Monday, June 25, 2012
Thought I'd start with a short steep one as a loosener, which is how EtU and I squared up at the start of Aggies Staircase. He'd brought his minder with him, a young lad called Stephen out for his first fell race.
All uneventful, (well except for EtU passing me on the first climb to the Tower and me passing him on the way down) until we approached the bottom of Aggies Staircase. Heard a loudish thud behind me (akin to dropping sack of spuds) but no screaching/wailing so eyes firmly fixed ahead. How heartless you might say, but it was wet and very slippy and stopping to look round could have ended up with 2 possible casualties and to be fair it hadn't sounded too serious and neither did I think it was EtU (would have been more vocal).
Knew MR would be at the bottom of the hill so was going to mention the possible casualty but was beaten to it by EtU yelling 'can we have some help up here we've got a man down'. Ooops. Started to feel a little guilty, only to discover that I was being blamed for said incident.
After all the finger pointing EtU still had time to reach the top of Aggies just behind me and then pass me on the top path. Caught up again on the wide downhill path only to be passed yet again on the narrow one. Neither of us impressed with our 50mins finishing time. The 'downed' man got a lift back with MR and Stephen finished a few minutes behind us. With some grippier trainers am sure it'll be a few minutes in front next time.
Race 2 - Reservoir Bogs. This has a new route each year and given the title and the amount of rain of Friday thought it might have taken us along Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge High Streets. Set off on the early start just to increase the challenge, and was first runner to the first two check points. Lead runner from the main race passed me just before the 3rd CP, as did three of the runners in the early start - they now had some faster runners to follow. Just a shade over 2hrs, leader managed 59mins but local turf for him.
Race 3 - Kinder Trog. Was hoping for a bit of clear weather over the Kinder Edge, but not to be. On my own again on the path along the edge but did find 2 out of the 3 short cuts I'd recced a month ago, so a bit of work still required. Not really impressed (again) with my time of 3.28, but onwards and upwards.
Hoping to race myself fit in time for Borrowdale
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Yes that’s June folks, but you’d never know. Still the Brook was looking good. A few more here.
Dean Black Brook in spate
Dipper just caught lunch
… and then the rain came on. Just got to the car before the heavens opened. Drove back past the cascades which looked very impressive, can’t remember the Res looking as full as it is for ages.
The Cascades – from the car window in torrential rain!
Friday, June 22, 2012
'Ooo twin boys then!'
But they didn't laugh, turns out they'd heard it before.
So blood clots or DVT in my left leg it is. In some ways the symptoms I now read about fit better with what happened at the end of April than the pneumonia/torn calf muscle that was treated; which begs the question - did two different physios massage away a muscle tear or a blood clot? (it can be quite difficult to tell apparently). And did I do the Coledale race with pnuemonia or DVT or both?
So, I'm on Warfarin for six months, probably weekly clinics/possibly compression socks and plenty of talking to people before I do anything. I may or may not return soon to UTUPing when I get a consensus answer to 'Is Borrowdale out of the question then?' but I will obviously have to tread this line carefully in case I talk myself into a lockable jacket, as above - not all these people have a sense of humour.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I would like to say that the reason I was behind Etu for the whole race was to avoid the alliterated title I received recently, but in fact the truth is I simply could not keep up with him.
I did however manage to finish ahead of his brother who is much more graceful in defeat.
I wonder if this marks the end of Horrid Hazel or will she make a comeback?!!
More sure that I'll make Aggies on Thursday.
Then on Saturday it's up to Santon for a week.
Next UTUP probably Thursday 5th July with the do at the Black Horse just 8 days later on the 13th.
Nice to feel that I may be out of the doldrums and back to my mediocre best.
Monday, June 18, 2012
This time last year I thought I would never do a fell race again never mind a series of races but thanks to this motley collection of vintage hill and bog-trotters who encouraged me to have a go, I did more than I thought possible over these last 5 days.
Having said that Tony Varley's and Albert Sunter's (T&A) exploits over the same period put my little achievement in the shade.
