29 August 2011

Borrowdale Photos






Borrowdale Fell Race 2011

Borrowdale 2011
Having done the BG I thought I should at least pitch out and do a proper fell race, so here I found myself on the start line in a field in Rosthwaite, everyone seemed quite relaxed, I’d likely just cruise round and take in the views!??
Objectives for the day:
1. Don’t get timed out
2. Don’t DNF
3. Don’t be last!
The start down the track was a bottle neck and the first few hundred yards done at walking pace, I thought I can handle this, I’ve been in faster starts at LDWA events!
As we ran down the road section through Rosthwaite to Bessy Boot I felt quite good, and overtook 10 or 15 folk, but it was flat at this stage!
As we turned to face the ascent up Dry Gill to the summit of Bessy Boot it looked a bit steep, and I went into BG mode and started to plod up, suddenly those 20 folk I’d passed on the road came steaming past with relative ease, I tried to speed up on the climb but not being used to this pace my legs were almost trashed by the first checkpoint at the summit of Bessy B! I’d changed my outlook by now, this was going to hurt if I had any chance of achieving objective 1.
I dug in behind some Helm Hill runners round to Esk Hause the 2 nd check point, and didn’t feel too bad, up onto Scafell Pike, familiar territory, then the dare devil scree descent straight off scafell to join the corridor route, I was beginning to enjoy this the scree was great fun!
The descent down to Stye Head seemed to take forever, and was quite technical, at one stage I ran into a deep bog , momentum carrying me forward and both my shoes came off in the mud! I turned to find them, they were nowhere to be seen!
I waded back in just socks, and had to plunge my arm in up to the shoulder and try and fish them out, the stuff was like quick sand, and it took quite some effort and time to extract my mudclaws!
Catching a quick drink and cheer from Ariane at Stye head in front loomed the huge bulk of great gable and another massive climb, my legs were already trashed and it was just a case of digging in and plodding up it like a snail, surprisingly I overtook 2 or 3 dark peak runners!
The rest was fairly painful, the climb up Dale head seeming harder than on my BG!
Finally over the line, objectives achieved, not last but nearly!
Three shires next then!

16 July 2011

Mike "The Hammer" Smiths BGR

There are BG rounds , and then there are BG rounds!! I haven't got the energy left to write much after supporting Mike on leg 3, except to say that what we witnessed was a phenomenal display of guts, drive and determination, all done with a smile and laid back demeanour.

Those were some of the worst weather conditions I have ever encountered on the fells with some of the most difficult navigation. The amount of water on leg 3 alone was unprecedented , the paths were like rivers, the bogs up to your waist, and waterfalls were pouring off Broad stand and Foxs traverse like something out of the Lost World adventure or Jurrasic Park! The rocks were slippy, slimy and wet, the whole thing becoming more of an assault course than fell running!

But Mike could not be stopped, he was indestructible! Careful to take the descents steady especially on the wet rocks, but then when it came to the climbs he really put the "Hammer" down, fresh legs on every leg struggling to stay with him on the climbs, the ascent up Steel Fell and Scafell Pike being the quickest I've ever done them.

Without a shadow of a doubt Mike and Helen(sterling support!) truly deserved this victory, awesome!

Mike you are now the 2011 BG champ!!

Well done Mate!

22 June 2011

BG write up "Its in the Bag now!"

