Sunday, September 21, 2014

Climbing at Dovestone Tor and the Dambuster Flypast

The weather was bright this morning and full of promise although we were up early we seemed to make a late departure. Our plan was to walk along Derwent Edge to Dovestone Tor and to try a climbing route. We tried a few parking spots but everwhere seemed alarmingly full at 1000 am. We eventually found a spot in the car park at Cutthroat bridge. Chatting to someone on our walk to Derwent edge we learned of a fly past of the Lancaster from the RAF Battle of Britain memorial flight which was scheduled for 1615.

We carried along the edge to Dovestone Tor where we sat in the shelter tent and had lunch. We scrambled around looking for a suitable line to climb. We all had fun exploring the wonderful Dovestone edge, we roped up and ascended an interesting line to the top. It was a great opportunity for Keisha and Louis to get to grips with some basic mountaineering ideas of how to use and manage a rope.

On our return from Dovestone Tor we joined the throng of people eager to view a pair of Lancaster's do a flypast over Derwent reservoir. The A57 was turned into a car park and a great crowd of people joined the walk back to their cars scattered along the A57. As one of the Lancasters will return to Canada this is the final opportunity to see a pair of Lancasters. A wonderful experience its strange to think that the Lancaster Radio set housed in Battle of Britain museum at the Derwent dam conjured memories of my days as an Air Cadet. On many Sunday mornings I  would use an old radio set from a Lancaster bomber a privilege then and a valued memory restored today.

We met some friends form the Castle Mountaineering Club who seemed to be quite amused with my grubby youngsters beaming and clearly having a good time in the hills. 

Further information about these wonderful historical aircraft are here.
Lancaster 2014 UK Tour
RAF Battle of Britain memorial Flight
Dambusters Blog

 RAF Battle of Britain memorial Flight

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Chesterfield Marathon 14th September 2014

I feel that my recent experiences with training for the Chesterfield half marathon were not entirely positive. One thing for sure is that it's clear that training did not go as planned. I have been dependent on tips and encouragement from the runners world forum and that has been most beneficial. Although I wanted to run sub 4 I'd decided to treat the run as a training run and let go of targets. It's the first time there has been a marathon in Chesterfield for over 30 yrs and apart from a 56 mile ultra early in July this was my first marathon for 20 years. 

But how did things work out on race day? Weather today was perfect, cloudy and cool with a light breeze the race started at 0830 outside Queens Park, the usual mass enthusiasm and excitement. Today I felt liberated from my GPS device as stupidly I'd left it at home. 

The race allegedly offered the promise of a fast half marathon time. Actually I found the first half fairly OK. The race took you around the town centre and then out on a lane of the dual carriageway, that sounds quite dull but I enjoyed chatting people on the way out. I soon realised that my time was 10 mins/mile too much chatting! The next section of 6 miles was quite a pleasant run along country roads to the beautiful village of Heath and then back through Hasland. Lots of people turned out and cheered us on including by friends who were looking after my children for the day. I was surprised that drawing to the end of the first half marathon the pace didn't pick up as much and I watched carefully to make sure I wasn't keeping pace with the half marathoners. Half marathon was completed in 2hrs 2mins and it was strange as we headed up rather a sharp pull to start the 2nd half while the half marathoners finished. 

The numbers thinned out, but the people cheering us on did not. The next six miles featured a few loop returns (e.g. out along a road and back around a roundabout). It was good to see people returning having completed this section. There was less chat on this section people were knuckling down. As we left the Sheepbridge industrial estate the run headed to Newbold village there was rather a long climb. I was OK with this as its one of my winter runs but I thought that was quite hard after 19 miles! The nicest section of the run was next this took us through Holmebrook valley park for some off roading! What I thought was the hardest climb came next at 21-22 miles. Another hill I'm used too but unfortunately I only ever run down this one and that's as fast as you can. All I can say is that it was *******, however I kept on going. At the top I enjoyed my picnic and planned food break walking briskly along (thanks for the tip from the runners world forum). Only 4 miles left now into town. 

The crowds built up the legs became increasingly heavy and wow there were my friends and children again, how lucky was that? There was only one more hill left and after everything this one is not going to beat me, I was ready for it! The final section leads into town in front of the Town hall and then back down rather a steep into Queens park. For a 400m circuit around the pond and another 400m circuit around the cricket pitch, which seemed to take a while, I didn't really have much left in my legs for a final blast but did my best to plod I crossed the finish line after 3hours 59m 45s (from my watch). I was really pleased with that it has made up for all the training niggles.

 When collecting my bag at the end I took advantage of a complementary massage from a very helpful physio. I would recommend this marathon the people of Chesterfield came out and provided excellent support. I suspect that this event will get better as there is also some entertainment at strategic locations along the route. I hope to try it again next year.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Louis Summer Holiday in Northumberland

Here as some photographs I have chosen from our holiday in Northumberland

Mummy and keisha went on the party bus,. They partied so much they had to stop and rest.

We went on the bridge that went all the way to Scotland from Northumberland.

Here is Alnwick castle, we were going to broomstick flying classes.

Here is my sister flying on her broomstick.

We looked at a real carriage which horses pull. This carriage was used for a very special wedding.

Me and Keisha dressed up as a knight and a princess. We had our picture taken.

This is my favourite picture. I had a fight with a real dragon. I was so happy I won the sword fight.

We walked around the castle walls

We have seen stones with squirly patterns in the Peak district, we saw this stone at Alnwick castle.

We had lots of visits to the beach.

We looked in the rock pools.

We found a jelly fish.

Me and Keisha ran in the water at the beach.

We saw an actual Jelly fish swimming in the water at the beach.

Daddy and Keisha buried me in the sand.

Me and Keisha found a new friend at the beach, we played with it at the beach and we made it walk the tight rope. Our friend is a spider!

I caught a small starfish in my net and then we took a photograph and put it back into the water.