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DG Training 2011 : Week 26

Posted by Dougie on July 8, 2011 at 5:59 AM Comments comments (1)

Week 26 (27/06 - 03/07)


Weight : 11st 12lbs

Booze : 12

Miles : irrelevant



Race Week


Wednesday : Midweek League Race (5 mile) at Welwyn GC.. Was intending to go easy

because of the weekend race, so set off with Steve A and ambled round the first mile, then

we both thought "Bugger this" and pushed on a bit.. Probably shouldn't have, but we made

good progress and I ended up about doing about thirty four and a half or so, with Steve not

so far ahead..



Race Weekend


Day 1


Control Code Grid Ref    Description

Start      100    317 056    Start Day 1

1            119    306 090    Stream at 315M

2            120    297 086    Knoll Belles Knot

3            121    269 085    Stream Junction

4            122    289 129    Knoll High Saddle

5            123     297 133    Knoll

6            110    313 118    Bridge

7            102    322 127    Finish Day 1



Day 2

Control Code Grid Ref   Description

Start     101    318 125    Start Day 2

1           109    307 111    Tarn Edge SW Corner

2           126    296 100    Sheepfold North West Pen

3           127    267 091    Stream Junction

4           141    270 058    Crag Foot

5           129    288 047    Knoll South End

6           130    312 041    Gate / Stile

7           103    314 050    Finish Day 2



Weather forecast for the weekend was good, with little or no rain predicted.. The organisers

had put out an email the day before warning of mozzies at mid camp, so we made sure we

had the repellant with us..



The Start : This is where it all started to go wrong !!!! We got the control details, marked up

the maps, then headed off uphill in North / North West direction.. In such an intent to make

good progress, I didn't really have a defined route to CP1 with known location points on the

way, and ended up drifting too far West of where we should have been going - it's difficult to

know exactly what was going through my head, but it certainly wasn't logic and clear

thinking.. With so many teams going in a number of directions, we were just drifting West..

By the time I realised exactly where we were, I was kicking myself for allowing this to

happen.. I worked out a route to the CP, but had lost a significant amount of time against our

"rivals".. We did see Kash & Alan, and realised they were as far wrong as we were.. A tricky

(dangerous) descent towards CP1 and then we passed Paul & John, then Tony & Rachel (all

heading in the opposite direction towards CP2) - this gave them the morale boost they

needed, and gave me such a kick in the sore bits.. As we got to CP1 and headed back

towards CP2, I was so mentally deflated, it also affected me physically, and I felt drained..

Steve did his best to cheer me up, which is one of his strengths, but I was beating myself up

for making such a mess of the start.. Overall, we had lost about one hour.


CP1 to CP2 was fairly short and (another) climb.. I can't actually recall much of the detail of

the route from CP2 to CP3 (even looking at the map now), but it was another climb up and

over the saddle between High Raise and Thunacar Knott..


CP3 to CP4 was a long drag but basically, we climbed to 600M and contoured round

Ullscarf to the knoll at High Saddle.. My left hammie cramped up painfully, and Steve gave

me a toasting for not accepting some of the salted peanuts he'd offered half an hour

beforehand - yes.. yes... I know... I should know better etc at my age.. But, this was the first

time I'd ever cramped up during an event - it was a sure sign of the amount of salt I was

losing out of my body in the hot conditions..


Going from CP4 to CP5, we met Paul legging it back towards CP4 and realised he must

have missed it.. We caught up with Bill & Bell around CP5 and the three pairs headed

towards CP6 - I knew this was a tricky descent, but was trying to find the best route through

the fern covered rocky slopes (I'm not really sure there was a best route ?). As we

approached the final part of the descent towards CP6, we saw Tony & Rachel (we had finally

caught them up) and the four of us headed into the finish and mid camp..


We got the tent up, and managed to get a decent area, big enough so all five pairs could be

together.. Brew on and we felt better..


We cheered on Bill & Bell as they arrived, but the response of "B*ll*x" meant that all was not

well with Steve Bell.. He came into mid camp complaining about how much of a H&S risk

the last descent was, and that no-one should be made to endure that (well, he works for the

Council, so that explains a lot, I'm sure).. This wasn't the last time the toys were lobbed out

the pram over the weekend, that's for certain.


