Crossing Saturday 27th June 2020

Saturday 27th June 2020 was a day we didn’t think would happen having planned our crossing back in February on the way to a cross country race in Thetford. The LLW has been on my bucket list for a couple of years now having played the role of support crew twice (once successful and once sadly not but that was a winter attempt) and then the apocalypse hit!! Luckily in the nick of time restrictions lifted and our group were scaled back to just three of us; myself Kate and running friends Kendra and Hannah. We all work for North Yorkshire Police as serving Police Officers and represent the Force for Cross Country running. Kendra is also an Ultra runner, a member of Cops and Plodders running group who regularly run events to raise money for CALM. Hannah and myself have been inspired by Kendras achievements and so have been furiously training to follow in her footsteps. So, in our folly we decided to run the LLW route which for myself and Hannah would be the longest distance we’ve ever attempted. The day dawned bright and clear and we set off from Sheepwash at 0439 with 5 very excited dogs in tow and the mantra from my other half (our amazing support crew too) ringing in my ears “If you think you’re going too slow, then slow down!!” as this was going to be a huge effort on my part. Beautiful views and perfect conditions made reaching check point 1 at Clay Bank pretty easy where we dropped the dogs off and to continue on over Urra and Greenhow Moor without them. Good ground was made on the railway track only to loose time again cutting over the moor north of the Lion Inn where the track petered out and with great timing the weather closed in with poor visibility and rain. A compass bearing got us safely to Rosedale Head with soggy feet and a small sense of humour loss on my part as this was the only section I hadn’t done a recce on so I was cross with myself. Next check point was on the Rosedale Road just after the Danby junction where we saw three lads also running the route who seemed to be making light work of it. OH Support Crew says he saw them throughout the rest of the day running seemingly unsupported so whoever you are well done. The next section I’d run a few nights previously to see how boggy it was and despite the recent heatwave there were still some sections that were ‘interesting’. With this in mind I’d asked OH Support Crew to meet us at the road crossing on the Egton road so we had the option of a sock/shoe change if needed. Here we also grabbed 2 of the 5 dogs to run the next section to Ellerbeck with us. Both were ecstatic to be back out despite having already done around 10 miles in the morning. The weather had cleared again by this point and it was positively tropical dropping down the valley to Wheeldale beck where the dogs had a welcome dip. Slightly longer stop at the Ellerbeck checkpoint to drop the dogs and for a shoe and sock change meant we set off refreshed up to Lilla Cross where mother nature decided we needed to get wet again! Not to worry though as the end was in sight. All 5 dogs were grabbed again at the end of the tank road on the A171 crossing so we could finish the run as we started and we reached the stone at the transmitter exactly 11 hours 41 minutes later (apparently moving time was 9 hours 43 minutes) in bright sunshine. Okay, so no great land speed records were broken but we finished, happy and well. Huge thanks goes to James, my OH Support Crew, for looking after us and dog sitting, we couldn’t have done it without him.

Kate ASPEY, Hannah McPEAK and Kendra WEDGWOOD Plus Ginny, Lola, Roe, Monty and Harry dogs!