Author Archives: glossopdale

Tour of Tameside 2019

No. I didn’t forget. To be honest, this is a true epic, and I have to say a massive thanks to Skusey and Crossman for putting this together for me. Without those 2, you’d have had me making up a load of drivel that really didn’t pay true homage to what an event this has become.

As Steve says: This one is for Nev.

Stage 1 X Trail Thursday 19:15 (Report from Paul Skuse)

It’s day one so we all rocked up with eyes bright and legs fresh. There was a bit of rain in the air on the short drive over to Daisy Nook but had dried up by the time we got to the car park. A few GDH were already loitering in the car park so we congregated for the obligatory team photo. Then it was a wander down to the start line and first of many discreet toilet stops in the bushes. We had a quick look at the paths which were wet enough to justify trail shoes. Then back to the start line for what was meant to be a rousing warm up routine – Steve Crossman’s face was a picture. Stage 1 SaluteThen the race was started by Dr Ron himself. As for the route, it was a bit more road than trail; pleasant enough but nothing to get excited about. And yet this was one of the best racing experiences I’ve ever had. I can’t speak for the others racing; maybe a separate report would give a less personal response but for Crossman, Page, Si Watts and me, it was brilliant! There was no plan other than race as hard as we could. So we did. And by chance, the four of us ended up racing as a pack. Nothing was said, we just found our pace was almost identical to each other, formed a little group and took turns leading. We pushed the pace when at the front and just held on when chasing. Apart from a few moments at the halfway point when Steve Junior stopped for a drink (he was thirsty, bless him), we ran like it was one of Coach J’s training sessions. We all came in within 4 secs of each other. Page came in at 38:44, Crossman and Watts were tied at 44:46 (V50 for Steve Senior) with Si trying to shoulder charge him out of the way and I came in at 44:47. Never been in a race like it and never felt as proud to be a Harrier. Stage 1 Finish 1Steve Knight came in just moments behind us. Simon Entwistle took the V60 in 41:03. Never ran with him before but that lad can shift. Rob Murphy in his mandatory orange hat picked up the V55 in 43:28. Guy Riddell came in 44:45, Alex Critcher came in 47:57, Ian McGarry was in at 48:16 and Tony Hillier was in at 53:37 taking the V70. Wendy McMahon 58:00 and Becca Coward 1:00:46, also ran, putting in strong performances


Name Gender Position Cat Position Chip
Steve Page 9 6 00:38:41
Steve C 10 1 00:38:43
Si Watts 11 7 00:38:43
Paul Skuse 12 2 00:38:44
Steve Knight 14 3 00:39:00
Simon Entwistle 35 1 00:40:58
Rob Murphy 58 1 00:43:20
Guy Riddle 71 9 00:44:20
Alex Critcher 137 29 00:47:51
Ian McGarry 143 27 00:47:57
Tony Hillier 233 1 00:53:29
Wendy McMahon 113 26 00:58:00
Becca Coward 144 37 01:00:46

Stage 2 Hell on the Fell Friday 19:15 (Report from Paul Skuse)

I was looking forward to this race more than the others as it sounded like a fell race. Guy and Steve P lead a quick recce before the race which turned out to be useless as neither could remember the route.  With all of us none the wiser about the route, we headed back down to the start. There was another odd aerobics style warm up that felt just a little embarrassing. We’d already done a warmup ourselves so we just watched in silence at the poor lass jumping up and down on the stage. Conditions again were good for racing. The start was damn fast. I realized pretty quickly that my legs were not coping well with consecutive racing. Wendy McMahon was out on the tarmac climb taking photos so it was shoulders back and fake the pace.Rob Stage 2 The route is (according to my near infallible memory) just running up some pretty steep tarmac streets to Hobsons Moor; then it’s a bit traily and there was a tall grassy bit that kept grabbing your ankles. John S and Sikobe were supporting somewhere around here so fake the pace again. There’s still a fair bit of climb so just keep pushing. Si Watts had a great start and was chewing up the climb.  At the summit, if you’re lucky, you’ll find a small group of numpties offering beer as a mid-race refreshment. Seriously, who dresses Will Mather? And fair play to Luke for allowing to be seen with him in public. And from the summit, it’s a full on, balls out, take no prisoners descent. Si Watts needs to do some fell races. He’s a natural born descender. I’m not. He kept getting smaller and smaller as he Image-1sped off. Steve Page was very hungry for this and made up some serious ground down the sh*t strewn path (it was properly minging, that’s all we really discovered on the recce!). Page might get me on the road and trail but there was no way I was letting him get me on the hills. Huge thanks to all who supported. I know John Pollard was out but have no clue where.

Stage 2
Name Gender Position Cat Position Chip
Si Watts 9 7 00:40:43
Paul Skuse 13 3 00:41:38
Steve Page 14 9 00:41:47
Steve Crossman 7 1 00:42:07
Simon Entwistle 27 1 00:43:29
Rob Murphy 46 1 00:46:25
Guy Riddle 85 15 00:50:02
Alex Critcher 121 30 00:52:03
Ian McGarry 123 23 00:52:38
Tony Hillier 247 1 01:02:48
Becca Coward 123 30 01:09:56
Clare Higgins 131 24 01:11:57

Stage 3 Hero Half Marathon (in memory of Nev McGraw) Saturday 10:00 (Report Steve Crossman)

This report will be much briefer than the previous days, due to a date with a cold beer!

The event started at Roughfields, Padfield with a minute’s applause for Nev McGraw. It was a nice touch from the organisers and they invited GDH to mass at the podium as a focal point.

A great team photo was taken with many practising the Tony Hillier ‘thumbs-up’ salute.

The usual suspects doing the full tour were joined by Jess Camp (on her ½ marathon debut), Mike Greenhalgh, Mike Raynor, Alan Schofield. Adele Metcalfe, Jennifer Day and Laurie Barlow.HMG Group Shot

Not much to say about the race other than you run down the trail, turn around a cone, grit your teeth and come back into the strong headwind! Great support on the course from Wendy, John S, Becks, Ironman Oates, Rachel W, Dan S and Zoe. There may have been some offspring involved in the cheering too. Judging by the comments from the full tourers, it was difficult mentally to tune into the race after limited sleep from the previous night’s race exertions.Laurie Stage 3

Jess Camp finished strongly to claim 3rd female and a few quid! The GDH peloton at the front end was disrupted a touch & everyone else put in a sterling mornings effort. Most of the team must have been knackered as the Howard Town Beer Tent was avoided.

