Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Anglezarke Amble

An entry application form for this event, to be held on the 9th. February 2008, is now available on the web. The 26 mile route is recommended. It's a good morning out for some, and a somewhat longer outing for me.

John the Elder

See Feb 2006 archive for details of 2006 Amble fiasco.

Thursday 29th Nov

I'll be in the usual place, at the usual time (i.e. about two minutes after the agreed time).


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Try This for Thighs

Gordon, Sorry to hear about your unsightly abcess on your thigh ~ or was it your abcess on your unsightly thigh?

Only joking, I'm sure you've got lovely legs.

Horwich Fell Championship

It says something about the interest within the club in our own fell championship, that having come last counter in every race I've done, and having only done 5 races (with 6 to count) that I've placed equal seventh overall! Obviously the statistician couldn't believe it either, as I'm actually listed as ninth!

If (I try not to do "ifs", but just allow me this one) I'd entered and finished last counter at Edale, I'd have secured another 10 points and finished fifth!

(Am I using too many exclamation marks?)


Further Update on the Above

Graham Schofield hasn't done a "long" so I move up to solo seventh!


Friday, November 23, 2007

Julie's 2008

Fell Races

Winter Hill (part 2 recce ? 01/12/07)
Fairfield (running not watching this time)
Duddon (the big boys and girls race)
Reservoir Bogs (unfinished business and so long as there's a slow ones start, as promised)
Exterminator (recce'd this year)

Road Races

Snowdonia Marathon

International Races

Open race at World Mountain Running Trophy (Switzerland)


Now there's a collection of races, but have you run them all past Norman?

W.Hill recce for 1 Dec confirmed by committee.


What's this "Mound" that JTE's on about? Does he mean The Knoll?


Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Yes, it's less than six weeks away. Some of our more driven friends have already started their campaigns but it would be good to hear some detail (including dates) of their and other's targets. For me, it's just to complete Wasdale Horseshoe Fell Race without getting timed out. Can we have some input, the more extreme the better.


Winter Solstice "Do" Saturday 15th Dec

The Thatch and Thistle couldn't take us for the 8th so I've booked the 15th. I know this doesn't suit everyone so I hope I won't be alone. Usual format, come when you want, bring who you want, drink what you want, eat what you want and go when you want. A Christmas meal is available, but needs to be ordered. If you want turkey and stuff you'll need to give them a ring on 01257 474026 and make sure they know you're with me. Otherwise just turn up and choose from the usual menu.


Thursday 22nd Nov & Saturday 24th Nov

Raymondo (aka Mat Shsticklegs or Staffers) is back in business.

He and I will be at the Thursday meeting point at 6.30. We will also be at the Lower Barn at 8.30 on Saturday. Our Saturday run will be limited to two and a half hours as Ray is going to the football match in the afternoon!

(I'll be on top of Wasdale Screes, Ed)

John the Elder

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tour of Pendle ~ 17th Nov ‘07

This must be one of the toughest fell races outside of the Lakes, and with the usual cold November weather and a fair amount of wind, this year’s was no easier than expected. Being in our club championship there were quite a few Harriers there, all of whom proceeded to beat me (must find out what the tall, cheery, toothy, bald guy is called). Thought I might have a chance of finishing in front of Richard Longlands, but he took 20 minutes or so out of me.

However, had an enjoyable race, to-ing and fro-ing with our John and Wayne Walsh of Bowland right to the final checkpoint. John climbs better than me and I descend better than him, whilst Wayne descends better than me and I climb better than him, so it was interesting all along the way with much changing of positions ~ a reet good race.

Thinking I had left John for dead at the penultimate checkpoint (10) I was surprised when he appeared ahead of me, due to better navigation, as we approached Bill Smith (author of Stud Marks on the Summits) at CP11, with Wayne closing fast due to better descending. However, by then I had blown off all Friday’s alcohol and had refuelled on Lucozade Sport and Mars bars, so was in no mood to roll over. I put in a sustained effort for the last mile and a half and managed to put 37 seconds between me and Wayne with a further minute and 21 seconds between Wayne and John, clocking 3.58.05 and going under 4 hours again for the first time since 1999.

The only V65 recorded in the results finished behind John, so he seems to have have been the first in that category, although recorded as a youngster of 60. Horwich ladies took the team prize, courtesy of Lyndsey Squires (nee Brindle), Geraldine Walkington (1st LV50) and Mary White ~ no mean feat on Clayton's home turf. Just for the record, Pete Walkington, Horwich V60, finished one second behind Geraldine (who was pacing whom?) and a full 36 minutes ahead of the only other Horwich V60.

Found the little café between Barley and Roughlee (GR SD838393) on the way home and celebrated with a bacon and egg barm.

