Ju-huuuuune (as in Chu—–uuuuuune) but, more, um, summery.

Well, it has been insanely hot today (and generally muggy through the week) which has meant that you lot, well, carried on as normal really. I’d like to extend my thanks to Liam for doing the report last week in my absence, it was much appreciated. Thanks to Ian and Matt for sending in reports this week, and also to the lovely people who sent me texts and stuff like that to let me know what you were up to. Put yer feet up, grab a cold one, and enjoy the words of the beginning of June. It seems barely plausible that a mere 90 days or so ago we were still plugging around in Snow….

Wildboarclough Rose Queen Fetewildboarclough.JPG

Our man on the ground – Ian Crutchley reports….. Bank Holiday Monday brought the Wildboarclough Rose Queen Fete, a posher or more quintessential country fete you couldn’t imagine.  Think beautiful scenery, think scorching sunshine, think welly toss, plant sale, local brewery, barbeque, and of course, a Pimms tent (I kid you not!).  But the accompanying fell race lacks any such subtle charm, instead providing a mean and difficult 2 mile up and down on Shutlingsloe.

The Swan and Crutchley families made the jaunt South, with eyes on both the under 11 and senior races.  The under 11 race was first, a field of about 35, with Benjamin and Melissa Crutchley making up the GDH contingent.  The route was a 1km out and back – a long descent followed by the long climb back.  The kids set off like the clappers as ever, with Benjamin leading the field as far as the bottom of the hill.  He was dramatically overtaken on the climb, but managed to hold off the rest of the field hot on his heels, ultimately finishing in 2nd overall.  Meanwhile Melissa was in the middle of the pack, running very well, and overtaking a few near the finish line.  She finished in 20th place but 1st under 9 lady.  A cracking little race, and the kids did us proud again.

Now it was time for the senior race, and with over 11’s qualifying to participate, the Swans duly despatched their full contingent.  So with the phenomenal juniors, Josie and Caitlin in the game, mum and dad Elanor and Phil had to pull their socks up.  I simply added to the number, looking forward to another afternoon chasing Phil up and down a big hill.  Phil was out in front from the off, with me hot on his heels, very closely followed by Josie and Caitlin, Elanor not far behind.  The climb was fast, hot and very tough, and I am told the views from the trig were special, but none of us stopped to look.  On the decent Phil edged away, and Josie and I were pretty much neck and neck until the final climb to the finish, closely followed by Caitlin, then Elanor.

Final results look like this:

36th        Phil”llys” Swan  22:55
43rd        Ian “the writer” Crutchley 24:00
50th        Josie “doubling up”Swan 24:16     (1st U15 Lady)
56th        Caitlin “2 races a day…” Swan  24:55     (1st U13 Lady)
66th        Elanor “the boss” Swan  26:17

A huge hand for our Juniors, although few in number, they again managed a very impressive result and picked up prizes.  Long may we parents bask in your glory!

Morcambe 10k

A day out at the seaside for Simon Toole. The salted air appears to have done him some good… well, that, the chips, or a load of training- personally I would recommend all of them. He headed off on a warm day and yet still came in at the end after 45:52 – a season best.

Tapnell 10k

tapnellClaire Campbell took some time out from watching Star Wars films to have a bit of a bimble around Tapnell this week.(Tapnell? nope… I’ve never been there either..) She got around the 10k course in 54:35. A pretty decent effort, if you consider the heat and humidity and minor issue of a hurty ankle. She’ll be back to full force in no time though. (was that a pun? no, it couldnt possibly have been, we don’t do that here).


Matt Huxford and Julien Minshull (otherwise known as the dreem teem) were over on Lewis and Harris doing the final LAMM. On the elite course they were up against some pretty decent teams – and also Alex McVey and John Ryan who were representing “glossop north”- otherwise known as Carnethy. Hux sent me in quite a significant race report….. Thanks Matt.

