Sunday, 19 December 2010

Running for Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team

On August 12th 2011 I will be running non stop in the Grimsthorpe 70 which is a 70 mile race around the estate of Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire in aid of The Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team.

SMRT is a registered charity (Charity Commission No. 501885). Like other mountain and cave rescue teams in the UK receives no funding from central Government. The team is run entirely by volunteers and has no paid members of staff.

 The everyday funding of SMRT is by donations from the public. It costs about £24,000 per year to maintain the service that SMRT provides. This money comes from a variety of sources: collecting boxes throughout the area, kind donations from various groups, individuals or organisations, street collections; and fund raising events such as there winter slide shows
The money raised is used to pay for insurance, maintenance and running of there two emergency vehicles, operating and up keep of there base, and the replacement of rescue and medical equipment (all of which has a finite life span or can suffer damage through wear and tear). 

Saturday, 18 December 2010

8.11 mile run Richmond - Catterick Garrison circular

This is the same route as the last two outings but with another mile added by going from Camp centre to White shops and then Hipswell. 
Set out this afternoon with sunshine and an outside temperature of -5 and with new Ron Hill gloves I was a bit concerned about these keeping my hands warm as the are so thin but when I returned home the gloves had frost on the outside but my hands were still toasty. (Hats off to Ron Hill). More than can say for my drinks bottle because I tried getting my first drink out of it as I was coming back into Richmond and the Lucazade sport was frozen to a slush making it hard to drink through one of them pull out drinks tops. 
I was only wearing a thin base layer and Montane featherlite jacket but was still sweating. (So crazy considering the temperature). 
Strait into a hot bath when I got home and now to get stuck into a few beers and some telly.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Grimsthorpe 70

Just entered the Grimsthorpe 70 in August.
Really looking forward to the training and preparation.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Expensive trainers v cheap plimsolls

Legs were aching a bit this morning so didn't really want to run but forced myself to go as I have an earlier start at work tomorrow and also working Friday this week so might not be able to get out now until the weekend.

As the weather isn't too bad today I thought I would try a bit of minimalist running. So wearing a pair of plimsolls I bought from Primark for £5, off I went.
The whole run felt different but easier. Though I could feel every little stone and twig underfoot there was never any discomfort. The hills seamed easier to climb and taking the exact same route as yesterday (7.05 mile road run) I managed a time of 1:11:02. (Yesterday's time was 1:14:46) so I'm quite impressed with the result.
Not sure if I could run a marathon in them but £80 trainers verses £5 plimsolls is food for thought.

Why not give it a try and let me know what you think.

Note to self; must order a pair of Lunar sandals for next summer from Barefoot Ted Mcdonald

And yes, I did find my lost glove near the camp centre roundabout. “Santa, you can still bring a pair of new ones though”.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Plenty of hills, mud, snow & freezing water

Great technical run with plenty mud and water to slide around on. Glad I took my trekking poles as there was some deep snow on the higher ground and also in beacon plantation. The poles also helped me up the many muddy slopes on this route.
Going down through the plantation, the track was covered in deep snow and when I thought I was putting my foot down on the snow there was many an occasion when I went strait through into the water below. (Feet are still freezing now).
The route itself took me through Westfields, Whitcliffe Wood, Applegarth, then on to the high ground along Whitcliffe Scar to Willances leap then through Beacon Plantation before crossing some fields and returning via the racecourse and back down through Westfields.

For those who like reading about the history of this area follow this link. to Willances Leap.

The full route can be seen here

Saturday, 11 December 2010

5 mile trail/road following the river Swale

Easier day today as there wasn't so much hill work involved.
Followed the river Swale from Round How to the bailey bridge that used to carry the railway line over the Swale and then returned via Easby abbey and Lombards Wynd.
Wet and muddy in places with packed ice in the shaded area of the woodland trails made it a bit slow going at times.
Even managed to get my jacket off for the return leg. (No where near as cold as last week).

