Edale Skyline 23/3/14

Entered six weeks earlier, when it seemed like a really good idea. Then, sort of forgot about it. 
The first half was really pleasant. Nice weather with nice steady running and plodding up the ups. We made the cut off with twelve or so minutes to spare. 
After then, it all went, a lot, less pleasant. The energy zapping bogs taking everything out of my legs, leaving me, uninterested in running the last few miles. 
Luckily, my running buddy dragged me round and kept my spirits higher than they may otherwise have been. Thanks Dude. 

Cardingmill Canter 1/3/14

Another enjoyable run around Church Stretton, Shropshire.
Really took this one steady, but, in the end, came in only fourteen seconds slower than my fastest time. How does that work?
Link to great short video of some of the race. I make a brief appearance 1:10

Long Mynd Valleys weekend 1/2 Feb 2014

Titterstone Clee, short race on Saturday 
Long Mynd Valleys on Sunday
Ran both races slowly but really enjoyed them.

2013 Catch Up

2013 hasn't been a great year for my running. Spent most of the year recovering from injury or adding to the injuries. I did get some more races in though, just didn't perform as well as I would have liked.
Snowdon Race was the slowest ever.
Peris, I had mixed feelings about. The Welsh Fell Running scene had lost Photographer Pete Douglas, who used to be poised with camera to capture the fatigued runners at the end of the race.  Also, Alastair Tye had had health problems which was upsetting and I just wasn't feeling it on the day. So, when I encountered my running buddy walking back to Penny Pass to get the bus, it didn't take much convincing to throw in the towel for a DNF.
I took my Mrs place the following day at Lake Vyrnwy half marathon and just plodded round with no great expectation.
The next run was 'Mad Jacks 5' five mile cross country which I felt pretty good at.
Wrekin Wrecker was the next, slower than the previous year but not my slowest time. I think at this stage I was starting to come back a bit.
Squeezed in a 5k race, in the village, a few days before Christmas. Annoyingly, I spent the first 30 seconds of the race tying my shoe laces up, so had to play catch up for the rest of the race.
Started 2014 with the 'Morning After' run. Not my best or my worst time. Just glad to get the year off to a start of some sort.
I'm really hoping the rest of 2014 will be more productive than last year.

Lake Vyrnwy Half
Mad Jacks 5
Wrekin Wrecker

Village 5k

Morning After

Callow Fell Race 1/7/13

AS 8.1k 762m
One of the toughest short races in the calendar. I woke up with a stinking cold and really wasn't feeling it at all. Only went because I'd arranged to meet some friends from Brum.

Nice shot with Caradoc, Lawley and the
Wrekin Hills in the back ground.

Thanks Jim

Struggling on the first climb

I just wanted to lay down in the stream
Two more climbs to go.

Pontesbury Fell Race 26/6/13

AS 4.9k 354m
Very slow. Legs still sore from the half marathon a few days earlier, going carefully for fear of tweaking my ankle and I'm a fat bastard. Good fun though and I got given a couple of bottles of beer afterwards. Woohoo

Trail Marathon Wales (half) 22/6/13

Web site Trail Marathon Wales 13.1 miles and 2200ish feet of up and down.
Fantastically well organised trail run organised by Matt Ward Matt Ward's Blog and other local enthusiasts. Held in coed y brenin which is in the Snowdonia National Park.
Photo kindly sent to me by Alastair
of Fell Running Pictures
I managed to stagger through without upsetting any of my many injuries. I would like to go back and have another crack at this. It is set in a beautiful part of the country. 

Rodneys Pillar Fell Race 19/6/13

AS 6.3km 290m
Legs still stiff from the long race I completed three days earlier. Slow going up. Felt ok going down until I tweaked my ankle. Agrrrr
No Alastair taking photos this year.
Took this one a couple of days after

Bradda Fell Race 16/6/13

AL 24km 1250m
We, as a family, went to the Isle of man for a few days break. So after a few days of eating and drinking too much, I thought I would enter a 15 mile fell race. When will I ever learn?
lovely route,
  • The race starts and finishes at Bradda Glen GR 193696.Unmanned Punch (1). is at Bradda Tower
  • Continue north on the Raad ny Foillan footpath towards Fleshwick. Descend to the Fleshwick valley (counter check 1) GR 201713.
  • Left towards shore and then climb on the Raad Ny Foillan before branching off to the right at the top of the wall to follow the Carnanes track towards the Sloc, (Counter Check 2) GR 217734.
  • Rejoin the Raad ny Foillan and ascend to the summit of Cronk ny Arrey Laa Unmanned Punch (2), GR 224746.
  • Descend on the easterly track, cross the Eary Cuslin fire track GR 233747 on to Cronk Fedjag and follow the path to the Round Table Cross Roads GR 248759.
  • Cross the Round Table Road and ascend to the summit of South Barrule GR 259759 Unmanned Punch (3).
  • The race retraces on the same route in reverse to unmanned checkpoint (4) on Cronk Ny Iree Laa and then the Sloc (Safety Check 3).
  • From the Sloc continue on the Raad ny Foillan ascending Lhiatee ny Beinee Unmanned Punch(5) GR 212728.
  • Continue on the track and descend back in to the Fleshwick Valley Safety Check (6) GR 201713,
  • Return back to Bradda Glen on the same route following the coastal footpath and via Bradda Tower Unmanned Punch (7). Finish back at Bradda Glen
Dispite rumors of two headed, and three legged, runners on the island, they were all a really friendly bunch, as fell runners usually are.

