Friendly, fierce and a little bit damp….

There has been quite a lot of weather in the Harriers’ home town this week resulting in some quite amusing Strava titles and possibly a little less racing than usual.  That said, a number of brave souls still donned their race vests and ventured out to represent the club across the region and beyond…

Manchester Area Cross Country League – Match 2 @ Kenworthy Woods  (courtesy of Chris Webb)

Following the heavy rain earlier in the week the Kenworthy Woods/University Playing Fields course was a tad boggy. It didn’t deter a small group of Glossopdalers from heading to Wythenshawe however and birthday boy John Stephenson came armed with the tent and flag so we certainly looked the part. Wendy Trelease, Lins Palmer and Nicola Pennington kicked off proceedings in the Senior Womens’ race and all 3 looked comfortable, moving through the field as others fell apart. I believe this was Wendy’s and Nicola’s cross country debut, you wouldn’t have known it based on how well they ran – congratulations on a superb race. Lins said she may only make one XC this year but I know she loves a good sufferfest; if only it had been another 30km, she’d have probably podiumed.

The men’s race was next and I was joined by Pete Daly, Alex Critcher, Frank Fielding, David Chrystie-Lowe and Chairman Stephenson to smash around the now ‘worn in’ course. Alex told me this was the start of his return to fitness and he looked like he had a solid race, he’s committing to coming Jeroen’s Tuesday and my Wednesday sessions for the next few months so he’ll be like a new man by the end of the season – watch this space. There were some mid-pack battles between the GDHs too: David and Pete looked like they had a bit of a ding-dong, David edging it by only 33 seconds and even closer were Frank and Alex, Frank coming home 28 seconds ahead this time. It will be interesting to see these battles as the season progresses. John and I had no immediate GDH competition but enjoyed hurting ourselves around the 9km course anyway. Thanks also to Mandy Beames for some delicious cake and Harsharn Gill and Ben Robertson for the support/photography.  Final results here:

  • 143rd (22nd V45) Wendy Trelease: 34:13
  • 194th (37th V45) Nicola Pennington: 36:16
  • 245th (28th V50) Lindsay Palmer: 39:06
  • 64th Chris Webb: 36:36
  • 334th (3rd V60) David Chrystie-Lowe: 44:49
  • 346th (30th V50) Pete Daly: 45:22
  • 413rd (4th V65) Frank Fielding: 48:03
  • 417th (72nd V40) Alex Critcher: 48:30
  • 486th (V60) John Stephenson: 54:37

Leg it round Lathkil  (courtesy of Paul Skuse)

John Pollard gave a shout out for this the other day so I thought “Why not?”. Alison and Lins also joined the fun. As we wandered from the car to the registration tent, it felt really cold – as in woolly hat, gloves and a smelly Helly weather – but then the sun came out and conditions were perfect. All accessories were whipped off and unceremoniously dumped on a wall; it was full on vest and topping up the tan weather.  Our shoes were all cleaned up and sparkling as per race requirements. Alison was so enamoured by my X-talons, she took a photo of them.

The start of the race was awkward and cramped (why do some slower runners start on the front line?) and with the call of 3-2-1, we were off and legged it down the steep road. The wet leaves covering the tarmac made some sections interesting and forced us to hit the brakes rather than give it full beans. The long trail section wasn’t a trail so much as scattered islands surrounded by shin deep water. I’ve no idea what happened on the route next. I was busy chasing Ponytail and staying ahead of Wheezy. I’ve no idea who they are but for the purpose of this race, they became my mortal foes.

So with the usual jostling for position and good natured support and encouragement (another reason to love fell running; the way people encourage you as you run with them) we ran along trails, over fields and through woods. The limestone was as slippy as you would expect and I nearly came a cropper trying to overtake Beardy (another rival for the day -nice bloke, he checked I was okay). And then after a few more ups and downs, muddy patches, tree roots, countless stiles and – at one point – lung busting steps, we were at the finish line. Job done.

No idea about results but I was pipped by Beardy but managed to stay ahead of Wheezy (also a nice bloke) and Ponytail. John Pollard came in next then Alison (looking resplendent in full GDH colours) and then race-fiend Lins having done the XC yesterday.

Windmill Remembrance 10K

Laurie Barlow, Tim Crookes, Tony Hillier, Mike Park, Paul Gatley & Marieke Galgenienbeld ventured over to Lytham St Anne’s to take part in the Windmill Remembrance 10K today.

From Tim C. – did Remembrance Sunday windmill 10k. The reading and the 2 minutes silence was very emotional but very well done. Perfect conditions for another pb, knocked another 24 seconds off my time. Nice flat fast course and very well organised with a great medal, well done Fylde Coast Runners on another great race.

Parkrun Corner

The collective GDH parkrun exploits this week were:

  • A little less busy…due to Glossop being cancelled although this did result in a number freedom runs carefully avoiding the black ice around Manor Park. GDH were also in action at Richmond  (Julie E.), Bramhall  (Joe T.), Woodbank (Nick H.), Hyde (Tony H., Christine P. and Laurie & Wyatt B. – which is particularly impressive given that the Barlows were all set to parkrun at Glossop at 8:40 am, Marple (Simon T.), Bakewell (Sarah R.) Fleetwood Promenade (Paul G.), Tawd Valley (David, Holly and Will M.), Marple Juniors (Malc B.[!!!]  and Josie & Caitlin S.) and Hyde Juniors (David [!!!] & Will M.).
  • A little more exotic….Tim B. and Lynne T. ran the Miyazaki parkrun in Kyushu, Japan. A small number of runners (12 finishers) as the event is very new. The course is alongside a wide river and very central to the town involving 2 laps on flat tarmac.   Tim 18.19 1st finisher/ Lynne 26.04, 1st female and 3rd overall.  Although 11°C at 7am, the 8am start still made for a very warm and dry event in glorious sunshine. 
  • A little bit emotional…Josie S. ran her last ever junior parkrun at Marple this morning – she will be too old for 2k as from next week.  Definitely the end of an era as Josie was one of the initial group of junior parkrunners when Marple junior parkrun started 273 junior parkruns ago.  

Other Racing News (gleaned from FB and Strava)

  • Riccardo Giussani completed his crazy White Rose Ultra 300 (or rather 318) in 130 hours and 52 minutes and the pictures suggest he was still standing and smiling at the finish!  Awesome and totally bonkers – 450 in 2020?
  • Paul Peters was also cross-countrying – at Hyndburn as part of the Mid Lancs League.  I have no idea how he did but expect it was quite quick.
  • Ian Crutchley did the Beehive Trigs Time Trial, maybe with Lance but definitely through ice and bog.
  • The club place for the VMLM 2020 is up for grabs via the usual process.  If you would like the motivation/ joy/ pressure of representing the club, please email and let Becky know. Names will be drawn from a hat at the Christmas Party.

We love reading and compiling tales of everyone’s racing exploits.  Ian is on report writing duty next week so please do lots more racing and don’t forget to tell him all about it at Have a good week and happy running!

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