Wednesday, August 31, 2011

This Week

UTUPing Thursday 1st Sep and Saturday 3rd.
Chunal Fell Race 4m/1200ft Weds 24th Aug
(report delayed due to waiting for results)

Things are a bit relaxed for Des's races, including the start time. Waiting for the latecomers, allowed the rest us chance to munch from the hedgerow, a nice juicy selection of blackberries. Took our mind of the fact we were getting soaked to the skin.

The pre-race fuelling didn't aid effort up the first hill. Kept looking round to see how many were behind and dismayed to find no-one. Couldn't believe after all the training I'd done this year that I could be last in a race, especially one such an innocuous as this. One of the marshal's acknowledged I'd done Sedbergh a few days before, didn't make me feel any better though.

But lady luck was smiling. A short, steep down and up at the mid-point of the course worked in my favour and I passed three that were moving, and one that was lying prostrate (cramp). Had to work hard to keep them behind me, well except the one that got a lift back in a car.

So annoying to find I'm the last name on the results, followed by a '?'. Probably not as annoyed as the one's behind me who didn't get a mention for all their efforts.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Northern Visit

The Lord of Brentford and his good Lady wish to announce that they will be visiting the frozen north during the second week of September. They are looking forward to seeing old friends.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Chipping Show Fell Race 7.5m/1500ft

Only 69 hardy souls turned up for this one, and most of those were there because it was part of the Area Fell Race Grand Prix. This a league set up for competition between the following clubs

•Astley & Tyldesley Road Runners
•Middleton Harriers
•Radcliffe AC
•Rochdale Harriers
•Rossendale Harriers
•Saddleworth Runners

A change of route since I last did it in 2007, but unfortunately due to the fact that the location of the show field is not in shouting distance of Parlick there was no getting away from the 2 miles of trudging across sodden fields before you get to the good bit. Essentially the route was out and back to the Paddy's Pole trig point, climbing to the col just north of Parlick on the way out and then dropping down to the intake wall on the western flank to get a bit of extra climbing to return via the cairn on Parlick. Came into my own on the steep grassy bits gaining 2 places on the outward bound bit and 2 on the return. Good job, otherwise I'd have not had many behind me.

There were clear views across to Morecombe bay (apparently), however I was more interested in the three gliders that were circling only a couple of hundred feet above and how they managed to avoid crashing into one another, I guess they weren't taking in the views either. Did manage to spot that someone had dropped a tube of toothpaste next to the gate on Parlick, makes a change from the usual bits of rubbish you see, obviously dentally aware in the Trough of Bowland.

Given the choice of races on that afternoon it was the most expensive at £8 (entrance to show) although you did get a £2 refund for entering the fell race. But with a family in tow, they'd at least have some entertainment whilst you were out toiling away. No racing Llamas this time, just (!) Welsh Lumberjacks with power tools.

Will be out for a utup on Thurs


Sunday, August 28, 2011

In The Begining...

...there was light:-

Then after Bucket Dog Farm (Higher Pasture House?) and onto Great Hill, it went dark (and wet ~ very) but eventually we all got there:-

NLN (Relentless of Aspull)

Then, putting one foot in front of (or to the side of, or just anywhere) came JtE, until...

...we were all there ~ YJ, TF and CW having baled out along the way.

From there it was White Coppice and home. A good 15.5 miles, and an excellent morning out.

Thank you TIM for these photos.


UTUP,of course, means usual time usual place. Traditionally the usual time has meant the time of departure from the venue; not the time of arrival!  I suggest that we might revert to this arrangement. Has anyone any views?

Talking of views, thanks NLN for the posted pictures taken during yesterday’s outing. Well done in the difficult conditions.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

This Morning’s Snaps

Great morning out, with plenty of weather, route and details will I’m sure be written up.  Not a good day for the camera, but here’s a few taken between the downpours!


Looking out over Horwich


Good to see YJ back in business and a brief appearance by TF in preparation for upcoming race


Nice doorstep – I also liked the hedgehog sitting to the right of the door


‘Dog Bucket Farm’  -  en suite facilities clearly not a feature!


TIM and SG running up to the style


The style – looking across to Great Hill


Reaching the top of Great Hill in the cloud and rain – JtE, IceKev, and a stranger behind


Well, not that strange really! – above and below FSS before he runs off into the distance



Washed clean after the rain – L-R Mast (Winter Hill), Pigeon Tower and Pike

Great outing despite the weather  -  well what else would we have been doing  - bit early for the Beer Festival in Rivington Be right back


Autumn Equinox "Do"

Having temporarily abdicated my self elected position as "do" organiser, and having found that no-one stepped up to the mark (there was no Summer Solstice "do"), I have once again donned this mantle.

How does Friday 16th September grab anyone?

