A half marathon for the gnarly

We ran up that. Eee it was steep!
We ran up that. Eee it was steep!

Just think, five years ago the furthest I had ever run was about 100 metres, and even that was a challenge. I’d never tried it, didn’t believe I could do it and thought I was just too old to take up this sort of thing when I should be taking it easy and ordering my Shackleton’s high seat chair.

Today I put on my trail shoes, as opposed to my road running shoes, runners need different shoes for different terrains, you know, jammed my running pack with liquid, jelly babies and waterproof, picked up the map and set off to recce the Half Yorkshireman. This half marathon so rugged, so gnarly, it’s nearly two miles longer that an ordinary wussy southern or Lancashire half marathon.

It’s long, it’s hilly and it’s tough, so what the HELL was I thinking of when I entered it? I could have stuck with shorter, flat runs, not that there are many of those in our part of the world. But no, once I got going with this running lark, I realised that while I’d never be hot on the heels of Mo Farrah, I rather liked taking part in races, the more difficult the better. And mud, I liked that too, though there’s been a disappointing lack of it during our long, hot summer. So when a friend said he’d like to take part in this little jaunt around Bronte country, I did my usual and said I’d do it before actually thinking about what it meant. Same old same old, eh?

Being Yorkshire, there’s none of this namby pamby signposting or cheering crowds lining the route. You’re expected to carry a map and compass and know how to use them, so a crash course on map reading was followed swiftly by Noel volunteering to do the navigation, as I wasn’t making any sense of all those squiggly lines.

With just two weeks to go, we’ve navigated most of the route now, thanks in equal parts to luck and good judgement, along with a helpful You Tube video, ah thank goodness for You Tube! It was a close call, though, when we realised we couldn’t find the starting point, but we’ll gloss over that, knowing we can just follow everyone else. Now all we need to do is make sure we can find our way to Haworth again.

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