Friday, 31 May 2013

No 30 A different tour of Pendle.

I naively thought I had recovered- from the H110, from the cough and sore throat.... it was to be a hard day. My tour of Pendle only including climbing the lump once but even running around it takes some time.

 It didn't help that there was no need to push the pace or that I decided to explore some paths I had never been on before (and some I will never return to if I can help it).
By 9.35 I was parked in Wiswell and admiring the pretty village and rather grand houses. As I turned onto the public footpath uphill and onto the moor the houses got grander.  Before I had reached the radio mast it was clear it would be warm and I took off my thermal. Shorts and T shirt all day- can't be bad. After the masts the bridleway dropped to the south side of the ridge but it was access land so I tried to keep to the ridge and reach the trig point.
I managed it but there were no trods and I got wet muddy feet for my efforts. Before long I crossed the road at the Nick of Pendle and headed up the big grassy track. I was slow but at least this was dry and runnable. I did not see a sole close enough to speak to and the Trig of Pendle summit was deserted.  I enjoyed the descent to the Ogden reservoirs but my big toe was begining to throb. It improved a bit on the track and road down to Barley. Beyond Whitehough was new territory and I had no idea what the paths or hills would be like.
 It also meant I had to keep a close eye on the map. I had never been to Weets Hill so a new trig was gained and I even found a legal way off the access land.  Some bits were a delight and others had me muttering as I got wet and muddy again and again. Then came the big slog down towards Gisburn and the Ribble Way. I cut the corner a bit so missed the chance of an ice cream in Gisburn. The Ribble Way was relatively easy running but my feet were starting to feel trashed. Both blisters had filled to bigger than they were after the H110 and the ball of my right foot was on fire. At least there were no big downhills to hurt my toe. By Sawley the river was looking quite inviting and I was flagging. I know this section reasonably well from my two runs on the Ribble Way challenge. A bite to eat got me moving, but still not very fast. Shortly after Eddisford Bridge I started to make tracks away from the river and back to the car.
 There was not a very direct route but I didn't get lost and managed to work my way across the fields and a few stretches of road before crossing the busy A59 safely. It was a tough 28, nearly 29 miles and had taken well over 5 hours even though it was only undulating after Pendle summit. Still what a wonderful day to be out in the sunshine and another ultra bites the dust.

Monday, 27 May 2013

No 29 Hardmoors 110 An adventure into the unknown

I knew I wanted this to be my first run over 100 miles but did not know whether I could do it or if it was a good idea to try in the middle of my challenge year. It felt right as Jon was RO and had been so supportive when I asked if I should have a go at 52 ultras. As usual I fell for Jon's motivational and persuasive comments and decided to give it a go. I asked the boss if I could skip Friday afternoon and was suddenly panicked by what I had done when he said 'Yes, just go'.

