Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Edale Weekend

Cracking weekend in Derbyshire watching FSS and TF running in the Edale Skyline.  Some more pictures here.

Edale Slyline-30

Managed about 6 miles up to Hollins Cross to see them through and then up to Mam Tor to watch the paragliders in action.  So many I don’t know how they didn’t collide.

Hoping to try a slightly longer local run on Saturday as no ill effects from the weekend with a view to rejoining the Saturday Squad for an outing after that.   Have fun in the Lakes and hope to see you for the Solstice Supper later.



Revenge is sweet

Back in September EtU made some disparaging remarks after Preston had fluked a win against Brentford. I would just like to point out tonight's result: Preston 1 Brentford 3. Enough said.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Thursday 29th

If anyone fancies a run out on Thursday, I'll be UTUPing.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Edale Skyline 2012

Cadged a lift with NLN and Ian. Weather forecast looked set for fair and didn't disappoint. The 2 Charter's got their array of camera's out and we should be able to see the Peak District looking it's finest on their respective blogs anytime soon. With my local (ahem) knowledge I was able to direct them to the best early morning spot so will be taking a minor degree of reflective glory. If the piccies don't turn out good, then nowt to do wiv me guv!

Back to brass tacks, the race. Well as you gather training has been a bit hit and miss the year but I've been getting round stuff but not as well as last year. I was therefore pleased to see the cut-off extended by 15mins this year. So plan was set off at a slightly less harassed pace as I had 30 mins to play with from last year and see if it would help to give stronger legs for the 2nd half.

Can't say it worked too well. 2min down at Ringing Roger (1st CP), 7 mins down at Win Hill (3rd CP) 12 mins at Lose Hill (4th CP) and 15 mins at Mam Nick.

The only thing that I could salvage from this was that I cleared the cut-off time from last year(2hrs30mins) by 1 min. Even on the tops it was warm and I downed 3 cups of water at Mam Nick, after that I had to make do with what I was carrying. Just enough as it turned out as I sucked the last slurp at the last checkpoint.

The 2nd half had taken what felt a very weary 2hrs 27mins, so much so that I played 'follow my leader' and ignored the racing lines, which I know but needs a lot of focus. So just managed to shade it under the 5 hr mark, at 4hrs 56mins 15 sec. Compare this with last years 2hr14 and 2hr11 (total 4hr25mins)and you can see I was 15 mins slower first half and 16mins slower second. Consistently slow then!

Full results can be viewed here http://www.dpfr.org.uk/results/2764. Ian's on page 7 and I'm on the last page. 30 DNF's, but not sure how many of those were for missing the cut-off, as at Lose Hill I was reliably informed by a little lad helping out that I was number 307, but then again so was the lady 2 places in front!


New Blog

Conscious of the fact that I don’t have much to say in the running department,  I’ve set up a new blog to post a few pics of my meanderings whilst Out and About.  Not surprisingly the name Out and About sprang to mind.   My first post is of Ribchester.  Do stop by if you have the time.

Out and About



Thursday, March 22, 2012

More from ToT

Another brisk walk on Saturday out to ToT, but this time actually saw it and got there.


Looking rather splendid with its new hat, complete with weather vane




Going up


Half way up


the view


original fittings


Going down


on the way back


evidence of the heavy rain overnight



Great Hill


Friday night’s G&T preparation


Sunday in Rammy


Gutted that I’ll miss the Lakes outing, but don’t want to jeopardise any recovery and also not fit enough to keep with everyone.  Hope to see you in the Thatch later on the 31st.


Re- Trophy

Sounds really harsh if you've gone out and made the attempt to represent the club at more than half the listed races and finished with the most points.

