Saturday, 26 December 2009


We have had a touch of snow but not as much as some have had. I was working down in Kent when they had a lot down there and I had to take one or two of the old roads to get home. Badger loves the snowy weather and is always waiting at the door when I get home. He seems to go faster when it has snowed.
Hmmm maybe though thats me going slower on the hard slippery frosty ground

He sometimes runs off in front and has the cheek to sit there waiting
Torch on here. He has a bike light attached to his collar at this time of year. Also Badger will suddenly stop for no reason and start stamping on the ground

Coming back to fetch me. A good collie will always wait for his master. Even though Badger can sometimes run ahead, he will never run off. If I stop he stops and constantly checks my whereabouts.

No trains today mate

The cricket club seems a bit quiet at this time of year. I love this sign its great.
Here we are having a minute. You can see the hills in the background that we have come from. Halfway.

Stuck behind a truck in Kent just as the snow came. Sadly even if we had got snowed out that night, this truck wasnt carrying any overnight cakes.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Tankies Trog Fell Race

Well I have just about recovered from the Tankies Trog Fell Race. A twenty odd mile race which starts in Marsden and heads south to Edale. A very tough race with a lot of climb, bog rock, stream crossings and just about everything else you can imagine.
I trained hard for this race and I think it just about paid off. My teammate just beat me into 2nd place and It was one of those days when everything went perfect.
Id recced this route so much and knew the lines much better than years previous, but I still needed a bit of help from some of the local lads.
I decided to don a lucky Santa hat for good luck and after a hearty breakfast of Porridge which made all the difference on the day it all worked out quite well.
The weather was awfulin places but you have to put that out of your mind on these long trudges and just keep going. Sometimes.
A brilliantly organised race. I will be back to try and win it.

The final descent into Edale

I think the Santa Hat got a few funny looks en route but I like to liven things up a bit and have been known from time to time to wear odd things at races.

Crossing Crowden Brook

Looking a bit serious here. My mind is miles away.

Monday, 30 November 2009


A few extra pictures from our run

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, cmon Im bored. Badger is never happy when we stop for a minute. I think he sees his role in life is to tire me out. When we stop you get that cmon cmon look.

A nice view down from Wildboar Clough to the reservoir

The dramatic outflow run off at Woodhead Dam

God knows how much water was being discharged. Millions of gallons I suppose.

Id say the water was doing at least 50mph coming down the slope. Bet it would be good for hill reps in dry weather.

The main outflow at the base of the structure. There was actually a Cormorant fishing in this bit. Surely fish cant swim in that speed of water.

There are loads of run offs and pipes that feed into the Reservoirs. After all the rain we have had they were all working a full bore.

Todays Run

Right todays run saw Badger and myself have a quick run up to Bleaklow Head from Crowden.
First off cross the road and straight on to the sign and stile. Take the left turn up to the dam( Dont go straight forward and right as this is the longer way around to the lower dam wall and takes you around to Reaps Farm.
Anyway we head left and run along with the concrete culvert on our left heading up to the upper dam( but not along it). After a few minutes you reach the steps that take you up and over the outflow structure that discharges water in high flood.

Turn left after crossing the road, go through the gate and head up to the upper dam structure.
After the gate run along with the culvert on your left hand side. After a few minutes you reach the steps

Water discharge outflow structure on your right just as you reach the steps.

Climb up the steps and head right over the outflow. Run over this then head up the track to the road crossing.

As you cross over the structure you can see the main water run off in the distance. Dont run left up to this but just carry straight on and up to the road. The run off was in full flow today and made for some impressive pictures.

100yds after the structure and you head up to the road. A metal gate has to be gone through. Go straight forward,( Dont turn left or right on the ROAD).

Cross the road then an identical gate leads you left up an incline for 30yds. Your going left now but at the top you meet the Longdendale Trail. Turn right signposted TORSIDE. Head down the trail and dont stop until you meet the sign that says Wildboar Clough to the left. Turn left and make your way over the stile and start the climb up to the foot of the Clough.
The Longdendale Trail, take the Torside Car Park sign. Dont turn left for Woodhead Upper Dam

The sign post showing left to Wildboar Clough. Follow this or you will end up at Reaps Farm.
30yds after the sign head up over this stile.

Head over the stile and follow the well marked track that takes you up through the trees and onto the base of Wildboar Clough. Its well trodden and you cannot go wrong.
The path as you start to gain height

After a few minutes climbing you reach another stile. Head over this and just keep gaining height. The path is very straight forward as you approach Wildboar Clough.
After a bit of climbing you have to cross from the right hand side of the Clough over to the left. The path crosses the stream and you just climb up the bank on the opposite side up to the fence. Just carry on up with the fence on your left for a few yards and make your way up the Clough which remember is now on your right. Your now about half way up the Clough.
Carry on up the path which is a bit fainter now as your in quite a few stones. You meet a Waterfall on your right. As you climb dont drop low into the Clough itself , just keep climbing and eventually you will meet the path that comes around from Lawrence edge.

