A weekend of 2 halves. The Saturday was a delight. Sunshine and a little breeze. Certainly the calm before the storm. If you were going to get out this weekend, that was the day to do it. Sunday was a slightly different matter with the incoming Storm Ciara… weather warnings for rain and wind and a general feeling of “batten down the hatches” followed by Rain. Wind. Hail. Lightning. Etc. A number of hugely respected races (Long Mynd, Junior Parkrun etc) were cancelled due to the quite unacceptable risk it would pose to marshals, runners and (if needed) rescue teams.
Having said that, there were still a good few things going on this weekend, some lovely accounts to read and enjoy. The committee have been busy and there is a wossname thing to read at the bottom of the page, and goodness me, looking at the forecast there might even be some snow on the way.
Thanks so much to the contributors this week- Ian Crutchley, Nic Pennington, Lynne Taylor, Els Swan, Wioleta Wydrych and Paul Peters.
Winter tour of Bradwell
Ah yes, a champs race with a load of Glossopdalers entered – not *quite* everyone who entered turned up on the day, but that’s the way it goes, I guess. The race was run on Saturday certainly the best of the weekend, considering the battering we were going to get on the Sunday. As it is a few people sent in some accounts of the day, and it’s probably worth including all of them seeing as they were there and I wasn’t:
Winter Half Tour of Bradwell:28.5km and 1100m of ascent.
When the half tour was announced in the club champs I thought I’d best enter – it would give me something to train for and be a training run for something longer I’ve got coming up in a few months. There were nearly 20 harriers at the chilly start in Bradwell, and a good mix of race experience too. I was so happy the day was bright and sunny, yes chilly and a cool breeze but nothing too wintery and no extra kit to carry. The climb up Dirtlow rake always goes on for a while, and I was within ear shot of a good few harriers so it was lovely chatting and a good distraction from the 4km of ascent. What goes up must come down…thankfully Cavedale is early in the race as the descent is always slippy and makes for very slow and cautious progress on my part. It was here that I lost touch with most harriers and I just settled into my own race.
Heading out of Castleton you then have the second big climb – all the way to Lose Hill. From here until much later in the race I had company from Nic P, mostly making sure she didn’t get lost!! That said, it was good to have company as longer races can seem lonely once the pack thins out.
I know the area really well so my map didn’t come out of my bag at all…taking familiar paths down off Lose Hill – first bit of delightully muddy slippy terrain….down the road to Hope and the green lane over to Aston for the 3rd climb of the race. More gluppy mud on the eastern flank of Win Hill (I do wish the race went to the summit of this hill). The trail down to Shatton gives the legs a respite from the ups and downs, still not easy on tired legs and almost added to the dread I was feeling towards the final climb – about 250m to climb up to Shatton mast. Nic and I had been joined by Des and a few others, but the 3 of us seemed to be well matched on speed (walking) up. Somewhere along the way to CP7 I pulled away from them a bit and figured Des would get Nic to the finish safely…so I kept onwards, running where I could and psyching myself up for the mudfest of the final steep descent. I kinda wish I had a sledge or plastic bag to use – my fell shoes didn’t give much grip on the quagmired path and the brambles, gorse, blackthorn, and barbed wire fence offered no safety net to catch hold of. Somehow (well I know how) I stayed more or less upright (I basically didn’t try to run) and eventually reached the final gate onto the tarmac and the edge of Bradwell village. I made up 2 places through the village, overtaking one guy within 200m of the finish and making it back to the sports pavillion just a touch over 4hrs to hear some of the prizes being handed out.
A grand day out in the hills….think I’d prefer the route with much less mud but otherwise it was superb.
Beautiful weather, lots of fun and sliding in the mud and a huge turnout of GDH, especially ladies team was huge 🙂
I signed up for this one to learn to navigate. If you can imagine the worst sense of direction and no nav skills – that used to be me. When I’ve been ticking the Wainwrights off I improved a little bit. I mean, massively. (But I felt it doesn’t count, because I wasn’t on my own and I wasn’t running – I’ve been hiking). So, yes, I knew how to use a compass and a map but I was still making crazy mistakes. In the most obvious places, I would go wrong (even if there was a sign ‘no footpath – I would go there as it happened when I was doing a recce of Bradwell). So the next step for me was to improve my nav skills to the point to feel comfortable to navigate on my own, especially while running. So if you think you are crap in navigating – keep reading 🙂 there is hope even for you!
I decided to recce Bradwell in 3 parts (I knew how long it may take me to navigate it – it took me even longer – each part about 2-4 hrs). On each recce, I was making sure that I know exactly where I am on the map (even when it was super obvious, it wasn’t for me) and as I was going along I started noticing more on the map, more of the things that helped me to recognise where exactly I am, like signs for open access, gates, walls, types of the paths, I’ve learned how to notice the difference between bridleway and a normal footpath, recognise byway and all of that was super helpful.
