Tour of Tameside 2019

No. I didn’t forget. To be honest, this is a true epic, and I have to say a massive thanks to Skusey and Crossman for putting this together for me. Without those 2, you’d have had me making up a load of drivel that really didn’t pay true homage to what an event this has become.

As Steve says: This one is for Nev.

Stage 1 X Trail Thursday 19:15 (Report from Paul Skuse)

It’s day one so we all rocked up with eyes bright and legs fresh. There was a bit of rain in the air on the short drive over to Daisy Nook but had dried up by the time we got to the car park. A few GDH were already loitering in the car park so we congregated for the obligatory team photo. Then it was a wander down to the start line and first of many discreet toilet stops in the bushes. We had a quick look at the paths which were wet enough to justify trail shoes. Then back to the start line for what was meant to be a rousing warm up routine – Steve Crossman’s face was a picture. Stage 1 SaluteThen the race was started by Dr Ron himself. As for the route, it was a bit more road than trail; pleasant enough but nothing to get excited about. And yet this was one of the best racing experiences I’ve ever had. I can’t speak for the others racing; maybe a separate report would give a less personal response but for Crossman, Page, Si Watts and me, it was brilliant! There was no plan other than race as hard as we could. So we did. And by chance, the four of us ended up racing as a pack. Nothing was said, we just found our pace was almost identical to each other, formed a little group and took turns leading. We pushed the pace when at the front and just held on when chasing. Apart from a few moments at the halfway point when Steve Junior stopped for a drink (he was thirsty, bless him), we ran like it was one of Coach J’s training sessions. We all came in within 4 secs of each other. Page came in at 38:44, Crossman and Watts were tied at 44:46 (V50 for Steve Senior) with Si trying to shoulder charge him out of the way and I came in at 44:47. Never been in a race like it and never felt as proud to be a Harrier. Stage 1 Finish 1Steve Knight came in just moments behind us. Simon Entwistle took the V60 in 41:03. Never ran with him before but that lad can shift. Rob Murphy in his mandatory orange hat picked up the V55 in 43:28. Guy Riddell came in 44:45, Alex Critcher came in 47:57, Ian McGarry was in at 48:16 and Tony Hillier was in at 53:37 taking the V70. Wendy McMahon 58:00 and Becca Coward 1:00:46, also ran, putting in strong performances

 

Name Gender Position Cat Position Chip
Steve Page 9 6 00:38:41
Steve C 10 1 00:38:43
Si Watts 11 7 00:38:43
Paul Skuse 12 2 00:38:44
Steve Knight 14 3 00:39:00
Simon Entwistle 35 1 00:40:58
Rob Murphy 58 1 00:43:20
Guy Riddle 71 9 00:44:20
Alex Critcher 137 29 00:47:51
Ian McGarry 143 27 00:47:57
Tony Hillier 233 1 00:53:29
Wendy McMahon 113 26 00:58:00
Becca Coward 144 37 01:00:46

Stage 2 Hell on the Fell Friday 19:15 (Report from Paul Skuse)

I was looking forward to this race more than the others as it sounded like a fell race. Guy and Steve P lead a quick recce before the race which turned out to be useless as neither could remember the route.  With all of us none the wiser about the route, we headed back down to the start. There was another odd aerobics style warm up that felt just a little embarrassing. We’d already done a warmup ourselves so we just watched in silence at the poor lass jumping up and down on the stage. Conditions again were good for racing. The start was damn fast. I realized pretty quickly that my legs were not coping well with consecutive racing. Wendy McMahon was out on the tarmac climb taking photos so it was shoulders back and fake the pace.Rob Stage 2 The route is (according to my near infallible memory) just running up some pretty steep tarmac streets to Hobsons Moor; then it’s a bit traily and there was a tall grassy bit that kept grabbing your ankles. John S and Sikobe were supporting somewhere around here so fake the pace again. There’s still a fair bit of climb so just keep pushing. Si Watts had a great start and was chewing up the climb.  At the summit, if you’re lucky, you’ll find a small group of numpties offering beer as a mid-race refreshment. Seriously, who dresses Will Mather? And fair play to Luke for allowing to be seen with him in public. And from the summit, it’s a full on, balls out, take no prisoners descent. Si Watts needs to do some fell races. He’s a natural born descender. I’m not. He kept getting smaller and smaller as he Image-1sped off. Steve Page was very hungry for this and made up some serious ground down the sh*t strewn path (it was properly minging, that’s all we really discovered on the recce!). Page might get me on the road and trail but there was no way I was letting him get me on the hills. Huge thanks to all who supported. I know John Pollard was out but have no clue where.

