After 16 miles of St Bega wonderousness on the Saturday, I was hoping for something a little bit different on the Monday. Jonathan had also taken a day off from work but due to his lady needs, he needed to be in Dalston for a certain time. Meanwhile, Howard's lady needs meant that he wanted to head towards Dumfries. I should point out that I am referring to their needs to be with their respective ladies, not any particular feminine attribute of either Howard or Jonathan.
I thought the perfect option would be a look along Hadrian's Wall. Running guru Howard did the whole thing as one of his first longer runs, so he knew the area well and had several books and maps. Jonathan is always asking to do "trail rather than fell" I think meaning less climbing, so I thought a two car linear run would fit the bill.
As it turned out, Jonathan decided he needed longer to prepare himself for said lady union and eponymously didn't come, an activity known as #ashworthing among my little group of running buddies. Howard was still game but having just the one car meant that an out and back was the best option.
We parked at Greenhead, just away from the wall and then followed the track. As it was a Monday, we saw a lot of people coming towards us, more than likely finishing a long weekend trek of the whole wall. I think Howard said it was about 80 miles. As we set off, Howard said something like, "I think we'll only have time for about 24 miles." I grumbled some non-committal response and we headed off. It was a bit weird because I think the people coming the other way thought we were perhaps running the whole way.
It's a very nice and well marked route along the wall. There is a event, The Wall. It doesn't get good reviews. The trail goes right next to the wall (actually on top of it at one point) and there are mile castles, forts and other ruined buildings along the way. It has quite a lot of steep up and downs but the elevation each time is fairly small, making them more manageable. We went along to the big fort at Housesteads and back.
It's fair to say that Howard pushed the pace and I was flagging on the way back, taking some of the lower options as he continued on the higher path. Back at the car we had 20 miles under our belts, I dropped Howard at Carlisle train station and then headed home.
|we had pretty good weather all day. You could see distant rain moving all around.|
|these ladder styles get a lot harder to climb later on in the run|
|at the highest point|
|a lot of up and down|
|the famous tree|
|Howard pushing on|
|Thirlwall Castle, near the start/end of our run. Not in bad nick for about 700 years old.|