Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Festive Disorientation 2013

Not a bad turn out for this one given that it was only advertised via the Fellrunner forum about 2 weeks to go.

2 courses on offer, Long = 6 controls and Short = 4 controls (miss 1 & 2), controls to be visited in any order. Des gave me my usual starting block of 'first off', so not much chance to guage the preferred optimal route. I chose A-C starting with no 3, but a fair number went clockwise including the eventual winner.

I completed in a time of 2hr10, KLM retired (poorly knee) after 4 controls on the long course. The winner managed 1hr12 (impressive as usual).
Local knowledge and/or following the right runner was key. There was apparently some wall-hopping in the vicinity of CP 4 and 6. Naughty really, as some route choices were well signposted.
New for next year is the possibility of maps printed on waterproof paper, mine looks in pristine condition post race compared with some!

Saturday's run

I decided on a gentle run on the previous day and headed over towards Rawtenstall for a run over different ground. By chance I came across SELOC's permanent orienteering course near Clowbridge Res. Whilst working my way round a few of the control sites I came across this interesting feature. Anyone care to guess what it was used for (clue - it doesn't involve sheep)?

I will post an answer later in the week.
All the best for the new year.

The Second of January 2014

A start time of 9:30 a.m has been agreed - UP.

Bacon butties in the barn after?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Festive Fun

Mostly dry weather over the festive period meant a little outing every day, despite a bit of a cold.  Off to Hill Inn for New Year celebrations – so wishing everyone the very best for 2014.  Will keep an eye on the blog for more details of the run on 2nd Jan and aim to be there Smile

Put the best on my blog, a couple of clips below and a little competition on this one – small prize for recognising the location and being first to leave a comment naming it.

Watermans Cottage-1

Any ideas?

Brucies run-13

Brucies run-20


Brucies run-21


Walker Fold-32

Plenty folk at top o’th ramp on Christmas Day

Walker Fold-33


Walker Fold-35

New Year Run

Don’t seem to be able to use the “comments” facility on the blog. It blocks my computer.

How about Thursday the 2nd. perhaps starting a bit later than the usual time.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

UTUP maintained

Billy Nomates on Saturday but at least it meant the Saturday morning UTUP was maintained. A few cyclists in the car park but no sign of any of any recognisable vehicles so after a few minutes I headed for Ammunition Corner then the Bomber Memorial in mix of sunshine, rain and hail.
On Christmas Day, I joined Julie and friend Jackie walking the dogs near Rivington reservoir before running back via the Pike where a party ensued with Watters, Erica, her brother and the Sweatmans arriving complete with brandy and Christmas cake, shortly followed by Tony V and Josie (who were running as opposed to alcohol fuelled walk).
Auld Lang Syne race on Tuesday and XC County Champs on Saturday - not sure about when to run on Thursday but I need to get out sometime to remove some of the excess pounds that have accumulated over the past few days.
Old/New Year run

I'm OK for a midweek run on Tues, Wed or Thursday and would prefer a UTUP start, although excepting that some may need more recovery from the night before I will remain flexible.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Next Week, Anyone?

I'm off up to Santon Bridge tomorrow, back on Monday, so won't be UTUPing on Saturday 28th.

Is anyone interested in a morning outing, somewhere local, next week - last day of 2013 or first few days of 2014?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Managed a little outing followed by a visit to the Ale House.  Plenty folk on Winter Hill today – great conditions.  Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, whatever you’re doing : )


Walker Fold-16

Walker Fold-13

Seasons Greetings

The Lord of Brentford would like to extend seasonal greetings to all his friends in the north.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Splash of Colour

An orange splash caught my eye as we passed below Brown Hill on George's Lane (SD 645 135) on Saturday morning. Pausing to investigate (it at first looked as if the ground on the flank of Brown Hill above the lane had been spray painted) it seemed that it was the spore heads (proper name anyone ?) of a particular type of moss were responsible. It was indeed quite a vivid orange colour and well worth a photo shoot if anyone is that way inclined.

Not sure how long it will last; can imagine it will be fairly transitory.

