Claire Cobley

A 50th, A broken bike and ride, The C-Bomb. (And the PIG!)

An eclectic weekend in my humble opinion that saw bike purchases, tiredness, a broken chain, a cinema to ourselves, and great usage of the C-Bomb, not to mention a great 50th for a lovely fella (even if he is a grump.)

Olivia Coleman

Saturday saw an early start with a Ted walk and breakfast followed by a trip to Evans Cycles and Decathlon for swimming and cycling gear at the National Cycling Centre. Some great bargains at the Evans and we picked up some nice clothing, and I’m very happy with my Fox long sleeved top with a perforated fabric; reckon it will double up for running. One highlight was watching the nutters on the BMX track, which I’ve never seen, practice starts. It was amazing to see the fluidity with which they cycled.

BMX bandits!

We retreated home for a sleep and then put the glad rags on for the occasion of the weekend. The 50th birthday bash of Nick Gregory, aka Grumpy. A longstanding and ex-member of Macclesfield Round Table, great Dad to Tom and Will (speaking of Tom, how tall is he now?!?!) and hubby to the ace Rebecca. Affectionately known by those in the know as “Grumpy”.

Flickr photos

A rare occasion of smiling when giving a sermon to the Great Unwashed.

A genuinely lovely fella and what a great bash with local band, Monkey Harris, belting out some smashing Madchester Indie tunes for the 40/50 somethings, which sent The Boss into dance mode with others and note you youngsters all the “shapes” that were being made.

Sunday saw what we call in the trade, a “non-bike ride” as The Boss and I headed off in miserable weather for a long bike ride. On nearly reaching Grains Bar about 4/5 miles in my road chain blew up and yours truly was stranded in freezing wind. The Boss shot of to get Pierre the Peugeot for recovery whilst I walked and free wheeled to the Roebuck pub, which he’d never been into. And what a lovely pub that is dog friendly and clearly serves nice food. A coffee was ordered whilst waiting and to thaw out, with The Boss eventually joining for a cup of tea. Back home for chores and then back out again to return clothing at Blacks on Deansgate, and the purchase of 10 speed (idiot boy managed to purchase a 11 speed) chain, followed by food at My Thai, and then the Print Works for a showing of The Favourite.

My Thai on John Dalton Street (some Scottish Bird)

Now, onto The Favourite. Firstly we got to Vue at the Print Works to have a whole screen to ourselves. The film was great and recommended, and you can surely read up on it. This point was and is the use of the C-Bomb which was both impressive and astounding. I may go back and watch the film solo just to count how many times it was used…

The C-Bomb seating.

One thing also worthy of mention was the fact it was Chinese New Year celebrations on Sunday, officially Tuesday was new year, and celebrations kicked off Thursday. We were greeted after the Thai food to an explosion of fireworks and I reminisced about my Pig encounter in St Anne’s Square on Friday. Long live The Pig!








A rather busy weekend, BUT no fell running!

The weekend just gone was action packed in that we were out in the great outdoors in the snow. But no fell running… Due to a fall on ice.

Stanage Edge

Friday was a retreat to bed tired after a hard week and aching on my right side. Wednesday night I’d been walking Ted and went over very hard on black ice on a local path. My feet went under me and I landed on my back, luckily I was wearing my Rab thick down coat and it cushioned a lot of the impact and prevented my head cracking the Tarmac; it could have been very bad. Since then my ribs on my right side have prevented me running with moving, especially sleeping, painful indeed.

Saturday saw us gather but not run (me with bashed ribs, Claire with plantar fasciitis) the annual Gerry’s Castleshaw Canter from Delph, renamed in honour of Gerry who sadly passed away recently, a much loved elder statesman of the club. Ted, Claire, and I watched the start, then parked above Delph to watch the runners come in across Ox Hey Top/Broad Lane. We missed out on the running, but what a day for a walk, and for the runners.

Leading the pack was V60 (yes, V60) Mr Chris Davies, with first lady back being Gaynor Keane. Impressive in the terrain, and tricky underfoot snow.

The run was followed by tea and home baked cake at the Torr’s in Delph in their beautiful house, with donations to the club charity. I stuffed my face, not sure about the wife, but Ted is always partial to lemon drizzle cake.

Flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmxSm6S4

And we must not forget Super Ted had a belting time in the snow; running about like a young pup, bearing in mind he’s 12 years old.

