Author Archives: danielstinton

“That’s October boxed-off then” Weekly Report

Good evening Harriers! I thought I was in for an easy week, but as ever, information keeps rolling in!  There’s lots of Facebook activity about races for 2020, so much so that I’m sure some people must be on commission!  Time to start thinking about next year, is it going to be a scattergun of random races?  Are you focussing on one or two biggies?  Or are you still just coming to terms with November?

Also, worth remembering that the Champs races for next year will likely be announced towards the end of November when they’re been given the stamp of approval by the Committee, so don’t fill up your calendars too quickly!

Here is the report.

New York Marathon

After ticking off the Manor Park Marathon in August, Bartek Verde has just finished one of the more low-key marathons in New York.  I’ve just looked at the tracker and he got round in a solid 4:13:26.  Great work!

 

White Rose Ultra 300

No, that’s not a typo, this is actually a thing.  300 miles.  I’m not even sure if Riccardo Giussani is a Harrier, but I think he is.  He seems to have taken on the White Rose Ultra 300 on his own which is ten laps of the standard WRU route.  With a 30, 60, 100, 150 and now 300 mile option the number of laps on this race seems to be growing each year, when will it end!  I’m not sure how he’s doing but last thing I saw on social media he was pushing through the 30-mile laps. What an epic achievement (or what a stupid thing to do – you decide!)

Tatton Park Half

Wendy McMahon took on the Tatton park half and sounds like it was a great race!  Hope she celebrated with some slap-up nosh in Knutsford afterwards!

I did Tatton park half today in 1:51:09. It’s a 2-lap course around the park. I’ve never been before so when my friend dropped out on Wednesday, I snapped her offer straight away. It was cold and very foggy which meant I couldn’t take in the views as much as I wanted.  I’d definitely recommend it as a race as it’s a lovely place, decent price for a T-shirt, medal, water stops, free parking and refreshments after.  It’s not just the PB time I was happy with, I am more chuffed that when the place was offered, a 13.1 mile race didn’t faze me at all!  I didn’t see any other GDHs there and the website doesn’t search under club. 

Peak Raid

Peak Raid is back after the sad announcement the series had been pulled due to problems with permissions which seems all too common at the moment.  We deployed a few Harriers to check out the event with John Stephenson taking on the White Peak correspondent duties:

 A small, high quality turnout from the Harriers were at the first of the new Peak Raid events today. The venue was Alstonefield near Ashbourne, the event territory was the limestone dales. Dave Hogg, Nick Ham, Sue and Chris Clapham and muggins ran.

Weather was very fair but boy was the going wet underfoot in the low lying flat fields, muddier than a muddy Manchester XC.

I think the results were

Nick and Dave 380 points apiece

Muggins 340 points(finished 40 mins early!) Sue and Chris 200 (walking).

Next event is at Great Longstone in early December.

John (finished too soon) Stephenson

Lake District Weekend

A gaggle of Harriers have been partying up north staying at Skiddaw House which seems to be a bit of an off-grid, out of signal retreat, something we all need nowadays.  I’m not sure exactly what happened but it looks like Skiddaw and Blencathra were ticked off and probably a lot of booze! Great stuff.

 

Yorkshire Three peaks

When I read this report I started to worry about the “run your age in miles” approach, because let’s face it, that’s only going to get harder.  All fine for these youngsters though as Emma Peters reports:

Quick email as I’m currently waiting for food in a pub, but I’ve just completed Yorkshire 3 Peaks with some uni friends. One of them decided to run 27 miles for her 27th birthday, so that’s what we did!

All went remarkably well. Bad visibility throughout but no rain!! Total distance 43km, strava still syncing with bad internet so unsure of elevation etc., but in any case a lot of up, a lot of down and a lot of claggy mud and slippy slabs. Not my favourite route on account of the slabs, but to be expected with the popularity of the 3 Peaks I suppose. Overall I’m super proud- this was by far and away my longest run.

Parkrun Corner

Someone decided it would be a good idea to have a big fire at Manor Park so our favourite parkrun was off, but as if that would stop us! Click HERE for the consolidated report.

Chris Webb picked up first place at Oldham with a straight 18 minutes! Fantastic! The Munday family had an extreme reaction to Glossop parkrun being off and went to Germany to run the Ziegelwiese parkrun.  Epic parkrun tourism.

Top Mileage and climbing

It’s an incredible one this week folks, almost like someone’s altimeter was broken.  Whilst credit needs to be given to Paul Peters for his solid 96.4km for the week, David Chrystie-Lowe clocked up a couple of summits of Everest with 17,403m (but not a patch on his 41,667m last week).  Even a ten-miler along the flat trail gave an impressive 9,556m of climbing which even Kilian Jornet would be proud of!

Wot else is ‘appenin’?

I’m a bit short of pics this week so hired in some professional models to try and make running look glamourous.  Here are the Bleaklow Boys, what do you reckon?

No excuses for not training throughout the week Harriers.  Starting this week there’s now three club sessions to keep those legs moving on these dark nights.

Tuesdays: You know the drill for the ever-popular Tuesday speed session.  A variety of tarmac and trail pounding led by Coach Jeroen, what better way to finish off a Tuesday (or your legs).

Wednesday:  The now-named XC Webbinars are back in force starting 6th November.  If you like muddy misery, then get yourself to Bankswood Park at 7pm armed with a headtorch, vest (if you’re tough enough), shorts and suitably grippy footwear.  The first of the sessions is a 6 x half-mile XC loop hard with a two-minute rest, during which your wet shivering hands will be attempting to grip a pencil and fill in your time on Mr Webb’s spreadsheet ready for the full statistical analysis afterwards.

Also worth mentioning that it’s match 2 of the Manchester Area Cross Country League (MACCL) on Saturday at Kenworthy Woods.  Chris Webb will be there with numbers for anyone who didn’t collect theirs at Wythenshawe. Don’t forget: you use the same number all season!

Thursday: After all those hard efforts it’ll be time for a Thursday social either out on the fells or road.  Perhaps a few post-run pub visits on the lead-up to Christmas would be good to help keep the numbers up?  Throw out suggestions for routes or pubs!

It also looks like the Sunday ten-mile Longdendale trail session is becoming a firm-fixture in diaries.  Get some flat social miles in!

Time Trial Nav Courses: For a few weeks now, Tim Budd has been plotting….  no, not an evil plan, but some really great navigation time trials out there in the hills.  Dust of your compass and give them a go.  You also get to see all the efforts overlayed so you can see just how lost you were.

GDH Christmas Party 2019

A date for your diaries – We’ve swept the Scouts out of their hut to make way for the GDH Christmas Party on Sunday 15th December 2pm – bring food to share and drinks.  There might be some Howard Town offerings like previous years (we’ll have to raid the brewery if not).  There will be champs prizes and the prestigious bombed out trophy.

There’ll also be a club run in the morning where you all get dressed up in silly stuff and run up a hill. But let’s face it, that’s pretty much what we all do every week anyway!!

Keep sending in the reports and pics to gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

“Splish, Splash, Splosh” Weekly Report

I’ve tried my hardest but, being English, I think it’s physically impossible to not mention the weather – it’s been rubbish!  I went up to Black Hill on Saturday, which actually involved a significant amount of wading, squelching and swearing rather than running.  I do find that no matter how bad the weather, there’s almost always a moment where the rain stops or the mist clears to give a moment of calm where we can reflect on how lucky we are to be able to be out running in the first place.  Enjoy it folks.

Here’s the report!

