Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Caption Competition

Select from:- a. Fellas in the Mist - b. Three (Un)wise Men - c.Yes, he does look a bit like Charlie Chaplin - d. None of these.

There is no prize.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Saturday 29th April '17

I'll not be UTUPing this coming Saturday, as I'll be competing in the Cake Race at Diggle; a counter in the North West Area Fell Race Grand Prix. Further details here:- http://www.felljunior.org.uk/GP/ ('felljunior' is a red herring). 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Let's do something part 2

Anyone fancy a trip to the Dales next Wednesday (26th)? A Three Peaks traverse, needing two cars, about 16 miles and 3500ft of climbing.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Diane's Pike Race plus upcoming races

Diane (Brown) had a brilliant run. Despite running in road shoes as she thought there was too much road for trail shoes, she improved her time on last year by nearly nine minutes to finish 308th in 33:01 (9th of 18 LV40). I think my days of beating her may be numbered as she also did do a gentle two hour session on the bike on Saturday morning, if there is such a thing as a gentle session around here. She is back for the Horwich Triathlon on April 30th so will have raced to the Pike twice in 15 days. Mary W is also entered in the triathlon as is Dr Hamer.
Anyone got plans for upcoming races? Unlike last year I am relatively free on Wednesday evenings so may do the Chorley Trail Race in Astley Park on May 3rd, although I may be busy in Horwich with other things (as some of you may be aware). See how things go. May Day Monday is usually Wray Caton Fell Race for me with a family day out for the Scarecrow Festival then the following weekend is my final weekend to recce the 100 route - just got the stage from Goathland to Snape of the second day to recce then will look at a couple of earlier stages of the route.

I suppose I ought to do some long runs this weekend - possible UTUP?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Pike Race 15th April 2017

It must be a long time since we had a good turnout for a race, indeed for anything, but there we were, four of us lined up on Lever Park Avenue waiting for the gun at 3:00 on Saturday afternoon.

Once we were under way I lost track of most of our squad but I did keep sight of Mat for most of the ascent. It was a cold day with a fair amount of breeze, but we escaped all but a few drops of the afternoon's shower.

The race was won in 17:27 by Horwich's Chris Farrell and the first lady home was Louisa Powell-Smith V45 of Ribble Valley in 21:02. Horwich also took the team prize with Bolton taking the ladies'

First for wfdbwgua was t'Y V60 (7/17) in 29:47 then Mat V75 (1/3) 33:31, Nic'O LV60 (2/3) 34:13 with yours truly, last of our squad V70(6/8) 36:18. Also in the mix was t'Y's daughter Diane, but not knowing her married name I couldn't pick her out of the results.

As ever, a good local race, with lots of support - well done everybody.

Don't forget, it's the OAPs' reunion in the RMI this coming (18th) Tuesday evening.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Let's Do Something!

At the moment we have no upcoming 'expedition'.

Interest has recently been shown in the following:-

The Howgill 2,000 footers

The Yorkshire Three Peaks 


The Chipping Trigs

and there may be others.

Would anyone like to set the ball rolling with any of these, proposing a date or dates and canvassing interest?

Monday, April 03, 2017

An Interesting Morning

Friday was the Equinox do in the Black Horse, and as SWINW and I were visiting her sister we came along and had a very pleasant evening, with good food, good beer and good company (from which you may infer that t'Y wasn't there!).

The next morning just EtU and I turned up at UTUP to go running, (although YJ and the TF were off for a walk whilst recovering from illness and injuries). Now EtU and I are 135 between us and despite our blistering pace we were soon overtaken by two very nice young ladies who wanted to know how to get to the Pike. Being ever the gentleman, I volunteered to guide them and was rewarded by being cuddled and photographed on the summit. They were delighted to have run up it for the first time, so if you bump into Michelle and Charlotte on a Saturday morning, please say hello from me.

We then went to Two Lads and the Trespass Stone and started up the path to the mast. However, as we reached the shooting huts, EtU noticed that all was not as it should be - they had been knocked down! Now the shooting huts had been there as long as I could remember (mid 70s) and probably a lot longer than that. So the question is why? The threatened rain had now arrived and it was a bedraggled and slightly dispirited duo that ran up to the trig point and then down to George's Lane. A run along the lane was enlivened by seeing a raven perched on a pole but there will be no photographic evidence as it was too wet to take a picture. On to Ammunition Corner and back to the Barn. 8.65 miles and 1500ft of climbing - an interesting and enjoyable morning out

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Saturday 18th March

I'll not be UTUPing as we'll be up at Santon, but planning to be out on the 25th.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Hobble tomorrow

There used to be a good gang of us doing it, now it's just me and That Young Chap. There are plenty of others from Horwich and Lostock though in the first "race full" Hobble for many a year. I'm sure they will have all gone home or close to doing so by the time I finish. It may be a PW tomorrow, being my first real long run of the year, but it is miles covered in preparation for NYM100.
Quarterly do anyone?

