The “barely anything happened this week” weekly report

Wow, this lockdown was going to be an easy ride for the report writers.  No races, nothing to report, right?  I saved the witty and incredibly funny intro until last… but after pulling together this lot I’m now far too tired/had a few too many Sunday afternoon San Miguel* to come up with anything.  Without further ado, here is the weekly report!

*delete as applicable

The GDH Challenges

To make sure that GDH in decades to come can see how much fun we had during a nationwide “lockdown”…. Here are the challenges set by Team 1:

The Carrier Bag Challenge: Who remembers what it’s like having to run for the train with your hands full of shopping? Well to recreate that most mundane of running tasks, the first challenge is to run with a full carrier bag in each hand on a 10km route of your choice. A loop, hill reps, garden circuits; it’s up to you as long as it’s 10km with bags weighing at least 1kg each.

The Sunrise Challenge: Really straightforward; get up early doors, go for a run (any distance, any pace) and take a photo of the sunrise. The better the photo, the more points you get.

The Climbing Challenge: How much climb can you manage in one hour? The distance doesn’t matter, just the climb in the strict time limit. And no stop/starting with your watches!

The Nostril Challenge: A real C.V blast. Go for a run on one of your regular routes but this time only breathing in through your nose and exhaling from your mouth. Points for getting as close to your regular time as possible.

The Harrier Spotting Challenge: How many Harriers can you spot during a one hour run? They have become somewhat elusive of late so a little planning may be required. Photo evidence required. The more you spot, the more points you get. Bonus points for rarities and oddities.

The Rainbow Run Challenge: A nice one for families. Go for a run (or walk) and take photos of objects with each of the colours of the rainbow (ROYGBIV). Points for best pics.

The Strava Calligraphy Challenge: You know this one. Go for a run and use the route to write a word (but don’t tell us what it is). Points awarded for penmanship and word choice.

The PB Challenge: Need to up your game? Find an old PB and smash it. The better the upgrade, the bigger the points.

The Park Reps Challenge: In a local park, knock out some reps. How many can you do in a week? Points for getting more than Dan Ellingworth (but we’re not saying how many he’s doing).

The ‘Odd One Out ‘Challenge: On your run, take 5 pics. 4 have to have a common theme and one is to be the odd one out. Points for level of complexity, originality and humour.

What a great variety of challenges! Here’s the reports:

Team One

Led by Challenge Mastermind Paul Skuse, team one set out our tasks this week and although they “officially” don’t score any points, they’ve still been out there having a go.  There was no official team one report (but see Paul Skuse’s note later), so I’ve picked a few at random, sorry if I missed you out!

Emma Rettig chose an early Friday evening to go Harrier collecting, I know this because she was waving frantically on my drive in full GDH gear not long after 6pm.  I’m not sure how many Harriers she spotted but it ranges from somewhere between “a lot” to “bloody hell, there’s Harriers everywhere!”

Sometime last year I tried to draw a giant male appendage using GPS over at Pyegrove, but it looked so weird I had to make my Strava private.

Ian and Melissa Crutchley chose a far more refined subject and did a magnificent job.  How on earth they did this I don’t know, brilliant work:

Tracey Robinson did an “Odd one out”.  I’ve looked.  I have no idea.  But here it is!

Was this part of the challenges? I’ve no idea, but Pete Wallroth was in team 1 so that’s good enough for me.  Here’s Pete and Merlin:

Team 2

Wendy McMahon gives us the lowdown on Team two’s antics (and also provided a fantastic photo montage):

Nicky was in isolation so she took on the carrier bag challenge and ran 261 times round her garden. Unsure if she was happy an hour away from her kids or if she was picturing a time pre lockdown when she was running for a train with her Primark bags.

Rod volunteered to do the sunrise challenge as he was an early bird and took some good photos around Hargate.

After Alex dropped out, he was replaced with Liam who ran 4.42 miles and an elevation of 2278ft up James Thorn for the elevation challenge.

