A Lake District Special!

It’s been a jam-packed weekend, and there are plenty of exciting things coming up over the summer. This week I am using my editorial advantage to alert you to upcoming events first!

DATES FOR THE DIARY

August Monthly Mashup: Mini Mountain Marathon Saturday 21st – Sunday 22nd August

If you are planning on taking part in the MMM, please please fill in the entry form as soon as you can. Ian and I really want it to go ahead, but the way it’s looking at the moment there just aren’t enough teams to make it viable. In order to persuade the unconvinced amongst you, I have fabricated some “FAQs” which I hope will be helpful!

“What if I’m not very good at navigating?”
This is a really great opportunity to get some navigation practice in. Unlike in a normal mountain marathon, we will not be removing the place names or landmarks from the map, making it that little bit easier. Being on home turf is always an advantage, too. If anyone does get hopelessly lost, we will help you! Nobody will be abandoned, you have my word!

“What if I don’t know how to use a compass?”
I (Immy) will be running a couple of sessions in my back garden over the next few weeks covering basic compass work, planning for score courses, and navigation strategy. I’ll post some possible dates for these this week and work out what’s best for people!

“I don’t want to carry a tent.”
Well firstly, that is not a question. Secondly, you don’t have to! Ian and I will transport your camping equipment to and from the campsite!

“What if I don’t even own a tent?!”
Please don’t let concerns about equipment put you off! If you’re short of anything, please get in touch. There are plenty of well-equipped, friendly club members and I’m sure we’ll be able to arrange for people to borrow what they need.

“I don’t know if I can manage that much running, two days in a row.”
The second day will be a score format course, starting in Edale and ending in Hayfield. There will be 4 hours available to go to as many or as few checkpoints as you want to, meaning that there is plenty of time to just have an easy walk back to Hayfield on the second day if that’s your preference!

“What if I don’t have a partner?”
Let myself or Ian know! We will pair you up with anyone else also looking for a buddy!

“What if I’m worried about sharing a tent, either because of Covid or for other reasons?”
That’s fine – as you don’t need to carry your camping equipment, it will be easy to pack two tents and camp separately!

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! And for anyone who has missed the details, here they are, along with the link to the sign-up form:

The next Monthly Mashup, the Mini Mountain Marathon will be taking place Saturday 21st – Sunday 22nd August. Ian and I have tried to give you the best of all of the various MM styles in this mini version, so the format is as follows:

Day 1
Staggered starts between 12 and 1pm from Glossop Leisure Centre.Drop off your camping kit with Ian and myself (maximum pack size 50L). We will transport this to the campsite for you.
Linear course (approx. 10.5 miles). This means you need to go to all of the designated checkpoints in the correct order! You will be provided with a map on the start line.
Finish at Newfold campsite in Edale.If you want to go into Edale for tea/drinks, you are welcome to! If you’d like to do this I would advise that you book a table in advance as Edale is expected to be very busy this summer.

Day 2
Staggered starts between 8 and 9am. Leave your camping kit with Ian and myself. We will transport this to the finish for you. Score course, 4 hours. This means you have a choice of checkpoints. You can visit whichever ones you like within the time limit, with the aim of collecting the highest number of points you can. You will be provided with a new map on the start line. As with all score courses, there will be points penalties if you arrive over time!Finish at the Royal Oak in Hayfield by 1pm. (Once we know who is coming we can arrange some lifts back to Glossop.)
Have a beer.

Both days will be run in pairs, but you can camp in separate tents if you wish.

There will be a small entry fee to cover the cost of the campsite. I expect this to be about £11 per person but I will be able to confirm once I have a clearer idea of numbers.

Any questions, you can message me on Facebook or email immytrinder@hotmail.co.uk.
Sign up via the form – one form per team of two so make sure you have your partner’s details, including emergency contact, ready!

https://forms.office.com/r/c7xV1vYTrh

Ronnie Staton Positive Runner Seminar – Thursday 29th July at 7pm via Zoom

With so much out there addressing the physical nature of running, this seminar will focus entirely on the mind. It is suitable for runners of all abilities who are looking to increase their enjoyment of running through improved mental well-being.

Such content will also indirectly have an effect on performance, in particular to consistency of running and persevering during events. 

This session will therefore focus on:

 Negative Automatic Thoughts (NATs) 

  • What are they, why do they occur?
  • How do we experience them exactly?
  • What are the common errors in thinking (NATs) – especially in running?
  • What can we do about them to feel better in ourselves and our running?

Core Beliefs & Underlying Assumptions

  • What are they?
  • How do they influence our thoughts & behaviour (& running)?
  • How do we get to know our own core beliefs?
  • How can you improve limiting or negatively held beliefs? 

Applying all this to running goals

  • Setting healthy goals
  • Getting the best from yourself
  • Enjoying the journey
  • Acknowledging the result

Zoom details:
Topic: The Positive Runner
Time: Jul 29, 2021 07:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85057352569?pwd=VUVVZS9qSTRuTUNmWjNTRHpRWm5EQT09

Meeting ID: 850 5735 2569
Passcode: 115482

Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relay – Sunday 3rd October

The ‘Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relay’ is a fell running relay race set in the heart of the Lake District Fells. It takes place every year on the first Sunday in October, and is competed by around 70 teams from across the country, but mainly the North of England. It is the longest-running mountain relay in the country.

Each year Glossopdale gets 1 entry for a team of 8 runners. The race has 4 legs, each run in pairs.

This year we’ll be running a tryout event in order to select the team and reserves. Details of when this will take place and how to sign up will follow soon! We want to encourage as many people as possible to take part in this, otherwise we won’t have a team at all! We will be aiming to enter a mixed team – 4 men and 4 women. The minimum age is 16 for leg 1, and 18 for all other legs.

This is a brilliant relay event and always very popular, but unfortunately it’s extremely unlikely that we will be able to enter more than one team, as the race is always oversubscribed. We want to enter a competitive team, and believe this is the fairest way of selecting it. There will be other relay opportunities coming up during the year, including the British Fell and Hill Relays, which we anticipate opening soon. For this and all other races we can enter as many teams as we like so that everyone who wants to run can do so 🙂 

LAKE DISTRICT ESCAPADES

There were Harriers to be found all over the Lake District this weekend, on the hills, in the valleys, and I dare say in the water too! Whether you were out there racing, round’ing or supporting, big kudos to all of you!

Ian’s Bob Graham Attempt

It’s still a bit raw, but in summary the attempt failed, although not without a fight. Aided and abetted by Jason Hart and Will Mather, I set out from Moot Hall at 6pm on Friday evening. The climb up Skiddaw was very hot, but otherwise leg 1 was smooth, the perma bogs around Great Calva being the driest I’ve seen them. Taking the Halls Fell descent line, we arrived in Threlkeld 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Got a little food down, before continuing into leg 2 with the ever strong Zoe Barton and the relentless Will, going for his second leg. Dark by now, I was struck with an unusual overheating issue on the first and last climbs of the leg, but otherwise we ran well, arriving at Dunmail on schedule (we lost a little time over the leg, but fairly inevitable due to darkness). At Dunmail I managed a tin of rice pudding and a couple of spuds, which was about all I fancied, a precursor to what lay ahead.

Rick Steckles and Neal Bann are fairly new to fell running and the club, but having joined us on a few of the recces, their natural ability was obvious and impressive. So with a couple of the core team having to drop out due to injury, drafting them in was for leg 3 was an easy choice. We started OK in the darkness, maintaining schedule over the first few hills. Moving toward the Langdale Pikes I was being encouraged to eat, but I just couldn’t. I felt really sick. I tried a trusty wrap but no amount of chewing and trying to wash down with water could help. It wouldn’t go down and was making me heave trying. The summits passed by, but we were now losing a minute here and there. Still drinking well I knew I had to solve the fuelling issue or I was doomed.  But nothing on earth appealed, even things we plainly weren’t carrying with us. The tough climb up Bowfell was probably the lowest point. The sun was up but I just had no energy at all, despite the legs feeling OK. It took ages. Shortly after we met up with my wild camping mate at Esk Hause, and we got some more water. He also gave me a tangerine, which I ate climbing up Great End. Although it was incredibly tart, it was a little magic, and I managed to follow it with a gel and a couple of jelly babies. This did act as a catalyst for a temporary resurgence, and we managed a couple of summits ahead of schedule, clawing back a few precious minutes. The Scafells were hard work as always, but I was moving well again, except on the steepest climbs, where again the energy was absent. The descent into Wasdale is massive, a quad smasher – very steep, very technical and has spelt the end of many an attempt. I enjoyed it, and despite being 90% sure I would now fail the attempt, I had convinced myself (with help from Neal and Rick) that with a good feed and reset at Wasdale, I could go on. 

I arrived 45 minutes behind schedule in Wasdale, but as the leg 4 and 5 schedules are a bit more generous, it was still just about possible. Feeling generally much better, I managed a tin of beans and a can of Coke, before setting out with Immy Trinder and Lance Hamilton Griffiths for leg 4.  The short run to the foot of Yewbarrow proved that I could still run, the legs were still good, but once the climb up got steep (this is a beast of a climb) the energy crashed and I was overheating again. Halfway up Yewbarrow and I called it. Obviously Lance and Immy did their best to try and get me to continue, but there was no way I could make 24 hours now, and to continue would only damage me. We retreated back to Wasdale and were very pleased to see Jason and the crew were still milling about. Thanks, congratulations and commiserations were shared, before we set out back home. 

What went wrong?

The Fuelling – Don’t really know what went wrong.  Everything I had on the hill I’d trained with, and everything in the van was appropriate and common in my normal diet. I hydrated well, but perhaps overdid the electrolytes in my drinks, contributing to the sick feeling. I think I did eventually resolve the feeding issue, at least enough that I could limp on. But it was too late, as all my bodies reserves were long since depleted.

The Back – a recurring issue for me, particularly since lockdown. At times I was in agony, but my painkiller schedule was a bit haphazard. It didn’t end my day, but I could have managed it better.

The Bum – Developed the old cheek chaffing issue on leg 2, and looked forward to applying some cream at Dunmail. In the rush I forgot, and it was a further 7 hours before I could solve the problem. Again, it certainly didn’t end my day, but it added another element of misery.

The Weather – although the temperatures had tailed off a little versus the preceding few days, it was a lot hotter than ideal. And very still. This contributed to the repeated overheating episodes, and probably helped make the final decision on Yewbarrow, where it was stifling.

What went right?

The Road Crew – Jason Hart is a legend, and with assistance from Luke Holme, formed a very slick logistics and changeover crew. Jason also did leg 1 of course, so a weekend almost as hard as mine!

The Leg Runners – Faultless. The chat, the nav, the cajoling…

The Training – You can always do more, but I think ultimately, I had done enough. The legs were there, but my ability to fuel them wasn’t.

The Weather – Both a curse and a blessing. Aside some clag on the Fairfield out and back and over Seat Sandal, the views (and nav) were uninterrupted throughout, and the moon was quite spectacular.

Too soon to say what I’ll do next, but there’s obviously unfinished business here.  I can live with my decision on Yewbarrow (it was right) and with a little more luck, plus learning a few lessons from this attempt, I remain confident I can do it. Huge thanks to everyone involved and for all the kind words that have followed. 

The Lakeland 50

Sunny miles this weekend at the Lakeland 50/100. With a tagline “Getting the band back together”, there really was a great festival vibe of enjoying time with friends and family and getting racing going again. Friday night was fantastic with the bar open, plenty of food options, a band and seeing the 100-mile runners off at 6pm. No Harriers on the 100-mile this year, but Emma Rettig, Ree O’Doherty, Chris Smith, Dan Stinton and (ex-GDH) Steve Pepper took on the 50. It started a little late after a bus breakdown but we set off around the Dalemain Estate at around 11:40. We’ll all have our own story from here on in, but for me it was mainly about taking in as much liquid as possible for most of the day and trying to run whenever I could. Whilst there is a lot of climbing, much of the route is runnable, albeit quite often rocky making progress slow going. We all managed to get through it though and here are the results:

Daniel Stinton10:41:21
Chris Smith11:10:23
Ree O’Doherty14:12:31
Emma Rettig15:08:40
Steven Pepper16:43:00

It’s also worth a note that the Lakeland 100 course record was broken this year, by Mark Darbyshire, running 105 miles in 19hrs 10mins. Epic running!

OTHER THINGS

Paul Skuse – Holme Moss Race

A belter but a tough route in tough conditions. If you want to try an AL, give this a go! My feet are red raw and blistered due to either dodgy socks or shoes (this never happens) and pretty much everyone I saw or spoke to had issues with cramp. I felt it twitching for a while before kicking in and dropping me faster than a brick to the back of the head. But what a staggeringly good route. More marshals than you can shake a stick at, tables heaving with food and everyone gets a decent flask/cup jobby at the end. Tons of prizes too. I got a hydration vest for being 3rd V45 with a PW on the course.

Jasmin Paris’ 24-hour Munro Record

She may not strictly be Glossopdale these days, but Jasmin Paris will always be much-loved amongst our membership! I therefore thought you’d all be delighted to know that this weekend Jasmin set a new women’s record for the most Munros in 24 hours!

ParkRun Returns!

Glossop ParkRun was back this weekend for the first time in 70 weeks! Harriers were out in force, with Rob Anker, Ben Robertson and Kate Bowden all setting course PBs!

The team of volunteers was full of Harriers too – thank you all for contributing your time!

“It’s definitely vest weather” weekly report

Who needs weather forecasts when you have Strava, where you can find far more interesting descriptions of just how hot it has been this week! It’s also that time of year where everyone has gone on holiday and you have to zoom out on Strava to find out where the hell they are! Here the report!

Bamford Carnival Fell Race

You can’t underestimate Paul Skuse’s enthusiasm for races. I think he’s described every race as his favourite since we started racing again, but to be fair, this does sound like a good one. Here’s Paul’s report:

Possibly my favourite race. Great route, great atmosphere, really well organized and plenty of examples of the best of fell running spirit when slower folk would throw themselves into harm’s way to allow you pass (My new phrase is ” Passing when possible” as sometimes there was just nowhere to manoeuvre. It didn’t stop folk trying to let you pass though if they thought they were holding you up. They would shimmy up trees or throw themselves into gorse patches whilst offering cheerful words of encouragement as you passed).   A truly perfect evening to be out racing with friends and rivals. No idea about times or positions. It made me happy and that’s what midweek racing is all about. Highly recommended.

Wilmslow 10km

Wendy McMahon went to Wilmslow last weekend:

On Sunday 11th July, 5 of us made our way to Wilmslow for its summer 10k race.  The organisation with social distancing worked out well and I felt safe throughout the event.  I thought it was ideal weather conditions when I left the house, but when the sun popped out during stages, it was so hot! I’m not sure how many PBS there were, but I managed to finally get my sub 50! Well done to everyone that ran. I’m hoping more big races will follow.

The Results

Alderman’s English Champs

I have no idea what happened here other than I’ve heard rumours that that were some pretty fast racers out on the course. Chris Jackson and Nick Ham ran it and Luke Holme and Paul Skuse ran there to have a look.

A couple of people who weren’t at the race

Wasdale Fell Race

Robin Hoffman and Sarah Andrew sent in this report:

Myself and Sarah Andrew raced the Wasdale fell race last weekend (10th July) and here is our report.

Wasdale is a classic long and hilly lakes fell race that takes in some spectacular views and mountain tops on a high level loop around Wast Water. First run in 1972 and with a list of winners that includes some of the biggest names in fell running history it’s a race I’ve aspired to do since starting to run and learning about it 6 years ago. At 34km with 2750m of climbing the challenge is as much getting to the finish as how quickly you do it, something I failed to do on my first attempt at the last running of the race in 2019. Someone who definitely did finish that year was Chris Webb and I was expecting to see him again this year. In the end he didn’t start, possibly still recovering from his Cumbrian traverse effort the week before – perhaps he is human after all!

The forecast was for slow moving showers and the day of the race began with the sound of heavy rain on the tent, one of the best sounds in the world when you know you can stay in the tent, less appealing when you have to get up and go outside. Luckily by the start of the race at 11am it had stopped and there was only one brief shower for the rest of the day. In the end the conditions were still, warm and humid with enough UV to burn. First lesson of the day, always put suncream on skin that only sees the light of day when wearing a Glossopdale vest, even when the weather looks like you won’t need it. Said skin is now bright red and rapidly peeling. The second lesson of the day about sufficient rest before a race was learnt when going for a warm up run; my legs felt tired particularly when going uphill. Hmm, could be problematic over the next few hours!

Saying that my race started well and I was able to keep up with Sarah to the first checkpoint at the top of Whin Rigg and then down to and across the valley bottom, past Joss Naylor’s juice station, and to the start of the climb up Seatallen. Things started to unwind a bit here and by the top of Seatallan I was 3 minutes behind Sarah and going backwards. I shouldn’t be feeling this bad already!

Things continued to get worse and on the section from Seatallan to Pillar and on to Great Gable I was moving more slowly than on an easy paced recce a few weeks earlier. I spent most of my time thinking about how I was never going to do another long race and the most convenient spot to retire, but I kept going, just in case things got better, and anyway I’d only have to go as far as Great Gable before getting timed out so I may as well make it that far at least. The climb up Great Gable was excruciating and I was devastated to have made the cut off by 1 minute!

I had a bit of a sit down on the top, ate some food and decided there was nothing for it now but to carry on, all I had to do was get to the end – no more cut offs to make, I could go as slow as I liked. I really appreciated the lack of steep climbs on the next section up to Esk Hause and on to Scafell Pike. My legs felt better and I began to move at a faster pace, starting to pass runners instead of going backwards. By the top of Scafell Pike I was feeling good and was able to put in a decent descent with just a quick stop to stretch out some cramp on a particularly steep section. I even covered the final checkpoint to the finish faster than the race winner, shame it was only the last kilometre.

