Wednesday, 31 October 2012

I was a teenage werewolf


I didn't feel 100% on last Wednesday's club run but didn't think much of it, blaming it on a hard road run on the previous Monday and the wet ground. By Friday, the day we drove over to Suffolk, I felt terrible and as I think I blogged before I was dreadful on Friday night. I've not really got any better since if the truth be known!

My heart is racing, I keep breaking out in feverish sweats or more alarmingly, cold sweats, I feel weak and lethargic and I have zero appetite for food. There are no cold symptoms but I have a classic case of flu I think. Thankfully we have some data to process for work which can be done at home, which has meant I haven't had to go further than the dustbin since Sunday. Also Stef is away with work so she hasn't had to put up with my moaning

There might just be a chink of light in that I didn't wake up in a sweat sodden bed this morning and I feel marginally better. I've already missed Monday's full moon headtorcher and guess there's little chance of getting out tonight but hopefully I might be able to get out to play at the weekend! 

Monday, 29 October 2012

Surf's up in Suffolk

Stef and I spent the weekend in Lowestoft celebrating Stef's sister Jo's wedding with family. We were staying in a hotel on the sea-front and on Saturday morning we had 18 surfers enjoying the results a good in-shore blow. The photo was taken from the hotel window!

The wedding was a lovely and very informal occasion. The ceremony was held in a church by the sea and the reception started off with shepherds pie and gravy, followed by apple pie and custard. Jo and Tony love rock music so plenty of Status Quo, Led Zepellin and Motorhead featured later on the disco

The only real down-side of the weekend was that I struck down by MANflu. I was so ill on Friday night that I had to leave half a pint of bitter in the pub! I've been dosing myself up with paracetamol, which seems to have helped but it's very long time since I've felt so ill 


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Pie at the Lion

A good running club friend of ours, Richard, has moved into the village and gave us a lift over to the Swan last night. The murky weather that started not long after I got home from a run out over the Beacon on Sunday afternoon was still with us, but we managed a good run, including our recently introduced short break for sweets. Brett provided us all with Celebrations last week and yesterday afternoon I rustled up some Haribos from the 'Bob Graham' cupboard in the kitchen

Ilkley Black was on the agenda when we got back along with a magnificent steak pie! Sadly it was gone before photos could be taken but it was a real thing of wonder. Large pots of mushy peas were a nice touch too; we are really getting looked after this winter!

I got chatting with Kev Hopkinson while we were eating and after updating him news from Darren's funeral, music was discussed at length. He's a big music fan and loves the Beach Boys, especially Surf's Up. It was a smashing evening after what's been a difficult time for us and a great many of our friends 

Friday, 19 October 2012

The joy of living

Darren's funeral

On a beautiful autumn day family, friends and fell runners came from far and wide to pay their last respects to Darren Holloway. Even the big chapel at Bramcote, close to the A52 between Derby and Nottingham, couldn’t hold everyone who were there in spite of dozens of us standing at the back, including a group of cyclists who arrived fully kitted out in Lycra on their bicycles 

The service was relaxed and very much a celebration of a sadly too short life (Darren was only 42 when he passed away), but a life into which had been packed a hell of a lot. There was music played, only one hymn sung but several eulogies including wonderful words from Pennine fell runner Andy Howie and Fell Pony Steve Taylor. A slide-show was shown with images of Darren racing, training in the Peak, in the Alps cycling and on his successful 2008 Bob Graham Round

After the service ended everyone moved on to Morley Hayes golf club, where sandwiches were eaten, beer drunk but with broad smiles now replacing the earlier tears. Stories were told and great races and challenges discussed including Borrowdale, Ben Nevis, the Tour of Pendle and the Tour de France

To be honest I always have mixed felling about going ‘home’ to the Midlands (my life is very much in Yorkshire now) but I’ll never forget yesterday. It was a wonderful opportunity to catch-up with old friends, make some new friendships, plan future adventures and be part of something that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss for the world

Friday, 12 October 2012


A few people asked me in the pub after Wednesday night's run either if I knew the lad who'd passed away at the weekend in the Lake District, or specifically if I'd known Darren Holloway from Pennine. I was and I am proud to say yes I did know Darren

Darren, daz h, or Laidbackfellrunner as bloggers will have known him lived in Ilkeston, less than ten miles from where I grew up and I first met him on a Bob Graham leg 2 recce / Christmas social run in 2007. We'd exchanged odd messages on the FRA forums before we met but when I introduced myself Darren said I wondered if you were here. I'm really pleased you made it

For a long time Darren was a very solid 'top end of mid-pack' fell runner but a couple of years ago he decided to try to move up to a higher standard. He lost weight, started to train twice a day including a lot of road cycling (cycling was a real passion and he had an encyclopedic knowledge of continental racing in particular) and this made a real quantum leap in his performances

Darren was an extremely thoughtful bloke; he always had time for other runners and was more than happy to help on friends' Bob Grahams, with training advice, to share his experience in cycling and to watch runners slower than him him finish races long after he'd completed an event

Stef and I were in Wasdale the weekend of the Scafell Pike fell race and I bumped into Darren at the campsite before he did the race (he was first V40). He had on his Pennine vest and trade-mark cycling cap and looked as fit as fire. I'm so pleased I saw him then and I think that's how I will remember him; happy, smiling and doing what he loved 

Friday, 5 October 2012

Eight years

It's eight years since I left the Midlands and moved up to Yorkshire. I thought the anniversary is tomorrow but it was actually yesterday. On my profile I say I'm a man of the Midlands and I've not lost a tiny scrap of my accent but I feel very much at home now up here

The eight years have flown by very quickly, especially the last three or four. In that time I've had three jobs (I moved up originally for work), joined a running club for the first time, bought a house and later set up home with Stef, walked a hundred miles in less than two days and run over a hundred fell races along with a Bob Graham Round. I've also made some really good friends, been to a few funerals (including one this week) and traveled to I don't know how many countries. It's been alright really; not a bad move with hindsight!

Augustus Pablo

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Back to winter

Our summer tour of Craven District pubs has finished and it was back to our winter home, The White Lion, last night. Stef and I were late getting to the pub but soon caught the other three runners daft enough to go for a run in the dark and pouring rain. It was a good run out actually and Stef had a blinder running both of the main climbs up to the pinnacle. Pennine Brewery Amber Necker was taken afterwards, along with spicy chicken and chips. A good start to the winter season! 

Break down the walls

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Headtorch hill-reps

Stef dragged me out running for the second night on the trot this evening. Last week we did nothing if the truth is known, including over the weekend with Stef's family in Devon. However, we had a short run round the village on the road (very rare for me) last night, and tonight we did six hill-reps on the Beacon with headtorchs. Stef has the Rab Mountain Marathon at the weekend and I'll definitely do Beefy's Nab fell race on Sunday and perhaps the Good Shepherd on Saturday

Mind power