A delightful week with a load of stuff happening. I hope I have as much on here as actually happened, apologies if I missed you – it wasn’t intentional. Thanks muchly to contributors this week – Ian Crutchley, Char Brierley, Alabama, Nick Ham, Pete Wallroth and Wendy McMahon.
Unfortunately the weekly report from Skusey must have got lost in the post, the pigeon decided to head off elsewhere, or the morsecode got intercepted, or the smoke signals got blown away… so to be honest, I really no idea what happened. However – as you can see from the photos below, there was a bit of a difference between the before and after pics. Looks like there was a decent turn out for one of the last hard mid-weekers of the season. One presumes that the guys and gals had an amazing time on the race, which goes up and around Eyam (from memory), and generally is pretty knackering. Good to have had heard about the various adventures from Skusey – (though he has neglected to send me a report this week…. must have been planning a lesson or something?).
I look forward to hearing about all of this lot enjoying the hard and fast racing through the cross country season, ready for the short fell season next year.
A bit of a write up on the Bullock From Ian Crutchley…
Luke Holme and I took on the Bullock Smithy this weekend, with a mission of beating my previous time of 17.29. Organised by Hazel Grove Scouts, this event has been around since the mid-70s, and is officially a long distance walking challenge. Inevitably over the years though, the ultra-running fraternity has turned up in increasing numbers, clocking quite ridiculous times. Starting at 12 midday, you have 24 hours to complete this classic 56 mile mixed terrain circuit around the Peak District . The start time is unusually late, but that’s part of the charm, as you find yourself racing against the inevitable darkness. I’ve heard it said many times that your Bullock time is the first and only thing one runner needs to know about another runner. I’m not so sure, especially as it seems to be said a lot by those who have done the Bullock Smithy. I’ve now starting responding with, “And? What’s you Lantern Pike Dash time mate?”.
The route starts and finishes in Hazel Grove with frequent checkpoints, but is a bit of a Nav challenge in places particularly after dark. It takes in Lyme Park, Big Stone, Kinder, Edale, Castleton, Peak Forest, Millersdale, Earl Sterndale, Wildboarclough, Macc Forest, Bollington, and a horrific 7 mile march to the end along the canal and Middlewood Way. The food alone is quite astounding, and there is literally a competition between checkpoints as to which has the best food and hospitality.
We started well, keeping a nice even pace. But the sun and heat were relentless, and it was just a matter of time before it caught up with one of us. Luke hit the wall on the climb to Edale Cross, and our pace slowed a bit while we were hoping it would pass. But another couple of checkpoints ahead, no ability to eat, Luke was struggling. Will Mather made a appearance at Edale checkpoint and plied us with Pork Scratchings and jelly beans. This was a really nice surprise and lifted our spirits. Another couple of checkpoints and Luke finally called it at Peak Forest (24 miles). Having done a couple of other ultras in recent weeks, a very respectable distance all things considered. I later found out that a record 25% of the field pulled out, mainly due to heatstroke and dehydration, including many Bullock veterans. Just shows how extra hard things become with a bit too much sun.
I continued from Peak Forest still feeling OK, and still eating like a pig. A couple of jam donuts heavier at Chelmorten CP, darkness descended by the time I got to Earl Sterndale, and it took everything I had to resist a quick pint in the Quiet Woman, which is the oddest pub I have ever been in (seriously, you need to experience it). At this point a rabble group of 4 of us naturally formed, as some tricky nav lay ahead. Passing the “barking Dog farm” at Brand Top, and inhaling a hot dog at the checkpoint, Cumberland Cottage was next. As usual, it was the hands down winner in the hospitality stakes, with a full on party style buffet and roaring fire. But like all checkpoints we didn’t linger any more than a few minutes. Upon reaching Walker Barn at 1am, I was amazed to find Will Mather there, with more Lukozade and words of encouragement. I was blown away by Wills support, especially as I had no idea he would do that. After a nice section down to Bollie skirting Kerridge Hill, the canal and Middlewood way sections lay ahead, and soon lose their nice novelty flatness as you just want this to end. As we approached race HQ, still managing a slow jog, a manoeuvre took place which will warm the heart of any Harrier. We were literally 250m from the finish, and it went like this:
“those guys just ahead, are they on the “walk of shame”, or are they in the race”
“they have bags on. They’re definitely in the race”
“They’re walking, we can have em I reckon”
We upped the pace, and they turned to see us when we were just 10 metres behind, but their senses too dulled to realise what was happening until it was too late. But they did realise, and so ensued a sprint finish, 6 of us within 50m of the line, 56 miles under our feet. Somehow I came out on top, and the look on the face of the pair we passed was priceless. Cruel? Yes, yes it was.
