Grab a brew, it’s a biggie. The Weekly report

Due to the impact of coronavirus and local lockdowns, Boris has insisted that only things that happen in England can be published in the weekly report.  Any Welsh or Scottish run reports need to be quarantined for at least two weeks before being published.  Sorry William Mather, perhaps you should have done a Bob Graham?!

It’s been an epic week for the GDH collective with a few great submissions into the GDH inbox.  A bit of Strava stalking has also picked up a few other events taking place throughout the week.

First off though, as big challenges go, the UK rounds are up there with the best of them; Paddy Buckley, Charlie Ramsay and the Glossopdale 3-trigs.  Clearly too fearful of taking on Cock Hill, Shelf Stones and Harry Hut, Will decided to go further afield and stomp around the Paddy Buckley Round the plan for which had to be hastily pulled together after the cancelled Ultra-Trail Snowdonia (UTS). 

Paddy Buckley Round

Here’s Will’s report:

The hardest “run” I’ve ever done.

So after my original race got cancelled 6 days before it, I had to make a quick decision as to what to do, so the Paddy Buckley was the answer. With no Recce, no time to get any support it would be near impossible but as long as I don’t die it should be fun. After speaking to Jason, Luke and Ian who were already coming to Wales to shout abuse at me for the UTS, word got out and before I knew it I got a crew from the amazing GDH gang. This thing had got real within hours. 4 days before and plans were falling into place only for my eldest needing a covid test and I had to self isolate until the results came back but luckily while on that zoom thingy with the support crew it came back negative. We were on. 

The start time was 11pm from Llanberis going in a clockwise direction, leg 1 was with Jason the idea was I’ll be hitting the roughest leg in the dark (which would be slow anyway) as I couldn’t move much slower, then saving me time as I can run on the more runnable ground in the daylight later on.  As we climbed out of llanberis the weather forecast had got it wrong and the winds were horrific. I found out afterwards they were between 50mph and 70mph. As we hit the first summit I was considering bailing for safety reasons, but we cracked on anyway trying to nav while moving over rocks and after doing loops on the Glyders and then tackling a herd of goats on top of Tryfan we made it to the start of leg 2 where Luke would take over. We were already an hour and a half behind schedule but we thought maybe we could pull back a little time as this was a little more runnable but how wrong we were! Any bits that we could try and run the wind would not let us, throwing us around with every step again. Trying to nav it was a bloody long night I eventually made it to Capel Curig to start of leg 3 where Ian and Chris S would be waiting, 3 hours behind schedule I tried the stupid thing of trying to get some time back. I was up on the leg 3 time by 17mins just after the first climb of Siabod and I think this is where I’d really made the mistake my body didn’t like it.

The winds still high on higher ground but the sun had come out and we were getting a nice sun tan on this leg, it was the most difficult leg to navigate but with Chris running 20 yards in front finding all the deepest parts of the bogs and making sure we were following Damian Hall’s record breaking route to the letter and Ian making sure every summit was reached, even the unnamed one, it was going really well even though we were now a little behind time again.

It’s just the camera angle surely?

Zoe and Lins popped up on one of the hills (I have no idea which I had switched off and was just following at this point) and they had decided to bully me. They force fed me eggy naan bread and kept me drinking – they even stripped me (just my race vest).  The last hill on this leg was Cnicht which turned out to be a crawl I’d decided at the top I had to quit as I was moving slower and slower I couldn’t run any more and when I got to the checkpoint I was going to stop, but little did I know Immy is a bully.

Leg 3 ticked off – all plain sailing from now on

I sat eating a gammon butty and basically anything I could, thinking to myself how crap I’d been on this attempt of this round and just wanting to go drink a beer and forget it, but Immy and Dan didn’t travel all this way to watch me feel sorry for myself. After a vote we moved away to start leg 4, I wasn’t running at all now so I was just trying to hike as fast as I could as the dark hit us we were greeted with another Paddy Buckley attempting runner and as we kept overtaking him then him overtaking us I cant of been moving to slow as he had started from Capel (he unfortunately made the decision to stop at Llanberis due to the bad weather)

Just Will, a lovely sunset and a cheese string

After making it over Hebog and a couple of the other lumps I had a little pray to the mountain gods (they told me to do one) we reached Nantlle ridge and I had done this before so picking a good line across there was just about picking the safest. We finally made it to the start of leg 5 where Lara and Chris J was very happy to meet me at midnight (Chris was happy to help but didn’t want to run in the dark or early in the morning and he did both of them in the end).

