Its the Weekend Report!

The biggest news of the week is undoubtedly Frank Fielding turning 70. What a legend this guy is. Probably forgotten more of his achievements than most of us will ever make, and still running at an incredible standard. Big Happy Birthday Frank from all at Glossopdale Harriers. Frank gets the title picture this week, no competition, which was selected quite randomly, but illustrates his mud bashing capability.

Other big news that caused a stir this week is the impending closure of the Snake Pass between the 4th and 16th October. To some, this means pure inconvenience, but to Glossopdales running fraternity, this means something else entirely. It means, the Snake Pass Challenge, a lung busting quad smasher of a tarmac run from The Royal Oak to Snake summit, and back again. Keep your eye on Facebook, but no doubt Paul Skuse will drumming up a mass attempt.

As for this week, well, its another stonker. Plenty happened, and here’s your weekly round up.

Ring of Steall

I know little here except for the cool name (sound like a Swedish death metal album), and its north of the border. No, not Oldham, I mean the actual border. With 8000ft of climb over 18 miles, its a bit of a beast, but a couple of hardy Harriers braved the drive. Chris Smith had an excellent run at 5:06:34, coming 49th out of 538. Chris Jackson wasn’t too far behind at all, completing in 5:16:21 and 60th place. Well done lads!

Stanage Struggle

Local race addict Paul Skuse was on hand at Stanage, and sent this in:

Not a bad GDH turnout for this little beauty of a race. Neal Bann, Lance Hamilton-Griffiths, Andy Burnett, Luke Holme and I donned the mighty blue and orange and set forth aiming for glory. Actually, everyone apart from Luke wore a vest but Luke doesn’t wear vests cos he likes to get extra sweaty. Get a vest you fool! This has got to be one of my favourite races. Going full beans(which is the only way to race), it really does wipe you out and those last little climbs are just unforgiving. The route is 90% trail with only a smidge of rough stuff; it’s deffo one for anyone wanting to dip their toes into fell racing. I had a brilliant battle with Neal, it really could have gone either way until, close to the finish, my superior racing skills shone through and I edged ahead  (Neal had a cold, I wouldn’t have caught him otherwise 🙂). I think going head-to-head with Neal is what made this such a great race. No way would I have got my time without Neal dragging me round. Superb run from Luke as well. Hopefully he’ll bin all that ultra nonsense and focus on local racing. Lance came in looking strong and Andy B did a Charmayne ( which is running but refusing to get sweaty). No idea about times but they don’t really matter. Time to see what race is coming up next.

16Paul Skuse46:18
17Neal Bann46:37
57Luke Holme52:51
70Lance Hamilton-Griffiths53:33
177Andy Burnett67:54

Trafford 10K

Again, little is known here, but I can envisage a fast a flat 10K tarmac bash. In Trafford. Nat and Steve were on pacing duties, but nonetheless, what I know for certain is that there’s some very fast times here, so well done everyone!

134Nat Hicks39:36
228David Christie-Lowe45:21
231Charlotte Bliss45:30
233Steve Page45:31
305Tim Crookes49:19
334Kevin Ingham50:33
359Joanne Brack52:17
416Charmayne Brierley55:35

Purbeck Marathon

Simon Toole was darn sarf this weekend and took on a marathon distance with over 3000 ft of climb. Excellent work Si, and thank for sending this in….

Down in Dorset for a holiday and noticed the Purbeck Marathon was on while we were down here . Managed to get permission off my better half and booked it as I love a coastal run. It was a tough hilly and at times brutal run but the stunning coastline made it worthwhile.  Managed to finish in 5 hrs 34 , will take that, and now for a cold one.

TEAM NEWS – British Fell And Hill Relay Champs (FRA Relays)

The team for the Hodgson Brothers Relays was announced this week, which left us all wondering, what will the team be for the FRA’s? Well, I wasn’t wondering to be fair, but I bet you were. So finally, here it is:


Open TeamVets Team
Leg 1 (solo)Emma RettigMarie Williamson
Leg 2 (Navigation, Pair)Wioeta WydrychRachel Walton
Leg 2 (Navigation, Pair)Zoe BartonJude Stansfield
Leg 3 (Long, Pair)Sarah AndrewJoanne Brack
Leg 3 (Long, Pair)Charlotte Anne BlissCharmayne Brierley
Leg 4 (solo)Cheryl StittSarah Johnson


Open TeamVets Team
Leg 1 (solo)Joshua SouthallJamie Helmer
Leg 2 (Navigation, Pair)Dan StintonAndy Oliver
Leg 2 (Navigation, Pair)Luke HolmeJulian Minshull
Leg 3 (Long, Pair)Nat HicksPete Daly
Leg 3 (Long, Pair)Neal BannIan Jackson
Leg 4 (solo)Joe TravisJohn Pollard

Leg 1 (Solo) – 5.9km with 430m of Climbing

Leg 2 (Navigation leg for Pairs) – Approx 10km with 700m of climbing

Leg 3 (Pairs) – 10.3km with 940m of climbing

Leg 4 (Solo) – 5.2km with 370m of climbing

More info can be found here


15 Harriers rocked up at Glossop this week. No PB’s but we did manage a 1,2 of sorts. Sean Phillips was first overall with 18:06, and Beryl Buckley tops the age grading yet again with a staggering 77.67%!

Elsewhere we had the Munday Clan (David and Holly) at Bramhall, Dez Mitchell, Wyatt and Laurie Barlow at Hyde, Wendy Trelease at Falkirk, Andy Burnett at Marple, Clive Hope at Lyme Park, Anthony Johnson at Lytham Hall, Jeroen and Christine Peters at Tooting Common, Joe Travis at Dalby Forest, Frank Fielding at Nant Y Pandy and Mary Jeal at Chevin Forest.

The consolidated club report can be found here

GDH Multi-Terrain Relays

Final call for the multi terrain relay!! Sunday 26th September at 11am. We plan to be allocating the teams this Sunday so that you have a week to choose which leg you want to run 😊. Absolutely everyone is welcome to join in, and you’ll be able to decide within your team which terrain you want to run on. Any questions just get in touch with myself or Ian.

September sees the return of the multi-terrain relay, only this time there will be no heats – we can run it as one big race! The relay will take place on SUNDAY 26TH SEPTEMBER at 11AM, starting at the turning circle in Old Glossop. Please sign up individually – we will announce the teams a week or so before the race. There will be 3 runners per team, and 3 legs: trail, road and fell. We will allocate the teams, and you can decide between yourselves who runs which leg. Following the race, we will descend on a poor, unsuspecting public house to debate who had the best line up Cock Hill. Juniors are welcome to participate and must be accompanied by a responsible adult. This will mean that teams including juniors will have 4 runners. This was soooo much fun when we ran it in May. Get yourselves signed up here: Any questions, fire away!

Rupert Bonington Talk – Nutrition for Running

Got any questions about nutrition for running? We have an opportunity to speak to an expert, Rupert Bonington from Mountain Fuel, courtesy of the Harrier UK club support programme! This will be taking place on Zoom on Monday 4th October at 7pm. Immy will share the link to the session nearer the time. This session will be structured predominantly as a Q&A, rather than a “lecture” style session. You’re very welcome to ask questions on the night, but to help us structure it, please get in touch with anything you think of beforehand and Immy will try to put these into a logical order.


We have 18 entries so far for the Manchester Area Cross Country League – 19 if you count both of Charmayne’s entries, she must be really keen! – see the list below to see who’s in so far. Anyone who’s not signed up yet and fancies getting fit and enjoying some quality races for a bargain price over the winter just needs to complete this form: Remember to also transfer £7 to Glossopdale Harriers in the same way you pay your membership. The deadline for entries is Thursday 30th September.

