Sunday, July 05, 2015

The Saunders Supremacy...

The road trip 'oop north' started well - we left on time but then it started to go a little wonky half way up the M6 as we crawled along at a snails pace for mile after mile - it wasn't a good omen. We did finally make base camp though and Neil, Paul and myself were in good spirits as we stood back to admire our marvellous erections - the tents, you grubby lot. I was almost looking forward to the two days of running around the Coniston area of the Lake District - I did say almost. The rest of the gang, Vanessa, Matthew, Esther, Andy C turned up and apparently Andy and Gill were already there - but chose the executive campsite over slumming it with the hoi polloi...

Anyway, we needn't have set the alarm clocks for Saturday morning as we were awoken to a most massive thunder storm - the tent held up though. Luckily the rains stopped before we needed to head out and with breakfast cooked and consumed we made our way to the start. It was from there things went a little wrong....

We had somewhat of a navigation failure on the way to control one and lost many minutes but we soon worked out what we'd done, relocated and soon found it - but not before meeting Andy and Steve. They left us in their wake on the way to control two but neither them nor us achieved success in finding it quickly - although I blame the map - and that's my last word on the matter. After having finally found the right stream and the associated bend with the control marker we headed down and across to control three - which we equally poorly failed to find quickly but eventually did.

From there things picked up as we absolutely nailed control four and five - I won't mention that they were part of the mandatory crossing point... Seriously though, from there we didn't really make any more mistakes and finished in just over six hours and good spirits, At the end of day 1 we were sitting at 23rd overall (of 52ish) and 6th vet team - better than we expected bearing in mind our rather less than good start...

We pitched our tent and successfully cooked dinner and a brew - nothing wrong there. Chatting with the rest of the gang we awaited the arrival of the late finishers. It was from the moment Matthew arrived that it all started to unravel... I suddenly came over nauseous. I'm only joking about any connection between my feeling sick and Matthews arrival. But I did feel seriously nauseous and although I wasn't actually sick I couldn't even consider the cheese and biscuits. In fact I felt so off I just climbed into the tent in the hope I'd feel better - it didn't work - and I didn't sleep much that night either, as my stomach rumbled and bubbled like the witches cauldron from 'The Scottish Play'.

In the morning, determined not to retire, Neil and I prepared for the day ahead - although I wasn't feeling much better. I managed the cheese and biscuits from the night before and some water but couldn't manage anything further - not a good sign of things to come...

And to debunk those unfounded rumours circulating on the internet that The Un-dynamic Duo of Neil and I retired after Day 1, NO WE DIDN'T. We started day 2 and made an okay start. We reached control one in a reasonable time but I was struggling and shortly after I threw up. We carried on and headed to control two. I tried to stay hydrated but even sipping the drink made me feel nauseous.

We navigated to control two - or rather Neil did and I just tried to follow as best I could but I knew at that point I couldn't make it. We sat down at control two for a couple of minutes and I ate a gel but that made me heave and without being able to get the fuel in I was in trouble. There's a time to dig deep and there's a time not to die... so we took the decision to head home. We had a decent escape route back to the road. Had we attempted to get to control three it would have been a much more difficult task to extract myself off the hill.

Glad to be back home now and feeling much better but still a little off. Hopefully a good night's sleep will see me sorted... The worst part of the whole weekend was that I wasn't able to drink my pre-ordered can of Scrumpy Jack at the half way camp - see, I told you I was ill.