Hadrian’s Wall Run: Day One

Day one of our two-day challenge to cross the neck of northern England from Bowness-on-Solway in northern Cumbria to Wallsend in Newcastle to raise money for Refuge. We got up at five, were on the road at about quarter to six, and began running at about half past seven. The first stage went very well – Solway Firth and the Scottish coast were beautiful, and the weather was lovely: sun, a decent breeze, a bit of cloud cover. We stopped for our first snack and drink at Burgh by Sands before heading on towards Carlisle. This was the first tricky section as it included a fair number of large steps, something I’d had quite enough of in the Midsummer Munro at Box Hill. At about twenty past ten we rolled in to Carlisle, feeling strong, but there was a sign of a problem – I’d had to stop for an emergency al fresco toilet break with stomach cramps. On we went, leaving Carlisle along the River Eden and picking our way through a torrential rainstorm at Linstock.

Through Low Crosby and then looping around Carlisle Airport, we got our first real taste of the wall – the earthworks were clear, even if by this stage actual ‘wall’ was still not apparent. What was apparent, though, was that my stomach bug was getting worse. Unscheduled stops became increasingly frequent and I was slowing Nick up. We pressed on and arrived for lunch in Newtown with 23 miles under our belts. I began to flag badly at this point, and medical help was ineffective. I was sweating and dehydrated. We pushed on, but by Banks (28 miles) I was in a bit of a daze and I had to take a break in the support van. Nick carried on in stalwart fashion towards Birdoswald Fort. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to continue at all – though I wasn’t too tired or experiencing too many of the usual running pains, I was a liability needing to stop every ten minutes without warning.

Nick ran the next two sections solo – I missed about eight miles I think – but with the time lost to stops and associated slowness we were up against it by late afternoon. I rejoined the run for the last stage of the day – Cawfields to Steel Riggs. We had planned to run about nine more miles today, but fatigue, boggy ground and a torrential storm meant we stopped at 7pm. We must see how we can do tomorrow – the remaining 42 miles may prove too much. We will do our best. but if today’s problems stop us completing the whole challenge we can either come back to finish it as soon as possible or see if people accept as far as we get.


Published in: on July 30, 2012 at 9:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

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