Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Two Go to Tenerife

Well, not at the same time, but just a few weeks apart.

OK, we've seen details of TF's Tenerife excursion, apparently Matt is also off there shortly. How good a shot can you get of Mount Teide? Understand that you need an official permit to go to the summit (do volcanos have a summit, or just a rim?), but even without that, let's see how close you can get. Over to you Matt.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Shap Weekend

What a stunning weekend!  We were lucky enough to be in the North Lakes staying with friends in Shap.  Some pics here.   Lovely run out with three Bowland runners round and about the Shap Wells Hotel bagging a trigpoint in the process.  The big boys, including FSS headed out into deep snow on the Pennines and you can see a stunning shot of High Cup Nick on his blog.

Looking forward with baited breath to reading what you were all up to at the weekend, especially the grudge match between EtU and Matt !

Bit of a back problem at the moment, but hoping it will settle down for a UTUP on Saturday, fingers crossed  Sad smile

The ToT Has Got His (her?) Hat On...

The Lawman (who lives within spitting distance of the ToT) has sent me this detail from BBC News Lancashire:-

"A Lancashire landmark that lost its crowning dome in high winds more than a year ago has had a new top lifted into place by helicopter. Darwen's Jubilee Tower lost its fibreglass dome and weather vane during winds of up to 80mph (129km/h) on 11 November 2010. The new steel dome was made by Darwen engineering company WEC Group Ltd, as a gift to the town. It cost more than £35,000 and was winched into place at about 12:00 GMT. The new top, made from powder-coated stainless steel, is the third to crown the tower.

The original, made from wood, also blew off in high winds in 1947. It was eventually replaced by one made from fibreglass after Darwen mayor Bill Lees launched a fund in 1971. Peter Roberts, who has overseen the building of the new dome, said: "A stainless steel structure will never corrode away, and will be there for another 500 years." Many residents from the town climbed the moors to witness the dome being being put in place.

Darwen Tower, a Grade II listed structure, was built in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria's diamond jubillee."

Couldn't tie the date down exactly, but looks like it was round about the 12th Jan.

S'pose NLN (aka RoA) will expect a team viewing.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Return of the Native

It appears that navigating skills don't translate well into Spanish. My first attempt at an off-road route didn't fair too well.

M&D had got an article from the local (English) paper for a 8m route setting off from a small village on the west of Tenerife. They'd stopped at a little 'cafe' nearby before and were happy to sit and drink coffee whilst I set off to explore.

On setting off from the village plaza (behind the trees)

the written instructions seemed straight forward enough, anyway it was becomming apparent by point 3 on the map that things could get a bit tricky. The intention was to follow the green route, or short cut using the blue route, M&D had walked this far with me, Sebe the dog had sniffed every plant on the way so progress was slow!We finally made it to the lakes marked on the map. Quite a bit of detail of crossing paths etc was missing from the instructions. Next task was to get onto the ridge.

Well I got there and here's the view of Teide, when you turned round, believe me it's there, just hidden by a few clouds, a bit to the right of the treee covered hill in the middle!
Then things got a bit more tricky. Too many paths in the woods and not enough detail on the map/instructions meant I ended up here

Slightly south of point 7. This was only worked out on my return having studied a better map of the area. This wasn't in my rucksack, and had spent an afternoon in the cafe!

After that I stuck to the routes I knew along the coast. Nearest village to M&D's house is called Los Abrigos. All the sea front restaurants have their own fishing vessels for the 'catch of the day'

Anyway just to prove you can see Teide sometimes here it is looking from near M&D's house

Their house is one of the green ones with the sloping roofs on the right edge of the photo. The airport runway runs right across the middle of the photo just infront of the smallest little hill. If you zoom in you might just be able to make out the fuel tanks (white with red band) and the control tower.

