Day 38 - Rights of way
Pilling - Clifton 45.6 km (1324.9 km done)
Start Time - 8.30 am
Finish Time - 3.57 pm
Moving time - 5 hours 37 mins
Vertical Gain - 184 m
Average - 25 C
Min - 20 C
Max - 29 C
End of day weight - 77.1Kg
Support runners today
After weeks of nearly 50km running everyday, it was nice to have a shorter day today and to finish earlier and in the hotel car park. This has meant that the end of day routine of eat, drink and then a cold bath has all happened without the time usually taken to do this at the end of the drive to the nights accommodation. The time gained meant a slowing of the pace tonight, usually there is little time to just pause at the end of the day. It is more usual that I have my drink and 'snack' at the van, change clothes quickly, before driving 20-40 mins to the accommodation, where it is then on with check in, wash, dinner, write blog, by this time it is often 9 pm and time to start to think about sleep.
It was a good run, with I think the highest average moving pace so far. I was able to stick to my 9 minutes run 1 minute walk schedule most of the day, until the last 2km. I was once again up against the shockingling poor foot way infrastructure. I was running along a pretty good footpath alongside a dual carriageway, when it became overgrown and hard going. This would have been okay, however the verge next to the road had recently been cut and so it is hard to see why the edges of the footpath could not have been cut as well. As I have progressed on this run, the amount of space we give to motorised vehicles and the lack of space we give to walkers and runners continues to be a small bug bear of mine.
I am grateful that I am able to use the myriad of public right of ways available to us and that these are well mapped. I am also grateful to have had the life experiences that gives me the confidence to run across fields, climb over styles that are really overgrown and (as happened today) run through peoples front gardens. Safe in the knowledge that, as long as I am on a right of way I have a right to be where I am running. I am also safe in the knowledge that, if I do happen to stray from the right of way, it is unlikely that any harm will come to me. Many times when I have been running along an overgrown, non-existent footpath, I have thought how lucky I am to have had the life experiences that have given me the confidence just to keep going. Often when I am trudging through brambles and nettles, I reflect on how many people do not have the opportunities to gain the experience or knowledge in using rights of way and so do not get to go to the kind of places I go. This is one of the many reason I love leading the Duke of Edinburghs Award Scheme. It seems essential that we give as many young people the skills, knowledge and experience to understand the rights of ways available to them and how to access these respecting the countryside code. It is also essential that we use these rights of way so that they are not forgotten and obstructed.
Tomorrow I get closer to my first University in Liverpool and finish just north of the city. Due to finishing at the hotel, tomorrow morning will be relatively relaxed.