Friday, 10 December 2010

5.48 mile run around Richmond

I'm back.
5.48 mile run through Westfields then up onto the race course before dropping down through the industrial estate then a tour of Richmond before dropping down to the river and home via Jail Bank and Reeth Road.
It was hard work considering I haven't had a decent run since 5th of November.
I got on the scales the other day and got a very big shock so decided it was time to fight back.
Wearing a Reebok running vest as a base layer, Mountain Warehouse long sleeved top and a Montane Featherlite jacket, I felt over dressed when I got back off the high ground and started sweating as I ran around Richmond and the last climb up Jail Bank really opened up the sweat glands.
I wasn't sure what to wear on my feet so I tried an old pair of Karrimor's which I wear for everyday use. Though they did keep my feet dry they weren't much good on grip as the soles are well worn down but I don't think the Adidas Kanadia would have kept the snow and water out for very long.
Westfields has a lot of springs in it and these are starting to break out all over and with slush hidden under the snow it made it very slippery under foot.
Now I'm back home, had a shower, got some warm clothes on and the only problem I have is getting my feet warm again but if that's the only problem I get from a good run like that then it was well worth it.

To see the full details and map of the run follow this Link

Sunday, 21 November 2010

No time to run

Been catching up on jobs around the house and garden and also doing some amateur conservation work on some land that I have been given permission to use by the company I work for. I have a few bird boxes out there and I have been building some wood piles among the trees.
This in turn has taken its toll on my running program and with the cold, wet weather now taking over it is so easy to look for excuses to stay at home.
I must kick my own backside and get out after work this week before I start loosing interest completely.
I have also just seen the weather forecast for next week. Wind coming in from Scandanavia and making things even colder with temperatures down to below minus. It is definetly going to be hard work getting out to run in the dark and cold and probably wet aswell.

Google view of my land can be seen here,-1.654027&spn=0.001624,0.005284&t=h&z=18

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Accidental marathon

This is yesterdays run. But as I was totally knackered when I got home all I wanted was a hot bath and sat and chilled out for the rest of the night.

Easy run through Westfields and Applegarth before dropping down to the road and on to Marske. Heading out of Marske. From Marske it was a short run along another short section of tarmac which is called Skelton Lane. Turning left at a T-junction the road took me to Telfit Farm then it was another left turn and back to some real trail running.
After a short hill climb I was met with a cross roads and turned left to head for a small hamlet called
Hurst. This was a great running trail as it was mainly grass and feeling spongy underneath and heading downhill it was easy to get carried away with the speed and not concentrate on sticking to a steady pace. After about ¼ of a mile I recognised the road below as the one I had just come along so now it was a matter of stamping my feet, calling myself all the plonkers under the sun, turning round and running back up the hill to the cross roads and getting back onto the right track.
Now for a proper run across the moors to High Greenas Farm. The map said go straight ahead. The sign board said go straight ahead, so that's what I did but getting to some farm buildings I was confronted by two gates of which one was all tied up as if to coral some animals so no way I could have opened that one and not wanted to climb over with the farm house in full view I went for the other gate which lead me into a field and on reaching the other side there was still no way out so now it was a matter of jumping the wall which also had barbed wire on the top so this wasn't one of the most elegant jumps I have ever made. And still in full view I was still expecting a shout from an irate farmer but luckily this shout never came.
Down through the farm land and eventually turning right onto Stelling Rd which took me into Hurst and more familiar surroundings. This area is one of my favourite parts of Swaledale as it has a long history of lead mining and the mind can easily get carried away emagening what life was like there hundreds of years ago. In fact, history mining in this areas goes back to the days of the Romans and this is backed up by a lead ingot that was found in the 19th century inscribed with the name Emperor
Hadrian (of Hadrian's Wall fame 117-138 AD).
Anyway, from Hurst it was down to more climbing up to the top of the moor and along to the end of Fremmington Edge. Then it was a nice easy run down Slei Gill towards Langthwaite and once I reached Arkle Beck at the bottom I thought I was in for an easy run to Grinton.
How wrong can you get? It wasn't long before the trail took me away from Arkle Beck and back up onto higher ground and this was the hardest part of the run as it was on the lower slopes of Fremmington Edge and as the rain water from the previous couple of days had managed to settle on the narrow footpath which was only 12ins wide in places. So it wasn't long before I gave up trying to keep my feet dry and just ploughed on the best I could. Slipping and sliding as I slowly picked my way along. This section was about two miles long and took about 45min to complete. Getting off that section and back into the fields, it was a pleasure to be running again and I soon managed to get to Reeth Bridge and a ½ mile run along the River Swale to Grinton Bridge.
Another short run along the river brought me to Marrick Priory which was built in the mid 1100s and was occupied by Benedictine nuns. Today it is an outdoor education centre.
From here it was onwards and upwards to Marrick Village itself. The path between the priory and Marrick was a real treat as this goes up through some woodland and is paved with stone slabs that look like they could have been laid down at the same time the priory had been built. Half way up there is even a stone sided channel built across it to let flood water get away without the path getting flooded.
Once in Marrick it was now a long road run back to Marske and then it was home via the way I had come out earlier. It was a relief to get back to Applegarth as I knew the running was going to be easier with only one short climb out of Whitcliffe wood and then a down hill through Westfield and back into the house for a well earned soak in the bath. That said when I tried to get out of the bath parts of me had started to cease up and as the night went on I just got stiffer and stiffer.

