The July 2022 Round Up

It has been a very weathery month so far but that has not deterred Harriers from pinning on race numbers and doing their running thing far and wide. We also kicked off our 40th anniversary celebrations with a mass photoshoot and a lot of blue and orange running and marshalling at our lovely local parkrun.

Let the 40th anniversary celebrations begin! (courtesy of Vicki Doyle).

A year of Glossopdale Harrier 40th Anniversary celebrations has finally started with a photoshoot on Saturday 16th July where sixty-nine Harriers (old and new, young and old) and 1 dog showed their very best club colours for our Harrier expert photographer, Alan Schofield. The anniversary sub committee are hard at work planning the party in September and ideas are being formulated and developed to make sure it is a bumper year for our club members.

July Racing (courtesy of Paul Skuse)

July’s races started on Sat the 2nd with the Thurlstone Chase. Top little race. It’s not really a fell race, it’s a trail race over farm tracks and lanes. Thoroughly enjoyed it (and took 4th overall and V40). Ben R and Tim C also were out with John P supporting. 

On to Sunday 3rd and a last-minute rock up and run at Great Hucklow (a rival talked me into it). Just me and Cheryl from GDH on this one. First time for me on this course and it’s a bit spicier than anticipated. The climbs were fine but the bushwhacking over Astley Moor (?) took a lot out of me. Came 8th so pretty pleased with that. Cheryl took the fv40 –winner! 

Monday the 4th and one of the absolute racing highlights of the year: The Hathersage Gala fell race! It’s a 5/5 race. This should be in next year’s champs. Just me and Si Watts on this (but supported by Ben H). Si smashed it coming 13th. I took 15th

Sat 9th. Charlesworth Carnival Fell Race. You were all there so there’s no point writing about it. Star of the day was Matt Crompton for sorting the kid’s races. A great day out and top prizes for Ben T. 

On then to Sunday the 10th and Peak Forest. Another one of my favourites but the legs were really feeling fatigued. This is a really nice white peak trail race; pretty much all runnable and nice and grassy underfoot when of the paths. Me, Mel B and Rob M on this with support from Chris J. (Nobody recognized Rob M cos he didn’t have his woolly hat on 🙂 ). In his other vest, Stevie K. utterly smashed this coming 2nd and V50. It’s great to see him back on form and possibly better than ever. 

Weds 13th Bamford Carnival – the best Bamford race! Just me and Mel B this time (and I did the driving!) No idea about results but I had a proper battle with some Dark Peak lads. Proper mid-week racing. 

Thurs 14th. GDH V Pennine. Great event (but a tough, frustrating route). Thanks to all who organized it, sorted the secret recce runs and so on.  

Weds 20th Millbrook Monster. Another highlight in the racing calendar. The path up felt much easy this year than it has in the past. Ben T is flying. Took 3rd. Team GDH did all right for prizes with me, Steve C and Tom S taking our age cat. prizes. Some really strong performances from the club (Frank H and Pete S) and a good GDH turnout plus support from Ben R. Guy has already linked up the full results. 

Endure 24 Leeds (courtesy of Rachel B-M)

It had been a very long almost 7 months of training for my first 24hr running event at the beginning of July which was Endure 24 – consisting of 8KM laps and completing as many as I wanted to within the time limit. My aim was 100KM. 

First of all one of the biggest things for me to tackle was camping for the weekend! I personally don’t like camping and had no equipment and had to beg steal and borrow almost everything! Apart from a pop up tent I purchased second hand! Once I pitched my tent up I went and joined the Start 2 Jog lot that were in the beer tent. They’d got a DJ on, so I joined along in the festivities and danced like a fool and drank zero alcohol beer! The music ended at 11pm and it was sleep time! 

Race day – made sure I had a good breakfast and was hydrated properly. Taped myself up with Rock tape and put loads of anti chafing stick on. When it was time I made my way to the start. The atmosphere was amazing!  I pitched my tent right by where I ran past it after each 8km so it was easy enough to get back to for fuel. I made sure after each 8km I had a little bite to eat.  I also made a laminated sign that fit on my running belt with ‘solo’ and my name written on it and I’m so glad I took the advice from others to do this. Frequently throughout the race runners were giving me the encouragement I needed to carry on.

It got to 6pm which was 6hrs of running with only a 5 min or less stop to refuel each lap, so I then decided I needed something a bit more substantial to eat. So I stopped for about 20 mins and had a sandwich and some crisps and made sure I was still walking up and down as didn’t want to stop completely incase I couldn’t get started again! By this time I had completed 30 miles, and felt like I’d still got a lot more left in the tank.

I completed another 15 miles and was starting to flag quite a lot. My plan was to get to 50 miles and have a break. Mile 45-50 I started to struggle, my feet were really hurting and I felt like I’d lost the will to live. This is when my laminated sign really helped with other runners encouraging me to carry on.  I finally got to the end of mile 50 and stopped for a sleep, I felt like I really needed it. I was also advised to change into what I was going to wear when I got up again, so I did. Just took my trainers off and kept them off. My feet were full of blisters on my toes and heels, along with blood blisters. But I ignored them for then and tucked myself up for a few hours sleep. This was around 0135am.

I set my alarm for 4.30am but I could not get up, it was too cold! So I set it again for 5.30am and got up then.  It was a struggle getting my trainers and socks on as my feet had swollen and due to the blisters. So I taped my feet up and carried on.  The last 3 laps or 15 miles were excruciatingly painful, my feet were so so sore. I walked the last 3 laps.

Lap 11 was bad, lap 12 was really bad, and couldn’t have done it without messaging my team at work who were sending me whats app voice messages of support. And lap 13 was more than a slow hobble, and I cried pretty much the whole way round and couldn’t have done it without my sister in law walking it with me. I made the last lap with 30 mins to go before the time ran out! 

This event took my all and everything to do it, more mental grit and determination than anything else. But I am so proud that I managed to do it. I would love to do this event again in the future but next time as part of a team and not solo if anyone is up for it!

In the back of my mind I had hoped for 100 miles, but unfortunately this was a pipe dream, there is no way my feet could have carried me a mile further.  I also raised over £600 in memory of my dad for the Lung Foundation, thanks to those that sponsored me.

Lakeland Trails 55k (courtesy of John Pollard)

Got a lateish entry on this due to so many deferrals to next year (will join you again then Anne Williams) but figured I’d done enough miles to give it a decent pop. Ran LT in every location they use but had never done their ultra so was looking forward to this, until the weather forecast started to suggest a steamy weekend ahead. Registered on the Friday when it was very muggy but the Saturday dawned beautifully clear and sunny. It was going to be hot though so I needed my fuelling plan to be spot on (yes, I was taking it seriously 😉 ).

I knew that only Bliss from GDH was doing it as well as me and met up with her and her London pals in the Rothay Park field HQ about an hour before the race. Plenty of time to chat shit and get selfies. There is a 9am start for those that are maybe gonna take it easy or walk A LOT….we both had the 10am slot booked. Talking to one of the organisers I discovered there were only 70 of us setting off at 10, whereas over 300 had gone at 9, so we had a few to aim at! (And to the organisers dismay, out of 193 final entries for the 100k ultra, which set off at midnight, only 110 had showed up….why?!).
Not sure either of us had a fixed idea of what time we might do or aim for but 8 and 9 hours was chucked around a bit. Given it was to be warm it was best to see how the pace felt.

So, the first climb starts immediately, up the tarmac of ‘The Struggle’ towards the top of the Kirkstone Pass, though soon we were on the trail alongside the road, thankfully by-passing Wansfell Pike. It was definitely warm! So I was determined to stick to something like my fuelling plan of about 1000mls electrolyte an hour and as many gels as my stomach could stomach. I did run most of this 4 mile ascent.

Got into a nice chat with a small group as it was early days, and I’ll pretty much talk to anyone. This included a female who’d done it before and could give me some measure of what was a sensible pace…and she said her husband had won it last time, and she wanted to get his time plus 50%…possibly 9 hours. I called her Asics lady as we discussed her new Asic shoes, and I was chatting more shit to her descending from the Kirkstone when I turned around and realised she had dropped back and I was basically in a monologue.

That descent was the closest it got to a fell race with soft grass and rocks underfoot and even some boggy bits! Was my favourite descent in the race. After a bit of trail we recrossed to Brothers Waters where it’s a narrow, twisty, tree-rooted path and I turned my ankle on this causing me to stop and have my first pee (the electrolytes were working!)…possibly TMI though? (Ed: yup) More trail through Hartsop, passing a lovely path for Angletarn Pikes and Beda Fell…how I fancied a dip already…

Finally we got to the tedious road stretch from Patterdale to Glenridding but couldn’t cross the road to the pavement due to coinciding with a motorcycle convoy of, I exaggerate not, close to 100 bikers. But we got to Glenridding and feed station/ checkpoint 2, 11 miles in now, where I needed to refill 3×500 ml soft flasks with the secret ingredient as there was a long climb up Grisedale ahead….I was actually on my own by this time but there were plenty of runners milling about hugging the shade while they re-charged. I also drank some rola-cola here as well as a few slices of cake, and left the village hall on my own, burping and farting freely.

By now I was catching up some of the 9am starters and there was a small diversion of the route around Lanty’s Tarn due to fallen trees, but the track only climbed sharply for a bit before becoming more runnable as the fell view opened up along Grisedale. It does steepen again for the long drag up to Grisedale Tarn, and I found myself passing a lot of the 9am starters along this. The view ahead was also inspiring with the flanks of the Helvellyn massif to my right and Fairfield to my left. Only irritation was the absolute lack of a breeze. I’m sure it was a day for the ridges but Guy Riddell, who did a BG leg with Nat Hicks that day, later told me there wasn’t much air on the tops either.
Finally, Grisedale Tarn arrived, or at least I did at it, and I was not surprised to see two runners taking a dip in it….very relaxed! There was a hint of breeze until we angled left, past the possible ascents of either Seat Sandal or Fairfield…then the breeze was gone again. And on the technical, rocky, engineered path down away from the tarn I had my worst moment of the race. I got cramp in my left calf and was immediately cursing profanities, this was 16 miles in, far too early for that! But I do sweat buckets and I wondered if I had taken enough fluid on. There was only one thing to do….get a lady with poles to unzip my race vest back (I’m lazy) and pass me the emergency flask, and take some additional salt capsules. It slowed me down a bit and I felt a bit rough all the way down the long descent into Grasmere, but it seemed to do the trick, and I managed to keep up with a young guy who I’d chatted with earlier as we made it in the very obvious heat now to CP3 and…the feed station!

There was another steep climb from there up toward Silver Howe, so it was a repeat of filling all the flasks plus a selection of sweet treats. On the ascent from Grasmere I chatted to a couple from the Trail Terriers RC, who I’d never heard of(it’s a free national virtual trail running club for trail runners/bimblers of all types apparently). The route heads for Chapel Stile and the Langdales now, and there was decent running through the bracken till it dropped down into the valley. I ran alongside a lady from the 9am starters now, but she was running well, having also swam in Grisedale Tarn. She was using this as a training run for the Lakeland 100 at the end of July, and her strategy was to walk ANY incline and run the rest. I spent a happy hour running into Langdale with her(she lives in the valley too, lucky woman) but left her at the next feed station, where we told water was running a tad low! 23 miles done now.

With a half marathon still to do I felt strangely optimistic as I was running ok and the cramp had not reappeared. Thank you Precision Hydration! A fabulous, if rather sweaty loop round Langdale accounted for the next 7 miles till we headed back towards Elterwater and the final Langdale CP/feed. Slight consternation here when one of the marshals told us, ‘you’ve got it now, only 10k from here’….according to a 55k distance we only had 7k to the finish, but I was told the course measures long!

Nice official photograph taken on this stretch, including a banner 50m before him, saying ‘SMILE-camera’. So for once I was smiling not gurning.

Only a minor climb around Loughrigg left to tax you by now, but this was where we saw the casualties. I’d caught up with a young lad from Barrow and, as we climbed and chatted about Barrow F Cs season of survival in League Two (who knew?), we first came across a chap on his phone by the side of the trail and his pal looking green, lying on the ground throwing up. He was phoning for help and we later learned he’d recovered, but not a pretty sight. Then a little further on I spied a large bag shape round a bend, thinking it was a bag of rocks left to help engineer the path; it was in fact a body, well a guy lying with his dehydrated head poking out while 4 medics/officials tended to his needs. We later learned that he too recovered after treatment, but that he was known to the organisers as a guy who ‘doesn’t know when to stop or slow down’.

Me and Barrow-man were joined by the young guy I’d ran stretches with earlier and it was just a case of sprinting (haha) down the steep cemented downhill into Rothay Park and the finish. I’m too competitive for my own good sometimes but my tank wasn’t empty so I shot away from the two lads to finish in my own little funnel of glory and that was it. It measured 58k in the end and I took 9hrs 7m – the error there being I faffed for about 35 mins at feed stations. I’d have spent less time if it hadn’t been so hot tbf.
Done that got the t-shirt, but honestly I’ll be back next year. Bliss I know you didn’t enjoy it like I did, and I’m sorry about that but hope we can line up again.

Glossopdale v Pennine Test, 14th July 2022

A fun event by all accounts with a lovely pic and a great result – well done Immy, Zoe and Nan. More photos, videos and info are available on FB.

Manvers swimrun mash-up (courtesy of John Pollard)

I hesitate to call this a duathlon, but it will hereafter be called ‘the duathlon’. Whatever it was it was my first effort at running and swimming at the same time, if you get my drift. Running in 2mm thick, not shortie, wetsuit in 30C temps will not be recommended by your doctor, but maybe your dietician would. The event, sorry, duathlon, was I believe the brainchild of Immy T (guessing) from last year’s mash up. But Cathy M seemed to be the driving force behind urging sign-ups to this second one. And sadly, Immy was ill on the day and didn’t make it.

I was giving David Christie-Lowe a lift and after picking him up I neglected to check my sat nav and assumed the route was via The Snake pass. So getting on for an hour later, after an engaging chat with David and no concentration on where we were, it became apparent we were in the Sheffield suburbs not Rotherham and finally switching Waze on, realised it was still another 40 mins to go as I should’ve taken the Woodhead. Bombed out trophy contention right there, except Ben Hartley is in a class of his own.
There was a real danger we wouldn’t make it on time for the 2pm start now, especially after another wrong turn on the dual carriageway (my fault or co-pilot David?) and Kate Bowden’s texts were coming in…’you ok, you set off an hour before us?’… That was an interesting detour to read about wasn’t it?

On arrival all the Glossopdalers (a bevy of beauties…plus Dan Stinton) were assembling outside the changing area to listen to the safety briefing and general intro. The guy mentioned some ‘tricky bits’ which wasn’t exactly music to my ears but he was referring to some of the run sections in between swims. We were not to be navigating the course on our own, another (duathlon?) group were coming along too, all to be closely monitored and guarded, as I was repeatedly to find out, by the Manvers open water lifeguards.

The course was 5km long and we would be constantly in and out of the water with 6 running legs and 6 swim legs. I recall the assurance that we would be doing it as a social tour of the route, sticking together as a group so no one would be left behind.
However, the other group obviously hadn’t had that email as at the end of the first swim, where I was last getting out of the water (and had one trainer sucked off my foot by the silted shoreline) they were charging off on the first run leg. I think I may have shouted something that rhymed with clucking bell and that did the trick as they halted and waited. ( Probably they thought…‘who’s this wimp?’).

It hadn’t helped as literally just before we took the plunge into the lake for that first swim, my goggles had snapped(plastic nose bridge decayed after two years of no use).
Cathy kindly offered to go back to changing rooms for one of her 20 spare pairs, but I was fine to swim without, not being an actual wuss despite rumours. You can swim without a wetsuit (as several of GDH did) but you must have a tow float then, which needs buying. A brightly coloured cap is obligatory, but flippers and goggles are optional. Them’s the rules.

So I was set, with my thick, long wetsuit – only previously worn on dry land, and not to run in! The Manvers safety team keep a very close eye on you, from SUP boards, canoes and swimmers too, and if you should turn onto your back to have a wee rest, as I was prone to do, one of them would immediately approach you and ask if you’re alright and not in difficulty. Them’s the rules. Cathy was particularly custodial (wrong word), acting like a mother hen or maybe a mother duck escorting her ugly slow ducklings( i.e. me ) across each swim section. I must say Wendy McMahon was brilliant in the water too, it being her first experience of such an event and I’d say no stronger a swimmer than I was. But Wendy ploughed on, with her inimitable front crawl style and was often in similar water to me. (Rough). I think we improved as the swims lengthened, and on the runs we warmed to our task, with the emphasis on warm thanks to the blazing sun.

There is no photographic record of what did or didn’t happen, but various strava feeds suggest we were active in both water and on dry land, though due to the difficulty of suddenly trying to program my Garmin for multi-sport duathlon just before entering the water my strava says a run of  4.06kms in 51mins with 88m elevation at an ave pace of 10.42/km. Not sure what that means…

I would say, bad joking aside, that it’s a fun event and a good challenge too if you’re not a strong swimmer, and hope we might see more GDH out if it’s on next year. If I was a better swimmer, like say David, I could take to the water more often.

