View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy
Showing posts with label Running. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Running. Show all posts

Monday, 4 February 2019

Running around Rainow, Saturday 2nd Feb 2019



The morning was bright and chilly. Others, probably more accurately, would have said it was bloody freezing.

Runners of different shapes, sizes and ages gathered at the Robin Hood in Rainow, near Macclesfield on the afternoon of Saturday 2nd February.




White Nancy, from the Robin Hood

The car park at the pub was exremely slippy. It was also on a slope and I was warned by the landlady not to park at the top of the slope: the previous day 2 cars, unmanned (or unwomanned), had slid across the car park – on car had gone through the hedge.

Whatever…a couple of hours prior to the massed gathering of knees, Rob McHarry and I had arrived in order to lay a sawdust trail of around 8 miles around the lumpier bits of the area….the clumps of sawdust were (supposed) to be followed by the runners.

We had A Plan….that is to say ROB had A Plan. It was actually a very good plan. So we sort of changed it by going clockwise rather that widdershins as Rob had originally suggested.

Suitably armed with bags of sawdust we set off, well we slipped and slid off the ice rink of a car park, and wandered off north along a quiet lane in the direction of, well, north.

Leaving the relative safety of ice-packed tarmac we turned left to skirt Rainowlow where some brown squiggly lines on the map were crossed.

A short stretch of tarmac at Billinge Head Farm took us to a nice path that skirted the eastern edges of Billinge Quarries.

The Audience



Laying Trail

Turning east, we followed a nice path that descended to Mellow Brook, then up the other side of the valley to Harrop Fold Farm….where I have hazy memories of camping weekends where lots of beer may have been consumed. Or Martini.

I didn’t drink the litre bottle of Martini. It’s not the sort of thing I’d do. Obv.


Harrop Fold Farm

A little more tarmac followed, and very icy it was too. The was little warmth from the sun, but as the track was in the shade anyway it would have made little difference.


Our route slowly changed direction to follow a more south-easterly course.

I was a little concerned that the runners following our carefully planned and even more carefully recced <koff> route might lose the sawdust trail; pale sawdust on bright white snow doesn’t stand out particularly well. We needn’t have worried, although we probably went a bit over the top with the clumps of sawdust, nobody got lost. Well not VERY lost.
 

Another valley crossing followed, this time down to Moss Brook and up the other side by Saddle Cote, this was a bit of a pull and Rob was well ahead of me. In my defence I was taking photographs which slowed me down quite a bit. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

It was around about here that Rob spotted a skier doing what skiers do best. Our route turned hard right to follow the skier's tracks.

 Route planner, navigator, trail-layer and runner extraordinaire…


……………and his incapable assistant
 


Ski tracks. And my shadow. Tsk. 
 


Oh, and there were goats too...I almost forgot to mention them


 
Another short stretch of tarmac along Bank Lane and then Ewrin Lane took us to Waggoner’s Brow were another hard right turn delivered into more familiar Turkey Trot country, approaching Lamaload Reservoir.
 


The reservoir dam looked quite spectacular in the freezing temperature, all the buttresses were covered in frost.



A steep descent to cross the infant River Dean, by the waterworks, had me slipping and sliding like a very slippy-slidy thing. But I stayed upright. we continued littering our way in a southerly direction,

It was a bit of a tug up hill. We followed the footpath to the western side of the reservoir to a point just beyond Wickinford Farm. From there we trotted in a south-westerly direction to pass through Valeroyal and very close to the site of the Setter Dog by Walker Barn, and then north by Gulshaw Hollow and Hordern Farm, scattering sawdust trail as we went.


Manchester, with Winter Hill beyond

We crossed the icy Berristall Road and descended steeply to the bottom of the valley before climbing equally steeply to pass by Thornsett Farm.


The going became very easy (easy = gently downhill). The Robin Hood hove into view and after another slippy – slidy adventure across the ice rink of a car park we made it back to our cars.




14 runners sat down to enjoy an excellent meal of beef stew followed by fruit crumble and custard….lots of fattening stodge, just what’s needed after a cold day in the hills.

The day was marred by the news of John Potter’s car suffering the same fate as the sliding cars of the previous day. His unmanned car ended up colliding with two other cars in the car park. John, understandably brassed off with what had happened, didn’t stick around for the run.

My thanks to Rob for letting me ‘help’, and for his good company of course….and to Wells the Elder for buggering off to Brazil so creating a temporary Trail-layer vacancy.

GPS track of where we went (clockwise from Rainow):

Around 8.5 miles / 2,000ft of ascent. And descent. Obv.



Created in Blogger, because Google / Blogger have done something to stop Open Live Writer communicating with it.



