Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Saturday 14 March 2020

Saturday 14 March 2020 - Wythenshawe parkrun number 431

Charley was today's Run Director. She is flanked by me and Cary for the simple reason that if we weren't there, she would crash to the ground. Sue has captured her above in a rare moment of stability.
The usual characters were in attendance - here Owen and Syd exchange insults...

At the start, Kate and Martha are checking that nobody makes a false start (that dodgy chap in green looks a likely culprit).
The event took place without incident (apart from lots of squidgy mud) and very little mention of the 'C' word, other than a consensus that folk would turn up next week for a 'Freedom' run, even if parkruns are put on hold. It was good to see many of the runners and walkers adjourning to the café.
Full results are here, generally on the slow side due to the mud, but with notable performances from some of Sale Harriers' youngsters, including a very fast ten year old girl. Well done Isobel.

Friday 13 March 2020

Before they went grey!

Just a bit of light relief from 48 years ago. All still going strong except for BVN 406B.
I shared a flat in Chatham Grove with Anna and Jacqui; Paul (aka 'Angus') and Julie were across the road with John Clark, who probably took this photo.

Thursday 12 March 2020

Some Walks and Bike Rides

Lunch at the Meccano Bridge and picnic table between Bolton and Bury

The sun is shining. It's time to plan to get out of the house. If I set some dates and venues I have to be there. Others are welcome to join me. Here's the current plan:

Monday Bike rides, all starting at 9.00 am from Timperley Bridge, on the towpath by the Metro Station, and heading initially towards Sale along the towpath: 

23 March - Pennington Flash > Mucky Mountains > Sankey Valley > Trans-Pennine Trail (70 km) [Lunch at a café in Stockton Heath.] 

30 March - Bolton > Bury circuit (60 km) [Lunch = picnic at the Meccano bridge.] 

13 April - Bury > Chadderton > Rochdale Canal circuit (70 km) [Break at café near Gigg Lane in Bury.] 

20 April - Trans-Pennine Trail west from Stretford > Cheshire Ring Canal from Romiley to Timperley via Manchester (60 km) [Break at the velodrome café.] 

Note: on all of these dates, if the weather is poor, or we feel like a shorter route, other options are available, including the Fallowfield Loopline Circuit (50 km) and the Moore Lane (Acton Bridge) Circuit (also 50 km) 

Friday morning walks: 

27 March - Hanging Stone and Lud's Church - a favourite outing, 10 km starting from the bridge at Danebridge at 10.00 am (SJ 965 652). [Adjourn to the Ship Inn.] 

10 April - A 17 km circuit from Hale, via the Bollin Valley, Mobberley Brook and Ashley. Start at the railway bridge on Bankhall Lane at 10.00 am (SJ 772 859). [Possible café after 12 km.] 

17 April - A 16 km circuit via Furness Vale and Whaley Bridge, from the main car park at Lyme Park, starting at 10.00 am (SJ 963 823). [Café at Lyme Hall.] 

1 May - Around Bunbury, starting at 10.00 am from the green by St Boniface Church (SJ 570 581). 11 km with various refreshment points.

I'll soon put these dates on our website when the old computer is reconnected after some carpet laying, so any amendments will appear there. All are welcome to join me, but it may be worth letting me know if you plan on turning up.

Enjoy the sunshine...

Wednesday 11 March 2020

Saturday/Sunday 7 and 8 March 2020 - A Weekend at Ilam

 Click on any picture to access a slideshow
This was Sue and Phil's 25th wedding anniversary weekend at Ilam Hall, attended by well over 100 of their friends and relatives.
On Saturday morning a sizeable party left the hall, in view of the church that lies within the grounds - pictured above - at around 9.30. Just as Richard and I were finishing our 5 km jog in Derby.
We hastened back to base, and whilst Richard then enjoyed a leisurely day, I shot off to catch up with those who had set out an hour earlier. I was called back by Phil - one of his bellringing fraternity had arrived late and wanted a longish walk.
So bellringer Brian and I set off to cross a tempting bridge from which the next picture, looking back up to the hall, was taken.
We soon realised we'd gone the wrong way. However, our brisk pace brought us to a point near Beeston Tor Farm, where the big group of 27 were sitting around with their flasks open. The drink was most welcome. I'm usually full of coffee by now, after a parkrun!
A rather more sedate pace prevailed for the rest of the day - much to Brian's relief.
The cycle track beside the River Manifold, following the course of an old railway line, led us from Weag's Bridge (below) to the turn to Wetton and Thor's Cave.
There's an information board about Thor's Cave, from where the massive cave is seen high above.

