Monday, May 30, 2011

YJ’s 70 at 70. Pictures at Road Crossings.



Leg 2 group arriving at the A672


Nico greets NLN


YJ arrives


TF arrives. EtU and Bill Smith looking on


YJ looking fit and well


YJ and Bill Smith


YJ leaving A672 to start leg 3 with support team: Nico, EtU and EYJ


Leg 3 group nearing the A640




Leg 3 Group nearing A62






Arriving at the A62







On the climb to the A635




Arriving at the A635




Leaving the A635 (where is EYJ going?)




Arrived at B6105. YJ getting the rice pudding down.




Nico talking to Sally. EtU talking to his big brother.


What was that you said?



YJ struggles with his rice pudding


At the car park on the B6105 after YJ had commenced leg 4





Sunday, May 29, 2011

Job Done!

With just a little help from his friends, a very weary YJ completed his Pennine Way 70 in Edale, just 22 hours and 50 minutes after leaving Gargrave the previous morning. Progress over the last mile had been hindered by lack of light and some confusion over the route, but this was eventually resolved and he emerged into the little square outside the Old Nags Head, bent, but not broken.

An heroic effort.

Can we have some pictures and further input please.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

10000 and counting

Just noticed we've 'hit' the 10K mark for number of visits to the blog. Wonder how long it'll take to do a marathon?


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Vanessa Chappell Fell Race 5.6m/1317ft

You needed a bit of insider info for this one or have run it before. I had both but Colin W still managed to get a good 100m ahead through the initial obstacle course of steps, gates, and stiles. He must have been doing some seriously hard training this year as try as I might I couldn't manage to reel him back on the next road section.

After that it's game over, as a seriously long wait at the next ladder stile scuppers any hope thereafter. All I could do now was to hit the original target of beating last years time. Not one for taking the easy option, I'd done a hardish run the day before and had to contend with the organizer altering the course slightly, adding a detour to avoid a collapsed bridge.

I think having a Manchester YMCA harrier lady breathing very hard down my neck along the last ridge concentrated my efforts for the last descent. She must have wondered where the sudden burst of speed came from as I set off downhill like some startled rabbit. Worked though, 3mins quicker than last year, but 2 mins slower than Colin W.

Impressed with the speed of the availability of the results

Question - He's got the speed, but can he do the distance?

Next CW/EtU/TF show-down is Duddon Fell Race Saturday 4th June. Need to get serious for this one, can't be letting the girls' side down, so don't think I'll be doing a little trot from Belmont to Darwen Tower and back in under 2hrs the day before like I did this week!

ps Found a new trod to avoid running along the road section near Tockholes Wood. Remind me to show it to you all next time we're out that way.
English Championship

So I'm guessing as it doesn't state 'best 3 out of 4' then the V70's have to do them all. Don't know much about Loughrigg-Silverhowe' but Whittle Pike I've definitely done (see post on Thurs 21st Aug 2008).

It's usually a mid-week evening race, with some short steep descents to test the footwear (especially in the wet), a river crossing to test your sense of balance, and a little bit of concrete downhill section at the end just to finally do your quads in. Absolute cracker of a race. Not sure where they'll put all the cars mind you.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Playing Catch-up

Well what've I been up to since last post. As EtU mentioned, a chance meeting on Wednesday morning last week at Greendale, he was just finishing his run I was just starting.

This was the last day of my hols in the Lakes. I could report that the best bit of the 6 days was waiting the 20 mins for the camp-site tumble dryer to finish its cycle. But you know I'd only be joking, don't you? Wouldn't be a Lakes holiday without a bit of rain, just glad it wasn't too windy in the valleys.

Other note-worthy highs included a pb for Fairfield Horseshoe Fell Race in 2:06:52 and finding the summit of Great Gable on Monday. Lows, not locating the trig on Seatallan on Tuesday and contouring myself into the wrong valley (east of Middle Fell instead of west!) on the way back from Pots of Ashness.

