Ladies on Tour

This morning a group of ladies from our Tuesday sessions (plus special guest Clare O) had a wonderful run from Reeth. We had the wind to our backs as we made our way up on to Fremington Edge and then, sheltered by the wall, had a lovely run along the ridge. Then came the fun bit! It is such a wonderful descent down a springy, grassy path before a short, steeper technical section. The section along by the river is always more undulating than you would like it to be but we were back in Reeth before we knew it. A fabulous, relaxed and thoroughly enjoyable run out!

DFR Ladies Nights are up and running

It was not planned that our very first Durham Fell Runners Ladies session would take place on International Women’s Day but it felt pretty powerful that it did. 

Having recently completed my Leader in Running Fitness course it was my main aim to set up these sessions as a way of making that leap into joining a new running club a little less intimidating and for new female members. The vision is that these sessions are accessible to all, regardless of current fitness levels, with the focus being on getting out into the forest, building confidence and just taking in the magic that running somewhere remote gives.

And so it was that last night thirteen brave ladies took the plunge and came to Hamsterley Forest for the very start of this adventure. It was a lovely early spring night with little wind and a lovely moon peeping through the trees as we completed our warm up then set off for a lap of the Gruffalo trail where we learned and practised the art of looping back. When we run out this will mean that no one is left behind and that everyone is able to keep moving at their own pace. Then we completed a paired activity with the focus being on maintaining a consistent pace. It is fair to say that everyone absolutely smashed it with some very impressive timing. Then we had a cool down and before we knew it the session was finished. 

 A huge thank you to everyone who turned up – you were fantastic.    See you at the next session on 22nd March.    If you have any questions then please email me at fblackett@outlook.com.   If you fancy joining us then come along for our next session, we meet at 1900 in the main Hamsterley Forest car park.   

Thank you for a truly inclusive first session. And having the moon out and listening to the river added to the magic.

Rachel

Hexhamshire Hobble

Running for DFR today: Meghan McCarthy (30th), Marie-Louise Ridley (47th) Jim Clapp (53rd), Fran Blackett (71st) 

We had a good turnout of runners for DFR at the Hexham Hobble today. Given the events and challenges of the last week I think that we were all feeling extra grateful to the organisers and marshals for getting this race put on. The Hexham Hobble is a great route of about 16km with roughly 400m ascent. It is always incredibly well marshalled and, at points, flagged making it an excellent introduction to fell racing if you have never done one before. In fact, it was my very first fell race back in 2013. I ran it again in 2014 but then hadn’t returned until today. When I entered on a whim a few weeks ago I was imagining a lovely, crisp winter morning with all bogs and puddles frozen over. I should have known better. Andy always bets his left testicle that there will be snow at the Hobble. Although the weather was pretty kind (just a bit of an icy headwind on the second half…), the conditions underfoot were pretty horrific: wet, slippy mud; icy patches; soft snow (not the nice frozen kind that you can run along); slushy, FREEZING cold puddles and bogs. I was full of regret at deciding not to wear waterproof socks. The first climb is the worst, steep up the road out of Allendale and then it levels off as you turn off the road onto tracks and trods across the fell. Then it is undulating until you hit a middle road section with a steep down and then up back onto the fell before a final road section as you descend back into Allendale and the finish. As per the race organisers instructions everyone dispersed quickly at the finish so I can only assume that everyone had a great time! And the ladies managed to scoop the team prize so that was an exciting bonus! 


Thanks to Tom Bentley for the photos.

Leg 10, Old A66 nr Troutbeck to Mosedale Road end

Having negotiated a herd of excitable young cows Dawn and I arrived at the ascent of Souther Fell. The bracken was as heinous as we’d expected! We bashed on through it and eventually reached grass and then our first summit of the leg. Then a lovely run along to the col before the longer climb up Blencathra which was unusually quiet. Just one tent near the summit. Dawn called the young man out of his cosy sleeping bag to come and take a picture of us! Then we had the lovely descent down to Mungrisdale Common. It was such a joy to be on the grass after yesterday steep and rocky ground. The rest of the leg was pretty straight forward with good going and a few short climbs. Before we knew it we had reached the summit of Bowscale Fell, our final Wainwright of the leg. Then it was another fabulous grassy descent down to the road to hand over to Graham and Tom D.  

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