Sunday, March 31, 2013


Todays UTUP was attended by TF & NLN both with their O'Rocs expecting the worse.  Also in attendance EtU with the same intention as myself; to recce the conditions underfoot for the descent from the Pike.
NLN decided to take us via the picturesque waterfall on our way through the Gardens for a few piccys, where EtU's and my footwear proved to be somewhat lacking for the conditions. I must admit the waterfall did look rather nice but EtU felt it could have benefitted from the presence of more diverse flora.
At the top of the Pike it was a wee bit nippy but the views still look glorious.  The route down off the Pike seemed perfect even for a poor descender like me. Once on Georges Lane the rest of the route down looked as clear except for the accumulation of snow by the farm drive.  So trail shoes were to be the choice for this event!  EtU's instruction for those taking part on the Pike race was initially very confusing "take your time at the top", which I like others took to mean slow down, probably to allow him to catch up!  What he meant was record your time at the top as well as the finish for comparison purposes, which became clearer later in the day.
A unanimous decision had us heading back along Georges Lane towards the Dove Tower with the eventual target of viewing the drifts on Sheep House lane.  A pleasant interception was made with Colin on one of his 'Come back' outings with a promise of joining us in the not too distant future.
Once on Rivington Lane the toughies (TF & NLN) turned and headed for the trig, whereas EtU and myself in a bid to conserve energy for the Pike race later in the day, plodded off down to Sheep House Lane.  Initially disappointed to find the road had been cleared we found it still to be covered in deep drifts further down.  The photos do not do the scene justice as it is something I have not experienced in this country.
EtU will probably do a Pike report later.

EtU as Height guage

Further down Sheep House Lane

EtU refusing to move!

Even further down the Lane

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Good Friday on the Pike - 29th March

Bright and breezy, but freezing cold – always worth a look lol – more here if you can bear it Surprised smile

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All the fun of the fair - Well it was a bit chilly to be honest !

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Not many takers then

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Feeling a little deflated

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To the top!

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Nicely frozen

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On the way down

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Not what you expect to see on George’s Lane

Friday, March 29, 2013

Pike Day

I'm UTUPing - course inspection to assist in shoe choice.

It will be interesting if everyone racing could take their time at the top.

We can then work out absolute descent times and, perhaps more interesting, ascent/descent ratios. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fancy a dip?

Fantasic 10 mile walk yesterday; couldn't believe how pretty the reservoir looked half frozen.
Quite exhilarating going over the top of Winter Hill and down to Belmont then back through a winter wonderland to the car park at Walker Fold Rd. Didn't call for an ice cream!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The text message on Friday asked if I had a spare vest and could I take it to Blackpool tomorrow. Could only mean one thing - we were down to the 'odds & sods' for the road relay team. So instead of spending a relaxing evening in front of the telly, I spent an inconsiderate amount of time mulling over potential kit choice for a 2.8m road run.

Anyway better news by text on Saturday morning it was off, yes! Then moments later again by text, Edale was off too! I was looking forward to the challenge of just getting there, let alone the race itself. There were contingency plans for the contingency plans.

So after completing a few errands I headed (2hrs late) to UP. Got half way up Kiln Lane to be confronted with the first snow drift, doubled back to head to the roundabout and Chorley Old rd to find more drifts and one very poorly car being attended to by the police as it was embedded in one near the Bob Smithy.

The rest of the road was down to one lane in parts, so decided not to venture any further than the high school with the car. I managed a short circuit via the ruined castle to the lower barn and then up through the Chinese gardens. Getting along the path back down to the school was quite a challenge.

It's been a long time since I'd seen snow drifts this bad. Can't begin to imagine how bad it would be in Edale. A wise and appropriately timed decision by the organise to cancel. I can only applaud his (and his team) efforts to stage the race and in keeping us all informed of developments.

Has the Pike race ever been cancelled? Going to need to get a lot warmer this week to shift that snow on George's Lane, ones at front might need to take a shovel.