Thursday, March 02, 2017

A Couple of Wainwrights...

...and no, that's not pints of beer of that name, but two of the tops included in AW's most excellent Pictorial Guide to the Southern Fells.

I've just come back from a few days up at Santon Bridge and whilst there had an outing with Our Northern Correspondent. He's on his second Wainwright round, intending to do them all in one year - he says it took him 69 years for his first completion. There were a couple just north of Coniston that he wanted to mop up before going further afield.

I'll not bore you with too much detail, but the first was Holme Fell (1,040ft (approx)) which we climbed from Yew Tree Tarn. It's a characterful little top and well worth the 30 minute climb from the road:-

Then a 5 minute drive to take us a little nearer Skelwith Bridge then out of the car again to tackle Black Fell and its rocky top, Black Crag (1,056ft):-

As you can see, even in mist there would be no confusion regarding whether you were on the right top, although it would be a crime against humanity if all the fells were labelled in this manner.

On the way up we passed the time of day with a herd of Belted Galloways, a breed that always presents itself most photogenically - and they reminded me of that conundrum as to why restaurants pride themselves on serving up rare breed meats - if they are that rare, should we be eating them - Sumatran Tiger sausages anyone?

A good morning out.

Apologies if all the photos are marred by that guy in the red cag - but where's Wally?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Lostock 6 anyone?

Think it was just YJ, EYJ and I last year (plus Sweaters).

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Build up for NYM 100 has finally started

January was a bit of a dead loss with the cold virus that had been doing the rounds shortly before picking up a calf injury (the day we met up at Rivi Bowling Green café) which restricted me to no more than two mile runs. A couple of weekends ago I managed to do a parkrun followed by an additional 7 miles, so I was now up to 10 miles without exacerbating the calf.
The plan was to do the Amble but when I got round to entering two weeks before the event, found that for the first time in many years, it was full. Even with my connections, I was unable to wangle an exception, such was the number who had been turned away.
At about the same time, the route description for this year's LDWA 100 over the North York Moors had finally been published (or at least a route on which recce is allowed).
So a conversation with Julie and daughter Diane resulted in going over to her house in Thirsk with a plan to run the final legs of the route which finishes back in Malton. I had thought of starting from Goathland but that would have added nearly seven miles and the weather forecast was not exactly encouraging so plumped for the start of stage 14 at Stape Village Hall. Stape makes Rivington seem like New York! After dropping off our current dog at the kennels, Julie dropped me off at Stape at about 10.30, ensuring that I was fully waterproof and windproof with sleeves tucked inside sealskinz gloves. I was thoroughly prepared for absolutely foul weather at the start with wet sleet and a dusting of snow and 22 miles of solo running ahead.
Luckily after a couple of miles, the weather eased a little and the terrain became a little more sheltered. the early part of the route included only a couple of 200ft ascents, nothing to write home about (might say differently when climbed after 80 miles and however many hours) before reaching Lockton and heading into Dalby forest.
Just after Lockton, I chatted to another runner who was also reccying. He had run from Thornton-le-dale and would return from Lockton. A mile or so later I could see him catching me so waited for him and we ran together to Thornton. He also had been unable to get into the Amble and recognised me from last year's event when I was involved in giving CPR. Lockton to Thornton should have been a bit quicker but it was somewhat muddy underfoot : hopefully by May it will be drier. Arriving in Thornton at 1.10, I decided to eat my lunch sheltered by the walls of the village hall which was thronging with an auction for vintage car parts. Have you ever eaten lunch wearing sealskinz gloves? I now know it is feasible. I wasn't going to remove them : I was getting colder by not moving anyway. The final two legs from Thornton were even wetter with many of the country lanes almost completely flooded. One section seemed to go through the middle of a field of vegetables. Checking the map revealed it was definitely a footpath although it was hard to believe on the ground.
I had allowed seven hours and taken my head torch but despite not making much speed over the final two legs, arrived to meet Julie, now with Diane, Neal and Oscar, with an hour to spare in Malton.
With two more weekends planned for April and May, I should at least not have any navigation issues - just need to find the time to get the mileage up.
Diane helped with that on the Sunday by inviting me to accompany her on her longest training run of the year (7 miles) as she prepares for the Edinburgh Half Ironman (she was originally going to do the Bolton Ironman but has now switched to a more sensible distance).
Today I will head to Astley Park for the cross country, my first of the year, and some more tomorrow.
Stava trace here:

