day 5 - reeth to osmotherley - 35miles 1500ft
after another broken nights sleep i had a longer wait for breakfast. they didnt serve it until 0830! my only real criticism of lots of the places we stayed in was their breakfast times. a 0700 start and we could be away by 0800, which would have been perfect. as it was we didn't make tracks until 1000, have chatted lots at breakfast with 3 coast to coast ladies.
we also discussed route options. i was very aware of the 35m ahead, lots of it flat and runnable. it was also going to be a hot day and we'd done lots of climbing so far. valley road or hill trail to richmond? the latter, correct route, won hands down.
behind on my imaginary schedule we set off at ten.
3 miles into the day and we bumped into our breakfast friends once again towards marrick..it just went to show the slickness of their post breakfast organisation to get so far just walking and the degree of our faffing around. we exchanged a few words and sped on our way.
this part of the route was different again. very lush fields and pasture, with cool dense woodland higher up..providing a welcome bit of shade. surprisingly again, everything felt to be in good working order. if anything, i felt a little sleep deprived but that was overshadowed by the fun we were having.
it wasn't long before richmond came into view and a little way off in the distance, the cleveland hills. we stopped to look. i turned to richard and said..'see those hills right over there in the distance..that's where we're staying tonight'. the look on his face was priceless! a mere marathon in distance away. i tried to reassure him that they'd come closer to us quite quickly but im not sure how convincing i was.
richmond was the largest place we travelled through. people were slightly more curious about us than in previous places..maybe we just stuck out more with there being more 'ordinary' people and relatively fewer coast to coasters.
we found a good butty shop for a whopping ham salad sandwich with the now obligatory salad cream. i played safe with charlie giving him with a chicken one, no dressing.
we loiterd outside a shop window, selling trendy gifts, eating our tucker. i dont think the woman inside was best pleased...we weren't the image she probably wanted to portray..two sweaty blokes devouring butties, but we got lots of attention from passers-by fussing charlie.
ahead of us was a long flat slog that i was determined to enjoy despite everyone banging on about how flat and boring it was. mentally i turned that into an opportunity to run which had great appeal.
danby wiske, a further 13 miles on, was our target for an afternoon break.
arriving around 4ish, the local was open, with a smattering of men already enjoying pints of their fine local ales which looked very tempting, but with another 12 or so miles still to go, lashings of ice cold coke washed down some lovely salty snacks and a mars bar.
it felt like it was getting hotter too. whatever physical discomfort anyone may have felt spirits were still high. we had a job in hand..another 12..and as the sign said, only 60 miles to the finish..we could almost smell the salty sea air!
after around an hour of lazing around we thought it best to set off.
the next 12 miles were a bit stop start. i dont know why they just were.
doing the maths in my head we had 4 hours to tick off the mileage, book into our digs, sort charlie out, and sort ourselves out before last food orders at 9.
im not one for cutting it fine..its the pressure of 'will we? wont we?' im not good at, so when we reached the A19 and a garage i suggested we got rations in just in case.
never before have i taken such delight in buying a pot noodle and all the way from there to osmotherley, i was so excited at the prospect of tucking into it. i must have been bloody hungry.
we faffed more. calls and texts to family and friends. we could have made the pub for food but with sustenance already bought, faffing about was ok. the sky, as we dropped out of the forest down into osmotherley was spectacular, it was some kind of deliverance, and we could see the vast flat plain we'd just traversed..it gave us a great sense of achievement once again.
arriving at our b n b (no pubs in osmotherley allow dogs) the owner took a long hard look at charlie, then me, then charlie again. she was probably realising why the pubs didnt take dogs..he'd take every opportunity to immerse himself in every beck, every pool of stagnant water/mud and looked a little, shall we say, 'untidy'..but not that bad. i tried to block her view of him as much as possible. after what seemed like an eon and endless tail wagging by the boy, he got her approval and we were through and into our rooms.
ive never wolfed down a pot noodle quite like i did this one. the sauce sachet, the lot. perfect!
a quick shower and then a crawl around osmotherley's fine three ale emporiums ensued. making it through to last orders, some 5 pints later, we called time on ourselves and trundled back to our guest house.
with just two more days and about 50 miles left, it was in the bag (barring any acts of god as mentioned earlier) and it felt like we were on the final lap