I was extremely happy, relieved and slightly surprised to have finished given how it was going at one point. It was a warm and humid day and from reading Facebook comments it seems a lot of people struggled, with slower than usual times and a higher number of retirements than usual – 23% of those who started didn’t finish, including one of the favourites Robb Jebb. I don’t think the heat/humidity was an issue for me in the end, having spent the last two months constantly wearing too many clothes as an attempt at heat training (I struggle running in the heat and this was a factor in my 2019 DNF). It definitely didn’t seem to be an issue for Sarah who had had time for a shower, leisurely lunch and a quick nap before I made it to the finish line, but she can tell you all about that herself…

…Wasdale was unfinished business, with me and Robin having DNF’d the last time it was run back in 2019. We had been looking forward to it for months but sod’s law meant I felt a bit off in the days leading up to the race and felt pretty rotten (nauseous and low energy) for much of the race, but particularly during the first couple of hours, where my main thought was that once I got past the place we pulled out last time I could then quit with some dignity having gone further this time! It wasn’t overly hot with plenty of cloud about so that wasn’t an issue but from the beginning my head wasn’t in it, and quite quickly it became less about racing and more about getting to the end. Between Seatallan and Pillar, once I had passed 2019’s drop out point and having steadily shoved banana soreen in, I felt a resurgence of enthusiasm and energy which got me through to Great Gable – final cut off point reached. 

Between there and Scafell Pike was very slow going, with short bursts of running after each jelly baby as I ascended into the mist, but once Scafell Pike was ticked off the thought of downhill all the way was enough to get me through! The usual initial post race high was a little lacking this time, the main thought being how glad I was that it was over and that I didn’t want to do that again! But now that the dust has settled and the satisfaction of having got round has provided me with a nice pair of rose tinted spectacles… it’s definitely one I’ll be back to try again…

Although it didn’t go quite to plan on the day, we’re both extremely happy to have made it round, and as far as unfinished business goes, job done! Superb location and a great day out – highly recommend it!

Sarah Andrew 5.47

Robin Hoffmann 6.24

1st female, Jasmine Paris 4.35

1st male, Ricky Lightfoot 4.05

Glossop Skyline

Loads of people out running the Glossop Skyline as part of the club champs! The longest route of the champs races at 30-miles, this is a toughie! And to get it done in this heat too! Epic running everyone! Here’s a report from Charmayne Brierly:

Shall we have a go at doing Glossop Skyline? 5:15am yesterday morning I was feeling quite apprehensive about attempting my first ever Ultra run. I hadn’t slept well and wondered if I could run 30 miles. There were 4 of us who had not done this distance before, myself, Jo, Wendy and we later found out Alan. Caity and Joss joined us for a short while and Sikobe planned to join us for 10 miles but ended up doing the whole distance. We made the decision to set off a little earlier than planned 7am to avoid the heat or at least get up those first few hills before it got too hot. How optimistic are we, it was hot from the start but we were lucky and really thankful for the shade up the knarr. We were off 🏃🏾‍♀️running, chatting, taking in the scenery and taking as many photos as possible (memories). When we got to Mottram, Sikobe surprised us with a feed station, salty potatoes, curry noodles, pop and water and boy were we ready for it. We continued on our journey and met a really friendly horse that made sure we all got over the style okay! When we reached Chunal we had our 2nd feed station stored in Wendy’s car, so much food and drink between us, it was wonderful. Onwards and upwards, it was too hot (29 degrees) but what a wonderful day and to think we had been worried when planning this, that it might rain! All was going really well until I ran out of water at the snake, no worries, not far now I thought, how wrong was I! Becky had not realised we ran past her house as part of the route and I got really excited, WATER😍 Thankfully we were able to have an impromptu stop at Becky’s house, 5 run bottles of water later and off we went to finish the Glossop Skyline. During this we only had 1 person fall, thankfully nothing too serious just a few cuts, 1 person file their toe nails 😳 and several jump into the pool above Alport for a cool off. A big thank you goes out to Pete for the route, doing the recce’s and encouraging people to do this. Sikobe for providing a surprise feed station, Wendy for providing drinks, cups and snacks and Jo for helping to organise transport to and from the feed station. The whole group of runners for being so supportive, fantastic company and great photographers. Here are some comments from our Ultra Runner’s:- Jo – Glossop Skyline…too hot… too far…but an utterly grand day out in our beautiful countryside. Made possible by great support from a great bunch of lovely folk. Thank you x Alison – Amazing experience with Team Scorchio. 31 miles on the hottest day of the year. Great team effort – well planned and executed. Funny moment – The Lins Palmer manicure (filing a toe nail with a stone); most refreshing bit – the impromptu plunge pool; second best bit – finishing it! The best bit – doing it with a fab group of friends. Wendy – Echo everything that’s been said above. It was the 1st ultra for 4 of us & I can say I couldn’t have done it without you all. It took a lot of willpower to pass that brewery! And mine, jo & Charms worry when initially agreeing to do it, we was worried it would rain 😂 Alan- Amazing day out with stunning views and fanastic company. Before the actual day I was 50/50 whether I’d drop out at Harry Hut, but thanks to the camaraderie and determination of everyone involved to finish, I carried on, and was so pleased to finish my first ultra. Couldn’t have done it without all the support and food/drink stops! Such a different feeling to the end of a road marathon, in that I actually feel like I’d want to do it again someday! 🙂 Ian – Achiness is temporary, memories are permanent. Done just about zero today, which feels great. Thanks for a great run – glad my fall didn’t make the top 3 best bits 🤣 I now have a pair of bloody scabby knees from the 3rd recce & the run – Best comment I got from a friend was ‘How far..I don’t even drive that far?’ Thanks for the food & drink stops – now have peanuts, jelly babies, cheese & sundried tomato sandwiches to add to my next run! Sikobe – It was a game of three thirds. The first third saw us skirt round the skyline of Lees Hill where Pete’s treat threatened to overlap with the Stalyvegas canal loop. Departing the welcome water station in Mottram we hit the road section to Charlesworth which was relieved by sharing round a bag of salty potatoes. A weird trespass manoeuvre from Coombs to Cown led us to our half way picnic stop and on to Chunal. So glad I stashed a half litre of water here. Leading a purposeful climb up to Mill Hill I decided to leave the flags and took a lovely parallel Landy track for the next mile, with the rest of the crew realing me in by Snake. The highlight came with a lovely dip in the pool above Alport, what a revitalising lift that was as i ran out of drinking water. A couple of gels kept me going to Cock Hill but the onset of cramp on the way down slowed me to a painful hobble. What a relieve to neck 3 pints of courtesy Darren and Becky on Hope street. The rest from there seemed a doddle.

Swimrun – Monthly Mash-up at Manvers

Report in from Club Captain Immy Trinder:

This afternoon, a group of 12 Harriers arrived at Manvers Lake in Wath upon Deane (near Rotherham) with absolutely no idea what they were letting themselves in for! Clad in wetsuits, brightly coloured swim caps and goggles, we set off after a briefing to the “safety tree” to start the first run. A few minutes later, we were all relieved to be getting in the water, and made our way out to the first island, ran across (about 50 metres) and then we were back in the water again! This continued for the next hour or so, with different length runs and swims interspersed throughout the day. After a lot of persuasion, Kate Bowden succumbed to the idea of swimming in trainers and reported it to be surprisingly uninhibiting! The final swim had us all a bit freaked out, due to some very thick clingy weed in the lake. For the Potterheads among you, it reminded me of the scene in The Black Lake in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – I was slightly concerned I would be attacked by a Grindylow.

Great fun was had by all, and we were extremely grateful to Team Manvers, who followed us around on paddleboards and kayaks to ensure that we were safe and knew where we were going. And it would be rude not to put a word in for the weather – it was glorious! Thanks to everyone who came along to support the event.

August Monthly Mashup – Mini Mountain Marathon

The next monthly mash-up from Captain Trinder:

August’s Mashup will be in the form of a score format, 2-day mountain marathon, taking place Saturday 21st – Sunday 22nd August. The great advantage with this one will be that you don’t have to carry your camping equipment – we will transport it for you to the campsite in Edale (although there will, of course, still be a mandatory kit list).

The full details and sign-up form for this event will be released over the next couple of days, but you may like to begin sounding out potential partners in the meantime!

That’s all folks! Enjoy your week!

Its Coming Home! Well Maybe, but its Definitely the Weekend Report!

Apparently there’s a football game starting shortly, one which seems to have generated fever pitch throughout the country. Whether you’re on that particular bandwagon or not, there’s a phenomenal amount sporting glory right here, a truly epic week and more than enough to sate your appetite for such things. So prepare yourself appropriately, do read on, and who knows, maybe you wont be crying into your Jägerbombs later tonight.

Coals to Newcastle

Did you know I used to go out with a coal miner’s daughter? I guess you could say I was carbon dated…. And we’re off…

Ben Robertson blew us all away this week, completing his epic challenge, Coals to Newcastle. In a nutshell, he ran from Hadfield to Newcastle upon Tyne, dragging a trailer with a 25kg bag of coal in it. We just have to start here, and Ben sent this in….

So like many events and challenges, my latest big challenge had been postponed from last year, however after some some fairly last min changes it was on and suddenly upon me.

Again due to the late changes to Covid restrictions this meant that the only real suitable slot to do the challenge would fall only 2 weeks after completing the Rat Race The Wall 70 mile Ultra.

Whilst I had a sense of acceptance that it is what it is, but will carry on regardless, the hidden nerves were building in the days before. Although I have been out with the trailer and coal I had not covered anywhere near the miles maybe I should have done. Also whilst I had planned the routes loosely I knew this was unknown territory – towing the trailer on roads, some unmarked, some A and B roads and some with heavy traffic. This added to my apprehension. I loaded up the trailer with the coal and packed my bags the night before so that when my support driver ( My Dad) arrived in the morning I could get straight off.

Day 1 – Hadfield to Leeds ( The Long One)

We loaded the car up with all the kit and the Trailer and drove round to the starting point at the Longendale Trial car park, this was also the extremely last minute test to see if the trailer would fit in my dads car with all the kit as his car is smaller than. So seeing we could squeeze everything in was such a relief and one less thing to think about.

We got to the start where a few fellow GDH members were waiting to see me off which gave me a great boost. After a quick couple of pics i was straight of along the trail with Lins Palmer running the first couple of miles with me. Just after crossing over to woodhead reservoir I was met by Guy Riddell who initially joined me back up to the tunnels where my dad was waiting.

Originally the local police had kindly offered an escort up Woodhead to help with traffic and safety, but after an email of shortages I would have been on my own dodging the lorries so this was worrying (think it worried my dad more). Guy not only then kindly joined me up the the road to keep an eye on traffic but continued over Dunford Bridge, Carlecoates and a bit approx 10 miles or so.

I then zig-zagged my way along the country lanes over towards Huddersfield direction keeping it slightly to my left and towards Shepley and Shelley. The original plan was head towards Flockton but changed the route and found myself sweeping further round through Denby Dale and Scissett.

Despite expecting warm but wet weather after a couple of slight showers the sun made an appearance at Denby Dale and was to stay for pretty much the rest of the route. The route change despite adding some miles and some dragging hills meant that I was able to pass through Horbury Bridge where my 2 kids Max & Francesca live and their mum had kindly brought them out to greet me, so this was the first really emotional point of my journey.

This gave me the motivation I soo needed to get me up the short but very steep hill up to Ossett, but meant the miles on to Batley and towards the M62 were fairly flat. The end of Day 1 was at the point of reaching the White Rose in Leeds. (I’ll leave out the hassles and story of the fiasco of the Hotel)

Day 2 – Leeds to Ripon ( The Test of Character )

A grey and wet start and legs rather stiff I began shuffling along the A61 out of Leeds and quite quickly ran out of paths so it was back on the roads. This was the start of what became a quite frustrating day, the day of traffic dodging, mounting grass verges and feeling the full weight of the coal when at times i dragged it though the long roadside grass.

The trailer took a battering up and down kerbs and potholes whilst moving out the way of hurtling lorries and buses, so a lunch break cooked by dad on his camping stove roadside in Harrogate was more than welcomed.

A customer following my progress came to greet me with a roll of duct tape to patch up the trailer. The rain began Then had a short and sudden downpour as I headed out of Harrogate and was thrilled ( NOT) when a coach passed at the perfect moment to send a wave literally head height splashing into my face…. oh the joys of road running on a rainy day.

Thankfully rain cleared but the paths quickly ran out again after Ripley and it was back to miles of traffic dodging up and down grass verges in the sun and my frustrations were building. This started to slow me down an although i never considered quitting i was stressing about the time it was taking as didn’t want to be running late into the evening.

Also now it was getting close to peak ‘tea time’ traffic the more traffic especially lorries and busses meant i was spending more time on the grass verges and was getting to unsafe so called it a day on the edge of Ripon. This had been definitely the hardest day.

Day 3 – Ripon to Darlington ( The Hot One)

After a good cooked breakfast I was kitted up and off on the roads out of Ripon heading towards the A1 for the A6055 which runs alongside the A1 for miles. This was to be a much better day of long straight fairly flat roads so got my head down and pushed on, meeting my dad every couple of miles to take on plenty of hydration as the sun was out and it was a hot one.

The miles seemed to pass quickly up passed Leeming, where i paused briefly for the obligatory pot noodle, then headed off towards Catterick. Aside from the heat I was feeling good, legs weren’t too heavy and headed towards Scotch Corner.

Still warm but now clouding over as I passed through Barton and Newton Morrell and then the short thunderstorm hit and the short but torrential rain was welcomed as i took a quick brew break. As I made my way ever closer towards Darlington the storm moved away and the sun was back just in time for me reaching Darlington.

Day 4 – Darlington to Newcastle ( The Flyer)

With and extra early breakfast slot in the hotel it was a case of ‘Right lets get this done’ attitude. From early on i could see it was going to be another hot day so i wanted to make a good dent into the final day before it got too hot.

Instead of meeting at shorter interval as I surprisingly felt good both physically and mentally I said to my dad, right I will just push on and found myself reach pit points come and go and instead of pausing just signalling to my dad that I’ll just continue on. This worked well as he would ring from a couple of miles up the road to say where he was, and by this point on was on a mission and even missed him at one point. I rang him to say where are you as not seen him, then when I sent him my live location I was almost 3/4 of a mile past him.

Another tactic was I refrained from unclipping myself from the trailer to keep me in the mindset of I ain’t stopping long just quick hydration top up and snack and keep moving forward. I didn’t take a longer break of approx 15mins until i got to Durham where a pot noddle was downed and with the knowledge of it being mostly downhill and then flat’ish to Chester-Le-Street and mood was building.

Sticking quick stops of a min or two I was ticking off the miles but the sun was strong and at times began feeling the heat, but and ice lolly and then and briefly 5 mins shaded sit at Riverside park helped. This is when the gradual uphill slog began up through Birtley but was blessed by the iconic symbol of the north at the end of the climb ‘The Angel of the North’.

This was my second emotional point for a number of reasons aside from the fact I’d arrived on foot towing a 25kg sack of coal, but also it’s a sign of returned to the ‘Homeland’, soo close to the finish. But the big one is that’s where I proposed to my very supportive fiancee Gemma and made me instantly think of my past, why I was doing this challenge and how lucky and grateful to have met her after such an unhappy, unsupported life before…..soo the tears were flooding at this point.

After the obligatory selfies with my dad by the Angel I set off at an eagerly quick pace, forgetting how long the run in through Low Fell to Gateshead actually is. I found myself running along the High Street now visualising crossing the the Tyne bridge and getting teary just at the thought that it now is going to happen.

As i began to cross the Tyne Bridge the waves of emotions like elation, pride, accomplishment the waterworks began again….especially as my dad who has shared in the full journey with me was there to greet me……I Did it!, I was back in Newcastle by foot with big sack of coal……The coal had well and truly been taken to Newcastle.

A true Diamond – Ben is like a piece of coal that did very well under pressure! Boom!

To give a summary of this whole challenge, Thanks, Thoughts and what it really means to me:

The biggest thing this has proven and really hope this helps others and that is the mind can be soo much stronger than you think. As you know I am very open about how I feel and what I have experienced. Even recently I have had moments where I have felt stressed, anxious and a nervous wreck full of doubt……. But I have dug deep back with the support and encouragement of others out there have dug deep and and found the the mental strength and resilience to endure long sometime painful days to get from A to B. …… It doesn’t matter whether the distance between A to B was the Approx 120 miles or if A is your front door and B is round the block…its have the knowing that you can push on, you can be resilient and can get through what ever it is your journey maybe.

This challenge was possible with the massively appreciated support of many who I owe my thanks to. This has left me with only one question ……………. ‘What Next?’

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/getoutgetmuddy?fbclid=IwAR1j7gZesqmQQ9nmaZUZ6QnOPwhhejzaIhtae_VWYEZ83kzlVt1rnppCPqM

Amazing Ben and what next indeed! OK, alright. One more coal joke. Did you hear about the child labour protests at the coal mine? Yeah, the owners had a minor minor miner problem.

Trunce

One of my favourite races, Trunce has just got everything, but always awkward to get to (Oxpring, 6.45pm on a Monday). No issues for young Josie Swan though, who did manage to get there, and then send this in…

Happily Trunce restarted on a ‘bring your number’ basis this week. Moving from the junior to senior race was a bit of a shock to the system basically: Ran badly, bashed my knee, used the stepping stones when I should have waded, waded when I should have paddled, sprinted about 1km too soon and gasped over line. A great way to spend a Monday eve.

Well done Josie!

Josie takes the stepping stone option

Hadrians Wall

Pete Tomlin was also out this week on a multi day epic adventure. Another cracking achievement here!

I dreamt up this challenge somewhere around the end of the first lockdown and the beginning of the next. I was lacking motivation and needed something to focus on. I’d just listened to a podcast about a couple of runners who’d done a multi-day running holiday along a mountain range in Europe. That was well beyond me, but Hadrian’s Wall jumped into my head as a decent trip. That’s how I ended up doing this run.