Stage 3
Name Gender Position Cat Position Chip
Steve Page 14 7 01:27:47
Si Watts 16 9 01:28:04
Paul Skuse 19 6 01:29:05
Steve C 22 1 01:29:36
Simon Entwistle 39 1 01:33:51
Jess Camp 3 2 01:38:12
Mike Greenhalgh 71 18 01:39:30
Rob Murphy 79 2 01:40:37
Guy Riddle 85 11 01:41:15
Mike Raynor 103 16 01:43:56
Ian McGarry 105 17 01:43:59
Alan Schofield 136 59 01:48:23
Alex Critcher 193 39 01:54:32
Tony Hillier 233 1 01:57:50
Adele Metcalfe 56 4 01:58:04
Jennifer Day 166 35 02:24:58
Becca Coward 170 41 02:26:24
Laurie Barlow 173 38 02:28:33

Jess & J

Stage 4 Dr Ron Hyde 7 Sunday 09:30 (Report by Steve Crossman)

Everyone rocked up to the start line at Hyde town hall with the usual banter, assortment of injuries and horror stories of their toe-nails. A quick recce was required to see where Howard Town Beer Tent was located. With that sorted, we got down to the racing. A few GDH were in with a shout of Cat wins and Rob Murphy, took to donning an anonymous disguise to fool his nearest rival from Blackburn! The men were in with a shout of the teams prize too.

Dr Ron set proceedings underway and the serious stuff started. The route goes up, around, gives you a lovely view of Tesco Hattersley, down, up and down the Market street (if only it was over that quick in reality!) Everyone did a great job, with Kirsty S coming in 3rd female. Coach J would have been pleased with the technique on show from GDH! Most headed into the Town Hall for a beer or 3 then the presentations.Wendy & Sue

Stage 4
Name Gender Position Cat Position Chip
Si Watts 14 8 00:44:01
Steve C 15 1 00:44:11
Paul Skuse 16 5 00:44:15
Steve Page 19 10 00:44:48
Kirsty Sharp 3 1 00:45:00
Simon Entwistle 65 1 00:49:44
Rob Murphy 79 2 00:50:40
Guy Riddle 84 9 00:51:02
Ian McGarry 117 20 00:52:38
Alex Critcher 213 40 00:57:37
Tony Hillier 238 1 00:59:30
Wendy McMahon 82 21 01:02:14
Malc Brown 335 30 01:07:11
Becca Coward 166 41 01:11:12
Susan Moore 183 34 01:12:03
Clare Higgins 199 36 01:13:55
David Munday 355 132 01:21:18


Final Positions

Name Gender Position Cat Position Chip Chip Position Overall
Si Watts 7 4 03:31:36 8
Steve Page 10 6 03:33:09 11
Paul Skuse 12 4 03:33:47 13
Steve C 14 1 03:34:43 15
Simon Entwistle 25 1 03:48:17 26
Rob Murphy 49 2 04:01:23 50
Guy Riddle 56 6 04:06:59 57
Ian McGarry 88 14 04:17:54 96
Alex Critcher 116 26 04:33:02 135
Tony Hillier 180 1 04:54:06 226
Becca Coward 167 23 05:50:27 351
413 Completed


Unfortunately, the hunks missed out on the team prize to East Cheshire.

Vets prizes for Simon Entwistle, Tony Hillier and Steve Crossman



Running in the GDH peloton all week has been great fun and bloody hardwork. Other runners have come to us every day, commenting on the great rivalry, friendship and banter that GDH provided throughout.

It’s a tough 4 days, particularly the short rest Friday night / Saturday morning

You really get to know other runners and clubs doing the full tour. Runners are generally a great bunch.

The team behind the Tour actually did a good job, despite all the flack they’ve had in the past

Lastly, This one is for Nev, the original TOT Wily Vet!.

(*disclaimer – apparently Steve was massively confused by chiptime and guntime, so some of these times/places may or may not be entirely reflective of what happened)

I believe him, though.


Other mentions in the dispaches this week…

Simon Toole said- Let me congratulate the GDH Tour of Tameside 4 dayers , not only on their running but also on managing to get Steve Crossman to actually smile on the team photos, outstanding achievement. Is the angry bloke softening up in his old age?

Wendy McMahon – Today, the 4th day of the Tour of Tameside, Hyde turned yellow! For those that don’t know, Tony Hillier has a running community group ‘HRC’, which is a non affiliated social running club based in Hyde. Run North West is one of the official sponsors of the Tour and Tony kindly requested that non club runners wear the yellow tops as a thank you to the shop. Myself and a few other club runners chose to wear the yellow tops. This was more of a thank you to Tony. It was lovely to see lots of yellow today, as well as the blue and orange! I have not been running with that group long but I have seen many people who have never ran ever, progress and even a few of them did part of the tour this weekend. Tony is an inspiration to not just myself but a lot of people. I know it’s not GDH news but it’s running related and I just wanted to give some recognition to Tony on all he has done for the Hyde running community.



“Full moon closest to the Solstice” Weekly Report

So not a huge amount of stuff going on this week. I guess it being the middle of the year and all that everyone is a bit chilled out and relaxing, drinking beer and generally enjoying the marvellous weather that everyone seems to be going on about. Thankfully there were a few non-layabouts this week, toiling away in far flung places, and they have been kind enough to send us through some lovely words about how their various races went down.

So sit back and enjoy the generally quiet week that was the Full moon closest to the Solstice weekly report. (I’m sure there is a snappier way to say it, but I just can’t think of it).

DRCO dash

A bevvy of harriers wended their way across the tops to take part in the inaugaral DCRO Dash, organised by Pennine/Cave Rescue extraordinaire Alan Brentnall. It all seemed to go off without a hitch, Luke managing to more or less keep to the course to come in first Glossopdale, and everyone else snapping at his heels. Will was running with a friend who has never been fellrunning before, and did the gentlemanly thing at the end. (no, not committing seppuku, but letting her finish before him).

30 Luke Holme 51:06

61 Wendy Trelease 56:01

73 Pete Wallroth 59:16

83 John Stephenson 62:19

85 Mary Jeal 62:28

96 Will Mather 79:44


Coed y Brenin 1/2 and marathon

Report from deepest darkest Wales from Lucy Wasinski…. So Saturday saw 4 GDHers head over to coed y brenin for Trail marathon Wales, 2 for the full and 2 for the half. Tracey Robinson was gunning for a quick time on the half having left Cecil fending for himself in a cottage in Wales. Greg Wasinski was also wanting a course PB having put in the effort lately with Illy having let him down at the previous Cyb race. I was also hoping to do better than 2 y ago on the marathon having done more training and it being at least 15 degrees cooler! Rebecca Smith was feeling like she hadnt quite done the training but was going to have fun and get round anyway! Well where to start?!

