No official reports this week, so here’s a short round-up of what’s been going on…
Guy and Pete’s Manor Park Ultra
A tremendous effort by Guy Riddell and Pete Wallroth saw them complete 50 laps of the 1-mile Glossop Park Run course to boost donations for Glossopdale Foodbank. Setting off at 10pm on Friday, they ran through the night (joined by other Harriers for the occasional few laps) and finished by segue-ing seamlessly into the “standard” Park Run at 9am the next day.
Great running by Tony Hillier and Kevin Ingham, with Tony coming in under 1 hour and Kevin finishing in a personal best of 48 minutes. Full results are on the Fylde Coast Runners website.
GDH Monthly Mash-Up: Road Score Course
This Thursday (25th November), 7pm, starting from Norfolk Square. In teams of two, you’ll have one hour to scour the streets of Glossop for a selection of lamp posts worth varying points values. The team with the highest score at the end will be declared the winners! This is open to all club members. You can cover as much or as little distance as you like within the hour, or you can even return before the hour is up if you like.
This is also the final chance of the year for the winning pair to win prizes from Harrier UK, courtesy of the club support programme.
If you’ve not entered yet, the entry form (complete with course rules!) can be found here.
Club Championships update
As the year draws to a close, the last couple of challenges are short, fast routes – November’s is the Beehive 5 road course (which plenty of Harriers have already posted great times for) and December’s is the Gravy Pud trail route.
To allow time for the Result-O-Matic™ to calculate the final champs standings, Gravy Pud attempts can be submitted from Monday 22nd November to Sunday 12th December (midnight). The deadline of 12th December also applies to the two “anytime” challenges – the Running Track Mile and Glossop Parkrun.
Is it time to stop saying “I can’t believe how dark it is?!” at 5pm yet? That doesn’t deter us Harriers though, it was months after joining the club before I knew what anyone looked like, because all I saw was rain jackets, mud and dazzling headtorches.
What have the Harriers been up to on this glorious weekend? Well it’s XC season for a start, so let’s start there.
XC: Sherdley Park
Here’s Chris Webb‘s report and some pics with some quality gurning:
The league has resurrected an old venue for the 2nd match of the season; only David Chrystie-Lowe had raced at Sherdley Park in St Helens before. After some issues at the start resulting in a slight delay to the women’s race and Joanne and Charmaine rifling through my bag for their numbers (!) they were off on 2 long and 1 short lap around an undulating course. There was a ‘bit’ of mud as the course snaked its way back and forth across the depression in the middle of the park creating the hills (by cross country, not fell, standards) and hopefully favouring Glossopdale legs more than the flat course of Wythenshawe. I clocked Joanne and Charmaine mid-race and both were running well, not far apart, but they end up coming in side-by-side in what was a solid performance for their first outing of the season. It was then the turn of the men and a relatively strong group of 6 of us toed the line in a very strong field. I have no idea how the race played out but based on cool down snippets it appears Stefan and Skuse had a good old battle with Stefan coming out on top by a mere 10 seconds. Jamie is coming back into a bit of fitness and had a much better run than in match 1, expect him to continue to improve over the course of the winter. I didn’t get to chat to David C-L at the end, despite what looked to be a strong run I suspect he’ll be looking to improve on his 7th in the V60s after coming 4th in match 1 – watch out for him at match 3! Finally Joshua Southall made his xc debut having an excellent run hunting me down; I suspect his combination of strength and speed will be well-suited to this style of racing, I expect to see him get better and better as the season goes on. The next race is at Kenworthy Woods on Saturday 4th December, hopefully we’ll get a few more of us down there to blast round the University Playing fields and woodland trails.
Here’s a bonus report from Paul Skuse too:
A good handful of GDH( Me, DCL, Josh, Jamie, Stefan, Webb Jo and Charmayne) went over to St Helens for the latest match in the MACCL. Getting parked up was a nightmare and we debussed DCL’s car to get to the start line, leaving poor David in a never-ending line of traffic (he insisted we go). Jo and Charmayne had a similar experience and were numbering up on the start line. Thankfully David made it to the start in time. The course has been best described to me as a mouse running on corrugated iron so I’ll stick with that. It was loopy, undulating and decidedly slick underfoot. Several cars needed a push to escape the mud at the end. The field was huge, or at least felt that way to me. I think results are already posted but I can’t find the link. It was ace seeing Josh at his first XC. That lad is a natural. I think it’s fair to say most of us felt we are improving over the weeks. Let’s hope things stay that way. Some top pics have also been posted.
Joanne Brack – 42:37, 221st place (14th FV55)
Charmaine Brierley – 42:37, 222nd place (30th FV50)
Chris Webb – 36:36, 67th place (10th MV40)
Joshua Southall – 38:15, 104th place
Stefan Bramwell – 39:02, 129th place (14th MV45)
Paul Skuse – 39:12, 134th place (15th MV45)
Jamie Helmer – 42:48, 236th place (35th MV45)
David Chrystie-Lowe – 46:40, 348th place (7th MV60)
Didn’t people used to get sent to Coventry? Well conversely, Escape from Meriden is all about getting away from it. Here is the report from Marie Williamson:
For anyone who doesn’t know about the escape, its an event that starts at midnight in Meriden. There’s no route to follow. You find your own way. The idea is to get as far from Meriden as you can in 24 hours & the mileage is taken as the crow flies. You can go solo, in pairs or even chained pairs & get given a lovely boiler suit to wear (this year’s was orangey red). My plan was to get to 60 miles ATCF.
I managed to get a 20 minute nap Friday afternoon & was hoping to sleep on the train (no such luck!!). Because of covid, we weren’t allowed to wait in the registration hall so I placed myself on a bench on Meriden Green. Again, hoping for a sneaky nap which didn’t happen. The race started way past my bedtime but I, strangely, didn’t feel tired
I’d looked at the map & at Will Mather’s route from his escape a few years ago. Although running on canal towpaths in the dark didn’t appeal I decided to go with it anyway. I’d broken the route into 6 sections.
#1 A 10 mile road section that takes you to the canal. Nice quiet roads & quite a few escapees had chosen this route, so I wasn’t alone. A couple of car occupants shouted encouragement as they passed. This is where I realised I’m not a fan of going over bridges in the dark. Freaked out slightly & sped up going over a few!
#2 Onto the canal for 11 miles. I’d imagined I’d hate this bit but I actually loved it. Being a bit clumsy, I walked a far bit where the path came too close to the water or rocky, tree rooty, trip hazardy. I didn’t fancy ending up in the water in the dark, as much a I love a chilly dip! There was a section where it seemed to get extra dark, which was a bit eerie at first. I think it was where the ‘danger zone’ is on the maps. I did see a couple of other runners along here. A lady & I leap frogged (where I passed as she stopped to faff & she past again because I was walking) for a while & could occasionally see lights behind me in the distance.
#3 A few miles on A38 before dropping back onto another canal. I think it was here that my fellow escapees headed off a different way to me. So I was going solo from now on. The road section here was where I felt most vulnerable for the whole run. The road was extremely busy & I was glad to get back off it & onto the canal…for a while. Daylight came & I was starting to flag. I pulled out my cheese sarnie, said hello to a few early dog walkers & shuffled around my bag contents (that had weirdly started digging into my back). I was relieved when this section finished & glad to get off the canal but I’d been blessed by the sighting of a kingfisher just before the end. I took off my boiler suit as I was starting to get too hot & headed to Nisa for a brew.
