Back for the 9th time since 2001 (2001 was my first ever DNF), I've seen some improvements to this route over the years as it gets tarted up by the local council and disputed footpaths get reopened (and tarted up!) and the canals get cleaned up.
The weather started off the most damp and drab it's been since the move from December to October in 2009, but it could have been so much worse had it obeyed the forecast. It was very mild, the early dampness giving way to brightening skies as we followed the strip maps around the checkpoints at Grange Park (slightly relocated), Treeton, Harthill, Woodsets, Firbeck, Maltby and Old Denaby. As usual it became a rather lonely affair later on as I played hunter and hunted once again (catching others and trying not to get caught myself). It seemed to work again because 9:18 was only 5 minutes outside PB time. Once again I'd finished the Runfurther series on a high with my highest points. I love this event.
The loneliness of the later miles was partly eased by passing conversation with a couple of scallywags who were sitting near the dead-end canal just before the new footpath highway to the finish. They were intrigued who these people were who were trying to make haste towards Dearne Valley College. Mention of 50 miles around Rotherham back to the college drew disbelief and incredulity. Then one of the young scamps asked something like: "Do you get wood?". Eh? No, I'm not fast enough to get any trophies.
CP1 @ Grange Park.
CP2 @ Treeton.
One of the railway crossings.
Approaching Roche Abbey.
Approaching last checkpoint @ Old Denaby.
Jon Steele and David Cremins weren't far behind.
Runfurther flags hang out to dry on Sunday.