It was a Quiet One, Wasn't it? Its the Weekend Report

Well I thought it would be but as it turns out, it wasn’t really. The weather has been atrocious once again, and there was only three races with Harriers featuring. However there was a whole lot of news, recce’s and training aplenty. This report wont sustain you for the usual Sunday night drinking session and accompanying doner kebab, but is perhaps more a sipper; a cup of Bovril with a couple of Garibaldi’s to dip perhaps. Mmm, fly biscuits….

Nev McGraw Memorial Hadfield Dash

Huge, Huge news this week, is that Glossopdale Harriers will host a new race! It’s what was the Hadfield Dash, and the Gravy Pud 6 before that, but I’ll let the Facebook page explain….

Bringing back a classic trail race, Glossopdale Harriers are pleased to announce that the Hadfield Dash race will return on Wednesday 29th July 2020 starting at 7:30pm.

The race has historically been arranged by Longdendale Trail races, who organise the fantastic Round the Resers Race (June) & Gravy Pud Race(December). With support from the team behind these races, Glossopdale Harriers will place this race back on the calendar!

The race will now be known as the Nev McGraw Hadfield Dash. Nev was one of Glossopdale Harriers running legends and the route will follow the trails that Nev frequented in his illustrious running career before his unfortunate passing in 2018.

The route is a flat indicative 6 mile trail race around the Longdendale Trail and surrounding reservoirs. Runners will be rewarded with glorious views and will also receive a memento at the end of the race.

Race Permit to be confirmed. Entry link to follow soon. Mark your calendars folks!

Sarah Leah and Steve Page will be Run Directors, and help will be needed, so please spread the word and be prepared to volunteer!

I cant think of anything more appropriate at this moment than to throw in a handful of pictures of Nev McGraw, a true GDH legend if ever there was one, and very sadly missed. This race will be fantastic tribute.

High Cup Nick

This race is firmly on my bucket list, taking place in the quite dramatic valley that is High Cup Nick, near Dufton. Clare Higgins, Sarah Andrew, Rob Murphy and Robin Hoffman went up to have a bash. According to Rob, “what a crackin race, wind, hail and plenty of mud!”

And he’s not wrong, as I trawled through hundreds of photos of this race, trying to find our crew. The weather was clearly so grim, it was nigh on impossible to spot anyone from under their waterproofs. I did find Rob Murphy though, given away by that world famous orange stripe! Did anyone see the photo’s of the Keswick AC trio that finished first? Covered in mud, blood and shredded vests, it really made me smile broadly.

Well done all, and I’m definitely going up next year. Results as follows:

137Sarah Andrew1:30:44
141Rob Murphy1:31:33
147Robin Hoffman1:32:54
400Clare Higgins2:33:37
This picture tells me I don’t really try hard enough at Fell Races.

Canalathon 20

Emma Rettig hit the towpaths of the burny ring, and sent this in….

In a bid to get some flat marathon training miles, somewhere other than the trail, I entered the Cannonball Events Canalathon 20. This was to be my first 20 mile run of this training round so the plan wasn’t to race it, just survive!

The event is pretty straightforward, 20 miles along the canal from Rochdale to Sowerby Bridge (I love a point to point). Due to the recent storms parts of the canal were closed from flooding so there were a few detours along the route. Despite being told at the start the route was exactly 20 miles I still clocked 20.4 at the finish. 

The weather was mixed, the route was interesting in parts, dull in others. There was mud, massive puddles and despite a small field lots of folks to chat to along the way. 

My aim was somewhere around 3:15 and I finished in 46 place (out of 187) at 3:08. I felt great all the way round, kept a reasonably consistent pace and still had lots left in the tank. Overall, delighted. Looking at the results, some of you fast lot would have cleaned up in the prizes!! 

As you can probably tell, it’s not the most inspiring event but there was a hot shower and soup at the finish. All in all a good way to get some miles in and depending on where you are in training an excellent leg test. 

No photos but there was some muddy trainers and a big smile at the end.

Nice one Emma, solid time and good Marathon training!

Winter Hill 10K

Our man Steve Knowles was over in Bolton to take on this undulating 2 lap trail race. And not only did Steve school the Vets, he schooled the whole field, coming in first place overall. And, he was halfway down the M61 before the next runner finished, some 6 minutes behind! Think about it, that’s just ridiculous!

First come, first served. Steve was first to hit the post race car boot sale.


14 Harriers this week at Glossop. Some quick times as ever, but I don’t see any PB’s or milestones.

Meanwhile super juniors Ethan Rolls and Wyatt Barlow ran at Hyde, with Wyatt making his PB on this course. Speedy Shaun Chambers came in first place, albeit under his Salford guise, while Grandmaster Hillier and Laurie Barlow made up the number.

David Munday continues the impressive tourism, this week he was at Rheinaue, near Bonn in Germany. Elsewhere we saw Jonathan Haggart at Leazes, Matt Crompton at Hafan Pwllheli, Andy Burnett at Bakewell, Will Mather and Jessica Camp at Stretford, Joe Travis at Oakwell Hall, Cathy Murray, Pete Tomlin and Wendy Trelease at Lyme Park, Joe Gavin at Omagh, Bill Leason and Andy Fox at Marple, and finally Nick Ham at Stockport.

The consolidated report can be found here –

Other Stuff Aplenty!

Facebook and Strava have made excellent viewing this week, and I did pick up on some things along the way.

Chris Webb and Tim Budd had a crack at the “Heart of Darkness” route, a particularly pure 15 mile fell run, which goes on an out and back jaunt from Winnats to Grinah Stones. The purity comes on this North/South route by the fact its all done staying within 1 kilometer of longitude through the heart of the Dark Peak (I know, clues in the name). The lad’s got to the Alport Valley before having to call it, the weather just being too ridiculous to carry on. Knowing these two as we do, it must have been really really bad. Those interested in this route can find out more here.–Heart-of-Darkness.pdf

Meanwhile Guy Riddell invited us to a race, where the food looks quite unbelievable, really fantastic. However, we have no clue where or when it is, or how far we need to run.

Kate Emily again demonstrated her uncanny ability to organise the proverbial piss-up in a brewery.

Lucy Wasinski dazzled us all with an altered lyrics rendition of 10 Green Bottles. It’d be an overstatement it to describe it as an “earworm”, but a valiant effort to offload 57 GDH Buffs. Seriously the buff is an incredibly versatile garment that I don’t go running without. And who doesn’t want a GDH one??

Mark Davenport‘s been delving into the archives, transporting us to a time when taches were taches, and shorts were really really short. Some cracking photos posted on Facebook showing Harriers past and present. Absolutely brilliant looking at these.

John Pollard, Clive Hope and Dez Mitchell were spotted up on Bleaklow. Rather saturated up there presently, but I understand they made it back in one piece.

So how many lads from Hyde, does it take to take a photo?

News from Kirsty Sharp regarding the SE Lancs Cross Country League. A venue has been found for the final race, to replace the cancelled Chorley race. It will take place at Heaton Park (again) on Saturday 7th March.

Last but not least Kate Emily and Ben Robertson Have been appointed as GDH Welfare Officers! I quote Lucy Wasinski directly as follows: It is great for us all to have them on board and as well as meaning we comply with EA requirements, more importantly means that GDH can ensure that the welfare of everyone who runs with the club is protected. You can find out more about this role etc at the link below, but what they will do won’t be restricted to just this as they have lots of their own great ideas! Watch this space for more!

Whats’s Next?

Next up in the Fell Champs its James’ Thorn on Sunday 1st March at 11am. Get yourself over to Glossop Golf Club for registration and enjoy a classic race on very familiar turf. At 5 miles and 1,600 feet climb, this is a (mostly) runnable out and back, flagged too, so (almost) no chance of getting lost. Do save some for the sting in the tail past Mossy Lea Farm! Hoping to see plenty of Harriers there, old hands, and new fellrunners alike.

Well, that’s all there is this week, but as always, we love reading and compiling tales of everyone’s racing exploits.  Keep running, and stay safe!

“And you thought nothing happened” Weekly Report

It was all set up to be a battle at Wrexham half this weekend!  The second race of the year in the club road/trail championship and no doubt many Harriers had packed their passports for the journey to Wales, but alas, with the course already affected by Storm Ciara last weekend the impending Storm Dennis was all too much so the organisers took the decision to call it off.

Next up on the fell championship is our very local James’ Thorn Fell Race on 1st March.  For those who don’t know the course, in true fell running fashion you run up James’ Thorn and back down (I think on the same path).  I did this in 2018 and pretty much vomited running up that slope at the end by Mossy Lea farm because I was being chased down so had to give it some effort, so yeah it was a toughie.

There might not be a huge amount of race reports come in, but there’s still plenty of info and club updates to wash down your necks with a Sunday evening tipple.

Here we go….

Wrexham Half

Didn’t happen!  I don’t know if it’s going to be rescheduled, or if a replacement race for the champs will be announced, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon!