A bit of a feed and a couple of extra layers on, we set off and straight away into a boggy field where we could hardly see Lara with how long the grass was. We eventually reached the summit of Aran and just after the top I decided I needed to have a power nap for 5 mins out of the horrendous wind as I couldn’t walk in a straight line.  It did work for a while and we made it up to Snowdon all the way to the climb up Cynghorion where, as I was leaning on my cheat sticks, I fell asleep so had to lie down before I fell down for another 5mins. Chris said I had just started to snore before he woke me but I don’t believe him I don’t snore.

By the final couple of hills the sun had come up and it was beautiful the wind had completely dropped and looking back from Moel Eilio I could see some of the hills I had done. We dropped down into Llanberis and reached the finish line where I was met by Jason and Luke. It might of taken the longest time ever recorded for a Paddy Buckley of 33hours and 50mins but it’s done, and without my crew it wouldn’t of been possible at all and I cant thank them enough.

Ready for lap 2

Support Crew:

Jason “checkpoint” Hart

Luke “missile thrower” Holme

Ian “the unnamed” Crutchley

Chris “bog finder” Smith

Zoe “the chatter box” Barton

Lins “I’ll carry that” Palmer

Immy “bully” Trinder

Dan “GPX” Stinton

Chris “I don’t do am runs” Jackson

Lara “the local” Debenham

Love you all

Again the hardest “run” I have ever done.

Paddy Buckley – Leg 4 Aberglaslyn to Pont Caegors

As I was there too, I thought I’d supply a supporter’s eye-view of leg 4:

A trip to Wales on a sunny day?  I’m in! Immy Trinder and I set off around 9am with the aim of supporting Will on leg 4.  We arrived at the car park by Nantmor around noon and were soon joined by Jason and Luke who’d been on the night shift.  We were getting regular text updates from Ian Crutchley on progress and could tell that things were falling behind schedule, so we did the best thing we could think of: proceed to chain drink brews in the car park and discuss how much money Jason was spending on his campervan.  As the afternoon wore on we heard rumours that Will was considering pulling out after leg 3.

When he arrived we all encouraged him to have a sit down and get some much needed calories in.  We let him have five minutes peace and then Immy started work on him to convince him it would be a silly idea to bail at this point.  After almost an hour of pressure, and with the threat of being kicked off the GDH Facebook group, he crumbled and knew there was going to be no choice but to carry on so we headed off to the first summit, Bryn Banog.  After a bit of debating about whether we try to faithfully follow the GPX or just look at the mountain in front and walk up it, we decided on a mixture of both so that everyone could be blamed if it all went wrong.

We were lucky enough to witness a beautiful sunset as we reached the summit of Moel Hebog, but darkness began to descend soon afterwards as we continued along the rocky terrain in torchlight.  The wind had picked up along the Nantlle ridge but thankfully we managed not to get blown off the edge.  Several hours later, and after some incredibly steep climbs, a bit of lying down, praying and some cheese strings, we got to the final summit of the leg – Y Garn – and descended through the forest to be met by an eager crowd (Jason, Chris and Lara) ready to take on the final leg which included Snowdon.

You all know the rest from Will’s report, but massive congratulations for finishing the whole thing!  Amazing effort Will, we all saw the strength of character to get up out of that chair and take on another 13-14 hours of tough terrain overnight.  Of course, it was all worth it though for the ultimate kudos of having a coveted place on the GDH Records and Achievements page – updated HERE!  Top work!

Support Crew

Beehive Five

I know, I know. It’s the Moorfield 5km, but the “Beehive Five” is a much snazzier title in my opinion so I’m sticking with it.  David Christie-Lowe has adopted it as the official parkrun replacement and Paul Skuse now does nothing else but monitor Strava to see who has the fastest time. “Fast Harry” has held the record for a while and we all knew Paul Peters was itching to have a go.  Here’s coach Jeroen’s account:

Not even back for 1 week from university and already Paul Peters is on the hunt, trying to steal your Strava Crowns. In his first “race” outing in and around Glossop, he struck no less than 5 times on the Beehive 5K which is, as all who have done it know, is actually a little longer than 5K.

I was honoured to be asked to pace him round in a time near 18 minutes. After an extensive warm-up routine and change into one of his carefully selected racing shoes from his extensive collection, he set off on Saturday morning at a blistering pace, comfortably under 3min/k. Although he settled into a slightly more sedate pace on the uphill section on Hague Street, he still dropped me before reaching Kidd Road. It was only on the descent, into a stiff breeze, that I caught him back up. We turned left onto Derbyshire Level side-by-side and I managed to stay slightly ahead of him although the pace had picked up quite a bit. We stayed together until he finally and decisively dropped me on the climb up Cliffe Road, back to the Beehive where the clock stopped at 18.07 and a new course record by just over 1 minute. Oh, and did I mention, I was on my bike…..😁

Anyway, you have been warned. The boy is back in town and after your Crown. 