For me it went something like this, have a great first 5 miles, a not so good second 5 miles and a lot of thinking whether to call it a day at the half way point and get a half time. As it was, I pushed on through the split point until 15 miles when running wasn’t really happening and I knew I couldn’t get another 11 miles done without a fair amount of pain and a lot of walking. So I turned back pretty disappointed with my first DNF but just in time to see Rebecca S pass through 14 miles looking spritely if not a tad surprised to  see me walking the opposite way! A quick hug, a hi and off she went and 12 miles later she saw the clock approaching 5h, so pushed it up the last hill (it is a hill!) Up to the finish line to come in a good 20seconds under 5h, which was 5th in category, a fab 18th lady and 15 mins quicker than 2018!! Awesome stuff 🙂 and all on no training!
Once back to start/finish area I just made it back in time to see Greg speed through the finish line in 1h50 for the half which was a good minute quicker than his previous best a few years ago, and feeling a lot better than on recent races! He was blooming happy with 29th over all! Sadly we might, only might, have been eating flapjack at the time that Tracey R flew over the line in sub 2h30 having enjoyed time to take some photos on her way round!
All in all a fab day out all round, and I’ll be back to get my revenge another year 🙂

Marple trail 10k

John Pollard has given us a brief resumé of the Marple carnival 10k on Sunday.
I did this as I wanted to improve on last year’s effort (plus they do a good goody bag, motivation for all roadies)…and I’ve come to the conclusion that I run better on trails than on fells…though the latter is

Rocked up at Brabyns Park in perfect running conditions, Asics trainers at the ready. Looked around in vain for another GDH shirt but couldn’t find any in the masses of Stockport Harriers and Dennis the Menaces. I have since seen Mary Jeal figure in the results, so I was not alone in flying the flag.
Starts steeply up to the Peak Forest canal but apart from a short sharp climb at halfway it’s fast going along the canal, with a few diversions.
I thought I was going to crack last year’s 53.09 coming into the final mile but that seemed to go round the houses/Park/whatever, and despite some old codger catching me on the line I managed 54.20. At least I got first v65, so maybe the age law of diminishing returns isn’t all bad. Mary got home in 55.41 for 2nd in her category.
Happy trails!

Aha – Martha and Merlin were also out as well – rocking it around the Marple fun run, with some bling to go with the inevitable candy floss?


Fathers day 10k

Simon Toole was out and about in Lancaster…. The Fathers day 10k in Lancaster runs along the river Lune before heading toward Morecambe , nice and flat. Dragged myself round in a time of 47.36 , position unknown as yet.

Podium 5k

A short report from Paul “rocket from the North” Peters… For the second time this year I headed over Burnley way for the Podium 5k, but after PPDNF’ing last time I had some demons to put to bed. Weather was looking great for racing until about 20 minutes before the start, when in typical Lancashire fashion it started pouring down. Admittedly it eased off by the start but it still didn’t make me any more confident.

I knew I had a habit of starting too fast in 5k’s lately (who doesn’t??), so pacing was the main aim of the race today. After a solid first 3k, my head started playing games with me again and thoughts of another DNF were looming. However, I soon passed my cheering teammate again and got myself back on track and finished strong for a new 3-second PB of 16:00!

(PS. Apologies for the vest, hometown races and all )


No PB’s at Glossop Parkrun this week – But Simon Toole did PB over at Morecombe, Holly, David and Will Munday did a bit of a first time smash and grab at Wilmslow, and young ms Rice had a first mooch around Bushy… Home, I believe of the whole thing?

May Bank Holiday, Take One! Weekend report.

Well, it’s Bank Holiday Monday and a LOAD of people have sent in various reports from all over the place. Thanks so much to Els, Paul Skuse, Dan S, Ian Crutchley, Jamie H, John Pollard, Alex Critcher and Zoe for the knowledge this week, and to Lynne for reading out the results to me. . I’ve been through Strava to see if there has been anything else, but to be honest, there was so much on the club feed that it all kind of blurred into one.

May is the time things really start hotting up in terms of race season on the fells as well as on the roads. Ask Paul Skuse about midweek racing season, he is generally a bit of an instigator (or should that be facilitator?) Awesome to see so many people out and about, and even better to have you lot writing in to let us know what you’ve been up to.


Monday was the 2nd instalment of the 2019 trunce series. Phil “responsible adult” Swan, Caitlin “actual responsible person” Swan and Adam “more responsible than Phil” Crompton headed over the hill for some Monday evening racing. Caitlin was 1st girl, Adam had a great race after a slight racing lull and Phil finished mid pack hampered somewhat by a pre-race lemonade. (by lemonade, I’m unsure if Els means actual lemonade, or “lemonade”)

Buxworth 5

Spare Buxworth 5 report from The Skus-inator:

Another belter of a race. Conditions were perfect. If you dont know this race, its 2 miles up (good, fast tarmac climbs), 2 miles down (still slapping tarmac and grinding knees) and 1 mile flat (a proper lung buster all set in picturesque Buxworth. Im writing this on Sunday and have no idea who was there all those many days ago. Lucy “4inns” Wasinski got a round in -much appreciated. Lance(armstrong?) Hamilton-Griffiths had a meal with his mum. Crutches was almost the same time as his previous efforts, much to his chagrin. Crossman was Crossman – he still gives me the fear. Rich “getaway” Martin sprinted to his car and drove away at the end. Nick “the ultra” Ham got out of his car and raced this year (nice one Nick). Rob “look at my legs” Sheldon seems to think GDH colours are blue, orange and day-glo green. Frank “the daddy” Fielding made the most of his chance to don the illustrious colours and wore them top to toe. Rebecca “smiles per mile” Smith looked far too happy from start to finish, Luke “out where you’re going” Holme came into the finish extra sweaty but happy (never hug him after a race) and Tracy “cecils slave” Robinson  liked the downhills and Rachel “where’s my” Walton seems to be making her way into as many races in a week as possible. Who cares about times – we all came home with a smile on our faces (obviously the excludes Crossman)


11 – Paul Skuse 32:15
17 – Steve Crossman 33:02
25 – Lucy Wasinski 34:45
37 – Rob Sheldon 36:03
43 – Ian Crutchley 36:46
45- Rich Martin 36:48
75- Frank Fielding 39:19
101- Rebecca Smith 42:02
106- Nick Ham 42:14
125- Tracey Robinson 44:27
137- Rachel Walton 45:30

Belfast marathon

Joe “radar? what radar?” Gavin did 4.26.11 at Belfast marathon. Google tells me the organisers cocked up the cone placing, the lead car diverting from the route, leaving it 0.3 miles longer than official. Apparently they are “adjusting” runners times to reflect the correct distance.

Bollington 3 peaks

Thanks to Jamie “hill repper” Helmer for this report from the Champs race this week…
Hi who ever reads these. (me) I’ve done a brief (I think) report from the Bollington 3 peaks fell race today. Hope that’s useful…..

