Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Long time away

Alas I have neglected my blog due to a mixture of reasons mainly exams and other business.
Lots of racing though since March
The first race was Midgely Moor and perhaps my least favourite run of the year despite finishing 1st junior. It was a real struggle through the tussocky sections and I ended up losing lots of time taking a route suggested by Mounsey.


1st race of the month was Rivington Pike- not really a fell race due to the large amount of road and ultimately the race that led to a 4 month battle with a knee injury.

Then on to a firm favourite Herod Farm fell race, I ran my fastest time for all 3 years I have done it but had a twinge of disapointment not to keep up with Ian from Dark Peak.

That weekend I headed to Blaenau Ffestiniog in Wales for a WFRA junior champs race at the Moelwyn 3 peaks. I felt slightly aggrieved after the long journey to miss out on the win due to the marshall making a mistake but even so 2nd was a good result ahead of the Waltz.

Anniversary Waltz hosted the opening FRA junior championship of the year and I found myself at the bottom of my age group against some stiff competition but I felt prepared due to a hard winters training and eventually I grabbed 13th place to kickstart what was a pretty successful summer period.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

My Heroes

Hero is a strong word, I would only consider people who would give their lives as heroes or who really dedicate themselves to a cause such as Martin Luther King, Che Guevarra and the like. So perhaps the word hero has become trivialised but there is no other word than maybe inspirations.

Being the greedy git that I am, I have 2 sporting idols (once again slightly skewed but good all the same). One of them is a top class fell/mountain runner and the other I know personally.

So firstly Ian Holmes, his achievements are incredible. Multiple race winner, record holder, international. Still one of fell running's top guns despite his veteran status. He is famous abroad and has won the prestigous Mt Kinabalu race 3 times. Known for his descending skill he can mix it with the top lads over the short races (Blackstone edge etc), the mediums (Anni Waltz) and even the longs (Jura). We both run for the same club (Bingley) but all my fell is for Calder Valley but going into the future im certainly aiming at his level for the future.

Secondly is a much less well known guy except in small circles. Ive done a fair bit of running with him although admittedly nothing like his usual cup of tea which is ultra-running. He is called Tim Whittaker, total running psycho. He inspires this type of running madness in you when he talks 'Its just a short one' about a 33 mile race. Last year he won the Vasque Grand Slam series and is a prominent member of team krypton who are major players in ultra running. He always has a smile when running as well which is good because it is at the end of the day about enjoyment then position. When I turn 18 and start to do the odd ultra (lakeland 50 big target) then hopefully il have a chance to beat him over something although it would only work if i used his thought process of enjoyment overuling competition.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

A Wuthering Weekend

On Saturday, I went to watch the Howarth Hobble and get a long-ish run in. So a 6 O'Clock drive from Mossley with my mate Tim in order to arrive for the 8am start in Howarth. In the car I was given one of his inspirational talks (he should do shows) and then got to Howarth with 40 minutes to spare.

Good chance to meet some new people and catch up with some top lads including Andy from Bingley and the Keighley lot. At 8am everyone set off and I was welcomed nnto the center for a bacon and egg butty by Brett and a general fell running chat.

At 10:50 or so me and Nick off the forum headed out the the last checkpoint. The run out washard as it was 4 miles with a long road section and Nick was on the bike. A swift run through Howarth and then past the reservoir and we were on the fell. It was a tracky run down to the checkpoint but it was still hard enough to tire me out.

I hung on until the first 10 runners had gone before heading back the same way but going round the fell instead of using the road to add on mileage. In the end I ended up running in with Simon Bourne from my club down to Howarth, back into the school for a brew and stew before a good old catch up with everyone.

Fish and chips to cap off a good day

12 miles 2300ft

Ian Roberts

My legs were shattered as I warmed up for my first race for 3 weeks. The 3 top local juniors, Sean Carey, Ryan Gould and Joe Crossfield were out for a run so I wrote off any chances of first junior.

The start was along a flat track so I decided to hang back and start steadily before working my way into it. So by the time I reached the road crossing I was pulling people back and felt strong despite the tiredness in my quads which seems permanant nowadays.

