• Tom Crossland

Day 33 - No bridge to cross the River Esk

Nr Whitehaven - Bootle (Cumbria) 46.9 km (1154.2 km done)

Start Time - 8.54 am

Finish Time - 5.19 pm

Moving time - 6 hours 37 mins

Vertical Gain - 454 m

Garmin Temperatures

Average - 24 C

Min - 18 C

Max - 32 C

Support runners today

Jemima Howard (@puddle_duck_pd)

Steven Fell (@Northern_ninja)

Emily Allen

End Weight - 77.5km

After two days like the miles rolled under my feet easily, today felt like they moved slowly. I struggled to get motivated for today but was not feeling low or anything, it was just as if my body needed a slower day to absorb the last few days/weeks of running and so wanted a slower day. I listened and did not push the pace today, just taking in the sites as we moved down the Cumbrian Coast. Having Steve along with me was such a help to keep me mentally on task. At times, it felt as though, if he weren't there I may have quite happily just wandered along with no urgency, as if I was out for nice Sunday afternoon stroll after a big meal.

I wondered whether this was caused by some continue worry about the route, left over from last night. In fact, due to the local knowledge that Steve provided we could take the original route and so we were able to miss a loop out that added almost 4 km on to the days total. This route took us through a ford across the River Esk, which turned out to be no issue at all and really very fun. Without the local guide I would have taken the route via the road which would have been boring and not fun. I am not sure if the residual worry about this crossing made today feel a bit like a chore but something definitely did. Some days are like that, but most are not, even when I am running alone.

I also had a visit from some old friends who had made the journey from Rochdale to the coats to come and see me. Emily ran about 22 km with me (her previous longest distance was 10km) and we had a good few hours to catch up and chat about old times. This was a complete surprise to me and means more to me than they will know.

Jem also completed her running week today running 33 miles this week, mainly to support me, it has been a real boost to see her heading back towards me on the trail. Today she spent probably the toughest section of the route with me. I was back on the England Coast Path, which we followed along a beach and into a section of dunes and dried marsh on a tricky path to follow, just to be deposited back further down a road we left 30 minutes ago at an information board telling us there was a gap in the Coast Path at that point. This section of the England Coast Path was only officially open in March last year and it seems that the river crossings around Ravenglass have caused problems, since the ford we crossed was another such 'gap in path'.

Tomorrow is a much needed rest day and it seems that some time to reflect on the last week or so would be useful.

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