Friday, November 29, 2013

Saturday 30th Nov

I shall be UTUPping tomorrow but am not expecting to get far after a disappointing week's training.  I will hang on as long as possible and then turn for home.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tour of Pendle Results

Results are out now

Amazingly 2013 time neatly sandwiched between 2011 and 2012. Here's the stats

                               2011           2012               2013
Time                      4:03:03       4:11:21          4:07:26

Winners Time        2:21:48      2:27:01          2:17:22
                                C Bell        C Bell            M Roberts

+ Winner Time       71%            71%.              80%.          

Position.                 315/363       346/362         377/421
% Position              87%             95%              90%


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

This Week, Next Week

UTUPing Thursday 28th and Saturday 30th.

In the absence of any nay say I have booked us into the Black Horse at Limbrick on Friday 6th - enjoy!

Tour of Pendle Pics

Links on Clayton's website to lots of photos

Who can you spot?

Whilst waiting for results I've worked out that I had 24 behind me on the way to cp2 (woodhead's set3) 29 on the climb after cp5 (woodhead's set 4) and ?44 (!!) behind me after the trig (cp10) (sportsunday pics p40 & p41).

There were way too many in front to count all them!!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Full Tour of Pendle Sat 23rd Nov (27k/1473m)

Another fine day for it, so that's 3 years on the bounce that we've been blessed with good weather. A bumper turnout too. The race reached its 500 limit a good week or so before the day. No doubt helped by the fact that the FRA dinner was being held locally on the Saturday evening.

This was going to be the first big test of my new training regime. I won't go into a long-winded explanation for the reasons but suffice to say that it now involves an early morning session on the treadmill at the gym (well Mon to Thurs, on a Friday I treat myself to a spin class). The first week of doing this contributed to the DNS at Langdale, so I was hoping that after 6 weeks practice the same fate wasn't in store for Pendle.

The start was moved across the road again but a further 100m up the tarmac track to avoid the building works around new houses being built next to the village hall. Me YJ and EtU had enquired the price of these from one of the neighbours when we'd been up for a mid-week recce in October. If I recall correctly the 4 bed one was around the £400K mark! To digress even further, the building (old water works) we were standing next to for the new start is also being developed. A further 7 houses. If the start keeps moving up the hill due to building work, the race might end up having to be reclassified as an AM.

The first queue developed not at the stile but at CP1, where the 'newbies' struggled removing their tags off the ring. The 'old hands' knew to start removal a good 20-50m away, allowing a 'seamless' progression through the CP. Sense did prevail at CP 4 where it wasn't removed until after the stream crossing. Conditions were that good underfoot that this was the first time my feet got a proper soaking. Time to this point was 1:41, so clear of a 1:45 cut-off and oodles of daylight clear of the 'official' 2hr cut off. 6mins slower than 2011 and 1min slower than 2012.

Spurred on by the sight of a 2013 JNC completer (Mandy G) on my favourite climb (Mearley Clough) and again on 'big end' (we're evens on the climbs at the moment, but her flat speed trumps my downhill!!) I finally finished between my times for 2011 and 2012. How the finish time split them will involve waiting for the published results. 2011 (time 4:03) was my Wasdale year, and although training had tailed off somewhat by then, I've got a way to go for that elusive sub 4hr finish.

Should be ok for a utup Thurs. I'm doing Kirkymoor Saturday and can manage a 'do' on Friday 6th.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Belmont, Winter Hill and Great Hill

Glorious morning so set off early to catch the sunrise from the Belmont side of Winter Hill.  Headed up the ramp over Winter Hill down to Two Lads in the hope of seeing some of the Saturday gang.  Didn’t spot anyone so headed back to the summit and out to Great Hill.  Wonderful morning and a few more pics here

(Problem with exporting pics on this post – images all over-exposed by google, sorted in later posts)

Belmont WH-50


Belmont WH-64


Belmont WH-84


Belmont WH-153


Belmont WH-165


Belmont WH-201


Belmont WH-206

Belmont WH-228


Belmont WH-231

Belmont WH-244

Winter Solstice/Christmas "Do"

The only Friday I can do in December is the 6th.

