Friday, November 30, 2012

Have I reached middle age yet?

Last night I went to a Pop Concert at the MEN arena in lieu of hill reps.

My question relates to the fact that once it finished I had time to buy and drink some hot cocoa before boarding the penultimate 'last' train home and read my kindle on the journey. Gone are the days when I'd get change from a fiver for the taxi from the station.

Best/worst of it all I was in bed before midnight!!

Not out for utup this Saturday as on XC duties.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Local Views

Morning sunshine on frosted pond at Haigh Hall on the way into work, but doesn’t come close to tonight’s Cloud Factory from the A6.


Couple below from Sunday’s local outing


Landlord’s Farm, Aspull




This Week

Planning UTUP tonight Thursday 29th and Saturday 1st.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Kirbymoor Fell Race Saturday 24th November

Three of us travelled up to the Furness Peninsula for this BMedium fell race (TF, TYC and yours truly). We renewed aquaintances with a number of old contacts, including John Brown, recently of Salford, who had left that club to join Ambleside, leaving TF as Salford's sole surviving fell-runner.

Conditions were not brilliant, very wet underfoot, with the constant threat of cloud and rain, but it stayed clear and we saw no significant rain until we were nearly back in Bolton.

First home was TYC, having played nip and tuck with Wendy Dodds (twice his age) throughout the race, finally, and most ungallantly, pipping her by four seconds. You'll see from the results:- that that evergreen Clayton lady was only 37 seconds behind the first man in her age group!

Next was TF, beating, I understand, her previous best for the course by several minutes; please correct me if I'm wrong.

I had a somewhat worrying race, and was on the point of packing up at several points. I apologised to those marshalls who were still at their posts as I went round. Hope it's just the after-effects of the flu jab, if not, please visit me when I'm hospitalised.

Although TF had made a gallant attempt to give away all her baking produce before I finally finished, there was stiil flapjack and Guiness/chocolate cake left, so I was able console myself with portions of those. A good day out, a terrible result for me.

A Solo Saturday

Turned up at UTUP last Saturday but nobody there. Obviously everyone was lucky apart from me! Went out to White Coppice then Great Hill via the Brinscall triangle and back over Spittlers. The intention had been to keep out of the mud as much as possible but Spittlers, after the slabs, was vile. Used my Mudclaws and what a difference they made. No slipping and falling over this time. Highlight was meeting YJ on the bridle path between White Coppice and Brinscall. He’d been as far as the cow byre. Good to see you YJ.

12.12 miles. 1475 ascent/descent. Not saying how long it took.

Turned out from home the previous Saturday but a flat tyre prevented me from getting there.

David Staff Memorial Fell Race

David Staff Memorial Fell Race Sun 25th Nov (8.2km/366m)

As a recovery run it was a bit of a lung buster. Felt very conspicuous in the new, just out of the box, bright yellow inov8s, but given the conditions the bright yellow didn't last long.

A good turn out for the race yesterday with over £600 being raised for some worthy causes.

For a short race I've had quite variable finishing times, 55:23 ('05), 1:00:12 (08) and 56:21 this year.

In 2005 I did a xc race the day before (35mins worth), 2008 no record of any Saturday race, and this year Kirkbymoor (82mins worth). Allowing for the ageing process, it would appear that 'resting' the day before does me no good at all!

I'll leave either EtU or TYC to report about the Kirkbymoor race. The results are on Black Combe's website if the suspense is killing you!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cross Country Update

