Keswick To Barrow Walk

Name of walk Keswick To Barrow Walk
Date of walk 2013-05-11
Distance walked (miles) 40
Duration of walk 12 hours 53 minutes
Weather Rained for over 7 hours
Peaks on walk Kirkby Moor

I had to be up at 3am in order to catch the bus from Walney to Keswick. We got there at 5.30am just after the elite runners had set off.
The queue for the loo’s took 25 minutes, so I started at 5.58am. There were well over 3000 people registered to take part, the biggest number for 47 years.
We each had an electronic tag which would be scanned at each checkpoint, so the organisers and your team leader knew where you were.


The route, checkpoints and facilities for the K2B and C2B walks…..



It was raining from the start, so I was in full waterproofs. Others were in shorts and T-shirts.....mad! They would pay for it later! Thirlmere......



Wythburn Valley....



Top of Dunmail Raise....


Heading down to Grasmere. I met our support car at Grasmere and team leaders Liz and Ian. They made me a hot cup of tea, and I borrowed Liz's anti-friction wax for the balls of my feet. I had used Vaseline for my toes, but this was slightly thicker and worked a treat!


Top of Red Bank heading down to Elterwater.......


The next section it was pouring down, cold and windy. I stored the camera in my rucksack (Ged's old camera actually). After 5 hours of constant rain, the last six inches of my sleeves had ceased to be waterproof and my hands were freezing. I didn't want to wear gloves as they would just act as a wick to the water. I wanted dry gloves for the potentially exposed route over Kirkby Moor. Others suffering from the cold were wrapped in foil and many were dropping out from the combination of wet and cold. In 2009 the Coastguard rescued many people on top of Kirkby Moor suffering from hypothermia. On the route to Monk Coniston the weather changed to a drizzle so I could retrieve the camera....


Then I had to return it back to my ruck sack as it was raining again. At the lunch stop at Machells Coppice (20 miles) it threw it down. I met one of the new, young science teachers from Dowdales, he had had enough and gave up at this point. The facilities were excellent and drinks on route are free, as was lunch. I chose a sandwich as the queue for the burger bar was way too long! I only stopped for about ten minutes. Towards Water Park the sun came out and I started to dry off. It was great to warm up too! I stopped on the wall along the lake to change my wet socks for dry ones (I had waterproofed my walking trainers twice, but 7 hrs and 20 mins of rain, was asking a lot of them), within seconds I was approached by a police motorcyclist asking if I required assistance. All the emergency services, plus Coastguard and Mountain Rescue vehicles were forever going up and down looking for casualties. First Aid post were every few miles, and St. John's Ambulance were on bicycles too.


12Furthest I've walked!


I stopped at Lowick at the HEFF team support car to change both socks and trainers for the climb up to Kirkby Moor. It then hailed! New, dry footwear spurred me on. Kirkby Moor looks lovely, but there was a cold wind.




Coniston Water now comes into view as I reach the top of the moor......


On reaching the reservoirs it is then all downhill into Marton. I did not stop again and took no more route photos. I did overtake a soldier wearing full kit on his way into Dalton....I must be fitter than I think! I gave Brendan a ring, he would meet me on the route down Abbey Road back to Hawcoat Park. No way am I walking home!


The kind people of Barrow and Dalton are out in force clapping you as you go past, beeping their car horns. I even pass a group of Dowdales students coming in the other direction "Well done, Miss, you're nearly there!" Then when you reach the Sports Club you have to go past the clapping crowds behind the barriers that line the finishing straight to the finish checkpoint.......embarrassing! You hand in your electronic tag, receive your medal and they print you out your times:


Under 13hrs, not bad for an old girl with a dodgy knee! You get two free drink tickets and pie and peas is on offer, but I'm not remotely hungry. We join everyone else in watching the final minutes of the FA Cup Final on the big screen, it was 0-0, but I got to see both the sending off and Wigan's winning goal. So I never missed out on my dose of footy! Me with my medal!

Apparently going by what is being said on Facebook many dropped out, the most they have ever had! The weather would account for many, that and 40 miles being a hell of a long way!
I doubt I’ll ever be doing it again. The K2B is one of those “things to do before you die”, not to keep repeating until you do!

The 240mg of codeine I took throughout the day helped enormously, so I`d like to thank my dealer. Dealer? I mean DOCTOR! Unfortunately I was up to my limit by 8pm and my knee continued to throb for hours after, I ended up watching rubbish on the telly until gone midnight as there was no point in going to bed! I had to use ice packs and hot water bottles instead.

I’m aching a bit to day, but not too bad!

Thanks again to all those who sponsored me, I made £243 for the Hospital Equipment Fund for Furness.