Some Stuff About Me ......

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I live in Harrogate, North Yorkshire with my wonderful wife and soul-mate Helen. I have two incredible sons - Evan and Matthew - who are occasionally show up at home, usually when they're hungry or need money. The three of them are the best thing that ever happened to me and I love them all. I spent over 24 years in the Royal Navy, but since I packed it all in and got a proper job my life has gone from strength to strength and I've never looked back. I am a die-hard soul music fan and this remains a serious passion, but in recent years my life has been dedicated to running on the fells and trails of Northern England, it's what I was made for. Please read about my adventures and experiences ...

Friday, 18 October 2013

Surprise PB

Helen and I headed up to the Lakes early on Saturday morning, it was going to be a big day: Not only was it the Langdale Horseshoe fell race (one of our favourites) but it was also the bi-annual BGR dinner and I daresay wild horses wouldn't have stopped me going.

Anyhow, despite fairly poor weather in Yorkshire, things brightened up a great deal as we got closer to the west coast and it was clear that conditions were going to be pretty good. As we drove up Langdale, I could see just a little bit of cloud hanging over Crinkle Crags and although the summit of Bowfell was pretty much obscured, I knew I could navigate up and over it without too much of a problem. Well, we had a cracking race: It was the usual mad dash from the start as things start to bottleneck when you begin the long slog up to Stickle Tarn and everyone wants to get as far up the field as they can, but I honestly enjoyed every minute, it was one of those moments where I knew exactly where I was going and what I had to do, things unfolded much as I wanted. Yes, the traverse under Esk Pike was as horrible as it always is and I made a couple of minor navigational faux paus, but nothing worth writing home about.

My goal - based on a previous PB of around 3.37 - was to finish under 3.30, but as I reached the CP on the summit of Pike O'Blisco I realised that I was comfortably under three hours and that I was going to destroy that time. I belted across the summit plateau like a fool and soon picked up the runner's trod for the descent to Langdale. A mate from Horsforth Fell and Dale was on my heels all the way down and I believe we pushed each other to an entirely unexpected PB of 3.14.44, that's 23 minutes up on last year!

I'm over the moon with this. I don't expect PBs nowadays and run on the fells for the joy of it, not to chase rainbows .... however this result tells me I'm doing something right and all the work I've done this year on my descending technique must have paid off to some degree. Bobs wasn't too far behind me, she lopped 17 minutes off her PB for this race too so all in all we did pretty good. It's a curious thing though, you'd have expected me to do my best at this race off the back of all that BG training I did last year, but apparently not!

A quick cheer for the winners at the awards presentation (along with a few of the famous Langdale Horseshoe pasties) and we off to Shap for the BGR dinner, lots of mud to scrub off. Well, I did anyhow; I believe several people mistook a good layer of Langdale grime for Helen having a nice suntan from our recent holiday. 

I'm going to be writing a close-out BGR blog shortly, so details of the dinner will have to wait I'm afraid. Suffice it to say that it was a proper good 'un.

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