Friday, August 26, 2011

A little whinge about Royal Mail

Bear with me it's vaguely running related.

I ordered a new Head Torch via Amazon this week. Not car headlamp size but will hopefully be an improvement on the current one. An email yesterday said it'd been dispatched so fully expected it to arrive today. Royal mail tend to make deliveries 11-12ish.

Off work today, so thought I'd spend the morning in the garden doing the general jobs (cutting grass, weeding etc) and constructing some new compost bay's. Starting to feel hungry and headed back in to the house for something to eat and surprised to find it was 1pm. Another surprise was a little card from Royal Mail, timed at 11:40am.

Absolutely fuming. Anyone with a slight ounce of common sense would have realized that if I didn't answer the door, I'd have likely to been round the back. Major clues, car was on drive (not normally there when post delivered), main garage door was open, an extension lead trailing round side of house and general weeding paraphernalia still out on front lawn.

Got on the phone to complain. Apparently the Post Man/Lady has to ring the doorbell/knock on door and if no reply after a few minutes put a card through. They are not allowed to 'encroach' onto the property because people have complained (get this) because they have been found (caught) sunbathing NAKED in the back garden.

I pointed out that you'd have to be a polar bear to want to be sunbathing today, and in any case it's not a huge property he/she could have shouted from the side gate and I'd have heard. But as I was told 'rules is rules'. A trip to the sorting office now beckons tomorrow, but not until after 11:40am as I have to wait 24hrs to collect. Don't want to chance another 'rules is rules' episode!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Very sad news about Mike. Feel for Jackie, can't begin to imagine how devastated she must feel. Whatever your level of first-aid training, out on the fell you're very limited as to what you can do.

Whatever one's view of modern technology, one vital piece of equipment in this sort of situation is a phone. The ability to give a good location description is vital too, saves a lot of faffing for the rescue services. I take mine with me when I'm on my own, so running in a group shouldn't change that.


Sad news cont.

Just to echo EtUs sentiments, an inspirational man who some of you knew much better than I did.   It was Jackie Redmayne who was guiding Mike at the time - devastating for her too.  Obituary can be found here, with details of funeral on Chorley Harriers website.


Hi Everyone
The news is my ankle isn't looking good. Saw the surgeon/consultant last week, 6 weeks post op.
He found 3 significant problems, one of which may have been brought to crisis point when the dog pulled me over, but was almost certainly a runners' injury, (rare in non runners,) and developing over a period of time. When you ask if you will run again and the response is a hesitant "Well I've known people with this injury run again..." it isn't good news. The other two injuries are soft tissue injuries which will probably heal fully in time. I've now had an MRI scan to be repeated in a year to check the progress, or not, of the biggest problem. At the moment my ankle is swollen, walking is still uncomfortable some of the time and painful much of the time so I'm not tempted to run, see how I feels when the pain goes.
As a result my horse is being ridden frequently, although not for long as even this ranges from little to lots of pain. Can't drive yet. Son has taken the van to Font for a bouldering trip so carless during the day anyway.
I miss the running especially when I read about Saturday mornings but I do wish you all well, so glad I was able to do the 70 at 70 as this was my last big run to date and possibly ever. Congratulations on all the races, TF you are doing amazingly. I think SN is in line for a championship prize, brilliant. You never know I may just turn up one day and come for a run.

Mike Ogle

I was deeply saddened to hear of Mike's premature death last Saturday:-

Mike beat me last month at the Harrock Hill Race. I'm doing the last in that series later today, and I'm sure that the whole field will want to pay tribute to a man who made a major handicap seem like a minor one, and certainly not one to keep him off the fells.

Rest in peace Mike, you were an inspiration.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Friday's Recce for a 'racing line' somewhere on the Langdale Route

Not looking good - aiming for 'V' notch in centre

Mist clears a bit

Picking up the trod

Still on it

Recognisable landmark with 'pyrimidal' shaped rock
Clear the hill and oh ****, route drops too much, have to be somewhere on skyline on very edge of left side of photo to rejoin main path

To make it to this landmark

Where am I?


Bear in mind I was on for a long day out on the Sunday and I was recceing part of Langdale and Three Shires Route. It's also on Great Lakes route too! So three for the price of one, you don't get those sorts of deals at Tescos!

TF's Langdale pic

As I can't find the appropriate map I can't work out the exact map reference where the pic was taken but it must be close to the top of Rosset Ghyll probably, if TF was keeping to the race route, just past Rosset Pike, looking down towards the Dungeon Ghyll. The only other possibility it to the right of Rosset Ghyll.

Last Friday, Saturday and This Week

Friday ~ Challenge for YJ, and also possibly for TF. Can you give the grid reference of whence TF took her Langdale photo. TF not to respond until after YJ.

Saturday ~ Next time anyone takes a photo of me without my shirt on, please can they remind me to hold my stomach in.

