The Alternative Marathon

Posted by Dave Thompson on 2016-08-03

The Alternative Marathon


LOCATION :-                 Reeth Village Green 10:00 Sunday July 24 2016

MISSION :-           Ride as near as possible The SOC Marathon route

TEAM :-         Aaron (my grandson), Alex, Jen, John, Neil & Yvette


The weather forecast promised dry weather until about 15:00, the question was would we finish before this arrived.

However a more important question arose, would we finish before the DBC cafe closed, read on to find out.

We set off up Fremington edge in bright sunshine with yet another question being posed, “Does anyone have a burning desire to clean The Edge“

In your dreams, Yes but not today and when I was younger were some of the answers received.  

The top of The Edge was achieved in less than 1/2 an hour which all agreed was quite respectable. They say every day is a school day and my learning for the day, with the help of Alex, was to discover a nice grassy route which shoots of too the left avoiding the very last steep loose section to the gate.


Before we set off I was asked how difficult a route it was and I answered a bit like life really, some hard bits, some really shitty bits and some fun bits.

At the top of the descent to Storthwaite we had one hard bit behind us and a fun bit ready to enjoy, as a light drizzly rain had started to fall, riders were warned of the  dangers of slippery grass, a short reminiscence of a previous ride and a broken collar bone enhanced the warning.

The descent through the quarry to Storthwaite safely accomplished we cycled the stretch along Arkle Beck and through Langthwaite (too early to stop at the pub) and up the road passed the CB (still to early to stop at the pub) before turning down the Stang road and then the minor road to Low Faggergill and Whaw.

The drizzly weather looked like being set in for the day but with spirits still high we tackled the second hard bit of the day, up the track to Great Punchard Head where a well earned lunch stop was taken. From here to Level House was very definitely The Shitty Bit with some Hikey Bikey and soggy bog before another short bit of fun down  Friarfold Rake to join the track to the top of Gunnerside Gill where with improving weather another fun bit down to Winterings, Blades was enjoyed.

A wee bit of uphill and some undulating ground took us to Surrender Bridge, then the Sting in the Tail, a rather steep descent on steps and up the other side out of Cringley Bottom then a fast downhill to Healaugh and back along the road to, yes you’ve guessed, DBC cafe to enjoy refreshments outdoor in warm sunshine and recount the ups and downs of the day.


Dave T.

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