Wednesday, 22 April 2015

It's Grrrrrreat!

Rab Mini Mountain Marathon, Round 2
Great Langdale

Up at 5:30. Eat a big bowl of museli
170 mile drive. Drink electrolyte drink, to make sure I start out well hydrated.
Sign on. Hi to Mike and Nick.
Walshes on and kit checked

Dib, dibber and collect map, the has control descriptions printed on the back.
Leg it, up the footpath that leads to Stickle Tarn. 
Dib control # 18 (Bridge)
Head off piste to # 22 (sheepfold)

Onwards and upwards to #25 (another sheepfold).
Chat with this fella on way up.

Suck down a gel.
Next control #21 (West end of pond) is on top of Thunacar Knott via Pavey Ark.

Navigate/ route plan, eat and drink on the uphills. Something I learned on a Nav4 training course, many years ago.
 I make a fuss of the two Staffies I see on Thurnacar Knot.


Stunning views across the Langdale valley at Pike of Stickle #11(between hills) and Martcrag Moor #8 (top of Knoll).

It's a bit Windy.

Down and back up again to #12 (small Summit) on Rossett Pike.
I would like to pick off the control on Bowfell but I am not sureif the 40 points are worth it. It is a steep climb and I am not sure if I will have the time or the energy.
Nah! leave it. Head for #6 (sheepfold, Support SOS point)
Check my watch.The four hours time allowance is ticking away, it is time to head back to the finish, picking off whatever controls I can.

Next #7 (small pond) above Neckband Crag
Down the steep rocky ground to #4 (top of hill). It is difficult and slow going, especially with tired legs.
I bump into Mike on the way down

I spot control #5 (yet another Sheepfold) on the way down. Map and compass are great tools but so is the mk 1 eyeball. Don't forget to keep looking around. Check out the lay of the land and plan ahead.

Mike and I jog along the Cumbria way. Mike is good company and it is nice to run with someone. It helps to forget my tired legs.
Mike heads strait on to the finish, he is running short of time. I head back uphill for #19 (wall corner).
It is only a few 100 metres but my legs a tired, it becomes a slog.
I follow the wall, a sheep trod leads me to a hands on easy scrambly bit of White Crag then down the footpath, past The Old Dungeon Ghyll and a very slow jog to the finish line.

Someone gets a lift. I am sure that is cheating. Thankfully it is nothing serious and everyone is ok.

I finish with; 6 min 46 seconds to spare
220 points
10th mv 40+
38th of 140 finishers.

Cool! that is better than I thought I had done, but still 190 points less than winner, Steve Birkinshaw.

Soup and a roll, followed by tea and cake.

Call at Chaple Stile for Bluebird beer.

Stop at services for coffee and Krispy creame doughnuts. The Doughnuts are to share with Mrs Sbrt.
Long drive home.

Drink the Bluebird.

Time for bed.


More photos here

Thank you to all at Rab Mini Mountain Marathon for a fantastic event.
Thanks also to The great North Air Ambulance and Mountain Rescue

Friday, 17 April 2015


The Fellmonkey, showing me a clean pair of heals.
As always.
In reflected glory

Congratulations to my friend Simon aka The Fell Monkey. Simon is a running friend, a blogger who can actually write (not a semi illiterate caption/pun scribbler, like myself), a top ultra runner and all round good guy. 
On top of that he is now an Ashmei Ambassador. I presume this means he now has a full support crew; of phtographers and ghost writters on blogging duties. He will also have an endless supply of shiny new, clean kit to wear and a flock of humming birds to fan him, on hot days.

Best of all he will have pack of lesser runners to do all his training for him. Simon can just turn up and look good for the photo-shoot.

Of course I am only joking. You don't get to be as good as Simon, without a lot of hard work and dedication. Well done mate, you deserve it.

It's a tough job but someone has to do it

Photo stolen from Simon's blog.

Saturday, 4 April 2015


Costa Adeje to Roque del Conde

From sea level in the resort of Costa Adeje to the imposing 1003m Roque del Conde. An out and back route, via Picos las Americas, Arona and Vento. Stunning views and even a littte drizzle to make me feel at home. In fact it was just like the Peak District, just more; volcanic, drier, Canarian and spiky cactusy.