Although I didn’t have the optimum line between CP’s 10 and 11, it must be said that races such as this and Winter Hill have lost a little something, now that the routes are so well trod and navigation is so much easier than it was a few years ago, especially when visibility is as good, as it was on Saturday~ but don’t remind me of this when I get lost on Winter Hill in February!

Also, a pox on technology! This race has always been 17 miles long, but now some comedian (comedienne?) with sat nav or a GPS or an MP3 player or whatever, has jogged round and it's only 16.8 miles. "What's wrong with a piece of string wrapped round pins?" say I.

See TF's comment ~ any more for Duddon? Could be another good race.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Peak Performance

I have about 80 issues of "Peak Performance" that anyone who wishes to can borrow.

I also have a book on juggling and that hasn't worked either!


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Date and Walnut Cake ~ (Don't ask! Ed)


8oz self raising flour
4oz margarine
4oz sugar
8oz chopped dates
2oz walnut pieces (chopped)
¼ pint of milk

Pre-heat oven to gas mark 4, 350°F or 180°C

Cream margarine and sugar together. Add chopped dates and walnuts. Gradually add flour. Finally add milk and mix well before transferring to a greased and lined tin.

Bake for approximately 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

I used to buy packs of chopped dates but recently have used packets of stoned-out dates and chopped them myself. It's a bit more effort but I think it's made the cake much more moist. I use skimmed milk and normal granulated sugar. The cake's best left for a few days to 'mature'. So for example I baked this one on Tuesday morning (in lieu of doing a run!) for the cross country on Saturday. Keep in an airtight tin, or wrap in tinfoil until required.

The above amounts will make two skimpy 1lb loafs, or one good sized one with a bit left over for taste-testing. On Tues I used 12oz flour, 6oz marg & sugar, 12oz dates, 3oz walnuts and ¼ pint and a bit of milk. This made a decent sized 2lb loaf.


Look guys, we can't have this thing taken over by this girlie stuff; half a gallon of ale on offer for the most macho (printable) input. Must compare with the apocryphal story about the fell runner who caught his finger on an awkward stile and it was ripped off as he jumped down. He threw it to a bystander asking for it to be put on ice at the local hospital, where he duly reported, after completing the race, to have it re-attached.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Votes to Date ~ Flats (plus dead sheep[see comment]) 2 : Other Two Nil

I think the muddiest area is definitely just up from Hordern Stoops to the escarpment. I was taking a group of university students up that way on Saturday in bad weather conditions and one managed to find an area of bog and went in up to his chest. That beats my effort on the downhill race when I went in upto my waist.

The student also found the skeleton of the sheep in the morass and insisted on changing clothes immediately! (see Nick O's comment).

Black Horse Goes Gastro

Drove over to Limbrick Sunday evening to see how the refurbishment was coming along. Initial pleasure on seeing that it was open was dimmed slightly on entering, by being met by a selection of those awful, oversized lager dispensers where the hand pumps used to be. However all was not lost, a couple of hand pumps had been retained at the kitchen end of the bar. Only one was "loaded" and that with Theakston's Best Bitter ~ which to my taste is rather bland, not very bitter and definitely not the best. But credit where credit's due, it was in good condition and quite drinkable. The other pump had dispensed Moorland's Old Speckled Hen.

My own Speckled Hen was disappointed in having to drink cider rather than her usual tipple ~ perhaps, as we have elsewhere, we'll ask them to get it in special, like.

The wall between the pool room and the main dining area had gone, as had the pool table and the general impression was that it is no longer the slightly scruffy boozer (frequented by slightly scruffy boozers) but rather is leaning towards attracting the dining fraternity who'll wash their meal down with a lager and bottle of wine rather than savouring the beer ~ wonder how long the hand pumps will remain?

We didn't eat (we rarely do) apart from salted peanuts, but scrutinised the menus. We were told that the chef is Italian, and this was apparent with a full page of pasta dishes. English meals sounded good and reasonably priced although pies were not much in evidence. The proof, as they say, is in the eating ~ we didn't hear any complaints or see much uneaten food going back.

I didn't check whether the dart board had been retained, although the back room had not been "diningised" so could still be used for regular pub stuff. There was one of those plasma thingies in the room nearest the kitchen, no comment. Returning to the removal of the pool table, I was going to comment adversely on that, here, but on reflection, these are a recent North American import and have no place in an English pub, bring back bar billiards!

Blast from the past ~ Richard and Gaynor Isbister were there and enjoying their meals. Richard's quite a little pudding now, hard to believe that he once ran sub 60 in the Horwich 10.

To summarise, it's now not as good a pub than it was, but it could have been worse; at least there was one hand pull, and the staff were all very pleasant.

Ed ( Now AKA Grumpy)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Muddites Unite!

