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“If only that was the last of the rain” Weekly Report

Nowadays you don’t need to wait for Michael Fish’s weather report, you just have a scroll through Strava.  From the titles I can reliably inform everyone that it’s been a warm one, sunny, humid and in some cases brutal.  Of course though, now it seems to be raining again…

Here’s the weekly report.

Kinder Trog

Don’t have a fight with rocks on Kinder.  That’s the take-home message from the Kinder Trog today.  Immy Trinder (who found out the hard way) gives us this report:

GDH lineup for Kinder Trog was John S, Jo B, Alison H, Charmayne B, Matt C, Dan S and myself. It was nothing if not an eventful day. Dan and I chugged round together, and it was all going well until we were heading towards the Downfall where I decided it was a good time to have a fight with the floor. Following a moment of bemusement I worked out how to peel myself off the gritstone, shouted at Dan for trying to help me (classic, sorry Dan) and after a wobbly-bottom-lip moment and being overtaken by Matt, we cracked on. It has been suggested that I might call this kind of a disagreement with the floor a ‘John Stephenson’, although as far as I’m aware he managed to stay on his feet today for the duration!

It was lovely to see Tracey R, Cecil and Mark D out on route. It was especially nice to see Marco’s big box of Haribo! Meanwhile, Matt had a hot date with a PB but unfortunately it wasn’t to be, as we discovered when we caught him up in the final few kilometres. A knee problem, which had something to do with a gate that I didn’t quite grasp, was to blame.

Alison had a great race and put her HPM demons to rest. She encountered a minor nav mishap but got round without fighting any inanimate objects. Jo, Charm and John ran together, the report from Jo being that they ‘all enjoyed it but it was bloomin’ hard work!”

Fight for 1st GDH came down to a sprint finish between Dan and myself, which I won, although I’m pretty sure if it hadn’t been for the variety of mitigating circumstances including Matt’s knee, and Dan sticking with me after my face-plant, it might have been very different!

I knew I didn’t stand a chance on a sprint finish with Immy but it made it quite an exciting ending in around 2:44.  The results don’t seem to be out yet so we’ll get them posted on the facebook page.  Great local long racing…. well done all!

(Also to add Chris Jackson and Frank Fielding were out there for Pennine)

Buttermere Horseshoe

The Lakeland Classics Trophy started back in 2002 and has grown ever since.  It covers six classic Lakeland races and the best three performances count. Chris Webb took on the Buttermere horseshoe and sent in the report below:

Tim Culshaw and I headed up to Loweswater on a glorious day to run the Buttermere Horseshoe fell race. At 22miles/9000ft it’s statistically the toughest of the Lakeland Classics and the heat spiced it up even more this year. Finlay Wild turned up so the winner was never in doubt (he broke the course record I believe, unsurprisingly) but for the rest of us we were trying to get round without the wheels coming off!

I was going well until Haystacks when a nav error cost me a few mins; that combined with the sun really beating down at that point made for hard going over Red Pike and High Stile. I rallied on the descent of Scale Force (despite another minor nav error) and managed to climb Mellbreak without too much suffering.

Tim meanwhile was smug with his controlled effort early on, “feeling great” he said over Grasmoor. It’s still early in the race though and he had his fair share of suffering and minor nav mishaps on the way back. Still, with Edith only 3 weeks old and off the back of very little sleep Tim finished strong, storming past the Kirkstile Inn beer garden like a man possessed! I can highly recommend this race for anyone wanting a long, challenge fell race on a beautiful route.

Final results:

Chris Webb: 12th in 4hrs 51mins

Tim Culshaw: 27th in 5hrs 29mins

The Spine Flare

The summer version of the Spine Challenger (108 miles) is happening right now.  I’ve just looked at the tracker and Sue Clapham finished in 36:04:04.  I don’t have any details, but absolutely epic running – I hope we can hear all about it!

