Thursday, 5 April 2012

Hardmoors 55 and other animals.

Dent 14

I was down on the reserve list for the Gridleford gallop but no call or mail came my way which is a pity as it was on the way down to the Mick and Phil Half Marathon which I was helping out at and because I know quite a few folk didn’t turn up to run. Now I know there are always last minute reasons why folk can’t run but there were so many you would think folk would let the organisers know. Mind this may not be the fault of all the runners as I know some who did it had no idea there was a reserve list. Anyway it was no big deal as I went over to do the lovely Dent 14. (and 365 yards)

Dent is a beautiful little village tucked into the Yorkshire dales/ Cumbrian border. I did this race a fair few years ago but the foot breaks have kept me out of it. Last year I cycled it and had a cracking time with my best mate Kev.
After coffee at Kev’s, I headed the few mile to the race. The course is a sort of figure of 8 and fairly hilly for a road race. I thought if I could just manage 9mm that would be something at least. And funny enough as I passed the 14 mile mark my watch said 2:06 , bang on 9mm . Job done :-)


Mick and Phil Half Marathon

That night was a long drive to help out at the M & P half. A half Marathon around Draycote water put on by some kind folk at Fetcheverone to help out a cantankerous old bastard we are quite fond of. It all went well and I delighted the runners with my renditions of Abba classic. Gemma did have some constructive criticism in the pub after though saying it would be better if I could sing, knew the words and tune. I’ll work on it just for her but I’ll take what she says in a pub with a pinch of salt as we all know she’s a bit of a lush and was probably on her 5th bottle of wine. :-)

Don't ask.

Hardmoors 55.

Never had a chance to do this race yet as it’s only been run two years and my broken foot (x 4) stopped me. I’ve helped out though, first year I was marshal on High cliff nab and was the coldest I have ever been in my life. We lost a 3rd of the field to the cold that year. And last year I Rd.’d it so Jon could run.

Had lovely sue and Lindley up to stay for this race and with Sue driving it meant we didn’t have to get the coach from the finish to the start therefore giving us a more relaxed morning. Met up with a few club mates and fetchies again and we were soon off. The talk between Anna and I was how it would pan out for us. Neither was going for a time with bigger races in mind. It was really just time on feet. That said we still don’t want to take it to easy. Anna and I just don’t run well together. Give her some flat runnable stuff and she’s away. Give me rocks and bogs and I’ll leave her standing. If we run together then we just slow each other down.

I thought Anna would get away on the fairly tame (for the N. York Moors) first 22 miles to Osmotherly but we all seemed to be near each other and I left her at Osmotherly but then waited near the top off the village as she was just behind.
Lindley decided to save his legs for bigger days here btw (good luck on the147 mile Viking way this weekend mate!) Still runnable for a few miles Anna got it in her head to kick on and get ahead in the light and I wasn’t happy going that fast but I kept up, keeping the whippet in view but fairly comfortable.

The course changes to my sort of territory soon and I knew I would soon be ahead and saying goodbye. This isn’t some sort of machismo btw, just I’m much better on the lethal rocky descents. Unfortunately before we got to the first real one Anna went over on a fairly flat bit (doesn’t it always happen that way! ) and twatted her knee against the stone slabs. Thank god I hadn’t got ahead. Anyway I wanted her to pull out but she wanted to finish and who am I to argue. I’m not her coach ffs; she has a mind of her own on these matters. All I said was see how you feel , if you think you are making it worse then this race isn’t worth it, you have more important races –this is just training , (she doing the 95 mile whw with me in support which I’m looking forward to as there are some great supporters coming along. I’d tell you who but it’s all a big secret ffs)

the sun shone for a minute before it went down.

Anyway to cut a long story short, she went from CP to CP making a decision on whether to continue at each one. It was pretty slow going and consequently I had a very easy run. No bother, good time on feet in my book. Anyway we finished together hand in hand which isn’t going to happen often.

