Roll on Winter! Its the Weekend Report….

Huge Kudos to anyone that got out this week, whether it be racing, training, recceing, cycling up the Snake, or just doing the big shop at Tesco was hard enough. The ridiculous temperatures made for some truly challenging conditions midweek, and although the weekends rains did reduce the heat a bit, they brought a whole new set of challenges. As always, Thanks to everyone who contributed this week!

Millbrook Monster

Lucy Wasinski was out with a strong GDH team over in Millbrook, enjoying the delights of this local Gem……..

Ever since Ian C had told me about Millbrook Monster on the way to Dovestone Diamond it had been a race I’d wanted to do. I’m a bad one for judging the race by its name so usually would have discounted both of these, but with the promise of a great route, runnable (it’s all runnable right Skuse?) trails, and a free chip butty at the end I was pretty much sold. This is a 10k multiterrain mid week special, if you’ve never done it before….stick it on your list for 2020, u won’t regret it!

About 15 GDHers, having sweated the way through one of the hottest days of the year (actually, ever I reckon) made it over to Millbrook hoping it would cool down in time for race start. New addition this year was chip timing, so Steve Page was sorted…his plan – start at the back and just work his way towards the front, patting the competition in the back as he went 😉 Wioleta Wydrych was rocking the blue and orange for her first race as GDH, and for once we had Chris Jackson and Steve Knowles also sporting the blue and orange.

With a scream of “death or glory” the mighty blue and orange shot off at the start line dreaming of a men’s team prize.

Apart from a nice flat bit along the damn wall, the first half is mainly a steady climb with some ankle twisty rocky trails. Stunning views at the top and lots of cheers from the friendly marshals, and a very welcome water station at the half way mark. What comes up must go down, so it was then a fast descent on a nice country lane back down for a final loop of the country park- you can’t go wrong (unless you’re Alex Critcher who took a short cut hoping to beat the queue at the chippy). First GDH home was Stevie Knowles, rapidly followed by Paul Skuse with Simon Watts hot on Paul’s heels (the margin might have been bigger if not for Paul’s prehistoric GPS watch which slowed his pace substantially). Such strong running got them the mens team prize, a whisker ahead of East Cheshire Harriers. I couldn’t keep the blokes in sight but managed to overtake a girl at the 7k mark to get in 1st F. Impressive performances from everyone, with fab running from Wendy Trelease and John Stephenson both coming 2nd in their categories, and an ever smiling Wioleta finishing her first race as a GDH in strong form! Full results Below.

The highlight of the evening had to be the chip butty…however you like it – with ketchup, mayo, gravy or maybe even a combo of the 3?! Thanks to the supporters, Wioleta’s other half David (did my memory serve me right?!) and Jess Camp for her cheers and coach J-esque hollering of pocket/socket somewhere near the end!!

“What the hell is a balm cake!?! Its a muffin you fairy!” John couldn’t watch as the age old bread argument unfolded…
7Steve Knowles41.44M45 / Mens Team Prize
10Paul Skuse42.54Mens Team Prize
11Simon Watts43.08Mens Team Prize
14Chris Jackson44.28
18Ben Naylor46.39
25Lucy Wasinski47.32First Lady Prize
38Steve Page48.58
41 Joe Travis49.21
48Rob Sheldon50.22
61Guy Riddell51.53
97Wendy Trelease56.28
135John Stephenson1.00.49
147Wioleta Wydrych1.02.25

Lakeland 100

Surely nobody would be mad enough to run an Ultra this week? Dan Stinton thought it perfectly reasonable, so went North to take on the epic Lakeland 100, which is actually 105 miles, but who’s counting? There’s also 22,500 feet of climb to contend with, oh, and a 40 hour time limit. He sent this in….

Having missed two nights sleep, this report is going to be anything but epic… I started the Lakeland 100 at 6pm Friday and finished at 04:15, so around 34 hours…. The route is 105 miles with over 6000m of elevation but also lots of rocky, tough terrain which made progress difficult! Add into that “the weather” and it makes for an interesting race!

I “tried” to bail at 75 miles with knee issues but by the time I’d made it to the next checkpoint (2+ hours) I’d had a change of heart and decided that this was a “now or never” moment so cracked on!

Massive thanks to Immy Trinder for driving me there and back and generally being amazing support throughout the whole race, you really lifted my spirits and helped me get through it!

It was also fantastic to finish and see the Facebook posts about my progress, it’s really cool to know people were dot watching – thanks Lynne Taylor and all of the Harriers on those Facebook posts. Sleep time for me… and I might not be out running for a bit 

Suffice to say, an amazing effort Dan!

“The best bit was the extra 5 miles at the end. I just didn’t want it to finish “

Manvers Dusk till Dawn

And Dan wasn’t the only one putting in a big distance this week. Loopy Guy Riddell sent this in….

