In a break from the last few weeks, there appears to have been very little racing this week and the million dollar question is …. has Team GDH peaked already for 2019 and worn its collective self out or is it biding its time for a glorious summer season? Only time (and Strava) will tell. Needless to say, not everyone had their feet up….
Dovestone Diamond 10k
Back after its 2018 cancellation, the Dovestone Diamond was this week’s midweek race of choice for Team GDH. Here are some words from Paul Skuse….
Okay, so the weather wasn’t great, the route wasn’t that challenging and I got my arse kicked by the fat lad and Mr Grumpy but I loved it; this is what racing is supposed to be. A few of us did a recce a week or so ago guided by “Smiley” Crossman; back then, the skies were blue, the grass was green and I thought I had an idea of how the race would play out. Fast forward to Wednesday night and the weather has turned and not for the better. It’s still fairly warm but it’s raining non-stop and the wind is picking up. Conditions are actually great for racing but it’s less than ideal for hanging around in. Fortunately there is plenty of space in the race HQ. The Harriers arrive in dribs and drabs, getting vested and numbered up. Tony H is there, chatting with John Pollard, eager to give the DD another go. Our GDH race crazy ladies are in town and are looking for some hot trail action: Charmayne, Jo B, Becky Smith and Tracey (racking up the miles this week). Guy Riddell is loitering with Will Mather in the race HQ and is up for his first midweeker in ages. Rob Sheldon is racking up a nice tally of races this season and looks resplendent with his fluorescent green shoes and accessories. It’s great seeing so many faces especially Si Toole as it’s his first race in ages. Welcome back mucker! Some opt for multiple layers. Ian “Crutches” Crutchley insists we just wear vests and it’s the right call. A quick warm up shows us that conditions underfoot aren’t too bad but the wooden bridges will be interesting. And then we get the call to go to the start line. I wish we’d got a team photo. It’s the best turnout I’ve seen in a long time and it really is great to see.
The route has a fast start (don’t they all?). If you don’t get out fast you will get caught up in the bottle neck so beans it! Jackson gets ahead on the climb. He is on top form and thankfully wearing the blue and orange for this one. I’m having a battle with Crossman from the start. The plan was to make gains on the climb and try and stay ahead on the flat where he can out pace me. The new plan is just keep pushing and if he tries to get past, push harder. After the climb we head into the woods where plenty of low branches should slow Jackson down a little. No such luck. He’s still increasing the distance between us. I’ve got nothing to catch him. Just focus on Crossman. The route is nice and traily, a few rocks, a few dips but it’s all fast and runnable. A quick shout out from Alice Swift and then another from Neil Shuttleworth. Cheers guys. We then cross a bridge and it’s now more road trail than fell trail. What has Jackson been eating? He’s miles ahead of us and Crossman is still on my shoulder. I can hear his footsteps but not his breathing. I’m sounding like a deflated accordion and we are not even halfway. Keep pushing. I try and make a break from Crossman on the climb after the dam. Head down and push harder. Crossman calls me back. I’ve just gone past the gate with the marshal and the big feckin’ arrow. Sometimes head down racing isn’t the best option! We continue to push on, manage to overtake the youngster ahead of us and do the switch back over the final dam. I wish I knew where the finish line was, I keep assuming it’s around every bend I see. Then there’s the slippery, slimy, wet, wooden bridge. Steve even calls a halt to our race so we can both get over in one piece. And then the final sprint to shame or glory. Chris Jackson is already home and dry. For someone who claims he has no flat pace, he is flying. With barely 20 yards to go, Crossman decides he’s has enough fun toying with me and steams ahead over the finishing line. I have to smile and applaud him. The best way to get faster is to get a racing partner like Steve. We get a quick team photo, soaked to the skin and grinning like idiots (not Steve obviously).
Lucy W. comes in as first lady. I knew she was fast but not this fast. If Immy and Jess were here we’d have the ladies team prize for sure. “Crutches” is next with Rob “Day-Glo” Sheldon right on his tail. Ian looks done in, he’s given it his all and has blitzed it. We can’t decide if Rob has fallen on his arse or just kicked up half the trail on his shorts. Will “the Impaler” Mather, being just behind him assured us it was the latter and says he will wear goggles if he gets behind him again. At this point, all residual heat is gone (is it convection, conduction or radiation?) and I’m stood shivering in the rain with a sopping wet vest so had to get some layers on. Sorry I didn’t get to see all of you pass the finish line.
- 1st Lady: Lucy Wasinski
- 1st V50 Lady: Jo Brack (no photos, sorry)
- x3 1st Male Vets: Paul Skuse, Steve Crossman and Tony Hillier
- 1st men’s team: Chris Jackson, Paul Skuse, Steve Crossman
- x2 most awkward handshake awards
Wincle Trout Fell Race
This weekend’s country fete based fell race was the Wincle Trout Run. Picturesque and challenging in equal measure, the race involves running through woods and across high moorland, steep stoney descents and a lengthy river crossing…beware the lurking photographers. The senior race is 9.5km with 320m of climbing and the junior race takes in all of the best bits of the senior route in 3km. This is another race that typically sells out months in advance so Becky Smith was the only organised-enough senior GDH (might have been a last minute place swap?). Caitlin Swan was the only representative of the GDH junior wing, Josie having unfortunately turned her ankle on the pre-race walk round (d’oh).
Conditions were hot and humid and both ladies did really well. Becky completed the senior course in 1:03 (18th lady or thereabouts) and Caitlin was 4th junior girl (3rd in her age category). Becky got a fish and Caitlin got a medal.
Isle of Wight Running Festival
Claire Campbell completed the “famously tough” Needles Half today as part of the Isle of Wight Running Festival. Claire was 29th Lady in 2:05 which is all the more impressive given that she probably did the Tapnell 10k during yesterday’s running related festivities.
Welsh 1000m Peaks
Kasia Osipowicz was again doing hard core running in Wales. This time at the 49th edition of the Welsh 1000m Peaks Race which takes in the five peaks of Snowdonia in 30km and 2,500m of up. Kasia seems to have had a brilliant race. In her own words from Strava…”a whole 18 mins faster than last year and was very pleased despite (!!! <Ed>) placing 4th lady, 3rd age category and 24th overall”.
A Grand Round
Tim Budd seems to have again forgotten about the risks associated with fraternising with Chris ‘silver tongue’ Webb and this week found himself supporting John Kelly on the first two legs of the Paddy Buckley section of his Grand Tour – a newly minted challenge which involves running the 3 big rounds and, because that it not hard enough, cycling between them. You can read all about the experience on Tim’s blog (https://testedtodestruction.blogspot.com/). As you can no doubt imagine, there was fast running and weather.
Most of this weekend’s club running activity seems to have happened between 9am and 10am on Saturday morning with GDH parkrunners and volunteers all over the place including; Glossop, Hyde, Lyme Park, Fell Foot, Woodbank, South Manchester, Marple, Shrewsbury, Crosby, Bakewell and Penistone. The consolidated club report can be found at: https://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1491.
If you are looking for racing inspiration over the next few weeks, check out Alex Critcher’s summary of all of the local racing possibilities on the GDH Facebook page. It is the Boar’s Head Race on Weds and Paul Skuse is on the hunt for more GDH bling.
Last but absolutely not least….welcome to the newest addition to the club, Edith Willson Culshaw born a few days ago and already rocking the club colours. Huge congratulations to Tim and Alice and a big GDH hello to Edith. We look forward to seeing you all out on the hills sometime soon.
Great running as always everyone! Lucy and Greg will be your roving reporters next week so please send your race write ups to them at firstname.lastname@example.org.