Monday, June 30, 2014

Tony Marlow’s BG

A grand day out supporting Tony on his successful BG round – here he is at Honister, with a hug from daughter Niamh.  Albert’s checking his watch as the minutes tick by, a strong finish in 23.38, more of the outing here Smile




Good to see two of our crew at Dunmail supporting Martin on his Joss – has EtU shrunk?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Dunmail Raise Outing - The Stories Behind the Photos

As indicated by t'Y, we had travelled up to Dunmail Raise (reputed to be the site of the grave of Dunmail, last King of Cumberland 945 A.D.) to offer roadside support to Martin Walsh of Bowland FR who was attempting to complete the Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge. Although aged over 65, and therefore allowed 24 hours for the crossing, Martin had set himself the younger man's target of a sub 18 hour outing.

We were aware that as well as Martin, we were likely to encounter the Tony Marlow squad as he crossed the road, to start the third leg of his Bob Graham attempt.

Despite our reputations, t'Y and I arrived in good time to meet Martin, despite him checking in more than 20 minutes ahead of schedule. As Martin was being thoroughly processed by his team, Tony checked in looking good and strong. Martin was strapped together with the now obligatory blue Kinesio tape and set off with a large team of Bowland supporters, with t'Y and me tagging on for a brief ride. Tony's squad, including Albert and TYC were not far behind and we stepped aside part way up Steel Fell to let them past.

Soon after Steel Fell summit t'Y and I started to drop back and we eventually lost contact with both squads, although we could still see the Bowland lot and were able to continue to use them as pathfinders. Approaching High Raise the fell population increased leading us to enquire and find that there was a 'Ten Peaks' event under way, which came up Wyth Burn and proceeded via High Raise. We didn't really find out what the event involved, other than, presumably Ten Peaks, but we did conclude, by reference to our maps, that Wyth Burn is the correct spelling for the stream, but the two words are fused to describe associated features, as in 'Wythburn Church' - could crop up in a pub quiz.

We  travelled north along Greenup Edge for a short while, then followed Wyth Burn down to the road. We turned south down the road and as we approached the crest we saw yet another group, waiting to process a young man attempting to take the Lakeland 24 hour record. Anything known?

Both Martin and Tony appear to have achieved their aims, but as yet, I have no detail. Info anybody?

A grand long morning out, good to feel a part of so many derring doos.

Dunmail Raise Outing - photos

Look forward to Ed's wise words on our morning up in the Lakes. Meanwhile here are some photos although I am sure NLN will provide some more professional photographic compositions as she was at said location when we arrived. More photos in a flickr album here.
Ed analysing the terrain (Martin is in blue)
On the way up Steel Fell with the mass of support vehicles (also for Tony Marlow's BG) in the distance

 Tony's group in the distance
 Hopey and Albert in Tony's support group
 Martin's team in the distance with Tony's group in the foreground (Andy at the rear)
 Ed descending off Steel Fell on the way to High Raise
 I think both groups are inthis shot, somewhere
 Drinks break overlooking the waterfalls below Wythburn Head Tarns
 Who is this runner and what is he doing? I'll post the answer in a week or so.

Friday, June 27, 2014

A day off

I won't be out tomorrow as I will be walking in the Lakes on a family outing.  Hope to be back to normal next week.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Dunmail Raise Saturday 28th June

I'm travelling up to Dunmail next Saturday to see Martin Walsh, of Bowland Fell Runners, through on his Joss Naylor Crossing attempt.

He's scheduled there between 8:20 and 8:40 a.m, so I'm planning to arrive at about 7:45. This will mean leaving Blackrod soon after 6:00. Subject to fitness and the weather, I'll be accompanying/trailing him over Steel Fell and High Raise, then turning north to Greenup Edge and returning down Wyth Burn. Back to Blackrod mid/late afternoon.

Can fit three more in the car.

