The Fairy took herself off on a recce of the last 15 or so miles of The Lakeland 50 route a few weeks ago. Me, being jealous, forced her to go back the following weekend so we could have a run out in the hills. After spending a very drunken evening with Iain Ridgway and friends in Grasmere we set off, not so bright and early on the Sunday to run from Ambleside to Coniston and then catch the bus back. The Fairy was in charge of navigating. Obviously I know the route but really believe that you only 'learn' a route by working it out for yourself, and possibly learning from your mistakes. If you just follow someone you'll never 'lock' it in your head. The Fairy had gone wrong a few times the week before so we were going to nail it this time.
Iain planned to start running an hour or so after we started and catch us up, so we were constantly on 'Iain Watch'. We took it steady, mainly cos I wanted The Fairy to read the roadbook slowly and work out where we were and I'm still nursing a dodgy achilles/calf which means I can only walk very slowly, flat footed up hills, which isn't the best in the Lakes.
The Fairy did brilliantly, working out where she went wrong and sorting it out. Just before Tilberthwaite (still no sign on Iain Watch) we spotted a chap in front peering at a familiar book and map. He was recceing the same section having entered the 100, so we joined forces. It turned out Dave (Bourne) had been a marshal at Dalemain this year and had handed me my drop bag and saw me finish! Thankfully I was polite to him apparently. Up the steps to the last 3 miles with The Fairy doing her best impression of me staggering up them during the race, yeah thanks for that and just you wait till next July missy.
Just before the lane into Coniston I watched as both Dave and The Fairy convinced themselves they were going the right way by making the view in front of them fit the roadbook, classic. I suggested that they might want to re read the last bit as they were happily heading off in completely the opposite direction. All sorted, we finished in Coniston and headed to a cafe before the bus. Iain found us in the cafe, finally, after going wrong a couple of times and ending up on the wrong side of a river!
Great day out and can't wait to get back to the hills after Crimble.
On the race front my mate Rob, or Bobberty as he likes to be known, has badgered me to enter the West Highland Way in June. I was meant to be part of his support crew but he pestered me to enter on Nov 30th, the last day you could enter, so there you go! I ran the WHW with Dave in 2008, it was the furthest I'd ever run and we were terrified! Looking at the entry list for 2012, I'm still terrified! Some serious runners in both the male and female entries. Should be good...um I think.
Me and Bobberty, can't miss him really...