21 June 2024

Two crazy challenges!

Last Sunday, Lonely Goats Sean Higgins and Kev Gay set off on two separate massive adventures.

Kev Gay’s crazy adventure was The Line 300, a new event on the calendar hosted by Cockbain Events. The Line 300 is an extreme challenge. You have six days to run a 300-mile route (actually 337), totally unsupported. Based on the Greenwich Meridian Trail, the route starts at Sand Le Mere in the north and ends at Peacehaven on the south coast.

Runners are expected to sleep rough and provide for themselves without any outside assistance. This challenge is a true test of self-management.

There were some strict rules for the event, no sticks allowed, no staying in B&B’s, no support and you have to fend for yourself throughout the whole route. Kev spent quite a bit of his time running with Adrian Martin. Kev finished his epic journey in joint second place in a time of five days, 20 hours and four minutes, massive congratulations.

Sean Higgins’ crazy challenge was the Montane Summer Spine. This is a non-stop, 268-mile race along the most iconic national trail in Britain; the Pennine Way. Beginning from Edale in
Derbyshire, runners have a time limit of 156 hours to reach the elusive village of Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders. This is widely regarded as “Britain’s Most Brutal”
endurance race. A truly epic challenge that will test your physical resilience and mental fortitude. Racing non-stop and unsupported through day and night, you will experience the sheer breathtaking magnitude of this route where summer temperatures can fluctuate from the high twenties down to zero overnight.

Sean was in contact with the Goats throughout his journey, keeping them up to date with his progress.

Sean said: “Summer Spine Race, 268 miles Edale to Kirk Yetholm, no one is daft enough to sign up to that race. June 2022 I did.

“The kit list was huge, but managed to get everything I needed over a 10-month period. Packed my bag, 12kg with full water capacity, nightmare but everything on the list has its own reason for being on there.

“I don’t really get nervous before a race but I was for this one, I’ve spent a fortune on entry and kit that’s going to potentially get me through this monster, what if I make a mess of it on the first day? I didn’t, managed to keep a steady pace, nothing silly just went checkpoint to checkpoint. Didn’t have a spreadsheet with timings or plan, I just thought, wing it and enjoy it.

“I hit every cafe, burger van, chippy, pub I found and I ate like a king all week. Alston (CP4) was supplying us with lasagne, the best I’ve ever had, I managed three portions but a lady who had gone through earlier had ploughed through eight – incredible work. Feet, I was told, that’s what will get you through this week. I spent heaps of time taping and retaping, changing my socks, having regular stops getting any loose debris out.

“The time spent doing this was important, it kept my feet in good shape which allowed me to finish in under 130 hours. On the sleep front, I kept a record and over the time it took me to get from Edale to Kirk Yetholm, I had managed four hours in five nights at various checkpoints, and some at the side of the trail in my bivvy when I became desperate on Cam High Road, possibly the longest uphill stretch in the country.

“Don’t think I’ll get over finishing the spine race, awesome adventure, mostly spent on my own. All the staff throughout the course were amazing, the food was class I have no complaints.

“Will definitely have another crack at it although I have told people to not let me, it’s addictive and definitely up there with my Hardmoors 200 finish in terms of performance.”

Sean finished his adventure in 129:28:18. Congratulations, Sean, we all are super-proud of you.

The third Hardwolds 40 took place on Sunday. The Hardwolds 40 route follows the Hudson Way from Beverley to pick up the Wolds Way just outside of Goodmanham. The route continues to follow the Wolds Way passing through chalk landscapes, market towns and ancient villages such as Londesborough, Millington, Thixendale and the deserted medieval village of Wharram Percy, all before leaving the Wolds Way near Settrington Beacon and descending into Settrington to pick up the Centenary Way to Malton and the race finish.

The race started at 8am and competitors had 18 hours to complete the 47 miles, in true Hardmoors style there is always a few bonus miles, on this occasion, it was a tasty seven.

From the start, temperatures were already in the low 20s, everyone knew it was going to be a tough day out and taking it easy was the only option. Throughout the day, temperatures reached the early 30s, in the valleys it was absolutely scorching. Tina Brown had another fantastic run finishing in 4th place and 1st FV50 in an awesome time of 9:22:14. Anna Jebson ran with fellow Hardmoors runner Sharon finishing in 12:12:31.

Abbie Morgan and Bradd Braddock took on the role of sweeping the course making sure all runners got around safely within the cut-offs, the pair finished

just after midnight in a time of 16:01:32. It really was a tough day out for all, massive thank you goes to all the marshals throughout the day for the constant support, water, ice lollies and brilliant checkpoints, without them it would not have been possible. Huge thank you to Chris Jackson and Alexia Morgan for marshalling all day and making sure everyone was OK. Another brilliant event hosted by Jon and Shirley Steele.

Sue Beever had a bash at Chopwell Woods 10k while on her holiday, this event was organised by Wild Deer Events. A newly designed course for this year saw runners running the 10k through the woods in the hope to see some deer.

Although it was absolutely boiling, Sue had a fantastic run finishing just inside 1:09:00. Well done, Sue.

Craig Grady attended Hull parkrun on Saturday, finishing in 25:15. Great run, Craig.