Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Complicated Morning Out

but I’ll try to explain.

The team at UTUP was YJ, EtU, T’Y, NR and me. YJ had already run six miles and EtU had done something similar but had run from home. A route was initially devised in order to find TLoB who intended to start at 9.30 and be found in the Winter Hill, Two Lads and Pike area. We started by the Ornamental Gardens to Pike Cottage and Wilderswood and then,skirting Two Lads, across moorland to the Trespass Stone and from there to Winter Hill. We assumed that this longish route to Winter Hill would compensate in time for TLoB’s late start. No sign of him there, and to make matters worse the clag was down, it was miserably cold and it was raining. Down to Two Lads we went and still no sign and so to the foot of the Pike. At this point a solitary figure was seen to appear out of the clag on the side of the Pike. T’Y passed some comment to the effect that as the figure was obviously overweight and moving slowly it must be TLoB, and it was! Pleasantries were passed over the next five minutes and then he left us to go to his car parked at Wildersood. NR also left us at this point to get in more training elsewhere. It was from there to the Top Barn where EtU and T’Y left for home. Here the rain stopped! YJ and I carried on to Rivington Green and then, skirting the bomber memorial, went as far as Manor House Farm where we turned steeply down to the head of High Bullough reservoir. Then a short climb to take the path skirting Anglezarke reservoir followed by the Cascades route and to Rivington Bowling Club finishing at the Lower Barn.

Miles (for me): 15.76. Elevation: +2,544 / –2,549.

For YJ: An additional 6 miles and the relevant elevation.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tomorrow and the Solstice

UTUP for me tomorrow. I’m ok on the 26th. June for the Solstice meeting.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Solstice get-together

I'm another who can't do 4th or 5th June.


Can't do Friday 25th (in Oban) but can do Saturday 26th (back from Oban).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Solstice 'Do'

I'm afraid I can't make the 4th June either as I'm away on my hols next week. I'm ok for the 11th, 18th and 26th though.


Solstice Get Together

In response to EtU’s query, the 4th. and 5th. June are impossible for me and I see that he prefers to avoid them. However, if the general feeling is that either of these dates are acceptable please go ahead without me. If not, then I suggest, as an alternative arrangement, that we might go for Friday the 26th. June.

If you can't stand the heat...'s still better than the kitchen.

Earlier in the week I couldn't post a report of our (NLN and me) trip to the OCT race in the Lakes because of something missing to do with cookies - honest it wasn't me who ate them. It now seem to have righted itself.

Yes, it was a great day in the Lakes on Saturday with some long climbs, such as an hour to get up the band and another hour to get up from the Eskdale floor to what I've always known as Broad Crag Col (NLN has another name for it) where day trippers were sunbathing on a large area of residual snow.

The heat and airless conditions made the climbing testing but good training.

One OCT runner recognised my Snowdonia marathon T shirt and enquired whether I would be doing it again this year. It transpired that she had a slower Snowdonia time than mine and as she had beaten the cut off at Angle Tarn it had me dreaming of next year's OCT... but only for a few seconds.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

‘Twas Hot!

A great day in the Lakes on Saturday, if a little hot on the climbs!  Route planning courtesy of YJ gave us 14.3m with 4,760ft of climbing.  The objective was to joing the OCT race route above Little Narrow Cove just below Scafell Pike with the possibility of seeing FSS and AS.  

Having parked at the New Dungeon Ghyll, we avoided the road by taking the race route through the camp site before climbing via the Band to Three Tarns pass, we then headed down making our way via Great Moss up Little Narrow Cove which was A FURNACE with the heat bouncing off the boulders and straight at us.  I think its fair to say we both suffered on the climb, but kept topping up water bottles from the stream in an attempt to keep hydrated.

We encountered many OCT-ers along the ridge to Esk Hause but by the time we reached the checkpoint at Angle Tarn we had decided that either FSS and AS were having a Stonker, or they’d retired.  We later found that the latter  was the case as AS had developed a severe migraine probably induced by the extreme heat.  After dawdling and chatting to the marshalls et al at Angle Tarn we made our way back via Rossett Gill and Mickleden Beck to the race finish where FSS and AS were recovering from the heat with about a third of the field.

See FSS’s account here and don’t miss clicking on the link to the FRA forum for various tales of woe – one runner admitted to hospital, Mrs Moo from Bowland losing 8/10 toe nails etc.  Hope Paul and Geraldine suffered no lasting damage - no results yet but the winners were from Eryri.

