Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Update about August Challenge - Great Yorkshire River Run

The previously unnamed multi-day run through Yorkshire now has a name, a provisional route and some other detail. Most importantly of all I have done some good training for it!

With the name Great Yorkshire River run I'm not trying to infer the greatness of the challenge - I mean it will be for me, but for some hardcore people it might be quite easy, afterall some people run across deserts and walk/run/cycle across continents or around the world. The river I'm talking about is the Humber estuary and for the purposes of this challenge two of its tributaries the Rivers Ouse and Ure. And it is a great river; a major boundary in past times seperating the kingdom of Northumbria from southern kingdoms (only becoming slightly less of a boundary with the advent of what was once the longest single-span suspension bridge in the world). I've also heard say it drains an impressive 20% of the total land area in England.

"The River Ure - - 186396" by John Illingworth - From Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons -
The River Ure near its source
But every huge river starts from a small gurgle of water somewhere, usually in several/many places. This challenge is based on the idea of following this Great English waterway from (a) source to the sea. I've chosen the source of the River Ure, predominantly because it seemed like an interesting route to follow (a must for such a long run). But I could have equally chosen several interesting routes, such as the River's Swale or Wharf. 

The River Ure source is high in the Yorkshire Dales and is called Ure Head. My challenge will roughly follow the river from here along it's course east through Wensleydale, then south through it becoming the river Ouse near York to join the Humber. It's roughly east again along the north bank of the Estuary following through Hull as far as I believe is possible to the end of the headland of Spurn Point. In numbers:

  • More than 185 miles
  • 5 days of running (I'll be stopping overnight on-route)
  • Three days of near to or greater than 50 miles

The Humber Bridge
I don't plan on being anally-retentive about sticking as close to the river as possible and a good part in the interest of the route will be deviating off to explore landmarks and places of interest along the way. This will also be a journey of personal significance as this waterway passes close to the tiny village and area my mother was brought up in. To visit this area as part of a challenge, which will also pass my childhood home in Swanland, is tribute I wanted to pay having lost my mother to cancer in 2013. This challenge is raising money for charity in her memory.

The schedule

Day 1 - Travel to the B&B I'll be staying at in Garsdale west of Hawes to arrive mid afternoon. once checked in I'll set out and and run north up the hills (pathless in places by look of map) to seek out the River Ure's source, then follow it back to where it passes near B&B. Have tea, drink, bed. ~8m done as a bit of a warm-up.
Day 2 - Follow river to east the length of Wensleydale, then take south turn, staying in Ripon area overnight. ~54m.
Day 3 - Follow river roughly south through it becoming the Ouse, through York and stop overnight in Selby. ~46m).
Day 4 - Follow river to when it joins Humber and follow East. Finishing the day in Hull (so I can sleep at home that night). ~45m.
Day 5 - Short last day. Hull to Spurn point - ~35m (So about 187m+ total).

Training so far

With 6 challenges down I've been keeping a good mileage up all year which helps. But these challenges have been single day and in the range of 27 to 85 miles. Even with some of these being on tough terrain a multi-dayer with some days close to or over 50 miles is a 'step up' so my training has changed slightly. Within the constraints of maintaining as healthy as possible a family, work, training balance I've started running 6 days most weeks, to get in a few more miles and get used to often running on tired legs. Though many days are quite short (e.g. commute runs with pack), this does include at least one tougher effort run per week and a long run each weekend.

This peaked the Sunday/Monday just passed when I ran 18m and 30m respectively to see how well I could run the second run on tired legs. This is certainly not in the same region as back-to-back-to-back days of over 45m - available time wouldn't more. So I made these more difficult by running faster at over 6mph and 5mph respectively, during the challenge I'll be happy to run/walk around at 3.5 to 4mph daily. The good news from these runs is that I felt quite fresh on the second day at the start and only really suffered a bit at the pace and in the heat beyond 20m. So far so good...

  • Route Breakdown (work in progress)
  • Route map (red line to Hull, blue line therafter - the web-based software I used to map route started throwing errors after a certain distance/file size, so I had to generate map from two files and it shows as different colour lines)

No comments:

Post a Comment