A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Posts Tagged ‘rag’

Bogle 2011

Posted by Alan on March 7, 2011

This weekend saw me tackling Manchester RAG’s famous Bogle event.  There are many variations on the ‘creation myth’, but what is certain is that some people walked around 55 miles home from somewhere north west of Manchester.  This is my second attempt – the first ended after completing the ‘south loop’, a distance of 29 miles.  This time, I am very glad to say I made it all the way around!

Fresh faces!

Fresh faces - at the very beginning, a mug shot with our walker numbers!

Starting from the old UMIST campus close to Manchester Piccadilly station, we were fresh and ready to go (despite rather stupidly having walked to Whitworth Park and back!). From here, the route takes us down through studentsville (Fallowfield), Northenden and finally Heald Green where checkpoint 1 provides a very welcome brief stop, nearly 10 miles out.

Checkpoint 1

Checkpoint 1 - still smiling. Tea is awesome!

From checkpoint 1, the route heads further out taking in Bramhall, Hazel Grove, Stockport, Didsbury and finally back up Oxford Road to the hub at UMIST – checkpoint 5. Here we took a decent break, having covered the 29 miles in just over 9.5 hours – an average of almost 3.5mph – which is really quite a fast walking pace to maintain! Leaving checkpoint 5 before 6am, this stretch is an infamous challenge amongst Boglers. 4 of the 5 miles to checkpoint 6 are up hill, following the Oldham Road to Failsworth through areas of Manchester that are ‘awaiting regeneration’.

Checkpoint 6

By checkpoint 6 (34 miles) the gruelling nature had set in.

At least the checkpoint is indoors! The next stretch is possibly the most difficult distance en route.  Checkpoint 7 is 41 miles in – yes – that’s a 7 mile stretch without a scheduled break.  It was during this stretch I came closest to quitting.  A chance encounter if a friend who was following the walkers on his bike provided some conversation and a welcome boost in morale. It was really nice to talk about cycling for a bit and take my mind off the various pains! Having reached checkpoint 7, I was now in good spirits – with a sandwich in one hand it was off again, for checkpoint 8 is just 3 miles further round. If I get that far, at least I can have a hot pie, I thought…

Pie

By checkpoint 8 however, things started to look up. The shop had pies!

Indeed I could. The man in the shop at Ringley stores was very happy to chat about the walk and very proud of his own certificates for keeping a Kidscan charity box in his shop! From here, the route is very much on the top of the hills.

Top of the morning

Top of the morning - high above Bolton and Bury, it did get quite pretty.

But with an up, there’s obviously a down. And then an up again – the Irwell valley brings you the ‘Hill of Death’.

Looking up

Looking up - "the hill of death". It wasn't so hard.

It’s quite steep, but I got through it thanks to a little musical inspiration from The Guillemots, managing the climb in a little under 10 minutes. Turning left at the top, it then really started to feel like I was heading home. Through several checkpoints and eventually onto the final stretch – the last 3 miles through Salford back to base. At this stage it really feels like there’s no point giving in no matter how slow the progress.

Old Salford

Old Salford - happily this stereotype is now rather rare

Liverpool St (picture above) is unremittingly grim.  Long, straight, and a mix of late 20th century flats, earlier terraces and some industrial sites (such as a scrap yard).  Here I gave up on music. Perhaps Portishead’s Third was just a little too fitting. Close to the centre of Salford I joined up with 2 freshers – who had absolutely no idea about Salford, or quays.  For the last mile we took it steady, finally crossing the Irwell, then Deansgate, then St Peters Sq and finally turning down the slope onto the campus.

