Thursday, April 30, 2015

Weekend running

It's that time of year again when I test my mettle and empty my wallet for a 3 day jaunt around the Lakes otherwise know as the 'Great Lakeland 3 Day' (details here, so I won't be out for a utup this week on Saturday.

Preparation began at the Easter bank holiday with the laying out of 'stuff' (aka high tech mountain running kit) on the spare bed. My kit list now extends to 4 pages of A4 it's that detailed! We're allowed a 59L dry bag with a max weight of 13Kg and a rucksack for running with during the day. The 59L Bag is transported to the overnight camps for us.

Previous years have had my main bag coming in at about 11kg, so this year I've added an extra luxury item, one of these beauties

Image Placeholder

I'm aiming to be the envy of the campsite! It's very sturdy, extremely comfy and can apparently (manufacturers claim) cope with up to 250lb person. It packs down to about 28x10cm and on my kitchen scales it weighed approx 750g incl it's little bag. If they tell me the 59L bag's too heavy at the weigh in, it's going to be a tough choice between ditching the chair or leaving the bottle of wine. May have to toss a coin.

Looks like we're in for some typical May Bank holiday weather, sun, wind, rain, snow etc so if you're out in it too folks have a good'un!


No UT but almost UP this coming Saturday

Well it is almost here. On Saturday, I embark from the Anderton Centre to run/walk the furthest I have ever done. Whether I am fit enough remains to be seen. I need to balance a steady pace with my desire to have descended Pendle Hill before darkness. If you are out and about this weekend, here is my rough schedule:
Start at Anderton Centre at 10am then via Rivington Primary, past Go Ape to Liverpool Castle, then head towards Top Barn and up to Georges Lane via our usual route to the Pike. Continue along Georges Lane to Horden Stoops and along the track that we used to use as a circuit (the one recommended by Norman) into Belmont then Darwen Tower, Witton Weavers Way and on through to Whalley (target by 5pm), Barley (7.30pm), over Pendle Hill to Downham (9pm) then through the night via Bolton-by-Bowland, Tosside, through Gisburn Forest, Slaidburn, Newton, Dunsop Bridge and Chipping by around dawn. Then it is back to the finish via Hurst Green, Mellor Brook, Brinscall and White Coppice.
My target is to finish by nightfall on Sunday but that is subject to me finishing at all. Many people say I am mad to be attempting it and they are probably right.
Here is the overview map of the route:

The full information is on the Red Rose 100 website here.

She's Behind You!

The 'she' in this case being the Tooth Fairy, the race being Arrant Haw, the final race in the Kendal Winter League. I had never raced in the Howgills before, and I was very impressed by them.
The race started with a steady climb, then a tussocky descent to a stream, followed by a pig of a steep climb that seemed to go on for ever. Once on the ridge, however, the running was superb, over Arrant Haw and then to Winder.
Then the fun began. I had been warned about 'Winder legs' but that didn't prepare me for what followed, about 1000 ft in half a mile. Steep wasn't in it, and by the end my quads were screaming, but my great rival in the V60 class was just behind me and I just managed to hold him off, and also Julie who was closing fast. She reckoned, quite rightly, that had the descent gone on for another 5 minutes, she would have beaten me.
I would like to express my thanks to Julie were her support and friendship throughout the series; it is great to see a friendly face before a race. I must also add that my legs have only just recovered!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

This week

Great to be back on the hills with the regular Tuesday crew of SN and EtU and even better to welcome back JtE fresh from his success at the Pike Race as well as Nic’O.  My snap from the run had to be this one Smile

Tues Run-82

        … and another thing!

A local run for me on Saturday as I dodged the showers – this made for my favourite photographic conditions and I’ve put my faves here if you have time ;-)

Local Run-21

Monday, April 20, 2015

2 Peaks of Yorkshire

My friend Steve is doing the Three Peaks race next Saturday and I went along with him and his dog Moss, on his last long training run yesterday. We caught the train from Horton to Ribblehead and set off  up Whernside. The initial ace was just a shade faster than I would have liked but I put it down to the fact that nowadays it takes me quite a long time to get going, and sure enough before we reached the summit I was going ok. For me the summit of Whernside turned out to be the high point of the day in both senses of the word. We didn't even pause at the top which we reached in under an hour and started on the descent. At first all went well, but on the steep rocky part (not my favourite bit anyway) I went over on my ankle and struggled on anything steep after that. However, the rest of the descent was fine and we reached the Hill Inn after 90 mins running.

Ingleborough was tough, especially the last steep climb and the very strong wind on the summit. On the way back to Horton I really struggled, firstly on the initial steep descent and then when tiredness set in, even short rocky bits were causing me grief. Eventually we reached Sulber Nick and the going got much easier and I was able to run the rest of it without too much difficulty. Over 14 miles and 2800ft of ascent in 3hrs 15mins. So Ingleborough took me 15mins longer than Whernside which is not even paced running. Perhaps I was too ambitious but having run a similar distance with t'Y ten days ago, I thought I'd be ok.

