Sunday, 28 March 2010


Okay by popular demand from one or two people. Here is my tattoo of the Moot Hall. Ive had a few comments by people saying that they would like to see it.
It took about 5 hrs and wasn't quite as painfull as doing the actual BG round.

Its not yet quite finished as I really need to add the moon on it, some fellrunning folk, a completer with a pint of Jennings beer in hand and a few drunks shouting well done.

Derwent Dam

A recent outing saw Badger and myself having a run around Derwent Dam. Id heard a rumour that the water was flowing over the top and I just needed to get a picture or two of the Dam. An amazing structure. Badger didnt seem to be to bothered by it all and just ran off into the distance.
Its a lovely spot and very easy to access. There is a nice little shop selling maps and books etc and also a kiosk that you can get a coffee from.

You dont normally get chance to see water flowing over. What a backdrop

Badger showing heaps of interest

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Rodney's Pillar

Today Badger and myself visited Criggion Quarry just inside the Welsh border. Ive been going there for years and have probably ran up to Rodneys Pillar that stands above the quarry several dozen times. A quick inspection of the large mining bucket thats in the picture and then it was straight into the car park, change into my fell shoes and off up to the summit.
Badger as usual reached the top way before I did and I have to say my legs were aching after doing the Skyline race on Sunday.
I took some pictures on the top and met two guys who were taking some disabled children on a walk to the summit. They all took it in turns to pat badger and I think the two adults were amazed that someone could actually run all the way to the Pillar from the car park.
I told them that the job they was doing with the children was more amazing than me just simply running up a hill.

The worn bucket, nothing that cant be fixed.

Badger at the trig, which stands just to the side of Rodneys Pillar. He has that smug look on his face that says. Yes Ive beaten you to the top again Darren.

The Pillar from the road

Badger is miles in front as I just manage to snap him on camera before he reaches the top.

So if your ever that way and near Criggion I can recommend a quick run to the top. There is a fell race that goes to the Pillar but Ive never done it. Maybe one day.

Monday, 22 March 2010

3 trigs, well nearly, a bell and a ladder close by

Thats not the name of the race but thats about what you get on the Skyline race. At 21ish miles and prob about 4500ft of upping as some say its a tough challenge. This is my 4th race and this year conditions seemed near perfick. After the disaster at the Hobble I needed a good performance. My leg still isnt right and I started the race with a bit of pain but all the way around it didnt seem to trouble me too much.
A tough climb up to Ringing Roger and then its all the way round and up to Win Hill. Pick up the stashed water and gels at the foot of Lose Hill. I managed to run all the way up here which told me I was going well. A stampede down to Hollins Cross via the woods then its a slow trudge past the masses and up to the marshalls at Mam Tor. Now a lot of people say the race starts her but for me the race doesnt start until you have run along Rushup Edge and started the climb to Brown Knoll. Its a long way but soon enough im cutting the corner after Jacobs Ladder and heading over to the Woolpacks. This part of the race requires a bit of navigation. Chink through the rocks and follow the peat hags until you reach the path and then your back on the main walkers path. Get it wrong and all of your hard work for three quarters of the race is blown out of the water.
Its now a dash around to Grindslow Knoll summit, up to the marshalls and turn back on yourself then just basically head back round to Ringing Roger and a quick descent down to the finish in the field below.
I had a bit of a race down the zig zags with two guys from Dark Peak Fellrunners and the results will show that they just managed to pip me at the end. I was satisfied at that point just to have a good day without to much pain in my left leg.

The approach toRinging Roger, no bells though. Picture below shows me not actually sprinting, but these long fell races are a trudge. Get your pace wrong early on and pay for it you most certainly will. Note my trusty Seiko watch. Ive never carried a stopwatch and Id actually be hard pressed to tell you many of my race times.

Win Hill trig point, 1st half of the race
Mam Tor trig point, halfway

Brown Knoll trig point. We dont actually visit this trig as the ground is very badly eroded and the race tries not to make matters worse by actually taking the line to the left of the trig.

