Saturday, February 25, 2012

Great Gable and Green Gable - Feb 2012

Great Gable has been on my most wanted list for a long time.  I have been fascinated by the climbing history of Napes Needle, the dome like appearance from certain angles and the history of the mountain.  Today I had planned a zig-zag route across the front of the mountain, threading Napes Needle but after the cloud came in, I adapted the route to ensure I stayed on more solid ground with clearly defined paths.  Still a great day.

Kirk Fell with the steep path up Highnose Head.  We considered going this way but decided to carry on and tackle Great Gable (on the right) first.

Route out and back.  I had planned to zig-zag back across the path on the front.

the Napes


So near and yet...

Styhead Tarn in front of Seathwaite Fell

towards Borrowdale

Piers Gill behind Jonathan

getting cloudy, a few flakes of snow in the air

ascent of Great Gable 

rocky last bit

top of Great Gable

"we did it"

the way down towards Windy Gap and then Green Gable
Green Gable (and lots of people)

looking around Gable Crag, down Ennerdale Valley

Green Gable

Pillar on the left, then Ennerdale Valley and High Crag with Haystacks in front

top of Green Gable

looking back Gable Crag on Great Gable

"Screeeeeeee" quick way down from Green Gable

Green Gable Crag - yeah, we just ran down there

at Beck Head looking back towards Wast Water.  Kirk Fell is on the right but we decided to head down this way today.

Kirk Fell

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sale Fell - After Work Feb 2012

Lighter nights means that runs can be squeezed in.  I packed a range of running gear this morning before heading off to a training day in Penrith.  The day finished at 4pm meaning that I had a good hour and a half of daylight.  I almost almost stopped at Great Mell Fell but, as this is not currently on my done list, I opted for somewhere I knew, where I wouldn't panic about being out if it got dark.  Back to the old faithful Sale Fell, which is quickly turning into my own version of Anton Krupicka's Green Mountain.  After a quick superman-style change into my running gear, I set off.  Objective one - the wall:

this is the wall, about .8 of a mile up from the entrance but some really difficult uphill to this point.  It's all about the pacing.

looking back down the path

lovely terraced path to run on.

in the other direction from the path, towards Whythrop Woods.  Bassenthwaite visible on the left

looking South East from Sale Fell the bump centre left on the horizon is Dodd

top of Sale Fell - looking towards Whythrop Woods and over to the lower slopes of Skiddaw  which is hidden in cloud as usual.

Ling Fell from the top of Sale Fell

Looking at the 3d route, it would have been nicer to run down the slowly sloping east side and around the front of the fell.  Might try this route when I run up here again tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Brampton to Carlisle 2010

This race was some time ago and I don't have any pictures but I still wanted to record the time etc here for posterity.

The race is the oldest 10 mile race in the UK.  2010 was the 59th year that it had taken place.  It's a fast course, there is quite a bit of downhill to it.  A substantial portion of the race is along a main road which I imagine had a lot less traffic 59 years ago.  Here is the route and elevation:

I remember taking it quite easy on the run to the point that I was able to sprint for the last half mile or so.  I think this is my fastest 10 mile run to date but also my only 10 mile race to date.  Here are my splits:

I remember seeing the horse that was on the route, causing some controversy.  This is from the Runners World Forum:

Now, I've done a few races in my time and met most of the usual 'obstacles' - traffic, congestion caused by too many runners on narrow roads etc, but today I was confronted by a runaway horse.  The beast seemed pretty big and was first seen trotting down the middle of quite a busy road flanked by a string of several hundred runners on the left and one or two motorists heading in the other direction.
The 'owner' of the horse appeared from a side road just infront of me and started shouting at the several hundred runners to turn back.  'Stop being so f***ing selfish' was her cry.  'Somebody do something!'  So my question is 'what on earth shoud we all have done'?  Perhaps we were being selfish in not stopping, but to be honest the horse would probably have carried on anyway since the front runners were probably about 15 minutes ahead of us by then.  I, for one, would not want to go anywhere near a horse, let alone one that had most likely been spooked.
So what happened next?  Well about a quarter of a mile further on, one hardy soul had abandoned all hope of a PB and stopped to calm the animal by the side of the road.  Many of us ran past, perhaps a little slowly, before the horse then decided to start racing again at which point it started making it's way towards the front.  A little later it was somehow coralled into the grounds of a large house at which point another runner managed to shut the gates much to the annoyance of the householder.  'Oi you, you cannot leave your horse here'.......  'Sorry mate, it's not my horse, see ya later!'  
Anyway, back to my original question - 'What would you have done, and what should we have done? 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blackpool Illuminations 10k 2011

Blackpool, filled with childhood memories, walking along the promenade with my grandparents, pockets jangling with pennies for the slot-machines, candy floss, Blackpool rock and an indoor playground called The Madhouse (probably not an acceptable name these days).

There are also a number of races held along the promenade including the Blackpool Illuminations 10k, organised by Fylde Coast Running to coincide with the illuminations being switched on.  In September 2011, I selected this race to try to beat my 10k PB time of 42:56.  The race follows a very level route along the promenade and back.  To beat 42:56 I needed an average speed of under 7 minutes per mile.

I set off on good form.  There didn't seem to be any wind.  First three miles:

So far so good.  An average of 6:47 would give me a time of just over 42 minutes for the 10k.  The turnaround point was at three miles.  Suddenly, woosh! there's the wind!  Headwind all the way back meant for a much slower run.  I really couldn't feel any wind on the way out but it was obvious that my sub 7 miles had been wind assisted and now I was going to pay for it.  Last part of the race:

Substantially slower.  I knew after the first half mile past the turnaround that a PB was not on the cards.  I concentrated on giving my best effort (and looking great for the cameras obviously).


out of steam

race summary

It was a rainy weekend in Blackpool.  We still used the occasion to have some fun:

The race coincides with the switching on of the Blackpool Illuminations.  Hannah was really tired but we went for a drive along the prom anyway.  Here is her reaction: