Sunday, April 29, 2012

Yesterday (Sat 28th)

As ever, a bit of a lucky dip with regard to who would be at the lower barn, but not a bad selection yesterday.

t'Y was there, but not for the full morning, NLN still claiming not to be fully fit, but going very well nevertheless and new boy Chris (PS = Posh Scouser) in the transition from road runner to fellsman, plus yours truly.

Headed for Two Lads, then the quarries, Burnt Edge, Holden's Farm, the Trespass Stone (well we did have NLN on board, what did you expect?). Dropped t'Y soon after, then round the res, the wall and then the Trig Point. Then it was across the wet bit to Noon Hill, Georges Lane (apostrophe ?) the PIke and back to the barn.

A good outing, cold at times. Thank you for the piccies Pauline.

Smithills Res-Winter Hill Sat 28 April

Good run with EtU and PS (EtU will explain) covering just under 11 miles on a very chilly but dry morning.  More here and EtU’s write up to follow.


T’Y with new kid on the block PS



the path alongside Smithills Res


EtU pretending to be a garden gnome at the little pool by the wall up to WH summit from Smithills Res





Looking north from Noon Hill summit

Not out next Sat – have fun all


Friday, April 27, 2012

New Kit

A brief test last night and going well, maybe too well.

Salford were putting on our 5K race in Heaton Park, so where better to trial the new t-shirt in a brief run from the car park to the registration point. I was going to to a few hill reps but it was raining (a lot). It generated quite a bit of interest and have managed to fend off 3 potential orders claiming that it's a prototype and still under testing.

Have to congratulate all the runners for turning up for the 5K (our first venture in hosting evening races) in such a foul weather. The new course seemed a good hit, especially the downhill finish.

I'm not out this Saturday as I'm at my British Dental Association Conference at G-mex (or Manchester Central as it's now called, had me confused for a while), so it's only my brain that'll get exercised, unless I fall asleep in the lectures. It's the first time I've been to the yearly conference in over 20 years of being a dentist, and they had to offer up a free day to get me there otherwise I'd have been out on the hills on my day off. Thinking of taking my 30L rucksack to fill up on freebies from the exhibitor stands. Toothbrush and toothpaste anyone?


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sunday, St John’s in the Vale–High Rigg

To finish off the weekend a stroll through St John’s in the Vale from Threlkeld and back over the ridge and High Rigg.  More pics here.


Early morning mist on Derwentwater


The old packhorse bridge over St John’s Beck


Above and below Blencathra from High Rigg


FSS having an easy day!

Hope to be out Saturday UTUP and catchup Smile


This Week

UTUPing Thursday, but then jogging up to the Crofters for the Fielden cup - what time, Gordon?

UTUPing Saturday.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Don't know which was worst about my cycle ride round Winter Hill earlier this evening, the desperately painful drag up to Hordern Stoops from Belmont, the terrifying ride down to Rivington on the other side, or the humiliation of being passed by a fat lady (also on a bike) on that descent.

Put my bike on ebay and pass me my slippers.

Fielden Cup this Thursday for those who fancy it

If you want to build a historical race into your Thursday night session, you could do a little warm up from UTUP to the Jolly Crofters, pay your 200 pennies and then compete in the Fielden Cup, 2.2 miles along Georges Lane to Pike Cottage and back (S/F by Matchmoor Lane). We have prizes and something edible for all finishers. You could then do a couple more miles before the presentation with optional drinking in the Jolly Crofters. If you are a paid-up member of HRMI Harriers victory will seal the prestigious Fielden Cup - you'll need a big mantlepiece for its display. It is a handicap race so helpful to let me know in advance for estimating a sensible handicap time (EtU got yours calculated along with 50 other harriers from recent races). Hopefully at least 10 will run but over 30 would put pressure on the finishing team. I wonder what is the record field for the event.

Well It Was Like THis...

