Author Archives: elsgdh

Late Summer Madness

It is a relatively short report this week due to an apparent lull in the racing calendar however, never fear, the lack of official races did not put a complete dampener on the club’s running antics.  Many thanks to Phil Swan, Dan Stinton, John Pollard and Simon Toole for their contributions.  

Trunce #8 (courtesy of Phil Swan)

Four intrepid Glossopdalers met up in sunny Penistone for Trunce #8 and the penultimate opportunity to bag Trunce points in the Club Champs. Caitlin Swan came first in the junior girls, completing her 6th Trunce junior race this year with a target of a top 3 placing in the series. Working out your position is not easy though as competitors get bonus points for PBs in each race so it takes more than just high placings.

In the seniors, Phil had a typically “credible” race but missed his PB by two seconds because the great doofus still hasn’t found the watch he ‘put down’ somewhere in the house at Easter.  

As the starter shouted “Go!”, Zoe “still talking in the sprint finish” Barton suddenly flipped her race strategy from “just jog round” to “full beans” after clocking that a good placing was needed because other Glossopdalers might do other Trunce races and bag better times than her. A stonking effort ensued with her barrelling down the final straight into a close 6th place and 3rd Vet Female placing.

Marie “I thought this was just the warm up” Williamson cruised around the course in fine style and joins the select few with Trunce points this year. Here are the results:

  • Caitlin Swan 17m23s (junior course)
  • Phil Swan 31m12s
  • Zoe Barton 34m59s
  • Marie Williamson 45m24s

The last Trunce of 2019 will be on Monday 9 Sept, 6.45pm sharp!!

UTMP/ MPM/ Parkrun and umpteen permutations in between (courtesy of Dan Stinton)

Round and round the garden…. What started as a stupid idea remains a stupid idea, but that hasn’t stopped more and more people giving it a go.  What a glorious spread of blue and orange at Manor Park on Saturday as the Harriers came to run parkrun laps, and more importantly, eat lots of food.

It all started at midnight on Friday when Guy Riddell, Bartek Verde and handful of GLOATURS set off on the Ultra Trail Manor Park (UTMP).  I have no idea what happened overnight, perhaps a few scuffles with some local drunk youths or an altercation with a sleeping duck, but one thing is for certain there was a lot of laps going on.  Various people seemed to turn up during the night and disappear, their names on the official whiteboard the only indication they’d ever been there.  Elanor Swan gave a solid excuse with “Hair Appointment” written next to her lap count [Ed: 🙂 ].  Tracey Robinson was there early-doors as she’d just flew in from Corfu and was heading back out on another shift later on Saturday!

As the sun was rising, the aid station started looking more and more appetising as more MPM’ers brought supplies and started running.  Steve Crossman, Kirsty Sharp, Caitlin Rice and Tim Culshaw also started early but risked disqualification by flouting the rules and changing direction every five laps presumably so they would see more people.  Joss was everywhere.  Clothes were coming off (it was that kind of race) and the pressure was rising to keep pace and get the target laps in.  A fully-laden Immy Trinder was spotted powering through the park hideously early heading to meet Mark Davenport for some tough hill training before coming back for some laps.

As a more sensible hour approached the numbers started increasing much to the confusion of early-morning dog walkers, the people setting up the fairground and that bloke in the shop who is always moaning.

I’ve cobbled together the results table, so congratulations to Bartek Verde who took the UTMP crown with 49 laps and Steve Page picking up the MPM top-spot.  Of course, there were a few fantastic marathon times by Steve Crossman, Sean Phillips and Richard Martin but they just couldn’t stop lapping and pushed themselves into the UTMP category! Caitlin Rice and Kirsty Sharp also completed the marathon distance with Kate Bowden, Ian “New Shoes Again” Crutchley and Alison Holt closely behind.  As you’ll see from the results, there were loads more runners who did fantastically with half-marathons and double-parkruns a ‘plenty.

There was loads of food afterwards with brownies from Lynne Taylor (also celebrating her 50th parkrun) and bacon sandwiches that had taken a trip up to James’ Thorn earlier (thanks Immy!).  

It was great to get so many Harriers together but at the same time with everyone taking on whatever they fancied!  Whilst I didn’t do any official surveys, I’m going to believe that everyone enjoyed it ….. same time next year?!?

NOT the Manor Park marathon…. Morecambe Prom marathon!! (courtesy of Simon Toole)

Unable to join in with Saturday’s parkrun related madness in Manor Park, Simon Toole created his own crazy at a parkrun in Morecambe …

Once the date came out for this year’s manor park marathon I soon realised we were away. Shall we go Saturday afternoon instead of Friday night so I can do the marathon? I tentatively asked my wife….. ‘No!’ was the resounding answer. No point arguing, so plan B it was and on to Morecambe, only 10 minutes from where we are staying.

To my surprise when I got down there at just after 5 am I was the only competitor, bad advertising this Dan, so off I set just me a road sweeper and the occasional dog walker.  A beautiful morning and for the ducks at Glossop swap with seagulls and the duck pond  the Irish sea which was like a duck pond at the time with great views across the bay.

8 and a bit laps would complete the marathon but I got my timing wrong and had to do another lap after the park run to complete it so as I came in to have my bar code scanned and told the marshals what I was doing Idiot and pillock were mentioned followed by good luck messages as I set off for the last lap.  Finally finished so here are the results: Marathon time 5.07 hrs; parkrun time 38.08; 1st v 50;  1st overall …in a field of erm ….1 oh well it’s still a 1st.

Very enjoyable and I could have inadvertently started marathon park run tourism…..just an idea. 

Pilsley Fell Race

Nick Ham was the only Harrier to take part in the mid Pilsley Fell Race on Thursday.  Nick completed the 9.8 km course (with 245m of climbing) in just less than an hour. Nick’s brief summary from Facebook says it all: “I love this race”.

Black Combe Country Fair Fell Race (courtesy of John Pollard)

I could tell you all about the route, the route options, the terrain, the climb, the heat, the competitors, the lovely country fair in Bootle…but I can’t tell you I finished as I had to give it best and turn around….was the right decision after making a wrong choice and having to fight through fierce bracken, falling, doing my Achilles in again. Really disappointed to DNF but I live to fight another day.  Oddly only 28 or so turned out for this, nearly all Black Combe club runners…maybe too much competition in the Lakes this weekend. I was third last when I pulled out!

Reuben’s Retreat C2C Cycle

Cheryl and Paul Stitt appear to have spent the bank holiday weekend cycling coast to coast ( 170 ish miles from Morecambe to Spurn Point) in the sunshine to raise funds for Reuben’s Retreat.  Great effort Team Stitt!

Parkrun Corner

As Dan and Simon have already mentioned most eloquently,  Harriers were in various stages of parkruin at Glossop and Morecombe this week.  Entering into the spirit of things, John Stephenson  also tried to ruin his appearance at Livingston parkrun with a 9 mile warm up. Elsewhere, Harriers were in action at Pollok, Woodbank, Lyme Park, Hyde, Medina IOW, Oakwell, Cranleigh, Whinlatter Forest, Penrhyn, Swansea Bay, Chasewater and Marple Juniors.  The consolidated club results can be found at:

Other News….

The deadline for pre-entering the South East Lancs Cross Country series is fast approaching (Friday 27th September).  XC is a great way to make friends / maintain winter running motivation/ justify wearing shorts and a vest in winter/ play in various types of mud/ wear spikes and look cool / go completely numb in all your extremities  [delete as appropriate]… so, if you are interested, check out Kirsty Sharp’s recent message on FB.  I understand that Chris Webb will be co-ordinating GDH’s participation in the Manchester League XC again this year and will be messaging about this soon.