Wioleta Wydrych

Ian Oates

Emma Retting

Charmayne Brierley

Charmayne Brierley

Donna Brierley

Joanne Brack

Steve Knowles

Peter Daly

Joshua Southall

David Christie-Lowe

Steve Crossman

Wendy Trelease

Paul Skuse

Anne Williams

Rick Steckles

Frank Fielding

John Pollard

Chris Webb


We would like to invite all club members to a fun and friendly social running event to celebrate and participate in #RunAndTalkWeek. This is open to ALL and we would love to encourage anyone new to the club and anyone whose felt out of the social running loop to come along. The route is a fun, easy paced 6 mile loop over local trails, and an opportunity to meet and talk. We will meet at 6:45pm on Thursday 23rd September at Glossop Leisure Centre. More post -run chatting will be available at a local brewery, venue tbc. This event is hosted by your Mental Health champions Ben Robertson and Kate Emily, and supported by our lovely coach Charmayne Lisa . We look forward to seeing you. Alison Holt has kindly created an Event so please let us know if you can make it, or just turn up. Thank you! Event link….

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

The “Get Up The Hill Before It Goes Dark” Weekly Report

A short summary this week of what’s been going on and what’s coming up, kicked off with the story of Thursday night’s relay qualifier…

Hodgson Bros. Mountain Relay Qualifier 2021

Thursday night saw a gaggle of Harriers take on Sandy Heys in a qualifier/social outing ahead of next month’s Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relay. Here’s Club Captain Ian Crutchley with the report and qualification results:

Huge, huge thanks to everyone involved.  This is a new approach, and I’m so pleased at how well supported it was, both in concept as well as in attendance.  Even some who aren’t available to attend the Hodgson’s themselves, and others believing they had no chance against this field, showed up to get involved.  We ended up with a very rare treat indeed, to see our very best runners going head to head for a place on the team, for pride, and for glory.

After a mini heatwave earlier in the week the weather was looking distinctly dodgy for Thursday nights qualifier, and sure enough, it tipped down all afternoon on the day.   Mercifully, it cleared up a bit as we made our way up to the start, and after a short briefing, they were off.  For those of us loitering near the finish line, it was an anxious and quite miserable experience as we were gradually consumed by the hoards of midges.  After 30 minutes or so, the runners started to come in, and the results look like this:

Chris Webb36:48
Matt Bridges38:18
Tim Budd39:18
Chris Smith39:55
Chris Jackson40:37
Josh Southall40:39
Mark Harrison47:28
Paul Skuse50:01
Immy Trinder50:03
Lance Hamilton-Griffiths51:38
Rick Steckles53:35
Wioleta Wydrych55:40
Pete Daly55:56
Anne Williams1:17:07
Steve Hoon1:17:07
Kate Emily1:17:07
Ian Jackson1:17:07
John Stephenson1:17:07

Results are undeniably self-explanatory, but in some cases it doesn’t tell the whole story.  Everyone did brilliantly, some obvious battles had played out on this tricky course in tricky conditions – a course not well suited to everybody.  I don’t really want to single anyone out further than the results already do, but Chris Webb was phenomenal, sauntering into the finish and barely out of breath for his trouble. Also, that Josh seemingly hadn’t studied the route too well, and from a leading position near the start, had continued along White Brow instead of dropping to the footbridge. He soon realised and corrected this, but he lost places and undoubtedly a minute or two. An easy mistake but a fantastic fight back to finish where he did. Bombed out trophy contender?  Once more, Thank you, and well done everyone!

Additional Big Thanks to the support crew – Zoe Barton (Timing, smidge and general cheer), Mark Davenport (photography & Willy Clough marshal), Ree O’Doherty (Cowbell duties), Jess Marchington (hillside glamour) and Dan Calverley (just for being cool).

Immy and I will be finalising all the relay teams over the coming week.

Sandstone Trail Race

Report by Pete Tomlin

Cast your mind back to a time when a race being cancelled wasn’t an everyday occurance, and when the Wrexham Half (one of the 2020 champs races) was cancelled due to flooding. We were offered a selection of boring sounding road races to compensate, which didn’t really float my boat, so I asked if I could swap onto Run Cheshire’s only trail race, the Sandstone Trail. Which of course then got cancelled many times.

Fast forward to today, when finally I got to run the race, and it was definitely worth the wait. I was doing the B race, 10 miles (apparently) starting from Beeston Castle and finishing in Delemere forest.

The first 6 miles was very flat but not boring, lots of nice trails and as a result quite fast. There was a frustrating section where the route was poorly marked (with an over reliance from the organisers on the trail waymarkers) and a good 30 or so of the front runners got half a mile down the road only to realise that we had to turn back, leading to a lot of slow running along the narrow paths getting round people we’d already overtaken once! Other than that, it was a delight, much less gnarly than I’d expected, running along narrow paths with 8ft corn on either side, making it feel like I was running through a maze, alternating with wide open views of Cheshire. 

After 6 miles the surroundings changed, we crossed into woodland and the route became much more undulating, although not too bad. There was one beast of a climb at mile 9 that was steep as hell and went on for ever! Followed by a winding finish around delemere where I found myself on my own and was a bit worried I’d missed a turn, but I was reassured by various passers by that I was on track.

I finished 70th out of 264 runners in 1hr 47, probably longer than I’d hoped, but the navigation error definitely added a bit, plus it turned out to be more like 11 miles even accounting for me getting lost.

Definitely a race I’d recommend, I’ll certainly be doing it again, and might try my hand at the 17 miler A race next time. 

Manchester Area Cross Country League 2021/22

Roll up roll up, it’s nearly time for the return of cross country! The Manchester Area Cross Country League has been going for 15 years and is getting more popular each year with runners of all abilities. 5 races – known as “matches” – make up the league over the winter with one each month from October to February:

DateVenueHost club
16th October 2021Wythenshawe ParkSale Harriers
13th November 2021Sherdley ParkSt. Helens Sutton AC
4th December 2021Kenworthy WoodsChorlton Runners
15th January 2022Tatton ParkRunning Bear RC & Wilmslow RC
19th February 2022Heaton ParkManchester Harriers & AC

It’s £7 to enter no matter how many matches you run and includes chip timing for the first time; that means if you run all 5, it’s £1.40 each… a bargain! If you would like to enter you need to do 2 things:

  1. Complete the form (note: you must have an EA registration number to take part, please contact Membership Secretary Vicki Hamilton if you’re not sure about yours).
  2. Transfer £7 to Glossopdale in the same way you pay your membership fees.

The deadline for club entries is Thursday 30th September.

Multi-Terrain Relay (September Monthly Mash-up)

There’s still time to sign up for the next Mashup – the multi-terrain relay!

The relay will take place on Sunday 26th September at 11am, starting at the turning circle in Old Glossop. Please sign up individually – we will announce the teams a week or so before the race. There will be 3 runners per team, and 3 legs: trail, road and fell. We will allocate the teams, and you can decide between yourselves who runs which leg.

Following the race, we will descend on a poor, unsuspecting public house to debate who had the best line up Cock Hill. Juniors are welcome to participate and must be accompanied by a responsible adult. This will mean that teams including juniors will have 4 runners. This was soooo much fun when we ran it in May… get yourselves signed up here!

Shelf Moor (September Virtual Club Championship)

September’s Virtual Club Championships event is the 5.5 mile Shelf Moor fell race. Cruise the contours by Mossy Lea, “enjoy” the majesty of the James’s Thorn ascent, survey the wonders of Doctor’s Gate from the Higher Shelf trig, then float over the open moorland to Dog Rock before descending back down the glorious Lightside. For a less romantic but more useful route description and map, see the Club Champs page.

Ultra-Trail Snowdonia 2021

Will Mather, Jason Hart and Chris Jackson took part in the 165km, 100km and 50km versions of this epic challenge respectively this week. Chris finished a very strong 15th in a time of 08:03:54, but unfortunately both Will and Jason were forced to retire with injuries. While we’ve not seen any official reports (besides a photo of a horrific looking blister that we won’t reprint here!), years of dedicated training and preparation was put into these attempts; Will is raising money for Blythe House Hospice and you can donate via JustGiving.