Should be out for a Utup this Saturday (Icy roads permitting)

ps To zoom in on photos you now have to hover mouse over picture and right click and then either choose to 'open link' or 'open link in new tab' or 'open link in new window'. Any of these methods will bring up the choosen photo and then allow you to zoom in, cursor shows as a + or -. If you just 'double click' on the photo it brings up all the photos in that 'post' as a slide show, but wont allow you to zoom in, or at least I can't seem to find a way to do it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Saturday 28th Jan

I'm UTUPing, definitely not resting up for Sunday's mis re-match with Matt.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Saturday on Healey Nab and Great Hill

What a morning!  Strong winds howling around the house almost kept me in my bed, but glad I struggled out, enjoyed the outing – setting of with YJ, IK, EtU and Matt.  Headed out to Healey Nab passing the cascades (below) which were in fine fettle with the overflow from Yarrow down to Anglezarke res looking amazing.  Went back with FSS on Sunday to get another shot for blip (see right hand side of blog) and the flow wasn’t nearly as strong, but with a better camera I was able to get a smooth flow effect.  A few more snaps of the morning here.


Looking through the arch at the top of the Cascades towards Yarrow Res


Here come the boys  -  you know who you are!


Below - coming down from Healey Nab


White Coppice, where YJ left our company. IK turned for home at Drinkwaters


Some Chorley runners showing off in shorts !  At the shelter on Great Hill


As planned the wind was behind us going up Great Hill, but we could barely stand up when turning to head for Spitlers.  At the stile we decided to head back along the valley, following Dean Black Brook back to White Coppice to take the bridleway to Watermans and head back below the quarries.


Great Hill farm


Above and below the Brook at the fall just above White Coppice – the wind was so strong it was blowing the water back upstream.


A good outing giving just under 13 miles, which given the conditions wasn’t too bad.

Later in the day FSS and I went out to the coast – a few pics from Fleetwood below with more here if it’s of interest.





Not out Saturday in North Lakes – have fun


Friday, January 20, 2012

OCT Recce 31st March - Should be ok for this one.

Not out on Saturday for Utup. I was doing the Hebden, but had to pull out of this event as I've had a bad cold/cough this week. Rested up, thinking I could drop down to the shorter route, but a short 40min test run last night proved that even this would be a couple of steps too far.

Jetting off on Tuesday for a bit of sunshine, hopefully will be back fully fit/fat to start all over again in February, so far 2012's training not been up to 2011's standard!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

I shall be keeping you company on Saturday EtU. The March 31st recce sounds interesting. Hope the swimming goes/has gone well.

Now I know why I'm getting slow ... it's because...

I'm getting old.

But why do I think I'm getting old?

Maybe it's because of a present Julie received on Christmas Day.

It was a book called "The Good Granny Guide". The present then obviously resulted in further questions being asked to the source of the present. The result is that Diane will not be doing this year's Pike Race and certainly not this year's UK Ironman.
The super-injunction has finally been lifted so I'm at last able to use it as an excuse for my lethargic rate of motion when supposedly running.

As we are visiting them this weekend, I may be able to make UTUP before we travel to God's own county, missing out on the XC but hopefully listening to yet another Jordan goalfest en route - not sure who HTFC are playing but I expect little resistance from them whoever they are. I'm sure TLOB will agree now that he has reached a wise old age.

Saturday 21st January

I'll be at the Bottom Barn for 8:30, hope to have company.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Old Age

I have made it: free prescriptions, a bus pass and cheap football tickets are all mine!!!! I have not been for a 60th birthday run as lunch was alcoholic ( and so I hope will this evening be) but I intend to go tomorrow.......

The Northern version of my party is on Sat Feb 4th in the Ridgeway - further details available from the galloping major.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Date for Your Diary?

Picking up on SN's request for another outing, how about Saturday 31st of March for an Old County Tops recce? The worst of the winter weather should be over, although it seems as though that doesn't matter.

Put it in your diary, folks.

Catching Up

Long time, no see, looks like a good outing on Saturday can’t go wrong on a day like that.  Weather in Glasgow on Saturday wasn’t nearly so good, but we made the best of it by taking father-in-law for a run (in the car) up the coast to Gourock.  Pleased to find the birthday boy in fine spirits and feeling well in his 87th year.  Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny and although I declined FSS’s invitation for a run, I strolled out to the highest ground and took some piccies of the rising sun.  More eating and drinking ensued before the journey home.


