Author Archives: gwonline1

Spring is in the air and PB’s are being smashed!

So after the snow of a few weeks back, we are now basking in the first (maybe only) heatwave of 2019. T shirt and shorts are fine, and there’s barely a muddy patch to be found…ok so that’s a bit of a lie, but the ground is great right now for some fab hill running. (Depending how you like it! if you prefer wet and muddy, well just a wait a few days and sure you’ll get your wish…). And if that wasn’t enough, for us 9 to 5ers you can even get a head torch free run in after work – just! Summer is on its way!

The unseasonably fine weather coincided for some races with fair PB potential, and the GDH contingent did not waste any time putting it to good use. So read on to hear how everyone got on. *ok so perhaps not everyone – thanks Strava for a fairly epic Sunday fail – sure we will have missed something so apologies. But perhaps that’s a good reminder – if you want a mention, please send us an email to, that way it’ll get included!

Parbold Hill Race

Saturday saw Matt Crompton heading West for the Parbold Hill Race and for another great result. He sent in this report:

“Parbold Hill Race is a classic trail race that has been going for 49y in west Lancs. Run over 11km of road and trail, it heads up Parbold Hill twice. This was my third time running it; I can really recommend it. I was the one GDH representative, finishing in 53:09, 87th from 461 runners.”

Great running Matt – sounds a decent race – one for next years road/trail champs maybe?! We could have a good GDH turnout for it’s 50th year…?? And as Matt didn’t mention it, we will – he got a PB by 4min 30secs on this race – errrrr wow!

Wrexham Half Marathon

Will Mather, Jim Talbot and Alex Critcher were over in Wrexham for 13 of Wrexham’s “finest” miles.  Alex sent in this report (with some other bits as I’d already written this when the report arrived J!)

Quick update from the Wrexham half, flat, windy, farmlandy. Will flew round the course in a super impressive 1h 29min 34s for his first sub 90 min half marathon – massive PB. (Choose Manchester next time Will – there isn’t even 78m elevation in that one!). Alex also got a massive PB in a speedy 1h 43min 15. Jim T unfortunately was finding that Wrexham was windy in more ways than one, and after visiting both toilet stops he arrived in in 1h 52min 40 for a massive PW but he did get 2 lots of cake.

1h 52 is pretty good going for 2 toilet stops! Waiting to find out if the 2 lots of cake were before or after the race, which could explain a thing or 2.

Here are the happy campers celebrating and commiserating their PBs and PWs.

Guess who got the PBs…

Stockport Trail Half Marathon

Not to be outdone by the Wrexham PBers, Sunday also saw a handful of GDHers enjoy the quiet Sunday A57 drive over to Marple for the Stockport Trail Half – definitely nicer than it sounds! Once he’d got back and put his feet up for a well-earned rest, Ian Crutchley sent in this report.

This race is a fairly flat, out and back on the Middlewood Way from Marple, with a section of canal towpath in the middle.  So not the most inspiring route you’ll ever run, but most of us were not here to enjoy the most exciting half marathon out there.  By and large, we were here to PB.

As for how the race went I can only speak from my own experience, this being the first flattish half marathon I’ve done, and I was struck by the fast running, and literally nowhere to hide from it.  Luke Holme was off like a rocket, and after a few miles was out of sight.  I didn’t see him again until 500 metres from the finish, where I just managed to edge past, much to his annoyance.  To be fair Luke had a great race, just returning from injury, and if he wasn’t in my sights that last couple of miles, I probably wouldn’t have got the time I did.  As for the rest, I’ll let the results do the talking, but suffice to say some impressive PB action!  Well done everyone!

62           Ian Crutchley                                    1.35.53 (PB)

63           Luke Holme                                       1.36.00 (PB)

97           Lance Hamilton-Griffiths                1.40.37 (PB)

136        Joe Gavin                                           1.46.42 (PB)

227        Kate Bowden                                    1.55.23 (PB)       

146        Wendy McMahon                            1.57.17 (not quite a PB, but good training for that Marathon!)

332        Rebecca Coward                             2.08.00 (not sure if PB, sorry Rebecca)

There were a couple of GDHers which seemed masquerading for different clubs, so I omitted them (sorry)!