A handful of Harriers made the trip to Bollington but I was surprised not to see more bearing in mind it was a champs race and started and finished at a brewery!The course was mostly on good trails and well marked putting it somewhere between a trail and a fell race although more trail I’d say.
The flat first mile meant a fast start and Sean “the speedy side of the street” Phillips was quick off the mark mixing it with the leaders (at least it looked that way from where I was) as we charged from the start line on top of the viaduct.The first hill is the longest climb and runnable all the way but also gets the majority of ascent done early. The descent was a short steep affair although the dry weather meant footing was good and we were soon on to the shorter gradual climb to peak number 2. Another short steep descent led to quick trails and the bottom of the final climb. Gradual at first but kicking up near the end, as we rounded the summit cairn I had clawed my way to within a few yards of Sean but I couldn’t keep up on the final descent through grassy fields and in the final stretch on the canal path. Rob “that’s a terrible thing to do to your suunto” Sheldon was next in followed by Nick “the ultra” Ham and Rachel “this racing lark is easy” Walton, at least that’s the order I saw them back at the brewery where we enjoyed the free pint and chilli.
I know some people tried to get in last minute so it’s a shame it was full but it’s a good course, free food and drink and organised by a brewery so make a note for next year as it’s sure to sell out again.

12 Sean Phillips 43:33
13th Jamie 43:40
79th Rob Sheldon 51:03
167 Nick Ham 58:05
192 Rachel Walton 1:01:17

Tigers Trail

Pete “is it Pete? Is it Will?” Wallroth sent in this marvellous missive:
A midweek trip over to the edge of Yorkshire for Luke “the navigator” Holme and I to join in Totley ACs Tigers Trail. Naturally I was only too delighted to have to go to a rugby club for a race. A combination of my two favourite things.tigers trail
In a little skullduggery I tried to bench the flying back that is Luke Holme in an attempt to be first harrier….but he got up too eager to play and wouldn’t do as he was told.
A poignant start to the race as members of Totley AC marked the recent passing of one of their stalwarts, the previous organiser of this very race.
We set off at some pace in the road section before a sharp turn into the linn valley before going up onto the back edges of Burbage.Downhill and a long road section back to the start, where we were greeted with the welcome offer of Sossage (their spelling) or bacon butties and a viewing of Barcelona playing a team that didn’t seem to turn up.A good jaunt out on an enjoyable route but one for the trail runners as this is definitely no fell race.
Luke finished in 43:06
Pete in 45:56

Piece of Cake 10k

John “I will not be stopped” Pollard was doubly knocked back this week – but still managed to get a race in….:

I was hoping to do a fell race honest guv, but the Bollington 3 Peaks was closed by the time I found it, and then the Cake Race at Diggle slammed shut in my face as Alex Critcher beat me to the last place grrr…so in search of competition I went to another cake race..the Boggart Hole Clough ‘Piece of cake 10k’ round the park there…hardly as taxing as 10miles of moors but these eyeball out concrete-based races have their own challenge. Hmmm.
Still couldn’t quite bust 50 mins due to the incline they call Angel Hill, all of 35m elevation x3. Wow. To hear road racers talk about the rise you’d think crampons were in order.

Cake Race

Report from Alex “snatching the last place in the race ace” Critcher.

Charmaine “still wants to swim and cycle first” , Joanne “race packs mean more cakes” Brack, me, Frank “sprints are my forte” Fielding, Clive “Sprints are not my forte” and Mary The photographer” Jeal turned up for this, the trail race with the fell race elevation, with type 2 diabetes Inducing cakes at the end. Times aren’t online yet but:
Alex 1:35 ish
Frank and Clive 1.32 seperated by 1 second in a sprint finish.
Joanne and charmaine 1:53 ish I think
Gorgeous weather, 168 steps (up) at 10k were particularly hunger inducing.

Should definitely be a champs race again next season, chance for the road and fell boys to meet on neutral ground. Hope this is OK.


Since receiving the report- I’ve found the results….
76 Frank Fielding 1:32:21 (running in Away colours)
77 Clive Hope – 1:32:23
96 Alex Critcher 1:35:28
127 Mary Jeal 1:44:00
151 Jo Brack 1:52:08
152 Charmayne Brierley 1:52:29


Thanks to Zoe “the spy” Barton for this sneaky report… Hi. New members Sarah “modesty” Andrew and Robin “humility” Hoffman were at Coniston race in the Lakes. They are too modest to say anything about it and the results have not yet been published. I imagine they both had a cracking run.

Aha – I have it – Robin finished in 1:44:27 and Sarah in 1:44:57. Good running.

Welsh 3ks

Thanks to Dan “I just like typing things” Stinton for a bit of an epic reportage…. When Immy (“pixie of doom” Trinder) asked me if I was interested in the Welsh 3000s, I don’t think I was entirely sure what it was but I agreed anyway.  After a couple of recce weekends I began to understand the magnitude of the challenge, not only the amount of climbing but also the difficult terrain.

Checking the weather forecast it was due to be sunny all day, although the forecast for the top of Snowdon was showing a little snow.  We were somewhat surprised to be heading up the Pyg track at around 5:30am in a flurry of snow, so it was a relief to see the clouds breaking around halfway up and it made the surrounding mountains look so much more beastly.snowycribgoch

We set off from Snowdon summit at 7am and already had a few concerns about tackling Crib Goch in the snow, but without it we couldn’t really claim to have done the Welsh 3000s so given that it wasn’t windy we decided to take it on anyway.  Definitely not choosing the best line we made it to the peak although I had to have a quick climbing lesson from Immy to stop myself plunging to certain death, but we made it back to safe ground.

So it went on, ticking off summit after summit.  As we came off Glyder Fach you couldn’t ignore the monsterous Tryfan coming up next and Pen yr Ole Wen looming further on.  Suddenly, I spotted a strong, muscular dog bounding towards us – it was Twiglet “dog of destiny” with Kasia “how do you spell this?” Osipowicz not far behind!  It was a great boost to see them at this point and after some big hugs we set off on our way.

Immy’s dad and grandad met us at Ogwen and we had much needed spaghetti bolognese – it felt like a speed eating competition as we ravenously wolfed it down.  We pushed hard over the final seven summits and arrived at Foel Fras 11 hrs 08 mins since setting off from Snowdon.  After 13-14 hours on our feet it was far too late and cold to consider the optimistic beer and BBQ plans and we pretty much passed out.  An awesome route and challenge – what a fantastic day!dannimmy

Joes Cup hill race

Thanks to Paul “the 6th spice girl” Skuse for this Race report for Joe’s Cup Hill Race. It was the inaugural race and it was a belter. Named after a local runner who kept a hidden cup near the peak by a spring, this was a fast blast to the hill, a fast climb up and a fast blast down. You may notice a theme developing here. Only 4 GDH, me, Ian “crutches” Crutchley, Pete “are you sure you’re not Will?” Wallroth and Lins “elevation? this isn’t elevation” Palmer. Perfect conditions, plenty of prizes( I won a torch in a raffle with my ticket picked out by Pete. Cheers Pete!) I’ll be coming back to this one. Highly recommended. Sorry, don’t know about results.

