Racing in Pairs 

On Sunday 15th May I took part in the Calderdale Way Relay for the second year running. This year I did leg 6 and had a different partner. Both were ace!

I was picked to run for the mixed B team, which I am sure may have been an administrative error, as I’m clearly a C team runner, sometimes D 😬

Leg 6 was 10.5 miles and also the final leg so already the pressure was on. The CWR is also a pairs relay, and Helen ‘Relay team organiser queen’ Buchan paired me up with Liz. I’d never ran with Liz before, let alone in a race, so I was quite nervous. Her Strava showed a much more disciplined trainer than I, with several runs a week, up hills, whereas mine was lucky to have one run a week on a nice flat canal!

Would we be a good match, would I get beasted, would we even like each other for the whole two hours? It was a minefield of questions that couldn’t truly be answered until race day. Luckily I had met her before hand, and she was super friendly so that was a good start, so didn’t worry about the last question so much. 

We organised a recce with some others running the leg so we at least new what the route had in store. Happily it seemed pretty runnable. 

Ian Symington made the worrying a little more intense by listing a select few pairings pain rating, based on each runners previous race rating. Ours was 0.4 ish – I was nervous!

After the palaver of trying to get ourselves to start, whilst being able to get home after, we met at the start. 

Liz and I were giddy, excited and nervous. What a combination. We decided that the route was runnable and that we would speak up if we were going too fast for one another. We also had a target of 2hrs, by no means a quick time for the leg, but definitely within our abilities. 

We were all smiles having tackled the small hill at the start and a nice run through the village of Norwood Green. 

It got serious as we zoomed along the canal at Brighouse knowing we had the hill up through the forest. We knew we had done halfway in under an hour so out two hour target was still achievable. 

As we got to the final hill we were feeling a bit puffed out, but knew we had a lovely downhill section. 

As we left the canal and hit the the road into Greetland our target time was in sight. I suggested if there was anything left we should sprint from the garden centre. Liz made it clear a good 50 yards from the centre that she was going full pelt. However as soon as we hit the grass of the rugby field a final burst of energy overcame her and we came in hand in hand and super red faced. 

We’d managed to finish in 1hr 58mins and we were super pleased! 

My Strava of the run is here

It was a pleasure to run with Liz, Helen had done a good job at matching us up and I can’t wait to tackle the leg again next year and smash our time! 😀

Running in pairs is easy when you have the right partner. 

Catch restaurant review 

We went to Catch for our anniversary meal the other week and it was so good it’s definitely worth blogging about. 

Catch is based in West Vale, it claims to be modern day fish & seafood restaurant based on the family values, and it doesn’t disappoint. It has a traditional fish and chip takeaway, but also a lovely restuarant. 

Such a popular place that we only had a choice of two times for a table booking, 6.45 or 9.15, this was only a couple of days before so unsurprising, plus it was a Friday, and everyone knows Friday’s are fish days!

I chose the starter special which was Whitby Dressed Crab – see photo below. Whilst hubby had Peri-peri battered squid rings. 

Both dishes were good, perfect portion size and the squid was cooked to perfection. 

For main course I went for the Lobster and Shellfish Risotto, and hubby went for Simply Grilled Lobster with Chippy Chips. 

Photo below of the risotto. 

Again both dishes were perfect. 

Prices were reasonable. We compared the lobster dish to Burger & Lobster’s and value for money and quality at Catch was superior by far. 

The Chippy chips are amazing! Service was friendly and prompt. 

We’ll definitely be back. 

Takeaway looked good too – queue was out the door!

Catch can be found at

Victoria Mills

West Vale, Halifax

West Yorkshire, HX4 8AD

01422 310003

Leeds Half Marathon – 8th May 2016

On Sunday I took part it the Plusnet Leeds Half Marathon 

This was the first time I had run this race, and yet again my training had been slightly lacking, however my overall fitness felt good enough to go the distance. I was not expecting to get a PB, and I didn’t. 

I lived in Leeds for a few years, despite that I still had no idea where the course went, even when looking at the course map. I put that down to the fact that the years I lived in Leeds I was in fact drunk for much of the time – student life of course!

So the run was to be a mystery tour, luckily I didn’t need any nav skills!

Sunday was promising to be a scorcher, so I delved deep into my sports drawer and dug out my running vest and shorter running tights. As this was of course a road race I ditched the fell running shoes and relied on my faithful Mizuno Wave Rider 9s. I finished compiling my running playlist on Spotify and I even charged up my running watch! I felt nicely prepared equipment wise. 