GDH came 5th in the men’s team category.

Thanks for the report Ian, and some mighty quick running by all! (PS: Luke – surprised you didn’t stick your foot out when you heard him coming 😉

Happy PB faces…mostly!

Cross Country – SECCL

Big up to David C-L who is putting Jeroen’s Tuesday sessions to good use and has been putting in some great performances at the XC races this season.

On Saturday he was over at Chorley Yarrow Valley for a no doubt bizarrely dry XC race, and he stormed round the 9km-ish course in a little over 43 mins. Well run David!

And how could we forget Jo Brack – who after casually arriving at Jeroen’s session on Tuesday just in the nick of time, figured she had her timing down to a fine art. So relaxed is her pre-race routine, that she actually prefers not to stand in the ladies toilet queue that tends to still be 10 deep by the time the race starts at 1.40pm…no, Jo prefers to drive up at 1.39pm, ditch the car with a screech of tyres and a spray of mud over the spectators, and jog towards the start line to hear the gun go off, and see the backs of a hundred or so XC ladies disappear from view. Isn’t that the adrenaline rush everyone needs to make a good race?! Clearly works for Jo – she shot round the 6.5km course in a rapid 34 min. (Note to the wise, if you prefer to arrive an hour and a half early to a race so you can stand in the toilet queue 20 times, tie and re-tie your laces 6 times, have a cuppa tea, go to the loo again, and then have an extensive stretching routine with other runners whilst the smell of Deep Heat gets up your nostrils…don’t accept a lift from Jo ;)!)


As always there were a host of runners all over Greater Manchester enjoying the best of Hyde, Stretford, Glossop and Woodbank parks to name just a few.

This report swung its way over from Ian – Melissa and Ian Crutchley were joined by Luke Holme and Will Mather at Stretford Parkrun.  Whilst Luke and Will breezed this flat course in sub 21, allegedly brawling and scrapping with each other (*That’s Stretford for you) Melissa strolled around in a 5K PB time of about 26:55.  I say about, because the sheer number of runners that turned out (697) meant for a shambolic finish funnel, where we queued for around 1 minute to actually cross the line.  Still, it was some fantastic running!  A great fast course, and we will be back! (*Stick with Glossop – no such chaos at the finish line here!)

Joe Travis got a 5km PB in South Manc in a super impressive 18.21.

And if parkrunning in England isn’t enough, Wyatt Barlow was over in Aberystwyth for his second go at the course – clearly worked out well, he ran in for an alltime Parkrun PB of 26min 22! Parents gonna have to pretend they let him win in future eh 😉

Consolidated club report can be found here:

Melissa storming in only to have to queue at the finish line…

In other news

So PBs don’t come without a lot of effort and some good training – and we’re pretty sure that the Tuesday and Wednesday sessions must be paying off for you regulars! A massive thanks from everyone to Chris Webb for the mid week XC training sessions which ended this week. As Elanor Swan said, these have been brilliant (defo type 2 fun) and have been well attended by lots of crazy people from the club. Don’t panic, they’ll be back next year! (well i have no idea, but it’s in writing now so he’s kinda held to it). Tuesday sessions continue to well attended and provide great variety, with a nice competitive element thrown in for those who like it – don’t worry if you don’t, it’s all about turning up and having fun! Thanks as always Jeroen!


Well where to start? If we thought we’d got an easy week what with it being that kinda no mans land time between Xmas and the start of longer, brighter days perfect for running…well we were wrong! There was a whole host of races from short and hilly, to long and hilly, to even longer and hillier, with a bit of flat PB action, and dot watching thrown into the mix.

So, at the time of going to press the results from Hit the Trail hadn’t been published, and we couldn’t let the results of the first champs race go off without a mention!

