Follow by Email

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

My Glossopdale Diary and Top 20 Photos 2015


Caity 1st at Nine Standards
Men's team prize @ Hit The Trail, Caity 1st, Kirsty 3rd, Neil 1st V40
12 complete the Trigger
Caity 1st Lady at Lambs Longer Leg
Dan Calverley leaves town embarking on a worldwide cycle adventure
30 at monthly social and run at the Peels in Padfield
Kirsty Johnson represents the club at the Northern XC Champs at Knowsley
Neil McGraw PB @ Newcastle Racecourse Half-Marathon
Wayne Francis and Rachael Sproston wear the blue and orange in the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon and Half Marathon
Caity wins her first women only race at SELXC Heaton Park fixture


Julien Minshull first Glossopdale at a snowy Kinder Trial
Good turnout at the Bulls Head social in Tintwistle
Andy Burnett PB and breaks through the 70% age-grade barrier at the Dewsbury 10K
Women Vets 2rd in MACCL 2nd Divison , Zoe and Nev 3rd in their respective age groups
Kirsty 1st lady at Stockport Trail Half, Ladies Team prize
Caity 1st lady Ilkley Fell
Shropshire weekend, Titterstone Clee, Tim and Caity 1st in Champs race at LMV
Kirsty 1st at Boggart Hole Clough and becomes SELXC Series winner


Kirsty wins county vest and runs in the Inter counties champs at Birmingham
Good GDH presence at Flower Scar, 1st English Champs counter, Vet Women score point, Caity seventh
Great turnout at Thursday social at Oakwood in Glossop
Many PBs at Trafford 10K, 1st Road Champs counter, Steve and Kirsty first back
Tim 6th Ras yr Aran, Zoe 2nd Lady
Kirsty massive PB @ Wilmslow Half
Beehive Handicap 5K
Lins 1st FV 45 Lads Leap, Ladies team prize with Rachel and Lynne, Tim B pips Steve K for the 30 points
Six survive the Edale Skyline, Mark O 7th


Caity 1st Lady Moel Tryfan
Good fun at the Easter Eggstavaganza orienteering event from the Beehive Whitfield
Neil M sub 38, PB at Salford 10K also PB at Hollingworth Lake 5K. Chris J hits + 70% Age-Grade
Hoodies arrive! Thanks Caity!
Monday night training sessions, Tuesday hill reps, daytime Truant runs in full swing
10K Pbs for Kirsty and Andy B at Cheshire 10K
Steve Crossman sub 3hr at Manchester Marathon and PBs galore
GDH marshals raise money for Glossop Parkrun by helping at the Marathon
7 Harriers at Ras Y Moelwyn, first counter British Fell Champs
Sikobe's 1st Herod Farm race attracts good numbers and lots of praise. Caity 1st Lady
Sikobe's 50th Celebrations week
Carl Bedson off to Montana, bears get nervous, FRA sigh with relief
Great club turnout at both Club Champs races Stride 5K and Kinder Downfall
Mark O first GDH,Caity 3rd at Three Peaks, 2nd Lady Kinder Downfall day after, Tim B and Chris also do double. Great to see Matt D out of hospital and watching at the finsh 
Kirsty PB and close to sub 3 at VLM, Pbs also for Cheryl and Ian, Vicki and Liz complete
Tim C and Alice 2nd mixed pair score class Highlander MM


Ben wins Glossop 3 Day Event + GDH team prizes, Caity wins at Coniston
Caity 4th Lady, points for Chris, Ladies Team 8th at Stretton Six English Fell Counter
Chris bags the 30 points in the Champs race at Buxworth, 12 out, great competition
Tim B and Caity break longstanding mixed pair record of Stone/Diamantides at Old County Tops
Completions also by Al/Neil, Paul Skuse/partner, Lins/Zoe, Tim C/Alice. Club win team prize which is initially given in error to Dark Peak. Safely back with us now, photo above
Lynne, Jud and Vicki complete tough Montane Howgills Trail Marathon
Lantern Pike Dash, Chris 3rd, Caity 1st Lady, Sikobe bags his 21st Trig and first V50 prize
Well attended Family Run evening
Becky and Darren get married in style
Caity 4th Lady @ Duddon 3rd Counter English Champs, good points for Mark O and Chris
Cock Hill Trig painted blue and orange a la Banksy, border collies amongst the suspects
Caity, Jill Wood 1st & 2nd @ Dovestone Diamond, Neil 1st V40
Caity 1st at Saddleworth Fell


