The “it’s the start of June it’s not meant to be raining” report

Aaaah summer time in Glossop is a glorious thing! OK, maybe not….but rain definitely doesn’t stop play round here. After a relatively quiet week on the racing front last week, normality resumed and you lot were out in force this week – rain never stopped anyone (ok maybe it stopped us coming to Castleton but hey, pizza and prosecco won over). Big thanks to everyone who has contributed to this week’s report, and great to hear from folk we haven’t heard from before – keep em coming guys, it’s great hearing what races people have been doing.

So this week kicked on in style with Monday Madness at Trunce

Thanks to Ian Crutchley for the sending in this report of the race, no …just a run…ok then, a “race”.

“At fairly short notice (about 15 minutes) Will Mather and I headed East to go break our Trunce ducks.  After spending the drive over complaining of our various niggles and general tiredness, we agreed to just take this as a recce run, and to race it properly at a later date.  Of course, we both knew that was never going to happen.

The field was massive, almost 400 people, and we’d been warned to get a good start as a few bottlenecks early on.  The start line is a loose affair, being clearly present, but completely ignored – to be fair there was so many people it was backed up to the main road.  Keeping up the relaxed façade, Mather and I situated ourselves about 1 third back from the front and we were off.  The first mile was a bit slow in the throng, but we threaded our way through the pack best we could.  After a bit of queueing at the bottleneck stiles it opened up a bit, we were now doing some serious overtaking and the race was on.  I finally edged past Mather at some point, and just about managed to hold that till the end, but it was very close, both finishing within 10 seconds of each other.

Really enjoyed the route – fast running, good climbs, nice descents and 3 river crossings.  But I can now attest, get a fast start!”

Have come to realise start lines are somewhat like mandatory routes, and people can take a somewhat flexible approach to them. No, no, I’m not bitter at all about the girl in front at Goldrush 2017 who scrapped the switchbacks and took a shortcut…

Anyway, how many more of these Trunce races are there then? Anyone know? Hopefully plenty more for folk to have a go at.

Will keeping it low key in black shorts

Boars Head Fell Race

A few of you headed over to Lyme on Weds for some midweek race fun. Tracey R did a grand job of trying to rally the female GDH contingent but we all put in our excuses of saving the legs, keeping the kids company, and errmmm….yeah that was it. So thanks Tracey for doing it for the gals and sending in this report:

“In my line of work getting a weekend off is like gold dust! So I’m making the most of these mid week races . After failing miserably to persuade any other babes to join me … I thought bugger it the boys can wait for me …. and off I popped with Matt C , Paul Skuse, Alex.C and Rich White who gets a special mention for not only being on time but rather early in fact!!! Even had time for a quick warm up . 
So we set off and I waved goodbye to my fellow male comrades “see you at the finish boys “ so the ascent started I was doing ok I’m running for longer now without having to stop in desperate need off an Theurooutic oxygen bottle . Next minute everyone darts off in different directions choosing there own route ….. I just followed the person in front and hoped for the best . I’m still plodding along  UP huge emphasis on the UP bit🤪…. heading towards that cage and what now looks like a scene out off Pride of prejudice …..so I had my eye out for my Mr Darcy!
Exciting times the downhill bit here ….. err no cancel the excitement it’s a tiny field before the biggest climb of the entire race …. what a treat!! Fun times ahead …..
So I’m taking in the breath taking  views as I’m Crawling up this rather steep hill . From behind me a women’s say “ come on Glossopdale what would you be doing if you weren’t here” errrr where to I start!🤣 . At this very moment I made my first friend on a Fell race . I was getting overtaken .. ALOT …. so I latched on to these two guys and my competitive head kicked in! I wanted to catch up with my little friend …. no one else is overtaking me!!! “Donde esta La Decent!!”
6 Km 42 mins later the Decent was here!!
Whoo hoooo so I said adios amigos to the two guys I’d been hanging out with , and took off on a mission to catch my little friend in white and green …and I did ….. I over took her ….. she over took me …. etc etc . At the start of the race I got excited when I saw style  …. now at the end of the race I was crying the styles had god bigger and seemed like mini mountains , me and my little legs weren’t happy . I’m back in front of my little friend as I go through a gate first Im not going to lie I tempted to slam it shut and turn around and blow a raspberry like a mischievous 7 year old , but I’m a professional athlete so I never 🤣. Checked my watch 6 miles in 2 to go so I let my little friend get in front  ….. only to realise as she made a little spurt the finish line was around the longer and was only 7 miles not 8!I demand a refund! All in all I had a good night out and that’s another race to add to my collection 🙂 

Gotta say, I’d love it if you kept up a running commentary of what was going on in your head during your runs Tracey J this is brilliant!  Not sure we’ve ever had Pride and Prejudice mixed in with a bit of Spanish! Sounds like a great race, we never did find out if she met her Mr Darcy…I’m guessing Cecil would have a thing or two to say about that mind.