With clearer weather on Wednesday I was able to see that I needed to change my bearing slightly as I neared the end of the Wasdale race trod on reaching the plateau. Was only about 25m away the day before, but it'd been too cold, wet and windy for faffing about on the top. A useful recce of the route as far as Scoat Fell then followed and even managed to find the right valley on the way back. In hindsight they'd been too many clues the day before which I'd chosen to ignore which had landed me in the predicament I'd found myself. Can't do 'it's about right' or 'it'll do' for bearings and trods in that weather!

Hopefully I'll have my 'N' hat on for 'Navigator' on Saturday, but just in case I went and recced the Kinder section on Friday!!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Santon Bridge May 2011

Our youngest daughter Meredith and her family were with us for the first two nights, and as is usual on these occasions, I was charged with providing some excitement for Dean, father of their two sons. I chose Buckbarrow, and we attacked it on Saturday via its "unassailable" south face (AW 1965). We used the westernmost of the two scree gullies, and although this looks formidable from Greendale, it is, although a stiff climb, a safe and unexposed route.

Greendale and the screes from near the top of the gully.

The Scafells from Buckbarrow top.

Cascades on Greendale Gill on the descent.

After a trip back to Bolton on Tuesday (someone has to keep the wheels of industry turning) followed by the Workington 10k that evening (don't ask), it was up Middle Fell with David P-T and Joss on Wednesday morning, when I was treated to a chance meeting with TF as we returned to Greendale. She seemed in fine spirits and was off to have a second attempt at finding Seatallan trig; I left her discussing the route with Joss.

The grey squirrels have reached Wasdale, so the OSH and I were delighted to encounter this little chap in Blengdale on Friday afternoon.

Not great photographs, but it was kind of him to hang around long enough for me to take these.

Blengdale is a fine valley and although it's Forestry Commission, it's a good mix of conifers and broad leaf, not planted in any obvious pattern and many of the conifers are quite mature.

He's Moving Up the Rankings!

After his second place in the first English Championship race, out youngest John was unsure what Mearley Clough would hold for him. He was dispatched with words of encouragement, but we really didn't know how he would fare on this A Short on Pendle Hill.

Peter Ramsdale (his Monday coach) made sure he made the start line, but I wonder whether the confusion over his age was down to Peter's poor command of numbers. You see, John is in the results as a V55, and although this was reported to the organisers on the day as an error, this still stands on their website 

As reported by Peter, John was behind both him and Peter Covey (V70), who had placed first at Long Mynd, until the final descent. On the roughest part of the descent, John passed his coach and moved in just behind Covey. Then, in a perfectly timed final charge, both he and Peter passed Covey in the final half mile and John finished first vet 70. Although the results have him down as nobbut a lad, his seniority was recognised in the prize giving, and he was awarded the vet 70 prize. Well done John!

This leaves him in equal first place with Covey in the championship. Watch this space!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

PW recce

On Friday 20th May I plan to do a low speed recce of the Pennine Way south from the B6105 near Glossop I'm not expecting it to be a long outing, just enough to check the route over Bleaklow Head towards Snake Pass and would welcome company if anyone is free.

Saturday will see the winding up of serious training with a leisurely run from the Lower Barn (UTUP)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Future

UTUPing this Thursday 12th May.

Then all Saturdays are spoken for for a long time, starting with a long week in the Lakes, then YJ's 70, then Duddon, then Menorca then Wasdale ~ did I say Wasdale?

Will be doing Thursdays again from 26th May.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Burbage Skyline 5.75m/1200ft Tues 10th May

A little trip over towards Sheffield to practise some boulder hopping. Not an auspicious start for the organizing club (Dark Peak) when the queue for registration was doing two laps round the pub car park. They'd remembered the numbers but not the registration forms. It took until 6.45pm until they decided that we were a trustworthy enough looking bunch not to sue for millions. So basic details only (name and age category) and no signature.