Day 1
Friday morning we piled onto a coach headed to an unknown destination with the nervous excitement of toddlers at Christmas hoping for a scalextric but expecting socks. A hubub filled the bus when we were handed maps for the day with 40+ controls on but no idea which ones we were supposed to get. I looked at the pretty pictures and wondered why there were so many blue bits on dry land.
  Dropped at an anonymous layby we were handed our list of 12 controls to bag for the day and we were off. Did I ever tell you about the time I was first place in a LAMM with Julien? It was a glorious 3 minutes long.  Expecting to be tripping over tussocks headfirst into a bog, the frankly ridiculous two week heatwave we had experienced meant the ground was dry and runnable. Runnable until we reached the first hill. A stomp up an almost sheer cliff with no breeze set the tone for the rest of the day. Glossop North members John Ryan and Alex Mcvey disappeared into the distance not to be seen again till midcamp … coming 4th overall. Julien and myself set in for a long day. We weren’t bothering the leader board but still kept a good pace for another couple of hours. However the heat was starting to get to us and after getting cragfast for a while we bagged cp-7. Now where is cp-8? Less than 50 yds on the other side of the lochen…were we supposed to be swimming? Nope, but it was the first and probably last time I’ll be having a rib ride with some doggos mid race, only at the LAMM. The stomp up to cp 9 showed us the heat was winning so we stopped, stripped and sat. plotting a line to cp 10 which was a loooooong way away. We grudgingly got up and trudged on a well navved but incredibly long line. Coming into midcamp at 10 and a half hours after we set off.
We knew we were cooked.
    At mid camp, Jules decided to see how many different places he could get cramp in his body rolling round on the floor like an overpaid footballer (see even the king bleeds!) I surveyed midcamp and what a sight! A beautiful nestled beach with white sands and blue water in a sheltered alchove,  surrounded by the high dramatic hills and crags we had been traversing and descending all day. The beauty and solitude of this spot, only accessible by boat or foot, was slightly off set by slit trench toilets which had the distinct appearance of something like the start of Saving Private Ryan crossed with day old chilli. The only possible position to take allowed for a forensic inspection of your neighbours dietry habits and required you to leave any dignity you had at the door… Oh yeah there wasn’t a door. Time for bed and for Julien to get cramp in his hand somehow.
day 2…
Our planned late morning was slightly ruined by the 16 year old lad playing bagpipes at 5:30am.  If you want people to get up and out of camp quickly, blowing hot air through a dead sheeps stomach at the crack of dawn is a good way to go about it. Packing the tent and checking our feet were still attached we set off, it was an overcast claggy start but that didn’t mean it was any less of a muggy hot and mean day to run in. After some solid navving by Jules, adamant to use any stream he saw on the map as his personal tom tom and what turned out to be a good suggestion to down climb a waterfall by me (dear god I’m turning into him) we zigged when we should of zagged and spent an hour looking for a pretty well hidden control. After my watch alerted me to the fact that we had walked around the same knoll for the equivalent of 3 miles I had a sense of humour failure. Luckily at the same time Jules noticed he was standing on top of the control. We set off for checkpoint 4. While bounding down the next hill when I would expect to see Jules next to me I noticed he was gingerly hopping down behind at a distance. Not a good sign. Massive blisters on his feet and split skin the length of his foot from the previous day did not help with descending or running. I’d also started to notice that the top of my foot was feeling a little bereft of skin. We dropped into the valley and began the long hike to the next checkpoint. Again a steep slope, again no wind, lots of muggy heat though, so at least we had that…
“I’m boiling over again” Jules said for the third time THAT day, I didn’t hear him since I was still suffering PTSD from the slit trench. We reached checkpoint 4 and that was it, we were done. When you can’t run because you have no soul or sole then it’s time to call it a day. So that just left another 2 and a bit hours to yomp back to the finish. I wrapped my feet in the bandage from the first aid kit and my buff and off we set towards the finish line. Dropping onto the A-road back to camp, almost literally, I had a flutter of ego and said I didn’t want to thumb a lift back into camp, Julien to his credit didn’t say anything and set off for the next steep ascent over to the final valley. When I noticed him gingerly step on a rock I realised that my head had become wedged up my bum and remembered we were a team. We thumbed a lift down from a lovely couple who had just moved to the island. Stinking their car up with our fishy feet and unwashed pits we enjoyed the AC and slumped down in our seats when we went past others teams trudging back along the road. Not our finest performance in a race but definitely a challenge done and a good day out in the hills when you get past the sun burn, heat rash, bag rash, dehydration, traumatic toilets, homicidal midges and everything else the island wanted to throw at you. My hat is well and truly off to the people who came in after 12+ hours on those hills. You are legends. You could say We’d be back again but they decided that was that last one. Well have to find another challenge for next year. OMM Jules?

Other thoughts.
– We should’ve  called our team “Kelloggs shredded feet”
-The post race ceilidh like Jura was shockingly bereft of dancers. Who do they think is going to do the dashing white sgt. after that?!
– Heat stroke = no joke! I.e. if you want to stop Jules making puns carry a sun lamp on your next bimble.
– Jules believes he is the second coming and can walk on peatie water. Turns out he’s not the messiah he’s just a very boggy boy.

