Wainwright The Hard Way

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Tynedale Harriers Coast to Coast Relay

Over the past weekend a small team of runners from Tynedale Harriers crossed from St. Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire, running in relay fashion in just over 41 hours following as close as possible the route of A Wainwright’s Coast to Coast route.

While that sounds like a fairly eccentric idea the reality was much worse. Setting off from the beach at St. Bees, the most westerly point on the Cumbrian Coast, at 4:00 am on Saturday morning in a howling gale and lashing rain set the scene for the remainder of the day. The three intrepid runners charged with leading off on the first leg soon disappeared into the fog, darkness and rain with the pebble from the beach and my GPS to record the whole event.

With a brief stop for a cup of tea and to pack up the tent we started out in the minibus to meet team at the first changeover point. This turned out to be the order of the day repeated at almost hourly intervals, jump in the minibus increasingly cramped, damp and sweaty, drive at high speed many more miles than the runners run, park up in a car park at the end of some dead-end road in the middle of nowhere, stare at the rain for what seems ages, then peer through the rain/cloud for the runners to appear. Stare the map several times to make sure we are in the right per approved place then just as we’re about to give up the soaked, bedraggled team members lurk out of the gloom.

Passing the baton (the stone and GPS) from runner to runner, check on coordinates for the next change over and with a cheer the next pair are off into the clouds again….

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