As we crossed the dam, I was in no mans land with a sizeable gap both ahead and behind m,e but I could see Gary Fleet in the distance so worked hard to keep up. Onto the flagged path down to Pule Hill I was flying picking off people all the way until I was in around 15th position with my mate Joe Crossfield not too far ahead. Across the road past Phil Davies who had come to watch and started the steady drag up Pule Hill. I had a decent ascent only losing 2 places but then as I descended off the top disaster struck. TWISTED ANKLE....I carried on dropping places and time all the way to the finish when I got hit by cramp. However I did slightly redeem myself by passing Joe at the end which was nice in the race of the cripples. Still a much better performance than I could have churned out a couple of months ago.

6.5 miles
3rd U/18

Thursday, 11 March 2010

09-03-10 Orienteering in the dark

Calder Valley night score event on tuesday so I made my weekly pilgrimage over to Mytholmroyd with the view to hopefully win 1st junior.....what a misguided thought.

The big issue, it was a navigation event and my navigation is pretty awful. I know Chew Valley well but other than that I have no clue.

I decided to run solo which is supposed to mean just me and my map and compass, no one to back you up so any mistakes are your own fault. However being a crafty manc I decided just to go with the flow so followed whichever pair were ahead....Brilliant decision.

Started off in the woods which wasnt too bad as the time passed fairly quickly and all 4 checkpoints were located before everyone peeled off in different directions. I had made the decision to aim for checkpoints 3 and 4 and just to follow any team heading in that direction. So I followed a team through some brambles before ascending upto checkpoint 3. BINGO.

Uphill for ages to checkpoint 4 got it and then we began the long descent down to Calderdale High where I managed to cadge a headtorch off Bill en route. Ben Frechette being an ex-student was on the basll with his navigation round the school and it left us with time to get the last checkpoints on this playing field. A quick run down the road and dibbing our maps before a pacy run back along the canal into Mytholmroyd and a quick finish.

Unfortunately I lost out on first junior by 10 points however on paper I was a solo runner which was decent as the other junior had both local knowledge and a partner.

Into the pub for a quick drink and then back on the long journey home...all good fun

Monday, 8 March 2010

This weeks training

Thursday night- A nice trot up Alphin to watch sunset over Manchester. Fairly steady with a bit of route variation to add on distance but not anything all that interesting just mileage and ascent in the bank

4miles 1600ft

Saturday- Early training in Mytholmroyd didnt go down too well after a hectic night down Leeds. Hill reps session. Unfortunately my quads were pretty much screwed yet again and this is causing me a real worry for the lakeland and welsh races although part of me thinks it is ascending without previous momentum that causes the pain so hopefully with a long warm up and road section I should have a flyer at Anni Wa.

Sunday-Chew Valley Skyline duties and a long run.

Ashton to Hartshead Pike then down through the brickworks in Grotton up over wharmton. Onto the canal and up Alphin. Ditched my rucksack at the top and went for a run out to Chew Reservior to see the front runners then back over the peat to Alphin before a jog back down to dovestones.

12.2 miles 3000ft or therabouts

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Club training-2nd March

2nd time lucky as I turned up at Mythomroyd on the right night after going on Monday and spening £14 on train fares in the process only to realise it was the wrong day.

However Tuesday came quickly (well it was the next day) and again I found myself eating a Big Mac and fries on the way to training.

I got there just in time for a couple of miles off road running with the juniors as a warm up although the fact that I cant descend as fast as a ten year old does reflect my years catching up on me. Got back to MCC with a few minutes to get changed into my road gear and go out for some faster training.

I decided as it was a short run to go out with the fast group of which all the runners were much quicker than me. Just going out to Midgely I was struggling to keep the pace but on the flat and downhills I could catch back up until the next incline where I would just drop off the back. A long uphill drag of a mile or so up Stocks lane (?) left me feeling really dead on my feet and at this point I was shattered content only with the knowledge that it wasnt too bad from there. Got to the top after what seemed like hours (thanks for waiting for me) and then on the homeward stretch back down to the valley bottom, upto Midgeley and then back along to MCC. Into the pub for a drink and a chat before getting the train home which inevitibly was delayed so I had to bus it home from manchester which meant I got in at 1am and just slouched on the setee and fell asleep

Monday, 1 March 2010

Good weekend-Noonstone and Chew Valley reccy

Saturday morning 9:30 am. I force myself to wake up after my exploits since clubbing down Leeds and only getting to bed 2 hours earlier (thank god for national express). Dragged myself up to the Co-Op where Manhar had agreed to give me a lift to watch the first English fell championship race of the season, Noonstone in Todmorden.

