I always saw ‘winter sun’ holidays as being something involving the Canary Islands or such like. But with the winter we’ve had, I came to realise that even plonking your weary winter body 6000 feet up in the snowy mountains provided more than enough vitamin D to cheer up the winter blues. Our holiday certainly did the trick of topping up the cheer.Continue reading “Ski holiday in Champagny en Vanoise Feb 2020”
As you may know, I’m a glass half full type. But we all have our limits. Yesterday was a tough day. The Three Peaks Cyclocross is always tough. If it wasn’t, we’d just ride / run / walk faster until it becomes tough. It’s a flipping race. But then, yesterday had its own special place in my memory for extra toughness, but, significantly, extra satisfaction. Continue reading “Three Peaks Cyclocross 2018 – The “twenty” edition”
I love my cyclocross and above all I still love the 3 Peaks cyclocross – it has a very special status with me for whatever reason. But this year? It’s been a bit of a weird journey. So gone are the days of a special 30 day cleansing and weight loss diet, today I’m eating a Cissy Green’s meat pie.
Parenting can be quite a drag sometimes. Asking young people to put phones away. Tidying up after young people. It could get quite a drag. But then, of course, you can sometimes subvert things – make use of these little people’s sense of adventure and fun – and go and create some memories. You just need to remind yourself that it’s there to be harnessed. Continue reading “Mini adventures and the spice of life”
The Bob Graham Round initially beat me, then I beat it back.
I thought I’d put it to bed when I completed it back in June. It certainly felt that way. In one very big sense, I had indeed put it to bed.
One of my helpers on that fantastic day was Dave Ward. A fellow Rossendale Harrier, Dave was one of the people who immediately offered his services to come to my help even if, truth be told, we hardly knew each other. Those type of things are normal of course when it comes to the Bob Graham – helpers come out and help. Continue reading “A return to the summits, with a score settled.”
It’s been a long path to here. When I first heard about the Bob Graham Round in my teens, it was the type of thing that was simply something that other people did. Special kinds of rare people. An immense, fantasy-level tour of the most beautiful hills in the country. I started to do a bit of fell racing in my late teens and occasionally I met someone who knew someone who’d done it. Wow. That’s all I could say. It was just incredible
I really enjoyed the 2018 3 Peaks fell race. I took a ten year gap following a ‘never again‘ moment in 2007 after my second finish. Both had been respectable finishes under 4 hours and I’d have been happy to put the pain of that race behind me and leave it to gently subside. Continue reading “More than 3 Peaks”
A stellar year for the Haygarths
It’s a fixed date in my diary. My 20th start in the 3 Peaks Cyclocross was, like other years, just another year of ‘of course I’m doing the 3 Peaks‘. But this year’s 3 Peaks stands out in a lovely way in that it not only saw the return to the race of my brother Phil after a 5 year absence, but the next generation of Haygarths took to the race. My nephew Matt was what I think was possibly the youngest of the 650 entrants and I was gushing uncle-pride when he’d entered … never mind actually competed. A real landmark for me. Continue reading “2017 Three Peaks Cyclocross – a family affair”
My, what a day out. Or rather, ‘What an evening, night and morning’ out. There was so much preparation, an impeccable team of helpers, and plans that would make General Haig look like a chancer. I’d trained and was in great shape. All I had to do was put one foot in front of the other for 23 hrs and 20 mins, and my Bob Graham Round would be completed. Continue reading “Bob Graham Round 1: Dave: 0”
I’ve never read The Tale of Two Cities but that incredibly well-known opening line from a novel sums up my 2015 3 Peaks.
Okay – it wasn’t quite the worst of times – far from it – but when things are going really well, it seems to emphasise the problems when they come. And they came. But more on that later. I wanted to gather thoughts whilst fresh in my head as usual. The next few days will be absorbed with the 3 Peaks just like the previous few weeks have been, but it’s good to write these things down whilst they’re fresh on my mind. Continue reading “3 Peaks cyclocross 2015: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times””
We tried to combine the needs of parents and children this year – mainly to success.
The first half of the holiday, having flown into Bilbao and driven from the Basque country to Asturias, was a week in the Picos de Europa. The Picos has been on my ‘must see’ list for about 20 years and the wonderful blend of real, rugged mountain stuff and pretty, rural streams, gorges, villages etc. seemed right for a holiday. The accommodation – a couple of miles outside of Potes – was really lovely. Spacious self-catering agri-tourism and a pool too, to help us cool down after a long morning out and about. We also enjoyed a trip up the Fuente De cable car and a rather longer-than-eastimated nine mile walk down in the building heat. It was ace though.
Lasting impression, apart from the sheer beauty of the place, was that of a nice mix of tourism / services and proper unspoilt tranquillity. You can get the balance right in some places. Heartily recommended.
So, from the ying to the yang. We needed to go to the beach. That’s why Brits go to Spain, after all.
Even the girls tolerated the driving quite well, really.
The second week was in an apartment in Tossa de Mar, Costa Blanca. Gorgeous pebbly beaches, impressive waves for the med, lots of swimming, nice pools, friendly campsite, cramped apartment, and lots of wine. It was fun.
Oh, and I grew a beard.
Had a truly great day out on Saturday at the Harriers v Cyclists. It’s a very special event. Unique, light-hearted, but serious and brutal for the shortness of the course. It also covers a load of different topography in the It’s my fourth time there on the course that crosses farmland, ancient woodland, heathland and open moor in the 5.3 mile out-and-back course onto Baildon Moor from Shipley Glen. Continue reading “Harriers v Cyclists – one of those little classics”