Sunday, 20 June 2010

our completely amazing and utterly brilliant coast to coast adventure

it had been six months in the making, the planning, the training, the angsting and it was all so so worth it

our completely amazing and utterly brilliant coast to coast adventure has to be without doubt the best and most inspiring week of my life*
7 days and 194 miles of sheer challenge, fun and jubilation

my company in the form of charlie and richard could not have been better

charlie led each daily assault with purpose, gusto, and acting as pathfinder when paths were faint. he melted the hearts of each and every person that met him. his indomiable spirit was an inspiration, which kept going even when he was suffering from a little bit of a gastrointestinal issue caused by the need to feed him on non-dog stuff during the day..still, at least he can still look a pasty in the eye..which is more than can be said for myself or richard

and so to my two legged accomplice, richard.

it was a gamble to spend 7 days with someone you dont know that well, especially in tackling a challenge like this. but i have to say i couldn't have been with a better person. our fitness levels and running abilities were a great match but more than that we had such a laugh each and every day, more than i ever imagined we would. no awkward moments (except two strops with myself resulting from minor, yes only minor, navigational errors) and by the end of it all he'd taken to charlie too..quite an achievement given he's not a dog person. so cheers richard. im so pleased we did it together!!!

the route itself was just awesome. covering it in seven days meant the terrain was very different each day. alfred wainwright sure knew how to chart a belter.
we met some great people along the way and stayed in some great places, eating well (i had fish n chips four nights in a row :-/ ) and sampling the local ales to rehydrate..we drank more the more progress we'd made!

for the statos amongst you..we did 194 miles exactly..the two extra being into and out of bampton (more of that later). our time ie from leaving each morning to arriving each night was 64:53:39.

however, we aimed to enjoy it too so took extensive lunch and tea/coke breaks, chatting to folk, picture taking and general messing around. so we think our actual total time on the move was closer to 50 hours, giving us an average speed on the hoof of 4mph with an a total ascent of around 24000 feet.
our average daily mileage was 27.714286 miles or put another way 2 back to back ultras, two days of 23/24 miles, another two back to back ultras, and a little 20 miler to finish things off
my average nights sleep was around 4 hours (i was buzzing each night and planning the next day's assault!..i need to chill more!)
i have two minor blisters and two black toe nails. other than that i can walk in a straight line and up and down stairs without it looking to comedy-like
i had, for the very first time in my life, 3 freezing cold baths..OMG!!!

before we set off i did wonder if we'd be up to it, having never done a multi day challenge previously and wondering how many times i could get us lost. when i woke on the morning of day 3 feeling really quite chipper i knew we could do it, barring any unforeseen acts of god

im now sat here writing this totally ecstatic and completely overwhelmed..its hard to describe the impact its made on me..i think it needs time to sink in. its strange to think its all over. for seven whole days i was totally immersed in and absorbed by nothing else

this was the challenge i had wanted to do with charlie before he's too old. but im also so glad ive made a good friend in richard too..with whom i hope to do a few more little things like this in the future

and whilst we were away, karen, hollie and will were getting on with life..and planning a little homecoming..

this week i'll post a brief day by day account and hope it will inspire others out there to give it a go..i cant think of a better way to spend seven fantastic days

*(barring my wedding and births of hollie and will)


Andrew said...

Great news, your back safe and well with no injuries and all went well. Well done, sounds like your still buzzing and to top it all it's fathers day. Did charlie have time to pop into a card shop and buy you a card?

4 Winds said...

Cracking adventure, URC!
Time for a day off doing sod all now?


Richard said...

I'll never forget our amazing adventure Dave, it was epic!
Thank you and Charlie so much for letting me tag along; not sure anything will ever come close.


Julie said...

Hi Ultra Collie,
Wow, this was a fantastic race report:) Congrats to you for your amazing race finish!! I love your passion for adventure and need for attempting challenging races:) You are an Ultra running machine!! I enjoyed the pictures...thanks for sharing one of Charlie:)

I hope that you plan on taking a few days to relax and recover. Take care!


Very nicely done the three of you. Looking forward to day to day break down?

Hayfella said...

As you know, I'm really really chuffed for you both - and Charlie. Glad the nav went OK too. Tour of Mont Blanc next? Coast to Coast... of France, Channel to Med? The possibilities are endless...

sbrt said...

Well done!
Glad you all enjoyed it

clairster said...

totally inspiring, am very jealous and well done charlie

ultra collie said...

andrew - the kids saw to that (charlies card)

paul - back at it again!

richard - ditto

julie - thanks but the only race was to the bar in the evenings

ptr - coming soon

hf - cheers and thanks for all the texts of support. little cumbrian way i fancy next..nice 2 dayer

sbrt - cheers

clairster - reckon you could do it without any problems

kate said...

i can't wait for the daily accounts. i was thinking of you last week, imagining where you'd be. i'm so glad it surpassed all your expectations. you may well have planted a seed.

enjoy the footie and a beer :) and give charlie (and richard) a big belly rub from me.

Drunkeneuphoria said...

Superb, looking forward to the blow-by-blow account. Really quite a modern adventure and a whole new angle of ultra running conquered by you and Charlie. As well as the stats given I bet the 4 days of fish and chips barely scraped the surface in terms of calories burned off?

ultra collie said...

cheers kate..i think you might just like it a bit

de - fish n chips plus full english's and then pasties for lunch

Runningbear said...

Welcome home UC. You've been in our thoughts as we wondered our your epic adventure would unfold. An awesome experience and love the diary and pics. Thanks for taking the time to share it. Strokes & a sausange sarnie to Charlie. RB.