#4 Burton-upon-Trent to Ashbourne -16.5 mile Road section. I took a slight detour into Tutbury to use an actual toilet & have a bit of a wash. It’s amazing how much better a non salty face makes you feel! Shortly after, I passed a sign saying I’d entered Derbyshire. I was in a very happy place. Soon to be spoilt by the fact that Derbyshire is bloody hilly. I’d chosen to go up back lanes rather than the A515 where it would have been busy. While I was going up one of the many hills, I did wonder how much flatter the main road may have been. I tripped over my sticks & ended up on the floor (did I mention I was clumsy?). I winded myself slightly & checked for blood. Nothing appearing through my clothes. You’ll be reet…plod on. Then I stumbled across what looked like a hunt gathering. Horses, fancy dress & a van full of barking dogs. I was happier 10 minutes later when a car stopped to ask if I’d seen horse boxes anywhere. They looked like they hadn’t been invited to the party & were planning on spoiling the fun. I pointed them in the right direction. Running down a hill into Ashbourne, I realised I was going no quicker than the lad ahead of me that was walking down. Very disappointing! I felt weary.
#5 Tissington trail -17 miles. After having soup (that burnt my mouth!) & a brew in Ashbourne I felt a little better & even managed to get some slow running for a while. Not much I can say about the trail. It went dark & I lost my sanity. This is where I started talking out loud to myself, singing random songs & seeing things. My partner offered to come & get me (tempting) but I said he couldn’t actually get to where I was…&, by the time he could, this section would be over anyway. Before I came, a friend sent me a mantra ‘you didn’t come this far to only come this far’. I said that to myself lots along the way. I had points where I was walking really slowly, points where I could actually run (slowly) for a short while & points where I was marching. The sticks really help with the marching. On many occasions, I turned around to shine the torch because I was convinced I could hear something/someone but what kind of nutter would be out here in the dark?!? I checked where I was on OS far too frequently & felt like I’d barely moved since my last check. This just needed to end! I couldn’t quite see how to leave the trail at my planned point but I was getting off that bloody trail. I stumbled around in cow muck & mud a climbed over a couple of walls to get to the road I needed to Chelmorten.
#6 the last stretch…8.5 miles to Dove Holes.
Doesn’t sound far….but it had been stretched out greatly. Headed up to Chelmorten & found the footpath I needed to get down to the A6. I was in a field when my partner phoned. Apparently, my dad had been trying to get in touch & was starting to worry. Andy wanted me to phone him. This was the point I almost cried. I told him I was in the middle of a field, knackered & needed to concentrate. Again, he offered to come & get me. Not sure how he’d get his car to that field!! & then I came to the downhill. Oh my god!!! This is why recces are a good idea (& also why you shouldn’t ever follow Mather willy nilly). I was angry with myself (& you, Will. Lol). I went back up to see if I could see another way down. Not in the dark I couldn’t. So, down i went. Very aware of how slippery the rocks were & how tired my legs were. My thoughts going to how long it would take for help to arrive when (not if) I fell! I was relieved to reach the bottom but not when I came to the end of the footpath & had to continue along the A6 for a short while with those fast cars. Luckily there weren’t many & then I was off it again. Up the hill, through the farm & onto paved roads. The home stretch. Only 3.8 miles to go (according to my partner who was looking on Google maps). I kept doing the maths of how long that could take. The faster you go the sooner it will be over. Easier said than done. I tried moving quicker only to slow right down again. Running was no longer an option. The pathetic shuffle, where I was at high risk of tripping & landing on my face, was probably slower than my walking pace at this point. Another phone call ‘I’m in Dove Holes. You’re about a 3 minute drive from me. Shall I come & pick you up?’ Apparently, I shouted at him & he hung up on me. I didn’t come this far to only come this far!! I finally came to the lights at the junction. That hill felt like a mountain….& there was my lift home.
75 actual miles. 60 miles as the crow flies. I almost gave up several times. What kept me going in those last few hours?? Knowing how annoyed I’d be with myself afterwards if I’d not made it to the end!
Here’s the report from Zoe Barton:
The Roaches race is organised by Mow Cop Runners and starts from the pretty village of Meerbrook, off the road from Buxton to Leek (bloody lovely road that)
It’s a B Long category race of 15 miles, running North from the village to the Roaches rock outcrop/ridge, and then traversing the Staffordshire countryside as far as the steep Shutlingsloe hill. It then returns by the same route
Neal Bann, captain Ian and myself took part. It’s a great race for varied terrain , it has a few steep climbs but also plenty of runnable climbs as well. You get muddy fields, woodland, moorland ridge with pretty rocks, technical descents , a river crossing, some evil undulating farmers fields and then Shutlingsloe climb… and then all of that again in reverse. It was well marked and marshalled with even a few supporters out. We all commented how it was a toughie due to the amount of fast running potential! Neal and Ian both had good runs and placed well. I somehow managed 4th lady, and first LV45. After tea, cake and soup in the village hall (no muddy shoes please) there was a prize-giving. I came away with ten pounds Cash Sterling which isn’t bad. Full results will be out later this eve on http://www.mowcoprunner.com/pages/TheRoaches.aspx
Dunnerdale Fell Race
Anyone guess where John Pollard has been? Here’s his report:
There’s quite a bit I could say about this superb little race, not least the way I finished it like a drunk on tottering legs. But I’m going to put that in the vault marked experience as I haven’t quite fathomed why my legs just gave out on the final descent, even after pushing so hard on the earlier climbs.
It’s a canny route, around the modest but rugged fells between the Lickle and Duddon valleys – nothing towering, but rugged, tough ascents coming regularly and descents which test the nerves and the brakes…as I found in the last mile when mine failed and my brain told me I could still hurtle to the finish when I clearly should have eased back.
Had a bit of help tbh putting myself back together from some kind fellow runners, what a fantastic running community we have.
Black Combe Runners, who organise it and who I run with socially are a fabulous club, just like GDH, and they did a great job on this one as there were various issues to overcome, including blown away race tents the night before and an unfinished road bridge where the race started!
The race attracted nearly 300 runners and on such a blissful November day the whole setting was a picture. The pictures I’ve seen are tremendous, especially those by Stephen Wilson, the doyen of fell race photographers.
Don’t forget to keep taking part in the monthly mash-ups. Here’s the latest from Immy Trinder:
NOVEMBER MONTHLY MASHUP – THE ROAD SCORE COURSE IS BACK, AND THIS TIME IT’S IN THE DARK! THURSDAY 25TH NOVEMBER, 7PM, NORFOLK SQUARE
In teams of two, you will have one hour to scour the streets of Glossop for a selection of lamp posts worth varying points values. The team with the highest score at the end will be declared the winners! This is open to ALL club members. You can cover as much or as little distance as you like within the hour, or you can even return before the hour is up if you like.
The course will start and finish in Norfolk Square. On the start line, you will be provided with a map. You then have one hour to visit as many controls as you can, and return to the start. Each control is a lamp post, which is located at the corresponding point on the map. To score, all you need to do is note down the unique 4-6 digit lamp post number before moving on to the next. Each Control has a different value between 10 and 40 points. Typically, the more awkward/further away they are, the higher the score. But be aware, you need to be back at the start within the magic 60 minutes. For every 1 minute you are late, you will be penalised 10 points!!
In addition to the map, you will be provided with a score sheet, listing the Control ID’s, what they score, their exact description (to allow you to ID the exact lamp post), and a space to note the unique lamp post number. Once all teams have returned to Norfolk Square, we will frequent the Norfolk Arms for a beverage of choice!
So grab a partner and get yourselves signed up for a fun run around Glossop with a difference! Please use the Microsoft form – you only need to complete one form per pair. Please read the course rules carefully, and note the requirement for a high-vis item of apparel! https://forms.office.com/r/j6C5PuJieW
Fancy some laps round Manor Park?
Of course you do! and Guy Riddell is at it again… Will he beat he current MKL (Most Known Laps) of Manor Park set at 50 in 2020. Here’s what’s happening:
Starting at 10pm on Friday night 19th November, Guy Riddell & Pete Wallroth will run round the Glossop parkrun route at Manor Park throughout the night finishing with Glossop parkrun itself on Saturday at 9am and 50-60 miles each in the legs.
