Beginners groups 5 km Handicap & THE WALL!

Thank you to Les for the forwarding on both race reports. Thanks to Ross Kyle for the Wall race report.Well done to all that took part in both events. Keep it going Team Elwsick!

The Wall” 2019: “Do it, wing it, don’t die”…………

(L to R) Michael Clegg, Chris Hull and Ross Kyle. Who’s ready for a long winded and self-centred post? OK: The dust has settled, the blisters have been dealt with, had some sleep and food, so ready to post some insight and some do’s/ don’ts…….. Where to begin?

4th year at “The Wall” , I’m known to do little training and to just “wing” events but never on this scale! A few 10kms and a half marathon is not enough! But through stubbornness and FOMO I dived in again with both feet! Set off with Stu and Chris at the planned pace, we were at the very back but through experience I knew we’d move through the pack. We plodded on ticking of the miles, where from checkpoint 2(25miles) we decided to split go off at our own speed!

Getting into the pit stop i felt ok, tired but ok, but a huge boost came I heard the shout of Matthew and Katie, a little tear, a big hug from Laura, Andrea and Lesley some food, more water and a Red Bull and away I went solo for a few miles and i started to pick up the pace, probably too much and I think this was my downfall! I pushed through to the pit stop at 33mile where i caught up to Chris, Michelle and Jason, I wanted to keep the momentum going so didn’t hang around, water food and off out again, Gravel paths and unavoidable puddles meant the next 7mile are what gave me the blisters and one that is the size of tangerine/ clementine! Just before the halfway sign at a farmers gate was a silhouette and I could hear the familiar voice of Jill who had waited around to cheer me on, we walked a little, had few jelly babies and she sent me on (massive boost seeing you just at the right time so thanks). 

Got onto tarmac and ran well for a little more, then just before 40miles, I hit my limit, I got too cocky, running faster than planned and it bit me in the arse! Some amazing running by Michelle, Chris and Jason who caught up with me then powered on through! 

The dreaded newbrough checkpoint (the point I dropped out in 2017) came and I want to stop as it was raining, wet feet, tired legs etc, if I had a slight blip it would’ve been here and I had to get past! 

Eventually hit Hexham saw Mandy and got some food, changed into dry cloths, taped feet, new socks, new shoes and reapplied Vaseline (you can never had too much) Gareth rocked up with walking poles which came in invaluable in the later stages of the run! Hugs and kisses from Laura and the kids which was a massive boost mentally! 

From Hexham onwards was purgatory, it was dark, everything hurt and what seemed like short roads while driving in the car, seemed to never end. Taking it in turns, we had ups and downs, when I was flagging, Jason rallied and vice versa! Long dark stretches where I was physically asleep while walking, eyes shut and everything! Using the noise of the sticks to keep me on the paths. 

The last stop at Newburn was a blur, had some soup, quick sit down, some words of motivation and hugs and out we set on the last stretch! Sun was coming up but didn’t help the tiredness, people had caught up and started overtaking again but i didn’t care, it was me Vs the challenge! 

Hit the quayside. Saw the 1 mile to go sign and saw we had been going for 23 hours 40 mins! We knew we had to push and get under 24 hours.

One last push and we were done, even managed a run into the finish! I’ve done these events before but nothing has felt or hurt like this!

Michael Clegg cracking effort mate you had a plan and it paid off massively in suprised how disciplined you were! And thanks for the lifts: Michelle Louise Castro, Chris Hull, amazing achievement and welcome to the “Ive done the wall you know” club, you bossed it, and probably learned a lot! Half I could be part of the experience with you. Stuart G Wheeler, you are genuine bloke, the first stint went so fast because of you, I hadn’t belly laughed so much! You did amazingly and hope you had fun! Keep smiling mate 🙂 Jason Crosby year number 4 buddy, we only see each other once a year but we’ve been through some tough times! Lesley Falkous Andrea Wilson, the angels of the wall! Your support was immense, wether it be a hug, some drugs, a pep talk or a rolling stick, there at points where we needed you! Much love to you both and I’ll be there to support you both next year 🙂 Wendy Kyle, Geoffrey Kyle! Thanks for the support as always, for watching the Kids when we need it and for dropping me on the head as a child (got to be reason why I’ve done it 4 times). Biggest thanks to Laura!

I know you hate when I do things like this but your unwavering support is there! When others ask if I’m Ok and I say yes, you know with a look whether I’m telling the truth or not and you know how to deal with me (x). One last nod to a some other people who helped with the experience! whether it was a hug you gave or a message you sent. It honestly helped! Laura Clegg, Graham Cooper Rachel Flentje, David Lathan, Deb Kelly, Paul Johnston, Sarah Lofthouse, Mandy Kennon, Robert Fox, Rachel Moran, Simon Lynch, Kathryn Gillie, David Falkous….. if I’ve missed anyone it’s not on purpose, I’m blaming my sleep deprivation! Ross Kyle (“I know Steve Cram”). 

Next: The beginners group 5 km Handicap.

Beginners groups combine for round 2 , following a varied multi terrain course from Butterlaw farm around a cycleway and bridle paths. Unfortunately the surface has been improved considerably since our last visit so no clarts this time.

Top –  Donna Stokes (centre) wins “Most improved” medal

Bottom – Keith Batey leads his Team K into the final 200.