Diary 2008

31st December - Been busy with Christmas and our practise Hog Roast (practise for the wedding in July). Also did the Bradfield Boundary on Saturday (48.5 miles around the parish boundary of Bradfield in 12 hours - excellent weather and very good)  I think 20/22 people got round - Pictures on Dark Peak website .

Then New Years Eve run on Wednesday. The weather today was amazing as it was thick clag in the bottom but on Fiddlers Green and for all of the run it was lovely clear skies. We had the usual feast in Ronksley Cabin before running back and finishing off with a couple of Farmers Blonde in the pub. Pictures on Gallery

18th December - Just back off holiday. We had a good time in the southern Pyrenees although had an unexpected lot of snow which is uncomman in the lower areas which made the walking harder but the views more worthwhile. Pictures to follow.

7th December - For Tankies Trog the weather was cold and clear and there was a covering of snow and ice on the tops. After a hurried start without the usual "Tanky talk" we were off! The going was good in places on packed snow but very difficult on slippery flags or soft snow. I was hoping for under 4 hours and on reaching the Snake was at 2.45 hours so it looked possible! I finished in 3.46 and 1st Lady. Really pleased as ever since Dawn Hopkinson donated the trophy in 2006 I have wanted to win it as she was a close friend of mine for a few years - I also got a bunch of flowers!

Steve did 4.29 and so knocked 15 minutes off his pb; for much of the race he was running with Amanda and Andrew Heading who finished in about 4.25. The winner Matt Hulley did it in 3.15 (I think!).


22nd November - I went to mid Wales with Martyn Goodwin to recce the last two legs of the Merionyydd Round. We parked the car on the Bala road and caught the bus to the start of the Aran section at Pont Fronwydd. The weather was lovely but cold for most of the Aran ridge but then the clag and sleet showers started making reccying slower but we still had enough time to do the last section over Waun-oer to the A487. Pictures on Gallery

We set off running down the road hitching in vague hope but very soon a car stopped and we got a lift. Thank you to the couple from Cheshire who gave us a lift all the way back to the car!!

15th November - I did Tour of Pendle and found it hard. My new tactic of setting off faster works but it makes the race harder and less enjoyable! Managed 3.15 even though it ws wet underfoot and we had to go down the wall side inside of across the moors from CP1. Thats 15 mins faster than last year.

Then it was Vasque prize giving at Wilfs Cafe. Good venue, food and beer (as Steve and Andrew Heading found out). I was 1st Lady overall mainly by having an excellent run at Pulmonon which gave me nearly 900 points (when usually I achieve about 750).


7th/8th/9th November - I went up to Fort William with Mark Harvey despite a horrid weather forecast as I was missing big hills to recce the Tranter Round. Saturday was a very good day and the weather held off until after dark (by which time we had thankfully found the bothy). We were able to follow the round to the valley before Stob Ban then went upstream to Meannach bothy. We did some very useful reccying as it all looks so much different the "other way round". In the bothy we had lots of food and put on lots of clothes as it was very cold. In the morning we woke to snow! We set off with the idea of at least reccying the ascent of Stob Ban. As we got to about 650m a nasty blizzard came in (exactly what was forecast!) and we decided to descend. Running in the valley the showers kept coming but in between there was sunshine on the hills. Pictures on Gallery

1st/2nd November - I had a busy weekend with a Tankies recce on Saturday then a trip to the Rhinogs with Rob Woodall, Neil Shepard, Matt and Paul for a recce of the Merionydd round. The going was very hard - lots of heathery, slippery rocky knolls to ascend and descend. The weather was perfect and we could see for miles. Matt had to own up to wearing his wife's pink top when the sun came out and he took his fleece off. Then he found a matching bike ! Pictures on Gallery

25th/26th October - Steve and I completed Day 1 of the Long Score at the OMM. The weather was very very windy and wet; we had to change route plans a couple of times as we couldn't actually walk directly into the winds at some points. There was so much water about that our feet were numb from being constantly immersed in cold water but running down to camp we were just looking forward to getting into our tent and having lots of nice hot food! It was very disappointing to learn that it had been cancelled.