...a lot of the course was unsurfaced, there was a narrow bridge where we had to queue up to get across, there were lots of tight turns, Barry Alman reckons it was long, I had been out for 3 hours 26 minutes on Saurday morning and after all, the winner only ran 34:34. Will that do?

The chip timing is interesting and I think illustrates why perhaps although necessary in bigger races, it can lead to confusion. The results (see TF's link) appear to be in gun time order, but quote chips times. I ran shoulder to shoulder with Martin Banks for the last half mile or so and outsprinted him over the last 200 yards. I'm in the results one place in front of him (positions 430/431), but we're reminded by the chip time that as he crossed the start line 7 seconds after me, that he probably ran the race faster than me. Oh, woe!

Finally, although these results tell me that I was just inside the hour, I know, and my training diary needs to know (and now you know) that I really took over the hour for this 10k - double woe!
Stop procrastinating EtU, we need a report to explain

Thank goodness for chip timing SmileyTF

Monday, April 23, 2012

TF's New Outfit

Will it be an improvement on this:-

... or at least, slightly more modest?

Saturday in Borrowdale

Great weekend in Borrowdale, weather much better than forecast.  Ian ‘enjoyed’ the extended Anniversary Waltz route Teenager With Altitude.  I was much more sensible marshalling on Hindscarth.  More pics and write up here as usual.


Driving to the start of the race we stopped to take a couple of snaps – above looking across to the Lodore Falls hotel


The walk in to Hindscarth



Runners approaching Hindscarth summit


Chief Marshall Keir




On the way back to Rosthwaite – Skiddaw in sunshine

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Kinder Downfall 9.6m/1970ft Sunday 22nd April

My last excursion around the edge of Kinder was on YJ's Pennine Way Challenge. I don't think I did it any quicker today in daylight, visibility was nearly as poor but there were a few more footprints to follow this time.

One lady runner behind me said 'I'm following you, I've done this race twice and gone wrong both times'. I resisted the temptation to say I'd got round in the dark, not that daft to tempt fate. As it was on YJ's challenge there was bits I remembered and bits I didn't, it was a bit of a relieve to make it past the trig like last year and begin the descent.

It hadn't exactly been an eyeballs-out effort on the along the top so tried to make up for it on the way down, but the lack of speed training told on the last stretch and may well account for my slowest time yet, approximately 2-3 mins over the 2hr mark.

So returned home not feeling I'd achieved much except miles in the bank, so set about completing something today with a positive outcome. So Stella McCartney eat your heart out, testing of my new addition to Salford Harrier's club kit starts this week.

Having got to the age where wearing crop tops have gone (mine has now gone to a new home) I needed something to replace it with. So I've designed and made myself a new club t-shirt (red with white diagonal stripe, sleeves were a must too). Construction had begun yesterday and final finishing touches completed this evening. If testing goes well this week, might be the only fellrunner wearing one of their own creations.


Grasmere Fells, Tarns and Gingerbread

I looked upon this outing as a reasonable but not tough jaunt with a bit of climb and drop as part of my OCT training. Oh, was I wrong.  This was a true LDWA challenge of 21 miles and according to my Garmin 7,700 feet of ascent and as my knees will testify, 7,700 feet of mainly steep descent.

I have to say though, the Gods smiled on us yesterday with mainly bright weather  and only a couple of showers providing us with some magnificent views especially off the ridges we traversed.  I must have spent 90% plus of my time on my own around the route, which was in its own way pleasant but I did miss the badinage of a UTUP outing.  I managed to twist both ankles again making the jogging painful but tolerable; nobody around to hear the expletives spewing forth from the initial pain.