Berlin Marathon

Sean Phillips must’ve forgotten that Chester was coming up and decided instead to enter Berlin, one of the races in the World Marathon Majors.  Many eyes were glued to the tracker and he maintained a fabulous pace throughout ticking off the first half in 1:26:45 and coming over the line in 2:53:37.  A report from the scene suggest that he finished the race and started eating samosas and drinking hot chocolate and beer, which I’m not sure how to react to.  Absolutely brilliant running Sean! Here’s his report:

We arrive on Thursday, so I could get to the expo, maybe when it was less busy. Ha. And have a wee look around.  We got the the Expo at about 12, and it… was.. err.long.

It’s in an abandoned airport which was pretty cool. But then the queues start.

The longest was the first where you need the QR code and driving license for a wrist band and bag, with lots of advertisements in. Then you go into the hangers all the way to the end for the second queue, still long.. and they check your wristband…Then there are lots of lines, when you get to the front they check the QR and ID and give the bib (they probably have a very good reason for splitting the staff among 3 queues. But beats me).

At Berlin they don’t give out finishers t shirts automatically – you buy one at the Expo. So it was utter chaos in there – and the queue to get a t-shirt was by far the longest. Some were even wearing the top before they’d finished the marathon which seems bad luck!!.

Saturday is parkrun day! But I had decided not do it (I get too excited) but Vicki was there to get the international. On the U-Bahn we instantly met some scousers (naturally), they were serious parkrun tourists talking about going to Namibia for the run…. when we got to the stop it was the blind leading the blind with a ton of brits wondering who’s gonna get out google maps first.

As expected it was a great atmosphere at parkrun, with 733 instead of 136 the previous week.

After we got back, we did just a few touristy things try to keep the step count down and I had the usual pizza pre mara.

RACE DAY

I didn’t get much sleep the night before so it was a good early start to get the nutella on bread (didn’t pay for breakfast so it was a lidl shop and no toaster). Getting to the start was pretty easy and I was there 45 mins before for the inevitable toilet queue.

Getting in to the pen was a bit odd. There was no entrance to the waves (unless they expected us to go to a wave further back and push through thousands of people to get to our wave) so people were climbing over the barriers. IT begins.. always exciting when the announce the elites with Bekele.

It’s a bit unfortunate that one of the biggest tourist sights is in the first 1km, but the Victory Column was damn impressive! Other than that there is not really much I remember about a good portion of the race … like all big city runs a good part of it there were just walls of people.

Having always used miles for distances and Berlin using km, I kept trying to calculate how on/off target I was – I found it pretty useful actually to keep my brain busy and my legs mindlessly ticking over. I knew I was on for my target so enjoyed it! Then km 35 came… upto that point it was drizzly but the heavens started to open which coincided with the feeling of ‘ooo, hurts too much now’ when we also tell ourselves ‘there been too many 5am Saturdays to mess it up now!’

So I managed to keep pushing, then seeing the Brandenburg Gate – again very impressive! – at 41km and Vicki was a great pick me up! To finish in 2:53:45, so ecstatic with that 🙂

Then the heavens really opened.. there is then a good old walk to get your medal then fruit, then by the point you’re freezing the poncho is in sight (fair play that was a life saver). Before exiting you have to take the timing chip off.

Now the timing chip I’d not really seen before, think they might be used in tri..? You have to undo you laces to thread it on.. meaning at the end bending down…eugh. This took time, the helpers just shaking the boxes for you to put the chips in..great thanks for not ‘helping’. anywhoo, a good few minutes later I was out finding Vicki!

All in all. Great race! Shame about the weather, it also feels like the organisation sometimes could have been a bit better – also they need to give away more free stuff!

Right I waffled on for too long, but it’s given my legs good time to recover before heading out for a beer and good food.

Fell ‘n’ Back

That pretty much describes every fell race ever doesn’t it?  Well the official Fell’n’Back was in Buxton and set up by Buxton Mountain Rescue.  Nick Ham gives us this report (well, I lifted it from Facebook anyway):

Me and James formed the Glossopdale contingent at yesterday’s Fell ‘n’ Back. What a difference a week makes, from the hot sunshine of Lantern Pike to running in a washing machine.

It’s quite a trek from registration to start, then we ‘enjoyed’ another run back to our cars to get them off the pavements because the organiser was afraid of everyone getting police tickets. We were allowed half an hour’s delay before starting. Thanks to that I got to finish in an oasis of sunshine, hot and flustered after trying and failing to remove my smock on the final descent. A modified route had shortened it to 10.5 miles.

Roche Abbey Marathon

An undulating 6.1-mile lapped race somewhere in Yorkshire.  Marie Williamson ran this on Saturday and the official post-race Strava comment was “Thank Christ that’s over!”  A comment which can no doubt be applied to many situations in life.

Lakeland Four Passes

Four passes? Pah, City strung together 44 passes before slotting that goal in past United last year, surely four is pretty straightforward?  Well not when those four passes happen to be in the Lake District.  The race involves around 19 miles, 1,600m of climbing, taking in four scenic valleys and their adjoining passes starting and finishing in Borrowdale. Kate Bowden (presumably not in full City kit) ran it this weekend.  Here is her report:

This is a cracking route run by Ascend events who opened up this unused LDWA route – closed due to over popularity in the past and I can see why. It’s long enough with enough elevation to be a challenge without being brutal. And the scenery is stunning – whatever the weather. Luckily, aside from running through a lot of water, there was little overhead and the drama of the skies and autumnal scenery was fabulous. It’s a self-navigated route starting in Rosthwaite, heading over to Seathwaite then up Sty Head, over to Wasdale, up Black Sale Pass, over Scarth Gap, Gatesgarth, and finally up Honister Pass before heading back for a cheese pie dinner and pudding. The check points were fab and even had quiche (best running food ever). Ascend offer a handful of similar events, for runners and walkers; friendly, non-competitive, great food, and a huge fancy medal! I loved it, despite some knee pain lingering from the BS – I will be back. (results not yet out, but basically it took ages and I won’t bother checking!)

Do you agree with Kate? Is quiche indeed the “best running food ever”? Answers in the comments.

Peris Horseshoe

Classed as an AL (Absolutely Lovely), the Peris Horseshoe starts in Llanberis on a 28km loop with 2,600m accent including the Snowdon Summit.  Understandably it ended up the bad weather route so skipped Lliwedd and seems to have dropped down the Miners’ Track instead.

Kasia Osipowicz looks like she had a great race with 5th lady and 29th overall.  Chris Jackson raced and reported that it was “wind, rain and proper slippy”.  Perhaps he should have taken his poles?

Holme Valley Trail Half

News just in, Adele Metcalfe  did the Holme Valley Trail Half yesterday , a two-lapper somewhere in the Holme Valley I assume.  Sounds like she won her category – top work!

Parkrun Corner

I just about mustered up the energy to look out of the window and frown at the weather on Saturday morning, but 24 Harriers were stood eagerly on the start line at Manor Park.  No new PBs but it looks like William Mather claimed his 50th run – nice work.  Rumour has it that he’s going to do the next 50 in one go.

It also looks like Joe Travis took the top spot at the Severn Valley Country parkrun – great running!

The consolidated club report is HERE

Top Mileage and climbing

Perhaps this should be renamed as “who got the most soaked this week”? Well the answer is Kirsty Sharp with 96.6km and Jenny Ross on the elevation taking on 3,990m!

Anything Else?