Chris and Caity 7th and 8th at the Bolton Hill Marathon, Caity 1st Lady
Tim B a superb 4th at the Welsh 1000M Peaks race, leads Open Welsh Champs, Alasdair 5th
Sharn sprints for 2nd Female place at the end of the Calderdale Way Ultra
Sikobe reaches 50 Trigs @ 50 by completing 15 Dark Peak Trigs
Anthony, Caity and Sue accompany him, many others run, cheer and support
John S oldest yet 1st GDH at the RAB Dovedale Mini MM
Ben Tetler 1st back at Stamford Parkrun
Caity 1st at Moel Famau and Tal Y Mignedd
Kirsty 1st Lady at both Marsden 10 and Oldham Milltown 10K
Ultra Nick completes 3 Rings of Shap, Red Rose 100, jets off to take on the Western States 100
13 at Round The Ressers, others helping out and supporting, Steve Crossman 2nd V45
Many attend 4 @ 50 = 200 Do in Broadbottom for Ali, Andy, Lins and Sikobe
6 complete Tour of Tameside, Chris top ten, Caity 2nd, Nev's 22nd Tour and keeps 100% record
Steve C bags 30 Club Champs pts at the Penistone10K
Mark O 4th and sub 2hrs at the Kinder Trog


Glossopdale 1, 2, 3 at Nev's 100th Parkrun at Lyme Park, Steve Knight sets benchmark time
Tim Budd 4th in the Cotswold Oudoor North Wales Fell Series at this stage, also 3rd at Tal y Fan
Caity 1st Lady Great Hucklow and Wormstones
Sue Clapham joint winner of the 40(ish) mile St Cuthberts Way Ultra
Caity 4th Lady at Bradda Niarbyl English Fell Champs counter, good points for Chris
Great support from sailors Tom and Cathy,as well as Lins on comeback trail
Great turnout at Charlesworth Carnival race, Jill Wood 1st back for the club
Kirsty 1st Lady at Mossley 10K
Caity wins 1st Lady in Snowdon International Open Race, 7th lady overall, Chris 1.27, great time
Great battle at champs counter at Holme Moss, Tim 2nd, Mark O 3rd, Chris 8th on tired legs
Holme Moss mens team prize, Steve C and Sharn experience their 1st AL fell race in great style
John Stephenson completes 100 Parkruns and Sikobe 150 at Marple
Several enjoy Club week away in Assynt with our Carnethy cousins
Nick Ham completes the Lakeland 100
Al Cowell completes the Paddy Buckley Round with good support
Doodle poll set up to encourage volunteer leaders for Thursday evening club runs


Many out at Thursday evening social runs from the Bull Old Glossop
Caity 1st Lady at Cracken Edge, great club turnout
Tim Budd 4th, Caity 1st Lady at Fell Champs counter at the Long Tour of Bradwell on hot day
Unbeknowns to many of the club and amazingly to all forms of social media, serial tweeter Peat Pixie aka Zoe completes a sub 24 BGR and becomes the first female Glossopdale Harriers to do so.
Mark O sets new best time at Lyme Parkrun
Kirsty 1st Lady Mossley 10K
John Hewitt runs effortlesssly from pub to pub in the Two Inns race, his 4th qualifier for the Scottish Champs
Caity Digs Deep and is jt 1st at the UTPD, Juddy also completes
GDH international, Carl Bedson and Eleanor race at Whitefish Montana and Andy Burnett at Copenhagen Parkrun
Tim C and Rich finish inaugural Glen Coe Skyline race, a fusion of fellrunning and alpinism
20 runners and 3 dogs on Thursday evening pack run mystery tour in glorious late summer evening sun
Sue 'Raceshy' Clapham joint 1st Lady at SBU35 in the Western Lakes
Team prizes, Mark O 3rd, Caity 1st at Crowden Horseshoe and again at Moel Famau, Tim 3rd maintaining high placing in North Wales Series

