Coast to Coast 2018
If you’re a runner, especially an SRG runner, then you’re probably a cyclist too, but for definite you like your activities to be packed with fun, friends and laughter. So when four Darlington SRG runners took on the Coast to Coast from Whitehaven to Sunderland, it was always going to be done with a touch of the holiday spirit…..
Spread over three days of eating, drinking and some occasional cycling, we set off from Whitehaven on Friday morning. Travelling unsupported meant we had to carry everything we needed for three days. Basically running tops, shorts, pants and toothbrush, including of course bike spares like inner tubes, puncture kit etc – packing light is key.
Day one saw us leave the west coast and head out across the Lake District, some superb scenery and for a third year running we were blessed with great weather. We used our trusty guide book and the route is well sign posted, and after some laughs and groans and some sweaty hills we arrived in Keswick to rest and “rehydrate”, pausing for two hours before heading out again for Greystokes, the ancestral home of Tarzan.
We stay at The Boot and Shoe pub in Greystokes, comfortable, good food and beer and cycle friendly, double room £80 with a full breakfast. More “rehydrating” done here.
So, day 2 dawned and we were pleased to get off on our way – leaving Greystokes and heading towards Allenheads, taking in Penrith, Langwathby, Renwick and the dreaded Hartside pass with no cafe at the top. A quick breather before a high speed downhill dash to Alston and Nenthead.
As with all great downhills, there follows an uphill, this one being the stiff climb up to the highest point on the C2C at 906 metres. A good stop for sweets, photos and the long run into Allenheads, for more refreshments, food and sitting on cushions a lot.
The third and last day started with a long hard climb out of Allenheads up to the County Durham sign. This is the start of a four mile downhill no peddling race into Rookhope with its nice and very welcome little pub, then pushing on to Stanhope.
This heralds the start of Crawleyside Bank, a totally ridiculous hill that gets steadily steeper and seems to go on and on forever. Nightmare!
From here, it’s Waskerly Way all the way, a magic path, flat, straight and smooth where you don’t even have to pedal. Brilliant all the way to Consett. Time to indulge in some fast food!
Replenished with Mcfood it’s on to Sunderland and another two hour blast along great cycle paths and along the River Wear until you reach the sea. Chips and photos and lots of smiles an absolute must.
Three days, spent with great friends, great laughs and great scenery. It’s tough in places, there is smiling and swearing and each year we all learn a different lesson, like packing light, bike choice, sun cream and more.
Each year we do this it gets better. Yes, it can be done in a day, but three is more comfortable and holiday like. Plus you get the odd Stella reward.
We are all SRG Up and Running members and our Monday training sessions have really helped with overall fitness this year and our yellow shirts certainly kept the bugs off everyone else.
Can’t wait for next year.
Simon, Andy, Maria and Alyson – Darlington SRG