I’ve had some funny moments while recceing it. On the first recce I dragged David and asked to promise not to tell me if I’m going wrong (I wanted to learn even if on my mistakes), but after one mile he asked ‘so even if you would be going completely wrong from the start you don’t want to know?’ – yes, the first mistake, instead of taking the path from the start I went up the hilly road. So I made friends with the compass. I’ve had some funny moments with the compass as well, especially when we were doing the next 2 recces with Bec. The first moment was hilarious: me and Bec, both with our maps and compasses, both compasses where showing north in the opposite direction!!! If somebody would take a picture of us at that moment, that would be awesome! Hahaha, that gave us loads of confidence for the start of our nav skills tour (yes, don’t keep your compass next to the phone or speakers or it will go crazy). There were also some funny moments when I was taking bearing using a compass and it was pointing me the direction we came from (I placed the compass on the map wrong way round). We’ve also made some little mistakes while recceing it, but at least I knew I’m not going to repeat them on the race day 🙂 And so I felt prepared for the race day. Kate drove us with Rachel and Nicola (we’ve had 2 drivers actually as somebody couldn’t shut up and stop helping- me hahahaha at least I felt like I contributed a bit). And on the way we’ve all heard ‘don’t worry, there will be plenty of people to follow’. But the reality was different. I quickly realised there is nobody in front of me. After I’ve had a little haribo at the checkpoint 3 (I really enjoyed it after 12 days sugar-free) I caught up with some guys, but I’ve had to show them the way as they were going wrong already. Then one of them tried to stay with me for a bit, every so often asking hopefully ‘you know where we are, do you?’ hahahah I knew and I was so proud of myself that it is unbelievable 😛 (oh by the way, I know plenty of you were wondering why he was wearing full waterproofs for the entire race – he is training for 100miler and as a part of the training he wanted to run in full kit). Somebody helped me as well, just before we were underneath Win HIll somebody shown me a little shortcut that I assumed was right but I didn’t follow that way during the recce so I wasn’t sure whether to risk it, I did and I was impressed to even see the first arrow on the stile. Before the checkpoint 7 I met Alex, he was full of hope that I know where to go 🙂 I need to say, I was dead chuffed with myself, cause I actually knew where to go. And then again after the checkpoint 7 I was showing some runners to go to the left up through the farms near Robin hood’s Cross, plenty of people went straight and missed that bit. Except when I’ve met all these people I’ve been on my own most of the time so learning to navigate was extremely helpful.
If I was able to get to that point and learn to navigate, anybody can.
And finally, from Nic:
The Rookie fell runner report.
when Skusey suggested it would be a great idea to run the Bradwell half I thought why not? The cocky me thought it doesn’t matter that I have no nav skills, don’t know north from south on a compass or what a bivvy bag is but I thought bugger that! How hard can it be? Ill just follow someone else.
Race number collected and wearing my sparkly third hand inov8s I set off with the crowd to what I thought would be a bit of a jaunt up a few hills except, after a few miles it became apparent that everyone seemed to know where they were going apart from me, and they were getting further and further in front until I was on my own…. and the fell fear hit. Ive got to say it was at this point I nearly had a little cry and had to dampen down the panic rising in my chest. The only way to do this was to run as fast as I could until I saw someone, anyone who I could cling onto. At no point did I consider looking at my map. At that moment running through somewhere called a path type thingy, an angel appeared in blue and orange, Lynne Taylor. Never have I been so glad to see someone.
I asked if I could run with her, to be fair she never agreed but she didn’t have a choice, I wasn’t letting her go, She gave me a polite telling off about not running these types of runs if you cant read a map then made me get my map out and gave me a crash course in map reading ( still awaiting invoice) however when she asked me which way we were going I got it wrong EVERY TIME. We climbed one mountain affectionately known as a big bugger then downhill, then another mountainous mountain which must have been “the bigger bugger”. I was slipping and sliding through mud and wanted to vomit apart from my mouth was so dry I couldn’t. this normally chatty funny woman, (me) could barely get a sentence out. Quite frankly I was knackered. Passing a few other runners, we started on the last climb up “Stoney mountain” and met with Dez, my other saviour. The winds were howling, I wanted my jam butty but couldn’t eat it and I was as miserable as sin. Lynne managed to escape my death grip and ran off but I had hold of Dez’s bumbag and I wasn’t going to let it go. The last push was upon us down into Bradwell. I was so tired I couldn’t even lift my feet and ended face first into stinky, sticky mud. I didn’t have the energy to laugh. In fact Dez could have left me there for all I cared but get up I did, running ( I say this loosely) through Bradwell to the finish not giving 2 muddy rats assess what I looked like, I just wanted this to end… now. I crossed the finish line to a marshall laughing and congratulating me on being the muddiest runner, well at least I came first in something.
Since then Ive give myself a stern talking to about the dangers of running 18 miles reading a map upside down and inside out, not having a clue what I’m doing and thinking I can wing it. As proud as I am of finishing it I’m ashamed of my naivety and lack of respect for the fell. This has been a massive learning curve for me and map reading skills is on the top of my to do list for my next race. Thank you Lynne and Dez. If it wasn’t for you I really would be stuck up a mountain somewhere in my borrowed bivvy bag, trying to figure out how to read a map.
