Thursday, May 31, 2012

Olympic Torch Relay

As today's route was passing near the house decided couldn't not go and see. At 5.30pm crowd starting to build up


At 6.00pm initial convoy with a note on one windscreen and the girl on top of the bus saying the torch was 6 mins away

Well, 20 mins later finally arrives, just as the camera went into sleep mode so picture of back of first torchbearer. Each one runs/walks 300m.

Chased up the road to see if could get a better picture. No luck going too fast for me!

Finally caught up with him at the change over point

A couple more shots further up the road, with view of next couple of torch bearers .

Didn't follow all the way in to Bolton as the crowd had really built up and running down the pavement difficult. So most impressed with the turn out from the Locals, glad I made the effort and got home early to see it, if only to avoid the traffic chaos it created.

You can catch it early doors tomorrow coming through Horwich along Chorley New Road starting at the Beehive at 6:42am.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

This Week

UTUPing Thursday and Saturday.

Longridge 7 on Sunday.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Last Saturday Afternoon!

Just me and the missus up to Hutton Roof for the 7+ miler over the crags and the climb up the great lump opposite junction 36 on the M6.  Not the missus of course just me, she went looking round the rather quaint village fair they put on around this event - very British.
240 eager entrants all preparing their excuses for not performing well on the forthcoming trial lined up in the field.  The field I hear you say?  They added an extra 300m to the start of the race in a field next to the concrete road, the idea being to string the runners out to avoid the early argy-bargy on the road and stop start queues on the initial climbs.
I like this race, I normally like the terrain and I especially like the views all around.  However the hot dry weather had dried the ground rock hard, making me pleased that I wore my trail shoes and not fell shoes.  On the way round we encountered many windless pockets of still hot air, which almost took your breath away.  It was hot and hard going and dehydration was taking its toll.  I so wished I had knocked back that iso' drink earlier.
As usual many people passed me on the downhills but I got passed 15 people on the steep climb at the halfway stage.  Thankfully they had put a water stall on at the second road crossing.  After that, head down , don't let anyone pass and get in front of the irritating stop/start geezer in front of me - difficult to do on single track paths.
I even managed a bit of a sprint finish down the concrete road to finish 144th out of 235+ starters.  15 minutes slower than 2004 so in the letters of TY'M a PW but better than nothing.  I kept telling myself the great Eric Riddles saying that got me into fell racing as I was going round the course:
"There are 3 challenges to every race: 1) entering it, 2) finishing it & 3) not coming last - everything else is a bonus!"
I have never known my feet throb so heavily after a race and the luxury at the end of pouring cups of cold water over my bare feet was sheer bliss.
We finished the day by taking the meandering route back through some very pretty Lancashire villages such as Wellington making for a perfect afternoon out.
Pity you missed it.


Last Saturday

Turned up a bit early and did a couple of extra miles for Duddon. On the way back to the barn I met TYC who was setting out to do Coope's dozen to test the ankle he wrecked on the OCT!  Talk about testing to destruction.

Waited at the barn a bit longer than usual in case CW turned up, but perhaps he also is still suffering from injury.

Was pleased then to see JTE and we set off for Healey Nab. Thence to White Coppice where we opted to explore the path leading across the ford between the cottages near the road junction. A very pleasant, meandering path eventually led us back to the main bridle path for Brinscall. Then up through the woods, past the cow byre and down into Brinscall village. John then showed me a route that he had used previously, along another path to the west of the stream, back to White Coppice, and then to the barn.

Back at the barn there was no trace of TYC's car, so his ankle had either held up very well and he had sprinted the 18 miles, or it had destructed!

A very pleasant morning, a lot of it sheltered from the sun. John clocked just over 12 miles, which would give me 14 with my extra bit first thing.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Here she is, the new addition to the wfdbwgua fleet of vehicles. No prizes for guessing the destination for the first 'spin'

First 'Day Out' is Sat 9th June to the Duddon Valley. EtU has already placed a reservation. 2 further seats available. There is width in the back for 3 Adults, but think the middle section may need a bit of bedding in before it's comfy for a 2hr journey. But as I don't have to sit there, happy to take 3 and prepared to make stops to aid circulation.