As for my running mates, the T'Yerksheermon tore past me on the climb up to Alcock Tarn but I did pass him on the way down to the main road from Great Rigg and never to be seen again until the pavilion finish in Grasmere.  Mark Sammon, decided to finish his startline cup of tea giving everyone a 10 minute start before deciding to take part.  He passed me on the way down from Great Rigg, again never to be seen until the finish.  The rest of the route took in the ridge to Helm Crag from Greenburn Bottom, then onto Easdale tarn before climbing up to Blea fell, onto Yew crag before the sting in the tail of Loughrigg. I never thought I would look upon Loughrigg as being a challenge!

A lot of discussion in the pavilion over pasties, beans and trifle was about how most had underestimated how tough the event was.  The thing I like about these events is the refreshments you get part way round and at the finish for what is a reasonable entry fee.  On this occasion we were all given free gingerbread from the local sponsor which went down very nicely.


T'Yerksheermon tearing up Grey Crag to Alcock Tarn.  Helm Crag, Easedale and Grasmere in background

Alcock Tarn looking West

Easedale Tarn looking back to Helm Crag and Great Rigg in the background

KLM on Loughrigg with the finish in Grasmere in sight

The run around the southwest side of Grasmere to the finish.

That Were 'Ard

Did the Grasmere Fells and Tarns LDWA event yesterday and it sure exposed my lack of fitness and stamina. I'd geared up based on the weather forecast expecting it to be cool and often wet with the possibility of thunderstorms so ran in running tights and walking waterproofs and didn't bother taking much liquid. As usual fine on the first few miles on the climb up Heron Pike and Great Rigg. As expected Iceman Kev and Mark passed me as soon as I had to descend. Great food at the first checkpoint at Ghyll Foot. I probably stayed too long but not as long as the group who were in front of me. The weather changed over Helm Crag with a hailstone shower, the first of many I thought. However, it was not to be and by Easedale Tarn I had to take water from the stream, possibly not a good decision in retrospect. The climb out of Easedale to Blea Rigg is quite demanding and possibly treacherous in bad weather. By the time I reached the second of the refreshment points at High Close, I was very thirsty so took in a pint or two and replenished my pouch. I would have hoped to then regain some lost time over Loughrigg and the flat final 2 to 3 miles to the finish but the best I could do was 50% run, 50% walk to arrive back in well over 8 hours. If I return in future years I think I'll walk the first 17 miles and just run the final 4. Big thanks to Kev and Mark for their patience - I think they had been back over an hour.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

This Morning

Just me and TF this morning, with TF baling out on the Pike, saving herself for sterner stuff tomorrow. I opted for a double round of the climbs (saves thinking too much). Walked quite a lot and met Jan R on Two Lads first time round, still angst ridden, this time on the state of the nations youth's health; not good apparently.

Second time approaching WHT I met Chris:-

It was Chris's first time on the massife, he had run along Spittlers from Brinscall and neither of us could understand how he had kept his shoes so clean.

He is considering a shift from road running to the fells, so we may see him again soon, watch this space, or perhaps, watch the car park at the Bottom Barn.

Finished my run fairly weary, but pleased to have staggered around without mishap. Watch out for tomorrow's excitng installment.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Up at Grasmere tomorrow with Iceman Kev and Mark S. Weather forecast looks bl**dy awful. Have you seen the results for Coledale? Two seconds between EYJ and Paul Murray so that's two wins from two for the man who said he didn't stand a chance this year!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

This Week

I'm UTUPing Thurs and Sat and doing the Bolton 10k on Sunday

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Who's a Happy Bunny then?

Well, not a bunny, more a Squirrel Nutkin.

Last night, the Chernobyl 5k saw mixed fortunes. Conditions were cool, but not too cold, and the course was mainly tarmac, on traffic free cycle ways, laid on old tram and railway routes.

SN and I started shoulder to shoulder, with BLB (Big Little Brother (Bob)) settling a bit further back. It was very soon obvious that SN had the legs of me and she drew slowly and steadily away. By half way I had managed to stop the gap expanding further, but shortly after, on a sharp little incline, I realised that my body was not delivering what my competitive mind was asking it to deliver, and I had to pause for a few moments before resorting to a walk/run second half.