All in all, a great day, even if it did turn into an accidental marathon and a lot of this run is on the coast to coast route.
Follow the link to see the whole route

So now for the summery.

Time; 06:56:05 (Taking refreshment breaks into account, the actual moving time was 06:37:29)
Distance; 26.24 miles
Elevation Gain; 3,616 ft
Calories burned; 2,981. 

A few images from the run. "Sorry about the quality as they were taken with my phone camera.

                                Top of Fremmigton Edge. The highest point on the run

                                Foot bridge over Arkle Beck

                  After the muddy section on the lower slopes of Fremmington Edge

Marrick Priory sitting in the lower slopes of Swaledale

Monday, 1 November 2010

6.15 mile trail/road run

Another hilly run with 800ft of elevation gain along trail/roads around West-Fields, Green Ln, then following the River Swale to the bailey bridge and back home via Easby abbey and Lombards Wynd. (Lombards got the better of me again). Then a nice easy flat and down hill road section back to the finish. (Time; 01:07. Pace;10:53 min/mile).
Felt great afterwards and could have done a lot more but must get some dinner and then get ready for work. Hoping to go cycle the 4.5 miles to work. and then cycle home in the dark at half past midnight. There's something that floats my boat when cycling or running at that time of night. Maybe the stillness of the night and the fact that you can hear more of the natural sounds and not cars screaming past all the time.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Richmond hill run

I have been meaning to run from the lowest point in Richmond to the highest point for some time to see how far it is and what elevation would be gained.
As it was a nice morning (sunny but cool) I decided today was going to be the day so after a few warm up exercises I ran a short warm up run down to the river Swale and from the caravan park it was strait into the first short climb out of the river car park to Reeth Rd. another short run to Green Lane, then into one of the longest climbs of the run along Green Lane. This turned out to be easier than I was expecting and I managed to go all the way at a gentle pace. Once at the top it was a short tarmac run along Westfields before once again hitting the trail and heading upwards again to Hurgill Rd. after another short run I then turned onto Aislabeck Plantation which is now an eco friendly holiday park. The hill here was the steepest on the run but not as long as Green Lane and I managed again to get to the top without walking. A short run along. After another short run along Hurgill Rd it was then onto the old race course and the highest point was just above the grandstand.

So from the lowest point at 374ft above sea level to the highest point at 883ft above sea level the distance was 1.73 miles from bottom to top. So after another 1.43miles downhill run back to the start it was all over and glad that I managed to run the whole uphill section without a walking break.
I must admit it was a struggle at times but I am now getting used to struggling and that is more win in the bag for "Kev against the hills".