As the only harrier on duty, a few lines on my race yesterday/today. The concept is simple – starting at 6pm on Saturday, and finishing at 6am on Sunday, run as many laps of the 3.2 mile course (5.15km to those who would deny me the right to a pint) round Manvers Boating Lake, nr Rotherham.

It was a bit like Sale Water Park, just with more flat caps and whippets and a shortage of the letter H.  The other thing the Yorkies seem to excel in is of course rain, and when I arrived it was teeming down, and the 300 or so starters were all huddled in race HQ (the boating club).  When the RD called runners to start, there was a general reluctance to go outside which left me on the front row of the grid with the proper runners.  6pm came and we were off, and lead group did a Skuse at the first bend, heading towards the lake, ignoring the big yellow arrow in the mud pointing away from the lake, leaving me and a couple of mates leading the race (never a photographer when you need one).

The course was mud and puddles and muddy puddles, interspersed with streams on the inclines.  Any hope of keeping dry feet, or dry anything was quickly forgotten.  It was too mild for a waterproof, and too wet to be without one.  Uncharacteristically sensibly I wore a compression base layer to prevent chafing and wore the jacket on laps where the rain looked more biblical.  Each lap you returned to race HQ to check off a lap, and enjoy a veritable smorgasbord of food: cakes, biscuits, crisps, fruit, sweets and someone sat there all night making toast, hot brews and soups. 

I rattled off a few laps fairly briskly and was actually feeling ok, once you are wet through, you have no need to avoid puddles, and who doesn’t enjoy running through muddy puddles?

“Once one takes it for granted that in rain he naturally he gets wet, he can be in a tranquil frame of mind even when soaked to the skin.” Yamamoto Tsunetomo

Darkness soon came, and the dreaded headtorch.  With these light mornings/evenings I forget how much I hate running with a headtorch. The weather, inexplicably, got worse – rain was way heavier and a cold breeze was coming off one side of the lake.  I’m not saying it was wet, but the cars parked on eastern side of the lake at 6pm were now on the western side.

For me this was the bleakest time: the weight of the hours to come, the dark and wet conditions, and the renewed isolation as less runners are still on the course combine to peck your head. I caught up to lap a struggling Phil Clinton (formerly of this parish) around this point, so walked round the rest of the lap with him.  Always works, if you switch your focus to someone else, you forget how you were struggling yourself.  It worked, and a round of jam toast after each lap washed down with lashings and lashings of rolla cola was doing the job.

Finally daylight at not long after 4am, and familiar territory (empty trails, lousy weather, sleep deprivation), and I finished lap 17 at 6:03. Perfect timing really, as you had to start last lap by 5:45 so no tricky decision to make.

56 miles done, medal and certificate to lose in a bottom drawer and home by 7:30am, feeling a little sleepy.  Great race, highly recommended for anyone who can cope with laps, bargain at £15 too.

Stoney Middleton

The ever present and reliable Paul Skuse was on hand in the boiling cauldron of Stoney Middleton on Thursday, and sent in the following….

As this was Nev Mcgraw’s last fell race, a few of us decided that it would be nice to come and race it in his memory.  GDH had a good turnout especially considering the ridiculously high temperature. Phil Swan only just managed to make it by the skin of his teeth with some quick thinking about train times and destinations. In the starting field, it was about 30 degrees plus and the heat was truly oppressive. Most of us were lathered in sweat just walking over. Some of us just tipped water over ourselves before we started though, with the humidity, it really didn’t make much difference. I did the most half-hearted warm up imaginable which was more than most attempted. All agreed it was going to be tough.

As Pete Wallroth will verify from last year, it’s a fast start. If you hang about there’s a big bad bottleneck where you have to come to a standstill only 400m in and nobody wants that (you can see it in the vid of the start of the race). Then it’s push the pace a little along the little footpath, eye up the opposition and then bang, sharp left and up the hill and full on race mode. This is a meaty climb and (just for Rob Sheldon) it’s all runnable. Last year was dry and dusty, this year was hot and humid; I honestly can’t decide what’s worse. I stopped to grab water at the top of the climb (a quick gulp then tip the rest over my head) and then???; it’s fair to say I’ve no real idea where I went or what I did next. I was in the zone singing the theme tune to “The Never Ending Story” to myself on a near continuous loop. Actually, there’s a minor correction to make here. I do know that there was this lad on my shoulder who beat me the other week at Sheldon and for some reason that really bothered me. I’ve no idea who he is or have anything against him but something primal snapped; there was no f*ckin’ way he was getting me twice so as soon as he tried to overtake I’d give it a little sprint and a mental two fingered salute. Job done and bye bye matey boy.

