Friday, January 30, 2009


Looking forward to Saturday run from Black Dog, will be there 8.30


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Saturday the 31st.

Confirmed that we meet at The Black Dog, Belmont for an 8.30 start.

New Post Has Arrived...

...but unlike the Peugeot, things didn't stop there. Got home last night to find the phone working, but no 1571 facility, even though it had taken a message from me earlier (more of this later). Apart from that, all seemed well until I logged on for my internet fix at about 10:00 pm, to find I had no connection. Tried all the usual stuff, unplug, reset etc, but to no avail. Rang a lady in India who had me doing all the same stuff again, and then some other things, but still no access. She said she'd ring me back, but she didn't (another clue here).

Rang India again and spoke to guy with an even stronger accent (I'm not racist, but [there's always a 'but'] if folk are going to be given help desk jobs, we at least ought to be able to understand what they say ~ also applies to doctors). However, accent or no accent, he latched onto the answer. He spotted that the number that I said I was ringing from wasn't the one showing on his screen ~ a little thought lead me to the conclusion that the pole man had wired me up to someone else's connection. Hence no email, no 1571 and no return call from the earlier lady!

They fixed it this morning, but I won't know whether I've got www access until this evening ~ I do hope so, as I've got a tax return to get in before midnight Saturday.

It goes to show that a bit of English frost, a French car and a pole can really play havoc with high technology ~ anyone got a carrier pigeon?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lyth and damn Lyth

The LDWA That's Lyth event is always a good run, well organised and with a testing, interesting and scenic route. So it was a great pity that I did not rise to the occasion, especially as the forecast snow did not materialise. In truth I was just not prepared physically for 23.5 miles with a fair degree of tough climbing. The weather was probably the best I have experienced on that event and the going just about the muddiest.

Fortunately, aided by a two day programme of drug taking (ibuprofen) the sciatica problem was kept at bay for the first half, not materialising until the second checkpoint at Witherslack. Progress up to that point had been steady, if slow and already I was six minutes behind my schedule when FSS marshalling at the first check point came in to view.

From there the route went over Whitbarrow Scar where an alternative descent is available for use in bad weather. I decided to recce the alternative for future reference and a GPS check later showed it to be only a quarter of a mile further. Two runners who were behind me, but within sight, at the start of the detour were just ahead of me when the routes merged. As they later proved to be much better descenders I cannot claim to have lost much time by my change of route. The dilemma is which to use next year. It was certainly a much safer way down the escarpment.

From 14 miles onwards the sciatica problem increased but was not wholly responsible for the slow pace. It just made for a painful drive home.

The final checkpoint at Cinderbarrow was well served as charmingly as ever by NLN. By that time the run was a dead cause and no amount of tea and biscuits was going to resussitate the deteriorating runner.

The final time of 5 hr 6 min was nearly 40 minutes slower than last year and 30 minutes slower that my previous worst. Not much prospect of good run at Anglezarke, another PW being likely.

And so to next Saturday's Anglezarke recce. I will be at Belmont at the appointed time. If we are to beat last year's time we will need to be back at the cars inside 3 hr 35 min.
Pole Dancing or What?

In these days of high technology and my increasing dependence on a (twice) daily internet fix, it was a bit of a shock to my system when a patch of black ice and an out of control Peugeot contrived to cut me off, not only from my telephone land line, but also from the internet.

Yesterday morning the car in question had gone out of control outside Watters' place, slid along the stone wall and then was brought to a halt by a good old wooden telegraph pole, right outside my front window. The pole moved slightly and in doing so had disconnected the BT wires serving all the houses in our terrace. Fortunately the driver was unhurt and didn't even seemed shaken up.

Subsequent discussions with BT resulted in them mobilising the "pole" team, who turned out and declared that a new pole was needed. This was due today, and as I write (from work) it could all now be sorted. But I can't tell, because the missus is out, and despite the disconnected wires the system was still taking messages on the BT 1571 facility, so when I ring and get the "leave a message" message I don't know whether it's because there's no-one in, or because the wires are still dangling.

Isn't life difficult?

EtU (unconnected that is)
Thursday 29th Feb

I'm UTUPing, then joining Norman's session if no-one shows.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Half Dozen

Six of us set off last Saturday from the Lower Barn in the direction of Darwen Tower. TF, who had another engagement, left us at Hordern Stoops. The rest carried on via Belmont and Catherine Edge. EtU and Matt, wanting to be back by 12.00, left us on Darwen Moor. That left me to follow NLN and NicO around the rest of the course. They were, however, very considerate. At Darwen Tower we had our usual picnic after which we went via Hollinshead Hall, Great Hill and Spittlers. I managed to do a YJ type fall on a stoney path but finished up with no more than a grazed leg. We arrived at the barn at about 12.25 and NLN's device showed 15.97 miles. We agreed that this was 16 miles in our books! A good morning out.
The Dozen

