Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday 13th June: Offroad Run - more exploring and a bit of photography

Distance: 10.31 Time: 1:45 Av Hr: 142 Max Hr: 175 Av Speed: 10.16 mm

As the Garburn race is out the way I had resolved to have a few weeks without doing long offroad runs with lots of up and down, instead I would take a map and camera and do some exploring and general faffing whilst covering about 6 to 7 miles in distance, including some climbing and descending but not enough to trouble my legs. I would start doing some more longer offroad runs again in July. I've ridden and run out of Abbey Village so many times in the last year that I have decided to do more runs out of White Coppice and eventually over Rivington way. I took all my kit to work with me so I could head out there directly after work rather than going home first then heading back out again.

I had decided to explore a track that follows around the base of the hill and heads towards Brinscall, the plan was to pick up one of the footpaths that headed up onto the moor and avoid the motorway path. I think I arrived around at White Coppice and parked up around17:10 ish and was running before 17:20 so not too much faff then. I walked to the Cricket Ground then broke into an easy run heading towards the path on the North ? side of the Goit rather than heading out straight up towards Great Hill. I picked up the track I had partially jogged along before and headed along it. It was lovely and dry and would make a good piece of biking singletrack, wholly cheeky though but I don't think it would be a complete loss in the wet. According to the map there were supposed to be some paths heading off from this one up onto the moor and there probably was, but I didn't see them! I think things have slightly changed forestry wise since the map was surveyed (my excuse anyway) but I found myself on a well surfaced forestry track that would bring me out on the road towards the motorway path up to Great Hill. I could see from the map that I should be able to head along some more footpath prior to the big track, it would join it eventually but I'd rather do the new stuff. The forestry track turned out to be a bit of a cheeky climb but I ran it ok and kept it steady. I popped out at the road and ran up it a short way and saw the stile that I could cross back onto the open access area.

The track followed a fence for a while, quite tussocky and there was a lot of marsh grass which means its probably best avoided in the wet. I noticed on the map that a footpath would soon come up from the right and I could follow this as it continued up onto the moor. I picked up the path and started to climb, again it was nice peaty moorland track and quite soon it started to level out a bit and I could see over to the Fylde and Blackpool, the sun was in the way though so I decided against taking any landscape type photos. I continued on the nice moorland track then popped out onto the motorway track and started running along there. I joined it a the long flat section before the ruin of Drinkwaters farm and noticed loads of what I assume are Grouse Shooting butts, all in a row. I've run this track several times before and never really noticed them but they are quite obviously not newly constructed.

I continued to Drinkwaters where I stopped and sat on the wooden bench there and had a look around. I had good views across to the Irish Sea and I could see Sugarloaf too. I took a few pictures here of a lamb and its mum enjoying the shade.

I continued up towards Great Hill and as I approached the stile there was another runner coming down, I said hello. This would be the only person I saw on the entire run until I reached Anglezarke Reservoir. Once at the shelter on the summit I took a few more pictures, it was lovely and clear if a little windy. I made the decision to run across the moor top as it was such a lovely evening. The path is flagged as the ground is prone to be ing exceedingly boggy, which in theory sounds like it should make for easier running but it didn't. The flags are all different sizes and some are smooth but others have large lumps on top and the gap between them isn't always constant. It requires some concentration and constant stride length changing to run but at least they were dry, I've found them slippy in the wet. As the top of the moorland is quite flat it was generally quite fast progress.
I stopped about half way along to enjoy the silence and wath all the white fluffy flower heads blow in the breeze. I need to find out what they are, I could have sat and watched them sway around for hours. After a few more photos I continued along the flagged path, after a while the flags ended and the path surface changed to dirt and rocks, I took another picture of the emptiness of the moor then continued running.
The path was really starting to get rough with lots of loose rock, it was also elevated. I ran on for a minute or two but it continued to get rougher and rougher and I noticed some tracks below me, I was actually running along the ruins of a dry stone wall not a path! I dropped down off the wall and began running on the tracks below which were nice and springy as they were so dry, they will be pretty muddy once a decent amount of rain has fallen. I continued running looking for a footpath I had decided to explore, I wasn't sure how obvious it was going to be on the ground but knew if I arrived at the road then I had missed it. It was quite obvious to follow and turned out to be a lovely piece of track and would be good on a bike to. It headed down to the fire road track that eventually leads to Lead Mines Clough. Once I arrived at the fireroad I had the choice of following that to the top of LMC or trying out another footpath. I chose the latter but I won't be bothering with it again. It was a very indistinct path that was hard to follow and hard to run on the marsh grass, it seemed to follow a marsh line which was dry at the minute but would be a quagmire when wet, as I dropped further down the hill I found some boggy patches even after so much dry weather. I eventually managed to join up again with the fireroad track and start running again.

The fireroad dropped me into LMC and I continued on until the picnic area at the edge of Anglezarke. There is a track that skirts the edge of the reservoir which I intended taking until the opposite end. It was tarmac initially, with some undulations but then changed to hardpack type trail, very runnable and pleasant on this sunny evening. At the end of the track I crossed over the road just before the Waterman's Cottage and took the low level track back to White Coppice. It was way later than I had realised, oops.

This is a good loop to do, some climbing and descending but nothing too extreme.

Distance: 10.31m
Time taken: 01:45:47
Average/Max Speed : 5.85mph / 9.64mph
Average/Min Pace : 00:10:15 / 00:06:13
Average/Max heart rate: 142/175
Calories used: 1072
17:31:36 1.00m 00:11:21 5.28mph 7.69mph 131bpm 164bpm
17:53:40 1.00m 00:11:43 5.12mph 8.07mph 136bpm 170bpm
18:18:42 1.00m 00:10:02 5.98mph 7.94mph 143bpm 164bpm
18:40:19 1.00m 00:10:57 5.47mph 7.01mph 153bpm 171bpm
18:59:56 1.00m 00:10:00 6.00mph 9.64mph 151bpm 175bpm
19:14:56 1.00m 00:09:13 6.50mph 8.89mph 139bpm 167bpm
19:30:55 1.00m 00:10:54 5.50mph 8.84mph 128bpm 159bpm
19:49:28 1.00m 00:08:47 6.82mph 8.77mph 144bpm 161bpm
20:01:34 1.00m 00:10:29 5.72mph 9.12mph 142bpm 166bpm
20:18:57 1.00m 00:09:29 6.32mph 8.29mph 157bpm 169bpm
20:29:36 0.31m 00:02:47 6.62mph 7.71mph 157bpm 165bpm

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