The June 2022 Round Up

Halfway through the year already! Where did all the time go?! Some epic stuff been going on this month with loads of local racing, races further afield and another finisher of the Bob Graham (Updated on Club Achievements page HERE). Also a rather astonishing ultra… here’s the reports! Thanks for all the submissions!

Bob Graham Round (Sarah Andrew)

This was mine and Robin’s second BG attempt; the previous one last August, consisting of me and Robin, my parents on road support and a humongous bag of cold pizzas, had ended on Clough Head. We had pushed it back three days due to feeling poorly and clearly we weren’t better!

This year was a different affair, very much an expanded team consisting of many GDHers, family and non-GDH friends. To keep with tradition, me and Robin again picked something up the week before and felt off.. not ideal but we were committed! 

Robin had also picked up a knee injury in our last long training run two weeks prior – a double Kinder dozen attempt – which he had had to abort.. not ideal but we were committed.

On the day the weather was interesting, strong winds and poor visibility with some rain thrown into the mix too, enough for Emmerdale RO to decide to cancel the race.. not ideal but we were committed!

Anyway, you get the idea, conditions weren’t ideal (are they ever?!) but off we went! Leg one felt good and we got to Skiddaw quicker than any time previously. The parachute descent off Blencathra was tricky in the clag but a quick changeover followed and we set off on leg 2 with the stoic Josh and Jake. 

Leg 2 was clag, wind, rain, and darkness and we began to lose time. Robin was feeling worse by the hour, and apart from a surge of energy up Fairfield this was to carry on for the rest of his run. Quick changeover at Dunmail, some pizza, and we cracked on with the ever strong Rick and Neal.

Leg 3 continued with clag, wind, rain but by now daylight! Robin decided that he wanted to carry on at a slower pace due to his energy levels falling way short of usual, so he and Neal stayed together and me and Rick carried on at an ever so slightly faster pace.. and that was the last me and Robin ran together. I felt very slow, which I definitely was over the greasy wet rocks around Scafell, but Rick was brilliant, and I made it to Wasdale slightly less behind than I had been! A sit down, some soup and then off on leg 4 with the ever encouraging and professional Zoe and Greg. 

Leg 4 saw some better weather and we ticked off the summits. At this point I was convinced I wouldn’t make 24 hours but I was also determined that I would make it round whatever the time. Seeing Robin waiting for me at Honister brought a mixed bag of feelings, I was ecstatic to see him but also gutted that our joint adventure hadn’t happened the way we had hoped. 

More soup, a swig of tea and on to leg 5 with a full entourage of people – Greg, Ian, Wiola, Josh, Jake and Nat, all of whom played a massive part in dragging me through leg 5! 

We arrived in Keswick at 19.44, 23 hours 44 minutes after setting off. An amazing feeling, following the same footsteps of so many heroes of mine who had done so before (albeit in a much slower time!), as well as fellow GDHers. I’m very grateful to have been able to do it and it would not have been possible without all those mentioned above, as well as the amazing, spirit-lifting road support, Ollie, Anna, Joe and Lucy. 

Robin had struggled with extremely low energy and his knee injury since early in leg 3 but carried on to Wasdale, where it was a no brainer for him to end his run. Still, we both had a great weekend and massively appreciate the efforts everyone went to to be a part of it and to enable it to happen. 

Me and Robin first set out together on this BG adventure six years ago – back when we were more hill walkers and heavy drinkers than fell runners! – when we first walked and camped the route over five days; at the time it was the hardest thing we’d ever done! Six years later and the aim was to both finish it in 24 hours, and to do so together.. so the adventure isn’t quite over yet.. 😉

The Dream Team
Out of the clag and into a new day, finally a bit of a view on leg 2!

Lakesman (Marie Williamson)

I recently completed my 95th marathon/ultra. That’s nothing new for me, you might think. Well….this one was completed after also swimming 2.4 miles & cycling 112 miles. I have spent the last 30 weeks dedicating my time/training solely on getting me iron distance triathlon fit. I suffered a running injury at the gravy pud in December & that had affected my run training a fair amount for several months. I’d taken a couple of weeks out & had physio but had struggled with any speed work & downhills! Luckily, it had started to feel better in the month before the event. 

On the day: The swim was totally fine, whilst the first half of the bike was awful. My chamois cream had washed off in the swim (& I didn’t reapply in transition). I was in pain fairly early on & I was convinced I wasn’t going to make the cut off time. I was in a pit of misery. I cried & I swore…loudly!! At around 70 miles, I redid the maths & worked out that I might actually be in time. Things felt much better after that & I managed to start enjoying the ride. I reached the dismount line at transition & was told I’d made it in time…even had 10 minutes to spare! Everything felt better once I was running. I was able to relax into it. I had several friends there supporting who, because of the lapped course, I saw lots of times along the way. I felt like I’d walked a lot during the run (& ate my weights worth of sweets!!) but still finished the marathon in a respectable 4:55:50. My total time for the triathlon was 14:57:50 which I was very pleased with. Just 4 marathons to complete before my planned 100th at London in October.  

But, in the meantime…..I am a Lakesman!!

A whole load of races in June (John Pollard)

So it looked like a busy June ahead, and I was only hoping my decidedly dodgy knees were going to cope with the run load. At time of writing, with two events still to go only the chronic arthritis is bugging me.

First race was guess where, yes the Lakes – an Epic events 21 mile trail run anti-clockwise around the Ullswater Way.

This was the most enjoyable as coincidentally Sue Clapham had entered and I hadn’t run with Sue for a while. If we’re talking painful conditions, Sue can tell you what agony a piriformis/sciatic nerve issue can cause. But this wasn’t going to stop her, and this was a freebie for both of us as I’d marshalled last year and Sue had won FV at Grizedale.

A lovely clear morning dawned but promising not to be too hot (unlike the pace Sue usually sets) and a large field gathered at Glenridding at 8.30 to be set off along the shore in the direction of Place Fell. For some traffic issue we were kept huddled together for an extra 15 minutes….maybe the wait was why Sue and I started at a fair pace after agreeing we would be keeping a brisk but social pace to, of course, enjoy it more!

Progress was steady and as the field spread out we were probably averaging 11min chatty miles and maintaining our position. Lots of hard packed trail along the route and rocky sections through wooded areas and above the shoreline. It got technical and hilly in a few places which was good.

After a fast rocky descent below Hallin Fell passing Arthur’s Pike toward the tourist haven of Pooley Bridge we were running a short road gauntlet of shops and eating outlets, tantalising us with a mix of breakfast smells, and began some gentle but testing short climbs on the west side of Ullswater.

The biggest fell hereabouts is Great Mell Fell, and that’s only 1762’ and we weren’t even summiting that, but the climbs were stiff enough and by the end we’d done over 1000 metres of ascent. We passed modest Little Mell Fell, somehow a Wainwright…and pulled up picturesque Gowbarrow Fell, before turning abruptly away just below its summit, frustrating for baggers! (Gowbarrow is where William and Dorothy Wordsworth strolled along the Aira Point shore to encounter the ‘host of golden daffodils’ immortalised in a certain poem later). It was a host of spring heather we encountered!

And tourists flocking to Aira Force as we ran through the rammed car park – the most difficult route-finding of the day.

It was honestly just a bit of a slog from there, some road again through Glenridding to pick up the last miles on the lakeside trail. It must have been warmer than it seemed as I got a severe cramp within the last mile and alarmed Sue with my yelp of pain, she thought I was having a cardiac arrest. But the drama queen survived and I got to the finish field a little behind the flying Sue. I was just over 4 hours, I think Sue just under, and not sure of positions. Did you get another cat win Sue? I was 3rd V60.

But really, it was all about getting round together.

Worth a long walk some other time too👍

2nd and 3rd races I did were at the Lakeland Trails weekend in Coniston a week later.

I’ll be mercifully briefer about these.

One of the best things about Lakeland Trails is the buzz and atmosphere they generate at their HQ. I arrived on Saturday to do the 15k trail race and was pleased to see Paul Amos there, ready to do the earlier 15k challenge.

It was the very windy weekend, when proper fell races like Ennerdale were cancelled on account of the conditions up top. The race field HQ at Coniston Hall was gusty enough, the finish tapes rattling away in the wind and trying to drown out the resident musician.

I had a free pre-race massage off an enterprising newly-qualified sports therapist, though I was full of a cold that week and a cure for that was not on offer.

The 15k route there is one of the best LT routes they offer(and the marathon on Sunday is billed as ‘the most scenic trail marathon in Britain’).

It climbs up the Coppermines Valley and heads partly into the fells on the flanks of The Bell, with some good technical rocky sections, before descending to the Walna Scar road and heading west into the headwind. Can’t believe Sarah Andrew completed the BG in that…awesome!

The descent down to Torver is more like a fell race and uses lines from the Coniston Old Man race. It’s a good testing finish too after that along the lake shoreline back, with many complaining about protruding tree routes. Aww.

So 450 metres ascent and I got a pb at least in 1hr 29.

The Sunday was marathon and half marathon day for many, including Lucy Wasinski and Mandy Beames. Over to you babes.

It was brilliant to see them both after I’d finished my 10k (LT call it the mini-marathon lol). I’d somehow managed to miss Lucy on her run in, as I wasn’t sure of the finishers by then, but wandered a mile up the last bit hoping to be able to offer a cheer. Can she really have been running so fast I didn’t see her pass. It’s possible….

Anyhow, caught up with them both in the damp finishing field after, didn’t even know Mandy was going to be there so it was a nice surprise.

You don’t get so many club runners at these events, so it is possible to finish further up the food chain than in a fell race. I was pleased to win the V60 cat in the 10k after two days of racing, and I’d sweated most of the cold out. Result.

And, we all came away clutching our fetching green Lakeland Trail t-shirts.

4th June race for me was the Dark/White Peak 25k trail race from Hayfield.

Had to miss the Tour of Tameside for this. Shame.

First time doing one of their events, and I’m impressed, especially with the organisation.

I didn’t see any other Glossopdalers there but I saw afterwards that Simon Toole had run. Sorry to miss you.

The starts were all staggered/timed so when I set off at 9 I was on my own and obviously the downside of this is that:  a)there’s no company – until you catch someone, or are passed!  b)you can easily be lulled into taking it easy – god forbid!  and c)you don’t know how you are doing relatively.

Having said that, I quite enjoyed the solitude at times, but also striving to overtake people was satisfying. And the faster lads that took me didn’t bother me at all honest guv.

The route was basically a figure of eight, with the trails out to Lantern Pike – annoyingly by-passing the peak, then out on familiar tracks to Cown Edge and the Picking Rods, before through Rowarth, back to Sett Valley and the Pennine Bridleway and a long drag up to Chinley Churn- the descent off being the literal high point for me.

So there’s plenty of scope for fast running, but really too much tarmac to enjoy it all.

I was timing myself and figured if I did 10 min miles I’d be inside 2 and a half hours, but I hadn’t factored in that it would be 15.6 miles and even at well-sub 10s I was back alone in 2.31.34 after 703 metres ascent. But good enough for 1st V60, so obviously I’ll do another of these!

Lots of lovely tea and cake at the Scout Hut after, and gold and silver certificates depending on your time (I was one of the pupils of the day I think😉) and they’re very fast with rolling out the results.

Just Lyme Park trail race and Hyde 7 left now.

Roll on to Lyme Park…

On the warm evening that most GDH racers were pounding round the resers, I took my carbon footprint over to Lyme Park to do the midsummer 10K organised by Run NorthWest.

This was the biggest field of runners I’ve been in since pre-covid, over a 1000 entries(not everyone is keen to mingle so freely but I felt comfortable with it). They obviously do a good job of marketing their races and Lyme is an attractive location anyway.

 The course was basically the route the NT devised for their free monthly 10K there, which doesn’t seem to have survived. It’s a fast, hard and grassy trail race with a couple of reasonable climbs (272 m) up to the cage and through the woods. I say fast, but we had to queue at two wall stiles for minutes, a bit of a blow for pb chasers.

Bumped into Paul Amos again, as at Coniston…we really must stop meeting like this Paul. And the only other GDH was Kirsty Read. Though I saw a few familiar faces from Cheshire way. The car park suggested affluence!

I went off fast for me at around 7 min miles, but the climbs put paid to that and I finished in 54.20, still holding my position throughout. And I was chuffed to get the V60 cat win.

A generous cash voucher has just landed on the doormat today.

Just the Hyde 7 to complete somehow. I’m not holding my breath.

Brighton Trail Marathon (Amanda Hotley)

A trail marathon in Brighton seemed a good idea, however lack of training and a water infection a few days before meant this was going to be a struggle. Cut off was 9 hrs, so nothing to lose!

Only 12 toilets at start line with 1,500 runners meant half hour queues, but I got to my pen in time. The promised 3 minute wait between waves didn’t happen and everyone trotted off together for the first 0.51 miles. The first gate caused a 15 minute delay! Once through everything seemed quite smooth, it was baking hot and the offerings at the aid stations were limited. The route was very pretty which I walked a lot of, mostly along the South Downs Way. Made a friend along the way and helped  her to finish her first ever marathon. Official time 8:03:11, but really just happy to finish it. 

This was the first event and I think there were a lot of lessons learned. Would recommend it if anyone fancies a weekend away. 

Whaley Waltz (Lucy Wasinski)

Having never done this race before, I’d now say this is a mid summer must do! Local, well oragnised by our neighbours at Goyt Valley Striders and a lot of fun with a couple of river crossings – one right at the very end when you think you are home and dry! Home, but definitely NOT dry! It’s 9k with just under 400m climb, but no monster hill – just some pretty runnable climb shortly after a fast start as you go up to Windgather rocks and Taxal edge. Conditions were pretty perfect with some sun and very dry trails underfoot.True to its name it was pretty breezy up at Windgather rocks half way round. After that, its pretty much all downhill through a few fields and then some cracking fast single track before hitting the lane into the playground and then through the river at the end….there is no elegant way of getting through it and up the other side! Once a few people are back a crowd grows with shouts of “jump! Jump! Jump!” as racers dawdle on the riverbank pondering a line through!

Thanks to Tony Hiller for passing on his place having done plenty of racing in recent weeks! He jokingly said before the start he wanted sub 50 mins from me, never in a million years did I think i’d be close to that as although back doing long distance races I’m a bit of way off the fast short stuff still. Over the moon to get 50min 10, and a  bottle of beer, a beanie and a strawberry plant for 2nd F. Tony was happily gonna quench his thirst with the beer! Great to see a few GDH out for this race (Tim C, Kevin I, Jayne S, Melanie B, Skuse), obviously race addict super speedy Skuse leading the pack despite being about his 300th race in as many days 😉

If you haven’t done this, get it in your diary for next year!

Hyde 7 (James Barnard)

Leading up to the race on Sunday the game plan had been to target 42 mins, chatting to Nat we reckoned this might be good for 10-15th. We figured it would be tough but doable on a good day.

The morning of looked like perfect racing conditions, cool, a bit drizzly and when we got to Hyde an amazing turn out from GDH, there must have been at least 25 of us!

A few minutes of jogging, some drills and strides got us ready to go, as we crammed into the starting area, Skusey took pride of place right on the tape as per usual and led the dancing to Jump Around by House of Pain.

And with the gun we were off in a mass of blue and orange!

The guy who would eventually win shot off the front and had a gap of 20m on us before we were half way up Market Street, no way we were keeping up with that so a group of maybe 10 of us formed as we climbed the first gradual hill.

In the group were Nat, Josh and me, a bunch of Salford Harriers and a couple of Rochdale Harriers.

As we neared the top, the group started to split, Nat surged to make the break and Josh and I hung on.

I started to move away with a couple of Salford Harriers at the top of the hill, I was feeling pretty good and knew there was a long descent coming to recover on, I managed a brief chat with the Salford guys before they surged and left me for dust in no man’s land, they were both on the full tour and looked fresh as anything.

On the climb up to Hattersley McDonalds I could hear someone coming up behind, I saw it was one of the Rochdale lads so moved aside to let him past, I figured I could use him as a carrot to drag me up the hill for a bit, as we turned onto Underwood Road he had gapped me by a few metres, uh oh, maybe I went out too quick.

The descent through Hattersley was great, long enough to recover and not steep so could keep the pace pretty high without thinking too much, I continued to lose contact with the guys in front though.

Wait, who put this bloody hill here! I’d completely forgotten the short climb out of Hattersley since we recce’d the route a couple of weeks ago. I slowed a lot for this climb and another Rochdale came past me. I managed to open my stride up again though on the descent down into Godley, clocking my fastest mile of the race. The added boost from seeing Chris Jackson out supporting kept me pushing on.

Once I saw the 6 mile marker I knew I could maybe hold on to a top 10 and first harrier home, but knew the others wouldn’t be far behind so I’d have to push hard.

I could see I was gaining again on the Rochdale guys at the top of the climb so dug a bit more to close the gap. As we turned on to the run in to the finish I was only a couple of metres back from one of them, I put in a big surge (at least it felt like it) to pass so he didn’t have a chance to hang on and opened up my sprint to the line. In hindsight this was too early, the finish was further away than I realised so I was gritting my teeth trying to sprint and keep a gap on the guy behind.

I just about held it together and crossed the line in 9th place in 41:23, chuffed!