If you come with me, remind me to report progress to David P-T who'll be waiting for Martin a little later on Middle Fell.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

No White Bears. deer

A good workout for me yesterday completing the White Bear Way Challenge Event from Adlington Scout HQ. Arriving with loads of time to spare, I found FSS, Albert, Josie, Three Kays and Mark Sammon also hanging around enjoying the tea and toast before around thirty or forty of us set off on what I presumed was the 21 mile route.
A couple of weeks ago on the Henderson's End race, I found myself in absolute last position two hundred metres into the race before I managed to gain some places on the climb to the Pigeon Tower. Yesterday for the first mile, I somehow managed to be leading alongside Albert and Josie. Sense then prevailed as I eased up a ran with FSS. Eventually, this built into a group of about eight as we headed to Scottish end of Blackrod and to the first checkpoint at the car park opposite Rivi HS - a few feet short of six miles distance and covered in the ridiculous time of 54 minutes, not much slower than the pace I would do for a 10k.
A quick drink and some malt loaf and then headed off in pursuit of FSS, Derek Kay and a lady who I had discovered was only running the ten mile route. CP2 arrived very quickly - at The Castle - then said lady and FSS headed off left towards the reservoir. Derek continued on and then left.  I took the middle of three paths at the junction thinking it was correct from the map. I was wrong, (FSS was even more wrong!) and Derek had planned to do the ten mile route. Reaching the road I realised I had taken the wrong route so had to run back along the road, expecting the others to have overtaken me. Back on the correct route up towards CP3 near Wilderswood, passing a few walkers who advised me that a group of runners had passed them so long ago that they must have started just after 8.30.
A drag along Georges Lane (thank you United Utilities and Natural England for enforcing the route change) to CP4 at Horden Stoops where I was caught by a couple from Wigan Harriers who I'd expected to be in front - they had also taken the wrong path from The Castle. Chatting with them en route to the Bomber Memorial, some 12 miles into the route,  revealed that they both currently run 10k at sub 40 pace.  We were also joined by a lady running with her dog. Albert later revealed to me that she completed the GRP last year!
At the head of High Bullough Reservoir we encountered the group of lads who'd started with the walkers, and had a grand tour of the area. They were very happy for us to lead them through the next phase where my route knowledge to Healey Nab was welcomed. A tricky descent through the MTB tracks and then on to cross the M61 and back to the canal towpath before heading to CP6 which looked somehow familiar - The Black Horse at Limbrick. Back to the canal towpath near Frederick's Ice Cream  and then caught up with Mark S, who had devised his own route, somewhere in between the 10 and 21 mile routes. Finishing in 4hrs 15 where Albert, Josie and FSS were waiting to find that A & J had run about 3hrs 10 and FSS had completed the 10 mile route - twice!
Good food at the end - as much as you could eat
No white bears were spotted but I did see this deer thing on the hill side above Georges Lane as I approached Pike Cottage - shame I didn't have a better camera than my phone on me.

The Last Ten Miles were the Worst!

Yes, NLN, hats would have been a good idea, my scalp is a bit sore this morning. Also, as you suggest, Shaly Dingle is also off my list of routes for the some time. No, 'we' didn't do 25 miles. TM and I did 24.9 and YJ increased this to 25 by running twice round the car park. Thank you for the wonderful photos, they really capture the day, especially the cotton grass on counting hill.

Stage by stage then:-

To Noon Hill - 23 minutes - standard route, nothing to report.

To the Pike - 14 minutes (Elapsed time (ET) 37 mins) - via the high, direct route, damp but generally good underfoot.

To Two Lads - 19 mins ET 56 - cross country.

To Whimberry Hill - 40 mins ET 1:36 - via Holdens farm and a clough that perhaps TM can remember the name of.

To Egg Hillock - 4 mins ET 1:40 - a nice, mostly downhill stretch.

To Counting Hill - 33 mins ET 2:13 - TM and YJ took the old route striking off south west direct from the top and reaching Counting Hill a good 5 minutes before NLN and I, who went via Shaly Dingle and met some serious opposition from bracken with attitude!

To Winter Hill Trig - 15 mins ET 2:28 - straightforward, but that pond really needs a gnome.

To Hordern Stoops - 12 mins ET 2:40 - early paths a bit overgrown with bracken - curse the stuff!

