Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Original Mountain Marathon Day 2 Oct 2015 - Tweedsmuir, Scottish Borders

OMM 2015 - Tweedsmuir, Scotland
Medium Score Day 2 - Sunday

As things go, we had a reasonable night's sleep - helped by the 'luxury' of a hot chocolate and dark choccy bar! It's all relative though - the extra hour for the clocks going back means another hour waiting for the morning.

It soon came with the delightful ethereal sound of the bagpipes calling us to cook the Scots porridge!

Sunday morning at the overnight campsite

 We had the latest of starts so the campsite had largely emptied by the time we set off at 9am.
We were on one of the last to leave

Daniel at the Start - 9.15am, as the light comes over fells

Contemplating the 5 hours of effort we have ahead of us to get back to the finish.
We have yet to get the Day 2 map to plot our route - which turned out to be up over the fells on the left of photo

Looking back on the first climb of the day - to the now empty overnight campsite

Daniel climbs up to our third Control of the day - see he's got his map tucked into his rucksack to leave hands free for the scramble up the stream

Success! Daniel punches to record our visit - another 20 points making it 60 so far!

Looking at a rather depleted Megget Reservoir as we 'speed-walked' and jogged past

Last run back - downhill and running short of time. Spurred on by passing other teams, even though they were not on our Course. We needed to get back in 5 hours!

The Finish!
After the final downhill charge to get in within our 5 hours - in the event we were 4 minutes over so were deducted 8 points from the 120 punched.

Final Result - Medium Score:
Day 1 - 138 points in 6 hours 1min : 60th position overnight
Day 2 - 112 points in 5 hours 4 min : 67th position on Day 2 

Overall Result - 250 points : 64th out of 152 finishers
                         -  Vets Race: 30th out of 62 Vets (Handicap allowance of 104 years)

This is by far our best result of the four OMM Medium Score Events we have done.
A great weekend in the mountains!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Original Mountain Marathon Oct 2015 - Tweedsmuir, Scottish Borders

OMM 2015 - Tweedsmuir, Scotland
Medium Score Day 1 - Saturday

This year's Mountain Marathon was held in the beautiful Scottish Borders area just beyond Moffat. It is a relatively 'close' event location for us - though our son, Daniel, drives up from London. After a 4 hour drive, we parked up in our motorvan on the parking field.
Overnight it belted with rain and the fields were awash with puddles!
Walking up to the start on Saturday morning 
It's raining - we had the last start time so most other competitors had gone ahead

Dan having a brew and looking at the Map of the area.
The map is blank at this stage - we only get our competition map having started

Some other late starters sheltering from the rain in the barn

9.25am and we are at the Start at the edge of the woods

All kitted up and ready to go! Team Woolford 1371 on the Medium Score Event.
We have 6 hours to get as many Control Points as we can - going over the mountain terrain to the overnight campsite. We have to carry all our gear for camping the one night - together with food, dry clothing, stove etc

This view shows Dan leaving the first control - along a boggy forest ride 
Looking back down the valley - need to descend this

Always time for a photo!
Looking down to the valley bottom and then across to the stream alongside the block of trees - we climbed up to the source of the stream for our next control

Similar view - the weather is clearing (hoods down).
The next control gave us 60 points so far!
Fantastic views all round - wind turbines in the distance!

Faster progress along an isolated road - we are going over the top in the distance

20 minutes to go! Down this hillside, following the stream, to the valley bottom.
You can just see the meandering river in the bottom 

Dan leads downhill - I had trouble keeping with him!
Edging closer to the bottom - 15 minutes to go!

We made it - although 1 minute over our allotted 6 hours gave a penalty of 2 points!
Still 138 points on Day 1 is creditable - it put us in 60th place out of 152 finishers!
This later photo is of the overnight field campsite  - a few lights twinkling

Priority is to have fluids and eat as much as you can - brew on! 

Snug in the sleeping bag! Our gear stuffed at the end of the tent

Keeping warm! Three running layers and 2 fleeces - plus sleeping bag!
Sleep comes intermittently!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Leading the Ramblers over Caer Caradoc October 2015

Leading the Ramblers over Caer Caradoc
Shropshire October 2015

I am having immense pleasure walking with the North and Mid-Cheshire Ramblers - including the privilege of leading a group of experienced walkers.
My walk leading this month was in Shropshire, from the delightful village of Cardington across to The Lawley.

Setting off - with me as Leader clutching the map 

The summit of The Lawley at 377m, 1237ft
Looking back down Lawley - a view north
Our lunch stop, just over the top of Caer Caradoc at the foot of the Bronze Age Fort.
The climb up to the top from the road crossing is a majestic 770ft,  a Shropshire summit of 429m,1506ft. This view is looking east to Hope Bowdler Hill and Shropshire's highest top of Brown Clee Hill in the far distance
Descending the 'whale back' ridge

A westerly view over to the Long Mynd


Looking south, descending on soft turf - a pleasure!

The strange, yet aptly named three finger rocks
Looking back up to Caer Caradoc ridge
A great day's walking - 11.5 miles and 3021ft of climb