Not many folk came past, but those that did included Tom Hilton of Chorley AC who went on to take the V65 prize (but see later).

I was expecting BLB to pass me on my walking stages, but coming back from injury, off virtually no training, he was still behind at the finish. At the finish I was greeted by a gleeful SN who had already gathered a posse of other horrid women to share in her delight and to witness my discomfort.  However her delight was tempered by her realisation that her victory was due more to my ill health than to her athletic excellence.

Only kidding, Hazel, a good run on your part, it's who's best on the night that counts, well done!

Poor old Tom, expecting to pick up what must be one of his (very?) rare prizes, was denied this honour, as apparently the guy what knows wasn't there, and the awards were delayed until after the final race in this three race series on 19th June.

BLB and I sent SN home and stopped a couple of pints of Thwaites (each) from going off. Not the best of evenings, but finishing off with a couple of pints can't be all bad. BLB texted (horrid word) me when I was half way home to report that, travelling on two wheels, he had arrived home whilst I was still on the motorway.

Just a short jog locally tonight, expect a report soon of my findings at the Headless Cross.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wales Weekend

Splendid weekend in Wales.  Great changeable weather with no rain, you can’t ask for more than that in Wales.  Write up and different pics here.


Summit of Cadair Idris



Llyn Cau


Looking out to sea


Lunch spot above and below



John looking back to the north face of Cadair Idris




Sunday morning gave the view below from the door of the hut, not a cloud in the sky.  But we did get caught in a flurry of snow later in the morning.


updated-17 Morning sun from Bryn Hafod

Not out Saturday, marshalling on Anni Waltz/Teenager.   Have a great weekend everybody Smile


Monday, April 16, 2012

Coledale Horseshoe Race - Perfect day for running in the Lakes shocker

As T'Y correctly guessed I travelled up to Coledale as EYJ's 'crew' for the day - to get him there safely, encourage him see him off and bring him home. It really was a perfect day for running being cool without uncomfortably cold, not too windy, bright and clear in all directions from the tops. Even the small snow flurry (as I was climbing Sleet How of all places) was dry and just bounced off. The ground was easy running for a Lakeland race, dry flat gravel or grass with only short rocky sections, although I found it hard (even the grassy bits) and my feet were very sore at the end caused I think by studs 'punching' through.

The race itself, 8 and a half miles with 3000ft climb, is quite easy after Grisedale Pike - however the 2,000+ climb up to it out of the village is the thing and that certainly did for me. I watched as EYJ and Paul Murray pulled away obviously very aware of each other and apparently never more than around 30m apart all race. In a technical description, John 'came off his shoulder' at the gate into the finish field and finished a whole 2 seconds ahead, so his Championship is looking good so far this year.

I finished some time later in a very poor state just before a pretty intense hail shower, which isn't what I was looking for but will do me for now.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rab MM Hope Valley Sun 15th April 2012

Blessed with another beautiful day in the peak district, usual format, as many points as possible in 3hrs. Red numbers are the control number and blue numbers the point score.

Control 14 had the following description - 'Lane junction NE side; tele pole by wheelie bins' . Thankfully the householders weren't away for the week and the wheelie bins were 'out' ready for the weekly collection. Mind you they did have a very long narrow drive so I'm guessing the bin men don't do a doorstep service and the bins are left permanently at the end of the drive. So a safe-ish bet on the organizers behalf that they'd be in position on the day of the event, could have been a lot of head scratching otherwise!

Having run over similar ground only 3 weeks ago I tried to make a conscious effort to avoid similar routes, or at least run in oppo direction. So my route took me towards the east heading under the railway line to the far edge of the map. Up and over Win Hill and then heading WNW towards the top edge of the map. I passed Tony V going the opposite way just after control 12, a 'brief' hello (more of this later) and by the time I got to control 19 I had about 60mins left and time to head for home collecting the four 10 -point controls lined up down the middle of the map.

