It’s Carnival weekend!

The first week of July usually means only one thing for me –  I’ve spent the week wishing I was drinking Pimms and eating strawberries near the fine turf of SW19, but it seems that for you lot the running races don’t stop! After some fairly hefty distances of previous weeks, this week seems to be all about the short sharp fell races and the fast road races, which in this heat – must be tough!

Thurlstone Chase

Thanks to Pete for sending this over for his, I think, first race of the week?!

“Late decision to head over the Woodhead for this one following Alex Critchers suggestion. 

Part of Thurlstone Gala, this was a cracker of a race. Far from a fell race in the traditional sense (there’s erm……no fell is run on at all technically) but it was a great route around Royd Moor and a fast paced one at that. Only a small showing this time, after it being a champs race the last couple of years but Luke, Alex and I gave it a good go. It’s a great start with a 1.5k wind up the hill on a track and Luke and I pretty much stayed neck and neck all the way around with Alex in close proximity the whole time. 

With me leading him for the latter half of the race and then completly running out of steam in the final 100m, Luke sportingly opened the shoulder and let me nip in front on the finish. He didn’t have to at all but perhaps he was worried about getting lost in the finishing shute so needed someone to follow. Appreciate the gesture Luke. Thanks buddy. 

We literally crossed the line, turned around and Alex was finished too. 

No results officially at the time of writing but 

Placings out of about 50 odd 

19 – Me at 31 mins something 

20 – Luke Holme same

25/26 or 27 I think – Alex Critcher”

Alex surprised, or terrified, to find himself running with Pete and Luke

Good running team – and very gentlemanly of Luke to let you go in front – strava suggests a Maccy Ds might have been scoffed a tad too close to the race? Did you just have to stop to vom?!

Alderley Edge 10km

Somewhere over near the posh parts of Greater Manchester the Alderley Edge 10k was taking place today and this report winged its way over from Laurie Barlow.

“It’s never a good sign when you can’t even plait your hair because of the humidity (*Ed* Greg had much the same problem this morning Laurie so you’re not alone!), but the temperature was pleasantly cool with a decent amount of cloud cover…right up until the race actually started. D’oh! Less than a kilometre into the race and the sun was blazing down and making me regret not bothering with the sunscreen. I won’t beat about the bush; this race is a pretty boring out and back along a bypass surrounded by concrete with naff all to look at except the never ending outbound incline. RunNorthWest do try to make it more interesting by having live music acts along the course and I can’t fault the organisation. I especially liked their initiative of taking your own bottle to the finish to help cut down on plastic bottles. I set out with the target of finishing in the 60-65 minute bracket and I crossed the line with a chip time of 1:03:51 so job done despite the best efforts of the sun. I also had the added bonus of being the first Harrier home. Ahem. Would I do this one again? Probably not, but I see they’re moving it to May for next year to try and dodge the summer heatwave.”

Great running Laurie – bang within your target! Greg commented when he saw a report in from Alderley Edge that he quite fancied doing that one year – surprising given he doesn’t really like roads! I was like u do realise this goes down a bypass right!? Anyway, despite the lack of scenery sounds like a good atmosphere and after the plastic-fest that was RSR last week, glad to hear they were doing their bit for the environment 😉

Larking about in the Lakes

John Pollard is obviously trying to beat us at our own game of “how many weekends can you spend in Wales” by trying to take the title in the Lakes.