Monday, 25 October 2010

2.35 mile short recovery run

Been aching for a couple of days after Fridays long run but feeling a lot better today so tried a short run to see how it would go. 
Mainly field work with a bit of tarmac and found the last climb up Mill Bank a lot easier than before so hill work still getting better. 
Tried out an old pair of Inov8 Mudroc 290s that I bought last year and had almost forgotten about and found that they seamed easier to run in than the Adidas Kanadia 2s that I normally go trail running in. I think they also encourage a mid-sole strike rather than heel strike so may take some stress off my joints and help to prevent knee problems. (Time will tell.)

Friday, 22 October 2010

28.68 mile road run

Planned a 28 mile run yesterday and set out this morning to see if I could see it through.
The first half was good but when I got to Croft things started to slow down and I had to take on a run/walk strategy but as the run went on it became more of a walk/run effort.
It was planned with plenty of escape routes so that I could come home early if things got bad but these weren't needed. Things started getting tough after Stapleton and this is when the climbing started so more and more walking needed to be done.
Up through Middleton Tyas and onto Scotch Corner where there was a friend of mine waiting for me to see if I wanted a lift. 24 miles gone and there was no way that I was going to get a lift now so it was a matter of thanks but no thanks.
By now the wind was getting up and my hands haven't been that cold for a long time but by the time I got back to Richmond my body core temperature was starting to drop and I couldn't wait to get back home to get into a hot bath. First of all, I had to get up stairs which was a struggle as by now I was aching from toe to waist. Now I am sitting here moving from time to time just to get into a more comfortable position and it looks like a few days off now to recover.

All in all, a great day as I now know I can push on when the going gets tough but I must admit I was feeling rather low by the time I got home and a few lessons have been learned.
Maybe I should not have gone off too fast at the start and maybe I should have eaten more on route but after some time on my feet I find that I loose my appetite and then things start going downhill.
In the future I think I will go back to shorter distances of say 15 miles and then start extending them
every month or so.

The details of Today’s run are as follows;

28.68 mi
Elevation Gain:
1,694 ft
3,669 C

Moving Time:
Elapsed Time:

Avg Pace:
13:11 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace:
12:58 min/mi
Best Pace:
07:53 min/mi

Checking the time at the 26.2 mile marathon distance it was 5hrs 29min.
Not a fast time by all means but as this was the first time I have gone this distance, it gives me something to work on in the future.

A map of the route can be found on my daily mile page here;

Monday, 18 October 2010

9.88 mile Trail/Road run

This run set off as a short couple of miles to shake off the aching legs from yesterdays hard 10k race.
Well after I got to the top of Westfields I thought I would just run to Whitcliffe Wood and when I got there I thought I would just go a bit further to Applegarth and when I got there I thought I would just run to Marske. (Can you see a script for a film here). Oh sorry, that's already been done.
Anyway, when I got to Marske I thought I'd better go home so the whole run turned into nearly 10 miles. A good start for the beginning of the week and maybe I can fit a longer run in on Friday as that is my day off work.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Richmond Castle 10k

Great race considering I was partying until 2:00 am and had far too much to drink before a race.
(Hydration strategy, what's that?)
Just glad I'd been training around that route and knew exactly what the hills were like. That second Sandbeck climb was a killer but I wouldn't let it beat me and managed to get to the top without walking. I put that down to other competitors being around and having some company to talk to and taking my mind off the hard work. There was plenty of support from the spectators on the approach to Richmond Castle and that kept me going on the final climb into Richmond town centre.

My goal was to do it in an hour and My watch said 59min 59sec but the official result from UK results was 01:00:02. (Can't get much closer than that).

I was 374th out of 452 finishers, 279th out of 305 male runners and 18th out of 20 in the M55 category.