We didn’t encounter any of the 16 P&B BG aspirants on their mass attempt but I see on the forum 8 got round in sub 23:00, one Bowland runner smashed the club record by posting a 17:38 round – amazing in those conditions.  Well YJ and and I broke no records but had a very enjoyable outing.  Couple of snaps below.

benchmarks (3 of 3)

Scafell, Broad Stand, Mickledore, Scafell Pike

  benchmarks (2 of 3)

YJ skirting Great Moss with (another)  Dow Crag looming large to the left,  Little Narrow Cove providing the definition between this and Ill Crag.  Looking up the valley - Esk Hause in the distance

What news from the locals?

Scotland next week – snow forecast NLN

Can Have More Than One Do

Happy to go for a drink after Henderson's End.

However, will be going ahead with a little get together at The Jolly Crofters on Friday, June 4th. Whether that is in addition to the quarterly do or instead of doesn't matter. There's no limit placed on good socialising. I will be quite content to a have a drink or two and then race the following day - it's never really stopped me in the past but then it does depend on how much you have!
I thought it might relieve the burden of EtU having to organise the do for a change - it seems to have fallen on him a lot recently.

So both post Henderson's End on the 3rd and the Jolly Crofters on the 4th (8ish) are on my calendar. If people want to eat at the Crofters, please let me know so I can advise them of numbers. If you just want to pop up for a drink, just turn up.
I have called in to check out the place and they seem to be making a strong effort with interesting new menus and have Bank Top and Moorhouses. They also have what is called a diamond club which you can join whilst there to give you 25% food discount Monday to Friday - provided you are over 50 which I believe is most of us.

The Early Do

Responding to t'Y's suggestion that we bring the quarterly do forward so that we can send him off the French Atlantic coast in style, initial enquiries suggest that 4/5 June may not suit everyone. For me it's too tied up with the Duddon race, from the point of view either of being in a fit state on the Saturday, or for getting another pass for the evening when I'll have already been out all day.

Instead, how about a post-race drinky do after Henderson's End on Thursday 3rd?

Can folk respond pleeeease? ~ You often don't!

Monday, May 24, 2010

This Week

UTUPing Tues, Thurs  and Sat.

How did the OCT botherers get on? Are you back yet?

Friday, May 21, 2010


It’s UTUP for me.

Southern Section

For once Drongo Tones is right - I am coming north for the Bank Holiday weekend. The main reason for the visit is to see if the mother-in-law is fit enough to get back on her broomstick but it would be nice to join the gang for a run on the moors and to drink some cheap beer. I intend to arive late Friday 28th so if EtU or anyone else would be kind enough to let me know UTUP I will try and join you.

The problem with running down here is the lack of open spaces. It is nearly impossible to find anywhere that avoids concrete but provided you don't mind a bit of harmless trespassing, it can be done. I have devised a route that is about 5k, 4 of which are on tracks or grass with a 100m section that involves some desperate manoeuvres in the undergrowth. Finding a route is one thing, running it in anything like a decent time is another. Today's attempt was 30m and 59s which is a slight improvement on my last effort but still very slow. There is a 10k in four weeks time that I have my eye on as my first race in over 5 years but I won't enter unless I think I can break 1 hour.


O Lord of Brentford (aka Eyeless Birch)

Just look out for "UTUP" on the day in question. If it's a Saturday, that's 8:30 am at the lower Rivington Barn.

Thursdays it's 6:30 pm at the physio clinic near Stocks Park Drive on Chorley Old Road.

Tuesdays (new one this) it's 5:45 on the Wilderswood Car Park at the top of Old Rake.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yet Another

To Meredith and Dean, a son, Jake Edward Thomas.  Arrived today, middle of the afternoon, 7lb 3oz.  Mother and baby both doing well.

Quarterly dooooooo

Is there any chance that we could have the quarterly do two weeks early so I can be there. We are not known for always getting the solstice evening accurate : we've often been a couple of weeks late. I know it is Duddon on the 5th and I wouldn't mind having a go at that myself, probably just the short course as I'll be tapering down.
Has anyone tried the Jolly Crofters recently? It looks they've had a revamp. They also serve a good pint at the Bay Horse again.

Sorry to JtE and Ed for not making the start line at the Jubilee - came down with a sore throat on Tuesday which is now taking its usual course so hopefully back in training in a few days.

Talking of races, there's a few midweek fell races coming up which may take your interest - Austwick Amble, Paddy's Pole, Henderson's End. Anyone up for them?

And talking of being up, Mr B is threatening us with his presence. Maybe he shall post?

The Third Verse

This poem was written by Ed.,

Who ought to have long been in bed.

