(Dec 2018 – Never finished writing this up but posting anyway; look at the pretty infographics)
Lost last year to (largely fruitlessly) chasing running club championship points and somewhere along the way lost the excitement and the thrill of the new. Decided I’d do one silly or poundland-epic thing a month.
First up: the Hebden 15. At this point, this was the longest race I’d ever done, and Ben’s write-up expresses it much better than I can be bothered too. 😉 Personal highlights were gaining quite a few places via slightly better nav/recce-ing, managing to keep with up Julie and (an admittedly hungover) Will until he dropped me on the final descent, the none-more-northern potted beef sandwiches at the Callis Bridge feed station and the fantastic feed at the end. Only did the 15; back in 2018 to have a crack at the 22.
Scarborough (a metric century on the bike) – the plan was for Scratchy and I to take advantage of the prevailing south-westerly winds to cycle a 100 miles to catch up with the rest of the Lions doing a weekend away run at Scarvegas and then slide down the coast to Hull for the return. The weather gods were not on our side and in the face of a freezing headwind, we moved the start-line forward to Selby and slogged our way to the coast via the cakey delights of Millington. Made it, exhausted, just before dark for a well-earned boozy night. The following morning we were joined by Dan for a further freezing struggle down the coast to Hull. Of all this year’s adventures, this was the most Type 2 fun and, yet, maybe because of that still feels the most epic undertaking.
BGR recces – a night away for my birthday with Scratchy, ALB and Darren. First day we did a Bob Graham Round leg in wind that was knocking us off our feet on Skiddaw and after an epic day of the fells (and a river-crossing fail by Darren) staggered into the pub for pints served by Billy Bland’s sister. Booked into the YHA at Keswick feeling pretty pleased with ourselves to be told by the warden that she’d just done it as part of a relay team over an hour quicker. The following day, without Adam and on very tired legs, we did most of the much-more-runnable leg 2. Two of the best days I’ve ever had in the lakes.
Forest of Bowland Sportive – Wiggo country. Wanted to cycle out this way ever since we drove from Clapham to Gisburn over the most fantastic piece of road last year. Booked on this and then completely failed to train for it, save a very flat blast out Grimsby way and a big plate of pasta the night before. Struggled round in absolutely glorious weather.
Yer actual BGR attempt – Was originally down to run leg 2, but having done the recces in March and forwarding copious route-notes to James, thereby revealing myself as the massive mapnerd I am, I somehow got promoted to leg 1 nav-man (with XXX as bag-man). I don’t think I realised how anxious about this I was until we’d safely got him round on schedule – in fact I physically felt the weight lift off my shoulders as we reached Skiddaw bang on schedule. Turns out my flat-out four-hour fell pace pace perfectly matches James’ steady all day trot.. The things I’ll remember most about this are the stunning starscape above us as we ran through the Back’o’Skiddaw and the ridiculous heat – at 3am on the top of Blencathra (2848ft) we were in T-shirts and sweating. This heat was to prove James’ undoing later in the day but it was still fantastic to be involved in.
Ticket to ride
auld lang syne