Sunday, 30 May 2010

21hr 07mins. And Relax!!!

May 29th will forever be etched into my memory, not as much for my success of the Bob Graham Round, but more of the true friendship, camaraderie  and kindness shown to me by some amazing folk. Im not going to thank them by name as they know who they are

I started writing  this blog in August last year to record all my days out on the fells and to also to keep as a record of all things related to the Bob Graham.

I'm afraid im not going to write a report of my Bob Graham Round, as its something that does not need writing down for me to read again, it will stay in my memory long after I cant run any more.

For me now, im going to rest up a few weeks and then start doing what  I love doing more then anything else, running in the hills.(oh, and Susan wants two bedrooms decorated)

Round Done!
Job Done!
Blog Done!

Thank you all for all your kind comments and advice over the past few months.

Some photos of the day can be found at
(Good one of Stevie B on his arse)


Friday, 28 May 2010

A Tough Week. Doing Nowt.

This last 6 days have been very tough. I have been wanting to run but resisted, hence I think has made me feel very tired, or is it the nerves??
I was going to go for a light run on Wednesday evening , but had forgotten I had a long overdue MRI scan at Carlisle for my ongoing knee problem at 5.50pm.
At time of posting this (8.45am) I still have a load of things to arrange but at least im of work today.
The weather looks like its going to be breezy and showers, but I cant do anything about that, its not as if i will melt or anything.
One tiny issue that is bothering me is not having anybody to rope Broad Stand for us, which means we will have to carry a rope with us, but again its not the end of the world.
So, that's it, at 1am on Saturday morning I will leave the Moot Hall and hopefully have a very memorable 24 hours on the tops.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Can I Have The Same Weather, Just A Bit Cooler Please!!!

Last year whilst recceing leg 1, I met a fella Called Seb Pflanz at the Sheepfold by the Caldew, We recced the rest of leg 1 together and arranged to meet up again during the winter months. Due to either work commitments or the snowy winter we never did recce any other legs together, but we did keep in touch from time to time to see how the other was getting on with their training.

On Wednesday  night we met each other again to recce leg 5 (hill section only) as it was the only leg that he had not gone over before his attempt on Saturday, which I was navigating on leg 2.
I was a bit dubious about this as Im meant to be tapering mode, but it was good to meet up with Seb again and have another look at the descent of Robinson.

Seb had told me he was on a 23 hour schedule but I thought I had best turn up to Threlkeld early as he is a very experienced ultra runner and I new he would be ahead on his estimated time.

Seb on Stybarrow

Seb with Dark Peak Simon just behind
Sure enough he rolled into Threlkeld early and after a shoe change we were off towards Clough Head with his other pacers Craig and Sandy, both Scottish. We weren't even on Gt Dodd before the banter started about the English and the Scottish, but I was quick to remind them who was going to the World cup, Seb is German born by the way!!!

The pace felt good and easy and I kept asking Seb if he was relaxed enough and he said he was fine at the pace we were setting.

Seb had set off from Moot Hall at 2am along with another group who was on 20hr schedule and we had caught them up by Watson Dodd, which did concern me a bit because they were bang on there own schedule and Seb was well ahead of his, but again Seb assured me he was ok with the pace.

Its worth noting here that both groups were about 50 yards apart at Dollywagon, whilst Seb went down the right of the tarn, the other team(simon, dark peak) went to the left. Seb stopped at the bottom to take his sock off as he thought he had a stone in his shoe, turned out to be a blister but we still reached the top of Fairfield just ahead of them.

From Seat Sandal I ran ahead to pre warn his valley crew he was on his way and to have things ready.
Seb had fantastic support
Seb arrived at Dunmail slightly ahead of 20 hour pace and im very pleased to report that he finished his round last night in 21hrs 47mins.

From my own point of view Seb did his round pretty much how I would want to attempt mine this coming Saturday, with getting to Dunmail ahead of schedule and then hanging on the best I can.