In other news…

I’ve tried to be as complete and accurate as possible when nabbing these items from Facebook – apologies in advance for any errors/omissions:

  • Several GDH members (including Guy Riddell, Steve Page and Michael Greenhalgh, above) took part in the Great North Run earlier today. We’ve had no full reports in yet, but well done to all. Emma Peters ran to raise money for the Crohn’s & Colitis UK charity – you can see more details and donate on her JustGiving page.
  • Congratulations to GDH’s Frank Fielding who completed the Manchester 100-mile cycle sportif just ahead of his 70th birthday, to raise money for The Christie. You can donate via JustGiving.
  • The Bill Fox Gravy Pud Fell Race takes place on 5th December, starting and finishing from the Bulls Head, Tintwhistle. All profits go to local charity Mummy’s Star. Sign up here and join the fun!
  • The local Bradwell Fell Race (a.k.a. Short Tour of Bradwell) will go ahead on 9th October.

A very lot of late summer racing!

As the summer holidays draw to a close, and the evenings get a little darker a little earlier, and the children head back to school (yay!), the Harriers’ summer of racing continues…..

Eyam (courtesy of Rachel B.)

Well I did my first ever Fell Race on Tues night and it certainly won’t be the last! There were 4 GDHs who did the race in the end, should have been 9 of us but others bailed for different reasons. We all really enjoyed it and will certainly be up for running it again! We were most surprised to see Tim Crookes there seen as he had a funny turn only days before the race! But in true GDH style he still smashed it in 1.03.06!

Paul Skuse suggested we do a little warm up recce of the route to start with and was off like a shot up the first hill leaving Tim and I for dust! We made our way to the start as Paul kept on going up that hill! The route itself was tough in parts especially the treacherous woods at the end! And I found it frustrating a couple of times having to queue at different stiles which must have added 4/5 mins onto my time! I am sure the faster people at the front didn’t have to queue!

  • Paul Skuse came 19th overall out of the GDH coming in at 49.14! Absolutely fantastic effort! 
  • Nick Ham came in 127th place with a time of 1.01.59
  • Tim Crookes as already mentioned was 3rd fastest and came in 139th place. 
  • Followed by me in 4th place with a time of 1.13.17 coming in 196th place. 

I was convinced that the guys would be on their 5th pint by the time I’d finished my race! But in true GDH style they were all cheering me on across the finishing line!  Also thanks to Tim’s wife Sue for being designated bag holder and chief photographer! Paul and I enjoyed a lovely hotdog afterwards but I was gutted not to have a pint as the queue was so big! I’d never met Paul or Tim prior to this race but as usual like with all GDH members I’ve met they made me feel welcome and I can’t wait to do another race with them!

Longshaw Sheepdog Trials Fell Race ( from the perspective of Paul S.)

Grabbing the last few places, me, Burners and Ironman (looking like the cast of Cocoon) donned our vests and ran our hearts out at the Longshaw Sheepdog Trials fell race. It wasn’t all plain siling. The lead group went the wrong way ( without the marshal noticing/commenting) only a few hundred yards from the start line. Fortunately, this didn’t really affect any of us. 

It’s a belting course.  In Burners words, it’s very disruptive – it was deffo a route that suited the goat footed amongst us. A lot of it was bounding over stones/boulders and making the most of the grassy runnable bits when they appeared. You had to keep your eyes open all the time, not only for trip hazards but also for route markings as there were a couple of “Which way?” moments on route. It was flagged but sometimes they were easy to miss when all you wanted to look at was the ground for easiest route forward. 

The finish was a bit of a beast. When goosed, a gradual uphill longish sprint through tussocky grass isnt the easiest. But what a route. It had a little bit of everything in one of the prettiest parts of the Peaks. Add to that a beer tent at the finish and you’ve got yourself a top morning’s racing. No idea about results but we all finished with race face grimaces that turned to smiles once over the line.

Longshaw Sheepdog Trials Fell Race (from the perspective of Andy B.)

With a limited field of 200 places, and a bit of prodding from Mr Skuse, myself and Mr Oates bagged the last remaining places, and set off  just after 9 on Saturday to get over to Hathersage, the main task clearly to complete the race before the sheep herding began but cryptically Mr Skuse mentioned we had some herding of our own to do. Nat had mentioned a friend was running too, and would need a lift back to Glossop. Mr Skuse didn’t know his name, but thought he might have raced with him a while back, and anyway he just needed to look out for 3 lads with blue and orange vests. There looked like an outside chance of that coming off.

Plenty of time for a warm up before the 10:30 start, and a very sociable atmosphere developed with our fellow racers, while the midges had a good bite on any exposed skin. No kit needed and we could see the top of Higgar Tor. We were finally piped off to the sound of a dog whistle and hit the fell. Mr Skuse hard charging at the front, with me and Mr Oates deciding the last third of the pack was a suitable place to start. The initial hill section was very runnable, with descents down ever narrowing paths with boulders to dive off, general view of the fast guys you couldn’t just let go, so fairly technical but softish landings if you got it wrong into the bracken. 

Mr Skuse soon found he was racing against a guy from Fulham RC, Andy Han, who had caught a train at 5.30 from London, makes you glad you’re local! it turned out this was Nats’ mate, so Skuse had already herded the right man. They continued to battle it out across the ridge back from Higgar Tor and then down off Mill Stone Edge crossing the road for the final dash across Lawrence Field without stopping at the Ice Cream Van. The Skuse managed to keep Andy at bay crossing the line 10 seconds ahead of him with a very creditable 20th place.

Meanwhile, Mr Oates’s marathon training miles hadn’t loaded his legs too much, and he moved deeper into the pack finishing a good 112 overall. I decided on a steadier pace and wondered just how the top guys had come through the last section of boulders and trees before the Lawrencefield crossing. At one point I had to grab onto a tree root like a handrail to descend off a suspended block a few feet off the ground. I came in at 145th.

This is a great route with a real mix of terrain, open fell, hand to hand climbing up to Higgar  and fast but obstacle laden descents that disrupt your rhythm, excellent entertainment whether your at the front or the back. Highly recommended race for next year.

Ring of Fire (courtesy of Dan S.)

The chance of getting many words out of me are slim, but here’s a summary of the Ring of Fire – a 135 mile route around Anglesey largely following the coastal path. I’d entered it during lockdown to try and get a race in the calendar and it was ages away, but then suddenly it wasn’t ages away and it was time to get going! Here was the schedule:

  • Day 1 – 35.7 miles (start 1pm)
  • Day 2 – 65.9 miles (start 6am)
  • Day 3 – 35.7 miles (start 6am)

What a beautiful route. I’ve never covered so much varying terrain; road, trail, rocky ascents, fine sand (several emptying shoes out moments), pebble beaches, wooden planks/bridges above the water. Saw a few red squirrels, made a load of new ultrarunning friends and far exceeded any of my expectations in actually completing it and also with a combined time of just over 29 hours. Brilliant race! Thanks so much to Immy Trinder for ferrying me about across the island multiple times!

Great Manchester Children’s Hospital 10k  (courtesy of Guy R.) 

Completely forgot I entered this one and was about as unprepared as you can be, with all my focus on my October marathons.  Still turned up on a sunny morning at Pennington Flash to have a go. Quite a small field, and I could tell straight away not many fast lads were there, which was confirmed when we were called to edge up closer to the start line and most people edged backwards leaving me on the front row of the grid. 

Quite a flat course but lots of loose dusty sections so my road shoes struggled to get traction at times, but from the start I was in the top 10 and could see all but the leading 2 just up ahead of me. Couldn’t quite get into top gear, just not done enough speedwork but still did enough for a PB in 42:12 and 8th place, and I also won my age category which is a first for me. Quite encouraged by that, and I’m sure on roads I’d manage a faster pace without much bother. 

Bullock Smithy

There was a lot of blue and orange on show at the Bullock Smithy this weekend and, what’s more, Team GDH won the Windgather Trophy for the first time ever for being the fastest team!

The full results are not up yet however, based on reports from our roving reporters and Facebook commentary, Steve C. appears to have stormed round, finishing in 4th place, Pete W. decided that 56 miles of Peak District was not far enough and added a few more and there are smiling post-finish pictures of Ian, Luke, Nick and Wioleta.   Wioleta also sent in the following report….

It was amazing to see what a human’s mind and body is capable of (and that’s nowhere near the limit yet so watch this space).  56 miles and 2500 metres of elevation and somehow most of us had a few more miles recorded. It’s such a great challenge not only for the body but also for the mind to run this distance and to do it through the night and navigate on your own.

