Friday, 26 May 2017

Race Report: Foe Edge Fell Race

12 plucky A&T athletes lined up at the start of the Foe Edge fell race.  It promised to be a fairly hilly course with 1000 ft of elevation in 4.1 miles and even the start line was at a 20 degree angle.  So, thinking myself clever, I positioned myself at the top edge to be in a straight line with the marker that I could see, to reduce my climbing as much as possible.  Only for the race director to add as a last instruction that the group of trees we could see 20 metres ahead was the first marker, meaning that I had to take a line back slightly downwards.  The second to last thing he said was that the course was well marked and marshalled, so there would be no chance of going wrong.  More on that later!
The race started at a canter, with everyone trying to get to the trees first, though unseen to everyone was an additional obstacle, a muddy ditch just before the trees which caused several stumbles.  Then suddenly there were several low branches to negotiate and pinging back in people’s faces, meaning that everyone slowed, with me more than most, as I think I must have lost about 30 places.  There was then a 90 degree turn to the left and the first climb.  Some of you may have noticed a report in the media earlier this week that Hillary Step, a 12 meter high vertical rock face just before the summit of Everest, has gone missing.  I can now confirm that on Wednesday evening it was rediscovered by the A&T expedition team at the bottom of Foe Edge.  A combination of walking, crawling, scrabbling and sheer grit were needed to get to the top.  By that point I was exhausted and had to will my legs into life again to start them running, I’d also dropped further back in the field, but as my thighs regained feeling and my lungs began to refill with oxygen, slowly I started to reel people in. 
This is one of those races looking back, where I can’t really remember much of the detail, just a few specific things.  Most of it was on trails, some of them quite rocky, but mostly it was quite runnable. I remember going up a couple more rises before hitting the top of a hill with a cross on it and descending down to another trail.  It was at this point that the race director’s words came back to haunt the leading pair, who were quite far ahead of everyone else and for some reason decided to veer off to the left and must have been about 20 metres up a steep hill before being called back down.  By this point I’d made my way up to 11th place, was unexpectedly going well and we were in a group that had broken away from the rest, into which I was expecting to make some inroads.  Another descent and another rise, then onto some dried-up moorland, which was an opportunity for me to take a few more places and found myself overtaking into 5th place, with a gap opening behind and 4th in my sights.  Again we veered off to the left, this time down a sharp bank aiming for a course marker, only to get to the bottom and hear shouts that we had gone the wrong way.  The 4 in front just carried on, but myself and the guy in 6th dithered a bit, but a sense of fair play meant that we retraced our steps to ensure we covered the full course.  That detour meant that a group of runners I’d spent the last 2 miles catching up, overtook us and left us gapped, in around 15th or 16th place.  At this point I gave up a bit and just decided to trot back to the finish, keeping in touch with the group ahead, but not really racing.  My fellow lost companion decided to push on and eventually caught the group and started to overtake some of them.
It was mostly downhill now down rough trails with a few turns, and without intent, I found that I’d more or less caught up with a guy from Horwich who’d dropped off the back of the group I’d been tracking.  We were within about half a mile of the end and that group disappeared off the brow of a hill.  They’d gone the wrong way and needed to track across some rough land to rejoin the path that we were following.  I don’t think they went any further, but we overtook that whole group again and I went back into race mode to make the most of their mistake, which in my mind was karma my own earlier error and left me guilt-free.  It was all downhill, so I battered the last bit, with a sprint finish down the steepest finish I’ve ever experienced, think Marls Pit hill x10 and with a line of rocks in the middle of it, my heels were on fire when I crossed the line.  It made for a great place to watch people come home, with some racing down and others picking themselves carefully down to the finish.
We had some fantastic performances on a difficult course, with myself and Brendan picking up age group prizes, but kudos to anyone tackling it and surviving!  We’re also doing fantastically well in the Run the Moors age group champs.  To pick out a few we have Anthony in 1st, Rachel in 2nd, Kay in 4th, me, Neil and Simon in 3rd, 4th, 5th.  Overall Carl is 7th and Rachel 8th.  I reckon we’ll see some prizes at the end of the season, go A&T!
The next race is Knowl Hill on Sunday 11th June. Slightly longer than Foe Edge, but less steep!

