Category: Fells

Mine’s a half

It’s nearly summer. Never mind that I had the heating on three times last week, and one night I nearly put the gas fire on too. Never mind that I got drenched while walking to the bus station on Saturday. I know it’s nearly summer for a few reasons: the menopause, the gift that keeps…



The 65th Three Peaks Race

 “You’re the cut-off lady!” I looked at the man who had run up next to me, on the rocky path up to Pen-y-Ghent. A stranger. A smiling bearded man who I didn’t know. I said, “Huh?” By now I’m used to people recognising me on races for my socks. But not for being a cut-off…




Heptonstall : the return

This was my third year of running Heptonstall Fell Race. The first year it rained all the way round. The second year I got lost. And here I am again on the cobblestones, listening to a kindly vicar say actually very sensible Christian things (I am an atheist but think there is a lot of…




Helvellyn and The Dodds

There are many Dodds. Watson’s, Great, Little, Stybarrow. I know their names because I learned them, and I learned them because getting them in the right order seemed necessary, when my nerves were skyrocketing in the days before the race. I had entered us — me and FRB — just after the Three Peaks, in…




Trail de Caussou

Caussou. A place I had not heard of.  A place many people may not have heard of as it is a small village on a mountainside in the Haute-Ariège. I have a house in south-western France, near the Pyrenées, and as we were coming on holiday for a few weeks, obviously I looked for a…




A cautionary tale

Or, how to turn a trail race into a fell race, without meaning to. It’s gala season. Gala races are fun, because they are often short, there is often ice-cream afterwards and before the race starts you can watch 11-year-olds put their all into winning sack races. On Saturday it was Ingleton Gala, and Ingleton…




Weets

“Do you fancy doing weets?” “Do I fancy doing what?” “It’s a race. Called Weets. A bit like a mini Tour of Pendle.” Ah. That clinched it. Although I know this is perverse, I’m very fond of Tour of Pendle, maybe because I got a 25 minute minute PB on it last year on my…




The 64th Three Peaks Race

There are harder jobs than writing books. Trauma surgery, or being a Conservative politician who manages to keep her or his job. Truck drivers, nurses, teachers. So many people are what is called time-poor. I have more freedom than many people – that’s why my job is called free(lance) — but writing a book, when…




DNF

DNF. Did. Not. Finish. My first ever. Entirely avoidable. And entirely my fault. Heptonstall. I ran this last year and all I remember of it was pouring rain from start to finish. It was meant to be held last Sunday but was snowed off. I couldn’t have run it then as I was still deep…




Clairvoyance

Last autumn, I marshalled at a fell race. It was a decent day. The forecast was benign: about 13-14 degrees, not too much wind, a chance of rain. But that forecast applied to Ilkley, whereas the race was on Ilkley Moor. It’s not a huge amount of difference in height, but in that the difference…