Apologies... anyone who made the UP at the UT, I didn't get there until five past nine.

In view of the road conditions I ran to the UP in my orocs (good kit!) and then looked around for company - none.
The pictures tell the rest of the story:-

Who were these guys who had hidden behind the wall for their tobacco fix?

George's (note correct use of apostrophe) Lane was a bit tricky.

The wind was evil, but had at least blown the snow off the top.

A slightly scary morning out.

Not so sure about this new John predating our women.

Winter in Spring – Saturday 23rd March

No attempt to drive to Rivington this morning after a close shave on the ice yesterday morning on the way into work – so many accidents that the roads between Aspull and Wigan were closed later.  I believe the Lower Barn failed to open this morning.  Be interesting to hear what you all did.  Ian and I headed out for a walk – more at Out and About if it’s of interest.  Different to be able to take a long lens and catch this little chap, just not possible when running with the little camera.  Keep safe everybody : )

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Robin – and a couple of detail shots from Borsdane Wood

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Bitterly cold up on the farm tracks – we soon headed back to the shelter of the wood

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Loads of stuff cancelled as I’m sure you know Fiennesdale, Edale – up to now the Rivington trail marathon seems to be still on!  Unless you know different Winking smile

It was  snow joke 

For the first time in the many years since I joined the wfdbwgua squad the weather prevented me from UTUPing. An early call from EtU warned of tricky conditions but we agreed contingency plans and I set off undaunted with little sign of snow at home.  By Chorley the situation was much changed with big drifts within the outskirts of  the town.

The roads were still passable through to Limbrick  but from then on blowing snow was drifting across the road.  Just after the Bay Horse the drifts were bigger and progress was halted by a lady in a 4x4 coming the other way, forcing me to make a long reverse.

The road was blocked between the cottages and the top of Horrobin Lane, she said.  So it was back to the Bay Horse only to  find Babylon Lane also unfit for purpose.  With drifts growing by the minute is seemed prudent to return to safer roads, which led me back into Chorley where an unsuccessful attempt was made to phone EtU.  At this point the conditions suggested that even if I made it to the usual place running was going to be difficult given the depth and regularity of the drifts.

There was nothing else to do but return to the green green grass of home where nearly all traces  of snow had gone. 

 Now where did I put my road shoes?

Friday, March 22, 2013


I was listening to the radio coming home from work today and the person being interviewed was Boff Whalley of Chumbawamba. Now the really weird bit is that he is a keen fell runner and  they (apparently) had a hit record called "I Get Knocked Down But I Get Up Again" ......
Perhaps we should ask him out on a Saturday morning?

Potential slowest runner in a road race

As far as I can remember, tomorrow will be my debut in the Northern 12 stage relay. The race is at Stanley Park in Blackpool and, so far, the area has missed the snow. I looked at last year's results and there was only one runner who posted over 20 minutes for the the 2.8 miles. Based on the 5k at Leverhulme Park which took over 23 minutes, I'll be hard pressed to break 21 minutes.  This is of course for the B team - Horwich are trying to complete two teams, and, up till this afternoon, we had two full teams. We are now one short so if anyone knows anybody qualified to put on a Horwich vest for a short run (or the 4.9 mile longer leg), get in touch with Ali Murray (or via me). You just might want to take it easier on the morning run!!

Update 8:20am Saturday - can ignore the above as it has just been cancelled. I'm not going to try to make UTUP. Car's going nowhere for awhile (see Albert's post on facebook if you think it's a good day to be driving) but I may head out the door up to Winter Hill via Burnt Edge.

Sorry I've been missing for a few weeks. Last weekend I hoped to do the Haigh Hall Relays and then marshal on the Two Crosses but I was fit for nothing and did my first run on Tuesday. At least I managed to get to the Equinox meal.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Speed of Light

If anyone is watching the Speed of Light at Salford Quays tomorrow night, I'll be the lady in black!
More info here:
Sorry EtU - it's not a race!
Any advance on 12?

