Can we talk about that winter holiday yet? weekend report.

This week has had a few things going on. No snow on the tops to speak of, but I’ve just middle blackgot in from a bit of a chilly wander on the tops (long story but that’s why this is a little late out) and there is certainly ice forming on the bogs. I’ve probably missed a few things out this week, but there you go, we’ll just have to pretend I haven’t. I must note Mark and Jules’s exploration of the Blacks though, as Mark tends to take some excellent pics of places a lot of us never really tend to explore. Thanks Mark

Windmill 10k

Who else was out at the Windmill 10k this week, but serial racer and outright badass, Tony Hillier. It stood up to its name in terms of having a terrific head/tailwind, depending on which way you were headed. From the looks of Strava, Tony appears to have got a couple of PRs on the way around. His nickname of “1st V70” might have to be changed to 1st V65 this week, seeing as there was no prize for V70. He still won it though. There was apparently another unidentified female GDH there…. but as there are no results out yet, I have no idea who it was.

Boggart hole

Yes, it was the second XC of the season, and indeed, the second of the MACCL – the SELCC hasn’t even started yet, we must wait until next weekend for that pleasure. The venue


The XC babes, Ezme post-race, everyone else, pre…

was indeed, the every appropriately named Boggart hole. A number of the club went off chasing Boggarts with varying degrees of success. First up in the races was Ezme Brack, taking on the other spike-clad ladies in her age catagory in a pair of trail shoes. The runners at the front just seem to float around on top of the mud… and never a truer word was spoken. Ezme showed her class by cruising in 4th place (of 22), showing superb strength and style. To look at her, you’d barely believe she had been running around such a muddy course.

The Ladies were next up with a considerably sized field of spike clad women. Kirsty Sharp took the option of starting at at steady pace and gradually cranked up the speed throughout, climbing places rapidly towards the end to come in 13th overall. Emma Rettig, who by her own admission was going to start cold, in order to get up to racing heat and speed within about 30 seconds (approximately the same as nuclear fusion) crafted her attacks wisely and finished in 169th (13th LV35). Jo Brack was channeling her inner-daughter, and managed to keep ahead of XC 1st timer Charmayne Breirley. Jo crossing the line in 205th (and 8th V50), with Charmayne managing to keep on her feet all the way around (and apparently enjoying herself as well) in 228th – 14th LV50. Sarah “2 shirts” Leah mounted a superb rear-guard action with an excellent sprint finish to arrive home in 260th (43rd LV45) to round out proceedings, and make the course all the more muddier for the blokes. – the Ladies were 36th team of 68, and 39th vets team of 62. A Special mention should also go out to Lucy Wasinski who currently runs with Sale Dragons and was 52nd overall – she will be finishing the series as a Dragon, but will be joining her Husband Greg (see below) in the Blue and Orange. Or at least, now I’ve written that down, she’d better be.

I can’t say anything much about the conditions for the ladies race, having not run it, but the blokes race was basically a mud/clay fest. The guys at the front went astonishingly fast, and those who stood at the front of the pack at the start gained a distinct advantage,


Blokes at the end. Thanks to Chris Jackson for the support. (doesn’t stevie look good in Blue and Orange)(Greg… you mooched off before the photo, so we had to substitute you with Rob Taylor)

I think I might have to shadow that Chris Webb next time. As it was, none of us really knew how many times we were going round, or how far it was, or anything else, apart from, well, just follow whoever is in front of you. Chris “I’m starting on the front” Webb led the GDH lot for the entire race, finishing 54th in his natty little spikes. I was barely a minute behind in 82nd having had a right proper battle with Stevie Knowles for the last 2 laps. Stevie, on his debut in Blue and Orange was 85th, and 3rd V45. Steve Crossman, in his absolute element, battling through calf deep mud, relished the challenge and finished 174th, 14th V50, managing to stave off an early challenge from Young Greg Wasinski who eventually finished in 293rd. David Chrystie-Lowe debuted at Boggart this year, getting his mud facepaint on and charging home in 323rd, a rather good 4th V60, with Ian Oates, slowly cranking his legs up through the winter season to snatch a 345th place and 27th V50. Andy Burnett and John Stephenson traded places, tea, coffee, cake, fisticuffs and insults all the way around, with Andy managing to prevail at the last, in 425th, 40th V50 and John a mere 6 seconds later in 426th – 12th V60. 493 ran! Mens team were 23rd of 62, and mens vet team were 23rd of 56. Good mud plugging by all.

