On an Icy -6C Lancashire morning, under a clear night sky I put on two pairs of gloves and set off from Whalley on this adventure. First to tackle was the largest climb on the route of Pendle Hill, the area I know best on this route so ideal to cover in darkness. Watching every step as a slip on the ice would likely end my run.
Passing through Downham a good opportunity to use the public toilets remove my headtorch and onwards to Gisburn and a perfectly timed stop at a cafe for a sausage butty and cappuccino to enjoy as I walked on to Bolton by Bowland.
The ground was frozen hard and I was anxious that through the fields in the hoof prints, I could easily trip and roll an ankle.
Through Gisburn forest I popped into the cafe for another coffee and a chocolate biscuit, my hydration pack and nutrition had all frozen by the time I'd descended Pendle.
Through Dunsop bridge, the geographical centre of the United Kingdom, there is a nice cafe here but my pack had defrosted so tried to use what I had to reduce carrying weight.
On to Chipping where I did get a cup of tea and took the chance to add warmer items back on as out into darkness and heading up a steep long climb to Longridge fell another section I know well and comfortable there in the dark.
Achingly close to home I turned in the opposite direction to Mellor and a grueling slog through the fields which with hours of trampling on the frozen ground felt like walking on Lego barefoot.
Grinding the final leg back to Whalley where I went to school was a lively atmosphere as on a Saturday night many people were coming out of the pubs, and surprised to see me running down the main street. All in all a very tough day on the legs and my focus on maintaining body temperature and nutrition whilst staying cautious not to injure myself and not complete the route.