Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Chrome Hill Fell Race - what an awesome race!

I'd never done this race but it had been on my radar since I read Darren Holloway's blog entry on it. And what a "must do" race it is! Low key, linked to a village fair, hard, terrific views - see photo below of Helen as an example!
Chrome Hill Fell Race Route
The route is far harder than the route profile suggests as everything from mile 0 to mile 1 is through grass / mud - often on trogs carved out simply by the local livestock! The village fair looked ace complete with Jazz Band (!), but I had to dash off to meet Teresa (and Cath / Neil) on a Matlock pub crawl. The race is now unfinished business as I had to stop for a comfort break halfway round! What a great excuse to come along next year - next year with the family too!
Chrome Hill Fell Race Profile
Helen on the Chrome Hill Fell Race Ridge - Parkhouse Hill in the background (race doesn't go over that)

Results will go here

Tideswell Fell Race 11th/85

I’d manage to miss this every year so far – it always falls at one of the busiest times of year for fell races and I don’t like to do much more than 1 or 2 a week (unlike some!). This year it fell well as Teresa and Lewis were around and it’s in a beautiful corner of the peaks (near where we got married – The Monsal Head pub) so it was a great excuse for a family evening out.
Tideswell Fell Race Route
And what a glorious evening it was! Being Summer Time in Britain, it was a matter of deluge avoidance… thankfully most of the race did avoid any rain and we were blessed with stunning views over the limestone dales of Tideswell and Litton.

Tideswell Fell Race Profile
The race itself reminded me slightly of the Cressbrook Crawl which is in May and in the next dale – although this one only had one climb of note. Sadly I’d not warmed up enough so that climb felt very very hard to me – up through about 4 grassy fields before levelling off on the Bridleway tracks around Priestcliffe which all looked absolutely stunning bathed in the evening sunlight. The descent was damp which mixed with Limestone, steps, grass and mud made me lose about 2 places on the drop down to the dale.

All in all, a lovely evening topped off with a pint or so in the Monsal Head pub.

Strava link here
Results here 11/85 so top 12.9%.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Riber Run 2016 17th/156

I was keen to get back fell racing after my Scottish Isles trip and MTBing last week (Trailquest and Mountain Mayhem) so seeing as this was one of my favourite races last year it was great to see so many Harriers join me on this local classic!

Riber Run 2016 Race Route

Riber Run Route Profile
 Hills were a struggle - I was sorely overdue running training and hill rep training - so being 1 minute slower than last year was probably not too bad - it was slightly slippier too than last year so it felt about right. Lewis came with me so nice pint with Lewis and Nick in the Jug and Glass afterwards.
The Belper Harriers before the Riber Run 2016

Results link here 17th out of 156 so top 10.9%
Strava flyby here showing Nick's "walkabouts" around Hearthstone lane.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Scottish Isles Bikepack

Just a few of my favourite shots from what was an unforgettable week on Eigg, Skye and Raasay.
Eigg : Above Cleadale (northern end about 8pm at night) - tent pitched somewhere below! Views to Rum

Eigg : Rum from Laig Bay
Eigg : Rum from Laig Bay

Eigg : Southern Side of the island stumbled across this lovely isolated crofters cottage - with a young couple sitting outside supping wine - well, I had to stop for a chat! Storm in distance
Eigg : Sunset over Rum

Eigg : Rum from Laig Bay
Skye : Sunrise over the Cuillin : I bivvied here overnight - what an amazing spot above Loch Coruisk from Sgurr na Stri

Skye : The Cuillin from my walk to Elgol
Skye : The Cuillin from Elgol

Skye : The Cuillin from Elgol
Raasay : Lone Tree & Cuillin from Raasay

Raasay : Wildcamp spot looking back towards Portree
Raasay : Some glorious exploration around the north west of the isle - towards Fladda

Skye : Sunset from the Stein Inn
Skye : Bla Bheinn on my cycle in to Camasunary Bothy

Skye : Glen Sligachan offroad - unbelievably good
Skye : Breakfast brewing from Camasunary Bothy

Skye : Lone Tree, Bla Bheinn
Skye : Grasses, Bla Bheinn

Raasay : Wildcamp with views back to Portree
Skye : Camasunary (old) Bothy (bottom right)

Eigg : Approaching Eigg from Mallaig
Skye : Fantastic Campsite at Dunvegan

Skye : View from Jonny n Jo's cottage above Stein, Waternish. Breathtaking

Friday, 17 June 2016

Carsington 2h MTBO / Trailquest

Not done a Trailquest for many a year, but this week it fitted in well - I'd been fell racing a lot and it was Mountain Mayhem next weekend so I needed to test the bike and bike legs out a bit!

I always love doing these. A good workout - sometimes new paths or bridleways plus maps. What's not to like ? Well, the weather for one - it virtually didn't stop raining from the minute I left my house to the minute I got back. Sadly - I decided it would be a better workout to cycle there and cycle back too - adding more pain and sogginess into the mix!

Anyway - it was a good evening all in - I was second to Killian Lomas - he cleared the course with 225pts, I got 215 points and was second. He went clockwise, I went anticlockwise. and with hindsight I do wish I'd gone clockwise. Most offroad sections I tackled were uphill!

Results here
Strava here

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Edale Country Day Fell Race 30th/229

I always enjoy this race and this year it was on the club Fell Series. As I'd only done Masson so far I thought I'd better clock another one up! I love this as it's a classic fell race - up, across and down with the terrain never being easy and of course finishing in the country day field in front of the crowd (and beer tent!) is ace.
Edale Country Day Race Route. Start under the nab, finish next to the main CP.
Legs felt pretty good after Castleton on Friday night so I thought I'd notch it up slightly for today - tackling the climb slightly harder than I had the other night. This year the climb felt way easier than last year so I ought to check back if I just went off too fast last year and blew up (think I paced it better this time).

I didn't lose any places on the traverse which I was pleased about which only left the descent! Every year I lose about 10 places on this and I kept up this tradition this year ! I felt good all the way to the finish and overtook a few on the run down the road. Another brilliant race and a fantastic turnout from the club with 14 of us! Especially well done to Andy Paisley - on fire at the mo!

30th out of 229 so top 13%
Results here
Strava link here

Castleton Fell Race, 39/231

Castleton is a race I've not done for about 12-15 years. I have tended to avoid it due to the large amount of flagstone running along the ridge but this year it fitted in well. I'd not really done much since getting back from Scotland (boycotted the BDL Race on Tuesday due to feeling under the weather) so this was a good a way as any to get on the race ladder in time for Edale on Sunday. Brucey bonus was that Lewis could do the kids race!
Castleton Fell Race Route 

We both really enjoyed it (only 8 in Lewis's race due to appalling weather all day) and I seemed to run well, never really maxing out and staying pretty comfortable. Imminent cramps on the last tarmac run in stopped me closing down the guys in front sadly.

39/231 so top 17% - lower than normal and I thought I ran well. Maybe I didn't!!
Results here in 52:28
Strava here