I've written about this spot after previous visits. This report provides more information, or you could just put 'Thor' into the search box on the top left of this blog - always a good way to find things I might have written about.

There were lots of people, in addition to our 27, about today, so most of us didn't bother to go into the steep, slippery, muddy cave. Been there, done that!
There's a fine view down to the Manifold Valley from the cave entrance.
The Royal Oak in Wetton provided another most welcome rehydration opportunity, with the benches in the village centre offering a good spot to scoff some lunch - Thanks to Sue for the smoked salmon and cream cheese with cucumber buns. 
From Wetton, the path down Hall Dale brought us to Dove Dale, the pinnacles of Pickering Tor, and the much photographed Ilam Rock, on which there were no climbers today.
Ilam Rock would have been a very greasy climb today.
Dove Dale has clearly recently seen the River Dove at high levels, but there's no evidence of serious flooding. The duck boards seem to have stayed above the river level.
There's a rocky knoll near Lover's Leap and the Twelve Apostles, on which our motley crew finished off any edible contents of their bags and flasks before resuming the easy walk amongst grockles back to the Hall for tea and (lots of) cake.
Anyone who had stayed mud free so far was to be disappointed as they trudged across a final field beyond Izaak Walton Hotel to Ilam.
Here's our route - 20 km with about 550 metres of ascent.
Later, about 110 guests enjoyed a lavish meal at Ilam Hall. Sue has lots more photos that she may broadcast separately.
As usual on such events, many people went home on Sunday morning, so there were just 15 or so of us on a ramble from the Hall.
The views towards Thorpe Cloud and Dove Dale were illuminated by sunshine today, but after overnight rain everywhere was rather muddy.
We went via Rushley then down a very muddy path to the River Hamps and the Manifold Way, lunching in a churned up field before heading up Soles Hollow.
After crossing a minor road, our path led down a most pleasant valley through Musden Wood to Rushley.
Pleasant, but muddy.
Very muddy!
Then, by mid afternoon, we found ourselves back at the Hall, with just enough time to get to Morrisons in Buxton before its 4 pm closing time to purchase supplies for dinner.
Here's our convoluted route - just 17 km today, with 480 metres ascent. Thanks go to Robin for planning both day's routes.
So, a most enjoyable weekend, away from the relentless news of the spread of Coronavirus, which at the time of writing is starting to threaten many of this year's plans.

Tuesday 10 March 2020

Ilam Hall

Here's where we spent last weekend. A wonderful location in the Peak District.

Monday 9 March 2020

Saturday 7 March 2020 - Markeaton (Derby) parkrun number 318

Google seems to have created a few hurdles in order for me to access my blog, so this is just a short entry to check that I've managed to get it working, and a 'mobile' posting will follow, by way of a test using my phone rather than this desktop computer.
Saturday morning saw me in a park in Derby with Richard, pictured above. My pre-run pictures don't quite portray the numbers of participants.
I never got to hear the pre run briefing as I was crammed in amongst the 663 participants. This was a popular event! By some dint of fortune, I was within the first couple of hundred starters, so I can't complain too much about the minor hold up at the start. Richard soon went past, and as I didn't want to keep him waiting at the finish for too long I managed to adopt one of my quicker jogging paces, albeit there was an annoying hill that slowed the older participants on both the laps around this pleasant park.
Richard came home in a creditable position 28, whilst at 84th, I was happy to be in the first hundred to cross the finishing line. 23.35 was my time, and the age related percentage of 75.69% put me in 5th place overall on that basis. All in all, a satisfactory pre-walk jog, after which we zoomed back to our weekend base to resume activities there.
The picture below shows people finishing, as Richard and I departed the scene. I wish I'd spotted what appears to be a table of cakes in the bottom right.
The full results are here. Well done, and thank you, to all the marshals who facilitated the smooth running of this event.