Waterfall about half way up the Clough. Keep climbing. The path is faint but keep the Clough on your right and you cant go wrong.
This is what your heading for. A little snowy today and it felt chilly in shorts. As you near the top of the Clough you get onto the more trodden path. You just keep climbing and eventually meet the path that goes left which takes you up to Bleaklow Head. Its still a fair way when you reach the top of the Clough so just keep plodding and you will get there quick enough.

Result. The stake at Bleaklow Head soon comes into view. A quick kiss from Badger and we head back down the way we come. It was very cold on top today. You wouldnt have wanted to hang around for more than a few minutes. My feet were like blocks of ice but the view was clear. It started sleeting as we ran off the top to head back down Wildboar Clough. By the time we got back to Crowden the sun was shining again.

Sunday, 29 November 2009


Now really this is the time of year that running can test your mind. Ive lost count of runners that have said to me. " Daz when winter comes I just give up ". I really empathise with these people as it does become hard to continue training when the dark nights come along and especially when we have had a fortnight of rain.
I think I have five pairs of wet fell shoes hanging on nails in the shed at the moment.
But to continue with races the training must be done and even though the races become less frequent at this time of year Ive managed to keep at nearly 50miles a week for the last four weeks. Much of this training has been over the muddy and boggy hills trailing behind badger with his flashing red collar and one of those fancy L.E.D cycle lights that you can now get. All in the murky dark.
The first few weeks of running with your headtorch on are a novelty and you can get away with lets say trespassing over a few areas that you just cannot do when its light.
But that's passed now and it becomes a continual effort to trudge night after night over that terrain.
I broke last weeks running up by doing a 9 mile ROAD, argggggggggggggh yes road run( Badger wasn't impressed with this as he cannot come with me).
But the darkness is hard. The only time I get really eager to go out is when its a full moon. I'm not sure why but full moon training runs are special.

Taken whilst having a rest on a 12mile night run with badger over the hills.

The relays have finished and now the races are less and less frequent

This time of year is hard and a rest is needed but not too much.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Dunnerdale Fell Race

The Dunnerdale Fell Race is a gem. Coming near the end of the fellrunning season ( is there one !!). It takes in the summits of The Knott, Ravens Crag, Stickle Pike and finally Great Stickle before plunging back down to the village.
Now I set off with great intent, alas on the descent from Ravens Crag I had a nasty fall and banged my left knee on a rock and pulled a tendon in my right foot on the inside of the arch. It was hard work getting to the finish and I was mighty please to enter the finish funnel and stop running. Conditions underfoot were very slippy.
My shoe selection wasn't great but hey ho no matter. The summit of Stickle Pike is lovely but with only one week since doing the Roaches Fell Race I was feeling it a little by that point in the race.
A nice meat and potato pie at the finish made it all worthwhile though
I will be back to try and get round without the acrobatics.
Stickle Pike summit and Race route map

With a team mate at my side we start the climb to Stickle Pike

Climbing up is the hard part and Im very happy to be running off the top heading for the finish

Not many races left this year now but Im happy with what Ive achieved. Not sure yet were I came in the field in this race as the results have yet to come out. We will see but I dont really care. One of the beautiful things about fell racing is that you dont have to worry about positions and times too much. Its just great to be able to run in these amazing mountains.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Nearly the end

Well the demolition team are now in full swing. They have exposed the inner plant at the Pipeworks even more and if all goes to schedule Id say the building hasn't got long to live. They have stripped out most of the outer shell and sometime soon they will be pushing the large Wellman cranes off the rails that they travel up and down on.

The inner workings are now clear for all to see. The girder steelwork is slowly being chewed away by the large shearers that the demolition company have on site.
All that will be left soon will be piles of rubble

This picture shows the last remaining part of the Hallam Casting Plant being stripped away. The Hallam Plant was an add on to the melting plant. This part of the works produced the large 1600mm diameter pipes.

I managed to snap this crane just before they pushed it down and cut it up for scrap.
The shearer busy at work chopping the scrap steel into manageable chunks ready for the trucks to take away.

Here the shearer is at full reach taking off the roof. These machines enable the building to be demolished safely without anyone having to be in the work area.
Badger seems fed up now with my picture taking of the demolition.

The roof totally gone now. It was a lovely clear day when I took this picture and the steelwork shone in the sun.

The pumphouse once used to cool the plant has gone and just the inlet pipes remain. The sun was nice this morning and lit up the whole area. This picture gives an idea just how large the CMP plant area was. Only the very last part of the plant is left standing

The cranes massive hooks can clearly be seen hanging down in there final resting position. I wonder what will be on this site in ten years time. With the current economic climate I can see it being just a wasteland. I really want this site to be turned into a nature reserve, but I doubt that will happen. I suppose the land is to valuable

So onto the final pictures that I have taken. We are now down to the bare bones. A lovely day again and you can just make out the two hills I have just run from. Bramcote Trig point sits on the right hill of the two.

So the next pictures will most certainly be the last ones for sure. Id like to film the cranes coming down but time is a problem and now that the dark nights are here I cant easily take pictures after work.