Saturday, May 31, 2014

Darwen Tower

I've just finished my write up for my own blog of today's run and, to be brutally honest, couldn't be bothered writing a whole new one so have just cut and pasted it below and edited it ever so slightly.  Hopefully t'Y will add some photos later on.

After passing all the tests (though I'm not sure exactly what these were) I have finally been allowed contributor privileges on this blog.  All I had to do was come up with a user name and, after much deliberation, I remembered the telling off I got from KLM on our last trip to Darwen Tower when I was complaining about getting lost and he said 'you're never lost, just temporarily misplaced' and decided that would be a great user name.

I made my first post on the blog last night asking if anyone was UTUPing tomorrow and KLM replied that he was so I got up on this beautiful sunny morning and went to the UP at the UT.  CW also turned up, having already run a couple of miles from his car, followed shortly by t'Y who turned up just as we were about to leave.  I'm wondering now how Ed got the nickname 'the unready' and not Gordon?

We set off and headed up to the top barn, the pigeon tower car park and then along through the woods to Dangerous Corner.  On the way from Dangerous Corner to the turn off to head over to Spitlers, Gordon decided to have a race with some road riders and got so carried away that he went straight past our turn off and didn't hear us calling for him to come back.  Eventually he turned round though and we all ran down towards Higher Hempshaws.  Shortly afterwards CW left us and headed off towards Lead Mines Clough and the rest of us continued to Spitlers before dropping down to Piccadilly on Belmont Road.

We crossed the road and took the path through the woods past Hollinshead Hall, coming out onto Tockholes Road, then crossing over and heading towards Darwen Tower.

We split off at this point, with KLM and me taking the low route past New Barn Farm which then goes up very sharply via Aggie's Staircase, and t'Y taking the route which gradually climbs up.  It was quite well timed as we all ended up at the top of Aggie's at around the same time and then carried on along to the Tower.  Despite being pretty tired at this point, having just climbed up Aggie's, we climbed the stairs to the top of the tower as, to be honest, it would be rude not to.

After having a photo shoot at the top of the tower, we set off back down again and took the route t'Y had taken up.  I was quite surprised by this route as there still seemed to be a lot of uphill sections on it, even though we were heading back downhill.  Odd.

We crossed back over Tockholes Road and made our way back through the woods to Piccadilly.  We took a different route back and headed up to the top of Great Hill.  I haven't been up that side of Great Hill before and it's quite a steep trek compared to going up the other ways.

From Great Hill, we went over to Round Loaf, again splitting up to take different routes to see which was best.  T'Y and I took a more southerly route and KLM more northerly.  There wasn't really anything in it distance wise as we all joined at the same point at the same time.

From Round Loaf we dropped down to the Bomber Memorial and then into Lead Mines Clough.  We then headed up the Sheep House Lane a little bit, before turning off on the right through the fields to Dean Wood House.  We followed Dean Brook, went up the steps, through the field and out to the stocks at Rivington before heading back to the car park.

We bumped into John Coope just before arriving at the car park, who had been out for a walk, and he followed us back to the cars where we had a quick chat and a stretch before heading home.

To get some of the place names stated above, I've been studying my OS map of the area and I'm now getting all anxious that there are so many footpaths on there which I haven't ventured along yet and I'm wondering how I can fit them all in, there just aren't enough hours in the day.  I just want to explore and try not to get too 'temporarily misplaced'.

Run Stats:

Weather = great!
Company = great!
Route = great!
Overall = great!

Total Distance - 14.3 miles

Friday, May 30, 2014

Tomorrow morning

I'll be there.  I'm glad you've adopted the name.  Hoping to see more of the usual suspects.

Tomorrow Morning?

Hi, my first post on the blog!

Is anybody UTUPing in the morning?  I will be if I can manage to drag myself out of bed early enough.

I wonder whether now I'm allowed to post I'm also allowed to choose routes occasionally?

Christa aka ('Temporarily Misplaced')

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Double Edged Sword - or Poisoned Chalice?

When I suffered my, now all too familiar, breathing problem at the Mearley Clough race, and subsequently finished last, I was able to slink away with just quick apologies to the summit marshall and to the timekeeepers. Also to TF, who finished a good quarter of an hour ahead of me.

