This may well turn out to be the mildest winter on record which is a pity as I have pair of new, unused ice-axes hanging in the garage but it seems to be the worst winter for strong winds. This weekend was yet another when the wind was, at least, troublesome. I planned a long route over Winter Hill so that the wind would be behind me on the higher ground however when I saw, on Saturday morning, just how strong the wind was in our garden I realised even my carefully planned route was going to be very difficult. Instead I settled for a long run on the Leeds-Liverpool canal while Pauline headed out to meet her usual Saturday running buddies. Coincidently they opted to follow a route very similar to the one I had planned only to find the wind too strong.
With no real plan in mind I set off to join the canal at New Springs and headed north, into the north-westerly wind. Knowing it would be behind me on the way back I decided to aim for about 10 miles and then see how I felt. The overcast sky started to clear and some sunshine appeared both of which helped hugely.
By somewhere around 10 miles my legs didn’t seem too bad and after a shower or two it looked (again) as though the blue sky and sunshine might be here to stay so I decided the “turn round” mile was 13.1 or just a little over or just a little over to ensure the iconic 26.2 was exceeded by the time I got back home.
Bridge 80 is just over 13.2 miles from our house, according to my watch, and so provides an obvious turn round point. Turning back into the sun with only another 13.2 miles left to run my legs didn’t feel too bad although even I knew they weren’t going to get me home as quickly as they had brought me here.
I finished my “Bridge 80 Marathon” (26.5 miles) in a little under four and a half hours – not my fastest marathon time but the muddy towpath, winter kit, carrying everything and not racing all combined to ensure it wouldn’t be fast. On the other hand it was a PB for the route! It will be good to get out on the hills, in daylight, next weekend and I hope there won’t be a strong wind to battle then.