Stockport Trail Half

Did happen! And we had some reports in to prove it!  Joe Gavin sent this in:

No sign of Storm Dennis this morning at Stockport Trail Half – in fact conditions were pretty good.

Only a small number of Harriers were there presumably due to the majority entering Wrexham half.

The race sets off down the Middlewood way – a long fairly uneventful trail, for the first 10k. We then loop back along the canal were things were a bit more challenging, narrow paths, huge puddles and plenty of mud made it a little difficult to set a regular pace but it was all good fun.

The final 5k or so is back along the trail. 

The course is very flat and I would certainly recommend for anyone chasing a PB. I was happy to come in at 1:42:22 a PB for me and keeps me on track with my marathon preparation.

Mandy Beames went for a less is more approach and sent in this review:

Type 2 fun.

I’ve had a browse of the results and here they are, sorry if I missed anyone!

Caitlin Rice 1:27:37

Joe Gavin 1:42:22

Tony Hillier 1:58:28

Mandy Beames 2:32:47

Carnethy 5 Fell Race

Alice Wilson took on the Carnethy 5 fell race.  This looks to be an AM, 6 miles, 2500 feet total climb over 5 summits.  Bound to be tough in a storm!  Top running!

New Chew 2020

Only vague details on this one but it started at Dovestones sailing club and you had to go out and find things.  It looks like Joe Travis and Lins Palmer both did it and presumably completed it as it made it’s way on to Strava.


As if the weather would stop us Harriers!  Great turnout at parkrun with 19 club members running around Manor Park.  I didn’t spot any PBs but, let’s face it, the conditions were hardly ideal.  Another gang took the trip to Lyme Park for a tough run and a chance to secure some early champs points.  William Mather gives us the lowdown at Lyme:

6 Glossopdale Harriers thought it was great conditions to get some club champs points, it wasn’t. Being more like a cross country in a lot of places it made it very difficult to descend at any speed and then the run in was slippy and felt with the head wind we were being pushed back down the hill.

Steve Crossman flew round with his streamlined head finished 2nd in a time of 21:51. Chris Jackson had a stronger head wind to contend with but still made light work of it 22:11. Luke Holme shot round and finished 30secs off his PB so plenty more to come when its dried up a bit 23:25. Will Mather, I slipped with every step, should of just ran in my road shoes but I didn’t fall so that’s always a plus and got a PW 24:30.

Jason Hart …..who? This fella hasn’t done a parkrun in 5 years and it reminded him of doing cross country in his underwear, best not to ask but he sped round in 27:22.

Si Toole was loving life splashing round in the mud and is the one Crossman styles himself on, the ever smiling Si finished in 27:50. After scrapping some of the mud off Luke, Jason and I ran back to Glossop while the rest went for a brew to warm up.

Consolidated club report HERE

Top Mileage and Climbing

Who’s been a mileage junkie this week? *drum roll* Chris Jackson wins the bottle of Lambrini with a respectable 86.1km, but even with his hill climbing prowess he was still beaten to the top spot by Jamie Helmer by a mere 24m – Jamie clocked up 3,151m.

You’ve forgotten to pay your subs

It looked like some naughty club members didn’t pay their subs on time.  If you’re one of the people who “put it on the laterbase” then get it to the top of your to-do list!

What’s happening during the week?

The Wild Webb Wednesday Webbinars are over for the year!  Big thanks to Chris Webb for running the sessions over the grim months and bashing us all with the stats; standard deviations, consistency rankings, percentage of mud coverage on legs and all sorts of other clever stuff.

So what are the club running options this week: –

Tuesday – Coach J will of course be running a speed sesh – await the announcement on Facebook.

Thursday – Thursdays are BACK! Well, they never really went, but they’re certainly growing week-by-week.  Plod Squad is now official: a run of between 5-8km with walking breaks if needed, no one gets left behind.  There’s pretty much always a fell group, and any other options (fartlek, 10km time trial, easy fell, local race recce, visit to Wetherspoons or whatever) depend on who has volunteered to lead a run, so keep your eye out for announcements on Facebook.  Basically, there’s something for everyone!

Even though you get just as covered in mud as going into the hills, the Longdendale trail is a regular feature on a Sunday morning too! 9am at the car park i believe.

Committee Corner

As many of you already know, there were quite a few new committee members voted in at the AGM in January.  Well, it looks like they all went to the pub for a jolly and badged it as “a meeting”.   Unlike normal pub visits there are some minutes (now we all definitely wouldn’t want that at a normal pub visit!!) and here they are – Committee Meeting Minutes

Below is a general Committee update from Lucy Wasinski and a bit about the club mugs from Alison Holt.

Club Kit

I (Lucy) now has the stock of club kit – there are various items of kit including vests (£15) and some t shirts (£15) and 2 size small long sleeved T shirts (£17).

Some junior vests (£13). But more concerningly – we have 57 buffs! (£6 each)!! So if you want to keep your head, face, neck warm in Storm Dennis and whatever weather awaits us next week – a buff might just do the job so get shopping people!! 

Please email  if you want anything. I don’t have vast amounts of cash sitting around (sadly) so please wherever possible, pay direct to the GDH bank account as it will massively help, and reference your payment with what it is you have purchased. (bank details on membership page of website).


These mugs were originally commissioned to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the club in 2012, which means we are only two years off the 40th anniversary!

There are approximately 10 of these limited-edition bone China mugs left. £7 each, payable to GDH bank account. Collection from me (Alison).

Note if you were a championship completer in 2019, you get one of these as a prize so there are a few set aside for that – please contact Alison to claim your well-deserved reward!

Club Contacts

If you have any questions or queries, or have something you would like discussed at a committee meeting, please raise these with any of the committee members, details of who they are can be found here (thanks to Dan S for updating this page and many of the others on the website!)

Please note the club secretary email address has changed and is now

Other emails you might need and that are unchanged are:

Membership secretary –

GDH report –

Please ensure any updates and reports for the weekly report are emailed rather than sent via messenger, text message, instagram, pigeon etc – this will make sure whoever is collating everything won’t miss out your update!

Last but not least

An update from Gregg Wasinski about the VJ shoes test:

A quick update on the VJ shoe test. No firm dates but agreed that would do it on a Thursday evening to coincide with a club run so people would be available. Rather than doing by torch thought would leave till early April (maybe first week) to make sure there’s a reasonable amount of natural light and that it doesn’t clash with Herod Farm etc. No details on format or confirmed location yet but thought Pyegrove might make sense as plenty of space and easy access to various terrain.

… and there was me thinking it was going to be a quiet week! Have a great one Harriers and get your reports in next week to



Its a bit breezy- the Storm Ciara Weekend report

A weekend of 2 halves. The Saturday was a delight. Sunshine and a little breeze. Certainly the calm before the storm. If you were going to get out this weekend, that was the day to do it. Sunday was a slightly different matter with the incoming Storm Ciara… weather warnings for rain and wind and a general feeling of “batten down the hatches” followed by Rain. Wind. Hail. Lightning. Etc. A number of hugely respected races (Long Mynd, Junior Parkrun etc) were cancelled due to the quite unacceptable risk it would pose to marshals, runners and (if needed) rescue teams.

Having said that, there were still a good few things going on this weekend, some lovely accounts to read and enjoy. The committee have been busy and there is a wossname thing to read at the bottom of the page, and goodness me, looking at the forecast there might even be some snow on the way.

Thanks so much to the contributors this week- Ian Crutchley, Nic Pennington, Lynne Taylor, Els Swan, Wioleta Wydrych and Paul Peters.

Winter tour of Bradwell

Ah yes, a champs race with a load of Glossopdalers entered – not *quite* everyone who entered turned up on the day, but that’s the way it goes, I guess. The race was run on Saturday certainly the best of the weekend, considering the battering we were going to get on the Sunday. As it is a few people sent in some accounts of the day, and it’s probably worth including all of them seeing as they were there and I wasn’t:

From Lynne:
Winter Half Tour of Bradwell:28.5km and 1100m of ascent.
When the half tour was announced in the club champs I thought I’d best enter – it would give me something to train for and be a training run for something longer I’ve got coming up in a few months.  There were nearly 20 harriers at the chilly start in Bradwell, and a good mix of race experience too. I was so happy the day was bright and sunny, yes chilly and a cool breeze but nothing too wintery and no extra kit to carry. The climb up Dirtlow rake always goes on for a while, and I was within ear shot of a good few harriers so it was lovely chatting and a good distraction from the 4km of ascent. What goes up must come down…thankfully Cavedale is early in the race as the descent is always slippy and makes for very slow and cautious progress on my part. It was here that I lost touch with most harriers and I just settled into my own race.
Heading out of Castleton you then have the second big climb – all the way to Lose Hill. From here until much later in the race I had company from Nic P, mostly making sure she didn’t get lost!! That said, it was good to have company as longer races can seem lonely once the pack thins out.
I know the area really well so my map didn’t come out of my bag at all…taking familiar paths down off Lose Hill – first bit of delightully muddy slippy terrain….down the road to Hope and the green lane over to Aston for the 3rd climb of the race. More gluppy mud on the eastern flank of Win Hill (I do wish the race went to the summit of this hill). The trail down to Shatton gives the legs a respite from the ups and downs, still not easy on tired legs and almost added to the dread I was feeling towards the final climb – about 250m to climb up to Shatton mast. Nic and I had been joined by Des and a few others, but the 3 of us seemed to be well matched on speed (walking) up. Somewhere along the way to CP7 I pulled away from them a bit and figured Des would get Nic to the finish safely…so I kept onwards, running where I could and psyching myself up for the mudfest of the final steep descent. I kinda wish I had a sledge or plastic bag to use – my fell shoes didn’t give much grip on the quagmired path and the brambles, gorse, blackthorn, and barbed wire fence offered no safety net to catch hold of. Somehow (well I know how) I stayed more or less upright (I basically didn’t try to run) and eventually reached the final gate onto the tarmac and the edge of Bradwell village. I made up 2 places through the village, overtaking one guy within 200m of the finish and making it back to the sports pavillion just a touch over 4hrs to hear some of the prizes being handed out.
A grand day out in the hills….think I’d prefer the route with much less mud but otherwise it was superb.