Monday, 22 May 2017

Ouutlaw Half, Nottingham. 2017 by David Sloan

Today was always going to be a tough day, the weather had been looking unkind in the build up with torrential downpours on Saturday when we were all making our way down the M6 through the sea of rubber-neckers admiring a fatal accident on the other side of the carriageway (i won't give my opinion on that as there are children present, but safe to say it disgusts me). Anyway, we all got to the venue nice and early to sit through the 45min race brief, which, to be honest, is not the death by slideshow you would expect, these boys can hold a crowd.
With everybody appeased that they knew what was happening in the morning we all headed back to our respective hotels, grabbed some food and a couple of pints (to help with sleep) and set our alarms for 3:45 (yes, am!)
One thing about the Outlaw Half that isn't ideal is that bike racking is on the morning of the event, which is the same for most half distance events, but because of the traffic on the local roads they also have an early start which means that bike racking is between 5-6am with wave 1 setting off at 6:15. It is here that I would like to thank all of those who came early to help/spectate and remained there for the whole day, you were amazing and much needed and appreciated!!
So to the race, 9 A&T members lined up for the start, Myself, John Lee, Chris Scholes, Phil Riley, Ian Joslin, Michelle Fairclough, Jane Ecclestone, Tracy Waterfall-Chadwick & Emma Higgins. All raring to go with the exception of Emma, who was having jitters before her first ever open water triathlon after a bad experience in the cold water of Salford Quays the week before, but after a few pep talks we were all ready to go and do ourselves proud.
What can i say about the swim start! Well, they break it down into 4 waves at 15minute intervals, and for good reason too. For me it was daunting, I generally have a panic in the water in my first couple of races and this delivered, 2 stops in the first 250m to catch my breath and get a bit of space, then I was off. It seems that I got off a bit lightly though, as Scholesy had a similar issue, but in the middle of the front pack and ended up clinging onto a canoe, luckily they let him continue and everyone got out of the water safe and in good time.

T1 was where Emma and Phil had their breakfast and a brew.

The he start of the bike loop is quite nice for the social triathlete as it gives you 3miles to go around the lake and sort your kit/food/drinks out for the day, get a photo from your loved ones and hopefully not ride into a duck, Phil!

There were some cracking times posted for the bike leg and it was a great course to do it on too. The first 8-10 miles were flat with the rest being undulating with one decent hill to speak of which even for us slow cyclist

...even for pedestrian cyclists like me only takes 5mins to get over. It was reassuring to see John fly past me at 50miles grumbling about how his technology had let him down ,f*ing power, f*ing cadence and such things, John you had a great ride. I must have missed Chris fly past my when my cassette came loose and i had to improvise and tighten it back on with an alan key at 22miles. I also spotted Emma on the bike briefly, which made me smile to know that she got in there and had survived the swim.
The final 2miles of the course does let the ride down a bit as it is down gravelly tracks/bumpy private roads, but it is picturesque and an honour to be able to cycle through the stately grounds (rather than the hectic A52).
As i came into T2, i saw John heading out and after a couple of minutes sorting my stuff and visiting the facilities I was out on the course to chase everyone down (I knew Scholesy was out there somewhere too!) I also saw Phil docking his bike on my way out, so the race was on (even though all of these boys had started 15-30 mins after me).

It is safe to say that the run was tough for everyone, some pushed too hard on the bike, some were just not as fit as they'd have liked to be (me), some suffered with the nutrition and others had over-indulged on honeymoon. We had all joked the day before when they gave us sunscreen at registration, but the sun came out and it got very warm, as Emma's new tattoos are testament to:

The run course is pan-flat with 2-laps of a narrow out-and-back section followed by a lap of the lake. The out and back section was quite good for gauging how far ahead or behind someone you were, as me and Phil noticed as both times we saw each other it was a quick check of the watch and a high5. It was here i caught my first glimpse of Jane and Michelle. I would like to say it was with them running strong, but they both seemed to be loitering around the aid stations, after speaking to Jane afterwards apparently it was the story of her run, lesson for the day - nothing new on race day!

The finishing straight for Outlaw is a one-off, with friends and family around it is amazing and the only event that still allows people to finish with their loved ones, it was a heartwarming site to see Emma come down there with her son Daniel after a long hard day and after such an achievement to be able to share that moment is awesome, thank you OSB events.

