Running for the pies

Running for the pies

Sunday, 3 February 2013

26th December: Winter Hill

After the fat-day of Christmas Day, which was spent in front of the goggle box watching what was on, and being productive and doing my expenses and book-keeping, Boxing Day was the day I had decided I would be running to the top of Winter Hill and back again.

Off I went wearing my trail shoes, which kept me in very good stead getting across the bog on the top of the hill to the TV antenna.

Getting up the side of the hill on the cobble was very slippery again and I was not able to run it in full, but stop and hike in places as the footing was just too treacherous. On the way back across the bog on the hill, I lost my footing quite spectacularly… I found myself with one leg stuck in the bog down to my thigh and the other still on solid ground! I tried to pull myself out but just couldn't. The suction of the mud on my leg was just too great to yank my leg out by force. Looking around there was no-one in sight and the last people I had seen were 1/2 a mile back behind me at the antenna with me out of sight because of the undulations of the moor.

Racking my brain for all the survival info I must have accrued from watching Beat Grylls and Ray Mears, I remembered what to do: I spread myself as wide as I could, moved my stuck leg in to the position in which it had entered the sinking mud and slowly eased myself forwards and upwards, toes curled in my trainer so as not to lose it! After a couple of minutes I had managed to extricate myself from the mire and off I trotted again. Sod's law that within a couple of hundred metres of starting again I ran past a couple of walkers heading off in the direction I had been coming from.

As I neared Rivington Pike I came across a poor sheep that had not been so lucky when stuck on the moor, and also an abandoned trainer. Now pardon me, but if you go running on a moor and lose your trainer, you tend to notice. It is a good mile and a bit down to the bottom over mud and cobbles in one direction and a mile of mud and peat bog to the road by the antenna on the summit so why would anyone in their right mind choose to push-on missing a trainer, and as you can see it is not as though it was an old battered thing that has been there for ages. Bizarre!

The one that didn't make it down

I managed to get there and back quicker than the previous time, even though I took wrong turns in both directions trying to find my intended route, which made the run longer as well, so a quicker time to go further is not bad all round!

The weather was pretty good, in fact clearer than before which meant you could see the top of the TV mast in the blue sky that morning.

Things turned in the afternoon though. By the time I went down to see Chorley FC play in their Boxing Day home fixture - a 1-0 victory against Marine, it had already been pouring down for a couple of hours. At least there was plenty of shelter. I would much rather have been down at Cherrywood Road to watch the mighty 'Boro take on Basingstoke, but 350 miles of distance meant I had to go elsewhere for my footy fix, and continually tap refresh on my iphone for the match updates on the fans forum.

In the street next to the Chorley ground lives a local 'celebrity', and I use the term very lightly! At this point you should also bare in mind that the inhabitants of Chorley are famous for its police tasering a blind man from behind as he walked down the road minding his own business and driving cars over their resident Olympic Gold medallist and Tour de France winner. Well this 'celeb' is some numpty of a woman who is that besotted with Shane Ritchie that she has had her car wrapped in photos of him.

Oh dear!
The next day we ventured in to the centre of Chorley for me to get my photo op. that I had been planning for a while… A picture of me with Bradley Wiggins' golden post-box which is bang in the town centre.

The closest I will ever get to greatness.

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