As I crossed, I turned to see the next Harrier home, Nat came through just behind under 42 minutes. Goal: done ✅

Loved it, didn’t look once at my watch and just raced it. It was amazing seeing the rest of Glossopdale come through, so many absolutely smashing it and having great runs.

A big shout out to Immy for coming through as 3rd female!

And huge kudos to those who did the full tour, I can’t imagine putting together 4 races back to back, amazing work!

3 Peaks Ultra (Ian Crutchley on behalf of Riccardo Giussani)

Riccardo Giussani has been up to his old tricks again, reminding us al what it means to run long.  And I mean really, really long.  This time he took on the National 3 Peaks Ultra, which in a nutshell, requires you to climb the national 3 peaks (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowden) with the added challenge of running between the 3!  Yes, that’s right, bonkers.  430 miles or 691.2km later, and Riccardo finished in 6th place, in an impressive time of 209 hours 27 minutes (about 8 ½ days).  That’s averaging about 50 miles a day back to back!  28 started, with 19 finishers. 

The May 2022 Round-Up

A short but sweet update this month, which saw good weather and plenty of racing action!

May’s Races…

A mega-report by Paul Skuse!

Rainow 5 (May 4th)

May’s races started with Rainow. Seems ages ago now. It’s a fast start up a steady climb followed by a steep climb up to White Nancy then some lovely running on the top, fast and grassy (apart from the countless stiles). Then it’s back down, fast as you like, taking no prisoners, knocking down walls (if you’re Sean Collin’s that is!) and back for tea and cake. Winner. I think it was me, Sean, Chris Jackson and “Ever Present” Nick Ham on this one.

Rainow 5 Results
Nick Ham’s Rainow 5 photos

Buxworth 5 (May 12th)

Next up was Buxworth. What a belter! I love the climb on this one. It really is a fell run on the tarmac. Great team turnout out which always sets the mood. Frank Hamiliton ran like a boss and was the first harrier home. You shouldn’t be able to move that fast and look so comfortable. We also had me (I think I got V45 but didn’t stay for prizes),  James Barnard, Stefan (his first non-XC race as GDH), Gaffers, Neon, James Moon (first race as GDH), Natalie Bunting, Rachel Walton and Sarah Mills. I think it may have been the first race for some of the lasses as well. And after an ace race we went to the pub for a drink all snuggled up in blankets. Winner. Also thanks to James M’s lass and Sean C for coming out and supporting (he was kicking himself that he wasn’t in the race!)

Buxworth 5 Results

Alderman’s Ascent (May 14th)

Alderman’s Ascent – the Boss, the Daddy, the Widow maker, the Heartbreaker! Loved it. The run was good but the pies, cider and sunburn are the main memories on this one. I could have spent the whole day there. Ben T made an awesome comeback for the team taking 1st place; Stevie K as Pennine, Chris J, me, Sean Collins and Ben H made the contingent. Got the team prize on this one which always puts a huge smile on my face.  You should have seen Ben and Sean come in – they HATED IT until 2 pints in and were ready to sign up for 2023! Got to be one of my best racing memories ever.

Alderman’s Ascent Results

Next up, the Hayfield-based Three Days in May series…

May Queen (May 20th)

I love this little race – it’s like a mini-Chicken Run. Hayfield up to Lantern Pike and back pretty much sums it up. Loads of tea and cake at the finish. Love it. Ben T, Josh, Sean C, me, Chris J, Rob M (the Man in the Orange Hat!), Pete N, Crutches and Nick “Ever Present” H.

May Queen Results
Nick Ham’s May Queen photos

Mount Famine (May 21st)

Apart from the novelty start, it’s the climb out of Dimpus Clough that stands out on this one. It may be runnable for some but I was deffo opting for hands on knees. Loads of flying ants on the top getting in the eyes, ears, nose and mouth which is always fun. Ben T had a belter but lost first place with a simple wrong turning (he wasn’t alone in this), Chris J showed his climbing legs and smashed it. Neal B made an impressive comeback with his delicate knee and aced it (apart from rolling his ankle). Then it was me, Crutches, Nan, Nick, Cathy and Beryl.

Mount Famine Results
Nick Ham’s Mount Famine photos

Lantern Pike Dash (May 22nd)

Top GDH turn out across all the ages. GDH owned the day! Sadly, a missing marshal turned the junior race into a bit of a debacle, but lessons were hopefully learned. Can’t find any results for this, but Ben T took the prize for all 3 days. And a new V70 record for Frank F! There had better be a proper junior report somewhere as the kids were ace and did us proud.

Lantern Pike Dash Senior Results
Lantern Pike Dash Junior Results
Nick Ham’s Lantern Pike photos

Overall “Three Days in May” Results

Shutlingsloe (May 22nd)

Some of us (me, Chris, Crutches and “Ever Present”) then jumped in the cars to head over to Shutlingsloe for the second race of the day. It was stunning. It was so quintessentially English, I felt I’d gone back in time. The race was ace, even on battered legs. You ran down from the starting field to a small woodland, crossed a river, scrambled up a very steep and very soft embankment till you clear the trees then all the way up to the trig and back. It’s a longer but infinitely more runnable version on the Lantern Pike Dash. I grabbed a hot dog about 30 mins before the start. Ian waited (and waited) for a burger – he was possibly still chewing on the start line. How he kept it down, I’ll never know. Mind you, we had to practically wrestle him away from getting a beer before the start. Happy days.

Shutlingsloe Results

Dovestone Diamond Multi-Terrain Race (May 25th)

Time to finish the month. Dovestone Diamond. One of the best GDH turnouts of the month with plenty of new faces. Possibly my best personal performance of the month – I ran it like one of J’s sessions and I pushed hard enough to feel utterly gone at the end. The route is pretty much a 50/50 split of trail and road. Honestly, there’s too many GDH to mention and even more who weren’t on the list as GDH (if they had, we would have got the team prize!) Tons of prizes too across the age cats, for Stevie K, Christine P, Beryl, John P, Frank F and me.

Dovestone Diamond Results

Roll on June, ‘cos the races keep on coming!

The Old Colliery Canter

Report by Rachel Boorer-May

A few weeks ago I ran my first ever ultra race of 30 miles, which was one of the “It’s Grim up North” events. It was a lapped route of 6 x 5 miles.

It was the hottest day of the year so far when I did it. Thankfully I opted for an early start which was 8am instead of 9:30 as it was really warming up when I got there, let alone starting 90 mins later!

The route as predicted was hilly in parts, and after getting up “Bast*** Hill” once I asked myself how on earth I was going to do it another 5 times! That was the actual name of the hill, I’ve not made it up! Everyone was really friendly and it was nice seeing the same people time and time again on different laps, it helped to spur me on. I tripped over a stone on my second lap and almost fell flat on my face, but somehow with a lot of flapping around I managed to keep myself upright! The last lap was certainly the toughest, but with some mental grit and determination I dragged myself round and finished. I was so happy that I’d done it!

I also got first female in my race category which I was really chuffed about! However didn’t win a prize as I wasn’t chip timed as I started early and nothing was set up when I started.

Now I’ve done it and I know I can do it, I’m looking forward to E24 in a few weeks time.

Lower Borrowdale Skyline

Report by Zoe Barton

I did another FRA English Champs at the Lower Borrowdale Skyline. The route suited my style of running to a tee – grassy, steep hills, which I slogged up, and flew down. 42nd out of 77 females.

Lower Borrowdale Skyline Results

Old County Tops 2022

Congratulations to Tim Budd and Chris Webb who achieved fantastic result at this Lakeland Classic, finishing 4th overall and 1st V80. You can read a great write-up by Tim on his blog.

Club Champs update

May’s challenge was the Multi-Terrain Ultra, which saw scores of Harriers take on a 30-mile route in three stages, each starting and finishing at the turning circle in Old Glossop. Well done to everyone who got round this gruelling course!

There’s not quite as far to run in June, when the Champs moves onto the Hyde 7 – you can enter the real race as part of the Tour of Tameside on 19th June, or run it yourself any time during June (see details on the Club Champs page).

The Bank Holiday Weekend Bonanza… it’s the April Monthly Report!

Well done you lot! Plenty of exciting things going on amongst the troops this month. For this reason (and also because my tea is nearly ready), I’m keeping the intro short this month so that you can get stuck into the good stuff!

Kate Bowden – The Joe Barber Herod Farm Hill Race 20th April 2022

This was a race of firsts. The first midweek fell race of the year; my first time as RO; and the first race hosted by Glossopdale Harriers since the pandemic. The weather was perfect; dry and sunny with a cool gentle breeze. We also had over 150 entrants for the first time. 

Herod farm is a traditional AS fell race of 3 miles and around 1,300ft ascent, climbing up Whitely Nab twice by to different routes.

This was a great race! It was as glorious to see the excited faces at the start line as it was to watch the hard won battles of runners at the finish. Allen Bunyan of Macclesfield Harriers fought it out with Josh Williams from Dark Peak with an exciting finish. The amazing youngster Alice Gamble, Sheffield University, blew us away with her astounding lead in the women’s race. Junior winner Caleb Winfield, Buxton AC and Grace Longdon both finished with a great time. 

It was brilliant to hear the runners share their race stories, and the praise they shared for the cheery and encouraging marshals and GDH team who pulled together to make this a fabulous evening.

As first-time RO it has been an uplifting and  humbling experience, and lessons have been learned. Not least, the generosity of spirit of the running community who have supported me post-race by sending messages and emails, every one of whom shared how much they and their teams had enjoyed the race. Unprecedented numbers of runners led to a few issues with the results, which will be resolved for next year when we introduce chip timing. 

Thank you everyone involved or making the return of Herod farm a success, and for the generous sponsorship of Joe Barber Plumbers.

Charlotte Bliss – Manchester Marathon 

A Spring marathon cycle offers a different challenge to its Autumn counterpart. With long, hard training miles in the dark and cold, it can be difficult to find the motivation to get up and out. But for this year’s Manchester Marathon it was a bit easier. With a solid group of Harriers setting their sights on running 26.2 miles around the four Manchester boroughs, this training cycle had a real sense of community and definitely made the whole process infinitely more enjoyable! 

I’ve tended to train alone in the past, focussing on grinding out the miles and training sessions off my own back. But this time, with so many other club mates going through the same thing, we did our sessions together. And whilst me might not have done all our long runs as a collective, it definitely didn’t feel as lonely when you were out there solo. And I looked forward to seeing those miles appear on Strava every Sunday. 

So when lining up on the start line on Sunday 3rd, it felt not like the end of a cycle, but the start of a new way of training. And I hope that for the Autumn cycle we have we have a similar sized group to share the whole journey with! 

As for the actual race, some of our number had been wiped out by Covid-19. But for those of us who did make it, we had almost perfect racing weather, and the people of Manchester were out in force to cheer us on. The good weather was definitely reflected in some of the results which were really phenomenal! And although others (myself included) didn’t have the race they planned, that’s all part of the process too and often it’s what keeps us coming back for more. 

Sorry if this report has been too heavily weighted on process than race (although it is the most important part, right Jeroen? 😉) but I thought I’d leave my club mates to the bulk of that…

From Dan Stinton:

After entering Manchester Marathon for 2019, I finally got round to doing it in 2022. Despite lots and lots of running I’d only ever done one road marathon in 2016, so it was quite a different focus from my usual training of getting out into the hills. I had a great first-half, feeling good, decent pace, but it all started to get a little harder after that. Great support from Greg and Jeroen out on course and ultimately I got it done in a time I’m happy with (3:11:11). That’s the marathon ticked off then, so now back in the hills!

From Frank Hamilton:

Manchester was my first marathon and I would highly recommend it – brilliant atmosphere and a flat course. On a personal level I was really pleased with how everything went. Fortunately my training went really smoothly, with no disruption, and being able to prepare as part of a GDH marathon group made things a lot easier, more enjoyable and well structured.

On the day the training and hard work paid off and I was able to hit my sub-3 hour target with a time of 2.55.03, despite setting off way too quickly in the first 10k! 

I’m looking forward to training with GDH friends for future marathons and hope to run London in April 2023.

From Immy Trinder:

I’ll be honest, marathon day was pretty stressful for me. I was very nervous, and although the first half went pretty well, things started to fall apart much earlier than I wanted them to. But that said, although race day did not go the way I wanted it to, I cannot express enough enthusiasm for the excellent training programme and support provided by Jeroen, which as Bliss has said, was only enhanced by the awesome group of GDHers taking part! Greg even jogged a few hundred metres with me on the day at a point where I was really struggling and giving myself a hard time about it. Massive thanks to Jeroen and everyone else who formed such an encouraging, supportive training group!

GDH Manchester Marathon results:

363 Nathaniel Hicks 02:45:29
365 Chris Webb 02:45:34
794 Frank Hamilton 02:55:03
1947 Daniel Stinton 03:11:11
2747 Steve Page 03:21:58
3604 Imogen Trinder 03:30:09
6738 Charlotte Bliss 03:57:56
10869 Alan Byrne 04:43:41

Rachel Boorer-May – The Gin Pit Double Marathon

Sarah Mills and I decided to take up the challenge of running 2 marathons in 2 days. It is something that neither of us have done before. I personally hadn’t ran a marathon since Manchester in 2019, whereas Sarah was doing 1 a month during lockdown. So this felt like a massive challenge for me.

I booked this as part of my training for Endure 24 which I’m doing in July to get my mileage up.

During the build up to the big weekend we kept asking ourselves ‘why are we doing this, we must be mad’ and ‘can we actually do this?’ And telling ourselves ‘yes we can do this’ and we did!!

Day 1 we were both full of beans and raring to go, the weather was perfect even if a little windy. Just after mile 6 we headed onto the canal which was around 11 miles long which felt like it lasted an absolute lifetime and was never ending! Towards the end around mile 23 I was ‘in the zone’ and missed a sign and ended up going around a mile further than I should before I turned back and found the sign! Then right at the end a sign had been moved and we both went the wrong way and again ended up doing more mileage than we should have done! Day 1 I racked up 27.55 miles (my first ever unofficial ultra!)

It was an enjoyable day, lots of talking and laughing and some nice views along the way.

In the car on the way home we were both saying to each other ‘can’t believe we’ve got to do that again tomorrow’!

The next day came and we woke up very stiff, but once we got moving we weren’t too bad. Thankfully Marie Williamson was doing day 2 and even better she was driving! She told us after the first few miles the legs will realise what they’re doing and we’ll be fine! She was right and I don’t even think it took that long for them to realise! They were achy and sore but we kept on going and made it to the end! We both made a friend along the way and both chatted to him which helped massively.

At the end we were very sore and I felt broken, but thankfully recovered after a couple of days. 

I’m so proud of us both for doing it, but don’t think we’ll be doing it again! Maybe 2 different marathons on different routes, but felt it got quite monotonous on day 2 with the never ending canal! It took a lot of mental strength to do it when the legs were telling us to stop, but we did it and we’ve got 2 medals to prove it!

Sue Clapham – The 5 Trigs

18 miles(ish) with 3000ft of ascent

I hadn’t previously done any of the Craggrunner events, but when Clive told me about the 5 Trigs, I had a look at the description, together with suggested route map…starting from Delph and covering at least 50% of ground I’d never been over before, I was sold. Although suggested, the route wasn’t set in stone; you could make any amendments, providing all parts were over permissive tracks, roads etc and providing each of the 9 checkpoints were visited. Great stuff, I feel a recce coming on. We entered as non-competitive runner/walker which allowed for an earlier start. When making the final arrangements, I gave my standard response, “I’m not coming if the weather’s bad”, but needn’t have worried about it; gone was the incessant rain and howling winds, hello cold, crisp morning, clear skies hooray!

Funny though that “non-competitive” malarkey as I still felt nervous as hell. The recce had gone well a few weeks earlier and Clive had spotted an excellent little up and over which would cut off some distance of unnecessary stony track. Registration in the pub done, we had a quick look at the altered start, faffed as only runners can do, then off we went with “sorry about the stile” (the organiser’s words at the briefing) echoing in our heads. No messing, we shot off and got over that stile then up, up, up, Knott Hill, classic fell race start stuff which reduced my legs to jelly. Never mind, recovery was possible along the next km of minor road, which allowed us to ease that pace (which clearly was competitive). Funnily enough, everyone behind did the same thing so we found ourselves leading the pack, somewhat bemused. This continued up to the first trig, Bishop Park and over the next couple of kms. I suggested to Clive that we hang back a bit to see what happened. Sure enough a lady with a map in her hand charged on ahead with the crowd eagerly following. This was a point where we both distinctly remembered turning off the main track but hey ho, the route was only suggested…

We had one chap who clung to our heels, he did ask whether we minded him tagging along as he wasn’t local by any means. Off we trotted across fields and stiles before the next climb to Tame Scout trig. Just before the outward M62 motorway crossing we saw a chap cutting off a chunk, another time and distance saver (and when I checked the map later I did note all was permissive). Others were coming along the suggested route but we didn’t see them again. The solitary chap was from our non-competitive start we discovered, and was very speedy. We had warned our companion of the delights to come and braced ourselves for the climb up to join the Pennine Way and on to Blackstone Edge Trig – whose bright idea was it to site the dibbing kite right of top? I’d been expecting the competitive lot from the 10am start to overtake and sure enough, the leader literally flew past us on the descent from Blackstone to the motorway (Gavin Mulholland, Calder Valley who finished in an eye-watering 2:17:34). Gradually a handful more of the speedy chaps passed us, we applauded them on their way, amazing running as we covered the remaining miles over White Hill and Standedge Trigs, before descending (in the main) back into Delph and the Finish, yay. Clive very kindly bought us both a beer which we took outside and chatted to none other than Rick Steckles who had finished in under 3 hours, brilliant. First lady, Gaynor Keane, Saddleworth came in at 2:56:04, another brilliant result. We later demolished our pie, chips and peas, reminiscing on what a brilliant day we had had. In Clive’s words, a super route, mile 10 is a killer, the recce paid off and pie & ale always makes a good combo.