Well attended social evening including veg relay
Sue 2nd at the Clwydian 30 Ultra
Matt Huxford completes the Trihard Helvellyn Triathlon, one of the toughest in the country
Good turnout at the Shelf Moor race. Mark O 3rd . Thanks to Charlie again for the organisation
Caity finishes a magnificent 2nd at the Ben Nevis race
Many prizes won by the 17 harriers who raced at the Plum Fair Scamper
Good team performances at the Saddleworth Cross Keys Relay.  Next stores sell out of tartan shorts after Hunks in Trunks goes viral on social media
Massive Pbs for Kirsty and Steve C at Oldham Parkrun
Elanor Swan hits top form with LV40 prize, PB at Marple Parkrun and a good time at the Big Stockport 10K
Caity confirmed as a fantastic 4th in the English Fell Running Champs, Beryl 4th FV65
Chris and Caity win the Jack and Jill award at the Scafell Pike award
Caity wins the coveted Queen of the Mountains trophy for her performances in the series
The inaugural Glossop Parkrun is held in Manor Park, Many thanks owing to Dan Ellingworth
John Hewitt completes Scottish Long Classics series at the Two Breweries
Pbs for Kirsty at the Robin Hood Half and Caity at the Berlin Marathon


Glossopdale 3rd Mixed Team at IHMR, best ever club performance and placing
14 at Woodbank MACCL fixture, Caity 6th, Kirsty 9th
Tim 2nd, Al 6th at WFRA North Wales series, Tim 4th, Al 10th at WFRA Open series
Social pub run goes to Broadbottom
Glossopale buffs arrive. Thanks again Caity!
Half-marathon Pbs for Chris and Caity at the tough Oldham Milltown Half
3 Glossopdale teams compete and complete at the FRA Relays at Pendle
Mary J first FV50 at the Cannonball Tandle Hill Trail Race
10 runners finish the 'brutal' Road Champs counter at the Eryri Marathon, Tim B sub 3, Chris PB
Tim is so moved by the experience produces a limited edition Tarmac Blog. Nice one skipper!
Shameless photobombing on the TV cameras on the Llanberis Pass with Andrea Rowlands
Carl Bedson returns from Montana and runs with Lins at Great Whernside
Caity 1st lady at Race You To The Summit


Chris Jackson 1st harrier back at the Cop Hill Fell Race on a beautiful day before the month's storms
Monthly social on a wet Thursday evening from the Bulls Head, Old Glossop
Caity, Kirsty and Tim all injured, Nev struggling to find enough copy for updates :-)
Harriers have an away weekend in the Yorkshire Dales, thanks Zoe
Kirsty 2nd Lady at Leigh Sports Village, 1st fixture in the SE Lancs XC League
Adele and Barbara have a son, Samuel David
Caity, 1st lady and wins a litre of whisky at the 25th Anniversary Famous Grouse fell race
Neil M runs at the Benidorm Half-Marathon


Captains Fantastic win Club Championship

Great turnout at Boggart Hole Clough MACCL counter on a stormy afternoon
Caity 2nd, KJ 6th, Senior Women 4th team, great run by Chris Jackson 1st harrier home again
Tim B sets new best time at Oldham Parkrun
Good numbers at the Road/Trail Champs counter Stockport 10, Jamie Helmer first home
Many also at the Gravy Pud, Tim C first back, Jude 1st FV45, Ladies win team prize, debuts for Hamish and Jenny
Caity 1st at a very wet Heaton Park SELXC, KJ 4th, Tim B first back to confirm champs clean sweep
Great turn-out at the various Christmas club runs
Presentation party in scout-hut, Tim B and Caity Club Champions, Steve and Lynne Vet Champions, Steve wins AG Champs by 1 point from Caity, Kirsty wins most-improved, Zoe wins Outstanding Achievement Shield, Dan E a very worthy and popular choice for London Marathon place.
Club wins ladies team prize at Up the Nab, good support for the captain from KJ and Lizzy

My Top 20 Photo Selections

Whilst compiling the above diary throughout the year, I set out with the aim of selecting just one photo for each month. From the many hundreds taken and displayed on our Facebook page and on our club-site, it proved to be an impossible task as you can see from above! So then, with many thanks to all those who either took them, and we are very fortunate to have some excellent photographers in the club,  or were displayed in them, here are my own additional personal Top 20 selections...

Number 20

Behind the scenes teamwork at Herod Farm

Number 19

Dark Knight on Kinder (by Harsharn)

Number 18
High jinks at Obi's 50th Birthday Run

Number 17
Caity at Coniston (by Alan)

Number 16
Proud to be running with Ron on his 50 year streak run

Number 15
Synchronised fellrunning

Number 14
Can you do another leg Ian?