It seems that to do the round anti-clockwise is a Coope's Dozen and clockwise is a Zod Sepooc. It is, of course, permissable to do the round in some random order, that is, neither clockwise nor anti-clockwise. Perhaps such a round could be a ' Do Cope Zones' or 'Do Zones Cope?' or 'Sod Cope Zone'. Has anyone a better Idea?
Flying the flag at the Northerns (XC)
I'd looked at the entry list in advanced and noticed the absence of both TF and YJ so knew I would be the only one from the group making the trip to St. Helens. Had to do the shopping so rushed off to Tesco at 9 o'clock with the unusual sight of Mr Charters running down our road - yes road!
Anyway got back and along with J and Parker (the current hound), headed off hoping to get there in time to watch the ladeez racing. Just made it as they were into the first lap, all ready to cheer on the big club contingent and of course, duaghter Diane who had travelled directly from York. Gave a cheer to Denise Wakefield - didn't recognise the vest but sure it was her, then Audrey Foster came past, wearing the colours of Northern Vets, and then doing quite wel came Diane, in her new colours of Saltwell Harriers but no red and black chevrons to be seen. Cheered Diane an as she took a couple of places finishing strongly, only 20 seconds adrift of Audrey. Diane's target was sub 50, making up the team - she almost broke 40 and was their second counter. Okay they were the last complete team, but they finished a team!
Plenty of time now time to find my clubmates and get my number from Pete or whoever had collected them. Had a wander round the tent village - got to 30 minutes before the start time so went to the tannoy van where they put a call out - after 10 minutes of nobody turning up, Diane suggested she went to the leisure centre whilst I hung around the van in case someone turned up. Diane returned with the numbers to Billy No-mates. So at 10 minutes before the start I appeared to be the sole representative of this proud club. Aha but where's Bazza - true to form he turns up - Diane had returned the numbers to the leisure centre - so hotfoots to get his and just makes the start lane. He beats but is lucky not to be dq'd, having mislaid his vest.

As you may have noticed I've not been doing much running of late, but was still happy with my performance, think I beat a few more than last year. I think the course was short - 12k in 58:03 is not much slower than my road pace - and it was very muddy with the odd hill.
But hope to be out Tuesday and Thursday this week as my TT match is on Wednesday (results are on the bolton tt site as well as in the BEN for anyone with time on their hands) and the Amble recce sounds like a good idea for next Saturday if I can get a pass out before probably going to the Galpharm.

Thought I may have seen you in T&T on Saturday, but some reasn you wer in the Bob Smithy!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fourteen Months Later

It was 12th November 2007 when I wrote my last review on the Black Horse at Limbrick, shortly after it had re-opened as an Italian style gastro-pub. Not many months after, it had closed again, the new proprietors having "done a runner" according to folk at the Adlington Bay Horse.

Then, last week, I was informed by our roving reporter, TF (nice pics, shame about the opening time) that it was to re-open on Friday 23rd January. So, not being one to miss an occasion, there I was, complete with the Old Speckled Hen, the youngest daughter Meredith, Dean ( 25% of our World Silver Medal winning sleeper carrying squad) and Henry, the youngest grandson, peering through the window, at ten past six, only to see the new landlord, paintbrush in hand, behind the locked door. I pointed to my watch and he mouthed "seven o'clock".

Not being one to wait 50 minutes for a drink, I dragged the team off to the TaT to slake our thirsts. Saturday evening is, for some reason that I don't understand, Bob's Smithy, so it wasn't until tonight that we were back in Limbrick (sans youngsters).

This time it was open, and the new licensee (who could pass for a slightly butch Matt Lucas in a poor light), last seen in the Newhall Tavern at Salmesbury, now without paintbrush, was obviously keen to please. He seemed to have brought both his team and his menu with him, and the pub has reverted back to a more traditional British theme. The menu looked sensible and reasonably priced and the chips looked good. We didn't eat, but the beer (I tried the Ansells) was good and was priced at £2.50, which seems to be fairly standard locally.

It's good to see a pub reverting to a traditional style and I wish them well. Perhaps someone else could give it a try and offer a view on its suitability for the Vernal Equinox gathering.
Saturday 31st Jan

I like to join in for part of this. I hadn't planned on doing much (if anything) on Saturday next week as I'm entered in the Kinder Trial on Sunday (likely to be 4hr+).

I did the Belmont to Plantation bit this afternoon, so the only section I've not run is the Plantation to Cadshaw.

So Plan A - Leave car at car park at Reservoir. Run the route backwards until bump into Belmont group (hopefully at A666!). Run with Belmont group until Cadshaw. Say 'ta ra' to Belmont group. Run back to car.

Plan B - only required if don't bump into Belmont group

Holiday Snaps

Tested out my new camera.
The view on the west coast whilst having lunch, a sumptuous paella. You might just be able to make out the road as the faint white line ending at the 'half - moon' shaped opening half way up the picture.