Cardwell Bay from the Free French Monument on Lyme Hill




FSS at the Trig point above the Beacon on Lyme Hill


Birthday Boy


Free French Monument

Cross of Lorraine combined with an anchor to commemorate the French sailors who sailed out of Gourock and lost their lives in the Battle of the Atlantic in the Second world war


Redundant – cranes from the ship building era


Unusual Trigpoint


Sunday morning dawned bright and cold and I had a walk up the hill to get a couple of snaps.  The two below are of the local primary school’s windmill.






Recognise these chaps?  The lions guarding the cenotaph in George Square, Glasgow.



The ferris wheel with a typical Victorian equine sculpture.


Clyde Riverside  shots


Central Station


Glasgow Police Box reflection




Probably not out again this weekend as further birthday celebrations on the cards.

Having fun – NLN Smile

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Too little too late!

I've finally got 5 minutes to put pen to paper/finger to key but it appears everything has been said already.
I had a fantastic day out with NLN over Christmas but would just like to point out that I did not "just sit down." Those ahead of me did not see the wind literally sweep me off my feet and unlike the dog I was unable to turn this misfortune into an elegant backward somersault and so instead got dumped on my bottom. Despite pouring rain and gale-force winds I really enjoyed the day out which brings me to my next point. Etu had mentioned during the Christmas Thursday run that he was considering organising more days out this year, but no amount of planning could book the weather. I hope this shows that it is not the climate and conditions that are important, but the conquering of the mountain and the companionship. So get that map and diary out and start planning - please!
Derian House were very grateful for the donation from the pub kitty, though my 9 year old could not understand why I had gone into a shop, paid money and not bought anything.
Finally the Garstang 10k. Despite being beaten by men twice my age ( well almost!) I found the phrase "I'm really enjoying this" going through my mind. I'm obviously not pushing myself hard enough! Still at least coming last out of the group meant I had people cheering me over the finishing line.
Hope to make Chernobyl if I can fit it in between hospital visits and 2 footy matches!
Oh and by the way, Happy New Year everyone!

Three at Hyndburn Mid Lancs XC

Following the night's sharp frost, the XC course at Wilson Fields at Clayton had just about thawed out into a very muddy route. The course had changed from previous years taking in one shorter lap followed by two longer laps to gain only 5.4 miles. However, what it lacked in distance, it gained in lack of grip. I chose spikes but needed longer ones. A big field of around 290 set off with EYJ just ahead of me as the first half mile was a bit stop-start. Apologies to YJ as I never saw you and I don't know if EYJ did - didn't mention it : but good to see you back "xc racing". Initially I kept EYJ in sight but struggled with grip (and fitness) for most of the course. There's been a lot a tarmac path-laying near to the road which also didn't help the rhythm : I used to enjoy that stretch where I could get in some quick running. At least I achieved my fastest pace on the run in and managed to regain a couple of places
EYJ was well in front of me and if the categories were accurate, was probably the first V70.
At least it was a significant improvements over Astley Park which must have been my worst performance for 5 years. Think I'll have to skip next week due to visiting so next one will be the Northern Champs at Pontefract where hopefully the stamina and pace will be back.
Bazza took a load of photos which are on facebook.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

This Morning

This morning saw a clear blue sky, frost and three of us assembling at the lower barn. Colin W and Yours Truly in matching jackets and shoes, and KLM muttering, as he usually does, about his many problems; some old and some new, the most recent of which being a sore calf.

Disappointed to have no female company, we set off to do the climbs. Stopping for a photo shoot on Two Lads, we were pleased when TYC, desperate not to miss a photo opportunity, appeared on the scene and on the photo:-

Thought this was a particularly good shot of not only a rare smile from Col, but also KLM's left ear, with TYC appearing at a gallop stage left. The pike tower is just visible between the two figures in the foreground.

