Thursday, May 04, 2006

LDWA (Marshals') 100

101 miles, 13500 feet in 33:21:34, Pauline was second overall and 1st lady with Keith & I just behind. We are all pleased with the time, especially Pauline & I, our first '100' with only one person faster. The Marshals' event attracts a smaller field and most people consider it to be more difficult because almost all the time you are on your own, out of sight of everyone else and so it proved.

Saturday was warm and sunny, the ground dry and very hard - much like the tarmac the route reverted to all too often. Like most other people we travelled fast throughout Saturday but by the evening the heat and hard ground was beginning to take its toll. Medical tape contains the worst of the damage to our feet but doesn't help Keith's groin strain very much. With sub-zero temperatures forecast for the night we were glad to be descending from Windy Gyle's 2000 foot ridge as darkness (and the temperature) fell. A brilliantly clear night, far from any city's poluting street lights provided the brighest stars we have for a very long time. Breakfast stop is reached at 04:30 after 62 miles. Just half an hour here and off into the second day.

A little light rain greets us with the daylight and we are beginning to consider that our feet are not any worse than they were twenty miles ago, which is pretty encouraging. Other things, however, begin to slip a little. Throughout Saturday we had handed round food every half hour or so to ensure we all kept eating but this was overlooked first thing Sunday - probably because we were tired nad because the first hour or so after breakfast can be very slow (after the first long stop) - and somehow we never really got back into the habit. Times through the chekpoints confirmed we were losing a little on the two in front and gaining on the people behind. After around 80 miles we were all really struggling and by the checkpoint at 85 miles I was reduced to little more than a plod. We couldn't afford to go any slower so made an effort to eat more than any of us wanted and then agreed to make a big effort to the next CP, a further 3.7 miles with a 330 feet climb. 65 minutes got us to the CP and we carried on straight through to the next where a 5 minute break was enough to see us through the last CP to the end in Wooler. the last thing I must mention is that having strapped my left ankle I didn't get so much as a twinge from it for the first time in over a year.

By Thursday night I had removed all the tape from my feet to find two very large blisters on my heels. After lancing them I managed a comfortable 4 miles on the road and although my right heel is still tender it will, I am sure, be fine for the weekend.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was interested to stumble across your account of the Northumberland Marshals' 100 on the web! I thoroughly enjoyed the walk - generally excellent walking with nice green tracks, except too much tarmac neart the end, superb scenery and wildlife and a great starlit night. I'm now looking forward to sweeping on the main evnet next weekend.

Best wishes and good luck with the Bob Graham.
Ken Falconer (

Sat May 20, 10:35:00 AM GMT+1  
Blogger F S Shuffler said...

Thanks for your best wishes - looking forward to next weekend when we are at checkpointing at Quaryy House Farm.

Good luck with sweeping and we trust the weather will be just as good - especially overnight.

Sat May 20, 07:27:00 PM GMT+1  

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