A Trio of 10kms

Why just run one race in a week, when you can do three?  John Pollard took on Marple, the Hawkshead 10km and the Shirgley Stag fell race, and tells us below how it went.  It seems Lance Hamilton-Griffiths also made an appearance:

To complete a trio of 10k races in 7 days, starting with Marple trail on Sunday, I first ran the Hawkshead 10k road race around pretty little Esthwaite Water in the heart of the Lakes on a gorgeous Wednesday evening.

Now I did intend to do the Langstrath fell race in Borrowdale (honest guv) but didn’t leave enough time to drive down the valley, a pity as it’s the most beautiful route up to Watendlath tarn, but I thought I’d let Ricky Lightfoot win that for the umpteenth time.

So instead I mingled among the assorted Kendal AAC & Eden road runners to do what is truthfully quite a tedious undulating metalled loop, views notwithstanding, around Esthwaite. Good hard running though and getting me fit to finish in 51.02, with a burger and beer reward provided by the slightly chaotic organisers in Hawkshead afterwards.

That was a road and trail completed and on Saturday afternoon it was the Fell run, a new race at Pott Shrigley, tucked away by Shrigley Hall in the local village Rose Queen fete.

Charming Cheshire. A varied route, supposedly 10 k, pretty much all runnable, touching on Lyme Park at the Bow Stones and the most enjoyable run of the week.

I was short of concentration on one downhill section in the woods and went a*** over t*t, a reminder not to be so careless…but felt I ran ok to finish 3rd v60 in 57.25.

Lance Hamilton-Griffiths appears to have finished about 36th in 47.12 but I didn’t catch sight of him at that pace. Well ran sir.

Whether this all means I’m going to have the stamina for next week’s Ambleside trail half marathon I’ll have to see.

Kingsway Track 5km

Rochdale? What happens there? I have no idea usually, but earlier in the week Immy Trinder and I attended a chip-timed track 5km at the Kingsway track.  It seems to be a collaboration set up by the Rochdale Triathlon Club, Royton Road Runners and Rochdale Harriers.  There are three separate races (sub-20, 20-25min, 25+mins) and a junior 2km.

I somehow managed a PB of 18:43 and Immy came over the line in 20:30.

It costs £4, you get a print-out of all your lap times and you get to feel like a proper athlete for a bit – highly recommended!

Colshaw 10km

Alex Critcher provided an in-depth review of the Colshaw 10km on Stava.  How was it Alex?

“Awful”.  So, there you go.

Parkrun Corner

A load of Harriers enjoying a warm Parkrun yesterday with 17 on the start line.  Caitlin Rice was first GDH followed by Sean Phillips.  Perusing Strava it looks Sean did an extensive warm-up of 18-19kms, nothing quite like getting the legs ready for a Parkrun, eh?

Luke Holme, probably powered by a vampire-bite from T100, bagged a PB at 20:34.  No other PBs from GDH at the home course, but David Christie-Lowe is just two runs away from the 250 milestone.  Top running!

Check out the consolidate club report HERE

Top Mileage and Climbing

Who has been out there grinding out the miles and powering up those hills?  On the GDH Strava group, this week Steve Knight has clocked up an impressive 91.8km but Jenny Ross takes the elevation crown with a whopping 5,278m.

Anything Else?

As is the Harriers tradition there was a summer solstice run out into our lovely hills.  With fast-paced and busy lives getting out into the hills is always a joy, but this one has the added benefit of whisky.  A perfect time to enjoy our magnificent local playground and think about our friends old and new.

There has, of course, been a Tuesday speed session and a Thursday fell run, but it also looked like a splinter group set-out to run loops around the reservoirs.  We all know what that means! That’s right, it’s “Round the Resers” on Wednesday! This year the race will be supporting Tinttwistle Children’s Gala, a local charity providing activities for young people in the community.  I’m sure a good bunch of the blue and orange army will be there!

Guy Riddell is beating the drum for the Chester Marathon in October – get your entires in!  Chatter of Bullock Smithy recces seems to be all over the place.  The Manor Park Marathon looks likely to be happening on August Bank Holiday… I’ve spotted a recce of “Lakes in a Day” out there on Strava – have fun on that one!  Basically, it’s all going on Harriers!