EtU is on for the Long Duddon, I'm doing the short. Details at 
Non-racers more than welcome.


Sunny Saturday on Latrigg

Couple of snaps from Saturday in Keswick with a few more at Out and About


Look closely on this one and you can see the Bishop – the white speck above the village with the summit of Barf above


Derwentwater with the path up to Cat Bells above

Will be missing Sat UTUPs for a couple of weeks – off to Scotland – cue torrential rain and thunderstorms. 

Have fun Smile


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Running Upside Down

Greetings from Melbourne - home of great people and awful beer!
I went for my first run earlier today after three days of being jetlagged/lazy. The problem with our Rachel living in a city is that the only bearable runs are in parks and as the local park is fairly small, that means laps. Still it has rained a lot here recently so there were plenty of boggy patches. I will try and put some pictures up when I get a chance.
Congratulations to t'Y on Huddersfield's promotion - I will have to try and get up north when Bolton play them next season.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Top Lock

What a day to stop off at the flight of locks down to Wigan on the Leeds Liverpool Canal.  More on Out and About where you’ll see I was in search of something to post for this week’s challenge ‘Rough’.  Texture was the target!






Not out tomorrow heading Keswick way.

Have fun in the sun Smile



Change of plan, can't make it tomorrow as I'm now going on my Outdoor First Aid Course.

Now I'm not doing this course because I think you're all a bit accident prone, but because of a few incidents we've had at our Cross Country League. The committee felt (and I did too) that it would be good to have an additional trained person.

Anyway course organizer rang to say they were looking at having to move the planned date of 30th June back a week. This I couldn't do, so to cut a long story short I'm off to go and join in the course running this weekend instead. Hope it's not all classroom based! Should at least get a chance for a bit of a run in the Peak District on Saturday evening.

Have a good'un tomorrow


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Caw 9.3K/550m Wednesday 23rd May

With the weather as it was and early pass out of work you couldn't not make the most of the opportunity. So that's how I managed to be standing outside the Blacksmiths Arms in Broughton Mills at 7:15pm with 47 other like-minded souls. This was nearly double last years' turn out, but it still meant I was on a promise of a top 50 finish. Now that doesn't happen very often.


Not usually a big fan of 'out 'n' back' routes, probably because you see the leaders, (well let's be honest here, most of the field) onto the easy bit while you're still slogging your guts out on the big hill. But with such a small number tonight it didn't seem like a constant stream.

The initial part of the route is the same as the Dunnerdale race to the first cp (first red dot on map). Here the Caw route contours to the right whereas the Dunnerdale route heads north. A nice little trod until the stream crossing, then things get a bit vague and you have to pick your way through the lumps and bumps on the map until you reach the path crossing. The it's just straight up.

Caw is the last summit on the Duddon race, it takes just as long to climb from this side as it does when you approach from the NE. Funny why I thought it might be any different!

On the way back the mist started to roll in and things could have got a bit dicey for the unwary in the middle section. I think in poor visibility this race has the potential for some major cock-ups. Really easy when you can see what you're aiming for. Anyway arrived back at the finish with a healthy gap between me and the last 4 runners, another sub 1.5hr finish.

Should be ok for a utup tomorrow or today I suppose as it's now gone midnight. Time for beddy-byes.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This Week

I'm UTUPing Thursday and Saturday. Saturday UTUP will be preceded by an hour or so on my own, as I need to do some extra work before Duddon.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Speaking of Wildlife

Can you see him, little grey squirrel centre of pic. Well blink, or in this case 'slow shutter' and you'll miss him. A very brief trot arround the flat bit of Rivington on Thursday evening revealing abundance of flora and fauna. At least I made it back to the car a bit better than I did on Tuesday night after a evening of running round in circles in Delamere Forest. Added a few more holes in my running tights from snagging on brambles and branches, a few more and they'll become fashionable enough to wear out on a Saturday Night.