Given the registration problems, they did well to get us off only ten minutes late. With an apparently ever increasingly popular race, unless you were at the front you were never destined to get off to a 'flyer'. Being congested it was difficult at first to get a good route choice, but eventually we thinned out a bit. Was doing ok, but then hit the typical peak district boulder path, sandy bits interspersed with rounded bits of rocks of varying sizes. Not sure why it is but I always seem to struggle on these paths, even on the flatter sections. However I persevered and even managed to keep running up two of the steeper climbs.

I had hoped to get under 60 mins for this one, so was a bit disappointed to make the finish line in nearer 65 mins. I was however pleased to achieve my other aim which was to 'run' the whole route without any walking, a year or two back I'd have struggled to do that on a race with 800ft of climb, let alone 1200ft. I also feel it did me good to race over an unfamiliar route, keeps you on your toes so to speak, and a whole lot better than running circles on a track. I didn't stay for the prize giving but I bet they're still there trying to sort out the team awards!

Will be out on thursday this week for a utup, but away in the Lakes at the weekend.


Monday, May 09, 2011

Calderdale Way Relay Sun 8th May 2011

This was the rescheduled event from December 2010. For those not in the know, the Calderdale Way is a 50 mile footpath circuit across the hills and valleys surrounding Halifax. For the purposes of this event the circuit is divided in 6 sections of varying lengths from 5m to 11m. Clubs enter teams on the basis of all men, all women, mixed and veterans, 2 runners (who have to stick together) on each section. So 12 runners per team. With each leg starting and finishing in a different place, it can be a logistical nightmare making sure everyone is where they should be.

Salford had a pretty solid mens 'A' team and a mixed 'B' team. The 'A' team remained mainly unchanged from initial planning, the 'B' team however metamorphosed, which meant I originally started out running on leg 3, had a brief flirtation with leg 2 and eventually landed up on leg 5 with a 39 min 10k-er!!!

My comment to my original partner on leg 3 was, 'it's alright for you, but it's going to be a bit eyeballs out for me!'. However my leg 5 partner (a Mexican called Tania) has only completed in one previous off-road event such as this and didn't really take to the downhill bits, which meant that I got a bit of a rest at the bottom. The rest was definitely 'eye balls out' and we completed the 7.5m in 1hr 15mins. Being the true fellrunner that I am, I managed to find the only mud on what was a very hard, dry route, and have a roll round in it. Backside well and truely covered to the extent I nearly didn't get a lift back to my car!

Despite having a strong 'A' team the lads were beaten into 2nd place by Calder Valley's Mens Team. The first time that they've won the event, so well done to Calder Valley. No results out yet to know where the 'B' team finished, we were involved in the mass starts on leg 5 & 6, so difficult to assess on the day.


Monday, May 02, 2011

This Week

Tuesday ~ planning to be at Wilderswood for 5:45, but don't wait.

Thursday 5th ~ UTUP.

Saturday ~ Pennine Way Recce.

Last Saturday

It’s very generous of you EtU to report that we ran to Two Lads. With my lack of fitness causing slow progress I was worried that you might get hypothermia through hanging around for me. However your company was much appreciated and thanks for your comments in general.

I am now able to cover most of our normal Saturday terrain and one thing that has surprised me is the work that has been carried out to various footpaths in the last nine months or so. I have previously mentioned those to the Brinscall triangle route. I have subsequently seen diversions on the way to Healey Nab and now I see “improvements” to the path approaching, and in places around, Smithills Reservoir. The latter work disappoints me. I don’t think that there was any particular erosion problem. It seems unnecessary and might encourage more people to go into the area. It has always struck me as a wild sort of place with a feeling of remoteness and quietness. I hope it stays that way.