We’re asking people to donate to Glossop food bank – you can drop donations at mine any evening this week or Monday, Thursday or Friday during the day 48 Stanyforth Street, Hadfield. Alternatively they take cash donations or you can use the collection points at your supermarket.
If anyone wants to join for a lap or 10 please just come on down anytime, bring a torch and snacks and a cheery disposition. It’s a massive boost that we don’t have the Covid restrictions of last year when only two could run together and keeping social distancing in place. We’ll be going easy pace once I get pointing Pete under control but feel free to go whatever pace you want, it’ll be great just to see other headtorches, and try and work out who is who.
Anyone got any suggestions for a decent breakfast after parkrun before we fall asleep please let me know too. I reckon full English and coffee & cake will be massively needed.
Gravy Pud soon! If you’re not on the race, you have between 22nd Nov and 12th Dec to log this route as part of the club champs.
Don’t forget to get yourself round the Beehive Five for the club champs (or the anytime mile and parkrun!)
So, it’s November now and OH BOY has the weather made sure we know about it! On Friday afternoon I was out in 4 layers plus woolly hat and gloves. I have genuine concerns that I am not going to survive the winter. As most of you probably know, the OMM was cancelled (technically in October but I’m rolling with it) due to the torrential downpours in Cumbria. I was quite disappointed about since it is pretty much my favourite race of the year, however, I was pleased to see that my would-have-been race partner, Wioleta, survived the announcement with minimal heartache…
In all honesty, on Saturday night I was somewhat relieved not to be spending the night in a tent!
Instead of getting hopelessly lost in Langdale, I decided to join the group of far-too-fast people putting in a last-minute attempt on the New Glossop Fell Race. It started out as a pretty bleak day, with Ian and I discussing the possible bail-out options halfway up James Thorn. We were at the back of the pack, but it was great to regroup with everyone at the end, compare lines and marvel at some of the times people achieved! The Excel and PDF links of the full champs results are available here – https://glossopdaleharriers.wordpress.com/club-championship/. The New Glossop Fell Race concluded the Fell Champs for the year, so well done to everyone who completed all three of the routes!
Continuing with the Champs theme, a group of Harriers assembled outside the Beehive yesterday morning to complete the beastly Beehive 5, setting off in 3 groups so that we all finished around the same time. Thanks very much to David C-L for organising – it was a great way to tick off a champs race, and I’m sure we all particularly enjoyed sharing the experience of Cliffe Road!
Snippet from the Past – Carl and Beryl Buckley
As racing ‘ The mile’ is a challenge in the Club Championship 2021, we thought the Mile exploits of a Glossopdale Harrier: Dave Ibbotson (Ibbo for short) would be of interest.
This was reported in the club news letter (at the time: handwritten, photocopied, stapled and hand delivered where possible) of Summer 1987.
The Meltham’s Maniac Mile
It was downhill and drew runners from far and wide, necessitating three races: A,B and C to accommodate them. The ultimate maniac, Ibbo of Glossopdale Harriers, took part in all three races and smashed the four minute barrier three times in half an hour. In between he ran back to the top to be ready for the next start. Race A: 3:44. Race B: 3:51. Race C: 3:56. He was 34 years old at the time.
The overall winner was a Longwood Harrier, whose time was 3:32. Nine Glossopdalers took part. Of these, third place was taken by Mike Prady in 3:37. Needless to say they competed in only one race.
How are your 3 x 1 mile reps going?
Tatton 10k – Frank Hamilton
I was out at the Tatton Park 10K yesterday – a lovely scenic route (even got to see some deer) although very different to the hills of Glossopdale! I finished with a time of 39.26.
Well done, Frank! Awesome 10k time!
Even more Champs news
A few Harriers were out recceing the Gravy Pud route this morning – the champs race for December. In order to round up the champs ahead of the Christmas party, remember that you need to complete Gravy Pud between 22nd November and 12th December, along with the anytime challenges – Glossop parkrun and the Simmondley Trail 1-mile – if you haven’t already!
It looks like the weather opted for tricky rather than treat-laden this week resulting in a number of cancelled races and a very bare GDH inbox.
Clwydian Hills Fell Race (courtesy of John S.)
Two harriers ventured out in the torrential rain of Glossop and Manchester to check out the Clwydian Hills fell race. John Pollard posted this on FB on Saturday, a rare phenomenon of a fell race with entry on the day option. Only £7 to enter, a 9 mile route with about 3000ft of ascent followed by soup, tea and cakes, what else would you rather do on a wet Sunday?
OK time to own up, we got to Cilcain village just as the rain stopped and the sun came out and the forecast of blustery showers with sunny spells looked correct. Registration easy, no kit check, the Welsh FRA simply expect you to carry the right kit, nice to be treated like an adult who can take responsibility for their own decisions.
A quick jog to the start 500m out of the village, a short pre-race speech and we’re off. A very brief route description; 9 checkpoints (take any line you wanted between CPs), 5 climbs and not much flat running. John and I had agreed we would run together as we weren’t confident of the route or worrying the category contenders. We settled down to a steady trot alongside a veritable expert on the route. Turns out this chap, also called John, used to organise the race and knew every tussock and rock. We quietly decided he was a good one to watch even though he was mostly walking. He actually walked super efficiently and almost the same speed up any hill except the steepest. We reached CP1 quickly and as everyone ahead turned right on a path John T took a direct line down a narrow trod that cut off a corner and made up a few places. This is going well, we thought.
Weather stayed good until just after CP4 when we had a great view of the countryside to the west, we could see a squall heading our way. As we climbed up some knarly line us two Johns stopped to put on rain jackets and by the time we’d finished Faffing our guide had gone!. We struggled up to CP5 and had to ask the MR marshal for guidance (we had maps but who stops to check maps during a race?). Anyway we hoofed after our mentor as fast as we could but the next turning took us down a very faint trod which gave us little confidence we were going the right way, but Lo! We then spotted the red jacket about 800m away and took off like scalded 60 year olds, eventually managed to get him within vaguely comfortable sight by about CP7. However, this point was at the bottom of the steepest climb in the route and John T strode up the hillside like a mountain goat so by the time we reached the top he’d gone.
Luckily the route from this point was not so difficult, we were only about 2 or 3 miles from the end, all downhill. We motored as fast as we could, managed to pass one bloke, kept going to the start point outside the village. The thing is, the finish was in the village, 500m UPHILL. I was all for walking this sting, but Johnny P must have got a text message from the RO saying there was only one cake left, he kept on running and even accelerated. He ran so quickly up the hill he made up one more place and stormed to the finish.
Post race soup, tea, cakes exactly as promised, perfect end to a great day out in the hills. O, the old guide we lost was 77 years old and won the V70 prize, feeling a bit humbled.
Possible Club Away Weekend
Is anyone interested in an “away weekend” to the Long Mynd Valleys races next February? There are two races available – the short and sweet Tittestone Clee at 11am on Saturday 5 Feb and the Long Mynd Valleys itself, a tough A Medium fell race, on Sunday 6th, also at 11am. Accommodation could be at Bridges Youth Hostel who currently have bunk rooms available at approx £40 per person for Friday and Saturday nights. Please let Zoe know either via FB or email (email@example.com) by Wed 3rd November if you would like to come.
GDH Virtual Champs: Just a quick reminder that the champs race for November (how is it November already?!?) is the Beehive 5.
Please let us know about your running-related antics at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love to hear about what you have been up to (and it makes writing these weekly reports a whole lot easier).
Its another week pretty much dominated by Marathons, but a few other things happened too, so lets get straight into it, who dun what?
Beachy Head Marathon
Very little gets in the way of Ian Jackson and a race at the moment, and this weekend he went South, about as South as South goes before you fall off. And a marathon no less, which due to some flooding on the usual route, was swapped to 2 loops of the half marathon route. And that’s pretty tough with almost 3,000ft climb.
