Beware – All kinds of Daftness Within. Its the Weekend Report!

When there’s naff all in the local FRA calendar for the weekend, and few local races of any kind, we find ourselves straying out to far flung places (like Radcliffe for example). Or, we tend to get rather creative in our running. It seems we will not be stopped, and will simply use these local race lull’s as an excuse for a drive out. Or, you may use them to do something completely daft. So as expected, and amongst more conventional but equally impressive activity, that’s what happened.

Conwy Half Marathon

V70 legend Tony Hillier made it as far a Conwy, which is so far away its in another country. This is a not a PB course, running out from Conwy Castle, making some fairly substantial undulations in a loop around the Great Orme, then back the way you came. Lets hear from Tony…..

I ran Conwy Half today, Starts at Conwy Bridge/Castle with fantastic views to Llandudno an the Great Orme.
I have done this many times and usually good WEATHER (not so today wet but no cold wind ) on a tough undulating run out to The Great Orme 5mls, where you have 4mls of climbs with about 6 bays (inlets) , each time you come into a bay you see runners up above.
The last climb is a stinker as it’s longer and steeper, your legs have had enough.
From here on today the rain started, as you then started a 1ml rapid descent, adding to a very hard 5ml run to the finish which is at Conway Castle and Bridge.
I saw no other GDH but is a massive event so may have been.
Results page having issues but I ran around 1. 56.

Billywhizz himself , rocking the trademark pose, accompanied by a couple of Daddies

Escape from Meriden

Topping the bill for daftness, is this little gem. The premise of the event is that participants gather at Meridan near Birmingham, reputed to be the geographical centre of England (I know, apparently its not Glossop!!). From midnight, and as the crow flies, you have 24 hours to get as far away as you possibly can by foot. And you are GPS tracked, so getting in a taxi is not an option unfortunately.

Will Mather, Luke Holme and Jason Hart, apparently still talking to each other after their epic in Transylvania, thought this was a great idea, for reasons which I cannot fathom. And, they thought it would be a great plan to try and make it as far as the Oakwood in Glossop before last orders – this, the only remotely sensible decision they have made, ever…. According to Google, that’s somewhere in the region of 90 miles. Lets hear from Will himself……

3 Harriers – Jason Hart, Luke Holme and Me gathered around an old monument marking the centre of England and the idea was to run as far away in any direction you choose. Our plan was to ran back to a pub in Glossop, so on the stroke of midnight we were off and people running in all directions and trying not to run between people as some were chained together. We got to the road we needed, and got on with it, 10miles of country lanes then getting on the canal at Bodymoor. We had 20 miles of dark boring canal with ground condition being muddy and slippy, we struggled in out trail shoes. First water stop was a water tap at the side of the canal. Getting off the canal and on to the A38 was a welcome break and on to a 24hr garage at mile 22 for a brew. We were struggling as the lack of sleep and the poor ground conditions were getting us down so up stepped me to sing some songs, Gary Glitter, Rolf Harris, Puff Daddy and even some baby shark …….Yep it made it worse.

This is the only group photo I found where one of them (at least) isn’t making an obscene gesture!

As the pace kept dropping we had to regroup and make some tough calls. Jason couldn’t get any food down himself so made the call to hike as far as he could and got to 47 miles, but not before being nearly shot at from a local farmer and taking a bath in mud. Luke and I pushed on as we wanted to try get to Ashbourne for noon, but on the way Luke picked up an injury stopping him from running. He was to hike it out to Ashboune and finished on 50 miles. I kept going up the Tissington trail which is more boring than the Longendale trail, so at 60miles in I was letting it effect me. Saw someone in full SAS gear (It was a bush) and unmotivated to run, I called on looking at social media, and seeing the support all you GDH were giving really got me through. At mile 66 my sister joined me and brought my poles and with this now being territory I knew, I thought it would be fun to use the path behind Topley Pike beautiful, wet, limestone covered with leaves, what could go wrong? Getting towards Dove Holes this was the place where I’d cross the 60 miles as the crow flies, and was also joined by Lance Hamilton Griffiths to keep me company till the end. Without him I don’t think I would of left Chapel so was needed for that last section. After a quick stop in Chapel to put some fresh clothes on for the home run, the clag was low so kept to paths I knew, over Lantern Pike to then drop in to Glossop off the Nab, getting to the Oakwood with Luke, Alex and Skuse waiting with a pint. Finished on 90miles. I was told that I was in 1st place as in miles covered and should keep going but my finish line wasn’t beating anyone – it was getting to that pub. Thankyou all for the support! Now it’s time to recover from the 42 hours without sleep never mind the running thing.

Well I’m fairly speechless for once. I’m struggling a bit to understand the results of this, but I think I am right to say that WIll won it. Pretty special that mate!

“Must be your round Will? Crack on lad!”