In our club's road championship we struggle to get the ladies out for more than one race each, think I even managed one last year. Trophy sometimes gets decided by one race!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Many of you will be aware of my quest last year to win the ladies road championship and my delight after the Gin Pit 5 to see my name on the web site along with the words well done and first place. Imagine my delight recently when Suzi B rang to see if I could attend the Presentation Evening to collect my trophy and prize money. Unfortunately with Andy still out of action and a very important cricket final involving one of the kids, I was unable to attend. So I have been trying to find out how I can get my hands on said trophy. This is the email I received today from Pete Bland:

Hi Hazel - good morning I think Suzanne must have just looked at the road championship table and seen your name at the head of the list and presumed you were the winner, unfortunately you had only done 5 races and although you had raced more than any other lady the competition was for the best of 7 races from the 9 selected. This scenario happened in a couple of the categories and it was discussed at Committee and we felt it would be wrong to award the trophy to whoever had done the most in that category. Good luck in the 2012 competitions.

Gutted I am!

On a brighter note, I have bought new fell running shoes for my big day out, but unfortunately not had time to wear them in. I will be leaving from here but not sure yet if I will be returning to here. Depends on car situation amongst other things. Hope everyone is back from injury by then and the weather stays as it is.

Middle Fell

If you follow the "photos" link you may spot a weary Lancastrian.


We're off, we're off, we're off in a motor car...

Outline plans for the 31st are that we assemble in Great Langdale ready to hit the fell at 9:00. Up the Band and over into Upper Eskdale/Mosedale, then Cockley Beck, Coniston Old Man and back to Langdale. If it rains the event will be held in the village hall.

We've got one car on offer, but need to establish numbers to decide whether we need another. I seem to be co-ordinating.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

6 not 7 Wins

May be of interest


and it's only 18 days away!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Supper

In the absence of any nay says, I have confirmed Saturday 31st March with the Thatch and Thistle Cherry Tree.

News from Santon

Not a lot to report, other than another lack-lustre performance in a Lakeland fell race. This time it was the Middle Fell Race; a straight out-and-back from the Screes (a Robinson's house) to the eponymous fell; 6.6 miles and 1,699 ft of climbing.

The first 2 miles follow a flat cross country route to Greendale. From there it's up the fell via the Joss Naylor descent, round the cairn and back home. Greendale on the way out saw me in next to last position. I passed Black Combe Karl and a geriatric from Northumberland FR on the climb, but the Geordie passed me again on the descent and I finished two places from last. Time to Greendale 21 minutes, 37 for the climb, 19 for the descent and another 21 to the finish, making 1:38 in total. Simon Booth won in 55 minutes. Conditions were fine to start, but we experienced cold rain on the fell, with lying slushy hail above 1,000 ft, making for a slippery descent.

Good to see Paul Dugdale (he of 7 Pike Race wins, when he wore Horwich colours) in third place.

Interesting to compare my fell times with the descent at the end of my Joss Naylor, which took 39 minutes. So Saturday saw me climbing faster than that descent, and descending more than twice as fast. Some of you may recall my sorry state on that day.

This panorama was taken from the Birker Fell road, at the start our our return to Grimeford Grange.

Scafell centre stage, with Great gable just peeping over the parapet to her left, and then left again to Pillar. Makes you want to get back up there.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Water Shortage

Well there is in the South of England. Plenty on the moors above Horwich though. I have to say that I agree with my fellow runners yesterday that it should not be piped south. All the posh people with their Chelsea tractors will just have to learn to manage without washing their cars twice a week.

Yesterday saw five of us recce the northern part of Coope's Dozen, t'Y, the Iceman, Ray, my good self and of of course JtE. The morning was highly enjoyable and throughout we kept splitting up to try the respective merits of different routes. I found it very interesting to visit places I hadn't been to this century and I would like to thank my companions for showing me the way. However, I would not recommend the four hour drive to get up here the night before a four hour run on the moors- I was exhausted at the end.
Heptonstall Fell Race Sunday 18th March 24K/1000m

Well that was novel, sent on our way by the local vicar! Some would say that there could be a conflict of interest with it being the Sabbath. But needs must, some of the funds raised from the race were going to help provide some new loos for the village church, so I'm guessing he waived the appearance fee.

As a bonus this year he'd had a word with his boss and some nice sunshine was laid on just to make it easier finding our way.

