I’m not even sure where to start this week. Harriers have been all over the place, some even as far as Hayfield. There have been vampires, incidents in portaloos, swearing, potential puking and turned ankles. A typical week in the world of Glossopdale Harriers!
Hayfield: Three Days in May
It was all going on in Hayfield this weekend (not something you can say that often?), with a fantastic trio of races staring with the Hayfield May Queen…. on Friday.
Friday: Hayfield May Queen
Report courtesy of Paul Skuse:
The first of the three days in May and a little cracker of a race. Sadly not many GDH turned up for this which is a shame as it’s a great race for the first timers. What you need to know: First of all, no kit -hurray! The tactics are simple. It’s a fast one so run run fast! You need to give it the beans at the start or else risk getting caught in the bottle neck at the start of the climb.
The climb itself is runnable all the way but that almost makes it harder. It’s gradual in places and ramps up here and there but we Harriers run, we dont walk! Keep moving all the way up to the trig and then it’s time to head back down. Apart from the shortish patch through the wimberries (this bit cost me valuable time) and few narrow stoney paths, the descending is fast and fun. Thankfully for me there’s a little ramp up and a flat tarmac stretch at the end to stop the likes of Chris Jackson overtaking.
As for results, I bagged 14th in 23:24, Rich Martin, looking very strong at the minute took 28th in 26:41 This lad is having a great start to the season. Next in was a very happy looking Alex Critcher (the smile didnt last long apparently-read the Mount Famine race report :)). He took 49th in 28:28 with the ever youthful Joe Gavin coming in 60th in a time of 29:10. Claire Campbell was our only lady snatching the 97th place in a time of 34:59. If you’ve never done a fell race, this is a great start to your fell racing career. Hope to see you at the next starting line.
Saturday: Mount Famine
Rachel Walton took on the roving reporter duties for Mount Famine:
Second race in the Three Days In May series; having never done Mount Famine before and being given a pass out from (still) digging the bloody garden it would have been rude not to go. I quite like ‘running’ uphill. Which is just as well. This race somehow seems to go up for about ¾ of the distance. Including the comedy start. Judging by the sweariness, some racers (here’s looking at you Alex) weren’t impressed. So, after a comedy very steep up Elle Bank uphill bit, the race flattened out to merely normal uphill and then an up and down then up uphill all the way to Mount Famine and then South Head. A lovely steep descent down Dimpus clough simply so we could enjoy going back uphill to Mount Famine again followed, and then an undulating descent that still somehow included yet more uphill bits, into Hayfield. Didn’t see Richard and Rob all race – they were way ahead of me from the off. Becky skipped past me somewhere on Mount Famine, I finally caught up with Alex in the depths of Dimpus Clough, John came past me on one of the last descents (as usual), and we were close all the way back in. There were a couple of GDHers running in their away kit too – Chris Jackson in a not too shabby 5th place and Frank Fielding in 70th (1st V65).
55 Richard Martin 1.01.30
69 Rob Murphy 1.04.06
103 Rebecca Smith 1.11.10
117 Rachel Walton 1.15.03
118 John Stephenson 1.15.13
128 Alex Critcher 1.19.03
Sunday: Lantern Pike Dash
The Pixie of Doom, Immy Trinder, took her new pair of grippy fell running shoes to Lantern Pike and sent in this report:
For the second time today I have just accidentally typed ‘Lantern Puke’, which, whilst incorrect, rather accurately describes how a number of us were feeling at the end of this short but intense race.
For those who don’t know, at the end of Hayfield’s Three Days in May series, a number of people decide that it is a good idea to line up in a field, run to the bottom of it, jump a fence, run/walk/crawl 200m up to the top of Lantern Pike, and then bomb it back down, attempting to remember not to run straight into the fence on the way back.
There were some fierce battles occurring – Skusey against a teenager from Buxton, me against a teenager from Buxton… in fact let’s just not mention any more of the teenagers from Buxton, despite the fact that they occupied 20% of the top 20 places.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had come 16th, until I realised that I was very determinedly reading my own name where it actually said ‘Martin Thomson’. I can but dream.