I will be UTUPing on Saturday and now feel improved enough to join the main squad on a regular basis. As we notched up over  12 miles last week is anyone up for a slowish 14, or more?

Medical terms

Had my full medical yesterday so I have the certificate for doing Paris. Mentioned the lump in my arm from the fall in the beck two Saturdays back and had it examined. What a glorious term calcified haematoma is! Could also be a small break so back for scans in two weeks if its not clearing up.

I like the term for it, not the pain it's causing.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Edale Skyline

How's this for a MINIMUM kit required for Sunday!!

Full waterproof body cover; jacket/smock with hood and over trousers – this means kit sold as waterproofs with taped seams

• Long sleeved base layer (eg helly/smartwool type)

• Full length tights

• Spare warm layer (eg thin long sleeve fleece, synthetic vest or similar)

• Hat (thicker than a buff), warm gloves/mitts (eg fleece/windproof or thin ones with waterproof mitts)

• Around 300kcals of emergency food – eg Mars bar, 2 x cereal bar, approx 80g sweets, remember this is for emergencies – if you want to eat in the race you’ll need extra food

• Map (of the course!), compass, whistle

• Feel free to carry a GPS and/or mobile phone IN ADDITION to the above if you wish

• Maybe a small rucksack rather than a bum bag to carry the additional kit

Standard stuff for me, will also include my survival bag too. Hoping my recce of the 'down and up' last Saturday not in vain, may yet get called off if the fast 'uns can't make it there.


3 Peaks recce

I'm planning a recce of part of the 3 Peaks route on Tues 2nd April (day after Easter Monday BH). The intention is to do Pen y Gent and Whernside and return to Horton via the choo-choo, dist approx 18-19m (race rules mean we have to use the tourist path for Whernside for recces). NLN has put her hand up for the guided tour, so 3 spaces left if anyone wishes to join us, leisurely pace assured with time for a chance of a little 'tipple' at the Station Inn at Ribblehead.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

First of the Season!

Whilst Dave Woodhead's Bunny Run, which is on the same evening as Liver Hill, starts at 7:00 p.m, Liver Hill starts at 6:45 p.m which seems to make it the first evening race of the 2013 season.

I'm planning to do it, any other takers?

Monday, March 18, 2013


18min improvement from last year, amazing what chasing a Horwich vest can do for your race times.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Some of My Better Ones?

It's Come Home!

After having been inadvertently purloined at the 2011 Joss Naylor dinner, my engraved tankard has finally come home.

Particular thanks go to Monica, for her detective work in tracking down the culprit, to Gayle, for acting as intermediary and to TYC for sorting out the logistics (he's in that business) and getting it back to Blackrod.

Thank you to all.

The irony of the situation is that we had all been asked to bring our tankards to the 20th dinner, so, anticipating scope for confusion, I'd had mine engraved with my name - the best laid plans...

(and yes, my ears really are different sizes!)

The Goit

Thank you, Chris, for your write-up on Saturday's most enjoyable outing.

You will remember that there was some discussion on the exact meaning of the Goit - is it a bird... etc

I was interested to find this:-  
Heptonstall Sun 17th March 24km/1000m

Just love these early Sunday morning starts, means I get the chance to do a sing-a-long in the car with some (hopefully) rousing hymns on R4's Sunday Worship. This morning's selection didn't disappoint and included 'When I survey the wondrous cross' and 'Praise my soul the king of heaven' and one of my favs 'Angel voices, ever singing'.

The race is growing in popularity, due in no small part by the effort of the RO and his team. A seamless production, especially considering the added headache of a road closure of one of the main access roads into the village, something I'd noticed when running the Hobble the previous week.

