|"Welcome to the Wolds"|
People I know, particularly runners can probably attest to the fact that I talk about doing the Wolds way in one go last year a lot! It was a real experiance pitching myself against the 79 mile undulating point-to-point Long Distance footpath. Running over a cool, drizzly summer Friday night, into a peaceful raining morning before completing on a cool, but sunny Saturday afternoon. With just a packful of food and drink and no outside assistance (barring a lift home from Filey at the end) it was one of the most fulfilling experiances I've ever had.
With this in mind an entry in the Woldsman 50 event this year seemed well overdue. With a circuit running the flat countryside away from Driffield, into the hills and almost unique Wold-land chalk valleys with trademark steep, short, ascents in and out of the almost symetrical and V-shaped valleys, before returning to Driffield. Another draw was that this would also be my first 50 - I've done 55 miles at Hardmoors a few times and several longer events. Finally there was the lure of LDWA hospitality.
Saturday morning and things didn't start particularly well, perhaps too relaxed with a rare, short 30min drive to the start line of a long event I set off in good time, but then on the edge of Hull remembered I'd left my pre-mixed energy drink, water and recovery drink bottles in the fridge. I'm a bit peeved with myself, but remind myself it's no big issue and even after retuning to collect I step into the hall at the Driffield showground nearly 45 minutes before the start.
A nights dining in Driffield and the Nemesis
After check in I caught up with Mark (Dalton) and Dave (Cremins) who travelled down together to this event and "bunked" in the hall. They filled me in on their interesting night attempting to tap in to Driffield's fine dining scene and finding a high carb feast of Chinese takeaway followed by cakes from tesco.
They'd had a disturbed nights sleep I learnt through the day of one guy who turned up to bunk without a sleeping bag, cover or cushioning and proceeded to almost freeze, his shaking audible to all. There was also a "cougher", who had driven the room mad of course (always one).
|Ready for the off|
So it begins
|Sledmere's Eleanor Cross|
|One of the early climbs|
But we didn't head into Thixendale yet, but the hills were here to stay for awhile and we started the walk-steep road climb out of Fairy Dale, which the levelled out at the car park for Wharram Percy and CP3.
|Climbing Fairy Dale|
|Wharram Percy Medieval church|
An unexpected pleasure at Thixendale was a choice of hot food! Barely before I'd mixed another bottle of energy drink and changed maps my pasta with spicy sauce was served up. Very nice - Mark and Dave even found room for desert! I was also pleased to make use of the indoor WC to shut my bowel up.
|Along plod along the top of Deep dale|
The heaviest shower of the day was soon over, but I chose to keep my waterpoof smock on and just adjust the zip-neck to regulate heat. It wasn't a warm day and the cold, strengthening wind from the north sea - often channelled through the dales - and frequent showers made the smock very useful as wind and cold protection. Being the kind of day it was I never overheated sufficiently the rest of the day to take off this protective layer.
|Irrisistable lamb picture|
|Swooping down to Thixendale|
We briefly retraced our tracks to then leave Givendale via an initially fairly steep plod uphill to then drop into Millington dale. My Grough route made this the toughest section of the route by climb - less than 5m but over 1000ft ascent makes this about as hilly a few miles as you can run in East Yorkshire.
|The most fun descent of the day, to Deep Dale.... 2|
|A tough climb from Sylvan dale|
All downhill from here...
|Grey sky consumes Millington dale|
|Some welcome light on a grey day|
|"Healing hands" at Wetwang|
As we cut through Little driffield in the last few miles I found some pace again and we all had a good run in. Chasing down another two just in front of us to finish joint 8th, 10:35, about one hour behind the first back. Quite happy with that as the wind made things hard work in sections, but with better pacing I probably should have gone under 10 on this course even this day. On the other hand.... a pat on the back, joint 8th of 166th finishers ain't bad.
After a bit of stew to put something back quick, our little group took advantage of quite an early finish for a long event and headed off home. A good soak and a good sleep the order or the evening and awake up refreshed on my birthday the next day, when I lavishly indulged in a breakfast and pub lunch out.
The Woldsman - 28th April 2012 - 10'35" - 50m - 4535 feet asc and desc (90.7 per mile)