Event Report- The Baslow Boot Bash

Phew that was a scorcher! Considering that the last time I did this event (2015) it poured all of the night before and most of the day, it couldn’t have been more different.

I had the pleasure of introducing Helen and Sue to each other and we also kept leap frogging Steve, who walked with Sue and I two years ago, and his friend Linda.

The start of the Baslow Boot Bash is just near the field which serves as a car park, but we needed to walk to the village hall to register- I think queuing to get through the cage- style gate into the grounds of Chatsworth took longer than the walk!

Read the rest of this entry

Bowland 100k- Event Report

I think it was when my foot disappeared up to my knee in peaty water for the third time within five minutes that I first accepted that this challenge wasn’t going to be achievable. I stopped and surveyed the scene- peat bogs and slippery mud as far as I could see. A hundred yards away Sue was having her own struggles, forging a path through tangled heather roots in an attempt to avoid the worst of it. It started raining again- heavy, persistent rain, and I began to wonder if we would ever make it off the fell let alone to the end…

In hindsight, it was always going to be ambitious- 100k (62 miles) over the fells of the Forest of Bowland in March. Persuaded by Sue to enter, I was slightly apprehensive as I have walked on these fells and know how boggy they can be.

I had arranged to stay with my sister and brother-in-law, who live fairly near to the start at Slaidburn, and they kindly drove me there. Prior to the event we had received very little information from the organisers, Pure Challenge, regarding the route, checkpoints etc. In response to several Facebook queries they had supplied a list of checkpoints with some rough distances between and assurances that there would be hot food at the ‘half way’ point at Dunsop Bridge. We were not given a map or route description but were assured that the route would be marked.

Read the rest of this entry

Event Report- The Millennium Way Ultra

There was no doubt about it- I was completely lost. Approaching checkpoint three my route description had finally succumbed to the relentless showers and had disintegrated into a soggy illegible pulp, and now I had taken the wrong exit out of the field.

Instead of arriving at the checkpoint marquee on the playing field at Yoxall I was faced with unfamiliar roads and had absolutely no idea how to get back on track. I looked at my watch- 5:03pm. I knew that the checkpoint closing time was 5:05pm and I had no way of finding it in time. It was looking horribly like my race was over… panicking I forced my tired body into a shambling jog- but I wasn’t even sure I was running in the right direction…

Read the rest of this entry

Getting closer…

I cannot believe we are more than halfway through February already… is anyone else convinced that the years are actually getting shorter?

Of course, every day that passes brings me closer to the challenges I have booked- starting with the Millennium Ultra on 4th March- less than two weeks!

Now I first attempted this event a couple of years ago. All of the other entrants appeared to be serious ultra runner types who left me for dust in a matter of seconds. I trotted along at the back, eventually catching up with a couple in Stafford just after the first checkpoint. We walked/ ran for a little while but the chap had hurt his knee when he twisted it in the mud and was finding it increasingly painful so they decided to retire at checkpoint two.

Read the rest of this entry

Swimathon Challenge

Spurred on by swimming 80 lengths last week I have been persuaded to enter this Swimathon Challenge in aid of Marie Curie on 7th April.

You book a time slot at one of the participating venues, choose your distance and then swim…

Helen and I have decided on a team effort- swimming 5k between us… a mere 100 lengths each! Ah well good training for the Half Outlaw!

Event Report- the Wilmot Wander

A couple of weeks ago saw me taking on my first challenge of 2017- the 32 mile Wilmot Wander. Run by the Chaddesden Scout Group, the walk starts from Chaddesden in Derby and takes in a circuit around the city.

They have this slightly odd system where walkers and runners are sent off in batches every two minutes, and as my start time was earlier than Sue and Elaine, my walking companions‘, I hovered outside in the dark trying to keep my balance on the icy pavement.

Reunited, we set off through Chaddesden Park- one drawback of not having a mass start is that there was nobody in front to follow. We had some rather poorly printed maps and a route description that was sparse at best so had to ask a local lady for directions on leaving the park.

Read the rest of this entry

2017- Ready or not, here we come!!

I know I keep saying this but I can’t believe it’s 2017 already… 2016 seemed to fly by- it seems no time at all that I was writing my New Year’s post for last year.

There’s something about the start of a brand shiny new year that gets people thinking about making a fresh start, becoming a new person etc etc etc… which is great but all too often people make a whole list of resolutions (I’m going to go to the gym every day, get up an hour early each day, give up smoking, stop drinking, swim to work…) and of course it’s not realistic or sustainable and so they give up and feel like a failure.

Read the rest of this entry

Event Report- the Three Shires Challenge

009Well, I entered this one with high ambitions of finally smashing out the 29 mile route this year… but as usual I had had fantasies about getting much fitter than I actually have done…

I met Sue at the start, in the village hall at Swythamley, one of those Peak District villages that manages to be rather difficult to find and, as I have heard described, in the ‘arse end of nowhere’.

As we set off, it was quite clear that the overwhelming theme of today’s walk was going to be mud. I haven’t seen such a variety of mud in a long while… sticky mud, slippery mud, glutinous mud…

Read the rest of this entry

Coventry WayIt was quite a shock to realise that I last completed this event 11 years ago! Where does the time go… I nearly didn’t do it Sunday as I had succumbed to yet another cold, this time accompanied by a bad cough, and had been feeling really poorly right up until Friday.

It’s frustrating- I seem to have picked up one thing after another recently- colds, tummy bugs, the lot! I am usually such a healthy bod so this is really quite worrying. I am due to have some blood tests taken next week (mainly to shut Mum up!) so we will see if there’s anything untoward going on or if it is just work stress and the result of constantly pushing myself when I am not feeling great…

Read the rest of this entry

A Training Update

IMAG2764So- it’s February already!! Is it me or is 2016 zipping along like an express train already?!?

I am convinced the years are actually getting shorter… and while I am having a moan I just want to mention the weather (I am British after all). I mean, what’s with all this wet stuff falling from the sky? It feels like it’s rained nearly every day since last October and every where is just so wet and muddy.

If we don’t get a bit of dry weather soon those fields on the Millennium Way Ultra are going to be one wet morass… they are bad enough at the best of times- one poor soul apparently lost a shoe last year, never to be retrieved, and had to limp back to Stafford Railway Station to catch a train to the finish!

On the advice of race organisers Beyond Marathon I have bought my first ever pair of proper trail shoes- they haven’t actually arrived yet, but they are bright red and I an expecting great things!

Read the rest of this entry

 Page 1 of 3  1  2  3 »