 


Thursday, 27 December 2018

Tally-Ho! Turkey Trot, 27th December 2018

The Club’s Hon Sec has been a bit under the weather of late so it was deemed that this year’s Turkey Trot be run close to his home so he could come out to see us, drink beer and join us for the post-run nosh.

The chosen venue was the Olde Number Three pub in Little Bollington, a pub that has had mixed fortunes of late but now seems to be well and truly back on it’s feet, serving good beer and good food at very sensible prices.

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As a local lad, and having some knowledge of the countryside around the pub, I volunteered to plot, plan and lay trail. This entailed a 9am start….not the best plan for the day after Boxing Day….but there you go.

The route headed south following footpaths that crossed the odd stream and muddy patch. So far so good.

At the M56 the sawdust trail was laid East to pick up farm tracks, the tarmac of Reddy Lane and yet more tracks and tarmac…it’s a good job that the TT isn’t a candidate for Trail of the Season!

The trail led across fields and some seriously gloopy man-eating fetid swamps to the the familiar sight (for those who did the P2P a couple of years ago) of the Swan with Two Nicks.

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The pub was closed (Boo!) and the paths leading north into Dunham Park were quiet. The River Bollin weir was roaring well, testament to the recent rainfall:

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A couple of National Trust warden types were curious as to what I was up to, I explained and they seemed happy enough….actually they were mildly amused by the whole thing. It’s good to leave folk smiling!

Continuing NE through the now busy deer park (busy with visitors and deer) the trail eventually crossed Charcoal Road by the gated lodge entrance to enter the Dunham Golf Club which is conveniently criss-crossed by a number of footpaths. Laying trail here was a little difficult, I was trying to be inconspicuous….I don’t think my efforts were successful.

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We went the other way….


Emerging in Dunham Town the sawdust led northwards to pick up the Duke’s Cut and then into Dunham Woodhouses. Just short of The Vine (Sam Smith’s, £2 / pint) the trail went south….well it turned left anyway. The ground was a bit soggy and damp here, the route crossed a couple of streams (Agden Brook being one of them) and the River Bollin – by way of a footbridge.

At Agden Bridge Farm the route again joined the Bridgewater Canal towpath, this time heading east.

It may have been a little disconcerting to the hounds to be passing the Olde Number Three on the opposite bank of the canal and with no apparent means of crossing to it…..not without getting feet and other bits wet.

A solution to this little problem soon presented itself close to Little Bollington, a tunnel under the canal.

Splodging (uphill….please note!) through a field of horses the hounds were soon racing (?) westwards along the opposite side of the canal and the final run in to the pub.

Big Ian, camera in hand, was waiting at the pub……he’d not been out on the run but wanted to join us for lunch.

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Only one hare today

Runners began appearing – Hon Prez Park being first man in, no doubt driven by thirst and hunger:

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Other runners appeared, running on t’other side of the canal but visible from the pub car park. Cameras were readied to record their auspicious arrival:

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It should learn to calm down…


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The Trail-Layer doing his post-run stretch

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Whalley had collected and transported the Hon Sec to the pub where we all enjoyed a beer (maybe more), a nice meal and, far more importantly, good chat with Brian – who seemed to be on good form.

It was a good run. I measured it at 8.8 miles with around 300 – 330ft of ascent, so not the hilliest of trails. Having said that, looking through the Club’s history it would appear that the route covered traditional Tally-Ho! terrain and so it was considered to be acceptable.

Turkey Trot 2018

Thanks to everyone who turned out to make it a successful day for the Club, and especially for Brian.


Photos by JJ and Big Ian

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Wildboarclough Wander, Saturday 1st December

Out and Round Cut-thorn Hill

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The persistent rain drifted away to the east before the club arrived at the Crag in Wildboarclough but the clouds still loomed low over the hills. Brown and Riley had set a trail that led straight up the hill across the road from the pub although just below the tree line we veered left instead of the usual right and headed past Firs Farm and onto the road by Crag Hall. A right turn and a brief run up the road ensued.

It wasn’t long before we left the road to disappear on our right as we took to the countryside again. It was still uphill until the main road. We shot across the road and descended quite steeply to the side of Cut-thorn Hill. We followed the road down to Knar, where we took a left turn to drop down to cross the River Dane before setting off uphill yet again.

The advertising email that was sent round prior to the event promised a runnable course. It probably would have been if we had been 20 years younger. The first 3 miles or so was predominantly uphill so maybe the second half would be down. The clouds had gathered and we ascended into them, limiting the views to the back of the runner ahead.

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We turned sharp left to run below Turn Edge, slowly veering right to cross the edge and a slight downhill to Knotbury Farm then up to the high point of Wolf Edge.

