6th December - After deciding not to go to Scotland due to weather - mainly putting us back with work on the farm - I went to the Lakes for a day with Simon and Ian. Conditions were soft powdery snow and very cold - it was -6C in the valley. We had a good day on Helvellyn and even managed Swirel Edge with the help of ice axes. Photos
23rd November - Another weekend in the Lakes reccying the BG with Tim Ray, Ruth Batty, Paul and Dave McGuiness. With a B&B booked at Wasdale we set off from Borrowdale up onto Raise. The clag was down from Rosset Pike onwards and once on Billy Blands Rake we also hit soft deep snow which made progress painfully slow. Deciding that it wasn't do able to complete the whole route we missed a few peaks and cut across to Lingmell to decend to Wasdale. Photos
A lovely bath and many cups of tea later we ventured to the pub for food and quite a bit of beer also. Sunday dawned a clear cold day with more wind than Sat. Wrapped up warm we made good time across the BG only coming across small patches of snow and ice. That was until we climbed Great Gable. Luckily a few walkers had made nice steps the day before which were frozen but had a bit of fresh snow in and so we used those. The descent to Green Gable was ok and we romped down to Honister and a welcome cup of tea and toasty. Me, Tim and Dave then added Dale Head to our tally while Ruth and Paul ran down to Borrowdale and collected the car.
15th November - Last weekend was the FRA do and with Dark Peak Ladies Vets winning the Ladies and the V40's English team prize me and Julie Gardner decided to go along. Martyn Goodwin escorted us and it was a great night with good food, company and presentation.
On Saturday me and Martyn ran Legs 1 and 2 (to Helvellyn). The weather started off with hail showers and strong winds but got better during the day.
On Sunday Julie and I met up with Mark Townsend and ran over the hills near him to the NW of Keswick along with Julie's 2 dogs - Jonnie and Rosie. Photos
6th November - Having reccied the Club Champs on Thursday I was in the lucky position of being able to race rather than navigate (although across Bleaklow I always have my compass set to something even when clear!). I pushed it up the first hill knowing that it was the only runnable hill. Bit of deviation to the left of Wain Stones had me straight on course for Bleaklow! Running off I was happy on the reverse Tankies route. Seeing 2 Penistone runners I called out surprised that they were running that way. At CP2 was the reason - one lost dog called Boris!! Across the moor on a sort of direct took me to the fence and the rocky heathery descent to CP3. I was catching a few people now and nice to exchange a few words. Down into the valley and a clamber up to the bracken for a while before a right old Harmer style heather/rock bash (did anyone escape without a knock and blood there?). Soon to the rock on the skyline and the path. Tried to run through the bogs - sometimes successful, sometimes nearly losing a shoe. Reached the ruin - loads of people about now. Passed a few trying to stay in front of Rachel. Down the wall, under trees, under a Harmer tree, cross stream, sprinted (?) up last uphill to stile and then down, down, and horrid flat track finishing running through the flowing water to be 4th back! My time was 1.22.06 - brilliant !! Results on DPFR
30th/31st October - Steve and I travelled to Devon on Thursday and spent a nice relaxing day with my aunt there. We were up early on Sat for the 6.38 bus and our start at 8.06. Looking at the map there was a good scattering of points and we planned a route. The weather was lovely and it was good to be out on Dartmoor - an area we've never been. It was all going well until we made a silly error and got very confused about our location. Once sorted we ran well and had a good day finishing with only 1.30 minutes to spare. The tent was soon up as it was forecast to rain at 4pm - and rain it did. What a long night ...... especially as we weren't off until 8.56 on Sunday. It looked a long way to go to the finish but our pre-made decision to go either up left or right to avoid what looked like crap in the middle paid off. Picking the righthand side route to collect a few easy points (that we had found on Sat so knew where they were) we were then in the middle of the map. Crossing a stream that had swelled in the night, was waist deep and very cold we then had plod through tussocks across over the moors to a boulder, then upto a cairn - and thankfully we were back on "handrails" which were much faster. It was cold, windy, wet and claggy most of the day so we both suffered but once on the tracks soon warmed up. Near the finish with 20 minutes to spare but little inclination to run about just to pick points up - the thought of hot food enticed us into the finish!! Results - we did Long Score. OMM Results 2010
28th October - Very little running last weekend as I was on a 1st Aid course which was organised by Tom Westgate of DPFR for Race organisors. On Wed 27th I ran Tom's Birthday race from the Strines Pub with Ian Winterburn. He had got a route and bearings all planned and so all I had to do was keep up. We were 1st team round most of the way but Ashley and Dave were hot on our heels (sometimes known as "following") until the last descent when I took a tumble scaring half the field off with my scream. Ash and Dave flew passed and beat us to the finish by a minute! Thanks to Tom and Bob for organising and marshalling. Results
18th October - I travelled up to Falkland in Scotland with many DPFR runners to compete in the FRA Relays. I was on Leg 4 and so had a lot of waiting but was able to watch all the activity down in the start/finish area. Our course was basically uphill from the start to the top of East Lomond at 434m, down to 350m, contour round on a very fast track then back up to the top before a plummet down to the finish. It was very windy but I enjoyed the course and did a time of 50.55 which I am very pleased about. Results for UKA British Hill & Fell Relay Champs. on 17-Oct-2010
10th October - Yesterday was the last of the Lakeland Classic Races - Langdale. Not one of my favourites as it's very fiddly underfoot. It was very warm with a strong easterly breeze. I didn't really enjoy the race - legs felt tired, rocks seemed very slippery and I didn't seem to be able to stride out. Then to top it all I got cramp. So overall very pleased to be 4th Lady, 1st V40 and take 9 minutes off my best to do 2.48hrs!
