Wednesday, 12 October 2022

2022 Update - still plodding from The Greystones!

Hello from 2022! We are still here and still Plodding strong.

If you'd like to give it a try Plodding, check out our updated About Us and Join page.

For the latest updates you can always check out our public Plodders Facebook Page.

We often head up Porter Valley to Ox Stones, Rud Hill or Houndkirk Top.  Here are some photos of recent plods to Ox Stones, one of our favourite places.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Highlights from the Plodder Spring

Hi Plodders, it brings me great pleasure to bring you this update on such a fun-filled day!  But before coming to the sunny Sheffield half, I want to mention three plodders whose achievements have yet to be sung.  

Spring it!
In chronological order first up is Martyn, who ran a fantastic Grindleford Gallop in 02:33:14 and finished in fifth place.  

Martyn, not at the Gallop
(but probably looking much the same)
Next up is Andrew, who not content with achieving his own PB in the Gallop went on to run the Edale Skyline the very next day.  In his own words: "I thought I was dying".  

Andrew, philosophical about his fate.  (C) Mark Fermer
And finally in Rhoda we have the year's first Plodder on a Podium! I'll let her say a bit about it:

Cake and medals for the FIRST LADY
With entries restricted to 60 the inaugural Bolton Abbey marathon organised by 'it's grim up north' was a low key, friendly event. Part of a weekend festival including 5k & 10k races and half, full & ultra marathons. The perfectly situated cafe was ideal for supporters to cheer runners on several times during the race whilst spending most of their time drinking tea/coffee in the warm. The beautiful setting of Bolton Abby, the river Wharfe and the surrounding sheep fields was stunning & meant that despite the marathon involving 3 laps it was far from boring. The weather was perfect running weather - cold but dry. Members of the public also enjoying the Bolton Abbey estate footpaths were very polite & encouraging to runners & the atmosphere was friendly & fun. The small numbers and undulating trail meant that the not so impressive sounding time of 4:05 gave me a First Lady trophy! The post race fruit cake was good too! If they do it again next year it'd be a great fun weekend out for plodders so let's all go & have some fun running & cheering each other along.

(We've also had other fun at Hope Winter Fell Race and a dazzling day at Wolf's Pit, but it's 11pm so I'm going to skip those)

On to today's Yorkshire-but-we-all-know-it's-really-Sheffield Half Marathon:

Plodders!  Also running were Andy, John W, and Kev R, but they didn't get the memo
Standing in the start press, shoulder-to-shoulder with 5948 other people, I listened to the disembodied voice of an overly-enthusiastic woman repeatedly counting down from 3 and telling us to lunge.  This led to several false starts and some unwelcome body contact.  Now I don't do many road races so I can only assume this routine was intended to make us relieved, when we were eventually released, to be racing up a 5.4 mile hill and back down again.  It worked, as these happy Plodders show:

Picked out in particularly pro focus, worthy of George himself
Once underway, the rest of the race was fantastic.  I can't say the hill was easy, but it certainly wasn't as much of a drag as I had anticipated.  On a calm sunny day a traffic-free Ringinglow Road was a lovely ridge run out to the edge of the Peak District.  Keeping the pace up on the long way back was pretty tough - fortunately I had some extra-fermented out-of-date energy gel to keep me going, courtesy of Cal.  I'm still getting intermittent palpitations.  

More photos of Plodders on the way back down:

There were some great scores on the doors, with PBs for Cal, Mandy, David, Charlie, Martyn, Hannah, Kate, Steve, Kev, Helen and Tonks.  Sophie also ran her debut Half in 02:05:00, which she was thrilled with largely because it's a nice neat number.  With so many runners and no facility to search the results by affiliation, I'm afraid I can't bring you the full list - if I've missed anyone let me know.

But what absolutely made the day for everyone was the amount of support along the way.  Thank you to Julian, Lex & family, Colin, Rob, Andrew, Claire, and everyone else who turned out to shout "come on Porter Valley!"  In a fell run you're generally considered lucky if a scowling farmer leaning on a nearby gatepost nods at you.  This was completely different: the atmosphere at Ringinglow and then on the way down through Whirlow, Silver Hill, Banner Cross and Hunters Bar was phenomenal. 

