Monday, 30 August 2010

Perfect Peak

You dont get to many days in the Peak District when its not either raining, blowing a gale or just not a perfect day for a ride. Today the weather was pretty good. Hardly any wind and different again from my previous ride which was a grind into a headwind. I covered about 60 miles and it seemed to pass by pretty quickly. I did 7 big climbs and at the top of Riber Road decided to stop and take a picture. Its a nice spot and I prefer to just stop on a quiet lane or a bus shelter rather than take a full cafe stop.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Bradbourne Fell Race

A rain soaked Bradbourne race this morning and I mean soaked. The heaven's opened before, during and after the race. Fair play to David Denton who puts these races on. Many a budding fellrunner has tried one of David's local fell races out and gone on to do loads more and been bitten by the fellrunning and racing bug. I faired okay and felt pretty good. Its wise to take these 2 x lap affairs pretty within your limits on the first lap or you pay big time in the latter parts of lap 2. By halfway I was in 5th position and thats were I finished. I couldnt catch the guy in front and I didnt want to go mad as It's the Ben Nevis race next week ( If I get there). Now I say mad but when I have ever been confronted with water crossings in races I just have to fly at them. Both laps I tried to clear the water which s impossible but who cares I did my best.
A great race and for anyone thinking about trying a race for the first time this one fits the bill. Great atmosphere, ot usually this wet though.
David Dentons website is easily found.

Pint Please

My Dad will relate to this picture well as he likes a pint or two of this stuff. Snapped this picture of the brewery at Tadcaster as I passed through last week.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Sedbergh Fell Race

The Sedbergh Fell Race is a real tough route. The Howgills provide the setting for the race and they are a deceptive set of fells which command respect. You cannot take this race lightly and I personally think its as tough as Borrowdale. It says 15miles and about 6000ft of climb but it just feels more runnable which takes its toll. I set off steady and took my place just behind the leaders. The first climb is steep to start off then tapers for what seems like ages. Arant Haw is the first checkpoint then a sharp left and blast down the fellside looking left with views to die for. We plunge down to Chapel Beck were I grab a drink then instantly start another steep trudge up to the summit of Castley Knotts which is checkpoint 2. A long pull over the bottom of Brown Moor with Whip End to your left and then we are on the narrow path which is quite technical in places and care has to be taken to not fall. At this point I remind myself that its a bloody long way to go and eat two shot blocks to get some energy inside me. We hit checkpoint 3 at a stream junction and I start to follow a local Bowland runner who takes a different line to the other runners. Ive an idea where he is heading as it mentions this option on the race map. He takes a big effort to keep with him but we eventually pick up the other runners and hit the main race line again. I think the detour saved us a minute or two. We descend to Langdale Beck and I throw myself in the river and drink as well. The climb up and out to the north part of Hazelgill Knott is grass chewing stuff. I have all on to keep with an Ambleside runner and I literally concentrate on his Walshs and tag along to his heels. The drop down to checkpoint 4 is a welcome sight. The stream at checkpoint 4 at Bowderdale sees me having another drink and I dunk my head with the cool water. The next part of the route I have already told myself I am running all the way and I do manage it. The map says 2 miles to Calf summit and I dont think I walked more than 50 yards of it. Perfect terrain for me. I catch the Bowland runner again and we must swap positions at least ten times all the way back to checkpoint 6 which is Winder summit trigpoint. We balst back down to Sedbergh and the Bowland lad just beats me but I am happy to finish well up the field.
What a race.

The run back to Calf summit. A long way. You can see the tiny stream junction behind me far behind. The map says all runnable and I just about did.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Over and Over and Over

I was asked the other day. Why Laidbackfellrunner

Well it comes from when the group Hot Chip who wrote the song Over and Over.
The song was used for the Tour De France and to me says a lot. You have to be Laidback in life. They also sing about the repetition of it all.
I relate to that a lot. Repetition
Whether your running, biking, etc you simply have to accept the repetition of it all. It then becomes easier.
Ive always said Fellrunning especially long races is all in the mind.

