Sunday, 28 July 2013

No 38 Rock and Rowel

It had not been my plan to run two days running and I knew I was going to struggle. This is a new LDWA event of about 27 miles. I enjoyed my solitude yesterday but it was good to catch up with so many friends today. I had thought some of the Ripon people might be there but Dave C cycled over from Knaresborough and Lorriane had come all the way from Pickering. Most of us had no idea where we were going but a few had recceed it and the locals knew the Ripon Rowel parts. As usual the start was fast and furious but by the top of the first hill the pace had settled a bit and there was a loose group of about 8 of us. The fastest guy was reigned in because he did not know the way. There were a few twists and turns, including at least one blocked footpath- thanks farmer! After Bishop Thornton the path diverted a little around a house that had been done up and then we were out onto the road. This section was several miles on undulating lanes and I lost some enthusiasm. I also lost the local guys who kew the Rowel route. I had a good drink and cake at the next CP and headed off into Studely Park and Fountains Abbey.
No need for the bridges today, the fords were dry

 There was even a glimpse of Ripon Cathedral off to the east. The couple I was tailing led me through the Park nicely but pulled away as we climbed to the church and obelisk. Ian and Lorriane caught me up and we stayed together for quite a few miles.
It took our combined efforts to find the route in a couple of places but we never went far wrong. The CP in Sawley was the best- I even got an ice cream! The route round Eavestone Lake was pretty and importantly today it was shady. Running out to Lumley Moor Reservoir I bonked and was on my own for an hour or so. The water melon at CP5 was refreshing but I needed to have eaten more and was now dehyradted no matter how much I drank. On the next section I lost the path, forded a stream getting cool feet, and then found the path again as I climbed the next hillside. The track upto the road seemed to stretch on and I could see Ian and Lorraine up ahead. It was a joy to leave the road and drop to North Pasture but there was now no sign of runners up ahead.
This bit looked tricky on the map but I paid careful attention and all went well. I wasn't sure where to find the CP at Brimham so I headed up to the visitor centre and worked my way down searching through the crowds of tourists.  The stares I got made me feel like some sort of alien! 'Look, there's a runner.' 'What are they doing mum?'

My caution paid off and as I was leaving the CP I met Ian and Lorriane walking back up the hill from the main car park feeling very disorientated. Only the home stretch left now and I knew some of it from an orienteering race. Down the road, over the cross-roads and then intercepted by the marshalls to stop us from staying on the dangerous road.  The next section over fields, bracken and woods was well marked with tape and little flourescent signs and I pushed on trying to keep my advantage. Storm clouds were brewing and the sky went quite dark but the rain never came.
The pull up from the river seemed further than when we walked from the car in the morning but then I could see the phone box and little triangle of grass. I hadn't quite made the 5 hour mark thanks to some minor nav issues and bonking half way round. The spread of food was amazing although I was so dehydrated I was struggling to swallow. The fruit and jelly slipped down nicely. I washed the salt off my face, neck and arms and then as a warm down wandered back out to meet Bob.
He was tired but managed a determined final push to ensure the 3 behind him could not catch him at the last minute. We lazed in the sun recovering and chatting, putting off the drive home. I had clearly had too much sun and was more dehydrated than I realised. I went to lie down at 8 but did not sleep. Went back to bed at 10.30 but was still awake at 2. I felt sort of sick but not bad enough to be ill. Even the next morning I felt ropey. A quick glance at the scales confirmed I had lost about 6-7 pounds over the two days. A day of resting, eating and drinking is in order. Those doing the Lakeland 100 will have a tough time.

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