Thursday, 30 August 2012

Tuesday, 28 August 2012


Neil Armstong R.I.P.

Stef and I have been in Wasdale all weekend and I spotted someone with a newspaper on Sunday (I think) and noticed Neil Armstrong's name on the front. I'm just about old enough to remember the Apollo missions (I was five in the summer of 1969) and was deeply saddened to see confirmation of the death of one of my heroes when we got home last night

Friday, 24 August 2012

Rico Rodriguez

Say it ain't so Lance

I must have read Lance Armstrong's first autobiography It's Not About the Bike a dozen times, and parts of it a hundred times. Today's news that Lance has decided to stop his fight against doping allegations seems a shock even when taken in context with the mounting speculation and hearsay against him. I thought he was just a genetic freak for years but when you learn of his association with doctors convicted of doping and find there's a list of former team-mates ready to speak out against him it's difficult to keep believing in him. He's not an easy man to like and this latest twist in the tale makes you wonder if one day he might actually own up to cheating himself

Monday, 20 August 2012


Martyn's decision to postpone his Bob Graham start by 24hours turned out brilliantly. The weather in Keswick, which was of biblical proportions on Friday teatime, cleared up around lunchtime on Saturday and Martyn and his leg one pacers set off on a perfect evening to be out on the hill. We did leg five as planned and the weather had closed in again as we waited at Honister, but it wasn't a problem and he finished strongly in 23hours 30minutes. Martyn's training over the last year or so paid off and he sprinted up the market place before climbing the Moot Hall steps for the traditional celebration photos. Dave H, who led us off Robinson on a great runnable line, took the photo above

Friday, 17 August 2012

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Best of luck Martyn

Our friend Martyn was scheduled to set off on his second attempt at the Bob Graham tomorrow evening at 6pm. The weather forecast for the Lake District is pretty rough for tomorrow and the first half of Saturday so Martyn has taken what I think is a great decision in postponing his start by a day

We are supporting on leg 5 (with me navigating; he must be desperate!) and I'm really looking forward to hopefully getting him back to the Moot Hall in under 24hours. Now then, where did I put my compass?!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Half a Bob

The good weather forecast for the weekend caught my eye early last weekend and Stef and I began planning a backpacking bivvy weekend in the Lakes. Plans were a bit fluid but bascially we wanted to walk as much of the Bob Grahma route as we could between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon with two nights wild-camping wherever we fancied / happened to end up at the time

On Friday tea-time we parked in Keswick, walked the disused railway to Threlkeld, then did leg two as far as Sticks Pass and bivvied not far from the ski hut below Raise. The sky was crystal clear with masses of shooting stars and the sunset earlier had been stunning

We were up and about quite early on Saturday and finished off leg two after making a cup of tea in Helvellyn shelter around 7-30am. The photo above is Catstycam and Red Tarn looking toward Ullswater and was taken whilst we waited for the kettle to boil! We continued on and did leg three as far as Pike o' Stickle by mid-afternoon. To be honest we were both a bit knackered then so we went the long but flatter way round to the top of Rossett Gill before getting to Wasdale via Sprinkling Tarn, Sty Head and the valley route down. I've long fancied the valley route down into Wasdale after reading about it in Wainwright's Western Fells and it didn't disappoint! Refreshments were taken in Wasdale including local Yewbarrow Dark Ale before we wandered up into Mosedale for the night

On Sunday we climbed up to Wind Gap, did Pillar and Kirk Fell (by the Red Gully) before taking Moses Trod to Honister. We were just finishing our all-day breakfast paninis when John from Northumberland Fell Runners, who we'd met earlier, arrived and gave us a lift back to Keswick saving us the planned bus trip

We managed 21 peaks, over 30miles and well into the teens of thousands of feet so are claiming Half a Bob for the weekend!

I'd rather be lonely

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Brownlee Beacon

Stef was too late home last night for us to run with the club from the Waggon and Horses above Oxenhope, so we had a run up Brownlee Beacon instead. With all the Olympic buzz and following Ali and Jonny's medals I've decided to re-name the beacon after the lads! We timed our run to coincide with the sun setting and took our time running up and down on a lovely evening to be out. I felt strong on the ascent and think Stef is fitter than she thinks. She should find out this weekend with a visit to the Lakes planned 

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The Four Brothers

I saw these guys in Nottingham back in the 90s in the pub at the top of the road where Paul Smith's shop is (Byard Lane?). They were fantastic!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Hugh Masekela

Massive 80s Afro-electro-funk monster of a tune!

Hellifield Gala fell race

It was another fast and furious short race for us on Saturday at Hellifield. Sam ran in the Under 16s and managed 5th place on debut in KCAC colours. His race was the Yorkshire Championships and although I think he was a bit disappointed I thought he did great against some lads who've been fell running for years . Stef and I ran in what was claimed to be the 3.5mile seniors' race. Our route was much harder (and felt longer) than I expected and I ended up in a mad sprint finish after passing two guys in the penultimate field only for one of them to come back when I thought I could ease down a bit. Results are here

The lads went home on Sunday morning and we went for a walk from Arncliffe to Litton, over to Buckden, down the Dales Way back to Starbotton and over again to Arncliffe. We hadn't done the crossing over Old Cote Moor Top before and had a nice walk. Nice until we spotted a thunder storm approaching on our final climb, which lead to us running back down to Arncliffe!

We had the good fortune to see a ring ouzel whilst out on Sunday. We've seen a few over the last two springs but all in the Lakes. I had a swift fly past my head only inches away in Litton. It was still feeding young, which is very late, because it would be gone usually by now

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Gene Boyd

I've got a secret obsession at the moment - compiling the playlist for my fiftieth birthday party (it's not for nearly two years but it's a big job). I heard this for the first time this morning at Aquarium Drunkard and it was on the list in seconds

Wednesday, 1 August 2012


We've had a good start to our week off with the lads. On Sunday we planned to walk up Ingleborough from Ingleton but the weather wasn't great so were opted to go to White Scar Cave instead. I've driven by many times but had never even been to the cafe never mind been down the cave.  Although the scenery down the cave might not be hugely dramatic the general ambiance of the route we took and the length of the walk (a mile in and the same back) made for a really good tour. Our guide was excellent too with lots of information for us and a few funny stories. We called at Bernie's cafe for late lunch and had what my mum would call a 'steady drive' back home via Settle and Airton

On Monday afternoon we went for a walk up the Beacon in the sunshine. The weather is still very hit and miss but we were treated to a lovely sunny few hours, which we all enjoyed. Tom hadn't been up the Beacon before and was very impressed by the views from the top. In the evening we had a fantastic roast beef dinner with all the trimmings including Yorkshire puddings and Brussels

Yesterday Stef drove us up to Keswick and then around some of our favourite places in the Lake District. Sam has been up a couple of times with his mum for the Saunders Mountain Marathon but again Tom hadn't been. 'It's like a different country!', was his reaction when we arrived at Wasdale opposite the screes. We managed to pull in Castlerigg stone circle, the Lakeland Pedlar, Needle Sports, the Moot Hall, the New Balance shop, Thirlmere, Dunmail Raise, Langdale, Cockley Beck (where we bought eggs) and Wasdale before coming back over Birker Fell and calling in Kendal to buy Kendal mint cake