At 10:30ish I got to listen to the second sermon of the day, the local Vicar was on hand again to set us all off, this time with a quotation from Acts 20:24,

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

Well that was certainly my aim, hopefully in a time a bit quicker than last year. Must be some good sound proofing on the car as all my singing failed to elicit a single drop of rain all the way round, in fact despite the slightly chilly wind we were 'blessed' with a bit of sunshine and clear visibilty.

It's a bit of a long 'fartlek' session to begin with, but the stiles and wall crossings do give you a chance to get your breath back. For the first mile or so I was tracking Julie Haworth (Horwich), and was pleased to be keeping her in sight but assumed it wouldn't last long. We'd been warned of a bit of 'wading' due to the loss of a footbridge near Hardcastle Crags, but that was nothing to compare with the dunking I got just after crossing the Pennine Way (just west of Walshaw Dean Res). A 'marshy' section and a route choice of left or right side of a wall. I chose the wrong side (left) and almost ended up totally submerged, good job I've got a good pair of bouyancy aids!

The Horwich vest appeared within sight again at Lady Royd Farm, about 2/3rds of the way round. I didn't think I'd get many chances to get ahead of this particular one so a case of 'make hay while the sun shines'. In the end I accrued approximately a 5min lead in the final 1/3rd of the race.

I think this race packs in all the best bits of Pennine running. It's a lovely route, great community spirit from the locals and soup and cakes at the end. What more could you ask for. Put it in your calendar for next year, I'll even offer a free recce session!

(I'll add a link to the results when publish, I was quicker than last year but not sure by how much) 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Kirkstone Pass & Stockghyll

Early arrival at Kirkstone Inn en route to Hartsop found us in blizzard conditions.  Bit of a re-think Ian opting for Fairfield Horseshoe where route finding became a bit of an issue.  I chose an outing from Ambleside out to Stockgyll Force and a little light shopping for the day!  Good time had by all more here if its of interest Disappointed smile


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Kirkstone Inn – no takers for the picnic tables

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Stockgyll Beck

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The Weir

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The Money Tree on the way up to Stockgyll Force

278 not out

278 being the combined age of the intrepid four who met at UTUP this morning, namely JtE, YJ, EtU and my good self. JtE said he knew a good route to Spitlers Edge that cut out some descent and the worst of the quagmire. So we set off towards the Post Office, along the stream and up to the road that turns off at the top of Sheephouse Lane. The next mile or so was a bit of a mystery to me, partly because I didn't really recognize anywhere (the clag was down) and partly because I had forgotten to charge up my Garmin watch so that it packed up early. Eventually we hit Spitlers and then ran along the flags to the top of Great Hill. Normally I try to avoid these flagstones, but it was so wet that we had no choice. At the summit, some good natured banter took place along the North-South divide; references were made  to "northern peasants" and "soft southern jesses" much to the amusement of a couple of walkers who were resting at the shelter. This southern jesse was beginning to feel cold, so I set off down, leaving the others to enjoy the bracing fresh air. We re-grouped just before Brinscall, and turned for home.

The second part of the run was very pleasant but very muddy. White Coppice, Anglezarke, High Bullough and finally the barn, a total of just over 12.2 miles. I must agree with JtE that the route up to Spitlers was excellent- it's a pity that my Garmin packing in means I have no idea where we went! My thanks to my three aged, northern companions ( everything is relative- I am the youngest of the group and the only southerner, so I am justified in making the comment) for a very enjoyable morning. I shall look forward to my next outing with you.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The "Do"

TYC points out that the do (at the Rivington) is on the Ides of March, which, for the benefit of folk interested in such things (TLoB), is an anagram of 'A. Ford chimes'.

I suggest that we leave him to decide how he will demonstrate this.

Good to hear of some increased activity, with YJ out with the gang and planning more races and That Young Chimer experiencing conditions with attitude on the hills above Stair.

I'm hoping for a good turnout on Friday as I had to leave a £5/head deposit - I guessed 10, but I'm sure they will be able to squeeze in more.