Footnote: we hadn’t expected all the results to be grouped together with the two different start times, however we actually both finished first in our age categories in just over 3:42. I concluded that I had really enjoyed the event and possibly some of that was down to that earlier start time, without feeling the need to keep up with the crowd.

Ian Crutchley and Zoe Barton – Kinder Downfall

From Ian:

Come the day, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to the prospect of this race, mostly due to an ongoing lack of form and motivation.  It was great to mingle with runners at registration, but the impending dread was building in me.

I had already decided to set off steady for the first climb past 20 Trees, and really start my race after this point.  However, as a consequence of the steady start, I got totally hemmed in on White Brow, where I just wanted to let the brakes off.  Into William Clough I increased the pace a bit, but was still largely hemmed in, but managed to make about 10 places and catch Rob Murphy through some sneaky manoeuvring at the ford halfway up the clough.  By Kinder Corner I was feeling good, enjoying it, and wondering why I’d got myself so worked up before the race.  The edge path was great, lots of overtaking and making about 5 places by cutting off the corner of Sandy Heys (amazing how much it pays to know these little sneaky lines), and then hunting them down one by one to the end.  Felt great to be overtaking and not being over taken like normal! 

Meanwhile, despite a few pulling out of the race at the death, GDH had quite a good turn out albeit we were all Veterans.  Some great times all round.  Big Thanks to Sikobe as our unofficial photographer and cheerleader, turning up on the route here and there.

From Zoe:

Nine Glossopsdale Harriers attended the annual kinder downfall race in fantastically clear conditions on Easter weekend. All completed 9.6m/ 600m ascent race which consists of the never ending climb up William Clough,and the rocking and rolling (for some too much of the rocking) edge path run along the kinder plateau, then down back to the sociable finish field at Hayfield park.

It was excellent to see lots of riendly support along the route both from GDH, and from our neighbouring clubs. Special mention for photo-sneak supremo Sikobe. Personally I can’t wait for for a rerun next year at this tough, sociable, classic local race. 

Results:

78         Ian Crutchley                   1:35:41
97         Robert Murphy               1:40:18
110       Zoe Barton                       1:42:18
149       Frank Fielding                  1:48:53
214       Nick Ham                         2:00:00
222       Kate Bowden                   2:01:37
229       Ian Jackson                      2:03:51
266       Clare Higgins                   2:44:33
267       Joanne Brack                   2:44:35

Lucy Wasinski – Goldrush Trail – Coed y Brenin

The Goldrush at coed y brenin is my absolute favourite race…8.5 miles of forest trail goodness with some awesome single track descents and excursions over gorgeous rivers, albeit a last km gradual uphill slog on fire road to the finish. Other GDH in attendance were Kate Bee and Donna Brierley…Donna another fan of races in CyB forest!

This race had been a victim of covid and the stricter rules in Wales so we’d been entered for 2020 and found this was a surprise race when we started receiving event info! Given how life had changed since 2020 we both couldn’t run the race, so greg took one for the team and sat this out. I tried to make his life easier on race day having a dog and switching my place for the main race over to the canicross. (* ok I didn’t fancy racing my Welsh nemesis when I wasn’t fully fit and was hoping the pooch would drag me up the hills!)

For anyone who doesn’t know, canicross is running with your dog on a bungee lead with the aim being your dog pulls you so you’ll fly round the course. Unless you’re a pro who does it all the time the reality is a bit different 😉  dragged left, right, multiple loo stops and sniffs!

The start line is insane, it’s a total mish mash of dogs of all shapes and sizes, some runners have 2 dogs, some dogs are chilled to the max but the real kean ones are raring to go barking frantically getting held back by their owners until the start.

Chaos ensues when everyone sets off with some dogs going nuts at the ones around them, and literally within seconds the front runners are streaks ahead!  I was hoping Rowan (all 10kg of her) would give me enough of a tug to make the race significantly easier, but although we run a lot together we’ve never done a race and she was definitely overwhelmed by the noise and kept looking to me for reassurance. Nevertheless we love these trails, so had an absolute blast and found plenty of puddles and streams for her to have a dip, and happily overtook a girl who had 2 massive dogs. Turns out 2 isn’t always better cos when one decides they don’t fancy it u are stuck with it for the duration! 

Marshals were all cheery, South Snowdonia MRT were out supporting, and the whole atmosphere is just great. We were happy with 6th place for our first go! I’ll be back next year whether cani or not, and highly recommend it to people looking for a fun, and nicely challenging trail race with great scenery!

Pic was couple hundred metres from start (we are the left pair).

Rachel Boorer-May – Longdendale Reservoirs Marathon

On 10th April I ran a marathon around the Reservoirs and along the Longdendale trail. I completed 4.5 laps along the 3 reservoirs, Bottoms, Valehouse and Rhodeswood and then along the trail leading back to the reservoir.

Thankfully I was joined for the first lap with Sarah Mills and Kate Rumball and Jessica Camp joined me for 2 laps. It certainly helped pass the boredom away of doing the same route over and over!

I intended on doing the Tissington Trail marathon with Sarah Mills the Sunday before but couldn’t get the time off work in the end to join her, so decided to stay local instead.

All my training at the moment I am doing for my end goal in July when I take part in Endure 24 in Leeds and aim to do 100 miles in 24hrs. So look out for my next post when I’m getting the miles in again and hopefully you can join me for a few!

Paul Skuse – Cake Race

Loved it.  They call it at fell race but it’s really trail. It’s very trail. If I think trail run, I’m pretty much thinking of this. 

Not a bad GDH turnout, Me, Sean C, Steve C, Frank H, James K, John G and Rob S. Stevie K was also there but in the wrong vest. It was also nice bumping into Mary J as well. Long time, no see.

It was far warmer/sunnier than expected (I’m so glad that I took water!) and that deffo took a toll on some of the lads. There was a proper tussle between me, James, Frank and Sean at various points along the route; each of us was giving it our all, driving each other forward and getting the best out of our efforts. Once again, just to emphasise the point, I was loving it. Seriously big time loving it. Racing with friends and peers is just brilliant. Sadly, Knapper (after a brilliant start) had a mare (his worst race performance he said -he was melting when I caught up to him at the weir) and Crossman’s hammy went twang early doors so it was a long limp round for him.

At the finish, it was tags off (all electronic these days -really smooth set up), get water (some dopey lads – no names mentioned- bought bottles of water from the pub when free, unlimited water was waiting 2 mins down the road) and then it was the cakes. They were amazing. As an aside, I didn’t read the entries properly so ticked the option ‘with cake’ assuming this meant I wanted cake at the end. Turns out I had to bake a cake and enter it into the competition. I had a go at flapjack but did a free style recipe. I did bring it with me but it sort of melted before getting there and looked so grim that I decided to pay for the no cake option. No one in the car would even try it (apart from Gaffers – good man).

So, to summarise: top route, top mates, top times, top weather and top cake. I’ll be there next year. Hope to see you lot there as well.

Chris Webb – Three Peaks Race

The 67th Three Peaks race was back to the usual start/finish location ofter the pandemic affected race last October, unusually however was the sun which made for a warm day in the Yorkshire Dales. Just Chris Jackson and I were out for this very runnable classic on the fell calendar. The start was pretty fast for the ascent of Pen-y-Ghent; you can run the whole of this climb but you can also blow your chances by spending your energy too early with lots of hard running to come.  Chris and I were both pretty conservative on the PYG climb summiting in just under 34mins and 38:39 respectively before the long run across to Ribblehead. I’m not sure what the ideal pace is on this section but it’s such easy going you really have to give it some beans (I think I was averaging 6:50mins/mile from PYG to Ribblehead) but overdo it and the clim up Whernisde will find you out.  There were plenty overheating and dropping out at Ribblehead (including last year’s winner Garry Greenhow) but the clouds were starting to gather as we headed up the side of Whernside where the race allows you to cross private land so you can head straight up the side, a proper off path, steep climb. The initial rocky descent gives way to tarmac and at Hill Inn I was feeling it as was Chris who in his own words had “a moment” before the final stint up Ingleborough. This climb wasn’t too bad but my lack of training on the fells told on the descent where I couldn’t descend at the pace I wanted to – work to do there. After what felt like an eternity we finally reached the turnoff to the run in through the gardens and into the finish field, spent but satisfied. I’ve been a bit snooty about this race at times referring to it as a trail race but it’s a classic race for a good reason that is a different test to some of the rougher Lakeland races.  It’s one of the best supported races with hundreds on the route and a great atmosphere – I will be back with a new found appreciation for the event to improve on this year’s effort!

28th (5th V40): Chris Webb – 3:36:50

105th: Chris Jackson – 4:08:07

Full results: https://www.sportident.co.uk/results/ThreePeaksFellRace/2022/ThreePeaksFellRace/

Imogen Trinder – Monthly Mashup: GDH Multi-Terrain Relay

Thank you to everyone who took part in this month’s Monthly Mashup: the third edition of the GDH Multi-Terrain Relay. As ever, this made for an extremely enjoyable evening with great fun had by all.

Teams 1-6 gathered at Charlesworth Park on Thursday 28th, which much trepidation about the legs, mostly caused by me. It transpired that despite two recces of the trail leg, I had no idea where I was supposed to be going. On top of this, I had been handing out all sorts of false information, including that the road leg was “two laps” of Gamesley, which turned out to be a load of codswallop. Thankfully, Ian was there set the record straight before everyone set off.

Running the trail leg were Ben Tetler, Daniel Stinton, Time Rudd, Nan Smart, Ian Jackson and myself. Ben was off like a shot, and was soon out of sight. For about the first half, I was coming second, with Tim not far behind. Unfortunately, my greatest fears were realised, and I came to a path junction with no memory of which way to go. (Despite having done two recces, my concentration had not been engaged, and both times I was able to go long stretches chatting away, without taking any notice of what was going on around me). I turned round to make a “which way?” gesture to Tim, who swiftly responded with a “what are you asking me for?”-type reaction. We  pondered for a while, spoke to a couple of locals, and pretty much decided on going completely the wrong way, before Daniel appeared with his GPS watch and rescued us. A few minutes later, Tim and I confidently missed an important turning before Dan called us back. At this point, it all got interesting, as Tim, Dan, Nan and I all switched placings. Thankfully, Tim seemed to have been concentrating for the rest of the recce, and we managed not to get lost again. Dan, Nan and Ian, however, all got lost in the final kilometre. So basically, everyone apart from Ben made a pigs ear of it! We all made it back though, and handed over to our respective fell runners.

The fell leggers were Guy Riddell, Sean Collins, Paul Skuse, Wiola Wydrych, Jake Southall and James Barnard. I don’t know much about what went on up on Combes Edge, except that everyone went anitclockwise, apart from Guy, who chose to go clockwise. (I think that’s right, but as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been known to tell all sorts of lies about the various routes – maybe they weren’t on Coombes Edge at all!)

The final leg – the road leg – was as exciting as ever, with speed merchant Josh Southall going out last. How much time could he make up?!

The road leg was run by Jo Brack, Kate Bowden, Wendy McMahon, John Gaffney, Anne Williams and Josh Southall. The road leg was ONE lap of Gamesley, and all teams finished within 6 minutes of one another! 3 runners actually came in within less than a minute, so there was all to play for in terms of the placings!

Sadly, one thing that Ian and I are both rubbish at is remembering to take photos, so you’ll have leave the grimaces to your imagination!

The final results were as follows. Once again, thank you to everyone who took part and made it another fun race!

Team NoRunnersTrailFellRoadTotal
6Ben T, Guy R, Jo B28:3331:2832:221:32:23
4Tim R, Sean C, Kate B34:3025:5433:101:33:34
1Immy T, Paul S, Wendy M34:4425:5033:201:33:44
5Nan S, Jake S, John G39:4026:5827:101:33:48
2Dan S, Wioleta W, Josh S37:3035:1023:201:36:00
3Ian J, James B, Anne W43:4125:2729:241:38:32

The April Report Grand Finale: Neal Bann – Bob Graham Round

Bob Graham Round 22.02.2022

It’s 19:30hrs on the 22nd of April 2022 when myself, Greg, Emily, Luke and Ian make the short walk from the Airbnb that Greg had rented to Moot Hall in Keswick. As we walk round the excitement builds, no nerves, just a sense of relief that finally everything is in place and we’re close to starting our Bob Graham attempt.

We arrive at Moot Hall where we are greeted by friends of Greg and Emily and some of our other support runners who are there early to watch us set off. For leg one the plan was simple, Greg and I would run together, supported by Luke and Ian. Everything was set, all we had to do was get those legs turning and head off into the fells. Still no nerves. 

Whilst outside Moot Hall we chatted to Scott who was there to recce leg three the next day. He had completed the Ramsay Round previously and had travelled down from Scotland to have a look at ‘The Bob’ before his attempt later this year. We were also greeted by someone who’s name I didn’t catch; he saw us preparing to set off through a restaurant window and decided to leave his meal to come and wish us luck as he had completed his round the previous year. Top man.

Before long we had less than a minute to go and were stood with our backs to the door of the Moot Hall. Still no nerves. Then it happened… 10, 9, 8, 7, 6… oh god there are the nerves… 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO! This was it; we were on our way out of Keswick. Right turn down the alleyway that leads to the car park, dodge Alan who is hiding in there taking some action shots, dodge the beer crate left on the floor that could have ended the whole attempt after less than 20 seconds then dart across the car park. As we did a car appeared to our right, I was just about to give the driver a selective hand signal when I noticed it was Rick and Immy arriving just in time to see us off!

The next 45 mins were full of laughs and the usual banter with Luke and Ian. As we climbed higher it became apparent that the wind was just as strong, if not stronger, than forecast. Not ideal, but not the end of the world. I threw on the windproof jacket that Mr Skuse had lent me and continued up towards Skiddaw. Now, Skuse warned me that the hood on the jacket was ‘a little flappy’, and as we climbed higher, I began to see what he meant. It basically inflated like a balloon and nearly took me off my feet! First job when we get out of the wind, swap jackets! We crest Skiddaw and begin to head for Great Calva… no idea if I was up or down on time as Luke didn’t have the schedule in his pocket.

The next few hours were a battle between us and the elements. As we dropped down lower, I stopped to change jackets whilst Greg kept moving. We had discussed this prior to starting and said we wouldn’t wait for each other as overall stops would even out eventually. That was the last I saw of Greg on leg one! We battled to the summit of Great Calva where the wind howled through the wire fence and caused us to become so disoriented that we were unsure of the right way off the summit. Ten minutes of faff ensued with us eventually deciding to jump over the fence and head down. As Luke set off on the descent the wind caught him and blew him straight back at me and the fence (told you it was windy). At this point the only option was to crawl down the hill on hands and knees until the gusts dropped a little. The rest of the leg had some ups and downs with the biggest up being Ian waiting at the top of Halls Fell Ridge to guide us down safely. Some pork pie, a sandwich and pint of coke at the changeover, some encouragement from Sikobe and I was off again with Jake taking over the pacing/nav. 

Leg two welcomed us with more wind but with added clag. There isn’t much to say about leg two, there were no views, the wind howled but it couldn’t have gone any better. Jake paced it perfectly and never missed a beat on the nav. The hours flew by with plenty of laughs and talk of Jake and Josh’s own plans for an attempt in the future. As we ascended Fairfield we spotted Greg and Josh coming down towards us, we stopped briefly to chat wished each other luck and then headed our separate ways again. As Jake and I descended Fairfield I felt the first twinge of knee pain, which then get worse as we headed down Seat Sandal towards Dunmail Raise.

A slightly extended stop at Dunmail for another change of socks, a corned beef buttie dipped in chicken soup, pint of coke and some Jaffa Cakes. Leg three saw Rick and Wiola take over the pacing and nav, a task that they executed flawlessly. We set off up Steel Fell with a spring in our steps and the banter started flowing. After 30 mins I was told to eat and drink. This continued every 30 mins for the rest of the leg, whether I wanted to eat or not! By this point the pain in my left knee was getting really bad, I was struggling to descend at any real pace and losing time. This would only get worse as the leg went on and eventually the right leg joined in as well. By Rossett Pike descending was painfully slow and the time was again ebbing away. Whilst the legs didn’t want to go downhill, climbing and running on the flat was still ok. We pushed on and made good progress towards my favourite part of the whole round: Lords Rake. The climb up Lords Rake and the West Wall Traverse felt good and fast (confirmed later by a Strava PR), and feeling good I instantly set off at pace to tick off the last summit. As I ran enthusiastically up to Scafell I passed a smiling gentleman said good morning (no idea what time it was) then promptly fell over only to be caught by said gentleman’s teenage son! I quickly apologised, thanked him for catching me and carried on up the to the summit. The next 55 mins were pure hell as I made the slow and very painful descent to Wasdale. 

