To start on a high note, tomorrow is the worst day of the year. Official. Bank accounts are quivering with fear. Dry-January, veganuary, and all those other good ideas are beginning to seem a bit rubbish. BUT not so for us Harriers – we should be celebrating our race successes of the weekend and looking forward to a whole year of epic running ahead of us. Worst day of the year? Pah! As if!
Here’s what happened.
SELCC XC Heaton Park
Have the Webbinars paid off? Let’s find out with this report from Elanor Swan:
A small but perfectly formed GDH Team turned out for the 3rd Match of SE Lancs XC yesterday. The race was back in Heaton Park, Tandle Hill having been deemed too muddy – one can only imagine the levels (depths?) of muddiness given the amount of wading that is usually required at Tandle Hill. The weather was kind and the conditions underfoot were also benign so a good day out appeared to be had by all. Results are as follows:
LADIES: Caitlin Swan was 4th girl in the U13s, Josie Swan was 8th girl in the U15s, Kirsty Sharpe was 3rd Lady (31:32) in the over 18s followed at some distance by Els Swan who was 27th Lady in 36:43.
GENTLEMEN: Nick Lord was first GDH home in 38th place in 41:39, followed by the battling duo of Phil Swan (45:49) and David Christie-Lowe (45:56), Frank Fielding (49:21) and Simon Toole (50:51). Dave was 1st v60 and Frank was 2nd v65.
Run Coed y Brenin
Wales. It seems to have its own gravitational pull for a number of Harriers who just can’t wait to cross the border to experience the gnarly dragon-like beauty it has to offer. This weekend was the 6th annual Buff Winter Trail Wales – a half marathon route through the Coed y Brenin forest park. Sounds amazing. Paul Skuse sent in the below:
What can I tell you about this one? Well, it’s a long way away for starters. An early start, black ice on the roads and the sub-zero temperatures were soon forgotten when we arrived. It was stunning. Sadly, of the multitudes of GDH who had signed up for this, only 4 of us made it to the starting line: me, Pete W, Emma R and John P. (Does Harris count?) It felt a bit chaotic at the start as there were 700 runners and no system of placing yourself appropriately on the start line so it was elbows out and a bit of pushing and shoving the grannies and fun runners to the floor to try and get near the front of the line. I was still about 10 rows back when the gun went so spent a bit of time weasling through the crowds till the real race could begin. And what a race! That’s got to be the fastest, lumpiest run over distance I’ve ever done. The trails made it all runnable, the climbs made the running at pace a full on lung buster. Mile 11 was called the sting in the tail, a distinct climb with its own prize category. T.B.H. it felt just like the rest of the previous 10 miles but a bit less traily. There were no flats anywhere in the course. Conditions were perfect. It was joyous. The finish had an inflatable arch and a mug waiting for you. So to sum it up: it’s a long way away, it’s pricey and it’s really tough but one to be ticked off the list. Good shout Lucy W! No idea about results, not up on fb of the website.
Since Paul sent this in the results did come up and here they are, awesome work:
Paul Skuse 1:41:46
Pete Wallroth 2:00:05
Emma Rettig 2:14:42
John Pollard 2:17:21
Alderley Park Winter Trail Race
Alderley Park, I’ve never been there personally, but sounds like a nice place according to Wiki! Tim Crookes took on the winter trail race and here’s what he thought about it:
Did Alderley park winter trail race this morning was very cold but a great course, a little bit muddy in parts but other than that it was great. Was happy with my time of 38.22 over 5 miles. Would definitely recommend it.
It looks like a couple of other Harrier’s ran it and here are the results:
Michael Park 35:45
Tim Crookes 38:04
Tony Hilliar 43:01
Dark and White Wildest Peaks Trail Race
Both the Dark and White Peak? The wildest? Let’s find out with the race report from Lynne Taylor:
At around 26km and about 500m ascent we were a little anxious the distance in the wild peaks would be testing….but waking to a crisp blue sky day with little wind made the wild peaks seem very tame. An early start from Glossop saw myself, Catherine Cleary and Ann Shackleton on the start line at the south end of the Burbage valley for our 8.30am start.
The route headed north then doubled back to climb over Higger Tor, down under Millstone Edge then through the delightful silver birch trees at Lawrencefield. Dodging ice patches became the norm, and trying to guess which of the muddy bits would give underfoot or hold. Catherine had long since forged ahead and me and Ann decided to run together as were pretty evenly paced. A quick comfort stop at Grindleford cafe then up up up onto Froggatt Edge and all the way to
Eagle Stone at the far end of Baslow Edge for the halfway point.
Bearing north east you have a short road section then north and towards the finish line….but first you have to pass Little Barbrook reservoir where half a dozen wild swimmers were jumping around getting warm….they’d had to break the ice to get in and I was a little jealous tbh!! Around this point we celebrated Ann’s 4th time at passing the half marathon distance…a superb effort and still going strong.
Up and over Flask Edge and past the Totley train tunnel vent would have been a lovely run (On albeit tiring legs) but the path was full of big icy puddles of varying depths so it was a bit of a roulette for fairly shallow to ankle deep icy plunges. The last marshal point came and they happily told us only 800m to go…down steep steps and back into Longshaw…a nice muddy grass path to finish and we were reunited with a fresh looking Catherine. Her time was around 2:38 and myself and Ann 3:31.
A super route takes you across about 6 road crossings so along with the undulations there are plenty of places to walk or take a break, it’s a great trail run on very runnable paths fabulously organised by the Dark & White team. There was also a shorter route at around 11km so if you fancy giving these events a go head over to their website.