This is a little village called Masca situated on the SW part of the Island. This only became accessible by car once the road was built in 1991. An amazing piece of civil engineering considering the state of some of the other roads on Tenerife. Need to allow plenty of time for lunch to settle before tackling this route.


Dear No Longer Not a Kickboxer

It's alright by me.

EtU (unready to be kickboxed, that is)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Amble Recce. Saturday the 31st.

It has been suggested that next Saturday we do a recce of the Amble route from Belmont taking in The Strawberry Duck, Cadshaw, Darwen Tower then Catherine Edge back to Belmont. It is suggested that we start from The Black Dog at 8.30. I'm not saying who made these suggestions but if you disagree with the idea you're likely to get kickboxed. Please confirm agreement or otherwise.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Zod Sepooc ~ Another Satisfied Customer

Thanks for a grand day out – although it was really a baker’s dozen as we did counting hill twice. It’s usually good to get more than you bargained for. I was really pleased to get round and get a long run under my belt with all your support.

HAL (AKA Mary W ~ Mary's nom de plume is a reference to her bad knee)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Saturday the 24th.

Yes, I suggest either Darwen Tower or YJ's route around Roddlesworth, Abbey Village, Brinscall etc. I'll be there whatever the decision!
In Search of Speed

Just in case anyone else fancies a 10k on Sunday (25th Jan), I'm letting you know that I've entered Chernobyl (the one at this end of the M65, not the one in Russia). I believe you can enter on-line, see John Schofield's site.

Also UTUPing Thurs 22nd and Saturday 24th ~ word on the street is that JtE is looking for a long one ~ Darwen Tower, brace yourself!
Too much of a good thing

Saturday's combination of a three-hour morning fell run and an afternoon cross country race was never going to be a good combination. However, the morning was most enjoyable marred only by a slow run back to the Top Barn from Spittlers Edge which did not bode well for the Mid Lancs fixture. The convoluted course at Worden Park was heavy going in places and good running in others. At least I was not last, by quite a long way. As ever there is a price to pay for such silliness and severe tiredness and lack of motivation has been the result.

Sunday brings the LDWA That's Lyth event which means I will not be running with the squad on Saturday. For once common sense has taken over and a quiet day (that means only a short run) is planned.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Congratulations Coope's Dozeners

Sorry to have missed the event.  Well done everybody.  Enjoyed similar weather on the Duddon Fells reccying the Cumbrian Traverse, as recommended by Paul Murray.  We hope to do the full route in April with our mate Keith.  Incredible storms on Friday and Saturday night but amazingly didn't get wet during the days, although the wind was challenging on the high fells.   

Saturday saw us abandoning Keith's car at Broughton Mills and traversing a couple of Wainright's outliers before tackling Caw.  Keith took the decision to go at a more leisurely pace at this juncture whilst we cracked on to White Maiden along the Duddon Race route over to Dow Cragg, Coniston Old Man, along the ridge to Swirral How before picking up the Old County Tops route down to Cockley Beck and along the valley back to High Moss.  This gave us just under 16 miles and about 5,000ft climbing.   

Back to the hut for hot showers and afternoon tea before indulging in the five course dinner prepared by the meet leaders Kath and John.  Chance to get to know a few more Rucksackers - over several bottles of wine - well there were eight of us.  

Sunday was a slightly more leisurely pace back over Caw, which for a little fell, does seem to go on for a bit, retracing our steps of yesterday to pick up Keith's car.

Harter Fell after a sprinking of snow on Saturday night
Harter Fell again, but a better image of High Moss in the bottom right hand corner


Zod Sepooc ~ Another Man’s View

Hi gang, THANKS for a great time, first LONG run of the year .. and very pleased with how the old body went after various bugs over the last few months ... The only after effect being a little nick on a toe where my nail dug in .. even managed to get down stairs unaided this morning. Off for a gentle 4 miles with Diane later ... WHERE is the snow?

After a slightly later than planned arrival at the top barn .... bumped into Peter Kevan getting ready for his Saturday run ( sorry Pete ... hope you’re not too sore today ) .. so an extra FRIEND to chat to.
Off we set on the challenging Coope's Dozen ?? spirit's where high and chatter of quick times could be heard .... It's my second attempt and was really looking forward to what lay ahead .. although my lack of miles would be a problem .. so ran at a reasonable pace as most of out group BLASTED off ... mention here of Tony ( the SPEED KING ) ...

The reverse route leaves all the steep climbs ‘til the last few miles ... so the easy run out to Healey Nab was very enjoyable .. the first mile or so trying to avoid all the puddles ... but once my shoes and socks got wet it was more fun going through the water .. which was COLD .. can you get frost bite in your feet ?

We said goodbye to Julie there ... as she was off to another race (? Ed) the miles ticked over and I slowly remembered some of the landmarks as we reached them

I must thank the group again for arranging the weather .. although windy it was fair with some sunshine !! The going was soft but the lack of undergrowth really helped.

