Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Kielder Ironman Reccee - Celebrating what you came to do then running away - Part II

The rain that was promised didn't seem to materialize on Saturday. Overnight some rain fell and the change in weather was marked by winds and elevated temperatures in the morning. We didn't need the stove, just coffee and porride off the gas to get us moving on stiff legs.

Our walk on Friday night was good info on getting to the lakeshore path and we got talking about how the lack of very hot water and feeble pressure at the showerblock on the campsite means it won't be suitable ironman accommodation even in the best conditions... no matter how beautiful the surroundings.

Vibrant colours

There were a few people on the trail but not many and mostly we entertained ourselves with things I will have neither opportunity nor inclination to do on race day.

TSK being tongue

Picking my nose... or someone's

Janus Chairs
TSK turned around after 5km to make it a 10k run. I kept going to Jannus Chairs to make it the 11miles run that I missed through racing last weekend.  When I turned around at mile 5.6, I slowed right down. It took me a while to realise it wasn't over and I was the only way I was going to get back.

It helped watching the ospreys circle overhead.

Back at base I had caught up TSK and we showered and headed to the Kielder Castle café to watch the osprey up close and personal from the comfort of a big screen webcam served with quiche salad and great coffee.

Lurching from one meal to the next we took an overly long drive to get some dinner. By which time we were also running out of fuel.

You know that person who turns up in the wilderness on minimal petrol with no food and nothing to pay with except plastic? I never wanted to be that person... but modern life (this weekend) made me that guy.

Worse still, we got back to the campsite to find that our tent was completely surrounded by water.

After a brief panic about it being Sunday and no petrol and being too tired to drive home I had the brain wave of checking to see if there was a pod. Much to our relief and luck there had been a cancellation and the warden let us take the pod at no extra cost.

We set about transferring all our stuff from one end of the site to the other. Thankfully our bedding was still dry. I stubbornly soldiered on to cook steak, potatoes and kale on a single ring stove then we slithered exhausted into our chilly sleeping bags, missing the stoov immensely.

By Sunday we had had enough of Northumberland. We achieved what we came to achieve. The drive home through the wilderness in sunshine and showers was beautiful and powerful but we didn't have the inclination to clamber out of the warm car into squally rain showers and do anything with it.

It was a crying shame but I was content that next time I come I will be rested and ready to race here and I still haven't seen everything that the area has to offer.  For that reason, I am very much looking forward to returning in June

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