Pre-race brew with some of the Calder Valley runners before jogging upto Stoodley Pike for the first viewpoint of the day. Quick word with Holmsey who was doing his warm-up on the slabs up and down and then for the long boggy ridge walk to Stoodley. Got there in plenty of time and met Stanners on the top plenty of time for a good chat about all sorts; high peak marathon, BG, Manchester United etc. Also saw Andy Nicoll who sorted out my Bingley membership for me. It was turning out to be a good social event really.

First glimpse of the runners was them swarming down London road and then around 7 minutes later Ian Holmes, Rob Jebb, Lloyd Taggart, Danny and Robe Hope came through with a couple of metres on the field. CVFR were doing well at the pike with Shaun Godsman in the top 10 and 3 other runners (Gav, Alex and James) all in the top 30 or so. Helen Fines was 6th in the ladies with Sally not far behind in 8th or 9th.

Jogged back down with Stanners and walked along the London road past some of the back markers (who were very quick still) and then to the bottom of the last descent about 100m from the finish. A gripping run in by Matt Speake just edging out Lloyd Taggart which provided an unexpected result. First CVFR member Shaun took the quickest route down in the descent but couldnt quite hold off Darren Kay from Horwich on the run in. 10th place though is a great result and im glad he is in my fantasy fellrunning team. Helen Fines came in 7thn with Sally also in the top 10 and Calder valley sealed the womens prize and 3rd mens team.

Into the pub to catch up on race information and have a chat with some runners that dont usually race round here. Then back home for another night out down Manchester....this is the life.

Chew Valley reccy

Got back from Manchester earlyish on saturday night (1am) but had to be up at 6am to walk to Tanners in order to do a Chew Valley Skyline reccy at 8am.

Only 2 runners ventured over due to bad weather and early start time but even so it was cracking run. I was joined by Dom (Saddleworth) and Rik (CVFR). The route upto Alderman was a bit suspect because I kept to close to the middle and ended up with a bit of a scramble despite the fact that there is a perfectly runnable route slightly to the right. Time for a couple of photos at the top before the bog trot to Broadstone.

We came out onto the Cotton Famine road about 100m overshopt of Broadstone but it wasnt too much of an issue because the paths are good and it is a quick route anyhow. Down the the milepost and across the road. Down through the fields managing to pick a really good line down to the dam wall and then straight up the other side. The ascent onto the top was very slippy and icy but still passed fairly quickly which suprised me.

We then went along the edge and up over the bump above Ashway Cross, pausing for a few shots on the top before making our way (slowly) through the deep snow. Once on the otherside of the gully tha runs up from Dovestones the running became quicker but a bit of misnavigation led to more climbing only 100ft or so but still horrible. It was a long plod to Chew and I sensed I was in serious danger of blowing up so I stuffed a chicken butty (thanks mum) down my mouth and then we started the run out and back to Featherbed moss trig point. We split paths here, Dom going for the more direct cross country route and me showing Rik the conventional grough running route. I had one of my bad navigation moments and convinced myself I was wrong so overshot the grough....finally realisng that I was indeed initially right. Eventually we hit my footsteps from a previous night when I had shown someone from Horwich (i think) the route upto the trig.

Back down to Chew and along to Wimberry went by with little problems its all on decent tracks that can sometimes leave you feeling a scared due to the proximity of the edge. Along to Alphin through relatively deep snow. Upto the trig and then to the downhill. Now for the purposes of the race and the navigation/ terrain judgement im not going to reveal the descent route that we took off Alphin on here however if you want to know or midweek reccy (thursday afternoon) email me on .

Instead of going up through the plantations we just jogged back down to the cars at Tanners.

14 miles around 2300ft