As I've been absent on most Saturday mornings, I thought I would give an update on the cross country exploits of the regulars, which appears to have been reduced to EYJ and myself due to YJ's continued recovery from injury. I don't think I've seen TF at any of the events.
For me, the season started with quite a decent performance at Burnley, 50:08 for 6 miles, just getting the better of Paul Murray by 10 seconds which I think was the first time I'd not been passed by Paul who is one of the best pace-judgers around. I was happy that there were 40 runners behind me.
Then disaster : I used to enjoy the challenge of Witton Park, but this year it was so muddy that I was hopeless. Red Rose had shipped the V65 and V70 runners out into the Ladies Race with very little publicity about it:  nothing on their frequently updated website. I'd not run the first race in the series so only knew of it as a rumour but confirmed it with Pete Ramsdale in the morning which ensured EYJ arrived in time for his much earlier start. Paul, however, was oblivious to the change, having checked the information on their website, so although he had arrived at the venue in good time, was relaxing with a newspaper in the car as part of his preparation for his expected start-time of 2.30 rather than 1.35. EYJ took a bit of time to get up to speed in his shortened race but still dominated the V70 age group. I had a slow slog through the mud and was a couple of minutes behind one Chorley Harrier who I'd beaten by no less than 14 minutes at Burnley; another, one-time Horwich member, Barry Chapman who'd given me a battle at Burnley, beating me by six seconds, took six minutes out of me. Only five runners followed me in.
And so onto Hyndburn. Yet another mud bath but with less hills than Blackburn. EYJ says he took it easy. He still won the V70 category and beat the first in V65 category, with only one guest in front of him in the M65/M70 race. I felt I ran much better than at Blackburn but there were still only 8 behind me. I'm sure EYJ would have easily beaten me if he were in the same race. The next Horwich runner in front of me was Pete Ramsdale, over seven minutes ahead.
A disaster of a different kind at Clayton Vale. Thanks to Man City having a 3 o'clock kick-off combined with road closures, we only made the start line with moments to spare. Obviously this meant a sensible first lap to warm up. Muddy again but I chose to run in studs and I think it was preferable for much of the course. EYJ had yet another fine run. Okay, he's the only V70 listed so by default he won his category, but he also beat all eight V65's in the race. He beat me by nearly three and a half minutes. and was only two minutes behind Pete Ramsdale. I was, however, improving, and nearly got the better of Barry Chester : I just needed a bit further as I closed the gap to 3 seconds at the finish.
Yesterday we ventured over to Liverpool and Sefton Park for the big event as the Mid Lancs League, along with the Merseyside League was incorporated into the same race as the UK Trials for the European Cross Country Championships.  Therefore I'd gone from the Red Rose League at Blackburn where I ran the last lap with nobody close to me to a race which had competition all the way round and some very fast runners flying past on the latter part of my lap 2.
Back to spikes for me with no gravel tracks to contend with. EYJ chose studs but afterwards felt he lacked grip.
With a field of 480, I set off near the back but kept my eye on Pete Bland and EYJ not too far ahead. Halfway round the first lap Pete passed EYJ and I closed up towards him. My intention was just to stay behind him so that I didn't blowit. But you know how it is, you end up going past even though it's not part of the plan. I could see Blandy about 40 metres ahead and Pete Ramsdale a similar distance in front of him. Against sense, I gradually closed towards Blandy so that by the end of the first lap, no runners separated us. Five metres was about as close as I got as I then started to feel the effort and although didn't go back drastically did find the next two laps hard work, expecting EYJ and the other usual suspects to hunt me down. My final time was 49:57 for the 5.9 miles with EYJ a minute behind, Pete Bland had stretched his lead over me to 1:35 with Pete Ramsdale a further 24 seconds ahead. I'd finally beaten Barry for the first time this Winter and a few more of YJ's clubmates. I now need to build on it and get back to the standard of 2010. The results are not fully completed yet so I can't tell how EYJ did in his category.
Two weeks before the next XC up at Kendal so there's a good chance that I'll UTUP next Saturday.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Winter Sun

Local run this morning with amazing winter sunshine trying to break through the cloud.   A couple worth seeing here : )







Laters!   Christmas shopping at Salford Quays  : )






Have a great week everybody  : )

Friday, November 23, 2012

I'm not at utup tomorrow as I'm off to do Kirkbymoor Fell race and taking EtU and TYC chap with me.

I've got space for one more normal sized runner or 2 v skinny (prob elite) runners. Meeting at my house at 8am if anyone fancies it.

We're returning via Pete Blands shop in Kendal, short visit for me to possibly swap some shoes for the next size up.

Click on the 'tooth fairy' link on the right hand side if you want to email me and claim a seat.


Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Update ToP no 2 (21/11/12 it's a palindrome, did know that of course!!)

Runners 6,7,and 8 have been removed from the results (see link to Bowland report). I know this now because having had a good gander at the results it turns out one of them was a Salford runner!!!

Hadn't seen him at the start but saw the sticker on the wall in the hall afterwards, remember him being in the first column. Not on the final results.

Looking on the positive side this means I finished 1st Salford Harrier.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tour of Pendle Sat 17th Nov (27K/1473m)

My first year in attendance at this race when I've been the sole 'wfdbwgua' representative. That's quite a responsibility to bear on little shoulders.

The start this year was moved up the lane, I wonder if this was to make the number of 'Ks' a whole number, still set off late as normal though. Pep talk from Keiran before the 'off' with the back pack runners suggested we'd have to discuss our progression onto the second half with CP4 marshalls. Mmmh, ten minutes was a big difference to be arguing over, was going to have to flutter my eyelashes like a good'un to get through.

No major mishaps on the way to CP4 apart from another female runner calling me Sharon as she passed! Dipped under the 12.30pm discussion time by 7mins, so no fluttering required. Always such a relief to make it to the good bit.

Thought I'd try the long diagonal this year down to CP9 rather than the usual vertical drop from the top path. Not sure which is better, the top path does allow you a clear run without getting stuck behind anyone. But need to be confident of your dropping off point in the clag. The diagonal is (or was on Sat) a more defined trod, can't go wrong on it, but very slippy early on and tricky to pass on.

No cramp again this year on the last climb, so either I'm doing something right or I'm not trying hard enough! A brief touch of Bill Smith's memorial stone before the never ending track to the finish.

Not sure of my finish time but it was about the 4:10/4:11 mark, so given that I managed 4:03 last year, I think some of my training is finally starting to pay off. The climbing felt really good, but still a way to go with the flat speed. Looking to do some shorter races for the next couple of weeks.

