Where have you been?

By The Long Trail on 2014.07.30 In Runs Trail Walks Ultras

What a few months since my last post. Its been so busy that I haven’t had time to upload thoughts and views from recent events and travels which may have had people wondering where I have been. So here is a bit of an extended post.

Double Header

So I continued my training for longer events this year with 2 challenge walks back to back on the 5th and 6th of April. I wanted to push myself as much as I could and these trails were a good practice. The first challenge on the Saturday was the Barbondale Round, 24 miles which started and finished near Kirkby Lonsdale. An up and down route made challenging towards the end by a long final climb. At this point the weather really turned for the worse, the cloud was down and I couldn’t see anything let alone another competitor. It was pretty bleak but it did give me the opportunity to make sure I can use my GPS to successfully navigate my way. Once back at the village hall the usual LDWA event pie and peas awaited me.

barbondale certificate

barbondale mist

 It was up and out early on the Sunday to head over to near Harrogate for the Blubberhouses Moor 25 mile. Another LDWA event so guaranteed good organisation, checkpoints and a hearty meal at the finish. A nice downhill start followed by a stretch along the reservoir was the perfect tonic to ease tired legs from the day before. After that there was quite a bit of climbing as well as the obligatory bog section to navigate. I was more than happy to complete in a time of 5hours 31mins. A successful weekend all round, on to the next challenge.

Blubberhouses certificate

blubberhouses peak

 Levi but not as I know it

We usually try to have a family skiing holiday each year. Now we have slightly become creatures of habit. Due to school holiday restrictions and also liking a very short transfer from the Airport, our destination of choice is the report of Levi in Finnish Lapland. We usually head over early January when the days are short, temperatures cold and skiing is under floodlight. This year we headed over at Easter which turned out to be the last week of the season for UK travellers.

levi main slope

What a difference this made it was a positive heat wave compared to January, skiing was an absolute pleasure without the fear of getting too cold and although the streets had lost their snow it still had some of its winter wonderland charm about it. All in all a great time to go so if you are considering that part of the world don’t rule out the end of the season, skiing normally continues into early may.

levi slope

2 out of 3 ain’t bad (apparently!!)

I can’t believe how quickly the year seems to have crept up. I struggled to fit in an event of any significant distance in May which meant I headed into the 3 rings of Shap on 14th June not quite as prepared as I should have been. This is another LDWA event totalling 62 miles made up of 3 different circular routes starting and finishing in Shap, Cumbria. Ring 1 is 18miles, 2 is, 24miles and the last is 20miles. Off we headed on a clear fine day into ring 1, I hadn’t done this route before and I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so wet underfoot. This was ultimately my downfall as probably too quick a pace with wet feet on a hot day ended in two massive blisters on the base of my feet. By half way round the second ring I was in a lot of pain. Finishing the second ring at 10pm and with the prospect of going out on bad feet to do 20miles in the dark I took the hard but sensible option of calling it a day. 42 miles completed which I should be pleased with but I have to say it was a bitter blow. I needed to learn from what went wrong and make some changes for next time out. This is one I am going to have to go back next year to conquer.

The Lyke Wake

12th July 2014 – The Golden Jubilee Lyke Wake Race. This is a historic race that runs the 40miles from Osmotherley to Ravenscarr across the North Yorkshire Moors. The race is in its final year by the current organisers and it had been unclear whether it would continue. My mother had completed this in the late 90’s and it seemed a really good opportunity to enter a team from our running club. With a team of six we headed over for a stay in Osmotherley Youth Hostel the night before a 6:20 start time on the Saturday morning. We were greeted with one of the hottest days of the year, thankfully we were supported by two of our club members which was really nice as we didn’t have to carry everything knowing we would see them at each checkpoint.


lyke wake start

 I am pleased to say all our team members made the crossing within the 12hour time limit and I was pleased with 10hours 48minutes. Also the feet held up and although tired I had no significant after effects. It looks like the race will continue next year being organised by Quakers Running Club from Darlington. I hope it does and I will almost certainly go back as it is a beautiful course, definitely one I would recommend.

lyke wake on route

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About Me

This blog is an average guy's tales from, among other things, long distance walks, treks and running events. 

My name is Nick and I enjoy a fairly active and busy life. As well as being dad, husband and running club organiser I also like a challenge. 2013 was my year of Marathons and now 2014 is the year of long distance events.