Lamb’s Longer Leg Fell Race
Almost as local as they come, this is one of the collection of Hayfield Races. If you don’t already know about it, it’s worth checking the website HERE as there are loads of great races, plus at the bottom of the main page there’s a list that shows races within a 10-mile-ish distance from Hayfield. What a great resource! Frank Fielding and some other “old-timers” (his words not mine!) ran it and here’s the report:
This is a cracking little local race. Although it is not much further than 5k in distance, it packs in all the type 2 fun, associated with fell running. Registration is at the Lamb Inn and starts on a lane 800 metres further down the hill. It boasts a steep climbing start that drags on longer than a sane individual would normally choose. This results in many of the competitors, reduced to a walk within a couple of minutes from the start. After this lungbuster climb, there follows a short section of level ground respite, before plunging down the ‘technical’ descent to the bottom of Dimpus Clough. (for the uninitiated, ‘technical ‘ usually means uneven/hidden rocks/ruts/ slippy/tussocky etc etc). Once this first up and down is completed, a contoured tussocky trod winds around the valley floor and leads to the start of the second climb, which becomes another long hard walk for most of us, returning us back to the track around the base of South Head. Once the climb is achieved, it is the moment of truth to see what is left in the legs, as it is all runnable to the finish from here, including the second plunging descent that we all struggled up at the start. The finish line in the field above the pub is always a welcome sight
We had four ‘old timers’ turning out in club colours to sample the above delights.
Pete Daly was our frontrunner, in 29th place (don’t know time)
Frank Fielding was 43rd in 40:29
Nick Ham finished in 58th place, 42:20, and just held off
Pete Davis, 59th.
Essars Four Villages half marathon (Helsby-Cheshire)
This is the 37th year of the half marathon and as an added bonus this year is a qualifier for the England Athletics’ Masters Half Marathon Team. Steve Knowles decided to give it a go:
Decided to give this one a go after a friend suggested it to me as it was a qualifier for the English masters half marathon in March. The qualifying time for a male v45 was 1hr 22 minutes but only the first 5 vets in all age categories qualify on this and the Farnborough half marathon next weekend.
I knew this was gonna be very tough to get in that top 5 but I thought I’d give it my best. The course is on quiet country lanes with bits of climb 440ft in total and conditions were good today, cool misty and no wind about. Just over 2000 were running today and some very strong competition, I didn’t get a great start as the toilet queues were mega long and didn’t get chance to warm up (if you do this race get there earlier than I did) but managed to get in a comfortable pace, I was feeling it at mile 8-9 but after mile 10 it was downhill for a bit but knew I’d have to increase my pace to get under 1.20 which is what I was aiming for.
I managed 1hr 20min 4seconds so just over. I was 15th V45 Out of 230 v45’s so no qualification for a English masters vest but tried my best, I’ll give it another go when I’m V50. Some of you have probably done this race before, I definitely recommend it.
Laps around the park happened on Saturday of course and there appears to be rumours of a Glossop Junior parkrun which is fantastic news! Speak to Dan Ellingworth for more details.
Nineteen Harriers on the start line on Saturday with Cathy Murray bagging a PB! Steve Page and Caitlin Rice were first GDH home. Great running! Consolidated report HERE
Laurie Barlow’s parkrun challenge is in progress! You have to complete a parkrun beginning with the letters G.L.O.S.S.O.P.D.A.L.E.H but there are various rules on the order you do them in, which month and whether or not you’re a first timer (plus others) which earn various points over the year! It would help Laurie if you let her know if you’re taking part to make scoring things a bit easier.
Mental Health at the National Running Show
Ben Robertson sent in the email below:
I’ve not raced this week but my news is I’ve been invited to be a panel member at the national running show speaking about mental health and benefits from running and my multi ultra challenge last year. https://nationalrunningshowbirmingham.com/speaker/ben-robertson
Top Mileage and Climbing
Loads of miles and elevation grabbing this week with Jamie Helmer taking the distance crown with 88.7km and Luke Holme showing us his climbing credentials with 2,535m elevation.
Annual General Meeting
It’s been all over Facebook but as a reminder the AGM is on Monday 27th January at the Oakwood. The agenda is on Facebook HERE and it sounds like there’ll be a lot going on with reports from the Committee members and elections for various positions. We have a fantastic club with hard work from Committee members and many club members to make it what it is, so come along to get involved and hear what’s going on. Any motions should have been submitted by 18th January. I have no idea if there has been any so can’t report on that, I’m just a GDH hack.
Don’t forget to pay your subs
If you don’t pay on time, the GDH Mafia will be knocking menacingly on your door. They have ways to extract this money that you just don’t want to know about, so best to just pay up early.
What’s happening during the week?
Plenty of options out there: –
Tuesday – run fast for a bit then have a rest for a bit a few times on Jeroen’s speed session
Wednesday – run fast (in mud) for a bit then have a rest for a bit (in mud) a few times on Chris’ XC Webbinar.
Thursday – There’s a bit of a push to get the Thursday sessions a bit more organised so Mark Davenport has set up a DODDLE POLL where you can sign up to lead a run. Steve Page is looking at getting the 10km handicap time trial up and running again. Plod Squad is growing week-by-week. All from the leisure centre at 7pm, but keep your eye on Facebook to find out what’s happening!
If you fancy a bit of pong there is also a regular Thursday “Tip Session”, down by the tip believe it or not. 6-8 x 800m reps with 60 seconds rest. Great for all of the spring marathon training going on!
Frostbite series – keep your eye on FB for Tim Budd’s frostbite series navigation tasks, get wrapped up, dust off your compass and get out there in the hills!
Great to see so much going on. Have a good week!