I intend to do the race in 2017 to celebrate being an OAP, and I now realise that the training will have to start months in advance. In the meantime,if anyone fancies doing one or two of the Peaks, please get in touch. it is glorious running country and I am lucky to be living in it.

Friday, April 17, 2015

My Brighton peer

Hopes and ambitions for Brighton marathon last Sunday were dashed by a run that was steady but not fast enough.  My time of 4.14 (chip)  and 4.18 (gun) were beaten by a better man who got just inside 4 hrs on chip time. So its back to the drawing board to find more pace in time for Snowdonia in October.

In the meantime I shall be utupping tomorrow.

...or If You Don't Want To Spring That Far...

...I'm UTUPing on Saturday.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Spring into Lakeland Sunday

If anyone else fancies this good little event from Ambleside I think you have till tomorrow to enter via Sportident or if you just want to come up for the ride and do your own thing, plenty of space in the car. I will be setting off about 6.30.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

100 recce and Lake District walks

On Wedneday TLoB was kind enough to meet up with me at Slaidburn then drive over to Bolton by Bowland enabling a good stretch of the farthestmost sections of the Red Rose 100 to be recce'd, through Tosside and Gisburn Forest. Weather was excellent but I was struggling by the end with a painful instep which I hope will recover. The photo was taken by one of a couple of helpful young lads who were biking in Gisburn Forest. The route had quite undulating terrain to give 1200ft of ascent in 13 miles. Overall the 100 has in excess of 12,000 ft - just think of it as an easy 5 mile fell race with 600ft of climb  - done 20 times back to back! Called at the sausage shop in Clitheroe on the way back and the foot gave me difficulty in walking from the car.
Julie and I had booked a night at the Salutation in Ambleside on Thursday so we could get in two days walking. 
Traffic was quite busy so it was 11ish before we headed out of Grasmere and up to Helm Crag and then along the ridge to Gibson Knott and Calf Crag before returning via Far Easedale. Below, heading towards The Lion and The Lamb (or Howitzer) on Helm Crag and then the view across to Greenup Edge from Calf Crag. Luckily the foot problem from Wednesday, although niggling, hadn't worsened.

Friday was a gentler walk, looping around Loughrigg, not exactly off the beaten track, as a close up of the "beach" revealed the throngs out in the Lakes

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Friday – Wasdale

Stunning weather for a stay at Bracken Close, Wasdale.  More here Smile

An evening run over Buckbarrow as the late sun chased the storm clouds away







At Bracken Close

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

More photos from The Pike Race

Photos, thanks to the young lady who keeps TLoB under control
Before the race, TLoB looking determined, JtE looking prepared and me looking as though I've forgotten what's coming next
Accompanying JtE on the finish straight: Andy's mate Frew Savage, Andy, JtE, JtE's long-time friend Eric Ranicar and me.
 JtE with a turn of speed nearing the finish line
I had a battle all the way with EYJ. Here he has just overtaken me and I assumed that's the way it would finish.

 TLoB approaching the finish
Ed on the finishing straight

 TLoB was asking about times at the Pike : mine was 17:48

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Pike Race

This blog posting is initially to thank all of my friends for the fantastic support I received at yesterday’s event. I only wish I could have done that bit better. My time was 40m.01s against the over 80 record of 39m. 22s. However, I achieved my ambition to be the first Horwich Harrier to complete the race in my age group.Below are some pictures taken on the day:

Pike Race 002

Before the Event

Pike Race 003

The Race Start

Pike Race 005

T’Yorkshireman coming home

Pike Race 006

Then TLoB

Pike Race 007

Next YJ

Pike Race 009

Then Matt

Pike Race 010

EtU with that distinctive style

Pike Race 013 

Me breaking the tape.

Pike Race 017

The Presentation

The prize was twelve bottles of beer; four each for my pacers, Andy Ford and his friend Frew Savage and four for me. I’ll contact you asap Andy.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Things Can Only Get Better...

...or perhaps not:-

1. The evening of Monday 30th March - A filthy night, but as I'd suggested a re-start to the Lostock Slow Cycling evening group on this, the first Monday after the clocks changed, I turned up at the Leisure Centre. Not only did none of the slow group turn up, but neither did any of the hard men who had supposedly ridden all through the winter. Already suffering from the first signs of hypothermia, I rode home.

2. The morning of Tuesday 31st March. - Turned up at the Leisure Centre for an early swim, only to be met by one of the regular swimmers as they came out, who told me that there had been a problem with a power cut and the pool was not yet operational. So I went home.

3. The evening of Tuesday 31st March - Liver Hill Race from the Rawtenstall Marl Pitts - absolute last!

Pike Race anyone? I'll be having a short outing at/from the UTUP in the morning.