Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Matthew's in town

Matthew is in town this week. When he is not looking at the ships through the telescope with Grandpa, he is playing cricket and football with Granny Pat. He is also developing a fine line in jokes:
Qu: What's got 4 wheels and flies?
Ans: A dustbin lorry.

Not to be outdone, Lois Gordon e-mails this contribution from her birthday night out:
Qu: How many Spanish men does it take to change a light bulb?
Ans: Juan.

YC can supply iron-sided corsets for any reader whose sides are in danger of splitting.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Weasdale Horseshoe

YC ran the Weasdale Horseshoe today. For readers not overly familiar with this race, it is an 8 miler in the Howgills (the hills you see on the left as you head down the M6 beyond Penrith). The race was part of the Ravenstonedale Show and took in a circuit around Hooksey, Randy Gill Top, and Green Bell. YC had run it once before in 2006. As proof that the years do not weary him, YC finished in exactly the same time as 4 years ago (73 mins in 22nd place). However his satisfaction at beating the Dallam runner who pushed him all the way was tempered by the fact that the said Dallam runner turned out to be a V60.

Geoff & Susan Davis from NFR were also there. Geoff pushed on well to finish in 75 mins while Susan was happy "just to get round". YC suspects this was code for "I'm sure I can beat YC next time..."

On returning to Tynemouth, YC felt the need to slake the raging fellrunner's thirst. Fortunately he is not in the same boat as a keen BN reader and fellrunner who is currently undertaking 1,000 hours without beer (greater love hath no man...). So he is pleased to report that the Black Sheep Bitter went down a treat. Roll on the next race.

the view from the show field
Green Bell on the left; Hooksey on the right

Monday, 16 August 2010

Lakeland Country Fair Fell Race

After running the Wasdale and Borrowdale races in the mist and rain, it made a pleasant change to experience warm sunshine and perfect visibility at the Lakeland Country Fair yesterday. This show is organised by the Lunsdale Foxhounds, so YC enjoyed watching the foxhounds and beagles - the Black Combe and Bleasdale - in the show ring. The fell race was an out and back blast up Coniston Old Man. This 6.5 mile race with 2,350 feet of climbing took YC just over 70 minutes. As it was a particularly hot day, YC might just have a half of shandy tonight to aid the rehydration process.

left - steep climb up Coniston
right - NFR at the start, Coniston Old Man on the right in the distance

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Borrowdale Fell Race 2010

YC got his fellrunning shoes back on yesterday at the Borrowdale Fell Race. This 17 miler starts and finishes at Rosthwaite in the Lake District, and takes in Scafell Pike, Great Gable, and Dale Head in its 6,500 ft of ascent. Low cloud and early drizzle meant that underfoot conditions were greasy and accurate navigation was at a premium. YC had a solid run until the never-ending climb up Dale Head took its toll. But an emergency Mars Bar got him to the top and he was pleased to finish in 4 hours 6 minutes.

One of his felling running pals has set himself the task of 1,000 hours without beer. YC is pleased to report that he is eschewing such penance, and will be slaking the raging fell runner's thirst at The Tynemouth Lodge tonight.

left - NFR at the start
right - at the finish; Paul Hainsworth shows a leg and his encounter with the Scafell Pike scree
below - the finishing field

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Phil Kelly

YC is saddened to report that Phil Kelly has died. Phil was a cousin of YC's mother on the Walker side. He lived in Mexico with his wife Ruth and 2 daughters. YC last saw Phil a couple of years ago at an exhibition in Dublin - pictured above. A couple of Phil's paintings hang on YC's wall at home, including "the view from the balcony" shown below. His artwork was bright and bold, causing one young family member to remark - "he's not very good at colouring in is he Mummy?". In fact, he was very good at colouring in and much more beside. At the Dublin exhibition, he sketched an impressive line drawing in 30 seconds flat whilst we looked on with amazement.
There are a few more photos from the Dublin exhibition here.

Canadian runners

Whilst YC has been on the court and social circuit for the last couple of weeks, he is delighted to report that his cousins have been competing on the Canadian roads. Ian Miller whizzed round a 5k race in just over 20 mins, whilst his son Logan finished 2nd in a 1k race. They are pictured below (Ian is the runner on the right). Readers will notice that both are "flying" - with no feet on the ground - something YC hopes to master one day.
YC's running tends to be offroad these days, and he was over in the Lake District this week for some training. Can any sharp eyed reader identify which hill this photo was taken from and which stream YC was looking down on at the time? Hint - YC was recceing a section of the Borrowdale Fell race.