After, for me, a gruelling 23k trail in the heat last weekend I was looking for something less dehydrating in the Lakes this week (I’m trying to spend most of the summer here, though it does mean missing out on lots of tasty Peak District runs)….so I found Hoad Hill Harriers, a thriving little outfit based in Ulverston, had organised a cracking little 3mile fell race on the modest local hills, but there was nothing tame about the racing.
Remarkable to see the variety of running clubs in this area, rivalry fierce, not even counting the big boys(and girls) from Ambleside, Helm Hill, Keswick, etc etc.
Some fast lads from Levens RR (ex-Hoad Hillers apparently…”splitters, bastards”), alongside strong fell-runners from Black Combe & the like, lined up in a small field, at the bottom of the first climb, a steep ascent of a local iconic landmark, a mock lighthouse built in memory of famous explorer Sir John Barrow (here endothelial the history lesson, but please do google…). (*Ed* History lesson – or Biology? Guessing the endothelial was an autocorrect special!?)
I didn’t really see anyone much after that as I was soon in the rear of the 40-odd phalanx, (I plead that the 23k was still in my legs, tho tbh I don’t climb well yet, need work…). 
In other circumstances it would’ve been a great little tester, across fields and up small lumps…but I was knackered. My time is there on strava but I cba to look it up again, about 34 mins the last handful of finishers, and the photo of the Hoad Hill Monument is there too…
Now today, Sunday, I was going to go to Keswick to do the Skiddaw 9.5 mile up n down, (I know this has a descent which incurs nasty blisters…ask Chris Jackson) so I’ve chickened out in favour of going to Chapel Stile for the Langdale Gala Sports Day, and to see the beard-growth competition as well as the wife-carrying race and the children’s wrestling and other more conventional events…probably.
Oh and there’s the 2k fell race, which I suspect is vertical, but may give it a go.
Doubtful I’ll write that up (*ED* don’t worry guys, he decided he would write it up so read on!)

Well done John! Guess you’ll still be there next week if youre watching the beard growth competition and want anything worth writing home about….

Langdale Gala fell race

“Not a lot you can say about a 2k up n downer…but if it’s going to be brutal it’s best to do it here with a view of the Langdale Pikes. Great carnival atmosphere where I might have done better in the wife carrying race than this mini-Matterhorn.
21m25secs and 44 out of 48 either tells you there were some good runners here (Sharon Taylor won the female prize) or I’m not quite at the races atm. The latter applies. But great fun.
p.s. my friends won the raffle – result”

Up the Nab

For those desperate to avoid carnival chaos in town, there was a lovely lunchtime offering right in the heat of the day for those hardcore enough to handle it. This report came in from Paul:

“Could this be Des’ best race?It was certainly the most organized ; it was flagged, marshalled and supported brilliantly and the route was a belter. For a 3 mile race, it was brutal (but in a good way); it just kept on throwing you up against a challenging mix of flats, climbs and descents, some were fast and runnable, others ankle twisty and bushwacky but all kept you on your toes and racing hard.  As always, it was great to hear the cheers of encouragement from supporters like Matt Crompton, Simon Entwistle and Tony Jackson (there may be others but I was in full on race mode so was utterly oblivious to everything going on around me).

This was a cracking little local race that only cost a fiver. It would be great to see a little more support from the club at these events. GDH were represented my me, Crutches, Steve France and Mary Jeal (Frank was in his dapper blue and oranges (socks included) but raced as Pennine).

As always Ive no idea about results but I can say that Ian Crutchley and Steve France along with yours truly bagged the male Team prize. I also got the V40 but failed in my real goal; getting a win against Chris Jackson. Next time Chris!”

Wow! Hip hip hooray for the team prize and nice one Paul on the V40! If you don’t wanna see a really irate Paul (does that ever even happen?! Cant imagine!) you should get yourself along to the next local race that he mentions and keep the lad happy 🙂

Next years Eurovision entry?

Up the Nab Junior Fell race

Crutchleys out in force this weekend! Thanks to Ian for sending in a report from the Juniors race.

“After his DNF disappointment last week at Bakewell, Benjamin Crutchley was back at Up the Nab.  There were 5 junior races ranging from U9’s to U17’s, each one pushing a little further up the adult route, before turning round for the breakneck descent.  These are tough races and no mistake.  This race is number 5 of 6 in the English Junior Fell Champs, and there was seriously a lot of (very good!) kids, probably 50 in each category.