Everybody finished safe and we all had our individual stories of how the day went, but the most important thing was that we all enjoyed ourselves, the event was well organised and we had some great support on the course, especially the guys on the hill for the run, you know who you are!
I must say also, the food was fantastic, a crack team of chefs absolutely smashed it!
Would i do this race again (for a third time)? Absolutely! I'm not sure that every body else shares my enthusiasm, but i loved it!!!
David Sloan

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Fo(e) Edge Fell Race 24th May 
Next on the calendar is this little beauty at 19:15 next Wednesday.  Entry is £3.50 on the day only.  I've not done this race before myself, but as it is being run by Rossendale I expect it to be well organised.  The Run the Moors championship describes it as "Good local proper fell race" and I'm not sure what that means, but it's 4.1 miles with 300m elevation, so I expect a couple of erm, hillocks :-)  You can see more details in the link below. From a kit perspective, my guess is that this may need waterproof top if rain is forecast, but there's nothing on there about map, compass, whistle, etc.  That's just my guess though, I could be wrong, so as always, I will have some limited spare kit with me, let me know in advance if there's anything you need.
Also worth mentioning that we are doing quite well in the RTM champs tables, with some individuals in strong prize positions at the moment.  Head over to their website and check it out if you haven't already.

Cheers, Tim

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Haigh Hall 4 Results- CLGP Race

13 members turned out for this race on a glorious Wednesday night.   This year the organisers chose another new route making it the 3rd different route in 4 years.  Apparently we ran the old Relay course if that means anything,  but in my words it was 2 mile steep down hill and then 2 miles back up.

This race was not in the club championships but I was offering a bonus point to all those that attended in keeping with our obligation to the CLGP.

Thanks to Kerry Lomas and Jo Richies for your support on the course.

Here is a link to the result -  however i think there is an error with Mark Richies result as he was a lot further up the field than what is shown - but not sure whereabouts he was apart from infant of me !

The next road race will be the Horwich 5 on the new date of 21st June.   See you all there.


Wednesday, 10 May 2017

New Gin Pit 5 Form - Sunday 1st October.

Gin Pit 5 - Change of date

For reasons out of the clubs control Astley & Tyldesley Road Runners have reluctantly had to change the date of the Gin Pit 5 from the 8th to the 1st October.
Apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused but we hope you can still join us on the new date of Sunday 1st October 2017.

If you have pre-entered and cannot make the new date we will offer a full refund.

Please change the date in the diary - a new form will be blogged very soon.

Best Regards, 
Gary Stevens
Astley & Tyldesley RR

Monday, 8 May 2017

Wigan Trail 10k - Race report by Catherine Brides

Who would have ever thought between Hindley, Ince and Platt Bridge a former open cast-mining site would have ever provided such a wonderful setting for the 6th road fixture of 2017.

251 runners were greeted by glorious sunshine and smiles from marshals and supporters. With 28 blue vests initial impressions were one of world domination from A&T runners but a quick reccie of the results showed that Wesham Road Runners also fielded 28 runners but A&T certainly made the biggest noise with 5 out of the top 20 places. Today was the best-attended event to date in the 2017 road champs apart from the mile track challenge.

1st up for the ladies Josie Maley-Jones followed by Susan Fletcher aka Louise Simpson and thirdly Rachel Haslam.

1st up for the men Tim Campbell followed by Mark Collins and Brendan Loughrey. Tim was 2016 winner, however looking at last year’s results no one else from last years top 10 attempted this race today, well done Tim.

With all runners home and dry, pie and peas and the odd pint were enjoyed by all out on the grass in yet more glorious sunshine with prizes aplenty.

Elsewhere a couple of A&T members were playing away in Chorley at the Yarrow River Bluebell 10k trail.  Whilst we were enjoying even more fabulous sweet treats from Kay they were ‘allegedly’ sloshing in the river, not sure if any of this is true or just some wet t-shirt fantasy of Bacon Mons!

Results can found here:

Date for the next road race, Wednesday 21st June, Horwich 5, details can be found here:

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Horwich 5 - amendment

I've just been informed by CLGP that the date for Horwich 5 has been advertised wrongly.
This race will be on Wednesday 21st June and not the 14th - as this race forms part of our road championships its important we let as many people as we know about this change.