I was tempted to go with “Handful of Plums” for the weekly report title, but the Bullock had to win this time. What an epic week with groups of Harriers all over the place taking on ultras, trail runs, fast road races and lugging sacks of coal up hills. Here’s what happened!
The Bullock Smithy
The big one in the club champs this year, the Bullock Smithy is a 56-mile circular course starting and finishing in Hazel Grove. This route has been well trodden by the Harriers, with so many recces popping up on Strava for the last few months, it was rumoured even Luke Holme wouldn’t get lost. I tried to follow the tracker, but it was pretty hopeless so it was a good job there were some roving GDH reporters (Tracey and Lucy) deployed around the route to keep us up-to-date throughout the day. Each runner will have their own story to tell on such a huge race, but here is Ian Crutchley’s take on events:
On the stroke of the anvil we set off at sub 8 minute mile pace (as you do on an ultra) and amusingly encountered the umpteen ideas of route variances within that first few miles. 9 times from 10 we ended up meeting the route in exactly the same place as your mate who swore the other way was shorter. Will moved ahead from the start, and by chinley churn Lance got sick of listening to us talk crap and moved ahead too. From here it was Skuse, Joe and me all the way.
To summarise the rest that I know of, Lins caught us up at Edale, looking very strong and we left her and Luke by Peak Forest still in fine fettle. With a few others Paul rescued a sheep at the top of cow low with an 8ft branch caught in its horns. We heard Nick had pulled out at CP1 with dizziness again. A real shame for the Bullock veteran. Lins and Pepper made it to Brand Top (39 miles) before deciding enough was enough. Luke pulled up at Cumberland Cottage (43 miles) with knee issues. Really felt for him, his second attempt at the Bullock. Paul and Joe got chased by cows in Earl Sterndale while I hurled abuse at them from the safety of the gate. We convinced a lad who was on the verge of quitting to continue as he’d made such good time. He stayed with us through 2 checkpoints then had an amazing second wind and buggered off ahead.
At walker barn (47 miles) we heard the record had gone with a Penny Lane lad doing 8.10, beating the previous by 35 minutes. Phenomenal. At this point our little band was in a sorry state. We knew Lance and Will had teamed up and were probably finished, and the rest were somewhere behind. We found the live tracker was all but useless, as it only listed runners by number, which is great when you know peoples number! We soldiered on and the last 5 miles or so we’re truly horrific with Joe making some extraordinary groaning noises and even Skuse struggling to remain cheery. The 3 of us got overtaken by a much older gentleman in the closing 500 metres, we literally had no answer for his surprise surge from behind. Each of the three of us had had difficult spells on the route, but we pulled each other through and largely enjoyed it I think. From what I can tell, the group of Kate, Marie, Rachel and John had a similar experience, generally pulling each other through. And I think that’s the story of the day for the full GDH team – teamwork.
We did a lot of recceing and sharing route options, kit and information. Will Mather was instrumental in this, and knows the route better than me now! Huge kudos to everyone that turned out, because this is a quirky event, requires a good element of nav, and is also a beast! Results below (I don’t know placings). I’m summary we all did fantastic. A few very unfortunate DNFs but most did as brilliantly as we expected. But for me, stand out performers were Lance (first ultra, and had the confidence to really go for it and finished in a brilliant time), Joe (almost no running for 6 weeks his training was, well, zero. Not in good shape but his ability to suffer was truly impressive). Steve France (another ultra virgin, and from what I can tell did most if it alone and you cannot wipe the smile off the lads face). Final thanks to any GDH that were out on route. Hugely appreciated!!!!
Will and Lance – 11.16
Paul, Joe and Ian – 13.17
Steve France – 15.12
Marie, Rachel, Kate and John 19.25
Padfield Plum Fair Scamper
There were no plums or a fair, but it was in Padfield. Paul Skuse suggested he would run this, but then bailed, giving the most horrific excuse of why he wouldn’t be attending in a text group. It’s not suitable for the report though, so let’s just say he was too tired.
I decided last minute to give this one a go and turned up in Padfield for one of Des’s classics. Race strategies were bandied around which generally seemed to be “go hard at the start so you don’t have to queue at the stiles.” As it turns out, when I got to the stiles I was kind of relieved to get a few seconds rest. For those who don’t know, the route goes up and around the cabin beyond cock hill, back down to the trig and then back to Padfield. No nonsense racing.
The results aren’t out yet, but broadly from Strava…
Steve Knowles (Pennine) TBC
Caitlin Rice (1st GDH and 1st woman) TBC
Chris Jackson (Pennine) 41:55
Daniel Stinton 43:28
Greg Wasinski 46:47
Rob Sheldon 49:16
Ian Oates 52:46
Frank Fielding 53:24
Mary Jeal TBC
Adam Crompton deserves a big shout-out for the junior race. He took a tumble and injured his knee but pressed on ahead and finished the race anyway! Great running!
The first thing you need to do after a fell race is carry a sack of coal up a hill, right? That’s what Caitlin Rice did. I’ve never personally carried a sack of coal up Redgate, but I’ve definitely felt like one whenever I’ve reached the top. Sean Phillips also had a go but I don’t know what happened or what the results were, but here’s a pic from Facebook anyway.
Dark and White autumn series – Bradfield
I saw Lucy Wasinski after the plum fair race and she looked ever so relaxed. You’d barely have known she’d run a race, let alone won it earlier that morning. Here’s her report:
So in other news this weekend….!! Feeling rather lame in comparison, but suitably inspired by the BS crew Pete W, Pete T, Lynne T, Kate B and I headed over to Bradfield for the first in the Autumn trail series run by Dark and White. This was approx 9.5miles, and just under 400m ascent. Gorgeous clear start to the day which also meant given it’s Sept, you wanted your gloves on first thing brrrr!