Any views?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Five of a kind

What was to have been a family team of seven for the Brighton 10K was cut to five  during the preceding weeks by injury and lack of training. 

The remaining quintet comprised myself, daughter Sally (a supporter on my last JNC),  granddaughter Holly  - yes that's three generations in one race - plus daughter in law's father Eddie who is in his late seventies and her brother Tim aged 44.

You couldn't find a flatter course and conditions were perfect, cool and no wind, so no excuses for poor times. Tim led us home in 46 mins with myself well behind in 52.10 (chip time 50.44).  Sally and Holly ran round together in 64 mins while Eddie who seems to thrive off minimal training rounded off the team in about 70 mins.

Having had too many breaks in training recently plus various niggly injuries  I was predicting a time closer to the hour so was well pleased  with fourth place in the over 70's.  The age group winner was well clear in 48 mins.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I Went Home for My Porridge

Whilst out this morning doing my Pike Steps reps, I came across this event:-

Today was the first of the five days and I arrived at the main marshalling station just a few minutes before the first runner.

The race starts at Wilcox's farm near Anglezarke and runs to the car park below the Pigeon Tower. From there it's up to the Pike, down through the gardens and back to the marshalls at the car park. Then it's up the pike again for seven (!) more laps before returning to the farm to have your brain put back in, rest up and prepare for the second day, and the third day, and...

One guy dropped out after his first lap.

They'll still be going Saturday and Sunday if you have a sadistic streak.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


A good morning out with SN yesterday. Christa turned up at the start but, seeing that I had company, didn’t run because she was not feeling well. KLM also turned up but just to say “hello”. He wasn’t running because of bronchitis but was having a walk instead.

Our route was Rivington Pike, Two Lads, then out towards Matchmoor replicating the summer Tuesday run. From Matchmoor area we curved round to hit the mast tarmac road where we bumped into KLM again. After chatting for a while the two of us continued to Winter Hill then to Hordern Stoops, Lead Mines Clough (not visiting the waterfall), the lower end of Yarrow Reservoir and back to the barn.

!0. 34 miles.

Friday, November 15, 2013


The morning after the night before!    Bright, very bright sunshine on our outing around Bannisdale from the A6 – more here

RC Weekend-46


RC Weekend-163


RC Weekend-166

A6 to Kendal

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White Howe with Morcambe Bay beyond

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Dockray, the Dodds, Sticks Pass and Glencoyne

A few photos of the first snow of the season – more please : )  A bit of a write up of the Rucksack Club Annual shindig with special guest Charlie Ramsay - in the usual place

RC Weekend-41

Snow heading our way on the climb up to Great Dodd

RC Weekend-74

Blencathra beneath the cloud base

RC Weekend-75

Looking west to the Catbells ridge

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Mr Charlie Ramsay

RC Weekend-102

Leaving the summit

RC Weekend-116

A different world on the shores of Ullswater

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Looking east to the High Street ridge

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Clam - An Update

Please refer to my post dated 29th October 2007 entitled 'Wham, Bam, Thank-You, Clam'.

An article in my newspaper today informs us that the zoologists who dredged up the poor elderly beast have decided that it was in fact another 100 years older than they at first thought - current estimate is 507 - needs a punchline here.

A prize of a bottle of wine goes to the best punchline to finish my post above above.  You may like to refer to the clam's given name of 'Ming', a reference to the Chinese dynasty during which it was thought to have been hatched.

Mobile Running

Following my suggestion made under the heading “Immobile Running” there are six people who have taken up the cause and will carry open mobiles with their respective numbers available. They are: NLN, TF, Christa, EtU, TLoB, and myself.

