Three-day Recce on the Pennine Way

Last weekend I did a three day recce of the Pennine Way, from Hawes to Dufton, as part of my preparation for the Spine Race - which starts two weeks from now. On the Friday I took trains from Nottingham to Garsdale, a bus to Hawes, and started running.  I didn't start running until about 1pm, so it was a shorter day, covering 27KM and climbing 1229 metres. I spent the night outside the Tan Hill Inn (the highest pub in the UK). I had a bivvy bag, sleeping bag and mat with me - you can see my green bag in front of the green tent. It was fun sleeping in the bivvy bag, but it was not a great night's sleep. Dinner was in the pub :-)

An ordinary person, doing something extraordinary

A few days ago I ran 270KM (168 miles) in just under 3 days. I consider that extraordinary – but I don't consider myself extraordinary. Here is a post about what I did, and what I learned about ordinary people and extraordinary goals. The event was the inaugural running of the Pennine Bridleway Trail Challenge (you can read about next year’s race here). Because it was the inaugural race and because of a few dropouts, we started the race with seven competitors. The start was at Middleton Top in Derbyshire, which is the start of the Pennine Bridleway. (In the UK, a bridleway is a route that is permitted for people, cycles, and horses.)

Britain’s Most Brutal Sprint Race

This post is about taking part in the 2022 Montane Spine Sprint Race. If you already know about the Spine Race, you can skip this paragraph. The Spine Race is held twice a year (January and June) and currently comes in four versions. The full race is 268 miles (about 431KM) along the Pennine Way, from Edale in the Peak District to Kirk Yetholm in Scotland. The runners do their own navigation, the route is a hiking path (with some scrambling) and is hilly. In the Winter the runners have seven days to complete the course, this drops to six-and-a-half days in the Summer. There are also: the Challenger Race (108 miles/ 174KM) which I ran last Summer, the Challenger North Race (160 miles / 257 KM) and the ‘Sprint’ which is ‘just’ 46 miles (74 KM). The winter version of the Spine Race is referred to as ‘Britain’s most brutal race’.

Today is my comma day!

Among people who have a running streak, your comma day is when you have run everyday for 1,000 days. For me, that was today. My current streak (there have been other, shorter, steaks before) started on 31 December 2018. During the last 1000 days I have run every day, always 2 kilometres or more. My total distance over the 1000 days is 9,692km (6,022 miles), that is an average of 9.7km a day (or 6 miles a day). The longest single run was 108 miles in Junes of this year (but that took 38 hours, so it was two days’ worth of running).

108 Miles of the Spine Challenger Race in 38 Hours

On Saturday, 19 June, at 7:30 in the morning I set off as a participant in a 108 mile (174 km). race along the Pennine Way. 38 and a bit hours later I finished the race, at 9:42pm on Sunday. I ran it slightly slower than I had hoped, but I was very pleased to finish 26th out of 111 runners. Here are some of the highs, lows, and whys about that race – and my target for next year. But, first things first, I dedicated this run to raising money for my favourite charity, CoppaFeel!, raising awareness of breast cancer amongst young women in the UK. So far, thank

Back in the Hiking Groove

As I type this I am sitting in my room in the George Hotel in Hathersage, tired but happy. The hike from Cromford to Hathersage was 41.7 kilometres, which is almost exactly 25 miles. It was not a fast walk, with heat, a rucksack, plenty of hills and a stop for food, indeed the walk took me just over 11 hours. But, the key thing is that I feel that I am back in the groove.

Getting back to hiking, a trip to the Peak District

I have just come back from four months in Japan and one of the things I did whilst I was there was a couple of nice hikes near Mt Takao. This reminded me that a) I really like hiking and b) I have not done much hiking for years, especially point-to-point hiking with my kit on my back. So, this weekend I have set out to rediscover hiking and to revisit the area where my love of hiking was honed as a teenager, in the Derbyshire Peak District.

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