Results as follows, Paul S 18th, Richard White, 62nd, Matt C 73rd, Alex Critcher 110th, Tracey R 167th. Great running y’all out of a big mid week crowd of over 200.

Otley Chevin

Now FB tells us that Mary Jeal ventured a bit further afield on Wednesday and did the Otley Chevin Race. Fellrunner tells us that this is a gnarly little race – of just 4.5km but an awful lot of up! 210m to be exact!

Sounds leg-aching and lung-bursting really. Unfortunately can’t dig out any results for this, but nice one Mary for doing it!

So seems we have a contender for our “as many races as you can cram into a week in Wales”! Joe Travis wasn’t to be outdone and was flying the GDH flag (and leaving his mark on the rocks) across the border this week. Thanks to Joe for sending in these reports!

Rodney’s Pillar

First race was on Wednesday at Rodney’s Pillar. The race was supposedly 6.3km long (probably more like 5.5km based on other people’s strava, my watch died during the race) and all off road, mostly on rugged trail rather than the fell it was billed as. Standard midweek race, run up a hill and back down. Managed the former alright, struggled with the latter… Managed to catch my toe on a rock whilst going full pelt down a rough trail and sent myself flying. Ended up bleeding from my shoulder, back, elbow, hand, hip, knee and ankle (I don’t do things by half measures!). Cracking little route and a good test.

Gregynog Trail Race

Today (Sunday) I ventured a little further across the border for a trail race organised by Maldwyn Harriers, and you could tell as they probably made up around 3/4 of the field. A 7.5km undulating route through woods and fields and I managed to not embarrass Glossopdale too badly coming back in 7th place and the first runner not from Maldwyn.

Sounds like you did GDH proud Joe! Great running- Hope you aren’t too battered and bruised after Wednesday, ouch.

Castleton Fell Race

Friday saw a few of you man up and embrace the rain over in Castleton. Even Steve Page ditched his road shoes for some fell fun and put himself in the running for nabbing Luke Holme’s biggest nav balls-up crown 😉

Thanks to the local mid week racing scene’s ever-present, Paul Skuse, for this report.

“Not sure if this one’s being written up so here’s a few thoughts about it. It was quite a small GDH contingent that rocked up to this one which is a shame as it’s a great local race. I’m guessing the wet weather put a few of you off. (Get a grip; it’s only a bit of water!) First of all parking is a bit odd. If you use the designated race car park, it’s miles away from the start line so would be a right pain for the normal kit faff that I like to indulge in. Thankfully, Luke parked up in the main carpark which is much closer to the start. We wandered up to the race HQ We all got squared away in the crushed but dry confines of the race HQ with the usual debates about what to wear. Some went for waterproofs, others for vests and I, being my normal indecisive self, went for the middle ground of Tee, vest and woolly hat. Beccy Smith almost started in her waterproof jacket but stern words were given. I think all the other GDH were disciples of Crutchley with the “Vest or death!” approach to race wear.

The race started differently to last year. No running round rugby posts this time but a fast dash through a gap in the hedge and onto the tarmac up to the path that climbs up to Lose Hill. It’s a good runnable climb and worth putting in the effort here. Once at the top, it’s a long, lumpy run mixing up flags stones, deep ruts, stoney tracks and the ever pleasant grassy verges up to the trig at Mam Tor (I love the race but I really do hate the descent down Back Tor or whatever it’s called!). Conditions were warmer than expected but wet underfoot so traction was reduced as was the visibility due to the clag. From the trig, it’s a quick 180 to head back to the base of Back Tor and down the technical descent back to the tarmac and the finish line. No results are up yet but James Knapper gave a sterling performance and came in as first GDH. Oh and as a final thought, if it’s wet, bring a towel. Nobody wants to see your arse Pete Nicholson!”

Can’t see any other results still for this but sure someone will post them up when they been published.

Ladybower Trail Marathon

Not exactly the weather one expects early June but Kate B was ready for whatever the elements were going to throw at her! Thanks for sending in this report!

“On Saturday I ran the Ladybower Trail Marathon: 26.2miles; 600m ascent; 4:29:19 (unofficial Garmon time) . Considerable rain, wind and unseasonably cold. Lots of undulating roady miles for a trail marathon: once round Ladybower and twice round Howden resers with an interesting foray into the hills between miles 14-17, including a stiff climb and treacherous muddy descent. Would probably make a good first trail marathon for anyone more used to road running and wanting to have a go at trail running – or for a trail runner wanting a PB, which I smashed by over half an hour! (Thanks Jeroen for the last minute tips, and everyone else for the encouragement). As usual the organisers were helpful and I met lots of lovely new running people.”

