Coast to Coast 2020 - Day 3 (Gunnerside to Ingleby Cross, 38 miles, 133 total)

I set the alarm for 5.00am and this time I was determined to stick to it.  I knew a four day finish was touch and go and a couple of hours would make all the difference.  The initial plan was for me to start at 5.45am and walk to Reeth which was about 6 miles away, come back for breakfast and then set off again fully fuelled up.  As I headed outside it was raining yet again, but it improved bit by bit and then stopped completely as I arrived at 7.20am.  I was feeling reasonable and if anything my legs had improved but my feet remained the same.  I had done some thinking in those first couple of hours and felt that Ingleby Cross was the absolute minimum goal (with no guarantee of a final day finish), but if I could even get a few miles beyond it would make all the difference.  I therefore decided to have breakfast in the car and press on after a 10 minute stop.  This was the make or break day.

Start of Day 3 Review at Gunnerside

Gunnerside - Reeth

The next leg was a relatively short 10 mile leg to Richmond (111 miles) and during this section I exited the dales.  There was not a huge amount to report other than I attempted a short bit of running to begin with then soon gave up and reverted back to a walk.  I arrived into Richmond at 11.00am, but although mentally I was fine, my feet once again were becoming a state.  A further 15min break and a Greggs Sausage Roll later I headed off for transition leg between the Yorkshire Dales and the Yorkshire Moors.  The area is pretty flat - this doesn't actually mean quick as it can involve lots of stiles, twists and turns etc.  However, there was nothing of note to impede progress - it was all down to me and my constant mental battles.  To break up the leg a bit I added in a interim stop at Danby Wiske (124 miles) before finishing the leg at Ingleby Cross (133 miles) some 22 miles later.

Reeth - Richmond

Review at Richmond

I set off and I knew straight away it hadn't done my feet any good.  Every step was painful and at this rate I'd be finishing at Ingleby Cross at 8.30pm - ok but really I need a few extra miles on top of this.  Nonetheless I power walked to Catterick, passing under the A1(M) where I had arranged a possible meet up with my wife.  Although she wasnt't there it was quite obvious that the opportunity for a parking stop was limited, so I just took a few minutes rest and headed off.  I was now starting to get hot again; the rain from earlier had not only stopped but the sun came out too making it very humid.  However, I was still in my wet weather gear.  Thankfully about a km later my wife was parked up and I took the opportunity to take lunch at about 1.40pm.  After 20 minutes I set off again and even had the legs to go into proper run mode!  I arrived into Danby Wiske at just after 3.30pm feeling pretty good and motivated to hopefully get to Ingleby Cross by 6.30pm ish.  It would then give me the opportunity I needed to get those extra few miles in the bag for the final day push.

On way to Danby Wiske

Richmond - Danby Wiske

Review at Danby Wiske
Whilst it was getting very hot again I took the opportunity to take on extra fluids and get cracking.  I tried to run once again, but quickly realised the feeling was simply not there any more.  Ok, more walking but after a mile or so, the wheels well and truly fell off in a pretty spectacular way.  I tried to take on extra fuel and drink but nothing worked, I was gone.  I carried on at a crawl; my feet hurt, my legs hurt and I was feeling feint.  I was now going so slowly that I could barely be described as walking.  I was struggling to even lift my feet over stiles now, it was getting that bad.  At one point my wife even came down a footpath to walk with me back to the car.  I was now pretty much having to rest at every road intersection.  No matter what I ate, the result was the same - I was tanked.  I even fell over once, partly down to the uneven ground, but if I was more alert it could have been avoided.  Getting back up to my feet took an effort - my wife had to lift me up with great difficulty a number of times.  This continued over several hours and I rocked into Ingleby Cross through sheer determination at 7.45pm - a good hour and a quarter after I had targeted, but 9 miles in 4 hours tells you everything you need to know.

On way to Ingleby Cross

Danby Wiske - Ingleby Cross

In theory I could have done some extra miles over the last hour or 90 minutes - it really would have made the difference on the final day.  I needed to average 43.5 miles over today and tomorrow and 38 on what is the easier of the two days just added to the pressure.  The reality though was that I was cooked; the best thing was to call it a day, take the extra rest and just hope that I could recover somewhat overnight, ready for an early start first thing.

My wife found a place called Swan House, just a couple of miles away on the A19.  I have to say it was incredibly good value and continued our good run with accommodation booked en-route.  Whilst in the middle of nowhere, we were given a pizza menu that did delivery.  In the meantime I took a shower and immediately it was clear something was quite wrong, I was shivering, saying slightly random things about mileage and was borderline delirious.  I think my body was pretty much literally running on empty, so much so that I couldn't regulate my temperature properly and it was starting to affect my head.  My wife properly looked after me with copious amounts of tea, wrapped me up in bed and made me eat plenty of cold pasta.  A quick sleep followed by half a pizza and fudge cake did the job.  Nonetheless it was the only time I didn't do a video review, I just didn't have the energy.

So the day ended up finishing on a bit of a low.  The question was whether I could fuel back up and if I had left too much to do on the final day - 49 miles?


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