A few stops for water , wine gums and jelly babies ( thanks for the treats folks ) kept us all moving ... unassisted certainly made it all more interesting .. I dropped off a bottle of water at the cross over point on the road over Belmont ... next time something sweet as well (CAKES !! SCONES !! sorry no jam or cream planned).

We reached this point and lost (Y)John heading off the X Country race at Leyland (got reason) . With some tough climbs around the Winter Hill Fell race area to look forward too .. BRILL .. our heroes continued ...

All too soon the end was in sight .. I was very weary legged but very pleased too .. sorry for slowing the final group of three plus me down .. every body else looked so fresh .. Mary, Nicole and Ed .... Cheers ... wot next folks ??

A Clockwork Dozen
or A Dozen Coopes - If you can bear the thought.

Well done everyone who completed the course. I wish I could have stayed with you.

Are you sure EtU that you did add to the course length as a result of the Egg Hillock error? Whilst I've not measured it, I imagine that the route via the reservoir and the shooting hut etc. might in fact be longer. Perhaps we should get YJ or NLN to measure it properly.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Clockwork Dozen ~ We Counted Them Out

(Sorry about the poor picture quality, something to do with Bazza's late appearance?)

It wasn't looking so bad, to start with, until at about 9:05 when we realised that Bazza wasn't there, and as the co-conspirator, we shouldn't start without him. A couple of minutes later there he was, but looking like he was dressed for the pub, rather than the fells. His rather poor explanation was that he was waiting to see what everyone else was wearing!

Several minutes after that, we were assembled ~ JtE, YJ, Mary White, Nic'O, TF, Bazza (now in rather gaudy fell kit), Peter Kevan recently off his sick bed, ("out for a short run", but Shanghaied by Bazza), Tony Alexander and yours truly.

A passing stranger took the photo.

Then we were off; about 20 minutes later than scheduled. Forty minutes later and we were on Healey Nab. Soon after, TF dropped off to David Lloyd's, where she had left her car (and whence she had run prior to the start), to drive home to pack her bikini for Tenerife (then there were eight) ~ we pondered on whether she was just picking up the cakes to meet us on-route, but we were going too fast fast and she never caught us up. Mary did sterling work and took us off the top so fast that we were nearly at Botany Bay before I called everyone back and we regained the proper route; everyone, that is except YJ and Tony, who had not gone the pretty way and whom we eventually caught up as they waited at the stream crossing most ways towards Round Loaf.

Round Loaf was gained in 1:32, then Great Hill in 1:50 and Spittlers in 2:09. At this point YJ, scheduled to represent his club at a cross country in Leyland in the afternoon, headed for home (then there were seven).

Old Adam in 2:20, and Hordern Stoops in 2:46. All this time it was a shame to see Tony, so fit and so full of go, but having to wait on each top for the motley crew to catch up. Then Winter Hill in 3:05. At the top of the tarmac road JtE, in preparation for a family gathering in the evening, left for home (then there were six).

On to Counting Hill (3:19) at which point Tony, not having realised that we would run that slowly, ran out of time and turned for home. Pete, barely recovered from 'flu, also felt he was ready for his lunch and did likewise(then there were four).

Off towards Egg Hillock (or so we thought) only to find that we had missed it and were on Wimberry Hill (3:38) (I blame Mary, isn't she a fell monster?). Brief pause whilst we waited for someone to say, "What's the best way home?", but no, it was Egg Hillock (3:41) then the awful trek back up to Counting Hill. Bazza was particularly disappointed, as, apparently, he has a penchant for Smithills Res.

Back up to the tarmac, then Two Lads in 4:24, Pike 4:39, Noon Hill 4:56 and back to the barn in 5:12. If (if) we hadn't gone wrong, would we have beaten YJ and EtU's 2008 Easter Saturday time of 4:59?

Bazza's electronic gubbins clocked 19 and a bit miles, as opposed to the 18 and a bit we usually reckon, so our navigating gaff seems to have added an extra mile or so,

To summarise, a fine morning (and half an afternoon) out. Thanks folks, loved it.

And we counted them in.
Photo taken by another passing stranger.

Friday, January 16, 2009

More Egg

Computers never do what you tell them. I've just seen that in my original article where I state which text to cut and paste it hasn't transmitted it. I did put it in the article. Honest.

I've just tried again, but this time when I posted it wouldn't let me, and came up with an error against one of the control characters in the instructions. It obviously does't like them. I'll just have to tell anyone who's interested.
Not quite egg all over

There appears to be some double spacing near the top of my article because I'd saved it as a draft before re-editing. The enlarged image was not larger than the screen because it had been created using the method I know, that makes a picture less than a full screen. Although not by much in this case.
Blogging Pictures

You are right TF, in that moving the picture is the problem as I found out the other day. When you upload a picture to the blog it uploads the the full size. The “Small, Medium, Large” option on the “Upload Images” window, just determines the size that appears within your article. Moving the picture loses the link to the full-size picture. If you wish to place your picture in the middle or at the bottom of the text without destroying the link I now know of two methods.