Number 13
Master and apprentice

Number 12
Banksy lives on

Number 11
Two Swans a'running at Marple Junior Parkrun

Number 10
'Happy' Munday photobombing

Number 9
Pies 'r us, elite squad refueling

Number 8
The next generation?

Number 7
Lawrence clearly prefers jumping to using bridges (by Alan)

Number 6
Sharn still smiling in her 1st AL at Holme Moss

Number 5
Old County Tops, all smiles at the start

Number 4
Ah....those summer nights

Number 3
Flying Scotsman (by Alan)

Number 2
The unique camaraderie of racing, the spirit of our sport encapsulated in one photo

Number 1
Eskdale boyband on OCT recce

Whether you love running or racing, or both of them as I do, I would like to wish each of you all the best for 2016. Let's get out there on the fells, roads, moors, trails, cross-country and make it another great year for Glossopdale Harriers!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Clwydian 30, (30.24 miles, 6040 feet ascent, 5:58:28 pleasant bimbling)... .....doing it all wrong, yet somehow getting it right

Sue Clapham 6th September 2015

The day began much like any other of late - very little sleep (actually it had only been half an hour, so particularly poor), restless, having palpitations with my heart beat pounding in my ears and terrible pressure in my head. Before you all get worried, let me assure you I'm not ill - ECG and all blood tests have been entirely normal; it would seem that eating spicy foods (which incidentally are my favourite) no longer agree with me...this coupled with the stresses of a demanding job and certain life events are not good. It's more than a little odd how I can manage to run around hills for miles and hours on end without a single flutter, yet at rest and doing or thinking about nothing in particular I get thump, thump, thump. But I'm digressing, sorry, back to the tale... 4:30am couldn't come quickly enough, having been awake for hours, it was a relief to get up and get my kit together, have a couple of brews and prepare (unhurriedly) for departure at 6am in plenty of time, given it was early on a Sunday morning to arrive before registration closed at 7:45am. Programming the postcode into Sat Nav and keeping a copy of the AA Route finder printout handy, I felt pretty awake though I guess the chilliness of the crisp, still star-filled sky helped. Despite the temperature I kept it cool inside the car to prevent me falling asleep and sang along to the CD, wondering what the day/race had in store. I made it to Denbigh in good time, thinking I only had a few short miles left to Llynganhafal, where the Golden Lion pub, race headquarters stood; famous last words as it was here that Sat Nav decided in its infinite wisdom to lead me a merry dance, a very merry dance indeed. No, I didn't see any signs to Llynganhafal, yes I was on the right road (the B5435 with the correct post code) which matched exactly what the AA said too. At the end of what had seemed to be a never ending horribly narrow lane I hollered over to a farmer to ask directions to the Golden Lion and was met with nothing short of exasperation and rudeness..."The Golden Lion where exactly?", "Llynganhafal! On the B5435, with the correct post-code, it should be very close by, I don't think I drove past a pub...." "Llynganafal is in Denbigh, this is Nantglyn, you're miles out!!! (smirky smugness, I hate the English, especially women look). You need to go back to Denbigh". "Ok, thank you, goodbye" drove on, picking up the signs to Denbigh easily enough (didn't want to drive back the way I'd come, didn't like that lane one bit). Well by this time it was 7:30, not long until registration closed so I rang the R.O., Joe to let him know I wasn't too far away. Ten minutes later I was back in Denbigh though none the wiser for that elusive golden lion. Nightmare, I hate to be late and wasn't about to ask Sat Nav's help again.

And suddenly, like a little ray of sunshine, I spotted a man at the bus stop. Great, winding down my window I asked which way to Llangynhafal. "I work there, I'm just waiting for my bus, actually it's late today" ok so now I was faced with a bit of a dilemma, however, throwing caution to the wind heard myself saying, "Hop in, I'll give you a lift, that way you won't be just have to direct me though, PLEASE." Got to say he looked a bit reluctant actually, nevertheless I tried the R.O. again but had to leave a message as it went straight to voicemail. Great, 7:45, registration closed and no idea whether I'd be allowed to run. Never mind, it was looking like a nice day weather wise so I'd still get a run, no matter what (as long as my passenger wasn't a mad serial killer or something).