Ah, Kit Check in the cold, don’t you love it?!

From Wioleta:
Beautiful weather, lots of fun and sliding in the mud and a huge turnout of GDH, especially ladies team was huge 🙂

I signed up for this one to learn to navigate. If you can imagine the worst sense of direction and no nav skills – that used to be me. When I’ve been ticking the Wainwrights off I improved a little bit. I mean, massively. (But I felt it doesn’t count, because I wasn’t on my own and I wasn’t running – I’ve been hiking). So, yes, I knew how to use a compass and a map but I was still making crazy mistakes. In the most obvious places, I would go wrong (even if there was a sign ‘no footpath – I would go there as it happened when I was doing a recce of Bradwell). So the next step for me was to improve my nav skills to the point to feel comfortable to navigate on my own, especially while running. So if you think you are crap in navigating – keep reading 🙂 there is hope even for you!

I decided to recce Bradwell in 3 parts (I knew how long it may take me to navigate it – it took me even longer – each part about 2-4 hrs). On each recce, I was making sure that I know exactly where I am on the map (even when it was super obvious, it wasn’t for me) and as I was going along I started noticing more on the map, more of the things that helped me to recognise where exactly I am, like signs for open access, gates, walls, types of the paths, I’ve learned how to notice the difference between bridleway and a normal footpath, recognise byway and all of that was super helpful.
I’ve had some funny moments while recceing it. On the first recce I dragged David and asked to promise not to tell me if I’m going wrong (I wanted to learn even if on my mistakes), but after one mile he asked ‘so even if you would be going completely wrong from the start you don’t want to know?’ – yes, the first mistake, instead of taking the path from the start I went up the hilly road. So I made friends with the compass. I’ve had some funny moments with the compass as well, especially when we were doing the next 2 recces with Bec. The first moment was hilarious: me and Bec, both with our maps and compasses, both compasses where showing north in the opposite direction!!! If somebody would take a picture of us at that moment, that would be awesome! Hahaha, that gave us loads of confidence for the start of our nav skills tour (yes, don’t keep your compass next to the phone or speakers or it will go crazy). There were also some funny moments when I was taking bearing using a compass and it was pointing me the direction we came from (I placed the compass on the map wrong way round). We’ve also made some little mistakes while recceing it, but at least I knew I’m not going to repeat them on the race day 🙂 And so I felt prepared for the race day. Kate drove us with Rachel and Nicola (we’ve had 2 drivers actually as somebody couldn’t shut up and stop helping- me hahahaha at least I felt like I contributed a bit). And on the way we’ve all heard ‘don’t worry, there will be plenty of people to follow’. But the reality was different. I quickly realised there is nobody in front of me. After I’ve had a little haribo at the checkpoint 3 (I really enjoyed it after 12 days sugar-free) I caught up with some guys, but I’ve had to show them the way as they were going wrong already. Then one of them tried to stay with me for a bit, every so often asking hopefully ‘you know where we are, do you?’ hahahah I knew and I was so proud of myself that it is unbelievable 😛 (oh by the way, I know plenty of you were wondering why he was wearing full waterproofs for the entire race – he is training for 100miler and as a part of the training he wanted to run in full kit). Somebody helped me as well, just before we were underneath Win HIll somebody shown me a little shortcut that I assumed was right but I didn’t follow that way during the recce so I wasn’t sure whether to risk it, I did and I was impressed to even see the first arrow on the stile. Before the checkpoint 7 I met Alex, he was full of hope that I know where to go 🙂 I need to say, I was dead chuffed with myself, cause I actually knew where to go. And then again after the checkpoint 7 I was showing some runners to go to the left up through the farms near Robin hood’s Cross, plenty of people went straight and missed that bit. Except when I’ve met all these people I’ve been on my own most of the time so learning to navigate was extremely helpful.
If I was able to get to that point and learn to navigate, anybody can.

And finally, from Nic:

The Rookie fell runner report.

when Skusey suggested it would be a great idea to run the Bradwell half I thought why not? The cocky me thought it doesn’t matter that I have no nav skills, don’t know north from south on a compass or what a bivvy bag is but I thought bugger that! How hard can it be? Ill just follow someone else.

Race number collected and wearing my sparkly third hand inov8s I set off with the crowd to what I thought would be a bit of a jaunt up a few hills except, after a few miles it became apparent that everyone seemed to know where they were going apart from me, and they were getting further and further in front until I was on my own…. and the fell fear hit. Ive got to say it was at this point I nearly had a little cry and had to dampen down the panic rising in my chest. The only way to do this was to run as fast as I could until I saw someone, anyone who I could cling onto. At no point did I consider looking at my map. At that moment running through somewhere called a path type thingy, an angel appeared in blue and orange, Lynne Taylor. Never have I been so glad to see someone.


Nic – Mudlarking

I asked if I could run with her, to be fair she never agreed but she didn’t have a choice, I wasn’t letting her go,  She gave me a polite telling off about not running these types of runs if you cant read a map then made me get my map out and gave me a crash course in map reading ( still awaiting invoice) however when she asked me which way we were going I got it wrong EVERY TIME. We climbed one mountain affectionately known as a big bugger then downhill, then another mountainous mountain which must have been “the bigger bugger”. I was slipping and sliding through mud and wanted to vomit apart from my mouth was so dry I couldn’t. this normally chatty funny woman, (me) could barely get a sentence out. Quite frankly I was knackered. Passing a few other runners, we started on the last climb up “Stoney mountain” and met with Dez, my other saviour. The winds were howling, I wanted my jam butty but couldn’t eat it and I was as miserable as sin. Lynne managed to escape my  death grip and ran off but I had hold of Dez’s bumbag and I wasn’t going to let it go. The last push was upon us down into Bradwell. I was so tired I couldn’t even lift my feet and ended face first into stinky, sticky mud. I didn’t have the energy to laugh. In fact Dez could have left me there for all I cared but get up I did, running ( I say this loosely) through Bradwell to the finish not giving 2 muddy rats assess what I looked like, I just wanted this to end… now. I crossed the finish line to a marshall laughing and congratulating me on being the muddiest runner, well at least I came first in something.

Since then Ive give myself a stern talking to about the dangers of running 18 miles reading a map upside down and inside out, not having a clue what I’m doing and thinking I can wing it. As proud as I am of finishing it I’m ashamed of my naivety and lack of respect for the fell. This has been a massive learning curve for me and map reading skills is on the top of my to do list for my next race. Thank you Lynne and Dez. If it wasn’t for you I really would be stuck up a mountain somewhere in my borrowed bivvy bag, trying to figure out how to read a map.

Thanks to Ian Crutchley for winging over the results.

Prizes – Jude was 2nd V50, Lins was 3rd V50

Position First name Surname Time
16 Chris Jackson 2:53:05
36 Ian Crutchley 3:03:30
38 Luke Holme 3:05:57
39 Mark Davenport 3:06:19
60 John Gaffney 3:17:19
82 Jude Stansfield 3:30:10
91 Wendy Trelease 3:32:29
104 Clive Hope 3:41:40
106 Cheryl Stitt 3:42:19
114 Wioleta Wydrych 3:50:15
117 Lindsay Palmer 3:50:45
119 John Pollard 3:51:38
136 Alex Critcher 4:00:44
137 Lynne Taylor 4:02:18
146 Kate Bowden 4:12:10
149 Tracey Robinson 4:13:12
150 Dez Mitchell 4:20:34
151 Nicola Pennington 4:20:50
152 Nick Ham 4:27:38
# Rebecca Smith rtd at Hope- The Green Lane
# Rachel Walton rtd

Im sure the Champs tables will be updated on the website soon enough.

