Author Archives: elsgdh

Pictures rather than words

For a change, partly due to a general lack of racing news and maybe also because I might have just got a license for a new ‘visual communication’ app, I opted to portray the majority of this week’s run report diagrammatically…

and then, to my great excitement whilst I was mid mind-map, a report materialised in the GDH inbox. Many thanks to Pete Tomlin for the following write-up on Round 1 of the Virtual Fell Champs…

This week I did round 1 of the virtual fell champs. Any route of your choice, as long as you met the required length and climb. This round was 4 miles and 900ft climb. I’d plotted a route from aArnfield up in the direction of Tintwistle Low Moor and back down again to Tintwistle. Was a lovely route once I’d got up there, but I did seem to find the climb unnecessarily hard! I was sweating buckets by half way! In the current standings I’m a spectacular 261st place!  This doesn’t bode well for the next two rounds, with steadily more distance and climb. I may yet chicken out of the third round (12 miles & 3000m climb 🤢). I think Riccardo signed up to but I couldn’t see him on the results.  Still time to sign up for the next rounds I think and not leave it to a mere trail runner like me to represent the club in a fell champs!

Some distant yet sociable running fun

Have a good week and don’t forget to let us know about your running and virtual racing exploits (

The ‘was that half-term?’ report

Despite the beautiful weather and the dry conditions underfoot, this may well be the shortest report ever in the history of such things as we swing into week whatever-it-is-now of lockdown. The mailbox ( is bare and, over the last couple of weeks, the GDH Facebook page has taken on the appearance of a buy-swap-sell site, mainly for sports kit unsurprisingly.   That said, as the lockdown starts to ease, there are ever increasing glimpses of more sociable yet generally socially distanced runs and rides and Harriers are still having sunny, outdoor adventures albeit much closer to home than would usually be the case at this time of year. This week’s highlights include:

  • Paul S. and Mark H. having a whole world of watery enjoyment scrambling up Torside Clough 
  • John S. cutting a dash on the fells in vintage pale lavender
  • Dan S. practising his nav and his heather bashing techniques
  • Team Crompton venturing out for some family, half-term hilly fun
  • Emma R. creating her own local aquathlon

In addition to running and, in the absence of what would usually be a calendar packed full of great races, Harriers continue to garden/ draw/ paint/ cook/ photograph etc etc which arguably makes for nicer viewing than the usual sweaty race photos.  

This week’s Strava leaderboard suggests that there is still a significant amount of mileage (kilometrage) happening.  You will probably not be surprised to learn that Riccardo G. remains at the top of the listings this week racking up a mighty 280km. He is followed by Ree O’D  who has completed an impressive 178 km (racing across Europe) and Guy R. who appears to be upping his mileage again with a jolly respectable 121km.

For those of you looking for your next running challenge, Nick H. has been wondering if anyone fancies joining him on the 2020 Virtual Montane Lakeland 50 and 100 (20th -26th July).    If you are looking for something slightly shorter but probably no less challenging, Jeroen‘s weekly NOT coached sessions continue – this week’s session looked like a whole world of pain fun!

And with that….I wish you a happy rest of weekend and some happy & safe running adventures!

Curiouser and curiouser…

An Alice in Wonderland theme feels rather appropriate this week as, based on the last seven days in social media land, considerable swathes of the club do indeed seem to have disappeared down a rabbit hole and re-appeared in a different world.  A world where running around Glossop in fancy dress in daylight continues to be completely normal, where doing things suggested by Paul Skuse is a good idea, where running round and round (and round and round) the garden is not a sign of madness and where counting things in units of 2.6 is not at all weird (or head hurty).

Virtual Relay

Following the huge success of last week’s inaugural GDH Team Relay (not to be confused with this week’s inaugural Team Challenge), Marie Williamson is organising another week of sequential running fun, this time with a brilliant 6 teams and approximately 40 people taking part.  The results for the first week were:

  • Team 1: 152.34 miles @ 11.96m/m
  • Team 2: 146.97 miles @ 10.44 m/m

All of which raised lovely £s for Mummy’s Star.

Virtual Club Challenge

Recently thought up by the ever inventive Paul Skuse (GDH’s very own Mad Hatter perhaps?).  If the first few photos from Challenge 1 and 2 are anything to go by, then this is going to keep the club busy and amused for days.  Well done to everyone who has taken part so far – you are all bonkers!  

If any of the teams are looking for an easy way to spot 4 harriers at once for the Harrier Spotting Challenge later in the week, let Team Swan know – they seem to be spending quite a lot of evenings hanging out on Cock Hill or Lightside at the moment and they like chocolate…just saying.

Virtually Normal Running Attire

The people living on the 10k route were subjected (treated?) to yet more fancy dress running this week including sightings of Mr Incredible, Woody, Lego Man and an impressively well-shouldered American Footballer.  Check out the back page of the Glossop Chron for more photos.

Thinking Virtually

The Covid Arms will open its doors again this evening for the next round of the GDH pub quiz, this time with the Rettigs at the helm.


  • Ian Crutchley won the Not-Herod Farm Fell Race this week chalking up an impressive, although not official, PB in the process.
  • Kate Bowden Ran The Rainbow for Mummy’s Star – 38 miles over the 7 runs.
  • Riccardo G. remains at the top of the Strava leaderboard having racked up a massive 186km of running. In second place is Kirsty Sharp (97km) followed by Jessica Camp (89km) and Luke Holme (85km).

It is great to see how much running is still going on and how creative everyone is getting when it comes to encouraging Harriers to keep putting on their trainers. 

Keep running and keep staying safe.

The not-the-manchester-marathon edition…

So it has been another bizarre week as we try to get our heads around the new normal and what this means from a running perspective.    How far from home….?  How remote….?  How to stay motivated…? How to avoid all of the people…..?   Whilst there has been a discernible dip in running and racing, the GDH collective has still been busy…..

