Monday, 9 December 2019
Sunday, 9 December 2018
I’ve taken part in this very jolly event a couple of times before.
In 2014, with Alastair, both of us injured, and I wore my cumbersome Christmas tree outfit in stormy weather. It took us 56.35 for the 10 km. Report here.
Last year, 2017, I returned with Sue, who was in good form prior to her current Achilles troubles. I was injured (usually am at this time of year!) and we ran more or less together in 57.12 and 57.43 respectively. Report here – Sue did well to come second in her age category.
Today was ideal weather for running – a lovely cool morning. Sue was envious of Alastair, Andrew and me. She didn’t enter this year because of her Achilles problem, but that has eased recently and she would have been able to run round the muddy course with Alastair and his son Andrew, who was doing his first 10 km run.
While Sue went off on a short hike, the three of us pictured above set off near the back of the 1500 strong field. It was slow going due to congestion on the narrow, muddy paths. Just as well, it’s good to start slowly, especially if like me you don’t do any warm-up exercises. Maybe that’s why I’m often injured at this time of year! But I’m fine at present and enjoyed jogging around the course at a fairly gentle pace, albeit slowly overhauling hundreds of folk who had set off ahead of us.
It was a great, relaxed, atmosphere. I spent the last few km chatting to a guy who is training for his first marathon, in London next year. He thought he may be foolish to do that at the age of 51. Running together, we both sped to the finish. As is my habit on these longer runs, the last km was my fastest, partly thanks to a rare stretch of tarmac. It’s nice to have a bit in hand…
54.18 was my chip time – third out of 20 entrants in my age category. I’m very happy with that. Full results are here.
I collected another medal and pottered back to the finishing line to cheer in Alastair and Andrew. Can you spot them here?
Seven seconds later….
…and it’s a final dash for the line, two seconds later. But like me, as we passed through the start a couple of minutes after the gun, their chip times were much lower than their race times – they actually took a very respectable 1.01.55. Well done, Andrew.
Goodies and t-shirts were collected and we slowly made our way home. We failed, sadly, to spot any familiar parkrunners, though Jan must have been nearby as he finished just a couple of minutes ahead of me.
A well organised and most pleasurable local event. Here’s the route.
Here’s an image from the photographer at the finish:
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
The reason for yesterday’s leisurely parkrun was that Sue and I were entered for the Tatton Yule Yomp, a 10 km cross country race around Tatton Park. I did it in , dressed as a Christmas tree and (as this year) carrying an injury. With a dubious weather forecast I just couldn’t face lumbering round with the tree this time, so a Santa’s jacket would have to do by way of fancy dress, for which this event is notorious.
Having parked at Sarah’s house (thanks Sarah) we strolled to the start at the park entrance and took a ‘selfie’, which Tony ‘bombed’. He was duly given the job of taking a proper photo (above), a version of which will stare from our 2018 calendar next December.
After warming up at the head of the field, we made our way to the back of the 1165 runners for the start. This ploy worked well for me a few weeks ago at the Birmingham Marathon. So once the gun went, we took a couple of minutes to reach the archway where our timing chips were activated.
The first kilometre was very slow due to congestion, allowing us to warm up gently, gradually increasing our speed and steadily moving through the field during the course of the event. We stayed together until a steep downhill section at around 5 km, where my Salomon Speedcross 4 shoes gave me much better grip than Sue’s old trainers. Anyway that made me a target for her to aim at, and despite me speeding up at the end of the event, Sue finished only a few seconds behind me.
It was a cool day, and despite the very jolly atmosphere we didn’t spot anyone we knew, so after a couple of photos at the finish, we adjourned to collect our ‘goodie bags’, which were stuffed with products from Roberts Bakery – who sponsor this race.
Here’s the nifty medal we got at the finish.
And here are a couple of low resolution photos from the Tatton Yule Yomp website, taken during the race.
Here’s the route, should anyone care to repeat it. My Garmin gadget recorded just over 10 km, with over 50 metres ascent.
You may need to click on the following image for a larger version to see how we got on. Both of us are carrying injuries, and we started very slowly, so the time was even slower than my 2014 time of 56.35. I was quite happy to come 4th out of 15 in my age category, and Sue finished 4th in her age group, but based on chip times she actually came 2nd out of 75 in that category. So all the parkruns she has been walking must have paid off, and her Achilles survived without further damage thanks to the leisurely pace on the soft ground.
Everything you might want to know about this event is . It’s a lovely route through the park, and great fun if you like slithery mud, water splashes, and other features of cross country running. It reminded me of being at school! And it didn’t rain much this year.
