Saturday, 1 October 2011

Grin N Bear It - 1st October 2011

Fine circular 23 mile rumble around the Dark Peak area; of fields, tracks, paths, roads .. oh and a few Peat Bogs.

Firstly, I had promised a wave to absent friends! Nick and I wished to say hi to Jan all the way down under in Keri Keri - a great runner who won this 23 miler last year and whose time wont be threatened today :-)

So it seems I'm destined to start the majority of my posts with the immortal phrase "Under a cloudless sky..." and of course being in the middle of this autumnal heat wave we were soon under the gaze of a fine sun and winding our way, away from the new Woodhead Mountain Team centre through fields and lanes towards Langsett reservoir.

Three remarkable new enormous wind turbines would be visible most of the day and within 15 minutes we were under their lee.

A restricted number of "long runners" today and we stuck together in a decent Pelloton until the Climb from Langsett towards Bull Clough started to string us out a little.

A small navigational hiccup amongst the front runners meant a retracing of steps but they were soon back with us and then ahead. 6 miles to checkpoint 1 and then a steady climb up Cut Gate to Checkpoint 2 at 9 miles (and an hour and forty five minutes) and big cheers signalled that the bog monster had struck.

As last year, it was wise to keep well left of the path and the climb to the trig point past Holme Moss was, for me, uneventful. The views, firstly to the left away towards Kinder

and then right back towards our new turbines was magnificent

No clag! not now and not at all, even the rocks were clear!

Still needed a couple of creditable long jumps to escape the worst!

Made it! (just)

Though no rain had fallen these tops do hold a few surprises! Only two strides in but the warning was clear

Once away towards the Lache checkpoint on the woodhead pass road, I decided to pick up the tempo to catch Nick Ham and gain further advice and comment on race stuff, especially for the RR50 in a few weeks time - a true mine of information and a great friend to know.

After crossing the road we wound down towards the very depleted reservoir of Upper Windleden where Nick stopped to take more photos

 It was here that I decided to give it my own lash - run your own race I was once advised - and so head down, concentrated running and I set myself the target of real effort round the reservoirs and onto the next checkpoint. Again distracted by the flotillas on display and beautiful wind blown Pennine views, I ground out the few miles before reaching the shelter of the woods at Ellentree Brow and the last sheltered downhill section of Hades Clough.

Absolutely glorious! and all this for twelve quid ....

Once again Mick Stenton would win the 16 mile Fell race and he passed me on the field climb to Hade Edge but determined to press on I continued through the rough, overgrown fields of Moor Side and Ing Royd, then lanes and the last rise past Crow Hill without daring to look over my shoulder for the swarms undoubtedly close behind. On the final field path i realised I was alone and swanned into the, incidentally fantastic new WMRT HQ building at Hepshaw and stopped the Garmin at 4.17

Taking an outdoor courtyard seat, under the now blazing blue sky, with my old mate the new turbine behind me, I retained the glow of a man who has just taken 23 minutes of last years time!

Huge appreciation and thanks must go to all the Woodhead MRT for this event - it's a great day for a fantastic cause and anyone who reads this missive - and you know who you are - should pencil this in for next year. The new HQ facilities are second to none and the spread of fresh fruit and food was terrific as were the team back at the Barn - thanks for looking after us on our return. My local newsagent - Anne Marie of Bawtry News once again donated money to the cause which enabled me to buy T shirts and stuff. She cannot do this run due to work commitments - no one else can have any excuses.

You need to enter this event!

1 comment:

  1. [Right, I've opened the door to biscuits from select third parties so I'm able to post comments again. Bring on the Hobnobs from strangers, but don't you dare probe my particulars or compromise my integrity or there'll be trouble.]

    Well done Mike. Great report and most excellent effort on Saturday. I watched in envy as you dissappeared out of sight while I entered the ultra plod survival phase, and I hadn't even done an ultra yet. :-(