It’s the “well of course the weather it s**t, it’s the weekend of the Trigger and the Spine!” report

Well, as sure as day follows night, you could probably have pretty much guaranteed the weather this weekend as soon as the weather gods knew the Spine and the Trigger were happening. They were kind though and they let those running XC this weekend off with a dry day! But sure enough…as it started to get light this morning you could hear the rain lashing on the windows. Such weather was, i’m told, enough for Ian Crutchley to contemplate getting his waterproof trousers out….previously the weather has never warranted them, except for one occasion – which was truly one of life’s biggest undertakings in brutal conditions – yes, jetwashing the flagstones in his garden on Shirebrook. Anyhoo, what became of our hardy (crazy) bunch of fellow club runners…well you’ll have to read on to see how they, and the other weekend racers, fared!

Cross Country – MACCL

Thanks to Chris Webb for sending in this report:

“Another new venue for the 2019-2020 season and this looks like being an excellent addition to the series. A lovely route around some areas of Tatton Park I hadn’t visited before with the odd boggy section, lots of fast running and views across the mere (if you had the energy to look around!) There was a large field but only the ever-present David Christie-Lowe, Pete Daly and I made it down from Glossopdale and it was a chance for David and Pete to renew their rivalry. At Wythenshawe in October Pete came out on top by 49seconds but a few weeks later at Kenworthy Woods David took the honours by 23 seconds. This time round the fast running seemed to suit Pete but he slowed on the final lap and David sensed weakness…it wasn’t to be though as Pete held him off by a mere 18 seconds this time to take the tally to 2-1 for the series. David also occupies 2nd V60 overall in the league, what a cracking season he’s having! I had a decent enough race; I found the flat, fast course tough going but the one long hill (by xc standards!) on long laps 2 and 3 seemed to be too much for those around me so I gained plenty of places and tried to hold on off the top on the long, flat section. This is why xc gets you fit, or at least that what I was telling myself as my legs were screaming at me…

Definitely one to run next season if they include it again. Lots of runners seemed to bring their families and combine it with an afternoon out at Tatton Park. Also, thanks to Ben Robertson for some excellent support on course. Childcare duties prevented him from racing but he took the kids with him and they had a cracking time splashing about in the mud by the looks of it! Check out his videos of the race on the GDH Facebook page.

63rd Chris Webb 36:07

324th (25th V50) Pete Daly 44:54

334th (4th V60) David Chrystie-Lowe 45:12 (I think, the results got David confused with another runner!)”

Full results here:

Thanks Chris for sending that in – and great to hear of the friendly competition between Pete and David – some cracking running there! Rob Sheldon and I will attest to the type of season David is having at the mo…pretty much saw us off at the coached session on Tuesday eh Rob!

XC poster boy in action again at Heaton Park


Thanks to Paul Skuse for sending in the report from today’s Trigger. First, though, for those who you who don’t know what this race entails i’ll give you an intro – it runs from Marsden to Edale and is entirely self navigated. The linear route is 21miles with 1650m ascent – so chuck into that having to pick out your best race lines, getting lost and whatever else – and the distance can soon mount up! Not one for the faint hearted, but perhaps one for those who fancy some decent training and recce-ing over December/early Jan….hmmmm.

“If I say cold, wet and claggy, I think I’ve covered all the key points. I really enjoyed it, just a fun day on the hills with some mates. I was gutted that Pete W had to sack it off at Torside. An old injury was plaguing him and was getting progressively worse so he made the right and sensible decision to call it a day. If you’ve ever been in that situation, you’ll know how tough a call that is to make. Guy did a cracking job as he hadn’t really trained for this but just got out there and gave it his all, which it turns out is just the right amount for completing the race. My favourite moment of the day was the stream crossing at Crowden Little Brook. The water was in full flow and moved with a force that belied its small size. I slid into the water, threw myself onto the big rock and scrambled out. I showed Luke the where’s and the how’s which he failed to follow and opted instead for the feet in the air and head and body fully submerged approach. I can’t believe he got out, shook himself off and just carried on. High drama and comedy; this race had it all!

Ian C, Dan S and Mark D were in full race mode. They’d put some serious graft in these past few weeks, checking various line options and doing general recce work and so rightly deserved their brilliant results. Also big thanks to Ian for helping with my route work prior to the race and sorting the taxi. Stuff like this is key to making GDH what it is.

Zoe was clearly feeling left out so decided to go for a couple of duckings herself. I think a few bruises are expected in some hopefully well-hidden areas.

No idea about Tim C but I expect no less than greatness. He’s a top fell runner so should be on in his element on the Trigger.

I know Robin enjoyed the race but can’t add anything beyond that. Good meeting you – hope to see you out running soon.

Sarah A was 1st GDH lady. Still not had a chance to say hello so will sort that soon.

Thanks to all the supporters who came out on such a grim day.

