The Dales Way Challenge 2019 – Louis Bortoli

I wrote a race review on instagram for followers of my cousins’ foundation I was running for which I’ll pop in below but my thoughts for everyone here is just a massive thank you, to Ryk and Bev, all the marshals who never stopped smiling you are so selfless to give up all the time you do and never cease to lift spirits when they’re down. To all the other runners especially Collette and Lucy who kept me going through my lowest moments, you are all part of such a fantastic community and I feel very lucky to have been part of it. I wish I was entering this race under different circumstances but having given myself 10 weeks to do a ‘couch to 81 mile’ race, I hope it can inspire people that they can do anything. Much love x

My insragram post

We did it! 82 miles in the longest 29 hours of my life. Some highlights and thoughts
– A less than ideal start when Mrs B’s car didn’t start leaving ilkley at the same time as the dub bus, it meant she didn’t see me until the 30 mile mark having finally got sorted
– feet got soaked through after only 40 minutes, it was to be a sign of things to come, 60 of the 80 miles were run with soaking feet and the other 20 with damp socks, cue a personal battle against blisters and hot points for the entire race! The medics at every checkpoint were a saviour and helped patch them up after every 10 miles
– I buddied up with two other runners Collette and Lucy who I stuck with for around 60 of the 80 miles including the night section which was invaluable, in hindsight I wouldn’t have pulled through the difficult night section without them as it’s a very lonely place when it’s just you and the light from a headtorch for over 8 hours
– with 13 miles to go I was at the brink of handing in my number. Both ankles were screaming at me, I could barely put weight on them and I had blisters the size small toes, I was in agony, then cousin @gruesomeollie pops up having driven over 5 hours from Colchester to see me over the line to then drive back on the same day. After a man hug, I had a word with myself, shed some tears and decided to plod on and plod I did, the last 10 miles taking over 4 hours…
– After miles of plodding I reached the finish to an awesome sight of friends and family waiting to be part of a special moment. Benny was with me the whole time, he never stopped smiling throughout and he genuinely helped me through when I felt my lowest.
– thank you to all friends and family that have been along for this ridiculous journey and travelled miles to be at the finish line, but most of all thank you to Mrs B who has been the best support team I could have asked for, you’re the best and I love you.

My feet are shredded, I don’t know how I’m driving to work in the morning but it was all worth it.

I love you Ben x


The Dales Way Challenge 2019 – Kev Limon

What an event!!
Support staff and checkpoints were outstanding …..Half way checkpoint was something else kitchen staff pumping out vast quantities of hot food and drink to everyone.
Not a course to be underestimated
especially with addition of a few days prior heavy rain added to the equation.
Ran with lots of different people from start to finish all enhancing the experience.
Slightly off course at one point(of many🙃) I jumped(alright climbed)over a fence and bumped back into a group who included Andy and Angela who’d buddied up for the event.
I ended up running most of the night section and the rest of the event with them, Angela doing practically all of the navigation duties was a godsend and ment I could concentrate on running and trying not to falll over.
Pace was good, maintainable and we were eating up the miles. Angela’s feet were progressively getting worse causing her to stop a couple times to dress them., Andy kept her spirits up with constant banter.
She struggled on with the pain for the rest of the event refusing point blank to even consider a DNF!
After the last checkpoint with a bit of gentle persuasion by Andy and me and a little kick of adrenaline Angela bounced back running when she could power walking when she couldn’t, the three of us crossed the line together
all smiling, perfect finish
to a great Challenge!

The Dales Way Challenge 2019 – Vicky Holliday

Thank you Ryk, Bev and team for helping me complete my longest run/walk ever. I ran with my running buddy Gemma, in awe that some were running on their own. 82 miles of beautiful scenery and riverside paths. We had gorgeous sunshine throughout with only one rain shower that I recall.!, we ran through boggy moors, some almost took our trail shoes off our feet but we did it within the 36 hour cut-off. Couldnt have done it without the help of fantastic marshals making sure we were fed and watered and a great team of medics at each checkpoint dressing our wrinkled poorly feet (they deserve the medal.!) I’ve had the nicest cups of tea and best cheese toastie and pasta this weekend😆.

The Dales Way Challenge 2019 – E P Gibb

I can only only echo the previous comments about the fantastic support over the weekend. From the volunteers, kindly giving up hours and hours of their time, to the super medics who sorted my feet out when needed, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Huge appreciation as well to those runners who helped me before, during and after Gearstones to get there, sort myself out and then get going again.
If you are interested, I’ve written a review of my experience of the weekend. Any comments either on the blog page or on here would be greatly received! I know it’s on the longer side…

The Dales Way Challenge 2019 – John Hussey

I think I might have just about recovered sufficiently to reflect on the Event. This was double the distance I’ve ever run before, I’ve never run through the night and I drew on resources I never knew I had to get to the finish just within the 36hour cut off.

A huge thank you to Ryk, Bev and all the volunteers/marshals/medics who made this event possible and kept me going when the easiest thing would have been to just drop out! I’m so glad I kept going to the bitter end! The attention the Medics gave to my stinking, battered, soggy feet was way beyond the call of duty.

What would I have done without Hannah and David (who I had never met before) for their company, friendship and support to get to the end especially through my darker moments? I seem to remember the phrase “lets just get this over and done with” being repeated several times with no option of an opt out!

It has been a privilege to have taken part in this Challenge and one I will never forget.