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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
Instead of going up through the plantations we just jogged back down to the cars at Tanners.
14 miles around 2300ft