Finishing 21 hours and 44 minutes after I had set off, I had made it. So without further ado, here are the freshly crunched numbers:

Vital statistics

2011 figures 2009 figures
Checkpoint Arrive Depart time since last CP miles from last checkpoint Total Distance section average mph moving average mph Arrival Depart section average mph
0 00:00:00 19:33:05 00:00:00 0 0 0.00 0.00 00:00:00 20:10:00 0.00
1 22:28:17 22:51:33 02:55:12 9.8 9.8 3.36 3.36 23:15:00 23:40:00 3.24
2 23:55:26 0:09:44 01:03:53 3.6 13.4 3.38 3.36 00:41:00 00:55:00 2.95
3 1:57:30 2:08:07 01:47:46 6.2 19.6 3.45 3.39 03:08:00 03:22:00 2.93
4 3:43:00 3:55:00 01:34:53 5.2 24.8 3.29 3.37 05:33:00 05:50:00 2.52
5 5:15:07 5:51:49 01:20:07 4.2 29 3.15 3.33 07:15:00 2.35
6 7:31:57 7:57:10 01:40:08 5 34 3.00 3.28
7 10:21:58 10:27:38 02:24:48 7 41 2.90 3.21
8 11:51:41 12:10:17 01:24:03 3.1 44.1 2.21 3.11
9 13:38:33 13:57:23 01:28:16 4.1 48.2 2.79 3.08
10 15:33:54 15:39:00 01:36:31 3.9 52.1 2.42 3.02
11 17:26:55 01:47:55 2.9 55 1.61 2.89
Distances as per route notes, maybe rounding errors may exist

At the time of writing I had amassed £260 in sponsorship. You can still sponsor me at http://www.justgiving.com/AlanP-Bogle2011 with the funds going to Lymphoedema Support Network.

My feet are beginning to recover!

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Do Do Do The Conga

Posted by Alan on April 2, 2010

If you’ve been in London this week you may have been asked for some loose change by people with buckets. The Easter week sees Meningitis Research Foundation descend into the city with a few students and a lot of enthusiasm. This year they managed an awesome £50K but still had some energy to expend with a conga.

St Pauls and the Millennium Bridge

St Pauls and the Millennium Bridge on a typically grey day

Sometime after 12 we form up ready to start. And off… mid bridge we stop and time warp for just a few seconds…

Time Warp and St Pauls

Time Warp

And so 40 or so made it to the north bank without any sway of the bridge and another year was done. With thanks to Ragabonds for organising the conga again.

Full flickr set of photos is now online…

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Bogle 2010

Posted by Alan on March 14, 2010

Last year I walked (Bogle 09) and managed to get just over halfway round (29 miles!) before quitting and helping out a bit. This year I took the opportunity to drive a van. Since passing my test I haven’t driven anything but vans – but it isn’t like I get to drive very often so I thought it’d be great to keep the skills going! 🙂

An early start meant dragging my mum to help too (she loves it really though) since Metrolink killed our public transport back in October last year I can’t get in from their house to town before about 8AM…

This year I got checkpoint 8, which is out in North Manchester just on the boarder between Bury and Bolton. In a car park we couldn’t put the van in, but that didn’t matter too much. We had meat pies…!

Lech tucks into a meat pie on CheckPoint 8

By this point, the hardcore walkers had managed around the 45 mile mark and we could offer them tea, coffee and cake as sustenance for the final 9.9 miles.

Coffee from the van

Around 70 walkers made it all the away around the full 55 miles this year and the running total for charity has already passed 11K.  And I didn’t crash 🙂 Awesome eh?

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Sunday Lazy Sunday

Posted by Alan on April 12, 2009

Mmm. Lazy Easter Sunday. In fact, pretty lazy Easter break.

It’s all been a bit quiet after the hubbub of applying for a proper job at TfL instead of just being a graduate. The good news is… aside a little red tape, I’ve got the position. Just need to sign the paperwork (currently in the custody of Royal Mail) and its sorted.

The last week of lent brought LOOT to London and I was around on the Wednesday to swap buckets. The clever chaps and chapesses managed to bag Meningitis Research a very cool £29K on the Wednesday alone. And who says we are in a recession?

Of course, LOOT means the Millennium Bridge conga. 36 people over this year – see the photos above. Much Bambi burger was then consumed by all and sundry to recover from the strenuous exercise.

Tomorrow brings a bank holiday. Just in time to finish off the ironing and get ready for another quiet week. Maybe I’ll even tackle the multimedia overload which constitutes my CD collection.

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Bogle 09

Posted by Alan on March 9, 2009

This weekend, I walked half of Manchester RAG’s bogle event. The event consists of a 55 mile walk around Manchester. I elected to start the 55 mile walk, but I wasn’t at all too sure how far I would get round. In the end I made 29 miles – just over half way, and just in time to meet Ruth who was only doing the ‘north loop’ – the final 26 miles.