We are still looking for a few more volunteers for the John Hewitt Memorial Shelf Moor Fell Race on 1st Sept.  If you are able to help, the RO (Emma Rettig) would be delighted to hear from you.

As the summer starts to draw to an end (boo!) and as our thoughts turn to the joy that is winter racing and the cross country season (yay!), there is still chance to take part in the final few midweek races.  Some of the races in the Harriers’ collective sights over the next few weeks are Barrel Inn, Eyam (Tuesday 27 Aug 6:30pm), Longstone ( Friday 6 Sept 6:30pm)  and the final Trunce (Monday 9 Sept 6:45pm).  Why not give them a go and then tell us all about it at Go on, you know you want to.

Have a good week and happy running!


The utter joy of the Dark Peak 15 Trigs – An Epic by Ian C.

I’d been eyeing the Dark Peak 15 Trigs for a while.  A challenge devised by Dark Peak Fell Runners, visiting all 15 trig points on the Harveys Dark Peak map in 15 hours (55+ miles and about 8300 ft of climb).  Glossop sits almost exactly halfway round the official route, which starts over at The Sportsman in Lodge Moor.  However, as Glossop’s very own Royal Oak sits directly on the route, quite a few have set off from there.  But to legitimise this, one must veer off to visit the Sporty, obviously sitting about halfway round for us.

 It’s much better done during the summer for the longer days, but this did mean interfering with my steady diet of AS fell races.  I genuinely had no clue when I could fit it in, but was certainly not prepared to compromise the race season with boring distance training.  So it’ll fit where it fits, and I’ll just have to grind it out.  The chance came to go on Sunday 14th July, this being cleared just 3 days before.  At 05.05 I set off from the Oak in an anti-clockwise direction.  Here’s the summary/ earnings/result:

Lubrication: Always ensure all sensitive areas have been properly lubricated prior to big distance.  If you forget one such area, it WILL let you know sooner or later.

Solo or accompanied? : Before: “Solo, I want to immerse myself in the task, and with my own thoughts”.  After: “What utter nonsense”.  You need somebody else to share some of the misery, particularly toward the end. 

Kinder Clag x Edge Path Sand:  The clag on Kinder was thick, averaging about 50m vis from Harry Hut to Crookstone Knoll, where it mercifully cleared.  The clag and forays off the edge path meant my feet were soaked, and the constant kicking up of the sandy Edge Path made for a highly efficient “in shoe” grinding paste.  My feet are wrecked, and the career as a foot model will have to wait a little longer.

Heather Bashing: Plenty.  The worst section of it was from Emlin to the Back Tor ridge.  Perhaps 3 miles of gradual up, picking your way through a patchwork quilt of heather, all at various stages of burn-back/re-growth.  Take your pick from either: thigh deep heather – very slow and hard work.  Or freshly burned heather – its quicker, but literally death by a thousand cuts (why do the “branches” of heather not burn!?!).  Soul destroying.

Bag Drop:  Drop the bag for any out and back sections.  Absolute bliss.

Weight Loss:  Ladies, drop 2 dress sizes in a day.  Lads, lose that paunch alarming quickly.  Seriously, this is not a healthy weight loss strategy!  I lost ½ stone in 15 hours. 

Recces:  Highly recommend recceing the ground between the Sporty and Emlin trig point, as it’s a bit fiddly.  Spending hours looking at maps, google earth and reading peoples accounts is highly recommended.  You really can’t spend too much time doing this!

Water:  Glossop tap water is much better than Sheffield tap water.  Abbey Brook near Howden Edge is completely undrinkable.  Hern Clough isn’t too bad.  The best by far was out of Bull Clough, next to Cutgate.  The nicest water I ever had.  Maybe.

Navigation : By and large the nav went well.  Ironically that is, until the final section from Higher Shelf to Cock Hill.  Very familiar turf, but I was so tired, befuddled, and stressed about the cut-off, I just couldn’t concentrate.  I went wrong 3 times in the home stretch! 

High Point: That glass of Coke at the Sportsman.

Low Point:   The climb up the back of Alport Moor.  It’s incredibly steep, I was completely done and the maths was telling me that a 15 hour finish was now pretty much impossible……

Time Schedule:  Helpfully, somebody from DPFR has created a 15 hour schedule for the route.  However, I soon learned that this works well when you start at the Sporty, but not so well when you start at Glossop.  You see, the leg times are biased taking into account that you will start fresh and slow down later on.  That’s fine, but the official first half, is our second half!  So the bias is the wrong way for us!

Result:   As a result of this time schedule issue, I was 1.5 hours ahead at the halfway point – “this isn’t so hard!”  However, that was quickly eaten away in the second half.  At Cock Hill I had 24 minutes remaining to get to the Oak.  With fresh legs that would be fairly easy.  55 miles down, and its unthinkable.  Somehow I got to the bridge in Mossy Lea with 5 minutes to go.  The only thing standing between me and glory was about 500m of distance, but that horrific climb over the corner of Shire Hill.  I ditched the bag and muscled up, all or nothing, and somehow produced 6 minute mile pace through the woods and down to the Oak.  God knows what the group of drinkers thought as I flew around the corner, and immediately collapsed on the floor.  Watch stopped at 15.00.02, but was probably 10 seconds before I thought to stop it.  I did it, but scraped in with the most ridiculous of slim margins.  A great day out, success (just), but it was hard work (and I made hard work of it) in the final few miles.

More info on the 15 trigs here if anyone’s interested, including a nice account from Tim Budd and a few GDH co-conspirators, from their completion in 2011.  The above collage of “Trig Selfies” was compiled whilst I was incapacitated on Monday.   Various states of misery/ confusion / euphoria on offer here.

School’s out and running is still very much in!

Yet again, we have been spoilt for choice for evening and weekend races this week (all days except Tuesday and Friday by the look of things) and it turns out that quite a few Harriers have been doing real life sport rather than just watching other people exerting themselves on catchup TV  (the Netball World Championship and the Tour de France in my case).

Trunce (courtesy of Caitlin Swan)

Casting all the way back to Monday, Matt and Adam Crompton and Caitlin Swan headed over to Penistone for the 5th race in the Trunce series.  Many thanks to Matt for acting as the junior team chauffeur this week…From Caitlin, “I really enjoyed The Trunce this week because the weather was just right, maybe a little too hot, and I wasn’t the only Glossopdale Harrier there. I think that Matt and Adam also enjoyed it however Adam had an issue with his leg, making it hard for him to run. Despite this, we all had very good runs with Adam coming 18th Junior Male and Matt coming well above half way through the pack. I was 3rd girl.  The best bit of this adventure (and I am sure Adam will agree) was that afterwards we had delicious ice-creams in Penistone.

Pirates of the GDH Skusey-Full-Beans: The Curse of the Black Knight Charge Report (courtesy of Rob Sheldon)

The GDH crew set-off for the Black Knight Charge on Wednesday aboard two vengabus galleons with Captains’ Pete “room for a small one” Wallroth and Steve “hot dog crust pizza” Page at the helms.

The Black Knight Charge is an arduous 5k out and back across fields/roads/tracks around Daisy Nook Country Park…..which is just to get you from race HQ to the start line and back.  This was all too much for the GDH crew, resulting in some dissension in the ranks – me and John “what holes…..this vest’s got plenty of life left in yet” Stephenson and me elected to combine Jeroen’s ‘high-knees’ routine with a rendition of ‘Give me Sunshine’, while Luke “please don’t take me” Holme and Will “three ultras before breakfast” Mather resorted to chasing each other around a kids’ playground/wooden boat as part of a non-approved Jeroen warm-up routine………the wooden boat would prove to be Wendy “I could have made it as a gymnast” Trelease’s nemesis on the return leg.

Eventually, the hardy GDH crew made it to the start line which was somewhere between a couple of trees at the bottom of a hill and set off in pursuit of a medley of East Cheshire Harriers, Hyde Striders and Oldham & Royton Road Runners.  As Captain Paul “Redbeard” Skusey (don’t ask) hadn’t done the race before, it was left to me to utter the immortal GDH mantra…..”it’s all runnable'”, and with that, we were off around a fast trail course, a loop of the park and then out on trails and paths and back again for a fairly fast and furious 10k (a bit like Hit the Trail but more woods and a few more bumps in the middle to negotiate).  Skusey went for ‘full-beans mode’ (I know, that may come as a surprise to some of you) and came 9th out of 177 followed by Steve “have you tried cheeseburger pizza?” Page and Nick “praise the” Lord.   Behind the full-beans crew, me, Will and Luke had an awesome battle all the way round – Will “is that it?” Mather came 30th, Luke “Death or Glory” Holme came tearing past me on the line in 33rd (good effort!) and I came in 34th followed by the rest of our buccaneering GDH crew (including Rachel “Rules are there to be broken” Walton who decided to ignore the finish funnel as she headed for a reunion with her GDH crew-mates and David “Skull & Crossbones”  Chrystie-Lowe).

Pirate Pete Wallroth pressganged an unsuspecting runner into taking a picture on the way back to race HQ, which gave the GDH crew another opportunity to board the kids wooden boat/playground – various pirate poses were adopted and some high-quality pirate jokes were told….”where do pirates go shopping? Arrrrrrrrrrrrgos” – with the pictures done, we all abandoned ship….apart from Wendy “this is higher than it looks” Trelease, who was abandoned by the rest of the GDH crew as she dangled precariously from the crow’s nest.

Back at Race HQ, hot-pot was on offer for all the finishers…….I also discovered that Pirate Paul “Full Beans”  Skuse doesn’t just get animated about races, but is almost delirious when offered the option of cheese and onion pie (it’s not ‘full beans’, but it’s pretty close).  The GDH results are as follows:

Sheldon Fell Race (courtesy of Lance Hamilton-Griffiths)

On Thursday evening Simon, Paul and I headed off to the Sheldon Fell race. Sheldon is the most delightful village nestled in the fields of the white peak, when we arrived there was a nice buzz and plenty of people readying for the race.

After a little warm up and recce of the last ½ mile we headed for the start line, there was a fantastic atmosphere with 176 runners ready-ing themselves for the 4 miles of ‘fun’. After a looking around the start  and noticing a lot of young and fast looking people on the front row I lowered my expectations of finishing in the top 50 to finishing in the top half.

It’s a full beans downhill start through the village, after a small climb out of the village we turned left into the fields and the race really took hold. We sped across the fields for about a 1 mile as fast as our balance and legs would allow, Si & Paul clocking sub 5 min mile and me just trying to hold on. At the end of the fields the race turns onto a trail and then heads up through the woods on what is largely a single path with a steep drop off the edge and lots of tree roots(which I managed to kick a couple of times with my already painful toe).  At the end of the wooded trail you hit a hill which could easily be mistaken for a wall, a sharp 200m climb brings you back out into the fields and heading back to the top of the village.  Once you hit the village it is a 100m spirit downhill through the local crowd, under the colourful bunting and across the line.

The official results have not been published yet however: Paul finished in a very impressive 18th, Simon 23rd, and I’m hoping to have been in the top half.  This is a very well organised race, well worth a visit next year and at £5 it’s a bargain.

Ras Yr Wydda – Snowdon International Race (courtesy of Matt Crompton)

Someone once described this on to me as the “London Marathon of fell races” and I can see why. Televised by S4C, international teams, and crowds lining the streets of Llanberis to send runners on their way up the mountain and applaud them back in. And unusually for a fell race – an obvious start and finish line!!
2pm, I lined up as the sole runner in blue and orange. A steep road climb away from the village was followed by a runnable section pretty much all the way to just before Clogwyn, about three quarters up the hill. Then the climbing started in earnest, pretty much all the way to the summit.
The pain of the climb was helped by the distraction of watching, and admiring, the top men and women coming back down. The way they descend with such ease really is some sight. 
Anyway, I reached the summit in 1hr 12m. Then straight back down the same way. Save for turning my ankle just after the top, I was happy with the descent, reaching the finish line back in the village in 1hr 54.
I know a lot of members have done this race before, but if you haven’t then I can recommend it. It still feels like a local race, and I was really struck with the “welshness” of it all – a very big positive! Yet at the same time it felt like an “event race”. Cracking fun! 

Denholme Doddle (courtesy of Nick Ham)

Many, many years ago (we’re talking 2000, 2002 and 2003) I did an LDWA challenge event called the Harden Hard’un. It was based in Harden, east of Haworth and consisted of 27 tough miles up and down and across the moors in the summer heat. It became defunct a long time ago but was resurrected in recent years as the Denholme Doddle, now based in (you guessed it) Denholme, which is a little further west. Yesterday, Saturday 20th July I finally got the chance to do it all again 16 years later.

My previous best time was 5:49 in 2003 and slowest 6:05 in 2002. Those years were hot. Back then I regarded myself as not much more than a part time jogger. This year promised to be considerably cooler and more damp, so perfect for a PB (I bet you know where this is headed already).

The somewhat chaotic and rambling organiser set the walkers off at 08:30. The wind was blowing but the rain hadn’t arrived yet. Then it was time for us to register before our start time of 09:30. Our send-off was even more chaotic, and late (he couldn’t cope with the hooter that had just been given to him to send us on our way). By now, drizzle borne energetically upon the strong wind had caused me to set off wearing my lightweight Montane ‘waterproof’ (it’s anything but). Within a mile I was burning up, so off that came to get tied around my waist, where it remained for the remainder of the event. The frequent scudding drizzle showers, which lasted until around midday, were sufficiently ‘warm’ for shorts and T-shirt to be just right while running.

At the first checkpoint I was greeted by an array of sweets to get any kid excited. I saw tubes of Bassett’s cherry drops, which took my mind back to the late sixties when I used to beg them from my Auntie Edna. I never knew they were still made. Barely able to contain myself, I took a tube and opened it on the run. It was quite damp from the rain. Being wrapped in paper, risk of disintegration and disgorging of contents was high, but I managed to wheedle not one but TWO out of the packet to suck on simultaneously, in tandem, all at the same time. “Push the boat out” I thought. “Fill me boots, knock meself out.” The taste brought it all flooding back. I was reminded why I begged so for the opening of the handbag 50 years ago. Ooh, I were in me filament.

At Checkpoint 2 a different array of sweets was available. A couple of soft cola bottle chews went down well from there. After CP2 I ran ahead of the others I’d been with. With all the faster runners out of sight ahead and the slower ones out of sight behind, I was navigating alone from the route description. I was surprised how I couldn’t remember any of the route from 16+ years ago. It all seemed new to me.

On the approach to Checkpoint 3 at 12 miles (Walshaw Dean Middle Reservoir dam), the sun finally came out. There were tuna wraps on offer here. I filled my boots again as I trundled up the Pennine Way towards Top Withins, down to Bronte Bridge and straight up the other side to pick up the far track left to Checkpoint 4 on the edge of Penistone Hill.

Passing to the south of Haworth and crossing the steam railway at Oxenhope, I trundled onwards via CP5 to CP6 at Harden (24 miles), by which time I was slowing and struggling to keep the jog going, but still there was no sign of any pursuers. Having just turned back south again, it was just a case of grinding out the last 3.5 miles to the finish in the now rather warm sunshine. With less than a mile to go, the pursuers appeared, three of the perishing blighters. Although I really couldn’t, I dialled up the uphill shuffle to 11 back to the Denholme Mechanics’ Institute. They caught me at the finishing desk. Our times were 6:41. I could never imagine doing it in 5:49 now. Even though I’m ‘only’ 55, it’s sobering if a little depressing what age does to athletic ability.

Holme Moss (courtesy of Jude Stansfield and Paul Skuse)

After some stirring words penned by Paul S. on FB earlier in the week, 4 Harriers ventured over to Holme Moss for today’s race.  Here are some brief race notes from the racing machines that are Jude Stansfield and Paul Skuse.

From a slightly broken Paul….This race is the mother of local fell races. Just look at the lumps it takes in and the terrain it covers. It’s a challenging yet rewarding course with more cake than you know what to do with at the end. If you haven’t done it, you really should. It’s a true classic.

Craig Leith turned up last minute with zero kit so had to scrounge whatever he could (big thanks to Austin Frost from Dark Peak for helping out here). Rather than a race vest he had to use my Harriers drop bag; the one that looks like a kid’s school bag.

Si Watts came in first for GDH-no idea about times or positions. He did take quite a few spills along the way but I’ve been informed by eye witnesses that he did a belting job on the descents.

Craig Leith came in second for the club and won a V50 prize (it’s in my bag; we need to sort handing it over). He also shared his water with me when he saw me in a ragged state. Appreciate it matey.

I had a mare. Just one of those days/races where it doesn’t come together. I just wanted to finish. You know when you can’t swallow your food and are just perpetually thirsty? That was me. I did enjoy picking/ eating whimberries(?) so that’s a plus.

Jude Stansfield may have got a prize; I’m not sure how that whole thing got resolved.  Special note about our part time friend Chris Jackson, he had a brilliant run and came 5th overall.

From a seemingly less broken Jude….A tough and warm 27km but thoroughly enjoyed it apart from the last killer road section. Really pleased with 4:10 (as it was only 12’ slower than my last time 9 years ago).. Really well organized, great prizes, loads of cake.

Solway Coast Marathon (courtesy of Will Mather)

So a marathon in the Lake District it’s got to have some hills in right? No they claim it’s flatter than Manchester but with the wind it felt very hilly. I believe I was the only Glossopdale Harrier to give this a go.  It started near an airfield in Solway did a 6mile loop, it was far too hot for me I was already throwing water down my back, then it was off out to run a big loop of the coastal road it was beautiful having the beach/sea next to you then the Scottish mountains in the distance, but with any beauty there must be a beast – the bloody wind. I managed 14miles before problems started, basically my core needs to improve. So for 12 miles it was a battle to keep moving, I stopped 3 times to try stretch it out but nothing worked so went to plan C, just finish. I got to the finish line in chip time of 3hr25min30sec which got me 30th from 150 which isn’t too bad not a PB but plenty of lessons learnt and it was a beautiful low key race I would recommend it if your that way next year. 

Coniston Fell Race (courtesy of John Pollard)

Quick details about the country fair fell race this afternoon, much briefer than my ascent certainly!  A straight up and down the Old Man of Coniston as the Old man of Glossopdale toiled to keep up with the young whipper snappers in an entry of only 36.

These Lakes events have got to toughen you up, there’s no passengers in these fields;
as the organiser said when I asked him if “there might be some trods to pick up”…”it’s an old fashioned fell race lad (lad?!), get up and down how you like”… I managed ok until I nearly ended up in Torver trying to get back to the show field, they don’t waste time on marshals in these shows!  I ended up at the rear again as the climb took its toll and the clag came down in the last part of the climb, wind against you going up, behind you blowing you over on descending…not ideal.

I finished in about 1hr 50m and was 35th of 36 starters. But I was last, as one bloke pulled his calf on t’way up. Legend Darren Fishwick came tearing back down past me at one point, shouting he’d been stung by a bee…I was just stung by the climb.

Other running and racing antics gleaned from FB and Strava:

  • Oldham 7k:  Completed by a delightfully colour coordinated Tony Hillier in 37.57.
  • Bamford Carnival Fell Race:  Jude Stansfield was 1st GDH in 44 mins and without any rain  “Lovely (apart from the Tarmac bits)”
  • Dark Peak 15 Trigs: Ian Crutchley completed this crazy 55 mile challenge last Sunday. The write up for this is great and worthy of a blog of its own >
  • Earlier in the month Jude Stansfield and Lins Palmer fast hiked/ ran the Tour du Mont Blanc in a sociable 6 days (5.5 active days).  It was absolutely spectacular and highly recommended. The heatwave was pretty hellish making even downhill running exhausting (not possible!). They did a few variation high passes for a bit of ‘interesting’ ascent (boulder fields, moraines, slushy fragile snow – Jude was very grateful for being with super Lins who assured her that should wouldn’t fall  into a glacial melt running under the snow and get trapped ;).  Happily Lins was right.  10,500m of alpine flowered ascent and 165km long.  As it wasn’t enough to just go round Mont Blanc, Lins has just climbed to the top this week!

Parkrun Corner

GDH parkrunners were running far and wide this weekend; Richmond Park, Hyde, Brighouse, Medina IOW, Marple, Marple Juniors, Dewsbury, Portobello, Whinlatter, Bakewell and, of course, Glossop, where Josie Swan completed her 100th run.   The full club parkrun results are available at:

In Other News….

New Hoodie Supplier:  We are in the process of finalising a new hoodie supplier.  Once this is set up, you will be able to order your own kit online rather than waiting for bulk orders.  Hopefully our club ordering page will be up and running in the next few days.

Spin Classes:  Cheryl Stitt is looking at setting up spin classes for the club.  There are a number of possible times available.  If you are interested, please see Cheryl’s recent posts on the club FB page.

Aqua Fun:  Dan Ellingworth has kindly booked Hathersage Pool for the club again:  5-6pm on 17th August with the Aquarun inflatable. For more info, check out the event section on the GDH FB page.


A little light racing

In a break from the last few weeks, there appears to have been very little racing this week and the million dollar question is …. has Team GDH peaked already for 2019 and worn its collective self out or is it biding its time for a glorious summer season?  Only time (and Strava) will tell.   Needless to say, not everyone had their feet up….

Dovestone Diamond 10k

Back after its 2018 cancellation, the Dovestone Diamond was this week’s midweek race of choice for Team GDH.   Here are some words from Paul Skuse….

Okay, so the weather wasn’t great, the route wasn’t that challenging and I got my arse kicked by the fat lad and Mr Grumpy but I loved it; this is what racing is supposed to be.  A few of us did a recce a week or so ago guided by “Smiley” Crossman; back then, the skies were blue, the grass was green and I thought I had an idea of how the race would play out. Fast forward to Wednesday night and the weather has turned and not for the better. It’s still fairly warm but it’s raining non-stop and the wind is picking up. Conditions are actually great for racing but it’s less than ideal for hanging around in. Fortunately there is plenty of space in the race HQ. The Harriers arrive in dribs and drabs, getting vested and numbered up. Tony H is there, chatting with John Pollard, eager to give the DD another go. Our GDH race crazy ladies are in town and are looking for some hot trail action: Charmayne, Jo B, Becky Smith and Tracey (racking up the miles this week). Guy Riddell is loitering with Will Mather in the race HQ and is up for his first midweeker in ages. Rob Sheldon is racking up a nice tally of races this season and looks resplendent with his fluorescent  green shoes and accessories.  It’s great seeing so many faces especially Si Toole as it’s his first race in ages. Welcome back mucker! Some opt for multiple layers. Ian “Crutches” Crutchley insists we just wear vests and it’s the right call. A quick warm up shows us that conditions underfoot aren’t too bad but the wooden bridges will be interesting. And then we get the call to go to the start line. I wish we’d got a team photo. It’s the best turnout I’ve seen in a long time and it really is great to see.