The *actual* results are as follows, with a special mention to Skusey, who was so excited to be first V40 that he shouted his own name during the prizegiving – good effort on both counts.
13th Paul Skuse: 14:31 *1st V40*
19th Richard Martin:15:36
22nd Imogen Trinder: 15:42
23rd Lance Hamilton-Griffiths: 15:46
24th Matt Crompton: 16:03
38th Alan Scholefield: 17:56
Adam Crompton was flying the flag for the GDH Juniors, and was 15th in 8:10.
Kudos to Richard Martin for representing Glossopdale at all 3 of the Hayfield races this weekend!
Lurking in the darkest corners of the woods in Transylvania were vile salivating beasts. Hairy, dripping with sweat and foul smelling. That’s right, it was William Mather, Luke Holme and Jason Hart. They took on the Transylvanian 100km starting and finishing at Dracula’s Castle and climbing parts of the Southern Carpathian mountains.
I couldn’t resist having a browse at the start list and there were some fantastic names: Florin Alexandru Zoltan Neagu, Alexander De Wulf and, my absolute favourite, Barry Van Oven. Here’s the official race report from Luke:
We turned up and raced – the end. Only joking. It’s taken a year of planning and Will buying 40 pair of gloves!
Fast forward to May and after a 13 hour journey to get to the village of Bran in Transylvania we were on the start line thinking what will kill us first, bears, wolves, vampires or the site of Wills shorts.
The route was slightly shortened due Mount Omu having risks of avalanches so the distance was changed to roughly 50 miles and 17000ft.
The weather was predicted to be rain and thunderstorms but just because Luke’s doing an ultra it was the complete opposite and was about 25 degrees (too hot).
The route was extremely tough navigating through snow, muddy descents, broken trees to climb and steep inclines. Jason said the descents in the dark were gruelling with lots of mud and rocks to break the fall.
Will decided he wanted to be the Usain bolt of the mountains and came in at 13:31 hours. Jason with also an impressive 17.53 hours and Luke about 8 days (20:15 hours) Anyone interested in an international event that doesn’t cost the earth and has no lottery, this is highly recommended.
Old County Tops
The “Old County Tops” was first held in the distant past long before anyone can remember (1988). The race takes in the tops of Helvellyn, Scafell Pike and Coniston before returning to Great Langdale for refreshments. Tim “given up cycling this weekend because running is better” Budd gives us the lowdown.
Chris Webb, me, Jude Stansfield, Els Swan and Tim Culshaw headed to the rather delightful Langdale valley this weekend to enjoy the spectacular Old County Tops fell race. Tim didn’t do it on his own, but rather, joined forces with a running entity known only as “Carlos”. It wasn’t a hot day, but it was humid as you like. Chris led me along on a merry chase where we started too fast and generally slowed all day, Els and Jude set out at a steady pace, keeping it up all the way around in true Terminator style. Tim and Carlos.. I have no idea, but I bet they had fun – especially as Alice was somewhere on the course already a day overdue… There was a point as we approached Cockley Beck where I if someone said “are you Tim? Your wife is having contractions, we’ll give you a lift to the end to be with her” I probably would have said, “Yep, I’m Tim”.
As it was, Alice was by Blea Tarn shouting encouragement and taking photos, clearly unperturbed by any thought of impending birth.
A shout out must go to the Family Swan, Caitlin, Josie and Phyliss giving great support at Cockley Beck. A definite spirit raiser!
Chris and Tim – 7:41
Jude and Else – 11:45 (I think)
Tim and Carlos- Not a clue. (the time… not them).
It’s an amazing race – a wonderful day out in the hills, but still a real testpiece. Despite feeling rubbish for the vast majority of it, it will remain on my recommend list for a long long time.