The Write up of my Bob Graham Round June 10/11th 2011 “It’s in the Bag Now!”
“For me it’s all about the Adventure and the last 6 months has been one long Adventure, I’ve enjoyed every minute!”
“I think it’s also about being in the outdoors and enjoying the freedom of movement, every step and run is a joy and privilege, I am thankful to have the physical state to enjoy such freedom, and to live in an area of such natural beauty and opportunity!”
Firstly a huge thank you to all my training partners over the last 6 months who’ve shared the long days out on the fells and kept me going, it seemed there was never a moment where any of you thought I wouldn’t make it, this in itself gave me the confidence to continue!”
Also a massive thank you to my wife Ariane and for her unwavering support and patience throughout my training, especially with caring for our 2 small children Carla 3 and George 2 on the days I was running about on the fells. She never seemed to doubt I could get round the BG!
Also to one Dallam member who frustratingly has been injured but played a massive part in my psychological preparation with weekly motivational phone calls and sound advice all the way through, I don’t want to single anyone out, but you know who you are , and it was a big help mate, cheers.
Finally an immeasurable debt to the club for their support throughout, and on the Day, in the words of my mate Lanny who did leg 4, “it was the most Mega day out in the Lakes I can ever remember”, the support was truly amazing and humbling and I am privileged to be part of such a club.
And in the words of Matt Beardshall who ran with us most of the way on his solo attempt and witnessed the cheers from the Dallam juniors as we descended to Honister “Are you sure you’re not a member of Take That!?” such was the cheering!
Having successfully completed the BG on June 10/11th 2011 with the support of Dallam running club and friends , now all that is left is to put some of the build up and experience into words, not an easy task, and one where the sentiment could easily be lost amongst long lists of fell top names and schedule times.
Having supported my Dad Stan on legs 1 and 5 back in 1987 on his successful BG round it has always been in the back of my mind to have a go.
As a child you look up to your dad as superhuman, and for me certainly my dad was superhuman, and I never thought it possible that I could emulate him and achieve the BG. That was until last year when several of my fellow Dallam team mates showed unbelievable focus and determination to achieve just that, and show that with the right application anything is possible, even for us ‘Pub Runners’ from Dallam!
Last year’s guys had paved the way and set in motion a set of events that would result in me achieving my dream of 24 years, a seed sown when I was just a child. If after all these years with the right preparation I could pull it off, I could then wear my Dads slippers around the house and sit in his chair with pride.
November saw the start of my training with a road Marathon in Inverness. Then followed several months of going out on the fells most weekends in all kinds of weather, wearing full winter gear and micro spikes and carrying heavy packs, training through to spring when finally we could shed and few pounds from the rucksack and get back in shorts. The days started off at 4-5 hours then slowly increased over time to 7-8 hours, finally resulting in 3 or 4 , 11 to 12 hour days, most of which were on or incorporating bits of the BG route.
Training with your mates has its advantages though, and I can honestly say I have enjoyed each and every day we have been out on the fells, good or bad weather it has been an Adventure from beginning to end, I never found it a chore (except the early starts!), it was a joy to be out in the fresh air on the fells training with your mates and gaining a more intimate knowledge of the Lakes fells. What a laugh! Some of the winter days with snow up to your waist were the best laughs we had!
So the Big Day arrived, I’d been working quite hard all week so hadn’t really had much time to think about it until Friday morning. I piled all the stuff and shopping for everyone into the Hallway to wait for Dave arriving at 3pm. 320pm no Dave, the Van had gone in for its MOT that morning, had it not passed?! Anxiety creeping in due to nervous energy, Robo decided to take me up the start with Tom, out of the way so we could relax a bit.
The forecast looked ok but the sky began to cloud in over Keswick with a few spots of rain, I crossed my fingers and hoped it wouldn’t rain too much.
Touching the Moot Hall door, I just wanted to set off, and then the countdown and we were off!
It had been great to see quite a few Dallam folk at the start and this gave me a boost.
I had a very experienced crew on leg 1 , composed of several BG members, but the pace felt too slow, surely climbing skiddaw this was too slow!? I began to get anxious we should speed up, then Stu listed all the BG members around me stating “if we feel you need to speed up, we’ll speed up, trust us and stop fretting like an old ......!”, that was the moment I realised I had to let the control go and just trust the team around me to set the pace and deliver me in 1 piece to the changeover.
My Dad and his mate Bryan (both BG members from the 80’s), were stood on top of Skiddaw to shout us on and hand over a couple of bottles, it was great to see them on the first summit!
As usual it was a little waterlogged over to Calva and then to Blencathra and as we started the ascent up Monks Common I started to feel sick, stomach cramps kicking in and my energy began to drop! This wasn’t a good feeling and had never happened in training! I was just going to have to keep plodding and hope it eased off! Hopefully I’d make the end of Leg 1!!
Threlkeld checkpoint, only the first one and I didn’t feel great! I struggled to keep much down, some rice pudding going in my shoe, and my coffee spilled on the floor. Mick giving me a pep talk and a quick shiatsu massage on my calf muscles making all the difference as he confidently stated “ don’t worry it’s in the bag now!”, we were well ahead of schedule and set off feeling refreshed towards clough head. We had a good team going up Clough Head and the banter distracted me from the climb, though I was conscious of Stu telling me to “get my head on, and stop talking as much, focus on what you’re doing!” , but the pace felt ok and I just relied on the team to set it!
Topping Clough head and the nausea was back, I couldn’t eat anything solid, and this was bad news! Then Andrew stepped in to pull things together, he was experienced with this sort of situation from his Ironman exploits, and knew exactly what to do, switch to gels every 30 mins with water. This we did for the rest of Leg 2, and it saw me through!
In addition we had a good crowd on 2 , most having trained with me and done leg 2 numerous times, so there was plenty of banter and I chatted away to those around me for most of the leg which helped distract me from the nausea.
Supporters at Sticks Pass handed a welcome mug of coffee to keep me awake.
Dropping to Grizedale tarn Rob and Rae kindly offered to go straight to Seat Sandal and stand on the line off with their head torches so we could aim for them and pick up a good line down to Dunmail, this worked a treat.
John, Andrew, myself and Mark heading up Fairfield while the others dropped off to Dunmail.
The descent to Dunmail was quite slippy and I had to tuck in behind Rob and just take it easy so as not to fall.
Straight back in the Van at Dunmail, Mick was straight on the shiatsu, a fresh pair of socks and a small cup of soup and we were ready to go on 3. Though the Nausea was still with me and my energy quite low.
After a brief word of ‘Hello’, Steve took charge straight away and set the pace up Steel Fell with Jess, Jarv and Baz just tucking in around me and talking nonstop to keep me awake, Baz as usual doing most of the talking, and Jess providing a positive a calming influence throughout.
Topping Steel Fell more or less on time then began the long trudge over towards the Langdale Pikes. Again it was very boggy and slow going and I seemed to keep going in up to my ankles and occasionally knees! I still could only take the odd Gel and the boggy terrain seemed to be sapping my energy more and I knew we were dropping time on each peak. All I could do was just dig in and hope we didn’t get too far behind schedule!
Daylight at High Raise and spirits seemed to lift considerably, apart from a little bit of hill fog which soon cleared, visibility was good. We started to make better progress and were back hitting the peak times, Steve reassuringly saying we were still on schedule and just needed to stay on track now.
I was still living on diluted orange juice and the odd gel, and was now fixed on getting to the welcome sight of Shinny and my mate John at the base of Bowfell for another swig of coffee.
And there they were what a welcome sight, a gulp of coffee and a bite of shinny’s fruit cake and we were off up Bowfell, shame I couldn’t eat more of the fruit cake but the nausea was still with me!!
Approaching the Scafells the nausea started to fade slightly , then Jarv pulled out a small fruit pot in syrup, I grabbed it and downed it in 1, immediately asking for more, to Jarvs dismay as he’d been saving them for himself, but I had to have them and they were just the ticket! Approaching the scafells I could feel my energy beginning to power back up, just like a characters energy indicator in a computer game, we were back in business!
After a terrifying interlude on Broad Stand coaxed through by Steve and my mate Bruce and his son George doing a sterling job on the ropes, we were in that amazing long run off to Wasdale, with the fantastic scree descent! I couldn’t wait to see the ground crew again and get a bit more to eat and some more shiatsu, the weather and views on the descent were amazing, I felt for the first time I might be in with a chance, Steve reminding me my legs looked ok and I would have at least 9 hours to do the last 2 legs, I still had that hour in hand if needed, we’d lost only about 30 mins on 3 so were now back on schedule.
Sitting in the van, having run all night I now felt ok and was fairly confident we could now finish if I just kept hitting the peak times, having suddenly realised there was a chance we would succeed I suddenly felt quite emotional and had a momentary lapse of emotion until Mick suggested he’d give me a kiss unless I got a grip! That was enough to get me straight out of the Van and up Yewbarrow in a hurry!
The Fresh crew on 4 with Dave leading did a great job, Marcus up way ahead and taking some great action shots! Penny, Karen and Lanny doing a great job running back and forth with drinks and items of clothing and generally chatting away keeping the atmosphere nice and jolly.
4 seemed to fly by, my spirits were higher and the finish was nearer, and we shaved the odd minute off the peak times here and there.
Shinny popping up again on Kirk Fell for support, then Rob,Rae and Sally appearing on Green Gable were a welcome sight as we headed toward the last pit stop at Honister.
Matt Beardshall now back running with us as we descended to Honister YHA to the cheers and rattles of the Dallam juniors and ground crew, I’m not sure Matt knew what to make of all the cheering!!
Dave led us down to Honister in good shape, just over 4 hours left to leg 3, plenty of time, spirits were high!
A bit more Shiatsu from Mick and another slug of soup and the team was off up Clough head, most of the Dallam juniors deciding to do the climb with us and keep cheering! My mate Steve at Honister saying “you looked liked the Pied Piper, with all those kids following you!”
I could finally relax and enjoy the whole of Leg 5, we just kept a steady pace and talked all the way, smiles all round, and the weather and views still glorious! Again my support worked like a well oiled machine constantly giving me sips of juice and bits to eat every 30 mins or so.
My Dad making another appearance on Robinson summit meaning a brief interlude for photos was a must, we maybe stopped for another 8 to 10 mins here, but I couldn’t care less, we had plenty of time, there was no rush.
A gentle jog off Robinson down to Newlands, no need to trash the Knees now as surprisingly they felt ok, Helen W expertly leading the way after her BBC success!
A quick change to road shoes and we were on the home stretch back to Keswick, I really couldn’t believe it, but yes we were actually on the final straight!
We all jogged and chatted together, my Dad still running with us! I hadn’t seen him run as fast for 15 years or more!
The atmosphere was great as we approached Keswick, Mike S out in front saying if we ran a bit faster we could go sub 23, I couldn’t give a monkeys and just wanted to enjoy the moment! In fact I’d have happily run further just to drag out this amazing day!
As we came into Keswick Baz got out in front to direct traffic giving me a clear run to the Moot Hall! I slapped the door with a resounding thud, job done 23 hrs and 5 mins! What an amazing feeling Adrenalin was pumping round and I felt great!
I was overwhelmed with everyone there to share the success with me including my Dad and Ariane and my new best mate Matt Beardshall who had finished with me on his solo round(what an amazing achievement for him too!), all the training and preparation had paid off, I was now a member of the BG club!
I felt so good I was tempted to turn round and go for the back to back, but later as we drove home and the adrenalin wore off , true fatigue overtook me, I think I’d done enough!
So the Bob Graham round was in the Bag! What an amazing adventure from start to finish, just one thing will always remain a mystery to me, just how on earth did Mickey P ever get round an hour quicker than me, that can’t be right?!