Kendal Mountain Festival Race

Julie Eyre was up North for thiu famous 10K trail race. She sent this in

The sole GDH representative was joined by 700+ other runners on this epic, grueling Lake District challenging race. Conditions were looking good for GDH – no rain, cool but with a hint of sun, and most importantly I had taken my training seriously and tried the Howard’s Way method on Friday night – Monk’s Gold obviously worked for me as I knocked 9 minutes off last year’s time. I ran this really lovely 10k trail race in 1.08 and thoroughly enjoyed it. Feels grueling for the first mile up but getting onto Scout Scar you enjoy some seriously good views as you fly along the escarpment. I’ll be back next year so come and join me. Julie

9 minutes! That’s incredible. Well done Julie, and I think a few might be interested next year!

Beer Mile

Resident student, superstar, and all round top lad, Paul Peters was our drinking this weekend. And running. And drinking and running….

I’m sat here writing this currently “recovering” so please excuse any sentences that make no sense…

For anyone that doesn’t know, it’s 4x440ml cans of choice, and 400m between every can. I’ll keep this short, but I made a poor choice of drink (bud light), struggled 4 cans of it down my neck, and still came away with a new PB, and a podium place in 3rd (time 10:23). Honestly the proudest I’ve ever been to make a podium!

You’ve done the club proud Paul. Brought a tear to my eye reading that.

Kinder Killer

Coming in fairly high on the daftness front, Lance Hamilton-Griffiths, Mark Davenport Paul Skuse and Ian Crutchley took on the aptly names Kinder Killer, an anytime challenge devised by Ken Jones over at Dark Peak. Quite a few in the club have done this, most recently Jude Stansfield and Caity Rice earlier this year. The route basically circumnavigates the Kinder Scout plateau, making 8 ascents of it as you go. At 28 miles and 8,000 feet of climb, its a fairly sizable heather/bog delight.

We set off from the Snake Inn at something like 6am. “We’ll be back for Tea lads”, I said. This confused our resident Southerner Lance from the off, expecting he’d be home enjoying a cuppa by mid morning. Marks attempts to clarify the timing only confused him further, “We can enjoy our dinner somewhere en route”. “I’ve got Lunch, but didn’t bring any dinner”? said Lance. We spent the remainder of the day arguing the correct terminology for meal times. Whilst we couldn’t find agreement on this, we did eventually conclude that we’re northern peasants, and he is a southern fairy.

The route started out pleasant enough, although a bit claggy, but quite uneventful ups and downs till we got to the bottom of Jacobs Ladder. From here the incredible amount of water coming down off the hill made every climb seem to get exponentially more difficult, and the descents exponentially more dicey. The slipping and slopping was so sapping. It didn’t help when it started raining about 1/3rd of the way round, and the cold gradually seeped in. Wasn’t long before we were all miserable, but an impromptu cup of tea in Coopers Cafe in Edale was incredibly welcome. Cost us 20 minutes or so, but the rain stopped thankfully. The route however, didn’t get any easier. Eventually we made it back to the Snake Inn after 9 hours 55 mins. I think we can be fairly happy with that under the circumstances. As ever we had a good laugh, mostly at each other. I’ll have to up my game if I’m to blag them to join me on the Kinder Dozen!

We learned that Mark is a beast on the climbs and descents, the route really suited him. Skuse clearly didn’t have a clue what we were about to do, asking just beforehand, “will I need some butties”? This, despite knowing the name of the route, but perhaps, ignorance is bliss. Lance wins top prize for most slips/falls, the final time he did this, actually rather hurting himself. I meanwhile found the whole thing really easy, and didn’t moan once……. Yeah OK OK, it was a lot harder than I expected, and at times, really sucked!

Just noticed how these 2 pictures kind of blend into one, via the clough line and horizon, which I have totally done on purpose via total skill. Unfortunately, its the same ugly buggers both sides….

13 Arches Half Marathon

Back to more conventional activity, but again no less impressive, and a batch of Harriers made the trip to Radcliffe, for the 13 arches Half Marathon. Craig Leith sent this in….

The weather didn’t look too good this morning. There was a good GDH turn out at the 13 arches today. New course this year with very undulating trail route. Names in no particular order. Joe Gavin, Dave Edmunds. Andrew Baron, Jayne Morton, Marie Williamson. Oh and me. Good effort by all.

And I’ve found the results. Well done guys!

Craig Leith271:30:45
Andrew Baron381:32:46
Dave Edmunds991:41.48
Joe Gavin1621:47:21
Marie Williamson2632:03:13
Jayne Moreton2872:08:42

Dark & White Peak District Autumn Trail Race, Round 3, Buxton

Blimey, that was a gob full! Fortunately, a brilliantly moustacheod Pete Wallroth was on hand to make sense of it all…

Well it says Buxton but really very little of this race, if any was in Buxton. Started and finished in Burbage to be more precise. 

The views from the start were….. well…. apparently there were some but they weren’t seen thanks to the pea souper of a morning. 

Nonetheless the GDH contingent of Lucy Wasinski, Pete Tomlin, Kate Metcalfe and me (Pete W) all set off in the early wave at 8:30. Up into the fog of Burbage Edge we went before a slip sliding decent onto the edges of Fernilee Reservoir and then Errwood, taking the woodland tracks around each both eerily cloaked. This was trail running at its best according to Lucy.

