While out on a damp run one evening Edwina and I decided we needed a challenge, we came up initially with the Limestone Way – something I had walked with my parents as a teenager and fancied doing again – then this evolved in to the Limey Way, the John Merrill version which takes you right down in to each of the 20 dales.
Jon volunteered to support us, dropping off, setting up checkpoints and picking up at the end, all we needed was a date. I sent Edwina all the dates I was available for the next 10 weeks and there was only one that matched hers and Jons availability… so we would do the run in two weeks time!
Our biggest concern was that being early August, the weather would be too warm for us, neither of us do well in warm weather. On the day we were lucky, it was about as warm as we could manage, but it was overcast almost all day which although humid meant we could keep moving.
The route itself was really lovely and very mixed a lot of the dales were very hard and slow going – a lot of either broken limestone or big limestone boulders all of which were hard, uneven and very slippery. Some of the dales were damp and mossy with woodland, others were light and airy with hillside meadows, everyone had its own character.
We did well manage to stay on our feet until just before half way when Edwina fell on the rocks, grazing, cutting and bruising her leg and elbow. After washing it down in the river (using a good old multi-purpose Buff!), we continued to the half way checkpoint, where we were greeted with a tea pot on the back shelf of the car and Jon pouring us each a mug! Edwina pushed on despite injuries and we made it to the next checkpoint… only one more to go, we can’t stop now!
On we went and eventually, exhausted and with sore feet we made it Dovedale… the last of the dales, only three miles to go! It was a long three miles and the route finished with one last push up the hill and round the base of Thorpe Cloud – Jon cheering us on from further up the hill as we headed for the end.
A fantastic day out and as it turned out 2019 is the 50th Anniversary of the Limey Way, so we sent our details off to John Merrill and received a certificate and badge acknowledging our efforts – an unexpected bonus!
Marianne Heading discovered winter endurance racing in 2007, while working as a volunteer for the Yukon Arctic Ultra. This experience inspired her to take up running and go back to the Yukon as a competitor. Since 2007 she has been back to the YAU multiple times, completing both the 100 and 300mile races, in 2011 she became the first European female to complete the 300mile YAU and in 2019 won the 300mile MYUA. Events are not a very regular feature, but other races include the Semi-Raid Reunion, Roveaneimi150, ITI350, Karwendelmarsch and closer to home the Four Inns, the Druids Challenge, Equinox24, run to the castle, Hardmoors55. Being outdoors and enjoying the countryside and wildlife are a higher priority than being fast... luckily! Training runs and walks are often prolonged by a break to watch wildlife and take in the surroundings!