This is my local run so must make a point of doing it again next year!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Barefoot running

I'm back. After a couple of injuries, work commitments and a trip to London last weekend, I am now back into full swing with an 11.75 mile run today.
This was a road run with a difference as 2 miles were run barefoot across the moor road between Downholme and Hudswell. Why I can hear you say? It all started after reading a book called Born to Run about the Tarahumara Indians who live in the Copper Canyons in Mexico. I decided I had to try it just once and thought that I would run at least 200 yards before giving up if I didn't like it. Well, 2 miles later it was time to put me shoes back on before coming back into civilisation at Hudswell. (Just imagine peoples faces when they see someone running down the street with his trainers on his hands. “White coats and padded cells come to mind”). All I can say is was weird but exciting at the same time and I might do it again sometime but with the onset of a North England winter just around the corner it may not happen again until next year.
Anyway, lets get back to the run itself which was done in a time of 1hr: 48min with an average moving pace of 9.55 mi/mile with an elavation gain of 1,252ft. Total calories burned were: 1,520.
All in all, a great run and nice to be back.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Paras 10 Race Report

The day started at 7:00 am. What? I didn't know Sunday had a 7 am in it.
Arrived at Catterick just after 8:00 and after parking the car it was approximately ¼ mile walk with bag to the event field and after getting the bag weighed it turned out I was carrying 40lb instead of 35lb. I was given the option to take some out but the clips were cable tied and I didn't want to go all the way back to the car so decided to run with the 40lb.
There was time to chill out before the off so I went off looking for a couple of people had made contact with on the Runners World forum. Finding one of them and getting into a conversation helped to pass the time away and we finally got under way about 10:15.

The race started with an easy run off the field but it wasn't long before we were climbing a long easy ascent which seamed like a couple of miles and at times we were able to see this long camouflaged snake stretching out in front. Then at mile 3 there was a nice run down Tank hill and passed 3 tanks that had definitely seen better days. At mile 4 we came to the first water station which was a bit of a let down as there was a queue and I must have lost a couple of minutes there. Then it was another nice easy run to Fish pond lake at mile 5 which once round it it was possible to see the tail end of the snake running along the other bank which was a bit of a morale booster to say the least. Now we were on the way home. (But then, the army don't do things the easy way do they?).
Along came a couple of hills with names like "Lick out hill" around mile 6 and 4 posters had been erected with the message,
On the 8th day... God created the Paras... and the Devil... stood to attention!
I'm sure that thought helped a lot of people up the hill as it was the steepest so far.
Now another nice easy run on the flat before the second water station at mile 8 , and another Queue so I decide to pass on that one and concentrated on getting to the finish line.
It wasn't long before the one hill that had been bugging me came into view. “Land of Nod” or "the wall" as it has been called in the past. This is a near vertical climb and I could imagine would take a lot of effort even without the boots and bergen. Anyway, it wasn't as bad as it looked and I was at the top in about 4-5 minutes.
And then it was onto the water features. (Don't remind me). I got through the first shallow one ok but approaching the second I saw the photographer on the left hand side so made straight for him as I was after a couple of good reminders of the day. Three strides in and that was it, my right foot found a hole and just kept going down until I was flat out and with a little bit of cramp creeping in I was unable to get back up until another runner grabbed my arm and lifted me up. (Thanks pal). The photographer said he managed to get a good one of that incident so it looks like I might have a new wallpaper on my laptop for the next 12 months. On runs like these I normally come away with an injury of some sort and this incident was no different. One broken finger nail that happened to draw blood. (Please don't tell the Paras).
Safely through the next water feature and on to the last major climb up Pussy Hill. No problems there so a relatively easy run to the finish line which meant I was home and, (I was going to say dry but I can't). there was crowds on both sides of the approach to the finish line but by this time I was oblivious to what anyone was shouting and was just making one last dash for the finish.

Now for the figures;
Job done in 2:13:39.
Elevation gain during the run was 1,101 ft
Average pace was 4.2 mph
Max speed was 8.1 (Bet that was a down hill section).

All in all, it was a great day out and will I do it again next year? Why not, at least it passes a Sunday
morning away and keeps me off the booze the night before.

Have I got other challenges lined up? WHATCH THIS SPACE!!

To prepare myself for this run I have run a ½ marathon, a 10k trail race, walked 22 and 29 mile off-road events as well as months of training on the local moors with boots and bergen which all ads up to around 450 miles of foot work.

