A Long Winter Hill Loop

After the successful long run on Anglesey and a great week of relaxing on our favourite island parkrun day came round or Saturday day as it’s more commonly called. We’d arranged to leave the cottage a bit later than normal giving us time to visit Penryhn parkrun which ran round (literally) Penrhyn Castle, just outside Bangor. With fantastic views of the magnificent castle and the sea, the undulating (parkrun speak for hilly) course was brilliant as were the team that ran the weekly event so we’ll definitely be back during our summer break.

Penryhn Castle, parkrun finish
Penryhn Castle, parkrun finish

The following day, after arriving home and unpacking everything, it was time for another training run, this one a ‘progression’ run of 16km which was worked out as two loops of 8km (5 miles) with the second being progressively faster than the first. The run went well and I certainly felt it in my legs once finished but I’m faster than this time last year so a little aching is OK.

sweatshop SRC chorley running up healey naabb
Sweatshop SRC Chorley running up Healey Nabb

Last weekend it was long run time again once more and after a gentle trail run during the week with a few guys and girls from Sweatshop Chorley SRC, I felt well rested as I set of from White Coppice in a southerly direction following the route of the Rivington trail marathon that I completed last October.

white coppice towards great-hill
White Coppice looking towards Great Hill

I’d be cutting a few corners to make it a bit shorter as the intended distance was to be 35km (22 miles). Following the trail towards and past Anglezarke and Upper Rivington Reservoirs the Lancashire countryside was at its finest with Bluebells carpeting the woodlands wherever the sun touched the forest floor.

watermans cottage bluebells
Bluebells carpeting every forest floor

Making the trail a little shorter I headed up Sheephouse Lane then past the Pigeon Tower and Rivington Pike, continuing up Winter Hill to the radio mast. A fast mile down the hill towards Belmont and after skirting the southern edge of Belmont Reservoir I joined Witton Weavers Way to eventually go over Darwen Moor towards Darwen Tower.

Looking down towards Belmont

Leaving the tower towards the Country Café at Tockholes the trail continued past the Roddlesworth Reservoirs to go through the bottom edge of Abbey Village where it continued up a small hill which, with tired legs after the previous climbs, seemed bigger than it actually was. Through Withnell and Brinscall and a short climb through Wheelton Plantation the trail continued along the Goit (the feeder joining the Rivington Reservoir complex) to finish at White Coppice. The run totalled just over 34 km (just over 21 miles) which although was less than the 35 km targeted, was close enough not to worry about.

After managing to keep a good easy pace without any incidences of cramp, which had happened a few times previously in distances over 20 miles. After a few stretches and eating a few more snacks at the car I headed home, another successful long run ‘in the bank’ leaving only one more before Trail Marathon Wales in June.

A bit of cycling and a great mid week evening run around the reservoirs and we’re once more back to a rest or cross training week – hopefully the weather will be kind and we’ll be able to get out on the bikes.


Trail Marathon Wales 2015 – Training Plan Amended 23rd May

W/end Miles (km) Activity Route
Mar 8 12 (19.2) Local loop to Hesketh Outmarsh x 2
Mar 15 6 progression 3m local loop x 2 plus .5m cool down
Mar 21 14 (22.4) 14 done, the Rivvy half marathon route plus extra up to the pigeon tower White Coppice to Rivington
Mar 28 Rest or bike Rest, naff weather
Apr 4 16 (25.6) 16 done, Rivington Pike, Winter Hill and Great Hill 3 Hills
Apr 11 8 (12.8) progression 10 done, 1m warm up, 2 x 4m loop round Anglezarke, 1m cooldown Round Anglezarke Resi
Apr 18 18 (28.8)  18¾ done, Out and Back along the Canal, Sollom to Parbold Canal Out and Back
Apr 25 Rest or bike  Short ride round Knutsford and Tatton Park
May 2 20 (32)  20 done. To Llanddwyn Island and Newborough Forest  To Newborough
May 9 10 (16) progression  5m local loop x 2
May 16 22 (35.2) 21¼ done.  Most of Rivington Trail Marathon  Winter Hill
May 23 Rest or bike
May 30 24 (38.4)
Jun 6 12 (19.2)
Jun 13 8 (12.8)
Jun 20 Race

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