16 June 2011

Boot Boys Blog

A link to a brief write up that appeared on my Dads walking group site:

http://www.lakeland-enterprise.co.uk/bootboys/bb11/bb1116.html

Pics

http://www.flickr.com/photos/53950612@N06/sets/72157626837978251/



http://www.flickr.com/photos/46656721@N07/sets/72157626838850459/show/



http://www.flickr.com/photos/leechypics/sets/72157626825548485/with/5828277736/



http://www.flickr.com/photos/tabarca32/sets/72157626942501076/show/

14 June 2011

Note From Matt Beardshall

Matt started at the same time as me on his round from Keswick, initially he was in a pair, but his buddy had to pull out on leg 1 leaving him to essentially solo the BG carrying his own gear, though he did have 2 others on ground support who popped up at various stages. His Pace was the same as ours and we ran together for long sections and finished together, his essentially solo round was very inspiring and he always seemed relaxed and in good spirits, he sent us a very nice note which I thought it was worth sharing , here is what he had to say:

I hope you are well and the legs are good after the weekend.

Firstly, please pass on my congratulations to Martin for his magnificent effort on Friday and Saturday. He ran magnificently, and never looked troubled. It was inspirational to watch.

It is hard to know where to start thanking you guys for all the support you gave me. Despite having the priority of supporting Martin, you all constantly went out of your way to check that I was ok. I was concerned that I should do my best not to interfere with Martin's attempt and tried to keep out of the way, but you guys happily pulled me in and made a massive difference to me, both physically and mentally. I can honestly say I have never met such a friendly, helpful and inspiring bunch of people. What a fantastic running club. You obviously have the ethos and the spirit just right. I would like to be a member of Dallam running club (I recognise many of you on your website pictures).

I'm very grateful that you guys are willing to ratify my summits - that is very kind. I'm sure one or more of you did see me on every top. But if not I can say with complete integrity that I did summit every peak, and marked my own time for each one. I had a bit of trouble with Steeple. Martin's leg 4 team passed me close to the ridge leading to Steeple. I had gone the wrong way and wandered too far towards Haycock before realising my mistake and correcting it. That was one of only a handful I hadn't managed to reccie. The rest I thankfully did on memory.

Please let me know the names of the people I can put on my ratification form. Thanks.

Another thing. Did any of your team lose a head torch? If so, I have it and would be happy to post it back. I suspect it might belong to one of you guys as early on leg 3 I was about 20 minutes behind, and I found the torch around 20 minutes after I took mine off. It was on the col between High Raise and Thurnacar Knott.

Thanks, and congratulations to Martin once again.

I look forward to running with you guys again sometime,

Best regards,

Matt Beardshall.

13 June 2011

My Final time sheets

LOCATION ESTIMATED TIME ACTUAL TIME
MOOT HALL 18:00 0
SKIDDAW 19:23 83 19:20 80
GREAT CALVA 20:07 44 19:58 38
BLENCATHRA 21:16 69 21:07 69
THRELKELD ARRIVE 21:46 30 21:36 29
THRELKELD DEPART 22:01 15 21:44 8
TOTAL TIME 4:01 3:44

LOCATION ESTIMATED TIME ACTUAL TIME
CLOUGH HEAD 22:59 58 22:38 54
GREAT DODD 23:28 29 23:08 30
WATSON DODD 23:37 9 23:16 8
STYBARROW DODD 23:46 9 23:26 10
RAISE 00:04 18 23:42 16
WHITE SIDE 00:12 8 23:51 9
HELVELLYN LOWER MAN 00:30 18 00:04 13
HELVELLYN 00:36 6 00:11 7
NETHERMOST PIKE 00:46 10 00:20 9
DOLLYWAGON PIKE 00:58 12 00:33 13
FAIRFIELD 01:39 41 01:12 39
SEAT SANDAL 02:03 24 01:36 24
DUNMAIL ARRIVE 02:27 24 02:00 24
DUNMAIL DEPART 02:42 15 02:08 8
TOTAL TIME 4:56 4:24