I have to say how well organised the junior races were, and huge credit to Des Gibbons and his team.  Melissa Crutchley had started the U11’s race, but was struggling with her breathing following a cold, so dropped out near the top of the climb.  Gutted for her, but sometimes its not to be, and we’ve all had that!  Benjamin was next in the U13’s and struggled with the sustained climb over the first mile.  At the turnaround his pace picked up, a bit of ankle trouble but made up a few places in the drop down, finishing I reckon around middle of the pack.  Was incredibly impressive to see these kids race, some real stars of tomorrow!”

Well run you lot! Absolutely right there – sometimes it just isn’t meant to be and sounds like a tough race to be doing when getting over a cold – good on you for knowing when to call it a day Melissa. Onwards to the next race!

Fab running Benjamin – sounds like a descender of the future that if you’re making up places on the way down!

Benjamin setting a cracking pace up the hills!

Blackpool Summer 10km

Where else to be when the sun is shining? Blackpool of course!

Strava shows Paul Gatley was over there, not just for the running it seems – also bagged a crate of beer! Nice! Well deserved after speeding round the course in sub 50 mins!

The GDHers of the Future/the Junior GDHers of the moment

There are some prominent names in the world of junior GDH running what with Barlow/Wallroth/Brack/Swan/Crutchley/Crompton to name just a few. But this weekend, we’ve added another to the mix – and WATCH OUT KIDS! Cos Leonardo Holme just smashed his way onto the running scene! This came in from justifiably proud dad Luke who was probably most relieved that young Leonardo doesn’t seem to have inherited Dad’s nav genes.

“Leonardo Holme made his running debut for GDH at Marple Junior Park run today. He is about to turn three in two days time so I was wondering if it was a great idea for him to be racing at an early age. He did start the race quite emotional, perhaps a little overwhelmed but nonetheless he still wanted to run. (his idea not mine) 

Leonardo lined up at the start of the run alongside Martha and Merlin who shot off like rockets. 

Really proud dad as he did finish the run to see mother, brother and sister waiting for him at the end. Also extra support from the Wallroth family helped spur on a sprint finish. 

Just add a massive thanks to the Marshalls as their support was much appreciated. 

He finished 20:08 unofficially as he needs to be four before he can get an official time.”

Wallroth senior doesn’t have much time to plan his run write ups what with the speed his M&Ms get round the course! Thanks to this report from Pete:

3 regular harriers over this morning and a parkrun debut for a super trooper mini harrier. Leo Holme at 2 years and 363 days must be one of the youngest to take part surely. Luke was knackered after the last few days running so someone had to take him for a run and Leo duly obliged by dragging him around the course in 20:08

Well done Leo and our other harriers today

Adam Crompton – 9:15

Martha Wallroth – 13:41

Merlin Wallroth – 13:47

Leo Holme – 20:08

Great Hucklow

Thanks to Nick Ham for sending in this report, I feared he might not make it in time having been errm, out running or taking photos?! But make it it did!

“I’d got my fastest Woodbank parkrun time since April yesterday (back to below 25 minutes – yeah, go me, woo) so I was looking forward to putting in a respectable effort today as the sole GDH representative. At 10k I should get it done and dusted within the hour (dream on oh gutless-engined one). It was my first time on this race, which promised plenty of up and down like the Derbyshire Dales do rather well. I entered because it’s in the Gritstone Series and I’m hoping to complete enough qualifying races, and it’s in my favourite part of the country. Registration in the finishing field was relaxed before the race organiser’s busted horn set us off down the lane, right along Great Hucklow’s main street (another lane) and right down a rough and rutted track, which descended for ever as I breathed in the dust cloud kicked up by all the runners in front and all those overtaking me. Relief was bestowed when we turned right into a grassy field to begin the first climb (what goes down must go up, and repeat, and repeat, etc.)