Special mention should perhaps go to Lins who decided to head up to the top of Winhill even though it’s not a part of the race, and to the other interesting and exciting lines that various people took throughout the race.


Some interesting race lines going on around Winhill.

Heaton Park XC

I haven’t really got much of an idea what went on at Heaton Park as no-one has deigned

Heaton xc

Pete at Heaton

to drop me a line. Pete Daly was apparently 149th and 15th V50, while David Chrystie-Lowe was 126th and 2nd V60. Solid running in what I’d imagine to be fairly muddy conditions!

Mid Lancs XC

A bit of a report from roving XC-er Paul Peters:

After a failed attempt to send in a report last week (internet cut out mid drive, didn’t realise it hadn’t sent till Monday) I’m back again with my penultimate XC.

Despite being here for a fourth year, this was a new course to me so I scouted it on


Paul sporting XC makeup

google maps beforehand. What looked like a super boring field run turned out to be a little more interesting. Couple of bogs, a nice traily section and good support made for an enjoyable course. I carried on my new tactic of turning off watch alerts and racing the race, and found myself a little back in the pack to start off, but soon found myself catching the eager starters. After about 4km I caught up to an old Lancaster Uni runner who I’d never beaten during his time with us, but this day was gonna be different I told myself, as I surged to try and put a little daylight between us.

Nothing much happened for the next few km’s. Caught one or two more lads that were on the decline, tried to duck behind people to avoid the wind where possible, but the course was looking quite sparse at the front end so I had to face the wind head on mostly. Really we were just fortunate that Storm Ciara decided to come on Sunday instead (update from todays run, Lancaster is a mess of flooded paths, fallen trees and general havoc, so nothing new here really).

All in all, I rounded off the race coming in 11th, yet again a personal best position in this league. I’m determined to go off hard at the next race to see if I can break the top 10 before I leave uni…

Doctors Gate

The only race that went ahead in the teeth of Storm Ciara. A number of (fool?)hardy souls decided to take up the offer of running the Drs Gate fell race on Sunday. With lashing hail and 70mph gusts across the tops, the race was abandoned at the checkpoint by Old Woman and all runners returned back down Drs Gate.

Parkrun Corner

At home in Glossop we had a dozen harriers running this week . More of you chose to take on some parkrun tourism, here’s the rundown: Jonathan Haggart (Finsbury Park), Steve Crossman and Tony Hillier (Hyde, congratulations Steve on the PB), juniors Ethan Rolls and Wyatt Barlow plus Laurie Barlow (Chester, congratulations to Wyatt on securing his all time parkrun PB), Phil/Elanor, Caitlin and Josie Swan, Dan Ellingworth, Mandy Beames and Sarah Leah (Lyme Park, congratulations to the female Swans on all 3 of you bagging PBs), Joe Travis (Penrhyn), Robert Webster (Rushmere, congratulations on finishing first), Sean and Vicki Phillips (Stretford (a PB on this course for Vicki – well done)), Phillip Pearce (Jamaica Pond, Boston Massachusetts), William and David Munday (Severn Valley Country Park).

A big shout out to all the juniors running the Saturday event, sadly no junior parkruns this week owing to the storm forcing nationwide event cancellations. Don’t forget there’s a push to get Glossop’s very own junior parkrun set up – see facebook or get in touch with Dan Ellingworth if you’d like to get involved.

Next week is the 3rd Saturday in the month but as we have 5 Saturdays in February this year there are still 3 chances to head off and grab the ‘L’ in Lauries parkrun challenge.

Committee Corner

Club Welfare Officer(s) needed…

In line with the requirements of an England Athletics affiliated club, the committee has decided that the club requires at least 1, but ideally 2 welfare officers, 1 male and 1 female.

Welfare covers a range of issues such as safeguarding and protecting children and adults from bullying, poor practice in coaching and disciplinary matters. As this is a new role for Glossopdale Harriers, the person or persons will be involved in defining the role, welfare policies and a disciplinary procedure and its implementation, in close cooperation with the club committee.

Successful candidates will be required to complete an on-line Safeguarding in Athletics course prior to attending a 3-hour “Time 2 Listen” workshop. The club will pay for these.

For more information on what is involved in this role, please visit the relevant page on the England Athletics website:

We are calling on all members who would like to be considered for these important posts to indicate their interest in the first instance by sending an email to

Thats about it really.

Point to note: Webb has his final XC training session of the year this Wednesday, so if you’re game, get on over to Bankswood for some ridiculous mudbased fun.

Other than that, no-one has got in contact with anything else to plug (to be fair, he didn’t ask me to plug it, but I happened to know about it), so that’s yer lot.

Calm Before the Storm / Cold Snap / Heatwave. It's the Weekend Report!

Am I referring to the weather, the future of the country, or the potential law suit from a certain Mexican brewer, after some burk decided to name a pandemic flu virus after their product? I’ll let you decide. Surrounded by half completed DIY jobs which are likely to stay that way, I’m back this week to round up the GDH Happenings. Kick back, crack open a Corona (with obligatory lime to kill off any viruses) and lets see what played out.

Glossopdale Harriers 10K Handicap

Steve Page orchestrated this months Glossop 10K, which I understand is planned to happen regularly on Thursdays over the next few months. Keep your eyes open for it! Its a grand road route, but naturally you cant do 10K in Glossop without some hillage, and the climb through Hadfield just gets steeper and steeper and steeper. There is a Strava segment of this named “Sorrowful Wife”, perhaps in reference to the Nick Cave song, but it just fits perfectly for reasons I cant explain.

19 Harriers were brave enough to take on the challenge, and looks like some good battles and some very impressive times. Special mention to Sean Phillips who did a 12 mile warm up at 7 minute mile pace, before the race even started. Huge shout out to junior Sophie Burton. Her longest ever run, and hindered by dragging her dad round, she managed the route in just over an hour. That’s impressive!

Steve kindly put the results up on Facebook in no particular order, but my OCD couldn’t handle it, so here they are again in order of fastest to least fastest.

Harry Hawkins “Fast Arry” 38.42
Paul Skuse40.48
Dan Stinton41.08
Sean Phillips41.09
Chris Jackson43.11
Jeroen Peters45.37
Riccardo Giussani45.39
Emma Peters45.50
Alex Critcher47.57
Tim Crookes48.35
Steven Kirkham51.24
Jessica Leigh Camp55.10
Pete Davis56.04
Wendy McMahon59.33
John Pollard59.33
Guy Riddell59.33
Liz Powell60.06
Sophie Burton (Junior)60.50
Mike Burton60.50

Carrera Nocturna la Caleta de Adeje

The what? Indeed. Frank Fielding took a break from belly buster brekkies and San Miguel to send this in….

I did this 10k race on Saturday  night. 8:00pm start to avoid daytime heat. The Tenerife  folk seem to love their road races. They treat them like a fiesta, loud music, jabbering  commentator, drum bands, big stage with podium, closed roads, chip timing, free paella, crowds of onlookers and endless wait for prize giving. Phew!!!!

Anyway it was a fun event that everyone  seemed to enjoy. The race itself was a two lap undulating course that I found hard going. Perhaps that is partly  down to 10 days of All Inclusive  excesses.

Winning time was 36:49. I came in with a slowish time of 52:53. Still, it was good enough to head the v65 category. (Only 5 of us in this category though).

Nice one Frank!

Frank and file. Mr Fielding atop the podium donning the blue and orange.

Mickledon Straddle

A Fell champs race in 2019, at 14+ miles and 2400 feet of climb, Mickledon Straddle is a fair old undertaking. Wendy Trelease and John Pollard went east to have a bash. This from John…..

This was the longest fell race I’ve done since last century so I didn’t expect it to be a picnic but I have to say it was a gas. It was quite eventful and I’ll try to give the expurgated* version, but forgive me if I go on with myself a bit as it was as they say, tough.

Aficianados will know what it has in store (so some of this route description is for newbies) but I guess it also depends on the conditions on the day. Wendy Trelease & I were the GDHers lining up , Wendy had done it last year with snow and frost on the ground. She & several others said how it was harder today on account of the water, mud & bogs lying in wait for us…but we like it like that yes?

Very strict, some would say fussy, kit check at registration, please don’t turn up without taped seams or any required item cos they’ll refuse you, I think maybe 20 entrants were turned away including Andrew B of this club. Ironically, being a scatty bugger I lost my waterproof trousers between the kit check & the start line, so technically I wasn’t qualified to run. But shorts weather it was anyway.

The HQ is at Langsett barn and the start is close by, with the track leading out onto Mickleden Edge, the sort of long, steady climb I can cope with (though the headwind wasn’t a help). I could see Wendy weaving her way along the rocks for quite a way, though after she discarded her too-warm waterproof I only caught her in glimpses.

At the top of the Cut Gate climb it becomes alternately very muddy or a stream, and at times it seemed better to plunge through the water on a more direct line, than to try and mince your way round to the sides & often get ankle deep in glutinous mud. But this was nothing to what came later.

