Sunday, 27 September 2009

A little round-up of the weekends hi-jinks

Well, it wasn't "bollocks humiliating" but it was hard. The Howgills isn't quite like anywhere else, but it is a lot like itself, it's like a crazy hall of mirrors in the outdoors creating a never ending series of identical grassy slopes with river valleys. This was a score event (my first) so added to the fact everywhere looks the same there is a lot of thinking to be done about route choice to scoop up the points and make the cut off. Fortunately Jane is a competent navigator, so I mostly just had to trot along occasionally agreeing with the direction we were heading. Day one went pretty well, we got in with about 20 minutes to spare and 140 points. However, my new shoes did not combine very well with my choice of sock and the massive amount of contouring we had to do and I arrived at the mid-camp with some pretty sore feet. I wasn't the only one though.

The first day was rounded off nicely with a gorgeous location for the over-night stop, with some "not really in the spirit of it all" chips and coke as a tasty extra. It soon got dark and cold, making for a fairly early night of being concertinaed into tiny tents. All part of the fun!

Day two, with my feet taped up but feeling a bit of pain off we set, immediately into the clag. So now everywhere would look the same, if you could see it. Good compass skills by Jane had us safely steering through it. With my feet and ankles suffering we resigned ourselves to the fact we would be moving quite slowly and not pick up as many points as we'd like. Exploding blisters requiring re-taping at various points had me glad we made the route choices we did, sparing me the worst of it. We ended up back at the finish with about 40 minutes to spare and less than 100 points. I fear I may have made some crazy promises to Jane while suffering on a wind swept grassy slope about really training through the winter for next years mountain marathons and losing weight, and being really fit for them, and not being crap and moaning my way round them. Pain induced delirium, but it does seem like a good idea to see it through!

A fun weekend, great to be partnering Jane again after doing the Saunders together, and great to be out with Kate too who was doing the event solo. She will no doubt have her own tale to tell on her blog. A few extra photos on my flickr.


kate said...

that's such a great description of the howgills. a tough but satisfying weekend-btw jane never forgets ;)

jumbly said...

I think tough but satisfying sums it up pretty nicely!

trio said...

I want to do more biking in the howgills, been up there once last November to practise navigation and it was brilliant, and quiet!

I need to get fitter over the winter as well, well more walking/running fit I am happy with my bike fitness!

Red Bike said...

"Pain induced delirium" - Now there's a quote.

I'm glad that your back in once piece and that you actually enjoyed yourself.

I'm in awe of just how well you did. I can't navigate on the road never mind on a remote hill side.

Very impressed!

Runningbear said...

Well done on v tough terrain, I've visited the howgills walking but never gone for the running. The amnesia will soon blank out the blisters, plans for next year will soon follow I reckon ;) A
brilliant & inspiring effort. Rb

Jane said...

You've written the promises down now, google cache never forgets!

It was a great race, I think we did particularly well on Saturday when we got a good number of points considering time available and our speed.

Now I need to have a look at the map and work out what we should have done!

I've still got the map from the last year's RAB which was back o' skiddaw, could form part of secret winter training?

Pedalling Polarcherry said...

lol what did you promise to do? hehe

well done to you both. great write up again.

i don't do pain so full respect to the hard nuts who battle through it.

jumbly said...

Thanks everyone. It was hurty but fun, and I reckon with some secret winter training I could get it more fun and a bit less hurty. Which is always a good thing.

Pink Orange 5 said...

Well done but you aren't selling it to me.
I also didn't realise it was the Howgills - STEEP - mind you I rather do what you did than drag a bike up them which I have unfortunately done a few times.

Anthony said...

glad you had a good one. Went for a run last night myself and suffered over 10k of trails.

Oh the blisters!!! I had mine taped for day 2 as well. Spent most of Sunday just gently trying to lift the tape without breaking the bubble! Hmmm nice!

Good to meet you! See you soon I am sure