Recce; Teenager With Altitude (and pain)

One of my rambles from my little side blog (dumping ground of prattle) that I posted on Sunday, added here at EtU's request. Let the prattle commence!

Headed up to the Lakes yesterday to recce the Teenager With Altitude, picked up a sleep deprived Tim up at 6.30am and headed for Stair and the start point of the race. Plenty of snow on route that have way to clear skies at the bottom of Causey Pike, I hoped it'd stay that way and make the nav easier for the day.

We set off and took the higher path, not the plan but soon joined up with the race route and continued up Causey while the clear skies were quickly shut out by snow rolling over the tops. After the first climb it was an easy drop and short distance north it Outerside before coming down and picking up the path to head over to Grassmoor. The clag started to tell at that point, we dropped into the basin when we should've stayed higher and we ended up crawling across scree while the snow built up on it and us. A quick climb out of the basin to find Coledale Hause also went a little awry, setting off in the wrong direction to stay ahead of the voices behind us before relating and heading back to greet those voices, turned out to be some other runners we knew may but up there, including a group of lads from Ambleside AC, a difficult prospect to keep pace with but we set off with them intending to keep up for as long as we could. However, it was after about 200 yards of this that we came to Gasgale Gill and while everyone else made it easily across, my comfort choice of Roclites over Mudclaws (which skinned my right foot at Black Combe the week before) was my undoing and losing my footing, went head first into the gill and bounced off a few rocks. The freezing water did bring out the Raynauds and lead to a swap between soaked gloves and the mitts in my backpack, however the right one has turned red inside from the blood my hand dispensed. The main other injury was a dead leg but in the right quad which made running for the rest of the day a little surreal, having really force my stronger leg to move properly was tiring!

On from the Gill to keep moving and so warm, following the tracks of the others (we told them to keep moving while I was getting my breath back) and then we set out across more scree on Dove Crag, complete with rockslides and a few moments of genuine fear of them becoming bigger. Checking the trace against the maps shows we should've gone on the higher route to Grassmoor.

Once up and Grassmoor was done (and micro spikes on) the running was much better heading down to Whiteless Pike, there were even some moments of the sun threatening to break through the cloud. The ridge gave some striking views out over Crummock Water and the surrounding hills, the wind lifting snow and bail from the mountainsides and throwing it into the valley below, all observed while leaning backwards into the wind. One those moments where a picture wouldn't do it, and words can't come close, you'd need to capture the whole sensory experience and be able to pass it on to really give anyone else an idea of it.

The descent after that was massively painful with the quad and a few collapses occurred, the best I could do was try not to stab myself with spikes while falling. Once down and heading for CP 5 we called it quits, 4 hours 30 mins to reach a point with a 2 hr 30 cut off gives an idea how hard it was, without even touching Robinson and the peaks beyond. A run with twitching leg down the side if the road to spare the shoes and we got back to the car. The rest will need a recce before the race in about seven weeks, hoping for better weather and no mishaps on that one, tonight will be spent on the crosstrainer, looking to help the quad and start building the before more events next weekend, I really need to improve my climbing.

No pics given the conditions once we were up, just this one of Cat Bells before we set off on the route.

Back with the grownups!

Those of us who UTUPed on Saturday spared a thought for the Hobblers and I compliment TF on her excellent outing.

For the first time in 14 months I was able to complete the squad of three  for the full outing which by majority vote was kept to just short of eight miles.  JtE kept apologising for slowing the pace and then sped off leaving Kev and myself well in his wake.  He alone left us to add the Pike to his outing while we took the easy route back to the lower barn.

My excuse for a brief outing was the Roddleston Roller on the Sunday, my first race (the Amble doesn't count) in over a year.

I had forgotten how quickly racers set off and was soon  the back marker by 200 yards.  Saturday's climb up the Sheep's Back and the Diagonal paid off as the first hills (they were only short) saw me back amongst the other plodders and I was happy to finish not last and just inside the hour, credited with 59mins 59secs.

