I hope everyone’s being enjoying the FABULOUS purple heather as much as I have the last couple of weeks. If you’ve not managed to get you report in this week, please do keep them coming! I am reliably informed that Daniel is hoping for a busy inbox next Sunday. A few “coming ups” for you today and a couple of race reports – enjoy! 😀
This Thursday, 26th August, is the GDH summer gathering at Howard Town Brewery. We’ll be in the outdoor area 5-8pm. All members are welcome as well as partners/family/guests.
If you want to order food we need to preorder – please contact me if you haven’t already either on Facebook or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let me know if you’re interested in ordering food!
If you have already let me know then I’ll be contacting you this week to find out what you want!
October Fell Relays
For anyone that missed my posts on Facebook, GDH will take part in two fell relays in October. Those interested in participating should read the below carefully, and if you didn’t already, please let Immy or Ian know you’d like to be part of it.
Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relays, Patterdale, 3rd October
We only get 1 team of 8 for this relay, so on 9th September we will have a qualifier event for the HBMR, in order that we submit out absolute strongest team for this prestigious event. The mixed team of 8 will ideally consist of 4 gals and 4 guys (plus a few standby subs). We encourage everyone to come along, whether you opt for a full beans effort, or just a social jog/walk of the route. Its a great excuse for us to get together, fun and outdoor socialising is guaranteed, as is a trip to a local public house afterwards. We will meet at Bowden Bridge in Hayfield at 7pm sharp, then jog up to Kinder Reservoir for the start. The route is 6km x 400m climb, obviously quite tough and technical, but is easy to follow.
Its likely to go dark while we’re out, so be sure to bring lighting! I’ll expand on the route and requirements in the event discussion section. Please let me know if you cant make the qualifier, but want to be considered for the HBMR team. I can sort it another way. Again, we encourage all to come along for an exciting GDH evening, whether you’re out for blood, or out for a pootle, it doesn’t matter, everyone is welcome.
You can find out more about the relay event itself here:
British Fell And Hill Relay Champs (AKA FRA Relays), Tebay, 16th October
The FRA Relays, now known as the British bla bla etc etc – see above, will take place on 16th October. It is an absolutely fantastic event, this year being hosted by Helm Hill Runners, in Eastern Cumbria. Ideally we would like to make up 4 teams = Open M & F, + Vets M & F (V40 and over). Unlike the Hodgsons, our opportunity is a bit more generous, so we are taking a more relaxed and social approach to this one. There won’t be any Time Trials in order to find our stellar team. The FRA’s are open to all of us who fancy getting involved. Again, this is an amazing team event to get involved with, and I strongly encourage all with a fell running bent to consider it.
Note, in the event we are oversubscribed for teams, we will look to settle that in some appropriate and fair way (e.g. priority to those not participated before, or names out of the hat etc), but we will also need a few subs in case of inevitable last minute injuries or alike. Please express interest regardless of above, so we have a clear view of what we have.
You can find out more about the relay event itself here:
Coniston Country Fair Fell Race
I do like a Lakeland country fair, with it’s traditional Cumbrian pursuits, from wrestling to hound trails, and I think this one at Torver near Coniston was about the first to surface since Covid struck, so it was hard to resist on a typically damp Lakeside Sunday.
And with Nigel the organiser going to the lengths needed to stage a fell race too it would have been rude to simply eat a Cumberland sausage while taking in the combined delights of the dog shows, tug of war, egg-throwing, fell pony rides et al and not attempt a lumbering ascent of The Old Man.
The race itself is a simple affair, a straight up and back to the summit, nearly six miles on feint trods up the steep southern flank of the Old Man. It would be made a tad more ‘interesting’ by the cloak of clag covering the top of the 803 metre climb and the slick, slippy Coniston volcanic silver-grey rock.
I’ve ran socially a few times with the local Black Combe Runners club lately, and like most fell-running clubs they’re a very friendly bunch, and usually well represented in Lakes races, especially in the south and west. ( The BCR have stepped in to fill the gap left by the cancellation of the English Champs Arnside Crag race on Bank Holiday Saturday, by staging a new Champs race up Black Combe – there are already two Black Combe races in the fell calendar year. An easy lump to get lost up, as I know only too well….don’t blindly follow a green BCR vest there, is a local joke that does the rounds, as a little local knowledge is a dangerous thing!)
At the start of this Coniston race I was chatting to Lindsay Buck aka ‘The Wasdale Wombler’, who scales Scafell Pike almost every day to collect tourist litter and is consequently a very good ascender, so I often use Lindsay as a yardstick for the race as her overall pace (or lack of it) is similar to mine, and what she’ll gain on the ascent I’ll hope to pull back on the descent.
Also close by, lurking toward the rear of the 50-odd starters was legendary fell runner Wendy Dodds, now a veteran at 70 years old, but bound to run me, and many another OAP, into the ground… as she duly did.
The fair’s loudspeaker commentary was booming out how far ‘the runners’ were going, how much climb, how the ages ranged from 17 to 70, as we were urged off by the RO up the first hilly section out of Torver and up the green bracken paths past the picturesque Banishead waterfall and quarry toward the crossing of Walna Scar Road.
Then the real trudge began in earnest with, for me, basically a walk up the south face past the slate-littered disused quarries toward the distant summit. I am not fell-fit at the moment and was dropped by most of the field before long, and was eventually to see the leaders choosing their best lines, come rushing back past me on their descent out of the mist, having summited already.
It wasn’t an easy descent either, as the lines weren’t always obvious and the slippery rocks needed caution, or to be just avoided if at all possible, as inov8 x-talons seem dodgy on wet rock, but what shoe does work well? Never ceases to amaze me how technically-skilled and fast so many Lakes-based runners are on the descents, I think this is what sets them apart as much as any great climbing experience.
Ah well, I got down in the end and enjoyed the toughness, but I really need to knuckle down to some serious hill-training.
Awesome running, John!
Snowdonia Trail Half Marathon
We’ve not received the full report yet, but a quick Facebook-stalk informed me that today Rachel Boorer-May completed the Snowdonia Trail Half Marathon!
“Snowdonia Half marathon 2021. Tough but really enjoyed it!
Now for some R&R. Finishing time 2:22:43 – pleased with that as I was aiming for 2:30.”
Fantastic running Rachel! Can’t wait to hear more about it!
Manor Park Marathon
Don’t forget, next Saturday (28th August) there will be a bunch of loopy loonies running round and round and round and round Manor Park up to 27 times to complete the 4th Manor Park Marathon! If you’re not up for the whole thing, you’re welcome to turn up to run as many loops as you like, finishing with 3 for a parkrun with everyone! Turn up early, bring snacks and have fun!
Harrier UK Club Support Programme
As we’ve had a few new members since this began in May, I thought it was just worth reminding everyone that thanks to Harrier’s amazing Club Support Programme, we have an exclusive 10% discount code to use on their website – harrierrunfree.co.uk. As we head into the autumn (she said, sobbing), it’s well worth checking out some of their safety gear if you’ll be heading into the hills!
Discount code: GLOSSOP10
Plenty of Harriers out at parkrun this weekend, with Sean Phillips and Cheryl Stitt finishing as first male and female GDH respectively! Thanks to all club members who’ve continued to support parkrun by volunteering!