Here he is at the start of last years' race


No new outfit this year, so things must be tough. A brief-ish sermon (we weren't getting off that lightly) before he pressed the hooter, with a quotation from Hebrews Chp 12 v1. I only caught the word 'race' so had to look up the full words when I got home

'Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us'

I have to hand it to the race organizers they'd done a grand job flagging the course. They'd left a few bits for us to navigate which caught out the unwary. They'd even built a wooden ladder stile to ease a bottleneck at an early point in the race.

Having recce'd the route over xmas I thought it'd be a nice little leg stretcher between Howarth Hobble and Edale. Got home feeling just as tired as last week, having only done less than half the miles. Hebrews Chp 12 v8 (King James version) has a good word that can be used to describe the climb they used to get back into the village from the river at Horse Bridge. I'll let you google it!

Total time for 15m approx 3hr37, (winner 2hr08). Not a sparkling performance, I did start to suffer with 'twitchy' calves about the 11m mark, but thankfully managed to ward off the dreaded cramp. Will need to up my salt intake this week if I want to avoid it at Edale next week.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Lordly Visit

The Lord of Brentford wishes to announce that he and his good Lady are visiting his manor in the north this weekend, and he looks forward to meeting up with his friends UTUP tomorrow.

Tomorrow's UTUP

JtE has kindly agreed to show me the best lines for the excursion to Old Adam and off from Round Loaf tomorrow in preparation for the LDWA walk on April 1st. We're going from UTUP so anyone is welcome to join us but it'll not be a blistering pace.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Next Few Days

Not local Saturday 17th, up at Santon, taking in the Middle Fell race.

Ribs still sore, interfering with sleep, but, after six idle days, not now interfering too much with running.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Equinox Eats

Fresh proposal - Saturday 31st?

After a day in the Lakes, at least folk should be hungry and thirsty.

Monday, March 12, 2012

30 at 30

One of our number, who at this point may wish to remain anonymous (but the "30" may provide a clue), has pointed out this website:- http://gofar.org.uk/30wainwrightsat30.html. A bottle of wine goes to the best proposal, which must (my rule, this one) start and finish at the same point.

This could be the basis of a really good long day out.

Just to make it more complicated, and to include those of more senior years, we could count back from 100, so that a 75 year old would be doing 25 at (100-75) = 25, but for now,we're looking for a good 30 at 30 route.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

More on yesterday's Hobble

See below for a comprehensive report from TF so I'll endeavour to add rather than repeat. Entered on Monday, 7 miles on Winter Hill on Tuesday and by Wednesday I was full of cold, sneezing all day with a runny nose - prospects didn't look good. I seemed to recover enough so picked up Geraldine and headed off to Haworth arriving in plenty of time (almost an hour before the start, TLoB). Weather forecast was very good so a bit miffed that we had so much drizzle in the first couple of hours - at least it was warm enough for me to run in shorts and gloveless.
I tried to hold back, aiming to average 14 minutes per mile for a 7:30 to 7:50 finish. I didn't want to suffer like last year. Then Albert came past and after a few minutes FSS also, so I pointed out to Geraldine that may be we were going a bit quick, although we had started nearer the front than normal. The first two miles were completed in 19 minutes, Brontë Bridge in 24 minutes and Top Withins in 46 minutes. From then on, I settled into my more traditional downhill pace, slow, and got more sensible as we headed to Widdop Reservoir, arriving in 1:30, so we must have been visible to TF. First biscuit stop at CP3 (2:41) and then hot dog at Stoney Lane where TF had a lightening pit stop and zoomed off into the distance whilst I walked stuffing food down me.
Along the Calderdale Way I began to suffer with my right calf and right leg in general so had to get the medication out and struggled until we reached the road. A big group passed us so by the time we started the steep climb up to Mankinholes there was a big gap in front of us. Reaching the top of the hill, the reason for the gap became apparent - they'd obviously been having a tour of Todmorden and were now behind us!
Just after Mankinholes (4;15), a couple of lads from Essex came storming past us on the bridleway. I managed to catch them on the climb to Stoodley to find they'd started 30 minutes late, hence their relative speed. For the rest of the route they continued to overtake us, after numerous excursions into the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. On the final occasion, with five miles to go, they were very unsure whether they should pass us but by that time there were runners visible ahead. We seemed to make good ground from Heptonstall although I had my usual difficulty in descending from Top Of The Stairs to Leeshaw Reservoir.
I can't find the results for my first Hobble completion which was either 1986 or 1987, 25 years ago, but I seem to remember completing in 7:25, so to be 5 minutes quicker after a quarter of a century is good enough for me, and although I'm sure Geraldine could have gone a bit quicker, I don't think I held her back too much.
As I didn't suffer with my knee, I'm looking forward to the sciatica going - then I might be able start running at a reasonable pace for a reasonable distance.
Two Crosses in two weeks time, but I'm helping out rather than running - but could end up walking as a sweeper. And next Saturday JtE has kindly agreed to show my the finer points of the route to Old Adam and from Round Loaf - we'll be doing it from UTUP.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Darwen Tower