Future race plans include the Pike on Easter Saturday followed by the Blubberhouses Moor 25 LDWA event if training goes according to plan. Also coming up are the LDWA Spring in Lakeland and Barbondale Round events, again not races but a good source of endurance training.

The Mid Lancs inter club Grand Prix starts shortly and this year has been broadened to include three fell races.  So plenty to go at.

I will be UTUPing  on Saturday.  In the meantime I hope to see you all for the Solstice Do on Friday night.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Haigh – Sunday 10th March

Congratulations to all Hobblers – good effort TF and well done to Josie one of our blog followers Ritzy Jingles for taking the prize for First Lady and her first outing in Horwich RMI colours.

A run out with FSS this morning on tired legs (his) into a bitter wind on the home stretch a bit more from my weekend if its of interest.

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Out to the canal

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Haigh Hall grounds

Haworth Hobble Sat 9th March 51km/1340m

Another completion of the tour of the Pennine Moors. This time in 6:49:41 (prov), an improvement of 6 mins on last year. Going well on the outward part and 10mins up on last year by the 4th CP, 2mins dropped and regained by CP9 (just before the climb to Top 'O' Stairs) and then a further drop of 4mins on the last section.

I'd decided to experiment and run in my mudclaws. 3 Peaks is less than 2 months away and I'm having to think carefully about shoe choice. My roclites (gortex) are coming to the end of their life, comfy but little grip left and the uppers look decidedly worse for wear. They'd cope on a dry day, but would end up like a pair of skis on a wet. The dilema, do I buy a new pair of trail shoes now and try and break them in, or do I try with something else I already own.

The verdict. Well they got me round. The grip was welcome on parts of the route, but I was certainly conscious of foot placement all the way round, running on the softer sections of tracks, grassy verges etc. No full-on occurence of foot pain, but it was nagging away on the last third of the route. It woul'd have been there earlier had I not exercised the care I did in the first half.

Not the shoe of choice in future for this race for me. If I want to be able to push myself and improve my time further then my feet have to be comfy. I know the route well enough and I really should be capable of posting a time much closer to 6:30hrs. Will I use them for 3 Peaks? Only as a last resort if the roclites have fallen apart by then (don't think breaking in a new pair is an option either). Wasting the £25 race fee dropping out of a race 'cos your feet hurt due to poor choice of footwear would not be good. Better running faster in the comfy shoes on the flat bits to make up for the slower descents on the steeper bits. Oh well, have to keep plugging away at the dreaded track sessions.



We’re off to Lanzarote for a couple of weeks for a holiday that was postponed from the beginning of February when Christina got food poisoning just before we were due to go. So I won’t be able to attend the Equinox do and moan about my lack of running whilst you’ve all been out there enjoying yourselves.

My back(disc) injury has improved but is still not right. I had managed to build up to running about 3 sessions of 45-50 mins per week. However I saw Denise Park of “The Fellrunner” fame last week and she has told me not to run. It’s very frustrating but I don’t think I’ll be rejoining you for a while. Moan,moan, whinge, whinge. Anyway at least YJ seems to be on the comeback trail and JtE, he of tender years, keeps going.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Saturday  9th March

I shall be UTUPing tomorrow, hoping for about 8 miles as I shall be entering the Roddlesworth Roller, my first race for 14 months, on Sunday.

Thursday, March 07, 2013


I'll be 'Hobbling' from Haworth on Saturday so won't be at utup. Hoping for a bit of the weather that NLN captured in her pics from last week. Don't think I've been up those steps before so had me scratching my head for a bit!


Wednesday, March 06, 2013

So My Route Was?

With no indication of any UTUPers last Saturday due to races, injury, apathy etc I took advantage of the wonderful sunshine to get fifteen miles in.  I’m sure you will be able to follow my route below:


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Check your answers here and finally I give you …

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Mr Bill Bailey (click on Bill’s name)