Calderdale Hike & Haworth Hobble

Apologies for the lack of an update about the Hobble. I intended to publish my blog post since Karen wasn’t around to give us her version, but was very busy at work and didn’t get it finished. More on the Hobble later, but in the meantime here’s a link to Nick’s very snowy pictures.

The results did get updated though, so at present the leaderboard represents the state of play after the HH. We’re working on the results from the Calderdale Hike – as per last year the results needed some curation before we can use them to update the leaderboard.

We do have Karen’s write up though, which is below the line, and Nick’s photos

The Calderdale Hike

I sold my place for the Haworth Hobble which was the second race in the Runfurther series…. I have done the race any ties, it’s tough and always very well attended by speedy fell runners. We needed a bigger block of tie for adventures on the continent and this was the sacrifice.

12 days skiing went well with some mixed and interesting weather but no big falls, except that is on the concrete floor of the ski room. It was over in seconds but what a crash landing. Left ski boot skidded, kicked the other boot off the floor, legs up, body down. Wham. Huge bruise on my hip but some hidden and more serious damage to my left torso. No idea  but either cracked/broken ribs or seriously pulled muscles. Couldn’t lift arm above horizontal and a cough or sneeze was a disaster. It meant climbing wasn’t really possible although I did try for a couple of days before admitting defeat. We checked out Sisteron but did an amazing walk instead (caves, crawls, the odd wire and rung) plus I walked/jogged up a hill from our wild camp. Gigondas was superb as usual and it was frustrating not to be able to climb properly but I had two wonderful runs and a walk with Bob instead. En route to Spain we called in at St Series Via Feratta, partly to break the journey and partly to check my progress. It was a chilly start but warm in the sun. Ribs not great but VF possible.  Next stop was the border. My race in the summer does not quite go sea to sea and so I wanted to do the first 35k from the sea. If I complete I will then be able to say I have done the whole route. We had a great coastal walk together and then I ran from the Med to Perthus whilst Bob moved the van.  The weather on the coast was warm and sunny even just after sunrise. I was sweating on the first big climb and then it all changed. The sun vanished, the wind got up and the temperature dropped. The middle part of my route which should have been wonderful high grassy tops became a battle for staying upright and warm enough. I was carrying spare gear but only just enough. Thick mist didn’t help as my slower speed didn’t help keep me warm. By the end it was much warmer again but still windy.  I lost the GR10 markers at one point and then thought I had found them- but it was an old disused route. A chat with two farmers got e back on track. so just 850km or so left to do! We were hyped to go back to some favourite climbing areas, especially as we missed the last year but it seemed daft to drive as far as Benidorm and find I still couldn’t climb. Instead we explored areas we had previously driven past further north and inland fro Barcelona. Found some lovely mountains and some Via Feratta- in Spain they are not easy to find, not always well maintained and in some cases closed but we had fun despite failing to find one and me carrying a 60m rope on an all day ridge walk…. training I guess. All too soon it was time to start the journey home. A day stop at Puy le Dome allowed a wonderful run en route.

One reason for the return was the Calderdale Hike- the next race in the Runfurther series. I wasn’t sure I was up to 37 miles or so and a stiff neck from climbing on Friday didn’t help matters. We drove across in the van and parked up at the school (made famous in Happy Valley) for the night. It was quiet and I slept well. An earlier than expected start to the cricket season meant we started at the cricket club as usual but would finish at the tennis club. By 8am Nick and Jenny had arrived,we had all the flags and banners up and we oved down the cricket club to register. As always there were loads of friends to catch up with and much discussion about various route choices that could be taken during the day.

Sun in my eyes

All the runners started together and at 9am we were off. It was already warm and I knew I would have to shed a layer before long. The first lanes soon passed and we were dropping down the cobbled and stone track to Mytholmroyd. Claire and Ashok were just ahead and not sure of the way but I knew it was foolish to try to keep up. On the climb I shed my layer and then had to shock of running on brown slippery stuff MUD, for the first time in 6 weeks.

I did in fact catch them by the time we were on the big track below Stoodley Pike and entering Lumbutts. I grabbed a bite to eat at the church but did not want to linger. AS we dropped towards the outskirts of Tod they pulled further ahead and vanished. No worries I like being on my own and I knew where I was going.

More mud followed from the golf club to the CP at Mount Cross but then it was down hill on tarmac until the little enclosed path led to Cornholme. Apparently Claire and Ashok went astray briefly here but I knew of the back alley and also the way up onto Flower Scar. I had decided I was not going up through the MTB woods but stayed on the lane a little longer before cutting onto the moor. The Tod Centenary Way might be slightly longer than up by the turbines but there was less climb. Just before Horden Gate I made a bad choice through a cow area and got very muddy but arrived at the CP as Martin T came in from the other direction. We chatted as we went along Limers Gate and up towards Trough Edge End. Martin, who has form for nav errors, had not made sense of the drop to the canal route and so was sticking to the turbines. I decided that as the CP was moving further and further down the lane I would try the drop for the first time. It seemed better than retracing our steps and climbing up onto the moor. Kevin H had assured me it was 5 ins faster but I think for e the gain was even more. An easy run down tarmac and then a good path down to the main road really upped my pace the the pavement by the main road and then the canal were easy running.

A recee from a previous year

It wasn’t as scenic but definitely faster. I never saw Martin or the others that went the turbine way again! A slight rise to Summit and then quickly down to Sladen Fold where I was alone the whole tie. I remembered the way up to the pub and then the White House- Claire and Ashok went via the turbines and went off course again in Sladen. The pull up to the White House was tough and I stopped to refill my water. No sandwiches this year but at least I had plenty of my own food. The only time I was chilly all day was on the next stretch towards the M62.

Not today!

I love Blackstone Edge but know that is faster along the goyt which is easier running and allows you to miss some climb. The noise of the motorway is grim but I was soon turning north towards the new CP and Green Withens reservoir. It was here that Claire and Ashok caught me up. I was feeling trashed after the easy speedy running so we were not together long.

Today the sun was taking a brief rest at this point

On the climb up onto Rishworth Moor they pulled further ahead and were eventually out of sight. I plodded on. Ryburn Reservoir came and went with now mostly small lanes and a big track all the way to the finish. I couldn’t see runners but concentrated on trying to keep my pace good by picking off walkers on the short and medium route who had now rejoined our route. Fro the last CP it was pretty much downhill and I urged myself to run. Jackie was coming the opposite way on her bike- a stiff ride home after her run on the medium route and we shouted hellos. Having the church near the event centre is a real bonus, except perhaps for years when the route climbs up fro the canal valley bottom, as you can see it and know the end is in sight. Bob had come out to see me in and take a photo.

I thought I was running fast!

I arrived at the Tennis Club in 7hrs 11 and only 10 mins behind the others. Kevin, Adam and others were of course long gone. Tea and chilli jacket potato refreshed e but I seriously missed the yogurt and custard that is usually on offer and the cans of beer did not look as attractive as the real bar in the cricket club. We sat chatting with Phil and Claire, laughing at all her extra bits from nav errors. She would have been much further ahead of me otherwise. Martin T and the other turbine route users arrived shortly afterwards.

A good day out and although y legs and feet were a bit sore I had done better than I dared to hope. Off home promptly for a family weekend. Chris and Alice arrived on Saturday night and we all met up with Matt, T and Layton on Sunday. Almost perfect- except for L being quite a poorly boy.