Wednesday 11 January 2012

December 30th 2011- Kentmere Horseshoe

A good way to end the years running and no better than running with Paul. The weather was a bit damp and it was fine rain when we left the car at the Church in Kentmere. Once at the top of Garburn pass we noticed some light snow on the ground. As we climbed up the path towards Yoke the ground turned more snowy until we were in a few inches of snow and the rain had turned from sleet to full on snow. The next section was quite slippy especially on the down hills. We passed lll Bell and Foswick and then decided to contour round towards because of the worsening conditions towards Mardale lll Bell. This was interesting as we passed some deep filled gulley's that couldn't always hold your weight. Here the snow turned to sleet and hail and the wind made running painful and cold. We stopped briefly at the shelter at Nan Bield pass before climbing up towards the summit of Harter Fell before contouring round and making fast progress to Kentmere Pike and the very fast run down to Hallow Bank. the snow had gone and the terrain was now very wet rock and grass. It was a good end to the year and not so good conditions and to be back to the car in under 3 hours in the conditions was great and it was good for me and Paul to reflect from the years running and us both Successfully completing the Bob Graham Challenge on our first attempts.

Top year Paul looking forward to 2012

Post Bob Graham 3

Just a note really we got some snow the weekend before Xmas which was enough for us to Ski from Park Rash up to the summit of Buckden Pike. I was surprised to see snow as high as the wall tops. Fantastic ski tour with clear views of the Howgills. A fun ski back with plenty of wipe outs from me. about 5 miles and managed to skin all the way to the summit with out walking. Top day out.

Photo- Me and Matt Richardson with Great Whernside in the back ground

Post BOB Graham news 2 HIGH PEAK 40 CHALLENGE

The High Peak 40 Mile Challenge - 17th September 2011

There were two reasons that I decided to enter this race, one was to see how I would cope having done the Bob Graham back in June. Two probably the main reason was to gain 1 point from this race enabling for me to enter the UTMB 2012. Needing 5 points and already gaining 4 points from my Bob Graham.

Reading the information on this race it looked to me that it was a shorter version of the Fellsman Race.

Rachel and I drove down on the Friday night and stayed in a Travel lodge allowing me to get a good nights sleep with a small drive to Buxton to register ready for the 08:00 start.

After reading and studying the maps I had set my self a target of completing it in 10 hours. The race was about 45% Track and Trail and 35% road, so this was certainly going to be a challenge for me. Not a big fan of running long distances on roads. The route was a circular one from Buxton round Chapel -en -le -Frith and over Mam Tor to Castleton over the tops towards Tideswell and back to Buxton.

After the registration I walked down to the start with the other 300 runners. Rachel was going to meet me at some of the check points with any food, drink or kit I needed. Fortunately there was food and water etc at the checkpoints and they ranged from 3 to 4.5 miles apart. This certainly meant I wouldn't need to carry a bladder full of drink and just use a 500 ml bottle.

I made good and steady progress on the run and sometimes ran with other runners on route chatting. The food was great consisting from half's of Banana, cakes, flapjack etc and plenty of Orange juice and water. I spent only a couple of minutes at each stop taking on fuel and water etc and I certainly did better than I did on the Bob G with eating. Allot of the runners on this were Trail and cross country runners which was noticeable when I descended Mam Tor passing many runners. There was only about 40 minutes of heavy rain after the half way mark which fortunately stopped until the finish. I was very pleased with my progress especially on the long tarmac sections which I really felt on my knees and ankles through my fell shoes. towards the end was a run across a field to drop down a very steep limestone path into Deep dale. Here again the fell runner in me was noticeable as I passed about 12 to 15 runners as they walked down the path. Running down gave me good momentum to climb the other side to the last check point at 37.8 miles. Rachel did another good job of passing me some mixed nuts and fruit which i nibbled on the last section of the run towards Buxton. Passing more runners I came into the school gates and still had enough in my legs to blast to the finish in a time of 8 hours 20 minutes. Allot faster than I expected and better still I had no knee problem.

I took advantage of free drinks and hot pies before hitting the school showers to have some runners comment ' Are you that mad bastard that run down the steep path to Deep Dale'
More tea and some stretching and we were leaving Buxton when I though I'd be still running.

This race was a good event and the organisation and support was fantastic from start to finish with good amounts of food and drink on route limiting how much you need to carry, cutting down on weight.

I came in in 86th Place and as I had entered as FRA I was 2nd in the mixed team :)

I would definitely run this again and recommend it to anyone

Oh and I got my 1 point

p.s the Photo is me only 2.8 miles from the finish still running

Post BOB Graham Round news

Six weeks after my round I supported another runner on Leg 3. This was a strange time for me leaving Dunmail Raise at 3:30 ish in the morning and having to use a head torch until the final few hundred meters to Sergent Man. This leg went well for me a nice steady pace until descending from Scafell Pike when my knee problem from my round started to flair up. Richard wasn't confident on Rock climbs so Decided to go via Lords Rake and the West wall traverse to summit Scafell. The descent was hard on my knee but Richards pace was slow enough for me to make do. It was a good run and good test to see how tired would be only six weeks after my Bob Graham.

I continued my running through the Summer months in the dales and some nice runs in the Lakes with no noticeable problems with my knee. Was it finally sorted??