Saturday, 31 August 2013

Winter Hill: Big Skies – 31 Aug

Running with a camera inevitably means taking a small camera which means the photos are rarely as good as they could have been so, every now and again we have a walk over Winter Hill with bigger cameras to try to get better photos. Much depends on the conditions and the light. Today was good enough to be tempting but, regrettably, only inconsistently good. Nevertheless some big skies were there to be enjoyed.

20130831_001_winterhill-522-EditAbove Matchmoor Lane looking towards Winter Hill masts

20130831_002_winterhill-528-EditWinter Hill beyond the Trig Point above Lomax Wifes Farm

20130831_003_winterhill-529-EditLancashire Plain

Great Hill & Winter Hill – 31 Aug

At this time of year, at least for me, training isn’t about developing stamina, speed or building strength. It is about avoiding injury, nursing niggles and enjoying the last of the sunshine and dry ground. Even Winter Hill is dry underfoot apart from the places that never dry out – especially those on the Winter Hill fell race route. Enjoying the sunshine was the ‘order of the day’ this morning so, for a bit of variety, I set off from Hordern Stoops for Great Hill. The route is very familiar and although the dry ground is a bit of a novelty the really special part was running across Spitlers Edge on fresh legs – to the best of my knowledge I have never set out from Hordern Stoops for Great Hill. This morning, in sunshine, on dry ground with only my long shadow from the low sun this was unmitigated pleasure – a huge affirmation of the pure joy of fell running.


20130831_001_winterhill-5Looking east towards Haslingdon

20130831_003_winterhill-14Darwen Tower

20130831_002_winterhill-13Great Hill

20130831_004_winterhill-15Winter Hill from Great Hill

20130831_005_winterhill-17Start of the descent to White Coppice

20130831_006_winterhill-20Back towards White Coppice

20130831_007_winterhill-22Back towards White Coppice (II)

Leaving White Coppice I was tempted to wander up through the disused quarries that would usually be ignored on the way back to Rivington. Pauline had a wander through them a week or two ago and they are certainly worth a look – the rock looks too rotten to climb but it is an almost forgotten, unspoiled corner just off the beaten track. I had a faint recollection that there was or had been a reasonable trod along the top of the quarries and so it proved. Very runnable when dry and pure pleasure this morning.

20130831_008_winterhill-29Winter Hill

Back through Rivington where Rob Hope caught up with me, no surprise there. Out to get some “Edale miles” in his legs he soon cruised ahead and disappeared into the far distance while I enjoyed the gentle climb up to Rivington Pike. A convoluted route took me round the south west corner of Winter Hill, passing Tim Roe flying down from the Two Lads, and up over Counting Hill passed the Trig Point and back to Hordern Stoops.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Chipping Show Fell Race – 24 August

Agricultural Shows like this one are hugely significant event in the local calendar and if there is a fell race attached to the show it will be a significant event in the local and sometimes the national fell running calendar. I can think of no other reasons why I might have agreed to to go to the show and enter the fell race. At just over 12k is is way too short – I need about 8k to warm up. The Show was very well supported and great fun; if you have seen and placed bets on sheep racing then you haven’t lived!


20130824_001_chipping-2Not everyone comes to race but they might come to have a drink

20130824_002_chipping-5Not everyone comes to race but they might come to play with new toys

20130824_009_chipping-24Not everyone comes to race but they might come to just watch and meet old friends

20130824_010_chipping-26Not everyone comes to race but they might come anyway

20130824_005_chipping-9Not everyone comes to race but they might come because it is a family day out

20130824_003_chipping-6Not everyone comes to race but they might come for the food

20130824_008_chipping-23Joe Howard (RO) and First Woman, Caitlin Rice (Glossopdale)

20130824_007_chipping-21Joe and First Man, Danny Hope (Pudsey & Bramley)

20130824_006_chipping-11-EditTony Varley (17) just finished

Tony turned out to be the star turn – somewhere on the way back to the show ground he missed a turn (on the flagged part of the route) and got badly lost. So badly lost that he had to knock on a house door to find out where he was and to find out how to get back to the show ground. Here, he has just finished and explained to the incredulous marshals why it took him so long to complete the race. All that orienteering certainly paid off!