Ricky's Fell Race

Well I turned 40 on Tuesday and I wanted to do a race quickly to get my Vet 40 status off the mark. I filled in the registration form at the Three Stags Pubs at Darley Bridge and it was strange just actually ticking the VET category. I've run this race before and its a vey fast start but there are a couple of steep climbs to be had. The last one before the finish up onto Oker Ridge is a tough one. I held back slightly at the start as my legs were definatley still getting over Borrowdale. The leaders flew away and I settled in nicely behind them. I was having a three way battle for most of the way around with two runners that I didnt recognise. Up ahead I could see Noel Curtis my fellow Pennine teammate doing battle with the leaders.As usual I whipped my vest off as it was quite warm and I was overheating. Before to long we were speeding down the road and turning the corner to hit the very steep climb up to the trig. If you can run this all the way your going well. I didnt quite manage it all the way and strided the last few yards. I did manage to steal a look at the brilliant view though. A rapid descent through the fields and I sprinted into the finish funnel to be told I was 5th place. A couple of runners had gone wrong in front of me and I had gained a couple of places. Ah well thats Fellracing. Noel later informed me via E mail that I had one the Vet 40 Category. So he picked me up a box of fruit as a prize. That will be winging its way to someone needy.
It was a good night for us Pennine Runners. Noel's good lady Steph Curtis was 1st Lady and Noel was 3rd in the race. So we all did well. Result.
I celebrated by having chips on the way home

If its a typical White Peak Fellrace your after, this one fits the bill nicely. Well done to Matlock AC for there good organisation.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Badger hold up

Just a couple of pictures of Badger as we ran through the fields the other night on the route to my Mums house. The combine harvester was liteally cutting the field as we ran through it. Another week wil see it all gathered in. It probably all goes to Burton On Trent from here to make Carling.

Borrowdale Fell Race

Well the Borrowdale Race was very wet again this year and conditions were very tricky underfoot. Lots of boggy section from Bessyboot summit all the way across to Esk Hause really. I made sure I didnt get the hunger knock like last year early on and had a shot block on the first climb. From Esk Hause I faired better on the rock, a plunge down the Corridor Route and a good line across to Styhead Tarn. I followed the main path off Gable down to Windy Gap and the made good over to Honister. The final climb up Dale Head went well and I was climbing up with Gavin Bland. One of the top fell runners of all time. The descent off Dale Head was typical for me, legs shot and drifting all over. I blasted down the old quarry section and ran up the track to the finish. My best time yet, bang on 3 hrs 39mins. I would dearly love to get under 3 1/2 hours for this race. It would have to be dry and I would need a bit of luck with the right lines. Maybe next year.
A great race and I will be back once again.

These are not the fell shoes I ran the race in but a new pair that I got from Blands at the race. My neighbour had a good laugh at them today saying they were bright and odd. I took a picture of them at one of the stiles. Im going to go back to walshs for a bit. Ive not run in these for a couple of years and today was the first time I hae tried these Walsh Ultras. They seem fine, only time will tell. They wont stay this bright for long

The Pete Bland Fellrunning Van

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Bradwell Fell Race

Last night I did the Bradwell Fell Race. Ive never done this one before and that is possibly because I normally dont race the week leading up to the Borrowdale Race. I was itching to have a run though so I dashed across the Peak District to the Samuel Fox Inn near the sports ground. The race runs very quickly through the village and climbs very sharply up onto the moor at the top. With such a fast run to the fellside it was a walk run technique as I neared the top of the climb. A quick blast over the moor with brilliant views of Win Hill, Lose Hill and the ridge over to Mam Tor. Then the rapid descent back down to the playing field. The track down to the rough part of the descent was hard on my legs but as soon as I got onto the short rough part I felt much better. I leapt the cattle grid as I always do if I come to one in a race and ran into the finish funnel after a lap of the playing field to finish 9th place. Happy with that and Im guessing about 28minutes all in all. A lovely race and labelled at 750ft for just over 4.5miles.

Back at the van and Ive run out of my favourite Caramel Lattes. I did brew up a trusty sachet of good old kenco but it needed at least 25 extra sachets of milk to make it drinkable.
A great night and again no chips on the way home

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Stoney Middleton Fell Race

Well no pictures for this one and I don't even know whereabouts I finished in the race. I had a good race though and seemed to be quite high up in the placings. As usual I didn't use a stopwatch or take a time. It's a very fast start with a dash around the playing field and then onto a track which takes you to the foot of the killer 20per cent hill. Past the Moon Inn and climb for what seems like forever up the road. You then turn left and follow a rough track whilst still climbing and basically horseshoe round over the top of the hill before you descend back down through the woods. I caught a runner in front but couldn't get by him. He had me on the road though and just pulled away from me. There is a little sharp steep climb before you blast down into the finish field
A quick drink in the pub with a few other Pennine Clubmates and then the usual drive back through the Peak District. I went through Chatsworth Estate on the way home and it was stunning.
Just need to find the results now.