Monday, 29 August 2011

A trip to see Tommy

Yesterday was the local Spinning Club's ride to see the Tom Simpson Museum. Harworth is about 45miles from mu house and I have made this trip before. About 25 of us set off in a couple of groups with cyclists of varying standards. All good natured and a great way to meet new people. You can go to spin class and never really speak much but on a club ride of sorts you soon start to have a bit of banter.
We arrived after 2 hours at the cemetery were Tom's grave is and after ten minutes there we cycled to the Sports and Social club to look at the small Museum that holds some of Tom's memorabilia.
After half an hour looking round and a chip buttie to fuel the run back we left the club and cycled the 40 miles back.
I added a few extra miles on at the end to make a hundred for the day.

A good day out. The weather held although the strong wind made it tough going in places.

Heading North to the Lakes

There is always something special about heading to the Fells. A Rainbow last time. An omen maybe for a good race or even good weather. Whatever you get the trip North is always filled with anticipation.

Well as usual Im watching the cycling.
After jumping up and down shouting and willing Bradley Wiggins over the line yesterday its looking good. A good TT as well today and its all to play for.
Lets see.

Bradbourne Fell Race

This is a local Fell Race run by the legend that is David Denton. Ive done well here over the years and I wasn't going to do it this year. After riding my bike a good distance the day before I could have easily had a rest.
But an e mail from David asking me if I was attending prompted me to drive over to Bradbourne and give it a go.
Its two laps of hard work with a couple of steep climbs thrown in and add in also three river crossing's makes it quite an interesting route.
I started pretty steady and after about a mile found myself pull into the lead. Normally there is a couple of faster guys in front but half way round the first lap I realised I had a chance to win the race so I pushed on. The second lap soon came round after a big applause for nearly clearing the river and as I attacked the second step climb I could ease back a little. This course has a few of those clanky, noisy steel gates that you get in the South Peak District and I could tell that the lad in second place was a way behind as the clanking got less louder. The final climb is tough but I ploughed on and all too soon I was leaping the river for the last time and for the first time I finished first.
Only a small race but its a win. A nice fleece from David and I walked up to the Hall and had a well earned coffee and a biscuit.
Another milestone passed for me. I can say at least once I won a fell race.
Brilliant organisation and I always wonder how long David can keep up organising all these races.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


This is my niece Scarlet. Its a few years since Josh was this age and I had forgotten what it was like to hold the most precious thing in the world. My sister and her husband came over from Vietnam recently and it was the first time I had seen Scarlet.

She was crawling about grabbing everything in sight and by now she will be startiing to take her first steps.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Eccles Pike Race

A great little race this one. I had been wanting to have a crack at this for a couple of years but had not got around to doing it. It starts at the Navigation Pub at Bugsworth which is a great setting. Get the race done then have a beer after as the sun goes down. I got there early and took Badger on a quick recce of the course. A quick run over the dual carriageway footbridge, along the road and your heading up the fell towards Eccles Pike top. There was a big turnout from Pennine and I had messers Barber,Chan, and Perry up with me. The fast start did me a little but I pulled back slightly on the uphill. I shouted a word of encouragement to the other lads as I was mind full of the team prize although I didn't realise there wasn't one on offer. But in the end we still won it with Dan,Nick and myself. Adam had a nightmare as his shoe fell to bits en route back down the fell.
It feels good that we are getting stronger as a team. Plenty of new runners coming through and whats also good is that they are young. Great to see as so many of us in this sport are the other side of 40.
My legs ached still from Borrowdale and maybe 50 odd miles on my bike the night before isn't the best preparation for a 3 mile fell race but I am not complaining.
I managed 9th place and first vet40. I had nothing left at the end and even a nice word of encouragement from Johnny from Fat Boys RC couldn't jolt me. A bottle of wine as a prize for my effort.
Some great other runs from the Pennine crowd. We are picking up prizes all across the board now at races. Team prizes, 1/2/3, Vet 50, First lady, Vet 60. So its all going well at Pennine.
Roll on the relays.
Nicely organised and I will be back again for this one.

Badger enjoying the recce

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Borrowdale Fell Race

I had been training hard for this race for a good few weeks, plenty of hillwork and long runs to ensure that I was ready. Giving that I now have done this race a few times and it is one of the highlights on the fellracing calendar I wanted to do well.
Route knowledge is a big thing for this one and its taken me a long time and numerous recces to just get a good insight into the fastest way around the 17miles that make up the race route.

The race passed fairly quickly and apart from a near disaster when my contact lenses came out after descending the corridor route it went fairly well. I still need to recce various points but was well pleased with getting round in about 3hrs 15minutes.
Billy Bland skipped round in 2hrs 34ish a few years ago to put my time in perspective.
I will be back next year for another go mind.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Parwich Panoramic 5 Fell Race

This was another local race that I have not done before. To be fair its not been run for many years. Parwich is one of those villages that you cycle through and think I could live here. The problem being the £750,000 that you need to buy a property.
Anyway it was 27 degrees in the van when I arrived in the village. I signed on at the Sycamore Pub and awaited the 7.15 start. having not run it I did a quick recce of the start as I anticipated being near the front.
The organiser set us off and I was leading for a while but two other lads came with me and then myself and Chris Nichol who won it just pulled away. The part of the race that is run on the Tissington Trail really told on my legs as it was like road running. I had my road shoes on and that felt a bit odd but the real reason was Chris was to strong.
I tried chasing him down on the rougher sections and did start to catch him put he pulled away again and took a good win. We shook hands at the finish and straight away commented that there must have been over 20 stiles.
Still a lovely local race and brilliantly marshalled and organised.

On the climb up to the Tissington Trail. No comments about the road shoes please.

Lots of local faces and a diet coke in the pub afterwards. I was Happy with 2nd place but I twinged my hamstring going over one of the stiles which I hope will be okay for the Borrowdale Race.
So the Parwich race gets a big thumbs up. This would make an ideal first fell race.
Dave Denton sorted out some brilliant Junior races and credit goes to everyone involved in that.
The only problem was that the little village duckpond didn't have enough water in it otherwise I would have jumped in.