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I have had to change my email, as my old ntlworld address is no longer valid.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