Another brick in The Wall
Jamie Harding has added to the reports on The Wall, the 70ish mile ultra from Carlisle to Newcastle last weekend:
Heroes of The Wall
Although there have already been reports from Nina and Richard on the Wall race, I just wanted to reiterate how many heroes there were offering support along the way. They included:
• Marie and Richard, who drove us all over to Carlisle the night before the race, fed us magnificently and accommodated me in their cottage.
• Richard, who spent all day on Saturday – from a very early morning to a very late night – providing constantly cheerful practical support and encouragement to all of us who were running. What can be said about this man that hasn’t been said before – except that he bears no resemblance to any character in popular medical drama?
• The couple (not known to us) who ran either side of Nina in the early part of the race and entertained with a mighty domestic argument: “Well, go on ahead then if you want to!”
• Julie Cross, who cycled all the way out to Riding Mill to provide some much needed support at the huge climb after leaving the checkpoint.
• My Claremont vest, which made me new friends along the way. At one point I met two parkrun directors who asked if I ran with Sumanth. And when someone asked me if I knew Mungai …
• My fitbit: I had decided to leave this just showing the time after hearing reports of frustrations among runners who found that the organisers’ mileage signs did not match their own measurements. But it refused to be bowed and, when I accidentally knocked it as I approached the Hexham checkpoint, it told me that I had done just over 78,000 steps. This reassured me that it had been an active day and I could sit down for a few minutes.
• Monty Python’s Flying Circus, whose Ministry of Silly Walks sketch provided the model for many of us to follow as we struggled to get moving again after the later checkpoints.
• Lucy the Labrador, who made a great attempt to disguise herself as a runner in order to access the refreshments at the Newburn checkpoint.
• My tracker, which provided great entertainment to people waiting at the finish by showing me running down from Scotswood Road to the Quayside, forgetting to turn left at the car park and absent mindedly running into the Tyne.
• Simon Lowe, who had been waiting in a pub on the Quayside and emerged to run the last half mile with me to the Millennium Bridge, typifying the brilliant support that had been provided from Friday afternoon to after dark on Saturday.