I have now completed all six of the Classics in 2010 and am currently 2nd and 1st V40 overall - Lakeland Classics Trophy
4th October - I ran the Grin and Bear It from Crow Edge - in aid of Woodhead Mountain Rescue. After the rain I knew the bogs across Outer Edge would be squelchy and I was right although I don't think they had had time to develop into proper lady-eating bogs - some were still solid enough for me to run across anyway! I set off fairly fast for me as I wanted to run strongly while the going was good. I was with Ozzy and Tim from Todmorden for most of the way and they were good company but left me standing once we got off the bogs! The weather was brilliant - very clear but a little warm to be honest! I finished 4th overall, 1st Lady in a time of 2.28hrs. Grin and Bear it
Photo courtesy of Graham Gibbons
Then Steve and I travelled to Berkhamsted for a lovely evening with my brother and wife (Charlie and Carol). Good food, wine and company and not to bed till 3am - very, very late for us!!
1st October - Me and Steve competed in the RAB Maountain Marathon in the Eastern Lakes. The weather was cold with a strong northerly wind but we wrapped up and were fine. There was lots of route choice on Day 1 and it was nice to be out on our own. We didn't think we had picked up many points and 230 didn't sound a lot but we were 16th so very pleased. It was cold over night but we fine but cramped in our new Terra Nova competition tent. Day 2 we planned a similar route to Day 1 however messing around finding a couple of points and Steve's tired legs meant that we were scarily 6 miles out with 1.45 hrs to go. A lot of ridge running back got us in with 10 mins to spare and keeping our measerly 110 points !! Photo of us at the Start of Day 2
Rab Mountain Marathon 2010 - Overall Results
19th September - I travelled to the Lakes with Ian Winterburn yesterday and completed the 5th Lakeland race in the Classic Series - 3 Shires. I set off with legs that felt fresh and don't think I controlled them well enough. They were off up the first hill without a thought to the other 3 hills that were to follow. I tried to slow them down but was enjoying feeling fit again! It did catch up with me by 3 Shires Stone and I got 2 gels and my energy drink down which gave me enough boost to get me to the finish. Annoyingly went down the wrong gully at the end and ended up on some screes - one year I will get this race right - but finished in hopefully under 2hrs 30 minutes, 3rd Lady and 2nd V40. A brilliant race; well organised by Selwyn and supported by the 3 Shires pub.
17th September - I've been putting off writing news so as not to move the Pyrenees down the page but 3 weeks has passed and life has gone on. I did Shelf Moor on 5th Sept and found the ascent better than the descent - the legs would not flow. I managed to keep 20th position in the Ladies and got enough points to be joint 2nd V40 English Lady overall so very pleased. Then I did Pumlumon challenge in mid Wales as part of the Vasque series on 11th Sept. The weather wasn't brilliant and overall although I love the run and the views I felt I was running like a donkey. Didn't think I would be anywhere near 5 hours though and so was very pleased with 5.04 hours. Jon Morgan won in a fantastic time of 3.56 relegating everyone else to poor points as its all done on winner's percentage. Pumlumon Challenge Results
3rd September - I arrived back in the UK on Monday night but have been very busy harvesting or sleeping since then. Overall I don't feel too bad and I'm hoping to do Shelf Moor on Sunday.
I had a brilliant time in the Pyrenees and really enjoyed the few days I had there. The area is very mountainous and green. The villages are relaxed and the people very friendly and helpful. The whole race organisation was very low key and well run. It was nice to be in such a small location with everything within easy walking distance.
Wednesday - flew from Heathrow to Toulouse arriving at 5pm. Drove to Saint Lary to the hotel. Quick bite to eat and bed.
Thursday - registration / kit check / drop bag collection but this hardly took anytime and so we were left with time to relax. It was very hot and forecast to get hotter with Friday being 32C, night 26C, Saturday 28C night 20C, Sunday 22C night 18C. No rain but cloudy on Sat.
Grand Raid Pyrenees ...
Friday - Race starts at 5am from Vielle Aure (15 mins walk) . It was very hot overnight making sleep hard then we were up at 3.45am for breakfast. Got to start just 15 minutes before the off - it was dark so headtorches were needed.
My plan was to set off faster than Reunion but within myself. To eat and assess the heat / food / water availability then push on while it was cooler. To take it easy if hot then push on again overnight.
The pace at the start didn't seem too fast and apart from a couple of competitive women pushing past the runners were friendly and considerate. The 1st climb is brutal from 800m to 2215m; initially easy going however it turns into a stony and very steep ski run climb which really hurt. Arriving at Merlans at 7.30am (the first food stop) I assessed food - it wasn't ideal as I don't do salami and cheese but there was fruit, ham, coke, tuc biscuits so I tucked into those. Off up again slightly but the next leg was more runable and flatter. The scenery was lovely and green. I was getting into my stride now and also ate my rice puds and fruit salad to reduce weight! I got to Artigues at 10am and refueled again.
