Saturday 23 April 2011

Friday 22nd April- The so call rest week!

After last Sundays double leg I said I was going to rest!

Mid- week whilst relaxing in the langdales; enjoying the the hot weather, i had a quick run up Pike Of Blisco. This was really to break in my new Inov8's and test the radios I was thinking of using on my BG round to communicate from Broad Stand down to the Wasdale stop crew.
Well the shoes were nice and comfy, summited in 34 Min's and down again in a total of 49 Min's from start to finish...(legs still tired). The radios worked fine except for my battery died.

Then on Friday I decided to run from Honister down to top end of Ennerdale and up the black sail pass to try another way of ascending Kirk fell and then back on the last part of leg 4 and then straight on to Leg 5.

Thanks to Rachel who dropped me off at Honister, then she was going to Little Town and come up the Catbells/ High Spy ridge and eventually meet me on Dale head and continue with me on the last part of leg 5.

Weather was good again, hot sun but with quite a strong wind which had a bit of a bite to it on the tops.
The first part of the run was OK, but I can say that my legs were tired as I was slow and found it hard work ascending Black Sail Pass. This time on ascending Kirk fell I followed the old metal fence posts up the main ridge which led me straight to the summit. This was by far the best way up Kirk fell I have done out of the three times on my Recce's.

Onwards and I was soon ascending on to Great Gable to join the masses, so I didn't hang around, had some pizza and onwards to Green Gable, Brandreth, and Grey Knotts and the descent down to the Honister mines car park. I carried on with the long but steady ascent on to Dale Head to meet Rachel sunning herself on the summit waiting for me. It was good to be joined by Rachel on one of my runs as the last time was when we did the OMM last October.

I ran on to Hindscarth as I wanted to find the direct path from the summit to Littledale edge. How did I missed this last time I ran this leg...!! A well defined path and once down I caught Rachel up on the final ascent to Robinson. The next part of this Recce was to find the path that leads down to Scope beck off the ridge. This was located after the final craggy descent and is marked by a tree. An easy descent with good steps cut out by the hoards of runners that have used this route and the path at the bottom is good going all the way to High Snab and join the tarmac road. Rachel had parked the car just before Little Town.

A good day, but I really need to rest my legs ready for next weekend. 14 miles and 6000 feet of ascent- not bad for a rest day. But I tied up some loose ends, locating a good path up Kirk fell, the route off Hindscarth, and the path down to Scope beck off Robinson.

Rachel's addition:
I decided to get my head out of the study books while the weather was nice (a first for our 2weeks easter hols) and go for a little trot myself...(first time since the OMM in Oct, oops). I planned to go from the car near Little Town and head up the bridleway to the ridge between Catbells and Maiden Moor. It was a warm day but the gentle cooling breeze was welcome. I plodded on up towards High Spy after some photo and pizza stops; getting there in just under an hour an half. I then ran furiously down to Dalehead Tarn in about 3minutes and up to the summit of Dale head in a further 30minutes (i struggled with knackered legs) where i decided to sun myself waiting for Andy. Together, as you've read we did the final bit of leg 5 of the BGR and it was lovely to be out on the fell again with Andy again and to be out in general athough i was tired and sporting evil blister. Run down was gentle but i began getting a knee Great day out.

Monday 18 April 2011

Sunday 17th April - Leg 3 and Leg 4

After yesterdays steady day (only 14 miles) The plan was to meet Paul at Honister to leave a car and then drive back to Dunmail ready for a much longer day.
I met Paul just after 09:00 thanks to some very slow drivers; we sorted our kit out and left my car in the car park at Honister slate mines.

Soon at Dunmail we got our selves ready and after some stretching the steep climb out of Dunmail was beckoning us on. There was no problem with low cloud today. Once at the top of the gully a quick toilet stop for me (well got to practice everything for the Bob G!). We were on the path for Steel Fell summit and once this was past met a couple out on a Sunday run from Ambleside. We ran with them both as far as Calf Crag, said our goodbyes and continued towards Sergent Man following the path this time that runs parallel with Mere beck. Once at the small col at the top, the summit was visible. The views were very impressive and the sun was very welcome as there was still a cool breeze at this altitude. The next few peaks of the Bob G past with no problems. Just the few false craggy tops leading to Rossett Pike caught us out running over them when I'm sure you can save time running round them. Down to Rossett Gill we headed up for Bow fell via the Hanging Knotts route. This was soon passed and the Very crowded summit was reached and left behind to continue forward on this leg.

