Author Archives: gwonline1

Records tumbled, PBs smashed and mud spattered pretty much everywhere…apart from in Manchester maybe.

Well where to start! Actually, I reckon that’s fairly easy, because whatever camp you sit in (he’s amazing/it was too artificial with too much technology), it’s pretty awesome that we saw Kipchoge not just break, but pretty much smash the 2h mark for a marathon on Saturday morning! Saw a stat that only 5 parkruns have been run quicker than he was doing 5kms – now that’s impressive whatever your opinion on the whole thing! Think it left a few folk feeling inspired…he’d barely finished and Pete Wallroth was lacing up his shoes and rallying the troops for a run! Back on home turf, cos we ain’t all in Vienna this weekend, GDH had our own records to beat…and that you did! Read on to hear more about the mud, the hills, the flats, the miles, and the fun that was had!

Langdale Horseshoe

Thanks to Chris Webb for sending in this report from the Langdale Horseshoe, a bit of an epic race 21.1km with a mammoth 1450m climb!

” Langdale marks the end of the big Lakeland races for the year and always draws a great field. This year there was a record turnout of over 400 on a lovely autumn day (it did tip down for the first 20mins, and Bowfell and Crinkle Crags were in clag….but it was sunny otherwise and I class that as lovely!) with 4 Glossopdalers on the start line. It’s a great route with a long climb out of the valley up and round Stickle Tarn before summit inn Thunacar Knott; from there is either fast, boggy descents or rocky climbs and traverses with some sneaky nav around Bowfell and the Crinkles (obviously, that’s where the clag was). I was having a decent race and fancied myself to break 2:30 despite the ropey conditions (I think my best is low 2:20s) but made the mistake of following Paul Tierney off Crinkle Crags. The guy’s done the Wainwright’s and lives in Ambleside, he’s a safe bet to know a good line was my thinking…not so – cue a lot of swearing on his part. It only cost a few mins but that did for the 2:30 target. Alice was running whilst Tim looked after Edith and by the sounds of it had a cracking run, spending plenty of time on her backside (if you’re not falling you’re not going fast enough) and romping home past Team Culshaw at Blea Tarn. Robin and Sarah were there too but I didn’t see them, sorry! Their results are below, it looks like they had a romantic run round together. A quick plug for those thinking about Lakes races for 2020; Langdale was the final counter in both the Lakeland Classic Trophy (a great series of the best longer and harder races in the Lakes: and also the Lakes Grand Prix (shorter, slightly less arduous races but all great: – both series are worth considering or using to choose good race options in the Lake District.”
Chris Webb: 41st in 2:33:01

Robin Hoffmann: 186th in 3:15:28

Sarah Andrew: 187th in 3:15:36

Alice Willson: 328th in 3:52:14

We’ve also had a report in for a very advanced for age Edith- On Saturday mummy (Alice Willson) ran Langdale Horseshoe. Me and daddy started a walk but Joss Naylor thought I was a boy and told us it was too rainy for him so we stopped. I told mummy that the best way to move around is rolling, so she rolled most of the way. Now she has a purple bottom. Chris Webb (41st, 2:33), Sarah Andrew and Robin Hoffman (17th woman, 186th, both 3:15) did very good running. Mummy finished a very tough fell race 47th in 3:52.

GDH’s most hardcore supporter come rain or shine….Edith

Manchester Area Cross Country League – Match 1 Wythenshawe Park

No intro necessary as the write up says it all! Big thanks to speedy Steve Crossman for sending in this brill report!

“XC returned this week meaning that Winter is just round the corner! Conditions for the first race of the season were pleasantly mild & dry, although underfoot was a touch ‘sticky’!

Wythenshawe is renowned as the fast & flat venue, a gentle introduction into some of the more traditional venues.

Wendy Trelease, running her first XC, was the only GDH female competing. Wendy waded, & waltzed round the 4.5 mile course in 41:02, finishing 145th out of 283, in 21st position in her age category. Judging by the comments on Strava, Wendy indicates it’s the ‘hardest thing she’s ever done’………we’ll check on that after the remaining venues!!

The magnificent 7 GDH Hunks that turned up to race the 5.5 miles, all performed admirably in a tough and high standard field of 402 runners.

Simon Toole, popped his XC cherry, finishing with a big smile in 48:27, 341st & 35th MV50

Pete Daly, running on his home patch, cruised round in 43:22, 238th & 22nd MV50

John ‘The Rocket’ Stephenson, steamed round in 51:54, 373rd & 11th MV60

The evergreen Frank Fielding, sporting his GDH retro vest, glided round in 46:14, 301st & 5th MV65

Steve C, 38:19, 103rd & 3rd MV50

David Chrystie-Lowe, chauffeur to most of the team and designated bag drop car, demolished his rivals to run an impressive 44:13, 257th & 3rd MV60

Alex Critcher, now utilising the infamous Beetroot Diet, put his worries that he was haemorrhaging behind him, to beet (Ed: *eye roll*) round the course despite IT band issues in 47:04, 319th & 54th MV40

It was great to see Start2Jog at the race, complete with a tent and a strong showing from their runners in both the female and male races.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Julian Goater in his book The Art of Running Faster, ‘Racing XC can help you become a better runner on any surface by pushing against your limiting factors: It is enormously effective in developing strength, skill, stamina and psychology – mental toughness and stickability are improved too…’

With that in mind, hopefully we can drum up more support for these cracking events. I believe you can enter on the day for the South East Lancs League (1st match at Heaton Park on the 19th Oct) and also you can come and dip your toe in at Chris Webb’s Wednesday Evening  XC Training Sessions, starting soon in Bankswood Park”

Absolutely cracking GDH, great work! Well folks, if that does not leave you inspired…then I dunno! I’m sure Kirsty Sharp will be able to give any more advice/help if you’re tempted with South East Lancs League. Keep your eyes peeled on the FB page where Chris will post details of his Wednesday sessions. Alex C —Daily Mash said Kipchoge credited beetroot shots with his impressive performance, so look forward to seeing how XC round 2 goes 🙂

U didnt believe it when Steve said it was muddy?
see – it doesn’t release it’s victims…you’ll have to wait til next time to see if this Buxton man made it out alive….
aaaaah- u just need to round,not through! easy!

Lakes in a Day

Given the conditions of last year, and Dan Stinton’s tales of the event, i’m surprised anyone would want to ever sign up for this 😉 but it obviously didnt deter 2 of our hardened runners – or perhaps they just didn’t speak to Dan! Big thanks to Els Swan for sending this in – hopefully written from the comfort of the sofa with her feet in some snuggly slippers.

“Lakes in a Day (LiaD) is a 50 mile traverse  with ~4000m of ascent starting at the very top of the Lake District at Caldbeck and finishing at the very bottom, in Cartmel, taking in Blencathra, the Helvellyn Ridge and the western shoreline of Lake Windermere on the way. 

Rich Martin and I were the only Glossopdalers in attendance this year. The race is a tough one with the vast majority of the climbing in the first half. Happily the conditions were much kinder than last year’s Day in a Lake with minimal wading and only light buffeting on the tops. 

The official results are not out yet however based on the event tracker, I finished as 14th Lady (4th vf40) in 14:46 and Rich finished in 16:47, a big PB in comparison to his reccie timings.  There was some great racing at the front of the field apparently with Ricky Lightfoot taking the overall course record, finishing in 8:47 – about the time some of us mere mortals were coming down into Ambleside with another 20 miles to go. He also bagged £2,000 for the course record – or about £222 / hour. Nice if you can!

As always, I need to say a massive thank you to Phil and the girls for their support on the day and also for their tolerance of my increasing levels of catastrophising over the last few weeks; encounters with angry cows; complete nav failure; falling off Halls Fell etc etc.  Interestingly, there was a possible catastrophe which wasn’t on my list – getting between a low flying goose and the lake on which it was planning to land. I will know for next time. 

Many thanks too, to Dan Stinton and Emma Rettig for their advice (Ed – ah so they did speak!) based on having done this race before: don’t scrimp on kit, eat lots and keep going til the finish (all wise words) and to Rich and his running partner, Matthew, for letting me tag along with them over the Fells. 

The race is really well organised with brilliant feed stations, live tracking and the option of changing into dry shoes and socks at Ambleside as the terrain changes from fell to trail – bliss, briefly. As the organisers say “a day never to be forgotten”. 

Absolutely brilliant Els and Rich (and Matthew) – incredible achievement. (and well done to all the supporters – not always an easy job in itself!). Perhaps if you’re after your first 50 miler, this is one for you with a good number of GDH veterans there to give advice!

hmmmm those hoods don’t make it look like the conditions were that kind?!

Wiggle Manchester Half Marathon

Now this has been the talk of the town for some weeks, a bit like Chester marathon there were a good number of GDH targeting this race, all hoping for a PB on this fast course. Happily, today dawned not exactly bright, but definitely not p*ssing it down like it seems to have done the past couple of weeks. Thanks to Paul Peters for sending in this report:

” I’d set myself a pretty ambitious target of 73 mins, and while I’d had a few setbacks in training I wanted to give it a whirl, so I “merrily” set off at target pace. It was all going well for the first 12km or so, almost too well… As I was making my way through Sale my watched beeped for another km, and I did a double take when it was suddenly 10s slower. It woke me up and the next one was on track, but from then on it was a losing battle. 
The last 7km or so was just a mental battle, stuck running by myself, overtaking one person for every 10 that went by me (all wearing their new Nike shoes I might add…), and gradually drifting slower and slower. I finally crossed the line in 75:11, initially a little disappointed. After actually looking at the splits though, I didn’t actually fall off as badly as it felt, and I just overestimated where I was at, and I’m new very happy with my new 4 minute PB! 
Massive thanks to coach J for the pep talk and personal bag drop duties, and to Wendy (I think?) for the on course cheering! And well done to all the other gdh runners out there today.”

Wow fast running Paul! Great work – meanwhile minutes later, others were battling it out and smashing their own PBs!

Jessica Camp – 1h 32m 48 (massive 5 min PB!)

Mike Greenhalgh – 1h 34m 29

David Munday – 2h 45m 32

Susan Moore – 2h 45m 32

Alison Holt – 1h 53m 43

Ian Oates – 1h 44m 59

Steven Rea and his mum- 2h 47m 30

Looks like Coach J’s tuesday sessions are paying off – PBs a plenty! So you know what you gotta do – buy some Nikes, and come on a tuesday and you’ll be flying 🙂 I’m sending my Brooks back…who recommended those?! no, i’m not getting into that conversation again haha.

Rowbothams Round Rotherham

No report from this one, but Strava shows Nick Ham did this 81km epic trail – his 13th go on this. Sounds like the weather was better than normal, but it was …unsurprisingly muddy!

Petzl Night Trail – Coed y Brenin

No report from Claire, but having spied something on FB, and having manned the feed station twice, and ran it once, I can defo write something about this fab event!

Set in the beautiful forests at CyB, this 3h night event starts at 6pm in the light and finishes in the dark at 9pm. Running solo, or in teams of 3, you run 3k laps of the forest with the aim to do the most in the 3h. There’s music, beer, food, fairy lights, glow sticks…it’s seriously good fun! Claire Campbell, feeling brave, entered as a solo which is no mean feat as the temptation is to shoot off quick like the team runners do, but with 90m ascent per lap, it soon saps the legs! Anyway, she clearly paced it perfectly, and i think was 5th female overall and bagged 2nd V40!! Nice one Claire. I reckon this would be great to get a bunch over for this next year – it’s brilliant.

