Thursday, July 31, 2014
In preparation for the Langdale marathon I shall be building up my road mileage, using whenever possible the road circuit round Winter Hill that formed the course for the old Bolton 40 race.
Apart from the Coope's Doz I will not be UTUPing on Saturday mornings although I may be seen heading off down the tarmac as the rest of you make for the moors. If anyone wants to join me they will be most welcome, though it would be best to check start times first.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Those of us who were out last Saturday may be interested in a comparison of split times.-
7th May 18th July 25th July
Lower Barn - Riv Green 4min 42sec 4min 47sec not recorded
Riv Green - Nab 47min 12sec 47min 58sec 43min 14sec
Nab - Great Hill 51min 04sec 61min 53sec 60min 43sec
Great Hill - barn 75min32sec 73min 13sec 68min 52sec
Total time 2hr 58min 38sec 3hr 07min 01sec 2hr 52min 51sec
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Five of us were out on Saturday for 11 miles in steady drizzle for most of the time but warm enough not to need waterproofs. The squad was EtU, SN, TM, T'Y and myself
We headed for Healey Nab via the cascade and then the first decision came with the choice of field crossing or road via the Yew Tree. EtU was the only one brave/daft enough to risk the field with a herd of cows, emerging at the other side having experienced no trouble.
The presence of cows on our routes is of increasing discussion and as none of us have yet been injured the risk still seems to be minimal. Dare I say it -- it is a problem we must grasp by the horns.
From Healy Nab we headed for White Coppice where T'Y left us, saving his energies for Kentmere Pike the next day. We then made for Great Hill for a short break where the wise amongst us donned cags as the rain had intensified and the wind had briefly turned cold. Across the moor towards Spittlers EtU broke his own cardinal rule by running on the flags! We regrouped for the start of Pauline's Way and returned by way of Ammunition Corner and the Top Barn to complete 11.2 miles in 3hr 7min.
The same route was used by us on 7th May but in the reverse direction. Here is a comparison of the split times.-
7th May 18th July
Lower Barn - Rivington Green 4min 42sec 4min 47sec
Rivington Green - Healey Nab 47min 12sec 47min 58sec
Healey Nab - Great Hill 51min 04sec 61min 53sec
Great Hill - Lower Barn 75min32sec 73min 13sec
Total time 2hr 58min 38sec 3hr 07min 01sec
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
These events are like the mini mountain marathons that go on all over the place these days. This one was up on Aitken Skyline above Winlatter Forest. TF had graced us with her presence taking part in the medium distance, which in straight line legs was advertised at 12km I did the Long at 16, which on completion turned out to be closer to 21km. Both of us i believe came last of the completes in our respective classes. The rough navigation was relatively easy with a good range of sheep trods and paths to choose from but my fine navigation let me down on 50% of my controls, which I blame entirely on the stunning clear views we had in all directions.
2. Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon, Deepdale 12 & 13 -07-14
For this event I teamed up with my more recent OMM partner, who having only done a few events is really taking to these two day events. The start had us trekking up Deepdale from Patterdale before meandering around the east side of the Helvellyn massive in hideously hot and humid weather. I think I drank close to 3 litres of local stream water that day. Any way the course took us over the spine on to the west side for a lot of contouring below Helvellyn working our way south to the overnight camp. For me the overnight camp is one of the highlights of these event weekends with stories of woe, navigational foul-ups and painful contouring supported by a ton of self effacing good humour amongst fellow competitors. The early evening rain didn't dampen the spirits at all as we eventually bedded down for a very warm night under canvas, well polyester.
Day 2 saw us all slogging up the west side of Helvellyn for the return journey. Our class saw a shortened return of the previous day, which was a little disappointing in its lack of imagination. It still proved to be enough of a physical challenge for me. We travelled some interesting areas I have never trod before as well as some very familiar ones as well. Our class had a 20km( straight-line route with 1600m of climb on day 1 which took us well over 7 hours but day 2 was much shorter at 13km and about 1100m of climb. Actual distance and climb was much higher as usual.