That’s all i’ve spotted or been sent this week – if there’s anything missing then please let us know what happened in the Facebook comments!

Keep flinging the reports and pictures in to the GDH report-writing-crew at



Tour of Tameside 2019

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

As Steve says: This one is for Nev.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jess & J

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

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

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

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


Final Positions

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


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

Vets prizes for Simon Entwistle, Tony Hillier and Steve Crossman



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

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

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

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

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

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

I believe him, though.


Other mentions in the dispaches this week…

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

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


“Full moon closest to the Solstice” Weekly Report

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

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

DRCO dash

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

30 Luke Holme 51:06

61 Wendy Trelease 56:01

73 Pete Wallroth 59:16

83 John Stephenson 62:19

85 Mary Jeal 62:28

96 Will Mather 79:44


Coed y Brenin 1/2 and marathon

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

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

Marple trail 10k

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

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

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


Fathers day 10k

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

Podium 5k

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

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

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


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

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.

A little light racing

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

Dovestone Diamond 10k

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

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

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

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

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

Wincle Trout Fell Race

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

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

Isle of Wight Running Festival

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

Welsh 1000m Peaks

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

A Grand Round

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

Parkrun Corner

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

Other News….

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

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

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

Its the Spring Bank Holiday Report!

We’ve seen some epic racing from you lot this year, and that’s resulted in some epic weekly reports to match! Last week Mr Stinton had probably one of the most challenging to date, but where I’d be flapping, he seemed to just take to in his stride. Even with a bonus Bank Holiday to contend with, I was kind of hoping this week would be easier, as you must be too knackered to do much. But I was dead wrong. Thanks to all who contributed, grab your favorite tipple, take a little time out, and enjoy the weekend round up!

Brathay 10in10

For starters, although this event technically finished the week before last, and started the week before that, we should really go back for a moment and mention the amazing achievement of our resident marathon master, Marie Williamson.

On the 19th May, Marie completed her 10th marathon in 10 days at the Brathay 10in10 event. That’s 262 miles! Most of us see the marathon as the pinnacle of running achievement, and to run 10 of them on consecutive days is absolutely crazy. Any further babble from me isn’t needed, as the below numbers do the talking.

Ras Y Moelwyn

Thanks to Greg Wasinski for the following…..

So, my second Welsh Fell Race of the week was Ras y Moelwyn, a British Champs Race this year, an AM race with about 1000m climb and just under 16km. I think this is probably what some members of the club would describe as a ‘proper’ fell race. Very little marking of the route. Groups of runners going in seemingly random directions in the mist following whoever was wearing a local vest and looking confident. The obligatory shirtless elder gentleman despite the cold wind and mist. Shoe sucking bog. Rain slicked slate and rock. Quad bursting ascents and descents. Scrambles round rocky outcrops. And cake and beer at the finish…But it was a great course with some amazing views once you were out of the mist. Will definitely be looking to go back and do that one again. I saw a couple of other GDHers on start list, Sarah Andrew and Robin Hoffman but didn’t see them there.

Well, your description of a proper fell race sounds pretty much spot on to me, nothing to add! Whilst they may have been running incognito, it was seemingly so claggy that you didn’t spot Robin and Sarah just ahead of you!

Robin Hoffmann 1:57:10
Sarah Andrew 2:05:22
Greg Wasinski 2:07:34

Purple Moose Race Beer – But it tastes like Piws…..

Isle of Jura

With Greg’s description of a proper fell race still in mind, apparently Jura all that, and then some. Its about 18 miles and over 7,000 feet of climb, over some of the gnarliest terrain in the UK. And whilst far from local, its a race that our little club has a significant history with, with our late Chairman John Hewitt completing it no less than 9 times. In tribute to John, our very own Caitlin Rice re-donned the blue and orange for the race. John Stephenson, Lindsay Palmer and Matt Huxford, also went north to pit themselves against this beast.

Well done you guys, I gather its a massive achievement just getting round this one. Finishing times were as follows!