1) Before entering any text, upload the image(s). If there is more than one image, create space for text between the images by placing the cursor at the end of an image and pressing the “Enter” button and space will appear between the two images. To create space before the first image, place the cursor at the bottom left-hand end of the image and then press the “Enter” button. A new line will then appear above the image for each depression of the “Enter” key.

2) When you are creating a new post there is a tab named “Edit Html”. You can enter text first and then upload the image. As we know it will appear at the top of your article. Select “Enter Html”. You will notice text at the top starting . Then paste it to where you want the photo to appear in the article. This text is the instruction for displaying your photo in your article and it is part of this instruction that is lost when you move the picture by the “grab” method.

This has been placed using the Edit method. I hope it works otherwise it's egg all over my face. Another thing I've noticed is that if you save a draft and then edit it you seem to get double-spacing in your article. We'll see if that's true of this article.

Enlarging the photos always seems to create an image that's larger than the screen. If you want it to fit on the screen I can let you know a method. Although the image does not use the whole screen it's of reasonable size.

(see previous post)

How clever is that!


Pictures on the Blog

I think I may have found out one of the reasons why the pictures don't expand.

It does have a few useful hints about layout etc.

Once I've uploaded the picture into the text, I tend to do the 'drag & drop' thing to re-position the photo. When uploaded the picture appears at the top of the post window. Moving it to another position appears to cause a break in the link, and could be a reason why the picture won't expand.

So to test this theory out I've used the Peak 'O' Trial map again. The picture at the top of the post wasn't moved. Picture at the bottom of the post was.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Thanks YJ. That's a new word for me. I must say, it fits the bill perfectly.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

You Haven't Been Paying Attention, Have You?

Dear TF,

If you refer to my post of Friday 28th Nov 2008, you'll see that as the only Thursday nighter for several weeks, I took the unilateral decision to set 6:30 as the UT. See you then?


That's a smart diagram EtU. Where did you get it from? It's exactly how I felt.

Apologies for the re-issue of my article in a strange format( a result of experimenting). I had a pal here this morning and we were looking at the photo enlargement problem. As you can see it does enlarge but beyond the screen capacity. However I note the same is true of NLN's photos. Well certainly on my screen anyway which has a resolution of 1280 x 1024.

Any chance of a 6.30pm start tomorrow or are we at 6.45pm.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Is This How it Felt for You Matt?

This late posting relates to a run over the Christmas period, delayed whilst I waited for photographic proof. As if being run ragged every Saturday by our own triumvirate of ladies wasn't enough I was invited to join Sally and her informal ladies running club for 10 miles round the lakes and woodlands of the Hampshire/Surrey border. The group included a personal fitness trainer, one who does just outside 40 minutes for 10k and a veteran of the South African (52 miles) Comrades Marathon. We even had a District Nurse with us in case I fell over!

Monday, January 12, 2009

What goes up doesn't always come down

On Saturday I went to a Dinner party hosted by JtE. Mindful of next day's Garstang 10k I took care to control the drinking. However the food prepared by Joan, with JtE as a very innocent bystander, was so good that I committed the sin of gluttony. The result was that I had a poor night's sleep and a delicate tum next morning. So when, just before the race, I stumbled across an athletic-looking EtU resplendant in his RMI designer gear, my excuses for running poorly were in place. At least they made a change from the usual Runners excuses of broken leg, ankle, metatarsal, heart, strained ligament, cartilige, tendon, calf, thigh,relations etc.

We set out from Garstang School on a grey but warmer day than of late. Well before the mile marker, I heard a resonant voice issued from lungs, clearly with a surfeit of air, bading me a good morning. It was YJ galloping past alongside "designer gear". "Good morning, John" I managed to asphyxiate back, before returning to gasping mode.

For the first 3 miles the course was a mix of flat and slight uphill. I noticed with some concern that whilst I was working hard I was only 9 minute mileing. The course then became a long but fairly gentle uphill climb. I waited for the inevitable downhill where I thought I might make up some time, but it never came. It's a peculiar course. How you can start and end a 10k race at the same place and run uphill for so long without any downhill compensation defies logic. Well it defies me, which is admittedly, different. Logic and me are ships that pass in the night.

When I entered the school grounds at the end, EtU & YJ with icicles on their moustaches as a result of the long wait, were there to cheer me on, which spurred me to overtake someone right on the line. She must have thought " What a sad old git". And she was right.

YJ was 3rd out of 13 M65's, which is pretty impressive given that next time he runs this race he will be a M70, and that he'd been out running the previous day. In these times of stock market turmoil and low interest rates it might be worth placing a few thou on him winning next years M70.

