Posted by: stokiecat | January 10, 2015

Small hills are still hills – Janathon 2015 Day 10

Today is not trail running but I would say it meets the criteria of “off-road” as the majority is paths through a variety of green spaces through Fenton.  I call it Fenton Two Hills, as i run from Fenpark Common to Glebedale Park, via Sammie’s Pool, Fenton Cemetary, Fenton Park, Manor Street Allotments (or the horticultural shanty town as I like to call it), Fenton Lido (Smith’s Pool), the A50 path (the most boring bit which runs in parallel with the Westcoast Mainline railway on one side and A50 dual carriageway on the other side, sound picturesque dunnit?) and finally Priors Fields. From the photos below the hills don’t look that big and according to runkeeper it’s a total run climb of 478ft which is also not that impressive, it seems a lot harder when I’m out running it.  As I type this one of our club members is running the Spine Challenger Race http://thespinerace.com/spine-challenger/  Distance: 108 Miles (approx.) Time: 60 hours, non-stop Ascent:4890m. In fact he is actually second and just passing a place called Windy Hill. As I walked up the first bit of Glebedale hill I though of him and  again at the top the wind was nearly blowing me over. I have a looooong way to go if I’m ever going to attempt an Ultra. What Janson is doing is quite frankly amazing.

So here’s a couple of pictures of the two hills I ran up and down today, the first one is looking from the top of Fenpark towards Glebedale and then from Glebedale back across to Fenpark:

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Not really that impressive but it’s still one of my favourite regular runs because it does provide something of a challenge and it is traffic free for the majority and the views from the top of the two hills are really quite good. It was a bit hazy today but on clear days you can see out to the Peak District (Chrome Hill) in one direction and to the Wrekin in the other direction. It does give you an idea how Stoke on Trent is surrounded by great countryside to get out and explore, even that which is closer such as Hanchurch Woods or Apedale park, both of which I could see today.

Glebedale Park is also another reminder of the local mining heritage of Stoke on Trent.  This is the view you get of Glebedale Hill when coming up the steps from Fenton Lido into Heron Cross.

IMG_0052 It might not be obvious from this rather boring photo but when you are actually there it’s pretty obvious this isn’t a natural hill but a reclaimed waste heap (in this case colliery waste).  The info point at the entrance to the park says it was the former waste heap for the Glebedale colliery and Brick works which was closed by the National Coal Board in 1965. There is also a further reminder at the entrance with a piece of rolling stock serving as a permanent mini-monument to the inauguration of the reclamation scheme in 1971 and the opening of the park in 1973.

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Today’s Activities

5.2 miles running – heavy legs from doing two hill runs back to back and strong wind meant it was a bit of a slog but still enjoyable nonetheless

My step counter says 10,201. As I am now on the sofa watching the football and my plan tonight is a Forbrydelsen marathon it isn’t going to get much higher so that’s it for today 🙂

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