Mick W and Rosie Wigg tried out a new (to them) parkrun on Saturday: Cross Flatts in south Leeds. The course is reportedly a lumpy affair with a flight of steps to negotiate (upwards) and has a ready-made pool of enthusiastic spectators in the form of some good old-fashioned tramps on benches. Urged along by the good-natured residents, Mick finished a very creditable 7th overall and got to within a few seconds of his current parkrun PB. Rose was on great form too and finished 3rd female and an impressive 15th overall. Both avoided the impromptu drinks station.
In the Lake District meanwhile, Steve C and Len were again engaged in another perfectly sane assault of 'the tops'. On this occasion Len briefly became the highest dog in England whilst waiting patiently for Steve to capture the moment, and his breath, at the top of Scafell Pike. The duo made the full ascent / descent from Wasdale head in an impressive 2:15, much to the bemusement of regular hikers who must have wondered what was going on as the combined man/dog machine hammered by. When leading, Len - naturally - will often pick lines that make perfect sense to a dog, if not to the following biped. Whilst pottering round the local park this is of little consequence; when running up and down the slopes of England's highest peak it is slightly more concerning. Fortunately only one mishap occurred and that was near the end of the trek when Steve mentally switched off for a few seconds with the inevitable consequence of a slam. Both are OK though.
In Cheshire, Steve W took part in the Oulton Park Spring Duathlon (run 4.3K / bike 21.5K / run 4.3K) which was a heavily contested affair thanks to its world sprint duathlon championship qualifier status. About 350 people took part and the vast majority had virtually no body fat and a very purposeful look about them. Notably, with about 5 minutes to go to the race start, not one huddle-near-the-start-line formed - every single person there was very seriously warming up. The race was made extremely tough by a total of about 14K of bitingly raw block-headwind which saw many a shoulder sag in despair every time it was encountered in the multi-lap event. Though Steve is still lacking a little bike form he managed to win his age group and, given the quality of competition, was happy enough with a top 10% finish overall.