Monday, February 28, 2011


Entry form

Don't blame me if you don't get an entry. This needs to be sent NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Noonstone Fell Race 9m/2300ft (Sat 26th Feb 2011)

Well I've moved onto pastures new in the world of the results list. I finished in front of Sue Roberts from Todmorden on Saturday, she's been a very distant target in the past, but not any more. I didn't see her coughing/sneezing as she cross the finish line so will pronounce her fit as a fiddle to race and a fair contest.

A time of 1:56:24 wasn't much to write home about but like conditions at Winter Hill it was very heavy going and with a slight detour to the usual race route to avoid some United Utilities groundworks meant only a 3min improvement on 2008's time. But a vast improvement on finishing position, such a shame they couldn't get my name right on the results, not one of my favorite variations!

Dark & White Mini Mountain Marathon - Round 1 - Chesterfield (Holmebrook Valley Park, Sun 27th Feb 2011)

Not looking good when I had to get the phone out with the GPS to check car's position on the way to the event! Will print colour version of map next time so I can make out which are the red, green & yellow wiggly lines.

So initial minor hiccup overcome and the rest of the morning went ahead smoothly. Well as smooth as waterlogged ground can be. A good mix of terrain and views, just as I was hoping for, with nearly 15m covered in 3hrs. 2 penalty points for arriving back 1min41sec late, but the extra 10 point control was therefore justified - net gain 8 points. Total points 213, lying in 4th place in the WV40-49 category, 52/121 overall.

Round 2 on the 20th March from Chapel-en-le-Frith. Next weekend sees another fell race and navigating events back to back on Saturday and Sunday. Last minute training to get me up to scratch for the two speed merchants I'm accompanying at the Hobble the week after that!

Blackpool half

Taking things easy on Saturday did not do a great lot for my time at Sunday's Blackpool half marathon as the time of 1hr 46mins and 24secs, while still giving me first place in the over 70s was 6mins slower than last year.

Some of the time lost can be put down to the vicious wind coming off the Irish sea which made each of the two laps of the Bispham promenade a combination of three miles of wind assistance and three of battling into that wind.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Saturday 26th Feb

I won't be UTUPing tomorrow as I am taking things easy in preparation for Sunday's Blackpool half marathon.

I intend to be back the following Saturday with a warm up lap starting about 7 am.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Beacon Bash Weekend

Reading TF’s account of the National Cross Country event I came across a few pictures here.  I have to say that during the Beacon Bash, which was 21miles of mud,we kind of remembered why we didn’t do this event last year.  FSS has some pictures here.   Trotted round together in a time of 4.21 which given the conditions, I’ll take!  Still, a very well organised event and great to see familiar faces, more and more runners doing these LDWA events which are becoming recognised for their friendly atmosphere, value for money and great training potential.  Good to see Albert, Tony, Mark S and Sarah H trotting round, with most of these doing the new event, Peeler’s Hike next weekend.

After the run, we were sitting with the organisers of the re-launched Four Passes on 19th March – a true Lakeland classic and he was saying it’s as good as full.  Entries on line shut down, if you’re interested you may still get a place by contacting the organiser direct.  List of events coming up can be found here.

Given Sunday’s outing I went for a later start on Saturday, picking up Brucie.  As my sister was away I thought I’d better leave a note for the lads, who were still in bed, to let them know the dog hadn’t been stolen.  Drove to Wilders Wood trotted along George’s Lane, Pike, Two Lads, Burnt Edge, Quarries had flask of coffee, drove back – lads still in bed, binned note!Smile

A bonus was running into Ed on Pike, but rain never stopped, contributing to conditions for Sunday.

Don't Leave Our Lad Alone on Two Lads

This week I hope to UTUP on Thursday, but family matters may preclude this, so don't rely on it.

Saturday I'm planning to do my Miterdale Round, can let you know the arrangements if you're interested.

But EYJ is planning to be on Two Lads at 9:15 a.m to meet any of the squad who go that way.  So if you're out on Saturday, go over there and pick him up.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bolton Park 5k Sunday 20th February

For what seemed to be slightly different reasons, SN and I toed the line on the track on Leverhulme Park at the start of this interesting little race. Although most of the distance was on tarmac, there were muddy rough tracks as well, and a fair proportion of the tarmac was on traffic free park paths. It included one decent hill and a few other minor undulations.

SN seemed to be there in pursuit of her Horwich Ladies Road Championship campaign, and I was there to try to regain the speed that I hope will eventually lead back to that now elusive sub 50 minute 10k.

