Saturday, 30 October 2010

Great Whernside Fell Race

Yet another new race for me. Ive run the route three times but never raced it. So I made the trip up to the Yorkshire Dales to Kettlewell for the start. Pete Jebb organises this one and basically its a straight up and down course. A steep start for the first part but then it tapers out before going over Dow Crag and then on upside to the summit. I started steady and ran a good race to the top. Dont really remember a lot about the down as its just really a blur. I blasted down to the finish funnel and was told I was 6th place. Its a pity the descent isnt all rock mind.
But I was pleased with the result as Im still climbing well. Will certainly be back for this one again. A diet coke in the pub with a few of my mates from the world of fellrunning then straight back home. The scenery today was amazing. A clear day in the Dales. What more could anyone want

Kettlewell is a lovely village. The Racehorses Pub does good beer Im told and also excellent Steak.

Kilnsey Crag. Last time I passed this I was heading the other way on my bike to Grassington.

Flying to to the finish.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Dont ya wish your house was hot like this dont ya

Picture this
On the way up to Glencoe for the Ben Race and 2 x people look at this house and both agree that it would probably be the ultimate house for a fellruner to live in.
I will stop one day when I win the lottery and knock on the door and make them an offer they cannot refuse.
Bet they have a big freezer, haha.

My own wind monitor

How about this. Radcliffe Power Station on a rare day with no wind. If i jump on top of the shed I can tell how windy it is.
When you look out and see the steam rising vertically up from the cooling towers like this I am always going for a ride.
Sorry Badger but days like this are rare

Monday, 25 October 2010

Nightime in Langdale

At the Langdale Race I stayed overnight instead of driving home. My mind was a million miles away as I sat in the van and watched the sun go down over the Langdale Valley.
The races in the Lakes are only a small fraction of what makes it all so special.
I defy anyone to not be amazed by a sunset in the Lake District.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Passing the Clouds

Well last year I was ill when this race was on so I couldnt race it properly. This time around I had secretly been thinking that I would race it flat out. I decided to rest for two days and not run. On Friday night I cycled 52miles in double quick time and felt really good. A top runner once told me that once you come into form you should make good use of it as it wont last very long. So on the start line after a good pre race warm up I just thought go for it and see what happens. I have run around this area for years and know it very well so route choice wasnt going to affect me. Strange though as after a couple of minutes running I was slightly adrift of the front half dozen runners. But I knew the pace was fast and just kept at it. At the top of the first climb I had pulled a couple of runners back and could see the leaders in front quite a way ahead.
Now the dilema. I realised I was in third place which at this stage meant go for it or play the waiting game and go round with the others and help each other. The race isnt that far at just 10miles and I thought if I could get to the top of the Roaches on the second big climb I would be okay. I only looked back once at the trig point on the Roaches and saw nobody behind me. The technical downhill sections are my favourites and I blasted along the ridge and down to the gate and started the climb up to Hen Cloud. This took only a few minutes then all that was left to do was hot foot it back to base. I took a few risks on the descent off of CHICKEN HILL as a fellow fellrunner described it. CHICKEN HILL I kid you not. That made me laugh.
Yes I did fall but all too soon the finish appeared and I had come third. So I will take that one and hope the form last's a bit longer yet.
A great race. I love the Roaches.

The picture below is the climb up to Hen Cloud
Someone said it was called CHICKEN HILL. Does it look like a chicken ???

Sunday, 17 October 2010


Well Ive not posted many pictures of Badger lately so here are three. He continues to wear me out on our nightly runs. Winter is now upon us and I will try and get some night shots. Time to get out the headtorch and Badger's flashing collar and cowbell. Yes my Border Collie wears a cowbell. Clonk Clonk.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Langdale Horseshoe Fell Race

Okay back to Fellracing. Well I did do the Ian Hodgson Relays but cannot find my pictures. More on that later.
This week was the Langdale Horseshoe Race which is another lakeland classic race that I have never done. This was to be a special race but at the start due to various problems I just didnt have the head for it. You know one of thoise days when its so easy just to think, ah I will have a plod round.
The race is a simple affair. Blast up Stickle Ghyll, round to Thunacar Knott, down to Angle Tarn and up to Esk Hause shelter, over and up to Bowfell summit, dash down to Crinkle Crags and then over again to Pike O Blisco and back down to the Old Dungeon Ghyll hotel which is were you started. Oh and take in the bad step as well.

At the start it was a mad panic dash and I was slightly behind the usual suspects. This kicked me into gear and I ran most of the way up Stickle Ghyll apart from the top part. The run over to Thunacar Knott and down to Angle Tarn I know with my eyes shut. I ran up to Esk Hause shelter and started the traverse to the climb to Bowfell
when I turned my ankle and shouted a few choice words as the mistake was made because I looked up and tried to steal a view back towards the Langdales.The weather was sublime, clear and sunny and one of those very rare days that you sometimes get in the Lakes.
I topped out on Bowfell with a couple of other runners who I knew where more knowledgeable than myself for the next part of the route through to Crinkle Crags so I kept with them and they took some excellent lines, which shows you that recceing and local knowledge is a massive bonus in these mountains. I live to far away to recce each race so I will freely admit I sometimes have to follow a local. Its not easy though and sometimes if you blink they are gone. I did write down all the bearings and route information before the race but in the end didnt need them.
Now all was going well until we eventually arrived at the Bad Step. Safe to say I fell down it and landed very badly. God knows how but I suppose its all the falls that Ive taken over the years but I just shot up and carried on. My right foot was on fire but the finish wasnt to far away and well what else was the option, retiring, certainly not. It would take something serious for me to not finish a race.
I winced in pain as I climbed Pike O Blisco but all to soon that run down to this finish came and the clocked stopped at 2hrs 22mins. If I hadnt have fell I maybe could have done under 2hrs 20 but that will be a target for next year.
A brilliant race even if my right foot isnt good at the minute and my back is also aching from the fall. But hey the groin strain I had before the race seemed to wear off.
I stayed the night in my van in a layby below the Langdale Pikes under the stars watching the satelittes going across the sky. Oh and I managed Pie,Chips,Peas and Gravy from Ambleside.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Catching them is the easy part

Well the recent fishing trip went well. Yes not many fellrunners and bikie people do fishing but I occasionally do. In my younger days I was quite a good fisherman and as a junior won lots of matches. I dont fish much nowadays but the two trips with my father in law were good. We caught a few carp each.
He managed to take a picture of me but this carp wouldnt keep still. Or maybe I have just lost my touch.

Take 1, keep still

Take 2, try again

Take 3, thats better.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

My new cap

Well I did have a new cap, but I lost it. Being a plater welder Ive always worn welding caps over the years but only on my training runs. You get many different variations in colours. Spotted ones, flowery ones, and even plain ones but they are not so good. I dont do much welding nowadays but I still get the odd cap. They are manufactured by the Amearican company KROMER. They are perfick for running in. Maybe I will start selling them at races.

The last climb at Royal Dungworth just before I decided to take a detour off route.