Llynganhafal here I come. Over the next few minutes I managed to establish that this chap had originally come from Nottingham, following a girl to Wales and had decided to settle there. The girl was long gone, he'd been here 20 years and worked under the shadow of Moel Famau. I told him I was supposed to be running an ultra event, how I'd gone wrong and that I was late....and added that I didn't make a habit of picking up strangers at bus stops....just as well, he said he didn't make a habit of accepting lifts from strange women!!! Thanks, perfect little charmer, haha, joking aside I was grateful so when we arrived at a cross roads, he asked me to stop, directing me over the way whilst he just had a hundred yards or so walk to the left. His name? Paul. Thanks Paul, have a good day, pleased you're not late. Thanks....Sue...good luck in your race. Ha! I'd already decided I'd just be plodding, not racing, not having had the best race preparation AGAIN.

Bombing down the lanes, the Golden Lion soon came into view. Screeching to an abrupt halt in the gravel car park, I picked up my bags and stumbled into the pub, apologising profusely for being late, quite surprised yet delighted that in fact they had waited for me...double grovelling apologies, holding up a race for...6 people!!! Ok, the fastest registration every, removal of GDH Hoodie and long pants, unnecessary stuff chucked back in the car and a mere moment later we were on the starting line in the pub's garden. I looked around and made the following observations about the competitors - Alex, nubile, young goddess, dead cert outright winner, Dale, only male, guaranteed first man position, group of 3 women who clearly knew each other and would doubtless be running together, and me, 51 year old insomniac with no aspiration of any placing today, just grateful to be in such a lovely place with the chance to practice my nav. The race briefing over with safety pointers and some photos of this momentous inaugural occasion and we were off, 8:10, not too much later than planned...were things looking up?

It doesn't make any difference whether it's a short or long race, road, fell or otherwise, I still get pulled into a horribly uncomfortable starting pace and today was no exception. At the start, across various fields and over stiles, along tracks and lanes we have formed two groups within a very short space of time, I'm making small talk with Alex and Dale, guess we're sizing each other up for the battle ahead. It's not too long before sense kicks in though, come on Sue, it's 30 miles, you can't sustain this pace for long or you'll burn out.

Hooray, it's nice to let go of that need to do well, I can start to enjoy the scenery and relax into my favoured plodding pace. As the path begins to climb, Alex predictably becomes a dot in the distance and Dale's ahead of me, not too far but enough for me not to feel pressured to keep pace. All is good as I continue climbing, slowly but surely, winding upwards and joining part of Offa's Dyke path until I reach the ridge. Around 3km or so, leaving Offa's Dyke to head westwards the path descends steeply over a series of stiles before bearing sharply north-eastwards for a lesser climb where I encounter Dale who actually doesn't seem to disturbed to see I have caught him up and asks whether I would like us to run together. The sun is shining, bringing the colours to life, the air still has a pleasant coolness and I'm in a good mood. I glance at the map, noting the topography and quickly weigh up my expectations of the remainder of the day...I'm looking at either several hours running solo or in company and am happy to oblige this young man's request on the proviso that if at any point he wants to speed off, he must do so as I'm thinking at this stage that he must be the fitter and stronger runner out of the two of us.

So we climb and chat, soon reaching the first checkpoint at 6.5km and rejoin Offa's Dyke (we do quite a bit of it over the course of the day, at various intervals) for a short road section followed by a short, sharp climb before plunging downhill to a wooded area and car park where a friendly marshal claps and cheers us onwards the next longer but steadier climb through the woods, chatting about what we each did for a living and our thoughts on running in general and which events we each have lined up. Passing a few pleasant kms along the Clwydian Way I'm finding he's quite an interesting young chap and happily listen to him babbling on about elite athletes and drug testing topics which are currently trending various media sources.