Wowzer – that’s a huge PB! Well done Kate! Having spied Kate enjoying some post-run rehydration in Glossop’s favourite brewery, can safely say that this didn’t look like someone who’d just run a marathon! I’d be snoozing on the sofa with my feet up scoffing all the carbs I could find – no, not her, fresh as a daisy socialising with her mates!

Man vs Horse

Seemed if you wanted to miss the rain Wales was the place to be as the sun managed to make an appearance! Wendy T sent in this report:

“As the name suggest, runners race against horse and rider in this 40 year old race. I think it’s only ever be won by a human 3 times and each year the prize pot rolls over to the next year if any GDHs fancy giving it ago  

Having been lucky to get an entry (only 650 places and entries fill up within an hour) I was really looking forward to this one and it didn’t disappoint. North of the Brecon Beacons this 22 mile trail race with 4000ft of climb took in some gorgeous scenery and the weather held off throughout. We even got a glimpse or two of the sun! However the past week of heavy rains and a succession of hooves made for a mighty bog fest of a course (which I loved! Can’t beat a bit of mud!) We did get a regular cleaning off in the many knee deep water crossings. The climbs and descents were of leg sapping quality and by mile 20 the going was tough on the old pins but I managed to hang on for one last muddy climb and a quad busting 400 yds of a hoof rutted down hill finish in a time of 4.01 (7th in my cat) Needless to say I didn’t beat any horses today (apart from the ones that DNF) A horse/rider took 1st place. 1st man back was a Yorkshire lad who beat the bookies favourite to win American endurance athlete Mike Wardian. I’m guessing Mike wasn’t use to the sticky brown stuff!! 

A well organised event with plentiful water stations on course, cheerful marshals and a marquee full of sandwiches and treats at the finish. I might have to do this one again 🙂 “

Sounds a  tough run that Wendy, that’s a great time and brilliant category placing. Keep your eyes peeled folks for when entries open for next year folks! A lot of these races don’t half fill up fast!

Oldhams toughest 10km

Couple of GDHers flying the flag in Oldham this weekend, thanks to Alex Critcher for sending in this “no waffle” race report.

it lived up to its name, good local 10k though. 

Alex critcher 47:23

Tony Hillier, (on his way back from injury) 53 something.

FB tells me that Tony bagged another v70 prize – awesome stuff, that’s a cracking time!

Edale Fell Race

Thanks to Els Swan for sending in this report of the fun that was had over at Edale today following round 2 of the Gritsone Series that took place in Castleton on Friday.

“6 Harriers (5 Seniors and 1 Junior) headed over to Edale today for the Edale Fell Race and Country Fair (Round 3 of Accelerate’s Gritstone Series).  The senior race is a fun jaunt out (up!) from Edale Village under Ringing Roger, along the edge of the Kinder plateau over Grindslow Knoll and then back down into Edale either via the main rocky path or a steeper, more direct line.  The race finishes in the Edale Country Fair in close proximity to much cake, beer, gin, burgers and ice cream all of which are completely justified having raced for 4.72 miles with an ascent of 391m. 

The junior race was 2 loops of the field in which the adult race starts.  This all sounds rather benign until one (and one’s 12 year old) realises that the start is up a 1 in 3 hill and each loop is 1.2 km with some pretty significant contouring thrown in for good measure.  There was an impressive field of approximately 50 junior racers from a wide range of clubs which was great to see.  Caitlin was the 3rd girl home in the junior race (2nd JW U14).

The results from the senior race are not yet available however I suspect that, whilst new club members Sarah and Robin have yet to pick up their race vests, they did the club proud and were well towards the front of the field.  Ever the gentleman, Matt Crompton kept me company mid-pack (and yes, we did have to stop to pick someone up and reunite them with their specs mid-race).  Nick Ham, camera eternally at the ready, was not too far behind us.  Whilst I remain a reluctant racer, this was a fun route and a very well organised event with great racing company and, as an added bonus, it was all over before the rain came. “

So the sun did shine?!

Sounds like a great morning out! Great running Caitlin  – that’s seriously good going in such a big field of junior racers! I’d be tempted over next year – cake, beer, gin, burgers and ice cream?!

Now that’s effort gone into a race!

Scafell Sky 2019

In keeping with her great race placings, Kasia was up in Scafell doing a 35km race with 2400m of climb. Sounded delightful – bog, bog, rock and rain – what more does a fell runner want?! Didn’t stop Kasia though, she romped home as 2nd lady!

Mourne Mountain Marathon

Liam Amos and his dad were off doing the Mourne Mountain Marathon – straight off FB- both finished and alive, hardest thing have ever done!

Blencathra Fell Race (this just in from John Pollard as about to publish so sorry it’s not in order!)

