Author Archives: elsgdh

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!


Late Summer Madness

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

Trunce #8 (courtesy of Phil Swan)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pilsley Fell Race

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

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

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

Reuben’s Retreat C2C Cycle

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

Parkrun Corner

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

Other News….

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

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

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

Have a good week and happy running!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

High Point: That glass of Coke at the Sportsman.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trunce (courtesy of Caitlin Swan)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sheldon Fell Race (courtesy of Lance Hamilton-Griffiths)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Denholme Doddle (courtesy of Nick Ham)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holme Moss (courtesy of Jude Stansfield and Paul Skuse)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Solway Coast Marathon (courtesy of Will Mather)

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

Coniston Fell Race (courtesy of John Pollard)

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

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

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

Other running and racing antics gleaned from FB and Strava:

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

Parkrun Corner

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

In Other News….

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

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

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


A little light racing

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

Dovestone Diamond 10k

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

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

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

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

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

Wincle Trout Fell Race

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

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

Isle of Wight Running Festival

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

Welsh 1000m Peaks

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

A Grand Round

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

Parkrun Corner

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

Other News….

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

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

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