Go Big More fell race

Thanks to eagle eyed Ian for spotting this for me – Steve Knight was out racing this 13 and a bit mile fell race – and pretty darn speedy he did it too! Just over 7 and a half min miles with 500m elevation – that got him just outside the top 10 – well done Steve!

Parkrun corner

See here for the consolidated club report.

We also had this report from Emma Peters travel the long journey south!

“Exciting times for parkrun in the North East with the addition of yet another new parkrun in Newcastle. Jesmond Dene parkrun had their inaugural run this week, making it my closest parkrun at less than 1.5km from my house. Joe Travis was up in the area for work again so the 2 of us ventured over to check it out. There’s some nasty climbing in the first couple of km, followed by some flat loops at the top of the park before a long descent to the finish. Joe finished 10th place in 21:30 and I was 2nd lady (21st overall) in 22:51, setting this as the SW20-24 age category record to beat. Would recommend as an alternative to Newcastle’s Town Moor parkrun if you’re ever up here and missing the hills of Glossop.”

In other news

Hopefully you all saw this on FB – big thanks to Tim Budd for setting up this self-timed nav challenge thingy with checkpoints, where you make your own route between them (that’s kinda it right?!). He’s sent in this :

“Update on Winter TT (FrostbiteTT/nav)10 people had a bash at the first of the routes- “huts and springs”. Times ranged from just over an hour to just over 2 hours.
All were done in daytime, and there weren’t too many navigational howlers. Almost everyone ended up getting the bonus nav point of Hazel’s well.
So well done to (in attempt order), Dave Hogg, Mark Davenport, Ant Walker, Catherine Cleary/Ann Shackleton/Lynne Taylor- joint effort, Andy and Jo Brack, and John Stephenson.

I have a number of the gpx files to look at the different lines people took overlaid on each other, which makes for quite interesting viewing I’ll put a link to it on the facebook page…. because there is a new course out tomorrow. “

Good effort guys -and there’s something to look forward to on a Monday – Cheers Tim!

That’s all for now folks. If you haven’t already, get your torches charged cos it’s definitely that time of year. Jeroen has put the details of the next 8 week cycle of sessions on FB and on the website, so you’ll find all you need to know there. Early bird entries to Manc mara close this week if you fancy a fast and furious spring marathon – there are already a good number signed up. Recces – there are various Trigger recces, and 4 inns recces going on over the next few months, so look out for those (Zoe Barton) – you don’t have to be racing to join them, sometimes a good excuse for a long run with company! And a good chance to have a dabble in the fells if roads are more usually your thing – Wendy M and co looked like they were having fun on Paul’s 4 inns tour.

Podium places, PBs and trail fun a plenty!

After the racing, walking, eating shennanigans of last week – you would have thought people would need a break! But the racing continues! Thanks to everyone for sending in their reports and pics – made getting back at 6pm from a weekend in the Lakes a lot easier 🙂 Wait to be amazing and impressed by what your club mates have achieved this week!

Trunce Series

Well all good things have to come to an end, and this year’s Trunce series finished on Monday. Great to see a few GDH have regularly made it over on a Monday night to get to these. And Trunce regular Caitlin Swan sent in this report:

” I have really enjoyed this year’s Trunce Series because it is a challenging route with lots of ups and downs (and lots of river crossings for the seniors).  The races attract lots of runners meaning that it is always a tough field to beat.  Whilst the races are hard, they are also very sociable and some of the fancy dress for the last race was amazing.  Unfortunately for me, I seemed to get slower as the races went on so I am very happy to have placed as 3rd junior girl overall.  Hopefully next year I will be able to get more PBs and a higher place.  50p from the £2 race entry goes to Woodhead MRT and the 2019 series raised £1600 in total which shows its popularity and it all goes to a good cause.  I would recommend Trunce as type 2 fun on a monday night.  The 2020 dates have been released as:  March 30th/ April 20th/ May 11th/ June 1st / June 22nd/ July 13th/ Aug. 3rd/ Aug. 24th/ Sept. 14th”

Great running Caitlin, 3rd place overall is fab! And we saw the gorgeous trophy you won as well 🙂 Hope that will take pride of place! Well run to all the GDHers who took part in any of the Trunce races. For those of you who like some number-geekery, Els sent in this:

Harriers putting in an appearance at this year’s trunce seem to be:

Caitlin Swan7
Phil Swan6
Ian Crutchley1
Matt Crompton1
Adam Crompton2
Pete Wallroth1

Zoe Barton1
Maria Williamson1
Dez Mitchell2
Will Mather1
Josie Swan1
Wendy Trelease1

The fancy dress on the last race looked hilarious, as Rachel W said, not often you see a leprechaun being chased by a skeleton!  Again, big thanks to Els Swan for collating and sending in this collage of pics from the Trunce races, great photos!

Fat Boys Stanage Struggle

Matt C had rallied the troops for this and a few headed over to Hathersage for this cheap and cheerful race, and thanks to our racing regular Paul S who sent in this report:

” What a belter of a race! Leaving the dreary clag of Glossop and racing under azure skies, sometimes you can’t help but smile. If you don’t know the race, it has a fast, flat trail start with a couple of pace wrecking cattle grids. (I saw one lad leap across. No chance of that with me. If in doubt, mince it!) The path heads into some woodland and gradually ramps up until all of a sudden you’re on top of Stanage Edge. Then head left along the edge (which is harder than it sounds when jostling for position) till just beyond the trig, then it’s down a short, rocky, heathery path (I lost 5 places on this, Lins gained 9!!) Then 3 lumpy, humpy but very runnable fields with some steps up at the last one then a final tarmac descent and the final short climb into the school field.  Job done.  I really enjoyed it but I’ve got to say it was a little more technical on the descent than I remembered – not Ben Naylor rough but just enough to mess up my rhythm (I’m all about the rhythm J )  I wish I knew what time Lins got for the descent segment but she didn’t Strava it. Thanks to Lins for driving me and Tracey over. Andy Fox was also out racing but I’ve no idea how he or anyone did. And extra kudos to Tracey for not throwing up 🙂 ”

Another runnable classic this one, with a bit of additional mincing! Sounds fun – well run you all!

Harrow Half Marathon

Presumably not running with a sack of coal this week, but definitely running in the blue and orange was Glossop’s fell (and trail…and road!) speedster. Thanks to Steve C for sending in this:

Caity Rice running in GDH colours was 3rd Female, 41st overall at todays Harrow Half Marathon in 01:29:32

Wow speedy work Caity! Congrats on the podium spot!

Great Westmorland 13k trail

Well, I reckon, that John Pollard may just be up there in greatest number of races run this summer! Yet another race report swung it’s way to us…luckily didn’t go the wrong way at the gate hehe. Thanks John!

“A change for me this weekend, crossing the M6 & running, still in Cumbria, but in the northern Pennines between the Lakes & the Yorkshire Dales…the old county of Westmorland, a race organised by Howgill Harriers with a view of the Howgills from the Lune & Eden valleys. Easier than running those said Howgills, which are bloody steep and all pretty much look alike to me, so too easy to get lost.
The field was swelled by about 40 entries from the ubiquitous Chorlton Runners, who have this weekend for their annual club get together away.
At registration I asked about the likelihood of ‘going wrong’ as the course was totally unfamiliar. “You can’t get lost, it’s all marked, and I’ll be sweeping along anyway” said the lovely lady. Ok cool, makes a change from those pesky fell races where you have to think as well as run.
So after watching the junior races, and a Canicross event (new to me, where dogs tied to their owners ran a 5.5k trail course) 120 runners or so set off up a steady incline into a stiff breeze.
Enjoyed this, especially as the climbs were all, to quote a seasoned Glossopdaler, ‘runnable’. And towards the end there was finally a fast descent along the narrowest of walled tracks lined by vicious stinging nettles you could not avoid. Still smarts now.
It was along this path, while hunting down two guys in front that the frantic patter of faster runners behind me started to appear. First one set, then another, then more, until us slower fellas had to step aside about ten times for the plummeting fast lads. Why, I wondered.
Well apparently a sizeable number at the head of the field had ‘gone wrong’.
Somewhere at a marshalled gate the boys had gone right, not left, as the marshall was on her phone(and was distracted by a toddler too), and despite evidence of some flags the peloton carried on like sheep, fast ones.
Took them a while to correct this evidently. And the moral is…..
All of us got rewarded at Crosby Garrett village hall with a free packed lunch, cakes tea…and apologies. Brilliant race”

Sounds right up my street this type of race- thanks for this John! Glad you made it back without a detour!

Lake District Mountain Trial

So not sure how we missed that this, and the Cumbria Way Ultra were happening just where we happened to be staying in the lakes this weekend! Langdale was a popular place for running it seems this weekend. Thanks to Alice Willson for sending in this (not -shouty -enough -about their -achievements- race report!):

“Family Willson Culshaw had an ambitious outing to the Lake District Mountain Trial in Langdale. Baby Edith currently refuses bottles, so we had to work the timing out around her feeds. After a super early start for Tim, the latest start for me and some grandparent babysitting in the middle, we successfully managed to keep Edith relatively content. Tim had a storming run and came in 3rd overall, winning 2nd prize (as one of the people who beat him was a child so he got upgraded). On my first solo nav event, and in preparation for the OMM with Zoe Barton, I was pleased to discover I could navigate adequately, and came in 1st solo woman. Sighs of relief all round! “

Errrr wow!! congrats to this fell running super couple! And congrats to the Grandparents as well – that’s some serious brownie points! Zoe B – you picked your OMM partner well 🙂

That babysitting malarkey must have been a doddle for the grandparents!

Snowdon Skyline

Well Strava shows that Kasia has recently been putting in some pretty hardcore training and spending a few weekends up Snowdon. Today she showed that was well worth the effort, and SMASHED the Snowdon Skyline coming an incredible 2nd place lady! That’s nearly 3000m ascent over 36km – and takes in Crib Goch too. Huge well done Kasia! The question is – what next?!


Consolidated club report can be found here.

Big congrats to Oliver Mather who got a new PB today at Marple Junior Parkrun – well done! Watch out Will – gonna have to up your game!?

In Other news

This week, the mens V40 category gained another member 😉 whether he has painted the ceiling yet and got a new sofa sorted yet as penance for his running exploits remains to be seen! Happy Birthday anyway!

Thanks to Charmayne who has been doing a cracking job holding the fort whilst Jeroen is off on his jollies, albeit perhaps slightly aghast at the number who keep turning up week after week ;). No slacking off this week guys, the club Chairman is on duty no less 🙂

Charge your headtorches, keep up the running, and thanks for the news!

It’s the summer holidays, and it’s August, and it’s raining – sounds about right.

Abort! Abort! Abort! The weather gods look like they had a wet and wild weekend lined up for us this week. So much so that our planned Ultra-relay race in Snowdonia had the route significantly amended such that it became a lapped course, and then had the start time amended, and then it became not a relay, but a mass start….and so with no doggy day care lined up we couldn’t do it. Pffffffft. Well, guess that’s one less report to write.

Anyway, in the week that Whaley was saved, there were still races a plenty going ahead, and yet again your antics have given weight to the notion  “there’s no such thing as a quiet week for GDHers”. Thanks to everyone for sending in their reports this week.

