Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Wheezing and Walking

Despite my best efforts last week I succumbed to the current lurgy doing the rounds. This led to a couple of days in bed feeling pretty lousy. Quite unusual for me - I normally only take days off work for things like physical injury or being hospitalised. Fortunately it struck early in the week so I was on the road to recovery by the weekend.

With good weather forecast for the weekend I decided to head over to the Lakes to grab some more Wainwrights. The Northern Fells seemed like the place to go since the number of fells I had never been near has always been far greater than in any other book and nearly 2/3rds of the remaining tops were in this group. 8:15am saw me at Longlands on the edge of the Uldale fells and ready to go. It was all very easy walking and very quiet - I was passed by a solitary fell-runner as I approached Brae Fell and met another walker as I dropped down to Trusmadoor from Meal Fell but apart from these two I was on my own. With six tops done I headed round to Dodd and just managed to get back to the car inside the time allotted by the car-park ticket.

Sunday was another bike ride - Skipton - Ilkley - Otley - Greenhow - Appletreewick - Skipton: about 60 miles including the bits to and from home. There were just seven of us but there were lots of other cyclists out enjoying the autumn sunshine. We held a steady pace but even so I struggled quite a bit on the bigger climbs like Norwood Edge so my lungs haven't fully recovered.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

In Memoriam - Darren Holloway

During the Ian Hodgson Relay on Sunday, Darren Holloway, a member of Pennine Fell Runners, collapsed with a suspected heart attack and despite the best efforts of other competitors and others in the vicinity sadly died. Like many these days, Darren was someone I knew virtually but not personally via on-line conversations. There have been very few deaths in fell racing, this is I think only the seventh ever, little consolation I know to Darren's family and friends, but worth considering in the face of the inevitable knee jerk reactions that will appear in tabloid comments sections by those who view anything outside the bubble of their own small mind as needing controlling or banning.

Sudden deaths like this leave people with a sense of missed opportunities and unfinished business - "We were going to ...", etc. Lack of closure as the Americans would have it. My father once said that we mourn for ourselves and our loss not for the deceased. Life will go on, memories will fade, eventually we look forward again.

Looking at the messages on the FRA forums it is clear that Darren was much loved and respected amongst the small fell running community. Perhaps that is as good a legacy as any.