A last minute puppy poo crisis meant that phill had to stay at home just in case Bob exploded, so I had no cheering squad – I was on my own as I knew the girls from work would have mega hangovers and not make it into town, and I don’t blame them – spectating can be pretty boring! 

I got there in plenty of time so killed time taking selfies and warming up. 

It was a lovely sunny morning, a little too hot for running 13.1 miles, but better sunny than rainy any day. 

I started well, if a little fast as usual. There were a few sneaky hills, but all runable and nothing like running on the fells. At the halfway point I was feeling good, if a little warm. Support along the course was great, with a few people out with hoses to cool the runners down, which was appreciated. 

By mile 10 I was starting to tire and get very hot. Especially my feet – my socks were a little too thick.

At this point you hit Kirkstall Abbey and whilst this road seems flat it has a slight incline and is a bit of a drag, then for good measure you have an incline to get back into town, and the finish line was also on a slope – cheeky. 

Secretly I’d hoped I could get close to 2hrs, but I finished in 2hrs 7mins (Strava link here). Initially I was a little disappointed, but I hadn’t trained properly and this was actually my 3rd fastest half marathon, so in the end I’m pretty chuffed. 

Phill thinks with decent training I should be able to do a 1hr 50mins half – we’ll see. 

This was a very well organised race, plenty of water stations (I was worried they may run out in the heat), good staggered starts and nice medal and finishers t-shirt. I’d give this one another bash!

Recovery was fine, even managed a nice walk out in the afternoon with the dogs. And of course a few celebratory beers. 


Trail de Font Romeu – A snow race

Back in January 2016, hubby and I decided to take part in a race with a difference.

  1. It was in France (I thought it was in the Spanish pyrennees, so was a little disappointed)
  2. It was in the snow

Phill had come across a website for the Trail de Font-Romeu, and someone had also shared a link on the CVFR Facebook page to a B&B that was run by English ex-pats, and who were organising transport to the race – perfect!

We did a bit of research into the race, watched YouTube videos, like the one below

Decided it didn’t look too bad and promptly signed up.

I signed up for the 12km discovery course and hubby went for the 25km Authentique course, almost tempted by the Passion, 40km course. But given the higher altitude, opted for the more sensible option.

Pyrenees Haven were offering a weekend package for the race, which included airport and race transfers on a half board basis.

Run by a lovely family from Pudsey, and also fell runners, we knew we were onto a winner, and we were not disappointed. It was lovely.

They organised for us to have a taster run around a cross country course to get used to the altitude on the afternoon we arrived, arranged race transport and Gary even ran around the course trying to take pictures of us.

There was a lovely couple from Wharfedale Harriers also staying at the B&B, so it was nice to make new friends and compare fell running stories.

The race itself was great. I wasn’t sure what to expect and was quite nervous, especially as Gary had taken us for a 5km jog out the day before and I had struggled with the deepness of the snow (energy sapping) and the altitude. Then I realised it was because the other 4 were a lot bloody quicker than me and I was trying to keep up.

When it came to race day I didn’t need to worry as they were all doing the longer 25km, so I was safe and happy doing the 12km option.

One main difference of running in France was that not many people liked to run up hill. Now this is usually an energy saving tactic when fell running, but mainly for the steep stuff, they walked anything! I tried to blend in!

The biscuit was well and truly taken when I realised they weren’t overtly keen on running downhill either, so I blew my cover and did some downhill overtaking.

As I have stopped wearing my running watch and just relied on my phone to log all my strava runs, judging distance is a nightmare as it has never been my strong point, along with pacing, or in fact any aspect of running. This meant I got to the end and still had a lot left in the tank, so I really need to dust that watch off and start applying myself!

The course was good and the weather perfect. 

I managed to complete the race in 1hr 55mins, which I guess I was pleased with given so many unknowns. But I’d definitely want to go back and try and beat that time. 

The race was very well organised with a good choice of food and drink at the end (and at the aid station – not really needed for the 12km though). 

Whilst I filled myself up I overheard the winner of the 25km come in, it was only Sam Watson from Wharfdale Harriers who was staying at the same b&b. I don’t think the French were overly impressed that a foreigner had come over and won their race, but they were very gracious. He got a lovely trophy! 

[photos to be added later – check back for updates]