Its the Spring Bank Holiday Report!

We’ve seen some epic racing from you lot this year, and that’s resulted in some epic weekly reports to match! Last week Mr Stinton had probably one of the most challenging to date, but where I’d be flapping, he seemed to just take to in his stride. Even with a bonus Bank Holiday to contend with, I was kind of hoping this week would be easier, as you must be too knackered to do much. But I was dead wrong. Thanks to all who contributed, grab your favorite tipple, take a little time out, and enjoy the weekend round up!

Brathay 10in10

For starters, although this event technically finished the week before last, and started the week before that, we should really go back for a moment and mention the amazing achievement of our resident marathon master, Marie Williamson.

On the 19th May, Marie completed her 10th marathon in 10 days at the Brathay 10in10 event. That’s 262 miles! Most of us see the marathon as the pinnacle of running achievement, and to run 10 of them on consecutive days is absolutely crazy. Any further babble from me isn’t needed, as the below numbers do the talking.

Ras Y Moelwyn

Thanks to Greg Wasinski for the following…..

So, my second Welsh Fell Race of the week was Ras y Moelwyn, a British Champs Race this year, an AM race with about 1000m climb and just under 16km. I think this is probably what some members of the club would describe as a ‘proper’ fell race. Very little marking of the route. Groups of runners going in seemingly random directions in the mist following whoever was wearing a local vest and looking confident. The obligatory shirtless elder gentleman despite the cold wind and mist. Shoe sucking bog. Rain slicked slate and rock. Quad bursting ascents and descents. Scrambles round rocky outcrops. And cake and beer at the finish…But it was a great course with some amazing views once you were out of the mist. Will definitely be looking to go back and do that one again. I saw a couple of other GDHers on start list, Sarah Andrew and Robin Hoffman but didn’t see them there.

Well, your description of a proper fell race sounds pretty much spot on to me, nothing to add! Whilst they may have been running incognito, it was seemingly so claggy that you didn’t spot Robin and Sarah just ahead of you!

Robin Hoffmann 1:57:10
Sarah Andrew 2:05:22
Greg Wasinski 2:07:34

Purple Moose Race Beer – But it tastes like Piws…..

Isle of Jura

With Greg’s description of a proper fell race still in mind, apparently Jura all that, and then some. Its about 18 miles and over 7,000 feet of climb, over some of the gnarliest terrain in the UK. And whilst far from local, its a race that our little club has a significant history with, with our late Chairman John Hewitt completing it no less than 9 times. In tribute to John, our very own Caitlin Rice re-donned the blue and orange for the race. John Stephenson, Lindsay Palmer and Matt Huxford, also went north to pit themselves against this beast.

Well done you guys, I gather its a massive achievement just getting round this one. Finishing times were as follows!

Matt Muxford 4.07.05

Caitlin Rice 4.50.15

Lindsey Palmer 6.23.05

John Stephenson 7.27.21

John Stephenson leading some kind of weird stretch fest

Blackpool Promenade 10

Alex Critcher was the only Harrier over in Blackpool, for the undulating 10 mile road race put on by Flyde Coast Runners. He was also the only runner to DNF the course, but on the plus side, he is the latest member of our prestigious DNF club!

Alex said just about everything went wrong after a fast start, and I think we all know exactly what that feels like. To cheer himself up he headed straight to Glossop Beer Festival, where he was pleased to record a personal best (of beer and burger consumption).

Keep your chin up Alex, and just chalk it off as an experience. The chances are you’ll go and blitz your next race.

Saddleworth

Tim Culshaw went over to Saddleworth Fell Race on Saturday. Its and AS class, just shy of 3 miles and 1000 feet, with a descent almost as renowned for its thorny bushes, as its steepness. This from Tim…..

I was the sole GDH at Saddleworth fell race, which was similar to Jura in terms of weather, but only about 20% as long, 1% of the travel time and maybe 40% of the fun. I felt ok on the climb, suffered on the flat and reclaimed a place on the mildly tussocky descent to finish possibly in the top 10 but I’m not really sure. Some fast/tall bloke from Pennine ran well for second place. Strong supporting from a 41 weeks + 2 days Alice.

Thanks Tim, and I do wonder who that fast / tall bloke might have been???

Tim Culshaw – Floating on Fog

Sea to Summit

I’m struggling to keep up with uber cool John Pollard of late. This week he found himself in Wales, presumably not by accident. He sent in the following report….

Here’s my fourpenneth from Llanfairfechan, where I am currently imbibing some vintage wines…after beer of course! Longest race I’ve run in over 12 years so onwards and upwards to aim for.

Setting off along the Welsh coastal trail before heading up to the summit of Drum, northernmost peak of the Carneddaus. A small entry of about 87 I think, with me the oldest participant not too far from the back…good climbing into a fierce wet sou’westerly and even a bit of hail at the top cairn, great descent and cut short of a full half due to some local road politics(we’ll have no runners here!)…just when I’d saved a sprint finish too. Had a chat with my celebrity friend(!)Louise Minchin at the tail about her training for ‘The Norseman’ triathlon in Norway in August, she’s posted selfies from the top on her Twitter feed, I didn’t stop, finishing in 2hr27.43, which I could have bettered. First v65 I guess..only v65 actually, haven’t seen the results.