4 days, 74ish miles: which I know for some in the club could be done in a day, but for me it was a decent challenge. It gave me a focus and meant that, for the first time ever, I had to actually train properly for something. Originally I thought to do it over my birthday in March 2021, however a mild case of Covid in Jan put me back to struggling with 5k runs, so I pushed it back to July. Chances are it would be better weather then anyway, right? I also decided to use this challenge as an opportunity to raise money for Addison’s Disease UK, a charity who have helped my wife and I since her diagnosis with the condition in 2016. Even more motivation, if I needed it!

From the off I’ll explain that this was never an attempt to race it, get a good time, and all that. The last 18 months or so of lockdowns, shielding, homeschooling and the like have been tough; so this was a holiday. A chance to enjoy the scenery, get some history in and maybe an ice-cream or two. I also decided not to bother with the Newcastle stretch, I’m not in it for the industrial estates and city running. I mean, who wants to run through Newcastle anyway? (cough cough Ben).

So I set off up to Heddon-on-the-Wall to start my mini adventure.

Day 1. Heddon on the Wall to Chesters. 16miles (plus 2 extra)

Day 1 was a cold, wet slog. The weather was pretty bad, raining all day, which made it quite tough. I started off well and was enjoying myself despite the rain. Navigation was easy, any time you started to question where you were, a handy little sign with an acorn symbol appeared. I had a blip in energy between 8-10miles; I think running in the rain, in full waterproofs through wet grass was quite draining. But I had a brief stop at a view point, got some food in and about a mile later got a second wind. It helped that around then the terrain changed from endless farmers fields to woodland and heathland, so was a bit more interesting. Then I was at 13 miles (just a park run to go!) which perked me up. I reached Chesters in 2hrs 58 mins, so not bad, and had a warm lunch there. I then decided to tac on a bit extra, running the couple of miles to Greencarts where the camping barn was; which meant I didn’t have to do them on Day 2. Despite the weather, I felt a sense of accomplishment for even being there, let alone finishing the first day.

Day 2. Greencarts to Greenhead. 16.5 miles

Day 2 can be split into two halves. The first was a delightful run along nice undulating countryside. Beautiful weather and loads of views of the Wall and places like the Mithraian Temple which were pretty cool. I stopped off for a bit of sightseeing at Housesteads and had a bit of lunch, then set off on the second half. The second half of Day 2 was 9 miles of switchback hell! I knew it was coming but it still didn’t prepare me for the psychological battle that would come with it. It didn’t help that I underestimated the mileage for the day, so got to around 15 miles and realised I had another mile and a half to go. I very nearly had a full on strop at myself, but instead I sat down, had some food, and sent a few texts to people who promptly told me to buck up. The end was such a fantastic sight, particularly as there was a cafe, where I downed two cans of coke, a chocolate brownie, a Calypo, and a bag of crisps. Something tells me I didn’t get my fuelling right on this day…

Day 3. Greenhead to Carlisle. 21 miles

I expected Day 3 to be tough. It was the longest of the legs, at 21 miles (longer than I’d ever run before) and seemed pretty intimidating after the beating I took yesterday. I started off well, slow but well. There were lots of bits of the Wall to look at still, although that would disappear as the day went on. I stopped at an old Roman fort, around 7 miles in, for some lunch. It had taken me a surprising amount of time to get there and I was already ravenous; that jam sandwich was probably the best thing I’ve ever eaten!! After that 10 miles came quite quickly and I was halfway. Here my legs started to fall apart a bit. My left knee was getting more painful and my calves were probably compensating so we’re pretty achy. At around 6 miles to go, I broke out the emergency playlist and mantra and slogged it to the end, through ever increasing urbanisation and hard paths. Just what my knee didn’t order!! Jubilation was mixed with sheer exhaustion by the end but I was proud to have done it and a little daunted as to how my knee would fair the next day.

Day 4. Carlisle to Bowness-on-Solway. 17 miles

Day 4 was going to be pretty flat as I headed out to the sea, which I think was probably a good thing for my knee. In the morning, I was pleasantly surprised that my legs were still feeling ok and my knee seemed well recovered. All remnants of the Wall were now gone, as were most of the people, with noticeably less walkers on this stretch. I started following the river out of Carlisle and passed through some lovely little villages, before hitting the dreaded road. I’d been warned about this section by a few people, so knew what was coming: a long straight, flat road for at least 3 miles heading to Bowness-on-Solway. I wasn’t looking forward to this section, but actually it was really good! I was able to get a good rhythm going and the ecologist in me was appreciating the grazing marsh and wetland birds overhead. The worst part was when, nearing the end, rather than following the road into Bowness, the path takes a 2 mile dog leg off in another direction; presumably to make the walk more pleasant. That close to the end, with my knee really playing up, I wasn’t enjoying the extra detour. Speaking of detours, I’d also got lost a couple of times today, the only times I did on the whole trip. I really got the sense that this bit of the path was a lot less looked after, with a few diversions and signage hidden away by overgrown trees. So what was supposed to be 15 miles ended up as 17. Reaching the end was an unbelievable feeling! I genuinely didn’t think I’d make it. Never having done anything like this before, I didn’t know how my body would react, and particularly at the end of Day 3, I had serious doubts I could finish at all. Reaching the little hut at the end of the path was absolutely amazing; as was the beer and chips I celebrated with!

Overall it was 73.1 miles (I’m not going back for the 0.9mile), 5672 ft of elevation and 16 hours of running.

I’ve learnt a lot doing this challenge, even in the run up. I’ve learnt how to get the best out of myself through training and what kind of routine works for me, but I also learnt a lot over those 4 days:

  1. When the website for the camping barn you are staying at says basic, it means it, and your idea of basic changes significantly as you get older.
  2. Buffs make great eye masks for when the places you are staying have no curtains.
  3. It’s remarkable what your body can do. A lot of people say ‘mind over matter’ but I’m not so sure that applies to me. If anything, my brain is the weak link sometimes and this was a real lesson in putting one foot in front of the other and relying on the surprising strength of my body.
  4. There’s nothing quite like breaking out the emergency playlist and mantra to get you to the end of a tough day.
  5. I hadn’t fully accounted for the effect of cumulative fatigue; particularly how each day the same distance could take subsequently longer. Linked to that, just how much I would need to fuel, despite spending a lot of time thinking about this in training, I don’t think I got it quite right. I was ending days with food left, and by Day 4 just couldn’t face anything I’d brought.
  6. There’s no such thing as unsupported. I was on my own for these four days, but that doesn’t mean I was unsupported. I’d got a lot of advice and support from fellow Harriers in the run up, and during the trip there were always messages on my phone from family, friends, Harriers and complete strangers to keep me going. A few messages to the right people at a low moment soon resulted in a proverbial kick up the arse. So a massive thank you to everyone who helped me with this challenge.

If you are able to, and would like to bung some cash in my fundraiser please do so here, every penny is much appreciated and goes to a fantastic charity who are pushing for awareness and vital research on Addison’s Disease.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/pete-runs-the-wall

Cumbrian Traverse

Chris Webb was back out doing what Chris Webb does best. Really long, hard and very fast stuff. This route sounds great! He sent this in….

With the kids both isolating at home due to COVID cases in their school and the Mrs not feeling too well I was given the chance to have a day out somewhere (“One of us may as well get something out of the weekend!” were her exact words).  I’m slowly ticking off all the various Lakeland routes and rounds and I’d had my eye on the Cumbrian Traverse for a while.  It’s a point-to-point 32miles/12,000ft outing starting at the village hall in Broughton Mills (think “big shed” rather than a charming stone built hall!) and finishing at the Moot Hall in Keswick.  I managed to bag a lift from my parents who wanted a day out in the Lakes and as I was going solo and unsupported all they had to do was drop me off and pick me up about 8hrs later!  I set off in murky conditions and after picking off the first couple of peaks in Dunnerdale the heavens opened as I found my way up Caw.  From here it’s terrain Duddon runners will be familiar with (in reverse) but on this route you deviate to pick up a couple of extra peaks that were new to me – White Maiden and Brown Pike – before hitting the main path over Dow Crag to Coniston Old Man.  The section from here to Swirl How is glorious on a fine day but I could barely see 10 yards ahead so I just enjoyed the peace and quiet as most walkers seemed to have stayed in the cafes in the valley.  Wrynose came and went and then you’re on the crux of the route; after Cold Pike I took a “cross country” line (it seemed like a good idea at the time!) to Crinkle Crags and then up the Bad Step before hitting the main drag over Bowfell, Esk Pike and up to Great End.  I was excited about taking the direct line off Great End down to Styhead and it didn’t disappoint, nice and steep and I took a few walkers by surprise as I emerged from what must have looked like a cliff and bounded past towards Great Gable.  The weather had cleared up by now and it felt hot which didn’t help the slog up Great Gable which, with 9,000feet in your legs, isn’t easy.  However, once it’s done it’s neighbour Green Gable is ticked off you can enjoy the easy descent on the Bob Graham trod to Honister.  Somehow I was still feeling half-decent at this point and made reasonable progress up to Dale Head tarn and then High Spy before cruising along the lovely ridge overlooking Derwentwater all the way to Cat Bells.  I was ready to be done and descended into the woods and the trails back into Keswick, done and dusted in 7hrs 50mins.  It’s a good route that feels longer than it is, as it connects so many different parts of the Lakes.  It is challenging, keeping pretty high throughout.  If you don’t fancy my unsupported approach, there is an option to meet crew at both Wrynose Pass and Honister Pass.  Details here: https://www.gofar.org.uk/cumbrian-traverse

Endure 24

This may have slipped under the radar, but marathon master Marie Williamson endured 75 miles in 24 hours at Bramham Park near Tadcaster last weekend. Bonkers!

Heights Ultra Trail

Never heard of this one, but the race didn’t escape the attention of some of our lot, who went up to show some blue and orange. Pete Wallroth and Simon Toole both sent something in….

Yesterday was the delayed, inaugural Heights Ultra Trail event, having originally been scheduled for 2020 I think. Great organisation and based at Colne Valley High School on what was a somewhat drizzly morning. Having driven over Holme Moss in thick clag that morning, it set up for good temp to run in.

I started off alongside Steve Crossman & Simon Toole for the first few miles but we then separated over a series of stiles and road crossings.  First 10 miles of this is actually quite zippy and flat along reservoir feeds before eventually rising up to Wessenden Head and dropping towards Holme village via a well charged Dean Clough. Was more like running in rivers than paths here, it has to be said, so was a good test of Brooks Divide but they held up really well.

The lads nabbed some bargains at the pre race car boot sale

From here the ascent starts, and it felt like it was going on forever, starting from
Yateholme Reservoir, climbing up through thick woods before coming out, flanking Snailsden Reservoir and onto the moor around the stunning Ramsden Clough and Holme Moss. Over half way here, so a morale booster, until having to negotiate the bogs to Black Hill which killed the legs for a while.

Descending off and to Wessenden for a restock and refreshment, it was a welcome downhill along the reservoirs. Doing well, and comfortably on at this point to finish in 5:30 and a new PB for a 30mile, and 6 mile left I turned into a little lane. The subsequent 100m ascent in the next half mile just destroyed my legs. It was a plod from there to the finish back along retracing the starting route and finished in 5:44 (14th out of 91). Ended up alongside a great guy from Dewsbury called Dom from about 11 miles so was good to have company and a running tussle.

Defo recommend this. With only about 10% road, so it’s a top trail route through some stunning landscapes, not that we saw much of it yesterday with the clag.
Grateful to Sue Clapham for transferring her place to me. Top day out.

Meanwhile, Simon and Steve were enjoying themselves too much….

I entered this event in March and, after convincing Steve to run it with me, picked up an injury so only managed about 6 weeks of proper training.
Starting at Colne Valley High school in Linthwaite, we lined up for the start in drizzle, perfect for running, and the 3 of us were together for the first few miles. Pete steadily ran on as we easily got to the first aid station 10 miles in at Holme village, all very runnable and not too hilly. Time for a feed as we carried on and Steve wondered what he had got himself into when I asked him if he wanted to try one of my salty spuds, a look of relief across his face as I pulled out a small bag of potatoes prepared the night before.

Si fondles his spuds

The next 10 miles were a bit of a slog as we climbed up onto the moors towards Holme summit and over to Black Hill Trig . Visibility was down to about 100 yards as the low cloud made it a real pea souper and with all the rain we have had this week, conditions underfoot were boggy to say the least. Along the Pennine Way towards Wessenden Head and the final aid station, much needed after a tough energy sapping section.
A good downhill start for the last 10 miles was most welcome, down to Wessenden ,Blackeley and Butterley reservoirs and then a steep climb up to Deer Hill resser. My lack of training was now starting to show as the last 5 miles were a struggle but a few words of encouragement from Steve ” Come on get those little fat legs going ” brought a smile and lifted me towards the finish. We finished 50th and 51st in 6 hrs 52 , Pete finishing 14th with a very respectable time of 5 hrs 43, 91 runners competed.
A great day out and fun all the way, highly recommended.

In what I can only assume was a mix up on the entry form, Guy Riddell found himself doing 50 miles instead of 50K. Guy cruised around the course in 13 hours or so, finishing about middle of the pack. Excellent running chaps!

A confused Guy Riddell looks for the finish at the 50K mark

Salomon Serpent Trail 50K

Chris Smith was daarn sarf (some place called “Hampshire”?) running this one, which is part of the Golden Trail National Series. Looks like Chris had an excellent day, finishing 25th out of 300 or so, in a time of 4:34:09

That’s a new profile picture if I ever I saw one!

DCRO Dash

Nick Ham, Chris Jackson and Paul Skuse headed out to Castleton for this little gem organised by Derbyshire Cave and Rescue Organisation. The Skusinator sent this in….

Only 3 GDH ( plus Stevie K in his away strip) made it to the start line for this beast of a race, me, Chris Jackson and the ever-present Nick Ham (I’m putting red marks against certain non-racing individuals’ names in my list of shame). That said, the overall turnout was fantastic. In fact, that’s true for all the races I’ve so far attended. You can keep your Christmas’ and birthdays, just give me a mid-week fell race and as happy as can be.
So, a short and sweet summary of the DCRO Dash: Well, it certainly has a sharp climb at the start. I’m known to like a bit of a climb but this was the hardest start of any race I can remember. Think the start of Mount Famine, minus trees and then just keep going up. Then go up a little more. No, further than that. Come on, really use your imagination. That’s more like it.

Finally, the course levels out and becomes runnable – except it doesn’t! It’s still a tough climb, now with added tussocks to keep life spicy but because compared to the start it seems relatively flat, you feel obligated to run even faster. Chris and Stevie were awesome, they smashed the start and were up the hill like rats up a drainpipe.
Once at the top, it’s very similar to the Peak Forest race; grassy paths, fairly soft rolling hills and full beans effort required to keep at race pace. It lasted longer than expected and I kept thinking we were about to drop back to the start. We weren’t. It just all looked the same. I guess this is why some folk look at watches to know where they are in a race. Mine was set to distance in KM and converting metric to imperial measurements whilst giving it P for plenty just wasn’t on the cards. When at last I saw the final descent, there was a real sense of mixed emotion; on the one hand ” Hurray, its nearly over!” and on the other, ” I’m not running down that!” I opted for the downhill mince as that’s my only way of getting down on rough stuff. But we’re not home and dry just yet. There’s one final downhill on a contour which took all my effort to stay on track. Others weren’t so fortunate. And that’s it, the finish line.
It was really well organized and is a singular race; you won’t confuse it with any other. Thanks to Luke Holme for the race recommendation.

Results are here: https://www.fellrunner.org.uk/results.php?id=6315&fbclid=IwAR3QHUhoKsVMhoarNr67mu5PYh-cZD56y84dknJdtwuz_pujj6nkLcFhthM

After 47 attempts, “sorry Paul, can you just go back up and do it again?” Nick Ham finally captures a picture of Paul descending like a pro. Seriously though, a great picture!

Lakeland Trails 23K, Ambleside

John Pollard was up in The Lakes again, showing em how its done…..

I do like these events, and while they’re obviously pricier than a bog-standard fell race it’s still good value for all the support they offer, flagged route (no thinking involved😉…though I have a little story here later), free race photos, t-shirt (I’m addicted to these) and some razzamataz if you want it (well, in the good old days anyway).
The Ambleside instalment of their trails is probably the best version for many folk as the routes take you on a nice journey and there’s some serious running to be done, with ultras at 55k/100k taking place, the 100, setting off at midnight, had finished by the time I arrived at Rothay Park at 12 for my second go at the 23k.
The 128 runners were set off at 2 minute intervals in ‘waves’ so it’s not always clear how you’re faring in race terms as you can only measure yourself against those you set off with, and I didn’t see the six I started with after part of the first climb up to Low Sweden Bridge as I’d left them for dead😌.

So you pick up earlier starting runners, or you have faster later starters cruising past you…this is probably a tad demoralising for the slower fun(?) runners who are regularly seeing dust, as opposed to sand, being kicked up in their red, perspiring faces. I don’t mean to sound mean. This scenario is probably familiar to GDH runners who’ve raced during the pandemic(not the red, perspiring faces…the cruising past bit).
Amazing how many are already walking the climbs by the time a couple of miles are chipped away.
Theses are hard packed gravel trails and can be pretty fast if you avoid the tourists and dogs on their way to Stock Ghyll waterfalls.

A bit of fell does follow and soon you’re above Rydal below Nab Scar on the Coffin Route west and careering down to the main road crossing, leaving Willie Wordsworth spinning in his grave(coffin?). Round to Grasmere and a welcome drinks station after maybe 7 miles.
I had somehow forgotten to put my race vest in the car before driving, so my carefully prepared electrolyte drinks and gels and other sundries were on a chair at home….so fortunately I had a wee bumbag with me and a single inov8 container in the boot, so I filled its 500mls and resolved to refill at the two drinks stations. But it was humid and thirsty work. No need to take anything else even with rain threatening, a lack of kit faff with no choice made a change.
Through Grasmere on tarmac, dodging various lines of ice-cream and fudge-queues etc and getting an equal mix of puzzled looks and encouraging shouts we contoured round towards the second main climb, on the flanks of Silver Howe heading SW for Chapel Stile and fantastic views of the imperious Langdales…but they would be for another day.