RO Jon hard at work
Now I had to do it. I spent the week in the lead up nursing a sore throat and then taught two days with no voice. Typical of my luck- just as I make plans things start to get tricky! I didn't dare take time off and prayed it would be OK by Friday. My voice did sort of come back and my chest felt OK so I knew I would give it my best shot. My plan was to abandon my car in Helmsley and worry about how to collect it afterwards but my husband took pity on me and came as unofficial support.
Now the car would get to the finish and I would see a friendly face every so often and have the luxury of a little more support than the drop bags.The drive was uneventful and I managed a full strip change as we drove plus a huge pot of pasta and tuna as a rather early tea. We arrived at the pavilion just a registration was setting up. Almost two hours of nervous chat and numerous loo trips. Simon D was there early but nervous about whether injury would let him have a good run (OH YES IT DID) and I tried to decide who would be running at my pace and keep me sensible. Should I run with Mick C who I knew had run that far before? What about Sarah and Andy who knew the way?  I also met Martin who was nursing a cold and Annie who was bubbly as ever and had the biggest run pack I have ever seen.
The 2 hours vanished and Jon had us grouped outside for the race briefing. The weather that has worried me so much looked like it was improving. I was very anxious about being cold and wet going into the night but this was now looking less likely. By 5 we were out on the lane and after a couple of shuffles to let cars past we were off. Shelli set off like a rocket and even the lead men were gob smacked.
I tried to go steady but realised I was going faster than I intended but felt OK. I settled into the pace and chatted to Kevin who was local - yes, if I could keep with him my nav worries were over. By the White Horse/ Glider Club escarpment I knew I had overcooked it slightly and dropped a few places as I slowed and took care down the steps. Bob had walked up to meet me- the first of many little surprise visits that kept me going. Jon gave me abuse at the CP.
I had questioned his first cut off time as harsh but now I was so far inside it to worry me. The flog back up to the top was hard work and the lads I was with pulled ahead. The views along the top were fantastic and the running relatively easy. I hit the bad patch that I knew would come after about 12 miles. The muscles took turns at locking up and punishing me for daring to go off so fast. Unusually I seemed calm and just backed off the pace and enjoyed the views.
 It would be OK after a bit, and it was. I caught up my little group again only to recognise one as Andy who was grouped next to us in the Fellsman.  I passed Kevin who sadly later tripped, fell and pulled out. We ran as a loose group all the way to Osmotherly.
Bob had driven round to Sneck Yate and also to the car park on Thimbley Moor just before we dropped down to the village. He was there at the village hall as I arrived. Refreshed with a cup off tea and a rice pudding I was off again wanting to stay in touch with the others ready for the inevitable dark. We made our first nav error in Clain Wood and had a bit of cross country downhill to get back on track.
It probably only cost us 5-10 minutes but was enough to make me be careful over the next few hours. Jon had found enough marshalls for all the CPs on Live Moor, Cold Hill and Carleton Bank so no worries about finding a tiny self clip. The group was good company and we moved along at  a steady pace.  Before Lord Stones we needed torches. The tops were easy running but the decsents with the funny muddy rock steps were slow going. I was determined not to risk injury this early on. Cringle Moor and Hasty bank passed in a bit of a blur. I lost Martin and Andy at some point and ran with Richard over Wainstones. I remember Shirley at the road crossing and recognised it as where I was bundled into a warm car on the 2009 H55 race. No need today though as I ran through and up onto Round Hill. Our loose grouping stretched and tightened repeatedly as we hit Blowith Crossing and turned towards Kildale.