Quarry Bank Trail Race

Ah ha! I had seen this race on our old running club (sssssh) page and thought this looked great! So big thanks to Wendy Mcmahon for sending in her report!

“I was the only GDHer (that I saw and on record) at the picturesque Quarry Bank Trail Race on Wednesday.  The route was approximately 4.5-miles long with undulating terrain.  It’s a beautiful route which ran around the estate and right alongside the runway. It consisted of trail, grass, a billion steps, tarmac and not forgetting mud! I completed the course in 47:36 which considering there was near vertical climbs, cost £10, I’m happy getting the race experience in my legs.”

Thanks Wendy – sounds like a great route – bar the billion steps!! Fab time as well for such a challenging race 🙂

Cracken Edge Fell Race

So in the absence of any reports from any of our hardcore mid-week runners I set about making something up, and on my search for the results, found a rather wonderful race report by Kinder Mountain Rescue – so thanks to them, here is the official race report!

“The 10km Cracken Edge Fell Race is a major annual fund-raising event for the Kinder Mountain Rescue Team. Following the near-catastrophic events at Toddbrook Reservoir in Whaley Bridge, for which the team had been on stand-by since the previous Thursday, race-day saw Whaley Bridge re-opened to residents along with the surrounding roads, many of which had been closed when a dam-failure appeared imminent. The team feared a significant reduction in the number of entrants as a result of all the disruption but there were very nearly as many people attending as last year, with 206 runners starting. The course was significantly more ‘challenging’ than in previous years due to erosion caused by the recent deluges.

However, the race took place under clear skies after a day of rain, with lovely sunset vistas from the top of Cracken Edge and, fortunately, there were no major incidents, just a few relatively minor tumbles.

Steve Vernon of Stockport Harriers romped home in first place, over 5 minutes in front of the second-place finisher, and Lauren McNeil of Pennine Fell Runners was the first woman. Well done Steve and Lauren.

Over twenty prizes were awarded to individual runners, together with one for the muddiest tumble in the race which was awarded to Lisa Ashwood of Disley Runners. The team prize went to Stockport Harriers and the Ladies team prize to Pennine. The Mountain Rescue Team prize was won back from Woodhead by Glossop Mountain Rescue Team – always a hotly-contested challenge.

Kinder Mountain Rescue Team’s chairman was starting to present the prizes when he was interrupted by a text message; the formal “stand-down” for the team from the Toddbrook incident  – a fitting end to both a trying week for the local community and a wonderful race event. Thanks from the team to all the racers and particularly to the many friends and family that helped to organise and marshal the event.”

Well done GDH for going and supporting this race. Full results can be found here:

A few men and a little baby

CHAMPS RACE! Sale Sizzler #4

Well it might not have been quite as sizzling as some of the other Sizzlers this year, but was definitely still a warm one for this Champs race on Thursday. There had been a surprising number of Sizzler entrants at the Tuesday club session albeit with a handful “taking it easy” and saving the legs in preparation. Thanks to everyone’s favourite Tuesday coach for sending in this report:

“Thursday saw the 4th and final Sale Sizzler for 2019, the 18th year in which this race series is organised. It is a 5K run which starts on the running track inside Wythenshaw Park, then leaves the track and goes through the park before leaving it, back in and out again and finally back into the park before finishing on the track. 

20 Glossopdale Harriers had signed up for this Road and Trail Club Championship counter and 18 made it to the start line. Not much else to say about it as it was over. almost before it had started. That’s how fast the course is. Testament to that is that Tony Hillier, for a change, was not the first V70, truly a rare occasion. Now, how often can we say that? Closest battle was between Pete and myself. We were separated by only 2 seconds, I just ran out of track. Some notable performances though. Great run by Luke who missed his first sub-20 minute 5K by a mere 3 seconds. If only he had not taken his eye off the ball during K4. Jessica’s aim was to finish as close as possible to 20 minutes. Now, wouldn’t we all like to do just that……. apart from those who went under 20 minutes? She came really close with a new pb in 20:10.

My impression was that most were quite happy with their performances. Ian was an exception as he was struggling with a hip injury, the result from his extraordinary 15-hour, nearly 100k, 15 triggs challenge a few weeks ago. A fair excuse. John S reckons he could have done better judging by his comment: ” with hindsight, running Cracken Edge last night was maybe not the best preparation”. Now hindsight is a wonderful thing but does that really apply here? Other, oft-heard comments can be summed up as “hot and humid”. 


First GH home: Nick Lord 18:21

Steve Page 18:40

Luke Holme 20:03

Jessica Camp 20:10 (and 7th senior lady)

Matt Crompton 20:35

Pete Daly 20:39

Jeroen Peters 20:41

Ian Crutchley 20:56

David Christie-Lowe 21:34 (and 7th Vet 60)

Alex Critcher 21:40

Emma Rettig 23:47

Jo Brack 24:15 (and 5th Vet 50, highest placed GH in age-category)

Nick Ham 24:25

Tony Hillier 24:57

Charmayne Brierly 24:53 (and another 7th placed V50)

John Stephenson 25:11

Marie Williamson 25:54

Christine Peters 26:44 (and the final “top-10” finisher in 9th place V55)

Thanks Jeroen for sending this in – and great running GDH – some truly incredible times there! And some impressive category placings given the turnout you get from the local speedster clubs at those events.

There was definitely one that got away – but otherwise a nearly full complement of champs Sizzlers.

Dennis Stitt Fell Race

Thanks to Lins Palmer for sending in this report of the “not the in the Club Champs” race she did this week:

“Thursday evening, I was the only Glossopdaler at the Dennis Stitt Fell Race at Holmfirth. Great race with a superfast downhill start. Lots of prizes (3 team prizes for men and 2 team prizes for women, all age category prizes). I came 1st FV50 – yay”  🙂

Great running Lins! Congrats on the cat win! Wow – a race with a superfast DOWNHILL start?! Must be unheard of!

Marple Beer Run

So I’d seen bits about this run flying about on FB lately, and whilst I guess it’s fairly obvious what the run might entail – I actually had no idea. So I read this report from Ian with a mix of mild disbelief to start with, but was proper chuckling by the end. 

“I’ll have a go at any kind of race – fell or road, from 5k to ultras.  And at best, I’m bang average at everything.  But as an honorary member of the “5 second club”, when a couple of mates invited me to Marple Beer Run, I thought this may be my calling.  Mildly irresponsible, the premise is simple, a 4K mixed terrain run from Marple to the Fox Inn near Mellor Cross, with the added challenge of having to neck a pint of beer after each kilometre.  For the none beer drinkers, there is a G&T option available, starting 15 minutes later, but this puts you in a lesser category as its clearly much easier.  Obviously a novelty race this one, and with a field of 275 there was quite of lot of “fun runners”.  But I was surprised at the number of club runners from Chorlton, Stockport and obviously Marple that turned out.  Many for a “social”, but others clearly out to race – some of this lot didn’t look like they while away their days in the boozer.

I resisted the urge to rock up to registration with a can of Stella on the go, which I still reckon would have dealt a psychological blow to the competition. The first K down to Roman Lakes was fast, and I set off with intent.  The first control came quickly, and it involved a pint of Long Hop from Bollington Brewery, which was despatched without any drama.  The second K was all uphill and this is where I picked off 3 or 4 people, arriving at the second control just as the leader was leaving.  Although a lovely hoppy number, the pint of Pokies by Blackjack Brewery was difficult to get down in between the gasping for breath.  Over the third K I was still fairing quite well, but in the haze of confusion I was bit unclear how many were ahead of me.  At the third and final control, a pint of 3.9 by Outstanding Brewery awaited.  The lad from Stockport that I had been gaining on was now clearly struggling, so I thought it best to put him out of his misery by necking the last beer in one hit.  I was nearly sick, but it had the desired effect.  Off I went, but with 3 pints sloshing about in my belly, it was starting to get difficult.  No sign of the guy in front, and no immediate threat from behind, I resolved to just hold on.  With the Fox coming into view, the route held a short uphill sting in the tail, which was incredibly unpleasant.  I crossed the line in a respectable 4th place, but almost 3 minutes behind the winner, the same guy that won it last year.  The race was followed by more beer, music and BBQ at the Fox, then the bus back to Glossop from New Mills.  I’ll be lobbying hard for its inclusion in our club champs next year.  Seriously though, whilst it seems a bit pricey to run 4k, you get things you don’t often get during races (drunk), and a lot goes to local charities in the process.  A top laugh and I’d highly recommend for either a GDH social, and/or as a genuine bona fide challenge.

I will certainly be discussing my performance with Coach Jeroen, as I feel with a more focussed training regime, I could have done a little better.  Perhaps some running training may also help…..”

So I’m guessing any lasting hip pain from the Sizzler was dulled by beer then! 4th place –  nice. Not sure whether it says more about your running prowess or the time well spent in your “yoof” downing pints in the local boozer! Either way, it just goes to show that its true what they say – and to save any gastrointestinal issues, you should really practice your nutrition and hydration strategy in runs before race day 😉

Complaints came in at the end of the race after it seemed 4th place had got an unfair advantage in the form of an extra leg….
Not much to separate the samples for the anti doping urine collectors

Lowther trail and fell run

John Pollard continues his run of regular weekend racing and sent in this report:

“I did this race over 20 years ago, and was 2nd v40, winning a rare prize, so curiosity tempted me back, since they had stopped it for years.  
It’s part of the 2-day Lowther country show, but I knew after 3 days often biblical rain and seeing pictures yesterday, the show ground would be a quagmire. So what would the course be like, given there was meant to be fording of several becks and the River Lowther itself? A text on Saturday night informed us that we would not be straddling the river as it was head high…they would pause our e-dibbers either side of the narrow suspension bridge while we queued and would be allowed across in fives (as I indeed found out as it was a swaying H & S officer’s delight).
En route this morning on the motorway a further text pinged up and I could see the capitals CANCELLED…glancing over I learned the Show was cancelled but not the race. Good.
The relentless rain hadn’t deterred a healthy turn out of runners, including top fell guys like Carl Bell, the organiser told us on the start line. 
The race itself I’ll skip the details, it’s probably a bit tedious anyway. I enjoyed the mixture of terrain, starting & finishing on road & track, with most in between on moor and fell paths n trods – a majority of which were waterlogged and boggy, which slowed us down but made for ‘small boys fun’ (& small girls too pc police) splashing through the wet and mud.
I think the regular sucking my shoe out of bog was what gave me calf cramp toward the end too, but I finished in about 2hrs 16…having lost a bit while we waited at the river crossing. 
But, boys and girls, it was fun, and that’s what it’s all about isn’t it?”

Other news

A big thank you to Wendy M for sending in this inspiring piece about GDH’s most prolific V70! And I’ll add – V70 winner in this weekend’s Saddleworth race!

“Tony Hillier has been selected by the North West Awards panel as being recognised as the Winner or the Runner up of the RunTogether Group Leader of the Year category.  There were over 600 nominations made within the 9 regions.  His efforts and achievements have been recognised, and he has been nominated for his commitment to volunteering within our sport. The Regional Awards Event will be on Monday 30th September. Good luck Tony and carry on doing what you love – spreading the joy of running to others.  When are you going to get to Glossop though to run with us young uns!”

Massive congratulations Tony – great to see that your immense commitment and achievements in volunteering in running are recognised! Best of luck for the awards – be sure to send in some pics please!


