Wednesday the 30th November finds Jim and I travelling down the country from Newcastle to Edale, ready to begin a full recce of the Spine Challenger course. For those of you not in the know; Jim is my girlfriend’s father, and a well known marshall on the Montane Spine series, and the Montane Spine series is a pair of races which run North up the Pennine Way from Edale in the Peak District. The Spine Race covers the entire length of the Pennine Way (268 miles), whereas the shorter Spine Challenger “only” goes to Hawes (108 miles).
Jim, as always, seems thoroughly prepared and in control – I’m very lucky really. He’s sorted the accommodation, the meeting points on the route for support, the transport, and well, pretty much everything really. If you’re reading this Jim – thank you!
A fairly eventless journey down the A19, A1, and a variety of Peak District country roads deposited us in the car park of the Rambler’s Inn in Edale, where we’ve fed and watered ready for the morrow, and the start of the Recce (Glorious sunsets on the way through the Peak by the way). Plus, I can recommend the Robinson’s Trooper Stout – very tasty if you like your porters…
And now for the nerdy boring bit; we plan to cover the entire course, from Edale to Hawes, in three days. The first day will be from Edale to just shy of the M62 (32 miles), followed by kipping in the Carriage House. Day two will continue from the day one end point, up to Thornton in Craven (34 miles), and resting at the Stone Trough Inn. The final day will be from Thornton all the way to Hawes, tackling the (apparently) toughest section of navigation through Gargrave, and dealing with Malham and Pen-y-Ghent (41 miles).
So that’s all for now; I’ll leave you with some pictures of the sunset we saw, and see you on the other side.