At 13.5km (CP2) we hit the junction with Offa once more which starts a series of enjoyably steep but short climbs and descents, once more passing the cheery marshal through the same car park as previously and continuing downhill along more forested track to Pedair Groesfford Road junction and Feed Station (CP3), 21km..2:20:26..not a bad overall pace, Dale checks with the marshal, Alex is some 10 minutes ahead of us...are we bothered? Not in the slightest! Well, I'm not bothered, just feels good to be out and about getting some navigation practice in and the scenery is most picturesque. I fill up with water, conscious that I'm usually not very good at hydrating myself, especially as it's looking like turning quite warm. I've been eating some cheese sandwiches already enroute so just take a few jelly babies for a bit of a boost...Dale takes a sausage roll, altogether uncertain as to whether he will be able to stomach it (he's already told me he gets GI problems and is only used to eating gels, even on marathon and ultra distances), hence I'm a bit dubious as to whether this is such a good idea...stop it Sue, he's a grown man, he can look after himself, don't say anything even though everything is screaming at you that it's not a good idea. Still, I've already learned from him that he is a very independent chap and proud of the fact that he doesn't often go to the doctor's for much and if he does, he's already researched the issue and clearly knows better than the person in front of him doling out the advice and diagnoses...what do they know with their degree, having studied at least 6 years and having years of experience in practice. He is a handy man by trade and regularly does work at his local surgery. Nothing wrong with that, I admire the fact that he is self-made and is using practical tradesman skills - a dying breed with the later generations who are largely technology driven. It's here that he observes the constant stream of patients, wasting the doctors' time with conditions which are clearly caused by their own failure to make sensible lifestyle choices. The NHS just helps to "nanny" our nation (oh by the way, he is a South African National). He has a particular dislike of people who are overweight or people who have drug problems or mental health issues. Dale once also made some bad choices where drugs were concerned and had managed to turn his life around without anybody's help, thank you very much. His knee problems caused Dale to take it easy on descents but he managed as long as he didn't overdo it on the hilliest sections...this too he had researched to the nth degree himself as several doctors and specialists had been unable to diagnose, let alone cure. Onwards with the route, a good defined track which climbed gently over a few kilometres through heather-clad hills....I can smell that sweetness, recalling now how I'd enthused about it on the day, but I'm forgetting my companion again, sorry, it wasn't long after CP3 that he was taking some sort of medication for his stomach which predictably was not responding positively to sausage roll, sigh. Ah but that didn't dampen his spirits, no no, heading up Moel Dywyll he again proudly told me he could handle this, he'd faced and overcome much more, his fear of heights for example - he had needed some work doing on the roof of his house, the builder had quoted £1000 for one day's work so he decided to do that himself. I was actually quite impressed by this, having an unhealthy fear of heights myself. He also had conquered his former fear of diving and had completed hundreds in various interesting locations around the world and had climbed and hiked in mountains including the Andes, recounting how dreadful Machu Picchu was, definitely not somewhere to be re-visited, full of tourists who are nannied to such an extent that the guides are practically "wiping their bottoms", such is the lack of need for the individual to be responsible for themselves. We reach the summit then follow the good track downhill, intersecting the Clwydian Way and skirting the edge of the Clwyd Forest to arrive at CP4 (27km) in 3:28; I'm conscious that the pace seems to have dropped but persevere with my companion and learn some very personal things about his family. They haven't had the easiest of times, having come from South Africa and all the family members have health issues of one sort or another. I conclude that his childhood was key in shaping him into the man he is today. As the path meanders through the forest we enjoy the respite from the sun, chatting away and we make a slight error on navigation, most annoyingly adding some further distance. Never mind, it's supposed to be fun after all and at least we've avoided having to battle with Alex for first place. At CP5 (34km), Bwlch Penbarra we encounter the most delightful marshal, Shona who can't do enough for us, such a lovely lady, she's undergoing coaching with Joe and whilst she's enjoying it, can't see herself ever running an ultra...never say never Shona, it's just one foot in front of the other.

Now with only two remaining major climbs ahead of us and some 14km I'm fairly chomping at the bit to get to the finish. Immediately ahead is the steep plod up Foel Fenlli, 170+metres for about 1km before plunging downhill almost twice the distance of the climb, then a little contouring.....

...I'm waiting for Dale to catch up as I'd sped on, just enjoying a carefree rock-free moment or ten. He finally makes it, crossing the stile to be met by a herd of rather large cows. Dale says I shouldn't have waited for him....well I thought we had agreed to run together and quite frankly I was a bit worried about how his physical state had deteriorated over the course of the run. Still, I had to remind myself that I should just butt out and prepared myself mentally for the final haul beginning at 185metres level with a stream, I enjoyed the short, sharp rise to the summit of Moel y Baer, continuing eastwards still climbing with the monster Moel Famau now clearly in view, the Jubilee Tower perched like a crown atop. At this point things went from bad to worse for Dale. He had followed his usual regime of not eating proper food, I could understand that in a way, given his stomach problems, his knees too were feeling the distance and now he had cramp...I could hear the anxiety in his voice as he asked me to please go on without him whilst he sorted himself out. Weighing up the past few hours of what he'd told me, I realised he sincerely meant that, he was too proud a person to want any further empathy from me, still I felt a pang of guilt, having been instrumental in constantly trying to push the pace wherever possible. I continued the journey alone, bashing through heather, onwards, upwards, leaving the tourist path as indicated on the map, following a path which wound its way along the north western edge of the Clwyd Forest, many of the trees looked brittle and were sparsely planted.

