butting the fence post… extraordinary behaviour
Family Christmas, complete with snow scenes… lovely. Well at least one of my boys knows when to strike a pose :)
This little church is older than me, quite a vintage then, my Dad bought it the Christmas before I arrived in January and it ‘s been on show every Christmas since. Don’t know what I’ll do when the bulb needs changing! Don’t think you can buy this kind any more.
Sunday 2nd Jan and we were both well enough to join Lostock for their New Year’s run, where Haggis was served at the Two Lads. Above setting off from Top Barn, and below at the Pike.
Snow gone now from Borsdane Wood revealing a small clutch of copper beech amongst the fallen leaves.
Finally, on Monday a short outing saw us out and about over Winter Hill. Making our way up to Two Lads a runner with a familiar gait was on his way down, we were delighted to see EYJ, who was out on a recovery run of his own having taken a very nasty fall on the ramp the previous week. Speedy recovery EYJ and let’s hope you’re fully recovered for Winter Hill FR.
Sending out Happy Birthday Wishes to Nic’O and hoping the foot recovers well enough to re-join the Saturday boys and girls
Out with Rucksack Club this Saturday. Annual Marsden to Edale outing over Kinder, Bleaklow, Black Hill etc about 25 miles for me. However there is a strong tradition of doubling and this is what FSS will be doing, setting off at 10.00pm Friday night from Marsden to Edale and then back again with those of us just making the one crossing – great fun.
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
What enthusiasm! Meeting at 8.30 on New Years morning to go running. Wasn't that about the time we used to get home at New Year?
A couple of months ago I wrote on the blog(slightly tongue in cheek) that my running objectives were no longer to increase the speed and length of my runs but to increase the duration between injuries, and my target was to get to the end of the year without any further mishap. On New Years Eve morn I woke up with a cold and went for a run in the late afternoon to try to sweat it out. About 20 minutes into the run my knee gave way and trying to run it off just spread the problem through the thigh to the hip. So I finished up hobbling home. I missed my target by about 7 hours. It reminds me of the London Marathon when my time was 1min 38 secs outside that required to give me automatic entry for life. The Nearly Man.
The run was a double whammy because far from sweating the cold out, it seems to have sweated it in. My body's night-time default setting of; Sleep with minor interruptions, has changed to; Cough with minor interruptions. I've barked so much that people have been asking if we've got a new dog. "No", replies Christina, "Just an old one". I don't wish to over-exaggerate but I now drink my water from a bowl, have a staple diet of Pedigree Chum, and have been entered for Crufts. In an attempt to find a cure I've bought a book called "A Permanent Solution to Throat Problems" by Ivor Sharpacks. Apparently his methods are extreme but he guarantees success. Now that's what I call, "Putting your head on the block". Speaking of dogs there used to be a guy at work called Fido. Don. You couldn't get much closer to Dog Fido could you? Fido drove a Rover. We had site at Barking and thought he should apply to become a supervisor there. On his internal and inter-company correspondence he could then have signed himself; D. Fido, Barking Supervisor.
Seriously, I was intending to do the Garstang 10k, knowing that EtU and YJ would probably be taking part. It would have been an opportunity to see how close I was to Saturday morning standards. However whilst my canine impersonations are declining the knee is still swollen and quite tender. It seems a wimpish word, tender, used in the context of running. A pink-coloured word. Blancmangy in substance.
Good luck to those who are racing this weekend . Is TF trying to establish a reputation for racing or for being racy?
You all keep on running and I'll keep on getting injured.
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Sign-Posting: There won't be any signs. If you are on A640 and going in the right direction, you can't miss the assembly area. If you can't find it, orienteering isn't the sport for you.
Especially as I missed my turning to get to my orienteering event at Arnside Knotts on Saturday morning. I paid better attention to my map later on, so much so that I'm now sporting a lovely set of scratches across my face and upper lip where a tree failed to move out of my way.
Not good, when you're 'front of house' on the registration desk at the Cross Country race the following morning. The polite ones didn't ask if it was drink-related!
Monday, January 03, 2011
Just wanted to let you know that Go Outdoors have a sale on for today (3rd Jan) only. Some running gear is now 50% off.
I have just bought a pair of new Inov-8 Mudclaw 333s (RRP £75) for £37.50 from my local store but offers are available online too.
Saturday's outing was a quiet start to the New Year with just EtU, SN and myself toeing the line. EtU was obviously improving from his attack of lurgy and lasted a little further than the previous Thursday, staying with us as far as Healey Nab.
With the team reduced to two we headed for White Coppice, the Brinscal triangle and thence to Great Hill, Spittler's Edge, Hordern Stoops, Amunition Corner and back to the lower barn in a time of 3 hrs 13 mins 27 secs, an average of 14 mins 42 secs for each of the 13.16 miles we covered. Total climbing was 1720 ft.
It is interesting that we had done a slightly shorter (12 miles) but otherwise similar route in reverse the equivalent day 12 months earlier in 3 hrs 6 mins which should be encouraging for both of us as we found the tussocky run from Great Hill exhausting.
I plan to be at the UTUP next Saturday though my distance will probably be influenced by the Garstang 10K race the following day.
Saturday, January 01, 2011
Well done TF – looked a bit chilly out there! Another Horwich runner Mark Birbeck won a prize for his interpretation of Fellvis LMAO when I saw this one!
Photo courtesy of bob Wightman http://picasaweb.google.com/BobEWightman/AuldLangSyne31122010#
Where I think you might view the other image referred to – excellent sport TF :)