Finding myself in the Lakes again I was seduced into testing my fell fitness by the arduous but breathtaking ascent of this iconic northern giant so I drove 40 miles in the apparently clearing late afternoon weather towards Keswick. The route was to begin with an unconventional eastern approach starting in the hidden little hamlet of Mungrisdale, a village hall and a cluster of cottages.
The gradual gathering of runners suggested a pretty hardcore bunch, and those I spoke to were mindful to tell me of the ‘stupid steep’ first climb up Bowscale Fell, and the equally ‘stupid steep’ descent off Souther Fell at the end. In between, some good running until the hard pull up Blencathra’s north face.
One of the marshals from Eden Valley runners(the organising club from Penrith) saw my GDH vest and asked if I’d come up especially for this…not really I told him, just wanted to graduate from the mainly trail runs I’d been doing and get back to the fells. He gave me a wary sort of look, saying he was a trail runner, and had been ‘warned off’ this by others in his club. I wasn’t put off…how hard could it be, it was only just over 8 miles? Even when he pointedly introduced me to the tail sweeper I didn’t see the writing on the wall.
So we all congregated at the Fell gate and I got my first look at the initial climb up Bowscale, hmm…not far off vertical I observed. And the final descent from Souther looked a challenge, but I was all geared up with my kitbag full of..er, kit and after the organiser’s tribute to a runner present who was returning after recovering from a cancer treatment, the assembled record field of 180 set off across the boggy section toward Bowscale. 
I was intending to take it easy but that’s not really an option, and on that maybe 25 min climb all the oxygen was sucked from my brain and I couldn’t think of anything but zig-zagging the gorse and getting onto the ridge.
By this time the majority of the field had disappeared from view and I was in touch only with a handful of runners, with two ladies and the sweeper behind me. So just keep this going was my plan. Runnable until the first checkpoint at Bowscale summit, the sweeper was breathing down my neck, and I glanced at my watch, hoping I’d make the cut off time of 55 minutes at the col before the climb to Blencathra.
“”You’re 5 minutes inside the cut-off” I was emphatically told, but couldn’t tell if he was implying it was close for comfort, as the way ahead was now shrouded in cloud and the clag was down-not what was forecast.
At a route choice below the last big pull to the top I went left and maybe that was the steeper climb but I reached the mountain ridge and had to stop to put layers on and check compass for the summit and CP2. No turning back now.
Passed the helicopter white stone cross so I knew that was by Sharp Edge, and pressed on past the tiny tarn to the wet and bedraggled bunch of marshals at the puny summit cairn. 
I wasn’t sure of the best descent, so waited for the two ladies, who were still some way behind me I figured. Then the crew at the top informed me they were ‘training sweepers’ too, so I was in fact last. The main tail-guy was nowhere to be seen. But hey ho, it was fun now.
The shame was that the iconic view south across the glory of the Lakeland fells was denied by the gloom, but then when do Fell runners stop and admire the view -in a race. I was in a race now to spare the marshals at CP3 on Souther Fell, and at the finish, a burnt dinner. It gets dark by 10 doesn’t it?
But something was left in the legs, and a good technical descent through a mix of paths, bog and tussock led finally to the summit of lonely Souther Fell, (a harder climb than you need at this stage) and the congratulations and relief of the final helpers.
Just the sting in the tail of a knee shuddering, quad-crunching descent to the last bog and the crossing of the lovely Glenderamackin river to the finish.
Time to go home chaps, and chapesses. 
The Eden Valley runner who’d given me the arched eyebrow before we set off, said well done young man.
A first for me. That race..and finishing last! (There was one DNF). My watch even cheated me of 8 minutes while I faffed on the top. 2h 19m they told me.
But it was a gas. Tbh I had forgotten the scale of Lake District races.

Parkrun

So this week’s top tip comes courtesy of Penistone Parkrun – well, those that went to do it, only to find it wasn’t on! Argh!

You can’t beat a bit of parkrun tourism, but check FB pages or the websites before you go to make sure you aren’t disappointed on arrival to find it’s off!

Big turn out of GDHers at Glossop this week, and a smattering of folk all over the rest of the UK – see here for the consolidated report:

https://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1491

In other news

So it might have been a week or so ago, but given the weather at Jura, it’s probably taken this long to dry out and take it all in. John S has written a brilliant write up of his weekend and experience, complete with photos to show it doesn’t rain there all the time. I’m sadly too technically incompetent to add in a word file into the blog, so watch out for tomorrow’s guest blog from John about Jura!

So that’s all for now folks, thumbs up for another week of great racing. Good luck to all this week – plenty coming up with Tour of Tameside, and CyB half/full marathons amongst other things. Tuesday speed/hill/technique session with Jeroen at 6.45 – details of the next few weeks locations are on FB/website.

As ever – please send all reports to gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com. Messages sent via whataspp, text, post, carrier pigeon, message in a bottle, facebook, telegram might not be received, or will get eaten by the dogs, they aren’t fussy.

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