The next 2 legs are uphill - from 1200m to 2378m then an out and back to the top of Pic Du Midi (2876m). The initial climb was a grassy path and very pleasant but the mountain always loomed. I was worried I had set off fast but just kept going and eating. The track to Pic du Midi summit was a gentle gradient and I could stride out. Here I was told that I was 2nd woman - not too pleased as just thought it reinstated the fact I was off too fast but damage done so kept going!! I caught the 1st Lady and passed her. The view from the top was magnificent - I must go back with more time to stop! It was great to see other British runners I knew as I descended and everyone looked well.
I refueled quickly at the base and got off keen to open up a gap. I caught Tim Laney and we ran for a while. It was getting hot but bearable - hat and sunscreen came out and on. I pushed on but tried not to overdo it as it was so early to be leading. This leg was the longest one of 18.9km and undulating. I had underestimated my water consumption and ran out half way which wasn't pleasant. Eating my gels, fruit salad, fruit purees for liquid value and then managing sweets but generally struggling to eat without water to wash the food down with. There were a couple of hot little climbs as well. Then the clag came down which was a blessing but made route finding hard work even with markers every 30m or so. I was always running around people and together we found the way to the top of Hautacam and liquid - lots of it!
Leaving Hautacam (1600m) in the clag on my own it was tricky finding the path off but once on track it was easy to follow and basically just contoured round a hill for what seemed like hours, still in clag before dropping down into Villelongue at 500m. As we crossed many streams my feet got wet and after much deliberation as to time wasting I made myself stop and change my socks as I really didn't want blisters like in Reunion. Arriving at the stop I was glad of my drop bag but after adding my spagetti hoops to the pasta they provided I tasted something fizzy. Thinking it was the pasta I tried the spag on its own - "Oh no it was that" and horrid. "That will do me no good I thought!". Quickly collecting more food and spare socks I got on my way.
This was another big climb and something wasn't happy in my stomach. I tucked in behind 2 runners who spoke a bit to me but chatted a lot to each other. I couldn't breath and wondered how they could chat!! I ate some cheddars to settle my stomach and that helped. Cheering up I enjoyed the climb as it emerged from the trees, gave us a lovely view and arrived at Turen de Bene (1550m) at 19.45. Stopping quickly for tea and ham but not trusting my stomach to soup or anything else. I ate my rice puds and more hula hoops. From there I was running with the same couple of guys for about 6 hours. We took it in turns to go in front and find the way in the dark, I was struggling and feeling sick on the steep uphills but once they levelled off I always caught them again. My torches were better than theirs so on fiddly paths I fared better. At Aulien I tried the soup and it was very good !! The descent to Luz was a new route and the worse ground we encountered on the whole race. 1050m of tussocks, bogs, low trees, bracken and sheep trods. I was hoping to be down quickly but soon resigned myself to a lot longer. Eventually we were down and running. A guy caught us up that I hadn't seen before and that worried me as if he could then so could 'she'! I overtook my friends (incl No 120) and set off after him.
Into Luz (700m) at 03.06hrs I once again needed to be quick. After getting my drop bag I sorted out all gels, gel blocks, fruit salads and rice puds to take and left sandwiches, crisps etc as I still had lots of them. Another bowl of soup and I was off. Running up the road wasn't a good idea - the soup was determined to make a reappearance and after struggling to hold it down I spat some out. Back to a walk and got a rice pud down. I was using my maps a lot now - just going from CP to CP and not thinking about "the bigger or much longer picture". Soon after Luz we had to cross a marshy field and so annoyingly my feet got soaked - I made myself stop straight away and changed my socks putting on anti-friction cream as well. Tucking my wet socks into my shorts I hoped they might dry - "fat chance!!" This was a nice ascent - 11km climbing only 800m on a very good path or road. I was quite happy and realizing that this could be doable. No-one was catching me so I couldn't be too slow. I just needed to maintain pace and get something down.
Arriving at Tornaboup I didn't feel like much food but picked up water and chocolate. I had been having energy drinks also but generally was going off food. Fruit purees and gel blocks were still edible though and so I stuck to them. Off up the valley was a pleasant climb and with the prospect of daybreak I was quite cheery. Passing a water / coffee stop I was tempted but decided to press on. Up the last major climb onto Col de Barages at 2480m then a long, long, long descent through horrid rocks and tree roots. Just when I was berating running, racing and life I was caught by No 120 (Valery Caussaurieu) and was pleased to see him. He was flying and so I tucked in behind him and we pushed onto Merlans. Only 10km to go in 90 minutes to get under 30 hours - I didn't think it was doable for me. I was climbing well but my hips were complaining on the descents. Anyhow we did the best we could and unfortunately got caught by a couple of guys on the last run in but there wasn't any fuel left in my tank!! Valery stuck with me and I thank him for that and the hours of companionship through the night.
It was a magnificent feeling running through the finish - not only completed but won in 30hrs, 14 mins and 30 seconds! I was as elated as I look ...