Thanks to Ian Crutchley for winging over the results.
Prizes – Jude was 2nd V50, Lins was 3rd V50
|#||Rebecca||Smith||rtd at Hope- The Green Lane|
Im sure the Champs tables will be updated on the website soon enough.
Special mention should perhaps go to Lins who decided to head up to the top of Winhill even though it’s not a part of the race, and to the other interesting and exciting lines that various people took throughout the race.
Heaton Park XC
I haven’t really got much of an idea what went on at Heaton Park as no-one has deigned
to drop me a line. Pete Daly was apparently 149th and 15th V50, while David Chrystie-Lowe was 126th and 2nd V60. Solid running in what I’d imagine to be fairly muddy conditions!
Mid Lancs XC
A bit of a report from roving XC-er Paul Peters:
After a failed attempt to send in a report last week (internet cut out mid drive, didn’t realise it hadn’t sent till Monday) I’m back again with my penultimate XC.
Despite being here for a fourth year, this was a new course to me so I scouted it on
google maps beforehand. What looked like a super boring field run turned out to be a little more interesting. Couple of bogs, a nice traily section and good support made for an enjoyable course. I carried on my new tactic of turning off watch alerts and racing the race, and found myself a little back in the pack to start off, but soon found myself catching the eager starters. After about 4km I caught up to an old Lancaster Uni runner who I’d never beaten during his time with us, but this day was gonna be different I told myself, as I surged to try and put a little daylight between us.
Nothing much happened for the next few km’s. Caught one or two more lads that were on the decline, tried to duck behind people to avoid the wind where possible, but the course was looking quite sparse at the front end so I had to face the wind head on mostly. Really we were just fortunate that Storm Ciara decided to come on Sunday instead (update from todays run, Lancaster is a mess of flooded paths, fallen trees and general havoc, so nothing new here really).
All in all, I rounded off the race coming in 11th, yet again a personal best position in this league. I’m determined to go off hard at the next race to see if I can break the top 10 before I leave uni…
The only race that went ahead in the teeth of Storm Ciara. A number of (fool?)hardy souls decided to take up the offer of running the Drs Gate fell race on Sunday. With lashing hail and 70mph gusts across the tops, the race was abandoned at the checkpoint by Old Woman and all runners returned back down Drs Gate.
At home in Glossop we had a dozen harriers running this week . More of you chose to take on some parkrun tourism, here’s the rundown: Jonathan Haggart (Finsbury Park), Steve Crossman and Tony Hillier (Hyde, congratulations Steve on the PB), juniors Ethan Rolls and Wyatt Barlow plus Laurie Barlow (Chester, congratulations to Wyatt on securing his all time parkrun PB), Phil/Elanor, Caitlin and Josie Swan, Dan Ellingworth, Mandy Beames and Sarah Leah (Lyme Park, congratulations to the female Swans on all 3 of you bagging PBs), Joe Travis (Penrhyn), Robert Webster (Rushmere, congratulations on finishing first), Sean and Vicki Phillips (Stretford (a PB on this course for Vicki – well done)), Phillip Pearce (Jamaica Pond, Boston Massachusetts), William and David Munday (Severn Valley Country Park).
A big shout out to all the juniors running the Saturday event, sadly no junior parkruns this week owing to the storm forcing nationwide event cancellations. Don’t forget there’s a push to get Glossop’s very own junior parkrun set up – see facebook or get in touch with Dan Ellingworth if you’d like to get involved.
Next week is the 3rd Saturday in the month but as we have 5 Saturdays in February this year there are still 3 chances to head off and grab the ‘L’ in Lauries parkrun challenge.
Club Welfare Officer(s) needed…
In line with the requirements of an England Athletics affiliated club, the committee has decided that the club requires at least 1, but ideally 2 welfare officers, 1 male and 1 female.
Welfare covers a range of issues such as safeguarding and protecting children and adults from bullying, poor practice in coaching and disciplinary matters. As this is a new role for Glossopdale Harriers, the person or persons will be involved in defining the role, welfare policies and a disciplinary procedure and its implementation, in close cooperation with the club committee.
Successful candidates will be required to complete an on-line Safeguarding in Athletics course prior to attending a 3-hour “Time 2 Listen” workshop. The club will pay for these.
For more information on what is involved in this role, please visit the relevant page on the England Athletics website: https://www.englandathletics.org/clubs-and-facilities/club-support-services/compliance-wellbeing/club-welfare-roles-responsibilities/
We are calling on all members who would like to be considered for these important posts to indicate their interest in the first instance by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thats about it really.
Point to note: Webb has his final XC training session of the year this Wednesday, so if you’re game, get on over to Bankswood for some ridiculous mudbased fun.
Other than that, no-one has got in contact with anything else to plug (to be fair, he didn’t ask me to plug it, but I happened to know about it), so that’s yer lot.