So, last week only 2 legs covered, but its taper all week for me now, apart from Wednesday when I might go for a light jog.
The rest of the week I will be glued to the weather forecast!!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Not A Lot To Say

Last week was a much easier week for me, but still got over 10,000 feet, but only 35 miles covered.
Out of the seven days I was only out 3 and this week it looks like the same.
Tomorrow  evening im thinking of looking over leg 5 , but only from Dalehead to Robinson.
On Saturday im pacing on leg 2 for Seb Pflanz's attempt and on Sunday I might have a slow run up to Skiddaw House and along the path to the Caldew and take another bearing for Mungrisdale Common. ( measure twice, cut once )
Still working on my schedule/plan/food.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Heading South

A tough week, ready for a rest now.
Yesterday  seen me and Iain Kelly parking at Seathwaite and climbing up to Esk Hause and doing the rest of leg 3. I have struck gold in having Iain on this leg, his knowledge of it is very reassuring. 
I imagine leg 3 could be where the wheels come off for me, so with having Iain and Steve Angus im hoping they will pull me through it. Mind you Steve can talk some bloody crap at times!!!!
Yesterday also saw me banish one of my main worries by climbing Broad stand without a rope al tho I very nearly ducked out. I was stood on the second ledge whilst Iain was trying to explain to me what to do when all of a sudden a couple of other BGers came sailing by me and sailed up it, making it look very easy and me look very stupid (not hard). So with Iains encouragement I got up it, which in truth was not that bad at all, but it would be a different story if it was wet.Also went down the line of Scafell which again didn't seem that bad , but with 16 hours in my legs I think it might be a different story.
Got back to the cars via Styhead Tarn.It was on this route where I seen some runner trying to get use to running with walking poles, he was having  quite a fight!

Today I was going to do leg 2 with Steve Angus but at the last minute decided I would throw leg 1 in as well, so I arranged I would meet Steve at 10.30 to do leg 2 with him.
I set off from Keswick at 7.07 and got back to Threlkeld CC at 10.07, surprised myself at how quick I had done it, al tho it was far to fast.

 I had 13mins to wait before Steve arrived so I had some food and refilled my bottles. At 10.25 we were off again and the climb up Clough Head felt very hard, but we reached the top in 44mins, too quick, but Steve was on fresh legs and moving very well.
We finished the leg in a time of 3.20.
So 2 legs done in 6.38 that included a 18Min wait at Threlkeld. I hope on the day of my attempt my pacers do a good job or I fear its curtains at Wasdale!
On Wednesday me and Steve Bennett had a good run along the coach road from Dockray to Clough Head and up over the Dodds and back down Hartside where we watched the Dockray-Hartside fell race. As always Steve supplied the entrainment by trying to convince me were running south when in fact we were running north east.WARNING : DO NOT FOLLOW THIS MAN IN A FELL RACE!
(it is my good fortune that he is completely computer illiterate and he cannot work out how to reply on this blog)

And as said in my last post on Monday I did leg 1 running from Threlkeld.

So my total feet climb for the last week was 22500 and 66 miles, im going to start backing off now and try and work out my schedule and road stops and fuel intakes, all of which I am really struggling with, its the part of the BG that Im totally no good at and wish some else would do it for me!

Monday, 3 May 2010

Into the Month of May

Since the 3 Peaks  I have continued all my running on the fells, putting in 69 miles (approx 19000ft, 84miles,23500ft if you inc 3PPP) in the last 8 days. The pleasing thing for me is that my legs and joints are feeling good and strong at the moment. They is no question though that I have lost my short sprint speed, but that is definitely not needed on the Bob Graham Round.

The one big worry that I have is that I may not of put enough long days in, I have done loads of 4-5hrs a few 8 hrs, but  my longest day out has only been 91/2 hrs. I know im comfortable up to 91/2 hrs but what I will be like after 15-16hrs? Also Im due a scan on my troublesome knee soon, but im trying to put that well and truly to the back of my mind, it only really hurts now if I try to fully kneel down on it.

Another concern is that the only part of the route that I have not yet recced fully is Broad stand. I have been down foxes tarn before but would like to look at the other options. Hopefully on Saturday I will get that chance.

On Saturday just gone I was due to recce leg 3 with my navigator but unfortunately he couldn't make it, so I drove to Dunmail with the plan of going as far as Esk Hause before coming back on myself.
As I pulled up they was a road support crew in waiting and when I looked up Seat Sandal I could see the runners charging down. 
Rather then get in the way I set of up Steel fell and waited for the runners to come up. I asked if I could continue along with them as far as Esk Hause to which they said I was more then welcome..
This was a stroke of luck for me as they showed me the correct line up Bowfell and Rosset Crag.
The fella attempting was Stuart Pitcher and he was on a 22 hr schedule and moving very well. His Navigator was Eddie Winslow, who did his own BGR in winter and his other mate was Neil? all Ilkley runners. 
Stuart Im pleased to say completed his round in 20.59, fantastic.
Climbing Esk Pike

Neil, Stuart and Eddie

Today I once again went round leg 1 with Anth, who is supporting me on this leg and he wanted to have a good look at it first. 
Again it took me under 22 mins from the summit of Blencathra to the cricket club car park, so nothing to worry about there ( I hope)..