Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Calderdale Hike 2010

Calderdale Hike – 36 miles circular

Why do I pick the hottest day of the year so far to try and once again improve on last year’s time? I really thought that I’d manage around 8 hours but the total lack of any supporting wind and weather conditions saw me plod back into Sowerby Cricket Ground at quarter to six! And this is how!.

Climbing away from Brearley I started to realise that this was to be a cloudless day and yes, in answer to the first marshall to ask at keighley road, I was feeling it already – straight into the Jelly babies and gels and a certain small round red waxed cheese and I felt ready for the climb out of Crimsworth Dean.

Over the top sighting Walshaw and blowing heavily I proved my lack of finesse once again by going flat on my back, covering myself in mud! with much hilarity in my group and a fine trophy mark for the rest of the day. Maintaining a steady jog towards, and out of, Widdop I was joined by Yvonne from West End Runners and then Nick Ham at Cant Clough and we made a great three for the return via Holme Chapel. If in doubt - follow Malcom Coles, proved a good adage down to the checkpoint, my adage then collapsed as I cannot keep up with him and he was last seen disappearing off towards Slate Pit.

The Ascent of Thieveley Pike at mile 18 will always be my nemesis but at one point I actually ground to a halt before finally making the checkpoint and then away on the 11 miles or so to Stoodley Pike. Passing Heald Top Farm, through the Slate Pit checkpoint and onto the stretch towards Foul Clough Road is perhaps the shabbiest part of the route and we took a wrong line resulting in an unnecessary climb before the tussocky descent from Trough Edge End saw me over again (but this time on the grassy slope) and then onto the checkpoint where the marshall kindly offered to hose me down. This may well have worked a treat as by now I both looked and possibly smelled like a warm horse.

Certainly was after the climb away from Dean Royd Bridge, up over and down to Lumbutts and then the last of the big climbs – my old mate Stoodley Pike. By now I’ve leant that apart from being generally slow on the flat and falling down on most descents; I’m also snail like up the hills as well – is there any hope?
Of course there is and the tarmac road from Shaw lane down the couple of miles to the ground allowed Nick and I to chat about our sport. Here I picked up loads of very valuable info and details of this mania we have for long distance jaunts. I’m sure we held Yvonne back and I’m convinced Nick is made of granite to complete the day as he did with his conditions being put to the tough test of a day in the hills but I’m sure he’ll soon be back in top form. I wish Yvonne great success in her Bob Graham later this year and thank her for her support today. From me, just once again a big thanks to all who start us off, help us through with much encouragement, and finish us with a meal at the end. I loved it, no matter what I may have said along the way!.

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