All a bit trig-tastic

September is shaping up to be Trig Month in the GDH 2020 Calendar with various challenges centring around these concrete pillars dotted across the high points of our lovely local hills. 

Dark Peak 15 Trigs Report (courtesy of Dan S.)

Last Saturday, Ian CrutchleyLance Hamilton-Griffiths and I took on the Dark Peak 15 Trigs.  It’s a 55 mile route visiting 15 trigs around the Dark Peak.  Established by the Dark Peak Fell Runners, it’s traditionally started “over-there” at the Sportsman with a 15-hour time limit for official completion.  Being over this side of the hill we used the Royal Oak as our official starting point.  Master-planner Ian Crutchley had already done this previously in an anti-clockwise direction scraping dramatically in under 15 hours and for some inexplicable reason wanted to do it again, but this time clockwise and with a schedule to get in around 14 hrs 35 mins.

After a shout-out for support, Sikobe and Bartek Verde offered to join us on the 5am start.  Bartek was no-where to be seen, so with a tight schedule we set off over Shire Hill towards our first trig (Cock Hill).  It turns out Bartek was over by the turning circle and ran to meet us but somehow we crossed paths at Shire Hill and he ended up by the Royal Oak and decided to try and catch us up.  The first section was very claggy and Sikobe decided to drop back after Shelf Stones and we continued on into Alport where we almost immediately lost Lance.  Two remaining of a potential five wasn’t the greatest start to the morning!  We soon teamed back up with Lance at the next trig and carried on. 

A little later we met up with Zoe Barton and Kate Emily.  Kate went back to meet Sikobe (who by now had gone home) and Zoe ran with us for a while.  A lot of the rest is a blur with Ian continually telling us that the terrain “would get better” as we slowly marched through endless heather, ferns and bogs.  A quick pit-stop at the Sportman (well over half-way in this direction) and we were off again.

The weather had been kind to us most of the day but started to get worse on Kinder.  A particular low point for me was the out-and-back to Brown Knoll, a steep drop and climb knowing you’ll soon be doing the reverse!  We were all struggling by now and trudged along kinder in horrible conditions.  “I can’t wait to get off this f**king hill” seemed to be the current mood.

As we approached Harry Hut, it was great to see Lucy Wasinski and Pete Tomlin for the last section and they ran with us back to the Royal Oak.  We knew by now we were comfortably under 15 hours but moments after Ian had said “I’m not bothered about the time now”, I pointed out that if we got a move on we could get under 14.5 hours.  So we “sprinted” along Derbyshire Level and down to the Royal Oak and got back in 14 hrs 26 mins where we were cheered in by Sikobe, Kate and Dan Calverley.  A celebratory pint and we were all done! What an epic day!  Thanks for all of the support everyone!

Not the 15 Trigs Support (Sikobe, Bartek, Kate, Zoe plus Lucy, Pete T and Dan C)

A few harriers couldn’t resist being enticed out on Saturday to support the 3 Merry Lads at the Glossop end of their 15 trigs round. Here are a few snippets from the supporter’s perspective.

Sikobe: My plan was to run with the lads over the first 3 trigs until the descent to Howden, meet Kate and Zoe there and do a few more trigs before looping back to Kate’s car at Fairholmes.  Bartek would too. We set off in our head-torchlight with Bartek messaging from the turning circle that he would catch us up. We took the steep climb up from Shittern Clough and I swear the lads were trying to break Tom Saville’s Strava record for this section of the route, as insurance in case they could not quite break his overall record for the round. Good team nav got us through the dark, clag, and bog to Dog Rock and on to Higher Shelf, by which time my ankle was starting to give me jip. I paused as the 3 lads left the trig in order to stash a wee bottle of whiskey for a later mid-morning GDH group. Turning to chase after them towards Hern Clough and Alport I felt my ankle worsen, and decided to bail at the Pennine Way crossing. I spent the next hour trotting back to Glossop down Doctors Gate. It turns out I played a crucial part in the 3 lads making speed through the clag to Alport because they thought I was hunting them down. 

Bartek’s plan was similar to Sikobe’s, but ended up getting the ‘bombed out’ nomination instead for his very funny Strava trace! Bartek said “I was on the footbridge just off the turning circle at 5am and at the Royal oak at 5:06. We must have missed each other by 200m in the woods I reckon. I then lost about 10 minutes faffing around Shire Hill and made it back to the footbridge at 5:22. I could see your lights climbing up Cock Hill in the distance. I made it to Higher Shelf at 6:29 which I reckon was 11 minutes after you. I would have continued to Alport had I known the way”. 

Zoe and Kate met at Fairholmes as planned and Zoe win’s the trophy for being the only one to actually do what she set out to. After trotting the 3-4 miles down the road to meet the 3 lads at 7:30, she promptly set off with them, helping them find the bogs at Outer Edge and Margery trigs before descending back to her car for the drive home. 

Kate reported: ‘the lads told me they ‘lost Sikobe at Higher Shelf’ but assumed he was behind them, so I set off in the opposite direction to catch him coming down, not realising until I got a signal at Alport Castles that he had bailed! A few moments deliberation and made the obvious decision to continue in a homeward trajectory. A quick look at the map, I realised this was going to be a challenge! So, novice navigator and fell-runner, off I set in the wind and clag in an Alportish direction. Some 3:30 hours later I arrived home having learned a few significant lessons on the way (including how to read a map).  I had a great time, and made it to all 3 trigs. Thanks to the lads for the inspiration. OMG!!! My car’s still in Sheffield 

Sikobe: Kate and I had an evening plan to welcome the 3 lads back at Harry Hut / Derbyshire level. Nursing a sore ankle, I drove up to Moorfield at 6pm and dropped Kate off at gnat hole for her to run up Wormstones to Harry Hut. I waited at Moorfield to see them all run in. Lucy and Pete T also ran past at 6:30 on their way up to welcome them down of the hill. Yet again Kate got caught in the clag, decided not to wait, and ran back down the hill half an hour before they arrived! Lucy Wasinski and Pete Tomlin timed it much better, meeting the 3 lads at Harry Hut. 