At least we arrived as the road had already been closed and so secured a good place in the shed and weren't one of the unlucky ones that set off only to have to return even colder and wetter than before. We spent the night in the shed and were warm and dry but listened to the wind that howled outside. The barometer on my altimeter watch recorded a low of 957. Next day the front had passed over and we walked back to the Event Centre, got the van out of the field quite easily and drove home. It was only then we realized how much of a media story it had all been! Read competitors and event reports on  The Original Mountain Marathon website

18/19th October - It was the first hill session last Monday and felt hard getting back into it. This week I have tried to up my mileage but caught a cold on Thursday so have taken it a bit easy just doing a Tankies recce on the Sunday.

11th October - I travelled upto Langdale and did the last of the Lakeland Classics - Langdale Horseshoe. After resting most of the week I ran hard and was very tired at the finish. It was a rocky and wet race - everyone was falling over and there were lots of bloody legs and bodies at the finish (mine included)  Langdale 2008 - results

4th/5th October - After another week of rest as my ankle was sore I ran with Steve (and Tango the collie) yesterday on Bleaklow then took the puppies (Tilly and Tyke) for their first venture onto moors today. We went from Doctors Gate upto Hern Stones then reccied Tankies. They were so funny leaping blindly about and falling into all the holes, streams and bogs. It didn't take them long to learn that following me across dodgy sections was a good idea. Met some sheep and they came straight to me when called so that's good too. The only (big) drawback is that they are sick all the way there and back in the van so even though I covered the floor with paper bags I am now off to wash the van out!

29th September - 3rd October - this week I have been on a climbing course at Plas y Brenin paid for by Challenge Cancer Through Adventure. Originally booked when I had cancer for last September but cancelled for an operation. I had a fantastic week. The place is amazing - food, accommodation, course content and instruction - all first class. We got typical crap weather but everyday they found us a relatively dry crag to climb and then when driven off by hail we retreated to the wall for rope/knot/belaying etc lessons. The rest of my group were all great and we had a good laugh in the bar on a night too. Photos on Gallery

27th September - After a resting week as I had a calf/ankle niggle I travelled down to Pulmonon. The location, organisation and race route was superb and to top it all we got fantastic (if a bit hot) weather. The route involves a bit of everything - runnable sections intermingled with deep grassy hills and then knee wrenching tussocks and bogs. I ran hard and caught Ozzy Kershaw about 7 miles from the finish. We started chatting and stopped racing until we got to the last checkpoint and he said "Only 4 mile to go". I looked at my watch and said "4.15 hours. Do you think we can get under 5 hours?" So of course that became the challenge. We got a good rhythm going and pushed each other all the way. At 1 mile to go we had 10 minutes - surely possible but there had been some sneeky hills in the last few miles. Then we were flying down the home straight to finish in 4.57. Joint 6th - amazing!!!

Then 23rd September - Me, Steve, Andy Plummer and Martyn travelled to Northern Ireland to do B class of the Mourne Mountain Marathon. The cloud was down at 200m at the start but lifted after an hours running and the weather was perfect for the rest of the weekend making overnight camp very pleasant. Pictures of the weekend are on the Gallery page.

13th September - I was entered for the LDMT but when that was cancelled was at a bit of a loose end. With feeling tired all week with aching muscles I didn't want to do too much so ran round the Grin and Bear It route (race is 4th Oct) with Ian W, Brent, Colin and Darren. the rain held off and it was a very pleasant way to spend Sunday morning.

6th/7th September - I completed the Bullock Smithy in 13.18 and was 1st Lady. I had a tough run feeling sick for quite a lot of it, too hot, dehydrated and generally grumpy! The lad I was running with Stuart, was great and cheerful but neither of us had completed it before and were navigating with another bloke David.. When 2 women passed me 2 miles from the finished Stuart really gave me the boost I needed to speed up and pass them back. We made 4 mins back on them (and then collapsed) by the finish. Its a long way (55 miles) and knowing the best/quickest lines would have saved us a lot of time!

