Author Archives: danielstinton

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.

 

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Typical Rubbish Weather in February – Weekly Report

Just in case anyone hasn’t looked outside over the weekend, it’s been a glorious one.  Whilst there hasn’t been a huge amount of racing going on, Strava tells us that Harriers have been out Vitamin-D gathering all over the place, no doubt in preparation for a big Spring/Summer of racing.

Talking of racing, some great club-champs races coming up over the next few weeks, with Trafford 10km on 10th March (now sold-out) and Wolf’s Pit for the fell runners a week later (entry on day).  Get prepping for a short, sharp loop on the moor above Bradwell to bag some early champs points.

So, what’s been happening this week?

Thursday 10km Time-Trial

Last Thursday saw a gaggle of Harriers at the leisure centre, eager to see how their training was going at the GDH 10km time-trial.  It was so alluring even hardened fell-veteran Mark Davenport hung up his mudclaws for the evening and decided to hit the tarmac.  Jeroen Peters was claiming a previous 39-minute PB (the decade it was set remains unclear).  Welcome back to Paul Skuse who has been absent for a while but looked ready to eat up 10km.  Predicted times were bandied around but director Steve Page slotted everyone into place and set us off.

I can only account for my experience but a particular highlight was an orange-clad William Mather lurking at the end of Tavern Road as official race-photographer.  Paul Skuse summed it up on Facebook: “Nice seeing you but those are the worst photos I’ve seen”.  It’s true, he may as well have tried to have drawn us.

Time trial

William-Mather-Photography – Available for Weddings

Then, the hill.  Those few kms from Woolley Bridge island to the top of North Road.  It generally seems to be the main theme of conversation at the end.  But we’re Glossopdale Harriers, come on, flex those muscles, hills are our speciality!

After a few tears near the top, I made my way back to the leisure centre and most people seemed to arrive at a similar time.  Great running all – everyone was far too pessimistic with their predictions, check out the fantastic results below!

GDH Time trial results

Huddersfield 10km

Huddersfield.  They might be desperately clinging on to the bottom of the Premier League, but it’s not all about football – there’s a road race too.  Stevie Knowles sent in the details:

“Myself and Alex Critcher did the Huddersfield 10k this morning!  A brilliant tough hilly road race, definitely recommend it!  Glorious weather and nice cool crisp conditions for the 9.30am start. 

I finished 8th overall and 1st v45 Time 37.55

Alex Critcher finished 123rd overall, time 48.10.”

Great running both!

South Pennine 24

24? Does that mean 24-hours? 24-miles? 24-sausage rolls?  After a bit of research, I found out it’s pure hard-earned miles.  The race starts in Greenfield, up to Chew, down to Torside and along the reservoirs, popping up Wild Bank and back to Greenfield with a whole host of stuff in-between.

Roving reporter Lucy Wasinski was there and helped me with a few details.  Luke Holme, Pete Wallroth, Nick Ham and Steven Pepper were flying the GDH flag and rumours of flouting kit check rules are rife, but they all managed to get through.

SP24-2

Pete set off at a sprint and was in 2nd place for at least 10 seconds.  Luke had claimed he just wanted a nice day out, but race fever took over and he soon flew off into the distance with Steven.

Official results don’t appear to be out yet but I hear Steven and Luke came joint 7th in 4:51.  Nick Ham recalls how it was “Scorchio” and that he was wearing “very little towards the end”.  But hey, we’ve all been in those types of races.

Unfortunately Pete retired at checkpoint 3 (which is suspiciouly close to home).

SP24-1

Steven giving helpful navigation advice to Luke.  Nick with more clothes on than towards the end.

Ilkley Fell Race

I had to use Google to find out where Ilkley is, but Mary Jeal clearly already knew as she was racing there on Sunday.  The Ilkley Harriers claim it’s a toughie with steep, slippery and rocky descents.  Mary set off in this typical February weather and came in 197th in 103:55.  Getting a fantastic 3rd FV50 in the process!