Now this was where a little episode unfolded which I can only share here among friends, as will become clear.
There’s quite a technical section of an exposed rock face to pussyfoot here and it presents a bit of a challenge to some, but while I’m a crap ascender I do like a rocky or steep descent, and I made good headway across this and the shoulder high bracken that was making your foot-planting hard to see. Further on there was more bracken and ferns and a variety of paths through, and as I was now running alone I came to one fork and took the left on a whim, as there were none of the little yellow flags Lakeland litter the route with to help you along and mark the way.
Shortly below me was another guy who’d stopped and I realised we were on a possible descent away from the main route above us to the right, where I now could just spy runners who’d come from behind making progress along the upper bracken-clad path.
There were no yellow flags and it looked as if we faced a retread back to the fork in the path or an awkward climb across rock to get to what looked like the official route, as a small gorge was opening up between the two. The guy below agreed this wasn’t the ‘correct’ way and asked where we were heading (it was taking us down to Elterwater, the next landmark, but he was unaware).
I remembered walking from Elterwater over to Grasmere years ago and was pretty sure you could descend here and wind up ok in the village, but I wasn’t sure of the path lower down. But, observing the mantra ‘don’t lose altitude unless you have to’ I ploughed on though I couldn’t see clearly ahead because of the steepness and the 5 foot bracken.

The other guy had obviously returned somehow to the comfort of the ‘actual’ route. Good luck.
I was soon in a quarry area of grey slate and wondering if I was heading for my own ‘bombed out’ trophy as I traversed back east to where I knew Elterwater lay…and hey presto a stile appeared below me and led out onto a minor road. Still had to get back to the race route proper, and I was thinking I’d lost some time by this manoeuvre….until I glimpsed runners below me on a track which I realised was going to the main drag in Elterwater and the Wainwright pub(always good to bag a low Wainwright!).
I dropped down and snuck into the convoy of runners who had emerged from the village and without looking at a map (I didn’t have one!) I pretty much guessed I had taken a good line/cut short the route/cheated (delete as appropriate).
Now in a fell race, apart from having to make the checkpoints, a little creative route-finding is admirable; in Lakeland trails there are no checkpoints…nudge nudge wink wink.

The last climb out of Elterwater contouring the lower slopes of Loughrigg above its tarn was finding a few out now, and I was glad of the last drink stop to replenish.
Two young ladies had stopped by the side to take a selfie I thought, but when they came racing past me shortly after I exclaimed “blimey girls I thought you were on a bike the speed you’ve come flying by”, to which they shouted…”no, we’re propelled by haribo!”.
So I spurted to catch them up and they kindly let me grab a handful of the little gems to see me through the last 3 or 4 miles….which were fairly uneventful as apart from the usual uphill sting in the tail, was mostly downhill and I enjoyed a couple of wee battles to spur me on to a finish in 2hr 45m., 18 minutes faster than last time I ran it.
It was, of course, a tad shorter this time. But please don’t tell anyone.

Nice work John, and there’s nothing wrong with using the racing line! 2nd V60 no less! Top work mate!

Bosley Fete Fell Race

I know very little here, except serial racer Nick Ham was in attendance on Saturday, snapping his way around the 5 mile course in 49 minutes or so.

Virtual Champs

A last minute tweak to the race route at Round the Resers demanded a stewards enquiry, with arguments raging as to whether the old 100m at the start, or the new 100m at the end provided the greatest advantage. The Champs Committee assessed the matter in great detail, finally concluding, “whatever!”.

Another brilliant turnout, with 65 Harriers completing the June challenge, spending a cumulative 43 hours on the route. Updated Champs tables are now on the website (including you pesky late submitters!).

For July its Glossop Skyline. Details here! https://glossopdaleharriers.wordpress.com/club-championship/

For the Dairy…..

Sunday 18th July, 2pm – Monthly Mashup – SWIMRUN AT MANVERS LAKE

For July, we are going on a trip! We have the opportunity to visit Manvers Lake, in Wath upon Deane near Rotherham, to try out Swimrun course 😃 The course is 5km long (although those who want to can do a couple of laps) and has you constantly in and out of the water with 6 running legs and 6 swimming legs per loop. Those who want to go at full pelt on the day are welcome to, but I will be doing a very socially paced loop, regrouping after every swimming/running section.
Manvers Lake is an open water swimming venue and safety cover will be provided by qualified open water lifeguards.
For this event, there will be a small charge – a donation to the Manvers Lake & Dearne Valley Trust – of £5 per person to take part.
We have access from 2pm and the journey is just under an hour by car. There are changing rooms, toilets, and a cafe onsite.
Please note, it is compulsory to wear a wetsuit to swim in the lake – these are the venue’s rules, not ours. A shorty wetsuit is fine, but it does need to be a wetsuit, not a tri-suit or rash vest. They have a limited supply available to hire for £5. Please indicate on the form if you’d like to do this, and we’ll allocate what’s available on a first come, first serve basis.
Please sign up here: https://forms.office.com/r/cz2bF21NJq

Thursday 29th July, 7 – 8pm – Positive Runner Seminar

Via the Harrier UK Club Support Programme we have an exclusive virtual session with ultra runner and mindset coach Ronnie Staton. You can find out more about Ronnie on his website and blog: https://ronniestaton.coach/
This will be his Positive Runner Seminar (more info here: https://www.sientries.co.uk/event.php?event_id=7935&fbid=Y)

Well, that’s about it for this week, but keep your eye on the GDH Facebook page and please, please keep posting what you’re up to, and we really like pictures too! Stay sensible and stay safe!

gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com

The last missive from a balmy June…

After another week packed with racing, challenges and Club Champs action, we’ve got some great reports for you to catch up on along with details of the Monthly Mash-Up event for July, which takes a turn for the aquatic!

Imogen Trinder – My Paddy Buckley Experience

When I was about 8 or 9 years old, I started walking in Snowdonia with my dad and granddad. I remember marvelling at how my dad could stand on a summit and name all of the other mountains in view without even looking at a map. In the last few years, I’ve gained more confidence to go on solitary adventures, and started to develop these skills myself. It’s a wonderful feeling, knowing the mountains, recognising them as though they are old friends. It’s for this reason I decided to attempt a Paddy Buckley: a 61-mile route over 47 Snowdonian summits, taking in over 28,000 feet of ascent. This was never just about a grand, physical achievement. It was an act of love; a pilgrimage to the places that have made me who I am.

I started from Capel Curig at 7am, going clockwise, with support from Captain Crutchley. This was the section I had known the least well, and so I had recced it 3 times. It’s a tough leg to navigate, the ground is boggy and in contrast to many parts of Snowdonia, it’s fairly deserted. Whilst I had been nervous about the navigation, on the day I fell in love with this leg. It has some wonderfully runnable sections interspersed with a dramatic descent into Rhosydd Quarry and some short, sharp climbs near the end. My mom, brother and their partners were all waiting for me in the quarry, as well as Mark D and Dan S. We had a short stop to top up on water supplies and carried on to the Moelwyns, Dan joining Ian and myself for the second half of the leg. We reached Nantmor in my best time to date – just over 7 hours – feeling strong, but suffering with some knee pain, which was concerning me slightly as there was a very long way still to go!

Dad, Granddad and Mark were waiting for me at Nantmor with supplies and fresh crew. I managed a pretty efficient pit stop – 12 minutes for some mushroom risotto, a sugary tea and a change of socks. Dan continued with me onto leg two, and we were joined by Chris J. The second leg takes you through a godforsaken tussock bog, up to a minor top, Bryn Banog, and then up onto Moel Hebog. From there you sweep up a few more summits on the way to the north-eastern part of the Nantlle ridge. My knees were still niggling, but I otherwise felt so good that I chose to ignore it. This was the culmination of months of training and planning, so I wasn’t going to stop.

Pont Cae’r Gors was another swift changeover. Dan’s shift was finished, Chris was carrying on to leg 3, and we were joined by Glossopdale’s most beloved chatterbox, Zoe B! I had some ups and downs during the next leg – I was feeling strong, but upset that my knees were potentially threatening the challenge. I desperately did not want to give up. Zoe lifted my spirits by singing filthy songs from Monty Python sketches, and we were treated to the most glorious sunset on Snowdon.

We reached Llanberis well ahead of schedule, and I had been looking forward to seeing some more of my beloved mountaineering friends. Richard and Paul have shown me around some wonderful places in Greece, the Alps and Ireland, so it was really special to be able to share part of the Paddy Buckley with them. A friend of theirs from Keswick MRT, also Paul, came along too, bringing with him a wealth of experience of supporting rounds. Almost a complete stranger, he got stuck right in with tending to my disgusting, blistered feet, and shooed me off when I had spent more than the allotted time at the checkpoint – a true pro! I had a complete change of support crew this time – Kasia O, and my friend Simon.

The Gylderau leg was where things started to unravel. My knees were killing me by now, and my stomach was started to turn, meaning that fuelling became really difficult. I don’t remember a huge amount, other than struggling with the scrambling, and even when the sun came up not being able to see anything because of the mist. I was grumpy, snappy, teary, and incredibly grateful to Kasia and Simon for putting up with me in my darkest hour. I think under any other circumstances, quitting would have been a no-brainer, but I had gone so far at this point that it just didn’t feel like an option. I reached Ogwen at around 7:30am in tears – I had lost all of the time I had gained on the schedule, plus some, and gained a sore ankle in addition to my sore knees.

Dad, Granddad, Mark and Dan had been waiting for me there for hours. I was so glad to see them, but so upset that I had made them wait for so long. I managed to get a small amount of food and water in, as well as some fresh dressings on my feet. Unfortunately, my change of shoes had been left drying at the cottage we were staying in. I stared at my VJ Irocks and came to the only possible conclusion – they’ll just have to go back on. I’d been hoping to change into something squishier and comfier, but a lack of fresh trainers was not going to stop me tackling the final leg.

This time Mark was coming with me, along with Saddleworth Runner Paul Taylor – a wonderful person who I had met only once previously, on Kasia’s Paddy Buckley Round. His dog, Ode, came with us too. The final leg over the Carneddau was slow and painful. I felt sick and faint. Mark scouted out the easiest lines for my joints, whilst Paul stayed behind me to stop me falling backwards on the scrambles. We were treated to low cloud and strong winds, and for the first time I put on all of my layers plus some spare ones of Mark’s. The final two summits were Pen yr Helgi Du and Pen Llithrig yr Wrach. Usually they boast some of my favourite views in Snowdonia, but on this occasion they offered only cloud and false summits. So many false summits. I was really struggling at this point, genuinely feeling as though I could pass out at any time which felt quite scary on some of the little scrambles.

Dad and Dan had walked up to Pen Llithrig from the finish, and it was great to share the final summit with so many lovely people. Time had ceased to matter a long time ago – I had reached the final, 47th summit. All I needed to do now was to get down. This was easier said than done, with my knees and ankle making the descents at least as hard as the climbs. I got back to Capel Curig in 31 hours 35 minutes. I cried, sat on the floor, and hugged everyone. My pilgrimage was complete. It threatened no records. Instead, it was a long, emotional, personal journey, and one I was privileged to share with my nearest and dearest.

Thurlstone Chase

Report by Paul Skuse

When is a fell race not a fell race? When it’s the Thurlstone Chase! This is a little gem of a race (aren’t they all?) – it’s got a true fell race vibe (entry is a fiver dropped in a bucket) but the terrain is totally trail – fast, hot, runnable trail. I’d describe the route as up a hill, cross a road, though a farm, follow a path, down a hill, up a hill and home. But being only 4 miles long, it’s balls out, lungs a-burning all the way.

Results are up already – big kudos to Anne Williams for nabbing the WV50 spot. Thanks to all the GDH who came along. It’s the company that makes the day what it is. COVID restrictions meant no formal prize giving but there was a table laden with stuff and every runner was welcome to just grab an item. How cool is that! Matt Crompton was the real winner here as he bagged a tee shirt. Top prize picking Mr C. Oh, and post-race drinks also included a free beer which Andy B spotted. I’d already gone for the water but at least I could use mine to pour over my head. Highly recommended.

Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon

Report by Caitlin Swan

This weekend, Phil (Dad) and I took part in the 2021 Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon, joining 27 other teams in the Bedafell class which is open to juniors from the age of 14. It was definitely a type 2 experience spending 2 days walking/running around the central fells, starting and finishing in Buttermere and camping overnight at a farm somewhere in Borrowdale.

The route was meant to be ~28 km with 2,200m of climbing, although we did more like 32 km with a whole lot more climbing.

The highlights:

  • Having survived without having getting lost
  • The dehydrated food (Moroccan chicken couscous from Alpkit)
  • The raspberry infused G&T (Dad only obvs)
  • The meal from the van at the end
  • No teenage strops although there was a bit of adult swearage a sheep fold went missing
  • Having a massive sleep in the teeny tent at the overnight camp
  • Overtaking a number of teams on the day 2 descents

The lowlights:

  • How much up there was
  • Trying to run on day 2 (and then getting out of the van when we got home)
  • Dad falling over and ripping his waterproof jacket (which happens to be the same age as me)
  • How matted my plaits got and then getting them caught in the tent zip
  • The rain on day 1 and the humidity on day 2
  • Having to run with so much kit in a rucksack

It was hard but good fun and definitely something I would do again.

Monthly Mash-Up: Swimrun at Manvers Lake
Sunday 18th July

Update from Immy Trinder

For July, we are going on a trip! We have the opportunity to visit Manvers Lake, in Wath upon Deane near Rotherham, to try out Swimrun course 😀 The course is 5km long (although those who want to can do a couple of laps) and has you constantly in and out of the water with 6 running legs and 6 swimming legs per loop. Those who want to go at full pelt on the day are welcome to, but I will be doing a very socially paced loop, regrouping after every swimming/running section.

Manvers Lake is an open water swimming venue and safety cover will be provided by qualified open water lifeguards. This is a great opportunity to have a go at SwimRun if it’s something you’ve thought about trying – the swims/runs are short, we can regroup regularly and the safety cover provided will help everyone to feel secure 🙂 

For this event, there will be a small charge – a donation to the Manvers Lake & Dearne Valley Trust – of £5 per person to take part. We have access from 2pm and the journey is just under an hour by car. There are changing rooms, toilets, and a cafe onsite.

Please note, it is compulsory to wear a wetsuit to swim in the lake – these are the venue’s rules, not ours. A shorty wetsuit is fine, but it does need to be a wetsuit, not a tri-suit or rash vest. They have a limited supply available to hire for £5. Please indicate on the form if you’d like to do this, and we’ll allocate what’s available on a first come, first serve basis.

Please sign up here: https://forms.office.com/r/cz2bF21NJq

Club Championships, July: Glossop Skyline Ultra

Following the midge-tastic heat of June’s blast Round The Resers, things slow down in July, with a 30-mile ultra route taking you on a tour of landmarks across the fells. Plenty of Harriers have been recce-ing sections of the route over the past few weeks and there’s been a last minute route adjustment to circumvent Blackshaw Farm. The update route can be found on the Club Champs page, along with other details and guidance.

Also this week…

  • Congratulations to Sarah Mills on completing the 62-mile Peak District Challenge!
  • Some great running by Wioleta Wydrych, who won a new pair of shoes for finishing 3rd woman in her first ever ultra, the Lakeland Five Passes.
  • Lins Palmer completed the Bob Graham Round route over 5 days with Pauline and Diana – a super achievement, and great fun by all accounts!
  • An excellent effort by Chris Jackson who took 15th place overall at the Skiddaw Fell Race today.
  • It’s been another busy week for Nick Ham, who ran in both the Sale Sizzler 5K and the Pennine 39.
  • Lots of photos from the Round Sheffield Run, which a bevy of Harriers took part in last weekend, are now up on the event’s Facebook page.

Let the racing resume…!

It has really felt like we are getting back to something resembling normal summertime racing over the last fortnight – mid week races, races on both days at a weekend and Harriers all over the place (albeit still in the UK) racking up miles (and miles) of racing and general fun in the hills which is how things should be.

Round the Resers (courtesy of Paul S.)

What a brilliant event. Huge thanks to the organizers and helpers for letting us feel normal again for half an hour or so. The results have already been posted (got to say, chipped timing is the future!) so I’ll just give a quick overview and edited highlights: 

First of all, GDH had a top turnout. This is how I like my racing; if GDH can’t be the fastest, we can certainly compete at being the most social (though Sale and Marple gave us a run for our money on that score). I’m guessing we had 35 or so runners plus a fair few supporters so thanks to all who took part. 

In terms of racing, Paul Peters and Luke Cook had laundry issues so wore the wrong vests but ran brilliantly up at the sharp end. Quite a few GDH had some cracking battles with only seconds between them. J must be pleased with quite a few of the sprint finishes, clearly the coaching sessions are paying off.

As I said the results are already up but more importantly, who looked good in the pics? Well, there’s a few contenders here but I’d say the top two go to Rob Anker and John Gaffney.  Their sprint finish pics are deffo up for profile pic replacements.  Also rans include Paul Peters showing top running form (if you’re into that kind of thing), Charlotte Bliss and Wendy Mc, both clearly just loving it and grinning non-stop and the GDH peloton pic with Nat Hicks, James Knapper, Fruity Crossman and yours truly. It’s a shame some of the other groups battling it out weren’t caught on camera. It’s good to remind yourself who your enemies are. Thanks to John Pollard, Chris Jackson and any other photographer types who came along. It all adds to the experience.

Anyone get munched on by the midgies? I never noticed whilst running by they were giving me some welly at the end.   So there you go, short(ish) and sweet. Round the Resers 2021- a belter.

Langstrath fell race (courtesy of John P.)