LOCATION ESTIMATED TIME ACTUAL TIME
STEEL FELL 03:06 24 02:35 27
CALF CRAG 03:26 20 02:58 23
SEARGENT MAN 04:00 34 03:38 40
HIGH RAISE 04:09 9 03:48 10
THUNACAR KNOTT 04:24 15 04:02 14
HARRISON STICKLE 04:34 10 04:11 9
PIKE O STICKLE 04:46 12 04:26 15
ROSSETT PIKE 05:30 44 05:14 48
BOWFELL 06:04 34 05:49 35
ESK PIKE 06:28 24 06:11 22
GREAT END 06:52 24 06:36 25
ILL CRAGG 07:07 15 06:52 16
BROAD CRAG 07:17 10 07:03 11
SCAFELL PIKE 07:29 12 07:18 15
SCAFELL 0800 31 08:06 48
WASDALE ARRIVE 08:34 34 08:44 38
WASDALE DEPART 08:54 20 08:59 15
TOTAL TIME 6:12 6:51

LOCATION ESTIMATED TIME ACTUAL TIME
YEWBARROW 09:43 49 09:45 46
RED PIKE 10:32 49 10:35 50
STEEPLE 10:55 23 10:56 21
PILLAR 11:28 33 11:29 33
KIRK FELL 12:17 49 12:19 50
GREAT GABLE 12:59 42 12:58 39
GREEN GABLE 13:14 15 13:15 17
BRANDRETH 13:32 18 13:30 15
GREY KNOTTS 13:40 8 13:36 6
HONISTER ARRIVE 13:53 13 13:52 16
HONISTER DEPART 14:07 14 14:03 11
TOTAL TIME 5:13 5:04

LOCATION ESTIMATED TIME ACTUAL TIME
DALE HEAD 14:39 32 14:38 35
HINDSCARTH 15:00 21 14:56 18
ROBINSON 15:25 25 15:23 27
KESWICK MOOT HALL FINISH 17:03 98 17:05 102
TOTAL TIME 2hrs 56 3:02

TOTAL TIME FOR MY CLOCKWISE ROUND 23:05

Its in The Bag!

BG completed 23:05, amazing support from Dallam and friends. I'll rest now and write a report when I can lift my arms for longer than 38 seconds.

9 June 2011

Less than 24 hrs to go!

With under a day left to the start, I'm sitting here at 1130pm waiting for Ariane to get in from work, kids tucked up in bed, dogs walked , 11 hour day at work behind me, but strangely I don't feel tired, I just want to set off now.

Reflecting on the last 6 months build up, all I can say really is that I've been lucky enough to have some fantastic days out on the fells with my mates,the winter and bad weather didn't seem to matter, it all just added to the adventure.

I now contemplate what is to come and hope my training will have been enough to see me through, and I look forward to another great day out with my mates and another adventure into the unknown!

Oh and of course my 42 other friends I have grown to know much better in the last 6 months, I look forward to seeing you all again one more time!

I best put the ear plugs in now and try and get some kip!

See you all at some stage tomorrow!

5 June 2011

Doc Martin's BG schedule for this Friday

Martin’s BGR Schedule and Plan for a clockwise round June 10th 2011
BGR Schedule
This is a schedule for a 23:03 clockwise round beginning at 18:00hrs on 2011-6-10
All times are BST.
Sunrise 4:39
Sunset 21:43
Companion name
Companion name
Location State of light Leg time Estimated time Your time at this location (notes)
Moot Hall Daylight 0 18:00
Skiddaw Daylight 83 19:23
Great Calva Daylight 44 20:07
Blencathra Dusk 69 21:16
Threlkeld - Arrive Dusk 30 21:46
Threlkeld - Depart Dusk 15 22:01
Time for leg 3hrs 46
Companion name
Companion name
Clough Head Dark 58 22:59
Great Dodd Dark 29 23:28
Watson Dodd Dark 9 23:37
Stybarrow Dodd Dark 9 23:46
Raise Dark 18 00:04
White Side Dark 8 00:12
Helvellyn Lower Man Dark 18 00:30
Helvellyn Dark 6 00:36
Nethermost Pike Dark 10 00:46
Dollywaggon Pike Dark 12 00:58
Fairfield Dark 41 01:39
Seat Sandal Dark 24 02:03
Dunmail Raise - Arrive Dark 24 02:27
Dunmail Raise - Depart Dark 15 02:42
Time for leg 4hrs 26
Companion name
Companion name
Steel Fell Dark 24 03:06
Calf Crag Dawn 20 03:26
Sergeant Man Dawn 34 04:00
High Raise Dawn 9 04:09
Thunacar Knott Dawn 15 04:24
Harrison Stickle Dawn 10 04:34
Pike o Stickle Dawn 12 04:46
Rossett Pike Dawn 44 05:30
Bowfell Daylight 34 06:04
Esk Pike Daylight 24 06:28
Great End Daylight 24 06:52
Ill Crag Daylight 15 07:07
Broad Crag Daylight 10 07:17
Scafell Pike Daylight 12 07:29
Scafell Daylight 31 08:00
Wasdale - Arrive Daylight 34 08:34
Wasdale - Depart Daylight 20 08:54
Time for leg 5hrs 52
Companion name
Companion name
Yewbarrow Daylight 49 09:43
Red Pike Daylight 49 10:32
Steeple Daylight 23 10:55
Pillar Daylight 33 11:28
KirkFell Daylight 49 12:17
Great Gable Daylight 42 12:59
Green Gable Daylight 15 13:14
Brandreth Daylight 18 13:32
Grey Knotts Daylight 8 13:40
Honister - Arrive Daylight 13 13:53
Honister - Depart Daylight 14 14:07
Time for leg 4hrs 59
Companion name
Companion name
Dalehead Daylight 32 14:39
Hindscarth Daylight 21 15:00
Robinson Daylight 25 15:25
Keswick Moot Hall Daylight 98 17:03