So I’ve entered Chester marathon on 6th Oct along with what, 15 others? (yes yes its the same day as the fell relays, but we aint all fell runners!) There are still entries available so if you fancy a go at this fast and flattish (so I’ve been promised!) course then now’s the time to enter. And the more the merrier…not least so that GDH get a tent and VIP toilet access for having one of the biggest turnouts! Cmon folks…VIP toilet access….just saying.

Cheryl’s Friday Spinalongs

Fancy mixing up the training? Love early starts? Love early starts on a Friday even more? Then don’t forget Cheryl has started a 4 week (or hopefully more!) block of Spin sessions at Glossop Leisure Centre from 6.15am to 7am on a Friday. 2 weeks in and attendance skyrocketed from a measly 4 to a massive 6! Aside from getting a sore bum, these have been great fun, an ideal intense session to kick off your Friday and if you’re battling any niggles that’s made worse by running, or just fancy using some different muscles with some banging tunes and disco lights – then get involved!

That, I think, is just about it for now folks. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, and here’s hoping we get to see some sunshine sometime soon.

It’s Carnival weekend!

The first week of July usually means only one thing for me –  I’ve spent the week wishing I was drinking Pimms and eating strawberries near the fine turf of SW19, but it seems that for you lot the running races don’t stop! After some fairly hefty distances of previous weeks, this week seems to be all about the short sharp fell races and the fast road races, which in this heat – must be tough!

Thurlstone Chase

Thanks to Pete for sending this over for his, I think, first race of the week?!

“Late decision to head over the Woodhead for this one following Alex Critchers suggestion. 

Part of Thurlstone Gala, this was a cracker of a race. Far from a fell race in the traditional sense (there’s erm……no fell is run on at all technically) but it was a great route around Royd Moor and a fast paced one at that. Only a small showing this time, after it being a champs race the last couple of years but Luke, Alex and I gave it a good go. It’s a great start with a 1.5k wind up the hill on a track and Luke and I pretty much stayed neck and neck all the way around with Alex in close proximity the whole time. 

With me leading him for the latter half of the race and then completly running out of steam in the final 100m, Luke sportingly opened the shoulder and let me nip in front on the finish. He didn’t have to at all but perhaps he was worried about getting lost in the finishing shute so needed someone to follow. Appreciate the gesture Luke. Thanks buddy. 

We literally crossed the line, turned around and Alex was finished too. 

No results officially at the time of writing but 

Placings out of about 50 odd 

19 – Me at 31 mins something 

20 – Luke Holme same

25/26 or 27 I think – Alex Critcher”

Alex surprised, or terrified, to find himself running with Pete and Luke

Good running team – and very gentlemanly of Luke to let you go in front – strava suggests a Maccy Ds might have been scoffed a tad too close to the race? Did you just have to stop to vom?!

Alderley Edge 10km

Somewhere over near the posh parts of Greater Manchester the Alderley Edge 10k was taking place today and this report winged its way over from Laurie Barlow.

“It’s never a good sign when you can’t even plait your hair because of the humidity (*Ed* Greg had much the same problem this morning Laurie so you’re not alone!), but the temperature was pleasantly cool with a decent amount of cloud cover…right up until the race actually started. D’oh! Less than a kilometre into the race and the sun was blazing down and making me regret not bothering with the sunscreen. I won’t beat about the bush; this race is a pretty boring out and back along a bypass surrounded by concrete with naff all to look at except the never ending outbound incline. RunNorthWest do try to make it more interesting by having live music acts along the course and I can’t fault the organisation. I especially liked their initiative of taking your own bottle to the finish to help cut down on plastic bottles. I set out with the target of finishing in the 60-65 minute bracket and I crossed the line with a chip time of 1:03:51 so job done despite the best efforts of the sun. I also had the added bonus of being the first Harrier home. Ahem. Would I do this one again? Probably not, but I see they’re moving it to May for next year to try and dodge the summer heatwave.”

Great running Laurie – bang within your target! Greg commented when he saw a report in from Alderley Edge that he quite fancied doing that one year – surprising given he doesn’t really like roads! I was like u do realise this goes down a bypass right!? Anyway, despite the lack of scenery sounds like a good atmosphere and after the plastic-fest that was RSR last week, glad to hear they were doing their bit for the environment 😉

Larking about in the Lakes

John Pollard is obviously trying to beat us at our own game of “how many weekends can you spend in Wales” by trying to take the title in the Lakes.

After, for me, a gruelling 23k trail in the heat last weekend I was looking for something less dehydrating in the Lakes this week (I’m trying to spend most of the summer here, though it does mean missing out on lots of tasty Peak District runs)….so I found Hoad Hill Harriers, a thriving little outfit based in Ulverston, had organised a cracking little 3mile fell race on the modest local hills, but there was nothing tame about the racing.
Remarkable to see the variety of running clubs in this area, rivalry fierce, not even counting the big boys(and girls) from Ambleside, Helm Hill, Keswick, etc etc.
Some fast lads from Levens RR (ex-Hoad Hillers apparently…”splitters, bastards”), alongside strong fell-runners from Black Combe & the like, lined up in a small field, at the bottom of the first climb, a steep ascent of a local iconic landmark, a mock lighthouse built in memory of famous explorer Sir John Barrow (here endothelial the history lesson, but please do google…). (*Ed* History lesson – or Biology? Guessing the endothelial was an autocorrect special!?)
I didn’t really see anyone much after that as I was soon in the rear of the 40-odd phalanx, (I plead that the 23k was still in my legs, tho tbh I don’t climb well yet, need work…). 
In other circumstances it would’ve been a great little tester, across fields and up small lumps…but I was knackered. My time is there on strava but I cba to look it up again, about 34 mins the last handful of finishers, and the photo of the Hoad Hill Monument is there too…
Now today, Sunday, I was going to go to Keswick to do the Skiddaw 9.5 mile up n down, (I know this has a descent which incurs nasty blisters…ask Chris Jackson) so I’ve chickened out in favour of going to Chapel Stile for the Langdale Gala Sports Day, and to see the beard-growth competition as well as the wife-carrying race and the children’s wrestling and other more conventional events…probably.
Oh and there’s the 2k fell race, which I suspect is vertical, but may give it a go.
Doubtful I’ll write that up (*ED* don’t worry guys, he decided he would write it up so read on!)

Well done John! Guess you’ll still be there next week if youre watching the beard growth competition and want anything worth writing home about….

Langdale Gala fell race

“Not a lot you can say about a 2k up n downer…but if it’s going to be brutal it’s best to do it here with a view of the Langdale Pikes. Great carnival atmosphere where I might have done better in the wife carrying race than this mini-Matterhorn.
21m25secs and 44 out of 48 either tells you there were some good runners here (Sharon Taylor won the female prize) or I’m not quite at the races atm. The latter applies. But great fun.
p.s. my friends won the raffle – result”

Up the Nab

For those desperate to avoid carnival chaos in town, there was a lovely lunchtime offering right in the heat of the day for those hardcore enough to handle it. This report came in from Paul:

“Could this be Des’ best race?It was certainly the most organized ; it was flagged, marshalled and supported brilliantly and the route was a belter. For a 3 mile race, it was brutal (but in a good way); it just kept on throwing you up against a challenging mix of flats, climbs and descents, some were fast and runnable, others ankle twisty and bushwacky but all kept you on your toes and racing hard.  As always, it was great to hear the cheers of encouragement from supporters like Matt Crompton, Simon Entwistle and Tony Jackson (there may be others but I was in full on race mode so was utterly oblivious to everything going on around me).

This was a cracking little local race that only cost a fiver. It would be great to see a little more support from the club at these events. GDH were represented my me, Crutches, Steve France and Mary Jeal (Frank was in his dapper blue and oranges (socks included) but raced as Pennine).

As always Ive no idea about results but I can say that Ian Crutchley and Steve France along with yours truly bagged the male Team prize. I also got the V40 but failed in my real goal; getting a win against Chris Jackson. Next time Chris!”

Wow! Hip hip hooray for the team prize and nice one Paul on the V40! If you don’t wanna see a really irate Paul (does that ever even happen?! Cant imagine!) you should get yourself along to the next local race that he mentions and keep the lad happy 🙂

Next years Eurovision entry?

Up the Nab Junior Fell race

Crutchleys out in force this weekend! Thanks to Ian for sending in a report from the Juniors race.

“After his DNF disappointment last week at Bakewell, Benjamin Crutchley was back at Up the Nab.  There were 5 junior races ranging from U9’s to U17’s, each one pushing a little further up the adult route, before turning round for the breakneck descent.  These are tough races and no mistake.  This race is number 5 of 6 in the English Junior Fell Champs, and there was seriously a lot of (very good!) kids, probably 50 in each category.

I have to say how well organised the junior races were, and huge credit to Des Gibbons and his team.  Melissa Crutchley had started the U11’s race, but was struggling with her breathing following a cold, so dropped out near the top of the climb.  Gutted for her, but sometimes its not to be, and we’ve all had that!  Benjamin was next in the U13’s and struggled with the sustained climb over the first mile.  At the turnaround his pace picked up, a bit of ankle trouble but made up a few places in the drop down, finishing I reckon around middle of the pack.  Was incredibly impressive to see these kids race, some real stars of tomorrow!”

Well run you lot! Absolutely right there – sometimes it just isn’t meant to be and sounds like a tough race to be doing when getting over a cold – good on you for knowing when to call it a day Melissa. Onwards to the next race!

Fab running Benjamin – sounds like a descender of the future that if you’re making up places on the way down!

Benjamin setting a cracking pace up the hills!

Blackpool Summer 10km

Where else to be when the sun is shining? Blackpool of course!

Strava shows Paul Gatley was over there, not just for the running it seems – also bagged a crate of beer! Nice! Well deserved after speeding round the course in sub 50 mins!

The GDHers of the Future/the Junior GDHers of the moment

There are some prominent names in the world of junior GDH running what with Barlow/Wallroth/Brack/Swan/Crutchley/Crompton to name just a few. But this weekend, we’ve added another to the mix – and WATCH OUT KIDS! Cos Leonardo Holme just smashed his way onto the running scene! This came in from justifiably proud dad Luke who was probably most relieved that young Leonardo doesn’t seem to have inherited Dad’s nav genes.

“Leonardo Holme made his running debut for GDH at Marple Junior Park run today. He is about to turn three in two days time so I was wondering if it was a great idea for him to be racing at an early age. He did start the race quite emotional, perhaps a little overwhelmed but nonetheless he still wanted to run. (his idea not mine) 

Leonardo lined up at the start of the run alongside Martha and Merlin who shot off like rockets. 

Really proud dad as he did finish the run to see mother, brother and sister waiting for him at the end. Also extra support from the Wallroth family helped spur on a sprint finish. 

Just add a massive thanks to the Marshalls as their support was much appreciated. 

He finished 20:08 unofficially as he needs to be four before he can get an official time.”

Wallroth senior doesn’t have much time to plan his run write ups what with the speed his M&Ms get round the course! Thanks to this report from Pete:

3 regular harriers over this morning and a parkrun debut for a super trooper mini harrier. Leo Holme at 2 years and 363 days must be one of the youngest to take part surely. Luke was knackered after the last few days running so someone had to take him for a run and Leo duly obliged by dragging him around the course in 20:08

Well done Leo and our other harriers today

Adam Crompton – 9:15

Martha Wallroth – 13:41

Merlin Wallroth – 13:47

Leo Holme – 20:08

Great Hucklow

Thanks to Nick Ham for sending in this report, I feared he might not make it in time having been errm, out running or taking photos?! But make it it did!

