2017- My Review of the Year

It’s that time of year again… when we dig out that list of the things we said we were going to do in 2017, blow the dust off it and ask ourselves honestly whether we achieved them…

I think that reflection on this sort is very useful- not for beating ourselves up if we fell short of our goals, but in analysing what went right, what went less well, what challenges we faced, how we overcame them- or not- and the things we can do to make us more likely to get what we want to out of 2018.

Read the rest of this entry

The Pride of the Peak Walk

Pride of the PeakIt was pitch dark- all we could see was a little circle of ground a few inches in front of our feet, partially obscured by the persistent rain drops lit by the beams of our head torches as we trudged uphill through the mud. We had no idea what time it was, but we knew it was late… and getting home depended on reaching the exact spot where there was a gate through the woods- not easy when you are in a meadow a couple of miles wide…

Helen and I had decided that we needed a big walk as the culmination of our training for our Cornish Challenge in three week’s time. I had planned to enter us into the 26 mile Bassetlaw Bash, but decided that we needed to up the ante a little and do something tougher…

So I raided my walking books and found the 30 mile Pride of the Peak walk that I had done with mum and my two sisters several years ago… the difference was that then we walked it over three days, not one!

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

2015- A Rather Late Review

2016Woah… what’s this?!? My head still thinks we are only just into 2016 but in reality we are half way through January already! How did that happen January?… you sneaky month, you…

I haven’t even done my review of 2015 yet- but I guess there’s no time like the present so here we go;

At the start of 2015 I somewhat optimistically stated that 2015 was going to be the year of beating the urge to slob out and eat vast quantities of chocolate instead of getting out to train… so just how successful was this?

Hmmm. I’d say variable. Okay, variable to rubbish! I did do quite a fair bit of walking but not much in the way of consistent distance or running training. And there was still far, far too much sofa slobbing and chocolate eating.

Read the rest of this entry

A Walk Along the Monsal Trail

Monsal TrailAs we piled in the car and set off for Bakewell it promised to be a perfect Autumn day- sunny with clear blue skies, showing the colours of the dying leaves to their best effect. My friend Helen and I had decided to undertake an 18 mile John Merrill walk, which takes in the Monsal Trail then returns over fields and through villages, in preparation for the 26 mile Spires and Steeples Challenge.

We took Helen’s dog Spud with us, and climbed out of the town to reach the trail. The Monsal trail runs for around 8 miles from Bakewell to Blackwell Mill, and as it follows the line of a former railway (and what a scenic one it must have been!) it is easy walking. The worst hazards along the path are large families out for a day on their bikes who like to take up the whole path and decide it’s a good opportunity to teach the kids how to ride- after several near misses one little girl managed to run into me. By the end of the trail I was ready to push people off!

Read the rest of this entry

Event Report- The Dovedale Dipper

dovedale dipperIt was a cool, cloudy morning as around three hundred walkers and runners set off from Hartington Village Hall for the 13th annual 26 mile Dovedale Dipper challenge walk. This is a justly popular event right in the heart of the White Peak, and it passes through some spectacular classic Peak scenery.

Of course, being the Peak District there is also plenty of climbing, the first ascent faced as we left Hartington and climbed the slopes of Carder Low, heading for the High Peak cycle trail and the first checkpoint at Sparklow.

Read the rest of this entry

The Leaden Boot Revisited

leaden bootSo it was getting closer to our Hadrian’s Wall Trek and that meant we were due for another little training walk! This time my friend and I decided to go a little further and tougher and so the route description for the Leaden Boot was dug out and we made our way to Alstonefield, which handily has three free car parks and public loos.

I had initially suggested that we cut out the steep climb out of Milldale and the even steeper descent into Narrowdale by simply walking straight down the Dovedale path, but we decided that we needed the practice and so headed up into the cloud to pick up the ridge path.

We managed the steep descent okay, but walking through Narrowdale I suddenly realised why the Leaden Boot takes place in May and not July.

Read the rest of this entry

The Grindleford Gallop Revisited

grindleford gallopA few weeks ago my friend and I embarked on our second training walk for the Alzheimer’s Society Hadrian’s Wall Trek in August. As I have acquired quite a collection of challenge walk route descriptions, we decided on the 21 mile Grindleford Gallop and so we found ourselves emerging from the car into drizzle on Grindleford’s main street.

Luckily it soon cleared up, and once we had made our way through woods to Froggatt the sun was making a welcome appearance. Rain threatened several times during the day but we seemed to manage to skirt around it.

Read the rest of this entry

Baslow Boot Bash- Event Report

Baslow Boot BashI had only done the Baslow Boot Bash once before as I have managed to be on holiday ever since. The Boot Bash is an event where there is no route description; just a list of check points which must be visited in order and so a map is needed.

I was in two minds whether to turn up as I got up at 6am, as, after a warm and sunny week, Saturday saw Britain lashed by torrential rain! It had started raining the night before and poured all night, meaning that it was going to be lovely and slippery underfoot.

But as this was potentially my first challenge event this year (shocking!) I thought I had better make the effort, and so drove through sheets of rain to the sodden field in the Chatsworth estate that was being used as a car park and waded my way to register at Baslow village hall.

Read the rest of this entry

A walk around the Roaches

roachesI haven’t done as many challenge walks as I should have this year, so when a friend suggested we take on the 23 mile Hadrian’s Wall Trek in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society I jumped at the chance, particularly as we both see first hand the devastating impact this cruel disease has on sufferers and their families through work.

My friend hadn’t done any longer walks for a long while and as it happens neither have I, so we have been planning some training walks. This is actually great for me as I usually have to do these mad and crazy things by myself!

Our first walk was to be a 13 mile route out of John Merrill’s Long Circular Walks in the Peak District, which takes in the long rocky spine of the Roaches. It was dull but dry as we parked up at Tittesworth Reservoir and walked across fields to Upper Hulme before taking a lovely little path past an old mill.

Read the rest of this entry

 Page 1 of 2  1  2 »