It was time to get some video of the ten mile run route taking place in August so you can get a real flavour of what you are taking on. When we conceived the idea of a run we did have the marathon down as the only distance but later added the 10 mile route as an extra option. I had forgotten just how good this route is after todays outing, a real jewel in the crrown.
A drink of water and half a banana were all the fuel required as I stepped outside with the dog into the blazing sun. Yeah the sun was shining but the wind was in full effect at around 30mph and gusts going even higher. I hope you can pick that up in the video. Starting from Clennell Hall we head down the main forest track down to Kidland before turning back on ourselves and continuing along the sheperds pathway on the edge of the hill. The legs had managed to survive the long uphill and now Bob and I were running parrallel with Clennell Street and eventually connected up with this old drovers route a mile later.
The uphill had not stopped but at least the kind faced going up to Wholehope were more gradual and consistent than heart wrenchingly difficult like the start. By this time we were out into the high fells and the views were on all sides with clear blue skies. Anyone up here is exposed to the elements and today the wind was head on and blowing a hooley! Keeping the pace steady we hit the road down to Whiteburnshank which is very steep and as the wind dropped away heading into the trees the whole outlook on the run changed.
I used to think that running within a forest was not that exciting but how wrong I am. This track winds it’s way down the hill gradually as the sun shimmered through the trees and the birds made their own soundtrack. Atmospheric it most certainly was. The variation on the course continued with the river crossings that can’t be avoided. Unless you are a very accomplished jumper then chances are you will be getting your feet wet as you cross them which really takes your mind off the run for a while.
Coming out of Kidland and heading back to Clennell Hall was a nice stroll. It was only at this point did I realise that I had taken no food and no drink but managed to get round ten miles without issue. Upon getting back to Clennell I reflected on a wonderful run that was richly fulfilling and incredibly varied with solitary trails, enclosed valleys and sparkling rivers. If you’re coming for this run then you’re going to love it.
As a foot note thirty minutes after I got back the Cheviots really showed their teeth as the blue skies gave way to a snow storm for about an hour. A reminder that no matter what time of year it is, you always have to give these hills some respect. The run took about two and a half hours with all the stopping for filming and photos and I never bumped into a single other person along the way. Brilliant.