Back in Groups (after)

So we ran. The Rugby club we start from is deemed somehow ‘Covid Secure’, but whether or not, people have got used to the idea of social distancing, and everyone kept a respectful distance.
An addition is that now, run leaders have to carry spare face masks and sanitiser in case someone falls and needs assistance. It seems sensible and a proper minimum fuss. It just means you have to have somewhere to carry them. A runner’s bum bag was adequate.
There were not many turned up, and I was not needed as a run leader. There were about 20 ran. There was another unofficial group running from elsewhere. The next group had five, so I tagged on. It was immense being back with people I have known for years and have not seen for several months. The hills have not changed.
I trust that more will turn out next week.

Brighouse Nature reserve paths

We have Cromwell Nature Reserve. It basically extends between the North Cut Locks (by Avocet,,going WSW ending at Cromwell Bottom. In essence it fills the space between the canal and the river Calder.

A map of the reserve is available from at The map shows the paths available. They differ in quality,

The path first leaves the canal towpath immediately beyond the lock at North Cut, Turning left, going over toward the river bank, this first part is at best very underdeveloped, but is definitely a path. There are bits where it almost disappears into the river, where it suddenly goes up a small bank, has an occasional fallen tree or low overhanging branch. Whatever else, it almost guarantees some good mud. Some would describe it as urticatory (well nettled). It is no more than a few hundred yards, and ends as it meets the path proper.. You can tell. a few steps rise to your right.

The next path leaves the canal towpath two hundred yards or so after the North Cut locks. It is just before the first proper large tree. There is a place where you scramble up. The path is clear but unconstructed. It climbs about six foot, and the path then goes across the top of a bank between the various ponds. There are one or two other similar but lesser entrances. They go nowhere. If you do not immediately see that you have a bank extending before you, you have the wrong climb. The surface is uneven, but clear and runnable. It is not long,but serves well to avoid the worst of the first path (which it meets). Descend onto the first path and turn right.

The third is found by running from North Cut along the towpath to the next lock, just past which is the first proper gate. Go through then very shortly after, turn left. The path is now better, but still quite uneven and at one point crosses a short bridge, then getting to the short range of steps down to the end of the first path. Turn right.

The next bit of the path continues from the bottom of the steps to the right. From now on the path is much better made, and nearly all wheelchair friendly-ish.. It reaches a point where it meets another path with an old industrial bridge crossing the river Calder.

It is worth noting that this is a nature reserve. It is still developing as such, and parts are still just a little murky, but please recognise that it is such and deserves an associated respect. I do not say that we should not use it, but just not to do anything which might damage it. On the map, you will see a bird feeding area at No 1. If you are runnng at a time when people might be bird watching, it might be easily avoided by taking the path over the top of the bump. It may not be a big contribution, but we can try.


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You run, you fall. It happens, it will happen. I cannot see that it is a good reason for not running. Perhaps it is a a reason for running better.

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I fell again last night. We were running through the canal basin at Salterhebble. It was dark. I was wearing a head torch, but as I ran by one of the lock gates, I failed to notice the stone ribs set there to assist those handling the gates to put some weight on it.

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I fell again last night. We were running through the canal basin at Salterhebble. It was dark. I was wearing a head torch, but as I ran by one of the lock gates, I failed to notice the stone ribs set there to assist those handling the gates to put some weight on it.


The rib is raised by a couple of inches. My foot wasn’t. I fell, and, luckily, I bounced. Today, I have no bruises, despite falling onto cobbles.

My last previous fall was when running fast downhill though woods. Again a raised stone. Three bikes were laid across the path in front of me, and I was looking to work out how to go around them, and not at the path immediately before me. That fall hurt. A few grazes and bruises, but one shin bruise persisted for a good three weeks.

My swim coach, hearing of one fall made it very simple: “Pick your damn feet up.” She was right – particularly off road.

For me there may be an additional common element which has been that falls have come toward the ends of runs. I suspect that it is a question of mental tiredness – not keeping a full concentration on the terrain before me.

It is always my fault, and I make no complaint. I just live in hope that I can keep going. Just at the moment I feel I am getting a little better . .


Clavicly Challenged

On November 30th 2017, in the evening, I led out a group of runners from Stainland Lions. We left Heath Rugby club, climbing up to Blackley before then descending, at a pace, into Elland, along the main road.

It was dark, and occasionally icy, but those conditions made no particular contribution to what happened. I was moving from the rear of our group up to the front, and therefore running at a faster pace. There was a pot hole in the road it, about 6 inches deep. My right foot went into it and the sudden and unexpected change simply threw me over, landing hard on my right shoulder and rolling.

I hit my head, but that is probably the least susceptible part of my body. I could feel immediately that I would be in pain over the next few days, but after a short rest we continued the run down into Elland, then up Dewsbury Road before running down to the canal and back to Heath.

I got home, and Lynne, my wife, insisted that we go to Accident and Emergency. We did. At about midnight I was seen by the doctor, who examined my x-rays and said that I needed to see the specialist shoulder surgeon. I was given an appointment for the following Wednesday (6th) to see Mr Fogerty. He said that it was a borderline decision as to whether I needed to be plated, but that the best chance of recovering the best mobility, would be after surgery, with the shoulder being plated to repair the fracture, and re-align the bones. The fracture being toward the outer end of the bone, there is a lower blood supply, and therefore less chances of it healing.

I was then called in for surgery on Friday 15th Dec for 8 am at Calderdale Royal hospital comma but at about 3 o’clock was told that surgery has been cancelled for that day. It appears that the surgeon had himself fallen and suffered a slight injury, enough to make it improper to operate that day. I went home. At about 8:30 on that Friday evening I was called again, and told that the operation has been relisted for Huddersfield Infirmary on the day after, Saturday and that I needed to fast and be at the hospital for 8am.

I attended and was eventually called for surgery, being given a general anaesthetic at 2 pm. I recovered At 4:30 p.m. and was taken back to my room on ward 14.

Because I was being given morphine for the pain, I was kept in overnight, being eventually released or discharged at 4:30 on Sunday afternoon.

It is now Tuesday afternoon. Last night was the most painful, but I do now feel that I am properly recovering. I must continue to carry my arm in a sling full stop the sling itself is very comfortable, but it is quite hot and my skin is going red raw with it.

It is conventional to thank Hospital Staff comma but I can happily say that the care and treatment I have received has been very good full stop each of the staff have been clearly keen to assist as best they could, and the car has been intelligent and thoughtful full stop I know that our health service is in Crisis comma but at the same time comma for my experience at least comma this has been well hidden from me.

We are asked a rather silly question of whether we would recommend the hospital to others full stop accepting that this is really a simple question as to the standard of care, I happily say that the standard has been excellent. If you do indeed want to break your shoulder the, Calderdale is not a bad place.


Swimming a sprint set this morning I discovered, rather sadly if it has taken me this long, how significantly to speed up my fly – to kick my legs properly.

I managed for a shortish distance to get significantly more power from the kick. It was nice, and convincing.

I am sure that this is largely a matter first of timing. Body shape etc follows naturally from the additional impetus.
Something for Google, and lots of practice (with fins for part of the time).