News

4th May - Lots of news and no time to tell it all!!

1) I did the Joss Naylor on my birthday of 22nd April. It was a cold, windy day but conditions really were fantastic. I was supported by a fantastic small group with Leg 1 being Kirsty Hewitson and Mat Bennett, Leg 2 being Steve Sanders and Steve Wathall, Leg 3 was Charlie Elliot, Tim Rippon and Helen Elmore then Charlie carried onto Leg 4 and was joined by Simon Rippon and Steve Sanders from Steeple. I managed to stay around the 12 hour schedule until Great Gable when I decided to make really sure I was going to be under 12 hours so pushed very hard. I finished in 11.42 hours to be met by Joss Naylor and his daughter Sue and my family - Charlie, Carol and Lottie.Joss (my dog) did all the crossing while Wisp did from Kirkstone to the finish.

I felt a bit ropey on the drive round but a good bath helped sort that out and I was ready for my birthday tea in the Coledale Inn that night. All in all a wonderful way to spend my birthday!

2) In one last final push we packed up everything out of Liley Hall Farm in Mirfield and handed the keys back to the landlords who have been marvelous in all this giving us flexibility and working with us all the way. Mary Burgess from Blacker Hall Farm has taken over the land and is already making a huge positive impression on the farm. It all looks lovely as we left. So we're permanently at Mark Farm in South Ayrshire now and I must say after buying it in 2018 it's so wonderful to have moved in at last! The middle room is still in a state of plaster and concrete but all the other rooms are finished (and full of boxes!!!).

So that's my news 

13th April - not much news! The week after the Cheviot Goat I had a great trip to Scotland with Kirsty, Helen, Tim and Matt where we reccied the Ramsay legs 1 and 3 for Kirsty (not me!). And then I caught a cold (not covid) and I've spent two weeks renovating, packing, driving up and down the M6 and unpacking - so very little running. But I'm doing the Joss Naylor on my birthday (Friday 22nd April) and everything is coming together for that. I haven't had time to sort out any photo uploading but I'm hoping once we are moved for good (by May) then I'll have a bit more time to catch up with everything.

 

2nd April - And then my laptop crashed !!!!!! I was using it to work and update the website while roving around the country and so I've been stuck for a while until I got this desktop up to Galloway. However I've still lost the ability to upload photos for now until I re-install the program etc which is very annoying but there you go. I hope to get a few photos up this weekend if I can sort the uploading out otherwise it will be in here as I've finished the fireplace and it looks really nice I think! I have spent the day today (2nd April) updating the Summer Series which has been time consuming and now I'm going to seal the fireplace stone work and pre-paint the plastered walls. Hopefully I'll feel inspired to take photos tomorrow!

Since the FRA courses Steve and I have been working hard on the house in Galloway, packing, moving and of course running! Steve is doing the Manx Mountain Marathon at Easter - while I'm not doing it as I'm doing the Joss Naylor the week afterwards on my birthday. I'm 55 and it's now my "tradition". I have been training well and also had a great run at the Cheviot Goat which was very encouraging especially as I didn't try to do well - I ran it at Joss Naylor pace and really enjoyed the new and knarly route! I set off mid pack and from half way when the terrain got rough I started overtaking people until I was 2nd Lady and 7th Overall. There were 3 ladies in the top 10 actually (the 1st Lady Emma was 5th, I was 7th and the 3rd Lady was 8th) which is very pleasing.

 

13th March - There were two more LiRF Pilot courses held in Sedbergh on 5th and 6th March and I attended the Saturday course to make sure everything ran fairly smoothly. It was great to see the course developing and we'll have more courses lined up soon. As I was staying in the lakes I got some running done from Pooley Bridge and across the Joss Naylor route which I'm planning on attempting this year when I turn 55 in April. The weather was stunning for once making it a joy to be in the mountains with Helen and the dogs. Photos

I then travelled up to Galloway and have been getting on with the fireplace project. I hope to have it finished tomorrow and then we have the job of getting the stone lintel lifted up onto the pillars I have built. The house is coming on and we've had the last carpets laid now. The plasterer was here for a week with Steve and Nick and plastered most of the middle room. Still seems a long way off finished but we're full steam ahead! I've added more photos to this album so you can see the development. I also went and did Girvan Prom Park run then took the dogs on more race reccy from Barr village (hence more Darley ruin photos!). Photos

 

3rd March - It was Hoppits Hill races last weekend and early in the week I realised it was going to be a busy one so me and Keith went full steam ahead doing numbers, labels and preparing the courses and registration for the numbers that were pre-entered. It looked like 180 adults including U15, U17 and U19 then 30 in the U13, 26 in the U11 and the usual 10 in the Under 9 races. With no Covid rules we were also taking entries on the day but didn't expect many.

The weekend was lovely and sunny which was a complete contrast from the two previous weeks of heavy rain and storms. I had drafted in my usual reliable and experienced helpers - Brent Lindsey, Andy Plummer, Ian Charlesworth and Teresa Wall along with other helpers who would Marshall the Junior race then run the Senior race. Dave and Eileen Woodhead were there and really helped out everywhere during the day with their massive experience of Junior races. Eileen helped on Registration and Dave organised, shouted and got everything going on time and then they both took the wonderful photos. As soon as Registration opened we realised that Entries on the Day were the biggest problem with not enough coloured numbers and increased paperwork. We had some Pete Bland numbers and so allocated those. I was glad when the Junior races set off at 11.30 am and the Finish was great.

We then tried to sort the Results and have the Junior prizegiving before the Senior races set off. There were 340 seniors and U15,U17 & U19 in total setting off up what we call "David Bells" hill. I hoped the little path at the top would cope! At the Finish 20 minutes later the runners started piling in with the Juniors making up 99% of the top 20. It was certainly giving all runners someone to race with the combination of ages in the race. The Finish funnel got rammed and we just kept taking times and numbers hoping that it would all tally in the end.

Prizegiving incorporated the Yorkshire U19,U17,U15 and U13 Championships with medals, trophies and chocolates. I did the Senior prizegiving and then it was all over. But no ..... Penistone Footpath Runners and AC had bought me a leaving present and they all gathered round to present it to me. I was very touched especially when it was presented by two of the juniors I had coached - Hugh Mackie and James Fryers. When I opened the present I was also so happy - it is a blue kettle for my ESSE woodburning stove up in my house in Galloway. It's perfect and even has a whistle. I've always wanted a kettle with a whistle!! 

 

22nd February - well it feels like I've been very busy and then when I list what I've been doing - it's mad!! Firstly a trip to Mark Farm in Galloway to get the "middle room" floor screeded over the underfloor heating, then to acquire a fireplace lintel. Then deciding what to sit it on and I had the bright idea of stone pillars - and got myself a job!! After a shaky start I have got the pillars off the ground and am pleased with them. We also have hopefully got carpet fitters to do the last room (sunken floor room) and the very complicated stairs. I also went for a little run locally after the weather forecast in the Highlands was rubbish and found yet another ruined farmstead in a lovely location. I'm reccying a race route - it's now 15 miles with 1000m climb !! Photos

Then off to Fort William for the festival in horrid weather. I'm glad I got there and out again in between storms. And managed a few runs in not too bad conditions but then we didn't go about 600m. Photos

I headed home on the Saturday stopping off in the Lake District to recce the Joss Naylor - and got a great afternoon for it with Wisp, Joss and Paddy. Photos

 eading in Running Fitness. Again the weather was atrocious but the course went very well and I'll be organising more for 2022 as my new role as FRA Education and Coaching co-ordinator.

Home to Yorkshire to organise the www.hoppits.co.uk races! Better get baking!!

 

12th February - My legs were completely shot for a whole week and a big knot appeared in my calf. Running was out of the question except I did do a photo shoot on Tuesday for Yorkshire Cancer Research and they got me to run (hobble) up and down quite a lot of times! All three dogs came too and were the stars of the shoot I think! I'll let you know when and where the publicity campaign is running when I know. Into week two and I'm back running and doing a bit of speed work. Just this morning 12th Feb - I have been for a longish hike/run with Steve and the dogs which was great if a little damp!

Then we came up to Mark in Galloway and put the electric underfloor heating down in the main room which took three days to lay the screed on top of. Much longer than we imagined it would take! Next is battoning out the main room, plasterboarding and then plastering. I have a wall to point and a chimney fireplace to build too. It's all coming on well but we are really looking forward to finishing it. We sort of had some time out on Friday to go and look at carpets - but grey and hard wearing didn't take long. Hopefully they will come and measure up next week and then fit fairly soon - which will be the last carpets to be laid.

While all that was going on we have been wrangling with Ieuan Aled Owen who was trading as Viomech Engineering Ltd last year when we paid him for a building on a lead time of 5/6 weeks. In December Steve was trying to contact him and in January Steve drove to Wales and saw Ieuan's parents. We were promised the building but it didn't appear and we asked for our money back. The alarm bells were really ringing now and after a lot of internet searching we found out that he had defrauded someone in 2013 and since then had had 3 other companies. We filed a Small Claims against him for our refund. All the details are on here http://blackcows.co.uk/Ieuan Aled Owen.html and waited. We knew he had set up a new company Agri Buildings and was advertising on Facebook. I went on and left a poor review explaining our experience with Ieuan. The facebook page was removed within hours. We also received our refund the same day from Agri Buildings bank account. Please if you read this and know of anyone buying or looking for a building then let them know to avoid Ieuan Owen from the Mold area at all costs. Now that's over and we're back looking to buy a building but with the money to do so again.

