Sunday, 25 September 2011

2 more Hike reccies - 21/09/2011

No wonder Newport runners don't win fell races if they do this on every
summit! Lisa, Andrew and Prue having fun on Corndon Hill. Don't ask how
many times I had to get them to do this before I pressed the shutter release
at the right moment!
These were the final long recce runs for the Hike.

The first run was with Em. We left her car at Stiperstones and went over to Bank Farm in mine. We ran through Easthope Wood and Snailbeach (stay at the wood's edge, across the road, old railway and then sloping footpath to the road) and then on up the road to Tankerville. It's noticable how much easier the uphill road bits are when you've got a bit of company and are chatting away.

Then it was across the fields and back onto the road to the Shelve checkpoint, and down through the woods and fields to the A488. At the bottom of Corndon I actually found the path this time! It heads sharp right just after the gate and is clear, leading straight through the bracken up steeply to the summit.

Em jogging up the last section of the Corndon climb
We turned and followed the fence to the sharp corner where we made a direct descent onto the grassy alp, although I didn't get it quite as bang on as last time... Just after Woodgate Farm we stopped for a really nice flask of sweet coffee and a bacon and egg buttie - thanks Em!

The trip over the small hill from Little Cefn Farm gets easier each time I do it - the keys are the pointless stile in the big cow pasture and the muddy area by a drinking trough where you cross the stream and fence.

We ran up the road past the Nind turn, and then walked for a while to get to the gate to Black Rhadley. In view of the time we missed the final ascent of BR out, but Em knows where it goes now. I tried an alternative approach to linking to the Stiperstones car park, going up the wide gravel roadway past Nipstone Rock and then turning left onto a path through the woods. This took the same time as my previous option, is slightly longer, but uses a little less road and is easier, especially in the dark.

We got back to the car park in good order, having done 15.1 miles and 2,870' of ascent in 3hrs 16mins. For 11.5 hours running time for a 12 hour hike, this section (excluding the final Black Rhadley climb) should take around 3hrs 34mins: we were taking it pretty easy so we need to remember to go out sloooow at the start.

I took a break, chatting with John and Geoff at the Stiperstones Inn, then having a half and some crisps and nuts at Bridges, before meeting Andrew, Lisa and Prue from Newport for the second recce. The plan was to run to Shelve and then pick up the route of my run earlier in the day, over Corndon and back to Stiperstones.

The trip down to Shelve was pretty quick (two nine minute miles) and we continued on down to the main road at a fairly decent pace, before trogging along the roads to White Grit. I felt a little tired here, but perked up as soon as the Corndon ascent started, and even managed to run some of it...

Summit furniture on Corndon Hill, waiting for the others!
Lisa powering to the top!
On the descent Lisa and I went down my way, Andrew and Prue went further over to the right. Lisa and I ended up at Woodgate first, but it seemed obvious that the right hand route was faster and, indeed, it turned out that Andrew and Prue had waited for us...

The passage over from Little Cefn was straightforward although again we parted ways near the A488. This time my route past the newly re-roofed barn seemed faster.

We started up the road past the Nind turn, and I was feeling a bit tired by now, but then Andrew took us up "the trail" around the north side of Black Rhadley Hill, which made a change. I was struggling a bit to run on the uphills, but still feeling ok. More tired than weak I think. The trail makes a handy short cut and I was pleased not to be on the road - we only had half a mile to do before the Nipstone Car Park. I bonked a bit on the way up from here but felt much better after some sweets and was able to run the rest of the way back to the car park...

This second run of the day was a mere 13.7 miles and 1,890' of climbing, done in 2hrs 47mins. Again for 11.5 hour Hike running time this should take 3hrs 6 mins, so we were well up above the required pace.

I finished the day having done 29 miles (36.5 if you count Tuesday night's run) feeling pretty strong and with plenty in my legs, which bodes well, I hope. No running until the weekend, just a light gym session with my stepson.


  1. Hi Steve

    Well done on the RAB MM - thanks for the kind wishes.


  2. Good luck for the hike at the weekend, I remember last years event, and the disappointment and relief at dropping out at 43miles.

    All I can remember from Corndon is a slow slog up to the top at around 2am, and one of my walking companions falling over on the way down.