EtU came halfway down his category and I was 4th out of 7 M70's. There were 458 finishers. YJ was placed 255 in 49m 11s, EtU was 289 in 50m 54s, and I was 347 in 54m 15s. This was a personal worst for a 10k. I have no excuses. I have a nasty feeling that a whole raft of PW's are to follow this year.

Here we are at the finish, or in my case "Here I am, absolutely finished!"

Sorry about this. Just testing for enlarging the photo

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Saturday sounded fun, well done.

Two crosses adventure: I arrived at Tottington for the event in a state of sheer panic. David had drawn in the route on a map, I had a clear set of instructions and I knew some of the run. I'd even been on google earth and experienced the virtual tour. Even so - my track record for navigation isn't good. Anyway someone up there likes me and I bumped into an old friend who led me round the whole 18 miles without a mistake! Suffice to say that despite 3 falls, (only minor breaks,) icy conditions in places and freezing rain on Bull Hill, we arived back in 3 hours 20minutes. A very good morning out. Hope the 10k ers had good runs and other trips went well. See you on Saturday for Reverse Coope's Dozen. NicO

Picking up from TF's account below, I reached the Winter Hill trig in just 2 hours 7 minutes, then set off back down the road. Using the path to the left, about a quarter of a mile after the mast, I picked up Burnt Edge and then retraced our steps back towards the quarries, turning left across the fields, reaching Old Harpers in 2:37. Then it was Matchmoor, Georges Lane, Gardens and the Barn in a nice round 3:20 and 13 miles.

It was obvious that this was not the optimum route. If we'd planned ahead, we'd have done Old Harpers on the way out and could have done all three by adding no more than 15 minutes to TF and YJ's time.

Sub 3 hours beckons.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Just the three of us today - YJ, EtU and TF. A hard frost overnight meant solid conditions underfoot remained for a futher weekend running.

YJ and yours truly had already set a time limit before EtU had arrived, we were looking at about 2.5hrs today. So for today's route we set off from the lower barn towards the Chinese gardens onto Georges Lane and turned off left at Wilderswood. We then followed the 'Two Lads' route but carried on past Holden's Farm and reached the Tresspass Stone (my first visit, and history lesson).

It was here that EtU decided that as we were in the vicinity we also had to visit the trig point too. So a short detour past the reservoir, to gain the trig (1hr33mins). Our return was via the boundary wall crossing Counting Hill. At the Mast YJ and yours truly departed company from EtU who was keen to collect further trig points. The two of us headed back down the mast road to Two Lads and then turned down the Rivington Pike race route.

Coming down the hill we found that someone had abandoned a home-made sledge. A novel design consisting of a molded plastic chair seat (minus the legs - obviously) attached to a plank of wood. We both felt that had EtU been with us, he wouldn't have passed up the opportunity to have a go. YJ and I sensibly left it well alone. I'd learnt in my youth that large plastic fertiliser bags were a lot more fun and provided a faster ride down hill.

We were back in the car park in 2hrs44mins, a route just slightly over 11miles measured on the google map.

Best of luck to the Garstang 3 tomorrow and Nic'O on ++


Friday, January 09, 2009

Saturday Jan 10th

YJ will be at the Lower Barn on Saturday ready to run at 8.30.
How Was Your Weather on New Year's Eve?

Sunrise over Rivington Pike

Cloud inversion towards Anglezarke

And finally, clear blue sky over Winter Hill ~ for those of you that lay abed, looking at the freezing mist that surrounded all below 500ft, this is what you were missing.

As I ran towards the Pike from Grimeford Lane on the morning of 31st December, I was cold, weary and (you've guessed it) slightly hung over. Had to be done though to achieve my targeted miles for the month. It didn't improve as I ran (sort of) through the gardens, but then on reaching Georges Lane I was suddenly above the clouds.

Up onto the pike where I met Mike and his family, who kept his promise of sending me the pictures they'd been taking ~ thanks Mike these are great!

(they expand if you click on them)

So next time it looks too miserable to run, head for the hills, and it may all become clear!

What's the forecast for tomorrow?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Not Utuping on Saturday

I've got over my cold/cough but will give Saturday a miss and reserve my somewhat limited energy for Sunday's Garstang 10k. Hope to see EtU there and anyone else of the group, if they've entered.
Looks Like an Open and Shut Case

(as the husband said when he found his wife finishing her packing just before leaving him)

The search area will be quite narrow. Given the weather, they'd also be carrying a pick axe, if they were to make any impression on the frozen ground. So we're looking for a very shallow grave, very close to the road.

When are we covering Knuzden and Oswaldtwistle?

Blimey, looks like we could be 'helping police with their enquiries'. Remember T'Y posting something about a car trying to drive up to the Pike. But on checking the posts, it was too early in the month to be associated with this.

