19 November 2006

Damage assessment!

The final damage check is…

One very sore little toe nail - last year it was two! (and I lost both of them in the end!)
Three blisters - last year it was two!
Two aching legs - same as last year
And, so far, very little trouble with my knees - last year they both crippled me for at least two days!

So, some pains added, some taken away - all in all a very good day's walking!

The day started for me at 5:45AM when the alarm went off, and then it was a breakfast of sausage, scrambled egg and spaghetti on toast. By 7:15AM, I was on my way out of the house and heading to Cromford for the start of the British Heart Foundation High Peak Trail Walk.

Once at Cromford I met up with my friend Paul who was to take part in the walk with me. Now, at this point I need to explain very briefly about why it was just the two of us! At 7:00AM, I received a text message from Mel, who should have been with us, to say that her friend had had a fall whilst sorting out her things for the walk! The end result was Mel taking her to hospital for what turned out to be torn ligaments in her shoulder! Get well soon!

The start point.

Following a quick photo shoot at the start line, we set off to cover the 17.5 mile walk at 8:05AM. Forty-five minuets later, we were passing our first time check at Black Rocks. This first, very steep, section of the walk had taken exactly the same time as last year. From Black Rocks it was uphill again for another mile and a half until we reached Middleton Top. By this time we had made up 10 minutes on last year! So far so good, even the weather was dry, bright and sunny.

After the drinks station at Middleton came the longest section of the walk, 6.5 miles to Minninglow where the “soup kitchen” would await us! It was along this part of the trail that the weather took a slight turn for the worse. A hill fog came down for around 45 minutes. It wasn’t too thick but was just enough to reduce our visibility and also cover our clothing with a film of water. By 10:15AM, the sun was out again.

A quick time check on arrival at Minninglow showed that we were now just over half an hour up on last year's time and, more importantly to me, I was having no knee trouble! Minninglow also gave us a chance to sample the free soup and bread rolls that were on offer here - very nice they were too!

Time for lunch.

On the way again and a short 2.5 mile walk to Friden, our lunch stop. By now the sun was getting quite warm and, in the more sheltered sections of the trail, the temperature felt more like mid September than mid November. I even took my treasured scarf off! Our lunch break at Friden took just under 20 minutes, another time gain on last year. Setting off again reminded me that stopping isn’t always a good idea as my legs took a few steps to get going again! Still, at least my knees were working fine which is more than they were at this point last year!

Parsley Hay was now our target a further 2.5 miles down the trail. This was the section that really started to tell on me 12 months ago and, to be honest, I was just a little worried how I would get on this year. In the end I didn’t suffer too much at all, my knees still felt OK, the blisters that I had felt starting on the balls of my feet were no worse than they had been for a mile or two and we were still overtaking one or two of the early starters. That said, we didn’t stop at Parsley Hay and chose to carry straight on for the last two miles of the walk. It was at Parsley Hay last year than I wondered if my knees would hold out until the end and the pain almost became too much.

Right now, a beer would be good!

We covered the final 2 miles or so in half an hour, finishing at 1:25PM, a total time of 5hrs 20 minutes - 50 minutes quicker than last year. So, will I go through it all again next year? The next day or two will decide that, right now I’m too busy looking at mountain bike rides that the British Heart Foundation organise!

The rest of the walk photos are HERE!

1 comment:

  1. Gee Rich you've done a little work to your Blogger. I was getting sore just reading about your walk. Still, sounds like a wonderful time to spend the day. Sorry your other friend couldn't make it. Perhaps next year. Love the pics.