32 mile challenge | The Ullswater Way and Helvellyn

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My biggest challenge to date | sunrise to sunset


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The Challenge

The challenge began from Patterdale and we were supposed to do the Ullswater Way anti-clockwise, but because non of us read that part we ended up doing it clockwise! I thought it was a great way to do it, although a few other groups said we did it the most difficult way around. Once we’d reached our starting point again, after 5 hours 45 minutes, we stopped, had a bite to eat, repacked our bags, changed our shoes and attempted the next part of the challenge.. Helvellyn.

The route itself is quite nice when you walk up the valley to Grisedale Tarn. It was a hot day, much hotter than was expected, so it was tough going. I found the uphill parts really hard so had to take those really steady. The first summit was Dolly Wagon, followed by High Crag, Nethermost Pike, then Helvellyn, Lower Man, White Side, (Raise but we missed that one as we dropped down a little earlier to the Glenridding Common), and back to Glenridding and along the road side to Patterdale.

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How I trained

I’d be lying if I said I ‘trained’ because I didn’t do much to prepare myself for this, besides from the odd run, long distance walk with a heavy bag and that’s about it. The week before the challenge my knee was quite sore, so when I was going to give it one last push I ended up resting at home and using Amy’s massage gun to help get rid of the ache in my knee. If I could go back in time, I would have been out most evenings running, adding an extra mile or two on to practise long distance but hey ho, the body is a wonderful thing – I did it regardless of the training but it would have been much easier with some practise!

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What I packed

Trying to work out what would be best when packing a bag for this challenge was difficult. The forecast originally was going to be over cast with the odd shower, so I had planned on having 2 bags, 1 for the Ullswater Way which would be light enough to run and another for Helvellyn which would carry a rain jacket, thermal base layer etc. However, the day before the forecast changed (thank the lord) and I ended up using the same bag for both parts of the challenge. Here’s a list of what I carried in my bag: Babybel, Cheesestring, Pepperami, beef jerky, Clif chocolate chip bar, orange juice (always crave this), dried banana chips, crystallised dried mango, yoghurts, apple soreen, energy gels, energy chew blocks, electrolyte chews, paracetamol, hayfever tablets, tissues, a Philadelphia sandwich and a camel back of cold water.

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