I would now like to take this opportunity to thank my family, friends and work colleagues for all there support and for the donations which will be shared equally between Help 4 Heroes and the Airborne Forces Security Fund.
The total of which is: £147:00

And finally I would like to thank Kirsty at for her help and advice in buying the right pare of insoles for my boots which gave me no problems what so ever. No blisters, no aching knees and no back ache.
I would also like to thank you and Andy for your donations.


Monday, 30 August 2010

Spofforth 10k trail race

Spofforth was my first ever 10k race and what a day that was.
I was very nervous this morning and not sure whether I wanted to go through with it but then thought what the hell I have nothing better to do.
Got to Spofforth about 12 noon and went strait to the village hall to get my number and then had a cup of coffee from the other side of the hall. It was great that I had some company today as Mrs T came along as did my son Sam, his wife Emma and the two Grandchildren, Mya and Macenzie.
We wandered around the Gala while waiting for the race to start at 1:30 and for me that couldn't have come round soon enough.
Once we were called to the start all the nerves disappeared and I was now focused on getting round and getting it over with.
After the hooter went we ran up a small gradient before levelling out and leaving the tarmac for run on a combination of farm tracks, fields and short sections of tarmac.
I was going at a faster pace than expected and at one stage I was running up hill at an Avg of 6.8 mph and thought that I might burn out before getting back to the finish.
As the kilometres past by my pace was starting to slow and at one stage it was down to Avg 6.2 mph. That was still ok as I was sure it would still get me a 1 hr finish. There was more hills than I had expected but nothing too challenging so I was surprised when I realised that I was going to run this all the way and not have to walk any of it.
The last couple of kilometres saw a large improvement in pace as I could now here the PA system somewhere in the distance and that was rather encouraging to say the least. I was now even catching
a group of runners in the distance and with one last push on entering the village I managed to catch one up and we were having a chat as we approached the field. As the finish line was on the top of a short incline we both decided to give the crowd something to shout about and we both made a sprint
for the line with him just pipping me at the post but it just to goes to show that when you think you have nothing left, you can always pull something out of the bag.
With that last push giving me an Avg 6.3 mph I was able to come in in 1:00:22 and the last sprint to the finish was run at a 4.41 min/mile.

The day itself couldn't have been better, with a cloudy sky but no rain which meant a good turn out for the Gala itself and I must say that I am already looking forward to next years event so that I can try and get my time down to under an hour.

Anyone new to running that is reading this report just take into account that I only started running in February this year and I have managed a ½ marathon in 2hrs 40min and now a 10k in 1hr and at the
age of 57 there is still hope for everyone out there.
The reason I started running in the first place was to get fit and not to compete in any way but I just seem to have caught up in it all and things have escalated beyond what I set out to do.
That is not a bad thing though as I have got fitter and lost some weight at the same time.

If your not a runner, then why not?
Believe me it will change your life for ever. Go get a decent pair of running shoes and give it a go.