Arriving in Wasdale I was greeted by Zoe and Lins, we chatted on the way to the van about possible pain relief and what shoes I wanted. Once at the van I sat whilst Zoe and Lins sorted my feet for me. At this point Robin announced that he had a surprise for me, this turned out to be one of my best mates from Glossop! He was in the area so had popped over to Wasdale to see me through. Definitely a big mental boost! Pot Noodle consumed I headed off to leg four with Robin and Zoe. As we left Wasdale I realised I was quite some way behind time wise. Around an hour off my schedule. 

Leg four consisted of Zoe motivating me using various tactics (ask her to sing you a Monty Python song) and Robin tailoring the lines to help my ever-worsening knees. The plan was to push hard on the climbs to try and claw back some time and just keep moving on the flat and the descents. Robin nailed the lines and kept us on track while Zoe had made it through the whole Monty Python back catalogue. At Beckhead we were met by Jude and Simon, I couldn’t believe that they had waited so long for me and was grateful for the bottle of coke and encouragement. Jude and Simon ran with us for the next few summits before heading down ahead to pass on my requests for Honister. Basically sort my knees if you can, give me soup, oh and I’m not stopping!

On arrival Sikobe had soup of some description ready for me (it was nice whatever it was) and Mr Skuse had taken up the challenge of taping my knees up (he had seen a video on how to do it). Knee taping done in record time and soup consumed I made my way towards Dale Head at 17.02….I had 2hours and 58mins to make it to Keswick. Crucially we had picked up around 15 mins on leg four so it was now game on.

Robin decided to stay on for leg five along with Rick, Josh, Jake and Skuse. The knee tape appeared to be removing hairs but not supporting anything – ah well, we were nearly at the end. Dalehead arrived quickly, climbing was still going well, and we were soon on our way to Hindscarth. As we hit the summit at Hindscarth we got a message from Guy to say that Greg had just hit the final summit on Robinson. Surely that was a delayed message! I looked across to Robinson and was convinced that I saw some figures leaving the hill, although at this point though I was seeing a lot of things so maybe it wasn’t Greg!

We quickly moved round to Robinson and ticked off the last summit! At this point, Robin informed me that we had 10k to go. My head went down, there’s no way I can do a 45 minute 10k in this state. Robin also then pointed out that I had 1hr 45mins … it was 18:15 not 19:15 as I thought! More than enough time to get back to Keswick as long as I could keep moving. On the descent from Robinson we passed Nat and Peggy, Nat informed us that Greg was around 25 mins ahead of me…. we really had made some time up. Robin again nailed the lines taking me down a descent that would be easier on the knees and faster in my current condition. The last few kilometres of trail and road saw a mixture of emotions, pain in the knees and plenty of laughs. The atmosphere was relaxed and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. About 2km from the end I realised (or maybe Josh said it) that I could walk the rest and still finish in under 24hrs, emotions got the better of me and the sunglasses had to go on for a while! 

Just outside Keswick we were met by Sikobe, Lins and Sarah who jogged the final few hundred metres with us. Then out of nowhere, there it was, the town centre, the Moot Hall! My jog turned to a slightly faster jog (felt like a sprint at the time) and cheered on by friends, strangers and evening revellers I made the final strides and touched the famous door. Quickly I was told to run up the steps and touch the other famous door or the nice man in the flowery shirt wouldn’t hand over the pint he had for me! Stairs scaled, door touched, pint in hand and I was done. 

After giving up on sub 24hrs on leg four I’d (unbelievably) made it into Keswick to finish in 23 hrs and 42 mins, with Greg finishing 20 mins earlier in 23 hrs 19 mins. All of this was made possible by the amazing leg runners and road support on the day. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to thank everyone enough for everything that they did in those 24 hours. This was a true club effort and something that everyone in the club should be proud of. Little old Glossopdale Harriers just got TWO contenders round The Bob Graham in less than 24 hours. Outstanding.

Credits:

Road Support: Sikobe Litaba / Lins Palmer

Leg One: Luke Holme
Leg Two: Jake Southall
Leg Three: Rick Steckles, Wioleta Wydrych
Leg Four: Zoe Barton, Robin Hoffman
Leg Five: Paul Skuse, Jake Southall, Josh Southall, Rick Steckles, Robin Hoffman

Notices

GDH Club Records/Achievements

Even more prestigious than doing the round itself, Greg and Neal have now been added to the “GDH Hall of Fame” located HERE. Just a reminder that submissions to this are always open!

It records the fastest GDH times over standard distances, the best GDH Herod Farm and Shelf Moor results along with all the known completions of any of the UK Big 3 Rounds. There’s also a section for any GDH members to submit any challenge, race or result that they’re particularly proud of. Send in any updates to gdhweeklyreport@gmail.com.

Committee Corner

We are pleased to announce that “Committee Corner” is making a comeback! The GDH committee has met twice so far since the AGM, the second time IN PERSON, IN THE PUB, for the first time since 2020! We have plenty of exciting announcements coming up over the next few weeks and months, the first of which being the following call for volunteers from Zoe Barton:

Our beloved club is in its 40th anniversary year. The committee invites all members, however long they’ve been a Glossopdale Harrier, to join a subcommittee whose role will be to coordinate and implement activities to mark the auspicious occasion. Subcommittee members should expect to be involved in some frequent planning meetings in the coming month , and then being part of the team responsible for realising the plans over the rest of the year.

Please email your interest to barton.zoe@gmail.com by 12th May.

The next report will be at the end of May. Please send report of your antics, whether a race, challenge or simply an enjoyable (or excruciating) running-related experience, to gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com!

The March 2022 Round Up

Spring has sprung and, like the daffodils and crocuses, racing Harriers have been popping up all over the place.   Unfortunately, only one person fancied telling us about their springtime racing in March so here is a match-up game for you all based on photos gleaned from FaceBook (photo credits variously to Nick H, Rob Murphy, Dan S, Anne W. and Charmayne).

Trafford 10km (courtesy of Dan S)

I remember first turning up at the Trafford 10km in 2020 (one of the last races before covid…) and looking round and thinking how everyone looked like “real” athletes. Well wind on a couple of years and here I am again thinking the same thing. It’s no wonder it attracts some great runners though, it’s flat, it’s fast and it’s a definite potential PB course.

John drove over in his tour bus with much talk about “cheat shoes” and how many beers were consumed the night before. Before we knew it we were off and there’s no hanging around at this race – get the engine red lining and hope that you can keep it going till the end. That was my tactic anyway. It was beaming smiles all round at the end with Nick, John, Rob and me all coming away with nice shiny new PBs. Here’s the results! And for some perspective, the winner came over the line in a jaw-dropping 28:27.

  • Nick Lord – 36:50
  • Daniel Stinton – 38:34
  • John Gaffney – 38:56
  • Rob Sheldon – 40:03
  • Kevin Ingham – 45:47
  • Tony Hillier – 53:08

Other News (more details on Facebook)

Immy will be writing April’s report so please let her know about your running-related antics at gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com

The February 2022 Wrap-Up

It wouldn’t seem right starting a report without discussing the weather. It seems like February has had all the water pouring ferociously from the skies, some of it frozen, along with a fair bit of wind buffeting it around. But all that is a long distant memory (!?) now that the days are getting longer and sun has been enhancing our vitamin D levels all weekend. Other than soggy running clothes, what else has been happening??

GDH at National Cross Country Championships

There’s mud everywhere.

I thought it was only round Bleaklow, but apparently they have it down south too, and quite a lot it seems. It’s fantastic to see club representation here and Bliss sent in this report from the National Cross Country Champs:

This weekend five intrepid harriers set off to lands not yet ventured by GDH (at least not as far as Skuse can remember) – the National Cross Country Championships. The Nationals are a main stay of the England Athletics racing calendar where the very best runners come to battle it out through the mud in the depths of winter. Given the high calibre of athlete in attendance, naturally we fit in with the crowd quite nicely.

After a smooth 3 hour drive to the big smoke, we assembled at Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath. It was a gorgeous day with not a cloud in the sky. But as the juniors returned from their races splattered head to toe in mud, we realised the dry weather wasn’t a reflection of the course – it was going to be a muddy one. I was the only GDH runner in the ladies race as Emma sadly had to drop out at last minute due to a COVID close contact (Emma, we really missed you and can’t wait for your GDH National XC debut in 2023!).

My race was 8k made up of one short and one long lap. Our predictions were right – the word ‘muddy’ doesn’t quite cover it. From wading through bogs, to mincing down mud slides – the only saving grace was the men would have it much worse once 1100 women had churned it up some more! Nat, Crossman, Skuse and Rick were running for the men. Their race (12k) was made up of three laps, which presented three opportunities to spot them. By the start of the third lap, all looked suitably knackered and full of mud – now just a final push to the end! After some fabulous sprint finishes (photos below) we reassembled at base for a debrief.

The general consensus was ‘absolutely brutal but great fun’. Afterwards we all dragged our mud-splattered selves across the Capital, washed up and hit the town for well-earned pizza and beer. All in all, a great weekend away! So, if you can’t already tell, we had a ball and are already looking forward to Nationals next year. And we really hope to see more blue and orange vests then too!

Long Mynd Fell Race

When I was a lad growing up in the depths of the Black Country, long before I ever donned a pair of running shorts, on a sunny day I’d be bundled into the car for an hour drive to Church Stretton. It involved a long walk up a valley, sitting on the top and eating some sandwiches in the wind whilst watching the gliders/hang-gliders, and a gentle jaunt down to the town to have a good mooch around the treasures in that ridiculously large antique shop. Years later I have discovered there is also a race there, and what seems to be a rather beastly race at that! Zoe Barton sent in this report:

It’s been a wee while since the club has been able to organise any “away trips”, so a group of nine GDH were crossing everything and hoping for good fortune in the leadup to the weekend of 5th Feb. The Long Mynd Valleys weekend, based around Church Stretton, is one the club has made trips to on a number of occasions since at least ten years ago. There are two races to be experienced – the short and sharp Tittestone Clee on Saturday and the longer and very hilly Long Mynd Valleys on the Sunday. 

Bridges Hostel provided us with a base, situated beside a pub and a drive over the single-track hilltop road to Church Stretton. 

Saturday dawned windy and chilly, and hardy Rob Rayner went for a morning trot up to Stiperstones before racing later. Sikobe, Kate, Rob, Robin Zoe and Neal decided to race up and down Tittestone Clee hill. A very simple, friendly and traditional style fell race – sign up in the village hall,jog down the lane to the start, briefing, and then charge across the field into the biting wind. It has recently been upgraded slightly by the addition of dibbers for timing but they didn’t pose any impediment. Some great runs and those of you who’ve read earlier posts will see that the timing element made for some interesting post race analysis. 

I had suggested a recce of the latter sections of the  Long Mynd Valleys race itself after lunch. All the morning’s racers plus Sarah agreed to this rather ambitious plan. Sikobe and Kate had even reccied the lion’s share of the route on Friday in pretty shocking weather. We met steep grassy climbs, rough pathless hollows and a variety of winter weather but has good visibility and then lucked out when we spied a chap carrying pieces of marker tape. He was a Mercia Fellrunner tasked with placing Control 8 in its rightful position. We pumped him for as much info on the best racing lines as politeness allowed,  and chatted away on the descent back to the cars. Suitable exhausted , we repaired back to the hostel and pub for refreshments and debriefs with Alison and Becky who’d run a route along the Shropshire way and then accidentally got locked out of the hostel, necessitating a sit down in the pub for a while. 

Sunday

Preparation for the Main Event consisted of checking the weather forecast (the weather station at the Gliding Club atop the Long Mynd promised some quite exciting gusts and some wet stuff from the clouds), eating breakfast (some went for the hostel fryup and it did not disappoint) and faffing. Lots of kit, shoe and food faffing. Alison, Becky and Rob bade the racing pack farewell and promised to wave at us somewhere along the route. 

The Long Mynd Valleys race is an A medium category race of 11 miles, which makes it long for a medium, and some 1370 metres ascent, which is mostly loaded into the final third where we had been the previous day. It’s not for the faint hearted but if you love grassy “walls” of ascent, rough brackeny boggy descents and then lots more of the same, then this is the one for you. The race HQ is at the national trust cafe which provided welcome shelter from the chilly wind we had become acquainted with at Tittestone. We met a few Pennine runners and a chatty guy from London. Much debating on jackets/no jackets. I went jacket and did not regret it , as soon as I hit the first climb I worried about overheating and then the wind robbed me all of my body heat in one blow. 

It rained a few times, blown at us hard across the tops but with so many downs and ups, we always had the benefit of the shelter in the valleys.

Everyone made it back soggy and smiling. Sarah was 4th female and Neal placed well in the vet40s. Soup in the cafe them home with aching legs.  I’m glad to have introduced a few more GDH to the pleasures of the Long Mynd and hopefully we’ll be able to organise a trip next year. 

February by Frank

Frank Hamilton submitted a summary of all the things he’s been up to this month (presumably the unmentionable things have remained unmentioned), and here it is:

February began with the Alan Kirk memorial Lad’s Leap fell race – which now seems like an absolute age ago! The conditions were truly atrocious but bumping into Paul Skuse en-route enabled me to take my mind off things and chat all things running as we ambled along the rezzers towards Crowden (we even got chatting to a friendly chap who turned out to be Alan Kirk’s brother)! As the wind and rain swirled around the race HQ at the camp site, this definitely had the feel of one to get over and done with as quickly as possible, and it was with a distinct feeling of trepidation that I approached the start line before Des got proceedings underway. Predictably it was a slog, and just as predictably I maintained my tradition in fell racing of taking a wrong turn. Completely confused I ploughed on through the bog and managed to stagger home in 28th place. A real war of attrition and not one that I’ll reminisce about in years to come – although I’ll probably end up doing it all again next year! 

Next up was the Aintree half marathon (part of my prep for April’s Manchester Marathon). The weather forecast was grim (torrential rain and a ‘fresh breeze’), but mercifully the rain never materialised, so it was just the wind I had to contend with. Taking my usual haphazard approach to road racing I set off thinking I was Mo Farah before quickly remembering I’m most definitely not and settling into a more natural pace and recording a time of 1:24.52. Pretty much bang on for my target time of a sub 1:25. A very pleasing race in the end and a confidence booster ahead of the marathon. 

On to the David Bray club champs race. After a recce on Wednesday (to get my head around the complexities of ‘Middle Bank’), I was good to go on Friday. In the end it was brilliant to join a fellow bunch of Harriers for a group attempt – kindly organised by John Gaffney. For once the weather was favourable, and despite a pre-race meal of salt and pepper chips, I got round ok with a time of 1:07:10. A really enjoyable route and one I’ll definitely use again. 

Last but definitely not least was yesterday’s recce of the March club champs challenge – the Glossop Fell Race. A cursory look at the route was enough for me to realise this needed an accomplice or two who know what they’re doing, so I was really grateful to Neil Bann and Anthony Walker for running with me and showing me the ropes. Now I’ve just got to try and remember it all for myself, including how best to descend the precipitous Lawrence Edge! 

David Bray Fell Race

If you haven’t seen the name “David Bray” in your Strava feed, I can only conclude that you aren’t on Strava. I feel like I have the shape of that route embedded on my brain and I haven’t even run it this month (eek!). Everyone has been at it: recces, socials, beast mode and handicap with some fantastic times being posted. Let’s wait till Phythagor-Ian crunches the numbers to see how everyone has got on.

Monthly Mash-Up – Zombie Apocalypse

Some vile slathering beasts were spotted marauding throughout Glossop on an unspecified Thursday in February. No, it wasn’t Julian’s fell group, but rather the latest monthly mash-up – The Zombie Apocalypse. Organised by the undead themselves: Immy Trinder and Ian Crutchley.

Sorry if the picture puts you off your Sunday dinner. Horrific scenes out in the streets, the pitchforks started on the local FB page… Some made it to the Palatine alive, most didn’t…

Doctor’s Gate Fell Race

This has been off and on more times than [insert appropriate simile here]. The route got changed last minute due to permissions and looked to be more of a race up to Higher Shelf/Pennine Way and back. Nothing wrong with that though – what a cracking route on our doorstep. I just did a bit of sleuthing and Josh Southall came in 1st Harrier and Neal Bann 1st oldie and won a quality drawing of our very own hills. Congratulation on the team prize too with Josh, Neal and Greg Chandler picking up first place. Top running!

AGM

Of course, it was also the AGM last week. The technology worked with a delicious serving of yearly reports and motions delivered via. MS Teams. It’s been a great year for the club with loads of new members and loads of club events/socials and encouragement to get out there and run. Here’s Vicki’s summary:

Thanks so much to all those members who took the time to attend the AGM last night and to those who sent apologies.

It really was a jam packed agenda with lots of great stories about some fantastic achievements from our club members and about the work that has been successfully completed by our Club Captains (Immy and Ian), our the Welfare Officers (Kate and Ben), our coaches and session leaders (Jeroen, Charmayne, Chris Andrew, Rob and Paul Skuse), our website expert (Daniel), our Covid Officer (Andy) and by those members of our Committee (Alison, Steve, Guy Matt Jeroen, Zoe, Pete and me) with fifteen meetings taking place over the course of the last twelve months and lots of really positive progress and developments and with the promise of lots more to come in the club’s 40th year!