Shining Tor 12K/533m Saturday 19th May

Hadn't felt the weather suited a recce for Ennerdale this weekend and decided to head South for a short race in the Goyt Valley on Saturday afternoon. The 2pm start allowed for a more relaxed 'rise and shine' for Saturday morning, Shinning Tor is usually a mid-week evening race and by moving it to a Saturday afternoon it also allowed the organizers to extend its length by nearly 3K.

Not feeling so relaxed on the start line as there were an abundance of fast skinny folk, the race had been designated the Intercounties Fell Championship Race this year. So I was pitting myself against the best each county could offer. But I now have a 'coterie' of V65/V70 South of Manchester racing buddies that I say hello to. Rod, Rodger and Trevor all duly acknowledged and relieved that there were a few other non-elites present.

I think most of the extra 3K was 'up', well that's my explanation for only just shading under the Hour and a Half, 15mins slower than when I ran it as the 'shorter' course. Rod and Rodger had zoomed off into the distance but managed to keep Trevor in sight and pass as we commenced the main descent. If I can do this I usually manage to keep him behind me after that. A good little battle with his younger female team-mate thereafter, finally clinching it on the killer climb to the finish.

The winner had 'sprinted' round in 46mins. Puts this fell running lark into perspective when you know that they can manage sub 30 mins for a 10k.

Hutton Roof Crags - Had this one on my radar too, may not be able to make a decision though until very late on next week


Hutton Roof Crags Saturday 26 May @ 14:30

Any body fancy a jaunt out at the above event instead of a UTUP?

I think it is one of the nicer events with a decent village fair.

If I can shift the cold virus, I will probably have an hour on the hills UTUPing before setting off for Hutton Roof.

Old County Tops 2012

This year had the largest turnout of entrants on the OCT to date and the queue for registration and kit check meant that the start was postponed for 10 minutes, however, we still had time to say hello to a few familiar faces including NLN's other half and Albert Sunter making up a strong men's veteran team.  Both of us feeling happy and confident we set off keeping a good pace until the gradual climb up Tongue Gill to Grisedale Tarn where I started to feel very fatigued.  I initially put it down to the strong cold head wind but the grinding climb up Dollywagon told me I hadn't recovered from the cold virus that has plagued me for the last fortnight.  TYC was still bounding along, which gave me the incentive to push harder.

The cloud base was a good hundred metres below the summits of the Helvellyn range so no views to be had for all our effort.  The Top of Helvellyn even had a light covering of snow!  So it was about turn to drop off Helvellyn to the second checkpoint, food and drink at the Wythburn car park. The slippery conditions and TYC's enthusiasm led him to slip and slide and tumble a few times on the descent without injury I might add - how come I always end up battered and bruised when I fall?  We had made up 45 minutes on our last outing, which meant we had to make up another 45 minutes to beat the cut-off at Angle Tarn.

The wet bogging slog up Wythburn confirmed my worst fear that my weakness was likely to cause us to miss the cut-off time.  I was knocking back gels and Jelly Babies like there was no tomorrow but to no avail.  Green up Edge to the Tarn in 40 minutes was asking a lot but off we went choosing a lower route than our recce run.  Halfway down the side of High Raise there was a howl and a few choice expletives from just behind me.  TYC's left foot had slipped back in to a pot and had badly strained his achilles tendon.  2 other runners came to assist but none of us has a bandage to strap his ankle.  We sent the other two guys on to report to the Marshals at Angle Tarn that we were retiring and returning back via Stake pass.  So our attempt at the OCT had failed.

We made the descent in the presence of 2 other retirees where one partner was trying to do this event with an existing knee injury!  Our progress back was slow and painful for TYC until a couple of very talkative girls who had retired at Angle Tarn caught us up.  The conversation was in true UTUP tradition with plenty of badinage keeping us laughing back to the finish.  One of the girls I knew by sight from Orienteering events is in fact a BGer and had offered to support TYC in his ambition to do the BG, which was very generous.

Despite the fatigue on my behalf and TYC's ankle injury we both had a good day.  There is always next year!

