‘Convergence’ was the latest quirky addition to Beyond Marathon’s portfolio of events, the idea being that runners had to get to Hope by high noon on Sunday from….. well….. wherever they wanted, with the overall winner being the person who started furthest away as the crow flies. So basically a game of risk – how far away dare you start and still make it to the finish in time.
Not fancying the prospect of running many miles of straight roads to maximise distance I saw it as an opportunity to have some fun and maybe come last and first in the same event. I could perhaps get the wooden spoon award for starting closest to the finish AND win the Edmund Tenzing award for the most elevation gain over the 24 hours.
So I started at noon on Saturday from Rowsley to embark on a 24 hour ramble around the Peak District, climbing all the hills I fancied climbing. The great company of Emma Roe and Chris Purslow helped the first few hours fly by, as we covered 18 miles to get to Baslow (3 miles away from my start). From there I flew solo to make my way to the finish line (now 9 miles away) over the next 17 hours.
In the end I was beaten into 2nd place for the elevation award by someone with a plan more cunning than mine. However, I’m not sure he had as much fun as me, with the highlights of my journey being: watching the sun go down from Higger Tor, a slap up dinner in a pub in Hathersage, succeeding in some tricky night time navigation over the moors above Eyam, the silence of Win Hill summit at 1:30am, a nice snooze in my bivvy on Hope Brink and one of the best sunrises ever from the edge of Kinder Scout.
And finally sharing experiences with other participants at the finish after they arrived from just about every direction.
Andy completed 12.32 miles as the crow flies (but his feet turned that into 51) and the next closest in the wooden spoon competition was 30.16. He also climbed 3,255 metres while the winner did 4,804. 9 runners retired and one poor chap timed out by 40 minutes. Well done Andy… I think…