I was the first to slope off to bed, but it took a long time for the camp to quieten down and I

certainly didn't get to sleep as quickly as I would have wanted..


I woke up in the morning with Steve nibbling my ear and nudging me in the back with his

elbow (??).... [That's sentence is a lie - Steve, please don't sue me]



We got the Day 2 CP info and I marked up the map.. The Day 1 results meant that Tony &

Rachel had 30 mins lead on us, and Paul & John had about 16 mins on us - We had a lot of

ground to make up..



We packed up our kit, and headed off to the start.. I needed a last minute portaloo visit,

which actually worked well in terms of timing, because it seperated us from the other four

pairs, and we gave them a 5 minute head start on us (chip timings allow for this etc).


We caught Bill & Bell, then Paul & John and Kash & Alan on the first climb to CP1, but

Tony & Rachel were away and out of sight.. The first we saw them was as we approached

the sheepfold at CP2, and they were exiting it towards CP3.. They didn't see us, but it gave

me some confidence we were closing the lead they had.. I choose a different route out of

CP2 and towards CP3, hoping to perhaps make up more ground, but we didn't see them

around the CP, so I reckoned they were still ahead..


The route to CP4 was a tricky path descent and, as we moved away from the path to climb

towards the crags, Tony & Rachel appeared behind us.. They had lost some time (but not

enough).. They got away from us again on the fern covered climb to CP4 - I was really

showing signs of tiring at this stage.


The route to CP5 was (yet) another ascent to a knoll where Tony & Rachel continued to

open up a gap on us as I slowed more..


There were two options to get to CP6... Go left (up then down) or go right (down then up).. I

decided to get the last climb out of the way, so "up then down" was the choice.. About

halfway up the last climb, we stopped for a last gel and drink.. I'm not sure what happened,

but the next thing I knew, I was on all fours retching violently.. I had all sorts of thoughts

about having drank "bad" water out of the streams etc, but got my act together after about

10 minutes, picked myself up, and made my way up the hill again.. I'm sure I didn't look a

pretty sight to the teams that passed us on the hill at that time, but Steve pacified them by

saying "It's ok, he's Scottish, he'll be fine".. Anyway, as we approached CP6, we met Tony

& Rachel again (at the checkpoint) and ran into the finish with them.. I knew we hadn't

caught up the 30 mins lead they had overall, but we did beat them on the Sunday, so that

was some consolation..


We think my doggie impression on the last hill was due to excessive sun or some form of

heat exhaustion.. Either way, I don't want it again, thank you very much..



Overall result (Day 1, Day 2, Overall) :-


32nd= Tony Conway & Rachel Clay MIX 05:52:46 (44th) 05:17:24 (28th) 11:10:10

41st Dougie Gray & Steve Ambrose MV 06:22:38 (66th) 05:13:06 (22nd) 11:35:44

81st Paul World & John Panter MV 06:06:10 (53rd) 07:38:51 (98th) 13:45:01

90th Bill Scales & Steve Bell M 07:01:13 (81st) 07:44:32 (99th) 14:45:45

99th Katarzyna Burdzy & Alan Dickson MIX 08:30:00 07:34:54 (97th) 16:04:54




Our 22nd place on the Sunday was pretty pleasing, but, of course, the first CP on Day 1 set

the state of play - I don't think we were ever going to recover from that one..



So, another Saunders completed safely (which was a great result for all of us), and hopefully

I can learn from the mistakes made. However, no matter what physical condition I think I'm

in, it is never enough to prepare you for the terrain and the ascents / descents of the event..

The body always feels like it's taken a pounding come the Sunday night.



Next year ??


Yeh, probably..




Dg Training 2011 : Week 25

Posted by Dougie on June 27, 2011 at 11:58 AM Comments comments (0)

Week 25 (20/06 - 26/06)


Weight : 11st 12.25lbs

Booze : 10

Miles : 22



Tuesday : First time I've made it to the speed work session with the club, and it's the one I

hate most.. 6 x 1200's.. Steve & I kept each other going until he perked up and ran away

from me on the last couple.. But I'm not far away from his level, which is a good sign..



Thursday : About 8 miles or so with the club.. Reasonable pace to end as I was stupid

enough to try and run with Louise, who is considerably quicker than me.. I thought I was

doing ok until, as we reached Mark Hall, I slumped to a halt, as she simply kept going with a

shout of "I'm running home, see ya" !!