Again the next few summits were reached with no real problems just a bit of side tracking off the paths but nothing too serious which lost us a minimal amount of time. We past a continuous trail of walkers coming off Scafell Pike and once we reached the summit; made our way down to Mickledore and the base of the Broad Stand. What did we do? Well we free climbed it once Paul was sure we were on the start of it. We climbed up the first two steps to what he said was the crux move. I climbed it but it was very slimey and slippery; especially for my fast dying fell shoes and a well placed hand from Paul gave me a foot hold allowing me to to mantle self to above the crux on another very slimey ledge. Paul followed on behind and i found a piton with a maillon and a bit of tat attatched. A young walker was convinced not to go any further on his idea to decend broad stand and go via foxes tarn route. Fortunately he took our advice and followed us upwards. Scafell was soon past and now the descent down to Wasdale. We followed a a faint track and ended up in scree filled gully and directly down to a stile and faint path to the bridge at the bottom joining the Brown tongue path. Not sure if this is the correct line, I need some guidance on this from anyone who knows please.

We had a good view of a Seaking that was hovering around the Broad crag area of Yewbarrow. Followed by smoke drifting off the cragg and several different hovers it was obvious this was a mountain rescue training exercise.

At the bridge we swilled the mud and grit out of our shoes; ate some food and topped up our water ready for the start of Leg 4 and the long climb up Yewbarrow. This time we followed a small trod to the right of the beck which took us to the top just 100 meters right of the summit which meant back tracking to the summit (have to watch this on the day). We dropped off the well marked path down under Stirrup Crag up to the ascent on to Red Pike. My pace slowed off now and I was sweating out more fluid than I was drinking. Knowing that there are no streams to drink from on this leg I had to ration my 1.5 litres of fluid. I will need someone up around Blacksail pass with extra water on my round I think. The day was now very warm and sunny and the views Of Isle of Man and the surrounding lakes were very impressive. (if only we had a camera! But time is tight on these runs and unfortunatley we wouldn't want to lose time, well that's my excuse).

Steeple, Pillar were past and the descent down to Blacksail pass was uneventful ready for the climb up on to Kirk fell. We ended up going up another gully which was no better than the other gully I ascended a few weeks back. I am going to have to try this again following the old fence posts to the summit. I continued slowly and watched Paul disappear in to the distance as my pace was a lot slower. The last big climb of the day on to Great Gable and once at the summit there was a nice thought of only three more summits and some easy running in front of us. Just around Brandeth my water ran out and we continued running to Grey Knotts and over the fence to descend to Honister. We stopped at a small stream to take on much needed water and filled my water bottle for more water down at the car. Thankfully they don't put a locked chain across the gate at the mine!

A another good day out on the fell and thanks to Paul once again on a good run. Both legs were completed in 10 hours 21 minutes. That's 7 minutes under my 22 hour schedule and 31 minutes under my 23 hour schedule.

Right Paul I know you like stats, this is for you...!!!
The run was 10 hours 21 Min's.
It was 27 miles long and we ascended around 13000 feet.
For me this weekend I have run 41 miles and ascended around 19000 feet.
In the last 8 days I have run 72 miles and ascended around 25000 feet.
I love stats too..... :o)

My shoes only just made yesterday my feet were hurting as they have lost all there cushioning, which as made my right heel a bit messy (no pain no gain), the sole at the front is hanging off, and the tread as worn through in places.
I didn't drink enough water yesterday and I was slightly dehydrated when I got home and with all the running I have done with no real weekends off ( just a 13.5 mile run!) I still was on time yesterday so a very pleasing weekend and the last 8 days. Cheers once again to Paul for a cracking day out.

Saturday 16th April- Leg 2

This was the start of a good and useful Bob G training weekend.

I parked at Dunmail and waited for the others to arrive. Enjoying a brew whilst sorting my kit out and also watching a group of runners setting off up the steep climb to Steel fell, but they were going very far to the left. Cloud base was very low covering from below half way down the steep climb. The forecast was for the cloud to slowly lift through the day to clear summits mid afternoon. The other four had arrived and after dumping spare cloths in my car we set off to Threlkeld.

We set off on a good steady pace which felt about right to me for my Bob G round and was pleased when we arrived at the summit of Clough Head in 49 minutes. The next section of running the Dodds was shrouded with low cloud and at times the visibility was quite bad. A few minutes of time were lost on this section due to complacence in thinking you know the way on without taking a compass bearing. Fortunately in both instances the track was soon found.
The cloud kept lifting temporally to show some parts of the lakes then was back again but there was no problem with the rest of the peaks to Dollywaggon apart thinking the next lump was the cairn summit but was actually the next one after. Once on Dollywaggon we had a good view of Fairfield.
This time we followed the direction of the zig-zag path to the outlet of Grisedale Tarn. We actually found a good line missing the zig-zags and straight down on the grass. We missed the start of the path that leads to Cofa Pike and had to traverse back across to locate the path and ascend up on to the ridge leading quickly to the top of Fairfield and the cast of thousands of walkers. A good steady descent off fairfield catching up another group of Bob G runners ( they were doing a Recce too. Just the last ascent of the day up Seat Sandel and a nice steady descent following a well defind path down to Dunmail in 4 hours 9 minutes. This time is 3 minutes down on my 22 hour schedule but up 12 minutes on my 23 hour schedule.
After trying both ways off Dollywaggon and up on to Fairfield I can say that the route up Cofa Pike is the better.