Impending 10in10

For those of you who are not aware, Marie “marathon lady” Williamson is off on a bit of an epic starting on Friday. She starts the 10 in 10 Brathay Challenge which is basically running 10 marathons in 10 days. That’s it really, nothing special.


So – if you want to know more about this, you can have a butchers at the website here,

and her fundraising page is here
Holy Heck. Good luck Marie!marie


This week at Glossop, Melissa “a PB every week, thankyou very much” Crutchley once again blasted parkrun with a 45 second PB in 25:26.  Big thanks to Caitlin “smash it out” Swan for running with us and providing huge confidence and encouragement. Melissa has knocked about 2mins her parkrun this year. Her Dad is rightfully getting worried about his parkrun pre-eminence in the family. Looks like Melissa was also joined by Lance “It’s my turn this week” Hamilton-Griffiths in the PB hunt in Glossop. From looking at Strava, I understand that Paul Peters might well have joined the Black T-shirt society with a 100th Parkrun this week, as well as coming in first at his chosen destination. And John Stephenson has quietly hit 200… not a cause for a t-shirt, indeed, not even cause for a cake as it seems like he is flying somewhat under the radar as well.

Stuff coming up..

Oh seriously… It’s May. EVERYTHING. As ever, if you have something to report, have done something exciting, or even just have a bit of a story to tell about your hill rep session, write it down, send it in. We love hearing from you. is the place to send it.

Oh -and if you have a photo that you want on insta, send it to me. (Tim) by whatsapp. I’ll try and sort out the necessary technological jiggery pokery.

tis the week before the week before easter…

Yes, it is the week before the week before Easter, and all through the house, nothing was stirring, not even the easter bunny. Which is a shame, as I’d really like to try one of those chocolate scotch cadburys creme eggs. mmmm. All chocolatey sugary goodness – perfect race food. Ok. Stop. Im drooling.

In hindsight, it would have been a lot easier to call it “mothers day report”, but then… ah well, it’s been done now, and I don’t have any tippex to change what is on the screen. Thanks so much to Nick Ham for providing a report from the Lakeland 42 this week, which I quite happily copied/pasted/chopped/butchered. It seems there was precious little racing going on this week, however, I’ve managed to fart around on strava and facebook enough to bulk the report out with a fair amount of fibre for you all to feel sufficiently stuffed.

Lakeland 42

nick ham

Ah – the monochromatic Lakes. An ice cold Helvellyn summit.

Nick “the racing machine” Ham was *of course* out and about, hammering away the miles in another “long race you weren’t sure if you had heard of”. He appears to have taken over Club Beard Responsibilities from Ben Tetler for the moment. We shall see if the speed has been transferred across as well. This week, Nick was out and about on the Lakeland 42. Yes, 42 teeth gritting miles around the Lake District. Snow still on the ground, blue skies above, Nick threw himself into the course with abandon. His straight-line knowledge, gained from a number of completions on this course, gave him the added advantage that he *really* knows how to tire himself out in the right places (straight up Place Fell) in order to recover on the cruise back into base. Yes, he blitzed the course in 12:41, and is probably back at home for tea and medals.

Portway Runway Run


No – nothing happened! They just happen to have taken the photo in front of an ambulance

I don’t know a lot of people that get up on a Sunday and think “dyou know what? I think I might run 5k round an airstrip for a bit of a laugh”. However, in this club, I guess we don’t tend to associate much with “most people”. Yes, Mandy “collimated” Beames (I know, I know, I tried too hard there) – was up and about in Portway, bashing around the runway, avoiding aircraft in various states of take off and landing while finishing in about 40 mins. (One presumes…?… that’s what strava appears to say). There was, of course, an obligatory beer at the end, followed by a sweeping up of anyone unlucky enough to have been swiped by a wing.

Mothers day 10k

Paul “not so secret training” Peters seems to have celebrated Mothers Day by blatting around a 10k in a superb time of 33:41, I do believe. To be honest, the only reason I’m saying this is because that is what it says on Strava. Whether or not this was actually a 10k on Mothers Day, a run to the shops to buy a Mothers Day Present (hence the need for expedience), or some other training protocol that he is implimenting that we have not yet heard of, I am not entirely sure. Needless to say his secret training regime of actually getting out there and doing the hard yards is paying off in Spades. (or is that shovels?). Good running sir. (I hope you got the card to your mum in time).

Buxton to Glossop

A group of intrepid explorers, led by the navigationally talented Paul “follow me!” Skuse, took a bus to Buxton this weekend in order to run home – in order to be back in good time for tea, cake, medals and family shenanigans. The route ended up being somewhere in the order of a marathon and a bit, which was run in good humour and happiness by the crew, including Charm and Tracey, neither of whom had ever run anything quite approaching that kind of distance before. Marvellous work! Sounds like the 15 trigs is ON!

Marple Junior Parkrun

From my scanning of various social media feeds, it appears that Will Munday was across at Marple Junior Parkrun for what was (I believe) his first time. Well – that’s what the website says. Was anyone else there? I have no clue – no-one told me. So officially Will was first Glossopdaler home. Nice one!


What’s this? Joe “mean machine” Travis hitting a PB at Oldham? Emma “not letting my bro steal all the limelight” Peters blatting around Gateshead in a PB as well? A flock of Swans at Cirencester, Sean “every week a bit faster” Phillips got ANOTHER PB at Glossop, as did Matt “follow my lead” Crompton, Jessica “not at all” Camp AND Melissa “I can beat my Dad any day of the week” Crutchley. I think there might have been a milestone in there somewhere as well, but damned if I can find it. Amazing work from all of you.

Other goings on

As there was nothing better to do this weekend, it appears that Luke “take me” Holme (country roads), Jason “shot through the” Hart and Will “I’m NOT Pete Wallroth” Mather decided to head across to the Yorkshire Dales for a bimble around the 3 Peaks route. Despite the fact it was a little claggy they (apparently) didn’t get lost. The fact that Luke was there makes me a little skeptical of this, but they seem to have colluded with each other and aren’t deviating from the story.


Who’s a handsome devil? What the hell colour are those shoes?! Get some mud on them!

Immy was over on Ireland doing some spectacular peak bagging in Ireland/Northern Ireland (I couldn’t tell from the strava map). I think it was the Glover ridge, but then again I could be totally making it up. If you haven’t seen the pictures on Strava, go have a look. I can’t copy them from there, so that is why they aren’t on here.


Now THAT’s a peak to bag.

Other Stuff this week

Heck. I dunno.

Tuesday will be Jeroens Sufferfest coached session, people will be heading out throughout the week around the resers, loads of people seem to be doing hill reps – so post on facebook if you fancy a bimble/session as it appears that training mojo has bitten everyone.

Chicken run is on April 6th – next week, and is in the club champs, so get along to that. Its only over in Hayfield, entry on the day and is a decent bimble around there. (11am). Coledale horseshoe is also on, as is the Howgills. But unless you have an entry to that one already, it probably isn’t worth turning up- it was a ballot entry this year. (what is the world coming to)? There are probably a plethora of road and trail races that have escaped my attention, and there will certainly be some hill based amusements.

If you do end up getting out there, how about making life easier for Greg and Lucy next week and actually send a report or some photos into (they’ll need them, seeing as Lucy is running the 4 inns next week and might not be in a state to do much else that write “stuff happened”).





Pre- storm Freya Weekend Report

There were a few things going on this weekend. Although the weather was looking a bit fun, the anticipated storm took quite a lot longer to arrive, so we had pretty decent weather. Well – better than expected, anyway. Despite some peoples attempts to cover their tracks, I managed to track down a good number of people out racing. It’s a lot easier if you tell us what you’ve been doing though… as ever – the email address to send your pics and stories to is

High Peak Marathon

After 9 years in the planning, Team Audacious Gals – comprising of Jude “flight of the navigator” Stansfield, Ali “I think I’ve reccied more versions of this race than had hot dinners” Holt, Elanor “how do I convince the kids to do this next year” Swan and Becky “did I actually volunteer for this?” Smith finally made it to the start line of the High Peak Marathon (a 42 mile overnight jaunt around some of best bits of the Dark Peak).  The weather and the running conditions were kind to us however things did not go quite as planned with our founding member and chief organiser having to make the hugely tough call to retire at Moscar due to feeling unwell and not wanting to feel worse as we picked our way across the joys of Cartledge Flats and then Bleaklow.  This was a really difficult decision given all of her preparation and focus.on this event so much kudos to Ali for doing this.

Race lows:  4 becoming 3 at Moscar, happily Ali is now recovering; having to reach a check point at the bottom (instead of the top) of Grinah Stones at 4am in the drizzly dark; and the usual painfulness of a long fell race (blisters/ sore knees/ cramp/ uphill heather bashing/  falling into holes up to one’s armpits etc).

Race highs:  the GDH support crew at various points in the race – huge thanks to Zoe Barton and Mark Davenport (nice onesies!), Alice Willson,  Sue Clapham. and 3 generations of Family Swan; having a breakfast cup of tea at the CP on Snake Summit; hearing curlews and skylarks; and ‘our’ (i.e. Jude’s) sweet lines across some rather navigationally challenging terrain.

We saw a number of other GDHrs in passing i.e. them passing us at speed ….  Pennine SPS (note – we *did* try to change the name at the last minute… the lady gave Chris an odd look as we suggested “Jasmin will you sign my Fellrunner” as the alternative name. I think they ignored us- Tim).  including Tim “pain is in the mind” Budd and Chris “I wish I was wearing shorts” Webb and The John Hewitt Appreciation Society which this year comprised Tim “only just recovered from the last overnighter” Culshaw and Caitlin “now This is what I call a race” Rice together with Alex “I love these flying visits to Glossop” McVey and John “I want to be on *every* committee” Ryan from GDH’s northern outpost.

Perhaps unsurprising, the race was won by Haggis on Tour which featured Jasmin “I haven’t really recovered from the Spine yet” Paris and Konrad “I wish I could breastfeed too” Rawlik in an impressive 8 hours and 32 minutes. Pennine SPS came 3rd (2nd male team) in 9:28 and The John Hewitt Appreciation Society came 12th (3rd mixed team) in 11:08. Well done everyone!

Audacious Gals did not get an official place in the results list as we finished as a team of 3 however we got round in 12:57 (vet time of 11:13).  The event was well organised despite some difficult access issues late in the day, the marshals were amazingly enthusiastic, we all had type 2 fun and we feel absolutely no need to do that again.  I would like to say a huge thanks to Ali, Jude and Bex for their company on today’s race and to our extended posse of HPM team members and reccie supporters over the last few years.

From me (Tim)- I’d like to say thanks to the guys out and about on the course as well- Julien, Andrea and Lynne were also up at Snake Summit from early doors, handing out encouragement and amusement in equal part. Thankfully we managed to get away before Julien could start out with his “witty” repartee... Thanks too, to Matt Huxford for the photos support and for who chaperoning Alice for the duration.

Dark and White Spring Series #1

Lucy “I only really chase the dogs these days” Wasinski continues to bash out the miles in the Dark and White trail Series, starting off her Spring Series Campaign in Bakewell. She reckons that she didn’t do amazingly well, but I’m sure that the results will tell a different story. Greg apparently asked her to bring back a Tart, though I don’t know quite how well that went down.

This is what she had to say: Went to Bakewell this morning for round 1 of some spring series trail runs, solitary GDH this time in absence of Pete W. Every now and then you’re gonna have a bad day out and today was one of those days, just felt like it wasn’t happening. However it was a new route for this year, just under 10 miles, and it didn’t disappoint, bit of Monsal trail, some nice sticky mud, wooded trail sections and my favourite bit… the lush green Carlton pastures (mostly downhill which might be why its so fun). Actually my favourite bit was the finish line cos it meant time for coffee and biscuits, and however bad you feel in a race it’s better than not running at all right?!

Welcome Ultra

Jason “ultra’s in my” Hart went to Otley for the delightfully low key Welcome ultra organised by Punk Panther. Apparently it’s a really nice event with plenty of distance (as you might expect) and a very welcoming atmosphere. Not exactly his first ultra ever- but I suspect that Jason is building up to something special later on in the year… or maybe the Spine next year? oooh, Jason – let us know! Anyhow, rather than spread totally unfounded rumours (did you know, he is also looking at the Cape Wrath Ultra next year?), look at his time instead: he got around the 65k course in just under 9 hours, good work Mr. Hart.

Hope Winter Fell Race

Delighted to see that one of our “under cover” members has been out and about again. This time racing in the Hope Valley (and not telling anyone- presumably trying to escape notice for this report), yes, the (n)ever on time Rich “time keeping is my strong point” White decided that the HPM was too pedestrian for him this year and instead was seen thrashing his way around the Hope Valley in good time. I can’t believe that the official photographer didn’t get a picture of him. Actually, I can – they seemed to be inordinately focussed on running vests that come from the east side of the Peak District… however, I scoured the results and saw that Rich acquitted himself magnificently, coming 42nd of…. um, more than 42 in a time of 57:18.

Anglesey Half

Anglesey was the place to be for the half-marathon of delights this week. Jo “under the radar” Brack was on superb form to bag a significant PB of 1:47:37 and 3rd FV50. I suspect that she came back with a bag of swag, a couple of medals and a head full of Welsh phrases. Whether or not the wind from the impending storm had anything to do with the speedy time, I have no idea. I doubt it – these PBs don’t come easy.