Can't mistake that running action

just in case you missed me I make an appearance at 5:40 mins, who else can you spot?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Three Peaks, three cheers

Well done TF on your Three Peaks outing. On the two occasions I didn't get to Pen-y-Ghent inside 47 minutes I got timed out at the Hill Inn, so you must have paced your run very well.


Well done at the Three Peaks, TF; you did the work and you earned the result.

Wasdale ~ do I enter now or wait until after Duddon? Planning to try the Pillar to Gable section when I'm up there in a fortnight. Perhaps decide on 5th June.

Saturday 30th April

A bracing outing yesterday. JtE was at the Bottom Barn and we ran up to meet EYJ on Two Lads.

The senior J had decided that it wasn't his knee that had been holding him back, but rather his lack of fitness due to nursing the knee that the medics had diagnosed was the problem. So he set off for the Shooting Hut and thence Smithills Res and the wall, whilst the lad and I headed for the Pike, Noon Hill and then Winter Hill Trig. It was cold at first but we warmed up as we ran harder and the sun got higher in the sky.

As planned, we rendezvous'd with JtE part way along the wall, and having chatted briefly, continued to Winberry Hill where EYJ dropped off for home and I continued back via the Res, to the mast, then the Pike again, then back to the Barn. JtE's car was still there, so I checked the coffee shop then drove home.

A smashing outing and good to see that you can't keep a good man down; we just need to get him fit again!
Three Peaks Fell Race 23.3m/5280ft Sat 30th April

4:49:31. Looks good, so I'll have to type it again 4:49:31

All the preparation, stress, worry and on the day a near fautless performance, that is aside from forgetting to apply the spF50. Glowing now for a number of reasons, inside and out!

A little nervy setting off, not helped by witnessing a spectacular tumble by one of the faster runners coming down the top path from Pen-y-Ghent. Medical knowledge allowed me to ascertain he was still breathing as I step over him, so knew he'd be alright. First checkpoint gained in 47:33 mins, so on target and could relax a little. But not too much as I'd beat Tony V to the first summit and there was just a little nagging doubt about it being a bit too quick, but all the stats I'd studied suggested that it should be just slightly quicker (approx 1min or so) than current 10k time, and mine seemed to be about bang on.

The gusty wind gave some assistance on sections to Ribblehead, arriving as I'd hoped with a good 10 mins to spare in 1:57:24. Credit to the announcer for pronouncing my name right, not everyone does at first attempt. So on to the unknown, my first assault on Whernside by the direct route. I can honestly say I loved all 45 mins of it, I gained over 50 places on this section alone, although that might be with a few calling it quits and getting the minibus back. Being a bit of a titch really does come into it's own when the the wind's blowing you up the hill. Different story on the top though, it was a real struggle going down the hill the right way up. But I knew I had a good 45mins to play with and could take time to be careful(ish). In the end got down in 28mins arriving at Hill Inn in 3:11:19.

Not much time to celebrate as I grabbed my bottle of juice and jumped the queue for the temporary 'little girls room', although I do wonder what gave it away to the woman at the front of the queue when she asked 'are you doing the race?'. Very grateful to her for letting me push in.

Onwards and upwards. Another near miss on the steep zig-zag climb on the way up to Ingleborough when a dislodge rock missed me by about a foot, but hit the runner behind on the ankle at a guess, due to the amount of expletives it brought forth. Beginning to feel I was leading a bit of a charmed life. As I turned to retrace my steps on the summit of Ingleborough just over 4hrs had elapsed, on my one recce of this section it'd taken me over an hour to get back to Horton so I thought a 5hr15 finish could be on the cards. So well impressed with a return in under 50mins given the strong headwind. Equally stunned by this performance as I was with my performance at Edale, it just seemed to come good on the day, can't ask for more than that.

Not wanting to rest on my laurels, the Wasdale entry is in the post. Anyone else willing to give it a go with me and watch me bite off more than I can chew?

3 P = 4:49:31, full report to follow, full results on