The “I’ll have a bottle of Corona, and don’t forget the lime” Weekend report.

It would appear that the world is in the grip of the Corona Virus. There are all kinds of amusing jokes about running being good for you and making sure that we are self isolating, so I won’t bore you with too many of them here. The list of races cancelled/postponed is getting ever longer, with one or 2 of them only giving people about 6 hours notice (Wilmslow half, I’m looking at you)…


If the virus looks like this, count me in!

The current list looks like this:

in no particular order….races cancelled or postponed: Manchester marathon, London marathon, Paris marathon, Chicken Run, Edale Skyline, Yorkshire 3 Peaks, Dovestone Diamond, 4 Inns, Fellsman, Wilmslow Running Festival

Still, if you’re getting itchy because you can’t race other people, how about going out and battering yourself on one of the local time trials? Challenge someone else to a dual over a certain distance. Use the time to push yourself harder instead of relying on having a person on your shoulder to push you along. And if you *really* need a medal at the end of the day, there’s always a cereal packet, tin foil and some marker pens to make yer own. It’s probably more environmentally friendly as well. medals

Anyhow… what went on this week? Anything at all? Oh yes- a fair amount actually….

Grindleford Gallop

Thanks to Guy Riddell for sending this in:

So with the ongoing threat to races caused by Covid-19, {don’t panic, just wash your hands, stay a metre apart from everyone, no handshakes} I decided if there was a race on and I can get in, then just say yes. So when Pete W offered his place on this race, I accepted eagerly, then asked the less important questions like: where the hell is Grindleford? How far is the race? All on tarmac right?

Turns out Grindleford is a lovely place in the Hope Valley just past Hathersage, it’s about 21 miles and of course all tarmac apart from the mud and puddles and unmentionable cow souvenirs. There were a few minor alternations to keep us safe – we weren’t allowed in the race HQ, jelly babies were dispatched by tongs, cake all individually wrapped, water filled from jugs with no. All a bit surreal, but probably sensible.

Race start was weird. All stood in a field which was suspiciously free of tarmac, and no race briefing, just a sudden klaxon sounded and we all plodded off. Informal agreements were made to just jog round as a little group, and over the first couple of miles 5 harriers were kept together by a series of bottle-necks. As soon as it opened up Rob Sheldon bounded off like an excited puppy and Michael Lunn (ably supported by my spare vest) dropped back a little, leaving me to run 21 miles with Matt (can’t find my gloves, where’s my phone) Crompton & Elanor (I’ll only slow you down, I have never ran here before) Swan.

It was a glorious day for running, and largely conditions were wonderful. There were some massive puddles a few miles in, and an amateur could easily have gone over at this point and got soaked and covered in mud and scrapes. Naturally that did not happen, and the scrapes down my leg at the finish were obviously caused by Els kicking me when I wasn’t looking (she seems the type).

The route was lovely, through the villages of Eyam & outskirts of Bakewell, Chatsworth House, along the Monsal Trail and along the beautiful Frogatt Edge – all in glorious weather really, bit warm at times. Elanor tried everything to get rid of Matt & I, but we all stuck together – worth it just to benefit fully from the support crew with Phil popping up several times along the way with the extremely loud and vocal Josie & Caitlin.

A couple of miles from the end we passed Mandy Beames and her carer for the day Sarah Leah – they had set off ahead of the pack rather sneakily and did brilliantly, even if it does look like Mandy spent half the time taking photos.

At the finish there was a massive queue for soup and cake (not allowed inside remember) but the angelic Swan girls went and queued several times bringing us back soup, cake, sausage rolls the lot, absolute little stars they were.

No official results yet, but from Strava and my own observations:

Rob Sheldon – 3:34
Guy Riddell/Matt Crompton/Elanor Swan – 3:54
Michael Lunn – 4:07
Ree O’Doherty – 4:25
Mandy Beames  and Sarah Leah– 5:48

PS – Matt’s phone was in his pack discovered when it rang mid-race, and gloves were safely discovered but not needed. Phew!

Haworth Hobble

Aha- Nick Ham was over there for this. – 50k and 1600m of ascent. He has not mentioned if this was a PB or a PW, so I’m going to go somewhere in the middle and say it was a Personal Average time. Can’t believe no-one else was there, it’s normally a cracker!

Lads Leap

There were plenty of people about at this local knees up. When races get cancelled, there is always going to be one or 2 others that don’t get cancelled and pull in the punters. No results that I can see yet- It seems that Pete Daly and Chris Jackson were doing it, but beyond that, no-one’s told me nuffin.