Pool party

The pool party looked like it went off with a bang – with a number of people running to the pool, from the pool, around the pool, as well as swimming in the pool, playing with the inflatable thingammy bobs, and all that stuff. No-one really told me what anyone did, and it might not be cool to put pictures of people in their swimmers on a public website- so if you want to enjoy the smiles and amusement of the afternoon at Hathersage- have a look on facebook.

Cinque Ports 100

nick hNick Ham was off out and about doing the Cinq Ports 100. From the title of the race you might well imagine that it is a) in France b) has 5 doors, and c) is 100 miles long. Well, that was what I assumed. It is in fact an LDWA event in Kent, and visits the Cinque Ports (Hastings, New Romney, Hythe, Dover and Sandwich) plus the Cinque Port Ancient Towns of Winchelsea and Rye, and the Cinque Port Limbs of Tenterden, Lydd, Folkestone and Deal. Of course. Well, I’ve learnt something… have you? Anyhow, Nick came in 29th after about 31 hours on his feet. Flipping fine effort.

It would appear that the management has also missed out on another of Nick’s epics- he was off doing the Northants Ultra 35 2 weeks ago. For those of you who don’t know, Northants is a bit further north than Southants, but not nearly so far north as Derbyshants. They are all well known for their vast number of small 6 legged creatures which build nests that face in the direction of ultra runs and are used as cairns by the less experienced runners. These cairns should not be confused with the nest of the little known phantom pantelope which despite it’s name is not indeed, antelope shaped, but rather, create nests on the forest floor and try to steal the pants off of any passing runners. Generally you get them in northern climes, though they have been seen as far south as the Watford Gap. (which, contrary to popular belief, is not near Watford).  It’s a good thing I’m around, or you’d never know these things. Look out for them next time you’re out.

Welsh 1000s Long course

Ah- the Welsh 1000’s, a fine little race that starts at sea level and goes over 3 lots of mountains, finishing at the top of Snowdon. The competitors then have to make their way down Snowdon back to their cars and other bits and pieces. Kasia was our sole representative this year, and her recent forays around and about in Wales have certainly paid off. She texted me in good spirits having finished 31st overall and 4th lady in 5:39. I believe that gets a prize. Good running in wonderful hills, and especially well deserved after having such a bad “gut related day” at Jura last week.

Wincle Trout

Part of the Glossopdale champs last year, this time around there were only 3 of our number who made their way across to Wincle in order to race around the course for a trout. Pete Wallroth, Mary Jeal and Sarah Leah looked like they had a marvellous time. I believe the course started and finished at the brewery this year- apparently the “easiest” version of the various iterations the race goes through on its 3 yearly cycle. I don’t have times or places, but they all got a trout. Which is all that matters really.

kids park run

Mel Crutchley, fresh from her successes at Wildboarclough was at it again this weekend. smashing around the junior parkrun at Marple in a new PB of 10:35. Them Swans had best watch their backs.


It really is ridiculously dry at the moment, so if you want a PB, now is a good time- don’t wait til November when it is all claggy and grim. Looks like Joe Gavin, Oliver Taylor and Marie Williamson are all taking advantage of the fast course with all of them tapping out PBs this weekend. Consolidated report, as ever, is here.

Stuff going on

Just because I happen to know a couple of bits and bobs as to what is going on this month… June 14th– Mark Harrison has suggested a Bleaklow head TT from the turning circle, which could well be a bit of fun, perhaps followed by a convivial pint?

On the 21st it is the Summer Solstice, which conveniently presents itself on a Thursday. May I suggest that we make our way to Dog Rock this time around? Considering the amount of people that came last year, it’s probably best just to say gather there at 7:45pm. There will no doubt be a group that goes up via James’s Thorn/ Pike, and another one walking up from the turning circle etc. More details closer to the date. I’ll be opening it to Pennine as well – when we scattered some of JH’s ashes on Jura a number of them couldn’t be there as they were going home early. We have some more of JH to scatter, and thought it might be appropriate to do so on the Solstice as he was, basically the originator of the idea. Vast amounts of food and home made alcohol are, of course, encouraged.

June 10th is both a road and a fell club champs- Passing clouds and Bury Race the train. I promise I’ll get around to doing the champs page as soon as I can. We might get an idea as to who is doing what etc then….

June 17th there is a 10k Trail race run by Marple runners- details are on the facebook page- posted by Mary.


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