I have seen the results John, and disappointingly the Vet prize categories only went up to V50, which is a very odd I would say. Still, you came 42nd and well deserve to claim those V65 bragging rights! Well done mate!

Rubbing Shoulders with the Stars – John Pollard with TV’s Louise Minchin

Liverpool Rock n Roll Marathon

Guy Riddell found himself over in Liverpool. Again……

So my 6th consecutive go at this great event, and as the only Harrier on the full, maximum points in the bag straightaway just for turning up. Shame it wasn’t in the club champs 😣

The weather was dreecht, as I’m sure the locals would say, with persistent drizzle and blustery winds, and cool (2.5 hillys on the Skusey scale). Naturally that meant just a vest top for me- and shorts, don’t worry folks – and that was about right, felt quite balmy mostly.

Having not trained as well as I would like and carrying a slight niggle (tight hamstring) I sensibly decided to take the start easy and feel my way into the race. That went great until the countdown from 10, and I crossed the start line and started bounding down the road with gay abandon – or should it be LBGAT abandon? Either way it was too fast and the only sensible thing to do was rein it in and settle into sensible pace. Which is exactly what didn’t happen next.

The first 10k are largely uphill to Goodison Park then round Stanley Park for what felt like another 10k before skirting past Anfield – not through Anfield this time, apparently there was a Magic Rugby League game going on, broomsticks & wands, the lot. The run continued through various other parks: Sefton, Princes, Everton; and at 18 miles coming up to Penny Lane – where a DJ is tasked with playing a Beatles track which escapes me on a loop for hour after hour – I was still keeping the suicide pace going. Of course that’s where it started to go wrong. My calves started cramping, my tight hamstring started to tighten, and my energy levels went for a burton.

I kept it together till the last few miles, with the weather much brighter but a lot windier, but then it became a bit of a battle to the finish & the beer along the less than inspiring water front, with quite a headwind.

I finished in about 3:34, so a couple of minutes off my PB and the wait for 3:30 goes on (Chester maybe?)

Positives– Forrest Gump was sat on a bench in Stanley Park, bubba gump cap and all; finished in time to get my beer and watch the free band.

Negatives- didn’t get to see the Glossop half mara crew; route changes meant at least 5 underpasses added to the route, all with sharp turns at each side; the band was Toploader.

Well done Guy, and being just 2 minutes off your PB over that distance aint bad at all. As you said, you have another bite at the cherry at Chester, and plenty of blue and orange around to keep you “motivated”.

“i’m just happy to be here” – Guy Riddell

Also running the marathon was Ellen Wilson (tbh I’m not sure if she is still GDH?). None the less, pleased to see her finish with husband Luke in 4.47.18.

I believe Zoe and Adrian Gent also ran the Half Marathon 2.49.54 and 2.17.48 respectively. Well done guys!

Edinburgh Marathon

Voted as the fastest marathon in the UK by Runners World, Craig Leith went north to find out. Whilst I’m a bit thin on information here, I know for a fact that 3.08.52 is a very fast time. Well done Craig!!!

Target Sprint

A bit more than a running race and looks darn good fun, Andy Burnett was Target Sprinting again. Nicked this from Strava……

Second Place, Podium Finish out of 4 Runners… – Better Shooting on smaller targets, let down by leaving sun glasses on in first transition which misted up. Might have been quicker if I had taken them off sooner…

Transition 1 – Shooting Cycle – 74 seconds
Transition 2 – Shooting Cycle – 50 seconds

Unofficial overall time 6 minutes 40 seconds

Andy Burnett – Gunning it!

Bamford Sheepdog Trials

Displaying worrying signs of withdrawal from his regular mid week fix, a grumpy Paul Skuse took to social media and made a passionate plea this week, to get more of us out on the local fell race scene. He’d cheered by by Monday it seems, and kindly sent in this report from Bamford….

Well the Bamford curse is getting worse not better. It all started so well, plenty of parking space, great weather and a respectable GDH turnout with me, Ben Naylor, Rich White and Tim Culshaw. Then the curse started to show itself, slowly at first, with the race entry being £5 instead of the advertised £4. We also arrived too late for a warm up and I was thirsty on the start line which is never a good sign. The route is simple, a very fast flat trail start for a mile and a half then a full on climb up Parkin Clough (harder than I remember TBH, lots of hands on knees) then up, up, up to the trig on Win Hill. I mis-remembered the downhill. It’s not technical, it’s just fast. Half way down the curse kicked things up a notch when Ben Naylor heard his ankle pop (though he carried on running cos that what he does). Apparently, it really hurts so fingers crossed for him.