Two Crosses LDWA

Thanks so much to John Pollard who sent this is today:

Dez Mitchell suggested this event as he has done it several times in the past with Clive Hope & had waxed lyrical about the route & the choice food at many of the checkpoints, particularly the spread at notorious CP4…the end of many a runner’s ambition for a good time on account of ‘overloading’! I fell victim to the home-made trifle here, being physically restrained from a 3rd helping (see photo of me shamelessly retrieving unfinished bowl from the bin)…


John. Overloading.

Anyway, a little about the challenge (it’s not a race really, and both runners & walkers participate over two courses, 17 & 25 miles) & I know there were 300 pre-entries, so pretty popular.
Started from Greenmount near Tottington, it winds its way along country lanes, fields & trails towards Turton Tower & some local reservoirs, never more than undulating climbs, but today as is standard this year, every field was a bog trot or mudfest.
After Entwistle reservoir came the tented treats of CP4. A female voice here chimed in “are you John?”…and after owning up I realised it was a lady called Edwina Hill, who used to be a member of GDH (only really older members will recall her)…Edwina was a keen runner of ultras, and it was lovely to see her as I know her husband succumbed to cancer & she moved away, but now lives happily in Rossendale. Nice serendipity.
The route really does have a bit of everything, I could describe how Dez’s ‘local knowledge’ confounded a local Holcombe Harrier lady who was slightly disoriented & was ‘put right’ by Dez, who she assumed was a club-mate. Glossop, to her sounded a long way away!ldwa scene
So the most challenging (& tbh enjoyable) part of the run came as we made our way up onto Holcombe Moor, over Bull Hill, carefully contouring away from the MOD warning signs, only to find ourselves under fire from a sharp hailstorm!
Good mixture of bog & technical running on this stretch, more of a fell race.
It’s called the Two Crosses because there are two ancient crosses along the route.
The second we now encountered on the way to the landmark of Peel Tower, called Pilgrims Cross. The first I blinked and missed in the first 5 miles, Affetside Roman cross apparently. But what did the Romans ever do for Bury?
Sharp descent from Peel Tower, and new steps through a wood were an innovation for Dez, who says he usually slides down on his arse there.
We were taking it pretty easy, stopping for drinks, chocolates, flapjacks, jellies etc at these later CPs, and a bit of banter. I have to say no gloves or tongs were used(as Guy commented at Grindleford Gallop) so I don’t know if I’ll be self-isolating in a week. Still, mustn’t make levity of the situation, us OAPs are a group at risk so I’ve heard.
Great food back at the finish, 5 or 6 different types of soups, variety of sandwiches, rice pud, Manchester tart(do love them), cakes, cheese, cuppa tea…jeez I’m full.
Got to give this one 10 out of 10. Brilliant tip from Dez, won’t be the last one I’ll do…but it might be the last for a while……

Parkrun corner

Plenty of us at Glossop…course PB for Ethan Rolls (and only a few seconds off his all time PB)
Tony Hillier was across at Hyde while Bill Leason was banging around Marple
Catherine Cleary was down south in Chelmsford running an all time PB. Mark Ollerenshaw continued the PB trend with a course PB at Skipton. David & Holly Munday were at Oakwell, Joe Travis was at  Middleton Woods and Simon Toole blatted around Morecombe Prom with another all time PB. Nice work.

Kinder Dozen

Ian Crutchley sent this in, just beating the deadline… The second Kinder Dozen completion by GDHers this year:

Lance Hamilton Griffiths and I had a crack at Kinder Dozen today. Having done the far more dramatically named “Kinder Killer” in November we knew we were in for a tough day, as whilst the Dozen is around 5 miles shorter, it contains an extra 1000 foot of so of climb, giving a quite meaty gradient profile. A well-known anytime challenge devised by DPFR (again) it has 12 climbs and descents of Kinder Scout, giving 24 miles and 10,000 feet.

I’d exhausted my repertoire of running cliché’s quite early on i.e. by the top of the first climb – not far to go now, we’re doing great, we’ve broke its back now, we’re on for a great time…. Some swearing later and we were then forced to converse on a more civil level, generally putting the world to rights and having a great laugh. The following few ups and downs were quite uneventful, but this was a false sense of security, as the weather turned on us when we hit the Edale side of the hill. Some cloud bursts, hail stone, and even a little sunshine later, we were out of the worst of it, but those 4 up and downs had really taken it out of us. Things picked up once we hit the Hayfield side of the hill, and before long we were cresting Fairbrook Naze for the final descent back to the Snake Inn.

A tough day, and some of the ups and downs were relatively “nice” whilst others were truly horrible. I’ve never experienced a route quite so determined to break our ankles – it was a constant. We just missed out on the 8 hour target, coming in with a total time of 8 hours 39 minutes. But we’re happy, a very good mark in the sand for me, and we both enjoyed the route much more than we did Kinder Killer.Dozen

Community running track

Thanks to Jeroen for sending in this missive about the opening of the new community running track: Today was not only the day the Wilmslow Half Marathon was cancelled, but it was also the long-awaited day of the official opening of the Glossopdate Community Running Track. With only about 30 minutes to go, it briefly looked like it may be a wash-out. However, it was as if the Tuesday Weather Fairies were on duty and dry weather returned before 2 pm and later, the sun came out too.