If they've come by car to dump the body, they can't have got very far from the road even if there was two of them, especially if they've taken a shovel too. That should narrow it down a bit.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

No UTUPing for me Saturday

Family commitments in Glasgow prevail this weekend.  Also not around for Coope's Dozen in Lakes with RC, sorry to miss this one -  a winter round without the bracken would have been a nice little livener pre-Amble.  Following week marshalling on That's Lyth, hope to be providing tea and biscuits to YJ, and anyone else who fancies it, from George's garage.   Back out to play on Sat 31st.

Keep your eyes open for bodies in the bogs!  EtU will explain.

I shall be running on Saturday, but not looking to be out as long as last week, 2 - 2.5hrs at most.

Saturday the 10th.

I might get a shortish run in on Saturday. However, if I'm not there UT please go without me.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Today's the Day

I'ts NicO's birthday. Happy birthday NicO from all of us.

Monday, January 05, 2009

This Week

I'm planning to UTUP Thursday 8th and Saturday 10th.

And Gordon, since when did wfdbwgua stand for "when footballers die Bolton Wanderers get upset actually/awfully/acutely/afterwards"?
Living in Hope

No, t'Yorkshireman, I wouldn't back you against Rob Hope downhill, or uphill either!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Sad Day for Wanderers fans

No, I'm not referring to the cup defeat at Sunderland. Yesterday I went to the Huddersfield v Oldham match and before the kick-off it the whole near 17,000 crowd paid tribute with a minute's applause to Ian Greaves, who took both Huddersfield and Bolton to promotion to the top flight, in Town's case after a gap of 14 years in Div 2 and the last manager to get them promoted. He may not be revered  the same level as Herbert Chapman or Nat Lofthouse but I'm sure JtE and Matt are both appreciative of his time in charge of the Wanderers.
It was fitting that we were playing Oldham. All their sizeable following were equally generous in their tribute - not surprising as he was born in Oldham.
For the record, the match was pretty good, Town being disallowed a goal after 4 minutes, then going behind two minutes later to a cracking 25 yard volley. Oldham were the better team for much of the first half whereas Town bossed most of the second half and deserved the equaliser which was a great passing move finished off by a youngster who I reckon will get his first full cap for Eire before the year is out. Oldham may be 5 places above Town but its 2 point dropped to make it 22 from the last 30 points.
Back to running matters and I had a run up to Two Lads from home today where I bumped into Rob Hope and a group of quickies - tried to keep pace with them on the descent but I'm not exactly the quickest of descenders. 

Saturday, January 03, 2009

A Down and Up 24hrs

EtU nearly managed to win his challenge unopposed. I was all for throwing in the towel last night. The results for last Sunday's race appeared and it had me 45mins adrift of the rest of the field, a whopping 3hrs and 43mins. Complete utter disbelief that I'd taken that long to cover 9 miles. I'd thought the 2hrs45 was bad. Not the best thing you'd want to read the night before doing a 22m run. So at that pace even the fast walkers would beat me!

That concerned about my poor performance I even posted a comment on the FRA forums asking for confirmation. Adding to my worries was a cash withdrawal from my bank account whilst I was supposedly still out on the moor. I didn't have a cash-point receipt, and wasn't 100% certain I'd done this. Amazing what you can recall and what you can't, my route for the day remains crystal clear!

Anyway, doubting the wisdom of turning up at The Hebden today, I decided that if I was truly that awful I could always cut it short, and do the 14m route. Well I'm so glad I did it, because it restored my faith in myself. A cracking route (had a bit of a preview last week) and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I completed the full 22m/4400ft in 5hr39mins, winner did 3hrs33mins.

On returning home, I received confirmation that I couldn't have been out for nearly 4hrs on Sunday. So nobody pilfering the current account except me and back to my rightful place where I belong - three from the back.

Game On EtU

The Road to the Top...

...of Winter Hill was open over the Christmas break, but there was no indication as to how long this will be for.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Missing the first utup of 2009

When I ran with you last Saturday I was accompanied with Ace Hoare-Throte. The next day he brought along his friends Ake Old and Percy Stantcoff. I know it's hard to believe but they've grown attached to me and are reluctant to leave. I've employed Lemsip, Lemsip, & Lemsip to negotiate a release date, but even using their big-hitter Max, progress is slow and they always seem to end up in hot water. So I'll have to give tomorrrow a miss(the running bit) and direct watery eyes on a couple of runs before the Garstang 10k. EtU, I've received my number. Looks like you're in for a good run tomorrow. Enjoy yourselves.

Good pics NLN(or is it FSS). After all the climbing you've done it's looking like a blessing in disguise for me that I have to miss tomorrow, I don't want to be run into submission.

Congratulations to T'yorkshireman on winning the Fielden cup. It's only fair that life should compensate you for coming from Huddersfield.

Keep running.
Game On

During the whole of 2009 I am having a competition with TF to see who can race the most fell miles. The rules are simple and of my making:

1. Only races in the issued FRA calender count.

2. Races must be completed to count.

3. Distance is as per the calender, to include part miles if so stated.

4. Relays don't count, but races run in pairs do.

Oh, and by the way, when TF reads this, it will be the first she's heard about it.

