Prior to the EDG Trail Running Division Odyssey Training Program (EDGTRDOTP). John set out on his own trip.
Yes I know it’s not chronological, but if Star Wars can balls around with a time line, or if Lord of the Rings can, then so can EDG! Here then, is John’s prologue:
In 2016 I remember Scott saying to me after a race that Trail Running was definitely the way forward, our experience to this point had been Harewood House Half the year before and a slight off-road section at Bishop Wilton. I wholeheartedly agreed then stuck to tarmac for the next 6 months. However I was still determined to do this so booked some seriously tough races for 2017 and purchased some Salomon shoes, Inov8 rucksack (with plenty of pockets and hydration) and a “pack a mac” to go in said rucksack, before long I had gloves, hat and buff too. I was ready.
One Saturday in February I had planned a flat 14 mile run sticking to the routes I knew best, then the light-bulb moment. Sarah was at boot-camp and the plan was to leave upon her return, I had half an hour to kill so thought fuck it I’m going to plan a route and I’m off to the Wolds. The rucksack was packed, hydration pouches full, circular route around Fridaythorpe with a detour to Thixendale planned and printed off, what could go wrong.
You’ve got your new shoes are you sure you won’t get a blister? I’ll be fine. Do you know where you’re going? Yep I’ve got a map. I drove to Fridaythorpe, excited and confident. Parked up, put on my rucksack used the pockets for phone, keys etc, put on my trail shoes, glanced at the map and set off, looking the part I may add.
Climbed out of the village on a steady 800m then hit the first valley, what a view, why had I not done this before, set off downhill then up a hill which answered my question why I hadn’t done this before! The grass turned into a gravelled road and wheezing and dying I conquered the hill and began to have a sneaky walk, but no! Dog walkers ahead, I could not be seen to be walking so started running again, still climbing, then another view made it worthwhile, a left turn towards Thixendale and back then to pick up the public footpath that went off the Wolds Way but would be my circular route.
I made it back to this point but could now feel a blister beginning, I took off my shoe, waggled my foot around and put the shoe back on, which as I realised later didn’t help, I set off through a valley and was faced with a left or right decision, I went left, I went wrong. I ended up back on the A166 but felt I could cross the road and pick up the path a few fields on. Right? No I missed it, and ended up off my own map, by now it was foggy and raining, time for hat and jacket. At least I had that bit right.
With what now was a surgery requiring blister I set off to pick up the Wolds Way as I had seen a sign about a mile before, thinking, stay on the Way it’ll take me straight back to the car, Right? Wrong, a baffoon like me when faced with a left or right decision choose left and then whilst only 400yards from my car was heading off with my back to the car to add a further 2 miles.
Eventually I made it to the finish, a planned 9 mile turned out to be 15, but, that was it I’d got the trail running bug but needed plaster.