Frank who usually runs a 5km route in 28:45, was a massive 5:30 mins slower (or 1:07 mins/km for you young ‘uns) trying to control his breathing and not pass out.  

Wendy spotted 8 Harriers disguised as a few strange fellas lurking in bushes, a beefeater & wilma the wally.

Jayne thought she was being sneaky and divert from the expected ‘red post box’ on her rainbow run and use road names and places. She loves an excuse for a bit of fancy dress so the chance to dress like Mr Motivator and stuff herself with skittles at the end of it all was right up her street!

Lins took on the calligraphy challenge and ran 18 miles, 2400ft and 7 hours later she wrote ‘stay home’ in massive letters. It was done in 2 sections because her phone unluckily ran out, so she had to have an emergency replacement delivered to her at Snake Summit.  Maybe next time she should take her own advice and ‘Stay home’!  

Marie not wanting to choose an easy PB to beat decided to take on the Charlesworth fell race route. She ran it in 2017 in 39.5mins.  This week when she ran it, she knocked nearly 3 mins off and completed it in 36.59.  

Vicki ran every day this week and visited 11 different car PARKS and ran an impressive total of 261 laps and 32 miles. Spookily the same amount of laps that the loon Nicky did in her garden!  

Alabama did a lovely scenic run that took her to Shittern clough, Cock Hill, fire pit and turf pits for the odd one out challenge.  

Overall, team 2 had a fun, unusual and ‘loopy’ time whilst getting to know other members of GDH. Next week, Nicky will be re-turfing her lawn, Wendy will be found on the trail looking for strange men and Vicki hanging around car parks by herself!

Team 3

Here’s what happened!  After a bit of a text session last Saturday evening we allocated the challenges.  Sikobe must have missed out on the memo and went out to complete three of the challenges early in the week.  We soon reminded him he’d been volunteered for the nose-breathing effort.  He assured us that’s what he’d done whilst running in his full grid-iron kit so that was the first challenge ticked off.

Rachel Walton had most people stumped with her very clever “odd one out” pics.  I don’t know if the results are out yet so I’m keeping quiet on the answer…

Rob Murphey visited the local shop for local people and managed to bring back two shopping bags full of special stuff….

Alison Holt went Harrier spotting.  Let’s face it, being membership secretary, this was her ideal task as she actually knows us all! With some kind of GDH themed “Where’s Wally”outfit she went out and spotted 10 Harriers.

Immy Trinder took on the tricky “elevation” challenge and decided to climb James’ Thorn via. the horrible steep bit from Doctor’s Gate.  She took in a quad-quivering 746m in the hour, and clearly it wasn’t enough so went and ran the Shelf Moor route afterwards!

Calligraphy…. I had a set with one of those weird pens as a lad, but it turns out pens are old-fashioned and nowadays you can use GPS.  Joe Haley drew a rather impressive GDH under-signed by a sprinting runner!

For those that know me, you know I like to see multiple laps of Manor Park now and again….. Andy Brack has been circling the park throughout the week clocking up 16 laps.

Michael Lunn went out to get a 10km record and broke his 5km PB in the process with 22:17.

Pete Tomlin took on the rainbow challenge and took a lovely array of flower-themed photographs.

Finally, I set a 04:50 am alarm on Friday (which has actually been going off for the last few days as I forgot to change it!! argh!) and went up to Wormstones with the intention of caputuring an award-winning photograph of a steaming kettle silhouetted against a glorious sunrise.  However, I chose the mistiest day of the week! It wasn’t the picture perfect setting i’d imagined but still a lovely morning out.

Team 4

It’s no surprise that Guy Riddell took on the sunrise challenge, although some might say it meant he could have a lie-in to wait for it.  He also took on the report writing duties:

The Carrier Bag Challenge – Ben Robertson
A rare opportunity for Ben to run without carrying a tyre or dressed as Spiderman, so of course he dressed up in carrier bags to run in the sunniest April on record while carrying his shopping around Glossop – he has been ill ever since, and his hair turned orange, but other than that all is well.

