Mud, frozen mud, wet mud, deep mud,more mud weekly round up

It has got the point where my mudclaws have given into the reality that they’re either stuffed with newspaper and lying on the floor in front of a radiator, or they’re b


yes. I know its a Baregrip, but I couldn’t find a picture of my mudclaws. You get the picture….

eing splattered through a bog. I suspect everyone else’s shoes are in much the same state. Trench foot has just about been staved off, but the toes are a continual rich peaty colour. mmm. Don’t you just love winter fell running.

This weekend’s racing revolved around, unsurprisingly, mud.

The Cross country took place somewhere a bit further up north than here. It was apparently flat, muddy and horribly runnable. All the things that make a cross country race some of the most challenging and hard work in terms of running. Still, despite all the things that make you really not want to run, a number of hardy souls from the GDH clan headed up to Leigh Sports Village.

Esme Brack had a decent run, to come in 4th in the U17 ladies – in 27:54, losing out to 3rd by a mere 2 seconds! Adam Crompton and Wyatt Barlow ran in the Under 11s – Adam came in 28th, bang on 10minutes, but I can’t see Wyatts time anywhere – but proper kudos to all of them for getting out there in the mud.

In the Ladies over 20’s Kirsty Johnson had an excellent run to come in 2nd overall, despite less than ideal conditions. Jo Brack was 2nd GDH lady, 38th overall and 2nd L50. Lindsay Palmer, coming back from a cold was in 53rd, 4th L50, with Laurie Barlow considering the wisdom of parkrun followed by XC in 79th place, 15th L40. These fabulous runners brought GDH Ladies into 8th team of 16.

In the Blokes race, Dan Oldham was first GDH home in 27th place, a very creditable 3rd V40. Matt Crompton continued his winter training, placing 75th overall, ahead of Andy Burnett – 132nd and 20th V50.

At much the same time as these hardy souls were thrashing around a man-made mudbath, a number of other Blue and Orangers were intrepidly getting lost on the somewhat less man-made mudbath of the Kinder Trial. I refer you to this rather excellent report from Sgt Pepper: (numbers apparently refer to positions, not ages).

Results from a claggy and occasionally windy Kinder Trail saw Steve Knight (38) and John Hewitt (45) ducking under three hours.

GDH for a day Alice Swift (46) was our first lady back successfully guiding John round in his natty special glasses. And in youth vs experience John Stephenson (66) slapped me (Steve Pepper) (74) down a peg or to as we cruised around just over three hours. Experience was very humble as youth was his lift home.

Great day and course, highly recommend this again for next year

Across the way, Nick Ham was out and about for the Hebden 22, the 11th running of the race, and, incidentally, his 11th running of the race. We are happy to report that there were no snow drifts on the course this year, and Nick came home with a big smile on his face due to recording his 2nd fastest time around the full course. Excellent work.


Joe and Emma, proper up north.

The “up north” section of the club had a somewhat sunny journey up even further north (as if there is such a place) where Emma Peters and Joe Travis took part in the Edinburgh Big Weekend – an orienteering festival. Saturday was an urban event, while Sunday was a Fell based race. Emma broke her time from last year by about 25 minutes, going from 115 minutes to a mere 90 minutes (different course but about the same length and difficulty). Joe would have posted an incredible debut time in his first ever orienteering race were it not for his first control that took him an unfortunate 33 minutes to find (compared to about 4 minutes from the other guys in the club. Something to do with not having a grasp of scale on the map, I believe…). The ceilidh was well attended and I’m sure the results of the second day will reflect who enjoyed the evening entertainment most.

aaah – here we are, an update from a post race cafe stop….

Emma ran the light green course which was 3.6km as the bird flies (so about 5.5km in reality). She recorded another big improvement on last year; 64 minutes compared to last year’s 111 minutes! Joe ran a far tougher blue course which was 8km (so 13km in reality). He managed to get all the controls, even finding the first one within 10 minutes unlike yesterday… He posted a very respectable time of 103 minutes. Excellent work from the both of them, I’d say.

Anything else? Oh – yes – Harshan Gill has made his way from Edale to Kirk Yetholm up


Harshan and race buddies at Kirk Yetholm

the Pennine way on the Spine race. He finished within the time limit, getting to the pub for closing time on Friday, in a total of 154 hours 59 mins – 43rd overall. A magnificent effort considering 50 competitors retired on the race! (times provisional).

I’m not sure what else happened this weekend, so let me consult Strava…

It wasn’t the weekend, but the Club handicap 10k happened on Thursday, ably organised by John S and his glamorous assistant, Rachel H. There may well be another one in February if there is appetite. I’d upload the results, but my computer appears to hate Excel files with a passion and keeps mangling it.

Aha – Dan Stinton ran the Lyme Park night run and came a rather stupendous 3rd, battling deer, ghosts and night demons a-plenty on his way around, parkrun happened in a lot of places at the same time with Ian Oates thinking it wasn’t far enough, so warmed up with a mere 15miles. (the club consolidated report is here good to see the IOW park run on there). A fair amount of Spring marathon prep seems to be happening, which is excellent, Cock hill is still being repped every day by Daz, the wide awake club early morning suffer-fests seem to be gaining in popularity, and it snowed a bit on the tops today.

Now, if that wasn’t enough, then here is the final bit – AGM is this Wednesday in the George. Meetings aren’t as interesting as getting lost in a bog, I grant you, and they may, in some cases, be more painful than a set of 800’s at race pace, but it’s a chance to know whats going on behind the scenes and have a chat with your fellow clubmates over a beverage. – So clear your Wednesday night and come along at 7:30pm. And if you haven’t paid your subs – take the opportunity to do so!

Oh – and if you want to enter Mickleden Straddle, you’ll have to do so soon- entries close this week. (its on the 5th Feb and is a Fell champs counter), and if you want a laugh, enter the Buxworth 5 as well, one of the road champs. There are 10 names on the entry list so far, and they’re all GDH. I should also plug the English Fell champs race in March – the Long Mynd Valleys, its a superb race with a lot of Up. (and Down).

See you all on Wednesday – or not. Im just off to make up a load of stuff for my speech.


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