Sunday, 18 May 2014

Old County Tops fell race – 17 May

37 miles and 10,000 vertical feet, if you don’t go the wrong way, so says the race description but that doesn’t begin to describe the ecstasy or the agony of this classic fell race.


OCT-20The Winners crossing the line – John Morgan & Stephen Pyke (both Dark Peak Fell Runners)

OCT-32John Morgan & Stephen Pyke

OCT-33Second team – Dan Clark & Graham Lund (both of Bowland Fell Runners)

OCT-34Third Team – Ed Bailey (unattached) & Ian Symington (Calder Valley)

OCT-39First Ladies team – Catherine Evans & Jo Gillyon (if these are the wrong way round, please let me know)

OCT-23First team applauding the second team as they finish 30 seconds behind them – all the first three teams were together at the last checkpoint!

OCT-25Dan & Graham beginning to recover

OCT-29Ian & Ed recovering

My own day began well enough on a glorious morning that threatened to hot out of the wind and so it proved but a little more of that a little later.

OCT-2The moon above Windermere

OCT-10The sun arrives in Great Langdale

OCT-19Arthur’s legendary bike – almost as famous as his soup that helps everyone recover after the race

OCT-14Team 1

Four years ago on an even hotter day Albert’s migraine forced us to retire at Angle Tarn and this year, after going well enough to the top of Wyth Burn I found myself unable to drink enough and just getting slower and slower. The only sensible thing to do was retire at Angle Tarn. Oh well ,1-1.



OCT-43Josie having just crossed the finish line – one half of the second Mixed Team

OCT-44Second Mixed Team – Tony Marlow & Josie Greenhalgh (having recovered)

Huge thanks to Chris Lloyd and everyone else for the Old County Tops 2014

Monday, 12 May 2014

Buttermere Sailbeck fell race – 10 May

This would be my first AM race in the Lakes and while I might once have had the time (and the pace) to stop and take photos I don’t have now. In any event, the low clouds and rain would have been enough to persuade me to leave my camera behind.

20140510-buttermere-19-Edit-32The Bridge Hotel and Pauline’s much better version is here.


20140510-buttermere-30-Edit3The Signs

20140510-buttermere-33-Edit4The Warning

20140510-buttermere-6-Edit1The Descent

Despite the soaking I really enjoyed the race – it is a superb and very testing route – the climb to Causey Pike isn’t going to be forgotten easily. Route finding in the clag was interesting too but I managed to avoid the “Grasmoor Extension” which may go someway to explaining my unexpected 2nd MV60 place. The results are here.

Huge thanks to Race Organiser Rhys Findley-Robinson and to all the marshals and everyone else who helped.

Monday, 5 May 2014

The Northern Championships 2014 – 04 May

Presented by South Ribble Orienteering Club (SROC) as part of their 50th Anniversary and an event we both enjoyed, as spectators and photographers.


20140504-2-SROC-7-EditEvent Organiser Tony Marlow – as things are starting to get underway

20140504-1-SROC-5-EditThe area near Blake Fell is somewhat unworldly as “Forest Harvesting” is underway

20140504-3-SROC-25-EditRules for the day

20140504-5-SROC-209-EditPreparing for the start – the boxes contain maps for the courses

20140504-4-SROC-70-EditAnd, they are off!

20140504-7-SROC-359-EditApproaching the finish

20140504-6-SROC-283-EditThe Finish

20140504-8-SROC-445-EditAfter the Awards Ceremony – Job Done and smiles all round

Around Aspull – 03 May

Part of the “plenty to do today” was to get our off-road bikes “on the road”, as it were. I hesitate to refer to them as “Mountain Bikes” because they don’t get that near any mountains although we have used them on long approaches to Munros. It is almost 4 years, to the day, since we were out on them them needed little more than a drop of oil and a bit of air in the tyres. Parts of my anatomy need a good deal more preparation than the bikes did and I fear insufficient time remains for “acclimatisation” before a trip at the end of the month involving some cycling.

The local farmland contains a network of tracks and paths that are great for running and cycling although some are better for one (running) rather than the other. Pauline thought she knew a new way on to the old railway line embankment and she did but we were pushing our bikes with yards of leaving the road – out of practise in getting into a low enough gear, early enough!

Just around the corner where we started pushing we stumbled across an old tractor which like all old machinery was worth a closer look.





Ah well, had to do a bit of cycling after this and jolly pleasant it was but I not saying how far we went other than it wasn’t far. Need to do a bit more, or a lot more, of this in the next few weeks.

Winter Hill – 03 May

Plenty to do today, busy day tomorrow and the catch up with ourselves on Monday before the dreaded “back to work” on Tuesday. That, at least, was the plan and with because of some uncertainty about when the rain would arrive I decided on an early run up Winter Hill. The “near freezing” temperature was a bit of a surprise and the sunshine, bright as it was, did little to warm up my little corner of the world. Bolton’s last home game of the season would take place later in the day and as I passed the stadium the radio and/or TV crews were starting to assemble their paraphernalia. The only people there who seemed really awake were the extra security guards who always seem to find time to be interested in anyone with a camera – this is all private land and they don’t have to have a reason to ask you to leave so being polite is the only option.

20140503-1-horwich-2-EditA corner of the Reebok stadium

20140503-2-horwich-3-EditSunshine on the hotel

These photos seemed to set the theme for the day and although the climb out of Horwich reveals the huge panorama of the Lancashire Plain the view was a little too hazy to photograph. The hazy views of Manchester were fascinating but beyond the capabilities of my camera – I know because I tried. The masts on top of Winter Hill were almost attractive in the low morning light.


20140503-3-horwich-12-EditLooking south

20140503-4-horwich-13-EditLooking north with an another runner in the distance