Monday, 15 August 2016

Our Andy strikes Gold again......

      Repetitive details of midweek runs and weekend jaunts around the Yorkshire Dales have become much of a muchness over the years, so much so that readers of this blog must be bored to tears.  Visitor numbers appear to be down to single figures so I reckon it's time to remove it from public view and go private, at least until something different happens that's worth sharing. That could be some time away.
Saturday's run by heather at Grimwith   (Click pictures to enlarge)
Due to various eye problems involving endless appointments with three different Consultants our holidays have been drastically curtailed - so not much new material to brighten up these pages.  I'm still waiting for vision in both eyes to stabilise so I can be tested for a pair of spectacles that will enable me to drive (legally) again and share the driving to far off places.  Until then I'm very much confined to barracks.
Smelling the heather on a run to Bare House and Grassington
  Meanwhile, running (without glasses) is starting to improve again, both speed and distance-wise.  Two recent ten milers felt very comfortable and lately my old legs have produced some fast 6 min/mile bursts I never thought I'd see again. Maybe it's inspiration from the Olympics?   Or something rejuvenating from the scent of heather that came to its best around the glorious twelfth.
Geriatric pose in front of heather!
Saturday's run round Grimwith was our fastest this year, could be something to do with running a clockwise rather than our usual anti-clockwise circuit. It was windy, very windy, and we lost count of the number of sailing dinghies capsizing as they tried to turn before hitting the bank after a lightning scud across the water.  Our main objective over the past two days has been to enjoy and photograph the heather before it rapidly fades and turns brown.  Great Whernside viewed from a distance is a sight to behold when its steep flanks glow purple in the August sun.  Likewise, all the high moors back o' Grimwith and right down to the waters edge.
On the run down from Bare House
 Highlight of the weekend occurred on Saturday afternoon when a crowd gathered around the telly in our village pub to watch and cheer as our local hero, Andrew Triggs Hodge, rowed to victory as part of the illustrious 8 man crew that took gold in Rio.   It was Andy's third gold medal.  His two previous victories, in 2008 and 2012, were in the coxless fours but this year, along with Pete Reed, was moved to the eight boat to strengthen the crew and it certainly paid off.  They led from start to finish.
The victorious 8 man crew.  Scott Durant, Tom Ransley, Andrew T Hodge, Matt Gotrel, Pete Reed, Paul Bennett, Matt Langridge, William Satch with cox Phelan Hill (happy little guy at the front). Andy at front right.                                             (Picture poached from Andy's Facebook page)
Andy's performance totally eclipsed any activity of ours and, of course, was duly celebrated with a rather large dram worthy of the occasion. 
Cheers Andy, and all.  You really did us proud!


  1. Always inspirational posts, especially the 10 milers across the moors.
    Keep on posting, love them all.

    1. Thanks Ian, but think it's time I gave this blog a rest. Hopefully I'll keep running for a while longer yet.....

  2. I was going to say I'm not much of a Andy fan, but then I see that you aren't talking tennis... so good for him. That said I was hope for a couple of SA medals in the rowing.

    your county side looks amazing this time of year.

    1. I don't watch tennis but like Andy (Murray) to win, even though he's a miserable so-and-so!
      The purple in my pictures will have gone in a fortnight and the heather will have lost its smell.
      Cheers Coach!

  3. OMG I thought you were talking tennis too!!!

    Well done to Andy Hodge and the team ... I'm clapping and cheering, can you hear it? LOL!

    I always enjoy my visits to your blog. Your writing and your photo's are always a joy.

    Take Care

    All the best Jan

    1. If there was an Olympic tennis player in our village I might be more interested in the game Jan. To be honest I wasn't very interested in rowing until 'our Andy' first struck gold in 2008. He's retiring now to be more of a husband and father.
      Glad you've enjoyed visiting my blog but really think it's time to give it a rest.
      All the best to you too.... Cheers!

  4. Oh NOOO! Don't stop blogging. I just found your blog maybe 6 months ago. I get inspired by your stories and photography of your treks. I love the flowers and other vegetation and the closer looks at them.
    Decades ago I visited my grandfather after he retired to Sconser in the Isle of Skye. The sheep looked at me the same way, and it was the first time I'd seen the little flowers that look like cotton. At the time, I lived in flat, dry Kansas.
    I love your blog and it makes me feel so good. Now I live in Vermont and after following your blog I want to visit your area.
    Sincerely, Margaret

    1. Hello Margaret. I've been through Sconser many times on my way to climb in the Cuillins. Skye is a wild and beautiful island - as are most of Scotland's Western Isles. I love them all.
      So pleased you've enjoyed reading my blog but can't guarantee to keep it going much longer. It's been an incentive to keep me running regularly but repetitive themes and similar pictures is becoming an embarrassment! We'll see.......
      Thanks for visiting.

  5. Hi Gordon, love the photos of the glorious heather and chuckled at you churning out 6 min miles - I know I'll never run anything beginning with a 6 and am well chuffed if there's a 7 (and that's only ever if I'm racing a 10k which hasn't been for several years now!). I too have repetitive themes which is hard to avoid when you've been blogging for a few years (coming up to 10 for me) but I find that the demographic of my readership changes with each post and people don't seem to mind that I'm writing about yet another marathon, taking photos of flora/fauna, writing about knitting/crochet, dementia etc. There's nothing embarrassing about either your photos or your running as you are an inspiration. Love and hugs, Susie xxx

    1. Hi Susie. I wasn't churning out 6 minute miles, I was running around 6min/mile pace over maybe 200yds at most, across the fields from one stile to the next. Or so my Garmin said!
      I started blogging in 2009 when I was racing regularly. So there was always something different to blog about. Now I just run for fun and fitness in mostly the same old places. I hate to think how many times I've mentioned Castle Hill, Hebden Ghyll or Grimwith. I get a twinge of embarrassment now every time I type those names, or print pictures of them. That's why I'm considering going private. The alternative would be to blog less often but the danger then is I might start to run less often which I don't want to do. I love to run. But at 84 with cold winter months approaching I might be tempted to stay where it's warm. My blog keeps me running.
      Just nine more to go, eh Susie? You're quite amazing..
      Best wishes.

  6. Hi
    Really enjoy your blog, you are such an inspiration, please don't stop