After finishing I was surrounded by camera's and being interviewed (luckily in english) when I started to feel dizzy. I knew what was coming and asked to sit down but too late. Next thing I was having a lovely dream and felt I was floating on a bed of hands. Opening my eyes - I found that I was! The medical people were lovely as too was Ann-Marie from Sleepmonsters. My blood sugar was 0.54 !!! I had some sugar, food and a sleep and then was able to leave them and enjoy myself!
Thanks to Amanda and Andrew at www.racekit.co.uk for lots of information, support, x-socks, sunhat, and Raidlight top. The photo's are also Andrew's !
Link to SleepMonsters Race report by Ann-Marie Dunhill
21st Aug - I've had a couple of weeks of easy running but been busy haymaking and walling so my arms ache! Spent my spare time organising clothing / drop bags / food. You can follow the race online - they are currently putting a map up. This is the list of UK Runners that I know:
Ultra - sets off at 5am on Friday 27th
Me 148 Amanda Heading 146 Andrew Heading 150 Julie Gardner 75 Julian Brown 211 Alison Brind 41 John Vernon 111
Grand sets off at 5am on Saturday 28th
Marienne Heading 1145 Kathryn Spendlove 1296 Mark Spendlove 557
9th August - This was my last training weekend before Grand Raid Pyrenees ( Le Grand Raid des Pyrénées ) in 3 weeks time. I did Borrowdale Race of 17 miles with 7000'climb on Saturday and had a good run despite the clag and slippery rocks (Results_2010). Then on Sunday I did the Long Tour of Bradwell of 31 miles with 6300' climb. The weather was warm and muggy for 3 hours then the sun broke through but there was a slight breeze for the next 3 hours! I set off steady (what else was there to do) not expecting much and just wanting to get round in one piece. By Stannage I had eaten and drunk enough and having reccied the 2nd half was looking forward to it. I picked up the pace a bit, made myself eat some more gels and chocolate and on the ascent up through Abney made myself gently run all of it. I finished in 6.03 - tired legs made it impossible to descend any faster into Bradwell!!
I'm very pleased with the weekend - on Sunday I wore the top, shorts, shoes, socks and rucksak that I am using in Pyrenees and everything was good which is especially pleasing as my toes were sore from rock bashing on Saturday. A brilliant route with lovely views. Very well organised and a good event centre. Results
18th July - Well I needed to do better at Holme Moss than last week at Wasdale - and I did. It was 12C and a strong headwind all the way to Crowden and I found it hard work. I seemed to be going backwards. From then I got going a bit and with the good lines being obvious had a good run across to Laddow Rocks. The flags to Black Hill seemed easier than on Thursday (when I'd recced it) but the wind was now behind us. I felt strong across to Holme Moss and all the way to the finish but couldn't catch Pippa Wilki once we got to the track/road - I haven't got the best road running technique. I finished 7th or 8th I think, 2nd V40 but the best bit - I took 20 minutes off last years time and did 3.10 hrs. Dark Peak Ladies were 2nd Team.
13th July - Setting off to do the Wasdale Race we left the sunshine behind and entered a world of rain and clag. I changed into 3/4 leggings, Helly and good waterproofs. It was definitely a "race of navigation" and unfortunately I wasn't in the mood for navigating and so made a couple of errors; the worst right at the end coming off Scarfel but there you go. My time was 6.14hrs and one to be improved on!
4th July - I ran Osmotherley Phoenix yesterday. Setting off I ate and drank a lot hoping not to get dehydrated but from half way I just felt sick. I ate a packet of Hula Hoops which did help and just drank water hoping that I could complete on that as my stomach wasn't processing anything anyway. At 6 miles a marshall said I was 1st woman but as I replied "at the moment". At 5 miles from the finish I sneaked a look at my watch and it was 4.40hrs - I had to recheck my watch hadn't stopped as I imagined it would be 5.15hrs or so. That gave me a little boost but my legs were very stiff and running downhill was difficult. Looking behind I could see two green vests catching me but it wasn't until 2 miles to go that I made out that one was a woman. Oh *** I thought. "So how much do I want this - my 4th time running the race and never 1st" "I'll give it a go" Knowing there were 2 steep little climbs I steeled myself and ran up the first trying to look good (not how I felt!). It worked - they had dropped behind. Along some flat (painful), downhill again (on no) and onto the last climb up some awful steps too. I could now only see the male green vest behind but kept pushing overtaking surprised walkers who were enjoying their finish. Onto the road and round the village and it was all over; my legs were twitching and cramping out of control! But worth it - 5hrs 21 mins - 20 minutes off my pb and 1st Lady.
Looking at the "Winners and Records.xls " it looks like I've taken 2 minutes off the Ladies record too.
22nd-29th June - Me and Steve had a week's holiday in Menorca. We went back to the same campsite that we used 8 years ago (also a World Cup year) and little had changed. It took one day to organise bikes (opting for no suspension ones - a bit of a mistake!) and cooking gas. From then on it was daily cycling trips along bike routes that were only really for mountain bikes and we are complete novices, cycling to the beach, swimming etc and cycling back (an hour in heat!), drinking beer and eating either camp food or in the bar at the campsite watching football (except the England match!). Pictures on Gallery - Menorca 2010
26th June - well done to Amanda Heading who completed the BG in 22.53 hrs.