Super supporters, but not quick on the gel draw
So well done to everyone - it's been an excellent start to the year.  But now it's April, and I'll race you to the hills...let the fell running commence!  

Sunday, 24 January 2016

What are you planning this year?

Hello everyone, welcome to the first plog of 2016.

I'd like to give a special welcome to all my Ukranian fans: Google statistics show that you're 242% more interested in this page than my UK audience.  Why?

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
Ukrainians love the plog

I haven't written about October, November or December 2015 so those months must forever go unremembered in Plodding history.  Perhaps not such a bad thing: apparently there were only 33.2 hours of sunshine in Sheffield recorded in December 2015.  Everybody go and get yourselves some Vitamin D.

Sheffield, December 2015

January has brought loads of new Plodders and we're delighted to see them!  It's also brought some novelty snow, some much-needed sunshine and crisp, clear plods up to the moor.  

Rudd Hill.  Nightfall.  Snow.

Now that 2016's here we've all got to start getting real about our plans - and what a range of plans there are!  We've got members who are: aiming at their first half marathons, entering iconic Yorkshire races, training for sub-3 hour marathons, cutting off the seconds to get sub-18 parkruns, mounting bikes and buying wetsuits for triathlons (including a budding iron man), returning to favorite local fell races, forming vague and over-ambitious plans for 100+ ultramarathons, and psyching themselves up for Scottish races over big spikey hills...and more.  If any of that sounds remotely interesting then do come along: The Greystones, 1830, every Wednesday.

Burbage Valley, courtesy of Lex
Right, I do hope all the pictures have disguised the lack of content this month.  Take care everyone and see you Wednesday.

Friday, 11 September 2015

The Glencoe Skyline

Today's post from Plodders who were insane enough to take on this 33-mile skyrace with 13,900 feet of ascent:


Glencoe is a different sort of fell race, more hills, more climbing (both ascent and the rocky variety), more corporate flags and cowbells. In its first year it had drawn a good field with a mix of locals and some European visitors (complete with de-rigueur orange euro trousers), good lot of local support as well with people at the check points and along the route.

Somewhat bizarrely the route started with a 5km flat run, before a monster que up curved ridge to the top of Buachaille Etive Mor. An up and down over Buachaille Etive Berg led to a big slog up Biddean and Lochan, then down like Alice down a very slippery rabbit hole, to a much needed break at the road. Followed by the really big climb up to the start of the Aonach Eagach ridge. All day the Glencoe landscape looked like something out of Lord of the Rings with cloud moving in and out and  flowing over the Aonach Eagach ridge. The weather was pretty good, cloudy but mostly dry, not too warm or windy. The route finished off with a long rolling descent off Aonach Eagch followed by a repeat of the flat 5km to finish.

Rob got round in 10 hrs 40 mins despite getting stuck at the back of the train on curved ridge, I was going well to the end of Aonach Eagach, but struggled a bit from there and arrived back about an hour later. It was a great race, really well organised, solid field (very evenly pace, it only get really spread out after Aonach Eagch) and an amazing route.


I took things easy at the start and had to politely queue my way up Curved Ridge (very British). It was frustrating, but at least it forced me to pace myself. 

Queuing on Curved Ridge
From there things unfolded and it was as stunning as anticipated. Bidean is the highest point and near here there is a rocky out and back section. I was pleased to spot John just ahead, which spurred me on to catch him up. We ran together for a bit, which was great and felt like we were back on the BG. The big climb onto Aonach Eagach went on for ever and then, even in a very tired state, the section along the ridge, with a half inversion, was utterly brilliant.  

Half inversion on Aonach Eagach
After that, there was still a fair way to go and I slowed, though not drastically. Hitting the road with 4 miles left inevitably drew further parallels to the BG, though it couldn’t have felt more different. This made things particularly sweet and I savoured the glow as I approached the finish.  A special day and great to share it with a fellow plodder – well done John on a solid round.