So I managed a decent run, not sure of my position as I didnt stay for the results to be put out. At the finish I helped to hold a stretcher for a young lady called Kate who had taken a bad fall in the race. The Mountain Rescue guys soon had her sorted and me being me just had to give a hand. We carried her down to the race HQ to receive treatment. She seemed in good spirits and hopefully makes a speedy recovery.

Brilliantly organised and well marshalled.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Harworth Hobble Fell Race

The Harworth Hobble Race or Wuthering Hike as its also known. The start was 8am on Saturday and I was all revved up for the start. All seemed okay and with about 33miles to run and about 5000ft of climb how hard could it be.
The offer of a meal at the finish was all I needed.
All was well and I was running with the usual suspects right up until I fell into a bog and lost both fell shoes. A comical situation then took place seeing me wading around in the bog trying to pull out the shoes. It took ages and the problem was I was in an area that I didnt know and had been following the runner in front. Shoes back on and I was on my own. Not a problem until I went wrong and ended up losing about 10 minutes. This wasnt good and I was also aware that my left leg was starting to trouble me again. I managed to retrace my steps and gain contact with a few of the other runners and kept with them on the climb up to Stoodley Pike but my head had gone as they say. I hate getting lost and my heart wasnt in the race anymore. By the time I reached the top my left leg was in agony and it was clear that it was a long way back to the finish at Harworth.
I was helped by a fellow runner for a few miles and this kept me going until the climb to Heptonstall. I lost the plot after that and on the run in back to Harworth I could barely run. In fact I walked for a while in severe pain. Never before have I experienced that much pain but there was no thought of giving up.
Anyway bang on 5 hrs I limped back to the community centre and sat and had a cup of tea and some stew.
Not the best race Ive ever had and maybe the 33miles was a bridge to far after the High Peak Marathon but who knows.
I think I will stick to medium length races in future for a while but then again Ive said that one before.
Brilliantly organised race this one and all fellrunners should do it once.

Not looking my best and feeling even worse. I blanked most of the second half of the route out of my mind.

Stoodley Pike.
The route, set off from Harworth, head for Todmorden then up towards Hebden Bridge and back home.
Travering the gritstone moors as you go.

Monday, 8 March 2010


Yep this is actually a cake. I had it made after I completed my BG to give my supporters and completely forgot about the pictures. So there a fell shoe cake. Fellrunners who click on here wont have any trouble telling the brand.
They are the best fell shoe on the market.

The cake didn't last long. Not sure what size the nice cake lady made it to. I actually dropped off a pair of new fell shoes to the cake shop. She just copied them.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Nuns From Chinley HPM

Well Friday night's High Peak Marathon was an epic. The weather was very kind and although conditions on Bleaklow were very alpine like with deep snow, the rest of the route wasn't too bad. Kinder had some snow near the Downfall but it was all very runnable.
Myself and my three other team mates went under the name of the Nuns From Chinley, (Ive no idea were this came from ).
We set off late on Friday night around 11.30 and 9hrs 37minutes later we dibbed in back at Edale.
Third place and a terrific run