We were both pleased with our performances, SN finished 153rd overall, third Horwich lady in 25:32, and I placed 139th, 4th V60 out of 8, in 24:45 ~ sub 50 minute 10k pace!  SN pleased to have me in view throughout the race, and encouraged by shouts from Horwich supporters.

Marc Tillotson of BUH won the race in 15:46 and Maria Lowe of Astley and Tyldesley was first lady in 18:57.  219 finished.

More info at

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Engilsh National Cross Country 2011

Yes I know it's not a fell race but yesterdays course was the closest I think a National Cross Country was going to get. Proper muddy it was, although in parts very sloppy mud, more akin to farmyard slurry but without the smell!

Things not looking good on the H&S front when part way through the event some of the juniors were being stretchered off the course on back boards with neck collars on. With the casualty list rising and the first aid tent full to bursting, the organisers decided to shorten the later courses to try and prevent further delays.

Upshot was that the womens course was downgraded to 3 x 2K laps of the top field, missing out the delicious-looking climb from the bottom field. Absolutely gutted, we'd have got two gos at this on the original course. Finished 428/552 on 37:25 (13 mins behind the winner), and first counter for Salford and 3 mins in front of my next team mate. We were two team mates short for a team. The others missed a treat!

My only previous appearance at a National Cross Country was in 2005 where I finished 415/451. If I remember correctly the grass was bowling green perfect!


Friday, February 18, 2011

I'm Training for an Ironman

Warning - it contains a few expletives so don't play if offended.
Saw this on my daughter's facebook and thought it rather amusing

Then looked at related videos to find a similar one for marathon training (no expletives at all). Again worth 2 minutes of your time if you want a giggle (I need one after the past few weeks!).

Hope to UTUP in the morning

After three weeks of some very long days and very little running, I hope to be out with you lot in the morning.
I did manage to get out the Saturday before last for an enjoyable couple of hours with TLoB and last week went straight from a morning doing a Maths Masterclass at Uni to the Mid-Lancs XC at Blackpool.
I overdid it during the first lap and felt tired so lost a few places on the other three laps. Still my time and place was something I could only dream of 3 or 4 years ago, so shouldn't complain.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Not out now until Thurs 10th March. Plans for the next couple of weeks on organized events are as follows
Sat 19th Feb English National Cross Country at Alton Towers (chip timed event, whatever next!)

Sat 26th Feb - Noonstone
Sun 27th Feb - Dark and White Mini Mountain Marathon - 3hr Nav event on trails near Chesterfield

Sat 5th March - Black Combe
Sun 6th March - New Chew - Long 'O' 3.5hrs on Saddlewoth Moor

Debating how hard I should make the Thurs Hill Session on the 10th March as I'm out with YJ and NLN on the Haworth Hobble on Sat 12th March. Might need to go a bit easy in the spin class on the Friday night too!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Amble ramble-ings

It all seems to have been said as far as the Amble and Winter Hill outings are concerned, except for my own particular observations.

Started the Amble feeling good with lots of effort early on keeping me in touch with NLN but the slippery conditions underfoot were soaking up a lot of energy from everyone and probably had an adverse effect on all our times.

The invisible cord that seemed to be keeping NLN on my heels during the middle section finally broke on the run across Darwen Moor from the tower. But the threat was ever present.

As far as Sunday is concerned the race went as well as I dared hope. TF was in sight for the last time just before the Shooting Hut and the descent to the bottom of the ramp showed me at my worst form. The climb was slow and easy and a good descent to the knoll followed and I declined a lift back from the marshals. Getting out of the dip was like climbing a greasy pole as all the vegetation had been scoured from the almost vertical slope by those ahead of me.

By the trig point it was obvious that I wouldn't make the cut off at the wooden bridge so I retired myself and took the easy way down to the bridge, arriving 10 minutes out of time.

Energy was not as much a problem as slow pace because once back at the car there was enough juice left to take me down the road to clock up nine miles on the Garmin.

Congratulations to all those who did complete, especially to EYJ on his impressive win.

My View

Yes EtU, that is me on the left in the nostalgia picture. I’m obviously becoming so senile that I don’t recognize myself any more. I had thought that the person on the right might be Ray Miller so I go along with that as well.

A view From the Back


TLoB aka TMFtS is obviously having some sort of identity crisis, can you please decide which of these you are. I think you're about right with the year, as I had the BMW for 5 or 6 years and an Escort for about the same prior to that. The Montego was stolen from my driveway, probably very soon after the photo was taken.  I'll check my training diary, as I used to list all the Coope's Dozen participants.