The route was well marked and marshaled apart from one key junction near the end which did mess up a few runners, including Ian Crutchley, who was convinced he was now leading the pack the wrong way.  There was a final hill (I don’t remember climbing it but I remember looking down onto the starting field and descending into woodland) and then the final dash to the finish line. This was the highlight of my race as I finally managed to overtake Austin Frost. For those that don’t know, he is my ultimate nemesis; the Lex Luthor to my Superman, the Roadrunner to my Wile E Coyote. And I got him! (*Disclaimer –he was in a ragged state, he looked worse than Alex Critcher at Millbrook. But a win’s a win and I’m having it!).

Once over the finish line, it was strip off the vest and pour water down my neck and over my head, back chest wherever. I was knackered but buzzing. Joe Travis came in next looking a little too relaxed for me. It’s a race, beans it! (top effort though as he’d also done Millbrook the day before). Mark Davenport understood the meaning of racing and came over the finish line like a freight train, steaming past two or three other runners in the final hundred metres. He was wearing a full tee so had tucked in the sleeves to keep that little bit cooler and show off his guns to the admiring crowds. I’m not sure who came in next between Crutches and Matt Crompton. Both had agreed that it was too hot to race at the start so were cruising round with two goals: 1)get to the finish and 2)not go down with heat exhaustion. Mission accomplished. I’m not sure about the Swans either; Els looked pretty fresh and Phil looked suitably sweaty but both had smiles on their faces so that’s a win. And huge thanks to the Swanettes for cheering us in and looking after kit during the race. It really is appreciated. And apologies if I got a bit sweary, I’ll blame it on the heat.

Once all back, we got together on the grass with a beer or two and raised a glass to Nev. Cheers Nev.

It finished like this:

10Paul Skuse37.41
36Joe Travis43.14
41Mark Davenport43.49
62Ian Crutchley46.29
70Matt Crompton47.00
84Phil Swan48.42
98Elanor Swan50.35
“We’ve been photo-bombed guys”. “Don’t worry, we can Photoshop an orange stripe around it later”

Sale Sizzler

The team at Stoney weren’t the only ones to brave the hottest day on planet Earth. A few of our lot were literally sizzling in Sale. Pete Daly put in an excellent time of 21.33, with Tony Hillier and Nick Ham flying in behind with 25 minutes plus change.

Don’t forget all, the next and final Sizzler is the GDH champs counter. Its on 8th August and you can still enter here https://sale-harriers.niftyentries.com/Sale-Sizzler-4-2019

“Me tan nearly matches me stripe!”. The awesome Tony Hillier on the home straight.

Three Peaks of Chinley

The unstoppable Nick Ham was over in Whitehough today for the Three Peaks of Chinley. This looks like a really nice event, whereby you start at the Old Hall (great pub) and have to get to the control at the tops of Eccles Pike, Big Stone and South Head and return. You can do it by any route and in any order, individually or in teams. I’ve not heard from Nick and there are no results yet, but I can well imagine him drowning in the Old Hall, after the drowning he got out on the course.

Heaton Park 10K

Lynne Taylor gave the heads up that Kate Bee stormed through the rainy conditions to a new 10km PB of 52.33, finishing over 2 mins quicker than previously in the same course. Huge congratulations to Kate

No idea if any other GDH ran as results don’t seem to be sorted via club

Parkrun

The majority of action in Glossop as normal, but it was Sean Phillips who blitzed the course, finishing first with a new PB of 18 minutes dead. Meanwhile Robert Webster bagged a PB at Whinlatter Forest, and also finished first in 20.22. Sikobe Litaba also got a PB at Dolgellau. Nice work! A little tourism going on too, but the Munday Clan steal the crown this week, with an out and back along the river Seine at parkrun de Rouen.

The full club parkrun results are available at: https://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1491

What’s Next?

For the Racers, on the local Fell scene we have Chunal race on Wednesday at 7pm. I recommend this one for anyone who want perspective on Paul Skuse’ oft used phrase “its all runnable”. A “proper” AS fell race, Chunal is pretty much unrunnable start to finish. Great fun. We also have Salt Cellar on Friday over at Fairholmes, but I heard they had to change the route and it no longer goes to its namesake! Tegg’s Nose over in Macc is on Saturday, a race I haven’t done, but looks a cracker. Check out the FRA website for details on these.

As normal we have Coach J’s training session on Tuesday night, and doubtless a club social run on Thursday evening. Come out and play!

A note for the diary, we have booked Hathersage Pool again, between 5-6pm on 17th August. This is a great fun event for Harriers and their families. As well as a great fun social, there will be some novel ways of getting there on offer, plus no doubt some inflatable larkery too. Please indicate if you’ll attend on the GDH Facebook page, where there is an event set up by Dan Ellingworth.

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