It was hard work. Normally I walk from my flat to the tube stop (c. 10 mins) and back again. Even if I’m going to another building at work if it’s more than 5 minutes away I tend to get the bus, I am that lazy. So this was hard.

Training, well that didn’t really happen. I made 5 miles though some fields near the river Severn. And then went to the pub.

But the shoes worked! I got one blister, on my little toe but other than that seem unscathed. So… here are the vital statistics:

Twitter’s record of events.

20:10:00 Nous sommes départs.
21:10:00 Sainsbury fallowfield. Buying replacement trousers.
22:10:00 Northenden. Have ice cream.
23:06:00 Heald green. So close to check point one
23:15:00 Checkpoint 1. Circa 10 miles in. Arches and calves hurt.
23:23:00 Mmm. Cup of tea. It’s lovely to stand still for a bit
23:40:00 Leaving checkpoint 1
23:59:00 Just into cheadle hulme, by the welcome to macclesfield sign
00:03:00 What is the queen doing now? Asks Bill.via Twitter
00:23:00 Acre lane. 12 miles down.
00:41:00 Checkpoint 2, 13 miles in
00:55:00 Leaving checkpoint 2
01:32:00 Jacksons lane. 15 miles. Just witnessed a man kicking a car. Lovely.
02:02:00 Hazel Grove, almost 17 miles in. My feet hurt!
02:28:00 18 miles.
02:54:00 A bit of rage against the machine has helped me pick up the pace again. Outskirts of stockport now
03:08:00 Checkpoint 3. No hot food but the kebab shop has jacket spud left!
03:22:00 Leaving checkpoint 3
03:43:00 Cheadle heath. 21 miles
04:04:00 Cheadle centre, 22 miles.
04:29:00 Tesco east didsbury. 23 miles. I’m really feeling it now
05:06:00 East didsbury. 24 miles
05:33:00 Checkpoint 4. 25 miles in. Not sure how far I can get.
06:03:00 Fallowfield 26 miles.
06:35:00 Top end of rusholme. 27 miles
06:57:00 Aquatics centre. 28 miles
07:15:00 Checkpoint 5. I give in. 29 miles is enough for me! Now to help run this event

Stats

Total time on route – 11 hours and 05 minutes, an average of 22 minutes per mile (just under 3 mph)

Total walking time – 10 hours and 12 minutes, an average of 21 minutes per mile (still just under 3 mph!)

CheckPoint 0 – Checkpoint 1, UMIST – Heald Green
Distance: 10 miles
Duration 3h 5m
Average speed 3.2mph
CheckPoint 1 – Checkpoint 2, Heald Green – Bramhall
Distance: 3 miles
Duration 1h 1m
Average speed 2.9mph
CheckPoint 2 – Checkpoint 3, Bramhall – Stockport Edgeley, via Heald Green
Distance: 6.5 miles
Duration 2h 13m
Average speed 2.9mph
CheckPoint 3 – Checkpoint 4, Stockport Edgeley – Withington
Distance: 5.5 miles
Duration 2h 13m
Average speed 2.5mph
CheckPoint 4 – Checkpoint 5, Withington – UMIST
Distance: 4 miles
Duration 1h 42m
Average speed 2.4mph

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Muddy Boots

Posted by Alan on February 17, 2009

This weekend I went training for Bogle. As most of you will know, I’m a long way from being a fit and healthy person, preferring a nice pint and a chat to pretty much anything else.

But! I said I would try to walk Bogle, Manchester RAG’s legendary charity walk. It’s 55 miles long and the route follows a figure of 8 centered on the UMIST campus. Many of my good friends walked it as students whilst I wussed out as a marshal – at least for Bogle 07 and 08. Most of the route is roads, therefore tarmac. My training walk on Saturday gone (a measly 4.95 miles) was mostly on muddy fields. Of course I knew this when I organised the training walk but I was mostly in it for the pint of Stout in the pub at the end of the walk. Old habits die hard and all that.

Read the rest of this entry »

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