Sunday, December 24, 2017

Season's Greetings

Happy Christmas to all my friends in WFDBWGUA. I am sorry about the lack of cards and the lateness of this message, but Anne is not at all well with labrynthitis and things are a bit fraught at present. We are postponing Christmas until she is better.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Friday 22nd December 2017

Cancelled due to family illness - that is, Chris and my outing is cancelled, not the actual Friday 22nd.

TLoB is at a loose end on Friday morning whilst his better half  does her Christmas shopping, so I'm meeting him at the lower barn (at 9:45) to roam around our local fells. All welcome.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Xmas Run/Walk Tockholes Sat 16th Dec

Start times now confirmed as
Run 8:30am
Walk 9:00am

Return to cafe by 11:30am

All welcome

Xmas Run/Walk Tockholes Sat 16th Dec

We thought (TF & SN) you'd like a change of venue this year for the post run/walk  xmas coffee & mince pies etc. So we propose meeting at the Cafe at Tockholes

Post Code for Sat Nav : BB3 0PA

Start time for runners is 8:30am and possibly 9-9:30am for the Walkers (SN will liaise). with the aim to be back at the cafe for about 11:30am.

I went and had a recce yesterday and the cafe is open from 10:30 - approx 3-4pm. The approach from Belmont was a bit dicey in the snow, so will keep a careful eye on the forecast and will post an update later in the week if there are any changes.


Monday, December 04, 2017

Picture if you will...

...two weary travellers, moving slowly along a snow covered track in a pine forest on a northern hillside. Approaching from a side path on their right, appear two wolf like beasts - for a moment the two pairs pause and eye each other suspiciously.

Then the beasts' owner appears, and it becomes clear that lives are not in danger, for the 'wolves' are in fact Northern Inuits, a breed that has been developed by crossing a number of sledge dog breeds with German Shepherds, especially to give a wolf like appearance, and the pine forest is Wilderswood. YJ and ETU engage the owner in friendly discussion for a few minutes, then both parties continue on their separate ways.

Panic over, we live to run another day.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Christmas/Quarterly 'Do'

Our Winter Solstice Quarterly/Christmas 'do' will be at the Black Horse Limbrick on Friday 8th December. There is a Christmas menu available, but this needs to be pre-ordered - contact me if you are interested, or indeed, if you have any intention of coming.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


In response to EtU's query about my Snowdonia marathon record I can disclose that my first appearance was in 2001 at the age of 62,  the year I recorded my best finish  of 3.29, a time which EtU must have bettered in his earlier years

Modesty forbids me from recording how many age group wins I have achieved, suffice to say that in 11 starts I have finished every one and only been I say modesty forbids........though I do have a nice collection of prizes.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Saturday 18th November

Neither of the Bros will be UTUPing on the 18th, YJ will be down in Brighton for their 10k on the Sunday, possibly Park Running on the Saturday, and I will be at Haigh Hall for my local Park Run.

Snowdonia Marathon 2017

Saturday 28th October saw YJ and yours truly lining up at the start of yet another Snowdonia Marathon; YJ well prepared, despite a greatly reduced training window, due to an undiagnosed, but thankfully cleared, health problem; self not at all well prepared, due to loss of mojo.

Five hours later saw YJ crossing the finish line with gun/chip times of 5:00:15/4:59:58 placing 1,221 out of 2,211 finishers and 1st V75.

Much, much later, and shortly before it went dark, I staggered over the finish line, muttering that this would be my last marathon ever - but an Irish lad in my dorm had told me the evening before that the Dingle Marathon is definitely worth doing, and I've never raced in Ireland...

Having won his age group, YJ gets a complimentary entry into next years race and then in 2019 he will have moved up to the V80 category, so I guess he'll just have to keep coming back, to add that award to his set - John, at what age did you start your collection of Snowdonia age group awards?

Friday, November 10, 2017

11th of the 11th of the 11th

Very short notice, I'm, afraid, but YJ and I will be UTUPing tomorrow then heading straight to the bomber memorial to pay our respects. There will be a formal service on Sunday, so we don't expect many to be there on Saturday, probably just us.

Better notice for the quarterly 'do', which will be on Friday 8th December at the Black Horse (please note change of date from the 1st and confirmation of venue).

