Baslow Bootbash – 9 June 2012
This year I took a few easier options with the route. At Monsal Dale, a group of us went under the viaduct and crossed the river and followed a road to Cressbrook, instead of following the Monsal trail and then having to search for a river crossing.. Also at Eyam, I followed the B6521 New Road, rather than the hillier Riley Lane. Unfortunately I added a mile or so trying to find a footpath from Calver to Banks Wood. This area is very tricky and a number of likely looking paths are dead ends. For future reference, the public footpath is at the end of Folds Lane. Note, on this marathon, checkpoints are fixed, route is wherever you fancy. Make sure you navigate well. For instance, from Sheldon to A6 crossing, you can go a long (recommended) route NW to Deep Dale, then follow the valley or you can head north and then have climb down what is virtually a cliff to reach the A6.
Conditions on the day were worse than last year, with drizzle interspersed with showers and a strong headwind on the exposed part of the early sections. The climbs and descents were rocky and because it was wet limestone, it was very slippy. My time was 6:51, so 20 minutes longer than last year, mostly due to the slippy conditions.
The running surface was 25% tarmac, 25% rocks, 25% grass and 25% shit. There was shit everywhere from mile 8 to mile 22. Lots of sheepshit, but mostly cowshit. And not just easily avoided cowpats, this was “done whilst walking, tail flicked, far as the eye could see, no way you can avoid running through it” cowshit. Definitely not a course to go barefoot on!
Still to be recommended for the views, though, and the pie and peas at the end is a great reward…
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