I set out this morning to get an image of Darwen Tower, which I have, but it's not the one I had in mind.  This is one of the waymarkers on the pathup from Slipper Lowe.  I love these  little stone cut images of the tower.

Darwen Moor-51

The rest of this is aimed at my blipfoto audience (!) - but some of you may be interested in the story.

Packmen, peddlers, farmers and labourers used the many tracks and moorland paths to go about their business for hundreds of years. In the latter part of the 19th century many landowners tried to prevent access, not just across Darwen Moor, but in Derbyshire (the Kinder Trespass) and not too far away on Winter Hill where the Trespass stone comemorates the peoples right of access.   In the 1870s the Lord of the manor of Over Darwen, the Reverend William Arthur Duckworth, blocked ancient rights of way preventing access to the moor even though he was an absentee landlord. Game rights were a valuable commodity and Duckworth did not wish to have his land devalued by trespassers on the moors. William Thomas Ashton, manager of Eccles Shorrock's mines at Dogshaw Clough and Entwistle Moss used the moorland footpaths to deliver coal to farmers and other customers. Whenever Duckworth's gamekeepers blocked his way Ashton cleared the paths. The struggle led to the courts where Duckworth lost and in September 1896 people resumed walking the moorland footpaths and, as Ashton died in 1884, his sons led a procession onto the moors in celebration.

The Tower on Beacon Hill overlooking the town of Darwen in Lancashire, was completed in 1898 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee and also to celebrate the victory of the local people for the right to access the moor. It was opened to the public on 24 September 1898.  Well worth a visit if you're in the vicinity, the Tower is 85 feet (25.9 m) high with an internal staircase which can be climbed  to admire the views of North Yorkshire, Morecambe Bay, Blackpool Tower, Cumbria, the Isle of Man, North Wales, Derbyshire, as well as the surrounding moorland.

Darwen's Jubilee Tower lost its fibreglass dome and weather vane during winds of up to 80mph (129km/h) on 11 November 2010.  In January this year a new steel dome, made by Darwen engineering company, as a gift to the town, was winched into place.  It's actually the third to crown the tower, the original, made from wood, also blew off in high winds in 1947.

So I set off to get a blip of the new dome.   Heading west and then north to circle round to the tower thick cloud was all pervasive.  Fleetingly, at one point on the highest point of Darwen Moor it almost looked like the sun was going to break through the clag, but that passed quickly.  Picking up familiar paths I trotted on, completely missing the path leading to the Tower.  I finally arrived at the path I intended to take to get back to Tockholes.  I decided that the extra hour to take me back to the Tower in the low cloud was not the one I needed to take today.   Came across a couple of walking friends and had a nice chat before heading down to get this blip of the waymarker.   A good outing of gentle walk/running to protect my apparently glass calf!  No views of the Tower whatsoever - a good excuse to go back.

Darwen Moor-5

On Scout Road before Hordens

Darwen Moor-7

Quarrymans Path to Belmont

Darwen Moor-15

On path from Tockholes up to Catherine Edge

Darwen Moor-17

… and close up

Darwen Moor-20

Looking across to Cartridge HIll

Darwen Moor-25

Darwen Moor

Darwen Moor-32

Turn off on to path round to Darwen Tower (on amble route) above and below

Darwen Moor-36

Darwen Moor-41


Darwen Moor-46

JtE’s favourite path on the Amble heading to the turn off for the Tower (which I ran past – not being entirely sure which one it was in the absence of any visuals)

Darwen Moor-47

Down to Aggies Staircase

Darwen Moor-56

In the vicinity of Slipper Lowe

Darwen Moor-63


We can’t do 30th for Solstice Supper, but could manage week before.