Post script - possibly Ceratodon purpureous:- https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=ceratodon+purpureus&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=vGS4Urq1J6uV7AabzYGYDg&ved=0CJYBEIke&biw=997&bih=512

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Grand Day Out

Great day out with Nic’O, TF and SN, although the latter dispensed with the walk and cut straight to the restaurant.  A few more from the walk here

Sat Walk-13


Sat Walk-15

The morning after the night before

A very belated posting of the Saturday run after the Solstice Supper.  Wonderfully atmospheric conditions for the run


Sat Run-7

Setting off from the Barn

Sat Run-31

Joined by Christa’s chum – running off the Pike

Sat Run-37

Approaching Two Lads

Sat Run-38


Sat Run-43

From the lane out to the Trespass Stone

Sat Run-46


Sat Run-61

Manchester City centre – Beetham Tower central

Sat Run-74

Not having the best of days!

Sat Run-84

Approaching the mast

Sat Run-88

Noon Hill – Joined JtE on his last hill training rep

Friday, December 20, 2013

Catching Up

Hope to be on the UTUP in the morning (don't expect anyone to read this before then) and expect to be quite lethargic after what must be my highest mileage week for a long time.
Last Saturday was a hard slog around the cross-country with a course that was at least 80% mud underfoot. YJ also there but I believe it got the better of him. At one point I was also prone on the ground thanks to trying to pick up the pace on a faster part of the course near the end of lap 2 : same distance as Liverpool XC - 14 minutes slower!
Sunday : a good workout of 16 miles or so, walking from Top Barn over Pike & Two Lads to lunch at Bob's Smithy and back via Winter Hill and Wilderswood on the Christmas Cracker Walk.
A gentle (not!) 16 miles on Tuesday with EYJ over Winter Hill through Belmont, Witton Weavers Way, Great Hill, White Coppice and back to Wilderswood and last night my version of the Hospital Run clocked 11.7 miles, having run from home to the Leisure Centre for the start. So virtually 50 miles in 5 days. Quite crisp on Tuesday and although I forgot my proper camera, did take these with the phone from Witton Weavers Way.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

This Week

Tuesday 17th Dec - A most enjoyable run up from the George's Lane/COR junction to the end of the tarmac mast road with JtE, NLN and SN. We were met en route by TYC, who had travelled cross country from last year's meeting place near Bob's Smithy. Conditions were excellent with a full moon and near clear sky; just enough low cloud to produce interesting effects with the mast lights. Only downside was the occasional patch of ice which prompted more cautious running than normal.

At the end of the run seasonal refreshments, both liquid and solid, were generously provided by the ladies thank you, both.

Then it was the short drive to the Bob's Smithy for further imbibing.

But the evening wasn't finished there, just three of us (no names, no packdrill) then proceeded down into Horwich to sample the various brews on tap at the recently refurbished Brown Cow, now rebadged as the Bank Top Ale House.

Thursday 19th Dec - It's the Horwich Hospital Run tonight (Leisure Centre at 7:00 p.m) but I'm being my usual anti-social self and will be at the UTUP if anyone is interested.

Saturday 21st Dec (Winter Solstice) - I'm UTUPing.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tuesday 17th December

Pre-Christmas jog up to the mast – please join us if you can.  Meet and be ready to run at 6.00pm, park cars on Georges Lane at the Jolly Crofters end.  Leisurely outing with festive refreshments back at the cars and an optional visit to Bob’s Smithy at the end.  Hope you can make it – all welcome.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

More About the Pudding

Thank you, TF, for these results.

You will see that YJ took the V70 prize in 63:57, Sporty Swift (now Merino) finished in a highly creditable 66:02 and I followed in 68:25, way down even the V65 rankings. My very slight pleasure in beating my 2012 time by a few seconds evaporated when I saw in my training diary the cryptic letters 'SFAD' against my last year's time.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

The Pudding Club

No results published yet, but suffice to say, the finishing order was from left to right - things can only get better.
Mytholmroyd Fell Race Sun 8th Dec (11.3k/411m)

As usual a Halifax Harriers productions run with military precision. Everyone had to present full kit prior to registering for the race. Bear in in mind this is a BM, but it is winter and there is a confusing array of footpaths on the top of Midgely Moor that catches out some locals on misty days.

