Monday, October 31, 2011

Snowdonia Marathon 2011

The evening before the race I was reading Robin Harvie's "Why We Run", and a quote attributed to Emil Zatopek in the pages that I had read, frequently went through my mind during that awful 4 hours and 57 minutes:- "Why should I practice running slowly? I already know how to run slow. I must learn to run fast." Seem to remember TF saying something similar a few weeks ago.

So it's back to the drawing board again, or to be more precise, back to the running track.

The weather was not ideal, it rained throughout the race, and at times the wind was strong and adverse, although that didn't seem to bother the winner, Rob Samuel, who romped home in 2:36 (when was the last time you romped?).

Only minor satisfaction was that although 8th out of 14 V65s, I was in front, albeit narrowly, of the first V70, Peter Harding (4:58) and first V75 Allan Smith (5:00). Harding had passed me on the final grassy descent, and although I was almost past caring at that point, my fire was lit and I was able to stop him pulling away, and subsequently took 47 seconds out of him on the run in. Now I'm sure that another V70 that I know wouldn't have let me do that!

Full results here:-

Another thing, I may finally have been cured of speaking to strange ladies, after one that I had merely passed the time of day with, was only a minute or two later telling me about her terrible turbanned, unemployed, alcoholic neighbour, who had diverted the out-flow from his washing machine into her pond and thereby killed all her fish. That'll teach me!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Our Utup last night

I can now get on 'sports-tracker' at work because all our computers have now been upgraded with the new Adobe Flash Player so we can do our online 'Mandatory Training' . So guess what I've not been doing!

Here's our route from last night for me and EtU, both of us trying out new headtorches. A bit perplexed when I saw it had only recorded 4k on the phone but 1hr 11mins. We did stop and chat a bit! Anyway it looks like it lost the GPS signal at about the point where the 2 Lads path meets the mast road. We were on our way back to Foxholes. At this point we bumped into a young man called Andy who plays the drums and is thinking of doing a BG. He seemed interested in joining our Saturday morning run in 2 weeks. Thats if he managed to follow our directions back to his car near the High School.

Just for the record, the full run worked out at 3.6m. Just enough for a pre-Snowdonia warm up. Best of luck to EtU for Saturday, have a good'un.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I can manage Utup Thurs & Sat this week


This Week

Thursday 27th - UTUP but nothing too strenuous, due to:-

Saturday 29th - Snowdonia Marathon.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Relay Good Race Comments

As you see NLN and EtU I am in business again with Windows Live Writer. The problem was my Google password.

Thanks EtU for the pictures and comments. Just one correction: It was EYJ who ran Leg 3. Matt and Paul M ran Leg 4. I am told by Matt that we won the combined age category and received a multitude of prizes which included bottles of wine and tins of baked beans. I have no further information. Perhaps someone involved in the latter stages or attended the prize giving could e-mail EtU with information. Thanks go to EtU and YJ who sorted out transport.

Training With Attitude 23rd. Oct.

For T’Y and anyone else interested the team was: Jan Atkins (66), Mary White (60), EYJ (70), Paul Murray (70), Matt (72) and me (76). Combined age: 414. Sorry T’Y, as much as we would like to have had you in the team we couldn’t admit kids!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Relay Good Race

No results available yet, but here are a few piccies to give you a flavour of yesterday's relay.

The good, the bad and the ...    The team begins to assemble.

The organiser Steve P assures the leg one runners that hurdling the barrier is not compulsory. By my reckoning ten teams started, but not all fielded a full team.

And they're off!

Going too fast for the camera to freeze, JtE, team captain and senior member.

Approx 45 minutes later, John arrives at Waterman's Cottage to hand over to the ladies.

To Hordern Stoops via Great Hill and Piccadilly.

Whilst back at the start EYJ awaits his lift to the start of leg four.
Sorry I've not got a full record of the morning's events, but I understand that the ladies handed over to Matt and Paul M at Hordern Stoops, who then ran to Winter Hill summit before returning to Waterman's Cottage to hand over to EYJ for the final leg. No further details, but with a total age in excess of 410 years, the team presumably won the prize for the most golden oldies. Well done team!

Saturday’s Run

Woke up to see this from bedroom window


and thought, mmm… could be a good morning on the fells.  A few more like this here.


and it was, this taken from road in vicinity of Lower Barn.  Just time to get a couple from my usual halt before going round to the car park.


