Tuesday, 2 December 2014

August Challenge: The Great Yorkshire River Run - Day 2 (Ripon to Selby)

Greetings from Newby Hall
Another, just after 5.30, start. Slightly groggy, mild stiffness, but pretty good for having done over 61m in the last two days. I spent a bit of time looking at feet, some swelling and a large blister under the ball of each foot, almost to toes. Not an easy spot to put a compeed and make it stick. I did my best, but I didn't feel they would stick. Mild relief that no more blisters or other problems really.

Tranquility of the Ure, south of Ripon
Mark was up not long after and we had breakfast; tea, cereal and toast for me. Mark was also kind enough to knock me up a ham sandwich for the road Mark would also be joining me for a cameo for the first few miles today, but then would be heading back home as he was going out for the day with family and would also need to retrieve his Car from Garsdale.

At about 7.15am we were out the door and walked down the windy road out of the village. The pack felt ok, if anything it would be fractionally lighter today as I'd eaten some food from it yesterday. Onto the main road into Ripon, past the race course and we had a jog, before hitting the Ripon canal towpath and passing Ripon marina. This is a nice pleasant section of running on gravelly path, which after a few miles brought us to the junction of the canal and river Ure.
History to swell my brain, but not as
much as the roads swole my feet!

We followed the now, easy flowing, widening river along wet grass paths - rain overnight - and through some slightly overgrowing foliage, which meant that pace was slowed down to walking again. Feet felt a bit sore and uneven footplants seemed to tear at the bottom of my feet. Again I tried not to dwell on the distance remaining today and over the week with already breaking feet.

We reached the river bank section across the river from Newby Hall and took some pictures of the great view of river, gardens and hall. Then I said my thanks to and we said our good byes as Mark was now heading back and I had a day of about 40m still left. I thought it would be interesting to see how I coped with my change in status to lone runner. I don't do too badly in solitude and have done challenges all alone before, but after having a sociable long run yesterday the format was now quite changed for the remainder.

Rural Toll bridge over the Ure
Onwards and following the river bank, more wet grass and foliage, but a really pleasant river bank section overall. I also managed to have a 'comfort' break, which was something else that had been bothering me the last few miles. Before not too long I'd passed through Roecliffe and onto road, crossing under the A1 before entering Boroughbridge. A bit of road helped ease my foot worries as I could rely on more even footfalls and get a move on, which was desired as with a shorter day today I hoped to finish a good few hours earlier and have more time to relax tonight.

More toll bridge action...
Through the roman town of Aldborough and I now enjoyed a couple of faster miles on quiet lanes. There was a brief interruption from a "farmed over" footpath crossing field and overgrown field edge top get me wet and tear at my feet. Then respite on road through a small village to join a nice firm and trod field crossing path to bring me into Great Ouseburn and nearly 14m in the bag - moving along nicely at over 4mph and legs feeling pretty good.

Through the village and a left turn to follow a fast-trafficked road and cross the Aldwark toll bridge over the Ure. I think the traffic moved fast along this road knowing that the bolted wooden-decked bridge was single track and the one guy taking tolls wasn't exactly in a rush.

A grassy carpet near
Benningbrough hall
Along another quite-fast trafficked b-road I rounded the RAF airfield before entering Linton-on-Ouse. I had also just passed a bend in the river where the River Ure became the River Ouse. I stopped to enjoy my sandwiches and nibble on a posh trail mix - from Poundland - including chocolate covered peanuts and raisins. Today would be a bit of a split-lunch day as fancied this now and would be passing through York later where there should be plenty of options for a top-up.

Following the large bends of the Ouse I was back on grassy trail on a path around Benningbrough hall, then into rough and muchly overgrown paths for a few miles. The path widened and became more foliage free after awhile, but this couldn't stop a 'bad patch' as I had to negotiate cows on thin strip of land between fence and river, which meant the damn things kept running along with me. It also started raining a bit.

On the way into York
This annoyance and my general cow-phobia when running tired meant I came off this path and took a sneaky detour through a farmyard (naughty) to cut through the village of Overton. Then when through the village I followed a track to rejoin river which had bent around to meet me.

I now followed the Ouse on a short section of hit and miss paths before getting closer to York where I joined the 'cycle trail 65' which links to the transpennine trail and assured me the option of solid path and easy running into York. It was quite nice to run into the city this way and see 'people' and activities along the riverbank.

Into the city centre and I detoured my smelly-ass into the shopping 'maze' of York and well-dressed shoppers. I grabbed a Greggs (again) sandwich and cola as well as a water bottle so I could top-up my twin bottles of chia charge and water with electrolytes. I probably looked odd hunching at the edge of the street filling up bottles placed on the floor with water and strange powders and tablets!

Whats all this "selfie" craze? people go on about it as if its a trendy new thing. But,
anti-social, long distance runners have been doing it for years as they often have
nobody to take pictures of their ugly and tired - to a state-off-almost-cross-eyed-ness - mugs!

Back to the river and I crossed to the east bank whilst eating and walked/ran along the tree-lined path beyond the millennium bridge - another rain shower started - and turned off to pass the old Terry's factory with its iconic clock tower and then around most of and across the race course (taking marshalls advice crossing track as it was a race day).

The Terry's factory
After crossing under the A64, this led me to a cycle path on an old railway line offering tarmac much of the way to Selby on a long and fairly straight section. Good for progress, but the lack of variety might well do my head in. But now the sun was out and there were distractions such as a scale 'solar system' with the sun statue at the start of the path and then planets located along the next 10k to mark the scale of the galaxy - the inner planets all being a few hundred metres apart, then outer ones being km or more.

Sol to Pluto in 10k
 Harder surfaces, which had been respite for the blisters were now presenting their own issues though as my battered feet and lower legs started to feel more-and-more swollen throughout this day. Where possible I'd take a parallel softer path or run on the intermittent softer bridleway alongside this cycle path.

Modern sculpture on an old
railway bridge over the Ouse
The footpath hit the A19 at Riccall and my route took me through here. In fact my planned route now detoured me east across the river again and through a few more villages. But with extra miles already in the bag I decided to follow the more direct route paralleling the A19 on a grassy path, then taking a road off and riverside path (on flood embankment) as it followed a few more bends towards Selby. These remaining miles of trail were mostly unchallenging terrain, not ripping or battering my feet and the river soon delivered me past industrial works and into Selby.

The Ouse, nearing Selby
As the day cooled into the evening I walked through the town centre, grabbing a milk drink to keep hunger at bay a bit longer and located my B&B for the nights stop. A spacious room was much welcome so I could spread out my kit and lay down awhile whilst I went through my mental list of what I needed to do. It was nice to be finished earlier in the day after 10hrs58 on the go and 44.2m covered. And not far off 3 hours earlier than yesterday!

Industrial monoliths on the way into Selby
The rest of the evening consisted of shower, dressing in spare kit and hobbling down the road in the cool evening air to the Wetherspoons I saw on the way through the centre. A pint of cider and double-Mexican burger with chips really hit the spot and I had a bit more time this night to catch up on calls, messages and other normal things.

A good, but different day to the last, mostly flat, more hard surface and as such my feet and leg joints were definitely more stiff and swollen than 24 hours ago. But, undefeated I was able to relax into sleep.

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