It was great to see new members putting themselves forward for places on the committee and a very big welcome to our new committee members Immy Trinder Charlotte Anne Bliss, Rick Gdh and Nat Hicks and welcome back to returning members Alison, Steve, Matt, Zoe and me. A huge thank you to Guy, Jeroen and Pete for all the time you have dedicated to being a part of the committee and of course for the roles you still have within the club.

Don’t forget to send your reports and pictures for March in to gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com We can’t do it without you!

The January 2022 Round-Up

Glossopdale Harriers wasted no time getting back to racing in 2022. Thanks to everyone who sent in reports this month – read on for the details!…

Hardmoors 30

Report by Guy Riddell

Started 2022 on a positive note with the Hardmoors 30 starting and finishing at Whitby Abbey.  Originally planned to stay with my parents in North Yorkshire on NYE meaning about an hour from Whitby, but our friend Covid put paid to that, so it was a 3:45am alarm and I set off driving at 4:20 to get over in time for a 7am registration.

Car was loaded with several kit variations as I couldn’t quite believe the forecasted 13-15 degrees. As it turned out the forecast was right, so set off in a thin base layer and T-shirt and despite strong coastal winds I was toasty the whole way round.  The route takes you along glorious high coastal paths following the Cleveland Way to the picturesque Robin Hood’s Bay, then a climb up onto Stoupe Brow before taking the Cinder Path through Ravenscar to Cloughton.  Coming back is pretty much the reverse, Cleveland Way to Robin Hood’s Bay then the Cinder Path as far as Northcliffe before picking up the coastal path once more back to Whitby Abbey.

The route was a mix of flat and compact trail (not unlike the Longdendale Trail) and gloopy undulating quagmire.  The kind of mud that your shoes just collect making them brown and heavy for most of the run, while offering zero traction.  Some of the downhill sections were a bit hairy to say least, legs all over like Bambi, and headed directly towards barbed wire / gorse / cliff edge while desperately trying to coordinate your feet to hit the one dry patch that might help you stay upright.

Being a Hardmoors event, of course there were bonus miles, and I clocked up 33.6 miles in the end.  I’d started hoping for around 6 hours, which soon became 6.5 hours, and ultimately 7 hours with the extra distance, but I smiled a lot and spoke to some great characters, ultra runners are a ‘special’ bunch and have some great tales to tell.

Would highly recommend this – although not a marked route, very few places you can go wrong and a good introductory ultra – although doubtful the weather will ever be as favourable again!

South Yorkshire Orienteers: Blacka Moor

Report by Zoe Barton

Keen to get some practice at navigation, and interested to see what kind of format the Orienteering Club events followed, Kate Bowden and Zoe travelled through the clag and out the other side to Totley Moor area for a South Yorkshire Orienteers event on Sunday morning.

We chose the Score format – 90 minutes to visit as many controls as you like.

The hardest part was the pre entry system, which seemed to require a degree in Orienteering Entry Systems to navigate. Registration was simple and no kit check.

We fought through a small brambly wood to the start area , where we saw a lot of keen competitors lining up for their maps. Not much additional info was given but on explaining we were novices, the volunteer explained the basics of the control descriptions and the map. The scale was a whopping 1 to 10,000 which neither us us had ever used before. After the traditional false start and ditching trying to find our chosen first control we got into our stride and had a fun hour or so finding flags around the course. Weather was clear and lots of it was on paths and some in woods.

We decided our route back to the finish with around 30 mins remaining, and then made a small error which meant that the last control was a bit “ambitious” to reach,  but I encouraged Kate to follow me up a gently rising moorland track to visit it. We only had 5 mins to return and that’s where I realised the end was back through the brambly woods, not in the start field. Mega D’OH. A haring descent back down the path and a painful dash through the woods… we lost 50 points each. But there was tea and cakes and friendly chats. 

We both learned a lot, there’s no better way to improve your nav in my book. If anyone fancies a trip up there one weekend or summer evening, we’ve kept the maps and can access the moor via public footpaths

Trigger Race

Report by Rick Steckles

The GDH Team Taxi rolled into the grounds of Marsden Cricket Club at 7am for my first ever Trigger Race. The glorious Derbyshire weather (?) had turned to icy rain showers as we crossed in Yorkshire – although I shouldn’t have worried at that point, as things would soon become much worse.

Covid-inspired regulations turned the pre-race into a one-way system, with runners encouraged to wait outside in a car once they’d completed their preparation. Like many others, we had no car to wait in so resolved to make our preparations (inside a nice warm building) as careful and thorough as possible.

I was fully prepared for kit check, having brought all the required gear and then some. Unfortunately, the friendly kit-check lady presented me with a much more detailed kit list than the one emailed out before the race, the latest version adding “not a blanket” next to “emergency bag”. Mine was labelled “blanket” in big letters, so I was caught bang to rights. I was advised that I could buy a “proper” emergency bag from the mountain rescue team across the room and was given a bright orange emergency tarpaulin to cart around for 25 miles, bigger in size and weight than all the rest of my equipment put together. Still, I learned a valuable life lesson: sometimes a bag is not a bag – it’s a blanket.

After another 45 minutes of carefully packing and re-packing items into different pockets of my race vest, I headed out to the start where I saw Robin and Sarah from the club – great to finally meet them, as I’d been copying Robin’s routes on Strava for some time (including one of their recce line across to Kinder for today’s race). We were given a short speech before an unceremonious “Go!” kicked off proceedings, everyone wading across the muddy dam wall before joining a path alongside the reservoirs.

I could see Neal and Josh ahead and made my way gradually through the field, joining Neal at Wessenden Head before we diced with death across the half-frozen doom flags towards Black Hill. A bevy of Mountain Rescue folk welcomed us to the first checkpoint at the trig. Slowing down just enough to flash the race number under my waterproof, we forked left across the moor towards Crowden Meadows, me heroically taking the lead and warning my companions of dicey ground by sinking thigh-deep into every bog en route. We took a slightly different (better) line down to Crowden Little Brook than I’d planned, before everyone tidied up their hair and make-up ready for the photo op at the stream crossing.

Choosing a more deliberate approach over the popular “Flying Karate Splash”, I made it to the other side without incident and began the gentle ascent up the other side of the valley, with Neal just ahead. After a few minutes I decided to partake in a Mars Bar, soon slowing down as I realised that breathing heavily while eating a frozen Mars Bar is not easy. I lost a few places here but eventually arrived at the summit of the trail, before losing a few more places by way of my trademark “safety first” descending technique.

Next year, I’ll clear it in one graceful bound – honest! (Photo: Mozzie Steve Frith)

I crossed Woodhead Pass and enjoyed a handful of jelly babies at the second checkpoint, before ramping up the pace (from “hobble” to “stagger”) for the flat-ish detour around Torside Reservoir. Next up was another road crossing before the power-walk up towards Clough Edge.

Soon the path levelled out enough to break out into a jog, before turning into churned-up mush and reducing me to wallowing from one quagmire to the next. My relatively quick early pace was a distant memory and a couple more overtook me on this section, but I had a secret weapon in my navigational arsenal – my expertly-recce’d line across to Dowstone Clough.

Unfortunately, between the snow and heavy clag, visibility wasn’t great and I stumbled across the path by Dowstone Clough at an unfamiliar intersection before spending 7 minutes wandering up and down in search of the crossing point (which took on a special significance when I finished in 5:07… d’oh!).

Back on familiar “3 Trigs” ground, I dashed through the snow to Higher Shelf trig, where another jovial Mountain Rescue crew took my number and set me on my way west via the plane wreckage. The Pennine Way was particularly busy today and I passed various Spine Race contenders coming the other way, before realising who they were and what they were doing (and putting my efforts neatly into perspective). I bumped into Chris Jackson offering encouragement and some very welcome snacks, then eventually arrived at the Snake Pass checkpoint.

By now I was struggling with the cold/wet conditions – everything was soaked including my waterproof mitts. I’d resorted to balling my hands up into fists inside the soggy mitts for extra warmth, with the rest of the mitts flapping around in the breeze. It was time for more joyous Flags of Doom, which had now turned into an icy-bedded water course. I splashed across a section completely submerged in water and suddenly lost my left leg to a peat bog, rolling round in a crampy mess before finally righting myself and staggering towards Within Clough at a bearing of 170 degrees.

En route down to the crossing at Ashop Clough I was flanked by other Trigger racers, heading encouragingly in the same direction. I crossed the stream and celebrated by breaking out my personal stash of Jelly Babies, stomping my way up towards the north face of Kinder where I briefly caught up with Robin and Sarah before they powered away up to the plateau.

Finally reaching flat land and with the last significant climb under my belt, I followed a bunch of cairns to the Sandy Hays trig – the final checkpoint of the race, marshalled by more heroic Mountain Rescuers. I bumbled across the giant pebbles to Kinder Downfall, then embarked on a much-recce’d traverse of Kinder Scout (happily guided by footsteps in the snow). I finally arrived at Crowden Tower and was confident of the rest of the route, so picked up the pace again and made up a few places towards Grindslow Knoll.

Embarking on the final descent, I gained 7 or 8 more places by avoiding the tricky tourist path via a steep direct line down towards Grindsbrook Booth (cheers again, Ian!). Cheered up by the return of some runnable ground, I pegged it past a couple more on the final stretch before the finish.

A difficult race at the time, but fantastic in hindsight; within 24 hours I was looking forward to another attempt next year. Congratulations to everyone from Glossopdale Harriers who took part and achieved some great results, and thanks again to everyone who stood in terrible conditions to support us en route!

Manchester Area XC League: Tatton Park

Report by Chris Webb

It was the 4th match of the season at the lovely Tatton Park and the glorious weather made up for the grim condition at Kenworthy Woods in the last match.  Joanne and Charmayne represented the women and worked together running side-by-side by the looks of it for the entire race (see the pic below), another solid result to add to a consistently excellent season for Joanne and Charmayne at cross country.

In the mens race it was the usual scene at the MACCL with the front runners taking it out hard.  The course had a bit of mud here and there but the dry weather in the last week or so meant it was largely runnable.  It was good to see MACCL debuts from Nat Hicks, Ben Robertson and Rick Gwilt (Rick’s probably run many MACCL races in the past but it’s the first in a while at least!) who all had strong races by the looks of it.  As usual, Frank Fielding showed the rest of us how it’s done powering to 2nd in the V70 category.  Stefan Bramwell seems to have recovered from COVID and a heavy cold and ran well, doing battle with Nat who managed to stay ahead by the finish.  It will be interesting to see how we’ve done in the team results, there’s a chance we may move up a division next season, those results will be out in a few days.

The final match of the season is at Heaton Park on Saturday 19th February.

Women’s Results

500th (12th FV55): Joanne Brack, 44:14
501st (23rd FV50): Charmayne Birerley, 44:15

Men’s results

42nd (6th MV40): Chris Webb, 34:55
124th: Nathaniel Hicks, 37:35
141st (23rd MV45): Stefan Bramwell, 38:10
207th (35th MV45): Jamie Helmer, 40:19
335th (7th MV60): David Chrystie-Lowe, 44:49
351st (67th MV40): Ben Robertson, 45:25
379th (2nd MV70): Frank Fielding, 46:54
485th (4th MV70): Rick Gwilt, 47:39

Northern Cross Country Championships

Report by Chris Webb

Just in case you think you’re in half-decent form and running well, the Northerns is always willing to put you back in your place!

Always an extremely strong field, the best runners from around the north converged this year at Pontefract Racecourse to battle it out on an extremely windy day. I raced the Northerns here in 2019 and had a stinker finishing 199th but I’ve been running better this winter so I was hoping for at least top-150 and maybe top-100 if the stars aligned.

There were no start pens due to COVID so it was a true mass start and we all set off at warp speed as the wind was behind us. The wind meant that you went from flying to a near standstill depending on the direction of travel so I was trying to keep my  perceived effort pretty even whilst trying to tuck in behind the group when the wind was fiercest. Championship races (Northerns and Nationals) at slightly longer than regular XC, so it was 12km rather than 10 and it was noticeable how many runners fell off the pace on the 3rd lap as they started to tire.

I felt solid if not fantastic, but picking up places on the last lap kept me motivated and I put in a final bust to try and drop the group I’d been with for the final lap which I managed bar one Sale Harrier who pipped me on the line. I finished 113th in the end which I was pretty happy given the depth of quality in the field.

I know a few are planning to run the Nationals at Parliament Hill but I’d encourage you to get the Northerns on your calendar for 2022; less travel and a chance to see how you stack up against a similarly high-quality field.

» Full results

Club Championships 2022

…and lastly (but by no means leastly), details of the all-new 2022 Club Championships are now online – check out the info/routes and enjoy the rousing video trailer to get you in the mood!

Years of Running – it’s the end-of-year report!

This final report of the year is a compilation of Harriers’ “Year of Running” reports. Thank you to everyone who has contributed and here’s to another successful year!

Guy Riddell

2021 started with running every day in January, and despite a shortage of real races managing to complete all of the virtual club championship races + several of the captains challenge events. I once more topped 2,000 miles by mid-November and squeezed in PBs at 10k, half marathon and marathon plus 2 x 50 mile efforts and a couple of just for fun fell races. 2 road marathons, my first Great North Run, Manor Park Marathon, the Foodbank 50 loops, Heights Ultra Trail 50 miles, all great fun.
Perhaps the highlight has been getting out running with so many other Harriers every single week – virtual club champs ‘racing’, social runs and of course the Covid-invented ‘runch’.  It has certainly alleviated the monotony of working from home and living alone and been a constant reminder of what a great club we’ve got.

Susan Moore and Dave Munday

Dave and I have ventured out well,
To Sheffield, Stockport, Tour of Tameside Hell on the Fell.
We’ve run and we’ve walked and we’ve laughed and we’ve grumbled,
I even managed this year not to stumble.
Sheffield was fun not so sure about the steps
Maybe we should have come to more Coach J’s Hill Reps?
Stockport was hilly and nice weather on the day,
But the first aider kept asking if I was ok!
My favourite event was the Tour of Tameside and I didn’t cry!
Just showed me what you can achieve if you try

Paul Skuse

Here are my utterly random thoughts/memories about running and racing throughout 2021:

  1. The most impressive run of the year must be from Tim Budd on the New Glossop route. In years to come, old men in dark corners will tell of where they were the day Tim smashed it. Loads of us did the route (some more than once), and a fair few did really well but Tim produced a stand-out performance that deserves special recognition.
  2. Beryl Buckley has had the greatest comeback since Kathy Bates in “Misery”. (Never assume the bad guy is dead. Keep hitting them with a shovel till the police arrive). She has been such an inspiration. Kudos.
  3. It’s been great making new running mates (and rivals). This should be No. 1 really. Told you it was random. It will be nice to see a few more faces out at the races. I will be nagging you, you’ve been warned.
  4. At the time of writing, Winkle trout is my favourite route of the year. One to put on the to do list for 2022.
  5. Ian and Immy have done an outstanding job as captains throughout the year. The mash-ups, the recces, the whole shebang has been top class. Thank you both.
  6. It feels odd if you go to a race and Nick Ham isn’t there.
  7. The DCRO Dash has the hardest start of any race I’ve done. 
  8. It’s crap when you or your mates are injured. Fist bumps and/or cuddles to all those who’ve had to nurse injuries and niggles in2021.
  9. VJ Irocks are the future. I still prefer my old inov8’s for comfort but they keep mucking about with the designs.  Irocks are the way to go when you really need grip.
  10. I’m getting slower but my age graded rating is improving, so hurray for getting older. (Burners taught me all about this on the Power of 10)
  11. Cross country is hard. (Got myself an XC nemesis so it’s proper full beans racing). Thanks to the XC gang for sorting, supporting, lifts and all the rest.
  12. Stefan has the best running related injury pics I’ve seen in a long time. They may not have the “Ouch!” factor of Jo with her x-ray of a pinned jaw but they are special. Go on, ask him to show you.
  13. On a long run, you still can’t beat cheese and marmite butties and cherry tomatoes for snacks.
  14. The Holme Moss fell race continues to beat me down. It is a true classic but I’ve yet to do it justice. I’ll be back on it again in 2022 and this time I’m hoping to be cramp free all the way.
  15. Runs are better with a pub at the end.
  16. Pubs are better when it’s Guy’s round.
  17. And finally, thanks to all who have in any way been part of the 2021 racing year. Huzzar!

Ian Crutchley

I think I’ll remember 2021 for becoming Men’s Captain of this great club. Along with co-conspirator Immy, the monthly mash-ups were great fun to organise and were very successful. Similarly the fell relays, for all their usual last minute drama with the teams, it was great to be involved, and to run the glory leg at the FRA’s.  The 2021 Club Champs was really special. Some of the routes we used were old GDH races from the 80s and 90s, which I’d spent quite some time digging up in 2020, so to see them embraced once again by the club was incredible.