If you see any of the numerous Chester marathon entrants looking like they’re about to explode with energy then they’re obvious struggling with the taper as the race is only next weekend.  I dunno, perhaps give them a hug and feed them some pasta or something.

It’s also the Hodgeson Brothers Mountain Relays with the team raring to go (I think).

Tuesday: Run fast for a bit and have a rest, repeat.  Something like that will be happening on Tuesday, details from Coach Jeroen soon.

Thursday: Where is the best place to be at 7pm on a Thursday when it’s cold and dark? At the leisure centre of course so that you can do a club social run.  Let’s keep the numbers up during the winter months – be there!

Tim Budd appears to be conjuring up a winter time trial series, follow the Facebook thread for the latest.

It’s been a relatively quiet week for racing so did anything else happen? Lucy Wasinski  got whacked with a hockey ball and has a bruise, and then proceeded to get half of the Longdendale trail down her sock on Sunday morning.  Overall a succesful weekend!

Keep sending stuff in to gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com

 

 

“Load of Bullocks” Weekly Report

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

Lynne&Kate 1:54:40

Salford 10km

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

Longstone Chase

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!

Parkrun Corner

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!

Anything Else?

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 gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

The “Wettest Tuesday in Coached Session History” Weekly Report

That’s right.  Tuesday was the wettest coached session ever! Excuses were handed in to coach Jeroen on the Facebook page one after another, but still many brave souls turned up to bash out a speed session!  Just one of the myriad of things happening to the Harriers this week, but before we get into all of that, let’s talk club champs!

It’s Cracken Edge on Wednesday, the seventh of ten fell race counters.  I ran this as a recce once and I seem to remember a steep slippy concrete bit towards the end, which probably isn’t the best bit, but other than that it was a great route! Get out there and get the points in!

Without further ado, here is the report!

Jersey: Round the Rock Ultra

Jersey, tiny isn’t it?  I mean, you can barely even see it on a map.  That may be the case until you decide to run around it, and then suddenly it becomes huge.  Kate Bowden ran the “Round the Rock” ultramarathon: a 48-mile jaunt around the coastline of Jersey.  I’ve heard you can do this as a relay team, but who wants to end up halfway round Jersey waiting to see if a bus turns up?  Kate obviously didn’t and looking at Strava got round in under 11 hours – epic running!

Chunal Fell Race

Paul Skuse is like a jack-in-the-box at the moment.  The merest whisper of a race and his head springs into view, bouncing around rallying the Glossopdale army to get out there and win some races!  Here’s his report on the Chunal Fell Race:

I don’t like this race and this race doesn’t like me. The weather wasn’t as bad as expected, the race seemed to fit perfectly between very heavy downpours (didn’t help me much, I was sodden running over to the start). This brief dry spell didn’t do much to help conditions underfoot though and traction came more from tussocks and reeds wrapping themselves around shoes and shins. It was a bushwhacky, bog trotty, uppy & downy and almost no running kind of race. It was almost Lantern Pike-esque in the uppy & downy parts but spread over several sections. Only two GDH’s were racing (with the ever cheerful Jo Brack helping Des at registration). This was a blessing as there were fewer people to see my woeful efforts on the descents. Get a bell and cry “Shame!” when you see me pass. Mark D, Ben N, Immy and a whole host of GDH real fell runners would have done well in the small field of racers. No idea about results as I had to run home to miss the next downpour.

York 10km

A fast and flat course passing loads of the city’s historic gems.  What’s not to like? Paul Amos ran the 10km today and whilst I don’t have an official report Strava tells me it was hot.  Great work Paul!

Turner Landscape Fell Run

John Pollard was in the Lake District again this weekend taking on the Turner Landscape Fell Run.  He gives us the full tale below:

Recommended to do this by a few folk including Chris Jackson, and glad I did as it’s a great route and though tough with a 1000 metre of climbing to 6 different summits on a muggy 25C day, it was the most memorable and doable race I’ve done since trying to get back to the fells.

Made even more enjoyable by bumping into a frisky Andrew Fox sometime of this parish, just before the start. Andy reminded me the last time we locked horns was also in the Lakes at a Hodgson relay, but that could’ve been almost 20 years ago…and we still instantly recognised each other’s grizzled features of course.

Didn’t see Andy again until after the prize-giving, he’s a lean machine, running like a man who’s been intensively hiking the Alps (he has)…while Andy was changing in his campervan Post-race I stumbled over to hear..”1st v60, Andy Fox of GDH”. Nice medal and socks, and nice work Andy.

Think he was back in 2hrs 6..only 44 minutes ahead of me! But I ran ok and was not last for a change. The first climb up to Grey Friars after the fields from Turner Hall farm was pretty attritional in the fierce sun, a midday start meaning the mad dogs were let loose as the heat began to flare. 3 and a half miles to there up past Seathwaite tarn was the longest climb of the day, and sheltered from what westerly breeze there was it proved a sweatfest.

Followed by a good mile track up to Swirl How CP2, mercifully missing Prison Band, but also foregoing the lovely, expansive views in favour of getting my head down, then a wee pull onto Brim Fell before the steeper 1/2 mile climb to The Old Man CP3, where it was best to contour below the ridge line to avoid the tourist hordes enjoying their Saturday stroll. But nice to hear some encouraging comments, so often it’s the loneliness of the long distance fell runner which is both the pleasure and the challenge of the adventure. (There’s a book & film there somewhere.) No chance of solitude on a sunny August Saturday.

Retracing from the Old Man, it was a cut across to Goat’s Hause on awkward terrain but missing the stonier path, and then an inevitably rocky ascent of Dow Crag CP4, past the climbers, who were ascending at my rate. (I exaggerate).

I caught up a group of female runners on the easy 1/2 mile track to Brown Pike partly as I can descend many times better than I climb, and partly due to them somehow taking a wrong line off the Old Man. Then it was down to cross dusty Walna Scar Road for a trod along to White Pike CP5, a top I’d never scaled, and was relieved to find we were going up the shallow side and descending the steep side, as I was tiring now.

Finally, back to Walna Scar Road again- CP6, and on the grassy descent I picked up a couple more places and it was judderingly fast downhill for much of the rest over a mix of bog, grass and rocks to the welcome sight of the flagged finish.

That’s the route, and well worth a trip up, maybe next year some more Glossopdalers will have a crack at it. Nice atmosphere, based as it is in the sumptuous Duddon Valley, with essential tea and cakes to follow. I assumed it was called Turner Landscape for artistic reasons, but it’s run from Turner Hall Farm, so maybe not.

Just a shame you have to drive up the narrow Seathwaite road, avoiding the huge Range Rovers &MPVs exploring the valley or going over to Eskdale on the Hardknott Pass. But I guess we all leave a carbon footprint.

Hong Kong Hash Running

Hash and running were two words I’d never put together, but it is actually a thing, and not in a “let’s sit down and talk about how cool running is” kind of way.  It appears to be some kind of group trail run where the group try and find the route which may include short cuts and dead ends with lots of looping back to work out the route.  I don’t really know to be honest, but it sounds pretty sounds interesting! Emma Peters reports from Asia:

For those of you who don’t know, I have spent the past 2 months in Mongolian hospitals on elective placement as part of my university degree. Since hearing that I was going to Asia, Jeroen put me in contact with Rachel Sproston (a Harrier who lives in Hong Kong).

My friends and I met up with Rachel and her parter Mike and friend Mitch when they were also in Mongolia, where Rachel invited us on a Hash House Harriers run in Hong Kong.