Dibbing at CP6 (41.5km) at the summit, I told the marshals that Dale was a short way behind, dealing with cramp. A quick time check told me I'd been going for just over 5 hours, slightly disappointing but time to get a wriggle on to finish in under 6 hours. Sure enough as the track plunged downhill, I felt my legs spinning ever more quickly, soon leaving the majesty of the mountains as the populated land below came into view, farms dotted here and there until suddenly I was re-tracing my steps from the morning across stiles and fields....oh no, a field full of formidable looking cows....just get past them...over the stile, phew, one more field and there it was, the familiar red and white taped finishing funnel and the promise of a welcome drink at the pub. Joe's there to congratulate and hand out the goodies.

A few minutes later Alex appears already changed and ready to go home. She finished in a brilliant time (5:11:24), true to form I give her a well done hug and am thankful actually that I had had company for the majority of the day as to race against this fine lady would have made for a battle which I doubt neither of us would have enjoyed. She's incredulous I'd left Dale...I'm incredulous that she's surprised, given that she'd left him hours previously but I assure her that he had practically sent me away from him. Nothing can take away his first male position, finishing a mere 5 minutes behind me.

It was a grand day out. The Clwydian Range is truly beautiful and I would like to recommend it for the Club Championship in 2016.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Glossop Fell Race

'Studmarks on the Summits' reported that the original Glossop Fell Race was first held in 1981 and was organised by Dark Peak Fell Runners. The route was thought to be 22 miles with 4200ft of ascent. The first winner was Rob Pearson of the host club with a time of  2 hrs 58 minutes 36 seconds. Our own Bill Buckley, then running for Rochdale Harriers,was 15th in 3.31.28. These are the mandatory checkpoints:-

1. Start - Manor Park SK041946
2. Pond (East side), bottom of Ashton Clough SK079941
3. Trig point, Higher Shelf Stones SK088947
4. Old Mill SK079 990. Now private land, pinched from us.
5. Ruined sheep pen on Crowden Little Brook SE 074022
6. Laddow Rocks SE 057 015.
7. Path Junction SK067 995
8. Stile top of Knarr SK045993
9. A628 Road crossing SK040983
10. Stile on Torside Clough (PW) SK062 975
11. Ruined cabin SK065 967
12. Stile/gate on Doctor's Gate track SK053950
13. Finish - Manor Park SK041946

The race continued through the 1980s and was held during the Glossop Festival Weekend, the Carnival Parade was on the Saturday, the fell race on the Sunday part of 'A Day in the Park' with stalls, sideshows and other events.

The race always clashed with the Tour of Tameside except in 1986 when it was on the day after. I just managed to get round at the back of the field feeling knackered but wanting to complete my local fell race at least on one occasion.  In that year it was won by Glossopdale's Andy Trigg in 2hr 50.52. His clubmate David Ibbetson was 2nd in 2.55.20 and helped secure the team prize. A local firm supplied huge cloth numbers for the race which had to be collected in at the end. No chance of pinning these on your shorts!

I'm not sure when the race was last held but Glossopdale Harriers staged a new version of the race in early October from 1994 to 1996. I always thought that the route of the original race was a little convoluted and preferred the new version though I never managed to race it because of marshalling duties. The new route took in Higher Shelf Stones, Alport Trig, Blackden Brook, Seal Stones, Fairbrook Naze, ruined cabin in the Ashop, Snake Summit, back down Doctor's Gate. Similar to some of Al Cowell's long runs in preparation for his Paddy Buckley round but not quite as far! I can't remember the quoted distance and height gain but the winning time of 3.22.35 by Glossopdale's Adi Jones in 1994 clearly indicated that it was a longer, tougher route.

The race was always difficult to stage mainly because of restrictions imposed by the Peak Park authorities and was last held in 1996.

Thanks to Bill Buckley for providing information to help in this blog.