Lessons learned: Don't do long events without being 100% fit and healthy, on rough terrain choose where you are going to put your feet and at least one of the team take a basic first aid kit.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Great Hill – Sat 19th May

Following on from T’Ys remarks couple of snaps with more at  Out and About


Great Hill


Deer impersonation of a rabbit!



Solo UTUP start, duo UTUP finish

I arrived at UTUP today a couple of minutes after half-past but noticed an absence of familiar vehicles so didn't think I'd missed everyone. I waited a few more minutes but decided that I must be own my own due to attractions elsewhere. A bit of a cool morning so I headed for White Coppice and Great Hill, to return via Hordern Stoops and Ammunition Corner. There weren't many runners around at all but I had my music to keep me company. I decided not to bother with a watch. How often do you look at your watch when not wearing one? I must have done it at least 3 times in the first 30 minutes or so. It was hard work heading up Great Hill into a strong headwind so I was glad to turn towards Spittlers with the wind more on my shoulder. As I made the little climb up to Spittlers I spied a runner heading towards me and as we got nearer realised it was a familiar running style. It was NLN, having set off 10 or 15 minutes after me on the reverse of my route. It made sense to turn about and retrace my steps with the occasional variation where possible, made much easier by the wind following us. About 10 for NLN, 13ish for me. Expect the occasional photo arriving soon.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday Night on Winter Hill

The fisheries just below Curlies.  Does the pond have a name?  Nothing on the map, but locals must call it something.  Good clouds tonight.

Sorry to have missed out on last night’s run, didn’t get home ‘til gone six so went up tonight and was glad I did – more pics on Out and About


Good luck to KLM and TYC as well as FSS and Albert for OCT.


Fairfield Horseshoe 14.5k/914m Sat 12th May

A slight delay posting whilst I waited for the results to be published. All in all a satisfactory end to a week of racing (5 in 8 days).

The weather behaved again for the 2nd Saturday in a row and good visibility all round. A bigger turnout than for Coniston with 291 coming through the finish funnel, the entry team dealing very efficiently with all the runners, especially as there was now a kit-check for every one (quite rightly so) before you could hand over your dosh to claim a number. If you haven't already read the news on the fellrunner forum regarding Brian Belfield then please do .

The route had reverted to the usual start/finish area after last years' little hic-cup (showers now fully open). After my fourth go at this race I still haven't nailed a definitive route after Low Pike, oh the agony of route choice! At least I avoided the bog, I think the sign's been removed as apparently one runner went for a wade up to his waist.

Leg speed still not there yet but felt quite strong at the end and managed to over-take 5 weary, spaced out (distance, not dope) runners on the final track up to the finish. So 2hrs 20mins 54secs and 260/291 placed.

Thought I'd put my maths head on and have a look at the stats in comparison with the previous weeks' race. For me Coniston was 2hrs 10mins 11 secs for 14k/1065m.  The winner of Fairfield (time 1hr19mins18) also did Coniston (finished 5th) in 1hr12mins09 so a difference of 7mins, mine was 10mins. The first Lady finisher to do both races (that I could find) did 1hr37 at Coniston and 1hr47 at Fairfield. So taking in to account that I'm finished over an hour after the winner, I don't think the weeks racing affected me too much at all, in fact I think it sharpened me up. Wonder if it'll work for the cut offs for Ennerdale?

Plans a bit vague for the next couple of days, still haven't made it round for a recce of the Ennerdale route due to poor forecasts, so could be up that way this weekend if weather permits. Would like to wish the lads best of luck on OCT on Saturday.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Winter Hill – Sat 12th May

Good outing with JtE over Pike, Two Lads, Winter Hill, Hordens and Lead Mines Clough.  Bright and sunny with a cool breeze, perfect conditions.   Few more here if you have time.