Not be be outdone, but showing no originality, TYC also complained of a sore calf. We set off for the Pike, then on to Noon Hill, with Colin dropping off for home at the pigeon tower. After Noon Hill it was George's Lane, then the long climb up the back of Winter Hill. Near the top we were asked about the route of the Winter Hill race, by a young couple who seemed to be recceing it with out benefit of map or any knowledge of the whereabouts of the check points. KLM, our token navigator for the day, advised them.

Then the trig point, soon after which we turned back to look for the much viewed snow bunting, still in its compound ~ doesn't it know there's no top to its cage, and it could leave at any time?

Finally a second visit to the Two Lads cairns, and a second chat, as we neared the kennels, with the recce-ers, with whom we may be rendezvousing again soon. KLM dropped off below the Pike and TYC and I continued to the copse below Noon Hill, at which point we also turned for home.

A fine, if slightly leisurely morning out, with neither of the injured calf owners professing to any deterioration in their condition.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Edale Skyline Sunday 25th March

Entry form now available. http://www.dpfr.org.uk/uploads/ckeditor/attachment_file/data/2/entry_form_and_info_Edale_Skyline_Fell_Race_2012_-_final_version.pdf

Cut off time has been extended by 15mins, so 2hrs 45mins to get to Mam Nick. Entry needs to be in fairly sharpish as it fills up quickly.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Thursday UTUP - Under New Management

Reference to my training diary that covered that period, tells me that I first ran on a Thursday with JtE on 19th January 1989, so it is something of a co-incidence that I will begin my first break from that routine, exactly 23 years later, when I start a series of short courses with the aim of finally learning how to swim the crawl. During those years I have missed the odd outing due to injury, illness, holidays, working away, races, even the occasional domestic call of duty, but there has been no break for any other reason.

The make up of the group has gradually changed. With us on my first outing was Gary Harold; John and he had been running together for some time before I joined them. Steve Bottrill joined soon after, and a Chris ran for a period before emigrating to Australia. Folk came and went, John finally opting for a daytime run, after retiring from work several years ago.  TLOB came along for a while before moving south and T'Yorkshireman has long been an occasional participant. More recently NLN, SN, TF, Matt and the Galloping Major have all turned out when available. Last and very definitely not least, Dan, my Border Collie ran for most of that period on all the summer evenings, overlapping for several years with Steve's Tilly, until he finally retired to that great dog kennel in the sky.

Over the years I've assumed the mantle of continuity man, so I have felt obliged to find a replacement to cover the period up to Easter, after which I plan to return. Anthony (the Galloping Major) Turner has kindly agreed to fill this role, and rather than via postings on the blog, he will keep in touch via email. Please try and turn out on a Thursday if you can, it would be a shame if this routine of nearly a quarter of a century were to lapse. Expect an email from the GM soon.

Remember, if you turn up and there's no-one else there, you can always join Steve Pearson's hill reps session. As Stanley Unwin used to say "Deep joy!"

In the meantime, I'm UTUPing on the 12th.

For anyone not familiar with the Thursday UTUP, the Usual Time is 6:30 pm and the Usual Place is adjacent to the stocks on Chorley Old Road, Horwich GR SD 646 115.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Four Go to Garstang

Had drafted most of the following prior to Matt's report, thought it would be a shame to waste it:-

In what was one of our biggest turnouts for a race, four of us toed the line at the Garstang 10k on Sunday 8th January. Or rather, Matt toed the line, whilst the rest of us (SN, YJ and Yours Truly) took our rightful places nearer the back of the 450 strong field.  Incidentally, does anyone know what our biggest turnout for a race has been?

The Swift bros had spent a considerable time (one more than the other) on Winter Hill the day before, so were both equipped with good excuses, in the event of any shortfall in performance. However, YJ did not need to avail himself of his, and after passing SN fairly early on (she had positioned herself slightly nearer the front) went on to hunt down Matt, passing him before the two mile mark. SN was easy to spot in her flamboyant headgear and I also passed her soonish.