The start and finish coincided with a couple of other races organized from Mytholmroyd, so I knew that after a very short steep climb through the woods of probably 200m we pop out onto green pastures through a kissing gate, one by one.

So 100-odd runners causes a bottle-neck. So positioned myself a good 20-30 places ahead of where I  normally should be and prepared myself for a bit of lactic burn up. What I need to practice for is the next 500m climb to the next obstacle (stile). But by the time I reached it we were fairly spread out an the queue numbered 3.

The organizer had done a splendid job flagging and marshalling the route (shame, map reading skills not required today) and yours truly returned just a tad over 80mins after I'd left. Winner managed 48mins. Results here http://fellrunner.org.uk/results.php?id=2191

Dave and Eileen Woodhead were out on the course taking photos so hope they don't mind but here I am on the outward part, Stoodley Pike on the hill in the background

Do I look any more tired in this one? Almost back to the finish, 1m of downhill to go.

At this point the runner in front was a good 200m ahead, by the finish I was nearly close enough to push her over the line.


Saturday, December 07, 2013

Must Do Better

After messing around for weeks not being able to climb properly I am trying to do something about it. Today I went for reps from the higher of the two wooden bridges in the gully adjacent to Dangerous Corner to Noon Hill summit and back. I reckon that one rep is about 400 feet. Completed 7 reps, and those plus the run from and to the Lower Barn gave me 3113 feet of ascent and descent and 8.23 miles.

Good to see YJ passing through at the end of rep 3 and NLN and EtU on Georges Lane while ascending on rep 7. Thanks NLN for joining me to complete the rep and for the descent to the barn.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

More on diary dates

Friday 6th - will be at Solstice do but on my own as Julie already has dinner booked with school department (might come and pick me up later if I can get a lift there otherwise I'll be driving)

Saturday 7th - expect to join at UTUP as booked elsewhere in the afternoon so have to miss XC at Marl Pits. What a shame :-). Last week I ached for two days after the run and only 10 miles so we shall see.

Friday 13th - apparently someone who does the odd run is answering questions on Mastermind, BBC2 8pm.

Diary dates

I shall be  at the solstice supper and will be UTUPing the following day.  I would have appreciated an easy run prior to Sunday's Christmas pudding race but to make it a fair contest I guess I shall have to do whatever EtU does!  Can't promise to match him pint for pint on Friday.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

This Week

Thursday 5th - UTUP

Friday 6th - Christmas/Winter Solstice 'do' Black Horse at Limbrick

Saturday 7th - UTUP

Sunday 8th - Longridge 7

Definitely not for the faint hearted

…. but desperately funny.   Adolf’s take on planning a BG


Turn up the volume!

A Trip to the Douglas Delta

Enabled by my full-time-athlete status I now embark on the occasional mid-week adventure with anyone who is available. Today YJ drew the short straw.

We met at Chez YJ in Longton and set off down Marsh Lane, past the Blue Dolphin, which we both knew from our youths by its local name as the Flying Fish. In those days it was a primitive hostelry which served warm flat beer through a hole in the kitchen wall to punters in the small bar-room. It's now much extended and updated.

We picked up our route along the upstream earthen Douglas flood wall at the point where the Ribble Way starts its upstream journey alongside that river. At this point the Ribble flows approximately east to west and the Douglas flows approximately south to north.

We followed the wall on pleasant ground in breezy sunshine, past the Hesketh Bank marina on the far shore, until the point where the river is joined by the Rufford Branch of the Leeds Liverpool canal near Tarleton:- http://www.penninewaterways.co.uk/ll/ll93.htm. (we were on the raised green bank that can be seen on the left of the final photo on this link) We then turned north to find our way back to Longton via road and footpaths.

Just short of ten miles with just short of ten feet of climbing. A good morning out.

Didn't make last night's SROC/SELOC event from Astley Bridge as I had already done an hour on the bike (cleats!) in the morning and Winter Hill with SN at tea-time - it's a hard life being an f-t-a.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Speed Training with a difference

If any one fancies a go the SE lancs orienteering club are holding a Night Navigating event in Bolton. 

All you need is a (head)torch and a pen. Maps are provided. Option of a pie and peas supper afterwards.


Monday, December 02, 2013

Times and trials!