Then it was a turn back up over Burbage Edge. Here it turned into proper fell terrain as took us onto Goyt Moss. A sharp decent and then we were finally done. 10 miles of fun, fog and falling (well apparently Lucy did but no one saw her which makes her honesty at her own embarrassment all the more admirable….but then she did come first)!

For those unfamiliar with the Dark White Event format they are brilliant. Your finish is time bracketed rather than a normal 1/2/3 place so you receive either a Gold, Silver or Bronze placing and you can pick your start times anywhere from 8:30 to 10:30 with a wave of about 20 starting every 10 minutes It helps make them brilliant entry level events as there’s a short (5-8k) and a long (14-16k) course in each round. 

This Race concluded the Autumn series after previous events in Bradfield and Calver. Spring Series next and the info can be found here . Be great to see more GDH at this these.

“Got something on yer face Pete”. “This guys, is the coolest thing you’ll see today”.

Well done guys, and brilliant again from Lucy!

Arnside Knott Race

Lakeland addict John Pollard was at it again, and send this in….

Cumbria calling…a popular little race staged by Dallam Running Club (no, me neither), basically fast trails on slippy leaf-carpeted limestone and with climbs above Morecambe Bay & the Kent Estuary to local beauty spot Arnside Knott. It took me to an area I’d only by-passed previously, and at the trig point it holds great views back to the Lakeland hills across the water…which were more visible as the drizzle cleared mid race.

My race was notable for a battle I got into with a mate, Brent from Penistone FR…this forced me to put it in and pass him on the last descent, but as he raced at Two Riggs yesterday I think I had an advantage.

More remarkable was the ding-dong with a certain barefooted runner. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone do a fell run in bare feet before though I know some maniacs have done it, and this guy was seriously determined, skipping over the knobbly limestone like he had inov8 feet. Only really got the better of him in the second half, after we’d passed one female who’d crashed into the rocks on a sharp it was quite technical.

Spoke to him after, him still not wearing shoes, I was curious to know how you get into that particular kind of challenge…his feet were so broooaad, and presumably like leather. Think his name is Martin Metcalfe, he said he’d been running like that for 8 years…not sure why, but he obviously had some tales to tell about obstacles he’d had to overcome at various times, including visits to A & E…don’t know if he’s a legend or a crazy leg-end…

Very well organised race anyhow, with fab cakes at the end and a stall selling £70 discounted road shoes for a local charity. I may try and squeeze one more Lakes race in this year at the end of November at Kirkby Moor. Any takers?

John accompanied by Brent and Julie from Penistone. The bare feet thing hasn’t caught on. Yet…..

Thanks John, and well done for edging our Penistone friend. I got schooled once in the ToT half marathon by a guy in flip flops, and somewhere there is a embarrassing picture showing it . But bare feet fell racing is really quite something, but not the kind of something I’ll be trying any time soon!


Glossop saw the brunt of Harrier action, 21 of us, with Mandy Beames making it 50 and Paul Gatley making it 100. The sloppy conditions weren’t conducive to PB’s, but a GDH peleton formed at the front end, with a Harrier 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5! In descending order we had Sean Philips, the 3 Steves (Knowles, Crossman, Page), closely followed by newcomer Chris Smith. Chris looks rapid, so watch out!

A spot of Tourism with John Stephenson in Basingstoke, Wendy Trelease at Sheffield Hallam, Nick Ham at Woodbank, Joe Travis at Oldham, Claire Campbell in Medina Isle of Wight, Simon Toole PB’d at Bakewell, The Munday Clan were at Henley Wood in Oswestry, and Ellen Quane was at Millhouses.

The consolidated club report is HERE

Other Stuff

I understand the announcement of next years champs races is imminent, so please keep your eyes open! I gatecrashed the subcommittee meeting, and would love to blow the lid right here. But I’ve been threatened, and I am scared, so you’ll just have to wait!

Big news that Tim Budd turned 40 this week. Happy birthday Tim, and welcome to the V categories! I imagine its not related to a midlife crisis, but he has published the 4th in his series of boggy nav time trials, aptly named Frostbite TT’s. The first 3 have been great fun, and I highly recommend having a go. If your not confident on the nav side, don’t worry. Just, a) pick a clear day, and b) maybe post up on the FB page and see if anyone fancies joining you. After all, many hands make light work – or something like that….

In regular GDH activity (official and unofficial) get yourselves out to Coach Jeroens Tuesday Training Sessions. Wednesdays we have Chris Webb’s muddy XC training (why not do the double?). Thursday is the social run from the Leisure Centre, and Sunday morning there’s always a good number bashing around the Longdenden Trail.

In other news, Emma Peters is looking for a watch, Kasia Osipowicz is selling a watch, and Nicola Pennington has lost her XC number. Rebecca Ashworth did a GDH kit stock take, and when she posted it, Facebook crashed. Grindleford Gallop sold out in about 5 seconds, but Hit the Trail is open for entries. The latter is a fantastic new year race, and last year had perhaps the largest GDH turnout / group photo ever. Get signed up!

Thanks for all your contributions as ever, and especially this week. I had quite a hard day of it, and this really helped! Keep your contributions coming guys.!

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