30th August 2008 - With minimal support Mark Harvey attempted the Joss Naylor. He was just 4 mins down on a 11.40 schedule at Kirkstone Pass but with low cloud they lost a few more minutes across to Dunmail making us about 10 mins down. Mark had a very low couple of hours across to Rosset where we lost 5 mins on each split making us 20 mins down (ie only just do-able). He picked it up across to Bowfell and we actually did that in the scheduled time. We all decided to give him a talking to and also had fed him all the "super rocket fuel" type stuff we had and so by Styhead although we were 25 mins down (Great End not being so great) Mark was raring to go and had got back his spirit and was climbing exceedingly well. Amazingly we knocked 5 mins off each of the next 3 climbs making us only 5 mins down on schedule. The clag came back down again across Pillar slowing progress again but then across to Scoat Fell we spied 3 dogs and a man. "Could that be Joss?" It was - the man himself. A very lucky break for us as he showed us the most incredible line across from Haycock to Seatallen gaining us more time. Marks Joss Pictures

Mark wanted to run in with Joss and so we did Middle Fell and the last run in together. Mark finished in 11.37 ! Fantastic effort.

24th August 2008 was my brother's wedding up at Loch Lomond. Steve and I travelled up on the Saturday and had a run on route. The weather wasn't brilliant but it was fantastic to see Carol and Charlie so happy.

20th August 2008 - After a week of relative rest I went and raced at Sedbergh. I was still tired but found the climbs and descents ok while flat running was hard! Overall I was pleased with 3.00.23 and was 2nd woman!

11th August 2008 - Ian Winterburn set off on Friday 8th August in good conditions on his BG attempt. The weather clagged in overnight and it began to rain at Scarfell and never stopped. He completed in 23.40ish. I supported from Dunmail to finish. It wasn't completely intentional however I thought it would be good training for the Tranter Round that I'm hoping to complete. Dark Peak Photos of Ian's BG

3rd August 2008 - I did Borrowdale yesterday. There were heavy rain showers as we drove up leaving us wondering what to wear however the showers cleared by the start and although breezy the conditions were good. The rocks were hellishly slippery though and there was clag on Scarfell, Gable and across to Brandreth then it was clear on Dale Head. I found the race frustrating. The the rocks were very slippery; it was like being on ice and people that had reccied kept popping back in in front of me which was annoying!! I finished 189 out of about 450 in 4.11 hours. I was aiming for between 4 and 4.30 so was pleased considering conditions. Results

31st July - In rain again I ran the Reindeer Romp from the The Reindeer Inn opposite the Mining Museum. Results

19th July - Yesterday (Friday) Mark Harvey and I reccied the last part of Joss Naylor from Great End to the finish. With the weather being foul and it being quite claggy it was slow going on slippy rocks but a great day out having the hills to ourselves bar a few hardy and friendly walkers. Set off at 10.30am from Wasdale campsite to return at 6.45pm (having missed Middle Fell due to time!) - 18 miles and 3000m later!

12th July - I did Wasdale today and in good conditions I managed to knock nearly an hour off last year's time of 6.12 hours to do 5.14 hours. I was initially aiming for 6 hours, then 5.45 hours when I realized that going on last years splits I was about 10/15 minutes up by Pillar, then 20 minutes up by Great Gable. I only started to aim for 5.12 from the top of Scarfell Pike but with tired legs couldn't quite make the long descent quick enough.

8th July - On the 6th July I did Osmotherley Pheonix part of the Vasque series. I had a hard run and felt tired (but as I kept reminding myself not as tired as last year). I was hoping for 6 hours as I did 6.20 last year but thought that it might be a bit ambitious. The wind was blowing from the start and once the rain started the ground got surprising boggy very quickly. Once I got to the last checkpoint which I had in my mind was 6 miles from finish I cheered up a bit and when 2 lads came springing past me chatting away I kept them in my sights. As I caught them the chatting stopped and running became more series. It didn't half make the last 5 miles across bleak moor on tracks go a lot faster though. Looking at my watch for the first time in ages because of rain and misery I saw it was 5.30 hours. I was unsure how far we had to go so kept pushing on not wanting to lose time now.

I finished in 5hours 42 minutes - 37 minutes faster than last year - scary!