Lovely fast but technical descent down to Howden Reservoir & Slippery Stones, where the easiest running of the race follows along the res. I remember chasing Frank Fielding, (before he got better with age haha) along here back in 1996…only know the year from an old diary. I took my only fluid intake of the route along here, two gels at about 6/7miles (and a slurp of water), and I think that’s a rookie mistake on a longer race in view of the excruciating cramp I got later. I mean you’d stop & drink on a recce wouldn’t you?

Finally a climb from the reservoir up Howden Clough and onto the long, fairly featureless trod that tracks northish below Howden Edge & eventually Margery Hill.

Talking of recces, Matt Crompton & Zoe took a few of us on the route out last week but we didn’t do this section & I asked Matt if the trod was pretty decent as I remembered it to be all this way back to the Cut Gate checkpoint. He, like Wendy was obviously not expecting it to be the muscle-sapping, bog infested mud fest it was (get the picture?)..and I used some choice profanities on this section. Passed one guy who was cramping up & desperately searching for food in his pack, and another drowning in a swamp. No, I made that bit up….and then later a girl who was limping with a hamstring. That is tough, especially with over 5 miles left. I was pleased my own hamstring tweak was bearing up..but had I tempted fate?

Back at the Cut Gate CP & path/stream, the running became easier and gradually more downhill, which is usually the only time I pick up places as I can pelt down reasonably, and though we were stretched out I did pick off 2 or 3.

However, pride comes before a fall, and fall I did on the rocky path. Not as annoying as the stumbles into uphill bogs earlier as I could get up & carry on downhill. But then the cramp gripped me, & I’ve never had a cramp that stretched from the bottom of my calf to my groin before…I actually thought it was an injury of some sort. Walking was hard enough after that, with a few lumps to negotiate still but Garmin said only 3 miles to go, and I always envisage if it’s parkrun distance left I should manage. Psychology eh.

Back jogging I was able to regain the places I lost as we passed lots of families out walking their kids, dogs. I could almost taste the beer they reward you with at the finish, and the terrific spread of sandwiches & cakes they provide. Wendy was at the funnel cradling her beer, but also her cuts n bruises & mud-covering from a handful of falls, so we posed for the obligatory…I finished in 2 hr 57m, Wendy I think in 2hr 55.

PS; Wendy will appreciate this postscript more, but at the prize giving, the 2nd finisher OVERALL & 1st lady was a slight young lass from Sheffield, who had overheard me & Wendy talking about the route before the race & asked if we had some ‘top tips’…doesn’t look like she needed any! Apparently she IS a very inexperienced fell runner, but she must be something else too.

*not the expurgated version after all

Dewsbury 10K

Alex Critcher was over in Dewsbury, and sent this in after running the 10K …

Right, if you want a flat, fast, closed road 10k that has none of that nasty scenery stuff to distract you then the Dewsbury 10k is one for you, if I can haul my carcass round in 44:18 then it must be pretty bloody quick. Joe Travis did 41:43, seriously, it will never be a champs race as it closes about 2 minutes after entries open in October but it would be great one for anyone wanting a nice early season pb next year, the sub 40 minute lads would love it.

Ha ha. I hate that “nasty scenery stuff”, with all is beauty slowing me down all the time. Nice one lads!

Not seen Joe for a while. Has he been hiding at Tony Hilliers on the Sunbed?


Following yet another passionate plea from our own Mr Motivator (Paul Skuse) 22 Harriers descended on Lyme Park to have a bash this classy little number. More like a category CS Fell race, its highly recommend having a crack at this one. And, not only is it a qualifier for our Fell Champs this year, its also a handy time to do it as you’ll get the “L” in the parkrun challenge set up by Laurie Barlow. Sneaky Lynne Taylor volunteered, and ran it, going double bubble on her points tally. It was great to see so many Harriers at this “away” fixture, some brilliant running and quite a few PB’s, but Sean Phillips came 2nd overall, cruelly nipping past a brilliant Joshua Southall in the closing 100m. Well done to Simon Toole making 50, and Laurie Barlow making the 150. Lots of first timers at Lyme, but special mention to juniors Ethan Rolls and Wyatt Barlow who did great on this tough course. Meanwhile Cathy Murray schooled us all in the age grading with over 68%.

Not everyone deserted from Glossop, with 13 Harriers keeping our end up on home soil. No PB’s this week, but Caity Rice made it 150.

Elsewhere, Julie Eyre was at Richmond, Nick Ham at Stockport, Steve Crossman finished 1st at Trelissick, Sikobe Litaba was at Hyde, Guy Riddell at Northallerton, Tony Hillier at Stamford, Sarah Leah at Fairview and last but not least, the Happy Mundays (David and Holly) were at Cusworth Hall.

The consolidated report can be found here –

Committee Corner

Some committee news in from Lucy Wasinski….

Thanks to everyone who attended the AGM at the Oakwood on Monday 27th Jan. Good to see a full room of GDH members of all ages! A big thanks to Tim Culshaw, Matt Crompton, Ben Naylor, Jude Stansfield, Zoe Barton and Becky Ashworth for all their hard work and dedication to the club and the committee.

The GDH committee for 2020 is as follows:

Chair – John Stephenson; Club Secretary – Lucy Wasinski; Treasurer – Steve Knight; 

Membership Secretary – Alison Holt; Ordinary Members –  Steve Page, Mandy Beames, Paul Skuse, Jeroen Peters and Pete Wallroth.

Motions from the AGM:

Communications strategy – majority approved

Review of Club constitution – majority approved

Survey of members – majority approved

Budget planning – majority approved

John Hewitt memorial Shelf Moor race

Emma Rettig is standing down as race organiser for Shelf Moor. Thanks to Emma for her great work this year, and also a thanks to GDH’s own Ant and Dec – Dan Stinton and Lance HG, who will be taking up the reins for now!

Membership Subs

Annual subs are now due please!  Please help out your membership sec – there are 80 current members who haven’t yet renewed – and we’d very much like you to!

Fees as follows:

GDH + England Athletics registration = £21

GDH only – £10

Unwaged membership:

GDH + England Athletics registration – £16

GDH only – £5

England Athletics registration is highly recommended (£2 discount for many road and trail races). It also helps us as a club, as we get allocated places at the London Marathon based on the number of EA registered athletes we have. We currently get one place, but with more EA registered club members we can push towards getting 2 – and then people get a mate to train with!?

The bank details (or alternative payment options) can be found here –

Please email to confirm when you have paid – thank you!

Committee Meeting:

The new committee are meeting this week, and looking forward to putting some plans in place for the year ahead! Please watch this space, as i’m sure we will call on your support and help over the coming months!

Thanks Lucy!

Other Stuff

I’m hearing stories, so far unfounded, of some significant wardrobe malfunctions on Sundays Tour of Bradwell recce. After a few miles Jules Minshull‘s left shoe fell apart, and once they stopped laughing, our plucky outdoorsman style crew managed to cobble it back together on the hoof. A few miles later the other one had the same fate, leaving Jules having to re-tie them every 100 yards to keep the soles on. Its a 16+ mile route, so I have to say, Kudos for sticking it out! I wouldn’t be surprised if one of his sympathetic running pals were to have taken some photos, and to post them on the GDH page…..

Calling all Junior Parkrunners! There will be a meeting to discuss our own Glossop Junior Parkrun on Tuesday 4th February, 7pm at The Oakwood. Volunteers to get involved, and volunteers on Sunday mornings will be appreciated! Please come along!

Well I think that’s about it that I know of, but as always, we love reading and compiling tales of everyone’s racing exploits.  Keep running, and stay safe!

Who ate all the beans?

This week seems to have been a relatively quiet week for Team GDH – still some racing and an awful lot of training and reccying which suggests that there are going to be some awesome race reports over the coming weeks and months.

Burbage Trail Race (courtesy of Pete Wallroth and Nick Ham)

From Pete…well, first things first. We all went to the right Burbage – had it been left to Skusey we’d probably be eating lunch in the Fox House at Longshaw right now.   A foggy Errwood reser greeted us as a good showing of GDH arrived for what was the inaugural Burbage Trail race. It’s organised by a dude who we’ll refer to as Super Mario on account of his hilarious race briefing in broken English/Polish (or was it Italian), which had the waiting runners in stitches most notably Caity who has never looked less composed on a start line.

Trail race he said! Bit muddy he said! Yes Mario. This was a trail race for fellrunners in every way. Bog, fog and some pretty arduous climbs thrown in that any fellrunner would rub their hands together at.   Out of Errwood, up onto the trails and a cracking climb up onto Burbage Edge trig before descending past a rather bemused looking refreshment station of 3 cups and a bottle of water, back around and down back to the sailing club. A lollipop route as Nick Ham referred to it. 

