Monday 17 September 2018

25th Anniversary Challenge - Day 2

I had a really good sleep last night. It ranks as one of the quietest spots I’ve ever slept in. I remember a plane going overhead at 0100 and then I was wide awake for 20 minutes at 0400. That, by Chappie’s standards, ranks as a really good night.


I heard a car stop nearby just before 0800 and I was pleasantly surprised to be handed a bacon sandwich by a local lad called Will. He recognised Chappie from my previous exploits the day before and must have planned to drop the sandwich off. He also made a donation which I immediately paid in to What a brilliantly kind start to the day. 

I packed Chappie up after eating the bacon sandwich and was on my way from the overnight stop just north of East Wallhouses. I was on the military road for only 10 minutes before heading towards Corbridge. 

I must mention how pleased I was with my recovery. 30ml of Cherry Active the night before meant that I didn’t have a single ache or pain anywhere. You’d think I’d be used to the benefits by now after 7 successful years running over 12,000 miles with it. Cherry Active is never something I’ll take for granted. 

There were a lot of polite waves from passers by and a lady cyclist gave me a hearty good morning. The views across the Tyne Valley were stunning. 

I was stopped in Corbridge by an Australian couple who were asking how far Aydon Castle was. I said it’s up that hill behind me and 2 miles away. They turned back but not before I gave them a leaflet and a short story about my run across Australia in 2013. 

I ran past Corbridge First School where I talked at an assembly back in May. I’d forgotten how nice a village Corbridge is. It was defiantly at its best in the early morning sunshine. 

I was soon through Corbridge and across the river Tyne. 

The traffic on the road to Hexham was quite busy but everyone gave me plenty of room and there was the occasional wave too. 

I decided to have a quick bite to eat on the outskirts of Hexham and took a 15 minute break. 

I headed through Hexham with the usual curious looks all around me. One lady stopped and asked me where the dentist was. I pointed back down the road on the right. I like to think that giving directions is all part of the service. 

Another lady stopped me to say that she’d seen me the day before in Ponteland and then near Stamfordham. I left her with a leaflet of course. 

As I left Hexham things started to get a little steep! As I ran up one stretch the cars queues at the traffic lights spontaneously cheered and waved. It was absolutely brilliant support and much needed. 

I was then stopped by a gentleman called Ged. He handed me a Lucozade sport and some snacks. He also handed me a donation. I gave him a leaflet and thanked him for his kindness. I continued up the hill and paid his donation in to

The weather started to cool a bit and the wind picked up. It seemed to take ages to reach the summit of the day. To my right I could just about make out The Cheviot and also the area around Hadrian’s Wall. To my left, in the distance, were the moors that surround Stanhope and Allendale. The scenery was stunning. My iPhone would not do the scenery justice. 

At the 17 mile point I stopped near Langley dam at 1445 and decided to cook some lunch. My legs felt very tired from all of the climbing. I made some spaghetti in tomato sauce and washed it down with two cups of Northumberland Tea. Of course, a packet of rich tea had to be dunked in the tea. 

After an unprecedented 75 minutes of rest in glorious sunshine I continued on my way. I actually felt better for having some food and a decent rest. Perhaps this is what I should have done more often during stage five of the run Around The World. Choosing miles over food and rest, during the summer was not the correct thing to do. I’m eating a lot more on this trip. 

I had a strong finish to the day and another donation from a man in a black Vectra put a spring in my step. I didn’t catch his name as there was traffic approaching in both directions. I paid his donation in to

I also heard from Michael at Virgin Money that the £1000 of Asda vouchers, donated by my sponsor D-Line, used to supply the tuck shop had returned £2,298.85 for St. Benedict’s Hospice. Absolutely brilliant! Thanks to everyone in the IT department for being so generous this summer. 

Back to the run and I saw a sign for a coffee shop at the 23 mile point in Bearsbridge. I ventured a little further and found that it is closed on Mondays. Gutted! I was very hungry and could feel myself close to hitting the wall. Then I had a brilliant idea! I asked a man in the neighbouring property if it would be ok to sleep outside the cafe. He said that I’d be better off 10 metres further down sheltered by some logs. He was a very pleasant man and asked if I needed anything. He said he had tea brewing but I politely declined as I was keen to get packed up and inside Chappie. 

I wanted 20 miles today so I’m very pleased with 23.3, finishing at a decent time, lots of recovery time and the prospect of a nice breakfast in the cafe tomorrow morning. 

I hope the logs will keep Chappie and me sheltered from the predicted storm. 

Tomorrow will see me pass through Alston and climb up to the now ruined Hartside Cafe. Another two good days will see me reach the finish line at Ullswater at around 1500 on Wednesday.