 

2nd February - Last week I travelled to Devon on Tuesday to stay with my aunt in Sidbury for a day before heading to the Arc of Attrition registration on Thursday via Coverak which is the start so that I could check out the road then path section a little. I wanted to see how much road there was, what the path conditions were like and to make sure my watch and gpx were working properly. It was all good and I was pleased that there wasn't much road before the path began. I did Registration quickly and met Damian Hall who had offered to crew for me. The Arc has four checkpoints but lots of places where your crew can meet you if you have one. I was very grateful to Damian for offering to crew me and we quickly sorted out the stuff and headed to Lands End to the cottage to meet Andrew and Helen there. After a reasonably relaxing evening - only I was in the what to wear dilemma we headed to bed. I didn't sleep that well and was glad to get up, have porridge and set off.

I was able to get my tracker at registration quickly and headed back to the van to eat etc before buses went. I was then offered a lift in a car with Duncan who has won the Arc five times and his Mudcrew support. That really helped as I get a bit bus sick! I quizzed Duncan on route too!!

I was glad to get going on the race and settled down into my own pace, letting runners pass me and not racing. It was hard for the first 40 miles to know what pace to run at. The terrain was overall very runnable which I'm not used to. But I kept eating and ticking over. Sometimes I tried to increase the pace but I was worried that it was too fast. I was in and out of the main checkpoints as after I had met Damian a couple of times I knew he has sussed out where to find me all the time and I could rely on him. I knew I was about 3rd women and passed a lady who said she was from Plymouth so not used to the hills. I could see the 1st lady and slowly I was catching her. I just wanted to pass her but in my own way and keep going. I got to the beach that we cross and I could run on with my XTalon Ultras so I trotted passed her slowly. I thought she would come back passed me but she didn't.

When we got to Perantanthoe I had said I wanted to change into ParkClaws and I was so pleased that I had as my feet had swollen up and it was so nice to put some spacious cushioned shoes on. I wasn't looking forward to the eight miles of road but settled down into a pace and just trotted along. It was dark now and that made Penzance better as did following Seb, a guy I had been running with a bit. He didn't have support so we leap frogged each other at times but he was good on the nav and also on the flatter running while I was faster on the technical stuff so that worked well.

Damian was sorting my head torches out as although I was carrying batteries it was much quicker and easier. He also sorted my gpx as I had pushed the button in too far and it wouldn't turn on. I've never used a gpx but the path was so fiddly especially in the dark, even then I went wrong twice early on in some houses and a carpark but soon found the runners again and the right way. I was so happy to get to Mousehole and change into XTalons again for the technical section. It was great being on the route now because I had reccied it and it was also so up and down and rocky that I loved it. I was also trying to get a gap so that I could retain my first place position.

Damian was great - giving me food, drink and updating me. At St Ives I knew my legs were battered from the running and my stomach was playing up so I just wanted to carry on and finish as soon as possible. The actual time didn't matter I just wanted to stop running! The last 10 miles were on very runnable tracks and pergatory!! It was daylight and a small bay appeared in the distance. A couple of women spoke to me and cheered me on as they ran passed. There were two bays we had to go down and up and now my quads had really gone and running down was impossible and going back up was very hard work as the steps were huge. Now I could see a bay and a village and thought that must be Portowan. 5km, 4km, 3km - the downside of technical watches is that it had now decided to countdown every chuffing 100m. I ran into the village and knew there was one last climb. It wasn't steps which was a relief but very hard work.

Into the finish and I raised my arms as I was so happy to finish!! 1st Lady, 9th overall and a time of 25.35 hours.

 

 

25th January - I spent a couple of weeks in Yorkshire working and packing after the Trigger and also I had a Christmas Day voucher Coaching day with Helen Rippon which had been postponed so many times since 2020 that we were both happy it could go ahead at last. With the weather at Trigger being so foul I had planned a route round locally but waking up the sun was shining and so we quickly repacked our bags and headed for the moors which were stunning and we all enjoyed a fantastic run.

Steve was up at Mark doing renovations and the heating went off as we ran out of kerosine on a Saturday (after coaching!). The house was so cold and it was pretty miserable until Wednesday when we had a delivery and then I had to call the plumber as I couldn't bleed the system through. I'm not a happy bunny when frozen! But normal service and heating resumed. 

 

 

9th January I ran the Trigger Fell race. Brent at Woodhead Mountain Rescue is now the organisor and with lots to sort out, including covid and then the worry of the Snake being shut due to snow, he has done a commendable job of getting the Trigger back up and running. I am so pleased that the race was going ahead and that I can continue racing it.

The weather was cold, rainy with wind then snow on Black Hill, Bleaklow and Kinder which along with fog on all the summits made for tricky navigation. I found it very hard work and after Torside ran with Kirsty and Matt which made for pleasant company. I found it very hard due to just so much going on at the moment I think. We were joint 4th Ladies, and first LV40 and LV50 respectively. Results are on http://www.marsdentoedale.co.uk/Results.htm

Coming down to the Snake we met Jo Yeoman and her husband took this wonderful photo of us!

 

1st January - Christmas was lovely with a trip to see Maggie and Rob in Devon, then a couple of days down in Cornwall reccying the Arc of Attrition which I'm doing at the end of January. Photos of the South West coast path - 3 days of reccies

Oh and the last photo is of the Last Christmas Tree we will have at Liley Hall Farm.