Report from Matt Broughton:
On Sunday myself, Matt Podd, Renee, Karen Best and Jim Sneath ran the Six Dales Way. We all have our eye on some long races later in the year, so it seemed like a suitable challenge. Neil Charlton also intended on running it but unfortunately illness forced him to pull out.
We knew it would be a long day, so we decided to leave Otley at 6:30am and run back from Middleham, covering a distance of 38 miles. Getting there was a bit of an issue, but Hugh Pearson offered his services and drove us out there (what a star), driving back to Pateley Bridge, meeting Colin Best, then running towards Middleham to meet up with us.
When we arrived in Middleham, at about 7:45am it was already quite warm and we knew it would be a long day but after a quick toilet stop and a dousing of suntan cream we set off.
Matt our navigator and botanical guide, led us towards Pateley Bridge, which as the morning progressed seemed a long way away but was only about half way back to Otley.
A few hours into the run we bumped into Colin and Hugh, who I think had expected to see us sooner but the heat had really slowed things down. We eventually reached Pateley Bridge at around lunchtime. We only settled for the second shop we visited to buy drinks as the first shops fridge wasn’t quite cold enough. We rested in the shade for a while refueling and desperately trying to get some time in the shade out of the sun before continuing.
After a good rest we set out for the second stage of our run back to Otley. I had in my mind that Thruscross reservoir wasn’t too far away and once we made the steep climb out of Glasshouses and onto the moor we would soon be on the home stretch. We eventually got there, then Fewston, Swinsty and on to the nasty road climb out of Dob Park. Soon after, the trail takes a left turn and zig-zags around for what seems like ages before dropping down into Otley where we made our way towards the clock tower to finish. Renee, Karen and I, finished in about eight hours followed soon after by Jim and Matt, who decided on a more leisurely pace back into Otley.
All in all a great day out in good company for some very challenging but enjoyable running. Looking forward to having another crack at it in cooler conditions.