However, whilst not wanting to disagree with all your posts, JtE, I think you've got the wrong John, surely that's you in the pink T shirt. Also TLoB/TMFtS is right with his Ray Miller identification, Colin Jones has never had that much hair, even when he was a hippie.


As was probably guessed, not a good day for me, I blame TF's Foxholes reps just two days before. Well done to NLN and YJ, who were both back almost two hours in front of me. For much of the event I progressed like a small child out shopping with an impatient parent; tucking in behind a walker and keep running a few steps, just to keep up.

Winter Hill

We all thought we had a star in EYJ and he proved it to the racing fraternity on Sunday. Onwards and upwards John. TF seemed puzzled that she was included with the Horwich photos, doesn't she know that she's an honorary member, not sure whether that's as a pin-up or a mascot though. Not spoken to YJ since Sunday, but he'd said that he didn't expect to finish; running to exhaustion seems to be just a part of his extraordinary training regime.

This Week

UTUPing Thursday and Saturday, then Bolton 5k on Sunday.

A few more pics from the weekend

Nostalgia continued

I think it must be 1997 or 98. Looking at the photo, I have short hair which means it can't be earlier than 1997 and I was down here by 1999. also I think the person with his back to us might be Ray Miller but I can't be certain.


A Bit More Nostalgia

John,  Ed & Dan

YJ, EtU, my good friend Dan, TLoB (in red for those who don’t know him) and, possibly, Colin Jones at the start of a Coope’s Dozen. When was this EtU? Does your car give you a clue?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ambling Along

Another Anglezarke Amble completed with conditions on the day proving testing.  The mud and gore certainly took their toll on my legs which sort of died on me on the climb up to Great Hill – which I put down to not taking on enough fuel on the way round Sad smile

But quite pleased with my time, albeit ten minutes slower than last year.   Going into the event, I didn’t feel as fit as last year, and with no Nic’O to pace me round I felt that 5.30 would be good, in the event the certificate registered 5.20 but having taken shoes off outside I reckon I could knock a couple of minutes off that.  I was inordinately pleased initially, as my Garmin was telling me I had completed in 5.09, but then I remembered I forgot to start it at the beginning of the event Doh!  Great to see friends old and new and a very sociable way to spend the day.

YJ had a storming run coming in seven or eight minutes in front of me and having taken the longer route across the track beyond the Strawberry Duck.  Training seems to be coming together this year after last year’s injuries.  FSS enjoyed his outing with a time of 4.22 followed by a 2.27 the next day at Winter Hill.

…and what a day that was – even marshalling was challenging in the wet conditions so hats off to TF, YJ and EYJ for turning out.  Full results can be found here.   A quality outing for EYJ, beating last year’s vet 65 silver medallist in the FRA English Championship – hope it lived up to your expectations after a 20 year running vacation!

Good to see JtE at White Coppice and for tea at the end, but no sign of EtU when we left the school house.  Look forward to hearing further tales of the day in due course. 

Some good photos of the Horwich contingent from yesterday by Mark Birbeck. Not sure how I managed to get on them and he missed EYJ, Albert and Rachel!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Winter Hill 13/2/2011

Well done to EYJ on his triumph at Winter Hill today finishing 1st V70, with a time of 2:31:16.

My race didn't go so well as I failed to make my intended 2hr40 target, finishing with 2:42:21. Sub 2:40 finishers at Winter Hill, seem to clear the cut-off at Edale. Conditions were tough today, but if the weather's similar for Edale I don't think the cut-off Marshall will accept 'it's a been a bit wet and windy' as an excuse and allow me through.

YJ made the wise decision to retire. How he could summons up the enthusiam for a race in that weather after his previous day's efforts on the Amble I'll never know! Ray finished on a time of 2:53:08 which was extremely respectible if he did the Amble the day before (?).

EtU was laying odds on thursday evening as to the time differential between myself and EYJ for todays race. So a 10 secs difference on Foxholes works out at exactly 1min/mile on Winter Hill. Need to work on getting that down to 5 secs for Foxholes.


ps A big thank you to the organizer and all the marshalls and helpers today. They definitely had a tough job, I was glad to be running, honest!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Amble Pictures

At White Coppice:



YJ arriving



“I hope that’s not NLN coming”



“Right, I’ll be off now”



“Hi, isn’t this good fun?”



All back to front.



“It’d be a laugh if I caught him up”

At the finish:


“I enjoyed that”



“ Yes, it was good”



Ray Miller was there. NLN knew him by sight. I met him for the first time on EtU’s Bob Graham recce of Blencathra, Skiddaw etc.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Monthly Hill Rep Session Thurs 10/02/11

3 participants - EtU, EYJ & TF, Location - Foxholes

Session consisted of 2min reps with a 30sec recovery to re-group, once at top of Foxholes jog recovery down Old Rake and Factory Hill to bottom of Foxholes

Start - Salt bin/Lamp post bottom of Foxholes

We did 2 x 2min reps and then one final rep to the top.