Later on that evening was the annual Saddleworth Runners presentation bash at the lovely Saddleworth Golf Club. The event sees club prizes awarded (we picked up second male and Claire second female - boom), nice food, drink, and company both old and new. And of course the Wooden Spoon award for the best failure of the last year, won by my wife for missing my by two hours at the Snake Pass summit when supporting me on the 24 mile Marsden to Edale Trigger fell race, and also forgetting my bag of fresh clothes to change into! Matters were made worse by the fact I’d won the spoon the year before and Claire wanted to see the back of it.

Flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmv4e8fh

With my side still hurting like heck and playing up on the Saturday night as I laughed I was glad for a nice walk with “The Pigs” on Sunday from Hathersage across Stanage Edge. Whilst bitterly cold at times, it was well worth the effort just to lap up the views.

Flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmxVsVkF

Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/2122430117


It was good to be out with Claire, Ted, Gavin, Steve, and especially Andy who I’d not seen for a while.

Prostate Cancer UK, A Talk, Tony Collier.

Yesterday night, which was Tuesday night, was the normal club training night for the Saddleworth Runners but also saw a speech after the running given by fellow runner Tony Collier on prostate cancer.

A speech by Tony Collier.

I did not run last night as I was recovering from the Trigger fell race, but wanted to catch Tony’s talk and I am glad I did.

Tony Collier

Tony is an inspirational runner and a founder of Styal Running Club, who to date has run 20 marathons across the world, whilst running his own accountancy business.

He is also suffering from incurable prostate cancer and gave a very informative presentation on this form of cancer that afflicts men and is much more common than people really realise, a silent killer, and not oft spoken about by men.

Prostate Cancer UK is the charity Tony was speaking on behalf on.

  • It is the most common form of cancer in men.

  • In the UK, about 1 in 8 men will suffer from this cancer.

  • The number of men dying from prostate cancer every year has for the first time overtaken the number of women dying from breast cancer making it the third biggest cancer killer in the UK, official statistics reveal. Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/news/health/prostate-breast-cancer-third-biggest-killer/

The big thing for me is how common prostate problems are and become in men as they get older. Tony was trying to emphasise that the goal for the charity is to raise awareness and strive for a screening test, as the big issue is there is no effective screening for this common cancer. It slips past people and is sinister.

Worth reading about! I would strongly advise any male to make sure they do as my eyes were fully opened.

Trigger 2019

The Trigger 2019. Rain, and drizzle, and wind, and clag, and wet, and sodden, and 24 miles, and 5k feet of climb, and Gareth Evans.

Looking back yesterday’s race was challenging and I’m pleased to have completed it. The overall weather was pants to be honest, with drizzle most of the way, clag creating limited visibility, and a very sodden ground underfoot making for hard going, with rivers also in flood.

Marsden Cricket Club Start

The hardest element was the wind which may have been 50/60mph in places, and for a lot of the running was completely in your face. The climb out of Red Clough to the Kinder Plateau was one of the hardest climbs ever for me as the wind pushed you back with footwork on the trods being all over the show as you were buffeted by gusts.

The weather overall was strange, for the most part awful, but interspersed with moments of clarity (see photo below) to then soon be lost to clag.

Navigation was important after Lawrence Edge with the Bleaklow Plain being a right old fug. Visibility must have been down to 20 metres in what is a bugger to navigate in clear weather. Compass in hand we aimed for the Pennine Way, which would take us to the Wain Stones, and from there to High Shelf Stones Trig on Shelf Moor. Leap frogging had to be used and we were pleased as Punch to be bang on with the Nav’. It is at this point I’d like to say a big thank you to the poor sods of Glossop Mountain Rescue manning checkpoints and turning points such as Wain Stones, in blistering wind and rain - they must have been frozen. There were some other hardy (foolhardy?) folks also up there as we passed people heading north completing the Spine race; you really did feel for them.

“Hairdryer” wind climbing out of Red Clough

At the Downfall I have seen the waterfall many times blown backwards up the river, but never with such ferocity as yesterday; if you were not wet by then you certainly were at this point as you became drenched by the spray from the waterfall being funneled by wind.

I'd decided to run with Gareth Evans for some company and am very glad I did as we pushed each other along and kept each other company. Meeting us part way round with encouragement was Ryan Townrow armed with Poppy at the Snake Pass crossing.