I think what really helped me to do well is: having done a few races with half of the distance of BS and more elevation, hours on the feet in training, training my eating, eating more carbs in a liquid form (like tailwind and gels), calculating the number of carbs for every hour in advance, knowing the number of carbs in my food and on checkpoints. Having it all planned what I eat and not relying on the checkpoints, not waiting an hour but eating all the time, especially when going up the hills. Also sticking to my own pace all the time and really enjoying the experience. Plus very positive self-talk, even when I was running around in the circle in the middle of the night in the forest or on the golf course trying to find the right way, or at least a gate, instead of getting annoyed with myself, I’ve tried to find other things to be happy about. I thought that it’s great that I can still run and that I’m not scared of running through the night (although one wooden rabbit lit up with my torch and scared me a bit and when the bench looked like a big angry dog 😬,  I must have been tired by then). Stopping to put the plasters over my blisters helped tremendously and definitely saved me time in the long run as I was able to run more comfortably after that and perhaps avoided another infection :P)

What I could do better: find shoes that fit really well (because none of my shoes were suitable for this distance, I bought new pair and due to ankle injury didn’t have enough time to break them in so my foot was covered in blisters (which never really happened to me before). Sounds like I need another pair of running shoes then 🤣 . One of my water bottles burst just before the race (a great job I’ve had two). Someone gave me a little plastic bottle but this is something I never expected that may even happen. Recce the course, due to other races and then the injury I only managed to recce a small part of it and by relying on technology and trusting that the lines that organisers saved on the map are the exact lines, I ended up in a massive bog 😂).

This was my kind of weekend for sure  When ships, cows and bunnies didn’t want to talk to me anymore I recorded a short video so you can see what that real side of Bullock Smithy

Gritstone Grind (courtesy of Marie W.)

So, after running the Dig Deep 30 last week,  today I have done the Gritstone grind. We were bussed from Disley to Kidsgrove & had to make our way back on foot following the Gritstone trail. The route took us up The Cloud, Tegg’s nose & White Nancy to name a few climbs. It was a long, hot day & I managed to not make too many nav errors meaning I actually did just the 35 miles (unlike last week when I did a few bonus miles!!). It’s a great route that’s way marked the whole way…..& the 3 checkpoints were very well stocked with lots of options (I know that’s vital to lots of people 😂). Apart from the heat, the only downside was my armpits getting bitten by ants in the last 2 miles. Excellent day out & I’d definitely recommend it. Completion time…about 9hrs 20mins

Other Racing news gleaned from FB…

  • Southport 10k:  Donna B’s GDH top had its maiden race this morning, completing the Southport Seaside 10k in 52:34.
  • Bleaklow Blitz: A new event for 2021 which, unsurprisingly, attracted a number of harriers for a sunny jaunt through our local heathery hills. 

Other Stuff

  • Virtual Champs: September’s virtual champs race is a local classic: The Shelf Moor fell race route out from the turning circle up James Thorn, Higher Shelf Stones and back around Dog Rock and decending home.  As this is back on the fells, it must be run in minimum of pairs! Details on the route can be found here…/shelf-moor…/
  • Cross Country:  it is nearly that time of year again so, if you fancy a bit of type 2 winter running fun, please check out the various posts about signing up for the South East Lancs and/ or the Manchester XC leagues.

Please let us know about your running-related antics at  We love to hear about what you have been up to (and it makes writing these weekly reports a whole lot easier). Have a good week!

“Beer, cheeseboards and running round in loops” weekly report

Is it nearly September? It can’t be. September is ages away and we’ve barely started 2021 have we? The “time steam roller” rumbles on and here we find ourselves at the back end of summer. What a great few months its been – races are well and truly back and we’ve managed to squeeze in a summer party. It’s looking like a busy time for GDH with the monthly mash-ups, the relays coming up, the champs races and I’ve even seen talk of cross-country!

Here’s the report:

Manor Park Marathon

“There’s hundreds of them!” said the baggy-clothed dog walker. He looked like the type of person who’s coat would smell of yak if you got too close, so I nodded in agreement and gave my best disgruntled “bloody-runners” face. I wondered if he’d kept seeing the same runners again and again as they lapped relentlessly around Manor Park on Saturday morning for the 4th edition of the Manor Park Marathon.

No one fancied challenging Guy Riddell’s course record this year on the UTMP (Ultra-Trail Manor Park) of 50 laps in 2020 but 27 laps for the marathon was on the cards for a number of runners, some as part of training for autumn marathons and others just for “fun”.

First on the course was Ian Jackson with an undeniably unsocial 04:20 start time followed by Kate Bowden and Sarah Mills at 5am. It became a hive of activity after that with the parkrun course getting a true hammering. Six runners completed the marathon with 21 in total getting some extra laps in.

Without Bartek “Whiteboard” Verde on course, it was a little hard to track everyone, but I did some badgering with my notebook afterwards and here are the official results:

Black Combe Dash Fell Race

John “Lake District” Pollard sent in the following report:

On the sunny west coast this Saturday the Black Combe Runners had stepped in to stage a short English Championship race as a substitute for the cancelled Arnison Crag race.

Not so many turn up here to run as it’s a less accessible area of the western Lakes, but it was a superbly organised event put on by BCR, who I know had put a lot of effort into creating this new course. A brutal climb in three unrelenting stages but a very fast descent, still with notorious featureless sections that are easy to go wrong on. But no clag to contend with for once. 8k/610m.

Chris Jackson and Lindsay Palmer both made the big effort to brave the Bank Holiday traffic in their respective touring vans to come and camp it up in the farmer’s field and compete man/womanfully in their respective races.

The men were off first at 1pm and the women had to wait until 2.45 to set off, which was a bit inconvenient for nerves and diet and fluid intake.

So I waited with Lindsay while Chris did his bit, and very well he did too, but I’m sure he can tell his race story himself. He was sprinting away from Chorley legend Darren Fishwick in the final field dash towards the bendy finish and the ice cream van.

It seemed to get even warmer between then and the eventual women’s start up the steep fields(but nowt compared to later), and Chris and me clapped Lindsay and the maybe 50-odd runners up and away. (Video on FRA Facebook✅) An hour and whatever later Dr.Palmer returned, looking tired/fresh/satisfied/ready for an ice cream…-Lins, delete as appropriate.

There’s another race staged by BCR on Monday at the local Bootle country fair and Lins will be on this too, having no doubt scaled a few Wainwright’s in between! I will join in.

Footnote: A certain Neil Shuttleworth was in attendance too, and he informs me he is now a denizen of Kendal. That may be news.

Basingstoke 10km

Presumably to get as far away from Manor Park Marathon as possible, John Stephenson raced the Basingstoke 10km. I don’t know the details other than it was more than likely 10km and in Basingstoke.

GDH Summer Party

Immy Trinder has been itching for a party since…. oooo… 2019, so got on the case and booked us all in at the Howard Town Brewery. I spent most of the night explaining, on a drinking session, how I’d smashed my face up, on a drinking session. Thankfully I didn’t fall on the other side on the way home. The food looked great, especially the monstrous “cheeseboard” which looked like it could sustain you on an ultra. Quite a few revelers ended up at the Star for a few additional nightcaps and then… well I don’t know, someone else is going to have to fill in the gaps.

Hadfield Dash – Club Champs

*checks Filofax for date* So… it’s the 30th August which leaves one final day to complete the second trail champs race: the Hadfield Dash. A few of us turned up on Wednesday evening for a bit of a staggered start. Which involved a few people setting off, then Paul Skuse looking impatiently at his watch for a bit and then everyone else setting off at the same time. Ian Crutchley was disgusted that he had to do a run that was on paths and mainly flat. Steve Page walked a bit and still nearly beat me. Nat Hicks put in a speedy performance taking the Strava crown from Chris Jackson (set in 2017) in a solid 34:16. Immy Trinder has the fastest women’s time on Strava this month.

It looks like there’s been quite a few other efforts over the last few days too. It’s not all necessarily on Strava though, so let’s wait for the final results. The champs challenges seem to be a roaring success this year, with a large chunk of the club taking part. Brilliant!