Coastal Trail Series (Anglesey)

Meanwhile over in Wales in this weekend, it sounded like the weather was not much better than the Peaks!

Thanks to Chris Smith for sending in this report of the Coastal Trail Series.

“This was my second race of the season with a three hour drive out to Holyhead on the island of Anglesey in Wales.

I really like the Coastal Trail Series events. Lots of amazing locations and four different distances to choose from (Ed – a little peruse of the results shows Chris was doing the half marathon distance). The EnduranceLife crew do a fantastic job of making it a great day out with banging music, a slick registration and good signage. The website is well thought out as well, with all the information you need in an easy to navigate format.

The weather was pretty horrific with almost constant rain and winds of up to 50mph. At some points the winds were so strong you could barely move forwards. I often found myself jumping in the air and landing somewhere else. Despite that, the course was a lot of fun, running along coastal trails, dodging foam and spray along the clifftops, trudging across pebble beaches, sprinting down country roads, and shlopping through muddy farms. Throw in a handful of old battered stiles and some brambles and it was close to being an army assault course.

The pack headed out on a steady pace and I was happy to lead for most of the race stretching out the field on the first major climb, but messed up with some poor route decisions ending up in second place by two minutes. Legs pretty torn up from brambles and gorse bushes, but very happy with my silver medal and a prize pack worth £50.

Will definitely be signing up for more of the CTS events!”

Great running Chris – impressive podium spot (in 2h 13m 44s and easily ahead of 3rd!) and some fab goodies by the sounds of it! Gonna have to look into these races – they sound fun 🙂

Cross Country – Lancaster style

Whilst the Trigger runners might have been having second thoughts about their choice of race this weekend, Paul Peters delight at a XC race to kick off the NY is entirely genuine! Thanks Paul for sending this report in from his XC race:

“There’s no better start to a new year than a XC race. I found myself trecking over to Burnley for the 4th Mid Lancs race of the season, racing in Towneley Park. Top course for those of us (like me) who can’t actually run on anything that’s not tarmac, since its not technical, and the weather is usually fairly kind. The rain managed to hold off till the journey home, so I was hopeful of a good performance, and set off predictably fast.

Luckily everyone sets off too fast in XC and I wasn’t the worst offender so I managed to pick up a few slowing runners after the first km. About 3km in I could see the leader (a fellow Lancaster Uni runner), and by my counting, I was sitting in 14th place, 5th counter for the Uni team (my happiness at seeing so many of our good runners out overwrote my competitive jealousy to beat them…). As the race unfolded, I could feel myself starting to flag but there was one or two lads in front I had my eye on. As we went through about 5km, I overtook a fellow uni lad, and in turn got overtaken by 2 other runners.

Nothing much really changed for the next 4km, I ran solo, battling strong winds in parts, as I narrowed the gap to some people in front, and fell further behind others. The last km, I could see a Blackburn lad chasing me down, uncomfortably close for my liking. My quads were about to leave me for the day, but I wasn’t going to lose my top 15 finish! It took some grafting on the last incline, and a very scared final straight, but I held him off for a strong finish.

By my accounts, 15th place overall and 4th uni team counter. I’m hoping it was enough for the team win, since we had 5 of our 6 counters in the top 18, and it would set out title attempt back on track, but I’ll have to wait for the official results!”

Cracking placing Paul – for anyone who has ever done (or been subjected to?) XC – it really is fast and furious and massively competitive so a 15th place overall is blooming fantastic!

Parkrun corner- plenty of GHDers running all around the country again this weekend and some great times as well! The consolidated report can be found here –

Other news:

XC match news – 2 things from Chris and Kirsty:

  1. There is one cross country left in the Manchester League on Saturday 8th February at Heaton Park.

2. Venue change – SE Lancs XC – 18th JanThe race will no longer be at Tandle Hill and will instead be at Heaton Park again. The message below is from the league secretary.

“Tandle Hill is a swamp (think of a bad year at Glastonbury!) – stream flowing around entrance area. Met with Brian this morning – he stood in field just over stile and sank almost to top of his wellies!. We tried to think of alternative ways to cope eg wood pallets on the ground, but deemed it too dangerous – even further into start area was horrendous.

I contacted Heaton Park and after a couple of hours they had checked the park route and said we could have our event there. There may be some course changes due to the Event from Christmas just being dismantled.

So, RACE 3 is still JAN 18 but back at HEATON PARK”

The AGM is fast approaching – Monday 27th Jan, half 7 in the Oakwood pub. Everyone welcome and encouraged to attend! The deadline for motions for the AGM is 18th January, please email those to Also if you are interested in being on the committee please send your interest into

Champs races – in case you have put the champs dates in your diaries already – please note the date of the Whaley Waltz has changed and will now be on 1st August – it’s been updated on the website and FB.

Right, that’s all from me as my tea is going cold – well run and raced everyone! Hope you’ve all warmed up now!

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