The week after Ennerdale I supported on the BG and 7 people got round out of 11 starters which was very good considering the conditions from Wasdale to the finish. Pictures are on Dark Peak site.

17th June - Another week of silaging and no running so by Thursday was feeling like an unfit truck driver (not that all truck drivers are unfit!) so went to the club and did a gentle 8 miles. Ennerdale was good but I could feel cumulative tiredness and had no energy to push on at the end. Results are up on SPORTident - 14 Jun 2008 - Ennerdale Fell Race

8th June - Had a week of relative rest then travelled to Wales to do Welsh 1000m (only there is 4 of them). A hard race but good with a very tough finish on top of Snowdon. I was aiming for between 5 and 6 hours and did 5.06 so was pleased. Results - The Gorphwysfa Club

1st June - I really enjoyed Duddon and didn't do too bad a time (4.06). Think descending legs were more tired than ascending. Link to results and pictures (sometime)  Duddon Valley Fell Races . Next week doing Welsh 1000m race - anyone wanting a lift?

30th May - I am recovering well from the Ramsay Round and have done a couple of short races (very hard!). I'm hoping to get round Duddon this Saturday as I've always wanted to complete the Lakeland Classics. Then next week I'll rest for the Welsh 1000.

26th April - 3 Peaks Race. This is my last big race before attempting the Ramsay and I wanted it to go well. I enjoyed the race and seemed to be doing ok although my legs were tired climbing Whernside and Ingleborough. I finished in 4.07 which is 9 minutes faster than my best so I'm pleased. Results

19th April - I drove over to Wales to meet Phil Hodgson, Clare Kenny, Nick Harris, Oz Kershaw and Ali Chant and do Aberglasyn to Llanberis. This is 21 miles in total with 11,000ft climb. Winds were breezy in the morning but very strong in the afternoon with Snowdon being covered in icy snow. Writeup and pictures

12/13th April - big trip to Scotland ! Ian Charlesworth, John Rowe and myself travelled up on Friday (after being delayed by calving cow), to meet Mark Harvey, Roy Gibson, Ian Winterburn and Rob Woodall up in Fort William. We had a fantastic couple of days. Rather too much snow for detailed reccying but absolutely brilliant ! Write up and pictures

6th April -  Ian Charlesworth, Roy Gibson and myself travelled over and met Phil Hodgson and Dave Makin. We reccied Capel to Aberglasyn in much better weather than forecast.It took us 7.45 which we were pleased with to say how much the rocks and snow had slowed us down being slippery. The sheep has all but disappeared on the "Dead Sheep Bog" but the bog is still unforgettable! April 6th.PB Recce pictures

1st April - I had a reasonable run on the Skyline especially as I had done quite a lot of running and farming that week. I was anooyed that I missed a couple of shortcuts but it didn't seem to make much difference to my time on paper. I think I got dehydrated as I was suffering from a lot of cramp and over Kinder had a few dozy moments where I couldn't recollect the course (and no that's not like me). Skyline Results and pictures

Next weekend I'm planning a long weekend in Scotland (11/12/13th April) to get a lot of reccying done. Also email me if interested.


26th March - not managed much running over Easter - a couple or "Prison 12's" and a run over Black Hill  Photos - in between cows calving. I am planning to go to Wales on 6th April to recce Capel to Aberglasyn. And also a trip to Scotland on the 11/12/13th April to recce Ramsay!!! Please get in touch if you would like to join us.

22nd March - On Good Friday myself, Ian Charlesworth, Mark Pierce, Mark Harvey, Andy Plummer and Roy Gibson travelled over to Wales for a day's reccying of the PB. We met Iain Ridgeway there and set off from Llanberis with the intention of doing two sections to Capel Curig. The wind wasn't as bad as forecast until the Glyders where it started to hail. Coming down Bristly Ridge was horrid with the wind coming up chucking hail up in our eyes. We decided to miss Tryfan - mainly because we'd get more of the same on the descent. Decending to Glandana made a pleasant change out the wind.