All in all, a really good morning race on a great, well marked, brilliantly marshalled course which I would recommend for next year if it’s on again.  The results were as follows:

  • 2 Caity Rice 53:06 & 1st female
  • 4 James Knapper 54:04
  • 5 Steve Crossman 54:44 & 1st MV50
  • 6 Paul Skuse 55:48 & 1st MV40
  • 13 Kirsty Sharp 59:56
  • 15 Pete Nicholson 1:01:06
  • 19 Pete Wallroth 1:03:26
  • 25 Clive Hope 1:09 & 1st MV60
  • 37 Nick Ham 1:15:05

And from Nick….Thanks to Paul ‘full beans’ Skuse giving a ‘heads-up’ on Facebook, I (and probably plenty of other Glossopdale Harriers) entered this new 10+k race from the Errwood Sailing Club in the Goyt Valley. GDH enjoyed a good turn-out as a result.

I rocked up bright and early while the going was good (i.e. head not trying to spin itself off my shoulders), and by Jove I got away with it. On the start line there was discussion about the narrowness of the one-person-width trod up through the woods after the right turn just outside the sailing club’s entrance. The need for “full beans” was agreed in order to avoid a bottleneck, so full beans it was, including from ‘yours truly’. I immediately noticed that I was sadly lacking in the beans department as Glossopdale’s finest, plus a few others, rapidly pulled away. We soon turned right and climbed in single file on a soft carpet of brown, decaying pine needles, weaving left and right, up and down, but mostly up. I was barely keeping up with the runner in front by the time we exited the woods. Now that I wouldn’t be holding anyone up I could slow to a recovery walk as my cardiovascular system felt as if it was about to explode. I’d blown my beans in an ill-advised brief blast of glory with over 10k still to go. Only charred bean remnants remained to power me for a survival walk-shuffle on the long climb to Burbage Edge.

There were some steep climbs and there was plenty of peaty mud up to halfway and the beginning of the descent back to the Goyt Valley, where the drinks station and support in the middle of the moor came as a nice surprise. In fact there was a lot of really good support and marshals to ensure we went the right way at any path junctions.

The descent back to the Goyt Valley (a well-known path to me) is technical and rocky, forcing me to hold back a bit to maintain composure and not lose control catastrophically. Even so I was still able to overtake. I must have recovered from my early over-exuberance. Once in the valley it was a long run along mucky trods on the right-hand side of the River Goyt back to our outward route, where a sharp left brought us back (eventually – I was really blowing out my a*se by this point) to the finish.

Although advertised as a trail race, this is definitely more like a fell race. Race Organiser Mario hinted as much before the start. It’s so much better for it. It would be a brilliant race to have in the GDH champs next year. Mario said that he hopes to introduce a Goyt Valley series next year, with races ranging from 5k to half marathon. I can’t wait. Judging by the organisation of this inaugural race, they will be fantastic. (Good luck with getting the permissions is all I can say).

Marmot Dark Mountains (A sleep deprived race report from Wales courtesy of Dan Stinton)

Immy and I took on the last ever edition (by the current organisers) of the Marmot Dark Mountains – a navigation event that took place this year in the Northern Arenigs.  The race is very similar format to the OMM (Original Mountain Marathon), in that there are various categories and you have to navigate your way to checkpoints in any order you choose to maximise points (Score) or alternatively in a defined order as fast as you can (Linear).  The OMM is spread over two days with a camp in-between, but Marmot is done in one hit over night in total darkness for all competitors.  You have to carry full kit (tent, sleeping bag, stove etc.) so I’d been frantically buying/borrowing everything over the last few weeks – nothing like proper preparation!  We chose Medium Score which meant we had ten hours from a staggered start at 20:42 to bag as many points as possible.

The terrain was horrific, just one boggy, squidgy, unrunnable mess after another, barely any paths, or really any features to help with navigation, especially in the dark.  We stuck it out, ate lots of pizza, toasted sandwiches and Babybels and came back feeling pretty pleased with how it went.  It may have been a big hike due to kit and terrain but navigation went well and we covered around 29km in all with a few mins to spare and came in 17th out of 25 teams in our category.  Apparently we had the biggest smiles at the end too!

We bumped into Tim Culshaw who was on the A-class with John Ryan (36.5km completed in 4th in 13:27) and Rob Taylor from Pennine but looking at the results he got DQ for something but no idea what.   So yeah, run around getting lost in the dark for hours.  It’s fun! 

Lyme Park Night Run

Paul and Liam Amos did it…that’s all I know however I really hope they took advantage of the excuse to wear neon facepaints, lycra AND fairy lights.

Parkrun Corner

Harriers were in action at a number of different parkrun locations this weekend:  Oldham (Alice W.), Hyde (Sean P and Tony H.), Marple  (half of Family Swan and Andy F.), Burnage (Rose G.), Glossop (loads), Lancaster (Paul P.),  Kew Woods (David and Holly M.) and Penistone (Andy B.).

A special shout out goes to Jacqui Chrystie-Lowe this week for what can only be described as an awesome performance at Glossop parkrun. Not only did she smash her PB by 1m5s (from 25.59 to 24.54), she also came first in this week’s age grade results with a massive 75.77%  – a percentage that many, many of us would be overjoyed with and, more importantly, a higher age grade than Mr C-L.  Phenomenal running, Jacqui (and thanks to Jeroen for the heads up).

It is also worth noting that the GDH parkrun Challenge moves to ‘L’ next weekend….see you all in Lyme Park sometime soon!  Check out Laurie’s rather impressive spreadsheet on FB for more details.

Other stuff

  • It is the club AGM on Monday at The Oakwood starting at 7:30pm – see FB for the agenda etc.
  • 2020 Subs are due – please make our lovely membership secretary happy by paying up by the end of the month (i.e. Friday) – again, all of the details are available on FB.
  • If anyone has lost a digger, it has been found by a group of Harriers who were out braving the elements on a very wet and chilly Mickleden recce.  For more info contact Zoe, John, Matt, Kate, Jo B. or Charmayne.

We love reading and compiling tales of everyone’s racing exploits.  Assuming his DIY duties are over, Ian will be on report writing duty next week so please do lots more racing and don’t forget to tell him all about it at

Have a good week and happy running!

“There’s been snow on the hills!” Weekly Report

To start on a high note, tomorrow is the worst day of the year.  Official.  Bank accounts are quivering with fear.  Dry-January, veganuary, and all those other good ideas are beginning to seem a bit rubbish.  BUT not so for us Harriers – we should be celebrating our race successes of the weekend and looking forward to a whole year of epic running ahead of us.  Worst day of the year? Pah! As if!

Here’s what happened.

SELCC XC Heaton Park

Have the Webbinars paid off? Let’s find out with this report from Elanor Swan:

A small but perfectly formed GDH Team turned out for the 3rd Match of SE Lancs XC yesterday.  The race was back in Heaton Park, Tandle Hill having been deemed too muddy – one can only imagine the levels (depths?) of muddiness given the amount of wading that is usually required at Tandle Hill.  The weather was kind and the conditions underfoot were also benign so a good day out appeared to be had by all.  Results are as follows:

LADIES:  Caitlin Swan was 4th girl in the U13s, Josie Swan was 8th girl in the U15s, Kirsty Sharpe was 3rd Lady (31:32) in the over 18s followed at some distance by Els Swan who was 27th Lady in 36:43.  

GENTLEMEN: Nick Lord was first GDH home in 38th place in 41:39, followed by the battling duo of Phil Swan (45:49) and David Christie-Lowe (45:56), Frank Fielding (49:21) and Simon Toole (50:51).  Dave was 1st v60 and Frank was 2nd v65.

Run Coed y Brenin

Wales.  It seems to have its own gravitational pull for a number of Harriers who just can’t wait to cross the border to experience the gnarly dragon-like beauty it has to offer.  This weekend was the 6th annual Buff Winter Trail Wales – a half marathon route through the Coed y Brenin forest park.  Sounds amazing.  Paul Skuse sent in the below:

What can I tell you about this one? Well, it’s a long way away for starters. An early start, black ice on the roads and the sub-zero temperatures were soon forgotten when we arrived. It was stunning. Sadly, of the multitudes of GDH who had signed up for this, only 4 of us made it to the starting line: me, Pete W, Emma R and John P. (Does Harris count?) It felt a bit chaotic at the start as there were 700 runners and no system of placing yourself appropriately on the start line so it was elbows out and a bit of pushing and shoving the grannies and fun runners to the floor to try and get near the front of the line. I was still about 10 rows back when the gun went so spent a bit of time weasling through the crowds till the real race could begin. And what a race! That’s got to be the fastest, lumpiest run over distance I’ve ever done. The trails made it all runnable, the climbs made the running at pace a full on lung buster. Mile 11 was called the sting in the tail, a distinct climb with its own prize category. T.B.H. it felt just like the rest of the previous 10 miles but a bit less traily. There were no flats anywhere in the course. Conditions were perfect. It was joyous. The finish had an inflatable arch and a mug waiting for you. So to sum it up: it’s a long way away, it’s pricey and it’s really tough but one to be ticked off the list. Good shout Lucy W! No idea about results, not up on fb of the website.