  • We have learnt a new running dance manoeuvre which seems to involve runners (or maybe just Guy) piling into the bushes when anyone looks like they don’t know how big 2m is (it is equivalent to the wingspan of a turkey vulture in case that helps),
  • We have worked out how to open gates with our elbows/ feet/ knees and have mastered hands-free style climbing,  
  • I suspect, many of us have spent more time running on roads (and in the roads) than we usually would,
  • We have welcomed a virtual Paul Skuse into our homes to help us draw better faces,
  • A lot of us have spent more time cleaning than running this weekend,
  • We have meditated together over the internet,
  • We have worked out that some of us are very, very good at virtual pub quizzes,
  • We have channelled our inner Jeroen and taken ourselves off for solitary pyramid sessions,
  • We have contemplated running marathons (or further)  in our back gardens and/ or climbing mountains up our stairs,
  • We have continued to buy kit with the added justification of trying to keep our much-loved purveyors of running stuff in business through these difficult times,
  • We have wondered whether Dan is really actually going to let his kids cut his hair as an alternative, stay-at-home birthday treat,
  • We have marvelled at how much racing and driving between races we are going to be doing in September and October – Chris Jackson will mainly be in the lands of the north and Lucy Wasinski will be mainly running around Wales. Marie Willamson will be running a marathon a day for all of October,
  • We have tried to guess when and where race photos were taken,
  • We have learnt that some of the GDH hounds have some really impressive names (and some weird and wonderful nicknames),
  • We have played ‘guess the vest’ thanks to the imagination and artistic skills of Team Crutchley,
  • One of us has used the word ‘discombobulated’ and lots of us have learnt what it actually means.

Running Stuff

There has still been some running which is reassuring given that this is what we do best:

GDH has entered a sizeable team into the virtual national road running relay championships which will give next week’s report writer some racing to write about.

And, in the Strava league, Paul Peters is at the top of this week’s leader board in terms of distance having covered 101 km and Will Mather is up there this week in terms of elevation with a lofty 3,631m.

Thinking Stuff

As this goes to press, the next edition of The Covid Arms pub quiz is in full swing with Mr Skuse as this week’s quiz master.  Rumour has it that there will be another quiz this week dedicated to the specialist subject of our very own Herod Farm Fell Race – check out Sikobe’s post on FB for more info.

Whilst lots of things are very very different and whilst the races that would normally be written about at length in these reports have vanished from our calendars, the theme of Harriers supporting Harriers is stronger and more visible than ever.  Stay safe and stay strong Team GDH!

Splashing our way into Spring!

It has been another weathery week with various combinations of snow, hail, wind and rain….soo very much rain.  However, unlike the last few weeks, most of the planned races appear to have gone ahead albeit with altered courses in some instances to avoid them becoming aquathlons.  And, where there were races, there were Harriers…..

Trafford 10K (courtesy of Dan Stinton)

I generally don’t mind running in horrible weather but I really wanted a nice day for this one.  I don’t do much road racing so wanted to have a go at this in good conditions and even with all the storms recently, it turned out nice and sunny!  I bumped into Tony Hillier during the warm-up who gave me a pep-talk about the upcoming race through his trademark sunglasses and gave me some good tips about what was coming up.

The race briefing warned of pot holes and water but it turns out there wasn’t much to worry about, it was nice to get cool feet a couple of times!  A nice flat scenic course with loads of fast runners taking part which was really inspiring.  Whatever time you were aiming for, there were a crowd of people at a similar pace which helped me keep going.  Here’s the results!  I was really chuffed with a new PB!

  • Daniel Stinton – 39:00
  • Michael Park – 43:03
  • Shaun Chambers – 44:59 (Pacing – I would hope for 45mins!)
  • Tony Hillier – 51:41

Dark & White Spring Trail Series – Race #1 (courtesy of Elanor Swan)

With the High Peak Marathon cancelled and the rescheduled Long Mynd fell race being a stretch too far for my current fitness levels, Caitlin and I ventured into the White Peak for the first race in D&W’s spring trail series.  The series comprises three events, each with the option of a long (14–17 km) or a short (5-8km) course.  Having spied on the website that U17s were allowed to take part in the short course as long as they were accompanied by a responsible adult, I signed us both up and persuaded Caitlin to run at a pace that I could manage.  Due to waterlogging by the river, the short course had been changed to an out and back on the trail alongside the railway line – 8k with a whole 50m of ascent.  Flat and fast and not massively inspiring in terms of terrain although we did get to wave at a passing steam engine.  That said, the event was very well organised, our feet remained dry and it was a lovely day for racing – perfect for Caitlin’s first longer race.   The results were as follows:

  • Caitlin – 39:05  (2nd senior lady/ 3rd lady/ 8th overall)
  • Els – 39:02  (1st VW40/ 2nd lady/ 7th overall) … those 3 seconds were purely down to more practiced dibber skills

Cloud9 Hill Race (courtesy of John Pollard)

A little known race though it’s there in the FRA calendar, and has been for many a year…since the reason I was doing it is because it was one of the first ‘fell’ races I did over 25 years ago in my previous incarnation & was curious to re-live it on not so fresh legs. It also gave me a good excuse not to run up James’ Thorn as in truth I’m not fond of sharp climbs.  To my knowledge the only current GDHs to have done it are Zoe, Des Mitchell & Andy Burnett and none more recent than 2014 I reckon. It only took me about 45 minutes to get there.

Congleton Harriers, who organise it, describe it as “a scenic and challenging mostly off-road race to Bosley Cloud (1125’) and back, via the ancient Bridestones (c2000BC)”- I didn’t notice these, though that was probably because I was toiling through some bog-ridden fields. I don’t have the OS map for this area but there are marshals at every possible route choice so absolutely zero thinking is involved.

Would be a good introduction for fell ‘novices’ or those who don’t feel confident with map & compass (no names no pack-drill!).   The Cloud is a fine viewpoint and the long steady climb up to it is the only real sustained pull throughout and as it comes at about 4 miles, the last 5 is potentially pretty fast except where the flooded fields slow you down.