No official results available but according to his Strava, Ian made it around in just over 5 hours.
Chris Smith was down in South Wales doing his first road marathon.
Chris looks to have been doing brilliantly, really consistent pace, until a groin strain put an end to that in mile 18. Still, he soldiered on and still managed a very respectable time of 3:23:49 (unofficial).
Liverpool Rock & Roll Marathon, Half and 5K
Guy Riddell was running the Marathon today, the 7th and last version of the Liverpool R&R there will be I understand. Guy has managed to run every one of these, but Im afraid I do not have a time for him.
Excellent PB action from Kevin David and Tim Crookes today in the Half Marathon. Again, no official results which is very surprising in this day and age, but according to Strava, Tim did 1:48:19 and we hear Kevin around 1:51.
More impressive still, Tim did the Rock & Roll 5k the day before, also getting a PB in 24:22.
Well done guys.
Great to see club legend Tony Hillier on hand to offer support and words of wisdom (i.e. keep running, and if you can run faster!)
Battersea Peak Autumn Dawn 10K
Another one of our number found themselves darn sarf this weekend, with Emma Peters out for blood in Battersea Park. Emma managed a brilliant 10K time, and a PB, with 44:46. Nice one Emma!
Cross Country, SELCC Heaton Park
The SELCC team was out causing carnage at Heaton Park this week. Some great running here, not least from Frank Fielding, who sent this in….
Saturday afternoon brought an influx of colour, noise and movement to Heaton Park for the first meeting of the South East Lancashire Cross Country League. For the second week on the trot, the weather and ground conditions for XC racing were good, with just enough mud to scruff up the shoes. We had enough blue and orange clad warriors, to field teams for both the men and women.
The women were off first at 1:40 as Cheryl Stitt, Emma Rettig, and Wendy Trelease, set off to do battle with the field of 91 runners.
Cheryl set a strong pace to storm home in 20th place, and not too far behind was an exciting duel between Emma and Wendy, with Emma just managing to hold Wendy off by a slim 2 seconds margin.
The collective effort brought a respectable 9th team placing, and, a very respectable 4th place LV40 spot.
Cheryl Stitt 20th (5th LV45) 37:00
Emma Rettig 37th (6th LV40) 39:29
Wendy Trelease 38th (8th LV45) 39:31
The mens race was away at 2:20 with 127 on the start line. Our male muddyfoots had a distinctive elderly feel to it with 3 of our 5 team members clocking a combined age of 200. (John Pollard, David Christie-Lowe and Frank Fielding) Fortunately, this was tempered by the young gun, Nat Hicks and ever competitive Paul Skuse.
Nat showed his class with a 17th placing, with Skusey finishing not so many places behind. Further down the field, David, Frank and John ran their own personal battles with those around them to finish with respectability and competitiveness.
Decent overall team placing of 8th with a big bonus 2nd place in the V60 placings.
Nat Hicks 17th 38:21
Paul Skuse 31st 39:37 (5th V45)
David Christie-Lowe 80th 46:34 (4th V60)
Frank Fielding 92nd 47:52 (1st V70)
John Pollard 109th 51:08 (8th V60)
It was great to have support around the course from Ben Robertson and Phil Trelease. Good videos from Ben and excellent photos courtesy of Phil.
Lots of parkrun tourism this week, with Dez Mitchell at Hyde, Alan Tainsh at Greenock, William and David Munday at Horrogate, Paul Amos at Lyme Park, Wyatt and Laurie Barlow at Conwy, Joe Travis at Stamford Park, Paul Gatley at Fleetwood, and finally Chris Webb absolutely nailed Oldham parkrun coming first in 17:37 and a PB to boot.
But the majority of the action at Glossop as ever. Sue Venton managed a great PB with 27:42.
2021 Virtual Club Championships
A message from the Champs Sub Committee this week….
We do hope you’re enjoying the 2021 Virtual Club Champs!! From the start, it has relied on your honesty, and your ability to follow the rules when there’s nobody there to check. Otherwise it just wouldn’t work at all. There isn’t anyone to police it, and it would be impractical and unfair to attempt to do so. So whilst it isn’t perfect, and we’re still learning, the overall series has been an amazing success in terms of participation!
We kindly ask that we continue in the same vein as we approach the conclusion of the champs. New Glossop Fell Race is a tough navigational challenge, where competitors must visit a series of checkpoints in order. A few minor route mistakes have been made, but please don’t worry. We’re not looking to DQ anyone! If you made a mistake, please assess it and add on the appropriate number of minutes for any time you would have saved as a result (please don’t deduct minutes for mistakes that cost you time, nice try!). If you’re not sure, then I can help. Submit this overall time as you normally would.
We also ask that you continue to observe the rules of the Champs, and particularly those that relate to safety. There may or may not have been some deviations from these rules, and whilst again we cannot and will not police these cases, the rules are there to keep you all safe and ensure fairness. We want you to do your best in these champs, but not at the cost of your safety. After all, its just a bit of internal fun where there’s not that much to win, but an awful lot to lose!
Personally I’m really excited about what the next couple of months will bring, and how it will affect the tables. Please note there will be a presentation at the Christmas Do. Please also remember that to qualify for the Overall Champs, you need to do at least 5 challenges, plus one of the anytime challenges – either the Strava Mile (Simmondley Trail), or Glossop parkrun. Ideally do them all, as there’s no cap on the number of points you can accumulate!
Aside this, and whist we’ve got your attention here, we would welcome feedback from the members about this years Champs, positive, negative or suggestions going forward. To a great extent, it will likely influence how we format the champs for 2022. You can comment on the Facebook thread or email me if you prefer, so I can collate the responses for the Champs Committee. Thanks. Ian.email@example.com
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! firstname.lastname@example.org.
The run up to these relays (and the Hodgsons a couple of weeks back) had been a stressful time for Immy and I; fun, but stressful. I think it’s par for the course as Captains, but as well as the usual personnel issues, we also had a couple of last minute rule changes at these relays that threw the cat right in amongst the pigeons. That solved, 24 Harriers made our way to the edge of the Howgills for the 2021 British Athletics… etc etc etc. The car parking was located 2 miles from the event, and the drizzly walk in was like a fell race route in itself.
With the tent up and teams registered, we set about the event and had as much fun as we could. It was really great to be part of it, and I think everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. I felt sorry for Nat Hicks and Bliss, whom had to loiter in shifts at the far perimeter of the event, in order to look after their dogs (one of the aforementioned last minute rules = no dogs!). The teams had a good mixture of first timers and veterans of fell relays this year, so we gave a lot of new people a taste of these things, coupled with a fairly gnarly fell run to boot.
Only a week or so after her autumn marathon effort, poor Bliss had terrible hamstring trouble in leg 1 which was a real shame, but Bliss will be back, as she’s too good not to be. Having similar marathon hangovers, Ian Jackson and Nat Hicks were both heavy legged and did really well on the beasty leg 3. Emma Rettig twisted her ankle on leg 3, but toughed it out and managed to finish the leg. Other than that, there wasn’t too much drama – the changeovers were smooth, we ran well, nobody got lost, we had a good time, and we all made it out without any major mischief. Worthy of mention was Joe Travis on leg 4 for the open men, who at the finish looked more akin to someone on the frontline at the Somme, absolutely caked in mud. But was great to see Joe, in what will likely be his last action for the club having moved out of the area. Overall the teams did great, and I thank everyone once again for turning out for the club.
I believe next year’s relays will be hosted by our friends (and this year’s winners), up at Carnethy Hill Running Club (Pentland Hills, South of Edinburgh). I’m excited by the prospect already, and Immy and I look forward to organising it (well, we mostly look forward to it!).