Thanks to Joe Howard, Preston Harriers and all the others whose efforts made the race possible.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Winter Hill – 17 Aug

After a few frantic weekends it is time for something more leisurely and a couple of runs over Winter Hill – both turned out very sociable as I met Pauline and her running cronies on the summit on Saturday before meeting Chris and Mark as I was descended for the run home. Sunday was almost as sociable, meeting Rob on the summit and then running home with Paul whom I haven’t seen for some months – fortunately (for me) he has a knee injury and I could keep up with him.

20130818_002_untitled-19Typical overcast morning on Winter Hill

20130818_001_untitled-14One of a very few ponies

20130818_003_untitled-22The mast road

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Albert Sunter: Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge – 11 August

In a year when winter went straight to summer many plans fell to pieces and not all will be reconstructed before winter returns. After an April attempt was cancelled because of too much snow and a June attempt wrecked by “strong to gale-force” winds finding another date this year was something of a challenge but Albert rose to it and had a team sorted for last Sunday.

Despite the weather, Leg 1 to Kirkstone Pass was completed on schedule and Leg 2 needed a few more minutes than planned but the weather appeared to be improving. About 12 o’clock I called on Joss to make sure he knew things were still looking good for a 12 hour crossing and then went to wait on Bill Williamson and Tom Howard arriving for the stroll up to Sty Head. Apart from a fresh wind the weather still seemed to be improving although heavy showers are forecast for later.

A quick handover with half the Leg 3 team (Leigh Warburton & Graham Lund) carrying on while the other half (Tony Varley, Josie Greenhalgh and Mark Irvine) went down to Greendale and Great Gable was reached on pace. By Piller all the time lost earlier in day had been made up and Albert had a few minutes in hand. Despite cold, heavy rain on Seatallan more time was picked up and Albert reached Greendale Bridge, ahead of schedule, 11 hours and 33 minutes after leaving Pooley Bridge.

20130811-Alberts_Joss-18-EditJob Done!

20130811-Alberts_Joss-9-EditEnjoying the moment with Joss


Monday, 12 August 2013

Turner Landscape fell race – 12 August

An English Championship counter on only the third running of this race and the biggest field, by far. This is one of a handful of races I marshal on each year – somebody has to and it is great way to “give something back” to a sport and a community I love. This race is a bit special because it is heavily supported by people who live in the valley and I think this adds to the atmosphere of the race. Joss was marshalling too and while he managed down for the prize giving I was still at the Dow Crag check point. The race starts and finishes at Turner Hall Farm and there are reminders everywhere that this is, very much, a working farm.

20130810_001_duddon-2-EditTurner Hall Farm

20130810_002_duddon-4-EditPreparing the cake stall

20130810_005_duddon-12-EditCake stall in action


20130810_003_duddon-10-EditChecking the route details (1)



20130810_004_duddon-11-EditChecking the route details (2)

20130810_006_duddon-27-EditFrom Dow Crag to the west

20130810_007_duddon-28-EditThe Scafells and more from Dow Crag

20130810_008_duddon-32-EditTowards Swirl How

20130810_009_duddon-37-EditSimon & Rob leave Dow Crag checkpoint

20130810_010_duddon-38-EditSimon & Rob with the rest of the route in view

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Geoff Pettengell: Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge – 03 August

After trundling round Borrowdale we trundled round to Greendale Bridge to see Geoff completing his “Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge, very comfortably, within his allowed 15 hours.


20130803_001_borrowdale-107Joss and Geoff


20130803_001_borrowdale-105Joss, Josh and Geoff

20130803_003_borrowdale-111Joss, Julie, Geoff, ?, and Ode by Josh

Borrowdale fell race – 03 August

“Harder then ever” seemed the only way to describe the 2013 Borrowdale fell race – conditions were good; cool breeze, good visibility, dry rocks and no rain. I took only a few pictures during the race and still managed to finish in my slowest time.

After Wasdale I didn’t want another DNF so I just looked for good lines, avoided getting lost and struggled on to the finish. On the other hand, it should mean an age-group PB shouldn’t be too difficult next year.

Results are here.


20130803_001_borrowdale-2Hugh, Paul and a red car in the start field

20130803_002_borrowdale-3The side of Glaramara (1)

20130803_003_borrowdale-4The side of Glaramara (2)

20130803_004_borrowdale-5The side of Glaramara (3)

20130803_005_borrowdale-6The side of Glaramara (4)

20130803_006_borrowdale-8Langstrath and the Langdale Pikes

20130803_007_borrowdale-10Dalehead crags and the North Western Fells beyond