Saturday, 27 February 2010


Well I cannot believe Josh is seventeen today. I dont normally post pictures of family so this is a one off. Where have the years gone. Im so proud of him. He has his first driving lesson this morning. It seems like yesterday when he was being born. He is as tall as me now and exactly the same size. He borrows my clothes and I pinch them back. Josh has brought us nothing but good memories over the years and I couldnt have wished for more. So as he starts to make his own way in life I look on as a very very proud Dad.
Happy Birthday Josh

Prom day last year

Friday, 26 February 2010

Dont give up your day job

Yep Ive fabricated hundreds of these up over the years and have the scars to prove it. This is one of the larger ones.
Someone I know likes this picture so I thought id post it.


I spend a lot of time in and out of working quarries but disused ones are brilliant for running into.
The old quarry above Crowden is a good example. I took this photo at the top of Wildboar Clough one afternoon of the old workings.

Winding up badger

Now this is what happens when we run. Badger winds me up then I wind him up. On the lower slopes or hills he dashes off in front whilst constantly checking me but just keeping that little way in front to enforce the fact that the hills come very easy to him. You can see it on his face. BUT when I finally get to the summits its my turn. Im always changing direction etc just to keep him guessing just to wind him up.
It works as well

God its hard sometimes. I once heard it called UPPING. Thats running uphill.
See his face , haha, he aint happy. Stopping for a comedian on the fells is certainly not on his agenda.

I mean cmon, how much longer have I to wait.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Snowy Kinder

On a recent run in the snow I took these pictures near Edale. Another lovely shiny sign. Plenty of snow still about and breathtaking scenery. The snow is back again today and Id say we will be at least a month before the white fluffy stuff has gone.

Proper near Alpine conditions

The Edale Valley

This gate just wouldnt open, it was easier to run over the wall

Friday, 19 February 2010


Ithink its a kestrel, my camera isnt zooooooooooooomy enough but I am trying to get that close up bird of prey shot. I need a bigger bird , arghhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Alas though Im requiring a bigger lense but how do you run with a big camera. ?

The ridge

Now this is Badger's favorite run. Its the first Fell I took him on for a run and he has never forgotten it. The famous ridge from Mam Tor over to Lose Hill is one of the most popular routes in the Peak District. A bit to busy for my liking and I have a bit of a love hate relationship with it, as my usual memory is trudging up it on the Edale Skyline Race about to begin the second half.

These flashy new signs are all over the District now. Personally I think there should be no signs. To many people venture onto the hills and expect a route to be marked out for them. Its amazing how many people I know have said , " Oh we never strayed off the ridge". Its probably why the path is so worn.

The shimmering Mountain as is known. The road collapsed and you now drive up Winnats Pass.

Badger having a root around on Lose Hill

Now he is fed up probably because he has seen me get the camera out.

Yes that lonely tree. God knows how it survives

Hollins Cross mid way across the ridge.
Im not sure how many times Badger and myself have crossed it but its a lot. My best memory of this little stone monument is that its near the finish on the High Peak Marathon.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Wadsworth Trog Fell Race

Well I thought I may as well start my fell racing year off with a tough one so I did. It seemed ages since I had worn my Pennine Vest to a race
The Wadsworth Trog is a 20mile race that starts at The Old Town Cricket Club nr Hebden Bridge and basically does a very odd shaped route visiting loads of different places that unless your a local its best not to try and remember them.
The route is a funny shape indeed.
Last year this was run in deep snow and I remember it hurting. This year it was a bog and very misty with the clag right down so visibility was not good meaning navigation was going to be difficult.
I just managed to keep with the second group behind the leaders but we still went astray even with a couple of locals being with us. After about 12miles I was feeling it badly. I crammed a couple of gels down to try and give me some energy and only just managed to stay with a local Calder Valley runner who it seemed knew the route so I stuck like glue to him. The others from our group had disappeared into the mist ahead.
There are a couple of key route choices on the way back and with the aid of the local lad we managed to get a few good lines and just nearly managed to catch the other runners near the finish.
Trouble is the final mile is uphill, very very steep and it drags after 19miles of hard running. I stuck with it but had nothing left in myself and although I came tenth I should have done better.
Its hard to get back into running at race pace and a coach would probably look aghast at doing such a distance early in the season. But we are fellrunners and that's our sport.
So the day finished with an offering of soup, sarnies and flapjack. A brilliant set up by the organisers and a good race to start the year.
As I write this my legs are still not working but within a few days that will all be forgotten and it will be onto the next one.
One good note was that I only fell once in the bog. Bad news is that my left leg and lower back is very painfull.
So I just did a steady 25mile bike ride today to try and ease it a little. That did nothing so I'm now just about to apply some deep heat and hot gel to see if that sorts it.

This is the point the front lads started to up the pace and I'm thinking damm that chocolate croissant that I ate for breakfast. It always takes me a few miles to warm up and often I am left on my own only to catch the others when we get to a very technical descent.
Start venue. A lovely cricket club

Route map and elevation of the course. Just a few ups and downs really. Oh and lots of checkpoints. We had a fancy dibber system on this race that gave us a printout of how long each section of the race took us. Basically that shows you whereabouts the wheels started to fall off.

Hebden Bridge, Im told its famous for its women but it has a nice canal as well.
There are some nice little coffee shops and bars here and to be honest if I ever wanted to live on a narrowboat this would be a nice place to tie up and well just stay forever. Quaint is the word.