Sunday, 14 June 2015
This was a stroll at the behest of JJ, at short notice, taking advantage of the last of our summery weather for a few days.
JJ called for me around 7.30 and we were on our way from Bankhall Lane in Hale by 8 o’clock. A broad path led to a footbridge over the M60 motorway.
Various brooks drain into the River Bollin. This is Mobberley Brook, crossed twice today.
Whilst JJ disappeared with a shovel, I tried to use the Canon G16’s macro facility, failing spectacularly apart from this image of a bramble flower.
I now have some instructions from Sue, so hopefully the next outing will yield better results.
Spring has matured into summer, as indicated by the uniform green of trees such as these lining the northern driveway leading to Tatton Hall. The screeching swifts that live under our eaves, and the lonesome lady mandarin on the nearby canal are also a sure sign of summer.
DoE Award camp? We didn’t find it!
A convenient bench allowed JJ to show off his latest award.
There was lots of cake. It all got eaten.
We continued our stroll along the eastern bank of Tatton Mere.
Here’s the team, on a lovely morning.
The Canada Geese have enjoyed their usual breeding successes.
We entered Knutsford by the back door and knocked up the first house we came to. The residents were munching their muesli whilst wiping the sleep from their eyes, but mugs of coffee were produced and JJ and I were treated like family for half an hour.
Thanks, Linda and Brian, for your unexpected (you, me but not JJ) hospitality.
We returned by a more easterly route through fields of buttercups, a riding school, and crops through which the farmers hadn’t really left much space for a footpath.
Mobberley Brook was again crossed by a rickety footbridge.
Field paths led us past the impressive building of Arden House. I tried to find out who owns it, but could only discover that in recent years the six bedroomed mansion has been offered for rent at about £5000 per month.
We were back in time for a welcome pint at the Moss Trooper before returning home for our lunches and other duties.
Here’s our four and a half hour route - 19 km with 190 metres ascent.
A splendid morning. Thanks, JJ.
Saturday, 29 November 2014
This is my running kit for next Sunday’s 10 km (6 mile) exertions with over 1000 other competitors around Tatton Park. The flashing lights don’t show up very well on the photo. It’ll be hot under there.
I haven’t run for some time due to a ‘reluctant’ knee, so I may not go very fast. I will be doing it though, as I’m using the occasion to raise a bit of money for a township school in Cape Town, the Levana School Partnership.
I’m not after a lot of money, so if you can afford up to a fiver, I’d appreciate the donation, either in cash when I see you, or directly to my JustGiving page.
Thanks in anticipation.
Meanwhile, I was marshalling (well, processing barcodes) again for today’s Parkrun at Wythenshawe. Here’' are a few of the 179 participants near the start. Note the two ‘fairies’!
There’s an album of 36 photos here, for anyone who may be interested.
Wednesday, 6 August 2014
Well, it doesn’t seem like ten days since we landed back at our pristine house that is now strewn with various ‘trip’ debris.
We are often away at this time of year, so the shorts and t-shirt regime whilst at home is very pleasant. It was also nice to say hello to our screeching swifts before they flew off to Africa. Judging by the amount of poo below their nest (on our front doorstep), they seem to have successfully raised another family. Good luck to them on their travels.
We have missed our usual activities – walks, rides, jogging… beside the Bridgewater Canal, having arrived home to find the towpath closed for the two mile stretch between Brooklands and Altrincham. The path is being resurfaced, presumably as part of the Bridgewater Way project, though the Bridgewater Way website hasn’t been updated recently and the ‘Towpath Closed’ signs are singularly uninformative. Hopefully we’ll be able to use the path this coming winter without the need for wellies!
A ride with JJ to Wilmslow for a night of excitement at the Boddington Arms with the Backpackers Club saw us diverted from our usual route by a road closed for bridge demolition (see below), but we found a way round that and enjoyed a pleasant evening amongst throngs of backpackers, albeit most of them non-members.
A visit to Old Trafford cricket ground saw me almost single-handedly applauding Lancashire to victory over Glamorgan by one run in a 20-20 match that should have taken about three hours to complete but because of showery weather took almost two days – perhaps that’s why the stadium was nearly empty, most people having gone home. (My visit was brief – a short tram ride after I heard the match was due to start ‘in a few minutes’, so I got there just in time.)
A trip to Tatton Park was well timed to avoid traffic chaos due to the demolition of the motorway bridge referred to above (taking with it our ‘back route’ to the airport), and got us to Etruria in plenty of time for a ‘taste of the Mediterranean’ and an afternoon with the Silvermoon Quartet.
To work up an appetite, Sue and I took a stroll around the perimeter of Tatton Park, where the young stags near the beech avenue were contentedly munching in the shade, building up energy for the sparring to come.
