Ultra 48 Edale Skyline Excursion
A few hours after the Frostbite 30 I drove over to my Sisters (Andrea) to have a catch up and wish my Niece (Katy) a happy 18th. They both live at South Normanton only a few miles or so from the Peak District so I stayed the night and the next morning I travelled to Hope for an extended run of the Edale Skyline. John Vernon joined us for a few miles up over Lose Hill, Hollin cross and Mam tor. Here we parted ways and I continued over Rushup edge with David Cremmins. It was a stunning day with zero temperatures and an abundance of ice. Dave had his yak tracks with him while I relied on my x talons to keep me firmly planted to the frozen ground. The views over to kinder where stunning. On arriving on the Kinder Plateu progress was painfully slow over the thick ice which seemed to coat every rock in the vicinity. then the mist came down. After several cock ups in nil visibility we decided to head back off Kinder and retraced our steps to drop down towards Hayfield We took several paths and crossed over towards Rushup edge by this time not only had we thick mist to contend with but darkness too. All light from our headtorches was bounced back at us thanks to the mist. Our food supplies depleted and with sod all water left we missed the correct line and dropped onto the pennine bridleway. Deciding not to return to Hope by Mam Tor and Lose Hill we took the road for awhile and joined the old broken up road under Mam Tor. ( my dad many years ago had taken me on this road as a child when it been shut off to cars because as he had put it the 'shivering mountain' had put it's curse on it and the road kept falling to pieces. ) this Sunday night after hours on the hills in freezing conditions with little food inside me I felt the shivering mountain was only just letting me pass on this ghost of a road. The hairs on the back of my neck stood to attention until I left the 'Shivering Road' and joined up with the main road into Castleton. We reached Castleton which looked beautiful with dozens of little Christmas trees perched outside shops and house I was hoping for a chip shop but no joy. We passed by castleton and came into Hope. My watch showed we where missing Ultra miles yet we had been out for hours and hours so we ran along the road to Edale and back to round off the day with 28 miles
John Vernon & Dave Cremmins -summit of Lose Hill
Lose Hill to Mam Tor Ridge
I had decided I wanted my 50th ultra to coincide with the Runfurther Party plus I wanted to fit 52 ultras into the year as it made more sense. (52 in 52 rather than 50 in 52) and my plan was that the 'Tour de Helvelyn' would be my 52 ultra not my 50th. The only problem was I had done 48 and the Runfurther party was in 6 days time. The solution was obviously to fit another ultra in over the next few days. With work I had not enough time to travel up to the North York Moors and plus the running would be slow. I needed something fast! I then decided upon a Treadmill Ultra. I could finish a P/T Session with my client and then directly after I could jump on the treadmill. So there it was ultra 49 ( I decided to make it a minimum of 30 miles ) around about 4 hrs 40 mins later I had covered the 30 miles. I was hoping to run a lot faster but I had been having a lot of problems with my left calf and anytime I increased the pace the feeling of something bad happening to it dropped me down to 10 minute mili pace When I first climbed onto the treadmill I had set my area up with 5 x 500ml water bottles Energy gels. Towel. iPod, iPhone etc much to the amused look of people using the other treadmills around me. As you can guess I saw people come and go. No one spending more time then 30 minutes in one go on the treadmills Probably sensible people Once 3 hours was reached the monotony was easier to deal with. I could play time and distance games with my mind. With less than 3 miles to go I increased the pace ( it's so obvious on a treadmill how much more distance you can cover when you increase the speed, more noticeable then outside with all your speed/distance/time data right in front of you I finished the 30 miler with a 5 minute cool down. The Treadmill can be a mind killer but has a purpose. Efficient speedwork/ intervals tool if you havent a track to run on and several years ago was my main training arsenal for getting round the UTMB'S 9500 metres of ascent. I used to live in a very flat area and chances to climb hills never mind mountains would come 4-5 times a year if lucky, so I would spend one 3-4 hour session per week running on the Treadmill at full incline. Ultra 49 brought it all back to me :0)
Ultra 50 'Edale Skyline with Extra Again'
The route yet again was the Edale Skyline with an excursion at the end to Edale and back. Karen mcDonald joined us along the ridge from Lose Hill to Mam Tor. Karen is the backbone behind the Runfurther series she is not only an ultra runner but a damn good mountain biker and adventure racer. Shes a real gem tough as old boots and great fun to be around. We all ran in kahtoolas and the ground was thick with ice. Further over towards Rushups edge was snow and Kinder Scout was a winter wonderland. We bumped into Richard Lendon. I had first met Richard on the Lakeland -100, Richards a great guy and a seasoned Ultrarunner. He was putting the finishing touches to his training for the 2013 spine race ( the spine race is the 268 mile Pennine way route run in winter ) After we dropped off Mam Tor Karen left us ( same place where John Vernon had left us the week before, I don't blame them, my jokes are pretty rubbish at the best of times )
Karen on the Mam Tor Ridge
Rushup edge was a real treat runnable but thick with snow in places. Stuart walker joined us on the climb up to Kinder. Stuart is an awesome ultra runner and had jointly won the Hardmoors 60 at the end of September with Ian Symington in a record time Stuart had also earlier in the year ran the entire length of the Alps ( 1100 miles) in just over 30 days!!! Stuart is a true inspiration and an all around nice guy. A real toughy too in shorts and a long sleeved baselayer opposed to my full length tights. Calf guards and skins short,. Merino wool baselayer and windproof plus hat and gloves He flew along the paths of kinder with great ease but held back so not to cause me to increase my pace when in reality he could of left me for dead at any moment. Running along the more technical paths of kinder in the snow was great fun and the views stunning.
The ascent up to Win Hill proved tough for me. This was my 4th ultra in 8 days and it was beginning to show. Dave and Stuart went ahead and I eventually joined them on the summit We descended off the summit together and ran to Hope's train station with Stuart where he would leave us Myself an David ran the out and back to Edale completing in total just over 27 miles ( there I say 27 tough hilly miles ) we drove to Bradwell and showered at Karens before driving to South Normanton to pick my sister and niece up to take them to the Runfurther party in Sheffield After the runfurther party we drove back to my sisters to sleep the night before driving to Stratford upon Avon the next morning to run ultra 51
Dave C on Mam Tor Ridge looking over to Kinder
Ultra 51 Broadmeadow Trail Marathon
Ultra 51 was the Broadmeadow trail marathon. The route was more bridleway or should I say old railway lines turned into cycleways. We arrived there at 0800 for a 0900 start and the route was pretty confusing. Lots of out and backs to the race start ( an old railway carriage converted into a cafe. I clocked it as 27so decided to run a further mile to bring it up to 28 with the route being pretty flat.) I completed the 27 miles in 4hrs 26. What was interesting in the mild conditions opposed to the Edale skyline was as I felt my long sleeve top was far too warm I saw people running in 200 weight full zip fleeces and others in bandanna's pulled up round their noses! And one guy in an 800 fill down jacket !!!!!!
And no they weren't training for the MDS or Badwater. Just very cold they reckoned !!!
I am currently in Egypt at the moment sunbathing in 27 degrees writing this on my iPhone ( using the chance to catch up with my blog at last. Friday I return back to the UK. Friday night I go over to the lake District in anticipation of the 'Tour de Helvelyn ' which commences Saturday morning. Last year it was freezing cold with thick snow. This week I have been running 3-6 miles daily in pretty warm conditions. Ultra 52 is going to be a shock to the system ;0)!!!!!!
Tour De Helvelyn
Unfortunately I arrived back from Egypt with food poisoning so TDH was 'out of the window' but there are still 9 days left of 2012... watch this space......