Matt Muxford 4.07.05

Caitlin Rice 4.50.15

Lindsey Palmer 6.23.05

John Stephenson 7.27.21

John Stephenson leading some kind of weird stretch fest

Blackpool Promenade 10

Alex Critcher was the only Harrier over in Blackpool, for the undulating 10 mile road race put on by Flyde Coast Runners. He was also the only runner to DNF the course, but on the plus side, he is the latest member of our prestigious DNF club!

Alex said just about everything went wrong after a fast start, and I think we all know exactly what that feels like. To cheer himself up he headed straight to Glossop Beer Festival, where he was pleased to record a personal best (of beer and burger consumption).

Keep your chin up Alex, and just chalk it off as an experience. The chances are you’ll go and blitz your next race.


Tim Culshaw went over to Saddleworth Fell Race on Saturday. Its and AS class, just shy of 3 miles and 1000 feet, with a descent almost as renowned for its thorny bushes, as its steepness. This from Tim…..

I was the sole GDH at Saddleworth fell race, which was similar to Jura in terms of weather, but only about 20% as long, 1% of the travel time and maybe 40% of the fun. I felt ok on the climb, suffered on the flat and reclaimed a place on the mildly tussocky descent to finish possibly in the top 10 but I’m not really sure. Some fast/tall bloke from Pennine ran well for second place. Strong supporting from a 41 weeks + 2 days Alice.

Thanks Tim, and I do wonder who that fast / tall bloke might have been???

Tim Culshaw – Floating on Fog

Sea to Summit

I’m struggling to keep up with uber cool John Pollard of late. This week he found himself in Wales, presumably not by accident. He sent in the following report….

Here’s my fourpenneth from Llanfairfechan, where I am currently imbibing some vintage wines…after beer of course! Longest race I’ve run in over 12 years so onwards and upwards to aim for.

Setting off along the Welsh coastal trail before heading up to the summit of Drum, northernmost peak of the Carneddaus. A small entry of about 87 I think, with me the oldest participant not too far from the back…good climbing into a fierce wet sou’westerly and even a bit of hail at the top cairn, great descent and cut short of a full half due to some local road politics(we’ll have no runners here!)…just when I’d saved a sprint finish too. Had a chat with my celebrity friend(!)Louise Minchin at the tail about her training for ‘The Norseman’ triathlon in Norway in August, she’s posted selfies from the top on her Twitter feed, I didn’t stop, finishing in 2hr27.43, which I could have bettered. First v65 I guess..only v65 actually, haven’t seen the results.

I have seen the results John, and disappointingly the Vet prize categories only went up to V50, which is a very odd I would say. Still, you came 42nd and well deserve to claim those V65 bragging rights! Well done mate!

Rubbing Shoulders with the Stars – John Pollard with TV’s Louise Minchin

Liverpool Rock n Roll Marathon

Guy Riddell found himself over in Liverpool. Again……

So my 6th consecutive go at this great event, and as the only Harrier on the full, maximum points in the bag straightaway just for turning up. Shame it wasn’t in the club champs 😣

The weather was dreecht, as I’m sure the locals would say, with persistent drizzle and blustery winds, and cool (2.5 hillys on the Skusey scale). Naturally that meant just a vest top for me- and shorts, don’t worry folks – and that was about right, felt quite balmy mostly.

Having not trained as well as I would like and carrying a slight niggle (tight hamstring) I sensibly decided to take the start easy and feel my way into the race. That went great until the countdown from 10, and I crossed the start line and started bounding down the road with gay abandon – or should it be LBGAT abandon? Either way it was too fast and the only sensible thing to do was rein it in and settle into sensible pace. Which is exactly what didn’t happen next.

The first 10k are largely uphill to Goodison Park then round Stanley Park for what felt like another 10k before skirting past Anfield – not through Anfield this time, apparently there was a Magic Rugby League game going on, broomsticks & wands, the lot. The run continued through various other parks: Sefton, Princes, Everton; and at 18 miles coming up to Penny Lane – where a DJ is tasked with playing a Beatles track which escapes me on a loop for hour after hour – I was still keeping the suicide pace going. Of course that’s where it started to go wrong. My calves started cramping, my tight hamstring started to tighten, and my energy levels went for a burton.