Sunday : About 8 mile run up and over St Martha's - managed to get all the way to the top

on the steep side (from Chilworth Manor) without stopping..




Did a final kit check and pack this weekend.. All fits nicely into the rucsac, weight comes in

at around 16lbs, with full water bottle.. Have split the tent so I take the outer and the poles &

pegs, Steve takes the inner - seems a fair enough split..


The main group travelling from Hants / Surrey (9 of us) have finally agreed on a mini bus up

to the Lake District - Stevie A is on his own from Essex (Billy no mates), We'll all meet up

there on Friday sometime..


Weather forecast (as at Monday) for Ambleside for the weekend, looks like being reasonable

(no rain) for the Saturday, with perhaps some small showers on the Sunday..


Next report (final one for this year) will be the actual race report.. Anyone wanting to view

results as the weekend progresses can see the website www.slmm.org.uk

We are doing Harter Fell class, and are team number 376.. The other groups are :-

Kash & Alan 201

Tony & Rachel 381

Paul & John 361

Bill & Steve 274



DG Training 2011 : Week 24

Posted by Dougie on June 23, 2011 at 6:21 AM Comments comments (0)

Week 24 (13/06 - 19/06)


Weight : 11st 12lbs

Booze : 12

Miles : 30



Just seen a fat bird walking down the street wearing a t-shirt saying "I love hip hop"


I think the C and the S must have fell off.....




Just arrived home to find a pretty woman grouting the bathroom wall and singing "It's a

heartache, nothin' but a fools game"


I thought to myself "She's a Bonnie Tiler"......





Tuesday : Did my Roydon loop, around 8 miles, but got caught in the heavy rain (again)..

Quickest I've done the loop in 69 minutes.



Thursday : Easy run, around 5 miles from the Fox at Matching Tye with the HRC group.



Sunday : PH3 run was from Send, so I ran there with rucsac and map etc.. Overall, about 17

miles (incl the PH3 run) - felt ok, good running terrain / conditions etc.



The Sunday run will probably be my last longer effort as it's < 2 weeks to go now to

Saunders.. The start times have been published, Steve & I set off at 09:34 on the Saturday

morning, so not too early.. Out of the 5 pairs heading up together, I reckon it's between us

and the Tony / Rachel pairing for line honours and bragging rights.. The good news for us, is

that they're not setting off until 10:04 on the Saturday, so we'll be out of sight by then (they

can't follow us etc) - however, they've made it clear they'll be tracking us all down !!



Final kit check and pack this weekend - hopefully it will all fit in.. If not, then Stevie boy's

gonna be taking all of the tent, not just half of it..




Dg Training 2011 : Week 23

Posted by Dougie on June 13, 2011 at 5:42 AM Comments comments (0)

Weeks 23 (06/06 - 12/06)


Weight : 11st 13.25lbs

Booze : 8

Miles : 15



A teacher starts at a London primary school and tells all the kids she is an Arsenal fan. She

then asks the kids who they support.


All the kids except Johnny say Arsenal..


She asks Johnny "Who do you support, then ?"


"Well, my mum's a Spurs fan, my Dad's a Spurs fan, so that makes me a Spurs fan as well"


Teacher says "Well, if you're Mum was a prostitute junkie and your Dad was a rapist burglar,

what would that make you ?"


Johnny replies "An Arsenal fan !!"






Thursday : First run for about 18 days.. Decided to head out on my own from Roydon on a

circular route of about 8 miles (or so) with map in hand etc.. Unfortunately, got caught in the

heavy rain which completely knackers me for the map reading (glasses get wet and I can't

see the details on the map).. Out for just over 70 minutes, reasonable effort, but I doubt if it

was very quick.



Sunday : Met up with the PH3 Hash group at Lurgashall (West Sussex).. Some good running

at times, but I've definitely lost something with the 18 days off..



Need to try and have a decent couple of weeks training in lead up to Saunders.. The start

location has been announced for Saunders - it's about 4 miles west of Ambleside, which is

great for us, as we're staying at YHA at Ambleside on the Sunday evening.. The bad news is

that we could be heading towards Scafell & Scafell Pike area.. Hopefully. it'll only be the Elite

boys that have to get up and down there a few times, leaving us woosies to mince around the

lower slopes etc..


