Friday, 26 October 2012

Lis' Poem


I will put in his bag…….
The raucous banter of friends teasing one another as the start line lurches forward
The thrill and adventure of exploring new places, starting new races
Tears of joy and delight as challenges are conquered

I will put in his bag…….
Sharing a beer as there’s talk of new routes, short cuts, trods missed
The rhythm of feet as they dance across the mountain tops
The love and understanding of true fell running friends always nearby

I will put in his bag…….
An energy and determination to be marveled at by others
The purest blue skies that reflect an inner peace and harmony, at one in the wild
An ease of finding the strength and sparkle in whoever he met

Daz’s bag is fashioned from a mix of woven purple heather and vivid green moss
With golden bracken entwined on the top and secret stream pockets
It’s stitches are craggy with breathtaking surprise views
With a spark of an autumn sunrise to capture his mountain passion

He flew over rainbows with an open heart and his bag held tight
Touched souls, shared dreams, enthused all
With a smile and kind words, friends will always remember.

I will put in his bag…….
Love always……Love always….

A poem by Lis Bloor—written on 16th October 2012

Friday, 19 October 2012

FRA relays - Black Ribbons and Bike Caps

View from the hill
 Last weekend was the FRA relays from Church Stretton and Pennine were out in force (7 teams plus dedicated supporters!!), running in memory of Daz. Black ribbon and cycling cap in place, I was a bit aprehensive before the start as my lasting memory from the stretton hills race was fast unrelenting running  on steep hills and I was a bit tired for that! My legs didn't seem to want to move on the warm up and Jim told me to stop yawning in the start area.
Me and Claire before the start
 Thankfully as soon as we set off all tiredness was forgotten. Unrolling my map I quickly realised what Neil Northrop had meant when he said 'I don't know where to go' while running up the start was a lovely navigation leg, with enough route choice to keep you thinking but lots of runnable terrain as well. Thanks to the planner for that!
Just spotted Ambleside Ladies on our shoulder - photo courtesy of Al Tye
 I took a 'run as hard as you can and when it hurts run harder' approach, there was going to be no half measures today! From control 3 onwards we found ourselves in a tussle with Ambleside which helped keep the pace up and by the end I don't think we could have run faster!
I've always known how powerful the right mindset can be for long races, but Sunday proved the influence it can have over any distance. Any other day I doubt I could have run that fast!
Running in to control 4 - photo courtesy of Al Tye
I think everyone in Pennine found an extra gear at the relays with the V50s finishing 4th, the womens team finishing 5th, the V40s 12th and the Men 18th! I'm pretty sure Daz would have been blown away by the performances in his memory. Daz's parents got to experience what it was about the fell running community that he loved so much. Thank you to all the teams and friends who called out support to pennine at the relays, it made it a really special occassion and moving day that will not be forgotten.

Yesterday Daz's family and friends gathered at Bramcote Crematorium to say a final goodbye. There were so many people there, family, friends, runners and cyclists (complete with revolution kit and bikes - I think Daz would have loved that) that we filled the place and then some! Steve (aka was taken to ensure all forum names were referred to in the service) gave a eulogy to open before Daz's cousin gave a moving account of the two of them growing up. Andy (aka Loveshack) recited a great poem written by Lis, she put Daz into words so well! The final reading was of Josh's words, thoughts which I wouldn't have been able to put down on paper.
The unlikely gathering of family, friends and fell runners (suited and booted, a rare sight for some) then spent the evening recounting tales of races and memories of Daz. A fantastic dedication to such a great friend.

Finally, I'll leave you with Ewan MacColl's song 'The Joy of Living'. The song was played at the end of the service, it was meant for Daz:

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Laid Back Fell Runner

This has taken some writing. Like everyone else who knew Daz,  I struggle to find the words...

This weekend was the Ian Hodgson Mountain Relays and at a little after 10am myself and Claire Aspinall were heading up to the Knott from Hartsop. It was a beautiful day, crisp with blue skies, fantastic racing conditions. We shared the odd word with the other teams in passing and even got into a proper tussle with the Ilkley ladies heading down to the hand over. I found myself tearing down the hill from the final control, Claire in hot persuit, elated to be feeling (after so many months of being the injured spectator) the thrill of going full tilt over the rough ground, almost taking off a few times.

A couple of hours later and we were waiting in the finish field, elation gone, for what turned out to be the worst possible news. Darren Holloway had collapsed and died whilst running leg 4. That last sentence still doesn't really compute. Thanks have to go to all those who stopped to help, everything that could be done was done and it meant Daz had as much support as he could have got anywhere!

I was about 18 when I first met Daz, around the time he first donned a pennine vest. My initial memory being that of the vest I would tear off after at the start of a race, normally only for him to disappear a few minutes later, but always there at the finish with a grin on his face. I couldn't have been finishing too far behind could I? The plan was to inch closer each race....well that wasn't going to happen as Daz transformed over the last few years, setting a pace I could only dream of! And maybe I was finishing just behind.... but maybe this was just part of who Daz was, as interested in everybody elses races as he was his own, always encouraging and supportive, still always there on the finish line.

Much as I'm stealing this description from others, it sums Daz up: 'Hard as nails but with a heart of gold'.

We'll all miss you Daz, my thoughts are with Amanda and Josh, I don't really know what to say, I've tried to see it as you were doing what you loved at the time, but the time was just too soon. So I'll leave you with Daz's words after the Scafell race, this is why I run:

'Someone is telling me about the Wasdale Head show in a couple of weeks and I wonder if I can do that as well. So many events and so little time.
We are so fortunate to have this wonderful sport.
Only 99 runners today but I did not see one unhappy person and as I drive away I wonder where next. Where will this sport take me.
After hundreds of fell races the sport still has that magnetic pull that it had the first day that I wore a set of fell shoes.'


Been meaning to write this for weeks, I've failed so will driect you to Planet Byde: