Author Archives: elsgdh

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 (https://testedtodestruction.blogspot.com/).  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: https://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1491.

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 gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com.

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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 gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com  (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 gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com.

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 (gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com).

The first ‘quiet’ week of 2019?

It is a short and sweet roundup this week – still quite a lot of people out running but not so much racing and absolutely no-one taking any photos!  A quick scroll through Strava suggests that this will all change in the next couple of weeks what with half/ full marathon training, HPM reccie-ing and the like.

XC (write up courtesy of Jo Brack)

Due, in part, to a reduced train timetable, there were just 5 GDHers for muddy fun at the final MACCL XC fixture on Saturday, Charmayne and myself for the girls and David Chrystie-Lowe, Andy Burnett and Joe Travis representing the guys.  It was over at Kenworthy Woods near Wythenshaw, a mainly flat course with a few undulations in the wooded area. The sun even came out for a little while. Everyone tried their very best of course!  The provisional results suggest that, in the women’s race, Jo was 149th and Charmayne was 188th and, in the men’s race, Joe came 145th followed by Andy in 227th place and Dave in place 303.

Doctor’s Gate  (write up courtesy of Guy Riddell)

Only myself and Rich White ran for GDH today, was cracking route, really hard going with a bit of weather thrown in too for good measure. My first AL fell race, and I struggled to be fair. Highlight was seeing Paul Skuse dressed up like the Michelin man at Dog Rock. Lowlight was seeing Paul Skuse from the bottom of Dog Rock and seeing how far up he was.  Needless to say I was 2nd Harrier. Chris Jackson, Frank Fielding & Steve Knowles (3rd overall) were also running albeit in their away kit.

Long Mynd

Lins Palmer was taking it easy this weekend opting to race on just the one day, this time heading to Shropshire for the Long Mynd Valleys Race.  I cannot find any photographic evidence however Lins was 4th W50 in about 3 hours so I assume she raced hard and enjoyed herself…probably.

Carnethy 5

Matt Huxford and Tim Culshaw appear to have been racing north of the border, taking part in the 49th Carnethy 5 Hill Race.  Looking at the photos on the Carnethy website, the team prizes appear to be claymores.  For those of you who, like me, may be unfamiliar with late medieval weaponry, these are Scottish variants of massive swords (typically two-handed or basket-hilted).  Much more dangerous that our typical southern cups or plaques and, I assume, much more difficult to fit in one’s trophy cabinet.

Leodis Marathon

Marie Williamson continues to educate us on the Marathons of the UK, this week completing the Leodis Grim Marathon in just over 4½ hours.  Based on the blurb, the race is grim because it takes in the sites of a number of grizzly historical happenings (madness, murder, torture, explosions etc) rather than because of the weather or the route (which sounds rather nice – a 2 lap course along river, canal and woods somewhere in Yorkshire). 

Parkrun

There was a fair amount of parkrun tourism happening this week with Will Mather and Ian Crutchley joining Nick Ham at Woodbank, David Munday venturing over to Sale Waterpark and Emma Peters checking out the parkrun at Gateshead.  The GDH massive were also represented at Hackney Marshes (Jonathon H.), Medina IOW (Claire C.) and, of course, Glossop (16 of you).

Junior parkrunday saw the Wallroths and the Swans laying it down at Marple whilst half of Team Barlow (Naomi) was in action at Hyde.

Official Stuff

If you would like to spend another year as part of this amazing running community, the deadline for subs payment is 28th Feb.  Details are on the GDH FB page or, if you have any queries, our lovely membership secretary can be reached via membership.secgdh@gmail.com.

We are still looking for one or more people to take over as RO (or Joint ROs) for the mid-week treat that is the Herod Farm Fell Race.  If you are able to take on this highly rewarding role please let either Sikobe or the Committee know.

Great running everyone – it has been a pleasure researching all of your racing adventures this week.   Don’t forget, the weekly roundup team love to hear about your GDH-related antics and we have a special email address for your reports, updates and photos – gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com.