The route has a fast start (don’t they all?). If you don’t get out fast you will get caught up in the bottle neck so beans it! Jackson gets ahead on the climb. He is on top form and thankfully wearing the blue and orange for this one. I’m having a battle with Crossman from the start. The plan was to make gains on the climb and try and stay ahead on the flat where he can out pace me. The new plan is just keep pushing and if he tries to get past, push harder. After the climb we head into the woods where plenty of low branches should slow Jackson down a little. No such luck. He’s still increasing the distance between us. I’ve got nothing to catch him. Just focus on Crossman. The route is nice and traily, a few rocks, a few dips but it’s all fast and runnable. A quick shout out from Alice Swift and then another from Neil Shuttleworth. Cheers guys. We then cross a bridge and it’s now more road trail than fell trail. What has Jackson been eating? He’s miles ahead of us and Crossman is still on my shoulder. I can hear his footsteps but not his breathing. I’m sounding like a deflated accordion and we are not even halfway. Keep pushing. I try and make a break from Crossman on the climb after the dam. Head down and push harder. Crossman calls me back. I’ve just gone past the gate with the marshal and the big feckin’ arrow. Sometimes head down racing isn’t the best option! We continue to push on, manage to overtake the youngster ahead of us and do the switch back over the final dam. I wish I knew where the finish line was, I keep assuming it’s around every bend I see. Then there’s the slippery, slimy, wet, wooden bridge. Steve even calls a halt to our race so we can both get over in one piece. And then the final sprint to shame or glory. Chris Jackson is already home and dry. For someone who claims he has no flat pace, he is flying. With barely 20 yards to go, Crossman decides he’s has enough fun toying with me and steams ahead over the finishing line. I have to smile and applaud him. The best way to get faster is to get a racing partner like Steve. We get a quick team photo, soaked to the skin and grinning like idiots (not Steve obviously). 

Lucy W. comes in as first lady. I knew she was fast but not this fast.  If Immy and Jess were here we’d have the ladies team prize for sure. “Crutches” is next with Rob “Day-Glo” Sheldon right on his tail. Ian looks done in, he’s given it his all and has blitzed it. We can’t decide if Rob has fallen on his arse or just kicked up half the trail on his shorts. Will “the Impaler” Mather, being just behind him assured us it was the latter and says he will wear goggles if he gets behind him again. At this point, all residual heat is gone (is it convection, conduction or radiation?) and I’m stood shivering in the rain with a sopping wet vest so had to get some layers on. Sorry I didn’t get to see all of you pass the finish line.

  • 1st Lady: Lucy Wasinski
  • 1st V50 Lady: Jo Brack (no photos, sorry)
  • x3 1st Male Vets:  Paul Skuse, Steve Crossman and Tony Hillier
  • 1st men’s team: Chris Jackson, Paul Skuse, Steve Crossman
  • x2 most awkward handshake awards

Wincle Trout Fell Race

This weekend’s country fete based fell race was the Wincle Trout Run. Picturesque and challenging in equal measure, the race involves running through woods and across high moorland, steep stoney descents and a lengthy river crossing…beware the lurking photographers.  The senior race is 9.5km with 320m of climbing and the junior race takes in all of the best bits of the senior route in 3km.   This is another race that typically sells out months in advance so Becky Smith was the only organised-enough senior GDH (might have been a last minute place swap?).  Caitlin Swan was the only representative of the GDH junior wing, Josie having unfortunately turned her ankle on the pre-race walk round (d’oh).

Conditions were hot and humid and both ladies did really well.  Becky completed the senior course in 1:03 (18th lady or thereabouts) and Caitlin was 4th junior girl (3rd in her age category).  Becky got a fish and Caitlin got a medal.

Isle of Wight Running Festival

Claire Campbell completed the “famously tough” Needles Half today as part of the Isle of Wight Running Festival.  Claire was 29th Lady in 2:05 which is all the more impressive given that she probably did the Tapnell 10k during yesterday’s running related festivities.

Welsh 1000m Peaks

Kasia Osipowicz was again doing hard core running in Wales.  This time at the 49th edition of the Welsh 1000m Peaks Race which takes in the five peaks of Snowdonia in 30km and 2,500m of up.  Kasia seems to have had a brilliant race.  In her own words from Strava…”a whole 18 mins faster than last year and was very pleased despite (!!! <Ed>) placing 4th lady, 3rd age category and 24th overall”.  

A Grand Round

Tim Budd seems to have again forgotten about the risks associated with fraternising with Chris ‘silver tongue’ Webb and this week found himself supporting John Kelly on the first two legs of the Paddy Buckley section of his Grand Tour – a newly minted challenge which involves running the 3 big rounds and, because that it not hard enough, cycling between them.  You can read all about the experience on Tim’s blog (  As you can no doubt imagine, there was fast running and weather.

Parkrun Corner

Most of this weekend’s club running activity seems to have happened between 9am and 10am on Saturday morning with GDH parkrunners  and volunteers all over the place including; Glossop, Hyde, Lyme Park, Fell Foot, Woodbank, South Manchester, Marple, Shrewsbury, Crosby, Bakewell and Penistone.  The consolidated club report can be found at:

Other News….

If you are looking for racing inspiration over the next few weeks, check out Alex Critcher’s summary of all of the local racing possibilities on the GDH Facebook page.  It is the Boar’s Head Race on Weds and Paul Skuse is on the hunt for more GDH bling.

Last but absolutely not least….welcome to the newest addition to the club, Edith Willson Culshaw born a few days ago and already rocking the club colours.  Huge congratulations to Tim and Alice and a big GDH hello to Edith.  We look forward to seeing you all out on the hills sometime soon.

Great running as always everyone!  Lucy and Greg will be your roving reporters next week so please send your race write ups to them at

Another week of incredible running

The sun came out from behind the rain clouds for the weekend, inspiring a whole world of reccy-ing and social running plus a fair amount of racing.  Well done everyone!

Cressbrook Crawl (courtesy of Ian Crutchley)

After pulling out of the Hardmoors race, a shocking week at work, and still reeling from William Mather’s cruel campaign to steal the very few CRs I have, I decided to shoehorn a race in to this busy weekend.  With the promise of a free pint at the finish, Cressbrook Crawl it was, and securing one of the last places I found myself basking in the pre-race sunshine outside the Cressbrook Club.  Serving as race HQ, and the local watering hole for this extremely quaint and very small village, it feels like having a pint in a stranger’s living room.  This must be the busiest event of the year for the venue.

After exploring the first half mile of the route, gorgeous views down the valleys and across the dales, I was loitering at the start line, when I spotted John Pollard.  John had made a sat nav error and ended up in Baslow.  Not that far off, but far enough to bring him to the start on the very last minute.  Not much more time to chat, we resolved to have that free pint together at the end, and generally shoot the breeze.

At just over 10K, and 1100ft, this is a route that I should do OK at on paper.  Very similar to Joe’s Cup on Bank Holiday Monday – lots of running, one fairly hefty climb, and an uphill finish.  Actually, with the exception of this main climb up from Litton Mill, this is a trail race.  After a good start, it was on this main climb, less than 2 miles in, where I was struggling already.  Energy low and not managing to get enough air, I resolved to hang on as best I could, knowing that a long flat slog along the Monsal Trail was coming, and there I could make up some places.  But I just didn’t recover and even on the trail, I was struggling to keep a respectable pace.  Once on the long mile tarmac climb to the finish, I was done, even had to walk a few times, limping over the line in about 59 minutes.  And so continues my inconsistent form, but loving the races none the less.