The Sunrise Challenge – Guy Riddell
Out of the door at 4:30am suits me fine, so this was always my first choice of challenge – unfortunately it was overcast all week so dramatic skies were in short supply.  I plodded out past the Woodhead tunnels and ran 20 miles, capturing evidence that the sun had indeed risen & met a lovely baby lamb.

The Climbing ChallengeThe Harrier Spotting Challenge – Tim Crookes

Spot GDH challenge. Well I ran the GDH 10k route. I spotted 6 harriers, thanks to everyone who was out.

Climb challenge. Well I surprised myself with this one it was a hard challenge running up Redgate 16 times with an elevation of 1,647 was well happy with it, although my calves say differently 😂.

The Nostril Challenge – John Pollard
John has been granted an extension by the Skusinator, but he has practiced his route, finding lots of stiles to have breathers at and meeting a Luke Holme lookalike.  Luke was in our team but wasn’t able to take part, so maybe it was him?

The Rainbow Run Challenge.  Charmayne Brierley
Charmayne got all creative and arty, and included food in her rainbow, which is always a good idea.

The Strava Calligraphy Challenge – Riccardo Guissani
Quite how Riccardo managed to do this is a mystery, but he ran into the hills and returned with this winning entry – he’s going back later to add ‘DALE HARRIERS’ to his creation.

The PB Challenge – Malc Brown
Malc knocked a massive 1 minute 12 seconds off his previous PB for 5k with 30:48 – incredible improvement, and you fancy sub-30 is just round the corner!

The Park Reps Challenge. Kate Bowden
The week started with an ambitious plan to run a tidy 26.2 miles in manor park parkrun laps over the week (how we love the MPM) Managed a sorrowful 8 laps before getting the Team Sicknote, smashing my previous record of being “one lap short of a full marathon”!

The ‘Odd One Out ‘Challenge – Simon Watts
Bit unfair on Simon this – we were unable to contact Simon all week (hope he’s ok) – he was allocated this challenge although possibly unaware, and he is the odd one out because he didn’t complete a team challenge.

Team 5

Donna Brierley took on the scribe duties for Team 5:

Team 5’s razor sharp decision making allowed for an early plan to be put in place.

This allowed Donna to scoop the best weather for sunrise I believe. This was quickly followed by Wendy’s 10k sugar rush, Lynn blooming good rainbow run idea blossomed.

Rob had the good fortune while traveling on the skusey bus to find a Harrier at every stop ! What an amazing coincidence 🤔

Cheryl deposited a new resident spider on Mill Hill, Joe climbed to new heights for the team.

Sarah J smashed her PB taking 1:20 off her time to get to the pub when they reopen again 🍻

Sarah’s park reps at bank street may mean she never wants to see it again.

Joanne’s unnatural breathing technique resembled driving for the first-time breath in, move legs, breath out, arrr!!

And as for Darren he definitely confused my odd brain baa baa Babar what ?!!!??!!!

All in all a fab effort from everyone 👏🤛👍🏻💪🏻🌈🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

Here are a few pics from Team 5 that I’ve seen on Facebook:

So, come on, tell us!! Who won!

I’m sure you’re all bursting to hear the scores, here’s the round up from Paul Skuse. Well done everyone, what a week!

What can I say? Life has taken a very strange turn that is affecting each and all of us in different ways. And in spite of everything that is happening, you have all been doing what you can to get out, to stay healthy in body and mind, taking care of yourselves and each other.  I hope you enjoyed taking part in the challenges as much as we did seeing the results coming in. This was a bit of a trial run as we had no idea how many people would want to join in or what sort of challenges you would be up for. We tried to have a mix of fun runs, of family friendly runs and of some runs to keep the fire in your bellies till the world returns to normal and we can race again. How did you lot think it went?  I think we might have a few too many activities going on cos I’ve totally lost track of who has done what. The points were only ever for fun. How on earth can I give any of you less than perfect 10’s? I did ask my team who aren’t competing this week to give points to the people doing their events but I kept throwing points around and buggered that right up.

