Monday 15 January 2018

A good weekend....

Well, it was mainly good - apart from two things that temporarily put a spoiler on things.  Huddersfield Town getting hammered 4 - 1 at home and consequently sent crashing down to 14th place in the Premier League, does not bode well for them to stay in one of the world's most watched footballing divisions.
Setting out on Saturday's run  (Click to enlarge pictures)
The second was more personal, and more serious. While carrying four bottles of wine from the car into the house they slipped out of the box and one of them smashed.  It was a favourite Chilean Merlot that left a dark red pool in the lane, like someone had been murdered.  Fortunately, there were still three bottles left to drown the multitude of sorrows accumulated from both catastrophes. 
Romping up the rough Crag path
Disregarding gloomy thoughts of Huddersfield Town and moments of mourning in the lane, things weren't really all that bad in sleepy Hebden.
Through the mossy stile
  In order to lay the ghost of last Sunday's disaster up the Crag path, when I was shaking like a leaf and aching in every joint after that ignominious fall, we decided to attack that same route again.
Up 400ft in ¾ mile
A series of hill reps during the week had stood me in good stead, enabling me to romp skywards through 400ft of rocks and dead bracken to justify that Fitness Age of 58 TomTom awarded me..
I'm dreading TomTom discovering it's got those digits the wrong way round.
A bit muddy running to Mossy Mere
Feeling good, we continued up onto the moor, past Hedgehog House and Scar Top, along the muddy track to Mossy Mere.  The sun was being shy but it was fine and not too cold.  Good for running, except for our shoes.
Deep water in a flooded gateway slowed us down as we maneuvered our way across, one at a time.
Running up to Cupola Corner
We dropped into Hebden Ghyll, crossed over the beck and took the rising track to Cupola Corner where flocks of sheep are present day representatives of long ago lead miners.
A flock of Swaledales at Cupola Corner
With the wind in our sails we headed up Moor Lane to the remote hamlet of Yarnbury.  A glance back revealed two other runners crossing a trackless waste below us at a fair old lick, certainly faster than us but also, we suspected, a heck of a lot younger than our combined 157 years.
The pool at 1,200ft
We stopped for a short breather at the 1,200ft contour beside a great pool of water that accumulates in a hollow along the track and seldom dries up. 
Lots of wet grass to clean our shoes - but not for long
That was our high point.  From there on it was mostly downhill - through wet fields and muddy lanes.
Passing Garnshaw farm
Parts of Tinker lane in particular had stretches of glutinous mud, over our shoe tops in places, and impossible to avoid. 
One of the drier parts of Tinker Lane

 I remember saying, lanes never used to get into this state in my days of farm service.
Running down to Pickering End

Back in the 1940's, we had horses and carts with narrow, iron shod wheels that weighed a fraction of modern farm machinery and caused but a fraction of the damage.
At Pickering End

We diverted down a grassy track to Pickering End, a holiday cottage with an amazing view across the Wharfe valley.  
No-one was in residence.
Tying the gate shut to a rotten post

From there on it was a fast run back into Hebden Village, to a Keelham pork pie and some welcome fluid back into the system to replace all that soaking my thermal vest and inside of my beanie.
  An enjoyable six miles with a little over 800ft of ascent.
Must get some new glasses - didn't think I was running fast enough to bend that.
Only kidding!

After Saturday night's libations with anaesthetising rocket fuel (aka Chilean Merlot) I was rarin' to go on Sunday morning.  
My wonderful partner was patrolling the moor on Ranger duty for the Yorkshire Dales National Park.   Time for a fast run.  Without going into details I opted for a fairly flat (a mere 370ft of ascent) run into Grassington and back by the river.
Striding out down the river bank.

I could tell I was shifting a bit, the ground flying under my feet, and sure enough TomTom afterwards reported it was the fastest long run it had so far recorded for me having improved my pace by 0.54 min/mile.
Couldn't agree more

The so-called long run was in fact just 4.46 miles, but added to Saturday's total it took me to over ten miles for the weekend.  
I decided such an achievement deserved a glass or two of Bowmore, or Glen Marnoch, or Laphroaig by way of celebration.
Oh, and while I'm here, here's a toast to all my running friends and blog readers.


  1. while the mud and water look exciting and while fun to run through might leave you cold and wet. It's the broken bottle of wine that is the biggest worry! So here's a question: just how many bottles have you broken over the years?

    I don't think I've broken many, but I don't plan of breaking any more!

    1. I can honestly say that was the first one I ever broke, and I wont be going for anyone's record! Cheers!

  2. Really enjoyed your post and I thought the toast at the end was magnificent.

    Thank you and Cheers ...

    All the best Jan

    1. You're welcome Jan. Keep warm and have a wee tot of something nice in this bitterly cold spell of weather. Cheers!

  3. The Old Runningfox is indeed up and running , I am impressed with you running along the river bank , the second last pic , is a powerful stride in flight , just awesome . I also enjoyed the post, it was really a pleasure to read . Antonio .

    1. Thanks Antonio. I hope it's inspiring you to get out and train for this years Burnsall 10. Hoping to see you there - but you'll be running for us both! Cheers.