Report from Laura H:
With terrible weather forecast for the day, Hannah Lupton, Sara Richard, Liz Fawcett and I set off early for the 8.30am start to the brilliantly named ‘One Foot in the Gargrave’, a 23 mile LDWA organised event. We’d entered this months ago following a couple of other enjoyable trots around at similar ‘races’. What’s not to like about a day out with some friends where you can eat and chat your way around the course?
And Gargrave did not disappoint. Some early drizzle cleared to leave us with large patches of blue sky as we made our way out of the village, along to Bell Busk, Otterburn and across some fields, where we had our only cow encounter of the day. This would have been fine as our bovine friends were moving across the field out of our way, followed by a very large bull. Unfortunately, the marshall at the first checkpoint thought he was rescuing us from the bull by coming into the field, which caused the bull to freeze, and led to us making for a sharp dash to the gate as another cow and a calf bolted!
A good selection of homemade cakes greeted us at every checkpoint, cut into perfectly bitesize pieces! We eventually down towards Kirkby Malham, then onto Janet’s Foss, which was resplendent in the late summer’s green fringe. It was so pretty, it’s made me feel poetic! From there, after a few Kodak moments, we climbed a steep hill, from which we had a great view of Gordale Scar. In what is becoming a bit of a regular occurrence, we came across a wriggling sheep which needed righting, which we duly did. As we were the only folk in club vests, we fielded a few queries about what the AC stood for. Following the sheep rescue, one of our options is Animal Carers. Another might be Athletic Comedians, or obviously Alcohol Club, but that’s usually reserved for post racing…
A fair bit of trail, tarmac and bog followed, including Boss Moor, where we survived some trainer sucking mud and enjoyed some wide puddles which briefly reminded Hannah and I of a slightly warmer version of our Icelandic river crossing. A bit of a wrong turn saw us add a little extra to our run, but we soon got back on track and started a bit of a trot towards the end. As we came into Gargrave and hit the towpath, the heavens opened, making the rest of us as soggy as our footwear!
Homemade quiche and salad, plus more cake at the end! All done and dusted in 5 hours 49, not bad considering we’d not had quite the training we’d planned. For the grand total of £14 and with friendly marshalls and participants to boot, I’ll definitely be back again next year!