Not a race but I thought I would share my experience of doing this trail run completed by Matt, Renee etc in January (see their report here).
Whilst they had a beautiful crisp Winter’s day, we had a beautiful but extremely warm day!
This certainly added to the challenge and at times it became a battle against sunstroke and deyhdration, all delusions of grandeur about actually running it all long gone out the window!
We started at 8am at Middleham and like the others decided it was psychologically better to be ‘running home’. First couple of hours we held a good pace and enjoyed the new area. My wheels came off for the first time as we descended into Nidderdale, which by that point was like a furnace.
The long flat run down to Pateley Bridge was horrible and I was swaying about all over the place and running out of water. It took an hour to cover the four mile stretch and I almost threw in the towel at that point. Half an hour in the shade and gallons of water in Pateley later, I decided to continue even if I had to walk or crawl the rest of the way!
A pleasant jog down to Glasshouses and a brutal hot climb out of Nidderdale, we felt it would be easier going from here – wrong – the next few miles of field systems were confusing but more annoyingly mostly thigh high grass and impossible to run for the most part. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I re-grouped some energy and we held a good pace then down to Thuscross, Blubberhouses and Fewston.
The lure of the ice-cream van at Swinsty got me round Fewston and we had a short lolly stop!
Nearly home now but very hot and dehydrated the last part was a world of suffering and we walked and almost crawled up dob park. Back into otley and what a day – heat, suffering, 38 miles, 3 million stiles, a thousand grassy fields, pleasant moors, reservoirs, cows, horses, one scary pig, 6 dales and 2 very sweaty happy hot runners. We completed in just over 10 hours including stops, slightly disappointed that had to walk more than planned but given the temperature just happy to have done it.
Bring on 50 miles – oh heck what have I got myself into?!