Does my bumbag look big in this?

Batch Bash Fell Race 29/5/13

AS 4.8km 305m
3rd race out of six which comprise the Shropshire Hill Summer Series.
It is nice to be in the hills but frustrating to still be injured and over weight.
A friend summed it up nicely "injury never seems to go away totally, it just moves around". And that seems to be what is happening to me. Started with a back problem, then piriformis problem, then knee and now ankle. And while this is going on, I can't put as much training in as I want to.

Shuttlingsloe Fell Race 27/5/13

Back to Wildboarclough in Macclesfield for my 6th run of this great little race. It's still probably my favourite short race. Starts at Crag Hall, on one side of the valley, down the field into the woods, over the stream, up the steep incline and out of the woods, then to the top of Shuttlingsloe hill and back again. A good race for the spectators at the hall as they can see most of the race.
I didn't do it in a particularly fast time but I enjoyd it all the same.
Found this unofficial video on utube of the event. I remember seeing the woman with the camcorder. No idea who it was and I hope they don't mind me pinching it. Gives you an idea of what the event is like though.

Gold at Cader Idris Race

AM 16.9k 915m
Cader Idris Race page
Well, sort off. Spot prize given to me as I crossed the line. I guess they thought I looked like a man who enjoys real ale a little too much. Wonder why they thought that?

Fell Running Pictures

Caradoc Classic 8/5/13

AS 5.6k 268m
Didn't really fancy doing this on the night. My legs were still sore from a 2 hour jog two days earlier.
But, I was promised a couple of samples of beer from a fellow home brewer which gave me some incentive to get my self out. And, as always, once out, I really enjoyed it.
I was a minute and a half slower than last time I did the race in 2010 but as I was still recovering from the injury and the weight had gone up again, I didn't mind too much.
  Alastair's Awesome Fell Running Pictures site here

Wrekin Streak 24/4/13

AS 4.5k 247m 70/91 28:45
Only four days after "Aniversary Waltz" and my quads and knee were still sore.
My lungs deffinetly worked harder in this up and down AS than the AM"AW".
Fell Running Pictures

Anniversary Waltz Fell Race 20/4/13

AM 11.5miles 3600ft 2h57min
The 17th run of this modern Lakeland classic. 
An absolutely perfect day for running. Hardly a cloud in the sky, the sun was out but with a nice cooling breeze. I'm still slowly coming back from my injury of late last year so I was just along for a nice jog to stretch my legs. I had a lovely amble round with some nice chats with fellow runners.
At the end I took advantage of the free beer on offer while I waited for my running buddy to return from his longer race, Teenager with Altitude, which had started off an hour and half before mine.
My leg and back felt a lot better than they have done. Only slight niggle, I think due to a weakness in some of my leg muscles, is my knee seemed to have taken more impact than it used to and it was pretty sore afterwards.
In general though, A fine day out in the hills.

Carding Mill Canter 10/3/13

AS 7.8k 580m
Hadn't run, appart from a few short sessions on the tread mill, since the Valleys weekend four weeks earlier. I'm still pain free from my injuries but have alot of weakness in my right leg.
I ambled round slowly but generally felt alot more comfortable than I did a few weeks ago. It feels like there might be light at the end of the tunnel after all.
Photo from Alastairs Fell Running Pictures site.

Long Mynd Valleys weekend 9&10/2/13

Titterstone Clee AS
Short race of about 2.5 miles and some climbing.
Still injured and this was the first time out in 2 months, so, this was just a tester. Even so, I took a crap line up the hill and even worse coming down so an inevitable slow time was even slower than expected. Oh well, the back/leg didn't feel any worse for the outing so would consider doing the long race the following day.
Long Mynd Valleys AL
I didn't really expect to be able to complete the race but thought a good walk wouldn't do me any harm.
It was the flat section on top I thought I would struggle with but in the end managed to plod over, then thought, I may as well continue to the end. Time was the worst ever but I still managed to get my hand on one of the much coveted mugs for completing both races.
My injury was diagnosed as a trapped sciatic nerve in both my lower back and in my buttock(piriformis?) This resulted in excruciating shooting pain in back and leg which left me virtually debilitated for a couple of months. After several sessions of physio and months of stretching the pain has now gone but left me with a loss of sensation in my right foot and a reduction in strength of my calf, hamstring and quad. I may be able to get the strength back or I may have some permanent nerve damage. Who knows? I'll just have to continue with the stretches and hope for the best. I've bought myself an exercise bike in the hope that I can stay reasonably fit and not put on too much weight. 