Since Paul sent this in the results did come up and here they are, awesome work:

Paul Skuse 1:41:46

Pete Wallroth 2:00:05

Emma Rettig 2:14:42

John Pollard 2:17:21

Alderley Park Winter Trail Race

Alderley Park, I’ve never been there personally, but sounds like a nice place according to Wiki!  Tim Crookes took on the winter trail race and here’s what he thought about it:

Did Alderley park winter trail race this morning was very cold but a great course, a little bit muddy in parts but other than that it was great. Was happy with my time of 38.22 over 5 miles. Would definitely recommend it.

It looks like a couple of other Harrier’s ran it and here are the results:

Michael Park 35:45

Tim Crookes 38:04

Tony Hilliar 43:01

Dark and White Wildest Peaks Trail Race

Both the Dark and White Peak? The wildest? Let’s find out with the race report from Lynne Taylor:

At around 26km and about 500m ascent we were a little anxious the distance in the wild peaks would be testing….but waking to a crisp blue sky day with little wind made the wild peaks seem very tame. An early start from Glossop saw myself, Catherine Cleary and Ann Shackleton on the start line at the south end of the Burbage valley for our 8.30am start. 

The route headed north then doubled back to climb over Higger Tor, down under Millstone Edge then through the delightful silver birch trees at Lawrencefield. Dodging ice patches became the norm, and trying to guess which of the muddy bits would give underfoot or hold. Catherine had long since forged ahead and me and Ann decided to run together as were pretty evenly paced. A quick comfort stop at Grindleford cafe then up up up onto Froggatt Edge and all the way to 

Eagle Stone at the far end of Baslow Edge for the halfway point. 

Bearing north east you have a short road section then north and towards the finish line….but first you have to pass Little Barbrook reservoir where half a dozen wild swimmers were jumping around getting warm….they’d had to break the ice to get in and I was a little jealous tbh!!  Around this point we celebrated Ann’s 4th time at passing the half marathon distance…a superb effort and still going strong.

Up and over Flask Edge and past the Totley train tunnel vent would have been a lovely run (On albeit tiring legs) but the path was full of big icy puddles of varying depths so it was a bit of a roulette for fairly shallow to ankle deep icy plunges. The last marshal point came and they happily told us only 800m to go…down steep steps and back into Longshaw…a nice muddy grass path to finish and we were reunited with a fresh looking Catherine. Her time was around 2:38 and myself and Ann 3:31. 

A super route takes you across about 6 road crossings so along with the undulations there are plenty of places to walk or take a break, it’s a great trail run on very runnable paths fabulously organised by the Dark & White team.  There was also a shorter route at around 11km so if you fancy giving these events a go head over to their website.


Lamb’s Longer Leg Fell Race

Almost as local as they come, this is one of the collection of Hayfield Races.  If you don’t already know about it, it’s worth checking the website HERE as there are loads of great races, plus at the bottom of the main page there’s a list that shows races within a 10-mile-ish distance from Hayfield.  What a great resource!  Frank Fielding and some other “old-timers” (his words not mine!) ran it and here’s the report:

This is a cracking little local race. Although it is not much further than 5k in distance, it packs in all the type 2 fun, associated with fell running. Registration is at the Lamb Inn and starts on a lane 800 metres further down the hill. It boasts a steep climbing start that drags on longer than a sane individual would normally choose. This results in many of the competitors, reduced to a walk within a couple of minutes from the start. After this lungbuster climb, there follows a short section of level ground respite, before plunging down the ‘technical’ descent to the bottom of Dimpus Clough. (for the uninitiated, ‘technical ‘ usually means uneven/hidden rocks/ruts/ slippy/tussocky etc etc). Once this first up and down is completed, a contoured tussocky trod winds around the valley floor and leads to the start of the second climb, which becomes another long hard walk for most of us, returning us back to the track around the base of South Head.  Once the climb is achieved, it is the moment of truth to see what is left in the legs, as it is all runnable to the finish from here, including the second plunging descent that we all struggled up at the start. The finish line in the field above the pub is always a welcome sight

We had four ‘old timers’ turning out in club colours to sample the above delights.

Pete Daly was our frontrunner, in 29th place (don’t know time)

Frank Fielding was 43rd in 40:29

Nick Ham finished in 58th place, 42:20, and just held off

Pete Davis, 59th.

Essars Four Villages half marathon (Helsby-Cheshire)

This is the 37th year of the half marathon and as an added bonus this year is a qualifier for the England Athletics’ Masters Half Marathon Team.  Steve Knowles decided to give it a go:

Decided to give this one a go after a friend suggested it to me as it was a qualifier for the English masters half marathon in March.  The qualifying time for a male v45 was 1hr 22 minutes but only the first 5 vets in all age categories qualify on this and the Farnborough half marathon next weekend.

I knew this was gonna be very tough to get in that top 5 but I thought I’d give it my best.  The course is on quiet country lanes with bits of climb 440ft in total and conditions were good today, cool misty and no wind about.  Just over 2000 were running today and some very strong competition, I didn’t get a great start as the toilet queues were mega long and didn’t get chance to warm up (if you do this race get there earlier than I did) but managed to get in a comfortable pace, I was feeling it at mile 8-9 but after mile 10 it was downhill for a bit but knew I’d have to increase my pace to get under 1.20 which is what I was aiming for.

I managed 1hr 20min 4seconds so just over.  I was 15th V45 Out of 230 v45’s so no qualification for a English masters vest but tried my best, I’ll give it another go when I’m V50.  Some of you have probably done this race before, I definitely recommend it. 

Parkrun Corner

Laps around the park happened on Saturday of course and there appears to be rumours of a Glossop Junior parkrun which is fantastic news! Speak to Dan Ellingworth for more details.

Nineteen Harriers on the start line on Saturday with Cathy Murray bagging a PB!  Steve Page and Caitlin Rice were first GDH home.  Great running!  Consolidated report HERE

Laurie Barlow’s parkrun challenge is in progress!  You have to complete a parkrun beginning with the letters G.L.O.S.S.O.P.D.A.L.E.H but there are various rules on the order you do them in, which month and whether or not you’re a first timer (plus others) which earn various points over the year! It would help Laurie if you let her know if you’re taking part to make scoring things a bit easier.

Mental Health at the National Running Show

Ben Robertson sent in the email below:

I’ve not raced this week but my news is I’ve been invited to be a panel member at the national running show speaking about mental health and benefits from running and my multi ultra challenge last year.

Top Mileage and Climbing

Loads of miles and elevation grabbing this week with Jamie Helmer taking the distance crown with 88.7km and Luke Holme showing us his climbing credentials with 2,535m elevation.

Annual General Meeting

It’s been all over Facebook but as a reminder the AGM is on Monday 27th January at the Oakwood.  The agenda is on Facebook HERE and it sounds like there’ll be a lot going on with reports from the Committee members and elections for various positions.  We have a fantastic club with hard work from Committee members and many club members to make it what it is, so come along to get involved and hear what’s going on.  Any motions should have been submitted by 18th January.  I have no idea if there has been any so can’t report on that, I’m just a GDH hack.

Don’t forget to pay your subs

See Alison Holt’s post about subs HERE and the membership info on the website HERE

If you don’t pay on time, the GDH Mafia will be knocking menacingly on your door.  They have ways to extract this money that you just don’t want to know about, so best to just pay up early.

What’s happening during the week?

Plenty of options out there: –

Tuesday – run fast for a bit then have a rest for a bit a few times on Jeroen’s speed session

Wednesday – run fast (in mud) for a bit then have a rest for a bit (in mud) a few times on Chris’ XC Webbinar.

Thursday – There’s a bit of a push to get the Thursday sessions a bit more organised so Mark Davenport has set up a DODDLE POLL where you can sign up to lead a run.  Steve Page is looking at getting the 10km handicap time trial up and running again.  Plod Squad is growing week-by-week.  All from the leisure centre at 7pm, but keep your eye on Facebook to find out what’s happening!

If you fancy a bit of pong there is also a regular Thursday “Tip Session”, down by the tip believe it or not.  6-8 x 800m reps with 60 seconds rest.  Great for all of the spring marathon training going on!

Frostbite series – keep your eye on FB for Tim Budd’s frostbite series navigation tasks, get wrapped up, dust off your compass and get out there in the hills!

Great to see so much going on.  Have a good week!

It’s the “well of course the weather it s**t, it’s the weekend of the Trigger and the Spine!” report

Well, as sure as day follows night, you could probably have pretty much guaranteed the weather this weekend as soon as the weather gods knew the Spine and the Trigger were happening. They were kind though and they let those running XC this weekend off with a dry day! But sure enough…as it started to get light this morning you could hear the rain lashing on the windows. Such weather was, i’m told, enough for Ian Crutchley to contemplate getting his waterproof trousers out….previously the weather has never warranted them, except for one occasion – which was truly one of life’s biggest undertakings in brutal conditions – yes, jetwashing the flagstones in his garden on Shirebrook. Anyhoo, what became of our hardy (crazy) bunch of fellow club runners…well you’ll have to read on to see how they, and the other weekend racers, fared!