After the dusty descent we soon came upon an unavoidable swimming pool of liquid mud across a gateway (well, it was liquid mud by the time I got there). I’d heard the warnings and didn’t believe them, but it was true. It must have its own special water supply to maintain full replenishment. I just ploughed through the middle. Shortly after that there was a proper bog, which had been horribly activated and loosened by all the feet that had gone before. I just about held onto my shoes but I heard a cry from behind, with comments about having descended to knee level. That baptism of fire (well, mud) set us up nicely for the remainder of the very dry fell race looking like nature intended – absolutely splattered and caked. Not only that, this time it was soon caked hard, which is quite unusual around these parts.

Then there were the flies. Oh the flies. You know the ones that swarm around animals’ moist bits. Well, they were now in full attendance around our heads, with many buzzings of rapidly increasing intensity coming to abrupt stops as the infernal blighters landed. You can even see them on some of my photos. I flailed and slapped to halt the crawling scalp for mere seconds before the cycle repeated. I soon gave up the futile endeavour due to the effort involved in climbing the hill. I had no spare energy for swatting as my drooling tongue dragged along the ground and I blew out my a**e. Oh the steepness. Even walking’s a struggle. I know, pause to take a photo. Phew, that sun’s strong. I need my mummy water bottle but I didn’t bring it. Must rest. I know, pause to take a photo. Still, it’s only 10k; be over within the hour (continue to dream on, you of clogged fuel filter). An impertinent marshal called out to us: “Come on, Stuart Bond ran up here”. How very dare he. What does he think we are, superhuman?

Once the field had sorted itself out and we were going at similar speeds, I tried not to get overtaken on the uphill trudges and the downhill clumsy stumbles on jelly legs (anyone would think I was new to this lark). More pictures were taken in the strange valley of many lumps and marshals were thanked before we were eventually delivered to the top of the final descent. As soon as the washed-out track gave way to Tarmac I let myself go to overtake a runner who’d recently overtaken me and – get this – had the energy to SPRINT to the finish line. That uncharacteristic last 10-second burst of energy got me a time of 1:08:05. Must do better. Suggested remedial action: full re-bore, sort out blown gasket, new fuel filter.

We dined on home-made flapjack and bananas and guzzled water and juice as we waited to applaud the winners at the awards ceremony. It was a lovely race with lovely views but not lovely suffering during. Retrospectively, the ‘during’ fades in the memory, making the overall experience not just lovely but absolutely spiffing.”

Sounds great, and looks like you’ve got some great running form at the moment Nick!

Manchester 10km

Sadly no reports for this today. But it pretty much does what it says on the tin – it’s 10km around Manchester?! Definitely a hot day for doing a road 10km, and even with a relatively early start, the clouds had definitely cleared and the sun was shining which aint really conducive to PBs – but no fear, some cracking times anyway by the handful of GDH that went over – Jess, David C-L, Wendy M, Tony H (although not in team colour!), Sean P and any others?

Despite the unusual absence of David at the trail car park at 9am on a sunday, he more than made up for it, and can indeed show his face again with pride having bagged himself a MV60 prize! Massive congrats in a field that size David!

In other news

No consolidated Parkrun report sorry – I need to clean the car, the littlest dog just stole and ate an apple off my tree and now is now parading round the kitchen with her walking harness – so I think she’s trying to tell me something! Walk me or your apple tree gets it.

Those of you interested in Hodgson Bro relays (is it a relay or did i make that up? I don’t know) – anyone Matt C wants your names so get in touch. If like me you have no idea what they are, just ask Matt – or in fact anyone else probably! They need teams of 8, so the more the merrier!

Seems we got a few new members, or potential new members who are watching quietly from the sidelines – so massive welcome to the recent newcomers, and hope the rest of you will join us soon! Tuesday coached session – best way to meet everyone and can take it at your own pace 🙂 think this week is Hurst Crescent and Coach J will be putting the details on FB on Tuesday.

That’s it for now – sorry if i’ve missed anything but you know the drill! Happy Sunday!

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