Looking forward to reading about your morning’s outings.


Haworth Hobble Sat 10th March
Crikey bobs that was tough, but suppose when your first proper 'long' event of the year is nearly 33m (53K sounds even worse) and over 4000ft of climb then lot of people could utter 'I told you so'.
Serious consideration last month was to rescind the entry fee, but a more than ok-ish run at Black Combe last week meant a 5 o'clock alarm was set this morning. I know most of our wfdbwgua contributers have done the event but for the benefit of our readership (?) here's a route map

(Thanks to FSS for the GPS trace (blue line) and apologies for the quality of the copy.)

The forecast had seemed quite benign yesterday, but in reality we had a strong westerly and pretty poor visibilty until about 11.00am. It was a stuggle at times keeping the runner in front in sight, after the first checkppoint anything more than 50m and they diasappeared. However by the time I got to the third manned checkpoint (technically the 4th cp) at Stoney Lane, things had improved weather-wise.

It was here I caught up with T'Y and his partner for the day, Geraldine. A quick hello and off I set with a doughnut in one hand and a hot-x-bun in the other, an improvement on the broken biscuits offered at the previous cp's. I started to do alternate left and right bites, but conditions under foot were getting a bit slippy, so the h-x-b went in the pocket for later.

A big sigh of relief having made it to the main road crossing without a hitch, and then onwards and upwards to Stoodley Pike. Some improvements to the paths in the area, including some stone slabs in the really boggy field section helped ease the forward momentum.

By this point I'd gathered quite a posse of runners, all keen for route guidance to save them the bother of studying the instructions. On the climb out towards Crimsworth Dene check point things started get a little tough. I remembered running more last year, and needed a stong talking to, to get the motivation going. By the time I got to the last tarmac section before the quarry workings on Pennistone Hill I'd had to resort to 3min run, 1min walk.

Took the alternative route through the churchyard on the last bit, avoided knocking any shoppers over and returned to base in 6hrs55mins.

A little quicker than last year, but definitely found it a lot tougher mentally. Talking your way through the tough bits with a good partner definitely makes them easier to bear. So my thanks to YJ for making my first attempt at the Hobble last year the more enjoyable one. I'm sure he'll be interested to see the split times and where I gained a few minutes on last year so from memory

Times @
CP 1 - Reservoir Embankment (7m) 1hr 31mins
CP 3 - Car Park Long Causeway (13m) 2hrs 46mins
CP 4 - Stoney Lane (15m) 3hrs 6mins
CP 5 - Mankinholes (18.5m) 4hrs 5mins
CP 8 - Horse Bridge (25m) 5hrs 23mins
CP 9 - Road/Track Junction 6hrs 3mins
Finish (32.9m) 6hrs 55mins (?approx, definitely under 7hrs)


Friday, March 09, 2012

Spring Equinox Do

As we all seem to have retired from running and taken up whinging, perhaps we should move on to objective number three. How does Friday 30th March sound for our quarterly gathering?

Just be aware that this is the evening before our planned Old County Tops recce. It'll be interesting to see how many takers we get for each outing.


I’m that person that used to run with you.   Driven to distraction currently.  Keep thinking I’m on the mend only to slip back.  Went out with JtE last Saturday and managed eight miles, slow jogging – over Two Lads, Winter Hill, Hordens leaving JtE to carry on to Bomber Memorial.  Not too bad whilst out, and afterwards felt great.  Couple of four mile outings during the week with Bruce, and the calf is locked up.  Feel I’m gong backwards.  All advice says rest, but sooooooo frustrating ! 

Depending on what the morning brings, might see some of you out and about, but I’ll be back to walking.   My plan at the moment is to drive over to Slipper Lowe and have a stroll up to Darwen Tower to see it’s new hat – and of course get a photo !   May stop by the Barn to say hello if I’m up and about


Should have been doing Hobble tomorrow   AAAAAARGH !