However, after suffering the same problem at the Latterbarrow Loop just one week ago today, I was denied the same low profile. As I was passing the prize giving I heard the announcement that "The winner, Ricky Lightfoot has already had to leave, but has asked that his prize (a £15 Pete Bland voucher) be given to the last finisher, who was (drumroll) Ed Swift". The shame of it! Thank you Ricky, you obviously meant well, but I would have preferred that so many pairs of eyes hadn't turned in my direction to witness my embarrasment.

I'm racing again tonight...

Sunday, May 25, 2014


I shall be travelling up for the Duddon fell race next Saturday and will have spare seats in the car. I am away until next Thursday so if anyone wants a lift please indicate on the blog and I will make contact on my return.

Friday, May 23, 2014


I will be UTUPing on Saturday.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Saturday on Pike, Two Lads, Winter Hill, Great Hill and Round Loaf

A late posting of a couple of pics from last Saturday with a few others in the usual place Smile




Two Lads – or as YJ put it ‘The Angel of the North West!’


Cattle on Spitler’s Edge


On Round Loaf – looking across at Winter Hill and the Pike


Gate into woods above Bomber Memorial


Couple of reprobates at the Bomber Memorial

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mount Famine Sat 17th May (8k/564m)

I've done a fair few races from around the Hayfield area but never managed this one. It takes in the 2 summits that are closest to the A624, namely Mount Famine and the slightly higher South Head.

I arrived at the start to find a very orderly line of runners spaced along the Bridleway at the bottom of Elle Bank (wooded area near the Hayfield C&CC campsite). It looked a bit strange, would normally expect little huddles of runners for the pre-race natter. All became apparent though when the RO started gesticulating to the vertiginous wooded bank to our right. It explained why no one seemed to be taking much interest in running up and down the path. This was going to be the steepest start to a fell race I'd done to date, I was just grateful my first go was in a 'dry year'. A 'wet year' and the Orocs would definitely be the shoe of choice.

Once at the top of the bank we joined the regular path through the wood to gain access to the ridge to Mount Famine. Out of the woods it was warm and with not much of a breeze. If racing in these conditions for the first time this year wasn't hard enough, we had to contend with an abundance of flies and other flying insects on the way to this first summit. Given I'd slapped on a liberal dose of sun lotion meant that they didn't bounce off when they hit me. No wonder the marshall on South Head checked if I was ok, must have looked like I'd got the plague by the time I got there.

A loop down to the bottom of the valley, a grateful slurp from the stream, and back up to the summit of Mount Famine allowed me to forgo last place. The flies seemed worse on the return run along the ridge, so was glad to reach the wood again and then on to the finish back at the village playing field.

An 1hr21 for 5 miles (winner 43mins)! Hard work, but has to be done.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Saturdays 17th and 24th May 2014

YJ's computer is having a rest day and he (YJ that is, not his computer) has asked me to let folk know that he will be UTUPing both this Saturday, 17th and next, 24th.

I, on the other hand, will not be playing out locally on either of these days, as I will be travelling to and from Santon Bridge.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday Outing

A cracking little six miler in perfect conditions and super skies – a few more here : )








Duddon 31st May 2014

I'll be making my annual hopeful pilgrimage. Company?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Coope's Dozen 10th May 2014

Recognising that this outing had been proposed only a week ago, we were not expecting a big turnout. However the numbers were sufficient to ensure that due respect was paid to the round. To ensure that anyone reporting at the UTUP (Lower Barn 8:30) was not neglected we assembled there and then moved up to the Top Barn for the 9:00 a.m start.

'We' consisted of Christa, KLM and yours truly, all planning to do the full round, TF putting in one of her cameo appearances, albeit significantly longer than some, and an unsuspecting CW, on the comeback trail.

At the Top Barn we were pleased to see Ritzy J reporting for duty, with the appearence of Albs shortly after to complete the fast group.

Photo by CW, on Albs' phone and stolen from Albs' Facebook post.

We started just a minute or two late and lost sight of the fast group almost straightway. CW was going well and was first on Noon Hill, The Pike and Two lads - then he went home! KLM took over navigating with the occasional consultation with his troops regarding route choice. Seeking to avoid the wetness of the usual route to the Shooting Hut, we went via Holden's Farm onto Coalpit Lane then cut up the side of the deep valley to emerge just up from the Hut. TF left us at the res, leaving just KLM, Christa and self to continue.

