Monday, 9 December 2019
Monday, 23 September 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.
Monday, 8 December 2014
Two runs dominated the weekend’s attempts to get some exercise.
First, the weekly Parkrun at Wythenshawe, where we assembled on Saturday morning rather chillily but in bright sunshine. Here’s Richard with his team.
After singing Happy Birthday to eighty year old John Dawson, the runners set off after Andy Holloway, pictured in red on the right-hand side, had asserted “this is not a race”.
Poor Paul Barber found himself all alone near the finish. A creditable tenth in the “not a race” that had been led home by Mr Holloway in a shade under 19 minutes, Paul just failed to lap yours truly, who came in at the back of the field in a little over 42 minutes.
The 42 minute 5 km Parkrun (well – ‘Parkfastwalk’) had been my first attempt at ‘running’ for five weeks due to a poorly knee, but that would have to do as ‘training’ for the Tatton Yule Yomp as I was doing that 10 km race for charity.
We spent a few minutes with Colin and Helen, with whom I’m pictured above, then we observed a large group of folk emerge from a mobile bar (aka a Haytons Executive Bus). The Prosecco fuelled group then morphed into the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’.
Chorlton Runners clearly take this 10 km race seriously…
Others set off with objectives to win…
… or merely to get round the muddy course.
“What’s going on, boys – better get out of here before they rope us in!”
Sue, who took these pictures, didn’t venture into the mud that occupied four fifths of the course. It had started raining half way through the above video, and it continued to do so. My costume was very wet and clingy, with the foliage gradually assuming the hue of a tree trunk; the frilly bits kept getting stuck to the smooth soles of my feet, which made the sections up and down muddy slopes and over tree roots quite interesting.
I was encouraged on by Alastair, who like me is injured. By the time we reached the point shown below we were wet and cold but my knee and Alastair’s foot seemed by some miracle to have stood up to the punishment.
So we continued on, to finish in 56 minutes 35 seconds, about 400th out of nearly 1100 starters. Thanks really do go to Alastair for keeping us going at a fair pace under the circumstances. I’m told I was the first tree to finish, and I had successfully avoided all the baying dogs with their bladders poised for discharge. My lights were still working – something of a surprise, that.
The penguins came in a few minutes later.
Even the snowman made it without completely melting, though his soggy nose was rather droopy.
Great fun was had by all (I think), and thanks to the car’s heater on the way home we just about managed to avoid hypothermia (it was close, though).
Here’s the route, should anyone wish to go round it and explore the mud.
There’s a slideshow here, and the Wythenshawe photos have been posted to their Flickr site, or is it here, and if you haven’t supported my charity and would like to contribute (I’m still trying to reach a £400 target) my JustGiving page is here.