PACERS FOR EACH LEG AND THEIR ROLES:
PLEASE COULD ALL PACERS ENSURE THEY HAVE GIVEN THEIR MOBILE NUMBERS TO HELEN DEASON IN ADVANCE SO SHE CAN UPDATE YOU BY TEXT AND SO THE GROUND CREW CAN STAY IN TOUCH WITH YOU.
PLEASE CAN ALL PACERS MAKE NOTE OF THE SCHEDULE AND TRY AND ARRIVE WITH AN HOUR TO SPARE FOR THEIR START TIMES, PLEASE MAKE YOURSELVES KNOW TO MICK PEARCY WHO WILL CHECK YOU IN AND OUT AND ENSURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT GEAR TO TAKE ONTO THE FELLS INCLUDING THE MINIMUM SUGGESTED FRA EQUIPMENT OF FULL WATERPROOF BODY COVER, WHISTLE, COMPASS, MAP, BASE LAYER, HAT, GLOVES AND EMERCENCY FOOD FOR YOURSELVES. ALL PACERS VENTURING ONTO THE FELLS SHOULD BE CONFIDENT IN THEIR ABILITY TO DESCEND TO SAFETY IN THE UNLIKLEY EVENT THEY FIND THEMSELVES ON THEIR OWN, CARRYING A MOBILE PHONE WOULD ALSO BE USEFUL.
LEG 1 START KESWICK MOOT HALL 6PM FRIDAY 10th JUNE 2011-06-04
Mick will drive bags up to latrigg car park for collection by pacers, please make sure you’ve given your stuff to mick.
TOM PHILIPS ( NAVIGATION)
DAVE DEASON (NAVIGATION esp. New Line off Blencathra ‘The Eagle’)
RAY GILL (TIME KEEPING/RATIFYING )
MIKE SMITH (Food and Fluids and carrying the Bum Bag which is to follow me on each leg with my waterproofs and basic first aid) The Bag needs to be handed over to STEVE JEFFS FOR LEG 3, THEN MARCUS GATES FOR LEG 4 AND RICHARD JARVIS FOR LEG 5.
NICK GANICLIFFE (Food and Fluids)
STUART HURST (Food and Fluids)

Dawn Gill at some stage with Champagne to celebrate getting futher than Latrigg Car Park!

LEG 2 – for time see Schedule above
JOHN LEECH – NAVIGATION
MIKE SMITH(TIME KEEPING/RATIFYING + CARRYING BUM BAG)
ANDREW MACK (FOOD AND FLUIDS )
ROB HAMPSHIRE(FOOD and FLUIDS )
RAE DALZELL (FOOD and FLUIDS)
MARK BELL (FOOD AND FLUIDS)
MARTIN BENSON(FOOD AND FLUIDS)
SAM SOLOMON(FOOD AND FLUIDS)

LEG 3 – FOR TIMES SEE SCHEDULE ABOVE
STEVE JEFFS –NAVIGATION AND CARRYING BUM BAG FROM MIKE SMITH AT END OF LEG 2.
RICHARD JARVIS – TIME KEEPING AND RATIFYING
NEIL WOODS (FOOD AND FLUIDS)
JESSICA GOODFELLOW(FOOD AND FLUIDS AND CALMING INFLUENCE)
MARK BARROW(TALKING)
ROPES ON BROAD STAND – BRUCE AND GEORGE ATTWOOD

FOOD AND FLUIDS AT BOW FELL – DAVID SHINN

LEG 4
MARCUS AND KAREN GATES – NAVIGATION
DAVE DEASON – NAVIGATION AND CARRYING THE BUM BAG
ADAM JEFFS- TIME KEEPING AND RATIFYING, AND CARRYING FOOD/FLUIDS
PENNY ATTWOOD CARRYING FOOD/FLUIDS
PAUL WATKINS –CARRYING FOOD/FLUIDS
LEE KNIGHT- CARRYING FOOD/FLUIDS

MICK PEARCY AND ROB HAMPSHIRE AT KIRK FELL WITH FOOD FLUIDS

LEG 5
RICHARD JARVIS – NAVIGATION AND CARRYING THE BUM BAG.
ROB HAMPSHIRE – TIME KEEPING
HELEN DEASON- FOOD/FLUIDS
JULIE PEARCY –FOOD FLUIDS
LEE KNIGHT –FOOD/FLUIDS
ANYONE ELSE WHO WANTS TO JOIN IN, ALL WELCOME !

GROUND SUPPORT MEET MOOT HALL 430PM FRIDAY 10TH JUNE TO DISCUSS DETAILS
STAN GARDINER(MY DAD) AND BRYAN HARDACRE ( TIME KEEPING AT CHECK POINTS, COLLECTION OF TIME SHEETS, AND ENSURING THE BUM BAG HAS BEEN HANDED OVER)
ARIANE GARDINER (LOOKING AFTER MY CHANGES OF CLOTHES)
MICK PEARCY FIRST AID AND FOOT CARE AND DRIVING THE VAN AND CHECKING PACERS IN AND OUT.
HELEN DEASON , JULIE PEARCY, DENNIS AND JEANETTE, WENDY AND BERNIE (FOOD AND FLUIDS FOR ME AND FOR PACERS AND MORAL SUPPORT/ENCOURAGEMENT)

WE WILL BE USING DAVE DEASONS VAN AS THE MAIN SUPPORT VEHICLE, SO JUST LOOK FOR HIS BLUE VAN WHEN ARRIVING AT CHECKPOINTS.
FINAL PLEA IF ANYONE HAS SOME LARGE FLASKS FOR KEEPING WATER HOT, OR LARGE COOL BOXES CAN YOU HELP ME OUT!!
IF ANYONE CAN’T MAKE IT OR WANTS TO JOIN IN, OR GOD FORBID I’VE FORGOTTEN ANYONE THEN PLEASE CONTACT ME ON 07769591500
OR EMAIL martinrgardiner@hotmail.com.
Thanks to everyone, Doc Martin

1 June 2011

Recce of 'Eagle Eye Descent'




































Not 100% happy with our descent off Blencathra Dave and I decided to do 1 last Recce of a new Descent, which we have aptly named the 'Eagles Descent'. It will remain a trade secret!

The pics are not of the Descent, but clough head having survived the Eagle.



