Cross Country – MACCL

Thanks to Chris Webb for sending in this report:

“Another new venue for the 2019-2020 season and this looks like being an excellent addition to the series. A lovely route around some areas of Tatton Park I hadn’t visited before with the odd boggy section, lots of fast running and views across the mere (if you had the energy to look around!) There was a large field but only the ever-present David Christie-Lowe, Pete Daly and I made it down from Glossopdale and it was a chance for David and Pete to renew their rivalry. At Wythenshawe in October Pete came out on top by 49seconds but a few weeks later at Kenworthy Woods David took the honours by 23 seconds. This time round the fast running seemed to suit Pete but he slowed on the final lap and David sensed weakness…it wasn’t to be though as Pete held him off by a mere 18 seconds this time to take the tally to 2-1 for the series. David also occupies 2nd V60 overall in the league, what a cracking season he’s having! I had a decent enough race; I found the flat, fast course tough going but the one long hill (by xc standards!) on long laps 2 and 3 seemed to be too much for those around me so I gained plenty of places and tried to hold on off the top on the long, flat section. This is why xc gets you fit, or at least that what I was telling myself as my legs were screaming at me…

Definitely one to run next season if they include it again. Lots of runners seemed to bring their families and combine it with an afternoon out at Tatton Park. Also, thanks to Ben Robertson for some excellent support on course. Childcare duties prevented him from racing but he took the kids with him and they had a cracking time splashing about in the mud by the looks of it! Check out his videos of the race on the GDH Facebook page.

63rd Chris Webb 36:07

324th (25th V50) Pete Daly 44:54

334th (4th V60) David Chrystie-Lowe 45:12 (I think, the results got David confused with another runner!)”

Full results here:

Thanks Chris for sending that in – and great to hear of the friendly competition between Pete and David – some cracking running there! Rob Sheldon and I will attest to the type of season David is having at the mo…pretty much saw us off at the coached session on Tuesday eh Rob!

XC poster boy in action again at Heaton Park


Thanks to Paul Skuse for sending in the report from today’s Trigger. First, though, for those who you who don’t know what this race entails i’ll give you an intro – it runs from Marsden to Edale and is entirely self navigated. The linear route is 21miles with 1650m ascent – so chuck into that having to pick out your best race lines, getting lost and whatever else – and the distance can soon mount up! Not one for the faint hearted, but perhaps one for those who fancy some decent training and recce-ing over December/early Jan….hmmmm.

“If I say cold, wet and claggy, I think I’ve covered all the key points. I really enjoyed it, just a fun day on the hills with some mates. I was gutted that Pete W had to sack it off at Torside. An old injury was plaguing him and was getting progressively worse so he made the right and sensible decision to call it a day. If you’ve ever been in that situation, you’ll know how tough a call that is to make. Guy did a cracking job as he hadn’t really trained for this but just got out there and gave it his all, which it turns out is just the right amount for completing the race. My favourite moment of the day was the stream crossing at Crowden Little Brook. The water was in full flow and moved with a force that belied its small size. I slid into the water, threw myself onto the big rock and scrambled out. I showed Luke the where’s and the how’s which he failed to follow and opted instead for the feet in the air and head and body fully submerged approach. I can’t believe he got out, shook himself off and just carried on. High drama and comedy; this race had it all!

Ian C, Dan S and Mark D were in full race mode. They’d put some serious graft in these past few weeks, checking various line options and doing general recce work and so rightly deserved their brilliant results. Also big thanks to Ian for helping with my route work prior to the race and sorting the taxi. Stuff like this is key to making GDH what it is.

Zoe was clearly feeling left out so decided to go for a couple of duckings herself. I think a few bruises are expected in some hopefully well-hidden areas.

No idea about Tim C but I expect no less than greatness. He’s a top fell runner so should be on in his element on the Trigger.

I know Robin enjoyed the race but can’t add anything beyond that. Good meeting you – hope to see you out running soon.

Sarah A was 1st GDH lady. Still not had a chance to say hello so will sort that soon.

Thanks to all the supporters who came out on such a grim day.

Coastal Trail Series (Anglesey)

Meanwhile over in Wales in this weekend, it sounded like the weather was not much better than the Peaks!

Thanks to Chris Smith for sending in this report of the Coastal Trail Series.

“This was my second race of the season with a three hour drive out to Holyhead on the island of Anglesey in Wales.

I really like the Coastal Trail Series events. Lots of amazing locations and four different distances to choose from (Ed – a little peruse of the results shows Chris was doing the half marathon distance). The EnduranceLife crew do a fantastic job of making it a great day out with banging music, a slick registration and good signage. The website is well thought out as well, with all the information you need in an easy to navigate format.

The weather was pretty horrific with almost constant rain and winds of up to 50mph. At some points the winds were so strong you could barely move forwards. I often found myself jumping in the air and landing somewhere else. Despite that, the course was a lot of fun, running along coastal trails, dodging foam and spray along the clifftops, trudging across pebble beaches, sprinting down country roads, and shlopping through muddy farms. Throw in a handful of old battered stiles and some brambles and it was close to being an army assault course.

The pack headed out on a steady pace and I was happy to lead for most of the race stretching out the field on the first major climb, but messed up with some poor route decisions ending up in second place by two minutes. Legs pretty torn up from brambles and gorse bushes, but very happy with my silver medal and a prize pack worth £50.

Will definitely be signing up for more of the CTS events!”

Great running Chris – impressive podium spot (in 2h 13m 44s and easily ahead of 3rd!) and some fab goodies by the sounds of it! Gonna have to look into these races – they sound fun 🙂

Cross Country – Lancaster style

Whilst the Trigger runners might have been having second thoughts about their choice of race this weekend, Paul Peters delight at a XC race to kick off the NY is entirely genuine! Thanks Paul for sending this report in from his XC race:

“There’s no better start to a new year than a XC race. I found myself trecking over to Burnley for the 4th Mid Lancs race of the season, racing in Towneley Park. Top course for those of us (like me) who can’t actually run on anything that’s not tarmac, since its not technical, and the weather is usually fairly kind. The rain managed to hold off till the journey home, so I was hopeful of a good performance, and set off predictably fast.

Luckily everyone sets off too fast in XC and I wasn’t the worst offender so I managed to pick up a few slowing runners after the first km. About 3km in I could see the leader (a fellow Lancaster Uni runner), and by my counting, I was sitting in 14th place, 5th counter for the Uni team (my happiness at seeing so many of our good runners out overwrote my competitive jealousy to beat them…). As the race unfolded, I could feel myself starting to flag but there was one or two lads in front I had my eye on. As we went through about 5km, I overtook a fellow uni lad, and in turn got overtaken by 2 other runners.

Nothing much really changed for the next 4km, I ran solo, battling strong winds in parts, as I narrowed the gap to some people in front, and fell further behind others. The last km, I could see a Blackburn lad chasing me down, uncomfortably close for my liking. My quads were about to leave me for the day, but I wasn’t going to lose my top 15 finish! It took some grafting on the last incline, and a very scared final straight, but I held him off for a strong finish.

By my accounts, 15th place overall and 4th uni team counter. I’m hoping it was enough for the team win, since we had 5 of our 6 counters in the top 18, and it would set out title attempt back on track, but I’ll have to wait for the official results!”

Cracking placing Paul – for anyone who has ever done (or been subjected to?) XC – it really is fast and furious and massively competitive so a 15th place overall is blooming fantastic!

Parkrun corner- plenty of GHDers running all around the country again this weekend and some great times as well! The consolidated report can be found here –

Other news:

XC match news – 2 things from Chris and Kirsty:

  1. There is one cross country left in the Manchester League on Saturday 8th February at Heaton Park.

2. Venue change – SE Lancs XC – 18th JanThe race will no longer be at Tandle Hill and will instead be at Heaton Park again. The message below is from the league secretary.

“Tandle Hill is a swamp (think of a bad year at Glastonbury!) – stream flowing around entrance area. Met with Brian this morning – he stood in field just over stile and sank almost to top of his wellies!. We tried to think of alternative ways to cope eg wood pallets on the ground, but deemed it too dangerous – even further into start area was horrendous.

I contacted Heaton Park and after a couple of hours they had checked the park route and said we could have our event there. There may be some course changes due to the Event from Christmas just being dismantled.

So, RACE 3 is still JAN 18 but back at HEATON PARK”

The AGM is fast approaching – Monday 27th Jan, half 7 in the Oakwood pub. Everyone welcome and encouraged to attend! The deadline for motions for the AGM is 18th January, please email those to Also if you are interested in being on the committee please send your interest into

Champs races – in case you have put the champs dates in your diaries already – please note the date of the Whaley Waltz has changed and will now be on 1st August – it’s been updated on the website and FB.

Right, that’s all from me as my tea is going cold – well run and raced everyone! Hope you’ve all warmed up now!