It was great to see the lads come in on schedule at the Royal Oak, largely unaware of the chaos endured by various supporters!

Glossop Skyline (courtesy of Pete Wallroth)

I had fancied trying a skyline ish type route around Glossop for some time and so, with Dig Deep recently completed and a longer ultra coming up at the end of September with Luke, it seemed to perfect opportunity to try it. It just happened to also top at 30 miles so maybe a race route of the future when racing is….erm….actually a thing again. 

Plotted a route that took in both our skyline and as many of our local fell races too. Luke and I started off on the trail car park before heading across resers and up onto Tintwistle Knarr. Then decending into Arnfield before picking up the Gravy Pud to Lees hill and breaking up the long saddle of Wild Bank. It really does look a beast of a hill from that angle. Now dropping into Mottram, then Broadbottom and up Woodseats to Charlesworth (this makes up the only road section on the route really). 

Following the Charlesworth Festival fell race now through the tannery and up onto Cown Edge before going down to Plainsteads and hopping between farms to hit the lay-by on Chunal where we’d cached some supplies. Luke unfortunately has to head home at this point due to sickness which is was gutted about but defo the right decision. Onwards now to Harry’s Hut trig, Mill Hill and following the stones of doom all the way to the snake pass multi storey car park before heading up the Bleaklow path.  Took the turn off to the B29 wreck and High Shelf Stones trig here before taking the Shelf Moor race line to Dog Rock. Hopped over the fence here and took the track all the way over to Cock Hill and that was it. The final descent into, first Old Glossop, then finishing in Padfield via Swineshaw. 

The route needs a few tinkerings but there is something here for everyone. Bit of road, path, trail, fell, moorland…..oh and bog. Lots of bog. That track from Dog Rock to Cock Hill that’s on the Shittern Saunter route is a right state.   All in all, very happy. Sneaked it in under 6hrs and another ultra distance under the belt. 30 miles, 4,500ft of climb, 4 trigs, 2 local plane wrecks and the full beauty of Glossop to soak up.

 John Hewitt Memorial Shelf Moor Virtual Race

Don’t forget that the virtual Shelf Moor Race is on until 30. September.  Emma Rettig is the virtual race organiser and will be doing remote kit checks and consolidating the results.  There are trophies for fastest male and female times and the plan is to age- grade the results to decide the winner so the field is wide open.  As an alternative to race fees, donations to Glossop Mountain Rescue would be much appreciated.  For more info, see Emma’s recent FB post.  Good Luck!

Strava League (as @ 14:40 today)

  • Distance Covered: Pete Wallroth (57.8m), Jessica Camp (44.9m), Guy Riddell (42m)
  • Ascent: Robin Hoffman (11,879ft), Pete Wallroth (8,743ft), Immy Trinder (8,183ft)
  • Longest Run: John Gaffney (30.4m), Steve Crossman (30.3m), Pete Wallroth (29.9m)

COVID Update – Andy Brack, GDH COVID Officer

In line with the changes to social distancing requirements that come into force in England as from 14/9, social runs should limit the numbers meeting to 6 and should continue to adhere to social distancing as previously.  This seems to be well observed by the club anyway.  With regard to training, in line with the England Athletics update, this should be unaffected as the sessions will be a COVID secure events, once everything is fully established.  

Appeal to all club members from Paul Skuse

Greetings all. As some of you may already know, Alison Holt has decided to step down from the committee and her position as membership secretary. Don’t panic too much, she’s not leaving the club but after being membership secretary for 5 years and team captain for several years before that, she has more than earned the right to take a back seat.  On behalf of all members, past and present, we would simply like to say thank you to Alison for all of her tireless efforts. It is truly appreciated. 

As well as thanking Alison, we are also now appealing to the membership for someone to volunteer to take on the now vacant role of membership secretary. I think it’s fair to say Alison has done most of the heavy lifting for this year so this offers the chance for an easier than usual transition into the role. In addition, Alison will still be on hand for support and assistance during the handover.  Please note that this does not mean you would have to be an officer of the club or even necessarily on the committee, these aspects would be open for discussion. The Membership Secretary’s responsibilities are as follows: 

  • Register new members and re-affiliate club and individuals with EA (if requested) including payments  
  • Collect annual subs, maintain the membership database, monitor email inbox for membership.secgdh@gmail.com and update membership pages on GDH website 
  • Adding and removing people from the GDH Facebook page and confirming approval of individuals for adding to GDH Strava Group (Ian Oates is the admin) 
  • Keep GDPR documentation up to date as required 
  • Report on membership to committee meetings  
  • Report on membership for previous year to AGM  

If anyone would be willing to fill this essential position or if you have any questions, please contact me at gdhcaptain@gmail.com as soon as possible.  

And finally, whilst we are on the topic of expressing gratitude…

We would also like to say a big thank you to Tim Budd, mighty fine runner and hugely entertaining blogger.  After many (many) running related words over many years, Tim has decided to lay down his GDH weekly report writing pen.  As the originator of what now feels like a club institution, Tim has regaled us with tales of running fact and, more usually, running fiction and his contributions will be sorely missed.  Thanks, Tim!

Tim’s departure leaves a bit of hole in our report writing rota.  If anyone is interested in joining Dan, Lucy, Ian and I to write the occasional blog on the Harriers’ collective running antics, please let us know at gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com.     

Have a good week – keep running and keep staying safe!

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