Hadrian's Wall 2013

One for wall, and wall for one...

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23/03/2013 at 20:18

Gutted - should have been running the Ironbridge Half tomorrow but with the snow 8-12 inches deep here in Telford there's no chance and it's been cancelled. I was going to run it as a Guinness witness for a local Firefighter who was going for the world record for fastest half in Firefighter Uniform, so even more gutted for him.  Fingers crossed the weather will be better in Paris on the 7th April.

Had a great 23 mile LSR in Windsor last weekend. Having dropped my daughter off at Royal Holloway for a Uni open day I headed off for I nice route through the Great Park and decided to head over to Dorney to check out the Olympic Rowing Lake. When I got there there was a bloody Triathlon going on so I cheekily snuck in with the runners to do a lap of the lake (about 3 miles!) before heading back to Windsor.  Didn't get challenged by any of the marshals and even had my photo taken by the race photographer!

23/03/2013 at 21:20

Richard L - am lovin the idea that LSRs become an adventure rather than just getting the miles in and your 23 miler was certainly an adventure - what a great experience

24/03/2013 at 06:29

Well even the hardened Rivington runners cancelled late last night, deep drifts prevented any vehicles getting o the higher sections so no access for emergency means no race. Got to plod the road today then instead

24/03/2013 at 12:52

Connor - I'm in for Edinburgh as well

Waccyracer - how'd you get on? Looked rough.

EKGO - sorry to hear, that's a shame for you, especially as you'll have built up to it over the past few weeks.

Richard - how'd you get involved in Guinness thing? It just a one-off or have you done if for them a few times? Sounds interesting

BTW, for anyone travelling to Carlisle by train, you're now able to buy tickets.

24/03/2013 at 14:19

Weedy - Guinness accept the corroborated testimony of witnesses from an approved list of professions if they haven't sent an official of their own. The conditions and rules are pretty stringent, but as a Police Officer I was elligable to act as a professional witness.  Would have had to run with him the whole time and confirm that he didn't have any help or removed items of uniform etc, but hopefully they will reschedule the race in the next week or so.

Oscarr - I agree, the LSR should be treated as an adventure and I love 'em!  That run around Windsor was awesome, especially through the Great Park and the Crown Estate (no public cars allowed). I came across this magnificant stag just a few feet off the track, but he didn't bat an eyelid when I went past. Shame the iphone lens was so steamed up!




Edited: 24/03/2013 at 14:20
24/03/2013 at 14:29

Richard - great photo - just got back from 3.5 hr LSR and normally i would have carried food and water from the start but just stuck a tenner in my pocket and stopped for a danish pastry half way round at a cafe outlet, not a match on yours but its a start to get a bit more adventurous - will plan more as the runs get longer

24/03/2013 at 18:12

Loving the new approach to LSRs - does it count that I snuck a creme egg in my pocket for half way round? Enjoyed it even more than ususal - and that's saying something!

24/03/2013 at 18:42
My 8 mile adventure this morning...half way I come to a sign that say "road closed ice" after a brief moment of hesitation I carry on...after all I have my trusty trail shoes on. The paths are drifted above the stone walls so I run on the road which is very slushy and icy in places. I pass abandoned cars buried under snow and keep going up the hill. On the steepest incline I find the drifts on either side are above head height and the channel between is the width of a snow plough...then I hear a car coming down the hill...nowhere for me to go so I just have to stop and flatten myself to side and hope the driver doesn't try and brake on the icy road. Eek.

On plus side it was a lovely morning and the views from the top were lovely and I took some great pics on my phone.

40miles run this week...a lifetime record. Hurray!!!
24/03/2013 at 19:05

Weedy sometimes it happens, it was a late cancellation so they obviously did their best to run it, I went out intending to do 11 run and 11 biking, but did 11 @ 9 mins then thought better about the bike so went home for more breakfast. Really cold day in North West

24/03/2013 at 20:15
Sounds like you are all having fun up north no snow down in the west country just cold and muddy hit 62 miles this week now taper down this week .still loving the peanut butter sandwiches Saturday on a 24mile run.10 this morning ..keep up the good work.great run Richard you didn't fancy a swim then...
25/03/2013 at 13:55

I guess we've been 'lucky' to have low snow here in Essex; the biting wind did make the eyes water on Saturday. Random thoughts of swimming goggles appeared! LSR was tough, and had enough at 16. The LSR is providing a lot of smiles here as we all read the suggestions and snack attacks. When will it be warm again?