I’d describe it as a trail race really, there’s a flat start & finish along some trail, a swathe of muddy fields, a good technical section through woods and quite a lot of twisty-turny stuff on the way back. There’s never any fell so it’s not that type of thing but if you wanted to crack on and give it full beans it’s pretty much all runnable.

I’m sure some of our lads and lasses could figure high in this. Simon Bailey of Mercia won today in 57.43 (he has the CR in 52.10, the female CR is 58.53). I was a bit discomfited by a bad shoulder from a fall last week but I gave it a fair shot in 94.56. Second v65 & if it wasn’t for the formidable Alan Bocking I would have had a rare category win!  Big field, getting on for 300 & it always sells out. And, as seems de rigueur for any self-respecting hosts these days, there’s cake (!) at the end.

Mid Lancs XC – Final Race (courtesy of Paul Peters)

I had my last XC of the season on Saturday (and maybe my last Mid Lancs ever…) at the home venue in Lancaster. Very soft ground made for tough work and I set off hard to try and make the top 10. After running by myself all race, at about 6-7km I lost 10th spot and ran the remainder of the race solo to finish in 11th. 

The end of the season has silver linings though. Our Lancaster Uni A team has now taken 2nd overall in division 1 (our best result that I know of), and I guess by turning up consistently I’m currently sat in 8th senior man for the season overall (subject to change once they add on the last results) , so who knows, I may still get my top 10 after all (Ed:  congratulations on a great XC season, Paul, and fingers crossed for that placing).

James Thorn (courtesy of Paul Skuse)

A lot of Harriers took part in today’s jaunt up James Thorn and, judging by the photos, there was some proper racing going on and maybe a little bit of getting temporarily misplaced.  A few words from Paul…

What a brilliant day’s racing; blue skies and breezy (damn windy is more accurate but that messes up the alliteration) with near perfect conditions underfoot. We had a great GDH turnout (less than a hundred but definitely more than ten) and some top class performances across the board. 

The whole setup was very slick with race numbers being swapped for electronic wristbands. A sea of blue and orange crashed like an ocean wave upon those unforgiving and relentless climbs. But our will was fixed and all the forces of nature could not deter us from our purpose. On we rose, reaching ever higher.  As you’ve guessed there’s not much to say about this one, we ran up, we ran down, some of us with a fixed and focused grimace and others with a cheesy grin. But it was ace. Thanks to those who gave shouts of encouragement along the way.

For me, this is one of Des’ best races. I think Lad’s Leap is coming up in a few weeks. I’d call that a true fell race so if you like it boggy, wild and local, it may be the race for you. No results posted yet but Steve K got the v40, Steve C got the v50 (despite not filling his age in correctly), Cheryl got 3rd lady and our ladies bagged the team prize. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the proper way to start a month.

SP24 (courtesy of social media stalking by Guy Riddell)

The South Pennine 24 is an LDWA event described on the website as “a fantastic foray into the Dark Peak and the South Pennine Moors.  A variety of terrain will be encountered from wild moorland to well graded footpaths and bridleways.  Hopefully you will enjoy the stunning views the area has to offer”.

Several Harriers appear to have taken part in this event and hopefully enjoyed those stunning views including Joshua Southall  (2nd), Luke Holme & Steven Pepper 5th & 6th, Paul Skuse, who unfortunately DNF’d having maybe sacrificed himself on the PW flags, and, possibly some others.

Additional races in which GDH may have featured

  • Tameside Half – Dave Munday did this
  • Hope Fell Race – Joe Bowker & Robin Hoffman did this

Parkrun Corner

Harriers were in action at a number of different parkrun locations this weekend:  Woodbank, Delamere, Northala Fields, Lyme Park, Stamford Park, Stretford and a very (very) wet Glossop.

The GDH parkrun Challenge moves on to ‘O’ this month with a number of people planning to head over to Oldham next weekend.  Laurie’s lovely spreadsheet (available on FB) has been updated to show the latest standings.


  • MACCL Results: huge kudos to David Chrystie-Lowe who finished 2nd in the V60 category at the 2019/20 Manchester Area Cross Country League (and thanks to Chris Webb for the heads up). David has had a fine season, performing consistently well throughout the winter on a variety of courses. Feeling inspired? Chris will be sending out details for the 2020/21 season in September.
  • VJ Shoe Test: This will take place on Thursday 2 April at 18:45.  The exact venue has yet to be confirmed however it will be Glossop where there is easy access to various trail/fell terrain.   The event will be run by Steve Franklin of Frontrunner in Sheffield and the shoes available will be iRock, XTRM, and MAXx.    If you are planning to come along please let Greg know either via the event that he has set up on FB or by email so he can give Steve a rough idea of numbers. Further details TBC shortly.
  • Simmondly Community Trail: much to Jeroen’s understandable excitement, the official opening of the Glossop “Community Running Track” will take place on Sunday 15 March at 2pm. Former GB athlete and Team New Balance coach, Steve Vernon, will be in attendance with a posse of elite runners.  Following the opening, there will be chance to join a training session with Team New Balance as well as some photo opportunities. Huge thanks to everyone who has helped to make this happen.
  • Fell Running for Rookies: check out Nicky Pennington’s write up of her recent attendance on a beginners’ fell running course.  Sounds like a great thing to consider for any Harriers who are looking to race on the hills this year > .

Greg & Lucy will be in the blogging hot seat next week so don’t forget to let them know about your racing exploits at Have a good week and happy spring running!

Fell Running For Rookies

29th March – Dovedale. By Nicola Pennington

After my rather cocky arrogant, “ I can run up any hills without the need for a recce, compass or map” attitude and subsequent disastrous Winter Tour of Bradwell, I thought it best that if I was to continue this fell running lark I’d better get some training in before I find myself stuck on a hill crying again.

Following a post on GDH, I signed up for the Fell Running for Rookies public event hosted by Peak Running taking place at Dovedale and dragged my mate Wayne from HRC along to direct me there.