The Relays

Hodgson Brothers Relays 3rd October

Get your best gritty fell race face on: It’s getting close to the Hodgson Brothers Relays trial (Thursday 9th Sept). The club captains have decided to try and field the fastest mixed team so are going to make you work for a place. Despite some lively debate on the route, it’s settled as UP Sandy Heys and DOWN William Clough. A bit of lung-burster/quad trasher whichever way you look at it. 

Don’t forget everyone is encouraged to come along, whether its for a full-on effort or just a social jog/walk and there are rumours of the pub afterwards.  Meet at Bowden Bridge in Hayfield at 7pm sharp, then jog up to Kinder Reservoir for the start. Don’t forget your headtorch!

FRA Relays, Tebay, 16th October

No time trials for this one and we’re looking to enter four teams: Open M & F, + Vets M & F (V40 and over). This will be a fantastic event being hosted by Helm Hill Runners, in East Cumbria. Express interest to your Captains to get a place on the team!

GDH Records and Achievements

I finally got round to it and updated the GDH Club Record and Achievement pages to include the two sterling efforts on the UK rounds, with Club Treasurer Steve Knight ticking off a solo and unsupported Bob Graham Round in the Lake District earlier in the year, followed by Immy Trinder in June finishing the Welsh Paddy Buckley round. For anyone who doesn’t know about these routes, check them out and you’ll soon see what a massive achievement it is to get around any of the UK rounds.  I’ve also added Luke Holme’s epic 100-miler around Glossop and the surrounding areas in aid of GMRT.

Let me know if you know of any achievements to be included on the page and also if any of the known existing club records are broken. Check it out HERE.

Monthly Mash-Up

News from Captain Trinder emerged on Facebook for the next monthly-mash up. More running and more pub visits it seems:

It’s time to sign up for the next Monthly Mashup! September sees the return of the multi-terrain relay, only this time there will be no heats – we can run it as one big race!

The relay will take place on SUNDAY 26TH SEPTEMBER at 11AM, starting at the turning circle in Old Glossop.

Please sign up individually – we will announce the teams a week or so before the race. There will be 3 runners per team, and 3 legs: trail, road and fell. We will allocate the teams, and you can decide between yourselves who runs which leg.

Following the race, we will descend on a poor, unsuspecting public house to debate who had the best line up Cock Hill.

Juniors are welcome to participate and must be accompanied by a responsible adult. This will mean that teams including juniors will have 4 runners.

This was soooo much fun when we ran it in May. Get yourselves signed up here:

Anything Else?

Kate Bowden posted on Facebook about #RunAndTalkWeek

We would like to invite all club members to a fun and friendly social running event to celebrate and participate in #RunAndTalkWeek. This is open to ALL and we would love to encourage anyone new to the club and anyone whose felt out of the social running loop to come along. The route is a fun, easy paced 6 mile loop over local trails, and an opportunity to meet and talk. We will meet at 6:45pm on Thursday 23rd September Glossop Leisure Centre. More post -run chatting will be available at a local brewery, venue tbc. This event is hosted by your Mental Health champions Ben Robertson and Kate Emily (me!) And supported by our lovely coach Charmayne Lisa. We look forward to seeing you 😃 Alison Holt has kindly created an Event so please let us know if you can make it. Thank you! 😊

Coach Jeroen will, of course, be running a speed session on Tuesday. It might be focussed on those last few weeks of autumn marathon training, or maybe not, but keep your eyes on Facebook for the details!

That’s pretty much it folks! Although one very important note on safety kit. Whilst walking with my son Jacob (3) down from Wormstones to Derbyshire Level, he made the important observation “Don’t forget the pineapple Daddy” and handed me the [imaginary] pineapple. Be safe and don’t forget your pineapples when out on the hill!

Send your reports in to

Another week in purple paradise… it’s the weekly report!

I hope everyone’s being enjoying the FABULOUS purple heather as much as I have the last couple of weeks. If you’ve not managed to get you report in this week, please do keep them coming! I am reliably informed that Daniel is hoping for a busy inbox next Sunday. A few “coming ups” for you today and a couple of race reports – enjoy! 😀

Summer Gathering!

This Thursday, 26th August, is the GDH summer gathering at Howard Town Brewery. We’ll be in the outdoor area 5-8pm. All members are welcome as well as partners/family/guests.

If you want to order food we need to preorder – please contact me if you haven’t already either on Facebook or by email ( to let me know if you’re interested in ordering food!

If you have already let me know then I’ll be contacting you this week to find out what you want!

October Fell Relays

For anyone that missed my posts on Facebook, GDH will take part in two fell relays in October. Those interested in participating should read the below carefully, and if you didn’t already, please let Immy or Ian know you’d like to be part of it.

Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relays, Patterdale, 3rd October

We only get 1 team of 8 for this relay, so on 9th September we will have a qualifier event for the HBMR, in order that we submit out absolute strongest team for this prestigious event. The mixed team of 8 will ideally consist of 4 gals and 4 guys (plus a few standby subs). We encourage everyone to come along, whether you opt for a full beans effort, or just a social jog/walk of the route. Its a great excuse for us to get together, fun and outdoor socialising is guaranteed, as is a trip to a local public house afterwards. We will meet at Bowden Bridge in Hayfield at 7pm sharp, then jog up to Kinder Reservoir for the start. The route is 6km x 400m climb, obviously quite tough and technical, but is easy to follow.

Its likely to go dark while we’re out, so be sure to bring lighting! I’ll expand on the route and requirements in the event discussion section. Please let me know if you cant make the qualifier, but want to be considered for the HBMR team. I can sort it another way. Again, we encourage all to come along for an exciting GDH evening, whether you’re out for blood, or out for a pootle, it doesn’t matter, everyone is welcome.

You can find out more about the relay event itself here:

British Fell And Hill Relay Champs (AKA FRA Relays), Tebay, 16th October

The FRA Relays, now known as the British bla bla etc etc – see above, will take place on 16th October. It is an absolutely fantastic event, this year being hosted by Helm Hill Runners, in Eastern Cumbria. Ideally we would like to make up 4 teams = Open M & F, + Vets M & F (V40 and over). Unlike the Hodgsons, our opportunity is a bit more generous, so we are taking a more relaxed and social approach to this one. There won’t be any Time Trials in order to find our stellar team. The FRA’s are open to all of us who fancy getting involved. Again, this is an amazing team event to get involved with, and I strongly encourage all with a fell running bent to consider it.

Note, in the event we are oversubscribed for teams, we will look to settle that in some appropriate and fair way (e.g. priority to those not participated before, or names out of the hat etc), but we will also need a few subs in case of inevitable last minute injuries or alike. Please express interest regardless of above, so we have a clear view of what we have.

You can find out more about the relay event itself here:

Coniston Country Fair Fell Race

John Pollard

I do like a Lakeland country fair, with it’s traditional Cumbrian pursuits, from wrestling to hound trails, and I think this one at Torver near Coniston was about the first to surface since Covid struck, so it was hard to resist on a typically damp Lakeside Sunday.

And with Nigel the organiser going to the lengths needed to stage a fell race too it would have been rude to simply eat a Cumberland sausage while taking in the combined delights of the dog shows, tug of war, egg-throwing, fell pony rides et al and not attempt a lumbering ascent of The Old Man.

The race itself is a simple affair, a straight up and back to the summit, nearly six miles on feint trods up the steep southern flank of the Old Man. It would be made a tad more ‘interesting’ by the cloak of clag covering the top of the 803 metre climb and the slick, slippy Coniston volcanic silver-grey rock.

I’ve ran socially a few times with the local Black Combe Runners club lately, and like most fell-running clubs they’re a very friendly bunch, and usually well represented in Lakes races, especially in the south and west. ( The BCR have stepped in to fill the gap left by the cancellation of the English Champs Arnside Crag race on Bank Holiday Saturday, by staging a new Champs race up Black Combe – there are already two Black Combe races in the fell calendar year. An easy lump to get lost up, as I know only too well….don’t blindly follow a green BCR vest there, is a local joke that does the rounds, as a little local knowledge is a dangerous thing!)

