Christmas period

So on Wednesday we had our Santa run; we think, 63 in all, but obviously a little difficult to count.  Not all Santas – one or two elves and fairies, a couple of reindeer.  But mainly good old Father Christmas.

2015 Santas

Then the usual frenetic run in  to Christmas, a pleasant day with good company and a sufficiency of food, and on Boxing Day I always do the Whinberry Naze.  And always in my kilt, shirt, tie, jacket.  Saves having to think – a new idea every year?  Not me.

So I got myself dressed, fielded my granddaughter’s enquiry as to why I was wearing a dress, and got off to Marl Pits.  Raining extremely heavily, a lot of water on the road, had to make one small detour to avoid a flood.

Cancelled.  A very brave lady, with an umbrella, at the entrance to Marl Pits.  Prepared to have a conversation with all comers, and smiling all the time.  Amazing.  They actually raised £200 for the Cumbria floods even though the race was off.

So – I thought I might as well go to Tod Park to check my route for the fun run at the next day’s Red Hot Toddy.

The journey getting more complicated; deep water on the roads in parts; get near to Tod – no way through.

OK.  Go home.  Yet more complicated.  Got to within about 1 1/2 miles from home, and that’s where I left the car.  Defeated by a mudslip across the road.  Probably about 1 metre high at its lowest point.

But that was nothing compared to what was going on down in the valley.

A lock on the Rochdale canal
A lock on the Rochdale canal

And obviously we did not hold the Red Hot Toddy.

Pack runs only

Well – I went out on the pack run last week and ran like a lump of lead.  Not in any way inspiring.  It was a bit cold & I was wearing leggings and I don’t like wearing leggings – but it’s hard to blame the leggings.  Anyway it was a pleasant evening and I got a bit of a breather.

It’s certainly been very wet and, often, very windy.   Our Search & Rescue Team were up in Cumbria – not me, as I’m not water trained.  Seems like they were useful.  Certainly returned very tired.

One way and another I did not run at the weekend; so my next excursion was last night, once more on the weekly pack run.  A lovely mild evening, fairly still, not wet; I took my group a bit of a longer run than usual, which may have been unkind to a young lady who joined us for the first time; she found herself walking in parts.  Said she’d enjoyed the run, however, when we got back.

It was good for me anyway; we’ve had a bereavement, a family member very dear to me.  Her funeral was in Melbourne today.  Seems to have gone off OK with around 100 people there.  It’s been a bit difficult writing the Christmas cards this time.

The one pleasure for those of us in the UK is that she managed to visit in July, at which time she was still really ‘well’; I’ll treasure the memory of her running around the field at the Ambleside Sports.

On towards Christmas.

Calder Valley Score Event

It’s been extremely wet recently.  I was in Oldham assisting with the byelection; and, knocking on doors, I ended up as wet as I have ever been at a fell race.  That was last Saturday; so, on Monday, I stayed indoors, in the Committee Rooms, and called people at home, rather than knocking on their doors.  Then, against expectations, it was dry throughout daylight hours on polling day – I was tired and did not stay longer.  And, way beyond my expectations, we had a stunning result and a very popular new M.P.  Well worth all the effort.

In the meantime, on Wednesday, I managed to get to the weekly pack run.  It was a pleasant, mild evening, albeit a little windy, but I did not run well.  It was good to be out, anyway.

Today it’s been a score event; a large number of control points, spread over a big area around Todmorden; do as many as you can in 3 hours.  Then lose points very rapidly if you get back late.  Extremely boggy underfoot, otherwise just fine, though a sharp 10 minute shower not long after I set off, and a strong wind.  This the morning after the Tod Harriers’ Annual do.  Certainly wakes you up.

Expertly organised by Calder Valley Fell Runners’ star orienteer James Logue, there were a lot of participants, and I was quite happy with my route choice and my score.  The hardest controls for me were the last two I attempted – each only worth 10 points, but a devil to find.  I’m pleased I did not attempt them early; I night well have been disheartened by my difficulty in finding them.  But leaving them till I was on the way back, and having kept plenty of time in hand, there was no pressure – if I couldn’t find them I could just leave them and get back –  and in fact with a bit of perseverance I did get both of them.  A lot of people seem to have failed on one or both.

Veg chili and cake afterwards – how he did it for £3.50 I can’t tell.  Thanks James.