Prospective Dirgers – Steve Davies, Dave Crossman, Mark Middleton Commiserations – Andrew Carter

Having all turned 40 this year, we decided to commemorate this milestone by completing the LWW unsupported (a mile for every year)
We arrived at Osmotherley at 4:30am, probably a little optimistically anticipating our crossing to take between 14 and 16 hours, posed for photos in the T-Shirts Andrew had printed especially for the occasion, and set of in high spirits.  The first 10 miles were eaten up in decent time.  The warm weather certainly helping us along.  However, on the climb up from the B1257, Andrew was struck down with crippling cramp.  Following helpful advice from fellow walkers passing us, we soldiered on. This was to no avail as the cramp continued to hamper his progress.  To the despair of all of us, he decided to drop out once we reached The Lion.
The very welcome sight of The Lion eventually appeared after 7 ½ hours, and the prospect of some lager flavoured refreshment hastened our pace.  Just in the nick of time as the thunderstorm which had been forecast, and we had seen approaching from the south for some time, broke and gave us a refreshing soaking just as we reached the pub.  Following lunch and making sure our friend was well set up in the beer garden, with the FA cup final on his phone, we bid him farewell and set of on part 2.
The walk down to the Fryup turn off went quickly and lulled us into a false sense of optimism about what was to come.  We had all read about the boggy bit, but had all underestimated how challenging it would be.  Thankfully the recent warm weather had dried out most of it, so we pressed on, albeit at a much slower pace than previously.
As the miles piled up, so did our fatigue.  Each stop becoming harder and harder to get up from.  We were forced to revise our very optimistic finish time of 8pm to ‘a little later’.  However, our determination to complete the walk (now mainly for our departed colleague) and adrenaline kicked in and we pressed on.  Despite losing the path for a mile or so near Filingdales, we were navigating well.
The silhouette of Lilla Cross on the horizon gave us a target to aim for and we bounced over the heather towards it, hopeful that the radio mast at Ravenscar and our destination would be visible soon.  It was, although by this time the light was beginning to fade.  The final drag down to the Scarborough to Whitby road was punishing.  The chat and banter drying up as the head torches came out and we struggled to navigate in the dark.  Jugger Howe was a surreal experience in the dark with the illumination from our torches reflecting the light drizzle which had begun to fall.  However once we ascended the other side and crossed the road we knew our goal was in sight.
Knowing the finish was in striking distance, we switched off the pain in our feet and summoned up every last bit of energy we had and began the last march up Stony Marl Moor.  As the radio mast appeared out the darkness we knew we had done it, all touching the finish stone simultaneously at 11:39pm, a total crossing time of 19 hours and 9 minutes.
Each of us decided ‘Never again’, although on reflection this morning… who knows?
Can we have a badge now