I waited for John, snapping an action shot of him gunning for the line in around 1.08.  I hadn’t noticed earlier, but his shorts were impressively camouflaged against our green surroundings.  His shoes however, were certainly not!  We enjoyed that pint, and would like to have another go at this one.  Highly recommended for any trail runners or fell beginners.  Oh, and Mather, you’ll keep, mate. You will keep…..

Power of 5k (courtesy of Jeroen ‘Proud-Parent’ Peters and Paul Peters)

On Friday night, Paul Peters took a break from studying for his final year maths exams to participate in the Power of 5, a series of 5k races in Lancaster. He stormed home in a new PB time of 16.03. His second place overall (16 seconds behind the winner) put him ahead of all his uni-mates. Not sure how much longer they’ll remain his mates if they don’t get a look in any more.  Says Paul afterwards: “I’ve not been 100% recently and training’s been dire since April so I’ll take it”. Having told a certain Chris Webb back in September that he was going under 16 in 5k ‘soon’, Paul is clearly on track to remove those pesky few seconds in the not too distant future to achieve his (awesome) sub-16 target. 

Hardmoor Wainstones (courtesy of Tracey Robinson)

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved walking, skipping even cartwheeling over the North Yorkshire Moors!  So the Hardmoors series was top of my bucket list! After securing a place on the half Marathon (That’s 16:8 miles …. these are Hardmoors miles!!) I roped in:
– John “is there internet in this tent” Stephenson
– Tracey “Where is Cecil” Robinson 
– Kate “Chop Gate … Giggle Emily 
– Jo “Shouldn’t have had that last pint “ Brack 
– Charmaine “ I’ve done no training for this”
– Becky “always smiling “Smith 

With a couple of supporters: 
– Mark “Glossopdale one man cheerleader“ Davenport 
– Andy “Cheat on a bike” Brack 

The day arrived and the sun came out to show the North York Moors in all its splendid glory . We stood on the start line as one team with the aim to start and finish together! You could hear the whispers “everywhere we go people wanna know …. who we are “ I so wanted to sing …… “we’re from Glossopdale “  We were off straight into a brutal climb ..I love hills!!. We regrouped and ran along the tops taking in the breathtaking scenery! Then just like that, we were at checkpoint 1 …. wow so much food! Hello DR pepper.  Here is where the fun began and we commenced our climb up to Carlton bank. We got on the top and it was clear a few of us were struggling , My I.T band had started to pull and Jo’s hip was aching!

We were one team and we stayed together. We descended into Lord Stones country Park where Mark and Andy were waiting us and, of course, the gorgeous Cecil.  With my IT band playing up I ran ahead to try and massage it with Cecil’s hard ball much to everyone’s amusement!  Andy and Mark joined us on the beginning of what the locals like to call the Three Sisters.  We said goodbye to them at Lord Falconer’s Seat, then we turned and headed into the first of the three ascents left ahead.  Charmaine The Machine had picked up the pace and was in the lead followed by Becky who was never far behind.   We then had to fight our way through a swarm of flies that got into everyone’s eyes, nose and some were even passengers on John’s glasses!

We were now looking at the famous Wainstones rocks, the last of the big climbs.  Kate as chirpy as ever was keeping us all motivated and in good spirits.  John got to the top and decided to do a hill rep – lunatic! So, after our rock climbing expedition of getting through and over the Wainstones rocks, we were onto the final climb and the home run down into Chop Gate.  At this point I was in agony with my I.T , Jo was also struggling. At checkpoint we grabbed a handful of jelly babies and motivated each other …… 4 miles to go, we got this!  Those last few miles felt like forever. I knew the end was in sight when we turned down towards William Beck Farm and crossed 6 million cattle grids.  We re-grouped and  turned into the car park to thunderous applause, ok I’m exaggerating, a few claps. We ran into the church together and that was the finish line, Wainstones 2019 done and dusted! 

Brathay 10in10

The Brathay 10in10 started this week with GDH’s own Marie Williamson as part of the 17 runners completing the crazy challenge – running a 26.2 mile anti-clockwise circuit of Windermere (taking in Hawkshead, Newby Bridge, Bowness-on-Windermere and Ambleside) not just once but once a day for 10 consecutive days.  Huge good luck with the remaining 7 days, Marie – a great event for a great cause!

Other Stuff gleaned from Strava and Facebook

>>> Nick Ham took part in the Spire Ultra which, at 34 miles, is a flipping long way.

>>> Lins Palmer took her current obsession with all things steep back to the Lakes this weekend completing Buttermere Sailbeck Fell Race (a classic AM race, apparently) in 2h37m.

Parkrun Corner

With no parkrun at Glossop this week, GDH ranged even further and even wider than usual mainly at Hyde but also at Penistone, Aberystwyth, Delamere, Marple, Clitheroe Castle, Woodbank, Worsley Woods and Amager Fælled.  The consolidated parkrun club report is available here.

It was Marple junior parkrun’s 5th birthday today (how time flies!) which, of course, meant that it was time to break out the running fancy dress.  Team Wallroth Jnr looked incredible!

Don’t forget, we love to hear about your racing antics at  (and it saves us from having to make things up/ stalk you all on FB and Strava).  Have a great week, lovely running people!

The Early Spring Lull…?

This week appears to have been another week of lots of running but not much racing and probably quite a lot of deservedly basking the various awesome achievements of last weekend.  That said, there was still a glimpse of blue and orange at a number of races over the last few days.

Hawkeshead 16k Trail Race (courtesy of Becky Smith)

I headed up to Hawkshead for the second race of the Lakeland Trails series – after wanting to run one of these races for a few years, one finally fitted into the diary! The event consisted of 3 main races (one 10k, a 16k challenge and a 16k race) and youth races also. I completed the last race of the day, the 16k race. The weather was good for running – dry, cool, with a light breeze. The course was extremely hilly and craggy, around beautiful trails, forest and the shores of Windermere. The race route ascended the ‘coffin trail’ – a very steep, mile long (and of course) very rocky trail. All was going well until I tripped down a very steep (and yes) craggy descent.  I managed to limp to the finish in 1:43, 4th in my age category and 14th lady (out of quite a small field of just 150). The winner, Chris Holdsworth Team Inov8, dashed around in a few seconds over an hour!

Radcliffe AC 10k (courtesy of John Pollard)

A cold Sunday morning minus the sun and the promise of a fastish trail race along the Leeds-Liverpool canal and some country park for my continued rehab towards a fell run soon. Only GDHer there I believe.  Well it was a bit eyeballs out for a lot but the sting came in the tail with half a km uphill to finish…when 10k was already completed as Strava will testify. Can’t complain though, a distinctly average 54.18 finish, but then it’s not a PB course.

Eskdale Elevation (courtesy of Lins Palmer)

Lins Palmer took her current obsession with all things steep and uphill to Eskdale yesterday for the Eskdale Elevation, an AL fell race of 20.2km and 1,455m of climbing. All just so I would have something to write about in this week’s report – what a star! Update from Lins…. “Jo Bowen persuaded me to do this race. Good training for Jura, I thought 20 km and 1450m of ascent. Jo told me that the navigation is a bit tricky and she’d mucked up the descent off Scafell twice, even though she’d recced it. We decided to run together for moral support. What a great race. Lots of route choice. I think I sandbagged Jo for the third time, as I chose the route down and we got very off track and came in last. Still smiling though, and I’ve spent 2 hours on google earth trying to work out where we went wrong! Note to self:- I must go back and recce this one”.