With spending a lot of time in the Lakes it seems rude not to do the odd race,
Now a midweek fell race up here is never going to be a picnic because the lads and lasses who turn up for them are usually hardened fell runners, having done a full day’s work at the quarry, or on the farm or doing reps up Sharp Edge…(stereotyping, but they do tend to be on the competitive side). So taking on one of these one (I mean me) has to be prepared to be bringing up the rear and hope it doesn’t get dark before the marshals all go home 😉. With this in mind I pre-entered the Langstrath fell race, a mere 5 miles of 450m ascent, run from Stonethwaite and straddling two valleys, Borrowdale and Langstrath.

On enquiring, Mike, the cheery organiser, asked me for an estimated time so he could place all runners in bib order and at social distances at the start, in order of expected finish time, as the race starts on a very narrow Lane by the Langstrath Country Inn.
And he didn’t want the likes of us clogging up the path as Jacob Adkin and Ricky Lightfoot go for the record. Having not done this before I used Lindsay Buck of CFR, aka the Wasdale wobbler (that’s another story) as she and I are often closely matched. Lindsay had done it variously in 65-70 mins so I put this down for Mike’s purpose. That’s how I ended up with #89 out of 92 starters and lining up 250 metres back down the road in the campsite! But I had company and banter. Not being chip timed this was going to affect my official time by up to a minute (my usual 250m speed 😊).

On a non-race related note, I’d had a lovely day, drizzly though it was, visiting Keswick’s environs, especially Castlerigg Stone circle, a marvel to behold. And with time to spare I parked in Rosthwaite first to have a walk and partly recce a bit of the route I didn’t know. Useful if I was tailed off (but this didn’t happen). The valleys looked awesome in the misty mountain air and the cuckoo of Borrowdale was making itself heard…the third cuckoo I’d sounded in three different valleys recently. Beautiful. And I was able to pay my respects at Bob Graham’s grave, which is in Stonethwaite graveyard. Let’s hope the upcoming GDH BG attempts are not to end in a metaphorical BG graveyard. Good luck guys and gals.

One thing I wasn’t looking forward to was the first major (and mega) climb, up some engineered slate steps which I’d first encountered on the Derwentwater Dawdle at about 16 miles in, not recommended for vertigo sufferers. It’s actually a feature called Lingy End, but the segment records it more poetically as ‘the steps of Doom’.
Bloody Stephen Wilson, the well known race photographer placed himself halfway up these, a cruel position as I commented passing him spitting blood, “that’s a horror show photo mate”. No worries says Stephen, we’ve got a couple of other stake-outs that’ll show you in a better light! Yeah, right. (He was actually).

Back to the start of the race and a couple of things made me chuckle while talking to the motley crue who were arriving in a variety of vehicles from the obligatory campers, Land Rovers, battered bangers to a rather tasty Porsche sports…probably Steve Birkinshaw (yes, the ‘hell has no map’ fellow was also there.) A youngish lad with Cumbrian accent addressed me “you’ve done this before have you?”. No, except to climb a few bits of it I replied, how about you? “My first fell race this” he chirped. “I’ve reccied it mind so I know it’s hard but I’m doing Buttermere in July and I’m trying to get into it”. Fair enough, not yer typical midweek fellsman as I said but he looked in serious mood.

Only thing was I noticed his vest number….44. Now that meant he’d given a fastish time to Mike and could expect to finish top half of 90….so what time did you recce it in I asked. “Ah well, it seemed a bit longer than the official length and I took over an hour…my mate had submitted a faster time to Mike before I had done that, so here we are in the middle pack”. At this his mate, an older guy, appeared, and offered me some outsize safety pins from a neat little pin box (you had to provide your own, covid stylee) and I thought, well organised these two, be interesting to see if they can live up to their ETAs.

I’m going to skip the race description, to be honest unless you were there or you’re going to learn some useful tips (unlikely in my case) I always find a blow by blow account of somebody else’s race a bit…well, academic to be polite. But having said that I will mention a couple of things.

With starting at the back I really was fearful of running out of companions and maybe taking a false trod…Mike had said he’d had to flag a short section before Watendlath Tarn to keep us away from a delicate area of SSSI and to be careful here but I was confident of all but the finishing section really.

So after the steps of doom you emerge onto the fellside just below the melancholy and remote Dock Tarn, and here was the other photographer who captured superb shots and even made me emerging from the tortuous climb look mildly heroic. Great pictures.
The longer section over slippy boulders, marsh and finally rocky path to Watendlath was right up my alley and I made a few places up here, though several fools followed me as I missed an SSSI flag and temporarily went astray! A last climb out of Watendlath was hard but as it levelled I stepped on the gas again(possibly this is a false memory) and while keeping the CFR bloke behind me at bay, began to hunt down the female ahead of me. As I did, she careered off the rock path we were on and I knew went down to a wall line, and took off on a cunning trod, which I soon realised was going to cut a huge corner off, though I wasn’t sure where it led, and when catching her and asking her she was strangely reluctant to enlighten me….oh well it takes all sorts. Both myself and the chasing CFR fella burned her off (great satisfaction and no regrets at all) and finally I knew I was nearly back at Stonethwaite and the bridge we’d first crossed.
Stephen Wilson had packed up and was walking back to the Inn but on seeing me and others coming he clicked off another few pics and I treated him to a full facial tongue a la Will Mather copyright. Stephen later told me he prefers runners to sometimes do something a bit different.

Finished 72nd in 68.36 so it is tough but I’d picked a few off whose estimated ETA had flattered them. And walking away I found Lindsay, the Wasdale Wombler (it really is another tale) only just finishing…and she had passed me on the steps of doom. So how come? She oddly didn’t seem to know about the shorter trod and had continued on the main path, losing maybe a couple of minutes. A little local knowledge eh? Or cheating by copying someone else! And the lad with number 44? He’d finished in 55 minutes so fair play to him. A certain Jacob Adkin of Keswick AC had broken Gavin Bland’s 22year old record by7 seconds in 35.15!! Just another planet 🤔.


Grizedale Forest Trail Half Marathon (also courtesy of John P.)

And so to today and the Epic Events half (and full for some) on the rocky trails around Grizedale, with 557m/1827’ of ascent, so despite the hard trails, hardly a pb course.
I don’t really enjoy running Grizedale unless it’s a wet day, there’s not too many views and it is possible to lose your way if you’re not using and following the visitor centre colour coded routes. No chance of that as Epic have arrows everywhere and are usually mob handed with marshals.

I’d picked up a budget transfer from Chris Smith, who had other fish to fry, so I was seduced into a training run with a fine t shirt and bling at the end. Sue Clapham travelled up from Broadbottom at some unearthly hour for the 8.30 start, with her chauffeur aka husband Chris. He wouldn’t have long to wait in the event field as Sue dashed round (Sue will say plodded 😉, I’d love to plod that fast) to finish 1st FV50 in a superb 2hr 6m.34….and 8th female overall.  I did a respectable 2hr 14.36 though these aren’t our half times as the course was long, I was past 13.1m in 2.07.09.  Been there, got the t-shirt 😎.

Round Sheffield Run

Lots of harriers were strutting their stuff around Sheffield over the weekend.  A quick play in xls suggests the following:

Other Racing gleaned from FB…

  • A Classic Long Round: This weekend Immy T. has been doing her long awaited Paddy Buckley (a circuit of just over 100 km long taking in some 47 summits). No results as of yet however she has been looking really strong and very smiley in all of the pictures posted to FB by her GDH support crew.  Hopefully Immy will tell us more about her welsh running adventure in the next report (and she has promised not to send in any pictures of her feet). 
  • Lakeland 5 Passes Ultra: Wioleta W., Rebecca S. and Kate E. all took part in the Lakeland 5 Passes Ultra yesterday – the weather looked great and the ladies were all very happy based on the FB snaps from our GDH roving reporter, John P.
  • Rat Race The Wall: Ben did this last week and it looked proper hard <70, miles of relentless hills, never ending roads finished sore but in great spirits in approx 17.5 hrs>.
  • Up the Nab – Chris J., Paul S., Neal B., Steve C., James K., Nath H., Rick S., John G. and Charlotte B., did this and, by the look on Steve C’s face, a lot of fun was had by all 😊.

Other Club Stuff

  • June Mash Up: Huge thanks again to Immy T. and Ian C. for organising another brilliant mashup event.  This time, the route was a road score course and 11 pairs of Harriers spent a happy hour learning more about the cut throughs, ginnels and less used footpaths around Glossop.  Top lamppost bothering, all!
  • Virtual Club Champs: Don’t forget to submit your times for June’s virtual club champs in the next couple of days and start working on your ultra stamina and nav (and style 😊) as July’s route is the Glossop Skyline.
  • Weekly Report Crew Update – goodbye and hello: We have had a little swap around here at GDH Weekly Reporting HQ. We are saying a sad goodbye and a big thank you to the Wasinskis who are stepping back from report writing for a while and are waving a cheery hello to Rick Steckles who will be putting pen to paper on things GDH racing related very soon.  

Please do keep in touch (gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com) We love to hear about your running related antics and it makes our job a lot easier, especially as we will be going be back to weekly reporting from 1st July.

Sun?! Races?! The world is almost normal again…

Not being dramatic or anything but after today’s DIY venture I’m pretty sure I’m lucky not to have been killed by a collapsing ceiling after two years living in my house. Exactly how it was holding up the sheer volume of CRAP that came down is a mystery. I hope you’ll excuse me if today’s report is a bit of a copy and paste job – again, not being dramatic, but it’s going to take me approximately 8 years to clean up, so I’m going to have to start economising on time spent doing other tasks…

Paul Peters – Trafford Grand Prix

After achieving what I wanted at tatton half in April I decided to spend the summer working on some speed, and I’ve been flirting with track racing (even buying some track spikes). 

As my first race for Sale Harriers (cue gasps), I entered the 3k and 1500m for this meet, since there was about 2hrs between the races. The weather was sweltering all day, hitting about 23C for my 6:30 heat of the 3k. 

Not much to say on this race. I set off conservative and missed the split of the field. I couldn’t catch up with the front group without a huge surge that I didn’t want to risk, and I ended up running the next 5 laps leading the chase pack. With 400m to go, 2 lads went right past me, and I faded to finish in 9:18, a few seconds slower than the last attempt. 

Based on that, expectations were low coming into the 1500m. The race also got pushed back another 20mins to start the BMC races on time. The race started hot, coming through the first 400m in about 65s. The race splintered into 2 packs like the 3k, and while I was in the 2nd pack, fortunately this time I wasnt leading the chase. 

At about 800m the guy behind me came past and took the lead, and I latched on to also go past our pack leader. At about 1000m I went past the new leader and started a long run for home. I was going strong until 100m to go, when 2 people went past me. I let it happen, before realising I did have a kick left, and managed to take one of them back, finishing in a 1 second PB of 4:22.

The lesson to take was that I need to be a bit more adaptive, I settled into pace on the 1500m and didn’t realise I had an extra gear until too late. Who would’ve thought there was paces faster than 5k pace… 

(My friend filmed the race so when he sends it over I should be able to share it!) 

Nick Ham – Anytime South Pennine 24

I’d pencilled Sat 5th into my burgeoning running diary for an attempt at the South Pennine 24 anytime challenge. Taking place in February in normal years, I’d run it every year since its inception in 2016 and was thankful that South Pennine LDWA had kept it alive this year as an ‘anytime’, to be completed between 17 April and 14 August.

Dove Stone car park was already looking quite busy as I arrived at 07:45 in the bright sunshine. I got there reasonably early to avoid the heat of the day and to get a parking place. I only really succeeded in the latter because it was already feeling too warm for 6+ hours self-supported out on the hill.

I was off at 07:52 sharp. As I shuffled my way around the half circuit of the reservoir before the right turn and steep climb up onto the edge, I took in the brightly lit summertime views across the reservoir back towards the clubhouse and beyond and thought how nice they looked. Even if I had looked of a February while in proper race mode I don’t think I would have observed a vista so pleasing to the eye in the dim, winter haziness at that time of year.

Looking back across Dove Stone Reservoir.

To prove that we have done the route we have to answer 12 challenge questions from around the route. I was shuffling my way to Q2, whose answer would be found on the Fox Stone memorial, where a young couple of the ethnic majority persuasion asked me if there was an alternative way back down to Dove Stone Reservoir that avoided going back down the way they’d come up (they’d climbed the same way as I had). I suggested they continue the way I was going around the edge to Chew Reservoir dam then take the access road back down, to make a nice circuit. They said they were getting some practice in for a charity event they were going to do. I was ‘on the clock’ but didn’t care; I never pass up an opportunity for a bit of a chinwag. They were a nice couple, and hats off to them for putting in some effort and getting up there nice and early.

Cairn on Fox Stone.

I was well on my way to Chew Reservoir and glanced at my watch to see how far/how much time so far. Once again I was disgusted to see a normal time display with no recording taking place. I know it had been working because I checked after starting that it was showing the exercise display (same as at the Windmill 6 when it last played these silly games) and I’d heard it bleep. Polar – bug-infested bag of worms. With recording restarted one hour late I completed the climb to Chew Reservoir and negotiated the boggy no-man’s land to creep up on Laddow Rocks from behind. At the top of the descent towards Crowden I surveyed the vista down Crowden Great Brook towards Longdendale and thought what a beautiful planet we live on.

Crowden Great Brook down below.

Once through Crowden, across the main road and through the wood, there was a slight diversion for the SP24 down the northern side of Rhodeswood Reservoir. As I neared the other side of its dam I saw a group running up from the other side. They had to be Glossopdale Harriers out on a training run, I thought. Sure enough, five of the blighters hoved into view at the end of the dam. Many happy greetings were exchanged.

Glossopdale Harriers’ finest.

At the footpath right-turn to the banks of Vale House Reservoir I made way for a ‘proper’ runner who had caught me up. Judging by his lack of equipment he was obviously on a local training run and I didn’t want to block his passage with my walking interspersed with fleeting bursts of jogette. (I was much more comprehensively equipped for a long hot day out, with well-stocked rucksack with lashings of water and a peaked cap with curtain around the back to keep the sun off.) After Bottoms Reservoir I caught up with him as he walked home from his final out-and-back sprints. I felt another chinwag coming on:

“Finished your run for the day?”

“Yes, walking home now. Bit hot for it. How about you?”

“Oh, aiming for 24 miles. Heading back to Dove Stone Reservoir?”

“Really, where did you start?”

“Dove Stone Reservoir. It’s why I’m walking a bit.” I didn’t let on that I was walking a lot.

Cue sounds of incredulity over such long distance. Little did he know what I used to do once upon a time before I was side-lined. Oh wistful memories which still fill my dreams most nights.

On the climb out from Hollingworth I detected a, this time unavoidable bout of passage-blocking ahead. A donkey was being led up the path on her way back from a refreshing bath. She was stopping along the way to grab mouthfuls of grass. I asked the owner’s permission for some photos. The donkey loves her baths and the walks – such a picture of contentment.

Donkey walking back from her refreshing bath.

After the donkey.

On the homeward stretch, across Hollingworthall Moor and on the approach to the Swineshaw Reservoirs, two sheep were sheltering under the trees next to the stile I had to cross. I had to walk between them. They hardly moved. Keeping cool was higher on their agenda.

I continued my trudge up and over to Carrbrook feeling relatively free of time pressures, then the final climb above Mossley and Greenfield to Dove Stone. I arrived back at the sailing club 6hrs 22mins after I had left, feeling hot and used-up. This compares with previous times ranging from 4:58 in 2016 to 5:28 last year. I had drunk loads and eaten plenty enough to keep the fire burning within, but I was still dehydrated. It has taken a day to restore equilibrium.

The car park was choc full, with people milling about (some with portable barbecues – naughty naughty) and day-glo’d car park security personnel directing the traffic. On the drive out I saw that security were blocking off the access road to prevent people driving in unless others had driven out. Without them, the place would have been (even more) gridlocked.

All the photos I took are on Flickr here.

Chris Smith – Exmoor Race Report (Coastal Trail Series)

Chris: Exmoor Ultra (52km +3500m)

Ree: Exmoor Marathon (43k +2835m)

With no overseas travel this year, Ree and I booked a five day weekend on a farm down in Devon for the Exmoor race festival by Endurance Life. The weather was beautiful and although the wooded coastline was extraordinarily hilly, it created some dramatic scenery and stunning coastal landscapes that make long runs a pleasure.

It was my first ultra since August so I was a bit uncertain whether my legs would have the distance in them.. the cool morning sea mist got me some quick mileage early on, but burning sunshine across the middle of the day slowed progress and required a lot more water stashing at the aid stations. 

A double loop at the end of the race had me leave the other distance classes behind, but I managed to push through the last 10km, with help from a bagful of jelly babies and a cup of coca cola. 

Very happy with my 6th place finish but a lot of work to be done in the gym and on the hills before my next ultra in July.

Ree thoroughly enjoyed the scenery during the Marathon, finishing much quicker than expected. A close encounter with a field of baby goats being the highlight! 

It was also the last race outing for her Salomon Race pack which has covered 5000km at races all over the world, and is now held together by safety pins and has only 1 working zip.

We both chilled out back at the farm on our sun-deck with a glass of Prosecco plus some chips and dips. We also had the mandatory post-race pub lunch in the local village. 

John Pollard – Duddon Valley Fell Race and Coniston 10k Lakeland Trail

Thanks to human error(mine) I was down for consecutive races at the weekend, not relished by my achilles.

The ‘proper running’ would be done in the Duddon Valley on Saturday, as this is no picnic. My favourite valley with no lakes, but lush less imposing peaks that attract less crowds….Luckily, I had entered the short course, half the 19ml/6000’+ climb, though the organiser notes; “the long race is long, and the short is not short”. Nuff said!

I was going to be in good company as the 85yo ‘legend of the fells, Joss Naylor was lining up for the short course too. I know Joss but slightly but he’s such a sociable soul he’ll pretty much talk to anyone! He told me before the race he’d buy me a pint of Guinness at the Newfield if I beat him…and though Joss knows all the best lines, he’s not trying to beat anyone at his age, his poles and chaperones at the ready he shyly snuck in at the rear of the field (where I usually am on these Lakeland classics).