22 May 2011

"Long May The Madness Continue!" - The Old County Tops Race 2011







We had a few Dallam teams in, some first timers and some experienced old hands! I'd drafted in my team mate Lee as a ringer(my southern softy road running mate).

The initial pace was quick, 7 minute mileing down langdale, no way we would keep this up!

We were all pretty much together at the top of Helvellyn which was blowing a Gale and shrouded in mist, when suddenly for some unexplained reason we decided to vear off to the right in the mist and do an extra 1.2 miles for good measure losing 12 mins on the rest.

Lee started to hammer down whelpside to make up time, me cursing our error behind, when suddenly Lee clipped a clump of grass with his toe and went somersaulting down whelpside like a stunt man(looked like he'd done this sort of thing before)!

Our race seemingly over at this early stage, Lee sustaining a rib injury, we filled him with painkillers and decided just to plod on and see if he improved!

After 1/2 hr his chest pain had eased a bit and he was talking again, but unfortunately as happens in team endurance events our mood cycles were now in phase, so when he was grumpy so was I , and a complete sense of humour failure nearly consumed us!

I took the right hand Traverse line to greenup edge and then a low line to angle tarn, this seemed to claw us back some time and we started to catch a few teams, and sense of humour was returning, Lee now high on pain killers!

Then the Scafells, more rain, mist and strong winds, we were back to grumpy! A group of walkers stopped at one stage to shake our hands saying "Long may the madness continue guys!".
An ok Line down Narrowcove gaining us another couple of places, then the long run to Cockley Beck, we were worried about the cut off, but got in at 258pm the cut off being 330pm and we'd gained another 2 or 3 places, we were pretty sure the other Dallam teams were ahead as we hadn't seen any of them since our blunder on Helvellyn.

A plod up Grey Friar into more mist, heavy rain and driving wind, then the long traverse round to Coniston Old Man, teams were heading back at this stage retracing their steps back to Wet Side Edge, as we were about 10 mins from the summit of Coniston Ray and Mike Came out of the mist looking fresh, we were I guess about 30 mins behind them at this stage, they said they hadn't seen the others, though difficult to see anybody in the rain and fog!

We checked in at Consiton summit, the officials hiding away in a little ridge tent in the driving rain and wind, just a little door flap open to shout your numbers through!

At last no more climbing and a quickish descent out of the rain down wet side edge, another good line off wet side saw us overtake another 5 or 6 teams and we were soon pounding the road down wrynose, my legs about to cramp at any second due to the change from fell to road.

Approaching Dungeon Ghyll and the finish there were about another 4 teams just in front Lee keen to put a sprint on at this stage and overtake them! Unfortunately I couldn't muster much more than a limp!

Ray and Mike were there to greet us at the finish, all the Dallam teams ran well, but Ray and Mike ran a stormer!

Well we'd survived despite the horrific conditions and Lee refusing to eat any Malt bread at the checkpoints as he doesn't like butter, declining the offer from Gary the Marshall to lick it off for him first! I'd changed my mind about Lee being a softy after he ran 30 miles with a rib injury!!

(Ps. I forgot to mention Lee later passed out in the Spar Shop at Troutbeck meaning I had to drag him out to the car and recline in the passenger seat and then drive his Van back! I think he might have overdone the painkillers, a shot of Naloxone when we got home seemed to bring him round mind you!)

10 Hrs 12 mins , so only another 13 hrs 47 mins and another 17000ft of climbing will see me round the BG in 3 weeks time!!

Long May The Madness continue!

15 May 2011

Some pics from a Recce with some of my leg 2 Crew






Countdown

No not the word game, but I just realised I only have a few weeks left until D-Day. A few folk who read my blog(didn't really think any one read it!) asked me why I haven't posted anything of late, my response would be no I haven't got writers cramp , but I realised I only had a few more weeks left to the BG attempt so best spend some more time training instead of tapping a keyboard!

I haven't done anywhere near as much training as I would like due to lack of time, and not wanting to run the risk of over training!

My biggest fear I guess would be letting the club down and not keeping up the perfect record from last year, all I can say really is that I'll give it my best shot and Hopefully won't mess up Rays stats, and that everyone enjoys a great Day out in the fells! The support from fellow club members both in training and general encouragement over the last few months has been second to none!

I'll post a finalised team sheet in a week or two so we know who's supposed to be where and when, and who's supposed to be carrying the car keys!

Yewbarrow Ascent Dan's BG Leg 4

video

Further Pics From Dan's BG 14th May































Dan's BG saturday 14th May 2011




7 May 2011

A Race for the Shake (Old County Tops Recce Saturday 7th May 2011

Starting with The Magnificent Nine” and finishing with “The Good The Bad and The Ugly”
The Recce of the Old County Tops on Saturday saw 9 of us set off from Langdale at 0730, the forecast was mixed and at 0500 the heavens had been open and it was tempting to stay under the duvet! Having made plans though forces you out of bed!
Driving into Ambleside we found we were right behind Ray and Leechy, though Ray, not have quite woken up, carried on through Ambleside towards Grasmere.
The initial running pace down the road was fast, my mate Lee shouting this is 7 minute miles, could we sustain it for 37 miles? no just 300m before the first climb started!
The super fast team of Ray and Mike at this point deciding to break away and find a faster line to the summit of Helvellyn, the rest of us plodded up Tounge Gill.
Baz was in good form and talked most of the way to the summit so time passed quickly and pretty soon we were at the shelter, though a fair way behind Ray and Mike.
A fairly spectacular if not slippy descent down whelpside as most of us went sliding over, Dave scoring the highest for his backflip with a 10!
Safely a Wythburn and a brief stop we headed up the pass towards greenup edge, Leechy and I decided to try a higher line to the right, which seemed to prove quicker as I popped out at the top of Flour Gill a few hundred yards ahead.
Then began the long run over to Angle Tarn , I could just about make out Ray in hot pursuit so I pressed on but every time I turned to see where he was I fell flat on my face in the mud, note to self watch where you are going!
Arriving at Angle Tarn no sign of Rob who’d arranged to meet us there, but we were 90 mins late!
6 decided to depart at this point leaving me, Lee and Dave to press on over the scafells with Ray’s GPS to guide us down the direct descent off scafell pike.
After a brief stop for Dave to chomp through half a large Tupperware full of pasta and a bag of mini pork pies(How much grub did he have in that rucksack!?) we headed up towards Scafell Pike to be met by horrific rain and wind and very poor visibility. At the summit we were soaked to the skin and freezing as we followed Ray’s GPS trace in the rain straight down the front of Scafell Pike!
Pretty soon it became clear we were not bang on Rays Trace unless Ray had been jumping off cliffs! Was this Rays attempt to get rid of half the competition for the OCT?!
We gingerly climbed down some quite wet short cliffs, struggling to get hand holds due to our freezing fingers, note to self take the Narrowcove route on race day!
We trudged wearily , wet and cold over great moss towards Mosedale, eventually arriving at Cockley Beck.
Not wanting to hang about due to being cold I quickly started up Grey Friar to the sound of threats of Violence from Dave and Lee who wanted to just head down the road at this stage 30 miles in. I wasn’t for road running so they reluctantly plodded after me up Grey Friar into more rain and mist.
A final run down Wet side edge and back to Langdale past Blea Tarn left us on the final road section back to the car, when I told Dave I only had 2 Strawberry Milkshakes in the cool box in the boot , despite looking done in he suddenly mustered a sprint down the road, Lee my southern softy road running mate could only muster a slow walk at this stage and resigned himself to missing out on the shake.
A worthwhile Day out, total 11hrs 35 miles 10540ft ascent, Dave having downed his milkshake could have carried on for sure if we placed more at intervals up the next climb!