“I’d got my fastest Woodbank parkrun time since April yesterday (back to below 25 minutes – yeah, go me, woo) so I was looking forward to putting in a respectable effort today as the sole GDH representative. At 10k I should get it done and dusted within the hour (dream on oh gutless-engined one). It was my first time on this race, which promised plenty of up and down like the Derbyshire Dales do rather well. I entered because it’s in the Gritstone Series and I’m hoping to complete enough qualifying races, and it’s in my favourite part of the country. Registration in the finishing field was relaxed before the race organiser’s busted horn set us off down the lane, right along Great Hucklow’s main street (another lane) and right down a rough and rutted track, which descended for ever as I breathed in the dust cloud kicked up by all the runners in front and all those overtaking me. Relief was bestowed when we turned right into a grassy field to begin the first climb (what goes down must go up, and repeat, and repeat, etc.)

After the dusty descent we soon came upon an unavoidable swimming pool of liquid mud across a gateway (well, it was liquid mud by the time I got there). I’d heard the warnings and didn’t believe them, but it was true. It must have its own special water supply to maintain full replenishment. I just ploughed through the middle. Shortly after that there was a proper bog, which had been horribly activated and loosened by all the feet that had gone before. I just about held onto my shoes but I heard a cry from behind, with comments about having descended to knee level. That baptism of fire (well, mud) set us up nicely for the remainder of the very dry fell race looking like nature intended – absolutely splattered and caked. Not only that, this time it was soon caked hard, which is quite unusual around these parts.

Then there were the flies. Oh the flies. You know the ones that swarm around animals’ moist bits. Well, they were now in full attendance around our heads, with many buzzings of rapidly increasing intensity coming to abrupt stops as the infernal blighters landed. You can even see them on some of my photos. I flailed and slapped to halt the crawling scalp for mere seconds before the cycle repeated. I soon gave up the futile endeavour due to the effort involved in climbing the hill. I had no spare energy for swatting as my drooling tongue dragged along the ground and I blew out my a**e. Oh the steepness. Even walking’s a struggle. I know, pause to take a photo. Phew, that sun’s strong. I need my mummy water bottle but I didn’t bring it. Must rest. I know, pause to take a photo. Still, it’s only 10k; be over within the hour (continue to dream on, you of clogged fuel filter). An impertinent marshal called out to us: “Come on, Stuart Bond ran up here”. How very dare he. What does he think we are, superhuman?

Once the field had sorted itself out and we were going at similar speeds, I tried not to get overtaken on the uphill trudges and the downhill clumsy stumbles on jelly legs (anyone would think I was new to this lark). More pictures were taken in the strange valley of many lumps and marshals were thanked before we were eventually delivered to the top of the final descent. As soon as the washed-out track gave way to Tarmac I let myself go to overtake a runner who’d recently overtaken me and – get this – had the energy to SPRINT to the finish line. That uncharacteristic last 10-second burst of energy got me a time of 1:08:05. Must do better. Suggested remedial action: full re-bore, sort out blown gasket, new fuel filter.

We dined on home-made flapjack and bananas and guzzled water and juice as we waited to applaud the winners at the awards ceremony. It was a lovely race with lovely views but not lovely suffering during. Retrospectively, the ‘during’ fades in the memory, making the overall experience not just lovely but absolutely spiffing.”

Sounds great, and looks like you’ve got some great running form at the moment Nick!

Manchester 10km

Sadly no reports for this today. But it pretty much does what it says on the tin – it’s 10km around Manchester?! Definitely a hot day for doing a road 10km, and even with a relatively early start, the clouds had definitely cleared and the sun was shining which aint really conducive to PBs – but no fear, some cracking times anyway by the handful of GDH that went over – Jess, David C-L, Wendy M, Tony H (although not in team colour!), Sean P and any others?

Despite the unusual absence of David at the trail car park at 9am on a sunday, he more than made up for it, and can indeed show his face again with pride having bagged himself a MV60 prize! Massive congrats in a field that size David!

In other news

No consolidated Parkrun report sorry – I need to clean the car, the littlest dog just stole and ate an apple off my tree and now is now parading round the kitchen with her walking harness – so I think she’s trying to tell me something! Walk me or your apple tree gets it.

Those of you interested in Hodgson Bro relays (is it a relay or did i make that up? I don’t know) – anyone Matt C wants your names so get in touch. If like me you have no idea what they are, just ask Matt – or in fact anyone else probably! They need teams of 8, so the more the merrier!

Seems we got a few new members, or potential new members who are watching quietly from the sidelines – so massive welcome to the recent newcomers, and hope the rest of you will join us soon! Tuesday coached session – best way to meet everyone and can take it at your own pace 🙂 think this week is Hurst Crescent and Coach J will be putting the details on FB on Tuesday.

That’s it for now – sorry if i’ve missed anything but you know the drill! Happy Sunday!

John’s Jura Jolly

My Jura Fell Race 2019  – An emotional and physical rollercoaster

I’ve been running with Glossopdale Harriers since about 1998 now, and probably since the early 2000s I heard about the Jura Fell Race. “Are you serious?” was my first and second response. It’s half way to Iceland, who wants to travel so far for a race. So I put it off, and off, over the years.

Along came John Hewitt and soon he was also advocating the race, more as a great weekend than just a race. Still I put it off for the same reasons of distance and cost.

Then in 2017 after John’s terminal condition was diagnosed we were chatting one day and he reassured me I was missing out on an experience like no other so I quietly said “Maybe one day”. Then late 2018 I made the decision that I had to attempt the deed before age makes it too hard/impossible.

A brief stream of consciousness covers the process of getting to Jura.

Winter chats with Caity, Julie Eyre, Lins, decision made to enter. (Maybe I’ll be spared and they won’t accept me).

February to May, hill training, catch a cold, hill training, catch two colds one after the other, hill train a bit more.

May 24th, 4am Long drive ferry ferry bus walk Craighouse.

Warm welcome new old friends and the gathering

First impression of Jura…sunny and beautiful (on the friday) Caity plotting her route
idyllic cottage on seafront

Then on Friday evening, Crisis what crisis, The Carnethy crew prepare a meal in their cottage but during this the plumbing goes mad and in a strange prequel to the weather on race day -water streams down the walls and light fittings of the cottage, knocks out the electrics.

No problem, fault was diagnosed, water turned off, plumber called out of pub to fit new ballcock, kudos to Dave Palmer),  everything sorted and we ate an excellent meal prepared by John Ryan I think.l.

Then I tried to ply everyone with Jura whisky but they weren’t falling for this old trick.  A couple of tipples and that was that!. Enter the mantra of the event, What would John do?

On the day of race kit  we naturally faffed with kit for an hour after breakfast. We’d been watching the weather forecast for 24 hours and it was not good and getting worse, a definite batch of wind and rain starting same time as the race! I also could not find my long sleeved helly top which I was sure I had packed so I started the race in my club vest (the holy one) over a cotton T shirt, not the best fell race clothing. Given the rain had started I then put on my blue waterproof as well. I had a 2nd waterproof top & overtrousers just to comply with the regs of course.

Race start, everyone shoots off like it’s a 10K, I’m actually last within 100m!. Immediately after crossing the road bridge the route turns up a track for 3 miles uphill to CP1 (530m).  normal tussocky trods till about 400m height when the rocks started. Julie Eyre was at CP1 but due to the weather I couldn’t see who was who under the hoods!.

By this point I’d met and chatted with Richard Topliss from Pennine who said he’s done the race 19 times so I thought ‘good man to follow’. Easier said than done, he was going very steadily.

From CP1 Turn right, drop down on a saddle to 400m then climb back up to CP2 (562m). Then drop down across another saddle to 410m  and back to 499m.

Then the serious stuff started! Drop right down to 150m valley bottom and look up to Pap 1, Beinn Chaolais at 733m. Apart from finding a thigh deep bog in the valley I took a good line and topped out still in touch with a group including Richard.(I later learn I’m only 4 minutes behind Lins)

Over the rock field at the top and down a massive rock scree slope to the saddle at 350m and start the climb up pap 2 Beinn An Oir to 785m. The rocky boulder fields near the top of this bastard are made of lumps about a metre cubed! An elephant could have dropped a leg between rocks, only way to cross is to crawl. Didn’t take the best route either. Saw nobody at all for the last half of the climb so simply went straight up, can’t go wrong as long as you go up. Was immensely relieved to finally find the marshalls at the checkpoint.  I got close to a sense of humour failure on this mountain, wished a helicopter would appear and whisk me home.

This photo might be of the top, borrowed off Jura FB page. Amazing to think the Race Organiser puts all these rocks out every year!

The descent off is very tricky and slow, some scree tracks just end in more big rocks so you have to be ultra careful. Drop down to about 450m Teamed up with Mary Edgerton of Pennine and her friend Virginia while crossing the valley floor, Mary had some idea where she was going and we’d been about the same pace since CP4.

actual photo of me, i think climbing up Pap 3 before I put on extra layers

So by now the weather was solid rain and very windy on the mountain tops so I put on all my extra waterproof layers and gloves, then soldiered on up to pap 3 Beinn Shiantaidh at. 757m. .

Another photo showing the gradient typical of the Paps

We forgot about navigating on a bearing and follow each other, take the wrong line off and lose about 10m finding right line. Same kind of scree/ big rocks descent. Down to 350m and back up the final climb to 562m. By now getting close to cut off times, on descent my gps watch battery died and Virginia got bad cramps, we stop to help with gels and salt. These had no beneficial effect on the watch so gave them to Virginia. Still made last checkpoint inside the cutoff and we jogged the 5k to cross the finish line together. I make light of the last 5K but it felt like 10K uphill.

Relief, exhausted, elated, emotional

Happy to hear all friends safely finished.

More Miles fell shoes worked perfectly and in one piece. Inov8 waterproof trousers now full of holes!.

Shortest walk back to hot shower from any race ever. Lots of tea and cake. Lovely friends looking out for me.

Evening meal another big social gathering. Then off to the ceilidh with Matt, John, Alex, Dave, Lins, and Julie. Usual mad enthusiasm, managed about an hour then bed for me. Missed out on supping the winners whisky from the trophy.

Sunday morning weather blustery showers.  Fine my helly top!.  Gang of us went for a walk up the coast to Corrin Sands where John H was half scattered and drank a wee dram to his memory.

Caity and I decided to head home Sunday noon as weather was rubbish. Packed up and walked to minibus pick up point. Man and bus turn up at 1am but as nobody else there he wanted £25 to take us 8 miles to ferry. We decided to wait 50m for the next one. Turns out it’s the same bloke and bus! He grumbles about still not having a full load but about 11 of us load our kit in the luggage compartmen and climb on board. We set off. After a few miles the driver has cursed out load a few times at cyclists holding him up and we realise he’s in a bad mood. We come up behind a slower minibus and he sighs and mutters. After a while the slow bus stops at a passing place and our driver curses and tries to go past him. The other driver honked so Grumpy stops and shoots back to argue with him, full scale road rage is ensuing. A minute later he storms back into our bus and breaks the news that “one of youse passengers didn’t close the luggage door properly and some bags have fallen oot on the road”. Honestly he blamed us. Several voices pipe up that it his job to check the bus is ready to drive.