Couple of snaps below - some of which you may recognise.   Still lots of opportunity to take photos!

amunition corner

Ammunition Corner

Chinese Gardens-7

Gate up to Diagonal

Chinese Gardens-13

Chinese Gardens above and below

Chinese Gardens-34

Chinese Gardens-44

St Barts-27

Catching the last of the rays


Ut but not Up

I'll be in place at 8.30am tomorrow but unfortunately not at the Lower Barn. Charity work in Bolton town centre. Anyway after a fortnight of decadence, I'm not sure I'm fit enough for a long outing.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Saturday 10th March

I'm going to turn up at the UTUP, but with no great expectation of running, as my ribs haven't recovered from Black Combe.

Two More Pictures


TLoB consults the map at Hordern Stoops on Coope’s Dozen. Note the disgusting T shirt. What year would that be TLoB



In the days when the Borrowdale was easy. At the Honister check point sometime in the late eighties.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Black Combe Fell Race - All not Disappointed

This race, 8 mls / 1000m climb, is admired for varied reasons. For those who like it rough, being early in the year on a very exposed ridge it is often weather-affected - regulars delight in that even top runners go astray when the clag is down. The clag can be fast moving carrying all sorts of stuff in it. On the other hand when you can see the views are glorious in all directions, reputedly the best all-round summit view in England. There are also a couple of stonking great climbs (550m and 400m) for those who want to remind themselves what it feels like before the Lake District season proper starts, and one of the great runnable decents from the 600m summit down to the finish at not far off sea level.

Four ventured up on an UTUP awayday - Etu, TF, Kev and Colin. Despite the grim conditions on the drive up the weather cleared as forecast with not as much wind as expected. The run up the first summit was clear with a following wind; there was clag over the top with a seasonal driven hailstorm to freshen up the backs of our legs, thus providing the 'rough-day-out' element before it all lifted in time for the tops to be in clear for those who appreciate the views on the second climb up to the summit.

No results or splits up yet, but I gather we all went over the first summit in fair close order before I ruthlessly let TF pass to sort the compass holding bit along the top. Before ungallantly striding past when we dropped out of the clag. There was a reckoning when my wheels, engine and ego fell off on the second climb back up to the summit, TF strolled past to ease away into the distance and be first of the group to finish in just under two hours.

Kev sensibly hung back observing all this at a distance before dropping further back when he rembered he doesn't actually much like running downhill at the moment. Etu got the finish he desired after his Winter Hill travails, although seems to have been beaten up a bit by the race arriving back with sore ribs, a leg wrenched and some tender back-of-leg flesh (not all of us looked over our shoulders to see the hail coming and kit up).

There was a top quality pie and peas and cup of tea in the village hall for afters, overall a nice relaxed quality to the organisation - a 'good' sort of event to go to. Amusement was provided by the award for the fastest descent off the last summit. TF was the fastest of our group with a teeth chattering time of around 20mins, the prize was awarded to some young local with a time of seven mimutes something.

A good day for all.


Final XC of the Winter

No UTUP for EYJ and myself as we headed for Worden Park in Leyland for the final Mid-Lancs fixture to close off our cross-country season. Excellent weather with a bit of sunshine meant that singlet and shorts were the preferred choice for me. I set off behind EYJ planning to track him so I wouldn't blow up. After about half a mile, I was on his shoulder and couldn't resist going past. For once I managed to pace my race with sufficient sense so that we both gained places on the third on longest lap (all three laps were of different lengths). I just scraped in the right side of 50 minutes for the 5.9 mile course with EYJ some 30 seconds behind me. I was very satisfied with that as the course was still quite muddy in places and included 700ft of climb. It represented a three to four minute improvement relative to the Chorley race when I look at the two results sheets, and back to the standard of the Liverpool race.
So I think I'm on for another go at the Hobble and hopefully can be quicker than my PW time and would be happy with anything quicker than 7hrs30.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Saturday 3rd March

With four of us going north for the Black Combe fell race and YJ still having knee trouble, UTUP might be a bit lean - but there should still be enough for an outing.