It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

Gravy Pud, Stockport 10k, discussion about the best Trigger route, runners in santa hats and maybe, just maybe, writing the weekly report whilst sipping mulled wine 😊.

Night Street League 4 – Marple Bridge (Courtesy of Ian C)

Targeting a partnership for a couple of Mountain Marathons in 2022, Lance Hamilton Griffiths suggested we should do some Nav teamwork, to see how long it takes before one strangles the other.  To see if we could survive 60 minutes, we headed over to Marple Bridge to make our debut at the Manchester District Orienteering Club (MDOC) organised, Night Street League. 

For anyone who’s done a GDH Street-O event as a monthly mash-up, these events are essentially the same concept, but a whole lot more competitive!  The courses have you hunting all kinds of “street furniture” including telegraph poles, BT exchange green boxes, fire hydrants, sub stations, and of course, lamp posts.  Armed with a clue sheet and a map, competitors only need to wander within a few metres of the checkpoint to receive an audible beep from the pre-downloaded MapRun phone app, and then your off hunting the next.  As ever, heavy penalties if you’re late back.  It seems complex but its really clever and all pretty straightforward actually.   

Anyway, having faffed with the tech we were off, and as newbies we found the first few controls were a bit fiddly whilst we got used to it all.  But in pretty short order we were hammering through the controls and racking up the points.  The hour passed quickly, and we covered about 5.5 miles around Marple before dibbing out in an overly cautious 55 minutes.  Provisional results indicated we were in 4th place on the night in terms of total points scored, but checking the site on the following day, the ranking is not as simple as total points scored!  Once the paper based competitors were counted, and the 45 and 75 minute competitors were added, the scoring is then normalised in points per hour, and this saw us slip to 23rd out of 66.  The results are further “handicapped” using a system I am yet to understand, but clearly the “fiddle factor” used on the points recognises the advantage of running as a pair over running solo, as we slumped further down the results into 41st out of 66.  We remain top pairing, and we’ll take that on our debut!

 It was a fantastic little event, fast and furious nav, and cheap at £4.  There was no falling out and no fists were thrown, so all in all we proved we can last an hour at least, which is a good start.

The next Night Street League fixture is on Tuesday 11th January in Poynton.  Lance and I will be there, and I encourage you all to come along!  You sign up in advance, and pay on the night. Events | Manchester & District Orienteering Club (mdoc.org.uk)

Hathersage Night Race (courtesy of Kate B)

Well it’s that time of year again when I’m yet another year deeper into my age category. I’m not keen on the traditional methods of ‘celebration’ so jumped at the chance to do the Hathersage Night Race especially with the offer of a lift (thanks Pete) and some company. What could be better? We set off in the drizzle on a hearty climb up a trail that resembled a rocky river bed. There were many slippery rocks and we watched in amazement as the woman just ahead of us turned a full and graceful summersault (well, sort of) before calmly standing up and continuing her run. Anne Williams, clearly not wanting to miss out on the limelight, immediately slipped off the same rock but spectacularly managed to stay  upright (no gymnastics required). We eventually reached Stanage Edge where the dense clouds and rain made for a treacherous but exciting run with shocking visibility. Then a swift turn downwards to descend blindly through steep boggy fields. It was glorious! Anne and I had a fun chatty run finishing bang on one hour.  Unfortunately, the RO seemed to deem this time too lowly to include in the results although the obvious conclusion is that Anne and I sprinted past the finish so fast our numbers were just a blur and they couldn’t catch us! Pete Wallroth and Guy Riddell stormed round achieving the awesome status of a placing – 42nd (50:20) and 57th (52:29) respectively. We didn’t see Guy again so sadly he missed out on the cake. 

Guy said this was a cracking race in almost persistent drizzle and biting cold. Set off with Pete, and got separated about 2 miles in at a gate, although Pete thought I was still with him, some random Geordie was just behind him and copped for his pointing and rambling monologue as he thought it was me. Visibility was limited to the rain and breathfog picked up by the headtorch, amazingly stayed upright but did swing my hand against a 5ft rock that I didn’t see and got a lovely bruise. Also had to catch a lady who was falling off the edge of a cattle grid, instinctively grabbed her and somehow managed to keep us both upright. 