Lots more muttering as we pile out to see whose has gone and mine is one of two gone! So he finds a way to turn round and starts driving like a nutter back towards Craighouse. We quickly meet another car that flags us down and says he has picked up one rucksack, not mine. So onwards and backwards, eventually meet another car that picked up my sack just outside Craighouse. Fortunately nothing broken, no tyre tracks over it.

Another u turn and back to the ferry. Bugger wouldn’t offer to waive my fare and I honestly feared for his blood pressure if I refused to pay.

On the upside of human nature, we befriended a fellow racer on Jura called Seb who needed a lift back to Lochgilphead. In return he bought us tea /coffee in Port Askaig and on the ferry, I did my best to nap during the sailing as I was driving.

Drive home was mostly uneventful, couldn’t promise I was fully alert by midnight but we made it safely.

So I completed the Jura Fell race, and really wish I had done so sooner with John H present and in good form. Will I ever do it again, watch this space but don’t bet on it.

The “it’s the start of June it’s not meant to be raining” report

Aaaah summer time in Glossop is a glorious thing! OK, maybe not….but rain definitely doesn’t stop play round here. After a relatively quiet week on the racing front last week, normality resumed and you lot were out in force this week – rain never stopped anyone (ok maybe it stopped us coming to Castleton but hey, pizza and prosecco won over). Big thanks to everyone who has contributed to this week’s report, and great to hear from folk we haven’t heard from before – keep em coming guys, it’s great hearing what races people have been doing.

So this week kicked on in style with Monday Madness at Trunce

Thanks to Ian Crutchley for the sending in this report of the race, no …just a run…ok then, a “race”.

“At fairly short notice (about 15 minutes) Will Mather and I headed East to go break our Trunce ducks.  After spending the drive over complaining of our various niggles and general tiredness, we agreed to just take this as a recce run, and to race it properly at a later date.  Of course, we both knew that was never going to happen.

The field was massive, almost 400 people, and we’d been warned to get a good start as a few bottlenecks early on.  The start line is a loose affair, being clearly present, but completely ignored – to be fair there was so many people it was backed up to the main road.  Keeping up the relaxed façade, Mather and I situated ourselves about 1 third back from the front and we were off.  The first mile was a bit slow in the throng, but we threaded our way through the pack best we could.  After a bit of queueing at the bottleneck stiles it opened up a bit, we were now doing some serious overtaking and the race was on.  I finally edged past Mather at some point, and just about managed to hold that till the end, but it was very close, both finishing within 10 seconds of each other.

Really enjoyed the route – fast running, good climbs, nice descents and 3 river crossings.  But I can now attest, get a fast start!”

Have come to realise start lines are somewhat like mandatory routes, and people can take a somewhat flexible approach to them. No, no, I’m not bitter at all about the girl in front at Goldrush 2017 who scrapped the switchbacks and took a shortcut…

Anyway, how many more of these Trunce races are there then? Anyone know? Hopefully plenty more for folk to have a go at.

Will keeping it low key in black shorts

Boars Head Fell Race

A few of you headed over to Lyme on Weds for some midweek race fun. Tracey R did a grand job of trying to rally the female GDH contingent but we all put in our excuses of saving the legs, keeping the kids company, and errmmm….yeah that was it. So thanks Tracey for doing it for the gals and sending in this report:

“In my line of work getting a weekend off is like gold dust! So I’m making the most of these mid week races . After failing miserably to persuade any other babes to join me … I thought bugger it the boys can wait for me …. and off I popped with Matt C , Paul Skuse, Alex.C and Rich White who gets a special mention for not only being on time but rather early in fact!!! Even had time for a quick warm up . 
So we set off and I waved goodbye to my fellow male comrades “see you at the finish boys “ so the ascent started I was doing ok I’m running for longer now without having to stop in desperate need off an Theurooutic oxygen bottle . Next minute everyone darts off in different directions choosing there own route ….. I just followed the person in front and hoped for the best . I’m still plodding along  UP huge emphasis on the UP bit🤪…. heading towards that cage and what now looks like a scene out off Pride of prejudice … I had my eye out for my Mr Darcy!
Exciting times the downhill bit here ….. err no cancel the excitement it’s a tiny field before the biggest climb of the entire race …. what a treat!! Fun times ahead …..
So I’m taking in the breath taking  views as I’m Crawling up this rather steep hill . From behind me a women’s say “ come on Glossopdale what would you be doing if you weren’t here” errrr where to I start!🤣 . At this very moment I made my first friend on a Fell race . I was getting overtaken .. ALOT …. so I latched on to these two guys and my competitive head kicked in! I wanted to catch up with my little friend …. no one else is overtaking me!!! “Donde esta La Decent!!”
6 Km 42 mins later the Decent was here!!
Whoo hoooo so I said adios amigos to the two guys I’d been hanging out with , and took off on a mission to catch my little friend in white and green …and I did ….. I over took her ….. she over took me …. etc etc . At the start of the race I got excited when I saw style  …. now at the end of the race I was crying the styles had god bigger and seemed like mini mountains , me and my little legs weren’t happy . I’m back in front of my little friend as I go through a gate first Im not going to lie I tempted to slam it shut and turn around and blow a raspberry like a mischievous 7 year old , but I’m a professional athlete so I never 🤣. Checked my watch 6 miles in 2 to go so I let my little friend get in front  ….. only to realise as she made a little spurt the finish line was around the longer and was only 7 miles not 8!I demand a refund! All in all I had a good night out and that’s another race to add to my collection 🙂 

Gotta say, I’d love it if you kept up a running commentary of what was going on in your head during your runs Tracey J this is brilliant!  Not sure we’ve ever had Pride and Prejudice mixed in with a bit of Spanish! Sounds like a great race, we never did find out if she met her Mr Darcy…I’m guessing Cecil would have a thing or two to say about that mind.

Results as follows, Paul S 18th, Richard White, 62nd, Matt C 73rd, Alex Critcher 110th, Tracey R 167th. Great running y’all out of a big mid week crowd of over 200.

Otley Chevin

Now FB tells us that Mary Jeal ventured a bit further afield on Wednesday and did the Otley Chevin Race. Fellrunner tells us that this is a gnarly little race – of just 4.5km but an awful lot of up! 210m to be exact!

Sounds leg-aching and lung-bursting really. Unfortunately can’t dig out any results for this, but nice one Mary for doing it!

So seems we have a contender for our “as many races as you can cram into a week in Wales”! Joe Travis wasn’t to be outdone and was flying the GDH flag (and leaving his mark on the rocks) across the border this week. Thanks to Joe for sending in these reports!

Rodney’s Pillar

First race was on Wednesday at Rodney’s Pillar. The race was supposedly 6.3km long (probably more like 5.5km based on other people’s strava, my watch died during the race) and all off road, mostly on rugged trail rather than the fell it was billed as. Standard midweek race, run up a hill and back down. Managed the former alright, struggled with the latter… Managed to catch my toe on a rock whilst going full pelt down a rough trail and sent myself flying. Ended up bleeding from my shoulder, back, elbow, hand, hip, knee and ankle (I don’t do things by half measures!). Cracking little route and a good test.

Gregynog Trail Race

Today (Sunday) I ventured a little further across the border for a trail race organised by Maldwyn Harriers, and you could tell as they probably made up around 3/4 of the field. A 7.5km undulating route through woods and fields and I managed to not embarrass Glossopdale too badly coming back in 7th place and the first runner not from Maldwyn.

Sounds like you did GDH proud Joe! Great running- Hope you aren’t too battered and bruised after Wednesday, ouch.

Castleton Fell Race

Friday saw a few of you man up and embrace the rain over in Castleton. Even Steve Page ditched his road shoes for some fell fun and put himself in the running for nabbing Luke Holme’s biggest nav balls-up crown 😉

Thanks to the local mid week racing scene’s ever-present, Paul Skuse, for this report.

“Not sure if this one’s being written up so here’s a few thoughts about it. It was quite a small GDH contingent that rocked up to this one which is a shame as it’s a great local race. I’m guessing the wet weather put a few of you off. (Get a grip; it’s only a bit of water!) First of all parking is a bit odd. If you use the designated race car park, it’s miles away from the start line so would be a right pain for the normal kit faff that I like to indulge in. Thankfully, Luke parked up in the main carpark which is much closer to the start. We wandered up to the race HQ We all got squared away in the crushed but dry confines of the race HQ with the usual debates about what to wear. Some went for waterproofs, others for vests and I, being my normal indecisive self, went for the middle ground of Tee, vest and woolly hat. Beccy Smith almost started in her waterproof jacket but stern words were given. I think all the other GDH were disciples of Crutchley with the “Vest or death!” approach to race wear.

The race started differently to last year. No running round rugby posts this time but a fast dash through a gap in the hedge and onto the tarmac up to the path that climbs up to Lose Hill. It’s a good runnable climb and worth putting in the effort here. Once at the top, it’s a long, lumpy run mixing up flags stones, deep ruts, stoney tracks and the ever pleasant grassy verges up to the trig at Mam Tor (I love the race but I really do hate the descent down Back Tor or whatever it’s called!). Conditions were warmer than expected but wet underfoot so traction was reduced as was the visibility due to the clag. From the trig, it’s a quick 180 to head back to the base of Back Tor and down the technical descent back to the tarmac and the finish line. No results are up yet but James Knapper gave a sterling performance and came in as first GDH. Oh and as a final thought, if it’s wet, bring a towel. Nobody wants to see your arse Pete Nicholson!”

Can’t see any other results still for this but sure someone will post them up when they been published.

Ladybower Trail Marathon

Not exactly the weather one expects early June but Kate B was ready for whatever the elements were going to throw at her! Thanks for sending in this report!

“On Saturday I ran the Ladybower Trail Marathon: 26.2miles; 600m ascent; 4:29:19 (unofficial Garmon time) . Considerable rain, wind and unseasonably cold. Lots of undulating roady miles for a trail marathon: once round Ladybower and twice round Howden resers with an interesting foray into the hills between miles 14-17, including a stiff climb and treacherous muddy descent. Would probably make a good first trail marathon for anyone more used to road running and wanting to have a go at trail running – or for a trail runner wanting a PB, which I smashed by over half an hour! (Thanks Jeroen for the last minute tips, and everyone else for the encouragement). As usual the organisers were helpful and I met lots of lovely new running people.”

Wowzer – that’s a huge PB! Well done Kate! Having spied Kate enjoying some post-run rehydration in Glossop’s favourite brewery, can safely say that this didn’t look like someone who’d just run a marathon! I’d be snoozing on the sofa with my feet up scoffing all the carbs I could find – no, not her, fresh as a daisy socialising with her mates!

Man vs Horse

Seemed if you wanted to miss the rain Wales was the place to be as the sun managed to make an appearance! Wendy T sent in this report:

“As the name suggest, runners race against horse and rider in this 40 year old race. I think it’s only ever be won by a human 3 times and each year the prize pot rolls over to the next year if any GDHs fancy giving it ago  

Having been lucky to get an entry (only 650 places and entries fill up within an hour) I was really looking forward to this one and it didn’t disappoint. North of the Brecon Beacons this 22 mile trail race with 4000ft of climb took in some gorgeous scenery and the weather held off throughout. We even got a glimpse or two of the sun! However the past week of heavy rains and a succession of hooves made for a mighty bog fest of a course (which I loved! Can’t beat a bit of mud!) We did get a regular cleaning off in the many knee deep water crossings. The climbs and descents were of leg sapping quality and by mile 20 the going was tough on the old pins but I managed to hang on for one last muddy climb and a quad busting 400 yds of a hoof rutted down hill finish in a time of 4.01 (7th in my cat) Needless to say I didn’t beat any horses today (apart from the ones that DNF) A horse/rider took 1st place. 1st man back was a Yorkshire lad who beat the bookies favourite to win American endurance athlete Mike Wardian. I’m guessing Mike wasn’t use to the sticky brown stuff!! 