Sadly my team mates did not look like this

Lose Hill Summit cairn

Lost Lad Cairn

Wainstones and the food and drink checkpoint at Snake Top

Ive copied the checkpoints here

High Peak Marathon RouteThere is an additional emergency camp situated at Slippery Stones (SK 169 950) for use by retiring teams.
Edale Village Hall
124 853
Hollins Cross
136 845
Lose Hill
153 853
Win Hill
187 851
Below High Neb
227 853
230 878
Cutthroat Bridge
214 874
Derwent Moor
202 880
Lost Lad
193 912
Sheepfold Clough
197 923
Cut Gate
185 960
Outer Edge
177 969
Swains Head
132 983
Bleaklow Stones
115 963
Bleaklow Wainstones
092 959
Snake Road Top
088 929
Mill Hill
061 904
East of Edale Cross
081 861
Rushup Edge
112 834
Hollins Cross
136 845
Edale Village Hall
124 853
There is an emergency camp situated at Slippery Stones (SK 169 950) for use by retiring teams.
After packing my rucksack three times after the strict kit check and registration of our team we waited for the off. No problems there then. Well yes, one of our teams rucksacks got picked up. Ian my teammate was busy looking for that 10 minutes before the off.
The starter shouted f0r the Nuns to step forward and we dibbed away and ran off into the night. Hollins Cross soon came into sight and I realised id strapped the damm dibber to my right wrist which is all wrong for me. The dibber has to be pressed in and its a technique of much precision. Time is time and I didn't want to faff at each of the many checkpoints.
Lose Hill and we are going quickly, the other three are very fast runners and we are all about the same standard. Mick a veteran of a zillion fell races, Ian = top navigator and all round long distance fell runner. Adam the youngster who just beat me at Tankies Fell race. Win Hill flashed by and we flew down Parkin Clough to the Dam and then sensibly walked up the road. By now we had passed a few teams and was in good spirits. Below High Neb checkpoint was busy with a few teams arriving at the same time and as we trotted over to Moscar it was like a fast fell race. A quick sarnie at Moscar and a tea and we head down the road to Cut Gate. From here we go over to outer edge with some good navigation from Ian. He really came into his own here with his compass work. He lead us all the way then to Swains Head and onto the checkpoint at Near Bleaklow Stones which he found with pinpoint precision. A trudge over to Wainstones saw me fall down a bog up to my waist and quick thinking from Mick as he pulled me out. It was freezing and immediately I knew my left leg wasn't right. Within 5 minutes it was agony with pains going fro my groin all the way down my leg. I started to struggle but the lads encouraged me and after a hard snowy trudge over the drifts of Bleaklow we found Wainstones. My spirits lifted a little but by the time we reached the Snake checkpoint I was in trouble. I could have pulled up there and then but no way was I stopping. Ian walked over the road, the Mick and then Adam. I followed and in a shear desperate attempt just ran up the slabs to Mill Hill. We dibbed at the checkpoint and Mick pulled me onto the plateau of Kinder. We ran round to Kinder Low and started to see the teams in front of us. The marshalls had been telling us we were 4th team which was amazing. By this time Id had 8x paracetamol tablets but the pain was yet again coming back. I couldnt have anymore as I had no more left. As we approached the near Edale Cross checkpoint my leg became serious but Mick had been telling me about a fall he had taken on a fell race a while back which resulted in him being hospitalised. I remembered the pictures of him covered in blood and it just gave me that bit of inspiration I needed. The lads pulled me to Rushup Edge and that feeling you get when you know its nearly over hit me.
The team that we had been chasing were now just in front of us and although they had set off earlier that us I decided to just have a it of a race of it. I blasted down to Hollins Cross as fast as I could and dibbed and the lads and I flew down the rocky track back to Edale. We hit the road and just as we got near the Hall I sprinted to the dibber and we recorded 9 hrs 37minutes. Id been watcing the clock since Brown Knoll and we wanted a sub 1o hour which I knew we would get from knowing how long it takes to get back from there before, but I was aware that a sub 9hr 40 was def going to be close. We made it and after the best cup of tea that Id ever had at the finish I limped back to the van and after an hour of being warmed up I was back in the land of the living. A great event and one of my most memorable runs ever. Thankyou to Ian, Mick and Adam, Maybe a sub 9hr 30 next year. We finished in third position but the team that was in third who had led us for 40 odd miles had a runner who became ill towards the summit of Brown Knoll. It was a friend of mine who Ive had some good races with and helped on the Bob Graham and It was heartbraking to see him suffer and have to pull up. A shame for him and very hard luck for his team.

Monday, 1 March 2010


A bit of problem with the new Hi Viz coats
These XXXXL are a tad on the large size

I think a smaller size is required