Thanks to Richard for the information on maping and routes around Costa Adeje.

Roque del Conde (Roque de Ichasagua).

Yes they are sharp and yes they do hurt!

Caldera del Ray

Cheesy holiday grin


Since when did: una jarra por favor, mean, can I have my beer in a glass that makes me look a right t##t?

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Happy happy joy joy!


Brilliant news Arthur, the adventure racing dog has finally gone home . If you haven't heard about Arthur, where have you been?  Here is the full story of Arthur and Team Peak Performance.

Happy happy joy!


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Shiny #2 Show me yours


That's my take on kit. What's yours?.........

Hendrik @ Hiking in Finland consistently bangs out quality articles on all things outdoors.

Local shop for local people The Derby Runner

Top Fell Running Guide Dave Taylor, Knows his stuff. Check out his fb page for kit reviews and Navigation tips.

Calvin has been mostly wearing Asics

Shiny and homespun True mountain @ Mountainlite

Fellraisers get Tested to destruction

King Kenny revisits a very special shiny thing

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

It's Shiny I want one

Gear, kit. stuff. I have an strange relationship with kit.On the one hand I am quite cynical about the unsustainable, consumerist drive and all the marketing bollox that goes with it. On the other, I still like shiny new things.

This interest in stuff can probably be traced back to Top Trumps. The card game where the; biggest fastest or most shinyest, wins, or 'trumps' the opposition.

This was re-enforced in my teens. I spent a few years as an Air Cadet, where I got to play with lots of shiny things, from assault rifles and anti aircraft missiles to every-ones favourite cold war kid- the English Electric Lightning.
I am sort of a 'part time pacifist' but wow, that stuff was proper shiney.

Hunting Bears
I never got to fly in a fast jet but they did let me press the starter button on this one.

Fast jets lead to fast bikes and the influence of lord Emap (now Her Bauer), publisher of Motorcycle News and Performance Bikes. This was were the racing bug bit.The bestest and shineyest of bikes raced in Moto GP or 500 grand prix as it was. Expansion chambers, reed valves, variable porting and sticky tyres. Fast, exotic, dangerous and very shiny.

Slow but still smiling 

From motorbikes to mountains, moorland and fell running. A simple sport but still requiring kit. Sticky tyres are swapped for studded shoes, leathers replaced with wicking technical tops and breathable waterproofs, a whole industry to tempt a fellrunner. Again Bauer Media have plenty of shiny things to show off in Trail Running magazine, even the sublime The Fellrunner magazine has adverts displaying fellrunning, shiny things.

Kit makes it possible for us to do amazing things and I still find it interesting but the final word goes to Cameron Mc Neish Author, writer for Walkhighlands and  former Editor of TGO. A thoughtful article writtten by Cameron ~ Bucking the Corporate Trend

Kit and shiney related links :

The best fell running shoes                                 Ethical outdoorsy Finisterre & Howies   

                  Mike Parsons Invisible on Everest                                         PB vs Billy B

More ethical  outdoorsy kit Patagonia & Paramo         Rab up warm Dear

         Norman Walsh Performance Footware                                                      Here Kittty

Rab 2010 Team Ibuprofen Kitlist                              Northern Souls Walsh vs Inov8

Friday, 13 February 2015


Rab Mini MM 7.2.15
Eastern Moors

A new record for Team Ibuprofen. Our/my first navigational error of the day was a wrong turn in Bakewell. Five miles before the startline. Der! Thankfully this detour meant that we started later than planned, giving the other teams time to leave footprints in the snow for us to follow. No more nav errors there then.

The only other minor setbacks were: the HD card on my faithful Olympus was full( hence no pictures) and the peat bog slush puppy up on the moors. After trudging through slush water and peat for what seemed like forever, I thought my feet would never warm up.

Other Highlights and randoms-

Pea soup, flapjack, bread and butter with marmite :)

Catching up with; Nick, Matt, Ike, Martin and Rich.

My first time on Curber, Froggat and White Edges.

Harveys mapping.

A big thank you to the BogRock Partnership, who have taken over the running of this years Rab Mini Mountain Marathon series. It is good to see Dark and White have passed the Mini MMs on to a safe pair of hands.

Slow but still smiling
Photo by Nick G