Today my friend Emma and I went on one of these famed Hash runs on Lamma Island, where we had a lot of fun and were made to feel incredibly welcome.  We ran for around 8km along a marked trail including dead ends and checkpoints to keep fast runners looping back and therefore keep the group a bit more together. We then also had a few drinks and a lovely meal out. I just want to thank Rachel for the invite and encourage other harriers to always make the most of the surprisingly global network that we have here at GDH.

Long Mynd

Not satisfied with the hills here, Zoe Barton and Rachel Walton took a trip to Shropshire and sent in this report: 

Me and Dr Walton did a little Long Mynd excursion on Saturday. We were camping in the area and it’d have been rude not to. Plenty of wimberry picking and admirage of views. Oh and I found a farmyard bog to sink into. 

 

Prudential Ride London

Ok, ok, this isn’t about running, but when I reviewed the official “Glossopdale Harriers Report Writing Manual” I discovered that covering other sports isn’t banned, other than chapter 8, paragraph 17c) which restricts any mention of mud-wrestling.  Apparently, this is because of something that happened in 2002, but no-one who was around at the time is willing to talk about it.

Mandy Beames was in our Capital this weekend on the 100-mile closed road sportif – the Prudential Ride London.  I’m not sure on the outcome but the tracker shows 86 miles, let’s hope  it all went well!

Brompton World Championships

I’d also taken the torturous trip down the M1 to take part in another part of the Ride London festivities.  I’d managed to get a place in the Brompton World Championships – not by any cycling skill of course, but through a reserve ballot.  You have to do a short sprint, unfold your bike and then do 8 laps of the 2km course as fast as you can.  Lycra is banned and a suit jacket, collar and tie is compulsory – so it’s all very serious!

Don’t be fooled though, there was some serious racers here and it turned into quite an adrenaline fuelled half-hour (hot work in a wool suit jacket).  I absolutely loved jostling and weaving around the course and when the elites comes whizzing past at breakneck speed it was very exhilarating!!  I have no idea of the results but the race is over when the first person finishes and I think I managed 7 of the 8 laps in around 27 minutes. Who needs hills and the countryside eh? (me, me, me!)

Parkrun Corner

A good turnout at our parkrun this week with 14 Harriers running and Kirsty Marie Sharp the first harrier home.  Check out the consolidate club report HERE

Many of you will have noticed a couple of our very own Harriers featured on the main parkrun page advertising the milestone t-shirts.  Fantastic to see Harriers and Glossop taking a spot on the main stage!

Whilst we’re talking about loops around Manor Park, now seems like the ideal moment to mention the Manor Park Marathon (#MPM) on Saturday 24th August along with its big brother, the Ultra Trail Manor Park (#UTMP).  It’s all a bit of fun, so come along and do as many laps as you feel like before the parkrun!

To claim a coveted MPM title you need to complete 27 laps (including parkrun), just let me know your exact start time and number of laps and I’ll juggle it all into some kind of “official” results.  It would be great to see a load of blue and orange scattered around the park all morning!  Whilst most people’s first reaction is that this sounds horrible, official exit polls last year confirmed that an unconfirmed percentage of runners didn’t not feel like it wasn’t something they would maybe never not do again.  So there you go.

Top Mileage and climbing

As of 19:20 Sunday, Tony Hillier takes the top spot bagging 89km, but it also looks like someone has measured Chris Jackson who is officially 3,890m.  Or maybe that’s the elevation he took on this week, who knows?

Anything Else?

There will be a (probably drier) session on Tuesday with Jeroen and a run into the hills or around Glossop on Thursday and don’t forget Cracken Edge on Wednesday!  For something different, let’s finish with a caption competition!  WiIliam Mather found something unusual in the hills this week and here it is! Captions in the Facebook comments please! (this is only a test to see if anyone reads to the end of this report!)

As ever, if something is missed then let us know in the Facebook comments and keep sending in your Harrier shenanigans to gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com

“If only that was the last of the rain” Weekly Report

Nowadays you don’t need to wait for Michael Fish’s weather report, you just have a scroll through Strava.  From the titles I can reliably inform everyone that it’s been a warm one, sunny, humid and in some cases brutal.  Of course though, now it seems to be raining again…

Here’s the weekly report.

Kinder Trog

Don’t have a fight with rocks on Kinder.  That’s the take-home message from the Kinder Trog today.  Immy Trinder (who found out the hard way) gives us this report:

GDH lineup for Kinder Trog was John S, Jo B, Alison H, Charmayne B, Matt C, Dan S and myself. It was nothing if not an eventful day. Dan and I chugged round together, and it was all going well until we were heading towards the Downfall where I decided it was a good time to have a fight with the floor. Following a moment of bemusement I worked out how to peel myself off the gritstone, shouted at Dan for trying to help me (classic, sorry Dan) and after a wobbly-bottom-lip moment and being overtaken by Matt, we cracked on. It has been suggested that I might call this kind of a disagreement with the floor a ‘John Stephenson’, although as far as I’m aware he managed to stay on his feet today for the duration!

It was lovely to see Tracey R, Cecil and Mark D out on route. It was especially nice to see Marco’s big box of Haribo! Meanwhile, Matt had a hot date with a PB but unfortunately it wasn’t to be, as we discovered when we caught him up in the final few kilometres. A knee problem, which had something to do with a gate that I didn’t quite grasp, was to blame.

Alison had a great race and put her HPM demons to rest. She encountered a minor nav mishap but got round without fighting any inanimate objects. Jo, Charm and John ran together, the report from Jo being that they ‘all enjoyed it but it was bloomin’ hard work!”

Fight for 1st GDH came down to a sprint finish between Dan and myself, which I won, although I’m pretty sure if it hadn’t been for the variety of mitigating circumstances including Matt’s knee, and Dan sticking with me after my face-plant, it might have been very different!

I knew I didn’t stand a chance on a sprint finish with Immy but it made it quite an exciting ending in around 2:44.  The results don’t seem to be out yet so we’ll get them posted on the facebook page.  Great local long racing…. well done all!

(Also to add Chris Jackson and Frank Fielding were out there for Pennine)

Buttermere Horseshoe

The Lakeland Classics Trophy started back in 2002 and has grown ever since.  It covers six classic Lakeland races and the best three performances count. Chris Webb took on the Buttermere horseshoe and sent in the report below:

Tim Culshaw and I headed up to Loweswater on a glorious day to run the Buttermere Horseshoe fell race. At 22miles/9000ft it’s statistically the toughest of the Lakeland Classics and the heat spiced it up even more this year. Finlay Wild turned up so the winner was never in doubt (he broke the course record I believe, unsurprisingly) but for the rest of us we were trying to get round without the wheels coming off!

I was going well until Haystacks when a nav error cost me a few mins; that combined with the sun really beating down at that point made for hard going over Red Pike and High Stile. I rallied on the descent of Scale Force (despite another minor nav error) and managed to climb Mellbreak without too much suffering.

Tim meanwhile was smug with his controlled effort early on, “feeling great” he said over Grasmoor. It’s still early in the race though and he had his fair share of suffering and minor nav mishaps on the way back. Still, with Edith only 3 weeks old and off the back of very little sleep Tim finished strong, storming past the Kirkstile Inn beer garden like a man possessed! I can highly recommend this race for anyone wanting a long, challenge fell race on a beautiful route.

Final results:

Chris Webb: 12th in 4hrs 51mins

Tim Culshaw: 27th in 5hrs 29mins

The Spine Flare

The summer version of the Spine Challenger (108 miles) is happening right now.  I’ve just looked at the tracker and Sue Clapham finished in 36:04:04.  I don’t have any details, but absolutely epic running – I hope we can hear all about it!