We were met by Andy from Peak Running and Kate from Harrier Run Free who ran through the schedule.  The plan being to teach us rookies how to fell walk up hills and run downhill like a loon safely and confidently. We were to follow the Ilam fell race, an A.S category fell run, however due to the Ministry of Defence deciding to have day out shooting practice, Andy modified it slightly so we wouldn’t get shot at and warned us to avoid the red flags and not to stand about for a long time….

The training started out with walking uphill. We were shown the hands-on thighs technique but also the hands behind the back, like a thoughtful teacher perusing their students. This was rather enlightening as I had wondered why Alison Holt had walked uphills with her hands behind her back at the Hit the Trail. I just thought she was contemplating race tactics! Who knew…… Andy also showed us how to run uphill with little strides, using hip, knee and ankle and Ive got to say I found it so much easier than what I had been doing, eg. trying to get to the top as quickly as possible and collapsing halfway up.

After being shown how to slalom down a hill, we passed by the flooded Dovedale steppingstones and took on Thorpe Cloud, 1000 feet ascent of a really pointy hill. While the sun shone down at the bottom, the further higher we got the winds became stronger and in parts I found it difficult to get up.  At the top Andy directed me and Wayne where to go on the descent and left us to run like loons downhill to the sounds of gunfire in the background. I’ve got to say I really enjoyed this. The guns certainly made me run faster. Up another hill, then as we were about to descend the clouds came down and hail the size of marbles started hitting us at some speed. It amazed me how quickly the weather could change, and it was full speed ahead to get to the bottom and find some shelter. A quick run back to the car park and Ilam fell route completed.

Andy and Kate were so knowledgeable, and I learnt so much from them. Not only did they cover how to climb hills safely but also told us FRA kit regs, fell race cats and some basic navigation All this for £8.70 with 70 pence going to the Peak District Foundation. A brilliant day out and a must for anyone who like me is cocky enough to think they can run a fell race without knowing the local area, unable to read a map or tell North from South.

Who ate all the beans?

This week seems to have been a relatively quiet week for Team GDH – still some racing and an awful lot of training and reccying which suggests that there are going to be some awesome race reports over the coming weeks and months.

Burbage Trail Race (courtesy of Pete Wallroth and Nick Ham)

From Pete…well, first things first. We all went to the right Burbage – had it been left to Skusey we’d probably be eating lunch in the Fox House at Longshaw right now.   A foggy Errwood reser greeted us as a good showing of GDH arrived for what was the inaugural Burbage Trail race. It’s organised by a dude who we’ll refer to as Super Mario on account of his hilarious race briefing in broken English/Polish (or was it Italian), which had the waiting runners in stitches most notably Caity who has never looked less composed on a start line.

Trail race he said! Bit muddy he said! Yes Mario. This was a trail race for fellrunners in every way. Bog, fog and some pretty arduous climbs thrown in that any fellrunner would rub their hands together at.   Out of Errwood, up onto the trails and a cracking climb up onto Burbage Edge trig before descending past a rather bemused looking refreshment station of 3 cups and a bottle of water, back around and down back to the sailing club. A lollipop route as Nick Ham referred to it. 

All in all, a really good morning race on a great, well marked, brilliantly marshalled course which I would recommend for next year if it’s on again.  The results were as follows:

  • 2 Caity Rice 53:06 & 1st female
  • 4 James Knapper 54:04
  • 5 Steve Crossman 54:44 & 1st MV50
  • 6 Paul Skuse 55:48 & 1st MV40
  • 13 Kirsty Sharp 59:56
  • 15 Pete Nicholson 1:01:06
  • 19 Pete Wallroth 1:03:26
  • 25 Clive Hope 1:09 & 1st MV60
  • 37 Nick Ham 1:15:05

And from Nick….Thanks to Paul ‘full beans’ Skuse giving a ‘heads-up’ on Facebook, I (and probably plenty of other Glossopdale Harriers) entered this new 10+k race from the Errwood Sailing Club in the Goyt Valley. GDH enjoyed a good turn-out as a result.

I rocked up bright and early while the going was good (i.e. head not trying to spin itself off my shoulders), and by Jove I got away with it. On the start line there was discussion about the narrowness of the one-person-width trod up through the woods after the right turn just outside the sailing club’s entrance. The need for “full beans” was agreed in order to avoid a bottleneck, so full beans it was, including from ‘yours truly’. I immediately noticed that I was sadly lacking in the beans department as Glossopdale’s finest, plus a few others, rapidly pulled away. We soon turned right and climbed in single file on a soft carpet of brown, decaying pine needles, weaving left and right, up and down, but mostly up. I was barely keeping up with the runner in front by the time we exited the woods. Now that I wouldn’t be holding anyone up I could slow to a recovery walk as my cardiovascular system felt as if it was about to explode. I’d blown my beans in an ill-advised brief blast of glory with over 10k still to go. Only charred bean remnants remained to power me for a survival walk-shuffle on the long climb to Burbage Edge.

There were some steep climbs and there was plenty of peaty mud up to halfway and the beginning of the descent back to the Goyt Valley, where the drinks station and support in the middle of the moor came as a nice surprise. In fact there was a lot of really good support and marshals to ensure we went the right way at any path junctions.

The descent back to the Goyt Valley (a well-known path to me) is technical and rocky, forcing me to hold back a bit to maintain composure and not lose control catastrophically. Even so I was still able to overtake. I must have recovered from my early over-exuberance. Once in the valley it was a long run along mucky trods on the right-hand side of the River Goyt back to our outward route, where a sharp left brought us back (eventually – I was really blowing out my a*se by this point) to the finish.

Although advertised as a trail race, this is definitely more like a fell race. Race Organiser Mario hinted as much before the start. It’s so much better for it. It would be a brilliant race to have in the GDH champs next year. Mario said that he hopes to introduce a Goyt Valley series next year, with races ranging from 5k to half marathon. I can’t wait. Judging by the organisation of this inaugural race, they will be fantastic. (Good luck with getting the permissions is all I can say).

