Wednesday, 3 November 2010

An LDWA hat-trick.

The Long Distance Walker's Association run many events throughout the year and I find them a great way of getting a long run in during the weekend.

I recently managed to do 3 on consecutive weekends, the first one being: 'Bottom's Up' from Hoghton Village Hall near Blackburn. This took you through Samlesbury and Hoghton Bottoms and followed the Witton Weaver's Way for a while. I did the short route since my wife was 'encouraged' to enter (by me of course), it was the furthest she has ever travelled on foot and I was really impressed with her for completing it on just 3 weeks of preparation. I'm not sure she enjoyed the mud, hills and lane of cow slurry we had to negotiate though.

The weekend after I was back down south for the 1st Roding's Romp which is a new event (obviously) organised by the essex trail-running club Mid Essex Casuals. The route took you through 'The Rodings', a collection of villages in Essex around the River Roding, a tributary of the River Thames. This time I opted for the long route (full marathon) since I was by myself and had a really good run, though crossing freshly ploughed fields became a bit of a struggle after 20+ miles; I swear some of the farmers had been out deliberately beforehand just to make it harder. We ran past many ancient Norman churches and also past the only surviving windmill in the area:

I was pleased with the way the run went, taking my time since it was the furthest I had run in over a year.

Finally the weekend after me, Mark and Albert made our way to Hollinsclough in the Peak District for the John Knox Challenge Walks. We did the short route partly due to the state of the weather when we got there, a bit of a shame since the long route goes over the Roaches and I haven't been that way before but I just couldn't gather any enthusiasm to be out in the mist and rain for that long. Thankfully it cleared up while we were out but the first few miles were a bit grim, and the whole route was very muddy. Here's a picture Mark took on the last track down to the finish:

You can't beat these ldwa events for value and laid-back atmosphere. Invariably there are many checkpoints all with food and drink then a hot meal at the finish, all for the price of a couple of pints. I plan to do as many as I can between now and Spring next year when hopefully I will start getting out to do some fell races again.

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