(I initially saw Ryan hanging out of van on the Holmfirth Road at “Snoopy’s” yelling “Cobbers” adorned with a superb mustache. I’ve now renamed him Magnum in homage to Tom Selleck from childhood days.)

Ryan and Poppy offering support at the Snake Pass

At the finish we were met by Gareth’s family to cheers, which brought a close a tough old day. Would I do it again? Yes, and I can see why people like the race and it sells out. It is a classic fell race. Beautiful scenery with you pitted against the elements; it challenges you to the point of being proud when you have finished.

Trigger finish after 24.7 miles in Edale

A Wonderful Christmas.

Christmas was very pleasant with Mother over for dinner on the day, then Boxing Day saw us head up to Hamilton with the in-laws. 28th December saw us fly out to NYC to visit Brian my friend, with a return on the 3rd January.

There is a lot to cram in about the trip to NYC, and not enough space for words; suffice to say that Brian did us proud in terms of hospitality in Congers and when in the city. Highlights started straight away with a Christmas performance by the Rockettes at the marvellous Art Deco Radio City Music Hall just off the Rockeffella Centre.

New Year’s Eve saw us stay overnight in the historic Gramercy Park Hotel in preparation for the Midnight Run in Central Park.

Central Park

https://www.strava.com/activities/2047758369

Plenty of food was consumed, photographs taken and laughs had. I even managed to squeeze a trail run in the State Parks above Rockland Lake and the Hudson River.

Nyack from Hook Mountain State Park

Nyack from Hook Mountain State Park

A weekend in Hawes.

The pervious weekend saw us head to Stone House Hotel just outside Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales to celebrate mother’s birthday meal.

On arriving Saturday we checked into the hotel and caught up with Mother. The house commands a dominating position above Hawes, one that the family owners have turned into a beautiful and unique hotel with simple yet atmospheric gardens. By the time we arrived in the afternoon the weather had turned dark, cold, freezing rain. It was 3 degrees C when we left and not far from the hotel had reached minus 1. Snow was forecast.

We headed out for a walk in windy, wet, freezing conditions. We needed to get out of the hotel otherwise cabin fever would have set in, or Mother would have set us off. And Ted can only stand for sold long being grappled with the accompanying sent of Estee Lauder Youth Drew. So off we set with Ted, who wanted to turn back due to the weather, but mostly due to the sound of shotguns in the valley. It was a pleasant walk but cold as we headed to Hardraw, just down the road passing from field to field. By now water droplets were freezing in the wind. Ted’s coat by this point as had clothing become quite wet. We made it to Hardraw’s Green Dragon Inn, took shelter and had a drink whilst drying out clothing on fire guard for the wood burning range, chatting to locals with a sense of fun in the conversation; as usual Ted was the centre piece.

We headed off, despite a local offering us a lift, across the fields with it now dark, the weather deteriorating, Ted struggling on the frozen grass. He had to be picked up about half a mile away from the hotel shivering hard. On making it back safely we dried out by the log fire in the hotel lounge with mother, to then retreat to the room for a rest before changing for dinner. A challenge popped up. We discovered that Chairman Ted of Found Us fame was not able to make dinner in the restaurant, no dogs. Should I try the “Siberian Hampster” ruse?

We ended up leaving Ted in the suite we had, Ted obliged by shouting the house down. He’s not one to be left out when he’s wearing a Harris Tweed bowtie collar. This was a predicament bearing in mind the two suites above us. A compromise was reached. On eating each course I headed over ice frozen and treacherous pebbles to check on him and feed him lamb across to pheasant. He woofed it down, and eventually settled.

The morning saw a rather “pucker” full English with Mr Woof sadly banished to the suite and checked upon by The Boss. After breakfast we all headed of to Hardraw with a view to seeing the famous Hardraw Force. And we were not disappointed when we got there, with the heavy rain having created a great flow of water over the waterfall. The spray immense and drenching, the noise deafening.

After a right proper dousing aad ignoring the signs saying don't go behind the waterfall we headed to Hawes for the Wensleydale Creamery for cheese buying and shopping.

Shopping involved Claire getting her foot stuck in a boot she tried on with her having to be extricated by myself and the shop owner, the purchase of two sets of ladies’ shoes, one lady’s gillet, a men’s checked winter shirt, and a gift from Mum of a lovely Jacobean replica companion set for the fire, hand made by Belltrees Forge and at the reasonable price of £345 - we went for a sit down brew and cake… It was then off home, sad to say goodbye, but happy in a great weekend.