Parkrun Corner

Plenty of Harriers at Glossop parkrun this week with Caitlin Rice first lady (second overall) and Craig Leith coming in third.  Clive Hope bagged a new PB with a 71.34% age-grade – great running!

William Mather took to the track at Stretford and ran an all-time PB of 19:27 – rumours are that he only did it so that he could beat his sister.  Time to get some track spikes in surely?

Harriers were parkrunning all around the country (and some out of the country).  Check out the consolidated club report HERE

Anything else?

Don’t forget all subs are due this Thursday 28th February.  Miss the date and you’re banished from the club forever.  Probably.

After the roaring success of the time trial, Paul Skuse has volunteered to run another one this week.  Get yourself down to the leisure centre on Thursday for 7pm to give it a go!

Jeroen will have a lung-bursting session planned to get us all race-ready on Tuesday.

Remember, get your race reports in to gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com to make sure you’re included!

That’s a wrap folks – Last report in January

It’s that time of the year where new year resolutions are crumbling and dry-January folks have their eyes on next Friday.  We’ve all battled through Blue Monday and despite it initially looking like not much racing was going on there’s actually been a fair bit of GDH action this weekend.  We’ve received some detailed reports, so grab a brew/beer/gin/energy gel and settle down for the weekly news.

Before we launch into the full report, just a reminder that next weekend is the first of the club fell champs races – the Mickleden Straddle.  It’s a “BL” which I’m reliably informed means its Bloody Long.  I’ve just checked and it looks like the race is actually full, which renders this reminder a little useless.  Maybe you can bribe the organiser for a place if you haven’t got one already?  It’s a lesson to get those Champs entries in early!

Whilst we’re on reminders, it’s the club AGM on Wednesday at the Oakwood 7:30pm.  I’ve unfortunately not been able to attend one so I can’t reliably report on what happens, but there is an agenda and I hear there is generally some chair throwing at the end.  So definitely worth making an appearance.

Lyme Park Night Run

I’ve ran this one a couple of times myself and it’s a cracker.  Especially when you end up covered in glitter at the Ram’s Head in Disley and have to run for the last train… but that’s a completely different story.

Reports of the evening are thin on the ground, but Liam Amos is pushing strong rumours that he beat his dad.  However, Strava never lies and it looks to me like Paul Amos had a clear lead by 45 seconds.  We might need a video replay to settle this one.  Wendy McMahon described it as “ridiculously muddy” and perhaps she can tell us who was really over the line first?

Tigger Tor

Anyone seen Chris?

Nick Ham and Chris Jackson raced the Tigger Tor – a 9.7 mile romp somewhere east of here.  Chris found it “pretty hard work.  Especially with the headwind”.  Perhaps he meant headband, I don’t know.  Nick sent in a long report, some may say longer than his shorts, but you decide:

Long overdue, this was my first race from Sheffield Tigers RUFC. I’d plotted what I thought would be a likely route using Tracklogs and printed it out on A4 at 1:25,000. The distance came out to 9.6 miles – identical to official distance so I couldn’t be far off. I’d studied the weather forecast so went prepared for icy gales. In the clubhouse I spotted than man tower otherwise known as Chris Jackson. He was getting his excuses in early, saying something about coming back from injury and not having raced in AGES (Hit The Trail didn’t count as a proper race – yeah, right Chris). 😉

The kit check and registration queue was very long, with FRA rules rigorously enforced. Quite right too. I was going to run in full waterproof body cover to keep the wind out. I wasn’t wearing much underneath that, mind you. 😉 We gathered outside to wait to be checked through into the starting pen to ensure that all starters were correctly recorded. There were hundreds of us and we had to keep on squeezing forward to make room at the back.

