Following a couple of famine weeks in terms of reportable activity, Harries were back feasting this weekend.
Before we get into it, please do let us know when you’ve done something cool, as we love to get this stuff in the report. Reading it is a highlight of my week, I genuinely look forward to it, and I’d like to think its the same for others. And it doesn’t have to be anything epic – super fast, super far, super daft. We inspire each other and it keeps us connected, especially in these strange times.
Anyway enough of that fluffy stuff, masses of Strava activity on road, trails and fells, but here are the highlights, at least of things that I know about!
Abrahams Tea Round
Chris Webb was up in The Lakes, and hammered around the Tea Round solo, before sending this in…
Not a race but this might interest a few folks:
Abraham’s Tea Round is a link up of all the summits that can be seen from the windows of Abraham’s Tea Room in Keswick. It’s ~29miles with 11,500ft and connects some lovely bits of the Lakes without being too epic. You can join the tops in any way you choose but I took what seems to be the most logical route (and therefore most common) with a few tweaks which meant I managed to save a few hundred feet of climb. You leave Keswick and head up Catbells before dropping into Newlands and reversing the Bob Graham route up Robinson, here’s where the route starts to get interesting as you take a direct line down into Gatesgarth and then head steeply up High Stile (I took a terrible but direct line up through the crags….I blame the thick clag!) After ticking off Red Pike you drop back into Buttermere (optional cafe stop….I scoffed a rather nice pasty!) and then head straight up Whiteless Pike. The view from here is epic and some nice paths mean good running over to Hobarton Crag and Grisedale Pike before taking the Coledale Horseshoe scree route up Eel Crag. This ridge ticks off a few summits on the way to Causey Pike (you add Rowling End too in this route) with awesome views on both sides before heading over to Barrow before a trot back to Keswick. Apparently you get free refreshments in the tea room if you complete the route but it was closed this weekend (thanks COVID!) I trotted round at a leisurely pace in 7hrs 9mins and had a fantastic day out. If you’re after a good Lakeland outing with a bit of climb this is well worth a look. More details here: https://georgefisher.co.uk/pages/abrahams-tea-round
PS: looking for something a little closer to home? A quick plug for my own route which has had a fair few completions of late: The Saddleworth 10 Trigs. https://www.gofar.org.uk/saddleworth-10-trigs Tony Wimbush (Vet70!), the man behind the gofar.org.uk site ran it himself the other day!
Both these routes are firmly on my radar Chris! That “leisurely” time puts Chris as 12th in the list of fastest ever completions. Brilliant!
Wansfell Uphill Only
In a race where the name tells you pretty much all you need to know, Chris Jackson made the journey to Ambleside, having done the same last week, only to find he got his dates wrong.
At 1.5 miles and 1300ft, its a long way to go, and particularly when you fly up the hill in 18.27. That effort put Chris in an impressive 48th place in an incredibly strong field.
Lakesman John Pollard was on hand to take some brilliantly blurry photos.
Kinder what??? Born out of a throw away comment from Mark Davenport, and inspired by the local challenges scene, I thought it was time to create my own. But at under 12 miles, and around 900ft of climb, how hard could this challenge possibly be?
Enough foreplay, the challenge is to run from Kinder Corner (large cairn at SK067 899) to Crookstone Knoll (SK145 883) and back again. BUT, you are disqualified if you set foot on the edge path at any point. It therefore necessitates a heather and bog bash over the plateau – through some of the roughest and most pathless terrain on the planet. Whilst the route itself may appear fairly straightforward in a general sense, the mazes of deep groughs mean the route options on a micro scale, are almost infinite. You could do it a hundred times and never quite go the same way.
Note, it can also be done in the opposite direction – Crookstone to Corner and back.
I asked Mark if he fancied joining me, and he was so appalled by the idea, he literally switched his phone off for a week. I think Dan Stinton have been inebriated when he agreed, and I told Luke Holme little more than “fancy a run out on Kinder”?