But he thought he had time,

To write up some rhyme,

So he sat there and wrote it instead.

Why no UTUPs for me in June and July

At last night's Jubilee race, JtE and I were discussing my little escapade this summer and he suggested I ought to post up on the blog clearly what I'm doing so I'll have a go:
  • It's a walk not a run
  • I start the walk on June 13th (might get to a UTUP in first week)
  • It's about 550 miles from the Atlantic (Hendaye) to the Mediterranean (Banyuls)
  • The total ascent is about 165,000 feet (49714m to be precise)
  • Even worse (for me), the total descent is also 49714 metres!
  • The maximum height I reach will be 2509 metres (8238 ft) on day 19
  • The schedule I'm using (Paul Lucia's book) will take 50 days
  • The shortest (easiest?) day is day 6 (St Jean Pied de Port to Estérençuby), 13.1km, 489m (1600ft) ascent, 415m (1360ft) descent, estimated at 3hrs 25
  • The longest day is day 23 (Bagnères de Luchon to Fos), 22.7km, 1003m (3290ft) ascent, 1857m (6092 ft) descent, estimated at 9hrs 40 - with my descending, maybe more
  • I'm booking only certain points along the way - this will give me a bit more flexibility
  • My pack will weigh approximately 11Kg plus food and water.
  • This includes a lightweight tent (1300g) and lightweight cooking equipment.

  • To give me extra incentive to complete, I'm looking for sponsorship either for Guide Dogs for The Blind or British Heart Foundation.
  • If you have any friends or relations whose life has been improved by Guide Dogs for the Blind please click the logo to go to the sponsor site.

  • If you have any friends or relations who have benefitted by the work of the British Heart Foundation, please click the logo to go to the sponsor site.

  • I have modest targets for both : £500 and both are now nearly half way there (in reality, over halfway there as I know there are sponsor forms out which are getting populated). If you don't want to use, I do have sponsor forms.

  • I'll try to update my blog at the few locations that may have internet cafés. It's not all wilderness, there are about six Ambleside size towns along the route.
Here's Monday night's article from the Bolton News (only one small error - the total ascent).

The Best I Could Do at This Time in the Morning

There was a young lady called Jules,
Who apparently broke the rules.
By deciding to log
Onto our blog,
To read of the antics of fools.

The head dentist said no!
You're not there to go!
You should be milling and drilling,
And filling then billing,
Not daring to dream of Blisco.

Third verse anyone?

Not a Lot of People Know That

According to my digital scales, my body is made up of 56.5% water. I also contain 22.6% fat. Simple arithmetic therefore tells me that only 20.9% of me is potentially useful!

 The beasts that the Tuesday night Two Lads Efforts Squad saw at grid ref SD653124 do indeed appear to be alpacas.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I can manage utups thurs + sat this week, although I'll need to be back at my car for 11.30am on Sat, so I don't think a trip to ToT is on for me!

I've been banned from viewing the blog again on the work computer, so postings will be limited to evenings and weekends. I can still read the blog on my phone during the day, so will communicate by email if urgent response required.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

This Week

UTUPing both Thursday 20th and Saturday 22nd.


Yes T’Y, I’ll give you a run for your money.

Jubilee tomorrow, anyone?

Might give it a go if they've enough marshals.

Monday, May 17, 2010


How many times have we skipped over this boulder on the way to ToT without noticing it’s secret.  Yep its a benchmark with a RIVET.  Deep joy :0)


benchmarks (3 of 3)


benchmarks (1 of 3) benchmarks (2 of 3)


In today's Bolton News

If you are a reader of the Bolton News (formerly the Bolton Evening News), you may notice a little article on page 15 of today's paper. The start is now getting closer and closer - less than 4 weeks and I shall be on my way to 550 miles of hills and more hills - in fact mountains. The training is going well and I apologise for being absent from UTUPs - maybe I can join on Saturday although I may be required to go to Keswick (prior to Morecambe in the afternoon).
Yesterday I had a little walk with five others in the Lake District. Due to comitment the previous evening I joined the others two hours into the walk and so only completed about 26 miles, whereas the others did the full 31.5 miles of the 30 mile (!) High Street Stroll. I think its name of "Stroll" is slightly misleading - we certainly weren't strolling. There's a bit more on my blog but the route is Ambleside - Kentmere - Nan Bield Pass - Harter Fell - Branstree - Mosedale - Selside Pike - Mardale Head (bottom of Haweswater) - Kidsty Pike - High Street - Thornthwaite Crag - Stony Cove Pike - Kirkstone Pass and then back to Ambleside where we arrived at 9.15p.m. This equates to about 22 minutes per mile, slightly quicker than our Coniston run although I believe the climb was only about 8000ft - I've not got an accurate figure yet.

