Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Totley Moor Fell Race

Last night it was very warm. The first really hot day of the year. I decided to call at Totley for the race that goes over the moor. The clubhouse is very new and is a a brilliant facility and I had to pinch myself in the showers after that I was really at a fell race. A shower !!!!!
Normally its 5 minutes in the beck or the stream.
A well organised race and Andrew Moore and Mick Stenton was both telling me about how the money had been raised over the years and that they had Joss to open the new clubhouse.
I managed 5th place.
That will do for short races now for a little while ( Mind I say that every year). Time for some longer stuff.
Lets hope the weather keeps like this until, errrr December.


Whilst the Peloton rolls around Italy 2 days ago an earthquake hit parts of the Northern regions of the country. I received an e mail from our main steel supplier at work saying that the shocks had shut down production at the plant and that we would not be receiving some orders scheduled to be delivered.
Many families will have been affected by this an my heart goes out to all of them.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Nodding off

The Giro d Italia is an awesome race. I prefer it to the Tour De France. My first love is the classics.
Now even for ardent fans like me who dash home at night and then watch the racing sometimes it can drag a bit. I admire Kelly and Harmon but there are only so many times that David can ask Sean what he thinks and then Sean replies " Its just amazin the pace they are gowin at".
Take the other night. I came home from work and jumped on my bike and set off for the Peak District. 55miles later and 5 big climbs I arrived back.
A quick shower and a few jobs then I put the cycling on. Usually about 90km to go and the break is on. What I have learned to do at about 60km is too have a Nod. Yes a little sleep.
BUT sometimes the excitement is just too much.
Little Miguel Rubiano lit up the race at 45km on the road to Porto sant El pidio when he jumped clear of his fellow breakaways and set off on his lonesome.
He held off and won the 207km stage .
A brilliant ride and definitely the highlight of the Giro for me up to now.
What I want to know is why we cannot have podium girls in fell running.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Fairfield Fell Race Report

Okay here goes
Registration and a fairly thorough kit check. Ben Abdelnoor comments on my bumbag. Indeed its seen better days. He puts a felt tip pen mark on my hand and I proceed to fill in the race form and pay my money to the good people who are organising this race. The Fairfield Horseshoe is a popular circuit with walkers and runners alike. Today 300 runners will run the race and another history in the chapter of fell racing will be laid down.
I pin my number on and have a warm up.
The weather is pretty warm and I notice that my legs are still heavy from the Rainow race on Wednesday night. But that was Wednesday and this is Saturday. I mean 48hrs is enough to recover surely. I know it is not and I certainly will suffer but the draw of the race is such that I will worry about that once I get going. 3/2/1 Goooooooooooo. We are off and the usual suspects are near me. Over the years you get to know that runners that week in week out you race against and although we compete we always have some friendly banter on the way round.
Within 300 yds up the track we are greeted by cow slurry. about a foot deep and everyone complains. This will dry on our legs through the course of the race and have to be scrubbed off later. Is there a stream at the end. Yes ahhhh that's okay then.
Now we climb, I feel my race legs ache. This is not going to be pretty as we hit the grassy slope. I try to push harder but some days the legs do not fire on all cylinders. Today will be one of those days. Nab Scar is the first top and we make our way to Heron Pike. The line of runners begins to thin out now and I am hanging on cursing the fact I raced Wednesday night.
Who is in front, who is behind, who is taking a different line. All these things go through a runners mind during the race. I have learned over the years to run my own race. Many runners get caught up running with other people and it can work both ways in a race. Make or Break.
Simon Booth the great Borrowdale runner is one of the top lads who runs his own race.
Great Rigg appears and I am now with two other runners. A Wharfedaler and a Bowlander. I am a Penniner.
The two other lads are working hard and we swap places as we strive to reach Fairfield. We all know that after Fairfield the race will speed up rapidly and become a blur as we head back down to Rydal Hall.
The summit marshal checks our numbers as we pass by and I am cursing myself because I should have put a little more into that climb. I should have recced it and timed it, I should have fought the pain a bit more in my legs, I should have even had Wednesday night off.
Its a very quick run round to Hart Crag and at 822mtrs we are high up and flying now. The little top of Dove Crag passes by and Southbound is the only way to go as we push on down to High Pike. There is a runner off in the distance and I find myself racing down with Mike from Bowland.
Mike Johnson is a legend on the fellracing circuit and we work together on the descent. Now tactics always play a part in a fell race and I ask Mike if he knows the last part of the race. He does and we are now dialled in.
Remember I have not recced this route. Yes I know it generally but the last bit after Low Pike I have not done before so Its my turn to do the work on the front.
We are hammering down now and we catch the runner in front just before hitting Low Pike. Mike tells me we have to cross the wall and within seconds we do. Its now just a bit of chinking down to get to the track before running back to the finish.
Mike guides us down brilliantly and before soon we do indeed hit the track.
I just manage to pull away and we both come in 9th and 10th.
Its been a good race and I tell Mike without his knowledge I would not have finished that quickly.
I am vet40 and he is a Vet50.
We shake hands after we come through the finish funnel and its all over for another week.

Friday, 11 May 2012

The culprit

A lot of people ask me about training. More so now than ever. And one of the main things that I ask people is how much time have you got to devote to training.
Not everyone gets home from work and does 2 hours a night like I do. Time is precious to us all but it is a common theme with people that I talk with when wanting to get fit is quite how much TV they watch.
Don't get me wrong I watched TV and still do.
I watch a lot of Cycling on Eurosport and Sig Hansen on Deadliest catch but that is about it.
I no nothing of the world of soaps, films, and all that kind of stuff, but people tell me there is always something to watch.
Last week a woman at spinning said to me I do not have time to train like you Darren. I then asked her how much Television she watched a week and to be honest.
The answer was 4 hrs a night = 28hrs a week.
My answer= Never tell me you have no time.
The TV has a lot to answer for with regards to putting on weight. We even have remote controls now that change channel for us. The box in the corner of the room calls us be near it, to keep it company, to look at it, to even shout at it at times. It educates us, it informs us about the world we live in, it makes us sad, it makes us happy.
But my fellow bloggers it does nothing for our health or fitness.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Rainow 5 Fell Race

Last night I went over to do the Rainow Fell Race. The weather was horrendous going over the Peak but settled a little for the race.
A nice little course but not much climbing involved. Just a quick run up to White Nancy and then along the ridge and back up into Rainow to the Institue.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Coniston Fell Race

The Coniston Race route looks pretty straightforward but it is very easy to overcook it on the first climb. The bank is steep but just runnable which I managed but as soon as I topped out and started the gradual ascent up to Wetherlam I started to fade a little. Grassy slopes are not kind to me be it climbing or descending. I have refined my downhill technique a little but I will always prefer going over rock.
Going up Prison Band I felt better and then again heading up to The Old Man summit.
Previous recces of the descent back to Coniston proved invaluable and I did well coming down after initially hesitating and verbally checking a fallen runner.
A blast back down and it was all over.
A fantastic race taking in Wetherlam, Swirl How and the Old Man of Coniston.
The weather was kind to us and conditions were perfect for running in. Coniston makes a great venue for a race. Lots of cafes and the local brewery does really good beer.