18/19th June - DPFR BG Weekend. The weather was good, clear but with a biting cold wind. On Friday evening 7 people; Willy Kitchen, Dave Bollington, Brent Lindsey, Kirsty Bryan-Jones, Steve Martin, Tim Martin and Paul Payne set off from Moot Hall in Keswick at 6.45pm. At Threkeld they were 30 minutes up on a 23.30 schedule which was held across the night section to Dunmail. Across from Dunmail conditions were good and although a few contenders went through bad patches we arrived at Wasdale still 30 minutes up. The group got split up across to Honister with people swapping positions as they all struggled through aches, pains, sickness and the like! Brent yoyo'd between feeling very good and feeling very bad but there was never any moment he considered giving up. Across to Keswick the stronger people made up time with the final role call being Willy Kitchen in 22.50, then Tim Martin, Brent in 23.10, Paul Payne and Steve Martin in about 23.15, then Dave Bollington in 23.25ish and Kirsty in 23.30 Some Pictures BG 2010
Well done to all the contenders for making it a very successful weekend which was then celebrated in style in the pub later that night!
15th June - last weekend I ran the Ennerdale Horseshoe race - the 2nd in the Lakeland Classics series and also a English Championship race. The weather was warm and very dry and water was very scarce. I set off steadily and found the first couple of climbs hard so tried to drink and get my gels down. The marshalls had taken water upto most of the summits for which I was very grateful for and I begged some off some people supporting as there was little to be found in streams/tarns. I picked up by Green Gable and across to Kirkfell and Pillar I felt good. Water was still scarce but with a cup or two at summits I just carried on. Running across to Haycock I picked a good line and was pleased. I had forgotten about White Pike but as its not much of a climb it came and went easily. After that I caught Dave Sykes and we ran together the rest of the way - him being so much faster than me on the descents. We finished in 4.42 - 19 minutes off my PB of 5.02 in 2008 but a whopping 44 minutes off my time in 2009 of 5.25 hrs (although that day was the day the Welsh 1000m race was stopped - the weather was bad!).
8th June - This Saturday I travelled to the Lakes to run the Duddon Fell Race - the 1st of the Lakeland Classics. It was a hot day and I set off steadily. I think my worst time was at the beginning when legs felt heavy and I was very hot. After Harter Fell I picked up a bit and had a good run the rest of the way with good route choices. Finished 45th in 3.53 hours, about 15 minutes faster than in 2009 (although I had completed the Ramsay only 2 weeks before then).
Sunday was the Barnsley Boundary relay - I was doing Leg 6 - a hilly, fiddly 11.5 miles - most of which I remembered ok and the rest I was helped by other Penistone runners! The weather was much cooler and apart from the ground being very slippery due to recent rain it was pleasant running. Wharncliffe woods went on as usual but the steep hill and rocky descent off gave welcome respite. I managed 1.41 hrs which I was pleased with.
30th May - Mark Pearce and Amanda Heading attempted the Bob Graham this weekend starting at 5.30pm on Friday. The weather was good but forecast to clag in and rain on Saturday. The first section to Dunmail went quickly with them being 30 mins up on schedule at Threkeld. Overnight conditions were good and they continued to make very good progress coming into Dunmail still 30 mins up. I was supporting from Dunmail with Andy Plummer, Steve Burgess, Rob Sanby and Dave Sleath. Mark was still going strong but Amanda was feeling sick and across to Bowfell we split into two groups. At Bowfell we saw Amanda just having been sick but still going well and then the clag came down and that was the last time we saw her until Wasdale. Navigation came into play across from Great End to Bowfell with us choosing to do Lords Rake rather than Broad Stand. Coming down into Wasdale Mark was now on the schedule having lost the time gained earlier. Amanda was seen on the descent to Wasdale just as Mark set off up Yewbarrow. Even though Amanda was down on schedule she had a good rest, food/tea and a change of clothing. We set off up Yewbarrow with Mark Spendlove and Russell Buxton. At the top we had only lost 2 minutes on the schedule and so were hopeful that things would pick up. The clag came down on Red Pike and stayed down for the rest of that leg making navigation important and rocks slippery again. We tried to get back on schedule but although Amanda had lots of determination her sickness had returned and it was clear she had very little energy. The supporters tried all methods of encouragement but we still continued to lose a couple of minutes on every leg. It was frustrating and very hard to watch. At the bottom of Great Gable it was still just possible to complete in time but on the climb Amanda struggled with the clambering and we lost about 10 minutes. The path down to Green Gable was awful and just to finish us off it started raining. Amanda had been demanding to know what her splits were and soon realized on Green Gable that it wasn't going to happen. We went across to Brandreth and Grey Knotts and then down into Honister to finish. Commiserations to Amanda who I'm sure will soon be back to complete.
Mark's attempt wasn't without incident as navigating in the clag they had lost 40 minutes around Pillar/Kirkfell and so when he arrived at Honister it was on the line. Mark was still going well though and set off strongly up Dale Head. It was a nervous group that awaited at Moot Hall in the throngs of tourists and market stalls. At 5.22pm Mark was spotted and with much hollering the crowds parted to reveal Mark sprinting up to the hall at 5.23pm - 23 hours and 53 minutes after leaving it. Well done to Mark - a good effort in poor conditions and thoroughly deserved.