More From Fairfield, but No Results Yet

This link will treat you to a long distance shot of the Fairfield start, with two of the squad flanking Tony Varley (yellow hat), TF to his right and yours truly to his left (silver birch coming out of right ear).

There is also an amusing write up of one man's race.

Tower of Terror it was.

The team was NLN, YJ and me. YJ had done his usual six miles before our UTUP meeting. The route was devised to take in several benchmarks that NLN had in mind and was Hordern Stoops and Spitlers as far as the end of the wall where we turned right and down to the end of the Tockholes road. At the sharp left hand bend in the road we turned right towards Lower Pasture Barn Farm and shortly afterwards, left and up on to Darwen Moor. From there it was a meandering route to the tower picking up two benchmarks on the way but failing to find one at the tower. It was then to Piccadilly and part way up Great Hill before short cutting to Spitlers and NLN’s route to Ammunition Corner and back in.

The temperature was quite low at times and it was generally dry under foot.

15.72 miles.  Elevation: +2110 / –2106.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Not a lot more to report, other than it was good to see a few old friends at one of the classics. TF showed early, although I had already seen her tent, without knowing who it was who had laid their guy ropes so perilously close to the finishing straight.

Both Trevor Dibben and his sister Jan were there, Trevor obviously not too worried by t'Y having beaten him at WCM (not really a fell race).

After the off (aren't fell race starts wonderfully low key) Mandy Goth was apparent as was Katy Thompson and Bowland Wayne. I pulled away from from all but Trevor and Katy on the way to Fairfield, but after to-ing and fro-ing with Mandy she passed me on the last bit of fell, as had Wayne a bit earlier.

Final result was that I was a minute faster than in 2007, but the wind might have been kinder this year, going from west to east.

Nice chat with the Walkingtons, Rachel M, Colin (?) and TF at the finish before heading for home.  Legs useless on Sunday, how was your outing TF?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Last night I was serenaded by the sheep, tonight it's the Brownies!

So far we've had Kum by ya, Hole in my Bucket, Ten Green Bottles, Three Little Angels, She'll be coming 'round the mountain (how appropriate!!), If you're happy and you know it.

Now, although I know all the words I decided not to go along to join in, I don't think I'd be too popular with Brown Owl if I taught them the alternative versions

Currently we have, (so all together now)

Do your ears hang low?
Do they wobble to and fro?
Can you tie them in a knot?
Can you tie them in a bow?
Can you toss them over your shoulder like a regimental soldier?
Do your ears hang low?

Night night
Stop Press

Fairfield Horseshoe Result
Winner Rob Jebb (Bingley) 1:16
EtU 2:19:22
TF 2:23:58 (Slower then 2008 2:22:29, so a bit disappointing)

Saving the battery on new netbook for some work, so I'll let EtU do the full write up


Friday, May 14, 2010

YJ's Plans

Running in the Lakes is always a joy - FSS is doing OCT on 22nd May and supporting a BG attempt 5th June so I would welcome the opportunity of a Lakeland outing on either of these days fitting in with YJ's training plans.

It would also be fun to join YJ for a leg of his 70@70.   If anyone else is planning to do so, perhaps we could look at the schedule and plant a car ahead, drive back do a section of the run as a linear outing to the placed car.   Going for a later leg will give Sally and Eden a break and perhaps we could support YJ for a leg that he considers more challenging and would like support on.  Later leg would also give us a chance to travel and get cars in position.  Any thoughts from anyone else?

70 at 70

Due to logistical problems the run I was planning down the Pennine Way from Hadrian’s Wall will now begin from Edale and travel northwards, hopefully ending at Gargrave near Skipton.

The date will be June 19th and the run is planned to mark my 70th birthday (albeit a few months late). The main support will come from Eden and Sally with Sheila remaining with the car. Although both Eden and Sally have run marathons this year neither of them have much fell running experience nor are they used to navigating and I shall rely on them carrying extra gear for me while I find the way.

The mileage they can cover will be limited so I expect to spend long stretches on my own which will make the run something of an adventure but not a prospect that fills me with dread.

Of course, if anyone wants to join me for short or long sections I will be most delighted . The problem will arise in support runners getting back to their cars as the main road support car will at times, because there are few north to south roads, be dashing to make their next rendezvous with me. If anyone wants to support and can find a solution to this problem their help will be most appreciated.