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For AlanR


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Running in the murk

A sharp left from the top and we ran down to the road at Oxenstitch. A left at the road and it was uphill again. We ran along the road for a bit taking the left fork at the junction and up to Readyleach Green before leaving on the right to run round Knotbury Common.

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Wells & Eastwood

As we dropped into the clough and met the stream we turned sharp left to follow the stream down to Panniers Pool at Three Shire Heads.

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Here we turned right and had to run uphill again, eventually finding our way to the A54. Straight across past Sparbent we finally had a downhill section and followed the clough down to the head of Cumberland Book. Here we turned onto familiar ground and “ran” down the very rough track to Crag House.

Crossing the road we had another uphill along past Banktop and down the steep road back to the pub.

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The Crag

The trail was very good, with much unfamiliar ground. The clouds cleared at the end to show Shutlingsloe outlined against the darkening sky, with only a little shower or two to suffer on the way round. McHarry managed to cut the trail short but did some extra when he arrived back. Pres Park took exception to a rock and headbutted it getting muddy as he did it. Park had a lump on his head. The rock was not seen again. DingDong Bell was out again after his accident last run, but only for a gentle walk along the flat with his finger encased in plaster.

The pub was now run by a new regime, with the old dining room now sealed for the production of bottled water. It was decorated for Christmas with two nice wood fires warming the room. The beer was good and the food very good. A steak and mushroom pie with chips and veg showed every sign of being homemade and very well done as well.

The Sticky Toffee pudding was very light and not too sweet. All were content and headed off in anticipation of the Championship.


Route

8.6 miles(ish) with around 1800’ of ascent…and descent.

Words by Wells, Pics by JJ

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Sploshing around Frodsham, Saturday 8th Sept 2018

The first trail of the season

The runes (ie the BBC weather forecast) lied. They said we might get the odd shower…not a downpour that started as Mssrs Park, Wells and myself set off from the Forest Hills Hotel, armed only with bags of sawdust.

Forest Hills is popular with the club, the food and facilities are excellent, the staff address you as ‘sir’….but the beer’s not up to much. Oh well.

Anyroadup, undeterred by the increasingly heavy rain and the promise of not-very-good beer, we trotted off in the general direction of the monument behind the hotel, leaving clumps of sawdust in our wake – so that more athletic club members might have half an idea of where they were supposed to run.

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We slipped and slid downhill towards Overton and eventually gained a bit of tarmac…but only a bit. We ‘ran’<koff>  through some soggy woodland that had seemingly be freshly planted with nettles. Fortunately we’d all chosen to wear longs rather than shorts so we didn’t suffer too much.

We headed NW over the A56, to run alongside the railway line to pick up Godscroft Lane, running south, back to the A56.

The first encounter with the A56 had proved too much for Old Markham, he declared ‘lost trail’ and returned to base for a shower and a pint. He probably got the best deal of the day.

Next objective was Helsby Hill, quite familiar ground. Although it’s not a big hill, the climb was a bit of a rude awakening for some members (and one trail-layer!) who hadn’t done much during the summer months.

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The forced smiles of Wells & Park on Helsby Hill

Prez Park decreed that the weather was brightening up. He was probably right….it just wasn’t brightening up where we were. The rain got even heavier.

We sploshed off the hill in a south-easterly downhill direction where it wasn’t extremely slippy at all, just slippy. And muddy.

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Some not very happy cows

More familiar ground followed as we trotted along the sandstone edges, along the Sandstone Trail. We were still laying our sawdust trail – supplemented by chalked arrows, courtesy of Prez Park.

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The golf course presented a slight problem. somehow we couldn’t find the path we wanted. HOW long have we been running from Forest Hills??

A slight, er, diversion along the edge of the golf course took us nicely to the path runs across the well-tended green.

It was then just a matter of bit of zigging and zagging back to the civilised surroundings of Forest Hills.

It was a nice route – made better by the addition of a bit of new ground….although I’m not sure if the members of Frodsham Golf Club would agree.

We trail-layers arrive home at 2.20pm, in good time for a hot shower and a coffee – before the packs returned…all looking slightly damp but mostly grinning.

Around 15 sat down to an excellent meal, a couple of runners weren’t able to stay for the meal – it was their loss!

Thanks to Joe for planning the route and being Trail-Layer-in-Command, and Paul for assisting, making jokes, and generally being good company.

Where we went  (anti-clockwise):

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7.9 miles with approx 1.100ft of ascent.

Thor's and other caves, Sunday 3rd March 2019

A very, very nice bunch of outdoorsy-types had issued an invitation to join them on a gentle bimble in the Derbyshire Dales. Well, it might ...

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