Manchester Area Cross Country League Round 1: Wythenshawe Park
Report by Chris Webb Photos by Donna Brierley
After a year off, cross country is back! An elite squad of 8 Glossopdale Harriers were part of a field of 306 women and 409 men arriving at a warm and dry Wythenshawe Park, which is one of the flattest and fastest courses in the calendar.
Donna Brierley was off at 1:30pm and led the Glossopdale women home making 2.5 laps of the course look easy, she stormed round finishing 167th (30th FV40) and happy with her day’s work. An hour later it was time for the men and 3 laps of the course. As usual, the field set off at warp speed and I quickly realised the ability to climb steep inclines on the fells has no bearing on your ability to run fast and hard in a local park – more speed work needed! Whilst I suffered, however, things were going well for other GDH runners; Stefan Bramwell, having joined as 2nd claim from Pennine especially for cross country showed he’s got some pace on the flat too and kept me honest with some solid, even pacing throughout. Paul ‘ultra runner’ Skuse was showing that his real skills lie on football fields and rolling woodland trails with an excellent run. When I asked Jamie Helmer how his race had gone he smiled and concisely summed it up: “awful” – I expect to see him next month to raise that standard to simply “bad”; maybe by February it will reach the dizzy heights of “average”?!
Andy Burnett, despite not having to shoot at targets, ran well – I expect him to be solid as a rock all winter. The real racing, however, was happening in the V60 and V70 categories; David Chrystie-Lowe resumed where he left off in 2019-20 with a strong 4th in the V60s, but performance of the day goes to Frank Fielding who dominated the V70s coming home first! Both David and Frank seem to defy their age and get stronger each year – inspirations for the rest of us.
The next round in the Manchester Area CCL is held at Sherdley Park on 13th November.
New Glossop Fell Race (October Virtual Club Championship)
This month has already seen lots of Harriers take on one of the longest routes of the year, the New Glossop Fell Race. If you’re looking for partner/group to make your way round with, take a look at (or post on) the GDH Facebook group to find people who’ll be running at a pace to suit you.
…and finally, couple of extra updates culled from Facebook
Congratulations to Lance Hamilton-Griffiths and Rob Sheldon who ran the 20-mile Hathersage Hurtle this weekend, finishing in 2:53:07 and 3:12:08 respectively.
Local 5-mile trail race, Hit The Trail, takes place at Reddish Vale on 9th January – enter here.
A few members of the club have had a go at the Running Track Mile, on the trail in Simmondley. This Club Champs challenge can be attempted at any time of the year (and as often as you like, if you’re so inclined!). Details here.
And that’s yer lot! If you get up to anything interesting (ideally running-related!), send in a report to email@example.com and the team will include it in the next update. Thanks!
We have to mention the weather don’t we? I was in the Goyt Valley on Friday afternoon and you could have mistaken it for the middle of the summer – I didn’t even pack my emergency trousers!
What’s been happening then? Have the harriers been lured out into the hills? Quite a few were drawn the opposite way because, apparently someone had organised a little race in Manchester City… Here’s the weekly report.
I had actually entered this waaaay back in Spring 2019 as a super-early-bird entry for April 2020. Little did I know how super-early that was going to be and after various date changes it finally happened today. A gaggle of Harriers swapped the undulations of Glossop for the lure of a big city marathon. I’d long withdrawn my entry so got to sit at home instead, and with the ropey tracking system I’m not quite sure what happened, would be great to hear some results! But here are people I’ve seen pictures of:
Nat Hicks, Dave Munday (HM), Joe Travis (HM), Tim Crookes, Nicola Pennington, Jessica Leigh-Camp and Steve Crossman. I’m bound to have missed someone?
Well done all!
Langdale Fell Race
The organisers describe this as “…a rough, tough course with almost exclusively rocky and slippy ground. The weather in October is rarely ‘pleasant’ and the fells are often clagged in, making navigation difficult on a course with many pathless sections”. Sound tempting? Robin Hoffman and Sarah Andrew thought so and here is the report:
Myself and Sarah Andrew took part in the Langdale fell race. It’s 21km long with 1450m of climbing and has plenty of scope for route choice / getting lost. This was helped even more by the clag which was nice and low for the entire race. The weather was unseasonably warm (vest weather!) with some drizzle, but the ground was waterlogged and slippery needing lots of concentration to stay upright…
Up the first climb Sarah disappeared off into the distance and was 3 minutes up on me by Thunacar Knott at the top of the first climb. This gap stayed fairly consistent despite Sarah’s best efforts to reduce it by going off line across Crinkle Crags and taking in a couple of extra peaks. This charity continued on the descent of Crinkle Crags where Sarah very kindly fell over and bashed her knee on a rock then sat on the floor to wait for me. When I saw her she was looking a bit shocked and wasn’t sure if she could walk so I stopped for a few minutes to make sure she was ok and got her walking again before carrying on. Sarah’s plan had been to retire and while disappointed for her was happy that I’d get the chance to beat her for once! So I had mixed emotions when towards the top of the final climb up Pike O’Blisco I looked back and saw her gaining on me. Still I thought I’d be ok as her injured knee would hold her back on the descent to the finish. It didn’t and she caught me up. At this point I was flat out to keep her behind me and was very relieved / upset when she fell over again on the same knee right at the end of the descent. I didn’t stop this time and carried on to victory – in 118th place (3:16:00) out of 268 starters. Sarah came in a couple of minutes later with a few cuts and bruises, but otherwise ok in 135th place, 9th woman (3:18:36).
Anne William’s report just missed the cut off last week. Looks like a fantastic race and a great results from Anne too. Here’s the report:
I chose to run Kielder marathon this year with my brother in law, Paul, to celebrate our fiftieths. It appealed to me as it was my first trail marathon (& slightly less pressure to chase a PB) and it’s billed as the most beautiful marathon in Britain. I totally recommend it for a trail run – it was undulating from start to finish and lovely trails all the way. Forest paths and tracks around the lake.
Unfortunately heavy rain at the start and drizzle throughout meant the views weren’t as clear – but it certainly was a scenic run. And there’s something very satisfying about running completely round a lake – no repetition and always a good view. As always, great organisation and wonderful marshalls patiently cheering us on.
I had no idea what to expect so set off steady and pretty much kept it up. My brother in law found the uphills tough (all his training was along canals) so he urged me to push on at 10 whilst he carried on. It was harder than I’d thought but I did really enjoy it and was really pleased to finish FV50 and 4th lady (think everyone else was in London!).
All in all I had a fab weekend away with my family with a great run too.
Rob Sheldon had a gallop in Grindleford, Nick Ham ran a long way somewhere over by Sheffield, Mike Raynor did the Coniston 14 (miles or km? Who knows!?) and loads of Harriers did parkrun.
Club Champs – New Glossop Fell Race
Looks like loads of NGFR attempts going on at the moment. With just a few more races/challenges left this year, those extra few points make all the difference! Pack your sandwiches and get out there!
That’s ya lot. Get any reports in to firstname.lastname@example.org
Undeterred by the continual downpour turning the hills into a veritable extreme obstacle course this weekend, Harriers have been falling on their backsides up and down the country today, and not a banana skin in sight!
Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relay
Oh my, what a brilliant day this was! After a week of quite frankly UTTER CHAOS with horrendous forecasts and talk of the “bad weather route” being brought in, we arrived in Patterdale with a full team and raring to go. The first challenge, before dealing with any mountains, was to find John Pollard. He had attempted to phone me with an update on his whereabouts, but with zero signal and a field full of waterproof-clad fell runners to search in, the race was on to find him before the start of the actual race, and to come up with a logistics plan B in the meantime! Thankfully, after asking the organisers to put an announcement out on the tannoy, “will John Pollard of Glossopdale Harriers please come to race control” was broadcast across the field, and he was located within seconds, phew!
The start was a “blink and you’ll miss it” affair. Many runners had barely made it to the start line before a lo-fi “5-4-3-2-1… GO!” was shouted, and Lance Hamilton-Griffiths and Wioleta Wydrych were off on leg 1. They whizzed into Lower Hartsop in 57:09, buzzing with excitement from bum-sliding down the long, grassy descent.