Stage 2
Name Gender Position Cat Position Chip
Si Watts 9 7 00:40:43
Paul Skuse 13 3 00:41:38
Steve Page 14 9 00:41:47
Steve Crossman 7 1 00:42:07
Simon Entwistle 27 1 00:43:29
Rob Murphy 46 1 00:46:25
Guy Riddle 85 15 00:50:02
Alex Critcher 121 30 00:52:03
Ian McGarry 123 23 00:52:38
Tony Hillier 247 1 01:02:48
Becca Coward 123 30 01:09:56
Clare Higgins 131 24 01:11:57

Stage 3 Hero Half Marathon (in memory of Nev McGraw) Saturday 10:00 (Report Steve Crossman)

This report will be much briefer than the previous days, due to a date with a cold beer!

The event started at Roughfields, Padfield with a minute’s applause for Nev McGraw. It was a nice touch from the organisers and they invited GDH to mass at the podium as a focal point.

A great team photo was taken with many practising the Tony Hillier ‘thumbs-up’ salute.

The usual suspects doing the full tour were joined by Jess Camp (on her ½ marathon debut), Mike Greenhalgh, Mike Raynor, Alan Schofield. Adele Metcalfe, Jennifer Day and Laurie Barlow.HMG Group Shot

Not much to say about the race other than you run down the trail, turn around a cone, grit your teeth and come back into the strong headwind! Great support on the course from Wendy, John S, Becks, Ironman Oates, Rachel W, Dan S and Zoe. There may have been some offspring involved in the cheering too. Judging by the comments from the full tourers, it was difficult mentally to tune into the race after limited sleep from the previous night’s race exertions.Laurie Stage 3

Jess Camp finished strongly to claim 3rd female and a few quid! The GDH peloton at the front end was disrupted a touch & everyone else put in a sterling mornings effort. Most of the team must have been knackered as the Howard Town Beer Tent was avoided.

Stage 3
Name Gender Position Cat Position Chip
Steve Page 14 7 01:27:47
Si Watts 16 9 01:28:04
Paul Skuse 19 6 01:29:05
Steve C 22 1 01:29:36
Simon Entwistle 39 1 01:33:51
Jess Camp 3 2 01:38:12
Mike Greenhalgh 71 18 01:39:30
Rob Murphy 79 2 01:40:37
Guy Riddle 85 11 01:41:15
Mike Raynor 103 16 01:43:56
Ian McGarry 105 17 01:43:59
Alan Schofield 136 59 01:48:23
Alex Critcher 193 39 01:54:32
Tony Hillier 233 1 01:57:50
Adele Metcalfe 56 4 01:58:04
Jennifer Day 166 35 02:24:58
Becca Coward 170 41 02:26:24
Laurie Barlow 173 38 02:28:33

Jess & J

Stage 4 Dr Ron Hyde 7 Sunday 09:30 (Report by Steve Crossman)

Everyone rocked up to the start line at Hyde town hall with the usual banter, assortment of injuries and horror stories of their toe-nails. A quick recce was required to see where Howard Town Beer Tent was located. With that sorted, we got down to the racing. A few GDH were in with a shout of Cat wins and Rob Murphy, took to donning an anonymous disguise to fool his nearest rival from Blackburn! The men were in with a shout of the teams prize too.

