I was in three minds Saturday morning: to do Cuerden Valley parkrun, to do my 10 mile trail training run with Flo, or to walk the 10 mile White Bear Way with Flo. I decided on the latter. Now I have done lots of navigation courses and can read and orientate a map (well after some thought), I understand the along the corridor and up the stairs approach to grid references, can recognise symbols and can differentiate between a mountain, forest and bog, but I know I need more practice at this skill. Especially, if I am to do more long distance runs/walks in the hills and countryside that I love. So the White Bear Way won out. It was 7.30am, I hadn’t breakfasted or got my kit together and the 10 mile event started at 9.00am, in Adlington at the Scout Hut, so I needed to get my skates on.
The White Bear Way is Adlington Scout Troops major fund raising event for the year, it has been on the LWDA and race calander for many years, and people come from all over the NorthWest to do it. It is a circular route taking you through the trails of Adlington, Blackrod, Rivington and Anglezarke. On registration you are given a laminated card with your number on it which is clipped at the checkpoints, as you go around the course, you are also given a route sheet. Sensible people download the route before the event but I hadn’t done this so had to have a quick read before the start. I have ran the course a couple of times but some years ago and there were some changes to the route as Network Rail were working on the lines.
The checkpoints are great they serve cake, biscuits, squash, water and savory nibbles when you have finished your run/walk there is a serious lunch. Vegetarian or meat hotpot with lots of crusty bread, puddings (cream or custard) followed by tea and coffee. These people know how to feed you.
Now you might be asking yourself why I am wriitng about a walk, but this is a serious race the 21 miles takes you over some tough parts of Anglezarke and the guys who do it are really fast and the same applies to the 10 mile race. It is challenging to run and remember a route. You have to check in at the various CP or you are disqualified, or mountain rescue is sent out to find you both, senarios would be very embarressing. So running this is about balancing speed against accruracy. I enjoyed walking this time. I had Flo with me and she made lots of friends. I was able to follow the instructions easily, even though the route sheet got extreemly soggy in the rain (take a map case or plastic enverlope) I forgot and it has spurred me on to do more LWDA walks. I realised that I can go on my own to these events and cope. It was lovely to walk with other people, lots of families took part, which was nice and everyone was very friendly. At the end we had our lunch and got a certificate and badge as a reward. All for £8.00.