Times for complete 'Foxholes'
No. 1 - EYJ approx 7:25mins TF 7:39mins EtU 7:53mins
No. 2 - EYJ 7:29mins TF 7:40mins EtU 7:58mins
No. 3 - EYJ 7:28mins TF 7:38mins EtU 8:00mins

Should note that on his third 'Foxholes' EtU managed to cover more ground on the first 2min rep than EYJ and TF - he nearly managed it to the very narrow section with the terraced houses. His breathing rate at this point could have been counted by someone stood at the bottom of the hill!

Final recovery run starting on George's Lane to Jolly Crofters and then down to Chorley New Rd and back to the cars.

Total dist approx 6.5m - felt like 10m!

ps next session Thurs 10th March @ 6:30pm


Regrettably, I’m not up to participating in the Amble tomorrow but my intention is to be at White Coppice at about 12.00 to 12.15, complete with camera, to meet any of the gang that might turn up, and to try to accompany anyone who might be struggling a bit back to the finish. I’m finding that, although against advice, I am able to do a bit of running.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

UTUP - planing on doing 3 'Foxholes' this time so need to head off from UTUP @ 6.30pm.  Prob take 40-45mins, then longish warm down (3m), starting from george's lane. 

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

A rainy day

My first trip north in 2011 and it rained! However, it didn't spoil a very pleasant morning out on the local moors with t'Y. Now I have to admit that the days when I could run up Two Lads and hurl insults at t'Y are gone forever; so much so that he had to keep running off and running back whilst I tried to keep going. We followed the Winter Hill route to the shooting huts (my first trip accross this particular path in the 2000s) and then up the long drag to the trig point. Down on to (an underwater) Georges Lane to the Pike (t'Y did Noon Hill as well) and then back.

So thanks to t'Y for a very enjoyable morning; it was apity that I didn't get to meet up with more of you but i will be up again the week before Easter, so maybe I will see you all then.


Oh, and I almost forgot: Brentford FC are going to Wembley!!

This Week

Thursday 10th ~  UTUPing (if I get out of work on time), but note that we will have a smooth legged lady with us who'll want to do Foxholes reps.

Saturday 12th ~ Ambling.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Pennine Way Recce

Not much of a day for photos, but these two agreed to pose for the camera!

A notice on the gate further down the hill, suggested that some of the other residents wouldn't be so obliging.

Well done to everyone for putting up with my below par navigating yesterday. Blaming it on the good company and conversation for not keeping track of position on map!

Pennine recce

Thanks to all who helped on the Pennine Way recce on Saturday, especially TF for shouldering the burden of navigation and to NLN for her racy stories of lady fell runners.

We covered 15 miles in just under 5 hours, almost 20 minutes per mile.

I will start work now on an overall schedule for the run and a schedule for all the pacers.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

This Week

UTUPing Thursday 3rd (is it today already?)

Saturday 5th Feb

Chris Beesley, aka The Lord of Brentford, aka The Marf from the Sarf, blogged on 29th Jan to ask if anyone is UTUPing this Saturday. Most of us seem to be doing a Pennine Way recce with YJ, but if anyone is UTUPing, could they please post, so that Chris knows what's happening. He promises not to talk too loudly.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

View From Great End

With regard to JtE's commented query about the possibility of a glimpse of the Isle of Man from NLN's photo, Pillar is on a bearing of approx. 310o from Great End, whereas the most northerly point of the Isle of Man, Point of Ayre is on a bearing of approx. 260o, so probably not.

My money would be on somewhere in Dumfries and Galloway, or just a cloud formation.

But as Winnie the Pooh used to say, on the other hand I could be wrong, I often don't know what I'm talking about.
Keeping in touch

It's interesting to keep in touch by reading of your various exploits. Rather enviously I must admit. I'm off to Tenerife tomorrrow for a week to hopefully recharge my batteries. I've done a bit of running since my lastest injury and whilst my knee isn't 100% that isn't the problem. Whatever virus I picked up at the beginning of the year took a liking to my energy and has taken off with it and it's nowhere to be found. Consequently, a one hour lethargic plod round the park is the most I can manage. No change there, then. Anyone would think I was an old man! In fact, on reflection, everyone does think I'm an old man. It's a year since I was a Saturday morning regular. lt's time I was back.