I need to plan out my kit, and put up my tent in the back garden (as a memory aide) - Nothing

like a quick erection in the garden to get the neighbours curtains twitching !!




DG Training 2011 : Weeks 21-22

Posted by Dougie on June 9, 2011 at 9:38 AM Comments comments (0)

Weeks 21-22 (23/05 - 05/06)


Weight : 11st 13.25lbs

Booze : 20

Miles : 0



My wife suggested I got one of those penis enlargers....


So I did...


She's 21 and her name's Sue....






Unfortunately, I've been laid low since the Brecons sortie.. I've had a bug which got into my

chest and buggered me up good style. I'm only now beginning to shake it off (Thursday of

Week 23 !!)


So, no running at all over last two weeks - this isn't what I needed with < 4 weeks to go to

Saunders.. Hopefully, I won't be back to level zero when I start running again..



Dg Training 2011 : Week 20

Posted by Dougie on May 26, 2011 at 5:16 AM Comments comments (0)

Week 20 (16/05 - 22/05)


Weight : 11st 12lbs

Booze : 10

Miles : 39



In light of Fulhams decision to erect a Michael Jackson status, Chelsea are also planning on

putting up a statue outside their own ground.

A lifesize replica of Bullseye legend Jim Bowen will be placed outside, with the plaque reading

: "Let's have a look at what you could have won !"




Just got my Olympics ticket allocation back. I just missed out on the mens 100M final, but

picked up 35,000 seats for West Ham v Doncaster..




Tuesday : 10k Midweek League race at Royston.. I would probably describe it as undulating,

as the climbs weren't too significant. I started (as usual) fairly steadily (some would say

"slowly"), and started to pick up from about 2k.. Caught up with Stevie A at the 4k mark, and

we had a good pace going until I must had said something wrong around 7k 'cos he just

buggered off into the distance in a blinding flash.. Time was just over 43 mins, but I was more

satisfied with the steady way I ran it..



Thursday : Did about 7 miles loop around from Roydon on my own with map in hand



Saturday & Sunday : Brecons Training Weekend.. Altogether, there were eight hardy souls

who made their way to Pencelli Castle campsite on Saturday morning for a rather wet and

windy weekend..


I had already plotted seven checkpoints (CP's) for each day, with grid references and

descriptions. The "teams" (pairs) were to mark up their maps, then work their way round the

CP's.. Each pair was given a chance to lead to next CP, whilst the remainder followed, but

ensuring they had an eye on where we were on the map. As we hit the hills on saturday

afternoon, the weather got steadily worse. In the interests of safety, and maintaining team

morale, I decided to cut it short at CP5, and head back to base - always have a plan B is the

motto for the day.. (then have C and D in reserve)..


Sunday morning was similarly poor weather, although it brightened up around midday, and

was superb in the afternoon.. Again, some variation necessary on the original CP's / route in

order to get most out of the day..


Altogether, we covered around 25 miles.. Time on the feet was close to 11 hours, carrying kit

on our backs - legs were tested on some of the latter climbs.


The guys seem to "enjoy" the weekend (as much as I can stretch the meaning of the word

"enjoy") - they certainly all agreed they got a lot of education and useful information relating to

navigation / route choice / use of altimeter / contouring / safety.. They tested out their tents

and stoves, their newly purchased clothing and rucsacs etc - all seemed to work ok.


My @ss is hurting after the weekend, but it's nothing to do with the fact I kipped in between

Steve & Tony in the tent - it's definitely a sign that I need to do more steep hill work in the

next six weeks before Saunders..




DG Training 2011 : Week 19

Posted by Dougie on May 18, 2011 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Week 19 (09/05 - 15/05)


Weight : 11st 12.5lbs

Booze : 5

Miles : 38



Unconfirmed reports emerging from Tynecastle are that Neil Lennon's attacker was his long

suffering Postman....



Three men were captured by savages & told that their manhood would be removed in a

manner appropriate to their jobs..


The 1st man was a lumberjack, his would be chopped off..


The 2nd man was a butcher, his would be sliced off..


The 3rd man was rolling around in hysterics.. His captors asked "What's so funny ?" He

replied "I work for Dyson"....