Last Wednesday it was the 3rd of 4 Preston Guild Street 'O' competitions, I did the 60 minute course around Preston Town centre but T&A did the 75 minute session! (It's the only thing I can beat them at) Thursday night we all did the 2 Lads fell race with T&A & others well out in front it was down to T'YM and me to have a head-to-head until he took a dive with an impressive roll to follow, allowing me to get in front only to fall just before the cottage. Finished the race just behind Mark Sammon and a little over a minute in front of t'YM. On to Friday and the Lever Park trail run, T&A off like ferrets up a drain pipe never to be seen again. Unfortunately this was not well marshaled at a critical junction meaning I passed some back markers for the second time as only and handful of us did the correct route on the first lap.
Saturday I was now hurting from the previous 3 races and had the Great Hill fell race to tackle in torrential rain and howling head on wind on the way up. I won't be doing that one again in a hurry! I am not a lover of routes that cover the same route out and back especially with long down hills on tarmac. T&A; well they did the White Bear LDWA and ran the 21 miles or in Tony's case + an extra 2 miles due to a misdirection on the shorter 10 mile route?!
Sunday and the 5 km road race - hated it. 3 times round Horwich with the winners passing me half way round my second lap! T&A not only did the 5km but also the park sprint 'O' event prologue in the morning with the Urban 'O' event in the afternoon. I've said it often in the past and I will say it again, when I grow up I want to be like those silver tops that keep running past me!
It was a great experience and I will try and stitch more on next year to beat EtU's record (9 events in 7 days? EtU to confirm.) Just need to recover ready for this weeks 2 'O' events in Preston and Salford Quays.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Friday, June 15, 2012
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Write up at Out and About if it’s of interest. Thanks to EtU for the identification of the Mesnes Park inhabitants. Couple more bird shots for you here – I suppose you all know about Siskins – completely new to me!
Some guy wandering into my shot of the Corran Ferry!
Keith above Loch Trieg
Evening at Craigallan
Fort Augustus – Locks on Caledonian Canal – bad weather day spent travelling to Ullapool, timing is all!
Sun shines again at Forest Way near Ullapool
Siskins – I’d never even heard of ‘em
An Teallach on the wall in to Shenavall Bothy
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
In reply to t’Yorkshireman’s query concerning last Saturday’s outings, I took on the traditional climbs, that is, Noon Hill, Winter Hill, Two Lads and Rivington Pike, all in that appallingly wet weather. Only saw one group of very wet walkers and they were near to the top Winter Hill. Being on my own, it was one of those days when I said to myself “What on earth am I doing out here”.
6.5 miles and that was plenty on the day.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Just wondered if you ornithological types could identify these chaps spotted in Mesnes Park at lunch time. Had a go on the RSPB bird identifier without joy doh!
Whose this little punk then?
Someone must know this guy with a beak like that!
Couple of shots from tonight’s run.
Pike with Blackpool Tower behind
Liverpool Bay with sunshine
Night before Wasdale? I take it you’re not doing it then!
Nice little event this Saturday ‘White Bear Way’ – could make it an alternative UTUP. Entries on the day £9 includes all refreshments and meal at end – 9.30 start from Adlington Scout Hut a gentle 21 miles over the West Pennine Moors, including Two Lads, Horderns Stoops, Lead Mines Clough and back to Adlington. More details.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Another wet and windy race on the hills, this one being on the doorstep so as to speak. Only proper runners come out in those conditions for a race but a few lesser but like minded souls like me also got out to make the mediocre runners look good. Like Edenfield, I felt good and was well wrapped up unlike those mad 'uns in their vests and shorts, mind you they were not out long enough to get cold unlike us at the back.
Thanks to all those who gave me an insight into the route, which is basically a short Saturday run (Georges Lane , Winter Hill summit, 2 Lads, Pike and in) with more people on route but more lonely at the back. I liked the route because of the variation of terrain except for the George's Lane sections that are always uncomfortable but make you grateful for the boggy bits. The steep descents did for me again loosing me a lot of time on people I got past on the climbs. I passed one chap on the climb up to the Pike and he managed to beat me by over a minute at the finish! Still, better than vegetating in front of the tele.
I was sad to miss the Duddon experience but I had an AAA pass for the Coldplay gig at the Etihad and 'Er indoors had a shared directors box with my son's girl friend and their old boss who is now their main client - all a bit convoluted but simple really. What an experience and what a show - no contest really.