Thanks to Mark Rowley, Matt Richardson, Ed Poulter and Ian Harland for a good day out and was a useful Recce for Mark and Matt who are supporting me on my attempt in June on Leg 2.

Monday 11 April 2011

Saturday 9th April

A Saturday not in the lakes!
As I was running a UWFRA rescue practice on the Sunday I decided to do something local on the Saturday. So I did the 3 Peaks.

I arrived early In Horton and groups of 3 peaks walkers were already setting off up the lane to wards Brackenbottom on their start of their 3 Peaks challenge.
Once sorted I set off down the road and up the start of Horton Scar lane for my ascent up Penyghent. Part way up the lane I spotted a lone runner and was surprised to catch him up before the gate by the old shooting Hut ( I am sure he stopped to take a layer off)
We then got chatting as we continued on the ascent and were soon at the summit of Penyghent passing several groups of walkers (was there a charity walk on?)
I stopped to take my leggings off as the other runner continued. I caught him up again and we ran together the rest of the way to Ribblehead in about 1:50 from my start time.
He was catching a train back so said he would start up Whernside, but would have to turn back at some stage to get his train. Once on the ascent of Whernside my legs gave up on me and I was struggling with the ascent! (was the fact that this guy was about 6' 3 and my little legs were out paced? or was I just knackered from doing long days out every weekend this year?)
This guy turned back on the final steep ascent of Whernside ( I think he was called Dave, and was member of Idle runners or AC and was doing the 3 Peaks race at the end of the month)
Once I gained the summit i forced some food down my neck turned to face the, now, hot sun for my run along the ridge and the descent of Whernside. My legs were really feeling it now and the descent was steady and tried to run off the horrible path than on it. Once on the bottom I made a steady pace along the track/ road up past the Hill Inn with the very near looking Ingleborough beckoning me on. To say the next bit to the style, the one that is just below Sunset hole area, is reasonably flat I did struggle with the running, maybe I should have back tracked to the Station Inn and called it a day!
Once on to the stone flags and ascent on to Ingleborough I managed to plod on past the hoards of walkers and two runners that were doing Ingleborough, I was soon back on to swine tail and the long descent back to Horton. I surprised my self here and managed to run (in a fashion!) back to Horton and still manage to complete it in 4 hours 50 minutes. This is certainly different running to the Bob G and obviously I was on allot faster pace ( probably Bob G completed in 16 hour Pace!!).I was still carrying my rucksack on this run, making sure I had enough liquid as there were no water stations for me today, and I am sure if I had drank the stream water in the dales I would be squatting behind walls for the rest of the day.
A lovely day in the warm sun, hard work but it all adds to 'Miles in your Legs'

Sunday 3 April 2011

Sunday 3rd April

Yes a double run in the lakes this weekend.
Again at 09:00 this morning there was rain and very dark cloud. We set off to the lakes around 11:00 and the cloud was looking more broken over the lakes. A big thanks to Rachel who taxied me round to Honister Mines.
The days plan was to run the last leg of the Bob G to the small car park just before Little Town on the road section back to Keswick.

I set off with out rucksack which made me feel allot lighter than normal, which obviously assisted me hitting the summit of Dale Head in 26 Min's. With out pausing I continued on a good pace run to the summit of Hindsgarth in 37 Min's from Honister.
Continuing I followed the path all the way to the summit of Robinson in 55 minutes from Honister. The wind had a bite to it but cloud was good and the sun intermittently poked it self out. A good descent off Robinson with a few parts where its hand and feet on the rock onto better running down grassed paths towards High Snab farm. Here I got it slightly wrong with a bit of illegal farmers field crossing to gain the path and the start of the road section. I continued on the road on a good pace and was soon at the car park to meet a very surprised Rachel, as I told her to allow a good 2 hours for me to arrive but only took me 1 hour 23 minutes from Honister with 2190 feet of ascent and a distance of 6.7 miles.
Another cracking day out in the lakes with better weather than what was forecast.
A big Thanks to Rachel for dropping off and picking up. ( Just hope the fish and chips were worth it!)

Saturday 2nd April

The plan was a steady one, after last weekends double leg which gave me and Paul some leg problems (well knees mainly!). I met Paul on his home patch,at the village of Bampton.
We set off from Bampton after a quick brew. Fortunately the weather was now very sunny with broken cloud, which was a surprise after the 04:30 thunderstorm and heavy rain continuing onwards to mid morning.
We ran from Bampton up a nice little path that traversed Bampton common eventually landing on the bridleway between Wether hill and Red Crag. We swiftly continued onwards up on to High Raise and on to Kidsty Pike and the fast descent down to Haweswater. After a water stop we continued along the reservoir path back to Bampton.
Paul still had a problem with his knee on the descent, I felt OK with no problems this week. Back to Paul's I was treated to fresh coffee, tea and cheese on toast. Yet again another fantastic day on the fell with good weather and nice warm sun.

13.5 miles with 2500 feet of ascent.