I am in the process of working out a schedule based on a 3 am start from Edale and finishing some 70 miles and 19 hrs 30 mins later. I will post it as soon as it is completed.

I have begun to build up the training mileage and am now incorporating a mid week run in the West Pennine Moors area plus a long Saturday run with the squad. If anyone fancies a trip to the Lakes for a long day’s running either midweek or weekend their contribution would be a great help.

Saturday 15th May

I will be UTUPing and if my warm up lap (starting about 7 a.m.) doesn’t slow me down too much I will hope to make Darwen Tower with the squad. My emphasis is now on slow and steady.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

This Saturday

It’s UTUP for me. Tower of Terrors will do. I hope to be home by 12.30. I think YJ is turning out.


I was allocated 12 in my patch. I have found 5 and established that 2 more have been destroyed. Working on the rest! How is anyone else doing?

Credit Where Credit's Due

Regarding the Tuesday Reps:~ Many months ago I was bemoaning the fact that, now being located in Blackrod, I don't have easy access to the fells and getting on them means a longish approach run on the road, or using the car.

It was NLN who suggested that best use of time could be made by diverting to nearer the fells on my drive home from work. Several months later I decided to start doing this one evening per week (replacing Tuesday's track session) in preparation for Wasdale.

I mentioned this to TF who immediately took command and made the Tuesday Two Lads Session what it currently is.

So, Matt, not my baby, conceived by NLN and nurtured by TF.


Changed venue, get in touch if interested.


Looks like UTUP-ers will be thin on the ground this week.  I'm hoping for 16 miles or so Tower of Terrors anyone?


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Good to hear the squad will soon be back full strength 'A' team with JtE and Matt on the mend.

I'm cycling to work tomorrow instead of Friday so won't be able to manage a utup.

On Saturday I'm doing Fairfield, but I'm travelling up on Friday evening and staying at the campsite at Rydal Hall. I hope it's a quiet site as I'm looking forward to a nice long lie-in on race day for a change.

An appointment for the car meant I had to miss last night's session, so I travelled south of Manchester today for a 5m race from a delightful little village called Rainow. A say race, more like an interval session due to the number of gates, but a good work-out all the same.

Keeping in touch

First, I envied you your trip to Coniston. What a great day out. Secondly, well done to everyone for their racing achievements, but in particular to YJ for continuing to astound us with his times in the marathons. I nearly wrote " his marathon times", but that would have given completely the wrong impression. I can't understand this obsession with benchmarks. Forget the marks, head straight for the benches.

I started back running a month ago and soon realised that I've never been so unfit since I started running. Unfortunately, my return to running clashed with a heavy workload and I've only been managing three one-hour runs a week, from home. Still I'm improving and my legs are getting stronger. At first they were as weak as they look which was pretty worrying, as they could have snapped at any time.

I have a route that takes me about 1hr 18mins at my normal not-training-for-anything-in-particular level of fitness. The plan is to get to that level and by then, hopefully, I'll have more time so that I can increase the duration of my runs. After that it's off to the Belmont Hills to get some climbing in my legs. The only reaction to my injury was when, in an attempt to get some kind of fitness, I did some hill-reps. Probably, a bit too soon.

We're off to Tewkesbury tomorrow for our first caravan holiday for nearly 12 months. It's going to be mid-July before I can rejoin the Saturday Utupies(Stop cheering). I've already committments(non-running) on three Saturdays in June and the first two Saturdays in July. Anyway, hopefully I'll have regained my fitness by then and you wont have to carry me. I'm not all that heavy mind you. I'm sure the ladies would have no trouble.

Well done to EtU for organizing the hill-climbing sessions. It's unfortunate it's on Tuesday. Everything in my life happens on Tuesday. I could go into a catatonic state for the rest of the week. I think a lot of people would be in favour of that!

Keep enjoying yourselves.

This Week

Tuesday 11th ~ Just NLN and yours truly turned out for what has now become a regular Tuesday night Two Lads "reps" session.  Feeling I'd worked above and beyond the call of duty leading up to and during the morning's board meeting, I left work just before 5:00 and did a warm up loop before the session. Then, on what was a beautifully bright, but still rather cool evening, we did two loops including a number of efforts and a number of chats with passing runners (one very lean, one not lean at all and one lady with a rather fetching boyish haircut) before finishing with a warm down loop.  A good session.

Thursday 13th ~ Stop Press ~ changed venue, get in touch if interested!

Saturday 15th ~ Fairfield Horseshoe Race ~ although I'm threatened with compulsory hospital visiting if the youngest delivers us another grandson before then.

