I had been entertaining the idea of tackling the Bay Limestone round for about a year or so and with my plans  well underway for my upcoming Race across Scotland in August to mark my 50th birthday this year.

I decided that this had the perfect amount of ascent, distance and terrain to help me prepare.

Set out at 7.09 and was pretty much straight into it. Coastal marshes as a livener in the first mile and half up to Humphrey head definitely got me focused. Two times in quick succession I was over and knee high in deep boggy mud.  My pack also felt quite heavy, coming in at approximately 7 kg as it had everything I need for the multi-day event in Scotland and all my water emergency equipment and race fuel.

Totally solo on this outing no  RVS ,stage checkpoints or race-pacers. I was pretty much hitting the course blind as hadn’t recced the route apart from maps and knowledge of specific areas like Warton Hutton Crags and Burton in Kendal.

Mentally and physically I felt good but I was under no illusion that today was going to be a test of grit and how bad I wanted to finish. Had no real time in mind just a guesstimate to finish and a chance to get quality time on feet and experience.

Was very happy to reach Humphrey head but then GPS  rerouted me back to the start and I thought what this can’t be right. Little voice inside my head said get the train home,bin it which I totally ignored. Took a deep breath reset the gps and navigated my way the mile back to the section where it should have took me first time.

Found a cool little painted pebble in this section that I planned to bring home as a memento.

Pretty soon was in to my stride and although the terrain was very soft in sections it was holding a lot of water which made for tough going so just kept it steady and purposeful.

Reached Hampsfell and the mist was quite dense on top and second error with gps and basically it took up and back down the same way meaning I actually did it twice.

Took it with a pinch of salt and reset it again and pushed on to Lords seat and bar the few technical problems with ghosts in my machine GPS . Everything was good apart from wet feet and  I had become accustomed to the constant mud in sections.

It all paled in comparison to the peace and solitude of just winding along some beautiful trails and terrain listening to the birds twittering away as I passed lovely little villages.

Yeah it was pretty awesome.

Lords seat to Crunswick scar seemed to take forever and that climb up was seriously tough going but worth the view across to Stavely if I’m correct?

Next stop Levens and  I  got lost once or twice coming down and one section I literally had to climb over downed trees and large sections of damaged trees blocking the route. Reached a nice little church and bumped into one of our C25K grads out for a stroll then pushed on to the village and a fantastic little shop for a Latte and Strawberry blondie cake .

The Woman at the shop was lovely and she helped me fix my almost new race pack which had pretty much capitulated and split at the seams in several places and I had to use gaffer tape to fix it.

Headed on towards the next big sections and I really enjoyed the canal and the sun finally came out. Just before I left it to tackle Farleton knot I sat down had something to eat and changed my soaking wet socks. 

Chilled and took some time to appreciate the day  and refocus on the rest of what lay ahead. Race pack was on its last legs but hanging in there.

I knew the next few hours was going to be tough as I had some night navigation with my trusty GPS . The heavy winds and rain on scout scar while exhilarating had scuppered my estimated target to finish and the last ten miles had been a mixture of effing and a lot of jeffing.

Managed to summit Farleton pretty much as the sun set so had a fantastic view. It was pretty sketchy going across Hutton roof crags as I had now lost my glasses, possibly left on the bench.

I was certainly very happy to be back down on the flats just before total darkness.

As  I reached mile 50 my watch batteries died and I was now navigating solely with my super reliable gps unit with a glare on,no glasses so it slowed me down considerably.

By now I was thinking whatn ext ?

Unphased, I pushed on, now pretty much in my back yard, areas that I run regularly. Yealand and Warton while challenging were doable and after quite a few wrong turns and fights with those annoying brushes and  invasive jungle creepers that cut you to pieces.

I managed to eventually emerge from the woods head up over the crag and  make it and get a glimpse of the final push for Arnside.

Was getting tired now though as I had been up for 30 plus hours 19 of which were spent on this challenge.  I’d had pretty much everything but the kitchen sink thrown at me but the goal was now  in sight.

Still time for one last GPS hitch and back to guessing and I went face first into a waist deep marshy area. My fault and a combination of being tired and visually impaired. Certainly woke me up and I managed to drag myself out soaked to the undercrackers with a few more cuts and scratches to add to the collection.

I did consider binning it at this point for a split second then  pretty soon I was pushing upwards through the winding path and reaching my goal of hitting every summit and then some.

Had a nice little walk down the remaining section  down off the knott to Arnside shore line and soaked it all up . I had done it , overcoming all the setbacks and challenges, hit every single summit and then some and kept going when the chips were down,felt amazing.

Took a final deep breath and then ran it in to the finish on the promenade victorious the 50th person to officially complete the full round!

Was meant to be !

It was great to see the friendly face of Tim one of our runners at Morecambe community Runners with a big smile a handshake and a flask of hot coffee!

Didn’t realise coffee tasted so good!

What an amazing day on a fantastic route made ten times more difficult and enjoyable by the terrible weather we have had this year. 

If you like a challenge then this one is right up there with some of the best I have had the pleasure of doing, and if you want a greater challenge I will even lend you my GPS unit and race pack 😂🔥🏃

Thanks for a fantastic challenge!

Loved it.

STU NEVIN

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