Lower Barn car park


Ornamental Lake, Chinese Gardens


Canadian Goose on the nest


Looking north from the Pike


Winter Hill TP

Almost a PW at Belmont

Just KLM and I ventured to the start line for one of our local races which used attract almost all wfdbwgua contributors. Part of my warm-up comprised listening to commentary from Franchise FC where a certain fairly important football match was taking place. Still I managed to run to the bridge and back and tighten my laces. As expected conditions underfoot were somewhat damp. Even the first climb had areas to be avoided so we knew what to expect once the bog between Winter Hill and Noon Hill was reached. As always I lost loads of places in that stretch and regained a little on Georges Lane and climbing back up to WH but gone are the days where I could run the hill. More lost places on the descent to pull back three places on the run in to be greeted by KLM who I was surprised to find had only finished a minute in front of me. Of course, I'd forgotten my watch is set to pause when not moving. I must have been going so slow at some times that it decided to have a rest so what I thought was a 53:30 finish turned out to be 55:48 when I looked at the results with KLM at 52:07. Considering that I've not run all week and seem to have lost much fitness, I suppose I have to be satisfied with being quicker than 2007 and I suspect I was slower 10 years ago. Didn't hang around for the results but it looks like birthday boy Tony Hesketh was first V60 and Horwich won both team prizes and returned to my car to find out that Hudders had totally dominated Franchise FC so hopefully a 2 goal lead for the second leg will be sufficient.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rainow 8k/229m Weds 9th May

The 229m belies the fact that there is one very short, steep unrunable climb, or at least it was last night as a days rain had made for slippy conditions.

Course Map

A welcome return to this race, last run in 2010. Word had obviously got out and they must have been expecting trouble with a 'TF' as the sweeper was a lady runner with a dog. Not wanting to have Rover snapping at my heels I soon made short work of getting passed a few on the short steep (unrunable) climb up to White Nancy. 'Trainers' were about as useful as a chocolate teapot on that one, lucky for me that some were wearing them!

White Nancy

(wiki entry

A run along the top of the ridge of Kerridge Hill to the trig at the other end and then back along the side of the hill for another steep little climb and then follow the outward bound route back to the finish. All very testing on tired legs, ending up a good 6/7 mins slower than 2010. But felt I'd earned my tea, £2 for 2 butties and 2 pieces of cake all provided by the local villagers. Well worth the money to the good cause and better than having to stop off at Tescos on the way home.

Update on results

Coniston 2hrs10mins 214/235
Coiners 1hr26mins 71/73- must have been a very wonky finish line as it puts 'blind as bat' man 3 secs behind me!

(edited @ 20:15pm  as the pedal power computer at work on a go slow)

Keswick to Hartsop– Supporting Wainwright’s Seven Summits Pt 2

More details of the last leg can be found here as usual.


Sunrise in Patterdale


The ancient hamlet of Hartsop from the summit of Hartsop Dodd


River Duddon – Bank Holiday Monday


Not much running done this week I’m afraid, but Tuesday was the last session of the beginners photography course, so hoping to be back out on a Tuesday evening with regulars John and Hazel next week.   Hope they don’t mind waiting on me!


Wednesday, May 09, 2012

High Moss to Buttermere – Supporting Wainwright’s Seven Summits

Fab weekend supporting the Rucksack Club’s successful attempt, led by FSS, to visit each of the highest summits in Wainright’s seven guidebooks of the Lakeland Fells.  For details of the summits and account of the round see Ian's Blog.  For other pics and tall tales visit mine!  Out and About

We arrived at the Rucksack Club Hut in the Duddon Valley in glorious sunshine at about 8.30 Friday night.


At High Moss


Caw, from High Moss -


The Monument from High Moss


As the ‘super’ moon appeared in the sky I managed a rather un-super moon shot.  Must learn how to do this properly!  But anyway you get the idea, it looked beautiful in reality.


Knott Rigg from Newlands Hause

Leisurely two hour drive on Saturday to get to Buttermere in the afternoon for the first checkpoint where I met fellow Rucksacker and co-supporter Geoff.


It’s a tough call this supporting lark, but someone’s got to do it!


The oaks of Buttermere


High Stile, Sour Milk Ghyll and Red Pike


Cyclist starting the climb out of Buttermere up to Newlands Hause….    Ouch!


Cottages and more substantial Buttermere residence




The Fingerpost


St James Church


Lakeside pasture


Part 2 to follow

Hope to be out on Saturday