A Trio of 10kms

Why just run one race in a week, when you can do three?  John Pollard took on Marple, the Hawkshead 10km and the Shirgley Stag fell race, and tells us below how it went.  It seems Lance Hamilton-Griffiths also made an appearance:

To complete a trio of 10k races in 7 days, starting with Marple trail on Sunday, I first ran the Hawkshead 10k road race around pretty little Esthwaite Water in the heart of the Lakes on a gorgeous Wednesday evening.

Now I did intend to do the Langstrath fell race in Borrowdale (honest guv) but didn’t leave enough time to drive down the valley, a pity as it’s the most beautiful route up to Watendlath tarn, but I thought I’d let Ricky Lightfoot win that for the umpteenth time.

So instead I mingled among the assorted Kendal AAC & Eden road runners to do what is truthfully quite a tedious undulating metalled loop, views notwithstanding, around Esthwaite. Good hard running though and getting me fit to finish in 51.02, with a burger and beer reward provided by the slightly chaotic organisers in Hawkshead afterwards.

That was a road and trail completed and on Saturday afternoon it was the Fell run, a new race at Pott Shrigley, tucked away by Shrigley Hall in the local village Rose Queen fete.

Charming Cheshire. A varied route, supposedly 10 k, pretty much all runnable, touching on Lyme Park at the Bow Stones and the most enjoyable run of the week.

I was short of concentration on one downhill section in the woods and went a*** over t*t, a reminder not to be so careless…but felt I ran ok to finish 3rd v60 in 57.25.

Lance Hamilton-Griffiths appears to have finished about 36th in 47.12 but I didn’t catch sight of him at that pace. Well ran sir.

Whether this all means I’m going to have the stamina for next week’s Ambleside trail half marathon I’ll have to see.

Kingsway Track 5km

Rochdale? What happens there? I have no idea usually, but earlier in the week Immy Trinder and I attended a chip-timed track 5km at the Kingsway track.  It seems to be a collaboration set up by the Rochdale Triathlon Club, Royton Road Runners and Rochdale Harriers.  There are three separate races (sub-20, 20-25min, 25+mins) and a junior 2km.

I somehow managed a PB of 18:43 and Immy came over the line in 20:30.

It costs £4, you get a print-out of all your lap times and you get to feel like a proper athlete for a bit – highly recommended!

Colshaw 10km

Alex Critcher provided an in-depth review of the Colshaw 10km on Stava.  How was it Alex?

“Awful”.  So, there you go.

Parkrun Corner

A load of Harriers enjoying a warm Parkrun yesterday with 17 on the start line.  Caitlin Rice was first GDH followed by Sean Phillips.  Perusing Strava it looks Sean did an extensive warm-up of 18-19kms, nothing quite like getting the legs ready for a Parkrun, eh?

Luke Holme, probably powered by a vampire-bite from T100, bagged a PB at 20:34.  No other PBs from GDH at the home course, but David Christie-Lowe is just two runs away from the 250 milestone.  Top running!

Check out the consolidate club report HERE

Top Mileage and Climbing

Who has been out there grinding out the miles and powering up those hills?  On the GDH Strava group, this week Steve Knight has clocked up an impressive 91.8km but Jenny Ross takes the elevation crown with a whopping 5,278m.

Anything Else?

As is the Harriers tradition there was a summer solstice run out into our lovely hills.  With fast-paced and busy lives getting out into the hills is always a joy, but this one has the added benefit of whisky.  A perfect time to enjoy our magnificent local playground and think about our friends old and new.

There has, of course, been a Tuesday speed session and a Thursday fell run, but it also looked like a splinter group set-out to run loops around the reservoirs.  We all know what that means! That’s right, it’s “Round the Resers” on Wednesday! This year the race will be supporting Tinttwistle Children’s Gala, a local charity providing activities for young people in the community.  I’m sure a good bunch of the blue and orange army will be there!

Guy Riddell is beating the drum for the Chester Marathon in October – get your entires in!  Chatter of Bullock Smithy recces seems to be all over the place.  The Manor Park Marathon looks likely to be happening on August Bank Holiday… I’ve spotted a recce of “Lakes in a Day” out there on Strava – have fun on that one!  Basically, it’s all going on Harriers!

That’s all i’ve spotted or been sent this week – if there’s anything missing then please let us know what happened in the Facebook comments!

Keep flinging the reports and pictures in to the GDH report-writing-crew at gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com

 

Everything Happened.  Then Even More Happened.  The Weekly Report.

I’m not even sure where to start this week.  Harriers have been all over the place, some even as far as Hayfield.  There have been vampires, incidents in portaloos, swearing, potential puking and turned ankles.  A typical week in the world of Glossopdale Harriers!

Hayfield: Three Days in May

It was all going on in Hayfield this weekend (not something you can say that often?), with a fantastic trio of races staring with the Hayfield May Queen…. on Friday.

Friday: Hayfield May Queen

Report courtesy of Paul Skuse:

The first of the three days in May and a little cracker of a race. Sadly not many GDH turned up for this which is a shame as it’s a great race for the first timers. What you need to know: First of all, no kit -hurray! The tactics are simple. It’s a fast one so run run fast! You need to give it the beans at the start or else risk getting caught in the bottle neck at the start of the climb.

The climb itself is runnable all the way but that almost makes it harder. It’s gradual in places and ramps up here and there but we Harriers run, we dont walk! Keep moving all the way up to the trig and then it’s time to head back down. Apart from the shortish patch through the wimberries (this bit cost me valuable time) and few narrow stoney paths, the descending is fast and fun. Thankfully for me there’s a little ramp up and a flat tarmac stretch at the end to stop the likes of Chris Jackson overtaking.

As for results, I bagged 14th in 23:24, Rich Martin, looking very strong at the minute took 28th in 26:41 This lad is having a great start to the season. Next in was a very happy looking Alex Critcher (the smile didnt last long apparently-read the Mount Famine race report :)). He took 49th in 28:28 with the ever youthful Joe Gavin coming in 60th in a time of 29:10. Claire Campbell was our only lady snatching the 97th place in a time of 34:59. If you’ve never done a fell race, this is a great start to your fell racing career. Hope to see you at the next starting line.

Saturday: Mount Famine

Rachel Walton took on the roving reporter duties for Mount Famine:

Second race in the Three Days In May series; having never done Mount Famine before and being given a pass out from (still) digging the bloody garden it would have been rude not to go. I quite like ‘running’ uphill. Which is just as well. This race somehow seems to go up for about ¾ of the distance. Including the comedy start. Judging by the sweariness, some racers (here’s looking at you Alex) weren’t impressed. So, after a comedy very steep up Elle Bank uphill bit, the race flattened out to merely normal uphill and then an up and down then up uphill all the way to Mount Famine and then South Head. A lovely steep descent down Dimpus clough simply so we could enjoy going back uphill to Mount Famine again followed, and then an undulating descent that still somehow included yet more uphill bits, into Hayfield. Didn’t see Richard and Rob all race – they were way ahead of me from the off. Becky skipped past me somewhere on Mount Famine, I finally caught up with Alex in the depths of Dimpus Clough, John came past me on one of the last descents (as usual), and we were close all the way back in. There were a couple of GDHers running in their away kit too – Chris Jackson in a not too shabby 5th place and Frank Fielding in 70th (1st V65).