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

A Long Story Cut Short

Or The Tooth Fairy's Big Day

Readers of this blog will know that after our somewhat damp trip to the western fells in September, the TF had only four Wainwrights left to “bag”. The original outing had been scheduled for October 22nd but had been postponed because of the weather. This was lucky for CB as he couldn’t make that day but bad luck for EtU who was unable to be there last Sunday.

TF and Botters travelled from a gloomy and wet Bolton at first light, rendezvousing with TLoB at Jn36. We had a pleasant and promisingly sunny drive to our starting point, Millbeck. Our first summit was Dodd, which was last climbed by TLoB in 1991 when it was completely afforested. Now the summit has been cleared. After an initial slog up by the side of a fence (a taste of things to come), we were rewarded with a spectacular view of Derwent water and Borrowdale. An easy trot up to the summit and back, and then it was decision time. Either a long drop down to Ravenstones on a good path, followed by a long climb to our next summit of Ullock Pike, or a yomp across some very rough ground to save 1.5 miles and 500ft of climbing.

Eager beaver TLoB was keen to take the short cut, TF was a little reticent. Botters was predictably clueless.  Short cut winning the day, the first part of our yomp wasn’t too bad, a gradual climb up a forest path with just the odd branch or two to negotiate, but then we had to turn steeply uphill, climb a fence and then slog our way through a steep slope of thick heather with no path in the latter half, and only the heather to help us up. TLoB attacked the slope like a mountain goat. TF and Botters slugged it out, finally reaching a good track just below the summit of Ullock Pike. At this point Botters announced that he needed a banana so TLoB had to run off to avoid a projectile vomiting session which might have upset the others, not to mention the walkers we now encountered. Ullock Pike and Long Side were soon ticked off and the final summit of Carl Side was reached. TLoB graciously held back at this point as he and Botters SB applauded TF onto the top, photos were taken and then SB produced a bottle of Champagne that he had very kindly lugged all the way up just so that we could mark the occasion properly. SB then gave a speech which had a large input from EtU and included several new words for our delectation! So as not to miss EtU out, here is the transcript:

“I asked Ed as our missing ‘friend in common’ for a speech that could be delivered when we reach the summit of Julie’s last (214th) of Wainwrights’ fells, because this is what he would have done if he were here on this momentous occasion. He didn’t give me what I asked for I suspect because he doesn’t want to foster dependency. He might also fear that we may resort not to ask him to come on future outings but just provide a few words of encouragement as a less troublesome substitute which can simply be uploaded to Ed’s Echo Chamber blog. What he did provide however were a few pointers.  Now you may start to notice a smattering of strange words being used, which I would like to deny all responsibility for before we go any further…..

Ed suggested that the words I use be accompanied by a glass of fizz to celebrate the fact that Julie's extended expedition celebrates her 40th year. It’s actually her 50th looming apparently, but Ed wanted me to say 40th so I feel duty bound to ‘he-who-is-missing’, to comply.

Ed says it's not clear why Julie only declared her hand so late in the year.  Perhaps, he said, she wanted to have the finishing post in sight before she went public. Ed would also like to know if she ever sorted out a top beginning with 'J'? Apparently, at one point Julie was planning an outing that took in tops that all started with the letters of her name and 'J' fell into the 'too difficult' category.”

At this point the TF confirmed that although not easy, she had managed to construct a JULIE challenge. 

“Ed did ask that I send his congratulations. He says he would have loved to be here to offer his congratulations in person, but he had a pre-booked church appointment. This is so strange it must be true, and to be fair, I have never known Ed to tell a porky.

I am also instructed to ask whether she is arranging her 40th party, or does she want it to be a surprise?! Apparently now that Julie’s Wainwright gig economy-type challenge is complete we may be moving into the ‘cuffing season’.

Now you will I am sure have noticed the strange words. This again was at the behest of our missing wordsmith. He sent me a cutting from his favourite and oft quoted rag ‘the Daily Mail’ which lists the hot new words for 2017. (Google the definitions if you are so inclined). The new word I want to finish with is Corbynmania which Ed says Chris may like, but Ed wishes it noted that his spell-checker tells him it is not a real word.”

TLoB added his own few words in commendation of the TF, and then it was a pleasant and surprisingly easy descent which included some spectacular zigzags then followed before all too soon our day was done.