Then Wimberry Hill, Egg Hillock and down to Shaly Dingle to use the 'favoured' route up to Counting Hill, which surprisingly was still marked by the residue of an earlier cairn. KLM said that he didn't favour this route.

RJ, probably approaching Counting Hill, again, half inched from Albs.

Then it was the trig point and down to Hordern Stoops where we unstashed our stash of provisions from behind the wall.

KLM picked good lines to Old Adam, Spitlers Edge and Great Hill, thence to Round Loaf , White Coppice and Healey Nab. Finally, the run in on tired legs (six, see also the title of Christa's blog) to complete the round in 5 hours 47 minutes. Slow, but faster than previous times by the slow group in recent years.

KLM and I welcomed Christa to the CD Completers Club, which means that she has to buy the beer at the next quarterly 'do'.

An excellent morning (and half an afternoon) out, with the weather poor, but not as severe as the meteorologists had led us to expect. Thank you to all concerned.


Well done you Coopes Dozeners – pretty challenging conditions in the Lakes for the Buttermere Sailbeck race – not that it bothered me much in the tea room.  Just a couple of pics of the start of the race here then.

Buttermere Sailbeck-60-Edit


Buttermere Sailbeck-6

Looking down Keskadale from Newlands Hause

Buttermere Sailbeck-39

Fleetwith Pike

Buttermere Sailbeck-44

Sourmilk Ghyll

Buttermere Sailbeck-19


Tuesday, May 06, 2014

A Better Tri Than 2014

I usually sleep very well, if occasionally alcohol assisted, but the one night a year when I can guarantee a poor night's sleep is the one before the Horwich Triathlon. My annual head to head with MW doesn't quite fill me with the same aprehension, but an expectation of insomnia can be a self-fulfilling prophesy - how is one to tell?

So it was last weekend. Despite a moderate consumption of the demon drink, I awoke several times to worry about various aspects, or just to worry about nothing in particular. However I eventually rose at my planned time and proceeded to registration with most of my planned kit.

I had hoped, as I do during all winter months, to be able to swim freestyle, but as ever, this had to be abandoned a month or so ago and I had fine tuned my breaststroke; so it didn't matter too much that I had forgotton my goggles. The swim times had been predicted fairly accurately by the other two folk in my lane and we stayed in our starting order for the full 20 lengths, without any overtaking, all very orderly. I took 14:01 for the swim, just 3 seconds faster than last year. Note that the official results show significantly longer than this, as they include donning footwear, crossing the road and getting to the timing mat on the entry to transition.

Then it was onto the bike for the 24 mile loop, to pass the Bank Top Ale House, Jolly Crofters, Blundell Arms, Bob's Smithy, Black Dog, Belmont Bull, Hare and Hounds, Houghton Arms, almost the burned out Dressers, too many to mention on Eaves Lane, Black Horse, Bay Horse, Millstone and a few more in Horwich. The ride went well and I took just over 12 minutes off my 2013 time.

The run, as ever, was painful, but again, faster than last year, almost two minutes faster, all of this gained on the ascent. Overall, with some variation in transition times, I was 14:45 faster than 2013; not a lot, but enough to feel that my seven months as a full-time athlete, had shown some benefit. What will a further 12 twelve months have to offer?

MW beat me by a significant margin, well done Mary!

May be of interest:- - not a pretty sight.
Great Lakeland 3 Day 3-5th May

3 great days in the Lakes.

Day 1

A 7:15 start with a leisurely walk through Pooley Bridge to the lake shore where we boarded one of the Ullswater Steamers for a trip down the lake to Howtown. We'd been promised a surprise, and what a way to start an event! The clock started ticking officially once we dibbed at Howtown.

It was cloudy, a bit of wind but summits were clear. So for me fairly straightforward until the checkpoint on Yoke. The map was 1:30000 scale and not especially easy to distinguish open access from farmland, and more importantly no crossing points marked. So my route off Yoke was a bit convoluted, but it got me where I wanted to be. Others opted to head for the Garburn Pass and down through Kentmere that way.

Day 2

Woke up to drizzle and low clag. The forecast promised for a bit of improvement later but being an optimist I left the suncream in the overnight bag.