Just under 12m in 3 hours and 190 points, finishing 7/11 in age group and 97/133 overall. Mark S (250 points) and Albert (225 points) had also made the trip over with Tony. Tony managed 170 points which got converted to a minus score as he arrived back late. He say's it was 'cos he spent so long chatting to me en route! The cheek - I don't do chatting when I'm racing, anyway funny how I managed to come in with minutes to spare!!

Results By class

Hopefully out for a Utup on Thurs, no buses this time


The Brighton Marathon

For anyone who knows our Rebecca, her very proud father is delighted to report that he watched her complete her first marathon today in 3:48:22.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Dodgy toe has now been joined by wonky knee so I'll give utup a miss(unfortunately).

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Can't decide whether to UTUP or do Wardle Skyline in the afternoon. Know that EYJ is doing Coledale, TF, Colin also?

Thursday Outing

Couple of pics from tonight’s 6.75 miles with EtU and TF with a couple more here.




Well what do you think EtU?


Not quite as good as last week’s capture



Good outing and by the time we had finished, not nearly as cold as when we started. 

Not out this Sat


Surely Not!

I was amused to find that, possibly in response to my dire threats about what I would do to him if he swamped this blog with his tales of orienteering derring-do, KLM has started his own blog:-
I'll be utuping tonight, but need to be back in time for the last bus! Hoping to get the most use out of my weekly travel card so leaving car at home. Travelling on the bus after 9.30am has given me a scary glimpse into the future, never knew there was so many different designs of shopping trolleys, 2 or 4 wheels; fold-up ones, even ones with a seat.    TF

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

This Week

Tonight:- Set off for Great Hill from White Coppice at 8:00 (sunset) forgot head-torch. Took a long time to get down!

With age comes wisdom; one out of two ain't bad.

Thursday and Saturday:- UTUPing (promise to get all participants back before dark).

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Old County Tops front end recce - or not.

The weather forecast for Monday was grim and true to form it lived up to its billing.  Despite that both Andy F and I hit the road to the Langdales to do the first stages of the OCT round to Angle Tarn.  Damp  and reasonably mild conditions took us along the valley bottom and with the hinderance of a couple of minor navigational hiccups we got over Silver How into Grasmere where there was a noticeable drop in temperature and increase in wind speed.  Despite the heavy blanket of clouds down to about 400m we slogged onward and upward towards Grisedale Tarn.

The lack of visibility and the wind driven cold rain took its toll by the time we reached the tarn - decision time - carry on, see nothing, getting even colder ( couldn't get any wetter) or call it a day.  So a day it was called.  Better to drop down Raise Beck and head back than to risk hypothermia or injury.  There will always be another day to enjoy the delights of Helvellyn and High Raise.

All was not lost , we knocked out 24.5 km (15.3 miles in old money) with 1350m of ascent and managed to run most of it.

Next planned attempt at the recce will probably be 28 or 29 April.  I will be doing the LDWA Grasmere - Fells, Tarns and Gingerbread on 21 April as part of my prep for the OCT.  I think Andy will be getting some much needed physio for his knee.  All part of our "muddle through" plan for the OCT.


Monday, April 09, 2012

Pike Race Results

Thanks to FSS for locating the results:-

and well done to TYC, KLM and t'Y, who were all well in front of me (it's OK Gordon, I'll not list my excuses).  Nice to see Paul Dugdale back on home turf, placing 3rd V45, 13th overall.

Just for info. this was my 33rd successive Pike race, allowing for the absence of the race in FMD year, 2001.

And yes, that means I was there in 1981 When John Wilde set the still extant record of 15:53.  He went up in 9:48 and came down in 6:05, 3 minute 45 second miling for the descent!

 Running for Cambridge Harriers, I posted 24:30, placing 256th out of 295 completers. Ahhh, those were the days.

