Race Report- Jane Tomlinson York 10K

York 10kI had originally entered the Jane Tomlinson Run For All York 10k with Helen, but due to her knee injury she had to sadly sit this one out, but agreed to still accompany me for a girlie weekend away.

We drove up to York on the Saturday, to discover that it would cost us more for the parking than for lunch! York was packed- I guess it was the combination of decent weather, a few events happening and school holidays. After a lunch of fish and chips it was time to explore and shop- we took in the Shambles and the Minster, looked round unique little gift shops (including a shop selling all things cat related!), walked along the walls and found the ruins of an abbey which neither of us knew existed.

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Norwegian FjordsFor serious die-hard endurance athletes (and me!), the idea of going on a cruise may be anathema; let’s face it, a cruise kind of conjures up images of folks loading up piling plates of food at the 24 hour buffet before collapsing onto a deck chair by the pool to top up that tan. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course, if that’s the type of holiday you enjoy- but if you are reading this blog this probably isn’t your idea of an ideal trip. However sometimes circumstances are such that a cruise is a necessity- family plans, bribe to a spouse so you can enter an ultra etc- but if you are serious about exercising and maintaining your fitness levels then you may feel that a cruising holiday could derail all those plans…

… or will they? I recently went on a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords for my Mum’s 70th birthday; I decided to try to fit in as much exercise as possible whilst still enjoying plenty of relaxation and exploring everything the buffet had to offer!

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Cornish Challenge- Day Four

Cornish ChallengeAs we went for breakfast we were in high spirits as the end was now in sight! I think the German couple sitting near us were mystified as to why we were in hysterics; Helen had asked for more toast and our host had brought us out a whole fresh rack, which there was no way we would be able to eat, so Helen hit on the solution of hiding a slice in a serviette to be taken back to the room and hidden discreetly in the bin! It’s a British thing, obviously…

We still had a long walk today so caught the bus back to the coast and resumed the Coast Path. Today was another day of climbing and descending into rocky coves and dramatic headlands, although not as difficult as the first two days. Or maybe it felt easier as the weather was so warm and sunny.

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Cornish Challenge- Day Three

Cornish ChallengeAfter our tough trek yesterday we slept quite soundly, and enjoyed the luxury of our first proper meal in two days as we ate breakfast in the restaurant (slightly perturbed to read on the blackboard that evening meals were served until 9:30pm so we may not have been too late last night after all…)

We decided to treat ourselves to a taxi back onto the South West Coast Path, and we soon walking along the easy cycle path towards Marazion, with clear views to St Michael’s Mount. It was clear and sunny, and stayed like this all day.

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Cornish Challenge- Day Two

Cornish ChallengeEager to leave the Youth Hostel before our little, erm, discretion was discovered, and with the knowledge that we had another long walking day ahead of us, we decided to forgo a shower and were setting off through the wet fields back onto the South West Coast Path by 7:20am. Breakfast was a cereal bar apiece and a few nuts and seeds, but we planned on something more substantial at Sennen.

A rocky, undulating path took us high above the cliffs, past Whitesand Bay and eventually into Sennen by way of a sandy track. Sadly no cafes were open yet, so we had to settle for a cold cheese and onion pasty and a bottle of diet coke, which we ate on a bench overlooking the quay.
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Cornish Challenge- Day One

Cornish ChallengeIt had been raining for several hours and we felt thoroughly chilled and wet, despite our waterproofs. The forecast had mentioned showers, but this had gone beyond that- the showers we had experienced earlier had morphed into a cold, insistent downpour.

It had taken us much longer than we had anticipated to complete our mileage that day, slowed by our heavy packs and tricky terrain. As we trudged wearily down the road in pitch darkness, desperately searching for the Youth Hostel we had been trying to locate for the best part of an hour, the realisation hit us that it was now nearly 11pm and our chances of checking into the Youth Hostel, even if we found it, were now remote.

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Cornish ChallengeStop press- Helen and I completed our Cornish Challenge, raising an amazing £1000 for the Alzheimer’s Society in the process!

It was pretty tough, pretty wet at times and pretty spectacular, and there were times when we thought we wouldn’t finish, but finish we did and we ended up walking nearly 90 miles over the four days instead of the 80 we thought we were going to complete!

Look out for daily reports (plus photos) to follow…

It’s here- the Cornish Challenge!!

CornwallToday’s the day! I am packed, I have triple checked my stuff, I have packed sweets in little bags for each day’s walking (vitally important!) and will be shortly setting off for Cornwall, dropping the cats off at their holiday accommodation (AKA the cattery) en route…

Our itinerary is as follows…

Friday– Day One- we will be walking from Carbis Bay through St Ives and along the South West Coast Path, passing Zennor, Sennen Cove and Cape Cornwall to our overnight stop at the Youth Hostel at St Just. We will be walking around 21 miles and apparently this part of the Coast Path is some of the most challenging due to the amount of climbing and descending! It is gonna be quite tough for a first day- but then we don’t like to do things by halves…

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Nearly Cornish Challenge time…

Cornish ChallengeI cannot believe how fast this year has gone. It seems like only a few weeks ago that Helen and I first started actively planning our Cornish Challenge and yet it was last September!

We drive down to St Ives on Thursday to start our walk on Friday, and, of course, in true British tradition the weather has been lovely for days but it gives rain at the weekend…

I think we are ready. After the Pride of the Peak epic we have had another couple of walks of about 15 and 17 miles with the packs. One involved navigating our way round footpaths and bridleways linking Staunton Harold Reservoir and Calke Abbey grounds with Foremark Reservoir. We took Spud with us, and ended up having an impromptu weight training session as we had to physically lift him over several high stiles, much to his disgust!

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The Pride of the Peak Walk

Pride of the PeakIt was pitch dark- all we could see was a little circle of ground a few inches in front of our feet, partially obscured by the persistent rain drops lit by the beams of our head torches as we trudged uphill through the mud. We had no idea what time it was, but we knew it was late… and getting home depended on reaching the exact spot where there was a gate through the woods- not easy when you are in a meadow a couple of miles wide…

Helen and I had decided that we needed a big walk as the culmination of our training for our Cornish Challenge in three week’s time. I had planned to enter us into the 26 mile Bassetlaw Bash, but decided that we needed to up the ante a little and do something tougher…

So I raided my walking books and found the 30 mile Pride of the Peak walk that I had done with mum and my two sisters several years ago… the difference was that then we walked it over three days, not one!

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