Saturday, 22 June 2013


If there were any cobwebs amongst the three of us today they would have been well and truly blown far far away. I reckon we had 20-25mph wind with gusts on the's a few photos:

our starting path, leading up from Ladybower Reservoir to Lockerbrook
and we dropped back down to the road at Derwent Reservoir for a few kilometres by the water
rhododendrons in full bloom looking glorious
Jon leading the way with Rachel in hot pursuit
climbing up from Howden Reservoir on the spur between Ditch and Fagney cloughs
looking out from the bird hide above Alport, sadly no peregrine falcons in sight today
It was so windy that we feared the tin built hide would be picked up and blown away, it certainly wasn't a peaceful retreat from the wind, everything rattling and shacking!!

Alport Castles
Looking back towards Alport Castles
View across to the Kinder plateau
Crook Hill just visible in a spot of sunshine
Rachel on the last bit of ascent above Hagg Side plantation
and the start of the final descent, back down to Ladybower

We ran just over 15km in just over 2hrs, with 524m ascent, a good Long Steady Distance run. Here's a copy of the route:

Hill reps plus company

Early Friday morning and there's four Glossopdale girls heading to Lightside for a hill rep session. Me and Sarah are doing downhill reps, Caity and Zoe going for the harder uphill. Just a couple of photos, which don't really illustrate the steepness, but if you know Lightside you'll know its no mean feat to do 10x uphill reps which Caity did - well done! It was 10x downhill reps for me, recovering on the uphill walk section. 

Sarah with Ted the dog, who must have run a good 50+hill reps!
Zoe and Caity on their way up...
...and up....and up....
Caity coming down...Sarah and Zoe somewhere up above

....and Caity almost at the bottom.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Summer Solstice Glossopdale/Pennine club run

OK. So someone stole the sunshine. But that didn't matter, it was warm and muggy, with some good quality clag on the top of Kinder (and a refreshing shower on the ascent). The Glossopdale Harriers were heading over to Hayfield, for it was a joint run with the Pennine crew, celebrating the summer solstice (OK to it wasn't tonight but we're not too pedantic about 24hrs).

What a great run. Just shy of 10km in about 1hr 20ish and 543m ascent. With about forty of us (plus six or seven dogs), the frequency of stiles and gates meant we kept regrouping naturally, a few pauses to have a chat or catch your breath, and a decent stop at Edale Cross to enjoy some home-brewed liqueurs and the famous Hewitt's some photos which hopefully capture the wonderful evening:

The route took us from Bowden Bridge, Coldwell Clough, Edale Cross, south across a nice trod, down and up a clough, then along a good path to South Head, Mount Famine and dropped down under Elle Bank. We the retired to the Royal for post-run socialising and the presentation of a prize t-shirt for the best descender of the evening to Becky, well done that lass.

Here's the route link to strava

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Mountain Equipment Ultratherm Jacket

A few weekends ago my other half was trying on this jacket. After a bit of discussion I realised it could be a good alternative to my Arteryx Atom SV. I always stick that in my rucksack on long runs in winter, well autumn, winter, and spring...or any sort of weather that could have me seriously chilling off if I had to stop. The size 10 Ultratherm was too small, the 12 would be OK. I actually think a size 11 would be perfect for me, but alas they don't do odd sizes. I thought about it and put it on my 'list of things to seek out for next winter'. Then, a discount code for ratrace appeared about 48hrs later and 48hrs later still the jacket arrived.

So, how is it? Well so far it has been used, but not in anger. I was spectating at the Round The Resers race last night and took it with me for later on, knowing that I'd probably not be heading home until after dusk. The evening was warm in the sun, definitely shorts and vest weather. The Ultratherm seemed like overkill lurking in my rucksack. Moving to the finish line to watch the runners coming in, especially my team mates in Glossopdale Harriers, we were stood in the shade.

More importantly we were only feet from the reservoir and a million midges decided it was feeding time. The Ultratherm was my only long sleeved option so on it went. The temperature had dropped a little now the sun was lower, and in the shade it was chilling off a little. I was a bit concerned I'd be too hot but my temperature regulated well. The inside of the sleeves is really comfortable with the micro-grid liner. Good to know, as often I'll be out running in just a vest or tshirt.

With all runners in it was a brisk walk to a pub (labour club?) for the prize giving and a well earned pint for the runners. The jacket was comfortable on the move, still not too hot. Inside though I soon started to get hotter with the jacket on, even sitting still so I was back down to t-shirt only.  I'll report back at some point once it's been used in anger.

The Mountain Equipment website has this information on the jacket:

Windproof, fast drying and functional across a huge range of temperatures and conditions the Ultratherm Jacket is essential kit for everyone from serious mountain runners to Alpine climbers.  Perfect when worn alone for the most highly aerobic activities and yet layers smoothly under shells and insulation in harsh conditions.

• He30 outer fabric; exceptionally lightweight and windproof
• EXOLITE I inserts aid fit during dynamic activity
• Micro-grid wicking lining to regulate temperature and next-to-skin
• HC hood is adjustable and concealed in collar
• Active cut with articulated and pre-shaped sleeves
• Twin-needle and flatlocked seam construction
• Offset Napoleon chest pocket
• YKK® moulded front zip with rear flap
• Lycra® bound cuffs and hem drawcord
• Packs into chest pocket

Monday, 17 June 2013

Hill Reps

7x 2min30sec hill reps (with about 40m ascent each), no rest just recover on downhill....and some strange looking fungi on a couple of it Yellow Mushroom, Laetiporus suphureus?

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Lake District - Scales Tarn and Blencathra

Last weekend was the Glossopdale guys attempt on the Bob Graham round. In between support duties I had a few hours spare so taking full advantage of the glorious weather I headed up to Scales Tarn and Blencathra with Lins. Here's a few photos from our run:

the path up from Scales

still on the way up

Scales Tarn with Sharp Edge above

even higher...our descent path visible on the ridge to the right

high up above Scales Tarn

almost at the top....Sharp Edge dropping off to the right

survey stone marking the summit of Blencathra, technically Hallsfell Top at 868m

me at the summit

looking down from Blencathra

one of the many fabulous views from high up

We ran a leisurely 7km in about 1hr15m, with 654m ascent. The cloud cover that came as we got to the top was most welcome, taking the sting out of the sun and the slight breeze cooled us nicely. On the way down we were bombarded with flies....hundreds of the little blighters which meant I had to run with sunglasses on and mouth firmly closed!