If you're bored enough to be following my long run on Wednesday, there are a few things you should know. Principally this is so that you don't start to panic that I've dropped dead when in fact I've simply stopped for beans on toast. But also, most people I know have no real sense of how long it should take to run a hilly, muddy 85 miles (neither do I really), so this should also give you an idea of whether to imagine I'm doing well, or moving like a Romero zombie.
First of all, the tracking page is here: live.opentracking.co.uk/thao20/#
There might be periods where the tracker isn't updating - clicking through on the site will tell you when it last did. It sends updates every 90 seconds. If it doesn't have signal, it will try again 90 seconds later. In remote areas this means you might go a while before updates land, and then I'll suddenly appear to have travelled a longish way in one go. In fact, I won't be moving quickly. The most remote areas, where this is pretty likely are the first two sections.
Scheduled departure time is Wednesday morning, 3am. This is not an intentional Simon & Garfunkel reference. Scheduled stops for food, changes of shoes, lancing of blisters, etc, are as follows:
- Slaidburn approx 7.30am
- the foot of Pendle hill approx 10.30am
- Burnley (near Townely Hall) approx 1.45pm
- Todmorden approx 4pm
- Blackstone Edge approx 5.45pm
- M62 crossing approx 6.30pm
- Wessenden Head approx 8pm
- Crowden approx 9.30pm
- Snake Pass approx 12am
- Kinder Scout (finish) approx 1.30am
Then I'll have to get either back to Snake Pass, or on to Edale - this will depend on road support and we'll make a call about it on Tuesday. One side effect of this is that in the unlikely event of your tuning in at 2am to watch a moving dot, you may see me apparently moving backwards. The whole thing, including getting back to the van, should take approximately 24 hours. But this is incredibly, increasingly approximate.
You'll see that these stops get more frequent as the day goes on. This is partly just because on that last section, on the Pennine Way, there are more road crossings. It's also because I don't know what state I'll be in by then, so we've scheduled stops to be on the safe side.
The major thing I don't know how I'll handle is the sleep deprivation, and although we've got an approximate schedule, there's no time limit and I'm not ruling out having a nap. The decision-making process for napping will be as follows: would I literally rather die than continue? If yes, I'll have a nap, then continue. If continuing seems preferable to immediate execution, then I'll continue.
There are obvious exceptions to this flow diagram here. Serious injury would certainly make me stop, for example. In terms of safety planning, I'll be prepared for the possibility of coming to a sudden irreparable halt anywhere on the route (emergency food, first aid kit, foil blanket, waterproofs, extra layers, etc) but in practice this is an extreme and remote contingency.
Apart from the planned stops noted above, I shouldn't be stationary for more than thirty seconds at any point.
Finally, don't be alarmed if I'm not exactly on the red line shown on the tracking page. That route is approximate. I should never be more than a few miles off it, but for example:
- the route out of Lancaster (if anyone's up and watching that early) will be different
- the route off Bowland into Slaidburn will be slightly different
- the route between Slaidburn and Sawley will be different, especially the first part of it
- and so on
I'm going to try to get this amended slightly so that it's a little closer to being accurate, but there will be variations.
There will be occasional updates on twitter from my account (mostly not sent by me) and Boff's (@boffwhalley).
Happy dot watching.
Running with an idea
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