Half an hour before our start the full course runners were setting off from a field 15 mins away across the Duddon river, so I trotted after Robin Hoffman and Sarah Andrew there as this pair were testing their mettle on the climbs up Harter fell, Hardknott and others.

Filmed them jogging off, noticing a former GDH of this parish, the noted hare conservationist Carlos Bedson was by their side.

Both Robin and Sarah ran hard and completed in flying colours(orange and blue actually)…only they can tell you about their race, but Sarah in particular looked strong and fresh as she finished about 20 minutes ahead of her partner. And she thrashed ‘celebrity raconteur’ Dennis Fishwick from Chorley into the bargain!

I always find the fell climbs harder than the descents(I know that sounds a truism, but I mean relatively…the more ascent in a race the further back I’ll be)…our trek up the first climb out of Seathwaite sorted the 80 odd starters out and as it was one bit I hadn’t reccied I wasn’t sure how long this purgatory was going to last…banter was rife among the friendly group..”are we nearly there dad?” etc.

On the way over to the Coniston fells after a couple of CPs I found myself on the long climb up to Dow Crag summit via its grassy, western side….I won’t be doing that again, I’ll stick to Goat’s Water and the rock buttresses any day! It was a nice surprise to see two pals from Penistone runners up there and it gave me a boost, not that I was working 100%.

I had been following Lindsay Buck, who is known as the Wasdale wombler, as she goes up Scafell Pike litter collecting pretty much everyday…another legend. And she knew where the water was, as she ran off line to lay down by a hidden beck to sup up some H2O, as it was hot enough.

Behind me two female runners had been catching me on the approach to Dow Crag and I was sure they’d overtake me on the climb, but annoyingly they stayed about 25 metres behind me the whole way, having a good old catch up and chatting shit, while I gulped down large mouthfuls of oxygen! I’m not fully reconstructed yet so I said to the marshalls “these bloody women haven’t shut up once, they’re clearly not trying hard enough”. Anyway I escaped disqualification for this comment.

Now was the descent from Dow Crag down to cross Walna Scar road and I found I’d caught a trio of runners, including a chatty northern Irish girl, who clearly had no idea where she was going, but visibility was hardly an issue and she was good company, so for the first time in the run we chatted down to the track crossing. Of course because I wasn’t concentrating then, we took a slightly longer line down than was necessary and wasn’t quite on line as we hit the grassy trod to White Pike.

Now on a claggy day this is one line that’s easy to get wrong and end up unnecessarily climbing a couple of lumps called Pikes before finding a pathless, undulating line towards Caw, the final, and very fine, climb above Seathwaite and the finish.

I was now roughly in the company of the Irish girl (right chatterer her, remind you of anyone? 😉)… and another lass from Clayton le Moors, who knew her onions. We were all tying to find a comfortable scramble off White Pike, and that must have been when I inadvertently paused my watch and lost about 5 mins.

I knew the last pull up Caw was steep(it’s a gorgeous wee peak, very conspicuous in its position in the Duddon despite modest height)….so I girded my whatsits and dug in.

Bugger me, on the lower, trackless ascent along came the first of the long course elite leaders, a couple of mismatched guys, one young and short the other tall and greying…but they knew the best lines so I followed them(well, for about 50 metres).

Fabulous submitting at the final CP7 on Caw, now it was just halter skelter down to find the best line to the finish and avoid the rock outcrops.

I’d satisfyingly shaken off both the Irish patter and the other ladies and a bloke(who was speechless, or surly I don’t know)….but it wasn’t a glorious descent, as you should see the way these front runners career down the face of an 8%er….phenomenal!

I had a good drink in the field behind the pub and waited in the sunshine for Sarah, Robin and old Joss. Caught up with a handful of Pennine-ers among others.

All was well with the world.

Next day I had to go over to Coniston Hall to run the 10k trail, as I think this was a deferred entry of mine and tbh I like the razzmatazz and the t-shirt.

The trail was familiar to me and as we set off in groups of 6 I found one young guy accelerating ahead of me in the first 1/2 mile and thought….just enjoy it then, don’t get competitive.

But as the kms unfolded my legs felt ok and I found I was overtaking everyone in front of me at gradual intervals(obvsly after the staggered starts) and at the 6 mile mark I was under an hour…but they’d kindly measured a 6.5 mile 10k so there was a bit more to do.

Surprised to find I was 1st v60 but honest a lot of the runners were bordering on fun runners(fair play, and by no means all as there were about 250 I think).

So it was a cracking weekend in all.

Chris Webb – Ennerdale Horseshoe

The first champs race of the year (there was a hiatus, apparently something happened?!) and it’s in at the deep end with a ‘super-long‘ Lakeland Classic. I plug these races all the time but they really are the best races in the Lakes and Ennerdale is no exception. At ~22.5miles/7,500ft it’s not easy but it covers some beautiful and remote terrain and has a mix of runnable grassy sections (over 4miles of rolling descent after Iron Crag to the finish if your legs are still working) and glorious rocky scrambles (down climbing Joss’ gully off Kirk Fell, for example).

I set off at what felt like a conservative pace up Great Bourne (still probably too hard!) and the 300+ runners were already strung out as we headed along the ridge over Red Pike and High Stile with views of the Buttermere valley to your left and Ennerdale to your right. It’s pretty runnable along here and finishes with a cracker of a scree descent off High Crag. The legs were feeling okay but I knew the crux of the route was yet to come. I made good time up to Green Gable and round the traverse of Great Gable and started to pick off the casualties who were paying for their fast starts and the now hot sun as I climbed Kirk Fell. The slog up to Pillar was tough and I was feeling it, it’s been a while since I’d been at race pace for this long and I felt the odd twinge of cramp which a managed to fend off by backing off the pace. I channeled my inner Jens Voight and told my legs to “shut up!” and started the long, runnable section over Haycock, Iron Crag and Crag Fell to the end (don’t dare look up at this point, it looks miles away!) and the promise of a cold drink! The main man John Pollard cheered me up on the summit of Crag Fell, he’d chosen a top spot to spectate and snap a few pics….and then it was down to the finish, done in 4hrs38mins, 85th place (top 100 in a champs race feels respectable) and completely spent. It was 7mins ahead of my 4:45 prediction and I was happy with the time considering it was my first race in over a year. 

Sarah Andrew, Robin Hoffman and John Pollard were at Duddon last week (another of the Classics) and Sarah and Robin have entered Wasdale (now full) with me in a few weeks…for those who fancy a piece of the action entries are open for the Darren Holloway Buttermere Horseshoe at the end of July (https://www.sientries.co.uk/event.php?elid=Y&event_id=8413) which is another brilliant race and has a short version too. Three Shires is in September and Langdale in October too-give them a go, you won’t be disappointed.

Pic: John Pollard. Runner: Me looking like a complete tool.

Pete Wallroth – Dark/White Dark Peak Trail Run

Dark White Events made their long awaited return to their trail running events today with the Dark Peak Trail Run in Hayfield. 

Consisting of a long (25k) and a short (12k) route to choose from. I took on the long route taking in loop around Lantern Pike, Plainsteads, Rowarth, down to the SVT and then a loop up around Chinley Churn before a return to Hayfield. Rachel Boorer May completed the short route doing the Chinley churn loop. 

Dark/White already did staggered starts as part of their standard race format pre Covid so the actual race structure was no different to previously.

But what a day to be running on those light trails. 

The heat was unrelenting from the off and despite having run all the various parts of this course throughout our lockdowns, this at race pace and in heat was a tough ask. 

No sooner would you get teased by a cool breeze it would evaporate again and we’d be melting. 

A cheer on from Lucy and Greg Wasinski at the half way mark was very welcome before the longest single accent of the course from Birch Bale along the quarry road and around to Chinley Churn before a welcome gentler 6k back across and down to the finish. 

I’ve run longer races and rarely felt that grateful to see a finish-line or have I seen so many others looking completely wiped out. 

Haven’t heard how Rachel got on but from the results looks like she had a good race

Me: 25/107 – 2:33:40 (Long Course)

Rachel: 19/39 – 1:19:46 (Short Course)

Shame they weren’t able to have their usual fabulous array of post race cakes and snacks (Tiffin!! Oh the Tiffin!!!) but Covid needs must. 

A hot day out in Hayfield 🥵 

Monthly Mashup – Saturday 19th June

This month’s event is a ROAD SCORE COURSE.  The course will start at Howard Park (exact location TBC) and start times will be available between 11:00am and 12:30pm – you can indicate your preference on the sign-up form.

Allow me explain a little more about this event, which hopefully will inspire you to get involved, and remove any mystery about how it works.  It’s really quite simple, will be a tonne of fun, and there will be a prize for the winning team!

So, at the start/finish in Howard Park, you will be provided with a map.  You then have one hour to visit as many Controls as you can, and return to the start.  Each Control is a lamp post, which is located at the corresponding point on the map.  To score, all you need to do is note down the unique 4-6 digit lamp post number and move on to the next.  Each Control has a different value between 10 and 40 points.  Typically, the more awkward/further away they are, the higher the score. 

But be aware, you need to be back at the start within the magic 60 minutes.  For every 1 minute you are late, you will be penalised 10 points!!!

You will be provided with a map and a score sheet, listing the Control ID’s, what they score, their exact description (to allow you to ID the exact lamp post), and a space to note the unique lamp post number.

So grab a partner and get yourselves signed up:  https://forms.office.com/r/m9qznnLrkn  A fun run around Glossop with a difference, is guaranteed!

A sunny bank holiday and real life racing!

It has been a busy two weeks since the last report, during which Harriers have been multi terrain relay running, virtual champsing, dot watching, mourning the loss of a running legend, training for big rounds, running socially, running in fancy dress and even actual real life racing – YAY!

Let’s look at some of the IRL racing first…

Blackstone Edge Fell Race (courtesy of Chris J.)

So this week I ran Blackstone Edge fell race. First fell race in 14 months. Great night for it with cracking weather and a pretty strong field of runners. Bit of a run out on a track, followed by a steep rough climb up to the trig.  Along the top doing a bit of rock hopping and then a tough downhill with tussocks.  It’s a great course and was very boggy. But great to get out and do some competitive running.  And see friends I have not seen in years. 

Nick Ham’s busy comeback weekend

Sat 22/05/2021: Half Tour of Bradwell. 17.5mi. with 3,356’ ascent.

Having done all ten Long Tours before they were stopped after 2018 through lack of organisational support, I enjoyed my first Winter Half Tour in Feb last year. A recent gradual reduction in the Ménière’s Disease symptoms over several months had allowed some confidence to return to allow me to venture away from sanctuary without fear of being struck down without warning. I fancied using the special 2021 reverse COVID Half Tour as a short comeback race to ease me back into regular racing post-lockdown. It would be my first proper race since Haworth Hobble over 14 months before.

The cold, damp, overcast conditions made it feel like winter as I emerged from my car on the Bradwell sports field. Still, looking on the bright side at least the rain had stopped and it wasn’t windy. There would be no registration or entering the pavilion, just collect race pack with map and route description, race number and timing bracelet from the line pegged up at the side of the track and start any time between 09:00 and 09:30. I set off at 09:30 with Darren Burns up the steep flagged route on private farmland to reach the track and right turn at the top. Daz and I chatted a lot; it had been such a long time. As expected I was immediately struggling with the effort. It wasn’t long before the trickle of late starters had stopped overtaking us. I assumed we were now the backmarkers.

I lost Daz after Check Point 1 on the descent to Shatton when I had to stop to remove my windproof top; I was burning up. I realised at the road crossing that I should have sweated a little longer and made use of the timeout for the faffing. Every little helps, but not this time. I just about caught Daz up again on the track bed to Ladybower but lost him again on the climb to the dam (gutless, weak as a kitten, me). The last glimpse was climbing through the woods to CP2, at which point an older runner re-overtook me while chuntering on about not being able to navigate and just wanting to run. He asked me if there were more navigational choices to come. I said yes, but he could follow his route description to make navigation easier. He was having none of that; he just wanted to run, brain-off stylie. I bet he went wrong again, and again.

On the descent to Aston with the scenic long-range view ahead, I was amazed that Daz was already out of sight. Was I really that slow? I was on my own running my own race and I didn’t mind one bit. I knew where I was going and was enjoying the minor challenge of navigating a familiar route in reverse for the first time, at speed with the resulting reduced brain function. (Yes, you read that right. I like living life on the edge.)

There was no checkpoint at Killhill Bridge but there did appear to be a supporting family with two young children who tentatively walked towards me with arms outstretched, one offering a bottle of water and the other a plastic tub with two Jelly Babies remaining. I smiled and thanked them but told them I was already well equipped in those departments.

As I slogged my way up the foothills of Lose Mountain (formerly known as Lose Hill) a couple of female runners slowly caught and overtook me, meaning now I really was at the back. On the descent from said ‘mountain’ I enjoyed the sights of the just-completed new fence and path stretched out below.

As I descended from Back Tor towards Castleton I began to hear two male voices. Because of my monophonic hearing (right inner ear written off by the Ménière’s) I had no idea where they were coming from, but since their conversation seemed relaxed I knew they must be recreational walkers and not more runners about to run me down. I teetered on down the watery stony track unperturbed in my own world of survival.

Halfway down the lane into Castleton I decided I’d treat myself to a little pick-me-up. I had a sachet of <ahem> ‘special powders’ in the pouch of my left-hand bottle of water. I knelt down by the side of the road to pour them in. The resulting turbo juice would serve to keep the old crock ticking over or, if fate was really on my side, give it a kick up the arse. As I performed the decantation, two blokes arrived from behind and asked if I was OK. Strange, I thought. Why would they be asking that? “Yes thanks”, I replied, “Are you?” I then asked them if they were doing the Half Tour, wondering if they were angling after being shown the way. “Well actually, we’re the sweepers. We’re clearing up the course”, meaning they were packing up the checkpoints after I’d dibbed through. Oh, they must have been the male voices then. “I’m not surprised”, I said. “I thought I was at the back.” I then tried to make excuses for my woeful slowness. They replied that I was actually going quite well. Oh tish. I tried to live up to the flattery by continuing the pained jog down into Castleton but I was soon walking again as the road climbed towards the bottom of Cave Dale.

Cave Dale: the least said about that the better. There was much trudging and some staggering as the defective balance was making itself felt. A drone buzzed somewhere overhead but I had no idea where so didn’t waste time looking up. I didn’t want to fall over anyway, which would have been the likely outcome. The sweepers remained discreetly quiet after our brief encounter. I wouldn’t have known they were there. I never dared to look back. When I eventually topped out at the final checkpoint on the track and was struggling to make it respond to my bracelet chip (I thought its battery had died), I was surprised to see the sweepers come through the gate. They had been closer than I thought – very discreet and friendly and not an unpleasant experience. I must be last again in a race some time.

I turned for Bradwell down the stony track. As I neared the bottom I thought I could spy Daz ahead. I was slowly catching him. I wondered if he would turn right on the long way round to the top of Pin Dale or continue ahead down the footpath straight into Pin Dale, as indicated in the route notes. He turned right but was too far ahead to call back. I went ahead to emerge part way down the horrible rocky track down Pin Dale. I engaged the painful shuffle on complaining legs past a burnt-out car (scumbags have even infiltrated Bradwell now) to the footpath right-turn at the bottom. A van was backed up into the entrance, hiding it. I guessed it might have caused other runners to miss it. I writhed my racked body through the cement works, up (steeply) through the woods and down the road to the pavilion and the final dib. The pain of forcing a run when a walk was all I was really capable of rekindled racing memories of old, pre-pandemic. It was magic. My time was 4:21:25, which wasn’t far off last year’s Winter Half time.

Daz and the sweepers came in shortly after. We were offered our finisher’s bottle of beer for later (to be added to my years-old collection of post-race beers in the fridge) and a nice refreshing cup of tea for now, and we were implored to take lots of bananas away. They ALWAYS over-order the bananas.

As I sat with Daz on the pavilion steps drinking tea, the sun came out for the first time that day. The parking area, full when we started, now had two cars left – Daz’s and mine. I struggled to walk back to it. How on earth would I manage tomorrow?

Sun 23/05/2021: Windmill 6.

Were it not for the carry-over from last year I would never have been here. I’m glad I was though, because it’s amazing what a good night’s sleep does for recovery. My legs felt a lot more willing to move me than they had after yesterday’s effort. After arriving at Birdsedge and I’d walked and jogged off the stiffness from the drive, I felt ready to ‘do my thang’ once again. I saw David Chrystie-Lowe jogging up the lane ready for his 10:30 start. I was due to go at 10:35. It was my first reunion with a clubmate in over 14 months and it felt gooerd. In fact I’d go as far as to say it felt oaarsim.

The weather was much brighter than yesterday’s but much breezier with a bracing wind. I had my windproof on to keep out the chill. I followed David up towards the start to take pictures, where a marshal said we could start whenever we wanted. I could understand the relaxed attitude because the runners were very thinly spaced. Perhaps there were a lot of no-shows?

David wasted little time in setting off. In no time he was a rapidly receding spec in the distance when I crossed the timing strips (our timing chips were on the back of our race numbers) to start my race early, pressing the start button on my watch as I went. The first left turn was directed by two friendly marshals. A little further along, cheering to my right came from residents standing behind their metal mansion gates. WOW, we were back racing again. Soon our anticlockwise route around the turbines took us onto roads shared by a cycle race. Some of the riders even offered acknowledgements.

I had been expecting later runners to overtake me from the off but it wasn’t happening. Perhaps I was running fast. Well, I hadn’t taken any walking breaks anyway. I glanced at my watch and recall the number 11. 2+ miles in 11+ minutes? In my oxygen-starved mental fug from the intense effort I figured that my pace was nudging twice that of my recent NOTparkrun attempts. I was a affleet and I felt epic. Much later than expected the first runner overtook me with encouragement-in-passing. His pace was barely faster than mine and I still felt epic. I was overtaking more runners than were overtaking me and I felt epic some more.