Interesting that also in 1981, despite no finisher in the top 6, Horwich won the open team competition, courtesy of Pete Ravald 7th, Mike Short 11th and Steve Crimes 21st (just three to count in those days). Steve Crimes, those of you who were listening will remember, was the stocky guy I spoke to as he ran up Gingham Brow as we (TF, the GM and I) descended last Thursday evening. Interesting, those old results, on a wet afternoon.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Preston Docks and Marina

Short outing to Preston Docks gave an opportunity to try out stuff from the photography course.  More here if you can be bothered!





All this and another day of freedom!

Not out for the next two Saturdays – Wales, then Lakes, have fun Smile


Saturday, April 07, 2012

Pike Race PW

Don't know whether it's because I'm unfit, or the sciatica, yesterday's long drive home or a combination but today's Pike Race was not only the first time I've taken over 30 minutes but was over 3 minutes slower than last year and a PW by over 2 minutes. Maybe I was lacking the competition from EYJ and Mary but IceMan Kev and Ed were there.
I may see about getting a quick entry for Barbondale Round - thought it was next week but is in fact the 21st. Anybody else interested? I know it clashes with Anniversary Waltz etc.

Coope's Dozen Walk

Apologies to all for not doing a write-up earlier but we have been away doing a little walking on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path before returning yesterday evening.
Thanks to all those who helped fine-tune the walk to result in no problems on the day. I did a full recce last Tuesday and made just one change for the actual walk, taking the bridleway parallel to The Goyt from White Coppice.
Seventeen turned up for the walk and for a first go that was fine - it meant we were able to keep to a decent pace, completing in about eight and a half hours, only 30 minutes longer than I'd taken on my own. The day was perfect, having cooled a little from Tuesday but offering a complete day full of outstanding views with almost unbroken sunshine. White Coppice CC was open for ice-creams etc : this went down very well and experienced walkers enjoyed venturing onto Egg Hillock and Old Adam for the first time in their lives.
Rather than re-post the photos, go to the East Lancs LDWA website to view them - most were taken with my phone as the battery on my main camera decided to accelerate to empty at the start of the walk. Usually there are others with photographic skills (certainly more skill than me). I expect I shall be repeating the walk next year as the feedback was very positive.

A Day of Two Halves

Good to be back out with the Saturday Squad this morning.  Set off with TF, EtU, IK, Colin (?)


…and here they are


Usual route up to Two Lads and then cross country to pick up the ‘wall route’ before contouring round to pick up the path across the flats to the Pike.  Colin had sense not to follow me and TF but to carry on to pick up the cairned path slightly further on (see below). 

The overnight rain contributed to rather greasy conditions, but nothing too bad.  Arriving at the Pike, it was slightly disconcerting to see this.   But folk were doing a sterling job in picking up the detritus from yesterday’s shenanigans and the truck was taking all the bin bags down to a skip on George’s Lane. 


On the way to the Pike we met up with TYC who then joined us in going back to the Pike.  At this point EtU, IK and TF headed back to the cars.  Colin TYC and I carried on to Noon Hill stile where C then returned to his car having had enough of the two of us!  TYC and I summited Noon Hill before parting company.


Looking north from Noon Hill summit


The Pike from Noon Hill

I then trotted on to the trigpoint on Winter Hill.


Anybody lost a Glove?

Descending, I took the ‘wall path’ curious to see Colin’s route across to the ‘Flats’ path.  I found the cairn as described and the wooden bridge.






Lower down from the Wooden Bridge

A good recovery run for me this morning and good to be back out with the Saturday runners.  I managed 10.3 miles allowing me to get back in time for lunch before heading back to spectate at the Pike Race.  Great to be able to support the runners! 


Looking down at the race route


Top of the field


T’Y  - going up!




It’s easier coming down IK


Giving it some welly on the downhill EtU

Another grand day out on our local hills – long may the good weather continue .   More here if it’s of interest.Smile