I can’t speak for anyone else but I was certainly watching Facebook for progress reports each day. Thanks for this Jo. The four who took on this challenge were Jo Gregory, Jane Foulkes, Chris Purslow and Julie Corby. Well done all of you.
Four days, 3 nights camping and around 100 miles.
The event wasn’t timed so it was quite nice and refreshing just to have the finish line each day as the achievement not what position and time.
Each day consisted of multi terrain, fields, paths, woodlands, bridal-ways, towns crossing busy roads, through church yards with a sign warning of snake sightings, what the hell, along with regular cattle, sheep, horses and another disturbing sign roughly 5 miles from the end halfway up a very steep hill before dropping down into Bath, advising to be cautious of the Bull!! Was it what we all expected; pretty much and possibly more, beautiful and spectacular scenery and enchanting “chocolate box “ villages.
Day one was from chipping Campden 17 miles, great route, with a few steep ascents, and descents, pitched our tents, felt good we had g&t or cider, then it rained-around 9pm followed by the temperature plummeting to around zero degrees around 2am, not much sleep was had.
Day 2 we all knew was the tough day, (made worse through being cold to the bone and a soggy camp) Really steep climbs and around 30 miles that just had to be ground out!! Fabulous views that went on for miles including Cheltenham. Unfortunately Jane took a tumble and later after completing the day started to feel uncomfortable severely with her ribs.
Day 3 as we awoke with frost and ice on our tents it was apparent that Jane had no choice but to pull out as she could barely move with severe pain. Day 3 26 miles still hills but less dramatic but still over 3000ft climbs, lots of woodland, really great weather, the 3 of us made it into camp at Wotton-under-Edge.
Fed and watered we were ready for the fourth and final day, 34 miles again only 2/3 steep climbs fantastic scenery rolling hills just beautiful, unfortunately the last 1.6 miles you have get yourself through the streets of Bath to the Abbey, no signs, no map provided, busy streets late afternoon, I resorted to google maps on my phone, to get it over with the quickest way possible.
To sum up; when you panic for weeks about 4 continuous days of running adding up to 107miles 3000 to 4000 ft climbing becomes secondary to the frost, ice and freezing temperatures, and pitching your tent each night after running, it just proves that you always have to expect the unexpected, adapt your plan and just tough it out to the end!!
We did it and a very big massive well done to Julie, who not only did her first multi day but fours days and her first 50k in a day, no mean feet! Well done Julie, you did yourself proud!! The Cotswold way is very easy to follow, national trail symbol; acorn, no maps required, a few places needed concentration but if you fancy it go run or walk some of the Cotswold way!!