This Week ~ Weds 24th, Harrock Hill.
                       Thurs 25th, UTUP (Stocks at 6:30)
                       Sat 27th, UTUP (Bottom Barn at 8:30).
Sedbergh Results

Can't have timed anyone out. I know I gained a couple of places in the end, but was mainly yo-yoing with the 4-5 who finished infront/behind me. Definitely would have heard a stampede of 20+ runners all trying to make the cut-offs.

Bit of work to do to make a similar time at Langdale.

Should be out for a short utup on Saturday.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sedbergh Hills Race 14m/6000

I'd intended on using this as recce for other years when it when it didn't have a 'championship' entry quota. A bit of bimbling along at the back with map & compass (if required) and camera.

Imagine my horror when arriving at registration to find a full set of cut-off times for each check - point. There'd been mention of a 1hr40 time allowance to the 3rd one in the letter sent out confriming entry, but discussion regarding previous years seemed to suggest that this wasn't rigidly enforced. Results from previous years seem to confirm this, one of which was a championship year.

For info, the time being allowed was as follows

1 - 35mins Arrant Haw Summit GR662947
2 - 1hr5mins Castley Knotts Summit GR642963
3 - 1hr40mins Stream Junction GR647997
4 - 2hr35mins Stream Junction GR679996
5 - 3hr15mins The Calf Summit GR668970
6 - 4hr Winder Summit GR654933

I had thought I'd make it back to the finish in 4hrs, so thought the 6th one was doable, but the others? Time to lighten the load, the camera had to go. With this now being more of an 'eye-balls' out effort than I expected, there'd be no time to stop to take pictures anyway.

A full 12hrs of overnight rain made some descents challenging, the first three cp's being cleared with only minutes to spare. I gained a bit of time on the three climbs between the 3rd and 4th, giving myself a 10 min cushion for the long drag up to number 5. Claggy conditions on the approach to 5 meant slowing to check bearings. The cushion dropped to 8 mins.

Dropping out of the clag, meant a pick-up of pace, well it was downhill. But then it went up hill again, kept thinking how bad it would be to get timed out at the last check point, head hung with the shame of it? Gritted teeth and the last one cleared with 25mins spare, what a relief. Now all I had to do was run down the last hill. The backside bore the brunt of most of it, with a very heavy landing a one point, but the 4hr finish target saw me back on my feet.

On my watch, 3hrs 47mins, give or take a few seconds. The results print-out hadn't got as far as me by the time I headed off home, so will confirm when available.

Sorry no pictures, but here's one I took on Friday whilst out recceing part of Langdale/Three Shires routes


Yes, a great morning out

Or ... seven at the start, three at the finish!
Okay, the seven included YJ who is on his own schedule to get him back to the pace we know he is capable of, once injury free.
Excellent weather, relatively cool for August but with plenty of blue sky as can be seen from NLN's photos posted earlier. My fellow UTUPers for the morning's route were Ed, JtE, NLN, Kev, and making his first appearance (at least on a morning when I've been there and I'm sure not his last), Colin Waterworth, using our slower pace as he returns from injury. The oft used route through the Chinese Gardens found our way up to Two Lads whereupon we dropped down to skirt the quarry with JtE looking for wildlife. All I could see were some large beasts which may have been Caterpillars (see NLN's pic). By this time, both Kev and Colin had departed as they both wanted merely a short run. The four of us continued up to Burnt Edge and the Tresspass Stone and thence to Whimberry (where Ed contemplated a morning swim) and Winter Hill trig point before the descent down to Horden Stoops and on to the Bomber Memorial. NLN, Ed and myself made an effort on the climb and then rested before rejoining JtE for the run in.

Is that where we've been?

No idea. I'm just happy to sit here.

A conversation with a chap at Rivington gave us another rest, after which NLN decided that she needed more than three hours so headed up to the Pike whilst JtE showed Ed & I a clean pair of heels as he sprinted back to the Lower Barn, having completed an extremely enjoyable 12 miles.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Speeding up slowly

Saturday's outing saw an improvement over previous outings (a PB by nearly four minutes) but am getting self conscious about attempting to walk fast and am beginning to feel very Pythonesque (the Ministry of Silly Walks).

My pace was under 18 minutes per mile and it would help to know what the main group achieved on their run. If anyone has the details from their Garmin I would appreciate the information. The pix from the group's run does seem to show a lot of walking so perhaps the gap is not too great. Can anyone identify the figure in white to the right of the tower on Rivington Pike?

Met Matt at the Pigeon Tower and while we were commiserating over our respective running problems FSS turned up, obviously going much better than Matt and myself.

A Great Morning Out

Having not been out with the Saturday Squad for some considerable time it was great to be back to the hills and the craic.  I’ll leave it to others to describe the route and the comings and going, just thought I’d post a few snaps taken on the run.