This was fun and I expect the views could be brilliant. But it was dark, raining and foggy. So they weren’t. There were more marshals scattered along the 5 mile route than a year’s worth of Guy’s baking.  Huge thanks to them as well as Anne, Pete and Guy for helping me celebrate my birthday!

Greater Manchester Cross Country Championships (courtesy of Chris W)

It was just me representing Glossopdale at the GM county championships which was held at the rather nice Leigh Sports Village. A small (compared to MACCL) field of about 130 men set off on a 3-lap course of two contrasting halves. The first half was on some nice sports fields and paths but the half on the other side of the East Lancs Road was some of the muddiest XC I’ve run since Boggart Hole Clough! Nigel Martin was in a class of his own at the front of the field and led from start to finish whilst I settled into a group in the top third, looking for an evenly paced race. I would move to the front of the group on the muddy section-which include a thigh-deep puddle/pond-and then hang on at the back of the group for the flat and fast section. The group was whittled down to 4 after two laps and it was a battle to the finish as the pace didn’t seem to let up. The sprint finish had me 3rd behind a couple of lads from Sale and Salford and just ahead of an Altrincham runner. No results are out yet but it’s probably my strongest run at XC all season so I’m pretty happy with that. Next up for XC is the MACCL at Tatton Park in January.

>>> Breaking news: Chris came 20th so it was, indeed, quite a strong run 😉

Winter reccie of the ‘Kinder B*….*d (courtesy of Sikobe L)

I don’t mind wet shoes and feet, it is when it’s cold and wet that I object. So with the forecast for warm southerlies on Sunday I opted for a winter reccie of the ‘Kinder Barsteward’ from Kinder corner today 12/12, with a hike up from Chunal layby. I had full kit including 2 pairs of gloves but I didn’t need them all day. Leaving kinder corner in 30m visibility clag at 10am I gave myself 4 hours to be back so a mental note to turn round at noon. I followed the fenceline to my favourite trig at Kinder west / sandy heys (cos you can bag 2 trigs in one there, the new and the old!), after a shuffle over from the RH to the LH side of the fence at stile no.16 to avoid the ponds on the right hand side.

By the way in clag it is handy to remember that the he trig is just east of stile no.8. Onwards on a direct bearing to Kinder river and enroute I was rewarded with my first sighting of a large hare – looking superb half way through its transformation from grey to white. Onwards up the kinder river and kinder gates then a bit further and over the top SE towards Edale, veering east before hitting the edge path. Onwards yomping eastwards towards the 6 minute crossing and the kinder east trig. Noon arrived and the clag lifted and sun peeked out just before the trig and I turned to head back, this time taking a route a few hundred yards inside the north edge. Some good trods here and there all the way back to the Kinder river and a retrace of my earlier journey out. However, couldnt help breaking the rules at the downfall by crossing the edge path in order to take some photos of the KInder downfall blowback as the wind whistled up the steep rocky slopes. All in all a great day out and a good reccie of most of the ‘route’ in 4 hours. Started to drizzle on the run back to chunal and was glad of the hot soup and curried noodles in the back of the campervan before heading home. Job done.

Other News

  • There was a good GDH turnout at Stockport 10k and some brilliant photos are starting to surface on FB. 
  • There were also a lot of Harriers at the mudfest that was the Gravy Pud last weekend. 
  • There has been some great charity stuff going on over the last few days too with Harriers accompanying Santa on his rounds in support of Mountain Rescue and Arthur T. completing Glossop parkrun yesterday to raise funds for Shelter >>> link.
  • The Christmas party is going ahead next weekend <yay>
  • Subs are due <also yay>!

Immy is next up in the report writing hotseat so please let her know about your running-related antics at gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com

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