Mike & Bob‘s Coast to Coast Run — Friday 20th September 2019
Well, here we are in Richmond, Yorkshire, having completed 118 miles of the 196 miles of the whole route of Wainwrights Coast to Coast Footpath. On average we‘re covering half a marathon a day — about 13 miles over every kind of terrain; some road, some tracks, some very muddy peaty ground, some very steeply uphill and some steeply downhill. The adage is:— Run When You Can and Walk When You Can’t!
With our faithful back up team of Tracy, Bob‘s wife, and our Labrador dog Lola in a camper van we’ve made excellent progress so far. Our first day from St Bees in Cumbria to Ennerdale Bridge in the Lake District was a good introduction in windy but sunny weather. The second day, from Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite, was a completely different kettle of fish; in short the weather was appalling with high winds and driving rain; for the first 6 miles or so along the side of Ennerdale Water and in the forest, as we steadily climbed ever higher, we were sheltered from the worst of the weather, but when we broke out of the forest into the open by Black Sail Youth Hostel we were exposed to the worst of the elements. As we climbed up nearly 1000 feet to the top of Loft Beck we knew that the 30 minutes crossing of Moses Trog to Hoister Slate Mine and Honister Pass would be very testing — and so it proved. Exposed to the elements in our light running gear and with only very light plastic capes as protection, for a few minutes we questioned the wisdom of our actions, especially when our capes were whipped away and trashed by the winds! But a safe arrival at the Slate Mine Café and a cup of steaming tea soon put us to rights for the short descent into Rosthwaite and a very welcome hot bath!
Thereafter the weather has been very good to us with increasing sun and unseasonable heat. Day 3 saw us traverse Greenup Edge on the way from Rosthwaite to Grasmere; a testing run with a substantial climb before an equally testing descent. Day 4 was a delight, climbing from Grasmere to Grisedale Tarn, with Helvellyn away to our left, and descending to Patterdale; the run completed in just 2 hours in beautiful sunny weather. The weather forecast for Day 5 was not good — rain coming in from the west; this was worrying as we had to climb to the highest point on the whole route — Kidsty Pike at 2,559 feet; despite the forecast the rain never materialised and we made it into Shap after a long day on our feet.
Day 6 saw us to Smardale Bridge and Day 7, a very short day, saw us into Kirkby Stephen and an afternoon in the launderette! Day 8 was for celebration as the half way point was reached at Keld in Swaledale. On the way to Keld we passed Nine Standards — nine, man built massive stone cairns — built when and by whom no one seems to know. Day 9 was an interesting day in hot sun as we traversed the old mining area from Keld to Reeth — a loss of way did not help but, as we came down into Swaledale a cafe beckoned; an hour later after tea and Victoria Sponge, we were on our way again to Reeth. Day 10 has been the hottest so far and after we arrived in Richmond where Tracy, Mike and Lola went swimming in the River Swale — Bob preferring a bath!
Tomorrow we head towards Danby Wiske and another 13 miles……..