Spider hill

Spider hill is a hugely famous race down south that I have evidently never heard of as I’m about to make up some stats. Famous because of the danger of being eaten by a relative of Shelob, it was first conceived of as a race in the mid-14th century. Essentially it is an annual ceremony to see who is fit enough to survive the winter and all “invitees” are actually victims that have been volunteered by their local villages to see if they will be culled or not. There is no glory in doing the race, there is merely glory in finishing it, and proving that you are a healthy specimen that should be fed large amounts of cake and beer and celebrated forever more. In the past few years this arachnid based race has been resurrected by the strange and forbidding folks of the southern illuminati, and our very own Claire Campbell was requested to enter. She did so with great aplomb, fearing no hill, nor spider, nor .. um… made up peril, for she had been training in the hills around Bleaklow. As it was, she blasted through the course, slaying spiders and other 8-legged foes as she went, reducing those around her to a frightened mush. In the 1:04 that it took her to finish she ended in 24/133 of the ladies (calculated to 8/54 vets). I have no idea why so many vetinarians are entering these races… it must be something to do with the spiders.


Al Cowell and El Duckworth headed northwards for the delightful little race of Dunnerdale this weekend. (the fact it is Entry on day only, and your £6 gets you a race AND a pie means this should be on EVERYONEs list). The course was boggy as ever, and as Al surged to the front on the halfway mark, his eyes were drawn to a poor little lamb up to its neck in bog. He turned to help it, but unfortunately in the action of doing so, turned his ankle. Nevertheless, he wrested the sheep from its potential watery demise and then hobbled his way home. El managed a somewhat more leisurely approach to the whole thing, stopping a few times to look at the view, setting up an easel for a watercolour, and also doing a few quick sketches in the final few kilometres. I have no idea how either of them did in terms of results, but by all accounts they had a wonderful time. The pie, was, I am absolutely certain, a definite highlight.


I have no idea if Alice Willson is doing some kind of parkrun thing in Rwanda, but I couldn’t help but notice another 5k PB on a Saturday morning in Kigali along with a mention of pot hunting by Tim… either there is a very speedy itinerent pot seller that they are trying to catch up with, or there was a local 5k race. Whatever it was, 23:19 is not to be sniffed at!

I have to say this this week… Glossop parkrun 1st home… Mr. Paul Skuse. So much for his “I’m so slow” nonsense. Be warned one and all, the roadracer in him has awakened. PBs were also seen in Glossop by Imogen Trinder and Anthony Johnson. Sterling work. Parkrun consolidated report is here….


from last week

Nick Ham and his Ultra Grand slam

The ever leggy and ever modest Nick Ham has now come in from the cold having finished (as we mentioned last week) the White rose ultra. Thus completes his mission to finish his 4th (yes… 4th) Ultra Grand Slam. For those of you who don’t know what this is, basically it is not doing a number of ultras and then struggling into a somewhat bizarre leotard for an ill-advised mexican wrestling match against the other competitors, no, none of that. There are a number of races in the Run Ultra series, you don’t have to do them all in order to qualify for the series, but if you DO, and you complete them all, then you get the Grand Slam. Essentially that means Nick has raced about 509miles in all this year (well, we ALL know he has raced MORE than that, but just in the run further series, it has been 509 miles). He only(!) managed to come 2nd V50 overall, but amassed an astonishing 7627 points throughout the year, and was only 1 of 2 people to complete the whole flipping lot. Mental.

Well done Nick.

Lindsay Palmer and the New York marathon

As I feverishly wrote last weeks report, Lindsay Palmer was off gallivanting around New York, drinking her sisters under the table, and powering her way through the marathon. At the time of writing, if I remember rightly she was about 10k into the distance, and about 3 cocktails down. It seems that she kept up much the same tempo throughout, managing to visit another 12 bars on the way to the end, picking up some rather nice evening wear along the way. She finished in 4:58:11. And then continued drinking.

Dave Jowitt and his ironman

Dave swam/cycled/ran an ironman a couple of weeks ago. Details are sketchy, but I believe it was somewhere warm (think spain/portugal), the margeritas were pleasant and the cycling was without headwind. He finished it in a spectacular time, but other than that, I have no idea.

Now THAT is a decent day out.

Stuff going on this week that I can be bothered to think of right now.

Tuesday – always a coached session with Jeroen, see facebook for where it starts. Also always a load of headtorch clad grough lovers head onto the tops.

Wednesday – Bankswood park – headtorch clad speed freaks in search of a XC terrain and training with Webby

Thursday – Club run – Paul Stitt is leading out the social side of things this week, looks like it will be a trail-y/fell-y mix. No idea if there is a road group going out. There will almost certainly be a group of headtorch clad bog lovers heading onto the tops for a thrash in the peat,

Saturday – XC at heaton park. ALSO – Long tour of Pendle- AL fell race around Pendle hill.

Sunday – Peak Raid in Glossop- its the final race in the Fell Champs. And it is Nav. The forecast (at the mo) looks like snow. This could be fun.

muddy puddle

Foot washing facilities at XC. No pies either. Should have gone to Dunnerdale.



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