After YJ had moved to his rightful place at the front of our well spaced group, there was no further changing of positions. Despite having turned in a rather lacklustre performance on Winter Hill, YJ finished first V70, 257th overall in a time of 51:05 (surely back under 50 minutes very soon). Then Matt, 3rd V70, 286th in 52:57, me 315th in 54:49 (not quite a PW) then SN, 325th in 55:43. Hadn't expected to be that far behind Matt, well done you old rogue! SN seemed pleased with her time, although I take some credit for that, as she didn't let me escape completely until the final mile, using me to drag out a little extra from her - another one I'm going to have to keep my eye on.

What will Chernobyl bring at the end of the month? Only another three weeks will tell.  And why was no. 505, potentially 3rd V70 disqualified?

The team prize was won by the Horwich men's team (interesting in that this was done with an all vets team) and Paul Muller was first V50, 7th overall in 35:43. Maria Lowe was second lady, 48th overall in 39:28.

Garstang 10K


After an absolutely splendid meal at JtE’s on Saturday evening I paid the price for eating too much and hardly had a minutes sleep in preparation for Sunday’s 10k. I met up with EtU and Unfit YJ and later we were joined by SN who improved the appearance of our group considerably.

The race starts and ends at Garstang High School at Bowgreave. It’s always struck me as slightly perverse that you run over 6 miles to finish up where you started. More sensible people like Christina and Anne finish up at the same place simply by going to the cafe and having a cuppa’ without moving a muscle, apart from those around the jaw area.

Now for some really riveting reading! From the school on Garstang Road you run south for about 400 yards before heading east along Calder House Lane to Ray Lane. Now how did I remember that? Having  gone under the railway line you then turn North and eventually complete the loop back to Garstang road. You then go south past the Police Station, Bowgreave Rise Care Home, the school, and Garstang Golf club before heading east  to Smithy Lane, going under the railway line again. Then you head north before turning west passing the Kenlis Arms, over the motorway, under the railway yet again before returning along Calder House Lane leaving you a short steepish run to the finish. There you are, I’m sure you’re all the wiser for that.

There were 445 runners. Ridiculously unfit YJ was first home of our group in a time  of 51:05(257th place) followed by myself in 52:57(286) followed by full-of-beer EtU in 54.49 and SN in 55.43.

After a clean-up and some food, having thought the prize-giving was over, I headed to the hall to see if I could get the results and came across YJ who was waiting for the old-timers prizes to be announced. It’ll come as no surprise to you to learn that the Disastrously unfit YJ was 1st M70. When I tell you that he’d run 8 or 9 miles on Saturday morning and 3 miles a few hours before the race, and was giving up to 2 years advantage to some of the other over 70’s you can appreciate how appallingly unfit he’s become. How has he let himself get into such a poor state? It’s up to us to encourage him so that he can at least get back some semblance of fitness. The alternative is that he’ll turn into a couch potatoe and become a Blob!


                                                At the start(Couldn’t find the others)

DSCF0024                                                  Yes you’ve guessed; At the finish      

I went up the ramp today and at the last second remembered the snow buntings. I went to the advised location but couldn’t spot them. Have they got fed up waiting for the snow or were they hiding from me?

Forgot to mention, I picked up my prize on Sunday.

Now as a girl who likes to co-ordinate her accessories, even if they do get covered in mud (eventually) I think I might have a bit of bother with this one. It's a buff, which is good 'cos you can't have too many of those, but it's a bit 'LOUD'. It won't go with my shoes, and I had thought I'd wear it for the event on Sunday but decided against it as it would make me too easy to spot.

So might have to save it for the night time excursions, unless I'm feeling particularly brave.

I'm not out again now until Feb, a couple of events and a holiday intervene, but will keep you posted.


Sunday, January 08, 2012

Dark and White Mini MM - Hathersage 8th Jan 2012

A good day out in the Peak District. Usual format - 3 hrs to collect as many points as possible.