Auntitled-1Approaching Two Lads


Two Lads


Pike from Two Lads


Five Lads on Two Lads


Working in the Quarry


Sheltered from the prevailing winds


Lovely bright morning with the sheep gathered on a little knoll


Heading to the Trespass Stone – a colourful bunch today – down to four of us at this stage


‘On the beach’  - will he or won’t he?


Summit pool


Across the Reser


Couple of locals


The state of the roads!


Beautiful colours abound

Managed the target for the morning of  over 15m with just under 2,000ft climbed – thanks guys


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Langdale Fell Race 8th Oct 2011

Anyone thinking of doing this needs to get their entry in pronto. When I looked at the entry list yesterday there was 50 -odd names. Now there's 201 !! Limit 400

Entry form

Golf Ball 5.5m/800ft Weds 17th Aug

Who nicked the gate? Could have sworn that the last time I did this we queued on the track before getting to the grassy bit, as it was we had to run a further 200m before getting a rest at the kissing gate. A lot of heavy breathing going on here, but all completely innocent.

I was beginning to think that I'd wished I'd got stuck in the traffic in Rawtenstall for longer and missed the start. As it was they'd delayed the start by a good 20-25mins because of the chaos a set of roadworks were causing in the town centre. Once on the top the lowering sun made it tricky to see where you were putting feet, so it was a relief to turn the corner and have it behind you. Then some boggy bits to negotiate on top of Great Hameldon, a drop and run through the old quarry before hitting the 2nd climb in the race. I don't remember seeing the Golf Ball thingy, for which the race is named after, as I was concentrating on my downhill running and keeping hold of the few places I gained through the quarries.

I nearly lost a shoe on the run in through the last boggy section, would have left it there and gone back for it later had it completely come off, but it stayed put and remained on until the finish.

A disappointing 63:24, only 3 minutes quicker than 2007. I have to take some solace in the fact that none of the runners completing Sunday's race finished in front of me, and some of the one's that did weren't as far in front. But then it was a shorter race.

Link for map of route

Overall feeling: need to do better


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Well Done Guys!

Not clear from your report exactly who deserves the plonk, but I'm sure that JtE, gentleman that he is, will insist it goes to Pauline ~ name your poison lady!

Planning to UTUP Thursday 18th and Saturday 20th.

Earlier on Winter Hill

A nice little outing earlier gave me and JtE 7.3m over Two Lads, Mast, Trig Point, down to Georges Lane and back round to Pike, over which we went before returning to cars at Wilderswood.  Within five minutes of setting out in dry conditions, we were sheltering under the conveniently grown trees at Pike Cottage.  The rain came and went, giving very atmospheric lighting throughout the run.  As you can see below.


From the mast road where we were engulfed in cloud – Manchester is in apparently bright sunshine


Above and below the mast disappearing into the clouds


From EtU’s description we located the benchmark, which is interesting as it is not listed in the benchmarks database.  As you can see below the weather had faired up by the time we got to the Pike.


A triumphant JtE indicating the location of the benchmark with his size 9’s


and a close up – just to confirm its presence – I didn’t spot it at the time but there could be a bolt just above the cutmark –  will take another look next time


How many times have we all run over this without spotting the mark?   Well done EtU.

Hoping to be out Saturday UTUP


PS – dropped my favourite Buff while out – pale blue and white flowers with some green colour, if you happen to come across it – would be delighted to see it again Sad smile

Need I Say More?





Mount Ararat - Summit Day

High Camp offered much more rugged terrain, but comfortable in the tents and again all food prepared for us.


Top doesn’t look too far from  here

But we would still need to leave camp at 1.30am, so up for breakfast at 1.00am.


Meltwater from summit icefields builds momentum through the day to produce this cascade close to camp


It’s 1.00am and it’s Breakfast time!


Summit just before 6.00am

It was so cold on top that I couldn’t operate my camera and the wind made it very difficult to stand up.  Our guide is sheltering to the left of the picture.  An amazing experience, well recommended.  I did suffer from the altitude for the last 500ft or so, but just feeling sick and difficulty breathing.  As soon  as that distance was descended felt fine again.


Looking at Little Ararat, towards the border of Iran from the summit, with cloud inversion evident


Looking down at High Camp on the descent – we would arrive for second breakfast at 8.50am

As in many cases, the descent is tougher than going up, and I certainly found this to be the case.  There is no path and the boulders and scree you can see in the foreground are all lying on frozen ground – not the best combination for staying upright.  Sure enough I ended up on the rocks a fair number of times, but eventually got down to camp where again refreshments were waiting.

Great trip, learnt much about ‘Ultras’ and I’m sure we will meet up with the serious ‘Baggers’ for a leisurely excursion into their world now and again.

As usual, more on FSS's blog