England Archives

A long walk in the Dark Peak

Eek! I start the Coast to Coast five weeks today!! How the heck did that happen? It felt like ages away and now it’s knocking on my doorstep…

I have been training. Back to back walks at the weekends, walking in the evenings, running up hills and hitting the gym- concentrating on inclines on the treadmill and using the summit trainer. I have had a bit of a niggle in my right Achilles though so have had to ease off a little this week- can’t risk injury now!!

Helen and I completed a long walk in the Dark Peak on Sunday. We haven’t done much walking in the Dark Peak area of Derbyshire- we both confessed it scares us a little- so when Helen found a route in a walking magazine we decided to go for it.

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Back into it!

I went to the nurse to have the dressing changed on my wound for the last time Friday- she pulled it off and announced that my back is now healed so I need no more dressings! This is great news- it is so lovely being able to shower properly- although she did advise me to leave it another week or so until I swim.

Of course, this means that sadly the Half Outlaw is definitely off- I should have been really building up my swimming and cycling over the past few weeks and doing some open water stuff and of course I haven‘t. This is really gutting, but the Coast to Coast in July is still very much on and I am now concentrating all of my efforts on this!

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Bowland 100k- Event Report

I think it was when my foot disappeared up to my knee in peaty water for the third time within five minutes that I first accepted that this challenge wasn’t going to be achievable. I stopped and surveyed the scene- peat bogs and slippery mud as far as I could see. A hundred yards away Sue was having her own struggles, forging a path through tangled heather roots in an attempt to avoid the worst of it. It started raining again- heavy, persistent rain, and I began to wonder if we would ever make it off the fell let alone to the end…

In hindsight, it was always going to be ambitious- 100k (62 miles) over the fells of the Forest of Bowland in March. Persuaded by Sue to enter, I was slightly apprehensive as I have walked on these fells and know how boggy they can be.

I had arranged to stay with my sister and brother-in-law, who live fairly near to the start at Slaidburn, and they kindly drove me there. Prior to the event we had received very little information from the organisers, Pure Challenge, regarding the route, checkpoints etc. In response to several Facebook queries they had supplied a list of checkpoints with some rough distances between and assurances that there would be hot food at the ‘half way’ point at Dunsop Bridge. We were not given a map or route description but were assured that the route would be marked.

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Just a little training walk…

Phew- I have not done an event for some time that trashed me as completely as the Millennium Ultra did last weekend! I almost felt incapable of taking care of myself… I could hardly move my legs, couldn’t get up without pulling myself up on something, had to crawl up and down the stairs… I couldn’t walk properly until Wednesday.

Luckily I had last week off work as I had intended to take my mum to Limoges in France for a couple of days, but thanks to the French baggage handlers strike our flights were cancelled and our trip was off. Determined to still take a break, we booked into a spa hotel and made a proper holiday of it, visiting the Denby pottery centre and having a short walk along the cliffs above Matlock Bath before checking in.

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Event Report- The Millennium Way Ultra

There was no doubt about it- I was completely lost. Approaching checkpoint three my route description had finally succumbed to the relentless showers and had disintegrated into a soggy illegible pulp, and now I had taken the wrong exit out of the field.

Instead of arriving at the checkpoint marquee on the playing field at Yoxall I was faced with unfamiliar roads and had absolutely no idea how to get back on track. I looked at my watch- 5:03pm. I knew that the checkpoint closing time was 5:05pm and I had no way of finding it in time. It was looking horribly like my race was over… panicking I forced my tired body into a shambling jog- but I wasn’t even sure I was running in the right direction…

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Event Report- the Wilmot Wander

A couple of weeks ago saw me taking on my first challenge of 2017- the 32 mile Wilmot Wander. Run by the Chaddesden Scout Group, the walk starts from Chaddesden in Derby and takes in a circuit around the city.

They have this slightly odd system where walkers and runners are sent off in batches every two minutes, and as my start time was earlier than Sue and Elaine, my walking companions‘, I hovered outside in the dark trying to keep my balance on the icy pavement.

Reunited, we set off through Chaddesden Park- one drawback of not having a mass start is that there was nobody in front to follow. We had some rather poorly printed maps and a route description that was sparse at best so had to ask a local lady for directions on leaving the park.

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… Can you guess what it is??

coast-to-coast

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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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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