A Brief Update

Good News - It seemed to take just two puffs on my newly prescribed asthma inhaler to sort out my breathing problem.

Bad News - I was so elated with the result that legging it too enthusiastically down Chorley Old Road, after visiting the top of Winter Hill with NLN and SN on Tuesday evening, brought on a groin strain - open the door and the flies come in, close the door and you're sweatin' again - life gets tedious.

Despite that, I'm UTUPing this evening (but not Saturday).

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Utup Sat 9th Nov

Just me and JTE this morning. Here he is!

We managed to avoid the worst of the weather. He took me on the Tuesday evening route he does with his other ladies. So today it was Pike, 2 Lads, Quarry near Matchmoor, Winter Hill trig, Noon Hill (very wet) and down via Sheeps Back to the barn. A very enjoyable couple of hours. En-route we bumped in to Derek Kay's son and JTY.
Given the poor light for photos I thought I'd do a bit of reminiscing with you all via a few pictures.
A fortnight ago I headed down Cambridge way for a little trip down memory lane with a couple of orienteering events thrown in. I'd not be back to see the family home for over 10years, my parents had moved in 2002 to Tenerife. I think I was expecting a big change but the only discernable difference was that the trees were taller. Every thing was more or less as I remember.
So first view as you arrive in the village is the School
Village pond on the left. It froze over in December '78, we were snowed in, great for skating on.
We lived next to the village school (left side as you look at the photo), but me and my brother were kept at our previous school (in the nearest town - Saffron Walden) as there was a bus service for the kids going to nearest 'big' school. Here's the house at the end of the gravel (we had tarmac) drive. The house in front was only one storey when we lived there, so not sure how they got planning permission, I'm sure my Dad would have said 'no'.
There's a footpath between us and the School which will in a roundabout way take you down to the village parish church.
13th Century. Couple of additions to the graveyard since last visit! My route then followed the popular Xmas day walk and led me to the little building in the woods that I always wanted to live in
Not as big as I remember it, just one room.

Back to the far end of the village down a little lane called Rook End and there's this little gem (shame about the flagpole spoiling the photo)
Walking back down 'High Street'
My friend used to live in this house 'The Forge'. We travelled to secondary school in Bishop Stortford (via taxi/train) every day for 7 years. She went to the catholic school, I was at the CofE. All paid for by Essex County Council.
A couple more notable village houses. There would be more but there was a big fire in 1907 caused by someone mistakenly throwing some oil on a stove and destroyed at least 12 properties.

In our day this next building was one of the village pubs. Directly opposite our house, not frequented much by the younger occupants of 'Lucerne' until they reached legal drinking age! Can't ever remember the parents going in.

Used to be called the 'White Hart', it's now an Asian restaurant called Yuva. Centre of the photo and pride of the village is the village pump. Purely decorative now.

The following day was spent running round the city of Cambridge. It's not often I get to the end of an orienteering event feeling disappointed I'd finished, because I was enjoying it so much.

Not sure if I'm out next week. Will keep you posted.



Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Immobile Running

I have campaigned over the years attempting, without success, to persuade people to carry an open mobile phone while out on the moors regardless of whether they run solo or in company. Having read about the events of last Saturday I feel justified. Obviously, if phones had been open the loss of contact would have been avoided. (I carry mine in a waterproof bag in case it rains or I fall into a stream). Further, if EtU had become immobilised, very serious consequences would have been avoided. With the winter approaching, with all its inherent dangers, I make the suggestion again. If all of this seems to make some sense please e-mail your mobile number to me at  and I will circulate a list of numbers to add to your contact list.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Grin and Bear it Sat 2nd Nov (25.6k/591m)

Still waiting the results and more importantly the photos from this one.

But to be going on with I thought I'd post an interim report. As the dist/climb suggests this should be a fairly runnable route even down to the tail-enders. Well it would be on a nice summers day, following a prolonged dry spell.

