Sunday saw the 10th “Beacon Bash”, a 21 mile LDWA event near Wigan, Lancashire. As it turns out we have done half of them and on more than one occasion vowed never to go back. Nevertheless we found ourselves, on Sunday, at the 09:00 start for runners. The route uses the local canal towpath and miscellaneous bits of tarmac to link muddy fields and, in this part of the world, they do muddy fields like nowhere else.
Wikipedia notes - the local landscape is dominated by Ashurst Hill, which rises 570 feet (170 m) above sea level and is crowned by Ashurst's Beacon. The beacon once formed part of a relay league stretching from Everton Brow above Liverpool to Lancaster Castle, which was in place (though unused) during the Anglo–Spanish War of 1585. The current structure dates from around 1800, when local landowner Sir William Ashurst decided that a more permanent beacon was needed for the oncoming Napoleonic Wars. From here it is all downhill to more muddy fields and the finish where a “pie and a pint” await, if you so desire. We finished in 04:24:35, only a few minutes outside our best time despite the conditions. I strongly suspect this was achieved only because we didn’t go badly wrong as we have done previously.