25/03/2013 at 15:09

Bank holiday weekend looming.

I know travel can be a bit hit and miss over the Easter period but does anyone fancy meeting this coming Friday for a recce run for part of the route?

My missus has the day mapped out taking the little one with her so i've pretty much got the full day to run.

I'll hold my hands up now and say i'm useless at where we'd start from and finish as my navigation skills aren't the best but anyone up for a bit of a Good Friday LSR???

25/03/2013 at 22:28

Richard - great pic. Hope the guy gets the record. What's it stand at? Is he allowed to wear running shoes or does he have to wear the fire boots? Don't fancy the idea of 13 miles clomping along in those.

Gramck - I'm at work on Friday, otherwise I'd have maybe joined. I've done the rest of the route, but was waiting till they sort the pictures problem to post the stuff. Seeing as you're having a look along, I'll post the two reports now without the pictures, and at least you can have a look and get an idea so you can pick which section you fancy trying. If anyone has a flickr account or something similar, I can maybe email them the pictures and you can all go there and view them.

Corbridge to Ovingham
Corbridge elevation 135ft
Ovingham elevation 54ft
Distance 7.17 miles
Elevation gain 565ft

Straight-forward section this one, all on roads and/or pavements.

In Corbridge, there's a Shell garage we run past (see last picture from my previous report). We want to be on the garage side of the road, as there's a pavement on that side going out of town, so cross over as soon as you're able.

We follow the B6530 out of town, going up a gentle slope. Just out of town, there's a section where the pavement narrows to maybe half a foot wide with a bit of a slope from the wall to the road, so I found it easier running on the road.

Towards the top of the hill, the pavement ends, and we're forced onto the road, which is quite busy, although visibility's good, the road's wide and there's a grass strip alongside we can jump onto if need be.

At the top, there's a minor road to the right signposted Bywell and Styford. Take that road. It's a minor road, going gradually downhill, with some scenic views.

Along there, there's a bridge overhead that carries the A68, then soon after we meet up with the River Tyne again.

We veer away from the river soon after, and go through Bywell Park - a nice flat section past fields where there's horse jumps set up. Looks like they might hold fairly big horsejumping events there as there's a few of them and they're fairly permanent.

Off to the right, there's Bywell, then we come to crossroads, where we go over and meet back up with the river.

Alongside the river for a bit, on a flat minor road, then when you see a static caravan on the left at a bend in the river, there's a short, sharp hill to climb. There's a blind bend to the right half way up, so I'd keep your ipods off.

We quickly hit a junction, turning right on the road into Ovingham. Again, there's a couple of blind bends, with no verge to jump onto. There was maybe a car every 30 seconds or so. It's a gentle downhill all the way into Ovingham.

25/03/2013 at 22:31

Ovingham to Newcastle
Ovingham elevation 54ft
Newcastle elevation 9ft (Suspect my Garmin's accuracy is off)
Distance 12.95 miles
Elevation gain 687ft

99 per cent tarmac this bit, and fairly downhill. The middle bit's not the most scenic, but the start and finish are nice. No glimpses of the wall on this bit.

Just after the pub seen on the last picture from the last report, there's a short uphill bit where there's no pavement and a blind corner. Turn right at the top of the hill and head on a short downhill bit till to cross the river over a pedestrian bridge running alongside a road bridge. Over the other side of the bridge, cross the road and head right down into a car park at the Tyne Riverside Country Park. There's a little cafe in the car park, but I couldn't see any signs for toilets. We head under the bridge we've just crossed and follow our noses along the tarmac path through the park. It's partly wooded and partly open grassland, where I found a few horses.

The path follows the river and after about a mile, there's a big bend in the river we swing round. Just after that, the path goes up a short fairly steep hill to some houses on the left. Just after those houses, the path divides. Turn left past some more houses, then a short downhill bit to a pedestrian bridge that I'm guessing used to carry two rail lines.