At the start of this Coniston race I was chatting to Lindsay Buck aka ‘The Wasdale Wombler’, who scales Scafell Pike almost every day to collect tourist litter and is consequently a very good ascender, so I often use Lindsay as a yardstick for the race as her overall pace (or lack of it) is similar to mine, and what she’ll gain on the ascent I’ll hope to pull back on the descent.

Also close by, lurking toward the rear of the 50-odd starters was legendary fell runner Wendy Dodds, now a veteran at 70 years old, but bound to run me, and many another OAP, into the ground… as she duly did.

The fair’s loudspeaker commentary was booming out how far ‘the runners’ were going, how much climb, how the ages ranged from 17 to 70, as we were urged off by the RO up the first hilly section out of Torver and up the green bracken paths past the picturesque Banishead waterfall and quarry toward the crossing of Walna Scar Road.

Then the real trudge began in earnest with, for me, basically a walk up the south face past the slate-littered disused quarries toward the distant summit. I am not fell-fit at the moment and was dropped by most of the field before long, and was eventually to see the leaders choosing their best lines, come rushing back past me on their descent out of the mist, having summited already.

It wasn’t an easy descent either, as the lines weren’t always obvious and the slippery rocks needed caution, or to be just avoided if at all possible, as inov8 x-talons seem dodgy on wet rock, but what shoe does work well? Never ceases to amaze me how technically-skilled and fast so many Lakes-based runners are on the descents, I think this is what sets them apart as much as any great climbing experience.

Ah well, I got down in the end and enjoyed the toughness, but I really need to knuckle down to some serious hill-training. 

Awesome running, John!

Snowdonia Trail Half Marathon

We’ve not received the full report yet, but a quick Facebook-stalk informed me that today Rachel Boorer-May completed the Snowdonia Trail Half Marathon!

“Snowdonia Half marathon 2021. Tough but really enjoyed it!

Now for some R&R. Finishing time 2:22:43 – pleased with that as I was aiming for 2:30.”

Fantastic running Rachel! Can’t wait to hear more about it!

Manor Park Marathon

Don’t forget, next Saturday (28th August) there will be a bunch of loopy loonies running round and round and round and round Manor Park up to 27 times to complete the 4th Manor Park Marathon! If you’re not up for the whole thing, you’re welcome to turn up to run as many loops as you like, finishing with 3 for a parkrun with everyone! Turn up early, bring snacks and have fun! 

Harrier UK Club Support Programme

As we’ve had a few new members since this began in May, I thought it was just worth reminding everyone that thanks to Harrier’s amazing Club Support Programme, we have an exclusive 10% discount code to use on their website – As we head into the autumn (she said, sobbing), it’s well worth checking out some of their safety gear if you’ll be heading into the hills!

Discount code: GLOSSOP10


Plenty of Harriers out at parkrun this weekend, with Sean Phillips and Cheryl Stitt finishing as first male and female GDH respectively! Thanks to all club members who’ve continued to support parkrun by volunteering!

Its the Day Late Weekend Report!

In a slightly later than billed report, owing in part to a monumental hangover and the complete absence of any sympathy (probably fair). But its been another exciting week for GDH. Grab a glass of water and a couple of Aspirin, and lets see what happened.

Eccles Pike Fell Race

6 Harriers made the short trip to Bugsworth, for the short up and down on Eccles Pike, which is widely regarded as one of the oldest fell races in the country. That’s about all I know, but I did manage to trawl up the results and some piccies. Couldn’t find one of Laura I’m sorry. Guess she was running incognito!

27Rick Steckles27:46
33Chris Jackson28:22
72Matt Crompton32:20
100Frank Fielding34:23
106Laura MacFarlane35:13
146Bill Leason40:44

Marple Beer Run

The beer run is back, and a few of us went over to have a crack at this quite challenging, and mildly irresponsible race. After sinking a couple of warm up pints in the Samuel Oldknow, the race started with the potholey and quick descent down to Roman Lakes. A pint of Longendale Lights (Howard Town) awaited at the end of the first K, and it was quickly despatched, where for GDH, Daniel Stinton was away first, closely followed by Birthday Boy Neal Bann. The second K is all uphill, and really is a slog until you get to the beer stop at Mellor Golf Club. The second pint (no idea of the beer) was hard work, not least due to being so out of breath. Jamie Helmer and Steve Page arrived shortly after me, and both being faster runners, I cracked on sharpish, relying on my drinking prowess to keep me ahead. The third K is undulating, and Dan was just leaving the beer stop as I arrived, meaning he’d been overtaken by Neal. Damn, I was hoping to find them both having trouble there. A lovely lady handed me just what I really needed right in that moment, another pint of beer (again, no idea what is was). With 2 pints down in the last 12 minutes or so, the just third doesn’t want to go, and when it does, the 4th K awaits, which is a real challenge with all that sloshing in your belly. The Fox is a welcome sight in the near distance, and crossing the finish line is quite a relief.

Neal celebrated his 40th birthday by claiming first GDH, we think in 4th place. Dan Stinton was next, then me. Steve and Jamie came in next, and given the gap that had emerged, must have taken a more leisurely approach to the latter stages of the race. About 200 ran at a guess, and it made for a cracking afternoon in The Fox, complete with music, barbeque and more beer!

The winner set a new course record of 18:23, and was rewarded for his efforts with a 5 pint glass of ale. 2 hours later, when we left The Fox, he’d barely taken the froth off it, going seriously down in our estimations.

Big thanks to Guy Riddell for being designated driver and photography duties.

5Neal Bann20:30
7Dan Stinton21:55
13Ian Crutchley23:09
48Steve Page31:23
49Jamie Helmer31:24

Scafell Pike Trail Marathon

This one looks a toughy. 26.2 miles and 6000 feet of climb, but it didn’t stop a few hardy Harriers from making the trip. Results below. Well done guys.

45Chris Smith5:15:23
101Wioleta Wydrych6:00:34
228Marie Williamson8:52:03

Sale Sizzler

The midweek Sizzler was attended by Kevin Ingham 25:02 and Nick Ham 25:09. Not sure if they were running together, but if not, that is close!

Peak Raid 3

John Stephenson, Rachel Walton and Nick Ham went down to Warslow for Peak Raid, basically wandering around on the hills looking for stuff. John came 57th with 350 points, Rachel was next in 69th with 310 point, and Nick brought up the rear in 81st with 210 points.

Hobs Hurst Fell Race

Nick Ham was out yet again on Friday, taking in Hobs Hurst. He said Based in Beeley near the Chatsworth Estate, it was my first time on this one, and what a one! A traditional summer’s evening up-and-down blast to leave you satisfied. Nick got round in 47:47. Nice work Nick!


18 Harriers at Glossop this week, but no PB’s that I can see.

Elsewhere, Tony Hillier and Kevin Ingham were at Hyde, The Happy Mundays were at Endcliffe, Sarah Roberts at Bath Skyline, Joe Travis at Pontefract, Dez Mitchel and Marie Williamson at Marple, Julie Eyre at Skipton, Andrew Fox at Lyme Park, Wendy Trelease at Wetherby, John Pollard at Fell Foot, Paul Gatley at Fleetwood, Pete Tomlin at Snowdon Field.

The consolidated report can be found here –

October Fell Relays

For anyone that missed my posts on Facebook, GDH will take part in two fell relays in October. Those interested in participating should read the below carefully, and if you didn’t already, please let Immy or Ian know you’d like to be part of it.

Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relays, Patterdale, 3rd October

We only get 1 team of 8 for this relay, so on 9th September we will have a qualifier event for the HBMR, in order that we submit out absolute strongest team for this prestigious event. The mixed team of 8 will ideally consist of 4 gals and 4 guys (plus a few standby subs). We encourage everyone to come along, whether you opt for a full beans effort, or just a social jog/walk of the route. Its a great excuse for us to get together, fun and outdoor socialising is guaranteed, as is a trip to a local public house afterwards. We will meet at Bowden Bridge in Hayfield at 7pm sharp, then jog up to Kinder Reservoir for the start. The route is 6km x 400m climb, obviously quite tough and technical, but is easy to follow.