Sunday's orienteering at PFO's event on Stoneyhurst's grounds was challenging on all fronts but I got a better result than expected and a better one than I get at fell racing.
EtU - are you still up for Wednesday evening's SROC Street-O ? details:
Avenham & Broadgate on 13 June 2012, Venue: The Continental PR1 8JP, start times 18:30 to 19:30
The big boys' race set off just 99 runners five minutes late and we wimps were called to the line twenty minutes later with a call for "short runners". I tried to push my driver to the front but the starter soon explained that he was addressing runners for the short race, rather than those of challenged stature.
Before the start we had made contact with a swarthy lady (SL), who later proved to be an intermittent part of our race. 32 other wimps set off with us and in no time we were in low cloud with visibility down to about 20 yards. CP 1 was found without too much trouble and we went through there not too close to the back of the field. By then, I must explain, TF had decided that the conditions were such that I had little chance of getting back to the Newfield Inn before nightfall and had abandoned her own race to shepherd me home.
CP2 was achieved with just a little difficulty and we went through there placed 32 and 33 believing that there was one runner behind us. We were later to find that he/she had dropped out soon after the start, so we were bringing up the rear at that point.
CP3 was found easily enough and a few minutes later and as we climbed towards Dow we head a plaintive cry from behind along the lines of "Is there anybody there?" This turned out to be from SL who we guided up to our vantage point. She thanked us by clearing off ahead into the cloud. Finding Dow (CP4) SL appeared from our left and joined us once again. She dropped back and we didn't see her again for a while. Dow Crag is the point at which the wimps' race joins the big boys' race route, which it then shares to the finish.
The route from there to the Walna Scar Road crossing was not easy, with the rock strewn route made very greasy by the wet conditions. Shortly before White Pike (CP5) we were passed by four of the big boys and SL. On the descent we were met by one John Brown, a clubmate of TF, out to watch the race. We chatted for a while and then continued.
Anyone who has done the Duddon will know that the White Pike to Caw route is very messy, even in good visibility, so with only 20 yards or so in view it was not easy, but with TF at the helm we pressed on and eventually made Caw. We were surprised to be told at that point we were in 23/24 position, having gained 10 places since the last count, without having seen any of the other wimps (apart from SL).
A little trouble finding the wall crossing and then back to the field in 3:40.
The results of the long race http://www.duddonvalleyfellrace.org.uk/races/long/2012 give an indication of the impact that the conditions had on times, there had been 99 starters.
The results of the wimps' race tell an all too familiar story http://www.duddonvalleyfellrace.org.uk/races/short/2012 .Not a source of too much satisfaction, but interesting that SL doesn't feature in the finishers' list, as didn't Bowland Wayne, who had disappeared into the clouds early on.
A big thank-you to TF who took me there, took me round and and took me home, and if you ever get a chance to ride on her heated seats, after a long, cold fell race, jump at it.
By the way t'Y, who is PS?
Sunday, June 10, 2012
More from the magnificent Mamores at Out and About
Loch Leven with Mamore Lodge in the foreground and the Stalkers Cottage barely visible through the trees. Prominently in the distance the Sgorr na Ciche (The Pap of Glen Coe)
The Mamore Mountains from the summit of Na Gruagaichean
Saturday, June 09, 2012
Day 1 of our Scottish sojourn - link to more of our first half day on the big hills
Onich across Loch Linnhe from front door of Craigallan
Path up to Falls of Steall
The Ben – colour version on Out and About
Summit - looking quite distant as we begin the climb
View from the bedroom window – far too midgy to go outside!
Friday, June 08, 2012
Thursday, June 07, 2012
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Lurkey (my companion for the outing - think Chicken Licken) on the summit:-
Goats on the descent:-
The villa's somewhere over on the right.
The goats in silhouette:-
This was the view from another one I climbed on the north of the Bodrum Peninsula:-
I miss three things when visiting Mediterranean countres:- proper beer (obviously), the green, green grass of home, and Ordnance Survey maps. I haven't a clue what the two hills I climbe were called, or how high they were, and without marked paths (indeed, mostly without paths) it's very difficult to find routes.