The next bit was longer than I remembered but fairly flat across the moors and then downhill. I collected a dropped control card en route and arrived at the CP with Richard. It is always a small world- he lives where I was born.  Unfortunately he gradually pulled away as we climbed to Captain Cook monument (again photo from Bob some hours later) and as I dithered about which path to take Lorraine caught me up.  Bob in the meantime  had driven round to the next road crossing, slept a couple of hours and was standing in the car park to greet me as we ran through. It was lovely to see a smiling face at 2.30am and I hope he forgives me for just a quick wave and being off. Tiredness and dark made me hesitant over the next section and I even ran back and checked Lorriane was following at one point. She was so I pushed on towards Rosebury Topping. (pic from Bob once it was daylight not 3am when I was there)
The climb up was fine but the descent on the rocks was hard work. Next time I need to now where the grassy descent is.  I passed Andy and Martin as I ran down and this gave me a boost of enthusiasm. It was to be my downfall. Having retraced my steps to the had gate I took the wrong path on the moor. Sadly so had another runner so when I got the the next stile there was a wet footprint and a jelly baby. Must be OK then. It wasn't but I ploughed on. Soon I started a steep descent. I knew this was wrong but could not face retracing my steps and it was still darkish.I reasoned that if I dropped to the next forest track and then headed east all would be OK. I passed an enormous boulder, the Hanging Stone, but could not find it on the map. (view of R Topping- what we would have seen if it wasn't dark)
I did meet a forest road but now faced some huge looping miles as the track followed the contours through the woods above Guisborough. I put the map away and kept running. I was mad at myself for making such a mistake and refusing to go back uphill. I ran hard as self punishment. I crossed the Tees link and did consider dropping to the old rail track path but decided that would be cheating. Instead I carried on east and climbed until I hit the concrete road and was back on route. All the time I wondered how much time I had lost and how many had overtaken me. As I climbed to Airey farm I spotted two runners ahead but had no idea who they were.  At the railway viaduct I caught them up and ran with Lorriane into the CP at the hotel. The hard running had taken its toll and my throat was like sandpaper.
 Fortunately Bob was there to meet me with a cup of tea and the offer of strepsils (probably the first ultra fuelled by strepsils? think I ate a whole packet over the race). I took my time and gathered myself for the next section. I left with Bob and Boris. The sun was up and it was a new day. Just what we needed. I ran most of the next section alone enjoying the views of cliffs and rock platforms. I remembered most of this from the H60 last autumn and there was not really any nav to worry about- just keep the sea on your left! I met many early dog walkers and runners. I am not sure what time I thought it was but it seemed strange to be greeted with good morning after we had been going so many hours.
 Boris and me leaving Saltburn. Wow- sunshine.
At Runswick I caught up with Lorriane who had not stopped long at Saltburn. She has a big support crew that kept appearing on bikes and it was cheering to have them shout well done etc. Approaching Whitby I knew I needed food and ate some marmite sandwiches. I had thought about a hot pie but the town was in full bank holiday tourist mode and all I wanted to do was escape through as fast as I could. The streets were too narrow to avoid tourists and it was such a relief to reach the Abbey and leave them all behind.
Somewhere on the next section Lorriane dropped behind and I spotted two runners up ahead in the distance. I did not chase, having learnt my lesson in the woods.  I promised myself chips or a pie in Robin Hoods bay and ran on. The day was glorious- warm, sunny and with a cool breeze. We could not have asked for better. I hoped Bob was getting the good weather and had gone back to Rosebury Topping for his walk. Part of me also hoped he might be in Robin Hoods bay as I was warm and hoped to change into shorts and out of wet socks.
He wasn't there and the chip shop had a queue about 20 people long. I remembered refilling my water bottle in the public toilets on the H60 and should have done today. The next part of coast has numerous descents to cross becks and inlets. I knew this section would be tough. Clinging onto the handrails where ever possible I  negotiated Boggle Hole and Stoupe beck. I also ran out of water and filled from a stream.
Not far to Ravenscar and the next drop bag now. Bob was at the top of the road and a supporter/marshall had walked down with water and to guide us in. It was good to sit in the village hall and take a few minutes to recover. I changed into shorts and tried not to worry at the state of my feet. They were very white, wet, soft and squidgy. Oh well, new socks and shoes might help. 91 miles done and I was determined I could now finish, even it meant some sort of death march.
 Boris and Richard L set off as I was smearing vaseline on my feet. I followed a few minutes later leaving Bob to clear up my smelly socks, shoes and tights. As I crossed the cinder track cycle path I imagined finding a bike and free wheeling all the way to Scarborough. Ha ha, no such luck, so stop dreaming and get on with it. I knew I needed to eat again but really could not face any of what was left. Coughing led to a disgusting mouthful of the wierdest gunk I have ever known, but I'll spare you those details. I must have been moving faster than I hoped because I caught up Richard and passed him. 
We agreed that despite mashed feet then end was now in sight if we could just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  A gel gave me enough fuel to get over Scalby and down into Scarborough. The waves were crashing over the prom and sand from the high tide was everywhere. At least there was more space for tourists and runners here. I tried to run/jog but ended up walking most of the next bit around the castle headland. It was hot, I was tired and I was getting dehydrated even though I now had water. Bob was waiting at the Spa CP. I must have looked a state and he even asked if I was going to continue. In retrospect the next bit was hilarious although I did not think so at the time.
 My arrival at the CP coincided with a change of shift in marshalls. In my haste to get on my way I missed any instructions about the high tide, a rerouting etc etc. I got to the next bay to find two foot of water and crashing waves. Ah. I decided that if I climbed the metal mesh avalanche netting perhaps I could get round the point. It worked but then at the next bay there was no way across the the big gravel path up the grass to the cliff top. Kelly's dad yelled something about rerouting and I set off up the myriad of paths where the big landslip had been. Many of these paths just ended blocked off and by the time I hit the road at the top I was in a foul mood. Definitely my low point of the event. A long long section on tarmac to avoid the high tide and a closed path was not what I needed, plus I felt sick.
 There was no way I was going through that.
 By Cayton Bay I had somehow persuaded myself to eat and to get a move on. Leaving the tarmac was a delight and when I realised that running hurt my feet less than walking I jogged steadily on for all except the uphills. I couldn't believe it, my legs felt OK considering, but my feet were hell. Realising that I could run gave me a huge boost and at least the end would arrive more quickly. I passed all the caravans with their BBQs and gardens full of lazing beer drinkers... if only..... Then suddenly I could see the next town. Was it Filey? I thought so but did not dare to get too optimistic just in case. Then I recognised the start of the Brigg. Oh yes. Please let me find the self clip quickly. It was there on the sign post just as promised.
 As I turned towards town I spotted Bob. He had walked down from the finish to meet me. It was just the spur I needed. I always get an extra rush of energy at the end of MMs and today was no different. we jogged across the Wolds way and walked across the beach to the prom. I had done all the maths wrong with my tired brain. I thought I could break 28 hours if I tried hard but Bob corrected me and pointed out I could beat 27 hours. By Martin's ravine I was jogging with determination towards the golf course. Bob went back to check I had not missed the self clip and I ran on up to the caravan site. The self clip was higher than I expected but it was easy to find. Final push. I could not remember how much after 5pm we had started and left nothing to  doubt. I felt like I was sprinting up Muston road. I got a shock when I was directed to the back of the school- how dare they make us run further! Then the door and finish was there. 26 hours 50 minutes and a welcome from Shirley, Debbie and other marshalls. I sat with a huge smile on my face. I had done it. My throat had coped and I was chuffed to bits with the time. I had thought 30 hours was possible and dared hope that maybe if all was well I could do 28 hours. A cup of tea and then a long hot shower before I collapsed onto my bed and hid under my sleeping bag.
 I wasn't sleepy but it was great to be horizontal. I am glad I risked the massage with Karen because I am sure it helped me recover. Boris went out for a chinese takeaway but I grazed on sausage rolls and let Bob make me real coffee. I sort of dozed but was awake enough to chat with Mick when he finished and to see Lorriane get in. Then I really crashed out for about four hours. By 7 I was up and hungry. The more I moved the better I felt. Sarah and Andy agreed that walking to the breakfast cafe would help and we set off together.
We wandered back in the sunshine for the prize giving at midday. It was good to see Shelli and say well done but sadly Simon had already gone home.  Big thanks to Jon and Shirley for a fantastic event.  Bob and I shared the driving home and shared a tub of ice cream on the way. I sat in the garden with a cold beer and my feet in a bucket of cold water. A long sleep and long lie in with coffee and a book and I felt fine. My legs even allowed a short jog and the two blisters on my feet will recover.
The worst part is now a rub on my bum (and I am NOT posting any pictures of that). I managed to mow both lawns before the rain and the new van now has a roof vent and extractor fan so Bob and I feel we have recovered well and made good use of today.  I have already emailed our timetable deputy to find out what I have enxt year on Friday pm- I think I am an addict and am even tempted by Jon's proposed 160 Helmsley to Helmsley.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

