The Yorkshire Dales has to be one of my most favourite places on the planet. You can never appreciate how many shades of green are possible until you see a picturesque Dales landscape on a sunny day. The turbulence of the weather makes it all the more wild and remote.
Today my destination was Buckden- a tiny village on the cusp of the hills that the Tour de France graced 2 years ago. Katie, Autumn and I drove up from Bristol for a wedding weekend out in the sticks and the girls dumped me out of the car in Cracoe. The first 5km were very forgettable running on a busy A-road, hopping up and down the verge as lorries from the local mine stormed past me. Crossing East over the river into Grassington and then back north I skipped through a farmer’s field on the Wharfdale Way. A stunning path that skirts the River Wharf upstream towards the source. In 10km of running I saw more wild horses than I did people. Seeing convoys of cars on the opposite side of the road it felt like I’d found a secret road all to myself. Having done 2 carb loading days (fed to run on Wednesday but didn’t) this week I had no shortage of energy passing through Kettlewell into the last 6km- the only thing slowing me down was a farmers gate every 100m or so- not conducive to a fast finish! I’ve walked this stretch of the Dales many times and it was an absolute pleasure to finish up and take a lonesome short stroll and finish in Buckden just in time for the Cragg’s wedding pre-wedding reception.