Wainright's Seven Summits

Had  a great weekend supporting FSS's solo attempt at W7S last weekend.   Good to spend time with Keith, who some of you will remember from our Summer Amble event.  Although not back to complete health he is back chasing Grahams and Corbetts in Scotland and send his regards.

As you can see from FSS's blog, the weather on the tops conspired against full completion, but not a bad outing of 42 miles and almost 15,000ft of ascent.

As the three of us sat in front of the stove on the hillside above Threlkeld with a brew, looking up at a cloudless sky at 2.30 Saturday morning, I did happen to mention "Just think I could have been on a hen night in Wigan"   nuff said...


Monday, May 10, 2010

Snowdonia 2010

I've just entered Snowdonia (the race, not the national park) and see that there are already 1,489 entries.  Couldn't see what the race limit is (bits of the site relate to earlier years, but I'm fairly sure I've entered the 2010 race) but if you're thinking of doing it you'd best enter sharpish.

Flower Scar ~ From Very Slightly Nearer the Front

I thought some of you may be amused by the following email that I received from Colin Waterworth:-

"My last message implied an aspiration of turning up at Fairfield. However, due to my continuing failure to train, I have to duck out as I can't see myself trundling around with any dignity. Not yet ruling out the short Duddon.

I see Tooth Fairy is continuing her updates on my progress. I heard the squeals (including cursing?) as a group of short women piled up just behind me at the Flower Scar wall but didn't realise that TF was amongst them - scampering over off that post could be the most athletic thing I've done this year.

Went to Bollington 3 Peaks on Saturday; first race this year without TF in attendance and very relaxing it was.

Will be in touch."
Carneddau Fell Race 9.2m/4200ft Saturday 8th May

Did you know that the Welsh for George is 'Sior'? No, neither did I until I'd been past the 'Y Sior' twice before I'd realised. I'd finally had to get the map out to check the grid reference just to make sure I was about to walk into the right pub to register.

So glad I'd found it though, because what an absolutely cracking race this was. I think it had a bit of everything packed into 9m. Steep bits, grassy bits, boulders, ridge run, technical rocky path, scree run, boggy bits and the views - fabulous.

Winning time was 1hr36mins and I managed 2hr47mins. There were 68 finishers with me 64th, part of my walk back to the pub involved learning a few words in welsh from one of the locals who finished just in front of me, so I now have the correct pronunciation for where I went!

Emergency cover for the race was provided by a group of volunteers known as 'Teamdolly', you can find a copy of the route map for the race on their website. (With a number of casualties in the race, including one with a broken tooth(!) there were certainly a few runners who were very grateful that they were there)

The full results, report and some photos are on .


Saturday, May 08, 2010

Saturday 15th May

I'm doing Fairfield, anyone fancy a ride?

12 + 1

Today’s team was YJ, EtU and me. We took what I call my standard 12 which is Spitlers, Great Hill, Brinscall Triangle, White Coppice and back. Healey Nab was added giving an extra mile. The weather was fine, cool and dry under foot.

Distance: 13.14 miles. Climb: +1808 / –1746 (I don’t know why the difference) for EtU and me. YJ had run 6 miles prior to UTUP.


Belmont Winter Hill

Decided I would build this into my training so, having rushed round Tesco to get the shopping in, I set off walking over to Belmont. As I was about 15 minutes later than planned I needed to include a bit of running so I could get to registration half an hour before the race start.
Chatted with a couple of Brindles on the way down - Wilf's son was making his debut (in the under 12 race) -just looked at the results and he is obviously following the family tradition winning his age group.
The pre-race gathering on the field was loads of wonderful reunions - but no other from this group - have you given up on local races?
I started in my usual place near the back but found the first climb far too easy, must have got myself up to about 50th position before I had the usual experience of loads passing me as we headed through the "swamp" to Noon Hill. Second climb was not too good, just passing three or four before my usual rubbish descent to finish 88th out of 118. Timewise I was a couple of minutes up on two years ago but I had nowt left for the finish, unlike on Monday.
A bit of a recovery then run out on the course again before taking the direct route to Winter Hill and home.
Results here

Friday, May 07, 2010

Anyone doing Belmont Winter Hill?

Planning to walk over, do race, then jog back.


UTUP for me.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

This Week

UTUPing Thursday 6th and Saturday 8th, despite wrecked legs.
Flower Scar Weds 5th May 4m/1400ft

Nearly caught him, but was foiled by a 4ft high brick wall to climb just before the finishing field. Colin made a nifty manoeuvre using the adjacent wooden gate post. I got tangled up with the two women in front making a bit of a meal of it.

The gap's closing though, now at 13 secs!
We both agreed it'd been a very 'cheeky' 4 miler. Especially when you'd put the extra little spurt in to reach the summit marshall only to find the 'cheeky b******' had added another even steeper hill to climb. Mind you, we had been warned by Graham Schofield just before the off.

On reaching the proper summit I was one of a few runners entrusted with the responsibility of carrying a very delicate carnation flower back to the finish. I didn't lose a single petal, although it now needs a very 'art nouveau' vase to keep it in as the stem didn't do so well.


Monday, May 03, 2010

A B****Y Good Try

No, not what I had on Sunday, but rather, what the games master replied to William Web Ellis, when, having carried the ball over the line on that memorable day at Rugby in 1823, he asked the question "Was it a goal sir?". "No" came back the the reply "but it was...

Sunday only showed that the old adage involving lots of "p"s about the value of preparation is very definitely true.

Spending many weeks trying to master the crawl and then realising with only two weeks to go that it was a lost cause, meant that I had, once again, to swim the breaststroke.

Two thirty five minute outings on the bike, and not having sorted out the gears meant that untrained legs were labouring with just the small cog at the front and only the three smaller ones at the back, so I could neither take advantage of the flats, nor cope with the hills.  Oh yes, and the chain came off!

So when the transfer to the run came, my legs had already given their not very good best ~ and, instead of the old route, involving the relatively gentle (!) climb up Gingham Brow, the new route went straight up Foxholes!

So on I staggered to finish what was my toughest race since Snowdonia 2008.

Paul Bohannon won in 2:05, first lady Nicola King in 2:30.  New Ray (well done) 158th in 3:14, Diane (t'Yorkshireman's lass) 179th in 3:31 and yours truly 189th in 3:50 ~ 191 finished.  There were several DNF's and one competitor was disqualified for "verbally abusing race staff".

YJ enquired about my swim time.  In the results it's down as getting on for 30 minutes, but this includes my transition time, as I went over the recording mat as I left the transition, rather than entering it.  The two guys in my swim lane recorded 21:22 and 26:03 and I was about half way between them, so including the road crossing I probably did about 23:30; so sub 23 for the swim alone?

A bit of running

Yesterday I tried to follow my daughter and her fiancé, Neal around the Horwich Triathlon to get a few photos and maybe videos but failing miserably, due to both batteries appearing to have much more charge in them than actually had. I did however manage to capture a shot of EtU on the run in with about a mile to go. I won't re-use the phrase "failing miserably' again, that would be unfair : I'm sure Ed will post his own views on his performance. I'll only post up the photo on request. Diane suffered a bit with her knee on the latter stage of the run but was still very satisfied as it was probably the hardest triathlon she has competed in. Neal just about matched his best time for an Olympic distance event, which considering that the additional distance and climb in the run and the hills of the cycling more than outweighs the shorter swim, was a brilliant achievement.

However, when I got home and mapped what I'd run it gave me 11 miles and 2000ft of climb. As I had decided to run in the Wray Caton Fell Race today, this was probably more then I should but who cares.
We arrived at Wray in good time (it can take an age to get into the village as the Scarecrow festival is very popular) and safely - just - a pigeon had decided to have an argument with the car on the way up the M6. It won't be arguing again.
Hovering round the institute were names from the past : Neil Wrigley, Allan Blinkhorn and Trevor Dibben. It seems the weather is bringing people out to run.

Seemed to have quite a decent run. Was only overtaken by seven on the descent (10 actually but got three back after the bridge), to finish in under the hour, 59:30 according to the results although my watch said 59:54! As last year's time was 67:30, I can't complain about that. Neil was well in front but did manage to beat Trevor and Allan.

So that's 18 miles and 3100ft towards my May target - but I am looking for 30,000ft of ascent this month so need a few Coniston-like days.

YJ, there is youtube video of Saturday's race here if you would like to relive the glory of the course - couldn't see you in it - maybe there'll be an extended edition.
Old man of Coniston

I still haven't found any results for the Coniston Fell Race (I bet TF has found them) so there is not much to report other than to say that from the word go there was a distinct lack of energy. From early on I was among the tail enders and still losing places.

The climb up Wetherlam took a totally different line to our recce and was difficult to follow as the field thinned out. The line down to the bottom of Prison Band virtually ignored the path and I used the grassy detour for the last bit of descent. Using the route up as reccied last week ground was gained on those ahead but the gap opened up again to Levers Hause.