As far as the running itself is concerned, I have to mention my whole Bob Graham experience. Although the attempt ultimately didn’t succeed (I’m threatening to go back for more in 2022), it was a great day, as were all the days spent planning, training and recce’ing with friends. It was also an honour to be involved in Immys successful Paddy Buckley Round, and in Luke’s successful 100. A few other highlights include, a winter sub 8 hour Kinder Dozen with Lance, completing the very challenging Heart of Darkness with Mark and Dan, having great fun with Sikobe completing the Wildbank Half Dozen, and a PB and team prize at The Bullock Smithy.

Zoe Barton

2021 began with a lot of uncertainty due to Covid, and a lot of cold, snowy outings in the hills. My goal from 2020 – to get out in the Big Fells and support people attempting Big Rounds – remained.

Thankfully I was able to realise this thanks to Immy, Ian and other aspirant completers. Some great days out recce-ing and supporting the Bob Graham in the Lakes and the Paddy Buckley in Wales. My main notable adventures were in Springtime. An ice-cream, joke and rough route-fuelled Kinder Dozen on Easter weekend with Neal B was a brilliant tonic to the lockdown blues. This was followed soon after by a fun evening out supporting Mr Holme on his 100 miles for GMRT and teaching him to eat Hula Hoops.

Summer saw the mentioned Round attempts and I was proud to see my clubmates digging deep into their reserves. Whatever the outcomes, the opportunity to be out in the high fells was something I enjoyed and appreciated hugely. I was nervous to race but later in the year I did, and found it was like putting on an old pair of armwarmers… brilliant! More of the same in 2022 please 🙂

Pete Tomlin

Much of the first half of the year was taken up with planing, training for and eventually running Hadrian’s Wall. This was a great experience, firstly the training, where I finally achieved some sort of consistency and felt well prepared for once. The run itself was fantastic, a real sense of ‘going somewhere’ and being able to be on my own running across some amazing countryside and enjoying the pubs along the way! The mileage was also a massive achievement for me. This is definitely an experience I want to replicate, so some more running holidays are on the horizon. 

After that I had a few races hungover from covid cancellations, the Sandstone Trail in September a particular highlight, and I completed my first ultra distance on the skyline champs route. The champs as a whole has been a proper highlight of the year. 

Lately, my running has fallen off the horse a bit, so as well as some more running holidays, a new year’s resolution is to get back to some sort of consistency, in time for the Grindleford Gallop in March would be preferable!!

John Gaffney

I did more races this year than I’ve done in the last decade I reckon! I’ve loved trying to get better at it and also loved the healthy competition of the club. Some highlights as follows:

Cake Race, May – Really great race and nice to have a post race drink and chat with club mates after lengthy covid lockdowns! This race helped me up the distance a bit and gave me hope for some marathon fitness later in the year after some niggles. 

Round the resers, June – amazing GDH turnout and atmosphere. Great race too, loved seeing all the mini-battles going on throughout the field and thoroughly great evening.

Round Sheffield Run, June – paired with Rob Sheldon, we came 15th pair – ace course, ace atmosphere, ace partnership – cheers Rob. Flashback of excitable puppy who loved the woodland downhill section even more than we did and followed us for about a mile – hope scrappy doo got back to owner! 

Manchester marathon, Oct – main aim for the year was to get a PB at this distance. I managed that by 5+ mins, getting over the line in just under 3hr 20mins. I also got a half marathon PB in the same race which makes me think I haven’t been trying hard enough at that distance! 

Looking forward to seeing what 2022 brings. Cheers folks.

Rick Steckles

2021 was my first year with Glossopdale Harriers (or any running club!). I’ve been running on and off since I was at school, and got a bit more serious about 10 years ago when I moved to Glossop and had the Peak District on my doorstep. I’d been reluctant to join a club as I tend to fit running in around work, etc. and thought I’d struggle to commit to regular sessions, but when I moved house a couple of years ago, Lance from the club moved in next door; he found out I did a bit of running and after a couple of social outings over Higher Shelf, he sold me on the idea of signing up.

I soon found there was no need to worry about making scheduled sessions – everyone is busy to varying degrees and life sometimes gets in the way, but having the option of training or social runs when they fit in works perfectly.

I joined just in time to take part in the first Virtual Club Champs event and I’m happy I managed to complete all the events this year. It’s a new format, but it’s been so convenient for me to run when it suits rather than having to turn up to races on specific dates. The “Monthly Mash-Up” events have also been great fun, even if I’ve not been able to make nearly as many as I’d have liked.

I entered my first ever fell race – Up The Nab, on one of the hottest days of year! I volunteered to marshal on the day and ended up standing by a car park entrance for 3 hours, while I “topped up my tan” and managed to drink all the water I brought with me (big thanks to John Gaffney, who offered me some of his water prior to the race, despite having only just met me!). Since Up The Nab, I’ve run in a handful of other races like the Round Sheffield Run, Eccles Pike fell race and the Gravy Pud. I’ve loved all of these and one of my goals for next year is to ramp up my race count.

Some of my highlights of 2021 have been a few amazing days spent in the Lakes, recceing legs of the Bob Graham with people I’ve only been out with a handful of times but now consider good friends. I also got the chance to run for GDH in the Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relays in Patterdale, a brilliantly organised event with some top class athletes (plus me) in attendance, which has some significant fell running history behind it.

To sum it up, joining the club has massively expanded my running horizons, in terms of knowledge of the local fells (and fells further afield!), different types of running (I’d never owned a pair of road shoes before – in fact, 2021 has been expensive for shoes in general!) and how to train effectively. Best of all though, I’ve met some brilliant people who I’ve shared adventures with that I won’t forget for a long time, and who inspire me every day. Looking forward to more of everything in 2022!

Dan Stinton

“Just another 35 miles” I tell myself. I was hurting everywhere and walking like a seized up robot. Over the previous two days, I had ran 100 miles of the Anglesey coast (35 miles, then 65 miles) which covered just about every type terrain you could think of. Whilst I wasn’t feeling hugely confident before starting the race, having now got this far with only one more day remaining I was pretty determined that nothing would stop me now – even with Holyhead mountain plonked right at the end to finish you off. I managed to finish the “Ring o’Fire” in 11th place, a total of 135 miles in 29:01:47 overall. Certainly an achievement I’ll never forget!

As well as that it’s been a really good year with a PB at the Lakeland 50 (10:41),  completing the Heart of Darkness with Ian and Mark, the brilliant Marple Beer Run and of course the great club champs challenges – the highlight for me being the New Glossop Fell Race with Will Mather, scrambling up Blackden Clough with our heads spinning like paranoid owls in case any of the groups behind us were catching up.

Finally it was an honour to witness such grit and determination from both Immy Trinder on her Paddy Buckley round and Luke Holme on his 100-miler. Immy, I am very sorry I (and Mark D, let’s share the blame) forgot your shoes for the last leg!

Wioleta Wydrych

For me 2020 was full of new challenges.

I was curious about running an ultra so did my first 50km on my own, from the doorstep into the hills in January (actually 52km and 1069m). I enjoyed it a lot, so I added a few more hills and raced Lakeland 5 passes ultra with Kate and Bec (51km and 3000m) and finished as a 3rd lady. For the very first time I even won something (a pair of great shoes) and we spent a lovely weekend out in the lakes. This race got me to realise that I’m made for long stuff as I’m not the fastest but can go on for ages and my nutrition is spot on. So then I did Bullock Smithy (93km and 2754m) had a lot of fun and finished as 4th Lady. 

This year I did relays for the very first time, sliding on my bum down the steep grassy hill (or a waterfall) on the Hodgson relays in pairs with Lance and navigating on the FRA relays while trying to catch Zoe. And most of all I’ve met even more amazing runners, had some great adventures, fun runs, hill reps, great sessions, socials and a lot of joy being in the mountains. I even enjoyed a bit of drinking with all you amazing runners! I loved the virtual champs, the opportunity to discover more local routes and to decide that road races aren’t for me! So next year I will do more of what I really enjoy – the hills. I also managed to conquer kinder killer (45km and 2784m) and was defeated by not yet dead bracken on kinder dozen.

And if that wasn’t enough, I received a beautiful reward for the enthusiasm and sense of adventure in running in the hills that John Hewitt personified  

And I love you all!

Immy Trinder

What a year! For me, there have been two major highlights:

My year has, unsurprisingly, revolved around my Paddy Buckley Round. The training, planning, doing, celebrating and recovery have influenced every part of my year – there probably hasn’t been a day when I haven’t thought about it in some capacity. I was so lucky to have amazing support crew, made up of predominantly GDHers. Massive thanks to Ian, Dan, Marco, Chris J, Zoe, and everyone who trained and recced with me along the way!

The other highlight has, of course, been captaining the club, not least because it’s been an absolute pleasure working with Ian. The Monthly Mashups have been great fun to organise, and it’s been great to see so many Harriers getting involved and trying something different (including, for some, running in wetsuits and swim hats!). The Hodgson Brothers Mountain Relay was its usual grand day out, despite the atrocious conditions! Thanks to the team – Lance, Wioleta, Skusey, Rick, Mark H, Chris W and Tim – and in particular to John Pollard for giving up his day to ferry us around in the rain.

Lucy Waskinski

2021 wasn’t quite the running year I had planned…we’d found out at NY that we would have another person that we could eventually buy run kit for joining the household in Sept. So original race plans reevaluated – goodbye England masters marathon place in oct :(. New goal: run until baby arrives, naively thought that would be easy!  Without the prospect of doing proper races where I could go full beans, I loved the introduction of the 2021 club champs and aimed to run enough to qualify for the overall Champs. I kept up some decent mileage initially, mostly thanks to regular pre work runs with Pointy Pete. 3 Trigs in April was a blooming slog…the hills probs heard too much cursing that day… and it was then a downward spiral on the running front- just managing to plod round Round the Resers with one day to spare in June! July saw me fall flat on my face when running alone with the dog in a forest in Wales (oops). After a hurried journey to Tameside hosp, we agreed it was time to stick with safer sports, so Glossop pool became my new addiction & the Hadfield Dash in August didn’t get a look in. This left me 2 more champs events in order to qualify which felt a bit like I was living in cloud cuckoo land! Anyhow, thanks to Greg who is massively accommodating & supportive of my need to run, & thanks to the encouragement and company of Pointy Pete W, Neon Bullet Rob, Gaffers and Pete T I miraculously managed to tick off the final 2 champs races of 2021, plus 1 anytime challenge. Better still actually managed the Gravy Pud as a real race! All in all, a year entirely out the ordinary. Did I run and race as much as I hoped and thought I would? No way. Am I happy with what i’ve done anyway? Hell yeah. The club champs gave me a target to work towards, and despite being way off any normal race time, I actually feel like i’ve achieved something with running this year  – which when your body has become totally alien to you, feels pretty good. Thanks GDH folk – couldn’t have done it without you!

Ben Robertson

In terms of actual races my year has been lacking but the there have been 4 stand out moments this year for me:

1) BBC Countryfile did a feature on me about my tyre running to promote the benefits of ‘Green time’ on people’s mental well-being, and my #coalstonewcastle challenge.

https://www.getoutgetmuddy.co.uk/post/bbc-countryfile-joins-ben-tyre-running

2) I completed the Rat Race The Wall 70 mile ultra. 

3) Only 2 weeks later I completed my #coalstonewcastle in which I ran from Hadfield Derbyshire to Newcastle upon Tyne towing a 25kg sack of coal. 

https://www.getoutgetmuddy.co.uk/post/the-coals-are-in-newcastle

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-derbyshire-57915879

4) Not Running related but I got married  but managed to drag Gemma and our photographer up hen cloud in the roaches on our wedding day.

Marie Williamson

Looking back at my race calendar, I’ve actually completed more marathons/ultras than I thought I had this year. Hopefully, putting me in line with doing my 100th at London in October 2022. But what’s made me really think are the 2x 24 hour events I’ve done.

They were both very different events, in many ways. The first being Endure 24 where I managed 75 miles & that included a good few hours of down time (probably about 6hrs) where I rested/slept in the car. It started at lunchtime & was 5 mile laps, with lots of other people around running & supporting. The 2nd being Escape from Meriden, where I also completed 75 miles but was on the move for practically the whole way. I had the company of other runners around me for the first 20 or so miles but then was solo, self supported & self navigated the whole way. This one began at midnight after only managing a 20 minute midafternoon nap. So totally missed a whole night’s sleep. 

My thoughts are whether I could have managed to keep going at Endure had I not had the midway rests? Could I have actually made that 100? & how much better would I have moved at Meriden had I planned better & slept for a few hours prior to the midnight start? Answers on a postcard please!!

Sikobe Litaba

2021, the year of nearly running – by Sikobe

I deliberated as to whether a year of mainly walking and trotting would make the cut for the GDH yearly running reports, when most other tales would no doubt be of canters and gallops, but this was my solace, so here goes:

I started the year struggling to shake off a running injury, but managed a Sunday morning stroll around the Glossop 5 in the company of John Stephenson. With Spring in the air I joined a group doing the 3 trigs; but switched off my brain for a fast descent from Harry Hut, and awoke the next day back at square one. Rested in time to walk the Glossop 10k solo, and later in the summer to trot gently round the Resers. With the sun shining, I was motivated to join a large chatty group doing the 30-mile skyline on the hottest day of the year, getting round but almost collapsing with dehydration. Soon afterwards a return to parkrun on the tarmac paths led to another relapse. Later in summer I took a stroll round the Hadfield dash and got back into fell running with a trot around Shelf Moor. Self-motivated to keep up the monthly hit rate, I accepted an invitation off Kate Bowden to chase her on her 3rd-round of the NGFR. Into autumn, a 45-minute head start around the Beehive 5k got me back in time for photographer duties, as did a 90-minute head start around the Gravy Pud. Thinking that the icing on the cake would be my canter around the Simmondley mile, I was instead pleasantly surprised for it to end up being a bottle of GDH ale, which I must trot down to Glossop to collect one day.

Rob Anker

My year with GDH has been great fun and pushed me to step out of my comfort zone of mainly solo running and enjoy the social side that GDH offers to everyone. I have met some great people who share the same fun for the great outdoors.

The monthly mashups and the GDH champs were a great way to keep motivated and fun to take part in. The captains and whole support team did an amazing job. I look forward to next year’s challenges.

On a personal level I managed to dip below 20 mins on the Glossop Park run. First time under 20 mins for 5K for 15 years plus. A few weeks later I ran 32ish miles which is the longest I have run (from memory). The swimrun event was probably my favourite activity and my kind of fun.

I enjoyed running the mixed circuit sessions in the Park and getting my mojo back for other aspects of training. Seeing the progress and hard work from everyone made the sessions and kept us all motivated.

My low point was (and possibly a contender for bombed-out) my injury in September. 2 months out, but the work I did prior this definitely helped the recovery.

Looking forward to more adventures next year.

Josh Southall

I set myself a few challenges for 2021. I wanted to run every Club Champs Race, I set myself a goal of running the Welsh 3000s and I wanted to have a crack at the Manor Park marathon. I completed each one and more.

My running went from strength to strength in 2021 and I bagged myself a few PBs for the 10k and 5k mostly part to the championships spurring me on and motivating me to get out running! I never thought I’d get the results I did across the races and challenges I participated in and I thank everyone in the club for your words of encouragement and friendship. 

Another highlight of the year was running in that epic snow we had back in January! I’ll attach a picture I took at Kinder Low Trig.

Another great memory from the year was recceing the 3 Trigs route with Luke & Matt, there’s a picture of the awesome sunset we encountered as we descended Doctors Gate.

I ran the Saddleworth 10 Trigs a great local challenge, around 37 miles and one of Chris Webbs routes. I also ran the Dambusters Challenge, a loop around Ladybower and Derwent reservoirs. The Glossop Skyline was great but tough on the scorching hot day we picked to run it on! 

The British Fell and Hill relays were an awesome day out with real club camaraderie and my first proper feel for Lakeland racing and I can’t forget my first ever 1st Place finish at the Gravy Pud.

Christine Peters

2021 was the year that I first tried fellrunning! It began with a solo run around the beginners nav course that John and Paul set up back in March, followed by the Monthly Mash Up nav scoring event organised by Ian and Immy in April, when I teamed up with Wendy! I really appreciate all the great support, friendship and encouragement that I’ve had from so many in the club this year. Over the months, I enjoyed several more sociable runs in the hills, leading to me doing the virtual New Glossop Fell Race in October with Michael, Nan and Rachel. When I realised that I was hooked (!), I bought some decent fell shoes, and have since entered a couple of fell races, Gravy Pud and Wormstones. I know that I have a great deal to learn about running in the hills, and am looking forward to another year of exploring the hills!

Kevin Ingham

Had a fantastic year everything has come together like a jigsaw puzzle lately I’ve had PB after PB and I’ve loved every minute of it.  2019 5K 36:57 2020 5K 26:21( Sale Sizzler 24:23 ) and after doing a brill 5K this summer at sale Sizzler I beat my park run time at park run 2021 5K 24:36 all 3 park runs 5K 2021 slowly beat them all at Hyde park  2020 10K PB 54:49 2021 47:50 Half Marathon 2021 first HM hero’s half 2:09:33  2021 Conwy half marathon  ( 1:49:17 ) STP 10 1:21:57 Reps and the long runs have helped me improve and plus I have an amazing Coach Tony Hillier.  He has made me the runner I am today and I’m so so grateful to him and also we have become very good friends.  I am also now a LIRF at HRC running community which I love as I love helping people to improve as Tony has passed down a lot of advice and tips and knowledge down to me and it’s sunk in and now I can give back to others as well now one of my proudest moments being a LIRF. Gravy pud first ever go 55:51 and Cross County first go ever December 54:48 and Wormstones tomorrow morning !