A well organised event with plentiful water stations on course, cheerful marshals and a marquee full of sandwiches and treats at the finish. I might have to do this one again 🙂 “

Sounds a  tough run that Wendy, that’s a great time and brilliant category placing. Keep your eyes peeled folks for when entries open for next year folks! A lot of these races don’t half fill up fast!

Oldhams toughest 10km

Couple of GDHers flying the flag in Oldham this weekend, thanks to Alex Critcher for sending in this “no waffle” race report.

it lived up to its name, good local 10k though. 

Alex critcher 47:23

Tony Hillier, (on his way back from injury) 53 something.

FB tells me that Tony bagged another v70 prize – awesome stuff, that’s a cracking time!

Edale Fell Race

Thanks to Els Swan for sending in this report of the fun that was had over at Edale today following round 2 of the Gritsone Series that took place in Castleton on Friday.

“6 Harriers (5 Seniors and 1 Junior) headed over to Edale today for the Edale Fell Race and Country Fair (Round 3 of Accelerate’s Gritstone Series).  The senior race is a fun jaunt out (up!) from Edale Village under Ringing Roger, along the edge of the Kinder plateau over Grindslow Knoll and then back down into Edale either via the main rocky path or a steeper, more direct line.  The race finishes in the Edale Country Fair in close proximity to much cake, beer, gin, burgers and ice cream all of which are completely justified having raced for 4.72 miles with an ascent of 391m. 

The junior race was 2 loops of the field in which the adult race starts.  This all sounds rather benign until one (and one’s 12 year old) realises that the start is up a 1 in 3 hill and each loop is 1.2 km with some pretty significant contouring thrown in for good measure.  There was an impressive field of approximately 50 junior racers from a wide range of clubs which was great to see.  Caitlin was the 3rd girl home in the junior race (2nd JW U14).

The results from the senior race are not yet available however I suspect that, whilst new club members Sarah and Robin have yet to pick up their race vests, they did the club proud and were well towards the front of the field.  Ever the gentleman, Matt Crompton kept me company mid-pack (and yes, we did have to stop to pick someone up and reunite them with their specs mid-race).  Nick Ham, camera eternally at the ready, was not too far behind us.  Whilst I remain a reluctant racer, this was a fun route and a very well organised event with great racing company and, as an added bonus, it was all over before the rain came. “

So the sun did shine?!

Sounds like a great morning out! Great running Caitlin  – that’s seriously good going in such a big field of junior racers! I’d be tempted over next year – cake, beer, gin, burgers and ice cream?!

Now that’s effort gone into a race!

Scafell Sky 2019

In keeping with her great race placings, Kasia was up in Scafell doing a 35km race with 2400m of climb. Sounded delightful – bog, bog, rock and rain – what more does a fell runner want?! Didn’t stop Kasia though, she romped home as 2nd lady!

Mourne Mountain Marathon

Liam Amos and his dad were off doing the Mourne Mountain Marathon – straight off FB- both finished and alive, hardest thing have ever done!

Blencathra Fell Race (this just in from John Pollard as about to publish so sorry it’s not in order!)

Finding myself in the Lakes again I was seduced into testing my fell fitness by the arduous but breathtaking ascent of this iconic northern giant so I drove 40 miles in the apparently clearing late afternoon weather towards Keswick. The route was to begin with an unconventional eastern approach starting in the hidden little hamlet of Mungrisdale, a village hall and a cluster of cottages.
The gradual gathering of runners suggested a pretty hardcore bunch, and those I spoke to were mindful to tell me of the ‘stupid steep’ first climb up Bowscale Fell, and the equally ‘stupid steep’ descent off Souther Fell at the end. In between, some good running until the hard pull up Blencathra’s north face.
One of the marshals from Eden Valley runners(the organising club from Penrith) saw my GDH vest and asked if I’d come up especially for this…not really I told him, just wanted to graduate from the mainly trail runs I’d been doing and get back to the fells. He gave me a wary sort of look, saying he was a trail runner, and had been ‘warned off’ this by others in his club. I wasn’t put off…how hard could it be, it was only just over 8 miles? Even when he pointedly introduced me to the tail sweeper I didn’t see the writing on the wall.
So we all congregated at the Fell gate and I got my first look at the initial climb up Bowscale, hmm…not far off vertical I observed. And the final descent from Souther looked a challenge, but I was all geared up with my kitbag full, kit and after the organiser’s tribute to a runner present who was returning after recovering from a cancer treatment, the assembled record field of 180 set off across the boggy section toward Bowscale. 
I was intending to take it easy but that’s not really an option, and on that maybe 25 min climb all the oxygen was sucked from my brain and I couldn’t think of anything but zig-zagging the gorse and getting onto the ridge.
By this time the majority of the field had disappeared from view and I was in touch only with a handful of runners, with two ladies and the sweeper behind me. So just keep this going was my plan. Runnable until the first checkpoint at Bowscale summit, the sweeper was breathing down my neck, and I glanced at my watch, hoping I’d make the cut off time of 55 minutes at the col before the climb to Blencathra.
“”You’re 5 minutes inside the cut-off” I was emphatically told, but couldn’t tell if he was implying it was close for comfort, as the way ahead was now shrouded in cloud and the clag was down-not what was forecast.
At a route choice below the last big pull to the top I went left and maybe that was the steeper climb but I reached the mountain ridge and had to stop to put layers on and check compass for the summit and CP2. No turning back now.
Passed the helicopter white stone cross so I knew that was by Sharp Edge, and pressed on past the tiny tarn to the wet and bedraggled bunch of marshals at the puny summit cairn. 
I wasn’t sure of the best descent, so waited for the two ladies, who were still some way behind me I figured. Then the crew at the top informed me they were ‘training sweepers’ too, so I was in fact last. The main tail-guy was nowhere to be seen. But hey ho, it was fun now.
The shame was that the iconic view south across the glory of the Lakeland fells was denied by the gloom, but then when do Fell runners stop and admire the view -in a race. I was in a race now to spare the marshals at CP3 on Souther Fell, and at the finish, a burnt dinner. It gets dark by 10 doesn’t it?
But something was left in the legs, and a good technical descent through a mix of paths, bog and tussock led finally to the summit of lonely Souther Fell, (a harder climb than you need at this stage) and the congratulations and relief of the final helpers.
Just the sting in the tail of a knee shuddering, quad-crunching descent to the last bog and the crossing of the lovely Glenderamackin river to the finish.
Time to go home chaps, and chapesses. 
The Eden Valley runner who’d given me the arched eyebrow before we set off, said well done young man.
A first for me. That race..and finishing last! (There was one DNF). My watch even cheated me of 8 minutes while I faffed on the top. 2h 19m they told me.
But it was a gas. Tbh I had forgotten the scale of Lake District races.


So this week’s top tip comes courtesy of Penistone Parkrun – well, those that went to do it, only to find it wasn’t on! Argh!

You can’t beat a bit of parkrun tourism, but check FB pages or the websites before you go to make sure you aren’t disappointed on arrival to find it’s off!

Big turn out of GDHers at Glossop this week, and a smattering of folk all over the rest of the UK – see here for the consolidated report:

In other news

So it might have been a week or so ago, but given the weather at Jura, it’s probably taken this long to dry out and take it all in. John S has written a brilliant write up of his weekend and experience, complete with photos to show it doesn’t rain there all the time. I’m sadly too technically incompetent to add in a word file into the blog, so watch out for tomorrow’s guest blog from John about Jura!

So that’s all for now folks, thumbs up for another week of great racing. Good luck to all this week – plenty coming up with Tour of Tameside, and CyB half/full marathons amongst other things. Tuesday speed/hill/technique session with Jeroen at 6.45 – details of the next few weeks locations are on FB/website.

As ever – please send all reports to Messages sent via whataspp, text, post, carrier pigeon, message in a bottle, facebook, telegram might not be received, or will get eaten by the dogs, they aren’t fussy.

From the Lakes to London and everywhere in between.

Yikes it’s been a busy weekend. That GDH inbox was like coming back to your emails after you’ve had a week off work…! But much more enjoyable J and not just cos rather than making myself a strong coffee to cope, it’s Sunday and it’s the afternoon so I poured myself a drink!

Pretty sure most of the weekends racing took place on by far the best day of the weekend! (sorry to those of who you had to brave Storm Hannah but extra points all round!)

Thanks to everyone who sent in reports/pics this week – they are in no particular order, other than the first one. Think you’ll agree it’s fair enough to start with the London Marathoners featuring Steve Page who was running with the club’s place.

London Marathon 2019

Ah London – what do you do to us! Fair to say we probably weren’t the only ones glued to the telly at various points throughout the morning/afternoon watching the masses take in the sights of London, and admiring the elites blasting round in insanely impressive times. Gotta say, not sure about you, but my favourite bit had to be watching the person trying to break the record dressed as Big Ben running 26.2 miles no bother but getting scuppered getting under the finish gantry and having to be wrestled through by a marshal 😉

Anyway – here’s what Steve Page had to say:

“I’d love to be able to write this report and say I enjoyed the race I ran. I set off at a comfortable pace and for 14/15 miles felt reasonably confident I’d hit my target goals of hitting 20 miles at 2:15ish. That went out of the window after I committed the cardinal sin of eating a gel that I hadn’t trained with. It sat uncomfortable with me and after that my head went, shortly followed by my legs and lots of walking. On the plus side, my sweet tooth was attended to and I got to actually enjoy the sights of the last ten miles of the marathon. 

I was an emotional wreck at the end of the race. I thought I’d let people down, the club etc, but that was quickly snapped out of me from a great message from Crossman post race. Thanks also to Steve, Jeroen and anyone else who’s helped support me on my training runs. Sorry for boring you to death with marathon talk!

Would I run London again? Absolutely.”

Reckon we will all agree that you definitely did not let anyone down Steve, and everyone is impressed! 3h 20 is a mighty good time and one that most would, and should, be proud of! Now have a beer, a takeout pizza, a good night’s kip and we’ll see you at club night later this week 😉

Big shout out must also go to Kaylea running under another coloured vest (horror!)  who shot round in 4h 10 and Bartek Verde who made sure he was in well under the 4h mark in 3h 56. Great running you both, hope you had a great day out! (thanks Coach J for the FB results!) Oh and a quick peruse again at Strava shows Paul Drury got a 16 min PB finishing in 4h 41!! That’s some going!

Mourne Highline

Saturday saw Mark and Immy braving the worst of the UK weather…over in Ireland. Hope you didn’t go over in a turbo prop plane….gulp.