Dirty Reiver (courtesy of Tim ‘anyone seen my fell shoes’ Budd)

Whilst definitely not a run and strictly not even a race, Tim “check out my golden hubs” Budd [Ed – Phil, stop adding stuff!] completed the 200km 2019 Dirty Reiver off-road gravel bike cycling challenge today.  “A Long and Gravelly Sportive around Kielder. Think trail ultra, but on a bike. Never particularly steep, but with some fairly uncomfortable sections. No mechanicals, no real problems. Good coffee and some excellent feed stations with boiled cheesy potatoes. Got around the course in 8:12 which was rather faster than I expected.”.

Goldrush Trail Race (courtesy of Lucy Wasinski)

Yesterday Greg and I headed off to our second home…the trails of coed y brenin, for the 8.5 mile Goldrush race and cani cross race. we were at a wedding on the Friday and amazingly stayed off the bevvies after dinner…otherwise things wouldn’t have been pretty.Weather was pretty sunny by the 1pm race start but there was a proper chilly wind! I lined up on the start line with my Welsh nemesis, and couple of other familiar faces who I’ve done battle with previously…so was feeling a tad stressy! But what awaits is literally 8.5miles of trail heaven through the forest with some fab single track, nice technical descents and some rocky uphill. By the end of the first hill id lost sight of the Welsh nemesis and realised the 4inns last week might have taken more out of me than realised, as my quads felt like lead. Pushed as hard as i could but the hills felt a slog, happily balanced out by the descents which are awesome fun, and defo felt the benefit of coach J’s long pyramid reps on the flats! Couldn’t catch the 2nd girl despite gaining on her at the end when she started to walk the last hill back to the finish, but hung on for 3rd place and what ended up being a decent PB at that race, so pretty happy all things considered!
As for Greg and illy in the cani cross race that started half and hour later. Well….they say never work with kids or animals. Never a truer phrase. Whilst most of the dogs were so pumped up they were kept in the cars or vans before the start, illy was chilling, ok snoozing. Once they were off Greg tried to get illy to the front where she’d be happiest with fewer dogs around but she wasn’t having any of it, and try as he might to encourage her, illy was not loving having all these psyched dogs running around so after 20 mins…and well off their usual pace, Greg thought best to call it a day. He told a marshal, turned back to the start and then she got her racing legs and off they flew, typical! Think that will be the last cani X attempt with illy, just not her bag! Least greg could get back to the end and see me finish…couldn’t he?? Lets just say, he’s earning that bombed out trophy…anyone seen the van keys?

Other Stuff (gleaned from Strava and Facebook)

  • Mike Raynor conquered the Whitley 10k in 46:05 and generated a number of those lovely PRs medals on Strava.
  • Jessica Camp raced around the Tatton 10k and took nearly 3.5 mins off her PB, charging home in 42:04 which she was understandably very pleased about, racking up second female and 5k PB of 20:30 as well.
  • Nick Ham appears to have had a great race at the Calderdale Hike on Saturday, completing the 37 miles with over 6,000 feet of ascent in 8hrs 4mins and feeling in fine fettle.

My favourite club member run title on Strava this week is Rosa Christie Lowe’s “Run to Belgium via the highest point in the Netherlands” closely followed, perhaps unsurprisingly, by Lins P’s “Eskdale Elevation with JoBo. Only done it so Els has something to write for club report”.

Parkrun Corner

As always, there was a fair amount of parkrunning on Saturday with Harriers spread far and wide: 16 @ Glossop, 3 @ Marple (PB for Jayne Morton and Jo Brack), 2 @ Hyde, 2 @ Lyme Park (PB for Charles Wrigley), 2 @ Stamford Park (PB for Laurie Barlow), 2 @ Le Lac de Divonne and a Harrier apiece at Gunnersby,  Flatts Lane and  Jamaica Pond.

And finally…..

Don’t forget, it is Herod Farm Fell Race this Wednesday.  The latest info on the volunteering arrangements is available on the GDH FB page.  

If you are racing and would like a mention in the run report over and above what we can scrape from social media, please drop us a line at

Have a great running week, everyone – happy recce-ing  (how do you even spell that?), hill repping, speed training, marshalling, tapering, etc etc etc.

Bring on the sleet, we’re going racing…

Horizontal rain, snow, hail and strong winds marked a return to the joys of winter running this weekend, much to everyone’s delight if the run titles in the club Strava summary are to be believed “wind was a real treat”,  “wind and hail stopped play”, “rather mingin”, “wet and wild”, “goodness me that was hard”, “who’s idea was this?”, “cant feel my hands” etc.   Not that a small amount of inclement weather was ever going to prevent a significant contingent in blue and orange heading for the hills, trails, pavements as this week’s lengthy missive demonstrates.

Many thanks to Ian Crutchley, Steve Crossman, Jeroen & Emma Peters, Paul Skuse, Guy Riddell, Rachel Walton, Kaylea Haynes, Zoe Barton, Wendy McMahon and the race-sensing antenna of the Weekly Roundup Team for saving me from having to make this whole thing up.

Hawarth Hobble (courtesy of Ian Crutchley)

Lucy Wasinski and I met at an ungodly hour, for the drive north, to take on the Haworth Hobble as a mixed pair.  At 32 miles and around 5000 feet of climb, it’s a formidable challenge, and regarded somewhat as a classic event on the local (ish) Ultra scene.  On arriving in Haworth the weather looked OK, but as we readied on the start line at the bottom of the cobbles on Main Street, it turned, and quickly.  The first mile was horrific, soaked to the bone already and dreading what was to come.  The rain was mercifully on and off, but the blustery head on wind in the first 10 miles was relentless – properly energy draining.  Thankfully, once we turned South about 1/3rd into the race, the weather improved and the wind dropped steadily through the day.

About half way, we found ourselves caught up in a waterproof clad, single file line of runners, through some particularly tricky and very muddy trails.  Here the pace increased dramatically.  Lucy was hot on the heels of Ian, and thinking, “crikey, Ian’s really pushing here!”.  Meanwhile, I was actually behind Lucy, slipping and falling all over the place trying to keep up, thinking “jees, she’s killing me here!”.  Lucy caught the guy in blue and realised it wasn’t me, at the same moment I appeared from behind covered in mud from one of two falls through that section.  Note – the Hoka ATR’s served me well generally, but it was so muddy and slippy that they were lethal in places.

We had no idea how many, if any, mixed pairs were in front of us.  During the climb up Stoodley Pike we spotted a mixed pair in front of us.  We set them as our target, and started to pressurise them from behind, and with the frequency that they were turning around to see where we were, they knew the score.  We held our nerve and they held out well, and was perhaps another 3 miles after Stoodley before we passed them, climbing a steep lane with the most cheery “Hi, how you doing” we could possibly muster.

The final 2-3 miles were murderously runnable, and we found ourselves at the back of a small pack of around 5 others running strong, one of which was a lady, and I could see Lucy had set a new target.  By this point we were struggling, but we knew they would be too, so held on, hoping to make a late move.  As we re-entered Main Street in Haworth, 100 metres from the end, we made our move and descending some steps and crossing the road to the primary school, we went into all out sprint mode.  The pack we’d been following didn’t see it coming, and were powerless to fight back.  We edged in in front of them all, literally within 10m of the finish line.

We set an ambitious but achievable goal to finish in 6 hours, which in previous years would have seen us win the mixed pair prize.  We managed 5.51.56, which under those conditions was amazing.  We did finish 1st X35 mixed pair, but there were three V40 mixed pairs ahead, one of which by a huge 45 minutes.  Goes to show, just depends who decides to enter that year (and that life begins at 40!)  Lucy finished 5th lady, so we’re pretty damn chuffed with how we did.

We’d bumped into Nick Ham during registration, but didn’t see him again.  Nick is a veteran of this event and, this year, finished in 7.26.

The one where we saw the photographer and the one where we didn’t.