23rd May - On a very hot day yesterday I with Ian Winterburn, Steve with Brent completed the Old County Tops. What started as a race turned into an ordeal to finish with very hot temperatures and a third of the field either dropping out or getting timed out. Ian started to suffer after 2 hours going up Wythburn feeling sick and dizzy. We hoped it would pass but by the time we were on Scarfell Pike we knew it wasn't just a bad patch and was here to stay. Running across to Cockley Beck he picked up a bit and credit to him decided that he could finish. We had just about managed to retain our position but a few teams came into the checkpoint not long after us. Ian rested in the shade and had tea and egg sandwiches. We set off up Grey Friars towards Coniston Old Man. After about 100m Ian was very sick and then sat on a rock for a while. We set off again and slowly plodded upwards. Other teams were struggling all around us - some with sickness others with cramp. It was fresher on the ridge and Coniston came quickly. Running down Ian picked the pace up and we made good time to 3 Shires Stone. Running down the road was absolute hell - I thought my head would explode. But with only a couple of miles to go we jogged on dipping our heads in the streams as we passed. Coming into the finish we were pleased to find that we were 13th in a time of 9.13 hours.
Steve and Brent had set off at the back and made their way through the field to finish in a time of 11.06 Steve had also suffered in the heat. Other teams were Karen Davison and Pete in 8.54, Dave Sykes and Ashley Kay - 9.06, Ben Robson and Greg Rimmer - 10.06. Dave Tait and Adrian Dixon did brilliantly in 10.07. Willy Kitchen and David Bollington - Dave had a really rough time and they completed in about 11.15ish. Tom Westgate and Kev - Kev retired and Tom finished in about 10.50,
Many thanks go to the race organisers and marshalls who had carried water up to the summits and provided lots of very good food and support at the road checkpoints. The spicy lentil soup was excellent at the finish.
15th May - I travelled up to the Lakes to support Julie Gardner on her Joss Naylor. Running on a 13.30 schedule she arrived at Dunmail 10 mins up and looking good. Her pacers on the first and second legs (Phil Hodgson, Phil Cheek - Leg 1 and Nick Harris, Mark Townsend - Leg 2) said she had been pushing the pace over these 2 legs.
With Andy Green we set off up Steel Fell in excellant conditions. The weather was warm in the valley but a cold wind on the tops. Julie was going very well and eating little and often with only a couple of complaints as to the food she was offered - potatoes and pizza !. We gained a little going across the High Raise, Rosset Pike and Bowfell but then losing a little on the rocks over towards Esk Pike. On Great End we decided to backtrack rather than try a new directline down to Styhead Pass which none of us knew. Looking back from the bottom I was glad of that decision - one to recce maybe! In good spirits we reached Styhead 15 minutes up on schedule and set off up Gable with Chris Cripps, Barbara and Mark Townsend.
It was great to be out in the hills with very good views and Julie in such high spirits. The supporters had an idea that under 13 hours could be achieved and so we kept the pace going without putting the pressure on. Running across from Haycock the trod was found easily by Chris and once over the steep climb of Seatallan the rest was easy running. With 20 minutes to get down off Middle Fell the pace was flowing. Joss had run upto the top of Middle Fell and saw us coming across. He was there at the bottom of the path to welcome Julie in at 12.57 hours. A brilliant achievement.
8th May - The Fellsman - 62 miles, 11,000 feet in the Dales. The weather promised to be cold, dry with a strong northerly wind and that's what we got. The ground was extremely dry which made for good running. Setting off at 9am from Ingleborough my plan was to try and set the pace the same as last year. It was hard to tell running into wind as it felt very hard and tiring. Coming off Whernside I felt better than last year but made a navigational mistake which cost me a few minutes and was very annoying. The wind was headlong all the way across to Great Coum where I made another navigational mistake and slapped myself once again. That was it for mistakes - I framed myself after that and stopped being a sheep.
The beans went down well at Dent and I started to find my pace across Blea Moor finding a good line down to Stonehouses. The sun came out on the ascent to Great Knoutberry and running across to Redshaw was warm. A reasonable line to Dodd Fell gained me a few places and remembering the line across to Fleet Moss a few more. A quick stop to fill my container with rice pudding and fruit salad and I was off across Fleet Moss. Its always hard to remember each wall and fence and I'm always glad to reach Middle Fell. Running across to Hells Gap I caught sight of the checkpoint - not as visible as last year and made a beeline for it. Down the horrid stony track to Cray. Cheese and sausages don't really agree with me so I stuck to tea and gels from then on really. Climbing Buckden I couldn't see anyone behind or in front of me and got a little despondent. I had a gel to clear the head - caffeine was needed! That kicked in before Park Rash and when the marshall said I could go on I was very pleased. Up Whernside I bounded - much cheered up and just settling down to the long run in in front of me. I felt lucky to be running in daylight and knew it would gain me time.
The long stony track to Yarnbury took forever and my stomach was really complaining by now. Once on the road I ran well but couldn't remember whether it was 2 or 4 miles and didn't really want to know (!!) so hadn't asked the marshalls or looked at my map! I thought if its 2 then I'll be under 13 hours, if it's 4 then I won't! It certainly looked a long way! Once running though it soon passed and I don't know how but the last hill felt easy. The time recorded was 9.44 so I thought I had done 12.44 and so was pleasantly surprised at presentation to learn I had done 12.39 (we started 5 mins late!).