Well done to all the guys and gals for putting in some speedy performances which saw GDH winning both the men’s and women’s team prizes – way to go! Full results can be found here, speedy performances from Paul Peters who raced home in 2nd place, and Kirsty Sharp who was 2nd lady, and Steve Knowles bagging a 1st V45, and David C-L 1st M60! Plus a host of other achievements including Marie Williamson smashing 9mins off her last time’s performance.

Brass Monkey Half Marathon

3 of us went to monkey about in York. Starting from the York race course Steve Page set off like a race horse, Will Mather stayed in the pack and Jim Talbot started at the back and worked his way up. An incredibly flat course ideal for PBs was hampered with high winds but that didn’t stop Steve swinging to his PB. 

Steve “Chimp” Page 1:25:34

Will “Gorilla” Mather 1:33:28

Jim “Orangutan” Talbot 1:42:34

Nice one guys – here they are making some new friends…

Apparently the race organisers have issued a plea for any information leading to the return of their monkey. We know nothing…

Thanks Will for the report.

Lambs Longer Leg

The race that unofficially opens the local calendar…and also seemingly opens the door on every type of weather conceivable, didn’t disappoint. The little over 5k of grind was taken on by Andrew Fox, Alan Turner, Rob Sheldon, Nick Ham, Jo Brack and Charmayne Brierley. A late person in a black vest, who some of us know, may have gone on to take First Lady but I obviously can’t confirm this 😉  Surname rhymes with nice …

So like any storm, the weather got worse the closer to the start and blew a gale as we set off up the late. A distinct lack of visible running tops today due to coat wearing. 

The first climb is always a trudge and in such weather is worse but as we descended into Dimpus Clough we entered the eye of the storm. The clag parted, and an awaiting Des Gibbons snapped away whilst Rob and I ran and slid along wondering if football boots are actually an undiscovered fell running shoe for such conditions as the bogfest we just come down. We could be onto something. 

Alas as we began to ascend, I muttered to myself ala George Clooney in Perfect Storm “she’s not gonna let us out” as the clag once again dropped on us, the wind picked up and we were hampering any attempt to run uphill. 

Finally we summited and back on track we descended swiftly down but not without literally hitting a wall of wind that prevented running to be done for a short while. 

Andrew Fox finished first Harrier and first M60, then Alan Turner hot on his heels, then Rob Sheldon and then me, quickly followed by Nick. Jo was next before the at first comical “where do I go now” look from Charmayne turned into “arrrggghhhh sprint finish is mine” and she pipped her close rival. 

Howzat Jeroen for sprint finish technique!

A great morning at a race that really sums up the enjoyment and craziness of the short fell race.

Thanks to Pete for this report and pics.


A healthy turnout of runners and supporters braving the fine weather today – kudos all round. Having fancied a run up to support at the top of Doctors Gate, about 30 seconds in this weather was all it took for me to turn round and run back down…directed a guy back to the Pennine Way who was merrily following me back down!

Thanks to Zoe (who survived her 3rd running of the Trigger!) for this report on FB.

Today was a real team effort. Thanks to Matt Crompton, Elanor Swan, and Sarah Andrew for navigation, moral support and being generally bad ass. Notable support from Alice, Mark Davenport, Chris Jackson, Alison Holt, the Minshulls, Jude Stansfield, Rebecca Smith, Phil Swan and the Swan juniors who all saw fit to waste their Sundays hanging out on wind blasted hillside to give us cheers and sweeties! Tim Culshaw and Steve Knight both had a “good race”, Ian Crutchley did well on his debut despite finding it awful! Zoe and co met Ian Oates and Luke Holme a couple of times along the way and despite the cold and a couple of “little wanders off course” (*sounds about right!) they both finished well in around 6h. Runners were all thrilled to see the GDH support crew on the hill and at the road crossings!

13…unlucky for some? Not for Ian – he made it back, and by the looks of it still smiling!

