Crossing Friday 3 August 2018

The idea of the crossing had been in the air for months and months with a date tentatively voiced for `early August`. As August rolled near many kept asking `so when are you actually doing it?` It was time for definitive action! So at 4.10 am on Friday 3 August we set off from Durham to Osmotherley with the words still echoing round the car `have you done much training for this?….me neither!` By the time we parked up and found the starting point BoroBoy and Geordie set off at 5.24am with the sun rising and a gentle wind on our backs.

Good progress was made over the first 18 miles, breakfast was a combination of raisin bakes and jelly babies washed down by water…lots of water! The views were wonderful and the company great as we discussed the merits of our respective football teams, the structure of the American baseball leagues and the workings of the Tour de France. But hang on what was this? Dark clouds emerged from nowhere laden with rain and to throw an extra little spice to the occasion a few lightning forks and many rumbles of thunder. Those 2 miles to the half way point seemed immeasurably longer than 2 miles!!! The moors all of a sudden seemed inhospitable, impassable, almost begrudging our presence there.

The sight of our support vehicle was wonderful. Julie and Ellen appeared like saviours to the drowned rats. Mugs of hot tea and food that didn’t border on a dangerous sugar overdose consumed with both relish and glee. Much better….

So we set off for the next 20 miles with renewed determination with clouds still menacing overhead. The infamous boggy section lay ahead and thoughts of losing the path, sinking to our waist in goopy peat were upper most in the mind especially as visibility wasn’t great. But as if the ghosts of yesterday were helping us along, the path was surprisingly clear, the bog wasn`t so boggy and the clouds lifted and the sun eventually emerged once again.      

The final push was tough. Feet were beginning to ache and blisters starting to kick in on both feet. The light was fading but we could see our goal. The mast at Ravenscar loomed ahead and stayed there for about an hour not getting any closer so it seemed. The track was difficult to walk on with small uneven rocks underfoot making every misplaced stride feel painful and at best uncomfortable. Finally the sun disappeared and head torches were on for the last uphill climb to the finishing line. The welcoming sight of torch lights beckoning us in was simply wonderful. `Here they are!` we heard through the dark as once again Julie and Ellen provided the salvation our feet desperately craved for. We had done it…the LWW conquered at 10.20pm!!!

The box has finally been ticked after so many years of waiting to do so.

Paul Angel (BoroBoy)
Paul Donaghy (Geordie)

Support team
Julie and Ellen Angel