The first 5m is ok, the last 6m is too. It's the middle 4m that you begin to question your choice of 'activity' to keep you fit, well and 'alive and kicking'.

Bit of banter with the MR guys at the first checkpoint, they'd enquired if I'd got my flotation devices with me. Of course says I, patting my chest.

Well about 500m after the turn onto Feather Bed Moss I found out that I'd have needed a pair of 44GGs to keep me from going under! It'd been a long time since I'd got crossing a boggy patch so completely wrong.

I was well in up to my chin in gloopy brown stuff just about clinging on to a foot square tuft of grass and peat. The first attempt to haul myself out failed. Visibility was poor (down to about 50m in parts) and although I knew there were people following, I wasn't sure if they'd see me.

I reasoned that I could probably get my rucksack off to get at my phone and summons help that way, but later on realised there was a much more low tech way - use my whistle on the chest strap!!

Fortunately the second attempt was more successful, a little bit of leg kicking to get myself slightly more horizontal and dragged myself 'along' rather than 'up'. The weight sessions at the gym must be paying off.

At this point the three blokes I'd passed earlier on appeared. Grateful to see them, they had seen me go in and one advised no jumping across with two feet. I hadn't, but I accepted the advice gracefully and then kept a lady-like shouting distance from them all the way through the next 2 check points.

Warm food and drink was waiting at the 4th cp. After the adrenaline rush earlier, I was feeling particularly peckish so managed Pumpkin soup, a sausage roll and a mars bar.

The remaining part if the race passed uneventfully.

To think some people pay upwards of £50 to do those Tough Mudder events. You don't even get hot food and drink either on route.


Total Immersion

This is the title of a swimming coaching book by Terry Laughlin and John Delves and of the method contained therein; the book was lent to me by YJ to help me improve my freestyle performance. However, yesterday the phrase could more aptly be applied to a dunking of a more impromptu kind.

Let me explain.

Yesterday's run appeared as though there would only be three of us on the start line, Christa, JtE and Yours Truly. However the (very) late arrival of t'Y meant that four of us set off to meet EYJ on Two Lads - why I am besmirched with the 'Unready' title when t'Y seems to glory in arriving an average of ten minutes late?

On the way we picked up JR who was loitering on George's Lane and carried on to Two Lads where EYJ was waiting. Then it was the trig point, Hordern Stoops and Lead Mines Clough, where, at my suggestion, we set off up the east bank of Limestone Brook to view the waterfalls. I led, and as the going gradually got more precarious I was aware that I was gradually becoming a leader with no followers - I believe Christa was the last to desert me.

As the sides of the clough became progressively closer to vertical (look at the contours round about SD 631 165) I had to abandon dry land and resort to paddling up the stream. Things went reasonably well until I came to a series of cascades, then progress slowed. The rocks were not just wet, they were covered in green slime (algae to the botanists amongst you). Got up the first steep section with some difficulty and then nearly to the top of the second, but then found I could get no purchase at all. Took off a shoe to see whether my sock had any grip, but that was no better. Donned the shoe again before it had a chance to make a break for the Ribble Estuary - Limestone Brook joins the Yarrow lower down the clough before that watercourse enters the Yarrow Reservoir before it meets the Douglas west of Croston.

At that point I turned to retrace my steps, but lost my footing and sailed majestically (?) downstream to a lower pool. The water was cold, but not as cold as anticipated. I emerged like some prehistoric creature escaping from the primeval soup on to the west bank (no, not the disputed Israeli/Palestinian one) climbed to the path at the top and set off to find my companions. Went to the Bomber Memorial first, but no one was there. Then headed north to the bridge near the open moor at the top of the clough, but still no one. Then back to the Memorial, then home, before hypothermia set in.

Rang JtE later who told me that he and t'Y had turned for home, early on the climb up the clough; but what became of the other three? I just hope they're not still out there looking for me.