1st Lady, 8th Overall and a New Course Record! A really nice trophy to keep for a year. Results on Fellsman website
Two nice pictures - thanks and credit to Mick Kenyon - Mick's PhotoBox - Fellsman Album
2nd May - On a cold and windy day Charlie, Carol and I walked out across Black Hill and supported ... well gave encouragement by shouting at/to the runners doing the Crowden Fell Race. As it was so cold we wore the down jackets that Steve used in Siberia! Photo credits and birthday wishes go to Charlie!!
Well done to all and photos in the Gallery Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if anyone would like full pixel photo.
1st May Steve, my brother and his wife (Charlie and Carol) and I drove to the Lakes and I did Coniston Fell Race. After a crowded start the field soon spaced out up a very steep initial climb. It felt very hot and there was no wind. Taking the left split towards the summit of Wetherlam was a good tip I had and gained me a few places. Off there is a steep down and a steep up to Swirl How then a nice long run across to Coniston Old Man. I went slightly wrong off there as 2 people in front of me went too far right but once realised made my way back to the main field across grass and slate cursing! I hadn't lost any places which was interesting as I had made quite a detour but apparently just off the summit is very rough. The run down was nice apart from the rocky slates on the track but I managed to find some good grassy trods down.
Passing Steve (the cameraman) and Charlie and Carol (the cheerleaders!) before the river I ran into the finish just as the rain started. I had hoped for 1.33 to 1.40 and did 1.35 (by my watch) so very pleased. Full results - here
Steve photos on the Gallery
25th April - The weather for the 3 Peaks was hot and very dry. Once again I was trying for under 4 hours although with having just got rid of the cough and I raced on Wednesday (DPFR _ Cakes of Bread) to make sure I was ok I wasn't holding my breath. Pen y Ghent was ok and I enjoyed the run across to Ribblehead for once. From then on though I suffered from cramp even though I was drinking gallons and my legs felt very heavy as well (prob as a result of racing Wed). So to finish in the same time as last year 4.04 was good considering. Results on SPORTident
Afterwards I met up with Amanda and Andrew at Cray checkpoint and we reccied Middle Tongue to Hells Gap for the Fellsman in two weeks time. Surprisingly at a walk I felt great !!
22nd April - My birthday!! Been baking cakes for the Hartcliff Hill Race (carrot if anyone wins them!) this morning and walling this afternoon but going out for a nice meal tonight wearing my new short dress with legs covered in scratches from last nights "Cakes of Bread" race.
I caught a cold and then a cough after Manx which meant I haven't done much running since. It has at last gone so I'm able to do the 3 Peaks Race this Saturday.
3rd April - With Steve, Amanda and Andrew we travelled (by air this time - much better/quicker) to the Isle of Man on Good Friday to do the Manx Mountain Marathon which is about 31 miles and goes from Ramsey to Port Erin. It was very wet and blowing a cold wind on Friday and at 7am on the Saturday. The forecast was for it to improve and it did by noon although the early starters had horrid sleet to contend with for an hour. I set off ok and was feeling fine by half way (St Johns). I had been running with a guy - Nigel No52 - for most of it and he kept me going on the flats as he was obviously comfortable on tracks and roads. My energy and mood dipped after that for a couple of hours mainly due to lack of food. I'm sure they usually give us more than bananas and sweets - I had 3 bananas and my energy gels/powder but craved something salty/savoury and in the end couldn't stomach sweet stuff anymore. Once over 3/4 way I resigned myself to not eating anything till the finish and actually cheered up. Passing Steve I asked him if he was ok and he replied yes. I offered him a gel and he took that. Coming down into Fleshwick Bay I made a stupid mistake and followed some guys passed a stile while thinking "I'm sure we usually go over that stile". And yes we do and should. Round the corner I saw them floundering in the brambles. I climbed over the fence into the brambles and Nigel followed me. Across the brambles was horrid and I got my legs really badly scratched. So just the last hill to do - but its a very steep climb. I was caught by a girl on the Half Marathon and tried to stay with her which helped. Over to the tower I knew I wasn't going to beat 6 hours but thought I would try and beat last year's time of 6.12. So that spurred me on. I finished in 6.11. 2nd woman, 1st V40 and 15th overall.
Amanda and Andrew did 7.36 hours and Steve did 8.16. The presentation was that night and a few beers were had in celebration! Results of Full and Half with Splits
On the Sunday we had a nice day out with Malcolm and Alison. We took the steam train to Castleton and had a nice pub lunch in the sunshine. Then flew home that night.
27th March - on a cold and windy day I went to the Lakes with Ian Charlesworth and Ian Winterburn to recce the Old County Tops. The weather had seen many people off and we only saw a couple of Duke of Edinburgh groups all day. A good 21 miles and 8 hours of reccying that took us into areas we don't usually go!