Marmot Dark Mountains (A sleep deprived race report from Wales courtesy of Dan Stinton)

Immy and I took on the last ever edition (by the current organisers) of the Marmot Dark Mountains – a navigation event that took place this year in the Northern Arenigs.  The race is very similar format to the OMM (Original Mountain Marathon), in that there are various categories and you have to navigate your way to checkpoints in any order you choose to maximise points (Score) or alternatively in a defined order as fast as you can (Linear).  The OMM is spread over two days with a camp in-between, but Marmot is done in one hit over night in total darkness for all competitors.  You have to carry full kit (tent, sleeping bag, stove etc.) so I’d been frantically buying/borrowing everything over the last few weeks – nothing like proper preparation!  We chose Medium Score which meant we had ten hours from a staggered start at 20:42 to bag as many points as possible.

The terrain was horrific, just one boggy, squidgy, unrunnable mess after another, barely any paths, or really any features to help with navigation, especially in the dark.  We stuck it out, ate lots of pizza, toasted sandwiches and Babybels and came back feeling pretty pleased with how it went.  It may have been a big hike due to kit and terrain but navigation went well and we covered around 29km in all with a few mins to spare and came in 17th out of 25 teams in our category.  Apparently we had the biggest smiles at the end too!

We bumped into Tim Culshaw who was on the A-class with John Ryan (36.5km completed in 4th in 13:27) and Rob Taylor from Pennine but looking at the results he got DQ for something but no idea what.   So yeah, run around getting lost in the dark for hours.  It’s fun! 

Lyme Park Night Run

Paul and Liam Amos did it…that’s all I know however I really hope they took advantage of the excuse to wear neon facepaints, lycra AND fairy lights.

Parkrun Corner

Harriers were in action at a number of different parkrun locations this weekend:  Oldham (Alice W.), Hyde (Sean P and Tony H.), Marple  (half of Family Swan and Andy F.), Burnage (Rose G.), Glossop (loads), Lancaster (Paul P.),  Kew Woods (David and Holly M.) and Penistone (Andy B.).

A special shout out goes to Jacqui Chrystie-Lowe this week for what can only be described as an awesome performance at Glossop parkrun. Not only did she smash her PB by 1m5s (from 25.59 to 24.54), she also came first in this week’s age grade results with a massive 75.77%  – a percentage that many, many of us would be overjoyed with and, more importantly, a higher age grade than Mr C-L.  Phenomenal running, Jacqui (and thanks to Jeroen for the heads up).

It is also worth noting that the GDH parkrun Challenge moves to ‘L’ next weekend….see you all in Lyme Park sometime soon!  Check out Laurie’s rather impressive spreadsheet on FB for more details.

Other stuff

  • It is the club AGM on Monday at The Oakwood starting at 7:30pm – see FB for the agenda etc.
  • 2020 Subs are due – please make our lovely membership secretary happy by paying up by the end of the month (i.e. Friday) – again, all of the details are available on FB.
  • If anyone has lost a digger, it has been found by a group of Harriers who were out braving the elements on a very wet and chilly Mickleden recce.  For more info contact Zoe, John, Matt, Kate, Jo B. or Charmayne.

We love reading and compiling tales of everyone’s racing exploits.  Assuming his DIY duties are over, Ian will be on report writing duty next week so please do lots more racing and don’t forget to tell him all about it at

Have a good week and happy running!

A most sociable time of the year

Whilst there seems to have been a little less racing this week, the blue and orange running massive has still been in action across the country.  There has also been a lot of sociable and fundraising related running nearer to home.

Manchester Area Cross Country League – Match 3 @ Arrowe Park (courtesy of Chris Webb)

Match 3 in the Manchester Area Cross Country League and the drive to Birkenhead for new venue Arrowe Park mustn’t have been too appealing as it was just me and David Christie-Lowe representing Glossopdale (Ed – to be fair, Ben Robertson did put in a super early appearance in the park). Joanne Brack was there too marshalling on behalf of the club and providing valuable pre-race beta on the course (“there’s a big tree on a downhill through the woods at head-height, be careful!) – thanks Jo! Anyway, sloppy underfoot conditions made the going slow but David and I both had decent runs. No results out yet, there’ll be on  later this evening/tomorrow. The next match is at Tatton Park on Saturday 11th January, hopefully we’ll have a better turnout!

Simonside Cairns Fell Race (courtesy of Emma Peters)

Simonside Cairns Fell Race was today which started in Rothbury, heading up to Simonside and other surrounding hills, getting in 18km and 650m elevation.   Other than the driving winds, it was a pretty ideal day for it with great views. Nothing special to report performance-wise as I ran with another runner for most of the race who wasn’t feeling great, but I hope to return another year and put down a better time! 

Power of 5k (courtesy of Paul Peters)

On Friday I was at the last 5k race in Lancaster for the year. For once I was actually flying the blue and orange vest up north and happily there is photographic evidence.  

It’s a flat fast course, and I went into it just wanting a baseline to see where I’m at. From the gun I was immediately by myself, too far behind the front 2, and a gap behind me. By 1km a fella behind me breezed past and I didn’t bother staying with, I was already working hard with a 3:06 first km.  From there I settled in and ran solo again until km 3 when a group of 3 came with me to take some of the pacing work off me.  We all stuck together until the last 500m when I tried to leave them behind. Unfortunately 2 of them had a killer finish, coming past in the last 100m, but I didn’t care, I knew I had my first ever sub 16 in the bag! 

Official results still aren’t out but I timed 15:53 for a nice PB to round off the year. Going forward, I’ll be taking that speed down to Glossop tip over Christmas to claim a coveted strava segment off a certain Mr Phillips… 

Bimble in the park junior run (courtesy of Luke Holme)

Ethan & Leonardo opted for some winter fun and raced round Alexandra Park. Really good fun run for the kids and money for the race being donated to In aid of children with cancer UK.  Ethan decided to run it on his own and as it’s a fun run the race isn’t timed so I’m not entirely sure how quick he ran it. Leonardo thought it was hilarious to be racing Pikachu and couldn’t stop laughing all the way round.  Super proud dad moment when Leo finished and he didn’t stop once (Ed – Yay!!!).

