Sponsors for the 2017 Series:

Calderdale Hike 2017

First a photo from Nick:

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The Calderdale Hike results are here.  I’ve added them in to the Runfurther leaderboard already, and you can find that here.  Let me know if you spot any problems with it – I’ve already had to change it twice!  I’ll be updating it again once the Lakes 42 results are out, but as I’m away for a week from Monday 10 April, if I haven’t got the results by the end of Sunday you’ll have to wait for the Runfurther update.  Nick has posted his race report and his photos  and you can find them here and here  respectively.  I’m still not running so I wasn’t at the Hike.  Karen’s posted her blog though, and I’ve repeated it here.  The photos in Karen’s report are Karen’s, the others are Nick’s, including this cheeky one:

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Kevin Hoult was first home in 5:04, with Ian Symington four minutes behind him.  There was then a long wait for John Bottomley who finished in 5:47.  First woman was Nicky Spinks, 9th overall in 6:27, with Karen Nash 19th in 7:14 and Carol Morgan 24th in 7:45.  Early days yet, but last year’s overall winners Kevin Hoult and Karen Nash are leaders at the moment.

Just got this done in time before the next race…

Karen’s race report

This race might be unique? Every three years the route changes. This adds some navigational challenge and for those of us living close enough it also gives some wonderful opportunities for scouring maps, searching out best routes and then putting them to the test. providing you arrive at each CP and stick to legal rights of way then the route is your choice. This has provided hours of fun.
In some ways the event is like a LDWA event with walkers, long cut offs and masses of food (especially at the end).

An easy place for flags, banners etc

We arrived the evening before as usual to be ready very early to put up flags, banners etc for the first walkers registering at 6am. The long runners were not due off until 9am so this gave me lots of time for breakfast, chats and general faffing. The forecast was mixed with the possibility of some heavy showers. I had woken with an upset stomach but felt fine now. I knew where I was going; I thought. Then after a chat with Kevin I found there was an alternative route between CP1 and CP2. I now know there was an alternative between the last two CPs too. April is going to be busy but I wasn’t worried and was happy to race. It started well and the ‘new’ section from Kevin was good and runnable but as it was further and had a bit of climb I made myself run hard to get the benefit. Before CP 3 at Ryeburn Reservoir I knew it was too fast for me and I would not sustain 6mph. I did not run hard on Blackwood Edge and should have been able to go faster here. I promised myself that once I cut down to the goyt I would try harder. I opted for the main road and M62 junction next and although this isn’t very pleasant it did gain me several places. Turning back north from Windy Hill the promised rain arrived. I tried to pretend it wasn’t much but by the time I had crossed the M62 footbridge it was quite heavy. Time to stop and put a cag on. I cut up to the south end of Blackstone Edge and then dropped down to the ‘drain’. This saves some climb and is a nice flat running path unlike the rocks, mud and jumble along the top. Again I gained time and places on the way to the CP at The White House. Trail shoes were good on the lanes and rough tracks but they made me a bit cautious on the mud. The next bit is confusing if you have not run it before and one fence makes it look impossible. I met Carol and friend at the mill and showed them the way by the side of the fence and down to Sladen Fold. I had already decided that this year I would not visit the wind turbines (although the new road is now quite good) and instead I was sticking to the canal and heading north. I wasn’t running fast but three guys on the road running parallel to me spurred me on. As I turned up Ramsden Wood Road I lost sight of them until I emerged from the short steep woods and could see them heading up the valley. My route was now all on track and lane. I would have liked to have run  it faster but I plodded on and reached the CP before the team of three. Then heading up to Trough Edge End I spotted Bob up ahead almost on the skyline. This gave me another reason to push harder. I caught him before the Limers Gate track and we had a brief chat. My right glute, hip and quad were now suffering from the pace but at least this section was easy running. The team of three and I arrived at the Slate Pit Hill CP together. I grabbed food and walked on. They got ahead in the muddy mountain bike area but we climbed from Cornholme to Mount Cross together. The rain had now cleared for good so cags were stowed. They then powered off and I hit a low point. Oh dear, only 25 miles in and I was struggling. I watched them pull ahead and pottered on to Cross Stones and the golf course. I was now alone and found it hard to make myself run harder. I was eating plenty I thought but just couldn’t do better. It was a slow flog up to the church at Lumbutts where I filled my water bottle and had a sandwich. At Mankinholes I realised that my right foot was becoming and issue. Sitting in the middle of a muddy path and taking off my dry sock got some funny looks from passing walkers. Fortunately nobody was around when massaging my foot in the belief it would help brought on massive cramps in my toes and arch! Along London Road (a big track) I was able to pick off walkers from the shorter route and this gave me mini targets to aim for. Plus my foot recovered now it had a bit more room in the shoe. After Errington Grange only about 5 miles remains but there is a big valley in the way. I set off for Hoo Hole and the road to Cragg Vale.

The winners strava not mine- same til the end, just slower

This is where, I later found out, the leading men dropped to better running. I was totally alone as I climbed steeply to Nab End quarries and the last CP. I forced a gel down, ignored the fact that two years ago I had finished by now and made a determined effort to run (albeit slowly) all the way to the finish. With just a minor altercation with a bus on a narrow lane I was back in Sowerby and soon passing the church and heading up the path to the cricket club door.

Thanks to our sponsors

7hrs 14 was a PW for this route and for all 9 runs I had done here but I was surprisingly still second lady. Nicky was an hour or so ahead of me. Chris  had been back long enough to get clean, change and put a Runfurther postcard on every car in the car park. Kevin had won in 5hrs 10 with Ian not far behind in second.

Nick and Nigel chatting in the late afternoon sun

No results up yet but Nick, Bob and Dick all finished OK.