Rick Steckles and Paul Skuse were off next on leg 2. We don’t know much about what happened, other than a lot of clag, possibly some hail, and some more treacherous descents to deal with. We didn’t spot them dropping into Kirkstone until they were virtually over the line, but thankfully we were ready and waiting for a swift changeover.
Mark Harrison and myself were out next on leg 3, so this is the one I know the most about, but really, it can be described in a single word… GREASY! It started with a steep climb up Red Screes, and I was very glad when Mark got to the crest of the hill and let me know that we’d nearly reached the top! Conditions on the top were very changeable, but underfoot it was continually logged with surface water, making descending quite exciting, and I eventually lost count of the number of times I fell over. We descended well though, making up a few places on our way into Sykeside, just in time to set Tim and Chris off a couple of minutes before the mass start.
In their traditional style, Tim Budd and Chris Webb stormed around leg 4, sweeping up a whopping 17 places along the way, and putting us into 40th position overall, 27th in the Open category.
There are lots of thank yous to say for this one. Firstly, Ian and I would like to thank everyone who took part in the selection process for the team. There has been loads of positive feedback on this which means it’s something that we can look at doing again for next year!
Secondly, thanks to the team – Lance, Wiola, Rick, Skuse, Mark, Tim and Chris – for coming along and giving it your all! It was a challenging day to be out, but there were lots of smiles along with it.
An extra thanks to Wiola and Rick, who both stepped in earlier this week when Chris J and Chris S unfortunately both had to withdraw due to injuries, and also for driving us all there and back!
And last but most certainly not least, thank you to John Pollard for transporting us to and from the starts and ends of the various legs. Without this support, the logistics would have been a nightmare to organise, and it was so kind of him to give up a big chunk of his day to ferry us all around. Thank you John!
Limestone Way – Pete Tomlin
Not satisfied with the natural obstacles of the terrain and weather, Pete Tomlin was out picking fights with pedestrians and trains today on the Limestone Way!
This was another race I’d signed up for AGES ago, the Limestone Way Half Ultra. So that’s half the ultra that is on the same day, not a half marathon. 17 miles from Monyash to Hope.
Let’s just say I approached this one with a heavy dollop of complacency. I’d run this distance before, in fact I’d run much more than this distance before, so I could definitely do it. It didn’t need any extra training right?! Maybe not, but it would have been good if I’d kept up some sense of consistency in my running, and you know some of that strength work and yoga that everyone talks about. But actually I’ve been as inconsistent as you can get since July. And I paid for it.
The route is awesome and treacherous in equal parts. Stunning views across the White Peak, even a rainbow across Hope Valley. Partnered with the slippy limestone which was doing its best to kill me. In parts it actually took longer to descend than it did climb a hill. But on the whole, there was a lot of thinking ‘wow this is nice’.
I had my usual dip in energy around mile ten which seemed to be solved by the snacks at the checkpoint in Peak Forest. This was short lived as the climb out towards Castleton was brutal followed by a slip fest into town. But I’d settled into a trot, so all was good, or so I thought. In fact it was in Castleton was where I totally lost it and my complacency caught up with me. I was cramping up big time, swearing at pedestrians, and nearly got ran over by a train. I managed to limp my way across the finish line with a time of 3hrs 35mins. Longer than the hoped for 3 hours. But I’ve learnt a few valuable lessons, one of them being that there’s no way in hell I’m doing the October champs race!
Lakeland Trails Coniston 15k – John Pollard
Before coming along to support us in soggy Patterdale today, John was out racing in Coniston, falling down some hills of his own!
I wasn’t going to make much of a report on this but a couple of things happened that I wanted to remark on.
It was the third consecutive weekend I’ve done a trail race here, and they’ve all been different and all had different weather, which can make them more interesting or challenging or just more enjoyable. This one ranked high because it’s a good varied route, with elements of a fell race and some technical bits to take on, and because the weather was so bloody wet it posed a different challenge!
But firstly the disappointing thing. A small thing, but a telling thing. This was before the race and at registration, where I was doing the safety pin thing with my number. Just chatting to a couple of the volunteers off at the side of the reg table. Eyes were raised as the wind was whipping up in their tent and the rain was lashing hard again…and I was thinking how glad I was I had my newly purchased inov8 polartec mittens to keep my hands warm on the run. (I’m not an inov8 ambassador btw, you may be confusing me with Damian Hall).
Anyway, I was feeling quite smug and snug and finishing pinning my number I reached for the said mittens…and they were gone….I thought they must be on the floor or something, but no, some light-figured sonofabitch had had the nerve to lift them from under my nose! The registration ladies tried to help and suggested “perhaps you have them in a pocket or something” but no it was a fact, somebody of low morals and possibly cold hands, had seized a momentary opportunity to get their hands inside my thermals. £35 you can pay for these at Pete Bland’s with no discount, top of the range mitts, and I was looking forward to being inseparable from them during the long winter months. Alas, it was not to be.
The moral of this episode? Several may be drawn but I’d say that it shows the moral fibre of a competitor at a Lakeland trail event is not of the same calibre as at your common or garden fell race, where the honesty and camaraderie of the fell community would not entertain such moral turpitude, which is surprising as half the competitors at Trails arrive in their Range Rovers. Or am I over-reacting?! Anyhow, the money is meaningless, it’s the meanness and brazenness of the act that honestly shocked me. Fortunately, Matt Bland was there with his van of goodies and later post-race I bought a replacement pair at a generous PBland discount, as I gave Matt the sob story too. And I could see I might be glad of them at the Hodgson Brothers relay the next day, as the Lakes weather was growing more biblical by the hour.
And so to the weather which we endured for the 15k run up from Torver, through Coniston and up into the Coppermines valley, where it can be a tad wet with all the water-courses, streams and old mining channels flowing down from on high. This was of deluge proportions, but not that much of an impediment if you didn’t mind splashing through all the dark muddy pools and crossing the rocky streams without really knowing where your feet are planting. Survival and not always reckless – progress is the mode more often adopted by trail runners – so it was my best chance to put a bit of daylight between myself and the gaggle of guys and gals I was close to. So I abandoned caution, and after negotiating the rocky flanks of The Bell and hit Walna Scar Road, I careered down the greasy green grass paths threading through the bracken down to Banishead Quarry, without a care in the world.
Except they were VERY greasy and very slippy, with water pouring underfoot, so it was very hard to stay on your feet if you went at any speed, and sure enough I soon lost contact with the ground until my head, well the back of my skull, thudded into the wet earth. I thought I would be knocked out such was the force of the fall, taking it all on my head, but apart from the shock I seemed more or less unscathed and after a couple of kind fellow runners stopped to check me over I continued on down. There was more of this type of hazard further on as the trails snaked down to Coniston water itself, and I fell again, but I was immune to risk by now and carried on to the finish a few miles along the shore, stopping only to face-plant in a deep water-filled ditch we crossed 300 metres from the finish funnel.
Quite an eventful run, but nothing really in comparison with what the GDH Hodgson Brothers Relay team endured the next day (when I am actually finishing writing this after returning from my support role) on their four legs in and out of Patterdale across Hartsop, High Street, Kirkstone, and Red Screes and Dovedale etc…I hope one or two of them can tell the tales of like 25mph bum slides down a 45 degree greasy grass gradient oiled by constant rain (this was the baptism of fire…or water, in relay running for Wioleta and Lance H G). They were both hyper-ventilating after the thrill of their final crazy exhilarating descent on leg 1!
There were other heroic efforts today, but everyone came back in one piece and had enjoyed fierce competition from other clubs and the elements.
A great event with everyone contributing hugely and reward for Immy’s great effort in conquering the logistics and getting the team out there!