No 28 Settle Saunter

I still hadn't decided on Friday whether I should run or not and the weather forecast didn't fill me with enthusiasm. In the end the idea of another run under my belt and a slow steady run on a route I had not done before won. I parked, found the Victoria Hall and registered in plenty of time. I even managed to collect some waterproof route descriptions from Mark S and these were going to come in very useful today, thanks. I braved the drizzle and went out to do my extra 2 miles.

I was determined not to blast off but after 15 minutes found myself with 4 guys at the front. Although the route went through places I knew I had no real idea of the route so company was good despite the little streamers that the RO had put out to help us. The fields above Settle were very muddy and the grassy moor path had huge puddles. Before the first CP at Feizor we had crossed a record number of stiles and gates - good for a breather but not so good for the legs. We nearly made a major nav error after this CP but were soon put right and on our way to Austwick. The drizzle seemed to have eased or not got going at this point and it was quite pleasant. Austwick was festooned in bunting ready for their cuckoo day but we jogged through and on towards Clapham and the next CP.
Then came the climb, along with slipperly muddy paths. There was a huge encampment of tents up at Gaping Gill where they were setting up the a pulley system. From here we climbed more steeply and the weather deteriorated badly. We also split with the two faster guys gradually pulling off into the cloud. Well before the summit I was colder than I liked but I felt so sorry for the marshall at the trig point that I stayed to chat for a couple of minutes. When I tried to run down I found everything seemed to have locked solid in the cold. It took me ages to get loosened up and Hoka man overtook me. By the time I reached the walled track I was warmer again and I found the turn off to Slatenber no problem. The next mile or so across the fields would have been tricky without the tell tales of red and white tape. There was then a section on quiet road and I worked on reeling Hoka man back in.

The paths were now more like streams all the way back to Clapham. We checked in at the carpark CP and then went back into the village to find the tunnels and Thwaite Lane. This was dry and good running all the way back to Austwick, although the downhill on steep tarmac hurt my quads. The next section through the SSSI was interesting. The path climbed what seemed an impossible amount and was very slippy with mus and wet limestone bt it was worth it for the carpet of primroses, cowslips and other flowers.
 I also started overtaking walkers on the shorter route which gave me a little boost as I dropped back down to Feizor.I walked up onto the moor but knew we were on the home stretch. Despite gaiters I had stons/ grit in my shoes but ploughed on hoping I was not causing my feet too much harm. The campsite at Little Stainforth looked a little forlorn but the waterfall was impressive.
I knew this section from the Ribble Way and settled into an easy rythmn all the way back to the sports fields on the outskirts of Settle. A short section up the road and a dink through the narrow ginnel and I was back. 5 and a half hours - not too bad. The shepherds pie was lovely and I managed to wah most of the mud off my legs before the drive home.
Not many pictures as it seemed to rain most of the time I was out. I am sure the website said 26 miles, which is why I did 2 miles before we started. In the end the route was 27 so I did a little more than was strictly necessary but never mind.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