This came in from Immy:

“I ran the Mourne Highline race today. Unfortunately due to it blowing a massive hoolie (sp?), the route was quite dramatically altered and it ended up as an out and back route of Slieve Commedagh, which I was a bit gutted about as I had really psyched myself up for the actual route. However, when half way up the valley I could barely stand up in the wind I accepted that perhaps it was for the best. Even though I was feeling pretty good, at one point I was genuinely concerned that I was going to have to retire due to complete inability to make forward progress into the headwind. I did eventually make it to the top however, thanks to a wee boost from the lovely Claire Aspinall of Pennine. An extremely strong tailwind on a steeply descending rocky track made things pretty exciting on the way down. I made up a few places on the descent and through the forest tracks on the way back into Donard Park. I finished 155th overall, 24th Female. I also managed not to brake any bones when I decided to do a bit of bodysurfing in my waterproofs down a muddy slope, so I’m counting that as an achievement”

Sounds, erm….character building…! Good work guys! And glad to see that Strava indicates you got better weather on Sunday and managed to get out and do the route today instead?!

Derwent Dawdle

Thanks to Kate Bowdon for sending in this report of the Derwent Dawdle – which sounds great!!

“Derwent Water Dawdle: Ascend Events
23ish miles, 4,300ft, 6:10ish hours (results pending)
The clue is in the name! This has to be the friendliest and most laid back event ever. Interesting conversations, fabulous and varied route, spectacular skies, great food (lots of before,during, and after).  Conditions were challenging and varied in the sky and on the ground, but the weather was much better than expected. Loved it and looking forward to the Four Passes in September. Highly recommend these events. Oh and quite cheap!”

Check out the size of that medal!

Roses (no don’t get excited, not the chocolates…..the race)

Paul Peters sent in this report…once he’d finished following you lot at London…

“Sorry to say it’s another race that wasn’t for the mighty GDH but such is the life at uni… For those who don’t know, Roses is a big annual showdown across all sports between Lancaster and York Uni. Yesterday, the running clubs kicked off proceedings a week early with a 5 (and a bit)km cross-country course. Despite what Jeroen says I still think Cross-Country can be a team sport, and York proved so, giving us a lesson in race tactics. I found myself in a large lead pack of 6 lads (3 from each uni) for the first 2 miles, but then some of the York lads pulled some sneaky tactics, tricking us into thinking they were kicking away early and wasting my kick. When they finally did kick for real I didn’t have the legs to stay with them anymore, and they bagged a York 1,2,3 finish, leaving me to mop up 4th (and first Lancastrian).

Still a lot to learn for racing, besides the old “go all out the whole race” tactic, but a really enjoyable race regardless. Needless to say next year I’ll be back with a point to prove”

Nice one Paul – think there’s a few of us that do the old go all out the whole race thing! What other ways are there?!

York pulling away…

Kinder Downfall

When a race is on your doorstep, it’s perhaps unsurprising when a load of you turn out for it!

Big thanks for Els Swan for sending in this report

“There was a sizeable GDH presence in Hayfield this morning for the classic fell race that is the Kinder Downfall – Paul Skuse, Will Mather, Luke Holme, Jason Hart, Michael Raynor, Ian Oates, Jo Brack, Mary Jeal and Elanor Swan.  Apologies if I have missed anyone.  There were also a number of GDHrs running in their away kits including Frank Fielding, Stevie Knowles and Caitlin Rice.   This is a great local fell race, 10 miles of mainly rocky up, across and down, taking in some of the most iconic (and admittedly most busy) bits of Kinder.   The conditions were great for running today and the race was as challenging as always, especially the section where I am sure they have added several miles in between the caravan park and the finish.   

There were some great performances from Team GDH and friends.  The results are not up yet however Paul was the first GDHr home followed by Will, the quickest man with matching shorts and shoes, and Luke who ran speedily all in the right direction.  Ian demonstrated yet again that training may be overrated, popping out of his latest bout of fell running retirement to clock up a time only 8 mins slower than his hard earned 2014 time, Jason said it was his best and most fun fell race ever and Els took just over a minute off her 2018 time.  Mary and Jo also seemed to have had good races and probably got age grade placings…they usually do.   Caitlin was first woman, racking up yet another PB in the process (1:21 ish) and Stevie Knowles was 10th overall after an almost photo finish.    

Unfortunately Michael tripped early in the race making it up to the top of William Clough (and medical attention) with some impressively bloodied knees – hopefully he has now been expertly patched up and will be out racing again soon.”

If you were wanting to know the times, well….you are in luck….because carrier pigeon just arrived, (it got lost en route)…this means only one thing, a report from Luke Holme

“Several GDH runners and a few others who are part of the club wearing the Belgium kit turned up for the race of year (far more exciting than the London marathon Sir Mo). 

Before the race Skusey seemed undecided whether he would be too hot or cold and decided to take advice of Will ‘Gok Wan’ Mather and wear just a shirt, then paraded the start line searching for early Strava segments (or they could have been warming up, I wasn’t that sure). 

The race started with the bottlenecked crowd dispersing out hayfield towards William Clough and up onto kinder.

At the top followed line towards the trig before turning and dropping down towards Edale Cross. As I was descending from Edale Cross ‘Frank Fielding’ opted to do so some friendly rivalry and elbow me in the back to speed up (think I was deciding what to order from the chippy at this point but certainly woke me up). From Edale cross the race headed back towards Hayfield for a sprint finish. 

I’ve had to do some Strava stalking but here are all the times. Elanor Swan and Mary Jeal also represented GDH but I couldn’t find your times (sorry and to anyone else I have missed out). Really good times from everyone and well done all. 

Paul Skuse 1:28

Pete Daly 1:32

Will Mather 1:35

Frank Fielding 1:39

Luke Holme 1:40

Ian Oates 1:44

Jason Hart 1:55

Joanne Brack 1.55

Wow what can we say?! That is some incredible running by you all!! Big thumbs up. That doesn’t sound like an easy one. Pretty sure places sell out fast for this, so if it sounds like your cuppa tea and you fancy a go next year keep your eyes peeled when entries open and get in quick! Thanks Els and Luke for this  – saved me strava stalking! And as this goes out, the actual results are up  -check FB page for the link!

Looking “kinder” good!

Trust 10 – Lyme Park

After being on FB for all the wrong reasons recently, it is nice to read something good about Lyme Park today! Big thanks to John Pollard for sending this in:

“a brief word about a run I did this Sunday morning, as if you weren’t aware of it it may appeal to someone in future.
It’s at Lyme Park every last Sunday morning of the month, where Trust volunteers facilitate a 10k trail route around the park. It’s not a race, there’s no numbers, no times kept, but it’s marked, marshalled, and it’s free.
It’s a nice route with some climbs (about 330m) up to the Bow Stones and cage and wall so not too easy but a pleasant outing you can run with no pressure!”

Sounds pretty good that – and there’s a café so what more could you want, a run followed by some cake?! Maybe that’s just me…

Longhorn Marathon

 Ah Marie Williamson – do you ever stop!? Or run short distances?! I feel tired just reading this!!!

“As a London ballot reject, I went along to run the Longhorn marathon today. 
Marathon number 53 for me, & my 6th this year.
The event takes place at Thoresby park & has lots going on. There are races from 5km up to 60km, along with some canicross & Nordic walking. The marathon route is 4 laps along tarmac & trail. Through woods & past a herd of longhorn cattle (in a field…phew!) The weather was much better for running this year. Last year was way too hot & I felt quite ill for a lot of it.
I set off with the plan to take it easy. It took me 2 laps to settle into it properly and lap 3 was lovely. Soon after beginning lap 4, I started feeling tired, but strangely strong, legs. I did quite a lot of breath counting to keep out  any negativity & lots of runners were passing me. Turns out they were half marathoners who had set off at a later time!
I think I managed to pace quite well, completing each lap in about 1hr 5mins, with a total run time of 4:21:40. Slightly faster than I’d anticipated but didn’t push too hard & felt, mostly, comfortable. 
Taper now begins. Brathay 10in10 is my next challenge…which starts in just 12 days!!”

Congrats on a fab time, especially on a lapped course which I reckon is much harder! Anyone for the cani X next year?!

Spring Series 3- Tideswell trail

Unsurprisingly I (Lucy) did the final race of the Dark and White Spring Series today down in the lovely Tideswell. No Pete W to be seen this series…something about a wedding??

Nearly 10 miles of trail heaven – bit of Monsal Trail, ran through a disused railway tunnel, Wye Nature Reserve, and through fields, along rivers, some country lanes and trail paths. I love the White Peak and this didn’t disappoint!

If you are more a roadie than a trail/fell runner but want to try out some trails I can recommend these – relaxed, friendly and good snacks at the end! Plus they start off in waves every 10 minutes which I like as feels less nerve wracking standing on the start line – just feels like you’re out for a Sunday run!

Yorkshire 3 Peaks

So no report in for this one, but I’ve got it on good authority that Chris J, Jamie H, and James K were off doing this despite sporting dodgy ankles, dodgy bellies, dodgy legs and goodness knows what other excuses they could pull out the bag 😉

This is no mean feat, its 38ish km with 1500m elevation.

Happily I *think* they all made it back (not necessarily in one piece)  – I won’t go as far as to say they had a good day out, but hey – not everyone’s a winner and that’s some pretty gnarly running with the best of the fell running community!

Glossop Aquathlon

Rosa C-L came in first lady at this which is pretty impressive! All I know, it involves a swim and then I reckon a 5km run. This was definitely right though, the weather was MING so anyone running out in that yesterday deserves a medal! Even if they had got wet in the pool beforehand!

Saddleworth Tri

Nick Lord was off doing his tri-thing this weekend – but sadly not feeling on top form…never good…

That didn’t stop him though, and he ploughed on through a 400m swim, 20km bike and 5km run, to finish! I can’t find the 2019 results and have no mental maths ability to add up the different Strava times – but you can bet it was pretty blooming quick despite not feeling 100%!


Tis the end of the holidays and still seems like a fair few people engaging in some Parkrun tourism!

Here’s the consolidated club report.

Other stuff happening

Old County Tops Recce – thanks Zoe B for this:

It’s not racing but a recce of the old county tops race was done on Friday by Lins , Els, Matt, Caity and I. One or more of those people may be actually racing but I shall protect the innocent by not revealing who. We set off from Langdale and were soon enveloped by the Lakes’ finest weather.  Some top class navigation brought us to the part of the race route we wanted to check out. The weather got feistier as we got nearer to Scafell Pike and Caity and Matt chose to return to base and recce some tea rooms in Ambleside.  Els, Lins and I had a bit of an epic getting to the summit, finally returning back for brews and drying off in the mid afternoon. A character building, full kit deploying, run ..! Picture is blurred by weather! 
no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong kit – this lot got it right!

Lakes fun

Lynne, Andrea, Charm, Kate and maybe others were off for a weekend of fun in the lakes which may or may not have involved running, walking, drinking, laughing, eating, taking selfies and a load of other stuff! See, GDH aint all about the running!

Well nearly 3000 words later, I *think* that might nearly be it, but sorry if you did something that we’ve missed, but it’s been a busy old weekend and strava has a habit of not putting stuff in any useful order! But a reminder – send us an email if you want a mention!

What’s on this week?

More Tuesday night speed sesh antics, watch for the Tues lunchtime update from Coach J on what *fun* lies in store…

More mid week racing shenanigans no doubt cos it’s that time of year – so look out on the GDH page to see what your GDH pals are up to. You can bet your bottom dollar Pete W will be racing!

Oooo and I saw a sign for the Cressbrook Crawl fell race on the 11th (or was it 12th May?) today – no idea whether it’s any good but it’s in a nice part of the Peaks soooo guessing it must be! Ciao for now – it’s time to put those feet up.