Refreshments - 10 mins ET 2:50 - retrieved my stash and traded some provisions with the White Bear marshalls.

To Old Adam's Hill - 32 mins ET 3:22 - NLN left us as we struck off right for Old Adam, to continue along the wall to Spitlers. As we approached the summit we met with two obstacles, a new barbed wire fence and a herd of cows policing the top. Rather than risk three lives (the cows may have read recent press reports about how dangerous they had become) the daft one was sent over the wire and into the fray to claim the summit, whilst the udders watched.

To Spitlers Edge - 16 mins ET 3:38 - straightforward.

To Darwen Tower - 68 mins ET 4:46 - a long, but uneventful trek, via Piccadily.

Refreshents - 10 mins ET 4:56 - no stash here, but we were carrying our own provisions and TM shared her jelly babies with her two elderly charges.

To Great Hill - 56 mins ET 5:52 - feeling we were now at least moving in a homeward direction, this stage seemed to pass more quickly, despite the steep climb to the top.

Refreshments - 7 mins ET 5:59 - TM retrieved our stash, and we shared the summit with a gaggle of well-mannered DoE'ers.

To Round Loaf - 15 mins ET 6:14 - a good, direct route selected by YJ.

Healey Nab - 52 mins ET 7:06 - a bit of uncertainty finding the best line to Dean Black Brook, but no time lost. Leather on willow under way at White Coppice. YJ once again showed off his superior route selection, with a sidestep to the bridle path a little further along the road to reach the top a couple of minutes before TM and me.

Back to the Barn - 55 mins ET (for YJ and me) 8:01 - we think TM, who appeared to go faster by the mile, but was that just me going ever more slowly, probably finished just inside 8 hours.

A great day out, super conditions, which only threatened to cook us now and then, in wonderful company; thank you one and all. We must do this again, next decade!

Hats Off!

To our three intrepid completers of Coope’s Dozen YJ, EtU and TM.  The regular route obviously not tough enough, so the additional bonus of a visit to Darwen Tower was thrown in on the day.  I planned to join them only to Spitlers and thoroughly enjoyed my fourteen and a half miles, but was quite glad of a bit of cloud cover on my run in over Great Hill and Round Loaf.  I hear on the viral grapevine that our trio completed twenty five miles – so looking forward to the write up.  Some pics of the morning below Smile


Here they are at the start – only TM having the foresight for head cover!


Up to Noon Hill






Below the Pike




Perfect conditions


TM approaching Two Lads


Smithills Res


Heading out to Whinberry Hill






Cotton Grass on Counting Hill


A breather at the Trig


Looking strong on Spitler’s as I take my leave


Heading out to find Old Adam – whoever he is


Glad of that cloud cover heading over to Round Load and my solo run in

Great morning out for me – well apart from Shaley Dingle,  but we won’t go there EVER EtU!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

All the Wainwrights in a week

Some awesome stuff going on this week.

Steve Birkinshaw is making an attempt on Joss Naylors record of collecting all the Wainwrights in just one week.

You can follow Steve's progress here

The tracker thing's addictive, you need to refresh the page occasionally to get it to move. If you click on 'route blog' you'll get updated info and pictures


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tuesday evening on Winter Hill - 17th June

Beautiful conditions tonight for our little outing – bit of a contrast from the storms of last Tuesday – a few more here if you like Smile






Monday, June 16, 2014

'The Dentists' ITV tonight @ 9pm

Another one of those 'reality' programmes about the goings on in the Manchester Dental Hospital. I believe I will have had the foresight not to agree to be filmed!

If you tune in and it's a re-run of an '80s comedy programme it'll mean that one of the staff filmed who attends the preview (being presented at 5pm) has got the lawyers in.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Coope's Thirteen?

Recognising that my 30 miles per week will leave me a bit short of preparation for my 'ultra' at the end of August, I decided that an extended CD would go part way to make up the deficit. The plot is as follows:-

I'll be at the UTUP next Saturday, 21st June and will then transfer to the Top Barn to start the outing at 9:00.