I wasn't especially looking forward to the longish tarmac run to start the day, but given the poor vis and not knowing what the other paths would be like under foot I decided to play safe. Thankfully I remembered the race route off Wansfell so avoided the rocky bits and headed straight for the next control outside Bilbo's Café (used to be Lakesrunner shop). This control had caused much discussion the previous night for the competitors not familiar with the streets of Ambleside.

I didn't stop for a bacon butty, but headed for a short cut through Gaynor Sports where I perused the map section, especially OL7 for some more detail for the 2nd half of the route. Given the fact that I'd raced 'Loughrigg' 2 weeks before I had no trouble finding the summit, my route up Lingmoor wasn't optimal early on but eventually got me where I needed to be. My route choice for the last control involved dropping off Northeast and climbing the other side of the Valley near a spot called 'Pye Howe' (see 1:25k map). It was a bit of a gamble, but it turned out well. The next stretch past Little Castle How and Great Castle How seemed to take an age, and I began to wonder if I'd gone past the checkpoint. That worried I took a slight detour north just to check the position of Easdale Tarn. It was where it should be and I rejoined the path about 100m further on at the 'blue circle' (doh!). The overnight camp was in a lovely spot, just a shame the farmer had decided to do some muck-spreading in anticipation of our arrival.

Day 3

A shorter day, with some easy navigating.

I opted for the grassy line up Great Tongue, the rest went left or right! I started off on the path down the Grisedale Valley but soon gave up on that and veered off right onto the grass once I could spot a discernible trod. I had looked for one at the top but couldn't see it. Again no one followed.

Once over Boredale Hause there was the prospect of another long stretch of tarmac. If you'd had enough by the time you got to Howtown you had the option of catching the boat back to Pooley Bridge, sailing times were printed on the map. I decided to get back under my own steam.

Results are now on the Sportident website. If competitors stuck with the same course (I did 'B') for the 3 days then they appear in the overall results for that course. Currently I'm first FV, but there's a Lady above me listed as 'MV' so that may change. We all got a Lowe Alpine beanie hat for our efforts, the winners on the elite course got a signed Heather Dawe picture.


Sunday, May 04, 2014

Great Lakeland 3 day

There's more detailed course routes on go to the 'news' section and you'll see where I've been so far.

One day left and 26.7k/1201m to go. 5hr50 day 1 and 7hr33 day 2.


Where's TF?

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Borsdane Wood

Not up to running today – FSS has kindly passed me his horrid cold of last weekend!  So the bikes were fettled and a very pleasant local circuit was completed at a leisurely pace, returning through Borsdane Wood.   The bluebells and wild garlic are stunning just now – love this time of year : )

local run-50

Borsdane Wood-26

The Weir, Borsdane Wood

Coope's Dozen Saturday 10th May

Rather short notice, but KLM and I only hatched the plot this morning.

UTUP (8:30 at the Lower Barn) then jog up to the Top Barn to start the round at 9:00.

Folk not wanting to commit to the full 18 miles can do the southern seven then return to the barn from Hordern Stoops.

Please spread the word.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Inov8 Flyroc Size 7

This model, but only worn twice, albeit one of those times was for my Joss Naylor.  I'd bought a half size too small and they brought a big toe nail off.

The pair to which this one belonged is now in the bin.

The nearly new pair is offered free to good home.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Saturday's options

I was going to suggest the Cake Race which I found very enjoyable last year, especially the devouring of cakes after the race. However, Albert suggested that I would be better served doing Pendle Cloughs : I am sure I won't enjoy it as much but the reasoning is that it will be much better preparation building up for the GRP in August.
Last year I noted that only 68 ran, with Tony Varley sweeping everyone in after 4 hours and Mick Green a dnf so a bit concerned how I would cope. I can't see it being any more popular this year as Saturday also has the championship race at Coniston. However, the weather prospects look good for running and navigation so I think I'll give it a go. Hoping for around three and half hours. Anybody else fancy it?
Oh and Monday is Wray Caton Fell Race. Again an excellent race with the Scarecrow Festival an added attraction.

Saturday 3rd May

I'm UTUPing this Saturday but won't be loking for anything too extreme as it's the Horwich Tri on the 4th.