A Clockwork Dozen

Just a reminder that Bazzer Allman and I are spearheading a clockwise "running" of Coope's Dozen on Saturday 17th Jan. This will be unsupported so bring and carry your own provisions.

Perhaps YJ could put the word around Chorley AC and TF round Salford ~ the more the merrier.

Start from the top barn at 9:00 a.m.
Saturday, 3rd Jan.

A happy and fitness filled year to you all.

I will be at the Lower Barn at the usual time on Saturday but will finalise route plans after hearing what the main group is doing. Last year, same day we did Ammo Corner, Spittlers Edge, Great Hill, Brinscall triangle, White Coppice and then presumably Bullough Res and up by the Cascade, totalling about 12 miles which is all the distance I plan for Saturday.

Return to form is proving elusive and makes the early season races/LDWA events (Garstang 10K and That's Lyth) somewhat daunting but have to be done if maximum fitness is to be achieved by the end of May. Next up will be Anglzarke, Winter Hill and the Fleet Half Marathon. The Fleet event has in recent years kept me away from the Wuthering Hike, a clash not occurring this year if the provisional date I have seen is retained.
Cracking Photos NLN, the weather was glorious, I was a bit gutted that I couldn't stay for longer last weekend to enjoy it.

What I like to know is what you've been giving FSS to eat that makes him glow in the dark and able to climb sheer brick faces (7th photo down)


Thursday, January 01, 2009

Sorry - posts appear in wrong order!
Day 4 

Up the Coledale Valley past the old mine and on to Hopegill Head, Whiteside at the end of the ridge before returning over Grisedale Pike.   One side of  the classic Coledale Horseshoe.

Looking across to Hopegill Head and Hobcarton Crag with Grisedale Pike beyond

Day 5

Our last day and a bit of a disappointment as we drove to Braithwaite in dense cloud to climb out of the Coledale Valley again.   Today we would turn turn back towards Braithwaite on the ridge opposite Grisedale Pike, to traverse Outerside and the ridge beyond, to give us a shortish outing before travelling home.   The dense air in the valley clung to our bodies with no apparent prospect of the sunshine of the previous days...  and then something magic happened and we climbed out of the clag to witness a classic Lakeland inversion just as spectacular as that we encountered on Christmas Eve 2006.     Most people can go a lifetime and not see such a spectacular show - we did indeed consider ourselves to have been so very, very fortunate to have had a week like this, and this was the icing on the cake.

Looking across the valley to Grisedale Pike, where we had been yesterday along with a few hundred others!

Coledale Hause, from the summit of Outerside

Looking across the inversion to Skiddaw and Blencathra

Christmas Lights in Keswick

Very tasteful we thought this year

Day 2

Starting from Stair and a very steep and relentless climb over Causey Pike, Grasmoor, Sail and Eel Crags all in perfect condition.

Lovely view of Keswick with the church steeple in prominence in the centre of the image.  The only clouds we saw - and soon to clear, on the very summit of Blencathra - the ridge you may be able to make out is Gategill  Fell with the delightfully named Knott Halloo prominent.   This is one I definitely wanted to do, however the icy conditions meant that it was left for another visit.

Day 3

Saw us taking advantage of the frozen conditions to conquer the particularly boggy ridge across Bleaberry fell and then a delightful descent down to Watendlath and back down the Borrowdale valley to Ashness Bridge from whence we started.

Looking over Derwentwater to Keswick and the North Western Fells beyond

Looking across a half frozen Derwentwater to Causey Pike and Grisedale Pike

Happy New Year to you all

Look forward to seeing whoever's out and about UTUP this Saturday.  It's been good keeping up with what you've all been up to while we've been in the Lakes.   I just can't tell you how good the weather's been. We've been in the Lakes at all times of the year but NEVER had such wonderful sustained and glorious conditions.  I'm making no apology for bombarding you with images, because I know you'll love 'em all.   So to get them on I'm making a series of posts - I think you'll agree they're worth it.  For the record we were up for five days and covered just under 53 miles with 17,500ft of climbing.  Not a vast daily average but I think the climbing speaks for itself.  Bob Graham rules applied! ie walking  the up bits, running the downs and flats.  All that and we've both gained over half a stone between us - how does that happen then?   Hope this isn't too discouraging for EtU!

Day 1 - Fairfield Horseshoe

We new it was going to be good - just not how good

View from parking spot just behind park in Ambleside

Looking down on the Lion and the Lamb (Helm Crag) and Grasmere while climbing the ridge up the Fairfield

...and then beyond to the Crinkles and Bow Fell

...from Fairfield Summit looking across to Dollywagon and Helvellyn

..and finally across a tiny frozen tarn to the Scafells, Gable and Pillar

A great first day on the hill, surely it couldn't get any better than this!