No 27 Might contain nuts- Brecon 40

I enjoyed this last year and it was in the ultra series again so I was keen to go. Mick offered to drive so we booked accommodation at the outdoor centre and drove down on Friday night with Fish and chips in Llandidrod Wells en route.

The forecast was not great and my confidence had taken a bit of a knock last weekend but we slept well until the sun pured in through the skylight and had a leisurely breakfast. The hall soon got hot and we moved ouside to acclimatise. Down in Talybont it was cool but dry so maybe the bad weather had gone through early? (some hope)
After reminders about kit requirements, the course markings and the usual 'if you fall in the canal you may catch Weil's disease' we were marched down to the lane for the start. The first couple of miles are on the canal and I did not want to make the same mistake as last year when I went off too fast. By the climb up Tor y Foel people were settling into their natural pace so CP 1 was quite busy. Shortly after this is an important junction and as I got there a few runners were being put right. I didn't notice but a crucial marker was missing here. Having a marked race is a novelty but a missing or moved arrow can cause chaos. As I hit the rocky but very muddy path to contour the head of the valley my right quad pulled and I was reduced to a slow jog in the hope it would recover. Suddenly some of the front runners emerged from the steep slope in the trees. They had been down the forest track to the bottom and had a tough climb up.  They shot off and I jogged through the quarry on my own. The next loop over the moor was longer than I remembered but before long there were runners ahread, from the marathon route, and we hit the rocky lane down to Pontsticil Reservoir. I grabbed a couple of Gu gels to try and plodded on. I had hoped to keep up with the guy just in front but as we climbed to more exposed ground I realised my windproof was soaked and I needed to change into a waterproof before it was too late. We did keep meeting all the way round the route.
The army were out on manouvres so I used them as markers and gradually reeled people in as we ascended the boggy slope above Taf Fechan forest. By the time we emerged on the decent ridge path the rain had stopped and my quad felt better. It was rewarding to start passing people that I had not seen since the canal. Just before CP2 in the col south of Corn Du the next squal of wind, rain and hail arrived. After quickly shouting my number to the poor marshall in the tent I shot off down to less exposed ground. The 4 mile loop down to Storey Arms and then back up can seem a bit perverse but I was quite glad to be out of the worst of the weather. Judging by the looks I got as I ran through the public car park and the tea wagon I was bedraggled and muddy. The short section on the verge of the A road had been replaced with a bulldozed forest track of sticky mud so taht got me even muddier. From the Storey Arms the weather was kind and I ate my marmite sandwiches as I stomped uphill. On all the ups I caught the guy with me and on every descent he regained his place. As I regained the col I was just in time to say Hi to Mick as he started his decsent to the Storey Arms. Within minutes of checking in at the col again the wind got up and by the time I was on Pen Y Fan the hail was hitting me hard and horizontal. There was no speedy way down the rock steps and even the first section on the ridge was exposed with the wind blowing me sideways. At the foot of the 3 mile decsent it was of course sunny and tropical! I passed another two runners and started to feel more confident. I could envisage the rest of the route and knew we were well over half way and close to 3/4 done. We shouted to two runners that nearly headed up the valley bridleway and it was heads down for the full frontal ascent on Cribyn.
 I was anxious as the wind got up but infact the closer we got to the rocky steps to the summit the more protected we seemed to be. I passed another runner and arrived at the top to find no marshall. Oh well. Not a place to hang around. I shot off on the nice easy descent to the col before Fan y Big, arriving at the same time as the guy I had corrected. After a couple of swigs of water and a quick chat with the marshall about whether Cribyn was safe we were off on the 8 mile home stretch. The wind was still gusting but it was now mostly on our backs and I enjoyed the traverse of the rim of Cwm Oergwn.
The turn into the peat hags was well marked and there were even tapes to show the best line through. Somewhere on this section I dropped headband man but was caught by the rapid descender yet again.  It was warm low down and I had to stop to remove my gloves and cag.  I couldn't remember how far it was from the dam and nobody seemed to know for sure. I thought it would be nice to aim for 8 hours but my legs had other ideas and although I ran the downs the slight upward incline on the Taff trail reduced me to a walk that I was later to regret.The canal section always seems impossibly long and then there is the last lane in a loop to the back of the outdoor centre. I had missed the 8 hours but would easily beat last years time by over 10 minutes. That would have to do. The RO came out the clang the finish bell and it was over.
Second lady vet- that little walk had cost me first by only a minute- and 4th lady. I think  about 8hrs 12  8 hours 4 mins (so beat last year's time by 18 mins, so now I need to go back next year to break the 8 hours!)but forgot to stop my watch. After a few mugs of water I was starting to shiver so I struggled out of my shoes and headed upstairs for a fantastic hot shower. Luxury. I planned to be quick so as not to miss Mick finish but his stomach had flared up badly again and he had been forced to pull out. Clean, dry and warm we went down to chat and welcome home the other finishers. By 7.30 all but a few were back and we walked up to the pub for food and beer. A sociable weekend but not many race photos thanks to the rain.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