Last year Kirkbymoor (Kirkby Moor?) and the Cardington Cracker were on consecutive weekends, this year that had changed to consecutive days, but I thought I’d go back and attempt to better my performances on both.

After parking up in the village which is a challenge in itself, I met up with TF and we had a small trot about to warm up and also studied the route change which amounted to another checkpoint before the final climb in order to protect a new fence or wall, I forget which, so we had to go through the gate that we only came down through last year. That made it somewhat more like the Pike race with in the up and down manner of it with descending runners flying down the track and some quick reactions needed to get out of the way of a couple. The race is seemingly of an indeterminate length too with the Black Combe website claiming 6, Fellrunner.org 6.5 and both my Garmin traces measuring at least 7.2 miles.

The running was good this year, the ground not as frozen as I recall it being in places last time and a clear and bright day meant the nav was impossible to get wrong even the likes of me. After going off a little too fast and realising I was trying to keep pace people much quicker than I, I settled into a rhythm and kept pace with a Black Combe runner who passed me after CP2. He had about a 100 yard lead before the final drop but I reeled him in before the end of it and then pulled out 40 seconds before the end. Some quick descending even with trying to protect the toe I damaged on ToP the week before. Overall I took 10 mins and 22 seconds off last year to come in 32nd of around 90 runners in 01:03:15. No Wendy Dodds in attendance this year and other than TF I only recognised Darren Fishwick from Chorley. I headed off after taking a picture of the results and I believe that TF stayed around Ulverston for an O event later in the day.

Accompanied by Ritzy, Sunday was a return to an awful race for me last year in the form of the Cardington Cracker. 9 miles and 2600 ft makes it the last AM of the year and last time out the climbs up and Caradoc and Hope Bowdler Hill seeing my legs and brain away, leaving me wrecked and taking over two hours to complete the course. I’d convinced myself that it had been 2:12 but it was actually 2:04 but either way the aim was a definite sub 2 given I could feel the day before in my legs. Despite the day before I started off well enough, the Horwich vests looking out of place amongst all the (bizarre and often multi-coloured) midlands vests but progressing through the field well in the opening couple of miles. Mercia was about the only one that I knew from that way but it was good to see some CleM runners on the way round.

Again the course wasn’t quite as frozen as last year and by half way round I considered getting rid of my baselayer and just running in a vest, to save time I rolled the sleeves up and pushed on though, having been 3 mins ahead of my previous time on top of The Lawley which was a sharper climb then I recalled and 8 mins ahead on top of Caradoc, which wasn’t as direct a climb as I’d remembered. My downhill wasn’t up to much up to that point, I knew I kept holding back because of the toe, the feeling of the bruised nail going through me and Ritzy leaving me in her wake on all the drops.

After Hope Bowdler Hill, I’m employed my head and left shoulder as a brake on the other side of a steel gate I tried to vault to save time, wasn’t the best idea or outcome but after that I carried on grinding out the uphills at a run where before they’d been a walk and taking more time out of the previous year and began to think that a 1:45 might happen. On the undulating run in I was well paced as other tired and so moved up from around the 93rd mark to 78th. A good result that included sprinting past four in the final 300 yards (it is a race after all) and nearly sending two runners flying on the finish line as they slowed down. It ended a comfortable sub 2 though as I registered a 01:38:24. Ritzy was about two mins behind and took 1stLV40, a very good run for her first time there and even more so as I’d undersold how hard a race it is. She summed it up as a compressed version of Tour Of Pendle; little flat, lots of up and down and some hard climbs. I think that’s pretty accurate.

Currently considering Really Wild Boar on the 14th or letting my legs settle and repair before Tour De Helvellyn on the 21st.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Pigeon Tower, Pike, Two Lads, Winter Hill and Bomber Memorial

Great morning out in good company – how many more Saturdays like this can we get!  A few more here : )

Pigeon Twr WH-14


Pigeon Twr WH-31


Pigeon Twr WH-42


Pigeon Twr WH-62


Pigeon Twr WH-63


Pigeon Twr WH-68


Pigeon Twr WH-74


Pigeon Twr WH-82


Pigeon Twr WH-88


Pigeon Twr WH-105


Pigeon Twr WH-106


Pigeon Twr WH-122


Pigeon Twr WH-123


Pigeon Twr WH-134

Friday, November 29, 2013

Saturday 30th Nov

I shall be UTUPping tomorrow but am not expecting to get far after a disappointing week's training.  I will hang on as long as possible and then turn for home.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tour of Pendle Results