Elsewhere….. FB and Strava suggest that is it beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

  • Tim Crookes yule yomped at Tatton
  • Nick Ham had a Christmas Cracker at Litton
  • Family Wallroth donned red suits and beards and dashed somewhere in Saddleworth

Festive fundraising…there are a number of Harrier-related fundraising activities on the go this month

  1. Will’s 500 mile challenge: December has started and so I’ve started the challenge I set myself and to raise some money for the local charity Mummy’s Star. As most know by now it means me running the same amount of miles as the date in December with this week being the easiest week so it’s been nothing special. Starting last Sunday with 1 mile, I did the Marple Junior park run with Oliver (my lad). Then every day since I’ve added a mile. Today I joined Mark Davenport’s time trail but ran it at a more social pace with a lot of you lot then I had to add a couple of miles on to the end to make it 8 miles. Thank you all who have joined me this week – don’t fear if you haven’t yet, the big miles are still to come so let me know if you want to join for some or all of a run. I’ll try to keep my Facebook page up to date so keep an eye on that too. Don’t forget to donate on my JustGiving page if you can.

2. December Daily Dash: Continuing the fundraising theme, albeit with lower levels of insanity, Jo, Charmayne, Adele, Emma R. and Elanor are each running at least 5km every day in December as part of Sue Ryder’s annual December Daily Dash event.

3. Helping Santa: GDH will be accompanying Santa and Glossop Mountain Rescue as they fundraise around Simmondley tomorrow (9/12).  The meeting point is at the Reliance Garage on Turnlee Road at 18:15 if anyone fancies helping out (see Becky’s FB post for more info).  This is a fantastic opportunity to support our local mountain rescue team would not hesitate to come out to rescue us, day or night.  It is also a really fun, Christmassy thing to do.

Other Running Related Points of Note….

  • The 2020 club champs have been published – huge thanks to Emma Rettig and the team for sorting these out (see Matt Crompton’s post on FB for more details).
  • Tim and Chris are in the process of arranging an informal evening of AL (long) fell race demystification sometime over the festive period, details will no doubt be posted on FB in due course.
  • The club Christmas party is next Sunday (15/12).  Festive walking/ running followed by festive eating, prize giving and socialising – what is not to like?!?  There is another FB post from Becky on this.   

Parkrun Corner

As always, Harriers were in action at a number of different parkrun locations this weekend:  Richmond (Julie Eyre), Woodbank (Nick Ham), Hyde (Des Mitchell & Tony Hillier), Lyme Park (Cathy Murray), Cheadle Hulme (Craig Leith), Watergrove (David and Holly Munday), Bakewell (Tracey Robinson), Alexandra (Rob Webster), Marple Junior parkrun (Caitlin Swan) and, of course, Glossop (which featured an amazing 30 harriers, Day 7 of Will’s crazy challenge and a PB for Lucy Wasinski).  

We love reading and compiling tales of everyone’s racing and running exploits, especially when tinsel is involved.  Ian is on report writing duty next week so please dig out your festive sparkles, do lots more racing and don’t forget to tell him all about it at Have a good week and happy running!

Mr C. failing to find the camera lens yet again!

Friendly, fierce and a little bit damp….

There has been quite a lot of weather in the Harriers’ home town this week resulting in some quite amusing Strava titles and possibly a little less racing than usual.  That said, a number of brave souls still donned their race vests and ventured out to represent the club across the region and beyond…

Manchester Area Cross Country League – Match 2 @ Kenworthy Woods  (courtesy of Chris Webb)

Following the heavy rain earlier in the week the Kenworthy Woods/University Playing Fields course was a tad boggy. It didn’t deter a small group of Glossopdalers from heading to Wythenshawe however and birthday boy John Stephenson came armed with the tent and flag so we certainly looked the part. Wendy Trelease, Lins Palmer and Nicola Pennington kicked off proceedings in the Senior Womens’ race and all 3 looked comfortable, moving through the field as others fell apart. I believe this was Wendy’s and Nicola’s cross country debut, you wouldn’t have known it based on how well they ran – congratulations on a superb race. Lins said she may only make one XC this year but I know she loves a good sufferfest; if only it had been another 30km, she’d have probably podiumed.

The men’s race was next and I was joined by Pete Daly, Alex Critcher, Frank Fielding, David Chrystie-Lowe and Chairman Stephenson to smash around the now ‘worn in’ course. Alex told me this was the start of his return to fitness and he looked like he had a solid race, he’s committing to coming Jeroen’s Tuesday and my Wednesday sessions for the next few months so he’ll be like a new man by the end of the season – watch this space. There were some mid-pack battles between the GDHs too: David and Pete looked like they had a bit of a ding-dong, David edging it by only 33 seconds and even closer were Frank and Alex, Frank coming home 28 seconds ahead this time. It will be interesting to see these battles as the season progresses. John and I had no immediate GDH competition but enjoyed hurting ourselves around the 9km course anyway. Thanks also to Mandy Beames for some delicious cake and Harsharn Gill and Ben Robertson for the support/photography.  Final results here:

  • 143rd (22nd V45) Wendy Trelease: 34:13
  • 194th (37th V45) Nicola Pennington: 36:16
  • 245th (28th V50) Lindsay Palmer: 39:06
  • 64th Chris Webb: 36:36
  • 334th (3rd V60) David Chrystie-Lowe: 44:49
  • 346th (30th V50) Pete Daly: 45:22
  • 413rd (4th V65) Frank Fielding: 48:03
  • 417th (72nd V40) Alex Critcher: 48:30
  • 486th (V60) John Stephenson: 54:37

Leg it round Lathkil  (courtesy of Paul Skuse)

John Pollard gave a shout out for this the other day so I thought “Why not?”. Alison and Lins also joined the fun. As we wandered from the car to the registration tent, it felt really cold – as in woolly hat, gloves and a smelly Helly weather – but then the sun came out and conditions were perfect. All accessories were whipped off and unceremoniously dumped on a wall; it was full on vest and topping up the tan weather.  Our shoes were all cleaned up and sparkling as per race requirements. Alison was so enamoured by my X-talons, she took a photo of them.