Dr Ron set proceedings underway and the serious stuff started. The route goes up, around, gives you a lovely view of Tesco Hattersley, down, up and down the Market street (if only it was over that quick in reality!) Everyone did a great job, with Kirsty S coming in 3rd female. Coach J would have been pleased with the technique on show from GDH! Most headed into the Town Hall for a beer or 3 then the presentations.Wendy & Sue

Stage 4
Name Gender Position Cat Position Chip
Si Watts 14 8 00:44:01
Steve C 15 1 00:44:11
Paul Skuse 16 5 00:44:15
Steve Page 19 10 00:44:48
Kirsty Sharp 3 1 00:45:00
Simon Entwistle 65 1 00:49:44
Rob Murphy 79 2 00:50:40
Guy Riddle 84 9 00:51:02
Ian McGarry 117 20 00:52:38
Alex Critcher 213 40 00:57:37
Tony Hillier 238 1 00:59:30
Wendy McMahon 82 21 01:02:14
Malc Brown 335 30 01:07:11
Becca Coward 166 41 01:11:12
Susan Moore 183 34 01:12:03
Clare Higgins 199 36 01:13:55
David Munday 355 132 01:21:18

 

Final Positions

Overall  
Name Gender Position Cat Position Chip Chip Position Overall
Si Watts 7 4 03:31:36 8
Steve Page 10 6 03:33:09 11
Paul Skuse 12 4 03:33:47 13
Steve C 14 1 03:34:43 15
Simon Entwistle 25 1 03:48:17 26
Rob Murphy 49 2 04:01:23 50
Guy Riddle 56 6 04:06:59 57
Ian McGarry 88 14 04:17:54 96
Alex Critcher 116 26 04:33:02 135
Tony Hillier 180 1 04:54:06 226
Becca Coward 167 23 05:50:27 351
413 Completed

 

Unfortunately, the hunks missed out on the team prize to East Cheshire.

Vets prizes for Simon Entwistle, Tony Hillier and Steve Crossman

vets

Reflections

Running in the GDH peloton all week has been great fun and bloody hardwork. Other runners have come to us every day, commenting on the great rivalry, friendship and banter that GDH provided throughout.

It’s a tough 4 days, particularly the short rest Friday night / Saturday morning

You really get to know other runners and clubs doing the full tour. Runners are generally a great bunch.

The team behind the Tour actually did a good job, despite all the flack they’ve had in the past

Lastly, This one is for Nev, the original TOT Wily Vet!.

(*disclaimer – apparently Steve was massively confused by chiptime and guntime, so some of these times/places may or may not be entirely reflective of what happened)

I believe him, though.

 

Other mentions in the dispaches this week…

Simon Toole said- Let me congratulate the GDH Tour of Tameside 4 dayers , not only on their running but also on managing to get Steve Crossman to actually smile on the team photos, outstanding achievement. Is the angry bloke softening up in his old age?

Wendy McMahon – Today, the 4th day of the Tour of Tameside, Hyde turned yellow! For those that don’t know, Tony Hillier has a running community group ‘HRC’, which is a non affiliated social running club based in Hyde. Run North West is one of the official sponsors of the Tour and Tony kindly requested that non club runners wear the yellow tops as a thank you to the shop. Myself and a few other club runners chose to wear the yellow tops. This was more of a thank you to Tony. It was lovely to see lots of yellow today, as well as the blue and orange! I have not been running with that group long but I have seen many people who have never ran ever, progress and even a few of them did part of the tour this weekend. Tony is an inspiration to not just myself but a lot of people. I know it’s not GDH news but it’s running related and I just wanted to give some recognition to Tony on all he has done for the Hyde running community.

 

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1 thought on “Tour of Tameside 2019

  1. Simon

    Great write up. Well done everyone. That blue sea of Glossopdale vests in front of me looked particulary impressive, until you disappeared out of sight that is 😊.

    Reply

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