Results are out now


Amazingly 2013 time neatly sandwiched between 2011 and 2012. Here's the stats

                               2011           2012               2013
Time                      4:03:03       4:11:21          4:07:26

Winners Time        2:21:48      2:27:01          2:17:22
                                C Bell        C Bell            M Roberts

+ Winner Time       71%            71%.              80%.          

Position.                 315/363       346/362         377/421
% Position              87%             95%              90%


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

This Week, Next Week

UTUPing Thursday 28th and Saturday 30th.

In the absence of any nay say I have booked us into the Black Horse at Limbrick on Friday 6th - enjoy!

Tour of Pendle Pics

Links on Clayton's website to lots of photos www.claytonlemoors.org.uk/tour-photos-2013/

Who can you spot?

Whilst waiting for results I've worked out that I had 24 behind me on the way to cp2 (woodhead's set3) 29 on the climb after cp5 (woodhead's set 4) and ?44 (!!) behind me after the trig (cp10) (sportsunday pics p40 & p41).

There were way too many in front to count all them!!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Full Tour of Pendle Sat 23rd Nov (27k/1473m)

Another fine day for it, so that's 3 years on the bounce that we've been blessed with good weather. A bumper turnout too. The race reached its 500 limit a good week or so before the day. No doubt helped by the fact that the FRA dinner was being held locally on the Saturday evening.

This was going to be the first big test of my new training regime. I won't go into a long-winded explanation for the reasons but suffice to say that it now involves an early morning session on the treadmill at the gym (well Mon to Thurs, on a Friday I treat myself to a spin class). The first week of doing this contributed to the DNS at Langdale, so I was hoping that after 6 weeks practice the same fate wasn't in store for Pendle.

The start was moved across the road again but a further 100m up the tarmac track to avoid the building works around new houses being built next to the village hall. Me YJ and EtU had enquired the price of these from one of the neighbours when we'd been up for a mid-week recce in October. If I recall correctly the 4 bed one was around the £400K mark! To digress even further, the building (old water works) we were standing next to for the new start is also being developed. A further 7 houses. If the start keeps moving up the hill due to building work, the race might end up having to be reclassified as an AM.

The first queue developed not at the stile but at CP1, where the 'newbies' struggled removing their tags off the ring. The 'old hands' knew to start removal a good 20-50m away, allowing a 'seamless' progression through the CP. Sense did prevail at CP 4 where it wasn't removed until after the stream crossing. Conditions were that good underfoot that this was the first time my feet got a proper soaking. Time to this point was 1:41, so clear of a 1:45 cut-off and oodles of daylight clear of the 'official' 2hr cut off. 6mins slower than 2011 and 1min slower than 2012.

Spurred on by the sight of a 2013 JNC completer (Mandy G) on my favourite climb (Mearley Clough) and again on 'big end' (we're evens on the climbs at the moment, but her flat speed trumps my downhill!!) I finally finished between my times for 2011 and 2012. How the finish time split them will involve waiting for the published results. 2011 (time 4:03) was my Wasdale year, and although training had tailed off somewhat by then, I've got a way to go for that elusive sub 4hr finish.

Should be ok for a utup Thurs. I'm doing Kirkymoor Saturday and can manage a 'do' on Friday 6th.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Belmont, Winter Hill and Great Hill

Glorious morning so set off early to catch the sunrise from the Belmont side of Winter Hill.  Headed up the ramp over Winter Hill down to Two Lads in the hope of seeing some of the Saturday gang.  Didn’t spot anyone so headed back to the summit and out to Great Hill.  Wonderful morning and a few more pics here

(Problem with exporting pics on this post – images all over-exposed by google, sorted in later posts)

Belmont WH-50


Belmont WH-64


Belmont WH-84


Belmont WH-153


Belmont WH-165


Belmont WH-201


Belmont WH-206

Belmont WH-228


Belmont WH-231

Belmont WH-244