Finally we were off, up the A625, right along Redcar Brook in a conga line (a familiar feature throughout the race), right on the lane at the top and left up the track. Halfway up, runners seemed to split, some veering off-piste to the left and others continuing up the track to the right. My assumed route followed the track so that’s what I did. MISTAKE! At the top we turned left to eventually join the others who had taken the short cut. We followed one streamline down to the one I had assumed. From now on I would just follow everyone else while keeping an eye on map and compass to compare. All I can say is that the single person trods we conga’d along did not match up with some paths on the map that we could have followed. Call it evolution.

The wind was vicious but I was just the right temperature in my clobber as I pootled along at my physical limit. At the end there was over a mile of downhill road, which did me in before the final bit of uphill to the rugby field: I have to own up to walking; I was wrecked; I got overtaken a bit; nothing new. I crossed the line in 1:55, which is OK. Anything under 2 hours will do me (but I must go back next year to follow the correct route and see if I can knock a few seconds off.) 🙂

Finally, I have finally inherited an old GPS watch and this was my second race so recorded (first one was yesterday’s Woodbank parkrun). So, after 23 years, thousands of races and millions of miles (almost), I am now official. From this weekend, it didn’t never happen.

The results are out:

Chris Jackson: (racing for Pennine) 1:29:27

Nick Ham: 1:54:48

Big Orienteering Weekend – Edinburgh

I was under the impression that Glossop was the north but apparently, there’s more.  Emma Peters brings us news of her annual attempt to navigate around Edinburgh at their “Big Orienteering Weekend”.

Part 1:  I travelled up to Edinburgh on Saturday morning (07:43 train, an ungodly time for a Saturday!…) with the Newcastle Uni Fell Running and Orienteering Club. We always attend this event as a club and this is my 4th year in a row, it’s such a great trip!

On the Saturday we do an urban orienteering event. Slight change this year as the World Orienteering Championships come to Edinburgh in 2022 so there’s currently an embargo on racing in the actual centre. However, this meant that we were based in a new area, so although being in a new place was of no help to my navigation, I really loved exploring a different area of the city. Things went more or less alright save for 1 pesky control point in a multi-levelled area that even had extra restrictions due to building works. So with that control taking me over 10 minutes to find I finished around 75th/95 competitors at last check…

Currently writing this as I refuel with coffee and cake before the Burns night ceilidh this evening- no rest for the wicked!

Part 2: So Sunday’s fell orienteering event has historically always gone very badly for me (please feel free to dig up my report from last year when I was out in a blizzard and had dropped my map…), so this year I dropped down a category to do a green race with the hopes of actually finding my way. I did a proper compass bearing at each control and took the time to work out where I was in the maze of paths in Holyrood park and by some miracle I found all the controls fairly easily! So not a quick time, but satisfying navigation. And actually when I finished I was ranked 1st senior female. Unfortunately I have no doubt that there were many more yet to take on the course, but for now let’s have it in writing that I spent time at the top.

Tentative plans for next year are forming in my mind of going up early enough for the Friday night sprint event and then a parkrun before the city and fell events so watch this space…

Northern Cross Country Championships

Chris Webb was aiming for a top-200 place at the Northern XC Championship.  No problem for a man of his calibre?  Read on to find out how he did:

I headed to Pontefract Racecourse this Saturday to see how I stacked up against the best cross country runners in the North (AKA: “going to get your backside kicked by a load of fast lads”) A surprisingly mild and dry day meant the all the talk pre-race was how great conditions were and how fast the course was running…I was praying for rain and mud. 800ish men lined up and the start was the usual warp-speed assault on the first corner. As I’ve found out before, 5:29min/mile (my first split) is NOWHERE in a field like this and I was already way down and surrounded by blokes that seemed far too comfortable considering the speed we were going on the undulating course. The race was longer than the usual local leagues at 12km, 3 long laps for the Senior Men in and around the horse race course. Anyway, despite the usual feeling of an impending heart-attack I managed not to completely fall apart. The aim was to finish top-200…I was 199th! It would be nice to get a better Glossopdale turnout for these big championships races in 2020, it’s great to be a part of and to see how you compare with the best runners.  In my case, I’d say there’a room for improvement!