Back on a tarmac path, really flat this section, following your nose through Wylam (where I think there's a couple of shops and pubs just to the right off the run route), then along to a cottage on the left where George Stephenson used to live. It's a National Trust place now, and there's a cafe in there. Keep following your nose past a golf course on the left, then rugby pitches on the left. At the rugby pitches we join back up with the official Hadrian's Wall walk route and follow that all the way to the finish, so if you aren't sure of where to go, keep an eye out for the white acorn signs and follow those. Keep going straight till you see a row of houses on the right at right angles to the path, maybe 100 metres away. Turn down the path that runs past the houses, then when you get past them, bear left and follow the river.

We come to Newburn Country Park next, where there's a playground and a visitor centre with toilets. In the summer, there's usually an ice cream van parked up somewhere there. Follow the path round the car park and over a little wooden pedestrian bridge, sharp right, then sharp left past some football pitches on the left and along past Tyne Rowing Club. There should be a load of rowers out on the river. Just after that there's a pub on the left, then it's straight ahead over a road and back on the track.

The next couple of miles aren't very scenic. We run past a run-down industrial area, using a bridleway, then past houses and shops. There' a bit of graffiti and litter and stuff. Keep an eye out on the left for a building about the size of a small leisure centre. It's Lemington Resource Centre, where there's a cafe and toilets. The path comes out at a main road, with houses over the road, and I suspect this is where some people were getting lost last year as the signs aren't great.

Turn right down the hill, cross over the road, then just where the road bends to the right, there's a footpath that goes left up a fairly steep hill through an open grass area. Follow that path up the hill and you'll come to a pedestrian bridge that crosses the A1. Over the bridge, we turn right and follow the path past some football pitches on the right, then it ends at a main road, with houses over the road. Again, this might be where people were getting lost last year. Turn right down the hill and cross the road as soon as you can. We come to a roundabout where there's a silver statue of a man leading a donkey with two kids on its back. Turn left th

25/03/2013 at 22:31

...donkey with two kids on its back. Turn left there and head along a short road that ends at an industrial compound. Turn right just before that, then left and back onto a bridleyway.

Follow that bridleway for half a mile or so till it brings you out at a fairly big road. You can cross the road straight away or run on for 100 metres or so and cross at some lights. Follow the road on a nice wide pavement till you come to a crossroads with two car dealerships, Honda on the left and Audi on the right. Turn right at the crossroads and follow that to the left down a gentle slope. Maybe 50 metres or so along there, take a path that cuts off to the right down to the river. From here, it's nice and scenic, running next to the river all the way to the finish. It starts off block paving, then turns into paving stones.

When you see a big bridge over the Tyne, you're nearly finished. Keep running past all the bridges till you get to the last one - the MIllennium Bridge (the curved white one). The bridge tilts to allow boats to pass underneath, altho they're few and far between. Each day they tilt it once for the tourists whether there's a boat or not. On Sat Jun 22, they're tilting it at 7.35pm and on Sun, Jun 23 at 12.05pm. During the tilt, the bridge is closed for about 15 minutes, so I guess it will only affect the very, very quick one-day runners.

Might be worth checking here nearer the time though in case they change the schedule


The bridge deck is split in two. The right side is tarmac and much easier to run on than the left, which is slats that have a bit of bounce and wobble in them.

And the finish is just at the end of the bridge.

26/03/2013 at 14:13
RunningRaRa wrote (see)
40miles run this week...a lifetime record. Hurray!!!

Well done RaRa. I think doing a 40 mile week is a real training milestone. Its amazing what your body can learn to put up with.

26/03/2013 at 15:01

Weedy - great job with the route reports - i think i remember somewhere a while ago reading a report from last year's race about some race direction signs being turned the wrong way round by kids somewhere in the last section - does that seem likely to you for this year or do you think the organisers will be on top of it??

26/03/2013 at 15:43

The last section in 2012 was a nightmare, I was doing it from 1:30am onwards, I was tired and disorientated but it was a bad section for me. I'm too far away fro a recce but I will go and re-run the last 8 miles just to set my mind at ease. 

28/03/2013 at 11:42

Hi all, apologies if this has been covered but can anyone recommend a comfortable and appropriate size pack/bladder for the event? Any pointers much appreciated. Cheers

28/03/2013 at 13:45

Hi Keith

Some of us have the 0MM 10L, someone else has the 15L (http://www.theomm.com/products/packs)

I'm sticking with 10L - can easily get all the mandatory kit and more in it

Edited: 28/03/2013 at 13:50
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