Having followed the Tooth Fairy's route choice, the Chief Muddite (aka NL Not-a -Runner) would no doubt be pleased to see her companions sink into into the noxious sludge betwix Two Lads and the Shooting Hut on the well supported outing on Saturday 10th Nov.

Which brings me to ponder on which is the slutchiest route on Winter Hill. Is it...

a. The Winter Hill route as covered above.

b. The route from the mast across to the Pike (as used as part of the Downhill Race).

c. Across the flats towards the trig point from Hordern Stoops.

d. None of these ~ please put forward your own suggestion.

Perhaps we should put it to the test by doing all three (four?) on the same day. Perhaps the TF could work out an economic/efficient/effective route.

Ladies may wish to shave their legs to avoid attracting too much undergrowth.

I'll leave someone else to comment on the various poor excuses offered for coming home early on what was probably one of the best mornings we've seen on Winter Hill for some time.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Stevenage Half Marathon

Preparation had been going swimmingly last week until I got a phonecall from Bev (our 2nd fastest) to say I'd been promoted from 'spectator and chief bag-minder' to running anchor-leg on the 'A' team at the National XC Relays. To quote ' pressure Julie, but me (Bev) and Rach (our fastest) want a team, everyone else has let us down'.

We'd had 2 teams entered, so this represented a 2/3rds drop-out rate in a week, bad but not as bad as the men who couldn't get anyone to run. So, mindful of my trauma at the National Vet Road Relays, I made sure that my spikes were polished to sharp points to ensure I got to the front of the holding pen and stayed at the front. Sharp, pointy spikes didn't do me much good when running though, I managed to drop the team from 12th position to 50th!

And so to Sunday. I have to admit that the organizers had upped a gear from the last time I did this race in 2004 (my first Half Marathon, 2hr12mins). We now had On-line entry, Chip-timing, Shuttle Buses from Car Park to Start/Finish, Secure Bag Storage; the whole thing had a much more professional feel to it. It was a new 2 lap course in '05 and having read some of the reviews from the previous '05 & '06 races on the Runner's World site, they appeared to have taken on-board some of the constructive criticism. However, one thing I did notice was that they forgot to include instructions with the chip and the velcro strap. I'd had to wear one the day before, so sat smuggly watching the puzzled looks as the assembled runners tried to decide what to do with them. This quandary finally filtered through to the bloke with the microphone '..... it goes round your ankle and not your wrist or your neck'.

The race was an undulating course (my mile split times prove it!) along cycle paths and through two parks, not entirely 'traffic-free' if you count pedestrians, pushchairs, kids on bikes, dogs, ducks etc. Well marshalled, accurate mile markers (except for the 9th), frequent water stations and I got to check the car was ok twice as we ran past the car park on the 4th and 11th mile. For my efforts I got a medal, a mug (much more useful than a t-shirt), two bananas, a bottle of water, and two sachets of arnica gel - which I applied liberally to my arms which were strangely more sore than my legs when I finished.

Finally my vital statistics: I managed a pb of 1:55:52, placed 375 out of a total of 587 finishers. Over 800 had entered, so that's a lot of no-shows on the day. I was 59th female out of 165, and 26th oldish-bird (v35-44) out of 58. Although being used to turning up on my own to run races, it was an odd feeling running in a race where you don't recognise the local 'vests'. I did however spot what I thought was a 'Dark Peak' one, a perusal of the results confirmed this. So there you go - small world!

The Tooth Fairy

Julie also made mincemeat of my challenge for her to run her half at a faster pace than I ran my full marathon. I think the lads are going to have to up the miles!


Monday, November 05, 2007

Dublin Marathon 29th October

After going over 3 hours on his last couple of outings, Anne's brother Roger ran 2.59 placing 3rd over 55. Well done Rog.


Saturday 10th November

Standard start ~ Bottom Barn at 8.30.

I'll then be missing Saturdays 17th (ToP) and 24th (Bitt), back on 1st Dec, so I'll leave it up to others to declare their plans.

Present for all Thursdays though.

Nicole Stars on the Fells

Word on the street was that Nicole might be going through a slightly blue period, but with her 10th equal placing in her age group (over 21?) in the English Fell Championship this must change colour to become her purple patch. Good stuff Nicole, what's next, a top three placing in 2008?


Sunday, November 04, 2007


Ed and I were the only participants in this Saturday's run. Although the intelligent ones were not out with us we nevertheless had intelligent conversations, or at least we think we did. One topic in particular was the forthcoming UEFA cup match between Beyern Munich and Bolton Wanderers. Ed. thought that Bolton would lose 5-1 and I thought that they would lose 4-0. However, we could not decide for certain which score would be worse than the other. Can anyone help?

John the Elder

I don't know how I got involved in this, I'm about as interested in football as I am in flower arranging.