Still all in all a grand weekend out with some familiar faces.
3. Dark and White Mini Mountain Marathon round 2 of 3, Blencathra massive 19-07-2014
These events are a series of 4 hour score events where the competitors are tasked with getting as many points in the limited time by visiting as many controls as they can choosing their own route. Lateness is penalised on a rising scale to encourage people to finish on time. As I have said many times before I feel this type of event is the purest form of orienteering in that you choose what route suits your own skill base best. In my case climbing and descending is to be kept to a minimum. So it was that I took a long circular route in an anticlockwise direction from the start. It was n't the best terrain but I was blessed with the odd sheep trod now and again to open my legs for a bit of a run. I did find it soul destroying watching long legged youthful types hover effortlessly over the heather whilst i stumbled and fell.
A momentary lapse of concentration with map and compass in pocket thinking I was heading for one particular hill only to find that I was heading in the opposite direction! I paid the penalty for this moment of cockiness by not having time to collect the control before the last hill and being 7 minutes late dropping me down the rankings by at least 15 places! On this occasion I bowed to TF's better route management who beat me by 2 points. The challenge is on for the Capricorn at the end of August - the gauntlet has been thrown down!
So far a brilliant summer of Long'O's with the Capricorn, RAB and OMM still to come - it doesn't get much better than that. Sorry this blog won't accept my map pdf's of the event maps.
Monday, July 21, 2014
We were eventually away and I took it steady up the road and then settled in my place on the first climb to Ill Bell, but you know what it is like for me, if there is a hill I have to attack it, and eventually I could hold back no more.
CP1 made in 57:45 and as the many started flying past me on the descent one commented that we had just made the cut-off. This came as a bit of a shock as I'd only really considered the cut-off at CP3 which at 3 hours I thought highly generous : even I should make that.
I suspect they were lenient as later many passed me who would have had no chance in reach CP1 inside the hour.
Enjoyed the climb, when it eventually came to me, up to High Street, reclaiming many of the lost places, reaching it in 1:33:40. I was very happy with this as, even with my poor descending, the halfway point had been reached and I ought to complete the second half in less time. I was pathetic on the grassy slope to Nan Bield costing me probably three minutes in the space of hardly any distance - maybe the longer main path would have been better but then I enjoyed the climb on the other side.
The first hour or so had been red hot, but it was now raining steadily but not enough to don waterproofs, easing off as we headed for CP3 at Kentmere Pike, reached in 2:12:29 then more losing places on the descent. After Hallow Bank the heavens really opened and the final few minutes were spent in torrential rain which continued well after I finished in 2:53:00, less than double the winning time which is somewhat of a victory for me in a Lakeland race. I was also able to put in an effort over the final mile and finished quite fresh which must mean the additional mileage is starting to pay off.
As mentioned the race had a very wet ending and this was causing much difficulty in extracting vehicles from the field. I decided not to rush but when I joined the queue did notice that a few cars if they worked it right were able to get out through "the entrance" so I managed to use my limited skills in this area to get out in one clean go : I had seen many multiple unsuccessful attempts.
So another part of the plan ticked of my list. Now I need to get some real distance in over the next three weeks before tapering.
One reason for the depletion in Horwich runners is that four did rather well at Snowdon the previous day. As a team they would have had the beating of many national teams, with men finishing 7th, 8th and 22nd (shame he lost 15 places on the descent) and Lindsey 4th woman, fast closing down the Italian in 3rd and only 9 seconds behind second. It is on the sc4 website and hopefully there will be an English version on Channel 4 soon.
Friday, July 18, 2014
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
1. We like a trip up the the Lakes.
2. With YJ and me still unable to come to terms with the fact that anything beyond a flat 10k is now likely to be beyond our capabilities, we have both entered events that will need us to train on terrain that cannot be found south of Lancaster.