Tim C and I encountered the same aspect of the curse when our little group went the wrong way as nobody could see a flag and one bloke behind shouted “Go down on the left!” so we did. I think at least a dozen of us did this and then, when realizing our error, had to decide whether to go back or to just keep going and hoping the paths would converge. Just ignore any comments from Tim – he’s as much of a muppet as me. We both just followed the herd. So I’ve no idea about results. I’ve no idea about distances ran; I do know that I enjoyed it and that Ben’s mate, Ben (didn’t get his surname but he’s rocking a cool 70’s hairdo and ‘tache) did his first fell race, did the right route and wants to join GDH so I’m calling today a win.

Here’s a slightly different version of events from Tim Culshaw……

GDH’s 41+3 spherical cheering extraordinaire positioned herself on the final descent, while an important person in a Barbour jacket gave a speech about the importance of something or other. From the off, Ben Naylor, Rich White and I spent the first 15 minutes wondering if we had entered a fell race or a flat 5k, while Paul Skuse zoomed ahead. I was relieved to turn steeply up Parkin Clough, then after summiting Win Hill I tried to catch Skusey on the descent. Just as I nipped past him, he declared we had gone the wrong way. His skulduggery had taken 20 of his competitors on a detour so he could beat them on an extra half mile of flatness. It worked well as he sprinted off and I gave up. 500 metres later Rich White popped out in front of me as I rejoined the correct course. I hid behind him until the last 200 metres then nipped past Rich and a hobbling Ben, who had turned his ankle.

Unfortunately Paul’s detour avoided the official GDH sphere’s cheering spot, so here are photos of Ben and Rich. We all finished in slightly over 40 minutes, between 10th and 100th place. Next time I do a report I’ll try to have some idea of the results.

Shutlingsloe

Following my sales pitch for this race earlier in the week, families Swan, Hamilton-Griffiths and Crutchley landed in picturesque Wildboarclough for the annual Rose Queen Fete and Fell Race. Unfortunately the weather was not kind like last year, so we forewent the Pimms in favour of a good old cup of tea. Out with a niggle, Elanor Swan took up the role as club mascot, with Caitlin and Josie Swan lining up next to dad Phil. Meanwhile Benjamin Crutchley was ready for his first grown up fell race, with myself accompanying. Meanwhile Lance Hamilton-Griffiths looked mean and hungry after a good Lantern Pike performance.

This is a fairly brutal little AS class race, an out and back to Shutlingsloe trig point complete with a double river crossing. Its just 2 miles, but contains some extremely steep sections, and being as wet and slick as it was today, the route on the descent in particular, is suicidal in places.

Phil and Lance took off at the gun, and looked they they had a pretty good battle, with Phil finally coming out on top. I suspect he was more concerned about being caught by his kids. And in a quirk of the complex age categorisations, Josie Swan was running as u17 girl, with Caitlin still classed as u13. Josie was justifiably a bit peeved by the jump from 13 to 17, which is an awful big jump at that age. Still, she finished 3rd u17 girl (1st u17 girl was 1st lady overall) which is pretty dang impressive Caitlin, running together with Josie, came in that familiar position of 1st u13 girl. Brilliance from the Swans yet again. Last of our merry band was Benjamin and myself, although we weren’t far behind, and a long way from the back. Benjamin had soon got fed up with my words of encouragement all the way round, words we’ve all heard and used a thousand times – you’re doing great, nearly there, keep going etc etc. Eventually he did tell me to shut up, but he did great, and once he’d cooled off he admitted to having enjoyed it (sort of).

No final times yet, but a great race this one. But as a footnote it looked like Simon Bailey blitzed this race yet again, being halfway down, when we were still halfway up. The record time set by him on this course is 15.11, which is ridiculous.

Parkrun

As normal Glossop saw the majority of the action with 20 Harriers taking advantage of the favorable conditions. Well done to Rachel Walton, Luke Holme, Steven Pepper and Ian Crutchley for smashing out PB’s.

Plenty of Harriers out and about with Joanne Brack at Penrhyn (PB), Simon Toole at Morecambe, Holly and David Munday at Isabel Trail, Lance Hamilton-Griffiths at Crosby, Sikobe Libata at Wetherby, Wendy Trelease at Fountains Abbey, Joe Gavin at Omagh, Wyatt and Laurie Barlow at Goole, Paul Amos and Chris Clapham at Marple, Tony Hillier at Hyde, Claire Campbell at Southsea. Last but not least, we had Nick Ham at Woodbank.

Consolidated club report is here

Other Stuff

I think Mary Jeal may have ran Ilkley Trail Race today, but I cannot find a thing about it anywhere, so can neither confirm or deny it. But well done Mary, if you did!

Anyway, it’s great to have so many of you contributing to our little weekly round up. And please please continue to do so. gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com

As a final word, I feel compelled to echo the sentiment of Paul Skuse this week. Please come out and play at the midweek and weekend fell races. Its such a fantastic Craic this time of year, and whilst we get good numbers, we’d love to see more of you out. Fast or slow it doesn’t matter, don’t be scared, come join the fun!

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