Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Catch Up!

Rivington Pike Fell Race

Well this is my 3rd time at running this race and it hold a special place for me as it was the 2nd Fell race I ever did. Plus it’s a club race AND it’s on my normal stomping ground.

For those that have never done this race it is a very short up and down of 3 1/4 miles. Starting from the end of Lever Park Drive, running up the road and off just as reach Rivington & Blackrod High school, then up through the farmers fields to reach Rivington Pike at the Top. Then it’s around the Pike and downhill all the way from whence you you came. The route is well supported with cheers from people along many parts of the race route.

On the run out I managed a brief conversation with Ed and NicO (part of but despite trying to keep going both of them were ahead of me at the top (Ed passing me on the final climb). On the descent from the pike though I passed Ed and YJ (Another member of that blog group) and hoped to keep them both behind me, but it wasn’t to be. As we reached the Farmers road, YJ passed picked up the pace (or I slowed down, probably the later)and took back his position. After a smile for the camera I checked behind me to see where Ed was and I was happy to have pulled away from him enough. Finally on to the road section, this is the WORST part of this race as the road just drags on and my pace slows further, I pushed on towards the finishing line and was passed by a couple of other runners. With a few spectators cheering on friends and without looking back I was happy thinking that Ed wasn’t close behind me.

I crossed the line in 147th position (175 finishers) and in a slower time than last year of 30min 08sec. On seeing the results though I was surprised to see that Ed finished only 3 seconds behind me. I really need to do a little more flat running practice!

Chris also finished in a slightly slower time than last year in 26min 02sec but then his knee injury has meant a shortage of running recently so I think we can let him off with that one.

LoughRigg Fell Race

With the Greens up at Wasdale Head Farm farm for the 5 days over Easter we managed to meet up on the 7th around Windermere for the day. The plan was to spend a little time together, go to Dodds Italian in Ambleside and do the Loughrigg Fell Race. During the afternoon we decided that it would probably be best if we went to Dodds AFTER the race and so spent longer at the lake district visitors centre letting the kids play on the park there.

After getting some directions in Ambleside we found the race start and registered. There was a good turn out for the race, I over heard one of the organisers commenting on the large turnout possibly because of the Easter holiday. Chris pointed to one one of the peaks that was overlooking the park and suggested that was where the race would run to but I was convinced it wasn’t as it didn’t look far enough away (I was right too!). The race sets off as a mad dash to cross the bridge as you leave the park. After crossing this the route starts a climb up a steep narrow road which turns into a track as you head for the fell gate. Once out on the fell the route twists and winds gradually upwards and I ask myself again why I do this, but then, after the final climb you reach the peak and the easier downhill section starts.

I’d started pretty much at the back and managed to gain 3-4 positions on the way up, then on the descent I managed to pass 3-4 more people. I’d noticed the leaders taking a slightly different route on the way down and this helped me to gain one place then three runners in front of me managed to miss the flagged path to the left and whilst getting back to the path it allowed me to catch up and pass two of them however the third one picked up the pace once we got on to a section of track and easier running. On the final run down the narrow road I pushed hard to catch up to the lady in front of me coming just past her as I reached the bottom but as usual the flat section, over the bridge and across the park, was a slow section for me and she pulled ahead right away to finished before me.

I crossed the line in 127th place (from 139) in a time of 45min 20sec. This is a great little race and a nice one as my first lakes race of the year. I suspect I won’t get many lakes races in until after the baby is born now but it was a nice day and a nice route to keep me going for now.

Chris managed a respectable 85th in a time of 37min 57sec. I think all that bike work is paying off for him

Upper Rossendale (Bacup) Town & Country Orienteering

Rossendale Town and countryThe other weekend saw an orienteering event in Bacup that I had been planning to do. I thought I might have been able to talk Chris into doing it but he was having none of it and wanted to go for a bike ride in his build up to doing the Fred Witton Challenge in May. I arrived at Bacup at 10:30, registered and got ready to set off. As it is with these events you don’t get to see the map until you start and the first thing I noticed when I did was the scale of the map. 1:25000 which meant I would run further between points. Being a score event mean that you can pick off the points in any old order so after a quick glance at the map I’d picked a route (ish) and headed off to my first point, uphill. The map was a section of an Ordnance Survey map rather than the usual Orienteering style map and I found it more difficult to read. Heading in a clockwise direction I tried to pick out a route that would get me the best chance of points in my allowed 2 hour time limit. Working my way out to the top of the map and Theivley Pike then across Heald More where I had to decide if I was going to head out for the 75 points (109), I took the decision not to head out for the extra 75 points and thought I would be able to pick off more smaller value points in the time it would take me to head out to Chatham Hill for the 75.

The distance between the points away from the centre of the map was greater with plenty of route choice. Overall I enjoyed the long run out however I think the course could have done with a few more controls to break up the long running.

After a shower at the finish I needed to head to Hawes in Wensleydale. Chris had decided to Bike from Wigan to Hawes that morning, I was coming to the Orienteering and the Ladies & Kids meeting us in Hawes. I thought I would be the last one to Hawes as Chris was suggesting Wigan – Hawes would be about 5 hours on the bike and he planned to leave at about 7-8AM. So I drove up towards Burnley then along the M65 towards Colne and onwards through Gisburn, Little Nelson, Settle, Horton-in-Ribblesdale and then just as I was passing the viaduct below Whernside I saw Chris, sat besides the road taking a break. I pulled over and he smiled, then said “I’m F00ked!”. It seems he’d gone wrong a little near Preston and Whalley (I think), but was enjoying the ride. After a very brief chat we both headed of with some 10 miles to go.

I used to ride the motorbike around here a lot with Chris and as I drive through there now I can’t help but notice all the hills and don’t understand how I never noticed them in the past. A nice day with Family and friends followed ending with a nice meal at Papa Luigis in Euxton before heading home.

With Joanne getting closer to having the baby and finding things a little difficult I don’t really have any events planned in at the minute other than a Regional Orienteering event on the Pike O’Blisco on the 16th May, so there might not be many updates in the coming weeks.