Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The New Chew fell race – 23 February

I should have read my blog from last year where I observed that this type of event is a bit more than my navigation skills are up to but I didn’t and unlike last year my route planning wasn’t too bad, I avoided any serious overshoots (something I rarely avoid in the early stages) and found all the controls I went looking for. I am sure you have sensed the “but” already and, sure enough, there is one. A “hang head in shame” school boy error of not reading the rules – I don’t have an excuse but I didn’t look at the top half of the map because I went south rather than north. Neither did I look anywhere else where I would have learned or been reminded that the “Long Score” is a four and a half event rather than the four hour one I thought it was. There is always next year when I might remember to read the rules.

20140223-newchew-14-Edit5Tony and Josie testing the breeze

20140223-newchew-2-Edit1Morning brew

20140223-newchew-5-Edit2Kit Check

20140223-newchew-6-Edit3Reading the rules (note to self [do this next time])

20140223-newchew-7-Edit4More rule reading

20140223-newchew-16-Edit6Bright and breezy outside


Thanks to Saddleworth Runners for another brilliant New Chew. Great organisation, support, food and marshals – this really is a superb low key and testing event. Thanks also to Manhar for coming over and saying “hello” – hope you had a good one and don’t mind the photo.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Bleasdale Circle fell race – 22 February

Marshaling at Higher Fairsnape Farm meant a chance to see the runners while they were still fresh and the light was still bright.


Warming Up




Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Shap Limestone Works - 16 February

Cloud cover built over the high fells quite quickly so we headed away from them in the hope of staying in the bright, if not warm, sunshine. The Limestone works is a well known landmark and it enjoyed the sunshine for most of the morning.







Penrith – 15 February

A great weekend at Steve & Wynn’s – great food, great hospitality and best of all, great company. My outdoor activities were somewhat restricted by having had a tooth extracted the previous day which meant no strenuous exercise for a day or two. So while Pauline headed for the hills with one of the groups of runners I headed off to Penrith for a mooch around.

There is much to enjoy in Penrith which is saved from the excesses of Cumbrian tourism by being on the east side of the M6 and beyond the boundary of the National Park. Book shops abound as do other independent shops including a drapers established in 1742 and specialising in Irish Household and Fancy Linen.














20140215-shap-83_HDR4Shap Sunset

Monday, 10 February 2014

Walking to Wilf’s – 09 February

This seems to have been a weekend of things not happening. The Winter Hill fell race didn’t take place today and neither did the W&NL Xmas Lunch. Each year for the last ten or more the Westmorland & North Lancs LDWA Group has met in early February for a short walk followed by Xmas Lunch. This year there are changes afoot as the Group prepares to merge with the nearby Morecambe Bay & Bowland Group and it would seem the Group’s appetite for a Xmas Lunch in February has evaporated. Instead we met Keith & Jim for a short walk to Wilf’s Cafe for a quick bite and a walk back to Kendal in sunshine which given the weather in the morning was something of a surprise. The ground is saturated and the rivers are full to bursting but the debris on the banks shows they have been even higher in the last few days.

20140209-5-milnethorpe-9-EditRiver Bela near Milnthorpe

20140209-1-kendal-10-EditRiver Kent

20140209-3-kendal-14-EditRiver Kent

20140209-4-kendal-15-EditRiver Kent

20140209-2-kendal-12-EditJim, Keith & Pauline walking back from Wilf’s

Winter Hill Fell Race

Since 2004 when I started running and racing (for the first time since school) the Winter Hill fell race was a permanent fixture although there are gaps in the photographic record and I missed 2008 because of injury. With its unique atmosphere, demanding terrain and sometimes unkind weather it was a very special race and its absence leaves a big gap in fell running. The reasons for its absence are well documented elsewhere and I am not going to discuss them here – instead I want to take a fond look back over the “Winter Hills” I enjoyed during these few years.





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