Our route led us into a VW car show. Some were in better condition than others.
The show was crowded. We’d wandered inadvertently into it without realising people were actually paying to see all the wrecked camper vans etc. We declined the offer to have our hands stamped so that we could re-enter for free, and headed on past a herd of fallow deer and a large area of devastation where the flower show had recently been held. I’m sure it’ll recover quickly.
On the Mere, a large party of scouts was enjoying messing about in boats, the tranquil scene being hampered only by a strong breeze.
(The scouts hadn’t drowned – they were just out of shot due to the sun direction.)
The ‘perimeter route’ brought us out neatly at Etruria, for a very pleasant afternoon of food and jazz with Richard and Jenny and Jaqui, and of course Hayley and Mike and the rest of the Silvermoon gang. It was nice to encounter drummer Mark and his twins, and his dad Paul, who has been so helpful to Mike over the years. Mike and Mark have a rock band, Kill for Company – guitar and drums only – that generates some interesting sounds – good luck to them.
The route we took around Tatton Park is shown below, starting from the P&D car park in Knutsford (free on a Sunday but you need to arrive by 11 – 11.30). From the south entrance it follows a new fence by the beech avenue along which walking is now being discouraged. WW2 tank training took place here, some of the bridges for which are still intact. A series of information boards leads to the back of the main car park, and on past the fleshpots of the Hall – refreshments available – then you continue on around the perimeter, past the Old Hall and along the east bank of the Mere. After exiting the Park you can enter Knutsford via a railway bridge, or take a thin (maybe muddy in wet weather) path to the right of the railway.
It’s about 10 km (6 miles) with very little ascent – about a two hour stroll. A very pleasant way to spend a relatively lazy Sunday morning.
It has been good to catch up with the Adlington quizzers at the Spinners on Tuesday nights, though I have to admit I can be something of a liability to the team, who are continuing to enjoy some beer vouchers won in my absence. Still, we did come near to the top last night, thanks to John and Bev being on good form and Lyn having returned from the Commonwealth Games with all the sporting answers and long tales of her encounters with an assortment of athletes and royalty. If only Stuart knew a bit more about music….
Monday, 16 June 2014
Hello, this is Jacob. I don’t think I have a Google account so I asked Granddad if he would write this report for me.
On Saturday Mummy and Daddy took me to Timperley, where Granddad found some old clockwork train sets. We found the keys to wind up the engines and put the track together. It was great fun watching the trains whizz around their tracks. Sometimes there were crashes.
The box for the set with the big green engine still had its price label - £2, 14 shillings and 7 pence. I have more money than that in my wallet, so I thought that sounded very cheap. Granddad told me that sixty years ago it was a lot of money. He said that in those days you could buy a house for a few hundred pounds, and a motor car cost almost as much as a house. Not many people had televisions, which were very small, with black and white screens. Granddad showed me an old payslip – in 1968 he earned just over £12 for 40 hours’ work.
After playing with the trains, and with some newer (but still very old) Lego and Brio, I made some Jumbles biscuits for Daddy. It was Father’s Day, you know.
My hand got burnt taking the biscuits out of the oven, so I went out into the rain to cool it off. Granddad had put a tent up. He told me it was quite new, only about twenty five years old. That seems quite old to me!
There was a duck pond in the garden that I tried hard to keep full of water with Fruitshoots recycled through my body.
Where am I?
Gotcha – I was in the tent. It was very cosy inside. I pretended to be a lion. I know there are no lions in Timperley, nothing to be afraid of, because the mouse in Grandma and Granddad’s garden has frightened all the lions away.
Then we made some sandwiches and went to Tatton Park for lunch. I didn’t eat my sandwiches, but I did enjoy a massive banana that filled my tummy. It fitted very neatly above all the biscuits.
There was a children’s playground next to the picnic bench.
Somebody glued my bottom to the slide.
At Tatton we went to a farm. It wasn’t far away – I went on my bike. There were chicks and piglets and lambs and goats and reindeer and lots of other animals. I fell over and grazed my knees. I found a room full of tractors and a fire engine. I tried driving them all.
That made me very tired, and my knees hurt, so Grandma took me on a journey.
We washed my knees and found a giant plaster and some more places to play. Then I cycled back to the children’s playground. I can ride a bike properly now. I am three, you know.
My final treat of the day was a ride in my hero, Lightning Mcqueen. We won the race, of course, with some very clever swervy driving.
Then Grandma took me home. I think Granddad had to stay in Timperley to cook tea for Grandma and Uncle Mike.
Grandma took a few video films – here they are if you are interested.