Friday, 16 July 2010

10 mile run in boots & 35lb bergen

Today was going to be the day.
 No matter what the weather might be doing, I was going to run 10 miles in army boots and 35lb bergen. (2 ½ stone of dead weight to be carried around the local moors for 10 whole miles).
Two cups of tea, one coffee and a bowl of porridge and it was time to head for Grinton moor in the Yorkshire Dales.
After reaching the starting point it was just a matter of swapping footwear, making sure everything in the bergen was secure, downing one SIS power bar and half a bottle of Lucozade sport and then I was off, heading west and straight into a climb that lasted for the first half of the run with only a few short down hill sections to recover from the constant climbing.
Once out on the top of the moor I was met with very high head winds, with occasional gusts and the odd shower.
At around 3.5 miles the trail started to swing south and then east at just over 4 miles so that the wind was in now my favour and oh boy, was that a relief. The trail itself levelled out and now it was possible to make up some time but trying not to overdo it. The last thing I wanted was to run out of steam with a couple of miles still to go.
This was the route I ran three weeks ago when I had my fall so I was rather cautious when approaching a certain area. Nothing happened, but during the course of the run I did happen to trip a couple of times and even had a couple of wobbly ankle situations but managed to stay on my feet on all occasions. (This time).
Now I was heading towards Dents Houses at just over 6.5 miles and now I had to use all my will power to get past here without stopping for a break.
I would just like to say that I have walked this section many times and always, and I mean always stopped here for refreshments. Sitting by the stream in the shadow of these old houses, listening to the stream ambling by and the sound of the birds and the local sheep bleating is music to anyone's ears. You can't come along this section of the trail without stopping, but today was different. Today I was being timed and to pass Dents Houses was like passing a loved one in the street and not even saying hello. (That is not 100 percent. That is 110 percent commitment).
That's enough of the sentiment, now it's back to the run.
At Dents Houses there are two choices. I can turn left and head back to the car but that might not get my full 10 miles in, or I can carry on forward, hit the main tarmac road, head up another hill and
find the car again just before Grinton.
Digging deep, I now push on along the longer route with the soles of my feet now starting to get hot
and a bergen that keeps wanting to find a lower position on my back. (I think this is due to too much weight and the retaining straps can't cope with it). I have a couple of proper army bergens and may try one of these next time as they have wider straps that are more padded.
The next land mark is the tarmac road at just under 8 miles and this is a relief as I could now turn north and one last push up the hill and a run down the other side will see me back at the car.
On the way down I was keeping an eye on Garmin because I wanted to know when I had got to 10 miles so that I could check the time. “Great news”. I had covered 10 miles in 2hrs 33min. Paras 10 has a cut off time of 3hrs and from what I am lead to believe, the Paras course is less demanding than this one.
Another ¼ mile and it was all over. It was good to know that I could do the distance with that weight, and well within the given time.
Paras 10 in September should not be as daunting as I once thought and now that I have a time , I may be able to improve on that in the weeks leading up to the event.

Follow this this to see the full details of the run.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Paras 10

After completing The Great Shunner Challenge I am now in training for Paras 10.
This is a challenge set up by the Parachute Regiment and is run on the 10 mile P company cross country route at Catterick.
The challenge is to run the distance within 3 hours wearing army boots and 35lb bergen. (Para candidates only get 1hr 50 min to complete the same distance or fail the test). This weight excludes the food and water that I will be carrying. The bergen will be weighed before and after the race by race officials.
I went out yesterday wearing boots and full bergen and did some hill training covering 3.55 miles in 50 minutes. I found that the best way to tackle this challenge is to walk up the hills and jog on the flat and down the hill sections. I may be able to run a little faster by the 12th of September when this event takes place but I think running too fast down hill with this much weight could turn into a disaster.
I managed to find a pair of Sidas 3D insoles for my boots. (Not cheap). These have a gel heel pad and built up arch area for extra support. They work well when running and the support is excellent on rough terrain.
All I have to do now is get as much hill training in between now and September, hopefully putting longer mileages in at the weekends out on the local moors.

Watch this blog for more updates on my training regime.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

The Great Shunner Challenge

Looking up Swinner Gill towards the old lead mines.

I know this blog is about running but this walk was arranged before I started running seriously and anyway, I like to slow the pace down now and again and get my breath back.

The Great Shunner Challenge is a walk of 29 miles with over 4500ft of ascent which myself and some friends from work decided to do to try and make some money for Help 4 Heroes
To find out more about our challenge and the people that took part please visit our Just Giving website.
You can also see how much has been promised in donation up to now.