Hearty congratulations to the TF. Doing the Wainwrights is hard and requires commitment and good planning, both of which attributes the TF has in abundance. All so thanks are due to TLoB who enlivened the outing with many an entertaining story, which were all prefaced with ‘To cut a long story short…’   We would have needed to take in a few more summits to have had time for the unedited versions. And a special thank you to TF from TLoB for the pleasure of joining her on three outings and 14 summits this year.  Botters was just delighted to be let out of the house, but had little concept of where he was or what he was doing.
Although this article will appear as having been written by me, it is in fact a joint effort by both Botters and myself. I leave it to you dear reader to decide who wrote which bits.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

The Tooth Fairy's Big Day

Many congratulations to the TF on her magnificent achievement of completing all 214 Wainwrights. . SB and I had the honour of accompanying her last Sunday when she knocked off the last four and a full report will appear here soon.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Last 4 Wainwrights

The forecast for Sunday is not good, so I've decided to cancel the trip to claim my last 4 Wainwrights this weekend.

I intend to complete by the end of the year, so if we enter a period of settled weather which means I can give sufficient notice for an alternative date, then I'll post on the blog. Otherwise I may have to take a very short notice decision to take advantage of any reasonable weather.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Completing My Wainwrights

I have 4 final summits to tick off for my first completion.

EtU and TLoB expressed an interest in seeing me safely round these. They've been keen participants over the last couple of months on some of my other trips and felt a 'group' outing should be attempted to celebrate the occasion.

The last 4 summits are Dodd, Ullock Pike, Long Side and Carl Side.

We have provisionally suggested a date of Sunday 22nd October. Meeting in Keswick. Start time between 9-10am.

If you're interested to come along and join in then put the date in your diary. Lift-sharing and other details will be firmed up nearer the time. Given the exposed nature of the ridge we will be a little weather dependent but will see how things go.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Quarterly do - Equinox

I know that EtU is unavailable until well into October but the Equinox does fall around Sept 22nd. As my better half has taken the evening off from Guide Dogs we shall be going out to celebrate a non-signifiant birthday on Friday 22nd. We are happy to go the the Black Horse at Limbrick. If any others would like to join us, it will be wonderful. If the numbers need us to book some tables, we can do so. We could go somewhere else but have always enjoyed the Black Horse. I'll also email as the blog is not as frequently used as once upon a time.
BTW, is anyone, else apart from TM and I, taking part in the Red Rose 50 this coming Saturday?

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Another day in the Lakes

The TF has almost finished her Wainwrights and following last month's very successful outing to the Far Eastern fells, she decided to arrange another trip. There were two options, four peaks in the Northern fells if the weather was good, or six in the Western fells if it wasn't.
The forecast was dire and the whole trip was in doubt until late Monday when it was decided to risk the Western option and so I picked EtU up at our Jn 36 rendezvous, and we met up with the TF in Keswick about an hour later. Last month we travelled by boat to the start of our run, this time it was by bus, which I would highly recommend; scenic and relaxing.
We arrived in Buttermere and set off round Crummock Water in "that rain what gets you wet." Conditions underfoot were no better and within half a mile we had all given up trying to avoid the wet sections as we were already soaked. A long and slightly tedious slog up to Floutern Pass ( which can only be described as a morass) was followed by an enjoyable climb to Hen Comb, our first summit. We then had to find our way in very poor visibility to Gavel Fell and were temporarily confused by a small hill called Floutern Cap, but the TF is an excellent navigator and she soon had us on the right path to Gavel Fell, Blake Fell and Burnbank Fell. The weather had improved by this stage but we had fallen behind schedule due to the weather and the conditions underfoot, and a decision was taken to abandon the last two peaks (Fellbarrow and Low Fell) and head for the Kirkstile Inn instead.
A much needed cup of tea and a warm by an open fire revived our spirits and we jogged the last 1.5 miles to catch the bus back to Keswick. The TF is now down to 4 Wainwrights left to climb, and EtU and I are looking forward to joining her when she completes them.
Watch this space.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