Do the southern section, then Old Adam's and Spitlers (apostrophe per OS map) before veering off east for Darwen Tower.  Then back to Great Hill for the remainder of the northern section.

This should give a good 23 miles. Estimated finish time - before it goes dark - I will be slow.

YJ is keeping me company, and further company for all or part will be very welcome; I can have a stab at ETAs for any intermediate points.

Solstice 'Do' Friday 20th June

As indicated previously, I have booked us into the Black Horse at Limbrick. Please can I have an indication of numbers, as last time I had over-estimated and it was a bit embarassing for 7 of us, trying to look like we needed the 15 places I had reserved, but fair doos, mea culpa!

Yesterday UTUP

I reported to the barn to find YJ, who, in his never ending quest for miles, had already been running for an hour and clocked up something in excess of 5 miles.

We waited for a few minutes in case there were any late arrivals - there was none - before setting off. Eschewing any of the more recent route choices (Healey Nab, The Pike or Two Lads) we decided to head for Belmont via Ammunition Corner and Hordern Stoops, joining Witton Weavers Way just past Dog Bucket Farm (more correctly Higher (or Lower) Pasture House). The weather was warm, but we made steady, if not rapid, progress.

When we hit the Tockholes Road we turned left, then right onto Belmont Road and then left again on the broad footpath which took us eventually up onto Redmonds Edge, thence Spitlers and back to Hordern Stoops. Underfoot conditions on the ridge were wet, but not much worse than usual.

From there we retraced our outward route and were back at the barn a little before noon. I set off for home, leaving YJ contemplating a few more yards to bring his total for the day up to 16 miles.

A good morning out, in fine weather.

Please see later post regarding next Friday's do and my extendend CD the day after.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Howtown Fell Race Sat 14th June (20.6k/1415m)

Well after last year I said I'd give this one another go.

The race had been brought forward from it's usual August slot and it seemed to have quite an effect on the numbers attending. Clear summits and I still wouldn't be able to see the runners in front after the first CP.

Never mind, I could console myself with a race against the clock. New for this year were cut-off times. Easy ones to remember 1 hour for each summit (Loadpot, High Raise, Place Fell and Hallin Fell).

This is where all that practice doing orienteering 'score' events comes in to play. I've learnt to hone my skill at judging how long it'll take me to cover certain sections on the map. It was pretty obvious that I wouldn't get from High Raise to Place Fell in an hour. The climb alone from Boredale Hause would take probably 30mins.

So working back from my 3hr cut-off on Place Fell, I knew I'd have to be at BH in 2hrs 30mins if it was going to be worth doing the climb. I reckoned I'd need to clear High Raise with approx 20mins to spare to do this. If I cleared all the cut-offs I was going to end up with a time about 30mins quicker than last year!!

So how did I do?

Loadpot 47mins
High Raise 1hr 32mins
(Boredale Hause 2hr 20mins)
Place Fell 2hr 50mins
Hallin Fell 3hr 47mins

Not sure of exact finish time as I was more interested in getting a drink (it was thirsty work out there today), but definitely under 4:10, and last finisher.

I don't think I could have paced it any better. The grassy trod from Angle Tarn I recced last year with EtU and YJ worked a treat. Thanks Lads!

It was a beautiful day out on the hills. Lovely views. I struggled a bit on the road section at the end, but a bit fitter I could definitely see a sub 4hr.

Many thanks to all those who helped put the race on. Hopefully they'll all be there again next year.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Storms on Winter Hill - Tuesday 10th June

Eventful weather on tonight’s run with SN and EtU -  more here  Smile


Curlew chasing us away


Before the storms




Jackets are on as the weather turns


What happened next

Monday, June 09, 2014

Kentmere entry anyone?

I have an entry to the (full) Kentmere race which I can no longer use. Let me know if you would like it. If nobody replies by the end of Wednesday I'll advertise on Facebook but thought I'd give you guys first refusal.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Ben Sgu Aird – Sunday 25th May

A single Munro bagged in changeable weather – more here : )


Walk in




Rain and sunshine




cloud coming in


Snow on top


Heading down