 And my running distance this year only a few miles short of 2,500 miles

Kate Bowden

Glossopdale Harriers 2021: A Year In a day

It was 8am, light just dawning on a cold, windy post-Christmas morning. The forecast was thick cloud, there was snow on the tops. Obviously I love my family and, after two long days of festivities at home, I was desperate for a getaway adventure.

Preparations:

I took with me (see photo of kit)

How many Harriers remember recommending these items I now use as a matter of course for comfort and safety?

My intended route – a partial recce for the (Old) Glossop Fell Race – I found on the Harriers website and after downloading the GPX file onto OS Maps App, I plotted the route on my map, working out a couple of compass bearings at the same time. I noted the route could easily be split in two manageable sections.  I decided to aim for half, but also noted a few shorter versions – just in case. I sent my route plan with a screenshot of the GPX to two trusty Harrier friends. They would keep tabs on me. 

This might sound simple, but in my previous life I didn’t have these skills. All thanks go to club members who have taught me how to do these things 

So the journey began. 

Soon (but not before leaping furiously over the wild Shelf brook) I was climbing steeply towards Shelf Moor, clag building around me and the views starting to disappear. Underfoot, suddenly, very wet snow. I was so happy to reach the Trig at Higher Shelf Stones, exactly where I expected it to be, hiding in the dense mist. But then what? I asked myself out loud ‘is this safe?  I had a good think, and my surprise answer was ‘yes’!

This was the exact point I realised just how much I have learned and how generous my clubmates have been, not just in sharing their knowledge, but in their confidence-building comments and encouragement. I CAN do these things!

I trudged cautiously through the boggy snow, past the crash site (eerie) and eventually found Hern Stones just where I thought it would be. Encouraged I ploughed on through the clag to Bleaklow Head, passing a helpful, if strangely comical, little rock with an arrow peaking out of the sludge. I  then left Bleaklow Head in entirely the wrong direction and relied heavily on the GPX to direct me back to the Pennine Way. At this point I had a proper reality check. This was the plan B opt out moment– to stay on the Pennine Way and head from there over to Glossop Low. Plan A – no path, clag, uncertain direction. Although I had a compass bearing, I would be reliant on GPX if I lost my way and on several past occasions, out with Harriers in freezing conditions, my phone has shut down completely. Navigation was also slow going, and my feet were starting to feel cold. I considered the eventual descent down Lawrence Edge- tricky in the best of conditions. Hmm – continuing with the route seemed like a Bad Idea.

I followed Plan B happily, enjoying the familiarity of the route home. Definitely the right decision and I loved every minute of this 3 hour bimble. Can’t wait to finish the recce either solo or with friends but definitely in better weather!

This wasn’t a long route or unfamiliar, but for me to attempt this in December, solo, in clag and snow – it wouldn’t have been possible without our amazing club. This trip out made me realise what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown in confidence, and how much you’ve all contributed to that.  I thought about naming everyone I could think of, but it’s all of you! It’s incredibly empowering to know I can go off on my own whatever the conditions.  Even if I am a total worry-wart, I’m also a GDH V50F 2021 Fell Champion!

Thank you Glossopdale Harriers 😊

Read Kate’s full story in her new blog here: https://activegreentherapy.wordpress.com/2021/12/30/my-year-in-glossopdale-harriers-2021/

Chris Webb – Ribble Valley 10k (not a yearly report!)

I know you’re after end of year reports so this may not be relevant for the weekly roundup…here’s a short report just in case:

Nick Lord and I joined a stacked field of runners on Monday 27th December for what also counts as the North of England 10k Championships.  The course is on closed country roads around Clitheroe; it’s an undulating route but the depth of quality means that you are often dragged to a fast finish!  A dash down the hill and over the river and already the field was strung out as I attempted to pace my effort knowing that mile 2 was slightly uphill.  I settled into a decent group and as usual all the runners around me appeared far more comfortable…but I’ve seen a runners’ ‘poker faces’ too many times to be taken in by that ruse!  There’s an out-and-back section at around 6km where I saw Nick looking far too cheery – see the pic below, he was clearly enjoying his day.  The 400m to go sign doesn’t take into account there’s a small climb but I managed to pick up the pace and finish in a time I was pretty happy with, Nick coming in not too far behind.  It’s a great race (if you don’t mind being a bit further down the results than you might usually be!) and a good focus for the Christmas break, get it in your diary for 2022.

Results:

140th (11th V40)  35:16   Chris Webb

238th  38:54   Nick Lord

Nick cruising along at 7km:

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

Gravy Pud, Stockport 10k, discussion about the best Trigger route, runners in santa hats and maybe, just maybe, writing the weekly report whilst sipping mulled wine 😊.

Night Street League 4 – Marple Bridge (Courtesy of Ian C)

Targeting a partnership for a couple of Mountain Marathons in 2022, Lance Hamilton Griffiths suggested we should do some Nav teamwork, to see how long it takes before one strangles the other.  To see if we could survive 60 minutes, we headed over to Marple Bridge to make our debut at the Manchester District Orienteering Club (MDOC) organised, Night Street League. 

For anyone who’s done a GDH Street-O event as a monthly mash-up, these events are essentially the same concept, but a whole lot more competitive!  The courses have you hunting all kinds of “street furniture” including telegraph poles, BT exchange green boxes, fire hydrants, sub stations, and of course, lamp posts.  Armed with a clue sheet and a map, competitors only need to wander within a few metres of the checkpoint to receive an audible beep from the pre-downloaded MapRun phone app, and then your off hunting the next.  As ever, heavy penalties if you’re late back.  It seems complex but its really clever and all pretty straightforward actually.   

Anyway, having faffed with the tech we were off, and as newbies we found the first few controls were a bit fiddly whilst we got used to it all.  But in pretty short order we were hammering through the controls and racking up the points.  The hour passed quickly, and we covered about 5.5 miles around Marple before dibbing out in an overly cautious 55 minutes.  Provisional results indicated we were in 4th place on the night in terms of total points scored, but checking the site on the following day, the ranking is not as simple as total points scored!  Once the paper based competitors were counted, and the 45 and 75 minute competitors were added, the scoring is then normalised in points per hour, and this saw us slip to 23rd out of 66.  The results are further “handicapped” using a system I am yet to understand, but clearly the “fiddle factor” used on the points recognises the advantage of running as a pair over running solo, as we slumped further down the results into 41st out of 66.  We remain top pairing, and we’ll take that on our debut!

 It was a fantastic little event, fast and furious nav, and cheap at £4.  There was no falling out and no fists were thrown, so all in all we proved we can last an hour at least, which is a good start.

The next Night Street League fixture is on Tuesday 11th January in Poynton.  Lance and I will be there, and I encourage you all to come along!  You sign up in advance, and pay on the night. Events | Manchester & District Orienteering Club (mdoc.org.uk)

Hathersage Night Race (courtesy of Kate B)

Well it’s that time of year again when I’m yet another year deeper into my age category. I’m not keen on the traditional methods of ‘celebration’ so jumped at the chance to do the Hathersage Night Race especially with the offer of a lift (thanks Pete) and some company. What could be better? We set off in the drizzle on a hearty climb up a trail that resembled a rocky river bed. There were many slippery rocks and we watched in amazement as the woman just ahead of us turned a full and graceful summersault (well, sort of) before calmly standing up and continuing her run. Anne Williams, clearly not wanting to miss out on the limelight, immediately slipped off the same rock but spectacularly managed to stay  upright (no gymnastics required). We eventually reached Stanage Edge where the dense clouds and rain made for a treacherous but exciting run with shocking visibility. Then a swift turn downwards to descend blindly through steep boggy fields. It was glorious! Anne and I had a fun chatty run finishing bang on one hour.  Unfortunately, the RO seemed to deem this time too lowly to include in the results although the obvious conclusion is that Anne and I sprinted past the finish so fast our numbers were just a blur and they couldn’t catch us! Pete Wallroth and Guy Riddell stormed round achieving the awesome status of a placing – 42nd (50:20) and 57th (52:29) respectively. We didn’t see Guy again so sadly he missed out on the cake. 

Guy said this was a cracking race in almost persistent drizzle and biting cold. Set off with Pete, and got separated about 2 miles in at a gate, although Pete thought I was still with him, some random Geordie was just behind him and copped for his pointing and rambling monologue as he thought it was me. Visibility was limited to the rain and breathfog picked up by the headtorch, amazingly stayed upright but did swing my hand against a 5ft rock that I didn’t see and got a lovely bruise. Also had to catch a lady who was falling off the edge of a cattle grid, instinctively grabbed her and somehow managed to keep us both upright. 

This was fun and I expect the views could be brilliant. But it was dark, raining and foggy. So they weren’t. There were more marshals scattered along the 5 mile route than a year’s worth of Guy’s baking.  Huge thanks to them as well as Anne, Pete and Guy for helping me celebrate my birthday!

Greater Manchester Cross Country Championships (courtesy of Chris W)

It was just me representing Glossopdale at the GM county championships which was held at the rather nice Leigh Sports Village. A small (compared to MACCL) field of about 130 men set off on a 3-lap course of two contrasting halves. The first half was on some nice sports fields and paths but the half on the other side of the East Lancs Road was some of the muddiest XC I’ve run since Boggart Hole Clough! Nigel Martin was in a class of his own at the front of the field and led from start to finish whilst I settled into a group in the top third, looking for an evenly paced race. I would move to the front of the group on the muddy section-which include a thigh-deep puddle/pond-and then hang on at the back of the group for the flat and fast section. The group was whittled down to 4 after two laps and it was a battle to the finish as the pace didn’t seem to let up. The sprint finish had me 3rd behind a couple of lads from Sale and Salford and just ahead of an Altrincham runner. No results are out yet but it’s probably my strongest run at XC all season so I’m pretty happy with that. Next up for XC is the MACCL at Tatton Park in January.

>>> Breaking news: Chris came 20th so it was, indeed, quite a strong run 😉

Winter reccie of the ‘Kinder B*….*d (courtesy of Sikobe L)

I don’t mind wet shoes and feet, it is when it’s cold and wet that I object. So with the forecast for warm southerlies on Sunday I opted for a winter reccie of the ‘Kinder Barsteward’ from Kinder corner today 12/12, with a hike up from Chunal layby. I had full kit including 2 pairs of gloves but I didn’t need them all day. Leaving kinder corner in 30m visibility clag at 10am I gave myself 4 hours to be back so a mental note to turn round at noon. I followed the fenceline to my favourite trig at Kinder west / sandy heys (cos you can bag 2 trigs in one there, the new and the old!), after a shuffle over from the RH to the LH side of the fence at stile no.16 to avoid the ponds on the right hand side.

By the way in clag it is handy to remember that the he trig is just east of stile no.8. Onwards on a direct bearing to Kinder river and enroute I was rewarded with my first sighting of a large hare – looking superb half way through its transformation from grey to white. Onwards up the kinder river and kinder gates then a bit further and over the top SE towards Edale, veering east before hitting the edge path. Onwards yomping eastwards towards the 6 minute crossing and the kinder east trig. Noon arrived and the clag lifted and sun peeked out just before the trig and I turned to head back, this time taking a route a few hundred yards inside the north edge. Some good trods here and there all the way back to the Kinder river and a retrace of my earlier journey out. However, couldnt help breaking the rules at the downfall by crossing the edge path in order to take some photos of the KInder downfall blowback as the wind whistled up the steep rocky slopes. All in all a great day out and a good reccie of most of the ‘route’ in 4 hours. Started to drizzle on the run back to chunal and was glad of the hot soup and curried noodles in the back of the campervan before heading home. Job done.

Other News

  • There was a good GDH turnout at Stockport 10k and some brilliant photos are starting to surface on FB. 
  • There were also a lot of Harriers at the mudfest that was the Gravy Pud last weekend. 
  • There has been some great charity stuff going on over the last few days too with Harriers accompanying Santa on his rounds in support of Mountain Rescue and Arthur T. completing Glossop parkrun yesterday to raise funds for Shelter >>> link.
  • The Christmas party is going ahead next weekend <yay>
  • Subs are due <also yay>!

Immy is next up in the report writing hotseat so please let her know about your running-related antics at gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com

Winter has Arrived! Its the Weekend Report….

Well, the weather got really interesting in Glossop on Saturday, which unsurprisingly left many events cancelled. Most of us were content to fill our time playing about in the snow, whilst some more intelligent people just stayed home and ate pies But there was one race with plenty of Harriers in attendance, plus a cracker of a Mash-up on Thursday. I’ve also dug one up from the archives for your reading pleasure.

But for the second week in a row the GDH reports inbox remains depressingly baron. Please, please send in your race reports (or any other random running related ramblings) in. The editorial policy is pretty much, anything you send, we will print!

Wilmslow Festive 10K

The only race that happened this weekend and I have no clue what went on, except 10 Harriers ran 10K. In Wilmslow. Some cracking times here, and brilliant to see the legendary Tony Hillier back on the road.

NameChip PosChip Time
Steve Knight13636:58
Nick Lord16037:25
Michael Park34141:06
Michael Greenhalgh47543:26
Tim Crookes72046:36
Kevin Ingham82947:50
Wendy McMahon89648:33
Kate Bee134953:13
Tony Hillier154555:10
Nicola Pennington22731:05:47

parkrun

With Glossop unsurprisingly cancelled, those needing their parkrun fix sated, scuttled around for some last minute tourism.

We had Julie Eyre at Richmond, Nick Ham at Woodbank, Robert Webster in a lightning 17:29 at South Manchester, Dez Mitchell, Alan Byrne and Kevin Ingham at Hyde, Joe Travis at Pontefract, Charlotte Bliss at Bury St Edmonds and Wendy Trelease at Marple.

The consolidated club report can be found here

SELCC Cross Country

Cancelled!

Monthly Mashup – Street-O

Wily dogs Zoe Barton and Andy Oliver managed to edge some very fast pairings in Thursday’s lamp post bothering session. Amusingly, Zoe admitted afterwards to not even spotting how the scoring worked on this one, and just went for as many as they could! Its what makes these Street Orienteering events so brilliant – its not just about speed, there is a huge element of cunning, and it all comes down to your route choices. Its the second time in a row that Zoe has won this event. Coincidence? I think not!

Well done guys, and to everyone that came along supported the event. These road scores have proven popular, and great fun. No doubt we’ll do more of them in the future!

Thank goodness for Immys good memory because we gave out the score cards without noting down the order and scores, but we believe this to be final standing….

1st – Andy Oliver and Zoe Barton – with a huge score of 450 points!

2nd – Joshua Southall and Paul Skuse with 440 points

3rd – Steve Page and Neal Bann with 410 points

4th – Lance H-g and Greg Chandler with 340 points (54 mins)

5th – Jeroen Peters and Katia Tastagh with 340 points (57 mins)

6th – Anne Williams and Timothy Rudd with 300 points

7th – Dave Edmunds and Wendy McMahon with 280 points

8th – Frank Hamilton and Mel Bee with 190 points

9th – Jessica Leigh Camp and Guy Riddell with 180 points

If anyone would like to have a go at the score course in their own time, let Immy or Ian know the email address and we’ll send you the map, score card and answers.

🏆GDH Virtual Champs – The Final Straight…🏆

A few things to remind and point out as we enter the final straight of our excellent 2021 Champs.

  1. You have until next Tuesday, 30th November to attempt Beehive 5.
  2. Gravy Pud is now “active” as of Monday this week. Many people are on the race itself on 5th December. If you’re not, then the deadline is 12th December to attempt it. If you’re not sure of the route, you can find it on the Champs page, but you can also reach out, as I’m sure someone will be happy to guide some groups around as needed.
  3. Dont forget the anytime challenges (Mile and parkrun). The deadline for these is also 12th December.
  4. To clarify a question asked, Glossop parkrun can be attempted anytime before 12th December – it doesn’t necessarily need to be at an official Saturday morning parkrun.
  5. As ever, please submit your times promptly! https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx…
  6. There are a number of you that have completed 3 or 4 races so far. To receive your qualifier gift, you need have completed 5, plus 1 of the anytime challenges. So to qualify, you must complete either or both Beehive 5 and Gravy Pud, plus 1 anytime within the deadlines outlined above. Check out the latest table and lets get as many qualified as we can!
  7. Ensure your diary is clear on the 19th December for our Xmas Do at the Partington. We have a great presentation planned to recognise everyone that qualified, and of course crown our Champions! I hope to see everyone there!

Details of the Champs are here: https://glossopdaleharriers.wordpress.com/club-championship/

One from The Archives – Tankys Trog 1990

As the Trigger recces commence, I spotted this report about its predecessor, the 1990 Tankys Trog (slightly different route, but still Marsden to Edale). Contrasting and funny reports from Carl Buckley and Frank Fielding. But do check out those blistering times. A GDH 1, 2, 3 (and 5). Quite outrageous!

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!   gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com.