Saturday, 17 January 2015

2014 , Briefly



I’ve been vary lax with my blog over the last year so I’m just going to highlight some of my year then pick it up in 2015.

Hardmoors 30. (30 Miles )
Loaded with cold so I swept the race. Gale force winds, driving rain and the usual mud. A great event to start anyone’s year. I marshalled the next two Hardmoors Marathons , Osmotherly & Wainstones in exactly the same place, Kirkby bank saddle. I’ll be there marshalling again in 2015.


Spine Race
Shortly after I ended up marshalling at the Spine race. An amazing race of 270 miles in freezing winter weather. This is now my goal.



High Cup Nick Fell race.(10 mile ish)
I'll try and keep account of the fell races next year but this one sticks in the memory just for the sheer fantastic view you get once at the top of the nick.


going up the nick (yes you climb that wall at the end)















Hardmoors 55. (55 miles)
Still a fair bit of cold in me but a reasonable run.  Not as cold and windy as the previous year (well i doubt we'll see the like of that severe weather again) but cold enough. I’ve done this race a few times now but not next year. I’ll wait until the race reverts back to Helmsley to Guisborough before doing it again. I much prefer it that way round. I’ll marshal in 2015.

 Cateran/ Double. I spent the weekend marshalling the Cateran double and boy was it hard tiring work!. Still this weekend is now part of me and i rarely miss it. Very please for Karen and Loon that it all went so well.

Hardmoors 110.

Best forgotten. Simply put I have some verrucas on my foot. They got very wet and formed a crease in my skin which opened up into an open cut. I could have finished and probably in about 32 hours (I was working on a 16/16 split and was bang on time and going easy.) But , another 55 miles on an open cut and it woudl have been stitches and out for a canny while . It wasn't important enough to risk it. I'll be giving in a good shot next year. Be happy with 32. 30 hours a dream.

Elvet striders Clamber race.

Very proud to design a new course and put our Clamber race on for the other clubs in the area. It wasn't easy and a few (very few ) souls would rather it wasn't on but the vast majority loved it. The route covers 5.2 miles of woodland and meadow around Durham with only about 100 meters of  tarmac farm road. To say the invited clubs loved it was the understatement of the year and we were inundated with praise for the course set-up and buffet after. As i said, I was very proud to put this one together with the help of Paul Evans and Pam Kirkup ( and a huge array of Strider marshals ). It was a grand evening.
Clubs taking apart in the new clamber


Strider Jess in the new clamber race.
Did i say they liked it . A few quotes:

Well call me foolish, call me irresponsible, call me what you like but there is no better feeling than running as fast as you are capable of round the best trails in Co. Durham and then drinking beer! Happy days hic Malcolm cox ,Sunderland strollers

Thank you
Flip Owen for such a wonderful Clamber yesterday night. A fantastic course as well as excellent organisation. A true credit to your club. I think I speak for the other Bounders when I say we'll be back for some more of the same next year. Nicola Cloyne, Blackhill Bounders

Awesome trail race tonight, big thank you to
Flip Owen and Elvet Striders and all who helped make it the awesomest trail race in history. Possibly. Seriously folks that was just a cracking route, well marshalled and taped (good luck getting all that tape in!) I think it's a keeper! Well, that's my opinion anyway.

Excellent night at the Elvet Striders Clamber race. Well done to
Flip Owen and his team. Great undulating trail course, well marked, brilliant marshals and superb buffet at the pub afterwards. And spot prizes of wine for April & Wendy too. Anthony Corbet, Quakers Running club

Who on earth wants to sit and watch live coverage of The Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony when you can enjoy stunning panoramic County Durham views on the run followed by top notch hospitality at the pub all courtesy of Elvet Striders? Well done to all concerned with special mention to Flip Owen Also congratulations to all competitors on tackling such a challenging Clamber! Lord Paul Smythe , Crook AC

Thanks to Phil and everyone that helped with the clamber, great race and well organised.
ps darn you for putting in what seemed like every possible climb within a 2.5 mile radius. David Sawyer , Sedgefield Harriers

(Race winner )
Thank you so much for an honest race on a hard course , it was one of the best organized races i have been to and it was a hard course Which made it even better, Jonnny evans , Jarrow & Hebburn

Legs still burning from the Durham Clamber last night. The hardest race I have done so far. 5.2 miles of hills, short sharp drops and surprises,with stunning views of County Durham. A great night, well done Flip Owen and all the helpers and marshalls. Lindsay Rogers , Striders.

Not sent but my favourite quote form Ken Maynard of Sunderland strollers was ' I've done easier fell races'  That made my day.

