Thursday, 31 July 2014

Lakeland 50 - Tilberthwaite to Coniston

Refreshed and ready to tackle the final stage we set off and climbed up the dreaded Tilberthwaite steps. The lovely marshals had put coloured lanterns on each step so it was a very pretty clamber up them.

Then it is a bit of a steep climb up past the old quarry workings.  There's a heck of a drop into a ravine on one side of you so it's a bit hairy scary at night.  We were in the zone and power walked up and had no problems navigating to the right path.  It is quite easy to get lost up there.  As we reached the top, we could see the orange glow from the town below and we knew there wasn't much further to go.

Jane and I began to pull ahead.  I think she was as eager to get to the end as I was.  There were now plenty of people around but we called back to the others to check they were OK and then we pressed on.

It's a very steep and slippery descent down to the track near the Miners Bridge but we got down chatting away merrily.

"What do you think? Shall we try and run the last bit?" Blisters be damned I thought. "Let's go for it!"

So that's exactly what we did.  We started trotting and got into a rhythm and we were off.  We were passing people who were still walking.  We got a bit giddy and started whooping and giggling.

Onto a smooth bit of tarmac. Normally, I'm not a fan of road running but I can't tell you how lovely it was to have a nice bit of tarmac to run on.  We reached the pub and we were running up the road towards the finish.  It was the early hours of the morning and no traffic around so we just ran in the middle of the road.  Laughing and whooping like a pair of madwomen.

The final turn and we were careering down to the John Ruskin School and the finish gantry where people were waiting and clapping and cheering us on.  Himself was there in his orange Clayton Harriers sweatshirt. I waved and whooped some more.  There were two dibbers and we dibbed simultaneously making us joint 344th with a time of 16:13:51


Then you are escorted into the school hall where you are announced to the people there and clapped and cheered in.  Incredible.  One of the proudest moments of my life.

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