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!