Most of the last year has been spent ‘ticking over’ with no winter race planed in 2018 there was no big training push through the autumn and, in fact, we spent the first part of our autumn training season having a fantastic relaxing holiday in Mauritius! I did once again take part in the Equinox 24 in September 2017, once again with the aim of running 100k which I completed by 4am.
In both November and January we had long weekend breaks in Yorkshire – the first in a motorhome, which was successful despite the frosty weather! The second was in a cottage which was perfect for us with the dog – having a very wet start to the break made us realise how difficult and uncomfortable a small motorhome would be in such wet conditions, so despite a good trial we decided to stick with cottage breaks for now! Both of these trips provided some great walks and we noted the second cottage as being ideal for winter race training and have booked a break there in November 2018 for that purpose.
In March 2018 I once again took part in the Four Inns – the team from last year got back together having been running together many times since last years race. It was an eventful start to the event as we managed to miss the start altogether – we were turned around by roadworks and the alternative route took us so far round that when we arrived all the other teams had left. Luckily, we were allowed to start late, and we soon started to catch up with and overtake the slower teams. For the first time in a number of years I wasn’t nauseous or vomiting over Bleaklow, which was a bonus! I even managed to enjoy a hot-dog at the Doctors Gate checkpoint… where, rather embarrassingly, they remembered me throwing up the year before. It was a slow one this year taking almost an hour longer than the previous, but we made it to the end in good spirits and had another great day out.
While training for and taking part in the 4 Inns, the three of us decided we would like to have a go at the Lyke Wake Walk – a 41mile route across the North Yorkshire Moors to the coast. Unfortunately, we were not able to do it the weekend that the official run was organised in July, so instead, the three of us set out to do it in June, with Edwina’s partner Jon as our support and check points. We loaded up the boot of the car with a variety of food and drinks to tuck in to each checkpoint and set out early in the morning. We were extremely lucky with the weather and we had another great day out, finishing at the Lyke Wake stone at the coast where Jon met us with Prosecco and glasses to celebrate our finish – Wendy had been wanting to do the LLW for 40 years, so it really was worth celebrating!
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!