You can also read a detailed report of the suffering at Tim’s blog HERE
Great Manchester Half Marathon
Big racing going on today over there in Manchester with the Great Run series descending on the city. Ian Crutchley was acting suspiciously in the portaloos again and whilst he doesn’t go into details, I’m sure the police report will reveal all. Two race reports for this one, first up from Ian:
How do you manage to sustain a pre-race head injury in a portaloo? Well, I did. I could elaborate on that, but sometimes the mystery’s just funnier. Jacked up on coffee and gels I didn’t realise I was bleeding till pointed out at the start line. The first 2 miles were a bit quick, but soon settled the pace at about 7.10, which was pushing it. But I had to do that to stand a chance to PB. Struggling in the last couple of miles, I managed to hold that pace till the end, but had no kick at all to give at the finish. Really pleased with an almost 2-minute PB at 1.33.53. Meanwhile, fellow bespectacled chappie Bartek Verde was having a crack at his PB, but it’s been a while, so he couldn’t remember what it actually was! Gunning for 1.45 today, he should be pretty pleased with 1.42.04.
Bartek Verde sent in the report below:
Signed up quite late and run in support of Mummy’s Star charity (that we all know and love).
I did a couple of halves before but that was years ago and I can’t remember my PB anymore. I figured 1:45 will be a good time to aim for. At 7:45am Manchester City centre was very calm. In fact it was dead quiet and after parking the car in Hulme with no issues whatsoever I started wondering if I got the dates right! But I soon found the start line and Mummy’s Star very own HQ set up in a fancy foyer of an office building in Peters Square.
After the usual faffing about, myself and Ian made our way to the start line, met some familiar faces there and got into the pen where we split up as he was going to run faster. I managed to locate the 1:45 pacer and stuck to him for the majority of the race.
Very nice weather for running. Pleasant route: city centre, Man City stadium, Man Utd stadium and back to Deansgate. Nice to visit the city centre once in a while – new buildings popping up everywhere! Finished in 1:42:08 and had a (mostly) very enjoyable run. I suppose that’s my new PB then. Well done Ian for getting under your predicted time and to all GDHers doing 10k. It was nice chatting to you between the runs.
John West tuna in the goody bag made it all worth it!
Whilst not a Harrier, Vicky Stinton also completed her first half marathon whilst raising money for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (who have helped us a lot) and also for CURE who help children in developing countries access treatment for clubfoot. Top running!
Great Manchester 10km
The much bigger event took place later in the day – I know this first-hand because I was attempting to drive out of Manchester at the time (a stupid idea). Here’s the report from Jessica Camp:
Well, the pre-race nerves were in full force for us today (mainly for me ha!)
It was only my 3rd ever 10K but I was chasing a PB.
Myself, Wendy McMahon, Charmayne Brierley, Jo Brack, Kate Bowden and Laurie Barlow swapped our GDH vests for Mummy’s Star today… we had a fab day and was a pleasure to run for them!
Conditions were great and no way near as hot as last year (though the slow first mile was very frustrating.)
Well done to all!
Thank you to Pete and team for having us all today!
Jessica Camp 41:55 10K PB
Charmayne Brierley 51:59
Kate Bowden 1:05:34
Wendy McMahon 54:15
Laurie Barlow 1:01:13
Jo Brack 48:26
Kate Bee: 52:30 10K PB
Ras y Gader
An intrepid blue camper van rolled over the border into Wales this weekend so that Greg Wasinski could take on the Ras y Gader. Yes, I have no idea what that is either, but Greg fills us in with the details:
So I did the Ras y Gader for the first time, an out and back from Dolgellau to the top of Cadair Idris. Total distance was just under 18km with just over 900m of ascent. Fairly gentle incline for first section with some road and rooty forest track before hitting Cadair with a long section of rocky steps and trails going up before hitting a very shaley section that was a bit 1 step forward 2 steps back….Very much a ‘why do I do this?’ sort of climb! Coming down was a proper leg bashing experience where knowing the best lines made much more of a difference. The upper slopes saw runners scattered across them trying to find grassy sections and dodge the intermittent boulder patches. Passing off the shaley upper section it was then avoiding the zig zag path on the steep descent taking a much more direct route until what should be a fast run back into town, at least if your legs can still take it…
The atmosphere in Dolgellau before going is great with bands on hand and a bit of a party atmosphere. Great support on route as well. I struggled more than wanted to and so didn’t make up the time I expected on the descent in the second half, but was great to do a race that I wanted to do for ages.