Peak Raid – Explorer Events, Round 1 Autumn Series.

I thought these had been binned by the organisers, but evidently not.  Compasses dusted off, Rachel Walton sent in this report on Peak Raid:

The first of the Explorer Events Autumn series this week round Win Hill and Lose Hill happened on Sunday. I love these events, and really do think anyone should try them – these ones are a good mix of mainly trail and a bit of off-piste nav if you so wish, and it’s up to you how much you push yourself. John S and I were the only GDHers to start as far as I’m aware. Steve Knight and Rich White are also on the start list, but I can’t see them in the results so expect they either didn’t start or are still trudging round the muddy depths of the ladybower plantations. It’s not rained for two weeks. There are still swamps in there. I got a bit worried on the way to the Bamford start seeing ‘Caution Runners’ signs up by the snake summit – that’s a bit far even for a nav event. Apparently after months of bugger all events, two were happening within a 10-mile radius of each other.

Anyway, with registration outside, and a very well organised start area, there wasn’t too much to worry about regarding social distancing. Dibbers were replaced with the MapRunF app which runs off a phone or watch, uses GPS and means you need only get to within a few meters of the checkpoint for your phone to beep, and is ace. You can trot off happy in the knowledge that in this event you aren’t going to waste 20 minutes in a sodding quarry trying to locate the exact boulder some evil event coordinator has hidden the checkpoint kite behind. (This event’s organiser claimed ‘we don’t do that’ after the finish when we were chatting. I have to admit this has happened at other events. More than once. Mainly near Old Glossop)

For those not familiar with the format, you have three hours to get to as many checkpoints as you can. Routes to be decided after the start. You lose points if you get back late. You aren’t allowed to cross certain areas due to access restrictions but other than that you can chose your route based on your ability/foolhardiness. Believe it or not John S and I spent at least half the event not in each other’s company, yet managed to get to all the same checkpoints, though not quite in the same order.  We both finished on 360 points, John 20 seconds faster than me, the cunning navigator that he is.

Rough route – bumble round Thornhill Carrs, Parkin Clough, Wooller Knoll, Win Hill, Hope, Losehill farm, townhead, River Noe, Thornhill.

Only downside. That bloody virus meant no cake at the end.

Trig Bagging

Kate Bowden has had a busy September visiting as many trigs as she can raising fund for Crossroads Derbyshire.  It looks like she’s at 28 trigs at the moment! Check out her fund-raising page HERE

Shelf Moor

I’ve lost track of this now other than reports that Joshua Southall bashed round it in under 50 mins.  It’s “Shelf Moor” month, so get out there and enjoy it!

Cheshire Half Marathon

It look’s like Shaun Chambers got an unexpected PB at the Cheshire Half-Marathon with a rather rapid 1:22:18. Great running!

Peak District Challenge (Bronze)

I can’t help but laugh a little every time I see a “Peak District Challenge” race loop.  I did this myself in 2016 and made the gigantic error of relying on GPS without a care in the world and ran the entire race in the wrong direction.  Whilst I realised after 8km, I decided to carry on anyway. It made for an entertaining day as I arrived at each checkpoint horrifically early (at the start) or horrifically late (at the end).  Anyway, Joe Bowker did it this year, and I’m presuming in the right direction.  Great work Joe!

Target Sprint Time Trial

In an effort to avoid Covid restrictions, Andy Burnett did a target sprint time trial.  I don’t know many details other than it took 4 mins 55 seconds.

Somewhere in Scotland

Mark Davenport posted some great pics on Instagram of his trip to Scotland, but presumably left his sandwiches on Ben Lomond because he ended up doing it twice.

I have no idea where this pic was taken, but what a cracker.

Strava leaderboard

Unsurprisingly, William Mather topped the leaderboard with 124.5km along with Jessica Camp at 87.5km.  Beastly climbing from William Mather also with 9,988m (could have at least rounded it up to 10,000!) and, having done just a few of those climbs with him late into Saturday evening, they were horrible.  We actually created a new measurement by assessing how many “Herod Farms” each climb was.  Immy Trinder topped the woman’s elevation chart with 2,304m, again largely bagged in Wales.

Fell runners of the Future

Pete Wallroth and I took a gentle walk via. Shittern Clough with the little monsters and let them loose to practice their descending.  It turns out they are very good at falling over. Top running Merlin, Flyn and Jacob.

The End is Nigh

Well, the end of this report is here anyway.  So many things going on! Great week harriers! Keep sending those reports in to gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com

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