A Grand Day in the Lakes

Despite living within an hour of the Lakes, I have hardly visited it since my return north, so I was well keen to join the TF on her day out last Friday. EtU kindly picked me up at jn 36 and we met the TF at Glenridding in good time for a cuppa before our boat trip. We had a very pleasant 35min cruise along Ullswater to Howtown before setting of up the steep climb to our first summit of Steel Knotts. There then followed some desperate manoeuvres in the waist high bracken before a steady climb on to Roman road just south of Wether Hill.
At this point the weather was most unAugustlike and we put on our spare clothes for a food break at which both EtU and the TF tried to poison me by eating bananas. Perhaps they were trying to tell me something! A long steady run brought us to High Raise, then Rampsgill Head ( I also "bagged" Kidsty Pike in order to avoid the bananas), then The Knott and Rest Dodd.
At this point EtU confirmed what I have known for years: that he is a very sensible chap indeed. The TF wanted to add The Nab to her Wainwright summits which involved an out and back run of just over 2 miles, but EtU said he would give it a miss. A very wise choice as to say it was damp underfoot would be an understatement. We ran/swam our way to The Nab but avoided the worst of the morass by taking a wider line on our return.
The TF is a superb navigator and found a grassy trod to Angletarn Pikes and down to Boardale Hause where we reunited with EtU before the descent to Patterdale and then along the road to Glenridding for tea and cakes.
Thanks to Julie for the idea and the route planning,  to Ed for the lift, and to both for making it a grand day out.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Summer Outing Friday 4th August

I'm planning a summer outing for Friday 4th August with a little twist.

I have a few Wainwrights to tick off, namely Steel Knotts, Rest Dodd, The Nab and Brock Crags.

The starting point for the route will be at the pier in Glenridding. So perhaps the astute ones will realise that the little twist involves a trip on the Ullswater Steamer across to Howtown where we'll swap water for Fell and return to Glenridding via the aforementioned tops. The boat leaves at 9:45am (first one, cost £6:80) gets in Howtown about 10:20am and the Fell route is approx 12m, ft of climb will depend on route taken, but I'm guessing about 4-5hrs at a steady pace.

The definitive Fell route will depend on weather conditions on the day, ideally taking a higher route via Rampsgill Head and a little out'n'back to nab The Nab. Poorer conditions may dictate a drop to the valley from Steel Knotts. Last 1-2m may have to be along the road unless you fancy a swim back to the pier.

Expressions of interest will do for now, as firm numbers won't be required until nearer the time when weather conditions will be more certain.

EtU and TLoB have shown their hand, with EtU prepared to help with co-ordinating the car-share as I'm planning to stay up for the weekend and will be there early to get the tickets for the boat.

Will keep you posted for any further info

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Coope's Dozen Sat 29th July 2017

This year's round will be, as per established tradition, on the Saturday before the Borrowdale race; that is, on Saturday 29th July.

I will publicise this run on other forums, but please also publicise by word of mouth if you get the opportunity.

I have another running commitment later that day, so won't be doing much of the round, but I will be at the start to help get things under way.

There will be a small group of us 'running' a low key Dozen on Saturday 22nd July but the 29th will be the main event. Anyone planning to do both?

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Quarterly 'Do'

I have booked us into the Black Horse at Limbrick for a week on Friday - 21st of July.

That is just one calendar month after the due date.

I was asked how many of us will there be, and I had to say there'd be anything between 3 and 20. If you plan to come please let me know, then the pub can fine tune our seating arrangements.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Edinburgh Ironman 70.3 (= Half Ironman)

No, I have not suddenly become a triathlete  but thought it worthy to post up a link to my daughter Diane's posting of the Edinburgh Ironman 70.3 held last weekend. She originally entered the Ironman UK which will be held in these parts the weekend after next but decided that she wouldn't have the time for the training so switched to the easier option of half distance, or so she thought! Read on ...

Friday, June 30, 2017

Saturday 1st July '17

I'm Parkrunning tomorrow, so won't be at the Barn. However, YJ, still on the comeback trail, will be in attendance and glad of company.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


I have had to change my email, as my old ntlworld address is no longer valid. My new email is

My old email ceased to function on June 4th but apparently if you send an email to it, no "failed to deliver" message comes back. So if you have emailed me since June 4th, I wont have got it!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