Shining Tor Race: “double F”
Puzzled about the “double F”? Me too folks, read on for the report from Zoe Barton:
Lins Palmer, Mr Skuse, Mr Crutchley, Mr Critcher and myself waffled on to one another prior to the start. Efficiently organised with online booking by the affable and effusive Crazy Legs team. The field was stuffed with Chorlton runners and we were miffed not to have brought such numbers, yet remained unruffled.
We huffed and puffed up a zigzag trail through woods. No piffling climb this and offally runnable. Over moorland paths and then down quad-baffling flagstones. The uphill finish of yore has been removed, it’s different now. A rather offensive sprint across the dam brings this race to its end. What made me rate it double F? It’s full of false flats!
Well done glossopdalers . A tough little evening race and no mistake
Zoe Barton just clearly couldn’t stop racing this week and sent in the Fairfield Horseshoe report:
Matt Crompton and I travelled to Rydal Hall to have a leisurely run round the Fairfield Horseshoe , an A medium race of 9 miles with a typically lakes amount of ascent. The weather was surprisingly warm and even humid. We were cheerily waved off by Alice Willson and set off up a very long climb during which either the efforts of my midweek racing or just generally being under-trained slowed me down to a grumbling trudge within minutes. Matt assured me he was OK with a slower pace as he’s getting over a niggly hamstring. It was the kind of pace which allowed him to take numerous pictures and chatter amiably about his experiences hiking the route. On the descent, disaster struck when I turned my ankle heavily on a rocky stretch so it became an exercise in getting back before the promised tea and flapjacks ran out. Thanks Matt for sticking with an even grumblier runner and making sure I got back OK.I was incredibly glad I had packed a small first aid kit containing ibuprofen or it would’ve been much ouchier than it was.
Monday seems like ages ago. I mean, it’s nearly Monday again already (sorry to remind everyone). Caitlin Swan and Phil Swan are sticking with this one and here’s the report:
Caitlin and Phil maintained what is rapidly becoming their standard form for the 3rd Trunce race on Monday. Caitlin was 2nd girl and Phil was comfortably mid-pack, happily unhampered by pre-race lemonade this week.
Steven Pepper snuck in the Kong Mini Mountain Marathon and here are the details:
Nice evening out, good to be an area with no local knowledge. Got stuck on the wrong side of the river like a muppet.
I thought with all the racing going on Parkrun may be a quiet affair, but no. Seventeen harriers ran Glossop and showed everyone who is boss by taking 4 of the 5 top places (Steve Crossman, Caitlin Rice, Craig Leith and Lance Hamilton-Griffiths who also bagged a new PB)
Check out the consolidate club report HERE
Top Mileage and climbing
As it’s been quite a short, easy report (!) I thought I’d add an extra bonus section. It may catch on and be featured again, but it may not. Which harrier has been out there gobbling up the mileage and elevation? Well according to our club Strava page, as of 19:54 Sunday evening (the official cut-off time):
Chris Webb grabs the top spot with 89.4km.
Unsurprisingly, William Mather took on the most elevation with 4,575m (with Luke Holme and Jason Hart closely behind).
On Tuesday, people ran around Hurst Crescent – I know because I drove past in my car and felt very guilty for not going.
There was a great social run on Thursday where everyone basically just ran to the pub.
Barring some apocalyptic event, Tuesday and Thursday will occur again next week, so please fill them with GDH club running.
As we get into the busy racing season, please, please, please send the reports and pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org. It makes it so much easier when everything is in one place.
Brilliant running Harriers!