New Glossop Fell Race – Ian Crutchley
Captain C led a group of fearless Harriers around the New Glossop Fell Race today – club champs race for October. There don’t appear to be any tales of people falling over though. This makes me sceptical, but see what you think for yourselves…
Although lots of people will be doing this route throughout October, I reckon this group effort is more than worth its mention in the weekly report. Octobers Monthly Mashup saw an impressive 12 Harriers complete NGFR in the first weekend. In no order, we had Cheryl Stitt, Rachel Walton, Charmayne Brierley, Rachel Boorer May, Alison Holt, Rebecca Ashworth, Amanda Holtey, Kate Bowden, Adele Metcalfe, Sue Clapham, Rob Murphy and Ian Crutchley.
Although Ive done the route before, I couldn’t avoid being reminded by it constantly, that it is quite hard. In some places in fact, really rather hard indeed. And the weather, whilst it started off sunny as far as Alport Bridge, it was windy, and the odd mild squall as we approached Blackden Clough reminded us that the weather will fall apart at any moment, as the forecast showed it would. Blackden Cough was about the worst point, a slow and technical climb, raining, wet and muddy, brook in full flow. We were kind of dreading the top because it really seemed that’s where the weather would really hit us, But for all its blust and noise, we timed it perfectly, and we emerged into sunshine! So we ended up, not only getting round in good spirits, but also, Im pleased to say, in a rather business-like and uneventful fashion. The last few miles were tough on us all, and the weather did finally collapse on us as we descended Doctors Gate to the end, with heavy rain and even some thunder and lightning, which seemed much closer than you’d like. But we were all but done by then, and we cruised to the turning circle unscathed. A massive well done and Thanks to everyone that got around today!
Thanks to Lins Palmer too, who although recovering from an injury, accompanied our merry band as far as James Thorn.
Chelly Chase – Nick Ham
Nick Ham also appears not to have fallen over today, but he did get slightly lost, so I’ll let him have that one!
Short runs for me this weekend; I’m saving myself for next Saturdays’ Round Rotherham. Woodbank parkrun yesterday served as the warmer for today’s Chelmorton Chase (Chelly Chase for short). I’d never done this one before and I wasn’t sure it was going ahead since I’d had no acknowledgement for my preregistration, and social media on the subject was non-existent, save for my question on the FRA forum, which also got no response. Anyway, when I turned up (too early) at Chelmorton, my fears of having to return home unfulfilled disappeared because marshals and signage were in evidence.
I was welcomed to registration by a female whirlwind of enthusiasm and excitement who I assumed to be the organiser. She was dressed in summery floral attire and large-brimmed sun hat to raise the feel-good vibe even further. She was quite brilliant. I was surprised to learn that next year would be the race’s 25th anniversary, yet I’d hardly heard of it. I was less surprised to learn that they only had 12 entrants when the 11:30 start arrived.
I had spotted some speed merchants among the small but perfectly-formed throng. I expected to be a tail-end finisher. Before we were set off, the photographer, having taken photos of the start line, set off on his trail bike to take more photos out on the course, while an open-topped car waited to drive up the lane to show the front-runners the way to the first turn-off. (The same car would be waiting on the long road run-in to the finish.)
Finally we were off and my inadequacy in the running department hit home within seconds when the aforementioned speed merchants shot off at indecent speed up the hill out of the village. I ‘ran’ valiantly in their receding wake until the first marshal at the right fork onto the track, at which point I couldn’t do it any longer. I walked the rest of the way until topping out into the rolling fields with their limestone walls.
I just about had the back-marker of the main group in sight, who was dressed rather inconveniently in black. However, by the time I arrived at an exit stile onto a track, I couldn’t see him any longer. I expected to see one of the promised ‘marshals at every turn’ to point the way but there was no-one. I looked left and saw an arrow on the gate. With a tinge of misgiving I turned left to follow it. I now recognised the route of the White Peak Walk, which descends to and crosses the A6. I continued with increasing misgivings, looking back and waiting for a Steel City Strider and Pennine Fellrunner to catch up. They hadn’t done the race before either; they were just following me. Oh dear. I feared I had led them astray. Another runner came down, who it turned out was running an Ultramarathon. I knew it! I’d been following their arrows! We turned around to recross the A6 (I knew we shouldn’t have to cross that on a fell race) and climbed the track back up to the top of the hill and the gate I shouldn’t have gone through. Looking left there was another step stile across the track which I’d missed but should have taken. That’s why there was no marshal then: no turn, no marshal, no lighty, no likey (now you know what I used to watch).
Now back on the path of righteousness with nearly 1.5 extra miles and plenty of extra climb in the legs, we ran as fast as we could to rescue the subsequent marshals from their undoubted anguish over what could be taking the tail-enders so long. I felt nostalgic when we hit the road and track to the location of the Chelmorton checkpoint on the Bullock Smithy Hike. It had been a month and it was a lot colder and wetter now. Then it was a sharp right turn on the lane back to Chelmorton. A rainbow arch guided us on the final descent to the village. As the finish came into view, loud cheers and whoops rose from the organiser (by ‘eck she is good) to force that extra bit of effort to the line. It had taken me 1:05:50 to complete those 5-going-on-6.5 miles. Amazingly, most of the runners waited for us to finish so they could have a proper prize presentation, which was dashed impressive I have to say. The winners got a personalised framed certificated with their name and photo taken out on the course – a brilliant memento, I thought. They also got a bottle of fizz.
All finishers got an anonymous medal and, thanks to the low turn-out, we got a spot prize as well. I’ll take my bottle of fizz as a consolation prize for nearly finishing last. Although mostly a trail race, this one has lodged itself in my memory as one to return to. At least I can be sure of a PB (they’re like hen’s teeth, you know).
London Marathon – Ian Jackson
I’ve not had a report, but word on the street has it that Ian Jackson completed the London Marathon today in a personal best of 4 hours 15 minutes. Great running Ian!
Tomorrow (Monday 4th) at 7pm, we have the brilliant opportunity to spend some time with Rupert Bonington from Mountain Fuel, answering all of your nutrition questions! I’ll post the Zoom link in the group tomorrow, or you can also get it from the Facebook event here: https://fb.me/e/2FEABoLKr
So that’s it, another week in the life of Glossopdale! Don’t forget to keep sending your reports into email@example.com, we love hearing what you’ve been up to!
A small yet perfectly formed set of races this week….
Wincle Trout Fell Race (Thanks to Paul Skuse)
At the risk of repeating myself, this may now be my favourite race route. It was the first time out at Wincle trout for the 4 of us (me, frank, Crutches and Nick). I’d heard loads of good stuff about this one but normally left it too late to get on it as it books up really quickly. The turnout was pretty impressive. I can’t estimate numbers anything over 20 but Frank thinks 350 ish runners were out on the course. The race intro was very brief “3.2.1 go!” No waffle, all business. I was clueless as where to go but there were plenty of fast lads to follow. The climb out from the car park was the most arduous part of the race. The humidity was certainly not helping matters. After that, it was hit the cruise control and float through the woods. It truly was all runnable; if you’ve ever done RSR it was pretty similar terrain to the woodland bits. I finally got to see Lud’s Church though I was pretty much focusing on my feet at the time. You know it’s a belter if, when seeing the finish line, you get a sense of disappointment as you know it’s almost over. No idea about results/times. If interested, they’ll be posted somewhere at some point. Thanks to those who came out and raced.
Peris Horseshoe (Thanks to Chris Webb)
Chris Jackson and I headed to Snowdonia for a classic on the fell running calendar, the Peris Horseshoe. In an age where the cool kids are all running ‘Sky Races’ (myself included, just without the ‘cool’ element!) it’s tempting to overlook a race which has all the characteristics of those races but without the snazzy trimmings. For £7 you get a tough, technical route (~17miles/8000ft) over some gnarly terrain, electronic timing and soup and a roll at the end!