So what happened on the inaugural run? The 3 of us set off in a thick clag, we made steady progress eastward, the terrain relentlessly hard going. There was a lot of swearing going on, and exasperated sighing as we emerged from one grough nightmare, straight into another. We arrived at Crookstone in 1 hour 30, having covered just 6 miles, and it had taken a heavy toll. On the return we were all flagging, and at one point were each using different lines 50 metres apart, trying to find a passable route through, but none of us able to move any quicker than the other. As we approached Kinder Downfall only a mile or so from the end, Luke had a tantrum, and told us to go on. He knew the way from there, so Dan and I cracked on, trying our best to finish strongly. We got back to the cairn in 3:10:20 and waited anxiously for Luke. Would he follow the same route back, or would he bail and come along the edge path? 12 minutes after we finished Luke emerged along the fence line from Sandy Heys trig, having stuck to the challenge and not taking the easy option. Kudos. We were relieved and pleased to see him, and he told us he’d stopped to throw up!
We all agreed it was probably the hardest 12 mile “run” we’d ever done. We reckon we could have managed sub 3 hours on a better day, and whilst this is a challenge that would only appeal to the unhinged amongst us, the FKT is wide open. Goes without saying, this is hard navigationally and full kit is needed, but a strong sense of humour is absolutely essential – since Saturday Dan has unfriended me and Luke has gone into witness protection.
So what’s with the name? A subject of much discussion on our inaugural run, and we just kept coming back to the same thing. It is absolutely fitting, and links nicely to its slightly more conventional older siblings, Killer and Dozen.
Other Huge News….
Steve Page coined the term RUNch, and by the time I’d stopped spewing up in my chicken and mushroom pot noodle, everyone was at it. Pete Tomlin came out as a Trekkie, Zoe Barton is selling a whole house. A few people were after kit advice, whereby predictably and amusingly, only a fraction of the comments were actually relevant or useful. Rob Murphy had a birthday.
Two contenders here for fall of the week…
With the Snake Pass shut, a few Harriers have been having a go at the uphill Strava segment from the Royal Oak to the Snake Summit. Predictably almost, Paul Skuse has proposed a time trial, and you have a week to have a go, as the road re-opens on the 25th October.
On Friday 23rd October Ben Robertson sets off to from Hadfield to Newcastle for his #coalstonewcastle challenge. Setting off around 8am on the Longdendale trail. Anyone who wants to, with obvious social distancing, is welcome to join him for the start, very steady pace…. Ben is looking to average 32 to 36 miles per day, and of course towing the sack of coal! Keep an eye on FB as he’ll be posting updates. Best of luck Ben! https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/getoutgetmuddy
Lets see who’s had too much time on their hands this week, according to Strava…
|Ladies Distance||Jessica Camp (50.2 miles)|
|Wendy McMahon (41.2 miles)|
|Amanda Hotley (26.6 miles)|
|Ladies Climb||Marie Williamson (3,468 ft)|
|Amanda Hotley (3,112 ft)|
|Jessica Camp (2,510 ft)|
|Mens Distance||Guy Riddell (54.4 miles)|
|Paul Peters (52.5 miles)|
|Steve Knight (48 miles)|
|Mens Climb||Chris Webb (11,841 ft)|
|Steve Knight (11,506 ft)|
|Ant Walker (7,175 ft)|
Virtual Cross Country
University of Manchester cross country club have emailed us and asked if Glossopdale Harriers would be interested in entering some teams in a virtual XC relay they are organising.
The format is: Teams of 3, with at least one women / team. The legs are 3k each and it’s £3 per team member. The event is open from the 11th of October to the 31st. We can enter as many teams as we like. Suitable routes etc still to be discussed – let us know if you have good ideas!
More details about the relays can be found here: https://data.opentrack.run/en-gb/x/2020/GBR/uom3k/
If you are interested please let Paul Skuse know ASAP (on FB, phone etc) and either let us know who is in your team, or we can put teams together as well from people who are interested!
Well, that’s about it for this week. Keep your eye on the GDH Facebook page and please, please keep posting what you’re up to, and we really like pictures too! Stay sensible and stay safe!