Sunday, 31 March 2013

North Tyneside 10k 2013

It was cool but calm conditions for the two thousand or so runners at this years North Tyneside 10k. A straight coastal run from North Shields to the Lighthouse, it looked like Ian Hudspith (Morpeth) and Aly Dixon (Sunderland Strollers) were the front runners. Photos (batches 1 and 2) on the gallery (Flickr site). Results of the 2013 race here on link below:

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Highland Training Camp

I’ve been in the north topping up my accent. The criteria for the holiday was a cottage with a real fire. Just as well. It’s been so cold in the last week that if I sat any closer to the fire I might as well start to rotate and baste myself in gravy. Strangely, there was also a pub nearby.
I brought the bike and early in the week journeyed out to the 'lost' villages of Tummel Bridge, Kirkmichael and Weem on various trips before returning with rigid digits under two pairs of gloves and socks.  I came across a purple toad crossing the road on Tuesday. It was moving so slowly it looked to have the action of a staggering drunk; drunk with the cold. The pass over Kinnaird was barren and snowy as I returned from Kirkmichael, taking time to wave to some frozen students paddling in a gurgling stream. I remember those field trips. 

I ran around 4 miles in the lanes past the Edradour and Bells Distilleries and then found a nice riverside trail along the Tummel which ate up a total of 9 miles. However, as I moved back up the hill crossing the golf course, I ran into the snow line and my plod was arrested by some high deer fences which I think are really human fences in disguise.  I’ve seen one or two other runners around but most have more sense and are busying themselves, no doubt, in the gym or whatever. 
Yesterday was the best though. I intended to run to Killiecrankie but took a trail up by Craigower and ended up ploughing through the deep snow at around 600m just below Ben Vrackie. In the early morning sun it was pretty splendid. I came across three small deer grazing on the heather. They took off pretty damn sharpish. I nearly came a cropper once or twice on some buried rocks but all in all, the run was a photographic event and I wished I’d had the good camera. Two hours for seven miles. Pretty slow stuff but don’t forget the two thousand feet of ascent.

Having missed the Nigel Barge 10k last weekend, I made an effort to run the Normans Law hill race today, a five miler with 900ft of ascent. It was pretty muddy and I grappled with the muddy and snowy conditions with a pair of Salomons that are overdue for the bin. I did alright in the run though and mostly enjoyed the copious soup, tea and cake, as did the 113 others who took part. It would have been £3 but I havent yet renewed my Scottish Athletics membership so it was a straight fiver. Still....pretty good value.  

Monday, 18 March 2013

bald cyclist sips tea at cafe

Andy Burrows was just a name and a tune I heard on the radio last week. So was Artmagic. Now I'm listening to both, (though not at the same time) as I drag my meagre musical collection into the decade. A1.
Came across a bike race yesterday. I, myself, have been working the cycling in with the running of late. The result is a drop in pavement pounding mileage and an increase in pot hole hell riding. Gordon Bennett; the roads are sh**te.  My Council tax bill landed with a thud this morning. I really wonder what I'm paying for (except for the repair of tyres and bent wheels). The road miles are up now to about 80 or 90 a week which is no small feet in this boreal, nipple-numbing cold.  Can't believe I'm bothering to keep the fridge and freezer plugged in.
Saturday's 40 miles was a lonely affair, brightened only by a trip to the Cafe'd Capheaton, a favourite bikers haunt in the middle of nowhere (or in the middle of Capheaton if you happen to be one of the nine villagers from thereabouts).  I think it can be found just at the back of the wardrobe and just a little way ahead of Mister Tumnas's pad. When I think about it, I think my ears are getting abit Mr Tumnas. Its the cold you know. Best start checking my hooves.  Not easy cycling when you've got goats legs, believe me.

Yesterday was a wobbly 15 mile run through the lanes. It was hard work. I took my bumbag, just in case I got caught in a squall. I wish I had filled it with a small entertainment centre, a copy of the 1954 Eagle and some mince and carrot sandwiches. I might have had a modest gravy filled picnic at the top of the hill as the sleet kept trying to get some momentum.  It looks likely that the next few races might be up north, so I'm shaking out my passport and can't wait to see how the tram's coming on in auld reekie.  Aye that'll be right! What a good idea that was....

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Run Northumberland Half Marathon 2013

The run northumberland 2013 was held on a different course this year. It was probably as hilly as the previous course and the weather was brassicks, but the crowd was bigger. Felt happier taking the snaps than running in a bitter easterly. Photos on Flickr site.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Back on track

The blogging has been hampered of late by abit of unpleasantness. Something unwanted has got into the computer. It was evidently well armed and has sown a mild trail of destruction. I've had to revert to the work laptop and hope there's no repetition. I don't know if its related, but the garmin is also playing up now and I'm in techie limbo.

No technology was required to run the Alnwick cross country league on a beautiful Saturday through the grounds of Sir Duke's place: very nice of them that live in the big castle to let us trample across the fields and through his lordships leafy woods.  I had a good run and finished around 22nd and will be promoted to the medium paced group for my efforts. However, with the average field of 350, it shouldn't be too hard to catch a few at the back and get lost in the melee at the last event in Prudhoe.

After a steady 8 miles on Sunday morning, four of us jumped in the jalope and headed off to Manchester for a two hour session on the boards. As I polished the wheels on the old track bike the night before, I couldn't believe the bike was over 30 years old; but it still looked good, well at least in a retro way. Woodrup's (the maker) is still going in Leeds and I might take it down for a re-spray.

We joined the folk from Alnwick Tri Club and it was a blast. Fantastic fun. Afterwards I read the do's and don'ts of track racing and I must admit to not being aware of some of the rules (no watches, no garmins, no taped tyres, etc, etc). Didn't seem to matter at Meadowbank and Leicester all those years ago - if your tyres stayed on and you could pedal forward, you were good to go. I suppose it all makes sense.

Although I 'd spent plenty of time in velodromes in my youth, I'd never rode indoors before and was surprised by the heat and how quickly you dried up. It was great though. A real rush. I mean to go sniffing out the Glasgow track when I'm next up that way.  The legs are fine, but couldn't manage more than 5 miles running on Monday night. I'm being talked into doing the local duathlon in April...mmmmm...not sure.   (thnx to Stu B for the photie)