The Pike above and below




Sunburst over Two Lads and top of the quarries


The Mormon temple at Chorley in the centre, looking north from Two Lads


From same point, with Pigeon Tower in foreground and Preston football ground, clearly on the horizon in the centre


Looking up to the mast from Two Lads


Now looking south over Manchester City Centre again from Two Lads.  The tall building in the centre is the Hilton Hotel


Unmistakably, the Trespass Stone, but something we have never noticed on the gatepost, another benchmark! You can see it at the bottom. Well spotted EtU.


…and here’s the man himself at Amunition/Dangerous corner.  Look at that sky, no wonder I didn’t go to Mallorca for half term :~)

Only the two of us out, with YJ doing his own thing due to injury.  Neither one of us feeling on top form for different reasons.  We headed up to the Pike, off past Pike Cottage and up onto Two Lads, top of quarries, Burnt Edge, Reser, wall path to Trig.  Then down to Hordens, Dangerous Corner, Lower Houses and back.  We got back to LB about 11.30 in time for me to dash home to help with the preparations for having friends round that evening – well I set the table as you can see.


Hope to be out Saturday.  

How did the relay on Sunday go?


The Steepdown Challenge

Another race on the South Downs, but this time we only had to climb to the top once! A loveley October day saw three generations of Beesleys race. My elder grandson Sam was 14th (out of 52) in the Junior race, which was very good considering that it was an U16 race and he isn't 9 until next month. His aunty Rebecca finished 82nd (and 8th Lady( a very technical term for our Rebecca!)) in 35.32 whilst I came in 192nd in 41.21. There were over 300 runners so I was quite pleased. We are likeley to up North the weekend before Christmas so if there are any suitable races that weekend, please let me know.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Apalled of Blackrod

I've just watched the BBC4 documentary on the proposed zip wire development at Honister. How could such an horrendous proposal get as far as this?

The programme, and apparently the planning process, seemed to concentrate on the micro-impacts such as the squashing of of a tiny amount of the local flora, whilst surely the main point was the potential impact of the likely influx of the hooray Henrys (Henries?) who would move in and on without even passing the time of day with the local folk.

Wasdale has for some time been suffering from the influx of the "Three Peakers" who's only interest in the valley is as an access to one of their three objectives. Perhaps they might have liked to add the zip wire to their agenda, or even suggest Honister as an alternative midnight objective.

The planning application was a transparent attempt by Mark Weir to build on his burgeoning business empire (he travelled daily between Honister and his nearby farmhouse by helicopter) rather than offering wider access to the Lake District to those who might be missing out on its delights.

Tragically, Mark died in a helicopter accident just days before the planning hearing, but thankfully, the hearing remained objective and rejected his application.

I'll be speaking to Eric Robson next time I'm in the Bridge.

There is a God.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sunday in Wasdale

Sunday after the dinner is a traditional walk led by Joss.  Weather at the start was gorgeous, but as we climbed the clag descended and a little light drizzle ensued.  Nothing to really trouble those on the walk, of which there were many.  Some caught on camera below.untitled-90

At the start




First stop, Joss’s Millenium seat

Our route then took us cross country up to Middle Fell


Here comes Margaret, with a couple of nervous bystanders behind!


And with every reason to be nervous – Christina making heavy weather of it!  Unfortunately Matt failed to fling himself into this stream and I missed him at his previous dive!


A very blurry image of Dot – the blighter wouldn’t stand still long enough to get a good shot, despite the fact that she only had three legs!  Didn’t stop her ‘though!


Final descent to Greendale Bridge on the Crossing route

Excellent weekend in every way!


Saturday in Wasdale

After a glorious day on the hill we headed to the Wasdale Head for refreshments and who should we bump into but these two!



Shortly followed by the rest of the clan and good craic it was too!


Here they all are again, later that evening at the dinner at the Bridge – great night with excellent company.



Another of our Squad, Dinner organiser in waiting!  Shooting the breeze with Colin, Monica’s husband.


Monica and Joss


Don Talbot, completed the first crossing after Joss, twenty years ago.


FSS presenting Joss with a picture of him with his dogs.

Ah well, Joss’ll be in Spain now, escaping the winter weather in Wasdale, he knows a thing or two does Joss!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rare Breeds in the Duddon Valley

OSH with YBGs.

Sometimes I stands and thinks...

...and sometimes I just stands.

This Week

Planning to UTUP:-

Thursday 20th and Saturday 22nd - septic toe permitting.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weekend 15/16th October

Lovely photos NLN. Sutton Park (Birmingham) was equally sunny just not as picturesque. As predicted had to step into the breach aka 'anchor leg' for the B team at the National Road Relays. Thankfully not the slowest (just), but definitely a thin young womens game. A few looked like they could do with a good pie and pint. I had a bag of doughnuts to celebrate my 4.3k lap

In lieu of photos I thought I'd post my route map for today. This was a part recce for the Wadsworth Half Trog taking place on 12th Nov. I've not run this for a while and it shows! Although to be fair the start/finish has altered and so has the route between the previous 4th and 5th Checkpoint, hence the reason to check out the new bits. I'd skipped the loop that heads north to the road as this was unchanged, beginning to wonder if that was a wise move now. Any way the rest still has loads of potential for misplaced runners so looking forward to some typical November weather to increase the challenge.

Given that I was out for 2hrs, disappointed in only burning 377Kcal!

Not out this week for utups. Saturday is first day for XC league I help organize, so will need to do an early run from home.


Wasdale Weekend

Fantastic weekend at Santon Bridge, travelled up Friday night to get a full day on the hill on Saturday – what a good call.  Wall to wall sunshine on the hill.  Left Wasdale Head about 9.30 and headed up to Black Sail Pass before turning up to Pillar.  Took the Climbers Traverse to Pillar Rock and the rocky scramble up to the summit.  If you click on the link to my Blipfoto journal on the right hand side of this page you can see the view. 

Will put some pics on of the Joss Naylor 20 year celebratory dinner and the walk on sunday morning with Joss.  For now some pics  here from Saturday.

Hoping to be out this Saturday, is anyone else?


Training with Attitude - Oct 23rd

I know there is a cross country on the Saturday, but I think I may skip the Red Rose League, having missed the first race so looking to find out if there is a suitable team going for me in this event. I know that JtE, YJ, Matt and EYJ are planning to be the pldest combined age team (surely you need two more - but I am far two young) but who else is planning to participate?

Just Kev and I

It was nearly a solo run for me yesterday morning but just as I was about to leave the car park, Kev rolled up. Steady run over to White Coppice then a bit of hard work up to Great Hill where we managed to find a couple of young ladies who we then accompanied to Spittlers where they had a little difficulty finding the trod over to Drinkwaters/Bomber Memorial. As I only wanted 2 hours and Kev 3, I fond the trod and accompanied them to the bridleway junction and then headed for Ammunition Corner and the car whereas Kev headed for WInter Hill.
A great morning for running in the sunshine but somewhat blustery on top.

Langdale Postscript
I now realise why I was so poor on the first climb at Langdale Horseshoe. Yes, the path up to Stickle Tarn is narrow which limits overtaking opportunities but I didn't feel confident about my footing to try to overtake - it was a bit like how I am on a descent. Having done a bit of research on sciatic nerve problems, it seems that one of the symptoms is a lack of balance due to muscle weakness in the affected leg - it's all falling into place, so maybe there is hope once I get it sorted out.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This Week

Planning to UTUP Thursday 13th, but as that will be my last day at work ever (wishful thinking!) before a long weekend at Santon, I may be held up. If I'm not there, enjoy!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Langdale ~ A Failure, but not a Dismal Failure

Obviously a fun weekend with lots of folk out, and various stories to tell. First off, apologies to t'Y for taking so long to get my coffee that you'd only got 5 minutes to prepare, but I had offered you the car keys!

The significance of the number, NLN, was that when I went to collect my number, I was told that there wasn't one for me. However further further discussion revealed that one Dave Terner-Swift had collected mine, so I was to run with his.

Felt much better than last year, two minutes inside the Esk Hause shelter cut-off (16:46 Angle Tarn to EHS, YJ, not too much down on past climbs). Then to Bow Fell with 5 minutes to spare. Then I realised I should have heeded AW's advice "...Bowfell, Ridge route to Crinkle Crags, entirely delightful, but not in mist!"

Spent what seemed an eternity looking for the main summit until hypothermia set in, then dropped off back to the finish via Oxendale.

During my search for the top I met up with a couple, another Dave, a 2011 BG completer and Alix, a fellow club member of wild-child Mel from Madrid. If you're reading this Mel, it was a bit cooler than Madrid, but just as much fun.