Debdale 5k

Three of our finest were at the Debdale 5k this week. As ever, Malc “Debdale is my second home” Brown was there, mentioning that he shared the start line with 2 more GDHers. One, unfortunately shall remain nameless, mainly because I can’t find mention of them anywhere, nor can I see it on Strava. The other was Steve “5k isn’t long enough for me these days” Crossman who decided to run from Hadfield to Debdale, run the 5k in a sub 20 and then run back again. Not a bad morning out, really.

Junior Parkrun

Thanks to Pete W for the update: Just Martha and Merlin at Junior Park Run this morning. The cloud and drizzle back after last weekends February scorcher.
Martha ran a new PB of 11:24.
After last weekends PB, Merlin decided he’d check the ground conditions closely this week so sauntered around in 16:20.
Mini Harrier Flynn hasn’t done any running this week but he has had his GDH induction with the right of passage that is a wander up Kinder. Conditions were….well….most unFebruary like

Dave Munday and his entourage might not have been at Marple, but they were at Hyde Junior Parkrun, and Will, Josie and Rory apparently had a marvellous time bashing around the course..


There were a couple of people taking advantage of the dry conditions underfoot at Glossop this week – yes, New PBs for Steve Page and Melissa Crutchley at Glossop Parkrun this time around.

Other Stuff

Um – to be honest, no idea what else is going on. The Tuesday night sessions are ongoing, there are people out and about ALL the time, so if you need some inspiration, get on strava or get on facebook and ask for a run partner.

Get out there and run.

out and about

Charlie and Andy – out and about

The stuff of Legends – Weekly report

Quite a lot has happened this week. Thanks for the reports from Greg Wasinski, Nick Ham, Lynne Taylor, Matt Crompton and Els Swan. For some reason I have been handed back the reins for a week, I thought everyone else was racing, but it seems like there were a sneaky couple of holidays going on there as well. What with snow falling this week and everyone glued to their computers, dot watching the Spine I suspect it is fair to say that the overall productivity index of the GDH massive took a bit of a dive this week. Still, there is a fair be for me to blab on about, so grab a brew and feast yer eyes on this little lot……

There is a person in our orbit who deserves special mention this week. She did something pretty extraordinary which will long last in the annals of those around her. It is a tale of putting physical hardship to the back of the mind, a tale of heroism and gritted teeth-i-ness in the face of all odds. She certainly caused quite a stir, and rightly so. When you’re on your last legs and your shoes aren’t working properly, what do you do? That’s right – you take the damn things off and sprint like a maniac uphill in your socks. Step Forward Martha Wallroth. Legend of the week!

XC – Heaton Park

A select bunch of people were out and about thrashing the undergrowth at Heaton Park this weekend. It was SELCC’s turn to mark out the course and take on the dog walkers of the world. The mud was out, the sun wasn’t, the rain seemed to hold off on the day, though I’m guessing it was a little chilly, considering everyone appeared to be wearing baselayers.


Char, showing the correct reaction to running in Mud.

Ladies –
2 Kirsty “oh so” Sharp 30:34
30 Emma “smoke me a kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast” Rettig 36:26
39 Jo “breathing down the young ones necks” Brack 37:45
52 Charmian “There should be a swim and a bike around here” Brierley 39:40
58 Kaylea “Call this cold? I put on suncream” Haynes 40:46
Ladies 5th team, 7th V35 team, 7th V40 team


41 Steve “back to it” Crossman 42:06 2nd V50
92 David “all stops out” Chrystie-Lowe 47:52 2nd V60
144 Andy “Getting better value for money than Jo” Brack 55:06
147 John “Pump up the tent. Pump it, pump it!” Stephenson 56:20
16th Male team, 13th V40 team, 9th V50 team

Junior XC


Great GDH junior XC running at Heaton Park today with extra kudos for Martha Wallroth who ditched her shoes before putting in a brilliant final (uphill) sprint, clearly channeling her inner Zola Budd. Some excellent running from Caitlin and Josie Swan as well, both 3rd in their respective races.

U11 – 30th Martha “zola” Wallroth 9:00
U13 3rd Caitlin “I run faster in pigtails” Swan 14:05
U15 3rd Josie “who needs spikes?” Swan 17:35

Derbyshire Schools Cross Country Finals

From Matt Crompton: Adam and Sarah Crompton both represented High Peak in the Year 7 High Peak boys and girls team at the event in Shipley Hills Country Park in Heanor near Derby. They were up against some strong runners in both races, and both did their team, and their parents, proud. Well worth the early start and nearly four hours round trip!! I’ve not seen any results as yet, but there was a whisper that High Peak won the girls team prize!

White and Dark Peak: Wildest Peaks

Trail affectionados Lucy Wasinski and Will Mather were off into the White Peak this weekend for the Dark and White “Wildest Peaks” event. Wildest, in terms of the weather, which was so wild that the somewhat ambitious 15 mile course shortened to a brief and breezy 10.5k. (I understand that fog stopped play, as it were?) The pair showed their grit, determination and drive to get to the finish line to have a hot cup of tea and a couple of biscuits by coming in 1/2 on the day. Unfortunately due to a later starter who finished the course a little faster, Will was edged from the podium. Nevertheless, the tea still tasted lovely.

pete and lucy

Pete, with Lucy, who is *clearly* just pretending that it’s cold.

Winter Trail Wales

Greg Wasinski was off in Wales pootling about the Winter Trail Wales Half in Coed y Brenin. The half marathon course goes on the same route as the summer one, but in winter conditions. It would seem that Greg *didn’t* lock his keys in the car this time around and enjoyed a rather challenging smack down which was, in his words “a bit of a struggle”.  -in his own words:

So Saturday was the Winter Trail Half at Coed y Brenin. Fairly muddy, but other than that good running conditions in one of our favourite places. Having set a PB in the past on no training unfortunately had a bit of mare this time around; who knew that only running twice a week wasn’t good training…? Ended up with me dropping about 70 places on where I normally finish and running my slowest time there since I first ran the course in 2014. After what felt like (but wasn’t!) a quick first 8km the rest was a painful, dispiriting slog. Still, the Buff, thermal mug at end, and flapjack were good and be back in June to ‘settle the score’.


Greg – looking fully ready to “settle the score….”

The Nick Ham Report

Thanks to the marvellously attired Nick Ham for his report:

nick ham

Nick Ham in full on shopping mode.

With me not being able to get into The Hebden yesterday and with Kinder Trial having been cancelled, I enjoyed another two infernal hills in the Woodbank parkrun and found Three Halls of Stockport to run today. It’s a self navigation course between three halls, which this year were Underbank Hall, Vernon Hall and Goyt Hall. It was all on territory very familiar to me but I still needed a couple of pre-race reconnoitres to hone the optimum route from Vernon Hall to Goyt Hall and back to the finish in Woodsmoor to get the total distance down to ~8 miles. It proved worthwhile because I managed to finish third with a time of 1:08:43, just 4 seconds behind second place (chip timing thanks to organisers Crazy Legs Events). There were 157 finishers. It was a novelty to be running around my home town in race mode instead of walking in shopping mode.