We didn’t have long to worry that we might need our jackets on, as there’s a proper treat in store 50yds after the start….oh yes, greeted with a flight of stone steps to proper get the legs crying!
After that it was a mix of a few lanes, some wooded trails, a bit of bracken bashing, bit of boggy rocky grassy stuff, a magical mystery tunnel amongst the rhododendron (was it?!) bushes where it helped if you were less than 4ft tall, and a long climb from the resers before the 10k mark and then pretty much all downhill to the finish. Which is the best bit…cos it means tea and cake and crisps.
Brilliant fun and great company and so good to have more GDH doing these races! As skuse says, it’s all runnable! (Pretty much!)
Results when Lynne and Kate left as follows (starts in 10 min waves so results change as folk get back)
Lucy 1:17:32 – 9th and first female
Pete W1:28:20 – 25th
Pete T 1:33:39 – 32nd
A good turnout at the Salford 10km this morning. Some FB pictures suggest half of the cast of Star Wars was there too. Here are the results:
David Chrystie-Lowe 43:13
Mike Park 43:58
Joanne Brack 48:32
Tony Hillier 50:07
Wendy McMahon 50:29
Charmayne Brierley 51:49
Kaylea Haynes 51:44
Wioleta Wydrych 52:05
Malcolm Brown 59:16
William Mather 01:00:59
Laurie Barlow 01:10:22
Great North Run
A few people turned up for a half marathon somewhere in the north-east, not one I’d heard of, but it will probably catch on. A chap called Mo said he had loads of time to spare after his race so sent over the GDH results:
Michael Greenhalgh 01:34:10
David Munday 02:42:35
Paul Amos 02:42:48
Liam Amos 02:44:33
Fell? Trail? I don’t know but here’s the report from Pete Wallroth:
Longstone Chase fell race was…..woah….hang on there a second!
That should read (as I’ve come to realise anything in this neck of the woods should ie Calver, Stoney Middleton, Barrell Inn et al ) trail race.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good race, with cracking views but if you’d worn fell shoes for this, you’d have had bloody sore feet. It’s a trail race
Anyway, shut up you moaning git!
This was a good one. All runnable, two fast descents, great views and a great final run in through a limestone gulley. A fast, fellless Friday.
I was the only Harrier there due to the masses understandably preparing themselves for the madness that is the Bullock Smithy.
Good to be out trying a new race this year as the midweek season more or less comes to an end for the Peak District fell running season.
Marathon Du Medoc
It seems that Emma “Michelangelo” Rettig got drunk this weekend. But rather than wait till finishing a race to celebrate she began celebrating from, well, checkpoint 1. A marathon is a long way under any circumstances, but if you have to dress up as a super hero and keep stopping for cheese and wine it becomes a gargantuan task! Here’s Emma’s report:
While most of the Club were taking in the delights of the Bullock on Saturday I opted for something a little different and ran the Marathon du Medoc
This utterly bonkers event takes place in the vineyards of the Medoc, participants must wear fancy dress and each Chateau lays out a wealth of treats to eat and glorious wine to drink
Three friends and I made it round in something resembling six and a half hours, rather squiffy but terribly happy. I’m not entirely sure what happened but we ate, drank, danced and made lots of friends. Some running must have occured but not entirely sure how!!
Yorkshireman Off-road Marathon
I imagine this does what it says on the tin. A marathon, off-road, likely in Yorkshire. I just had a look at their website and the course record is 03:09:10 which seems awfully fast for a hilly off-roader. Simon Watts gives us this report:
My third go at this great, friendly race that starts and finishes in the picturesque village of Howarth, just north of Halifax.
Time had healed my memories of how hard it was, so I felt pretty leggy after about 14miles having gone out too quick, but managed to come through in 10th overall. There’s about 900m of climbing with most of it is in the first 16 miles, giving you great views of the valleys around Halifax.
Highly recommend this race for other Harriers next year…there is a steep cobbled street hill to finish on which you need to remember is there before you empty your legs! Only £20 too, a bargain!
Lakeland Trails Keswick 15km
Pictures don’t lie, right? Well John Pollard came 1st in the Lakeland Trails 15km in Keswick and there’s a picture of him on the podium to prove it! Here’s his report:
What excellent events the Lakeland trails races are…a bit showbizzy compared to purists on the fells but definitely enjoyable, perhaps because they are not so brutal on the climbs.
The Keswick 15k yesterday was especially a gas, with sunshine, views, and a scintillating downhill last 2 miles.
Nice to meet Red Roser Steve Bullows, we made the podium…when it was unattended…
The Big Wet Coniston Freestyle Swim
Ok, I may have made that name up and I’m not sure if it was even an “event” but Tim Budd swam 5km along Coniston, splashing through the depths for 2.5 hours. I generally feel like giving up after around 6 minutes of swimming so can’t even contemplate 2.5 hours! Epic stuff!
A relatively quiet one at Glossop Parkrun this week, unsurprising with all of the other activity going on. Twelve Harriers running but no new PBs. The consolidated club report is HERE
Top Mileage and climbing
Nothing surprising here with the Bullock Smithy entrants littering the top of the weekly Strava mileage table. William Mather topped the chart with 117.2km but Jamie Helmer gave the hills a bash with 3,339m of climbing this week!
It’s time to pretend you’re at school again and get your cross-country entries in. It’s ridiculously cheap and you can use it as an excuse to buy a new pair of running trainers. Check out the Facebook posts for details!
Tuesday. Is Jeroen back? I don’t know, but there will be a speed session! People will run in the hills and on the road on Thursday. Business as usual folks.
There may be a few inaccuracies in the report above of course, but I’m not going to prorogue the weekly report, just let us know in the comments. Keep sending stuff in to firstname.lastname@example.org