Tuesday : Tonight I was to fulfill my duties as Top Town Park Marshall for the first race in the

Ladies 5K Series.. In order to get some training in, I ran from Roydon to the Town Park,

conducted my duties in a professional and supporting manner, then ran back again to

Roydon.. About 70 mins total there and back.. Nice running underfoot, flat as a pancake..



Thursday : About 8 miles with the club run.. Much of it along the river path.. Thoroughly

enjoyable evening..



Sunday : Hash run was from Abinger Common, so ran from home with two OS maps, rucsac

& compass to meet up with them, then ran back home again after it - the Hash group are

now really questioning my sanity.. Overall running time was 3h 45mins, covering about 22

miles off road..



Starting to gear up for training weekend in the Brecons (in a couple of weeks time).. Planning a route for Sat & Sun with CP's etc, in an attempt to replicate much of what will happen on Saunders weekend for the novices.. Here's hoping I don't scare them off..



DG Training 2011 : Week 18

Posted by Dougie on May 12, 2011 at 7:33 AM Comments comments (0)

Week 18 (02/05 - 08/05)

Weight : 12st 0lbs

Booze : 5

Miles : 26


Paddy & Murphy buy four budgies from a pet shop and proceed to drive to a cliff. Paddy puts two of the birds on his shoulders and jumps off, falling straight to his death. Murphy looks down at the remains of his pal and says "Feck dat, dis budgie jumpin's too bloody dangerous"..



Tuesday : Long hill reps x 6.. felt cr@p, and ran exactly how I was feeling..


Thursday : 5 mile handicap race (actually 4.89 mile, but hey ho, lets call it 5).. Slow start, picked up after first mile, finished steady.. Time, prob around 35 mins methinks


Sunday : Hash run was from Polesden Lacy, so ran from home with two OS maps, rucsac & compass to meet up with them.. Overall running time was 3h 15mins, covering about 18 miles off road..



DG Training 2011 : Week 17

Posted by Dougie on May 6, 2011 at 5:44 AM Comments comments (0)

Week 17 (25/04 - 01/05)


Weight : 12st 2lbs

Booze : 12

Miles : 26



Apparently, the Irish SAS joined in the US assault over the weekend..

They stormed Debenhams after hearing Summer Bed Linen was on the 3rd floor..



Tuesday : 10 x 400M's.. Thought I was running hard, but well down the field.. First speed work

I've done for some time, and it showed



Thursday : Managed to get home early (holiday weekend etc) and threw in the seven mile

route up & over St Martha's - even got up to the church without stopping, that's a first for this




Sunday : Was meeting up with the Hash guys, but plan A was slightly different from the

norm.. The Hash run was from a pub in Farnham which was also hosting a beer festival that

weekend (there's great planning for you..). Some of the troop were planning to cycle out to

Farnham, do the run, have a few scoops, then cycle back.. I decided to run out there (instead

of cycling), have a few scoops, then get the train back.. Run distance was going to be about

15 miles for me.. Unfortunatley, after I got the train back, I then met a couple of mates, and

went on the lash for the rest of the day / evening and got thoroughly rehydrated.. Felt so bad

all day holiday Monday, believe me..



Need to up the weekly mileage for a while, as it's only about two months to go to Saunders..

Have Brecons training weekend in a few weeks time.. That will give me an idea of what the nav

capabilities are of the other pairs in our group..




DG Training 2011 : Weeks 12 - 16

Posted by Dougie on April 26, 2011 at 12:19 PM Comments comments (0)

Week 12 - 16 (21/03 - 24/04)


Weight : 12st 1lbs

Booze : ??

Miles : ??


Firstly, let me apologise for my lack of reporting over past few weeks.. Work, holidays, other

priorities have taken their toll on my time / ability to draft the reports..


Unfortunately, there seems little let up, I fear more weeks will come & go..


As a summary of the past weeks..

Drinking too much, Training too little...



Well done to the recent VLM competitors..

However, there's always someone who goes off way too fast and blows up in the final 10k..

This year it was obviously my Saunders partner, Steve A..

His second half of VLM was 3 seconds slower than his first half !!! I mean, what a schoolboy

error.. We all know we need to finish strong - what was he thinking about.. I will need to

educate him during our 2 day stroll in the Lake District in July..



See you all soon, hopefully,