Sunday, 31 May 2015

J P's Dalesway Run

Another week and another long distance trail.

J-P had been planning his continuous Dales Way run for months. He'd chosen the Dales Way because he'd walked it with his mum many years ago and was running it in memory of his mum, who he lost last year. 

He'd been training for months doing long distance run after long distance run and reccing it comprehensively. 

On the Friday night I rushed over after work, just another manic moment in a busy life. Something else to fit in before we went away on holiday. 

And then, of course, my perspective quickly changed, as we ran along the smooth manicured path of the first ten miles of the Dales Way.  The evening was perfect for running, still and not too cold or warm.

Wharfedale is one of the most beautiful places in the world, any time. It was quiet, we were alone without the tourists.  Everything was growing and looking fresh and green. We were running slowly for JP but at a nice pace for me. In a rhythm, almost hypnotic, as the paths are so well organised. The banter was gentle, as the runners anticipated a long night getting through the eighty miles ahead. 

Lots of people were helping.  Running alongside, helping with food drinks, supporting and even. photo taking.

It was just a wonderful collaboration of friendship and effort to help JP achieve his mission and remember his mum. 

Of course I only did 8.5 miles and then stopped at the idyllic Appletreewick to drink beer while watching the swifts and waiting for my lift. They probably didn't feel quite so euphoric after doing 80 miles in the middle of the night. 

But I thought it was amazing. 

Thanks to Linda for the lovely photos. 

Calderdale Way Relay

I don't know if I've ever said, but I don't really like relays.

Especially linear ones. 

I don't like the faffing around with cars ( it's very unenvironmental leaving cars all over the place) and I don't like the fact you don't actually see all the members of your team. It's not really sociable really. 

I don't like having to keep up with someone else ( yes I've had the odd bad experience of crawling behind a bounding partner). 

Hence I always say I'm not going to do relays and I often end up been dragged in at the last minute when people drop out and I can't say no  ( and let the club down). 

Well this year it was the Sunday night before the Saturday. 

Camille and I went over on the Monday night to try to recce the route and couldn't even manage to find the way to the start and the end to leave the cars. It seemed like a bad omen. It was a stressful week. We moaned and wondered why anyone had created civilisation amoung such confusing high hills and narrow twisting valleys. Never mind made a circular long distance walk or a relay around them. 

Anyway, to cut a long story short we actually had a really nice run. Leg four. The fell runners leg, which is  very beautiful with lots of moorland and lots of up and down. We made the effort ( I knew because of how tired I was afterwards). 

As we sat in Camille's converted centre parcs laundry van, when we had finished, drinking a cup of tea, looking over the incredible view of the Calder valley we realised (as is often the case after a run) that it all made sense. 

Looking nervous at the start, with the A team runners who were moaning even more than us. 

Coniston Fell Race

This is a fell race I've wanted to do for ages, but have always had other things to do on Bank Holiday Monday weekend.

We camped. It was wet. 

Well actually it was snowy on the tops for the race. The conditions were bad. Clag, snow and wind. What was nice was that everyone stayed in groups and kept together. Thanks to my lovely group, it was actually fun, if a bit slow. The ceilidh was fun although meant my legs were even more achy on Monday. 

I borrowed the photo from Running every day for Parkinson's.