I kept it together till the last few miles, with the weather much brighter but a lot windier, but then it became a bit of a battle to the finish & the beer along the less than inspiring water front, with quite a headwind.

I finished in about 3:34, so a couple of minutes off my PB and the wait for 3:30 goes on (Chester maybe?)

Positives– Forrest Gump was sat on a bench in Stanley Park, bubba gump cap and all; finished in time to get my beer and watch the free band.

Negatives- didn’t get to see the Glossop half mara crew; route changes meant at least 5 underpasses added to the route, all with sharp turns at each side; the band was Toploader.

Well done Guy, and being just 2 minutes off your PB over that distance aint bad at all. As you said, you have another bite at the cherry at Chester, and plenty of blue and orange around to keep you “motivated”.

“i’m just happy to be here” – Guy Riddell

Also running the marathon was Ellen Wilson (tbh I’m not sure if she is still GDH?). None the less, pleased to see her finish with husband Luke in 4.47.18.

I believe Zoe and Adrian Gent also ran the Half Marathon 2.49.54 and 2.17.48 respectively. Well done guys!

Edinburgh Marathon

Voted as the fastest marathon in the UK by Runners World, Craig Leith went north to find out. Whilst I’m a bit thin on information here, I know for a fact that 3.08.52 is a very fast time. Well done Craig!!!

Target Sprint

A bit more than a running race and looks darn good fun, Andy Burnett was Target Sprinting again. Nicked this from Strava……

Second Place, Podium Finish out of 4 Runners… – Better Shooting on smaller targets, let down by leaving sun glasses on in first transition which misted up. Might have been quicker if I had taken them off sooner…

Transition 1 – Shooting Cycle – 74 seconds
Transition 2 – Shooting Cycle – 50 seconds

Unofficial overall time 6 minutes 40 seconds

Andy Burnett – Gunning it!

Bamford Sheepdog Trials

Displaying worrying signs of withdrawal from his regular mid week fix, a grumpy Paul Skuse took to social media and made a passionate plea this week, to get more of us out on the local fell race scene. He’d cheered by by Monday it seems, and kindly sent in this report from Bamford….

Well the Bamford curse is getting worse not better. It all started so well, plenty of parking space, great weather and a respectable GDH turnout with me, Ben Naylor, Rich White and Tim Culshaw. Then the curse started to show itself, slowly at first, with the race entry being £5 instead of the advertised £4. We also arrived too late for a warm up and I was thirsty on the start line which is never a good sign. The route is simple, a very fast flat trail start for a mile and a half then a full on climb up Parkin Clough (harder than I remember TBH, lots of hands on knees) then up, up, up to the trig on Win Hill. I mis-remembered the downhill. It’s not technical, it’s just fast. Half way down the curse kicked things up a notch when Ben Naylor heard his ankle pop (though he carried on running cos that what he does). Apparently, it really hurts so fingers crossed for him.

Tim C and I encountered the same aspect of the curse when our little group went the wrong way as nobody could see a flag and one bloke behind shouted “Go down on the left!” so we did. I think at least a dozen of us did this and then, when realizing our error, had to decide whether to go back or to just keep going and hoping the paths would converge. Just ignore any comments from Tim – he’s as much of a muppet as me. We both just followed the herd. So I’ve no idea about results. I’ve no idea about distances ran; I do know that I enjoyed it and that Ben’s mate, Ben (didn’t get his surname but he’s rocking a cool 70’s hairdo and ‘tache) did his first fell race, did the right route and wants to join GDH so I’m calling today a win.