16 April 2011

Night Running

As four us set off up Clough Head a full moon above us with clear skies, it would have been hard to get a better night this time of year, and spirits were high.
Having found 3 other people mad enough to venture out during the night, we had debated long and hard whether the extra weight of carrying our sleeping bags-just in case we fancied a kip- was worth it!

Blanking out my last painful night fell experience out of my mind on Mull in the scottish islands race with Robo helped so I was hoping this would be an improvement!
I'd done nothing all week due a sprained ankle and my weekly total well short of anything remotely resembling BG training, but I felt suprisingly good, a bit more energy than normal.Maybe I'll keep my weekly total to 600ft.

The pace was fine and chance of injury lessened by good moonlight, though the heavy weight of the batteries in my head torch did keep pulling the bloody thing down over my eyes(will have to try and sort that out before the day, tips welcome)

After decending to Dunmail from leg 2 , the descent off Seat Sandal trickier in the dark, we had a quick coffee stop at Starbucks , Andrew ducking out at this point, and then 3 of us headed off up Steel Fell, the leg burn soon kicking in with the steepness of the gradient.
Topping Steel Fell in 21 mins just inside 23 hr pace, the watch reading 0230, we decided to drop back to Dunmail and get a few hours kip instead of pressing on further in the dark,  so we could be up in time to see if we could spot Dave, Ray or Dawn in the London Marathon.

A successful trip out, good pace and a much better night experience than Mull, though I did tweek my ankle again coming off Fairfield, next weeks training will be done on hands instead!

2 April 2011

Arm Bands Advisable!

After Mick had mentioned in passing it was about time we were thinking about getting in some back to back legs, so this Saturday 2nd April brought an attempt at legs 1 and 2 in succession.
Dave, Rae, Andrew, Neil and I synced our heart monitors and set off up Skiddaw. Half way up Skiddaw the weather came in, cloud and severe winds, topping skiddaw was worse, Rae nearly having to hang onto a Cairn to remain upright. I was the only one mad enough to be carrying on to do leg 2, and at this early stage I was already thinking to pull out, worse was to come.
Running over to Calva was the wettest I’d ever seen it, then as we approached the river crossing it was a raging torrent with white water. I jogged up first and found a stretch that didn’t look too bad so waded in confidently, half way across I was up to my chest and the current starting to sweep me down river! I made a desperate lunge for the banking just managing to grab on and haul myself out, clothes completely soaked.
Rae followed, at this stage looking a tad concerned! He hit the same patch and started to drift downstream the water up to his neck, I just managed to lean in and grab the back of his rucksack in time to haul him out before going under.
Dave, Andrew and Neil having witnessed our fiasco were even more perturbed and chose for safety to link arms for the crossing, Andrew cunningly taking the middle spot. They looked calm until they hit the stretch of strong current when their expressions changed, if only we’d had the camera out, but thoughts of rescue took priority, the 3 of them making a collective lunge for safety.
All thoroughly soaked but still smiling we pressed on for our next adventure of the parachute route descent off Blencathra, which, after the river crossing was a breeze.
Saying a tearful farewell to my fellow survivors at Threlkeld I pressed on to do leg 2, still in wet gear but the weather now clear with a slight breeze to dry them out!
Jarv and Mike had met me at Threlkeld having headed there from Dunmail, and with Howgills training already in his legs from Friday Jarv dropped back a bit. I was determined to try and press on if only to get my clothes dried out!
I tackled Clough Head round to the left Mike choosing to go the traditional way straight up the front, he got to the top well in front and I could see him powering away with ease with the poles, as I caught him up at the summit he’d not even broken sweat, a stark contrast to me!
I tried to maintain a steady pace for the rest of 2 , the weather remaining clear and views superb, but as I descended off Seat Sandal down to Dunmail the pain in both knees was considerable , how on earth could they possibly last another 3 legs!
The evening was spent with a bag of frozen sweet corn on each knee as we’d run out of broccoli!
Back to Back legs done in just under 23 hr pace, but not a feat to be repeated too often if you value your current set of knees!
Ps. No photos as my cameras soaked, and I was too tired to take any anyway!

27 March 2011

Searching For Smithy!

Photos from Martins Public Gallery

It was gloriously clear as we headed down Langdale in the car, I was enjoying the view so much I thought I’d take a quick detour via Elterwater.
We parked up in the lay-by and Rob, Rae, Smithy, Tom and I jogged down the road to the Old Dungeon Ghyll where we were due to meet Neil (a mate of Andrew M’s).
No sign of Neil? Smithy then went for a quick pit stop. Tom and I decided to check for Neil at the New Dungeon Ghyll first, before heading out, so we legged it down the road to NDG, then back across the field, no sign of him, and no mobile signal to ring him, we’d just have to set off and hope we bump into him on the way.
Returning back to ODG no sign of Smithy, surely he couldn’t still be having a pit stop!? A quick check, no he’d gone! Rob and Rae confirming he was bursting with energy and had set off at pace, walking poles in hand, towards High Raise.
Luckily we’d fitted a GPS tracker to one of his mechanical aids (poles), and we set off as quick as we could in pursuit of the signal.
Up onto the Langdale Pikes, round to Rossett, up Bowfell, over towards the Scafells, still no sign of Smithy and the GPS signal getting weaker and weaker, the pace with Poles clearly much sterner.