As I said , I'm privileged and proud to put this one on for the clubs.


West Highland Way race.  (95 Miles )
Well what can I say; I didn’t have a great start as I unexpectedly had to go to work on the Friday morning. Up at 6am and worked till about 2pm. I tried to sleep for a few hours but my neighbour got a delivery of flagstones so it didn’t happen. My drive up to Scotland and Dave and Carolyn’s house was a bit slow so I ended up on the start line at 1am without any sleep at all.

I enjoyed the first 50 miles if a little over heated as usual, met Ash for the first time and tried to describe the wonderful finish ceremony hoping that if there was any point in the race he felt like not continuing (and let’s face it most of us have that point at some time) it might help him.
My emergency micro head torch. 25grams. 
My support team had to leave after David’s father took very seriously ill. Amazingly Lindley Chambers & Maxine Lock were on hand with another runner to help out. I was quite lucky really as technically you cannot run this race without dedicated support. The RD & team took the view, I was in good fettle, had some support and of course I have history in finishing he race I guess. (Note: this was very unusual circumstances,  pleases don't try and turn up at the race without support-you won't be allowed to take part)  

I misplaced my head torch in the move of my gear to Lindley’s car and had to use a tiny emergency one over the devil and that was slow going. Lindley found my headtorch though and i had the decent one for the last 15 miles.. Lindley also fed me and watered me all while looking after his own fellow. I owe a huge thanks to both Lindley and Maxine.



The tiredness caught up with me after Kinlochleven and I ended up kicking a lot of stones. By the end I thought I had a broken my big toe and had to walk down the fire round at the finish backwards for most of the way.
My third finish goblet  but not my finest hour and my thoughts were with David and Carolyn.



As hill 100's go , whw is a fast course suited i think to fast marathon runners , which of course I'm not. I don't really think I've done it justice and I still think I can do this faster than my first time of 26:47 and hopefully a 24 hour run so I’ll be back to give that a go. 

Very proud of my 3 goblets


Jon & Shirls wedding and wedding race.
My running life seems to have been tied up with these two people and nothing could be better than being at their wedding  on the Cleveland way. That’s where they met and where I met them. In shirls case in the middle of the night on the  first ever 110 Mile race. I wasn’t racing , just running support (my first ever 28 miles if i remember rightly.) but shirl joined my runner Mandy and I on the first night section and ran with us till dawn at Saltburn. The following year I ran it myself and all this craziness started. Since then Hardmoors has grown and grown. I set up the Hardmoors FB group, watch over it, do the twitter and generally promote the Hardmoors races & the sponsors where I can. I marshal quite a lot, especially to help the marathons get off the ground but still like to run when I can. I’ll be doing the 110 again next year and I want 32 or under. 30hours is my dream time.

Jon & Shirl. One of the few times I've seen them not in Lycra!

Anyway, the wedding was from the country park at the Lord stones café, right bang on the Cleveland way and held in a Yurt. John Kynaston took the service and did a really wonderful job.Funny enough when I had a brief flirtation with the idea of getting married (I said I'd be married by 50 so anyone desperate to marry me best speak up now as i only have 8 months left lol ), I thought I'd like John to do the service up on some hill somewhere.After the service we all watched an Ariel display by a stunt pilot and then headed for drinks and the evening do , again in the Yurt.
The next day friends gathered to do the three sister race dressed in various gowns , shirts and 
the easy start before the 3 hills. Even the wedding race was tough !
bow-ties.Even better , Mandy who i supported all those years ago (with Dave Robson) came along and we ran the race together.  As weddings go it was brilliant.









Hardmoors Princess Challenge. (30 Miles and 8.5 miles)
This is our fund-raiser race put together by Kelly Jackson. Again its something I'm extremely proud to be part off. I usually mark the course and race direct it and liaise with Kelly throughout the year. Make no mistake though, vast majority of the work is done by Kelly alone.And what a wonderful job she did again! We raised £3015-00 for Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue Team! Of course it can't be done without all the help from the Hardmoors family who take part of marshal.Nikki's mum is always a godsend and her kid , now part of the race set up and adorable. I was also very happy a lot of my club came out to support it, a lot of them running their first ultra.





Late September was to be about Loch Ness marathon but I pulled my hamstring doing 100m sprints in a training session. Instead I spent a week on the Pennine way recceing the spine race. A lovely week, I should do more walking. I took it fairly easy letting the hamstring heal up over the next couple of months doing some fells and XC as usual. 


I’ll try and keep in the swing of things next year record more in 2015.

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