Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

A Bank Holiday Weekend ‘In Timperley’


Our Bank Holiday weekend started with a jog in the park for Sue, whilst I marshalled on the first corner. It’s ‘not a race’, but here are Matteo and Richard – regular ‘top ten’ finishers in around 20 minutes for the 5km run. They were clearly not racing (until Richard tripped Matteo on the finishing straight!).

(My dream is to complete just one kilometre in less than 4 minutes!).


Conditions were dry and fast, with Dan leading the pack around the first lap in decisive manner. Second time around, this 15-17 year old faltered slightly, but Gary needed to equal his PB to shade the youngster on the line. Both recorded 18.20, a time outside most of our reaches.


After Sue had regained her breath and I had trotted around one lap with tail runner Anthony, and we’d all sympathised with Paul, who had pulled out after one lap with a sore achilles tendon, coffee was taken in the cafe before Sue and I headed to the fleshpots of Leicester.


Above is a church that maybe used to be in a backwater, but thanks to Richard III is now on the tourist map.

Nearby, a plaque announces ‘Richard III King of England 1483-1485’.


There’s a very informative exhibition that offers everything you need to know about Richard, his life, and his discovery over 500 years later in the spot where a projected light imitates his bones through the glass floor of the exhibition hall. Can you spot the curved spine – he had scoliosis.


Our genial hosts were Sue’s brother and his wife, who put us up in grand style and took us on a short stroll around Bradgate Park on Sunday morning. Thanks Paddy and Kate.


The park is set in lovely countryside, and lots of folk were setting off on longer hikes than our 5km amble. We examined the remains of Bradgate House, famous for being the home of Lady Jane Grey in the early 1500s.


Then it was back to Manchester to pick up Jacob from his ‘Grandma Whoosh’. After an active day the four year old was asleep soon after 9pm, but awake from 2.20 to 3.40 and then from 5.27am, according to Sue.

Meanwhile I researched a route for parkrunner Richard. He has to plan a walk for some novices, from Coruisk to Glenbrittle, on Skye. Having looked at the map, and re-read Ralph Storer’s excellent route descriptions in his book – ‘Skye – Walking, Scrambling and Exploring’ – I have decided not to try to plot a route on the map below, for fear it might be held against me a some point in the future.


Would Richard be wiser to take his novices along the easier path from Coruisk to Sligachan, I wonder?

Anyway, we enjoyed a pleasant morning with Jacob, who is learning to slide down the pole in the park.


Leaving Sue to mow the lawns, I enjoyed the afternoon with Jacob and his dad, a couple of cousins, and another grandad, at the stock car racing at Belle Vue.

There were crashes.


The juniors race in well protected minis like this one. Girls seem to be better at it than boys.


Grown ups are sponsored mainly by scrap metal merchants (there’s a message there). Actually the cars are big brutes and very quick around the oval course that’s also used for speedway and for dog racing.


There are also races for saloon cars that have been rescued from scrapyards.


The ‘Formula 1’ (3 litre) and ‘Formula 2’ (1.6 litre) cars all have huge aerofoil wings. It would be interesting to see how they would perform in a clockwise direction around the circuit…


The afternoon was good value, with 18 races, culminating with a caravan race that was effectively a destruction derby. I took a video, but readers may be thankful to learn that I’ve been unable to transfer it from the SD card or wherever the Panasonic camera on which it was taken happens to have mysteriously stored it! (There are some more photos here, though.)


Then I did a Jacob impression of a full length dive on the pavement, rushing to collect his stuff from my car. Ouch. It was a quiet evening at home.

(I caught up with my blog reading, but apologise for not making any comments – there just wasn’t time, and I need to try to get organised for the next trip…)


AlanR said...

Glen Brittle to Coruisk is challenging and not just for beginners. Some rivers can be very difficult to cross depending on the weather of course. I tried to go round the seaward side twice when i was 30-ish and fit and had to turn back.
It can be done, obviously, but i don’t think anyone new to walking will appreciate it. The route to Sligachan is far better and more enjoyable.

The King Richard story is fascinating. I watched the documentary on TV.

Phreerunner said...

Thanks Alan. Richard's a mountaineer, so he'll be fine - he's just got to plan around the weakest member of his team, and the descriptions in Ralph's book are very helpful. We walked to Elgol from Glenbrittle - a superb day's walk - a few times in the 1970s, and I remember the hardest bit being the Bad Step, which is actually easy. Richard's group won't be doing that, nor will they have the problem of river crossings, but they will have to be careful as they make their way around the coast, picking their way through the crags at around 200 to 300 metres, if they choose that route.

AlanR said...

My attempts cannot be described as superb as the weather was not good. I remember it being very boggy in parts and a river which we couldn’t get across. It was a long time ago and i cannot remember which one it was. I don’t remember a bad step either just big boulders and very slippery. I do remember the boatman saying “you must be mad”.
As you say, Richard is experienced enough, so he just has to evaluate the weakest and decide.

Phreerunner said...

'Use of a boatman' infers you got the boat to Coruisk, Alan, in which case you would have missed the Bad Step and perhaps the widest of the rivers (though in my day there was a bridge at Camasunary). I think we had good weather on our walks from Glenbrittle to Elgol, thus no problems with rivers, though the 'eastern seabank' of the Cuillins must have been a fairly precipitous traverse!

Sir Hugh said...

Another post of diverse interests. There is so much to see and do.

Are you off on the TGO?

Phreerunner said...

Thanks Conrad. I enjoyed catching up with your own postings. Good to see you enjoying the Marilyn bagging. I hope your next project goes well.

The 'mixed content' of some of my entries goes against advice to bloggers that I've read. But this has never been more than an on-line diary, in which 'the outdoors' features strongly but not exclusively. I think some of the readers are put off by this (and have gone elsewhere), but others enjoy the variety and just skip any bits that don't interest them.

Yes, we set off on Thursday morning to Dornie, to start the TGO Challenge. One of today's tasks is to produce a web page with route and equipment details.