102 or 104 miles of NYM 100 completed

I have finally got round to blogging about this year's LDWA 100 mile challenge.
Staying only 40 minutes away from the start at Malton School meant that it was an easy journey from Diane's in Thirsk with Julie and Diane in support. I took the advice from after last year's 100 to start on the 10am walker's start rather than the later noon start.
The first few checkpoints opened quite early so I had no problem about being slow enough to arrive after they opened. The predictions were for potential thunderstorms but at 10am, the weather was warm enough for T shirt and shorts. I set off amongst the middle of the pack so it took awhile before I could move through the walkers and run a little. I lost some ground as did many others when we all went round three sides of a field to see those behind being directed on the shortest route. My plan was for 4mph average during the day to get to Checkpoint 9 at Botton before darkness.
The first checkpoint at 4.7 miles was not actually a checkpoint but they provided drinks which I made sure I took on whilst many overtook me ignoring what I considered essential. With 64 minutes gone, I was well ahead of schedule. Checkpoint 2 (10.5 miles) at Hovingham arrived after 2hrs 29 and so did Julie and Diane as well as some excellent cakes which of course I enjoyed. The terrain so far had been gentle with the greatest difficulty avoiding too many nettles. A thunderstorm had also come and gone without too much excitement.
CP2 Hovingham just after the thunderstorm 

By now I had moved through the field and had generally found runners of my pace. A slight hiccup near Kirby Moorside cost me a couple of minutes and a check for the route back out of CP3 and I was soon on my way to Hutton-le-Hole, a very picturesque "chocolate box" village at CP4, delayed slightly by a rigorous kit check (there were four disqualifications) and beef stew and Yorkshire pudding.
A quarter way through in 6hrs 29, there was no way I would maintain such a pace, okay only a bit quicker than 4mph, but that wasn't in my plans anyway, sub 36 hours would be brilliant, not sub 26 hours! I now had the advantage of having recce'd the remainder of the route, although I also knew I was entering the hillier half. On through Rosedale (CP5, 32 miles in 8hrs 22) and then a tough 800ft climb up Blakey Ridge to The Lion Inn. I didn't mind the climb then some quicker running on the road before narrow tricky tracks across Wether Hill and then the descent to Botton. Julie and Diane had tried to meet up with me at The Lion Inn but think they had missed me so headed to Botton where they asked how many had come through to find that the leaders had only just arrived. From the event tracker they realised I was in the top 50. They walked back along the route half a mile to meet me. After walking for a short while, they told me to run on to the checkpoint and I found I could run that section at 8 minutes per mile. By Rosedale, the first of the faster runners who started at noon passed me so I was in with a mix of 10am and noon starters. I was in fact 38th to reach Botton (40 miles) at 8:41pm, so 10hrs 41. Food was soup and a salad with tasty local Botton cheese. Headtorch and an extra layer (but still warm enough for shorts) were added at Botton as I headed up the wet gully climb up High Moor and the trickiest descent of the 100 off Raven Hill. I just made it there before dark and then it was a some good running and a muddy climb up to Glaisdale Rigg and on to the first night checkpoint at Glaisdale. This checkpoint was manned by a South Wales LDWA group speaking a foreign language to which my response was"Ey up ar kid, tha knows tha'r'asta spake propa round 'ere. Ast tha got some decent snap?"
A foreign welcome at CP7 Glaisdale
The night section was walked mainly with a couple of fast noon start walkers and good progress was made, eventually reaching the breakfast checkpoint CP10 at Fyling Hall school at 5.17 am (64 miles 19hrs 17). Dawn had come whilst at the previous checkpoint at CP9, Hawsker. The breakfast CP was where I planned to for a full kit change and sort out any blisters. I was not very well organised (I had been awake for nearly 24 hours) so took longer than I would have liked but eventually set off at about 6.50 am. My garmin battery had died before reaching Hawsker so I was not fully aware of the minutes ticking away : I switched to a similar garmin kindly lent by TM for the second "half" of the route.
Pace was initially ok then after about 4 miles had sudden twinges in my right leg and it refused to run so I was reduced to walking. Julie and Diane arrived just as I was leaving CP11 Littlebeck just before 9am with the clear skies and sunshine keeping me warm.
Right leg not great but otherwise feeling fine 68 miles in at Littlebeck
I reached CP12 Goathland Village Hall (74 miles) at 11:08, still over two hours ahead of my "slow" schedule which would see me finish at about 1am. Diane and Julie were there to meet me and Diane was going to "run" the next leg with me. The fact that I was no longer running but walking did not disappoint Diane as she had been laid low with a cold so had done no training for over a week. Stage 13 from Goathland to Snape is quite an interesting leg with initial moorland paths followed by a forest section and then the final mile along the road to Snape. I walked it all the way but pulled back three others who were initially not even in sight. By the time the road to Stape was reached, Diane told me to keep going at my pace which she couldn't manage to stay with!
I had recce'd the section from Stape to Lockton twice so I knew what was to come, two steep climbs totalling 800ft in just 4.8 miles. I tried a bit of running : I was able to run. Caught up with the next one who was also running. I crossed the NYM steam railway line at Levisham station and hit the first hill, speed walked up it : feeling great. Okay with the road descent from Levisham then zoomed up the second hill to Lockton. Back on track. Just three more stages to go. Okay on the next stage, got caught by a couple of 100 regulars who normally run sub 30 hours : stayed with them through Thornton-le-Dale.  We were discussing why we do these events and vowed it would be the last (for one, his 10th). They slipped away from me before the final checkpoint. By the later checkpoints I was finding it difficult to eat. At the final CP I took on just three jelly babies. I did have High 5 in my bladder so kept drinking. I struggled a bit over the final few miles as I my right leg had again rejected the idea of running. However, I made it by dusk, just. 9.48 pm finish for 35 hours 48. Target achieved. The route description stated 102 miles, most people logged 104 miles but it was done.
Great looking meal at the finish : my stomach wanted none of it. I tried to be sick but there was nothing there. I had two rennies and at least felt a bit better but I was not in a good state. I was better than last year where I needed medical attention but unlike the Hobble or the GRP where I finished feeling as lively as when I started, my energies were used up. My legs were in pain as we drove back to Diane's but at least I lost only one night's sleep.
The perfect weekend would have been to spend Monday at Wembley watching the world's greatest football club in the Championship play-off final - you know the team, the one the bookies and pundits said would be relegated but next season will be playing teams that such Man U & Spurs who we used to be able put six past with ease! Somehow with the gulf in riches I think a repeat of those days are highly unlikely. If they can beat the bookies' predictions by one place that will be a bonus. A day at Wembley was not possible but by finishing on Sunday night I was able to watch the match in the local pub during on Monday afternoon.
This was probably my final 100. I had improved my time by ten hours. Of the 492 starters, 152 retired or were disqualified. I had the 116th fastest time. The fastest time was 22:41. Maybe I could have completed in 30 hours (a bloke who takes the same time as me on the Hobble did 30hrs 22, for 30th fastest) but it takes so much out of me on the second day, which is down to the ability to eat.
I shall do the Red Rose 50 (September 16th) but then I will stick to no longer than the Hobble.
Full results here.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

