Tuesday 18 September 2018

25th Anniversary Challenge - Day 3

I opened Chappie’s hatch at 0815 after another decent sleep. I was pleasantly surprised to see an Evening Chronicle on the floor outside. Thank you to whoever left it.

I popped into the Whitfield Village Pantry for breakfast. There was a Full English on the menu so I went for that with a pot of tea.

The breakfast was both large and delicious. As far as cooked breakfasts go, this might be the best I’ve ever had. There was also toast and marmalade to have with the pot of tea at the end. That’s how me and my Mam used to eat breakfast on a Saturday.

I talked to the very pleasant owner of the cafe about my journey around the world and complimented her on such an amazing breakfast. She said that she was well known for them. She told me a little bit about the area and how it hasn’t changed a lot over the years. When I came to pay she refused my money. I insisted on paying but she said it was her donation. With that, I told her that I’d pay it in to St. Benedict’s Hospice via my Virgin Money Giving page.

I left the little village of Whitfield and made my way south on the road to Alston.

The weather was warm one minute and cold the next. This was, in fact, to be a feature of the day. 

After a long climb I reached the boundary of Northumberland.

Chappie and I crossed into Cumbria where more climbing lay in waiting.

As I began the descent into Alston the temperature dropped. I was quite happy and warm with my three layers though.

I was constantly surveying the landscape. I’ve ran the C2C route three times and was trying to see how far Hartside was away. Trying to pick out the familiar points on the C2C route helped pass the time.

I reached Alston after 10 miles of running. I was quite pleased with the pace up the hills. Alston was baked in glorious sunshine and I stopped for a minute to have a good drink.

I started the climb out of Alston and could see a lot of cloud approaching in the distance. I tried to maintain a consistent pace despite the climb.

I’d forgotten just how beautiful a place this part of the world is. I was also aware that the weather conditions can change very quickly.

I got three miles of climbing done and a policeman called Tony pulled over to see if I was ok. He’d been following my progress via the Run Geordie Run Facebook page. Thanks to PC Tony for some encouragement, a donation to St. Benedict’s Hospice and publicity on Twitter and Facebook.

There was no way that I could do anything with my hair in that wind!

With a spring in my step, I ran another two miles up hill but the wind got stronger. It started to rain too. The temperature seemed to fall rapidly as I approached Hartside Summit.

That’s me pointing at sunny Alston in the picture below!

By the time I got to Hartside Summit, I was freezing. The sweat on my base layer had turned cold and I was shivering. The wind was howling and the rain was getting heavier. 

I quickly took some pictures and pulled Chappie over to the ruins of the cafe. I climbed inside Chappie and got into my sleeping bag to get warm.


I’d been lying inside Chappie for a few hours when I heard someone approaching outside. This happened again soon after. It was only a couple of curious people wondering what Chappie was. 

Later on, I heard a car pull up. It was a man called Richard and his daughter Cerys. They had driven all the way from Hexham to drop off a donation, some bananas and a packet of chocolate eclairs!

I couldn’t believe the kindness. Absolutely brilliant and hugely appreciated.

I paid Richard’s donation to St. Benedict’s Hospice via http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/rungeordierun. I noticed that the fund had passed through the £46,000 barrier. What a brilliant end to the day. 

 The picture below was the view from Chappie as the sun dipped.

I only managed 16 miles today but they were tough miles with 2,369 ft of climbing done.

There are approximately 21 miles left to do tomorrow to the finish line at Ullswater. There’s a road closure and a diversion just down from Hartside which might add a mile on.

I’m looking forward to a couple of days of walking (without Chappie) then I’ll be heading in the direction of St. Benedict’s Hospice on Saturday.

If you’d like to sponsor this challenge then please visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/rungeordierun.