Finally, snapped this old well near where we were staying:-
Tried to get the OSH to look at it, but she wasn't interested; as readers will probably have realised, she's not a well woman.
From what I remember, we find our way onto George's Lane by a fairly direct route, and then follow it NE to the wooden bridge at GR 650 152 (ish), whence we climb to the trig point. Then it's Two Lads and back to the Top Barn (may take in the Pike on the way back). Sorry if that's a bit vague, but it comes with the grey hair. It's not a bad route, except for the George's Lane bit.
Saturday I'm at Duddon.
Probably heading to Hebden Bridge thurs, bit more climbing.
Monday, June 04, 2012
Well I didn't make it to the start line having never sent in an entry. Having had some abysmal weather on the weekends that I'd had free for reccing, I hadn't manage to do that either. So as the weather look promising on race day I decided to go and have a look at the tricky bit from Red Pike to Black Beck tarn. With runners out on the course I'd be able to get a better idea of the racing lines.
Starting point for my walk (taking it easy as racing the following day) was from the Buttermere side.
|(Looked like my ice cream would be ready when I got back)|
Race map describes this part of the route as 'grassy' - don't know about you but I can see lots of rocks too!
Sunday, June 03, 2012
I only put the numbers in the title as my GPS actually gave the same result!!
I like the Boxing Day Whinberry Naze race for the terrain and views so I thought I might like this event as it overlaps the Naze route on Cowpe Lowe and so should have similar terrain and views. Just as I had hoped, I enjoyed the route and views most thoroughly and the cold wet, windy weather didn't didn't spoil the occasion.
I didn't recognise any of the runners on the start line except for 2 of my "O"club members, one of them being a very good runner - you know the type - flying along up or down hill and doesn't look like he's trying! Looking round the start line I did feel a little over dressed compared to some hearty souls with the flimsiest bits of clothing covering them but by the time I had finished I was more than pleased with my decision in clobber - I am partial to being warm and comfortable.
The start of the race is a steady climb with a few sharp walking climb bits which suited me well and allowed me to pass some of the earlier fast starters. The down hilling bits as always were my undoing. However, the variation in the terrain underfoot made it so much more enjoyable and I was bouncing along like TYC! Two particular gents I think were getting miffed with me as I kept passing them on the climbs and the tussock stretches but they usually passed me on the downing stuff.
The highest point of the course is Whittle Hill after passing a few wind beasties, which look very intimidating up close, then a long drop and a stiff but short climb, a bit like the back leg on Black Coombe. After the last climb, it is a very fast descent down farm road, track and path. This was turning out to be very competitive, one of my adversaries passed me but I managed to keep in touch with him and at the same time time keeping the other one at bay all the way down to the cricket club finish.
The finish is a wide swooping arc around the cricket pitch to finish in front of the club house. Head down, I went for the guy in front but he dug in 50m from home and moved away then the guy behind passed me with 20 m to go. Damn and blast! I thought I might have been a bit angry with myself on the finish line like I used to be a few years ago but instead I was in fact pleased that I had kept him at bay for so long.
A really enjoyable race, despite the weather. I loved the mixed terrain and route, not a big field of runners, so methinks I will be doing this again - all things being equal that is.
I am actually starting to enjoy my fell running again, where I actually get some fun out of the event. As I have nothing to prove I'm getting a lot of bonuses using Riddles Law! (See earlier posting regarding Riddles Law)
Saturday, June 02, 2012
Friday, June 01, 2012
After quite a wait, and a significant promotional cavalcade, the torch bearer come into view. He was a young lad suffering from, possibly, celebral palsy, but he made good progress and was very well received:-
Managed to get a reasonable picture as he came past, but unfortunatly a "heavy" virtually obscured my squad (left to right, you can see Meredith's face, Henry's feet and Jake in his buggy:-
I'm told that soon after the Crown a bus came into use, and the next time the torch was carried was on the tarmac was at Yarrow Bridge.
My overall impression was that the promotional buses did not detract too much from the occasion, and the local folk of all ages were thrilled by the experience, and as I drove home for my porridge, I was heartened by the way it brought the community together.