Trafford 10k (courtesy of Jeroen Peters and Steve Crossman)

Today’s Trafford 10k was the 2nd instalment of the GDH road/trail champs 2019 and everyone is clearly gunning for the prestigious championship titles this year. So many harriers took part that I have had to resort to a spreadsheet to show the results.

Jo Brack put in another speedy performance breaking her own course record by some 2 minutes. Also Emma Rettig was delighted to improve on her PB by about a minute and a half.  Chris Peters ran her first ever 10k race racking up yet another PB for the GDH Ladies.  Chris exceeded her own expectations with an excellent time of 56.00 which made her 4th in her age category.

Jeroen finished in approximately 43.02, more or less dead on expectation.  He only just failed to reel in Will Mather before the line and was just out-sprinted by Luke Holme who was clearly determined not to be beaten by an old codger (Editor’s note: Jeroen’s words, not mine).  Coach Jeroen’s performance of the day award went to Paul Peters who finished in an incredible 33.02, yet another massive PB. 

This feels like an appropriate point in the report to call out a certain Matt Crompton, this week’s unsung hero/ heroine.  Apparently Matt stopped his race at about 6k to help a stricken lady runner and stayed with her until a marshal arrived, he then smashed a 10K PB.  Awesomeness on all fronts!

James Thorn (courtesy of Paul Skuse & Zoe Barton)

From Paul….It’s never a good sign when you see Chris Jackson wearing more layers than you at the start of a race. There was a huge kit faff in the pub as the light dusting of snow rapidly turned to near white out conditions. Consensus across the field was if you’ve got it, wear it. Conditions underfoot were treacherous, wet mud, snow and slush and assorted combinations of the three making both climb and descent precarious to say the least. GDH ladies managed a respectable haul of bling, Zoe getting 3rd lady and 1st LV40 and Mary 1st LV50.  I had a right old battle with the legend that is Andy Fox (he got me on the down, I got him on the up) and Lance made his fell race debut in some pretty brutal conditions. Forget times and placings, the real winners were those who managed to stay on their feet throughout the race. Thinking back, I’m not sure anyone did.

From Zoe…. it was obvious from arrival that we’d be encountering a fair bit of the white stuff falling from the sky. Jackets on for almost all the 40 odd who were silly enough to part with a fiver. And what a return we got for our fiver! Blizzard, clag, blizzards in clag, hellish runnable climbing and slidey descending, free t shirt and water at the end and prizes a plenty. Being female seemed to guarantee a prize 😉 – well done us old birds.  Well done everyone for some classic local racing in choice conditions and to huge thanks to Des’ marshals out there in the arctic blast. 

Some smiling, some not smiling, some trying to run away from the unusually overdressed

Irwell Valley 20 Miler (courtesy of Kaylea Haynes and Wendy McMahon)

Turned up at race HQ today (a Marquee in the middle of a field) to a sign with today’s weather report “horrible to grim” it said. I’m not as hardy as many of you lot reading this, having not been in Hadfield long, I’m still trying to shake off my soft road running ways so this wasn’t the weather report I wanted to read…

Wrapped up in  many layers I set out for 3.5 hours of pretty much cross country. The trails were muddy, wet, “undulating” (probably read as a small bump in the road for you fell runners) and we got a mix of weather for snow and hail to beautiful blue skies. Apart from being a bit crowded in the first few miles I enjoyed the run. A great one for the run calendar for anyone like myself training for spring marathons. It’s a 2 lap course but I was more looking to get some long miles in on closed roads then pick a very scenic run. It didn’t get boring though as there was enough variety. 

Rumour (and Strava) suggest that Wendy McMahon and Amanda Holtey were also stretching their legs around the 20 mile route. Wendy Mcmahon 3:14:18, Kaylea Haynes 3:19:22, Amanda Holtey 3:35:06.

Brough Law Fell Race (courtesy of Emma Peters)

Not to be outrun by the rest of her family, Emma Peters ran Brough Law today which is 8km with 400m elevation gain….I raced it a couple of years ago when the weather was glorious, so naturally today was forecast snow.  I optimistically set off from the Ingram valley in shorts, a base layer and my GDH vest and after 150m of elevation in the first km I was feeling nice and warm. However, by 2km the sleet started and by 3km I was struggling to concentrate on anything other than the driving hail hitting my bare arms and legs. I battled on for a while longer, but soon had to stop and put my jacket on. Needless to say most runners had started in their jackets… Lesson learnt.

The last km of Brough Law goes back the same way as the first km, so -150m elevation meant I could catch 8 runners on what was a very determined run in. Time was 57:02, taking over 6 minutes off my previous time!   I would definitely return a third time for this race, come rain, shine or sleet.

SE Lancs XC – Final Results

The 2018/2019 XC season is now sadly (?) at an end however there has been some great running especially from the GDH Juniors and Vets over the course of the SELCC series this winter:

  • Martha Wallroth:  15th U11 Girl
  • Caitlin Swan:  4th U13 Girl
  • Josie Swan:  2nd U15 Girl
  • Jo Brack: 3rd LV50
  • Dave Christie-Lowe: 2nd MV60

Parkrun Corner

This week, harriers were doing their parkrun thing in Durham, Glossop, Jamaica Pond, Clitheroe and Frickley on Saturday and at Marple Juniors on Sunday.  Whilst it was not really a weekend for PBs, Tracy Robinson took over 30 secs of her PB at Glossop (maybe something to do with wanting to get back to an incredibly cute puppy?) and Merlin Wallroth, ably paced by dad and sister,  smashed his junior parkrun PB by more than a minute!

Sikobe clocked up his 250th parkrun this weekend celebrating in true Harriers style with an amazing cake crafted by Sheelagh and suitably adorned with blue and orange icing.

Elsewhere this weekend

Chester 10k:  Chris Harrison and Adrian Gent took part in the ALDI Chester 10k finishing in 42:03 and 57:04 respectively.

The Tunnel Ultra:  Definitely the winner of this week’s ‘how is that even a thing?!’ award and arguably not something that even Tim “I skip merrily across the line between fact and fiction” Budd could make up.  This weekend, Riccardo Giussani took part in the Tunnel Ultra which, according to the website is  ‘200 miles, 200 times non-stop through the darkness of the UK’S longest foot tunnel (Combe Down Tunnel in Bath) ….a mindbending test of extreme endurance and sensory deprivation’.  Riccardo completed 65 of the 100 loops i.e. 130 miles.  Given that the image on the website makes me feel distinctly peculiar, I can’t imagine running 1 loop let alone 65 so much kudos to Riccardo for this craziness.

The Dentdale Run: Ian McGarry made a surreptitious race appearance yesterday taking part in the Dendale Run which, according to Rachel who didn’t run it, was “a nice undulating road race with a bit of a stream on the course for some of it”.  Ian ran and maybe paddled the 14.2 miles in 1 hour 52 mins.

Official Stuff

Herod Farm Fell Race (Wed 17/4 @ 18:30) Just in case you haven’t seen the FB request, Sikobe is looking for marshals.  This is a great local race so if you can help out please let Sikobe know.  Also, whilst we are on the subject of Herod Farm, huge thanks to Darren Clarke who has agreed to take over as RO from 2020.

Navigation Training: after the resounding success of the 2018 courses, 2 new dates for 2019 have been announced (March 17th & 24th).  It is a 6-hour session (roughly 9.00-4.00) and is subsidised by the committee with a charge of just £15 per person.  If you are interested please either comment on the relevant FB post or send a PM to Jude Stansfield. 

Phew….I suspect this may be the longest weekly round up EVER. Apologies if you have missed anything important this evening due to the time required to read this report, there has been an impressive amount of activity.  I hope I haven’t overlooked anything or anyone.  Don’t forget, we have a special email address for your reports and updates (