She's in for the Long Haul

Nic'O and I had arranged to meet at Hordern Stoops this morning and very shortly after we had arrived, this lady appeared from the direction of the trig point:-

We had a brief chat and within a couple of minutes she had set off for Spitlers Edge.

Many thanks Nicole, for tracing her blog. She seemed to be in good condition both physically and in spirit.

I had asked her how long she was expecting her shoes to last, and she explained that she had posted a pair forward, and would be donning them in just a few days. Apart from the expected shoes, she was entirely self contained and unsupported. She went on to say that in view of Tuesday's adverse weather forecast, she had last night eschewed canvas and stayed in the Holiday Inn - I bet she lingered in the bath.

Very best wishes, Kate, we hope you stay injury free and enjoy the next 500 miles.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Back on the road

A small step for mankind, a huge step forward for myself.  I finally go back to running today (yes in all this heat), not very far but definitely a start.  Encouraged by this I shall be stepping up my Saturday walk from the Lower Barn on Saturday and will hopefully be able to run part of it.  If anyone is planning a UTUP  I will be there at 8.30 just to be sociable and say hello but if there are no indications  I will start at a time to suit myself.

Thanks to all who have expressed concern and interest in my condition, which is as yet undiagnosed. Tests are ongoing.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Slip sliding away

Which is one way of describing my running in 2017. First it was a hamstring at the end of January, which meant February was a write off, and now I have broken my wrist and am looking at at least 4 weeks in a plaster cast.
My own fault really. Living round here, I ought to know that wet limestone and fell shoes don't mix. I instinctively put my hand out to save myself and my wrist bent at an angle it wasn't designed to go.

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:- ('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

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.