Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Snowy Dales weekend

Stef and I were going to go to the Lakes last weekend for some BG training but the weather forecast put us off so we spent the weekend a bit closer to home in Kettlewell. We stayed (and ate twice) at Zarina's and we were made very welcome. We managed to get out on the hill both Saturday and Sunday but the snow drifts and strong (and bitterly cold!) wind made movement slow

Spring migration seems to be limited to oystercatcher and curlew at present. I've still not seen a wheatear but on Sunday afternoon we spotted a ring ouzel close to where we saw one last autumn in Littondale. There are a lot of curlew in Wharfedale now but at the weekend they were huddled together and dispersion for breeding looked to be the last thing on their minds

The Heptones

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Memories by the score


Alfie is three weeks old today and doing great. It was lovely to see him for the first time at the weekend and to see his mum and dad looking relaxed. Stef would have brought him home I think given half a chance!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Afternoon up the dale

I managed to secure a half day holiday at short notice yesterday so around lunch-time went up to Kettlewell with Stef to do a long hilly run. We started off by climbing Great Whernside by the fell race route past Hag Dyke. There was a decent amount of snow on the top but we got up (not a lot of running to be be honest) and back down (all ran) okay. After nipping in the tea shop to buy fruit cake it was over the hill into Arncliffe (in Littondale), back into Wharfedale at Starbotton and then back the way we went into Kettlewell by reversing the two climbs and descents

The route sounds contrived but is much more 'organic' when you're doing it than you might think. On the tops above the two dales there was fairly heavy snow, which was settling nicely above around 1,200 feet and conditions were 'interesting' at times. The run totalled about 15 miles with 5,500 feet of climb and we were moving for a bit under 5 hours

On the way home we called at the Craven Arms at Appletreewick and met a nice couple there who have friends who'd done, among other things, the West Highland Way race, the Fellsman and a BG. It was a great way to round off a memorable  afternoon and evening

Everything's gone green

Tuesday, 12 March 2013


The Haworth Hobble has long been one of my favourite events and this year was my eighth since joining Keighley and Craven back in 2004. The 'best' run I've had was in 2011 when a group of pals and I joined together and ran round under 6 hours. Last year was a real struggle off no long runs for months and some of the worse cramp I've ever had!

On Saturday I ran with Stef as planned as a pair (the event was traditionally pairs only) and we did alright. Stef had an abdominal problem which stopped her in her tracks a few times around the 21 miles mark (between Stoodley Pike and Hebden Bridge) and that cost us some time but she dug in very well and we finished strong including running a good chunk of the tarmac up to Penistone Hill (a first for me). I was a bit disappointed with our time of 6 hour 16 mins when we finished but felt really well on Sunday so with hindsight I'm pleased with what we achieved 

We managed a walk in the dales on Sunday (10 miles / 3,700 feet) in absolutely Baltic conditions so had a decent weekend's training. The Fellsman and Lakeland 100 (plus Stef's BG) are getting nearer and we aren't in bad shape as I thought

Dance all night

Friday, 8 March 2013

Hobble eve

It's the Haworth Hobble tomorrow starting appropriately enough in Haworth. It'll be my eighth and all bar last year have been run as one of a pair with various partners. Tomorrow I'm running with Stef for the first time and we're pottering around at home at the moment faffing with kit and cooking pasta for tea

The last couple of days here have been cold and drizzly so guessing what kit to wear tomorrow is interesting to say the least. We're both in pretty decent shape and hoping to have a good (6 hours or so?) run. My best time for the present course is 5 hour 51 minutes two years ago when I first trained to have a go at the Bob Graham and whether we could match or even beat that remains to be seen

Ride on girl / Phensic

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Lakeland weekend

Stef and I spent the weekend in the North Lakes. On Saturday we had a steady run round the Morecambe Bay and Bowland LDWA Derwent Water Amble challenge event with our friend Phil Jones from Calder Valley (he took the photo above) and on Sunday we met Helen and Martyn for a run over to Wasdale from Honister, followed by a recce of leg 4 of the Bob Graham. Weather, company and refreshments were great all weekend (Dog and Gun, Casa Bella and the Old Keswickian were all visited) and it was great to be back in Lakeland for the first time this year