• Tom Crossland

Day 25 - A nice surprise

Whitby - Middlesborough 53.6 km (911.1 km done)

Start Time - 8.32 am

Finish Time - 5.02 pm

Moving time - 7 hours 09 mins

Vertical Gain - 847 m

Garmin Temperatures

Average - 21 C

Min - 19 C

Max - 27 C

Support runners today

Bex Watson (@r_wat)

Baz Taylor (@EssexRunner75)

Jenny Graham (Team Oxygen Addict)

Mentally getting today ticked off was a relief. This block of three days, in my mind, was a chunky few days running (a 50km day, a 53km day, and a 55km day) which I was ready to be hard work. After the weather yesterday, these two days had grown in my mind to larger proportions and had me staring at the map last night looking to see if there was any way I could cut some distance by taking a different route. But no, however I plotted today it was always going to be roughly the same distance. So it was with a lets get this out the way mentally I set off today. How wrong I was to be worried about today. From the start my legs felt tired but moving okay and with the great company of Bex and Baz from the start, the miles just seemed to slip by. There were a few climbs and today has probably had the most vertical gain of all the days so far (I would need to check to be certain) but again these hills were ticked off and came and went.

I felt in a good place all day and was able to really enjoy the coastline here in Yorkshire today. It is amazing how much the coastline has varied already on this run. Each section seems to have its own character and geology and yet there seems to be a definite bond that links all the communities I have run through. I have not lived by the coast but talking to people who do or have, there seems to be a definite pull that the sea creates for them, which I do not feel from the landscape my childhood, the Cambridgeshire fens. Don't get me wrong I love visiting my families home, but it is due to the people and not the landscape. I am curious about what creates this draw in people and why it is so strong when living by the sea. I wonder if it is something about the universality of the sounds and rhythm that sea creates. Were ever you are on the coast, there are always waves breaking on the shore.

Unlike the other day, when the day ended in frustration. Today's end had a real surprise, once we left the Cleveland Way at Saltburn (with Jenny joining us) we had all prepared ourselves for the last chunk of the day to be on tarmac as we weaved our way through to the centre of Middlesborough. But this was not the case, there were a few miles on road but the plotted route took us along the Teesdale Way (which is part of the England Coast Path) and skirted around the built up area, following the train tracks almost all the way in to central Middlesborough. Maybe it was this pleasant and unexpected surprise that made today pass easily. This, I must say, is part of the joy of following a route plotted with very little local knowledge and trusting that things will work out. But there are also downsides, we cut through Redcar instead of around the front and so missed out the opportunity for some excellent ice creams.

There is just too much route each day to scrutinise it too carefully. I have a quick look over to get a general sense of where I am going and then trust the technology to get me to the end as planned. This has held up well so far so let's hope this continues.

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