Thanks to Lynne for putting this together for me:

With XC being on this weekend there was only a smattering of GDH runners at our home parkrun in Glossop. The snow that was threatening on Friday never reached Manor Park so beyond the ground being wet underfoot the run was cleared for going ahead, not PB conditions though.
Sean Phillips romped home to take first finishers position in a speedy time only 16secs off his PB, good effort. Paul Gatley was just squeezed out of the top ten in what must have been a close run into the finish funnel. Sikobe was next to finish, now only 3 parkruns short of his 250 t-shirt and a few minutes later Christine Peters. Next in were Craig Leith, Alan Byrne, Darren Ashworth and finally Lynne Taylor.
Don’t forget that Glossop parkrun is a club champs counter so get yourself there early in the year and you’ll have ticked one ‘race’ off the list.

parkrun AWAY:
Lots of PBs were bagged in the away team runners, and we seem to have spread ourselves far and wide throughout the UK this weekend:

Heaton Park – Dez Mitchell
Woodbank Park – Nick Ham and David Munday
South Manchester – Joe Travis (new PB)
Hyde – Tony Hillier
Durham – Paul Peters (first finisher and a new PB) and Emma Peters also with a new PB
Medina I.O.W – Claire Campbell
Vogrie (near Edinburgh) – Bill Leason (on his 99th parkrun…one more for the 100th!!)
Marple – Steve Page (3rd overall) and Ian Crutchley with a new PB
Northala Fields – Caitlin Rice (3rd overall, 1st female finisher and only 6secs off her PB)
Bakewell – Paul Amos

Other Stuff

For those who don’t know, the AGM is going ahead on the 30th January – I believe it is going to be in the room above the Oakwood. (so bring warm clothes).

Thanks to Steve Page for leading the club run on Thursday.

As ever, if it isn’t on strava, or it isnt on facebook, or you don’t send a report to then it didn’t happen. (unless one of us hears about it and we make up some scurrilous rumours instead)… so let us know what you’re up to.

Of course –  unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you can’t help but have noticed that formerly of this Paris(h), Jasmin Paris went and won the Spine in a record time. There have been crazy amounts of media attention on this quite frankly astonishing feat, so I don’t intend on adding anything else here, apart from the clubs hearty congratulations. I trust everyone has been inspired anew and is bursting with ideas and enthusiasm for their next adventures. Don’t just be inspired, get out there and act on it!

It’s all quietening down a bit – Weekend report.

Even though we’re on our way into Christmas there have still been some things and stuff happening in the world of Glossopdale. .

To be honest, there hasn’t been a lot of racing, but there has been some fun route finding, some parkrunning and some other stuff which is on strava, which you can have a look at if you want.

Perhaps the most impressive/dangerous thing done this week was by Ian Crutchley on the other side of the world….. thanks for sending in the report Ian….

Ian’s Tongariro Crossing

“I hope you have a jacket in that bag mate?”.  “I’ll be right enough in this vest I reckon”.  I was instantly having concerns about my typically minimal choice of attire, and although I had some odd pieces of kit on the bag, I knew I’d have to keep moving.  On the Summer Solstice I went to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a 13 mile linear route across the most volcanic part of New Zealand’s North Island. After dumping my car at the end and getting on the shuttle bus, I arrived at Mangatepopo Hut, and after some faffing, set off at the back of a chain of what seemed like hundreds of people.  And what people, walking 3 abreast and many flat refusing to shift.  After a few miles and a couple of thousand feet climbing, I was getting quite grumpy when I reached the South Crater, but took solace in the fact I was now going “off piste” to the South, and climbing Mount Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom), not something attempted by the masses.  As it turned out, this was a formidable undertaking with a 1500ft climb up 60 degree slopes of scree and boulders.  Ropes would have been more useful than my fell shoes.  I took note of the sign at the bottom, suggesting to take care of falling rocks, and halfway up I realised this was not a pointless warning  I heard falling rocks above and looked up to see several, one the size of a football, hurtling toward me.  I got out of the way sharpish and it missed me by about 6 feet.  It would have definitely ended my day, at best.  Doom indeed.

Being more attentive I continued to slog to the summit, which was shrouded in clag.  The going was incredibly tough owing to the 18 inch step up, followed by the 9 inch slip back down.  I got to the snow line and up to the top, just over 7500 feet, but wasn’t greeted with any view unfortunately.  I was definitely a bit shaken, and concerned about the coming descent, so took a quick selfie at the cairn and retreated.  I was now getting cold, and almost got the jacket out, but persisted, and continued in my GDH vest.  The drop was as precarious as I expected, the first few hundred feet being quite honestly, dangerous.  Soon enough I chanced upon a fine scree line that clearly others had taken.  This was basically a controlled slide, but was mercilessly free of boulders.  Soon enough the angle relented, and I was back on the Crossing path proper.  I don’t think I’ve ever been more relieved to hit a path again.  The climb had taken a lot out of me, but I slogged on across the South Crater and up the steep climb to Red Crater.  Here I was lucky enough to get some brilliant views down to Emerald Lakes, and realised I was surrounded by volcanic activity, steam and sulphuric gases spewing from seemingly everywhere.  After crossing the Central Crater, the long descent followed to the car at Ketetahi.  It took me around 5 hours 30 in total, which is not bad being as the average time to hike across is 8 hours, without including any suicidal side excursions.  An amazing day out, on many levels, but take heed, I would neither recommend, or repeat the climb up Mount Doom!


So the only other thing of note was parkrun- and considering the Crutchleys were across the globe, I’d have to say that the furthest flung parkrunners from our lot this week were ianprIan and Melissa Crutchley who blasted their way around Napier Parkrun in NZ. Closer to home, Sean Phillips, Joe Travis, Lance Hamilton-Griffiths and Emma Peters decided that they didn’t want to hang around and wait for the rain, making it around Glossop Parkrun in PRs. Proof that it isn’t just the conditions that make you fast/slow. As ever – the consolidated results are here….

Other Stuff

This week just gone was Jeroens Annual reindeer challenge, which, as always, went down well. Not to be outdone, the XC training involved a chocolate based challenge as well – I hope the chocolates were distinguishable from the mud – from what I hear it was very successful as well. On Friday the hills were host to the Solstice run. A few of us made our way up onto Glossop Low to celebrate the coming of the sun – and then made our way back to the pub, to continue our celebrations there. We could just about see the Full Moon, but the meteor shower was very covered over by cloud. solstiicve

I guess everyone is pretty much ready for Christmas and is busily filling their diaries with ambitious plans for next year. Can’t wait to hear all about them.