You get to have a look at the 'Master' map before you start. Essentially this has all the annotations, extra footpaths, out of bounds and notes on, but not the control locations ie the red circles.

Being reasonble familiar with the area it took me a bit to decide on my initial route choice, but was please to collect both 25 point controls. As is inevitable with these events you do get to do a bit of road running so a shoe with a bit of cushioning is best. The new Inov 8 315 Gortex did the job. I have modified them since their first outing yesterday as the laces they came with were a bit too short to tie into the double bow as I usually do. So I thought I'd give those elastic ones with a locking toggle a go. So I got these from the shop at the gym
http://www.sweatshop.co.uk/details.cfm?ProdID=7928 Does make get the shoes on/off easier and stayed nice and tight whilst running.

My route control No.s 2, 7, 8, 10, 23, 11, 12, 20, 21, 22, 18, 19, 5, 1, 3 = 230 points

I equal tied with Mark S on points but was back a few seconds earlier.

Full results here



Friday, January 06, 2012

Shall see EtU and presumably a fit YJ 0n Sunday at Garstang. Well done TF on your award.
Guess this comes under the guise of 'better late than never' - I've won a prize!

Have to cast your mind back to the summer and the series of mid-week mini mountain marathons I did, well the final results had me finishing in 1st place for my age category. Information suggested that we would receive contact from the organizers in due course. So I waited, and I waited and finally decided that they must have changed their minds. I hadn't wanted to declare myself as a 'pot-hunter' and enquire the whereabouts of my bounty, so had to just content myself with the honour & glory.

So imagine my surprise when apologetic email received. I've won a Buff, and can collect on Sunday when I turn up to their next event. Much more useful in the winter. I wonder if it'll be in a colour to match my new Inov8's, which came in the post this week. Feels like Xmas all over again.

I'm utuping tomorrow, new shoes to break in for Sunday!


Wednesday, January 04, 2012

This Week

Tuesday 3rd - went to the track, but there was no main session, no-one had told me! But Carl Balshaw was there with his "improvers" group. Tagged onto them and found it a lot less depressing than trailing off the back of Steve Pearson's "improved" group. I wasn't the fastest (even in the B group), but at least there were folk to sprint in with, rather than crossing the line half way through the recovery interval. Quite exhilarating. Dilemma is now which group to join when Carl is back in a fortnight's time; do I finally accept that I am no longer a mainstream runner and take my place in the improvers B squad?

During the session one guy asked me how long I had been coming to the track, and he seemed a bit surprised when I said "About 20 years". He didn't say "It hasn't done you much good, has it?", but I thought I could see those words hovering on his lips.

Thursday 5th - UTUP

Saturday 7th - UTUP

Sunday 8th - racing two septuagenarians at the Garstang 10k.

Finally, are we adopting that old Irving Berlin number as our squad song:- "There's no buntings like snow buntings, there's no buntings I know...

Monday, January 02, 2012

Me Too!

Went out today for a jog/walk from the barn taking in the Burnt Edge area and Winter Hill. Hoped to see short eared owls around Burnt Edge/ Two Lads but no luck. On the mast road (the motor road EtU). I saw Denis Weir, himself a so called birder, and he directed me to the next to the last enclosure beyond the trig point, hopefully to see the elusive snow buntings, and there they were, two of them.

I wish all the gang members a happy new year and I hope to be running again before too long.

Miles and smiles

2011 has been a year of two halves, as they say in football. Two months after the Pennine Way run sciatica almost immobilised me as far as running was concerned, to the extent that I felt sure that for the first time in 31 years I would fall short of my annual target of 2000 training and racing miles. I was so sure of a shortfall that in order to save further demoralisation I deliberately avoided totting up the total until New Years Day.

So it was with great surprise that on completing the spreadsheet for 2011 the total came well over the target at 2200 miles.

After totting up all the available records and allowing a nominal 2000 miles for the years where the diaries are missing the running total is over 65,000 miles. Now that's a lot of worn out shoes.

Happy New Year to you all.