Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Hardly a walk in the park......

"I've brought my running stuff" my wonderful partner announced upon arrival at Windhover, a statement that prompted a naughty word to pass through my mind.  What she meant was "I'm intending to do the Cliffe Castle Parkrun in Keighley on our way back to Hebden in the morning".   Not fully recovered from whatever nasty lurgy it was that had flattened me over the last three weeks I was in no fit state to accompany her but knew full well I would.  "OK, I'll jog round behind you" I said,  preferring that to standing around in the cold waiting for her to finish.
But it didn't quite work out like that.
A Strava profile of the course from my watch
(Click all pictures to enlarge)
Saturday morning dawned cold, windy, damp and misty - conditions that reduced the number of participants to just 137.  Or maybe it was the steep hill on each of the three laps that put people off ever returning to run this course twice.
Being fell runners, we coped.
The lady's W70-74 course record stood at 39 minutes and a few seconds, a time I'd told my wonderful partner she could beat.  I'd meant it as an incentive to put her foot down and set off in pursuit of a new record.   And she did.
Through the roof
We were both a bit shocked at the steepness and length of the hill on this course and were forced to adjust pace accordingly.  For me it was a case of hands on knees and walk as fast as possible to get to the top - as fell runners do - but my heart rate went through the roof.
A celebratory dram
However, there was a happy outcome for us, more so for my wonderful partner who crossed the line in 37.57 to set a new record in her category, but a record for me too with 36.12 in the M85-89 category.  Longwood Harriers raiding party had struck again.   Back home in the evening we'd a celebratory dram and fell into bed feeling smug and happy.
Top and bottom of it
  To be honest, my record was fairly meaningless, only happening because everyone else of my vintage had sensibly shunned this challenging course.   When/if ever we're both fit again we'll have another go at it and try to improve those WAVA gradings.
Hebden Crag
I was a bit stiff the following day (a gross understatement) so whilst my wonderful partner attended a compulsory National Parks meeting in Grassington I took myself up the ghyll for some gentle walking in an attempt to loosen up.
It was a cold day of clear, blue skies with a gentle breeze.  
Scala Falls in Hebden Ghyll
I scrambled past the foot of the crag but had no desire to ever climb it again.  Then on to the Miner's Bridge where I failed to get any decent pictures.  I lingered an hour or so in a warm, sunny hollow, taking pictures of Scala Falls before my battered body began telling me it was badly in need of sustenance.   I turned for home, deciding I'd better take notice of it.  
For once...
Post script: On the wall of my study is the inspiring text "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me".   I've always thought Paul should have included the words "God requires me to do" after the word 'things'.  That poses the question, why would He ever 'require' me to indulge in anything so physically demanding as Keighley Parkrun?
God only knows...


  1. Now I really want to run Keighley parkrun...!! Congrats on both your records!

  2. Brilliant. Glad you enjoyed. It is rather hilly!

    1. Did I say I enjoyed it? Actually, I'll probably do it again when I'm rid of this dreaded lurgy. Wasn't happy with that slow time. Were you there?

    2. No. I’ve done it twice. I only do park runs when forced to by friends who actually enjoy them. I prefer off road, like you. Although I have recently been to Toulouse for a long weekend, with the girls- just to do a Parkrun. Someone (who adores Parkrun) was 50. 😀

    3. You did it twice? Brave woman. Those we met at Keighley were all very friendly and encouraged us to go again. Maybe next Spring!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Ian. It's the hardest thing I've done for a while and still recovering!

  4. Congratulations Old Runningfox for the new record achieved with a brilliant time of 36.12 not slow at all if you consider the hills to climb , well done indeed both of you . You say that you are a fell runner ,but you are as well a road runner and a trail runner also , so you are quite a complete runner , without me exaggerating the comment. I liked the post and the pics too. Antonio .

    1. You forgot to mention Track and X-country! I'd normally avoid roads like the plague, except when I was racing, and that seems a long time ago..
      Thanks Antonio.

    2. I forgot Track and X-country Old Runningfox indeed , you are a remarkable runner doing every discipline , not like some fell runner that they feel proud doing just that , and me too I like to do all kind of running ,although like you if I can I will avoid tarmac because it is too hard to bear for my hips and knees , with some exception like Burnsall or social handicap races with my Otley club like tomorrow at Weeton , a two laps road course of 5 miles . Antonio .