From other sources (Strava and Ian C), Steve Knight had a minor nav malfunction after Snake summit but it doesn’t seem to have slowed him down very much. Luke apparently did find his way this time. Having said that, his way was apparently via a waist deep bog on Sliddens Bog so maybe he’s better getting lost?

Full results not yet available but it sounds like most people managed between 5hrs and 6hrs 30mins, so well done to all on that.


The usual array of Parkrun activity this week, despite the continuing ‘interesting’ conditions. Seventeen Glossopdalers at Glossop Parkrun on Saturday. The typically muddy Glossop course didn’t stop Melissa Crutchley smashing her PB at Glossop by 40 seconds, or Stevie Knowles getting his (Glossop?) PB, and 1st place! There were representatives at Marple, Wythenshawe, and Hyde. Paul Drury distinguished himself at Hyde by very sportingly deciding to give everyone a 10 minute headstart, just to spice up the competition. Joe Travis also gave Chadderton Hall a go; his description of the course is either a reference to it’s parentage, or suggests that it’s one to be avoided. He didn’t make clear whether or not he was still wearing his Santa suit so that might have made a difference…

Cross Country

Thanks to Chris Webb for the x country report. A murky but relatively mild day at Heaton Park saw a stacked field in the Senior Men’s and Women’s races. Chairman Stevenson was absent and so we had to hijack the Manchester YMCA club tent! Some solid performances all round, here’s what went down:


Emma Rettig: 131st (21st V40)

Jane Mellor: 173rd (14th V50)

Kaylea Haynes: 245th


Chris Webb: 52nd

Simon Watts 129th

Sean Phillips: 144th

Jamie Helmer: 225th (52nd V40)

David Chrystie-Lowe: 348th (5th V60)

Andy Burnett: 428th (60th V50)

Full results here:

Photos here:

There’s one match left in the MACCL, back at Kenworthy Woods for the 2nd time this winter, on Saturday 9th Feb. I still have a few numbers for folks who’ve registered but not yet run a race (*oops that might be us), the league gets shirty if you register but don’t run-why not come and enjoy the fun for one last time this winter?! Anyone else that fancies it but hasn’t registered can still race, just let me know before Wednesday 6th Feb and I’ll let the race organiser know.

Paul Peters was doing some x country moonlighting and sent in report below.

I’m afraid I was out cheating on GDH at the weekend, racing for Lancaster Uni again in the mid lancs XC league. After sticking with the same group of 4 people for the whole race, they all beat me as the final stretch came along, but on the plus side I ran nearly 3 minutes faster (35:59 to 33:13) than the same course last year and cemented a top 20 finish again, so silver linings and all!

As a team we also managed to come 3rd overall, only losing to some really strong teams from Blackburn and Kendal. Well done to all the harriers who raced at Heaton park on Saturday as well!

General running

So whilst most of us were putting up with what is typical Glossop weather, seems like Frank Fielding was over in Tenerife getting in some warm weather training! There are also some of you putting in some pretty decent long training runs with marathons-a-looming in the not too distance future. Nice work folks.

Other news

Don’t forget – it’s time to pay your subs! For full details, check out the announcement from Alison Holt on the GDH Facebook page. (GDH+EA is £20 for the year)

Feeling like you’re not getting faster? The hills aren’t getting easier? You just go out and do the same old runs day after day? Then you definitely need to mix up that training! The weekly Tuesday sessions run by Jeroen have started again for 2019– great for working on your speed. These are varied sessions which start at different location in Glossop/Simmondley/Hadfield- start time at 6.45pm. If you haven’t come along yet, now’s the time! You might just get quicker but even if you don’t, whats not to like about joining nearly 40 other people on a quiet side street in Simmondley …it’s all a bit Walking Dead…
On a Wednesday, Chris Webb runs the XC sessions in Hadfield – by all accounts, muddy, hilly and a load of fun!

And one finally thing to remember, if it ain’t on Strava it didn’t happen, and even if it is on Strava we might not find it with 200+ members doing multiple runs a week! So, if you want a mention, or you want to write up a report from a race/send pics then please send an email to!