Must thank Lindley and sue for being there to take her out at every cp if she had chosen to and for looking after all the other runners. One asked me to pass on his thanks to lindley for kicking him out of Kildale when he looked like he might just be getting too comfortable and inevitably would have pulled out. He finished the race. Great race that’s going to be interesting next year as it’s going to go the opposite direction. I think I’ll go for a time on it then if I’m fit enough.

Parkrun, Cross country Saturday and Blakely Blitz 10. 5 Mile 2,806ft Ascent fell Race Sunday.

Anyway, I wanted to actually run a Parkrun. I always seem to be volunteering when I’m free theses day so as XC was near Newcastle Parkrun, I ran. I was fucking terrible. I don’t know if it was Dent and the 55 in my legs or the Tri club swimming the night before making me ill (pools are really making me quite ill but I can ditch them soon for the OW –oh and yes I’ve been going in over the winter but you can’t get any decent training in when it’s that cold and it’s to dark on the night) but My legs hurt from the off in both races, I had nothing to give and I bombed bit time. Still it was nice to see Lesley and take my dog Fin over the fields and a nice pint in my favourite pub in the world (and the best food put in the UK), the Feathers in Hedley on the hill.

The Blakely blitz was more like it. I nearly didn’t go as my knee was playing up again. (Thought it was fixed). I read a blog recently that had some stats about ascent and I commented that stats can mean very little. You can have to very different races with the same stats. That said, this had 2806ft of ascent over 10.5 miles and this is the N. York Moors, its all heather and bogs. Very hot and sunny the race is unusual in the fact it has about of mile downhill from the start. Brilliant race & very tough. Loved it and felt a little better but still very slow.

Born to run Ultra 37 miles (of tarmac!)

Following week found me at a strange race for me. I hate Tarmac and I hate flat so why was I at a race 350 miles away with just that. Well it was on my brothers 50th Birthday (heck I’m only 3.5 years behind!) and wasn’t to far away from him so originally we were going to run this together as his first Ultra .He could get there in the end but as I had booked the hotels and had quite a few good friends going I decided to go.

We all met up in the pub the night before and had a great laugh. I drank far too much for before a race (7 or 8 pints I think) but we all had a cracking night. Matt Rogerson, the RD had put this together near his home just for the simple enjoyment of his fellow runners and any spare cash going to charity. Very laudable in my book. The course is sort of a Y shape with the V bits being out and backs. Wide tarmac paths ran alongside an estuary so we had nice view. We ran in a group and as often happen when you do that we went to fast, but I was catching up with old friends, having a laugh and meeting new folk.

I must mention Stuart, as he was not only great fun but also turns out to be a slimmer of the year. Stuart has lost a staggering 13 stone and is full of life. As a local he seems to know everyone we passed so the banter was great. We got talking about races and he tells me he’s just done a half in 1:31 and a Ten miler in 1:06 . My god , times I can only dream of .Added incentive to lose my flab ( ok I’ve lost 12lbs but have a long way to go) . Mind I doubt I will ever get to those dizzy heights.

Anyway Stuart mentions there is no hills but a 5 degree incline which is hardly noticeable….for 9 miles. Ha, by the time we reached the turn around the town and estuary was well below us and we had climbed a fair bit. After slogging up, I was looking forward to the run ‘down’ but my knee was playing and had to walk some of the last 10 miles. Nevermind. Good training again.
Great low key finish with Matt and the family , a cold beer, a home-made cake (which Anna who rode round on her bike had ) and the best finishing prize ever a picture from his daughter Caitlin with our individual numbers on . Thanks matt.

Nice Easter planned with a run round the woods with club and then up to the cheviots to go round the 20 mile chevy chase route. Taking young Adam to the North Tyneside 10K on Sunday and I expect him to win it and a bike ride at some point
Happy Easter everyone.


  1. excellent blog and lots of great running :) Have a good Easter.

  2. Good running blah blah blah I'm too busy looking at the Feather's menu xxxx

  3. love the pics, Anna showed good grit getting round that race, nice that you finished together :) x

  4. Cool! I am now up to date with the life of Flip (and Anna). Nice running and blogging mate.