Now on the long undulating homeward straight I glanced at my watch again to see how I was doing, to be greeted by the normal time and date display. THE B’ST’D WASN’T EVEN RECORDING! The sound of massed whoopee cushions must have been deafening and I probably reversed the turbines as I deflated and came back down to reality. I went through the motions of button-pressing to select exercise-run-start to record what little remained. I had to pull off my windproof down to my right wrist to cool off, such was the effort now. My spirits lifted as I neared the finish and saw David jogging back down the course on his warm down. He joined me for the uphill finish with words of encouragement and I ‘powered my way’ to the finish line.

Well done David with your 0:45:31 and 1st M60 finish – not too shabby at all, although a lot more shabby than the 30-odd minutes I imagined I was heading for. Don’t laugh: the winning time was 0:35:36. Oops. My 0:55:21 got me 7th out of 8 M55s – crap but strangely satisfying under the circumstances of a double-header on the back of no running fitness. David and I were the only Glossopdale runners there, although more had been registered.

It felt great to be ‘rocking the blue and orange’ again after such a long time. The next ‘rocking’ will be at The Cake Race next Saturday.

Nick H.

Other Racing gleaned from FB…

The (No) Cake Race: Whilst there was no cake competition this year, there was still racing and it was great to see a number of Harriers taking part. Turns out that there was still cake, phew, albeit purchased rather than homebaked.

Trail pursuit in Ambleside: Janet D. did the 10k, Nick & Rosie did the half marathon and then there was some swimming.

Club Challenges

  • GDH Multi-Terrain Relays: Much fun was had by all participants in last weekend’s multi-terrain relays which were brilliantly organised by Immy T. and Ian C.    Clad once more in blue and orange, Harriers broke out new shoes, rediscovered their race faces and picked a range of interesting lines between the turning circle and cock hill trig.  Whilst running hard was a shock to the system for a number of us after a year of not racing, it was great to catch up with familiar faces and to meet new Harriers – defs something to bear in mind as a recurring feature in our annual club calendar <please>. The next monthly mashup will take place on Saturday 19th June and will be a tarmac-based score course. 
  • Virtual Club Champs: Given that tomorrow is June, it is defs lastchanceville for May’s virtual champs challenge (the GDH 10k).  As from tomorrow, the challenge of the month will be Rounds the Resers which can be done either as the actual race or at any point during the month. 

Please do keep in touch

As the racing calendar unlocks, we would love to hear about your running related antics.  Please let us know at the usual email address gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com

The Late from the Lakes weekly report

So firstly apologies for the lack of Sunday reporting! We were in the Lakes (shock horror, i know, it WASN’T Snowdonia!?) and realised it was our turn on report writing. I didn’t feel too guilty once I saw Coach J didnt fancy getting drenched tomorrow night so called off the coached sesh 😉 and also on checking the inbox, it was bare -save for one absolute treat! So anyway here you have it – your Monday bi-weekly report!

Going to save the best till last and get some short n sweet stuff out the way first:

GDH Virtual Champs

Recces and efforts a-plenty going on for this month’s race cracker – the Glossop 10k. Don’t forget this one starts and ends at the LC – nice cheeky bit of climb up Victoria Street and then it’s a nice long descent down all the way to Woolly bridge roundabout pretty much – then the fun starts again 😉 

Lots of folk know this route inside out, so if it’s one you haven’t done before then stick something on FB and am sure you’ll find some company! All champs related info can be found here: https://glossopdaleharriers.wordpress.com/club-championship/

Thanks to the champs team inc Ian for his number crunching and Excel wizardy updating all the results.

EA Club Run Virtual Session

Just a reminder that this week sees the third and FINAL session of the EA Club Run Virtual programme!

Topic: Strength and Conditioning for Injury Prevention

Don’t miss out on this great chance to have some online run related coaching from an EA Level 4 coach. Don’t worry if you get subjected to dull Zoom calls during your working day, can assure you this will be nothing of the sort! These sessions are fun, informative, full of interesting content and with plenty of time to ask any questions you’ve like – doesn’t even matter if it’s “off topic”- this is your chance to get some advice on that burning run related question you have!

The general theme of this session is:

Strength and Conditioning for Injury Prevention – with a bit about what we can do with advancing age 😉

There will also be a bit on running technique and some info on NURVV – so if you haven’t used those insoles for a while, get stuck in now! 

The Zoom joining link is on the FB event page. We don’t put it visible on the website just in case get any random gatecrashers who fancy heckling a run club session (unlikely but you just never know eh!?). If you haven’t got access to FB then please email club.secgdh@gmail.com and am sure Vicki will pass your email onto me so I can share the details with you.

Be great to hear what you thought of these sessions, and if it’s the kind of the thing you’d want the club to apply for in future. Obviously in non COVID times these sessions would have been face to face, and there is something about virtual sessions that just aren’t the same – but don’t despair, having had the opportunity to get involved virtually does NOT stop us applying for this again the future… and hopefully being accepted onto the programme!

Committee update on group running

For those who haven’t already seen, Vicki shared this update from the Committee recently:

Monday 17th May 2021 sees the next stage of the easing of lockdown restrictions.  Whilst we recognise that from Monday, Government and EA guidance allows for groups of up to 30, the Committee suggest that groups are still kept smaller.  We believe this will ensure that the Club maintains the goodwill of the local community with whom we share the streets, trails and trods.  With this in mind, a maximum of 16 participants is recommended for any run or training session.  This is in line with the numbers attending coached sessions, which will remain unchanged to ensure sessions are aligned to the EA recommended ratio of coach to participants.

The EA guidance can be accessed via this link: https://www.englandathletics.org/…/guidance-update-2021/

We would also ask that you are mindful of others when arranging to meet up for runs and training eg. several large groups outside the Leisure Centre or the Turning Circle at the same time should be avoided.  Social distancing must be maintained and you should not participate in any run if you have symptoms of COVID-19.  Please also check the Club’s COVID-19 guidance documents:  https://glossopdaleharriers.wordpress.com/…/covid-19…/

Thank you all for your observance of the rules around running and training together. The Committee will keep this advice reviewed as we move towards the next stage of the easing of lockdown on 21st June 2021.

Right the mo you’ve been waiting for – what was in the weekly report inbox this week!?

It’s just an unsupported Bob Graham Round report – from GDH Treasurer (and hardcore fell runner!) Steve Knight. Huge kudos to Steve and a big thanks for sending this in!

The BGR – a Lake District challenge of 42 peaks, 66 miles and 27,000 foot of ascent split into 5 legs. The aim is to complete it in 24 hours. I’ve wanted to do it for a few years but never got to the point of feeling ready for it until last year when I finally committed, did loads of training and lined up a GDH support team. Then covid appeared and it wasn’t going to happen. So coming into this year I was still keen and the idea of a solo round took hold – less likely to be affected by restrictions, less organising to do and more flexibility to pick good weather.

So I went for it on Friday when the weather looked favourable. Started from Keswick at 4am, a late change of plan from an evening start but figured I’d rather start after a bit of sleep. Downside was I hadn’t seen legs 4 or 5 in the dark before, my leg 2 night recce wasn’t going to be much use. Being unsupported meant carrying everything except water. I thought about a food drop but didn’t want to risk it going missing and ending my attempt. I carried close to 5kg of spare clothing, safety kit and way too much food. First hill was a bit of shock – probably should’ve done some training with the extra weight!

Weather was calm and dry throughout. I was in the clag for most of day so not great for navigation, but I would choose that over sunshine for a long thing like this – I really suffer with cramp as soon as there’s a hint of warmth. I was running on a 23 hour schedule and I managed to stick quite close to it until dark when I started losing time.

Leg 1 went smoothly enough until the last descent. Going up Skiddaw the views were awesome – a thick blanket of mist covered everything except the rising sun and the top of Blencathra. What a start. That was to be the last I saw of the sun. Thick mist on Blencathra meant I had my biggest navigation blunder of the day – managed to veer off Halls Fell part way down. No idea how – I’ve been down it many times. Ended up bashing through steep heather and dropping into a valley I’ve not been in before, losing about 20 minutes in the process. Not the best start!

Leg 2 was straight forwards and I made the time back I’d lost on leg 1. I was in the clouds for the whole leg so no breathtaking views. Occasional patches of snow remained from the crazy weather the week before. Felt fine at the end of the leg after 8.5 hours on the go, and had managed to chomp my way through a decent amount of food in an attempt to lighten the load.

Leg 3. The long one. Had a bit of a downer for a few hours – legs getting tired and the thought that I wasn’t half way yet was getting me down. Taking a bit more food on board helped with the negativity, but eating was getting hard and I had gone off sweet stuff – not ideal as that was all I had. I managed to keep roughly to schedule, and opting for Lords Rake to get up Scafell saved a good chunk of time. The long descent to Wasdale with the scree gully was great fun.

Leg 4 was a mixed bag. I kept to schedule over the first half but it was getting harder to maintain a decent pace. Then it got dark and everything just started taking a bit longer as I found myself having to correct my route more often. With cloud and a new moon there wasn’t much visibility beyond my headtorch beam. Did a really bad job on the last peak Grey Knotts – went up 3 mini peaks before I eventually found the right one. At last I was down in Honister, but with just over 3 hours left on the clock, pitch darkness, and clag setting in I was going to have my work cut out!

Leg 5 – probably the easiest to navigate which was a good thing as my legs were trying to slow me down. The climb up Dale Head felt the hardest climb of the whole thing. Getting round to the last peak was slow and I was losing time, definitely no time for celebration yet! I hoped my cushion of time in my schedule would be enough. Hobbling off Robinson I bumped into a couple of guys doing an anti-clockwise round. We had a quick chat and I felt spurred on after a few words of encouragement from them. It was the only chat I had all day – a nice change from my own thoughts! Down to the path above the river, just the long slog on the road left. It was going to be close. Every small uphill bit was tense as I had no chance of running them by that stage. And then with half an hour and only a few km left I could relax a bit knowing that I’d be back in under 24 hours. Finally it was over in 23:49 and I could stop moving. Super pleased to have done it and what a day out it was!

Here’s the strava activity link:

https://strava.app.link/ZRWlAiu1igb

And I made a short video of the day, complete with cheesy music – might be useful for anyone else considering an attempt!…..

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zcrBwUkcYopEIrX_XHFGn1RSqpi9UslZ/view?usp=drivesdk

Think we will all agree, that’s an incredible achievement Steve – big pat on the back (are we allowed to do those?!). That extra weight on the back can’t have been much fun so incredible navving it all on your own and lugging all your own supplies and still doing it sub 24!

Its the May Bank Holiday Weekend Report!

As our collective joints recover from being smashed to pieces by the flags from Mill Hill to Snake Summit, strap yourselves in for this weeks report. There’s a lot happened and even more going on! So much going on in fact, that in spite of the situation we’re still facing in terms of significant Covid restrictions, I personally feel like the opportunities for us to connect as a club, are as great as they’ve ever been!

Luke’s 100

You must have been living under a rock if you didn’t see or hear of the exploits of Luke Holme last weekend. Luke managed to run, walk and crawl 100 miles in aid of Glossop Mountain Rescue Team, in what can only be described as an epic day (and a half) out. Luke ran two 40 mile loops, one way then reversed, roughly tracing the perimeter of the Teams jurisdiction. He then embarked a separate 20 mile loop, with a grandstand finish in Manor Park.

Harriers were out in abundance on the day, with support runners and vehicles all around the course. It was a great team effort, but Luke was amazing. His determination was a thing to behold, and particularly during the second 40 mile loop, where he overcame struggles that the rest of us could never get near. Let’s hear from Luke himself…..

I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone for all your support. Believe or not but the donations are still coming through and it’s at £2600+. I couldn’t have done it without your help…great team work GDH with getting the increased donations❤️❤️. I’m really overwhelmed with the nice comments and apologies if I’ve not replied. For the support runners who endured me moaning, carry my stuff, made me eat, consoled me, bought me McDonald’s, watched me struggle, looked up at the stars with me, watched me cuddle rocks, saw me vomiting, picked me up, eat 5 hula hoops every 15 mins, made surprise appearances, made me laugh and watched me finish I love you loads 👏👏👏 Definitely a memory and dream goal I’d never thought I would achieve.

That’s quite enough blowing smoke up his backside now, so I’ll round this section off with a paraphrased quote from the Glossop Chronicle, plus a couple of images…. Glossop Man Runs 100 Miles “Without Stopping”.

No, literally didn’t stop.
No Stopping took place at all. Not once.

Tatton Half Marathon

A few Harriers were over at Tatton Park for the Half Marathon. Paul Peters had a point to prove, and boy, did he prove it!

I haven’t had the chance to send a report in over a year so this is gonna be a bumper edition to make up for it…

I entered this back in November on a whim, since it was the first time I’d qualified for elite entry (technically I was 11 seconds off, but a nicely worded email goes a long way) and I thought it’d be a fun day. I didn’t plan on training for the distance particularly, after 8 months of lockdowns I just wanted to race something. The first date in November got pushed to early Feb, so I just carried on training generally, still no intention of specific HM training. Then it got pushed back a second time to late March and I ran a time trial on the February date to replace it. After running about 72:30-73 I realised I was actually in good shape for it, so I decided to get those longer threshold sessions in and actually compete when race-day came.

By early march, the race got pushed back a 3rd time, to late April, which as you might have guessed actually took place. Since I was in good shape I decided I’d buy in to the hype and actually buy a pair of so-called “super shoes” (Saucony Endorphin Pro for those interested). I thought I was probably in shape to run about 71 minutes (3:22/km, 5:25/m) in a race scenario, so I rocked up to the start line on Sunday ready to rip it. I’d checked out the entry list a few days in advance, and saw a good number of lads in very good shape, some of which have recently run mid-14 minute 5k’s, and have HM PB’s under 70 minutes. I wasn’t sure if I could place on the podium, but I was going to set out around 71 min pace and see where that put me.

The race set off with staggered starts for covid regulations, so I was about 15 men back from the front. It started off pretty furious. 3 lads broke away decisively at the front, another pair a few metres behind them, and I settled in with a pack of about 6/7 for the first km. We weren’t hanging about for the first km, clocking about 3:15 from my watch, but as we hit 2/3km I could feel the pace lagging, so I pushed on hoping others would come with me. As it turned out no-one fancied that pace, so I prepared myself for a very lonely hour of racing. At about 4k we turned off a dirt path onto a mole-hill filled grass field. I caught one of the lads in front as we turned back on the tarmac, and for the second time he didn’t fancy coming with me. The next 30 minutes or so was quite uneventful. There was a few out-and-backs in the course, so I could see 3rd place fall off the front group. From 3rd to 6th, we were all solo (with me in 5th) and spread about 50m from each other. I wasn’t fresh as we finished lap 1, but I was still pushing on, both scared of the man behind me, and keen to catch the man in front. Fun fact: The man behind me was my rival from Manchester half 18 months ago, when we ran the first 12km together until I dropped off.

Paul Peters – Rocket Man. It seems 1991 is the new lead designer at Saucony.

As we hit the open fields again on lap 2, at around 14km, I finally caught up to 4th place. I’d seen him flagging and I’d been patient in reeling him in. I sat behind him as a windbreaker for a few seconds, but I could tell he wasn’t in any mindset to come the pace, so once again I pushed on by myself into the unknown. As we hit the penultimate out-and-back (about 15km in) I saw 3rd place still about 100m ahead. We both knew I could catch him if he slacked off, but luckily he might not have known that I was pretty sore by this point. The next few km were the toughest stretch of the race. Running alone, at a very slight incline, with a bit of headwind and a body telling me it wants to stop. As we hit the 12 mile marker, I glanced at my watch to see where I was at. 1:05:35. Unless I had a herculean effort, sub-71 was gone, but I was still spurred on by the fact I had barely over 5 minutes of hard work left. I could keep ignoring the stitch for that long.

The last out-and-back turns round about 500m from the finish. A tantalising look at how close 3rd place might be if I could just hop over to the other side of the road… The only relief was seeing the same situation for the man behind me. I gritted my teeth as I turned the corner with about 200m to go, and bombed it down the dirt path to the finish line. As I approached the funnel I knew I’d left it all out there on the course and I let myself relax a little as I crossed the line for 71:37, about 3.5 mins off the old PB. On a faster course with less dirt trails and single-width paths, I think I might have run under 71 on the same day, but I’m not dwelling on it. I’ve been on a bit of a plateau for the past year or two, and this felt like the training/race I needed to make my next breakthrough. I’m looking forward to stepping the distance down again and getting some track work under the legs this summer.

5k splits were as follows – 16:47, 17:05 (33:52 at 10k), 16:39, 17:13 (33:52 2nd 10k)

Not sure if they’ve sent in their own reports, but it was PB’s all round for Harriers yesterday! Charlotte Bliss ran nearly a minute under her target for 1:39:02, and Wendy McMahon smashing her PB by a few minutes as well for 1:48:06, top running.

Sorry for the long read and congrats if you made it through, got a little carried away there…

Well done indeed Paul, and to both Charlotte and Wendy no less. Terrific efforts.

Derwentwater Dawdle

Lakesman John Pollard sent this in…

Knowing I could be back in the Lakes after April 12 I got a lucky late entry for the Derwentwater Dawdle, which a couple of friends from Tony Hillier’s Hyde Running Community told me they were doing. Kate Bowden has done it before too so it came recommended.

It’s 23 miles on trails, I hesitate to say race as it’s pretty relaxed with walkers and runners (and only two CPs!), more like a LDWA challenge than a trail race. But covidly-safe organisation by Jeff at Ascend events. So we set out to treat it as a social run, albeit the longest I’d done since maybe 2003. And the day didn’t disappoint with its blue skies and genial atmosphere.

An early ascent of Catbells was as tough as the climbs came with only about 4550 feet in all, though there were a couple of stiff ones on tired legs later as the route circled Derwentwater anti-clockwise. Stopping to take in the views it was a good six hours running en route but there are no prizes, no categories, so it’s pretty much doing it for the intrinsic challenge and enjoyment…which these days is why I run anyway. Oh there’s a medal😉

I like the concept of it, not as full-on and competitive as a fell race (which obviously have their place) and I’ll do another Ascend event, the Lakeland Four Passes in September.

