Sunday, 17 February 2013

No 9 Beacon Bash

Driving to Newburgh I had reservations about today. My legs felt tired from yesterdays 29.5 miles and my groin was sore. BUT the sun was shining and it was a route I had not done before.
 I decided to do some of my extra miles before the run today so I headed off through the village and down onto the canal tow path. It was flat and not too muddy, the perfect way to get an extra 4.5 miles done. It also gave me a chance to check out the first section of the route. It was deserted as I headed away from Newburgh.  Despite the frost on the car this morning it was obviously going to be a warm one and before the canal bridge turn off I was shedding hat and gloves.
 As I turned back to the village and the start I met the first of the 'walkers' who set off at 8am. At first I thought I had made a mistake because some were running at a fair pace but they assured me they were walkers. It was good to get back in plenty of time and to know there was only 2 miles to add on at the end. The start was typically laid back LDWA and we were off. Nick shot off at race pace and despite my best intentions I got sucked along until my groin objected and common sense prevailed.

 By the first checkpoint I had regained my place with some of the runners and seemed to have warmed up again. I tracked a couple in front of me who seemed to know where they were going. Keeping them in my sight pulled me along across the very muddy stretches that had been used for the Parbold Hill race yesterday. A quick chat established that they did not know the route but had it on their garmins.
 Using that and some checks of the written description got us round together.  It is a very mixed route with lanes, tracks and some very very muddy paths and fields. We caught more walkers up on the flog up to Harrock Hill and the derelict windmill and slowly picking them off helped keep up the pace. Now it was down and down some more to the main road and into Fairy Glen and on towards Appley Bridge. The checkpoint here was superb and I was ready for the sandwiches and cup of tea. Inevitably the next section was up and up. Initially I was on my own but it wasn't long before Alsion and Duncan caught me up again. Some very muddy track led us across to CP4. The next up had false summits and all but surely it would be the last climb.

        The route takes you through Beacon Park which is probably safer and more pleasant than the road, but not so easy running. It was glorious and I was even tempted to stop on one of the benches and soak up the rays. I foolishly decided CP5 was close enough to the end to ignore and so missed the soup. I had not been to Ashurst Beacon before and am just sorry that my photo either makes it or me appear drunk! I had an altercation with a small dog on a stretchy lead here and only just managed to stay on my feet.  I had convinced myself that it was now all downhill- huh. Some very swampy fields with interesting oily patches and a strange loop meant it was further and harder than I thought.
 Eventually we could see the village and we were back well inside 4 hours. I refueled with pie, peas, apple pie and many cups of tea before treking back to the car and setting off for my extra 2 miles. The sun was still shining brightly when I left. 27.5 miles run. Not exactly speedy but a lovely day out in the sun (not sure I would appreciate this route in the rain though).

No comments:

Post a Comment