By this time the forecast rain had arrived and I recalled the conversation with NLN that the route down the back of the Old Man might be a bit tricky in the wet. At the last summit the ground was turning white with hailstones and creating something of a dilemma. With a Clayton runner in company we opted for the alternative route as reccied. I was soon left behind as the rocks turned greasy but then found some good running to the point where the trod was obvious.

The short cuts we reccied lower down were excellent and easy to find and I ran in with half a dozen behind me in a time of 2hrs 40 mins.

My split time were (last week's times in parentheses): Wetherlam 59.16 (80.25); Swirl Howe
28.05 (35.52); OM to finish 43.09 (67.47).

PS: I will be UTUPing next Saturday starting with a warmup lap at around 7 o'clock as I now need to get in some runs where the emphasis is on distance rather than speed. If I can't keep up with the squad I'll have to part company.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Anyone know a good panel-beater?

Returned from my 2nd race of the weekend to find that someone had added a couple of 'go-faster' stripes on the car (See pics below).
Yesterday I had promised Colin (Waterworth) that I was taking it easy as I had a pair of 8m races to do and wanted to try and do them both at an equal pace. So at the Cake Race 8.5m/1700ft (formerly known as Autumn Leaves) he beat me by a good 2 and a half minutes as opposed to the 50secs at the 7m Wardle Race. The even pace thing obviously didn't work because at today's race - Crowden 8m/1700ft - I was about 10mins slower. Maybe if I'd been a bit quicker I'd caught the culprit who did this
An hour and a bit of elbow grease later the stripes had gone but still leaving dents on the door and front wing.

Oh joy!


Saturday, May 01, 2010

Benchmarks and Streetmaps

To get a map with the exact location of your chosen benchmark click on Streetmaps UK.  Scroll down below the map and you will see a box next to search tips.  Type in the grid reference in full and click on GO and this will show the exact location of your benchmark.  Use the zoom control on the right of the screen and go to the fourth level up to give you the OS map with the arrow showing the precise location.  You can go to a lower level to get street/road names if required.

Happy hunting




Two Lads viaTrespass Stone X 2

Having had an excellent run out as described by JtE followed by coffee and refreshments back at the Lower Barn, I decided to trot back up to Two Lads.  FSS had set out for a 30+ target for the morning, so no need for me to rush home.  Finding the crowds disagreeable at LB, I drove round to Wilders Wood to park up and just do two or three laps up to the Cairns and round. 

Running up the path to the water station, just past Edz newly erected (Tues eve) cairn, I heard a runner behind me, stepping aside to let him/her pass, imagine my surprise when I turned to find FSS.  What a bonus!  My plans forgotten, we joined forces to visit WH trigpoint again, passed the benchmark top’o’t’Ramp (again) down over Counting Hill, paying our respects to SB en route, down to Smithills Reser (again), down to the Trespass Stone (again) HURRAH :0) and along Coalpit Rd, back up to Burnt Edge.  I then ran long the top of the quarries leaving FSS to run down to his car at Gingham Brow.  Crossing the road I picked up the path to go up to Two Lads (again) before turning back to retrace my steps down to Georges Lane and the car at Wilders Wood.

Fantastic outing(s) for the day and I now know what to do to be able to run comfortably with FSS – make him do 26m before joining him!

Total for the day 18.43m  - 2,811ft climbed


EtU has his very own benchmark on the gatepost of the cottage at Wasdale – news received via a very superior email!


Benchmark Safari

NLN has certainly started something with her Benchmark Bonanza posting that could well become an obsession. Today we found several benchmarks having taken a route purposely devised to incorporate some already known to NLN.

Today the team was NicO, NLN, EtU, Rafe and me. We set of first of all to Two Lads then to NLN’s beloved Trespass Stone that has the added attraction of, yes you’ve guessed it, a benchmark on a nearby gate post. Unusually we then carried on along the tarmac road for a short distance before turning left onto rising rough ground and coming to Smithills Reservoir about half way along its side embankment. It was then round the end of the reservoir and to “the wall” where we turned left to Winter Hill. Along this wall we encountered several Wheatears (migrants from Africa) doing their favourite trick of preceding us along the wall in short flights. From Winter Hill we dropped down to Hordern Stoops where EtU left us with a view to saving some energy for his Triathlon the next day. The rest of us went forward to the vicinity of the bomber memorial, then via the corner of Yarrow Reservoir (do you know where I mean EtU?) and back to the Lower Barn.

On a personal note, thanks to you all for putting up with my slow pace. I’m glad to say that I seem to be completely over my leg injury and now need to regain a bit of fitness.

Distance: 10.85 miles.    Climb +1906  -1866


Male Wheatear