The Limestone Way Ultra was the first ultra race I saw that REALLY excited me!
Going from start to finish of a trail, wow, now that’s cool!
However at 43 miles with a max cut off time of 10 hours 30 minutes I don’t think it’s quite in my reach yet.
Ash suggested we go and see the race in 2019 but unfortunately we were busy, and another idea was to recce parts of it.
I think walking is a great way to spend time with people, it’s just you and them and the great outdoors, going on a bit of an adventure.
So I dragged Beth and Zebby out for 9.5 miles of the first part of the Limestone Way. Luckily we were able to go in two cars so we could leave one car at each end and avoid doing an out and back course.
You’d be forgiven for assuming routes such as the Limestone Way are well paved, easy to follow footpaths, but actually they’re just routes across fields like any other footpath, this one just happens to be named the Limestone Way for it’s limestone scenery along the way and because it’s a Long Distance Footpath.
We went from bottom to top, starting in Staffordshire outside of the Peak District. I’ll be honest the first part isn’t that exciting, it weaves through a bit of housing estate before going across farm fields. There’s a really nice section that follows the River Dove, then you pass through a small village and onto more fields. It does get prettier as you go along, and the peace and quiet it lovely.
As you’ll have noticed there’s been a fair bit of rain in the last couple of months… so the fields were a little wet, and wet fields plus excited spaniel did mean I fell on my bum a few times. It was also drizzling a fair amount that day, but the damp weather didn’t stop us and as they say… there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.
Part 2 was a nicer day and a nicer route. Now we were in to the proper Peak District.
A bright, crisp cold day. The views for a lot of the walk were fantastic and we passed through some gorgeous, quaint little places.
Only 17 miles covered in 2 days, sure we were taking it easy but it did make me realise that running 43 miles across farm fields in one day is quite a task! Especially in October.
However I certainly live in the best place to train for it.
I feel like I avoided running across the fields a lot last summer, perhaps because I like to run with the dogs and negotiating styles, cows and electric fences with them in tow isn’t very easy, however as my training plan progresses at the moment I’m finding it easier to get out there and do the majority of my running without the dogs, and then just make sure I have time to walk them as well that day.
I did a lovely 5 mile loop walk from the farm the other day that would make a great training run once it’s a little lighter and a little drier.