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.