The start heads 3000ft straight up Elidir Fawr through the quarries and Jackson and I were among a group of about 8 all trying desperately not to hit it too hard knowing we’d be regretting it later on. After the summit there’s a glorious traverse around to Y Garn, I’m not sure there’s a better runnable section of fell, with epic views on both sides on a clear day. The clag was down for the race however and I was in the lead group of 3 passing those who had opted for the early start (you can choose to set off 30mins early if you’re not planning on being at the sharp end and don’t want to be finishing too late), Jackson presumably not far behind. Over Y Garn and then down and up to Glyder Fawr before the tricky descent to Pen-y-Pass, getting a good line down here isn’t straightforward, today’s was another variation but was good enough.
The leader had opened a gap which he would maintain to the finish leaving me to battle with another Eryri runner. There’s a fast running section after the halfway point along the Miners Track dodging walkers before the steep climb up Y Lliwedd. This section is awesome, along the ridge, drop into the col and then straight up Snowdon via the crags just above the Watkin Path. I was just behind the guy in 2nd at the summit and chased him down the long descent of Snowdon before the cruel final climb of Moel Cynghorion. I managed to overtake and somehow avoided cramping on the climb before the steep descent to the finish at the cafe just above Llanberis.
I finished 2nd in 3hrs 56mins and Jackson was just behind in 4th (about 4hrs10mins I think). After the Ring of Steall race last weekend, Chris is clearly in some decent form! All in all a cracking day out for £7 and I urge anyone who likes these sort of races to have a go next year.
Lakeland Races (Thanks to John Pollard)
The last two Saturdays have found me, unsurprisingly, in the Lakes for a couple of different races. Last week was the Cartmel based races in the Lakeland Trails series. I’ve waited two years to do this one as it’s on trails I often run when I’m at my caravan. They are very runnable but challenging because of that, with some decent little climbs. Usually though, they are pretty muddy in parts and more like a cross-country, but climate change or whatever it has been so bone dry that I’ve seen hardly a puddle for weeks.
There’s different distances on offer and when I arrived for the last one to run, the 18k, apparently Charmayne Brierley had already completed her 10k and was no doubt off for a wild swim somewhere cold with probably a bike ride thrown in! I know this because I was told by the only other Glossopdaler there, Anne Williams, ready to do the same 18k as me. As Lakeland still operate wave starts Anne and I were due to go 5 minutes apart so we had a nice chinwag before I joined the start line.
Those of you who know Anne will know she’s a bloody good runner and I was expecting her to catch me somewhere along the line, so I wasn’t surprised to find her floating up alongside as we hit the last incline in the final mile in the woods by the racecourse. It didn’t really give me a kick up the jacksy as I was spent and Anne finished looking fresh as 1st LV50 in about 1hr 45 I think. Well run!
This Saturday was a different kettle of fish, tackling the 19 mile-ish of the Four Passes, an event staged by the small family-run Ascend Events. I like these guys and they put on a good bash on well-conceived Lakes routes. I saw Kate Bowden, Wioleta and Rebecca Smith complete their ‘Five Passes’ earlier in the year so fancied this as a taster.
Intrepid navigator Nicola Pennington and I joined two fellow runners from Tony Hillier’s HRC group Wayne and Samantha, to have a hopefully pleasant jaunt round a few Lakeside valleys and passes. And this week Kate B couldn’t resist signing up for her 4th, I think, go at it. We all met up at Rosthwaite village hall in the heart of Borrowdale where it begins, on a seemingly benign and bright morning for pre race cuppas and selfies before Geoff, the RO’s, relaxed ‘off you go’ set us in motion.
I wouldn’t really describe it as a race as it doesn’t have the frantic urgency or tension of a fell or road race, and though some are no doubt competitive we were not going for a time as my friends were more keen to sample some rougher off road terrain, not their usual surface. I was chatting to Kate in the first mile until we met a few bottlenecks to get out of the valley, and then she was gone….aiming for her pb, and I never saw her again! I don’t know how she fared but I hope you got your pb Kate.
Out of Borrowdale our progress proper began with the first steady climb past picturesque Stockley Bridge up to Styhead Pass, accompanied by an increasingly low cloud level and drizzle, and there was no prospect of seeing the higher flanks of Great Gable or even the lesser fells. This Piccadilly Circus of crossroads to the high fells was busy with hikers despite the forlorn prospect of them seeing much from the tops. It was muggy though. Always feel for the volunteers at the checkpoints, and our man at the stretcher box wasn’t particularly chipper in the rain!
Styhead lead us down to Wasdale Green and the first food/aid station at 7.5 miles. Banter is usually had at these apart from cake and the like, and I had a laugh with the guys I’d met and had ‘bants’ with at the 5 Passes. You had to be there.
The rest of the route is history. Out of Wasdale I think the hardest climb came, up Black Sail Pass to its summit overlooking the head of Ennerdale, where on another day you can divert left and do the Pillar-Kirk Fell ridge. Not today. The rain was more persistent and it made the already technical descent down to the lonely Black Sail youth hostel even more tricky with wet rock.
The third pass and climb was Scarth Gap, flanked by Haystacks and High Stile, a much used pedestrian link with the outside world from this unique location. Probably the easiest of the day, though Samantha and I waited for some time below at the Buttermere checkpoint after it, wondering where Wayne and Nicola had got to…? The answer was they’d stopped to help a guy (another competitor) who’d had a fall and injured himself.
It was actually cold for the first time now, at 13 miles in. The remaining vans and motor homes of Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible film crew littered the Gatesgarth farm fields, filming having just ended, and provided a distraction for Nicola. Tom’s private chopper I’d seen earlier in the week had vanished….
The last climb beckoned, along Warnscale Bottom flanking the impressive shape of Fleetwith Pike, but ascending on tired legs to the old miners bothy of Dubs Quarry above Honister Pass. Busy tourist attraction at Honister with various things going on there these days, including the mine tours and via ferratas.
The descent to the last checkpoint at Honister was leisurely and led us naturally on to a section of the Coast to Coast path, leading us to the more pastoral surrounds of Seatoller and finally Rosthwaite. What better way to end then but with pie and potatoes and hot tea! Job done, but I’ll be back to try for a time next time. I know we all enjoyed it, though one of my friends commented ‘never again’. How can you prefer roads to this though?
Multi-Terrain Relays: Ian and Immy served up another top mashup event this weekend with the return of the multi-terrain relays! Thanks to everyone who turned out to run, marshal and/ or support. Results and LOTS of photos below (courtesy of Ian C. and Alan S.)
#RunandTalk Week 2021: A good number of club members joined a fun and friendly social running event on Thursday to celebrate and participate in #RunAndTalkWeek.
GDH Virtual Champs: September Just a quick reminder that there are only a few days left to complete the Shelf Moor route (in company).
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!
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 Holmeand 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.
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!
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:
Leg 1 (solo)
Leg 2 (Navigation, Pair)
Leg 2 (Navigation, Pair)
Leg 3 (Long, Pair)
Leg 3 (Long, Pair)
Charlotte Anne Bliss
Leg 4 (solo)
Leg 1 (solo)
Leg 2 (Navigation, Pair)
Leg 2 (Navigation, Pair)
Leg 3 (Long, Pair)
Leg 3 (Long, Pair)
Leg 4 (solo)
Leg 1 (Solo) – 5.9km with 430m of Climbing
Leg 2 (Navigation leg for Pairs) – Approx 10km with 700m of climbing
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.
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: https://forms.office.com/r/9CG7YShVWM 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.
MANCHESTER AREA CROSS COUNTRY LEAGUE ENTRIES 2021/22
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: https://forms.gle/HseTAZCKRAWUSXL29 Remember to also transfer £7 to Glossopdale Harriers in the same way you pay your membership. The deadline for entries is Thursday 30th September.
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! firstname.lastname@example.org.