Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Masson Hill Fell Race

Last night was the first Masson Hill Fell Race. There are many of these little midweek races in the Peak district but not many new ones crop up. This was in aid of the Matlock Pavillion which is trying to be saved. The Derwent Valley is very steep. Its a gorge really. So billed as an A short it had a fair amount of climbing in it, although I didn't think it was too bad and was certainly all runnable. Numbers were pretty good at around a 120 and it made for a good night. The organisers were trialling a new dibber system which I was told will be used on the Welsh 1000mtr race. It seemed to work well and time will tell. As routes go the race was pretty good. Topping out on Masson Hill which I think once had a trig but it is now definitely missing sadly. A blast back down to the Pavillion in around half an hour. Young Jack Ross won the race with Tom Wild second. I managed 3rd and first Vet40. Stef Curtis had a good race and was first Lady back. A good race and I am sure it will become a regular Peak District Fell Race on the calendar.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Some idea

It is very hard to explain to people dont you find that have never run up a fellside or for that matter dont intend bothering what fellrunning really is like.
I get asked sometimes what its like to be able to do it.
In this picture it shows the track going up to Red Pike Summit from the Tarn.
A couple of us recced part of the Ennerdale Race route the other week after racing at Coledale and we ran to the top.
Even before you get to the tarn you have a significant run up from Buttermere Village just to get there. You then look up and realise you have to go up again.
The chatter stops and the breathing gets heavy. You finally top out after shutting out the pain. You moan a bit but then if the weather is kind, look out at a view that you wont ever forget.

Anniversary Waltz Fell Race

Every year I target this race because its such a brilliant event. It gets no easier though but I have always tried to improve my time at The Waltz.
Last year I clocked about 1hr 47mins and really was looking to go under 1 hr 45. Alas I didnt quite make it by only a few seconds, but as I left the village hall I had a smile and then reminded myself that its only a fell race.
I had a good battle at the start with a couple of other runners that I usually race with and just managed to pull away as we went up the first climb of Robinson. You now start to pick up runners that are doing the longer harder Teenager With Altitude race that runs alongside the Waltz. They look exhausted as you skip past them. Reality is that they are doing double the climb in that race. 3600ft in the Waltz and 7500ft in the Teenager race.
As I ticked off Hindscarth I was alone and it stayed that way for the rest of the route. Dale Head, High Spy, across Maiden Moor then a blast off Catbells and down back to the field.
I came 6th

Another Waltz race done

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Coledale Horseshoe fell Race

This was to be a seriously tough race. I had not felt 100per cent the week leading up to the day of the race and the first climb on the Coledale Horseshoe just goes on and on. Grisedale Pike is tough. Get that over with and your on your way.
This being an English Championship race meant there would be lots of runners. I found myself taking it a bit easier at the start but gained a bit of momentum coming off the top of Grisedale. A quick scramble up to Eel Crag summit and then it was just a case of running back to Braithwaite.
It was cold on the tops and there was still a tiny amount of snow remaining. I finished okay but was dissapointed with not being able to go full on up the first climb. Its a fine line getting it right leading up to these races. There is more jostling for position and things seem more serious than usual fell races. I fell again which gashed my right leg which now matches the scratches from way back at the Reston Scar race.
Amazing organisation and a brilliant event.
Thats race no2 over. The next one is a really tough one

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Pint please

Okay so after a race someone asked me what was my favourite pint.
Err I think this says it all

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Made in Northampton

I dont purchase shoes very often. But I do get through many pairs of fell shoes. Even though I am a pretty neutral runner and do not destroy shoes like some runners do I probably get through 4 or 5 pairs a year. They take a lot of punishment.
A couple of my everday shoes needed replacing and years ago I always had English shoes but then changed and went away from them in favour of what was probably trendy at the time.
I was determined to buy English this time around. Now I estimate that you probably will pay £200/£300 for some hand made English shoes, but that I will get ten years out of them.
Innov8 fell shoes are now in the region of £90. They wont last more than 3 months.
Is it quality or just the fact that fell shoes get so much hammer.
One thing I know is this, fellrunning isnt a cheap sport anymore.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Causey Pike Fell Race

This race has eluded me for several years. It was time to do it. The Causey Pike Fell Race is a classic short Lakeland Up and Down.
You leave Stair village hall and after running up the short road section you hit the fellside. As quick as you can you ascend Rowling End and then head up the track up to Causey Pike summit. Your legs should be screaming at the top, and they was. After a short run long the ridge you turn sharp right and then blast back down to the miners track and then its all out back down to Stair. I was going as fast as I could and all too soon the finish came.
I was happy with 13th. There were some seriously fast runners in the line up and not being the fastest of starters I was pleased to come that high up.
Its a cracking race and I will certainly do it again. I'm told it was a record turnout his year.
Cakes and Tea in the hall afterwards. Perfect weather.
No wonder I love the Lake District.

Causey Pike
Not the highest lakeland fell, but by god you know you have raced up and down it.
The picture of me was taken by Paul Dobson