Its likely to go dark while we’re out, so be sure to bring lighting! I’ll expand on the route and requirements in the event discussion section. Please let me know if you cant make the qualifier, but want to be considered for the HBMR team. I can sort it another way. Again, we encourage all to come along for an exciting GDH evening, whether you’re out for blood, or out for a pootle, it doesn’t matter, everyone is welcome.

You can find out more about the relay event itself here:

British Fell And Hill Relay Champs (AKA FRA Relays), Tebay, 16th October

The FRA Relays, now known as the British bla bla etc etc – see above, will take place on 16th October. It is an absolutely fantastic event, this year being hosted by Helm Hill Runners, in Eastern Cumbria. Ideally we would like to make up 4 teams = Open M & F, + Vets M & F (V40 and over). Unlike the Hodgsons, our opportunity is a bit more generous, so we are taking a more relaxed and social approach to this one. There won’t be any Time Trials in order to find our stellar team. The FRA’s are open to all of us who fancy getting involved.  Again, this is an amazing team event to get involved with, and I strongly encourage all with a fell running bent to consider it.

Note, in the event we are oversubscribed for teams, we will look to settle that in some appropriate and fair way (e.g. priority to those not participated before, or names out of the hat etc), but we will also need a few subs in case of inevitable last minute injuries or alike. Please express interest regardless of above, so we have a clear view of what we have.

You can find out more about the relay event itself here:

Other Stuff

Back by popular demand (well Steve and Pete asked anyway), the Glossopdale Harriers Fantasy Footy League. You don’t need to know anything about football, just pick the players with the best haircut if you want. Guy Riddell will be updating how badly we’re all doing so please get involved and have a go.

League Code: ietvcf

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

The “Return of the Rains” Weekly Report

The first update of August, with a round-up of club activity over the past two weeks and some dates for your diary.

Tour of Tameside

Plenty of Glossopdale Harriers took part in the Tour of Tameside this year, a series of 4 races on consecutive days with a combined total distance of over 30 miles. Wioleta Wydrych shared these thoughts:

If I could summarise the full Tour of Tameside in a few words, I’d say it was a nice speed session that lasted four days. The winners of the tour are all the supporters that made an effort to meet us on the route, cheer us up, volunteer, pass the water and take great pictures! Thank you to all Glossopdale Harriers for your amazing support!

NameCat.Gender Pos.Cat. Pos.Chip timeOverall pos.
Michael GreenhalghMV40791604:21:4392
Wioleta WydrychFOPEN27904:44:20143
Wendy McmahonFV4043604:55:06180
Kirsty ReadFV4547404:58:48191
Kevin InghamMV451683005:14:26227
David MundayMV402103606:48:32325
Susan MooreFV401162106:48:33326

Glossop Skyline

More than 30 Harriers spent a combined total of over 260 hours running the 30-mile Glossop Skyline, the Virtual Club Championships route for July – the first time many have attempted this distance. The below report from Cathy Murray tells the story of a particularly epic effort!

The unsuspecting Vicki Hamilton, Anne Williams and John Stephenson met up at 6, with my arrival almost unfailingly tardy, at 2 minutes past. Supporting runners Susan Clapham, John Pollard and Guy Riddell were almost champing at the enthusiasm bit, as we set off Tintwhistle-bound. Sue trying to sneak in a bit of extra mileage running on past the steps once we’d crossed the reservoir!

Everyone was quite excited about the adventure ahead, with lots of yacking going on, despite heading uphill with little warm up. The only damp squib being the weather – we were studiously ignoring this – a damp mizzle – as the forecast was for rain, but supposedly an improving picture.

Whilst there was sensible uphill walking in the beginning, I don’t think we collectively maintained it for long; indeed, the pace felt almost business-like for a social, entry-level Ultra – I smiled to myself at Alison’s laugh at my spellcheck typo “untrusted pace”, rather than “unhurried”, as being perhaps more accurate!

What the hell, we’d soon find out, and it’s good to get a few miles under the belt in a long event – doesn’t everyone always go off too fast? It never did get too fast a pace, though – probably too much conversation going on – but we were making great progress seemingly effortlessly; that’s always when things go wrong, isn’t it?

And they did – my fault, entirely. My left big toe caught a stone in the path descending Wild Bank, at just over 9 miles in, on the descent to Mottram – moving at enough speed that the momentum was considerable. My day rapidly nose-dived, ‘saved’ by my chronic weakest link, the right knee, left palm. Bit of a harder impact than expected – better add on a commando roll, then! (Just to distribute the grazes a bit more – adding in right hip and calf). I do tend to pursue full contact in sport, so I’m rather accustomed to meeting the ground a bit fast – so I sprung up again, in my practised way. I resisted concerned urges to clean the grazes, as they were superficial – I didn’t want to waste time, especially this early on and was more worried I’d stiffen up, as that’s my current issue in trying to return to fitness in impact sport.

We were soon down in Mottram, searching for Andrew Reuben’s kind promise of an ambulatory oasis behind walls and trees. It turned out we were ahead of anticipated schedule, and it hadn’t arrived yet – but soon did appear, along with Sikobe himself. It’s great to see “long-time-no-see” running pals literally emerge from out of the woods!

After a most welcome and quick social watering stop – mostly, for me, this was watering the tarmac from my leaky fluid bladder tube whilst trying to tighten my pull laces (to prevent falls – ‘um, a bit late) – with the ever helpful but somewhat reluctant John Pollard committing himself to “most weirdly compromised pose” shot of the day, nursing the offending leaky tube – we all swiftly moved on, particularly John himself!

Up Church Brow and through Broadbottom, Susan Clapham was keeping us flying – until we found ourselves almost in a ditch ascending a field with a few quiet commercial suckled calves and cows dispersed. This turned out to be because a few of the GDH membership, including Susan, prefer to give the normally placid bovine species a wide berth, just in case. John P. sussed this before me, but having spent my entire working days treating cattle, I wasn’t going to cover harder ground now to avoid harmless examples of the species, so dragged everyone back out onto the path of least resistance. Susan took this, along with everything, in her stride, and soon we were on top of Coombes Edge where Guy and John made their rehearsed excuses of work and responsibilities and left us. For Sue, it was the knowledge of more cattle ahead!
Either way, it felt a little lonely to wave the way-pointing, pace-setting, friendly sociable trio off – but now we wouldn’t be tempted to run faster than we could sustain, over the dreaded Flagstones of Doom!

Photos by Susan Clapham

John S. muttered the encouragement to “just sustain a run for 2 or 3 miles”, to clear the cursed stones; the last thing any of us wanted was to savour them, so they passed underfoot steadily but interminably slowly, as they always do.

Vicki and Anne were completing their first ultras, although no-one would have guessed this – steady progress from both throughout, never making it look hard. Meanwhile, the flags slowed me to a slow run, but they always have that effect on me these days. Soon they were done, and we looked forward to meeting Rod Holt on the Snake, with a broomwagon of treats and water refreshment, plus Alison to help us over a pretty grim Bleaklow.

I did notice that the knee I’d fallen on had stiffened noticeably, but it still functioned and the rest of me was holding up. So, off we set across the moor, into breezy rain with hill fog – pretty unpleasant and not what was forecast, as we pointedly observed. Unfortunately, the fortunes of the knee deteriorated as rapidly as the conditions, and I found myself hobbling, unable to bend it, for accumulating fluid in the joint – it was operated on in 2009 for a full thickness articular cartilage defect under the patella. I was told never to run again, but by 2019, I found I could by then run rather well, pain and deterioration-free, making a massive difference to my fitness and QoL; although I have been road cycling in a big way during the preceding interim years.

The fresh knee issue seemed likely triggered by the fall, exacerbated by the flags.
Ali, John S., Vicki and Anne variously sorted the nav. through the patchy fog, whilst I kept on hobbling, but it was certainly becoming wetter and colder. We stopped to put extra clothing on by a wall, when I observed my hands were numb; I was glad of gloves and waterproof trousers, or the ability to do quick bursts of speed, to keep warm.
Eventually, we emerged below the cloud on Hope Street, Old Glossop, at about 29 miles by Garmin Connect on my watch. Pat was riding and didn’t take the call from Alison’s phone (I had usefully mislaid mine – on my pillow!), but happily Rod did, saving the day for my knee, and freeing up John S., Anne and Vicki to continue on to Hadfield, tea and extra medals awaiting!