Here’s a slightly different version of events from Tim Culshaw……

GDH’s 41+3 spherical cheering extraordinaire positioned herself on the final descent, while an important person in a Barbour jacket gave a speech about the importance of something or other. From the off, Ben Naylor, Rich White and I spent the first 15 minutes wondering if we had entered a fell race or a flat 5k, while Paul Skuse zoomed ahead. I was relieved to turn steeply up Parkin Clough, then after summiting Win Hill I tried to catch Skusey on the descent. Just as I nipped past him, he declared we had gone the wrong way. His skulduggery had taken 20 of his competitors on a detour so he could beat them on an extra half mile of flatness. It worked well as he sprinted off and I gave up. 500 metres later Rich White popped out in front of me as I rejoined the correct course. I hid behind him until the last 200 metres then nipped past Rich and a hobbling Ben, who had turned his ankle.

Unfortunately Paul’s detour avoided the official GDH sphere’s cheering spot, so here are photos of Ben and Rich. We all finished in slightly over 40 minutes, between 10th and 100th place. Next time I do a report I’ll try to have some idea of the results.


Following my sales pitch for this race earlier in the week, families Swan, Hamilton-Griffiths and Crutchley landed in picturesque Wildboarclough for the annual Rose Queen Fete and Fell Race. Unfortunately the weather was not kind like last year, so we forewent the Pimms in favour of a good old cup of tea. Out with a niggle, Elanor Swan took up the role as club mascot, with Caitlin and Josie Swan lining up next to dad Phil. Meanwhile Benjamin Crutchley was ready for his first grown up fell race, with myself accompanying. Meanwhile Lance Hamilton-Griffiths looked mean and hungry after a good Lantern Pike performance.

This is a fairly brutal little AS class race, an out and back to Shutlingsloe trig point complete with a double river crossing. Its just 2 miles, but contains some extremely steep sections, and being as wet and slick as it was today, the route on the descent in particular, is suicidal in places.

Phil and Lance took off at the gun, and looked they they had a pretty good battle, with Phil finally coming out on top. I suspect he was more concerned about being caught by his kids. And in a quirk of the complex age categorisations, Josie Swan was running as u17 girl, with Caitlin still classed as u13. Josie was justifiably a bit peeved by the jump from 13 to 17, which is an awful big jump at that age. Still, she finished 3rd u17 girl (1st u17 girl was 1st lady overall) which is pretty dang impressive Caitlin, running together with Josie, came in that familiar position of 1st u13 girl. Brilliance from the Swans yet again. Last of our merry band was Benjamin and myself, although we weren’t far behind, and a long way from the back. Benjamin had soon got fed up with my words of encouragement all the way round, words we’ve all heard and used a thousand times – you’re doing great, nearly there, keep going etc etc. Eventually he did tell me to shut up, but he did great, and once he’d cooled off he admitted to having enjoyed it (sort of).

No final times yet, but a great race this one. But as a footnote it looked like Simon Bailey blitzed this race yet again, being halfway down, when we were still halfway up. The record time set by him on this course is 15.11, which is ridiculous.


As normal Glossop saw the majority of the action with 20 Harriers taking advantage of the favorable conditions. Well done to Rachel Walton, Luke Holme, Steven Pepper and Ian Crutchley for smashing out PB’s.

Plenty of Harriers out and about with Joanne Brack at Penrhyn (PB), Simon Toole at Morecambe, Holly and David Munday at Isabel Trail, Lance Hamilton-Griffiths at Crosby, Sikobe Libata at Wetherby, Wendy Trelease at Fountains Abbey, Joe Gavin at Omagh, Wyatt and Laurie Barlow at Goole, Paul Amos and Chris Clapham at Marple, Tony Hillier at Hyde, Claire Campbell at Southsea. Last but not least, we had Nick Ham at Woodbank.

Consolidated club report is here

Other Stuff

I think Mary Jeal may have ran Ilkley Trail Race today, but I cannot find a thing about it anywhere, so can neither confirm or deny it. But well done Mary, if you did!

Anyway, it’s great to have so many of you contributing to our little weekly round up. And please please continue to do so.

As a final word, I feel compelled to echo the sentiment of Paul Skuse this week. Please come out and play at the midweek and weekend fell races. Its such a fantastic Craic this time of year, and whilst we get good numbers, we’d love to see more of you out. Fast or slow it doesn’t matter, don’t be scared, come join the fun!