I might add more photos from Nick later

Next year of course it will all change again; in fact rumour has it that there are special plans for next year as it is the 40th anniversary. I hope to be back as I love the event, organisers/ volunteers and the challenge of a new route.

Haworth Hobble 2017

Well, since I wasn’t there this year, Karen Nash has written most of this report – I’ve just done a bit of editing here and there.  The race results are here, and the Runfurther leaderboard is here.  Nick Ham’s photos are here, and the ones on this page are Nick’s too.  Nick’s written up his blog too, and you can find that here.  SportSunday were there as well, and you can find their photos here.  So, over to Karen…

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It was a full race this year with no entry on the day, possibly a first for the Hobble.  This was partly due to the race being used as the British Trial for IAU World Trail Championships. This meant there were many new faces and names in the results that some of us did not recognise.

The field was superb this year. I think 6 men broke the record and 8 finished in under 4 hours. Tom Payn of Mercia won in 3:54:18 and then Gareth Hughes, Matt Roberts and Kyle Greig all in 3:55.  The first Runfurther runners were Ken Sutor in 4:12 and Kevin Hoult in 4:16. First woman was Julie Briscoe in 4:31 and then Sally Fawcett 4:38 and Katie Kaars Sijpestaijn 4:39. (I am not sure if the female record was broken but think it was). It was a great start to the Runfurther season and a few new members joined up too.

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As usual for me the day started early. Having slept in the van on site we were up at 6am putting up flags and banners before moving inside and putting up display boards and giving  Brett the Romneys Mint Cake to hand out at registration. It was dry and mild so things were looking good. The bumper entry meant we were a little late starting and the crush of runners meant many were not herded back downhill to the start line at the Fleece.  I had chatted to some of the ‘elite’ before the start and that would be the last I saw of them, except in the distance as we climbed to Withins ruin.
I was determined not to race too hard and to practice a sensible pace for the long race I have in May. It didn’t work. Despite my efforts the first couple of hours showed 6mph+ pace. Oops.  It felt fine at the time but I paid for it later. I had also opted for grip not cushioning in anticipation of mud. Again, it did not work out. I would have been better with more cushioning.
The first miles to Bronte Bridge passed very quickly and I was surprised to queue less than usual at the first gate. By Withins we were quite spread out and although I lost places being a softie on the flagstone descent I felt fine. By Widdop I knew I was pushing too hard and backed off a bit – after running to look good for the SportSunday cameras that is. Before Long Causeway my glute was troubling me and I was cursing my early pace and the hard sprinting of Wednesday night. My pace dropped here and I let those I was running with move ahead. The CP at Stoney Lane was a welcome sight and I grabbed a hot dog and a piece of pork pie. It must have helped because I ran on a bit refreshed to Todmorden (or was it just that it was mainly downhill?). A shock awaited me at Mankinholes as there were no doughnuts! I took a cheese and onion pie instead.  The climb up to Stoodley Pike was as tough as always.

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The dry weather meant there was quite a crowd at the top ready to cheer runners on. I had eaten plenty but by the time I reached the woods I was suffering. My glute was very sore and now my foot was complaining too. Ironically the climb to Heptonstall didn’t seem too bad as the uphill helped my foot and not running much relaxed my glute.  My joy didn’t last though, and the climb up Crimsworth Dean was a real low point. I ran much less than usual of this section and the pain in my foot was intense. I hobbled on the best I could but in a very negative frame of mind.  At this stage a Personal Worst was a cert and even 6 hours looked a big ask. The last CP and Lane Head means only 4 miles to go. Apologies to those around me at this point who thought they were running with a nutter. A severe talking to myself: Man Up, get on with it, don’t be such a wimp etc etc and I set off up the lane. My Garmin battery had died but near the Top o’ Stair it occurred to me that we had not started at 8am so perhaps if I really tried I could still finish in under 6 hours.  So it was run, jog, walk intervals all the way up the lane and over Penistone Hill.  Not pretty and a PW by 5 mins but I finished in 5hrs 53.  I wasn’t happy with it but hey ho… and then I found that despite all this I was first FV50 so perhaps it wasn’t too bad. After several cups of tea, pasta and stew and a doughnut or two I was feeling better, and just about ready for the Runfurther committee meeting.

Next race:  Calderdale Hike on 1 April (seriously…).  See you there!

January 2017 News

Happy New Year to you all.  Sorry for the delay in updating the website for 2017, but it should all be there now, including an updated Ultra Calendar, with all the 2017 off-road ultras in the UK I could find (except the ones that go round and round in circles).  Let me (Andy) know if you come across one I’ve missed.

You need to get entering races if you want to run them.  Ultras are becoming more popular every year, and although there are more races every year, many of them fill up ages in advance.  If you want to run the Lakes 42 (8 April), you need to get your name on the waiting list straight away, as it’s already full, and the waiting list will fill too at some point.  The Hardmoors 60 (16 September) is also filling fast, even this far ahead.  I’ve no idea how fast some of the others are filling up, but better to be safe than sorry.  The event I organise filled up in just 10 hours, with many runners getting straight in there at midnight on 1 December when we opened for entries.

Get training – you’ve got a lot of running to do!

Andy

Runfurther 2017 Races (updated again)

I’ve started work on updating the website with details and links for all the 2017 races, and you can now get to them from the “2017 Races” tab above.

If you’ve got the dates from the earlier posts, you should note that there were a couple of mistakes in it.  (1) The White Rose Ultra is really a “Short”, and (2) Round Rotherham is actually on 14 October.  We’ve got the latter wrong on our 2017 postcards too!

I’ve still got a few things to sort out on the website, but we’re getting there!  I’m hoping to update the Ultra Calendar soon, too.  I just haven’t had the time to do it over the past few months – it’s a job that’ll take me about 3 full days.