Last leg #StCuthbertsWay

There was a gloom in the distance as I peered out of my parents window. The gloom was fog and it was hanging around Wooler, my final starting point. Days 1-3, are here.

The legs were stiff, as you’d expect having run 72kms. My feet ached too as I felt my heartbeat through the soles. 

My parents were kind enough to drive me to the start, they opted for a day out too though they’d be driving and walking the dog. 

Wooler was dry when we arrived. There were showers all around so I was bound to get wet, though in between there were patches of sun. 

I started where I’d finished yesterday, on the main street in town. Heading down the hill and across the busy main road I hung a right. The trusty signs ever pointing, ever present. The two lads whom I met in Kirk Yetholm were there. Stinking of beer they’d had a good night at one of the pubs. My two glasses of red wine paled in comparison. I bid them a good walk and before I could get drunk from their breath I ran on. The route took me West out of town and started to climb. Turning off road onto a muddy path.   

I was running. Actually running at a reasonable pace, 5:30/6:00 min/km pace. It felt good, I felt great. The route ahead would be the longest of all of the routes so I was happy to be getting the miles covered in good time. 

The path descended onto a road, which I followed for a few miles. The hard Tarmac wasn’t good for my feet or knees but I persevered. 

The kilometres kept on passing by, through a few rain showers and sunny breaks. I could see in the distance the crags where I assumed St Cuthbert’s Cave was. It seemed a long way off. I kept running. Hardly walking which amazed me after days of running. 

The cave appeared out of nowhere. Through trees up a hill the dark hole topped by a mass of sandstone the cave stands proudly. 

Above the cave, through a few crags I rounded the top of the hill and before me lay the North Sea, my first view. Lindisfarne was there, though shrouded in sea mist. It was a welcome sight, though maybe not the fog. 

The route down to Fenwick took longer than expected. Two extra Kms came from no where, and the route was muddy, really muddy. 

My parents met me there, I was half an hour later than expected but I was still running. 

From Fenwick I traced the route to the causeway where I could see the tide had receeded. Crossing the A1 I was on my last descent to the causeway. A phone awaits you on the East coast main line asking you to call the signalman before attempting to cross. A high speed train whizzed past. I stopped and listened for another and took my chance to run across. Safely across I made a b-line for the coast where a line of tank defences lay lining the coast. 

The last section was ahead. The pilgrims way. A crossing to Holy Island following posts that has a safe crossing times different to that of the main causeway. It’s safe in the middle of the tide times and I was bang on.   

The sand was tough to run on. And in parts mud, right up to my ankles. Followed by water left by the tide washing the mud away. 

I reached the island with a heavy heart. My adventure was ending. My legs and knees were happy. The signposts had gone but I made my way into town, running to the Priory and Abbey. 

It’s a long way, 100kms from Melrose Abbey but it felt very similar.   

4 responses to “Last leg #StCuthbertsWay

  1. Pingback: Almost there #StCuthbertsWay | Run Spud Run!·

  2. Great to read your experience and see the images. I ran the route in 3 days together with my doggy. I carried a day backpack with our things and slept overnight in a tent. Had a lovely adventure too. Three weeks earlier I ran the Borders Abbey Way also with my doggy (3 days too). Maybe something for you too.

    • Amazing! It’s a fab route. Definitely looking to do more and also camp out. Thought it was a bit nippy in March to camp lol! Will look at the abbey way also looking at St Oswald way and maybe part of the Pennine way. So many adventures to be had!

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