GDH results:

55 Richard Martin 1.01.30

69 Rob Murphy   1.04.06

103 Rebecca Smith 1.11.10

117 Rachel Walton 1.15.03

118 John Stephenson  1.15.13

128 Alex Critcher  1.19.03

Sunday: Lantern Pike Dash

The Pixie of Doom, Immy Trinder, took her new pair of grippy fell running shoes to Lantern Pike and sent in this report:

For the second time today I have just accidentally typed ‘Lantern Puke’, which, whilst incorrect, rather accurately describes how a number of us were feeling at the end of this short but intense race.

For those who don’t know, at the end of Hayfield’s Three Days in May series, a number of people decide that it is a good idea to line up in a field, run to the bottom of it, jump a fence, run/walk/crawl 200m up to the top of Lantern Pike, and then bomb it back down, attempting to remember not to run straight into the fence on the way back.

There were some fierce battles occurring – Skusey against a teenager from Buxton, me against a teenager from Buxton… in fact let’s just not mention any more of the teenagers from Buxton, despite the fact that they occupied 20% of the top 20 places.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had come 16th, until I realised that I was very determinedly reading my own name where it actually said ‘Martin Thomson’. I can but dream.

The *actual* results are as follows, with a special mention to Skusey, who was so excited to be first V40 that he shouted his own name during the prizegiving – good effort on both counts.

13th Paul Skuse: 14:31 *1st V40*

19th Richard Martin:15:36

22nd Imogen Trinder: 15:42

23rd Lance Hamilton-Griffiths: 15:46

24th Matt Crompton: 16:03

38th Alan Scholefield: 17:56

Adam Crompton was flying the flag for the GDH Juniors, and was 15th in 8:10.

Kudos to Richard Martin for representing Glossopdale at all 3 of the Hayfield races this weekend!

Transylvania 100km

Lurking in the darkest corners of the woods in Transylvania were vile salivating beasts.  Hairy, dripping with sweat and foul smelling.  That’s right, it was William Mather, Luke Holme and Jason Hart.  They took on the Transylvanian 100km starting and finishing at Dracula’s Castle and climbing parts of the Southern Carpathian mountains.

I couldn’t resist having a browse at the start list and there were some fantastic names: Florin Alexandru Zoltan Neagu, Alexander De Wulf and, my absolute favourite, Barry Van Oven.  Here’s the official race report from Luke:

We turned up and raced – the end. Only joking. It’s taken a year of planning and Will buying 40 pair of gloves! 

Fast forward to May and after a 13 hour  journey to get to the village of Bran in Transylvania we were on the start line thinking what will kill us first, bears, wolves, vampires or the site of Wills shorts. 

The route was slightly shortened due Mount Omu having risks of avalanches so the distance was changed to roughly 50 miles and 17000ft. 

The weather was predicted to be rain and thunderstorms but just because Luke’s doing an ultra it was the complete opposite and was about 25 degrees (too hot). 

The route was extremely tough navigating through snow, muddy descents, broken trees to climb and steep inclines. Jason said the descents in the dark were gruelling with lots of mud and rocks to break the fall. 

Will decided he wanted to be the Usain bolt of the mountains and came in at 13:31 hours. Jason with also an impressive 17.53 hours and Luke about 8 days (20:15 hours) Anyone interested in an international event that doesn’t cost the earth and has no lottery, this is highly recommended. 

Old County Tops

The “Old County Tops” was first held in the distant past long before anyone can remember (1988).  The race takes in the tops of Helvellyn, Scafell Pike and Coniston before returning to Great Langdale for refreshments.  Tim “given up cycling this weekend because running is better” Budd gives us the lowdown.

Chris Webb, me, Jude Stansfield, Els Swan and Tim Culshaw headed to the rather delightful Langdale valley this weekend to enjoy the spectacular Old County Tops fell race. Tim didn’t do it on his own, but rather, joined forces with a running entity known only as “Carlos”. It wasn’t a hot day, but it was humid as you like. Chris led me along on a merry chase where we started too fast and generally slowed all day, Els and Jude set out at a steady pace, keeping it up all the way around in true Terminator style. Tim and Carlos.. I have no idea, but I bet they had fun – especially as Alice was somewhere on the course already a day overdue… There was a point as we approached Cockley Beck where I if someone said “are you Tim? Your wife is having contractions, we’ll give you a lift to the end to be with her” I probably would have said, “Yep, I’m Tim”.

As it was, Alice was by Blea Tarn shouting encouragement and taking photos, clearly unperturbed by any thought of impending birth.

A shout out must go to the Family Swan, Caitlin, Josie and Phyliss giving great support at Cockley Beck. A definite spirit raiser!

Chris and Tim – 7:41

Jude and Else – 11:45 (I think)

Tim and Carlos-  Not a clue. (the time… not them).

It’s an amazing race – a wonderful day out in the hills, but still a real testpiece. Despite feeling rubbish for the vast majority of it, it will remain on my recommend list for a long long time.

You can also read a detailed report of the suffering at Tim’s blog HERE

Great Manchester Half Marathon 

Big racing going on today over there in Manchester with the Great Run series descending on the city.  Ian Crutchley was acting suspiciously in the portaloos again and whilst he doesn’t go into details, I’m sure the police report will reveal all.  Two race reports for this one, first up from Ian:

How do you manage to sustain a pre-race head injury in a portaloo? Well, I did. I could elaborate on that, but sometimes the mystery’s just funnier. Jacked up on coffee and gels I didn’t realise I was bleeding till pointed out at the start line. The first 2 miles were a bit quick, but soon settled the pace at about 7.10, which was pushing it. But I had to do that to stand a chance to PB. Struggling in the last couple of miles, I managed to hold that pace till the end, but had no kick at all to give at the finish. Really pleased with an almost 2-minute PB at 1.33.53. Meanwhile, fellow bespectacled chappie Bartek Verde was having a crack at his PB, but it’s been a while, so he couldn’t remember what it actually was! Gunning for 1.45 today, he should be pretty pleased with 1.42.04.

Bartek Verde sent in the report below:

Signed up quite late and run in support of Mummy’s Star charity (that we all know and love).

I did a couple of halves before but that was years ago and I can’t remember my PB anymore. I figured 1:45 will be a good time to aim for. At 7:45am Manchester City centre was very calm. In fact it was dead quiet and after parking the car in Hulme with no issues whatsoever I started wondering if I got the dates right! But I soon found the start line and Mummy’s Star very own HQ set up in a fancy foyer of an office building in Peters Square.

After the usual faffing about, myself and Ian made our way to the start line, met some familiar faces there and got into the pen where we split up as he was going to run faster. I managed to locate the 1:45 pacer and stuck to him for the majority of the race.

Very nice weather for running. Pleasant route: city centre, Man City stadium, Man Utd stadium and back to Deansgate. Nice to visit the city centre once in a while – new buildings popping up everywhere!  Finished in 1:42:08 and had a (mostly) very enjoyable run. I suppose that’s my new PB then. Well done Ian for getting under your predicted time and to all GDHers doing 10k. It was nice chatting to you between the runs.

John West tuna in the goody bag made it all worth it!

Whilst not a Harrier, Vicky Stinton also completed her first half marathon whilst raising money for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (who have helped us a lot) and also for CURE who help children in developing countries access treatment for clubfoot. Top running!

Great Manchester 10km

The much bigger event took place later in the day – I know this first-hand because I was attempting to drive out of Manchester at the time (a stupid idea).   Here’s the report from Jessica Camp:

Well, the pre-race nerves were in full force for us today (mainly for me ha!)

