With closure of day one, i settled into a nice warm slumber, i opted for just using my down quilt and synthetic jacket, i was lovely and toasty but had to adjust the back on occasion to stop the draft blowing in.
I was rudely awoken around 12am to a roaring wind and rain, it’s funny how the weather always seems worse from inside a tent, but I will assume that there was some hail mixed with the rain given the force with which it hit the tent sides.
I dozed on and off until around 3am, where I just couldn’t get back off to sleep, i pulled myself from my warm bed and bundled all my gear, tent included into the warmth of the shower/toilet block. I hung my tent over the shower area, the rain that had fallen in the night had frozen solid creating large icicles which melted quickly. It was as i changed my socks that i noticed the heat was coming from under the floor, i didn’t really want to move and made the most of the 2hrs i spent sat there. With no stove, my birthday breakfast consisted of water and a mixed fruit and dark chocolate mix i made, ill be honest i did consider sleeping inside this block during the night as it was so warm but that was just a tad to hobo for me and Kerry had instructed me not to.
Before long i was packing up my gear, im sure that every time i put my bag down, fairies appear and load stones inside it, ive never seen them but i don’t know how else to explain the increased weight.
The air outside was cold, my face despite the beard was getting colder along with my lip, I pulled the buff over my face a little more and raised the collar of my jacket to try and keep in some warmth. I left the site in darkness, making sure that I didn’t wake anyone slumbering, i was even nice to the caravan that had his TV on loudly until the very very early hours.
The route plan was to head back onto the Angels Way and follow this into Great Yarmouth, given how bad the paths were yesterday I didn’t fancy running in the dark for 2 hours whilst trying to stay upright and opted instead for the roads heading firstly towards Burgh Castle and then onto Great Yarmouth, this proved to be a little trickier than first planed. The roads coated in the early morning wet and frost had frozen creating a surface that would of suited ice skates, i managed to slide/run my way along in the dark until i began to see the bright lights of the Great Yarmouth but found that its pavements were not so welcoming. I took a route through an industrial estate marvelling at the lovely looking closed cafes, initially i was running along pavements until it became clear that there was no grip and i was going to injure myself, so for the next 3 miles, i ran on/off the road, luckily being early Sunday morning there was very few people about.
Great Yarmouth came and went, the pavements remained dangerous as i walked gingerly down an underpass i unceremoniously fell on my butt, luckily just bruised ego as no one was there to witness my fall, i picked myself up and carried on along the bike lane as traffic passed me by. As i began leaving the town, i was thankful to find a garage with a drinks machine and happily purchased a hot chocolate and sandwich, I sat outside drinking my warming liquid when a man approached me, his accent appeared to be Eastern European, he stood before me and asked if i was ok, I replied happily i was and he then proceeded to try and buy me more drink and food, i can only assume from his questioning of my well being that he believed I was in fact homeless, he persisted to ask after my health and state that when he sees people in need he stops to help, lovely as the gesture and kindness was, he didn’t seem to get that i was out doing this for fun and thus confirmed my suspicion that I looked homeless.
I was very touched by this simple act, to know that there are people out there who would stop and render aid to those in need and so sir I thank you.
I left the roads and hit the Weavers way, luckily the paths were frozen solid at this point with a light but steady cold breeze blowing in along the calm waters, Chinese deer jumped from the undergrowth and headed off into fields, I took some more pictures and videos of the lovely area, the land here was flatter (if that was at all possible), navigation was easy and the going good, with a mixture of hard farm tracks and frozen fields.
The Weavers way stretched off into the distance, following the curves of the River Bure, now im fairly used to linear long stretches but this was just daft and I was finding the mental concentration lacking somewhat, Stokesy came and went with the rather large and extravagant houses and boats passed in a jealous envy. This side was busier with many walkers out early, boats meandered along some small some rather large and obviously expensive.
I stopped at regular points for a quick sit down and a bite to eat before pressing on, I approached Thurne wandering through the village and decided that I really didn’t have it in me to follow the river for much longer, I redirected along footpaths and stopped at a lovely church for a sit down and repair.
A few miles previous I had felt the familiar sting of what I thought was shin splints, my lower front ankle was begining to tighten up and a mild sharp pain was appearing, I know this feeling well and have suffered when running the Meriden events and linked it with to much road running. I applied extra strapping and set off again my point of destination being Potter Heigham where a cafe awaited.
I crossed a field between Abbey Farm and Hall Farm, the field being newly ploughed with a trodden path in the middle became a battle of stability, the frost melted and the mud had become nothing more than sticky, slippy and wet, i slid from left to right my walking poles deployed were the only thing keeping me upright at this point.
I rejoined the Weaver way at Reps and was quickly coming upon Potter Heigham, I spied the cafe and made an immediate beeline for its warmth, I had not eaten any thing solid since the garage at Great Yarmouth, i wandered in covered in mud from my feet to my knees and walked triumphantly past all the nice folk enjoying their Sunday lunch, I took a seat away from the main A road and awaited some rather lovely food.
Filled and renewed I set forth, eyed by well dressed folk and headed off along the nearby footpath, I crossed a field and was immediately stopped by a rather nasty barrier, the local cow population had kindly churned up the ground directly in front of the gate, testing with my poles i found that it was a bit of Russian roulette as the poles dispersed some foot to 2 foot into cold mud. I took a chance and jumped luckily avoiding much of the deep mud. The path returned to normality here, but i was rather angry at the next part, having run along the path for around a mile i noted that rather than the Broads council trying to join a 500metre section of path, they kindly redirected me back towards where i had just left. You can imaging the chuntering I did as i wandered back towards the main road.
I hopped onto the Yarmouth Road into Ludham, stopping at some public loos for a refill of my bottle, I spoke briefly to a local walker before bimbling along the road and cutting off down a farm track and away from the crazy A road, before long i was passing into Horning where i prepped for darkness, donning my waterproof jacket and head-torch, by now the pain in my ankle was growing sharper and it was getting worse.
I constantly checked my progress on the OS app but never seemed to get further than being repeatedly reminded that i had 4 miles left, Mountain Fuel jellies consumed i felt more energised and pushed on, luckily the road contained a pavement all the way to my finish point and when i came upon the sign for Wroxham a wave of joy overcame me, i did a solitary air punch and wandered the last few yards towards my hotel.
A regular feature of these events is the solo finish, only myself to pat on the back and say well done, but strangely i felt better for it, i felt that the miles were earned better and boyed by the event i checked in. A quick chat with the manager and i was into my room, freeze dried pasta and pudding were consumed with great pleasure, freshly showered and numerous cups of tea drank i was alseep by 7am.
I slept well that night and was awake again at 5:30am, ready to catch my train home, despite the ankle, my body felt ok, with only some minor aches i felt that if it wasn’t for the ankle i could carry on for more miles, this did surprise me that i was relatively ok, i hadn’t really trained and did wonder how one trains for ongoing runs.
The day was filled with eating and waiting for trains, I found that my ankle was actually issues to do with tight calf’s and not shin splints, the ache has reduced over the few days that i have been resting but still continues to play up if I run.
Onto park number 3,
As always im doing this for charity and hope that after reading this, you can spare a few pounds for the causes i am supporting.