Marmot Dark Mountains

Tim Culshaw and John Ryan took on the Marmot Dark Mountains which takes the classic two-day mountain marathon format, screws it up, and packs it all into one night. All the gossip below, sounds like a toughie:

John Ryan (mostly of Carnethy Hill Runners, sometimes of Glossopdale) and I entered the Dark Mountains elite course in 2017 and found that it required better legs and more navigational skill than we possessed. This year, we changed to the A course, and took preparation seriously. I bought some ski goggles and reviewed the GPS trace of 2017’s horror show. John prepared by removing the jack and wheel nut key from his car.

Once John had spent a couple of hours finding the means to fix his puncture, we set off an hour late, at 9pm, assured by the race organiser that we wouldn’t be disadvantaged, although the 11am course closure time would still apply. But obviously nearly 14 hours would be enough, so we didn’t need to worry.

After our chastening experience in the elite course two years ago, we took a conservative approach: stay warm; walk a lot to avoid getting lost or tired; if possible, choose routes that will be forgiving of mistakes. This was going pretty well for a while – we made a few medium blunders, but we were never totally lost. Things started to get more difficult when the heavy rain was replaced by heavy snow then 50mph winds and -4C temperatures. With low visibility and snow-covered ground, a couple of the checkpoints were impossible for us to find quickly. By the time we reached the halfway point, we were very tired and slow, facing a second half all into the wind.

We started worrying about the 11am cut-off, but although tired, we were staying warm enough, so we kept going. We clearly weren’t going to win, but we would be pleased to complete the course. As we started ‘towards’ the fourth from last, we had plenty of time to finish.

Unfortunately, I was totally wrecked and my brain was working even less well than my legs. My navigation became appalling, although as far as I was concerned it was perfect: I argued that my compass wasn’t pointing north, and the Pennines, which I could see on the horizon, were in the wrong place. At one point, I genuinely couldn’t remember John’s name. I guided John to a control that he helpfully pointed out was number 3, while we were looking for 15, which was 4km away. John wrested our only remaining map and compass from me and we discussed whether we should call it a day – at our current pace we had no chance. We decided that the time for quitting would have been about eight hours earlier, so we should give it a go. Anyway, we’d feel better about ourselves if we quit in 20 minutes once we were certain finishing was impossible

For the next 50 minutes, John helpfully carried my bag and I gave absolutely everything I had. Beating the cut-off remained just within reach, but still unlikely. My main worry was that if we got timed out, I’d feel like I should try it again next year. Even as we entered the race HQ we weren’t sure we were in time. We staggered over the line and dibbed the final control at 10:59, with less than one-minute left. We took 13 hours and 49 minutes to come last out of six finishers in the A class.

Parkrun Corner

It looked like an epic battle at Parkrun on Saturday with Harriers making up six of the top ten.  Sean Phillips came in first with Steve Knowles a few seconds later who bagged a PB in the process, followed by Steve Page, Craig Leith, Phil Swan and Matt Crompton.

Immy Trinder came in as first lady, with Josie Swan second with a fantastic new PB.  She also looks to be getting close to joining the 100 club – great work!

Several Harriers seem to be edging towards the 250 landmark – that’s a lot of laps of Manor Park.  We all love laps of Manor Park, don’t we? #MPM

Scattering ourselves around the country, there was plenty of action elsewhere – check out the consolidated club report HERE

Anything else?

Chris Webb’s XC sessions are going strong every Wednesday – this week is long loops with large lungs needed – be there (or at the AGM).  Tuesday training session and Thursday social all going on as normal.

Phew…. so there you go.  January almost boxed off.  Remember, if you want to make sure you get a mention send your scribblings and photos to gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com  We have a team on standby eagerly anticipating weekly news.