The GDH Rolling Relays

I’ve not been keeping tabs on this and there’s so many Facebook posts I have no idea what’s going on.  The general gist is that there have been been relay teams and loads of people have received the call-to-arms from Marie Williamson to get out there and run the following day.  There will be some totals but ultimately, loads of people have been out running having fun.  Here’s a pic I spotted on Facebook.

19 in 19

Cockbain Events Ltd – making running unpleasant and horrible since 2012. Ok, that’s not their official tagline but they do set out to create some extremely difficult-to-achieve running challenges.  From completing the national three peaks (and running between them) to running 200 miles in a dark tunnel.  This time they created a twisted challenge to run 19 miles a day for 19 days (Covid-19).

Now hmmmmm…… who in GDH would take this on? Riccardo Giussani finished earlier in the week totalling (pause for long-multiplication)361 miles! Ouch!

The A-Z Challenge

Whilst I was lounging around Cock Hill earlier today, I bumped into former GDH (now Carnethy) Lizzie Leason.  She’s set her own challenge throughout May to do something each day to tick off a letter of the alphabet.  So, the 3rd day in she chose Cock Hill.  There’ll be a few tricky letters later in the month I’m sure so good luck!

Strava Stalking

Who’s Garmin batteries have been taking a battering this week?

Kirsty Sharp (95km), Jessica Camp (78.2km), Ree O’Doherty (72.2km) and Elanor Swan gets the elevation with 1,212m

No surpirses with the men with Riccardo G (117.6km), Paul Peters (110.7km), Jamie Helmer (91.7km).  Big kudos to Jamie for clocking up big miles along with an epic 4,854m of climbing.  In perspective that’s a few more metres than Mont Blanc!!

Tuesday (or whenever you fancy) Training

Whilst we’ve all been out having fun Coach Jeroen has been working out ways to punish us.  As if you’d get out of Tuesday speed training just because of a global pandemic!! Here’s this week’s session:

Week 6 of lockdown 4-10 May

Like last week, a set that is time-based rather than distance and can be done anywhere. Short enough for those who want to do it in their lunch hour (not naming names 😃) but certainly challenging. A great set to improve VO2Max and aerobic ability.

This set requires a good, proper warm-up as it starts off rather intense!! So, here we go:

5x 5 minutes as 90 seconds at 1-mile pace (that feels like 8.5 to 9 RPE) and dropping back to “Tempo” pace for the final 3.5 minutes. Tempo pace is ~10K pace for those that take near 1 hour for 10K or up to 30 seconds/mile slower than 5K pace (6-6.5 RPE). You can take a 3-minute recovery (static but keep moving!) between each 5-minute effort.

Don’t forget a cool-down. It is important to bring your body gradually back to a state of rest. This means reducing your heart-rate, blood pressure, core temperature.

If you sit down much during the day, be sure to incorporate some drills that help you relax and loosen those all-important hip flexors. Think of (walking) lunges, down-dog (standing on hands and feet and slowly ‘walking’ your hands towards your feet) and karaoke with step-over (jogging sideways with feet alternating crossing behind and in front, with knee brought up high)

Enjoy, stay safe and feel free to provide feedback (on the Facebook page once it’s there)


Well thats the weekly round up.  It’s worth mentioning that whilst I was at Cock Hill earlier, I was also watching a GMRT helecopter rescue upfold somewhere near the top of lightside, and we all know some members of our club would have been out there responding to the call out.  Whilst there are various interpretations of Government guidelines, it’s a clear reminder to take care whatever activity you’re doing.

Keep those lockdown reports coming in to !!!






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