No 26 The Sandstone Trail

I had done part of this earlier in the year and was keen to do the whole thing properly. Andy (Splatcher) is the race organiser and needed to check the markers ready for the race next weekend. We met in Frodsham and drove to Acton Bridge station.  A frustratingly slow train journey with a 30 minute wait in Crewe got us to Whitchurch by 10am. It turned out well as we missed the early rain. After quickly checking that the supermarket car park would still be OK for coaches we walked to the start.
Stone archway is the start
The rain had stopped and it was going to be warm. Andy didn't just want to check the route marks he also had his eye on the MV50 record. I think he hoped I would be fast enough to push him into breaking it. It did not turn out that way. He set off along the canal tow path at a rate that I knew was too fast too soon for me. It was flat easy running but not what I have done much of recently. I tried to keep him in sight and did even catch up when he made a minor nav error. He was on a mission and my legs were full of Fellsman miles. I lost him altogether when I got stuck in a boggy field. Truely stuck. I only managed to get out after well over 5 minutes of effort and if I hadn't been able to reach a fence post I feel I might still be there! I plodded on towards Bickerton and Maiden Castle.
Here I had mishap number 2. I tripped and fell on an electric fence. These have always seemed mild when I have touched one with my hand but through my chest and for more than a second was something completely different. It did scare me for a minute and my heart took ages to calm down. It would have been good to explore Maiden Castle and figure out what the special stone and Kitty was all about but no time to stop today, I had a man to catch up. I was now paying for the early pace and reduced to a walk for some of the time in order to let my hip etc recover. This section on the sandstone edges is lovely with swooping paths, interesting rock outcrops and great views.
 I perked up a little at Peckforton Castle and realised I was now back on familiar ground as this was as far as I had reached on my previous out and back run. I sped through Beeston past the cafe and children dressed as knights and off to the railway line and canal. It was so much drier here than in winter. The ploughed fields that I had been dreading were dust dry and I picked up the pace a bit. I also managed to keep to the routethis time  through the Willington area and so avoided my long detour over Primrose Hill. It was busy with large numbers of walkers of all ages out enjoying the good weather.
Things were looking up as I crossed the A54 and headed into Delamere. I  could now start to think about the end and forced myself to keep up a good pace on the wide trails and out of the forest into Manly. After a short road section I would be back on the sandstone edges. I had run out of water so stopped at a campsite shop and bought a bottle. The climb up the steel steps near the end felt like torture but the end was close. I could see the war memorial and knew it was down hill to the Bears Paw. I was struggling to even run through the town centre and dodging pedestrians seemed like hard work. Andy waved- he had just had time to buy a pint and bag of crisps. The stone beacon just outside the Bears Paw marks the end of the trail.
Not my most memorable run but a lovely day. Sufferiing all the way and rain would have been too much. I did manage to break the ladyV50 record but it left me trashed. I was OK for a cup of tea, thanks Nicola, and driving home but felt totally zonked all evening, slpet like the dead and still feel really out of it this morning. I hope it was just too much after the Fellsman and I am not sickening for something. I had hoped to run tomorrow but think perhaps I will rest. I need to be OK for Brecon 40 next weekend and at the moment I feel in no fit state to even think about it. Thanks to Andy for the planning and for suggesting I go for the record. Sorry I couldn't keep up and run more of it with you. It is a great route and I will be back.