Turner Landscape 2014

Looking towards Grey Friars.  Tom and Olivia Bush in the foreground.

Looking towards Grey Friars. Tom and Olivia Bush in the foreground.

Turner Landscape is a 10.8 miles, 3,000ft race in the Duddon valley which was first run in 2011. That year, 11 people took part. This increased to 31 in 2012 but then numbers exploded in 2013 to 261 thanks to the fact that it was an English Champs race.

This year, it was hard to predict how many would turn up. I guessed it would be more than 2012 but I made sure I knew the route backwards just in case I spent the whole race alone due to a lack of competitors! Me and Ian (Wolfendale) had penciled this one in at the start of the season because it really is a classic in the making. The route starts in the fields next to Turner Hall Farm (hence the name), goes past the Rucksack Club’s High Moss hut and on to the Walna Scar Road which we follow up to Seathwiate Tarn. From there it climbs to Grey Friar and continues to Swirl How, Coniston Old Man, the West side of Dow Crag and White Pike. A classic Lakeland round if ever there was one and one that holds a little more interest than both Fairfield and Kentmere by virtue of it always seeming to have more tops to visit than you think. Continue reading

Mathematical proof that we over estimate time lost through mistakes?

I’ve entered Daz’s memorial race. It’s a toughie and I’m a bit short of miles and feet. My last long run was Jura 2012, and I fell apart at the top of pap 2 and dropped out. Although I’ve got plenty of experience, it’s from 5 or more years ago on the long stuff, so it’s great to see a big race that will accept my entry.

The training isn’t going badly. But a bit like fell running generally, there’ve been a lot of ups and downs. I had a great week running on the Cornish coastal paths at Easter and was really up for Coniston. I was disappointed with my run there as I ground to a virtual halt on prison band. In a typical over-reaction, I concluded that was it, one 2000 foot climb and I’m wiped out. But the following Wednesday I was out for over 4 hours. Continue reading



Levers water and Coniston.png

Photo by Dougie Nisbet.https://www.flickr.com/photos/djnisbet/sets/

Coniston fell race is the second of six races in the English championship and also a Pennine champs race.An AM race of 8.7 miles and 3494 feet or 14 km and 1065 metres if you are under 20 years old.

       Hurrah it’s a clear day and it is actually possible to see where you are going. The RO said at the start, that the village of Coniston had recently had 70 days of consecutive rain.Funnily enough Coniston features in this months edition  Country Walking magazine and apparently it was part of Lancashire until 1974.( I’ve got a big pile of old  CW magazines if anyone wants them, if not I’ll bring them along one Thursday night). Continue reading

Black Combe

The first weekend in March. It’s now light when you leave work (well, most of the time!), the birds are becoming more and more vocal, a ladybird is crawling up my screen as I type this, cyclists are hitting the cobbles and the Cumbrian fell season proper starts at Black Combe.

8 miles with 1000m of up’n’down is all it takes for this race to pack in everything you’d expect from an entire season on the fells. A short steep climb up to Seaness (CP1) reminds the legs what this business is all about again. The long runnable (well, so I’m told) drag up to Black Combe’s north summit (CP2) that follows punishes those who attacked the Seaness with too much vigour. A long flat, fast tour of White Combe beck brings you to CP3 at White Combe proper before a short drop to the Fodder Rack (CP4) and down into the beck (CP5) sets you up for the race’s set-piece: The 400m-plus wall of short heather leading to the final checkpoint at Black Combe’s south summit. After this it’s a matter of returning to Silecroft as quickly as you can – there’s a prize for the fastest person down the mountain and the quicker you get there, the warmer the pies included in your entry fee are. Continue reading

Duddon done

Well that was a great weekend, I’ll leave writing about the race to those of you a little nearer the sharp end, I just kept going up & down & turning left, I fell over, admired the scenery when I looked up & crossed the finish line flat on my face after a swallow dive.

The post race pies were great & the prize giving memorable, Stef B sporting his sharpest GI haircut added to his collection of Pete Bland credit notes (he can now afford half an innovate shoe) & Steph C just kept picking up prizes (all thoroughly deserved) but all this was knocked into a cocked hat by Roger who picked up the ladies V70 prize &, quite frankly, made my day. The trip to the Blacksmiths Arms was particularly enjoyable, I found waiting at the bar was no hardship, it quite stole my heart.

The weekend at High Moss for those of us who immersed in the whole experience was rewarding & enlightening, I can confirm that a good crumble does not need oats, Haydn has sod all to do with modern baroque, motor bikes are dangerous (seriously Rob), there is such a thing as a sock monkey & the Duddon Valley is very,very beautiful. A Sunday morning walk up the Walna Scar road to peer over a frosty Coniston is breathtaking.

My thanks to Geoff B for suggesting the trip & for acting as general factotum & sheepdog for those of us who needed rounding up & to all who added to a fantastic weekend.

Sign me up for next year.


Grisedale Horseshoe 2013

Grisedale Horseshoe 2013


Will, Stefan, Me, Tim, Ian and Paul.


It’s early September and It’s off up the M6 for my second lakeland race.The Grisedale Horseshoe is an AM race, ten miles long with 5000 feet of ascent. Driving to Glenridding over the Kirkstone pass, thick clouds were shrouding the hills but I was hoping the weather forecast was correct that we would get some clear spells with just the odd shower. Continue reading