We set off up Pen Yr Olwen and made it round the Carnedds in even more hail and in icy conditions. Lightning and thunder at one point had us scurrying off Carnedd Llewelyn. Just as we got to Pen Llithrig y Wrach the skies cleared and the view back was fantastic. Took us 8.08 hours - not bad in the conditions and a good day out. Photos


15th March - Today I did the Haworth Hobble which is 33 miles 4500" climb - about 2 miles and 400" more than last year as they changed the start/finish venue. I set off feeling ok, had a low in the middle between mile 15 and 20 mainly because the food and drink supplied this year wasn't a patch on last year - no hot dogs!!! Then picked up from then on to finish in 5.33. Last year I did 5.43 so although its hard to tell how much improvement I've made its a definite one!!! Results


7th/8th March - After a week of team members coming down with toothache and then flu and having to find replacements me and John (the remaining originals) arrived at Edale knowing one replacement; Rob Woodall but having never met the other, Neil Shepherd and hoping that he wasn't having second thoughts. He appeared at 10.40pm and we were able to register.

We set off at a comfortable pace and all seemed very similar and it was odd that we were on our own a lot. By Moscar I realised that we were going strongly and I hoped we could get under 11 hours. Over Outer Edge and Bleaklow Neil didn't enjoy the bogs and peat dunes and by the Pennine Way was in need of some "rocket fuel" and pork pie to get him going again. Once they kicked in he was flying and we made good progress over Mill Hill and all the way back to Edale. Photos from Mr Plum

We finished in 10.55 knocking 25 minutes off last years time. Finished 8th overall and 1st Mixed which we are all very pleased about !!! You would think the photo was post race but actually it was pre race - I was just so happy we had a team !!! Results

2nd March - well after deliberating about whether cows were going to calve or not I decided not and went and did New Chew. I did Long Score Orienteering. All I can say is that it was good training! I wasn't confident enough to go far out so thrashed around against the wind in all the tussocks for the last 3 hours hardly picking up any points. Having calculated it tonight I got 200 and Ian Charlesworth who went the best route got 320  (and I might have missed more that he got even). I call that well wooped! So one to learn from and then forget!


23rd February - Wales was good although the weather was hard work with high winds and then rain above 700m. Mark Harvey, Roy Gibson, Mark Pierce, John Rowe and I met at Llanberis and did that section to the base of Tryfan before dropping off for a cup of tea at Idwal Cottage and returning to Llanberis over Devil's Kitchen.


19th February - I've been back 10 days and in that time I have done Wadsworth Trog which was very hard work and I got cramp probably due to flying etc. Then Winter Monday race which was good. A couple of long runs and the LIMM from the Strines pub last Sunday. This coming weekend on Saturday there is a day trip to the Lakes. At the moment its me, Mark Pierce and Mark Harvey.


29th Jan - I'm off to Moscow with Steve in the Expedition Landrover see www.capetocape.org.uk for lots of information and progress map (glad we don't have those for the rounds !!). I'll be back on the 7th February and have entered Wadsworth Trog on the 9th !

26th Jan - After a very hectic week which culminating in having Look North filming a caesarean on a heifer as well as the expedition I managed to get away for a day to Wales with Ian Charlesworth, Nick Cable, Ian Winterburn and Mark Pierce. We reccied the 2nd leg over Snowdon and then me Ian C and Nick went up onto Elider Fawr and along the PB route to Foel Goch before dropping down to Glen Nevis (where Ian W and Mark were in the pub!). Great to be back on the Welsh Hills. Photos in PB Recce Jan 08

13th Jan I had a trip to the Lakes to recce the 1st and part 2nd section of the Bob Graham with John Rowe, Mark Pierce and Tim Ray. We left a car at the little village above Thirlspot and drove to the track below Skiddaw. The weather in the morning was a very cold strong wind and clag on top. While descending Halls Fell the rain began in earnest and by the time we were at Threkeld we were soaked. We proceeded up Clough Head in every increasing winds however the full force of the winds was not felt until we reached the top of the ridge. There it was so strong that we could not proceed and so we descended to about 500m and contoured round until we found a path down into the valley not far from the car ! 

6th January - I met Amanda and Nick Cable at Fairholmes car park at 10am and reccyed the Watershed from  Derwent Moor to Sheepfold Clough covering 11 miles.