Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Andorra Hill Race – 03 August

This was the reason for the visit to Andorra – Gary was going to race, we were going to take some photos and enjoy the sunshine. The plan seemed straightforward until the race (the long race – there was also a short race and a fun run) start was brought forward by two hours so that everyone would be down off the hills before the lunchtime storms arrived. This meant the race would start before we could, realistically, get there given that Gary didn’t finish work until about nine o’clock the previous evening. We all went anyway and the storms didn’t arrive until very much later.

20140803_001_untitled-469The Long Race Winner

20140803_002_untitled-483The Long Race Runner Up – Rob Jebb

20140803_003_untitled-496Rob, Gary and Brice

20140803_001_untitled-504Rob, Sharon & family

20140803_005_untitled-506It isn’t only in Cumbria that runner cool down in the river

 

 

20140803_004_untitled-499The finish area

Foix – 05 August

A morning marked by low clouds that settled comfortably on all the cols above Ax-les-Thermes and so we headed up the valley to Foix, away from the hills and into sunshine. We started in the market, toured the chateau and finished in a quite splendid pub, the Grand Cafe Gros.

 

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Monday, 25 August 2014

Chipping Show – 23 August

Chipping Show fell race is the reason for being here and if you want to see some fell running photos pop over to Pauline’s blog. It is a while since I could run fast enough to take photos during a race and still beat the cut-offs. Even without cut-offs this is tough wee race, much tougher than you might expect for a show race. Last year I managed round in 01:30:30 and this year I was about 20 seconds slower which I am quite happy with, along with another Second MV60 although, again, there was only two of us.

This is a real agricultural show, one of the classic Lancashire shows, and full of characters rather than tourists apart from the fell runners who look out of place and draw odd looks throughout the day. It is a good day and highly recommended.

 

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20140823-8-chipping-114Mark Chippendale (Bowland FR) – Second overall and Second MV40

20140823-9-chipping-125Ian Cookson (Bowland FR) – First MV60

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Andorra Hills – 03 August

Some of the hills we drove through on the way back to France. Andorra is so much more than just shopping, away from the main roads are stunning valleys and almost deserted hills. This is another place to come back to with plenty of time to explore.

 

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And, of course, a beer.

Andorra – 03 August

Day trip to Andorra to see some hills, watch a race, do some window shopping and mostly in that order. First though, the town of Llorts.

 

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The race was earlier, much earlier, but the photos will follow later. From here we wandered over the cols watching cyclists labour in the midday sun to reach the summits as we sipped chilled beer. Sometimes life is so tough …

Andorra is also about shopping and although the only thing we bought was ridiculously cheap diesel we did wander round the shops and fail to find the hire care, visiting several car parks before we found a car that unlocked when the button was pressed.

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Friday, 22 August 2014

Signal du Chioula – 02 Aug

After visiting the market in Ax the plan was to return to Ax-Bonascre but we watched the clouds building on that side of the valley all morning and decided, instead, to have a look at the hills to the north and west of Ax-les-Thermes. This was partially successful but even here the cloud base dropped and the early afternoon storm chased us off the hills.

20140802-1-Pyrenees2014-403-EditLooking north towards Montagne de Tabe

20140802-2-Pyrenees2014-409-EditLooking south towards Ax-Bonascre

Ax-les-Thermes – 02 Aug

The Saturday market came highly recommended and we recommend it too – a proper market, thoroughly enjoyable. The shops around the market square are worth a look too.

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