Friday, 1 March 2013

The Pioneers

I've had the idea for a while that there is a great Ultra in the making in the hills around Oldham. My initial plan was to run it first on my own - I set it as one of my 3 main Ultra goals for this year. I then started to form an idea around asking a few other ultra runners to run it with me next year. It's 40 miles and I turn 40 next February, so I was thinking it would be a great way to mark my birthday.

Then....I thought...why wait!! If I was to write about it in my blog and throw in a few photos to really wet the appetite, I reckon they'll come to me. And sure enough that's exactly what happened. I ran the first stage of the 40-mile route 3 weeks ago - about 8.5 miles of it - then I put together a photo-blog and the next morning 3 of my ultra-running buddies on twitter had stepped forward; Steve, Matt and Johnny were the first who were up for it, then Andrew and Dan expressed an interest. Finally, I invited one other, Mike, who I thought would make it into a great group of guys to run with me and the perfect number. The Beardy Guy, and 6 others. It was like the forming of The Fellowship Of The Ring!

The date is set. It is to be done on the occasion of Longest Day Run, which believe it or not is on the longest day, or that weekend anyway, in June. By way of a quick plug it's a virtual event organised by Simon aka @mazymixer

Longest Day Run


The 2nd year of the challenge open to ALL runners. How many miles can you run within a day? Visit  to sign up for for FREE!

A week later I went back and had another go at Stage 1 of the route and took a few more photos...

Tomorrow I'm going to run Stage 2. It's only 5.5 miles starting in Diglea where Stage 1 finished (obviously) and finishing in a village called Denshaw, but there's the run to the start - approx. 4.5 miles down the beautiful Huddersfield Canal and Stage 2 itself I expect to be very much uphill. I've never ran this section of the Oldham Way; it's all new to me, so I'm uber excited. I'm then going to run home from Denshaw via another section of trail that I've not ran before (or not most of it anyway). It's called the Tame Valley Way as it follows the river Tame, and it will take me almost to my doorstep.

Plenty of opportunity to get lost therefore and I doubt I get much change from 20 miles. I can't wait!

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