Despite my failure, I'm less of a realist that t'Y, I'll still be looking for a Lakeland A Long finish in 2012 ~ dream on!

However, on the downside, I lifted a toenail on the way down, hope it doesn't interfere too much with Snowdonia training.

Someone said to bathe it in alcohol. Wasn't sure if that was from the inside, or the outside, so I did both.

Well done TF, you continue to excel, but wait for next year!

Caption for the TV pic, "I may look like EtU, but I'm shorter, uglier, balder and much more horrid!".

Found it all a bit trying. Didn't feel 100% on the climb up to first CP. Probably 'cos I got over-taken by loads on the first flatish section and then couldn't get passed 'em on the steep bit. Felt a bit better on climb up to Thunacar Knott having gained a few and got to Esk Hause 2 mins under the official cut-off of 1hr 50mins. About 7mins better than last year. So it wasn't looking likely that a sub 4 hr finish was on the cards.

Not a particularly efficient exit off Bowfell, bad news when you don't know it well enough to be looking for piles of stones for your route finding, so was glad for the friendly shout from NLN and Mark at Three Tarns. On my own on the contouring route up to Long Top and then wished I'd taken the contouring route round to the right to avoid Bad Step as first got held up by a runner with cramp and then by some 6ft + bloke having 'collywobbles' at bad step. Even a 'put right foot there, left hand there etc' didn't help so he climbed back up and I had to show him how it was done.

Passed a stricken runner on the descent from Blisco, must have been a fast'un as Mountain Rescue were already in attendance, with more on their way up from the last check point. Finally reached the finish about 4-5mins over 4hrs, quicker than last year but still 40 mins slower than 3 Shires. Winner's time seemed remarkably similar.

Apologies to EtU for not seeing you in to the finish but had a pressing engagement with the AGM. Wanted to listen to the discussion regarding the change of the FRA to FRA Ltd. Basically to do with the committee members being liable if someone decides to sue, an article about it was in the summer edition of Fellrunner. Could have implications for all clubs and associations, especially those involved in risky activities. Not sure road running comes under that category yet, but given that I'm on my running club's committee I have a degree of self-interest or more importantly financial self-preservation, so thought it was worth the effort to attend.

No utup for me this week, off on Saturday to watch the National Road Relays. I say watch, as already one of the 8 runners lined up to run has dropped out. I'm reserve no 3. What's the chances I have to don the club vest next week!


Langdale Weekend

Arriving in Great Langdale early, we had a coffee at Bishops Scale and dropped off our stuff before heading down the the Old Dungeon Ghyll and the start of the race.  Conditions weren’t the best with low cloud and rain dominating. 


But members of our Squad were not intimidated


Let us at it!


EtU was keen that I capture this – and no doubt he will enlighten us to its significance


TF – ready for the off – and Mark ready for a cappuccino in the ODG with me


The start – Nicky Spinks, who recently broke the women’ s Lakes 24 hour record


…and they’re off

After a very nice cappuccino in the ODG Mark and I headed up over the Band to Three Tarns and to prove it here’s Mark below.


Conditions really were atrocious, reflected in a tale of woes from many runners including FSS who took a tumble or two.  Fortunately for most they were relatively minor, a Bowland runner was telling us in the pub later that night that he had broken a couple of ribs – heard them crack.  Still he managed to get to the bar and back without too much difficulty.  We heard that someone else wasn’t so lucky and was stretchered off the hill with a serious knee injury.


Another supporter cheering her partner on


I have to say that most runners really appreciate a friendly cheer as they labour on up the hell etc, but look at this evil looking blighter on the tops – I challenge you to come up with a caption!


The wildlife at the ODG, obviously accustomed  to being offered titbits


After the prize giving and a nice hot shower at the Hut we drove out to Elterwater, one of my favourite Lakeland villages for a refreshing pint in the Brittannia


Sunday morning wasn’t worth putting the cat out so we headed down the road, calling at Glasson Dock where we haven’t been for quite a while.  A very nice pub at Condor Green is worth a visit, The Stork, if you’re passing.


JtE will no doubt tell us what this chap is?


Which way does the wind blow!


All in all this fell running lark provides for damn fine weekends.  I look forward to reading all about our Squad’s racing and reccying adventures soon

Not out again next week – Wasdale for the Joss Naylor dinner!  It’s all go isn’t it?