Another ‘sensible’ week and my knee seems ready for something a bit more testing which is fortunate because out of the mists of autumn some winter adventures are emerging. Some are old standards – Anglezark Amble / Winter Hill fell race on the same weekend in February and the Marsden-Edale or “The Double” early in January but there are others too. “Xmas on the Fells” is a FRA Forum inspired gathering which we have always looked at but never been able to get to. This year may be the same but having had an email invite we’ll try a bit harder. There is mid-winter Bob Graham Round planned and I have had to decline the chance to support a leg because of an existing commitment. There is plenty to be ready for this winter and as if this list wasn’t enough there is the prospect of a winter “Tan-Cat” – the longest, highest pub crawl in England. This is a simple Rucksack Club idea – a walk between the two highest pubs (Tan Hill Inn and the Cat & Fiddle) in England, that there is almost 120 miles of high, difficult ground between them is neither here nor there and, really, if you want to make it worthwhile – do it in winter. The last successful winter “Tan-Cat” took place in 1979 and needed about 61 hours but there is some optimism that this could be beaten this year.
So with plenty to look forward to before the clocks change I set out on Saturday for a long run over Winter Hill and the surrounding moorland to find out how much my knee has improved.
About four and half hours later with just over 20 miles run my knee had barely murmured – a couple times awkward twists produced painful reminders that it isn’t yet perfect. I am very encouraged and while I won’t be aiming to get over 50 miles this week I should get over 40 for the first time in too long.