Update (21/11/12 - ooh what's that called when it does that?) results

So 4:11, but only 16 behind me. 20 retirees but not sure how many missed the cut-off.

A further 3 may have been dsq for missing CP11, or perhaps given a time penalty? Reading the Bowland report their lead runner has moved from crossing the line 9th on the day, to 6th on the results No mention in Kierans report though. Await the discussion on fell runner forum with interest!!

Date for next year 23rd Nov (a week longer to recover from road marathon duties EtU)


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Saturday on Winter Hill–Changeable Weather for sure!

Despite threats from TLoB only KLM and me arrived at UTUP.  As arranged, a note was left for EtU who was planning to arrive late.  Low cloud and clag on setting off and didn’t get much better.  Few more pics here if it’s of interest.


Two Lads


KLM on the path to the quarries




En route to Trespass Stone

Having left a route description for EtU, given the conditions, amazingly we met up close to the mast.  Down To Hordern’s and down the road to pick up the footpath to take us to the fire road and then across the valley to the track to Lead Mines Clough.  At the gate we found this strange piece of kit!


Fell running zimmer frame!


‘Isn’t she lovely!’


‘Did you see that bloke with the zimmer frame?’   ‘Yeah, shouldn’t be allowed out’   ‘I reckon his wife’s gonna have something to say when he turns up with that thing… Loser!’  


Lead Mines Clough


Heading back to Rivington

Having said goodbye to running friends a quick freshen up and change of clothes to meet up with non-running friends.  Weather now brightening up considerably.


Rivington Reservoir


Heading out to Rivington Village Tea Room for coffee and cakes!




Rivington Churchyard


Back to Lower Barn – rain overnight very visible

Cherry scones to die. for before heading home and a glorious sunset, so out across the fields to catch the last rays.










Fun packed day  -  good friends to enjoy it with and finally an evening at one of Bolton’s finest Thai restaurants with more good people – lovin the weekend Smile

I Like it...

...when a plan comes together.  As if there could have been any doubt! NLN had dutifully left details of her and KLM's planned route on her car, on Saturday morning and I met them both on the tarmac near the mast at about 10:20. They had arrived there, quite predictably, via the Trespass Stone.

It was a fairly grim day, but we continued back to the trig point, then via Georges Lane to Hordern Stoops, and thence to Lead Mines Clough, Alance Bridge and back to the Barn at about 11:50.

For me, a slightly shorter outing than usual, but nevertheless just as enjoyable; thank you both.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Slow progress

Made an early start (7.35) this morning due to arranging the day around a concert in the evening.  The knee is far from right and limits me to short runs interspersed with walking, which leads to slow progress.  The current plan is to extend the outings week by week with the intention of entering an LDWA event. probably the Amble with a target of between six and seven hours.  This morning's outing stretched to over 10 miles in 2hrs 46 mins, so a good start.  Sorry to miss the squad at UTUP.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Moanin’ Old man

I’ve not run for a week because of a bad back. I’ve given it as long as I can before blogging  but it looks unlikely that I’ll be utuping tomorrow. It’s disappointing, especially if the weather’s going to be good. Although you might disagree!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sunny Sunday Run

Another glory day – let’s hope this weekend is as good!  Couple more at Out and About – no duplicates, but they are quite similar.











Wingates Trigpoint  -  haven’t looked at its official title in the list


This Week

UTUP Thursday 15th

Can't make UT on Saturday 17th, but intend to report to the UP probably about 9:20. NLN has offered to leave a note on her windscreen indicating where the main group might be heading. If NLN doesn't show, perhaps someone else would do the honours.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Saturday - Pigeon Tower, Two Lads, Trespass Stone, Wimberry Hill Trig, Winter Hill

A bit late in posting due to t’internet being troublesome – now sorted.  A great to be out day : )  Set off before EtU, TYC and IK arrived to catch as much of that gorgeous light as possible and it didn’t disappoint.  More snapping than running in my case and there’s even more HERE.

The reflections I promised you EtU – a perfect day for it!

Winter Hill-155

Winter Hill-138

Winter Hill-143

Georges Lane

Winter Hill-103

From drive up to top Barn

Winter Hill-107

Before the sun appeared

Winter Hill-121

Gates to the site of the old Bungalow

Winter Hill-128


Winter Hill-132

Winter Hill-142

Winter Hill-146

Winter Hill-153

Winter Hill-190

Guess what EtU got the dress code right!

Winter Hill-193


Winter Hill-195


Winter Hill-200


Winter Hill-202

The grass was completely coated in tiny water droplets


Winter Hill-206

He’s not usually camera shy!

Winter Hill-211

Pointing out the stunning views from Wimberry Hill Trigpoint

Winter Hill-216


Winter Hill-219


Winter Hill-222


Winter Hill-240

Saw these guys a few times!

Winter Hill-242

Let’s hope for the same again this Saturday Smile