That’s Lyth, Kendal, Sunday, January 26, 2014

24 miles

Rachael Bullock

Despite frequently proclaiming that I have no intention of doing a marathon anytime soon, I don’t think it was too hard back in the summer for Jules to persuade me it would be a good idea to sign up for something just short of a marathon at 24 miles long. So eager was Jules, in fact, that she was on the start line wearing the number 3!

Susan and Geoff informed us several times that they had always had good weather for this event in the past. But that was of little condolence as we stood outside the scout hut (Kendal first!) in Kendal in the dark at 8 am in the rain … knowing that it had already been raining solidly for a whole week (and I imagine the whole winter!) beforehand and so the ground would be sodden … and also knowing that the higher we got, the wind would add to the rain. But, I do believe we were all smiles, even though I was a little apprehensive about the weather and about being able to carry my legs around such a distance (17 miles is the furthest the poor wee things have endured previously).

The first 6 or 7 miles to the first check-point actually passed quite quickly. I was a little bit worried about the spritely pace that Geoff was setting, but decided it was probably just my legs trying to get going. The malt loaf and flap jack provided a much needed energy boost! But by CP1 I think we were all drenched through, despite being dressed in full Gore-tex! Mind you my newly-purchased waterproof socks were holding out well – my feet, amazingly, were the only part of my body with dry patches on at the end!

After CP1, we ascended onto the highest point of the route, Whitbarrow Scar. The climb was not too bad, although it was evident that I cannot walk as fast as Geoff and Susan! Was a bit exposed up there though, and my water-laden gloves were not keeping my hands warm AT ALL! Was very glad to descend and head towards CP2, where tea and biscuits were consumed and hand resuscitation was successfully performed. By this point, 14 miles had been covered and I was feeling much more optimistic about being able to manage 10 more, especially as the toughest section was over with. From this point on, however, my legs were getting more and more tired with every half-mile!

Vital refueling after the event.

CP3 seemed to come very quickly after the second. This was in someone’s garage and more sweetness was consumed! Now only 6 miles left to go. After boldly announcing on leaving the check-point that I was going to beast out a 10K PB, all I could manage was to get slower and slower! The last 4 miles were pretty damn painful and all my hinges were hurting! But spirits were high, especially as a bit of sun finally started to peep through! I went over the last stile onto the road into Kendal in OAP fashion and tried to give some welly and overtake a few people during the closing stages! As usual though I started my sprint finish waaay too early and ended up pretty much hobbling into the scout hut at the finish! Was very chuffed to have completed it and still be running at the end! A lovely, friendly event and the scenery must be great when you can actually see it! Despite the weather, I think we all had a good day! Would definitely consider doing it again!

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