A great day was had by all but sadly John couldn't make it due to an injured knee but he was good enough to take the rest of us to Askrigg and pick us up again after a couple of post event drinks in the Crown Hotel.
We got off to a wet and windy start and that weather set the theme for most of the day.
After leaving Askrigg at 7.30 am, we made our way on relatively flat terrain to Hardraw.
After leaving Hardraw, we climbed our way to the top of Great Shunner Fell passing a group of young Pennine Way walkers on the way. The summit was shrouded in cloud and the rain and wind made it too cold to hang around so we made our way down to Thwaite where we refreshed ourselves with drinks and food before starting a hard climb around Kisden and on to Kisden Force.
By this time the rain had made it's way into everything but spirits were still high and before long we were heading towards Swinner Gill. Swinner Gill was quite demanding with narrow footpaths which were wet and muddy and at one stage the path was no more than the width of our boots.
The top of Swinner Gill was a welcome sight and now it was a nice easy downhill walk past Gunnerside Gill, through Botcher Gill Gate and finally reaching Ivelet Bridge.
While here we all ate power bars or squeezed in a couple of power gels to help carry us to the summit of Oxnop Common. This was a hard climb which we all did at our own pace. Some of us just getting stuck in and trying to get it over with and others taking it easy and trying to look after aching limbs and blisters but in the end we all met at the beacon at the top of Oxnop Common and had an easy walk back towards Askrig.
The sting in the tail was a one mile walk down an approximately 1 in 4 hill  to Askrigg which played havoc with our knees.
10hrs and 27min later we were back in Askrigg and after a photo shoot in the village centre where we started we head off for a couple of well earned drinks while we waited for John to come back for us.

Check out our Garmin page to see the route we took. Take a look in satellite view to get a good idea of the terrain. 

If anyone still wants to donate there is still time and you can visit our just giving page at

Dave & Patrick following the Pennine Way at Kisden.
Kevin at Oxnop Beacon

Patrick & Matthew approaching the summit of Oxnop Common.
The village of Thwaite with Shunner Fell covered in cloud in the background.

Job done Guys. Now, where's the nearest boozer???


Sunday, 4 July 2010

First post

I know this blog is supposed to be about my running exploits, but at this moment in time I am recovering from an injury after a fall last Saturday while out running on the local moors.
This is how I recorded it on my Fetch Everyone blog!

As my longest run to date was 13.13 miles I thought yesterday would be the day to try and extend that.
So starting from a car park near Grinton Lodge, I made my way slowly upwards to John Mosse's Chair on Grinton moor and then on to High Harker Hill. Now on a well defined gravel track which was used by the lead miners many years ago I followed it across Whitaside moor and then headed towards Dents Houses. Somewhere around the Apedale Head area, I must have kicked a small stone of some sorts, stumbled and fell onto my right side and slid down the track. Plenty of gravel rash to leg, elbow and shoulder, but the worst thing to happen was that my elbow got tucked in under my ribs and knocked the wind out of me for a while.
Five minutes later after dusting myself down and getting my breath back I was off again but it soon became apparent that there was a problem with the ribs as running was a lot more uncomfortable than walking. Thinking about what to do was playing on my mind. Should I start walking back to the car or should I carry on and try and do what I set out to do. So putting up with the discomfort I decided to carry on.
Another mile saw me at Dents Houses and a short break for drinks and a re-think. Deciding to run on through the pain I then headed for Cobster Mill (an old lead mining area situated north east of Redmire quary) and the headed back over the moor towards Grinton. After loosing the trail for a while I had to make my way over rough ground including knee high heather which is a bit of a novelty when wearing shorts.
Eventually I came across a track that lead to Grinton Smelting Mill (another old lead mining area) and made my way to the main Reeth to Leyburn road. Now it was just a matter of running another ½ mile or so down hill and back to the car. On approaching Grinton Lodge, I don't know what happened but the next thing I new I was sliding down the road on the same side as my earlier fall. This was more embarrassing as there was a car following me down the road so I just got up again started running and waved at the occupants to let them know I was ok. (Accident prone or what).
The icing on the cake was that I managed 14.14 miles. A mile more than I had ever done before.
The rest of the day I was walking around in agony telling myself that I had probably just bruised my ribs. Then waking up this morning, I couldn't get out of bed and it took a good ½ hour to finally find a position where I was able to stand up.
A trip to Northallerton A&E and an x-ray later confirmed nothing wrong and that it was probably just bruising. As I write this blog I am still in agony when I try to stand up from the chair.

This story just goes to show how dangerous it can be while running in the wilderness as there was a lot of times when there was no phone signal and that fall could have been a lot worse had I broken a leg or even broke my ribs and not been able to get out of there.
Will I do it again on my own? Yes, of course I will. I love my own company too much and that's why I run the trails and not the streets.