The start of the race was awkward and cramped (why do some slower runners start on the front line?) and with the call of 3-2-1, we were off and legged it down the steep road. The wet leaves covering the tarmac made some sections interesting and forced us to hit the brakes rather than give it full beans. The long trail section wasn’t a trail so much as scattered islands surrounded by shin deep water. I’ve no idea what happened on the route next. I was busy chasing Ponytail and staying ahead of Wheezy. I’ve no idea who they are but for the purpose of this race, they became my mortal foes.

So with the usual jostling for position and good natured support and encouragement (another reason to love fell running; the way people encourage you as you run with them) we ran along trails, over fields and through woods. The limestone was as slippy as you would expect and I nearly came a cropper trying to overtake Beardy (another rival for the day -nice bloke, he checked I was okay). And then after a few more ups and downs, muddy patches, tree roots, countless stiles and – at one point – lung busting steps, we were at the finish line. Job done.

No idea about results but I was pipped by Beardy but managed to stay ahead of Wheezy (also a nice bloke) and Ponytail. John Pollard came in next then Alison (looking resplendent in full GDH colours) and then race-fiend Lins having done the XC yesterday.

Windmill Remembrance 10K

Laurie Barlow, Tim Crookes, Tony Hillier, Mike Park, Paul Gatley & Marieke Galgenienbeld ventured over to Lytham St Anne’s to take part in the Windmill Remembrance 10K today.

From Tim C. – did Remembrance Sunday windmill 10k. The reading and the 2 minutes silence was very emotional but very well done. Perfect conditions for another pb, knocked another 24 seconds off my time. Nice flat fast course and very well organised with a great medal, well done Fylde Coast Runners on another great race.

Parkrun Corner

The collective GDH parkrun exploits this week were:

  • A little less busy…due to Glossop being cancelled although this did result in a number freedom runs carefully avoiding the black ice around Manor Park. GDH were also in action at Richmond  (Julie E.), Bramhall  (Joe T.), Woodbank (Nick H.), Hyde (Tony H., Christine P. and Laurie & Wyatt B. – which is particularly impressive given that the Barlows were all set to parkrun at Glossop at 8:40 am, Marple (Simon T.), Bakewell (Sarah R.) Fleetwood Promenade (Paul G.), Tawd Valley (David, Holly and Will M.), Marple Juniors (Malc B.[!!!]  and Josie & Caitlin S.) and Hyde Juniors (David [!!!] & Will M.).
  • A little more exotic….Tim B. and Lynne T. ran the Miyazaki parkrun in Kyushu, Japan. A small number of runners (12 finishers) as the event is very new. The course is alongside a wide river and very central to the town involving 2 laps on flat tarmac.   Tim 18.19 1st finisher/ Lynne 26.04, 1st female and 3rd overall.  Although 11°C at 7am, the 8am start still made for a very warm and dry event in glorious sunshine. 
  • A little bit emotional…Josie S. ran her last ever junior parkrun at Marple this morning – she will be too old for 2k as from next week.  Definitely the end of an era as Josie was one of the initial group of junior parkrunners when Marple junior parkrun started 273 junior parkruns ago.  

Other Racing News (gleaned from FB and Strava)

  • Riccardo Giussani completed his crazy White Rose Ultra 300 (or rather 318) in 130 hours and 52 minutes and the pictures suggest he was still standing and smiling at the finish!  Awesome and totally bonkers – 450 in 2020?
  • Paul Peters was also cross-countrying – at Hyndburn as part of the Mid Lancs League.  I have no idea how he did but expect it was quite quick.
  • Ian Crutchley did the Beehive Trigs Time Trial, maybe with Lance but definitely through ice and bog.
  • The club place for the VMLM 2020 is up for grabs via the usual process.  If you would like the motivation/ joy/ pressure of representing the club, please email and let Becky know. Names will be drawn from a hat at the Christmas Party.

We love reading and compiling tales of everyone’s racing exploits.  Ian is on report writing duty next week so please do lots more racing and don’t forget to tell him all about it at Have a good week and happy running!

Autumnal Running Awesomeness Weekly Report

Inspired, perhaps, by amazing performances at the world athletic championships in Doha, Glossopdale Harriers have been doing some brilliant racing this week.  Read on for tales of running daring-do mainly across the lands of the North.

MBNA Chester Marathon (words from Simon Watts)

An eventful day in Chester saw 12 harriers run the marathon with extra supporters on the route too (Bartek, Mandy, Dan, Greg, Sally and Lance, some of whom appear to have been supporting from the pub). For those who haven’t done Chester it’s a scenic, fast course, however with a few “hills” in the last 5 miles.  They’re not Glossop-like hills, but when your legs are in bits, they felt like it. I had underestimated the end of the race and it was diminishing returns, but managed to hang on.

The weather was relatively kind and saw a few PBs from the group…a big well done to Lucy, Wioleta, Will, Luke, Jason, (and me!) with some really well paced efforts. Everyone survived intact, with Luke’s dubious groin injury the main concern, but he still managed a beer on the way home so I don’t think we need to worry.

A massive thank you to Dan, Mandy and Bartek for organising the minibus and thanks to those who made the trip over to support us! It was good to all travel together and made for a great atmosphere. We should try and do that again for future trips, if not just for the minibus beers on the way home!  A great day out on a quick course, keep an eye out for 2020 registration!

