We also spotted Rachel Hill returning after 18 months off with injury.
I knew that Andy had a last minute entry and felt his broken wrist would be OK so long as he didn't fall. The route was mostly on tracks and good paths so hopefully all would be well.
We swapped injury stories- my glute area is still not right after a street O that was obviously too fast. Still the sun was out and it was warm, I almost wished I'd worn shorts and certainly did not need my cag.
We congregated out at the front of the school before heading out onto the lane. The start was bound to be fast as it was flat and on a good surface. I tried not to go off too fast. From the rugby club we headed west along lanes and then out onto the moor. It was boggy in places but not too bad. before long we hit a track and then a lane and were heading for the villages of Hetton and Rylestone with the first manned checkpoints. It was a disappointment to find only dry buscuits but nevermind. By now my early speed had caught up with me and my leg was protesting and forcing me to walk for short stretches. I remembered the track to the skyline from a MTB adventure years ago.I head the slap slap of feet and knew Andy was just behind me.
As we headed out to Rylestone Cross and Embsay Moor he got further and further ahead. It was frustrating but I hoped by slowing my speed my leg would ease off and allow me to complete. I made decent time down over the moors and past the Barden reservoirs and was soon crossing the river at Barden. It was picturesque near the Priestshouse and the ruins of Barden Tower and I don't think I had been there before. I ignored the real dairy ice cream van at the bridge and pushed on. The scenery changed yet again as we headed uphill onto an old track and then across fields to another pretty village and Parcevall Hall.
This led us into the start of Trotters Gyll, although we branched left ontot a grassy gully rather than going up the gyll itself. From here I knew it was all downhill.
Burnsall was full of tourists enjoying a beautiful spring day and many were walking along the river. From here the Dales Way follows the river all the way back to Grassington.
|Burnsall was busy|
I won a Toblerone as first FV50 and once I'd had a quick rest scuttled off with Andy to find food and pour over Calderdale Hike and Fellsman maps. He was shuffered to have got round without injury, sub 4 hours and to have beaten me. He also got a Toblerone as firts MV60. As we were finishing our food we were joined by Alison B and then the Trawden girls. If I moved east and wanted a club I would have to consider joining them they are always so friendly and cheerful.