No idea what position I finished in, but the time was 15 hours 25 minutes, so more than 2 hours faster than last year. Im well pleased with that, and will no doubt be back next year. In case you’re wondering the record is 8.46. Like I said, ridiculous.
The Bullock didn’t disappoint yet again. It’s a tough event at the best of times, but very tough conditions this year. Highly recommend this great value (and well catered) event. Shame it always clashes with Shelf Moor weekend.
John Hewitt Shelf Moor Race
What a grand day out it was. A whole bevvy of Glossopdalers (and very welcome interlopers from Glossopdale North- aka Carnethy) ran the local test piece, ably organised by Rachel Walton. I won’t give you a blow by blow account of the race as I was too busy doing data entry to know quite what was going on up on the hill, however, I’m sure the selection of photos will speak for themselves. Indeed – we have the Race results in the accompanying link–> Shelf 2018 so read that for the cold hard data. Thanks to you all – organisers, helpers, marshals, runners, nuns, volunteers, cake makers, etc. it was a pretty damn successful morning out.
From memory – we should note that 1st Female was Jill Wood, 1st V40 was Paul Skuse, 1st FV40 was Zoe Barton and 2nd Female was Immy Trinder, with Jill, Immy and Alice Willson winning the Ladies Team prize. Richard White was 1st Nun.
From Charmayne Brierley.. .I’m just letting you know that I completed my first ever endurance event yesterday. It was the Sundowner Triathlon and it was great. I’m amazed that I got 7th place in my age category and can’t believe I’ve done my first half Iron x
Which is pretty damn impressive – especially after having a bit of an off in a previous tri – not even a few months ago. Awesome work Char!
Grand tour of Skiddaw
From Nick Ham…. I got there and back safely. Grand Tour of Skiddaw was brilliant – so well organised, so many nice touches, so much attention to detail. Skiddaw had its own cloud in attendance so there were no views from up there but there were still plenty of amazing views to be had below the cloud base.
I did give it some welly after all, but only after the last checkpoint with 8 miles to go. Food plus a nice long kneel down to squeeze the blood out of the muscles restored life to the legs and enabled me to run all the way to the finish, picking off other runners as I went. Oh it did feel good. A sub-11 finish went out of the window early on with over 12 hours looking highly likely, but I managed to pull it back to 11:43 in the end.
Stockport Hatters Half
Wendy McMahon and Paul Drury were across in Stockport, supping on the Mercury as they trotted around the Hatters half today. Wendy came in just over the 2 hour mark – 2:00:40- taking it easy because of a minor injury (but is still cursing those extra 40 seconds). Paul came in at 2:18, taking it nice and easy, and not cursing those extra 18 minutes at all.
From Pete Wallroth – Hiya, Hope you had a great morning with Shelf Moor. Sorry I didn’t make it but needed a bit more distance and some nav with events I’ve got coming up so headed over to do Totley AC’s Exterminator. Really tough route up and out from Totley Trig, Burbage Edge, Higger Tor, Stanedge, Padley Gorge and then back up over the trig again. Absolutely ruined me in the heat. 16.5 miles in 3:30. Only Harrier there as far as I could tell
A small but perfectly formed contingent of GDH were across at the Trafford 10k this weekend. As flat as you can make a 10k without using an iron. David Chrystie-lowe came in at 45:26, Simon Toole brought down his ever more impressive 10k times with a 46:54, and Tony Hillier rounded out the 3 of them with a respectable 48:28.
South Cheshire 20
Jim Talbot ran the south Cheshire 20. It’s 20 miles long. And it is in South Cheshire. Beyond that… you’ll have to ask Jim.
Like the Dark Horse that he is, Chris Webb went off and came 27th in the Grisedale Horseshoe this weekend and didn’t even have the modesty to mention it to me when he went out to marshal Shelf Moor today. By all accounts a lovely day out – though with a minor navigational mishap that saw him lose about 15 places off St. Sunday Crag. These things happen….
One new PB at Glossop Parkrun this week as Tracey Robinson starts climbing the ranks, nicely done there. I believe congrats need to go in Paul Peters direction for his sub-17 in Newcastle parkrun as well. Consolidated results here.
Relays: So far I have 7 names for the Hodgson Brothers Relay. I need 8.
Fras- I have 5 names for the male team. I need at LEAST 6, and if we’re going to have 2 teams, I need 12. No idea how the ladies teams are progressing – but I’m sure Jude is chivvying you all along on the Babes page.