Just before 2 when I got to the Turning Circle at the end of Green Lane with the special guests from Team New Balance, I was a little surprised (and worried) that there were very few people waiting. I should not have as they were already at the start of the running track. Well over 50 people turned up, many familiar faces but also quite a few that I had not seen before.

After a few words during which I acknowledged the many people who helped and contributed to the project, Steve Vernon, the coach of Team New Balance unveiled the newly installed “orientation panel” before he, together with elite athletes and members of Team New Balance, Jonny Mellor and Jip Vastenburg, ran through the ribbon and thereby officially opening the track.

This was followed by a training session led by Steve for al those who were interested. After a short jog, a number of warm-up routines, some of which may have seemed familiar for the regulars on Tuesday. But, these were indeed the exercises done by athletes of the highest level. A number of strides brought the group to where the track passes under the road bridge from where the main set started: Up to 5 x 2.5 laps on a “conventional” running track followed by gentle recovery lap or, in Glossop Running track speak: 1K reps from #10 to #20 at 5K race pace followed by 400m easy recovery back to the start at #10/24.

During the training, Steve said how impressed he was with the facility and he will be coming here regularly and bring his entire Team of athletes for sessions, instead of, as he does now, the Middlewood Way. Jonny commented on how this track is so much more enjoyable than “just a boring out and back on the dead-straight Middlewood Way. Jip enjoyed the peaceful, countryside setting and shelter from wind and the elements. Furthermore, Steve was so impressed that he promised to return with his entire team for a Tuesday GH session, probably sometime in April. Watch this space for an update on this.

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Committee Corner

Committee held their second meeting of the year last week. Amongst other things we discussed some questions and suggestions from members and outcomes will be communicated to them in due course, if not already. Minutes will be uploaded to the website as normal once agreed by the committee – Lucy. (sec).

News about the captains! (from the desk of Alison Holt via Paul Skuse)

“The GDH committee have met twice since the AGM and the discussion about the future role of Club Captains is ongoing. However, we do have one elected Club Captain (Paul Skuse) and Paul is also on the committee. We are also considering ideas around different ways to support club activities across all areas of running. In order to make sure these are developed carefully and take account of feedback from the survey (more on this in due course), and at the same time ensure everything is looked after during this transitional year, we are looking for some members to volunteer to take responsibility for:

-Fell relays – team entry and selection for the annual relays (Hodgson Brothers and UKA Hill Relays aka “The FRA Relays”;

-Road relays – identify a suitable event, team entry and selection;

– Trail relays – identify a suitable event, team entry and selection.

Ideally, we will have at least two volunteers per area ideally one male, one female as we have already for Cross Country activities (Kirsty Sharp and Chris Webb)”

The committee have been busy and are keen to get this right. If you fancy helping out, don’t be shy, give me a shout on Paul’s new official email:

Coming up!

Well- assuming the world doesn’t end, lock down doesn’t affect everyone and everything, and all that kind of stuff:

Glossop vs Pennine on 21/3 – its a Hayfield to Glossop Year this year. Contact Charlie on facebook for more details. (and if it isn’t Charlie you need to contact, I’m sure he’ll point you in a better direction).

Herod Farm on 22/4 – If you are available and still haven’t volunteered to help out with this, Glossopdales contribution to Wednesday night fell racing, get on it, and email Darren Clarke- or contact him on facebook. These races don’t run themselves you know! Race directors need your help!

The Midweek Champs

A final announcement from Skusey about the resurrection of the Midweek Champs:

Here it is in all its glory –the midweek champs race list. Handpicked and prepared by your own champs committee to give you the ultimate midweek racing experience! 3 out of the 5 gets you in but 5 out of 5 makes you a natural born winner! The midweek champs will not be part of the overall champs but run as a separate competition. The name of the game here is participation and here is range of races to give you a taste of what the midweeks have to offer
-Buxworth 5 (28/4/20) A tarmac fell race, 2 miles up, 2 miles down and a final mile on the flat.
-Stride through the woods (13/05/20) 5k. A flat, fast trail race along a canal with a short grassy climb at the midway point.
DCRO Dash (10/06/20) 8.5 km. A hard grassy climb and an equally challenging fast descent.
-Cracken Edge (05/07/20) 8m. A little bit of everything. A local classic.
-Millbrook Monster (24/07/20) 10k. Monster by name, monster by nature!

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