Times: Simon Watts 2:58:52, Will Mather 3:14:28, Steve Page 3:26:20, Luke Holme 3:26:44, Lucy Wakinski 3:29:15, Guy Riddell 3:40:00, Ian Crutchley 3:43:41, Tim Culshaw 3:51:34, Antony Johnson 4:02:54, Michael Raynor 4:06:28, Wioleta Wydrych 4:21:45 (with extra kudos for completing her first marathon EVER!) and Jason Hart 3:55:57 (surprisingly also a first marathon.  It can’t be his last though as he apparently needs to go back next year having been accidently awarded the medal for the 26.2km metric race instead).

Hodgson Brothers Relay (courtesy of Matt Crompton and Tim Budd)

From Tim….The weather wasn’t exactly promising for a grand day out around Patterdale. Actually. Yes, it was promising, but it was just promising a deluge.  Immy and Zoe were first up, heading off in the mass start up and over on the fastest underfoot part of the day. Before long, they busted down the short track (400m according to Immy, 1 or 2km according to Zoe) to hand over the baton to Jules and Andy Oliver who proceeded to blat their way up the hill. 

The main comment I caught later was that Jules was disappointed he didn’t get to look at the view more… Maybe he needs to look where he is going? I don’t know.  There were no navigational mishaps as they cruised into the handover point at Kirkstone Pass and released Mark D and Dan S onto Red Screes. By this time, the weather was brightening up a touch and the lads had a very pleasant bimble across the tops before dropping into Sykeside where Tim and Chris W were waiting. They jollied off up the hill in a welter of mud and slip slided their way across Fairfield and down St Sunday. Much fun was had, and I have no idea how fast we ran it.  

Happily, Matt was also there and was able to provide more actual facts.  From Matt….A race that started over 30 years, the Hodgson Brothers Relay sees teams of two taking on four legs of tough Lakelands routes. Setting off and finishing in Patterdale, teams tackle routes that include High Street, Red Screes, Hart Crag, Fairfield and St Sunday Crag. The weather was far better than expected, with only Tim and Chris on the last leg getting a good old Lake District drenching!

This year’s team was as follows: Leg One Immy Trinder and Zoe Barton, Leg two Andy Oliver and Julien Minshull, Leg three Dan Stinton and Mark Davenport, Leg Four Chris Webb and Tim Budd

Everyone did the club proud, and pushed incredibly hard on their legs. Against some of the strongest fell clubs from across the country we had a great result, coming 32nd out of 70 teams. Special mention to Chris and Tim who were 15th quickest pair on the final leg – AMAZING! Thanks to everyone who took part – you were fabulous!

Curbar Commotion

Part of the Accelerate Gritstone series, this 9.8 mile race takes in a variety of tracks and paths through Curbar, Frogatt and Baslow.  Nick Ham seems to have enjoyed a good day out topped off with some stupendous homemade cake. The results are not available however Nick’s race photos suggest that there was at least one other GDH vest in the pack however my ‘back of head’ recognition skills are not good enough to work out who it was.

Just in case anyone is interested (and I have no idea whether there are still places available), there are 2 more events in the Gritstone Series for this year  > 13th October, Windgather Fell Race: 13.5mi  – 2500ft of ascent and  27th October, Grin ‘n Bear It: 15.9mi  – 1939ft of up.

Goyt Valley Striders Trail Race

Tim Crookes and Wendy Trelease joined the Goyt Valley Striders for their trail race on Saturday.  According to the website, the course is a single lap figure of 8 route taking in an undulating 10k of multi-terrain surfaces.  Tim really enjoyed the race, did it in 50.07, knocking a brilliant 1.36 off his 2018 time. Wendy T also appears to have had a great race coming in as 9th MV45 in 55:05.

Rochdale Half Marathon and 10k (courtesy of Wendy McMahon)

Not all of us travelled to Chester this weekend….There was 5 of us today who made our way to the equally as famous Rochdale 10k and half race! Good organised event with both races leaving Rochdale centre and running along the canal with the half running a loop round Hollingworth Lake before heading back.  We was lucky with the weather as earlier in the week it was predicted to rain for the full duration but during the races it probably only rained 50% of the time. So combined with the puddles, mud and sweat, we still all got wet!

Tony and Alex didn’t run as well as they hoped but under their circumstances pulled their big boy pants up and still came in at respectable times many would hope to achieve! It’s only a 40 min drive away and a decent price, so I’m hoping to do this again next year unless I’m persuaded to do the very unpopular Chester race! 

Wendy McMahon, Tony Hillier and Alex Critcher ran the half finishing in 1:52, 1:54 and 1:56 respectively (and numerically pleasingly).  Kirsty Sharp and Craig Leith represented in the club in the 10k both coming in under 40 minutes (39:47 and 39:05). Kirsty was 2nd lady, Tony was 1st V70 and what Wendy modestly does not mention in her write up is that she ran a 2 minute PB!

Coniston Trail Challenge

Kate Bowden was back racing in the Lakes yet again (did she even come home after the 4 Passes last weekend?).  This time it was the 15K Coniston Trail Challenge along footpaths and bridleways, taking in panoramic views of Lake Coniston and the surrounding peaks of the Old Man, Swirl How, Wetherlam and Dow Crags. I’ve no idea how she did but I’m impressed already.

Parkrun Corner

As always, there were Harriers parkrunning all over the place this weekend including Richmond, Oldham, Hyde, Medina IOW, Marple, Penrith, Glossop, The Wammy (see update from Lynne Taylor below), Jersey Farm, Herrington Country and Marple Juniors.  

From Lynne…Mandy Beames and Lynne Taylor did a bit of parkrun tourism to Stoke on Trent this week. There was the choice of either Hanley or The Wammy parkruns to choose from….we obviously chose The Wammy just because of the name. It’s an out and back along an old railway line and reminded us of the Longdendale Trail. The event is really well organised (they were doing a litter pick before we started) and lots of friendly people. The best bit…..they’ve their own dedicated post-run cafe at Newcastle AC clubhouse run by Ken. Hot drinks and cakes available for donations. Definitely chose this one if you’re in the area.

We love reading and compiling tales of everyone’s racing exploits.  Lucy W. is on report writing duty next week so please do lots more racing and don’t forget to tell her all about it at Have a good week and happy running!