Wednesday, 28 May 2008

I am not Lazy... blame the exams

No posts lately largely down the pagan practise of studying, or in my case lack of. Watch this space...

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Over to Oswaldtwistle

8 mile run from Marl Pitts to Oswaldtwistle today.
1 hour 10 minutes.
Very Wet!

Friday, 18 April 2008

Night Time Jaunt up Pendle Hill

Pendle Hill, famed for the witch trials of 1612, which resulted in the execution of 12 women, is still associated with witchcraft to this day. Folklore aside, running Pendle Hill at night was a challenge and a half, one made greater due to having never even run up Pendle in the daytime. So it was fair to say that we took the 6 mile challenge with a bit of apprehension.

After locating the path to the summit, we slogged onwards for a while on a good path. Funnily enough, a strange mental image developed inside my head that we were following a substantial wall, only it never made an appearance on the ground. So I felt calm and happy :) We were immediately welcomed to the summit plateau by a icy wind, yet it was still a great surprise when the trig point appeared from beneath the thick mist, shrouding the hill making staying on the path tricky to say the least.

Using the 1995 orienteering map, and expecting it to be accurate was the first big mistake but regular cairns were welcomed sights. An excellent outing if you're prepared to ignore the horror stories of people being possessed.


Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Liver Hill > Goodshaw

Afternoon run today, to Liver Hill then to Goodshaw on Rossendale Way. Back home on tough constantly undulating lanes above Burnley Road. Distance 7 miles.

Scout Moor 7 miler

A quick 7 miler on Sunday afternoon taking in Top of Leach and Whittle Pike. Weather was clear and warm. Took advantage of the new access tracks through the wind farm. Running was good!!!

Scout Moor Wind Farm:

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Liver Hill Fell Race

Light Nights... woo! Great out and back race and it's free entry.

Good mix of fast tracks, runnable descents, open moorland and proper squelchy Pennine bog. Covering 5 miles, the course goes from Marl Pits Sports Complex to the top of Liver Hill and back the same route.

The race has even made an appearance on YouTube! click here

Course Statistics

Distance: 5miles (8km)
Climb: 800ft (244m)
Starters: 159
Position: 22th
Winners Time: 0:34:24
My Time: 0:39:16

Click here to download the Google Earth file for the route.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

The Jan Kjellström International Festival of Orienteering 2008

The Jan Kjellström International Festival of Orienteering (also known as the JK) has held a permanent place in my yearly fixture list since 2005. I suspect this will be the case for many years. With over 4500 competitors in 2008, this is Britain’s largest orienteering event. The JK commemorates Jan Kjellström, a Swedish orienteer and pioneer of the sport in the UK who tragically died in a car crash. Held over the Easter weekend, the event location changes every year around Britain, offering competitors diverse and top quality terrain.

The JK2008 is based in Sussex, South of England, with the event centre being based at Crowborough Army Camp.

Saturday’s Event was held at Leith Hill, the area used for the 2005 World Cup Middle Race

This is taken from the organisers notes:

“The NW part of the area will be used by the courses from the Far Start only. The forest is mostly runnable with some small areas of thick vegetation. It is undulating with some contour detail and has high visibility throughout. To succeed here, you will need to combine high speed with accurate compass work, and look up to make sure you use the high visibility to your advantage.”

“The SW part of the area will be used by the courses from the Far and Mid Starts. This was used for World Cup 2005 and is a combination of some gently rolling areas dotted with thickets, and some flatter, but extremely technical areas with many small paths, highly complex contours, and some ground vegetation (knot weed) that can make passage difficult (indicated by vertical green stripes). To succeed here, you will need to use clear attack points and know when to slow down to spike your control.”

M20L Course Stats:

Minimum Length: 9.6km / 6miles

Minimum Climb: 345m / 1130ft

(Straight line distances/heights)

Making this equivalent to at least a BM fell race

Race Day:

Tough race in foul conditions! Snow, hailstone and gales were just part of the monopoly of weathers thrown down upon us making for difficult running. A running time of 89:35 minutes reflects tough navigation and many necessary deviations from the straight line. Most of the running was through rough forest and knee deep mud, paths were an unusual but welcome sight. Navigation was spot on apart from one silly mistake on the penultimate checkpoint, sprinting off down the wrong side of a large spur, only to have run back up it.

Complex Terrain:

Sunday’s Event was held at Ashdown Forest

This is taken from the organisers notes:

Ashdown Forest comprises a fabulously wide variety of terrain ranging from runnable deciduous woodland through open heath to significant areas of tussock grass.There is extensive bracken which is generally runnable. The area is incised by four major valleys and provides physically challenging courses with few areas of flat land.There is a very extensive track and path network.”

M20L Course Stats:

Minimum Length: 10.3km / 6.4 miles

Minimum Climb: 480m / 1570ft

(Straight line distances/heights)

Making this equivalent to at least an AM fell race.

Race Day:

Ouch! This was a very painful race both mentally and physically, made worse by atrocious snowy weather. After a rapid start, the pace was soon reduced as the effects of yesterday made their presence felt. Having a later start time than the Saturday meant the underfoot conditions were very churned up. Progress was slow. Today was a mixture of complicated forest, open moorland and orange mud!!

Around control 11, three quarters of the way round, I hit the proverbial wall. Feeling very low sugar levels, the hill up to the finish wasn’t a welcoming sight. Total running time of 110:19 minutes.

Difficult Route Choice:

Monday, the Relay at Eridge Old Park

More snow, horrible conditions, paths covered in snow and visibility poor. Not a bad run, team PFO Pacemakers finished 29th on the Men’s Short Class. All ready to come home when a lost teammate on a different PFO team, who’d been out for 3 hours needed finding, resulting in a time consuming search. All safe!