Cardington Cracker Fell Race 2/12/12

AM, 14.5km, 793meters.
I wasn't sure whether I was going to compete in this race this year. My back problems had resurfaced a few days before and I doubted it would be a good idea to run. However, it's a great race and it was the same race last year, that for me, signalled my return to running after a break whilst we acclimatised to having the kids. So, I was interested to see how much I'd improved in twelve months. Previous times were;
2008-2:03:47 first year of fell running.
2009-1:56:40 getting a bit better.
2010? not even sure I ran it that year.
2011 2:12:31 Had put on a lot of weight whilst not running.
2012 1:45:51 WooHoo!
It didn't feel like 26 minutes of an improvement as I was running round, but, it also didn't seem that difficult compared to last year. I even had a bit left at the end and took a couple of runners in the last 50 meters.
I came in, in 123 out of 278 runners. Very pleased with my progress and to have got into the top half of runners again.
Only down side is my back has taken a battering. I'm finding moving of any sort is really painful. Oh well, at least it's forced me to book some physio and maybe I'll get it sorted once and for all.

Diane and Grahams site

Only a few races left this year and I'm not sure I'll be able to compete. I'm hoping with the festive season coming up and my love of real ale that I don't put on too much weight in the next few weeks, it would be a shame to reverse all the good work I've done this year. Next years goal has to be to loose some more weight.

Time Trial 25/11/12

"A competition on foot for runners & challenge walkers (solo or pairs).
The object is to travel on foot, unaided, between Little Stretton and Stiperstones villages in the shortest time possible. The route is not prescribed but is subject to rules and requires local knowledge. Participants need competence and self-reliance on upland terrain. Enter on the day only. Interval start times 9:30 - 11:30 am."
Time trial web site
As the quote says really. Get from one village to the other as quick as you can. Simple. Look at the map, choose a route and go for it!
About 9 miles and maybe 1200ft ish of climbing?
We got to Little Stretton, I signed in, received my dibber and wondered to the start. Alex and the kids(support team) saw me off then they legged it to the car to see if they could beat me to the top of the Long Mynd. They did, but parked in the wrong place so I had to take a slight de tour to get a round of high 5's before running on to the next road crossing, where again, they would be waiting to offer water and moral support.
I thought I'd chosen a pretty direct route with no real steep climbs so I could run the whole thing. I was a bit surprised on top of the Mynd to see people seemingly running off in all directions. A lot choosing a longer road route. Why?
I raced down to "Bridges" where the support team were again waiting with high fives and water.
Then I continued to Stipperstones and the finish, where again, the team were waiting with 5's and water.
I was pleased with my route selection and my running(considering slight sore head from previous day of fine dinning and wine tasting). I came in, in the top third of runners, 1:30,01.
We rewarded our good efforts in the Stipperstones Inn (fell runners pub of the year) with lunch and a pint for the runners.

Last photo from sponsors High Sports
A top, fun event which I hope to do again next year.

Wrekin Wrecker Fell Race 18/11/12

AM 12.9km 732m
The longer of the three races run on my local hill. Starts on one side, works its way halfway up, dives down to the bottom, round the other side, up and over, back to the original side, round a bit more, up and over again, then a long slog back towards the start. A bit dizzying really, but a great race with loads of variation in terrain.

Red, pink then blue
Thanks Andros.

Taken a few days earlier.
Organised Newport Running Club. Traditionally, a very generous race. You don't usually get much in the way of gongs in fell races, which keeps the cost down and is one of the things I like about fell running. Pay ya fiver, run over a few hills/mountains, go to the pub. NRC must have made a loss in previous years as the price had gone up to £8!!! Extortionate, but still worth it. And you do get some shizzle.

New black Buff to go with the green from a couple of years ago.
 There was a bit of pressure on me for this race. As well as my running buddy Alex, who is running well at the moment and was faster than me last time we ran this race, we had two fell newbie mates joining us. Steve, accomplished road runner and Tat, the contender.
I had a great run and I think the extra pressure helped, as I came in 14 minutes faster than 2010, in the top half of runners, and more importantly, ahead of the newbies.
Managed to avade photographer Alastair in the race but he caught me stuffing my face with chips

And snapped us all looking a bit "special" post race