Fresh from Tony Hillier’s sunbed, John Pollard leads the pack up the climb

Monthly Mashup – Multi Terrain Relays, 23rd May 2021

You have until 8th May to sign up for the next Monthly Mashup! Full details are below, but the deadline is necessary to make sure that we can organise things. This will give us two weeks to do the draw, release the routes and organise some recces. If you’re wanting to take part, please get your entry in as soon as possible. We are also looking for ideally four volunteers to help out on each heat. If you’re signing up, it would be great if you could also consider volunteering during the heat that you’re not running! (Anyone not participating who would be willing to help out is also very welcome!) Please contact Immy Trinder or Ian Crutchley if you would be willing to do this

It’s time to sign up for the next Monthly Mashup! The next event will be taking place on Sunday 23rd May! The next Mashup event will be a multi-terrain relay! In teams of 3, you will decide who is going to run a fell leg, trail leg and a road leg, all approximately 5km in length. To make things even more exciting, we’ll be allocating teams randomly, so all you need to do is sign yourself up if you’d like to take part !We’re hoping to run this as a race in 2-3 heats, to give it a race feel whilst still sticking to the Covid restrictions. If you’re able to be flexible around timings, that will make our lives a lot easier, but if you have a strong preference there will be space to indicate this on the sign-up form. Event rules: Juniors are welcome to take part, and must be accompanied by a responsible adult. This will mean that teams including juniors will have four members rather than three. If you run the fell leg, you must carry the required kit which will be confirmed via Facebook and email at least 24 hours prior to the event. Once your heat has been run, you will need to vacate the start/finish area to make space for the following heat. Runners on all legs are responsible for their own safety, and that of any juniors they are accompanying. Please take care at road crossings, and be respectful of other pedestrians. Sounds pretty exciting, right? So what are you waiting for?! Fill in the form below and get ready to RACE! https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx…

Virtual Champs

It was another fantastic month of champs action, as so many embraced the 3 Trigs route. By my count, I so far have results for 69 Harriers that took advantage of the super dry conditions up there, which meant you could pretty much do the route in road shoes! Thank you everyone for getting involved, and I’ll be totting up the results at some point this week. NOTE: If you haven’t submitted your times already please do so ASAP, otherwise they won’t count. Submit your time here! https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=5BVxpfBLsUmsG6ff0vsCtNfwKtYmrt9Eo7FVFL6V0gtUNllUMEJBQjFSWEZXS0Q5MEI4SFZBTTRVNi4u

Next up for May and we’re back on the road: THE GDH 10 Loop!! A pretty fast road route with a sting half way around as you hit Hadfield with a 2k steady climb, starting and finishing at the leisure centre. Can anyone get near Paul Peters record of 34:51, or the women’s record of 41:54 held by Sandra Cooper?

I have seen recces of the route already planned, so get involved if your not familiar with the route. If these dont suit, dont hesitate to shout up and I’m sure someone will be happy to run it with you. Alternatively, you can find the details here https://glossopdaleharriers.files.wordpress.com/…/gdh…

We’ve added the JustGiving link for Glossop MRT and it would be a fantastic gesture, if you could make a modest donation in lieu of what you may have paid in race fees in 2020/21. You are helping to support our fabulous Glossop Mountain Rescue Team, several members of whom are part of our wonderful club. They’ve done an extraordinarily job during a very testing period for everyone, and help safeguard us and our many visitors. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gdhchamps2021?fbclid=IwAR1Ob9P6Yd0YwPucKL55-axBRCk1Jw5mDT8GeJVHJgm02urf0t-gN9D8c0U

Everyone (no one) loves the “Sorrowful Wife” segment through Hadfield

Harrier UK Club Support Programme

Excellent news this week from Immy Trinder….

A couple of weeks ago, Neal Bann and I put in an application to the Harrier UK Club Support Programme. They were really impressed, and I’m delighted to let you know that we have been selected! The Support Programme starts officially on 17th May, so watch this space for further updates.

In the meantime, please feel free to make use of our exclusive 10% club discount code to use on the Harrier website – this is GLOSSOP10 and is effective immediately 😊

You can find out more about the Support Programme here harrierrunfree.co.uk/pages/club-support-programme

Marple Junior Parkrun

Elanor Swan sent this in….

In line with the gradual easing of restrictions, Marple junior parkrun started up again last week (for u11 only for the time being).  It was so nice to be back in the park watching small people do their running thing.  Last week we had 82 runners and this week we had a whopping 103 runners.   What made it even more special for the GDH contingent of the parkrun event crew this week was that we had 3 mini Harriers all of whom were doing their very first parkruns:  much kudos to Alice (running with Sue), Fox (running with Zoe), and Thomas (running with Steve).   We will be on again next Sunday at 9am in Brabyns Park if anyone else fancies coming along – we would love to see you!

Coach J’s Corner

Opening for registration on Sunday at 6 pm, this week has an unashamed focus on speed. But not speed for the sake of challenging Usain Bolt or improving your 200m PB. Running multiple intervals at speed develops 2 important aspects that are important for every endurance runner: efficiency and speed endurance. So, this week has a mixture of 400m reps that are run at an increasingly faster pace followed by 200m reps pretty fast. But do not forget, speed is relative. It means that you do not have to be the fastest runner in the club to benefit but benefits every runner as you will be working at your own, relative pace. To register, click on the link below:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/…/gh-coached-session-4-may…

Member Survey

A short survey has been created in line with the motion from the 2020 AGM and will provide the committee with useful information about the general direction of the club including specifics, which will help the committee to make decisions around communication, club runs, coaching and kit requirements in the future.  It will only take a few minutes to complete and it would be really helpful if as many of you as possible could take the time to provide your answers and input.

The survey is anonymous and once the committee have analysed (and reported) the outcomes, all data collected will be deleted.  The survey will be available to complete up until 5pm on Thursday 13 May 2021.

The link for the survey is: https://forms.gle/9gJibTPuNUE4DpbY9

Other Stuff

Thursday socials are back on, but as we’re restricted to 6 still, we really need to organise these in advance. The Facebook page is the best plaxce to do that, but reach out to your fellow members if you fancy a reun out.

We have 2 strength sessions going with both Chris Smith and Rob Anker, so look out for their shouts and get yourself down to the park. Matt Crompton has restarted the hill rep sessions in Wednesday night, and that always means “fun”!

Well, that’s about it for this week, but keep your eye on the GDH Facebook page and please, please keep posting what you’re up to, and we really like pictures too! Stay sensible and stay safe!

gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com

“It’s a mash up!” Report

As we emerge from our darkened caves, still sporting the same chocolate-encrusted jogging bottoms we’ve been wearing for months, we blink into the bright sunshine and flick our unkempt hair away from our eyes. We begin to see other vaguely familiar shapes. Is that… other humans? Are they heading to the pub as well? Will we remember how to socialise? Has everyone finally used up their lockdown hoarded bog roll? 

It’s fantastic to be returning to some kind of normality and it looks like it’s been a busy couple of weeks for the club. Here’s what’s been going on:

Club Champs

Glossop 5: The results of the first Champs race are in! And what a fantastic turn-out with around 70 Harriers taking part. You can download the results from the champs page HERE. There are so many categories I’ll leave that to the number-crunchers but here are the top overall results.

Men
Southall J0:28:46
Cook L0:28:59
Bridges M0:29:24
Knowles S0:30:13
Phillips S0:30:22
Women
Trinder I0:34:20
Bliss C0:37:55
Rettig E0:37:58
Bowden K0:38:30
Swan E0:39:28
Juniors
Swan J0:37:39
Swan C0:38:04
Barlow W0:54:34

Three Trigs: The fourth of the big UK rounds, the Glossopdale Three Trigs takes in Cock Hill, Higher Shelf Stones and Harry Hut.  All trig points seem to have been magically painted in a glorious bright white in preparation for the swarms of Harriers due to visit them throughout April.  The big decision seems to be which way to go round: the easy way or the proper way…

Whilst scrolling through Strava, the distinctive 20km-ish loop is becoming a familiar sight.  Paul Skuse seems to be shepherding numerous Harriers around with endless recces. Ian Crutchley has analysed every possible route choice to come up with those magical lines.  Chris Jackson wants to do it but is too fearful of the flags. You were literally tripping over Harriers last weekend up there in the snow, and a mere week later the sun is beating down upon us all.

Here’s a few pics from the GDH Facebook Page. Don’t forget to submit your results via the form on the champs page HERE

Monthly Mash-Up

The newly appointed Captains (Ian Crutchley and Immy Trinder) have hit the ground running with the all-new monthly mash-up series. Rumour has it that this is just an excuse to go to the pub now and again, but it also looks like there’s some running you have to do first. Here’s the report from today’s navigation challenge from Captain Trinder:

Today was the start of the Monthly Mashup series! 15 teams of 2 hit the fells for 3 hours of navigation. John Stephenson set a fantastic course with controls varying from 20-pointers on Cock Hill to 70-pointers out in the featureless bog beyond Snake Summit! First out this morning were Guy Riddell and Bartek Verde at 7am, who set the bar high with 300 points! The biggest haul came from Mark Harrison and Matthew Bridges, who collected a staggering 410 points, but unfortunately came in 10 minutes late leaving them with 210. It was a close race between Mark Davenport & Rachel Walton, and Lance Hamilton-Griffiths & Rick Steckles – with both teams scoring 310 points, it came down to time, making Mark and Rachel the overall winners!

Here’s the full scoreboard:

PositionTeam member 1Team member 2TimePointsPenaltiesTotal 
1Rachel WaltonMark Davenport02:523100310Overall winners and first mixed team
2Rick StecklesLance H-G02:573100310First male team
3Bartek VerdeGuy Riddell02:563000300 
4Phil SwanCaitlin Swan02:522300230 
5Jude StansfieldCathy Murray03:0125020230First female team
6Elanor SwanJosie Swan02:472200220 
7Matthew BridgesMark Harrison03:10410200210 
8Lins PalmerRebecca Smith02:362000200 
9Matt CromptonEmily O’Leary02:461400140 
10Alison HoltRebecca Ashworth02:521400140 
11Rosie GreenfieldNick Dove02:471300130 
12Darren ClarkeSammy Clarke02:551100110 
13Wendy McMahonChristine Peters02:5450 050 
14Jo BrackCharmayne Brierley02:5750050 
15Dave EdmundsJoe Gavin03:03806020 

Ian and I would like to extend a massive thanks to John for setting such an interesting and enjoyable course!

The next Monthly Mashup will be a multi-terrain relay. Teams of 3 will run one road leg, one trail leg and one fell leg. Teams will be allocated randomly from the list of entrants for an extra bit of excitement! Full details will follow later this week, so get poised to sign up!

Coastal Trail Series – Sussex

I’d hazard a guess that this is a trail race with a good proportion of coast. In Sussex. Chris Smith got in his first race of the season and stomped home in 5th place out of 101. Top running Chris.

Longhorn Marathon

It looks like this was one of the many re-scheduled races from 2020. Kate Bowden sent in this report:

So the day finally arrived for the long-awaited Longhorn Marathon. I signed up for this for April 2020 thinking it would be a good test of what I could actually do in a marathon with the right training and mindset. I was all ready last year but then…

The Longhorn is 4 x 10k (ish)  loops around Sherwood Forest, it’s trail but without the usual lumps, just a gentle undulation and some varying underfoot terrain. So a good route for a marathon PB for someone who doesn’t fancy a road marathon (felt a bit like cheating tbh)

There seems to be a fair bit of chatter amongst some club members about marathon prep, and I thought it might be helpful for me to share some of mine here. Just to say, though, I was never 100% convinced this would actually take place so I can’t say I trained as such. In the past 2 or 3 months I’ve tried to gradually increase mileage by about 5 miles a week and keep it consistant. I like to vary runs in terms of speed and terrain, so some very easy, others fast and others long and felly. I have bashed out a few long training runs just for this, but it was a chore – not helped by getting blown over and cracking a knee cap  – and thanks to Sue Clapham for joining me for next one when I was still feeling quite wobbly after that. Company on long runs is such a help. It helps keep you at a chatty pace and the time passes so much easier. This winter has been extra hard because of the wind and cold. I guess I’ve had to ‘dig deep’ a few times and maybe that all helped in the end.

This week I’ve tapered. Maybe I should have started sooner. Who knows? This is what I did:

Sunday – 3 Trigs recce (Strava basically told me to lie down for a bit after that) I did struggle on this – I was tired and held up the group. It worried me so close to Marathon day. Not ideal.

Monday – rest

Tuesday – easy 3 miles

Wednesday – rest

Thursday – 3 miles marathon pace, 1 mile v easy

Friday – rest

Sat – I mile jog and natter (4 rounds of toast and scambled egg. Home made scone. Noodles. Pasta and garlic bread. Loads of water, one with electrolytes, and a few cups of redbush tea) Chilled in the garden all day

Sunday – Marathon day. I ate (forced down) a mahoosive bowl of Porridge with banana and strawberries at 6am.

The day was awesome. The sun was out, it was an actual race with real life people. It didn’t snow and the breeze was actually pleasant. I liked the 4-lap thing. It felt easier to break down into 4 rather than all the miles together somehow. I broke the rules and shot off like a bullet getting close to a 10k pb on the first lap. Lap 2 also hammered, getting a HM PB. Lap 3 was tough. I thought I was broken but had a word with myself and remembered everything I have learned from team mates, training etc, fuelled up and cracked on. I enjoyed the final lap, until Garmin told me I had got to 26.2 miles about 0.3 miles from the finish. At this point my legs went to jelly and said ‘No’. I stopped, moaned, had another word and ploughed to the finish line with the marathon PB I’d been hoping for.

Cup of tea, 99, flask of noodles, then drove home to a  glass of wine at the pub. I even have sunburn. A proper good day out.

Meirionnydd Round

The what? I saw this on Strava and the first challenge seems to be working out how to say it.  A bit of googling tells me “The Meirionnydd Round was devised by Yiannis Tridimas in 1993, and covers most of the significant peaks in the old county of Meirionnydd in a distance of 120km and ascent of 7000m depending on whether you take the hillwalker’s line or the fell runner’s seemingly pell-mell direct line.”

Chris Webb and Tim Budd popped out to do this over the weekend and Tim sent in this report:

Chris Webb and I attempted the Merionnydd round this weekend. Couldn’t have asked for better weather, or to be in better condition. It’s a classic Yiannis round- remote, hard under foot, difficult to recce.

We had a great run on the first 2 legs, but the pretty much untrodden nature of leg 3, relentless heather and bog took their toll on leg 3 and we called it a day in the middle. And then had to finish the leg anyway.

You can read Tim’s full report HERE

100-miler for Glossop Mountain Rescue

Talking of epic challenges, next weekend Luke Holme is popping out for a quick run. Just two-and-a-half laps around the local area. With 2 x 40-mile loop followed by a 20-mile loop this is no normal challenge. He’s gathered a merry band of followers who’ll be supporting him along with way with sandwiches and insults.

It’s all in aid of Glossop Mountain Rescue (donate HERE).  We’re rooting for you Luke!

EA Club Run Virtual – Session 2 and date for final session

I found out during the session that my new claim to fame is that I narrowly missed out on beating coach Chris Hollinshead at the Stafford Half Marathon in 2016. He came 2nd and if I’d just snatched a mere 608 more places, I’d have beaten him… Anyway, it was a great session and Lucy Wasinski sent in this report:

Thanks for the support to everyone who came to the 2nd of the EA Club Run Virtual sessions on Thursday night, focussing on half and full marathon preparation and racing! Chris the coach thanked you all for coming and hopes you found it interesting!

For those that missed it the link to watch it is available here:

https://wetransfer.com/downloads/ed6125bc1c3f57986078441567a6621620210415203136/870eed651394d96afe2986179facffb020210415203218/116428

It will only be available until Thursday so don’t hang around if you want to watch it!

Thought it was really useful to get some advice from an EA coach that we could use, given the availability of info on the internet it can be hard to pick through all the guidance/suggestions etc and find something that works for you.  One thing I realised was that we probably all race way too much 😉 is there such a thing?! Probably only if we have 1 or 2 goal races to focus on in the year, Chris recommended probably only doing about 6 races in total over the year….clearly not a slave to the mid week summer races like us!!

Anyway a few other snippets of info that he mentioned:

 – Consistency is key

– Only increase weekly mileage by about 10% at a time and keep it at that level for a few weeks before upping it more

– Have goals…and dont plan too many races into your season, have a few key ones.

– Recovery weeks are essential! Poss after every 3 weeks…dropping training vol by about 25 to 30%

– Last few weeks train for the surface and environment you’ll be racing on/in

– A peak performance can only happen with a taper…won’t lose fitness a couple of weeks before a race, but could do too much and be tired for race day.

And ta da….half /full marathon PB! (*ok not guaranteed….!)

Next and FINAL session will be Thursday 20th May at 7pm, so get the date in your diary and i’ll share more details about the session, and the link to join soon!

“You were driving through Glossop and you saw what?!?!”

William Mather seems to have acquired a pair of the new Inov-8 knitted shorts complete with emergency balls. The question on everyone’s lips has to be… Does this mean Rob Sheldon will rise to the challenge and step up his shorts-game?

Website

A couple of items:

Committee Pages: Minutes are being uploaded as and when available to the committee section of the website.  There’s been several meetings this year already so take a look to find out what’s going on!

Knowledge Base: Don’t forget we set up the knowledge base HERE. Thanks to all those who submitted articles, and just to note that any more are welcome to build up the information on the site. Submit to the usual email address! 

FINALLY

Keep your eyes on Facebook for the coached session and instructions for joining on Tuesday (It’s yazzzzzooooos) and there will probably be a few groups out on a Thursday social from the leisure centre. Have a great week and send your escapades in to gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com