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Saturday 11th February 2017 - UTUP

Just a word of apology to anyone who reported for Saturday's UTUP (8:30 at the Bottom Barn). I'd forsaken our usual assembly to drive to Entwistle Reservoir to watch the Amblers through.

I ran from the reservoir back along the course to the point where the long and short courses diverge and saw the last of the runners through. On the way there Andy F and I exchanged greetings at which point it appeared that he was the leading runner, only a few minutes behind the leading walkers who had started a full hour before the runners.

I then returned to the reservoir where I blagged a couple of sandwiches off the feeding team before running a lap of the reservoir and returning home. Once again, apologies to you if you were hoping for company at Rivington - I'll be there on the 18th.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Chipping Trigs - Modified Format - Sunday 2nd April 2017

If you scroll back on this blog to an entry dated Sunday 28th August 2016 you will see a report on our assault on the three Chipping Trigs the day before.

This was summarised as a good outing, but with too much road.

In furtherance of his neverending quest for more miles, our Duracell Bunny is planning to repeat the run, with the suggestion that it can be made more pleasurable for sensible folk by driving between the second and third fells as follows:- The group initially convenes on the car park near to the top of Beacon Fell. Car 1 is left there and we all proceed to Chipping in Car 2.

From there we run to Fairsnape, thence across to Beacon Fell. There, the 'non-roadies' drink coffee, and enjoy the visitors centre etc whilst the Bunny runs to Longridge Fell. Then we drive to a parking area near Longridge Fell and meet up with Duracell Bunny.

Then it's up to the trig and down across the fields and a short road section back to Chipping. Then Car 2 drives folk back to Car 1 on Longridge Fell and we all go home.

Any takers?

Monday, February 06, 2017

Park Chum - Saturday 4th Feb 2017

As a gesture of support for our raiding party at the Leverhulme Park Run (details please), I persuaded YJ to try the Lostock 'Park Chum'.  This was possibly conceived as something of a spoof on the Park Run series, but is already attracting some interest.

The start/finish is at the top Wilderswood gate and participants must summit Two Lads either on the way to, or on the way back from, the Pike. The Pike may be climbed either via the old toilet block and up the steps, descending to George's Lane via the Pike Race route, or by ascending via the Race route and then down the steps and past the toilet block. This effectively offers four route choices, all covering exactly the same ground, but just in a different order - a bit like Eric's piano playing. It's meant to be 5k, but we measured it at slightly more, about 3.2 miles.

To continue the similarity to a Park Run, runs must start on any Saturday morning, but with the flexibility of starting at any time between 9:00 and 10:30.

YJ had already done his usual 5 mile warm up (I kid you not) and we ran to Wilderswood from the Bottom Barn, intending to complete two laps of the course. Unfortunately, YJ gave me a 1 minute start and I put so much effort into staying ahead of him and he put so much effort into trying to catch me, that neither of us had the energy for the second rep. We returned to the cars via the Castle.

A good workout and we now both have our own marks to beat for this little time trial.

Give it a spin some time - possibly on a Saturday morning.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Mast Race 10k Sunday 29th January 2017 - Where Were You, Pauline?

I don't usually feel like paying out good money for local fell races over terrain that I regularly use for free, but I was feeling in need of a test of fitness and this one seemed to fit the bill.

It was priced at £12 for club members so I grasped the nettle and registered, only to find  that there was a processing fee that pushed it up to £14 - naughty! At that price it worked out at £2.25 per mile. I used to draw the line at £1 a mile, but on consideration, mild was 1/8d a pint when I started drinking; price rises over the years have not quenched my thirst - so, hey ho, on with the race.

The start was from Smithills School and the climb up Smithills Dean road combined with the cold air soon had me gasping for breath and walking. We carried straight on across Walker Fold road and encountered a significant amount of ice as we headed for (yes!) the Trespass Stone. I reached this in just under 32 minutes, but by then was already being baulked by descending runners. The baulking got worse on the narrow path after the sleeper bridge until the turning point about 400 yards short of the mast - it was a measured 10k course. From the Trespass Stone to this point took a further 19 minutes.