3. We like a trip up to the Lakes.
The plot was to drive to the ODG (at least TM knew where we were at that stage) and then run/walk up the Band to Three Tarns, down to Lingcove, but break away from the beck to travel south along Mosedale to Cockley Beck following that part of the Old County Tops race route. Then ascending the Coniston plateau by way of the flank of Grey Friar, head south to the Old Man (that would make three of us) then turn north and return to the ODG via Wetside Edge and Blea Tarn. We had allowed ourselves six hour 'running' to complete this rather ambitious route.
However... (we seem to manage a lot of 'howevers' nowadays) ... it was not to be. It was a bit wet as we left the ODG and for the next four and a half hours it just got wetter. This was not a problem as we climbed up the Band (see TM's first photo, not sure why you can't see the rain) as the route was clear and we were being led by the wfdbwgua's second string navigator. However, the route down into Lingcove seems to be little used, and although our line was generally good, we found the going, over wet rocks and on wet grass, to be very slow, and at times there was little or no trace of the path - Wainwright says of this section ...beyond the tarns the way is unfrequented and rough underfoot as it threads a passage through a barren waste of rocks and stones undisturbed down the ages. The scene is primeval...
After leaving Lingcove and climbing over the brow into Mosedale we picked up some speed and enjoyed some respite from the rain. We picnicked in the shelter of a wall at Cockley Beck and started the climb up Grey Friar's flank. However (again) both the rain and the wind picked up again and (to use a boxing phrase) to avoid taking further punishment we decided that discretion was the better part of valour and we dropped down again to the road and tackled the climb up Wrynose Pass to the Three Shire Stone. On the climb, I was treated to a fine display of uphill running from TM and YJ which I watched from an ever-increasing distance.
The conditions gradually improved on the descent and we finished the run in past Blea Tarn in fine form and high spirits. TM's other two photos were taken just before Blea Tarn.
Not quite the outing that we had imagined, but apart from one or two occasions when the old men were feeling both their age and the cold a most enjoyable day out. Time on our feet - 5 hours 18 minutes, see TM's Strava link for how much of that we were actually moving.
Thanks are due to YJ for providing the transport and to TM for continuing to smile despite everything.
Future plans include a recce of the Langdale Horsehoe route, date to be agreed to accommodate as many of the squad as possible.
I only took a few pictures as it was too wet for me to get my camera out. I'm sure EtU/YJ will be able to comment on where the pictures were taken. I've also linked to my Strava details of the run.
Monday, July 14, 2014
Enjoyed the trot up to Sty Head and along the Corridor Route up to Scafell Pike to see the early pace makers through on the Wasdale FR. Took a few snaps and jogged down the race route to the finish before the rain came on perfect – a few more pics here if it’s of interest :-)
The gulls trying to scare off the sheep that’s found its way onto their territory
Looking up to the Scafells from the race start – very humid and hot
Off they go – Joss was taken aback to find the second runner to reach Greendale was a lady – Jasmin Paris went on to finish overall 3rd narrowly missing the race record, picture of her on Scafell Pike on link
From the path up to Sty Head - above and below
The top of England
Race winner Simon Harding (Macc Harriers) heading down from Scafell Pike
Nicky Spinks heading down Lingmell Fell
Friday, July 11, 2014
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
Exhilarating outing on the moors on Tues with EtU and SN. Thunder rolling all around us with the sky becoming as black as night as the storms swirled all around. Amazingly we remained in sunshine and got back to the cars without feeling any rain. A few more here if you have time
Also was hoping I'd see a report on the big wfdbwgua turnout at Tockholes Evening Fell Race.
Friday, July 04, 2014
On Wednesday July 16 EtU and myself are planning a Lakeland run from the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. The route will be similar to the one we did a couple (or three) years ago: The Band, Three Tarns Pass, down the other side to the top of Mosedale, Cockley Beck, Coniston Old Man and return via the Old County Tops route of Wetside Edge to Three Shires and then Blea Tarn, the Old Dungeon Ghyll and through the fields back to where we started.
If anyone has a day off, fancies playing hookey, can get a sick note or is retired there will be room in the car for two more.
The pace won't be fast and with the need for several hours running an early start will be needed.