As we approached Fox’s Tarn traverse a quick glance at the monitor showed the signal to be static somewhere on the traverse and getting stronger, the path of the trace looking more erratic in the last ½ hour or so. Suddenly we were upon it, but no Smithy was too smart for us! as we dived onto a Bunny Rabbit with the tracker attached to its ear! Smithy had been too quick and evaded capture again.
As we trotted back down to the car in Langdale we thought best to download Smithy the application forms for the next series of Mantracker.
Another great day out and Tom had set a decent pace all day, my newly resurrected heart rate monitor reading an average rate of 165, surely that wouldn’t be sustainable, I think I’ll stick it back in the draw!

13 March 2011

Lifting Dogs A Local Novelty!

Training with Jimbo last weekend being thwarted by what was surely an episode of Ebola virus, midweek training curtailed with the Trotsky virus, Friday training round Fairfield halted abruptly by a severe snow blizzard, I was determined Sunday would be a success.
An early start 7am would see back to back legs without too much fuss for sure.
My 1 year old son George and his teeth having other ideas, the bedside clock reading 0330am without a wink of sleep!
The Alarm sounded 0600, sheer will power alone causing me to lurch sideways out of bed and into my Lycra.
A quick bowl of porridge, then noticed my phone flashing up a new text 0630, my training partner had somehow contracted the same Trotsky virus and was now considering IV fluids, so was out for the count!
Training solo plus 2 dogs means a circular route around the car, and in all likelihood a shortened course as it’s much easier to wimp out on your own.

More photos on Dallam Web Album

Stomping up the first climb it soon became apparent in my half sleep state I put on the wrong trainers and picked up the wrong i-pod and would now have to endure hours of the Hoopty Doos and Bob the builder, the bright side being its fairly high tempo stuff!
Up onto Low Man and into another snow blizzard in only shorts, made for some quick descending to increase my core temperature.
Dunmail raise threw up another surprise, as I lifted the dogs over the stile to climb Steel Fell a black mini bus with blacked out windows did and emergency stop to pull alongside. My first thought was “ I’m about to be kidnapped by animal rights activists”, but no ,much worse, as 8 Japanese tourists with cameras all ran out and started a photo shoot, first insisting I hold up one of the dogs as they each took photos of this local sport, then insisting they all had their pics taken with me as I protested I wasn’t actually a local dog lifting champion!
Having managed to charge up and remember my GPS this time I was quite proud of myself and looking forward to downloading some impressive stats to the PC , about 4 hrs in I checked the watch 1hr 20!! Somehow I managed to stop the timer putting my gloves on in the snow storm!
Staggering back to the car some 7 hrs later, still in possession of the car key suddenly made everything seem ok, as I collapsed into the front seat and reclined the chair for a little snooze, sleep was very quickly interrupted by cramp in both legs and right foot, in a confined space not good!
½ an hour later as I drove home praying my accelerator foot wouldn’t go into cramp, the profound and insightful words of the sailor from Troon came flooding back to me “you must be bloody well off Ya Concha!”, and with the sound of the Hoopty Doos and Big red car still ringing in my ears I felt for the first time, what the hell is a “Concha” anyway?

21 February 2011

Progress and Martin's Crew

After several weeks in the doldrums, first a succession of sore throats and bad chests , then a stroppy letter from my GP saying I’m overusing my inhalers! Then Chronic Fatigue Syndrome after the slightest 2-3 hr run, I thought bloody hell I must be anaemic?! so hastily increased my intake of steamed broccoli to three times a day! Surely that would do the trick?

Then a recurrence of an old back injury from playing squash lead to several visits to the physio where magic tape was applied to my lower back for the extra placebo affect . A flare up of my right knee tendonitis meant more ice packs(packets frozen broccoli in my case).

4-5 hr fell days on a Sunday leaving me checking the price and waiting lists for local nursing homes, and maybe I need to get measured up for a Zimmer?!

Time pressures from work, family, study, training and sleep deprivation with small kids seemingly sapping every last drop of energy out of me!

Jogging round Leg 1 with Raemondo at 23 hr pace feeling like a 10k pace, it was rapidly becoming clear that a BG attempt for someone with the VO2 max of a hamster might be stretching the bounds somewhat!

But hey I never let that get in the way before; there is only one thing for it…...more broccoli!

Here is the provisional club casting sheet, not set in stone and subject to change  due to illness/injury/fatigue/family holidays etc.... those on later legs may have an easier time! Any other offers of help always welcome!

Starring: Major Tom/Forrest Gump

Backing singers(Ground Control): Helen/Julie/Ariane

First Act: Uncle Stu, Eagle Eyes Dave, Gillmeister, Raemondo

Refreshments: Nicky G

First Act interval: Dawn G with salty soup or champagne.

Second Act : Mickey Makka Mu, Robster(Training run), Leechy Boy, Mark B

Sticks Pass refreshments: Shinny

Third Act: Stevie J, Andy M, Jarv(training run), Jess and Debs

Backstage Lighting and Ropes: Andy L

Fourth Act : Adam J, Marco and Kazzer, Julie and Helen, Grace and Penny, Mike S(training run)

Refreshments at Kirk Fell: Makka Mu and Robster, Chorlton:

Final Act : Vicky, Helen W, Ariane, Robster and anyone else who can run a sub 40 min 10k for the final road section to get me in in 23:59:59

The list is only provisional and not exclusive, if anyone else can offer services for pacing, navigation, sustenance, or can do a fireman’s lift then that’s great.

The Schedule will be about 23 hrs and will sort nearer the time. Folk can do as much or as little as they like ie. Carry on and do more than 1 leg, especially those in training!

 I have decided to donate my attempt to St Johns Hospice as the club charity and will be asking folk to sponsor me per summit achieved, so that I get at least a quid.