It was only my 3rd ever 10K but I was chasing a PB.

Myself, Wendy McMahon, Charmayne Brierley, Jo Brack, Kate Bowden and Laurie Barlow swapped our GDH vests for Mummy’s Star today… we had a fab day and was a pleasure to run for them!

Conditions were great and no way near as hot as last year (though the slow first mile was very frustrating.)

Well done to all!

Thank you to Pete and team for having us all today!

Jessica Camp 41:55 10K PB

Charmayne Brierley 51:59

Kate Bowden 1:05:34

Wendy McMahon 54:15

Laurie Barlow 1:01:13

Jo Brack 48:26

Kate Bee: 52:30 10K PB

Ras y Gader

An intrepid blue camper van rolled over the border into Wales this weekend so that Greg Wasinski could take on the Ras y Gader. Yes, I have no idea what that is either, but Greg fills us in with the details:

So I did the Ras y Gader for the first time, an out and back from Dolgellau to the top of Cadair Idris. Total distance was just under 18km with just over 900m of ascent. Fairly gentle incline for first section with some road and rooty forest track before hitting Cadair with a long section of rocky steps and trails going up before hitting a very shaley section that was a bit 1 step forward 2 steps back….Very much a ‘why do I do this?’ sort of climb! Coming down was a proper leg bashing experience where knowing the best lines made much more of a difference. The upper slopes saw runners scattered across them trying to find grassy sections and dodge the intermittent boulder patches. Passing off the shaley upper section it was then avoiding the zig zag path on the steep descent taking a much more direct route until what should be a fast run back into town, at least if your legs can still take it…

The atmosphere in Dolgellau before going is great with bands on hand and a bit of a party atmosphere. Great support on route as well. I struggled more than wanted to and so didn’t make up the time I expected on the descent in the second half, but was great to do a race that I wanted to do for ages.

Shining Tor Race: “double F”

Puzzled about the “double F”? Me too folks, read on for the report from Zoe Barton:

Lins Palmer, Mr Skuse, Mr Crutchley, Mr Critcher and myself waffled on to one another prior to the start. Efficiently organised with online booking by the affable and effusive Crazy Legs team. The field was stuffed with Chorlton runners and we were miffed not to have brought such numbers, yet remained unruffled. 

We huffed and puffed up a zigzag trail through woods. No piffling climb this and offally runnable.  Over moorland paths and then down quad-baffling flagstones. The uphill finish of yore has been removed, it’s different now. A rather offensive sprint across the dam brings this race to its end. What made me rate it double F? It’s full of false flats!

Well done glossopdalers . A tough little evening race and no mistake 

Fairfield Horseshoe 

Zoe Barton just clearly couldn’t stop racing this week and sent in the Fairfield Horseshoe report:

Matt Crompton and I travelled to Rydal Hall to have a leisurely run round the Fairfield Horseshoe , an A medium race of 9 miles with a typically lakes amount of ascent. The weather was surprisingly warm and even humid. We were cheerily waved off by Alice Willson and set off up a very long climb during which either the efforts of my midweek racing or just generally being under-trained slowed me down to a grumbling trudge within minutes. Matt assured me he was OK with a slower pace as he’s getting over a niggly hamstring.  It was the kind of pace which allowed him to take numerous pictures and chatter amiably about his experiences hiking the route. On the descent, disaster struck when I turned my ankle heavily on a rocky stretch so it became an exercise in getting back before the promised tea and flapjacks ran out. Thanks Matt for sticking with an even grumblier runner and making sure I got back OK.I was incredibly glad I had packed a small first aid kit containing ibuprofen or it would’ve been much ouchier than it was. 

The Trunce

Monday seems like ages ago.  I mean, it’s nearly Monday again already (sorry to remind everyone).  Caitlin Swan and Phil Swan are sticking with this one and here’s the report:

Caitlin and Phil maintained what is rapidly becoming their standard form for the 3rd Trunce race on Monday. Caitlin was 2nd girl and Phil was comfortably mid-pack, happily unhampered by pre-race lemonade this week.

Kong MM

Steven Pepper snuck in the Kong Mini Mountain Marathon and here are the details:

Nice evening out, good to be an area with no local knowledge. Got stuck on the wrong side of the river like a muppet. 

Parkrun

I thought with all the racing going on Parkrun may be a quiet affair, but no.  Seventeen harriers ran Glossop and showed everyone who is boss by taking 4 of the 5 top places (Steve Crossman, Caitlin Rice, Craig Leith and Lance Hamilton-Griffiths who also bagged a new PB)

Check out the consolidate club report HERE

#mpm

Top Mileage and climbing

As it’s been quite a short, easy report (!) I thought I’d add an extra bonus section.  It may catch on and be featured again, but it may not.  Which harrier has been out there gobbling up the mileage and elevation?  Well according to our club Strava page, as of 19:54 Sunday evening (the official cut-off time):

Chris Webb grabs the top spot with 89.4km.

Unsurprisingly, William Mather took on the most elevation with 4,575m (with Luke Holme and Jason Hart closely behind).

Anything Else?

On Tuesday, people ran around Hurst Crescent – I know because I drove past in my car and felt very guilty for not going.

There was a great social run on Thursday where everyone basically just ran to the pub.

Barring some apocalyptic event, Tuesday and Thursday will occur again next week, so please fill them with GDH club running.

As we get into the busy racing season, please, please, please send the reports and pictures to gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com.  It makes it so much easier when everything is in one place.

Brilliant running Harriers!

 

Wherever you look, there’s a Harrier – Weekly Report

The list of races I’ve found out about just seems to have grown and grown today, no matter where I turn, someone mentions another one!

It’s been a fantastic week and all of that grim winter training is clearly paying off with Harriers out and about all over the place bagging PBs, getting course records and just generally showing running who is the boss.

The Trunce

Let’s take a deep breath and wind all the way back to Monday when the first of nine races kicked off as part of “The Trunce Offroad Race Series”.  Phil and Caitlin Swan headed over to the other side of the Peak District to race and Caitlin came in with a brilliant 2nd Junior Female.  Elanor reliably informed me that Phil was not 2nd male…

Remember there are eight more races in the series around three weeks apart, so check it out if you fancy a Monday blast!

Manchester Marathon 

The sprawling metropolis that is Manchester.  Concrete and gleaming steel as far as the eye can see, from the hipster hideouts in the Northern Quarter to the monstrous Beetham Tower keeping a watchful eye over Deansgate and beyond.  Such large cities know how to put on big races…  well, only if you forget about the dodgy course measurements between 2013-2015 and the bag collection fiasco in 2016.

It’s all sorted out now though and it’s perfect PB territory.  As a bonus this year, a marathon can also be used as an official counter for the club road champs.  What happens when you get a load of hill runners and try and make them run on the flat? Does it work? Who was there? What happened?

It’s all over social media and it looked like a great race with some excellent results.  Blurred photographic evidence shows an unorthodox “piggyback” finish by Ian McGarry and Alan Scholefield.  I have no idea who was on who but, even more remarkably, their results are 5 seconds apart.

Manc Mara 4

Manc Mara 2

Sorry if I missed anyone out, let me know and I’ll update…

Steve Knowles – 2:54:34

Tim Culshaw – 3:42:26

Emma Rettig – 3:52:40

Ian Oates – 3:56:14

Ian McGarry – 4:13:05

Alan Scholefield – 4:13:10

Wendy McMahon – 4:35:12

Alan Byrne – 5:55:17

Manc Mara 1

manc mara 5

It also looks like we had some GDH volunteers out there.  Massive thanks to Jo Brack, Charmayne Lisa, John Pollard and Rick Gwilt for stepping in!

Manc Mara 3

Chicken run

I can’t believe they make you carry a chicken around the whole route!  That didn’t deter a load of Harriers though who turned up on Saturday for the club-champs counter.  Paul Skuse fills us in with the details:

The Chicken Run. What a belter! The sun was shining and a veritable swarm of GDH descended into Hayfield for the 2019 Chicken Run. Race HQ was the primary school with a nice range of activities for the kids such as bouncy castles, toy and book sales and the obligatory cake stall. I don’t think any GDH youngsters were running which was a shame –something to be remedied next year. Thanks to a heads up from Zoe, I knew I had to put some pace into the start as it bottlenecks almost immediately. This is a race for the fast trail runners. Jessica Camp, Sean Philips – get on this next year! Though there are a fair few climbs and descents, almost all of it is runnable. Conditions were pretty much perfect as the new CR shows so no kit was needed. Sorry but I’ve no idea about results but Jamie Helmer did bag the v40 prize – way to go Jamie. All those sneaky solo training sessions have paid off. I do know they had a nice banana bread at the end; that, with a cup of tea, in the sun surrounded by friends made for a really enjoyable Spring Saturday.

Chicken Run 1

The results aren’t out yet but it looks like we had Nick Ham, John Stephenson, Charm Briers, Paul Skuse, Frank Fielding, Jamie Helmer, Rob Murphey, Joe Travis, Ian Crutchley (as if he’d miss a race), Chris Jackson, Ben Falla, Tracey RobinsonRachel Walton, Lance Hamilton-Griffiths, Jamie Helmer, Lins Palmer, Zoe Barton and Rob Murphey.  The results will no doubt be posted on the GDH page soon.

Kielder ultra trail 50k

Wendy Trelease took on her first ultra this weekend in the Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland.  Epic running!  Here is her report:

Flying the orange and blue colours at the Kielder ultra trail 50k. After a cold start (only 3 degrees) I soon warmed up and got into the swing of things. The conditions underfoot were somewhat boggy at times and there was a deep stream crossing at mile 4. But the feet held out and the weather conditions couldn’t have been better, staying dry throughout. A one lap beautiful course around Kielder water with stunning views from the high points in the race. Overall a very well organised event with lots of tasty nosh to be had. A pleasing time of 5.54 for my first trepid attempt over this distance. 

Kielder Ultra

Prague Marathon

There was a half-marathon in Prague and Sean Phillips did it in a blistering 1:22:06 (Strava).  There’s no stopping him!

The Four Inns

All I know about this race is that the kit list is huge and you have to run down the Snake.  With those two things in mind, I firmly forgot all about it.  Lucy Wasinski teamed up with some fellow speedsters and blasted round to claim the fastest ever ladies time!

Just before we get to Lucy’s report, I happened to be crossing the Snake myself on Saturday by Doctors Gate.  As I approached the race checkpoint, I heard one volunteer say to the other “Do NOT give him a hot dog!”.  So, there you go.  If you see me out running do not give me a hot dog, you never know what might happen.

It goes something like this, new girl starts at work – she invites me to join 4 inns ladies team – I agree – I find out they want to break the ladies record that’s stood for 10 years. Gulp. They thought this was pretty achievable if, unlike 2018, they didn’t stop at every checkpoint to sample hot dogs, rice pudding and whatever other delights were on offer. They also figured their packs were too heavy (not surprising with the “comprehensive” kit list) so I imagine that’s where a new addition to the team might come in handy…. hmmm.

After much stressing that I was gonna let these lot down on their quest for a new record, the 6.32am race start finally arrived. Fuelled by Greg’s good cooking on Fri (he’s a good un) we set off out of Holmbridge faster than I’d perhaps have gone so I just trailed along slightly behind the other 3 for a bit with plenty of negative thoughts going around my head. Several hours later it was with some relief I heard some cheering and whooping at the top of Torside Clough and could make out 2 figures silhouetted against the sun – never have I been happier to get a hug and some positive words of encouragement – MASSIVE THANKS Tim & Lynne for the support, you’ll never know what that meant, my head wasn’t in a happy place! After that it was many more miles of great conditions underfoot, hot sun, the not-to-be-missed chance of running along the Snake (just why?!), a couple of stiff climbs (or were they gentle and my legs just tired?), some of the best views in the Peaks, foot cramp, and many missed dining opportunities at the checkpoints (team orders not to faff and to just grab n go ;)!) and the miles gradually rolled by. We made it to Buxton in 8h49 to the standard low key ultra finish (as in where the heck is the finish line?) which was good enough for 2nd overall, and knocking just over 35 mins off the ladies team record. Result!

4inns-2

Howgill Fell Race

The Howgill Fell Race is 23km with a quad-aching 2,070m of climb.  As part of the English Championships there’s always going to be some quick times here.  Mark Davenport and Andrew Fox took on the challenge in the glorious English sunshine and it looks like they both had a fantastic race.  Here’s how they got on:

Andrew Fox – 3:36:11

Mark Davenport – 3:59:30

Three Shires LDWA

Steven Pepper was out doing a rather strange shaped run judging from Strava, but clocking in a big 48km.  I have the following detailed report: “B***ard of a route, no rest, all niggle, lots of nav. Great day out.”

Lincoln 10km

Big bottle necks at the start of the Lincoln 10km, but Paul Amos got round and enjoyed it.  That’s as much as I know.

Fleetwood 10km

Again, scant on the details but Paul Gatley took on the Fleetwood 10km, looks like a sub-50 from Strava.  Good work.

Parkrun Corner

Still a decent number of Harriers at Parkrun this weekend even with all of the racing going on.  Christine Peters claimed a new PB and David Chrystie-Lowe is ever creeping towards getting a free t-shirt for bagging 250.

Check out the consolidated club report HERE

Bob Graham Round

If you say it on Facebook it happened, right?  Luke Holme and Pete Wallroth claimed a Bob Graham Round by climbing the steps at the Moot Hall in Keswick and there is photographic evidence to prove it.  Well done chaps!

Bob Graham Round

Phew, anything else?

Tim “must’ve lost my running shoes” Budd took on the Ronde Van Calderdale (RVC) cycling race and needed a sudden, dramatic last-minute change of bike.  What’s the RVC anyway? Google tells me it’s “a cobbled climb classic around the Calderdale and Kirklees districts with a great combination of dramatic scenery, fast road sections and the added dimension of many different profiles of cobbled climbs.” 

*EDIT: The above only vaguely resembled the truth.  Tim rode the “Ronde Van Chinley” with Mattt Hux and Alice Swift. All refuelled with delicious pizza at the Paper Mill in Chinley afterward.

What’s next?

There’s a couple of other things to scribble into your filofaxes…

Our very own Herod Farm race takes place soon, on the 17th April.  There’s a few more volunteers needed but if you end up running, don’t forget there’s two climbs, so don’t burn out on the first one and start crying on the second (I wish I could take my own advice).  Mark Davenport is leading a race recce as a social run this Thursday 11th.

Tim Budd is planning the “not really a mountain marathon” navigation course from Glossop to Hope on 27th/28th April and I hear rumours of camping and the pub.  I do like the sound of these rumours and I’m sure Tim will be along soon with more details and to see how many people would be up for it, there was quite a few if I remember from the original facebook post.

Remember, get your race reports in to gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com to get processed by the GDH hacks.