Sunday, June 29, 2008


Well, we set off from Penrith last night to do the same race again that we'd done at the end of May.
Refuelling problems had been addressed this time out.
El Presidente avoided the 'pub lunch and beers' regime which served so poorly last time out, opting instead for a 3 rasher bacon sarnie with tommy sauce at 12:45, followed by an energy drink just before kick off.
Karen and John, on the other hand, had opted for a late lunch of potatoes vegetables and salmon, and paid the price in the later stages of the race, obviously, the river Lune being a well known Salmon river, the attractions of returning to the sea were a pull against the run to the finish, upriver.
Others had tried the 'stay out late the night before' routine, Mr Walker for one, and, surprisingly, the competitive duo from Pooley Bridge, yet again making things difficult for themselves in a pub night out fiasco which started at 10 and ended sometime after 1:00 am on Saturday morning!
We also took along Mr Lee Savage of the Junior section ( pity us lot when he's actually old enough to be in the Club Championship! More of that later).
Anyway, with a blustery wind likely to be in our faces on the outward half of the race, there was much talk that the hoped for PB's would be impossible to achieve.
The race start was introduced by a bloke in running gear with a megaphone, and we wonderd, would he start, drop the megaphone and run; drop the megaphone, shout start, then run; he just liked wearing running gear, and had no intention of running;in the event he got a sponsor to start the race, and ran in it...
The results: Despite the wind, there were 4 PB's on the night, so Mr M, lots of points to add in

John B: 19:34 - 10 pts
Andy S: 21:33 - 24 pts ( PB)
Andy W: 21:43- 23 pts (PB)
John: 22:29 - 7 pts
Kevin: 22:36 - 21 pts (PB)

and Ladies
Karen: 19:28 - 8 pts
Julia: 22:10 - 22 pts (PB)
Lisa: 25:23 - 6 pts

One name not mentioned in the results above is Mr Lee Savage, who, bearing in mind his age, produced what was a brilliant run, with a time of 17:14, and 7th place overall in a field of experienced racers used to this distance, on his first try at a 5k race! Good job he's too young for our competition!
Anyway, as usual the finishers all got a mug and a bottle of super strength Stella Artois, which Lees grandad was looking forward to drinking later last night - hope you enjoyed it Mike !

Oh, and by the way, not that I'm making an issue of it or owt (as they say in Yorkshire) but this race, unlike others allegedly, in Lancaster, was 5K exactly as advertised!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Running Through Mountains of the Mind

Andy Ramsay and some of the Leg 3 pacers

It's been said that life is really just a series of wonderful opportunities disguised as impossible situations. And as with life, so it is with running. If there was one endevour that epitomised this above all others, it would be the Bob Graham Round.

A 72 mile circuit over the tops of Cumbria's highest fells, it conveniently has the same amount of ascent as that of Everest. The catch is to complete this in under 24 hours. It is impossible, and more so, inconceivable to most. To many, it becomes an obsession. And to a few, it becomes the wonderful opportunity in disguise.

To say that this insanely long run takes it out of you might be an understatement. On a run this long, such a sustained onslaught on your system, your physical ability becomes a mere background to the current of your own thought. The mind (and dare I say it, spirit) are put squarely on the line. Anyone who's read Richard Asquith's Feet in the Clouds will know how it goes.

Seventy six years to the day that Bob Graham first set out in his pyjamas, shouldering a big bag of hard boiled eggs, Eden Runner Andy Ramsay (pictured at right, above) set off to complete the round. Armed with sandwiches (not too sundried tomatoes round here) and a lot of energy drink, he was guided round the route by a host of Eden Runners with all their hopes pinned in one place. As each leg was completed, the pacers breathed a sigh of relief and handed over their cargo to the next. There was a sense of trepidation as the Leg 3 pacers saw Andy, Robin Gillespie and Dave Owens charging off the foothills of Helvellyn. So much so that some of us decided to start the leg early in case we held him up. It all went wonderfully well, though. Even clagged in summits could not halt the Ramsay machine as Penny's supercharged navigational skills kicked in (" the thirteenth cairn, we need to bear 190 degrees")...

So next time you're in Keswick late at night, and you see someone staggering on their feet, throwing up with a bottle of champagne in their hand, it might not be all that it seems... they might just have seized a wonderful opportunity out of what looks like an impossible situation. They might have just completed a BG.

Fantastically well done, Andy.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mighty Blencathra

About the middle of last week, Eden Runners went into overdrive on the slopes of mighty Blencathra. At the helm, race organiser Anth 'Legs-akimbo' Labram not only amassed a crack team of marshalls, but ran the race, took photos along the way and also managed to keep a mental note of all the race numbers used, including omissions. A feat that the oxygen-starved amongst us can only dream of...

Our learned colleagues from the Skipton and District Pie Research Institute collecting valuable field data for their latest research project

But there we are. On with the show. Faultless execution on the day meant happy runners, and if that was a measure of success then it was a hit. Standing on the summit, the number of runners that thanked us as they went past was really heart-warming. So too was seeing runners stop to take in the summit views.

Aye, it's a grand sport.

Here's a few action photos taken by Anth on the hoof, and one or two taken by me.

Hair raising running on the tops
Action Man

No time for a sermon on the mount

Sunday, June 1, 2008


And so it came to pass, after the survivors of the expedition into the mists had dispersed, that three of them journeyed south, in the company of a lady, and the lady was Karen, and she went forth into the wilderness of the forest at Salt Ayre, and returned, bringing with her bottles of ale, with the caps removed. It was a mystery to the travellers how she had accomplished this, and they were filled with awe, and Stella Artois at 5.4% proof!

Anyway, that's enough of the biblical style, on now to the more usual 'moaning Yorkshire Git' style.
This was another short race in Lancaster, but, so far, we believe it was a short race, as short as it should have been, and no longer either. I met John, Karen and Kevin at Eamont Bridge and we cruised to Lancaster in a Merc with blacked out windows, it was like the Reservoir Dogs looking for trouble, and we got it as soon as the starter said 'GO'.

A good flat course saw PB's for John Kevin and Karen, and a time no slower, or faster, than I expected for me. I have learned however, that my Gazza like refuelling prior to the race, comprising a late pub lunch of sausage, mash, peas & onion gravy, all washed down with a couple of pints of Theakstons best bitter was probably not the best preparation - I'm cutting out the peas next time!

Everyone was pleased with their efforts, and I have to say that Karen and John were savouring the thought of giving the 'Marshallmeister' a run for his money when he returns.

The dodgy refuelling continued after the race, but, really what else can you expect when the prizes were a bottle of strong lager AND a commemorative mug to drink it from! We're elite runners for heavens sake, what is the point of providing strong lager at the end of the race, is it to confuse us about the distance ? That second mile marker did seem to come up early, but it seemed a long way from there back to the finish..........................

And finally, the bit at the start about Karens bottle opening skills remains a mystery............