21st March - I ran the Skyline race and found it hard work. I was going ok until Mam Nick where I started getting cramp even though I had drunk loads beforehand and during the race. I managed to hang onto my place and even gain a few (Willy Kitchen and Ian Charlesworth) but hat to be careful running as I didn't want to cease up. Results Dark Peak Fell Runners and Pictures Dark Peak Fell Runners - 2010/Edale_Skyline
14th March - Steve and I reccied the Skyline starting in a cold blustery wind around Rushup Edge and Brown Knoll but finishing down Win Hill in glorious sunshine.
7th March - Watershed weekend. With Ian Charlesworth, Nick Cable and John Rowe we once again completed the High Peak Marathon as its also known. Conditions were variable. The weather was perfect - clear, reasonably warm, light winds and only 15 mins of fog throughout the whole night. Underfoot Cut Throat bridge was sticky and thawed out then from Back Tor there was more snow and ice to Margery Hill. Across to Outer Trig was frozen and good going but from then on the snow was deeper, softer and progress was slower.
We set off fast thanks to John but I knew Bleaklow would be slow and so we kept it up until Moscar. Across Outer Edge and Bleaklow we kept a good pace up and with reasonable navigation (always room for improvement!) we made the Snake in good spirits. Across to Mill Hill was a slog where flags were snowy and then icy. Kinder was also tricky and then Brown Knoll was frozen and lumpy with the groughs soft snow. We had this idea about 10 hours and it looked do able until going across Rushup Edge with 25 minutes to go. So across to Hollins, down the hill and along the road we ran. Apologies to Richard Bradbury who I nearly floored trying to get my dibber in behind him.
Then the good news - 9.59 (and 14 seconds), 1st Mixed and 4th Overall. Brilliant.
Well done to Ian W - whose team were 3rd in 9.37 hours, Dark Peak Ladies who were 1st Ladies in 11.35, Team Pot Noodle - who were 14th in 11.59 - Mark Pearce, Roy Gibson, Andy Green and Amanda Heading. And of course Steve who was on his 1st HPM with Andy Plummer, Brent Lindsey and Keith Wakelely. They finished 20th in 12hrs19 mins HPM 2010 - Results.
19th/20/21st Feb - With Ian Fitzpatrick and Roy Gibson I went to Fort William to recce the Ramsay. It was obvious driving up that there was a lot of snow about !! Usually the snow line is about 600m but it was at ground level and very cold (-10oC). The plan was to do the 1st section across to Stob Ban in the Grey Corries and drop off to the Meannach bothy in Glen Nevis Valley. Then to do Mamores the next day on the way back.
We set off on Friday morning at 7am. The Ben was snowy but the path was visible. Crampons were on at 800m and path was completely covered with only the top 3ft of the cairns visible in the snow (and the 3 cairns that mark the gully were completely covered). We descended down the arete and across to Carn Mor Dearg. After having our picnic in the sun we tried to ascend up onto the Aanochs. This soon became rather scary with loose deep snow and icy rocks. While considering our route options I was thinking more about how we could get off the other side down onto the Grey Corries as its even steeper!! After discussion we decided to abort as we had lost a lot of time. So into the valley and along to the bothy we went. (There is one photo of me pointing at the drop off between the Aanochs and the Grey Corries - I'm pointing at what is now coined "Spinks Ridge" as its what I descended on my round). It was dropping dark as we approached the valley but Ian spotted some lumps of swamp wood which we broke up and carried about 1km!!
When we eventually got to the bothy Ian went off in search of more wood while we made tea and lit the fire. It was very cold and the fire was hardly giving off any heat but Ian came back and said there was a fallen pine tree across the river. So after some tea and food we reluctantly ventured out into the freezing cold on "Mission Wood". This was very successful with Ian climbing out along the trunk and sawing off 3 large branches while me and Roy were wood sherpas! I'm not saying the bothy was toasty after that but a lot better!
After a reasonably warm night we once again set off with a revised plan of doing Sgurr Elide Mor then somehow getting onto the Mamores (as Bennein Mor would be impossible) and making our way back to Fort William across the Mamores.
Good plan but at 800m the slope was very steep and once again the snow was soft with ice underneath so we decided to contour round to the loch. This proved easy and our route up onto the Mamores looked do able. Setting off once again up hill the slope became steeper and steeper but we persevered slowly and carefully and reached the crest where it was easy to reach the top. Over the Mamores the going was slow but views amazing and it was incredible to have a second day of beautiful weather. We descended off An Gearanach down into Glen Nevis and back to a shower, chicken curry and the pub.
On Sunday Ian wanted to look at the final descent off Mullach Nan Coirean and so we ambled up then back down in perfect weather before driving home. Photos
5th February - With the Watershed only 3 weeks away I went for a recce across Bleaklow with my team. It was very hard underfoot and running across normally deep bogs was very easy. Somehow I doubt it will be like that on the day but it would be fast!
31st Jan - I had a hard week hedge laying then went and did Wadsworth in complete fog. There was very little snow but after tweaking my ankle in the first mile I took it steady and just got in under 4 hours which I was pleased about.
24th January 2010 - Steve and I have spent the last two weeks in Chile climbing the world's highest volcano!! After 9 days of acclimatising, walking, and camping at altitude we attempted the volcano of Ojos De Salado at 6893m (about 22,000ft). Setting off at 3.30am from the hut at 5800m it took us 7.30 hours to trek on sandy paths the 1100m to the top. Photos are on gallery And full report on Ojos de Salado