The return was much less problematic, with many fewer runners to encounter (14 minutes to the Trespass Stone) and a further 19 minutes down the tarmac, with the ice now all melted.

Total time 84 minutes - 51 up and 33 down. The race was won by Chris Farrell of Horwich in a time of 36:17 and Horwich took the team prize with 1st, 2nd and 6th. First lady was Paula Pilling V40 of Burnden in a time of 47:55. The race was particularly well supported by Burnden and it was in fact the first Burnden runner home who pointed out to me, later in the day in the Adlington Bay Horse that the medal actually portrayed (yes, you've got it again) the Trespass Stone! See below:-

It's the elongated black bit immediately below the mast - I can just about make out the inscription on the medal itself with a magnifying glass.

Not a brilliant run on my part, but an enjoyable one, if a tad pricey.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

How(gills) Wet Was That!

The rolling assembly for Sunday's outing worked to schedule and the four of us (TF [instigator and driver], SN, YJ and self) left Bamber Bridge for the Howgills bob on time at 08:00 hours. A brief comfort break part way had been programmed in and we reached our launch point near Fairmile Bridge, betwixt the M6 and the Howgill massif, well before our target 'feet on fell' time of 10:00 hours and we actually set off 15 minutes early at 09:45.

The forecast had been for heavy  rain from the outset, but initially we were only faced with fine drizzle. The first stiff climb affected a number of calves but we persevered and were soon rewarded with a fine view of Black Force, a feature not typical of the main rolling contours of most of the Howgills:-

We skirted the top of the Force and swung south to Breaks Head. By then both the wind and the rain had become more severe and despite us all being well clothed we opted for discretion and veered south west back to our starting point, passing over Fell Head, the highest point on our route at a little over 2,000ft:-

We were out for just about two and a half hours and covered a little over 5 miles, so not a mega outing, but a challenging and exhilarating one nevertheless.

Many thanks to all my companions, especially TF for playing the part of mover and shaker (is that what they say?). I think our appetites have been whetted and we will be back as soon as we can expect some better weather.

For those that haven't already guessed, the above photos were not taken on this outing!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Saturday 7th January

A few pics from this morning's outing - atmospheric conditions, good craic, coffee and chocs at the end - what's not to like :)


Thursday, January 05, 2017

Howgills - Sunday 15th January

For our delectation, TF is mustering an assault on the west flank of the Howgills massif, on Sunday 15th January.

This is just an early warning, I'm hoping TF will provide further information.

Essentially, troops are to muster at SD 630 980, just north of Fairmile Gate, in time to hit the fell at 10:00 a.m sharp. The route is 11.5  km, which can be shortened to 8 km, so not an overlong day. We climb to over 2,000 ft (nice mix of metric and imperial here), so if we get a clear day expect some good views.

 We already have one car nearly full, are we to expect one from Settle? 

For further details, comment on this post.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Stan Bradshaw recce

The Stan Bradshaw round is on Saturday March 4th. Does anyone fancy a recce before then?
Giant's Tooth Fell Race Sun 1st Jan 2017

It's been a while since I've done a race report, so I'd thought I would set the ball rolling with the first one of the year.

This race had been recommended to me a number of years ago, but have only just now got round to giving it a go. A 3m race sort of suited my current level of fitness. I'm not sure my fitness will improve much if I keep managing to get the car parked virtually on the start line like I did for this race though!

The route is essentially one lap through the woods that surrounds the Ogden Reservoir (between Halifax and Keighley)

The Giant's Tooth is reach at the top right corner and looks like this

The least 'tooth-like' structure that I've ever seen and I've seen a few!!

It's a pretty runnable route except for the bits I walked (told you I was unfit), but managed in under 40mins, didn't fall over and wasn't last. 

Results are here http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/results.php?id=3834

Not much else to say other than I enjoyed it and would do it again.


Monday, January 02, 2017

New Year Celebrations

Happy 2017 to you all.
A few of us will be repeating the Christmas festivities this Saturday - 7th January 2017- by welcoming the New Year and celebrating a few birthdays at the Bowling Green cafe, Rivington at 11am. Everyone welcome and those wishing to walk, jog, run, skip or hop beforehand should meet either at 9am in the car park opposite the cafe, or at 8.30am at the bottom barn.
Hope to see you there.