Quite a day, between the unexpected and seemingly minor trip and the less-than-ideal conditions, though I think the total time was still not so bad, considering – around 10 hours. If not for the injury, we’d have made good time, particularly in iffy weather.

All credit to the total team: supporting and co-finishing runners, Rod and Sikobe. I just moved my legs, sometimes rather slowly!

I can’t end without pointing out the merits of the FRA kit requirement – the point of this write up, alongside expressing grateful thanks to all the team on the day. The kit is compulsory in all but bomber conditions, when occasionally it’s waived, precisely because you may never need all of it – but if you do, you really do. My waterproof taped trousers weigh little, but made the difference between feeling comfortable and hypothermia setting in. Definitely worth carrying.

John’s fleece gloves returned dexterity to hands that had become frozen lumps of dough. If you can’t do your zips up, owing to cold hands, this is a very bad sign, on the hill – so says a former ice climber, winter mountaineer/climber, alpinist and Canadian backcountry winter camper.

It was quite the reminder. You never know when you might have to slow right down, and it changes things – remember, this was July and we all had ace waterproof taped seam jackets, mostly worn through the day.

Thanks to everyone involved with the ultra, in planning, recceing, execution. But for the knee, I’ve certainly enjoyed it all – and the stubbed toe trip could happen on any run, indeed anywhere. Hopefully, it’ll mend, and I’ll be back out, doing what it let’s me do, in time.

The legacy should be that we have more people going long in the future races. There’s some great ones to be done – with more views than bogs, I promise!

Cathy Murray

Nick Ham’s Race Reports

Nick’s been keeping himself busy with local races – here’s his report on a few recent outings:

Sat 17/07: Alderman’s Ascent

I’d never done this before but “phew, what a scorcher”, it has etched itself into my memory. It was novel to see Dove Stone Reservoir from the other side before I nearly died climbing back up to the top of Alderman’s Hill in the cauldron. Thanks to Luke H and Paul S for the encouragement / abuse.

Luke and Paul above Dove Stone Reservoir

Thu 22/07: Sale Sizzler 5k #4

The scorchio theme continued with temperature nudging 30 with high humidity. I expected to have to take walking breaks to stave off an exploding head. Thankfully there was just enough breeze to prevent that ignominy. A promising sign was that I was well into the park before the first few front-runners came steaming past on their final lap, equalling this year’s best scenario with our staggered rolling start. Despite that I ended up with 0:25:25, which was identical to the second with Sizzler #3 in the previous week. This week I ran rested but was slowed by the heat, whereas last week I was slowed by having run Bamford Fell Race on the previous evening. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Sat 24/07: Denholme Doddle 27.6mi.

I was looking forward to making a better job of this than in 2019, when the Ménière’s Disease still had a tighter grip on my life. The weather conditions – cool, breezy and overcast – were identical to 2019, so better for running than we’ve had for a long time.

At the organiser’s briefing before the off for the runners, he seemed to be warning us to look out for rats on the course. It turned out he was saying “wraps”, and was telling us which checkpoint to grab one from, depending on which distance we were doing (17, 21 or 27). I looked forward to sampling one of these “rats” as I settled into the groove of comfortable running, but had no idea which checkpoint I’d have to grab mine from. I bet no-one else knew either. I did notice my left foot / ankle reminding me every so often of the tweak it suffered on the DCRO Dash of 7th July when I’d landed heavily from a high stile.

On the descent to checkpoint 2 I caught up with a man whose run was slower than mine (now there’s a novelty). Unlike the Bamford Fell Race where I’d had to wait for a while to overtake on the descent, here the path was plenty wide enough. I moved to the left to begin to overtake and my left foot immediately yanked violently sideways down a hole. The pain was instant as I finished the wrecking job I’d started on the DCRO Dash. I sat down and waited to assess the pain level before getting up to test the damage. I hobbled the remaining 100 metres to the checkpoint knowing there was no way I could continue. 27.6 miles had become 8.7. I’d been denied the pleasure of not getting a PW, since the running had been going well, and much faster than in 2019.

Now I’d stopped running, the breeze felt cold (now there’s another novelty) so the kindly marshal offered for me to sit in the passenger seat of her car for shelter while I waited for transport back to base. As I languished, the bloke around whom I’d attempted to steer pottered on his way with a bellyful of crisps and other checkpoint comestibles. I may have bored evils into the back of his head as he passed my window.

I never did get to see let alone sample the rats. Instead I went home for an early hot bath, which worked wonders for the foot discomfort.

Sat 31/07: South Pennine 24 Anytime Challenge #2

I’d pencilled in this day for my second attempt at this 24-miler to hopefully beat my #1 attempt of 5th June. It would be my first run since the foot/ankle-wrecking but I’d had no problem walking around during the week, so with some misgivings about venturing out alone into the wilds, I set off. After Alderman’s Ascent 2 weeks ago, I now knew what I was looking at as I gazed back across the reservoir.  Alderman’s Hill was now lost in the cloud! What a contrast to two weeks ago.

Alderman’s Hill lost in the cloud

I took it very gingerly on the treacherous descent from Laddow Moss to Crowden, terrified of another ankle twist. The crossing over the top had been in cloud and drizzle and I was alone. I felt vulnerable and the self-preservation instinct was wound up to max. The foot was holding up well as long as I didn’t load it too much in toes-up position.

The run down sunny Longdendale was pleasant and warm but the cloud was back for the climb back over the hills overlooking Manchester far to the left. I checked my watch, wondering if I might beat 6 hours this time. I certainly hoped to beat the 6:22 of my first attempt (when it was much hotter, it has to be said). Now on easier ground, the foot felt easier too. When I realised a sub-6 might be on the cards I picked up the pace like in a proper race. As I approached the finish I recognised the Alderman’s Ascent route again to the left, with the monument we climbed to first of all then Alderman’s Hill.

The monument and Alderman’s Hill in the distance

I ran back to the clubhouse in 5:40, so 42 minutes knocked off the previous time. I’m happy with that.

Nick H.

Trunce Race 2

Report by Eleanor Swan

Phil, Josie and Caitlin Swan took part in the second race in the 2021 Trunce series, on Monday 26th July. Wendy Trelease was also there from Glossopdale Harriers. The results:


  • Caitlin Swan: 4th – 18:10


  • Phil Swan: 19th – 34:47
  • Josie Swan: 30th – 38:06
  • Wendy Trelease: 72nd – 46:18

Josie and Phil Swan at the Trunce Race

The Hadfield Dash (Virtual Club Championships, August)

The Virtual Club Championships route for August takes us back to the Longdendale Trail for the 5.5km Hadfield Dash. A few Harriers have already recce’d the route, with a couple of speedy times clocked up already. Full route details can be found on the Club Championships page.

Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relay

The GDH qualifier event for this year’s Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relay will take place on Thursday 9th September, meeting at Bowden Bridge in Hayfield. The event is a club social, so everyone is welcome – whether you’re aiming to qualify for the relay team or run the course (6km with 400m climb) at a more leisurely pace, there’s a visit to the pub lined up afterwards. See the Facebook event page for all the info.

Manor Park Marathon

With the announcement that parkrun is back on, the 4th edition of the Manor Park Marathon will take place on Saturday 28th August (bank holiday weekend). The aim is to run as many laps of the Manor Park parkrun route as you like, and then finish with the final three laps of the parkrun itself (which begins at 9am). If you choose to make it a full marathon you’d need to complete 24 laps (each lap is 1 mile) before the 9am parkrun, but it’s entirely your choice – you may just want to join for a few “warm-up” laps before parkrun.

See the Glossopdale Harriers Facebook page for more details.

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!


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
Sign up via the form – one form per team of two so make sure you have your partner’s details, including emergency contact, ready!

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

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 🙂 


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!


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?’

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.


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.

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:

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!


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:

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!

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:

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:
This will be his Positive Runner Seminar (more info here:

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!